Saturday 13 July 2013

No Quarter: Biggest Game Yet!

It been a while, but I've been a busy lad over the last couple of weeks with an enormous amount of work to get done! However, to make up for this here is a guest post by Huw Williams, with details on how his game, No Quarter, went on our last all dayer less than a week ago. Enjoy! 

Saturday saw the biggest and for my money, most successful play-test of the "No Quarter!" ruleset, yet staged.
The scenario was chosen to accomodate as many players as possible, from various factions, working towards the same objective. This was a terror-raid organised by the British against one of the largest towns of the Spanish Main; 'Portocabino' Portocabino, 'the jewel of the Yucatan', is a Spanish colonial town which has become rich in the rum, raisin and chocolate trade, it is also a major exporter of silver from the mines inland in which British prisoners are worked to death. It has a deep water harbour which is approached through a narrow channel among treacherous sandbars. This approach is guarded by a stone built fort mounting massively heavy artillery.

 The town itself is a charming example of colonial architecture famous for its many fine taverns eateries and brothels. The cathedral of St ignacious The Flatulent houses fabulous treasures wrought in Peruvian silver, gold and emeralds, while the Governor himself is rightly famous for his extensive collection of modern money.

At the waters edge is the rowdy dockside district with warehouses crammed with the produce of the indies and to the South is the Creole quarter a charming tangle of slum-housing peopled by casual labourers and their sultry dark-eyed women.

This then is the place upon which proud Britannia would unleash bloody murder.
To get a fleet together to do this kind of shit aint easy.
You need a lot of boats mounting a lot of artillery, you need rough men willing to do bloody murder for the price of an egg and cress sandwich and you need a convenient patsy to take the fall when it all goes tits-up.

As luck would have it we got all three hanging round the docks in jamaica. A motley fleet of French and ex-Spanish pirates, privateers under government contract and Captain Carl and his Royal Navy frigate, who had already failed his last three missions and could be quietly blamed for everything and hanged if it all went wrong

Carl had a pig of a job ahead of him, not only was the port defended by the fortress but there was a garrison of infantry in the town and two 40 gun Spanish men-o-war anchored ready to defend the channel into the harbour. Add to this the fact that none of his fleet were inclined to obey his orders or take him seriously and you can see that it weren't going to be an office picnic.

Oh no.
I never thought for one minute this game was going to get any further than the entrance to the channel. I kinda assumed the two well-armed, heavily manned Spanish men o war would blow them to bits, or Carls ship at least. Shows what I know.

Before the game started any players with the gold or gems could 'buy' improvements to their ships, extra hull, rigging or speed points, I also gave those who had serious money an opportunity to buy information about the town. Lou did this and got a map showing him where the major stashes of cash were and the information that the fort had less than half its guns and garrison in place.

One major arse-pain during the set-up was the no-show of the second umpire. under the informal rule of 'Don't Got, Can't Have' it was decided that his man o war would not come into play until it had cleared for action, loaded guns and weighed anchor, a process that wuld take fifteen moves! 

"Kick-off" came at about 11 am with the British 'fleet' entering the board line abreast, Carl in the HMS Obvious taking the narrow channel to the South, the others heading down the main roadstead or set risk crossing the sandbanks.

The Spanish flagship, guns double-loaded with chainshot turned slightly and headed boldly out to meet them. The red flag at her mast-head indicated 'No Quarter' given or expected, the sun flashing off the gilded works on her stern she advanced along the narrow channel directly into a storm of shite.

Accurate long-range gunnery from one of the privateers splintered her mainmast which crashed down anchoring her to a sand bar. In her struggle to get free the HMS obvious got the drop on her, come alongside and lashed her with a full broadside of grapeshot which killed or maimed half the crew.

Shocked silence among the Spanish and the pirates: Carl had done something right.
As the Spaniard limped further into the channel to reorganise and return, Carl turned North into the harbour to protect the fleet from the guns of the fort.

As my old great granma said "Never get into a head to head pissing contest with a spanish fort, me gosson". And so Carl found a good third of his rigging points shot off by the wicked long heavy guns of fort Santa Monica Di Verjazzel. Turning back out to sea, he came up on the second Spanish man o war as she got under way and shielded the pirate fleet as it either crashed ashore or turned like jackals on the shipping in the bay.

Captain De La Haye's brutal band o' buckos were first to bring their bad attitudes and general surly demeanours to bear on the port and in a rampage of several hours they looted the dock-side warehouses and stores and sent a party to rob the Central Bank of The Indies before heading back out to sea.

Then the first of the privateers unloaded his cargo of mayhem. in a bold move Cap'n Aaron beached his sloop in a landing-craft stylee, allowing his band of hardened salts and marines to stor ashore.
The Juan Carlos's ('Juankers' for short) hadnt been idle, tho the garrison was strck' with the yellow jack, some brave officers gathered together such men in the taverns and bawdy houses who could still raise a blade to build barricades and face the on-rush. They clashed among the chandlers shops and stores East of the main square and a deadly duel began: Spanish pluck 'gainst English steel and lead!

Out upon the bay the city's fate was sealed. Captain Carl Parfitt turned his frigate to the East, pulled along of the second Spanish warship. and give them the same medicine already dispensed to their sister ship. The decks were littered with blood brains and broken bodies; They had never even had time or leisure to load or run out a single gun.

 The surviving Spanishers struck colours and handed their swords over to the prize crew come over from the obvious. Part at least of the British armada was struggling; Alun had wedged his boat against a sand-bar and was in danger of a good bombing from the fort, while Mikes crew had yielded to the several blandishments of Spanish gold and betrayed the British plan to the enemy!

Back in the town looting and terror and the clash of steel held sway, one stranded Spanish sea-captain and his officers held off the marines and privateers of Capn' Aaron but more were arriving and might soon overwhelm them. It wasn't looking good for Spanish interests in the town so it was that with a heavy head and a couple of heavy iron bound chests the town governor bravely ordered his butler to prepare his coach for a quick escape.

Back out in the harbour things were changing rapidly, Captain Owain, he of the long-lie-in, finally rocked up in his brig of many leaks straight into an artillery duel with the damaged Spanish flagship. In the event it was an inconclusive exchange and the Spanisher manouvered hard to shake him off and head towards Carl to cut off his escape with the other captured man o war.

 Pretty much all resistance was over in the town now, the last of the spanish sailors and civilians were starting to leg it into the forests and swamps, only three bastions remained: The garrison of the artillery fort whose shot were now landing uncomfortably close to the ships anchored at the docks and the bishop and his retinue who had shuttered and barred themselves inside the cathedral...... Oh and the governors entourage who had set off in his coach for the safety of nearby Cartagena, but first had to get through the town...

BANG! 64 pound of iron shot and chain tore through captain De La hay's rigging convincing him that his work in Portocabino was finally done, before another could land he decided to cut his cables and scarper. his place was taken by Owain who came in for a perfect landing to back up his partner in sea-crime, Aaron in sacking the town. The heavy guns at the fort reloaded slowly so most of the time could only gaze upon the horrors of the sacking helplessly. Time was on their side though, sooner or later they would smash any ship anchored in the bay.... unless they were silenced.
There was one last desperate chance open to the spaniards; The flagship was heading back, her starboard guns loaded and skeleton crewed with a will, she bore down on HMS Obvious. once more these adversaries drew board and board and....

Carl aced it again with a combination of grapeshot and musketry he killed her captain, slaughtered her crew and in no time siezed her with a boarding party and was sailing back to Jamaica at the had of a captured flotilla, looking forward to tea and medals with the governor and all the buns and well-born ladies his tongue could cope with.

With the spanish navy dealt with the majority of the pirates now headed back out to sea, seeing no profit in braving the forts guns any longer. Only the privateers of captains Owain and aaron remained. They were wicked and set on looting the rest of the town and the cathedral in particular which had gotten away with it till now. A peach fell into their lap as the roving gangs of liquored up old salts captured the Governr in his coach not once but twice, forcing him to pay a ransom both times.
Finally they let the coach and most of its occupants go but kept a hold of him for bargaining purposes.  unfortunately with the departure of the fleet, the forts guns were now playing their two sloops with iron and it was only a matter of time before they would fine themselves stranded in the town. They made a plan: Owain would dismount one of his cannons onto a cart to blow in the cathedral doors and Aaron would take the great stone fort. Now I was reasonably confident that the fort would hold, it was well provisioned and armed and nigh on impregnable.
It took him four moves.

With the garrison conquered, the cathedral opened and looted, it only remained to burn down the whole town. After that they made off into the gathering night, with the flames of the burning hospital and orphanage of Santiago dabbling their sails a soothing crimson. It had been a profitable venture, even if the 'governor' turned out to be just some random wino in a nice suit the real governor had used as a diversion, they were both well-pleased with their haul.

The End

And there we have it, another truly epic game of No Quarter brought to you by Huw, if you'd like to know more and see and even purchase some of the models, you can go here to Scurvy Dog 25mm Pirate Miniatures on facebook. I'll have more from the all dayer concerning the games of 40k played, but we from the Tredegar Reavers hope you enjoyed this post!

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