Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Raise the Black Flag - Blood & Plunder AAR

Carl and I got together this past weekend to try out a game of Blood & Plunder, a set of rules for larger battles in the Golden Age of Piracy. We've seen plenty of rules that cover small scale fights, but Blood and Plunder allows for entire crews of ships to either man their ships or hit the beaches. 

Carl brought his Caribbean-themed terrain. Since this was our first game, we simply placed a bunch of line-of-sight blocking pieces.

Carl was running a Spanish Militia force, which included:
Experienced Commander
Milicianos Indios (5)
Milicianos (5) x3
Merineros (5) x3

While I had put together a Brethren of the Coast force:
Untested Commander
Freebooters (5) x2
Flibustiers (5)
Sea Dogs (5)
Forlorn Hope (5)

We chose the Raid scenario, where our two forces would square off and do as much damage to each other in six turns.

Both sides used their first activations to move across the table.

In turn two, both forces opened with their guns - buccaneer guns from the pirates and arabesques from the Spanish. With such small units, Carl and I tended to fire with all the models in a unit, taking two reload markers instead of firing with half (rounding down) and taking a single reload marker. Both sides took casualties, with the Spanish commander's unit going prone.

In the center, a melee combat broke out after more shots were fired. Carl's natives were routed, but so were my Sea Dogs.

With many of the units on the table having multiple black powder markers (making it impossible to fire without reloading), both sides decided to get stuck in. This revealed a major factor of close combat in Blood & Plunder - only one side fights in combat, meaning that getting the first charge can mean a lot in subsequent turns. It also didn't help that Carl's dice were hot, preventing multiple casualties.

It looked dire for the pirates for a turn, but they rallied. Another aspect of Blood and Plunder is fatigue. If a unit has double the amount of fatigue points than models, it routs and is removed from the table. So if you can get a unit down to one or two models, they may flee instead of fighting back.

The game ended when the Spanish commander led his Merineros into the fray, using his two command points to fight multiple combats in a row. This wiped the pirate leader and his unit from the table, which left only a single Brethren unit on the table after the other combats were worked out. While Carl hadn't scored enough Strike points to win, he inflicted greater casualties on my force than I did on his, securing a Spanish victory. 

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