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Author Topic: Tobacco smuggling on the coast of Brittany!  (Read 3642 times)

Offline Patrice

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  • Breizh / Brittany
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Tobacco smuggling on the coast of Brittany!
« on: August 06, 2012, 06:04:27 PM »
Some pics of an adventure we played yesterday at the local festival of traditional harvest in my village!

…yes… you can play miniatures in a harvest festival … of course we did not play outdoors between the displays of antique tractors and the old harvest machine, there was room in a gymnasium; and the scenario was about Brittany, too, to fit in the festival theme. That was a good idea: some of the public in this area had still never seen miniature wargames played by adults, but all of them were interested by the miniature Breton village.

There was much role-play in the scenario as we always like it; I was playing the NPCs.
(Pictures by Ehouarn, one of the privateer captains players)

After their adventures in the Carribean (related in some old threads here), two courageous Breton privateer captains are back in their home country, where the richer of them just bought some lands with his gains.

They hear about mysterious sloops (probably English?) which sometimes come along the shore at night.

They decide to patrol the coast to know why.

Early in the morning, not far from a coastal village, they notice a sloop which goes away. The sloop has no flag (yes the back of the order cards give a hint but that's not a proof of nationality).

However it could be local fishermen, they let it pass.

The privateers anchor near the beach; a Marines officer and two soldiers are there, ask them their identity and are satisfied with the answer. Then the privateers walk to the village, there's a lot of people because of a "pardon" (Breton religious event) that day.

The privateers talk with the local people and ask about any strange ships, but there is no more info than what they already know. Some villagers are a bit worried, they say they sometimes hear "Karr an Ankou" (= the cart of Death) passing at night.

The privateers pay the villagers to deliver food and cider barrels to their two ships, and decide to walk up the hill to look at an impressive dolmen.

On the path, four "maltôtiers" (Customs officers) on horseback tell the privateers there is nothing interesting that way. Of course the privateers still go. Then they notice that a few men who were in the village (but not villagers) are following them. The privateers go to these men, who fire two muskets at them (doing no damage) and run away! The men take refuge in and old ruin. The Marines officer arrives too, because he heard the shootings.

The men refuse to surrender, the privateers attack the building and kill them all but one. The survivor explains that they shot because they thought the privateers were brigands! Of course it's difficult to believe. The Marines officer takes this man to send him to a judge in the big town of Vannes.

Then the privateers go back to visit the dolmen. The Customs officers pass again, far away, but do not notice them.

Inside the dolmen, the privateers discover big bags of tobacco from Virginia!

…At this stage I thought the scenario was going to end too soon, although I had planned a small naval battle… but our two privateers players have their own ideas about honesty: they think that smuggled merchandise, having no legal owner, should belong to the worthy!

They wait till sunset, then set sail. At this moment they see a British warship patrolling on the sea. The stronger of the two privateers sails to fight it while the other sails his sloop to another beach on the other side of the hill.

Aaaaah the naval fighting begins! (it was supposed to be by night… but we accepted good moonlight to be playable...)

I play the British ship. At one moment I plan to pass behind the French privateer, but I forget that it is sailing "close hauled to the wind" and very slowly, I turn too fast and instead of firing an enfilade at its stern, he fires an enfilade at my bow!

Could be worse. I am still a bit stronger than him.

After much damage and not many men left, he decides to sail away and to join the other privateer.

Er …unfortunately we don't have any pictures of what happened on land in the same time, the other camera ran out of battery…
The crew of the other privateer had landed on the far beach after sunset.

They walked to the dolmen, then to the village in the intention to steal two small carts to load the tobacco on their ship. On the path they met a man, a poor lawyer (yes this existed in this time) who was in the village earlier. They didn't know what to tell him …so they stun him and tie him and put him in some bushes.
Then they took two small carts and went back to the dolmen. They heard the noise of a bigger cart coming… it reminded them of the villagers talking about "the cart of Death"… the cart of Death that could be heard at night…
It was not the cart of Death, it was a friend of the lawyer driving a large cart. They stun him too and they take his cart so they can load the tobacco on their ship.

End of the game! The British warship doesn't want to fight both the two privateer ships, so goes away. The privateers have gained a big stock of fine tobacco.

Explanation of the story: although there was war between their countries, there was a smuggling agreement between some English sailors (the mysterious sloop seen at dawn) and some Bretons (the lawyer and a few men he paid to carry the loads), this happened. The sloop came at night before the festival days, met the lawyer's men at the dolmen, gave them good tobacco from the British colonies (heavily taxed in France) and went away with local merchandises and money. The tobacco was hidden in the dolmen during that day, then taken away by cart the following night (the noise that frightened the villagers). Presence of the lawyer's men in the village was not surprising for the villagers because it was a festival day. But the privateers killed most of the lawyer's men, so he had to try to carry it away himself. The "maltôtiers" (Customs officers) were paid to close their eyes but could not act openly to help the smugglers. The other British ship had nothing to do with all this, it was patrolling the French coast to attack what it could.

...but I did not plan which decisions the players would invent, and the game was much more fun that what I had planned!

Offline abdul666lw

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 400
    • Lacepulp & High Adventure (board)
Re: Tobacco smuggling on the coast of Brittany!
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 07:19:54 PM »
 o_o Excellent on all accounts! Thanks for sharing.
Vive la Bretagne!
(Desolé de ne pas savoir le dire en Brezhoneg) ;)

Offline Marine0846

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Galactic Brain
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  • Posts: 6582
Re: Tobacco smuggling on the coast of Brittany!
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2012, 03:39:13 AM »
Very cool.
Really looks to be a fun game.
Thanks for sharing.
Semper Fi, Mac


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