Battle Report 10/21/18 – Corso vs L’Olonnais

I’m writing this battle report a couple weeks after playing this game so this won’t be extremely detailed but it was a great game and I got some decent pictures.

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Summary

Joseph Forster vs Guy Rheuark

Juan Corso’s Special Force vs Francis L’Olannais’ Special Force. 400 points per side

Sea Battle with islands and shoals

At Geeks & Games in Oregon City, Oregon

The Forces

This was a naval game with both sides using a 400 point force. I decided to try Juan Corso and his personal force, Juan Corso’s Corsairs. I really wanted to try the night attack strategy so I used 4 piraguas. At night, the larger ships are still visible at the full 24″ while any ship with the Low Profile trait is only visible at 12″ so my idea was to stay at that 13-24″ range and shoot away at him while he couldn’t even see me. (Since we played this game, I think I’ve sorted out the limited visibility rules a little more accurately. It seems that while I could see and target my opponent’s ship with cannons, I couldn’t fire small arms at troops in the ship. Cannons target ship sections while small arms target the troops in the section. I had a idea this was how it worked but my opponent was pretty sure I could still target his troops so I did that a few times in this game.)

I loaded each piragua with 6 Marineros (without pistols) to man the sweeps. Corso’s force gives all ships +1″ to their movement while the sweeps are manned which makes the piragua incredibly fast and maneuverable. Since the piragua doesn’t have any skids, you can place the maneuver template anywhere on the side of the boat which makes this little ship even crazier! I added an officer to each group of Marineros so it could give the accompanying unit of Corsarios an extra action every turn.  Three of the piraguas were filled with 8 model units of veteran Corsarios. With Ruthless, the extra action from the Officer and the Marksmen special rules that comes with Corso’s faction, I planned for these guys to lay down some withering fire. They can also be deadly in boarding action with their Swordsmen rule. I also chose to trade away the matchlock musket for the firelock musket since its a free upgrade and the matchlock musket can be seen from 24″ at night.

My 4th piragua had 9 Milicianos Indios with a Grizzled Veteran instead of Corsarios (I ran out of painted Corsarios models). With decent cover saves and the ability to fire 2-4 times per turn (using the officer) I hoped to get some fatigue down early with these natives.

I equipped the 3 Corsario piraguas with 4 swivels each and left the Milicianos Indios Piragua with no cannons.

Juan Corso’s command range is 16″ with an additional 12″ from the Commodore rule so he could reach nearly all the way across the table with his command points. After the battle I realized I totally forgot about his Vendetta special rule and that would have really helped keep my fatigue under control.

My complete force list can be found here.

My opponent used L’Olonnais and his Flibustiers Nau special force. I don’t have his complete list but here is what I remember.

L’Olonnais was on a Light Frigate with 6 pairs of light cannon, a large unit of Marins, a smaller unit of Marins manning the swivels on the rear deck, a large unit of Flibustiers and another unit of Flibustiers or Engages. The Privateer Sloop was manned by a huge unit of 14 (I think) Flibustiers and a unit of 8 Engages.

The Game

We placed some islands and shoals before rolling for initiative. We both had a bonus for being the attacker and I rolled high which was very helpful since that’s the only way Corso gets to use his Night Attack rules. We kept it simple and used the rules for the Encounter scenario.

He placed his ships near the board edge and I placed mine near the islands.

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Bumper cars! It took more mental energy than I expected to manage four ships at once.

The first and second turns were filled with maneuvering without too many shots fired as the limited visibility kept me safe from his long range cannons. Things started getting interesting during turn 3 when the sloop engaged two of my piraguas. I got some early fatigue on the massive group of Flibustiers and the timid engages. The Engages has broken and ran to the back of the ship and the Flibustiers had 2 fatigue so was able to use my officer to get the Marineros off the sweeps, then they successfully grappled and charged. They took out a couple more Flibustiers and got their fatigue up to 6! I knew I could destroy the entire group if I could activate first on the next turn!

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Through some poor foresight, Corso’s piragua (R) was basically out of combat for a turn as it scooted around that little island.

I drew a slow hand on turn 4 so I used a fortune point to redraw. I got a couple spades but my high card was one lower than my opponent’s! L’Olannais rallied all that fatigue off and while my Marineros got another fight action, that opportunity was lost and the Flibustiers ruthlessly slaughtered my inferior boarding party and shot all my natives to death in their piragua. This was the turning point were I lost a good 25% of my force and lost an opportunity to take out that sloop.

That confounded sloop went on to ram another piragua a couple times and cause more damage and consternation!

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That sloop ended up running around the board with 2 empty piraguas grappled to it.

I was able to keep out of range/arc of the frigate’s guns the entire game. The sloop full of muskets relentlessly pursued another piragua and eventually wiped out a complete set of 6 Marineros and 8 Corsarios.

The Frigate tried some tricky sailing and attempted to sail right in between two island and became beached. (I believe we played the rules for this wrong as well. We basically used the rules for Shoals for the Shoreline. That Frigate should have been automatically beached when it was 3″ from the land, but we used the Shoals rules instead which meant he had to role a 9.)

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L’Olannais jumped out of his Frigate on turn 5 and took some shots at my 3rd piragua but the game ended before it could get close enough to get too deadly.

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On the final turn, I was able to get one of my ships right up to the island and get a half shot off with my Corsarios, but it was ineffectual and L’Olannais escaped to fight another day.

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The end of the game. The Marins (he used some Marinero models) jumped out of the ship and shielded their commander from my last volley from my Corsarios.

The Result

It was a bloody battle! I lost at least 60% of my force and had two piraguas totally emptied. My opponent lost closer to 40-50% of his force and he was in a better position at the end of the game. It was a great game and Guy was a skillful and gracious opponent!

The game lasted about 4 hours including setup. I try to play pretty fast but commanding 4 piraguas at once really made me think.

I learned that large units are very effective. The more models you have, the harder you can hit and the longer you can last. I had a chance to eliminate a large unit by getting it up to 7 fatigue, but failed and it probably cost me the game. I learned that it’s no fun getting your boats rammed by ships! keep your longboats and piraguas away from the front of those larger ships!

These legendary commanders are really different to play with. His activation is pivotal every turn. Spending 3 actions around the board with such an extended range is huge! You can easily be performing 6 actions with 4 different units with one card and it can totally turn the tide of a battle. I didn’t do a great job of using Corso’s unit and it hurt my game. I sailed his boat poorly and he was too far from the action for too long.

I also found the Officer character to be really valuable. The ability to give a Rally action to a struggling unit or to use that command point to get a unit off (or back on) the sweeps is really strong as well. Anything you can do to get around those slow dedicated actions is really helpful.

Swivel guns are really strong. They aren’t good for every game, but if you have any intention of getting close, I think they’re worth the 2 points each even if you only fire them once in a game. I got some really good shots off with them. You can even fire with them and fire with your muskets on the same turn (for the cost of one fatigue). If you’re close enough, that can decimate an entire deck.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this. I’ll try to keep better records of my games in the future so I can do better battle reports.

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Corso will get his revenge… The Vendetta is real.

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