Friday, July 6, 2007

Action at Sea

On this past (Savage) Sunday we got together and made some heroes for the lads and tried out the Savage Worlds rules with my new wee ships. I took a four master and a sloop and told the lads that the big ship had just bombarded their home port and killed a pile of their pals so their were out for blood! Darrin took a three master, Jeff a two master, and Lloyd – who will be playing the captain in our campaign took his own ship – another sloop.

I decided the ships should have names; I names my big one the H.M.S. Unicorn (the Unicorn is the local Naval Reserve unit – yeah… don’t ask me why there’s a naval reserve unit in the middle of the bald-ass prairies – and it was also the name of the ship Captain Haddock’s ancestor had sailed) and the sloop was the Antelope (“oh the Antelope sloop was a sickening sight, how I wish I was in Sherbrooke now…”). I told the lads to name their own ships. Jeff came up with The Black Reefer… uh, yeah… well… that’s what you get when you play with pot-heads… Reefer could be a nautical sort of term … like… a ship that sails around reefs….? Still it was the best of the three! Darrin names his the Hole in the Water (lame). Lloyd, perhaps a little indignant that he should have such a small craft to start off with (WHAT?! You guys thought I’d let you start with a Man o’ War?!), called his Barely Afloat – that was so lame I insisted he change it. There was a could other bad ones that I can’t even remember and then he finally settled on the Dubloon Express – which sounds more like a 19th Century train than a 17thCentury pirate vessel?! I wanted to get playing rather than listen to more silly ideas so I let it stick… for now (It’s lame, Lloyd, you’re going to have to change it – start thinking of a new one).

So… yeah… if anyone can think of good names for pirate ships PLEASE feel free to post them in the comments below!

I let all three use their own characters relevant stats where appropriate on their own ships.

Here’s how it played out:

Turn One and Two – everyone racing towards each other at top speed.

Turn Three

The Unicorn and Antelope sail forth…. as did Darrin and Lloyds ships (I can’t even bring myself to name them in this report…).

The Black Reefer sailed forward and then turned at the end of it’s move to bring guns to bare on the Unicorn. (so Jeff’s character is a Master Gunner… a REALLY GOOD Master Gunner – he’s like a frickin surgeon with a cannon…). A single four-pounder thundered and a shot tore through the Unicorn. By the time it splashed into the water on the far side of the ship it had shattered 8 crew, one gun and done grievous damage to the ship! (16 to hit – so that’s a raise – 22 damage… 2 wounds… crew and weapon criticals).

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The Black Reefer takes a long distance shot at the Unicorn (at the bottom right).

Turn Four

The pirate sloop swings around to broadside the Antelope (with 4 x 4pdrs…) and made holed its sails (two hits, no damamge). The Antelope replies with four cannons of it’s own with no hits at all. The Unicorn joined in and fired on the Pirate sloop as well – with equally under-whelming results.

The Pirate sloop firing on the Antelope.

The Reefer scored another hit, this time on the Antelope. The antelope was forced to take evasive maneuvers (hit, not enough damage to wound but did force a control test – which failed and cause the ship to swing around…).

Darrin’s big beast then also fired on the Antelope holing it and leaving it dead in the water… (one wound… that’s all it’s got….).

Turn Five

The Unicorn and the Black Reefer exchanged long range broadsides with little effect.

Unicorn and Black Reefer firing on each other.

Darrin then finished off the Antelope. Bloop!

Lloyd’s ship, having shot well past their enemy, tried club hauling his sloop, failed, and swung the little boat around in circles.

Turn Six

Everybody maneuvering and taking pot shots at each other with no effect.

Turn Seven

Lloyd let rip with his four we guns at the Unicorn at a fairly long range. The Unicorn had had enough and game Lloyd’s little ship a full broadside. The “Dubloon Express” disappeared in a cloud of smoke, splinters, body bits and other flying debris (There! She’s sunk! Now come up with a better name for your next ship!).

KA-BOOM! (33 damage, causing 5 wounds to a ship that can take one…)

Jeff and Darrin also took shots, which hit but caused no appreciable damage to the sturdy hull of the Unicorn.

Turn Eight

Jeff gets a joker! The Black Reefer lurched about and fired. They scored another telling blow against the Unicorn, sending splinters flying and destroying another of it’s cannons.

Meanwhile the Unicorn and Darrin’s ship exchanged ineffective fire.

Turn Nine

The unicorn maneuvered and fired back at the Black Reefer and missed. The Reefer returned fire causing 10 more crew casualties and leaving it dead in the water.

We assumed the Unicorn would be finished off or boarded and plundered so we left it at that. Nine turns in just over an hour of play sent two ships to a watery grave and crippled another. If we hadn’t spent so much time making characters (… and waiting for people to show up) we might have had time to play out a boarding action … well… if we had some larger scale ship models… I’ll get working on that

Coming (very) soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Hopefully I will finish up the House Rules for Savage Ship Combat in the Age of Sail tonight. It is the first Friday of the month and I had promised to run a game… but I haven’t heard from anyone saying they’re coming and I know of two definite NOs…. So it’ll probably just be a hobby/blog posting night.


  1. Dude, that's totally awesome!

    I really want to see your house rules, too! Did you incorporate wind/sails into it? I certainly hope so...

  2. Yes, wind indeed! I'll try and get them up tomorrow!