This past week concluded the third annual Summer of Plunder Global Campaign! We hope you had a good time and we thank you for participating! After 9 weeks of pirate gaming, logging 1,396 games of Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron on battle tables around the world, the 2023 Summer of Plunder is over.
In this short update, we’ll look at the happenings on the Campaign Map, “reveal” the winning nation for the campaign, and read final messages from our campaign commanders. In a second post later this week, we will award a galleon-load of prizes and look at some further numbers and data from the event.
- Nation Report
- National Battle Report
- Raid Report
- Spanish Win The Campaign!
- Lessons Learned and Next Year’s Campaign
- Campaign Sponsor Spotlight – Firelock Games
- Commander Reports
- Final Thoughts
Before we give you the final winner of the campaign, here’s the game numbers from the last week. We had 139 games entered, focusing on using those Legendary Commanders like Blackbeard, Charles Vane, Piet Heyn, and Francois l’Olonnais.
The Pirates led the pack this week, adding 72 points to their slice of the pie. French had a strong showing, followed by English, then Spanish, Dutch and Natives.
- Pirates – 72
- Spanish – 61
- English – 62
- French 68
- Dutch – 36
- Native American – 15
Let’s look at the attacks and player action on the campaign map, then we’ll look at the final campaign numbers for the year!
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.
Here is the final state of the 2023 campaign map.
The anticipation for this final week was high and the expectation for potential conflict was very high. There were only 2 full blown attacks.
Attack 1 – Curaçao – Pirates 68 to Dutch 175
As hurricane season approaches and the time for war draws to an end, the horizontal red, white, and blue of Dutch is spotted atop a small armada of warships in Curaçao. The harbor is nearly devoid of the once raucous pirate crews filling the taverns. The token forces on land quickly conceded to the region’s former masters. While the celebrations were fun the merchants and farmers welcomed the Dutch return, knowing that legal commerce benefits more from order than anarchy.
Attack 2 – Havana – Pirates 329 to Spain 78
In a daring and unprecedented move, an immense pirate armada launched a full-scale, 100% coordinated attack on the Spanish-held city of Havana. With a fearsome display of unity, pirates from diverse backgrounds converged upon the city, creating a formidable force on the high seas. The sea battle that ensued was a spectacle of cannons thundering and swords clashing as the pirates, driven by their lust for plunder and freedom, besieged the city from all directions. The Spanish defenders were overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the pirate onslaught, leading to a dramatic and historic victory for the marauding pirates and their unyielding quest for control over Havana.
Attack 3?? – Jamaica – English 1 to Unaligned 0
An English scouting party visits the ruins of Jamaica. The rumors are confirmed. The city is in ruins and it will be some time before it is once again restored to a place of commerce. Survivors have relocated and dig through what rubble they can for things of value. Disease and sickness has spread among the survivors. Dogs roam the streets feasting on the dead.
But the fame of English resolve is unmatched. Rebuilding nad cleanup efforts have begun and hopefully the city will be reborn and rise from the ashes stronger than ever.
Summary of Changes:
- Curaçao – Dutch defeats the Pirates and regain their realm
- Havana – Pirates overcome the Spanish and claim the Spaniard capital for their own
- Jamaica – The English recover the ruins.
Each commander has the option of launching a “Raid” against another nation. The result is randomly determined with a simple die roll.
- Dutch raid Pirates
- 2. The raid failed. Apparently all the pirates abandoned their posts and left for Havana leaving little of value behind. -3 VP
- English – no Raid
- French raid Dutch
- Rolled a 7. On his way to Havana, Kyle A couldn’t help but make a stop at St Thomas. With stealth and subterfuge they steal a Corvette in the dead of night adding its big guns as they head towards Havana Transfer 5 VP from Target to Attacker.
- Natives – no Raid
- Pirates raid the Dutch
- Rolled a 6. Transfer 5 VP from Target to Attacker.
- Spanish – no Raid
Spanish Win The Campaign!
The Spanish have clearly earned themselves a massive win in this campaign. Congratulations to all you Spanish players out there, your illustrious Commander Garrett Swader, and Guy Rheuark, the Spanish second in command. Well done!
Spain – 446 games, 1,719 ending points
Spain came in at 3rd place in the 2021 Summer of Plunder with 42 games, 2nd in the 2022 Summer of Plunder with 363 games entered and finally have claimed first place in 2023 with 446 games entered in the campaign!
The Spanish did well because they had a lot of dedicated players (some very dedicated), but they also did well in playing the diplomacy game at the commander level. The many layers of alliances, treachery, betrayals, double crossing, and negotiations are still being revealed and discussed, but somehow, Spain managed to avoid being attacked on the campaign map for too many weeks. At some point, the other nations’ Commanders decided to compete for second rather than face the full might of the mighty Spanish empire.
I hope many of you have been part of the various nations’ group communication channels and have been able to enjoy the campaign on this level as well.
France – 181 games, 968 ending points
France came in second place, a worthy achievement indeed! Mid campaign they weren’t doing as well. They had a great comeback here at the end. Well done to all the French players with Andy Hodges at their head and Tyler Stone as second! Vive la France!
English – 199 games, 881 ending points
The English hold a remarkable record of having not lost any locations on the campaign map this year! England was attacked many times, but through espionage, good luck, or brilliant strategy, they were able to deploy defensive resources where they counted and they beat back every assault on their colonies. Congratulations on your toughness and incredible resolve all ye Englishe players led by the bold Jayden King and Dexter Heide. As an additional bonus, the English now hold all the major sources of tobacco in the new world so expect to see prices double and triple as the enterprising English double down on their monopoly!
Native Americans – 69 games, 536 ending points
The Native Americans, led by David Boeren and Liam Smith this year, did amazing! They broke a glass ceiling by not coming in last this year. They were on track to be above the middle, but in week 7 they were targeted by more than one nation. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of players of the Natives in Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron relies on Timber & Sail’s fan made Native content. But the campaign map system evened the score to some extent this year and the Native players contributed some really stunning pictures. More of you should play the Natives! They are really fun!
Dutch – 222 games, 499 ending points
The Dutch were doing well but rumors have it that a careless screenshot revealed too much. Treachery was suspected and retribution was savage in week 4, knocking the Dutch down by a huge number. Maarten de Kruif and Glenn van Meter led the Dutch to take back their Caribbean holdings, most notably Curaçao here in the last week. Well done Dutch players. You were hands-down winners in the Oak & Iron game count!
Pirates – 279 games, 194 ending points
Last in numbers, but first in the heart of this campaign organizer come the Pirates. With outstanding participation from both Commander Greg Padilla and Quartermaster Dan Carlson, the Pirates had great player participation, fun group chat streams, regular player voting, great prizes, and stellar updates in every update here in the blog. Thank you Greg and Dan for your excellent work!
The Pirates had the highest number of players and logged a solid number of games, but their constant aggression kept them in the middle of the running for most of the campaign. And that massive attack on Havana here on the last campaign turn. Amazing work! That was epic! Didn’t do great things for your total numbers, but history remembers epic deeds just as well as winning strategies. I’m so thrilled the Pirate players voted to go all in on the Spanish seat of power and at least bloody their nose a little on this last turn.
Lessons Learned and Next Year’s Campaign
We made some huge changes this year, faced some new challenges, and learned some valuable things we can apply to next year’s Summer of Plunder! One of the things you can do to help next year’s campaign to improve is to provide us with your invaluable feedback! We want this community event to be fun for you, the players, so please, take a few minutes to send us your thoughts through this Participant Survey. We’re even bribing you to take the survey with another prize. A randomly drawn winner will receive a pack of Firelock dice of their choice: Bone Dice, Blood Dice, French Dice, Fatigue Dice, you get to choose!
One of the things we know we want to implement next year is some sort of cap on how many points can be earned per player per week. We have lots of other ideas and considerations after this year’s event. But please fill out that survey so we know what you players are enjoying!
Another thing is limiting players to one of the big end-of-campaign prizes. We want to spread the plunder around, so if someone qualifies for several prizes at the end, they can select which one they will receive, then the runner up will move into first for the other category(s). We aren’t implementing that this year, but that will likely happen next year.
If you want to keep up on the Summer of Plunder planning, testing, and development through the year, and have an easy way to offer input, we will be including updates on Summer of Plunder along with all the other action here at Blood & Pigment in our monthly newsletters to our Patrons on Patreon. Shameless plug! You can find our Patreon here. We devote a lot of resources to this campaign and our Patreon helps cover some of those expenses.
Campaign Sponsor Spotlight – Firelock Games
We have a long list of generous sponsors for this campaign, donating lots of the great prizes that players will receive over the course of this event. This week we’d like to thank the Tales of the Sail podcast for their sponsorship and all their contributions to the Firelock Games community over the years.
This week we thank the most obvious sponsor of all: Firelock Games! Firelock is so very generous with prize support in all their events and this campaign is no exception. This year Firelock Games donated $700 worth of product as prizes for the campaign! The Grand Prize of the 6th Rate Frigate comes straight from Firelock, as do several of the other larger prizes.
We thank Firelock Games for donating so much to the campaign, and also for helping share and advertise the event, and then of course for making amazing games that we can enjoy and share with great folks!
Huge thanks to Mike, Alex, Lily & Ray and all the great people that keep Firelock Games running through thick and thin.
Now, here are the important messages from your beloved commanders.
¡Saludos desde Madrid!
Revenge is ours! Our treasure fleets left the Caribbean last week leaving scraps for the other nations to squabble over. I want to thank each and every one of you for participating with me and kicking everyone else’s teeth in for last year’s heartbreaker. And thank you for being the best damned sub-community, within the best damned wargaming community out there! I hope I have served you well in this position. My officers in Spain are discussing possible victory celebrations. Enjoy it my brothers and sisters. It has been a long time coming.
-Gerardo de Guale
Hostilitys to Cease for Time
War on Rebelleous Dutch
Territoryal Expansione Immense
The Crowne hath signatored a truce with ye violente Spaniard in order to consolidate ye new holdings. No territory to be returned to ye Papist. The great bastion of St. Augustine to be renamed Kingstowne in honor of his majesty King William. This paper questions what impetus ye name of Lord Governor McKing hath in ye choice. Scots make progresse in ye transit over ye mountains of Darien in captured settlement at Panama.
Commissions still available for ye war upon rebelleous Dutchmen and savages. Ye Indyan scalp now priced at £5, those taken alive fetch high prices in ye North American labor markets. Dutch to be hanged for treason upon capture, transport for trial discouraged.
Havanna captured by a force of many “Privateers”, rovers intend to hold ye settlement for unknown period. Admiral Hyde hath instructed ye merchants and commissioned Englishmen to distance themselves from this impressive feat. Spaniards are wont to avenge the slight and ye Crowne hath focused its attentions elsewhere.
Ye devastated island of Jamaica retaken by paltry force in wake of Papist flight. The result hath put ye Lord Governor McKing and Admiral Hyde is high esteem with ye Crowne as resultant, ye Britons hath not lost a single holding over ye course of ye bloody campaign and further, ye Briton hath doubled his holdings ye New World. New settlers sought for every colony withe excellent opportunitys for ye new Pioneer.
Current English Objective:
- The Summer of Plunder is over! Thank you for your contributions to what has been a very fun experience for all of us!
- Finally, Congratulations to Neil Burton for winning last week’s prize! An email will be sent out shortly but if for some reason it doesn’t reach you, please contact us.
Captains of France, we have shown the world the resilience of the French spirit. Our cunning strategy, unbreakable tenacity, and faith in our alliances have carried us through to a strong finish. Second place is no mean feat and I could not be more proud of each of you. I hope you got some new units painted and on the table, enjoyed playing with your comrades, and maybe even recruited some new folks to this community.
It has truly been an honor being your commander this campaign. I hope I did justice to the office.
Now, let’s celebrate, the next round is on me.
We fought hard for 9 Weeks. We had a non-aggression pact with Spain from the beginning, which was good to keep the Big player off our back. In week 4 we got blamed for treason with the anti-Spain coalition, which was done by a Spanish spy in another nation, and lost 2 ports. We managed after that, but lost our top spot due to a coordinated attack by the Pirates, French and the English in week 8. We kept fighting hard and ultimately won back our capital.
Thank you all for the adventure the past 9 weeks, despite ending 2nd to last.
Maarten “Kielhaler” de Kruif
Prizes will be sent when all winners are picked.
My people – our lands, our lives, and our very way of life have been under attack from these white men from over the seas. Their numbers were many, but we have held our ground and outperformed expectations! We went through hard times losing several territories but our tribes will continue on and perhaps one day find a way to live peacefully alongside the Europeans.
Now that the campaign is finished I will work on selecting the prize winners and try to get those out to my loyal braves as soon as I can. Thanks for supporting our small faction, we have done much better this time around and it’s because of you guys out there getting in games. I’m especially proud that we managed to play EVERY Natives faction and coming in ahead of the Dutch is awesome too!
Captains, our time on the seas has come to an end. Our adventure together was consistent with solid attacks and raids. I hope these past nine weeks you were able to play a game or two, go to your local gaming store and spread the “Black”, and of course recruit new shipmates into the very cool games called Blood & Plunder and Oak & Iron. With all that being said, I would like to recognize several captains for their extra efforts to keep up with our weekly Pirate Objectives, playing a ton of games and scoring points for the cause.
Check the final update in a day or two for the full list of Pirate prize winners.
Winners will be contacted this week and the plan is to get all the booty out by this Friday, so check your email.
Finally, I would like to say I had a great time being your Commander as well as I speak for Dan for being your sub-commander running the behind the scenes for attacks and defense shenanigans. Hope to see you next year in the Summer of Plunder Campaign 2024.
Thank you everyone for participating. We have one more post coming in a day or two. In that point we will award a bunch of prizes so make sure to check that one! We will also be looking at some stats and interesting data from the campaign.
Again, thank you all for participating in this year’s Summer of Plunder event! It was a grand time!
Make sure to fill out the Summer of Plunder Participant Survey so we can run a tighter ship next year. Watch for the big prize post coming in a day or two.
And if you enjoyed the event and want to help support us here at Blood & Pigment, you can throw a doubloon or two our way here on our Patreon.