My name is Andy and I played in my first Blood and Plunder tournament at Historicon in 2022. My French Buccaneer Fluyt list placed third in the Sea Tournament on Saturday of the convention.
- Nation: French
- Faction: French Buccaneers
- Commander: Untested French Buccaneer
- Points: 200 (198)
- Theater: Sea
- Source: Core B&P Rule Book
- By Andy Hodges
The strategy behind this list was to slowly move towards my opponent with swivels and muskets firing and taking any return fire on the chin with Heavily Built. In a lot of ways this is a boarding list and not something the Fluyt excels at a glance. I was hoping this might take my opponents unawares or cause them to underestimate my list. After all, the Fluyt is called a bathtub for a reason. It’s not fast or maneuverable.
Typically if the Fluyt is taken it’s used as a cannon platform. Instead of taking cannons I took 4 swivels on my front deck and a Master Gunner. As my Fluyt slowly but surely crept towards my opponents, my 16 Marins kept those swivels firing consistently. 4 swivels firing away is a lot of dice coming down. It was also a big target. In the 3 games I played at Historicon within the first 3 rounds of the game the only units my opponents fired at were at the Marins.
This was a curse and a blessing. It meant my commander and my more expensive Flibustier units came into the close fighting fresh and unscathed. It also meant a lot of lead was coming on my poor Marins though and the French are not particularly great at shaking off fatigue. Marins have an excellent ability called Hard Chargers which I wanted to be able to use once I grappled the enemy ship. My command unit with a Standard Bearer were on the mid deck to help alleviate some of the Fatigue being thrown at my Marins. The +2 buff on the determining attacker roll that Buccaneer factions have helped me have the wind in all 3 of my games. With the wind the bath tub Fluyt really is as fast as most other ships. I was able to close with all of my opponents and pull off a boarding action with my Marins except for game 2 where they were too fatigued to manage the charge when I wanted. That was the game I lost in a knock down drag out brawl with multiple boarding actions going back and forth with my opponent.
While my Marins were busy boarding my Flibustiers were busy firing away on my opponents unengaged decks. I had 2 units of 6 Flibustiers on my middle deck and a unit of 6 Flibustiers on my back deck. As mentioned above 1 of the Flibustiers units on the middle deck also had my inexperienced Commander and a Standard Bearer. As soon as I had space to move up decks I ran my command unit into the fray. I wanted to take advantage of command points and the Flibustiers’ fantastic 5 melee score and brace of pistols ability. Between the Marins with swivels and their charges in softening my opponent up once I got my command unit of Flibustiers onto the enemy vessel it the beginning of the end of the games. While enemy decks weren’t directly engaged in melee my other 2 units of Flibustiers kept them under heavy fire. Abilities like Fast Reload and Ball & Shot make Flibustiers a premier musket unit.
I faced some fantastic opponents at Historicon. My first opponent had a Dutch Sloop, my second I believe was an English Brigantine, and the final opponent had a French Brigantine. The game I lost was such a close call that thankfully it did not hurt my standing too hard. And my wins were decisive enough to keep me in the running to squeak out a third place finish.
It was a lot of fun playing the Fluyt in a way that people found intriguing. I really love the aesthetics of this ship and I hope maybe a couple people reading this might consider getting their Fluyts back on the table.
Play a list that gives you a bonus toward the attacker role, fill your ship with swivels and muskets, and sail a straight line directly at your enemy. By the time you grapple your opponent’s ship they’ll be so full of lead that they’ll break under your boarding party!
You can see my Fluyt in action and follow my Blood & Plunder adventures on my Instagram: @aonebrushtown.
You can find more Blood & Plunder force lists by members of the community here and you can enjoy reviews of the French Buccaneers here or here
You can enter you own Blood & Plunder Force list for publication here.