Pirates – We Are NOT Gonna Need A Bigger Boat…

One weekend recently, Coronasan invited me over to his to prep some a boats that have been hanging about in the shed for a while now.  By ‘prep’ he meant ‘chop the bottom off’.  As we are water lining these play mobile ships for use with 28mmFigures.

When I got there I found he had a spare ‘large’ ship that he had no use for and had kindly donated to me.  I say kindly with a little caution as that means I will be obliged to make up a third craft to go with my original two.  Mine now actually look a little small when sat next to this first rate vessel.

After some loud and quite violent looking work with an electric saw, we took some time to sit back and have a cup of tea while we counted our fingers.

Sadly, I now have three rather large projects to add to the ever expanding to do list in the shed.  If I just got on with them though, it would mean I could get a great sense of achievement and success.  Yeah unlikely.  With these three, and a large Millennium Falcon, Coronasan has me sorted for large projects for the next few years I suspect…


Not to mention that I might need another 30 pirates to be able to fully crew these lovelies!

Pirates From Other Places. 

I have been selling some items for a friend recently (good old eBay) as he has less time to game and has collected more ‘toys’ than anyone I know (well, maybe Coronasan can match him…)

In the on-going clear out of Veganman’s collection, I have been given these guys to sell.  However, I am hard pressed to sell things I might find a use for…

With a need for pirate crewmen, and two pirate ships to complete, adding painted pirates to the collection would allow me to focus on the ships without having to worry about where the next pirate crew is coming from.  I also think my 17 new pirates are likely to need reinforcing if Coronasan’s explanation of crew size in No Quarter is anything to go by.

Some may find their way to eBay, as these undead pirates are not present in large enough numbers to man a ship by themselves.

The remainder would reinforce my existing pirate collection and add enough men to my new Black Scorpion pirates to fully man a ship.  Many of these painted lads are the older metal Black Scorpion casts.

It would also add a number of musket men to the ranks so that those crows nests can be used to their fullest extent…

Do I need to convince myself any further?

Pirates From Salute. 

Salute this year was all about buying figures.  As we have been playing pirate games, and as my new pirate ships will definitely need crews at some point, I had to find some more pirates to paint up.  Who does the best pirate figures?  That’s got to be Black Scorpion Miniatures!

This is what two packs of pirates a pirate captain and two packs of able seamen look like.  Seventeen men might be about enough for one pirate ship.  My older pirates will likely be drafted in to crew the other vessel.

Black Jack Davey is the pirate captain I picked out for this band of scoundrels, and he is a great example of the added details that Black Scorpion give to the majority of their figures.  With at least 2 pistols, as well as a sword and dagger, this one handed gent may find juggling all that weaponry a bit challenging. That’s before I start to wonder how he manages to undo all those straps and buckles with a hook.

A number of the other pirates look the part as captains and have the same excellent level of details too.  All I need to do now is wait for a fine day to get some undercoating done.

Pirate Ships. More Boats And Other Items. 

The more observant of you will have noticed these little boats a couple of posts ago.  When I introduced the larger pirate ships these were scattered about the harbour.

A couple have gone off to Coronasan as payment for services rendered and the remainder are left for me to plan a few conversions with.  I hope to use some as small gun boats that can be used to raid the coastlines of my harbour, while the larger ships stand off and bombard the shore.

Others will be static harbour scenery (old fishing vessels).

All are again Playmobile items and came with a range of extra gubbins…  Pallets and extra doors mainly which will be useful when converting the larger ships.

A few bits may not be quite so useful, but are likely to find their way into the bits box all the same.

Scale wise they are surprisingly good. They appear fit 3 pirates (or 4 men on smaller bases) per boat with room for a small cannon. I may need to sort the deck out so that the figures are more able to keep their feet but that shouldn’t be too hard.

Pirate Ships. The Grand Plan. 

So, the pirate theme continues although Salute always distracts us and points our radar in another direction (you will need to wait just a little while to see what Salute brought me…)

I can tell you now that the postman brought me these beauties though.  Two large and brightly coloured pirate ships for that empty harbour of mine.

Playmobile ships are huge but not so huge as to be unusable.  Wide open decks and plenty of scope for a bit of a remodelling project.

I plan to raise the rear deck slightly and add some lower deck cannon ports so that they are usable in Coronasan’s, No Quarter, pirate ship games. Crows nests are a must too for sharp shooters.

When these will be finished is no ones guess but they will feature as they are in a couple of games before they get cut about I suspect.


Pirates Ahoy

Lately I have been painting whatever came to mind.  Mostly steam tanks and other Victorian sci-fi stuff.  In contrast we have been playing in a very different era.

Pirates have been firmly on our radar for a month or so lately.  We identified a number of games we owned, and planned to get a number of games played to try them all out.

Cutlass (by Black Scorpion) started things off and proved to be enjoyable with some nice unique touches.  The activation system was slightly too controlling for our liking though. We found that it was dictating the actions of the whole crew each bound, which meant it could stop individuals from acting if the group action was not doing what they wanted to do.

On the seven seas (by Osprey) came next and proved to be too slow for us.  The mobility and actions in the game left us feeling like we were constantly waiting just to get there.  On the prescribed table size we fired our first shot only after about 30min of play…

Our last game was played using Legends of the high seas (by Warhammer Historical) sadly now out of print when Warhammer Historical stopped publishing, a real shame.  This rule set is the largest book but is actually the simplest of the rule sets we have tried.  Its one down side (something all the sets have in common) is its somewhat short movement distances and weapon ranges.  This slows the game slightly but this is made up for in its fast turn sequence. Combat is decisive and brutal and reminds me of the system used by Westwind’s Empire of the Dead.

We plan to get some more pirate action in when Coronasan returns from his Gin soaked holiday.  While he is away though, I will be looking into how to populate a somewhat empty harbour, so that boats can start to feature in our upcoming games.

Distracted By Treasure – A Pirate Tale

Before Xmas Coronasan and I were discussing genres that we have not used recently.  We have played a few games of Fantasy, Sci-fi, Weird World War and Modern conflicts as well as plenty of Steam Wars.  Its been a while since we played any Pirate or Western (Cowboy) games.

So to set that straight we planned for a few games based, at first, on that wonderful world of Pirates…  We own between us a number of rule sets including: ‘Legends Of The High Seas’ by Warhammer Historical, and the Osprey rule set ‘On The Seven Seas’.

We also each have a copy of Cutlass! by Black Scorpion.  This is a Skirmish game that works well with just a handful of miniatures so would be a good start point for us to get back into the pirate spirit with.

We both have enough pirates to play most of these games (which was one reason we decided to play). It was hoped that by playing with these figures we would not be distracted from our other projects.

As ever that didn’t happen.  I still managed to find a few unpainted fellows that would benefit from a little attention.  3 men and their cannon had languished, alone in a drawer, for the last few years so were snatched up and quickly painted up to get them ready for duty.

I am always amazed by the difference a coat of dark tone wash has to my figures.  Hiding my poor painting and my even poorer colour choices 🙂

Picking out details that I hadn’t even seen.

For some reason I had based my older pirates using an odd mix of colours and materials so did my best to replicate that look.

Like I said, I don’t know why they got based this way…  But I now don’t own any unpainted pirates. If only I could say that for some of the other genres…

Then there was everybody’s favourite villains… The pirates

Everyone loves pirates, right?

We had been talking about getting into a pirate game for a month or two when we went to Warfare in Reading. Talk about good timing…

On display there were the new Black Scorpion pirate ranges and their pirate game, Cutlass. 3 rule books later we were all off and digging through our bits boxes for figures that could be pressganged into a pirate crew. Fortunately some old Games-workshop Empire sprues were kicking about in my drawers which, with a little effort, would do just fine.

The first crew were based on planking made from blue craft foam, cut and carved to size. Only problem was, it melts when exposed to plastic cement. The second attempt worked better but the glue then reacted with the matt varnish leaving the boots of the crew looking a little odd. Matt varnish has often been problematic for me as you will come to see.

Second crew were based without making as much of an effort and worked more to my liking.

The buildings in the photos are mostly made by 4Ground and are excellent examples of their prepainted, lasercut, MDF range. I love these and they often find their way into many of our games.

Cutlas has a unique and fun initiative steeling mechanic which keeps you wondering just how long you can keep going before you fail something and lose the initiative to your opponent.

As usual though, before too long, we found a new shiny thing in the form of Saga to distract us…