[50F] Battle with Blackbeard

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arnon
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[50F] Battle with Blackbeard

#1 Postby arnon » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:07 am

Hi,

If you're a player, might want not to read further...

So last session of our 50 Fathoms game ended with Duckworth's Man o' War attaching itself to Blackbeard's Man o' War... with the players taking advantage and getting close as well.

Now, with each Man o' War having about 160 sailor/mariners/zombies (along with several WC mages from Duckworth, and other WC for the several officers of both ships) I do not want to run it as a regular battle. Rather I thought of running it as Mass Battle interspersed with Personal Combat... maybe even throw in a Quick Combat if the party tries to reach Blackbeard and as they push through his zombie crew.

Some things to consider:
  • Blackbeard is not listed with Know. (Battles) in his stat block and that is fitting. He is, after all, mostly rellaying on people fearing him and his zombies crew. But I think i'll give him at least a d4/d6, so it'll not bee a complete pushover. Thoughts?
  • Both sides start with 5 Tokens? ==> I thinking that the zombie-effect from Blackbeard's crew is roughly equal to the experience and the Mages from Duckworth
  • How do I use the Hag's Breath attack? Give Blackbeard a bonus to battle rolls (+1 or +2)? If he succeeds with at least one Raise then he takes one Bennie away from Duckworth (as Duckworth's crew becomes zombies and attack their former crew)
  • What about the ships? Would either of them shoot canons while being tied together like this?
  • Any other ideas are most welcome....

Thanks and cheers,
-arnon

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Re: [50F] Battle with Blackbeard

#2 Postby StalkThis » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:56 pm

1) I would say that's reasonable, although maybe only d4 or so, and rely on tactics and other bonuses to help him carry the fight.

2) By default the "greater" side starts with 10 tokens, and the "lesser" a commensurate amount. If you think they are even, then I'd say give both 10 tokens. In my opinion it breaks down like this: the HMS Justice has a crew of 60 sailors, who are not fighters, and 100 marines, who are decent, and have the benefit of pistols. It also has 4 experienced mages (WC). The Justice can bring 20 of her cannons to bear in this fight, but that means 40 sailors need to man them (with a d4 in shooting).

The Destroyer has a full 160 zombies, 2d6 of which are wild cards(in a situation like this, i'd just call it 12). Zombies are tougher than Sailors or Marines, but aren't armed with ranged weapons. The Destroyer can field 24 cannon and 4 Hag Breath cauldrons, which would reduce the on-deck fighters to 104, about even with the marines. The Zombies can't shoot cannon very well, either. The Destroyer ALSO has Blackbeard's flag, which grants it regeneration each round, and is tougher to boot.

So I'd actually probably give Blackbeard 10, and Justice 9, to account for Blackbeard's tougher crew, all of whom can fight, and the ship's regeneration. Although since the pcs are probably on Duckworth's side, 10 and 10 isn't bad either.

3) I'd say one or the other. You could say that in any round the marines lose a token, they must roll a group spirit check before checking for morale. If they fail, add one token to Blackbeard.

4) I think they would, which would not end well for the HMS Justice. The destroyer regenerates wounds every round. Since you don't want to just hand the fight to Blackbeard, I would call it a "tactic" that gives blackbeard a +2 bonus to his Knowledge Battle roll starting on round 3. The first few rounds this represents the marines firing, killing some zombies with cannonballs but the ship healing back up. Once they realize the ship is "invulnerable", the marines stop firing on the ship, and that allows Blackbeard to return fire with impunity, giving him a +2.

---

Another thing to remember is the morale bonuses at the end of the round. If the ships are tied together, then maybe the +2 bonus for not being able to retreat applies. If both ships were ready for this, maybe the +2 for attacking from a fortified position applies. Blackbeard's side should DEFINITELY get the +2 fearless bonus each round, as well.

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Re: [50F] Battle with Blackbeard

#3 Postby arnon » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:48 pm

Thanks for the advice StalkThis, i'm going to take it all i think :)

I'm not sure how long the battle will take, as the idea is to keep the zombie crew busy untill the Players can take the sword and maybe even kill Blackbeard.

If the PCs also try to board the ship and get to Blackbeard then i might run a Quick Combat... but, i do not believe my players will want to do that.

But, they are players, so who knows what they'll do :?

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Re: [50F] Battle with Blackbeard

#4 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:56 pm

If they do, just remember that aboard his ship, Blackbeard is Invulnerable (per the monstrous ability). That's a pretty big disadvantage for player characters in a Quick Combat. :lol:
My players ended up shooting him in the head. With a cannon. And he walked it off. :twisted:
Eventually they blew up the Revenge and then killed him. But it was pretty crazy along the way, and they earned that victory.

Of course, all they need is the sword, and a successful Disarm manuever can get that. If you do run a Quick Combat boarding action, I'd suggest letting anyone that gets a Raise can spend their benny to instead get the sword; if they get three or more Raises (total of 16+) then they don't have to spend the benny. That level of awesome should come with some story benefits. 8)
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Re: [50F] Battle with Blackbeard

#5 Postby arnon » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:18 am

Sorry if i was not clear, the Quick Combat idea was to rush through the horde of zombie crew in order to reach Blackbeard himself (which will be Normal Combat).

Their current plan is to used summoned Air Elementals to Push (as in the Ability) him of the ship. They also armed the Grael WC with a harpoon-tied rope in order to try and skewer the Pirate and pull him of the ship ... it'll be very cool if they manage that 8)

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Re: [50F] Battle with Blackbeard

#6 Postby StalkThis » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:43 pm

Where are the rules for Quick Combat?

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Re: [50F] Battle with Blackbeard

#7 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:09 pm

A web update.
https://www.peginc.com/store/savage-worlds-quick-combat-rules/
Apparently Shane has been using them for years in his games, and decided to share last year.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

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Re: [50F] Battle with Blackbeard

#8 Postby arnon » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:44 pm

If you want to see how the battle went, check out my Journal Thread - Session 35...

Short spoiler: It went very well and fun was had :D


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