Week 5 Update – 2023 Summer of Plunder

Intro

We’re already halfway through the Summer of Plunder! Prize distribution is ramping up. Got to get everything given away!

With a holiday in the States this week we had a slow first half of the week, then plenty of entries late in the week, totaling 147 games.

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 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.

Photo by Brendan D

Nation Report

Who’s winning? Spain continues to do very well in this year’s campaign. They are very close to having more points than the second and third place nations combined. But this was a good week for the pirates as well.

Photo by David Nye

Player Generated Points

These were the gains for the week:

  • Spain 145
  • English 28
  • French 42
  • Dutch 62
  • Native Americans 5
  • Pirates 66

Spain has some devoted players and they have lots of players.

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Let’s see how the commanders have managed those points in the map of the Caribbean.

Total Victory Points

Spain is still on top here as well, but by a smaller margin. The Native got hit hard this week and the Pirates made some gains while other ratios stayed fairly constant. Read on to see details of invasions and raids this past week.

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National Battle Report

This section outlines the changes on the campaign map and is a narrative of the battles that happen at a larger scale.

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Attack 1 Martinique – French vs Spain

 In Martinique, Spanish forces launched an assault, overwhelming the defenses of the French. The Spanish troops pushed forward with superior numbers, overpowering their opponents. As the battle raged on, Spain emerged triumphant, securing control over the region.        (French 36 vs Spain 67)        

Attack 2 Onondaga – English vs Natives

In the heartland of Onondaga, a decisive battle between the Native warriors and English forces unfolded. The Natives fought valiantly, with fierce determination. However, the English displayed superior weaponry and resolve, gradually gaining the upper hand. Despite the Natives’ resilience, the English eventually prevailed, securing victory and establishing their dominance over the region.        (Natives 63 vs English 78)

Photo by Bartosz Nowicki

Attack 3 Petit Goave – French vs Spain

In Petit Goave, the Spanish outnumbered the French two to one. Pressing their sheer numbers allowed the Spanish to secure a decisive victory, solidifying their dominance in the region.        (French 36 to Spanish 67)

Photo by Garrett Swader

Attack 4 Quilombo dos Palmares – Natives vs Dutch

A pivotal clash in the south ensued between the indigenous warriors and the Dutch troops. Despite the courageous stand of the Natives, the Dutch formidable firepower of the Kapers won the day.  The Dutch emerged as the victors, firmly establishing their dominance in Quilombo dos Palmares and etching a significant chapter in the annals of the region’s history.        (Natives 63 vs Dutch 75)

Photo by Bastian Spath

Attack 5 St, Thomas – Natives vs Pirates

St. Thomas became the battleground for a fierce conflict between defending Pirates and encroaching Native forces. The pirates used deceptive tactics and hidden explosives to defend their territory against the native assailants. Through cunning strategies, the pirates held off the indigenous advances. St. Thomas remained under the pirate’s control, solidifying their dominance and leaving a lasting impression on the Native insurgents.        (Natives 91 vs Pirates 130)

Photo by Jakub Karas

Summary of Changes:

  1. Spanish take Martinique from France
  2. English take Onondaga from the Natives
  3. Dutch take Quilombo dos Palmares from the Natives
  4. Spain take Petit Goave from France
  5. Pirates repel the Natives in St Thomas.

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Raid Report for Week 5

Each commander has the option of launching a “Raid” against another nation. The result is randomly determined with a simple die roll.

  • Dutch – Raid Natives, result 3. The raid was a draw.
  • English – no raid
  • French – no raid
  • Natives – Raid French, result 6 The raid was mildly successful. Transfer 5 VP from Target to Attacker.
  • Pirates – Raid Dutch, result of 7. Trevor Smith leads a mildly successful raid capturing a 5 VP of supplies to refresh their ammo and weaponry supplies.
  • Spanish – no raid
Photo by Oliver Kahler

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Faction Report for Week 5

There are a lot of factions to enjoy in Blood & Plunder. Here are the most played and the least played faction for each nation so far.

  1. Spain
    1. Spanish Militia 44 (+21 Reformed Spanish Militia
    2. Pargo’s Marineros is the only Spanish faction to not have been played yet.
  2. England
    1. English Caribbean Militia  (19) with British Royal Navy hot on its heels (18)
    2. Church’s Raiders, New England Privateers, New England Militia & New England Village Garrison have not been played yet.
  3. French
    1. French Buccaneers (31)
    2. Flibustiers Nau, & and the RtB version of the Canadian Militia and French Caribbean Militia have not been played yet.
  4. Dutch
    1. Dutch Navy (30)
    2. All Dutch factions have been played, but the Dutch Marine and Heyns Commissievaarders are least played at 3 plays each
  5. Native American
    1. Yamasee have been played most at 10
    2. Chickasaw, Darien, King Philip’s Alliance, New England Tribes, Tuscarora, Westo and the RtB version of the Southeastern and Northeastern Tribes have not been played yet.
  6. Pirates
    1. The Flying Gang leads the pack at 56
    2. All Pirate factions have been played but the Logwood Cutters bring up the rear with 2 players
  7. Unaligned and Minor Powers
    1. Miskito Zambo have the most plays at 34
    2. Factions unplayed include: Baymen, Black Caribs, and Brandenburg Privateers
Photo by Erich Goebel

Week 5 – Individual Report

There’s a $100 gift card prize for the player who earns the most points over the course of the whole campaign. Tyler Carlson has a decisive lead right now with an incredible 219 points after 90 games. 90 games! That’s a lot of games!

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Matthew Doerr is in second place with 163 points. Matthew and Tyler lead in the “Recruiting” category as well with Tyler having taught games to 16 people and Matthew having taught games to 14 players. Way to go guys!

Photo by Tyler Carlson

Matthew Doerr and Roger Gilbert lead the FLGS Supporters category with 19 and 18 games played at their stores.

Photo by Matthew Doerr

Oak & Iron Update

This was a good week for Oak & Iron. We got lots of good photos of Oak & Iron being played, including lots with those big ships of the line! Matthew Doerr has the best Oak & Iron numbers with 29 games played.

We have some Oak & Iron prize support and this week we’re giving out a copy of the Expansion Deck Volume 1 to a random Oak & Iron entry. Congratulations to Neil Thomas!

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Photo by Neil Thomas

It was a random drawing, but a well-deserved win! Look at those beautiful ships and excellent terrain!

Here’s an album of some of the Oak & Iron pictures from this week’s entries.

Week 5 Objective Report – Doldrums

Our objective this week was to play a Blood & Plunder sea game with the wind starting at -2” or an Oak & Iron game with all ships moving -1.. We had a “sea heavy week” with 118 of the 147 entries accomplishing this goal.

Wind speed can really change the game and it doesn’t change that often in standard games. We hope you enjoyed playing some sea games with a new challenge. When you’re moving so slowly, every move matters that much more. Every little move is important and there’s no room for mistakes!

My local group played the Listless scenario from Raise the Black several times this week and had a good time.

Photo by Joseph Forster

Week 6 Objective – Raise the Black!

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Photo by Trevor Smith

Speaking of Raise the Black! This week’s objective is to play scenarios from the Raise the Black expansion. With 15 new narrative driven scenarios with multiple scenario options for each, Raise the Black probably has the most diverse set of scenario experiences available so far!

If you don’t yet own Raise the Black, we have you covered. Check out this article. Firelock Games let us publicly share some of the Scenarios so everyone can participate! But you should pick up the book because it’s worth it!

For Oak & Iron, Jason over at Timber & Sail has created a custom scenario based on the “Wanted Man” game from Raise the Black.

While we’re on this topic, I encourage you all to include what scenario you play on the entry form if you have the time. There is an “optional information” section at the bottom of the entry form that has a scenario drop-down menu. We appreciate you taking the time to include that info!

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.

Week 5 – Weekly Random Drawing

This week’s winner for the random drawing is Jessica Knapp. Check out her heavily armed sloop. Thanks for participating, Jessica!

Photo by Jessica Knap

Week 5 – Weekly Photo Prize Winner

This week’s photo winner goes to Zeph Garcia-Reyes for this shot of an English/Spanish engagement. Beautiful miniatures and great flags and smoke effects. Those Spanish frigate raking the poor English ship is highly representative of how the campaign is progressing right now!

Photo by Zeph Garcia-Reyes

Benerson Little Blog Giveaway Winner

benerson little buccaneers' realm book

Only 5 entries included an answer to our trivia question from last week:

Why did Blas Miguel have a vendetta against the French Buccaneers?

The answer was towards the top of a long post on Spanish Corsairs on Benerson Little’s Blog. Great reading and I still recommend you check it out. Brendan D won the drawing and well deserved because he submitted 4 of the 5 correct answers!

Photo by Brendan D

We will be giving away another signed copy of his Golden Age of Piracy book later on in the campaign so keep your eyes peeled!

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The answer is “Because the French Buccaneers killed his brother.”

chance for Bonus Points!

diaorama of an 18th century sales booth with tiny Blood & Plunder products
A Cuban Merchant prepares his vendor booth before the next treasure hunters convention

We have another fun little bonus objective going on currently. Check out the RESCUE objective in this post and participate to earn 30 extra points for your nation and a sweet set of Balandra sails from Seamons’ Quality Sails.

Bermuda Sloop hunting down a Balandra Sloop

Campaign Sponsor Spotlight – Timber & Sail

If you enjoy Oak & Iron, or you are interested in Oak & Iron, you should check out TimberandSail.com. Jason Klotz (now “on staff” at Blood & Pigment as well) has built a great resource for the Oak & Iron community there.

At Timber & Sail you can find faction review, ship reviews, great graphics that compare all the ships in the game, news, a custom native faction, some great Pirates of the Caribbean fan made content, custom scenarios, reviews of all the O&I products and so much more. It is THE BEST resource for Oak & Iron players out there!

Jason managing the Oak & Iron tournament at Adepticon 2023

In addition to building and maintaining this resource, Jason ran all the Oak & Iron events at Adepticon 2023, providing beautiful terrain and ships for historical scenario events and running the tournament.

Timber and Sail is providing our prize support for the player logging the most Oak & Iron games in the 2023 Summer of Plunder. The winner can choose any Oak & Iron expansion to receive as a prize.

Jason has also done a massive amount on the Summer of Plunder map system this year, in addition to his IT support, creating all the spreadsheets and keeping them running smoothly.

A big thanks to Jason and Timber & Sail for the great community contributions!

L to R: Tyler Stone (French 2nd), Garrett Swader (Spanish Commander), Dexter Heide (English 2nd), Jason Klotz (Timber & Sail) and Joseph Forster at Adepticon 2023

Commander Reports

Now, here are the important messages from your beloved commanders.

Spain

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¡Saludos desde la Habana!

Congratulations my loyal Spaniards! We were successful in all our endeavors this week. Our corsarios sank and captured so many ships the last two weeks we have the other nations on the run. Congratulations to Zeph Garcia-Reyes for being the most ruthless corsario, and winning himself a sprue of sailors.  

Photo by Zeph Garcia-Reyes

The next two weeks are going to be the most challenging we have faced. Our men and women need to have faith, and trust in the spiritual leaders in these trying times. That’s why for week 6-7 the challenge is called Catholicism: Whoever plays the most games with a mission priest or spiritual leader in their force will receive a sailor sprue! Please indicate that your list had a priest by checking the “completed a national objective” box (this really helps me sort through entries). I also have another picture contest for week 6-7. Santiago: Show off your Spanish spirit (in picture form). Break out your best models and terrain, and show me the most Spanish picture ever! The winner will receive a replica 17th-century dice bag!

Photo by Tyler Carlson

For trivia this week I had 1 winner, disappointing to say the least. I have new things to send repeat winners so keep the answers coming. The answer to last week’s question was the colony of Georgia. This week’s Question is: What year did the Spanish Franco attack on Charleston SC take place, during Queen Anne’s war? Put the answer in the comments of your submission.

-Gerardo de Guale

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Current Spanish Objectives

  • Catholicism: Whoever plays the most games with a mission priest or spiritual leader in their force will receive a sailor sprue! Please indicate that your list had a priest by checking the “completed a national objective” box (this really helps me sort through entries).
  • Santiago: Show off your Spanish spirit (in picture form). Break out your best models and terrain, and show me the most Spanish picture ever! The winner will receive a replica 17th-century dice bag!
  • Trivia Question: What year did the Spanish Franco attack on Charleston SC take place, during Queen Anne’s war? Put the answer in the comments of your submission.

England

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Spaniards Fail to Respond

New England Frontier Secured

Savage Nest Put to Torch

Ye foulest Spaniard continues his malignancy upon the Americas. His presence in ye Caribbean persists but his lust for violence hath wained. English conflick with ye Spaniard has fallen to a cautious simmer. Garrisons prepare for ye Papist retaliation but none yet hath come. Ye Papists cowardice hath rendered us a convenience if a surprising one.

        Ye enemys of ye Majestys hath proved most commonly to be ye savage and ye rebellious Dutchman. Hostilitys against both continue and ye tribe of Onondaga hath been captured with much aplomb by Major James Monson and his company of English Militia. Debate over what Christian name should be affixed to this once heathen place continues.

        Ye Lord Governor McKing hath been most impressed with ye valor of ye English and Scots and hath been quick to reward his majestys soldiers and seamen as befits. Ye Buccaneer in particular hath been afforded a unprecedented 80% of his prizes taken with only the paupers 20% to be held for ye High Admiralty. Ye skilled and well equipped Buccaneer is now found with frequency in all New World ports.

Current English Objective:

  • Complete the “Raise the Black” global challenge to be entered to win this week’s prize, 8x Metal “Veteran Freebooters”(Milice des Caraibes). Every entry will count as one “ticket” in the raffle up to a maximum of five “tickets”.
  • 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. (bandpcampaign@gmail.com Subject: Soldier)
  • Finally, Congratulations to James Monson 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.

France

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Soldiers of France – we knew that we would face Spanish retribution for our capture of Quebec. We feel for our citizens in Martinique and Petit Goave now living under the yoke of Spanish tyranny. It is a shame that Spanish designs on the new world would make allies in faith, into enemies in blood, but alas; ce la guerre.

Do not be disheartened by the thrust and parry of these New World battles. Little of our strength was lost to Spanish aggression. French steel is strong, and our resolve stronger. Our fearless captains need only to continue pressing forward and accruing glory for our resplendent empire.

Marshal your finest officers and carry our glorious standards to the very ramparts of our enemies!

Avec foi et élan,

Pierre de Tullier, Signeur de Marigny

Current French Objectives

  • This week’s objective is Leaders of Men: Include a French Historic Commander in your battles this week. 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.
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Photo by Brandon D

Netherlands

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Landgenoten,

We had another week filled with action. For the fifth consecutive week we fought our battles bravely against the other world players. We reclaimed our 2nd spot on the leaderboard with only Spain ahead. This makes us, your commanders, extremely proud. As a small country we are being seen on the world stage. Keep up the hard work.

We freed the town of Quilombo dos Palmares from its Native rulers, making it a proud part of the Dutch Crown. We will try to keep up the good work and pace. Every game counts if we want to keep up on the pace.

Uw goede werken worden gezien,

Maarten “Kielhaler” de Kruyf

Current Dutch Objectives

  • Most Dutch points at end of the campaign- Painted Dutch commander
  • Board Any Nationality ship this week – Commander Card
  • Raffle for a Sailor Sprue
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Photo by Ginger Monson

Native American

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Current Native American Objectives

  • The Natives have suffered this past week losing two territories to the European invaders.  Therefore we must be careful and catch our enemies by surprise.  If you can send me a picture of your Natives shooting their enemies out of cover, you will get a Commander Card, and be entered in a drawing for a Natives sprue.

Scottish

This year the Scottish have teamed up with the natives, but we’re falling behind. We don’t have any of our own colonies yet, but they may soon change. Let’s fight against the French and English and take some land in the Americas! Of course, we need help, so let’s support the natives and try to gain as much land as possible.

Current Scottish Objectives

  • Play a game as an unaligned faction (preferably Scottish) and give your points to the natives. A prize for such a player that also captures supplies (such as dictated by some scenarios/objective markers, take some thematic pictures or try to make your objective markers something interesting in the table) will be given out.

Pirates

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Captains, we’ve reached a milestone as this was the halfway point for the campaign. After week 1, we kept the pressure on the Spanish and left the other factions behind.  Not sure what Spanish goodness is being given away for game plays…maybe tacos???  Those are good too…but I think our Pirate stew is much better.   We have about seven dedicated players who have played each week of the campaign up to this point…Huzzah! We’ve lost several players after week 1; not sure what happened there, but hope they will rejoin our fleet to continue on. And, we’ve gained a few more Pirate Captains this past week as well…welcome!

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Pic from Jayme Doremus
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Pic from Greg Padilla

This past week I wanted to your biggest ship(s) in action. There were several game pics that had some big-boys in there. Sometimes these guys get shelved for the more sleek types like the Sloop or even the Brigantines. For me, it’s a problem as I have a pretty hefty fleet, and I use the Sloops a lot. My son and I broke out a couple of 6th Rate Frigates and Fluyt ships for the BIG play.

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Pic from Dan Carlson

Just a reminder, the Pirate faction had established a base of operations via Facebook headed up by my First Mate Dan aka Sir Admiral Pirate Bastard. Attacks and Defenses will be communicated there along with other insider information. Come join the chat!

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Pic from Greg Flynn

Pirates’ Weekly Objective Review

How did you fare with the -2/-1 wind speed for Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron? It was tough all around in both game systems. I found it even worst when my son and I played an Oak & Iron game this past Saturday and I had to sail against the wind…ugh! Speaking of Oak & Iron, if you haven’t checked out the “Timber and Sail” page, they have a lot of cool information there for the game along with some scenarios. This past week was called, “Escape”; did any of you played that one? We did, and somehow as Blackbeard, I had to get the dignitary off the opposite table edge.

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Pic from Daniel Perkins

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Current Pirate Objectives

  • Captains, this is our week to Raise the Black! You know what that means…more pirate flags…black or red will work and anything in between.  Join me this week to raise your colors in your games. This is similar to what we did for Week 2, but with more flare. I want to see multiple flags on your ship and even a crew member carrying their captain’s colors. Are you up to the challenge? You can easily add a small flag to a crew member by adding one to an existing boarding pike or spear. I have several figures which carry a flag by cutting out the hands from their weapons and adding in a small piece of brass wire or similar…a very easy modification you can do to the plastic sets. For the lead figures, you may require a Dremel tool with a small drill bit. For your efforts, you will be awarded much needed reinforcements (a plastic sprue from the Sailors Box) in their efforts to control our area of operations. Looking forward to what you have. So get them pictures in and Raise the Black! Oh, and have fun too!
  • Avast me Hearties – I’ve decided to add in an additional Special Pirate Objective which will continue to run through the end of the campaign. For the most games played, I have a 3D printed bust of a Pirate Captain, which may/or may not resemble the man himself – Blackbeard! Along with the bust will be a custom nameplate with your name on it for the Pirate Captain who has logged in the most games for the Summer of Plunder 2023.
  • Remember, to earn a Special Commanders Card from me, Don Gregorio “Redmist” de Padilla, Pirate Commander, you will need to play and log in a game each week of the campaign.
Sample Commander card

Final Thoughts

Five weeks down and 4 more to go! Watch for some changes in the scoring on the Caribbean Map soon. That should shake things up a bit!

Wanted to make everyone aware we published a video further explaining the Map part of this year’s campaign if you want a review.

We also added a full “current objectives” page to the blog (accessible from the Summer of Plunder dropdown menu) so you can easily see the current objectives for the campaign and for each nation.

I hope you enjoy playing scenarios from Raise the Black this week. Happy Plundering!

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