Misc., Pirates, Legends of the High Seas, 28mm
This multi-player game was inspired by the release of Legends of the High Seas, a set of pirate rules produced by Warhammer “Historical”. The idea was that the ten players were divided up into five teams, each with a ship-based group and a land one. There were two treasure chests full of plunder, and the winner was deemed the team who managed to abscond by sea with the loot. two things soon became obvious. First was that many of the “allies” weren’t to be trusted, and behaved like self-serving .. well, like pirates…For some reason a Chinese junk complete with a pirate crew appeared, although it was soon dismasted and driven ashore by one of the rival pirate gangs. The jetty in the town acted like a magnet, and ships converged there in an unseemly and un-seamanlike gaggle.On the far side of the table my Royal Naval landing party managed to snag one of the treasure chests – I suppose we saw it as prize money – and we managed to escort it to the shore, where our ship was waiting. It had spent the time seeing off a rival pirate gang, blowing it apart with some well-aimed naval gunnery and small-arms fire. Meanwhile a firefight was being fought in the streets of the town, through which another pirate captain and his men threaded their way, carrying the other chest of plunder. The trouble began when they got to the jetty. the only way they could escape intact was to come to a deal with two of the other factions, and the players agreed to cease hostilities and share the plunder between them.The all-female pirate crew achieved little, but looked pretty, while the shipwrecked Chinese rather forlornly occupied the town after the plunder had been removed. All in all it was a highly enjoyable game, and the rules worked – at least as well as our own home-grown set (In the Heart of the Spanish Main) – and everyone picked up the system fairly quickly. Next time I’ll be sure to buy as many blunderbusses as I can afford, and equip my sailors with grenadoes. Both weapons are devastatingly effective under these rules! The ship to ship combat was a little strange – the mechanics are reminiscent of Pirates! where you guess the range, and that’s where the ball lands. While it wasn’t particularly realistic, it worked, and it was fun to play. We’ll certainly use the rules again, and people were enthused to paint up their own small pirate crews.