Last Updated September 11, 2002

To Hit
0" - 4"
not allowed
4" - 8"
2 turns
8" - 24"
1D6" left and 1D6" right deviation(+1)
Hand Grenade
Forward 2D6" - 1D6" left and 1D6" right deviation (+1)
1D6" left and right deviation (+1)
Right hand man +1 and Hero +2 to hit or dev rolls
19 or 20 hit nearest other target with firearms
firer moving = -1 to hit or deviation.
Target moving = -1 to hit or deviation.
Each party throw 1D10 plus the following modifiers
Wound modifiers
Pirate Hero
Right Hand Man
Opponent still on ground
Using Boarding Axe
+1 damage
Knife or Clubbed gun
-1 damage
More than 1 opponent
Red modifiers apply to shooting to hit as well
If using a knife or cutlass may also fire a pistol before resolving melee unless already fired once this turn (Twice if Pirate Hero) Count as close range and if both sides have a pistol to fire counts simultaneous.
1 round of combat each turn.
Each group is initially given 2 Event cards.
1 card for each "Group" is dealed out.
Each Group moves / fires and melees in whatever sequence they prefer as card is drawn. (Heroes may melee twice)
Event cards may be played at any time during the turn.
After all have finished can throw away upto 1 card and take up to 2 cards but can not exceed 2 cards.
3D6" & No shooting, can Melee (tripple 1's for hero or double 1's for other = fall down)
2D6" & can fire PISTOL at end of turn, can Melee
Swing over to other ship & can fire PISTOL at end of turn, can Melee
1D6" and fire Pistol / Musket / Blunderbus / Can Melee, if used Pistol then Cutlas or Knife. If Musket or Blunderbus then only clubbed gun.
1D6" prime and throw hand grenade. can't melee if attacked defend self with Knife.
Stand Still and fire Musket / Blunderbus / Swivel or up to 2 pistols
Landlubbers & Scurvey Swab
Grizzled Dogs
Pushed back 3"
Back 3"
Back 3"
Back 3"
Back 3"
Wounded & Down
Fall Over / lose weapon
Back 3"
Wounded and Down
Fall Over / lose weapon
If fall over spend next turn picking up yourself and weapon. If opponent attacks you BEFORE you have done this he gets the +2. Hero Pirates may cut down fallen victims except other Hero class characters.
Push backs fall over on 1 on 1D6. If can't retreat fall over or overboard on 1-3. 4-6 continue fighting.




These rules were basically adapted from my Cowboy rules, allowing for more close combat and slightly less effective ranged weapons. The assumption I have made is that the weapons of the day could be quite lethal at point blank ranges but are almost impractical to reload. These rules tend heavily towards the "Hollywood" pirate rather than any historically accurate recreation, they are for fun fast moving skirmish games.

You really ought to have an umpire for these games, I tend to assign each player to a pirate party of about 4-5 pirates, one of which is a "Pirate Hero", one is their "Trusty right hand Grizzled dog" all others are "Scurvy swabs"

Each group starts the game with 2 event cards, these can be played at any time during the game, they include such cards as "run like the wind add 1D6 to your movement", "Stumble and trip miss rest of your turn", "Lucky rum bottle in pocket deflects bullet deduct 2 from dice when rolling for injuries", plus a large number of "Blanks". These can be played on almost anyone during the game turn. Obviously you play the beneficial cards on yourself and your allies, whilst saving the negative cards for the opposition. There is one exception, you can not play any of the negative cards on a "Pirate Hero". Grizzled dogs and scurvy swabs are fair game however.

There is also a small pack of movement cards, one for each group in the game, (commonly about 4-6 or so). These are shuffled and drawn in sequence, as each group is drawn, they can carry out their turn in it's entirety, reserve their entire turn, or carry out the movement part of their turn and reserve the shooting part until later. (More of this in a moment)

Umpire controlled NPC's can either move after everyone else has been drawn, or if unusually good can have a card in the pack with the live groups.

At the end of the turn each group may through away one crappy card, and draw 1 or 2 cards to bring their total back up to 2.

If you refer to the movement table above you will see that players can move and shoot, the less you move the more you can shoot, Pistols are also much better for moving and shooting, Muskets are more powerful long range weapons, but are really static weapons. Generally muskets are reloaded from good fighting positions whilst multiple pistols are carried, discharged and abandoned.

Shooting is rolled on a D20, the number or below must be rolled to hit the target. I'll explain the Blunderbus. This is a template weapon, draw up a triangle about 8 inches or so long about 2 inches wide at one end, and pointy at the other. Put the pointy end at the firing characters figure, and aim where you want to fire. Roll 2 D6, one represents movement left, the other right, determine the difference and move the wide end of the triangle that far in inches. Thus you can miss your target and hit someone else. I normally say that if you aim at someone and don't move more than 1 inch either way you hit the original target, plus anything else under the template. For shotguns the plus's and minus's for skill, wounds etc apply to discrepancy between the two D6, so if a Pirate Hero rolled 3 and 5, he would add his plus 2 to the 3, making 5. i.e. direct hit. (No Pirate Hero worth his salt of course would lower himself to Muskets or Blunderbusses)

The wounds table you will see is biased in favour of more "Hardened" men. You can of course vary this, and introduce your own characters.

PISTOLS AND GRENADES - Dependent on scenario normally landlubbers get no pistols, scurvey swabs one, Grizzled Dogs two whilst Pirate heroes often carry four. . Men with Grenades carry three and normally don't carry firearms! PIRATE HERO's can always fire one more gun per turn than normal for the actions taken.


Go Back to Pirate Pages