Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Pirate project

I enjoy painting figures, the more colourful the better, and I don’t necessarily have any immediate plans to use them. Such figures tend to sit in a display case for a few months, hopefully being admired by friends, before either being packed away or sold on. Some figures (e.g. the Asterix range produced by Metal Magic, see below) I have a strong attachment to and I cannot bring myself to part with, even though I can never see myself gaming with them. Others prompt me, often after many years, to investigate possible rules to use them with. A good example would be my AWI/FIW Willie figures, who now get regular usage playing Muskets and Tomahawks (see an earlier blog post).


I have a large collection of Wargames Foundry pirates that were given to me as ‘payment’ for a painting commission I undertook for a friend (a Mycenean/Trojan Wars army if I recall correctly, with an awful lot of bare flesh on display). The pirate figures are full of character and I really enjoyed painting them up. I used the same colour schemes as the figures shown on the Wargames Foundry website and think they came out rather well.


There are still roughly 50 more miniatures in the range that I do not possess, so maybe this can be a new project for 2015 i.e. to have the ‘complete’ collection. I have looked at other manufacturers of pirate figures, especially Black Scorpion which are really nice, but they do not look compatible with those of Wargames Foundry.


I have always known that pirates are very usable in a gaming sense, and I have bought a few sets of rules to get these figures on the table. I have read these rules, and even produced QRS and tokens for them, but something else has always cropped up and they’ve never been played. I am a bit of a ‘Magpie’ gaming-wise; attracted to shiny, new figures, rules and periods so that I start projects and often never see them to completion. I now have time to revisit some of these incomplete projects and see if they are still viable.
Therefore I intend trying out the piratical rules I currently possess: Legends of the High Seas (Tim Kulinski. Games Workshop, 2008), Cutlass! (Gav Thorpe & Adam Clarke. Black Scorpion, 2011), and the recently published On The Seven Seas (Chris Peers. Osprey, 2014). I think I’m looking for a fast paced game that has lots of character, more Hollywood than history, is free of significant book-keeping, and does have some command/leadership elements. I’m only focussing on land (or boarding) actions with 10-25 figures per side. I’m not interested in ship-to-ship naval actions, at least from a pirate view point, because this is best covered by historic Napoleonic Naval rule sets. If anyone reading this post has any suggestions for other rules, or any recommendations, then please add a Comment.