Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Weekly Update #7

A quick update tonight. Early to bed for me! I've been rather busy digging up a huge tree stump in the garden and then celebrating when I defeated it.

Anyway, so other than the game on Sunday what have I been up to?

First off I've been magnetising my Blood and Plunder minis. I spent ages trying to put magnets on the minis only to have problems where the minis would knock each other over on the battlefield due to the magnets repelling each other. 

After a while of messing looking for weaker magnets and those being too weak I had a head slapping moment. I have swapped my usual arrangement and moved the magnetized strips to the boxes and put steel washers on the bases of the models, with a small 3d printed washer to make up the difference in size. This works perfectly and is a lot cheaper!

Also I started painting the next Caribbean/Spanish building....

... and made some rocky outcrops for the sea...

... and finally I got my frigate printed, with hollowed out hull for the electronics.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Blood and Plunder game at the Harbour

Having completed the coastline and the harbour it was time today to get a game in. 

We decided to play the Search and Recover scenario which allowed lots of land whilst being an amphibious game. One side of the board would have the town and harbour and the other the jungle coastline. Five objective markers (chests) were placed around the board, though only one was the one we needed. However in the rules killing combatants and taking ships would also count as objectives.

Brendan had the French in the Sloop and I had English with the Brigantine. We came on with some troops in the ships some on each piece of land. Though I couldn't have any troops on the harbour at the beginning as the land on that side of the board did not run all the way up to my deployment zone.

The first turn saw our ships sailing towards each other as usual, not much going on as our broadsides were not lined up. Our troops on the land rushed towards objectives.

The second turn saw us start to fire. My swivel guns on the prow of my ship shot at Brendan's gunners and musket fire was traded. A few sailors on each side were hit. We began to turn our ships to bring broadsides to bear.

We were both getting close to the objective in the water. To capture it we'd have to get within 3" of it though and to do that would risk being out of position and rather susceptible to fire from the other ship. So we let it slide by.

My militia on land ran up to the first chest on the coast. It was empty. This left them with a good view of the ongoing sea manoeuvres. 

On the other side in the harbour, Brendan's boucaniers advanced through the harbour towards another chest.

Brendan turned his ship and opened up with a broadside on my forecastle. The medium cannons dealt 6 damage to the hull and killed all of the sailors in the section. The 6 hits meant he had a critical hit, the first we'd ever rolled, and my ship sprang a leak. If this wasn't repaired it could mean my ship would sink. On top of that the coastline was getting very close and I didn't have time to change sail settings!

Brendan's flibustiers ran forward to check the chest on the jungle road. It was the one with the treasure! All eyes fell on that. I started to move my Forlorn hope towards it.

I saw my chance and fired everything I could at Brendan's sloop, killing most of the sailors manning the medium cannons. He'd be unable to reload them! After the damage they'd done on their first shot I was more than happy with that situation.

Soon after this I realised the way to deal with my ship hitting the coast was to grapple it into position. This I did successfully, pulling the ship up to the cliffs. I'm not sure if that's how its supposed to work, but there were no arguments. Brendan let his ship stop at the beach, allowing him to unload.

Brendan realised that his troop numbers on this side of the channel were falling rather too quickly. So he brought the longboat alongside the sloop and sent two sailors with it over to collect the boucaniers who were now far from the objective stranded on the other side of the channel.

The other sailors he sent up the beach to try to support the flibustiers with the objective. But they got too close to my forlorn hope unit and were charged and killed to a man.

However this left the forlorn hope stuck out in the open and the flibustiers peppered them repeatedly with fire. They held on but their numbers were severely depleted.

Over at the harbour the long boat, now only manned by a grizzled veteran, reached the boucaniers. 


They loaded up and started to sail back... In the meantime I'd been shooting at the remaining forces on the sloop. The last shot with the re-manned and re-loaded forecastle swivel guns wiped out the last of Brendan's veteran freebooters and his captain. The boucaniers came back to an empty ship!

This was the end of turn 6. The end of the game.

Though Brendan had the objective, I'd killed much of his force and was in a position to take his ship. He'd just killed a few of my troops. It was 2 strike points each. It came down to the value of casualties to determine the winner and I'd certainly killed more of his than he'd of mine. We didn't bother to count them up and Brendan accepted defeat.

That was an epic game. So much happened and it was great to see so much stuff on the table.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Weekly Update #6

Last week I spotted a new set on the Printable Scenery site "Arcanist’s Stone Canal Walls". I immediately saw their potential as something a little different. 

I've been looking for something to build a harbour wall for my Medieval city tiles. It would need to be modular and come in inch units. The previous harbour wall produced by Printable Scenery for some reason was a bit random in dimensions and so I had been working on my own. However this new set has pieces from 4 inches long down to 1/2 inch and is Open Lock. Perfect.

I printed some out and then added the wooden jetties from the "Age of Pirates" set, since I've had that set for a while. I then realised that I could use my already printed city wall as a harbour fortification, but I'd need a new tower to go on the end. I printed a Rampage Castle tower over the weekend.

Tonight was the chance to see how it all fits together. I am rather pleased with how it's come out. Some of the jetties are hot-off-the-printer so I've not yet painted them.

I can see this setup being usable for quite a few games systems. Obviously Blood and Plunder, but also as something to skirmish over in games like Kings of War:Vanguard or Frostgrave. As well of course with historical skirmishes.

What I need to do now is to get a load more Canal walls and wooden jetties printed. I plan to use this in our Blood and Plunder game at the weekend.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Another Blood and Plunder game

Another Blood and Plunder Amphibious game today. This time with the added beach I made last week.

Brendan was attacking and trying to rescue the merchant I'd captured. He had a sloop with cannon and was allowed a force on land as well.

He struggled quite a bit as I'd found a location on the back of the board which was hard for the sloop's canons to target from where it was and had quite a good defensive field of fire against his troops who attempted to charge in.

In the end he had lost his entire land force and captain and it didn't seem that he had much chance of recapturing the merchant so he capitulated.

We had a think about what he could have done to win and a number of options were raised. One option was Long boats coming ashore rather than using the sloop, though they would have meant he had no artillery support, which had definitely helped him. 

However what seems a better option was something he already had... explosives. These he could have thrown at me from cover or used to supply smoke and mess up my very good defensive position. We'll have to try those out next time.

After the game I tried out the harbour wall I've been building up. This will allow us to use the city boards in an amphibious game... I'll see if I can get that sorted for next weekend's game!

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Weekly Update #5

It's that day of the week again.

I've just completed another Terra-Former beach and an extension to my city wall along with tile for that as well and have had some fun setting it all up to see what it looks like.

The new corner beach. Not as steep as the first one.

Extended city wall means I can span a 4 foot table now.

The whole set up.

I need a bigger table to set everything up.

On the paint table right now are some extra Boucaniers and Forlorn Hope. Though I do also have some more coastal pieces that I want to get on with.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Blood and Plunder - Amphibious Battle

I wasn't expecting to be able to post about an amphibious battle today. No way was I going to be able to complete the coastline pieces for my Terra-Former tiles... But somehow all the groundcover including a beach came together last night and to my surprise it was all dry this morning!  

The tiles are magnetised like the rest of the Terra-Former system and I've used cork bark for the cliffs along with sculptamold to sculpt the rest. I have plans to make a whole lot more coastal pieces, these are just the first ones. 

It all sat on my new Tiny Wargames sea mat, which arrived this week. I'm very pleased with the new mat and it'll be usable with all my naval wargaming in various scales. My old boards were looking a bit battered and worn and it was time for an upgrade.

To finish it off I quickly printed and painted the wooden jetty and we got it all onto the table for a game this afternoon.

Brendan chose to play the French and defend and I built him a French Caribbean Militia force around Julien Lambert. I took English Buccaneers with a sloop and two long boats and an inexperienced captain.

We were playing "Raid" and there were two objectives. One in the villa and one not far from the beach. 
I set up with some troops in the sloop and some in one longboat. The second longboat towed behind the sloop. I didn't want to pass the land too fast with the sloop so set the sails quite low.

In the first turn the wind immediately dropped. This left me moving far too slowly and meant I had struggle to change sail settings and decided to switch from sails to sweeps on the long boat. Nothing much else happened, though we did trade shots to no effect.

In the second turn I launched the second long boat with the small Fornlorn Hope unit. I soon realised that they may start to block the line of fire of the cannons, and if they went for the jetty as I had originally planned would get shot up by the Boucaniers in the building overlooking it. So I dithered a bit.

Turn 3 and my long boat landed. The militia on-board traded shots with French Militia on land, both taking casualties, and the Sea Dogs charged up the beach at them to keep them busy. 

The Forlorn Hope rowed up to the cliff next to the beach and climbed up.

The Freebooters with the captain jumped into the shallows and the militia climbed out of the long boat.

The French Marins charged at the Forlorn Hope unit on the cliff edge and wiped them out.

The Flibustiers came out onto the balcony of the villa to get a better shot and the Boucaniers crept around the side of their building as the attack had gone elsewhere.

The Freebooters advanced up the beach towards the big chest of gold. They shot at the Marins killing many of them, the remainder ran for cover. The English militia joined the melee with the French militia who collapsed under the extra pressure. The Filibustiers realised the defence of the objective needed support and came forward.

Then they charged right at the Freebooters. It was a long charge for them, and the freebooters held their ground. The English Militia saw this and responded, charging into the Filibustiers flank. This devastating attack forced them back and the English pursued.

The Bouncaniers saw a sneaky move. They moved up just close enough to contest the objective, but not close enough to be in melee. This meant I'd have no chance to kill them as there were no turns left.

My only chance to take an objective would be the other one over by the villa. Luckily this was left relatively undefended when the Flibustiers ran forward. I'd decided to sneak a couple of Sea Dogs over there just in case. Seeing this Brendan had sent a single remaining Marin over as well. I would have to fight for that one as well!

When it came down to it. The lone French sailor was valiant indeed. He fended off the attacks from my two sailors with elan and remained contesting the objective at the end of the game.

So, at the end both objectives were contested and both sides had taken similar numbers of casualties. We had to count the points of the dead pirates to determine the winner. I had killed very slightly more French than Brendan had killed English, so I was the winner... but it was far too close really!

That was quite a game! We had to bring all sorts of rules into play. Most flowed well, but I was unsure about what happens when a long boat hits the beach. In the end we just ruled that it stopped and only when the sloop collided with it did we start to move it again.

So now I need to get more coastline pieces completed. These worked really well, though the ground near the top of the beach was a little steep and the models kept falling over.