Command the Oceans – Two More Turns (9/19/2017)

Somehow, I was able to play two turns today!

Another quick house rule:
-Shipwrights can repair forts while stationed inside

The Pirates cash in newly unloaded metals for a whopping 128 gold, spending 96 of it on 5 new ships. The Lady’s Scorn (SCS version, with lots of shot equipment aboard) and Accused (with firepot specialist and musketeer in addition to captain/helmsman) are tasked with protecting Dead Man’s Point from the Americans, a duty that the Fool’s Hope and Recreant are already assigned to as well. However, the more ships the Pirates assign for protection, the more likely it is that they will use some of them in a more offensive capacity…. The Feathered Hat, Sunrise Fire, and Madagascar are part of a squadron that has been tasked with whirlpool exploration. They plan to enter the whirlpool south of Pistol Island, and they may be joined by other ships as well. As factions get more and more crowded HI areas, they are more likely to send ships farther from home to avoid logjams, which may result in more enterprising expeditions….

Combining the leftover new gold with their old gold, the Pirates also have 69 gold saved up. They are tentatively planning to purchase a fort upgrade for 100 gold, which would allow them to launch ships and crew from the fort using gold from their home island. However, even as they save up, I’m not 100% sure I will implement that rule (being able to launch stuff outside of your HI). The Pirates have been having major issues lately with their kingdom, since it’s extremely difficult to get in and out with so many ships coming and going. I think this weakness of the kingdom needs to have more sway than being able to bypass it by spending 100 gold for a fort upgrade. So, I may simply make the upgrades even more expensive, such as 200 or 250 gold lol.

Warlord Cavendish gets his SAT, but is disappointed to not find more textiles on the island! The Jades manage to uncover some spices instead, but it’s a bit of a blow to a faction who has been incredibly fortunate with resource rolls so far. The Jades only have one wild island they’ve explored, but textiles have always been worth 4+ gold through all 30+ turns thus far.

Back at the Jade HI, ships are busy repairing and others are coming in to dock for repairs.

The English have done it! Using one of the strong cables transferred from the Starbuck, the English have hoisted an artillery cannon to the cave halfway up Diamond Rock! Now all that’s left is to attempt hoisting a cannon all the way up to the summit, but that will require a cable with a length of 2L, which the English still need to purchase.

Thomas Gunn oversees operations from his new flagship, HMS Lord Algernon. He is happy with the progress and looks forward to getting revenge on the Spanish with his powerful new warship. That’s not all that is going on in this picture, though. At the upper right, notice the Galapagos and Serapis headed north, as they’ve been tasked with exploring that part of the sea. However, between intelligence gathered from the London and Victor (both of which have been in the area), the English generally already know that a Spanish presence exists in the northern corner of this Caribbean. Finally, at the lower right, the Metal Dragon and Bath have been launched. They are given a different task: whirlpool exploration. The English are relatively satisfied with their fleet in the area between the gunships and gold runners, and so they task the two capacious ships with going through the whirlpool near the Duke shipwreck (that the Freedom appeared from) and trying to explore new seas, assuming they survive the trip as Ralph David did.

All of the Spanish ships in play right now. They don’t have more metals coming in just yet, but the Matthias Vospero has finished repairing and the squadron of 4 warships has amassed directly west of Diamond Rock! (Note: at this point you may have noticed that I have decided that Caribbean directions will be on the corners, with Paradise Island in the north corner and looking at the table on a diagonal as opposed to looking at it like a square as with the other oceans.)

A pretty (if I do say so myself haha) shot of the French area, where the Soleil Royal has signaled for the Jeux to head west. The Dauphin Royal guards The Flat while some ships in the foreground pick up luxuries.

The Americans break through the opening! The Congress almost immediately spots a new island, while the Minuteman and Concord excitedly join her.

The rest of the American fleet goes about their usual business of gold and resource running. William Eaton and the troops on the HI are happy to hear from Brent Rice that Luck Island is producing resources again.

The Pirates didn’t have an eventful Turn 35, but I wanted to take these two pictures just to show the extent of their frustration. Here, 4 ships have left the southern entrance to their kingdom, but their exit is preventing the Golden Medusa and Adventure from coming in yet. Making things worse, the Otter and Foresight are trying to exit to the south next turn! Speaking of the Otter, the Pirates have realized that galleys are a terrible launching choice for them, since one galley in an entrance essentially blocks the entire path for other ships, whereas they can fit two regular 4 masters side by side. As a result, the Pirates aren’t likely to use many of their galleys in this game, unless they are tasked with far-off war duty or they find a way to launch outside of their HI.

The northern entrance is complicated as well, with the Eagle dropping off very valuable textiles and the Fool’s Gold spending an extra turn under the arch to repair the mast she lost to the Freedom. Those ships prevent the Lady’s Scorn and Accused from leaving for at least a turn. Based on the kingdom’s extreme value as a defensive haven (especially for a ship or gold you REALLY wanted to hide for a long time), I think this is a necessary drawback of the Pirates (the most effective faction in the game) having it at their disposal. However, it remains to be seen if the long-term value of the kingdom will be worth it by the game’s end.

-Back to the Caribbean-

ATTACK! The Tartessos sails towards Diamond Rock and hits 4/4 to damage the London and take out her helmsman with Grape Shot! The San Estaban missed with her firepot specialist, but hit on her other shot to take the London down to 2 masts. Remember no ram damage, but that 6 is actually for the London’s boarding party – she rolled a 6 to tie! Looks weird, but the San Estaban has the Weapons UT which gives her +1 to her boarding rolls for every crew aboard. With a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist, the SE is basically starting a boarding party with a 6, but she only rolled a 2 here to tie with the London’s eventual score of 8. That 6 saved the London’s captain, and she also has fire shot aboard.

The Matthias Vospero is out for more revenge, but isn’t nearly as effective the second time around, hitting just 1/4 with two shots apiece aimed at the Bretwalda and London. The Galeon de Gibraltar is the only Spanish ship not to shoot this turn, but provides nice support. The English are once again caught somewhat by surprise, and their arrogance has left them with a strong-but-not-strong-enough presence right near Diamond Rock.

The Americans venture deeper into the Sea of Karkuda, with the Minuteman finding the 5th and final beach of the big island! Commodore Preble should probably stay behind to ensure safety of the American HI, but he can’t resist taking the President through the opening in the reef to have a look for himself.

And now it’s clear that Preble isn’t needed to guard the American HI right now anyway! Spending all 57 of their saved up gold, the Americans launch the Concord and Flying Fish as well as two new cargo ships. That’s right – Ralph David returned home and was able to convince his fellow Americans to spend money on some anti-Pirate measures! Citing his quick and effective trip through the whirlpool (now the Americans can go straight from Karkuda to Allost without rolling for location, remember), as well as the abundance of textiles and large Pirate hybrids he found on his first trip, RD was able to argue effectively that the Pirates are a huge threat to American security and that they were even richer than the Americans themselves. With that, David now has 2 more ships to throw at the Pirates. The Americans also launched the Providence and Rattlesnake, for the purposes of exploring and gathering cargo from the newly discovered area northeast of the reef hole. Also note the immense quantity of food on their HI, as the canoes just brought back another 10 tokens of that resource.

After a few turns of stagnancy, the Americans have not only rediscovered resources on their southern islands, but they also have sailed into a new area and are looking great once again.

And that concludes this report! Things are getting more and more interesting, and with a larger amount of turns happening in the near future (possibly 4+ each of the next three days!), many developments are just around the corner! Very Happy

Command the Oceans – SHOCK, AWE, CHAOS (9/20/2017)

I will start by saying that I think this is probably one of my biggest and best reports I’ve written!! Prepare yourself! XD

I was able to play 5 turns today, Turns 36-40. At the outset of Turn 36, there were 3 turns remaining until resources would change again, with metals and textiles the most valuable resources. As a side note, I will admit that I began the day’s play not really “feeling” it like I usually do, in terms of how excited I was about the game. However, by the end of the session I was completely the opposite! Also, I just recently noticed that I have completely forgotten about the return fire house rule, which means I may or may not use it going forward. Oops!

The Pirates gather their whirlpool squadron around the southern whirlpool in the Sea Allost. The Feathered Hat, Madagascar, and Sunrise Fire prepare to take the plunge! In addition, the Deliverance is standing by, with Havana Black considering joining them for protection and for his own curiosity.

SHAL-BALA ATTACKS!! In a sudden, unexpected flyover, the giant sea dragon from hell swoops in on the Jade Rebellion’s own home island! Troops and equipment were scattered in all directions. And just like that, the dragon flew up and away. Clearly this is no ordinary sea dragon, as I’ve taken the liberty of giving it some special rules for this particular game. Here I physically had the dragon swoop over the island itself and simply smash whatever happened to get hit in the swift but deadly attack. However, to be more fair, I ruled that anything on land had survived, so the JR’s only lost one infantry unit and one artillery unit in the sneak attack. (combined that would cost them 4 gold, so trivial as to be completely irrelevant in a game like this)

However, the attack was important, as it demonstrated Shal-Bala’s power and range. This taught the Jades something: in order to combat the dragon, they would have to go to its hiding place and kill it themselves. Even with lots of ships docked at home and plenty of infantry with muskets stationed there, they were no match for the dragon, whose attack was too fast for any damage to be done in return. The Jades had already been planning to go northwest with a stronger squadron than before, but now they doubled their efforts.

Back in the Caribbean, the English strike back! The Bretwalda matches the Tartessos’ effort from the previous turn, going 4/4! Her second hit set the Matthias Vospero aflame. The London was unable to knock a full mast off the San Estaban, but notice HMS Lord Algernon sailing up at the lower right….

Here HMS Victor arrives from around the northern side of Diamond Rock to blast a mast off the Tartessos!

The extremely effective Spanish counterattack! From left to right, the Victor, London, and Bretwalda have all lost masts. However, the Bretwalda was by far the hardest hit – she had been damaged earlier, so three well-placed shots from the Matthias and San Estaban combined to give her two fire masts!

Off on a treasure run with the Alquimista, the gunners inside the Diablo flotilla tested their range using my new S+S cardboard range ruler, and found their mark! They only did a bit of damage to HMS Serapis, but it showed off the range of flotillas, which I anticipate being a reasonably big factor in this game.

The Rafael and Magdalena are nearly home with valuable metals, while other ships have begun the return journey as well. Notice that Diablo had to shoot before the Alquimista moved away from the English gunship – this is another great thing about flotillas, as the flexibility of having their own shoot actions allows a reverse captain type thing with gold runners.

Tasked with exploring east of the Harbor, Nemo surfaces the Nautilus to discover a new island just outside the Harbor walls!

The Jeux is the first ship to dock at The Flat, and will explore next turn! Who knows what she’ll find? In the meantime, other French ships make their way to the large island while Monsieur Lenoir watches from the Dauphin Royal:

Setting out! The Concord and Flying Fish will soon be followed by the Freedom through the whirlpool, with the express purpose of putting some hurt on the Pirates. Do you think Brent Rice aboard the Bonhomme Richard will join them?

The Americans finally discover that they can reach the rest of Karkuda by sailing all the way around the big island to the north! However, this would take far longer than their new route east, so they don’t have any regrets about blowing up that reef. (this confirms that the island in question has 5 beaches, although that would have been obvious if you have read my previous BR’s using that island)

The Congress, Concord, and Delaware are well-armed and ready to mark new territory for America:

The first cargo ships for the Americans venture east!

And more are on the way! The Yankee and Pawtucket are launched, with the same purpose of getting resources and gold from the area east of the reefs.

Turn 36! The Pirates brave the whirlpool for the first time! The flagship of the squadron is immediately spun back out after rolling a 1 to emerge from the same exact whirlpool! XD

The Sunrise Fire and Madagascar roll 2’s to emerge from the other whirlpool in the Sea of Allost, where the Freedom came out! This not what the Pirates wanted, or expected. They are trying to discover new lands and/or discover where the hostile Ralph David came from.

Back in Caribbean waters, the English roll poorly to not even damage the San Estaban! However the Bretwalda got lucky that neither of her fire masts spread. Her captain considered running for home, but between the low probability of making it in time to put out the flames, and seeing his fellow Englishmen in danger (HMS London nearly derelict at the right), he decided to forge ahead and press the attack! Indeed, both sides showed bravery and honor in this fight.

She’s not rolling 1’s! Thomas Gunn announces his huge entrance into the battle with HMS Lord Algernon’s first shots of the game!! The super-accurate gunnery crews obliterate the final two masts aboard the Matthias Vospero, who is now doomed due to her fire mast and zero percent chance of being towed home in time.

The Galapagos only manages two hits on the Galeon de Gibraltar (Galeon for short), but one of them is an all-important Stinkpot Shot!One of the most underrated things in the history of this game, this equipment shuts down ALL crew aboard the enemy ship during their next turn if the shot it’s assigned to is successful. From here I can confirm that shots that don’t eliminate masts do not need to hit on the mast elimination hit (the second hit needed to take out the mast for example, following the 2 hits per mast house rule) in order to take effect. For example, a successful grape shot would eliminate a crew on the enemy ship regardless of how many hits the enemy ship had taken in terms of mast elimination. This applies to stinkpot shot as well of course, and this shut down the Galeon’s impressive cohort of crew for her next turn (captain, helmsman, cannoneer). Since the Galeon’s cannons were not quite in range of the Lord Algernon at this point, this saved Gunn’s flagship from taking damage on the Spanish turn.

At the left, the Victor has scored a hit on the Tartessos while the Serapis enters the fray as well.

I think the San Estaban had her mizzenmast eliminated by HMS London. At this point you are invited to view a video of the situation if you’d like. That was released as a youtube exclusive almost 12 hours before this report was posted, and before the rest of the day’s turns were even played!

This shows the Spanish turn in the battle area, with the fire aboard La Tartessos spreading. However, the Spanish inflicted some fiery hits of their own – the San Estaban has connected with her firepot specialist against HMS London, dooming the ship in a devastating blow to English morale! In addition, although the Galeon’s captain was immobilized by stinkpot shot, she managed to connect on 3 of 4 shots against the Galapagos, getting some measure of revenge by setting the ship aflame with exploding shot. I will remark that it was a big-time shot – the exploding shot not only took out the first mast on the Galapagos (reducing her speed due to her ship’s ability of getting +L with all masts up), but it also killed her helmsman. This meant that the one die roll was responsible for a huge loss of speed aboard the Galapagos – the ship went from a max speed of S+L+S to just S in one turn!

The Matthias Vospero burns and sinks, but both sides are already suffering heavy damage. At the far right, the Metal Dragon has arrived and awaits orders from Admiral Gunn as to her role.

The Spanish take in 42 gold and launch two new gunships! The Catedral del Mar and El Extremadura give the Spanish a half dozen rank-2 cannons to throw at the English. As is becoming somewhat standard, they are also equipped with some variety of fiery equipment or crew. (I wanted to emphasize all sorts of “extra weaponry” in this game, from the different shot equipment to specialists, musketeers, and cannoneers – so far, not only have I been remembering them, but they’ve played large roles in the battles too!)

Also notice that the Spanish have unloaded Power Cannons at their HI – I have house-ruled that face up UT’s can be unloaded to home islands as if they were equipment or crew.

The French find textiles on The Flat! This gives them a third resource near their Harbor, with food and luxuries available as well.

And there it is! My uglier but playable version of the Phare de l’ile de Batz! This is not my idea at all, but rather one from vixenishcoder66 on Miniature Trading. Here is the revised post with other lighthouses, some of which I may also use in this game. Ironically, that post was made around the same time that I was seriously considering starting this game, though I didn’t know how grand it would be or what I could fit into it. At this point, I’m going all-in on everything I can possibly do lol. This is more proof of that.

The smallest island I have from RossinAZ is perfect for a lighthouse – the size of the cylinder I used fits great on the slightly raised grassy part of the island! I found a thick cardboard cylinder at my job, and decided it could be turned into a handful of makeshift lighthouses. I cut it into different pieces with various heights, and added a little paint to them to make them less plain (though this was a trying experience because I hate paint and hardly care about what it looks like lol). Actually, before I painted them (most of them anyway, as a few aren’t painted) I poked some holes where the “light” would come from, in addition to windows and various openings. Clearly the lighthouse is not designed to look like a real-life one – I made the lighthouses randomly and blue is my color of choice for France, and thus they have this one for the lighthouse I chose from the French ones vixenishcoder66 designed. And of course, as I said in the first post of this thread, the aesthetics of the pieces are a joke compared to the actual gameplay, so spending a lot of time on the lighthouses is the opposite of my thesis as a hardcore player. I’m just glad I got lucky and found something I could use to make use of someone else’s custom idea!

As the Vengeance takes off for The Flat (textiles are currently worth 5 gold apiece), you can see I’ve used one of the L-range straws (which I didn’t make either – I received those randomly in a trade or eBay lot a while back) to temporarily represent the lighthouse’s effect range. I don’t plan to cut out clear plastic for the base in this game, especially since they will often be elevated as I’m not planning to use ANY standard islands this whole game! However, now the “light” is coming from the top, which makes sense and works for now.

Believe it or not, this wasn’t just to show off the lighthouse – there was genuine French strategy behind this decision! lol. The French have placed it near their Harbor but on the island that leads to the west, where around 2/3 of the Sea of Karkuda lies. It can give French cargo ships a little boost on their trips out and back into the Harbor, in addition to providing a thematic “light” near the Harbor mouth. The food islands to the east don’t have as much stuff near them, so this island was absolutely perfect for the first (hopefully not last, but they will not just be built for the heck of it haha) lighthouse of the game!

With the Freedom fully repaired and two additional gunships at his disposal, Ralph David is ready to return to his Pirate-hunting antics!

The Providence docks at the new island just beyond the reef opening! Another exploration will happen next turn! You can see more American cargo ships coming up from the southwest, while the canoe team continues to gather food in the northwest corner.

Oh my!! Just east of the island the Providence docked at, the Concord and Delaware discover The Flat! The French are just beyond on the other side, so a meeting between the two factions in the Sea of Karkuda finally seems imminent!

(and yes, that does mean that there is not another faction secretly lurking in Karkuda lol…)

This shows the island in greater detail, although I already talked about it in my Economy Edition reports. It’s still one of my favorite islands I’ve made; even though the foam layers are still visible, it reminds me of the White Cliffs of Dover and features some nice heavy shrubbery and rocks on various parts of it. This picture also shows the wide exploratory efforts by the Americans, with the President, Congress, and Minuteman all checking things out and nearing The Flat.

With the Feathered Hat awaiting her fleetmates, she is rewarded when the Sunrise Fire and Madagascar emerge from the whirlpool. Thus was their plan – if they didn’t all end up at the same whirlpool, go back to the original and compare notes. The Pirates can now travel through the two whirlpools in the Sea of Allost, but must roll for location to get to any other whirlpools. Slow progress, but progress indeed. The poor crew of the Otter have been told to do whatever they want by the Pirates back at the kingdom – galleys are a huge headache for the narrow arch entryways, so the Otter has been dismissed from the active cargo fleet. Her depressed crew perk up when told about the whirlpool expedition by the captain of the Feathered Hat, who is puzzled but determined after the latest event when his ship was simply tossed around the same whirlpool he entered.

The Jade Rebels sail out in force! Realizing that further reinforcing their HI with additional infantry is pointless against such a powerful foe, they send plenty of ships to seek out Shal-Bala.

Leading the pack is mostly hired Viking ships, but also a familiar sight: the Divine Wind. Her captain is now more ready than ever to face what lies at the “Gates of Hell”.

Further strengthening the general Jade position, the Grand Temple moves just west of their sole resource island and readies the guns. The similarly repaired Sea Phoenix and Glorious Treasure join her.

Back to the Caribbean! (obviously I enjoy saying that for some reason haha)

Devastation is unleashed as the Lord Algernon looses a full broadside! Combined with shots from the Galapagos, the Galeon de Gibraltar is reduced to a burning hulk in just one turn!

War at sea! Splintered masts fall everywhere, while smoke from the flames obscures the deck of the Galeon from view of sharpshooters in the main top of HMS Lord Algernon:

War indeed, for the English have declared war on the Spanish!! This happened shortly after the battle commenced, but clearly it seemed like an inevitability at this point. After the London sank due to fire, HMS Burma finally entered combat by dismasting the San Estaban. The captain of the Burma was happy to finally command her in battle, after spending many turns aboard other ships and waiting for operations at Diamond Rock to be completed (which they haven’t been of course, but more on that later!). The Victor has captured the San Estaban for what I believe is the first capture of the game! However, sadly the London is no more. She met the same fate as the Viceroy, with fire dooming both ships.

The Serapis shoots at the Tartessos, who may soon meet a similar fate:

Spending some gold, the English launch 3 ships. You can see their newest purpose-built warships here, as the very accurate Duke of York and Guy Fawkes are launched. They are ready to fight Spain. HMS Duke of York in particular is a bruiser I’ve wanted to use for a while.

But yes, they launched 3 ships. Here is the other one: HMS Malton. She is a beauty, on par with many French ships for aesthetics, at least in my opinion. However, her purpose in this game is more practical. With the Burma off fighting in combat, the Malton has been tasked with continuing the operations around Diamond Rock’s fortifications. She carries a new 2L length of cable, along with the artillery unit you see here and a captain and helmsman. Those crew give her the opportunity to fight Spain sooner rather than later in the case of disaster out west, but in the meantime her current job may also be fraught with perils, although of a different nature.

Amid the deafening roar of his own cannons, Admiral Gunn signals for the Metal Dragon to resume her mission with the Bath to explore whirlpools. Gunn sees that English victory is near, and knows the King John (off the starboard bow of the Bretwalda) can do an admirable job standing in for the Metal Dragon.

With more metals coming in, the Spanish continue to launch, as they should in such circumstances. The Anunciada and Santa Catalina come into play, along with the first duplicate flotilla of the game – another Armada is right behind the Anunciada!

Oh no! My worst fears had been confirmed: another great warship lost to fire! La Tartessos burns to the waterline, marking yet another casualty to fire shot and firepots. I wanted to emphasize them in this game, but they may be becoming too powerful. Despite following the two hits per mast rule and not ignoring it, they are still extremely valuable for their point costs. With the house rules, I really didn’t expect this many ships to be sinking this early in the combat parts of this game. I haven’t decided upon anything yet, but I may rule that fire needs a 1 to spread and a 6 to be put out, instead of a 1-2 and 5-6. I will admit that I am partly annoyed simply because of which ships have been doomed by fire – the first English flagship (HMS Viceroy), and now some of the powerful gunships I was really looking forward to using a bunch (HMS London, HMS Bretwalda, the Tartessos, etc).

Nemo keeps the Nautilus above water and excitedly tells the French about the island east of the Harbor. They seem relatively unconcerned by the considerable development and tell Nemo to inform Admiral Gaston personally.

French ships collect luxuries and textiles near the new lighthouse:

The Dauphin Royal sights the Concord, marking the first Franco-American contact of the game! This also puts an end to the French streak of not discovering any other factions, as they are the final fleet to find another source of humanity in the game. (though what the Jades have found is not particularly human… XD)

Now you can get an idea of the Sea of Karkuda’s layout, with only a handful of wild islands between the American area and the French Harbor.

American canoes in their preferred V formation, heading home with yet more fish/food.

A meeting of the minds! Commodore Preble meets with Monsieur Lenoir. The crews of the Congress and Concord try to listen in for information, but the sound of the waves drowns out the important conversation.

The Rattlesnake and Argo simultaneously dock at the eastern beach of the big island!

HUZZAH!! Lumber has been found! Very Happy This made be very happy, as it’s one of my favorite resources for thematic purposes (essential for ships obviously!) and it took nearly 40 turns to finally discover the last resource.

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to roll a 1! lol!

Ralph David returns to Allost! The Freedom, Concord, and Flying Fish emerge from the whirlpool in the north.

Turn 39 marked the need for another resource change! Yet another 3 was rolled for value, meaning that textiles were worth 6 once again and crashing the metals market! This was a disaster for the Spanish, but the values would only hold for 5 turns, the shortest duration of the game thus far.

The Pirate whirlpool squadron was ready to try again! With the Madagascar and Sunrise Fire rolling 5’s, they appeared at the southwestern whirlpool in the Sea of Karkuda! Right next to the Americans who don’t like them! XD

With terrible luck, the Otter rolls a 4 and ends up at the northern whirlpool in Karkuda! She is exposed to the powerful Congress and President, and she better hope the Americans don’t spot her! XD

LOL!! For the second time in a row, the Feathered Hat gets spun out of the same whirlpool she entered! XD

With a rare overhead view from the east, the Deliverance showed up next to the Otter to protect her. Now the Pirates have clear routes to 3 of the other 4 whirlpools that currently exist, with the Caribbean whirlpool the only one they haven’t traveled to from their own near the kingdom.

Determined and willing to risk everything, the Jades charge onwards. The Sea Lion has not mounted the icewreck, I just had to make room in the fog bank for both. Despite the supernatural inclinations the icewrecks seem to have, even they cannot locate other ships in the same fog bank.

With a bunch of Jade ships in the fog, the slow 6 masters sail up from the south:

Ouch! The icewrecks come out of nowhere and ram masts off the Grand Mountain and Muninn!

Just as suddenly, a ghostly shadow pops out of a fog bank next to the Jade resource island, and then travels through the Glorious Treasure to shoot directly at Jade cargo ships!! The Crushed Skull has turned ghostly, and takes a mast off the Sea Duck!

Suddenly it’s a Cursed swarm attack! The Jikininki, Spilled Salt, and Banshee’s Wail sail out of the west and descend upon the Grand Temple! However, they only eliminate one mast combined.

An ominous sight: Sammy the Skull shows up in the Monkey’s Paw! This ship was damaged in the Battle of Fog and Ice, but has been repaired somewhere and is ready for action again!

The Pestilence appears! Her blade strikes a mast off the Grand Temple, and you can see other scorpion ships aren’t far behind!

Well what was that all about?! XD

-Back to the Caribbean-

With a very unlucky three consecutive 1’s, the Bretwalda loses her last two masts and the Galapagos loses a mast! This is another blow to English morale, as they will not be able to get the Bretwalda home in time before she burns.

The Bretwalda is doomed. Sad Gunn tells the Victor to drop the captured San Estaban so she can go home and repair. The Lord Algernon takes up towing duty for now, as the Serapis goes home for repairs as well. The Burma guards the area. Despite considerable losses, the English have won the First Battle of Diamond Rock!

New and old English ships sail out, with different tasks to be completed.

With the Spanish threat at least temporarily contained, the Metal Dragon returns to escort the Bath through the Caribbean whirlpool! Funny enough they both roll 3’s to simply get spun around and dizzy! XD

Unfortunately for the English they both lost masts in the effort.

With the loss of all four gunships in the battle (3 burnt and 1 captured), this shows the entire Spanish fleet. They have formed a defensive wall with gunships and the new flotilla to protect their cargo ships. With metals plummeting to 1 in value, the Spanish may not be able to launch for the next bunch of turns.

Armada was already in play, but the second part of the flavor text is fitting: Spain was the last of the nations to create a flotilla, but now uses them aggressively to protect its precious ports in the New World.

Spain’s impressive line of battle, although it wouldn’t hold up if England threw their full might against it.

A wide shot of pretty much the entire Caribbean, with the Duke shipwreck in the deep south and Paradise Island in the north corner.

Back in Karkuda, the French experience a large influx of ships entering the Harbor area, with the new lighthouse providing some assistance.

Another meeting of the minds near The Flat! Although, this one is less cordial. Lenoir shouts a greeting to Havana Black, who seems hurried and tells the French that he made a mistake and will be escorting the Otter back through the whirlpool. Commodore Preble watches the maneuvers, unimpressed. He and the Congress stay where they are and avoid contact with the Pirates, as they don’t want blood on their hands and will wait for Ralph David’s report to determine how to proceed with such criminals.

It is worth noting that the French were previously “alone”, and now find themselves in the company of two other factions in just a few turns, surprising them and alerting them to the fact that they may not be as dominant in these waters as they thought!

A friend of Ralph David, Brent Rice saw the suspicious Pirates emerge from the whirlpool south of the American HI, and orders the Bonhomme Richard to attack! However, the gunners have a miserable day, hitting just once in 5 tries to damage the already-hurting Madagascar. The Colonial Trader loads metals, her crew smelling the smoke of battle for the first time.

The Rattlesnake explores the final beach of the big island up north, finding textiles! She and the Argo load some and prepare to go home. This gives the Americans 5 of the 6 resources relatively close to their HI, which is fantastic for their long-term wealth. Throw in the spices they have saved up from when Luck Island produced that resource, and they are the most diversified faction in the game.

I ran out of textile tokens from M&M so I used the Hammocks one instead. The extra sails token would be next, and I can always just use a face up coin to denote which resource the island or beach produces as I did for Economy Edition.

The Providence and Yankee head back with lumber (now worth 5 gold after the change) while the Pawtucket and Louisiana look to do the same:

The Americans investigate The Flat, impressed by its position and sizing it up as a potential spot for their future operations…. The French will no doubt be sending more ships there soon, as textiles recently became the most valuable resource in the game for the third time in six resource rolls.

With some considerable damage done by the travels, the Pirate whirlpool squadron meets up back in Pirate waters. They are disoriented and disgrunteld, annoyed at how random the results seemed to be. However, they can now travel without rolling for location from this whirlpool to all others except the one in the Caribbean, which they don’t know exists (and therefore they have no idea of the English and Spanish presence in the game lol).

Ralph David was ready for action, and that was exactly what he would get! This time though, the Pirates were more than ready for him. With a squadron of four Pirate gunships tasked specifically with defending Dead Man’s Point, David’s squadron quickly came under attack. The Recreant, Accused, Fool’s Hope and Lady’s Scorn have hit the Americans pretty hard, with the Concord suffering an ominous fire on board. Mission hears the gunfire and gives the Crusher an extra action, trusting the gunships to dispatch the Americans quickly but ready to deal the final blows if necessary…. In fact, this is as close to combat as Mission has gotten in this game, but it’s nice to see that it doesn’t look like he’ll be an “armchair admiral” for the Pirates.

You may have noticed that the Pirates didn’t seem to launch much if anything this session, and you’d be right. This is not just because I’m a little fed up with how difficult the logistics of the kingdom are (bumping it, measuring distance out, logjams, etc). The Pirates have been taking in considerable riches, but they are saving it for now.

Elsewhere in Allost, the Rebels strike back! Turtle ships and the Sea Phoenix team up to take two masts off the Crushed Skull, who is still ghostly and therefore immune to the great ability of the Glorious Treasure (eliminate a mast and crew after being pinned). The Jades are a little shocked and dazed that the Cursed suddenly hit one of their resource ships, but those ships return home and continue to pile up spices.

The Grand Temple uses a reroll from Katsura-chan to get Tsai’s SAT, shooting 6/8 to take three masts off the Pestilence and Spilled Salt combined!

The Beowulf rams an icewreck, actually breaking the ice:

A revelation! Some of the dense fog lifts, but only after the Jade ships inside roll to come out of it. The 6 masters reach a fog bank that stays in play.

The Polaris rams a big icewreck coming out of the fog, while the Divine Wind approaches something she’s seen before!!

Is it? Could it be?? Amid some unfamiliar sails, the Divine Wind comes upon the area she discovered many turns ago!

From the main mast of a hired Viking vessel, it’s obvious: the “Gates of Hell” are upon them!!

Completely optional, but at this point you may want to get some thematic music up to further experience what the JR’s experienced here! (NO connection to the movie or character! Just thought the song fit this part) (and maybe read this part slightly slower to get the effect …. … )

With no dragon in sight and less fog and gloom blocking their view, the Jade Rebels and Vikings look up around the “gates” for the first time… and DREAD fills them up…..

….

As more fog lifts, a view from the Beowulf, who isn’t even that close to the “gate”….

REEE!!

With a shriek, Shal-Bala descends from above!! The dragon swoops again, taking out a mast on the Divine Wind and Polaris.

And then Shal-Bala again flies up, but with most of the fog around this massive structure disappearing, we see where the dragon goes!! Up, and up, and up! O_O

Introducing: The Cursed Dragon Roost!

One of the biggest structures ever used in a Pirates CSG game!!

These aren’t the “gates of hell”! This is THE ROOOOOOOSSSSSSSTTTTTTT!!!!!!! XD Another head-on view (almost from sea level!) for maximum shock value:

The Cursed have been here all along!

Starting the game with the Roost as their home island, and with 30 points to build a fleet, the Cursed have been one of the original 7factions since the beginning of the game! Only now, as the Jades discover the full scale of their operations, is their epic “grand reveal” appropriate!

Cursed cargo ships load luxuries from what I’ve been calling Broken Horn Island, just as they’ve done for nearly 40 turns now! The Dark Pact is a recent launch, but the Grinder and Death Wind have been in play for a while now.

East of the Roost, the Cursed have a gold island that has already replenished a few times! The 100 gold coin and other valuable goodies found there are the biggest reason for their current strength. The Nightmare, Guinee, Sea Monkey, Crypt, and Maman Brigitte are collecting gold from the island, while the Soul Crusher stands guard. The Soul Crusher costed the Cursed 33 points, as she carries Wraith (who has already possessed a few dead crew!) along with a captain, helmsman, and musketeer.

Cursed game summary
The Cursed found gold and luxuries on the southwestern island, but the gold has run dry. They also found tons of gold and UT’s but also Wolves up north with Crypt. The Soul Crusher with her musketeer was launched to eliminate the Wolves, after which the gold could be taken aboard other ships. They got a 60 coin (a 6 with a gold-painted back, as I explained earlier) and a 100 coin (no number, just gold on both sides), and then proceeded to launch 201 points of stuff in 2 separate turns. Shal-Bala savaged the Sea Serpent and ate the crew. They had the biggest fleet (231 points) at first point count, although this was completely unknown since I didn’t report it lol. They had 303 points at the second point count, which would mean that the game had actually reached 1,760 total points at that count! And then they recently found another 100 coin after the Battle of Fog and Ice ended.

And here you see why I’ve called it the Roost – Shal-Bala is nesting on top! The giant piece of foam I used had some natural recessed areas, which is perfect for an evil Cursed Sea Dragon nest. Shal-Bala has finished up eating the remains of the Jade musketeer that was taken from the Divine Wind such a long time ago. This “food” helped Shal-Bala regrow its tail, and yes, that means that Sea Dragons can repair on top of the Roost!! O_O

Shal-Bala has transported a skeletal, pale figure to the top of the Roost… Devereaux!

At this point it is necessary to explain his “experiments” via his flavor text, first with his Revolution version:
Originally a French privateer, Devereaux has lost his sanity to his obsession with finding the Dragon’s Eye, a gem that legend says grants the owner immortality.
Of course, that’s the DJC Cursed version of Devereaux on the Roost: that is who the Cursed started the game with. (their original fleet was the Boneyard with Devereaux and a helmsman, along with the Crypt. However, Devereaux has long since left his ship to tend to his work at the Roost….)
Flavor text from DJC version:
Devereaux found his great obsession, the Eye of the Dragon. It’s power was everything he hoped it was – and more: Its power condemned him to a living death under its control.

And he has indeed found “his great obsession”, but that is not where this story ends. O_O

You may have also noticed some face up UT’s on the Roost. In addition to being able to store face up UT’s at their HI, the Cursed have a special power that lets them store face down UT’s until they are ready to be loaded aboard ships.

Would you believe that all that actually just happened at the conclusion of the Jade Rebellion turn? That’s right, the Roost was revealed as the fog lifted, meaning that the Jades were still taking their turn as they discovered the Roost, and can still spend gold!

Anxiously ready for reinforcements to face whatever bizarre foes emerged from the northwest, the Jades spent well over 100 gold for another anti-Cursed squadron! From left to right, the Grand Path, Grendel, Hrunting, Naegling, and Huginn! The Grand Path is finally unleashed! This is the 5th and final Jade 6 master to be launched in the game.

The Cursed are next! They officially go third in the turn order, behind the Jades and just before the English go in the Caribbean.

A FULL-SCALE CURSED ATTACK!!!! TOTAL CHAOS!

The Crushed Skull turned ghostly to zoom through the turtle ships and for the first time in this game, utilized the house rule where you can shoot at ships docked at their home islands! Alas, her one shot missed the newly launched Grand Path. The Cursed recently launched a fog-hopping squadron! The Sea Hag and Mist Walker started in a fog bank near the Roost, and popped out of the one next to the Jade resource island! They combined to knock a mast off the Grand Wind, flagship of Warlord Cavendish, who was stunned by the development! At the left, the Monkey’s Paw only shoots 2/5 but knocks both panels off the Floating Stone. You may have noticed the Grand Temple is in trouble…

… and she is! The Spilled Salt and Pestilence eliminated a mast apiece, and the GT is really in dire straits because she can’t escape (even with her reverse captain ability, which would normally come in quite handy with so much fog to run into) since the scorpion keyword keeps her pinned!

A big bite from Mist Walker nearly decapitates Warlord Cavendish! XD

Bam! The Scythe wrecks a mast and pins the Beowulf, who comes under attack on both sides by fog hoppers. The Needle and Hangman’s Joke have arrived!

Something the Cursed had been planning nearly all game: Behemoth copies the fog hopper ability and comes out to ram the Polaris and pin her in place!

Near the gateway of the Roost, icewrecks combine with the newly launched Sickle and Hellfire to make short work of the Divine Wind and Asgard!

From the main masts of the Grand Path, you can see the Muninn running home for repairs caused by ice damage, while one of the icewrecks that rammed her is a new big one. If the Jades lose their icebreakers, they may have no defense against the icewrecks! At this point, it is probably obvious to you that the icewrecks have been controlled by the Cursed the entire time. They follow the rules for icebergs (mostly), except that the Cursed can move them S in any direction on the Cursed turns. The icewrecks are formed from wrecked Pirate ships destroyed long ago and possessed by the Cursed to form a barrier between the Roost and any invading factions….

The entire Cursed/Jade situation. The Roost and the new battle take up a huge amount of space. In fact, seeing the extent of the Cursed threat, the Jade Rebellion has declared war on the Cursed!

Whew! Here we are back in the Caribbean, with a wide shot of the English. The Duke of York and Guy Fawkes make their way to the battlefield (though it’s now over), while the Bath and Metal Dragon join the Victor and Serapis as ships headed home for repairs, since the whirlpool expedition was an utter failure. HMS Apollo docks at home to load a captain, she happens to have Claw Cannon aboard as well, which she discovered back at the Duke shipwreck….

The Galapagos rolls good and bad, eliminating one fire mast but gaining one as well. This leaves her with just one mast, and at S speed, it’s unlikely she’ll reach home before it’s too late. The King John has arrived to reinforce the Diamond Rock squadron, but with the Lord Algernon possibly towing the San Estaban home, the English guard is about as weak as it’s been in a while.

However, the Spanish are still reeling from the First Battle of Diamond Rock, and here you can see they’ve taken up a defensive position. This is a rare shot looking from the northwest, showing their whole fleet.

By coincidence/bad timing, the French have a bit of a logjam at their Harbor, as the Nautilus goes west past the cargo ships and the lighthouse:

An alliance is struck! Commodore Preble meets with Admiral Gaston of the Soleil Royal, and the French and Americans make the first alliance of the game!

The Delaware and Minuteman guard some islands, while at the upper left the Argo looks to take a shortcut over a reef using her ability.

The American offensive in the northern part of Allost is somewhat disappointing, resulting in 5 total hits on Pirate gunships but also another fire mast on the Concord:

And that is it! The first 40 turns of the game have been completed! Three turns remain in the current resource duration.

Clearly the game has gone through a lot of interesting developments!
In this report alone:
Shal-Bala strikes the Jade Rebellion HI directly
English win the First Battle of Diamond Rock
French discover new island east of Harbor
Lumber is finally found!
Various whirlpool shenanigans occurred, no doubt with more to come much to my amusement (lol)
Jade Rebels reach the Roost, revealing the extent and history of the Cursed operation

English declare war on the Spanish
Jade Rebellion declare war on the Cursed

French and Americans start alliance together

Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I know that these reports take a while to get through, especially since they take me so long to write up haha. I appreciate the feedback and would love continual thoughts on the game. It’s been an amazing adventure so far but there is SO much more to come it boggles the mind! XD

Command the Oceans – Turns 41-43 (9/21/2017)

I played 3 long turns today, but that will probably be the most I can play in a day for quite some time now… probably!

Turn 41 begins with the Pirates firing at the Americans. Ralph David’s squadron is decimated by cannonballs and fire shot, with the Concord doomed to the flames and the Freedom and Flying Fish down to one mast each.

Elsewhere in the Sea of Allost, the Jade Rebels engage in all-out war with the Cursed! The Crushed Skull is crushed, and suffers three hits while dismasted as well (3 more hits to sink due to the house rule). Jade cargo ships that have been equipped with captains for a while now (the East Wind and Virtuous Wind) shoot 3 segments off Mist Walker, who is quickly in trouble.

Just as she was in the Battle of Fog and Ice, the Monkey’s Paw is tag-teamed by a swarm of small Jade ships, but this is effective as it was before! The Monkey’s Paw loses 3 masts in short order, and will likely have to retreat again in order to stay afloat or avoid capture. In the interests of keeping things mostly consistent and not having OP abilities, I have decided that abilities that eliminate masts (such as the Scorpion keyword, or in this case the ability of the Glorious Treasure, which allows you to eliminate a mast and crew from the enemy ship after being pinned) function the same as a regular cannon hit. This means that those abilities do not automatically eliminate masts, as I had been playing it up until today. Especially with the automatic pinning, scorpions have nearly gone from overpriced to overpowered, so I’m trying to keep things fair.

Speaking of scorpions, the Scythe is in trouble! The Grand Mountain emerges from a fog bank to connect with both fire shot and a stinkpot specialist! (the latter represented by the smoke that originated from a bombardier card)

The Asgard and Hrothgar team up to put some serious hurt on the Hellfire right under the Roost!

Just to the southwest, the Grand Dynasty is struggling against the Sickle: her fire shot backfired, setting the ship alight. Making matters worse, she couldn’t even eliminate a mast from the Sickle with her other cannons! The Jades are unable to scuttle the derelict Divine Wind.

Time for the Cursed turn! The Monkey’s Paw does as expected and flees into a nearby fog bank, but not before she instills some Fearinto the nearby Jade ships! Rolling for the keyword a whopping 6 times, the MP is successful twice, shutting down abilities on the Sea Phoenix and slightly slowing the Dragon’s Talon. However, much worse for the Jades is the considerable empty spot at the top of the frame….

The Grand Temple is captured! With the Pestilence and Spilled Salt gaining the upper hand in the sudden Cursed attack on Turn 40, the GT was not quite strong enough to resist those Cursed attackers in addition to the Jikininki and Banshee’s Wail. Here the Wail has begun towing the giant Jade flagship, arguably their best ship in play so far and a symbol of JR pride. In addition, now that she’s a member of the Cursed fleet, it will be very difficult for the Jades to reverse this event, needing to capture the Wail or somehow hit the GT 12 times before the Cursed dock the GT back at the Roost.

However, satisfied with their work in the area and seeing too many healthy Jade ships just east of the spicy island, the Cursed turn some ships around. The Spilled Salt, Pestilence, and Monkey’s Paw are all heavily damaged, while the Banshee’s Wail and Jikininki don’t have the crew or firepower to do much damage on the way out. In addition, at the top of the frame notice that most of the Cursed fog hoppers have already retreated regardless of casualties – the Cursed consider their fog hopping squadron a major long-term asset, so they will not risk its destruction this early in the combat phase of the game.

The Crushed Skull tries to escape! Turning ghostly and using her helmsman and oarsman to great effect, the ship rows at S+S towards that fog bank with the hoppers safely inside. With only 3 hits required to permanently sink the accurate ship, the Jades are determined not to let her get away. The Cursed attack isn’t over though! The Scorpion herself comes out of a fog bank and slices at the Grand Path! However, her fire shot backfires, which is very bad news for the Cursed. An icewreck rams the Grand Path to finish the elimination of her mizzenmast.

Slightly to the north, the Scythe fares far better than her sister ship, putting out her fire and slicing the final mast off the Beowulf:

Cramped quarters can result in amusing situations! The Sickle engages her blades for the first time to send a boarding party to the Divine Wind, but the ones on the starboard side get stuck in an icewreck’s berg! She does manage to shoot a mast off the Grand Mountain, using her ability to great effect as she rolled a bunch of 3’s today which would not have hit healthy ships.

The Hellfire puts out her fire and stands her ground (water?), blasting off the Asgard’s last mast.

Some Cursed cargo ships returning home with gold! If only the Jades knew what immense riches were contained in the hold of the Maman Brigitte, they might send the Hrothgar to intercept. However, with the cancelling Guinee right there, and the MB nearly home, it would be a futile attempt in the first place.

Cursed cargo ships in the far west of Allost make trips to and from Broken Horn Island, which has produced luxuries all game. Behemoth hasn’t lost a segment yet but is eager to avoid any damage in order for the fog hopping squadron to flourish.

Finally, the long-awaited English attempt to hoist a cannon all the way up to the summit of Diamond Rock! Getting the cable from the Malton in position takes an entire turn, but the English have been patient for a while now and will continue to exhibit that necessary quality here.

With various ships in some states of disrepair, the English fleet is slightly in disarray. They have used a bit of chain towing to get the San Estaban behind the Metal Dragon, who will tow the prize home. Various other ships are going home for repairs, mingling with the resource runners on their way by.

I didn’t need another picture of the familiar Spanish fleet here, but it’s worth noting that the Rafael has picked up a few UT’s from Paradise Island left there by the Gold ship. She may also be the first ship in the game to carry both gold and resources at the same time, though I think I’m mistaken.

The French take in 78 gold from valuable textiles found on The Flat, spending it all on 4 ships! The Gaule is tasked with general island defense, and is equipped with shot to help her in that role. La Possession has a completely new job: whirlpool diplomacy! Guy LaPlante has been chosen by Admiral Gaston as France’s first “diplomat” in the game. The Possession is tasked with going through whirlpools and investigating what she finds, and here she’s crewed with a full complement to emphasize that mission. The shipwright can repair lost masts, while the oarsman helps to protect all 4 vital crew. The French are brave to send the ship off alone into the unknown, but she is one of France’s oldest ships (not just by chronological set order, but also in regards to my personal collection) and LaPlante is eager to see what lies in other areas! The Felicite essentially has 2L guns, which are great for equipment. The face down chip actually represents exploding shot, which I have temporarily run out of. The Petit Dauphin is the fourth ship – her deckplate is not visible, but she will simply be another resource runner for the French.

Using their first two docks, the French launch 4 new ships. Also note the large quantities of fish on their outer docks.

Nemo informs Gaston of the island east of the Harbor, and the French admiral immediately signals for ships to be sent there.

Noticeably quieter since encountering the French and the Pirates (though he didn’t speak to Havana Black aboard the Deliverance), Commodore Preble sets all sail for the American home island. He passes the gunships patrolling the area and gives them new orders.

The Fool’s Hope loses another mast to Ralph David’s squadron, but the Americans are finished.

-Turn 42-

There it is! After saving up gold for a considerable number of turns now, the Pirates have finally spent all of it! With a whopping 250 gold, the Pirates purchase the first fort upgrade of the game! This is represented by a block token, which must be loaded aboard a ship and unloaded at a fort to upgrade it. Once upgraded, a faction can then launch ships and crew from that fort using gold from their home island!! I hope this is a fair cost for the fort upgrade. Cheaper would probably be too easy to exploit, but more than 250 gold starts to become ludicrous even by campaign game standards. Furthermore, when you consider that the Pirates could have outfitted around 10 or a full dozen large warships with great crew complements for that same 250 gold, it really does seem like a huge expense. The Eagle has loaded the upgrade token and will sail straight back to Dead Man’s Point.

If an upgraded fort is destroyed, the token simply disappears, since I do not really want a coin worth 250 gold floating around lol. (although it would be interesting to watch haha)

The Pirates were at 246 gold when they took in 36 from textiles being cashed in. The extra 32 gold got them 5 shipwrights and a couple new ships. Here the shipwrights are gathered on the ledge of the kingdom – better hope they don’t jump! XD

The new Pirate ships are the Neptune’s Hoard (RV version, I can’t stand the OE version especially after using it in Economy Edition lol) and the Shamrock, an underrated ship from Mysterious Islands.

Victory! The Pirates finish off Ralph David’s squadron. The Concord burned, and the Freedom is doing the same here after David once again refused to surrender to Pirate scum. The Flying Fish was dismasted by the Lady’s Scorn and Recreant, with the Pirates embarrassingly having to use Jean Laffite’s AA (Admiral’s Action) on the Recreant after the Scorn only hit like 1/5 lol. The Accused has already gone to the fort to repair, while Mission is telling the Pirates on the island to begin preparations and expect big things soon!

Back to the war! It’s not very practical to actually do, but here I wanted to show the shot from an artillery piece with one of the L range straws. However, the shot missed.

A moral dilemma! Knowing the GT is unlikely to be recaptured, the infantry on the island must decide whether or not to fire on their old comrades. Tsai, Katsura-chan, and the helmsman all scream to be killed outright, fearing that the Cursed will torture them for information or just for fun. Briefly hesitating, the infantry shoot their muskets, but miss the captured crew!

The Jade Rebels pull off a coup! (COO!! XD) Sinking the Crushed Skull (!) to make space, a group of Jade ships shoots the Scorpion until she is ready for capture. Then the Proud Tortoise maneuvers beautifully to tow the ship! It may seem like a waste since the ship is about to burn to the waterline, but the ship has the Eternal keyword and will soon reappear at the Jade home island! The Jades gained a needed morale victory with this development, especially after losing the GT.

If the Monkey’s Paw weren’t in the fog, this would be the view from her mainmast. The Glorious Treasure eliminates a mast from the Spilled Salt amid dense wreckage, mostly from the Grand Temple’s huge sails.

More cannon shots boom out! This time they are from a longship but aimed at one of the icewrecks! I have made a new house rule, where shipwrecks can be separated from their icebergs and sink if they are hit as many times as they originally had masts. In this case, the icewreck was hit 3 times, meaning the wreck would slip into the depths forever, leaving a regular (non-possessed) iceberg behind! The Jades quickly discovered this and were determined to rid the seas of the menace.

More Jade success! The Grand Mountain continues to be a thorn against the Cursed, dooming the Scythe with fire!

Grateful to be released from Behemoth’s grasp, the Polaris darts into a fog bank. The Asgard and Hrothgar wisely do the same, living to fight another day and avoiding capture right at the Cursed HI of the Roost.

Oh jeez. In an utterly pathetic day at the guns, the crew of the Grand Dynasty miss all 4 times against the Sickle, but also roll a 1 with Double Shot to shoot themselves in the mast!! XD

A view of nearly the entire battlefield after the Cursed take their turn. Notice they are retreating just as they did at the conclusion of the Battle of Fog and Ice! The Cursed have lots of ships in need of repairs, and would like to lock up the Grand Temple as their grand prize.

In addition, notice that the Maman Brigitte has docked home her coins, which is another reason for the Cursed retreat…. The Sickle is putting some hurt on the Grand Dynasty, who is likely doomed due to pinning and the horrific failures of her own crew.

Holy Maman indeed!! The MB brought back the best coins I currently have in play, with the 100 coin, the 60 coin, a shiny silver 6 (worth 18 gold), and a shiny silver 5 (worth 15). This means the ship had just unloaded 193 gold at once! The Cursed go crazy, combining it with some saved up gold and spending 211 gold at the end of their turn!

Purchasing a sea monster squadron, the Cursed get the Serpent’s Fang (who is an L booster for sea monsters), Tsuro, Tiamat, Maxehebel, and Squalo! At the right, the Nightmare and Abomination are also launched, both with full crew/equipment arrangements.

With a very rare shot looking west at the Roost, the new Celestine is docked next to the Maman Brigitte. However, I don’t like trade currents and won’t be using them in this game – her ability now gives her +S to her base move on a roll of 3-6, with no effect on a 1-2. Still a very good gold runner for the Cursed.

In the Halls of the Dragon King!! O_O Your first look at the interior of the Roost shows more new ships, with the Fallen Angel (towing the Death’s Anchor flotilla), Madness, and Lilu (towing the relaunched Silver Coffin).

Back in the Caribbean…

The English have gotten their cable affixed to the summit of Diamond Rock! The Malton is ready to hoist the artillery unit up!

This time the operation is successful! The English have done it! They now have an artillery unit on the summit of Diamond Rock!O_O

It took a long time and many many actions, but the English finally have cannons in all three viable areas of Diamond Rock.

On the other hand, the Galapagos finally succumbs to the flames, ironically pictured here in the shadow of the volcano:

Gaston and Lenoir meet aboard their flagships, with many things to discuss. They talk about meeting the Americans and the Pirates, as well as their plans to utilize The Flat and the newly discovered island east of the Harbor.

The Americans cash in and combine that gold with some old coins to go on a spending spree! They spend 127 gold, and for good reasons. Notice Ralph David on their HI! I have made a new ruling for Eternal for this game: if a crew has Eternal, they can only use it on a ship one time, but if that ship sinks again, the Eternal crew alone is returned to the HI. The Freedom had used RD’s keyword once, but her second sinking at the hands of pirates would be her final moment in the game. This is my attempt to curb Eternal shenanigans, although I’m not 100% sure yet what I’ll do with ships that have the keyword. However, David somehow made it home alive, and immediately told everyone around how powerful and rich the Pirates looked (using hyperbole in abundance… ).

David’s second tale, even more impressive (and embellished) than the first, inspired William Eaton to commission another anti-Pirate squadron. However, the Americans at home also had recent orders from Commodore Preble (the American admiral as of now) to launch warships and send them east through the opening in the reefs. Juggling multiple priorities, David was promised a full squadron in time, but for now he would have to wait for more gold to flow in to have a ship for himself. The Georgetown, Gold Eagle, and Paladin (mistakenly not pictured here) were launched to combat the Pirates. The James Madison would assist the Colonial Trader in getting metals from Ruby Island. Finally, the Albany and Seattle were launched to satisfy Preble’s demand for more ships to head east. In total, six ships along with a couple more infantry units.

Another usage of ladders! Now it’s clear why some Pirate ships were gathering under the ledge of the kingdom – the shipwrights will descend from above so the ships don’t create a logjam by entering the kingdom! This was a brilliant move by the Pirates, who were able to keep their resource and gold system running on all sails but still getting shipwrights to the whirlpool squadron. That’s right, each ship of the Pirate whirlpool squadron will be getting a shipwright. That way they can repair outside the kingdom (not needing to spend time inside and create logistical headaches on their way in and out), and also repair after whirlpool travel when they go off on another mission!

The Deliverance and Feathered Hat get shipwrights first. The Madagascar will get one from the Hat while the Sunrise Fire and Otter wait their turn.

Can’t get enough of this ladder idea with the kingdom! XD The climb down is somewhat dangerous, but the Pirates have the equipment and knowledgeable people around to make sure things go smoothly.

The all-important Eagle emerges from the kingdom with the fort upgrade aboard! The Fool’s Gold temporarily goes the wrong way to make room for the ship.

The Pirates are anticipating the arrival of their considerable investment, and have sent ships along the route to guard against any danger. The Cassandra and Grand Barnacle are simply heading home with textiles, but the Queen of Cups, Golden Medusa, and Crusher have all altered course in order to protect the Eagle as she sails out to Dead Man’s Point.

The Pirates complete their victory in the (First?) Battle of Dead Man’s Point, capturing the Flying Fish with the Fool’s Hope. The Lady’s Scorn is the only ship not damaged by the Americans in the battle, but it was still a lopsided victory for the Pirates.

The Scorpion sinks but goes to the Jade home island via Eternal! The Jade Rebels now have a scorpion ship of their own to unleash upon the Cursed. The Floating Stone, Muninn, and Grand Wind are all home for repairs, with the Grand Wind also docking home some spices. Warlord Cavendish is shaken by his close encounter with the Cursed (Mist Walker and the Sea Hag), and sees them as a huge threat to the Jade Rebellion’s survival.

The Sea Phoenix lands a shot on the captured Grand Temple, but the Jades give up the chase, knowing they won’t be able to recapture or sink the former JR flagship. After their first taste of direct combat, the JR cargo ships are back to running spices.

With the GT gone, defense of that wild island is now up to the smaller Jade ships that were undamaged from the battle.

Save the icebreakers! Knowing they’ll need them to combat the icewreck menace, the Jades use chain towing to get the Beowulf out of harm’s way.

The Hrothgar and Asgard get lucky rolls coming out of the fog (both rolled to face in the general direction of home), with the Hrothgar blasting away at an icewreck on the way by.

Predictable at this point, but still pathetic. The Grand Dynasty’s fire spreads as she continues to miss the Sickle.

The Cursed begin their turn, and the Sickle finishes off the Grand Dynasty. The GD has a disappointing run in this game, and is likely finished for the rest of it (unless I need to let weaker factions relaunch ships).

In other news, the Serpent’s Fang has given all four creatures +L on their first move of the game, and they depart the gates of the Roost! No wonder they’ve been called the “gates of hell”! Smile

An impressive cohort of Cursed cargo ships head back to their gold island. The Nightmare and Abomination go to a fog bank, with not much other room available.

Between this picture and the next, notice the fog hopping squadron hiding out for the time being.

The first major Cursed logjam of the game! The GT is a big prize ship in the way, with the Pestilence repairing to port of the Banshee’s Wail. The Loa’s Justice is another new Cursed ship, and one of their best cargo carriers. New ships depart while old ones come back for repairs:

I wanted to take a few wider shots from the Jade HI to show the scale of the JR/Cursed war and their operations:

(In the bottom foreground, notice the infantry unit tipping over to the right – perhaps a little too much rum after the battle ended? Wink)

A much higher view of the similar location: not as impressive, but there’s obviously a lot of points out there, with various debris from the battle still floating around.

The general English area of the Caribbean, with a stalemate just off the northwest side of Diamond Rock. At the lower right, the San Estaban has been docked at her new home, but has not repaired yet. This is because I am forcing derelicts to wait a turn to start repairing even though they normally could, since I like the time delay and it feels more realistic. In addition, it only takes one turn to repair a mast even though two hits are required to eliminate a mast. (very unlikely to change, but important to remember)

Many French ships sail out of the Harbor, with the Soleil Royal and Dauphin Royal continuing to sail slowly east, Gaston and Lenoir still engaged in deep conversation….

ATTACK!!!! In one of the shortest-lived alliances in history, the Americans break trust with the French and surprise them! The Concord dismasts the Bon Marin and continues to the Vengeance!

With a VERY timely AA from Commodore Preble, the Concord shoots at the Vengeance with her second action, freezing the ship for her next turn with a chainshot specialist hit! (represented by the orange die in the water so I remember haha) The Congress comes around the west side of The Flat to capture the Bon Marin, while the Minuteman sails around from the north to finish knocking a mast off the Vengeance!!

An American assault! The Coeur du Lion is also hit, and the Americans have not held up their end of the alliance, to say the least!

There is URGENCY in the American fleet today!! Preble is getting everyone ready for action, in multiple areas of the sea(s), and in multiple ways. Cargo ships depart the home island, with the Albany and Seattle also setting sail for the first time.

The American area, with David’s future anti-Pirate squadron currently in reserve (guarding against intrusion from the whirlpool) until the Americans can find a suitable ship for RD himself and possibly even more ships for the expedition as well.

Preble is determined as of late! He sees a great future of American dominance, with a great resource system expanding by the day and various warships launched by night! Here he makes all sail for the American HI, where he can better control launching operations to further his ambitions. In fact, the President nearly collided with the Providence on her way back, narrowly finding the gap between the ship on her port side and a dangerous reef to starboard.

There have been a few hints recently as to Preble’s disposition, and today things have become clear. Under his guidance, the Americans have big plans. They believe they can take on the French, and would love to control The Flat. They anticipate more fortunate resource changes in the near future, at which point their vast quantities of saved up food, spices, and luxuries make them incredibly rich. Finally, they are urgently carrying out operations and giving everything they’ve got to every task of every day!!

With that, Turn 43 comes to a close. I enjoy opening a day of play and battle report with a resource change, since it is rather fitting, but here I decided to change things up and roll the dice at the end of the day’s session!

UGH!!! Oh no! To my great frustration ANOTHER THREE was rolled, meaning that textiles were still worth 6 and metals were still worth 1. This would be the 4th time in 7 rolls that I rolled a 3 for value! I haven’t even rolled a 1, 2, or 6 for value yet. Even more unbelievable, I rolled a 5 for duration again, meaning that this resource change was exactly the same as the last one. (meaning that nothing changed, and the value roll of 3 is essentially being held for 10 turns)

There are various ways to change up the resource system a bit, which I look forward to unveiling when the time is right! For now this is the action. Unfortunately a heat wave will prevent me from playing as much as I’d like to over the next week. However, I’ll try to do at least 2 turns Friday and Saturday, and one turn per day from Sunday-Wednesday. Turns are really taking a long time, and I’ll do another point count soon as the game has definitely exceeded 2,000 total points by now.

Question: Who do you consider the victor of this latest Cursed vs. JR battle? (both sides heavily damaged, Cursed capture GT but retreat, Jades capture Scorpion but have now lost the Grand Mountain due to fire)

Command the Oceans – Turn 44 (9/22/2017)

With some frustration over the exact same resource change happening again, I have decided to implement a system Xerecs and I may also use at some point in the World game.

-Players may agree to change the resource system. Instead of simply rolling a d6 for values and two d6 for duration, other options may be added for more randomness.
Example: A round of turns begins with the d6 roll. A 1 is rolled (on a 2-6 the resources stay the same, until a 1 is rolled on some other turn). Since a 1 was rolled, roll again. If the second roll is a 2-6 (anything other than a 1), the resources only change value for that turn. On the next turn, they revert back to whatever they were on the previous round, or a different system is once again agreed upon by all players (such as starting over with regular EE rolls, or using the system described in this example). However, if the second roll is a 1, the current EE rolls are disregarded, and new rolls are made (both for values and duration).

This has begun on Turn 44, and as long as I remember to do it at the beginning of each round, it will probably remain that way. For the first roll, I got a 2, which meant that nothing would happen.

Only one turn was played today, but it was definitely a good one!

The Pirates use ladders so recently hired shipwrights can descend to the ships waiting below the ledge! (The Deliverance and Feathered Hat have them as well)

With a fort upgrade worth 250 gold aboard, the Eagle makes all sail for Dead Man’s Point, northwest of the Pirate Kingdom. Mission himself has joined the escort force, which now also includes the Golden Medusa and Queen of Cups.

Speaking of DMP, the fort has a new visitor: the Flying Fish, an American schooner captured in the brief battle. The Fool’s Hope and Recreant will repair there as well, while the Accused rejoins the Lady’s Scorn on patrol duty near the whirlpool.

The Pirates spend 51 gold on 5 small ships! Not quite satisfied with their resource fleet after all, the Hades’ Flame, Bloody Jewel, and Coral will help in the gathering of riches. The Tejon and Carrion Crow are hired for island and perimeter defense.

The Grand Path docks home the Beowulf, while 4 other ships carry out repairs. For this game I am letting turtle ships repair their shell panels.

Clearly the battle has ended. The Jades form up in a defensive line to protect their territory and shield the damaged ships. The line is weaker at the left with small ships, but becomes stronger as you go east with various 3 masted longships still healthy.

The Cursed now have 6 cargo ships running gold from their northern island, while the Nightmare (4 masted DJC version) and Abomination set sail for the first time.

With some difficulty the Cursed resolve most of their logjam out west. The Jikininki guards the new Loa’s Justice while ships sail to and fro, with some going to the Roost for repairs.

This is the general situation in front of the Roost. The fog hopping squadron has been joined by the icewrecks in the fog, who are afraid of sinking or getting broken up by the Polaris and Beowulf. Submerged sea monsters surge forward, though Tsuro uses its action for the turn to roll for its L-mover ability (unsuccessful). The Sickle has officially sunk the Grand Dynasty, eliminating a Jade 6 master from the game. To the left of the Sickle, the Banshee’s Wail has docked home the captured Grand Temple, though she has been moved to the area behind the Roost since she will take a long time to repair.

The English have gotten their artillery unit in position! They are ready to fire it for the first time!

Since the cannons on the ships can hit things L distance away with gunports just above sea level, I knew I would have to do something about higher altitude firing in this game. With the summit of Diamond Rock around L+L up in the air, projectiles fired from the summit would of course have a much greater range than cannons fired from the gun deck of a ship (just like the real Diamond Rock in the Napoleonic Wars). Therefore I have made some custom measuring sticks for this game, and you already saw the S+S one. However, with the summit of Diamond Rock being one of the highest points of any terrain piece ever, I have given any artillery placed there L+L+L range!!

The English fire off a shot from the summit! It sails over the entire defensive wall of Spanish ships and lands a bit short of El Rafael, who is nearly off the map! XD In this case the English would have hit if there was anything there, but I’m still working on the realism of having shots fired from high altitudes. The English may experiment a bit with smaller powder charges, which could enable them to “bomb” things within L+L of Diamond Rock, or go with the full charge and have a wide swath of firing range!

Another view of the impressive firing range. At the upper left, you can see the “edge” of the Caribbean, and how the cannon could potentially limit Spanish activity to that route on the outside of the Sargasso Seas if ships within the range can be hit.

While the English were gleefully testing out their new weapon, their workers got busy at the HI. Three ships were launched: HMS Royal, Ark Royal, and Antelope. The first two are meant for war with Spain! The Antelope will gather textiles for now.

The English are gearing up for an attack on the Spanish! With their artillery at Diamond Rock terrorizing the Spanish fleet and potentially forcing them to sail new sea routes, the English see it as a great time to take advantage of metals being so worthless. The Durham and Gibraltar flotilla are being joined by HMS Lord Algernon and HMS Victor, with the new ships arriving soon as well.

Welcome to the summit! Keep in mind that due to the army unit rules (they must be given move actions to get into position), the English would have to expend an action on the cannon to give it a new line of fire. However, as of now they like how it’s aimed straight to the northwest, directly at Spanish trade!

The view from the English camp at the summit:

Spanish cargo ships are in trouble! The Spanish continue to suffer at the hands of the English.

Looking down from the top of Diamond Rock at the stunned Spanish fleet below:

Spain answers! With 28 gold coming in from Paradise Island, the Spanish spend it all on a new flagship: the Santa Ana! With the capture of the San Estaban, the Spanish have been leaderless lately. Now they will be led by Duque Marcus Vaccaro. He is usually a 0LR reroller crew, but for this game I have modified those crew to function as normal 3 point rerollers with no other abilities.

The Spanish are ready to fight! The Santa Ana is also crewed with a captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, cannoneer, and oarsman.

A new man-of-war is about to set sail. She carries the hopes of Spain with her.

The French explore the wild island east of their Harbor, finding yet more textiles! Textiles has been the most found resource in the game, as well as the most valuable on average.

The French don’t want a war, but are forced to retaliate against the deceitful Americans! The Dauphin Royal lets loose the first French cannon shots of the game, felling the Concord’s mizzenmast.

Immobilized by the Concord’s chainshot specialist, the Vengeance shoots 1/3 against the Congress. The French are angry that the Americans not only betrayed their alliance, but also captured one of their best cargo ships, Le Bon Marin.

The French weren’t in a position to do much damage, but many more ships are coming! The Americans may have picked a bad time to attack the French, as the French just launched 3 new gunships. The Possession, Gaule, and Felicite are speeding towards the battle area. With some help from the lighthouse, the St. Michel nearly reaches an American ship, showing that France is willing to risk some of her cargo ships to provide assistance in the battle.

After some deliberation, the Americans decide to stick it out! This was a big decision, as all three attacking ships could have made it out of the area relatively easily. However, between Preble’s aggressive orders and the possibility of help coming soon, the captain of the Congress leaves his squadron at The Flat and doubles down on the gunnery! The Concord is unable to hit the Vengeance with chainshot this time around, but she and the Congress dole out major damage. Lenoir (aboard the Dauphin Royal) prevents the Concord from moving and shooting, while you may have noticed that the Minuteman is absent….

Since the captain of the Congress sent her to go get help! Knowing how serious Preble was about The Flat and Karkuda in general, and also noting the change in American imperialist attitude recently, the captain of the Congress knew that fleeing was not an option. The Minuteman sped off to the northern whirlpool of the Sea of Karkuda.

Ugh! The Minuteman rolls a 2 to emerge from the northern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost! This is not what the Americans wanted, to say the least. The Minuteman was attempting to come out of the southwestern Karkuda whirlpool near the American HI. Not only was this the wrong whirlpool, but the Pirates lurked nearby, and may see it as another attacking squadron coming through!

Suddenly realizing the seriousness of the situation, the captain of the Delaware decides that if the Minuteman was unable to reach home, there would be no saving the Congress, Concord, and likely the Delaware as well. With a desperate “hard a starboard!” maneuver, the captain swung his ship around to the west, and hastily ran up a signal!! Having not given the President a move action yet*, Preble just managed to see the signal in time! (you can see that the ships barely have a clear line of sight to one another, and could barely “see” each other since I am using vague but important relative distance criteria in this game to make the size more realistic)

*Timing of actions can matter a LOT in CG’s, and it’s often best to do combat first during a turn. However, thinking things through can make a big difference, and contributes to how long these games take! It’s almost always far more strategic than regular small games.

Preble relayed the signal, and Brent Rice spurred the crew of the Bonhomme Richard into action! The Richard was already on whirlpool patrol duty, watching for hostile Pirates, and therefore could easily sail into the southwestern whirlpool. However, needing a 4 to emerge from the northern one since the Americans haven’t traveled there yet, Brent Rice got a 5 to spin out of the same whirlpool! XD

Fearing the worst for his eastern squadron, Preble demanded that more gunships try to reach the southwestern whirlpool. They would attempt to emerge from the northern one and reinforce the Americans fighting the French. The only other ship that could was the newly launched USS Paladin!

O_O Ohh boy!! The Paladin rolls a 1 to emerge from the southeastern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost!! This whirlpool was previously unknown to the Americans, and is a BIG deal. Now they can travel without rolling for location between their HI and this whirlpool, which is closer to the Pirate Kingdom than the whirlpool Ralph David has used twice now. The Paladin loses her mainmast on the voyage, but her crew almost immediately sight various Pirate ships, and know that they’re onto something important, not seeing the various reefs to the south that Ralph David had described in his tale. To the north, they also notice a huge hulking black object in the distance…. (though they can’t quite make out what it is)

The Wasp is alone in the beautiful shimmering waters of the far northwest corner of Karkuda. On a beach that previously held a bit of gold, her crew is surprised to find metal!

Commodore Preble reaches home and immediately begins issuing orders! The Americans are motivated and ready to dominate! However, now they’re a bit worried about the disappearance of the Minuteman and Paladin, not to mention their small squadron by The Flat.

A logjam at the opening of the reefs. Preble himself experienced this on the previous turn, and would have launched a ship with more exploding shot to destroy more reefs if he had the gold. However, the fight at The Flat was of more immediate importance.

And thus, two more American gunships are built to combat the French! The Franklin is just about their most accurate vessel, and carries some firepots to light ships up during battle. The Peacock is a swift, agile, and deadly vessel, who also carries a firepot specialist. (both have the mandatory captain of course, but I’ve been neglecting to mention that because every gunship launched will have one, and 95% of gunships launched will also have a helmsman)

With the Americans on the move and desperate for an empire, another turn comes to a close. It was an entertaining one, and I really enjoyed testing range from the top of Diamond Rock for the first time and the operations of the Americans.

With a good amount of turns passing since the last point count, and various launchings happening frequently, I decided to do another point count! This was done for deckplates only, so any army units, ladders/cables, and forts in play were not counted here.

9/22 ship and point count, in the order of play:

Pirates: 33 ships, 507 points
Jade Rebellion: 28 ships, 482 points
Cursed: 40 ships, 697 points
English: 24 ships, 367 points
Spanish: 14 ships, 167 points
French: 21 ships, 309 points
Americans: 25 ships, 418 points
Total: 185 ships, 2,947 points

O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O

In a complete surprise to me, I have already passed my Economy Edition game record (2,846 points) of the biggest physical game in Pirates CSG history!!!! O_O Shocked

Wow! I wanted to make this game bigger than my EE game from 2015, but I definitely didn’t expect it to get this big after only about 2 weeks of play. To be fair, my EE game reach only 100 points less in 11 less turns (last point count done on Turn 33 in EE), but that was with 5 factions on one ocean about the size of the Sea of Karkuda and oftentimes smaller distances between islands. Although, my EE game likely reached between 3,100 and 3,200 points soon afterwards. Either way, the next record up would be VASSAL Campaign Game 1, which is the biggest game of all time at 3,516 total points, though it likely reached 3,700 soon afterwards. O_O

By ocean:
Sea of Allost: 101 ships, 1,686 points
Caribbean: 38 ships, 534 points
Sea of Karkuda: 46 ships, 727 points

I do find it interesting that the Sea of Allost has a whopping 1,686 of the points in play (57%), although it is the only ocean with 3 factions on it. With another megalaunch of 200+ gold, the Cursed have climbed into the points lead, as they did in the first point count. We already knew the English had a decided advantage over the Spanish in the Caribbean, but with over 2,000 points sailing around the other two oceans, perhaps Spain will call for help at some point? Either way, I am looking forward to more exciting turns and will do another point count sometime, possibly after a big resource change if food spikes in value (meaning the French and Americans would both have a ship-ton of gold to spend lol).

As I said with the previous report, the ill-timed and unexpected heat wave will almost definitely prevent me from playing more than a turn a day for the next 7 or so days. However, with the game about to reach 3,000 total points in size, it’s also getting to the point where the length of a round alone can prevent me from playing multiple turns in a day.

Command the Oceans – Turns 45-47 (9/23/2017)

I was able to play 3 turns today, mostly since the first 2 were some of the easiest and fastest since the game reached 2,000 total points.

The Pirates’ whirlpool squadron receives more shipwrights, while in the background, the Eagle has an entourage…

… as the Pirates are about to complete the first fort upgrade of the game!

The JR-Cursed situation, with the Cursed capturing the Divine Wind and both sides setting up lines of gunships around the perimeter of their islands.

The English continue to cash in textiles and launch immediately, getting the Resolution and Westminster to expand their whirlpool squadron.

The French continue to pummel the Americans! The Concord is dismasted and captured, while the Congress is hit hard by the St. Michel and Possession.

Preble’s Americans continue to send gunships through their whirlpool in an attempt to roll a 4 and emerge from the northern one, but the Bonhomme Richard rolls a 1 to emerge where the Paladin saw the Pirates! Here Brent Rice gets his own view of the piratical activities:

Further failures for the Americans! The Georgetown rolls a 3 to emerge in the Caribbean, and they just can’t seem to roll a 4.

The Minuteman comes back to Karkuda, after a brief and mistaken excursion to the Sea of Allost. She loses a mast on the return trip and therefore is not quite fit for battle, not that the Americans really have a chance at this point anyway.

The Albany and Seattle will be a bit too late to salvage the fight at The Flat.

The Paladin and Gold Eagle return from their unsuccessful whirlpool trip, with the former needing repairs after being damaged by both whirlpools.

The Eagle docks at Dead Man’s Point, and the Pirates have the first fort upgrade of the game in place! Now they can launch things from the fort, which is a BIG deal and should greatly help with the troublesome logistics of their kingdom. I am still hoping 250 gold was enough of a drawback….

A broad overhead shot of almost the entire Pirate operation. Two more 4 masters were launched today: you can see the Black Heart at the upper left and the Dragon’s Breath nestled in the kingdom. The BH carries Captain Elizabeth Swann, their second AA crew after Laffite. The Dragon’s Breath is an expansion of their whirlpool squadron but may be too late to join them for their second adventure.

A wide shot of the western 1/3 of Allost, with various JR ships repairing and the Cursed resolving the logjam that was taking place on the west side of the Roost.

With the flotillas towed by cargo ships back near the Spanish HI, and the newly launched Santa Ana not quite there yet, the English nearly open their attack on Fortaleza Dorada and Paradise Island! However, at the last moment they decide to add some crew to the Durham (who only has a captain and oarsman) and Victor (only a captain since she lost her helmsman in battle earlier) to optimize them and attempt to avoid losing more great gunships to fire. The new arrivals Royal and Ark Royal take their place, while the Lord Algernon herself is in the area along with the repaired Serapis. The English still plan to strike soon. In the meantime, the cannon on the summit of Diamond Rock shot at the Anunciada, but missed twice in two turns.

The French achieve total victory at the First Battle of The Flat! The Felicite has taken up towing duties of the Concord, while the Gaule captures the Congress! Also, the Bon Marin is chain towed by the Dauphin Royal and Soleil Royal to get her out of harm’s way. The French system is still in full swing despite their surprise at the betrayal/sneak attack, with the St. Michel and Triton loading textiles while also looking for enemy ships to intercept. The Possession has already proved herself as a great gunship, as she was more accurate than the Dauphin Royal in the battle. Gaston (aboard the Soleil) has decided that it’s time he gets a new ship and/or gets a proper captain aboard. Duncan Rousseau’s reroll has been ineffective of late to boost his AA chances, and with both aboard the ship runs out of point space quickly. (11/13 points taken up by non-captain and non-helmsman abilities)

The Americans try AGAIN to roll at least one 4 to get access to the northern Karkuda whirlpool, but all 3 ships emerge or stay in the Caribbean! The new captain of HMS Apollo is confused and sails in the opposite direction. XD Whirlpool travel is getting to a frustrating point, but I think it works well thematically and gives faction an interesting hurdle to overcome when traveling between oceans, which is a pretty big deal.

The Minuteman begins the somewhat long journey home to repair, while the Franklin and Peacock make all sail to join up with the 3 ships near The Flat.

Annoyed and unsatisfied, Preble hears of the recent whirlpool failures and decides to brave them himself! He plans to use the President to find the elusive northern whirlpool from the southwestern one, possibly using the ship’s reroll to aid him instead of using it on his own AA ability as he normally does.

The Americans are saving up the 4 resources that have the 4 lowest values, while cashing in the lumber and textiles that have recently been found just beyond the reefs. They have certainly gotten good and diverse resource rolls in this game, similar to my EE game in 2015. The Yankee has loaded two exploding shots aboard… probably to destroy more reefs! The current bottleneck has become a hindrance, and even one more reef out of the way would make a big difference.

A great shot of Mission’s Pirate Kingdom! Here you can see that it IS truly a “kingdom”: nearly 600 points’ worth of piratical activity sails the waves. Three islands produce three different types of resources, two of which have been very valuable for every resource change thus far. A fourth island has produced plenty of gold. The only attacks the Pirates have suffered has been at the hands of small American squadrons led by Ralph David, which were quickly dispatched. The kingdom is in full swing! Notice a new 4 masted schooner at the northern entrance: the Bloody Spear has been tasked with simple island defense. Also check out the Royal Rover nearing the ledge, as a little swap will soon take place.

ATTACK! Eager to get the first strike in their next conflict with the Cursed, the Jade Rebellion opens up the THIRD battle of their war! The Dragon’s Talon goes outside of S range of the Fallen Angel and connects, allowing the Glorious Treasure to finish off the mast with her ability.

Another battle erupts! From left to right: the Sea Phoenix deals damage to the Death’s Anchor flotilla, the Hrunting nearly dismasts the Lilu, and the Silver Coffin, Madness, and Jikininki all take minor damage. The Jades are trying to focus their efforts to the west this time to cut off Cursed access to the “luxurious” Broken Horn Island.

But they also have enough ships to attack the Roost! In an awesome display of firepower, the Huginn hits 6/6 to dismast the Pestilence!

Then, in a brilliant move, the Huginn is awarded Sigurd Andersen’s AA to capture the Pestilence and simultaneously shoot at the Sickle and Banshee’s Wail! However, the scuttle attempt on the Pestilence was unsuccessful. This was a rare example of a faction nearly eliminating an opposing gunship from the game with the efforts of one ship on a single turn. (which is difficult to pull off here due to the house rules around mast elimination and sinking)

The Cursed strike back!! Ready for anything, the Cursed weren’t really surprised by the Jade attack (though they assumed they would wait for more ships to finish repairing first), and sent their new sea monster squadron into action. Two serpents and a shark pin the Muninn and eliminate her helmsman. Tsuro stays behind to use its ability, which drags the Grand Path into range of the Nightmare! However, in a somewhat minor disaster for the Cursed, the Nightmare hits just 1/5 (5th shot provided by a musketeer) and watches her fire shot backfire to set herself aflame! The Abomination, Serpent’s Fang, and Hellfire are on the way but unable to get in range yet.

Viewed from the mainmasts of the Grand Wind, the icewrecks emerge from the fog and are ready to resume hunting Jade Rebels! The Cursed are happy that both icebreakers are repairing, and see it as a good opportunity to terrorize with ice again.

Swift and predictable revenge: the Sickle, Banshee’s Wail, and Needle (!) team up to take the Huginn down to 2 masts. The fog hopping squadron is generally in reserve, but with most JR ships either out west or repairing, the Cursed saw it as an opportune time to take advantage of a few extra shots from the Needle.

Flotilla power! The Death’s Anchor hits 3/4 to nearly dismast the Sea Phoenix, but a much more impressive display is shown to the right of them. The Silver Coffin rotated to shoot 4 shots at the Hrunting, and 3 of them were 6’s! Then, with 5 hits already scored on her (only one hit needed to dismast), the Lilu shot a firepot with her remaining 4S cannon and also got a 6!! Combined the duo got four 6’s in five shots, with the Hrunting possibly doomed for good due to the flames. At the upper right, the Madness and Jikininki are ineffective against the Sea Lion and Hrothgar.

Back in the Caribbean, the English have completed their fortification of Diamond Rock!! After loading one of the artillery pieces from the bottom, the Malton took it out to sea and then hoisted it up to the summit with a big cable!

Here is something new that I haven’t mentioned yet: a faction can exchange a captured ship and its associated crew for an equal total point value if the captured ship is fully repaired, but they must spend those points immediately. (they can’t be saved as gold) The captured ship is removed from play but can be hired by the original faction since it was never sunk.

In this way the English rid themselves of the San Estaban in exchange for HMS Wycliffe with a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist. (in this case the point costs of the ships and the crew complement happen to be exactly the same, but that isn’t required)

In the southwest part of the Caribbean, the King John and Guy Fawkes get quite close to the Spanish home island:

English domination of Diamond Rock! As part of my personal goal for the game (not necessarily for the English to do it, but any faction), they now have a historically accurate defense of the rock, which I love. Two 24 pounders at the bottom, one in a cave halfway up, and two 18 pounders at the top! Very Happy

The 3rd shot from the first cannon on the summit connects to damage the Santa Ana!

The Spanish take their turn, with the Santa Ana getting an EA for the first time to reach Fortaleza Dorada, where she will repair briefly. By necessity, the Spanish are in defensive survival mode. However, resources will change again soon, and hopefully metals will skyrocket in value to make them more competitive. (I did the rolls at the beginning of the turns today for the rules I laid out at the beginning of the last report, but didn’t roll any 1’s.)

French dominance of The Flat! Paradis de la Mer is built on it, although with a new ability: “This fort ignores the first hit it takes each turn when it has all of its flags.” The Triton will tow the captured Congress home, allowing the Gaule to join the Dauphin Royal on serious patrol duty with numerous (and dangerous) Americans lurking to the north.

The Felicite speeds home with the Concord in tow due to the lighthouse’s bonus. The upper right also has some developments. France has a new gunship, Le Bonaparte (OE version). The Coeur du Lion has repaired and is already headed back to The Flat. The Dijon has a new helmsman and has loaded some army units.

Uh-oh! The Americans desperately continue searching for that northern whirlpool, but the Georgetown emerges in the Sea of Allost! If the Pirates spot her and attack she might be in big trouble.

Very frustrated at this point, the crew of the Gold Eagle find themselves in the Caribbean again.

The whirlpool failures are forcing the Paladin and eventually Bonhomme Richard to go home for repairs. At this point the Concord and Congress are far past saving, but Preble still wants to find the route from whirlpool #5 (at the lower left) and whirlpool #4 (near The Flat). As said above, he will do it himself if necessary. From the approaching cargo ships you can tell the Americans will have some stuff coming in next turn, while at the upper right, the Franklin and Peacock have joined the other 3 American gunships near The Flat to form a solid 5 ship squadron.

One turn remains until the next resource change. With today’s launches, the game has officially exceeded 3,000 total points in size. This makes it the only recorded physical game to officially reach that level! O_O

Command the Oceans – Cursed on September 13th

This is not an actual battle report, but simply a few old pictures of the Cursed when they were “off camera”. Smile

These pictures were taken on 9/13. Sort of a “flashback” when the game was considerably smaller.

The Monkey’s Paw was a recent purchase:

After the Soul Crusher and crew was bought for 33 gold:

(Also when the Samedi’s Curse was still afloat)

The “gates” before it was truly… THE ROOST! XD

Shal-Bala watches over the Cursed fleet:

And that was the Cursed and their Roost before things got crazy… and will get MUCH crazier….

Command the Oceans – Turn 48 – full of fails! Utter failures everywhere. XD (9/24/2017)

The Georgetown comes under attack from the Feathered Hat and Deliverance! However, the Pirates roll an abysmal 1/5.

The Grand Path veers off from her conflict with the Nightmare to target that ship and the Abomination simultaneously. Of course, the only miss was a 1 for exploding shot, which took off her mizzenmast (after it hit the Nightmare however). The Muninn hit 3/6 against the sea monsters pinning her.

In a masterstroke of tactical strategy, the Huginn took off for a fog bank with the Pestilence in tow, after the scuttle roll for the prize was unsuccessful. The Pestilence was then released from the towing once the ships were inside the fog, meaning the Pestilence is doomed, forever sitting in the fog bank! XD Although, perhaps the Cursed can manage a way to pull her out somehow…. At the left, the Grendel has taken a risk and gone all-out against the Needle, but fails miserably. She hit once in two shots but lost the S-board despite getting +1 to boarding rolls against the Cursed (lol, just further demonstrating how overrated +1 to boards is).

More “epic failures”! Well, sort of. The Hrunting let the Naegling take her place in the battle line, with the Naegling dismasting the Lilu and nearly sinking the Silver Coffin if she hadn’t rolled a 1 on one of the shots. The Sea Lion continues to be the least effective ship in the entire war, as I would now estimate her shooting record to be about 1/10. Her guns are rank-4, but I usually hit with those about as often as rank-3 lol. However, the Hrothgar hits 3/4 to dismast the Jikininki, taking the Cursed pest out of action.

A bit of a strange sight: ships fail miserably while sea monsters are effective! The Nightmare and Abomination have been HORRIBLE for the Cursed, with the Nightmare’s fire spreading and missing both her shots against the Grand Path. Then, just like the Nightmare last report, the Abomination rolled a 1 on her fire shot to set herself aflame! Ugh, what a pathetic display in this war today. Although, the triple-headed sea monster threat managed to hit 7/8 to completely dismast the Muninn!

The Nightmare and Abomination have set themselves on fire and managed exactly one hit on the GP combined (the mast was eliminated via the backfiring exploding shot). The Muninn is a suddenly derelict ship floating amid her own wreckage.

The Fallen Angel tries to row the damaged Death’s Anchor flotilla out of harm’s way, but not before the DA damages the Glorious Treasure and Sea Phoenix. The Cursed were absolutely inept today. The Lilu was derelict and couldn’t tow the Silver Coffin into a better position. As a result, the SC’s only target was the Proud Tortoise, but that ship is immune to L-range guns. XD The Madness did manage a firepot specialist hit on the Sea Lion, the latter of which I wouldn’t mind seeing at the bottom of the ocean lol. The derelict Jikininki prevents the Spilled Salt from attacking the Hrothgar, so the Salt turns away and heads southwest instead. At the far right, I have ruled that icebergs and icewrecks can only damage a ship with one hit out of the two required to eliminate a mast, rather than mast elimination outright (which still happens when equipment backfires). The icewrecks have seemed too powerful to me. At the upper right, the Needle goes home to repair, not wanting any part of the Cursed-hating Grendel. The Monkey’s Paw is visible, fully repaired and ready to return to the war.

The Jades are already on the cusp of blasting away at Cursed trade, but the pathetic nature of both fleets’ efforts may prevent them from a decisive victory.

The English whirlpool squadron reaches the Caribbean whirlpool, where the captains of the Westminster and Gold Eagle exchange words. The Gold Eagle’s captain seems in a hurry and appears confused, leaving the captain of the Westminster to raise his eyebrows. The English wanted to make sure they could all enter the whirlpool on the same turn, and now with the Resolution caught up, they plan to take the plunge next turn!

An array of American operations over their full turn. Preble does indeed brave the whirlpool himself! However, he gets a 5 (which would spin him out of the same whirlpool) and then a 6 with his reroll, a 6 meaning that the ship stays in the same place and doesn’t even get spun out of the same whirlpool (meaning it also doesn’t have to roll for damage). Having experienced the bizarre whirlpool shenanigans himself, Preble now understands the plight and confusion shown by his officers aboard other ships. He is still determined, but realizes he must be more patient. Word of the French captures reaches him, and he is understandably disappointed. The Gold Eagle returns from the Caribbean. The Georgetown returns from her harrying journey to the Sea of Allost. They will join the Paladin and Bonhomme Richard as whirlpool victims in need of repairs. At the far right, the Yankee rolled a 6 with exploding shot to destroy another reef! This nearly doubles the gap available to the Americans, and should really help them going forward in their quest to expand. At the home island, lumber and textiles are unloaded and cashed in! Preble shows how serious the Americans are, launching two of their best ships: the Frontier and Intrepid!

Turn 49 will see new resource rolls! Hopefully I won’t get a 3 and 5 again. Ugh. Anyway, there will probably be a lull in the game here since I can’t play many turns over the next few days. In the meantime, feel free to speculate. Very Happy

Command the Oceans – Only half a turn, but exciting stuff (9/26/2017)

Play continued, although only for about half a turn. That’s because activities in the Sea of Allost alone took about 2 hours, mostly due to a Pirate megalaunch! Very Happy

Turn 49: new resource rolls! I was a bit disappointed to get a 4 for values, since I still haven’t rolled a 1, 2, or 6 for values. In fact, the last 5 changes including this one have all been rolls of 3 or 4. However, the duration was a positive – only 3 turns, the shortest duration of the game so far! This continued a trend of resource changes lasting less and less time – the first 5 changes were all for 6 turns or more, but the last 3 have been 5 turns or less. The value change meant that metals were the most valuable resource again! The Spanish rejoiced! The other factions were generally fine with the change, with textiles valuable as usual. The Cursed and JR saw their values drop even lower, but it’s doubtful that it will stop them from waging all-out war on each other….

The Pirates! They combined some saved gold with new gold via cashed in metals and textiles, and also cashed in a ton of saved up metals! With a massive windfall, the Pirates suddenly have 393 gold, and they spent every ounce of it. O_O

The next 3 pictures show what the Pirates got for the biggest single-turn purchase of the game so far. They could basically buy whatever they wanted, and with a very effective resource system already in play and more cargo ships only making more logjams at the kingdom’s entrances, they bought gunships almost exclusively! Three capital ships were launched, which will be the flagships outside of Mission’s command from the Crusher. The Harbinger and Victoire have sac abilities and a combined nine oarsmen between the two ships, providing for massive extra action potential. The Revenant will also be extremely deadly, with Griffin rerolling Calico Cat’s EA and firing her cannons at rank-1 with the standard captain/helmsman combo also aboard of course. From the top left on down you can see more standard gunships with the regular crew complements in addition to the random specialist/cannoneer/musketeer crew. The Rum Runner with HI-raiding Villanueva aboard is the only ship the Pirates launched that doesn’t have a captain aboard!

The spending continues, with ship after ship after ship brought into play via the spending spree. The Ballista is well-equipped to be a very effective suicide attack ship, while the 2 masted Pirate support gunships I love so much are outfitted to the max. For example, the Raven is a 10 point ship but carries 5 crew for the maximum 10 total points! I like pairing specialists with 2S guns (since you don’t have the shorten the range of an L-range cannon) and shot equipment with L-range guns (since you can take advantage of the extra range). The Raven, Royal James, Executioner and Panda are some of my favorite Pirate ships. Also, it’s worth noting that the Freedom’s Hand will be towing the Pirates’ second copy of the Widowmaker flotilla to have 6 shots at S+S range moving around at S+L speed. Nice combos everywhere!

I’ve generally memorized the stats and abilities of most or all the ships I have over time with my 400+ games played and time spent making fleets on Miniature Trading, so I can afford to cover things up and save space in the deckplate areas (which I need since they are very crowded already with how massive this game is getting!).

The last few ships the Pirates picked out, with somewhat less extravagant “extra weaponry” but still lots of pure firepower quantity.

Only a few turns after being completed, the fort upgrade comes in VERY handy!! Without that option, the Pirates wouldn’t even be capable of launching all 393 points’ worth of stuff, so they’d have to split it up into smaller launches over more turns. That said, this launch was so big that the fort is completely covered with new ships! They are beginning to look like the Pirate fleet from my Economy Edition game, a Pirate Empire that was previously unrivaled in historic size. However, with how this game is going, Mission’s Pirate Kingdom may even exceed that!!

The launch was so big that they couldn’t quite fit all the ships at the upgraded Dead Man’s Point, so the Rum Runner, Charles, and Xi’an are berthed inside the kingdom.

With 507 points in their fleet at the last point count, and 393 gold spent here, the Pirates have now become a 900+ point fleet! Their efforts will soon allow them to exceed 1,000 points. O_O The megalaunch also means that the Sea of Allost alone has over 2,000 points’ worth of stuff on it!

The Pirates do have plans to use their new ships, to say the least. Mission is now very content with his home waters, and plans to send at least a squadron (if not a large one) after the Americans, especially since the Pirates can travel from their southern whirlpool (though not the northern one close to the fort) to both whirlpools in the Sea of Karkuda. In addition, Mission plans to sail west soon, towards unknown and foggy waters….

Mission’s Pirate Kingdom, perhaps starting to grow to an unmanageable size?

Back to the dominant war of the game! The Jade Rebels have a decent turn, taking off the flag on the Death’s Anchor and nearly dismasting the Spilled Salt (both courtesy of the Naegling). The fire aboard the Sea Lion spread, dooming the ship. I can’t say I’m unhappy about that, since the ship has been so ineffective and lame the entire game lol.

The Hrothgar does damage to the Jikininki and an icewreck, while the Grendel hits the Hellfire twice in a row to set the Cursed vessel aflame!

The Grand Path dismasted the Abomination and nearly killed Squalo. In the foreground you can see 3 newly repaired Jade ships returning to the war effort – the Polaris, Grand Mountain, and Asgard are back in action!

The Jades are also piling up the spices, with 56 of them in addition to what’s on their HI, but that resource has been the least valuable in the entire game, never being in the top half of values.

The Cursed take a turn, though they don’t have many ships on the western front with which to defend their cargo ships. The main development here is the Monkey’s Paw, who has returned to battle after another extensive repair effort. Her firepower combined with both flotillas to eliminate two masts from the Naegling, a ship the Jades really don’t want to lose and will therefore retire from the battle on their next turn. At the upper right, the Madness and Spilled Salt sail home for repairs, while the Fallen Angel slowly tows the Death’s Anchor away from the battle.

In a nice reversal of fortune from the failure-filled Turn 48, the Hellfire puts out her fire and combines with the Banshee’s Wail to eliminate a mast from the Grendel!

The Cursed sea monsters were very effective once again, and the Muninn is sunk! However, after being dismasted by the Grand Path, the Abomination succumbed to the flames and sank as well. This meant that each side of the battle had lost a large gunship on the turn, which is pretty damaging considering the house rules around mast elimination and sinkings. The Abomination left a hole which was conveniently filled by the Serpent’s Fang, who shot effectively to damage the Grand Path (missing with her firepot specialist however). At the left, the Nightmare has put out one of her fire masts and turned ghostly in order to sprint home for repairs if she can make it back in time.

That is all for now, as operations in Allost took about 2 hours today lol. I hope to finish this rather grand turn tomorrow, when the Spanish will definitely cash in metals and get new ships! I expect the English and Americans to launch as well, so it’s possible that the game would become the biggest game EVER by the end of tomorrow! (I’m not planning a point count, but since it surpassed 3,000 points the other day and saw about 400 points of Pirate stuff introduced today, plus the launchings tomorrow during the second half of the turn, it may theoretically exceed the 3,516 of CG1!)

Command the Oceans – More of Turn 49 (9/27/2017)

The second part of Turn 49 was finished today, with activities in the Caribbean and Karkuda providing little excitement but much in the way of long-term operations.

With no Spanish ships docked at or right near the home island, the English have struck directly! HMS King John opened her gunports and hit twice in a row to destroy the lone Spanish artillery unit stationed there. HMS Guy Fawkes didn’t have a target but sailed west as well.

The English whirlpool squadron was ready to take the plunge! All 4 ships went through the whirlpool, hoping to discover new areas. Incredibly, just as they did before, the Metal Dragon and Bath both rolled 3’s to reemerge from the same whirlpool, albeit with damage! The Resolution rolled a 6 so nothing happened to her, which leaves only the Westminster…

… who rolled a 1 to come out of the southern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost! The directional heading of 5 left her right next to Pirate warships of that faction’s whirlpool squadron! Havana Black spun around at the helm of the Deliverance, and his eyes narrowed at the sight of a Royal Navy vessel….

The English cash in 11 textiles for 55 gold and combine it with the 20 gold they had saved on their HI, spending 75 gold at the end of their turn. In the foreground, the Caradoc carries CRGO, the first of two English AA crew. At the right you can see three new English warships: HMS Lord Kettering, HMS Resistance, and HMS Granville. The English plan to augment their battle squadron sailing off of Paradise Island with even more ships. The tension has already been rising for several turns now, so a strike seems imminent and inevitable!

However, with metals luckily worth 6 gold apiece once again, the Spanish do a considerable launch of their own! They spend 101 gold on 5 ships. From right to left: the Cristal del Obispo, Voz de Dios, Granada, Corazon del Mar, and Reconquistador. Not only do those 5 ships just about double the fighting capacity of the Spanish Navy, they also give them a presence at their HI to deter the English from starting to cut off gold runners before they can reach home. Most of the ships are crewed and equipped to the max, but note that the Cristal only has a captain, helmsman, and oarsman aboard, in order to leave 3 spaces open. The Spanish plan to use her as a super durable hybrid since their resource/cargo system could still use some work. (they have been forced to buy for war due to the English)

Back in the Sea of Karkuda, the French have a small logjam at their Harbor but things are progressing smoothly for them. At the bottom left, the Dijon has army units aboard which are en route to The Flat.

Nemo goes rogue! Tasked with defending the island just east of the French Harbor (visible in the background at the upper right), Nemo has become extremely bored with his orders! He anticipated being in the thick of the fight, not defending a boring island in some far-flung corner of the sea. In addition, he doesn’t see his vision lining up with French plans. He has changed the course of his Nautilus to point southwest, and speeds away from French waters. Who knows what he’s up to??

Preble goes through the American whirlpool again, but instead of being spun out of it, he ends up in the Caribbean! Yet another instance where the Americans just cannot seem to roll a 4 to guarantee passage from their whirlpool to the other one in Karkuda. He arrives next to the English whirlpool squadron, who are similarly confused and disoriented. XD

Whoa! The southwest beach of the big island has suddenly stopped producing food, which was found readily there the whole game so far! However, luckily for the Americans and their canoes, textiles are discovered instead!

Continuing a big turn of big spending, the Americans cash in 16 metals and add 36 gold to the mix to spend 132 gold on a bunch of stuff! They have a very diversified launch, which I’ll explain over the course of these last 3 pictures. First off, Ralph David finally has another ship! With a reasonably large windfall, the Americans could afford a proper ship for the Pirate hunter. What better ship than the OE Constitution, which gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Pirate ships! A firepot specialist and oarsman join the standard crew aboard the new vessel, and Ralph David is ready to go hunting again!

American operations around their home island. Along with Ralph David getting a new ship, the Bonhomme Richard and Paladin are now fully repaired, giving RD a proper squadron! Of course, the Americans aren’t yet aware of the Pirate megalaunch, in which case David would certainly want to wait for the Georgetown and Gold Eagle to repair as well. Notice the new set of canoes at Ruby Island.

The Brandywine was launched for her ability to ignore terrain, as the Americans plan to send her east of Ruby Island and into new territory. The Sioux, Cleveland, and Saratoga were all purchased to further reinforce the squadron that Preble eventually anticipates taking The Flat with. At the top of the frame, the Springfield was launched to carry the tribal chieftain for the new canoes, and also to serve as a cheerleader ship in home waters. She currently tows the Minuteman flotilla, the first one launched by the Americans! The Springfield is certainly a very odd ship, with an extremely high point cost and base move for a 3 master (along with low cargo), but these games allow her to shine a bit more than usual. They certainly aren’t new ships, but the Providence and Louisiana have loaded some army units to be taken to the lumber island west of The Flat. The Americans are preparing for potential war with France, and want to defend their border as best they can if the French strike first. (which you can tell is unlikely from what little French gunships there are, but keep in mind that even the Americans aren’t aware of the Harbor itself yet…)

A few notes to flesh out this shorter report.

-I have begun running out of not just actual crew and equipment chips, but even the little paper ones that I originally made for new players that have the main generic crew (captains, helmsmen, explorers, oarsmen) on them. To solve this problem I am planning to write things on the back of the ones I’m not using, which are mostly just the explorers. I will most likely abbreviate, so if you see things like that in a deckplate picture, my general plan is FPS=firepot specialist, FS=fire shot, GS=grape shot, SPS=stinkpot specialist, etc etc.

-Partly because they technically have no masts and partly because they are very effective for their point costs, I have decided that native canoes are not subject to the 2 hits per mast elimination rule. Therefore each canoe will still sink after a single hit. (and partly because it would be very difficult to balance a marker die on any part of them!)

With that, the heat wave is nearly over!! Between that and my vastly increased availability on Wednesday-Saturday (in this case Thursday-Saturday since today was still very hot), things are about to REV UP in this game!! Very Happy I am hoping to play quite a bunch the next three days, although with the game likely surpassing 3,500 total points with today’s launches, one turn per day may still be quite a lengthy affair haha. Many exciting developments are likely just around the corner, as well as some new discoveries even after about 50 turns have passed! (and since I am excited about breaking the record from CG1, I may do another point count as early as Saturday)

Command the Oceans – CTO becomes the biggest game of all time (already!) (9/28/2017)

What the heck is going on?! 

Now that I’ve reached Turn 50 and a considerable amount of stuff has happened, I think it’s a good time for the first recap of the game.

Oceans and rooms:
Sea of Allost: first ocean in the turn order, with the Pirates, Jade Rebellion, and Cursed
Caribbean: second ocean in the turn order, with the English and Spanish
-those oceans are both in “room 1” if you will
Sea of Karkuda: third and final ocean in the turn order, with the French and Americans

Fleet locations in play order:
Pirates: Far east in the Sea of Allost
Jade Rebellion: Southwest in the Sea of Allost
Cursed: Northwest in the Sea of Allost
English: East in the Caribbean
Spanish: West in the Caribbean
French: Northeast in the Sea of Karkuda
Americans: Far west in the Sea of Karkuda

What has happened:

Pirates: Have had nearly no conflict thus far, and have not started conflict with any faction. Currently sourcing textiles, metals, spices, and sometimes gold from their 4 wild islands for one of the best economies in the game.

Jade Rebellion: Only have one wild island, but the textiles it produced have been in the upper half of values (4 gold or more apiece) through all 8 resource changes. However the island changed to produce spices, the least valuable resource on average that has ironically been the only resource to never be in the top half of values, always worth 3 or less. After multiple investigations, finally found the evil Cursed faction and declared war after being attacked by them.

Cursed: Purchasing a powerful sea dragon early in the game, the Cursed have benefited from special house rules in addition to finding super valuable coins on a northern island. The luxuries on Broken Horn Island have also provided a solid source for launches. Currently engaged in all-out war against the Jade Rebellion which is taking a major toll on both sides. Also a “secret faction” until the readers discovered them through the eyes of the Jade Rebels.

English: Established a strong presence at Diamond Rock early in the game which has only grown stronger with time. They have massively benefited from how amazing textiles have been, and now have beaten the Spanish in a few battles.

Spanish: A slow and cautious start was mostly fixed by finding gold and metals on Paradise Island, where they now have a strong presence in addition to the formidable Fortaleza Dorada. Still losing their war to the English and are overly reliant on metals (usually worth 1 or 6 lately) to fuel their efforts.

French: The most isolated faction of the game until recently, the French were unaware of other factions for most of the turns so far. Found immense quantities of food (fish) on their closest islands, which they now have huge quantities of on the docks of their Harbor. More recently they have discovered other resources and won a small victory over the Americans, who they briefly had an alliance with.

Americans: With many islands very close to their home island, the Americans have an economy that rivals that of the Pirates and the French. Preble has whipped them into imperial shape and they have gone on a tear recently, but constant whirlpool frustrations and some overzealousness has delayed their progress of late.

Alliances:
Americans/French (already broken)

Wars (with instigator listed first):
English vs. Spanish: English winning, but timely Spanish launches when metals skyrocket in value has kept things largely in check
Cursed vs. Jade Rebellion: JR’s declared war after Cursed dragon attacks. With 2 major battles concluded (both indecisive for the most part) and another one ongoing, this one is ugly, bloody, full of hate and with no end in sight.

What is happening:

Pirates: Recently took over the points lead from the Cursed with a megalaunch, the Pirates look very strong and appear ready to finally strike back against the Americans after Ralph David led two American whirlpool expeditions against the Pirates.

Jade Rebellion: Struggling a bit with spices never valuable, they are simply fighting the Cursed and want to win at all costs.

Cursed: With a solid economy fueling their war effort against the Jades, the Cursed have long-term plans that have been put on hold by the frequent and intense battles.

English: Finally satisfied with the fortifications on Diamond Rock, the English have turned their attention to Spanish-controlled Paradise Island and have been assembling a major squadron to attack it.

Spanish: Fighting to stay alive!

French: Fully established control of The Flat but really hoping for food to become valuable so they can beat the Americans back and continue exploring Karkuda in peace.

Americans: Reeling from their loss to the French and major damages due to whirlpool failures, the Americans are still looking strong due to their great economy.

What will happen?/Future plans

Pirates: Want to explore west of their kingdom, and strike back against the Americans with a whirlpool squadron of their own.

Jade Rebellion: Defeat the Cursed, kill Shal-Bala, and finally get around to exploring the Sea of Allost properly and possibly finding trade partners and allies.

Cursed: Kill the Rebel scum! Then, execute grand plans with a long-term “solution” for any opposition….

English: Drive the Spanish out of the Caribbean and establish total English hegemony! Afterwards, get whirlpool ready and figure out what lies beyond, where the Americans must have come from….

Spanish: Take Diamond Rock and look for allies in other oceans if necessary.

French: Get Nemo and the Nautilus back and explore all of Karkuda.

Americans: Take The Flat, go after the Pirates in the Sea of Allost and establish an American Empire!

~~~~~

Turns 50 and 51 were played today! The size of the game is completely spiraling out of control, and into completely unknown territory.

With little anticipation since the previous few rolls hadn’t been 1’s, I did the extra roll at the beginning of each turn to see if the resources would change at all. I was surprised to see that for the first time since instituting the rule below, I rolled a 1!

In case you forgot:
A round of turns begins with the d6 roll. A 1 is rolled (on a 2-6 the resources stay the same, until a 1 is rolled on some other turn). Since a 1 was rolled, roll again. If the second roll is a 2-6 (anything other than a 1), the resources only change value for that turn. On the next turn, they revert back to whatever they were on the previous round, or a different system is once again agreed upon by all players (such as starting over with regular EE rolls, or using the system described in this example). However, if the second roll is a 1, the current EE rolls are disregarded, and new rolls are made (both for values and duration).

This promotes more resource randomness, and makes the game more exciting and less predictable! The second roll was a 3, meaning that resources would only change value for this turn, which happened to be the milestone Turn 50. However, the third and final roll (for resource values on this specific turn) was the most shocking and crazy of all!! A FIVE was rolled!!! This meant that food would be worth 6 gold apiece for the first time in ages! O_O Suddenly, things were shaken up completely in terms of purchasing power! If you remember from the last handful of reports, both factions in the Sea of Karkuda have been stockpiling enormous amounts of food, which suddenly went from 1 to 6 in value per token!! The French and Americans rejoiced and as soon as the 5 came up I knew they would go completely bonkers with launchings. XD With that in mind, no wonder I could barely even finish Turn 51 today lol.

The Pirates begin their turn by attacking the Westminster, an English ship that had come through the whirlpool near Pistol Island on the previous turn! With the ship already missing a mast due to whirlpool damage, the Pirates were able to dismast the ship, needing the Sunrise Fire to finish the job since the Deliverance couldn’t use her L-range cannons.

The Royal Rover is underneath the ledge of Mission’s Kingdom for a reason – the Pirates have upgraded Bartholomew Roberts! Paying 12 gold, here is my custom version, which is based on history and how Black Bart was able to capture a ton of ships in his career.

Bartholomew Roberts
Pirate crew
18 points
Captain. Reroll. This ship can tow a ship by touching a derelict in any location (not just the bow), and can immediately initiate towing after resolving any action. This crew can be assigned to any ship of the same nationality regardless of point costs; if this crew’s cost is greater than the ship, no other crew or equipment can be assigned to that ship.

The new Pirate fleet from their megalaunch departs the upgraded fort of Dead Man’s Point and joins the existing Pirate ships!

Uh oh! Although the Pirates use some gold to launch the Bruja at the island, it has run out of textiles!! This is the first Pirate-controlled wild island to run out of a resource.

To the west!

Elsewhere in the Sea of Allost, the Sea Tiger finds that spices are no longer on the JR wild island – food is found instead!! I wanted to make Turn 50 something special, and it was turning out to be just that!

The Polaris rams an icewreck:

The Grand Path retreats with half her masts standing, as the Jades know they can’t afford to lose another capital ship. The Grand Mountain and Asgard take her place, killing Tiamat!

With the Naegling also retreating from battle, Olof Linstrom gets off a shot at the last second to sink the derelict Lilu! It was a good turn for the Jades, as they permanently eliminated two Cursed game pieces from play.

The Cursed strike back! The Asgard loses a mast and her crew are paralyzed by Fear, which would slow her on the next turn if she hadn’t been pinned as well. The Serpent’s Fang hits with a firepot to put the Grand Path in danger! However, the GP is already approaching the Jade HI and will likely make it back in time.

The Monkey’s Paw only hits the Glorious Treasure once. After a few ships have sunk and the damaged fleeing for repairs, the battle area is considerably less crowded. At the right, the Hellfire and Nightmare return to the Roost for repairs in addition to a new captain for the Hellfire.

The Half Moon is surprised to find that spices have replaced textiles as the resource on Diamond Rock!! Similar to the Pirate finding, this is the first time all game that the English have experienced either a resource shortage or a random change.

With the English whirlpool squadron failing as miserably as the Americans’, the Westminster manages to return to the Caribbean on oar power and reports to the captain of the Resolution on the Pirate attack.

Speaking of attack, it was finally time for the English to strike! The Ark Royal would be the first ship in the battle, and the English were ready to initiate the (First) Battle of Paradise Island!! With a predictably lame outcome, the Broadsides Attack failed with a 1. XD

The English open up their gunports and resume the next phase of their war against the Spanish! The Santa Catalina and Armada take damage, while the Anunciada and Catedral del Mar are set aflame! The Catedral was the hardest ship hit, being blasted by both the Serapis and Victor. A view of the action from the top of Diamond Rock:

With a view from the southeast, you can see the Durham at the upper right. She hits 1/2 and does slight damage to Fortaleza Dorada. The English want to destroy the fort and claim the island as their own.

I like the natural daylight effect of not using the flash and seeing the various shadows, but sometimes using the flash can illuminate things brilliantly.

The Spanish strike back, although it is mostly ineffective. The Royal loses a mast but the Anunciada’s fire spreads, dooming the ship before she can even fire a shot….

Fire everywhere! The Extremadura’s fire shot backfired, but the Catedral hit the Serapis with her firepot specialist to make more smoke and flame:

Even more! The Santa Ana sails into the fray on the far side of Paradise Island, and combines with the fort to take two masts off the Durham.

Reinforcements on the way! Spain is eager for her 5 new gunships to reach the battle area:

A rare shot from the northwest:

Continuing the trend of random resource changes all across the seas, the French find that metals are produced on their northeastern island instead of textiles! However, the French are far more concerned with a different resource…

FOOD! With an insanely massive stockpile saved up for quite some time now, the French can finally cash in their food for gold!! The tokens here combined with the amount they had saved off-camera (on an index card I mentioned earlier so I don’t have to go searching for coins all the time only to have them converted to gold in the long run) gave the French a whopping 99food tokens!!

You can quickly note that 99*6 gold apiece = 594 gold, and the French combined it with metals and gold from their home island to spend a ridiculous 639 gold all on one turn!! O_O

In fact, the launchings of Turn 50 represent a potential “road to war” or a massive GEARING UP if you will, at which point you may want to listen to this throughout the rest of the report as an excellent buildup/rising tension song.

The French launch 16 new ships! That may seem very low for that amount of gold, and it is, but for a good reason…

40 of the gold was spent on 4 new docks, doubling the total number of docks in the Harbor to 8! You can see them here in the upper right and upper left corners of the Harbor. The French needed them just to launch all the new stuff!

On the east side of the Harbor, you can see some of the new capital ships. The Superbe, Ville de Paris, and Corse are visible, as are the Belle Etoile, Eroica, and Argus.

On the west side of the Harbor, more new ships everywhere! The Libellule, Pluton, and Pique will be cargo ships, while the Delacroix, Gaule, and Hercule are launched for war. Check out the little “sick bay” dock at the upper right, where the captured Congress will soon begin repairing! This is similar to my old HFS harbors, where deep and recessed parts of the harbor is where the most severely damaged ships would be repaired over long periods of time. On the Royal Louis (RotF version with Parley) you can see why the French only got 16 ships for all that gold – check out the blue fort upgrade token (250 gold purchase price) on the main deck! O_O

With a rare view from the north, you can see the docking system the French have built in the Harbor. The Charlemagne is another French 5 master that was launched, one of five such major capital ships. From the deckplate picture you may have noticed a few odd ships as well – the French plan to actually use the Solitaire and Crete Argentee in this game since points are of almost no issue and their cheerleader abilities could help out a large squadron during a battle.

The French Harbor is complete! (likely, at least for now)

An impressive display of riches and power:

To the Americans! Preble returns from the Caribbean, albeit with even more damage than the President sustained on the way out. Ralph David’s newest Pirate-hunting squadron, consisting of the Constitution, Bonhomme Richard, and Paladin, is ready to set sail through the whirlpool! On the islands, notice that even more resource changes have taken place, as Ruby Island now produces spices instead of metals and Luck Island has run dry for the second time in the game.

The Frontier loads resources for the first time, using her hoist to grab some lumber! The Intrepid joins the American squadron off The Flat, increasing their numbers to six gunships strong.

More reinforcements! The Providence and Louisiana are still ferrying resources, but carry some army units to the lumber island. The other three ships in the foreground can make the American Flat squadron number 9 gunships.

The French had more food saved up than any resource stockpile of any other faction, but the Americans had a ton as well! They cashed in 74 food tokens (25 less than the French, but still a ton) and combine it with a small bit of gold for a windfall of 459 gold! Then, they immediately spent 365 of it! No less than 21 ships are launched, even more than the French put forth! (I have even started running out of paper crew chips in addition to the real ones, so I’m writing things like “H 2” on the backs of useless explorers to denote helmsmen and the like. Of course I know that a helmsman costs 2 points, but I’m writing it to make the point counts faster.)

The Americans just barely fit all their new ships at their home island! A perfect fit! XD

The Americans placed their ships strategically in the right positions, with the fastest ships sailing out first and certain objectives leading to certain parts of the island that a ship is launched at. The Jarvis and Boston for example, have abilities and crew aboard to let them be dedicated fort wreckers, which the Americans need to retake The Flat. The Americans are determined to expand further east into Karkuda and have launched ships designated as troop transports to expand their “empire”. The Carolina, Jackson, Atlanta and Bartlett are carrying three army units each, and all have been given orders to reinforce American positions on islands and beaches. Many small but effective gunships have been launched, mostly for the purpose of potential war with France.

After an insane 5 HOUR Turn 50, I was finally able to continue! XD

Turn 51 begins with the Deliverance jumping into the whirlpool near the Pirate Kingdom! She improbably rolls a 3 to emerge from the Caribbean whirlpool, which means that suddenly the Pirates are aware of the Caribbean as the home of the English!! This also means that the Pirates have access to all 4 other whirlpools without needing to roll for location when they travel from their southern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost! Not only that, but Havana Black sacced an oarsman to give the Deliverance an extra action coming out of the whirlpool, and attacked!!

And they’re here! The Pirates are in the Caribbean!! XD

The entire Pirate whirlpool squadron surges forth, not needing to roll a 3 as they simply followed the Deliverance’s lead. With their exploratory whirlpool squadron quite successful (finding both other oceans without too much difficulty), the new launches from Dead Man’s Point will now have an easy time finding some Americans to take down…

… as the Flying Fish ironically gets things going! The Pirates thought it would be funny to send the captured American ship to the Sea of Karkuda first. It did trick the Americans for a moment, until Ralph David realized that the ship was now crewed by his least favorite thing in the world: Pirates!!

ATTACK!!! The four Pirate ships that used to guard Dead Man’s Point surge through the whirlpool after the Flying Fish, with the Fool’s Hope being given an AA from Captain Elizabeth Swann (aboard the Black Heart back in the Sea of Allost) to attack the Constitution and Ralph David himself! The Constitution and Bonhomme Richard are damaged, and the Constitution loses her oarsman and part of a mast in the lost boarding party.

In the Sea of Allost, the Golden Medusa is guarding the whirlpool while more Pirate gunships make their way to it! After being extremely crowded, Dead Man’s Point seems strangely empty, with textiles no longer being produced on the island and all of the Pirate ships setting sail. The squadron of effective but small Pirate support gunships have headed east, as they will not brave whirlpool damage due to their size.

From the mainmast of the patrol ship Cutlass, an imposing sight. The Sea Nymph is in the foreground, but in the background you can see 3 of the most dangerous ships to ever sail the waves: the Revenant, Harbinger, and Victoire, all ready to fight with various double action crew. At the right, Mission smiles in glee at his success and good fortune, and has joined up with the “super squadron” of sorts….

DMP isn’t empty for long! With metals once more becoming the most valuable resource as the values reset (a 4 roll for 3 turns, with 2 turns left including this one), the Pirates continued their absurd spending rate, launching 5 ships from the upgraded fort. 4 of them have the home island raiding ability, in an ominous and dangerous homage to the past perhaps? The Lady Newport also comes into play along with some infantry units to help guard the fort.

A wide shot of the declining JR-Cursed situation. At the left, the Dragon’s Talon has taken the derelict Sea Phoenix under tow, as she has 9 points of crew aboard and carries some nice 2S guns. The Proud Tortoise sails behind the stern of the towed ship, hoping her L-immunity will prevent the Monkey’s Paw from interfering and trying to sink the SP. However, on their turn the Cursed simply used Tsuro to move the SP into a fog bank where she is lost forever, essentially sinking the ship! At the upper right, notice that the Jades have not retreated from the battle entirely: the Grand Mountain sets the Serpent’s Fang aflame with exploding shot! In addition, the Beowulf and Asgard damage Maxehebel as the Polaris destroys an icewreck once and for all.

In a terrible spot, the crew of the Westminster decide to row back into the whirlpool, rolling a 4 to emerge in the Sea of Karkuda! The Resolution does the noble thing and blocks the Deliverance while shooting at her, likely sacrificing herself in the process. However, the English aren’t used to Havana Black and his “ghostly” ship….

Carnage mounts near Paradise Island! The Royal does major damage to Armada, while the Serapis suffers a setback when her own fire shot backfires just a turn after the same thing happened to her sparring partner, the Extremadura! The fast Ark Royal and Victor shoot the gap in the Spanish line, breaking it! (this was not planned or staged to look like historical Royal Navy tactics haha)

The Ark Royal tries another Broadsides Attack, and this one connects!! The Alquimista loses 2 masts and the English have directly struck Spanish trade!

A view directly above the stern of the Lord Kettering. At the left, the Malton is mostly obscured behind Diamond Rock. At the right, HMS Durham scurries home to extinguish her fire, letting a bigger ship take her place…

Admiral Thomas Gunn and HMS Lord Algernon officially enter the fray!! The Lord Algernon easily dismasted the Catedral del Mar and then set Fortaleza Dorada aflame with her firepot specialist! At the right, more English ships have joined the battle! The Granville used double shot and fire shot perfectly to set the valuable Santa Ana on fire, while the Resistance used an AA from Owen (CRGO) to blast away at the fort!

Paradise Island is starting to resemble hell instead, with the deafening roar of cannons amid constant smoke and fire:

Believe it or not, Thomas Gunn almost turned the Lord Algernon around when he heard news about the Pirate attack in the south. Figuring his other gunships could take care of the threat and that he needed to concentrate on the Spanish in the far north, he stuck to his plan and his guns. At the right, three English ships are launched to counter the Pirate threat: the Plantagenet (+1 to cannon rolls against Pirate ships), Henry VIII, and Orkney.

Spanish reinforcements arrive! However, only two ships were in range of English vessels this turn. The Cristal del Obispo dealt damage to the Victor and Royal, with the Lady’s Scorn missing 0/3 against the Royal. The Granada has become entangled in a sargasso sea, while the Corazon del Mar and Reconquistador look to get into action soon.

After some nice maneuvering by the Spanish, both flotillas in the area were able to shoot at the Ark Royal, nearly dismasting the ship and also killing all three of her crew due to Armada’s ability.

The fire inside Fortaleza Dorada spreads! However, the Santa Ana has a nice turn, docking at the fort to eliminate her own fire while simultaneously setting the Resistance aflame with her own firepot specialist! The Resistance also lost her mizzenmast from the fort’s artillery barrage. (the fort didn’t shoot at the Lord Algernon since 3/5 of the Lord Algernon’s cannons are L-range and the fort would need to hit all three times to get past the Lord Algernon’s ability and eliminate a mast)

Paradise no more? Spanish soldiers struggle to extinguish the blaze at Fortaleza Dorada:

With metals worth 6 gold apiece once more, the Spanish cashed theirs in for 36 gold to get two gunships they would need. The Profeta is very boring but the Asesino de la Nave was possiblythe first ship I ever built, and definitely one of my first 4 ships ever! Her foremast was broken a bit long ago but the tape job has held great over the years and she is ready to fight once more!

-Back to the Sea of Karkuda-

After going rogue, Nemo has continued to pilot the Nautilus south of French waters, and here you can see his submerged vessel coming upon a large black rocky structure!! O_O

The Nautilus disappears into that opening you saw, and suddenly Nemo is gone!!! O_O

Introducing: Captain Nemo’s Mercenary Submarine Hideout!!

Now it is clear why Nemo went rogue! After being hired by the French, Nemo knew there was a chance he’d be able to conveniently “escape” from his employer in order to take refuge in a classic Mercenary base. Knowing that his old hideout was somewhere south of the French Harbor, Nemo took a risk and made a break for it. The submarine hideout has been in the Sea of Karkuda the entire time, but it was abandoned after a falling out among the Mercenaries stationed there. However, it is still operational! The submarine hideout was a naturally black rock with natural sea caves inside and underneath it. Since discovering it, Captain Nemo has heavily modified the island to suit his needs. Using typically advanced Mercenary technology, Nemo installed steel doors designed to look like wood or light-colored vegetation from the outside. The doors are mechanically operated and Mercenary submarines can open and close the doors whenever they want!

The western side (for this game) of the hideout, showing the other doors at the base. Each of the four sides has two doors that Nemo and his comrades built. I wonder what Nemo will do now – hide out and wait for the French to forget about him, or even open up use of the hideout to the French and play along that he was helping them the whole time?

Back at the Harbor, the French depart! Only a few ships are coming in, while the new launches go out. Certainly unrealistic from a logistical perspective, but the French know what they’re doing! XD The Pluton is the only ship completely unable to move in the logjam, and soon French ships will be swarming all over the place.

No shots fired here! Guy LaPlante hails the remaining crew of the dismasted Westminster, who narrowly escaped capture in her own home waters of the Caribbean after the Pirate attack. Some words are exchanged, and the French learn that the Pirates seem to be a dangerous foe with a penchant for sneak attacks. The English crew say they wouldn’t mind some help, but the French respond that they have no idea how to get to the Caribbean and are busy reinforcing their weak position at The Flat. A bit of a surprise – Anglo-French peace in their first encounter of the game:

The first batch of reinforcements arrive at The Flat, though it’s not much. The Dijon drops off some army units, while the Bonaparte takes the place of La Possession, who still may go through the whirlpool soon if Gaston or Lenoir gives the order and the French don’t need the ship in a potential fight with the Americans.

Oh wow, total carnage in the deep southwest! The Americans launch a counterattack against the hated Pirates, doing major damage. At this point, ALL Americans are beginning to hate the Pirates. Ralph David had convinced some of them a while back, but now the American fleet has a Pirate invasion on their doorstep! David himself nearly goes into a rage when the Constitution rolls two 1’s in a row to start her broadside against the Recreant, but rolled a 6 and a 2 to (barely) set the ship aflame.

At the lower right, BOTH the Paladin and Brandywine hit the Accused with firepots, dooming one of the best 3 masted Pirate gunships in the game. The Bonhomme Richard blasts the Fool’s Hope, and the captured Flying Fish is the only ship not damaged in the attack.

A busy scene: canoes go home with newly found spices, new cargo ships join old ones in the trip to Luck Island, and at the top of the frame Preble has returned home to repair and launch some new ships to counter the Pirates with. The United States lumbers forward but will take some time to reach the battle area.

Mass departure! The Sea of Karkuda is becoming VERY busy, an absolute hotspot of activity that may only increase in intensity over time!

The Americans send MASS reinforcements to augment their half-dozen ships currently stationed west of The Flat. No less than 10 proper gunships are headed east, with some other captained ships (like the Philadelphia and New Orleans, launched to capture enemy ships) and troop transports joining them. The Providence has already begun unloading troops at the lumber island, while the Louisiana carries an artillery unit. Talk about GEARING up!! XD

With 365 gold spent last turn and 88 this turn, the Americans have introduced an additional 453 points into the western 1/3 of Karkuda in one day. Combine that with the Pirate squadron showing up through the whirlpool, the huge French launch, and the English discovering Karkuda and the French faction in general, and the Sea of Karkuda is absolutely blowing up!

The 4 new American ships. The Saratoga shields Preble’s President from harm, while 3 nice SCS ships make their entrances: the Appalachian, Overton, and Hudson. At the right and upper right, the Destiny and 4 US blockade runners make their way towards the Pirate battle, since the Americans have already sent a large squadron east towards the French and the Americans don’t know if more Pirates are coming!

With that, a big day of play comes to a close. Launches alone took a huge amount of time, and I can say that over 1,100 new points were introduced to the game today. The French and Americans alone combined for over 1,000 gold spent!! This is why I said above that the game is entering completely unknown territory. Assuming the game had already reached around 3,600 total points at the start of the day, it is now likely over 4,600. Shocked O_O Things are becoming completely insanely ridiculous to the point of total nonsense. XD Just kidding, it’s manageable but definitely gigantic to an extreme lol. As a result, the average turn may take about two and a half hours for the foreseeable future, and that’s without any megalaunches of 200+ gold. If you’re wondering, I still plan to do a point count soon, likely after I (hopefully) complete a full turn on Saturday.

Many, MANY developments are still to come. As I hinted at with the song, things are just boiling at a high temperature right now. The tension is rising in all 3 oceans to the point of absolute bedlam all around the world. The future is unclear, but one thing is for certain: TOTAL CHAOS AWAITS. O_O