A Call for Newbies to Participate | Pirates with Ben Blog #37

Hopefully this won’t sound like too harsh of a tone, but sometimes the lack of activity on things that have great potential in the Pirates community is a bit disheartening to me.

When I joined the various sites back in 2011, I didn’t suddenly start posting 1,000+ times a year like I do at Miniature Trading nowadays.  However, I made a conscious effort to consistently involve myself in the various goings-on.  The Fleet Challenges are a great way to do this, as are the Miniature Review Contests that I started a few years ago.

I had a bit of a rough start, at first not understanding that fleets for challenges were to be posted in the Fleets section at Miniature Trading (MT).  Safe to say I’ve come a long way since then!  XD  I also didn’t have great fleet challenge entries my first couple tries, but that’s alright.  The main thing was to learn and improve over time.  If I hadn’t jumped right in (honestly I don’t see much point in lurking), who knows how different things would be today… I certainly wouldn’t have submitted well over 100 fleets!

After editing lord_denton’s Fleet Challenge Archives, it appears that we are at over 60 total fleet challenges hosted at MT since 2008!  This equates to about 6 per year, which makes sense given the average fleet challenge duration is perhaps around 2 months.  I am now at the top of the leaderboard for total challenges won, but that would not be the case if I didn’t involve myself as a newbie.  Not that winning Pirates CSG fleet challenges means anything in life.  There are always “better things to do”.

But still, if you like, love, or care about this game, I HIGHLY recommend getting more and more involved as your passion level grows.  The amount of things you could do are nearly endless.  Participating in a fleet challenge and MRC at the same time is enough of a time commitment for most people, which is fine.  From there you’ve got threads, thread ideas, playing physical games (start solo and teach people you know!), playing on the VASSAL module, guesting on the podcast, making videos, making your own islands and terrain, and whatever else you can think of.  It can be overwhelming, but start small (as I did) and go from there.  You can always pivot and find what things you like best.  For example, godmason loves the Rankings threads and Podcast series.  Xerecs loves to play, and play big.  Being the primary “ambassador” for the game, I simply care enough to do as much as I can.

Beginner to-do list:

  1. Don’t bother lurking!  Jump right in and comment on things!
  2. Join a Fleet Challenge or Miniature Review Contest to gain experience, exposure, and knowledge.


Deal of the Day: El San Jose for $.50 at RainTyger Games

You can easily do an advanced search for specific criteria.  It’s a good way to get specific stuff you need for a reasonable price (mostly on commons and uncommons, the other stuff can get pricey)

**Disclaimer: I will be using affiliate links with things like this, so if someone buys from it, I could make a few cents.  XD


Pirates CSG Card of the Day

Set number: 10 – Caribbean

Collector’s Number: 031 – Edinburgh Trader

Faction Affiliation: England
Rarity: U
Type: Ship
Point Value: 11
Cargo Space: 5
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 4L,3L,4L
Number of Masts: 3

Once per turn, if this ship carries treasure and is within S of an enemy ship, you can randomly trade one treasure with that ship.

Flavor: When an adrift Will Turner boarded the Edinburgh Trader, he had no idea he would lead the poor ship to her doom.

Here’s a solid English cargo ship that is surprisingly capable in a hybrid role.  Normally you’ll use her as a gold ship to ferry treasure, but with just-serviceable guns, she can be a poor hybrid if you need her to be.  However, HMS Dover is one of many English ships that would perform better in a hybrid role.  Her ability is largely worthless, but that’s not the main attraction here.

Standard 40 point games: Helmsman, plus possibly explorer or oarsman if you can afford them. (13/14 total points)

Medium size games (50-100 points): Captain + helmsman, or better yet one of the English combo crew with those abilities (Thomas Gunn and Hermione Gold).  If you combine both abilities into one cargo space you’re also risking losing both in a single lost boarding party, so in that case I’d recommend an oarsman for protection and insurance.  (16/17 total points)

Large games (over 100 points): Lots of options here.  Sticking with a hybrid or gold setup, you could add First Mate Ismail to a setup with Gunn/Gold, just keep in mind that an oarsman would take up cargo space (and therefore not be a good option) since the “takes up no cargo space” cannot stack with Ismail.  You could even use this version of HGold to make the Trader a gunship, possibly adding equipment with the nice L-range guns. (16+ points)

Game Piece Rating: 7.5/10.  The Trader is a solid ship, and has solid attributes in the speed, cargo, and defensive armament categories.  Still, there are better English gold runners and hybrids out there, so the Trader will not often be the first overall choice in the roles she can play decently.

The ship is on eBay.  Below you can see her fighting the severely weakened Kraken during the Pirates of the Caribbean tribute/celebration game.  The game featured only stuff seen in the movies, and you can see the Dauntless and Flying Dutchman duking it out on the left beyond one of my custom terrain pieces.  The Endeavour lumbers forth on the right.

Rare sea-level view of Pirates CSG action!


Picture of the Day

Two years ago today, when I used my Large Fry – Spanish Swarm fleet. (which won the Large Fry Fleet Challenge!)

VASSAL game on 6/16/2016.


It’s a Pirates’ Life for Me.


Posted in Blog.

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