I played the second 60 point game between these fleets (previous BR). The Triton explored an island early, only to have one of her masts shot away by the Algiers. The Tunis also explored an island, but her comrade was in trouble. The Lord Cauldwell missed the Triton, but the Algiers scored two more hits to make her a derelict. The Santa Lucia managed to hit the Algiers, but the Algiers retaliated by dismasting the Tunis, leaving her to try to get home on oar power.
Meanwhile, the submerged Locker rammed the Baionnette, as the Lord Cauldwell captured the Triton. The Algiers sank the Tunis, and the game only got better for the English, as the Patagonia docked home 7 gold. The Lord Cauldwell finally rolled a few 6’s to sink the Belle Poule, giving the English a 14-6 gold advantage. However, the Santa Lucia managed to recapture the derelict Triton, as the Baionnette tried to escort the two fragile ships (with 3 gold on the Triton) back to the French HI.
Another well-timed extra action for the Algiers (her good luck evens out the horrible luck of the Lord Cauldwell) let her dismast the Baionnette and ram the Santa Lucia. The Locker now rammed the Santa Lucia to dismast her, leaving the French with no actions left to give to their ships, as the English won, 14-6.
I’ve played the first 60 point game (some previous matchups), and it was one to remember. The islands were placed in a column fashion, with two columns of three islands each. The two home islands were picked to be the islands at the southern part of each column.
The game started with the Locker immediately getting into action, in her first game ever! She rammed a mast off the Baionnette to start the melee. The Triton explored the nearest island north of the French HI, and brought home 6 gold on just the second turn of the game. An extra action from the Algiers let her dismast the Belle Poule, but she missed the other one masted galley, the Tunis.
Still submerged, the Locker rammed the Santa Lucia to take out one of her masts, while the Lord Cauldwell missed taking out her second mast. After docking at her HI, the Triton sped over to the English HI and dismasted the Patagonia just before she could dock. Unfortunately for the French, her galley keyword let her move S on her next turn, and she was just barely able to make it in with 5 gold!
The Belle Poule limped away from the action at S speed, but the Algiers sunk her before she could get to a northernmost wild island. Using her firepot specialist, the Locker reduced the Tunis to a blazing hulk, but the Lord Cauldwell had more bad dice luck, unable to finish off the tiny galley.
Back at their respective HI’s, the Baionnette and Patagonia repaired to get back in the action.
With just one mast standing, the Algiers continued to put her remaining 2L gun to good use, sinking the Tunis. The Lord Cauldwell turned around and rammed the slow-moving Santa Lucia, taking out her final mast and killing her captain in the boarding action.
In the far northeast, the Triton picked up two more gold coins as the situation with the rest of her fleet worsened. The Baionnette blew her chance to dismast the Algiers (who along with the Lord Cauldwell is proving to be one of the most stubborn ships I’ve ever used), and was subsequently dismasted herself on the following turn by both the Algiers and the Locker (the Cauldwell missed yet again). The Santa Lucia now sunk after a successful scuttle roll, leaving the French with only the Triton.
Since treasure is placed face-up on HI’s in 2-player games, the English could see that they couldn’t sink the Triton outright, with the French owning 7 gold against the 6 of the English. They would have to make the Patagonia (moving S+S) dock before the Triton (S+L+S)! Here the Locker and her deadly crew-killing ability would come in handy.
The Locker rammed the Triton and set her mizzen mast on fire, leaving her with two against the three hull pieces of the Locker. The Locker rolled a 3 on the boarding party, but the Triton rolled a 2, giving the Locker’s boarders the chance to kill all three crew aboard the Triton.
Despite being on fire and having lost her captain, helmsman, and explorer, the Triton was not finished yet. On her next turn, she put out the fire and moved L+S towards her home island, sailing deftly between the hostile Algiers and Lord Cauldwell. However, without the extra +S from the helmsman, she couldn’t get home in time. The Patagonia docked home 2 gold for the English, giving them a narrow 8-7 lead. This allowed the Algiers and Lord Cauldwell to dismast the Triton and win the game for the English! Yet another exciting game that was very hard-fought and close throughout!
English vs. French at 40 Points
The next two games of this 40 point series have been played between the English and French. For the second game, the French got off to their exploratory ways right from the start. The Lord Cauldwell missed hitting the Triton, but the Algiers quickly made up for it by shooting and ramming the Triton to dismast her. The Baionnette tried to retaliate by damaging the Lord Cauldwell (the Algiers was not in range), but she needed both of her cannons to hit due to the defensive ability of the Lord Cauldwell. Considering that one of the Baionnette’s two cannons is a 4S, she is not the best match to attack the English blockade runner, and this time saw her miss as well. On the next turn, the two English gunships teamed up to dismast the Baionnette.
The Belle Poule docked home just 4 gold at the French HI, while the Lord Cauldwell finished off the Baionnette. The Algiers began towing the Triton, and sprinted 4S away from the Belle with help from an extra action and helmsman. Just before the Algiers got home, the Patagonia docked home 10 gold for the English, having gotten lucky in finding the highest value treasure coins. The Algiers brought home the Triton (and the gold aboard her) to give the English a 17-4 win!
For the third game, the English finally got to go first. The French chose the middle island to be their HI, since the French had not fared well while they occupied the same territory. The Patagonia headed in the opposite direction of the French fleet towards a wild island. The Lord Cauldwell headed west, with the Algiers sailing east. The English were looking to cut the French off regardless of which way they went, but made the age-old mistake of dividing their forces .
The French sailed west, with the Triton shooting away one of the Lord Cauldwell’s masts (finally!). With both French gunships sailing with the Belle Poule, you’d think that she would be protected with such an escort. Fortunately for the English, their luck with the dice would soon overcome their early mistake.
The Algiers rolled an extra action, reversed direction, and sailed right into the battle, taking out a mast on the Baionnette and the lone mast of the Belle Poule. Getting revenge on the Triton, the Lord Cauldwell took out a mast on the Triton. Now we had a good old-fashioned shootout!
The Triton missed with her cannons on the next turn, but her captain saw the golden opportunity to ram the final mast off the Lord Cauldwell. Alas, she rolled a 1, with the Cauldwell taking out her second mast on the next turn. Continuing the one-sided dice luck, the Baionnette missed the Algiers with a firepot. Another extra action for the Algiers let her sink the Belle Poule and dismast the Baionnette, leaving the French with just one mast remaining. The Triton sailed away from the Cauldwell and shot away the only mast the Patagonia possesses. The Cauldwell then missed the Triton, but the Algiers was able to finish her off, ending the game with all French ships either derelict or sunk!
Neither nation had brought home any gold, but since the Patagonia still had 6 gold in her cargo hold and the English had more points and masts afloat, they were declared the winner!
Now that the English have defeated the French both times, I will move on to the 60 point variation. However, since the additions used in these two fleets are the only ones I have for the French and English, the fleets will now ally with other ships that I haven’t used yet! The French have added the Santa Lucia (SCS version, same ability as the Lord Cauldwell) and equipped her with a captain, and they’ve also added the Tunis, a Barbary one master that has a built-in explorer (almost the same ship as the Belle Poule). The English have added the Locker, the LE Cursed submarine from MI, and crewed her with a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist.
First Game of 2014
I’ve made the fleets for the next series of games! As expected, the matchup will start out with the English facing the French. The English count HMS Algiers, HMS Lord Cauldwell, and the Patagonia as their only new additions, while the French have acquired Le Triton, La Baionnette, and the Belle Poule. The Algiers, Lord Cauldwell, Triton and Baionnette all have captains, with the Patagonia and Belle as the designated treasure runners (although the Triton and Baionnette have cargo space for gold if they want it).
The French started out the game on a gold run. They piled up 13 gold between the hulls of their three ships, and headed back with it. It’s important to note that the English (as player #2) strategically picked the middle island to be the French HI, in order to guarantee that they wouldn’t have to go far to corner the French.
The Triton, moving faster than any other ship in either fleet (S+L+S), was the first to dock at her HI, bringing home 6 gold. She shot at the nearby Lord Cauldwell as soon as she docked, but the Cauldwell’s ability (two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts) overcame her firepower. Meanwhile, the Algiers went in the direction of the Belle Poule and the Baionnette. The Baionnette punished her by setting her on fire!
Off in the south by herself, the Patagonia slowly brought in 4 gold for the English (she would later bring home 2 more), while the battle up north continued to rage. The Algiers shot at, rammed, and boarded the Baionnette, but all to no avail. With the Baionnette busy and the Triton off to explore a new wild island, the Lord Cauldwell sunk the Belle Poule, giving 3 gold to each nation. Before the Baionnette could do any further damage to the Algiers, the Algiers used her S+S+S speed to catch up with the Triton (now docked at a wild island) and once again, shoot, ram, and board. However, this sequence was much more successful than the first, as the Triton lost two masts and her explorer! The Algiers would have taken one of the recently loaded treasures if not for her full cargo hold of crew.
On the next turn, the Baionnette responded by taking out the second and final mast of the Algiers, whose resilience would show through once again. The Algiers was essentially out of the game for good, but she managed to roll a 5 to put out her fire while simultaneously getting an extra action to move S+S towards home via her oarsman!
Now the battle was in the hands of the Triton, Baionnette, and HMS Lord Cauldwell. As she had two treasure coins aboard and only one mast remaining, the Triton was the main target of the English. The Lord Cauldwell hit once to dismast her but couldn’t sink the French schooner. The Baionnette now began towing the Triton, looking to bring her in to dock and win the game (the French had 10 gold on their HI with another 7 on the Triton). The Lord Cauldwell, already near the French HI, sailed in the way of the Baionnette, taking out one of her two masts. The Cauldwell may have been able to dismast the French ship if not for her ability that makes her masts immune to ramming. Here’s where the supremely effective ability of the Lord Cauldwell came into play: with just one mast left standing in the French fleet, they had no hope of taking out the Lord Cauldwell’s masts by shooting, making the Englishman basically immune to combat (plus the Baionnette didn’t want to ram the Cauldwell since she needed to get the Triton’s gold home). The Lord Cauldwell dismasted the Baionnette, letting the English tow the Triton and win the game 16-10!
[lord_denton points out mistake]
At this point I don’t know who would have won the game. I’m not going to count this as a victory for either side in terms of the series. I’m just glad it was a great game!
The final 80 point game has been played! For the final Pirate/American game, the island setup was pretty standard,
especially after the last setup had unintentionally given the Pirates a possible advantage concerning their raiders. This time, the fleets had their HI’s far away from each other.
The game started with consecutive extra actions for the Queen Anne’s Revenge from Sean Cannonball Gallows. This let her reach the Bartlett and the Nene Nui, but she only scored 2 hits out of 10 shots over the course of 4 shoot actions, continuing the deplorable dice luck, although at least now I’m used to it. The Revenge also docked at the American HI and stole a coin that the Frontier had brought back, since the Frontier had used Homing Beacon to return home one turn after grabbing gold from the nearest wild island. She also took a mast off the Bartlett, although the Bartlett took off a mast on the Revenge a turn later. The other Pirate ships all got gold from islands near the Pirates’ home island, with the Swift bringing back a 4 and a 3.
The Frontier and Nene Nui had combined to bring back 8 gold for the Americans, while the Pirates had accumulated 9. The Mercury and the Bartlett now chased the Pirates back to their HI, where the Mercury sunk the Royal Rover was sunk with 3 gold on her just before she was able to dock. This evened up the gold game at 10 apiece. Now that the Mercury was finally above the surface, the Pirates saw their opportunity to damage the durable sub (she ignores the first hit she takes as long as she has all of her masts). The Swift went 2 for 2, damaging the Mercury for the first time ever! The Obago looked to derelict her or possibly even sink her, but of course, the Obago rolled three 1’s in a row.
Meanwhile, the Frontier and Nene Nui had been finding more gold away from the action. The Nene Nui had to deal with Barrel O’ Monkeys, which made it impossible for the Nene Nui to explore the islands with just one coin on them, which was the case with two of the three wild islands that still had treasure on them. To the north, the Frontier found 5 gold on an island.
Back where the battle was taking place, the Bartlett moved to block the Swift’s path to explore her island, while the Mercury rammed the Obago (still at her HI) to knock her down to 2 masts.
Since the Frontier and Queen Anne’s Revenge had docked at the American HI on the same turn, it was easy for the Revenge to follow and harass the Frontier all the way out on her second treasure run. More bad gun rolls saw the Revenge go 1 for 4, but at least the Frontier was damaged, with two masts now remaining. Right after the Frontier had explored the island near the Pirates’ HI (where she got the 5 gold), the Swift was upon her. The Swift hit with both cannons, and the Frontier was derelict. The Queen Anne’s Revenge captured her and used yet another extra action (her third of the game) to sprint home moving 4S, giving the Pirates an extra 8 gold (5 from the Frontier and the stolen 3 that was still on the Revenge) to win the final 80 point game, 18-10!
This was a very enjoyable game, featuring many twists and turns. Who would’ve thought that the Swift (the smallest ship in their fleet) would be their hero? She brought home 7 gold, became the only Pirate ship to score a hit on the Mercury, and dismasted the Frontier at a crucial moment.
For the entire 8 game series, the Americans beat the Pirates 5-3, although the Pirates fought back to win the final series (2-1) after falling in a hole 5-1. It was good to see the Americans do well, and nice to see the fight in the Pirates! I’m looking at making some more fleets soon, possibly starting with the English facing the French.
For the second 80 point game, the setup would feature another variation in island placement. The two home islands were connected, forming one bigger island (though they still acted as separate home islands). The four wild islands were in a half-moon design about 4L to the north. Instead of having their bows touch the HI’s, the ships in both fleets were in line abreast on either side of the combined home island. Just to make things even more interesting, each fleet started on the side opposite their HI, in the hope that the fleets would be forced to cross paths if they didn’t do so intentionally . The ships sailed out and the game was under way!
The Frontier found a handful of gold and Homing Beacon on one of the middle wild islands, looking to use the UT to quickly return home and then still have time to go back out again and get more gold before the game ended. However, the Pirates sailed the Obago right up next to the American HI, blocking the straight-line path the Frontier needed to dock.
As in the previous game, the Royal Rover went after the Bartlett and her valuable crew, Captain Montana Mays. Without a helmsman or a high die roll from Mays, the Bartlett was easy to catch moving at just L speed. The Rover dismasted the Bartlett with her cannons and ramming power, but failed at the critical moment, losing the boarding party by rolling a 1 while the Bartlett rolled a 6 and eliminated the Pirate helmsman.
In the meantime, the Frontier was coming home at her regular S+S+S speed since she couldn’t get a clear path for Homing Beacon. The Pirates were able to surround her with the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Swift, and Obago. Unfortunately for the Pirates, their gun rolls didn’t go to their liking, going just 2 for 8 despite having all guns at rank-3 or better.
The Americans looked to strike back next turn, with the powerful Mercury coming to the surface for the first time. The Mercury (three 2L guns with a musketeer on board) managed to miss all four shots against the Queen Anne’s Revenge, but the Frontier had the chance to dock, bringing in 14 gold for the Americans, leaving them 2 gold shy of yet another impressive victory.
The Nene Nui would soon feel the wrath of the Pirates. She had enough gold on her to win, but the fact that she had to travel the extra distance to dock at the more distant American HI spelled her imminent doom. The Queen Anne’s Revenge sailed up and dismasted her with one broadside.
The Pirates were now in a dominant position, and they were eager to finish the job. To the west, the Royal Rover sunk the Bartlett, while the Obago sunk the Frontier. On the next turn, the Royal Rover sunk the Nene Nui as well, leaving the Americans with only the now-submerged Mercury as their last hope.
The Mercury, with the protection of being underwater (the Pirates had no way to counter a submarine), took off for a wild island in search of a final treasure coin to bring home. However, the Mercury had completely forgotten that the Queen Anne’s Revenge had the HI-raiding ability, and not only that, but the Swift had found the Wine UT (exchange Wine for a treasure of your choice from an enemy HI) earlier in the game. This gave the Pirates a golden opportunity to steal enough gold from the Americans to tip the balance in their favour, while they waited for the Mercury to get back. After a few turns of feverish plundering, the gold turned 13-4 in favour of the Pirates.
As the Mercury came home, the Obago and Royal Rover lined up stem to stern and blocked off the American home island. Here’s where I messed up . I forgot that subs could move underneath other ships while they’re submerged, as long as they aren’t overlapping at the end of any move actions. This presented an odd situation where the Obago and Royal Rover both moved to block the Mercury after each turn that she moved. The interesting thing is that the Mercury, being a 3 masted sub, has a relatively long game piece, which probably would have overlapped underneath one of the Pirate ships’ hulls, but only since she would run into her home island. As a result, the game may have had a slightly different ending if I had played the rules correctly (I should have looked at the Code like I usually do), but the Pirates would probably still have won. As I played it, the Mercury was unable to dock, while the Revenge stole a 3 from the Americans to give the Pirates a 16-4 win. I won’t replay the game or situation, since the Pirates probably would have won anyway, not to mention the fact that they had played a better game up to that point (they would have sunk the Frontier way back if not for my terrible gun rolls!).
The unique setup where the home islands were connected to each other can give way to a potential stalemate situation. Even if the Mercury had docked normally and brought back her coin, the gold game would have been around even at that point (the Pirates having already stolen some gold as soon as the Mercury headed out to the wild island). The Mercury could have stayed at her HI and shot at the Obago and Royal Rover without fear of return fire. But the Queen Anne’s Revenge could have done the same thing, so whoever moved from their HI first would potentially lose, effecting a stalemate. I’ve never had to call a draw in Pirates, so I guess it would have to come down to the number of points remaining in each fleet. Although, now that I think about it, the Mercury could have submerged and then rammed the other Pirate ships until they were derelict, but even that wouldn’t do much good. A very fun and interesting game either way! I’ll play the third 80 point game tomorrow to determine who wins this series!
Edit: Now that I’ve checked on the Rules thread, I forgot that subs can’t dock at islands (even their HI) while submerged, so the Mercury would not have been able to return home anyway.