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.

Tuesday 16 March 2021

Weekly Update #4

This week really is one of those weeks where I wouldn't have normally posted. Loads of part-done projects or projects that are duplicates of ones I already posted about. All have been Blood and Plunder related.

First up are the two longboats that I completed. One with lateen rig and one with lug rig. We got a game in with them on Sunday, again switching sides, and as with the other sea game Brendan won. 

It's back to land I think this weekend as I've just finished off another set of palm jungle pieces. This more than doubles the amount of jungle I can put on the table with the addition of pieces without palms which we'll use as cover terrain and some singly based trees without undergrowth.

It'll be nice to get some amphibious games in. But for that I need to finish the coastline pieces for use with my Terra-former tiles. I got two started before I ran out of cork bark. More cork bark is on its way.

The coastal pieces are designed to attach to the sides of the Terra-former tiles with the same magnets. I think I may have to work out something to go in the right-angle. I had intended the angle to be less sharp there. Hmmm...

Finally something a little different. I realised that these ships I'm making are big enough to get quite a bit of electronics in them, so I'm busy with trying out that ready for my next ship!

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Weekly Update #3

More Blood and Plunder on the bench tonight. 

I've just finished off some additional Sea Dogs. These would really have helped in my game on Sunday!

In addition I have finished the Civilian Characters, these can give helpful abilities to your force in the game but also are tied into some of the scenarios. So I figured I better get them!

In addition two Printable Scenery Longboats to which I've added masts. The one on the left will be a lug rig and the one on the right a lateen rig.


Sunday 7 March 2021

Blood and Plunder Sea Battle

Having finished my second ship it was time today to have our first sea battle with Blood and Plunder.

Brendan chose to play the French in the sloop and I had the English in the brigantine. We both had experienced buccaneer commanders. Brendan had his militia unit replaced with extra marins. I however hadn't got the extra sea dogs painted to do the same for the English, so was trying to man cannon with inexperienced troops. Not a good plan at all.

The scenario was Raid and I was the attacker. I was supposed to capture Brendan's ship.

I had the wind gauge, whereas Brendan was sailing into the wind all the time. Luckily for him this didn't make too much difference for a sloop!

We sailed slowly towards each other trying to get decent broadsides. Brendan managed to get better shots in than me and soon I was losing crew. He lost a few, but not so many. 

From the start it was harder to man the guns with my troops. They really were not ideal for the task. I could have done with the extra sailors which are still on my painting workbench. However we continued. Brendan was being far more successful.

Pretty soon we were just sailing alongside trading broadsides. Though an unfair trade, I was getting far more iron from Brendan than I was sending to him. I was also getting a lot of lead sent my way by his flibustiers. Their superior shooting was really causing me problems.

I desperation I tried to grapple his ship so I could board as that might well have gone better for me, but two grapple attempts failed.

Brendan saw his chance and grappled onto my rear. His marins and flibustiers both charged across to my worn out freebooters, wiping them out. With my captain dead and only three men left, I struck my colours.

An excellent game, quite different from the land games and also quite different from any sea games I've played before. It's a lot more detailed as you'd expect. Much more about commanding the crew than sweeping around in clever manoeuvres. 

We had a few issues with the rules at the start, but were soon in the flow of things, though Brendan did keep on forgetting to spend his command points.

We'll certainly be playing a lot more of this.

Tuesday 2 March 2021

Weekly Update #2

So the second of my Weekly Updates. Tonight has been a little different as the modelling has mostly been sewing.

Having finished tying the ratlines on my Brigantine, the next thing needed is sails. I've been sewing the lines on these with my rather antique sewing machine. 

Once all were sewn, I removed the paper and have sealed the stitches and around the edges with PVA. Once that has dried I'll be able to cut the sails out and then attach them to the ship.

Slightly less exciting I've also finished off another plain Terraformer tile. 

Update: I just finished for the night. Sails are on, still some tidying to do. Tomorrow for that.