It’s been a while since I got a game in! Summer is a busy time for family events which cuts out some of my gaming opportunities.
I was able to get together with my friend Bryan recently and play a 100 point land game on his dining room table. This is the first competitive 100 game I’ve played in a long time! 200 points has sort of become the default game in my area but we had limited time and space so we opted for a smaller game.
I’ve been trying to familiarize myself with the Unaligned “pirate” factions lately so I chose to play a Logwood Cutters list.
My forced consisted of:
- 7 Freebooters with an Untested French Buccaneer Commander (with a Buccaneer Gun) attached.
- 6 Boucaniers
- 4 Engages
At 18 models my force gets a Strike Point at every 4 casualties.
Bryan recently came across a set of Pike & Shotte models that he quickly painted up to use as Militia for Blood & Plunder so he used this game to test his Portuguese-Brazilian Tercio Militia Spam list.
His force consisted of:
- An Untested Commander attached to a unit of 8 European Militia (including a Musician and a Standard Bearer).
- Two units of 7 European Militia.
- A unit of 7 European Militia with an Officer (we forgot we were limited to 2 characters for 100 point lists since we are used to playing 200).
At 30 models he will get a Strike Point at every 7 casualties.
When Bryan and I were first learning the game together the Inexperienced Spanish Militia lists tended to steamroll the French and English lists with fewer models so we thought this would be a good
Overall the Pike & Shotte minis fit in pretty well but they are noticeably smaller if you take the time to compare them.
We played the Plunder scenario on land on a 3×3 board. In this scenario the Defender secretly selects one of the two structures in the center of the board to house the “prize.” The Attacker has to either be within 4″ of a structure that could contain the prize (if neither structure has been entered yet) or within 4″ of the building that actually contains the prize by the end of turn 3 or they gain a Strike Point. The Defender gains a Strike Point any time the Attacker has the Prize in their possession.
Neither of our factions had bonuses for the Attacker role. I rolled high so Bryan was the Defender and I was the Attacker. I was fine with that because that way, my Logwood Cutters weren’t in danger of being drunk. I just got the standard Buccaneer “you may discard your hand and draw a new one once per game without spending a Fortune” ability.
We set up the two buildings then took turns placing pieces of terrain until the board was reasonably full, then added some smaller elements to fill out the board.
Deployment zones for both of us were the back 3″ of the board. Bryan, as the Defender had to keep one unit in Reserve.
Bryan placed his command unit in his center, his Militia with the Officer on his far Right and a unit of 7 Militia in between them.
I places my Engages on my Right, my Boucaniers on my Left and my Commander and Freebooters in my Center.
Before the game began I had to roll a Fatigue check for each unit for Bryan’s Musician’s Terror rule. Both the Engages and Boucaniers took a Fatigue.
I started the game with a Move-Half Shoot-Move activation with my Boucaniers. My target number was 9 but I failed to get any hits. Bryan drew all Spades for his opening hand which isn’t great for a first turn with all Inexperienced troops.
I moved my command unit up to the edge of the cornfield and used my command point to reload the nearby Boucaniers.
Bryan moved up into the covering terrain. The extra action from the Officer proved helpful with all those Spades.
I moved my Engages up to the rock outcropping hoping to benefit from the Hard Cover.
Bryan Moved his entire battle line up to the line of cover about 8″ from the back board edge. He took a potshot with his Command unit on the first turn but also failed to get any hits.
Turn 2 opened Bryan failing his Reserve roll for his 4th unit. My Boucaniers moved up 7″ into the cornfield and fired another half shot which drew the first blood by killing two models in the Portuguese command unit.
I pushed my Engages to move twice to secure my Right flank but that left them with 2 Fatigue which would be their ultimate downfall.
Bryan moved his Militia with the Officer further up into my Left flank as my command group moved up to gain access to one of the buildings.
My Freebooters fired into the unit of 7 basic Militia and killed two models. The militia failed nearly every ranged Save roll, but their Resolve rarely failed the entire game!
Bryan succeeded on his Reserve check before turn 3 and drew a fourth activation card. Turn 3 opened with my Freebooters in the open so I wanted to take initiative. I had seen Bryan use his 11 and 13 of Spades on the first turn so I was fairly confident my 9 of Spades would give me the first activation so
My Freebooters moved into the structure hoping to find the prize, but it turned out to be empty. But at least I was in hard cover now instead of in the open!
The militia with the Officer moved up and shot into the structure killing two Freebooters and applying a point of Fatigue. My Freebooters were in a bit of a precarious position! Three units of European Militia with solid melee stats within charging distance!
With 2 Fatigue on my Inexperienced Engages, I had to rally them but they failed on both dice!
The fresh Portuguese advanced up on my Right flank, threatening the timid Engages.
At the end of turn 3 Bryan had a Strike Point for casualties and I had a Strike Point for not being within 4″ of the structure with the Prize in it.
With 2 Fatigue on both my Engages and 1 on my Freebooters, I felt I needed to take initiative again going into turn 4. Luckily I drew an 11 of Spades which gave me the first activation again.
I opened turn 4 with a full volley from the Freebooters which landed 5 hits on a unit of 5 European Militia. They Saved two models and took 3 Fatigue which sent them back 4″ and took some pressure off my Freebooters. Fast Reload was extremely helpful to me in this game as I drew a lot of Spades and 2 of my three units had that ability.
Greedy for the Prize and hoping to stop the Militia advancing on my Fatigued Engages, I advanced my Boucaniers up to the second structure, fired a half shot into the militia and killed two of them by applied no Fatigue. I needed that Fatigue so they couldn’t charge the Engages!
After their half shot, I moved the Boucaniers into the structure and took position of the Prize. At this point I was still feeling pretty good about my odds of winning. I had only taking 2 casualties while inflicting at least 10 on the enemy and I had possession of the Prize!
I activated the Engages again and rallied them and they failed on both dice. A 1 and 4… If they were charged with 2 Fatigue, they would be slaughtered! I spent a Fortune to reroll their Rally test. A 1 and 2. These are the worst Engages ever! Six rally dice thrown and no successes. I shouldn’t have pushed them on turn 2!
At that point the Portuguese charge was inevitable. They took a Fatigue to charge 8″ into my lousy Engages and they slaughtered them all. They outright killed 3 of them and having only 1 model left and having 2 Fatigue even before rolling 4 more Resolve dice, I removed the final model. The Engages were disgraced! They did absolutely nothing over the entire game! Failing 6 Rally dice was just bad luck.
Bryan used turn 4 to rally the shaken units and move both the Command unit and the unit with the officer up within charging range. His command unit moved right up to the wall of the structure with the prize and Boucaniers inside.
Things starting looking a little less optimistic for me at this point.
I was lucky enough to take Initiative again on turn 5 and rushed my Freebooters out of their building and shot into the oncoming Portuguese hordes, hoping to stop the potential charge into my Fatigued Boucaniers. I landed some more hits which removed more models but the Portuguese kept coming! Their Resolve held!
The Militia on my Right flank fired into the Boucaniers in the structure and they lost on model but failed both Resolve check which left them Shaken. They dropped the Prize and with no good options I had them run into the cornfield. I rallied them but they they were immediately charged again! With 3 Fatigue already on the Boucaniers the Portuguese command unit had no trouble killing every last elite French marksmen.
With 1 unit left, I used my faction ability to redraw my “hand” of one card and take initiative on turn 6 (we lost track of our rounds and played out 7 turns in this game apparently). I charged into the Portuguese command unit hoping to kill them all and exact revenge for the loss of my Boucaniers! With my muskets already unloaded, I had to decide if I was going to use my pistols in this charge or now. It could break the Portuguese command unit and destroy them if I rolled well but it would leave me with no options for defensive fires vs the 3 remaining units of Militia.
I chose to use the pistols but then rolled hits on all but 1 die without the reroll and that reoll failed anyway! Cruel fate!
The Portuguese command unit Saved well but still retreated with 3 Fatigue. I moved into the cornfield with my final action hoping to get some cover.
With 2 Fatigue all all guns spent, I had no options for making a Defensive Attack vs a charge. Bryan pushed his small units of Militia to charge into the corn and drove me back with 3 Fatigue.
At the end of this 6th round I had 2 Strike Points for casualties and 1 for not being close to the Prize and Bryan had 2 for over 50% casualties.
I may have miscounted as I wrote this battle report, but I think we ended up playing a 7th round in this game. When you’re down to 1 or two units, it’s easy to rush through the rounds and lose track!
Bryan took initiave on this final round and did a Fight action with the already engaged Militia which drove me back further towards the back edge of the board. I rallied with both of my 2 actions and was left with 1 Fatigue. For the final action of the game, the Portuguese command group charged me again and killed all but my commander. I passed both Fatigue dice and ended the game with 1 model left on the board!
At the end of round 7 (or 6 if I miscounted) we calculated Strike Points:
- My Logwood Cutters had 3 Strikes for 17 casualties out of my original 18 models and 1 more Strike Points for not being within 4″ of the Prize.
- Bryan’s Portuguese had 2 Strike Points for 19 casualties of their starting 30 models.
The stalwart Portuguese destroyed my bold pirates!
Post Game Thoughts
- This was an exciting game! I was confident I would win in during turn 4 but my fortune changed there in the middle of the game. As soon as I lost a unit and it was 2 units to 4, I really lost control of everything.
- I’ve been mostly playing at a 200 point level on land recently but I’m again impressed at how interesting and satisfying a game can be at 100 points. There were lots of important decisions and dramatic moments in this game with only a few units on the board.
- The overwhelming force of Inexperienced Militia in the hands of an experienced player can still be deadly!
- The Musician’s Terror rule very well could have decided the game. That starting Fatigue on both the Engages and Boucaniers proved very important later in the game. Maybe I should have taken the time to remove it early in the game, but I decided to push through and it cost me!
- I felt like I could out-shoot those Militia all day long but as soon as they got close enough to charge, things started to look very different! I should have stayed further out of range. I really should have let the Prize be and focused on taking out at least one Portuguese unit before attempting to take control of the objective. I basically spent an entire activation of my elite snipers to take possession of the Prize that I didn’t need to have to stay in the game. Bad decision! Keep killing the enemy then take the treasure!
- The last time I used Engages, they were awesome! 4 points for a unit with a Shoot skill of 6 is pretty good! But this time they totally fizzled. They never fired their guns, they rallied with 6 dice over the course of the game and failed every single roll! If I had been able to removed 1 Fatige, I could have fired a Defensive volley into the charging Portuguese and possibly driven them back and the end game would have looked different. The lousy French moral!
- The abundant beer and whiskey over this game caused us to make a couple mistakes (3 characters in a 100 point force, and 7 rounds in the game), but it was still a great game and those mistakes didn’t effect the game that much. Bryan’s Standard Bearer didn’t do a lot during the game since the command unit spent most of the game more than 8″ from the other units in his force. Stopping at the end of turn 6 wouldn’t have changed the result of the game either!
- In spite of losing this game, I like the Logwood Cutters faction reasonably well. There’s some real excitement at the beginning of the game. If you’re the Attacker, you have a challenge because most scenarios are more difficult for the Attacker but at least you know you won’t be drunk. If you’re the Defender, you could roll well and get that free action which could be really helpful, especially on a smaller board like this, or you could be drunk and that could change the way you play the entire game! I like that unknown factor.
- I really like taking turns placing terrain at the beginning of a game. It can be easy to have one player set up the board in a way that looks cool, but that can really mess things up for the Attacker and leave them feeling bad about the game afterwards. Letting both players place terrain leaves no room for either player to feel it was unfair afterwards.
- The Pike & Shotte minis are smaller than the Blood & Plunder models but if you mix them in and paint them consistently, you don’t really notice. I like the Blood & Plunder minis a lot more than the other lines out there and I’ll be sticking to their line (except for some characters minis I’ve found useful from the Pike & Shotte line) but I really don’t mind seeing other minis on the table.
Thanks to Bryan for a good game! We enjoyed the cool summer night air, a couple cigars and another glass of Scotch after the game. We’ll have to play again soon. My Logwood Cutters want revenge!
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