6 Players, 100 Points in Los Angeles!
January 22nd, 2022
After lots of messaging with friends and fellow players on the Discord server, I was able to coordinate a meetup with a whopping 6 different players! While in San Diego on Navy business I knew there might be good opportunities to drive up to LA for Pirates CSG and EDM events. This was the culmination of a decent amount of planning, as various house rules had to be agreed on, a venue was eventually chosen, and in this case it worked out perfectly with 6 people from the online community meeting up to play a big in-person game of Pirates CSG! 😀
The game was played between myself, Xerecs, JW Darkhurst, Gingerninja (those three are all brothers who live together), Gazerbeam543, and projekt355. We met up at Fire and Dice games in Winnetka California, near where the Bowen brothers live and in the valley northwest of LA. We each came with a prepared 100 point fleet, which promised some absolute mayhem in a game of historic proportions. I cannot think of a larger meet up (in terms of total players or total points in play for a game) that the online community has organized so far. It was great to meet everyone and I highly recommend trying to play Pirates with these great people if you are in LA!
Here were the fleets!
Here is the setup! We used the Gale Force Nine islands, a moderate amount of terrain, and round earth rules. Simply for ease of reporting the events of the game and reading about them, the top of the ocean here is north, right is east, etc.
It was no surprise to see four 10 masters, including two Zeuses and the Fortaleza from RtSS. Not to mention the other big players such as HMS GT, San Cristobal, and Neptune’s Hoard.
Gazerbeam went first and we were off to the races! JW moved his San Cristobal near a whirlpool that was within striking distance of my Zeus, which happened to be a 3D printed glow in the dark Zeus that Vulkan made for me. I revealed Calypso on the Floating Stone, whose whirlpools could give my fleet a lot of striking distance and attack options around the sea. I was tempted to take on the SC to potentially capture her eventually using my strategy of Commander Temple on HMS Oxford, but I was extremely worried that Gazerbeam’s Zeus would come through the whirlpool near his home island and slam my Zeus on the next round. It turned into a huge regret of mine, but I decided to go after Gazerbeam’s Zeus. I knew from experience and reading Xerecs’ CoEC campaign game battle reports that JW is more passive than the average player, and I didn’t know what kind of gameplay Gazerbeam would be up to. Hoping the SC wouldn’t warp through a whirlpool to tag team my Zeus with assistance from Gazerbeam’s Zeus, I put all my cards on the table on Turn 1. The Zeus went through a whirlpool, emerged by Gazerbeam’s home island (HI), received an extra action from Lord Mycron on the Patagonia, and revealed Grim the Savage!!! O_O That’s right, Grimm them bois!! XD The Zeus loaded up the gold that Gazerbeam had already put on his home island from his turn, and then proceeded to shoot a miserable and game-changingly bad 2 for 10 (I think all cannons were in range) against Gazerbeam’s Zeus! O_O This was a huge momentous event in the first round that would affect various parts of the rest of the game. I misjudged how aggressive Gazerbeam would be and overestimated how much damage I could do to his Zeus with my 3S cannons. I can’t trust my cannon luck!
The first round home island hoard and Zeus civil war was certainly the story of the first round, but barely anything had happened in the game so far. You can see various ships searching for gold.
The Baochuan and Fortaleza have round earthed:
Retaliation! Gazerbeam’s Zeus fires on mine, using two actions to dismast her twin!!
I quickly realized I would need to play pretty aggressively to make up for likely losing my Zeus, so HMS Oxford zoomed over to dismast the Rocinante. The 3 represents how many masts are missing from the hoist.
At the upper left, Xerecs’ fleet is concentrated in the northwest corner. In the middle, my Longshanks has explored an island, but the Fortaleza and Algeciras (with flotilla in tow) lurk to the north. JW’s fleet has established a perimeter around the exploratory actions of HMS London.
The Baochuan is headed towards gold with the Neptune’s Hoard observing from ocean’s edge.
Xerecs strikes! HMS Grand Temple and HMS Swallow pulverize Gingerninja’s Buscador.
My worst fears had been realized, with Gazerbeam capturing my Zeus. He was now in possession of both, with mine having Home Island Hoard on it to boot! (via Grim the Savage)
I was able to pull off a tactic I quite enjoy, warping home the Rocinante via Commander Temple on the Oxford. It was a homecoming party, with the Longshanks docking home gold this turn as well. I believe the Oxford was given an extra action via Mycron, which she used to dismast the Algeciras.
A view looking from north to south. The Neptune’s Hoard has whirlpooled towards the center.
With a double action, HMS Oxford snags the Algeciras and sinks the Diablo flotilla!
The Baochuan has walloped the Black Pearl in the northwest, with Xerecs’ remaining two ships ducking into a fog bank to the south. Gazerbeam’s fleet regroups at his home island, with various repairs occurring and about to commence.
The southwest gets even more testy, with JW’s Thomas Jefferson arriving on the scene where a derelict and gold-laden Buscador lays derelict.
Both Zeuses repair, while the Baochuan carries a bunch of gold. In the south, the Oxford and Longshanks have dismasted Gazerbeam’s San Jose.
But it proves to be a costly move! The Zeus arrives through the whirlpool and is given an extra action to sink the Oxford and eliminate a mast from the Longshanks! Other ships explore nearby….
The War of the Brothers continues! The Baochuan had become quite a target, and now JW Darkhurst decided to get in on the action! The San Cristobal and HMS GT made short work of the 10 master, making her a ripe prize.
The Longshanks barely escapes her encounter with the Zeus, losing a second mast to a whirlpool on her way home.
At the left, you can see my desperation kicking in as Gazerbeam appears the clear leader in the gold race. The Algeciras rams the Neptune’s Hoard to no avail. I made some attempts to rally the other players against Gazerbeam, but it didn’t work. The Zeus tows the San Jose through a whirlpool while La Dijon arrives back at the HI. The Buscador repairs at Gingerninja’s home island, but his Baochuan is approached by the Fortaleza…
… who captures the original 10 master!
A unique and fascinating sight!
This is where Gazerbeam was able to seal the deal. He used my Zeus to hoard from Gingerninja’s home island, netting him yet more gold as the Buscador and Fortaleza struggle to stop the bleeding. The Algeciras rams HMS Ram at her HI, but killing Mycron won’t do enough to stop the momentum now. Calypso is unloaded to my HI, as more whirlpools are not needed at this point.
At the top right, this does create an opportunity for Gingerninja to reclaim his Baochuan and her gold:
The San Jose did have the Wine UT aboard which was possibly worth fighting for, but the Rocinante failed to steal it after whirling over the Gazerbeam’s HI. The Longshanks rams a mast off the Dijon as the final gold in play dwindles down. In a smart move, Gazerbeam unloads Grim the Savage to his HI to prevent someone from potentially keeping the game alive if they managed to capture his weaker Zeus.
JW is happy to dismast the captured Zeus with HMS London, while I scrounge for any gold I can find via the Longshanks.
Gingerninja managed a small miracle by not permanently losing either the Buscador or Baochuan, but their crews’ hopes at riches have been dashed by the carnage of play….
The game ended here.
Gazerbeam: 53 gold
JW Darkhurst: 22
Although a bit lopsided, it was still a memorable game. I came away quite frustrated with myself for losing my main asset and strategy ploy in the first 2 rounds, but had to be somewhat content with getting second place after such a horrific fiasco. Gazerbeam made the right plays throughout, earning him an impressive win in a game against 5 other players with 600+ total points involved. Craig had some poor luck and was hit pretty hard by my HMS Oxford. The Bowen brothers got entangled in a civil war that distracted them from Gazerbeam’s running away with the game. Overall it was a really cool experience to play with so many people from the online community at once, and to do it in such a large game! 😀
I made a fleet building error and forgot to include Calico Cat on La Victoire. I don’t think it would have mattered too much though. My attempt to win with gold-capture failed spectacularly. 😀
I did however manage to pull off a gold-capture win the next weekend I think, capturing a Zeus’s worth of crew to seal the deal.
Rambling aside, this was an awesome experience, and I’d love to do it again!
I’ve made various errors over the past few months while playing and it has certainly cost me as well. Indeed, I think at some point we’ll have 5+ players in a game in LA again sometime.