August 31st, 2011 – End of cumulative game + HMS Grand Temple

I finished my cumulative game today. Simply put, the Amercursedcorsairebels, with the duo of gunships, Enterprise and Divine Dragon, took over the game. First they came after me. They sunk the Dover, Bolingbroke, Nautilus, and Alexander within two turns. Meanwhile, the Spanish Titan El Toro sunk my HMS Lady Provost and my captured Raven. I was quickly out of it, with all my ships sunk. The duo then took out the Toro, who was to the south. In the north, the Spanish had bought a Musketeer, and put him on La Ebro (MI) to take out Wolves so the last treasures could be loaded. The Amercs, not interested in treasure, would have no part of this. They sunk all six ships (a mix of Spanish and Pirate) that were clustered around the island. In the short one-sided battle, the Spanish managed to dismast the Enterprise with El Alquimista. The Dragon took over and dismasted the Pirate Treachery and sunk the Spanish Santa Ana (CC). That decided it! The two gunships worked together to dominate the sea and sunk everybody in sight. Based on my winning condition of most points in play when any endgame condition is met, the Amercs won easily. They totaled 84 points. The Pirates had captured La San Jose, and she was being towed by the derelict Treachery, and they also had some unspent gold on their HI (4 gold), so the Pirates actually came in second with 17. The Spanish had no ships in play, but had two gold left on their HI. They came in third. Bringing up the rear, with absolutely no gold or ships, was me.

The game ended earlier than I thought (the last cumulative game took me a week), and it was somewhat good, although of course I was disappointed. Now I am going to try to make good 40 point fleets utilizing good gunships (deathmatch, but not necessarily). The first one has HMS Grand Temple  with OE Calico Cat and OE Griffin + a helmsman, as well as HMS Meresman with captain and helmsman. This fleet just matched up against a fleet I mentioned earlier, a fleet with the Enterprise, Ladron, and Recreant. The British won all three times.

Additional Comment:

The last few days I have not played so much, but used the fleet with HMS Grand Temple and HMS Meresman to great effect (Temple seems to be proving me wrong). The 3-game sweep of that first fleet featuring the Enterprise, Recreant, and Ladron was followed by many others. I faced a fleet with the Longshanks, Recreant, and Silverback, and won all three. I faced a fleet with the Harbinger and Sea Nymph, and won all three. I faced another fleet, with ships I just can’t remember, and won all three. Lastly, I faced my swarm fleet (10 ships for 40 points), and won quite easily all three times. This brings my fleets record to an impressive 15-0. I think I will submit it at MT, although nobody will see it. It appears to me that I was losing the Temple in the huge (500 point) games/cumulative games because she got ganged up on before she could do much damage. Now she is facing only a few ships at a time, and can swoop in at 6S, with the small support of the Meresman coming behind her (World-hater from OE Cat lets me dismast any ship in one broadside, the key to that is this: TWOS HIT!).

A packed vlog | FC and OTC3 ending soon | Join the Discord! | MI CotD | Pirates with Ben Blog #56

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August 24th, 2011 – Smaller adventures

I have been playing more “standard” (40-point) games lately since I got back. I created a fleet using the Asesino de la Nave. I also created a 40 point fleet using two SAT crew on gold-runners that went 4-4 (.500) against other 40 point fleets. Another fleet, one with the Enterprise and two supporting ships (Recreant and Ladron) was able to cream this fleet twice in a row though, which puzzled me . Then I made a 40 point “swarm” fleet that utilized ten different ships of various nationalities. This fleet performed well, winning two games, including a four-player multiplayer game. I’ve played many individual games over the last few days, so I can’t remember all the details. Yesterday I played a 100 point four-player game, and the Spanish won.

Today I started a cumulative game, where I use the treasure found to buy new ships and crew. I did this before, but on a much larger scale. This time I put much less treasure on the islands (12 per island instead of huge stacks that take forever to lug back to the HI). Four fleets, starting with the standard 40 points. I am for the most part using the standard multiplayer rules, but there will not be treasure left at the HI’s, as it will be spent to launch new ships. Instead, the end of the game will be determined by the amount of points in play when any one endgame condition is met (last treasure unloaded/sunk, 2+ players with no move actions). The points from all the ships and crew (and any treasure still left on ships) will be added up to determine the winner. The participants: English (me), Pirates, Spanish, and Amercursedcorsairebels.

Each fleet started off with just gold-running in mind. The Amercs, lacking the ships/crew to do this, encountered problems, with the Enterprise exploring an island only to discover the UT Wolves (treasure can’t be loaded until eliminated, only by Musketeer/Marine). I used the HMS Hyena and Lady Provost to buy the HMS Dover and HMS Nautilus early on. The Pirates had even worse luck than the Amercs, and appear to be almost out of the running already. The galley ship Griffin docked at a Mysterious island and rolled a 6. “Move an enemy ship using this ship’s base move.” Uh-oh! The Amercs then placed the nearby Darkhawk II broadside to the Enterprise, and promptly three of the Darkhawk’s four masts went by the board! Fearing more damage, the Darkhawk limped home after this most lamentable of circumstances, and the Pirates were again on the wrong side of Lady Luck when the Cursed Blade lost a mast to an iceberg. The Spanish, farthest away (to the east), were able to quickly accumulate enough gold to launch the Alquimista, the San Jose, the Algesiras, the Ebro, and in a big surprise, also bought El Toro, my one Titan. They also discovered the Cursed Conch, which would become important later on.

The game progressed rather quickly, and the Amercs splurged on their fourth ship, the Divine Dragon. They bought OE Davy Jones and a cursed captain to beef her up. Sound familiar? This is the same way she was set up in the 500-point game. The Pirates made the mistake of trying to catch the Enterprise (quickened by a helmsman and the occasional extra action), and they were burned. The Enterprise reached the Amerc HI just as the Divine Dragon loaded on Davy Jones and a captain, and the Pirates were suddenly up against two of the most powerful ships I have. The Cursed Blade and the one-master Lightning were dismasted, and the Darkhawk II, with many crew on board, sunk (and this was after she fully repaired!). This put the exclamation point on a dismal day for the Pirates… although it was about time they had one!

I launched the other six-masted junk in my collection, the HMS Grand Temple, and she used Protection from Davy Jones UT to warp across the game area to the Spanish fleet, and sunk the Joya del Sol, the best treasure ship the Spaniards had, in one shoot action. The Spanish didn’t like this, however, and I paid the price. Thinking El Toro was a safe distance away, I forgot she had a captain and the Santa Ana, docked at the home island of the Spanish, had the UT Cursed Conch. 2L was still too far away to reach my flagship, though. Then the Spanish revealed their secret weapon, Screw Engine (the ship can move twice in one turn) which would be the key to yet another HMS Grand Temple disaster (maybe I should be more careful with her, or maybe I overrate her and think she won’t be sunk early on, idk). The Toro, with the help of two UT’s, was able to swoop down on my beautiful flagship, and with the Titan keyword, pin her with the ram attempt (which wasn’t successful, she would’ve had to roll a 7!). I couldn’t escape, and help was too far away, so the battle was on! The Toro still had her captain, and the shoot action took out half my masts (the usually unreliable 3-rank guns hit 3/4 times!?). Then I somehow managed to roll a three and two twos with my next broadside. Where’s Hermione Gold when you need her!? Incredibly frustrating. The Toro made short work of my remaining masts, and as of now the Temple is sitting there derelict, waiting to be sunk. The rest of my fleet has been doing good, though, and I think I am in the lead as far as points in play, especially after capturing the Pirate schooner, Raven (Pirates couldn’t catch a single break today).

I originally believed the Spanish were my biggest competition, but now, in addition to them, the Amercs are looking somewhat intimidating, with two big gunships capable of teaming up to sink multiple ships in one turn. They are not too far away from my HI, so I will have to keep an eye on them.

August 12th, 2011 – Finale of first 2500 point game

The chaos continued, with more and more ships being sunk/dismasted. The Amercs continued to fight off the combined forces (though not actually allies) of the French and Spanish, but they were overwhelmed. The USS Stephens sunk, while the Amercs managed to use the nearby whirlpool to warp to the deserted southwest area, although they were only able to get four ships there, the Divine Dragon, the Nautilus, the Boston, and the cursed junk Clear Wind.

In the southeast corner, the English appeared to be losing the battle, having their HMS Gargantuan sunk and other ships dead in the water, derelict. The French were attacking the Amercs with everything they had, losing one Valois, both Bonapartes, and some masts. The Spanish continued to press from the opposite direction, and the Amercs would have lost the battle…

Now for the moment of truth! The two Spanish Concepcions, loaded with gold after exploring the last island, in the deserted northwest corner of the sea, had the last treasure on board. They didn’t have helmsman (I only have two for the Spanish), and so were sailing at only L speed. The Dragon and her Amerc comrades were possibly within striking range, and knowing that they wouldn’t win anyway, decided to cause some last-minute end-of-game chaos! The Dragon raced towards them as the Spanish approached their home island. The Spanish fleet directly to the east turned around and headed towards the approaching Amercs to try to intercept them before reaching the Spanish treasure galleons. Davy Jones suddenly loomed very large. The Dragon rolled a one and a four on consecutive turns, allowing the Dragon to catch the treasure ships just before they reached their home island (not making this up, they were literally within L of it!). The Dragon had been fully repaired from her battles earlier in the game and made short work of the Spanish ships, sinking both in one turn!  The treasure is not divided between the two players in a multiplayer game with 4+ players, so it was removed from the game.

Now it was time to count the treasure. This was very dramatic, and between the first three fleets, very close as well. The final count:
1. Pirates: 48
2. Spanish: 45
3. English: 43
4. French: 28
5. Amercursedcorsairebels: 9

After I finished the final count (disappointed that the Pirates, of all nations, won, and because I came in close, but still only third), I realized just how important it was that the Divine Dragon had sunk both Spanish Concepcions. Guess how much treasure was on them: 11! This would have been enough if they had made it back to their home island, but instead it was removed, allowing the Pirates to win by a tiny margin of three. Now the what-ifs start: If the Dragon had been sunk back when she was in trouble, being hit by the Santa Ana with El Acorazado not far away. If the Spanish had put a helmsman on even just one of the Concepcions, she probably would have made it back. If the HMS Granville had gotten more than one hit on the Dragon not long before she went through the whirlpool (this is significant because the Granville has crew-killing built in, so she could’ve eliminated another crew on the next turn).

Alas, it was not the Spaniards’ day; the Pirates are once again victorious. They were fighting the English on the other side of the ocean when the Dragon interfered, which appears controversial. The Pirates and Amercs apparently never made a deal for an alliance, but they may have made a secret one, as they never fired on each other and the Amercs appeared to have helped the Pirates win. We will never know, this is just speculation. Maybe it was on purpose, but it does seem like Davy Jones to want to go out with a bang rather than just running perpetually from his adversaries. In cahoots, or not?  On that note, I say goodbye to the biggest game I have played of Pirates, which included many great moments, excitement, and a mysterious ending that will puzzle us all…

P.S.: I am going on vacation tomorrow, so this will be it for a little while. Thanks for reading!

August 11th, 2011

The Divine Dragon decided to use the Screw Engine and extra action from DJ to escape to her home island. There she was able to fully repair, but not before the captured Cursed Blade rammed her and used her ability to steal the UT Protection from Davy Jones. The Lechim Namod finally entered the fray to try to protect the Dragon from being hit before reaching her home island, and managed to dismast the crew-killing HMS Granville.

Some other Amerc ships returned home for repairs, among them the Congress and Clear Wind. The Santa Molina managed to use Broadsides Attack to sink the powerful Acorazado, and then the Amercs used the Congress’s last mast and the Concord to sink the SCS Santa Ana, which was the only other ship the Spanish had with extra action/SAT capabilities. Now they are in trouble, as the huge French fleet is now sailing for the remaining Amerc ships from the east, while the Spanish are coming at them and engaging them to the west. The Enterprise was cornered by a dozen or so Spanish ships, and decided to go out with a bang, sinking the colorful La Sirviente before being sunk in turn by L’Aguila and the Selkie (captured). The USS Stephens, back at the home island of the Amercs, used Commander Stephen Decatur to get extra actions two turns in a row so she could repair her two remaining masts, then she went and rammed the Cursed Blade, trying to reacquire Protection from Davy Jones. This she did, easily winning the boarding roll and then dismasting the Blade with her built-in captain ability. The only problem is that the Blade can (I think) use her ability next turn to take the UT right back, as she is still touching the Stephens, then have the nearest English ship take it away (maybe I’m overrating UT’s, but they are fun to use).

Meanwhile, those same Englishmen were busy chasing the Pirates, who seem to be getting the better of the battle so far, sinking the HMS Titan before she could wreak havoc. The Titan still managed to dismast two medium-size Pirate ships after being damaged, though . The Pirates are fleeing far to the southeast, but they have reached the French harbour and will soon be at Ocean’s Edge .

The French are going after the Amercs with almost all the ships they have, but the stragglers that were towing damaged ships away from the icebergs of the Frozen North were sunk unexpectedly by the Enterprise.

The Spanish are also going after the Amercs, but from a different direction, creating a trap from which it is unlikely that the Amercs will emerge victorious. Despite the Jarvis and Louisiana sunk, and Santa Molina and Bosun’s Bane being dismasted, the Amercs pressed on, and the Swamp Fox used captain/Broadsides Attack to eliminate one of the giant crabs, El Toro.

These are just the highlights, many other ships have been sunk, and many more will go down in the near future!