This is another special guest post by Michael Verity. This battle report was submitted as part of the 2022 Summer of Plunder Campaign and Michael gave us permission to publish it here. This is a custom scenario where one side is trying to remove treasure from a town and escape. Enjoy!
Last scenario, and reported to Blood & Pigment, was the English “pirates” landing and raiding a local Spanish coastal town (The Grand Raid) from their brigantine. The local Alcalde commanded the defense, but failed to hold the town, losing townsfolk and tradesmen in his feeble effort. Still, the Milicianos held some resolve and became determined to take back their town.
Half the Spanish force units appears on turn one, then one quarter units on turn two, and remainder on turn three. Deployment arrival point by die roll. Their are eight entrance points marked outside the town…1, 2 and 3 north side of town, 4,5 western edge by church, 6,7 and 8 south side of town. Basically every one “foot” of board edge is a deployment arrival point. Scenario table is two feet by four feet measurement.
Action cards number pulled equals total of units on table or arriving that turn. So Spanish have four on turn one, six possible turn two, and eight by turn three. English have six units so six pulled cards.
English loot wagon teams have one English unit with each. The two small Sea Dogs units, one besides the church with commander, the other quay side with captured mules. The starting positions are seen on early photos.
When a loot unit (captured mules teams or loot wagon) arrives besides the ship hull on quay, the escorting unit needs one complete action to load the loot aboard ship. Then that unit can board the ship with another action. Only one unit can load per turn due to limited quay space. Once emptied, the wagons and mule team can be pushed into the harbor to clear space on quay (one action) by any adjacent English unit.
Brigantine cannon start scenario loaded but need a crew to man the cannon.
After a complete sacking of the town, the English now are preparing wagonloads of goods to transport back to their waiting brigantine ship, docked at the quay.
The anchor watch has come ashore to assist in goods movement, and clear the streets of bodies from the last fight. Church on the western table edge.
The laden loot wagons start heading towards the ship when the alarm is raised…
Spanish Soldadoes and more Milicianos are seen approaching fast, led by experienced officers this time. Behind them light artillery and the Alcalde leading the lowly pressed townsfolks (Milicianos Piqueros) mobs while Mission Indios dart about in the columns. The initial Spanish units are placed at their entrance points (see scenario notes below) to mark their entrance.
This scenario is going to be short range and deadly couple of turns. Both sides are prepared, the English just running for their lives, their loot, and going home on the ship. No quarter will be given.
- English with experienced sea commander
- 2×6 Freebooters,
- 2×8 Sea Dogs,
- 2×4 Sea Dog anchor watch now ashore,
- four wagons,
- two captured mule teams,
- one looted town
- and safety in their brigantine.
- Experience Militia command
- their local Alcalde (unit command)
- 2×8 Soldados
- 2×8 Milicianos
- 1×6 Mission Indios
- 2×6 pressed Milicianos Piqueros
- light cannon with crew
- Plus a big burning desire to see off the English and retake their town.
Seeing the Spanish, the English commander gives orders to move the wagons faster while directing his landed Sea Dog “small watch” to guard the church corner.
Confusion reigns as the narrow streets from the plaza cause a wagon jam.
Suddenly the leading Spanish Milicianos units enter the town near the western church edge. Their opening volleys cut down the entire anchor watch unit besides the church corner, forcing the English Commander to “gold coin-dodge death” to a friendly unit.
These musket volley increases the wagon escorted rush towards the ship in harbor, as more Spanish units appear on the opposite side of the church, especially two units of Soldados, and the force commander on horseback.
Any Spanish town civilian in town locks doors, if still attached to their hinges, closes broken windows, then finds shelter, since the revengeful Spanish soldiers are not looking to see who is who.
Spanish Milicianos Piqueros appear on the southern beach, running past their town waterfront towards the quay. The Milicianos reload matchlocks then press forward, firing again into the throng of English, wagon carts, and bad tempered mules.
Meanwhile, the English commander gives orders for the wagons to keep moving (command points) and slowly some order comes about as wagons arrive near the quay. Already one load of loot from the captured mules has been placed aboard the ship by the second anchor watch Sea Dog group.
But the pressure is mounting fast… the closely led Soldados march in and let loose a poorly aimed volley. Still, the rear wagon Freebooter escort is hard hit. Several dead pirates litter the cobbles.
Meanwhile, more Spanish units arrive… the Alcalde leading his Milicianos Piqueros unit, like on a parade past the church.
Carnage in the streets…. Milicianos and Soldados press forward. Volleys rip forth, cutting down the rear escorted wagon of Freebooters entirely. Mission Indios appear, their arrow find marks or building walls. Throughout the loud mayhem, the English commander gives orders to load wagonloads into the brigantine or face off approaching Spanish masses. Another escorted wagon targeted, half the escort cut down. Still another wagon pulls up besides the ship, the previous wagons are pushed empty into the harbor waters, mules and wagon alike, floating in the debris covered harbor.
Suddenly, the Spanish light cannon arrives and opens fire. A terrible cloud of grapeshot rips apart an escorted wagon on the beach. Dead and dying pirates or mules… but the wagon wheels still intact. English resolve holds…. four passed tests.
With one wagon abandoned, the English commander moves the last wagon and depleted escort of Sea Dogs.
He watches as his anchor watch Sea Dogs run to man the Brigantine’s medium cannon battery on the port side. Two loads of loot plus the mules aboard, that’s half the loot now.
The last moving wagonload pulls up to the ship quay side, the small group of Sea Dogs start to transfer the loot while the eye of the Sea Commander watches. He shouts, the linstock are lowered…. the massive ship broadside of two medium cannon erupt. The beachside Milicianos Piqueros never saw what happened…. the entire unit, but for one very crazed survivor, just got pulped against the building wall…. a blood slashed wall of human remains.
The broadside smoke clears as Spanish Milicianos approach. They stop, dress ranks a bit, then volley into the last wagon escort and English commander. Sea Dog sailors fall in all directions, some on the stone quay, others into the blood laced sea, with its dead mules and floating wagons. Spanish bullets again miss the English commander, holding another “golden” exit, to board his ship.
The end is near….. All the surviving English now aboard their ship. The last wagonload of loot just feet away from the ship’s hull, but no one dares to attempt collection.
The Sea Dog sailor crew prep the ship to sail, first cutting the quay ropes, and slowly the ship drifts away from the stone quay.
Several Spanish units approach the beach, sending ranged volleys into the wooden hull. Even the Mission Indios shoot arrows but the study hull protects the battered English raiding force.
Next turn, if played, the brigantine would slowly sail into the harbor as the Spanish artillery finish reloading. Musketry at growing range seeking final English bodies. The Spanish have retaken their looted town, not to be the same for many years, as the dead so tell.
Spanish victory…. since the English only successfully have half the town’s loot.
Written report from the local Spanish governor, discussing the valiant but hopeless actions of the Alcalde, who should be pensioned off and a better younger Alcalde promoted.
2 thoughts on “Campaign Battle Report – Run with the Loot”
Quick additional scenario notes not written in original report above:
1. The wagons provide some protection while being escorted by a unit. Give the escort unit standard unit protection save rolls and not 9+ for standing in open.
2. The wagons or mule group can move on their own. Assume a train wagon driver, not modelled to save space on the crowded streets, is leading them. He could be killed if the escort wiped out (last man) or, if alone, testing for 7+ shoot/melee save roll, failure is death. The unattended wagons will not move if abandoned but the mules will bolt for it, random direction and d10 distance if firing heard.
3. The opening Spanish arrival zones and start positions came from the random dice rolls 1-8. The starting positions could be different for each scenario. See #5 below.
4. Players could restrict the turn one (starting half) Spanish arrive to only zones 3 to 6, or the western portion of town edges and table corner for turn one arrival, near church. This prevents English seeing Spanish units at the quay almost on turn one or two. For turn two and three all zones available for Spanish arrival.
5. To clarify the Spanish arrival zones in diagram. Each zone is one foot of land table edge, the last foot measurement is sea zone on the four foot table edge length:
3 2 1 Shoreline
6 7 8 Shoreline
6. If wagon hit by artillery, treat like cannon for damage/loss of wheel. Wheel loss means the wagon cannot move forward and stuck…. loot cargo lost as no time to exchange to another wagon.
7. Buildings are “blocked or barricaded” so entrance requires extra unit effort or action (or CP order) to enter. Once entrance forced, the building follows normal rules for entrance for both sides, at any available entrance point (simplified rule to avoid tracing requirement which window or doorway had been forced).
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