Battle Report – English Buccaneers Plunder the Westo Treasure House

This was a quick 100  point game played after a campaign game with Isaiah, a newer player in our local club.

The Forces

I played the same 100 point Westo force I played in the previous amphibious game (I forgot to fill in the 6 points from dropping the 3 canoes).

I had a unit of 7 Warrior Musketeers with the Untested commander attached, a unit of 5 Warrior Archers with a Grizzled Veteran and a unit of 8 Young Warriors. My Westo faction gives all my units Ruthless and War Cry.

Isaiah ran a nice English Buccaneer Starter Box list of 8 Freebooters with an Untested Commander (with a grenade and Brace of Pistols using the Atypical Armament rule from the campaign), a unit of 4 Forlorn Hope with a Stinkpot and a unit of 8 Inexperienced English Militia.

The Scenario

We rolled Plunder on the Scenario table and decided to play it as a land game. I really like this scenario! The defender gets to secretly choose one of the two buildings to contain a “treasure” which the attacker must find and capture. Both forces start within 3″ of the long sides of a 3×4 board and 1/3 of the defenders units have to be held in Reserve and follow the rules for bringing them into play as reinforcements. I think that Reinforcement rules helps balance out the challenge of attacking. To me this feels like an improved version of Raid from the Core rule book.

I rolled low and became the defender and chose the terra-cotta roofed building for the treasure house. I left my Young Warriors off the board as my reserve unit and we placed our troops. I placed my larger unit of Warrior Musketeers on the side of the board without the treasure in an effort to mislead my opponent. Isaiah’s Forlorn Hope advanced 4″ with the Vanguard rule and the game began.

The Game

As usual the first turn was primarily spent moving up.

With only two cards in my hand I was able to pass once and respond to his movement. His Freebooters came up my Right flank, the Militia took the center and the Forlorn advanced on my left.

By turn 2 his Forlorn Hope had reached the empty building. They threw a Stinkpot to block line of sight from the Warrior Musketeers. [EDIT: we made a mistake here. Stinkpots provide cover by do not block line of sight.] My archers picked off a couple Militia as they advanced.

The Forlorn Hope explored the empty building on turn 3 which revealed the location of the loot next the large unit of Freebooters.

My Young Warriors finally came on the field on turn 4 and started creeping up the center (I forgot to utilize the Quick ability at least once!).

My Musketeers jumped out of their cover to get around the Stinkpot and fired a half shot into the Forlorn Hope killing two of them. I hoped the half shot would eliminate the unit and avoid the full 3 reloads (Slow Reload) but they made one save on a 9 and 2 models survived.

The English used their ability to discard their hand at this point and we tied for imitative going into turn 5 and had to roll off.  Isaiah won with a 7 to my 6. That spelled doom for my Warrior Archers who had advanced to try to keep the English from getting cozy in that fortification!

The Buccaneers fired their pistols at less than 4″ and wiped out the entire group of archers. I reloaded my Musketeers and finished off his Forlorn Hope leaving us both with only 2 units.

The English took up a defensive position and my Young Warriors moved up and took out another model. With little time left Isaiah decided to try to take out more of my models and leave the treasure alone.

We drew a weather change event on turn 5 which brought on a light rain. After firing with their muskets one more time, the Warrior Musketeers were left with 4 reloads and had no chance to shoot again on the last turn. My Young Warriors climbed the rock and took out another Militia and they were able to fire again with my commander’s last action getting another kill with their Save penalty from shooting from elevation.

At the end of the 6th turn we calculated Strike Points:

  • My Westo Natives had 1 Strike Points from 6 casualties out of 21 models.
  • The English Buccaneers had 2 Strike Points from 11 casualties out of 21 models. They didn’t have control of the treasure but they had models within 4″ of the treasure so they didn’t get a Strike for not holding the objective.

The game was a close win for the Natives. It’s hard to say but if the English had been less warlike and taken the treasure and run on turn 4 they may have pulled out a win.

Closing Thoughts

  • I really like this scenario. It has some of the tension of the Search and Recover but a little less of the random element. That rule keeping one of the defender’s units in reserve really balances the game. I plan to use this scenario in my group’s upcoming Tournament in March.
  • For being primarily a sea-going faction, the English Buccaneers are pretty strong on land. That Vangaurd rule on the Forlorn hope can be really good for this kind of scenario. The explosives are good on land as well and their faction ability to redraw their hand is solid wherever they go.
  • I like the Westo tribe! I miss the poisoned arrows that some of the other Native factions use, but the lack of Sound of Thunder really helps their action advantage. If you can keep the Fatigue off, Ruthless helps them land more hits. Ruthless combined with Great Warrior makes those Musketeers really deadly. They don’t fire very often but if you can time that volley well, it can be devastating. I never actually got to use the War Cry ability ability in this game because there were too many pistols around!
  • The natives seem a little expensive (both forces had 21 models here but there were  more than twice the muskets in the English force), but the 6 Shoot Save and the ability to dodge charges makes them last longer (as long as you can stay in cover). This does mean you probably need to save you Fortune Points of rerolling disastrous saves.
  • The pacing on the Natives seems different than playing other factions. I’ve noticed that I might get very few if any kills over the course of the first 3 turns. If I can stay in cover and start to apply fatigue to the enemy, eventually their maneuverability and ability to fire will decrease and I can move out of cover and strike a unit hard without fear of a deadly counterattack. I feel like you have to be a little patient playing as the natives and if you don’t get massacred early by being caught out of cover, the game will likely go all the way to turn 6 and those last turns will likely be the most eventful.

Thanks to Isaiah for some good games!

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