Blood & Plunder - Native Reinforcements

I have also managed to get some more troops painted, because a miniature painters work is never done...

One box of Native Americans, which provides quite a decent mix of forces from the ones available to natives. The only thing missing is Warriors (with no ranged weapons), since these were released after the box.

First up, 12 Warrior Archers, or possibly Warriors upgraded to have Bows, depending on mood and which faction of natives one wants to use.

Then 4 Young Warriors, slightly less sun-tanned, and in general slightly less than the Warriors/Warrior Archers that will serve most natives as their bread and butter forces. Still, they're a nice option to have. (The sharp eyed will have noticed that another 4 Young Warrior models are pulling duty as Warrior Archers in the image above this one. Because I had more Young Warriors than needed, and not enough Warrior Archers... and they do have the correct equipment, which is the most important thing).

4 African Warriors, because some escaped slaves can be incredibly useful when it comes down to the finish line (they're the one Native unit with good melee saves, for a finishing blow and a chance to survive the retaliation).

And, to round it all up, 4 Warrior Musketeers, a.k.a. something that doesn't have that infernal Bow bonus to enemy shoot saves, but which might actually kill something.

But Fool, I hear you think, haven't we seen these already? Didn't you paint these natives last December?

No, that was my first box of natives. This is my second (yay, one new years promise taken care of). Which of course means that I now have a quite decent band painted and ready.

This allows me to field up to 3 units of Warrior Archers, with up to 6, 6, and 8 men in each, 2 units of Young Warriors (6 boys each), and a unit of 8 each for Warrior Musketeers and African Warriors. And of course, with a cacique in charge (or King Golden Cap himself).

All of that allows for an army list, with no upgrades but a Seasoned Commander, of over 250 points. Add Poisoned Arrows, and you have 270. Some fiddling with equipment, training levels, and characters, and it's a decent 300 point force. Not bad, from nothing but two starter sets. I just need to do something useful with the extra commander I have. Possibly give him a musket (somehow), since there are several historical native leaders who have that as an option. The only thing missing, is some of those melee-only Warrior models. Knowing myself, I will probably get them "soon" (they may or may not deserve a blog post by themselves... possibly if they do something unusually spectacular during a game).

Now, if only I could win with them as easily as I paint them... I won't say that I've never won with natives, but it's a rare thing and I probably need to get some more games in before I start to master them.

/Fool Out


Blood & Plunder Battle Report - Brethren of the Coast vs Logwood Cutters

Ahoy me hearties! Shiver me timbers an' gather round me, ye corsairs an buccaneers...

Ah, enough of that. But since it's Talk Like a Pirate Day (good as any excuse), I got in another game of Blood & Plunder, and an unusually piratical one at that. We couldn't make it a naval game (the dangers of mid-week gaming), but at least it's 200 points.

In the black corner, we have Georges L'Hachets Logwood Cutters:

Experienced French Buccaneer Commander (with Buccaneer Gun) (Georges himself)
4 Engagés
4 Engagés
6 Flibustiers, upgraded to Veterans
5 Freebooters
5 Boucaniers
5 Veteran Freebooters

Providing a varied force, with both long range and close range firepower. They ended up on the (nominal) defensive, but that seems to only have made them angrier. Aside from one unit of Engagés, who forgot to load their guns, and the Boucaniers (who didn't particularly care either way), all units got "Determination" from the Logwood Cutters special rules, and so got a free action on the first turn.

In the other black corner, we have the Brethren of the Coast, supposedly led by Francois de Bernaise

Untested French Buccaneer Commander (with Buccaneer Gun)
7 Flibustiers (with an Officer)
7 Marins (with a Reformado)
7 Marineros (with a Son of Neptune)
6 Freebooters
8 Enter Ploeg (with Blunderbusses, Stinkpots, and a Grizzled Veteran.

I am somewhat proud over the fact that this list contains units from all four of the major nations, although I kind of wish that I had managed to also add natives and generic Europeans. Alas, that would have prevented the other sort of silliness I wanted to test...

The idea here is that various extra characters compensate for a poor (but free) commander, while also allowing for some command point shenanigans. If you're doing something like this, remember to keep track of which units have gotten a command point this turn. Since we weren't at sea, I used the Anchor symbol on the marker dice for this purpose.

The scenario is Search and Recover. Fitting, on this day: find the booty. Six potential markers for booty (should be eight, but we were numpties and couldn't deploy the last two), with the treasure under number II.

Francois Brethren form a semi-orderly line. Flibustiers and Enter Ploeg aiming for the right flank, Freebooters (with Francois himself in command) and Marins up the center, and Marineros on the left flank.

The logwood cutters have Engagés and Freebooters (with Georges) on the left, Veteran Freebooters on the right, and Flibustiers and Boucaniers in the middle).

Everything ready to rumble (aside from the unprepared Engagés).

The first sign of action is the Enter Ploeg from the Brethren, helped by a command point from the Officer, checking out their treasure mark. Sadly, it's a dud.

Brethren Freebooters and Marins do something similar, finding another dud. There are now low chances of the treasure being on the Brethren side of the table.

Turn 1 sees very little action. The Brethren advance up, roughly on a line.

The Logwood cutters have done something similar. The french contingent is holding behind cover in the middle.

The Veteran Freebooters do something similar on their flank, looking angrily at the approaching Marineros.

And on the left flank, Georges Freebooters are ready to look at their marker, with some support of the Engagés.

But it is another dud! Where is that booty?! The Freebooters elect to then hide behind the nearby house, and move towards the last markers since this part of the table is cleared. Engagés stay to delay the enemy.

The Brethren Flibustiers see the sneaking Engagés and decide to do something about that. One falls to their bullets.

The return fire is less successful, mostly only hitting trees.

But Georges Flibustiers have managed to sneak up and uncover another marker. And it's the price! Phase two is now a go, defend/capture it!

The Brethren Enter Ploeg decide that a good first step for that, is to clear out this side of the table by rushing forward and firing wildly. Two blunderbusses and six pistols tend to not leave many men standing afterwards... (that is 5 hits against a unit of 3, for those keeping track).

The other unit of Engagés turn up, and try to do something about the band of angry Dutchmen coming in their general direction. Which results in one spent fortune point (for Georges) and a blown-off hat (for the Enter Ploeg who made his save).

Francois Freebooters then swiftly run up the hill, and open fire on the dastardly french who have their gold... to no effect.

Meanwhile, the Veteran Freebooters, realizing their strong language seems to have no effect, elect to fire on the approaching Marineros... also to no effect, and that after spening a fortune point.

Turn 3 opens pretty much the same way turn 2 ended, except competently.

Francois Freebooters fire on Georges Flibustiers again (got to love the combination of free reload, command point reload, and action fire on a spade), and this time, hit and actually fell three of them.

The Veteran Freebooters, meanwhile, do something similar and kill two Marineros. Which just seems to have made their friends angrier.

More fire pours into Francois and his Freebooters on the hill, and men start to fall.

The Marineros, moderately pissed of, runs forward and discharge their pistols into the Veteran Freebooters, actually managing to kill one (and adding a vital Fatigue).

Then the Marins, having rushed sideways from their treasure hunt behind the hill, follows up. And the Marins are led by a Reformado. Who have a command point which can be used to order a unit to charge...

The Marineros goes in, dodging defensive fire, cut down two Veteran Freebooters, and makes them Shaken. Their threat ends now (or soon, at least).

Georges Freebooters move into the forest, and also fire onto his opponent. More men die, and things are beginning to look dire.

On the other flank, it is mostly movement as both sides tries to figure out how the break the other.

Turn 4 begins with even more fire poured into Francois on his hill, and the last of his compatriots finally fall. Only for Francois to Cheat Death (because one fortune point was saved specifically for this when things started to look dire) into the now nearby Enter Ploeg.

Deciding that it is better to not even give them a chance to react, the Marineros finish of the Veteran Freebooters. However, they are left far out on left field, and will not take any more part of this fight, but just rushing towards the sound of guns (and eating up the less useful cards).

Some skillfull use of high-action cards and command points allow the Brethren Flibustiers to rush forward, with Francois Enter Ploeg not far behind (both had 3 actions, and spent their command point from Francois/the Officer on the other unit). The Flibustiers pour fire into Georges Freebooters, but only one man fall.

And then some sneaky Engagés suddenly appear behind the Flibustiers (I might have sort of forgotten that they were there...), and one man falls in the open street.

The Brethren Sailors move towards the large house, but only the Marins manage to enter it.

The Logwood (french) forest, however, looks like a hard nut to crack.

The Flibustier swiftly regret their hasty action, become shaken, try to flee, and are cut down by gunfire from the forest, in roughly that order.

The turn ends with Francois and his Enter Ploeg carefully advancing to the corner of the building before throwing down a smoke screen for some desperately needed cover (leaving a small stretch of empty ground to be able to charge next turn.

Turn 6. Last turn. It's do or die.

The Marins charge out from their building, straight for Geroges and the currently unloaded Freebooters.

One man falls on the way in (cue angry frenchmen), but in revenge, all but one Freebooter is cut down, and Georges are among the dead.

Logwood Flibustiers fire some towards the Enter Ploeg, felling one man (cue angry dutch) and then fall back with their treasure.

Francois and his Enter Ploeg find their aim slightly off and charge the Boucaniers instead (the Flibustiers falling back meant that they could no longer be reached). Pistols blazed and frenchmen fell, and in the end, not a single Boucanier was left standing.

And as a final farewell, the last of Georges Freebooters was cut down by a command point. The Brethren stand with one Strike Point from casualties, and a second for the Logwood Cutters holding the price at the end of turn 3. The Logwood Cutters, meanwhile, had three Strike Points from their casualties, and was perilously close to a fourth with only 7 models left on the field in the end.

Technically, and rules as written, it was a victory to the Brethren (although I find it strange that the prize only gives out a Strike Point in turn 3...). But the Logwood Cutters managed to get away with the price, and so got the moral victory. And they didn't even have to share the price among too many men (they just need to find a replacement for Georgos, because even if he would have survived the melee, he was probably bound for some hard questioning).

Lessons learnt:
  • Engagés keep being surprisingly good. They're cheap enough that anything they actually manage to do is a welcome surprise, and yet they're good enough that they can't quite be ignored.
  • The Brethren might have had a tad too many Command Points. Still, the combination of Officer and a Commander allowed for several fun moments and unexpected speed, potentially allowing both units to move 8" on their own activation, and pushing the other unit 4", for a total of 12" each. And the Reformado made good use of his "Charge" Command Point twice. Only the Son of Neptune and the Grizzled Veteran didn't manage to provide anything, but that was mostly because they never took any fatigue/never got hit in close combat.
  • Terrain setup is still tricky, and once the Logwood Cutters managed to fall back to their forest, things got hairy for a bit (although more aggressive use of Enter Ploeg and their Stinkpots might have solved it earlier).
  • Enter Ploeg keep being amazing. I just need to find the time (and actions) to reload their blunderbusses some time... and probably learn to use them better since, with hindsight, that might have solved the problem of the french forest for me.
  • I probably need a studio, allowing me to write battle reports as the battle is happening (and thereby discovering if I'm missing images of some important part of the action...)
Fair skies and following winds, buccaneers.

/Fool Out