Our Game is a Handful.

Our Game is a Handful.

Monday, August 17, 2020

One game's Bark is another's Brigantine

 Firelock Games' Bark

All of Firelock Games' models are an excellent starting hull for the price. That said I can't help myself when it comes to modifications and after market parts. The original model is shown here:

Most info I read out there classifies the Bark (Barque, Barc)  a type of sailing vessel with three or more masts having the fore- and mainmasts rigged square and only the mizzen (the aft-most mast) rigged fore and aft. Not getting hung up on the product title I just made the ship into  Brigantine and doubled her gun complement.


The ship titled "Le Cresson" or Water Crest in English sticks to the traditional off color naming conventions of our past projects but looses it's humor from the original French Euphemism. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

What the hell's a Piraqua anyway?

Ever since the episode of Black Sails where the Character Jack Rackham mentioned the word Piragua, I've been searching for a way to make one of these for FFOS a playable ship. After a little time looking around on the web and the release of a dug-out style boat by Firelock Games I decided to indulge in a little project.
Blood & Plunder by Firelock Games has some handsome and quality products for starters. I purchased around a dozen of their ships and over time I will be posting some of their models with a little of my own modification, alterations, and hybrid hulls. This is the basic kit for a Piragua:
(photo used without permission of Firelock Games)
A neat little kit but something about the style of sail bothered me. Then I got to thinking about my inspiration to FFOS, Sid Miere's Pirates.It had a huge impact on my creation of our convention game and I really liked his war canoe image design shown here:
  (photo used without permission of Fraxis Games)     
Combining the two resulted in this:

(yes I know this is an Image of Kokopelli from the pueblo peoples of  the Precolumbian desert South-West. But I liked it and I had an ink stamp that made the Image easy to apply.) 
There are a bunch of after market parts from Old Glory 25 and hand made additions to the model. Oars, oar-locks, pulleys... 
No convention going scalawag playing Fist Full of Seamen would ever consider this as a prize vessel. It's actually a problem with most of the ships from Firelock Games, most are tragically under gunned for our games. To remedy this for the Piragua I will be allowing the captain of this vessel to play three of these ships in a small flotilla to make them more inviting and raise the survival rate.   

Monday, June 13, 2016

Vauban Forts KickStarter.

Finally someone is making the Vauban Forts of the 17th and 18th century accessible to the public.
Matthew Green of Laser Dream Works is Kickstarting the digital models to be released to the public for home printing. Design what ever you want, as many times as you want, any scale you want. Don't have a printer? Matt has hinted that if things go well he may produce them in the future but for now print services can be found throughout the web.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The HMS Seaward

The HMS Seaward is a commissioned unrated cutter tasked to track and capture pirate vessels operating in the seas around Port-Manteau. Built specifically for pursuit and interdiction, a professional crew of the British naval seamen man this vessel and share in the bounty profits.      

The Barque De Sad

 The Barque De Sad, a state of the art privateering vessel commissioned by the French monarchy serves to bring to justice any sailor who serves before the mast of a black flagged vessel. 
Armed with a battery of light cannons that serve more to shatter morale than splintering beams, swift boarding actions are her goal. A dead pirate at sea isn't as impressive as stringing one up on the wharf.      

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Convention Rules part 12 Pirates Hunters.

Pirate Hunters
Pirate hunters are used in our games sparingly, if at all. 
Pirate hunters are a mix of the other ship types with a few benefits from their roles and lacking others. They have medium to smaller boats that are maneuverable and quick for the pursuit of their prey. Pirate Hunters lack the ability to move to the pirate Island if they leave the perimeter of the board and end up on Cannibal Island. Their ships tend to be well armed but their hulls are smaller and less tolerant to damage. Their unique advantage is that they receive 1 extra upgrade to their vessel. In example a class 3 pirate hunting ship would get 4 upgrades instead of 3. This gives them a little more edge over their opponents. For bounties the Pirate hunter gathers points like a War Ship but instead of collecting honor beads they collect gold coins in the amount equal to the ship’s value, the damage pips total on the ship’s record sheet. Bringing a Pirate captain to a governor is worth $100 gold coins per skill level of the captive. Thus a skill level 4 pirate is worth $400 gold. Smugglers have no bounty value to a pirate hunter. Any cargo captured can be sold at market value in any legal port.  Pirate hunters purchase land grant cards to collect points to win, however if they capture a Pirate and can convince the pirate to forfeit his buried treasure cards those points count also.             
1)      If you want to attract pirates, act like a merchant vessel. Buy and sell cargo and lure in your prey. It serves as limited income between captures.
2)      Pirates appear and retreat from the perimeter of the boards. Try to maneuver between them and cut off their escape.   
3)      If you encounter a Pirate boarding a merchant, board the pirate once skirmish has broken out. The Pirates can’t fire guns (cannon), swivel guns, or repel you. You enter Melee combat against the Pirate by adding your crew to the current force opposing the pirates and use your skill level to fight and defend if better that the merchant crew.  
4)        Honor duels are a 50/50 chance if things turn bad for you in combat take that option, but understand Pirate hunters have a good chance of being killed out-right by the Pirates when they lose.
5)      There are 5 Pirate captains on the game table. That is between 2000 & 2500 points if you capture them each only once.
6)      Talk to the Merchants, you basically start with no money. If they will pay you a few coins for a protective escort it may cover some cargo and repairs in the future.
7)      Pirate hunting vessels are a primary target for pirates, they’re heavily armed, fast and maneuverable.

(editor's note: Pictures of the two Pirate hunter ships to be revealed at a later date)

the Barque De Sad

The HMS Seaward

Thursday, February 25, 2016

convention Rules 11, The Pirates

The Naughty Lass

The Schooner Orator

Les Bien Hores

The Elk Hunt

 The primary attraction to the time period, playing a pirate isn’t as care free as you may think. Pirates really have the odds stacked against them, limited safe harbors for repairs and trading, smaller ships, generally under-gunned, and the deadliest ships on the board are hunting you down. The actions of a good pirate captain are counter intuitive to the people who for the most part want to play them. The first thing that most pirate players want is to shoot a ship full of holes, kill everyone on board and steal everything they can. I only speculate this is the result of the societal conformity repression. This is short sited and bad for the long game strategy. If you leave a ship adrift, take all their money and goods, that ship is now effectively out of the game. Meaning it’s no longer a viable source of income in the turns to come. Simply robbing them by grappling, negotiating with the other captain for a mutually amicable settlement will allow the merchant to continue operations as future prey.
Pirates have one advantage over the law abiding ships, the ability to leave the perimeter and travel to the secret pirate island. After two port actions, they may choose to return to any other perimeter location.

1)      Allow the merchant ships to make some money before you attack them, wait at Pirate Island till they leave their first stop on the trade triangle. They should have a good trove of goods and treasure.
2)      Never leave a Merchant completely gold or cargo-less, if they have no means to continue their voyage they are left with no other occupation except hunting you down.
3)      If a naval ship is within 36 inches run for a perimeter.
4)      Dutch merchants are armed like warships.
5)      Shallow water is your friend, use Island shallows to mire larger ships.
6)      Merchant Convoy’s should only be attacked from the rear.  
7)      If the occasion arises that you need to threaten a War ship do it in numbers and rake.
8)      If you can trade with smugglers directly do so, it cuts out the pirate governor as a middle man.  
9)      You can deal directly with the colonial governor if you successfully sneak into port and out again.
10)   Pirates have the same goal, enemies, and difficulties. Never assume you are on the same side as your fellow pirates even when you are working together.
11)   If your ship is farther than two moves from a perimeter side you are in some considerable danger of being cut off from escape. \

The Heraclitus is a Barbary Xebec