The Pirates Attack as the Buildup Continues! (July 3rd in CG4)

I was extremely excited to play my turn, as usual.  Xerecs’ report on recent events reinforced my last report that showed a relatively tranquil ocean.  Here you can see the Spanish with 10 canoes and a couple treasure galleons in the center of the map at the Archipelago:

THE PEACE WILL NOT CONTINUE!!!!

The Pirates have designs on the Archipelago!  They have been planning and plotting to an EXTREME degree in recent months, to the point where I’ve often spent more time strategizing Pirate faction stuff than I do actually playing all 4 of my factions put together.  O_O   I’m talking many hours of planning and custom game piece and combo research before, during, and after each Pirate play turn.  It has gotten completely bonkers!  Each turn you see the fruits of my efforts to optimize the Pirates and my other fleets.  The Pirates have so much happening behind the scenes that it boggles my mind and just about literally made me dizzy today from the possibilities of what could happen and what is to come.  In time, it could become surreal and bizarre unlike anything anyone has ever seen in Pirates CSG.  😀

Alright, enough rambling, what actually happened?  The Smoke’s Hand is a 40 point custom 5 master that can copy any keyword each turn (whether it’s in play or not).  She has a boatload of stuff aboard as well.  She was launched last turn along with the Arcane, a custom from JW Darkhurst’s Seas of Doom set.  Check out her ability: “Once per turn, you may give this ship a move action, but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 6, you may place a Unique Treasure on any ship in your fleet.”  O_O

This is where it starts to get complicated, and where the turn started to get just as time consuming as I thought it would.  The Arcane rolled for her ability, getting a 5.  However, this was bumped to a 6 with Hakann’s Piraka keyword, which gives the ship +1 to all d6 rolls.  Therefore, I didn’t have to use Runes of Thor on the Noble Swan to get the Arcane’s ability to work!  After looking over a LOT of custom and Wizkids UT’s, I decided to take what I saw as a big risk and go with Nuva, from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna.  “Any crew ability on this ship may be used by another crew within S of this ship.”  My intention was to get Vesok copied to another crew that could then use the Arcane’s ability again.

Time to back up.  Vesok is another custom crew, with 3 keywords: Piraka. Limit. Copycat.
Piraka: This piece has the Black Mark keyword, and gets +1 to all die rolls.
Copycat: At the beginning of each of your turns, choose any ability possessed by any ship or crew in play; this character has that ability. You may make a different choice each turn.

Vesok is on the Smoke’s Hand to allow for maximum flexibility and power in one ship.  The SH (Smoke’s Hand) has a true copier aboard, and the ship itself can copy any keyword.  Almost as good as having two copiers on one ship.  O_O  It gets weirder.  🙂

The Agnis Crystalis, with only 1 mast standing from the carnage of the Corsair battle but with plenty of crew left, was the perfect ship to start using Nuva with.  The Nuva UT is on the SH.  The Agnis Crystalis used her oarsman to essentially copy Vesok using the Nuva UT.  This meant that the AC basically had a full copier for this turn as well.  Now that the AC’s oarsman could copy any ship/crew ability in play, naturally the Pirates chose to copy the Arcane’s ability and use it again.  I didn’t get the roll… but it didn’t matter, since I just forced it to a 6 with the Noble Swan’s Runes of Thor UT, which of course stays in play via Nemo’s Plans.  Guess what the Pirates brought in with this second usage of the Arcane’s ability?  Another Runes of Thor UT.  O_O   XD  This RoT was placed on the Pandora, a ship in the vicinity chosen at random because I knew I’d be using it right away this turn.

Okay – now that those logistics are out of the way (for now), it was time to actually get to the Archipelago.  How would the Pirates do that, with no ships even close to the center of the map at the start of their turn?  Well, combos and UT’s of course.  😀   Vesok copied the ability of another Spherus Magna custom that the Pirates launched recently: the Phantom (not the infamous Cursed 4 master from Xerecs’ games, a different ship).  The ability: Once per turn before you give this ship an action, roll a d6. On a 6 this ships base move becomes D for this turn.

O_O  And there you have it!  With this ability now used by Vesok, the Pirates were in business.  The new Runes of Thor was used to change the d6 roll to a 6, allowing the Smoke’s Hand to have D movement for this turn, meaning she could teleport anywhere on the sea at will!!!!!  O_O   The Pirates chose the Archipelago as the location for their attack!!  The Smoke’s Hand warped out to the middle of the map, revealing John James, a historical custom with the Captain and Canceller abilities.  This meant that not only could the Smoke’s Hand teleport, but she could shoot right afterwards!  The SH started blasting away at the Spanish native canoes from Return to Savage Shores, getting +1 to her cannon rolls due to Vesok’s Piraka keyword.  She hit 4/5 to knock out most of the set.  Then it was time for the impressive Pirate logistics to help out.  The Jolly Mon sacrificed her (useless) action via Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight, allowing the SH to move and shoot again.  The SH warped slightly southeast to dock at a textiles island the Spanish have explored, eliminating the final RtSS canoe and 2 from the SS set in the process.  The Smoke’s Hand has enough gold to build a Pirate fort on the island and to upgrade it afterwards, but due to the ruleset we’re using in CG4, things like that can only happen one turn at a time.  The SH copied the Explorer keyword this turn to explore the island, but she has to wait until next turn to actually deposit the gold and build the fort.  Then on the turn after that, the fort can be upgraded.

This was just the start of the Pirate attack.  Next it was time for the Tempest!!!  One of her abilities is one of my favorites: Once per turn you may roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a whirlpool anywhere on the play area.

The roll didn’t work at first, but Amos Carter (a custom crew with Reroll) bailed out the Pirates and rerolled to get a 6!  O_O  The Pirates put a whirlpool southeast of their textiles island in the northeastern part of the sea, near the fogpool that the Stormcloud popped out of when she attacked the Corsairs.  Speaking of the Stormcloud, she was the first ship that would go through the newly created whirlpool….

The Pirates only got one of their 5 AA rolls this turn, but it was one they needed.  The Stormcloud used her first action to go through the whirlpool and emerge in the center of the map by the Archipelago!  With Robert Alcantara and Lady Baptiste failing to give the ship an Extra Action (EA), the AA was used to guarantee a second action coming through the whirlpool.  The Stormcloud surged eastwards, blasting away at the Morning Star!  She only hit 4/9 times, destroying 2 masts on the MS.

Of course the Pirates weren’t done.  🙂  The Black Pearl was next, getting an EA from Sao Feng to come through the whirlpool and hit the Morning Star 3/4 times, taking out another 1.5 masts.

In order to block the Spanish ships, provide backup, and get in position for next turn, the Pirates sent additional ships to the area despite knowing they wouldn’t be able to shoot yet.  The Deliverance sailed in from the northwest, using the whirlpool she had previously used near the Cursed HI to teleport to the center.  The Sapphire Sea (one of my custom ships) arrived via the Tempest’s whirlpool.  The Shadow’s Hand (a custom 5 master by Xerecs with the Fog Hopper ability) arrived via a fog bank, using a little bonus from the Shrunken Heads to narrow the distance between her and the textiles island later in the turn.  The Archipelago has gone from paradise to bloodshed!

Pirates attack the Spanish at the Archipelago in CG4!

Later in the turn I decided why not just put the Natives of Madagascar canoes in the area too?  They were going to head home and flee Spanish waters from the island they had been launched at, but they had nothing to lose by going through the whirlpools surrounding that island they were launched at.  Suddenly all 5 showed up in the Archipelago as well!  XD  Including every canoe (which skews the numbers of course), the “ship swing” at the Archipelago went from Spanish: 12, Pirates: 0 to Spanish: 5, Pirates 11. O_O  (4-0 to 3-7 counting the canoes as one ship per set)

Pirates swarm the center!

Here is the attack footage!  As it happened!

A report was quickly made to Lord Henry McLean (aka Captain Mission) on the Zeus: “The Spanish have been savagely slaughtered in the center.”  At this point the Stormcloud is still the main Pirate flagship, with Robert Alcantara as the primary “admiral” in tactical command of battle-ready Pirate forces.  As of right now, Lord Henry McLean is more of the administrative, home front leader overseeing growth efforts and less combat-focused tasks.  Mission has more experience and authority than Alcantara, but Alcantara can basically do whatever the hell he wants.

The Pirates have not declared war on the Spanish… there is a LOT going into each decision the Pirates make.  They were getting antsy.  Before the game progresses any more, I think this is a good time to reveal some notes from my document I use for games like this:

Bizarre crew setup on Tempest (needed a shipwright and wanted to fill out points – so a Chieftain/Shipwright custom lol) led to “bored” Pirates trying to bait someone into attacking them – conveniently the Spanish, since the Pirates also wanted another Necklace of the Sky. Pirates itching for some action and wanting an excuse to put their crazy weapons to good use. XD

Basically, the Natives of Madagascar canoes were launched at the Spanish spices island to try and bait the Spanish into attacking the Pirates.  Between that not working (at least not right away, the Pirates were not patient enough to see if it would work longer term lol) and the canoes having rules troubles getting the Necklace of the Sky at a reasonable rate, the Pirates decided to just initiate things.  The Pirates wanted to be able to blame the Spanish for instigating conflict, but the Pirates have been growing more confident as their fleet grows.  Plus, the Pirates captured the Santa Isabel way earlier in the game and are now using her as a resource runner at last, so the Spanish may have already had some beef with the Pirates.  As their arsenal of weapons grows by the turn, the Pirates were getting excited and anxious to do a “test firing” to see how effective a small version of their plan might be.  The Pirates also have some designs on the Archipelago, which has been somewhat dominated by the Spanish so far.  The Pirates are enjoying their sudden strike capability and want to make it clear they mean business in the center of the map.

In the southern part of Pirate waters, some ships (including the Tempest) are making their way into the fogpool in order to be prepared to come through a whirlpool (likely at the Archipelago) in case they are needed in the next few turns as reinforcements against the Spanish.  As you may have noticed from my previous campaign game performances, I usually like my attacks to have maximum redundancy.  At the bottom, you can see that another 5 master has been launched.  This is another “WMD”.  O_O   The Leviathan.  This one is from vladsimpaler’s Treachery on the High Seas set from 2008.

The Leviathan, 23 points, Pirate (Link: The Mastermind) [Rare]
Masts: 5
Cargo: 1
Speed: D
Cannons: 4L-4L-3L-4L-4L
Abilities: This ship ignores the first hit it takes each turn as long as it has all of its masts.
The Leviathan is the new flagship of the Mastermind. Reports of the ship landing in one port and docking at one thousands of miles away are fairly common. Nobody knows how it works, except that it sails by unholy means.

Another weapon, this one with unlimited movement!!  O_O  She comes with 2 face down crew, which does work because Edmund Cooke is aboard to give +1 to her cargo hold.

Another broad shot of the northeastern theater shows 3 of my 4 factions gathering resources.  The Cassandra unloaded the military port upgrade at the Pirates’ textiles island, meaning it will be upgraded next turn.  Next turn the Eagle will give the Resurrection Codex to the Zeus (uh oh… XD).  At the very bottom of the frame you can see the whirlpool that the Tempest created, which is where the Stormcloud, Black Pearl, and Sapphire Sea all went through.  The whirlpool was almost created to the northeast where the Flying Dutchman (11 point version) and Harbinger are located, but the Pirates decided they wanted arguably their best asset (the Stormcloud) in the Archipelago to better protect the Smoke’s Hand, especially because of Tia Dalma being on the Stormcloud.  The Vikings actually had one of their best turns in ages, cashing in lumber for 32 gold and adding 8 saved up gold to it for 40 total.  They spent a bunch of it on the Asgard and some crew.  The Vikings are hoping to get in on something wild that might happen soon.

A bit out of order, but here is the northwest.  The Americans have put a bunch of good ships in play, with the Blackwatch, Kettering, Mercury and Lamon making up what looks like a new strike force.  The Cursed are getting excited and cashed in resources to hire a crew.  They are unconcerned and have a flippant attitude at the moment.  The Wisp has returned home early with no cargo, a strange occurrence.

A full view of the ocean reminds me of how gigantic it is.  The substantial new action in the center is barely visible!  XD   Who knows what happens next?  I may have some ideas….

CG4 full ocean picture July 3rd 2020

Thanks for reading!  And definitely, stay tuned.  😀

A More Relaxed Turn in CG4 – June 10th, 2020

Feel free to check out Xerecs’ BR of the last few rounds before seeing the latest developments!

Two of PirateAJ14’s factions may be discussing an alliance!  “La Lyon pulled alongside the Ridderschap, but ran up the white flag, so negotiations may be in place…”  (this is in the southwestern part of the ocean)

As Xerecs mentioned in his report, the Spanish launched 2 sets of native canoes at Archipelago islands.  One set of their “standard” canoes from Savage Shores, and one set of unreleased canoes that are even better – 2 cargo spaces each moving L+S!

Spanish canoes at Archipelago islands

The Pirates have a ton of priorities, goals, and interests.  It’s tough to balance them all without being overwhelmed at the beginning of each of their turns!

The Pirates had to pivot on their launch strategy for this turn due to not enough space at the home island to launch many ships from.  153 gold in profit this turn and only 2 ships launched… but they are taking out their frustrations with that in a “constructive” way… XD

Pirate home island situation CG4 June 10th 2020

The Pirates are still dealing with logistics regarding the clash with the Corsairs.  The Darkhawk II put out her fire mast and got home with an AA to unload textiles.  The Osiris went to the Pirate HI via Eternal after her successful scuttle attempt last turn.

In the south area of “Pirate waters”, the Hai Peng and Warring Tribes are making all way towards home, with 4 move segments each this turn (latter via SAT).  The Tempest is off and running with an EA from Sean Cannonball Gallows, while a lot of ships docked home metals this turn.  At the lower right, the Amity has loaded 3 gold….

After PirateAJ14’s next turn we’ve got 4 rounds left until the next resource change.

Pirates Launch More Epic Customs and The Cursed Attack!!

CG4 continues to develop!  Here is the music mix I listened to for most of the Pirate turn.  Crazy enough, their post-turn period of launching and truly grand strategizing took even longer than their actual turn!!  O_O

I have to apologize for a rules gaffe on my part, and thank Xerecs for pointing it out to me.  During my last turn, the Stormcloud used the fog hopping ability inappropriately.  However, since it had effectively no impact on the game (the exact same result would have happened if the rule was followed perfectly), we have continued as usual.

New rule: No more than 2 of the same custom fort can be in play at once.

In a move that could potentially have ramifications for the rest of the game, the Pirates captured the Noble Swan!  The Warring Tribes began towing her and got Jack Hawkins’ SAT, moving 4S to start skedaddling back to the Pirates’ home island.  The Zephyr was initially the “designated tower”, but the Warring Tribes should be able to get the job done faster due to her SAT capabilities.  Just behind the Noble Swan you can see the Branwen covering the stern of the prize, just in case the Bonne Chance or Jades try anything in the near future.  In addition, the Devil’s Kiss and Lady’s Scorn are sailing out to help escort the small convoy home.

At the bottom of the frame, the Hai Peng has docked at the island the Sea Crane made land on this round!  She explored, finding textiles.  Although textiles are valuable right now at 5 gold apiece, the Pirates weren’t satisfied since they already have textiles so readily available just south of their HI.  In a rare moment for me, they took advantage of the Explorer ability’s bonus under the Economy Edition rules, rerolling for the island’s resource type and getting lumber instead!  This was fine with the Pirates, since it gave them a different resource type relatively close to their home island.  At this point, it has become clear that the Pirates aren’t too worried about what the Jades think of what they’re doing.  As the captain of the Virtuous Wind surely knows, the Pirates have now given the Jades the Plague (via the Dungeon a while back), captured the Noble Swan, and explored an island with the Hai Peng right out from under the Sea Crane.

Pirates capture the Noble Swan!

The lull in metals production has ended, with 5 ships docking home metals this turn.  They were converted to gold at the end of the turn, which gives an idea of the Pirates’ spending power….   Left of the resource system you can see that the Deliverance has taken the whirlpool inside the fogpool to a different location.

Post-battle cleanup efforts in full swing!  The Pirates finished their victory over the Barbary Corsairs by dismasting the final two galleys, the Osiris and Sphinx.  Due to the Giza’s effort to steal the Resurrection Codex last turn, the Red Star sank after being scuttled by the Pirates last turn.  However, the rest of the Pirate plan went perfectly – all three remaining Corsair galleys were captured!  The Splinter knocked out the last mast on the Osiris, while the Stormcloud dismasted the Sphinx.  The Stormcloud then used an EA to sail over so Tia Dalma could cancel the oarsman aboard the Osiris, allowing the Black Pearl to capture her.  Due to Raidamos’ Eternal ability, the Pirates immediately scuttled the Osiris to try and get her home to repair as quickly as possible.  The Giza and Sphinx were able to start rowing on their own power immediately after capture due to the handy Galley keyword.  A team-oriented logistics effort allowed the burning Darkhawk II to sail straight for home, rolling a 3 on the fire mast to keep it at bay for now.  Though, the Pirates could have put it out if they wanted to….   hehe.  🙂

After the light combat and medium-complexity towing logistics and logjam was over, the Pirates decided to risk trying to retake their textiles town right away!  The safest thing would be to wait for the Stormcloud or Zeus to arrive, but Bartholomew Roberts and Genny Gallows (both aboard the Akua Lapu!) agreed that an attack on the town was worth the risk.  However, they were embarrassed in their effort, losing the boarding attempt and the ship’s mizzenmast as a result.  Adding to their frustration was the Star of Siam, who was able to retake the town on her attempt despite no big-name pirates on board.  XD  The textiles island belongs to the Pirates once again!  The Coral and Raven immediately joined the Star of Siam in loading textiles, with some of the Pirate resource runners not even having their routine trips bothered by the brief but intense clash with the Corsairs.  The Cassandra can be seen east of the Zeus, trying to get the new military port upgrade to the island as fast as possible.  North at the home island, the Pandora was given an AA to reach home with 6 textiles tokens, the 30 gold from which would be used directly on the last Pirate purchase of the turn….

Off on her own, the Dungeon explored a wild island southwest of the Archipelago and found the Wine UT along with spices (resource not UT).

Then it was launch time!!  The Pirates had 138 gold to spend, and it worked out perfectly as they spent it all!  The first big chunk went to what looks like another WMD: the Tempest!!

Tempest
Point Value: 35
Number of Masts: 5
Cargo Space: 4
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 3S-3L-3L-3L-3S
Ability: Once per turn you may roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a whirlpool anywhere on the play area. | This ship can move through whirlpools without losing crew, masts, or treasure. | Give this ship a shoot action. A wave S wide and 2L long leaves the ship in one direction. Up to 2 masts of every ship in the path of the wave are eliminated. Eliminate one of this ship’s masts.

Flavor text: A mysterious and rarely sighted ship said to rival the power of the Flying Dutchman, the Tempest creates waterborne chaos wherever she sails. It is rumored she can travel under the waves without any harm to her or her crew. Those who don’t believe the legends are those who have yet to encounter the ship….

With a whopping 35 points to play with and plenty of gold to spend, the Tempest comes outfitted with a FULL crew complement: Hammersmith (Captain+Helmsman), Cannonball Gallows (EA), and 4 customs. Amos Carter for rerolling the EA, Henry Turner (from Dead Men Tell No Tales) to add a cargo space, a face down custom, and Aert van Tuyl. (Chieftain. Shipwright. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Pirate ships.) The new canoes were curiously launched at a wild island near the Spanish HI that Spanish cargo ships have been making trips to. The Natives of Madagascar canoes have the Possession ability built into each canoe, but only L speed. Aert van Tuyl is one of my weirder custom crew (arguably not actually, lol), and serves a dual purpose on the Tempest that doesn’t need to be revealed here. Let’s just say this was a turn in which the Pirates spent a LOT of time strategizing and thinking about long term plans… and more.  😀

Then the attention shifted to the northern half of the Pirate HI, where two new customs came into play, also with considerable crew complements.  The Shadows Hand (custom by Xerecs) is a fog hopping 5 master with good cannons.  Across the island from her is the Phantom, another custom from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna set.  She’s a 2 master with S speed for a whopping 15 points, but her wild ability set makes it understandable: essentially she’s got +2 to boarding rolls, 2 hits/mast defense, and gets D movement for turns when she rolls a 6.  O_O  Safe to say this isn’t the historically-driven Caribbean game!!   XD

That was the end of the Pirate turn, but not the end of their thinking… and amusing ideas.  😉

During this turn, the Pirates accomplished their main short-term goals: capture the Noble Swan and clean up from the Corsair battle (which meant finishing the victory, rounding up the rather epic prizes, and ensuring no Pirate ships were left behind).  They then launched the Tempest, arguably another WMD given her EA capabilities and a full complement of crew onboard.  The Pirates are hard at work on a project codenamed “GMS”….

In addition, the Pirates have a “mass surveillance” program that is helping them make decisions.  They now have a variety of “spies” in play – 5 total.  Many of them have been in the game for a number of turns now.  (listed with per-turn abilities) Between Carina Smyth (can look at all treasures on a wild island), Shansa (can look at two face down crew or treasure coins on any ships or islands), Raven’s Neck (one cargo on an island), Cassandra and Lucky the Parrot (can look at one cargo on a ship), the Pirates have the ability to see as many as approximately 9 cargo per turn across the map.  This network of spies has resulted in the Pirates having their eyes and surveillance activities in nearly every corner of the sea… just one of many things they have going for them right now.  It’s why they were able to single out and snag the Noble Swan so efficiently when they had a chance to do so.  It could also result in more short-term interests being investigated….

As you probably saw in the recent reports, the Americans had been amassing what looked like an attack force off the northeast side of the Cursed home island.  With 3 schooners and the Enterprise stationed there, the Cursed were curious as to American intentions.  Over a week ago the Cursed reached out to the Americans:

From: Captain of Grand Misfortune
To: American force off Cursed home island

… what is your purpose here? Do ya intend to attack… ?
IF so… ya may regret its….

The Cursed

However, by the time the Cursed turn was up this morning of May 9th, no response had been received.  Soon after the game started, the Cursed had become interested in a potential alliance with the Americans to share resource islands and information on which islands were the best to go to.  Between the Americans’ thinly veiled threat of “the newly assembled strike force is looking for a target…” last September and now the proximity of said strike force to the Cursed home island, the Cursed have a feeling they cannot trust the Americans.  They have been using what little purchasing power they have to put some defenses in place, mainly based around small raiders and UT combos.  With most of the American ships of the strike force in range of the Cursed, the Cursed decided…

IT WAS TIME TO ATTACK!!!!!

Check out the video to see the crazy stuff that went down!!!

The Repulsive Waste got things started, coming out of the fog and ramming the Enterprise head-on!  It may look like a severe mismatch, but the RW was just on a suicide mission to give the Enterprise the Plague!!  This killed all 3 of the Enterprise’s crew, leaving her much worse off in the short term for potential combat operations against the Cursed.

Then it was time for the next UT-based raider.  The Devil’s Sneer had been launched for one purpose only: carry Explosives.  She had the UT face down and was waiting inside the fog bank for the perfect time to strike.  The Cursed flagship is the Grand Misfortune, but none of her cannons (all L-range) can hit the Jarvis (who has L-immunity).  Therefore, the Jarvis was the perfect ship to simply eliminate from the battlefield so the Cursed didn’t have to deal with her!  The Devil’s Sneer got a lucky fog exit roll and slammed into the Jarvis!  She rolled a 2, but Explosives needs a 4-6 to work!  However, there was more to the story!!!!  Suddenly out of nowhere the die roll became a 6!!!!!  O_O    RUNES OF THOR!!!!!!  THE NOBLE SWAN HAS RUNES OF THOR!  The Pirates flipped the UT to detonate the Devil’s Sneer and the Jarvis!!  O_O  With a spectacular explosion both ships blew up.  Of course, the Pirates knew what they were doing – the Noble swan ALSO has Nemo’s Plans!  This means that UT’s like Runes of Thor that are normally eliminated after use remain aboard and can be used again!!  😀  The Pirates had anticipated using RoT on their turn to save the DHII from fire or to scuttle the Osiris, but didn’t really need it for anything.  Instead it was saved for a moment like this to cause maximum chaos.

From there it was time for the proper gunships to get in play.  The Devil’s Storm hopped out of the fog bank and maneuvered off the Boston’s stern (unable to get any guns in range of the Enterprise).  She shot 2/4 to eliminate a mast.  Then it was time for the Grand Misfortune!

The GM is absolutely loaded with UT’s, although she would use 2 from her arsenal here. (she started the turn with 7 UT’s aboard!)  The GM is only moving S+S, so she needed a little help to get in range of the American schooners.  Luckily for the Cursed, they found a LOT of help in the UT department from exploring earlier in the game.  Power Cannons AND Fireworks!  O_O  This gave the GM L+L range on all 6 of her cannons, along with +2 to her cannon rolls!  I couldn’t resist this unique and cool shot of the GM lining up her shots to devastate the Julius Caesar.

Cursed attack the Americans in CG4!!

The captain gave the order, and the Grand Misfortune blasted away!  She shot 5/6 to nearly dismast the Julius Caesar!  She really needed the Fireworks too, since 3 of the hits would have missed if not for the bonus.  Although the (probable) American counterattack on the Cursed could be effective, the Grand Misfortune has Metal Hull aboard, meaning she can’t be hit by cannon rolls less than 6!  She also has Eternal and an oarsman, so she has been equipped as a defensive powerhouse with short-term (aka: this turn) offensive theatrics.

Total damage assessment: 2 ships sunk (1 American, 1 Cursed), 3 masts eliminated, 4 crew killed in action (captain of the Jarvis + all 3 crew from the Enterprise).

Here’s a good view of the northwest area where the Cursed and Americans live.  Both factions have valuable resources right now, and the Americans look like they have quite a stockpile of metals available.  At the bottom you can see where the Deliverance emerged.  Her crew are observing the Cursed and hearing the sounds of the clash beyond the fog.

The northeast is still the busiest “quadrant” of the sea, as it is home to many of the game’s most prominent factions thus far.  The Vikings and Barbary Corsairs simply spent their turn gathering resources.

Now the possibilities with Runes of Thor become evident for the Pirates: even just using it on one of their AA crew basically gives them a guaranteed extra action anywhere in their fleet, every turn (without having to actually roll the 6).

Stay tuned, for more exciting developments await!  😀   Thanks for reading!

Huge Pirate Turn and Unveiling of a WMD – April 17th in CG4

After another turn of developments, one faction reigns supreme!  (for now)

New rules updates:
Celestine’s Charts and the S-Exploring ability will reset the resource values of islands.
Stinkpots and Chainshots are exempt from the 2 hits per mast rule (each hit of their type takes effect since they don’t eliminate masts).

After my last turn I decided to do the first point count of the game!

Point Count (after A7XfanBen’s turn on 4/7/2020)
Spanish: 8 ships, 105 points
Jade Rebellion: 4 ships, 45 points
The Conglomerate/Alliance: 5 ships, 60 points
English: 9 ships, 113 points
Pirates: 51 ships, ~870 points
Cursed: 9 ships, 107 points
Vikings: 10 ships, ~153 points
Barbary Corsairs: 17 ships, ~252 points
Dutch: 5 ships, ~64 points
Americans: 11 ships, ~154 points
Mercenaries: 2 ships, ~30 points
French: 8 ships, ~114 points
Totals: 139 ships, 2067 points!
(as with previous VASSAL campaign game point counts, I generally count face down crew and equipment as 3 points each, the ~ marks are therefore close estimates most of the time)

If you need to catch up on the last few turns, Xerecs’ video provides a nice summary.

The Pirates started their turn with a bang!  The Warring Tribes got an SAT from Jack Hawkins and dismasted the Noble Swan!  She used her Galley keyword to touch the NS, taking the Plague that Jack Hawkins protected the crew from.  Both myself and Xerecs declined to board.  The Zephyr and Branwen arrived to assist, and the recently launched “speed squad” was seemingly there in a flash!

Here is footage of the attack:

Attention soon shifted to the combat theater of the northeast.  The Selkie burned to the waterline, becoming the first ship in the game to be sunk!

The Pirates began blasting away at the Barbary Corsairs.  The Widowmaker and Splinter combined to take a mast off the Osiris (the BC flagship), but the real damage lay in the Agnis Crystalis – assuming she wouldn’t hit with both of her remaining 2S’s to take out a mast, her captain ordered the specialists to get to work.  Their shots rang true, slamming the Osiris with both a stinkpot and a chain shot!!  This means that the Osiris cannot use ANY of her MANY crew abilities on the next Corsair turn, and the Osiris can’t move either!  O_O  (the green token is for the stink, black for the chain – just so I wouldn’t forget later on… the Pirate turn took about 2.5 hours today!)

And then it was time… FOR THE WMD TO GET IN ACTION!!!!  The Stormcloud is a fog hopping 10 master that costs 47 points from Pirates of the Epic Seas!  Continuing the considerable good luck the Pirates experienced this turn, she got an EA from her linked captain, Robert Alcantara.  Popping out of a fog bank south of the Corsair position, she sailed north to hit the Sphinx.  There was much more to this story, as the Corsairs would soon find out….

ABSOLUTE PIRATE DOMINANCE!

This is when the Pirates were able to flex their might and completely pulverize the enemy.  Front and center was the Stormcloud.  Using her EA, she moved over to get 8 cannons in range of the Giza.  Ibrahan Vosely was sitting pretty, keeping the Giza from getting shot at while docked at the textiles island.  But then a weird smile came over the face of a pirate aboard the Stormcloud!  It was Tia Dalma!!  She cancelled Vosely’s ability, allowing the Stormcloud and any other Pirate ships within range to shoot at the Giza!  Pouring in a heavy fire, the Stormcloud went 4/8 while also taking a mast off the Sphinx with her stern guns.  The Akua Lapu started towing the Hades’ Flame, hitting 2/2 against the Giza.  The Eagle rounded the south side of the island and was just barely able to get both her 2L’s in range, hitting with both of them!   In an impressive display of force, the Pirates had gone 8/12 to completely dismast the Giza!!

Slightly northeast, the teamwork continued against the Osiris.  The Darkhawk II captured the Red Star (!), hitting the Osiris in the process.  The Pirates immediately tried to scuttle the Red Star, and got a 6!  This meant she would return to the Pirate home island fully repaired via the Resurrection Codex on the next turn!  O_O   The Black Pearl made a FAST entrance, sailing L+S+S+L+S+S down from the Pirate home island to lay a couple extra shots on the Osiris.  At the end of the turn, the Splinter got an extra action via Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight (EPoE) to shoot her 2S guns three additional times, hitting on all!  By the end of the turn the Pirates had taken 15 shots at the Osiris, knocking down all but one mast.

Pirate counterattack in CG4!

The Corsairs are in big trouble!  Making matters even worse for them, the Pirates have 4 additional gunships sailing south from their home island area, including Captain Blackheart on the Harbinger, and the Zeus.

The Pirates had been eagerly anticipating the grand reveal of their WMD, or “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (perhaps an alternate name would be Weapon of Mast Destruction).  This was the turn to do it, as they needed the Stormcloud’s full capabilities to really turn the tide against the Corsairs.  In addition to having fog hopping, EA w/reroll, and the basic captain/helmsman/oarsman available right now, she has a nasty combo going that makes her a true WMD.  Homemade Flag.  “Cannon ranges of enemy ships are reduced to S against this ship.”  O_O    When combined with Tia Dalma, I believe this essentially means she is invincible to cannon fire against one ship per turn that doesn’t have a canceller.  O_O  An enemy has to get within S to shoot at her, but then Tia Dalma cancels the other ship’s captain!!  Not to get too carried away because there are truly no unsinkable ships in Pirates CSG, but the Pirates basically have an invincible teleporting 10 master with full strike capabilities due to extra actions (whether from her linked crew, AA’s, or EPoE) and Bruce Grey’s World Hater ability to improve the cannons.  If that’s not a WMD within the confines of this game, I don’t know what is!   O_O  XD

Most of the attack was recorded!

The situation in the southeast near Pirate activity.  At their home island, this is the second turn in a row where they’ve had a lull in metals production.  However, that will change very soon, with at least 3 ships due to arrive home with metals next turn and a whopping 6 resource ships docking at the metals island today.  At that bottom right area, you can also see 3 Pirate ships that have round earthed to the south.  The Pirates have sent them to gather metals partly because they’re worth more than textiles right now, but especially because of the medium-scale conflict at the textiles island in the north.  The Lady’s Scorn has vague orders to escort the Hai Peng, but she can’t keep up!  At the upper left, a sighting of La Bonne Chance indicates that perhaps the French have interest in these waters.

The Pirates ended their turn by purchasing the first colony of the game, a military port for 50 gold.  They are not happy with the situation south of their home island and will not be “playing around” with resource system defenses in the future.  A handful of hybrids with captains was not enough, so the Pirates now seek to have total sea control of the area, possibly to an extreme degree until the Corsairs are long gone from that area.

It was finally time to move on to another faction, with the Cursed doing their normal resource operations trying to get textiles.  The American schooners off their home island are possibly awaiting the arrival of a 5 master or two.  Recognizing the recent rule change that allows ships at their home islands to be shot at, the Grand Misfortune gets underway.  Out of the picture, the Wisp continues to play ring around the rosie in the Turbulence.

In a sad moment (partly due to the music that happened to be on at the time), the Viking gunships off the contested textiles island turned away from the fight.  Despite having established an anti-Pirate alliance with the Barbary Corsairs (!!), the Vikings felt it futile to risk their few offensive assets against such a strong enemy when the battle for the island was clearly already lost (the Corsairs control the town for now but will be slaughtered when the Stormcloud arrives to retake it).  The Corsairs understand but are still disappointed with them.  I am revealing this alliance for the battle report, but the Pirates don’t know for sure that an agreement has been made between the factions (neither has made any public announcement in-game).  The Corsairs and Vikings had actually been planning a coordinated pincer attack on the island for quite some time ever since the Pirates forcefully claimed ownership of the island in August 2019.

The Vikings couldn’t get to the battle in time and now Pirate dominance is back in the area. Zeus with EPoE + others is just too devastating a prospect for the Vikings to handle, especially since they are weak.  The Corsairs felt it was the time to strike (now or never, and it pretty much was with more Pirate gunships on the way regardless), and didn’t want to wait for the Vikings to arrive just to have “perfect” timing.  It does seem unlikely that the Muninn and Diversion+Odin’s Mortar (flotilla) trio would have been able to turn the tide fully in favor of the allies, but it would have made things more complicated for the Pirates.  Part of the problem today was that the Vikings still weren’t within good attacking range of the Pirates, so although they probably could have taken off a mast or two from Pirate gold runners, the Zeus was getting in very solid position to completely whack them next turn (not to mention the Stormcloud potentially moving L+S+L+S to assist).  On top of all that, the Vikings didn’t get an AA from Sigurd Andersen, and don’t feel particularly indebted to the Corsairs since the Vikings were the ones who got attacked by the Pirates last year.  The Corsairs and Vikings are still allies as of today, but it’s more of “unite against a common enemy” than actually being best friends at sea….

The Vikings did convert 5 new lumber tokens to 20 gold, launching the Wiglaf with a captain, helmsman, and oarsman.  They plan to use her as a hybrid for now and would prefer to stay well clear of the super-dangerous Pirates.

The Corsair turn was… futile at best, embarrassing at worst.  After the revenge exacted by the Pirates, it was the complete polar opposite of their last turn.  They have gone from triumphant to trashed in the span of one bloody round.  The Sphinx did manage to put out her fire mast and hit the DHII with fire shot… though, the Corsairs were almost hoping for the equipment to backfire and set the ship alight again, merely to make it less likely the Pirates would inevitably capture the Sphinx very soon.  Unable to move or use her various crew abilities, the Osiris hit the Agnis Crystalis, taking her down to one mast.

Now for some fun strategy: The Corsairs had a brilliant idea to steal the Resurrection Codex with the Giza (who had an oarsman), which would make the Red Star sink normally on the Pirate turn from scuttling (denying the Pirates from being able to use her when the Codex warped her to the Pirate HI).  It would also protect the Giza, which was annoying to capture due to her oarsman (in which case the Pirates may have just sunk her and triggered the Codex to get her out of the battle area).

With hope pretty much lost, the Corsairs decided to go for broke again.  The Giza got her EA!  This would theoretically give her two chances to steal the Codex from the Red Star.  She rowed around to touch the derelict Red Star.  The Giza lost a boarding party of mastless ships 2-3 (lol), losing all of her crew due to the Red Star having Massacre!  The helmsman-less Giza was barely able to maneuver for her EA, but managed to turn her oars into the Red Star and board again.  This time she won 2-1 (lol at futility after last turn’s epicness and bravery) to take the Codex!  Her scuttle attempt failed.  If Giza had won the first boarding party, it’s possible the Pirates would only be coming away with 1 prize (Osiris) instead of 3.  Instead, they may be able to capture all the Corsair galleys in the area, as long as they get help from Tia Dalma to cancel oarsmen.

Corsair futility

This shows the northeast theater, with a big mess created by the first major outbreak of conflict.  At the left, you can see the Vikings turning for home, not willing to commit precious assets to a lost cause.  Raidamos, captain of the Osiris, signaled for the Crescent Moon and Algiers to stay far away from the battle, with any help efforts likely to result in those ships being captured by the Pirates.  They have turned to port and will likely grab textiles from the island the Corsairs are now sharing with the English.  In a faint glimmer of hope, the Agha’s Whip has finally returned to the Corsair HI!  She unloaded 3 food tokens from an island northeast of the Pirate HI.

Huge Pirate Turn and Unveiling of a WMD - April 17th in CG4

The turn ended in somber fashion, with the upstart allies failing in their effort to take down the mighty Pirates at the textiles island.  However, these fleets are just 3 out of 12 in play, with many more developments still to come!

The last few rounds are one of the best examples I’ve ever seen of the extreme momentum shifts Pirates CSG games can have.  The Corsairs started their last turn with 16 masts on 4 galleys.  Despite the 2 hits per mast rule, they ended this turn with just 2 masts standing on those 4 galleys.  In a really wild single-ship example, the Giza went from being fully crewed and having triumphantly taken over the textiles town (literally shooting off Fireworks!  XD) to being completely dismasted with all her crew dead just a turn later.  The Corsairs’ devastating attack led to a complete utter catastrophe for them immediately afterwards due to how good the Pirates are right now.  The Pirate counterattack was one of the best I’ve ever seen, and swung the momentum completely back in their favor.

Admiral A7XfanBen sits down at the table with Lord Henry McLean (Captain Mysion of course) and Robert Alcantara.  Evil pirate laughs ring throughout the night.  Commence nuclear launch system… the Stormcloud is quite operational….

Points in Play + Gold at 3 Players, 50 points – April 11th, 2020

We played again!  (previously on April 9th)  We decided to up the ante, using a 50 point build total along with one of my favorite house rules – at the end of the game, we would add up our points in play AND ending gold totals for a final score.

The American player rolled to go first, but we allowed him to defer and go last, therefore being able to choose his home island first.  This led to me going first again, but this time with a French fleet.  (all game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet)

La Bonne Chance + captain
Le Triton + helmsman, explorer
Le Courageux + captain, helmsman
La Belle Poule + helmsman

Spain went second:
El Neptuno + captain, helmsman, cannoneer, explorer
El Duque + captain, helmsman
La Cazadora + captain, helmsman, oarsman

The Americans chose to have their home island right in the middle.
Bonhomme Richard + captain, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Jarvis + captain, helmsman
USS Sea Tiger

I wanted to introduce terrain, and we went ahead and strung some of it together and had it touching islands. Only 2 wild islands would likely make combat inevitable, with 8 coins on each.

With a relatively tight setup, it was somewhat surprising to see no shots fired on the first turn. The Americans were the only fleet to not split their forces, mostly due to the terrain.

The Courageux shot 2/2 to smash the Duque, who was then seen fleeing for home. The Bonne Chance sort of failed at her escort duty, as the Neptuno got a pair of 6’s with her sniping ability to sink the Belle Poule! This eliminated 17 total points from play, as the BP was carrying 8 gold. The Triton picked up some awesome coins and headed for home.

Major conflict erupts between the Americans and Spanish!! This was taken before the Bonhomme Richard even shot, as the Jarvis went 3/3 against the Neptuno.

Bloodbath at the contested wild island! The Bonhomme Richard sinks the Neptuno, but the French sink the Sea Tiger with the Bonne Chance! A total of 29 points sinks to the bottom.

The Americans get revenge, dismasting the Bonne Chance! The Courageux and Triton have unloaded a total of 5 coins on the French HI.

The Spanish looked to regroup and repair, with the Cazadora somewhat lucky to return home with a coin fully intact. As the French I was disappointed to have lost 2 ships already, but the Triton headed out to “her” wild island for a second trip.

The Americans capture the Bonne Chance as the Duque finishes repairing:

I maneuvered the Courageux around the HI – although the Courageux likely could have sunk the captured Bonne Chance, she might have been sunk or captured herself soon afterwards by the Bonhomme Richard. The Spanish arrived through a whirlpool to block the Triton’s path home, but she whirled to the other side of the French HI. The Jarvis loaded the last coin from the bloody island.

The French convinced the Spanish to sail the Duque towards the Bonhomme Richard (to block her path home) instead of shooting at the Triton, but the Duque struggled, getting stuck in a sargasso sea! The Cazadora went for it but was soon dismasted by the Courageux. The BR docked home the captured Bonne Chance as the Triton unloaded her final haul.

The BR made room for the Jarvis to end the game by unloading the final coin!

It turned out to be an awesome “banger” of a game, with the final scores almost too close to be believed!
French: 64 total points in play (36 from gold alone)
Americans: 63 (54 from ships and crew)
Spanish: 31

O_O The French win a 64-63-31 victory! We all had a lot of fun and will likely use the points in play house rule in the future! 😀 Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more of this, or CG4! 🙂

2 New Pirates Players! April 9th, 2020

Today I taught 2 new Pirates players!  They took to the game extremely well and we all enjoyed it.  For now I just have a small traveling collection that fits in one of the small tins, which doesn’t include my blue fabrics or regular camera.  However, it was fun to play a physical game again!

It was a basic 40 point introductory game, using my Basic Rules as the default for now. Here were the fleets in play order: (you can find all the game pieces in the Master Spreadsheet)

English (A7XfanBen)
HMS Goliath + captain, helmsman
HMS Durham + captain, helmsman, explorer, oarsman

Spanish
El Neptuno + captain, helmsman
El Duque + captain, helmsman
El Picador + helmsman

Americans
Bonhomme Richard + captain, helmsman, explorer
Julius Caesar + captain, helmsman

We used 6 islands total with 4 coins on each of the 3 wild islands.  Partway through the first round:

The Durham got home with a couple coins as each fleet looked to snag some treasure.  El Neptuno went 0/5 with her sniping ability against the Goliath.

The Neptuno closes the gap and hits 2/5 to smash the English!

My retaliation was swift but not entirely effective – although the Durham went 4/4 and killed the Neptuno’s helmsman in a boarding party, the Goliath shot 0/3 on her way home.

The Spanish continued to be aggressive, with the Duque sailing over to support the Neptuno despite having 2 coins aboard.  She shot 2/2 against the Durham, with the Neptuno trying to escape but missing her only shot.

All fleets gold all their gold home successfully, with the English dismasting the Neptuno in the process of docking at home to repair.

In the end the Spanish were victorious by a narrow margin by a score of 12-10-10!
Spain: 12 gold
English and Americans: 10 gold each

Thanks for reading!  We hope to play again soon, possibly even instituting some house rules already.  😀

Defense of St. Helens deathmatch scenario on VASSAL with Xerecs!

Get VASSAL here: https://pirateswithben.com/vassal/

Get the Defense of St. Helens map I made here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mk2jmgri9pb079h/Defense%20of%20St.%20Helens.vsav?dl=0

Here is the Defense of St. Helens scenario, created by Gustawicyryl: https://www.deviantart.com/gustawicyryl/art/Map-St-Helens-Island-92117099

Another EPIC Campaign Game Attack!! (April 7th 2020 in CG4)

Wow!!  What a fun day of play for me in VASSAL Campaign Game 4!  After PirateAJ14 and Xerecs completed their latest turns, my four factions were up.

As always the Pirates led things off for me, with a bunch of their new ships scattering west of their home island.  The canoes are headed home, while the Zeus is in the process of “round earthing” to the northern half of the map.

Speaking of the northern half of their home island… the Selkie gets in action!  She was finally able to land a sniping hit on one of the Corsair galleys, lighting the Sphinx aflame with exploding shot!  This put a small dent in the Corsairs’ plans and killed a Corsair oarsman.

The Pirate strategy was one of deterrence.  The Selkie was out front taking potshots at the Barbaries, but she was soon joined by numerous fleetmates.  The Agnis Crystalis (5 master at bottom center) and Splinter have been following the Selkie southwards.  To augment that 3-ship line, the Pirates began to bring their hybrids to bear.  The Darkhawk II and Akua Lapu headed southeast to up the Pirate numbers, while the Widowmaker flotilla and Rover (latter designated as a tugboat, mostly for derelict rescue) helped to plug the gap between the Agnis Crystalis and the much slower Splinter.  The captain of the Agnis Crystalis shouted a warning to the captain of the Sphinx… “we are prepared to use our WMD!”  The Corsairs weren’t entirely sure of what that meant….

The Eagle stayed on the west side of the textiles island, both because she couldn’t maneuver towards the Corsairs very effectively this turn and to protect the other side of the island from potential Viking attack in the near future.  At the top of the picture you can see 2 of the 3 new Pirate ships – they took in textiles and metals this turn and spent all 79 gold it amounted to.  The Black Pearl and Harbinger are decked out with action generators, while the Sapphire Sea (one of my custom schooners) was launched from the southern half of the HI but plans to join the others and head south.

However, the northeast wasn’t the only area with tension.  Multiple American ships are bearing down on the Cursed home island – 3 of their classic schooners, with a couple 5 masters coming behind out of frame.  The Cursed have loaded up the Grand Misfortune with a bevy of UT’s.  Three small Cursed ships are clustered in a fog bank as most of the other Cursed ships head southeast to get textiles (quite the popular resource these days).  The Wisp is off in the southeast having serious difficulty getting through the ring of fog that surrounds an island in the Turbulence area.

The Vikings had a little awkward moving to do but have a bunch of ships headed home with lumber, currently worth 4 gold apiece.  Then it was time for the Barbary Corsairs….

The Corsairs had been waiting many MONTHS for this moment.  A moment in time where they could finally get back at the Pirates.  The Pirates claimed the textiles island for themselves, and now had a town on it to prevent the other factions from loading any resources from it (both the Corsairs and Vikings had explored the island previously).  With careful planning, optimal UT placement, and some powerful custom warships, the Corsairs were finally both ready and able to make a calculated strike!

However, at this point in time, it could be argued that an attack on the Pirates looked like a bad idea.  The Pirates had not only launched the custom Stormcloud 10 master in recent turns, but also the Zeus last turn.  They had many more ships in their fleet than the Corsairs, including more gunships and various hybrids being used to escort resource carriers to and from the textiles island.  However, the Corsairs wanted to make a move NOW, and since the Pirates have super-valuable metals readily available, they would likely only get stronger and stronger as time went on.  The Corsairs were afraid that the Pirates would beef up their defenses even more in the coming turns, and decided it was essentially “now or never”.

From a few pictures above, you can see the quartet of custom 4 masted galleys the Corsairs had sailing west: Osiris (the flagship), Red Star, Sphinx, and Giza.  The Corsair turn started with great luck, getting an AA from Kheir-ed-din aboard the Crescent Moon and the Osiris getting an SAT from Danvian Arrestelos.  With that, it was decided.  The Corsairs would carry out their sudden attack as planned!

The Sphinx got things started!!  Sailing up to the Selkie, she connected on 2 of her 3 shots to set the Pirate sniper aflame with a newly revealed fire shot!  Paying no heed to the flames on their own deck, the Corsairs showed they meant business and would use their war galleys as needed!

THEN IT WAS TIME.  For the ultimate attack!!  The Red Star moved S+L+S into position, carefully maneuvering to get close to enemy Pirate vessels while maintaining a strong line of sight on many of them… she was then given an AA to shoot!

NEPTUNE’S TRIDENT!!!!!

NEPTUNE'S TRIDENT!!!!!

O_O

In a HUGE move, the Corsairs knock out 14 Pirate masts, with SEVEN ships in the path of the tidal wave!  From west to east, the Eagle, Hades’ Flame, Akua Lapu, Dragon, Darkhawk II, Agnis Crystalis, and Selkie all lost 2 masts.  (Woelf’s recent answer to a different question confirms that the wave blast should eliminate masts as normal despite the 2 hits per mast house rule we’re using in this game)  The Red Star lost all of her masts, but the Corsairs have a brilliant plan to scuttle her – with the Resurrection Codex!  XD  Their luck continued, with the ship rolling a 5 on the successful scuttle attempt.  As long as the Red Star isn’t towed before the Corsairs’ next turn, she’ll get a “super-Eternal” effect and show up fully repaired at the BC home island!  This had been the Corsairs’ plan for the Red Star all along – essentially sacrifice the ship at the opportune moment to cause maximum damage with the Trident, then scuttle the ship and get her back to the battle as a “normal” ship as fast as possible via the Codex.  😀

The Corsairs weren’t done yet!!  The Osiris used her SAT to move 6S and broadside the Agnis Crystalis, hitting 3/4 to take out a mast (and a half).  Then it was the Giza’s turn.  Continuing the amazing Corsair luck throughout the turn, she got her built-in EA and was able to move S+L+S x2 to dock at the Pirate textiles town!  Shooting next, she revealed yet another Corsair UT – Fireworks!  However, it didn’t help, as the Giza only shot 1/3 with improved cannons to partially damage the Darkhawk II.

The Giza still had an important final role to play – attempting to capture the town!  She rolled a 6 and the textiles island has changed hands from Pirate to Corsair!!  This was the Corsairs’ main goal all along – claim the important island as their own!!  To put the final icing on a delicious cake filled with great combos and tactical prowess, a new custom crew appeared on the Giza’s deck – Ibrahan Vosely, who prevents the ship from being shot at while docked!  Now the Giza can sit at the island and protect it if needed, possibly providing a useful buffer against the likes of the Eagle, who has a captain on the west side of the island.

Another EPIC Campaign Game Attack

Look at the Carnage!!

(the white pennants represent partial damage, or the first of two hits required to eliminate each mast)

You can also witness footage of the entire attack!

For now at least, the overall theater is in favor of the Barbary Corsairs as the first major conflict of the game has erupted in rather dramatic fashion.  The Pirates still have considerable firepower in the area, but perhaps most important is the firepower that will be arriving in the coming turns.  The Pirates have a pair of 10 masters in addition to the four gunships headed south from the east side of their home island, not to mention any launches in the coming turns as valuable metals continue to pour into Pirate coffers.  The battle for the coveted textiles island has just begun, and it looks like like another faction may even get involved – notice the Viking ships Diversion and Muninn sailing southeast….

The Algiers and Crescent Moon have headed west from the Corsair HI for as many as three reasons: provide firepower backup for the main gunships; gather textiles from the island now that they are able to once more; if the Corsairs lose the battle quickly, tow home any potential derelicts they can salvage.

After last turn the Corsairs reached out to the English about sharing in the valuable spoils of this textiles island that the English have been going to.  The English are fine if the Corsairs explore and load the resource, and so they have done so with the Queen of Sheba and Marrakesh.  Additional galleys are on their way, but the Corsairs hope they can make the shorter trip west (instead of south) if they can retain control of the contested textiles island.

A shot of the whole ocean shows the fleets growing at various rates, and the first real hotspot of hostile activity!  (right click and open in a new tab to see full size!)

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 April 7th 2020

PS: The post has “another” in the title due to all the grand campaign game attacks I’ve done in the past (though this is the first “big one” of CG4).

Tensions Rising – April 1st 2020

Before this turn, we amended the fort rules slightly.  Unlike before, forts shut down their island’s production of resources AND gold (instead of just resources).  However, gold stored in an upgraded fort can be used to launch ships and crew, not only gold from the home island.

The first play of April saw some interesting developments!  Here you can see some of the newest Pirate ships scattering away from the home island as they take sail for the first time.  The Warring Tribes got her SAT and took off at a whopping 8S, one of the fastest single-turn speeds ever seen on a 5 master.  The Zephyr was close by after receiving an AA, of which the Pirates had 2 at the beginning of their turn (Jean Laffite and Captain Elizabeth Swann launched at the end of their last turn), and 3 by the end of their turn!  O_O  The Hai Peng was off and running at her rather typical L+S+L+S speed.  The new native canoes redocked to load metals as 4 cargo ships docked home a total of 12 metal tokens for 72 gold.  Combining that with 30 gold from textiles in the north and 12 saved up gold, the Pirates spent lavishly once again, blowing through all 114 gold for 4 new ships!  You can see two of them at the bottom – the Zeus is loose!  She comes into play with Lord Henry McLean aboard, usually known as Captain Mysion.  My custom version of him has AA and World Hater, giving the Pirates 3 AA crew, all with Reroll on their ships.  Just north of the Zeus is the newly launched Deliverance from Crimson Coast.

Shifting gears to the northwest, you can see various American ships sailing towards the Cursed!  The Cursed have been preparing the best they can in the case of an American attack – the Grand Misfortune carries numerous UT’s, while the Dark Pact’s load of lumber helped them put two new ships in the water this turn.  The Devil’s Storm and Devil’s Sneer, both custom ships from my Epic Seas set.  The Americans also have metal readily available, so they don’t look like they’ll be suffering anytime soon.

Here is the entire Viking fleet in the north.  Sigurd Andersen has moved his flag from the Donar to the Polaris, where he is more likely to be successful rolling for his AA ability.

Now THIS is where it is interesting right now.  The Selkie took another potshot at the Corsairs from 4L range, this time missing with Chain Shot on a 4.  The Corsairs have 4 of my best 4 masted galleys sailing west with plenty of crew aboard.  The Corsairs are trying to stay out of range of the Pirates, who are beefing up their defenses of their textiles island.  The Selkie, Agnis Crystalis and Splinter have formed a small line of battle, while the Mermaid let go of the Widowmaker flotilla on her way home to avoid taking extra firepower out of the area.  In addition, two new Pirate ships were launched from the northern half of their home island – the #300 (11 point) Flying Dutchman with a full complement of basic weaponry, and the Coral with a helmsman and oarsman.  In addition, the Pirates have been using armed merchants as a deterrence force, with the Akua Lapu, Darkhawk II and Eagle all carrying captains on their textiles trips.  At the upper right, a long journey is nearly complete – the Agha’s Whip has round earthed and is nearly home with her long-awaited haul of foreign resources!

The Pirates’ claim to their textiles island (with a town upgrade) has forced the Corsairs to spread out their fleet.  Three ships arrive home with spices from the northeast, while three more make the same trip they are returning from.  Three more galleys head south towards a textiles island where the English have an encampment.  Two Corsair ships have just docked there, with a letter from the unknown Corsair leader explaining to the English that the Corsairs would like to trade freely with the English and cause them no difficulties.

Note that the English have also spread their resource gatherers lately.  I intend to report more on factions that are not my own in the future, but right now my fleets seem to have the most going on and are feeling some rising tension.  Not to mention, Xerecs has been doing a great job with his video reports that concern the general goings-on across the sea.

HUGE Resource Change and Big Pirate Launch – March 2020

CG4 has resumed at last!  After 3 and a half months of inactivity, the grand campaign is back.

On the previous turn, the Corsairs spent their windfall on a bunch of grand custom warships!  This included the Osiris, their flagship from Pirates of the Epic Seas, my fantasy custom set.  I would love to say more but not quite yet!  🙂

We just had a momentous resource change, with a 4 being rolled for value and a max turn duration of 12!  O_O  This meant that metals were the new “king resource” at 6 gold apiece, with textiles worth 5.  With both resources readily available, the Pirates looked to epitomize the rich getting richer with this change.  Given the somewhat substantial distances between islands, the duration of the resource change also gives factions an opportunity to head for new islands or make long trips to valuable islands, knowing that the values will hold long enough for them to get all the way back home before the next resource change occurs.

The Pirates ended their play turn with 39 metal tokens, which they cashed in for a windfall of 234 gold!  They combined this with 10 saved gold for a total of 244, of which they spent 232 to launch 11 new ships!  You can see all but one of them at the southern half of their home island, with various customs making it into play.  The Warring Tribes with Rastarius Cain makes an entrance, with the latter being a Chieftain for the Gravedigger’s Death Sentence native canoe set.  The Pirates also launched some additional cargo ships to optimize their resource system, as they plan to send extra ships north to maximize their metal production.

CG4 March 2020 developments

The Agnis Crystalis and Splinter head south from the northern half of the Pirates’ home island (right of the reefs jutting south).  The Pirates have also launched the Branwen, a custom fog hopping 3 master by Xerecs.  All 7 Corsair galleys that were home last turn sailed out, with the quartet of 4 masted galleys heading west.

Stay tuned for more developments!