South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game! February 6th, 2016

This game was played on 2/6/2016. It was a 60 point game, notable for being possibly the last physical game I’ll play with the first person I ever taught Pirates to (but maybe not the last!). Also, as part of the upcoming 10th anniversary of South China Seas, I’ve got quite a lot of South China Seas in my current traveling collection.

Jade Rebellion:
Grand Mountain + Dragon Eyes, helmsman, oarsman
Sea Wind + captain
Hansan Island + captain, helmsman, fire shot

HMS Victor + captain, oarsman
Templar + helmsman
HMS Clear Wind + helmsman
Scorpion + explorer
El Duque + helmsman, explorer

The setup featured the shipwreck cove, as well as three places to get gold. There were two coins placed on a beach on the same island where the home beaches were located. A few more coins were on an island near the main wild island, which lay in the cove.

SCS 10th anniversary

Almost 10 years since the release of South China Seas, and the junks look as good as ever!

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

After the relative monotony of VASSAL pictures, it was refreshing and almost stunning to see this quality return!

Chinese junks sail out
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Duque grabs the nearby gold, while all the other ships make for the far islands.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
Jade Rebellion fleet

Here the Sea Wind’s colors actually blend in well with the ocean.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
Jade Rebellion ships

The fleets converge on the main wild island:

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Sea Wind explores as the Hansan Island and Grand Mountain split up. All three Jade ships have captains.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Jade Rebellion declares war! The Hansan Island sets the Victor ablaze, while the Sea Wind sprints for home and hits 2/2 on the Duque in passing.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
Jade Rebellion attacks!
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Victor repaired at sea, only to have the Hansan Island connect again with another fire shot! The Grand Mountain dismasted the Templar, and the Jades were doing well.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

Dragon Eyes got busy capturing crew, but the Clear Wind rammed the Hansan Island derelict, ending that threat.

battle at the wild island
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Sea Wind returns for more gold, but loses a mast trying to go the shorter way over the treacherous reefs.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Clear Wind has captured the Hansan Island!

coins on island
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Victor hits the Grand Mountain, and the momentum is shifting!

Grand Mountain under attack

The Grand Mountain fights back and captures the Victor’s captain!

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

As the Hansan Island is towed away, the Jade Rebellion is becoming surrounded.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Sea Wind re-engages the Duque but fails to inflict damage and loses another mast to the reef! The Grand Mountain and Victor are locked in battle.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

A great shot of the failed ram and board, and a good shot of the wrecked Flying Dutchman with her stern in the air.

failed ram and board
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

As the battle rages, the Grand Mountain loses her oarsman.

naval battle rages on

The Duque rams the Sea Wind derelict! The Scorpion tries to sink the junk but misses.

Sea Wind is derelict
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Duque captures the Sea Wind, while the Clear Wind drops the Hansan Island to help the Victor against the Grand Mountain.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Jade Rebellion has only one ship left, and it’s doubtful that she’ll make it home safely. However, at this point she has 8 points of captured crew aboard in addition to 2 gold!

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Victor has fully repaired while the Grand Mountain slowly sails home.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

As expected, the Grand Mountain has been cornered by the Mixed fleet. Note the unintentional (weak) line of battle sailing to the Mixed HI! They now control 7 of the 8 ships in the game.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

Just a turn from her HI, the Grand Mountain is rammed and blocked!

Grand Mountain in trouble again

The Grand Mountain shot a mast off the Scorpion, but the galley’s block meant she couldn’t get home…

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

After all that carnage, the Mixed fleet rammed the Grand Mountain derelict to end the game!

end of the game. South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

1. Mixed fleet: 19 gold
2. Jade Rebellion: 13

(If the Grand Mountain had just an extra turn to return home, it would have been 23-13 in favor of the Rebellion! Another great game!)

2 more games on VASSAL! February 4th, 2016


2 more games on VASSAL have already been played! I was about to edit my fansite when I hopped on reddit and got ownage99988 to join me on VASSAL! It was their first game in about 11 years!

Game 6
ownage99988Minimal Crew

a7xfanbenSealing the Deal (My fleet for the Sealed Pack fleet challenge)

Though it turned out to be a very good thing, there was so much going on in the VASSAL chat during this game that I almost forgot to take pictures and only got 2! VASSAL is truly taking over! ownage and I got started and then xerecs joined the chat soon afterwards once the game had commenced.

In an abnormal twist, the game featured fighting at the start and gold running thereafter. The Overton and Stephens were engaged in battle, but the Stephens won because of the help of the Bon Marin (no kidding!) and the San Pedro. The Minimal Crew fleet towed the Overton home and got the +5 gold bonus from Nolan’s Ransom keyword. The Belle Etoile took some damage from the Stephens, but managed to return home before going out on a gold run. If she had a captain, she could have sunk the Overton before Nolan was unloaded, but it was not to be (if only I had pulled another captain for that fleet challenge!). The Martillo de Dios made a successful treasure run before being sunk by the Stephens on her second trip. That’s when she carried the final gold coin, and the game ended! Incredibly, it was a 17-17 tie!! ownage was awarded the victory since he had more masts and points afloat than I did. What a great return to Pirates for ownage! This was possibly the best VASSAL game yet.

ownage left, leaving xerecs and I to play a second game.

Game 7
Blackwatch + Commodore Peregrine Stern, Commodore Matthew Perry, helmsman, oarsman
Nene-nui + Ralph David, explorer

Jewels of the Fine Sea (my latest challenge fleet!)

2 more games on VASSAL!  February 4th, 2016

The Blackwatch hunted the Jewels fleet, who headed for the outer islands. The Tiger’s Eye was immune to the Blackwatch’s guns, and therefore she turned south. However, the Emerald was waiting for her, and she pounced first, dealing damage.

2 more games on VASSAL!  February 4th, 2016

At this point it got strange. The Blackwatch rammed and boarded the Emerald with two of her remaining three guns in range. Then the impossible happened: the Blackwatch, one of the most feared gunships in history, rolled FOUR 1’s in a row!! This left the door wide open for the Emerald, and the Blackwatch was toast. The Emerald then went after the Nene Nui to try and end the game.

2 more games on VASSAL!  February 4th, 2016

And thus it was ended! The Jewels fleet finished with 22 gold (with +1 from eliminating Perry), while the Americans finished with 10 (+2 from Ralph David).

2 more games on VASSAL!  February 4th, 2016

ownage and I might be back on VASSAL tomorrow. The campaign game is coming…

3 Player Game on VASSAL – A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs vs. Captain Vendari (2/5/2016)

An abbreviated 3 Player Game on VASSAL took place between myself, Captain Vendari, and Xerecs.

The fleets went in this order.

A7XfanBen: Small Fry Rebellion

Xerecs’ Pirates:
Darkhawk II + captain, helmsman, explorer
Eagle + Calico Cat, Hammersmith, The Hag of Tortuga
Bloody Jewel + explorer

Vendari’s Frenchmen:
Le Lyon + Guy LaPlante
Le Descharges + Lenoir, captain
Le Coeur du Lion + Vicomte Jules de Cissey, navigator

JR’s in the south, Pirates in the east, French in the west.

The Tiger’s Breath sprang out and gave Ben 3 coins early. The Sea Phoenix was picking up the scraps at the same island when the Darkhawk II initiated combat and dismasted the small junk. The Jade turtle ships turned around and attacked the Lyon! In the far north, the Descharges took out two of the Eagle’s masts.

3 Player Game on VASSAL

The Lyon shot off one of the Proud Tortoise’s shell panels and rammed off her mast.

3 Player Game on VASSAL

With a shoot and ram, the Noble Swan dismasted the Lyon. The Tiger’s Breath decided to forsake the gold in the southwest in an attempt to save the Sea Phoenix. She won the boarding party but couldn’t dent the Darkhawk, and she would pay for it on the next turn when the DHII dismasted her. In the meantime, the Eagle had rammed the Descharges. At this point it was noticed that the Bloody Jewel had inconspicuously gone missing!

3 Player Game on VASSAL

The Tiger’s Breath and the Proud Tortoise rowed home to repair, while the Noble Swan captured the Lyon. At this point this 3 Player Game on VASSAL was called because xerecs couldn’t continue. The Jade Rebellion won 14-0-0.

3 Player Game on VASSAL

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) – February 4th, 2016

3 impromptu games were played between myself and xerecs! Since they were all rather lopsided and quick, the reports will be short as well. The three games only took about 3 hours, so the concern of VASSAL games taking longer than regular games continues to lose steam.

The first game featured a7xfanben’s Minimal Crew fleet against a Cursed fleet made by xerecs.

Revenant (custom Cursed version) + captain, helmsman, explorer
Fallen Angel
Lizard’s Sting

A great barrier reef stretched across the sea to cut off access to the wild islands.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Revenant successfully navigated the reef, but the Stephens rolled a 1 to lose 4 of her 5 masts!

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

As ships began exploring, the Stephens tried to sail back home to repair, but was promptly wrecked!

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016
3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Revenant targeted the San Pedro before she could cross the reefs, but missed.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The San Pedro rammed and boarded to take a coin from the Revenant!

The Lizard’s Sting dismasted the Bon Marin with a ram while the Revenant sunk the San Pedro, and the Cursed were victorious 21-13!

Cursed win

The second game was a 60 point game, and featured a7xfanben’s Clones of the South China Sea fleet against an American fleet created by xerecs.

Venture (custom ship) + Commander Steven Decatur, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Nene-nui + explorer
Jarvis + 1 crew

This time, the previous setup was “moved and rotated randomly” until a feasible setup was found. The wild island in between the two HI’s has 5 coins on it, with 3 apiece for the other two.

The Grand Wind sacced an oarsman to move S+S+S+S, and the fleets were off and sailing.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Grand Path received a ludricrous amount of 6’s this game, as the dice luck from the previous game shifted completely in a7xfanben’s favor! Here the junk has rammed the Venture!

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Venture is dismasted!

The Venture ducks into the fog while the Grand Wind returns home. The Grand Path hunts the remaining American ships.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Venture is sunk, and the Americans look to be doomed.

The Nene Nui tries to return home, but is set upon by the Grand Path, who receives yet another SAT from Warlord Cavendish.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Nene Nui is captured while the Grand Wind explores the center island.

The captured Nene Nui docks at the same time as the Grand Wind, giving the Jade Rebellion a huge windfall.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Grand Path sinks the Jarvis, and the Jade Rebellion claims a whopping 31-0 victory!

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The final game was the most unique. It featured 50 point fleets, with one wild island holding all the gold, defended by an old Viking fort with six 3L cannons. The island was completely surrounded by reefs and fog.

Cursed: (xerecs)
Revenant (custom ship) + captain, explorer
Divine Dragon + Davy Jones

Pirates: (a7xfanben)
Deliverance + Calypso, Calico Cat, captain, exploding shot, oarsman
Eagle + Hammersmith, Gunner, oarsman

My strategy was to use Calypso’s whirlpool-creating ability to warp into the area around the wild island, but it failed miserably. Further serving this goal and furthering the similarities to the epic Economy Edition, I secretly placed three UT’s: Bad Maps, Turtles, and Whirlpool.

Davy Jones got a 6 on the second turn, but the Pirates were smart to split up their ships in his presence.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

Unfortunately for Calypso, she wasn’t such a surprise, since the Pirates waited too long to reveal her. As a result, the Cursed found the Whirlpool and Bad Maps UT’s, and figured out what was going on. Shades of Economy Edition indeed, but it didn’t work nearly as well. Further making the game a complete failure, we forgot to have the fort fire!

Chaos reigns as the island is displaced from the fake “lagoon” of reefs while the turtles start scrambling.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

In my frustration, the Deliverance rammed the Revenant and destroyed the fort.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

As the island does an Economy and returns to it’s former station, the fleets are flabbergasted.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Divine Dragon and Deliverance are locked in a pitched battle.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The Deliverance sinks the Divine Dragon, while the Eagle heads to cut off the Revenant.

The Revenant is wrecked while moving over a reef, just like the Stephens in the first game! This ended the game, with the Cursed having no available ships. Neither fleet had any gold on their HI, so xerecs was decided the winner since his fleet had gold “in the water” while a7xfanben had no gold on his ships.

3 more games on the VASSAL module! (A7XfanBen vs. Xerecs) - February 4th, 2016

The last game was a complete disaster, but as usual in Pirates, “everything that can go wrong will go wrong”. However, all three games were fun and will now be forever known as the first confrontations between the legendary Admirals A7XfanBen and Xerecs, players of Economy Edition and Century of the Empires!

VASSAL IS HERE! The first modern VASSAL BATTLE REPORT! (January 29th, 2016)

A HUGE thanks to el_cazador for reaching out to me! And once again, a HUGE thanks to B.J. Olejnik for getting this module up and running. I literally had VASSAL on my to-do list for today (part of a series of VASSAL ironies that keep happening – el_cazador literally PM’d me a few minutes after I responded to B.J.’s email), where I was going to experiment with it and play around a bit. Instead, my (and el_cazador’s) first game was played on VASSAL!!

I think VASSAL is going to be an extremely valuable tool. It’s the only known reliable way of people being able to play Pirates remotely, which is huge. This forum is full of the absolute, hardcore, diehard fans of the game that are still left supporting it and keeping it alive. The fact that we can play games of Pirates with each other for free and without the hassles of traveling is so cool!

This is a Battle Report of the game that myself and el_cazador played on 1/29/2016. It’s my first BR using “pictures” of a virtual game, which is crazy cool and crazy unique. You can’t get angled shots or closeups (edit: you can with a snipping tool or by editing and cropping full pictures), but the pros include not needing a camera of any kind, not having to worry about how the shot will look, and of course the nature of an overhead shot: every picture gives the viewer a great idea of what’s going on everywhere on the ocean.

Neither of us had much experience at all with VASSAL prior to this impromptu game. Nevertheless, we were determined to see it happen!! (I’m very excited about this lol.)

First, we didn’t even know how to set up the ocean. I’ll make a post within the next 24 hours where I do my best to give a comprehensive sort of “setup guide” for everyone. For now, I will focus on the report. This will eventually go in Battle Reports, but I think that this first game should definitely go in this thread, not to mention xerecs’ massively epic Economy Edition game going on right now. As always I’ll post it on BGG and Pojo (and I think reddit this time too!), so hopefully that will drum up additional interest.

I began creating a fleet. A day or two I was on VASSAL very briefly, and I created HMS Dover just to refresh my memory of how to create a ship and its associated deckplate card. As a result, she was the first ship I chose. My fleet was constructed somewhat randomly and haphazardly, but the English are my favorite faction and the Lord Algernon is my favorite ship, so it should come as no surprise that my first game on VASSAL featured them.

English: (Ben)
HMS Lord Algernon + Administrator Scott Bratley, captain, helmsman
HMS Dover + Thomas Gunn, explorer
HMS Hound + explorer

el_cazador, on the other hand, had a fleet ready.

Spanish: (El Cazador)
Spanish Cursed Seas Showcase (fleet was on Miniature Trading)

At this time it is necessary to explain the dumb setup. Once we had an ocean created, we got excited and started dumping stuff everywhere!  We didn’t know how to delete islands and terrain!  As a result, the setup was very abnormal and unfairly biased in favor of the English. Once our first ship was introduced to the sea, we both simply gravitated towards the nearest islands, so the HI placement was random as well. However, the treasure distribution was fair, with 4 coins on each of the 4 wild islands. There are no native canoes in the module so they’re represented by the 1 masted galleys.

The English rolled to go first, and the fleets were off! The Hound and Dover were quick to exploit the bad setup, docking and exploring nearby wild islands on the first two turns. The Lord Algernon headed out as the most dangerous but also slowest ship in play.

The Spanish sailed out, with the San Pedro easily navigating a reef successfully. The native canoes, however, couldn’t explore on the first turn.

The Dover docked home treasure, while the Lord Algernon moved within firing range of a native canoe!!


The Lord Algernon easily blasted the canoe to smithereens, and war was on! The remaining canoes had no choice but to run from the English flagship, but the Castigue had something to say about the Lord Algernon, hitting 2/3 to take out a mast!

Here the San Pedro docks and explores. a7xfanben, commander of the English forces, knew how valuable the +1 and +2 gold abilities (aboard the canoes and San Pedro) are, and therefore prioritized eliminating those ships from the game.

The Hound has docked home while the Morning Star takes gold from the western island. However, the English used their two gunships to sink the Castigue! This netted them 1 gold for eliminating the Ransom crew Anita Amore. The dots on the islands are explored markers, something el_cazador was brilliant enough to think of and find on the module. Nicely enough, they’re color-coded by player, and here they turned out to match the nationalities as well!

Surprising the English, the Spanish now attacked the Lord Algernon with their treasure runners! The San Pedro rammed and boarded. However, she failed with both rolls, losing her explorer. The canoes began to head towards the Lord Algernon, which El Cazador would later admit was a “canoe screen” to help shield the Morning Star. Mid-turn, you can see the S and L rulers in the directions ships have moved and are going to move.

The English strike again, and sink the San Pedro! After a brief discussion, it was decided that any gold on ships would sink to the bottom with the vessel carrying it. (Woelf does this and it’s obviously more historically accurate.) At this point the English finally remembered to use the Hound’s ability and revealed a 2 on the Morning Star, who was heading towards the southern island while the English were distracted by the canoes.

Here, the Morning Star has docked at the southern island, where she explores and finds some UT’s that were placed by a7xfanben. However, I didn’t define what they were when I placed them, so I decided to let El Cazador use them as “wilds” since the setup was so biased in my favor. This meant he could pick any value for the two “UT’s” from 1-7. Naturally, he picked 7 for both of them.


With a powerful broadside, the Lord Algernon stays put and sinks the remaining native canoes! The Dover returns home for the time being, while the Hound added to the English treasure haul.

The Morning Star began sailing away, but the Lord Algernon shot two of her masts off. The Dover docked home, only for me to realize that she didn’t have any gold on her after all!

The Morning Star continued to run, but the English continued to shoot! The Lord Algernon connected twice more, and the Dover moved into position to end the game.

The Dover fired and hit, sinking the final Spanish ship! The Royal Navy reigns supreme! (My shoot action die rolls were much better for this game than they are in the physical world, a promising sign for me lol.)

This image simply shows the English gold revealed on their HI, and they won by a 24-0 blowout! (The gold in the water is from the sunken San Pedro.)

Find more information about how to download and use VASSAL here!

Extremely Simple game – 2 players, 40 points – January 9th, 2016

2 players, 40 points

I played an extremely simple and short game with a beginner player.

Jackal’s Teeth + explorer
L’ Auguste + explorer, oarsman
Locker + helmsman

Cursed Americans:
Banshee’s Wail + El Fantasma, shipwright

The setup featured two wild islands with 5 coins apiece.
extremely simple game of Pirates CSG

The Mixed fleet went first and almost reached one island.
extremely simple game of Pirates CSG

As the fleets docked and explored, El Fantasma aboard the Banshee’s Wail wished he had the captain ability instead of reverse captain.
extremely simple game of Pirates CSG

As the Mixed fleet returned home gold, the Banshee’s Wail failed to damage the Auguste. Instead, she lost her shipwright.
extremely simple game of Pirates CSG

On the next turn, the Banshee’s Wail succeeded in taking out a mast with the ram, but the boarding party was a tie.
extremely simple game of Pirates CSG

1. Mixed fleet: 21 gold
2. Cursed Americans: 6

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Experimental Cumulative Game


The Economy Edition game being played right now by Xerecs has inspired me to start another (but considerably smaller and shorter) cumulative game. Things have come full circle after my CotE and Economy games inspired him to play those!

This game won’t last much more than a week and a half, if that. As the title suggests, it’s not your average cumulative game. There are going to be some things that I wasn’t able to do during my Economy game, as well as some other ideas I’ve been wanting to try out. This will also make for a unique style of battle reports. Be ready for anything!

Without further ado, here is the setting:

Shap-‘ng-Tsai has succeeded. “With over 100 junks at his disposal and bases hidden along the Chinese coast, Tsai claims that he will be the one to topple the English empire.” He has now done it. The English presence in the South China Sea is a remnant of its former self. The Jade Rebellion can now be more properly called a Jade Empire, as they are rightfully the dominant presence in their home waters.

However, the age of imperialism is not at an end. Other imperialist nations threaten to cause more damage to the Jades and their way of life, mostly as a result of the so-called “endless” gold deposits on the local islands. Just in the past few weeks, Spanish and French ships have entered the waters patrolled by Jade Rebellion ships. These two nations have teamed up once again to form the Franco-Spanish alliance, although here they’ve decided to split their forces to maximize their odds of taking down the Jade Rebellion empire. The Jade Rebellion has already sent away many of the gunships that helped to win the war against the hated English. Unfortunately for them, this means that only one capital ship remains in the area. The Jade presence is still strong, but the Spanish and French are a huge threat that Tsai and his fleet must deal with.

The Spanish and French may have underestimated their opponent, for they didn’t send large fleets to guarantee victory. However, one such ship, El Príncipe de Asturias, has considerable battle experience already, and her crew is thirsty for more. “El Principe de Asturias was reassigned to the South China Seas after leading several successful campaigns in the Mediterranean. Now her crew use their considerable experience against the Jade Rebellion.” It’s obvious that fighting is inevitable, and in fact the Spanish and French have already made a joint declaration of war on the Jade Rebellion.

To complicate matters even further, one English ship remains in the area, a veteran of the JR-English war. HMS Galapagos has suffered extreme losses in battles against the JR, making her tiny remaining crew anxious for revenge. Tsai recently let the Galapagos escape, knowing his fleet could easily take the ship at their leisure. However, with the Spanish and French now in the area, the Galapagos may slip under Tsai’s watchful eye since the FS (Franco-Spanish) are a much bigger threat.

The fleets sailed out in this order of play:

Jade Rebellion (100 points)
Grand Temple + Shap-‘ng-Tsai, Katsura-chan, helmsman, oarsman
Sea Wind + captain, explorer
East Wind
Sea Lion
Sea Crane + explorer
Admiral Yi
Dragon’s Talon + helmsman

Spanish (50 points)
La Voz de Dios + captain, helmsman
El Príncipe de Asturias + captain, helmsman
San Agustín

French (50 points)
La Gaule + captain, helmsman, oarsman
La Geographe + Nicholas-Thomas Baudin
La Fureur
L’Argus + oarsman

HMS Galapagos

As you can see, this game starts out as an all-SCS game. This is the beginning theme, but only that. As a result, the only three UT’s present at the start of play were also from SCS.

For the first time in any of my games, wind would be used! A while back I searched in the depths of the files section at BGG and found different wind rules. For this game, I’m using this from way back in 2004. Thanks to headlouse for coming up with it.

There are also some Sandbars present, which are similar to Sargasso Seas, but worse for large ships than small ships. Other ideas will be explored as well. For example, Marines can fire on EVERY player’s turn, not just on their owners’ turn. Also, to continue the experimental theme, ramming cannot do damage. In addition, some “ghost gold” has made its way into the setup.

– Transparent coins give the ship carrying them the Ghost Ship keyword, as long as they’re still on the ship.

The game’s area is limited by the table it’s being played on, and only non-standard islands and terrain were present at the start. There are currently four home islands (HI’s) and six wild islands (emphasis on “currently”). The English and Spanish HI’s are in the west, while the French have set sail in the northeast. The Jade Rebellion empire starts the game as the favorite to win, with the biggest HI located in the general center of the sea.

Flat earth rules are being used, for now.

Each wild island has 5 coins on it, and the new “shipwreck cove” area has three different sets of 3 coins on different shipwrecks, which must be docked at like they’re independent wild islands (and ships have to roll for effect on the reef when “docking”). The wild islands will replenish back to a maximum of 5 coins only after all 5 previous coins are gone from the island. The replenishment happens at the end of each round of turns.

This picture shows most of the sea. The bottom of the frame is south, while the top is north. The English and Spanish HI’s are at the edge of the table, while the Jade Rebellion sits in the middle. The French can just be seen at the top right in the northeast. Notice how the huge sandbar separates the Spanish and the Jade Rebellion, while the shipwrecks are a dominating factor of the northwest.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Also looking south to north, here’s the rest of the sea, showing the east where the Jade Rebels and Frenchmen reside. The Jade Rebellion has easy access to four of the six wild islands, but this is not the case for the other fleets.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Here is the ocean again, but this time looking from west to east:

Experimental cumulative game
Experimental Cumulative Game

The Jade Rebellion, with a HI that has 3 beaches, are completely unaware that their HI lies on convergent tectonic plates.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Spanish are ready for war, with two gunships in the area already.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The French are ready to assist, especially with La Gaule.

The northern half of the sea looking from west to east.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The southern half:

Experimental Cumulative Game
Experimental Cumulative Game
Experimental Cumulative Game

Shipwrecks of a long-forgotten war between the Jade Rebellion and Pirates reveal similarly forgotten gold aboard the wrecks of the Thrud, Deliverance, and Flying Dutchman.

shipwreck cove

One last look for the time being – a unique shot showing the beautiful water of this contested sea.

beautiful blue ocean sea water shiny with sheen

As the English were the last fleet to take their turn, they chose the initial wind direction, choosing northeast (NE).

Wind rules and directional compass

Without further ado the fleets set sail! The wind rules immediately affected things, since any ships sailing in the southwest direction lost S from their speed. This slightly slowed all the fleets except for the English, but the game was just beginning.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Sea Crane was the first ship to reach an island, but the Gaule approached.

For the time being, the wind would be rolled for at the start of each round of turns, rather than at the start of each fleet’s turn. This could change. For now, a 4 was rolled, meaning that the wind shifted to blow due east, slowing ships headed west.

The French proved they weren’t about to shy away from a fight! On just the second turn, with war already declared, the French instigate the first conflict! La Gaule sinks the Sea Crane and her two 5 coins!

Tsai responds angrily by using his SAT powers to sink the Gaule and nearly dismast the Geographe!

Experimental Cumulative Game

In the meantime, the Sea Wind has found Rotting Hull, but she’s also brought back the first coin for the JR. The other JR ships have docked in the south and are exploring. The Geographe managed to mark that eastern island as explored and therefore knocked out the Sea Crane’s JR presence there. (This third turn saw the wind stay blowing from west to east.)

Experimental Cumulative Game

Using the wind’s +S boost, the Voz de Dios sails around the sandbar and rams the Sea Lion! With the Grand Temple off fighting the French in the east, the Spanish capitalize on an easy chance to hit Jade trade. The action is somewhat unsuccessful, with the Sea Lion only losing 1 mast after 4 shots by the Voz (and also remember no ram damage). However, the Voz did win the boarding party to steal one of the Lion’s coins. To make matters even more tense, the East Wind used her treasure trading ability to trade a 1 on that island for a 4 on the island that the other Spanish ships were docked at.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The English and Spanish have docked at western islands as separate skirmishes have already occurred in the south and east.

Experimental Cumulative Game

To get the +S wind boost, a ship must move in the correct direction (here anywhere between NE and SE) for one move segment. In this way, the Geographe was able to tack back to her HI in one turn, which meant she could repair. The Argus and Fureur turned around, desperate to stay away from the Grand Temple, who had already crippled the French fleet in just one turn. In addition, the Principe found Fireworks and the first ghost coin. The Dragon’s Talon had Trade Route aboard.

Experimental Cumulative Game

After just three turns, two separate battles have occurred and two fleets have already lost ships! This unique experimental game is just beginning…


The fourth turn of play marked the second day’s action. The Jade Rebellion hired two captains, one for the East Wind, and one for the Dragon’s Talon. However, the Dragon’s Talon still had Trade Route aboard, and so had to wait for the Grand Temple to sail up and take it off her in order to load the captain. This turn marked another change in the wind, though it shifted back to NE, the direction it was blowing when the game began. The Sea Lion and East Wind managed to avoid further trouble with the Voz de Dios, who appeared reasonably content with the coin she stole from the Sea Lion. The approaching presence of the Grand Temple gave her another reason to head home.

On their turn, the Spanish used almost all of their gold to commission La Habana with a captain and helmsman, continuing the SCS theme by choice.

The Voz de Dios sails home with stolen loot while her fleet mates enjoy the comforts of their home island.

Spanish fleet in water

The Argus and Fureur head west to an island, while the Geographe repairs (top left).

Experimental Cumulative Game

However, with the wind behind her, the Sea Wind reaches that same island for the second time, as the newly-captained East Wind departs to the south. The Jade-French tension is obvious.

Experimental Cumulative Game

As the Voz rounds the sandbars, her proud fleet mates sail south to greet her. The San Agustin is slow, but her large cargo hold means she can empty the southwestern island when she isn’t carrying crew.

Experimental Cumulative Game

In the northwest, the Galapagos heads home with gold. To the east, the Argus docks but can’t explore just yet. The slow Fureur gets into position to dock and take gold next turn.

Experimental Cumulative Game

At the top of the frame, the East Wind has joined the Sea Wind on the north side of the Jade HI, giving the Jades two of their three gunships in close proximity to the French gold runners. Far to the south, the Grand Temple guards the southern island for the Sea Lion.

Experimental Cumulative Game

You may have noticed a few additional ships at the Jade HI. At the end of their turn the Jades launched two new turtle ships, the Proud Tortoise and Floating Stone.

Jade Rebellion home island

With the Grand Temple facing southwest, the Spanish turn around and head north up the huge sandbar. The Voz docks home gold, while the San Agustin loads some. At this point, at least one of the six wild islands was replenishing at the end of each round, and many of the day’s turns saw two islands replenish in one turn.

Spanish fleet from above

With a meager haul of 7 gold from 4 coins, the English manage to launch HMS Patagonia with a helmsman and also add an oarsman to the Galapagos.

English at home island

The Grand Temple shadows the Spanish, as the Jade gunships up north appear to sail in such a way as to cut off the French.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Jade Rebels are still angry that La Gaule sunk the Sea Crane, and things don’t look good for the French.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Looking west to east, the Habana has been sent north to explore the mysterious shipwrecks of the northwest.

Experimental Cumulative Game

On their turn, the French did well to position their ships for possible attack, with the newly-repaired Geographe sheltering the Argus. However, the Fureur was a sitting duck.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The island that once sat in the middle of the lagoon in Economy Edition isn’t so lucrative anymore, but it’s the best option the English have.

HMS Galapagos approaches golden island

War resumes! The East Wind takes on the Fureur!

combat at island

With a devastating blow, the French are nearly defeated! The Fureur sank beneath the waves. Then the Proud Tortoise sailed towards the Geographe and hit with her fire shot! To finish up the successful attack, the Sea Wind hit the Argus and Geographe once each.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Sea Wind carefully maneuvered to avoid illegally docking at the French HI while staying out of S-range of the Argus.

sailing ship aflame

Luckily for them, the French had placed an oarsman on the Argus at the game’s start, and with the wind aiding her, she was able to return home and save herself! Her coin was only a 2, but the French had hope. That hope temporarily diminished when the Geographe continued to burn, but she got home as well. The French narrowly avoided being the first fleet eliminated.

French ship burning

The Spanish continue to play cat and mouse with the Grand Temple.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The East Wind and Sea Wind grab some gold on their way back to the Jade HI. The Jades have dealt with threats efficiently and have successfully intimidated the Spanish into staying in their own waters up to this point. As a side note, this day of action saw the wind blow east for four consecutive turns.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Spanish were very worried that even with the help of La Habana, the Grand Temple could potentially cripple the Spanish battle fleet in one turn with Tsai’s SAT. As a result, they launched another ship from SCS, one of Spain’s finest: Santa Ana + Almirante Carlos Pavón y Miranda, Bianco’s Haulers (finally breaking the SCS theme), Comandante Antonio de Silva, helmsman, and oarsman.

Spanish and Jades across sandbar

In the meantime, the English launched an addition of their own: HMS Hyena + Sir Meyer Hampstead. This gave them a ship that could harass enemy gold runners while still having enough cargo spaces open to run gold normally if no targets were available. However, the English should have paid more attention to the man they hired…

“Hampstead knows that money—not the Crown—is what keeps the world turning, and he’ll do whatever is necessary to keep that money flowing back to the investors in London. Flags, kings, and courts are all secondary.”

Sir Meyer Hampstead flavor text

The Jade Rebellion was obviously still the fleet to beat, but they were getting a little worried that they wouldn’t be able to deal with all of the growing threats at once.

The Patagonia has explored the wreck of the Deliverance, while the Habana is exploring the wreck of the Flying Dutchman, whose bulk obscures the Spaniard’s bow.

Experimental Cumulative Game

In the northeast, the French have repaired most of their battle damage, while to the south, the Jades have multiple ships coming back with gold.

Experimental Cumulative Game

All is well in the southern part of the sea… – hang on, what’s that in the southeast corner?!

Experimental Cumulative Game

IT’S THE BARBARY CORSAIRS! The Barbary Pirates have invaded the South China Sea!

Barbary Corsairs arrive!!

The Grand Temple and Dragon’s Talon immediately head southeast to counter this unexpected threat! Seeing their opportunity, the Spanish gunships round the north side of the sandbar for the first time, entering Jade waters! The Jade HI is loaded with gold, but they may have to use some of it soon to deal with the madness that’s beginning to unravel! The Barbary 2 masters have docked at the southeastern island, while the Persian Victory heads straight towards the Grand Temple in open defiance of the Jade Empire! The Sea Dragon and Viper’s Bite sneak north.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Jades are strong, but the Spanish have now massed all of their firepower in one spot! The returning Habana watches as her fleet mates round the sandbar in the largest display of firepower seen in the game so far. 16 masts on 4 ships, all with captains.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The 12th turn of the game finally saw a dramatic shift in the wind, as a 6 meant that the wind reversed direction from blowing NE to blowing SW!

The Jades have the opportunity to take the battle to the Spanish, and they do so! With war declared long ago, the Proud Tortoise has no hesitation sailing up to the Principe de Asturias and blasting her with fire shot!

Jades attack Spanish!

But in the meantime, another battle is erupting at the same time! The Grand Temple shows her might once again – even with no SAT from Tsai, she dismasts the Persian Victory and takes out a mast on the Pasha’s Delight.

Jade Rebels attack Barbary Corsairs

The Dragon’s Talon finished off the Persian Victory! The Admiral Yi has decided to go to the Sea Lion’s island to avoid having her gold stolen by the Barbary Corsairs.

Chaos! The other battle rages on, as the East Wind hits 2/3 on the Principe, bringing her down to 1 mast. The Sea Wind gets the cannon bonus from the East Wind, but still misses both her shots against the Habana.

Spanish and Jade Rebellion engaged in combat

With their aforementioned capital ships in another part of the world after the conclusion of the JR/English war, the Jades couldn’t launch any more of their own ships, for they had run out of building supplies. As a result, they turned to hired Mercenaries, purchasing the Meropis with Herr Fuchs, Count Gustov, and a helmsman, leaving just 10 gold on their HI.

Jades launch a Mercenary ship, the Meropis

The Spanish started their turn by rolling for the Santa Ana’s extra action (EA). They got it, and decided to let the Habana continue sailing home with gold. The Habana almost made it all the way back with the new NE wind pushing her home. The Spanish were confident their two remaining gunships could deal with the Jades, and they were right. The Principe started things badly by completely catching on fire, dooming the poor ship. The Santa Ana then used her double action to cripple the East Wind and sink the Sea Wind!

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Voz finished the Spanish counterattack by sinking the East Wind, but her long range guns couldn’t hurt the pesky Proud Tortoise.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The fully-repaired and now-ignored French make their way west, careful not to stray too far south.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The English went next, and began by exploring with the Galapagos so her cargo was full after the island replenished at the end of the previous round. Then they ordered Hampstead’s Hyena to continue sailing north and explore the Thrud shipwreck, but he had other plans! Caring only about money and profits, he rammed the Galapagos and stole all her gold in a ridiculous act of betrayal!

English at gold island

As the sun sets on another day’s action, one thing is for sure: these fleets are in for the unexpected!

sun sets on the day's action

But wait! The Barbary Corsairs took their turn as well, using the Bey’s Revenge to explore the southeastern island! Then the Pasha’s Delight used a repair action while docked, claiming that island as the new home island for the Corsairs! Finally, to end a crazy day, they launched the Ivory Star immediately with the gold they found on the island! She’s immune to the Grand Temple’s L-range guns and can’t be shot at right now since she’s docked at her HI!

Barbary Corsairs establish home island

Turn 13 saw the southwesterly wind continue. The Grand Temple and Dragon’s Talon scooted away from the BC ships who couldn’t be shot at. However, the Meropis got into action immediately, but only went 1/3 to dismast the Viper’s Bite and failed to damage the Sea Dragon. The Proud Tortoise returned home to avoid being trounced by the Spanish. At the upper left, the Principe de Asturias is about to slip under the waves.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Spanish had lost one of their four gunships, but had dealt the Jade Rebellion major losses in return. Now the Santa Ana and Voz de Dios headed east while the Habana returned home with gold. To the north you can see the French getting some much-needed gold.

Spanish heading east

The Barbary Corsairs respond! The Ivory Star has docked at the southern island to the left, while the Meropis is under attack. She was subject to three boarding parties during the turn, one from the Bey’s Revenge and two from the Sea Dragon via S-board. She lost her helmsman, but the Corsairs boarded because they had no crew to lose, which meant they didn’t have captains either.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The BC’s swarm the Meropis:

galleys ram the ship

Furious at Hampstead’s betrayal of the English, the Galapagos fires a full broadside. She only hit once! The Hyena sails off with her stolen gold, with the weak Patagonia unable to do anything about it.

Hampstead sails off with Hyena and gold after betraying English

The following turn saw the wind shift to a northerly wind, which would benefit any ships sailing south. The Jade Rebellion launched a successful counterattack, damaging the Pasha’s Delight and Bey’s Revenge. In a rare instance where the reverse captain ability came in very handy, the Meropis used it to sink the Viper’s Bite before scurrying away from the frenzy of Corsair ships. Her guns were rather poor once again, however, since she needed all her shots to sink the Viper’s Bite and therefore didn’t have a chance to hit the Sea Dragon, which would come back to hurt her.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Sea Dragon uses the wind to her advantage and catches the Meropis! With another double-board, she eliminates Count Gustov from the game! The 6 represents the fact that both ships rolled a 6 on the second boarding party, meaning no crew were eliminated with a 9-9 tie! (which happened after the Sea Dragon rolled a 6 to win the first boarding party) The 2 masted galleys returned home for safety and repairs, while the Ivory Star explored to the west. Towards the top of the picture you might notice some other things…

The Spanish continue their advance, though somewhat cautiously. The Floating Stone was off on her own, and the Santa Ana pounced, taking out both turtle shell panels. However, the Santa Ana couldn’t bring her last gun to bear since she wanted to dock at the same wild island in order to activate Bianco’s Haulers (this ship cannot be shot at while docked) and avoid getting hit with the Floating Stone’s exploding shot. The Spanish had the Voz de Dios shadow the Santa Ana, careful not to split their gunships up.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Here’s a broader shot of the situation. The main new development concerns the Habana, who has docked at the large sandbar for some reason. That longer, noticeably taller sandbar can’t be passed over by ships, but the two to the south (on the right here with one out of the frame) follow the custom sandbar rules.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The wind continued to blow south, and the Jade Rebellion empire continued to show its might. From left to right: the Grand Temple knocks out two masts on the Ivory Star (with her 3S cannons since the IS can’t be hit by L-range guns), the Floating Stone uses her initial segment to get the wind boost and escape from the Spanish, and the Meropis uses reverse captain again to hit the Sea Dragon before running away. The Dragon’s Talon hit with her lone cannon to dismast the Sea Dragon, but she can easily row home to repair. Knowing this, the JR’s are becoming tired of fighting the Corsairs so close to their HI, since it’s ineffective.

Jade Rebellion take turn

The Santa Ana got an extra action with that 6, and moved to redock at the island, and then explored. This was a puzzling move, since the Santa Ana could only take one coin aboard. The Voz followed suit, but there had to be some other motive.

Spanish explore island

To the west, the Habana “explored” the sandbar, and the Spanish finished their turn by putting Fortaleza Dorada on it! The fort’s two long range guns reached almost to the Jade HI, so their ships were blockaded in the south from the west! The Santa Ana’s explore action became obvious…

Spanish build fort on sandbar

And the Spanish construct El Castillo del Infanta on the eastern island! The L-range guns again reach almost all the way to the Jade HI, and now the Spanish have lines of fire drawn on both sides of the Jade HI! This cuts the Floating Stone off from the rest of the fleet in the south, and immediately denies Jade access to the island the Castillo is on as well as the northern island at the top left. In addition, it kind of traps almost the entire Jade fleet in the south, making it harder to avoid the BC’s. Lastly, the wind was not favorable for the JR’s, since the Spanish had the weather gauge and the wind was blowing the JR’s back into the southeast.

Spanish build another fort

The Hyena docks at the aforementioned northern island, and in a stunning move Hampstead reveals his new allegiance: to America! The new “American” fleet has been borne once again out of distrust of the weakened British, and the Americans claim the island as their own! With the Hyena’s stolen loot from the Galapagos, the Americans commission USS Overton with a helmsman! Hampstead comes aboard the Overton to command his new ship.

Hampstead introduces the Americans to the game

The ever-frustrated Jade empire responds after the wind shifts to the NW (blowing SE), and Tsai’s SAT gives the Grand Temple enough shots to sink the Ivory Star, who carried the hopes of the Corsairs with 15 gold on her. Now that treasure is at the bottom of the sea, and the Corsairs are struggling. They repair their 2 masters and row the Sea Dragon back. The JR’s, however, have their gunships in the southwest corner, fighting the wind to get back to their HI.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The English continue to slowly accumulate gold while their former fleet mate, the Hyena, repairs at the new American HI. The Overton has set a course for the tumultuous southern area.

Experimental Cumulative Game

With the wind at her back, La Habana has quickly moved south to the sandbars she can traverse. The Spanish may have a pincer attack in mind, with the Habana coming from the west and the Santa Ana and Voz coming from the east, while the forts prevent or delay escape to the NW/NE. At the bottom of the frame, the Pasha’s Delight is capitalizing on the JR’s dilemma and grabs a 7 from the southern island.

Experimental Cumulative Game

But once again the Jades strike first! The Grand Temple takes two masts off the Habana, further proving that the Jades are strong enough to handle the threats presented to them. The Spanish are frustrated with their slow progress in taking down the empire, but they know they need to proceed cautiously since the GT can move 6S (or more with the wind!) and rip off 12 shots in one turn with Tsai’s SAT.

Grand Temple smashes Habana

Here you can see some gold on the JR HI, and they’ve done a decent job regrouping their gunships considering the pesky Corsairs and the unfavorable wind.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Habana’s best option is to retreat, as the San Agustin docks home another load of gold. All of the factions appear to be saving up some gold at this point, and the English, Spanish, and Jade Rebellion all have at least 20. Notice the Overton on the right, sailing past the Spanish fort. The Spanish gunners hold their fire, dumbfounded at seeing an American ship in these waters.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Another picture to cover the eastern areas, this shows a good portion of the sea. The big Spanish gunships in the east have moved south! However, with a NW wind, they’re worried the wind will shift to a westerly wind and the JR’s will gain the weather gauge. Who do you think will win?

Experimental Cumulative Game


Turns 18-21 have been played, and the wind stayed at a constant NW (blowing towards the SE) for turns 18-20.

At the beginning of turn 18, the Grand Temple turned around but knew she couldn’t go too far east for fear of being jumped by the Spanish gunships. However, the Jade Rebellion empire is smart. They knew that their window of opportunity to hit the Spanish hard was diminishing. They also knew that the Spanish would continue to get stronger as long as the Jades didn’t do anything about it. Therefore the Jades decided their best option was to take the initiative. The Floating Stone moved away from her HI and into range of the Castillo del Infanta’s cannons. She would do her best to cut off the Spanish escape route to the north. Then, the Proud Tortoise once again showed extreme bravery, and for the second time sailed up and fired upon a vessel much larger than herself! Her successful fire shot was instrumental in taking down the Principe de Asturias, and here it caused a fire on the Santa Ana! With the tough wind blowing southeast, the Meropis and Dragon’s Talon were forced to sail slowly back towards the Jade HI and the developing action.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Spanish, seeing the dangerous fire upon the Santa Ana, order a temporary retreat! They’re very cautious this game, and we’ll see if it pays off. The Santa Ana got an extra action and eliminated her fire mast. Her first action was used to blast both turtle shell panels off the Proud Tortoise, and her second action was used to move north. The fort missed the Floating Stone, but the Voz de Dios managed to sink the ship instead.

Spanish retreat!

The Overton, with Sir Meyer Hampstead and a helmsman aboard, continued to curiously sail south towards the Jade fleet. The ship then reached the Grand Temple and pulled alongside despite not having a captain! Then something strange happened…

Flavor text for Katsura-chan: “Some say that Katsura-chan was a member of a secret warrior caste that trained women in the art of deception and espionage. Since falling in love with an American sailor, however, she has taken to the sea to follow her heart.”

That “American” sailor turned out to be Hampstead! And Katsura-chan left the Grand Temple and the Jade empire to join the crew of the Overton!!

Katsura-chan joins Hampstead's American crew

That was that. Tsai, the main commander of the remaining Jade Rebellion fleet, was stunned. He ordered his crew to hold their fire even as his second-in-command deserted for the Americans. He couldn’t fire on his friend, especially so soon afterwards! With everyone on the Grand Temple in complete shock, there was nothing they could do.

To change things up, the launchings for turn 18 happened at the end of the round, rather than at the end of each fleet’s turn. The historical “big three” got busy spending:
Spanish: Granada + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, explorer
French: Le Bourbon + Benoit de Marsilles, captain, helmsman
English: Polaris + Hermione Gold, Commander Temple, helmsman

The Spanish were anxious to replace the Principe de Asturias, and the Granada has a nice complement of crew in addition to bonuses against the pesky Corsairs, should they try to bother the Spanish. The French used an oft-forgotten ship of reasonable value, but the real story was the marine: remember from the first post that marines can fire on ANY turn for this game (though the French would forget lol). The English launched one of my newest ships, a massive and wide Double Catamaran with an interesting crew complement.

Here you can see the new Granada and Polaris at their HI’s, while the Habana has arrived to repair.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Le Bourbon has arrived. The Geographe and Argus split up. The French plans remain murky, though the Franco-Spanish remain allied against the Jade Rebellion empire.

French fleet operations

With more daring and excellent sailing, the Proud Tortoise easily catches the fleeing Santa Ana and lights her on fire again!

Proud Tortoise is incredible in this game!

With Katsura-chan gone, Tsai had lost his captain and the reroll for his own SAT ability. Seeing the fleeing Spanish, he decided to press the attack despite the loss of such an important crew member. With a successful SAT roll, the Grand Temple flew across the waves and rammed the Voz de Dios, taking out her helmsman!

It’s finally happened! The Grand Temple, the Jade flagship, takes one of the Spanish capital ships head on!

Grand Temple rams Voz de Dios

A nice shot of the southern island, where the Pasha’s Delight is currently docked. Her immunity to L-range guns makes the Meropis feel even more helpless, as she’s forced to sail at just S speed going into the wind. The Admiral Yi and Sea Lion are headed back with gold.

The Spanish were next. The Santa Ana, once again aflame, needed to get back to the Castillo del Infanta to repair. However, she rolled low and gained another fire mast, leaving her with just one mast! In the meantime, the Spanish were relieved to not see Katsura-chan aboard the Grand Temple, giving the Voz de Dios the opportunity for the first broadside. The Grand Temple knew her guns were relatively inaccurate, but then the Spanish revealed their secret weapon: Fireworks!

The Voz connects! Disappointed to hit only three times, the UT was still very helpful because only one mast would have fallen without it.

Fireworks UT to the rescue

Another angle:

Voz de Dios hits the Grand Temple

The French continued to sail south, but the bad blood between the English and French was present throughout the world at this time, so the South China Sea was no different. However, the Polaris only managed one hit against the Geographe. To the right, it looks like the other French ships may be sailing to help out their Spanish allies.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Not the center of attention anymore, the Corsairs bring back enough gold to launch the Fire Djinn! This gives them another empty ship with S-board, and they’ve fully embraced the swarm/boarding ideal. With empty ships, they can board without restraint and try to steal gold and kill crew. The Sea Dragon and Fire Djinn can board twice in a turn with a ram, while the Pasha’s Delight and Bey’s Revenge have a nice tag-team gold system going at the southern island.

Pirates CSG is a beautiful game

A closeup shot of the beautiful Barbary Corsair ships at their nice home island.

Beautiful Barbary Corsair galley ships at their home base

The Proud Tortoise continued to harass the Spanish, and hit once again with fire shot to burn down the last mast on the Santa Ana! With an oarsman aboard, the Santa Ana couldn’t be scuttled from the fire, but it was a very close call since the Santa Ana would have sunk if she wasn’t so close to the Castillo. In the meantime, the Grand Temple shot off two masts from the Voz de Dios as the big ships poured a heavy fire into each other.

Experimental Cumulative Game

In another instance where reverse captain was useful, the Grand Temple moves to ram and board after the broadside! The boarding party was a 9-9 tie after both ships rolled a 6, just like the Sea Dragon vs. Meropis earlier in the game!

ships duking it out on the high seas

To finish off the attack on the Voz, the Dragon’s Talon made it to the battle in time to knock another mast off.

Experimental Cumulative Game combat

The Spanish respond with a Broadsides Attack! As usual, it misses.

Close quarters Broadsides Attack misses!

The Spanish took their chance at dismasting the GT with one die roll, but came up empty.

Experimental Cumulative Game

As the Santa Ana burns, the Jade Rebellion continues to surprise the FS with their resilience and fighting ability.

Experimental Cumulative Game
Experimental Cumulative Game

A rare angle looking from north to south, and you can see that the Santa Ana has managed to row over to the Castillo and eliminate her fires! The JR’s almost had a huge victory in sinking the current Spanish flagship, but once again decisive action is not to be found (which is ironic given the historical nature of this game so far).

The French have arrived with the help of the northwesterly wind! With a stunningly successful shoot action, the Bourbon goes 4/5 (including Benoit’s shot) to dismast the Grand Temple and knock a shell off the Dragon’s Talon! The Argus doesn’t have a captain, but she can’t be shot at within S and carries a 2S cannon.

French arrive at the scene - Experimental Cumulative Game

The Bourbon raked the GT by the bows, firing a devastating broadside that increased the carnage in the battle area. The mizzenmast of the Voz has fallen between the two ships and further hinders the gunners’ visibility.

carnage and devastation at sea

The Spanish have been having a rough time, and therefore see no reason to slow their expanding battle fleet. They launch La Manila + captain, helmsman, cannoneer, musketeer, oarsman. The Manila is heavily crewed to support her numerous but inaccurate cannons. The Habana finishes repairing and the Spanish have 3 healthy gunships, more than any other fleet. However, their unhealthy ones are on the front lines. The “USS” Hyena appears to have interest in exploring the southwestern island, partly because the Americans can’t go to the English island in the northwest and the FS haven’t shown hostility to the Americans so far.

Spanish launch ships

In the foreground, the brand-new Granada has used the wind to quickly make it to Barbary waters, where she corners the obnoxious Pasha’s Delight. In the background, the Geographe continues sailing south, possibly in search of gold. With the American HI in the north, the Americans and French both have to travel considerable distances to get gold, and they were already two of the weaker fleets in the first place. This may serve to increase American/FS tension, though the Overton calmly sailed past the Geographe and Fortaleza Dorada without so much as a word. Hampstead seems to be content in reuniting with Katsura-chan, and the Overton has simply sailed for home. To the east however, there are more shots flying at once than the game has seen thus far, with the Corsairs now appearing to have a desire to join the fight.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Sea Dragon and Fire Djinn increase the scope of the eastern battle, which is essentially a 3 on 1 fight against the Jade Rebellion empire. The Sea Dragon S-boards the Dragon’s Talon to eliminate her helmsman.

sea battle

Turn 21 saw a 6 rolled for the wind and it shifted completely to blow towards the northwest!

The Spanish were smart to put an oarsman on the Santa Ana, as it recently saved her from a fiery doom. The Jade Rebellion put an oarsman on the GT to protect her valuable crew (but from shots, not an “English” nobleman!), but here the oarsman combines with the helmsman to let the GT return to her home island to repair!

Grand Temple returns home

The hostilities between the French and Jade Rebellion have recommenced, as the Meropis opens up another conflict by dismasting the Geographe!

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Jades are simply a force to be reckoned with this game! They won’t go down without a fight, as the two turtle ships ram the Santa Ana in an attempt to take out her crew. The Dragon’s Talon needed the wind’s assistance since she had lost her helmsman, but she also lost this boarding party to lose her captain. However, both turtle ships connected on the Bourbon, who was quickly down to two masts and aflame.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Total carnage in the east!

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Spanish won’t be friends with the Americans! Their gunships fire upon the Hyena, but somehow manage to hit once in eight tries! (Counting the musketeer and cannoneer since the latter two masts on the Manila weren’t in range)

Spanish fail against HMS Hyena

Going 2/2, the Granada hits with her S-range guns to set the Pasha’s Delight on fire. I thought this was a cool picture, and later noticed it had a lot of orange/brown: the sandy/rocky island, the gold on the island, the gold on the PD, the PD’s deck, and the Granada’s masts and sails.

Granada sets galley aflame with firepot specialist

The Voz sails to the Castillo to repair. She manages to get her guns in range of the Dragon’s Talon and hits once to knock off a shell panel. The fort has one cannon in range, but misses the shot and reroll. While the Santa Ana repairs two masts with an extra action, Benoit (aboard the Bourbon) suddenly realizes he can keep shooting and dismasts the Dragon’s Talon!

Experimental Cumulative Game

The fire aboard the Bourbon spreads, but she manages to sink the Dragon’s Talon.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Courtesy of the Proud Tortoise, the Bourbon is now running north to her HI to put out fires and repair, exactly the same situation the Santa Ana was just in! Somehow, after all that has happened, the Proud Tortoise is still sailing.

overhead view of fort

The Sea Dragon eliminates the Voz’s captain, leaving the big Spaniard with no crew. This also made it clear the BC’s were at war with the Spanish, and by extension, the French.

Corsairs arrive and attack!

Here are a few overhead shots looking from west to east to give an idea of the overall nature of the game. The English are getting gold with the Galapagos and Patagonia, but they’ve sent the Polaris east. The Overton is headed to pick up the last coin from the wreck of the Flying Dutchman, as the eastern battle still rages on.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The same angle but slightly south to expose the rest of the sea. In the far south the Pasha’s Delight has put her fire out, but the Granada can sink her. The Hyena has decided to run away from the Spanish, and the Americans haven’t really been able to gather any gold so far. The 4 gold on their HI is the gold left over from when the island was a wild island. A sharp eye will notice a peculiar fire marker lying on the deck of the Geographe, which was placed there to remind the Jades that she rolled for a successful scuttle attempt. The French don’t want the ship in enemy hands, as the Bourbon and Argus won’t be able to rescue her.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The wreckage of turns 18-21 sets up another very interesting day of action tomorrow!

Experimental Cumulative Game

8 turns were played today, turns 22-29. The first two turns saw the wind stay blowing to the northwest.

With an SAT from Tsai, the Grand Temple has repaired two masts already. The Proud Tortoise connects with another fire shot hit, dooming the Bourbon.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Without the weather gauge, the Meropis can’t fight the Granada yet, so Herr Fuchs settles for sinking the Geographe. This leaves the French with just one mast standing in their fleet, L’Argus.

sinking of Geographe

The Spanish take their turn, and between the guns of El Castillo del Infanta and the Voz de Dios, dismast the Sea Dragon.

masts in water, carnage

The English spent some gold and finally got some crew for the Galapagos – Commodore Rhys Gryffin Owen, Thomas Gunn, shipwright, oarsman.

Then the Corsairs bought another 4 masted galley – the Crescent Moon!

Crescent Moon

The Fire Djinn used S-boarding to eliminate the same oarsman who saved the Santa Ana, but the Sea Dragon was unsuccessful.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Habana dismasts the Hyena:

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Granada quickly takes care of the Admiral Yi, setting her aflame with a firepot hit. The Spanish have successfully invaded JR trade.

Granada sets turtle ship on fire

With no captain, the best the Grand Temple could do was get in range of the Voz while staying out of range of the fort’s guns.

Grand Temple returns partially repaired

The Santa Ana got an extra action and dismasted the Fire Djinn! Notice the Polaris lurking behind the island.

Experimental Cumulative Game

And the Grand Temple gets her revenge! With another SAT, she shoots twice to dismast the Voz de Dios, almost sinking the ship. With the help of the wind, which is now blowing due west for the first time in the game, the Proud Tortoise is quickly trying to row back to the Jade HI and escape the angry L’Argus.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Granada and Meropis engage each other in a predictable fight (as in, it had looked like it was going to happen). Both ships take damage. The Crescent Moon uses the opportunity to grab gold from the southern island.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Jades have spent 39 of their 54 gold and used it to hire some more Mercenaries! 10 of the gold was spent on Dragon Eyes, who waits on their HI for the GT’s return. The Forward is crewed with Luc Savard, Ibrahan Ozat, and a helmsman.

Jades hire Mercenaries

With an extra action from Owen aboard the Galapagos, the Polaris joins the fray! She sank the Proud Tortoise (finally!) and caused some damage to the fort.

Polaris joins the fray

As the Sea Lion bravely ventures back to the tumultuous waters around the southern island, the Forward supports her by taking two masts off the Crescent Moon.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Grand Temple has done it! The Voz de Dios is no more!

Grand Temple sinks the Voz de Dios

The Santa Ana immediately responds by making the GT derelict once again and eliminating her oarsman!

masts falling overboard
naval battle in progress

In the meantime, the Spanish have gained the upper hand in the south, and the Jade empire is crumbling. After a turn of unsuccessful broadsides by both ships, the Granada finally wins her battle against the Meropis. On this turn 25, the wind dramatically shifted to a westerly wind blowing due east, which let the Manila make great progress and arrive at the southern battle!

Experimental Cumulative Game

However, the Spanish suffer a setback when the San Agustin finds Wolves on her gold island! The Spanish don’t want to wait for the slow Manila (and her musketeer) to return, especially considering the change in the wind, so they decide to launch a new ship instead.

San Agustin finds Wolves on island

An overview of the situation: the game is actually shrinking a bit with so many ships being sunk. The Sea Dragon and Fire Djinn were finished off, leaving the Corsairs with just one ship. The new development here is the Habana (up north) speeding east to assist the fort against the possible danger of the Polaris, and also to help protect the Santa Ana, Spain’s flagship.

Experimental Cumulative Game overview of situation

However, instead of continuing to bombard the Spanish fort, the Polaris has sailed south to touch her bow to the bow of the Grand Temple…

Experimental Cumulative Game

… and with an extra action from Owen, uses Commander Temple to warp both ships back to the English home island! The English have gotten revenge on the Jade Rebellion and captured the Grand Temple!!

English capture the Grand Temple!

To get even with the Spanish for the sinking of the Hyena, the Overton uses the wind to catch the Habana and dismast her!

Overton dismasts Habana

In this picture, the Meropis has succumbed to fire, the Forward must fight the westerly wind, and the Crescent Moon has returned home.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Despite having the weather gauge and the first strike advantage, the Manila and Granada only manage two hits on the remaining two Jade ships!

The Spanish end their turn by commissioning the Pamplona with Diego Cesar Olano.

Spanish launch at HI

At the English home island, shipwrights busily get to work giving the Grand Temple a new paint job. With another extra action from Owen, the Temple raises two masts in one turn, and is rechristened HMS Grand Temple!!

English have HMS Grand Temple!

The Barbary Corsairs saw that their swarming and boarding tactics weren’t working, so they gave up and decided to get some crew for the Crescent Moon – Kheir-ed-din, helmsman, shipwright, oarsman. However, some recently discovered Rats cut into their profits. The Crescent Moon loaded the new crew and repaired.

Pirates CSG is a gorgeous game

The Overton captures La Habana:

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Forward hit 1/2 on the Manila to set her alight.

Experimental Cumulative Game fighting at sea

Olano misses the Wolves:

Taking advantage of a great set-specific combo, the English then hired Calico Cat, Griffin, and a Pirate helmsman to crew the HMS Grand Temple!

With the Galapagos down to one cargo space open with her recent crew acquisitions, the English needed some more treasure runners to assist the slow Patagonia. They built HMS Discovery and HMS Tweed, both literally acquired yesterday in a trade with manicdrake!

English launch small ships

The only English ship not docked at their HI in the above picture is the Polaris, who sank the captured Habana! This served to lessen Anglo-FS tensions, since the Spanish didn’t want the Habana in enemy hands. It also served as a way for the English to get some revenge on the hated Americans, for Hampstead still sailed the Overton. Between all that and the three new English ships, one of which was the mighty Grand Temple, the English were taking on a powerful position in the game.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Overton wouldn’t be able to get all of her guns in range of the Polaris because of the wind, so instead Hampstead sailed her downwind and inflicted major damage on the Santa Ana!

Overton smashes Santa Ana with cannon fire

Olano killed the Wolves, which allowed the San Agustin to take treasure once again. However, what she found was similarly horrible: Plague and Enemy of the State! The San Agustin had no crew aboard, but the UT’s meant that Spain’s only gold runner had issues.

On the previous turn the Granada had set the Sea Lion alight and dismasted her. On the next turn, the Sea Lion burned to the water line, and the Manila sank the Forward! Finally, the Jade Rebellion empire was no more! Note the Granada fleeing to the fort to repair, which is also what the Santa Ana has in mind. Bianco’s Haulers mean the Santa Ana can’t be shot at by the Overton while docked at the fort.

Experimental Cumulative Game

As the new gold runners set a course for the northwestern island, Calico Cat’s EA gives the GT her last two masts, and next turn she’ll be ready to sail for England once again!

Experimental Cumulative Game

With the repairing Santa Ana invulnerable, the Overton has turned for home, but the Polaris may be waiting for her. The Argus, the last French ship remaining, passes by the Granada on her way to the southern or southwestern island. The Manila is still burning a little bit, but she still has three masts standing. The BC’s new philosophy is to avoid combat if it’s impractical, so the Crescent Moon maneuvers around the Spanish 5 master. With her fire mast and (so far) extremely ineffective guns, the Manila isn’t likely to continue hostilities. The eastern and southern battles have concluded, and the English are the only faction not completely worn out at this point. The Jade empire is gone, but Dragon Eyes is still stranded on their former home island. Speaking of Dragon Eyes, he was the first to feel an ominous rumbling, which wasn’t from cannon fire but rather from the earth itself that he was standing on!

Experimental Cumulative Game


The pent-up pressure was released, and the former Jade home island was consumed by multiple explosions from below! Lava bombs flew high into the sky, and descended onto ships and forts in the nearby vicinity. Dragon Eyes and the gold on the island was long gone, but a new island with volcanic peaks took its place!

Here you can see the devastation. The Manila, Overton, Argus, and Granada (out of the picture) have been set on fire, as well as both Spanish forts. Ships were also thrown off course by the ensuing shock waves and water waves. The Polaris lost her starboard outrigger, and you can see the Crescent Moon has been thrown off course despite being undamaged. The Argus was tossed against the side of the BC home island, while the Santa Ana was driven backwards away from the fort.

volcano and earthquake gives birth to new island!
ships aflame from lava bombs flying from sky

Fortaleza Dorada on fire. The rules for flaming forts will work like this: instead of the fort rolling for each fire every turn, it rolls one die regardless of how many fire masts it has and regardless of whether the fort is given an action during the turn. The roll follows the regular rules for fire masts. The fort will be automatically destroyed if the fire consumes all 8 areas (not how many guns the fort has). Just like in my Economy Edition game, fleets can place a shipwright inside the fort to give it repair actions. If this is done, a shipwright can only put out one fire per turn, but no flag is raised in the fire’s place until another repair action is given.

Fortaleza Dorada fort on fire

Here you can finally see the Granada, who was heading north when the eruption occurred. She’s now heading east, and the Overton has been blown from heading west to heading north.

devastation from eruption

With their fleet and forts aflame and in shambles, the Spanish are desperate. With no enemy ships around, the San Agustin unloads the Plague onto the Pamplona, killing Olano! The Pamplona is given an explore action to take Enemy of the State from the San Agustin so she can ferry treasure once more.

Spanish desperate, unleash plague

At the top of the frame, the fire in Fortaleza Dorada spreads. At the bottom, the Manila puts one fire out but another spreads, for a negative overall effect.

flames everywhere

The Santa Ana and Granada are both headed towards El Castillo del Infanta to repair, but the fort is in more trouble than they are!

Experimental Cumulative Game

After a brief discussion, Calico Cat and Griffin come to an agreement. With their HMS Grand Temple and no English crew aboard, the Pirates set sail for the first time, betraying English orders and firing a full broadside at the Galapagos!!! The hired Pirates have turned on the English! Almost as soon as the English take the former Jade ship, the Pirates have commandeered her! With the loss of all crew members, HMS Galapagos, the final English ship in SCS waters after the JR-English war, sinks beneath the waves in her own harbor. How ironic that it’s at the hands of Tsai’s old flagship (the way he would have wanted it if the FS didn’t invade the area), though not in his command, but in the command of pirates.

Pirates commandeer Grand Temple, sink HMS Galapagos

With an extra action from Calico Cat, the Grand Temple moves on and dismasts the Polaris!!

HMS Grand Temple dismasts Polaris

In an instant, half of the English fleet and all of their gunships are gone. The Polaris and Galapagos are finished, while the Grand Temple has been commandeered by pirates while the stunned one masted treasure runners look on.

English suddenly destroyed by pirate betrayal

The Grand Temple lays in shadow, an ironic twist given her turn to the “dark side”. The burning Overton hopes to return to the American HI.

HMS Grand Temple turns to the dark side of piracy

And with that, the Jolly Roger was raised!! Calico Cat and Griffin signaled their secret fleet that now was the time to strike! Pirate ships swarmed the area, including some ships and Pirates that the English really didn’t want to see:
Revenge + Captain Villanueva, helmsman
Greed’s Hammer + Mistress Ching, helmsman
Black Mongoose + captain, shipwright
Empress + Captain Sao Feng, captain, helmsman
Mocha + Kanhoji Angria, helmsman
Plague of the East + helmsman
Plague of the North + captain

(Notice some SCS crew and the Jade-inspired POTC crew)

The Pirates arrive!!

Captain Sao Feng leads the Pirate fleet, which is a ragtag bunch of former Jade Rebels turned true rebels against the JR empire. Now that the once-strong empire has fallen, the Pirates are looking to seize their chance at controlling the area. Their hatred of the English stems from their jealousy at the English initially getting the better of the Jades during the JR-English war, which many of these Pirates fought in. These Pirates deserted the Jade Rebellion cause during the war since they had faith that the English would win. When the Jade Rebellion won the war, they were forced into hiding and exile. Feng is the best example of this band of Pirates: “There is no honor in remaining with the losing side. Leaving it for the winning side, that’s just good business.”

Sao Feng's pirate ships arrive in the South China Sea

The effect wasn’t obvious at first, but it’s now apparent that the volcanic activity created two natural whirlpools and three reefs!

Experimental Cumulative Game

During this day of action, a whopping 15 ships were sunk in the 8 turns that were played, including 8 ships from SCS. The wind has now blown due east for 5 consecutive turns, and the game’s end is starting to approach…


4 turns were played (30-33). The wind blowed east on turn 30 and southeast on turns 31-33.

The Pirates have begun their assault. The Discovery has been dismasted, while the Grand Temple shoots at Fortaleza Dorada and the Polaris at the same time. The Revenge rams the Patagonia and steals some of her gold.

Experimental Cumulative Game

At the bottom of the frame, the Mocha has blocked the San Agustin from docking at her HI. The burning La Manila is making her way towards Fortaleza Dorada, which is also on fire.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Argus burned to the water line, which officially eliminated the French from the game! Their HI became a new wild island.

French eliminated

In her attempt to eliminate her fire masts and repair at the fort, the Manila must cross one of the reefs created by the volcanic activity, but she rolls a 1!

Spanish fort and ship in flames

The Spanish have truly fallen hard. The Manila is now a flaming wreck, blocking part of the southern sea from the north.

La Manila, a burning shipwreck

Fire has consumed more than half of Fortaleza Dorada, and the smoke can be seen for miles around.

Spanish fort almost completely consumed by fire

Using the wind to her advantage, the Pamplona rams the docked Crescent Moon and gives her the Plague, killing all four of her crew!

Experimental Cumulative Game

With no helmsman or weather gauge, the San Agustin can’t quite make it home. This allows the Pirates another chance to catch her…

The Pirates are cleaning up the west by wrecking everything in their path. The Black Mongoose has sunk the Discovery, while the Empress will soon do the same to the Tweed.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The San Agustin was sunk when the Grand Temple turned around and used an extra action from Calico Cat to arrive at the Spanish home island!

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Spanish still have hope in the east: the Santa Ana and Granada have almost finished repairing, while El Castillo del Infanta managed to put out her fires. However, the Plague-ridden Crescent Moon is now looking to get revenge on the Spaniards. At the top of the frame, notice the Overton docked at the former French HI, but she’ll need to explore next turn.

Experimental Cumulative Game

In the far southwest, the Greed’s Hammer and Plague of the East look to plunder the Spanish gold island, while the Mocha rounds the sandbars and heads east. The Grand Temple has begun moving north, towards the end of the Pirate/English battle.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Patagonia put up a fight and set the Revenge on fire, but the Pirate forces are far too much for the little galley. The Empress has finished off the Tweed.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Fortaleza Dorada has finally been destroyed!

fort destroyed by fire and flames

The Spanish know they must act quickly to have any hope of survival, so they send their ships on different missions. The Granada will try to set the Grand Temple aflame with her firepot specialist, while the Santa Ana takes care of the Crescent Moon and her Plague. Continuing the Spaniards’ unfortunate woes however, the Santa Ana only hits 3/6 on the Crescent Moon!

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Corsairs get revenge and eliminate the final three crew (Carlos Pavon, Bianco’s Haulers, and a helmsman) on the Santa Ana!

The Overton explores the former French HI-turned wild island, and finds the Whirlpool UT! This drags her into the nearest whirlpool, which is just to the south. However, mysteriously, she doesn’t appear at the southwestern whirlpool as she should. Instead, she seems to have disappeared!

The waters of the northeastern whirlpool where the Overton disappeared began to froth and bubble. Foam and steam flew in the air, and suddenly, demonic beasts and bloody ships came flying up from beneath the ocean!!!

The Cursed arrive in a flash!!! From under the new whirlpool created by the volcanic activity!

(The above picture was purposely taken like that, to illustrate how quickly the Cursed came up – in a flash!)

The Cursed are here!

Grinder + El Fantasma, helmsman, oarsmen x3
Skin Flayer + Sammy the Skull, White Crew, Wraith, helmsman, oarsman
Brachyura + captain, helmsman
Cyclops + captain, helmsman

The Pirates immediately summon all of their ships to attack the Cursed! The Grand Temple leads the charge, while the Revenge, Black Mongoose, Empress, and Plague of the North follow. The Patagonia was sunk, officially eliminating the English from the game!

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Pirate ships in the southwest explore the Spanish gold island, but the Greed’s Hammer finds The Red Skull, turning her into a Cursed ship!

After 33 turns, who could have pictured a scene like this?

what the hell happened?


Turns 34+ have been played! The wind shifted from the SE to the NW on turn 35, but after that it was a whirlwind and I didn’t keep track of the wind or turn count.

At the top of the picture, Squalo has sunk the Granada. The Santa Ana and Pamplona run from the Grinder and Mocha respectively, knowing that they stand the best chance when fighting together. The Grinder has sunk the Crescent Moon, eliminating the Barbary Corsairs from the game.

Experimental Cumulative Game

With her recent turn to the Cursed, the Greed’s Hammer fires and sinks the Plague of the East. In the background, the main battle has begun.

Experimental Cumulative Game

With the sun setting on the game and glinting off the switchblades of the Skin Flayer, the Cursed are in control. The Skin Flayer and Cyclops team up to crush the Grand Temple, while Brachura waits behind them. White Crew eliminated all of the Pirates aboard the GT, but Wraith couldn’t reanimate any of them.

Skin Flayer shiny blades attacks Grand Temple

The Pirates have arrived! However, they do minimal damage. The Revenge makes an ill-advised ram against the Skin Flayer, and loses her crew. The hulk of the Grand Temple is blocking the path for either faction to proceed.

Pirates vs. Cursed battle

The Cursed launch another attack, and it’s just as deadly as the last. The Revenge is dismasted, while the Grand Temple is finally sunk! Shal-Bala swoops on the Empress, and the Pirates are down to three usable ships.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Grinder sacs another oarsman to sink the Santa Ana! The Pamplona is waiting, while the Mocha also wants to sink the Grinder.

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Pirates manage to dismast the Skin Flayer, but their time is running out!

Experimental Cumulative Game

Shal-Bala takes care of the Plague of the North, but the Black Mongoose and Cyclops continue to miss each other at point-blank range. The Greed’s Hammer has arrived via whirlpool, while an impatient Brachyura has whirlpooled to the south to approach the battle from a different angle.

big battle at sea

Total carnage on the high seas!

total carnage!

The Pamplona went 1/2 against the Grinder, but soon afterwards paid the price.

Shal-Bala prepares to savage the Black Mongoose:

Experimental Cumulative Game

In the meantime, Squalo looks to take a bite out of the GT’s mast!

Experimental Cumulative Game

The Grinder has finished off the Pamplona, but now the Mocha is upon her.

The Black Mongoose is finally derelict!

massive sea dragon wingspan

Brachyura has sunk the Empress, and the Pirates are all but finished.

Experimental Cumulative Game

Or are they? A forgotten shipwright on the Black Mongoose gives the Pirates another chance!

As Shal-Bala flies off to deal with the Mocha, Brachyura unleashes her fury on the Black Mongoose. The Greed’s Hammer had captured the Revenge, and they scuttled her. The Hammer then sunk the Plague of the North, ending the northern battle with no Pirate survivors.

giant crab attack!

The southeastern area will see the final action take place:

The Pirates continue to show their resilience as the Mocha dismasts the Grinder!

Shal-Bala is given a shoot action, and the game ends!!

Shal-Bala sea dragon ends game by destroying the Mocha schooner

The Cursed have won this short experimental cumulative game!

After around 40 turns, nobody could have predicted this! None of the original starting factions are in the game, while one island has been completely transformed by nature. Dark times have fallen upon the area, with Pirates and then Cursed taking turns to dominate the waters. Debris is strewn over the northern area, while a shipwreck blocks a trade route south. What a crazy game!

end of the Experimental Cumulative Game

This was a good game, and I’m happy that I finally did some things I’d been meaning to do. The biggest one was trying out one of the various wind rules. I liked it quite a bit – it affected gameplay but not overly so. It didn’t make or break every situation.

One interesting aspect of the wind is for gold runners – in general, on a trip to a wild island they’ll have the advantage one way, but usually have it hinder them on the other way (to or from their HI). This balances things nicely, but for longer voyages it can be a major nuisance, or a major help (and when it’s a major help, the voyage won’t turn out to be so long after all!). I waffled back and forth on how to determine the wind’s +S/-S for extra actions: at first I had the wind only affect one of the actions, but later on I wanted it to be more prominent so sometimes I had it affect both actions. For example, when the Santa Ana gets an extra action, her first move with the wind might be L+S+S, but the second could be the regular L+S even if she’s still going with the wind. To make things more complicated and more interesting, sometimes ships would be going into the wind with their first action but with it for their second, so the net effect was neutral. Also, ships were occasionally able to “tack” in order to gain an extra S by sailing slightly out of their way to go with the wind for a moment before continuing on the original direction with that extra S boost.

I’m glad the game looked good – it’s my first cumulative game I’ve played using exclusively 3D islands and terrain (excluding those whirlpools and reefs at the end). This made it look more realistic, something I was going for when I started the game with a semi-historical scenario of sorts. It was also my first cumulative game that I played on a table, and I mostly enjoyed that aspect of it. The fabric used was the unique one – I have 4 more “regular” fabrics but this 5th one is the silky, shinier one that kind of looks more like water in the way it can shimmer. (the pictures don’t usually do it full justice) There were also certain aspects that looked very cool – the forts on fire, the burning wreck of the Manila, and the classic shiny blades of the Skin Flayer glinting in the sun.

I will admit that the game became somewhat rushed towards the end. The Jade Rebellion held out for far longer than I expected them to, so that delayed the entrance of the Pirates and Cursed. When they did show up, my other priorities and events conspired to give them less of a showing, but the game was still completed and it worked out fine. However, as a result of this rushing at the end, I do have one regret about this game of something that I wanted to include but couldn’t: fireships. I still need to try this out. With the semi-historical nature of the majority of this game, they would have fit reasonably well, especially as a last-ditch effort by the Jade Rebellion or perhaps the English. I was happy to get lots of fire into the game in general, and having forts ablaze is something I look forward to seeing more of.

With all that said, I have a feeling that my next cumulative game will take place not on a table or a floor, but on VASSAL.

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015


This game featured three players in a 50 point game. The fleets went in this order:

French Americans: (referred to as the Americans)
Le Musarde + Griffin (house ruled), helmsman
USS Georgetown + captain
Pawtucket + explorer

HMS Malton + Hermione Gold, Sir Meyer Hampstead
HMS Ark Royal + Thomas Gunn, Commander Temple, oarsman

San Pedro + explorer, oarsman
L’epee de L’ange + captain, helmsman, oarsman
Algiers + explorer

The setup was purposely very tight, with islands about L apart. Each island had 5 gold on it. Round earth rules were used.

tight game setup
HMS Malton
3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015
3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

The Ark Royal missed a Broadsides Attack against the Pawtucket!

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015
3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

The Ark Royal missed a Broadsides Attack against the San Pedro!

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015
3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015
3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015
3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

The Malton steals a 1 coin from the Epee with S-board.

The Ark Royal and Musarde shot each other to pieces, leaving the Ark Royal as the only ship in the area with a mast. The Epee has been dismasted, but between her ship ability and an oarsman, she can still shoot with all 4 cannons.

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015
3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

The Epee went 3/4 to hit the Malton and Pawtucket!

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015
damaged ships lined up
3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

Commander Temple’s ability transported the Ark Royal and Musarde back home, where the Malton was arriving. However, the Georgetown was also there.

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

The Georgetown dismasted the Malton. The Ark Royal sailed out for a rescue, but missed the Georgetown and was also dismasted. The English were forced to use a captured French ship, the Musarde. The Epee had been sunk by the Pawtucket, while the San Pedro finally finished rowing home and the Algiers made all speed towards the northern action.

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

At this point, each player revealed their gold to see if the 1 was worth fighting over. The scores were hard to believe: 14-13-13! (14 for the Americans and 13 each for the English and Spanish)

The Musarde neutralizes the Pawtucket while the Algiers chases the Georgetown.

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

The Algiers stole the coin, and thus began a series of boarding parties where the coin changed hands back and forth.

The Georgetown finally got the better of the Algiers, but the Musarde was waiting.

3 Player, 50 Point Game on December 28th, 2015

The Georgetown defended her gold, and the Americans won!

1. Americans: 15 gold
2. English and Spanish: tied with 13 gold

Sealed Pack Game – December 26th, 2015

It’s finally happened! A Sealed Pack Game was played. The old rules called for one pack for every 10 points of the build total, but this game featured 3 packs per player for a 40 point game.

Here are the fleets, in the order of play. Players 1 and 3 received 1 pack of DJC and 2 packs of OE. Player 4 received 1 pack of BC and 2 packs of OE. Player 2 (myself) received 1 pack of BC and 2 packs of FN (since I don’t have the Super Rares from those sets). All crew (including named crew) could use their abilities on any ship, regardless of nationality.

(I’m trying to use better names for the fleets than Fleet 1, Fleet 2, etc, partly because I think it helps you remember which fleet is which when reading the report. This results in some fleet names that aren’t entirely true.)

Empties: (this player didn’t receive any captains, helmsmen, or named crew in their packs)
Dragon’s Breath + explorer
USS Oregon
El Algeciras + shipwright

US Vikings: (USV)
Minuteman + captain, firepot specialist
Devil’s Kiss

Maman Brigitte
Jamaica + helmsman

Franco-Spanish: (FS)
La Resolucion + captain
Le Musarde + Griffin, helmsman, shipwright

Between the nature of a Sealed Pack Game and the number of players, the setup had to be laid out with time constraints in mind. Four home islands were featured at one end of a “short” rectangle (the opposite of some of my typical setups), with my new “shipwreck cove” custom terrain at the other end guarding a lone wild island. However, to mix things up, the shipwrecks on the reefs held gold in two places, on the Thrud and the Flying Dutchman. The wild island held 5 coins and there were 3 apiece at the two wreck locations, where ships would have to roll for effect on the reef to “dock” at the gold. In addition, to make a true SPG, the gold from two of the packs was used.

ocean map setup

The first player is at the top, and then play continued from the bottom up.

Sealed Pack Game
Feel free to right click and open the full size pictures in a new tab for a fully immersive experience.  😀
Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

The fleets set out, and it was apparent that the new shipwreck obstacle would see heavy congestion, as I had planned. Only two spots on the entire line of reefs were able to be traversed by ships: the first is in the foreground between the wrecks of the Xi’an and Deliverance, and the second is north of the Deliverance wreck right where the Jamaica has lost a mast to the reef.

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

The FS were battle-hungry, with two captains and overall the best pack pulls of all four players. The Musarde opened fire on the nearby Pioneer, but even with Griffin’s reroll she only hit once. The Pioneer exacted revenge by crushing the Musarde on the next turn.

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

A shot of the Minuteman, who is sailing as an escort for the Devil’s Kiss and Loki, the goldships of the USV fleet. The Minuteman’s captain keeps an eye off the ship’s larboard quarter with Brachyura looming, but he’s also aware that the Cursed player is the most combat-averse of the four players, hence why it was ironic that they pulled the giant crab.

Minuteman schooner

The Jamaica is the first to reach the wild island, as the Maman Brigitte approaches the dangerous reefs. The Cursed player opts to keep Brachyura in the same spot, perhaps looking to ambush whichever player comes out first with gold.

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

The Musarde turns for home to repair, but the FS know they’re powerful in this strange game with such a lack of useful crew. The Resolucion navigates the reef and dismasts the Jamaica.

The many guns of the once-powerful Deliverance have fallen silent, but the good old Resolucion has a lot of life left in her! At the upper right, notice the three coins sitting on the deck of the Thrud.

ships sail over Shipwreck Cove
Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

The game continues to develop. The Jamaica explored while derelict, but the Resolucion quickly moved in to board and take a coin. The Minuteman has docked at the eastern side of the wild island, while her comrades slowly approach from the south. At the left, the abysmally slow Oregon follows her fleet mates, who are searching for gold. The Dragon’s Breath has found some on the Thrud, though she loses a mast to the same reef that wrecked the Thrud in the process. To the right, the Maman Brigitte has successfully moved onto the reef, while the Musarde is the only ship at any home island.

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015
Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

At the left, the Dragon’s Breath has lost masts to the powerful Resolucion, and the Empties fleet has their hands full dealing with a captained ship with essentially rank-1 cannons. The Minuteman has circled the wild island in the hopes of towing home the derelict Jamaica, but the Pioneer will soon spoil that wish by sinking the ship and her remaining 6 gold. Speaking of the Pioneer, she docked at the Flying Dutchman’s gold after the Maman Brigitte, so the Maman can explore first. Brachyura has… skittered?… to the left, and the Devil’s Kiss finally docks at the wild island to load its last coin while the Loki turns around with no more gold available (at least not to explore!).

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015
Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

Brachyura moved towards the weakened Dragon’s Breath, but was soon called upon to tow the Maman Brigitte instead, as the poor Cursed vessel had lost her remaining three masts to the reef and had no oarsman to get home with. The Resolucion continued her trek home, crippling the Oregon on the way by.

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015
Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

The FS and the Empties continue to clash:

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

Brachyura towed the Maman Brigitte home, meaning that both the Empties fleet and the Cursed fleet had 3 coins each on their home islands.

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015
ships meet at sea
Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

On her way home, the Resolucion used her powerful guns to derelict all three remaining ships in the Empties fleet (the Oregon had been sunk), knocking them out of the game! This gave the Loki of the USV fleet a free shot at the Empties’ home island.

The Minuteman is too fast for Brachyura to catch, but the Devil’s Kiss won’t be so lucky…

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

And the crab attacks! Unfortunately for the Cursed the attack was harmless.

Brachyura attacks sailing ship

Feel free to comment which picture you like better, the above with the flash or the below without.

with flash
without flash

The Minuteman soon came to the rescue, although the Titan’s defensive ability meant the battle wouldn’t be easy.

Giant crab vs. 2 ships

At this point, the Loki stole 2 coins from the HI of the Empties, and hoped to round earth it back to her HI. The Devil’s Kiss added her coin to the one that the Minuteman deposited. The Resolucion finally docked home her coin, and the Maman Brigitte finished repairing.

Sealed Pack Game - December 26th, 2015

The Empties fleet lies in ruins, allowing their gold to be plundered by Vikings.

The final part of the Sealed Pack Game featured a short showdown between the two fleets with captains. However, the Minuteman and Devil’s Kiss formed a line to block the Musarde from boarding the Loki, so the USV fleet returned home their stolen loot.

However, it wasn’t quite enough:

1. Cursed: 11 gold
2. USV: 8
3. FS: 5
4. Empties: 1

And there you have it! The Cursed pull out a win by towing the Maman Brigitte’s three coins (4, 4, and 3) home with a giant crab! After losing the Jamaica early and having the Maman dismasted by the reef, the Cursed showed good resilience. The USV gold ships were too slow to get high-value coins, but the Loki’s HI raid gave them second place. The FS could have done better, especially if it had been a longer game. The Empties got off to a good start, but poor maneuvering and poor crew options doomed their fleet against the powerful Resolucion, who was truly a threat to be feared in this Sealed Pack Game.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever – December 12th, 2015

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever

I decided to mix things up again. For the two weeks or so between Thanksgiving and about a week before Christmas, my traveling collection is extremely small. I brought along 4 ships from each of the Big 6 factions, for just 24 total ships. I’ll be around my entire collection very soon, so I wanted to do a unique game using just what I had on hand.

The game was a cumulative one, where gold is spent along the way to purchase new ships and crew. Since each faction was extremely limited in how much they could theoretically spend, the game would be the opposite of my epic huge games, which run until something goes wrong or I have to end it prematurely.

Each faction was given 15 points for a starting fleet. If a faction was eliminated from the game, any ships that they hadn’t already launched could then be launched by any faction. No ships could be launched after they were sunk.

Here are the starting fleets, in the order of gameplay:

Crusher + helmsman, oarsman


L’Auguste + helmsman

Yankee + helmsman, oarsman

El Corazon Dorado + a helmsman on the home island

Divine Wind + helmsman, oarsman, and one helmsman on the home island

The setup was very simple, but it worked well. Six home islands were arranged in a general hexagon, with one wild island in the middle. The wild island was the same island used as the lagoon island in Economy Edition. Once again it would be the center of attention. At the start of the game, there were 12 coins on the island, with half of them being UT’s. The treasure replenishment rule was that at the end of every player’s turn (not at the end of each round), the island would fill up to 4 coins if it had less than 4. These coins would not be Unique, so the only UT’s were the ones present at the start.

simple setup for Pirates CSG game

The island from Economy Edition is loaded with gold once again:

gold laden island

And they’re off!

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever

The Pirates went first, and no ship had an explorer, so the Crusher was the first to explore the island. The UT’s were inserted randomly, which explains this crazy mix:

massive haul of gold coins

The most important one was Pandora’s Box – with 5 other fleets, things didn’t look good for the Pirates! The UT’s to the right of Pandora’s Box were the ones selected by the other fleets. Missionary took out the crew, while Maps of Hades and Albatross promised to plague the Pirates if they could even get out of this mess. Rum was worth 6 gold after Missionary took the crew off, but another fleet selected it in order to freeze the Crusher in place. Separate from Pandora’s Box was Enemy of the State, which could easily end the Pirates’ game as soon as it had started. Therefore, the Pirates picked Jailhouse Dog out of the Box and eliminated the negative UT. The Crusher was spared, but only just. To end the turn, a 3 was rolled for Lost, and the Pirates smartly put a fog bank under the Crusher to avoid having her attacked while her crew sobered up from the Rum. Two whirlpools were placed as well, to try and take advantage of Protection from Davy Jones. Another nice side effect for the Pirates was that since the crew were gone, the Crusher was able to take an extra coin, and she did very well.

Crusher ship deckplate

One whirlpool near the wild island, another at the Pirates’ HI. Shades of Economy Edition? Calypso wasn’t in this game but… how ironic indeed.

whirlpools created

The Abomination is the last ship to explore, as the others head back.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Pirates then cheated (on accident), using the whirlpool to immediately dock at home and unload their considerable haul of gold. They built the Black Diamond and crewed her with a helmsman. As a result of their devious ways, the Pirates would have their next turn cancelled to even out their would-be moves.

Pirates cheated!

The French were the second fleet to launch a ship, sailing out Le Republicain.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Pirates pay for their mistake while the other fleets race back for more gold. Despite the shorter nature of this cumulative game, each fleet still didn’t want to make any enemies early while their fleet was still weak and small.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

At this point, Maps of Hades forced the Cursed to give an action to the Crusher. However, the Cursed did exactly what the Pirates would have done anyway! The other fleets took this as a sign of a possible alliance between the two factions.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

A handful of turns passed, consisting of peaceful gold running.

More purchases were made, with HMS Gallowglass, Lady Washington, and La Serpiente joining the game.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The middle island became even more crowded, and it was obvious that tension would increase at some point. The Cursed launched the Hellfire while the Pirates added the Pillage.

crowded middle island
Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

It came as no surprise when the Pirates instigated the first conflict! The Black Diamond rammed and boarded the Divine Wind, stealing all of her treasure!

Making the Cursed/Pirate alliance just about official, the Hellfire followed suit by aiming a fire shot at the Divine Wind with the only gun she had in range. Typical of the Cursed’s ineptitude, she rolled a 1 to eliminate Fire Shot and set herself alight!

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The French launched the biggest of their four ships, the Tepant. Even more impressive, they crewed her with Gentil de la Barbinais, a captain, helmsman, and oarsman. The Tepant was the biggest threat on the sea, and her Eternal keyword made her a huge target to be captured, which is why the French made sure an oarsman was aboard.

I love how the Tepant looks… but what’s that big ship lurking in the background?

Tepant ship launched from French HI

El Argonauta! The 5 master was the biggest ship available in the game, but the Spanish couldn’t afford to put any crew on her at the time of her launching. Still, she was a huge presence that also added valuable cargo space to the Spanish fleet.

After a bunch of turns, many ships have made their entrance. Just for fun, I decided to do a point count or two during the game to get a feel for how big the game was. This picture shows the game at 196 total points.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Hellfire headed home for repairs, but most of the ships were making full sail towards the center island!

War finally breaks out! The French attack their neighbors to the north, the Americans! The Tepant deals a blow to the Yankee:

war breaks out

The Yankee can’t get home to repair but she knows she’ll be sunk if she just grabs gold, so she continues the conflict by attacking the Auguste! The Lady Washington picks up gold, but things aren’t looking good for the Americans.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The English avoided an early elimination, but they and the Cursed are struggling in the gold game. The Black Diamond is back with her stolen loot, while the Crusher and Pillage are coming back with more.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

With their considerable amounts of gold, the Pirates are the first to “complete the fleet” by calling upon Morgawr. The Black Diamond is dangerous with Captain Barbossa aboard.

The Auguste makes it out, but the Tepant continues to fire upon the Yankee, dismasting the schooner and leaving the Americans with just one ship.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The English are fully repaired, but with the hostile Cursed Pirate alliance on either side of their HI, they don’t have a reliable way to grab gold from the middle. The Tepant captures the Yankee and the French complete their fleet by adding L’Argus. The Americans launch the Horizon, but they only have enough points for a captain and not a helmsman.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Hellfire managed to get her foremost cannon in range of the Divine Wind once again, but this time she hit. The English were stuck, with hostile ships blocking their route to the middle island. With the French/American conflict to the southeastern side of the island, the Pirates sailed their ships northwest to avoid it, further complicating matters for the English.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Cursed launched the Jikininki, while the Americans headed north to avoid the French.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

On the next turn, the Argonauta used her own haul of gold to get The Inquisitor, a captain, helmsman, and oarsman. This made her the greatest boarding threat in the game and almost as dangerous as the Tepant overall. There was enough gold to buy two additional captains, which the Corazon Dorado and Serpiente would pick up on their next trip back. In the meantime, the English beefed up their ships by adding a captain and firepot specialist to the Divine Wind and a captain and helmsman to the Gallowglass.

Spanish crew setups

As the Yankee begins repairing at the French HI, note the imposing Cursed Pirate impromptu line of battle sailing south.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The weak American fleet is no match for the Argonauta! With a single Broadsides Attack the Spanish sink the Lady Washington.

Broadsides Attack successful

At this point the fleets were reaching their relative maximum sizes, since each faction only had 4 ships to choose from. This ushered in rising tension, as the fleets didn’t have as much need to run gold. The arms race was just about over, but the war was just beginning!

The English decide to go round earth and attempt to dock at the wild island on the east side. The Cursed Pirates are plotting something, but what?

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Cursed and the Pirates were both very wary of the impressive French fleet, especially with the addition of the Yankee and a new captain on the Republicain. The Cursed Pirates knew they had enough power to stomp out the French, but they wanted the element of surprise. This was difficult, since the Hellfire and Jikininki had sailed directly south to join up with the Pirate fleet. The French sensed that they might head east, which was exactly what the Cursed Pirates were planning.

In an attempt to trick the other fleets into believing they weren’t allies, the Cursed and Pirates decided to fake that they were attacking each other. The Pirates told the Cursed to knock out a mast on the Black Diamond with the Hellfire. The Hellfire’s crew loaded the guns and ran them out, praying for a miss. However, the Cursed also realized that if they only took one shot at the Black Diamond (rather than all 4), the French would suspect that something was up. As a result, the Hellfire loosed a full broadside, toppling the mizzen and gaff masts of the Black Diamond!

classic moment in Pirates CSG game

The Pirates were confused and annoyed. This made them trust the Cursed less, even if the Cursed’s logic was correct. Either way, the Pirates began plotting among themselves. They asked themselves why they even needed the Cursed in the first place, especially since the Cursed were so close to the Pirate HI.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Pirates have turned! Between the Cursed’s previous turn and the strength of their fleet, the Pirates decided to attack! The Black Diamond surged forward to dismast the Jikininki, while the Crusher and Pillage teamed up to take on the Hellfire. Any plans to attack the French together were long gone, and the Cursed Pirate alliance was no more.

Pirates betray The Cursed
Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

As chaos erupts in the southwest, the English turn around after seeing the French and Spanish dominating the eastern side of the island. They’re hoping the Pirate/Cursed conflict will open up the western side. The Cursed gold runner Abomination is caught in a difficult situation, unable to help out in the southern battle but also needing to supply the Cursed with more gold.

The Yankee is fully repaired at last. At the lower right, the Horizon has round earthed to the southeast to get revenge on the French. She’s so white she looks like a ghost ship!

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Crusher lost a mast to the Hellfire, but the Pirates easily won the battle and began cleaning up the area. Capturing the two Cursed ships gave them 6 total, one more than the 5 ships in the French fleet.

carnage in battle at sea

Another point count revealed that there was 280 total points in play, which was probably about the game’s maximum size.

In a surprise move, the Tepant used this opportunity to hurt the Pirates a bit, dismasting the Pillage. The French knew the Pirates wanted them out, but the French also had to deal with the remnants of the American fleet. The Horizon was quickly rammed by the Yankee, a captured American ship.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

These latest conflicts were part of a larger event: the game was exploding! The Spanish realized they were the most dangerous fleet in the north, and saw vulnerable ships sailing alone. The Corazon Dorado sailed south to dismast the Auguste! Then the Serpiente and Argonauta teamed up to knock out two masts on the Abomination. In the southeast, the Horizon was putting up the final American resistance, shooting a mast off the Republicain.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Spanish finally utilize their full firepower!

Americans first fleet eliminated

And just like that, the Americans were the first fleet eliminated! The Yankee captured the Horizon, and the French jumped at the opportunity to launch the final American ship, the Niagara. This meant that the French fleet owned 3 of the 4 American ships! (the Lady Washington was sunk earlier) The French couldn’t buy American crew for the Niagara, but they did load her up with Fire Shot.

Up north, the Spanish dealt with counterattacks. The Tepant blasted three of the Corazon’s masts away, but the Abomination couldn’t dent the Argonauta or her crew. The fleets didn’t know it at the time, but they would be living through the chaos until the game’s end.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

And the chaos was just beginning! The Pirates would take a long while to regroup, but the English looked to capitalize by going to the middle island. The Cursed were soon the second fleet out of the game when the Spanish dismasted the Abomination.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

In a daring move, the French sailed the Tepant even farther north to sink the Corazon Dorado right in the Inquisitor’s face! The Argonauta had lost two masts to the Abomination, but the Spanish vowed extreme retaliation. Miraculously for the French, it appeared as if the Auguste could make it home on oar power, since the Pirates were still regrouping and repairing.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

Looking from east to west this time:

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Serpiente captures the Abomination, but the real highlight of the turn saw the Argonauta take on the Tepant! Long time allies met in rivalry as the Spanish faced the French. The Argonauta loosed a Broadsides Attack, but it missed. The ram roll also failed, but the Argonauta won the boarding party to eliminate all of the Tepant’s crew with the Inquisitor! This severely restricted the Tepant’s effectiveness, and her lack of an oarsman also meant that she could be easily captured.

Battle of the behemoths; flagships of France and Spain meet on the high seas!

Argonauta vs. Tepant

Elated to finally be back at the golden island, the English team up to sink the Abomination and deny the Spanish from using her! The Gallowglass shot first and missed, but that allowed the Divine Wind to use her ability and sink the ugly 4 master.

The Tepant fired to take the Argonauta down to 2 masts, at which point the Spanish called it quits for fear of elimination. They turned the Serpiente and Argonauta around to repair. This left the door wide open for the English, who quickly dismasted the Tepant and planned to take her!

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Niagara blocks Morgawr from sinking the Auguste, who is rowing home with a few coins aboard. The Pirates are nearing the end of the recovery process. The whirlpools they created with Lost way back at the beginning aren’t helping.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

Suddenly the south is heating up again! The Pirates have finally gotten around to attacking the French after their Cursed alliance detour stopped them for a handful of turns. In a strange coincidence, almost every remaining ship in the French fleet is coming or going from their HI, and the repaired Pirates approach from the west for a crowded area. The Yankee is towing the Niagara, who was dismasted by Morgawr. The Horizon and Republicain are ready to provide whatever help they can, while the Argus and Auguste are almost back with gold.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

While the action shifts to the south, two developments unfold up north: the Spanish launch La Hada and crew her with a captain and helmsman, while the English have captured the Tepant!

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

All of the action lies in the northern and southern parts of the center:

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

Morgawr and the Black Diamond hit the Yankee hard: (the Yankee isn’t having a good day!)

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The French took their turn, and managed to go 4/4 between the Yankee and Republicain to dismast the Black Diamond!

carnage at sea

An overhead shot, showing the debris strewn everywhere.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The English use some strange chain-towing tactics to maneuver the Tepant out of La Hada’s range.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

At the top and bottom, the Spanish and Pirates repair.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

Morgawr sinks the Yankee, but the French get their gold home.

Total devastation. At the left, La Hada has engaged the Gallowglass. The Jikininki has failed to eliminate all four of the Divine Wind’s crew. La Serpiente approaches from the northeast, looking to join the fray. The Horizon has begun towing the Black Diamond, meaning the Pirates have lost their flagship. The French are in a state of disarray themselves, with the Republicain looking to repair while the Auguste actually repairs. The Argus rescues the Niagara, knowing she can’t be attacked if Morgawr is close by.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Divine Wind and Gallowglass team up to dismast the Hada and set her alight! La Hada had a very short life in this game. At this point, no one seems to care about the gold in the middle – everyone is in survival mode.

battle at sea

The Pillage and Hellfire are finally ready to sail, but the Argonauta is still repairing.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Crusher attacks, using the Scorpion blade to dismast the Republicain just before she can dock to repair.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

La Serpiente takes La Hada’s place, leaving one mast on the Divine Wind. The Jikininki misses the boarding party again.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The English continue to best the Spanish in combat, but they know they’re not a match for the Argonauta.

As the carnage mounts, the endgame approaches.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Argonauta is finally repaired, but the Divine Wind has already fallen to the Jikininki. The Gallowglass knows there’s no hope and sails for home. Throughout all of the chaos both English ships lost all 6 of their combined crew. The Tepant and Hada also suffered heavy casualties, though the Tepant’s came at the hands of the Inquisitor. To the southeast, the Crusher is the Pirates’ best hope, but she’s fighting the Horizon and Auguste at the same time. Reinforcements are arriving, but it may be too late to save the Black Diamond.

In an attempt to recapture the Black Diamond, the Pirates go after the ship towing her, L’Argus. Morgawr rams the sloop derelict, allowing the Pillage to capture her. Crusher has gotten the better of the Horizon, and looks to tow the Black Diamond. The Hellfire lost her helmsman in the Pirates/Cursed engagement, so she’s slow in this battle.

high seas battle!

Jikininki rams the Gallowglass, officially taking the English out of the game! The Argonauta approaches the scene of the battle, though by this point it’s a debris field of corpses, masts, and shattered, derelict hulks.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The south is more lively, but that battle is winding down as well. The French are desperate. The Niagara wants to tow the Black Diamond home, but can’t without getting blasted in the meantime. Instead she starts a fire on the Pillage. The French try to surprise the Pirates by sending the Auguste west for a raid on the Pirates’ HI, where she hits the Hellfire on the way by.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Pirates regroup, but inexplicably leave the burning Pillage to recapture the Black Diamond herself. She does, but the Niagara is still firing at her. The Hellfire turned around and dismasted the Auguste but couldn’t sink her. The Auguste rowed into the fog bank. The Pirates would like to use Jikininki to kill the Argonauta’s crew, so they don’t want her going in alone.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

Here’s the debris and wreckage from a more horizontal angle:

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The Argonauta tows the Serpiente first, and then captures the Tepant. The Niagara has won her battle against the Pillage, setting her completely ablaze. Morgawr hunts down the Auguste.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

Morgawr sinks the Auguste, and Jikininki dismasts the Niagara, knocking the French out of the game! Now there are two: Pirates vs. Spanish. The Argonauta tows the Tepant through the wreckage, knowing she’ll need help if she wants to stand a chance in this final battle. The Crusher and Hellfire are fully repaired, and they set a northeasterly course.

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

The battle begins! The Argonauta hits Morgawr, but the Tepant is still repairing and has no crew.

The Argonauta is pinned by both Morgawr and the Crusher, and though the initial Pirate attacks fail in general, they will win easily.

Utter devastation:

Smallest Cumulative Game Ever - December 12th, 2015

At long last, the Pirates have won this tiny cumulative game!

Pirates win!

This was a unique experience. There’s been at least one other cumulative game (I believe two) from back in 2011/2012 that didn’t see a ton of points, but I’m pretty sure this is the smallest cumulative game I’ve played. Despite it’s short nature, I would recommend giving something like this a try. Especially if you’ve never played a cumulative game before, this would be a good way to get started.

I must admit that I was disappointed not to use three of the 24 ships available: HMS Malton, HMS Ark Royal, and the Banshee’s Wail. However, perhaps I’ll find a way to fit them in even when I’m around my entire collection again.