The Acorazado Trials – June 21st, 2012

I played 12 games today, 4 sets of three games each. El Acorazado won 11 times (11-1, a .917 winning percentage). First she took on HMS Dreadnought, whose stinkpot shot and long-range guns were no match for ‘The Battleship’ (3-0). Then she dominated the Baochuan (3-0). Next she took on the Shui Xian, who managed to win one game out of three because she was carrying both Christian Fiore (the Mercenary canceler) and MI Hermione Gold (2-1). The final matchup was not so fair, but the DJC Le Bonaparte managed to frustrate the Acorazado for a little while. However, the Acorazado had a ten-point advantage over her, since the Bonaparte costs 16 points and can only come to a total of 32, since I was doing one-on-one battles (3-0). I’m still not sure if she is the best gunship in the game, but I can honestly say that she is a must-have ship, especially if you are combat-oriented like I am.

I also set up for the Defence of St. Helen’s scenario. I used the dimensions given (the table in the link is too small for what they have listed, probably because they don’t play huge games ), and tried to set up the islands and icebergs the same way.

There will be five fleets, five 500 point deathmatch fleets (so a total of over 2500 points in play, just like the regular 500 point games). The fleets of the Spanish and the French-Americans are the defenders, and have worked out a sort of strategy before the game’s start. Their biggest and best ships are concentrated in the rear, while they send their other ships out first to annoy the attackers while the forts do some damage. Since I only have one Spanish fort (El Puerto Blanco) and two French forts (St. Pierre and Paradis de la Mer), and four are required for the game, I have let the defenders use the Pirate fort Dead Man’s Point. The English, Pirates, and MercCursedRebels (I may refer to them as the MCRs, not to be confused with My Chemical Romance) are the attackers, and have similarly positioned their uncrewed/weaker ships at the front of their formation (one of those awesome sights, a ‘forest of masts’). The ratio is 3:2 in favour of the attackers, with 1500 points and 1000 points. The attackers command 81 ships, and the defenders, 56, for a total of 137 (not quite 200 , but I am using crew).

Edit: Finally it stopped automerging my posts-that last mammoth chain had 6,282 words!

Pirates CSG RISK (June 14th – June 20th, 2012)

Pirates CSG combined with RISK

This Thursday I will finally be able to start playing again. I have a few things in mind for games, and I have created and written down ideas for fleets. There is a scenario I intend to try as well, but I will start the action with the biggest undertaking of my career in Pirates CSG yet: a long cumulative game (spending gold during the game to build fleets up) that combines Pirates with the board game Risk. I am anticipating a lengthy game, and in preparation I have tried to work out some of the details in my head. I am not sure how well it will work with scaling the ocean to the Risk game board, but I will try. To combine the games I have been developing a set of custom rules designed to (hopefully) emphasize the Pirates (and therefore naval) aspect rather than the land struggles.

There will be five fleets participating in this game, a combination of single faction fleets and (fixed) alliances (mostly to beef up factions that in terms of my collection are lacking in crew and/or ships): English, French-Americans, Spanish, Pirates, and the MercCursedCorsairRebels (a fleet combining the factions of the Cursed, Mercenaries, Barbary Corsairs, and Jade Rebellion).
In-game alliances are not prohibited by any means.

Now to the unique rules that will undoubtedly be expanded and/or edited as I discover more problems and solutions to this setup (many are concerned with the complex geography issues I will try to work out):

1. The Risk board and the associated infantrymen, cavalry, and artillery units will be in a separate location from the main ocean playing area (board is too small for almost any point cost, let alone a cumulative game).

2. In the main ocean playing area, islands will be placed based on the Risk game board. I will bunch islands together to make the continents and have one island represent one territory. In addition to the islands representing the territories, I am planning on placing other islands based on real-life islands in the main ocean, such as Cuba. These islands (not territories, so therefore essentially irrelevant to the Risk part of the game) function first as wild islands, but they can have units from Risk placed on them, and they will (hopefully) be important outposts and possibly bases for factions controlling them. Due to space constraints, the realistics of the game will be severely hampered, as I will not have enough space for the Mediterranean (as well as the Red, Black, and Baltic Seas).

3. All of the territories that are bordered by only water will start the game as wild islands, unless chosen as a home territory by a faction. These territories follow the normal rules for wild islands. Australia functions as two wild islands, with both Eastern and Western Australia with 4 gold coins each.

4. Each faction will choose a home territory. The territory chosen as a home territory must be bordered by a body of water, and the territory chosen can be bordered by water on all sides (obviously that particular territory would not therefore start the game as a wild island). Home territories can be conquered, but a faction is not automatically out if their home territory is taken over by an opponent (unless of course they had no ships left and the units they lost in the invasion were their last).

5. When invading an enemy territory across water or reinforcing a friendly territory across water, the army units must be transported by ships. The lines that connect territories on the Risk game board are totally irrelevant, armies cannot invade across water unless they are transported in ships. That being said, ships have no limits on where they can transport army units. Ex: Normally you can invade Iceland from Great Britain via the line connecting the territories, and you can still do that (as long as the units are transported in ships). However, movement across the seas is not limited to the lines: a fleet can transport an army going from Great Britain directly across the Atlantic to the Eastern United States, or maybe from Madagascar all the way up to Alaska.

6. Invasions follow the standard rules for Risk, and combat due to an invasion happens as soon as the units disembark from the ships. In order to land the troops on the territory, an explore action is needed, unless the territory is friendly and/or has been invaded before (home territories do not require an explore action to land troops there if it is the landing player’s home territory).

7. Risk units cost 3 gold each (or 3 points). Hopefully this will be a reasonable and effective point cost, because I would rather not have to adjust their cost in-game. For the purposes of abilities and effects, army units are considered ‘crew’ when on board a ship, even though they have no abilities. Because of this, they do count against the ship’s point cost. When a ship loads army units, they take up one cargo space per unit. They can be loaded and unloaded like normal crew with the following exceptions: An explore action is required in order to load or unload army units. When a ship loads army units from the main ocean, the army units will be transferred from the Risk board to the deckplate card of the ship, and when unloaded, transferred back to the Risk board from the deckplate card. In this way, the only time army units will be placed anywhere on the main ocean is if they are unloaded at an island that is not on the Risk board (an example would be Cuba).

8. Ships can fire on army units on land (following the regular procedure for a shoot action), but army units can not fire back. However, if a ship misses an individual unit twice in a row in a particular shoot action, she loses a mast. Shoot actions by ships designating army units as the target will be simplified because the ships will be in the main ocean area rather than the Risk board, so the ranges become almost irrelevant. Ships cannot shoot over an island representing a territory in the main ocean to hit a territory beyond, no matter what range her guns are.

9. When a ship is docked at the island/territory that a friendly fort is on (unless it is abandoned), she can repair masts as if the island/territory is her home territory (although it is not considered a home territory). In addition to the regular rules for forts, the rules for forts regarding land attacks are as follows: Army units can attack forts from land, in this way they must have already invaded the territory. The fort can contain army units of that particular faction, as a means of protecting them. The fort serves as the last line of defence if placed on a territory bordered by land. If a fort is to be built on a territory that is bordered by land, the territory must also be bordered by water.

10. There are three custom forts that I have designed for the game-forts that were key strategic points in real-life campaigns. These forts are stationary. They cannot be placed on any territory/island and rebuilt on other territories/islands later in the game. Other than that, they function as regular forts.

Gibraltar (Gibraltar, located on the southern tip of Spain)

12 gold, 10 guns: 3S, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 2L, 3S. Ability: When this fort hits an enemy ship, you choose which mast is eliminated. Once per turn you may double the range of ONE of this fort’s cannons.

Diamond Rock (off Martinique)

4 gold, 2 guns: 2L, 2L. Ability: Extended Range.

El Morro (Havana, Cuba)

8 gold, 7 guns: 3L, 2L, 2S, 3L, 2S, 2L, 3L. Ability: Ships do not block this fort’s line of fire. This fort’s L-range guns cannot be eliminated.

Sadly, the space constraints will not let me effectively use these forts. Diamond Rock, with her 2L range, can shoot past Cuba, and the ranges just won’t work. Maybe in a different game.

11. Each faction will start out with 20 point fleets. They will also be given one free infantry unit that will be placed on their home territory. All of the other territories will be empty at the start of the game (other than islands that start as wild island territories).

12. Unlike the regular rules for Risk, territories can be abandoned. However, a faction cannot abandon their home territory under any circumstances. They can move most of their units and/or ships and gold to another territory to avoid being annihilated, but they cannot abandon their home territory. If a player moves their units into an empty territory, they do not receive a territory card for conquering the territory, since they didn’t conquer it.

13. When moving army units on the Risk board, each individual unit can only move from one territory to another once per turn. If units are part of a successful invasion, they cannot immediately move onto the next territory and invade it as well. Units can only move into one territory at a time (once per turn) even if the territories they are moving through are abandoned. When fortifying their position, a player can only move from one territory to an adjacent territory.

14. The golden cavalry piece that is used for bonus reinforcements when turning in a set of cards cannot be moved past the 10 mark. I may change this in-game, but I don’t want armies to get a sudden massive influx of units that dramatically alters the game.

15. Wild islands will start with 4 gold coins on them, and whenever there is less than 4 gold coins, once per turn (at the end of each round of turns, not on every individual player’s turn) a gold coin will be placed on the island, and in a fort if a player has a fort on the island (the islands replenish themselves).

16. With such a long game, I have decided to reuse the unique treasures that have one-and-done abilities. The UT’s would be periodically shuffled back into the game by putting them in the tin that I use for treasure, and then randomly distributing them as treasures that replenish islands.

17. There are no reinforcements from the number of territories a player controls. Since players are supposed to pay for their armies, there will be no free reinforcements-players have to control continents and turn in card sets from their conquered territories in order to bypass the cost of army units.

These custom rules and ideas are by no means a finished product, and I will be adding to them and editing them as I discover new issues.

Additional Comment:

I have finished the setup, and these are the HT’s (home territories) that each faction has chosen, as well as their starting fleets (20 points):
England (Greenland): Aberdeen Baron + helmsman, Sea Tiger.
French-Americans (Western Europe): La Dijon + explorer, Le Bon Marin, Jeux.
Spanish (Argentina): La Santa Isabel + explorer, Magdalena.
Pirates (Madagascar): Darkhawk II + helmsman + explorer, Longshanks + explorer.
MercCursedCorsairRebels (New Guinea): Algiers, Griffin, and a Cursed captain on New Guinea.

As an added note, I am allowing the use of duplicates, but they will be discouraged. Due to their treasure-running disadvantages, as well as the fact that they don’t have a fort, the MercCursedCorsairRebels will be allowed to use both versions of Davy Jones.

Additional Comment:

I have made it through the first handful of turns, with each fleet sailing around exploring to try to gather as much gold as possible. The English have explored Bermuda, Cuba, Iceland, and Jamaica, and have launched four additional ships.

The French-Americans have explored Martinique, St. Helena, Iceland, Great Britain, and Svalbard, building Ft. St. Pierre on Great Britain.

The Spanish have been gathering gold from the Falkland Islands (represented as one island), Hawaii, Clipperton Island, Easter Island, and Martinique, with El Puerto Blanco on Hawaii.

The Pirates have explored Indonesia, both halves of Australia, and Japan. They have now launched two of their best gold runners, the Darkhawk II and the Raven.

The MCCRs (MercCursedCorsairRebels) have five galleys, the Nightmare (DJC version, the two-master), and the Fallen Angel. They have explored the same islands as the Pirates, as well as Svalbard and New Zealand.

The land aspect has not come into play yet, the Spanish being the only faction to buy any army units (2, both still in Argentina).

The MCCRs have fired the first shot, with the Fallen Angel (with a captain and Fire Shot equipment on board) setting fire to the Raven after the Raven grabbed gold from Eastern Australia. The Fallen Angel was then rammed and dismasted by the nearby Darkhawk II, and she has been towed home and repaired.

More gold has been gathered, and more ships have been launched as the size of the fleets increase. The most important action so far has been in the Caribbean, where there are three islands (Cuba, Jamaica, and Martinique) within shooting distance of each other. The English have explored Cuba and Jamaica, and the French-Americans have explored Martinique. The French-Americans led a treasure squadron across the Atlantic made up of Le Bon Marin, the Boston, and L’Emeraude, with the intention of loading gold from Jamaica and possibly Cuba. However, the English had HMS Lady Provost to the north and were not too happy about the idea of the French-Americans taking gold that the English thought was theirs. Escorting the Lady Provost to the Caribbean (from the British HT of Greenland) was the first English gunship, HMS Victor with Hermione Gold (MI version) and a helmsman aboard. Trailing close behind the weak (no captains) French-American squadron, however, was La Belle Etoile, decked out with Lenoir (F&S), captain, helmsman, and Fire Shot equipment. In what could be a potentially monumental decision, the English decided to attack, with HMS Victor dismasting Le Bon Marin and taking out two masts on the Boston. L’Emeraude fled south and out of harm’s way while La Belle Etoile sailed in and took out two masts on the Victor, and the Victor replied with a shot of her own, leaving the Victor with one mast and La Belle Etoile with two.

Meanwhile, the Lady Provost landed at Jamaica, and the English built Fort Brompton on the island. From there they launched HMS Victoria, who promptly captured Le Bon Marin. The HMS Alexander, coming from the north around Bermuda, got in on the action and rammed the Boston, dismasting her. La Belle Etoile, being outnumbered and damaged, ran off fearing that the English would launch a new gunship from their fort. Sure enough, they bought the Cygnet on their next turn while the Lady Provost brought treasure from Cuba to Jamaica. The Aberdeen Baron, Sea Tiger, and HMS Starbuck continued to gather treasure in the north, from Bermuda and Iceland.

As it stands now, the English have established dominance of the Caribbean, and indeed the whole northwestern part of the Atlantic, while the Spanish are the only fleet in the east Pacific. The French have the east Atlantic, and have also taken treasure from Svalbard. The Pirates own the Indian Ocean, and appear content with that for now. The MCCRs are the force in the west Pacific, and have now made a few trips to Svalbard. The land game is still dormant at this point, but Spain has considerably reinforced her HT position in Argentina, where her army stands at 19 units strong. Every other faction has yet to buy army units.

Additional Comment:

I was not able to post here yesterday, so I have fallen quite a distance behind and will not be able to remember all of the details-the game has progressed quite a lot!

The English fleet has rapidly expanded, with the English launching HMS Swallow, HMS Grand Temple, HMS Leicester, Cygnet, HMS Bolingbroke, HMS Apollo (ROTF version) and HMS Victoria, among others. They have asserted their dominance of the Caribbean, with a network of treasure runners (Sea Tiger, HMS Alexander, and the captured Bon Marin) making quick trips to Cuba, Bermuda, and Martinique, and bringing the treasure back to Fort Brompton, from where they have launched many of their ships. They have expanded into new areas, as well, as the west Atlantic is not big enough to contain the expanding British empire. A disastrous expedition into the Indian Ocean saw them lose the Cygnet, HMS Bolingbroke, and HMS Victor (though they have already built the Cygnet and Bolingbroke again), but they did inflict serious damage on the Pirates.

They then saw a considerable threat developing in the far west, where the Spanish had a beautiful system of treasure running going, raking in gold with the help of three +2 gold ships: La Santa Isabel, El Alquimista, and the San Pedro. The Spanish didn’t have any gunships, but were rapidly adding to their army every turn, with additional reinforcements coming in from the +2 bonus provided by controlling all of South America. The Spanish wanted to control all of North America, as well, and the English HT of Greenland was the only territory left that they hadn’t occupied. They had built the fort Puerto Blanco on Hawaii, and were transporting troops from there to Alaska when the English rounded Alaska and began their assault. The Spanish panicked and asked if the English would stop their attack if the Spanish retreated from Hawaii and stopped the apparent invasion preparations. The English went on with their attack, with nothing to gain from letting the Spanish get away. HMS Swallow did most of the work, with SAT + reroll to let her get 10 shots per turn. She took out the Spanish transports, El Picador, La Santa Ana (CC version), and Cazador del Pirata. Assisting her in the bombardment of the Spanish stronghold was HMS Grand Temple and HMS Nautilus, and the three of them made short work of the Spanish fort and the defending ships. The Asesino de la Nave and her commander, Nemesio Diaz, were overwhelmed by sheer numbers, while El San Jose, Joya del Sol, Martillo de Dios, La Ebro (MI), and La Reconquistador were sunk at the island. No ships got away, and the annihilation of the Spaniards’ northern fleet meant their army was stranded on land, at least for the time being. It is quite an army, the largest in play so far, now numbering at least 61 units strong. The HMS Victoria made a quick detour to go down near Argentina to dismast El Alquimista, but the Spanish launched the powerful ships La Resolucion (OE) and El Monte Cristo before the English gunship could sink her. The once-proud Spanish fleet now only numbers five ships, with the San Pedro and Magdalena in addition to those above.

The French-Americans have seen their numbers dwindle, after a failure to grab gold from Japan, where La Dijon was sunk by the Cursed gunship Grim Reaper. They still have La Belle Etoile with all of her crew, but she is their only gunship. Recently they have been building up their army, which now controls all of Europe except for Iceland, where the Jeux has been aggravating the English, who consider the treasure on the island to be theirs, since HMS Starbuck has made repeated trips there. The French have remained stagnant in terms of naval strength, and they are not in a position of power. With the fort Ramsgate being built on St. Helena, they only have two consistent islands that they get gold from, Great Britain and Svalbard. However, they have recently entered into an alliance with the Spanish, with both factions in bad shape. The French proposed the alliance, with the Spanish accepting, but unable to assist the French right away. France appears to want to take over Iceland and Asia, while destroying Ramsgate and so getting another island to pillage from, but we will see in time if these goals are far-fetched.

A dramatic event has unfolded in the Indian Ocean: the Pirates have been eliminated!  The English inflicted damage in their failed expedition (they wanted more than just a few sunken ships, anyway), and the Cursed finished them off with the Grim Reaper and the Fallen Angel. At one point, the Pirates were doing quite well, with the Darkhawk II, Raven, and Doombox among their numbers. Now they are gone, with the Raven and Selkie captured by the MCCRs, and the rest of their fleet at the bottom of the sea. The final blow came when the MCCRs launched the Baochuan with Admiral Zheng He, Ms. Cheng, a captain, and a helmsman on board. The MCCRs had been saving gold for quite a while, and spent 95 gold in one turn to buy the above, along with 18 army units. The Baochuan loaded some army units and sailed to Madagascar (from the MCCR HT of New Guinea) and took out the lone Pirate army unit stationed there. Madagascar now converts to a wild island since the Pirates are gone and not coming back. The MCCRs have since saved up gold for a second huge turn, and they just bought the Shui Xian with Shap’ng Tsai, Captain Nemo, Ibrahan Ozat, and a helmsman, as well as the Death’s Anchor flotilla. They have troops in every territory on the Australian continent except Eastern Australia, where they will have troops soon, and be able to gain the reinforcement bonus. I have granted them the use of the only Pirate fort I have, Dead Man’s Point, because they don’t have a fort of their own. They have built the fort on Madagascar, which is the western extent of their empire, an empire that is now uncontested (they had basically shared islands with the Pirates until recently). They are alone in the West Pacific and Indian Oceans, but appear to have bigger aspirations.

Many smaller goings-on have been forgotten already, but that is where we stand so far, with the English in control of much of the Western hemisphere, and the MCCRs in a good position in the opposite hemisphere. The land-based factions, the Spanish and the French-Americans, have suffered in their maritime experiences but now have a promising alliance and large armies.

Additional Comment:

I was only able to play three turns today (6/17). The English attacked the French fort St. Pierre on Great Britain, bombarding it with HMS Bolingbroke and HMS Apollo. They took out the fort, and the French retreated back to their nearby HT of Western Europe, where they hastily built two gunships, La Corse and La Possession, and remained there so the English would not be able to shoot at them. The Bolingbroke dismasted La Belle Etoile, and HMS Europa captured her, using Commander Temple to teleport her to Greenland, where she will repair. The English have now enforced a blockade with a handful of their gunships, and the French can’t move without risking the remnants of their fleet.

Meanwhile, at Fort Brompton (on Jamaica), the English have launched HMS Titan, and crewed her with Hermione Gold (ROTF version) and Sir Edmund Atkinson (who I’m using because I’ve never used him before, and because his ability has received attention in the latest edits to the Pirate Code, where it says the ship he is on can be given actions if the die roll is not a 6, and crew he possesses don’t take up cargo space, can use their abilities, and don’t count against the point limit of a ship). The English now have total dominance of the Atlantic, except for the Falkland Islands, where HMS Titan and HMS Victoria seem to be headed (the Magdalena has run treasure from there to the nearby Spanish HT territory of Argentina all game long).

The Spanish bought two captains and a helmsman for their new gunships (La Resolucion and El Monte Cristo), and appear to be saving up gold.

In the far east, the MCCRs have saved up their gold once again, and have now launched a third (and final) ten master, the Delusion. Crewed to the max, she is carrying DJC Davy Jones, Captain Nemo, Ibrahan Ozat, Christian Fiore, Sir Edmund, El Fantasma (OE version), a helmsman, and an oarsman. They also built the Pestilence, and crewed her with a shipwright. She and the Fallen Angel, finally back in action after being rammed and dismasted near Madagascar, are each carrying two army units, and are sailing in a northwesterly direction, following the mammoth Baochuan, carrying six more units (she would carry more, but still has 11 points of crew on her). The original gunship of this combined-faction fleet, the Grim Reaper, is still busy, now in the process of towing home the captured Selkie, after doing the same with the Fallen Angel. The Shui Xian is heading west along the coast of northern Asia, towards the French. Although she is ahead of her sister ships, the Baochuan and Delusion, the three huge junks are in a rough line, forming an imposing sight. Time will tell if they are a good investment, as the MCCRs have spent a total of 164 gold on them and their crew.

Additional Comment:

Things progressed rather quickly today (6/18), and there was a flurry of actions all around the world.

The blockade of the remaining French ships docked at Western Europe continued, and the English had enough gunships to split their forces and send 6 more gunships down south to blockade the Spanish, who were docked at their HT of Argentina. Meanwhile, the MCCRs built the Divine Dragon and crewed her with OE Davy Jones, Sir Edmund, a captain, a helmsman, and an oarsman. The MCCRs still felt indebted to England ever since the English helped them eliminate their territorial rival, the Pirates. As a result, the MCCRs were willing to give gold to the English (20 total, transferred from Dead Man’s Point on Madagascar to Ramsgate on St. Helena), and wanted to help them bring the French and/or the Spanish out of their ports, where they were essentially invulnerable. Eventually a 6 was rolled by OE Davy Jones, and the chaos began.

The MCCRs moved El Acorazado (newly built by the Spanish and ready for action) S+S away from Argentina, and since the MCCRs are last to go and the English first, the English were able to start pounding away. Three powerful English gunships, the Titan, Swallow, and Leicester, all opened fire on “The Battleship”, who only lost two masts in that first turn because of her immense defences, which included Joaquin Vega and Nemesio Diaz in addition to her own ability. The other Spanish gunships, the powerful La Resolucion and El Monte Cristo (both have world-hater with rank-2 guns, so TWOS HIT), got in on the action and came to the aid of their flagship. After a few minutes of intense broadsides, English guns won the day, with the Acorazado and Resolucion captured and the Monte Cristo sunk.

The English lost their HMS Swallow and HMS Titan, but these would soon be rebuilt with all of the gold the English had saved up. The Spanish launched the Santos Romanos at the tail end of the engagement, and she sunk the schooner Auckland with her powerful guns. HMS Europa used Commander Temple to transport the Acorazado straight to the English HT of Greenland, while HMS Victoria (with only her mainmast left standing) began towing the Resolucion. Her reduced speed meant she would be the last to leave the battle area, and the Spanish decided on a desperate cheap shot, using the Santos Romanos to sink both the Victoria and her prize. Furious, the English turned around the untouched HMS Apollo (F&S version) and blew the Spanish blockade runner out of the water at point-blank range. With that, the Spanish lost their last ship and are officially out of the naval war.

As the battle began in the southwest, the French at their HT of Western Europe decided to try to capitalize on the fact that the English fleet was divided, and started another battle. This one would not be so hotly contested, however, as the French only had two gunships (La Corse and La Possession). The defensive ability of La Corse (same as El Acorazado) was cancelled by Lenoir, aboard the captured Belle Etoile. This made her easy prey for the Cygnet and HMS Grand Temple, who sunk both ships with the help of Ramsgate. L’Amazone and L’Emeraude have also been sunk, leaving the French with only one ship, La Vengeance. Last turn, La Vengeance sailed on a suicide mission, and took out four masts (replacing one with a fire mast) on HMS Swallow. However, she is about to be pounced upon and sunk by more English gunships, and France-America appears to be the most likely candidate to be the second faction eliminated. Also last turn, the English launched new gunships at Fort Brompton, with the Bretwalda and Dover among those newly commissioned. HMS Dreadnought has been built at Greenland, and although I have run out of English captains, she is stacked with a shipwright, cannoneer, musketeer, fire shot, grape shot, and stinkpot shot, with First Mate Ismail on board to make room.

The French-American armies are dwindling after being sent east across Asia to attack the growing numbers of the MCCRs, who have lost the land battle up to this point. Most of the fighting has been around Kamchatka and Irkutsk. Though the MCCRs have been on the losing end so far, the French will not be able to reinforce their armies (since they can’t run gold and buy new units), while the MCCRs have a strong, uncontested gold system that they are using to consistently buy army units with. For the MCCRs, it is just a matter of transporting their armies across the sea to Asia from their HT of New Guinea, which they are hurrying to do, with some difficulty. New Guinea is always extremely crowded, with five galleys and other gold ships going in and out, ferrying gold all over the western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea. Two Duncans (Mercenary two masters) and the Cursed ships Guinee and Executioner have recently been launched. The Baochuan is trying her best to transport as many troops to Asia as quickly as possible, but she can’t do it by herself. Shap’ng Tsai, captain of the obtrusive Shui Xian, seems a bit confused on how to help out, as he thought he would be fighting, not watching and carrying troops. The huge Mercenary ten master has gotten in the way a few times, and to complicate things even further, a reef is positioned on the northwest corner of New Guinea, cutting down on how much space ships have to dock. Who knew a faction could be so rich and powerful yet awkward and inefficient? 

An overview of the global situation: The English have complete naval dominance of the entire Western hemisphere, while the MCCRs are masters of the east. The Spanish still have the largest army, with England and the MCCRs building theirs up. Spain and France-America have been all but annihilated at sea. Spain has 105 army units, England 40, France-America 10, and the MCCRs, 41. Since Spain is powerless with no navy, she can be picked off at leisure by whoever wins the naval war. The victor will have unlimited armies, since they will have a monopoly of gold and therefore armies that don’t run out. It appears as though the English and MCCRs, friendly up to this point, will inevitably clash in an epic struggle for the command of the oceans.

Additional Comment:
Today saw the end of the French-Americans, as expected. They have no ships left and have three infantry units, one in Western Europe and two in Great Britain. They lost the battle for Asia to the MCCRs because the MCCRs were able to gain 5 reinforcements per turn because they control both Africa and Australia.

The battle to decide the game has begun! The MCCRs have sent their whole fleet west around South Africa and have engaged the English. At the start of the battle, the sides numbered somewhere around 21 ships for the MCCRs and 41 for the English. The English appeared (and still appear) to have the advantage, but many of their new ships were hastily launched and uncrewed, while the MCCRs had three ten masters at their disposal.

The battle is probably less than halfway through; it has been rough going for the MCCRs. The three ten masters sailed in line ahead (just a coincidence) with a few fast galleys and the Divine Dragon in the lead. The Dragon was the first ship sunk, but not before she inflicted damage on numerous English ships and destroyed Ramsgate, on St. Helena. The Delusion, first in the line of ten masters, began shooting everything in sight, while DJC Davy Jones copied the ability of the Pestilence for defence. The ability requires enemies to roll sixes to eliminate masts, but the English used Thomas Gunn (far to the north on HMS Apollo) to give +1 to English die rolls once per ship, once per turn to let fives hit as well, and now the Delusion has just four masts left.

The English have devised a strategy of throwing all of their smaller, uncrewed ships into battle to wear down the MCCRs before letting loose their big, stacked flagships, and it seems to be working. The Delusion and Shui Xian both have Captain Nemo and Ibrahan Ozat, but they haven’t been able to capture any crew since the crewless English ships have surrounded them. The Delusion finally broke free by becoming ghostly and moving L+S+L+S by sacrificing her oarsman (via OE Fantasma), moving through to open sea to sink HMS Titan to the east, off of Congo. However, now HMS Dreadnought has her cornered, and has just shot her crew with Stinkpot Shot, limiting her options severely. The other two ten masters aren’t as damaged, but they have also had terrible luck. On just a single turn, the Shui Xian missed 5 times out of 6 (6 guns in range, that is), while the Baochuan (with world-hater Chang Pao on board) missed 6 times out of 7! The MCCRs have sunk more ships than the English, but none of the English ‘super’ gunships have been in action, while the ten masters are already in a world of hurt.

Additional Comment:

Today (6/20) saw the end of this long game. The Shui Xian and Baochuan were eventually sunk by the English, who labouriously fought through the horde of MCCR ships, suffering the loss of six more ships in today’s action. When the Delusion was derelict and the other two ten masters sunk, the MCCRs ordered a hopeless retreat. The Delusion was towed east to Madagascar to Dead Man’s Point, where she tried to repair. However, the whole of the English fleet was in pursuit, and the odds were impossibly in favour of the English. The Fallen Angel was rammed by HMS Leicester and sunk by the captured El Acorazado, who used Nemesio Diaz to cancel her ability. HMS Grand Temple finished off the fort, while the Sea Tiger captured the Delusion (since she is Eternal) and HMS Swallow captured the other MCCR Eternal ship, the Grim Reaper. The last MCCR ship left standing was the Pestilence, who hurried back to her HT of New Guinea. There she was rammed and captured by HMS Apollo and the Cygnet. With that, England has total dominance over the seas, and therefore, of the world. She went on to conquer the world on land, and England has now won the game!

The game went quite well, and although I was unsurprised that the naval aspect held power over the land portion of the game, it was a bit too one-sided. I may try to change a few rules to make the land part more relevant (possibly starting the game with treasure in unoccupied territories, only to be obtained over land) if I play this Risk combination game again. As it stands now, all a player needs to do to win the entire game is eliminate the other players’ navies.

Tomorrow I am planning on testing one ship fleets in (mostly) one-on-one deathmatches where I will try to determine which of my ‘super’ gunships is the most effective. This may turn into a sort of process dubbed ‘The Acorazado Trials’, but this is just me speculating that she will dominate; hopefully she won’t win every game.

After this I think I will try a scenario described in the link below, but I probably won’t start it tomorrow.

Originally Posted by Sariouriel View Post

I’ve once had quite a big battle that lasted for a few days. I believe we had around 200 ships in total.

There were two teams, the attackers and the defenders. The scenario was called “the defence of st. Helen’s” and there were 6 of us and we decided not to take any crew. It was supposed to take 15 turns, but we made it 30 in order to have more fun. When you have 70 ships in total, it is quite hard to move them.

Ah yes – the scenario is described here:

February 26th, 2012 – Delusion + smaller games

Today I tested out my new ten masted Cursed junk, the Delusion, at 35 points the most expensive ship in the game. I concluded that she is not usually worth the points; she lost in most of the games I played. The 40 point games were somewhat unfair, however, as I could only give her a captain and helmsman. In the larger games, however, she was ganged up on, and didn’t have enough firepower (her guns are rank 3 and 4).

I mostly tested her against my tougher deathmatch fleets, the ones the HMS Grand Temple fleet went up against, detailed in an above post. Once I tested the Delusion fleet with Nemo/Davy Jones/Fiore/Ozat along with the Fallen Angel towing the Death’s Anchor, but it fell to a combination of these deathmatch fleets, one utilizing the GT, Soleil Royal, and Bonaparte, as well as a handful of cancelers. I believe a more fair test would be to include her in a large standard game where she could more effectively use her keywords.

What was interesting to me: a 135 (random, I know) point deathmatch fleet using the Delusion, Acorazado, and Nautilus was picked apart and ruined by a good fleet of good gunships and support sloops equipped with cancelers. The Delusion had the DJC version of Davy Jones on board, to copy the Acorazado’s awesome defensive ability (or the Nautilus for that matter). The Acorazado was crewed to the max (Vega, Zuan from MI, Diaz, Castro from SM, helmsman), and the Nautilus had Nemo, Ozat, and a helmsman to steal enemy crew. However, the Delusion was sunk in one turn that saw the opposing fleet cancel her canceler, Fiore, and then cancel Davy Jones, making her vulnerable. A fleet that should’ve taken 36 hits to defeat was canceled into oblivion!

Twice I played a four-player 100 point deathmatch with the above four deathmatch fleets-the ones centered around the GT, Soleil Royal, Bonaparte, and Acorazado. The first game went to El Acorazado. In the second game, the other three fleets conspired to sink her (and did), with the Bonaparte/Longshanks fleet emerging victoriously from the carnage.

I also used the Grand Temple fleet against a 40 point Spanish fleet in a standard game (with gold). The Spanish fleet utilized the Asesino de la Nave, Joya del Sol, and Villalobos. The GT fleet actually won two of the three, although this may have been somewhat of an aberration (Asesino has cargo-wrecking and had canceler Nemesio Diaz on board).

A solid day of smaller actions that proved the worth of cancelers, and proved the downfall of unneeded cost (Delusion) and unreliable guns.

February 21st, 2012 – End of second 500 point game

The game was finished up today; it didn’t take as long as the other 500 point game. I believe it took only 13 or 14 turns. The King Edward was sunk by a combination of three Spanish ships, ending the game, with the Spanish with nine ships remaining, and the English with 14. The French Americans had some ships, and were in the process of a battle against the Merccursed. This was interrupted when ‘all available gold had been unloaded to home islands’. The final treasure count:
1. English: 81 gold
2. Pirates: 25
3. French Americans: 21
4. Spanish: 0
5. Merccursed: 0 (I put them behind the Spanish because they never had a single coin at any point during the game).

A blowout victory for the English!  The game wasn’t as thrilling as the last 500 point game, but it was fun to see the English play a near-perfect game.

February 20th, 2012 – Continuation of second 500 point game

Another five or six turns have been completed, and the game will probably be finished up tomorrow. The English and the Spanish fought in the southwest corner, with the Spanish appearing to have somewhat won . Too bad my English have way more treasure than them!

Some of the English ships have gone to the east using the round earth rule and are just now stealing treasure from the HI of the Pirates. HMS Bath and HMS Lady Provost are taking gold, although it may not even be necessary for the English to win, as I appear to have the most gold of any faction, with some on my HI and more in Fort Brompton. The Viper’s Bite, Longshanks, and Darkhawk II have all been captured by the English, who have been the dominant force of late, as they also recaptured the Aberdeen Baron and sunk Le Gaule. The Acorazado was sunk by a team of English ships, and La Ebro (with Olano’s Marine keyword) has eliminated Wolves, allowing the last treasure to be loaded.

The treasure still has to be counted, but the other four fleets have all but conceded that the English have the most treasure. The Merccursed have repaired and regrouped, but appear to be too late to make any real late-game noise, although they have just recently attacked the French Americans, who were also repairing (from skirmishes against the Pirates). Le Bonaparte and Le Lache de Calvados, both immune to enemies within S, have frustrated the English around the Pirates’ HI, forcing the English to try to ram them, which has not worked. Meanwhile, the Pirates have been officially eliminated, with some of their ships captured by the English, sunk by the French Americans and the English, and scuttled to escape capture. The Coral was the last Pirate ship floating, but now they have nothing, which is important because the English have a free shot at their HI, which has the most treasure other than the HI of the English.

The Spanish fought the English in the hopes of defeating them, but they suffered three serious blows in their efforts today: the Divine Dragon sunk El Villalobos, who was carrying 11 gold in the form of two coins, having been transferred to her by the derelict San Pedro. Also, the English captured the Joya del Sol, who had more valuable treasure on her (probably about nine gold), giving them even more treasure. As if this wasn’t enough, both cancelers (Nemesio Diaz) were eliminated, going down on board the Santa Teresa and the Asesino de la Nave.

With the Pirates unable to defend their dwindling supply of gold, the French Americans losing most of their useful ships and now fighting the Merccursed, and the Spanish without a large amount of gold, the English appear to have won, though hopefully I am not speaking too soon .

HMS King Edward is positioned to take the last pieces of treasure, and the game shall end soon!

A new 500 point game! February 19th, 2012

Today (2/18/12) I set everything up for a 500 point game, the second I will have played. I created the fleets on paper earlier in the week.

Once again, there will be five 500 point fleets, with four of the five having +5 0 point Limit Ransom crew (0LR +5), for a grand total of 2520 points on the floor! Things have changed in my Pirates CSG landscape, so the fleets will be composed of slightly different factions than last time. The English, Spanish, and Pirates will all be fighting individually. The French, however, are now allied with the Americans, as well as the Corsairs (this alliance will be referred to as the French Americans). The Cursed have teamed up with the Mercenaries (I will call them the Merccursed). The Merccursed are the only fleet not playing to win, as they will be trying to create chaos for the opposing fleets. I am not using duplicate ships this time (other than two of the Death’s Anchor flotillas), but I am using some duplicate named crew. However, most of the duplicate crew used will be variations of crew with the same name (ex: the Pirates are using the SM Calico Cat, as well as the OE and ROTF versions, and the English will be using the MI Hermione Gold and the ROTF version, among others). The English are using 31 ships total, the Spanish 36, the French Americans 33, the Pirates 36, and the Merccursed 29 (including flotillas and sea monsters), for a grand total of 165 !

20 islands will be used, with four treasure coins per island, for 60 total coins (15 wild islands + 5 home islands), of which 16 are unique treasures. 14 pieces of terrain have been placed, with six more on standby for the Lost UT. The nations have chosen their home islands, from east to west: Pirates, French Americans, Merccursed, Spanish, English. The order of turns will be: English, Spanish, French Americans, Pirates, Merccursed. Hopefully it will be as exciting and close-fought as the last 500 point game!

Additional Comment:

First seven turns: The game commenced, and the fleets were off!

The HMS Lady Provost encountered the UT Natives, freezing her for two turns, while the HMS Alexander uncovered the UT Missionary, marking a bad start for the English.

The Spanish got into a fight with the Cursed which is just now ending. They managed to sink the Executioner by canceling ROTF Fantasma’s Eternal keyword, and now they have acquired the Eye of Insanity, which they transferred to El Acorazado, who is also decked out with crew. The Eye lets her substitute one of her crew for a Cursed crew in play, and they naturally picked OE Davy Jones’ guaranteed extra action. Their Toro and San Jose have been sunk, among others, but they have been doing okay.

The French have gotten some treasure with La Vengeance, the Griffin, and the Viper’s Bite (the latter are still on their way home, and in big trouble from the Pirates and English respectively). The Conquerant, Saber, Possession, and Soleil Royal have all been sunk in two separate actions against the Pirates, while the French were able to eliminate the loaded Harbinger, and the dangerous Raninoidea crab. Those same Pirates have had bad luck and bad timing, and almost half of their fleet was annihilated in one turn by the English.

The English used the “round earth” rules to go to the other side of the sea and try to get to two far-off islands, but things became much more complicated than that. The English ended up having to send some of their best gunships over to take care of the Pirates, heading for the same islands, and took out 24 masts in one turn of furious broadsides (mostly the work of the HMS Grand Temple, HMS Titan, Bretwalda, Ark Royal, and Apollo). Both islands were explored by the English, and they built Fort Brompton on the closer one, but the fort was quickly destroyed by the Revenant (soon thereafter sunk by the Lord Walpole), but then rebuilt. The Aberdeen Baron was captured after exploring the farther island by the Viper’s Bite, after having been dismasted by Le Gaule, who consequently was almost dismasted by a collection of English ships. As of now, the Baron is sitting derelict with one treasure coin, the dismasted Viper’s Bite is crawling home at S speed, and the Gaule is doomed (La Dijon was sunk in this action as well). The English appear to be in complete control in this northeast area of the sea. They have captured three Pirate ships, the Raven (now at her new HI repairing), Longshanks, and Darkhawk II (both of which are being towed home with treasure on board).

The Merccursed have been creating chaos in the middle of the sea, harassing the two nearest fleets, those of the Spanish and the French Americans. The Spanish have successfully beaten them back, but the French Americans didn’t fare so well. Their problem was the fact that most of the French gunships (the bulk of their fighting ships) were off fighting the Pirates to the east, while the Merccursed used teamwork to attack the three American five masters, the Enterprise, Blackwatch, and Constitution (OE). They weakened the Enterprise with a host of ships, notably the Forward equipped with a Firepot Specialist and Musketeer, then took out her Eternal crew, Ralph David, with the crew-killing boarding effect of the Jikininki. Then the Blackwatch appeared, but she was handled by the same combination of ships (less the Forward who the Blackwatch sunk). Christian Fiore’s cancelling ability was utilized to cancel Gus Schultz (Eternal) at just the right time, and then the sea monster Slarg Gubbit finished her off. Too bad the Merccursed won’t have any treasure, so they won’t win.

Dozens of other ships were damaged and sunk today; too many to remember. These were just the highlights. The last treasure coin is on an island to the west, protected by the Wolves UT. La Ebro heads there, but there is a large battle looming in that area, in the southwest corner, between the English and the Spanish. The English have more captain crew, but the Spanish have El Acorazado and possibly more ships that are fit for battle. These appear to be the strongest factions at this point, but the Pirates and French Americans are still in the running.

A series of tests for my HMS Grand Temple fleet – February 18th, 2012

This was long overdue. I have also posted this with the fleet at MT.

I finally tested this fleet against some “tougher” deathmatch fleets I came up with using stuff from my collection. The fleets opposing the HMS Grand Temple fleet were specifically designed to beat the GT fleet in particular. Each of the three fleets would face the Temple fleet in a three-game set (with each game being played out regardless of the winner of the first two games).

The first fleet of the three:
Le Bonaparte (DJC): 16 points
Capitaine Gaston de St. Croix: 5
Jordan Dumas: 6
Christian Fiore: 6 (yes I know this is illegal, I essentially took out the Ex-Patriot keyword to bring the point cost to 5, or you could say I used him as a proxy for Monsieur LeNoir, the French canceler)
Longshanks: 6
“Cannonball” Gallows: 0 (+5)
Captain: 3
Helmsman: 2
Fire Shot: 1

The strategy would be to combine the abilities of Le Bonaparte (cannot be shot at by ships within S) and Fiore’s canceler by engaging the Temple at close range. The Longshanks would support her, possibly dealing with the Meresman if she got in the way.
This strategy worked mostly because the Temple was not able to maneuver perfectly (at least not more than once in the three games) so that she could shoot all four of her L-range guns while staying more than S away from the Bonaparte. The Bonaparte would close in, and with the help of the SAT from Croix, successfully sink the Temple, who would be almost powerless against the canceler. The Longshanks and the Meresman fought some in these games, but almost canceled each other out.
This fleet beat the GT fleet two out of three times, with the only exception coming when the GT had perfect positioning so that her L-range guns were brought to bear and dismasted the Bonaparte.

The second fleet:
Soleil Royal: 13
Vicomte Jules de Cissey: 0 (+5)
Captain: 3
Helmsman: 2
Fire Shot: 1
Santa Teresa: 9
Nemesio Diaz: 5
Snipe: 6
Christian Fiore: 6

Both the Santa Teresa and Snipe are one-masted sloops from SM with immunity to L-range guns. They would try to sail on either side of the Soleil Royal, who would then move in for the kill after the two cancelers stripped the Temple (and the Meresman) down. The two sloops were basically immune to cannon fire (L-range immunity + canceled captains if enemy within S), but the huge weakness of this strategy was quickly apparent: one ram had a good chance of dismasting a sloop, making the all-important cancelers stationary.
The GT fleet won two of the three games against this fleet, one by ramming the cancelers out of action (then the Temple would circle around the trio with 6S movement to sink the Soleil Royal), and one by a stroke of luck, when the Meresman used her ship’s ability of doubled cannon range to take out the Snipe (with a ‘sniping’ ability ).

The third and final test:
El Acorazado: 21
Capitan Alarico Castro: 3
Luis Zuan: 7
Joaquin Vega: 4
Nemesio Diaz: 5
Helmsman: 2
El Algeciras: 3
Contessa Anita Amore: 0 (+5)

This fleet was to let the GT come to “The Battleship”, and then let her despair against the nearly impenetrable walls of defense around the Spanish gunship (3 hits for first mast, 2 for the rest, essentially can only fire from L-range b/c canceler would take out GT’s ship ability, taking out the captain ability as well). El Algeciras was only there to provide cargo space for Amore, and try her best to hold off the Meresman (who didn’t factor in anyway). This fleet was the most impressive in battle and also the most intimidating. I was not surprised when the Spanish won all three times. The GT was only able to knock out four masts total over the three games, and then she fell to El Acorazado’s improved guns (Zuan has world-hater). I honestly think this particular fleet would always beat the GT fleet, too much to get through, even with the immense fire power of the GT with her crew.

Therefore, my HMS Grand Temple fleet now has a record of 18-6, still very impressive  . A combination of cancelers and S or L immunities appear to be the way to go against her, but the easiest way to beat her is with the legendary El Acorazado.