Friday 20 May 2011

Conflict at the World's End - 8 additional chance cards.

The Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End v.1.0 core rules come with 24 chance cards to provide for some of the less common events, personal traits and specialist officers which/who influenced the outcome of smaller engagements. I've attached an image file of an extra eight cards below bringing the total to 32 cards all up. These extra cards will be incorporated into the standard set of cards for future purchasers or can also be made available as a separate pdf on request.

Sunday 15 May 2011

The Pelican/Golden Hinde

Flicking through my old photos, I noticed that I had quite a few relating to my gaming interests that would be worth posting on the blog. This post marks the first in a series of three dealing with replica 16th century ships. I felt it was only right to start with one of the most famous of all English galleons - the Pelican, better known as the Golden Hinde.

In 1577 Francis Drake left England with a fleet of five ships, including his flagship, the Pelican, with the intention of raiding and pillaging the unprotected Pacific coast of the Spanish New World colonies. Only the Pelican made it through the Straits of Magellan (Spring of 1578) and was renamed the Golden Hinde in reference to the heraldic crest of Drake's patron Sir Christopher Hatton. 

Drake and his men played havoc with Spanish shipping and ports in the South Seas. The most famous encounter was with the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (Our Lady of the Conception), also known by her nickname - the Cagafuego or Cacafuego (Fire-shitter) - on 1st March 1579. The hold of the Cacafuego was said to contain 13 chests of of plate, 80 pounds of gold and 26 tons of uncoined silver. The crew of the Golden Hinde were forced to abandon their ship's ballast in order to take it all on board.

From the west coast of the Americas (Drake claimed California for Queen Elizabeth), Drake sailed east to the Indies, returning to England in 1580. Drake and his men were thus the first Englishmen to circumnavigate th globe. He delivered a 4,700% return to the investors of the expedition and received a knighthood from Queen Bess via proxy. He was knighted by the French ambassador so that the Queen might distance herself from accusations of piracy.

Estimated dimensions of the Golden Hinde are as follows:

  • 120 tons burthen
  • 100 foot total length of hull
  • 22 foot breadth of hull
  • two square rigged and one lateen rigged masts
  • 60-95 gentlemen and crew
  • 22 guns (including two falcons each mounted as bow and stern chasers) 

A full sized replica of the Golden Hinde was built in Devon in 1973 and is now birthed permanently at Southwark in London. The official website of the London replica can be found here. The site for a second replica based at Brixham, Devon, can be seen here.

Sunday 1 May 2011

Irregular Wars - The Caribbean Indians arrive!

After a long(ish) spell in the lead pile, I have finally painted up the last companies for my battle of Caribbean Indians. Some of these have previously fought on behalf of other battles - the scouts and Cimaroons for the English Adventurers and some of the archers for the Colonial Spanish. Now they can fight for their own independence against the depredations of the vile European colonials.

The battle arrayed. I still only have enough painted companies to field one set of options but the force should a) be quite versatile, especially in rough terrain, b) out number their opponents (dice-gods willing) and c) out shoot their opponents. Most of the figures are sold as Tupi - Brasilian natives - but they are certainly useable for Caribbeans. Many of the Caribbean tribes seem to have originated in NW south America and traveled up through the islands. Indeed, there are still populations who speak Carib languages in norther Brasil today.  

Cacique head-hunters - these are the chiefs and bigmen of the islands. They are also the only real melee companies available to the battle. Being 'head-hunters' means that anyone they charge immediately suffers a lose of resolve. As long as they don't get stuck in a drawn out melee they should be quite powerful. The figures are 15mm Grumpy Tupi.

The scouts - obviously from the same tribe as the head-hunters (purely on account of their hats!) the figures are Grumpy Tupi.

Boucaneers - the native (Man Friday-esque) figure is from the Grumpy Tupi range. The European boucaneer is a head-swap conversion using a Grumpy Cimaroon body and Portuguese head.

Cimaroons - escaped African slaves, these companies have some of the best resolve in the battle. Historically the Cimaroons fought both with and against the indigenous populations. The figures are Grumpy Cimeroons from the Buccaneer range.

Archers - these guys have come to fight wearing nothing but war paint and a smile. Conceptually I'm happy to say that they are from a neighbouring or subject tribe. The figures are again Tupi, but from the 15mm range by Eureka miniatures.

The priest - Finding an appropriate priest figure was difficult. I ended up settling on this bird-man priest from Eureka's Mound Builder's range. I painted up his headdress in the same way as the cacique and scout hats to make him more tropical parrot than eagle. Not sure how successful that was, but I am happy enough with the result.

Just out of interest, I have appended a few more modern depiction of the native populations of the Caribbean.
Carib family from an 1818 engraving.

An early 20th century (heavily manufactured and highly romantacised ?) image of Arawak warriors.

Modern Dominicans at Carnival.

Another modern re-imagining of Caribbean natives and their king!