Background: this is a project report on RETURN TO LILLIPUT, which is a sequel of sorts to the most memorable chapters of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift. This time the story unfolds with a not-so-nice gang of drunken pirates showing up ten years after the events of the book, and they aren’t as nice as Gulliver. The Lilliputians have been working on learning and developing new technology in the Man-Mountain’s absence, and now are (roughly) somewhere between Lace Wars and Napoleonics. The human players play individual pirate figures (60mm high Marx recast plastics from Russia). There are 6-9 human players. They move and fight there figures, versus the referee-run “System” which is a chart-based AI for the Lilliputian Army (the lilliputians are 6mm Bacchus, mostly).
The inspiration for this game was an issue of RAGNORAK I read last year. I loved the notion of the game, but wasn’t too enthralled with the mechanics, the timeframe and scenario depicted in the article. So I wrote some rules (“Bigguns versus Littluns”) and gave it another go with a few key substitutions.
The pirates’ goals are to keep their drunk going by raiding wineries and breweries (as a nice historical touch, they start the game at drunk level 9 which makes them fierce fighters but awful marksman, and this heads towards equilibrium as they sober up each turn), raiding food warehouses, and moving to the opposite side of the board to engage the Lilliputian frigate. They have an idea of turning it into a rowboat and wish to capture it intact.
Victory is given by “Panache Points” (plastic pirate money), which isn’t conveyed by “achieving objectives” or slaughtering little people, rather it is given for the pirate with the greatest sense of style. Strict Pirate dialogue will be enforced throughout and anyone speaking in 20th century speak will have Panache Points taken away.
Just to demonstrate I occassionally work on some of my crazy schemes, here are some pictures demonstrating work is heading towards the finish line on the Lilliput project. The Bigguns are almost done, just detail work to be done now (and the occassional paint chip to be repaired, this is plastic after all).
Here are two groups of the big pirates, two of them based on those large circular Warhammer style bases. My plan is to paint the edge of the base red and blue to represent the swining range of either hand, and add some stickers to show that the pirate has a shooting or long reach weapon. The pirate with the oar and the pirate with the crutch have long reach weapons. The Captain and the Irish (green coated, red haired) pirate have pistols. The rest have cutlasses of some sort.
The next picture demonstrates the relative sixe difference between the Lilliputian army and the Irish pirate.
The next three pictures demonstrate a technique a modeling colleague showed me. Go to the craft store and by a set of pastel chalk markers for about 3 bucks. Shave the end off with your exacto or (better!) sand it. If you use your exacto, you may have to dice it up a bit like you’re about to do a line of blow at Studio 54 or something. Then apply powder lightly to the face and exposed areas that you intend to enhance. You can make figures look more sunburnt, get a five o’clock shadow, or very dirty looking using this method. I recommend it. In the second group of pirates, “Red Jack” in the reddish coat has a sunburn and five oclock shadow.
NOTE: You should seal the faces getting chalk dusted then seal them again afterward, Figures are MARX PIRATES recast by a Russian outfit. Paints are all acrylic from craft stores. The 6mm Lilliputians are a mix of Adler and Bacchus 6mm.