Today (10/26) was the 10th anniversary of Barbary Coast’s release!
What better way to tribute such a great set than having an all-BC game?
It was a simple 30 point game, partly because these 4 ships are literally the only ships from BC in my current traveling collection! Funny enough, this turned into one of those relatively rare games that, despite being very one-sided, was quite exciting and fun.
To switch things up for a change, the home islands were located right next to each other. In addition, the single wild island was completely surrounded by fog! Lastly, since this was a game featuring 100% Barbary Corsairs, each fleet would have to bring its gold back to the other home island.
Both fleets immediately sailed into the fog, and knew that whoever was lucky enough to roll to reach the island first would hold an advantage.
The Silent Death looked to be an aggressor, while the Terror of Gibraltar wanted to steal gold from the Golden Peacock. As is typical in this game, the exact opposite happened!
The two fleets jostled for position, but neither had any luck whatsoever with the extremely foggy conditions. All game long, a ship would roll for one of the two edges and emerge straight into another fog bank! When an outside roll was made, the ship would duck right back into a different fog bank, careful not to be vulnerable to one of the captained ships.
The Terror of Gibraltar managed to stay on the Peacock’s trail, but the conditions were so bad that neither fleet made any gold or combat progress for a while.
At long last, the Tripoli broke through with a lucky roll and docked at the island. Neither fleet had explorers, but the Terror also was able to dock on the same turn.
The Silent Death and Golden Peacock again simply shifted from one fog bank to another, as their enemies started the journey home.
The smaller ships got lucky soon after, with the Tripoli able to dock home her two coins and the Silent Death finally reaching the wild island. The Silent Death was only able to pick up one coin due to her heavy crew complement.
At this point, to speed the game up, whenever a ship rolled a 1 for a fog roll, a random coin would disappear from the island. In addition, if a ship rolled a 6 for a fog roll, the fog bank farthest from the home islands would disappear.
The Tripoli soon reached the island for a second time, and a coin and fog bank quickly disappeared.
Wesley aboard the Terror had a plan – with his one available cargo space, earlier in the game when he explored he took the lone 0 coin, hoping to lure the Golden Peacock into taking it. Due to the nature of this game, he unsurprisingly had his plan ruined!
At this point, the Golden Peacock’s frustration reached a high, with the ship rolling to emerge on the outside of the fog ring to sail around the circle. The Silent Death, useless against the escaping Tripoli, sailed out to meet her. Another coin disappeared from the wild island.
The Silent Death and Golden Peacock maneuvered to the opening in the fog. The Tripoli sailed home as the Terror approached her enemies.
The plans now became apparent, and things started to get weird. The Silent Death handed off Murat Rais and her captain to the Golden Peacock, who was immediately rammed by the Terror. Wesley’s bonus wasn’t even needed, and the Peacock immediately lost Rais in addition to her mizzenmast. In the meantime, the Silent Death went from dangerous gunship to content treasure runner, picking up two coins to augment the one she had loaded earlier in the game, which felt like ages ago.
With the Tripoli home safe with another hefty load of gold, the other Corsairs realized they were in trouble. The Silent Death continued to flounder in the fog as the Golden Peacock fled into a different fog bank.
The role reversal on the part of both original gunships continued. In a move that made it obvious she intended to win the game, the Terror of Gibraltar docked at the wild island, unloaded both Wesley and her helmsman, and picked up two additional coins! Although this made it obvious that their fleet would win the game if the Terror could make it back home, the mutiny (by the lone oarsman left on the ship, lol) angered Wesley, who was left stranded on the fog-shrouded island. This would soon hurt what was left of the Terror’s crew.
With a chance for revenge against the Terror, the Golden Peacock emerged from the fog to ram the big ship, scoring a hit! However, the Peacock lost the boarding party, which meant that her essential captain was no more. This left the fleet with just one crew, the helmsman on the hapless Silent Death. That is, unless they could recruit some angry Corsairs…
The gold-laden and slowed-down Terror fled into the fog, where the poor Silent Death was still sailing to and fro. The unscathed Tripoli headed back out for another run.
To complete the civil war aspect of this game and make it even more bizarre, the Golden Peacock, who had lost both of her valuable crew (Murat Rais and captain, which originally came from the Silent Death), now docked at the island and loaded the betrayed crew of the Terror – Wesley and a helmsman! Eager to get revenge on the Terror, they were essentially replacements for the crew the Peacock had already lost in battle. However, they would be sorely needed, as the Terror and Tripoli looked to be close to victory. It was up to the Golden Peacock to sink or steal the treasure from the Terror.
The Peacock had to pull double duty, knowing she also couldn’t let the Tripoli get home with another load of gold. With S+L+S speed, the Peacock came around the fog to surprise the Tripoli, but her shot missed. The Terror took advantage of the distracted ship to duck into a different fog bank.
At this point, another 1 was rolled in the fog, eliminating the last treasure from the wild island and eliminating the Tripoli as a gold threat. Now the Tripoli would try to support the Terror, but they were on opposite sides of the fog and the Tripoli had just ducked into the fog to escape the only captained ship remaining, the Golden Peacock. The Peacock raced to intercept the Terror, who was slowly making her way through the fog.
The Terror now made a decision to break for the home island, despite her S+S speed and relative safety of the fog.
The Golden Peacock easily outstripped the Terror and caught her! With the first real broadside of the game, the Peacock missed both shots!
In the background, you can see the Tripoli will be too late to join the fight. The ever-frustrated Silent Death has ditched the fog entirely and began the long journey around the entire ring from the inside out.
The Terror of Gibraltar couldn’t quite make it home on her next turn, and the Peacock finally scored a hit, but it was too late. Funny enough, she lost the boarding party and therefore her helmsman. Even if she had won to eliminate the Terror’s oarsman, the Terror’s Galley keyword would dock the Terror home on the next turn even if she was derelict. You can see how many 6’s were rolled late in the game, with lots of fog disappearing on the far side of the island.
The Terror docked and the game finally ended!
Terror of Gibraltar/Tripoli: 17 gold
Golden Peacock/Silent Death: 0 gold (although they had 8 on the Silent Death and 2 on the Golden Peacock for 10 total)
What a strange game! The big/small ship fleet was able to prevail despite having smaller cargo holds and inferior guns, although it was partly due to the Tripoli’s fog dice luck. The midsize ships put up a gallant fight, but the civil war is over. The setup was rather unique and interesting, especially when the house rules were instituted mid-game to eliminate gold and fog. The crew killing and swapping made for an especially bloody and emotional conflict, a civil war that will not soon be forgotten in the annals of the Barbary Corsairs.