4×100 Game at Mox Bellevue
July 31st, 2022
I met up with Dan (Witch), Kyle (kyky), and John for a 4 player, 100 point game at Mox Bellevue! (Mox Boarding House) Here are the house rules we use. In addition, the Longship keyword was replaced by the following based on Dan’s suggestion: +2 to boarding rolls, +S to base speed, Oarsman. This would make longships more historically accurate, with better speed but no extra firepower weirdness. You can find all game piece details in the Master Spreadsheet. We used 6 wild islands with 4 coins on each of them, with Kyle and I contributing the only UT’s (5 total). During setup we were each allowed to place one giant terrain, one medium terrain, and 2 standard terrain. The fleets are described below!
John rolled to go first:
Neptune + captain, helmsman, oarsman, 1 Ex-Patriot crew
Duc d’Enghien + CC Gaston de St. Croix, Godiva, captain, helmsman, oarsman
L’Heros + CC Lenoir, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Mercure + captain, helmsman, oarsman
Le Bon Marin + Maurice Aristide, helmsman
I went second with “The Wolf Pack”:
Cursed (super rare) Black Pearl + Cursed Captain Barbossa, helmsman, oarsman
Fantasia + helmsman, oarsman
Red Curse + Captain Mysion, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Shadow + Coconut, Gunner, helmsman, oarsman
Raven’s Neck + Hammersmith (F&S), The Hag of Tortuga, explorer
Kyle went third with the English:
HMS Granville + Sir Jeremy Rothschild, RotF Thomas Gunn, Mercer, oarsman
HMS Dover + RotF Hermione Gold, Administrator Scott Bratley (0LR+5)
HMS Duke of York + Lord Thomas Gunn (OE), Admiral Morgan, helmsman
HMS Oxley + Admiral James Norrington, F&S Hermione Gold
Dan went last with the Jade Vikings:
Black Lotus + Li Quin, SS Shap’ng Tsai, helmsman, 2 explorers, oarsman
Asgard + Grim the Savage, others
Hrunting + Ethan the Farseeker, helmsman, others
Polaris + Sigurd Andersen, helmsman, others
The idea for my fleet started with the PotC SR’s, which I acquired recently but had yet to use in a physical game. The Black Pearl and Fantasia were the first ships in the fleet, and I decided to fill it out with more square rigged 4 masters (two of which had HI raiding) which would surround the Fantasia for her cannon bonuses in a “wolf pack” of firepower and cargo potential. BP was the hunter, Red Curse was the thief hybrid with some Parley flair, Shadow was the primary thief and fastest overall gold runner, while Raven’s Neck was the all purpose support hybrid whose spying ability would inform me of which home island(s) to raid. Fantasia would cheerlead the captained ships while the Rover and Mermaid were added at the end with the Hag to provide a distraction from the wolf pack and additional gold gathering options.
In the far west (left), the French have set up a strong defensive position around the exploratory efforts of the Bon Marin and Heros. The English consider attacking, but call it off. At the bottom right, the Sleipnir has round earthed to the southeast to contest gold that the Mermaid and Rover have discovered. The northbound wolf pack splits up a bit, with the Raven’s Neck grabbing nearby coins (including Marksman’s Map and Runes of Magic…) while the Shadow and Black Pearl speed towards the corner island, as the RN has tipped them off about a 6 where the Mercure has docked.
The Rover and Mermaid explore the island in the southeast, finding two 3’s, Jailhouse Dog, and Trees. The Marksman’s Map on the RN means I can now look at two facedown coins on islands per turn, fueling my efforts to decode the “puzzle” of the gold distribution as fast as possible to help guide my future actions.
The Sleipnir (moving 4S with the house rule!) speeds over and rams the Mermaid derelict. However, the Mermaid gets a 6 to win the boarding party! The English have arrived, leading to a deal (handshake and all!) between Dan and Kyle that they will not fight each other in the area if Dan gets the Mermaid’s coin and Kyle can have the other three. They also seemed to surmise that the island contained quite a good amount of gold value, which amuses me as I exercise my right to remain silent. 🙂 (at this point, only UT’s are on the actual island)
The Mermaid re-explores the island, triggers the Trees UT, and puts her mast back up! The Rover has ducked into the nearby fog bank, where she will remain for most of the game….
The Black Pearl hits 2/2 to dismast the Mercure, while the Shadow explores with Coconut and takes aboard 10 gold total.
The English intervene, Dan and Kyle’s deal is broken, and things begin to unravel in the southeast. The Duke of York failed to steal the Mermaid’s coin but does dismast her again. The fort is a semi-proxy for The Devil’s Maw, only built after the Duke entered the fray (I forgot to add the 5th flag since I was waffling between building it vs. Dead Man’s Point). The Granville and Kirkwall have appeared via round earth as well, but I have the superior positioning – the Red Curse, Raven’s Neck and Fantasia are all docked at my home island (RN having deposited the gold needed to build the fort) as they have returned from their brief gold excursion.
An eventful round! HMS Duke of York clears the fort’s flags with a single Broadsides Attack (in hindsight one flag should remain), and the Granville heads southwest to provide support. However, my Pirates strike hard soon afterwards, with the Red Curse (4/4) and Raven’s Neck (2/2) hitting 6 times with the Fantasia’s help to dismast both Englishmen!! At the bottom right, the Shadow returns to home waters via round earth, missing Gunner’s SAT but desperately trying to get home with her gold.
At the bottom right of the following picture, you can just see the bow of the Black Lotus, who has rammed the Shadow and taken off two of her masts as Dan gets into the anti-Ben action. XD Indeed, it seemed that everyone was gunning for me for a bunch of the game, and you can see John’s Heros and Neptune stalking my home island at the right. The Black Pearl got caught up battling the Duc d’Enghien, winning but losing strength. In this picture she has round earthed to the northwest to pull off a minor coup, sinking the fleeing Mercure (rowing home on oar power) with a well-placed L range shot and dismasting the oarsman-less Bon Marin with a ram (the Black Pearl was partly trying to get the Heros and Neptune to come get her and get away from my HI, but it didn’t work). In the quieter waters of the middle ocean, Dan and Kyle gather gold from central islands in relative peace, except when the Hrunting dented the Oxley but got badly mauled in return (the former now in that giant fog bank).
By this point I had spied that John picked up Runes of Odin earlier in the game, first by knowing it was on the westernmost island and soon after seeing that the only coin left on that island after he explored was a 1. After the Bon Marin deposited her full load on his home island but the Heros still had a coin, I figured it was on the Heros. However, I started spying the coins on John’s HI to see if either of the coins the Bon Marin unloaded were worth stealing with my Red Curse or Shadow. To my shock one of the coins was Runes of Odin! This was a unique situation where you cannot load any treasure from your own home island (denying John the use of the rune), but I had the HI raiding capability to take it for myself…. O_O I already had Runes of Magic on the Raven’s Neck, so as soon as I potentially got both, I could flip them for an Odin Missile to wipe just about any ship in play off the map! This quickly became my #2 goal besides winning the game, with targets likely being the Neptune, Dover, or Hrunting (the Asgard’s Grim the Savage remained face down the entire game).
Before seeing that the Runes of Odin had made it face down to John’s HI, I nearly did a really bizarre play. I was thinking about flipping Jailhouse Dog (still at the southeast island in my fort) to eliminate my own Marksman’s Map UT (it was the only faceup UT in play) simply to deny the other players from using Jailhouse Dog in the future to interrupt the rune combo. The fort was looking mighty fragile, and if someone explored the island and made off with the dog, it might wreck my future plans. In this case, I made a comment (usually the volume of information I volunteer out loud is directly related to how much I want to win lol) about how glad I was to have done a double-take on John’s coins, because it informed me that I didn’t need to waste both the Dog and Map simply based on theoretical rune combo paranoia. XD I could hardly contain my shock, but with 3 of the 4 UT’s in question face down, it was hard for the other players to know what was going on (Kyle contributed both runes so the combo was definitely on his mind throughout the game). Just some little strategy tidbits from an obsessive player.
The French attack from the north! The Heros sails down and dismasts the Fantasia. This excited me as I wanted to eliminate the Heros as a potential raider of my HI. Conveniently, though the fort play was risky and questionable, it did put both of my coins worth value back on a wild island, preventing the Heros from taking some of my treasure while my back was turned as I dealt with the English threat.
I loved my next turn – Gunner’s SAT finally triggered, getting the Shadow home to safety and netting me 10 gold. Hammersmith’s Captain ability (on the RN) was cancelled by Lenoir on the Heros, but the Red Curse was available as well, with Captain Mysion directing a vicious broadside that sank the Frenchman in short order (with a possible assist from the Fantasia). The Mermaid captured the Duke of York, who I planned to repair ASAP as she had a very nice (and intact) crew complement aboard.
The Duc got a timely SAT from Gaston, rowing home at 4S to avoid the dangerous Black Pearl. Cursed Captain Barbossa’s rage is not over however, as he takes the Bon Marin as a prize.
In what must be an extreme rarity, the Kirkwall S-explored my fort island to mark it explored for Kyle’s English and unexplored for me. However, the Mermaid docked the Duke of York there, who used Admiral Morgan’s EA to quickly repair 2 masts. The Red Curse and Raven’s Neck are ready for all comers, but as the endgame trudges forward my thoughts shift back to home island raiding… conveniently enough, another SAT from Gunner allows the Shadow to repair twice, returning her to full strength.
The Black Lotus finally puts an end to Barbossa’s cruel gunnery barrages. The Sleipnir is headed west for one of the last “wild” coins in play, but the Neptune’s return will soon deter her.
The Black Lotus was not able to finish off the Black Pearl, and then got hit with some worst-case dumb luck: a 5 on Fear meant she couldn’t use ANY abilities for a turn. The gleeful Barbossa returns the Black Pearl to home waters via round earth, dragging the Bon Marin with him. Upon arrival he is greeted by the Shadow and Red Curse, who are making full speed towards John’s home island with the intention of stealing Runes of Odin. Some players had to leave soon, so we started taking some faster turns. In addition, through spying on all the enemy home islands I had a pretty good idea that I was in the lead and just needed to conserve my gold score. To this end it was actually a relief when Kyle’s Kirkwall landed the final hit needed to destroy The Devil’s Maw fort, as it allowed me to quickly re-explore with the Raven’s Neck and scoop up the 6 gold that I wanted on my home island, not in an abandoned fort on a wild island. The fully repaired Duke of York was unleashed on her former fleetmates, quickly sinking the Kirkwall and begging the Dover to come get some as well. XD
At this point it should be noted that the luck disparity was becoming ridiculous, and possibly somewhat historic. Dan couldn’t roll dice to save his life today, and Kyle’s BA against the fort felt like ancient history as the Dover flailed against the Duke and was sunk in short order immediately afterwards. At one point in this game I rolled four 6’s in a row, and didn’t lose a crew to a boarding party all evening. The Black Lotus would normally make short work of the BP, but failed. Sigurd Andersen was also a major disappointment for the Vikings, possibly only giving Dan one AA all game. My luck on the cannons was exceptional, especially for a physical game where it is regularly atrocious.
With maybe about 25 minutes left for playtime, I force my strategy and send the Shadow to the northwest via round earth. The Red Curse can back her up, but the Duc is fully repaired and still fully crewed. In addition, the southbound Neptune at the far left is actually dangerously close to my fleet, but as I feel comfortable with my gold lead, why not go for the crazy rune combo? XD
Alas it was not to be – the Duc got an SAT and dismasted the Shadow, who was lucky to even see home waters again after rowing for home. The main key is that the Raven’s Neck and Rover have arrived home with an additional 9 gold between the two of them.
Having been on the rough end of combat for a while now, it was neat to see John have some fun on the last round. The Duc got another SAT and sped to the southeast, blasting away but missing plenty of shots (luck on my side yet again, even when I didn’t need it). The Neptune cleaned up well, round earthing to crush the Red Curse and Shadow! Knowing gold on ships counted for the endgame rules, HMS Duke of York and the Sleipnir both nabbed 1’s just as time was running out. Somehow the Black Pearl had survived her entire journey, with Barbossa earning his keep as an undead ghost pirate. O_O
The final scores:
- Ben: 21 gold
- Dan: 15
- Kyle: 11
- John: 4
This was a good game that showed that even when everyone is against you, some luck and good abilities and strategy can still win the day! We liked the longship house rule, which might see usage again. If you were disappointed that no one could pull off the rune combo, I have a far more ludicrous game for you to read about….