Completed Palisade Fort & Test Battle Report

The Palisade Fort popped up on the Firelock Games website a while back and I just finished getting it painted. The official rules for this fort haven’t been released yet but they’re in beta testing and should be out soon!

The Palisade Fort set comes with 4 corners, 3 straight sections and one gate (it does not open without some tricky modification work) and retails for $55 which comes out to about $7 per section. When all put together the entire fort measures 9″x9″.

paisadefort

The promotional image from the website

I didn’t mean to but somehow I painted my fort exactly the same as the product photo on the Firelock Games website. I didn’t look at it for inspiration for I guess my subconscious memory took over!

I washed the model but didn’t do much knife or file work on it. I had to cut out the cannon part in the gate but that’s about it.

I primed it in black (I should have done it white instead), used a Burt Umber craft paint for the earth and the lower half of the logs, a Dark Brown craft paint for the upper part of the logs, Vallejo Old Wood dry brushed with a craft paint Linen for the chopped points of the logs, Vallejo New Wood dry brushed with Old Wood for the wood on the ramparts and the gate and Vallejo Steel for the hinges. I washed it all with Citadel Agrax Earthshade and the added some Nuln Oil wash to the earth sections, sprayed with varnish and it was done!

Painting all of those logs took a while but it was less work than a ship!

I wanted to try the fort out so I took a prospective set of stats for it and played a quick solo 100 point game with it.

Here are the beta testing stats I used for the wall sections. I’ve been doing some “consulting” on the stats for this fort and while these are not finalized, they are the basic stats currently under consideration

  • Each 4″ section of wall costs 3 points
  • Walls provide hard cover
  • Each wall section has a Fortitude of 3 and an Integrity of 4
  • It takes a dedicated action from the inside to open or close the gate.
  • Units can climb the wall from the outside but it takes a Dedicated action and if they are climbing it during a charge, the defending unit gets a -1 bonus to their Fight Saves.

Mini Battle Report

I built a 100 point Spanish Militia  list to defend the fort:

  • 7 Milicianos with an Untested Commander attached
  • 8 Milicianos
  • 6 Milicianos Indios
  • 8 sections of Palisade Fort at 3 points each = 24 points

I put together a 100 point English Militia force to attack the force. I was primarily interested in how much damage a cannon could do to the fort over the course of a standard 6 turn game.

The English army included:

  • 7 English Militia with a Experienced Militia Commander attached
  • 4 English Militia
  • 4 Freebooters
  • 5 Militia Artillery Crew with a Master Gunner assigned to a Medium Field Gun

I played both sides of this game so it wasn’t a very “competitive game,” but it was fun and I got a good feel for how strong the fort was in a standard 100 point game. I used the Rescue scenario from the No Peace Beyond the Line. I’ve played this scenario before as the defender and I tend to have a really hard time deploying in the center of the board and I thought this fort would be the perfect solution to that difficult deployment requirement.

Screenshot (122).png

I attached the Captured Merchant to the command unit of Milicianos, placed the fort in the center of the board with Spanish inside, placed some trees around the fort, but no closer than 8″ and started the game.

I deployed the Spanish like this with Milicianos in opposite corners and the Indios in the center.

The English came on to the board all the the Gate side of the mat over the course of the first turn with the medium field gun entering last so it didn’t take any more fire than it had to.

The scenario rules dictate that all cannons come to the game with 4 Reloads so I wasn’t able to fire on the first turn.

The Spanish manned the walls while the English slowly advanced on the fort.

The Freebooters and small unit of Militia came up the Left while the cannon fired from the Right and the Command unit of Militia marched up the center.

The Militia traded volleys but between 7 Shoot skills on all the militia, low actions counts for the Inexperienced models, and the Captured Merchant giving the English a penalty when they attacked the Spanish Command unit, there wasn’t a lot of hits over the first few turns.

The Milicianos Indios fired off a lot of arrows and took a couple bold militia men down but the English refused to take Fatigue.

The cannon focused fire on the corner of the fort where the Indios defended and slowly wore it down. Starting the game unloaded meant I couldn’t fire until turn 2 and then I had to really push the unit to fire it a total of 4 times through the 6 turns of the game.

With my Master Gunner I was able to make contact with the fort every roll. At a range of 12″ that’s only a 3 to make contact and the Master Gunner brings it down to a 2. After that initial contact, I needed 6’s on the first and second attacks to get through the Fortitude of 3. I spent two Fortune points over the course of the game trying to get a minimum of 2 hits on the fort on every shot. I didn’t roll a 10 for a lucky hit until the very last turn when it really didn’t matter any more.

My hope was to breach the wall so the infantry could enter that way but by the 4 turn I could tell I probably wasn’t going to blow a hole in the wall soon enough to let the infantry through and take the hostage.

So I provided covering fire with the Freebooters and small militia unit while the command unit pushed forward to scale the wall. Inexperienced militia on both sides meant the turns went very quickly with only 1 or 2 actions per unit in many cases.

The English reached the wall when the Spanish were unloaded and the commander helped them charger up and over the wall. Since it was a climbing charge, the Spaniards got a bonus to their Save number and they only took a single Fatigue from the bold English charge.

On the final turn the English got the first activation and they ended up taking out a few Milicianos and forcing the Spanish with the hostage to retreat with 3 Fatigue. The supporting unit of Milicianos charged in to try to drive the English back. They killed two Englishmen but the doughty English refused to take any Fatigue.

The cannon got off one more shot at the very end of the game bringing the corner section down to 1 Fortitude and applying a Lucky Hit and a Critical hit which lit the corner section on fire. It felt good to actually give the fort some meaningful damage but it was a too little too late!

But it put the Indios out of commission for the last turn since they didn’t appreciate the heat when they activated.

Turn 6 ended with the militia units locked in combat inside the fort but the Spanish probably had the combat advantage since they outnumbered the English in actions and models inside the fort and it would take time to get the rest of the English inside the fort.

Both sides had 1 Strike Point for casualties and the English had 1 Strike Point for failing to take the hostage by the end of the game so the Spanish won! I won! And lost!

Total English casualties were 6 models.

And Spain lost 7.

I’m looking forward to the real release of rules for this new fortification! If you like the look of these stats I used, feel free to play a test game. I thought they worked pretty well and were more or less balanced.

I’d like to try this at 200 points. The fort is actually pretty small so I’m not sure I could fit a standard 200 point army inside but I’d like to give it a go. If I use the Tercios or an Expiditionary Force of some type, I can take Regulars and a cannon and both those use up points pretty fast.

This form of the fort costs 28 points which is not inconsiderable for a 100 point army but would be a little easier to pay in a 200 point list.

I saw on the Blood and Plunder Facebook page that Rufus (Firelock’s resident terrain sculptor) has made some bastions for the corners as well as a blockhouse for the center. This picture was taken from Facebook and this form is much more impressive. I’m sure it would cost a lot in real money and in game terms but I love the new possibilities for scenarios and game play that this fort could open up, especially as the game gets into the 18th century.

I may pick up a second copy of the fort at some point as the Queen Anne’s War expansion gets closer so I can build a larger fort like this.

I’m pretty sure the stats and rules for this fortification haven’t been finalized yet so any questions, ideas concerns you voice now could have some impact on the final way this fort will function.

What do you think? Do you think a 3/4 stat line for sections of fortifications works? How many points would you be willing to pay for a fort like this that provides Hard Cover? There’s an “open palisade” variation forthcoming as well that provides basic cover and doesn’t fully block line of sight.

Would you consider using a fort like this in competitive play? I think it would be fun but it would really change some scenarios!

The current rules for the fortifications not found in the rule book and rules on how you can include them in your force can be found in the Downloads section of the Firelock Games website and you can go directly to that download right here.

I’m excited to get the final rules for this fort and incorporate it into more of my games. It’s fun to see more and more of the fortifications and ideas hinted at in the core rule book come to life! Keep up the good work Firelock! Thanks for letting me do some testing for you!

Thanks for reading! Stay safe and happy gaming.

 

2 thoughts on “Completed Palisade Fort & Test Battle Report

  1. EXCELLENT review and battle report! Looking forward to a follow-up once they start selling the corner bastions. One question: Would you use the field cannon rules for the one at the front door that gives it a 45-degree sector of fire? Or would you only let it fire within the width of the door, similar to a ship’s cannons? I realize that you didn’t use a fort-based cannon in this scenario, of course.

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