Ben vs. Captain Randy at 60 Points
September 12th, 2021
I used the Deliverance, Frontier and Philadelphia while he went with a mostly Cursed fleet:
Executioner + OE El Fantasma, DJC Tabitha McWarren, Gendermarie Rene Moreau, RotF Ralph David, helmsman, oarsman
Grinder + chieftain, helmsman
Coeur du Lion + helmsman
Cursed native canoes
On Randy’s first turn the Executioner used a whirlpool and Sac to sink the Frontier! Things were already not looking good for me.
Similar to our last game, I struck back quickly, eliminating 3 masts from the Executioner:
The Cursed were laying claim to 3 of the 4 wild islands when the Deliverance zoomed over and started sinking native canoes!
The Deliverance caught the Executioner on her way home and dismasted her. However, the Philadelphia has been useless so far (I really wanted to take advantage of her ability given the points in play win condition) and the Coeur has unloaded gold for the Cursed.
The pesky marine made the Deliverance go home for repairs, while the Philadelphia rammed the Coeur to try and steal some gold. At this point the Executioner had one remaining face down crew, which I first assumed was an oarsman (especially with the Sac Captain El Fantasma aboard). However, Captain Randy didn’t move the Executioner for a turn or two, so it became more evident that it was unlikely to be an oarsman. I didn’t want to touch the Executioner with one of my ships (trying to tow if it didn’t have an oarsman) and end up losing valuable crew in an accidental boarding party. Overall it made for a memorable time and is one of the cool things about having crew face down. Between potential bluffing about face down crew and not reacting when you discover really good gold coins, there is definitely a “poker face” aspect to Pirates that is really interesting to see play out in real time. 🙂
Now it got a bit crazy. The Philadelphia captured the Executioner (no oarsman to prevent dereliction), while the Deliverance tried to steal gold from the Grinder as she approached the Cursed HI. (the 6 marks a successful scuttle roll on the Executioner, as Ralph David made her Eternal)
The Gunship Swap
Within a turn, the fleets started looking rather strange. The Executioner warped the short distance home with Eternal and started repairing, while the Cursed fleet was able to dismast and capture the Deliverance! However, this is where we messed up a bit – under the points in play victory condition, we had already made a modification to Eternal that says “all cargo assigned to the ship is removed from the game” when Eternal kicks in. This is to prevent the keyword from being OP with the alternate rules. We forgot to remove the cargo (a bunch of valuable crew including the source of Eternal itself) so this game comes with a small asterisk, though I don’t think the end result would change.
Captain Randy and I both admitted that we wish we had played better as both of us made some mistakes in this game. Here I took advantage of Randy not repairing the captured Deliverance as soon as he had docked her at his HI, which left the derelict ripe for the Executioner to recapture her! Now I had both gunships under my control, but only 1 mast standing between the two of them. The Philly did a small chain towing maneuver in an attempt to get the Deliverance out of range of the Coeur and Grinder.
The Executioner was dismasted but the Philadelphia was able to use her ability to warp the Deliverance to my HI where she repaired a mast.
Somehow the Philadelphia ended up capturing the Grinder as well! This was a convenient boon for me, as the Turbine keyword allowed the Grinder to speed straight to my HI without any masts. However, I just now realized that this is another gaffe, as Turbine says: “A ship with this keyword is not derelict when it has no masts remaining. If it has no masts, one hit still sinks it.” Since it’s not derelict, it can’t be captured….
I think we swapped gunships again (now back to their original fleets) and the game ended shortly afterwards.
Congrats to Captain Randy on a 95-35 victory! (mostly from gold multiplied by 4) It was certainly a learning experience, both for the new rules and even understanding normal keywords. I will say that I LOVE towing and capturing logistics, as well as the face down crew intrigue game.