The Need for New Characters for Natives

New Proposed Native Characters for Blood & Plunder

By Guy Rheuark

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I recently started playing the native nationality in Blood & Plunder and found that they offer a very different and fun way to play. As a historical gamer, playing the natives also inclined me to research the natives of the period, how they lived, dressed and fought. The problem I’ve run into is one that most people who have a cursory knowledge of the seventeenth century are aware of; native peoples’ history were not recorded accurately or favorably.

Blood & Plunder relies on historical records for what a faction has access to. A side effect of this is that Native factions only get access to five of the “Fighting Men” characters introduced in No Peace Beyond the Line. This is a problem, not because native players need access to master gunners, but because the lack of characters coupled with poor unit variety limits the kind of forces you can make compared to other nationalities. List building is one of my favorite parts of war games, and I found my lists always seem to feature an Officer and Grizzled Veteran.

So I propose adding some native only characters:

Scout Leader – 3 Points

These skilled scouts were often chosen to lead attacks, or cause a diversion.

Nationality: Native or Black Caribs Only
Unit Restrictions: Only units with the Scouts Special rule
Command Range: 3”
Command Points: 1 (may only give Move as an extra action)
Special Rules: Elusive
Extra Abilities:

Design notes: The Scout Leader will allow a native unit to move into position quickly, as an early attacker or for flanking. He might seem like an auto include, but the command point will go unused when the unit gets in cover and attack position.

Horse Thief – 2 Points

By as early as 1659, North American Natives were raiding Spanish colonies for horses. This warrior has mastered riding and fighting from horseback.

Nationality: Iroquois, Northeastern Woodland Tribes, and Southeastern Woodland Tribes
Unit Restrictions: None
Command Range: –
Command Points: –
Special Rules: Quick (only when mounted)
Extra Abilities: The unit the Horse Thief is attached to may add Horses for 1 point per model. While mounted, this unit applies a +1 penalty to all Fight and Shoot saves and loses Scouts and Hidden.

Design notes: This character was really meant to open up some force options. Horses are fun but not amazing, and having a unit mounted will change how the faction plays.

Man of the Coast – 4 Points

This coastal dweller’s second home is his canoe. His hands effortlessly guide his craft, and all around match his rhythm.

Nationality: Native or Black Caribs Only
Unit Restrictions: Command unit only
Command Range: 3”
Command Points: 1 (may only give Grapple as an extra action)
Special Rules: –
Extra Abilities: When a ship in this force moves under paddles within your commander’s command range, the ship may move an additional 1” each time it moves.

Design notes: Most of the Native American special rules “turn off” when in a structure like a boat, and sea battles are a big part of Blood & Plunder. This character boosts the nationality rule of giving all boats Paddles by making paddles as fast as sweeps, while still letting the Spanish Corsairs have the fastest boats.

Swimming Ambusher – 6 Points

Nationality: Caribbean Tribes, Caribs, Darien, South American Tribes, and Black Caribs Only
Unit Restrictions: Only a minimum sized unit (not counting this model) that is not armed with muskets or pistols of any type
Command Range: 1”
Command Points: 1 (May only give Charge or Fight as an Extra Action)
Special Rules: –
Extra Abilities: If you are the Attacker, set aside the unit this character is attached to as a reserve unit. At the beginning of the second turn, you may deploy this unit within 3” of an enemy ship in the water. For this turn only they count as being in a size 1 ship, and can take move actions to move 1”. If this unit is not on land or on a ship at the start of turn 3, remove them as a casualty.
If you are the Defender , set aside the unit this character is attached to in a canoa as a reserve unit. At the beginning of the second turn, you may deploy this unit within 3” of any board edge.

Design notes: This unit changes list building while also giving you access to some fun tactics. While it’s ability is more complicated than it should be, I wanted to make it so it could be used when attacking or defending in different ways.

Master Hunter – 4 Points

With a lifetime spent hunting with bows, this warrior has trained to be fast, accurate, and deadly.

Nationality: Native or Black Caribs Only
Unit Restrictions: Any unit armed with bows.
Command Range: 3”
Command Points: 1 (may only give Shoot as an extra action)
Special Rules: –
Extra Abilities: When this unit attacks with bows, you may give it a point of fatigue to apply a +1 penalty to the defending unit’s shoot save.

Design notes: With a whole nationality of archers, it would be nice to have a unit that makes bows a tiny bit better. Exchanging a point of Fatigue for a deadly shot is a double edged sword, but can help counter targets that have a great Save without relying on Poison Arrows.

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Foreign Advisor – 8 Points

European powers would often arm Natives against their mutual enemies. These traders and advisors, though not altogether trusted, were a welcome asset.

Nationality: Native or Black Caribs Only
Unit Restrictions: None.
Main Weapon: Firelock musket or Brace of Pistols, Standard Melee Weapon (cannot be changed)
Command Range: –
Command Points: –
Special Rules: Savvy
Extra Abilities: –

Design notes: The only current way for most native units to get Savvy is through historic or seasoned commanders, and that means only the command group gets the ability. It would be nice to have two units with Savvy, While 8 points seems like a lot, losing Slow Reload is almost better than an Officer for Warrior Musketeers. It would also be neat to mix a Flibustier in with a unit of Native Americans when fighting the English.

Conclusion

Feel free to use these characters in your games and have fun with it. I am also attaching an open source Apache License 2.0, so feel free to make any changes you want to these characters as well, or use them as you see fit.

Copyright 2020 Guy Rheuark
Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at
http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

 

 

 

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