Scenario: During Capt. Coxon’s brief blockade of Portobello in February 1680, a small navio de aviso or “advice ship” named the Santa Rosa, bearing dispatches either to or from Spain, and cargo from Cartagena, attempts to sail into harbor. Capt. Alleston sets sail in pursuit, followed by Capt. Coxon.


The Spanish:

One 90-ton ship armed with 6 or 8 guns, crew size unknown. “A good bigg shipp” writes one buccaneer, “this little ship” writes another.

The Buccaneers:

One sloop commanded by Capt. Alleston, 18 tons, no guns (small arms only), 24 men.

One frigate commanded by Capt. Coxon, 80 tons, 8 small guns, 97 men.

Historical Action: Capt. Alleston arrives first and engages the small Spanish ship with small arms until Coxon comes up and “claps her aborde and takes her without the loss of any men.” The fight lasts about an hour and “some Spaniards fall.” The cargo includes timber, salt, corn (grain), thirty slaves, four chests of silk cloth, a jar of wine in which 500 gold coins are hidden. The Spanish toss all official correspondence overboard before capture, per standing orders.

Coxon is accused of trying to keep the gold hidden in the jar of wine to himself, in spite of buccaneer articles “not to wronge any one”—that is, not to conceal anything in value of more than one piece-of-eight, the penalty for which is usually marooning.

[Game Forces: should include the fluyt (urqueta) for the Spanish, and the sloop and frigate for the buccaneers.]

[Game Objectives: For the buccaneers, capture the ship any way possible. For the Spanish, escape—or defeat the buccaneers. Spanish suggestion: defeat the buccaneer sloop before the buccaneer frigate arrives, otherwise you’re fighting two at once.]