CG4 Turn on VASSAL – August 2019

Last night (8/26/2019) I played my latest CG4 turn with the Pirates having a grand old time. (previous turn here)

The Pirates have been getting annoyed with how popular their textiles island has been.  It’s understandable, as textiles have been the best early-game resource and the recent resource change has resulted in them being worth 6 gold apiece (the maximum value) once again.  The Barbary Corsairs and Vikings both have ships near the island, with the Corsairs grabbing a ton of textiles last turn.

The Pirates have had enough!  The Eagle attacked!  Shooting 2/4, the Eagle dismasted the Viking lonship Sleipnir.  Then the Jolly Mon used Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight to sacrifice her action, giving it to the Eagle, who then captured the Sleipnir!  Then Calico Cat (aboard the Cassandra, docked at the textiles island right next to the Winds of Vengeance from the Corsair fleet) turned to the captain of the Vengeance and told him “You’re next scum.”  Talk about a warning!  The Pirates have the guns sailing south to back up such talk.  The Akua Lapu with Bartholomew Roberts is about to reach the island, with the Eagle still healthy as well.

Suddenly the area has gone from busy but tranquil to a potential battlefield.  The Pirates spent most of their 54 gold to launch 4 new ships along with a town upgrade.  The upgrade is on the Raven, making it quite obvious that the Pirates intend to upgrade the textiles island to prevent the Vikings and Corsairs from going there for valuable resources.

Here you can see the footage of the Pirates instigating conflict with the Vikings:

The Pirates also launched another gunship, the Selkie.  She is one of my favorite ships.  The Pirates intend her to be a super-sniping gunship, as she has the Sniping ability in addition to the Eye of Maru UT (the latter lets you double the range of one of the ship’s cannons each turn).  The Selkie is maxed out on cargo (4) and points (9), being assigned captain, helmsman, exploding shot, and chain shot.  With all that at her disposal, she could theoretically hit an opponent at L+L+L+L range on a 6 with one of the equipment shots!  O_O  The Pirates also have the Mermaid towing the Widowmaker flotilla, so it looks like they may try to use ranges above L to counter the nearby fleets.

The Cursed had an uneventful turn, though the Sea Duck returned home from her successful voyage to the Archipelago.

The Vikings turned the Diversion around, knowing they wouldn’t be able to do anything about the capture of the Sleipnir with just one (uncaptained) ship in the area.  However, their turn was still a success, as they managed to increase the size of their fleet during the round despite the loss of a ship.  They launched two ships for a net gain of +1, with the Hrothgar and Burning Body (the latter a cheap custom) coming into play.  The Vikings are due to take in 7 lumber next turn, which they plan to convert to 35 gold for a nice launch.  The Vikings are unhappy but somewhat unsurprised by the Pirates’ hostility.  The Pirates have the biggest fleet in the game by far and are already showing some combat might in addition to their burgeoning resource system.  At 26 ships, the Pirates are far more powerful than the Vikings.

The Corsairs are actually more upset than the Vikings, but it looks like their timing is perfect.  The Corsairs sailed away from the textiles island on their turn, but loaded up 4 galleys on the previous turn with very valuable textiles that should net them a decent amount of gold before the next resource change occurs in about 4 turns.  They cashed in the textiles on their home island for 48 gold, spending nearly all of it on a GRAND purchase: the Osiris, their “god ship” from Pirates of the Epic Seas.  They’ve crewed her up, signalling that things may be shifting dramatically in the north… the Corsairs have a plan.

Here is the situation in the north!  Some excitement seems to be brewing!

CG4 Turn on VASSAL - August 2019

Also check out the BR’s for CG4 done by Xerecs!

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables – June 8th, 2018


El_Cazador and I played a game on VASSAL using Cadet-Captain Mike’s Random Pirates Set-Up Tables.

You can find the game on youtube!


6: Roll on Special Set-Up 2 table; no Limits

4: One free Rare ship; one free Common ship; 15 points

I wanted to max out my points expenditure, so I went with HMS Dreadnought and USS Springfield, basically the two most expensive ships of their rarities.  (some other commons are also 18)

The Tiger’s Eye found a bunch of UT’s at her first island, including Wolves.

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables - June 8th, 2018

Through the custom Fountain of Dreams UT, I was able to get Nemo’s Plans on the Dreadnought and then transfer Neptune’s Trident to the Dreadnought from the Coeur, thus making a powerful ship even more extreme.

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables - June 8th, 2018

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables - June 8th, 2018

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables - June 8th, 2018

El_Cazador conceded the game so I won 15-0.

First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight – May 30th, 2018

This was the First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight! You can hear this awesome mix that I just found.


Megabyteknight went first with a mix of factions:
Raven’s Neck + captain, helmsman
HMS Victor + helmsman
Peacock + explorer

I used my new fleet “All Spanish on a Spanish Main“, which exists because of a youtube fleet making tutorial I made.

He set up a tightly packed arrangement of islands, with 3 coins per wild island.

The action got started on the first turn, with the Corazon del Mar knocking a mast off the Victor!

First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight - May 30th, 2018

The battle only intensified, with the Raven’s Neck and Aguila trading blows. Inable to perform at his best (I didn’t get the SAT roll XD), Capitan Castro piloted the Aguila the short trip home, knocking a mast off the Raven’s Neck on the way to safety. The Corazon and Victor traded hits before the Corazon moved in for the decisive blow by getting broadside and hitting 2/3!

First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight - May 30th, 2018

With the Raven’s Neck gathering gold at an island and the Victor with only 1 mast standing, the Spanish decided it was time to strike with maximum force! The Corazon del Mar sailed over to the Raven’s Neck and improbably hit 3/3 to dismast the ship! This was a devastating blow to their cause, but it only got worse. With no need to capture the Raven’s Neck right away or finish her off, L’Aguila sailed over to the Victor and promptly sunk her! This was a weird and unlikely case where the fleet with the advantage was able to switch targets in a 2v2 setting.

First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight - May 30th, 2018

With the Raven’s Neck captured and brought back to Spanish waters, and the Peacock the only ship opposing the Spaniards, the game was all but over. Some coins were unloaded, and the Spanish had won a 10-5 victory!

High Scoring Game – VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

High Scoring Game – VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

Another game was played between A7XfanBen and JohnLock.

I went first with The Jades can use Calypso too! JohnLock followed with a Pirate fleet comprising some of the best ships in the game, including the Banshee’s Cry and Hai Peng.

Once again we had 10 wild islands with 3 coins apiece, and flat earth rules.

The Pirates took off for 4 different islands, but the Virtuous Wind had already scoured one of them. I purposely went for islands farther from home, knowing I could probably get close gold later. Calypso got into action early, allowing the Tiger’s Breath to explore an island in the south that would have taken longer to get to.

High Scoring Game - VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

Here I wanted to try raiding the Pirate home island, but Calypso and Cheng couldn’t come up with a whirlpool in the north. The Virtuous Wind instead headed northeast.

High Scoring Game - VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

Seeing both Pirate gunships (Hai Peng and Carrion Crow carried captains) away from the Pirate HI, I decided it was time for the VW’s raid. Throughout this game, both of us had dismal luck with whirlpool travel, and Protection from Davy Jones wasn’t found until the end.

Having found the Jade UT earlier, I was taking a big risk going to the Pirate HI instead of just going home with the 7 the VW had. Risking both the UT and the 7, the VW only robbed a 1 coin.

High Scoring Game - VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

Though the Pirate brigade did turn for their robbed home island afterwards, I decided to “ride out and meet them”.  The Hai Peng had 3 coins aboard, and I figured the VW could win the fight. The Hades’ Flame and Carrion Crow have warped to the southeast, losing masts.

The Hai Peng rammed the VW instead of docking at the home island, taking off a mast but being dismasted in return by the Wind. This was my golden opportunity to cash in and tow the HP home for a bunch of gold.

Using a little-known rule, from Page 10 of the Reference Diagrams I confirmed that I could capture and tow the Hai Peng with the Virtuous Wind since the HP was derelict and her bow was already in contact with the VW. The VW moved S to enter a new whirlpool Calypso had created (Clutch Calypso! XD), warping back to the Jade HI in a jiffy!

Reference Diagrams rule

Both fleets maxed out their gold scores at the end, specifically the Jades with you guessed it, Jade. XD The VW used the UT to double her old 7 coin into 14 gold after the Tiger’s Paw took the stolen 1. The TP then gave the 1 back to let the VW double that coin too. Good thing, since unfortunately I would need it….

In very improbable fashion, the scores end up tied at 58-58!!!!

The Jades won on both tiebreakers: they led the Pirates in points in play (my favorite tiebreaker, and something that should have been a standard rule) 55-21, and led in masts standing 7-5.

end of the game

I’m very happy with how my new fleet performed in its first game, essentially winning against a fleet using some of the best Pirate ships out there. We both made some mistakes; the Hai Peng ramming the Virtuous Wind instead of docking home her gold led to the Jades capturing the infamous junk, while I should have been more conservative actually, since going for the HI raid only resulted in 1 more gold. If the VW had been successful in doubling both the 7 and the 4 from the island northeast of the Jade HI (Carrion Crow eventually got the 4 for the Pirates), the Jade profit would have been 22 instead of 15. However, then I probably wouldn’t have captured the HP, who netted 12 gold from her 3 coins. So many moments, decisions, and strategic moves that matter in the end – one of the reasons I love Pirates so much!

Overall though, a very fun, close, and strategic game that came down to the… rope? XD See you next time!!

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock – April 27th, 2018

This was the VASSAL introduction game for captainjohnlock! (JohnLock on VASSAL)

He went first with an English fleet, I followed with the French. We used a 40 point build total with no crew to keep it simple. Flat earth rules, and with 3 coins per island (no UT’s).

Knowing combat would be hampered without any captains to rely on, I purposely chose the SCS version of the Coeur de Lion with her sniping ability. I got a handful of extra long range potshots in early against the Gallowglass and Duke of York, but none of them connected. JohnLock’s method of tagging the deckplates around with the ships is a solid way to keep track of things for beginners. (to which I said: “never woulda thought a that!” )

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock - April 27th, 2018

Many ships picked up gold from the various wild islands in play, while the Coeur mounted a somewhat heroic and effective defense of the French home island. She was able to hit 2/2 with her regular 2L guns once the Englishmen came into range. Again, no captains on gunships meant that the first shot would usually go to the defender.

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock - April 27th, 2018

Eventually the English began hitting their mark, but by the time the Coeur was in trouble, the French “cavalry” was returning home! All three of their other four ships arrived on the scene to turn the tide back in French favor.

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock - April 27th, 2018

In a rare usage of reverse captain, the Duc dismasted the Gallowglass and then docked home her gold, simultaneously blocking the Coeur from the Gallowglass on the previous turn to potentially save the former from sinking. The East Wind captured the Gallowglass, while the Glaive unloaded some loot from the southeast.

ships on VASSAL

The Duke of York did manage to get the better of the Coeur, but she too was dismasted by the Duc of the French fleet. Once again the reverse captain ability proved some measure of worth (usually it doesn’t get used since there aren’t many opportunities for it, and it’s certainly overpriced), as the Duc shot off the Duke’s final mast (getting confused?) and then moved to tow her as well. We both agreed to call this “VASSAL introduction” game a bit early, and the French won 24-21!

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock - April 27th, 2018

More adventures await!

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game – April 9th, 2018

April 9th is the 10th anniversary of Fire and Steel being released. Xerecs and I played a little “celebratory” game to commemorate the anniversary. (not sure if this particular set is worth celebrating… XD)

Foresight + Barstow, Hammersmith, oarsman
Napolitana + Victor de Alva, helmsman

HMS Salient + Hermionie Gold, captain, helmsman
HMS Ark Royal + captain

I believe this is the first time we’ve tried to proxy a switchblade into VASSAL. For now, I used an L-range tool rotated from the center of the Salient.

For the setup, the “move and rotate randomly” option worked better than it ever has before for me. The islands and terrain were generally placed that way.

Both fleets headed a bit southwest, with the Ark Royal being the first to explore:

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

However, both fleets found only 0 coins at their islands!! I had placed six 0’s and two UT’s into the treasure mix, and it quickly dawned on me that Xerecs may have placed only 0’s as well!

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Ark Royal and Salient split up, while the Napolitana brought home a coin… which I assumed was a 0.

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Napolitana got an EA from de Alva and shot up the Ark Royal. She was attacked by the Salient immediately, but only lost one mast.

The Salient eventually dismasted the Napolitana and started towing the Ark Royal, which the English were trying to scuttle. By this point the Salient was loaded with some “extra weaponry” in the form of Ammunition (turned into Stinkpot Shot) and Deck Cannon (transferred from the Ark Royal).

fighting at Ocean's Edge

The Foresight got involved, hitting 1/2 on the Salient. The Salient answered with a big turn, combining her proxy switchblade with a solid 2/3 shooting effort (helped by the extra cannon and HGold’s reroll) to knock 3 masts off the Foresight and kill the Pirate oarsman.

Pirates CSG combat on VASSAL

The Foresight’s shooting and ramming attack dismasted the Salient! Barstow captured Hermione Gold! However, just as the tables turned against the English, the Ark Royal warped home via an Eternal scuttle.

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Foresight round earthed to the north, where she was caught by the Ark Royal JUST before she could dock home HGold for an 8-gold payout! (a haul of Gold, in more ways than one! XD) After electing not to use Broadsides Attack (my luck with it is generally horrible, and with the ram attempt after the shots I had a decent chance of getting 2/3 rolls to work), the Ark Royal hit twice in a row to dismast the Foresight! However, the English killed Barstow in their valiant boarding attempt, eliminating any chance of getting Hermione Gold’s payout to work… for themselves? (this was getting even weirder…)

The Pirates now had no future move actions left, so the game was over. To my chagrin, the Napolitana had indeed brought back a 7, not a zero! This put Xerecs firmly in the lead, as the Spanish Pirates beat the English 7-0.

This was a very Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary game that came down to the wire. Once it became obvious that most or all of the coins would be worthless, I was afraid it would be a boring deathmatch. However, the endgame was very tight and satisfying, with multiple momentum shifts throughout. I finally tested out my idea of using only 0-value coins, which I have talked about multiple times on the forum at Miniature Trading. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the single coin worth a dime, let alone 7 gold! XD It was also notable as (likely) the first VASSAL game with a switchblade present. Using the L tool as a proxy worked fine during the one blade attack, but I still want to measure a physical switchblade to see if it’s the right size.

Thanks for reading; only one more anniversary game remains!

Rise of the Fiends 10th Anniversary Game – January 2018

This was an utter fiasco.


January 30th marks the 10th anniversary of Rise of the Fiends being released!

To celebrate the occasion, a 5 player “game” has been played on VASSAL!  XD

The players in turn order:

  1. xerecs, with a Spanish fleet using the rare San Cristobal
  2. pirateaj14, with a Spanish fleet using the LE San Cristobal
  3. cursedfan99, with a Pirate fleet
  4. wantkrakens, with a mixed Franco-Spanish fleet
  5. a7xfanben, with a mixed French Pirate fleet

We used 5 home islands and 5 wild islands, with the wild ones getting 6 coins each.

a7xfanben had the first strike, using an EA from the Fool’s Hope to dismast the Argo of the Franco-Spanish (and American) fleet.

Rise of the Fiends 10th Anniversary Game - January 2018

Much blood money was found, in addition to dolls and monkeys.  The Fool’s Hope captured the Argo as various ships gathered gold.

I didn’t look at the Argo’s coins until after the FH got another timely EA (with one mast remaining!) to return home through the whirlpool and dock home her prize.  Then it was a fiasco with different players operating on different rules and Blood Money was naturally at the center of it all.  That has been just about my least favorite UT for years and now I will officially never play with it again.  All in favor of banning Blood Money/Bloody Gold say aye!  XD

3 Time Zones, 3 Players – VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

3 Time Zones, 3 Players – VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

Just played a 3 player VASSAL game with Anthony and Xerecs! With Anthony in Italy, myself in New York, and Xerecs in California, we played over 3 time zones for a total time differential of 9 hours! O_O 

Anthony went first with a Jade Rebellion fleet:
Grand Path + captain, helmsman
Sea Duck
Dragon’s Talon + helmsman

I went second with my Halloween 2017 Fleet Challenge entry.

Xerecs used the same amazing type of ships he almost always seems to use:
HMS Grand Temple + Bonny Peel, Sir Christopher Myngs, helmsman, oarsman
Longshanks + helmsman, explorer, oarsman

We introduced Anthony to terrain and UT’s, with 6 total islands and 6 pieces of terrain.

The Grand Temple got an SAT from Myngs to dismast the Amity, who had turned ghostly:

3 Time Zones, 3 Players - VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

The Grand Temple used the whirlpools to head south, while the Dragon’s Talon and Sea Duck got some gold. The Grand Path and Terror sailed past Xerecs’ home island in opposite directions.

3 Time Zones, 3 Players - VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

The Longshanks transferred the OE version of the Dead Man’s Chest UT to the Grand Temple (I thought it was the PotC version), allowing the GT to sink the Terror and eliminate my “Merc Pirates” from the game. The Jades were busy getting gold, but were soon set upon by the English as well.

3 Time Zones, 3 Players - VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

The Grand Path sunk the Grand Temple in a matchup of capital ships, after which the Longshanks went on the run with some gold.

3 Time Zones, 3 Players - VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

The Longshanks got home with coins, after which the Grand Path did the same after some light skirmishing.

end of game reached (Pirates CSG)

Final scores:
1. Anthony: 31 gold
2. Xerecs: 21
3. a7xfanben: 0

Anthony’s first win on the high seas! 

New Pirate in Italy – VASSAL game on December 27th, 2017

Just taught Anthony how to play and we played his first-ever game of Pirates!!  A New Pirate in Italy!

I went first with my SM English fleet, while he used Woelf’s SM Spanish fleet.

Ironically, all the ships with captains docked at wild islands while the Joya was sailing towards the Dover!

New Pirate in Italy - VASSAL game on December 27th, 2017

The explorer of the Joya appeared to have a death wish, trying to sink the Dover without the actual captain ability! However, the Dover missed all 3 of her shots in a classic shoot action gone wrong by yours truly!

Joya on suicide mission

Even more improbable, the Joya went 3 for 3 on the Spanish turn to cripple the Dover!! O_O

Joya cripples HMS Dover

The Dover scurried home to unload coins and repair, handing over combat duties to the more well-equipped HMS Bolingbroke.

New Pirate in Italy - VASSAL game on December 27th, 2017

It took 3 turns, but the Bolingbroke went 4/9 to finally dismast the pesky Joya del Sol. The Dover and Asesino went back for more gold.

New Pirate in Italy - VASSAL game on December 27th, 2017

The Bolingbroke captured the Joya del Sol and the last coins were collected.

New Pirate in Italy - VASSAL game on December 27th, 2017

Final score:
1. English: 23 gold
2. Spanish: 14 gold

This was a good basic introductory game, and we’re planning to play again soon! 

Teaching a new player on Christmas Eve! (no Sleigh haha) (12/24/2017)

I played a game on Christmas Eve after teaching a new player how to play Pirates! I don’t have the Sleigh or Captain Whitebeard (not that they’re legal of course), but getting them out for a brand-new player would be pretty brutal anyway.

In a strange irony, I actually played inside the same shopping mall where I bought my first packs at a FYE store (since closed) way back in early 2005!!   O_O My Pirates’ Life coming full circle at last! XD

The game was played at a 40 point build total, and I rolled to go first: (all game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet)

HMS Durham + captain
HMS Frolic
HMS Europa + Commander Temple

English Pirates
HMS Victor + captain
Greed’s Hammer + captain, helmsman
Accused + oarsman

3 wild islands with 4 coins each:

Teaching a new player on Christmas Eve! (no Sleigh haha) (12/24/2017)

The Durham and Greed’s Hammer (GH) head to the same island. The Europa got lucky with extra actions in this game, but couldn’t do much with them. (she was going to combine an EA with Temple’s ability to yank a derelict home, but wasn’t very useful in the meantime)

Teaching a new player on Christmas Eve! (no Sleigh haha) (12/24/2017)

I let the Europa explore the island with an extra action (no room for gold), while the Durham shot a mast off the GH.

Teaching a new player on Christmas Eve! (no Sleigh haha) (12/24/2017)

The GH maneuvered to dock at the island while shooting at the Durham, hitting both times to cripple the English flagship.

ship combat

In the meantime, the Victor, Accused, and Frolic were all busy getting some precious loot:

Teaching a new player on Christmas Eve! (no Sleigh haha) (12/24/2017)

Without a helmsman to boost her speed, the captain of the Durham decides to not go full speed, electing to keep the mainmast cannon in range to knock another mast off the GH (and thus preventing a possible sinking on the Pirate turn).

Teaching a new player on Christmas Eve! (no Sleigh haha) (12/24/2017)

This Durham pales in comparison to the original, but she’s not a bad ship overall.

HMS Durham from Frozen North

The Durham and Frolic get plenty of gold for the English, while the Pirates gather treasure as well.

Teaching a new player on Christmas Eve! (no Sleigh haha) (12/24/2017)

In the end the Europa left Temple on the island to pick up the final coin there, while the Frolic and Accused have the last loads of treasure for their fleets.

My English ended up winning 19-9, since I got luckier with the treasure distribution. However, the game was mostly about teaching a new player the basics and having fun, which we did. Thanks for reading!

Teaching a new player on Christmas Eve! (no Sleigh haha) (12/24/2017)