A Pair of Games in Tacoma Washington
December 11th, 2021
I met up with Luke (for the second time) and Cutty (for the first time) at Terracrux Games in Tacoma Washington! It was convenient to “dress for the occasion”, as I wore my Pirates with Ben hoodie and a shirt that has a picture of one of HMS Victory’s gun decks on it.
The first game would use a 40 point build total, round earth rules and Luke’s gorgeous custom islands! Cutty opted for a fleet using the Soleil Royal, HMS Nautilus and Banshee’s Cry.
I was excited to use my newest ship, which arrived in the mail during a port visit in Pearl Harbor Hawaii! The Gale Force Nine is mine!
Luke went with the Spanish, using the Santo Columba and Valeroso.
This aquarium decoration would only allow smaller/shorter ships to pass through safely:
This gives me a new idea… perhaps large ships can go through, but lose any masts that would normally prevent passage? Imagine the carnage during an escape attempt!
I quickly revealed my plan, with Calypso being flipped on turn 1! She was aboard the Gale Force Nine (GF9) along with OE Griffin to help reroll her ability, but alas I somehow had no whirlpools in my traveling collection tin. Luckily Luke bailed me out with some SM islands, which are blank white on the backside and we proxied them for whirlpools. The flaw in my small-scale Calypso fleet design became immediately evident, with the Lightning losing her only mast to the whirlpool. With the GF9 setup coming in at 30 points total (she also had a helmsman and oarsman), I had 10 points for gold runners and chose to run the Lightning and Rattlesnake without any crew.
The rest of my fleet arrives on the scene! The Rattlesnake lost a mast, with the GF9 coming into the area in order to protect the runners from the Santo Columba.
In the meantime, the Soleil Royal round earthed and the Banshee’s Cry found land.
Combat erupts! The Santo Columba docked within striking distance of the GF9, and I couldn’t resist. Likely with a bit of help from Griffin, the pirate gunners shot well, blasting away 3 masts from the Spaniard. The wounded Rattlesnake docked at Luke’s picturesque island.
The pennant used as an explored marker shows that the Rattlesnake’s American explorers found no presence of the Pelegostos here….
The Rattlesnake found Neptune’s Figurehead among the loot:
The Santo Columba ducked into a fog bank for safety. The Soleil explored the island she found, loading up all 4 coins from it. The Rattlesnake took the whirlpool home while the GF9 started towing the Lightning. However, a newcomer has arrived via round earth…
… but without a captain, HMS Nautilus cannot be effective! The GF9 drops the Lightning and pounces, dismasting the schooner.
On the other side of the map, the Banshee’s Cry has unloaded gold for Cutty but is shadowed by the Valeroso.
Playing this game brings me so much joy!
The Rattlesnake warped through the same whirlpools in search of more treasure. The GF9 captured the Nautilus. Soon she would drop that tow as well to shoot at the Valeroso! Once more I was unusually lucky with shooting, dismasting another 3 master!
Soon afterwards the Rattlesnake loaded the final coins in play, which led to Cutty sailing his ships towards my home island in a likely blockade attempt.
Indeed, the Rattlesnake was now the center of attention! Her slow speed would likely be an issue, with three enemy ships now converging on her location.
The Banshee’s Cry successfully rammed and boarded the Rattlesnake, eliminating her final mast and allowing Cutty to steal Neptune’s Figurehead! However, this left the Rattlesnake’s abandoned oarsman safe in the brig, with his rowing expertise paying off next turn as he rowed the ship through a whirlpool and into home waters! The GF9 escorted her back. This was effectively game over since no extra actions would be available to Cutty or Luke’s ships to be able to do anything about the Rattlesnake rowing home on my next turn.
With that, we totaled up the treasure:
- Cutty: 24 gold
- Ben: 17
- Luke: 0
Congrats to Cutty on the victory!
For the second game, we agreed to use more competitive fleets, a 50 point build total, and flat earth rules. No terrain was placed, and the islands were placed at the standard 3L-6L distances. We used the Spanish Main GF9 islands I had brought along to make things slightly more “official”. They ended up being rather far apart, which I was quietly happy about.
I kept the Rattlesnake, but swapped the GF9 for the OE Deliverance and the Lightning for Enfant Terrible.
Cutty’s fleet was similar but added the Executioner from RV:
Luke turned pirate and sailed out with the RotF Lady’s Scorn along with the Panda and Bloody Jewel from RV. On the first turn I flipped Calypso to create a pair of whirlpools! She was now aboard the Deliverance and up to her old tricks. Alas, the Rattlesnake once again lost her mainmast while in transit to a wild island.
In a fleet building decision I nearly didn’t make, I had decided to forego a helmsman on the Deliverance in favor of Le Requin for some potential SAT shenanigans. He came through at the perfect time, allowing the Deliverance to move through Calypso’s first whirlpool, then use a second action to move from the second whirlpool and dismast the Lady’s Scorn! Based on Luke’s crew setup aboard the Scorn, I decided not to try and sink the Eternal ship, thinking there actually wasn’t an oarsman aboard. The Deliverance docked to protect the Rattlesnake, whose crew of helmsman and explorer were busy exploring the island.
The Enfant Terrible docked at and explored another island, and my strategy was working – use Calypso to essentially bypass the wide distances between islands, and cut off the other player’s advantages of going before me in the turn order.
My hunch was correct: no oarsman was aboard the Lady’s Scorn, allowing Griffin’s Deliverance to capture the mighty prize on my next turn. The Rattlesnake has just escaped to home waters via the whirlpool, while the Enfant can’t quite make it. However, the latter was quite fine with me, as I purposely put the whirlpool within L of the wild island closer to the other player’s fleets, knowing I would need to get that gold home quicker than the island further away. In addition, the Enfant has L-immunity, which could help her survive any potential attacks that resulted from her being near the center of the map for longer.
In the meantime, an extremely ugly development was occurring: Luke played the mermaids event against Cutty’s Soleil Royal, freezing the 5 master for 3 turns! It’s been so many years since I played a game with mermaids available that I forgot to even mention it as a potential ban list item despite the “competitive” agreement we came to before building fleets for this one. I would try not to let it sour my mood; I was grateful (and surprised) it wasn’t played against me. Cutty’s gold runners continued towards the lone unexplored wild island, but HMS Nautilus hung back as Luke’s 2 masters luffed up to the port side of Le Soleil Royal.
At this point I was starting to get comfortable in the “driver’s seat” with the other two players likely squabbling over pittances. 😜 The Enfant arrived in home waters with additional gold, while a successful scuttle attempt on the Lady’s Scorn allowed her to warp home via Eternal and quickly start repairs.
The mermaids situation turned into a chain-ramming melee, with three of four ships pinned at left in this picture. Various shots and boarding parties were exchanged with mixed results. The Deliverance was free to terrorize as Griffin, Calypso, and Le Requin saw fit.
Receiving Le Requin’s SAT, the Deliverance could have tried to dismast the Soleil or corner the Banshee’s Cry (now getting gold). However, Luke’s Panda was headed towards the island the Rattlesnake had explored, with the latter en route to her old haunt. In the end I had to shoot at the mermaiding player, and so the Deliverance sunk the Panda! Cutty dismasted the Bloody Jewel with HMS Nautilus, eliminating Luke from the game.
The remaining fleets regroup:
The Lady’s Scorn (with 3 masts repaired) got Crimson Angel’s SAT to warp into the center and broadside the Soleil. The Deliverance finished her off but needed all her cannons to do so, leaving HMS Nautilus with 2 masts.
The Pirates finished off HMS Nautilus on the next turn. Soon after the game was called because it was apparent that the last two coins in play wouldn’t affect the outcome.
- Ben: 34 gold
- Cutty: 8
- Luke: 0
This was a neat game where I benefited greatly from island placement and good dice luck (both with Calypso and shooting). Indeed, overall I had one of my best days at the cannons in physical games in quite some time.
I had a great time with Cutty and Luke and look forward to playing with both of them again! Thanks for reading and please let us know if you’re in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) area! 😀