Saturday, March 01, 2014

Pirate Fracas! 18th Century fun with Empire of the Dead rules. AAR

Over the weekend, Roly popped over for a bit of 18th century fun.

As much as I enjoy gaming with Roly, games are often few and far between... but hopefully that looks to be changing this year, with Roly finding a few more, semi regular available slots in his social diary...

And so for our opening game of the year, we decided to have some pirate fun together. We have enjoyed games of Legends of the High Seas in the past together, but a recent game with my son in this setting, had me thinking about trying the Empire of the Dead rules, as a contrasting game, to see how the rules would handle this period and setting...

But before we begin, its was time to talk, and grimace, like a pirate, Arrrr!


Arrrr, shatter the main brace and splice the poop deck, arrrr!


15 men on a .... OK stop that, its silly! [Pythonesque voice-over interrupting!] ;-)

And so we made a start.... we didn't go into any great elaborate faction set up...
We each took 8 models from our respective pirate collections. We used the Gentleman Faction from EotD as a 'template', making a 'Captain' from a President, a 'Mate' from a Vice-president, and a 'Quartermaster' from a Secretary, then each had 5 'Rogues', from the Membership....

For equipment, we just went with how each model was equipped.

One thing we had to decide on was our gunpowder weapons of the period. EotD has a Musket, so that was fine, and the rules for it are 'Move or Fire', to reflect its cumbersome use... There are also two pistol options in EotD - 'light' and 'heavy'... At first thought, I was inclined just to make them light pistols as they are older weapons than the Victorian period would normally use, but... I recalled a documentary on SKY, about dueling and it discussed these flintlock pistols. Turns out they had a pretty big caliber by modern standards and hits would cause terrible wounds. So with this in mind, we made our flintlock pistols, 'heavy'.

The second part of this rule; the in game mechanism - 'Move or Fire'; I have never really liked this... as I feel once the weapon is loaded, you should be able to move around as you need to and fire it. It's the reloading that is awkward and time consuming. So we decided to allow our models to move and fire their muskets and pistols, but would have to remain stationary to reload one, so they become 'Move or Re-load'.

This then made sense in that our models have pistols crammed into every belt loop possible. For example my Pirate captain was modeled with 4 pistols! So that means he could move and fire for 4 turns in a row, before having stop and re-load. This made sense to us, and we felt reflected the period well.

So with that determined, we picked a simple "Fracas" mission from the EotD book, and deployed on opposite board sides.

Scenario objective - reduce your opponents force to less than 25% starting strength.

On to the game...

Roly splits his crew into two groups of four... either side of the rear of the tavern, where the wenches are looking for custom...



Rolys Captain leads a group of 4 including his Mate. Whilst the Quartermaster leads the other three models...



For myself, my Mate, was accompanied by a big African rogue... and they headed up the centre from port side...


My Quartermaster, the 'Turk' leads 'Two-swords' up the left side of town...


... whilst and Captain leads three rogues up the right side of town...


My Captain leads his group forward, no one is in sight yet...


Rolys Captain leads his gang towards the town centre square...


My Mate advances and take up a firing position behind the well...


Rolys Quartermaster continues his approach round side of town...


Turk and Two-swords moves to head them off...


My musket armed rogue, sees a long range chance of a shot at Rolys Captain but misses...


... as does my Mate from behind the well, and misses too... drat!


Rolys Captain leads his gang boldly into the town square...


... the rest of his crew coming from the other side of town...


My Captain moves up to the cover of the edge of a cottage and discharges his first pistol, hitting and wounding Rolys Mate... whilst my rogue armed with a grenade moves up and lobs his weapon at the group...


We checked the rules for Grenades in EotD... but only found smoke bombs, Garlic grenades and Wolfsbane grenades... no 'standard' explosive grenades! Odd!? So we went back to the LotHS rules took the stats from there - 5" diameter template effect. If under centre of template its a Str5 hit, all others a strength 3 hit... Oh and roll a one to-hit and the grenade goes off in your hand! As it happened, I missed my throw...


Having seen the grenade bounce harmlessly away, and the pistols shot coming from the corner of the building, Rolys rogue steps forward and lowers his blunderbuss! Oh heck, I hadn't realised he had one of those!

Blunderbuss - Boom! 
Two automatic str5 hits! Luckily I only take one wound. Rolys rogue levels his musket at my Captain too but fails to wound. Close shave! However, just to make sure there are no more possible explosions, Rolys Captain and Mate charge my grenadier and cut him down!


The two opposing crews begin to square off, approaching either side of the towns square buildings...


Turk, drops into 'Watch&Shoot', in case anything comes into view (marked by red token)...




The action hots up in town centre, my Two-swords getting discombobulated from a pistol shot...


Rolys blunderbuss armed pirate, now without a loaded weapon, and facing my Captain still with 3 pistols, decides there's nothing for it and charges my Captain! My Captain loses the fight and goes down, but his sword thrust riposte kills the rogue!


Meanwhile on the other side of the cottage, and I am losing the fights as two more of my rogues go down... I can't stand up to Rolys Captain and Mate.


Turk shoots and drops the rogue wench in front of him as my Mate hits but only discombobulates Rolys rogue...


In the maintenance phase my Captain crawls into cover, as does my green shirted rogue, but my African recovers and stands back up charging Rolys Captain. My musket man comes in also, swinging the butt end of his musket two handed (improvised two handed weapon) at Rolys mate. This move was to stop them automatically dispatching my downed crew...


My Quartermaster turk and the Mate and Two-swords gang up on Rolys discombobulated rogue and cut him down, then use their free advance move to take cover behind the side of the town building from Rolys approaching Quartermaster...


Rolys captain slays my African...


Next turn my captain bleeds out, succumbing to his wounds... Greenshirt recovers to discombobulated but is then charged by Rolys Captain. The Mate and swinging musket man keep at each other... with the Mate going down and out to a hammer blow musket butt to the head...


Rolys Quartermaster and rogue round the corner and fire their pistols, but miss... now they're open to my return charge!... and both get cut down...


Roly is down to 2 guys now, to my 4 but my captain is gone. Rolys Captain crosses the fence in front of him, following the now retreating wild musket man, and shoots him dead with a pistol! My Mate charges Rolys Captain whilst my Turk and Two-swords, charge Rolys only other rogue, armed with a musket, who has come over to help...


 My Mate goes down as does Rolys rogue...



 Next turn, my Mate recovers partially and Rolys rogue is finished off...


With his last act... Rolys Captain charges and cuts down my discombobulated Mate...



And with that the game comes to a close... as Roly is now down to just his Captain, his whole crew cut down, so he's now less than 25%. On the same turn I am reduced to 2  remaining crew, my Quartermaster gaining a battlefield commission to Captain! So I am at 25%. We check the rules, and find that makes the game a Draw!

Well played Sir, well played...


The remaining protagonists shake hands, and head over to the tavern and seek some comfort from the wenches waiting there....


A thoroughly enjoyable game. Some appropriate Pirates of the Caribbean Ipod music to accompany our game, and spicy snacks from wifey-poos, and a 'sociable sherbet' to add to the evenings enjoyment!

Great stuff!

We both felt the game played very well and reflected the period and setting admirably...

Looking ahead, we also can see how the EotD rules will be able handle the addition of ghostly pirates at need too!

I did miss the Fame and Fortune points of LotHS, so we may try adding in these effects to our next outing.


30 comments:

  1. Looks like fun. I like the modifications to the EOTD rules. Fame and fortune I suppose are fate and might equivalent,which I think are great tactical additions too.

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    1. Thanks Dan. Exactly that - it will make the heroes that little more colourful...

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  2. Nothing like a fun game with friends on beautiful terrain. Glad the rules trial went well.

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  3. Great looking setup Scott. Sounds like a very cool game!

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  4. Great game report it looked amazing. Nice to see how versatile the EotD can potentially be :)

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    1. Thanks Simon, Yes with a few user tweaks it could pretty much handle most things...

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  5. A great period for skirmish gaming and the report looks like you had a lot of fun.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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    1. Its a classic Pat, always gets us smiling!

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  6. Sounds like a great a funny game, beautiful pictures!

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  7. Bravo! I do really like your pirate board every time I see it! Great AAR and I really must try those rules someday!

    Christopher

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    1. They're good fun, I'm sure you'd enjoy them...

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  8. Very pretty game and a fine report. Prods me to get the EOTD rules out again and actually play them.

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    1. Thanks, they are a good little set of rules, capable of handling quite a bit of varied action and periods...

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  9. Fabulous figures and terrain, Scott. I agree with your thoughts on move/shoot and reload. Shooting after a move should just get a To Hit penalty. Anyway, great looking game for sure. Best, Dean

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    1. Thanks Dean. I thought about that, but these rules actually already do it the other way round, rewarding you with a bonus to hit, for staying still and shooting - calling this an 'Aimed Shot'. So I didn't think we needed a penalty to hit for moving...

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  10. Just the job.. Sounds like a great time was has... Now did anyone find a map with an X marks the spot of buried treasure?

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    1. Ah ha! there's an idea for a new scenario - I had always planned to make a 'pirate isle board'...

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  11. Great show Scott!, As much as I love the original LotHS rules and and using them soon in our upcoming event, I feel EotD is the natural evolution of the original GW rule set (LotR) the "Legends" games are based on while you might miss the classic Fame and Fortune mechanic, the much better wounding rules and additional variety is a nice change of pace, I'm trying to mod EotD in one generic ruleset for any genre so we can basically have one skirmish rule set with any figures..this is good start...bravo

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    1. Thanks John. Agreed I feel EotD follows on nicely from the LotR rules set. The addition of Fame and Fortune (or Might, Will and Fate) would seal the deal but maybe the EotD authors didn't add that as it would have been seen very much as a copy? But I think it make sense to add these effects in... we'll give it a whirl next game...

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  12. A fast paced, witty narrative, lovely terrain and figs, pirates and wenches...can it get any better than this. That blunderbuss looks decidely deadly but probably a bit of a one hit wonder so to speak. I hope you've managed to tear yourselves away from the dubious charms of the local harlots.

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    1. Thanks... Its hard to find a more enjoyable game setting, for dashing daring-do! And the rules worked well. The blunderbuss is a beast all right, and he'll be a marked man next game! The harlots are always a delight, and I only wish there was some magic button that would convert them to 1:1 scale ;-) - or perhaps me to 28mm scale a-la "Beetlejuice"! ;-)

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  13. Sounds like a blast. The EotD rules seemed to go down a treat. The setting and models are very cool. Good stuff Scott.

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  14. Inspirational as always Scott! I do enjoy your AAR's irrespective of the setting as you put so much effort into the terrain.

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    1. Thanks Ste, must admit I do like nice painted minis and good terrain together!

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  15. Always a pleasure to see 'Victorian Horror' rules used with figurines in tricorne!
    Obviously you enjoyed the game a lot, and we enjoy the eye-candy: thanks for sharing!

    Maybe next time you'll add the 'fantasy' elements of EotD? It's almost natural for pirates to meet Dagon cultists in league with Deep Ones, or to discover a 'mysterious island' where the native witch-doctor has some very uncommon powers...

    if I may, your faction is lacking one or three comely pirettes; Eureka and Reaper, for instance, offer (!) some very nice ones (Black Scorpion and Freebooter minis may be too much on the 'large' size)?

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    1. Yes there's a lot of scope here for adding vampires, werewolves and whatever else to the story...
      I would like some 'risque' female pirates but they would have to scale well with my chosen Foundry range...

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