It's mostly the fault of Osprey I think. As well as Dragon Rampant coming my way I also gave in and ordered Frostgrave (as well as Black Ops last month!) but what has me excited is En Garde! which is a swashbuckling skirmish game based on the Ronin rules they released a year or so back.
Now, I already own Ronin (do Osprey know their audience or what? 'Thats a nice rule set! 12 quid? Alright then, here's my money!') so have an idea of how En Garde! will play and it makes me think it might be right up my rennaisance alley way. They even have a section about playing the game with Fantasy elements apparently! So with that on the way it was time to start thinking about getting figures ready, hence looking for pennies to mount more troops on - both spanish and english/dutch. Think halberds and swords rather then the blackpowder armed troops I have done.
So the next random idea to pop into my head is whether to start building new terrain and what form this terrain might take. First thing that came to mind was a harbour side or dock, something like this from cianty's tabletop blog.
I thought 'wow! I could do the ships in the harbour and everything cos I've already got some ships!' Which obviously led me digging out the models and seeing what i had. Which it turns out is this...
|One big ass Spanish Galleon|
|2 Golden Hinds (i'm not sure if this is the actual kit or not)|
|and 2 Santa Marias|
So this leaves me with choices, do I do a big old harbour or do I diversify into sea going shenanigans? Well I suppose I could do both. Raids on merchant shipping. Ganging up on a single vessel. Raid on a harbour. Escape from a dock. So many options! But this throws up more choices - I don't think En Garde! will have rules for fighting with ships so I could simply use them as floating bit of scenery, tied in the dock and simply being fought on. Similarly we could play a game where the two enemy ships have come along side and 'grappled' with the Spanish galleon and the fight would be on the decks of the ships, seeing if the boarders could be repelled or if the ship could be taken as a prize. Would that be fair to the ships though?
I already own Legends of the High Seas
and although it's a pirate game, the rules a flexible enough to deal with the removal of a century or two and the naval rules seem pretty decent, allowing lots of canon duels and swinging on ropes just like you'd wish for in a daring maritime action.
I also picked up my copy of Elizabeth's Sea Dogs by Hugh Bicheno
The book as an account of the sea borne mayhem caused by the Elizabethan sea captains during the period and goes into detail about their methods and the political situation surrounding them as they whipped back and forth across the Atlantic giving the Spaniards all kinds of grief. While I think about it I might drag another couple of Osprey books out, like 'Elizabethan Sea Dogs' as I'm a total sucker for Angus Mcbride illustrations
And 'the great expedition' about Drake's raid on the Spanish main.
So now you get an idea of where my head's at with this project. Expect to see things developing over the next year as I try stuff out and attempt to have some more games.