I’m back with another COVID solo game. Firelock Games sent me some fort bastions to run through some playtest games and here’s my first game using them. This is a “Control the Field” scenario using the Solitaire play rules. English Buccaneers vs Portuguese-Brazilian Tercios battle over a palisade
These bastions are basically enlarged and fortified corners for the Palisade Fort and give platforms and clear fields of fire for artillery inside the fort.
As it currently stands (rules are still getting finalized) the Palisade Fort wall sections costs 2 points provide Hard Cover and have a Fortitude/Integrity of 3/4. The Bastion sections cost 5 points, provide Hard Cover, can hold more men and up to 2 cannons which can be positioned and re-positioned at any of the 3 gun ports. If you fort is a complete enclosure, the commander inside also gets a free Command Point that can only be used to Rally. Current rules for the Bastions also let a faction take an additional unit with the Artillery Crew rule as a core unit for every Bastion you include in your Army.
This was a 200 point game with the Portuguese-Brazilian Tercios defending the fort against the English Buccaneers. I used the Firelock solitaire rules to control the Portuguese and tried to beat them with the English Buccaneers.
I built the Portuguese force around the Palisade Fort using two of the new (not yet released) bastions.
The Portuguese force consisted of:
- 7 European Soldiers with an Untested European Commander
- 4 European Soldiers
- 8 Milicianos
- 4 European Artillery Crew assigned to a Medium Field Gun with grapeshot
- 6 European Artillery Crew with a Master Gunner assigned to a Heavy Cannon with grapeshot
- 6 European Artillery Crew assigned to a Heavy Cannon with grapeshot
- 2 Bastions at 5 points each and 6 wall sections of the palisade fort at 2 points each
The fort let’s by you bend the Core/Support unit rules by giving you more access to units with the Artillery Crew ability. At 36 models, this force has a 9 model Strike Point threshold.
My English assault team consisted of:
- 8 Veteran Forlorn Hope with Robert Searle attached was a commander and a Local Guide attached to give the unit Quick and Scouts.
- 6 Freebooters
- 5 Veteran Freebooters
- 7 Warrior Musketeers
With only 28 models, this force is was numbered and up against a fortified opponent.
I haven’t used Robert Searle before but I thought he would be helpful in the assault with his Aggressive Commander ability giving his men Hard Chargers. Forlorn Hope with Brace of Pistols, Grenados, Buccaneer Guns,
Fast Reload, Vanguard, Ball & Shot, Brawlers, Hard Chargers, Quick and Scouts! Seven special rules on one unit must be some sort of record!
I’ve been trying to try more of these 25 point commanders. Doesn’t feel so scary paying for ahigh cost commander when you’re playing solo.
The fortifications makes some scenarios kind of strange. I rolled a d10 for the scenario at it came up as Control the Field. This scenario has a single objective in the center of the board which both sides strive to take. I put some treasure in a piece of area terrain in the center of the board. The Portuguese would actually have to come out of the fort to take control of it but they also had a clear field of fire to shot at anyone attempting to take it.
I’ve played solo games before just playing both sides to the best of my ability but this will be using the recent Firelock solitaire rules now available for free in the downloads section of their website.
Its a nice concise system that isn’t too hard to keep track of. Basically, you flip the activation card off the top of the deck every turn, check a list of which unit should activate, then use the card number to determine which action sequence the unit will follow. In most cases, it does the same thing I would do if I was running the enemy with my “second brain” but it’s nice to not have to make each decision, especially when you know full well what your units are trying to do.
I found that using the fort for the AI, the units were often equally close to the enemy which made me have to either randomize (according to these rules) which unit I activated for the AI, or choose which unit activated to their best advantage. I usually ended up choosing the smart thing for them rather than leave it up to chance.
I set up the fort as a diamond with the two bastions on opposite ends, set up the Portuguese defenders inside, then deployed the English attackers on the long edge of the board with the Forlorn Hope and Warrior Musketeers on the right flank and the Freebooters and Veteran Freebooters in the middle.
The Forlorn Hope took their Vangaurd move and the game began!
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