Are You Ready for Summer of Plunder 2023?

The third annual Summer of Plunder campaign is just around the corner for the Firelock Games pirate gaming community! In this article we will outline what the event is, what is new this year, how to participate, the general timeline of the campaign, and give a preview of some of the objectives and prizes this year.

What is the Summer of Plunder Event?

The Summer of Plunder is a global organized play campaign event for Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron players. Participation is free and open to all players.

Each week over the summer, as you play games at home, at game stores or at conventions. You log your games here at Blood & Pigment over the Summer. Win or lose, each game played earns points for yourself and a chosen nation you want to support.

Spanish attacking english from sea. Blood and plunder
Image from Fiona de Both

Additionally each week will feature a new optional objective allowing you to earn additional bonus points.

As you earn campaign points for yourself and join players from around the world earning points for the Nation(s) you’re playing as, these points will affect a secondary campaign level game. There campaign level event creates a national rivalry between Pirates, Spanish, English, French, Dutch, and Native Americans. Each of the nations are all competing to take control of various locations on a campaign map set in the 18th century New World. Your participation will help your nation seize final glory at the end of the campaign.

Summer of Plunder 2021 badge image - coins, dice and cards

Each nation has a community member serving as “Commander” who will play a pivotal role this year in each nation’s success or failure in dominating the Caribbean and Atlantic Coast of North America.

What is New This Year?

Last year was a ton of fun but we have some new fun plans for this year! We are adding a map element to this year’s campaign.

As players play and log games and earn points for their nations, their efforts will be reflected on a dynamic map of the New World. Using Google Maps with a historical overlay, the campaign will begin with a pre-populated Caribbean with each nation controlling various locations. As the campaign progresses, players will seize settlements, forts and strongholds from each other, earning points for expanding and maintaining an empire!

Summer of Plunder 2023 Campaign Map

Earned points will contribute to a national pool, from which Commanders make pivotal decisions each week. In addition to submitting games, players can secretly vote for locations to attack or defend. The voting and commander decisions will help shape the campaign’s direction by allocating resources for defense, attacks, and raids on enemy locations.

To represent the fog of war, all commanders make their decisions secretly every week. The results are then compiled and will be reflected in the publicly accessible map.

Player voting and the Commander’s choices will have a huge impact on how well their nation performs for the final glory at the end of the campaign.

How To Participate in the Summer of Plunder

It’s easy! Just play some games of Blood & Plunder, or Oak & Iron by Firelock Games, then log those games here at Blood & Pigment. Logging an entry requires you to enter some basic information and include one or more photos for verification.

You can play anywhere in the world: at your game store, on your coffee table, in the public square in St. Augustine, or on your galleon sailing across the Atlantic.

Hopefully, your opponent will be participating in the campaign as well, but it isn’t necessary.

You can even play solo and log your games if you don’t have friends who play locally (Official solitaire rules can be found here for free on the Firelock Games website).

When you play, take some pictures of your game to share with the game community and fill out the easy campaign entry form here on and your efforts will change the course of the campaign!

participant image from 2022
Image from Paul Pickles

Entry Requirements

The entry form will ask for your name, email, the nation and faction you played during the game, and some images of your game. You can optionally fill out some more fields to provide us with more data about force building or cool anecdotes from your game, etc.

Summer of Plunder Campaign  Entry form
The entry form will look something like last year’s, with possibly some more optional data fields.

You can play as many or as few games as you like or can manage. But each game counts and can make you eligible for some of our great prize support!

Summer of Plunder PLUNDER

There is always a ton of fun prizes handed out over the course of this event! Firelock Games, community members and content creators pitch in and donate an incredible amount of prize support.

Prizes are awarded for all sorts of things, ranging from random entries to best photos, to most total points, to most new players taught. Each national commander has a stock of prizes to award as they see fit to their players during the campaign as well. There will be PLUNDER!

Summer of Plunder prizes
A few of the sweet prizes given away in the Summer of Plunder.

Last year we gave away prizes in excess of $2,000. Check our next Summer of Plunder for a list of prizes and categories to compete in.

Timeline of Events

This year’s Summer of Plunder starts on June 4th and will end on August 21st.

The campaign is divided into Sunday-Saturday weeks. Each week will feature a new optional objective and updated national standings and map status.

You can expect and full length campaign updates every week including great pictures from around the community, updates on objectives, prizes awarded, and community member spotlights. Campaign updates and news will be published in blog post format here on Blood & Pigment mid week.

2022 game iImage from Gregory Padilla
2022 game iImage from Gregory Padilla

Once the campaign concludes on August 21st, a final comprehensive update will declare the overall winning nation, commander, and distribute numerous prizes to players worldwide.

“Summer of Plunder Sale” at Firelock Games

A dispatch ship has just delivered an important piece of news! There will be a Summer of Plunder Sale on the Firelock Games website so you can expand your collection and fill out the forces you intend to play this year! The Summer of Plunder Sale will begin Friday, May 26th.

Firelock miniature gaming booth
Starting May 26th, Firelock Games is having a sale, so sail over!

Summer of Plunder Sponsors

This event is a major organizational undertaking for a small outfit like us here at Blood & Pigment and it wouldn’t happen without support from various other individuals, content creators and businesses.

This year’s list of sponsors inclues:

  • Firelock Games
  • Timber & Sail Blog
  • Tales of the Sail Podcast
  • The Plunder Den YouTube Channel
  • The Dead Man’s Chest Blog
  • Things from the Basement
  • The Doubloon Lagoon Blog

And of course, us here at Blood & Pigment!

Meet Your National Commanders

Let me introduce you to your glorious leaders this year! We have an entirely new panel of commanders, all supported by veteran “Second Mates” who served as commanders in last year’s campaign.

Adepticon 2023 crew
Not an intentional commander picture, but several of them are in this photo from Adepticona

Commanders and their seconds will work together to make good tactical decisions in the commander mini-game and make sure there is a national update blurb in each weekly campaign update.

  • Pirate Commander – Gregory Padilla, AKA Don Gregorio “Redmist” de Padilla
    • Second Mate – “Iron Dan” Carlson
  • Spanish Commander – Garrett Swader aka Gerardo de Guale
    • Second Mate – Guy Rheuark
  • English Commander – Jayden King aka Thomas Drummond
    • Second Mate – Dexter Heide
  • French Commander – Andy Hodges aka Capitaine Albatros
    • Second Mate – Tyler Stone
  • Dutch Commander – Maarten de Kruif aka Maarten Kielhaler de Kruyf
    • Second Mate – Glenn van Meter
  • Native Commander – David Boern aka Chief Rolls Many Tens
    • Second Mate – Liam Smith

Jason Klotz and Joseph Forster will be managing the campaign, crunching the numbers, compiling the updates, answering a bajillion emails, and trying to keep things running for everyone! If you have questions, you can use the contact page here at Blood & Pigment, or contact us via Facebook.

Sample Commander card

Summer of Plunder Scoring

Scoring has been tweaked from last year’s system. Points you earn will be applied to you personally AND to the nation played for that game (you can play for any and all nations or factions you want over the course of the campaign).

Points will be earned as follows:

  • 1 point per game of Blood & Plunder or Oak & Iron submitted
  • 1 point if the game fulfills the weekly objective
  • 1 bonus point if the game occurred at a local game store, convention or public venue
  • 2 bonus points for recruiting a player that has NEVER played Blood & Plunder or Oak & Iron before

Summer of Plunder Weekly Game Objectives

Here are the various game objectives for the Summer of Plunder event (subject to change). You can start planning your forces and terrain now!

  1. Week 1:  June 4 – June 10 “Scouting Party!”
    • Blood & Plunder:  Play a 50 point game.
    • Oak & Iron:  Play a 50 point Game
  2. Week 2:  June 11 – June 17 “Dangerous Territory”
    • Blood & Plunder:  Use either 2 or more shoals, or Fortifications in a game.
    • Oak & Iron:  Use the large island in addition to 2 or more normal terrain pieces in a game.
  3. Week 3:  June 18 – June 24 “Keep Your Eyes Peeled!”
    • Blood & Plunder: Play a scenario at Night or using the Caught Unawares scenario rule.
    • Oak & Iron:  Play a scenario that uses 100% of the fog tokens from the Core Box.
  4. Week 4:  June 25 – July 1 “Bark Wars!”
    • Blood & Plunder:   Include a Bark in your Force (or a 4/4 ship)
    • Oak & Iron: Play a game with no Ships of the Line
  5. Week 5:  July 2 – July 8 “Doldrums”
    • Blood & Plunder:   Play a sea game where the wind starts at -2”.
    • Oak & Iron:  For the entire game, all ships have a -1 to their current Sailing Speed.
  6. Week 6:  July 9 – July 15 “Raise the Black!”
    • Blood & Plunder: Play a scenario from the Raise the Black expansion
    • Oak & Iron:  Play a custom scenario from Timber & Sail 
  7. Week 7:  July 16 – July 22 “Fire & Smoke!”
    • Blood & Plunder: Use Fire or Smoke in your game.
    • Oak & Iron:  Use a Fireship
  8. Week 8:  July 23 – July 29 “Native Alliance”
    • Blood & Plunder: Include at least 1 Native American unit in your Force
    • Oak & Iron:  Use the Pirates Multinational faction ability or play with the fan-created Natives faction on (free printable cards and ship tokens available).
  9. Week 9:  July 30 – August 5 “Men of Legend”
    • Blood & Plunder: Include a Legendary Commander in your Force
    • Oak & Iron:  Include a Level 3 historical Admiral in your fleet.

Why Run the Summer of Plunder?

For community enjoyment and growth! It’s fun to play pirate games! This is the third year now and each time has been a really great time for the community to share experiences, pictures of the gaming tables, and some friendly rivalry while doing it.

There are more details to come but we hope to see you jump in, play some games and participate in the 2023 Summer of Plunder Global Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron campaign this year. Don’t hesitate to ask questions here on the blog, through our contact page, or on Facebook/Discord.

The Lethbridge Pirates gaming group
One of our favorite photos from a gaming group in 2022!

Summer of Plunder Painting Contest

The pre-campaign painting contest is wrapping up now with public voting currently open so make sure to check out what people have been working on this Spring. You can vote every day for you favorite Blood & Plunder unit, commander, force, character, ship, Oak and Iron Ship, and even terrain piece. Visit the People’s Choice voting page here.

Great Pirate Paint Off Contest Voting Announcement

Contest voting will conclude on the day the Summer of Plunder event begins, Sunday June 4th.


Watch for more info coming soon. If you have questions, feel free to ask them here, on Facebook, or in the Firelock Discord channel.

The Summer of Plunder should be a great time for Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron players again this year. Prepare your forces, rig up that ship, talk to your game store owner, and brush up on your rules. Get ready for a SUMMER OF PLUNDER!

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