After Friday night's WWW2 game, I set out to help with the local Sacramento club's playtest of their massive 15mm pirate game the club will be running at 2 upcoming local conventions: Conquest Sacramento, March 16-18 & Pacificon Game Expo in Santa Clara Labor Day weekend.
One of our more insane members has decided to organize a game on 2 24'x6' boards, complete with 4 national towns (Dutch, French, British & Spanish), a pirate island, 2 native island, a volcano, & lots of minor islands & lagoons to expore.
The organizer has his own blog showing construction & progress of the game called the Carob Bean Sea.
Here is a picture looking out from my Dutch town with my main 30 gun frigate in the foreview. Every national town has 3 ships (frigate, merchant & privateer) with 50 crew each. Plus in the town are 2 50 figure forces for the colonial Govenor & the military Commander. So each national town has about 250 15mm figures. With there being 4 towns, that's 1000 figures just for the different nations.
Here is 1 full 24'x6' board. You can see the 2nd board in the background to the right. The boats are able to move between the 2 boards, but the boards are separated so players can walk between them.
Here are a number of ships ready to sail. In addition to the 3 ships each nation has, the Pirates have 4 ships, for a total of 16 ships on the board. Plus the natives have lots of canoes & the 2 land forces in the national towns each have their own smaller boats.
Here's one of the towns with its land forces deployed. I have built 6 sets of the defensive works & stakes seen in the top left corner of the picture as my meager contribution to the club effort.
& another town.
Some ships mixing it up off the coast of one of the native islands (you can see their huts in the top right corner).
This is the sacraficing natives' island, as opposed to the cannibal natives' island that you will see in a moment.
Here is the view of the cannibal natives's island after I bombarded the shrine to their pagan god. One of my objectives was to "chastise" the sacraficing natives. Unfortnately, I got confused & bombarded the wrong native island. While my crew was focusing on the bombardment, native canoes paddled up to my ship & climbed over the railing. They surprised the on-board Marines & killed 4 stands of them before disappearing back into the sea.
The game will support 32 players, with each player having their own objectives. My objectives were to: 1) Trade with the Spanish, 2) Raid the French, 3) Chastise the sacraficing natives & 4) Explore & find treasure. But my Dutch force of 3 ships & 2 land forces would be split up between 5 separate players in the big game, so those objectives would be split up too. The natives even had their own objectives of crossing the ocean to a lagoon to go pearl diving.
The playtest went well, if very chaotic. The rules were homebrew & this was their first outing. The games was as much to teach the GMs the rules as it was to try to has out any issues.