We’ve completed two weeks of the 2023 Summer of Plunder Campaign. The plundering continues apace!
If you’re just joining us in this campaign, or returning after participating in previous years, we have added some new elements this year, foremost being the campaign map that tracks the power, progress, and strategic skill of each nation and its commander. You can check all the basic info and rules for the campaign here and all the higher level map info and rules for the campaign rules here.
In this weekly update, we’re going to go over some participation stats, check the change in status on the campaign map, show off some pretty pictures of some players’ games, give away a prize or two, and check in with our national commanders who will be fearlessly leading their players through this campaign.
- Nation Report
- National Battle Report
- Attack 1 – French Assault Antigua
- Attack 2 – Pirates Assault Spanish Cartagena
- Attack 3 – French Assault Pirate Cayman’s
- Attack 4 – French Assault Spanish Charleston
- Attack 5 – Spanish Assault English Jamaica
- Attack 6 – Pirates Assault Panama
- Attack 7 – Spanish Assault Rhode Island
- Attack 8 – Dutch and French Assault Neutral Puerto Rico
- Attack 9 – Dutch Attack Neutral Santo Domingo
- Attack 10 – English and French Attack Spanish St. Augustine
- Summary of Changes:
- Raid Report
- Victory Point Standings
- Faction Report
- Individual Report
- Oak & Iron Update
- Week 2 Objective Report – Dangerous Territory
- Week 3 Objective – Keep Your Eyes Peeled!
- Weekly Campaign Prizes
- Commander Reports
- Additional Recommended Reading
Who’s winning? Spain continues to do well! With 346 player-generated points, they have accrued nearly double that of their closest rivals. That said, Spain’s slice of the pie decreased a little bit this week as the Pirates made some solid gains. The Dutch slipped a tiny bit and the French, English and Natives held on to the same percentages as last week.
National Battle Report
But these are only the player-generated points! Points are also earned by locations held and captured on the campaign map! Let’s check in and see what happened there and recalculate current standings.
This section outlines the changes on the campaign map and is a narrative of the battles that happen at a larger scale.
Attack 1 – French Assault Antigua
A small expeditionary force broaches the forests near Antigua. Through sheer luck, the elite scouting party of French boucaniers is spotted by English sentries. The French scouts are soon overwhelmed by an organized defense and begin leap-frogging backward in a strategic retreat. A small contingent of brave men sacrifices themselves to provide covering fire as the rest board their Piraguas and flee into the night.
Attack 2 – Pirates Assault Spanish Cartagena
In response to local fishermen reporting increased sightings of Pirate vessels in the region outside of Cartegena. Reinforcements were dispatched from Havana. Patroling the region, the Spanish vessels arrive just in time to repel a Pirate incursion. (Spanish win 69, Pirates 51)
Attack 3 – French Assault Pirate Cayman’s
French naval forces engage members of the Flying Gang in the Cayman’s. In the initial phases of the conflict, the French begin to win the day. But a lucky shot from a Pirate Balandra strikes the powder magazine of the French flagship quickly turning the tables. (Pirates 48 vs French 36)
Attack 4 – French Assault Spanish Charleston
French Flibustiers depart for Charleston, SC. Expecting the region to be largely undefended, they are surprised to find Spanish forces have already constructed a number of gun emplacements near the settlement’s southern coast. Evidence of the foundations for a small stone tower are also spotted. Fighting ensures, but the bold French are unable to overcome the already dug-in Spanish (Spain 40 vs French 37)
Attack 5 – Spanish Assault English Jamaica
The warm winds of Jamaica billow against the sails of a Spanish flotilla. Beneath the sails, soldiers line the decks preparing their weapons, chatting nervously in anticipation of the coming conflict. As the harbor comes into sight, gun crews make their final preparations. Moments later the coastal region roars to life with sounds of cannon fire from prepared defenses. The Spanish ships continue to answer as they press dangerously closer. Both sides sustain moderate damage. The other portion of the Spanish fleet that peeled off early that day, sails west unloading troops to begin the assault on land. Though the English are well organized and have called up a number of militia reserves, they are unable to hold the line against the overwhelming waves of Spanish soldados. Casualties on both sides are high. But soon the jagged red and white flag of the Spaniards flies in victory over the smoldering wreckage of the town below. (Spain 90. England 82)
Attack 6 – Pirates Assault Panama
“Raiders of the black flag storm the beaches of Panama trying to recreate the former glory of Capt Morgan. Unfortunately, their ambitions fell woefully short when faced with reality. The intelligence of poorly armed, starving Spaniards were apparently false. The well-armed and resupplied Spanish repelled the attackers and sent the Pirates packing. (Spanish 69 vs Pirates 51)
Attack 7 – Spanish Assault Rhode Island
After 12 full days of a shoreline chase, Spanish men of war finally track down and catch the Pirate raiders hundreds of miles from where they started. The inlets of Rhode Island are blockaded and troops are dispatched. The Pirates scatter and are routed, fleeing in all directions. Spain has established a foothold in the north, capturing Rhode Island. (Spain 85, Pirates 51)
Attack 8 – Dutch and French Assault Neutral Puerto Rico
The Dutch and French both launch assaults on Puerto Rico. Fighting spreads from the coastal settlements to a number of guerilla skirmishes in the jungles. After days of cat and mouse, the French prove victorious. (French 40 vs Dutch 31)
Attack 9 – Dutch Attack Neutral Santo Domingo
Unchallenged, the Dutch capture Santo Domingo (Dutch 25)
Attack 10 – English and French Attack Spanish St. Augustine
Their navy spread thin and engaged elsewhere in the Caribbean, the Spanish rely on their fortifications to keep the town of St Augustine safe. The local commander laughs at the paltry force of French that attempt to assault the region. The failed surprise attack fails as the Frenchmen are quickly dashed upon the walls of the fort and forced to retreat. Drinking and celebrating their victory long into the night, the Spaniards awaken the next morning to renewed musket fire. Ready to oust the French again, they are startled by the sight of near half a battlion of English Regulars pouring through their southern gates. Gun crews strain to realign their guns from the shore to the inland angles. Their efforts are in vain as the drunken guards failed to properly secure the gatehouse and the drawbridge had already been breached. (Spain 42 v. French 28 v English 48)
Summary of Changes:
- Spanish take Jamaica from English
- Spanish take Rhode Island from Pirates
- French take Neutral Puerto Rico
- Dutch take Neutral Santo Domingo
- English take Spanish St. Augustine
Spain beat off several attacks and took 2 ports, but it cost a lot of points! Read on to see where the nations rank with total victory points after all this conflict.
Each commander has the option of launching a “Raid” against another nation. The result is randomly determined with a simple die roll and can flip a few points.
- Dutch – Raid Spain, result 5
The raid was a draw.
- English – Raid Spain, result 2
The raid failed. The supplies and ammo expended were costly. The Attackers suffer – 3 VP. No Effect on Defender.
- French – Raid Spain, result 6
The raid was mildly successful. Transfer 5 VP from Target to Attacker.
- Natives – Raid Pirates, result 5
The raid was a draw.
- Pirates – Raid Spain, result 6
The raid was mildly successful. Transfer 5 VP from Target to Attacker.
- Spanish – no raid
Victory Point Standings
Even with Spain doing well defending and attacking, it costs resources, just as it should. In spite of doing well in both the player generated points and the conflict in the Caribbean, Spain did not maintain it’s decisive lead. With all points from players and locations added, and points deducted for attacks, defenses and raids, here are the current standings for victory points:
- Pirates – 186
- Spanish – 263
- English – 210
- French – 158
- Dutch – 277
- Natives – 233
The Dutch are actually winning the campaign at the moment! Each nation’s commander has to carefully manage these points, risking them in attack and defense, outguessing and out-negotiating the other commanders, and inspiring their players to heroic efforts to come out on top at the end of the campaign.
There are a lot of factions to enjoy in Blood & Plunder. Here the most played factions so far.
- Spanish Militia 25 games
- Golden Age Pirates 22 Games
- The Flying Gang 22 games
- French Buccaneers 18 games
- Dutch Caribbean Militia 17 games
There’s a $100 gift card prize for the player who earns the most points over the course of the whole campaign. Right now, after week 2, Tyler Carlson has the most points after 29 games that earned him 75 points. Matthew Doerr is in second place with 58 points.
Oak & Iron Update
The Dutch continue to dominate the Oak & Iron scene, mostly due to a couple dedicated players.
Week 2 Objective Report – Dangerous Territory
150 of the 183 entries this week fulfilled the weekly objective of using Fortifications or 2+ shoals in their Blood & Plunder games, or using the large island piece of terrain in the Oak & Iron Games. We saw a lot of variations on stone tower forts, some gun emplacements, and lots of breastworks fortifications in this week’s pictures. Please enjoy this gallery of photos from the week that include fortifications.
Most of the Oak & Iron games featured that big old island.
Week 3 Objective – Keep Your Eyes Peeled!
The objective for week 3 is all about limited visibility. For your Blood & Plunder games you need to either use the Night Limited Visibility rules, or use the Caught Unaware scenario rule. Night limits basic visibility to 12”, with structures visible at 24”. Torches, and lit matchlocks can make things a little more interesting as well, but overall, it encourages players to get up close rather than sit back a snipe at each other.
The Caught Unawares rules can add a fun twist to the beginning of a scenario and are always entertaining (but are only really useful in land games).
For Oak & Iron, fog really changes the game as it increases range by 1 when firing through it. Adding all the fog tokens to the board will give you plenty of opportunity to move in and out or range while leveraging it to your advantage.
Weekly Campaign Prizes
Each week we have two regular prizes to give away. First, one of all the entries of the week will receive a custom made chest objective token from Tyler Stone, one of our campaign sponsors from Dead Man’s Chest blog. Secondly, each week one of the photos submitted during the week will be selected to receive an awesome reproduction piece of eight from St. Augustine Mint. This prize can only be won once during the campaign for each player.
Weekly Random Drawing
This week’s winner for the random drawing is Jeff Woodman. Check out that table and fort!
Weekly Photo Prize Winner
With 183 entries this week, we had over 1000 photos to sort through! It’s really awesome to see all these game tables, miniatures and people enjoying some pirate wargaming!
This week’s winner is Dexter Heide, and it’s a good thing that a player can’t win more than once, because Dexter would probably win week after week! Look at those beautiful ships and all that scratch built terrain!
Now, here are the important messages from your beloved commanders.
¡Saludos desde la Habana!
Another very successful week in suppressing piracy. We have added previously lost territory and have taken some hits. My defense fleets were effective at repelling the rabble in most places, but I have received the refugee ships from La Florida today and am saddened by this loss.
We have however captured the English base on Jamaica and the pirate base near Road Island. Our fleets also captured Charleston! A great prize for what little force we sent.
The challenge continues for the most games including a fortification or 3 deck ship. This prize is based on number of games. That prize will be announced in the next update. Also I will be judging your pictures for the build/painting prize also announced in the next update. If you are entering a game into this challenge please check the box on the entry form! This just helps me sort through entries.
Finally the trivia answer for last week’s question was Queen Anne’s war. I have contacted the winners so look for my messengers. Trivia Question for this week is: Who was the governor of St Augustine/La Florida during the 1702 siege of St Augustine? If you have already entered a trivia answer for a previous question my second in command is offering a 20% off coupon for Seamon’s Quality Sails through Blood and Pigment for repeat winners. Keep fighting and don’t let the enemy get a day of rest!
-Gerardo de Guale
Current Spanish Objectives
- Most games including a fortification or 3 or more deck ship. Please check the national objective box in the entry form. Prize is a soldier sprue.
- Best painted/built fortification or 3 or more deck ship. Again please check the national objective box in the entry form. Prize is a replica 17th century pouch for dice and fortune coins.
- Trivia Question: Who was the governor of St Augustine/La Florida during the 1702 siege of St Augustine? Put the answer in the comments of your submission.
Spanish Florida Captured
Foul Enemys Routed
Heroic Desparate Defense
The most sadistick Spaniard hath, in the ongoing conflick been bested by those efforts of their Majestys officers, soldiers, and seamen. Despite the most tragick loss of ye isle of Jamaica, the Papist invador lost more than its taking could ever be worth and, in so doing, left themselve open to the effortless conquest of the Spanish prized colony of Florida.
Bold, noble Englishmen have made the greatest of strides and continue to. For the service provided the crown thus far, their majestys and parliament hath seen fitt to approve the muster of four new regiments of foot. Companys of their Majestys new regiments shall be deployed to the west indies with all haste to contribute to the conflick.
Current English Objective:
Complete the “Keep your eyes peeled” global challenge to be entered to win this week’s prize, a plastic Soldier Sprue and plastic Lt. Maynard, still on sprue. Every entry will count as one “ticket” in the raffle.
Additionally, any player who emails in a picture of their painted Regulars or Musketeers will be sent a copy of this year’s English commander cards. (email@example.com Subject: Soldier)
Finally, Congratulations to Evan Botkin for winning last week’s prize! An email has already been sent out but if for some reason it doesn’t reach you, please contact us.
Me fellow countrymen we are standing on a razor’s edge between victory and defeat. We must take decisive action but not leave ourselves vulnerable. France requires conservative captains who will strike blows against our enemies but only when the timing is right.Secure victories without giving an inch of ground to our enemies. Remember that there are rewards at the conclusion of this campaign for the captain who brings the most new sailors to our cause. Continue to recruit new captains who will also log victories for France!
I can see our victory on the horizon, we must now have the clear vision to sail to it!
Current French Objectives
- This week’s objective is The Better Part of Valor: Do not be boarded by an enemy captain. My favorite battle report submitted that details a game where none of your ships were boarded will win a prize package of a terrain objective piece, and commander card.
- Every French game and completed objective will be entered into a drawing for a painted bark during the last week of the campaign.
- Most French new players recruited will win a painted french commander.
After another week of intense battles we find ourselves on the top spot in the Commander race. It makes us, your commanders, really proud. Due to careful planning the attacks and defenses our victory points have grown to get us in the top spot. It feels good to be there!
On the Campaign: every played game helps to add extra victory points to attack territories. So please put in your best to play as many games as possible.
Next week will be about attacking at nightfall or using the Caught Unaware condition. Use your Boslopers, use David Nassy, teach new players, play at your local game store, do everything you can to rake in the points and to keep us in the winning.
The nicest picture this week will gain a special commander card.
Maarten “Kielhaler” de Kruyf
Current Dutch Objectives
- Most Dutch points at end of campaign- Painted Dutch commander
- Best Dutch Photo This Week – Commander Card
After our very narrow failure to capture New York, the tribes have been busy in secret discussion this week planning our next attack. By keeping a low profile and taking advantage of the other European nations being fixated on the Spanish we were not targeted by any attacks this week and have been able to build our strength.
Current Native American Objectives
- This week is about sneak attacks. Submit a picture of your Natives defeating an enemy unit in melee, all eligible pictures will be entered into a drawing for a blister pack and Commander Card.
Captains, we’ve doubled our efforts with our points and game play…outstanding! As Pirate Commander, I’m very pleased with our results. We even managed a raid by Pirate Captain Ray Weiandt, as he was our top point maker…aaaargh! Continue the pressure, as we chip away at the Spanish lead. Fear not lad, we’re moving up and not backwards.
I saw many Pirate captains raise the black in their games this past week…to include my Joli Rouge when I challenged my wife to a few games; she had her Captain Jack Sparrow flag. Week two leader board was impressive again with few of us playing out multiple games. What’s even more impressive is all the single games played this past week compared to week one…keep ‘em up and logged in.
A few notes from our sponsors (Blood & Pigment); please ensure you load the same personal data (name & email address) each time you log in your games. This helps with easy point count and credit for your games! Spreading the word from the brotherhood took forty-nine games to your local gaming stores…awesome!
This week’s campaign objective is a great opportunity to show off your night time stuff! Or, you can play out the scenario, “Caught Unawares”. If you’re rocking the Oak & Iron; use the large island (in addition to normal terrain). If you don’t have the Oak & Iron game system; alert alert – there is a BIG sale happening now at Firelock Games. I bought my core set at the beginning of last year’s Summer of Plunder Campaign.
The Pirate faction had established a base of operation via Facebook headed up by my Second in Command, Dan aka Sir Admiral Pirate Bastard. Attacks and Defenses will be communicated there along with other insider information.
Finally, get your games in, raise the Black and most of all…have fun!
Current Pirate Objectives
- This week’s Pirate Objective: Let me see ya Pirate War-Face! Get a picture of yourself in your game getting your Pirate War-Face on,,,wearing your Pirate garb is encouraged. The best arrrgh looking picture will get much needed reinforcements (a plastic sprue from the Sailors Box) in their efforts to control our area of operations.
- A Special Pirate Objective which started Week 1: a Special Commanders Card from me, Don Gregorio “Redmist” de Padilla, will be awarded to those Pirate captains which play at least one game a week during the whole campaign.
The campaign is just getting started! The action on the campaign map was much more dramatic and the diplomacy and double crossing is starting to ramp up. Spain has done well so far, but in doing so, they’ve become a target. Can they continue to generate enough points to maintain their quickly growing empire? The Dutch have been generating a good number of player points and conservative attacks have actually put them in the lead so far. The Natives, in spite of not generating high player points have been able to hold on to the majority of their land, keeping their total points on par with the rest of the nations.
We hope you’re enjoying the campaign so far! We’re impressed & thrilled with the significant uptick in participation so far this year! We’re running close to double last year’s numbers and we hope that continues! Thanks everyone for participating!
We published a FAQ article that might be helpful to peruse. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions that may arise!