By Joseph Forster. Banner Photo by Nathan Heide
Our epic Summer of Plunder has finally come to an end. What an awesome summer! Thank you for participating and making it such a fun event. All told there were about 155 players who played about 1,720 games of Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron and more than 300 of those games were spent teaching new players! But enough piffle! We have some epic prizes to distribute! But before we get into that, we would love it if you could take 2 minutes to fill out this Summer of Plunder Participant Survey so we can improve the event next year.
Read on to see which nation emerged victorious in the mighty struggle, and which players made off with the treasures from the horde of prize support plunder!
Spain took an early lead in this campaign, but England soon caught up and there was a constant swapping of positions through the last half of the campaign. This last week of the campaign saw a massive surge of English support (or antipathy towards the Spanish, I’m not sure which…). The English logged an incredible 75 games in the final week, catching up and decisively passing the Spanish.
A hearty congratulations to Commander Dexter Heide and his crew of 53 players. English players logged 385 games and scored 731 points during the course of this campaign. Top English players included Terry Abbot, David Dzwonek, Evan Botkin, Adam Johnston, Chris Asche, Paul Pickles, Dylan Sinclair Moore, Daniel Loych and Jake Farris.
Spain, led by Guy Rheuark took second place with 363 games and 687 points. The Dutch seemed ready to pull up and threaten the front runners but could never really catch up, ending with 316 games and 620 points. France finished with 251 games and 483 points and the Pirates, the winners of last year’s campaign, ended 5th with 223 games and 429 points. But no pity on the Enemy of All Mankind! I’m sure they’ll be back with a vengeance next year with Blackbeard and his like leading the charge! The Natives struggled and came in last with 151 games logged and 269 points. The Minor Powers had political flexibility and could log games under whichever major nation they wanted. Many went with the Natives and Pirates.
Scotland, the underdog, did better than they “should have” with 49 games and 84 points! Check the (very) bottom of this mega post for more details on the Scottish effort from your Scottish Commander, Liam.
Every single faction was played over the course of the summer! The French Legendary Factions were the last to be used, but all 65 Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron factions were used. Spanish Militia led the way with an incredible 180 games, and French Raiders, Westo and Southeastern Woodland Tribes were at the bottom with a single play each. Dutch Oak & Iron, Brethren of the Coast and Spanish Corsairs were also among the frontrunners.
Shoutout to David Nye for leading the Spanish Militia and Spanish Corsairs to such high numbers. All of his 135 (!) games were played with either Spanish Militia or Spanish Corsairs!
Week 14 Objective Report – Men of Legend
The objective for the final week of the campaign was to play a Legendary commander in Blood & Plunder or a Level 3 (or 2 if that’s the highest available) Admiral in Oak & Iron. There were a lot of Henry Morgans on the field this week, and it was good to finally get L’Olonnais, Iberville and De Graff get “checked off the list.”
Most players accomplished this objective this week.
The unique commanders are a huge part of both of these games, yet they are often neglected because of how many points use in a force. I hope people enjoyed pulling out the big guns for the campaign finale.
Weekly Photo Prize Winner
The weekly prize for best photo is the set of 3 exclusive minis from the Organized Play kit along with the 6 commander cards.
The final week’s photo prize goes to Chris Asche for this shot of natives raiding a port town. Chris played a LOT of games over the course of this campaign, nearly taking the top spot (spoiler alert).
This is another great shot of his. Thanks Chris (and Mrs. Asche) for being an awesome part of this campaign this year! French Hero, iron man gamer, and great photographer!
Time to pass out the plunder! Many end-of-campaign-prizes were promised and many end-of-campaign-prizes will be awarded!
The winner of this prize was randomly selected from all players who played for the winning nation (England). Congratulations to Michael Verity for winning the grand prize of a Galleon model with an accompanying set of sails from Seamon’s Quality Sails (best on the market!).
This is a delightful turn of fate since Michael played primarily under the Spanish flag, and now this galleon will be used in the Spanish Armada to fight the English!
Michael wrote up some great battle reports, some of which he let us publish here and here on bloodandpigment.com.
Most Notorious Pirate
This prize was awarded to the player who amassed the most campaign points (games played+objectives accomplished+new players taught).
Congratulations to Jason Klotz for finishing the campaign with an incredible 242 points!
Not only did Jason play 122 games over these 14 weeks, be he supported the Oak & Iron side of the campaign with awesome prizes, fan made content, campaign publicity on Timber & Sail, technical support in the many spreadsheets behind this campaign, and tons of community involvement! You’ll be seeing Jason’s name come up again in this list of awards! Jason is a very notorious man.
With 222 campaign points, Chris Asche barely edged out Terry Abbot (221) for second place. David Nye game in 4th with 216 and Matthew Doerr placed 5th with 156.
This prize went to the player who logged the most Oak & Iron games.
With 64 Oak & Iron games logged, the Notorious Jason Klotz has won a Ships of the Line box set of 1st-3rd rate Frigates for Oak & Iron. Thanks again to Jason for all the Oak & Iron support during this campaign (he very faithfully reposted campaign updates in the Oak & Iron Facebook group when I forgot to do so nearly every week).
Make sure to check out Jason’s great website, Timber & Sail. Jason Klotz is a notorious man.
Part of what made this campaign so fun was seeing all the photos of peoples’ games across the world. This prize goes out to the player who submitted the most photos attached to the entries.
Congratulations to David Nye for winning with a total of 815 photos submitted as part of his 135 games during this campaign. David’s always had a great table, using many combinations of sea, town, shore, docks and swamps to keep the game play and photography interesting.
Other top photographers include Dexter Heide (528):
Chris Asche (371):
Matthew Doerr (313):
And the NOTORIOUS Jason Klotz (undisclosed number):
I found the photos to be one of the most rewarding parts of the campaign as the “campaign manager” and I hope you enjoyed them as well.
This consolation prize goes out to a random player in the losing Nation. The Native Americans came in last in this campaign and Twan van Tilborg was drawn to win a fully painted Firelock Games Stone Tower Fort. The irony here is Natives can’t use stone fortifications…But the Nativce entry was actually earned by playing the Scottish Militia and allying with the Natives so hopefully the Scots will enjoy the stone tower!
Congratulations to Twan who submitted some beautiful pictures over the course of the campaign.
This prize of three genuine 17th century historical fortune coins goes out to the player who played the most different nations and factions.
Congratulations to the most hardened and notorious mercenary of them all, Jason Klotz!
Jason logged games for all 6 nations plus some of the minor powers. Two other players achieved this feat as well, but Jason played a very impressive 20 different factions over the course of the campaign.
The other top players in this category were Gavin Klotz (also notorious) with all 6 nations and 18 factions represented, and Colleen Swader with all 6 nations and 16 factions represented.
Amazing work! I hope you enjoyed the variety!
One of the goals of this campaign was to increase awareness of these awesome games in the gaming community and encourage players to run demos and pull new players into the Firelock Pirate Community! To that end, teaching a new player was always worth an extra campaign point.
The award for the most new players taught over this campaign goes out to Matthew Doerr. He hosted several demo days at his FLGS and taught many new players both Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron.
Matthew gets big bonus points for even convincing his SO to play (more than one) game with him!
Our other top teaching champions are Chris Asche and Terry Abbott.
Thank you guys for helping spread the hobby!
Noob(s) of the Year
It’s great to see new players get into Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron and we want to support these new players! To that end, we decided to expand this prize and send out a full starter kit of a national box, a sloop, and pack of matching activation cards to a new player (defined by starting to play in the calendar year 2022) at the end of June, July and August.
This prize went out to Brian Baird,
And Paul Chouinard earlier in the campaign.
And at the campaign’s end we’re awarding these starter sets to both Dana McEachron,
and Jered Pelfrey.
New players accounted for at least 500 of the games logged during this campaign! Welcome to the community, Noobs! Looks like most of you are already pros after 500 games.
Hoist Your Colors
Painting is a big part of this hobby and this prize goes out to the player with the best looking painted army featured in photos submitted during the campaign.
Congratulations to Adam Johnston for his several stunning armies!
Check out this Native force:
And this French force:
And these Dutch models:
And these English models:
And even these Oak & Iron ships! Really great work from Adam Johnston!
Runners up include Fiona De Both:
and Paul Kingtiger (look at that rigging!!):
This prize of a custom painter mini painting a legendary commander’s portrait (does that even make sense?), goes out to the player who had the best painted commander featured in the photos.
Congratulations to Brent DeVos for a fantastic paint job on the legendary Pardal!
Runner ups include Adam Johnston,
Twan van Tilborg,
and Clayton McEachron.
Really great painting!
Land Worth Fighting For
Another huge part of this hobby is setting the scene for your games by creating a scenic and interesting board to play on. This prize of some stone wall terrain pieces (expertly crafted by Dexter Heide) goes out to Gregory Padilla.
With variety, creativity and massive scope, Gregory’s tables look like a ton of fun to game.
Gregory’s table is great it has two tables on it!
Game stores to a ton to support the hobby! This prize of a set of docks crafted by Dexter Heide, goes out to Matthew Doerr for logging 21 games at his local gaming store.
Having a place to play, a place to buy Firelock products right off the shelf, and place to demo games for new players are all really important parts of our hobby, so make sure to get out to your local game store to do some of your gaming! Help your store sell some product and let your store help you grab some new players!
Runner ups in this category include Robert Guyton “El Baron” (15):
Chris Asche (14):
And Jake Kolba (10):
Additional Oak & Iron Prizes from Timber & Sail
The prizes related to submissions for the gallery at TimberAndSail.com went unclaimed. However, things were reallocated and awarded to some worthy Oak & Iron players:
For being the top Oak & Iron recruiter and 2nd Place for the most Oak & Iron games played, Matthew Doerr wins the “Gentlemen of Fortune” boxed set from TimberAndSail.com.”
For supporting both of Firelock’s pirate games and helping run demos at NashCon2022, Garrett & Colleen Swader will be getting a set of 12 custom-painted, 3D printed wake tokens for the game.
NOTE: If you see your name here as a prize winner but have not received an email notifying you of your coming loot, please either contact us via the contact page, or mention it while filling out the Summer of Plunder Participant Survey. It may take a bit to get all prizes shipped off around the world. Thanks for your patience!
And finally, parting messages from your beloved commanders.
To all Subjects of the Spanish Crown,
It is with a heavy hand that I must tender our surrender to the English dogs. This war was well fought, and we deserved to win, but I cannot change the reality of what has happened. I want to thank those that have fought for Spain and everyone that played against the Spanish as well. You are all heroes of this war.
To the enemies of New Spain, well fought! I will drink a toast to your victory. Maybe another year, or another life, we can see Spain win and turn the tide of history, but that is a futile hope now in the wake of the English victory.
On a different note, I am happy that this community has grown so much, to the point that Spain got more points than games that were submitted last year. Thank you all for your submissions and pictures.
WE DID IT!!! We Staked are rightful claim as masters of the New World! This was a very hard fought war and took everything We had to come out on top! I want to take the time to thank all of you for your hard work, late nights, and recruiting of family members willing or unwilling to participate in our glorious victory!
I also want to thank all the other nation’s players! They gave it all to Etch their place in history! This campaign was successful because of all of you! The participation this year was absolutely amazing and I feel this is only the beginning. This event will grow larger and larger every year! Thanks so much Joseph Forster and all the other Organizers for putting together an absolutely fantastic event that will surely have given so many fond memories for all!!
I look forward to next year and I leave you with our English battle cry!!
For England, For Home and for the Prize! We got this!!
Big winners for the last two English Faction Prizes are Terry Abbott wins the Wigwam for playing the most games for England during the campaign and Best Painted English Army goes to David Dzwonek who will receive a Pair of spiked wall defenses. Congratulations to Both!
Commander Dexter Heide
Compagnons de France,
And so, another Summer of Plunder comes to a close.
Last year, France was fortunate enough to tie the Dutch for 2nd place, losing out only to the slovenly pirates. This year, we did not shine so brightly. C’est la guerre.
This year, our heroic efforts were led by the likes of Enseigne Hodges, Marquis Asche, Amiral Groves, and Signeur Derry, all men of quality, worthy of the accolades of all France. To that role of honor, we add yet another name in the twilight of this great endeavor – Vicomte King. In our last gambit, We endeavored to undermine English efforts and reinstate their rightful king, James II. Our glorious dead lay in the field of Aughrim and on the craggy slopes of Scotland, where the Vicomte rallied the clans for a gallant stand and noble end.
Tonight we toast and drink deeply, not to our defeat but to our victories – to the gallantry and camaraderie of all the French captains. À votre santé!
Thank you all for participating this year. Although we finished fourth, the French alone exceeded the total number of games recorded in 2021. This campaign could never have been such a (ahem) ‘Radiant’ success without players like all of you.
Au revoir – until we meet again
I want to thank you all for all the hard work (and play) that I know you put in during this campaign. We had 16 captains complete the National objective this year, which is a lot of reinforcements getting sent out all over the world to honorary (and real) Dutchmen everywhere. If you qualified for something, I have sent you an email.
I’d like to congratulate (the notorious) Jason Klotz on taking home the prize of a Dutch Commander painted by my own hand, thanks to him logging the most games for the Dutch cause this year (81). He was truly indispensable to our campaign.
Additionally, promo cards with stats for both myself and Jason Klotz as Dutch Commanders are being distributed to the winning commanders. If you were not one of the National Objective winners and would like a copy of the promo cards, feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to drop a set in the mail for you. If you think you qualified for a Dutch prize but did not receive an email, please reach out to me and I’ll see what’s going on.
I’m sure the English will be coming to us to save their newfound empire in a few years or so. Probably because their king is terrible and they want a new one. We’ll have the real power then.
Thank you for your service,
Governor Jan Van Meteren, Commander, Dutch Forces, North American Theater
Black Kettle clenched his teeth as his wife bound a fresh bandage around his arn. The injury itched terribly and he dreaded the thought that there were still splinters lodged deep in his flesh.
His destruction of his large dugout canoe had left him badly injured, and his time in recovery had brought nothing but ill tidings. For all the valiant efforts of The People, the European invaders had prosecuted their wars so aggressively and prolifically that they’d rendered the tribal nations to little more than a footnote in the larger tale of the conflict.
The chief looked up as one of his war captains approached, crouching down next to him. “Great Chief, the white men have called an end to their war!”
Black Kettle frowned and nodded, remaining silent. As the moments passed in uncomfortable silence, the warrior continued. “They say the British have emerged victorious. This is a good thing, yes?”
“Is it?” replied the chief, more sharply perhaps than he intended.
The veteran brave seemed confused, “It will mean more guns…”
“Will it?” Black Kettle raised his voice, his smoldering expression sending the warrior scrambling backwards. “The English have won their war, they no longer need our help against the French. I doubt they will be trading such masterful rifles and fine powder to us for much longer. No, we shall not share in the spoils of this English victory, of that you can be certain.”
He saw the fear in his warrior’s eyes as the man muttered, “What will we do…?”
The chieftain stood up despite the protestations of his wife, his pain forgotten as his fury overtook him. “We will do the only thing we can – we will fight! We will fight them until we can fight them no more. We will fight them so fiercely as to never be forgotten, for that may be all we, as a people, can hope for.”
He sat down, wincing in pain as his wife chided him. After a moment, he turned to the warrior, a fiendish smile spreading across his lips. “I want you to deliver a message to Canonchet…”
I want to thank everyone who participated as Natives. It was always an uphill battle, but reading about your efforts in your submissions made me proud. I was especially happy to hear about those of you who played Natives for the first time during this season’s campaign – I hope more than a few of you remain long term converts and we have an even stronger showing next year.
Lastly, I want to thank all of the Unaligned players who cast their lot with the Natives. Your support was not insubstantial and I hope to see you guys further incentivized to support the tribal nations in the seasons to come.
My wonderful pirate allies,
I managed to avoid the Spanish fleet that was giving chase. Luckily, the Spanish ships are slow and unwieldy, making them easy to outrun. I made a stop to New Providence, to assess the damage, and found our haven burned to the ground. Several stragglers were hanged and placed in gibbets, and our favorite Tavern, the Gulping Gull, is nothing more than a burnt ruin. A truly depressing sight…..
However, I am writing from Boston. Governor Heide has recalled me and a few allies with an offer. The Hapsburg King is not long for this world, and England suspects a war to be fought in her colonial waters, and she is needing skilled sailors and people of action to defend her shores. He even has Governor Jan Van Meteren as well, seeing as Holland and England are doing the impossible and forging an alliance. So, hopefully within a year or two’s time, we will be back out on the open seas with commissions in hand and loot in our pockets!
Your boisterous, formerly unemployed and now willingly appeased leader,
The Boyar of the Brethren
In all seriousness, thank you to every pirate player who participated in this campaign (exist those of you who turned coat for the Spanish, I hope your next voyage is riddled with scurvy and itchy crotch!)! As a thank-you token, I will be emailing each and every one of you for a mailing address so I can send you a promo commander card! I wish all of you happy sailing, and can’t wait to hopefully see y’all next year! SHoutout to Preston jacka, the winner of the painted pirate commander!
My final opponent of the Campaign, Joe Pelfrey and I scrapping it out!
We (sort of) did it! As the English have now taken our crown from us, this victory is also ours! That’s right, as the English king was the one who won this campaign and the English king who “rules” over us, that means we won! This last week was a great one, with a huge push for Scottish games, scoring 11 points!
Additionally, the Scottish flair objective got completed again! Michael Verity had a super cool looking table with a flag defense game, sheep, Scotsmen, and bearers; awesome (picture below)! This is a very cool table!
The native support objective was a three-way tie this week! That means Patrick Henson, Gavin Klotz, and Michael Verity will be receiving native blisters!
The winner of the most Scottish points by the end of the campaign was by far Joe Pelfrey! Congratulations, you will be receiving a custom painted Scottish commander miniature (paint/craft details to be worked out)! Thanks for wrapping up the campaign with a ship full of Scotsmen (seen below)!
Thanks to all who played as the Scottish this summer!
Also, we were unable to beat the Natives, but here is the finalized adjusted pie chart to see how the Scottish would have done if we were a separate nation (with points subtracted from other nations to account for this adjustment).
Farewell Until Next Year!
Thank you everyone for participating! The combined forces of Firelock Games, Tails of the Sale (that was on purpose), The Plunder Den, Timber & Sail and Blood & Pigment plan to host another community campaign next summer and we covet your feedback! If you have a spare moment, fill out this quick survey so we know how we can improve next year’s event.
Thank everyone who has dropped encouraging comments during the campaign! We appreciate it!
As Campaign Manager, I (Joseph) want to thank all our commanders, Dexter, Guy, Tyler, Glenn, Niguel, Dan and Liam for their work, prize support and smack talk, and the supporting characters, most notably the NOTORIOUS spreadsheet wizard, Jason Klotz and the wise advisor, Liam Taylor. And, of course, thanks to Mike Tunez and all the crew at Firelock Games creating great games and community and for helping out with the prize support!
The Summer of Plunder is over, but the pirate content won’t stop. All year round you can find podcast content from Tales of the Sail, painting and terrain building tutorials from The Plunder Den, quality Oak & Iron content from Timber & Sail, and Blood & Plunder articles and videos of all kinds on the Blood & Pigment Blog and YouTube channel.
And of course, be on the watch for the massive Raise the Black Kickstarter being delivered soon from Firelock Games! Next year’s Summer of Plunder could be a lot more piratey after this next black expansion gets in players’ hands!