Ian and I played Blood and Plunder at D6 last night. This was the first we’d played it since AdeptiCon where we had picked up the rules and some starter stuff.
Firelock games makes the rules and they have a number of intro, goodies, quick reference charts and other useful stuff on their web site : http://www.firelockgames.com
For any game they really seem to have the right mix of materials to make for a good game experience. Now the figs that Firelock sells are 28s, for our game we used 15s because, well I have gobs of that. I am painting 28s, just they aren’t ready yet I’m sad to say.
Easyarmy the force builder has a for blood and plunder too. It’s at http://easyarmy.bloodandplunder.com One of the great things about this as well as the game in general is you can put together a point costed force for land, sea or a mixture really fast, print and you’ve got yourself a game with stats. In these days of having limited time to pull together game and wanting it to be reasonably historical, this is a huge win for me. It’s gotten to be a characteristic I look for in modern games.
So we setup a little coastal village. I took French and Ian took Spanish. He was in control of the town and I was coming down the road with plunder on my mind.
We kept this purely a land battle because I haven’t fully read the rules yet and the ship portion of the rules are in the back of the book.
We each had ~150 points of stuff.
For me that translated into a set of 3 trained units and a leader. 8 Boucaniers, 8 Milicers des Caraibes and 7 Flibustiers. My Leader was a French Militia Commander, experienced all for 153 points
Ian had a Guards Costa Commander, 8 Marineros, two groups of 8 Milicianos, and last 8 Lanceros. A bit of a larger force at 151 points.
If you look at it from a stats perspective the French seem to be better at shooting. The Spanish generally better in a melee.
Both side have units with various special abilities and we kinda ignored that. In retrospect I can definitely see where it adds to the flavor of a force. Not everyone can run cannons, not everyone is handy with a matchlock, completely makes sense.
Activation is with decks of cards. You draw a certain number of cards equal to the number of units you have in your force. You choose a card, compare that card to what your opponent has selected and that decides who gets to activate a unit first. Each side gets to activate a unit per round, once per turn. All units activated, end of the turn. The commanding officer can spend command points so he can essentially hand out free actions to units within his command distance. The card tells you how many actions you have. Spring for the Blood and Plunder printed decks because they have all the info on them. But normal cards will work too. So for instance a spade will generally go first, but you’ll only have one action. A club will probably go last, but you’ll get 3 actions. What’s most important to you me-bucco?
My little force moved forward. I had my boucaniers start to open up at ~15″, looking for 8s to hit. The game is d10 based. Hal-a-frikkin-loo-ja a game not based on d6s. When you fire with a unit, you can let lose as full volley or a 1/2 volley. That gets you either 1 or 2 reloads. To get rid of a reload, that costs an action. Note the special black die on the table, that’s signifies the reload.
If you get hits, the opposite side roles for saves, depending cover etc. Fail and well somebody is pushing up the daisies. After that, the target of the attack rolls fatigue, 1 die + additional die per kills that round. Lose 3 guys, you’re rolling 4 die. You roll against your resolve, each failure gets you a fatigue point. Too many fatigues and your unit will run away or lose actions. At 3 fatigue the unit is shaken and -1 action.
The Flibustiers setup on the wall and Ian pulled in a unit of Milicianos to get ready for a charge. My volley downed 3 and pushed them back.
Then Ian pulled in the Lanceros. You can see them in green off in the distance. Great little unit, they don’t carry matchlocks, they’re coming in with basically spears. You know what they’re good at … yup you guessed it. Come out and fight like a man!
Meanwhile out on the road a unit of marineros came forward and were nearly blown to pieces with a good volley by the boucaniers. They immediately went shaken and very nearly routed.
So while activation allowed for the great results on the road for me, it also allowed Ian to get his Lanceros into melee with my Flibustiers. Since I hadn’t been able to reload, no defensive fire. We went back and forth in melee but Ian ended up winning that and my Milices des Caraibes needed to rush in to help their friends.
At this point we played enough and picked up.
This is a very fun game. It’s a great time period. The rules thus far seem really well thought out with just the mechanics you want for a 2×2 or 1×1 kind of game environment. Card activations for say a 5×5… well that’s where I think things will probably break down with people standing around.
None the less, I’m eager to get into the ship side of things. When Ian and I had played it at AdeptiCon with the creators we had done a ship on ship game which was what really hooked us.