Beginner - bit stumped from the very offset

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nheather
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:08 pm

Beginner - bit stumped from the very offset

Post by nheather »

I watched some videos on youtube, bought the rule book, read it and it seems like great fun .... BUT .... I don’t have any armies so I need to build up from scratch and this is where I am a bit stumped.

I’ve not decided on a period so let’s just pick the first one, The French Indian War

For the British, I can see that I can choose one of the following core units

British Regulars 1775 - 39
British Colony Defence - 37
British Regulars 1756 - 51

and for the French

French 1755 - 60
French Regulars - 50
French Raiding Party - 45

Looking at that, the French are more expensive (presumably better) than the British

Page 79 says that support is based on the difference between the strength of the opposing forces as detailed in the scenarios - so I thought that would level out the forces but none of the scenarios have anything like that for determining force points - it seems that most of the scenarios give each force the same support and doesn’t restrict what level can be purchased.

So I’m puzzled how you go about choosing armies - is it that you just agree on the same number of points each and then the sides chose their core unit, and anything from the generic support list and the army support list.

Cheers,

Nigel

Archdukek
Posts: 5321
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Beginner - bit stumped from the very offset

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Nigel,
Welcome to the world of Sharp Practice.

Initially it’s a good idea to start with one of the core forces listed because they include a balance of units and Leaders while reflecting the composition of troops you might typically find. For the FIW the British Regulars 1756 Force at 51 points is a good match points wise for the French Regulars force at 50 points. However, if you preferred to field the French Raiding Party at 45 points instead, then the French player would be entitled to add an additional 6 points of extra units or support choices that being the difference in the value of his force compared to the British. (51-45=6) He might for example want to add a Mobile Deployment Point or Exploring Officer to increase his chances of being able to surprise the British force.

Once you have a grasp of the rules and a better knowledge of the period, you have other options for setting up a game. You and you opponent can agree a points total and build a force of your choosing drawing from the units in the army list, plus Leaders plus any supports from the general support. This total can then be adjusted depending on the scenario. I’d recommend that you plan to spend around one third of your points on Leaders. 60-75 points is a good size force to play with in the early smoothbore period.

Don’t be afraid to adjust the additional support points available in each scenario if you need to in order to get a better balance between the forces, they are not set in stone. Some forces are better suited to certain scenarios than others so achieving a balance if that matters to you, can need a little tweaking of what’s in the book.

John

nheather
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:08 pm

Re: Beginner - bit stumped from the very offset

Post by nheather »

Thanks, for the guidance. So you either pick two sides and the player with the least points gets the difference to spend on extras, or you agree on an allowance and both sides get to spend up to that.

I’m actually leaning towards The Peninsular War so I could start with

British Regulars - 56 points
French Regulars - 54 points

The French would get 2 points to spend and both would get some points to spend depending on the scenario.

The rules suggest that there is a mechanism determining which support lists you can use but I couldn’t find any such restriction - maybe I skimmed over it.

Cheers,

Nigel

Munin
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:49 pm

Re: Beginner - bit stumped from the very offset

Post by Munin »

The mechanism is easy - if you have 6 points of Support, you can get something from List 6. Or two things from List 3. Or any combination that adds up to 6. The list's number is essentially how much each entry on that list costs in "points."

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sjwalker51
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:01 pm
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Beginner - bit stumped from the very offset

Post by sjwalker51 »

You’ve got it right.

Using your Peninsular War example, agree a points value per side - let’s say 70.

You’re best starting with one of the example core forces but that isn’t obligatory.

Each side then selects additional groups from the unit rosters, extra Leaders or upgrades to existing ones (at 3 points per status level), or stuff from the generic support list to bring them up to that level: 14 points for the Brits, 16 points for the French, in this case.

Each unit then gets to add more troops using the support points provided by the scenario rules.

Then you’re good to go.

mellett68
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: Beginner - bit stumped from the very offset

Post by mellett68 »

nheather wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:44 pm
I watched some videos on youtube, bought the rule book, read it and it seems like great fun .... BUT .... I don’t have any armies so I need to build up from scratch and this is where I am a bit stumped.

I’ve not decided on a period so let’s just pick the first one, The French Indian War

For the British, I can see that I can choose one of the following core units

British Regulars 1775 - 39
British Colony Defence - 37
British Regulars 1756 - 51

and for the French

French 1755 - 60
French Regulars - 50
French Raiding Party - 45

Looking at that, the French are more expensive (presumably better) than the British

Page 79 says that support is based on the difference between the strength of the opposing forces as detailed in the scenarios - so I thought that would level out the forces but none of the scenarios have anything like that for determining force points - it seems that most of the scenarios give each force the same support and doesn’t restrict what level can be purchased.

So I’m puzzled how you go about choosing armies - is it that you just agree on the same number of points each and then the sides chose their core unit, and anything from the generic support list and the army support list.

Cheers,

Nigel
The difference between the two sets of lists in the FIW section caught me by surprise too. Since the historical forces for the most part are quite different from each other it should make for interesting gaming hopefully.

I took the french raiding party and the british colony defense lists as a starting point, as they encapsulate the narrative I want to game and adapted them a bit.

The British forces end up being a lot of manpower but unwieldy whereas the French come out with a lot of skirmishers so you'd expect the kind of game to represent an ambush in a glen or a raid on a farmstead, rather than a fort battle or some other engagement.

I've split the 12-man tribe into two groups of 6 skirmishers and run them through the sharpulator as skirmishers (musket) 0 they come out expensive at 9pts but I haven't fiddled with their abilities or anything.

French Raiding Party
Leader Status II - 6pts
Two Groups of 6 Milice Canadiene - 14pts
Leader Status II - 6pts
Two groups of 6 Indian Skirmishers - 18pts

Total: 44pts

British Colony Defense
Leader Status II - 6pts
Three Groups of 8 Provincial Regulars - 12pts
Leader Status I - 3pts
Two Groups of 10 Frontier Militia - 6pts

Total: 27pts

With the disparity in points (17!) I added support as follows:

Leader Status II - 6pts
One group of 8 British Regulars 1756 Onwards - 7pts
Leader Status I (provincial officer for that formation) - 3pts

Total: 43pts

So that gives (point-wise) balanced forces but as you can see the actual game would be fairly asymmetrical- the French player has to keep their skirmishers on the move to avoid the big volleys while the British player has to anticipate that and try to keep their formations under control.

The peninsula lists are a bit easier to compare directly as the forces have roughly the same composition for the most part.

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