My Years at Miniature Trading: By the Numbers

My Years at Miniature Trading By the Numbers

Original thread started at Miniature Trading on December 25th, 2016

2016

Just a random thread idea I had. Not expecting many posts here, but it’s fun to look at. At least I think so. Smile

My Years at Miniature Trading

The plays are almost in two groups of three (rising consistently from 2011-2013 and 2014-2016), mostly because of 2014’s down year and a huge year this year. In addition, 2011 was about 7 months for me rather than a full 12. My trades were pretty consistent until I exploded in December 2014/January 2015. I highly doubt I’ll ever match that burst of activity. The fleets and miniature reviews are a bit random, but I’ve been more active lately with those and of course teaching new players.

I keep track of my plays at BGG, which is why I have such detailed numbers. The fleets, miniature reviews, and trades are all easily accessible from your profile here at MT, while the players taught is more similar to plays and is tough to have high numbers in heh.

The averages work out pretty nice – a little over 50 games a year, a fleet submission at least once a month, trades scattered throughout the summer and winter, and a miniature review once in a great while. Smile

According to a google spreadsheet Xerecs and I have been using for various things, 63 games out of 91 (69%) were played on VASSAL. There’s a chance I also missed recording a few in the doc, in which case the percentage would be slightly higher.

Found another reason to post here! I finish the year at 92 plays and 27 trades.

From my plays at BGG, I can figure out how many games I’ve played in each month of the year, and then calculate which seasons of the year have the most plays.

My Years at Miniature Trading

For the seasons, I simply did 3 month blocks. Spring (March-May), Summer (June-August), Fall (September-November), Winter (December-February).

The disparities are interesting: of my 341 total plays, only 18 have come in the March-May window, making the spring by far my least common time to play Pirates. Fall would be similarly low if not for the whopping 48 games I played this past September and October alone, mostly as a result of T1. If not for August the three winter months would be the three highest single-month totals. I’m slightly surprised by how much higher the winter is than the summer, though almost all of my campaign games have occurred in the summertime, which still only count as one play each. Hopefully T2 will allow my big January and February numbers to climb even higher!

2017

A year later, and time to fully update my stats.
My Years at Miniature Trading

It was another big year for playing, as I set a personal second best in games played, barely surpassing the total from 2013. It was a REALLY big year for fleets, as I submitted a whopping 16 fleets between June 21st and June 22nd. Shocked My yearly total of 37 fleets submitted is by far my new personal record, and continues the “fleet explosion” seen since 2015. I do notice a trend though – since 2013, my fleet total increases by about a dozen on the odd years (12-24-37), but then dips on the even years. 2018 will likely continue that trend, with my creative energies temporarily exhausted. XD

The long slow trading decline continued as well, as I continue to flesh out my collection and don’t need as much stuff. There were some nice additions though, including the Guichuan and various stuff that saw action in Command the Oceans.

I also set a new personal record for miniature reviews. The 8 does include my first ever review of a custom game piece. I was disappointed not to teach more players, but the campaign games (Command the Oceans and VASSAL CG3) are just so fun.

As for my 2018 goals with these numbers, I hope to continue averaging around 50 plays a year (although, I’m basically averaging 60 per year after the 168-game flurry of the past 2 years XD). For the fleets and trades, I’d just like to see double digits. MR’s come and go, so I’m not overly concerned about those. I definitely want to teach more than 7 players to set a new personal best, and naturally my inclination for campaign games should lead to at least one new one of those. my years at

Here are my 2017 plays by month, with February, July, and December unsurprisingly the busiest months. I was disappointed that March ended my active months in a row streak of playing at least one game of Pirates (at 28!), but I hope a new streak has started as of November 2017. (October was a little weird due to CTO)
My Years at Miniature Trading

And finally my cumulative monthly totals. The disparity between the summer/winter months and those of spring/fall only got bigger. Every month other than October and November has more plays in it than the entire spring season of March through May! My Years at It was another big February, which now has almost twice as many plays as any other month.
My Years at Miniature Trading

2018

My Years at Miniature Trading by the numbers

As I discussed in my 2018 Year in Review, 2018 was an absolutely DISMAL year for Pirates.  I anticipated that somewhat in terms of numbers because it was the first year since 2015 without tournament play, and I’m so content with my collection that trading almost feels unnecessary (thanks VASSAL!  XD).  Although my plays were WAY down, I started three campaign games and those are my favorite type of game by far.  After massive explosions in my fleet and review numbers, it was only natural for them to fall back a lot, especially once Miniature Trading’s demise became a possibility in late August 2018.

I’m anticipating changes in 2019 that may even drive some of these numbers further down, but I’ve kind of “been there, done that” in terms of producing the above types of content for this game.  I’d like to focus on campaign games and making the game more popular rather than endless fleet ideas and small games.  My per-year averages will naturally fall quite a bit over time, but I can always compute stats for specific periods of time, such as the ridiculous run from 2015-2017.  In addition, I think I’ll start adding new stats: numbers for youtube videos produced (231 in 2018), podcasts recorded (24), and (less likely) Instagram posts.  Those three categories all had strong years in 2018, and they’re much more impactful and helpful to the community than my plays or fleets anyway.

Thanks for checking this out, and feel free to share your own stats for Pirates CSG!

-Admiral A7XfanBen

2018 State of the Pirates community address

Originally posted to Miniature Trading on January 22nd, 2018

Inspired by the annual “State of the Union” address, as the arguable leader of the current Pirates CSG community, I hope to make this an annual tradition.

2017 was a solid year for myself and my fellow pirates. The game at large continues to see fresh players. Many new members introduced themselves at Miniature Trading, the hub of all Piratical content on the web. The subreddit has swelled to 169 readers as of this writing. The Facebook group has 86 members, with new people joining each month.

The community continues to innovate and new things are being introduced even as we approach the 10 year anniversary of the shutdown of Wizkids. Two YouTube channels have sprung up. A podcast is thriving with 15 episodes so far and more on the way.

As far as play goes, 2017 was no subpar year. Things started off with the 2017 Campaign, and continued with the CoEC 2017 game. Then we set an incredible record with SIX different players in the same campaign game, VASSAL Campaign Game 3: Economy Edition. Not long afterwards, the unprecedented Command the Oceans game obliterated the previous record for the largest game in Pirates CSG history. In a fitting end, the year culminated in crowning a new champion at the end of Tournament #2.

Various events have taken place across the lands. An event at Pax Unplugged reinvigorated the interest of at least one former player, and possibly ignited a spark in the minds of various others. An upcoming event at Con of the North may yield similarly exciting results. There have been reports of various players teaching other players how to play.

On the more “futuristic” front, we had a series of impressive developments. No less than 4 surveys have been created, which will help the podcast and video creators going forward, as well as providing important information for a potential long-term relaunch of the game. Getting in touch with some of the corporate employees was a wild ride, and even one of the game designers himself responded! Pirates fans have much to look forward to in 2018, whether it be the possible conclusion of CG3, many more podcasts, more videos, Ocean Terrain Contest #3, and some potential unannounced plans by two of the greatest to ever play the game….

As the game enters its 10th year of being out of print, I urge you not to despair. The general bull market is always nice, and the active gaming community shows that our niche has staying power for the long haul. Beyond that, it’s even possible that the rights to the game will expire in the intermediate-term future.

It’s a Pirates’ Life for me, and I hope it is for you too!  Let me know if you want me to continue this State of the Community address each year in the comments below.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something… must have been the rum. state of the community

All Pirates CSG Surveys – please take!

Pirates CSG Survey (kinda long)

Pirates CSG video survey (short)

Podcast survey (shortest)

The last two require more knowledge of the game, so they’re best taken once you have a decent amount of experience playing.

Rules Survey (longest)

Ability Costs Survey (kinda long but all multiple choice)

Also, feel free to post below any comments or concerns you have. I’m open to adding more questions. I could also add surveys other people run regarding Pirates CSG.  Pirates CSG Surveys

Thanks everyone!

Ocean Play Mat – Many Options for Pirates Players

Ocean Play Mat Options – Which is Best?

A member of the Facebook group asks:

What do you use for a play mat? I’ve used a sheet once but it bunches and moves. Neoprene playmat?

I don’t quite have a favorite ocean play mat, but I’ve used many great options in the past.  In this post I’ll answer this question in detail, providing pictures and analysis for the ocean play mats that I use.

“Official” Options

European Pirates of the Spanish Main ocean play mat map

This is the mat that comes in European packs of Spanish Main (Unlimited Edition).

There are various “official” mats you can use.  For starters, European Spanish Main Unlimited packs contain a basic small plastic mat. (thanks to Holofernes and others for the detailed Wikipedia page)

Gale Force Nine released a vinyl map that you can see here.

Probably the most “famous” is from the Plunder Pack.  However, it’s both the least appealing and not very practical.  Although I DON’T recommend the map, the Plunder Pack itself is quite cool.

Pirates Plunder Pack map

The Plunder Pack map – dull, gray, boring, and prone to excessive creases from folding in storage.

Better Options!

Although the above ocean play mats are better than playing on less nautical surfaces (such as a wooden table or a random rug or carpet), it’s both cheap and effective to get something that really beautifies your games.

The answer?  Basic chunks of fabric.

In 2015 I went to Joann Fabrics and bought 5 different yards of blue fabric for a grand total of about $17.  At about $3/yard, I can honestly say it was one of my “best buys” of Pirates CSG ever (despite not buying any actual Pirates stuff) and transformative for both my games and associated Battle Reports.  Since that awesome purchase, I’ve used almost nothing else in my games.  I’ve attempted to rank them here.

#1 – Light, tropical, textured, “Caribbean” blue

This is a light blue fabric that makes you feel like you’re playing a game of Pirates CSG in the Caribbean!  I call it a “textured” fabric because it’s not a solid blue color, with some variation throughout to make it look a bit more like real water.

Caribbean Sea blue ocean play mat

The English and Spanish feel right at home in the “Caribbean”!

#2 – Silky shiny blue

This one is by FAR the most unique ocean I have.  It’s a completely different material than the other 4 fabrics I use, making it quite distinct.  It’s silky, smooth, shiny, and cool!  It doesn’t fold like the other fabrics, being much more susceptible to sliding around in your hands.  However, you can still wrap or fold it up easily for storage.

Silky blue ocean mat

Gorgeous and luxurious!

#3 – Dark textured blue

This is just like the “Caribbean blue”, but with darker shades of blue.  Creates more of a “deep sea exploration” feel as compared to the more tropical light blue.

dark textured blue ocean

Darker version of the other textured blue fabric.

#4 – Basic light blue

This solid colored fabric is a little more “boring”, but still provides infinitely more thematic element than the brown table below it.

Basic light blue ocean fabric

Starting setup for an “Other Worlds” game.

#5 – Basic dark blue

More of a “navy blue”, this may be the most boring of the bunch, but it still turns Pirates CSG into more of a seafaring experience.

dark blue ocean fabric

Custom islands and terrain can enhance your games even further!

Bigger Options?

If you’re like me and occasionally need a larger ocean (or oceans), there are still various options.  You can use a blue bedsheet that you may have lying around, or bought for cheap.  You could also buy more than a yard of fabric – 2 yards would give you quite a lot of space.

To avoid any extra purchases, you could also simply connect multiple (different) yards of fabric together to create one ocean.  This has the added benefit of creating a “separation” of ocean colors/textures on your map, which can be great for designating a more tropical look or a more menacing deep blue Pacific look.

Here are a few more oceans I’ve played Pirates on:

ocean play mat

Combination of bed sheet and fabric yard used in the Sea of Allost (Command the Oceans).

I’m planning to get even more ocean fabrics in the future, especially shiny ones that look like glossy water.  For example, you could use a big blue photography background for a Pirates ocean!  A simple search reveals tons of great options for affordable prices.  Just one yard can vastly improve your Pirates games forever.  😀

A Question (or two) for You

Which ocean play mat is your favorite?  Do you generally prefer lighter or darker colored oceans?  Comment below and I’ll respond!  Feel free to even rank all of them if you’d like.

Thanks for reading and let’s get in touch about Pirates CSG!  (a7xfanben@gmail.com)

-Admiral A7XfanBen

Need help determining when patents expire/etc

Originally posted on Miniature Trading on July 21st 2016

I’ve looked at the patents that Wizkids had/has a few times now. Being relatively young and rather inexperienced with this sort of thing, I have some questions:

-Is this the best place to go for locating the patents that are relevant to Pirates CSG?

On that list of 12, only the bottom/least recent 5 were filed before Pirates went into production. However, I can’t seem to find much info on which patents are relevant to Pirates specifically.

I’m trying to figure out when the patents related to Pirates expire. I started with this, and also found this page.

This patent seems to list the first two (bottom in the list) patents of the 12 as being relevant to Pirates.

Then I went to http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair and pasted 6,899,333 as the patent number with 10243980 as the application number. I don’t really get most of the tabs, but based on the faq/information stuff in the links from a few paragraphs above, it seems that the patents expire if the maintenance fees aren’t paid on time. The last day to pay the fee for that specific patent is less than a year away. O_O (Don’t tell NECA! LOL)

Also, patent number 6,899,332 has two expired “parents”; does that matter?

Also, it appears that anyone can pay the maintenance fees, even as a “guest”. Shocked How does that work? Does the payer receive the right to the patent or does the company/legal entity still “own” it?

Is this research going anywhere or am I way off base?

Thanks everyone.

(By the way, as a member of this forum, you should read “How did they do it?” if you haven’t already.)

~

https://assignment.uspto.gov/patent/index.html#/patent/search/resultAbstract?id=6899333&type=patNum

You can access the information from my links in the first post, but this site has the actual documents you can look at. It’s amazing how much stuff you can find online! I don’t understand much of it, but it appears as though the patents in question (assuming they are the ones relevant to Pirates, perhaps the license is the only thing that matters) are still in NECA’s possession. (looks like they switched banks in 2015, IP “security agreement”)

~

From the Contacting NECA thread:

godmason wrote:
Do we know when the company’s exclusive rights to the property expire?

 

Probably not for a while. After some reasonably deep digging last year, I MAY have located the patent or patents that apply to Pirates.

At the time the fees due this year hadn’t been paid, but from this you can see that they have now been paid, albeit with a late fee. XD (I did not have $7400 lying around last year or else I may have gotten legal help to figure it out further lol) (and now I see this so it doesn’t look like we could have just bought it out anyway)

It seems that this latest “11.5 Year Window” is the last one listed, but I don’t know what it means or when it potentially expires.

I just went and downloaded the Patent Term Calculator and filled it out the best I could. I found out that most patents expire 20 years after the filing date. From the calculator, it says the patent may expire on September 13th, 2022. Shocked Smile (disclaimer: this is assuming I’m even looking at the right patent in the first place, but either way it seems like a “Pirates patent” would expire by 2024 since the game first came out in 2004) I don’t know if NECA/WK can renew or extend it from there, but I do see this:

 

Quote:
An expired patent can only be renewed through an act of Congress, and in rare cases, a patent may be extended for a few years.

 

So hopefully that wouldn’t happen. XD But I don’t know if there are other ways for them to get around it and find loopholes. need help determining

~

Also from Contacting NECA thread:

My message to them about the SCS set going for $482. Said their page had seen it, no message back. (the link DID go to the expired listing, it’s just that eBay has changed their site a bit and now try to link to “suggested” active items when you look at ended auctions)
need help determining

More promising, some messages between another member of the active Facebook group:

irishbandit89 wrote:
need help determining

need help determining

 

And finally, possibly the most promising, another member from here and FB got an interesting response back:

 

juulm wrote:
need help determining

 

(Level 0 users still can’t post pictures need help determining )

So at this point, we should “share our enthusiasm”!  I am about to head out for a while, but plan to message NECA and Wizkids on Facebook (and possibly elsewhere) once I get back later.

NECA Facebook page
Wizkids Facebook page

At this time it is worth a reminder that a Petition to NECA was started and signed back in 2011, but nothing really came of it.  (new petition here)

Some other threads worth checking out from the Thread of Threads:
Could WE restart Pirates?
How did they do it?

Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on these issues!  In addition, if you have any potential solutions, go ahead and share!  Additional questions for the legal side of things that I haven’t thought of are also welcome.  I will respond to all comments and questions.  Thank you!!  

Ben

60 points – Pirates vs. Americans (again!) – December 24th, 2013

Today I played three more games in which the Pirates faced the Americans. First off, the point limit was increased from 40 to 60 points. The Americans swapped out the USS Mercury submarine for the USS Eagan, a four masted ship with rank-2 guns. They also added the USS Paladin and crewed her with Commodore Peregrine Stern, who has the captain, +1 to boarding rolls, and extra action abilities. The Pirates swapped Christopher Moody (onboard the Minerva) for Crimson Angel (OE version, SAT with world-hater) and a standard captain. They added the Black Mongoose and Jack Hawkins (DJC version, captain and reverse captain).

The first game started off in favour of the Pirates, with the Minerva quickly dismasting the Frontier and capturing her by using an extra action from Crimson Angel. The Eagan responded by taking out two masts on the Minerva, and the Paladin shot away two masts from the Black Mongoose. The Mongoose then used her reverse captain ability to take one mast off the Paladin, but she was sunk by the Paladin on the next turn.

By this point, the Swift had already gotten home with gold for the Pirates, with the Amity heading back as well. The Eagan sailed for the slow-moving Amity, but another SAT from Crimson Angel aboard the Minerva let her catch the Eagan and block her path, killing her helmsman with the ships ability. The chase was over, and the Pirates had their first victory!

The second game started with an extra action from Stern aboard the Paladin, taking out two masts on the Minerva. The Minerva tried to shoot, ram, and board the Eagan, but she failed at all three, to be sunk by the Eagan on the next turn. Meanwhile, the Frontier was busy exploring the nearest two islands, but she only found 11 gold from the 7 coins she was able to load. The Black Mongoose, instead of helping her comrades aboard the Minerva, sailed straight for the Frontier. Without an escort to support her, the Swift was a sitting duck for the Paladin, and she was dismasted. The Eagan sunk her on the next turn. The gold onboard the Swift gave the Americans 14 total gold, almost enough to win.

The Amity now had to move desperately in order to get her gold home, moving at just L speed. She unsuccessfully rammed the Paladin, and managed to lose a coin worth 4 gold in the boarding process. The Black Mongoose now shot away one of the Eagan’s masts, but it was too late for the Pirates. The Paladin and Eagan teamed up to sink the Amity, giving the Americans 18 gold against the Pirates’ 6.

The third game featured a slightly different island setup. The islands were arranged in a circular ring, with open sea in the middle instead of having an island in the center. This game featured many lucky die rolls from Angel and Stern, the double action crew. On the Pirates’ first turn, the Minerva moved twice to catch the Frontier and sink her, eliminating the American gold game. The biggest ship in play, the Eagan angrily responded by sinking the Minerva. A 6 from Stern aboard the Paladin let her shoot twice, taking out two masts each on the Amity and the Black Mongoose. The Mongoose managed to blow away one mast on the Paladin before the Americans responded with another extra action from Stern. The Paladin sunk the Mongoose and dismasted the Amity.

At this point, the Eagan was able to sink the Swift, evening up the gold race at 10 for each nation. Unfortunately for the Pirates, however, this was their last ship, so the Americans were able to tow the Amity home and win, 18-10.

The Americans win 2 out of 3, and are 4-1 overall! They were able to overcome their bad starts with powerful guns and a few well-timed double actions. I think the point limit will be increased once more before I delve into other factions and eventually do some multiplayer action. I’d also like to reintroduce terrain and UT’s into the mix, since these simple games can be a little too simple! 60 points

Ability Analysis: Admiral’s Action (AA) | Better in Big Games

Ability Analysis: Admiral’s Action (AA)

Better in Big Games

Question of the Day: What do you think of this ability? What point cost do you think it should have?

Pros:
-EXTRA ACTIONS!!!
-AA not limited to ship carrying ability – similar to Mycron but dependent on luck
-Plenty of easy combos – ships with reroll built-in, 0LR rerollers

Cons:
-More expensive than other action generators (EA=5, SAT=3, SAC=2-3, Mycron=6 but far more reliable)
-Difficult to roll 6’s, won’t happen much in smaller/faster games

Ability Analysis: Admiral's Action

Commodore Edward Preble

Combos:

-Reroll (borderline mandatory)
-Preble w/Wayne Nolan, Sigurd with Shayna, CRGO/Beckett w/Doone/BC CRGO,

Best to use in:
-BIG games – bigger and longer the better (really great in campaign games)
-Not recommended for games under 80 points

Yay or Nay?
Yes – but only in larger games.
-Cost of 6 is accurate

Ability Costs Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/MS4gufdXBBSRbqX43
Admiral Action crew: https://goo.gl/5vMskv
Find them at RainTyger: http://www.raintyger.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=given+two+actions+that+turn
Barbary Coast packs: https://goo.gl/Bczif8
Barbary Coast: https://goo.gl/P3mjie

Keyword Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRq8fy93o3wFgJMjR4nzy73k5-MmhSul0
The Pirate Code: https://pirateswithben.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/The-Pirate-Code-FAQ-Dec-2016.pdf

Best Crew – Optimize your crew complements to WIN

Another part of the Q&A series here at Pirates with Ben.  This was asked in the Facebook group – a question about

which crew to use.

Best Crew

Captain

Best Crew to Use

Captains and helmsmen are the most important. I’m not the biggest fan of explorers but they can be quite good as well. In terms of named crew, anything that gives extra actions is extremely good (SAC/EA/SAT/etc). It does depend on my strategy and the ship though. Empty gold runners can work pretty well, but you’re not going to have an “empty gunship”, so a lot of times the percentage of crew in a fleet is massively biased towards gunships (meaning 75-90% of crew points spent could be assigned to gunships, for example).

C+H necessary to stay competitive

Best Crew

Helmsman

Specifically, if a ship has a base move of S+S or slower, she nearly always needs a helmsman for your fleet to stay competitive (exception is empty gold runner that gets +S with no cargo). Even the recent Savage Shores anniversary game is a good example of this. Gunships always need captains, and almost always need helmsmen too.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  If you don’t use captains and helmsmen on your gunships, you will not win against competent opponents.

Extreme Cases

However, a gimmick fleet might go with very little crew or many “abnormal” crew that don’t get pure results, but are VERY fun to use. These fleets often still use captains and helmsmen as a “backbone” of sorts, in addition to the wacky stuff that make them fun and unique.  That said, if you’re strictly looking to WIN, you’re better off hammering the basics to ensure optimized fleet building.  Personally I get a little bored of winning with the same fleet or strategy all the time, so I like to change it up!

Check out my Building a Fleet page and Gameplay page for more information.  You may also find some specific crew on eBay.

Unsinkable ships – Eternal no more!

This is the first in what could be a nice long Q&A series.  From my Eternal keyword video.

XxMrLimeyxX asks:

Is there absolutely no way to eliminate a ship with eternal built in? And if no does this cause any gameplay issues for smaller games or against opponents with a small variety of ships?

Eternal is underpriced by a point or two, but it’s not as powerful as it sounds. With the right tools and strategy, it’s not a big deal to counter. Best way to sink an Eternal ship permanently is with a canceller. Cancel the Eternal ability right before you take the shot to sink the ship.

Turn the tables

You can also capture Eternal ships and use them against your opponents. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to eliminate any oarsmen on the ship first, since they prevent dereliction and therefore capture. This is one of my favorite ways of dealing with Eternal because you can capture an enemy ship instead of “sinking” it and then immediately scuttle it and try to warp it back to YOUR home island instead of theirs! I was able to do this in CG3.

There are a few niche things you can use to make Eternal less effective too – simply leave the ship with no masts and refuse to sink it. Or use the Periscope UT to cancel the ability like you would with a canceller.

If you don’t have many tools available to help you with the above methods, simply sink the ship as quickly as possible and try to win the game before it comes back.  Repairing an Eternal ship to any level of respectable health (likely 3+ masts for any gunship) can take a while.  Not to mention how long it will take for the ship to get back in action.  By simply blasting the ship away each time it approaches, you can minimize the threat by keeping it repairing at home rather than causing chaos on the battlefield.

Where it DOES get nasty

The tricky part is when you combine Eternal with other defensive stuff – such as a submarine with a canceller aboard as well. Think USS Mercury with both Ralph David (Eternal) and DNT (Canceller), with an oarsman. That’s when it gets a bit OP, but that kind of combo is really only valuable in deathmatches or big games, not so much competitive games with gold.

Eternal mostly only causes gameplay issues in deathmatches. My favorite house rule there is to only allow it to work once. So if Eternal is used in a deathmatch, the second sinking is permanent.

Thanks for the comment and let me know if you have any other questions.

Unsinkable ships

Captured Eternal ship carrying Davy Jones at the lower right after my Americans nabbed him in VASSAL Campaign Game 3 – click for details!

Eras of Miniature Trading

Posted in the Thread of Threads on Miniature Trading on December 9th 2016.

This is pretty random, but seems like it should go in this thread.

I feel like there have been distinct phases of the forum:

1. The “in-print” years (2004-2008)

The game was still in production, and the forums were filled with set previews, discussions once a set was released, and general thoughts (sometimes positive, sometimes negative) on the job Wizkids was doing. The fleets and reviews sections were lively, while updated rules and new keywords/game mechanics kept things interesting.

2. The “collector” and false hope years (2008-2012)

After the demise of Wizkids in late 2008, there was tons of uncertainty concerning the game’s future, how prices would be affected, and what it meant for the game’s base of players and collectors. Then NECA purchased the rights to Pirates in 2009. These years also saw an interesting time period for collectors, with the game being out-of-print for the first time. 2 of the possible 4 mysterious “Ships in a Bottle” found their way into the hands of an old_man, while drama reigned in the world of the Obago Deuces. In 2012 a cards-only “relaunch” was released to much general dismay. Some may consider this the final nail in the coffin, while it could also be considered a positive.

3. The “player” and discussion/reflection years (2013-2018)

As the anniversaries of the game’s demise passed, many collectors completed their collections or left the game entirely. A new era of battle reports was born, with many epic campaign games being played, mostly by a7xfanben and xerecs. Many fleet challenges have taken place, and some were even played out on the VASSAL module. This is also the era of the “megathread”, with many threads reaching massive numbers of pages and replies. The forum offers a great variety of topics on the game, perhaps the most diverse in its history.

4. The “final” era? (late 2018 and beyond?)

Likely a continuation of the latest era, with emphasis on keeping the game alive through teaching new players, taking full advantage of the VASSAL module, and keeping the forum active and awesome.

-However, the revelation that Miniature Trading could shut down has put everything in doubt.  The Pirates forum has already seen severely decreased activity – after all, if the status of the site is in doubt, why bother using time writing up threads or making fleets that could permanently get deleted any day now?  🙁  At this point I’m just going to do what I can to make sure that my Pirates forum lasts indefinitely.

Eras of Miniature Trading

The Pirates CSG forum at Miniature Trading on January 8th 2019, showing the severe lack of activity compared to years past.