Pirates CSG RISK (June 14th – June 20th, 2012)

Pirates CSG combined with RISK

This Thursday I will finally be able to start playing again. I have a few things in mind for games, and I have created and written down ideas for fleets. There is a scenario I intend to try as well, but I will start the action with the biggest undertaking of my career in Pirates CSG yet: a long cumulative game (spending gold during the game to build fleets up) that combines Pirates with the board game Risk. I am anticipating a lengthy game, and in preparation I have tried to work out some of the details in my head. I am not sure how well it will work with scaling the ocean to the Risk game board, but I will try. To combine the games I have been developing a set of custom rules designed to (hopefully) emphasize the Pirates (and therefore naval) aspect rather than the land struggles.

There will be five fleets participating in this game, a combination of single faction fleets and (fixed) alliances (mostly to beef up factions that in terms of my collection are lacking in crew and/or ships): English, French-Americans, Spanish, Pirates, and the MercCursedCorsairRebels (a fleet combining the factions of the Cursed, Mercenaries, Barbary Corsairs, and Jade Rebellion).
In-game alliances are not prohibited by any means.

Now to the unique rules that will undoubtedly be expanded and/or edited as I discover more problems and solutions to this setup (many are concerned with the complex geography issues I will try to work out):

1. The Risk board and the associated infantrymen, cavalry, and artillery units will be in a separate location from the main ocean playing area (board is too small for almost any point cost, let alone a cumulative game).

2. In the main ocean playing area, islands will be placed based on the Risk game board. I will bunch islands together to make the continents and have one island represent one territory. In addition to the islands representing the territories, I am planning on placing other islands based on real-life islands in the main ocean, such as Cuba. These islands (not territories, so therefore essentially irrelevant to the Risk part of the game) function first as wild islands, but they can have units from Risk placed on them, and they will (hopefully) be important outposts and possibly bases for factions controlling them. Due to space constraints, the realistics of the game will be severely hampered, as I will not have enough space for the Mediterranean (as well as the Red, Black, and Baltic Seas).

3. All of the territories that are bordered by only water will start the game as wild islands, unless chosen as a home territory by a faction. These territories follow the normal rules for wild islands. Australia functions as two wild islands, with both Eastern and Western Australia with 4 gold coins each.

4. Each faction will choose a home territory. The territory chosen as a home territory must be bordered by a body of water, and the territory chosen can be bordered by water on all sides (obviously that particular territory would not therefore start the game as a wild island). Home territories can be conquered, but a faction is not automatically out if their home territory is taken over by an opponent (unless of course they had no ships left and the units they lost in the invasion were their last).

5. When invading an enemy territory across water or reinforcing a friendly territory across water, the army units must be transported by ships. The lines that connect territories on the Risk game board are totally irrelevant, armies cannot invade across water unless they are transported in ships. That being said, ships have no limits on where they can transport army units. Ex: Normally you can invade Iceland from Great Britain via the line connecting the territories, and you can still do that (as long as the units are transported in ships). However, movement across the seas is not limited to the lines: a fleet can transport an army going from Great Britain directly across the Atlantic to the Eastern United States, or maybe from Madagascar all the way up to Alaska.

6. Invasions follow the standard rules for Risk, and combat due to an invasion happens as soon as the units disembark from the ships. In order to land the troops on the territory, an explore action is needed, unless the territory is friendly and/or has been invaded before (home territories do not require an explore action to land troops there if it is the landing player’s home territory).

7. Risk units cost 3 gold each (or 3 points). Hopefully this will be a reasonable and effective point cost, because I would rather not have to adjust their cost in-game. For the purposes of abilities and effects, army units are considered ‘crew’ when on board a ship, even though they have no abilities. Because of this, they do count against the ship’s point cost. When a ship loads army units, they take up one cargo space per unit. They can be loaded and unloaded like normal crew with the following exceptions: An explore action is required in order to load or unload army units. When a ship loads army units from the main ocean, the army units will be transferred from the Risk board to the deckplate card of the ship, and when unloaded, transferred back to the Risk board from the deckplate card. In this way, the only time army units will be placed anywhere on the main ocean is if they are unloaded at an island that is not on the Risk board (an example would be Cuba).

8. Ships can fire on army units on land (following the regular procedure for a shoot action), but army units can not fire back. However, if a ship misses an individual unit twice in a row in a particular shoot action, she loses a mast. Shoot actions by ships designating army units as the target will be simplified because the ships will be in the main ocean area rather than the Risk board, so the ranges become almost irrelevant. Ships cannot shoot over an island representing a territory in the main ocean to hit a territory beyond, no matter what range her guns are.

9. When a ship is docked at the island/territory that a friendly fort is on (unless it is abandoned), she can repair masts as if the island/territory is her home territory (although it is not considered a home territory). In addition to the regular rules for forts, the rules for forts regarding land attacks are as follows: Army units can attack forts from land, in this way they must have already invaded the territory. The fort can contain army units of that particular faction, as a means of protecting them. The fort serves as the last line of defence if placed on a territory bordered by land. If a fort is to be built on a territory that is bordered by land, the territory must also be bordered by water.

10. There are three custom forts that I have designed for the game-forts that were key strategic points in real-life campaigns. These forts are stationary. They cannot be placed on any territory/island and rebuilt on other territories/islands later in the game. Other than that, they function as regular forts.

Gibraltar (Gibraltar, located on the southern tip of Spain)

12 gold, 10 guns: 3S, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 3S. Ability: When this fort hits an enemy ship, you choose which mast is eliminated. Once per turn you may double the range of ONE of this fort’s cannons.

Diamond Rock (off Martinique)

4 gold, 2 guns: 2L, 2L. Ability: Extended Range.

El Morro (Havana, Cuba)

8 gold, 7 guns: 3L, 2L, 2S, 3L, 2S, 2L, 3L. Ability: Ships do not block this fort’s line of fire. This fort’s L-range guns cannot be eliminated.

Sadly, the space constraints will not let me effectively use these forts. Diamond Rock, with her 2L range, can shoot past Cuba, and the ranges just won’t work. Maybe in a different game.

11. Each faction will start out with 20 point fleets. They will also be given one free infantry unit that will be placed on their home territory. All of the other territories will be empty at the start of the game (other than islands that start as wild island territories).

12. Unlike the regular rules for Risk, territories can be abandoned. However, a faction cannot abandon their home territory under any circumstances. They can move most of their units and/or ships and gold to another territory to avoid being annihilated, but they cannot abandon their home territory. If a player moves their units into an empty territory, they do not receive a territory card for conquering the territory, since they didn’t conquer it.

13. When moving army units on the Risk board, each individual unit can only move from one territory to another once per turn. If units are part of a successful invasion, they cannot immediately move onto the next territory and invade it as well. Units can only move into one territory at a time (once per turn) even if the territories they are moving through are abandoned. When fortifying their position, a player can only move from one territory to an adjacent territory.

14. The golden cavalry piece that is used for bonus reinforcements when turning in a set of cards cannot be moved past the 10 mark. I may change this in-game, but I don’t want armies to get a sudden massive influx of units that dramatically alters the game.

15. Wild islands will start with 4 gold coins on them, and whenever there is less than 4 gold coins, once per turn (at the end of each round of turns, not on every individual player’s turn) a gold coin will be placed on the island, and in a fort if a player has a fort on the island (the islands replenish themselves).

16. With such a long game, I have decided to reuse the unique treasures that have one-and-done abilities. The UT’s would be periodically shuffled back into the game by putting them in the tin that I use for treasure, and then randomly distributing them as treasures that replenish islands.

17. There are no reinforcements from the number of territories a player controls. Since players are supposed to pay for their armies, there will be no free reinforcements-players have to control continents and turn in card sets from their conquered territories in order to bypass the cost of army units.

These custom rules and ideas are by no means a finished product, and I will be adding to them and editing them as I discover new issues.

Additional Comment:

I have finished the setup, and these are the HT’s (home territories) that each faction has chosen, as well as their starting fleets (20 points):
England (Greenland): Aberdeen Baron + helmsman, Sea Tiger.
French-Americans (Western Europe): La Dijon + explorer, Le Bon Marin, Jeux.
Spanish (Argentina): La Santa Isabel + explorer, Magdalena.
Pirates (Madagascar): Darkhawk II + helmsman + explorer, Longshanks + explorer.
MercCursedCorsairRebels (New Guinea): Algiers, Griffin, and a Cursed captain on New Guinea.

As an added note, I am allowing the use of duplicates, but they will be discouraged. Due to their treasure-running disadvantages, as well as the fact that they don’t have a fort, the MercCursedCorsairRebels will be allowed to use both versions of Davy Jones.

Additional Comment:

I have made it through the first handful of turns, with each fleet sailing around exploring to try to gather as much gold as possible. The English have explored Bermuda, Cuba, Iceland, and Jamaica, and have launched four additional ships.

The French-Americans have explored Martinique, St. Helena, Iceland, Great Britain, and Svalbard, building Ft. St. Pierre on Great Britain.

The Spanish have been gathering gold from the Falkland Islands (represented as one island), Hawaii, Clipperton Island, Easter Island, and Martinique, with El Puerto Blanco on Hawaii.

The Pirates have explored Indonesia, both halves of Australia, and Japan. They have now launched two of their best gold runners, the Darkhawk II and the Raven.

The MCCRs (MercCursedCorsairRebels) have five galleys, the Nightmare (DJC version, the two-master), and the Fallen Angel. They have explored the same islands as the Pirates, as well as Svalbard and New Zealand.

The land aspect has not come into play yet, the Spanish being the only faction to buy any army units (2, both still in Argentina).

The MCCRs have fired the first shot, with the Fallen Angel (with a captain and Fire Shot equipment on board) setting fire to the Raven after the Raven grabbed gold from Eastern Australia. The Fallen Angel was then rammed and dismasted by the nearby Darkhawk II, and she has been towed home and repaired.

More gold has been gathered, and more ships have been launched as the size of the fleets increase. The most important action so far has been in the Caribbean, where there are three islands (Cuba, Jamaica, and Martinique) within shooting distance of each other. The English have explored Cuba and Jamaica, and the French-Americans have explored Martinique. The French-Americans led a treasure squadron across the Atlantic made up of Le Bon Marin, the Boston, and L’Emeraude, with the intention of loading gold from Jamaica and possibly Cuba. However, the English had HMS Lady Provost to the north and were not too happy about the idea of the French-Americans taking gold that the English thought was theirs. Escorting the Lady Provost to the Caribbean (from the British HT of Greenland) was the first English gunship, HMS Victor with Hermione Gold (MI version) and a helmsman aboard. Trailing close behind the weak (no captains) French-American squadron, however, was La Belle Etoile, decked out with Lenoir (F&S), captain, helmsman, and Fire Shot equipment. In what could be a potentially monumental decision, the English decided to attack, with HMS Victor dismasting Le Bon Marin and taking out two masts on the Boston. L’Emeraude fled south and out of harm’s way while La Belle Etoile sailed in and took out two masts on the Victor, and the Victor replied with a shot of her own, leaving the Victor with one mast and La Belle Etoile with two.

Meanwhile, the Lady Provost landed at Jamaica, and the English built Fort Brompton on the island. From there they launched HMS Victoria, who promptly captured Le Bon Marin. The HMS Alexander, coming from the north around Bermuda, got in on the action and rammed the Boston, dismasting her. La Belle Etoile, being outnumbered and damaged, ran off fearing that the English would launch a new gunship from their fort. Sure enough, they bought the Cygnet on their next turn while the Lady Provost brought treasure from Cuba to Jamaica. The Aberdeen Baron, Sea Tiger, and HMS Starbuck continued to gather treasure in the north, from Bermuda and Iceland.

As it stands now, the English have established dominance of the Caribbean, and indeed the whole northwestern part of the Atlantic, while the Spanish are the only fleet in the east Pacific. The French have the east Atlantic, and have also taken treasure from Svalbard. The Pirates own the Indian Ocean, and appear content with that for now. The MCCRs are the force in the west Pacific, and have now made a few trips to Svalbard. The land game is still dormant at this point, but Spain has considerably reinforced her HT position in Argentina, where her army stands at 19 units strong. Every other faction has yet to buy army units.

Additional Comment:

I was not able to post here yesterday, so I have fallen quite a distance behind and will not be able to remember all of the details-the game has progressed quite a lot!

The English fleet has rapidly expanded, with the English launching HMS Swallow, HMS Grand Temple, HMS Leicester, Cygnet, HMS Bolingbroke, HMS Apollo (ROTF version) and HMS Victoria, among others. They have asserted their dominance of the Caribbean, with a network of treasure runners (Sea Tiger, HMS Alexander, and the captured Bon Marin) making quick trips to Cuba, Bermuda, and Martinique, and bringing the treasure back to Fort Brompton, from where they have launched many of their ships. They have expanded into new areas, as well, as the west Atlantic is not big enough to contain the expanding British empire. A disastrous expedition into the Indian Ocean saw them lose the Cygnet, HMS Bolingbroke, and HMS Victor (though they have already built the Cygnet and Bolingbroke again), but they did inflict serious damage on the Pirates.

They then saw a considerable threat developing in the far west, where the Spanish had a beautiful system of treasure running going, raking in gold with the help of three +2 gold ships: La Santa Isabel, El Alquimista, and the San Pedro. The Spanish didn’t have any gunships, but were rapidly adding to their army every turn, with additional reinforcements coming in from the +2 bonus provided by controlling all of South America. The Spanish wanted to control all of North America, as well, and the English HT of Greenland was the only territory left that they hadn’t occupied. They had built the fort Puerto Blanco on Hawaii, and were transporting troops from there to Alaska when the English rounded Alaska and began their assault. The Spanish panicked and asked if the English would stop their attack if the Spanish retreated from Hawaii and stopped the apparent invasion preparations. The English went on with their attack, with nothing to gain from letting the Spanish get away. HMS Swallow did most of the work, with SAT + reroll to let her get 10 shots per turn. She took out the Spanish transports, El Picador, La Santa Ana (CC version), and Cazador del Pirata. Assisting her in the bombardment of the Spanish stronghold was HMS Grand Temple and HMS Nautilus, and the three of them made short work of the Spanish fort and the defending ships. The Asesino de la Nave and her commander, Nemesio Diaz, were overwhelmed by sheer numbers, while El San Jose, Joya del Sol, Martillo de Dios, La Ebro (MI), and La Reconquistador were sunk at the island. No ships got away, and the annihilation of the Spaniards’ northern fleet meant their army was stranded on land, at least for the time being. It is quite an army, the largest in play so far, now numbering at least 61 units strong. The HMS Victoria made a quick detour to go down near Argentina to dismast El Alquimista, but the Spanish launched the powerful ships La Resolucion (OE) and El Monte Cristo before the English gunship could sink her. The once-proud Spanish fleet now only numbers five ships, with the San Pedro and Magdalena in addition to those above.

The French-Americans have seen their numbers dwindle, after a failure to grab gold from Japan, where La Dijon was sunk by the Cursed gunship Grim Reaper. They still have La Belle Etoile with all of her crew, but she is their only gunship. Recently they have been building up their army, which now controls all of Europe except for Iceland, where the Jeux has been aggravating the English, who consider the treasure on the island to be theirs, since HMS Starbuck has made repeated trips there. The French have remained stagnant in terms of naval strength, and they are not in a position of power. With the fort Ramsgate being built on St. Helena, they only have two consistent islands that they get gold from, Great Britain and Svalbard. However, they have recently entered into an alliance with the Spanish, with both factions in bad shape. The French proposed the alliance, with the Spanish accepting, but unable to assist the French right away. France appears to want to take over Iceland and Asia, while destroying Ramsgate and so getting another island to pillage from, but we will see in time if these goals are far-fetched.

A dramatic event has unfolded in the Indian Ocean: the Pirates have been eliminated!  The English inflicted damage in their failed expedition (they wanted more than just a few sunken ships, anyway), and the Cursed finished them off with the Grim Reaper and the Fallen Angel. At one point, the Pirates were doing quite well, with the Darkhawk II, Raven, and Doombox among their numbers. Now they are gone, with the Raven and Selkie captured by the MCCRs, and the rest of their fleet at the bottom of the sea. The final blow came when the MCCRs launched the Baochuan with Admiral Zheng He, Ms. Cheng, a captain, and a helmsman on board. The MCCRs had been saving gold for quite a while, and spent 95 gold in one turn to buy the above, along with 18 army units. The Baochuan loaded some army units and sailed to Madagascar (from the MCCR HT of New Guinea) and took out the lone Pirate army unit stationed there. Madagascar now converts to a wild island since the Pirates are gone and not coming back. The MCCRs have since saved up gold for a second huge turn, and they just bought the Shui Xian with Shap’ng Tsai, Captain Nemo, Ibrahan Ozat, and a helmsman, as well as the Death’s Anchor flotilla. They have troops in every territory on the Australian continent except Eastern Australia, where they will have troops soon, and be able to gain the reinforcement bonus. I have granted them the use of the only Pirate fort I have, Dead Man’s Point, because they don’t have a fort of their own. They have built the fort on Madagascar, which is the western extent of their empire, an empire that is now uncontested (they had basically shared islands with the Pirates until recently). They are alone in the West Pacific and Indian Oceans, but appear to have bigger aspirations.

Many smaller goings-on have been forgotten already, but that is where we stand so far, with the English in control of much of the Western hemisphere, and the MCCRs in a good position in the opposite hemisphere. The land-based factions, the Spanish and the French-Americans, have suffered in their maritime experiences but now have a promising alliance and large armies.

Additional Comment:

I was only able to play three turns today (6/17). The English attacked the French fort St. Pierre on Great Britain, bombarding it with HMS Bolingbroke and HMS Apollo. They took out the fort, and the French retreated back to their nearby HT of Western Europe, where they hastily built two gunships, La Corse and La Possession, and remained there so the English would not be able to shoot at them. The Bolingbroke dismasted La Belle Etoile, and HMS Europa captured her, using Commander Temple to teleport her to Greenland, where she will repair. The English have now enforced a blockade with a handful of their gunships, and the French can’t move without risking the remnants of their fleet.

Meanwhile, at Fort Brompton (on Jamaica), the English have launched HMS Titan, and crewed her with Hermione Gold (ROTF version) and Sir Edmund Atkinson (who I’m using because I’ve never used him before, and because his ability has received attention in the latest edits to the Pirate Code, where it says the ship he is on can be given actions if the die roll is not a 6, and crew he possesses don’t take up cargo space, can use their abilities, and don’t count against the point limit of a ship). The English now have total dominance of the Atlantic, except for the Falkland Islands, where HMS Titan and HMS Victoria seem to be headed (the Magdalena has run treasure from there to the nearby Spanish HT territory of Argentina all game long).

The Spanish bought two captains and a helmsman for their new gunships (La Resolucion and El Monte Cristo), and appear to be saving up gold.

In the far east, the MCCRs have saved up their gold once again, and have now launched a third (and final) ten master, the Delusion. Crewed to the max, she is carrying DJC Davy Jones, Captain Nemo, Ibrahan Ozat, Christian Fiore, Sir Edmund, El Fantasma (OE version), a helmsman, and an oarsman. They also built the Pestilence, and crewed her with a shipwright. She and the Fallen Angel, finally back in action after being rammed and dismasted near Madagascar, are each carrying two army units, and are sailing in a northwesterly direction, following the mammoth Baochuan, carrying six more units (she would carry more, but still has 11 points of crew on her). The original gunship of this combined-faction fleet, the Grim Reaper, is still busy, now in the process of towing home the captured Selkie, after doing the same with the Fallen Angel. The Shui Xian is heading west along the coast of northern Asia, towards the French. Although she is ahead of her sister ships, the Baochuan and Delusion, the three huge junks are in a rough line, forming an imposing sight. Time will tell if they are a good investment, as the MCCRs have spent a total of 164 gold on them and their crew.

Additional Comment:

Things progressed rather quickly today (6/18), and there was a flurry of actions all around the world.

The blockade of the remaining French ships docked at Western Europe continued, and the English had enough gunships to split their forces and send 6 more gunships down south to blockade the Spanish, who were docked at their HT of Argentina. Meanwhile, the MCCRs built the Divine Dragon and crewed her with OE Davy Jones, Sir Edmund, a captain, a helmsman, and an oarsman. The MCCRs still felt indebted to England ever since the English helped them eliminate their territorial rival, the Pirates. As a result, the MCCRs were willing to give gold to the English (20 total, transferred from Dead Man’s Point on Madagascar to Ramsgate on St. Helena), and wanted to help them bring the French and/or the Spanish out of their ports, where they were essentially invulnerable. Eventually a 6 was rolled by OE Davy Jones, and the chaos began.

The MCCRs moved El Acorazado (newly built by the Spanish and ready for action) S+S away from Argentina, and since the MCCRs are last to go and the English first, the English were able to start pounding away. Three powerful English gunships, the Titan, Swallow, and Leicester, all opened fire on “The Battleship”, who only lost two masts in that first turn because of her immense defences, which included Joaquin Vega and Nemesio Diaz in addition to her own ability. The other Spanish gunships, the powerful La Resolucion and El Monte Cristo (both have world-hater with rank-2 guns, so TWOS HIT), got in on the action and came to the aid of their flagship. After a few minutes of intense broadsides, English guns won the day, with the Acorazado and Resolucion captured and the Monte Cristo sunk.

The English lost their HMS Swallow and HMS Titan, but these would soon be rebuilt with all of the gold the English had saved up. The Spanish launched the Santos Romanos at the tail end of the engagement, and she sunk the schooner Auckland with her powerful guns. HMS Europa used Commander Temple to transport the Acorazado straight to the English HT of Greenland, while HMS Victoria (with only her mainmast left standing) began towing the Resolucion. Her reduced speed meant she would be the last to leave the battle area, and the Spanish decided on a desperate cheap shot, using the Santos Romanos to sink both the Victoria and her prize. Furious, the English turned around the untouched HMS Apollo (F&S version) and blew the Spanish blockade runner out of the water at point-blank range. With that, the Spanish lost their last ship and are officially out of the naval war.

As the battle began in the southwest, the French at their HT of Western Europe decided to try to capitalize on the fact that the English fleet was divided, and started another battle. This one would not be so hotly contested, however, as the French only had two gunships (La Corse and La Possession). The defensive ability of La Corse (same as El Acorazado) was cancelled by Lenoir, aboard the captured Belle Etoile. This made her easy prey for the Cygnet and HMS Grand Temple, who sunk both ships with the help of Ramsgate. L’Amazone and L’Emeraude have also been sunk, leaving the French with only one ship, La Vengeance. Last turn, La Vengeance sailed on a suicide mission, and took out four masts (replacing one with a fire mast) on HMS Swallow. However, she is about to be pounced upon and sunk by more English gunships, and France-America appears to be the most likely candidate to be the second faction eliminated. Also last turn, the English launched new gunships at Fort Brompton, with the Bretwalda and Dover among those newly commissioned. HMS Dreadnought has been built at Greenland, and although I have run out of English captains, she is stacked with a shipwright, cannoneer, musketeer, fire shot, grape shot, and stinkpot shot, with First Mate Ismail on board to make room.

The French-American armies are dwindling after being sent east across Asia to attack the growing numbers of the MCCRs, who have lost the land battle up to this point. Most of the fighting has been around Kamchatka and Irkutsk. Though the MCCRs have been on the losing end so far, the French will not be able to reinforce their armies (since they can’t run gold and buy new units), while the MCCRs have a strong, uncontested gold system that they are using to consistently buy army units with. For the MCCRs, it is just a matter of transporting their armies across the sea to Asia from their HT of New Guinea, which they are hurrying to do, with some difficulty. New Guinea is always extremely crowded, with five galleys and other gold ships going in and out, ferrying gold all over the western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea. Two Duncans (Mercenary two masters) and the Cursed ships Guinee and Executioner have recently been launched. The Baochuan is trying her best to transport as many troops to Asia as quickly as possible, but she can’t do it by herself. Shap’ng Tsai, captain of the obtrusive Shui Xian, seems a bit confused on how to help out, as he thought he would be fighting, not watching and carrying troops. The huge Mercenary ten master has gotten in the way a few times, and to complicate things even further, a reef is positioned on the northwest corner of New Guinea, cutting down on how much space ships have to dock. Who knew a faction could be so rich and powerful yet awkward and inefficient? 

An overview of the global situation: The English have complete naval dominance of the entire Western hemisphere, while the MCCRs are masters of the east. The Spanish still have the largest army, with England and the MCCRs building theirs up. Spain and France-America have been all but annihilated at sea. Spain has 105 army units, England 40, France-America 10, and the MCCRs, 41. Since Spain is powerless with no navy, she can be picked off at leisure by whoever wins the naval war. The victor will have unlimited armies, since they will have a monopoly of gold and therefore armies that don’t run out. It appears as though the English and MCCRs, friendly up to this point, will inevitably clash in an epic struggle for the command of the oceans.

Additional Comment:
Today saw the end of the French-Americans, as expected. They have no ships left and have three infantry units, one in Western Europe and two in Great Britain. They lost the battle for Asia to the MCCRs because the MCCRs were able to gain 5 reinforcements per turn because they control both Africa and Australia.

The battle to decide the game has begun! The MCCRs have sent their whole fleet west around South Africa and have engaged the English. At the start of the battle, the sides numbered somewhere around 21 ships for the MCCRs and 41 for the English. The English appeared (and still appear) to have the advantage, but many of their new ships were hastily launched and uncrewed, while the MCCRs had three ten masters at their disposal.

The battle is probably less than halfway through; it has been rough going for the MCCRs. The three ten masters sailed in line ahead (just a coincidence) with a few fast galleys and the Divine Dragon in the lead. The Dragon was the first ship sunk, but not before she inflicted damage on numerous English ships and destroyed Ramsgate, on St. Helena. The Delusion, first in the line of ten masters, began shooting everything in sight, while DJC Davy Jones copied the ability of the Pestilence for defence. The ability requires enemies to roll sixes to eliminate masts, but the English used Thomas Gunn (far to the north on HMS Apollo) to give +1 to English die rolls once per ship, once per turn to let fives hit as well, and now the Delusion has just four masts left.

The English have devised a strategy of throwing all of their smaller, uncrewed ships into battle to wear down the MCCRs before letting loose their big, stacked flagships, and it seems to be working. The Delusion and Shui Xian both have Captain Nemo and Ibrahan Ozat, but they haven’t been able to capture any crew since the crewless English ships have surrounded them. The Delusion finally broke free by becoming ghostly and moving L+S+L+S by sacrificing her oarsman (via OE Fantasma), moving through to open sea to sink HMS Titan to the east, off of Congo. However, now HMS Dreadnought has her cornered, and has just shot her crew with Stinkpot Shot, limiting her options severely. The other two ten masters aren’t as damaged, but they have also had terrible luck. On just a single turn, the Shui Xian missed 5 times out of 6 (6 guns in range, that is), while the Baochuan (with world-hater Chang Pao on board) missed 6 times out of 7! The MCCRs have sunk more ships than the English, but none of the English ‘super’ gunships have been in action, while the ten masters are already in a world of hurt.

Additional Comment:

Today (6/20) saw the end of this long game. The Shui Xian and Baochuan were eventually sunk by the English, who labouriously fought through the horde of MCCR ships, suffering the loss of six more ships in today’s action. When the Delusion was derelict and the other two ten masters sunk, the MCCRs ordered a hopeless retreat. The Delusion was towed east to Madagascar to Dead Man’s Point, where she tried to repair. However, the whole of the English fleet was in pursuit, and the odds were impossibly in favour of the English. The Fallen Angel was rammed by HMS Leicester and sunk by the captured El Acorazado, who used Nemesio Diaz to cancel her ability. HMS Grand Temple finished off the fort, while the Sea Tiger captured the Delusion (since she is Eternal) and HMS Swallow captured the other MCCR Eternal ship, the Grim Reaper. The last MCCR ship left standing was the Pestilence, who hurried back to her HT of New Guinea. There she was rammed and captured by HMS Apollo and the Cygnet. With that, England has total dominance over the seas, and therefore, of the world. She went on to conquer the world on land, and England has now won the game!

The game went quite well, and although I was unsurprised that the naval aspect held power over the land portion of the game, it was a bit too one-sided. I may try to change a few rules to make the land part more relevant (possibly starting the game with treasure in unoccupied territories, only to be obtained over land) if I play this Risk combination game again. As it stands now, all a player needs to do to win the entire game is eliminate the other players’ navies.

Tomorrow I am planning on testing one ship fleets in (mostly) one-on-one deathmatches where I will try to determine which of my ‘super’ gunships is the most effective. This may turn into a sort of process dubbed ‘The Acorazado Trials’, but this is just me speculating that she will dominate; hopefully she won’t win every game.

After this I think I will try a scenario described in the link below, but I probably won’t start it tomorrow.

Originally Posted by Sariouriel View Post
I’ve once had quite a big battle that lasted for a few days. I believe we had around 200 ships in total.

There were two teams, the attackers and the defenders. The scenario was called “the defence of st. Helen’s” and there were 6 of us and we decided not to take any crew. It was supposed to take 15 turns, but we made it 30 in order to have more fun. When you have 70 ships in total, it is quite hard to move them.

Ah yes – the scenario is described here: http://gustawicyryl.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d1iue0b

Pirates CSG Master Spreadsheet

Pirates CSG Master Spreadsheet (shared Google Sheet)

Pirates CSG Master Spreadsheet (.xlsx file download)

I have also put these on the front page of the site to accompany the various useful documents near the bottom of that page.

The main difference is that the google sheet can be viewed online in a browser, while the file can be changed to your liking if you want to edit it.  The file also has the filters enabled properly, which can be difficult to do in shared google sheets.

Credit to:
-Original Wizkids documents provided by Woelf
-Jolly Roger spreadsheet by Holofernes
-Miniature Trading database

Pros of my spreadsheet:

-Don’t have to scroll to the right for anything important (flavor text and treasure values off to the right) (Basically a rule of Pirates CSG spreadsheets in my opinion – if you can’t easily see all gameplay-relevant data without scrolling, columns should be shrunk down for ease of use.)
-All flavor text included
-Factions color coded for maximum ease of use (I like the new design so much that I think I will be converting my custom sets to the same color scheme!)
-Took the best stuff from each resource used (Holofernes’ notes from Jolly Roger + filtering, flavor text from Wizkids spreadsheets, Miniature Trading database for cannons and some flavor text (a/b for crewfer twofers/etc are lowercase because that is how they appear on the WK documents)
-Includes unreleased and “lost” items from official Wizkids documents

-Some columns do not display well at all with the filter view.  Those are the ones I slanted so they would be more legible (it gets worse if they are horizontal).
-Filter view does not seem to work with Google Sheets version for online viewing, unless you create a temporary filter view yourself.  Even tried allowing editing mode and locking the sheets, but that didn’t work either. (https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/docs/68RwOGYUCqA/PFFYjiaKBwAJ)
To view filters in online version: Data>Filter Views>Create new temporary filter view
The .xlsx file of the spreadsheet has the filters.
-Likely some minor mistakes due to copy/paste errors or excessive dragging of cell data. (please point out so I can fix them)



Pirates CSG Master Spreadsheet

Question of the day: Which of these game pieces would you most want to use? Which ones excite you the most?




The following should eventually be updated from ShoutEngine so they will be available when they get the podcast.



Google Play Music



Info on the Miniature Trading crisis: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=9350///

Pirates CSG Master Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18Z-x-z9gaWiKFLk-kw1weamc0A1-NxMN3xLjWWKsUmA/edit?usp=sharing

Pros of my spreadsheet:
-Don’t have to scroll to the right for anything important (flavor text and treasure values off to the right) (Basically a rule of Pirates CSG spreadsheets in my opinion – if you can’t easily see all gameplay-relevant data without scrolling, columns should be shrunk down for ease of use.)
-All flavor text included
-Factions color coded for maximum ease of use (I like the new design so much that I think I will be converting my custom sets to the same color scheme!)
-Took the best stuff from each resource used (Holofernes’ notes from Jolly Roger + filtering, flavor text from Wizkids spreadsheets, Miniature Trading database for cannons and some flavor text (a/b for crewfer twofers/etc are lowercase because that is how they appear on the WK documents)
-Includes unreleased and “lost” items from official Wizkids documents

-Some columns do not display well at all with the filter view. Those are the ones I slanted so they would be more legible (it gets worse if they are horizontal).
-Filter view does not seem to work with Google Sheets version for online viewing, unless you create a temporary filter view yourself. Even tried allowing editing mode and locking the sheets, but that didn’t work either. (https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/docs/68RwOGYUCqA/PFFYjiaKBwAJ)
To view filters in online version: Data>Filter Views>Create new temporary filter view
The .xlsx file of the spreadsheet has the filters.
-Likely some minor mistakes due to copy/paste errors or excessive dragging of cell data. (please point out so I can fix them)

Listened to this playlist while working on the master spreadsheet: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLR_xCgMZxpEhsLTENwBgZUWQ2FnpuZCnW

Woelf has shared some original Wizkids spreadsheets with me to help in my process to create a “master spreadsheet” that I hope to turn into a second database, similar to the one at Miniature Trading. In these incredible documents are many “juicy tidbits” of information, a true treasure trove of cool stuff for a Pirates fanatic like me. Smile

How crazy is this?! New Pirates information 13 years later! XD I can’t wait to use these new game pieces in games sometime.


Take the podcast survey! https://goo.gl/forms/CsnwVmi3qhtqik323
Podcast length poll on MT: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=9155///

Sign the Petition! https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-back-pirates-of-the-cursed-seas

If you’d like more Pirates audio content, check out my blog.

February 26th, 2012 – Delusion + smaller games

Today I tested out my new ten masted Cursed junk, the Delusion, at 35 points the most expensive ship in the game. I concluded that she is not usually worth the points; she lost in most of the games I played. The 40 point games were somewhat unfair, however, as I could only give her a captain and helmsman. In the larger games, however, she was ganged up on, and didn’t have enough firepower (her guns are rank 3 and 4).

I mostly tested her against my tougher deathmatch fleets, the ones the HMS Grand Temple fleet went up against, detailed in an above post. Once I tested the Delusion fleet with Nemo/Davy Jones/Fiore/Ozat along with the Fallen Angel towing the Death’s Anchor, but it fell to a combination of these deathmatch fleets, one utilizing the GT, Soleil Royal, and Bonaparte, as well as a handful of cancelers. I believe a more fair test would be to include her in a large standard game where she could more effectively use her keywords.

What was interesting to me: a 135 (random, I know) point deathmatch fleet using the Delusion, Acorazado, and Nautilus was picked apart and ruined by a good fleet of good gunships and support sloops equipped with cancelers. The Delusion had the DJC version of Davy Jones on board, to copy the Acorazado’s awesome defensive ability (or the Nautilus for that matter). The Acorazado was crewed to the max (Vega, Zuan from MI, Diaz, Castro from SM, helmsman), and the Nautilus had Nemo, Ozat, and a helmsman to steal enemy crew. However, the Delusion was sunk in one turn that saw the opposing fleet cancel her canceler, Fiore, and then cancel Davy Jones, making her vulnerable. A fleet that should’ve taken 36 hits to defeat was canceled into oblivion!

Twice I played a four-player 100 point deathmatch with the above four deathmatch fleets-the ones centered around the GT, Soleil Royal, Bonaparte, and Acorazado. The first game went to El Acorazado. In the second game, the other three fleets conspired to sink her (and did), with the Bonaparte/Longshanks fleet emerging victoriously from the carnage.

I also used the Grand Temple fleet against a 40 point Spanish fleet in a standard game (with gold). The Spanish fleet utilized the Asesino de la Nave, Joya del Sol, and Villalobos. The GT fleet actually won two of the three, although this may have been somewhat of an aberration (Asesino has cargo-wrecking and had canceler Nemesio Diaz on board).

A solid day of smaller actions that proved the worth of cancelers, and proved the downfall of unneeded cost (Delusion) and unreliable guns.

9/16/2018 – Progress Update #11

I have been on a roll and “in the zone” since this past Thursday, and now the master spreadsheet is NEARLY DONE! Very Happy

-Finished SCS and DJC sets

-Finished THREE sets for the master spreadsheet: MI, FN, OE

Finished PotC, started RotF

Finished the rest of the sets: RotF, F&S, SS, RtSS
-All that’s left is to add an “Unreleased” tab, check things over, and finalize the spreadsheet!

Feel free to give your thoughts on a few questions here: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=9355///

February 21st, 2012 – End of second 500 point game

The game was finished up today; it didn’t take as long as the other 500 point game. I believe it took only 13 or 14 turns. The King Edward was sunk by a combination of three Spanish ships, ending the game, with the Spanish with nine ships remaining, and the English with 14. The French Americans had some ships, and were in the process of a battle against the Merccursed. This was interrupted when ‘all available gold had been unloaded to home islands’. The final treasure count:
1. English: 81 gold
2. Pirates: 25
3. French Americans: 21
4. Spanish: 0
5. Merccursed: 0 (I put them behind the Spanish because they never had a single coin at any point during the game).

A blowout victory for the English!  The game wasn’t as thrilling as the last 500 point game, but it was fun to see the English play a near-perfect game.

The Demon King – Custom crew review for MRC7: Story Time Part 2

Published to Miniature Trading on July 20th, 2018

Miniature Review: The Demon King – Custom crew review for MRC7: Story Time Part 2 (set: Pirates of the Epic Seas)

Demon King

After revealing a big character of my custom fantasy set on the podcast and the forum, it is time to fully flesh out his story as part of my “grand plan” with the epicness of the Epic Seas set. Xerecs’ MRC#7—Story time part 2 is the perfect opportunity for this.

First, the custom game piece in question:

Demon King
Set: Pirates of the Epic Seas
Faction Affiliation: The Cursed
Type: Crew
Rarity: Rare
10 points
Ability: Captain. Eternal. World Hater. [This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against any non-Cursed ship.]
Link: All Cursed ships

Flavor: Half demon and half man, the Demon King is a surprisingly happy creature. He is the right-hand “man” of Xenthalos himself as his main lieutenant. His booming laugh can be heard on surrounding ships, but he is only happy because of his immense success so far in his genocidal endeavors.

This is similar to what I imagine the Demon King to look like. I actually envisaged him more with bluish flames, and with a flaming hand or something.

*Note: All of my custom game pieces referenced can be found on the 4th sheet here.


In the Beginning, there were gods. By the End, there will be only One. Xenthalos. When Xenthalos came to recruit the Demon King, the latter was only a lowly captain of a small Cursed vessel. After the Lord of the Apocalypse gave him long life, the Demon King rose in the Cursed ranks to become one of the most feared entities in the world.

Being the main lieutenant of the mighty Xenthalos, the Demon King has been tasked with improving various ships in the Cursed fleet. He is an expert at fitting in with existing crews and not infringing upon a captain’s authority, yet he manages to leave one ship and go to the next after making stark improvements to performance.

Being a Captain in his own right, the Demon King has joined the crews of many vessels during his tenure as a general of Xenthalos. So far, he has claimed home to the Grand Apocalypse, Great Apostasy, and the Feast of Vultures. He has noticed that larger ships with higher capacities for evil and terror are best suited for his high skill set.

Ships that may need his help in the future include the Executioner Flying Dutchman Hades’ Realm Loki’s Revenge Monkey’s Paw Sea Hag Sickle Specter , and possibly even the gigantic Guichuan and Delusion .

The Demon King is always a fan of more speed so he can crush his enemies before they even know of his presence. Helmsmen are always a great thing for Cursed ships to have, while Oarsmen have taken bullets and cannonballs many times before that would have seriously incapacitated the Demon King (his mortality is unknown). However, in most cases his powers have sufficed enough to where his ship doesn’t need additional high-ranking Cursed figures aboard to function optimally.

In his travels and campaigns, the Demon King has met many of the Cursed. He has noticed that he doesn’t get along particularly well with El Fantasma, whose capabilities occasionally rival his own. However, he looks forward to finding Davy Jones , for that is whom Xenthalos seeks out….

Though relatively new to the Cursed as a whole, the Demon King has caught wind of serious foes through other Cursed captains. In particular, a potential alliance between French and Spanish kings has even the Archdiocese of the Apocalypse worried. However, his biggest threat may simply be superior firepower.

Though the Demon King currently ranks as Xenthalos’ second in command, there are various demons, fiends, and even humans vying for the Lord’s attention. These include the Fiendslave, Archangel Fiend, and a certain Mauled Slave…. However, a partnership with the powerful Ring Besis could allow for a dynamic duo to cement their place in the annals of the undead.

With incredible capabilities, the Demon King stands out as one of the finest Cursed admirals. His ability to pilot a ship to victory, bring her back from the dead, and inspire her cannoneers to unmatched feats of firepower have brought humanity low to a point of utter despair.

Unfortunately, being a high-ranking member of Xenthalos’ legions means the Demon King is “too good” (or too proud) to serve on “lesser” Cursed vessels. There’s also the possibility that, if he is indeed mortal, sudden death could ruin his ship’s morale and spell doom for the Cursed in battle. However, 9 out of 10 times, the Demon King has achieved victory!


You can find my custom sets here:
Pirates of the Age of Sail
and Pirates of the Epic Seas

Serpent’s Fang – First Video Review! (Miniature Review)

Published to Miniature Trading on June 3rd, 2018

Miniature Review: Serpent’s Fang – First Video Review!

Serpent's Fang

Serpent’s Fang
Set: Pirates of the Frozen North
Collector’s Number: 301
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: PR
Type: Ship
Point Value: 13
Number of Masts: 2
Cargo Space: 4
Base Move: L
Cannons: 3L-3L
Ability: Longship. If a sea monster begins its move within L of this ship, it gets +L to its base move.
Flavor: Stories abound that Jormungandr, the World Serpent, spit out the Serpent’s Fang, fully intact with crew. Her singular purpose is to slaughter Vikings and leave the dead to fill the belly of her monstrous parent.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dN0EydA0c4[/embedyt]

QOTD: What do you think of the Serpent’s Fang?

I should have mentioned – good luck finding her though! She’s part of the very rare Nordic Raiders pack, which has gone for as much as $57 on eBay! (averages around $35.83 though) I was extremely fortunate to receive a Nordic Raiders pack as a gift from Miniature Trading user Trox due to my battle report quantity and quality.

My fleets using her – comment and vote on them!


Ship page at MT: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/selectCard/card_id/111590

Xerecs’ review of the Dark Pact: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/showCardReview/review_id/7825

Mysterious Island #2 (Miniature Review)

Published to Miniature Trading on November 26th, 2017

Miniature Review: Mysterious Island #2 – Live off the land, and drive your opponents away from it!

Mysterious Island #2

Mysterious Island #2
Collector’s Number: I02
Rarity: C
Type: Island
Miniature text:
1-2: Roll 3d6. For every 4-6 result, eliminate one of this ship’s masts.
3-4: No effect.
5-6: Move an opposing ship using this ship’s base move.

General description:
After just two previous reviews of specific islands, I figured I would review my all-time favorite MI (Mysterious Island). It’s one that has been a cornerstone of my favorite gimmick strategy: Mind Control. It’s quite risky but can be incredibly fun and rewarding to use. By its nature as a mysterious island, it’s available to all players to use, so the “OP” talk is minimized. Mysterious islands were generally not a great addition to the game, but I think this one is more good than bad.

-Control your enemies and throw their ships away from you and into terrain
-Help out an ally in a multiplayer game

Time to bring up the Code! 

quote from The Pirate Code:
Abilities That Move Ships (“This ship may move X” or “Move a ship X”)
-If an ability refers to an outside force moving or pushing the ship, such as “move an enemy ship L”, it is not treated like a movement segment; the ship’s heading does not change, but it can be used if the ship is pinned or entangled.
-Unless a movement ability specifically states that it is a move action (or “move as a free action”), other abilities and effects (shooting with a Captain, ramming, etc.) that refer to move actions cannot be used.
-Docking only requires contact between a ship’s bow and an island, so it may occur any time a ship moves or is moved.

So we cannot use it with a captain for “friendly fire” like we can with All-Powerful. However, you can purposely use the effect to help out an ally by docking one of their ships home to repair or unload gold.

Strategies and game play: 
Alright. Let’s get to it. This thing has the potential to affect gameplay rather dramatically if used to its fullest effect. From my Mind Control fleet, we can see that it is rather evil. To “farm” a mysterious island, you dock at it multiple times to get the positive effect many times over. This is often done with rerollers or linked Ex-Patriot crew, which I’ll talk about more in the combos section. By farming the island, you can move other ships more than once, including on the same turn! You can quickly see the possibilities racking up. With two S+S+S ships of your own docking at the island, you could move an enemy ship 6S in a single turn! This can delay their advance for 2+ turns, or send them flying into a reef that wasn’t even proximal to the ship.

This island could truly affect gameplay. The MI’s are placed face down when put in the play area, so your opponent may not be aware of the effect until the game is underway. Once revealed, your opponent may freak out a bit when you control their ships. It’s not the smartest thing to do with a hotheaded enemy, as getting your ships yanked around is sure to cause some animosity. Once the effect is “live” and known to all players, it could become a hotspot. Multiple players might flock to the island in order to farm it, throwing ships all over the board. Also, a player may try to get revenge on another by moving a ship after one of theirs has been moved. Messing with other players will probably cause chaos, and it might even spill over into a heated argument at the gaming area! XD

You could also bargain with another player: threaten to move one of their ships, and coerce them into helping you. If not, chuck their ship onto a reef.

In a multiplayer game, you could also help out an ally. Unless you’re playing as the same fleet, an “opposing ship” to you could be any of the other players. This could save one of their ships from a deadly chase, or allow them to reach a fog bank or whirlpool at the perfect moment.

Combos with other miniatures: 
Of course, there is a rather severe negative effect. Any ship with 3 masts or less stands a reasonable chance of being completely dismasted. However, there are various ways to increase your odds.

One basic way is with Nemo’s Charts , which takes away the negative ability entirely since your worst roll is boosted to 3. It will turn 3’s into 5’s, which means you’ll get the positive effect 2/3 of the time!

The standard reroll ability is a great way to farm MI’s more effectively. One of the least-known parts of any keyword shows up at the end of Ex-Patriot: “If this crew is assigned to its linked ship, add 1 to the result when the ship rolls for effect at a Mysterious Island.” Of the EP crew that link, there are a few that would work especially well with mysterious islands. Count Gustov can give the Terror multiple actions so the ship can dock twice, but even a few bad rolls could really limit the submarine’s potential for the rest of the game, especially since you’d need a shipwright or fort to repair potential damage due to the MI. You can use the SS version of Eileen Brigid O’Brien on the Mobilis to do the same thing, but that sub is better used as a defensive underwater canceller. However, there is one truly exceptional link you can use.Thane Hartless provides the reroll ability as well as MI +1’s for the Slipstream , which even has the amazing ability to bring in crew from other nationalities. Using the reroll for someone like Sir Christopher Myngs and possibly in conjunction with Bianco’s Haulers , a somewhat complex Slipstream setup is probably the best way in the game to farm MI’s. There is still a big risk involved, so a shipwright or helmsman/oarsman combo may be needed to guarantee some success.

However, we must pay close attention to the MI’s final text: “using this ship’s base move.” As a result, none of the above combos are going to do a lot in terms of throwing enemies great distances, since the best Merc linked ships have slow base moves. You cannot add on any movement bonuses from the docking ship either, so you’ll probably want something faster.

This is where it gets CHEESY.  

Since the negative effect only refers to mast elimination and not crew elimination or sinking, there is nothing to stop a mastless ship from redocking at the island via a helmsman and oarsman (or a keyword such as Galley/Turtle Ship/Longship/Turbine). Since the negative effect is rather brutal and will likely dismast most “farmers” in short order, why not just plan for the worst? Rather than bemoaning the dismasting of your Terror or other 3+ masted ship, you can just use a tiny ship with a helmsman and oarsman! XD

Using the Banshee’s Cry with a helmsman and oarsman for just 6 total points, you can have an effective MI farmer. Losing the ship’s only mast is pretty much inevitable with the odds, but the crew allow the ship to move S away from the island and S back to redock even after the ship is dismasted. From there, you are immune to the negative effect.  Unfortunately, you cannot move the ship’s printed base move even when dismasted, so small ships would only be able to move enemy ships S once the masts are gone from the negative effect.

Continuing the theme of tiny ships that cost at least 3 points to accommodate the helmsman/oarsman complement, consider La Fureur . Going slightly more expensive but slightly more effective, faster ships like the Carrion Crow and Lezard could do pretty well with their decent speed. There are other good options, including theZephyr and Pique.

There are a few other UT’s that can help optimize the farming process. Notably, combining Runes of Thor with Nemo’s Plans  This allows you to roll a 6 every time a ship docks at the island, so with a swarm fleet you could be immune to damage and move your opponents ships off of and back onto reefs! Or, with “At World’s End”/Ocean’s Edge style flat earth rules, move their ships off the map to eliminate them from play!

A particularly brutal combo would be to move an enemy ship so that it docks at the very island covered in this review, and then reveal Runes of Loki , forcing them to get the negative effect! Even more sinister, combine those Runes with Nemo’s Plans, and force them to automatically lose three masts!!  

From my Mind Control fleet, there are other things you can do to maximize this island’s effectiveness: Combine it with other things that move enemy ships, such as abilities and a very similar mysterious island.

Ways to counteract it: 
-Build a fort on it (“Mysterious Island abilities (including Great Turtles) are ignored if a fort is present on the island.” – The Pirate Code)
-Use your own Runes of Loki to deny an opponent their opportunity to become a rural farmer. 
-Flip Potions and Brews to turn an enemy 5-6 into a 1-2.
-Put Bad Maps in the treasure distribution and let an opponent find it, so you can both move it farther from their fleet and closer to yours at the same time!
 Natives could severely delay farming efforts; Plague would knock out the helmsman/oarsman crew on farmer ships, at which point the negative effect would become more relevant.
-Choose it as your own home island
-Don’t put it into the island pool when setting up the ocean, or refuse to play with mysterious islands in general (not a bad idea, since many of them are OP and can tilt a game more than they should)
-If your opponent is basing their strategy around this type of island, get there first and move their ships away so they cannot build a farm on the island. XD

The Competition:
So. As nasty as this island is, there are OTHER mysterious islands that make this one look like a frightened little animal!!  That’s right, many of the MI’s can be quite OP, especially with the right farming setup.

Mysterious Island #1 Mysterious Island #5 , and Mysterious Island #11 are possibly the biggest offenders to in-game balance, as they usually become extreme hotspots of activity after just one or two 6’s are rolled. The gold simply flocks there very soon after the MI is explored, and if that MI is close to a player’s HI, it could be game over.
Mysterious Island #4 and Mysterious Island #12 are quite amazing, as it allows you to farm for powerful things like Neptune’s Trident Poseidon’s Breath , or evenPlague for a suicide mission.
Mysterious Island #6 and Mysterious Island #14 are just silly; events were the worst addition to the entire game in the first place, and this allows you to bring them in for free, an infinite number of times. 
Mysterious Island #10 isn’t as bad as the above, but lets you potentially turn a 0 into a 7, dramatically changing the total amount of gold available in a standard game.
Mysterious Island #15 gives you a pseudo-CJS-style teleportation, and could be used at the opportune moment  to flip home a 7 to avoid it getting intercepted on the return trip.

As you can see, more than half of the MI’s from the set are more OP than this one. Throw in things like Ancient Altar Island Paradise , and Verdant Isle , and it’s clear that using this is not as bad as using some of the other crazy ones.

Mysterious Island #13 is both the biggest “competition” for this island, and the biggest partner. They are great when used together, since you can decide which island to dock at when moving a specific enemy ship. Keep in mind this one has a slightly worse negative effect, as you can lose up to 4 masts at once. I decided to review this one instead mostly because I like how it gives a greater degree of control over how far you move the opposing ship. For example, say you have an enemy ship picked out that you want or need to move. With this island, you can dock your fastest ship at it and give that move to the enemy ship. With #13, you can only move the ship as far as its own base move, which could be slower or just less predictable if you’re choosing from multiple options. Therefore, this island also gives you a slightly easier decision making process. However, you can really take advantage of #13 if you have a slow ship like Paradox (almost useless at this island) and you’re trying to move a fast ship in the enemy fleet such as throwing the Hai Peng onto a sargasso sea.

-Fun cool effect that adds diversity and excitement to the game
-In play for all players, so not OP like some crew and ships that are part of a fleet build
-Powerful effect that can change a game without ruining it

-Very nasty and debilitating negative effect
-It’s a Mysterious Island with a powerful positive effect, so naturally it’s prone to farming
-Opponents may not want to play with it/fellow Pirates may hate you for using it

Artwork and aesthetics: 
I’ve always liked the way MI’s looked, both front and back. When face down, they have a nice palm tree indicating their status as mysterious, and the text on the back doesn’t detract much from the islands overall. Getting really specific, I’ve always thought of the “dual” islands as naturally wild, with the larger rounder ones (like #4) being better as home islands since they look big enough for a town and more docking areas. Therefore, this particular shape of island is perfect for a wild island, and therefore to remain mysterious.  (leave a comment if you understand the callback)

Overall rating: 
I’ll give this one a 7.5/10. Rating a specific mysterious island feels a little strange, but it’s fun to review things other than ships and crew once in a while. This MI is certainly prone to farming, but the nasty side effect of “living off the land” (lol) will make you pause before pursuing its full potential. I have a bit of bias since I have used the “Mind Control” strategy very successfully in the past and quite enjoy it. It’s also not as OP as many other MI’s, which would otherwise decrease the rating. As a result, it’s generally my favorite MI and one you should try out sometime! Thanks for reading! Comment and vote if you’d like.

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