Song of Drums and Shakos (SDS) is a fast play Napoleonic skirmish game written by Sergio Laliscia and based on the Song of Blades and Heroes (SBH) mechanics. Muster your squad. Deploy your soldiers and fire volleys at the enemy… and when the moment of truth comes, fix bayonets and charge.

Whereas Napoleon's Battles and Lasalle are respectively addressed to grand-tactical and tactical level, SDS is for small combat or skirmishers between patrols, advance guards, foraging parties, reconnaissance squads, vedettes and such.

I found SDS while reading a small and fun After Action Report (AAR) with some nice pictures in the Fitz-Badger's Soweiter League blog. The described game used a 'lace and tricorne' version of a seemingly fun Napoleonic skirmish ruleset named Song of Drums and Shakos (or Song of Lace and Tricornes as Fitz-Badger named it) designed by Sergio Laliscia and edited by Ganesha Games. A rapid visit to their website, and the e-books for Songs of Drums and Shakos and More Songs of Drums and Shakos (SDS and MSDS from onwards) were in my computer.

The Song of Blades and Heroes Yahoo Group (SDS having the same rules engine than the 'Song of...' family) provided me with more useful stuff - including an EXCEL calculator to make SBH war bands that I immediately refurbished for SDS. The subsequent internet surfing found some links of SDS blogs, like Drums & Shakos, the blog of the game designer and many others with AAR's of specific games.

The solo side of SDS was also immediately found, and the Batrepps blog provided me with Lone Shako, a somewhat complicated solo variant for SDS, and an simpler solo activation procedure initially designed by Doghi and easily transferred to a worksheet.

With SDS only the strategic level is still not covered... but that is another history. You can watch the state of the Project in the PROJECT LEPIZIG BLOG, searching for the 'Song of Drums and Shakos' label.