On Parade! 17th century French crew


In my last On Parade! posting I showed off my Dutch crew for the pirate game Blood and Plunder. This time it is the turn of the French.


Boucaniers: The boucaniers were known for their deadly accuracy. These hunters of cattle and swine came from the western end of Hispaniola, and lived a rough backwoods life. It wasn’t long before these enterprising woodsmen began attacking passing Spanish ships, usually from small canoes or other small watercraft.


Flibustiers: These were only second only to the boucaniers in experience in raiding Spanish ships and settlement. Like most French fighting men of the time, they preferred to quickly move into close action where they could bring their braces of pistols to bear at point blank range.


Milices des Caraïbes: These militia formed the primary defence forces of the French Caribbean. They ranged from well-equipped companies manned by former buccaneers, free blacks, or planters to poorly equipped ones composed mainly of indentured servants, poor workers and slaves.


Marins: French sailors had great experience in naval combat from their many engagements in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Americas. Usually armed with fine French pistols, they excelled at boarding actions.


My commanders (on the right in the above pic) include a rather dandy-ish generic French captain, and the notorious buccaneer Francois L’Olonnais. The latter was an intrepid and inspiring leader, but also almost certainly a sociopath. Spaniards would choose rather to die or sink fighting than surrender to him, knowing they would have no mercy at his hands.

So that’s my French force. Next time we’ll look at pirates! And don’t forget to visit my other On Parade! postings, in which I’m gradually doing inspection parades of every army in my wargaming collection.

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

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