Monday, December 24, 2012

Pirates! Part Three - My Crew

In Part One, we talked about setting up the table and some of the notions we set about with for our pirate game. In Part Two, we discussed the list of potential goals we would have as miniature pirates. In this portion, we'll address the goals and makeup of my crew.

I opted for five goals, the rules were that you rolled a D100 to determine each goal. If the result was 78 or less then you accepted that numbered goal from the list (we had 78 goals). If you rolled a 79 or higher, then you got to select any goal from the list. You cannot have the same goal twice, re-roll if this happens.

The goals I randomly acquired were:
1. Capture a rich citizen and trade him/her to the cannibals for the captured crewman.
2. Ensure that your gang of pirates kills a particular model in the other player’s party (randomly determine which one) to settle some score for a perceived slight against you.
3. Burn the native hut.
4. Capture the wagon on the roadway and use it to sneak into town.

I was able to roll a 79 or higher on one occasion and selected this goal:
5. Blow up the merchant ship by exploding the powder in the ship’s magazine. The ship is armed with 4 guns, surely there is powder on the ship!

At this time, Matt rolled up his goals - both of us kept the goals a secret. What was fun, as we found out, was that we each shared one goal in common! We both acquired the "Capture the wagon on the roadway and use it to sneak into town." goal! This would lead to some furious combat between our two crews.

So, with my goal in place and 200 points to spend on my crew I began to define the band of nautical misfits that would see me to a successful conclusion of the evening's gaming. One interesting thing we did was rule that when equipping our crew, you MUST purchase the items seen on the model. So, if your model pirate has a musket and a sword then you must buy a musket and a sword. If he has a peg-leg, eye-patch and a parrot, the you must buy a peg-leg, eye-patch and a parrot! Disadvantages such as the peg-leg and the eye-patch give points back to you, so that helps. This was really fun as we tried to fit the models available to us into our points and our plans! Luckily, my pirate collection is good sized. 100+ miniatures of all types.

Let's begin with my leader, Marten Hubrect, a Dutchman seeking his fortune or his fate by "going on the account". I gave Marten a QUALITY rating of "2" and a COMBAT rating of "4", which make him a rather nasty character. Given a six-sided die roll for activations and a Quality of 2 only a result of a "1" is a failed activation. In battle his combat rating meant adding 4 to a six-sided combat die roll. In combat, with other assorted modifiers, you are trying to beat, double or triple your combat opponent's roll. So, a +4 is pretty terrific. Now, these ratings consumed 50 points of my 400 right off the bat. But solid leadership is essential in this game.

I then decorated Marten with various other skills and equipment to help him on the tabletop. I was obliged to purchase the LEADERSHIP skill so that he could help his mates with their activation. Also, I armed him with a SWORD and TWO-PISTOLS. To assist with his longevity, I gave him GREAT DEFENSE which is sort of a once-per-game saving roll designed to lessen a combat loss. Lastly, I gave him DASHING after all, Marten is dashing! This skill allows him to initiate melee on the same action that delivers him into contact with the enemy. This makes him more efficient all around and if there is an extra action available he can use it for a melee bonus instead of using it to get a round of combat in.

With 49 points spent, Marten has consumed 99 points, 49% of my total! I will have to be frugal on the remaining crew!

Trevelyan Hale, my English first-mate, was given a QUALITY of 4 and a COMBAT of 3. A good fighter, but pretty average on initiative - he'll need Marten's help with activation.  His extra outfitting were a PARROT, a PISTOL and a SWORD. The parrot can be a distraction in combat to nearby enemies.

Anthony, an American sailor was also given a QUALITY of 4 and a COMBAT of 3. He had DOUBLE-PISTOLS a SWORD and was STRONG. This strength is a melee bonus.

Benoit Gaubert, a French swordsman, was a key part of the crew. Benoit was also given a QUALITY of 4 and a COMBAT of 3. He was also DASHING and armed with a RAPIER. His other attributes were SLIPPERY which would allow him to easily break off melee contact, and BLUR OF STEEL which would enable him to attack with additional actions in a given turn.

Keith Thomas, another Englishman, was the final member of the crew. He has a QUALITY of 4 but I could only afford a COMBAT of 2 and still have enough points to equip him. A MUSKET and a SWORD and a DAGGER completed his kit. He is also a HAWKEYE giving him a bonus on "aimed" shooting.

I spent exactly 200 points. I had a crew of five desperate men. The men were good enough fighters to be sure, but not the most motivated lot. I would have to keep Marten and Trevelyan near to keep the men moving.

So, how would I do? What are the details of Matt's crew and goals? Well, those questions will have to wait for the next installment!

Marten Hubrect

Trevelyan Hale

Benoit Gaubert

Keith Thomas


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