Pirate raid in Kapiti


Today I put on a pirate display at the Kapiti Wargames Club’s open day.  I say ‘display’, because it wasn’t a game as such, but just an excuse to lay out as much of my piratical terrain and figures as I could, in a static display piece.  

I guess I could’ve just as easily played a game on the terrain, but I was too lazy to do so.  Anyway, I just wanted to enjoy talking to the club members and any other spectators, and convincing people that good terrain needn’t be too complicated. 

The display was very much ‘Hollywood’ rather than ‘History’, with various anachronisms evident (eg a Napoleonic landing party in a Golden Age of Piracy game from a totally different century), and some definite confusion in architectural styles (ranging from a Spanish Main village to an American colonial boat-house and church).  

I took a pile of pictures, so here they are for your enjoyment.  They’re all quite large photos, so that you an click on them to get the full-size effect.

IMG_lg_1941An island, somewhere in the Spanish Main.  The terrain is a bunched up felt gaming cloth arranged over a commercial sea terrain mat, with some judicious use of real rocks and sand.  Simple, but eye-catching.

IMG_lg_1964Teddy-bear fur provided some fields of wheat.  Does wheat grow in the Caribbean?  Who cares? … this is Hollywoood, remember!

IMG_lg_1963This was a great excuse to drag out my home-made Napoleonic Peninsular War village, and the Perry civilians for that period.

IMG_lg_1962My Royal Navy longboat rows past a Dutch merchantman to battle the pirate invasion.

IMG_lg_1960The Renadra dilapidated barn kitset made a perfect boat-shed, just by adding some ladders and broken fences as ramps.

IMG_lg_1959To any small kids who viewed the table (and there were quite a few), I gave the mission of finding the pirate treasure.  Looking carefully, they would soon spot this cave …

IMG_lg_1958Outside the town the local garrison are on parade in front of the town worthies … little knowing that a pirate raid is eventuating beneath their very noses.

IMG_lg_1957The Dutch merchantman has now been overtaken by the navy boat as it heads round the point to engage the pirates.

IMG_lg_1955And whilst the pirates attack one side of the island, smugglers are busy on the other coast, moving their contraband inland on a convoy of wagons.

IMG_lg_1953The peaceful churchyard – one of two religious institutions on the island.

IMG_lg_1952And meanwhile the garrison continues its preening and parading in front of the ladies …

IMG_lg_1951… and the ladies continue their preening in front of the handsome officers.

IMG_lg_1950But some soldiers are hard at work at the fort on the point, firing the first shots at the pirate fleet.  The fort is a simple plastic toy I bought at a bring-and-buy.

IMG_lg_1949Some of the pirates have landed, disturbing a trio of young ladies who have been picnicking on the beach under the twirling sails of the (Grand Manner) windmill.

IMG_lg_1948The pirate fleet – including a scratch-built brig by my friend Scott, and my own converted Disney ‘Black Pearl’.

IMG_lg_1945If you look carefully, you’ll see a man praying at his father’s grave in the country churchyard.

IMG_lg_1944Another look at that fat Dutch merchantman – the fat ship, not the fat merchant!  This ship was originally a plastic toy in a boxed game, though it has been given a heavy makeover.

IMG_lg_1943Meanwhile the smugglers are making their way over the bridge and up to the village to dispose of their contraband.  The river, road and bridge are by Australian company Miniature World Makers.

IMG_lg_1940Here’s another look at those pirates landing on the beach, almost under the guns of the fort.

IMG_lg_1939The pirates’ flagship waits off-shore, ignoring the puny gun in the small fort on the point.

IMG_lg_1938One of the the lookouts in the fort tower is blowing the alarum trumpet.

IMG_lg_1937It’s a good thing this is Hollywood rather than History, otherwise that skeleton pirate would be right out of place.

IMG_lg_1936The table attracted a lot of interest right through the day, despite it being a static display.  The longboat is a terrific model by Britannia Miniatures.

IMG_lg_1935Here’s that boat-shed again.  You can also see how a sprinkling of real sand makes an effective touch.

IMG_lg_1934Life goes on in the the higgledy-piggledy village on the hill.

IMG_lg_1933Oh dear, they’re STILL parading.  Haven’t they heard the alarum yet?

IMG_lg_1932Nope, I guess not.

IMG_lg_1947Here’s a couple of the other games we put on … Scott and Paul did a great Flames of War game, with plenty of action.  They even had the screaming sound effect whenever the Stuka made an appearance.

IMG_lg_1946Stephen and Steve put on a lovely 15mm Seven Years War game.

25 thoughts on “Pirate raid in Kapiti

  1. It was a great show Roly, your Pirate dispaly was spectacular!

    A good starting shot of Paul and I, staring at Pauls God of War battery in the soviet woods. Pauls smiles smuggly knowing there isnt a chance in hell I can assault that and live, and i think my grimace tells it all – Thankfully I didnt have to in the end!

    Terrifying to know what my jeans look like from the rear! looks like my nappy slipped! 😉 Looks like new jeans are in order!

    1. Not too hard a dream to replicate – just some creative use of the basecloth, add in some natural sand and rocks, and then throw all the scenery you’ve got on top of it!

  2. My dear wife chanced to see my computer screen while I was checking out your post . . . and she was very impressed with the appearance of your “Pirate Scene”.

    I was too. Marvelous display, Roly. Very inspiring.

    — Jeff

    1. Yes, I must admit I got quite a few admiring comments from females attending the games day. Hmm, let me correct that – my display got quite a few admiring comments from females attending the games day,

    1. Thanks, Legatus. Hollywood rather than History was definitely the effect I was after.

      That village is quite old now, but it still seems to get a good reaction when it comes out onto a table from time to time.

  3. Roly hii
    Well done looks great .. and good to see Rusty creek revisited..
    RIP John Berry who is no longer with us but rolling dice on the Big Wargames table in the Sky ..
    He was a real magician with scratchbuilding equipment and buildings and scenery and Like you and me he loved the look of the game ..

    Wil be over there soon so will catch up for a glass of wine and a chat over old times .. 🙂

    Take care my friend .. Paul

  4. That’s a great looking display!!!
    Very inspiring! Hey, I recognize those skeletons! Lol
    Very inspiring!!
    Is the church scratch-built?

    1. Thanks, Mr Moonlight. Yes, those skeletons are your figures, and wonderful they are too. Great for adding touches of Hollywood to the setting.

      There were two churches in this display. The white colonial one is a Renadra plastic kit. The beige Spanish-style one is indeed scratch-built.

      1. Thanks.
        Yes. I was wondering about the Spanish church. A fantastic model. Very well done!
        I really need to start building my own Spanish town to raid.

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