Second Point Count of the Game! +Threats and Cursed Crew Swap (CG4)

No play to report on here, but a record-breaking point count and some additional details.

Point Count (after my faction turns ending 8/16/2020)
-I counted deckplates rather than ships (I’ve done the latter for Hidden Trove purposes), which explain any discrepancies. Face down crew/equipment were counted as 3 points each as a theoretical/potential “average” when I didn’t know what crew they were. (with the exception of my own fleets, which should have the point count exact)

Spanish: 15 ships, 243 points
Jade Rebellion: 3 ships, 39 points
The Conglomerate: 10 ships, 122 points
English: 15 ships, 215 points
Pirates: 107 ships, 2,533 points (+312 from Catapults and oarsmen on HI+textiles MP, +300 from 5 Military Ports and the towns included in their effective cost, +45 from Skull Valley and its fort upgrade) (Grand Total=3190 points/gold in play)
The Cursed: 24 ships, 961 points (+30 from Catapults and oarsmen on HI, +290 from 2 Military Ports w/towns, 4 fort upgrades, and 10 for Figlar Castle) (Grand Total=1281 points/gold in play)
Vikings: 13 ships, 227 points in play
Barbary Corsairs: 24 ships, 424 points in play (+30 from Catapults and oarsmen on HI for 454 total)
Dutch: 6 ships, 76 points
Americans: 16 ships, 255 points
Mercenaries: 6 ships, ~87 points
French: 8 ships, ~115 points
Total: 250 ships, 5,297 points in play
-The count of 247 ships from the above numbers must be lower because of canoe/etc discrepancies.
Total with extra stuff included (island upgrades, catapults, etc): 6,304 points/spent gold in play

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 is now the biggest ever virtual campaign game in known Pirates CSG history!  😀 (the previous record being CG1 at 3,516 total points)

The Pirate fleet is the biggest of all time by points in play!  They beat my American fleet from CG3, who topped out at 2,414 total points.

Points Per Ship: (these use regular totals, not grand totals)
Spanish: 16.2 points/ship
Jade Rebellion: 13 points/ship
The Conglomerate: 12.2 points/ship
English: 14.3 points/ship
Pirates: 23.7 points/ship
The Cursed: 40 points/ship (!)
Vikings: 17.5 points/ship
Barbary Corsairs: 17.7 points/ship
Dutch: 12.7 points/ship
Americans: 15.9 points/ship
Mercenaries: 14.5 points/ship
French: 14.4 points/ship
Average: 21.2 points/ship (5297/250; number would be 19.2 without The Cursed)

By Player:
Xerecs: 43 ships, 619 points (17.2% of ships in play, 11.7% of points in play)
A7XfanBen: 168 ships, 4,145 points (67.2% of ships in play, 78.3% of points in play)
PirateAJ14: 36 ships, 533 points (14.4% of ships in play, 10.1% of points in play)

The last point count was in April, which showed 139 ships in play for 2067 total points. So in the last 4 months we have added 111 ships and 3230 points!

On their last turn, The Cursed did some swapping on the Chimeratron Legacy, their new flagship.  She dumped Makuta and the Powder Kegs equipment on their home island. From their spending spree she loaded Gorast from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna, who has the Makuta keyword (not the same as the crew) for +2 to cannon rolls along with the Canceller ability.  The Savior of the Antichrist (from my Epic Seas set) came aboard to provide the Doctor ability.  Iron-Plated Hull (from the_grandmaster’s Back to War set) gives her another defensive ability.  All in all The Cursed had realized their initial setup was not optimal and have made the adjustments to get the ship ready for her maiden voyage.  She loses Extended Range and Makuta’s ability (the latter of which wouldn’t really work anyway since the possessed crew take up point space on the ship, which is maxed out at 90 points!), but gains Canceller, Doctor, and a defensive ability, while retaining the Makuta keyword’s cannon bonus.

Another Threat

From Robert Alcantara to all the other factions in the game: “If you try to take out the Arcane, we will obliterate you. She is your source of gold and hope in this game. With the recent influx of gold for the Pirates, it is too late to try and take out the Arcane in order to stop the Pirates. That cat is out of the bag!!”

O_O

RECORD BREAKING GOLD. EXTORTION. ARMS RACE.

RECORD BREAKING GOLD. EXTORTION. ARMS RACE.

As always, VASSAL Campaign Game 4 continues to explode.  The weekend of August 14th-16th of 2020 saw the biggest single-round total gold income I have ever seen or comprehended!!  O_O

As always, it could be useful to have the Customs Database up for reference while digesting the events of the report.

We start with the Spanish, currently Xerecs’ most numerous faction.  They launched a new set of native canoes (Savage Shores version).

Next comes the Conglomerate, another fleet that Xerecs launched things for on his turn.  In a hugely newsworthy event, the Conglomerate have introduced another Copier into the game!!  Mata-Nui!  Helyrex is on the same ship with Reroll, meaning that if the Conglomerate wants to copy the Arcane’s ability, they’ll have two cracks at it, much like the other factions and pretty much identical to the Vikings’ Arcane rolling situation.  This whole Arcane business is becoming a meta game within the game!  XD

The English launched as well.  They added an AA with Reroll combo.  Here is a shot showing much of the northeastern chunk where 3 factions are in somewhat close proximity to each other.  From west to east, the Pirates, Corsairs, and English.  The Pirates have their own textiles island, while the Corsairs and English are sharing the one at the bottom of the picture.

Showing Off a Bit

Before Xerecs’ turn, the Pirates decided to randomly interject and reveal one of their new 10 master setups. Partly to remove any suspicions of the setup being illegal (not that anyone thinks I’m cheating), but also to serve as knowledge for the other factions to know how powerful these ships are looking. 🙂 Tee-hee! 🙂

Slave Revolt (from my Pirates of the Epic Seas custom set)

Crew: Havana Black (Sac Captain), Vincenzo Gambi (Massacre + World Hater), Captain Davy Jones (repossess the dead on 6’s; Fear), Capitaine Chevalle (Cargo Wrecking), Blackfoot Bill (WK unreleased-“When this ship is damaged, remove any crew member, except this one, instead of a mast.”), The Stump (2 point reducer) Grappleshot Specialist, helmsman, oarsman.

Equipment: Streamlined Hull (makes base move L instead of S)

In sum, the Pirates have a 10 master moving L+S with sac capability that utilizes a “sadistic recycling strategy”.  The ship has multiple ways to kill a ton of enemy crew (Massacre with grappling for extra boards + Cargo Wrecking with 10 cannons that are essentially boosted to almost all rank-3’s or better via Gambi), and then comes the nasty part.  CDJ can potentially repossess the victims, who are then sacced by Havana Black to further fuel the ship’s malicious intents.  When the ship comes under fire, repossessed victims will be placed in the line of fire by Blackfoot Bill so enemy shots kill their own instead of taking any masts off.  I may make a new name for this: the “zombie loop”.

(A few clarifications to avoid any future confusion- “This ability may be used when any crew is eliminated, regardless of previous ownership.”  From the Code, meaning CDJ’s ability is voluntary as with most other abilities.  Crew need to remain eliminated for effects to apply properly, so it’s good that I can’t loop it indefinitely with HBlack and Blackfoot Bill – their abilities require crew to stay eliminated)

The ship also gets +1 to her boarding rolls for every crew assigned to her, so with 9 crew aboard her base boarding roll starts at 19.  O_O  XD

This wild setup comes to 68 points total.  The cargo comes to 37 points compared to the ship cost of 31, but The Stump subtracts 1 point each from the other 8 crew aboard for 26 points of crew (34 originally), bumped to 29 TOTAL points that count with Streamlined Hull at the modified cost of 3.  The ship has 9 cargo spaces because Havana Black links to the ship, and 8 cargo that take up space (8 crew) along with the equipment and oarsman that don’t.  Whew!  XD  (so somehow there is still technically room for 2 points and 1 cargo lol)

 

And now that I’m writing the full battle report… why not do a reveal of the Hera as well?!  XD Some random abilities excluded.

Hera (from Epic Seas)
Crew: Red Legs Greaves (Captain+Helmsman), Cheng I (AA+cheerleading effect), El Castellano (Reroll+Parley), Kerkah (+2 to cannons and boards), Derrik the Red (Sac+World Hater), Jonah, oarsmen x2.
Equipment: Dinghy (This ship gets +1 cargo spaces. This equipment does not take up cargo space. This ship may explore an island or ship within S of this ship as a free action.)

Here we have a 10 master with (essentially) nearly all rank-1 cannons along with Sac capabilities and a Zeus-based movement bonus.  She will have plenty of support.

 

Pirate Play Turn

The Pirates have so much going on every turn that I’ve made a spreadsheet documenting many of the ships in their fleet.  It provides a quick and easy reference on each ship’s total speed, abilities aboard, and mission.  For some of the ships it also includes current open cargo spaces, and cannons (if the ship has the Captain ability and especially if the cannons are modified with bonuses/etc).

At the southern part of the Pirate HI, a large number of resource gatherers go to and from the metals island.  Plumb Point Lighthouse has its first turn in action!  The light emitted L+L from its base immediately helps many of the cargo ships sailing about.  6 ships docked home resources for the Pirates this turn, netting them 112 gold.  That included the Hai Peng, who returned with a lumber token from an island to the west of this area that the Jade Rebels have also explored.  The Turbulence sped out towards the metals island and used Dinghy (which allows the ship a free action to explore a ship or island within S of it) to transfer the newest Military Port upgrade to the Cursed Blade.  The Cursed Blade docked at the metals island and unloaded the token, giving the Pirates another Military Port!  At the left, the Sapphire Sea is towing the captured Morning Star through the fogpool.

Just like last turn, Pirate ships near the northern part of their home island are told to stay away.  The Pirates have something big coming.  The still-damaged Darkhawk II simply heads south, with her captain figuring that even if he can’t repair at the first military port to the south, the ship can at least grab some textiles and take them home as normal.  There is room at the home island for the Agnis Crystalis to dock and start repairing… but she hides in a fog bank instead.  Ships heading home take in sail and avoid coming close enough to dock.  These are strange times indeed… but for VERY good reason….

The Pirates are becoming more brash, with the newly launched Stormy Night using her ability to move the American ship Harlequin (far to the northwest) onto a sargasso sea.  The Gale Force Nine revealed my Copper Sheathing equipment to boost her base move to L+L.

Off to the races!  The new Pirate ships launched last turn from the textiles MP (Military Port) generally head east.  The Splinter is the first to reach and cross the whirlpool… perhaps the Pirates are heading to attack the hated Corsairs?  This extremely impressive squadron is just beginning.  Above the Splinter, note the Harbinger continuing to head south while the Flying Dutchman turns around, pointing her bow north.  At the lower right, hostilities between the Pirates and Corsairs recommence!  This time it was the Pirates striking first, with The Leviathan teleporting broadside to the Golden Peacock and shooting 2/5 to knock a mast off.

RECORD BREAKING GOLD

Of course, the Pirates had already rolled for the Arcane.  And Vesok, and Nuva.  All three of them rolled for the Arcane’s ability to bring a UT into the game on a 6.  For reference, the Arcane’s 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.”  Vesok is a copier on the Smoke’s Hand (a 5 master in the middle of the map at the Archipelago), and copied the same ability.  Nuva allows a ship within S of Vesok’s ship to have one of their crew copy a crew from Nuva’s ship.  This was once again a generic crew on the Black Pearl, copying Vesok to copy the Arcane in turn.  And this is how the rolls went….

TWO SUCCESSFUL ROLLS!!!

FIRST THE PIRATES BRING IN HIDDEN TROVE…

AND THEN THEY BRING IN EVENSTAR!!!

From Xerecs’ Return of Davy Jones custom set:

Hidden Trove: Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.

From Xerecs’ Fiends of the Blood Islands custom set:

Evenstar: Load this treasure face-down, it takes up 3 cargo spaces. When this ship docks at your home island, triple the value of the lowest gold coin, then remove Evenstar from the game.

O_O

They were both placed on the Shadow Thief.  And she revealed….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SILVERBACK JOHN!!!

From JW Darkhurst’s Seas of Doom custom set:

Silverback John: Ransom. Cargo Master. Once per turn, when this ship unloads treasure at your home island, double the value of the lowest-value coin.

O_O

With both UT’s aboard, the Shadow Thief moved away from the home island… and simply redocked!!  XD

As of the Pirate turn, there were 213 total ships in play.  This means Hidden Trove was worth 426 gold.

Upon docking, Evenstar tripled that to 1,278 gold.  O_O

Then both coins were automatically unloaded at the home island, triggering Silverback John’s ability to double the value… to….

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,556 GOLD.

O_O

The Pirates also had 112 gold from resources this turn, bringing their record-breaking single-turn grand total… to an unprecedented, dizzying, somewhat incomprehensible….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,668 GOLD.

Two thousand six hundred sixty eight gold.  O_O

 

Vince McMahon reaction to sextupling Hidden Trove

 

 

We are in the end days….  O_O

 

Last turn was absurd.  This turn is unbelievable.  The Pirates are rich to a degree not even close to anything I’ve seen before in any of my games.  2,668 is a very large point total to reach in a campaign game of Pirates CSG, between all points in play from all the fleets.  The Pirates just raked in that much gold in a single turn.  XD  O_O

This is becoming a sickening affair….

 

But Wait, There’s More

^That is now my catchphrase for this game.  It applies to almost every turn I’ve taken this year and it only keeps accelerating – a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.  The ludicrous gold income number may have been the craziest thing to happen this round, but it was far from the last exciting thing to happen in the game this turn.

With their GSP (Global Surveillance Program) allowing them to see just about all the face down treasures in play, the Pirates knew exactly what they wanted to try next.  Davy Jones’ Key was on the middle Archipelago island.  Pandora’s Box was on the island within the Turbulence area (southeast corner of the map).  The Shadows Hand had fog hopped to the Archipelago originally to explore a different island of the Archipelago, with the eyes of her crew set on a pretty decent UT.  However, a far more interesting and important mission now presented itself – especially now that the Shadows Hand was within docking distance of the middle island of the group.  She had come out of a fog bank ready to assist in the fight against the Spanish, but wasn’t needed there.  Now one of her cargo, originally meant for that other island, would prove incredibly useful.

From my Pirates of the Epic Seas custom set:

Bomb Box: This equipment takes up no cargo space. When this ship explores a wild island, you may eliminate this equipment to eliminate or remove from the game any Unique Treasures on the island before their effects are applied.

This is a neat little 1 point equipment designed as an option for gold runners that are often ruined by extremely negative UT’s like Plague, Runes of Death, and Natives.  Here it would prove even better.

For reference, here is the Archipelago after last turn. The Shadows Hand is the northernmost ship, just south of the eastern canoes.

Archipelago dominated by the Pirates

 

The Shadows Hand docked at the island and was given an AA (Admiral’s Action) to explore it.  She swapped Davy Jones’ Key for Pandora’s Box, triggering a climactic event:

Pandora’s Box: When revealed, each player must choose and put a unique treasure from outside the game aboard this ship.

O_O  More UT shenanigans!!!

Here is the full Pirate Code entry on Pandora’s Box, which proved to be extremely important: (emphasis added)

Pandora’s Box
-When this unique treasure is revealed, starting with the player to your left and ending with yourself, each player chooses and reveals one UT and places it on your ship. After all UTs have been chosen they are resolved per the standard rules.
-If a chosen UT can be loaded facedown it is not revealed until used.
-All UTs received from Pandora’s Box are treated as if they were on the island when it was explored.
-A UT chosen for this ability may duplicate one that is already in play and/or one that has been chosen by a preceding player. The “no-duplicates” rule applies to UTs only when placed in the treasure pool during setup.

By “player to your left” I’m going with the next “player” in the turn order, which is The Cursed.  Keep in mind it says “REVEALS”.  Meaning that everyone knows what each fleet gives to the Pirates, and the Pirates know which UT came from each faction.  The Bomb Box is being used here as a way to throw out the negative UT’s before they can do anything.  That is where the third point from the Code comes into play – since they’re treated as if they were on the island when it was explored, the Bomb Box can be used to eliminate any UT’s before their effects are applied.  O_O  😀

Mass Extortion on a Grand Scale

The Pirates would like to make it clear that they will simply throw out ANY AND ALL negative UT’s.  In addition, if they are given a negative UT from a faction, that faction may be subject to extremely harsh punishment in the extremely near future.  Aka, possible annihilation. If a faction gives the Pirates a bad UT, they might get slaughtered!  You might as well be nice!!  XD  There is no anonymity to hide behind here.  So make your choices wisely and consider the pros and cons of paying tribute to the all-powerful Pirates.  “Now line up!  And offer me a tribute.”  LOL!

This is what the Pirates are demanding from each faction: (this is also technically the order the UT’s should be chosen, which could be important for alliance/diplomatic purposes/etc)
The Cursed: Nemo’s Plans (done)
Vikings: Antikythera Mechanism (done)
Barbary Corsairs: Mask of Concealment (not complied with)
Dutch: Runes of Thor (FN)
Americans: Aegis Shield (The Vengeance of the Cadet Captain)
Mercenaries:  Nightmare’s Knot (Fiends of the Blood Islands)
French: Garai (Pirates of Spherus Magna)
Spanish: Mask of Valor (Pirates of Spherus Magna)
Jade Rebellion: The Ring (Seas of Doom)
The Conglomerate: Mask of Wisdom (Spherus Magna)
English: Neptune’s Figurehead (CC)The Cursed and Vikings gave the Pirates what they requested.  The Corsairs didn’t, instead placing Skull Spiders (from Spherus Magna) on the Shadows Hand, but it was immediately tossed out via the Bomb Box.

ALSO: This should technically happen in real time on the Pirates’ turn.  This means the Pirates would give themselves a UT before it even became The Cursed turn.  The Pirates have given themselves Jailhouse Dog.  Fair warning that negative UT’s brought in via Copiers/etc that would hurt the Pirates will be cancelled by the Jailhouse Dog.  That is also likely to apply if someone tries to yank in Fountain of Dreams.

Also from the Code, regarding Jailhouse Dog:

-This ability may be used at any time during the game.
-This ability may be applied as an “interrupt” to avoid any immediate effects that would apply when another unique treasure is first revealed.

This was something the Pirates had been planning for a while.  They were originally going to send a ship with a Bomb Box to the Turbulence island to trigger Pandora’s Box.  However, once the Shadows Hand was already in the Archipelago, they figured… why wait?  This way they could get a good look at where the other factions were at (regarding compliance… lol) and possibly speed up their UT plans….

I was listening to this mix during the Pirate turn and one of the songs is called Pandora’s Box and another is called Dark Tides (the name of one of JW Darkhurst’s custom sets) lol.  Talk about ironic….

 

To finish off the Pirate turn, the Smoke’s Hand unloaded her fort upgrade to Skull Valley in the Archipelago.  When combined with the new military port on their metals island, this means the Pirates will have four launch points next turn instead of two.  O_O   The horror…. 😉

Pirates trigger Pandora's Box in the Archipelago

 

Pirate Launch Period

With 2,668 gold at their disposal, there was almost no way to run out.  The Pirates got busy, launching a ton of ships just as they did last turn.

Here are the ships they launched from their military port southwest of their home island, with custom creator name in parentheses. (in the picture, these go clockwise from the top starting with the ship pointed due south)

Scarlet Star, Lhikan II (both by JW Darkhurst), Plague of the West (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), The Slash (JW Darkhurst), Acre (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), Vortex, Kanohi Dragon (both by JW Darkhurst), Typhoon, Diamond Strike, Silver Casket (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), Blue Heron (stats by Woelf for one of the 1 of 1 Ships in a Bottle).

Another Pirate megalaunch from their military port

The Slash carries my friend Captain Randy!!  He is now in the game!!  😀

None of these ships are picked at random – in fact, the complete opposite.  Each one is selected for a specific reason, and each one carries a complement of crew/equipment that will help to optimize the mission for each and every vessel in the Pirate fleet.  Optimizing fleets is one of my biggest passions within Pirates CSG, and in a grand campaign with near-unlimited spending ability, I can really execute plans perfectly.  There are so many moving parts to the Pirate machine that it will start to become unprecedented.  Gunships, equipment placement, managing how many total rerollers there are (between Wizkids and customs), making sure I don’t miss any ships that should get launched, making sure each ship has a specific purpose, supply ships… the Pirates are always hard at work on their turns!  In time the grand scope of their plans and launches will become more evident.

The Pirates didn’t have a lot of room at their home island, but managed to put two more AA w/Reroll combos in play; “Admiral” Scathe (JW Darkhurst) on the Stoneheart, and the Mammoth (vladsimpaler) with James Browne.  Gotta throw some history curveballs in this crazy game!  ;P  XD

At the southern tip of their HI the Pirates launched the Smokescreen (Xerecs), Beast’s Belly, and Rhino (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood).

A home island too crowded and busy to dock at… even for ships coming home with valuable textiles, and there will be a resource change soon that could crash their value!  A really weird sight.

The Black Jack (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood) is launched from the southern part of their HI with a town AND military port upgrade aboard… and the Blackleaf (Riz) has the same!  The Wrath is now in play as well – one of my favorite customs I’ve made for Epic Seas.  Her linked crew Bloodbeard is aboard, one of the fiercest to sail the seas.  She is configured as a shooting and boarding monster.  Here’s a little preview of my note taking from the spreadsheet document… after 9+ years playing big games of Pirates CSG, I like to abbreviate and put almost an inside joke type thing on most of the things I write for myself.

CHO. Massacre w/S Boarding and Grapple Shot. WH, so Cargo killing on 5-6. Currently at +7 to boards bonus with 5 crew.

The Pirates also went a little crazy with the Catapults (2 points each) from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna set:

“This equipment may be used on an island or on a ship. If used on a ship; she gains one 4L cannon that can shoot from any mast (even an eliminated mast). If the cannon roll is a 1, turn this equipment face-down. You may give this ship a repair action to turn it face-up again instead of repairing a mast. If used on an island, this equipment becomes a 3L+L cannon that can only fire from one point on the island. To fire a catapult on an island, a friendly crew must be present on the same island; if the roll is a 1, turn the catapult equipment face-down and remove the associated crew from the game. Catapult must be loaded back onto a ship to be turned face-up again.”

The Pirates spent 300 gold to get 100 Catapults (!) and 100 oarsmen to crew them with. I consolidated all the Catapults into one equipment token and all the oarsmen into one crew token. This is to save space on the HI, but mostly to limit lag in the module. If combat/drama does ensue at the Pirate HI (good luck ;), I can adjust the numbers as necessary or even make a note in the module/etc to keep track of numbers. As it stands now they have near-unlimited firepower at their HI and have turned it into an insane stronghold. Any ships that come within L+L of the Pirate home island are likely to be dismasted (100 3L+L shots could result in 50 total hits).

A recap:

Hidden Trove: 213 ships in play x2=426 gold. w/Evenstar: 1278; w/Silverback John: 2556. +112= 2,668 Gold to spend!
Pirates spend 1072 gold!
592 gold on assorted ships and crew.
300 gold on 100 Catapults and 100 oarsmen to man the Catapults. (all placed on HI)
180 gold on 3 town and 3 Military Port upgrades. (one of each on home island)

20 ships launched:
Ships launched from home island: 8 (5 at northern half, 3 at southern half)
Ships launched from textiles MP: 12
Pirates have spent 1822 gold in the past 2 turns.  O_O  (750, and now 1072)
Last turn: 25 ships launched, 20 this turn. The Pirates have expanded their fleet by 45 ships in two turns!!

New record single-turn spending: 1,072 gold  (a record as far as I know – I will certainly have to update that page this year)

This all in just two turns with two launch points.  Imagine four launch points at the end of their next turn when they still have ~1600 left to spend!!  I’m just not sure what will run out first – my time or their gold!  XD

Now there are 233 ships in play.

 

Cursed Play Turn

The custom Flying Dutchman submerged and ducked into a fog bank.  The Python and Tomb of Lucifer scattered from the home island, anticipating the end of turn events.

The Wisp fog hopped locally and ended her move action touching the whirlpool just south of the Cursed HI…

 

 

TO BUILD A FORT!!

Figlar Castle
10 gold
Cannons: 3S-3S-3S-3S-3S-3S
Ability: This fort can only be built on a whirlpool when a Cursed ship is touching the whirlpool. Starting the turn after construction, this fort can travel through whirlpools like a ship, but without having to roll for damage. Ships docked at the fort do not travel with the fort. Cursed crew can use their abilities in this fort.

Flavor text: The Cursed have built this monstrosity, which could spell doom for all humanity. They have now created a water-borne fortress that can harness the power of the sea to warp into various locales. Hearing of the shocking development, some sailors have already given up hope, preferring to simply stay on land.

O_O

Doom indeed!!

 

But before that even happened… I rolled some dice.

Remember how there’s always more in CG4?   Here we go again.  XD

The Cursed use a trio of +1 to d6 roll abilities to trigger another Arcane event!!!

The Cursed bring in Hidden Trove again!!  Then they bring in Evenstar!!!

Both are placed on the Maman Brigitte!  She redocks and The Cursed are RICH!!!  Again!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,398 Gold.

233 ships in play.  This led to Hidden Trove being worth 466 gold – tripled with Evenstar for 1398 gold!

The Cursed spent 780 of it!    (1852 gold spent this turn between the Pirates and Cursed!!)

The Cursed managed to get both Arcane rolls to work, triggering another Hidden Trove + Evenstar event. O_O This netted them a massive windfall. The Pirates used Runes of Thor on the custom Flying Dutchman’s ability, forcing it to work. The Cursed placed a Nemo’s Plans on the Zeus.

This was not the first time the Pirates had played Runes of Thor for the Cursed… they also did it when the Devil’s Sneer blew up the Jarvis with Explosives.  This also marks the second Nemo’s Plans given to the Pirates by The Cursed… this very turn.

 

Cursed Launch Period

The Cursed bought 9 ships.  Here they are, listed counterclockwise from the top with the Chimera pointed almost due south. (not in order due to ships already at the HI)

Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse (A7XfanBen), Interloper (El Cazador), Devil’s Frenzy, Nemesis (both by A7XfanBen), The Rock (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), Guichuan (southernmost 10 master), Howl, Devil’s Child (A7XfanBen), Gerudo Gale (El Cazador).

Cursed megalaunch from home island in CG4!!

Another epic deckplate as The Cursed delve into my ship-ton of custom 10 masters they have….

Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse deckplate in VASSAL

The Cursed bought 10 Catapults along with 10 oarsmen to crew them for 30 total gold, placed on their home island.

They also spent a ton of money on island upgrades.  3 fort upgrades, 2 towns, and 2 military ports.  O_O  This could be bad….

I would love to give more details on The Cursed launchings… but by nature of the game, the future, and plans, it is best to keep things as secret as possible for now.  In due time some of The Cursed stuff will be used and then some of the wild setups will come to light.  Let’s just say that most of the ships are absolutely stacked.  I have been consistently running out of point cap space before running out of cargo space or crew to use, so most of the gunships coming into play lately have as many points aboard as their point cost allows.  This is the case for Chimera and the Devil’s Frenzy… which means 192 points between them.  O_O

Cursed had 15 ships coming into the turn. 9 new ships bring them to 24 total.

242 ships in play brings the value of Hidden Trove to 484 gold.

 

The Vikings…

… didn’t get lucky!  XD

<a7xfanben> – Jord copies Arcane
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 -> [1] ***
<a7xfanben> – reroll
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 -> [2] ***

They do have a pretty respectable resource gathering fleet for how underpowered they are compared to most of the other factions.  Their deckplates are being pushed west by the rapidly expanding Pirate fleet.

 

The Barbary Corsairs Get In On The Festivities!

THE CORSAIRS HAVE A COPIER!  They get some help from Woelf’s Gilded Figurehead equipment to pull in a UT!!  O_O

 

The Corsairs get Hidden Trove!!!

It is worth 484 gold!!  Combined with textiles from Marrakesh for 499 gold total!

This shows the entire Corsair fleet at the end of their turn and their general situation.  Especially after giving the Pirates a bad UT via Pandora’s Box instead of what the Pirates were demanding, they are extremely worried that a Pirate attack from the west is imminent.  Hidden Trove couldn’t have come at a better time!

 

The Corsairs with their version of a megalaunch!!  They spend 331 gold to launch 8 new ships!

Counterclockwise from upper left: Nubian Prince, Sea Tiger (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), Anubis towing Elephant flotilla (both by A7XfanBen), Crown Jewel (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood), Desert Wind, Sultan’s Bride (Riz; her flavor text by AlanQSmithee), Majestic.

Barbary Corsairs megalaunch from home island in CG4!

On their home island… the Corsairs placed Mons Meg!!  O_O

(5 points) Only one of this equipment can be used per fleet. This equipment can only be used on islands following the Marine rules. This equipment has a cannon (5L+L) that eliminates 3 masts with one hit and can sink ships.

For additional home island defense, the Corsairs also matched The Cursed, buying 10 Catapults with 10 oarsmen to crew them with.  This along with the new ships massively beefs up the Corsair HI defenses.

As with The Cursed, it would be unwise to reveal the crew setups of the Corsair ships.  What I can say is that this is about the closest thing to a super squadron the Corsairs can assemble.  Drawing on both Wizkids and extensive customs, the Corsairs have placed in the water a 10 master, two submarines, two “S-Immunity” ships, a canceller (the Anubis), and a cheerleader.  The ships are stacked and loaded.  The Corsairs are going all out in case the Pirates attack soon.  Suddenly the Corsairs have become substantially more powerful, which is just what they needed.

 

A few other notes:

Corsairs started their turn with 15 ships. Launch 8 so now they have 23 total.

8 additional ships brings the grand total to… 250!!  This means the next Trove will be worth 500 gold!!  XD

Total gold spent on the weekend of 8/14-8/16: 2,183   O_O   This is less than half of what was brought in. 2183/4565=47.8%  (2668+1398+499=4565)  Just absolutely staggering numbers.  And more to come soon too… a point count is coming….

2183 new points in play. Point count in April showed 2067 points in play.  So the game is definitely bigger than CG1 ever was!!  (3516 official, likely topped 3700)  Which means it’s already the biggest virtual/VASSAL Pirates campaign game of all time!

~~~~~

I could hardly believe it when Doragon the Magnificent appeared in the music mix!  Maybe it’s a sign he should enter the game soon….

 

Here it is!!  The whole ocean!  With over 2000 new points of stuff in play, you can finally see some huge activity even when zoomed all the way out!  The 5 Cursed 10 masters in the northwest stand out, while the northeast becomes even more of a hub than it already was.  Click to see the full size version where you can zoom in easily.

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 - Mid August, 2020

 

Big News:

-At the end of today’s play on August 16th, the Vikings recommitted to their alliance with the Barbary Corsairs.  Both factions see the need to stay together at a time when unprecedented and rapid growth of their unpredictable Pirate neighbors threatens their very existence.

-The Pirates and The Cursed have independently threatened violence against all three of the other factions with copiers (Vikings, Corsairs, Conglomerate).  The messages basically said if you copy Arcane/etc to bring harm to the Pirates or Cursed, they will respond with immediate aggression.  Even going so far as to say a faction that does the wrong thing may face extinction in short order.  O_O

-The game is becoming more complicated from a diplomatic or political perspective.  This crazy turn is resulting in more messages being sent among the factions than usual.  This could mean a lot for the game going forward.  Just what though, we don’t know….

BREAKING THE GAME | + A Global Biological Terrorist Attack Threat

BREAKING THE GAME

Plus: A Global Biological Terrorist Attack Threat

If I had to pick my own “MUST READ” battle report for 2020, this is it.

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 has continued (introduction and rules here).  The previous battle report is probably worth a refresher before getting into the events of this past… weekend.  Indeed, my turn took up a huge portion of my weekend from Friday-Sunday.  Things have spiraled out of control to a degree not seen before in any other game of Pirates CSG, at least that I know of in its recorded history.  Game balance is a thing of the past.  Welcome to a new era – “exploits of the power gamer”.  😉  I listened to this epic mix for most of the Pirate play turn.

A turn this long and epic deserves a long report to do it justice.  Especially given the “injustices” that have taken place… and of which there are likely more to come.  If you make it through the whole thing, please consider leaving a comment at the bottom, as it should help my fansite and the visibility of this post that apparently has 5625 words.  It would be useful to have the newly released Customs Database available while reading, as there were a LOT of customs involved….

As usual for my turns, we start with the Pirates.  The Eagle gave Resurrection Codex to the Zeus. (a pretty big deal in a more “normal” game or even a campaign game) 

Having crushed Xerecs’ Spaniards in the Archipelago last turn with a grand display of powerful weaponry, their combat of this turn was mostly about cleaning up in the center of the ocean.  The Deliverance got the Pirates started by eliminating two Spanish canoes (revealing Isandro Ramirez to be her captain).

From there, things quickly got… unprecedented.

The Smoke’s Hand got two actions and used the second to sink the final canoe and shoot at the Morning Star, who was dismasted by the Stormcloud.  This allowed the Sapphire Sea to tow the Spanish galleon, with the Pirates capturing her!  Given she was loaded with textiles (a valuable resource right now) and additional cargo, in any normal circumstance this would be a major deal and win for the Pirates.  This was, however, arguably even for me the least normal turn EVER taken in a Pirates game…..

As you may have seen in the video, the Arcane herself rolled for her signature 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.”  First try of the entire round, and she got a 6.  O_O

The Pirates brought in…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIDDEN TROVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Xerecs’ Return of Davy Jones custom set:

Hidden Trove: Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.

O_O

Reaction to bringing in Hidden Trove

LOL!!!!  Hidden Trove was placed on the Osiris, who naturally was already docked at the Pirate home island.

The report goes a bit out of order here… XD

Naturally it begs the question: how many ships are in play?  Well, at the end of the Pirate play turn: 173.  O_O

This means that Hidden Trove is worth 346 gold.  O_O   XD

But Wait, There’s More

😀  Of course there is!

The Pirates were not even CLOSE to being done yet!  XD

As mentioned in the May 9th report, the Pirates have a mass surveillance program.  They call it the “Global Surveillance Program”, or GSP (not to be confused with GMS).  Think of it like the NSA.  XD   If you’ve got something and want to hide it, odds are the Pirates already know about it.  I believe the Pirates know where every single face down UT on the map is.  O_O   They also know about most of the face down crew in play.  This allows them to make focused decisions that do not rely on assumptions or wild predictions.  They have also become extremely self-sufficient, not needing to bargain with other factions for intelligence purposes.  The Pirates already knew about something they wanted… something that would combo perfectly with their new Hidden Trove….

The Leviathan was put into action!!  In her first turn in play, The Leviathan (from vladsimpaler’s Treachery on the High Seas set) was immediately ready to show off how much of an asset she could be to the burgeoning Pirate fleet.  With D movement, she was able to “fly” anywhere on the ocean at will.  She got her orders to intercept a Dutch ship far from Pirate waters, off in the southwest.  The Prins Willem carried Ivory, a custom UT created by the legendary Cadet-Captain Mike:

Ivory: When unloaded, this treasure is worth as much as the most valuable treasure coin currently on the ship.

O_O     … You may see where this is going.

The Leviathan warped out to meet the Prins Willem, careful not to ram the ship and become pinned.  She simply brushed ever so slightly up against the hull of the Dutch 3 master, and fired off a full broadside of 5 shots just for good measure, courtesy of Captain crew Gregory Rose (a custom by JW Darkhurst).  All shots missed!  However, blood was not what the Pirates were after.  That laid elsewhere.  The Prins Willem had 2 other UT’s aboard: Barrel o’ Monkeys (created by Woelf!!) and Letter of Marque.

Barrel o’ Monkeys: When this ship leaves a wild island, randomly choose one of her treasures and put it face down on that island. When this ship touches another ship, randomly choose one of this ship’s treasures and put it face down on the other ship; eliminate the treasure instead if the other ship’s cargo is full.

Emphasis added; the random part was where my Pirates needed some luck.  I assigned Letter of Marque a 1-3 and Ivory a 4-6; sure enough, the d6 roll came up 6!!  😀   This put Ivory on The Leviathan!

With great haste she flew home, carefully landing to just barely touch the Osiris, who still hadn’t been given an action on the turn.

Now it was time for a true rarity: using SAT (Same Action Twice/Born Leader) to explore twice in a row.  O_O  I don’t know if I had ever done that in a game up until this point, but it was certainly the perfect time.

*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 -> [6] ***
<a7xfanben> – O_O   Got Danvian Arrestelos’ SAT on the Osiris, which is suddenly key because both AA’s were already used

With SAT available, the Osiris used her first explore action to explore The Leviathan, taking Ivory.  With her second explore action she targeted the home island, unloading both Hidden Trove AND Ivory at the same time!!!!!

Hidden Trove was worth 346 gold!!  Ivory was worth the same amount as Hidden Trove!!

Suddenly the Pirates had a fortune on their home island!!!

 

 

692 GOLD!!!!!!!!!!

O_O   XD

The Pirates also brought in a fair quantity of metals and textiles this turn, still the game’s 2 most valuable resources for now.  This gave them an additional 58 gold, which would be a pretty good total for them under normal circumstances.

This left them with a grand total of….

 

 

 

 

 

750 GOLD.

O_O

Even in a campaign game, this is beyond belief….

Anticipating one of the biggest megalaunches in memory, Pirate ships immediately scattered away from the home island, with the Pirates desperate to make as much room at their launch points as possible.  Get out of the way!! Make room, make room!!  XD  Despite needing more repairs, the Agnis Crystalis and Darkhawk II simply sail straight out away from the home island, with priority going to the new ships that will inevitably be launched in short order….

I almost never do bulk copy+paste of the module chat in actual battle reports, but this is one turn where I think it is fitting.  🙂

<a7xfanben> – HIDDEN TROVE HAS BEEN PLACED ON THE OSIRIS BY THE ARCANE.
<a7xfanben> – Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – Its worth will be calculated….
<a7xfanben> – But first
<a7xfanben> – Time to try out the newest superweapon
<a7xfanben> – THE LEVIATHAN!!
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Here’s hoping this works XD
<a7xfanben> – D movement
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – (not her final location for this move)
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* UNDO: * [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – Placed alongside, touching but not ramming…
* **** Crew – Pirate (Gregory Rose) revealed by a7xfanben ****
<a7xfanben> – Gregory Rose: Captain. Eternal. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against English ships.

(shots miss lol)
<a7xfanben> – Now for the key, and maybe a little luck.
<a7xfanben> – Prins Willem has Barrel o’ Monkeys aboard.
<a7xfanben> – When this ship leaves a wild island, randomly choose one of her treasures and put it face down on that island. When this ship touches another ship, randomly choose one of this ship’s treasures and put it face down on the other ship; eliminate the treasure instead if the other ship’s cargo is full.
<a7xfanben> – From the Code: Barrel o’ Monkeys is not included in the random selection
<a7xfanben> – It comes down to Ivory and Letter of Marque.
<a7xfanben> – D6 roll: 1-3 Letter of Marque is transferred, 4-6 Ivory is transferred.
<a7xfanben> – Here goes
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 -> [6] ***
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Oh my god….
<a7xfanben> – This is absolutely staggering…
* Coin moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
* Coin moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
<a7xfanben> – Ivory goes to Leviathan
<a7xfanben> – Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight on the Jolly Mon to give The Leviathan another action!!
<a7xfanben> – Not pinned since no ram 🙂
<a7xfanben> – Bye
* Coin moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
* [The Leviathan] moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
<a7xfanben> – She knows just where to go…
* [The Leviathan] moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
* Coin moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – Touching the Osiris
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Her first action is to explore The Leviathan and take the Ivory
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Now her second action…
<a7xfanben> – Is used to explore the home island!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – Hidden Trove: Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.
<a7xfanben> – Ivory: When unloaded, this treasure is worth as much as the most valuable treasure coin currently on the ship.
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – O_OOO_O_O_O_O_O_O_O
<a7xfanben> – LOLOLOLOL
<a7xfanben> – A MULTIPLIER!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – HIDDEN TROVE IS DOUBLED!!
<a7xfanben> – UNLIMITED POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – (force lightning spews from eyes in all directions)
<a7xfanben> – The craziest part is… IT IS NOT OVER. Not for another faction………
<a7xfanben> – The Pirates have not even used their Runes of Thor this round.
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Someone else eagerly awaits….
<a7xfanben> – All shall perish.

Things have gotten a bit strange in Pirate waters.  Multiple damaged ships are almost stranded in between the two launch points of the Pirate HI and their military port, with orders not to dock at either given the mass influx of valuable new ships about to enter play.  At the bottom left the Giza tries to row away from the island at an angle that will allow the maximum number of ships to be docked at the port by the end of the overall Pirate turn.  The Triton’s Fury could have docked and loaded textiles but simply doesn’t.  At the bottom right, 3 Pirate gunships are headed in the direction of the whirlpool created by the Tempest.

Round earthing to the other side of the Pirate home island, the Amity has unloaded 3 gold at the metals island to build Plumb Point Lighthouse!

At the end of their turn the Pirates followed through with their plan to build a fort on an Archipelago island.  They built my custom Skull Valley fort, which has Extended Range. (The fort shuts down resource production on the island; this snapshot was taken before I removed the textiles token or added the 5 gold cost of the fort)

A true pirate stronghold, the Skull Valley is located on an undisclosed and unnamed island either in the Caribbean or the Pacific, depending on who you talk to. More of a town than a fortress, the valley is inside hilly terrain that prevents enemies from getting a clear look at their target. Massive mortars and a huge cache of old Spanish culverins provide ample firepower over the hills.  [Ironically fitting flavor text given that the Spanish were just here and had explored that island]

Then it was time for the launch period.  The Pirates had 750 gold at their disposal, more than any fleet I’ve controlled with the exception of the English in CG1.  With near-unlimited options…

The Pirates spent… ALL OF IT.  O_O

I didn’t know if it would be possible with just 2 launch points, but it was.  The Pirates spent 750 gold in one turn, eclipsing my personal record of 628 that the English spent in CG1.  50 of it was spent on a military port upgrade, with most of the rest of it going to ships and crew of course.

The Pirates are putting Catapults (custom equipment from Xerecs’ Spherus Magna set) on their textiles island to fortify it even more (12 “island cannons” between those and the 8 3S’s from the MP).  The Catapults are manned by new oarsmen.  The Catapults are 3L+L cannons that can fire from only one point on the island.

The Pirates completed their fleet of 10 masters, launching the last 2 that I am aware of.  Both customs of mine: the Slave Revolt and Hera.  Despite the massive costs, both 10 masters actually needed “reducer” crew to make their mammoth setups work.  The Slave Revolt has The Stump aboard to allow (I think) 37 points of crew to fit onto the 31 point ship.  The Hera is even more extreme – Jonah had to be hired in order to fit (I think) 38 points of crew onto the 23 point ship.  O_O  Helping out the Slave Revolt’s poor speed was Woelf’s custom Streamlined Hull equipment, which shows up on a handful of the ships I launched this turn:

Streamlined Hull

We have house ruled it to 3 points for CG4 due to the no ram damage house rule and after feedback from Woelf himself.  This comes from Woelf’s Treasure Trove of Fenrir equipment set, and not the last of it you’ll see….

As ships potentially get into combat and some face down crew are eventually revealed, I hope to talk more about the crew setups on some of the ships.  For now my fellow players (Xerecs and PirateAJ14) can gawk at the epicness of what is not face down (unless they have spyers of course to look at face down crew/cargo!).  🙂    I listened to Dawn of the Villains while the Pirates were launching.

From the following picture you can see that both 10’s were launched from the military port south of the Pirate HI; starting above the Giza (derelict galley) and going anti/counterclockwise from that ship, the Pirates launched (custom creator in parentheses): Deceit (Riz), Shark (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood), Howler (the_grandmaster/PointlessArrow), Coleoptera, Fantasia, Chasseur (vladsimpaler), Karda-Nui (JW Darkhurst), Scepter, Challenger (JW Darkhurst), Silent (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood).  😀

Pirate megalaunch at military port in CG4

The Pirates are putting together a certain type of squadron… however, it involves so many game pieces and parts that it is not currently possible to put it in the water all at once.  It will be more of an intermediate-term assembly of various things.  You can see that the Pirates are massing some 10 masters; the Zeus and Hera are thematically and practically the perfect “pair”, while the Slave Revolt has some truly terrifying combos aboard.  There is also a theme of submarines and cheerleaders….

But wait, there’s more!  From the northern half of their home island, the Pirates launched two ships, both created by Xerecs: the Inferno and Shadow Thief.  In the deckplate area you can see 7 of the new ships’ cards; the Slave Revolt is absolutely loaded.

Another 10 new ships were introduced at the southern half of the Pirate HI.  Docked at the island, clockwise from lower left with custom creator name (if applicable) in parentheses: Smiling Jim, Albatross (El_Cazador), Wretched (Avery), Gale Force Nine, Turbulence+Divination+La Mosca (all by mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood), Coastal Ranger (JW Darkhurst), Stormy Night (A7XfanBen).  You can also see more of the Pirate deckplate area, which is quickly expanding and looking rather impressive.

Pirate megalaunch in CG4 July 2020

Nearly every ship the Pirates launched is maxed out in some way – either her point cap space has been filled (14 points of crew/equipment on a 14 point ship), or her cargo hold is full.  With the overstuffed 10 masters adding an excess +~21 points of crew, it’s possible (but unlikely) that I actually spent more gold on crew and equipment than ships this turn.  O_O  The Pirates are trying to optimize every build from the point of launch so ships don’t have to go back into port to pick up new crew/equipment they could have had the first time out.  Plus, it helped to spend all the gold the Pirates took in, which was a fun goal to achieve.  There are a few logistics ships in the mix, such as the Silent – carrying extra crew to replenish those who might be in need of them in the future.

In order to expedite the completion of a short-term plan, the Pirates also launched a new set of native canoes from the middle Archipelago island.  These are the ones from RtSS that have the home island raiding ability built in.  How crazy that 2 turns ago this area was dominated by peaceful Spaniards, with 10 of their canoes here.  Now it is Pirates-only, with 10 of their canoes instead.  With a 10 master and a new fort to boot!

Archipelago dominated by the Pirates

The Pirates launched 25 total ships – 12 from their home island, 12 from their military port on the textiles island south of their home island, and RtSS native canoes at the middle Archipelago island.  This left the game at 198 total ships in play….

The Pirates didn’t even need to use Runes of Thor! Or maybe… they didn’t want to….

 

Whew.  Of course there’s MORE!  That was only one of my four factions!!  😀

Now it was time for The Cursed.  The Devil’s Storm came out of the fog bank she was in to shoot at the Boston!  She shot 3/4 to nearly dismast the schooner.  Although the fleeing Americans had lost their brief skirmish against The Cursed, the Devil’s Storm was all alone with no backup.  It would be very easy for the Bonhomme Richard to blast the Devil’s Storm on the American turn.

Devil's Storm hits Boston schooner

However, there was a reason for the Cursed aggressiveness and confidence… a good reason indeed….

The Opal Shrine uses the Eye of Insanity to copy Davy Jones on the Cursed home island to her oarsman, which is used to copy the Arcane’s ability!!  A 6 is rolled!!!!!!!!!

O_O

TIME TO BRING IN ANOTHER HIDDEN TROVE!!!!!!!!!

XD

Hidden Trove was yanked into the game again, this time placed on the Maman Brigitte, fittingly one of the most hated ships in the game.  She was a move action away from the home island, docking home to unload textiles and Hidden Trove.

198 ships in play x2= 396 gold for The Cursed!!

Combined with 1 gold on their HI and 30 from converted textiles…

 

 

427 GOLD.  O_O

Here we go again!!  Time to megalaunch!!  😀

The Cursed have a vastly different situation than the Pirates.  The Pirates have been the “favorites” (in quotes because there’s been almost no combat and I believe it to still be early in the game) for a while, but The Cursed had only 8 ships in play going into this turn.  Their small fleet was struggling to grow quickly.  Hidden Trove would change all that.

However, the Cursed went straight to the top.  Straight to the top of the customs hierarchy if you will, to the top of the heap.  To something horrific and awesome at the same time.  A superweapon of epic proportions…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHIMERATRON LEGACY!!!!!!!!!

Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 90
Number of Masts: 10
Cargo Space: 12
Base Move: L
Cannons: 2S-2S-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-2S-2S
Ability: Junk. Eternal. Turbine. Sniping.* Two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts. This ship gets +1 to her equipment rolls. This ship must be assigned at least 7 crew at the start of play.
Link: Any 1 10+ point Cursed named crew, (and) Aliktoril Bellen

*Sniping: You may double the range of this ship’s cannons each turn, but you must roll a 6 to hit.

Flavor text: Filled to the brim, with a ludicrously massive cargo hold, technical innovations aplenty, and well over a thousand fiends to defend her, this ship is the best of all worlds. No one knows where the ship came from, or if it was built in a visible shipyard somewhere in the world. The ship is said to be the heaviest afloat, with huge amounts of metal aboard given the technological aspects that seem to indicate that the Cursed are growing at a faster rate than even the English. With enough gunpowder to supply an entire small fleet, and some steel plating on her hull, the vessel could be the first truly “unsinkable” ship. Although her crew is made up of demons and fiends, the despicable and vicious Aliktoril Bellen has come aboard to provide a steadying hand. He plans to drive the ship to unparalleled heights of power as the Cursed machine of death revs up for a grand campaign of terror that will end human existence.

“God mode 10 master with defenses”; End of All Things

O_O   XD

We are entering new territory now, sailing into new waters.  The CL comes loaded like no other ship in the history of the game… but first, a look at the glorious deckplate:

Chimeratron Legacy deckplate

A familiar theme began playing….

 

 

 

Now for the elaborate setup that took probably at least an hour (maybe two) to come up with and actually put in the game file:

Chimeratron Legacy CG4 crew setup

If you don’t want to look up all the customs, here’s a summary: a 10 master that can move S+S+L+S with Captain, all rank-1 cannons (effectively) that have Extended Range and two extra 4L+L’s from the bow, super-Nemo capture, Commander Temple steal-a-ship ability, “global” Possession of cheapish crew, L-board, Sac, the potential to board up to 3 enemy ships in a turn without ramming, stinkpot shot, and more.  This is a doomsday superweapon that comes with a full loadout price tag of 180 gold.  180 points!!  O_O

The CL is optimized for maximum efficiency.  As soon as she starts capturing crew via boarding parties and Captain Shamshere’s super-Nemo capture, she can start sacrificing them to Isaiah Van Tyne for extra actions.  If they run out, Makuta can provide fodder from afar.  The ship may have unparalleled striking range, likely to eventually be greater than even HMS Swallow with Power Cannons and extra actions, a combo seen in the English fleet of CG1 fame.  The CL will not be operating without support….

Her speed may be aided by the Python, who carries First Mate Hamlet, a custom from the_grandmaster/PointlessArrow and his epic Back to War custom set: If a sea monster or ship begins its turn within L of this ship, it gets +L to its base move.  Adding to the insanity is the classic Cursed support ship Celestine and her linked crew Master Scribe.  Between them The Cursed may be able to place 2 trade currents per turn with some luck.  In addition, Barst is now in play, a Lord Mycron clone created by Xerecs and placed onto my custom Tomb of Lucifer turtle ship.  Between the bonuses and a guaranteed extra action (whether from Barst or eventually Sac), the Chimeratron Legacy should be able to move up to S+S+L+S+L x2 +S in one turn.  O_O  Python + CL will be moving at “WARP MACH SPEED”.  Another theme plays…

You would think that The Cursed would want to keep such a powerful thing a secret.  However, with such a massive price tag and ludicrous crew+equipment loadout, I decided to just put it all out there, at least with this setup.  The ship alone is a massively intimidating presence on the water.  The Cursed are basically letting everyone know that they mean serious business and are not to be trifled with.  Mess with them, and you may just see the Legacy on your doorstep moments later.  This is why the Devil’s Storm felt so confident going after the Americans.  If she gets attacked, there is at least a chance that the CL will be able to reach the combat area next turn.  Besides, if the Cursed lose the longship, it’s not a big deal because they are almost literally swimming in gold.  XD

The Cursed saw the potential of the Arcane last turn with the Pirates’ exploits, which is why they rushed to hire Davy Jones.  They made sure they could copy the ability as soon as possible and yank in the Trove for a massive windfall that would allow them to simultaneously beat off a possible American attack in the future, and also begin to finally put their MANY plans into place via launching and logistical efforts.  For the CL was just the beginning!

I listened to Soundtrack For a Supervillain for most of the rest of the Cursed launch period.  The Cursed launched the Solenostomus as well, one of my newest customs and based on nature.  Uh… she is carrying a fort upgrade…. ?!

The Cursed have launched one of my favorite and oldest customs: the movie version of the Flying Dutchman!

Flying Dutchman
Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 30
Number of Masts: 5
Cargo Space: 3
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 2L-2S-2S-2S-2L
Ability: Broadsides Attack. Fear. At the beginning of each of your turns, determine whether or not this ship is submerged. If she is submerged, her base move becomes S+L, and she may be given only move actions. She has to surface to shoot, repair, dock, and explore. While she is submerged, she cannot shot or be shot at, pin or be pinned, ram or be rammed, and tow or be towed. Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a unique treasure (that can be loaded) from outside the game on an enemy ship. Bow Chasers equipment does not take up cargo space on this ship.
Link: Davy Jones

The FD carries some crew, including customs Wendigo (Fear+Canceller; from Cadet-Captain Mike) and Guardian Corps (Crew Protect; from El_Cazador).

However, Davy Jones was not boarding the Dutchman… he was boarding… the Pantheon!!

Pantheon
Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 40
Number of Masts: 10
Cargo Space: 8
Base Move: S
Cannons: 4S-4S-4L-4L-4L-3S-3S-2L-3S-3S
Ability: Junk. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against forts within S of her. When this ship reaches her cargo limit, she gets +1 to her cannon rolls. If this ship’s point limit is reached by her assigned cargo, she gets +1 to her boarding rolls. If this ship is assigned at least 3 Cursed crew that cost at least 10 points each, she gets +1 to her d6 rolls.

Flavor text: There have been so many powerful Cursed officers joining the ranks that Xenthalos doesn’t always have a ship to assign them to. The Pantheon was raised from the depths of an ancient underwater Cursed city to house all manner of powerful creatures. The ship excels when crewed with great leaders, with near-certain doom befalling her enemies when fully optimized. The ship’s original constructors took the fore and after “castles” to new heights, with top-heavy stonework at the bow and stern of the ship slowing her down but making her a monster in close-quarters combat.

The Pantheon loaded up on some crew, and it was already over!  Having spent an ungodly amount of gold on just a few ships and various extremely expensive crew, The Cursed were out of gold!  They had spent all 427 of it on just 7 ships and the fort upgrade!  O_O  (even minus the fort upgrade cost of 40 gold, this comes out to a sickening 55 points per ship; 387/7)

The haul with new ships clockwise from right: Chimeratron Legacy, Solenostomus, Flying Dutchman, Celestine, Pantheon, Tomb of Lucifer, Python.

 

Now it was time for the Vikings.  They too saw the Arcane stuff get crazy last turn.  And guess what: they too have a copier!!  O_O  Jord from Pirates of the Kraken Sea!  (created by mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood)

Jord and Shayna Deux were hired last turn and are currently aboard the Asgard, Shayna’s ship.  Although the Vikings didn’t get as lucky as the Pirates or Cursed, they look forward to using the Copier ability again next turn.  The Pirate GSP/NSA did not see Jord, as she was just put in play and the Pirates weren’t looking at Viking crew this round.  (The Cursed have Shipping Charts but have been using it to spy on the Americans)  As a result, this is an unexpected twist that may anger both the Pirates and The Cursed.  The Vikings did bring in 12 gold on their turn, combining it with 6 saved to launch the Noble Glacier, a custom icebreaker of mine from Epic Seas.

The Barbary Corsairs got home some valuable textiles and used it to launch 2 custom ships – one of mine and one from the_grandmaster’s Back to War.  I purposely made this a wide shot to show the dire situation the Corsairs made find themselves in… two Pirate 5 masters are just off their west coast, with the megalaunch from the military port not far off in the distance.  At the lower right you can see the English have made some solid launching progress lately.

As my 4 faction turns came to a close, The Cursed had not quite yet had their fill.  They made a grand announcement to ALL players and factions in the game, a “general announcement” of sorts:

(please do not be offended, this is a game and The Cursed being The Cursed)

 

THE CURSED ARE THREATENING TO BRING THE CORONAVIRUS INTO THE GAME.

O_O

(This is meant to shock but not offend. I am not trying to make light of the actual virus and how devastating it has been. It is an analogy given what’s happening in real life and how the Cursed are the supreme evil in Pirates CSG. Not meant to offend anyone.)

Obviously this doesn’t make much sense as the game is theoretically taking place in the Age of Sail long before the recent discovery of the virus (maybe The Cursed can see into the future?), but there it is.

The Cursed have made a global biological terror threat.  O_O  This is a bad day.  And we thought 2020 couldn’t get worse!  :/    It remains to be seen if this general threat is directed at the Americans, who are (as far as “we” know?) the only faction to have specifically annoyed The Cursed thus far in the game.  It will certainly be interesting to see if The Cursed are serious about this, or if it is more of a bluff.  Serious thought went into the massive, offensive threat.  The Cursed considered not making it, but are determined to make other factions “play ball” their way and not do stupid things.  If The Cursed are angry enough, they might release biological or chemical agents of terror into the game.

(sorry if I have “gone too far”; my passion for Pirates campaign games is intense and I have been very immersed in my turns for the game this year – it is the perfect escape from everything else)

 

From my notes:

After Cursed launch 7 ships, it makes for 205 total ships in play.
Increased to 207 total after Vikings and Corsairs launch one ship each.
-From Pirate launch of 25 ships, this netted the Cursed an extra 50 gold!
Total gold spent this turn between my four factions: 1,236!!!! (Pirates: 750, Cursed: 427, Vikings: 18, Corsairs: 41)
-Total income: 1223 gold
34 ships launched (Pirates: 25, Cursed: 7, Vikings: 1, Corsairs: 1). This rounds up to a 20% increase in one round (34/173=19.65%).
-Will have to do a point count this year to top CG1 as the biggest overall virtual CG ever!

The 1,236 total gold spent in one round may be my highest total ever; realistically only Command the Oceans could be higher.

 

Throughout the turn I was stunned and in disbelief. All previous standards have been completely shattered. If the game was an egg that the Pirates had been poking holes in with a fork, as of this weekend they have obliterated the egg with a massive sledgehammer.

It’s almost like the game has been broken into a thousand pieces, or; a thousand gold pieces that have gloriously fallen into Pirate and Cursed coffers.

The Pirates are trying to create “closed loop systems” of ultimate efficiency. That way, the beast feeds itself. Each combo feeds into the next so that abilities and UT’s aren’t wasted. Every time Hidden Trove is brought into the game and used to launch ships, it makes the next Hidden Trove windfall payout even bigger.  You can already see this happening – the Pirates’ Hidden Trove was worth 346 gold, but now with 207 ships in play, the next Trove will be worth at least 414 gold – an increase of 68 gold, enough to launch a fully loaded 10 master.  Or better yet, perhaps 7 ships that make the next Trove worth 14 more gold than the last.  XD  The beast feeds itself!!

I am topping even my prior VASSAL campaign game efforts now. I am arguably putting more effort into the game than I need to, simply because I LOVE it so much. I love optimizing fleets, strategy and epicness in campaign games above almost all else.
Compounding Combos. I love how none of this is my fault. The game pieces involved are basically not mine at all. Arcane, Hidden Trove, The Leviathan, Ivory – none of the absolutely key customs used to pull off this insanity came from me. XD

From the report prior to this one:

In time, it could become surreal and bizarre unlike anything anyone has ever seen in Pirates CSG.

Yes, yes indeed.  XD  😀   And this “part” is still in the very early stages…

 

Finally, a view of the huge ocean.  1,236 additional points worth of stuff is in play, though a huge percentage of that is concentrated in the deckplate areas.  Four new 10 masters in play!

Thanks for reading!  Please consider leaving a comment below with your thoughts!  What did you think of my turns?  What was the craziest part?  Who are you rooting for?  What do you think will happen next??  😀

CG4 after turns in late July 2020

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