Monday 30 March 2020

6mm Napoleonic Austrians - Veteran German Line

Continuing (slow and steady!) with my Baccus 6mm Austrians for Bataille Empire, I have finished the first of my white-coated line regiments - I will have four in the main infantry division in my 1809 corp. I have used infantry wearing the 1798 pattern helmet for this regiment for a couple of reasons. Partly as a way of distinguishing the veteran regiment from regular and conscript line, but mostly because I love the look! These are nominally the Deutschmeister Nr 4 regiment which are generally describe as having light blue facings in modern sources, although Knötel seems to show them with a darker blue.


Wednesday 25 March 2020

Home schooling with FAVSTVS FVRIVS

With social distancing the new normal, and schools closed for the foreseeable future, I have joined many of my generation in trying to juggle working from home, with homeschooling a wee'un. Before the shutdown, my lad was looking a probability as part of the KS2 maths curriculum. 'Ah ha,' says I, 'Lets roll some dice!'

Earlier in the week, we were just playing around with likelihood of rolling particular numbers on a d6, expressed as fractions. He readily told me that there was a 1/6 chance of rolling a 2, a 1/6 chance of rolling a 4, and a 2/6 chance of rolling 5+.

To test this we rolled 12d6 (why roll a die 12 times when you can just do it all at once?). The photo above was his roll - and also the principal reason he tends to win when we play wargames... This, I complained, was not statistically average.

To put our probability theory into action, today we went on to play what will become a part of the weekly lesson plan - a wargame. He opted for Faustus Furius, cracked out his three 6mm racers, and waited patiently for the race to begin...

From left to right, Antiochos driving a scythed chariot, Nasreddin on his fast flying carpet, and Romulus on his heavy archer carroballista (all mine), then Destroyer in his heavy steam tank, Ranzo on his archer chariot, and Bloodfang - AKA Scuttlebutt - on his agile spider (all his).

All racers were tightly packed as they set off for their one lap dash around the track.

By the end of turn one, Ranzo the orc archer had tested the limits of risk vs reward, taking a shot at Romulus. Romulus was distracted by the attack, lost control of his donkeys and careened off to the left, colliding with Ranzo and overturning. Ranzo wasn't damaged in the crash, but did spin out, sliding to a halt facing the wrong direction.

By the end of turn two, Rasreddin was way out in front, using his faster propero move to pull away from the competition.  

Within a turn however, Destroyer, Ranzo and Bloodfang had closed much of the gap, leaving Antiochos behind in their dust, bouncing around off the circus walls. Meanwhile, Romulus, had manage to right his donkey cart and was very slowly accelerating (all the way into 5th place!).

As turn four came to a close, Nasreddin had accelerated away from the corner and was once more out in front. Bloodfang, whilst still someway behind, was adeptly using his spider's agility to take the sharpest turns the crowd had ever seen. Antiochos and Romulus were still struggling to get their respective acts together and at one point Romulus was driving so poorly an incensed mob swarmed onto the track to shake their fists wildly in his direction. 

Turn five showed just how fast a flying carpet can be. However, some of the more experienced onlookers commented that he was too close to the corner... would he be able to reign his carpet in fast enough to take the bend? Bloodfang scuttled along behind, still in second place, while Antiochos once more lost control, hitting off the turning post and pulling to a stop with a great skid.

In turn six, Nasreddin executed a perfect retardo manoeuvre, slowing down before crashing into the circus wall, but allowing Bloodfang to catch up just as they approached the finish line.

And in turn seven, it was all over for Nasreddin's dash for first place. Bloodfang proved too agile in the end and scuttled over the line just in front of the flying carpet.

Behind the race leaders, all was chaos as racers careened around the track in various states of madness, drawing ever more mobs down onto the track. By turn eight Romulus had miraculously caught up to the front of the pack and crossed the line in third place calling an end to the race.
And so the game ended, with Bloodfang in first place winning 4 hard-earned race points, Nasreddin in second place earning 3 points, and Romulus grinning from ear to ear with 2 race points. All other racers gained a single point for turning up (although we're not sure that Antiochos really deserved his point at all). If we race again, we'll open up the den of iniquity and allow racers to spend their points on dirty deeds...

Monday 23 March 2020

10mm Goblin Madcaps!

Continuing the great green march, I managed to finish off two companies of goblin madcaps and a goblin hero for my 10mm army. Mostly GW Warmaster figures, with a drop of Polar Fox for good measure.

Gaming in the age of Social Distancing

Photo courtesy Andrea Sfiligoi
With social distancing and self isolation becoming the new normal, it is worth remembering that there are a number of great games out there written specifically for solo gaming. 

Some of them were even written by me!😉

Four Against the Titans, and Four Against Ragnarök are game books for sandbox adventures in worlds inspired by Greek and Norse mythology. Based on the highly acclaimed Four Against Darkness series of RPG-lite dungeon-delving adventures by Andrea Sfiligoi, they are standalone solitaire or co-operative pen-and-paper games for 1 to 4 players. You don’t need any other books. No GM is needed! All you need is a pencil, two regular dice, the book, and the luck of the gods!

For a more traditional high fantasy dungeon-delving experience, you shouldn't look past Andrea's  Four Against Darkness. Now with 20+ expansions (and counting), 4AD has something to offer everyone.

If you prefer your solo games to have miniature hunters struggling to survive against the worst nature can throw at them (topical?), then Palaeo Diet might be something worth exploring. 

  • The core game, Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten contains everything you need to lead a struggling prehistoric tribe against AI beasts.
  • Palaeo Diet: Fireside Tales is a narrative campaign book which introduces new beast profiles and reactions.
  • Palaeo Diet: Pulp takes the game in new directions, expanding it to cover 19th and 20th century dinosaur hunts, as well as facilitating mummy-wrangling and nazi-punching  opportunities for all.

Shameless plugging aside, I'd like to wishing everyone luck as we navigate these strange and unprecedented (at least in our lives) times.

Sunday 22 March 2020

Palaeo Diet: Pulp at the bottom of the sea - another adventure from Mark

The Utterley-Barking Time Travel (& Landscaping) Company loses millions each year, but still pays all its bills and stays afloat, it’s aura of mystery, adventure, and romance undimmed. As a (very) private family firm it’s books are not open, and dark rumours abound. Slave trading? Black market wildlife sales? But the truth is simple: treasure. Nic, the current CEO, is a wiz at locating long lost treasure and organising expeditions to recover it. 

This year his target is the wreck of the cruise liner Victoria Imperatrix, which was inward bound from Antares in 1891 when it fell out of earth orbit, for reasons unknown, and literally disappeared before it could burn up in the atmosphere.

Utterley-Barking has discovered the wreck, fallen back through a time warp quite a long way, and now at the bottom of the Tethys Sea. His team will attempt to recover the large quantity of Antarean gems that were aboard.


The photo below shows the tabletop set up for this game, with the figures in their starting positions. The tabletop is 900x900mm. The terrain is mostly dead coral, barnacles etc, collected from beaches around Sattahip, and representing an extensive dead coral reef. It is being recolonized by giant tube worms. In the centre, a large chunk of the wreck can be seen in front of the major reef outcrop. This part of the ship is believed to contain the strongrooms.

The wildlife comprises 1 x King carnivore (Dunkleosteus) at top L, and 2 x Great Herbivores (Manta ray, Coelacanth) at lower R. And a “flock” of up to three Raptors (Giant crayfish) which have possible entry points marked by blue beads, one in each quarter of the table. Any raptors killed may reappear (or not) the next time raptors come on. Once a raptor entry point has been used, it is removed from the tabletop.

The adventurers are coming on at lower L. Nic U-B is back at the base dome (sensible chap) just off-table. On table are Eden & Lucifer Hardlove (glaives [clubs]), and Jacques Cousteau & Nigel Marvin (spearguns [rifles]).

The other two figures, with electric claws, are Christoper Hitchens and Steve Bannon. They are salvage specialists. They are not allowed to attack beasts, but defend against beast attacks with a special +1 factor (ie a beast needs to beat its savagery value by “1” to wound these figures) because the beasts are averse to the electricity. 

The game will last for ten Turns only. To win, the adventurers must have Hitchens and/or Bannon in contact with the wreck for a total of at least ten figure-turns, and have lost no more than two of the escort figures, and no more than one of the salvage specialists.

The underwater hunting special rules will be the same as for the Jurassic Coast game reported earlier. A clarification: “beasts at high level cannot be attacked” should read “... cannot be contacted by adventurers”.


Hitchens and Bannon successfully rolled group activations and reached the wreck debris on Turn 2. They will start work on Turn 3. The other adventurers advanced behind them, to provide cover, on Turn 1. But on Turn 2 Lucifer Hardlove & Jacques Cousteau failed a group activation roll. The nearest “beast” turned out to be a raptor entry point, and (in accordance with a “raptor alert” die roll) 2 beasts appeared, with a Attack reaction. Here’s the moment Lucifer and Jacques saw them coming over the reef.

Raptors stay at low level (being crayfish and all) so charged into contact. One went for each adventurer. Luckily both attacks were fended off. The other adventurers headed to the cover of coral outcrops. I decided at this point that an adventurer in base contact with a piece of coral could only be attacked from the open water side, not from across the coral. 

On Turn 3 (as Hitchens & Bannon worked on, and racked up 2/10 figure turns) Lucifer Hardlove attacked and killed the crayfish menacing him. The other crayfish immediately moved to feed on its late companion (predate reaction). Cousteau shot at it but missed, and the beast paused to eye him up (rest reaction).

On Turn 4 Hitchens & Bannon worked on, racking up 4/10 figure turns. They each roll one activation die per turn. Eden Hardlove & Nigel Marvin tried to keep a low profile (rolled only 1 activation die each, hoping for no beast reactions). But Marvin failed and - who would have thought it - 2 more crayfish appeared and attacked him (dash reaction). And wounded him. Meanwhile, Lucifer Hardlove moved up to the resting cray, and killed it with his glaive. Cousteau rolled two activations, and used them to take an aimed shot at the nearer raptor that had attacked Marvin, killing it. The other raptor started to eat it’s ex-companion (predate).

Here’s a photo showing the end of Turn 4. To R, Lucifer Hardlove and Jacques Cousteau have beaten off the raptor attack, killing both beasts. Cousteau has also shot and killed the red crayfish to L. The other orange one is busy eating it. Nigel Marvin, at L, is shown with a red wound marker. Eden Hardlove is near him, armed with a glaive.

In the centre, Bannon and Hitchens continue work on the wreck, probing in towards the strongroom. The major beasts are out of frame at lower R and upper L. 

Things have been going reasonably well for the adventurers so far, despite Marvin being wounded. But all the closest Raptor entry points are closed now, which greatly increases the possibility of some larger, more dangerous beasts taking an interest.

Turn 5. Uh-oh, Steve Bannon has a problem with his electric claws (failed his activation roll). The nearest beast is the surviving crayfish, which attacks. It fails to wound Bannon, no doubt repelled by the electric currents in the water around him. Hitchens keeps working. The salvage workers have now racked up 5/10 figure turns, and Bannon is out of action while the angry crayfish is attacking him. Cousteau sees what is happening and fires at the cray, twice, missing both times. Luckily no other beast is in range to react to this (unsuccessful shooting = howling). Lucifer moves up in support but cannot attack this turn.  Then Marvin fails his activation roll as well. The nearest beast is the Dunkleosteus, which rolls an attack reaction. It advances, coming down to low level. Just what Marvin needs, a tonne of armoured fish that finds him worth investigating. Eden Hardlove moves up to support his colleague.

On Turn 6 Lucifer Hardlove fails to kill the crayfish that is annoying Bannon. It turns on him (dash reaction) but he fends off the attack. Bannon & Hitchens get back to work, now they have 7/10 figure/turns in hand, nearly at the strongroom. Cousteau fails 1/2 activation rolls. The cray dashes up to him and attacks, but fails to cause a wound. Cousteau shoots and kills the beast. Eden Hardlove & Nigel Marvin both roll a single activation dice and keep their heads down, hoping the inquisitive Dunkleosteus will go away.

As Turn 7 starts, the area occupied by the team is littered with four dead crayfish. It’s unlikely any more will appear as the remaining entry points are further away from the adventurers than the King carnivore or Great herbivores.

Bannon’s salvage equipment fails again. The nearest beast is now a Great herbivore (Manta ray) but it’s not interested (move away reaction). Hitchens keeps working. But this means the wreck salvage crew will have only 8/10 figure/turns in hand after this turn. The other adventurers all roll and pass single activation dice, skulking under cover of the coral.

Here’s a photo showing the end of Turn 7. The Dunkleosteus is at top L, still looking like its interested in Eden Hardlove & Nigel Marvin. The Great herbivores though, remain at high level at lower R, ignoring the goings-on on the sea floor. The two crays at C represent the mass slaughter of raptors, I took the others away. 

Turn 8: Bannon & Hitchens are both back at work now, and after this turn they will have racked up the required 10 figure/turns excavating the Victoria Imperatrix. All the other divers pass their solo activation die rolls too, so nothing much happens.

Turn 9:  More of the same, this is a bit boring. I “check” the distance between the Dunkleosteus and Eden Hardlove and qu’elle suprise, he is “now” within M of the King carnivore. That’s better. The beast obligingly rolls an attack reaction. It fails to wound Eden though, and the adventurer uses his action to fail to wound the beast in return.

Here’s a photo of the Dunkleosteus attacking Eden Hardlove ... the other figure in view is the wounded Nigel Marvin. Hoping he won’t have to help.

So, here we are at Turn 10. Eden rolls two activations. He attacks and wounds the Dunkleosteus. It responds with a predate reaction, which is just fine with Marvin (not). However I let him off the hook, ruling that because of the tricky cramped tactical position, it would be an attack reaction instead, so the beast went for Eden again, but missed him. Eden’s second attack missed too. The beasts final reaction was also attack, and this time Eden wasn’t quick enough and those huge jaws wounded him.

Elsewhere, Hitchens had trouble with his electric claws. The Dunkleosteus is the nearest beast. It rolled a lunge reaction, and finished off Eden Hardlove who was the closest adventurer. Marvin was so upset at this he rolled two activations, stepped out of cover, and took a shot at the monster. Missed. It got a predate reaction, and with Eden out of the way it moved into contact with Marvin and attacked, killing him with a second wound. Lucifer Hardlove and Jacques Cousteau had to watch this terrifying onslaught, there was nothing they could do to help.

Here’s the end-of-game position. First an overall view of the tabletop. At lower R the Great herbivores never got involved. If you look closely the two remaining blue markers for Raptor entry can also be seen, top L and lower R. 

And here is the Dunkleosteus, with its two kills (Eden Hardlove & Nigel Marvin).


At the end of the game the adventurers have achieved all the victory conditions. The salvage specialists Bannon & Hitchens have spent 10 figure/turns working at the wreck site. No more than 2 adventurers (and no specialists) have been lost. Nic Utterley-Barking will be pleased, and his firm’s Cayman Islands bank balance will be receiving a healthy inflow, thanks to the long-lost wreck of the Victoria Imperatrix.

Cheers from Pattaya, on the Tethys Sea,

Saturday 21 March 2020

Palaeo Diet: Grey Wolves and slimy Trout in Swamp Valley

*Another report on the Grey Wolf clan - last seen dining well on mammoth steaks - by Mark.*

The winter snow has mostly melted, though some renegade areas persist. An advance party of the Grey Wolf clan is on the move. These are the most capable hunters. Their destination is a marshy valley a few days away from the wintering caves. The rest of the clan including women and children, is following a days march behind. The clan will make their summer base here.


For this first game, the party of four hunters (2 spears, 1 club, 1 bow) and a hound (belonging to Blondie, the club-armed team leader) must kill at least 4 bulk before nightfall (8 turns) so there is enough food for the main party when it arrives tomorrow.

Here is the tabletop layout and the starting positions. The tabletop is 900x900mm more or less. There are two areas of bushes (thickets), two hills, three marshy areas, and various patches of residual snow.

Fauna includes a herd of 4 caribou grazing in the table C, and 3 aurochs (+ 2 calves) around the waterhole at R. The caribou are herd grazers. The aurochs are giant grazers except that the calves have a bulk of only 2 and reaction-wise will usually follow their mothers.

The hunting party enters at bottom of shot. Lastly, note the Trout clan scout on the hill at lower R. The Grey Wolf party do not see him, and he slips away unnoticed to report ...


The hunters decided to stalk the caribou herd, because the Old Chief likes toasted caribou brains. Definitely not because no-one fancied going up against aurochs defending their calves.

By the end of Turn 3 one beast has been wounded by an arrow, but the whole herd then stampeded towards the table edge. The hunters are now strung out along the flank of the herd, all tiptoeing (skulking) so as not to spook the caribou again.

In Turn 4 the hunters successfully completed their first kill, spearing the wounded caribou (that’s 2 Bulk in the bag). They also wounded another caribou, but all the beasts then took off at high speed, the hunters trailing behind. During the pursuit, the aurochs bull and a nearby cow (out of shot to the R) stopped grazing to sniff the air, and decided to put a bit more distance between themselves and these fast moving small creatures (hunter activation failures > nearest beasts > “move away” reactions).

The hunters decided to continue following the caribou, hoping to finish off the wounded one ...

This turned out well. On Turn 7 Blondie the team leader was able to skulk right up to the wounded caribou and finish it off. The hunters have now achieved their target of killing 4 Bulk within 8 turns, and can turn their attention to bringing the carcasses into their camp area before nightfall. Don’t want them to fall into the wrong paws overnight.

Speaking of “wrong paws” Blondie’s hound played an inconspicuous part in this hunt. It failed every activation roll with 1 or 2 dice, so spent the entire game either “ambling towards its master” or  “skulking towards the nearest beast”. If it’s thinking about steak for dinner tonight, it’d better think again. You can see it on the oval base, behind the hill, out of harms way.


It is now several weeks after the advance party arrived in Swamp Valley. The snow has melted. The Grey Wolf clan have established their summer camp here, and much hunting and gathering is going on in the hinterland within 1-2 days march.

Unbeknownst to the Grey Wolves, their some-time rivals the Trout Clan still want revenge for that episode last season where Grey Wolf renegades temporarily occupied the empty Trout home caves (see AAR, 4&5 Feb 2019) while the Trouts were all away at a spirit ceremony. And the payback will be audacious. They plan to stampede a herd of Glyptodonts through the Grey Wolf summer camp!

I originally thought of making this a night attack, but the special rules required were too much to face. Anyway, I reasoned, the fear and confusion of a night attack would be overbalanced by the lack of surprise (as the Trouts can only “control” the beasts by fire and howling), and at night more of the Grey Wolf clan would be in camp and able to respond to the attack.

Here’s a photo of the tabletop and set up. The positions of the figures are staged. The Glyptodonts and their Trout drivers will come on in the NW corner of the table with a free Stampede move. All the Grey Wolf figures will start within 1xS of the campfire. Sorry about the campfire representation. I couldn’t find my real campfire.

And here’s a closeup of the Glyptodonts (giant angry armadillos) (giant grazers) and the Trout clan warriors driving them on: 2 x Fire, 2 x Spear, 2 x Club. And all with red hair: how sus is that? The Trout figures are from Pulp Miniatures, the GW are Copplestone. the Glyptodonts are Safari (IIRC) from eBay.

And here is the Grey Wolf camp. Nearly all the folk are away hunting and gathering, the attack has caught the clan by surprise.  The available defenders are the Shaman, 2 x women (1 x Spear, 1 x Club), 1 elderly warrior (club), and 1 boy (Stone thrower, counts as bow). The Grey Wolf women are as capable as the men. Both women, and the boy, have hounds looking to them.

The Glyptodonts stampeded on, their handlers close behind and to the flanks, driving them on with fire and howling.

Turn 1 went through with no surprises. The Glyptodonts thundered on, followed by the Trout clan warriors. The Grey Wolf folk went to action stations, with the Shaman and 1 woman warrior going up the hill, and others taking up defensive positions.

However ... Turn 2 was a little bit more complex. Despite being howled at and and threatened with fire the beasts declined to stampede on, preferring Alarmed and Flee reactions instead. At this point the leading beast was stalked and had a spear thrown at it by the Shaman on the hilltop. Perhaps you’d like to refer to the next photo now ...

The beads show the track taken by the beast as it reacted to successive threats during the overall course of turn 2.  There are six tacks, in order as follows.

1. The beast moved Alarmed in response to Trout warriors howling from its rear.
2. It was pelted by the Shaman on the hill and Moved Away. 
3. It now had (Trout) fire within L and Stampeded right up to the nearest Grey Wolf tent.
4. It was pelted by the woman warrior on the hill and moved away, Alarmed.
5. It now had a GW Hunter within S and Moved away.
6. It now had GW fire within M and Stampeded away to its current position.

This is a record for me. Can anyone beat it?

By the end of Turn 3 the Grey Wolf defenders had turned aside the Glyptodont attack. All the beasts were now heading away from the camp without doing any damage (except for trampling 2 hounds that got in their way). This turned out to be easier than expected. The Grey Wolf folk attacked / pelted the beasts so that when they reacted by retreating, the direction of retreat was away from the camp. It helped that the beasts got a couple of Roar reactions, including reacting to Trout attempts to chivvy them forwards, which led to some Trout folk hastily skulking back.

One other important development in Turn 3 was that the Grey Wolf Shaman, having been forced to skulk off his hilltop perch by a Glyptodont Roar, and with a load of spears in hand, found himself near a Trout warrior. That Trout, at the bottom of the hill, is now dead.

So Turn 4 rolled around and a vicious fight started between the hunters / warriors of the two clans, up the side of the hill. The last photo below shows the final stages. Two Trouts are left alive, both wounded. Two Grey Wolfs are also left*, one wounded. In the end they accounted for both the remaining Trouts.

* there was another GW figure on the table, the “elderly warrior”, hiding in a thicket, but in the excitement of the game I overlooked him until he emerged, looking sheepish, when it was all over. A true survivor.

When it was all over, the Trout clan had lost all the 6 warriors it fielded, and the Grey Wolf clan had lost its Shaman (a grievous loss) one of the women warriors, and all 3 hounds (including 2 squashed by Glyptodonts). Three GW warriors including the boy archer survived, and the campsite was not damaged.

The Glyptodonts wandered off, wondering what the hell that was all about, and vowing never to accept drinks from the Trout clan again.

Thursday 19 March 2020

Paint the town green! More 10mm goblins for St Patrick's day

Not to be outdone by the recent halfling reinforcements, the extra goblins that I was supposed to paint over the weekend did get some colour while I was off for St Patrick's Day. Above are all four companies I have so far - led by their chief Snatters riding the ferocious white wolf, Snowy. All are Warmaster goblin wolf riders (beautiful figures!). The photo below just shows the two new companies.

Monday 16 March 2020

More 10mm halflings for the breakfast gods!

Over the weekend I had plans to paint up a couple more units of 10mm goblin wolf-riders that I have recently bought. However... the mission didn't quite survive contact with the enemy. In other words, I opened a bag of leftover Magister Militum halflings that I had no intention of ever painting up. Two days later I have two more halfling companies and a new sheriff to lead the Hearthshire militia. No painted goblins to be seen though.

The full unit of halfling yeoman pony riders. The new company is on the right. I find that units painted up years apart are never quite the same, but I'm happy that these mix well enough.

A large unit of three companies of militia archers. Again the new company - in the middle - actually fits in pretty well. 

The Sheriff of Hearthshire! This little conversion uses all Magister Militum parts (except for the shield which is the top of a Kallistra rat-man standard). The two shield bearers are  both halfling command figures. The chap on the left used to be a hornist, the chap on the right was a standard bearer. Both had their accouterments removed. The sheriff himself is a common archer with a head swap courtesy of a Greek hoplite.

Monday 9 March 2020

A series of unfortunate events - a rather short game of Irregular Wars...

It all seemed so evenly matched. The Coureur de Bois army had mustered a decent strength and traveled south down the coast to confront a large force of Carib Indians heading north.

... but then we rolled for disease and mishaps. One of the only capable melee units in the Carib army was bought off, the chieftain's Cacique headhunter's own company was revealed to be afflicted by a virulent disease, and a couple of other Carib units had lesser strains of the same disease. 

However, for all that the Caribs were afflicted by disease, the Coureur des Bois army was riddled through and through with their own variety of pox. Three companies rolled for virulent disease, while still others suffered slightly less, but were diseased none-the-less.

In the first turn, the Coureur des Bois moved to form a line along the front of the woods, discourteously keeping all of the sick and demoralised units together in the centre. The Caribs formed a loose line within shooting range. In turn two, the skies opened up and a heavy squall washed across the battlefield. The Coureur des Bois were unable to fire their shot weapons, but the Carib books, while hampered, were able to ping away. Only one company conducted effective fire in the end, but it was enough to cause the demoralised target unit to break and flee. The sight of their allies scattering caused a cascade of resolve loss and the entire centre of the Coureur des Bois force turned and ran.

In turn three, the rain cleared and there was limited return fire from the Frenchmen in the woods. It was not enough however. The massed Carib bows cleared away the last Coureur des Bois companies on the right, leaving only two companies of Indian scouts left in the woods. At that point, we called what must have been the shorted game in Irregular Wars history.

Sunday 8 March 2020

Galleys & Galleons - Somewhere off Africa

Somewhere off the coast of Africa, Capitane Cadieux's Breton adventurers sailed directly into the path of a squadron of Barbary corsars. The 200 point Breton flotilla was made up of the frigate, La Fricatrice; the fluyt, La Flûte à Bec; and the sloop, L'Antelope. I am reliably informed that the first is a dirty pun on frigate, the second is the French word for a recorder (woodwind) and the third is a French translation of the name of the sloop in the Stan Rogers song, Barrett's Privateers. The Barbary Corsairs (also 200 points)were sailing/rowing in the galley, Sultana; the galliots, Emir and Pasha; and the xebec, Zenobie

As the Emir and Pasha rowed straight towards the Bretons, the La Fricatrice opened fire at the Pasha, causing noticeable hull damage.

Unimpressed by taking fire, both galliots surged forward, firing from their bow guns before launching successive savage boarding actions. The Pasha received further damage in the attack, but the crew of the La Fricatrice were intimidated enough to surrender after the initial assault. Meanwhile, the L'Antelope sailed around the far side of the swirling boarding action and the La Flûte à Bec turned to swing around the near side.

Making the most of the wind, the Zenobie sailed across the bow of the Breton sloop, L'Antelope, raking her with devastating effect.

Not waiting for the L'Antelope to collide with the Zenobie, the damages Pasha sent a prize crew across the the frigate, and then turned to open fire on the L'Antelope, striking her below the water and causing her to sink. The last Breton vessel, the fluyt, La Flûte à Bec turned to flee, firing ineffectually at the Emir which turn in pursuit. The larger Barbary galley, Sultana, turned to slowly around, trying to be of some use, but finding herself too sluggish to keep up. 

As the sun started to slip towards the horizon, the Breton fluyt  slunk out of range of the Barbary guns - but not before taking hull damage and having her capitaine struck down as he stood on the poop deck.

For a chance encounter, it all went surprisingly smoothly for the corsairs. The valuable frigate La Fricatrice taken as a prize, and the remains of the sloop able to be salvaged. For the poor Bretons, only the fluyt managed to escape, and not without damage. At least her commander can be brought home in a barrel of brandy rather than in disgrace...