With Salute out of the way, those nice people at Lard Island have sent through my pre-ordered copy of the second edition of Sharp Practice.
Now as I've mentioned here before I've had problems with the first edition. For one thing I found some of the unnecessarily ambiguous phrasing of the rules frustrating. Another problem was that some of the rules were just plain annoying. How many times did we roll for movement or firing and pick up the dice without remembering to count the number of ones and sixes to determine if random events occurred? My main issue, though, was with the disruptive effect of the game's inherent randomness on a finely crafted scenario.
It's fair to say I've remained interested in what the Lardies' games can offer despite, rather than because of, Sharp Practice 1.
I pre-ordered the basic package of SP2. This gets me the hard copy rules, a pdf version, and a pack of the cards that drive the game.
So far my impression is overwhelmingly that the rules show their line of descent from the far more recent Chain of Command.
The starting forces that you need are, it seems, a little more structured (like the base platoon in a CoC game) and a little smaller. The latter is A Good Thing; the size of forces in edition one's The Complete Fondler supplement were rather off-putting.
CoC features show in the use of deployment markers that are no unlike Jump Off Points, and in the use of variable numbers of Turns (CoC phases) in a Chapter (CoC turn).
Overall I'd say the first impressions are: nice production, improved layout, and the impression that this is more of a structured game and less of a slightly rambling kit of parts. More when I get the rules read properly.