Monday, May 8, 2017

Module Suitability Review - Gateway to the Spanish Main

Image taken from, IP is from GDW/FFE

Gateway to the Spanish Main is a very multi-layered adventure, and has a lot of fun moving parts. New American-backed pirates, the granddaughter of the head of Milgov in peril, and the small issue of a few thousand Cubans stuck very far from home, with their commander convinced that the Yanquis are coming in force.

Did we mention the adventure is meant for the heroes to start as escaped POWs? Aboard a movie copy of the USS Constitution? Yeah, this adventure has it all.

Then there are all of the opportunities the heroes of the adventure have to get a boat of their own, or just plain find some access to arms and ammunition...

It's got a lot going for it, and has a lot about Twilight: 2000 at sea. Moreover, it's just plain awesome as a sort of "Errol Flynn meets Mad Max".

But how does this work out for miniatures fodder?

Skirmish Scenarios

There is a lot of skirmish possibilities in this little scenario. And by a lot, I do mean a lot. If you ever wanted to do tall ships meets the post apocalypse, then this is the module for you. Some of the ideas one can play out are?
  • A fight between the Constitution, and a pirate vessel. Keep in mind this might be a more even fight than you might think, and that the crew of Constitution are experienced sailors, to put it mildly. But the pirates are numerous...
  • A raid by the Grenadian Constabulary or the NNP on the Cubans, or their lackeys in their "militia". Neither side is particularly well-equipped, but the Cubans are a bit more experienced than anyone else on the island, though there are some GGR folks who have a lot of experience compared to anyone on the island.
  • A raid by Constituion's marine contingent on one of the smaller pirate garrisons on Carriacou, or a hostage rescue game of some of the shipwrights being held hostage.
  • Gaming out a boarding action between two ships would also be a doable skirmish game, and could be done on a variety of ships. 

Larger Scenarios

The larger scenario possibilities are mostly of the naval variety, but a good game could be had on a raid on one of the ports on Carricou. Now that said, it would do well for a smaller scale (6mm), game. Special rules are going to have to be used reflect modern weapons in what is essentially, an Age of Sail game. In any case, the rules one would have to use would be quite unique.

One also needs to reflect that the pirates only have 106mm training ammunition for the RCLs. The weapons should not be as effective, but the fact is, it would make awesome scratch building opportunities for the ships involved, which rather resembles Pirates of the Vistula, only with tall ships.

Well, that is it for this week, next on the agenda, we'll be discussing Urban Guerrilla, or Twilight: 2000 in South Florida!


  1. Use minatures to game out boarding actions? The last time the USN gave the "Boarders Away" call was the Mayaguez Incident in '75....

  2. The Admirality Trilogy rules could be amended to cover sailing ships.

  3. Some potentially useful Challenge articles with nautical equipment or careers include "Small Patrol Craft" (Issue #32, pages 9-11), "Rifle River" (Issue #39, pages 4-19), "A Rock in Troubled Waters" (Issue #42, pages 4-12), "Naval Rules for Twilight: 2000" (Issue #53, pages 6-11), and "Sailing" (Issue #60, pages 5-12)


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