4 Fleet, 100 Point Game
After this game was one of the absolute best I’ve ever played, I wanted to at least try a very similar setup with the same basic restrictions (4 fleets, 100 point build total). I have so many Fleets that I didn’t even need to create any for the game – I just used some that I created in the past that I’ve actually wanted to try out for a while now! The game would be unique in that each fleet was already made long before I even wanted to play the game this year, and it would be each fleet’s first game. House rules included round earth and turtle ships being immune to ram damage when they have shell panels.
I rolled for faction player order, which would be Jades>Corsairs>Pirates>Cursed. The fleets chose home islands in the opposite order.
The Fleets, in play order
Jade Rebellion Fun (from 2014)
Barbary Corsair Madness (from 2014)
Pirate Empire (from 2013)
A Devastating Duo (Cursed Fleet Challenge entry from 2013)
The Corsairs didn’t all fit at their beach, so I had to overlap some oars.
Nowadays I only use events in extremely competitive play, so I swapped those out for the Nightmare + helmsman for the 6 points. Cursed Natives was also excluded.
The 5 beach island from Ross in AZ was used, with 10 coins on each beach. 10 UT’s total were present, randomly mixed into the distribution. I didn’t use any shiny gold or shiny silver, so all the coins would simply be worth their printed value. However, I did include some translucent “ghost coins” from the Davy Jones’ Curse Super Rare pack. As with other games, they basically grant the ship carrying them the Ghost Ship keyword. (which can only be activated at the start of the ship’s turn, thus you cannot turn ghostly immediately after exploring and grabbing one of those coins)
The Jades got play started! Tsai was immediately successful with his SAT roll, and he used it to round earth the Grand Temple into a fog bank right next to the Pirate home island! There was some grumbling among the minor factions as the fleets were chosen and the game was being set up. Not only were the Pirates the only “super faction” (Big 4 or Big 5, for example) participating in the game, they were even using not just one but MANY of their absolute best ships. This caused the minor factions to essentially establish a pregame alliance against the Pirates. However, it would be interesting to see how long they could stick to such a plan….
(Of course this was all my doing, but it would honestly be boring and predictable if the Pirates just ran away with the game and won by a landslide. If anything I think it affected the game for the better as you’ll see!)
Jades looking pretty and colorful:
But maybe the Corsairs are prettier? You decide!
Extremely wary of the Grand Temple’s potential to dominate (up to 12 shots with SAT, 8 of them being at 2L), the Pirates made sure to avoid her. All 3 of their big square rigged ships ducked into fog banks themselves, while the gold runners looked to use their speed and explorers to make a quick but large profit.
The old nemesis (and best friend) of players everywhere: can the Banshee’s Cry do it again?
The Pestilence’s navigator laid down a trade current for the Cursed, who used it to get a boost towards the “on paper” heavy favorites to win, the Pirates. Behemoth flew out of the gate at L+L+S while submerged, with The Hag of Tortuga egging the beast on from the Loki’s Revenge, one of my favorite ships. (I like to let submerged game pieces ignore fog banks since it’s above the surface)
The fleets are off! One turn in, and you can tell it’s going to be a massive hoarding frenzy at the gold-laden beaches.
The Sea Wind’s captain is wasting no time at all! He pilots the junk to a beach, getting his mizzenmast cannon in range and knocking a mast off the Bonnie Liz! The Jades purposely put this ship on the edge of the beach closest to the Pirates in case they would need to shield their uncaptained ships (to the left) from potential Pirate wrath. Since most of my pennants are for the Big 6 major factions, I decided to use the tiny dice for marking islands explored, with gray for the Jades, orange for Corsairs, red for Cursed, and black for Pirates. What did the Sea Wind find??
A solid haul. The Potions and Brews were left behind, but the Figurehead and Doll could come in really handy. As a preview to how good this game turned out, both of those would be used to full effect. 🙂
Jade Rebels in action!! The Admiral Yi continues the attack on the Bonnie Liz, dismasting the ship. The East Wind docks and executes a successful island (or beach) treasure trade with her ability. The Sea Tiger ends up taking the Potions and Brews UT.
Without even doing it on purpose the deck of the Bonnie Liz slipped between the hull and turtle panels of the Admiral Yi:
The Sea Crane brought up the rear, while the Sea Duck headed north.
The Jades had a nice second turn, with 3 ships getting gold already.
But they weren’t done yet!!! The Grand Temple used SAT to fly out of the fog bank and straight into the Pirate gold fleet!!
The brutal attack leaves the Bloody Jewel derelict and the Neptune’s Hoard damaged, with the schooner losing 2 masts and a crew.
The Corsairs were next. Although it isn’t a true swarm fleet, they were able to send multiple ships to multiple beaches, with the Crescent Moon and Whisper docked here. However, you can also see something off to the left…
Wesley sets the Splendor loose upon the Jades! The Sea Tiger opens up the Potions and Brews and uses them, but it doesn’t stop the Corsairs from taking a 3 from the junk.
The Corsairs seem to have established a nice foothold at the island:
Will the Fire Djinn sail off Ocean’s Edge? Not with round earth….
The Pirates get to a beach and explore!
They find a nice mix:
The only rolled a 1 for Lost, which turned out to be really great because you’re not supposed to put the terrain within S of any other islands or terrain. With the crowded setup, there was pretty no place to put much of anything. The UT ended up being far less consequential than it sometimes is. The Pirates dumped a trade current near their HI, having pretty much no good options.
The BC’s crew celebrated with Wine, but not until after they loaded 2 coins, including a ghostly coin.
The Neptune’s Hoard reached the beach after the BC but took 3 of the best coins. The Pirates knew what they were doing, with the Grand Temple’s attack and nearby Behemoth making them think that they could be in for a lot of hurt in the short term if the lesser factions ganged up on them. Don Pedro Gilbert threw his explorer overboard to move into the fog, which nearly guaranteed the safety of the ship’s coins, because the NH could move from the fog to the Pirate HI in one action. Savvy play on the Pirates’ part, because this was a game where if you didn’t get gold home early and often, you wouldn’t stand a chance.
The Pirates are out of the fog for revenge! The Eagle rakes the Grand Temple’s stern, while Mysion gets the Revenant up to point blank range.
Grand Temple sunk!! I seem to have a recent habit of using 6 masted junks in “blaze of glory” attacks before they’re sunk early in the game.
Seeing the “devastating duo” headed north towards his fellow pirates, Captain Jack Hawkins decides to initiate conflict with the Cursed. However, both of the Darkhawk II’s 3L cannons miss the Loki’s Revenge, which could spell doom for the DHII.
With the anti-Pirate pregame alliance, it’s no surprise that early combat saw some “famous fatalities”. The Grand Temple, Bonnie Liz, and Bloody Jewel are all out of action.
And that was just the start! Behemoth rams the Banshee’s Cry!
The great beast is called to the surface to wreak havoc!
Quite the interesting matchup actually – the best ship in the game against a Super Rare and super unique copying squid!
The lone mast on the BC stood no chance against Behemoth’s huge tentacles. Notice the Loki’s Revenge getting into position…
Another big matchup: Loki’s Revenge vs. Darkhawk II! Quite the star-studded combat so far in this game.
The crew in the main topmast of the Sea Monkey had a front row seat to the action, and watched in glee as the Loki’s Revenge completely pulverized Hawkins’ ship!
The Cursed are definitely here! The Sea Rat docks with the help of another trade current, while the Sea Monkey captures the Darkhawk II.
The Sea Rat explored (ahead of the Crescent Moon, who had John Ward and a helmsman but no explorer) and found a decent assortment.
The Sea Duck gets greedy, with her explorer tossed onto the island in favor of an extra coin:
At the end of Turn 2, the feeding frenzy is in full gear!
Having been essentially robbed of both her coins by the Splendor, the Sea Tiger fights back. Partly in an attempt to block the Corsairs from getting to other Jade gold ships. However, the ram and board is a total failure.
The Sea Crane grabbed the final coin from the beach, hoping to double its value of 1 with her ability. Things were already getting interesting from a strategy standpoint. The Sea Wind and East Wind head home with gold, but the Admiral Yi does not escort them. Instead, she throws caution to the wind and captures the Banshee’s Cry!! (right in front of Behemoth!)
The Sea Duck has round earthed to the south, where she will try to get gold.
Continuing the theme of ramming and boarding to steal gold established by the Splendor, the Crescent Moon slams into the Cursed Sea Duck! John Ward grabs a coin for himself and the galley uses her Reroll ability to win the boarding party for a second coin!
Aruj Barbarossa reveals his plan – use round earth to steal a crew from the Cursed with the Fire Djinn’s S-Boarding ability!
Gold Capture successful. Not only does it potentially help the Corsairs’ final gold tally, it also denies the navigator ability from the Cursed.
The Splendor can’t stop!! Wesley initiates another successful ramming and boarding attack, this time against the Sea Crane. The Filching Gold ability (that the Splendor and John Ward have) isn’t usually fantastic, but today it really shined. The Splendor took the Sea Crane’s only coin without even having to win the boarding party. Then when she won the board anyway (possibly with the help of Wesley’s +1 boarding bonus), the Sea Crane lost her explorer. The Splendor also has a nice 2S cannon at her bow, which weakened the enemy before the boarding. All in all, a successful triple whammy against the Jade ship. The Gallows and Majestic complete the squadron of sorts – with the Splendor and Gallows having the captain ability aboard, and the Majestic’s cheerleader ability, this trio could be surprisingly effective in combat for the Corsairs. So far the Splendor hasn’t needed help!
The Whisper explores and finds what could be the mother lode, perhaps the best beach in the game!
The turtles get in the water, but it could be a treacherous journey to the Corsair HI.
The Corsairs have established a wide swath of area around the wild island. Surprisingly formidable galleys raid the Jades and Cursed in the north and south respectively, while the beach closest to the Corsair HI is worth a lot of loot. It’s fun to see what they’re doing – can’t explore beaches before your opponents? Just rob them right after they explore it themselves!
The Marrakesh and Dervish cannot fit between the rock and the fog bank at the bottom left, and so they wait their turn to explore once they can get a decent fog exit roll.
The Pirates do a tiny bit of chain towing to get the Bonnie Liz closer to home and out of the way. The Revenant misses the Admiral Yi with the only cannon she has in range. The Pirates think it’s much too early in the game to sink their own ship (Banshee’s Cry) without a big effort to recapture her.
Sometimes I can’t help but take extra pictures, it’s such a nice looking game. (plus the Revenant is one of the all-time classics)
The Nightmare explores the eastern beach for the Cursed! She finds amazing treasures, with both 7’s that I included!
The Sea Monkey dumps her explorer for an extra coin, but the Fireworks are left behind for now.
The Cursed are looking pretty good: 4 ships with gold on them, and a captured Darkhawk II!
In a massive relief to the Jades AND Pirates, the Cursed suddenly turn their devastating duo away from the combat zone! Behemoth moves L+L+S again (copying Helmsman) and the Loki’s Revenge follows her east. This appears to save the Admiral Yi, Banshee’s Cry, and perhaps some Pirate ships as well. But why?
‘Tis the Corsairs. The events of the last 2 turns have shown them emerging as the sudden favorite to win. They’ve pulled off multiple at-sea heists, have turtles near their HI, and have angered the Cursed with Barbarossa’s capture of the Pestilence’s navigator. The Cursed aren’t stupid, and are certainly playing to win. They recognize the high threat level the Corsairs pose in the gold race, and the Corsairs have even been quite lucky so far. The Cursed need to hinder the Corsairs more than the Jades or Pirates at this point to come out on top, so Behemoth and the Loki’s Revenge are headed either to the whirlpool or round earth to go after the BC’s.
Here we can see the Fire Djinn’s sneaky raid, with her sister ship Crescent Moon successful as well in the upper left. The translucent coin on the Sea Rat reminds me that she’s ghostly until the turn she’ll dock home.
Indeed; although all the fleets have loaded some gold, the Corsairs look like the fleet with the highest potential right now.
The Jades are the first to make a deposit! Both of their 3 masters are back with coinage, while the Sea Crane flees into fog just to escape the Splendor’s rampage.
The Admiral Yi is eager to escape the probable rampage of the Revenant, and flees into a fog bank as well to hide herself and the Banshee’s Cry:
John Ward is still hungry! The Crescent Moon rams the Cursed Sea Duck again, taking her last coin:
Corsair power, and new favorites indeed. The Whisper and Splendor head for home with gold aboard, with the Majestic and Gallows escorting them and the turtles. The Marrakesh manages to escape the fog and grab three 3’s from the turtle beach.
A beautiful but effective force:
The Fire Djinn made her getaway, with no easy targets in her immediate vicinity.
The Pirates seem to be making a solid recovery: the Neptune’s Hoard is back with 3 coins, while the Eagle looks to salvage the Bonnie Liz.
Captain Mysion is frustrated with the Admiral Yi and BC away in the fog. The Revenant grabs 2 coins from the previously explored “Pirate beach”, with Mysion figuring he might as well get more gold sooner rather than later. (as a side note, the Revenant, Harbinger, and other Pirate 5 masters can be surprisingly great hybrids, especially with the great Pirate named crew)
Weird to imagine what could have been if the Admiral Yi, Banshee’s Cry, Revenant, Behemoth, and Loki’s Revenge were all mixed up in some chaos here.
The Sea Rat comes home with gold, while the Pestilence heads out for some.
The Sea Duck misses the Crescent Moon on both shots, while the Sea Monkey and Nightmare get into fog on the way home.
Behemoth comes flying across the round earth and surprises the Corsairs! The beast moved L+L+S once again, taking advantage of the Hag’s bonus and copying the Helmsman ability. However, the Whisper’s mast proved sturdy, and perhaps the Cursed have struck too early? Now the giant squid has surfaced, exposing her to fire from the Corsairs without the Loki’s Revenge right behind to back her up.
The LR could get there slightly faster by using the whirlpool, but the Cursed don’t want to lose any valuable sac crew.
Another round of turns is over, with every fleet but the Corsairs having some gold on their HI.
Remember that the Sea Wind of the Jade Rebellion fleet loaded Voodoo Doll from the first beach that was explored? They rolled for it successfully, turning Captain Mysion face down and therefore eliminating the Captain ability for use on the Revenant!! This was a clutch move.
With a perfect roll of 1 to exit the fog bank, the Admiral Yi keeps towing the Banshee’s Cry and makes a break for it!! Just recently it looked as though the Yi and her prize BC were going to be stuck for a while. With the Pirates moving around a bit and Behemoth long gone, it was the perfect time to hit Mysion with the Voodoo Doll magic and try to make a minor miracle happen! (pun intended, as the minor miracle is happening with a minor faction against the best faction in the game)
The Sea Crane also got a good fog exit location, and was willing to sacrifice herself to prevent the Revenant from ramming the Banshee’s Cry as the Admiral Yi towed the latter towards the Jade HI. The stars were aligned for the Jades this turn, as they had perfect luck on all 3 die rolls that enabled the BC rescue situation to continue. The East Wind sailed over as well, hoping to provide support in case the Pirates went all-out after the BC. The Sea Wind headed south, hoping to hinder the Corsairs. (at this point everyone knew the Corsairs had high potential for a big gold score)
The Corsairs’ first gold actually came from Barbarossa, as the Fire Djinn returned from her round earth trip to deposit the captured navigator. I had to pause for a while here, unsure of what the Corsairs should do. I did consider having the 3 ships to the right attack Behemoth, but the combination of a copied Longship keyword on the squid plus the captained Sea Wind made it seem like a worse idea than the surprise I went with….
The trio completely splits up!! The Splendor takes off to the east, sailing past the turtles to hit the Jade Sea Duck. The Majestic grabs coins from the beach.
After the Cursed Sea Duck finally hit the Crescent Moon, John Ward decided to head for home.
Only the Gallows attacked Behemoth, so the Corsairs didn’t completely abandon the Whisper. The galley hit 1/2, leaving Behemoth more than strong enough to blast away on the Cursed turn.
The Corsairs may have a lot of gold in or on the water, but the bottlenecks are making it difficult to unload at home. A big rock, multiple fog banks, Behemoth, and two Sea Ducks have gotten in the way.
It remains to be seen how the Sea Wind will play into this situation:
Will the Corsairs ever manage to cash in?
5 of their 8 ships carry gold, and all 10 turtles are in the water! No wonder fleets are coming after them…
The Revenant does ram the Sea Crane to dismast her, proving the Jade strategy of a sacrificial ship successful. (Mysion is ruined by the Voodoo Doll)
So close to revenge, but actually so far….
However, the Pirates still had some good news. The Bonnie Liz and Neptune’s Hoard are getting repaired, so the Pirates will have usable ships sailing out from their HI again soon.
The Sea Monkey unloaded some coins for the Cursed, but the Nightmare got a crappy roll and went back into the fog. The frustrated Sea Duck gave up trying to hit or chase the Crescent Moon and loaded the last 3 coins (all 1’s) from the southern beach. The Pestilence is looking for gold, and the Cursed seem to have abandoned the Darkhawk II in favor of gold.
Behemoth copies the Longship keyword and sinks the Whisper and Gallows!
The Cursed have pivoted!! Instead of sending the Loki’s Revenge to the far west via round earth or whirlpool (now not as attractive due to the presence of the Fire Djinn and Sea Wind, not to mention Behemoth’s success), the Cursed sent her through the whirlpool to emerge in the south!!
The Loki’s Revenge sacrifices an oarsman to move and shoot out of the whirlpool! She goes 4/6 to dismast the Crescent Moon and damage the Splendor!
A fitting picture, with the Corsairs in the light and the Cursed looking dark and menacing:
The latest devastating Cursed attack has hit the Corsairs hard, but now the LR is stuck in the sargasso sea.
I love this ship!! Such a beast!
Another round of turns is over, with combat continuing in the north and south.
Looking west as the Corsairs find themselves under heavy attack:
In a stroke of incredible luck (and perfect timing), the Jades get Voodoo Doll to work and cancel Captain Mysion for the second turn in a row!!
That all but guarantees the safety of the Banshee’s Cry, as the Admiral Yi is now only 1 turn away from docking her and her gold home. The East Wind attempts to block the Revenant anyway, having not much better to do in the short term.
Now that the Majestic (common misprinted Pirate flag visible at the top of the frame as a little trivia) has taken most of the final coins from the southwestern beach, the Jade Sea Duck has good reason to ignore the wild island and ram the Splendor instead! This eliminates a mast but I think Wesley won the boarding party.
The Sea Wind approaches Behemoth but holds her fire, intent on eliminating turtles. The Jades are hoping and thinking that Behemoth may actually assist them in doing so, since the Cursed really have it out for the Corsairs now in the gold race. (Which is obviously turning more into hindering other fleets’ gold scores rather than maximizing their own gold scores to a degree – which is sometimes needed, especially to prevent a runaway winner. The fleets have not forgotten that the Corsairs won the Legend of the Giant Turtle game the month prior by a comfortable margin.)
The Corsairs went next, and tried to recover from the attacks in the south. John Ward estimated correctly (I premeasured XD) that the Crescent Moon would be in range of the Loki’s Revenge mizzenmast 2L, and decided to take the ship through the whirlpool. Barbarossa saw his comrade emerge behind Behemoth and sprung into action to distract the beast, with no time for repairs! However, the Fire Djinn managed to miss all 3 shots against the squid, who was in prime position to savage multiple ships on the upcoming Cursed turn. The Turtles make their way through the bottleneck as the Splendor and Majestic join the Marrakesh and Dervish in a “fog party”.
Again under the spell of voodoo magic, Captain Mysion packs his bags and goes home, with the Revenant towing the Bloody Jewel. The Pirates can finally make another good run at the wild island, with the Neptune’s Hoard and Eagle headed to the eastern island explored by the Cursed.
The Cursed are off!! In a much-anticipated move, the Sea Rat (with the home island raiding ability) moves southeast, likely to round earth towards one of the other home islands… as the Sea Monkey follows her, knowing the Sea Rat will probably need at least one escort to make it out of any robbery alive. The Nightmare docks home her two 7’s (!) and the Sea Duck is nearly back with 3 gold of her own. Suddenly it looks like the Cursed could be the favorites to win!
BEHEMOTH GOES CRAZY!!! The great beast copies the Loki’s Revenge Longship keyword (truly an incredible combo and “devastating duo!), and nearly annihilates all three ships in her immediate vicinity!! The Crescent Moon is sunk, the Fire Djinn is dismasted, and the Sea Wind is down to 1 mast. Clearly the Cursed aren’t interested in much of a Jade-Cursed alliance despite their united anti-Corsair stance, which could provide insight on where the Sea Rat might be headed….
The Loki’s Revenge is free! No time wasted on the sargasso, and the longship lumbers to the whirlpool she emerged from!
But she doesn’t use it. The LR wanted to potentially link up with Behemoth to blockade or attack the Corsair home island, between all the galleys stuck in the fog and the turtles swimming along. To the right, the Pestilence loads gold from the eastern beach the Cursed already explored.
The Admiral Yi docks home the Banshee’s Cry and the most unlikely of captures is a success!
The Jades only got 5 gold out of the BC’s capture so far, but more potential awaits. The BC keeps the 1 because it provides the Ghost Ship keyword as a translucent coin. The Wine is looming as the endgame nears….
(Wine is a neat UT that can make games longer with a prolonged HI raiding spree, but it can be quite fun and a way to keep the game alive for longer than usual)
The Sea Wind eliminates a turtle and shoots a tentacle off Behemoth!
The East Wind sails south to assist. The Sea Duck docks at a beach now that the Splendor and Majestic are out of her way.
FINALLY the Corsairs are in business! The appear to have a serious windfall coming, with the Splendor and Majestic docking home their gold right as the first turtle swims ashore! Barbarossa couldn’t save John Ward and the Crescent Moon, and the Fire Djinn can’t quite make it home on oar power, so she may suffer a similar fate.
In a serious annoyance to the Jades, the Dervish finally gets a good fog roll and takes the last coin from the southwestern beach right from underneath the Sea Duck! (since the Corsairs have already explored that beach)
Here come the Pirates! The Eagle rams the Pestilence and robs her of a ghost coin, while the Neptune’s Hoard looks to explore the beach next turn. (her explorer from earlier is long gone)
The Revenant tows the Bloody Jewel back while the Bonnie Liz goes out for gold.
This is an incredibly fitting picture. The Eagle is often overshadowed by the Darkhawk II (derelict at lower right), which is an objectively better ship. However, the Eagle is one of the absolute best 4 masted ships in the entire game (arguably better than the Neptune’s Hoard!), and here you can see all three in one shot with the Eagle triumphant.
The Pirate attack looks might intimidating from the main mast of the Sea Duck:
The Sea Rat and Sea Monkey arrive in the northwest via round earth to rob the Jade Rebels! (when they set out, the Corsairs didn’t have any actual coins on their HI, and the Cursed have WAY more space to dock at the vulnerable Jade HI compared to the increasingly crowded and defended Corsair HI)
The Cursed decide to scuttle the DHII and Pestilence, and succeed with both rolls! This is partly to prevent the Pirates from recapturing the DHII and to deny the final coin on the Pestilence.
The Nightmare sails off to support the Sea Rat’s HI raid, and the Sea Duck is thinking about the same:
Behemoth moves and copies the Captain keyword to sink the Fire Djinn and Aruj Barbarossa!
Literally a game of inches, or millimeters in this case. Turtles and the Fire Djinn nearly back, and Behemoth nearly out of range with all of its remaining tentacles.
With the Corsair HI somewhat out of range, the Loki’s Revenge goes through the whirlpool after all! She rolls a 1 to lose a valuable crew (one less sac opportunity).
ATTACK!!!!! The Loki’s Revenge sacrifices the Hag of Tortuga to move and shoot, hitting 5 times in 6 shots to devastate the Pirates!!
One of the most powerful ships in the game (up to 12 shots at 2L for a minimum of 21 points with a helmsman) unloads massive firepower into the sterns of the Eagle and NH, dismasting the former. The Eagle’s masts fall on the Pestilence, DHII, and the beach.
It was awesome to see the full potential of the Loki’s Revenge realized in a non-campaign game. Absolutely massive devastation unleashed.
In an understandably massive shift in strategy, the Jades completely abandon the Corsairs and prepare for the fight against the Cursed. The Admiral Yi redocks near the Sea Rat, but the island is too big and the Jade ships too few to defend the gold stores. I thought for a while about where the BC should go. In the end she turned ghostly and sailed east over the reefs, hoping to use the whirlpool or round earth to rob the Cursed with Wine. It was almost possible to have the BC just zoom past the Cursed ships in a quick trip to their HI, but the Sea Monkey’s S+L+S total speed made it pretty unfavorable.
Not wanting to get into another ramming and boarding war against a new opponent in the Dervish, the Jade Sea Duck sails south, possibly to aid the Banshee’s Cry or hurt the Cursed somehow. You can see the Banshee’s Cry in the background along with some of the other central figures of the current situations. With multiple HI raids occurring in the endgame, the round earth rules loomed larger than ever.
The Splendor repairs, more turtles get home, and the Marrakesh rolls another 4 to get a bad fog bank exit location. In a bizarre series of rolls, I would estimate the Marrakesh rolled a 4 on that specific fog bank for at least 5 turns in a row!
They expected to be attacked due to their relatively overpowered (OP) fleet, but now the Pirates are finally really pissed. Captain Mysion loses it. The Revenant stops towing the Bloody Jewel and gets her 2L bow cannon in range of the Loki’s Revenge, hitting with a 5!
The Pirates went all-out attacking the LR! The Neptune’s Hoard rammed a mast off, but the Bonnie Liz was unsuccessful with her ram. The Cursed won both boarding parties, eliminating Don Pedro Gilbert from the NH and the explorer from the BL. Finally the LR is damaged!
Behemoth snacks on a sea turtle! XD
The Cursed make their raid! The Sea Rat steals a 5! The Sea Monkey tries to block the Admiral Yi without docking.
Suddenly 3 ships are gone from the east. The Pestilence and DHII are scuttled, while the Loki’s Revenge escapes Pirate wrath via whirlpool.
The Nightmare sails to support the Rat and Monkey, while the captain of the Loki’s Revenge signals for the Sea Duck to stay at the Cursed HI, anticipating the arrival of the Banshee’s Cry.
Oh the decisions of playing a round earth game with home island raiders! Although this game wasn’t nearly as crazy and “perfect” as the 2015 game I was trying to emulate, this part was certainly similar – 4 home islands around the edges of a round earth map, with plenty of gold available for HI raiders in the late game.
The Jades arrive and the combat begins! The Admiral Yi takes a mast off the Rat, but the East Wind and Sea Wind can’t quite reach the Cursed ships.
The BC uses a whirlpool to emerge in between rocks in the far east:
Right now it appears to be 2 on 2 – the BC will be supported by the Jade Sea Duck, who is behind the Loki’s Revenge. The Cursed Sea Duck is trying to defend the Cursed HI by herself until the Loki’s Revenge gets back. (now slowed with no more crew to sac, just captain and helmsman aboard)
The Pirates are left to once again pick up the pieces after another devastating super gunship attack. The Revenant docks home 2 coins, while the Bonnie Liz prepares to pick up 2 more.
The Sea Duck prepares to fight the BC as the LR comes in hoping to repair before things get crazy.
The Nightmare arrives and it’s 3 on 3 in the northwest! Which is actually quite close to the Cursed HI in the southeast due to round earth. The Sea Monkey makes solid use of her Reverse Captain ability, shooting a panel off the Yi while trying to block the Jade 3 masters.
The Jades make some progress, winning a few ram rolls and dismasting the Sea Rat. However, the Yi lost the boarding party to the Rat.
The BC docks at the Cursed HI and exchanges Wine for a 7!
The Splendor heads towards the Cursed HI to get in on the action. The Marrakesh rolls another 4, but this time goes to the other fog bank, as the prior one is clearly cursed. 🙂
Now it’s a 3 fleet fight! The Majestic is unlikely to make off with the newly available coin, but might as well try!
Only the Pirates are not involved in the current shenanigans.
The Sea Duck dismasts the BC but fails to take the coin, similar to what happened in the northwest. The LR docks but likely won’t have time to repair.
The Cursed fight back effectively, with the Nightmare towing the Sea Rat, the Sea Monkey shooting masts off the 3 masted junks, and Behemoth arriving at the scene.
The Jades make a successful scuttle roll on the BC, but it’s obvious she will be captured (possibly multiple times!) before the next Jade turn starts.
The Jades roll to scuttle the Sea Wind as well, marking a trend of very successful scuttle rolls throughout the game. However, there is also an emerging trend of fiercely defended boarding parties, with the derelict Sea Rat winning against the Yi and East Wind!
The Marrakesh is fed up with yet another crappy fog roll, but with Behemoth gone, she can simply go home the long way now. (which will evidently be a lot shorter than dealing with the fog banks!)
The Corsairs start to get some measure of revenge against the Cursed! The Majestic captures the BC (she has now been owned by every fleet except for the Cursed) as the Splendor arrives to blast a mast off the Sea Duck.
Looks like a mirror image of the chaos in the northwest!
The Bonnie Liz cleans up, taking the last coins from 2 different beaches. It remains to be seen what role the mighty Revenant may play in these HI raiding shenanigans.
Bigger ship, bigger d6! The Loki’s Revenge sinks the Majestic and rams the BC to take back the 7!
Funky “upside down” view of the Sea Duck trying to block off the BC’s bow from the Splendor:
The Nightmare had Manawa no Kowhatu from earlier in the game, and here the UT’s Fear ability hit the East Wind, slowing her on her next turn. I’ll admit that things got a little ugly and “fudged” slightly here in the northwest towards the end. That corner of the table was harder to reach, and naturally a large cluster of ships were endlessly fighting over a single coin throughout this entire portion of the game….
What?? The Sea Wind was scuttled! But she still had Neptune’s Figurehead aboard from the first explore of the game!! She sails out to ram the Sea Rat, but again the Cursed successfully defend their stolen loot!
The Cursed falter as the southeast is just a complete mess as well at this point. The Splendor grabs the BC’s ghostly 1 coin (no chance to use it between docking at the Cursed HI and the ship constantly changing hands). The Sea Duck dismasts the LR with a ram, but of course it’s not the end for the longship!
Incredibly, at this moment all 3 Corsair ships left in the game had gold on them! The Corsairs rose and sort of fell again, but they could definitely still win!
The incredible success of the Sea Rat’s crew in resisting boarding parties is making it easier for the Cursed to escape. Behemoth knocks out the East Wind, but the newly healthy Sea Wind is an issue.
The LR captures the BC!
The Jades have an incredible turn!! The Sea Wind dismasts the Monkey with the help of the Yi being within S (for the cannon bonus). The Yi finally succeeds at taking the 5 from the Sea Rat!
And the Sea Duck takes the 7 from the Loki’s Revenge! Suddenly the Jades have BOTH of the “endgame coins”!!
The Marrakesh and Dervish dock home on the same turn, with I think 11 gold between them.
The Splendor rams the Sea Duck to take the 7!
The Eagle and Bonnie Liz increase the Pirates’ gold score, with the NH off to get in action:
The Revenant arrives in the northwest!
Fear hits again as the Nightmare takes the Yi’s coin! As a side note, I think the East Wind’s mast looks cool under Behemoth.
MIGHTY REVENANT INDEED! Mysion’s flagship lets loose a thunderous broadside and hits 4/5 to sink FOUR enemy game pieces!!!!! O_O
A crazy situation where the Revenant lined up 4 weak opponents and every single hit sunk them! One of the crazier things that’s happened in any of my games, especially considering it was a smaller game (and not a campaign game) and the Revenant didn’t even need a second action to pull it off.
The Splendor was near the southern whirlpool so the NH chased her there, but the Splendor had faked her out. The galley emerged in the west, where the Marrakesh and Dervish would attempt to escort her home.
The Revenant steals the 5!
The Splendor docks home the 7 and the Corsairs are very happy!
The Revenant made it home successfully with the 5! In the end the Jades and Cursed did the stealing, but neither made it to the end with the stolen loot! (either the loot they stole from each other, or the loot they had stolen from them!)
Here are the results, in turn order!
Jade Rebellion: 17 gold
Barbary Corsairs: 39 gold
Cursed: 37 gold
Pirates: 31 gold
The Barbary Corsairs are victorious again, and the entire endgame mattered immensely!!
What a game! The Corsairs overcame a bias against them in the middle portion of the game, just edging out the Cursed for their second major victory in as many months! (after they won in May 2019) The Pirates managed a lot of gold for a faction that got hammered early and late in the game, with the Grand Temple and Loki’s Revenge really crippling their hopes for a victory. The Jades had a disappointing score but seemed to play reasonably well, getting wicked lucky with Tsai’s SAT and the Voodoo Doll UT early in the game.
MVS (Most Valuable Ship) – Splendor. The Splendor was simply fantastic in this game, successfully stealing from at least 3 enemy ships (Sea Tiger, Sea Crane, Sea Duck) and bringing home the winning coin after grabbing it in the skirmish at the Cursed home island! She used all her assets effectively, with speed, 2S cannon shots, Wesley’s abilities, and most importantly, her Filching Gold ability to be the “perfect corsair” treasure raider. Congratulations to the galley, which is a ship I considered underrated even before this game. Very honorable mentions go to the Loki’s Revenge, Behemoth, and Revenant, although of course those names were to be expected for an award like this. Nice to see it go to a ship most people wouldn’t expect. And of course the Banshee’s Cry was at the center of controversy and action as usual. XD
I have to admit I was basically rooting for the Cursed once the Loki’s Revenge started going crazy and once I realized I didn’t want the Corsairs to win again after the Legend of the Giant Turtle game in the prior month. I suppose that proves I do play fleets equally even when playing solo lol. The 7 that the BC grabbed with Wine was a game winner, but not for her original fleet (the Pirates) or her controller at the time (the Jades). Instead it was the Corsairs (who ended up with it) getting some revenge on the Cursed (the coin’s first owner) for the LR and Behemoth brutally attacking them earlier in the game. If the Cursed had kept the 7, they would have won 44-32. There are some other alternate gold scores that could easily have happened as well. For example, the Navigator mattered. If Barbarossa hadn’t snatched him up for the Corsairs, it could have been a tie at 37-37 (though I would have used points in play as a tiebreaker to determine a winner). If more turtles had been eliminated (by the Sea Wind, Behemoth, and possibly Loki’s Revenge), it could have been even closer, perhaps with the Cursed prevailing 37-36. If the Pirates had been more desperate (but they would also need to be lucky I think) in the endgame, perhaps they could have gotten both the 5 and the 7, winning with 38 gold. Anyway, a close and exciting game is what I wanted! A great game indeed! Thanks for reading!!
What a wild ride that was – incredible how much was going on in this game. I was curious how often you play these games and what kind of playgroup you have to play them?
@Michael: It did get kinda crazy! Thanks for reading and commenting about it, I appreciate that!!
I’ve played games like this on and off over the years. You can see my play history on BGG. Some years I can play much more than others. Nowadays nearly all of my playing time/energies are devoted to campaign games exclusively.
This was a solo game. For the past handful of years I use “fleets” to denote solo games and “players” to denote non-solo games. Ex: The title of this post is a solo game, whereas “4 players, 50 points” wouldn’t be solo.
I’ve never had a super consistent playgroup. During college I played with a bunch of people both in and outside of my college in a few different locations. Since then most of the non-solo games I’ve played have been on the VASSAL module.
If you want to see even more going on than in this 4×100 game, check out my 6×150 game, also from last year. It’s even more wild!! 😀
To combine all of the above, if you want even more complex and wild stuff that is non-solo and also on VASSAL, check out the VASSAL campaign games. Of those, 1 is the best and most interesting in my opinion, but 4 is currently ongoing and threatens to become the craziest and most epic game ever played on VASSAL in short order…. 😀
Very cool, I’ll check those games out – thanks for the reply Ben!
@Michael: Thank YOU for reading – I appreciate when someone can digest my longer (but more epic) reports! 🙂