I played the first 4 player 80 point game. Overall, it was a fun game, although very one-sided. The order of play went: Pirates, English, French, Americans. The Americans swapped the Paladin back in for the Bartlett, while the English swapped some generic Cursed crew in for Edward Low. No terrain was used for the first game, but I’m using a bunch for the second game.
HMS Algiers got an extra action on the first turn and took a mast off the Royal Rover. The Triton, Frontier, Swift, and Queen Anne’s Revenge quickly explored islands. The Royal Rover retaliated by dismasting the Algiers, although she lost the boarding party (and therefore her helmsman), thus denying Blackbeard a chance at capturing a crew and turning it into gold.
The Obago then captured the Algiers, intending to bring the ship back to use it for the Pirates later in the game. The Baionnette would sink the captured Algiers, but not before the Pyre rammed off one of the Baionnette’s masts. The Locker also got to work, ramming the Belle Poule, who would be sunk on the same turn by the Lord Cauldwell.
For the Americans, the Frontier and the Nene Nui explored islands in the southern half of the sea. The Americans got lucky in the HI setup, picking first and getting the most well-positioned island that ended up as the most isolated of the four HI’s, and therefore the most conducive to acquiring treasure.
The Royal Rover missed the Patagonia while she was grabbing gold from a northern island. The Patagonia (with her lone 2L gun) actually managed to dismast the Royal Rover over the next two turns as the Rover missed on the next turn as well. The Obago, angry that the Baionnette had sunk the Pirates’ new ship (the Algiers), dismasted the French two master and captured her as well.
The Pyre rammed the Tunis derelict, but the Triton brought back a gold coin for the French. Off in the east, the SCS Santa Lucia shot a mast off the Queen Anne’s Revenge, who was coming home with a coin aboard. The Swift and Queen Anne’s Revenge docked home their gold, and simply sat there for a turn because both Santa Lucias (including the HI-raiding OE version) were in the vicinity.
The Pyre surfaced to sink the Tunis and the 4 gold she carried. In a bold statement that crushed Pirate morale, the Triton sunk both the captured Baionnette and the Royal Rover on the same turn.
The Frontier and Nene Nui docked home their treasure loads, with 9 coins between the two ships. It was obvious that the Americans had the advantage in the game, but with the English weakened (from losing the Algiers) and far away from the American HI, and with the French and Pirates completely at odds with each other, there wasn’t much that was going to stop the Americans.
Out of nowhere, the Obago sank the Pyre, leaving the English with just 3 ships remaining, although this would go down to 2 after the Triton sunk the Patagonia.
Seeing the Pirate ships at their HI, the two Santa Lucias had turned around and sailed south to check out a wild island, the same one that the Queen Anne’s Revenge had taken one coin off of. Still with a grudge against the French, the Pirates now looked to the HI-raider of their fleet, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. She used an extra action to move within docking distance of the French HI, where she would dock on the next turn and pick up the 4 that the Triton had left there earlier in the game. The Triton responded by taking out two of the three masts on the Revenge while the Pirate ship was still docked at the French HI.
Meanwhile, the Locker and Lord Cauldwell ventured into American water, where they knew they stood no chance against the powerful USS Mercury, escorting the Frontier back home. They managed to sneak around to the south and catch the slow-moving Paladin and sink her after a few turns, costing the Americans an additional 7 gold. The Nene Nui had gone to the same island that the Santa Lucias docked at, but the SCS version blew two masts off the American junk. The Nene Nui aggressively responded by ramming straight into the OE version, dismasting her, and taking one of her two treasure coins. The SCS version would now finish off the Nene Nui, ending the skirmish.
At this point, the Frontier had gone out for a final treasure run to grab the last three treasure coins, signifying that the end was near.
Back up north, the Triton was gallantly fighting a losing battle against the Obago, Swift, and Queen Anne’s Revenge. The Swift and Obago went 2 for 6 against the Triton, leaving her with one mast left. Still able to move and shoot, she dismasted the Queen Anne’s Revenge and triumphantly stole back her original coin as the Revenge tried to sail away. The Queen Anne’s Revenge used an extra action to make two boarding attempts, although they ended in a tie and a lost Pirate helmsman. However, it was too late for the French, as the Swift made the French schooner a derelict and the Obago began towing her.
The Lord Cauldwell and Locker desperately wanted to get at the American duo of the Frontier and Mercury, even though they knew it was too late. The Mercury surfaced and shot a mast off the Lord Cauldwell, who couldn’t do anything in return with just one mast (the Mercury ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts). The Locker surfaced to attack the Frontier, but both her boarding rolls and gun rolls failed, upon which the Frontier docked home the last gold coins on the next turn to end the game.
The final gold count:
1. Americans: 26 gold
2. Pirates: 9
3. French: 2
4. English: 0
I’m looking to play the second game of this series tomorrow! The first fleet to win two games will be declared the overall winner.
The second 80 point game was played earlier today (first here). The islands were set up similar to the last game, but this time the four wild islands in the middle were arranged in a straight line perpendicular to the HI’s, forming a wide + formation.
The game started with the Algiers dismasting the Tunis, but the French quickly responded by dismasting the Algiers and setting her on fire with the SCS Santa Lucia. The Triton quickly fetched 3 gold for the French, while the Belle Poule and OE Santa Lucia explored islands of their own. The Algiers limped away at S+S speed (through oar power and her extra action) while her comrades the Patagonia and Lord Cauldwell used explore actions. The submerged Locker dismasted the OE Santa Lucia with a ram while the sloop was docked at an island.
The Tunis, saved by the SCS Santa Lucia, made it home with her Galley keyword and repaired her lone mast. With the Patagonia docked at a wild island collecting treasure, the Santa Lucia missed her both times, but the Baionnette’s 2L gun was just in range, and the Baionnette connected with a firepot. The Algiers rolled a 1 and was now completely engulfed in flames as her oarsmen desperately rowed past the burning Patagonia. The Patagonia dumped her crew to load two more gold coins (6 gold on four coins). Before the English got a chance to scuttle their fallen ships, the Santa Lucia sunk them both with well-placed shots, giving the French a bigger numbers advantage as well as placing 3 gold on each nation’s HI.
In the meantime, the Lord Cauldwell had sunk the OE Santa Lucia, giving the English 2 gold and the French 1. Along with the sinking of the Patagonia, this left the gold race at 7-5 in favour of the French.
The Pyre grabbed two coins from the island that the Lord Cauldwell had explored for her, just as the Triton got back into the fray and shot and rammed her way to dismast the Cauldwell.
The Belle Poule was coming home with gold aboard, but the Locker was just in range for a shot at the galley before she could dock it home. The Locker surfaced (not in ramming range) but missed with her 3S cannon, the only one in range. The Belle Poule docked home an impressive 8 gold to give the French a commanding 15-5 lead. This meant that for the second straight game the English would be playing for a tie. But for the second straight game, they would be at a disadvantage. They only had their two subs left, as the Lord Cauldwell would be scuttled on the next turn.
The Tunis, still docked at her HI, decided to take a risk-free shot and took a hull piece off the Locker. The Pyre submerged with the gold she had gotten from her island and headed home. The Baionnette had collected a 1 from the wild island that the Belle Poule had originally explored, and headed home with only the damaged Locker in her way. The Locker missed the French two master both times, allowing the Baionnette to dock home the coin and end the game with a 16-5 French victory!
As the French obviously had the better 80 point fleet, this will be the end of this series pitting the English against the French. The English won all four games of the 40 and 60 point variations, leaving their record here at 4-2. Although all three series found one fleet winning both games, there were many stellar, hard-fought, close games, and it was nice to see the French fight back to win the final series.
At this point, there will be a four player multiplayer game between all four 80 point fleets: Americans vs. Pirates vs. English vs. French. Each fleet will be allowed to tweak their fleets in preparation for this final series to determine which fleet is the best, but the fleets will mostly be the same. I’m planning on possibly introducing terrain to the setup, but keeping UT’s out since they can have a large impact on any one fleet’s chances.
An Awesome Game – First 80 Point Game between English vs. French
With the English having a decided advantage in the 60 point setup as they won both games, I decided to increase the point total to 80. The French added the OE version of the Santa Lucia (allowing a duplicate for the sake of using unused game pieces), 3 helmsmen (for the two Santa Lucias and the Tunis), and a few generic crew for their ships, giving them six ships overall. The English increased their total to five by adding the Pyre, the other Cursed LE submarine from MI. They also added Edward Low (the LE crew from MI – 8 points for crew possession) by removing the firepot specialist from the Locker. For this first game the Pyre went without crew, with all three Cursed crew aboard the Locker.
The game was really fantastic, and I actually had time just now to write a lengthy report for it. The island setup featured the two HI’s being far away from each other, with the four wild islands (1L apart from each other) arranged in a square in the middle of the sea.
With the English as the first player, the Algiers got things started with an extra action that she used to quickly sail out to one of the wild islands. Since she got there before the slow-moving Patagonia, she explored the island to help out the Patagonia, who was able to leave her explorer at home and free up a cargo space to be utilized for treasure instead.
The Triton and the Belle Poule eagerly got busy exploring the nearest wild islands, but the English would quickly be upon the French fleet.
The Baionnette was escorting the Belle to a wild island when the English fired the first shots of the game. The Lord Cauldwell and Algiers teamed up to sink the French two-master in one turn. The Triton would retaliate on the following turn, using her cannoneer to sink the Algiers. This marked new territory for the English, as they would have to go the rest of the game without their stubborn flagship. The Lord Cauldwell, now with a clear path after sinking the Baionnette, shot away the Belle’s lone mast, but the Triton was able to shoot a mast off the Lord Cauldwell, but rolled a 1 on the ram, missing her chance to dismast the durable ship.
In the meantime, the English were busy trying to run gold with their slower, un-captained ships. The Patagonia got lucky with two 4’s and a 2, raking in 10 gold on one trip to give the English the early advantage in the gold race. The Pyre docked at the island she had already explored to grab the final coin, although it was just a 1. However, since she had to surface in order to dock at the island and take the treasure, the Santa Lucia (SCS version) seized her chance to damage the sub, hitting her with a firepot (the rules say that subs can’t extinguish fire by submerging, ). The Pyre rolled a 6 to rid herself of the flames before ramming off one of the Santa Lucia’s two masts.
To the south, the French gold game was heating up. The Belle Poule limped home at S speed, with the Triton ramming the Lord Cauldwell derelict to end the threat (now both English gunships were out of action for the first time). She brought home 5 gold, while the Tunis found 6 more on a wild island.
Near the English home island, the French had a plan in mind. The crew of the OE Santa Lucia were drooling over the Patagonia’s treasure haul worth 10 gold, since the OE version has the HI-raiding ability. With her older self (the SCS version Santa Lucia) escorting her, the two ships almost made it to the English HI. The OE version smartly sailed over the submerged Pyre, but the SCS Santa Lucia was not in such a good position, and the Pyre rammed her derelict on the next turn. Up until now, the Locker had yet to get in on the action, undecided as to which ship she should target. Seeing the imminent threat of gold being stolen, she turned around and rammed the one masted OE Santa Lucia to dismast her. The French were able to scuttle both Santa Lucias on the next two turns, as they were too far from home for the other members of their fleet to come get them.
Just when things were looking dismal for the French, their other situations improved. The Tunis docked home the 6 gold she had found earlier in the game, which tied the game at 11-11 (the Baionnette had 1 gold on her when the English sunk her). At the French HI, the Triton captured the Lord Cauldwell and towed her home to let her repair, marking the first time either fleet was able to get a captured ship back in play. The Triton also had a 2 on her that she found in the first few turns, giving the French a 13-11 lead. This is where things really went down to the wire!
The Patagonia and Belle Poule headed back out to acquire more gold for their respective fleets, knowing that whoever got theirs back first would likely win the game. The Patagonia and the Pyre (still with the 1 on board) headed back home with gold, while the Locker went after the Belle and dismasted her with an underwater ram. The Tunis sailed out to transfer the Belle’s gold to her cargo hold. The Triton’s guns couldn’t hit the sub, but she helped out by positioning herself to block the sub off to the Tunis, hindering the Locker’s mobility. The Lord Cauldwell finished repairing and sailed out to help her new fleetmates.
The Lord Cauldwell and Triton moved to block the movements of the still-submerged Locker. This let the Tunis move freely towards the French HI, but she was still one move action away. The Patagonia and Pyre docked home 3 more gold for the English, giving them a narrow 14-13 lead. At this point, there were three 1’s left in play: two on the Tunis (she could only take two because her helmsman) and one on the Belle Poule.
Both the Patagonia and Pyre were too slow and too far away to affect the outcome of the situation in the south near the French HI, leaving the fate of the English fleet in the hands of the Locker. Due to the Lord Cauldwell and Triton being in the way, the 90 degree turn limit rule, and the fact that submerged submarines can’t end their move actions underlapping (?) other ships, the Locker had no choice but to surface and shoot her aft guns at the Tunis in a desperate attempt to sink her, since the Tunis was so close to her HI that the S movement provided by the Galley keyword would get her home in one turn. From bow to stern, the Locker’s guns are 3S, 4S, 4S. She shot a mast off the Triton with the 3S gun that wasn’t in range of the Tunis, but missed with both 4S guns aimed at the Tunis!
The Tunis docked home her 2 coins, giving the French the lead once again, this time 15-14! However, the game was still not over, as the English could force a tie if the Locker managed to sink the Belle Poule, moving S per turn on oar power. Naturally the English wanted anything other than to lose to the French, so they tried to force the tie.
Unfortunately for the Locker, subs can’t surface and submerge on the same turn, so she was now a sitting duck for the Triton and Lord Cauldwell. The Lord Cauldwell missed both times (as usual), but the Triton had been waiting since the first 60 point game for this moment, and her crew angrily blasted away two of the Locker’s three hull pieces. Their anger temporarily blinded them, however, as the Triton moved ahead a few feet as part of a move-and-shoot, allowing the Locker just enough space to get around the stern of the Triton and get her 3S gun (now the only shot she had) in range of the Belle Poule. But of course, the shot missed , allowing the French to sink the Locker and dock the Belle’s coin, giving the French a memorable 16-14 victory!
This was one of the best games I’ve played, and it may be the first time there’s been a 16-14 score (not to mention the 11-11 tie, 15-14 lead, and numerous lead changes). An unfortunate hallmark of my games, bad luck with the dice crippled the efforts of both fleets, but the French strategy and multiple gold runners eventually prevailed. At least one more 80 point game will be played, hopefully tomorrow!
I played the second 60 point game between these fleets (previous BR). The Triton explored an island early, only to have one of her masts shot away by the Algiers. The Tunis also explored an island, but her comrade was in trouble. The Lord Cauldwell missed the Triton, but the Algiers scored two more hits to make her a derelict. The Santa Lucia managed to hit the Algiers, but the Algiers retaliated by dismasting the Tunis, leaving her to try to get home on oar power.
Meanwhile, the submerged Locker rammed the Baionnette, as the Lord Cauldwell captured the Triton. The Algiers sank the Tunis, and the game only got better for the English, as the Patagonia docked home 7 gold. The Lord Cauldwell finally rolled a few 6’s to sink the Belle Poule, giving the English a 14-6 gold advantage. However, the Santa Lucia managed to recapture the derelict Triton, as the Baionnette tried to escort the two fragile ships (with 3 gold on the Triton) back to the French HI.
Another well-timed extra action for the Algiers (her good luck evens out the horrible luck of the Lord Cauldwell) let her dismast the Baionnette and ram the Santa Lucia. The Locker now rammed the Santa Lucia to dismast her, leaving the French with no actions left to give to their ships, as the English won, 14-6.
I’ve played the first 60 point game (some previous matchups), and it was one to remember. The islands were placed in a column fashion, with two columns of three islands each. The two home islands were picked to be the islands at the southern part of each column.
The game started with the Locker immediately getting into action, in her first game ever! She rammed a mast off the Baionnette to start the melee. The Triton explored the nearest island north of the French HI, and brought home 6 gold on just the second turn of the game. An extra action from the Algiers let her dismast the Belle Poule, but she missed the other one masted galley, the Tunis.
Still submerged, the Locker rammed the Santa Lucia to take out one of her masts, while the Lord Cauldwell missed taking out her second mast. After docking at her HI, the Triton sped over to the English HI and dismasted the Patagonia just before she could dock. Unfortunately for the French, her galley keyword let her move S on her next turn, and she was just barely able to make it in with 5 gold!
The Belle Poule limped away from the action at S speed, but the Algiers sunk her before she could get to a northernmost wild island. Using her firepot specialist, the Locker reduced the Tunis to a blazing hulk, but the Lord Cauldwell had more bad dice luck, unable to finish off the tiny galley.
Back at their respective HI’s, the Baionnette and Patagonia repaired to get back in the action.
With just one mast standing, the Algiers continued to put her remaining 2L gun to good use, sinking the Tunis. The Lord Cauldwell turned around and rammed the slow-moving Santa Lucia, taking out her final mast and killing her captain in the boarding action.
In the far northeast, the Triton picked up two more gold coins as the situation with the rest of her fleet worsened. The Baionnette blew her chance to dismast the Algiers (who along with the Lord Cauldwell is proving to be one of the most stubborn ships I’ve ever used), and was subsequently dismasted herself on the following turn by both the Algiers and the Locker (the Cauldwell missed yet again). The Santa Lucia now sunk after a successful scuttle roll, leaving the French with only the Triton.
Since treasure is placed face-up on HI’s in 2-player games, the English could see that they couldn’t sink the Triton outright, with the French owning 7 gold against the 6 of the English. They would have to make the Patagonia (moving S+S) dock before the Triton (S+L+S)! Here the Locker and her deadly crew-killing ability would come in handy.
The Locker rammed the Triton and set her mizzen mast on fire, leaving her with two against the three hull pieces of the Locker. The Locker rolled a 3 on the boarding party, but the Triton rolled a 2, giving the Locker’s boarders the chance to kill all three crew aboard the Triton.
Despite being on fire and having lost her captain, helmsman, and explorer, the Triton was not finished yet. On her next turn, she put out the fire and moved L+S towards her home island, sailing deftly between the hostile Algiers and Lord Cauldwell. However, without the extra +S from the helmsman, she couldn’t get home in time. The Patagonia docked home 2 gold for the English, giving them a narrow 8-7 lead. This allowed the Algiers and Lord Cauldwell to dismast the Triton and win the game for the English! Yet another exciting game that was very hard-fought and close throughout!
English vs. French at 40 Points
The next two games of this 40 point series have been played between the English and French. For the second game, the French got off to their exploratory ways right from the start. The Lord Cauldwell missed hitting the Triton, but the Algiers quickly made up for it by shooting and ramming the Triton to dismast her. The Baionnette tried to retaliate by damaging the Lord Cauldwell (the Algiers was not in range), but she needed both of her cannons to hit due to the defensive ability of the Lord Cauldwell. Considering that one of the Baionnette’s two cannons is a 4S, she is not the best match to attack the English blockade runner, and this time saw her miss as well. On the next turn, the two English gunships teamed up to dismast the Baionnette.
The Belle Poule docked home just 4 gold at the French HI, while the Lord Cauldwell finished off the Baionnette. The Algiers began towing the Triton, and sprinted 4S away from the Belle with help from an extra action and helmsman. Just before the Algiers got home, the Patagonia docked home 10 gold for the English, having gotten lucky in finding the highest value treasure coins. The Algiers brought home the Triton (and the gold aboard her) to give the English a 17-4 win!
For the third game, the English finally got to go first. The French chose the middle island to be their HI, since the French had not fared well while they occupied the same territory. The Patagonia headed in the opposite direction of the French fleet towards a wild island. The Lord Cauldwell headed west, with the Algiers sailing east. The English were looking to cut the French off regardless of which way they went, but made the age-old mistake of dividing their forces .
The French sailed west, with the Triton shooting away one of the Lord Cauldwell’s masts (finally!). With both French gunships sailing with the Belle Poule, you’d think that she would be protected with such an escort. Fortunately for the English, their luck with the dice would soon overcome their early mistake.
The Algiers rolled an extra action, reversed direction, and sailed right into the battle, taking out a mast on the Baionnette and the lone mast of the Belle Poule. Getting revenge on the Triton, the Lord Cauldwell took out a mast on the Triton. Now we had a good old-fashioned shootout!
The Triton missed with her cannons on the next turn, but her captain saw the golden opportunity to ram the final mast off the Lord Cauldwell. Alas, she rolled a 1, with the Cauldwell taking out her second mast on the next turn. Continuing the one-sided dice luck, the Baionnette missed the Algiers with a firepot. Another extra action for the Algiers let her sink the Belle Poule and dismast the Baionnette, leaving the French with just one mast remaining. The Triton sailed away from the Cauldwell and shot away the only mast the Patagonia possesses. The Cauldwell then missed the Triton, but the Algiers was able to finish her off, ending the game with all French ships either derelict or sunk!
Neither nation had brought home any gold, but since the Patagonia still had 6 gold in her cargo hold and the English had more points and masts afloat, they were declared the winner!
Now that the English have defeated the French both times, I will move on to the 60 point variation. However, since the additions used in these two fleets are the only ones I have for the French and English, the fleets will now ally with other ships that I haven’t used yet! The French have added the Santa Lucia (SCS version, same ability as the Lord Cauldwell) and equipped her with a captain, and they’ve also added the Tunis, a Barbary one master that has a built-in explorer (almost the same ship as the Belle Poule). The English have added the Locker, the LE Cursed submarine from MI, and crewed her with a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist.
First Game of 2014
I’ve made the fleets for the next series of games! As expected, the matchup will start out with the English facing the French. The English count HMS Algiers, HMS Lord Cauldwell, and the Patagonia as their only new additions, while the French have acquired Le Triton, La Baionnette, and the Belle Poule. The Algiers, Lord Cauldwell, Triton and Baionnette all have captains, with the Patagonia and Belle as the designated treasure runners (although the Triton and Baionnette have cargo space for gold if they want it).
The French started out the game on a gold run. They piled up 13 gold between the hulls of their three ships, and headed back with it. It’s important to note that the English (as player #2) strategically picked the middle island to be the French HI, in order to guarantee that they wouldn’t have to go far to corner the French.
The Triton, moving faster than any other ship in either fleet (S+L+S), was the first to dock at her HI, bringing home 6 gold. She shot at the nearby Lord Cauldwell as soon as she docked, but the Cauldwell’s ability (two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts) overcame her firepower. Meanwhile, the Algiers went in the direction of the Belle Poule and the Baionnette. The Baionnette punished her by setting her on fire!
Off in the south by herself, the Patagonia slowly brought in 4 gold for the English (she would later bring home 2 more), while the battle up north continued to rage. The Algiers shot at, rammed, and boarded the Baionnette, but all to no avail. With the Baionnette busy and the Triton off to explore a new wild island, the Lord Cauldwell sunk the Belle Poule, giving 3 gold to each nation. Before the Baionnette could do any further damage to the Algiers, the Algiers used her S+S+S speed to catch up with the Triton (now docked at a wild island) and once again, shoot, ram, and board. However, this sequence was much more successful than the first, as the Triton lost two masts and her explorer! The Algiers would have taken one of the recently loaded treasures if not for her full cargo hold of crew.
On the next turn, the Baionnette responded by taking out the second and final mast of the Algiers, whose resilience would show through once again. The Algiers was essentially out of the game for good, but she managed to roll a 5 to put out her fire while simultaneously getting an extra action to move S+S towards home via her oarsman!
Now the battle was in the hands of the Triton, Baionnette, and HMS Lord Cauldwell. As she had two treasure coins aboard and only one mast remaining, the Triton was the main target of the English. The Lord Cauldwell hit once to dismast her but couldn’t sink the French schooner. The Baionnette now began towing the Triton, looking to bring her in to dock and win the game (the French had 10 gold on their HI with another 7 on the Triton). The Lord Cauldwell, already near the French HI, sailed in the way of the Baionnette, taking out one of her two masts. The Cauldwell may have been able to dismast the French ship if not for her ability that makes her masts immune to ramming. Here’s where the supremely effective ability of the Lord Cauldwell came into play: with just one mast left standing in the French fleet, they had no hope of taking out the Lord Cauldwell’s masts by shooting, making the Englishman basically immune to combat (plus the Baionnette didn’t want to ram the Cauldwell since she needed to get the Triton’s gold home). The Lord Cauldwell dismasted the Baionnette, letting the English tow the Triton and win the game 16-10!
[lord_denton points out mistake]
At this point I don’t know who would have won the game. I’m not going to count this as a victory for either side in terms of the series. I’m just glad it was a great game!