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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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The Pirates of Madagascar, 1720

Misc., Pirates, Home-grown rules by Peter Nicholson, 28mm

I’ve just returned from a gaming weekend, where I was the guest of the League of Gentleman Wargamers. Andrew and Peter Nicholson who organised the event had worked out a great set of rules and a campaign system, and everyone spent the weekend blundering around the Indian Ocean in search of plunder. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and the weekend seemed to fly by. DSCF0955Everyone had a pirate gang, and a ship – or sometimes two. the exception was Charles Grant, who garrisoned the British fort in the region, and trying to instill some degree of law and order on the region. He had a naval assistant – Bob the pirate hunter, whose aim was to rid the seas of the pirate scourge. The rest of us tried to amass as much booty as we could. They came our way by attacking other ships, landing on islands and finding hidden treasure, or – if we were really brave – attacking a settlement or pirate haven.DSCF0884There was plenty of scope for wheeling and dealing, backstabbing, acts of benevolence and deeds of derring do. Some of us battled enraged chimpanzees infesting an island, while others fended off attacks by other cutthroats or hostile natives. Sometime sea monsters appeared, to add to the general sense of mayhem.  Some pirates were more successful than others.DSCF0917 For instance, Colin sailed around in a pirate junk, entirely crewed by Chinese pirates. Most people gave his ill-looking crew a wide berth, and he made the most of it – hoovering up buried treasure, then picking on pirate ships which had been half-sunk in battle. Inevitably these sneaky tactics won him the accolade of Pirate King (or Queen). DSCF0886It was all utter nonsense of course, but it looked very pretty, what with a large array of pirate ships, salty sea dogs, giant sea monsters and desert islands on the table. The star attraction though, apart from Bob’s two beautifully rigged frigates – was Charles’ fort, built in the Spanish style. It really looked the business.


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