Personally I think it is good tactics and knowing how the rules work and his intelligence that is the true key to his tabletop success. But perhaps when he can actually verbally dictate which dice numbers he or his opponent should get (!) or his ability to get 6s at the best times earns him comments like "Francis, you are a f***ing c**t!" ,that he is best known.
I haven't played 'Shako' for quite some time, but I seemed to remember most of the key points during the game. While Francis would play GM and set up the simple scenario; "Doug, see this chit? Yes, this one on the far side of the table and behind all this large Russian army? That is your objective and victory condition."
I commanded my Polish army while Dave set up the Russians; the almost as large as my army, Russians. Well, who said war was fair. Dave as defender set up first and with very good scouting (apparently!) I knew his exact deployment (other than where his Cossacks would appear and when). He stretched out his army thinly along the whole line of the table so I ignored one flank, used one command to go up the middle and the other infantry force with my light horse lancers to overwhelm his left flank and so hoping to collapse his line. It would have worked but time ran out and with one less unit eliminated and still holding the 'chit', Dave claimed victory.
|my 15mm Poles advance|
|the middle units are in white uniforms as the Polish 13th Infantry Regt. Ex- Austrian attire apparently.|
|"The General's eye view"|