This interview is part of a series of articles spotlighting players in the Blood & Plunder community. Please enjoy this written interview with David Stanley.
Hi David, and thank you for giving us some of your time and participating in this interview. Please introduce yourself as a person and as “a gamer.”
I have been playing war games and skirmish games for about ten years. Previously, I started by playing mostly Warmachine and Hordes, Imperial Assault, X-Wing, Descent, as well as several different RPG’s. Currently, my favorite games are Star Wars Legion, Bolt Action, Age of Sigmar, and of course, Blood and Plunder. I have also recently picked up Infinity, Saga, and a local fantasy skirmish game called Freeblades. I have rules for other games that I still have not had a chance to play but hope to soon. They include Rebels and Patriots, Song of Drums and Tomahawks, Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes, Burrows and Badgers, Starbreach, and The Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game.
I originally picked up the hobby in order to play games with my four boys, other than video games.
How long have you been playing Blood & Plunder and how did you get into the game?
I saw it for the first time at a local game store here in Kansas City. I have been playing off and on for about three years. I originally got into it because of the setting, the ships and the ability to place minis on ships – so great! Also, one of my kids was intrigued by it.
What factions do you like to play?
I own Spanish and French, so I usually end up playing French Caribbean Militia. However, I’ll be playing quite a bit of French Expeditionary Forces soon with some new units I’m finishing now!
Describe your local B&P community.
I just joined a neat group of guys here in KC called 9th Cavalry. They play lots of games, including B&P. In fact, they have already taught me some new aspects of the game that have helped me adjust my approach to army building. I also play quite a bit with one of my kids – he can be a tough opponent!
Describe your Blood & Plunder collection.
I own the French, Spanish and European Colonial Militia starters along with a couple other special units. I also have a Brigantine, a Frigate and a 3d printed longboat.
What is your favorite ship and favorite unit?
This is kind of a funny thing to say, but I recently added a 3d printed longboat and I just love unloading or loading it up with minis and rowing around. There’s something about it that is interesting that adds lots of flavor to the game.
Do you have a favorite character or Commander?
I just started using a new mounted commander mini, so any Commander is cool right now – as long as he’s mounted!
What is your favorite thing about Blood & Plunder?
There really are several things that I think are truly brilliant about the game design. First, as I mentioned, the ability to place minis on ships was the most special aspect of the game that captured my attention from the very beginning. Second, the use of d10’s for all the rolls is terrific. There’s something about a d10 that feels better than a normal d6 – literally physically in my hands as well as mechanically. Third, the combination of ship rules and structure rules is ingenious. Finally, the overall setting is wonderful to me. Finally, I have had the privilege of travelling to several locations in the caribbean multiple times and the sheer beauty of that part of the world is deeply inspiring to visit and consequently, as a wargame setting, too!
I see from your pictures you have a lot of nice buildings and an impressive fort. Where do you get your buildings and other terrain elements?
By far, the best investment I have ever made in this hobby was buying a Prusa 3d printer. I have printed literally thousands of dollars worth of terrain over the past few years. I honestly would not enjoy the hobby nearly as much without the ability to create little scenes and theaters on the tabletop for a reasonable price.
The files for the fort and other buildings are from 3dprinterrain and printablescenery.com. The trees are eBay palm trees and typical Woodland Scenics deciduous trees on 3d printed bases. The other little colorful trees are inexpensive Amazon.com trees.
I have 2 different water ‘mats.’ One is hand crafted by warsigil.com to my specifications. There is literally not a single game mat maker that has a mousepad style mat that depicts half ocean and half land running halfways vertically. Warsigil fit the bill perfectly.
The second ‘mat’ I have is one I made with my son. It is an mdf board with a painted ocean and liquid acrylic poured over it. This one is for a certain terrain setup I used when I first began playing. That particular table utilizes upholstery foam for modular cliffs, too.
I don’t consider myself any kind of high level terrain maker, but I do think a person can achieve a nice looking table by having lots of appropriately themed terrain in addition to having it all painted! In my humble opinion, most tables I see are too sparsely arranged.
What would you like to see added to Blood & Plunder in the future?
Obviously, I am looking forward to all the new content for the Queen Anne’s War coming this year. For this, I am planning a new terrain set up that includes a wooden fort and some log cabin style buildings, for example. I am also planning on getting enough northern tribe natives to field a decent army of them.
I would love to see Firelock Games partner with a 3d printing terrain company to design some exclusive Blood and Plunder STL files for 3d printers. It never ceases to amaze me that I get lots of comments when people see the fort that I printed, for example, when it really wasn’t that difficult to do. I am just not sure people are aware that those files are available, because sometimes, they are from lesser known or somewhat obscure companies. Firelock Games could make these kinds of files much more accessible, in the same way that they have other terrain available to purchase through their online store. 3d printing is becoming much more affordable and ubiquitous in the hobby now, too.
What’s currently on your painting desk or workbench?
I am finishing 2 units of cavalry right now, exclusively using Contrast paints! They are my new favorite paints, for sure.
Is there anything else you would like to mention before we finish?
Besides my 3d printer, Contrast paints have changed my enjoyment of the hobby immensely. While they lack a little in quality, they are far faster and consequently, give me the ability to get minis on the table quicker! I bought the entire line of them and I am glad I did. I think the B&P minis I have painted with them look just great.
Lastly, thank you Mike Tunez for designing such a sublimely beautiful and brilliant game. It is honestly amazing to me that a game like this even exists.
Thank you for sharing with the Blood & Plunder community!
All images provided by David Stanley