Hard to imagine it’s been so long since I returned to the RETURN TO LILLIPUT game, but there it is.. one of the great things about the game camp I run in the Summer is that it really fires a cattle prod into me to get a job done to run it for my helpless victims, erm, eager young minds. You know the story of the Voyage to Lilliput that Gulliver took some time ago. Return to Lilliput (RTL) postulates that a gang of pirates visit Lilliput some 20 years after the Man-Mountain (Gulliver) has departed, leaving them his pocket pistol, from which they discover how to make muskets. RTL (the game) began as an article I noted in a RAGNORAK back issue some years back. Their version of a Lilliput game involved two things I didn’t care for: the Bigguns (normal sized humans) were a gang of Victorian era explorer figures from the Back of Beyond/Darkest Africa range (Copplestone/Foundry) and 6mm figs representing the Lilliputians. This didn’t seem like a proper size differntial to me. Also, the author (Mark Hannan?) made use of a generic small unit combat game sytem of his own devising called “EDNA” that I found a bit confusing.
So I borrowed the name and the notion, but rewrote it from the ground up, making these changes: 54mm figures representing pirates were the visitors to Lilliput this time. I also added a more defined (and simple) resource driven victory system that gave the players something to strive for– breweries, wineries, bakeries, etc. Not only do they give victory points, but they have a large impact on the game’s progress.
The Pirates start at one edge of the terrain (I used the wonderful European Hex Tile Set from Lost Battallion Games. It was the perfect scale and laid out quickly**). Their objective was the Lilliputian fleet on the far side of the table, which they had planned to capture, raize and use to make a giant raft to carry them out into the tradewinds again. The Lilliputians have some objections to this scheme.
Along the march to the far side of the island, the Pirates encounter spontaneously generating Lilliputian Infantry, Militia, Cavalry, and Artillery, all represented by 6mm stands. The 6mm figures look much more Lilliputians when compared to 54mm figures. The Pirates were Airfix 1/32 pirates from a plastic soldier set.
Lilliputians (in the rules as written) were to spontaneously generate as a result of Pirates show up next to resources and towns. We pitched that idea rather quickly, and just set up a nice starting line next to the “beach”, and when that was shattered, bring up replacements up the map from the far edge. It worked like a charm, and what’s more important, it looked like it made sense. Obviously, the lilliputian army is what it is.. there are only so many stands and they get recycled when they get killed. And how they get killed!!!
An integral mechanic of THIS Lilliput game was the drunkeness factor in the pirates. I gave each pirate three combat factors, some hit points assigned to their feet, and a Drunk Track. Being drunk impacts the Pirate’s movement and combat. The drunker, the slower, but being drunk also impacts fighting.. drunk pirates fight in melee harder, but can’t shoot hardly at all. Sober pirates shoot great but are so hungover they can’t melee well. Also, drunk pirates ignore some hits.
The maiden voyage of the game went extremely well, as I had predicted. The kids loved it. I suspect there’s just enough detail to appeal to both adults and kids.
** That’s rosy colored lenses. They DID NOT set up quickly. If I were to do it again, I’d pitch individual hex setup entirely.
Here’s a slideshow ***:
*** Dead link Picturetrail is long dead.
weaks. It needs a prettying up and to resolve some issues.