By Joseph Forster
The long wait is almost over! The Raise the Black Kickstarter is finally nearing completion and it’s only now that the centerpiece of the Kickstarter, the massive Blackbeard vs. Maynard starter box, has been revealed in its full glory! A proof copy was recently featured in an unboxing video on Firelock’s YouTube channel and it is impressive. This starter box should really be a game changer for Blood & Plunder. Get ready for a big wave of new players! It’s going to be a great way to get into the game.
If you haven’t seen this yet, take a minute to watch Mike open up this massive box.
Blood & Plunder: Raise the Black 2 Player Starter Set Unboxing Video
Over the past year, we here at Blood & Pigment have been fortunate enough to get some proof sprues of all the miniatures in this box and we can finally share some pictures of the awesome stuff you’ll be getting in your starter set. Read on to see a painted Bermuda Sloop, a set of the sailors, and Blackbeard and Maynard painted up and ready for their showdown!
This plastic sloop kit is awesome. Coming on 4 sprues, this kit can be built up in 2 main ways with further options for customization.
I was able to build the kit fairly easily without instructions in just a couple of sessions. It was very intuitive.
There is one sprue for the hull, one for the decks, one for the masts and small bits, and one for the cannons and swivel guns.
The shape is similar to the original resin sloop, but it’s a good bit smaller.
Details are very crisp and the woodgrain is substantial enough to use a drybrush technique.
It takes paint really well, and being a smaller ship, it painted up very quickly.
I had to make my own sail templates which didn’t come out perfect, but it should be easy to rig up.
The plastic masts and rigging bits are a huge improvement over the wood. I was initially worried about pieces breaking but that hasn’t been an issue.
The two-player starter box will come with two of these sloop kits. The Raise the Black book has two variations on how to sail this, the Bermuda Sloop with the topsail and extra speed, and the Balandra, a more basic (and cheaper) lightly built sloop.
Blood & Plunder: Bermuda Sloop Statistics
You can find an article on the history and details of the Bermuda Sloop here.
This is a really important part of the Kickstarter. The multipart, customizable, injection mold hard plastic miniatures are an entirely new thing for Firelock Games.
The sailor sprue has 6 basic bodies that can be modified with a wide variety of heads, hats, arms, weapons, and accessories.
The 2-player starter box comes with 4 sailor sprues which lets you build 2 crews of 12 models each.
To give you an idea of the options available, each sprue has about 10 different hats, 15 different head options, and weapons options including pistols, muskets, blunderbusses, boarding pikes, and more than one style of sword.
With unique bodies, not every head/hat/arm combo is possible and I found it a bit difficult to assemble these without any instructions or labeled bits (being a pre-production copy from almost a year ago!), and that resulted in some of my poses looking a little stiff. But there will be a ton of variety in how you can put these together!
As you can see, the new plastics blend perfectly with the original metal sculpts. Size, ratios, and scaling all seem really consistent.
I’m not a huge fan of customizing and gluing multi-part minis together, but I can say these are great quality minis with excellent detail and well-fitting pieces.
Blackbeard and Maynard Miniatures
The starter set also comes with the Blackbeard and Maynard legendary commander models.
The legendary commander models aren’t customizable so they were very easy and precise to assemble. Blackbeard comes in a dynamic pose, complete with braided beard and his brace of pistols.
You can read a full preview of Blackbeard and how he will play in the game here.
I passed Pigment’s preview copy to Dan in Texas and he was very happy with the mini. Liam Taylor has been quoted saying this is the best 28mm mini he has ever worked with. High praise indeed!
Legendary Pirate Commander Blackbeard Stats for Blood & Plunder
I assembled and painted the Maynard mini. He went together super easy and he looks very “British” to me.
I can’t emphasize enough how good the detail is on these minis. I love my metals, but the detail on areas like the lock of the pistol is amazing compared to the metal miniatures.
And here is Maynard alongside a couple of the legendary pirates:
Maynard isn’t exactly “legendary” in the same way Morgan, Piet Heyn or Blackbeard are, but he has some pretty fun commander and faction rules that should make for some great games!
Legendary British Commander Robert Maynard Stats for Blood & Plunder
Enjoy this spoiler of Maynard’s stats from the Raise the Black book.
I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the pieces I’ve had the privilege of working with from this set. The ship is easy to build, easy to paint and affordable. The sailors give you lots of options, and the legendary commanders are dynamic and great centerpieces for your forces. The quality of parts and detail on the injection mold pieces is excellent and I’m confident Kickstarter backers will be pleased. It’s been a long wait but it will be worth it!
There are many more elements to the Blackbeard vs. Maynard 2-player starter set including a double-sided player mat, punched tokens, dice, cards, and a rulebook. Blood & Pigment has not had access to these parts of the starter set but you can see them all in the unboxing video linked above.
The product will be setting sail from China in the next week or two and it sounds like all Kickstarter pledges should be delivered by the end of the year. Can’t wait!
If you didn’t get in on the Kickstarter, or you want to supplement what you ordered in your pledge, Firelock is taking preorders now on their website! The Raise the Black Kickstarter includes much more beyond just this set! Check out the full line of injection mold minis, new books, cards, activation decks, individual sloops, and more on the Firelock site here.
Watch for more previews for Raise the Black on both the blog and our YouTube channel.