December 31, 2018 by Lee
Well, its that time of the year again when the Battle Bunker Group have their annual Christmas games. So after taking last year off from the planning and organising, it was time to get back in the saddle for this years games.
The question was, What game to put on? This came to me on the drive home from last years Christmas game hosted by Richard and Josh that why don’t we put on a Blood and Plunder game. After all, we had at that time recently received our Kickstarter and more importantly it would be a fun game to do.
Well as you probably would have guessed time had got away from us and now fast forward to August 2018 when Mel turned to me and said “Are we still putting on Blood and Plunder for Christmas?
My look of oh bugger I have totally forgot about that, meant that we had to get a move on to sort everything out. Figures needed to be painted, Boats needed to be prepped, painted and rigged as well as any scenery that we were going to use.
We were very fortunate that we sent our figures off to be painted by Shaun from Little Ninja Painting, who agreed to paint them for us in plenty of time for us to try out the game in secret beforehand. The next thing we had to sort was getting a mat to play on, well this was a no brainer as we had already got the beach landing mat by Deep Cut Studios it just needed a little tweaking. We contacted Deep Cut to make a custom mat for us in the orientation we wanted, the results were excellent.
Next on the agenda was working out what we wanted on the land and how we wanted the transition between the sea and the beach. For the land, I wanted to use 4Grounds detached house 2 from their World at War range as the Governors house. The rocks we used was the Highlands set from Gamemat.eu, which I think are excellent for creating scenic effects for a multitude of themes / games.
The palm trees were some plastic trees I had picked up at a show many years ago and I had forgot I had them. All I needed to do was give them a quick paint job and base them up on a suitable base, (so I can use them for other games). The jetties were hand made by Mel from coffee stirrers (the small ones that you can get from large chain high street coffee shops), although we picked ours up from Amazon. First Mel made a frame out of some balsa wood I had kicking around and then she stuck the stirrers to it. Once dried they were cut with scissors to give it a rough finish and then painted .
The scatter terrain was all resin and from various companies on the market and the trees were from The Last Valley which I picked up at various shows during the year.
To add atmosphere to the day we also decorated the room with a large pirate flag and some ships netting. We also printed off some pictures from Firelock Games Blood and Plunder Kickstarter page to show off their miniatures.
Click here to see a video of the table set up before the game.
The day of the game was soon upon us and the look on the Richard, Josh and Regans faces was a picture. I only wished I took one to show you all as their surprise and excitement certainly showed (later Richard said that it was something they were not expecting).
We decided that Mel and I would run the game and Jamie, Richard, Josh and Regan would have to draw a counter to find out which side they were playing on. Not only that, but each turn each player would play the land force or the ship and her crew. So in 6 turns, each player would get a chance to play each command 3 times.
The scenario for this game was, Henry Morgan and his force had to escape the island after completing a raid. He was to meet up with his ship which should have been docked waiting for him.
The Spanish force was aware of this plan and decided to intercept Henry Morgan by landing a garrison to take up defensive positions around the Governors house.
Jamie and Richard were playing the Spanish under the command of Manuel Rivero De Pardal who was the land commander.
Josh and Regan were playing the English under the command of Henry Morgan who again was the land commander.
The game started at a slow pace as we were all new to the rules, but on the 2nd turn everyone was starting to grasp the mechanics of the game.
The English found it difficult to approach the jetty due to the dogged defence put up by the Spanish defenders, the most notorious unit was the Indios bowmen.
Unfortunately for the English by the end of turn 6, the Spanish had overwhelmed the English and they captured Henry Morgan.
Whilst this was going the battle ragged at sea………….
The English Captain on board his ship sees that there is a Spanish Sloop docked at the jetty where he is meant to pick up Henry Morgan. He calls out “beat to quarters, and prepare to engage the Spanish ship”.
On spying the English ship approaching the bay, the Spanish Captain decides to provide a very warm welcome.
The Spanish ship sails away from the jetty to engage the English ship. After both ships fire their light cannons and swivel guns at each other the ships are within grappling distance.
With the English now grappled to the Spanish ship they decide to board her and fight at close quarters.
So after a lengthy melee with both sides jumping from ship to ship and suffering major casualties along the way, the conclusion of this engagement was a draw. Neither ship had enough crew to sail their own ships, let alone capture the other…….
Unfortunately the ships are now at the mercy of the wind drifting slowly towards the jetty.
This year we decided to play a second game. A short video of the table setup and then a full write up will be posted soon………
Our Christmas Games are always the highlight of our gaming year and so, plans are now afoot for the Christmas 2019 game.
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