Thursday, 2 May 2013

Dawn Raid on the Cornish Coast

Monday night saw the first chance to get out all the Pirates and playtest my new Pirate Rules.

This posting will focus on the game and in a few days time I will post up the rules and some thoughts on how they can be enhanced. Suffice to say that these are based on the great Muskets & Tomahawk rules with some inhouse revisions dealing with movement, combat and morale. I should point out that these are my interpretations to fit with the Pirate theme. One particular difference is the way we deal with Leaders (known in this ruleset as Heroes & Villains) – these guys get to duel !

Because my West Indies campaign setting is still in the throes of completion – awaiting on palm trees from china and the buildings are yet to be finished. The first game is set on the Cornish Coast near the port of Dreads Haven.

As you can see from the pictures of the board I managed to also put out the recent acquisitions from Salute (The Em4 Farm & Ainsty Graveyard) along with the complete Conflix Town ! With lush woodlands, beaches, port and adjacent harbour fort the setting drew gasps of delight from my visiting chums. Since breaking into 28mm a few years back I am now finding that generic scenery cans have a multitude of settings.

View from the South - the harbour

View from the North (the Estate)

Gullwing Bay

The harbour and Town of Dreads Haven

The Game

In this test run our Pirates were all following the same mission. Two objectives were on hand.

1.       Siezure of the Army paychest hidden in the Port Town
2.       The Kidnap of Lady Muckleby known to be staying in the farm estate outside of town.

A total of 80 pirates in four bands (red, yellow, blue & green) were launched in jolly boats and headed for shore. Two bands would tackle the town whilst the other two headed straight for the farm. Their ship the Cerberus under the command of Captain Spike would offer fire support off shore if required.

Each Pirate band was lead by a nefarious villain (we never got round to naming them)

In defence a few motley bands of militia, civilians and the regulars garrisoned in the fort. In total around sixty figures. A number of local dignataries and officers made up the hero contingent.

Streaming Ashore

With units activated by cards the Pirates quickly rushed ashore at Gullwing bay and into the harbour. Rapid movement allowed these forces to wquickly secure defensive positions across the board and then they could start in earnest in the raid.

Entering the Town

A local unit of civilians loitering near the graveyard became their first victims. Charging down the narrow lane the civilian farmers, drovers and gravedigger succumberd to a fusillade of pirate musket and pistol fire. However dodging leadour Hero leading this charge challended the red band pirate leader. Blows were traded (cards selected and played – amore complex game of rock scissors paper) and the first Pirate died with a thrust to his heart.

Recognising that his small force of Cornishmen were no more our Hero swiftly retreated up the path towards the castle.

The fight in the lane

Meanwhilst thirty plus bloodthirsty sea men flooded into the lightly defended town seeking out the Army Pay chest. Not surprisingly this was hidden in the furthest building. A few Civilians wakened by the ensuing noise put up small resistance to this rampaging horde. Out gunned, out numbered and quite frankly terrified the remaining civilian defenders could not enter the town for fear of their lives.

Finally the garrison troops were roused and realising that the town was no place to fight they decided to cut off the Pirate escape from the Walled Farm. Marching past the graveyard they turned and fired off a volley into the pirates defending the narrow bridge. With desultory effects they stood by awaitying the next turn of the card. Once again the num,erical numbers of the Pitates told and withering blast sent half our redcoats into oblivion. The remainder fell back behind the cemeary walls ver to venture out again

The regulars arrive

Defending the bridge

Meanwhilst the Pirates had rushed the walled enclosure of the farm  - making swift work of the local militia (cuinningly disguised as rangers).

And the town was now in Pirate hands with the treasure secure

Civilians hiding behind the walls
We couldn't have a game of Pirates without the ships guns being fired in anger - so as the Cerberus passed the town Captain Spike let rip with a broadside.

Flattening the wharf tower in the process

With all the defenders either dead or in retreat the Pirates captured the treasure and Lady Muckleby.

First up apologies for the lack of photos - what with running the game, making coffee & tea there was little time to wield the camera. One of my mates has taken some pictures so hopfully these will be posted up soon when received.

The rules allowed for a very fast flowing action orientated game. There are still some aspects requiring sopme work when we reconvene in a couple of weeks time...

Shiver me timbers and avast ye land lubbers...


  1. Fantastic! What I hope to achieve when I get my pirates underway. Thanks for this great post.

  2. Wow...and beautifully built and displayed too!! Have fun.

    1. Thanks Jay - with the exception of the town & farm buildings it is all home built..

  3. Wowsers what a Superb table. Really like the movement trays for the units as well.

  4. Great looking terrain!! Really like the harbour.


  5. Fantastic terrain! Wish I could have something similar for my pirates to plunder!

  6. Marvelous pictures and terains! Love the harbour!!

  7. Really nice, congratulations!

  8. great scenery and super game

    -- Allan

  9. Great googly moogly! It's terrific to see it all come together. I salute you and your shed!

  10. Excellent stuff Eric. Where can I get those palm trees from?

    1. Palm trees can be found on ebay at