I recently had the chance to play a quick 150 point land game with my friend Nick. I just finished painting a new French commander and Nick was planning to play the Spanish which is my standard land faction, so I took the opportunity to try out the Logwood Cutters, which I feel like is the land based Pirate faction.
This game was fairly straightfoward and It’s been a few days since we played so this battle report should be short this time!
This was my first time using the Logwood Cutters and my first chance to really get to use the Boucaniers I painted up a couple months ago.
Both of our lists were fairly simple. My force contained 3 units: 7 Freebooters with an Experienced French Buccaneer Commander (with a Buccaneer Gun), 8 Boucaniers and 8 Engages with a Grizzled Veteran. At 148 points, I could have swapped a Engage for a Freebooter to fill out the 150, but I wanted a full 8 models in every group so I could half-fire my units efficiently every turn.
Nick’s Spanish Militia outnumbered me with 32 models. He had 2 units of 8 Hostigadores with Sharpshooters, a unit of 8 Lanceros and his Command Unit of 7 Lanceros with his Campaign commander (Ruthless, Inspiring and 8″ command range) and a Grizzled Veteran.
We played the Control the Field scenario from the core rule book. My Logwood Cutters were the Attackers and the Spanish were the Defenders although the roles aren’t really different in this scenario.
As this was “practice game” for Nick’s upcoming campaign game, we used the Tactics chart from the campaign section of the NPBtL rule book.
Nick chose Undisciplined Louts and Ambush as his tactics which would make my force be drunk and let him deploy using the Lay in Wait Rules.
I chose High Tolerance as my one Tactic because men don’t shoot straight when they’re drunk and my list was all about shooting straight.
I set up my Boucaniers and Engages at the edge of my deployment zone and put my Freebooters with the Commander further back. Nick deployed using the Lay in Wait rule. He deployed one unit of Lanceros further back within control range of one of the objectives and put the other 3 units 9-11″ away from my units.
The Spanish spent the first turn standing or lighting the match cords while my men starting their cycle of half firing and reloading every turn. My Engages defied the odds and got so many hits! At 11″ I was hitting on 8″ but with Ball and Shot kicking in, I think I got 3 hits out of 4 dice on both of their first shots vs the Hostigadores on the Spanish Left flank. While my dice were hot, the Spanish were cold and while their Resolve held reasonably well, their Saves consistently failed and that unit of Hostigadores took several casualties in the first two turns.
I moved my Freebooters up and commanded both the Boucaniers and Engages to fire another half shot. I tried to keep my fire consistent and annoying through the entire game while still keeping at least half my muskets loaded to help fend off an ambitious Lance charge.
The Hostigadores didn’t get a chance to actually fire on the first turn but they started firing on turn 2. At 8+ inches, they were looking for 9’s and didn’t land many hits. The rear Lanceros simply staid in position all game to control that objective. The Command unit of Lanceros took some early Fatigue and rallied but stayed prone on the first turn.
On the next couple turns my troops basically stayed in position and fired half shots, reloaded then fired another half shot on the commander’s activation and this consistent fire was very effective. With all my models starting with a 6 Shoot Skill, I was getting off around 20 shots hitting on 8’s every turn with Ball & Shot.
The Engages did well! Their attack dice were super lucky and their Save of 6 kept them alive.
In the second or third round the Hostigadores in the center had moved to the building and taken a shot at my command group taking down a couple Freebooters.
By the midgame Spanish had stood, inched forward and taken a couple shots at me while my Engages had nearly eliminated the isolated group of Hostigadores and pestered the other two forward Spanish units taking out a few models and leaving them with some Fatigue.
Around turn 4 the command group of Lanceros charged the fully loaded Boucaniers. My defensive shot (hitting on 5’s) landed 5 hits and Nick rolled dismally on the Save and didn’t save any of them!
He rerolled with a Fortune and saved them all and charge went through and sent the Boucaniers packing with 3 Fatigue.
Nick took the initiative again on the following turn and fought my Boucaniers again and they fell back with 5 Fatigue with only 3 models remaining.
Engages aren’t made for melee combat but they were able to charge in and take out 2 of the 4 remaining Lanceros.
My commander rallied the Boucaniers and ordered the Engages to Fight again which eliminated the Lanceros along with El Don Comandante Jorge Gallegos de Oviedo.
The Hostigadores fired on my Freebooters again on the 6th turn and being in the open, they lost more men and went prone near the objective. My commander rallied his men and stood while the Engages moved forward to take control of the third objective as the game ended.
At the end of the 6th turn we calculated the Strike Points:
- My Logwood Cutters had around 10 casualties which game me 1 Strike Point.
- The Spanish had around 17 casualties which gave them 2 Strike Points
- The Spanish controlled 1 objective, my Engages controlled 1 objective and the central objective was contested by both the Freebooters and Hostigadores.
The game was a narrow win for my Logwood Cutters.
- This was a fairly static game. I was technically the attacker but with a superior ability to shoot quickly and accurately, I was able to hunker down and force the Spanish to come to me.
- Even with my defensive advantage, those Lanceros almost broke my line. They killed 42 points worth of Boucaniers and if they hadn’t lost so many men before they charged, they might have carried the day.
- The Engages were certainly worth the 4 points in this game. I tried to activated them with Clubs or Diamonds so I could do a half shot then reload. With 4 dice hitting on 8’s with Ball & Shot every turn, they actually killed a lot of the enemy. I tried to keep them further than 5″ from other friendly units so their Timid wouldn’t trigger and they were rarely targeted themselves since the Freebooters were more dangerous and the Engages had a better Save number.
- Hostigadores are a solid unit but they seem to be better at a Veteran level. In this game they had terrible luck on their Saves so they had to manage their Fatigue more often than usual. I don’t think they were ever able to use their Skirmisher skill in this game. At Veteran level, they can activate on a Spade or Heart and get their move, fire and retreat.
- I love it when Fortune Points actually reverse a crucial moment in a game. That Lancero charge was going to massively fail but that Fortune Point totally turned that charge around and put me on my heels for a couple turns. Boucaniers don’t like getting impaled…
- The Logwood Cutters were better than I thought. They just have a lot of accurate firepower. The main thing that has held me back from using them before is the chance of starting the game drunk! The unknown Faction Ability is exciting, but could be pretty devastating. That accurate firepower that is their strength could be totally counteracted by starting Drunk. On the flipside, if you roll well at the beginning of the game, getting a free action with every unit could be huge. That could mean you could fire twice on a turn, or move an extra 4″ to get into position. I think the Logwood Cutters are better than I initially estimated. In this game I was the Attacker so I got the simple “free mulligan” ability which I used but it didn’t do a lot for me this time.
- I love the Spanish but that can be difficult to get going. They really need their Ruthless to trigger on Shoot tests to be able to compete with French and English musketry, but they don’t have the strongest Resolve which means sometimes they end up taking the first casualties and Fatigue. If you don’t get that Ruthless train going, it can feel like you’re spinning your wheels a bit. Hostigadores have solid stats for a 4 point Trained unit but they can fizzle if you don’t have a way to get some Fatigue down early. That’s where the Indios can be useful.
- The Lanceros are another really strong unit. They are one of the only units that can heedlessly charge into a full strength unit of loaded Boucaniers and survive. It takes some real courage and it nearly didn’t work this time, but it’s amazing that they can do that. A 6 Save with Elusive and good Resolve makes it possible.
- Lay in Wait has to be used carefully. In this case, the Hostigadores had to use a dedicated action to light their match cords and stand up before they could really engage in combat. Those two actions combined with rallying from taking early fire from my troops meant they didn’t accomplish much for the first two turns. It may have been better to deploy the Hostigadores in the standard deployment zone and moved them up on those first two turns. They would have been out of range of my men and they would have had more tactical control.
Thanks to Nick for a good game!