Well, I’ve gone crazy with unreleased stuff again, but this time everything was from either Return to Savage Shores, one item from Pirates of the Age of Sail, and The Vengeance of the Cadet Captain (reminiscent of Economy Edition).
Using unreleased and custom game pieces may become somewhat common, so please give me feedback on how you like the “fleets” area where I detail what is in each fleet. Would you rather have the fleets listed with everything in a small space first, and then list the details of each piece below, OR just like I’m doing here and have the information on each game piece within the specific fleet section? There’s also the option of doing it the way it is here, but with fleet titles (ex: English, Fleet 1, etc.) bigger in size so it’s easier to differentiate between each fleet and the associated parts of it.
(Warning: the sheer amount of new stuff you may not be aware of can make this a somewhat challenging or chaotic battle report, and I put a lot of effort into all of the different aspects of these types of reports. I feel like a link wizard or something! Lastly, any advice on how to improve is always appreciated, though I like how I do things now.)
It was an 80 point game with 3 fleets, sailing in this order:
Rocinante + Sebastian Rojo, captain, helmsman, oarsman x3
Babieca + Antonio de Silva (RtSS), Dominic Freda, helmsman
San Martin + Luis Zuan, helmsman, explorer
Masts: 3 (Hoist)
Ability: Hoist. Secret Hold. This ship can’t be pinned.
Flavor: The heroic vessel Rocinante launched from Spain amid a roar of applause. The hopes and dreams of a new age of Spanish glory go with her.
Ability: Marine. Once per turn, you can eliminate one of this ship’s crew to give her an extra action.
Flavor: Rojo’s past is steeped in blood. An expert at dealing with natives and policing those disloyal to Spain, Rojo has dedicated himself to ensure that the conquest of the South Pacific is successful.
RtSS-050, Special Edition
Masts: 3 (Windcatcher)
Ability: Windcatcher. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts.
Flavor: Named in honor of the warhorse of the legendary Spanish hero, El Cid, the Babieca displays strength and stamina in combat fitting of her namesake.
Commandante Antonio de Silva
Ability: Captain. Musketeer.
Flavor: Still devoted to protecting the interests of the Crown, De Silva fights to forge a new era of prosperity for Spain.
PotAoS – Limited Edition
Ability: Cannoneer. This ship’s base move becomes S if she reaches her cargo limit.
Cuerno de la Cabra + Cursed Captain Barbossa, Capitaine Chevalle, helmsman
Hispaniola + captain
Sea King + Bartholomew Roberts, oarsman
Centurion + Thomas Tew, helmsman
Beast’s Belly + helmsman
Cuerno de la Cabra
Masts: 2 (Junk)
Ability: Junk. Two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts.
Flavor: Arrogant sailors of every nation have mistaken the small size of the “Goat’s Horn” for weakness—and their pockets have paid dearly for it.
VotCC #015, Uncommon
VotCC #014, Uncommon
Ability: If this ship wins a boarding party, it can take as much treasure as it can carry. (Hoarding Gold)
VotCC #020, Rare
Ability: Captain. Cannoneer.
Mongrel + Joshua Humphreys, explorer
Paul Revere + Commodore Peregrine Stern, Wayne Nolan, helmsman, firepot specialist
Providence + Huang Bai (I once again forgot about the Ex-Patriot keyword), helmsman, oarsmen x3
USS Valley Forge + captain, helmsman
Masts: 3 (Junk)
Ability: Junk. If this ship is within S of a friendly ship when this ship is given a move action, she gets +S to her base move.
Flavor: She’s no beauty, but the Mongrel has a lot more to offer than the pretty faces of her crew. She is frequently set upon enemy vessels to ensure safe passage.
VotCC #066B, Common
Ability: This ship gets +L to its base move if no Helmsman crew are aboard.
RtSS-051, Limited Edition
Ability: Ex-Patriot. Hostile: Spain. Once per turn, you can eliminate one of this ship’s crew to give her an extra action. After looking at treasure on a wild island, you can trade any one treasure from that island for a random treasure on any other wild island. This ship must load the traded treasure.
Flavor: Unwilling to cede the end of the Jade Empire, Huang Bai nonetheless realizes the need to pause and rebuild—as a mercenary. His first customer, America, is eager to pit him and “Golden Axe” against the expanding Spanish empire.
Now that the pieces are out of the way, onto the game!
The setup featured all three home islands close together at one end, with a big wild island with three separate beaches at the other end. The island was completely surrounded by reefs and, on the far side, icebergs that wouldn’t move. Each beach held 7 coins, and 5 UT’s were included as well. 10 preselected UT’s were mixed around, and 5 were randomly chosen to be in the game.
The Spanish are at the bottom right, with the Pirates in the middle and the Americans up top.
Proxies: Buscador=Rocinante, Mystic=Babieca, Matthias Vospero=San Martin, Ranger=Sea King, Kin Tai Fong=Cuerno de la Cabra, Nancy Nox=Hispaniola, Sea Wind=Mongrel.
The Rocinante used the sac-marine Sebastian Rojo to jump out ahead of the rest of the Spanish fleet. The Pirates purposely created a fleet where every ship would move L+S, planning to stay in a wolf pack. The Americans also had major speed, with the Paul Revere and Providence capable of extra actions at S+L+S, and the Mongrel moving S+S+S+L between her ability and Humphreys (one of the fastest ships to sail without a helmsman).
With the Spanish going first, it surprised no captain that the Rocinante was the first to reach the island. She passed over the reefs without harm, but only took one treasure from the nearest beach.
The Mongrel was the second ship to reach the reefs, as the Paul Revere maneuvered to guard the American gold ships.
The Rocinante explored another beach, and was more satisfied with this hoard than the last one: she took a 5, a 2, Exploding Shot via Ammunition, and Claw Cannon. The hoist now had some good UT’s in addition to the marine and captain abilities, making her an intriguing and diverse offensive threat (she’s also a good gold raider ship with her secondary abilities of Secret Hold and not being pinned). This put a target on her back.
Up to this point, the fleets hadn’t shot at each other despite the close quarters race to the island. Predictably, the game started to devolve into chaos (one of my favorite phrases!).
Basically, Stern on board the Paul Revere got bored and wanted to put his S+L+S x2 speed to good use. The Rocinante was the only enemy ship with gold, so the Paul Revere sped over the reef (losing a mast) and attacked! Her remaining guns rang true with the help of Wayne Nolan, and the Rocinante was reduced to a burning hulk, losing her final oarsman in the S-board as well.
In the meantime, the Mongrel was busy grabbing a coin and a Castaway captain from the last unexplored beach, as the Providence sailed over a reef. She was undamaged, but the Hispaniola wasn’t so lucky. The Pirate ship lost two masts on a 1, and then was dismasted by the Paul Revere’s first action as the PR sped over to the Rocinante.
The Spanish were quick to exact revenge on the Americans, with the combined might of Rojo, Babieca and San Martin sinking the Paul Revere. This was evidently going to turn into a bloody game, possibly even more brutal than the last one.
As the Pirates made their way onto the reefs, the Cuerno de la Cabra (Cuerno) began towing the Hispaniola, who was the only true Pirate gold runner. However, they had a flexible fleet with cargo spaces open on all their ships, so they weren’t going to let the reef stop them.
The Mongrel headed for home as the Providence docked and explored the nearest beach with an extra action from Huang Bai. The Valley Forge rolled an unlucky 1 to lose a mast.
The Babieca was the next ship to lose a mast to a reef, but the Spanish had a good turn, with the Rocinante hoisting crew and gold all over the place. When it was all over, the beach was empty, with gold on each of the three Spanish ships (most on the Babieca and San Martin now that the Rocinante was derelict). The hoist was able to move into position with her oarsman and helmsman, and then transferred the Exploding Shot and Claw Cannon to the Babieca. There was also a small crew transfer – I believe the Rocinante took the San Martin’s explorer, but there may have been an additional swap. Either way, Rojo knew that his best place was on the Rocinante with no gold left to protect on the beach and a derelict hoist to row home.
Then the Pirates attacked! The Sea King went a perfect 4/4 to dismast the Providence, and then used her ability to rob the ship of both her coins! To make matters worse for the Americans, the Centurion and Beast’s Belly docked at the same beach and planned to explore on the next turn. However, the Americans had a sudden realization!
The Mongrel had already explored the other beach, so the Americans knew what treasures were there. The Providence used one of her oarsmen and her helmsman to limp over and dock at the beach. For the first time in a long time (possibly the first time ever), Trees was used to great effect!! (usually it just sits face down on the island the whole game)
With a fully repaired Providence (who also took aboard a few more coins to replace those she had lost to the Sea King), the Americans were back in the running! (sailing?)
With great trepidation, the Rocinante sailed over a reef… and rolled a 4! (I’ve become slightly obsessed with wrecks if you couldn’t already tell from the last few games)
Now all three fleets had some ships going home. The Pirates weren’t playing nice, and the Sea King dismasted the Providence once again!
The Sea King also took another coin from the Providence, who turned around and headed back to the beach. There were no Trees to help her, but she did find Screw Engine in addition to picking up a coin to fill her hold. The Valley Forge tried to guard her and took a mast off the Sea King.
Ships continued to take a beating. The Providence headed home, but rolled a 2 on a reef, and finally, at long last, there was a wreck in one of my games! In the meantime, the Centurion dismasted the Valley Forge but lost a mast herself to a different reef.
With gold still on the Providence, the Mongrel immediately headed back out.
As the Mongrel sped out, she couldn’t resist taking some revenge on the Pirates, making the Centurion derelict. You can see the Pirates have a slight edge over the Spanish in the race for home (including the Cuerno and Hispaniola), which would make things very interesting in the near future. The Cuerno has finally docked home the Hispaniola.
You can see the ocean littered with masts:
The Sea King battered the San Martin, and the Hispaniola and Cuerno de la Cabra moved into position. However, none of their combined 3 guns could hit! Barbossa’s Fear slowed the Babieca, but she was too close to her HI for it to matter.
The Beast’s Belly turned around to tow the Centurion, as the Mongrel approached the wreck of the Providence.
The Spanish docked the Babieca first, who successfully hit twice to land an exploding shot on the durable Cuerno. Following her lead, the San Martin docked and dismasted the Hispaniola. The Spanish had accomplished their plan of getting their gold home, as the Rocinante had purposely only kept a 1 earlier in the game knowing she was going to be the last ship to get home.
Nothing like some late-game excitement!
The Mongrel explored the wrecked Providence, and considered her options. After a shuffle, her hold was full with crew and gold. The Cuerno planned to sink the Rocinante, but was foiled by the spreading fire.
The Rocinante docked home, and the Mongrel used Huang Bai to sink the Centurion!
At this point the Pirates had unloaded their gold, and it was accepted that the final 1 left on a beach wasn’t worth fighting over.
Spanish: 11 gold
This was a fun game (truly a “proxy war”) that saw many great new pieces introduced. I liked all of them!