Blood and Plunder Quick Look

In the past pirate games have not really grabbed me as something I wanted to play. Previous games such as Legends of the High Seas or On the Seven Seas looked interesting but not quite interesting enough.  Blood and Plunder has the potential to be different. The rules combine skirmish level land and sea actions using heroic 28 mm sized figures and ships of various types that fit with 28 mm sized figures. I am not really sure of the exact "scale" of the ships until I get one in my hands and measure it all. 

The period covered by Blood and Plunder is the Golden Age of Piracy 1660 to 1680 and set in the Caribbean.

I think the bonus with this set is that it provides the rules, miniatures, ships, support (through Facebook and their website) as well as the opportunity for expansion. In addition they have taken on historians Benerson Little and Christopher Tunez to consult on ship design, costume and weapons as well as providing historical background to the game. These things are quite rare in historical gaming as most designers rely on their own historical "knowledge" rather than seek an expert.

Currently there are 3 nationalities available English, Spanish, French as well as an unaligned faction (hate that term). The next expansion seems to aim at expanding this to include the Dutch. Each nationality has their own range of figures although looking ate the costumes there are options to mix and match. In addition each has character figures as well.

The miniatures are a rather large 28 mm (closer to 30mm) sized figures so if you already have Foundry or Eureka pirate miniatures they are not likely to fit with the Firelock castings. They are cast in lead free pewter no plastic nonsense here. The poses are nicely detailed and cast with a 20 mm round deck section base. This is probably, and I am being picky here, the only issue I have with the figures. The base would have been better at 25 mm round to give a bit more stability. I can see why they went for the smaller base to get the figures to fit on the decks of the ships. However, for land based actions they are a tad unstable (could blame it on sea legs). Other points on the figures they are easy to paint, with that I mean they have a balance between detail and paintability, they are not too detailed. 

The rule book itself it quite spectacular in hard copy format with excellent colour photos of some excellent terrain. In this respect the publisher has gone all out and you can see that in the images below.

Cost in comparison to other rulesets the cost is reasonable. For example a hard cover rulebook from Warlord Games you are looking at $80Aus while Blood and Plunder, through Olympian Games is $60Aus. For miniatures a nationality set of 25 pewter miniatures is $95Aus or $3.80 per figure. Crusader miniatures pirates from War and Peace Games $13Aus for three figures or $4.30 per figure.
A sloop will set you back $97Aus, a similar vessel through Aisty Castings about $90Aus. However the Firelock sloop also includes guns and swivels which are an additional cost with Ainsty.

Looking at the forum there are arguments about the expense of Firelock Miniatures, especially in comparison to Warlord Games or Games Workshop starter sets. However, none of the comparisons are like for like. Warlord Games and Games Workshop are plastic figures and in most cases the rules are an A5 soft cover abbreviated version.

The rules are well supported through their forum and explanations of the rules can be found on their Youtube channel.

Blood and Plunder has taken off quite quickly in Australia with local distributor Olympian Games in Canberra running out of stock with each order.  


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