Monday, July 10, 2017

Sorting Through My Pirate Hordes

In looking at setting up a Pirate campaign for Sharp Practice, I needed to figure out what figures I had bought and what were still needed. As my normal, I am making both a pirate force and a Spanish force. The Spaniards are the easiest to figure out. If you look at most of the base forces for SP you see them set up as a pyramid. Three groups of one type, two groups of another and one group of skirmishers. That is the base force.

So in looking at what a typical defensive force would be availible in the Caribbean, I made up the following base force. Three groups of 8 Militia. These are not the militia of the AWI that were called up with whatever they had availible. Instead these are the town guards who were uniformed and trained. From what I have found out, they were uniformed in a red coat. I will have three groups of eight of these fellows. The figures are all older Peter Pig miniatures that lack a bayonet on their musket. Interestingly, these figures are no longer availible on the Peter Pig Website. They have been replaced by some other fellows sporting bayonets. The Militia will be rated as Conscripts and Volunteers.

The next tier of troops will be Spanish Regulars. Again, I am using Peter Pig Miniatures, this time the government troops sporting bayonets. This made an easy distinction between the regulars and the Militia. Based on images that I have found on the internet, I am giving them white uniforms. Apparently there may be grenadiers availible as well as there were some present in West Florida for a couple of the battles they participated in during the American Revolution and the uniforms seemed to have changed very little. I will just use plain musketeers as that is the only troops I have. I have one group of eight so far. I need to place another order from Peter Pig. The other option is to grab the Pirate Hunters pack from Rebel Miniatures to add some more variety to them. I may go with that. The plan is to have two groups of 8 of this troop type.

But what about the final group? That is where I am stuck. I am thinking that this may be scenario dependent. For example, if it is pirates raiding a village or town, it could be a group of armed townsfolk. If it were an action at sea, it could be Spanish sailors. Or just another group of Militia or Regulars. The answer is, I don't know yet.

For basing, I have some small 20mm round bases that I plan on using along with some Sabot bases that I bought from Litko. This should get them looking all properly martial.

But for my pirate force, I am going with group sizes of 12 figures. As such, they will be very dangerous in hand to hand but should be outmatched in a firefight. At this point I have the following figures:

8 pirates with custlasses
8 pirates with muskets
8 pirates with pistols

These are the results of purchasing those corresponding Peter Pig packages. I did not have the variety that I was really looking for. I was disappointed that there are not improvised weapons availible from the Peter Pig Range. Love to see a fellow with a belaying pin or a boarding pike. But I did find in the Museum Miniatures Pirate range they have boarding pikes and coachguns! So an order has been sent out for a pack of each of those. They should show up at some point.

What I am aiming for is groups of mixed armament. Some of everything in each group. They will not be able to enter into formation so basing will all be individual. I have some thoughts on the number of pirate groups but I will save that for later as I hope to have it as an article in the Christmas TFL special.

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