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.
An 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.
Teddy-bear fur provided some fields of wheat. Does wheat grow in the Caribbean? Who cares? … this is Hollywoood, remember!
This was a great excuse to drag out my home-made Napoleonic Peninsular War village, and the Perry civilians for that period.
My Royal Navy longboat rows past a Dutch merchantman to battle the pirate invasion.
The Renadra dilapidated barn kitset made a perfect boat-shed, just by adding some ladders and broken fences as ramps.
To 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 …
Outside 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.
The Dutch merchantman has now been overtaken by the navy boat as it heads round the point to engage the pirates.
And 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.
The peaceful churchyard – one of two religious institutions on the island.
And meanwhile the garrison continues its preening and parading in front of the ladies …
… and the ladies continue their preening in front of the handsome officers.
But 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.
Some 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.
The pirate fleet – including a scratch-built brig by my friend Scott, and my own converted Disney ‘Black Pearl’.
If you look carefully, you’ll see a man praying at his father’s grave in the country churchyard.
Another 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.
Meanwhile 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.
Here’s another look at those pirates landing on the beach, almost under the guns of the fort.
The pirates’ flagship waits off-shore, ignoring the puny gun in the small fort on the point.
One of the the lookouts in the fort tower is blowing the alarum trumpet.
It’s a good thing this is Hollywood rather than History, otherwise that skeleton pirate would be right out of place.
The 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.
Here’s that boat-shed again. You can also see how a sprinkling of real sand makes an effective touch.
Life goes on in the the higgledy-piggledy village on the hill.
Oh dear, they’re STILL parading. Haven’t they heard the alarum yet?
Here’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.
Stephen and Steve put on a lovely 15mm Seven Years War game.