40 Point VASSAL Game with Gazerbeam543
I played a 40 point VASSAL game with Gazerbeam543! It was our first virtual matchup and the first since the PNW Weekend Marathon. We used the Seattle house rules and all game pieces can be found in the Master Spreadsheet. I went first with a modified version of a new fleet I’m calling “The Grim Express”. (original version is slightly more optimal)
Cassandra + FN Grim the Savage, RotF Crimson Angel, helmsman
Banshee’s Cry + explorer
Rover + Jonah, Calypso
Le Coeur du Lion + Cissey, Auraa, Deleflote
Coins: Marksman’s Map, Shipping Charts, Homemade Flag, Neptune’s Figurehead, Manawa No Kowhatu, 3 7’s
Peter went next with the Spanish:
La Santa Isabel + Capitan Alarico Castro (SM version), Duque Marcus Vaccaro, Master Bianco (SM), Bianco’s Haulers, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
La Monarca + Dominic Freda (+2 gold version), helmsman
I went south, picking up some UT’s and unveiling Maps of Alexandria to turn the NW island coins face up. Pirata Codex wiped out Kharmic Idol and another UT, but both of those were found before Cassandra snagged Manawa no Kowhatu and Neptune’s Figurehead.
With Peter clearly in the gold lead with both of his ships zooming home with their +2 bonuses, I knew I had to act quickly to prevent the game from ending too soon. The BC rushed home with Deleflote’s help, flipping her 7 out to the Cassandra’s island to build The Devil’s Maw fort. This was to give Grim more time to raid the Spanish HI. During a less active turn, Coeur was able to duck into a fog bank to protect her valuable crew.
Monarca arrives home to increase Peter’s score to 22, compared to 8 between my fort and the 1 that Cassandra has taken home. Calypso creates a few whirlpools but I didn’t want to put one right by Peter’s HI just yet, lest the Santa Isabel (SI) come through and take out Calypso in a boarding party.
Calypso makes more whirlpools, opening an avenue for the Cassandra to raid the Spanish HI from the north (Deleflote giving her a second move action out of the northeastern whirlpool). Grims steals 3 coins worth 12 gold, more than half the Spanish total. Banshee’s Cry touches the Cassandra’s stern in case she can assist with any cargo logistics or ramming on the next turn.
Both Spanish schooners rammed the Cassandra, doing no damage. However, SI managed to steal a 7 back. However, this just made me want to HI Hoard again. BC explored Cassandra to take her 2 (the lowest value coin from the initial heist). Then Cassandra stole the remaining two coins on the Spanish HI, leaving them with no coins. Deleflote allowed her to zip back through the whirlpool, arriving back in Pirate home waters. Rover drops Calypso on my HI, anticipating a blocking/ramming role to support Cassandra.
SI comes through with an SAT from Castro and steals back the other 7 from Cassandra! Monarca rams the BC derelict, who I scuttle afterwards. I debated whether to shoot at SI with Rover and Cassandra, but eventually decided to ram and board with both because I knew I pretty much needed to steal one of the 7’s again in order to win. Alas, both boards failed! Jonah and the Cassandra’s helmsman were doomed to the depths.
Making matters worse, I was now pinned, with Peter having designs on capturing Grim. SI shot 3/4 and Monarca rammed the Cassandra’s last mast off, making her derelict. I wanted Rover to tow her home with a double action from Deleflote, but the Rover was still pinned to SI. Thus, now my best chance of winning was by suicide/sabotage (with still no gold on the Spanish HI and my mast count down to 2 with plenty of whirlpools around to eliminate them if SI didn’t). Coeur popped out of the fog and lost her mast to a whirlpool, leaving me with just the Rover.
It seemed like there would be enough time to dismast the Rover and end the game, but I rolled too well on the whirlpools! It took a full 3 rounds for the Rover to roll poorly enough to take out her lone mast, by which time SI had returned home with Cassandra, dropping off both 7’s+2 for a narrow gold lead. I put Rover out of her misery to keep the score closer, with Peter winning 16-14! Very tight endgame, where I would have won 14-0 if either of the Rover’s previous whirlpool rolls had been negative in nature.
Wow! What a nice and close-fought 40 point VASSAL game and a great introduction to VASSAL for Gazerbeam543! This was a big momentum shift game, with Peter loading a ton of gold early only to have it all swiped by Grim, then stolen back in true conquistador fashion! Notably, no captains were present in either fleet, but there was still plenty of swashbuckling action. A more excellent contest than we could have expected!