Club-Projekt 2009: Panama 1671 (english)

The last few years in our wargaming scene brought many inspirations for the whole pirate theme. There were the very popular „curse of the caribbean“-movies, some films about  Captain Blackbeard in TV and the release of warhammer historicals „Legends of the high seas“-Rulebook. Also the wonderful pirates in 28mm from Foundry and in 15mm from Peter Pig. Following this direction some of the leading wargames magazines (for Example WSS No.     ) brought articles abouth swashbucklers, the golden age of piracy and raids in the spanish main.
We had already some pirate partys in 28mm and a spanish army of that period in 15mm and looked, how we could bring them to action.
First we sought for a strong overall-theme for our project and soon we decided, that the infamous buccaneer captain Henry Morgan would be a person, who is very well known to the most peoples and worth for a wargame-scenario. At next we read a few books about him and the buccaneers and choose his well-known raid on Panama in the year 1671 to recreate on the wargaming table.
So far so good. But there was our old problem, that we had figures in 28 mm and in 15mm and some of us would not like to paint more 28mm Figs and others don´t want to paint 15mm Figs. So we decided to combine them both in a pirate scenario in three parts.

The base scenario is a large battle in 15mm. It covers the attack of Morgan´s bucaneers on the spanish town of Panama and its harbour. Panama is defended by a spanish army, that is prepared for battle in the savannah, a flat plain in front of the city.Our buccaneer army got three units of musketeers, two units of pirates with hand-weapons and a unit of pikemen (surely there were not many pikes in the ranks of the buccaneers, but we want a mix of weapons to add some different tactical options for the players).
The spanish army is a mix of arquebusiers, two solid pike blocks, sword&buckler man, mounted arquebusiers, two cannons and a cavalry unit. The special feature is a large cattle herd, that was gathered to drive them in the ranks of the buccaneers to cause panic and disruption. The weak point there are the guys who keep the cattle herd at bay. If they are shot down, the bulls stampede over the battlefield and don´t make a difference between friend or foe. A very spectacular event, that happened several times through our games and what was often one of the causes of victory or defeat, what depends on whose army suffered more from the stampede.  
Meanwhile there is the gouvernor´s daughter in the city, who try to flee to the waiting spanish treasure ship in the harbour, to escape to the open sea.
The task of the buccaneers is, to beat the spanish in battle, to strom the city gates of Panama and capture the gouvernor´s daughter or the treasure ship or both. The spanish must prevent this.  
This scenario uses the rules from CRUSADER Miniatures. The spanish miniatures are from Venexia, Mirliton and Essex, the pirates are from the „pieces of eight“-range from Peter Pig and from the ECW-Range of Freikorp15.

The 2nd scenario is a skirmish in 28mm, played with home-made rules. Here, on the evening before the attack, a handfull of pirates sneak in the town of Panama to weaken the defenses. They have to find the captain of the treasure ship at the main battle. If they´re succesfull, the treasure ship will sail slower than normaly so the buccaneers had more chances to capture it.
The 2nd mission is to blow up a spanish blackpowder depot. The noise and fire causes a moral check for the spanish defenders at the main battle.
The Miniatures are from Foundry and Freebooter.        

The 3rd scenario is a larger skirmish in 28mm, played with „Legends of the high seas“-Rules. Here two pirate storming-partys try a surprise attack on one spanish artillery batterie (to silence one of the two cannons in the main battle) and try to capture the gouvernor´s second daughter. If the daughter fell in pirate hands, the game sattistics of the commander in the main battle are halved and so he can´t support his units properly.
Asides from this a spanish scout try to cross the field to alert the guards at the city gate of Panama (if the scout fails, the gate in the main battle is undefended and falls, if one buccaneer unit contact it).  
The Miniatures are from Foundry and Renegade.        

We played our Panama-Scenario at various wargames shows 2009 in Germany and we where glad to see, that the interlinking of the three scenarios worked very well and the players enjoyed the games. So, that´s it, the next project can come.