Debauchery, Rum and Bloodletting

    Debauchery, Rum and Bloodletting

    Mmmmm.  Rum. Although I certainly enjoy the historical research that is part of miniature wargaming, sometimes I take a little mental holiday.  In this case, the Foundry had just released their new range of 28mm Pirates.  A bright, colourful period, with no uniforms and larger than life characters - I just couldn't resist.  The castings are more cinematic than accurate, which is fine by me.  The occasional touches of whimsy (the one legged cook to the left has a large bone as a prothesis; another pirate has his pet monkey eating a banana on his shoulder) suited my vision of a pirate skimish game.

    Debauchery, Rum and Bloodletting is a simple, fast and fun, multiplayer free-for-all.  It was designed for a participation game at a convention, but I'm sure it will work equally well for other events.

    The Background

    This be our barrel Four of the fiercest, most bloodthirsty pirates ever to terrorize the Spanish Main banded together to declare a twenty-four hour truce.  They joined forces to successfully defeat the garrison of Porto Cirrhosis.  Running wild through the streets the pirate crews scattered to burn and loot the stricken town.  The townspeople fled for their lives.  Not a house was left standing.

    Each player controls a small crew of pirate figures, intent on getting back to their respective ships.  In the confusion of the sack, the crews became scattered throughout the town, and awake the next day to discover that their ships are located exactly opposite to their starting corners.  Amazing coincidence that.  In addition to their goal of reaching the opposite table edge, each player also garners points by following their favorite bucanneer hobbies - drinking, fighting and plundering.

    The Playing Field

    Skirmish games work best with fairly dense terrain, so a number of buildings were constructed to represent Porto Cirrhosis.  Other accessories such as wells, statues, cemetaries, fences, trees and barrels were also scattered about liberally.  The entire playing area was about four feet a side.  The buildings themselves were constructed from the Games Workshop product, Mordheim.  Yes, GW certainly charge vastly inflated sums for their figures, but in this case the game itself contains a number of very nice ruined buildings, as well as some really useful plastic bits (such as a pair of treasure chests; more on this later).  You can construct the entire town in only a couple of evenings.  Well worth the money!  For this game Vidal Bairos, a good friend of mine, was kind enough to lend me his buildings.

    The barrels displayed in the pictures of the game were not from Mordheim however.  They are resin, very nicely cast with deep reliefs that paint up superbly.  Unfortunately I cannot remember the manufacturer.  Sorry.  Fences were also aquired long ago - no idea who made those either.

    This be my barrel

    The Rules

    pirate card sample Fire & Steel from WRG were used; a really great set of skirmish rules.  Players were given cards I created for each of their pirates, describing their skills and other distinguishing features.  There's an example of such a card to the left.  Some players, who prefer not to have game markers cluttering up the table (which is a necessity of Fire and Steel I'm afraid) would instead place the markers on the card, rather than beside the actual figure.

    The cards were printed anew for each game, so players would also adjust skills and mark off wounds and drinks directly on the card as play progressed.  Each player controlled four pirates, which resulted in games of about three hours in length, with players unfamiliar with the rules.

    Some minor additions were also made to the rules -