Buccaneer`s Bounty - Wargames @ farfaraway.org



Buccaneer`s Bounty - Wargames @ farfaraway.org
Buccaneer ’s
A Piratey Wargame for Kids
By Owen Conlan
The Basics
Buccaneer’s Bounty? is a game designed to help introduce children to
the basics of wargaming. Each player controls a small crew of pirates
with each crew trying to grab more treasure than the others (or trying
to scare the other pirates away!). Players take turns activating one or
two models, so the turns are quick which means no player has to wait
long to get into the action.
What you ’ll need
To play Buccaneer’s Bounty? you’ll need a handful
of ordinary six-sided dice. These are usually
called D6s. You will be asked to roll 1D6 (one
die), 2D6 (two dice) or occasionally 3D6 (three
dice) at different times during the game.
You will also need some (two or more) lollipop sticks, tongue
depressors, coffee stirrers or similar. These are known simply as sticks
(or planks if you want to be thematic!) and are used for measurements
during the game. Both the stick’s length (L) and width (W) are used.
Treasure pieces will also be required. The small bit of treasure
(i.e. coins) you carry around in your (or a parent’s) wallet
should do just fine. You’ll need about three pieces.
You will also need some models, a flat place to play and
some model scenery – these can be as simple as some
counters, the kitchen table and flat buildings drawn
on paper, or as complex as hand-painted scale models
and custom-made model buildings. Once you have a way
to represent pirates and the terrain they fight over it doesn’t matter
what you use! Printable pirate tokens, sticks and searchable terrain are
included at the end of these rules.
The Game
Each game of Buccaneer’s Bounty? is divided into turns with players
moving models, fighting and grabbing treasure.
Starting with the youngest player and going to their left players
alternate taking turns. A player may use (also called activating) one or
two models during their turn. After activating the first model roll 2D6;
on a 6 (on either die) or doubles (two numbers the same) you may
activate a second model. You may not activate the same model twice
in one turn, although you may activate it again on following turns.
Activating models
Each model must complete their activation before another model
activates. During an activation a model may perform two actions.
Actions include moving , fighting, for example shooting and
dueling, or handling treasure , for example searching for it,
collecting it or passing it to another pirate.
Models may move up to one stick length (L) in any direction.
Place the stick as flat as possible on the gaming surface and in contact
with the base of the model you wish to move (Note: it should not
overlap the model’s base or any other models’ bases). The model may
then be moved to touch (or overlap) any part of the stick.
If enemy models end up within a stick width (W) of each other
they are engaged in a duel, although they do not have
to fight and may move away from each other
freely. You may check to see if models are engaged
at any time.
Advanced Moving Rules
Players may wish to make it a little harder to get away from the
enemy. Instead of freely walking away they must attempt to break
Evading: Before moving a model engaged in a duel must roll 2D6;
on a 6 or doubles they can move away, otherwise they stay where they
are and the action is wasted.
Fighting: Shooting
Once a model is not engaged in a duel, i.e. not within a
stick width (W) of an enemy model, they may make a
shooting attack. The maximum range of a shooting attack
is two stick lengths (2L) and may not be measured until the
shot is declared. The player must be able to draw a straight line from
the shooting model to any part of the target model without being fully
blocked by other models or intervening terrain. The target model may
not be engaged in a duel.
If the shot is not within two stick lengths (2L) it is out of range, is
missed and the action wasted. If the shot is in range the shooting
player rolls 2D6; on a 6 or doubles the enemy model is hit. The model
hit is removed from the game, as they are too wounded or scared to
fight on.
Advanced Shooting Rules
Players may wish to include rules for aiming and cover. They should
use both rules or neither of them.
Aiming: A model may choose to perform an aiming action to gain
another 1D6 on their next shooting action. This bonus may not be
kept between activations.
Cover: If it is possible to draw any straight line between the bases of
the shooting model and its target that crosses intervening terrain, like
the corner of a house, a wall or a tree, the target is ‘in cover’ and the
shot suffers a -1D6 penalty (i.e. roll one less die). The penalty only
applies once, no matter how many pieces of terrain the line crosses.
Fighting: Dueling
Models engaged in a duel, i.e. within a stick width (W) of each
other, may fight each other. In order to fight a duel the
activating player chooses one enemy model in duel range
as his opponent. Each player then rolls 2D6 and selects
the higher score. The players compare scores and the
highest score is the winner. Reroll draws. The losing
model is removed from the game, as they are too
wounded or scared to fight on.
Advanced Dueling Rules
Players may wish to take advantage of pirates ganging up on the
Press Gang: A model gains another 1D6 when dueling an enemy
model that is also engaged by another friendly model.
Handling Treasure
Pirates may collect treasure they come close to or pass treasure that
they hold to another model. In certain scenarios they may also search
for treasure in buildings or other pieces of terrain. Each of the
following is an action.
Collecting Treasure: to collect a piece of treasure the model must
be within a stick width (W) of it. If an enemy model is within a stick
width (W) of the treasure roll 2D6; on a 6 or doubles the
model collects it successfully. If no enemy models
are within a stick width (W) of the same piece of
treasure, the model simply picks it up. Move the
treasure behind the model to show they are
carrying it. A model may only carry one piece of treasure at a time. A
model who starts an activation carrying a piece of treasure only has
one action to represent how heavy the treasure is!
Passing/Dropping Treasure: models may pass treasure they are
carrying to another friendly model within a stick width (W), provided
neither the model passing the treasure, nor the one it is being passed
to, is engaged in a duel. A model may drop treasure they are carrying
within a stick width (W).
Searching for Treasure: In order to search a piece of terrain a
model must be within a stick width (W) of it and roll a 2D6; on 5 or 6
(on either die) or doubles they find a piece of treasure.
Each game of Buccaneer’s Bounty? is fought using a scenario where
the pirates fight to grab the most treasure.
In each scenario: Set up the terrain in any way that is agreeable to
all players and then set up the treasure as described in the scenario.
Each player starts with five pirates in their crew. The players roll a D6
and the winner (reroll ties) chooses a board edge. They must now
deploy their crew, with each model at least three stick lengths (3L)
from a piece of treasure or searchable terrain towards their board edge.
The other players now take turns placing their crews on their boards
edges, again each model being at last three stick lengths (3L) from a
piece of treasure, searchable terrain or enemy model. If there is no
treasure or searchable terrain all models must deploy within one stick
length (L) of their board edge. Starting with the youngest player the
players take turns activating models. Play until one player has won (as
described in the scenario).
Grab the Loot!
Treasure: Place one piece of treasure in the center of the board.
Place two more pieces, one to either side of it, two stick lengths (2L)
away and on the centerline.
Winning: A player wins by getting two pieces of treasure to their
board edge. If this doesn’t happen a player wins by being the only
player with models left in play.
Find Me Treasure!
Treasure: Choose at least five searchable pieces of terrain. There are
three pieces of treasure hidden in this terrain. Once a piece of treasure
has been found in a piece of terrain it may not be searched again.
Winning: A player wins by getting two pieces of treasure to their
board edge. If this doesn’t happen a player wins by being the only
player with models left in play.
Treasure: No need for treasure. Yee are fightin’ for pride!
Winning: A player wins by being the only player with models left in
Advanced Rules
These additional rules allow players to have a captain lead their crew
and to include more types of pirates. As with all of the Advanced
Rules, it is recommended that you introduce them slowly, i.e. not all at
In Buccaneer’s Bounty? every crew may have a Captain to lead it.
Captains rule the seadogs under their command with a sharp sword, a
short plank and a colorful vocabulary. One model in your crew may be
upgraded to be a Captain. A Captain comes with the following special
Stay on Course: The Captain has a commanding presence in a
skirmish. Once per game another friendly model within one stick
length (L) of the Captain may reroll all of the dice rolled in a single
Fancy Things: Captains love fancy things and symbols of power
even more than other pirates (or at least they are better at collecting
them!). Each Captain may be upgraded with one fancy thing.
Big Hat
This Captain has a very impressive hat and may use
the Stay on Course rule twice per game.
Wooden Leg
This Captain is a little unsteady on his feet (... foot!)
making him a difficult target to shoot. This Captain always
counts as being ‘in cover’.
Cheeky Monkey
This Captain has a pet monkey that loves treasure. This
Captain does not need to roll to collect treasure that is
within a stick width (W) of an enemy model.
Noisy Parrot
This Captain has a talkative parrot on his shoulder that
tells him where enemies are. Once per activation this
Captain may perform a free aiming action.
More Pirates
Some players may want a little more diversity in their pirate crews. Here
are some additional pirate types to fill your crew.
Some pirates like big guns! A rifleman’s gun has a longer range
than the pistols most pirates carry. The maximum range of a
rifleman’s shooting attack is four stick lengths (4L). Riflemen
may not perform aiming actions and only roll 1D6 when fighting
in a duel.
A swashbuckler is a pirate with excellent sword skills.
When fighting in a duel a swashbuckler rolls 3D6 and
selects the highest score. Swashbucklers don’t carry a
gun and cannot make shooting attacks.
The quartermaster is used to keeping the pirates under control.
Any pirate within one stick length (L) of the quartermaster may
reroll one Collecting Treasure or Searching for Treasure roll per
activation. You may only have one quartermaster in your crew.
Master Gunner
The master gunner’s job is to keep the guns firing. Any pirate
within one stick length (L) of the master gunner may reroll one
shooting attack action per activation. You may only have one
master gunner in your crew.
Some pirates (rightly or wrongly) have gained a bad reputation
and tend to be given the hardest jobs aboard ship. This makes
swabs pretty strong. A swab carrying treasure still has two
actions. Swabs aren’t trusted with a gun and cannot make
shooting attacks. You may only have one swab in your crew.
Using Other Models
While Buccaneer’s Bounty? has a piratey theme it is possible to play the
game with almost any models you have available. Here are some ideas...
Armored Space Soldiers or Angry Greenskins
Tough warriors may be represented as regular pirates
with the Wooden Leg upgrade to represent their armor.
Highly skilled ranged troops may also add the Noisy
Parrot upgrade.
Multi-armed Fighty Aliens
Any melee-focused model can be represented as a Swashbuckler.
WWII Soldiers or Lightly Armored Space Soldiers
Bolt-action or Carbine armed soldiers may be represented as
Riflemen, although you may wish to allow them to perform
aiming actions. SMG armed soldiers may count as regular pirates
with a shorter shooting range of one stick length (L),
but they gain the Noisy Parrot upgrade.
Medieval or Dark Ages Warriors
Most non-ranged soldiers can be represented as regular
pirates, but they cannot make shooting attacks. Ranged
troops may be represented as Riflemen. Shock melee
troops may be represented as Swashbucklers.
This shortlist is just a sampler. Mix and match the pirate types and
captain upgrades to create abilities that best represent the models you
want to use. Feel free to create your own rules! If you’re concerned
about game balance play each scenario more than once with players
swapping forces between games.
Buccaneer ’s Bounty?
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