I’ve been wanting to get some more experience with some of the Unaligned factions and I recently got to play this land game using the Logwood Cutters faction vs my friend Kevin playing the English Caribbean Militia for the first time. My local game store, Geeks & Games in Oregon City hosted us for this session.
I like the Logwood Cutters for their abundant accurate ranged units so I loaded up on muskets and Buccaneer Guns.
My 200 point land force contained:
- 7 Freebooters with an Experienced French Buccaneer Commander attached
- 6 Flibustiers
- 6 Engages with a Grizzled Veteran attached
- 6 Engages
- 7 Veteran Boucaniers
This gave me 33 models with accurate rifles with Ball & Shot. I would take a Strike Point at every 8 casualties
Kevin’s 200 point English Caribbean Militia force contained:
- 8 Musketeers with historic commander Sir Thomas Whetstone attached (using the Jamaican Militia version of the faction that makes Musketeers Core Units)
- 10 English Militia with a Grizzled Veteran
- 8 Freebooters
- 8 Milicianos Indios
Kevin has been playing the English Buccaneers for a good while and this was his first foray into the English Caribbean Militia faction. He jumped straight in with a high level historic commander. Whetstone has 3 Commander Points and gives the faction access to a bunch of Native units.
Kevin’s force totaled 35 models so it would also take Strike Points at every 8 casualties as well.
I recently got a new set of inexpensive terrain that I thought would make for a good Logwood Cutter campsite so we picked a scenario that would work around that theme.
We played Plunder on land and I took the role of Defender. I secretly put the Plunder token in the smaller A shaped structure on my Left.
I had to keep one of my units of Engages off the board in reserves. I set up along that back edge of the board with my Command unit of Frebooters in the center, and the Boucaniers and Flibustiers on the flanks.
Kevin placed his Indios Milicianos on his right flank where there was plenty of cover for them to work with.
Near the center he placed his Militia, Freebooters and Musketeers all fairly close to each other.
As the Defender I rolled for my Logwood Cutter ability and it came up as a 1. All my units started with 2 Reloads! Hardly an auspicious beginning…
Starting on the edges of the board meant both of us spent most of the first turn moving up. I spent some actions reloading as I advanced.
Starting unloaded meant I didn’t do any shooting on the first turn which kind of wasted the English Caribbean Militia’s ability to re-roll all failed Fatigue and Rally dice on the first turn.
I moved up the Flibustiers on my Right while trying to keep blocking terrain between me and the advancing enemy.
The Milicianos Indios were the first to fire, loosing a volley of arrows at my Boucaniers. Hiding in the bushes with a 6 Save, Elusive and the bow save bonus, those Boucaniers saved on 2’s. They too no casualties but they did take a Fatigue from the shot.
Whetsone and his Musketeers made a 12″ dash up to one of the buildings (the empty one) and took one Fatigue travelling so far.
My Boucaniers were able to fully reload and move up 4″ on a Spade. I shouldn’t have placed them so far to my Left! My commander was able to move them up another 4″
Turn 1 ended with our forces moved up a little and most of my reload markers removed. No casualties yet!
At the beginning of turn 2 I rolled well enough to receive my Engages as reinforcements. I was unsure if they should start with 2 reloads as well but the other players present thought that would no longer apply after the beginning of the game.
The Buccaneer Guns really opened up on turn 2! Opposing units of Freebooters exchanged fire across the open area. At slightly less than 12″ Ball & Shot gave both of our units some extra rolls.
Next Whetstone’s crack unit of Musketeers fired an Expertly Drilled volley into my Command Unit of Freebooters and killed 2 and left them prone.
Most of the units on both side fired on turn 2 and I got the worse end of it. My command unit took another casualty and more Fatigue and my advancing Flibustiers flubbed their first volley into the flank of the Musketeers.
I moved up my Engages who started on the board and used the Veteran’s Rally on the command unit to remove the pile of Fatigue they took over the course of the turn.
The quick, skirmishing Indios fire on the Engages this turn but the combination of solid Save numbers, bows and cover meant I didn’t lose any men.
There wasn’t a lot of casualties on turn 2 but my command unit was down to almost half strength and it was prone and had a reload. We ended the turn with my force having taken more casualties but Kevin had reloads on pretty much all of his units.
Turn 2 ended with nearly all our units within 12″ of each other in a circle on the edges of the Logwood camp. The next turn would start to get bloody.
I drew and event going into round 3 and it helped me immensely! I rolled a 7, Commander’s View, and was able to move my commander from my severely weakened Freebooters to my fresh Boucaneirs (who hadn’t even fired yet!).
I’ve drawn this event before in other games but this is the first time it’s really been useful.
Moving from a half strength, prone unit of Freebooters to a fresh, fully loaded large unit of Veteran Boucaniers felt pretty good!
I was able to fire off most of my units on turn 3 and I did some major damage to Whetstone’s Musketeers, eventually forcing them to pull back with 3 Fatigue.
The Flibustiers fired from the flank.
The Engages fired on the Militia.
My second unit of Engages was able to enter the battle as well and forced the opposing Freebooters to pull back. I like having Ball & Shot on a cheap, 4 point unit!
Starting the round with 2 reloads on most of his units, turn 3 was pretty rough from Kevin’s English. I was lucky with my initiative cards and I managed to keep one step ahead of the English through this turn.
I got my beat up Freebooters back into the action and finally got the Boucaniers up to the firing line near the end of the turn. I think the Boucaniers were the ones who forced the Musketeers to pull back into the bushes.
The English Militia firde into my Engages and killed one and his Freebooters killed another Engage from the other unit.
Turn 3 ended with 6 Logwood Cutter casualties and only 1 Fortune spent so far. I usually burn up all my Fortune by the end of the third turn!
Kevin’s English Militia had taken a lot of casualties over that turn and ended turn 3 with 11 dead. With 1 Strike for Casualties and 1 Strike for not discovering or controlling the Plunder, Kevin had to take a Strike test but he easily passed it with his Musketeer’s Resolve of 4.
I had a hand full of Hearts on turn 4 which was not good for my force. Hearts aren’t good for Inexperienced Engages and they aren’t good for Veterans or anyone with Fast Reload.
My murderous Flibustiers charged the unloaded Musketeers and destroyed the remainder of the unit with their Brace of Pistols.
This severely slowed down the English Militia without those 3 Command Points from Whetstone.
The English Militia got revenge on the Filibustiers with an accurate Drilled volley into the exposed Flibustiers. They broke and fell back into the cover of some trees.
Only 3 Flibustiers left but it was worth it to take out that commander.,
I spent most of turn 4 reloading and re positioning with the rest of my units.
The Indios skirmished forward for a shot again but the arrows just couldn’t cut through the French Saves in cover.
By the end of turn 4 I had one Strike Point worth of casualties and Kevin still only had 2 Strikes so he didn’t have to take a Strike Test.
We had the Lingering Smoke event come out on turn 5. All but 2 of the gunpowder units on the board had reloads so almost everyone got a ranged penalty for the round.
We put out smoke markers on all the units with the penalty as a reminder.
Even when starting an activation with 2 reloads, Veteran Boucaniers can easily reload and shoot on a Spade. With my Command Point, I could even pull off a Marksmen shot to counteract the smoke penalty. My Boucaniers fired on the Militia but they saved pretty well and their English Resolve held!
The Militia took a parting shot at my Engages before being driven back by more focused fire.
At this point I was able to be bolder and push my men closer, even abandoning cover in some cases to get clear shots on the wavering militia force. My 5 accurate musket units were starting to overwhelm the 3 remaining units of the Militia force.
The English Indios loosed another volley of arrows with their smirmishy tricks, but they didn’t do more than apply 1 Fatigue to one of my units.
Their bows were very unlucky this game…
Turn 5 ended with some final half hearted musketry from my smaller units.
At the end of turn 5 we added up Strike Points:
- My Logwood Cutters were still at 1 Strike Point for around 10 casualties.
- The English Militia had 1 Strike for not finding and possessing the loot and 2 Strikes for casualties for a total of 3 Strikes.
With no English commander to roll for Strike Strike Test, the test automatically failed and the game was over as the English retired from the field.
Post Game Thoughts
- I’m starting to make friends with the Logwood Cutters. I’ve played a lot of Spanish so all these units with 6 Shoot, Fast Reload and Ball & Shot make me giddy! They really have some good ranged small arms ability. Almost like an OP French faction!
- I like the variety available in Logwood Cutters. Everyone has decent shooting ability but there are units with specialties. The Engages and Flibustiers are both good units that can shoot well, but you can’t treat them the same. If you can keep the right unit in the right spot, you can get a lot more out these units.
- That said, that variable faction power hurt pretty bad on the first couple turns. Starting with two reloads wasn’t pleasant. But I think I’d rather be unloaded than have half my force drunk!
- The English Militia were stout! I poured a lot of fire into them and while they took heavy loses, they didn’t flee the field. Their Resolve kept them in the fight! They’re probably my favorite of the 3 cost militia units in the game.
- Those Musketeers were especially nasty. That Expertly Drilled volley really messed up my command unit. I was able to focus fire on them the following turn and cripple them up so I didn’t have to take that punishment again. It took a lot of shots to break that 4 Resolve!
- The Milicianos Indios really under performed in this game. Most of my units had a 6 Shoot Save which meant I had to roll a 1 or a 2 to actually lose a model to arrows if I was in cover. The Indios did a great job of staying in cover and out of line of set from my guns, but their arrows really didn’t do much to the sneaky Frenchmen. I think they applied at least 2 and maybe up to 4 Fatigue through the game but I’m not sure if they ever killed even one model. The bow errata kind of hit them hard and they’re especially weak vs French. It might be that you have to be a little bolder and get closer so you get more hits so some get through in spite of the crazy Save numbers the Boucaniers and Engages get. Kevin burned the midnight oil getting these Indios all painted up for the game as well so I felt bad that they didn’t do more in the game.
- I like the Plunder scenario. The Defender has an advantage in that they know which building the plunder is in and they don’t have to get there, but only prevent the enemy from reaching it. But making the Defender start all the way at the back of the board helps even things a lot and then keeping a unit or two off the map as reserves helps even more. I like the balance.
- Anything with a 6 Shoot Save is worth a look. Maybe it’s more psychological than real, but I feel so much safer with a 6 Save than a 7. And those poor Militia with the 8 Save! Even if you roll badly with the 6 Save, the Fortune re-roll is that much more valuable because it’s much more likely to help you out.
- I bought this pre-painted set of buildings and terrain recently and this was it’s first time on the table. It looked good, was functional and is reasonably sturdy for the price. The buildings and some of the other terrain bits were from a Wizkids Homestead terrain set that I posted about earlier. This set included the wood structure, the smaller thatched structure, the pig and pig pen, wood pile, feeding trough, wheelbarrow and a horse which was on a corner of the board. The tent and barrels were also a Wizkids products but I painted them and they didn’t come in this kit.
- I like the pig fence and I have hopes that Firelock will sell something like this in resin at some point. Rufus from Firelock had created some fences just like this when I played in the GENCON tournament in 2018 and it sounded like it was possible they would make casts and produce something nearly exactly like this.
- The Engages performed well for me this game. The last time I took Engages with me they never even got off one shot before they were charged and massacred so it was nice to see them actually do something… They were close to some other units so I was worried about Timid, but they were usually the target so they only had to roll their own Resolve tests.
- Veteran Boucaniers are amazing. I’ve fought against them too often and it feels good to be on the other end of that rifle barrel. I didn’t do a great job managing them in this game and they only got to fire a couple times, but their accuracy and damage output is amazing. They might be my favorite unit in the game. Or maybe Enter Ploeg…
- Our games have really solidified at 200 points in my area. It’s large enough to build an interesting force but not so large that the game takes too long. We play a little slow (by many people’s standards) and a 200 point game feels like full gaming experience. We played faster this time. We set up, played the game and cleaned up in less than 2 hours while being distracted by the Galleon/Heavy Bark cat and mouse game on the next table over!
Thanks to Kevin for a good game! Always good to game with you! We’ve been playing a lot of sea games lately and it was fun playing a land game again.
Thanks for reading!
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