Pair of 3 Player Games
I met up with Witch and Phillip for some 60 point action in Tacoma Washington! We ended up with a pair of 3 player games, though the second would be short and sweet due to venue hours. Terracrux Games is a great place to play with plenty of table space. We used our house rules.
I went first in Game 1, followed by Phillip (Pirates) and then Witch (English Pirates). I tried out a French fleet that used a trio of my favorite French 3 masters.
Le Descharges + Capitaine Gaston de St. Croix, Madame LaFontaine, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Le Triton + helmsman, explorer
La Bonne Chance + captain, oarsman
-towing Mont Blanc
UT’s: Abandoned captain, shipwright, oarsman, Knights of Malta Banner, four 5’s
Terrain: Whirlpool x2, big fog bank
Le Triton was just in range of docking at an island south of me on the first turn. I wanted to hit that one before Phillip’s gold runners could potentially hit it, especially since his 5 masters were unlikely to brave the reefs to attack me. The island was a gold mine, with treasure values of 7,5,5,4 for a whopping 21 gold. Due to the importance of getting all 4 coins home, Descharges came over with an SAT from Gaston to grab the final coin. Bonne Chance sailed SSE for flexible positioning. Phillip’s turn has begun with La Victoire looking to round earth to the southeast soon.
Witch sails out some of his ships, exploring with HMS Hyena. His Rover uses Lucky the Parrot to spy on some crew. I am very happy to dock all 4 coins at my HI without interference.
Phillip quickly showed his bold and aggressive play style (Witch and I’s first time playing with him), with both 5 masters sailing into action. The Revenant sacced with Captain Blackheart to blast 2 masts off HMS Granville, while the Victoire (led by Capitaine Arathiel) blasted 2 masts off La Bonne Chance to the south. However, retribution was coming, as the Revenant was crippled by HMS Dauntless (with Mercer aboard for a 3rd Sac crew!) after Lucky the Parrot timely spotted Tia Dalma (canceller) face down on the Revenant. Phillip had doubled up on cancellers, with Lenoir aboard La Victoire cancelling the Mont Blanc’s flotilla keyword, preventing it from shooting through itself and the Victoire only losing 1 mast as a result. I sent Le Descharges towards the whirlpool in an attempt to steal gold from Phillip’s Bloody Jewel, but she got stuck in the sargasso sea.
Captain Blackheart goes for blood, saccing to sink the Mermaid with a pair of 2L shots that pass through the Dauntless with the help of the Revenant’s ability.
Likely to be slammed next turn regardless, Phillip’s Banshee’s Cry rams the Granville but rolls a 1! At the top right, HMS Dauntless makes the Revenant a derelict. The Descharges gets free from the seaweed, while Bonne Chance and Mont Blanc emerge from fog to shoot poorly at the Victoire after the latter loaded up some gold from the southeast island.
Victoire turns around and beats up the Bonne Chance and Mont Blanc before saccing to turn for home. Witch sinks the Revenant with the Dauntless.
HMS Granville dismasted the Banshee’s Cry and docked at the northwestern island. Le Descharges rolled a 3 to emerge from the huge fog bank and got her SAT. She went nuts and sank the Hyena and Granville! However, this opened the area for Witch to get revenge, with Mercer saccing so the Dauntless could sail over and dismast the Descharges, who rowed into the fog. Triton is headed northeast for more coins but gets stuck in the sargasso. I flipped the oarsman on Bonne Chance, who is slowly rowing home with the flotilla – which is actually not legal, which I didn’t realize until writing this report. Because flotillas don’t allow any abilities of the ship or its crew that affect its base move to function, Oarsman will not allow a ship to tow a flotilla (The Pirate Code also confirms this under Flotilla). Still learning after 500+ games!
After some repairs, La Victoire gets into a battle with HMS Dauntless! The Bloody Jewel joins in with her abandoned captain but misses both shots.
Le Triton barreling down on my home island with a pair of 1 coins:
The Bloody Jewel had sunk a homeward bound Descharges, which is why LaFontaine’s 1-gold Ransom payout has appeared on Phillip’s HI.
La Victoire emerges victorious and captures the Dauntless! However, the Bonne Chance can contest the final coin in play.
La Victoire finishes the task she started earlier in the game, sinking both the Bonne Chance and Mont Blanc (thankfully before she could shoot anything else, as the flotilla should have been sitting in the southeast). However, Le Triton has sped over to get in on the action, ramming a mast off the Bloody Jewel since she can’t quite make it to the island to load the coin!
I believe La Victoire then sacced Thomas Gunn (acquired from the captured Dauntless) to dismast the Triton, eliminating me from active play. Witch had his Rover go through a few whirlpools to see if she could lose her mast to remove himself from contention so that the final coin wouldn’t count if Phillip hadn’t loaded it onto one of his ships (since at that point half or more players wouldn’t be able to give future move actions), but consistently rolled high to keep the Rover intact. Phillip got the coin home and the game was over!
- Witch: 25 gold
- Ben: 25
- Phillip: 16
O_O Another ludicrously close game, continuing the recent trend! Witch and I both had 1 unit left in play for the default tiebreaker. However, although my Triton could theoretically explore again for me at some point in the game, Witch’s Rover was fully capable of being given a move action had the game continued any longer. Therefore the future action was more available to his ship than mine, and he also would win the masts standing tiebreaker 1-0. I would have to rely on the points in play tiebreaker, at which point I would have won 12-2 (Triton still had her helmsman aboard). However, I think it makes more sense to continue down the units in play default tiebreaker rabbit hole rather than going to other options. If the Triton was capable of movement with 1 mast standing I would have argued harder for the points in play tiebreaker to apply. This might be the first game I’ve played that was decided by a second tiebreaker – definitely a rarity as even when the gold scores are tied, the units in play usually seals the deal without having to look at which units are capable of which actions, or how many masts they have/etc.
We only had about 45 minutes for a second game, so we decided on 1 wild island, with each player putting 4 coins of their choice on it. Phillip rolled to go first, followed by Witch and I. Phillip went with a Cursed fleet, Witch brought out some American Pirates, and I stuck with the French but swapped a few UT’s. In hindsight, I should have done different UT’s based on going last, but it would certainly make things interesting.
Phillip’s fleet looked intimidating, with both the Divine Dragon and Executioner. (Grinder was given the first action – no Ex-Patriot crew)
Witch’s fleet had Providence, President, Maryland, Rover and Mermaid.
I placed the last terrain so I was able to put a non-reefed fog bank near my HI. Facing a likely attack from the Executioner on round 2, I hid all my ships to make sure they’d have a chance to do something. (Witch thinks it should be renamed “Pirates with Ben in Fog” lol)
Grinder was the first to explore, getting the Eye of Insanity and Neptune’s Trident! O_O The Executioner had OE Fantasma onboard, and took a couple coins before saccing for home. The Descharges emerged from the fog bank with an SAT from Gaston, getting in shooting (but not ramming) range of the Grinder, dismasting her with a big broadside. I was able to finagle the Bonne Chance into position where her last S move segment flipped the ship around to get a few of Mont Blanc’s cannons in range, but of course I missed with both. Le Triton explored the island to see the final 5 coins, which were all 1’s! This left no doubt in my mind that it was Phillip’s game to lose, and it was likely that Witch and I would have to team up to have any chance at stopping him.
In a huge move, Phillip turned the gold-laden Executioner around to blast the Descharges! The Grinder used Neptune’s Trident to devastate the Bonne Chance and Providence, also hitting the Mermaid and Mont Blanc! (asking in the rules thread if the flotilla should have been affected or not)
Due to the speed of play that was the last picture I took, but here’s a video some Cursed vs. American action shortly afterwards:
Much ramming and boarding happened in the desperate endgame as time ticked down. Eventually the Executioner actually lost both of her valuable 5’s, with the Triton stealing one after dumping her crew on the island. The Triton was dismasted but the Descharges explored to take 7 of her 8 gold, but was later sunk. The Bonne Chance was dismasted but ended up with a 5 she shouldn’t have been able to steal, with the Triton’s helmsman already filling her lone cargo space. Witch grabbed the final two 1’s from the island with the Providence, getting them home. The Maryland stole a 3 from the Grinder, and eventually got it home after stealing it back from the Divine Dragon. The Executioner continued sinking ships as the chaos continued, as Phillip was bent on taking souls. This knocked the total gold in play to a minimum, though the Cursed had squandered their advantage by being so bloodthirsty. In the end, Witch won as usual!
- Witch: 5 gold
- Phillip: 2
- Ben: 0
A fun pair of 3 player games on a cold night! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more action!