Blood & Plunder Player Spotlight – Jozef Hudacek

Hi Jozef 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.”

Hello there! I am from a small town in Slovakia and I have been interested in board games, history, sci-fi and making and painting stuff since childhood, so getting into miniature wargaming was probably inevitable at some point.

Unfortunately, nothing like that existed when I was a kid – in at the time communist Czecho-Slovakia. So instead I was making scale models of WW2 fighter planes. Eventually the regime collapsed, and we got access to cool stuff from the West. When I moved to a bigger city for university I found out about these “Miniature games”. The very first wargame that I got into was “Warzone” from the “Mutant chronicles” universe, simply because it was the only one on the market here (and I loved Paul Bonners artwork).

Since then I’ve been involved on and off in the wargaming scene with some longer or shorter breaks, as I was moving every few years and lived in various places around the world so it was difficult to keep the hobby going all the time. But a year and something ago I moved back to my hometown, I settled here and started collecting miniatures again! 🙂

I understand you picked up Blood & Plunder during COVID lockdown but haven’t got to play much yet. How long have you been into Blood & Plunder and how did you find the game?

I found out about B&P when the “Raise the Black” Kickstarter launched, because I follow Beasts of War Weekender videos (Can’t recommend them enough, it’s the best miniature games show out there). I also got hooked by Mike Tunez’ interview on the “Paint All the Minis” podcast. So.. I backed the Kickstarter (I backed the biggest one with all the boxes :-D), but I was impatient to get my hands on it sooner so I’ve ordered Existing books and some minis. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to play a game of B&P yet.

What drew you to this game?

Pirates! Of course, who doesn’t love them? And also the visual appeal – the idea of games in these tropical environments, individuality of the minis and a sheer range of colours you can use to paint them. I also like that it is a skirmish game, so that you do not have to spend ages to get your warband painted and many hours to play the game.

What nations or factions do you plan to play?

I got the Spanish, English and Unaligned faction boxes + few extra minis (admiral Morgan, of course! And some horse riders to get some variety). But reading about Lorho de Graaf’s story makes me want to get Dutch as well. Or the native indian tribes. You know what, I want them all :-D.

Do you have a local B&P community to join when the COVID restrictions lift?

Well.. not yet, but I’m intent on building one here. You just need one buddy to play, right? That should not be too difficult, once this f*&%$g pandemic is over.

Do you have a local gaming store that supports Blood & Plunder?

There’s no local gaming store in my town or in the nearby area :-(. But we have a club, so there is a space to paint and play games. We used to get our minis from UK distributors. Unfortunately with Brexit finalized it is now even harder to get the minis, as there are delays at the customs, and there is extra 20% VAT + customs fees that you have to pay :-/

Describe your Blood & Plunder collection.

I’ve described above what I have so far and I have also ordered a few minis from other manufacturers that make pirate miniatures (or European soldiers from the era), that I want to include eventually in my collection.

Let’s talk about your painting. Your minis look amazing! Can you tell us some about your painting method or technique and what paints you use? Any advice for players just starting to paint these models?

Hey, Thank you! I actually painted the minis really fast, I did them in batches of 8-12 minis. I primed them in black, I did a heavy zenithal spray with GW Wraithbone using airbrush and then I blocked in the base coats with GW contrast paints. Finally Just a few highlights using regular paints.

My advice is – especially if you are more used to working with plastic kits – prepare your tin miniatures well before painting, clean off the flesh and file off the mould lines and wash them in soap water before priming. Finally, don’t forget to give them a nice coat of matt/semi-matt varnish once they are painted. Otherwise you might get chipping. Bonus tip: highlight the metals AFTER you do the matt varnish.

Tell us some about your terrain. Looks like you have a great coastline and village setup. I’m specifically curious about your docks!

Miniature wargaming for me is as much a gaming experience as it is a visual experience. So I Always want to have nice terrain and nicely painted miniatures when I play. So I looked around for some terrain I can use and discovered the “Printable scenery” company that makes these 3D printable models and they have a range of “Pirate Islands” models. Now.. they are not really historically accurate for the period and location (they have a few, that do fit, like the wooden docks you asked about and also a Caribbean House and Caribbean hut), but I liked the aesthetic and that is more important to me than the historical accuracy.

So I bought a 3D printer, bought some models, printed them and I am quite happy with how they look. The beautiful coastline in the pictures is a gaming mat from DeepCut studios.

Is there anything you would like to see added to Blood & Plunder in the future?

I know, that Mike wants to push the timeline forward, like he did with the “No peace beyond the line” and now with the “Raise the Black” expansion, that is coming, but I’d actually love to see going backwards to Francis Drake and then eventually to the “Conquest of Paradise” era, with Aztecs, Maya, Inca and Spanish conquistadors.

What’s currently on your painting desk or workbench?

Well, right now I am painting Vikings for a game of “Saga”, but technically they are pirates as well, so it counts!

Is there anything else you would like to mention before we finish?

I launched a YouTube channel called “Brothers in Dice” a few years ago, when I was still living in San Diego. And when I got back home I involved friends from our gaming club, who are much better painters than me and we did some nice painting tutorials on that channel. We don’t publish videos anymore due to time constraints and the COVID pandemic, so you won’t find any Blood and Plunder specific painting guides or battle reports, but the painting techniques are universal, so feel free to check that channel out!

Thank you for sharing with the Blood & Plunder community!

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