Thursday, August 14, 2014

Song of Drums and Shakos

Tuesday night at Dragon's Lair, the local group was playing Song of Drums and Shakos Large Battles, a Napoleonics game using the Song of Blades and Heroes game engine.  The rules include activation rolls and contested combat rolls, but with SDS you add more dice to your roll instead of modifying a single die roll.  Also, every failed activation roll gives your opponent a chance to react with one of his units.
Careful readers will note that the miniatures are American Civil War troops, which we used to proxy the French and the British.  It didn't detract from my enjoyment of the game, but I kept hearing the Battle Hymn of the Republic whenever I looked at the table.
It was a fun game, with the rules slightly different than SoBaH, but still easy for a player of that game to pick up.  Since I was just using reference sheets, I can't tell you much more about the actual rules, but the game does play fast like all Ganesha Games offerings.
I'm not that familiar with the Napoleonic era, so I couldn't tell you how historically accurate the rules are, but Joe, who's more of a historical guy than I am, seemed satisfied with its verisimilitude.  And most important, we all enjoyed playing it.


Stu Rat said...

Back when I was younger, many a battle was my Airfix ACW troops (both sides) vs. all my Airfix Napoleonic (and AWI) troops. Still some of my fondest wargaming memories.

Gonsalvo said...

Interesting write up! Obviously, I do know a lot about Napoleonic wargaming, but skirmish level isn't a particular interest of mine.

Re Airfix plastic as stand ins... one of my favorite articles from the original NEWA "Courier" back in the 1970's detailed how they used airfix ACW troops, spray painted in basic solid colors (Blue red, green etc) as stand ins/proxies for use with new rules sets and periods, to be replaced by painted metal as it was completed once the rules and basing was decided for the group. So the "red confederates" might be British Napoleonics, or Ancient Romans, or ECW Royalists at different times.

Kaptain Kobold said...

What scale is Song of Drums and Shakos Big Battles (as in what do the units represent), please? And how many units make up a typical game? In other words, what size of battle are they designed to represent?


leadaddicted said...

Some useful links about the rules:
the blog by the author
napoleonic products by the author

Kaptain Kobold said...

Thanks. What is the minimum number of units that would give a viable game for just two players (for example).