First off, this series is being done as a bit of a lark as wargaming has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas so if anyone is offended, please just stop reading now.

On the 9th day of Christmas War Gaming my true love gave to me…

9 Corsair Ships Pirating

The First Barbary War was one of the first major wars the young United States of America participated in that was situated far outside their sphere of influence in North and South America. Shortly after the end of the American Revolutionary War, commercial vessels of the United States were being attacked and raided by the pirates of the Barbary coast in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1801, newly inaugurated President Thomas Jefferson was eager to put an end to this threat and sent a “squadron of observation” to the Mediterranean to deal with the piracy. The Shores of Tripoli covers this conflict and does so using a card driven game mechanic that works really well in this instance. The game is a little deceiving, as at first it appears to be pretty introductory with simple rules and mechanics, but the depth for the game lies in the strategy for each side and the fact that their victory conditions are asymmetric.

Tripolitan Corsairs are used by the Tripolitan player to carry out their work of piracy against the commercial shipping of the United States and her Allies. In fact, the Corsairs and their illegal activities were what drew the attention of President Thomas Jefferson who then sent the American Navy to the Mediterranean to deal with these pirates. The Corsairs will typically be stationed in a port such as Tripoli and will have to make their way out of the Naval Patrol Zone to the open sea where they can target merchant shipping. To get there though they will have to encounter and evade Frigates which are patrolling there who will roll 2d6 against the Corsairs as they move through the Naval Patrol Zone and will remove a ship on a roll of 6. Once the Corsairs are in the open sea, they will each roll one die when making a Pirate Raid. On a roll of 5 or 6, they will plunder a gold coin from the merchant ships and add that to their war chest. If they ever gain 12 gold, they will win the game.

In the picture above, 9 Corsairs are going on a Pirate Raid which ends up being very successful as they roll 2 5’s and 3 6’s to gain 5 total gold coins, which puts them nearly half way toward their goal of 12. The American player has got to get control of the seas by attacking these Corsairs or they will find themselves losing the First Barbary War.

Here is our video review of The Shores of Tripoli:

If you are interested in The Shores of Tripoli, you can order a copy for $50.00 from the Fort Circle Games website at the following link:

You can catch up on the posts in this series to date at the following links:

A Spotter in a Smokestack – Saipan: The Bloody Rock

2 Bridges Blowing – Holland ’44: Operation Market Garden

3 Blockade Runners Running – Kaiserkrieg! The Great War 1914-1918

4 Moudjahidate Defending – The Red Burnoose: Algeria 1857

5 Sherman Tanks – Sherman Leader: The World War II Ground Combat Solitaire Strategy Game

6 Miami Warriors Assaulting – Kekionga!: A Dark and Bloody Battleground, 1790

7 Landing Craft Landing – D-Day at Tarawa

8 Viet Cong Hiding – Fire in the Lake: Insurgency in Vietnam