The third of our recent pirate games was with Games Workshop’s Legends Of The High Seas rules.
We had found over the last few weeks that Osprey’s On The Seven Seas was way too slow and not quite what we were looking for.
Cutlass was much better with a nice dice mechanism but an activation sequence that left us wanting more.
So only having read the Legends Of The High Seas rules a few days before our first game, I had already decided it was a better game. It is nothing groundbreaking, it uses a nice simple turn sequence, and the game plays out to a satisfying end.
I need to read the ship rules and we can think about including ship to ship combat at some stage.
So, we tried out On The Seven Seas last night for the first time.
It was disappointing. It is a game that I do not think we will be returning to. The basic concept of Greed versus Fear sounded quite good, the side with the higher Greed value goes first and if a crews Fear gets too high then they lose.
However, the model and weapon profiles meant that combat was not a very satisfying experience.
It is recommended that a 6′ by 4′ table is used. Models on foot move at 4″ per turn. Basic muskets have a range of 8″. Pistols have a range of a mere 2″. So the first who-knows-how-many turns are just movement. Zzzzzz.
When you do get in range to shoot at an opponent, you need a D10 roll of 10 to hit. A roll or 8 or 9 causes a Fall Back, which just means moving back by 1″.
Close combat is a bit better but not by much. Each player rolls a dice, if a player beats the other by 4 or more, he wins and the opponent is removed as a casualty.
The models don’t really have a profile to speak of. There is no damage roll but some models apparently get a saving throw, but we could not find what the roll was or who gets it.
Anyway, this book is going on the shelf. Cutlass is a much better game.
In two weeks we will give Legends Of The High Seas a go. After that, I need to get Mr Steinberg to have a go with my No Quarter Naval Battles rules.
Finally got to have a couple of pirate games, the first of which was with the Cutlass rules.
My first outing was with a Royal Navy crew, mostly armed with muskets and bayonets, but the second game was with a motley crew of swashbuckling rum swilling pirates.
A Royal Navy crew is all well and good, but all of the soldiers are armed the same, not a lot of room for variety. A pirate crew is much more fun as they can all be individually equipped with what ever they are modeled with.
The leader of my merry pirate crew is a great Ron And Bones model, Hank Blackheart, complete with an odd looking critter on his hat.
As you can see from the pictures, we use white counters to record a fired weapon, a puff of smoke to signify that the model needs to use an action to reload a weapon.
Cutlass does have an odd activation system, too complicated to go into here without writing several paragraphs. Suffice to say it is easily possible for models in base to base combat that should be fighting can actually stand around doing nothing whilst other models move and shoot. I think it is just different to what I am used to, an ever decreasing number of activations makes for some interesting choices as the game progresses.
We have a few more rules to have a go with, the next being Osprey’s On The Seven Seas which I have barely even read yet.
The next batch of Black Scorpion Navy Marines, I am doing six at a time rather than trying to do the whole lot in one go.
I do appear to have run out of Bolt Gun paint, a shocking development. You would think with the large box of unopened paints I have, that a gun metal would be in there, but no. Anyway, eBay to the rescue, four pots incoming from the Troll Trader.
These rather excellent British Navy Marines are from yet another pile of models that have been wanting some paint for ages. Once I actually got started, it did not take long to paint five.
These models are all from Black Scorpion and will ultimately crew my Man O’War.
I did some research online looking at 18th century uniforms but was really after a uniform that did not include white trousers, why would any soldiers wear too much white?
I did find a few examples of uniforms that fitted my criteria. I also wanted to go for blue trousers so they would have some synergy with my Meridian steampunk infantry.
I did manage to get some odds and ends finished this week, lots to tools, weapons and accessories to scatter around on my ships, towns and just about any gaming table. My favourite bit is the gun case.
If there is one thing I like, it is big walking mechs of one type of another. This Privateer Press model gets used in games of No Quarter, usually with a dwarf army.