I’ve been writing Battle Reports since late July 2011. I played at least a dozen games (probably more) in 2005-2006 when I first got into Pirates CSG, but since getting back into it in 2011 I’ve recorded almost every game I’ve played in some way. In this blog I will be posting battle reports of my adventures. Check out my best battle reports in the Compendium and my biggest games in Huge Game Legacy.
Likely my last physical game of Pirates CSG for quite some time!
This is a report for a nice family game played with relatives near the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. We set up for a game with 4 players at a 40 point build total. It ended up being rather long and complex for a game featuring relatively basic fleets and no UT’s or terrain. Round Earth was the main house rule.
We used Ross’ 5 beach island as the sole wild island, with 3 coins per beach. As usual, each beach had to be explored individually.
The Bruja round earthed while many ships looked for gold early. Lechim Namod (LN) is submerged, hoping to feast on the Americans shortly.
The squid surfaces! The Dark Fox loses a mast, while the Flying Dutchman empties a nearby beach of treasure.
The Bruja shot 0/4 on the FS, allowing the Epee to return fire on her way home, hitting once.
Already facing some tough decisions, the American commander got an incredible clutch roll of Fear. Getting a 5 on it with the Dark Fox, Fear cancelled the abilities of LN, disabling the Sea Monster keyword to unpin the Dark Fox, allowing her to escape with a coin! The Atlanta shot 1/2 to knock a tentacle off LN, after which the Plymouth Rock was essentially sacrificed to give the Atlanta more time. Her shipwright was transferred to the Atlanta, which became important later. LN flailed away and took off the Plymouth Rock’s only mast, with the FD coming over to capture the sloop.
Here come the Cursed Pirates! Love the colors in this picture and that you can make out the ship names.
The Bruja found her mark, hitting twice on the Epee to eliminate two masts and two cargo. The crew were eliminated, allowing the Epee to unload a coin on the next turn. The San Pedro went out for more gold, having already deposited 2 coins along with her +2 bonus.
LN moved out of the way to allow the FD to capture the Plymouth Rock.
A deal was briefly discussed between myself and the Americans, with the Atlanta potentially allowed to get home with 2 coins if the Americans didn’t contest the capturing of the Plymouth Rock. Nothing was really agreed upon, and I decided to do what a pirate would and attack anyway. The FD shot 1/2 to eliminate another mast from the Atlanta.
It soon became apparent that the Bruja might finish the job for me, as the dangerous Pirate ship lumbers towards the Americans!
The Flying Dutchman was still carrying 3 coins, so I wanted to get her and the prize home and let LN potentially interfere in the looming Atlanta-Bruja battle. At the upper left you can see that the Musarde has round earthed after getting some coins home for the French Pirates.
The Atlanta managed to evade cannon fire and fled for home, taking a mast off the Bruja as well! The Dark Fox moved to block the Bruja, but was rammed by Lechim Namod, who resurfaced but had trouble maneuvering past the rocks.
I started to realize that capturing the Plymouth Rock was largely pointless, as the FD barely got home at L+S after dropping the tow.
The Bruja moved to block the Atlanta from docking, dismasting her and eliminating a coin with cargo-wrecking in the process. However, on the American turn, the Dark Fox rolled a 6 for Fear on both the Bruja and LN! O_O This was a strange game where Fear was quite successful, even the dominant ability in the game.
The Atlanta repaired with the shipwright she acquired from the Plymouth Rock, and the Dark Fox landed a 6 to hit the Bruja and take her down to 1 mast! Between Fear and her 5L shots, the Dark Fox went 3/4 on 6’s this turn, proving she may not be one of the worst speedy ships in the game. There are 3 coins between two of the “northern” beaches, which are likely to be contested by the Epee, San Pedro, Musarde, and Flying Dutchman. LN has submerged and slowly creeps towards the French ships.
The Bruja dismasts the Atlanta again, with the mast falling on Master CPO Charles Richard. 🙁
LN surfaces to ram and pin the Musarde, who now carries 2 coins.
Another coin will certainly be contested:
LN dismasts the Musarde! However, the Dark Fox is back, ready to scare the big squid for perhaps the 3rd time in the game?
With her explorer the San Pedro managed to load the coin out from under the Flying Dutchman. However, then it was the FD’s time to shine! She did her job well, dismasting the San Pedro easily. Both players declined to board, myself especially because I wanted to be able to use the San Pedro’s crew. (I was thinking that Massacre would override my house rule of letting me as the potential winner choose what option to use, but either way I wanted to capture the ship with all her cargo intact, as she could be valuable in the late endgame coming up.)
The Bruja used round earth to return home, allowing the Atlanta to do the same. The Atlanta unloaded her remaining coin after one of the most harrowing and impressive journeys I’ve ever seen a ship go through in a relatively short and small game. I’ve always thought of her as a bit underrated, and here she was both resilient and lucky.
The Atlanta repairs, the Bruja prepares to do the same; LN knocks a mast off the Dark Fox, and the FD captures the San Pedro. I wanted LN to keep the Musarde pinned until the FD could capture her somehow or steal her gold, but that was looking somewhat unlikely due to how long it would take for the FD to get home with the San Pedro and sail back out again.
The Dark Fox moved to position herself in L range of the LN but out of the LN’s S tentacle range. However, I decided to break the pin on the Musarde, with LN ramming the Dark Fox derelict. The Musarde was now free to row at S+S; I was hoping she might actually get into a better position for the FD to track her down as she approached her home island, especially given round earth making my home island close to that of the French Pirates.
The Dark Fox hit with Fear yet again before being sunk by LN, getting a 5 to stop the Musarde for an additional turn. The Bruja and Epee repair, and it looks like it will be a final showdown in a chase towards the French Pirate HI.
The FD finally docked home the San Pedro, netting my fleet an extra 3 gold total. This brought my fleet to 4 ships total, but I was worried I didn’t have enough gold to win.
The Atlanta prepares to round earth as LN submerges, not wanting to pin the Musarde just to get blasted by the Bruja and/or Epee.
The chase was… anticlimactic! The Atlanta, FD, Epee, and LN all couldn’t reach the Musarde in time. The partially repaired San Pedro used round earth to ram, but didn’t even win the boarding party. XD The Bruja played bodyguard, but barely needed to block the Atlanta, let alone fight her or the FD.
The Atlanta rammed the Bruja for fun, but it killed the hardworking shipwright who kept the Americans in the game to some degree.
The Final Standings:
Franco-Spanish: 18 gold
Cursed Pirates (me): 12 gold
French Pirates: 11 gold
Americans: 6 gold
The Musarde only brought back 3 gold, so her changing hands would not have affected the victor. (ex: Cursed Pirates with 15 and French Pirates with 8)
My opponent rolled a 1 to go second, with one of the new skull dice I received as a gift from Captain Randy when we played in Las Vegas.
My opponent went with:
Poor Adams + helmsman
L’Epee de L’Ange + helmsman
San Pedro + explorer
+explorer on HI
My ships were chosen somewhat randomly, though I like the red-green-blue contrast among them.
An intimidating sight: a square rigged fleet heads out!
I got to the beaches first, with the Merlin and Lord Kettering looking to cut off the beach that was most likely to be contested.
After the San Pedro grabbed some gold and the Poor Adams headed towards the rocky area, the Epee was left wide open. Percival Blake gave the order for a Broadsides Attack, and surprisingly it hit! The Lord Kettering needed 4 shots to sink the Frenchman, but she did go down.
The attention then shift back to the other side of the big island, where the Poor Adams was about to load the final coin from the first beach to be landed on.
HMS Lord Kettering:
With the St. George, San Pedro, and Lord Kettering all docking home their gold, it was a race for the final two coins in play (both 1’s). The Merlin pursued the Poor Adams, but missed both shots as the PA maneuvered among the rocks.
The Merlin managed a few hits in the chase back to the mixed fleet home island, but both the Poor Adams and San Pedro got home safely. I won the game 12-11! The San Pedro increased the losing score by +4, so if one of my coins had been worth a little less, the outcome would have been a tie or victory for the mixed fleet.
Thanks for reading about this quick game! Feel free to post about your own games in the Battle Reports thread! 😀
Señor Frog’s in Las Vegas – Game with Captain Randy!
For the first time, I played a physical game of Pirates CSG with another member of the Pirates community! Captain Randy lives in Las Vegas, which coincided perfectly with my week long vacation there!! 😀
I was trying to pack light, so I wouldn’t have much on hand. However, reusing a box I received in a trade with PirateAJ14, I was able to bring 4 English ships, their deckplates, and my entire plastic bag of English crew chips for use in the game. Randy supplied the islands and gold (as well as his own fleet), and we got to talking!
Randy suggested the perfect place to play – at Señor Frog’s just outside of Treasure Island, right on the water near the two sailing ships they used to use for a pirate show! With the water and fountains in the background I made sure to try and get some very unique pictures. Check out HMS Dauntless “on” the water! 🙂
We have to thank Señor Frog’s for hosting us! And once again I thank Randy for actually buying something so it didn’t look like we were just there to play the game! XD
All the ships I brought:
We decided to do a 60 point game. I went with some good English ships and crew, with all of them moving at the same speed.
How bizarre!! Playing a game of Pirates CSG… in the desert… on a fake pond… with the epic Palazzo in the background!? O_O
In a dry region we had found our oasis:
We placed 6 wild islands along with a bunch of terrain.
I rolled to go first, and fittingly enough I was wearing my HMS Victory shirt to a game where I was playing the English!
Captain Randy had a nice Spanish fleet with plenty of named crew.
La Resolucion + Luis Zuan (RotF captain version), Master Gunner Rogelio Vazquez, Joaquin Vega (linked), helmsman
El Principe de Asturias + Master Bianco, captain, helmsman, explorer
The English sailed out, with fountains and lights blazing in the background:
The Empress of India was the first ship to reach an island. Making the situation even more unique, the sun was setting as we played!
I was going to send the Oxford to an island closer to my home island, but decided it would be better to try and take control of the middle area. She headed for the middle island, while the Dauntless abandoned the Empress of India (all my ships with captains however) and whirled to the “southwest”.
The weather in LV was PERFECT. The Empress of India just needed to avoid getting hit with a water spout! XD
The opportunity for some crazy pictures presented itself. Here’s the Empress of India with the huge Palazzo hotel and casino in the background:
The ship to our left seemed quite operational, with her lines and rigging lighting up the night:
The Principe and San Pedro gathered gold, while La Resolucion potentially looked to take on one of the larger English ships.
As the Empress of India docks home 2 coins, you can see part of the epic Venetian in the background. The glass partition almost looks like purple water on the horizon.
As darkness descended, the game started to get more interesting. The Dauntless did not whirl back to the north, as Thomas Gunn the Younger feared a quick strike by La Resolucion. However, the Durham might not make it home in time….
With the Durham carrying home a full island’s worth of gold, the Spanish strike! The Resolucion didn’t do a lot of damage, but it opened the combat!
Now we had a real night game going on!
HMS Durham pulled off a nice maneuver to save herself and comrades, simultaneously docking home her 4 coins, shooting at the Resolucion (no hits due to Joaquin Vega), and blocking the Spaniard from attacking the other English ships on the next turn (unless she wanted to brave the reef).
A turn later, and the “moon” was lighting up our game table. 🙂
Masts both big and small!
Now it was the Durham’s turn to shine in front of the Palazzo:
Too loud for much video, but I wanted to try! 😀
We talked about commandeering their vessel, but thought better of it when we didn’t see any sails on her. XD
The Durham takes the fight to the Spanish! She only eliminates one mast from the Resolucion, who retaliates by shooting and ramming!
Down go all four of the Durham’s masts!(she also lost her oarsman in the boarding party)
HMS Dauntless docked home a few coins, with Thomas Gunn eyeing the Resolucion with revenge….
But maybe a fountain would take them out first?
The Empress docked home another load of gold, while the Dauntless maneuvered to tow the Durham…
… and dismast the Resolucion!
Thomas Gunn completed the battle by capturing the Resolucion:
With the lighted ship conveniently lighting up our game table, the Dauntless went back to towing the Durham.
Had to get a shot of the biggest ship in play with her masts lined up with the masts of the ship in the background:
The English had won the battle, but will they win the gold race?
Soon afterwards, we had emptied all the islands!
My English totaled 36 gold:
Captain Randy’s Spanish finished with 30 gold:
My English had won a 36-30 victory! It was a solid game, and a more fun time than it may look like here.
Thanks again to Randy for the game, the podcast we did after, driving me around, and the pinball! 😀
We Pirates had a grand old time! 😀
Here are some more pics from the travels.
HMS Dauntless against the Palazzo:
Here is the ship we played closest to, with the Wynn in the background:
The same shot at night:
Señor Frog’s at Treasure Island!
A shop in the Treasure Island hotel had some goodies that would be perfect for games. Treasure chests for coins… or a big skull with a coin slot in the top that could be put on pillars/stilts so the gold would come out the bottom and land on an island below.
Here it is! After planning the details of this game since perhaps April or May of 2019, it is finally complete.
Comment below if you liked it! I would love to hear what you thought of the fleet setups, the gameplay, the crazy moments, the strategic decisions, the house rules, who you were rooting for (if any fleet in particular) and the results!
Points in play + gold for the win! The winner of the game will be the fleet with the most total points in play AND gold combined into one grand score. (game ends when all gold is unloaded to HI’s or only one fleet remains)
Round Earth. Wind rules. Gold multiplier: coins are worth 5x their printed value, shiny gold backed coins are worth 50 gold each. 900 total gold in play excluding UT’s that can have a gold value. Should be a balance between gold and points in play (900 for each at the start of play).
I’m using my Basic Rules; no ram damage is the main thing to keep in mind. Waterfall: Uneven tables at different heights. Waterfall into bay. Can only go down onto lower ocean, not back up unless Turbine/Submarine/sea creature. Ships on edge of waterfall have Extended Range for shots crossing over waterfall with their normal range. Ships can brave the waterfall going down into the bay, but must roll a d6. On a 1-3, they lose one cargo. On a 4-6, they get +L to their base move after their other move segments are resolved. Giant Turtle Rules: Functions like a great turtle from SS. Ships can dock at grassy areas on turtle and build forts on it. Giant Turtle’s movement can be controlled by building a fort on it. At that point, the turtle can be moved S in any direction the controlling fleet chooses once per turn (like a ship). Fort cannons can fire at any time during the turn.
The linked fleets (Golden Cranes and Crew Recyclers) are two I’ve been waiting and wanting to use for a long time. Of course, anticipation and excitement was just as high for the (somewhat) newly created fleets as well. Game pieces can be found in the Master Spreadsheet and customs from Pirates of the Epic Seas (4th sheet).
In the order of play
(60) Guichaun + The Headhunter, Sammy the Skull (F&S version) Grim the Savage (Viking version), Cavendish, helmsman, stinkpot specialist, Bianco’s Haulers, oarsman
(77) Delusion + Davy Jones (OE), El Fantasma (OE), Captain Nemo, Christian Fiore, Ibrahan Ozat, Sir Edmund, helmsman, oarsman
(13) Sea Rat + helmsman, explorer
Here we see my original monster setup on the Delusion, which totals a massive 77 points, nearly the maximum you can ever spend on a single ship and crew. With a canceller and potentially multiple sources of guaranteed extra actions, the Delusion could be dangerous even if inaccurate. The Guichuan setup is just wild and similar to one I used to sheer perfection in this game. The Sea Rat filled out the points while giving them some gold running insurance and a second HI raider.
This is a fleet I have been very excited to use, as evidenced by the massive description I wrote for it. However, the lack of defenses and firepower could give them problems in such a chaotic environment full of huge threats.
3. English Mercenaries
(60) Eighth Wonder (30) + Frederick Xernias (11), Apprentice of Xernias (4), Larkon Presyl (6; Parley,+1 cargo), Jozeran Danklidge (6; shipwright+HI Raider), Xavier Gedry (3; This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls when carrying gold.)
(28) HMS Gallows + Thomas Gunn, CRGO (0LR reroller) oarsman, exploding shot, fire shot, stinkpot shot, double shot
(31) Elthelfleda + chieftain, helmsman, oarsman
-English native canoes from RtSS
(14) King’s Ghost (10) + captain, oarsman
(13) -towing Gibraltar flotilla + First Mate Ismail, Exploding Shot
(4) HMS Ramsgate
This fleet is unique in that it contains game pieces from a custom set, Return to Savage Shores, and an Unreleased ship from Spanish Main! 😀 I wanted to use some customs in a game, and went a little crazy with non-standard stuff! This makes another fleet with an HI-raiding 10 master, and another fleet that had a flotilla assigned crew.
Here are the non-standard game pieces for reference: (points-masts-cargo-base move-cannons-ability) Eighth Wonder (proxied by the Shui Xian) 30 10 7 L 4L-4L-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-4L-4L Link: Frederick Xernias A: Mercenary. Junk. Dories. If this ship eliminates 5 or more masts this turn, you may give her an extra action. Frederick Xernias (Link: Eighth Wonder) 11 points A: Ex-Patriot. Captain. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts. One of this ship’s treasures is worth +1 gold when unloaded at your home island. Apprentice of Xernias (Link: Frederick Xernias) 4 points A: Helmsman. Once per turn, if this ship is touching another ship, reveal all treasure aboard the other ship. This ship can take as much unique treasure from the other ship as she can carry, even those that otherwise can’t be removed. Larkon Presyl 6 points A: Ex-Patriot. Parley. This ship gets +1 cargo spaces. This crew takes up no cargo space. Jozeran Danklidge 6 points A: Ex-Patriot. Shipwright. HI Raider. Xavier Gedry 3 points A: Ex-Patriot. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls when carrying gold.
Elthelfleda (proxied with the Alexandria) 16 4 4 S+L 3S-4L-3S-4L Galley. This ship can move and shoot using the same move action. This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls. She gets +2 instead if her opponent is a sea monster. Native Canoes (proxied with the Spanish canoes) 12 1 1 L+S 3S Native Canoe. Give this ship a move action but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, you may repair one mast on ships within S of any native canoes. King’s Ghost (proxied by the Newport) 10 1 2 L+L 1L Eternal. This ship may use the effects of any equipment with “shot” in the name. HMS Ramsgate (proxied by HMS Meresman) 4 2 2 S+S 1S-1S This ship cannot carry crew.
(41) Celtic Fury + Eileen Brigid O’Brien (SS), Duncan Rousseau, captain, helmsman, oarsman
(46) Ultimate Saber Attack Combo + oarsman (Bonny Peel, Commander Steven Decatur, Jordan Dumas (OE), helmsman)
(26) Pluton + Leander Arnaud, Godiva (0LR reroller), captain, helmsman, oarsman
(22) Le Descharges + Guy LaPlante (F&S), helmsman
(15) Renard à Ailes + captain, oarsman
Renard à Ailes (proxied with the Sea Serpent) 11 2 3 S+S+S 2S-2S A: Junk. Once per turn as part of a move action, this ship can randomly take one treasure from any ship up to S away from her.
I love this basic and “cheap” 10 master combo (SAT w/Reroll + Parley) to go along with a mostly French fleet. The Saber is beyond fun and probably my favorite switchblade due to the sheer number of combos you can create with her. Overall this fleet is based on boarding. Mostly to steal gold, but also crew with Bonny Peel. The Renard is definitely one of the coolest ships from RtSS, and fit perfectly with the theme.
This fleet is the definition of concentrated firepower. 28 captained shots across 4 ships, 29 counting the Marine. A pair of AA crew (both with reroll!) could help them a lot with some luck. The main concern was the dependency on the Baochuan for gold collection – if the giant gets taken down early, the Vikings would probably struggle to stay relevant. However, in a game where points in play matter as much as gold, this fleet looked extremely intimidating.
This fleet has roots from way back in my gimmick games of 2012. It would probably be better in deathmatches, and really is a strange kind of gimmick fleet, but wanting to use this fleet was one of the reasons I decided on the 150 point build total in the first place. I picked the fleets before deciding to use the points in play house rule, so unfortunately this fleet’s strategy of killing as many enemy crew as possible could be a detriment. However, they had some serious firepower available along with the only game piece (A Fearsome Creature) that could climb the waterfall.
Here is the map and setup! The west half of the ocean is called “Great Turtle Bay”, while the east is the upper part and slightly smaller. (due to the size of the silky blue sheet and wanting to have 3 fleets of deckplates on one of the tables)
The amount of gold varied by location. The Giant Turtle had the most coins with 10. 11 locations held 5 coins each – the 3 remaining wild islands in the west, the 2 shipwrecks (Duke and Sultan), the gold island in the east, and each of the 5 beaches on the big island in the east. 3 shipwrecks at Shipwreck Cove held 2 coins apiece. This totalled 71 coins worth 900 total gold – with the multiplier and special coins of course, but not including any UT’s that could produce a gold value.
The shiny gold backed coins are worth 50 apiece. I tweaked the distribution to my liking to have the points in play equal to the gold points in play.
Choosing HI (home island) locations was an interesting process. Although the Crew Recyclers picked their home island first, they didn’t end up with an advantageous position, because everyone wanted to stay away from them! They need to capture enemy ships for points to win, since they have nearly no cargo available with all their (literally) killer combos. They chose a great turtle in the southwest, thinking other fleets would want to prioritize the Giant Turtle.
Overall it was interesting to see the locations picked because 41 of the 71 coins were located in the west, yet 4/6 fleets picked home islands in the east. This was due to a variety of reasons – the Crew Recyclers immediately showed up in the southwest, and everyone wanted to avoid getting attacked by such a dangerous foe. Even with round earth and whirlpools, the waterfall presented an intimidating challenge. Starting on the upper level meant you could go down easily without having to worry about having to go UP. Finally, the volume of reefs in the west made the fleets with 10 masters understandably nervous, since reefs and 10 masters don’t mix!
Will these two fleets have an easier time in great turtle bay due to less competition?
Going last, the Crew Recyclers also got to choose the initial wind direction. They picked north, as it would benefit at least their first turn or two.
Tall ships loom in the background above the bay:
The semi-“expanded” Shipwreck Cove, with plenty of loot to be found for those who dare:
Between the silky material of the blue fabric and the logistics of having two tables side by side at different heights, some slight movement of the waters would be inevitable. However, this seemed to only enhance the realism of the game, as waves and water movements could be seen instead of a permanently flat surface (also fitting given I actually had wind in the game).
The Cursed got things started with a BANG! 😀
After that walloping, the Golden Cranes fleet got a tiny measure of revenge by knocking a mast off the Delusion with the remaining canoe. The Frontier took off to the north via round earth, while part of the fleet hid in the fog to avoid the dual 10 master threat.
The Monarca had a great turn, using the wind, Mycron, and her ability to grab a bunch of coins and start heading back home all in one turn! The Peacock sailed out to escort her.
However, the Rum would slow her down next turn….
The English Mercenaries immediately split their fleet into 3. The Eighth Wonder would accompany the canoes and try to drain the Giant Turtle. The small ships headed to the reefs, as they would be immune or nearly immune to damage from Shipwreck Cove. The 4 masters headed north, eyeing the great turtle in the southwest corner via round earth.
The French liked their chances – the Cursed looked to be completely vacating the northeast, and the French could potentially have a lot of gold from 3 different beaches on the 5 beach island. The wind slowed them down a bit, but they had gold runners heading to the right places….
OR SO THEY THOUGHT. O_O
With a favorable wind blowing north, the Jade Vikings pounce and CRUSH the Celtic Fury!!
The Asgard prepares to explore a beach next turn as tons of carnage quickly piles up in the far east. One dismasting of a 10 master can create a huge debris field and maneuvering difficulties.
The Crew Recyclers end the round. Most of their ships sail northwest; the Royal James heads north. She has one of the only open cargo spaces in the fleet and intends to explore the Duke shipwreck.
Here is the second turn by The Cursed!
The Sea Rat explores new waters:
The Maui’s Fishhook is the next to brave the waterfall!
The immense Guichuan looms above:
What a wild sight! The Frontier balances on Ocean’s Edge, with not quite enough movement left to take the plunge!
The hoist fleet is totally scattered by the invasion of the Cursed 10 masters. The Buscador hides in the fog, with Mycron assisting the Sea Serpent to tow the Monarca into a smokepot specialist-created fog bank. They roll to successfully scuttle the Peacock.
The Cursed want both ships, so the wrath of Davy Jones’ Delusion is not likely to be over soon.
The English native canoes explore the Giant Turtle! Marines had no effect, and the canoes didn’t have enough individual cargo to load the Sunken Treasure. However, it looked like a huge haul for the English Mercenaries if they could get it home.
The Elthelfleda and Gallows round earth to the southwest, where they see the Crew Recyclers trying to sail around the Giant Turtle….
The Eighth Wonder has docked at the Giant Turtle to load up the Sunken Treasure and some coins the canoes didn’t have room for! Frederick Xernias will ensure the canoes get their gold home safely.
How confident should Xernias be? Lots of firepower potentially headed his way….
To the east!
The Pluton and Renard team up to dismast the Muninn! The Saber cannot quite into the action, but docks nearby at the French HI to be ready for combat next turn.
The Celtic Fury explores, giving her Power Cannons and Ammunition for exploding shot! Of course, with no cannons she won’t be able to use the UT’s anytime soon.
Here I explain the situation and play part of the Jade Viking turn!
The loaded Baochuan becomes even more crowded, with multiple named crew captures and a coin joining the full crew complement.
The Muninn escapes sinking by rowing through the whirlpool, and the Asgard drains the Celtic Fury of coins!
As expected the Crew Recyclers clash with the English!
The Armada couldn’t quite get the SAT from Castro and Vaccaro (the 4 result), which likely spared the Gallows. However, the two shots that connected knocked out half of the Gallows’ equipment arsenal along with two masts of course.
The Cristal attacks the Eighth Wonder by herself! But Larkon Presyl is flipped to Parley away one of the EW’s new coins! Between Parley, ignoring the first hit, and sheer durability, the EW is likely to be a very tough customer in this game.
The Crew Recycling fleet has completely split up, with the Flying Dutchman heading north to try and attack the English canoes. A Fearsome Creature eyes some vulnerable prey to the east, while the Royal James reaches the Duke shipwreck.
The end of the round sees considerable carnage piling up. Three 10 masters are absolutely wreaking havoc in the east.
The west is more calm, but fights have begun to break out.
With the first shift, the wind started blowing to the east!
As usual, the Cursed got the round started with some action!
Davy Jones rolls a 6 to force the Sea Serpent and Monarca out of the fog bank! This meant they couldn’t hide in the fog indefinitely with the smokepot-reverse captain strategy. Davy Jones was ready to hunt….
The Cursed take advantage! The Delusion captures the Peacock, while the Guichuan sails over (with some help from the wind) to dismast the Sea Serpent and steal all the gold from the Monarca with The Headhunter’s ability! O_O
The Rum would slow down the Guichuan for a turn, but the Cursed had no immediate threats to worry about.
The Maui’s Fishhook finds an interesting mix of coins after braving the waterfall:
Such a uniquely pretty ship with her silver crane reflecting off the water:
The MF went into a whirlpool and popped out of a nearby one.
The Sea Rat’s explorer fell overboard and drowned in the waterfall descent. This allowed the Frontier to reach over and grab coins from the Sultan shipwreck right in front of the Cursed! Jail would slow her down (helmsman and other crew back to HI), while the Curse of Davy Jones was tossed since it didn’t apply to any game pieces in play. Keep in mind that the two coins are worth 75 total gold!
It’s a bit of a comeback turn for Golden Cranes, as all three hoists explore on the same turn! The Buscador finds Necklace of the Sky along with some decent loot.
An extra action from Lord Mycron’s Patagonia allows the Frontier to explore a Flying Dutchman shipwreck with two more coins!
I love the aesthetic of Shipwreck Cove. In the background you can see the English reaching the far side of the area.
Even with Xavier Gedry giving +1 to cannon rolls with gold aboard, the Eighth Wonder only goes 3 for 8 against the Cristal del Obispo! The Spaniard’s ability allowed her to only lose 2 masts, meaning the Crew Recyclers were still in the fight against the junk. Of course, Parley meant the Mercenaries could do pretty much whatever they wanted for the time being.
Here comes HMS Gallows! In a highly anticipated attack, she did her job well. Exploding shot set the Rosal aflame, while the second shot was VERY unique: stinkpot shot used against a flotilla. O_O Sounds like a once in a Pirates CSG career moment! The Armada carried SAT with reroll, and the English wanted to ensure they wouldn’t be receiving 8 cargo-wrecking shots from the flotilla on the Crew Recyclers’ turn. The stinkpot shut down the crew, limiting the flotilla’s effectiveness. (orange 5 represents the stinkpot hit so I remember not to use the crew on their turn)
One of my favorite pictures from the game – lots of red, orange, and yellow:
The Elthelfleda attacked next, going 2 for 4 to cripple El Rosal:
TIME FOR CHAOS!
The Saber goes ballistic with a suicidal double switchblade assault!!
The Renard and Pluton tried to soften the Baochuan up a bit before the Saber’s crazy boarding attempt. They took off a few masts.
The Saber shoots 3 for 3 against the Baochuan!! However, both the Baochuan AND Asgard roll 6’s to defeat both of the Saber’s boarding parties!! O_O Commander Steven Decatur’s Crew Protect means the Saber doesn’t lose any crew, saving Jordan Dumas and company for the time being. The boarding party against the Baochuan was especially dramatic and a battle of the Gold Capturers: the Baochuan narrowly prevailed 11-10 to deny Bonny Peel from capturing Dragon Eyes!! (worth 10 gold!)
This is why you play!! One 10 master dismasted, carnage everywhere, and a blaze of glory switchblade suicide against two powerful opponents, all in a cramped area at Ocean’s Edge!!! 😀 O_O
This is a big reason why switchblades are one of my favorite ship types despite their lack of historicity – super fun and always creating incredible gameplay moments!
Seen from another angle, the Baochuan’s huge bulk almost completely obscures the attack. Can anyone compete with the Baochuan’s power in this game?
The French knew they were up against a superior foe once the Celtic Fury got beat up. Jordan Dumas is known for being a bit crazy, and his wild side showed through in a desperate moment to try and stave off the Jade Viking invasion.
An incredible sight:
A loaded up switchblade is one of the most fun ships to do a “blaze of glory” attack with. Cannons, blades, extra actions, captures, and chaos!!
In a savage counterattack, the Jade Vikings SINK the Celtic Fury AND the Saber!!! 3 masts combined are also knocked down on the Renard and Pluton. The Naegling dealt huge damage, ensuring the incredible Saber combo would not hurt anyone else in this game. It was a bit sad to see the switchblade and a 10 master go so early in the game, but it really proved the might of the Jade Vikings.
The Baochuan got an AA to move and shoot, but could barely hit the Pluton, keeping her alive! Some of the debris has floated over into the deckplate area, showing just how much devastation is quickly accumulating.
An amazing shot: the Celtic Fury’s green stern upside down as she sinks below the waves, with the Jade Vikings triumphant right near the French home island.
Wow. Time for another fleet!
The Royal James explores the Duke shipwreck! Turtles and Relics are two of the best UT’s, but the schooner may find a hard time giving Enemy of the State to an ally to unload one of the 2’s. There are almost no open cargo spaces in the Crew Recycling fleet, and the Flying Dutchman needs to keep her Eternal active.
The flames aboard El Rosal spread towards the bow, dooming the vessel. Alfonzo de Castilla takes the ship into the Gallows, but to no avail. (notice the unrealistic reflective “canvas” sail XD)
The Armada flotilla takes two masts and two crew off the Elthelfleda. At least one was snagged by the Crew Recyclers (Captain Davy Jones and Wraith).
The Cristal del Obispo tries to fire at the Eighth Wonder, netting her fleet another coin via Parley. The Flying Dutchman cannot catch the English native canoes and turns east with the wind.
After another round, here is the map:
The Delusion captures the Sea Serpent and begins towing her away. Davy Jones thought about turning the ship ghostly to assault the Descharges (top of picture), but it would be risky and unnecessary.
The Rattlesnake of the Golden Cranes fleet finds some nice coins by the waterfall. Trees repairs her missing mast, but she looks to be in trouble… the Crew Recyclers are approaching.
The Maui’s Fishhook raids the home island of the Crew Recyclers! Grim the Savage only has room for one coin, but the Golden Cranes fleet is desperate for anything with their fleet trashed and scattered.
The Buscador uses Necklace of the Sky to dock at the southwestern island! She used the second part of the Hoist ability to explore the island, finding good coins. Lost was ineffective even with a 5 roll, because almost all parts of the map were within S of other islands and terrain, including all of the 10 master locations at the time of the UT discovery. Golden Cranes placed a fog bank near their HI and some reefs in the east, trying to make the waterfall and Cursed HI waters more treacherous.
The King’s Ghost finds some UT’s at Shipwreck Cove, while HMS Ramsgate looks to explore it next turn. The abandoned shipwright might be a target of The Cursed if the Delusion ever needs it….
Now able to ignore the burning Rosal, the English 4 masters team up to sink the dangerous Armada. The English are mildly annoyed that the Buscador took gold from the great turtle that they had planned to explore before the Crew Recyclers forced their hand.
After some weird back and forth (Parley and bad shooting), the Eighth Wonder finally gets the better of the Cristal del Obispo.
The Pluton and Renard were able to row into the eastern whirlpool to escape the Jade Vikings’ wrath. However, the Descharges was captured in a nice move by the Asgard! This brings Neptune’s Trident into the Jade Viking fleet, making them even more dangerous.
The Crew Recyclers have a plan to get some gold – the Flying Dutchman will cut off the Frontier before she can enter the whirlpool. The Frontier is slowed and loaded – she lost her helmsman to the Jail UT but now has plenty of gold aboard.
Really love everything about this picture.
As usual, Golden Cranes faces yet more trouble, this time from the Crew Recyclers:
A dramatic shift in the wind!! A 6 was rolled and now the wind blew west!
The wind shift changes the plans of the Cursed!! The Crew Recyclers aren’t the only fleet with designs on the Frontier! She is a golden egg just waiting to be snatched! XD
Here comes the Delusion!
The captured crew of the Sea Serpent (including Wayne Nolan) get a wild view as the Delusion ghosts through a reef and down the waterfall! O_O
How fitting – Davy Jones goes over the Ocean’s Edge! 😀
Sir Edmund’s view from the main topmast of the Guichuan:
And here she is! In an epic display of power, the Delusion dismasts the Frontier, with Christian Fiore cancelling the ship’s Secret Hold ability to steal Poseidon’s Breath!!
The truly All-Powerful Davy Jones and his ship will likely throw a wrench into the Crew Recyclers’ plans.
The shift in the wind also benefits the Golden Cranes fleet – the MF gets home via a whirlpool and Mycron.
Another vulnerable hoist! The Buscador is dismasted by the English!
HMS Ramsgate finds two UT’s at the northern end of Shipwreck Cove. I decided to toss Bad Maps because moving Shipwreck Cove didn’t make much sense thematically (not an island) or logistically (moving it 2L would cause bizarre over and underlaps and more issues than I had time for).
The Eighth Wonder captures the Cristal del Obispo! The native canoes have deposited their 5 coins and head north.
Tension rises in the center! The Frontier gets a successful scuttle roll from the Golden Cranes fleet. Even though she’ll almost definitely be captured before it happens next turn, it still creates some urgency for the fleets vying for her riches. The Royal James captures the Sea Rat from the Cursed and the Flying Dutchman turns towards the Delusion.
Potions and Brews couldn’t save the Rattlesnake from A Fearsome Creature’s wrath!
Another shift in the wind, as a 4 brought it back to its original heading!
The Delusion struts her stuff again. Here she snags the Frontier and dismasts the Flying Dutchman, as OE Davy Jones takes out his movie doppelganger.
Finally a game where the Delusion can really shine! She seems unstoppable!
And the other Cursed 10 master is still healthy! Finally fully recovered from the Rum, the Guichuan’s large crew complement is doing a good job towing the potentially valuable Monarca back home.
The Maui’s Fishhook recaptures the Peacock for Golden Cranes, while the French and Jade Vikings regroup and repair.
Christian Fiore is the only canceller in play, and unsurprisingly got to make some tough decisions in this game. Here he deferred cancelling the FD’s oarsman, allowing her to move away so he could cancel the Royal James’ captain to prevent any damage to the Delusion and her crew. (RJ has cargo wrecking via Chevalle AND crew killing, so 2 hits could eliminate 2 masts and 3 crew) Especially with the kraken lurking, it was still an intriguing situation. It would be interesting to see if the Delusion could recapture the Sea Rat and capture the FD while simultaneously denying the RJ and kraken.
The action after a day of play. The Buscador has been captured, furthering the expansion of the English Mercenary fleet. The English native canoes have round earthed to the south, looking to cut off the Turtles swimming home for the Crew Recyclers.
The east is quiet now, but the sheer volume of HI raiders and gold still in play will likely end that soon.
The MF grabbed the last coin from the tiny beach of the 5 beach island, heading home with the Peacock in tow.
The Eighth Wonder unloaded a coin with Dories, passing the captured Cristal to the King’s Ghost so she could be towed home and repaired. The Gallows is towing the Buscador home. (didn’t want to leave her in the south and forget)
The Baochuan unloads her gold captures and a coin, with the Asgard close behind. The Naegling is towing the Descharges home, while the Muninn goes out to grab a derelict or two from the Golden Cranes fleet.
A big party for the English Mercenaries! Nearly their entire fleet converges at home in a coincidence I see as fairly common in games. The Elthelfleda and Ramsgate will transfer Necklace of the Sky and Protection from Davy Jones to the Eighth Wonder, making her a huge teleportation threat. The Spanish captures start repairing and this fleet is definitely one of the favorites to win right now!
The native canoes get busy, killing three turtles and trapping them before they can reach their new home island!
Save the wee turtles? The Crew Recyclers will not be able to….
However, they are able to frustrate The Cursed a bit. The Sea Rat is sunk by A Fearsome Creature. The Royal James goes over a reef, trying to wreck the Frontier to force the Delusion to brave a reef to get her gold! However, the attempt barely fails with a 3 roll.
Yet another wind shift and it’s back to blowing northwards!
The Cursed were not able to have their ideal solution to the Crew Recycler problem, but the Delusion blasted A Fearsome Creature out of the game on 7 for 8 shooting (!) and successfully rolled to scuttle the Flying Dutchman.
Although her first shoot action was one of my best ever while using a 10 master (and the POLAR opposite of my Delusion’s early failures back in 2012), the Delusion couldn’t keep the luck going. She went 1/6 against the Royal James to not even dismast the ship. Still 8/14 overall on the turn was still more accurate than her cannon ranks (3’s and 4’s). Ibrahan Ozat S-boarded the RJ so Captain Nemo could capture Capitaine Chevalle.
The Guichuan strikes! She round earths to dock at the Golden Cranes HI, stealing all of their coins!
The MF would like to dock home her coins, but she knows that Grim the Savage will just steal them next turn! And Bianco’s Haulers allow the Guichuan to not be shot at while docked, so the Guichuan can just sit there as long as The Headhunter wants! Truly a nightmarish combo to face!
English Mercenaries in a big gearing up phase:
The poor turtles have no hope against 5 fast canoes….
In the east, plenty of movement and repairing. The Muninn captures the Sea Serpent, who had been previously captured by The Cursed.
The wind continues to shift just about every turn, going back to the west now!
The Delusion finally puts an end to the shenanigans in the center, ghosting over Shipwreck Cove and cancelling the RJ’s oarsman to capture the vessel. Crew Recycling 2.0 is the first fleet eliminated!!
The Monarca is taking advantage of the wind and goes over the falls. The Cursed want her to tow the Frontier home on the last leg of the trip, since the Delusion can’t dock with her Ex-Patriot crew aboard.
With the Maui’s Fishhook simply hiding out in the fog, the Guichuan finally turns for home. The Headhunter plans to return soon if the MF dumps her haul. In the background, you can see the Flying Dutchman start repairing.
All the turtles are gone, and it’s possible that the Crew Recyclers will finish with a total grand score of 0. The clustered English Mercenaries may be able to create some serious late game chaos, but they’re worried they might lose a potential lead in the points+gold race if any of their large ships get captured.
The French have mounted an admirable comeback. The Renard finds high value coins at the 5 beach island that the Pluton intended to explore early in the game.
The Asgard explores another beach on the island, finding a lot of gold as well:
Here we go again! The Vikings just won’t take it easy on the French, with the Naegling dismasting the Pluton right after she finished repairing!
The 6 signals a dramatic shift in the wind!
With an AA and wind help, the Asgard and Baochuan were able to get all 5 coins from the southeastern beach, potentially catapulting them into the lead. In the northwest, the English Mercenaries look to be assembling a large squadron for a potentially wild whirlpool raid. The Cursed are still trying to get the Frontier home, and should soon have a healthy Flying Dutchman to join the Guichuan and Delusion. Right now it looks like a tossup between The Cursed, English Mercenaries, and Jade Vikings. Neither of the other two remaining fleets have much of a chance, though their gold may play a big role in the final standings, especially if it gets stolen. The amount of HI raiders in play (Grim the Savage x2, Jozeran Danklidge, Wine) could extend the endgame period considerably, or the game could end suddenly if all gold is on HI’s at any point.
The wind continues to shift, now blowing to the south!
Seeing that the King’s Ghost (with Gibraltar flotilla) will catch the Monarca if the latter takes over towing duties of the Frontier, Davy Jones simply uses an extra action to take the Frontier home himself. The Delusion’s second action of the turn was used to S-board the Renard, with Captain Nemo stealing her captain. The 1 result represents French futility on their own turn later in the round – the Renard missed on both 2S shots. The Guichuan has unloaded stolen loot from the Golden Cranes HI.
The English Mercenaries get a bit more aggressive, sinking the captured Royal James to deny her points and gold from The Cursed. At this point in the game, sinking hard-to-capture ships or logistical nightmares (RJ had oarsman and Enemy of the State aboard) became a reasonable option to pursue. The Monarca and Ramsgate both want the final coin from the Duke shipwreck.
The Eighth Wonder uses Danklidge to steal the lone coin on the Crew Recyclers’ HI! This means that fleet will indeed finish the game with a score of 0.
The ever-growing Jade Viking fleet is the complete opposite – lots of points and lots of gold. The Sea Serpent begins repairing as the Peacock is towed home and the Descharges sails out – all captured ships. Grabbing the Sea Serpent netted them 5 gold – the JV’s are happy to have Wayne Nolan’s Ransom payout of 5 rather than a reroller worth 0 in the final scores count.
Lady Kamaile (aboard the MF) of Golden Cranes hardly knows what to do – if Grim the Savage steals Cursed gold, the Guichuan can just steal it back. If they go after the Jade Vikings’ gold, the MF will probably be captured or sunk before she can get back home.
Another round begins, and the wind is back to blowing east!
The Cursed are doing some serious transfers of valuables. Knowing the King’s Ghost and Gibraltar would make short work of her, the Monarca returns home to tow the Frontier to safety.
Everything is being moved to the Guichuan due to her important status as the home island hoarder and the ship that could net the Cursed a bunch more gold in a short period of time. Besides, it seemed as if some of them were overkill on the other ships – Neptune’s Figurehead isn’t needed on the Frontier and won’t work on the Delusion due to Ex-Patriot, while the Delusion also gave away Relics because she has canceller Christian Fiore. Between all the stuff she’s carrying the Guichuan is nearly unshootable (Relics and Bianco’s Haulers), unsinkable (Neptune’s Figurehead), and unboardable (Ghost Ship). With a favorable wind, AA’s and Poseidon’s Breath, she might even be uncatchable too! O_O
Here’s something I forgot about since the setup phase! The Maui’s Fishhook rolled a 1 coming out of the fog, smashing into a rock to lose and mast and stay lose in the fog! XD
Unbelievable!! Lord Mycron gives the MF another action, but she rolls a 1 again to smash into the same rock and lose another mast! O_O After all the misfortune that befell the Golden Cranes fleet in this game, this seems like icing on the cake for their opponents. They are literally just beating themselves up at this point!
(Also reminds me of the Black Mamba’s horrid performance in my 2015 Economy Edition game where she rolled 1’s to dismast herself with her ability – here the MF cannot even roll a 2-6 to escape a simple fog bank, nearly getting dismasted in the process.)
The King’s Ghost with Gibraltar has been a loyal sidekick for the Ramsgate in this game. Having chased off La Monarca, they can now explore the Duke shipwreck in peace.
All four of these ships (not the 10) have gone from damaged to healthy! The English Mercenaries are ready to rock, but they are understandably hesitant due to the factors at play. Since points in play matter so much to the final score, they don’t want to lose anything in a daring whirlpool raid. In addition, the other fleets with the most gold (Cursed and Jade Vikings) have plenty of firepower of their own, with plenty of it right around their HI’s.
The Jade Vikings are approaching one of the ultimate luxuries in any Pirates CSG game – having more ships than they know what to do with. The Descharges and Baochuan are headed north, looking to take the final 2 coins from the 5 beach island. The only question is whether they’ll take them from the beach, the Renard, or another ship….
Taking advantage of the shifting wind, the Muninn round earths to the west and eliminates 4 of the 5 English native canoes! In a weird way this wasn’t a big deal. The canoes’ point cost of 12 is represented by the tribal chieftain, who is alive and well on the Elthelfleda. There is almost no gold left in play for the canoes to get, and their ability is unlikely to have much effect with a (currently) completely healthy fleet. However, the Jade Vikings wanted to eliminate as many threats and contingencies as possible, and the canoes were ripe for destruction.
A 6 reverses the wind direction! This would be an ominous sign, and one of extreme luck for one of the favorites….
A nice turn for The Cursed! The Delusion S boards the Renard to steal her oarsman with Captain Nemo, then sinks her! The Monarca docks home the Frontier with an AA, netting the Cursed a lot of gold! The Flying Dutchman finishes repairing, and the Guichuan heads north to raid the Golden Cranes HI and take back the gold that the MF stole.
I will admit my Delusion setup has some funny flaws – with Davy Jones rolling 1-4 so often for an extra action, Fantasma doesn’t even need to sacrifice Nemo’s captures that often.
The Ramsgate braves the reef that claimed the Duke, while the Eighth Wonder turns around and uses Dories to deposit the 2 from the Crew Recyclers’ HI. The final canoe flees into the fog, but where have some of those large ships in the northwest gone?
Through a whirlpool to emerge in a northeast! The captured Spanish ships are sent to steal gold from the vulnerable French home island, as the English Mercenaries suddenly remembered that HI raider Fernando Sanchez was still aboard the Buscador!
The English Mercenaries were trying to hedge their bets, sending a few ships to a relatively peaceful area to grab some lightly defended gold without risking their entire squadron. If things went wrong, the Gallows, Elthelfleda, AND Eighth Wonder were ready to arrive in the same area next turn. This part of the game is where the EM’s lack of extra actions and/or AA’s started to look like a weakness compared to the Cursed and Jade Vikings.
Now it was the Jade Viking turn. That 6 represents that they got BOTH AA’s, from Sigurd and Zheng He. O_O I also see a little something in the bottom right hand corner…. and the wind was blowing west. O_O
I must have been thinking about their options and possibilities for a good 15 minutes before deciding what their optimal choice was!
Here are the notes I took to figure things out, although I considered even more stuff than this:
Epic JV turn w/ both AA’s: Baochuan and others have TONS of options. Baochuan can attack Delusion and then try to Sac OR use an AA – either way, Delusion in big trouble. Fiore has no idea who/what to cancel – Captain (won’t get shot up as much on the first action), Gold Capture (save Davy Jones from being captured by Dragon Eyes), Sac (JV’s would need to use an AA on Baochuan). Should probably cancel captain because Delusion will sink since Eternal doesn’t work with the Ex-Patriots aboard.
Baochuan can also whirl to smash EM’s in the northwest, but not enough firepower in one action to cripple the Eighth Wonder enough to make it worthwhile. Can also whirl to hit Cristal+Buscador, but that could let the Delusion off the hook (though Descharges can hit Delusion a little with an AA).
In the end, it seems optimal to focus all firepower on one area – Baochuan leads the attack on the Delusion and uses Neptune’s Trident with the inevitable second action, whether it comes from Sac or an AA. Muninn gets an AA to whirl to the northeast and blast Buscador. Descharges assists the Baochuan against the Delusion.
When it was all said and done, the Delusion and Cristal del Obispo each had one mast remaining. Davy Jones was captured by Dragon Eyes (talk about a showdown!), and the Buscador was sunk (28 points out of play!).
The second 10 master to be absolutely mauled by the Jade Vikings in this game!
Suddenly the game has changed. The Delusion has gone from being one of the biggest threats with All-Powerful and a canceller, to a wimpy opponent that must run to avoid being sunk. The English Mercenaries suffer a large blow, and their arguably half-hearted offensive has backfired. The Jade Vikings already looked like a favorite – now it will be embarrassing if they lose!
The JV’s are also doing a fine job with captures.
Counting the Buscador, the Jade Vikings knocked out 14 masts this turn, even with mediocre shooting. If the Delusion and Cristal had been sunk as well with 4 more total hits, the game would probably be out of reach for the other fleets.
Always an epic sight full of carnage as a 10 master meets her match.
Can the Cursed recover to have a chance at winning?
The Jade Vikings have really been incredible this game, and now the Cursed and English Mercenaries are even more intimidated by them.
Time to flee! Saccing the Renard’s oarsman, Fantasma turns the Delusion ghostly and takes advantage of the wind (still blowing west) to reach the fog bank near the Cursed home island.
The Guichuan still round earths to approach the Golden Cranes HI – the Cursed want to pull off at least one more heist before the game ends, especially since the gold they’re eyeing was theirs. The MF pulls in to dock and repair – Bianco’s Haulers prevents the Guichuan from being shot at while docked. This means the MF basically can’t defend her gold, which is a horrible feeling for Lady Kamaile as she is forced to watch the Cursed take everything and get away with it. Such a brutal combo.
The English Mercenaries are feeling more timid than ever, like a shamed dog with its tail between its legs. The Gallows and Elthelfleda get on either side of the damaged Cristal so she can make it home to repair. Frederick Xernias considers the locations and risks of one more HI raid….
And now the Jade Vikings officially have more ships than they feel they need. The Peacock finishes repairing as the Asgard stands guard (Asguardian? as guardian…) over their HI. The Naegling heads west, unsure if she will try to intervene near the Golden Cranes HI, take the whirlpool somewhere, or neither.
The Cursed hold steady at their HI, with the Monarca and Flying Dutchman not receiving actions. If they sail out, the Baochuan may be able to move L+S+S+L+S+S between the wind and a Sac action. They also want to be ready to assist the Guichuan in case she needs support getting home with stolen loot. The Frontier repairs, while the Delusion just hides in the fog. The Cursed may keep the Delusion in the fog indefinitely because they want all of her points to count towards victory. (if she had any gold aboard, she’d be forced out)
The Pluton is keeping the French fleet alive. Both Leander Arnaud and Godiva both simply feel lucky to have avoided the blast from Neptune’s Trident.
The Descharges looks to explore the final gold location for the JV’s. The Sea Serpent is coming out to escort her home, having nothing better to do. Dragon Eyes wants to drop the captured Davy Jones off at home before the Baochuan potentially gets involved in a major attack to seal their victory.
The Ramsgate has taken the final coin from the Duke, which draws the attention of the Muninn – she is back in the west.
As Day 3 came to a close, I wondered… Should Guichuan raid HI of Golden Cranes or try for the JV HI? (especially considering Relics and Poseidon’s Breath) The latter would be insanely risky, but the UT’s could help the Guichuan achieve glory….
With that, the Guichuan has all NINE of her cargo spaces filled with treasure! O_O
The captured Descharges loads the final coins from a beach! Now the Jade Vikings control both Rules of Thor AND Loki!
The Naegling catches the Flying Dutchman sailing off the Cursed home island and deals major damage!
The Sea Serpent and Baochuan head for home, while the Asgard and Peacock look to track and intercept the Guichuan on her potentially short journey home via round earth. The Asgard’s crew are beyond frustrated – imagine having a 10 master docked in your home port that is loaded with gold they stole from you, and you can’t shoot at it!!
But they should have stayed home!! The Guichuan gets going, turning ghostly and then blasting the Asgard and Peacock!! The loss of the Asgard is a big blow to the Jade Vikings, who lose an AA, 32 points, and a capable gunship.
The Flying Dutchman returns home to repair, shooting a mast off the Naegling, who is joined in the blockade by the Muninn. The Frontier and Monarca are standing pat, awaiting the arrival of the Guichuan and trying not to be captured or sunk.
Seeing an opportunity to cause a headache for the Cursed, the Muninn uses an AA to round earth, tow the Peacock (partially trying to block the Guichuan, although the latter has Ghost Ship), and shoot at the Guichuan to get her Relics! This leaves the Guichuan “wide open”….
Here they come again! The Baochuan surges through a whirlpool and round earths with Sac to come broadside to the Guichuan!!
The Baochuan connects 6 times, taking the Guichuan down to 3 masts!!
The red d6 is to mark that the Guichuan’s broken mast towards the stern is out as well.
The first two 10 masters released are duking it out on Ocean’s Edge:
Knowing that an AA and/or southerly wind could be combined with Ghost Ship to get the Guichuan nearly home, the Jade Vikings have taken the fight right to them. They intend to beat up and block the Guichuan as much as possible in an attempt to get their gold back. The problem is, The Headhunter is holding on to Neptune’s Figurehead – the UT makes him fearless. If the Jade Vikings sink the Guichuan, a ton of JV gold goes to the sea bottom while the Guichuan simply returns to her HI fully docked.
Le Pluton has sailed out to attack Le Descharges, as the French try to get a few more coins. However, a tied boarding party means Leander Arnaud can’t hoard any gold.
Complicating matters for The Cursed is the Maui’s Fishhook – with HI Hoarder Grim the Savage still alive and well, the MF poses a serious threat to the Cursed gold pile. It feels like there are a lot of different ways this endgame could go….
The Guichuan must escape! The Headhunter and Sammy the Skull turn her ghostly and hide in a fog bank, which is nearly due north of the Cursed HI. Fear will slightly slow the Baochuan on her turn.
The Cursed must stop the MF from raiding their HI again! The FD slams into her, but cannot massacre the crew. The Frontier redocks in an attempt to block the MF’s path to docking. The Delusion is nearly frozen – if she exits the fog even for one turn, multiple fleets are likely to do everything they can to sink her, which won’t be so difficult without Relics and the 7-9 extra masts she had earlier.
The English Mercenaries have been a bit of a “dark horse” winner candidate for a while now – here the Ramsgate unloads the coin from the Duke shipwreck (the last “wild” coin west of the waterfall) as the Cristal repairs.
Their other ships arrive in the northeast! The Eighth Wonder has Protection from Davy Jones to avoid whirlpool damage, while both English 4 masters roll high to avoid penalties. The English Mercenaries are hoping to seize this opportunity to raid at least one of the eastern HI’s (likely French, maybe Jade Viking) without getting into too much trouble as the Cursed and JV’s fight like mad just to the west.
The Pluton S-boards the Descharges before sinking her, netting Leander Arnaud and the French a 4 and Runes of Thor! This gives the French some revenge against the JV’s, denying them a capture and her 22 points of value.
Only one French ship still floating… she has done a fine job getting back into action after multiple maulings.
A bizarre change of heart! Showing the ever-changing nature of this game, the Jade Vikings send the captured Sea Serpent into a fog bank with her smokepot specialist-reverse captain combo, trying to block the English Mercenaries from messing with the Pluton! The JV’s are in fierce competition with both the Cursed AND the EM’s in this endgame. Giving the EM’s an easy capture and extra gold is not going to help the JV’s have the highest score in the end.
Dragon Eyes unloads a valuable capture – Davy Jones. An AA gets the Baochuan right back out towards teh action.
Much jockeying for position:
A dramatic turn of events as the wind shifts 180 degrees to the east!
The Guichuan also rolls a 6 to emerge from her fog bank! She turns ghostly…
… and joins the Delusion in the fog bank just off the Cursed home island!
Captain Davy Jones of the Flying Dutchman scares the crew aboard the Naegling, which will slow her this round. Then the FD again tries to kill the MF’s crew, but fails once more. The Frontier manages to knock a mast off the MF.
The situation has become an emergency for the Cursed. If the MF steals some coins from the Cursed HI, she has a combination of Secret Hold and nearby whirlpools and fog banks aiding her. In addition, the nearby JV’s could capture or sink her, making it difficult or impossible to get the gold back. El Fantasma decides he must act, taking the Delusion out of the fog at last and straight for the Maui’s Fishhook! The boarding party is an epic fail as one shot misses and Ibrahan Ozat and Sir Edmund are killed!! O_O (Eddie was sacced to no avail)
In an even more embarrassing display of utter futility, the MF rolls two 1’s in a row on 2L shots against the Delusion! (Mycron giving a second action) Christian Fiore cancelled Grim the Savage, or else the MF would have raided the HI.
I finally use the ability of the English native canoe! She gets a 6 to help the Cristal repair faster.
The Eighth Wonder steals a coin from the French home island right before the Pluton unloads some more gold!
The Jade Vikings are starting to encircle the Cursed home island… although they are slowed by the wind shift, they are determined to get revenge on the Guichuan and possibly even capture the MF after she loads Cursed gold.
The Guichuan gets a 5 out of her fog bank and wants to unload her HUGE haul ASAP! The FD simply rows out of the way, ducking into the fog bank to avoid being an obstacle.
She cannot make it through! With the fog bank on her port side and the starboard bow clipping the MF’s stern flag, the Guichuan is stuck! Activating Ghost Ship will prevent her from docking, along with the perfectly executed trick they need right now….
Things were getting desperate AND complicated!! The Guichuan had technically rammed the MF, as the Cursed wanted to kill the “other” Grim the Savage before the MF could dock at the Cursed HI. Or simply knock him out with some stink. However, the Jade Vikings saw the way the Cursed were thinking, and knew they HAD to act (if the Guichuan gets her gold home AND their other coins are safe from the MF, the game is quite likely out of reach). Zheng He flips Runes of Loki to force the Guichuan’s stinkpot specialist to miss, leaving Grim the Savage uncancelled!
However, the Guichuan easily wins the boarding party, and The Headhunter takes great delight in massacring and beheading the entire crew of the MF!!!
(only the American oarsman was “recycled”)
Now it was time for the key moment! The Frontier reached over and grabbed 8 of the Guichuan’s 9 coins with her hoist!!
Two of the coolest ships in the game working together!!
The Frontier redocks to simultaneously unload the HUGE haul of gold and block the Naegling from getting to the Guichuan!
Pretty great turn by the Cursed right? Most of the loot home safe with the MF neutralized! (and ripe for capture…)
La Monarca, the uncrewed gold runner with two 5S cannons, gets a pair of 6’s to dismast the mighty Naegling!!!!
WHAT A TURN!!
Things got serious real quick for the English Mercenaries. They were considering trying to end the game. At this point the only coins in play were the final coin on the Guichuan (about to be unloaded by her or the Frontier) and the stolen 7 on the Eighth Wonder. With the wind blowing east, the EW could potentially even round earth this turn and use Dories to possibly unload the final non-Cursed coin. However, the English Mercenaries realized that they probably didn’t have more combined gold+points than the Cursed.
This is another period of the game where I sat for a solid 10+ minutes trying to figure out what to do. The simple thing would be to end the game and have everyone count, but the EM’s would likely lose to the Cursed and maybe even the JV’s as well. Every other option carried a LOT of risk. If the EW stole another coin from the French HI, the Pluton and possibly Baochuan could attack her right afterwards. In the end, only one option seemed good enough to win the EM’s the game – steal at least one of the two 50 gold coins from the Cursed HI. If the EW could use her considerable supporting cast perfectly, she might be able to add 50 gold to the 35 (7×5 multiplier) she already carried, which might be enough to beat the Cursed. Of course, the journey there could eliminate a ton of the points in play, especially for the English Mercenaries.
Frederick Xernias decided the English Mercenaries had to go for it and not settle for what would likely be second place. The Eighth Wonder uses Necklace of the Sky to dock at a beach, putting her in position to raid the Cursed HI next turn!
Could this trigger a large war? The EM ships remaining in the west head to round earth their way to aid their fleetmates.
The French were pissed again. XD Leander Arnaud really hates the Jade Vikings and the English Mercenaries. He takes the Pluton into the Elthelfleda, blasting off two masts and killing the tribal chieftain in a boarding party! (so the EM’s were already down 12 points from deciding to stick it out – see how hard the decision making can be in the endgame? (especially when points in play count just as gold does))
Another turn for the Sea Serpent! The Jade Vikings had to switch sides again, this time away from the French. The EM’s now had the only non-Cursed HI raider in the game (Jozeran Danklidge on the EW), and the JV’s need more gold and points to win. If they could team with the EM’s just long enough for the EW to grab some Cursed gold, the Baochuan could try to steal it at the end. A devious plan by the JV’s, but one that was their only hope at this late stage of the game. The Guichuan’s double HI hoard completely smashed their chance of winning (which looked extremely high at the end of Day 3), so any plot against the Cursed seemed like a great idea. The Sea Serpent knocks a mast off the Pluton so the English can better assist the EW.
Their movements are hampered by the wind, but the Muninn and Baochuan move to assist the EW. The Muninn wants to block the Guichuan from blasting the EW, and maybe snag the MF in the process.
“Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” – Gore Verbinski
A time of impromptu alliances! With the Pluton about to be blasted apart by HMS Gallows, the French decide to lend the Cursed a hand against the hated JV’s and EM’s. (the Delusion did hit the Renard, but the French don’t have as much reason to hate the Cursed) Leander Arnaud plays Runes of Thor to change The Headhunter’s AA roll to a successful 6!
Side note: That Neptune’s Figurehead UT loomed VERY large here in the late game. It was effectively a trump card for the Cursed, because if a fleet sank the Guichuan, she would simply reappear at the Cursed HI with all TEN masts up again. With the Guichuan and the game action right near the Cursed HI already, nobody wanted to sink the Guichuan and deal with her at full strength again. Therefore, almost everybody was scared to sink the Guichuan since she would immediately come back stronger in the exact same battle area where nobody could afford to face her. In addition, the fleets were afraid that if the Guichuan came back with 10 masts in an instant, The Headhunter would feel confident in trying yet ANOTHER home island hoarding expedition, which would just further increase the Cursed gold reserves.
The Frontier uses her hoist to grab the final coin from the Guichuan, while the Monarca captures the Naegling!
The Guichuan shoots at the Muninn to get Relics back as the ships meet again. The Flying Dutchman emerges from the fog to capture the MF, while the Frontier deposits the Guichuan’s final coin from her epic double home island hoard turn.
Weirdly enough, the AA from Runes of Thor was only used on the Monarca to capture the Peacock. This is because the Guichuan’s turn was over due to the Relics, and the Cursed didn’t have anything better to do. It’s possible that both the JV’s and French held onto their Runes of Loki/Thor too long, or simply didn’t use them optimally. Of course, it seemed like the right time to use them while playing.
Things are looking pretty crowded… how the hell is the EW going to raid the Cursed HI?? XD
HMS Gallows blasts Le Pluton, killing Godiva (1 gold for the EM’s) and eliminating the French from the game!
This is where things got… weird. I was becoming frustrated by how long the potentially irrelevant endgame was taking, and the English Mercenaries were starting to consider a “surrender” on every one of their turns. Part of the problem is that the EW had to spend a turn exploring the beach to unload Necklace of the Sky in order to use the effect properly (something I didn’t know until this year, but it does make it less OP which is good).
Unable to reach the Guichuan, the Baochuan captures the Monarca. The JV’s know they have only an outside shot at winning now, and will try to capitalize on easy opportunities to add points to their fleet.
With only one coin technically left in play, almost all ships are concentrated in the northeast.
The Eighth Wonder has help, but it might be too late to the party to be effective…
A pretty neat sight to see, with 4 10 masters remaining for this interesting endgame situation. At the top you can just make out the rest of the EM ships preparing to round earth towards the action.
The wind shifts and blows north!
The Cursed score a coup??
The Flying Dutchman docks home the Maui’s Fishhook, and naturally the Cursed put her in a position to block the Muninn and EW’s movements. The Guichuan FINALLY docks home after her arduous journey, with 3 masts and all of her crew intact. She docks to block in the Muninn and EW as well….
At this point the EW is really running out of options, and Frederick Xernias begins to regret his decision to raid the Cursed HI. The ship has almost nowhere to maneuver, and getting out alive could prove impossible even if the Muninn doesn’t turn on him….
The King’s Ghost is the first of the reinforcements to arrive in the northeast, but the EM’s are still considering a kind of forfeit deal.
Time to play! The Eighth Wonder tries but cannot make it through! She can pin herself on the MF or wreck her starboard side on the rocks!
What a disaster!! The Cursed have effectively boxed in the new allies, and the ships cannot be shot at while at their home island of course!
The MF lost a mast (possibly a mistake on my part, though it wouldn’t matter in the end), and the Muninn captured her but only after losing 2 masts to the Guichuan’s 2L guns! The Naegling and Flying Dutchman were repairing, while the Frontier went out to grab the Peacock.
With no good targets to shoot at, the Baochuan has round earthed to tow the Monarca home. Things only got weirder and more convoluted from here….
The English Mercenaries are becoming very frustrated!! A northerly wind only makes their problems worse! The Eighth Wonder sinks the Maui’s Fishhook and docks at the Cursed home island where she steals one of the coins worth 50 gold!!! Annoyed by the mediocre help coming from the “ally” Jade Vikings, First Mate Ismail leads the gunners of the Gibraltar flotilla to sink the Sea Serpent! The EM reinforcements are here, and they are willing to take control by sheer force and brutality. Frederick Xernias just wants to get his gold and go home.
The magic of Ghost Ship!! An AA allows the Guichuan to swing around to the other side of the EW, knocking off 2 masts (black d6) with the help of the Naegling! (the Guichuan’s cannon accuracy fell apart here at the end of the game) The orange d6 on the EW marks that her crew have been hit by the Guichuan’s stinkpot specialist!! This is hugely important in slowing the ship, as it cancels a ton of abilities with such a loaded crew complement.
The shootout continues! The EW sinks the Muninn, as the EM/JV alliance has not panned out the way either side would have liked. Poor accuracy by competent gunners means that three EM game pieces are needed to dismast the Frontier.
The Baochuan is back! Dragon Eyes captures The Inquisitor! (also going 5 for 8 to nearly dismast the Cristal)
The wind shifts to the east:
Here we go again! The Cursed are absolutely having a ball with this game. The Guichuan stops being ghostly so she can dock at her home island and become immune to cannon fire again. She hits the EW a few times, and the FD follows with a few hits of her own. The 5 represents that 5 masts are down on the EW, leaving her at only half strength. Captain Davy Jones and Griffin prepare a deadly boarding party to massacre the crew of the EW (!) if they can get lucky….
Frederick Xernias demands an end to the madness!! He seeks a truce! With his flagship still struggling to move anywhere and near-invincible Cursed ships surrounding him (FD has Eternal-Ghost Ship-Massacre and a bunch of expendable crew, and Guichuan has Neptune’s Figurehead, Fear, stinkpot specialist, etc, both right at their HI), Xernias knows he is out of viable options to increase the English Mercenary total point score. In addition, his reinforcements may be further weakened by what would remain of the Baochuan, who still has Sac.
This was a bizarre and extremely rare case of a “strategic forfeit”, where surrendering was the best option for the fleet in question. The terms were simple: the Cursed would get back their stolen 50 coin, but the English Mercenaries would get to keep the 7 (worth 35 gold) on the EW that they had stolen from the French. Then the game would simply end. It’s very likely the EW would be sunk by the Cursed soon afterwards, or her fleet decimated by the combination of the Cursed and Baochuan. (plus, if the FD did succeed at that boarding party, the EW would lose all 30 points of her crew and be too slow to make it home with her stolen gold)
The Jade Vikings were not necessarily happy with the decision, but they didn’t control either of the coins in question and they were too far behind for me to really consider their opinion heavily at this point. XD (plus they didn’t have any HI raiders, so they couldn’t just snag a coin on their turn to keep the game alive)
Wow!! With that the game was finally over.
The Final Scores
In first place are The Cursed!!
1. Cursed: 647 total points; 460 gold, 187 points in play
2. English Mercenaries: 448 total points; 281 gold, 167 points in play
3. Jade Vikings: 148 total points; 82 gold (55 from coins, 27 from crew captures), 66 points in play (score goes up to 155 total if including The Inquisitor capture aboard Baochuan)
4. French: 50 total points; 50 gold, 0 points in play
5. Golden Cranes: 22 total points; 0 gold, 22 points in play
6. Crew Recyclers: 0
I highly recommend trying out the points in play and wind house rules!
What a memorable experience! This game was pretty wild. I enjoyed using the points in play + gold house rule. The scores are really crazy and lopsided, but I’m fine that they weren’t close – mostly to avoid controversy from the weird ending. The final few hours of the game were extremely strange. At the end of Day 3 it looked like the Jade Vikings would win. However, the Guichuan’s ridiculous double home island hoard epic raid proved to be the play of the game. The Cursed got very lucky with UT’s and different timing and location things.
I ran a few calculations to see if the English Mercenaries made the right decision, and it does look like they would have just ended up poorer if the game had continued. In a best case scenario, the EM’s would have gotten both the 50 gold coin back home from the Cursed along with capturing the Frontier and Peacock. The Cursed would end up with 597 (647-50), while the EM’s would finish with 527 (448+50 (coin)+17 (Frontier)+12 (Peacock w/equipment)). So the Cursed would still win by 70 gold!
The Cursed did so many things right. Capturing ships with consistency (Monarca, Flying Dutchman, Frontier, and many others) ensured that their points in play number stayed high, yet also provided them with logistical support in a tense and stressful endgame. The FD and Frontier held down the fort as they say, providing great support around the HI that allowed the Guichuan’s massive haul to be unloaded as threats were dealt with. The Delusion snagged both of those ships in her waterfall trip to the west, so her role cannot be ignored. She was a huge star in the first half+ of the game. Once she was crippled by the Baochuan, it was time for the Guichuan to shine brighter than ever. Grim the Savage teamed with Bianco’s Haulers for an international stealing party for the ages, raking in a TON of gold. I think the Guichuan may have stolen 6 coins from the Golden Cranes fleet and another 6 from the JV’s home island. If someone had been stupid enough to sink her and trigger Neptune’s Figurehead, there’s a solid chance she would have sunk the Eighth Wonder at the end or even gone after the French or EM HI’s for more booty.
The Golden Cranes fleet went second, but finished second to last. They didn’t have any defenses or firepower that were required to hang with the big boys in this brutal game. I think they could fare better in a 2 player game, a game with less big threats flying around, or a game by the normal rules where gold is the only win condition. Once the Cursed unleashed devastation, their fleet scattered and then got picked off around the map.
The English Mercenaries played very well and dominated most of the west, and eventually even some of the east as well. They lacked an extra action capability that allowed the Jade Vikings to dominate and allowed the Cursed to win. With some different crew choices or less tough customers in the endgame (FD and Guichuan cornered the EW), they may have emerged victorious. A nice showing by some of my customs along with the RtSS and Unreleased pieces. They had a a fine line to walk between being too passive and too aggressive, and wound up in 2nd place after two somewhat unsuccessful initiatives into the east.
The French were mostly crushed early by the aggressive Jade Vikings, but recovered nicely to finish first among the “has-beens”. They survived with just two ships for quite a while, and the Pluton’s valiant efforts will not soon be forgotten. I was very happy to see her in action a lot, as she is one of my sentimental favorites. Who knows how differently the game would have turned out if O’Brien had piloted the Celtic Fury to attack the Eighth Wonder very early in the game….
The Jade Vikings were a powerhouse from Turn 1. Without a doubt the most intimidating fleet for most of the game, all 4 of their powerful ships wreaked havoc. They were outsmarted by a super-Guichuan who took a lot of their riches and lived to tell the tale. The wheels completely came off at the end as their longships were sunk and captured. Some very impressive crew captures by Dragon Eyes (including Davy Jones himself) could not make up the difference, and the JV’s were disappointed to finish the game with far less points in play than when they started. A triumphant first three days of the game was wrecked by a horrible day 4.
The Crew Recyclers did not look like a fleet that would do well, so it’s not surprising to see them in last with 0 gold or points. They ended up with a tough HI location and their strategy was not exactly appropriate for this game (again, house rules determined after fleet selection of course). Splitting up their fleet around the bay area resulted in total annihilation. Still, it was nice to cross this fleet off my “bucket list” of fleets I want to use in games.
Please comment below what you thought of this game! 😀
Last night (8/26/2019) I played my latest CG4 turn with the Pirates having a grand old time. (previous turn here)
The Pirates have been getting annoyed with how popular their textiles island has been. It’s understandable, as textiles have been the best early-game resource and the recent resource change has resulted in them being worth 6 gold apiece (the maximum value) once again. The Barbary Corsairs and Vikings both have ships near the island, with the Corsairs grabbing a ton of textiles last turn.
The Pirates have had enough! The Eagle attacked! Shooting 2/4, the Eagle dismasted the Viking lonship Sleipnir. Then the Jolly Mon used Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight to sacrifice her action, giving it to the Eagle, who then captured the Sleipnir! Then Calico Cat (aboard the Cassandra, docked at the textiles island right next to the Winds of Vengeance from the Corsair fleet) turned to the captain of the Vengeance and told him “You’re next scum.” Talk about a warning! The Pirates have the guns sailing south to back up such talk. The Akua Lapu with Bartholomew Roberts is about to reach the island, with the Eagle still healthy as well.
Suddenly the area has gone from busy but tranquil to a potential battlefield. The Pirates spent most of their 54 gold to launch 4 new ships along with a town upgrade. The upgrade is on the Raven, making it quite obvious that the Pirates intend to upgrade the textiles island to prevent the Vikings and Corsairs from going there for valuable resources.
Here you can see the footage of the Pirates instigating conflict with the Vikings:
The Pirates also launched another gunship, the Selkie. She is one of my favorite ships. The Pirates intend her to be a super-sniping gunship, as she has the Sniping ability in addition to the Eye of Maru UT (the latter lets you double the range of one of the ship’s cannons each turn). The Selkie is maxed out on cargo (4) and points (9), being assigned captain, helmsman, exploding shot, and chain shot. With all that at her disposal, she could theoretically hit an opponent at L+L+L+L range on a 6 with one of the equipment shots! O_O The Pirates also have the Mermaid towing the Widowmaker flotilla, so it looks like they may try to use ranges above L to counter the nearby fleets.
The Cursed had an uneventful turn, though the Sea Duck returned home from her successful voyage to the Archipelago.
The Vikings turned the Diversion around, knowing they wouldn’t be able to do anything about the capture of the Sleipnir with just one (uncaptained) ship in the area. However, their turn was still a success, as they managed to increase the size of their fleet during the round despite the loss of a ship. They launched two ships for a net gain of +1, with the Hrothgar and Burning Body (the latter a cheap custom) coming into play. The Vikings are due to take in 7 lumber next turn, which they plan to convert to 35 gold for a nice launch. The Vikings are unhappy but somewhat unsurprised by the Pirates’ hostility. The Pirates have the biggest fleet in the game by far and are already showing some combat might in addition to their burgeoning resource system. At 26 ships, the Pirates are far more powerful than the Vikings.
The Corsairs are actually more upset than the Vikings, but it looks like their timing is perfect. The Corsairs sailed away from the textiles island on their turn, but loaded up 4 galleys on the previous turn with very valuable textiles that should net them a decent amount of gold before the next resource change occurs in about 4 turns. They cashed in the textiles on their home island for 48 gold, spending nearly all of it on a GRAND purchase: the Osiris, their “god ship” from Pirates of the Epic Seas. They’ve crewed her up, signalling that things may be shifting dramatically in the north… the Corsairs have a plan.
Here is the situation in the north! Some excitement seems to be brewing!
4: One free Rare ship; one free Common ship; 15 points
I wanted to max out my points expenditure, so I went with HMS Dreadnought and USS Springfield, basically the two most expensive ships of their rarities. (some other commons are also 18)
The Tiger’s Eye found a bunch of UT’s at her first island, including Wolves.
Through the custom Fountain of Dreams UT, I was able to get Nemo’s Plans on the Dreadnought and then transfer Neptune’s Trident to the Dreadnought from the Coeur, thus making a powerful ship even more extreme.
He set up a tightly packed arrangement of islands, with 3 coins per wild island.
The action got started on the first turn, with the Corazon del Mar knocking a mast off the Victor!
The battle only intensified, with the Raven’s Neck and Aguila trading blows. Inable to perform at his best (I didn’t get the SAT roll XD), Capitan Castro piloted the Aguila the short trip home, knocking a mast off the Raven’s Neck on the way to safety. The Corazon and Victor traded hits before the Corazon moved in for the decisive blow by getting broadside and hitting 2/3!
With the Raven’s Neck gathering gold at an island and the Victor with only 1 mast standing, the Spanish decided it was time to strike with maximum force! The Corazon del Mar sailed over to the Raven’s Neck and improbably hit 3/3 to dismast the ship! This was a devastating blow to their cause, but it only got worse. With no need to capture the Raven’s Neck right away or finish her off, L’Aguila sailed over to the Victor and promptly sunk her! This was a weird and unlikely case where the fleet with the advantage was able to switch targets in a 2v2 setting.
With the Raven’s Neck captured and brought back to Spanish waters, and the Peacock the only ship opposing the Spaniards, the game was all but over. Some coins were unloaded, and the Spanish had won a 10-5 victory!
High Scoring Game – VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018
Another game was played between A7XfanBen and JohnLock.
I went first with The Jades can use Calypso too! JohnLock followed with a Pirate fleet comprising some of the best ships in the game, including the Banshee’s Cry and Hai Peng.
Once again we had 10 wild islands with 3 coins apiece, and flat earth rules.
The Pirates took off for 4 different islands, but the Virtuous Wind had already scoured one of them. I purposely went for islands farther from home, knowing I could probably get close gold later. Calypso got into action early, allowing the Tiger’s Breath to explore an island in the south that would have taken longer to get to.
Here I wanted to try raiding the Pirate home island, but Calypso and Cheng couldn’t come up with a whirlpool in the north. The Virtuous Wind instead headed northeast.
Seeing both Pirate gunships (Hai Peng and Carrion Crow carried captains) away from the Pirate HI, I decided it was time for the VW’s raid. Throughout this game, both of us had dismal luck with whirlpool travel, and Protection from Davy Jones wasn’t found until the end.
Having found the Jade UT earlier, I was taking a big risk going to the Pirate HI instead of just going home with the 7 the VW had. Risking both the UT and the 7, the VW only robbed a 1 coin.
Though the Pirate brigade did turn for their robbed home island afterwards, I decided to “ride out and meet them”. The Hai Peng had 3 coins aboard, and I figured the VW could win the fight. The Hades’ Flame and Carrion Crow have warped to the southeast, losing masts.
The Hai Peng rammed the VW instead of docking at the home island, taking off a mast but being dismasted in return by the Wind. This was my golden opportunity to cash in and tow the HP home for a bunch of gold.
Using a little-known rule, from Page 10 of the Reference Diagrams I confirmed that I could capture and tow the Hai Peng with the Virtuous Wind since the HP was derelict and her bow was already in contact with the VW. The VW moved S to enter a new whirlpool Calypso had created (Clutch Calypso! XD), warping back to the Jade HI in a jiffy!
Both fleets maxed out their gold scores at the end, specifically the Jades with you guessed it, Jade. XD The VW used the UT to double her old 7 coin into 14 gold after the Tiger’s Paw took the stolen 1. The TP then gave the 1 back to let the VW double that coin too. Good thing, since unfortunately I would need it….
In very improbable fashion, the scores end up tied at 58-58!!!!
The Jades won on both tiebreakers: they led the Pirates in points in play (my favorite tiebreaker, and something that should have been a standard rule) 55-21, and led in masts standing 7-5.
I’m very happy with how my new fleet performed in its first game, essentially winning against a fleet using some of the best Pirate ships out there. We both made some mistakes; the Hai Peng ramming the Virtuous Wind instead of docking home her gold led to the Jades capturing the infamous junk, while I should have been more conservative actually, since going for the HI raid only resulted in 1 more gold. If the VW had been successful in doubling both the 7 and the 4 from the island northeast of the Jade HI (Carrion Crow eventually got the 4 for the Pirates), the Jade profit would have been 22 instead of 15. However, then I probably wouldn’t have captured the HP, who netted 12 gold from her 3 coins. So many moments, decisions, and strategic moves that matter in the end – one of the reasons I love Pirates so much!
Overall though, a very fun, close, and strategic game that came down to the… rope? XD See you next time!!
This was the VASSAL introduction game for captainjohnlock! (JohnLock on VASSAL)
He went first with an English fleet, I followed with the French. We used a 40 point build total with no crew to keep it simple. Flat earth rules, and with 3 coins per island (no UT’s).
Knowing combat would be hampered without any captains to rely on, I purposely chose the SCS version of the Coeur de Lion with her sniping ability. I got a handful of extra long range potshots in early against the Gallowglass and Duke of York, but none of them connected. JohnLock’s method of tagging the deckplates around with the ships is a solid way to keep track of things for beginners. (to which I said: “never woulda thought a that!” )
Many ships picked up gold from the various wild islands in play, while the Coeur mounted a somewhat heroic and effective defense of the French home island. She was able to hit 2/2 with her regular 2L guns once the Englishmen came into range. Again, no captains on gunships meant that the first shot would usually go to the defender.
Eventually the English began hitting their mark, but by the time the Coeur was in trouble, the French “cavalry” was returning home! All three of their other four ships arrived on the scene to turn the tide back in French favor.
In a rare usage of reverse captain, the Duc dismasted the Gallowglass and then docked home her gold, simultaneously blocking the Coeur from the Gallowglass on the previous turn to potentially save the former from sinking. The East Wind captured the Gallowglass, while the Glaive unloaded some loot from the southeast.
The Duke of York did manage to get the better of the Coeur, but she too was dismasted by the Duc of the French fleet. Once again the reverse captain ability proved some measure of worth (usually it doesn’t get used since there aren’t many opportunities for it, and it’s certainly overpriced), as the Duc shot off the Duke’s final mast (getting confused?) and then moved to tow her as well. We both agreed to call this “VASSAL introduction” game a bit early, and the French won 24-21!
April 9th is the 10th anniversary of Fire and Steel being released. Xerecs and I played a little “celebratory” game to commemorate the anniversary. (not sure if this particular set is worth celebrating… XD)
Foresight + Barstow, Hammersmith, oarsman
Napolitana + Victor de Alva, helmsman
HMS Salient + Hermionie Gold, captain, helmsman
HMS Ark Royal + captain
I believe this is the first time we’ve tried to proxy a switchblade into VASSAL. For now, I used an L-range tool rotated from the center of the Salient.
For the setup, the “move and rotate randomly” option worked better than it ever has before for me. The islands and terrain were generally placed that way.
Both fleets headed a bit southwest, with the Ark Royal being the first to explore:
However, both fleets found only 0 coins at their islands!! I had placed six 0’s and two UT’s into the treasure mix, and it quickly dawned on me that Xerecs may have placed only 0’s as well!
The Ark Royal and Salient split up, while the Napolitana brought home a coin… which I assumed was a 0.
The Napolitana got an EA from de Alva and shot up the Ark Royal. She was attacked by the Salient immediately, but only lost one mast.
The Salient eventually dismasted the Napolitana and started towing the Ark Royal, which the English were trying to scuttle. By this point the Salient was loaded with some “extra weaponry” in the form of Ammunition (turned into Stinkpot Shot) and Deck Cannon (transferred from the Ark Royal).
The Foresight got involved, hitting 1/2 on the Salient. The Salient answered with a big turn, combining her proxy switchblade with a solid 2/3 shooting effort (helped by the extra cannon and HGold’s reroll) to knock 3 masts off the Foresight and kill the Pirate oarsman.
The Foresight’s shooting and ramming attack dismasted the Salient! Barstow captured Hermione Gold! However, just as the tables turned against the English, the Ark Royal warped home via an Eternal scuttle.
The Foresight round earthed to the north, where she was caught by the Ark Royal JUST before she could dock home HGold for an 8-gold payout! (a haul of Gold, in more ways than one! XD) After electing not to use Broadsides Attack (my luck with it is generally horrible, and with the ram attempt after the shots I had a decent chance of getting 2/3 rolls to work), the Ark Royal hit twice in a row to dismast the Foresight! However, the English killed Barstow in their valiant boarding attempt, eliminating any chance of getting Hermione Gold’s payout to work… for themselves? (this was getting even weirder…)
The Pirates now had no future move actions left, so the game was over. To my chagrin, the Napolitana had indeed brought back a 7, not a zero! This put Xerecs firmly in the lead, as the Spanish Pirates beat the English 7-0.
This was a very Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary game that came down to the wire. Once it became obvious that most or all of the coins would be worthless, I was afraid it would be a boring deathmatch. However, the endgame was very tight and satisfying, with multiple momentum shifts throughout. I finally tested out my idea of using only 0-value coins, which I have talked about multiple times on the forum at Miniature Trading. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the single coin worth a dime, let alone 7 gold! XD It was also notable as (likely) the first VASSAL game with a switchblade present. Using the L tool as a proxy worked fine during the one blade attack, but I still want to measure a physical switchblade to see if it’s the right size.
Thanks for reading; only one more anniversary game remains!