Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Hebridean Piracy

It's sometime in the late 16th century. A trio of merchant ships are making their way through Hebridean waters.

But two local lairds also have their birlinns out in the same waters, and are looking for loot.

The Laird of Skye is best positioned to intercept the merchants with his blue-sailed ships.

A shift in the wind put it astern of the merchant convoy, and makes it harder for the Laird of Skye to close quickly. The merchant ships plied their guns vigorously, and damaged one of the Laird's ships.

As the Laird of Skye's ships closed with the merchants, the crimson-sailed vessels of  Angus Redshanks appeared in the distance. With the wind against him Angus had his men row their vessels into action.

The Laird of Skye attacked one of the merchant ships.

His men made heavy weather of the attack though, and as the other merchant ships eluded the blue-sailed vessels, Angus Redshanks' ships came up and launched their own attacks.

One merchant ship struck  immediately, so fearsome was Angus's reputation. The crew of the birlinn set to work transferring the cargo to their own ship.

A third merchant ship escaped the grapples of its attacker and sailed away. Meanwhile the Laird of Skye screamed in frustration as two of his ships were defeated by the merchant vessel they had attacked and, to make matters worse, the merchant ship was then boarded by the crew of one of Angus Redshanks' ships, who made off with a good proportion of the cargo.

The third merchant ship made good its escape.

Meanwhile Angus made off with as much cargo as he could carry, whilst the Laird's remaining two ships blundered around on the fringes of the action, both damaged.

This was a three-sided scenario - the merchant vessels, and the forces of the two Hebridean lairds. The merchant ships just had to cross from one corner to the other. Each carried three items of cargo. If a merchant ship was struck then a birlinn grappled to it could transfer one item of cargo on board itself for one action. A birlinn could carry two items of cargo. Naturally it was possible for teh two lairds to fight each other and even steal captured cargo from each other. Each laird would score for any cargo they got off their starting corner. I didn't really cover possible captures of enemy ships, but that could be a tie-break I guess.

Anyway, teh Laird of Skye got no cargo, the merchants got one fully-loaded ship off the board and the remaining six pieces of cargo were now the property of Angus Redshanks. So a convincing win for laird with the red sails.

The ships were:

Merchants - Q3 C3 - Galleon Rigged, Merchant, Veteran NCOs

Birlinns - Q3 C3 - Square Rigged, Unarmed, Intimidating, Shallow Draft, Sweeps

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