Club member Alan speaks on his gang of marauders :
The trouble with the word, Pirates, in wargame circles is that it conjures up very specific ideas. Its all small gangs skirmishing in inns or on the deck of boats that are normally far too small. Nothing wrong with such games of course, they can be lots of fun but, there is another way.....
I decided, mainly because I had a pile of new figures from Wargames Foundry that hadn't actually cost me anything (long story, tell you later), that I really didn't want a series of small gangs. I wanted a force to be reckoned with, something that reflected the big gangs and crews of the 17th century, the full ship crews, the smuggler bands that could number in their hundreds! My first thought was to build such a force for the Donnybrook rule set. This is a handy set of rather bloody rules from the League of Augsburg, I had already built a military force for this a couple of years ago. But, after being rather impressed with the new range of Osprey rule sets, eventually settled for Pikemans Lament. These rules are essentially based on the popular Lion/Dragon Rampant set so work well. Once I took a close look at what figures I had available and checked with the points system the rules used, I seemed I had enough to build a good sized twenty four point army.
Pikemans Lament uses units of twelve or six figures, quite handy as the Wargames Foundry figure packs are usually of six figures. I worked out that I could build half a dozen or so units and, given the points system and the variations available, still be able to play around and build several versions as a game may require. I suppose that in effect I did end up building several mini gangs, each unit becoming a distinct crew with its own leader and standard. Such unit leaders and flags play no real part in the rules but the concept lent itself well to the narrative of a pirate army. A confederation of convenience, perhaps? So, here is what I ended up with....
The Leader is Red-beard Rum with a unit of twelve raw musketeers.
He is supported by two other such units headed by Molly Black-heart McSweeney and Chopper-Tom Harris.
A fourth musketeer unit is provided by the government turncoat and sometimes merchant adventurer Sir Thomas Gage.....booo, hisss etc.
A unit of pikemen commanded by Willy Wright and a bunch of psychotic swordsmen (clansmen, in the rules) lead by the African 'Sweet' Brothers complete the large units.
A unit of six Forlorne Hope elite troops are lead by Mad Stumpy Jones and a six figure Commanded Shot unit is lead by Antigua Jack....even enough casualty figures to provide nifty looking game markers.
I have also recently added a cannon and crew but no pics of that, sorry. As an army for Pikemans Lament they work rather well and certainly add a little flavour to a game, something a little different than your average New Model Army force certainly!