Bloody Pirates! A Two-Player Campaign

The year is 1338. French and Castillian ships swarm up and down the south coast, burning and pillaging undefended settlements. Dive straight into this desperate battle with a new two-player campaign!

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Baudelio’s galley knifed up the estuary, propelled by a fair summer breeze and the swishing oars protruding from its waist. Brightly painted pavises hung from the gunwhales, and a colourful banner streamed from the masthead.

The land rose sharply on either side of them, rolling dunes giving way to thickly forested country. At the galley’s prow, Baudelio adjusted his shirt of thick leather scales, fussing with the falchion knocking against his thigh.

Up ahead, a plume of smoke gusted out of the trees. A rickety hut and ramshackle landing stage sat beside a sandy dip in the bank, a leaky barge tied up alongside.

A crooked figure, face and clothing blackened by charcoal emerged from one of the huts, eyes widening as he caught sight of the war galley. Baudelio heard the whip-crack of a crossbow string and the man was hurled backwards, a leather-fletched bolt sprouting from his chest.

“Weigh anchor!” Baudelio bellowed, snatching up his shield. “We’ll put ashore here…”

The wealth of medieval England was in its wool export. Taxing this valuable commodity allowed the monarch to finance his campaigns, and enriched the merchants that ferried it across the channel to Flanders.

Central to this trade were the Cinque Ports on the south coast. These five towns were bustling harbours, thronged with ships and merchants. A few castles dotted the sandy coastline, but these imposing fortresses were insufficient to defend the whole coastline from marauding pirates…

Cinque Ports Map
The Cinque Ports, circa 1338. The route of Baudelio’s raid is marked in red.

 

Bloody Pirates!

This is a two-player campaign, using the rules presented on page 40 of the Chevauchee core rulebook. It takes place over five battles, using 300pt warbands.

Baudelio the Castillian and his galley-full of mercenaries square off against Roger de Ypres and an ad-hoc force cobbled together from the local villages and the garrison of a nearby castle.

Both roster sheets are availabe to download here: Crew of the Dona Blanca, and The Rye Garrison

The campaign uses the following scenarios, played in the order presented below.

  1. Hostile Reconnaissance with the Pirates as the attackers.
  2. Ambush with the Pirates as the attackers.
  3. Slash and Burn with the Pirates as the attackers.
  4. Encirclement with the English as the attackers.
  5. Rearguard with the English as the attackers.

Additional Rules

The final battle of the campaign takes place on a Kentish beach. Baudelio’s back is firmly up against a wall, his only hope of escape resting on fair winds and good tides.

The Pirate galley has been tracking the movements of the shore party up the coast but is not in a position to effect an evacuation. Until it arrives, the pirates are trapped.

The Longboats

At the start of each turn, the Castillian player rolls 1d6, adding +1 for each turn that has elapsed. On a 5+, the longboats are close enough to evacuate the stranded pirates.

  • Until the boats arrive, the Castillian player receives no Victory Points for any Fighter that leaves the battlefield.
  • On every subsequent turn, make a Shock Test against a Leadership of 8, representing the crumbling Morale of the two coxswains. If they fail the test, the boats cast off and no more Victory Points can be earned for Fighters leaving the battlefield.

Baudelio ducked behind a low wall as a white-fletched arrow hissed over his head. His men were strung out in a ragged line across a wide cart track, cowering behind arrow-studded pavises, their deadly crossbows forgotten as the arrows slashed from the high ground overlooking the hamlet.

Throwing caution to the wind, Baudelio thundered out from behind the wall. A pair of sleek longboats were grounded on the shingle, oars a-tangle as more arrows fell amidst the rowers.

Reaching the bow of the closest boat, Baudelio thrust a pavise-carrying sergeant between him and the rain of arrows, grabbing the coxwain by his beringed ear.

“Get your men ready to cast off!” He roared, drowned out by the screams of dying men and crashing waves…

Winning the Campaign

After all 5 battles have been played, whoever has accrued the most Victory Points is declared the winner! Did the Castillians make off with the Cinque Port’s bounty, or was de Ypres’ ramshackle force sufficient to protect English soil?

Next Week…

Tom and XXXXXXXX have decided to take this campaign out for a spin. Tune in to see how they fare!