Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pirates!, a Tale....

I went to see On Stranger Tides yesterday with my wife and kids and outside the movie being a big "meh" other than the kick ass version of Queen Annes Revenge they've made for this film. The film only illustrated what a great night of Pirates we had Tuesday evening at the second meeting of our Legends of the High Seas Campaign. We are 6 games into the Campaign and many of us have crews around 20 models. While many great games were played, I wanted to talk about my second game of the evening that was about as good as any skirmish game can get.

The game was against Aaron and it was our first meet of the campaign...Aaron's crew of his ship "The Red Devil" or (Diables Rouge as his men are French) is 4-0 at this point, and my Royal Navy Crew of the HMS Delivery, are 2-2 at this point. The Mission was Jungle Run which is a campaign and slightly harder version of the scenario I came up with for my Adepticon event.

A brief synopsis: both crews start on the beach and have to fight there way thru the jungle and each other to grab the Idol sitting on top of the Pyramid, in the back 1/3 of table and bring it back to the boat. the caveat is not only is idol trapped(D6 chart, reaction varies) but once you grab it 10 Natives come on to board (Scatter die board edge, D6 per turn) to take it back killing anyone in their way. The idol is worth 200 doubloons in campaign funds and its 5D6 income roll if you win this scenario, so for my crew this is huge as I am currently bankrupt and could not afford to replace my full crew after round 4's loss. Aaron has plenty of are motivations to win this surely dictated how we played.

My crew was 14, including 4 veteran marines, My Captain and Lieutenant, Our Indian scout w/ Musket, (Hired Hand, Island Native) and 7 sailors with various weapons. Aaron's crew was 12, including his deadly Quartermaster and the Missionary- Hired Hand.

Aaron got the first turn and wisely ran all his crew into the Jungle as I had lined up on the beach to shoot him down if he had not. It wasn't long until we blasting away at each rarely killing anything with all the "in the way's" and "hit the deck" checks we were making. I had sent my Captain, Scout, and Sailors into the jungle while leaving my Lt and Marines on the beach so they could move to the center of the board and have a clear shooting view of the pyramid. I figured (correctly) that aaron would grab the idol first and I could shoot at him all the way to beach and at least try to get him in melee close to the boat and have him do all the heavy lifting of the idol, while taking it for myself at the last minute ( more a Pirates thinking, than a Navy Captains, but hey!).

We both pushed on toward the Pyramid, He indeed getting his Quartermaster up to the Idol first..setting off the spear trap, and his high defense saving him. A big melee broke out around the base of the Pyramid with the whole Pirate crew and my men. and thats when the Natives showed up. Aaron rolled "5" for Natives for the 1st turn, so 5 of them appeared at the rear of the Pyramid, Natives weapons were WYSIWYG so they had variety of stuff, 3 with shooting and they all missed the quartermaster. In the big melee, the killing is pretty even at this point. we are both only down 3 or 4 models. The second turn that natives arrived...I roll a "3" but they came on the edge of the beach, behind my marines who had been shooting into this mess where they could but not killing a thing. my Lt and Marines now have there attention turned toward 3 natives bearing down on them. The other 5 natives come over the Pyramid after the idol. Aaron pulls his Quartermaster off the idol and this guy is killing machine with 3 attacks moves him into melee. Aaron has his Missionary and another Pirate trying to get the idol toward the beach..but they are caught by the natives and remaining two come on from the closet table edge to where the Idol was not good. meanwhile my Captain and Scout and fighting Aarons Captain and a few other guys in a mutual high defense combat with heroes with multiple fortune points, so its
going nowhere.

Aarons Quartermaster is taking out natives, like a human blender..but the rest of his crew isn't so lucky and are dying like flies. Natives kill off his men, recover the idol and start taking it back to the top of the pyramid. My marines and Lt have killed 2 of the natives..but the third wont die and is tying me I surround him with 5 guys to make sure I kill him. Aaron is making rout checks at this point and I am one away, losing 6 of my sailors. I finally gain some ground and Aarons Captain finally succumbs to our attacks. The only model Aaron has on the table is his Quartermaster..who agian makes his courage check and engaged by Natives kills the last of them and recovers the idol. His quartermaster kills 6 natives single handedly. However ,freed of the Natives myself ( my Lt killing two himself) I had moved my Marines up to be in musket range.

On my shooting phase I open up with the muskets and put Aarons heroic quartermaster down as stood alone on the Pyramid steps with idol. his fortune long since burned on the non stop combat. So No Pirates, No Natives, the Navy stands alone on the table and wins the scenario and recovers the idol. A huge win for us, just when I needed it.

The only downside of this game was during the campaign phased Aaron rolled a "12" on the Hero injury chart for his awesome he was Dead, killed permanently from the campaign, a glorious death for sure..but sucks for Aaron, on top of that Aaron rolled a whole bunch of (1" and 2's..meaning out of action crew members died and just weren't wounded) so he literally lost at least half his crew and one Hero...I had 4 of my 6 guys out die as it was a true bloodbath with 10 deaths between the crews. but one of the best and most exciting game of the campaign.

For stats and updates on this Legends of the High Seas campaign see the Campaign Blog, and if you want more photos see my Legends of the High Seas Gallery.


Chicago Terrain Factory said...

The kill rate on heroes and henchmen seem unusually high compared to my experience playing Mordheim. Six games in and my crew has not grown past its starting point. Could be my memory is faulty (its been a number of years) or maybe the cash flow was better.

John@Plastic Legions said...

yeah its definitely the cash flow I think, my crew is up to 19..and its all due to better income on the last 2 missions and the big payday from the idol..put in for Jungle Run or time those two have best rewards based on performance.

Scott said...

Great report, I cant wait to get our own campaign underway.
I know what its like to have good characters go down (I've played Necromunda and Bloodbowl a while back and similar things happened in that too!) so my sympathies to both of you!

Henry South said...

I was one of the 4 artists who worked on the queen annes revenge. Was great fun and a beautiful ship. CG of corse but it turned out a good one!

John@Plastic Legions said...

Hey Henry, that's pretty great congrats..I'm actually surprised to hear it was all looks that good..I thought for money they spend on these films..they at least build a partial mock up or use a similar re creation ala "Master and Commander"...impressive work!


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