I got interested in Pirates back-to-front. I'm not that interested in pirates in general, but I'm always looking for a way to drag a friend into wargaming, since I know so few gamers. And when I learned that my pastor's two sons were both nuts over pirates, I saw an opportunity. I bought some ship packs, whetted their interest, their father got the bug as well, and away we went. Now they're bringing more friends into our gaming group, and I can find a game just about any time I want.
You may also find some battle reports and other info about WizKids' other constructable games here, namely Rocketmen, Star Wars, and Race Day.
Cadet-Captain Mike's Guide to Basic Piracy:
- Ship attributes
- Keywords & abilities
- Factions & other
- Ships & tactics
- Ships & maneuvers
- Using islands & terrain
- Pirates glossary
Cadet-Captain Mike's Top Ten Lists for Pirates
Cadet-Captain Mike's Random Set-Up Tables for Pirates
Cadet-Captain Mike's Guidelines for Playing Pirates Solitaire
Cadet-Captain Mike's Very Own Pirates Release
Cadet-Captain Mike's Semi-Random Crew Generator
How Cadet-Captain Mike Made His Islands
Pirates - Treasure Island — a card game by Cadet-Captain Mike
- The Islands of El Dorado
- Thar She Blows!
- The Midas Touch
- The Golden Goose
- The Live Volcano
- Paradise Island
- Ted the T-Rex
- Rain Squalls
- The Other World
- The Pirates' Race
- Convoy Command
- NASCAR (yes, it's about Pirates)
Nov 28, 2005 (our first battle)
2006 Battle Reports
2007 Battle Reports
2008 Battle Reports
2009 Battle Reports
2010 Battle Reports
2011 Battle Reports
2012 Battle Reports
2013 Battle Reports (most recent: Jan 2013)
Race Day reports (most recent: May 15, 2012)
Rocketmen battle reports (most recent: Mar 01, 2011)
Star Wars battle reports (most recent: Aug 14, 2012)
Rules for playing Star Wars Pocketmodel as a minis game
|These are some photos of various ships, showing the variety of designs available in the game.
|The Big Five factions
|The Pirates are all about grabbing gold and getting it home. Their ships are inexpensive and quick; their cannons can be good, but rarely excel in battle. This eight-ship squadron cost only 30 points to build.
|Don't mess with the Royal Navy! The English are all about fighting, with some of the best battleships in the game, including the crushing HMS Leicester, at front right in this picture.
|The Spanish are more focused on gold than the English, but they can still fight well. The game's fluff text has not been kind to them, but they have many fans and are by no means a second-rate fleet.
|French ships are broadly similar to Pirates; they are low-priced, not quite as good at snatching gold, and considerably better in combat. A mix of gold ships and fighting ships makes an effective French fleet.
|The Americans are similar to their English cousins, a bit more costly, and even more focused on fighting. Their many schooners are particularly effective.
|One of my favorite 30-point fleets (the slow but capacious Rattlesnake, the speedy Flying Fish, and the awesome USS Franklin) peacefully anchored at their home island. They will sail with the tide, in search of gold, gunfire, and the American way!
|A Jade Rebellion fleet (the turtle ship Noble Swan and two junks, Sea Tiger and the enormous Grand Path) arrives from the east to examine the mysterious Humpback Island.
|The little Spanish Monarca thumbs her nose at the huge Le Soleil Royal as she explores Sand Bar Island. The Frenchman is too big to get through the shallow water.
|One of His Majesty's finest, HMS Burma, gives a scurvy pirate what-for! The pirates know they'll hang if they surrender, so they are well-motivated to fight back and win. But whoever fires first has a big advantage.
|Has the unstoppable Spaniard, La Resolucion, met its match at last? The ancient monster Calim had better not count its squidlings before they're hatched.
|"No sailor but a fool would attack a fortress."
- Admiral Lord Nelson
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."
|A Viking fleet spreads its sails to the chill northern winds. Whoever hopes to engage them in battle had better not let them take the first shot.
|The mighty Old Ironsides' battle squadron has acquired an unexpected addition. It seems friendly so far.
|A colorful Spanish schooner desperately flees two equally lovely but dangerous Barbary Corsair galleys.
|A cast-iron mercenary submarine tries to ram the formidable pirate ship Darkhawk II. A huge shark watches with interest; no matter who loses, he knows he'll win.
|It takes a desperate pirate, or a seriously greedy one, to search for gold at the foot of a live volcano. Here we have one of each.
|The odds of the USS Overton surviving two firepot masts are vanishingly small. Did she make it? See the battle report for July 7, 2007 for an epic story of the sea.
|The Battle of September 19, 2006 (Talk Like A Pirate Day)
|This was a wild six-player game. The large round island in the middle is Humpback Island.
Richard's fleet, the large Bonhomme Richard and the small Lynx, enter the scene from the left; the sea monster Jormungandr is near the Lynx, but submerged.
Just above the Lynx, Mike's Julius Caesar approaches, bows-on. In the next two turns, the Caesar will slay Jormungandr with one broadside, dismast the Lynx, grab the gold from the island nearby, and build a fort there.
The large ship to the left of Humpback Island is Mike's Enterprise, which has just sunk Dave's La Monarca. Above the Enterprise is Mike's New Orleans, which is about to shoot past Dan's derelict Le Mercure and ram his Le Triton in order to bring her to Mike's home port.
At top right are Dan's La Provence and La Baionnette, with Paul's red-sailed Bloody Jewel to their right. Paul's Cursed Blade and kraken Calypsos are out of sight to the right.
The big black ship below Dan's ships is Lora's Shadow, with her La Furia just below it, docked at a wild island. Just below the island is the hulk of her La Santa Isabel, which has just been left derelict by Dave's Le Courageux (left) and La Cazadora (right) in revenge for her wrecking his HMS Apollo (just below La Cazadora).
At the bottom of the picture is Dave's home island, with the Hades' Flame docked, having just returned with all the gold from Dogbone Island.
See the battle report for this date for more information.
|A Battle of January 16, 2008
|This is what the end of a four-way, 45-point battle looks like. You can see the ocean fabric we sometimes use for a playing field, my home-made islands, and the Post-It flags we use instead of removing masts (to cut down on breakage). Dinosaurs guard most of the islands, but they played little role in the battle.
The big ship at left center is Mike's damaged USS Constitution, which is about to finish off Daniel's tiny Le Bon Marin. At the top is a cluster of two-masted derelicts - Paul's Cat's Claw, Richard's Sea Tiger and Rattlesnake, and Daniel's L'Intrepide. At right, Richard's big Bonhomme Richard engages Paul's fort, while Richard's Sea Rat maneuvers for position and Mike's USS Mercury (submerged) prepares to ram. Paul's pirate ship Treachery, minus its masts, is docked at an empty island at bottom left.
See the battle report for this date to find out how we got into this mess.