Tyler Carlson – Blood & Plunder Player Spotlight

This article is a continuation of our long-paused series of articles spotlighting Blood & Plunder players from around the world. Please enjoy this interview with Tyler Carlson (brother of Pigment member Dan Carlson).


Hi Tyler 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.”

Hi I’m Tyler Carlson, I love tabletop wargames but even more than that I love painting miniatures!

Models built using the new plastic Sailors kit from Raise the Black by Firelock Games

How long have you been playing Blood & Plunder and how did you get into the game?

I have been playing since a little after the first or second Kickstarter I believe, I saw pictures of the ships online and was captivated by them.

What factions do you like to play?

I predominantly play the Spanish faction, I like their play style of poor equipment but good training and their tendency towards close combat. I love the Lanceros as well.

Describe your local B&P community. How often do you get to play, how many local players do you have and where do you meet up?

Our group meets weekly every Thursday. I think we have about 8 people. We met up at Hero Quest Games, a shop owned by two of my friends and party members in my Pathfinder campaign.

Describe your Blood & Plunder collection.

I recently sold all of my metal minis, so I’m restarting with the new plastic kits, I’ve got about 36 sailors at the moment but much more on the way. In terms of ships, I’m working on a Spanish treasure fleet so far I have 2 galleons, 1 fluyt, 1 heavy bark, 1 Tartana, 1 bark, 2 balandras, and 3 long boats.

18th Century Sloop vs a Tartana

Tyler Carlson’s ‘s Favorite minis and ships from the game

What is your favorite ship and favorite unit?

My favorite ship would be the Galleon no contest. It’s size and majesty really speak to me. I like its squarish shape and it really captures everyone’s eyes when they see it. My favorite unit would have to be the Lanceros or Marinaros Lanceros. They are a smash in combat and rightly feared, their presence on the field is enough to spook my opponents into playing too defensively and I love taking advantage of that! I will say that Milicianos Negros are climbing my list quite rapidly.

Do you have a favorite character or Commander?

Laurens De Graff is the most interesting to me. He is definitely the living definition of “History is stranger than fiction”.

Do you have any favorite or “killer lists” that you want to share with us?

I have been experimenting with 200 point galleon lists lately and I find them alot of fun! Taking 8 swivel guns and 1 deck of medium or heavy guns and then taking the cheapest Marinaros I can get my hands on has worked successfully so far. It’s extremely fun and interesting to try different combinations to really squeeze out the most efficient and effective list I can!

What forces do you plan to explore first from Raise the Black?

I am currently rebuilding my Spanish force in all plastic. It will be a large core of Marinaros and Vizcainos supported by Milicianos Negros, Lanceros, and a special unit of Grenaderos that I can’t wait to showcase! I do have plans on building a force of Maroons. I’m really excited about that project. You can check out the first steps of putting that Maroon force together here on the Doubloon Lagoon.

What is your favorite way to play Blood and Plunder?

Land battles are where it’s at for me! I love the nuances of moving between cover and rushing my Lanceros across the map to charge their prey. Terrain and deployment become much more important and you get access to a bunch of special rules that really have no effect on ships.

Painting Blood & Plunder Miniatures

Your miniatures look really good and your pictures are awesome! Can you share some about your painting and photography methods?

For all of my Blood & Plunder miniatures I employ a hybrid slap chop method. Zenithal priming is important to start, I then follow up by using contrast paints for the clothes and equipment. I then shade the whole model with nuln oil to darken and weather the colors and also tie them all together a bit. Another benefit of shading over contrast paints is you add a protective layer to it preventing the contrast layer from chipping! I then will use normal base paints and shades for the flesh and I always try to paint the eyes. Eyes may be difficult but practice makes perfect. I could go on and on about painting!

A fearsome bunch of Sailor models

It looks like you’ve jumped into the new plastics with both feet! How are you liking the plastic models from the Raise the Black Kickstarter so far?

The plastic models are a dream come true for me! I am a huge Warhammer 40k fan and I love to kitbash, so having plastic kits that I can customize myself is awesome. I only have the sailor kit right now but I am looking forward to swapping bits between the other unit boxes to see what cool combinations I can create. 

What is your favorite model or sprue you’ve worked with so far?

The new 18th century sloop would have to be my favorite of the new kits so far, it was so ingeniously designed and all the detail on it is breathtaking. It was a little difficult to go back to painting my other ships after painting my Belandra because it was such a treat. I am excited to see what other ships Firelock Games could release in plastic.

A custom Maroon model kitbash using the Natives boxed set

Kitbashing Blood & Plunder Miniatures

Modified custom Spanish Commander from the Box of Plunder fully painted by Tyler Carson
Modified custom Spanish Commander from the Box of Plunder fully painted by Tyler Carson

It looks like you enjoy “kitbashing”  minis. Do you have a favorite model you’ve created from the multipart plastics?

The custom 18th century commander I built is really nice but Hooked Hands Hank has to take the cake so far. I do have a unit of Grenaderos I’m working that are going to steal the spot when I finish with them though.

What’s currently on your painting desk or workbench?

Currently, I am rushing to paint all of my Marinaros before my pre-orders arrive. I am making sure to give each unit a different spot color so I can identify the units easily while keeping the whole force cohesive with an emerald green color.

A bit about Tyler Carlson’s blog – The Doubloon Lagoon

I’ve seen your new Doubloon Lagoon blog! It’s great to see a new Plunder content creator startup! What inspired you to start a blog?

I think all the projects and paint jobs I have done and future ones I have planned inspired me. My B&P posts on my Instagram do not perform very well so I wanted to give them their own spot where I can show them directly to the community. I am also looking to become more involved in the community at large and I saw this as a great opportunity to be able to put my thoughts and creativity out there!

Tyler’s Thoughts on Blood & Plunder

What is your favorite thing about Blood & Plunder?

I really enjoy the game itself. Every game I have played really comes down to the wire, which makes it so exhilarating to play! It’s comes off as a simple game to play but there are so many tactical nuances that you spend hours list-building and reading to find cool new tactics and combos.

The ships are amazing as well, their size and detail really set them apart on my display shelves.

What would you like to see added to Blood & Plunder in the future?

I have been reading a lot about Sir Francis Drake lately so an earlier-era expansion would be really cool to see. I am always down for more ships particularly something in size between a sloop and brig, or another massive ship like the fluyt or galleon. The cheeky little April Fool’s and Halloween units they come out with are always fun.

A galleon prepares its longboat launch

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

Just a thank you for the opportunity to share my passion for swashbuckling and painting! I look forward to reading more faction articles and updated ship guides from y’all!

Thank you for sharing with the Blood & Plunder community! 

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