8 fleet tournament begins after HMS Grand Temple fleet dominates – February 19th, 2013

HMS Grand Temple dominates, and a Tournament with 8 fleets gets going!

I’ve recently played a few more games: a series of three standard (40 points with gold) games between two fleets. The fleets consisted of a Pirate fleet of the Darkhawk II, Raven, and Bonnie Liz, versus a (mostly) Spanish fleet of La Santa Isabel, La San Jose, El Algeciras, and the Carrion Crow.

The first game went to the Spaniards, without much action.

The second game was one the the hardest fought games I’ve been involved in. Three of the seven ships were sunk, a fort was built, there was ramming, boarding, stealing, shooting, and just a great amount of good, honest, pirating . The Santa Isabel managed to trap the Darkhawk in between herself and an island, since I’ve recently implemented the 90 degree rule: A ship can turn no more than 90 degrees for each move segment of their move action. However, the Pirates fought back well, using the fort Dead Man’s Point to derelict the Algeciras. After the Santa Isabel stole all three gold coins (totaling 8 gold) from the Darkhawk, she made for her HI with just one mast remaining. The Darkhawk also only had one mast, and she caught the Spaniard just before she could unload the gold. After taking out the Santa Isabel’s final mast, the Darkhawk took back the gold and made for home. Meanwhile, the Raven was dismasted by the Carrion Crow and San Jose after she rammed the Crow in an attempt to steal a treasure coin. The Crow headed for home (just a few move actions away) with the Raven in tow, but the Darkhawk (now partially repaired, at three masts) sunk her former comrade, ending the game with the odd amount of treasure going to the Pirates, giving them a satisfying victory!

The third game also went to the Pirates, who took advantage of their HI being in a good spot. The Raven made a few nice treasure runs, and the Darkhawk took full advantage of Captain Blackheart, saccing for at least three extra actions. The Darkhawk had Blackheart, a helmsman, an explorer, “Cannonball” Gallows (the 0LR +5 version), and two oarsmen aboard, with a third oarsman on the HI. This way, the Darkhawk would sac two oarsmen on the way to and from a wild island, and pick up another one after she unloaded the gold.

Additional Comment:

Those three games were actually the first three in a mini-tournament. The second series of three involved my HMS Grand Temple fleet (now with the London instead of the Meresman, since I’ve finally acquired her) facing an all-treasure fleet consisting of the Tiger’s Eye, La Dijon, Le Bon Marin, Le Coeur du Lion, Coral, and Rover. It was no contest, with the GT fleet winning all three times in dominating fashion. The UT’s helped a bunch in slowing down the runners, as they’re supposed to.

The final three games pitted the GT fleet against the Pirate fleet with the Darkhawk II, Raven, and Bonnie Liz. This fleet was harder for the Grand Temple and the London to defeat, but the English still won all three games. In addition, there was no English bias involved, as I even made the English HI extra-far-away from the rest of the islands for the last game, to give the Pirates a head start running gold.

It appears that the GT fleet is only to be defeated by fleets utilizing defensive abilities or cancellers .

Additional Comment:

Today (2/3/13) three games were played: 40 point deathmatches between the HMS Grand Temple fleet and the Acorazado fleet. It was the first time the GT fleet faced the Acorazado fleet with the London instead of the Meresman, so I expected the English to do better than before. They didn’t. El Acorazado won all three games, and never lost more than two masts in any one game. Now this fleet is 24-9.

Additional Comment:

2/15/13: I should be able to get my ships out again in the next few days. I’ve recently acquired a handful of the best pieces in the game (Banshee’s Cry, Neptune’s Hoard, L’Artesien, some events, etc.), and look forward to using them.

Instead of one or two huge games, there will probably be mostly smaller actions. The fleets may be very competitive. I’ll definitely try out Norvegia and this beast. There may be a long tournament of standard games, although I’m not really sure quite yet.

Additional Comment:

8 fleets have been created, and they are all standard 40 point fleets designed to win. I tried to put together just about the best stuff I had from each faction, without using the same exact fleets I’ve used in the past. There will be a tournament, with each fleet squaring off against another fleet in a series of three games. Here are the fleets:

English: HMS London, Aberdeen Baron, HMS Hound towing the Gibraltar flotilla.
French: Le Bonaparte + the French trio of super-runners: L’Artesien, Le Bon Marin, Le Pique.
Spanish: La Santa Isabel, La Joya del Sol, El San Jose.
Pirate: Neptune’s Hoard, Bloody Jewel, Banshee’s Cry.
American: Ghost Walker, Carolina, Rattlesnake.
Cursed: Grim Reaper towing the Death’s Anchor, Sea Rat.
Mercenaries: Shui Xian.
Barbary Corsairs: Tiger’s Eye, Algiers, Carthage.

Additional Comment:

Half of the first round has been completed. The Pirates lost the first game to the Shui Xian, but quickly recovered and took both of the final two games to win their series. The Spanish soundly beat the Barbary Corsairs 3-0, but the Corsairs probably could have won the final game.

For the other first round series, the French will face the Cursed, and the English will take on the Americans.

Additional Comment:

The French have just completed a three game sweep of the Cursed. However, the games were very hard-fought; the Cursed didn’t do as badly as they usually do.

Additional Comment:

The English have beat the Americans 3-0, completing the first round of the tournament.

For the semifinals, the Pirates will be pitted against the French while the English take on the Spanish.

Additional Comment:

In the first series of the semifinals, the Pirates beat the French in all three games. Even when the French went first, the Pirates still got to the islands faster due to their sac crew.

In the second series, the English beat the Spanish two games to one. The third game came down to the wire, with the Gibraltar’s guns proving to decisive.

The final round will see the English take on Norvegia!  Read about it here!

Wizkids Pirates – First physical game in 11 months

Wizkids Pirates – First non-solo physical game in 11 months

Finally played another physical game of Wizkids Pirates for the first time in quite a while!  It was a simple 1v1 game at a 50 point build total with an opponent who hadn’t played for a few years.

I rolled to go first with a mixed fleet of allied minor faction ships:

Grand Mountain + captain, helmsman

Fenrir + captain, helmsman

Pasha’s Delight

 

My opponent went with a Cursed American fleet:

USS Georgetown + captain, helmsman

Pawtucket + captain, helmsman

Nightmare (OE version) + helmsman

 

Here’s the setup; 2 wild islands with about 6 coins apiece.

Pirates CSG

 

4 ships docked at the islands, while the Grand Mountain and USS Georgetown engaged in a gunnery duel.

Pirates CSG

 

While the Fenrir and Pasha’s Delight took the best 3 coins from the two islands, the Grand Mountain sailed into combat, nearly dismasting both captained enemy ships while losing 3 masts of her own.  The luck disparity loomed large in this game, as I was luckier than usual and my opponent missed even with the 2L cannons.

Pirates CSG

 

The Grand Mountain abandoned her pursuit of the Pawtucket to go after the slower and less dangerous Nightmare, but only hit 2/3, allowing the Nightmare to unload all 4 of her coins!  However, with USS Georgetown out of combat, the Fenrir and Pasha’s Delight were able to safely extract the final coins in play without issue.

Pirates CSG

 

In a close finish, my minor faction alliance fleet emerged victorious by a score of 17-15!

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 continues after 5 month hiatus

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 has continued!  Gingerninja is too busy to continue playing, so the remaining three players have divided his three fleets amongst ourselves.

The new turn order – we simply added our new faction to the end of our turns.

Xerecs
1. Spanish
2. Jade Rebellion
3. Hyrulian Conglomerate/The Alliance
4. English

A7XfanBen
5. Pirates
6. Cursed
7. Vikings
8. Barbary Corsairs

PirateAJ14
9. Dutch
10. Americans
11. Mercenaries
12. French

Each “absorbed” faction can launch points at the beginning of their first turn with their new owners to get them to the starting build total of 30.

You can see a video summary of Xerecs’ turn, in which the Spanish had some UT shenanigans with Pandora’s Box, and the English did their first launch.

Here are the UT’s my factions placed on the Santa Isabel via Pandora’s Box:

Pirates: Message in a Bottle
The Pirates flung the SI a short distance to the island with metals that the Pirates have explored, as there are multiple wild islands with no treasure coins, so the Pirates picked that island. I think the controller of the ship would still choose where at the island the ship docked, so I just docked her on the far side of the island away from the Pirates.
Cursed: Runes of Death
Vikings: face down positive UT (they are simply announcing to everyone that it is a positive UT, rather than keep its nature a secret)
Barbary Corsairs: Maps of Hades

 

In this picture, the new Spanish home island is at the top, with the Pirate home island at the bottom.  The Cursed Blade has used Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight to allow the Neptune’s Hoard to move twice, and she has moved astern of the Santa Isabel.

VASSAL CG4

 

The Corsairs launched 3 of their 6 point ships with no crew to fill out the remaining 18 points of their fleet. The Tiger’s Eye explored the island she’s docked at and found (essentially) all negative UT’s: Monkey’s Paw, The Cursed, and the custom Marooned. Since the TE doesn’t have any crew on her I left Marooned face down on the island. She also found Textiles though.  The Cassandra and Dragon have round earthed to the north, while the Vikings gather lumber and escort their turtles home.

VASSAL Campaign Game 4

This does present a strange situation where 3 of my 4 fleets have home islands quite close together – Vikings, Pirates and Corsairs all concentrated in the northern center area of the map.

NINETEEN games between El Acorazado and HMS Endeavour – January 13th, 2013

A Classic Matchup for the Ages: El Acorazado vs. HMS Endeavour

I was able to play a few games today, earlier than I expected. I only got out two ships, however, and everything is already put away.

The matchup was a duel for the ages: El Acorazado versus HMS Endeavour. I’ve been wanting to see these two ships (alone) pitted against each other for a long time. Arguably the best defensive ability in the game against arguably the best offensive ability in the game. On paper, it looks like an even matchup, with both ships weighing in at 21 points, both powerful 5 masters. Their abilities are opposites, and most of the time, the crew on both ships were similar.

I expected El Acorazado to win, and I almost wanted her to. As a side note, there was no English bias at work here, since I don’t even know which ship I like better.

Since each game was a quick, one-on-one deathmatch (with HI’s about 5L apart), I was able to play 19 games in around 2 hours.

The first three games saw the ships go at each other bare-bones with the exception of a generic captain. El Acorazado won 2 out of 3.

The next series of 12 games saw the two ships duke it out full of crew. El Acorazado went with her maxed out setup: Luis Zuan (MI version), Admiral Alarico Castro (SM), Nemesio Diaz, Joaquin Vega, Duque Marcus Vaccaro, and a helmsman. HMS Endeavour was crewed with Hermione Gold (MI), Sir Christopher Myngs, Rhys Gryffyn Owen, Christian Fiore, and a helmsman. I would have maxed out the Endeavour’s point cost, but she has 4 cargo spaces. In this stretch of intense games, El Acorazado went 7-5.

Then a series of three games was played with the Acorazado exchanging her helmsman for a shipwright. The idea would be to let the Endeavour fire first, and then repair with a double action as needed. This backfired, as the Endeavour won all three games.

After 18 games, each fleet had won 9. For the final game, the ships went back to their standard crew, from the 12 game setup. HMS Endeavour won the game, but I’m not convinced that she is actually the better ship.

Joaquin Vega was one of the reasons El Acorazado won some of her games. When the Endeavour would shoot first, she would need to have all five guns hit in order to eliminate 4 of the Acorazado’s masts. If she missed even once (with a one), the return fire from the Acorazado would be crippling (since El Acorazado’s ability (and Vega’s) is applied before the ability of the Endeavour, it seems to be slightly more effective than the Endeavour’s ability). Also, when the Acorazado would get the first shot (not often, since she’s slower), she almost always won, because if she hit at least three times, she would automatically win (since the Endeavour would need three shots just to dent the armor of the Acorazado).

Command the Oceans – Rules and Conditions (9/10/2017)

Command the Oceans

The time has come for me to play another solo campaign game! It will be the first game of this type since my Experimental cumulative game in January 2016, and the first (hopefully) longer-style physical campaign game I’ve played since Economy Edition in June 2015.

I’ve taken my own advice and used my Guide to huge games post to plan this thing out.

Rules

I will generally be using my Basic Rules. Most of the core game rules stay the same for those, and some of the bigger changes like the endgame rules won’t apply here since it’s a campaign game. However, I will point out two things from my Basic Rules to keep in mind:

-Ships cannot do damage by ramming.
-When a ship wins a boarding party, the winner decides whether they will take gold/resources or eliminate crew. The winner chooses which gold/resources to take, but the loser chooses which crew is eliminated.

Those are probably the two biggest things to remember from my rules for the battle reports for this particular game.

Now, onto the house rules! Some of these are subject to change depending on how things go.

-All ships and forts must be hit twice to eliminate one of their masts. These hits can come at any time; they do not have to come in the same turn or during the same shoot action. This rule also applies to ships such as El Acorazado, whose ability now reads “four hits are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts” (not necessarily the same shoot action). (I did this for my Century of the Empires game in 2013 and generally enjoy the rule quite a bit, and as I did back then I plan to track damage by putting the tiny dice next to a mast that has a hit on it)

-To make things even more realistic, ships with no masts remaining must be hit twice as many times as they have masts in order to sink. I used this rule in CotE as well, because ships almost never sunk from pure combat. However, in order to alleviate how many derelicts could be floating around as a result, scuttling attempts succeed on a die roll of 4 as well as 5 or 6.

-Ships can be shot at even if they are docked at their home islands.

-If a faction does not have any ships docked at their home island, all opposing ships may raid their home island freely, taking as much gold and resources as they want.

-Forts and flotillas do not follow the no-duplicates rule.

-Return to Savage Shores game pieces may be used.

-Custom game pieces may be used, as long as they aren’t too overpowered.

-Return fire: After a ship is shot at, that ship can return fire with any remaining cannons, but must roll a 5 or 6 to hit. This occurs during their opponent’s turn, and therefore does not count as any kind of action and cannot be used in conjunction with ANY abilities other than those on the ship that shot first. (such as a defensive ability that would still work as normal)

Land combat/ground forces

There will be opportunities for fleets to purchase army units from RISK for use in the game. There will not be territories and RISK rules, but there will be land warfare. These rules are extremely subject to change.

Infantry: 1 point, L move; can shoot at 3S to eliminate crew only (considered crew)
Artillery: 3 points, S move; can shoot at 2L as a regular cannon (considered equipment)

-These units can only use their abilities on land.
-These units count against the point and cargo restrictions on ships.
-These units must be unloaded with an explore action or an explored island marker – they are not subject to the “free transfer while docked” rule.
-Ships can fire on army units that they can reach with their cannon ranges, but once they are out of range they cannot be shot at. (in which case the attacker would need to land army units of their own on the island or somehow draw the units back into range)
-Army units are unloaded on islands at the location where the ship docked. They must be given move actions to move to other locations on the island. Army units cannot be given more than one action per turn, and they cannot be given extra actions by any means.

During land warfare, infantry units have a 3S cannon that can shoot at other army units, while artillery units have a 2L cannon. Infantry units are eliminated with one hit from any type of army unit, while artillery units are eliminated with two hits from infantry units and one hit from artillery units.

Money!
As of now, I am tentatively planning to use a combination of gold and resources on wild islands. Resources will follow the system implemented by cannonfury for his Economy Edition rules. For those unfamiliar, each resource is assigned a number 1-6 starting with lumber. An initial roll for resource value is made, which follows the “Die Roll” row below. Then 2 d6 are rolled to determine how many turns the values last before they change. As with Economy Edition, I will be using face up coins for resources and face down coins for gold.

Die Roll……1……2…….3…….4…….5…….6
Lumber……1……6…….5…….4…….3…….2
Textiles……2……1…….6…….5…….4…….3
Metals……..3……2…….1…….6…….5…….4
Fish………..4……3…….2…….1…….6…….5
Spices……..5……4…….3…….2…….1…….6
Luxuries…..6……5…….4…….3…….2…….1

Other rules

As you will eventually see, various custom house rules will need to be instituted during the game for different reasons. These include longer range lines of fire from higher altitude vantage points, in addition to custom rules for “special” game pieces. I anticipate this game getting chaotic to the point of absolute bedlam, but I will do my best to create rules so that certain things make sense and can be explained thematically and hopefully with proper rules as well.

Starting Conditions

As the name of the game implies, there will not be just one ocean area for this game. In fact, the space constraints and logistics of the two different rooms I’m playing in will result in not two but THREE different oceans! Very Happy The general sizes of these oceans are 6×3, 5×3, and 3×3, for a grand total of 42 square feet of ocean!

I will not say how many or which factions will be participating. All I can say is that the number is more than 4, but less than 10, as not all of the factions will be playing individually. The main factions will become obvious once play begins, but the factional boundaries will not necessarily stay constant until the end of the game. Along with the uncertainty of in-game house rules, this is one area in which even I don’t know what the future holds.

-Fleets will have 30 points for their starting fleet.

-Flat earth rules are being used.

The setup will be revealed in due time, don’t worry. Smile I will be purposely leaving some things “off camera” until the viewer needs to see what they are. Twisted Evil

Also, the factions don’t know the various areas well at all, as they’re new to the locations. As a result, things will seem a bit off at times, but this is simply to emphasize that the scale of the oceans is larger than it appears, so fleets cannot simply “see” something even if it looks clear in the actual pictures, since it’s farther away than it looks to us. This is part of the reason that the oceans will not be revealed from the start – the factions have to find their way by sailing around, so the reader of these reports is discovering things as the factions discover them! Very Happy

An important note about the setup: I consider the aesthetics of my games a pathetic joke compared to the gameplay itself, so if you don’t like how something looks, make a prettier version of it and send it to me lol. I am a firm believer that you can spend far too much time pondering about this game, making fleets for it, making detailed and beautiful custom terrain, but then complain that you don’t get to PLAY as much as you’d like. I am the opposite – I am sacrificing aesthetics and long hours spent toiling on stuff in order to PLAY THE GAME!

Victory Conditions

-Last fleet afloat wins the game.

-As I’ve warned with my other physical campaign games, this game may end very suddenly at any point in time. It may abruptly stop all of a sudden without me expecting it to. Even if it doesn’t, it may require an artificial “ending” depending on the circumstances, as physical campaign games are difficult to play to true completion (aka last fleet afloat wins). Therefore, in the case of an earlier finish, the fleet with the most points in play will win.

Other
-One of the three ocean areas is on the floor, but I will be preventing any disasters with proactive measures.
-To avoid this game taking over my soul like Economy Edition did in June 2015, I am going to attempt play limits. After the first week or so of play, I plan to only play one turn per day. I plan to do battle reports consistently, possibly even on a per-turn basis.

Please comment what you think about this game! I would LOVE to have feedback on the rules I’m using, the setup, the house rules I’m implementing, and anything else you find interesting. Don’t hesitate to comment which faction you’re rooting for, or what you thought of something that happened. I want as much interaction as possible!
-I have some surprises for you all, and some things that people will be happy to see. I am very excited to play this game and I hope that a lot of people read about it! Even if you don’t plan to post in the thread, go ahead and hit “Watch this topic for replies” at the bottom of the page so you don’t miss the excitement! Smile

Final note of warning: I am about as hyped for this game as I have ever been before starting a game of Pirates CSG. I have purposely made this post somewhat nonchalant, but I believe my enthusiasm will show through indeed. If this thing somehow, someway, works out, we are all in for a wild, WILD ride. O_O

Command the Oceans – Play Begins! (9/11/2017)

Please read the first post if you haven’t already!

PLAY HAS BEGUN!

The first resource rolls! For the first 8 turns, fish would be the most valuable resource.

Introducing: Captain Mysion’s Pirate Kingdom!

After being inspired by his flavor text, I made a Pirate Empire fleet to showcase what I thought of the idea. Now I’ve taken it a step further! With a large piece of foam cut to form a hideout inside, as well as arch entrance and exit points, I now have a “Pirate Kingdom” in physical form!!
The self-proclaimed King of Pirates is either a genius or a buffoon, depending on which side you are on. Though many of his actions are inexplicable, they seem to work out for him in the end. And when it’s all said and done he lords over the only defensive pirate haven in the world.A group of shipwrecked pirates stole a ship to escape their island prison, not realizing it was a secret Cursed vessel. Taking it to Captain Mysion’s pirate “kingdom”, they received a hero’s welcome.

Here you can just make out all three Pirate ships that are in Mission’s starting fleet. At the bottom of the picture, notice the splash of gold…

At ship level now, this is the southern entrance (for this game) of the kingdom. Notice the imposing rocky walls that make up the archway leading inside. Sail too close, and yards may begin flying everywhere!

Up close above the northern arch.

This is just above sea level at the southwestern corner. There is a foreboding deep cave, with some weeds and foliage growing in many spots of the formerly uninhabited rock.

Another great view from above, showing most of the rocky haven. Notice the flat parts surrounding that high outcropping in the middle, as well as the shelf-like outcropping protruding from the western wall.

A golden waterfall?!? Shocked Smile Or, as Mysion likes to call it, his “goldfall”. Very Happy

A view from the gold waterfall, showing the two Pirate sloops. As you can see, one of them is nestled in against the interior wall for superior defensive positioning. The other sloop is docked against one of the arch entrances, ready to sail out at a moment’s notice.

The “goldfall” leads straight to the Cassandra, and you guessed it – Mission is aboard! However, this is his Mysterious Islands iteration, and he’ll try to give extra actions to his new ship to make her extra effective.

With great fanfare, Mission leaves his kingdom and sets out into the sea! What a great scene!!

Mission’s helpers are currently the Smiling Jim and the Fancy. Both are speedy and accurate Pirate sloops, but neither can carry much cargo. However, the Cassandra certainly can! This was all part of Mission’s plan for such a new area – as long as he kept the goodies in his personal stores, the crew on the other ships couldn’t tempt the others into coming aboard and leaving Mission. A clever Pirate indeed. Clever enough to not only find such an amazing natural defensive structure, but exploit it to the point of making it a powerful pirate base.

But this isn’t just a party for pirates, now is it?! Look who’s here: the Jade Rebellion is back!! On their own once again, the Jade Rebels are looking to avenge a frustrating loss in their own home waters of the South China Seas during the Experimental cumulative game about a year and a half ago. Leading their efforts this time around are two brand-new ships to my collection: the huge GRAND WIND and the Sea Snake! Warlord Cavendish commands the Grand Wind, with a helmsman aboard to make the ship sail at an acceptable pace.

The Jade Rebels seemingly appeared out of nowhere at the edge of this ocean, which is not just “Ocean #1” (for gameplay purposes and turn order), but also the Sea of Allost! (pronounced like you’re saying “all lost” as one word, not like ballast hah) The sea was so named because according to ancient legends, “all are lost who travel these waters”. This is not true in the least, as sailors seem to find their way rather easily in the Sea of Allost. (note: I love mispronouncing the real life Sea of Azov as “A-zovv” so this was a way for me to make a similar sounding name along with a vague flavor explanation lol)

Welcome to the Caribbean!

Well, kind of. XD Due to space constraints and another factor, it doesn’t resemble the Caribbean at all, but more a tiny snapshot of one fictionalized area of the Caribbean. By fictionalized, I mean that there are a couple Caribbean-type things involved, but they aren’t in their regular locations and the scale is tiny. (as it had to be, unfortunately) For the purposes of turn order and sequence, this is also known as Ocean #2.

Clearly the English have arrived! They sail in on two more ships that I built just before the game started, as I usually try to do with physical campaign games. HMS Viceroy and HMS Apollo have officially entered Royal Navy service, and they are eager to prove themselves in such fine and beautiful waters. Speaking of beautiful, check out their home island! You may recognize the style and aesthetics of it, and indeed it is yet another creation from Ross in AZ. You are probably impressed, but don’t be jealous of me – you can get some too! He sells (and sometimes trades) them; check out details on his Facebook page.

The English depart from Port Royal, looking for ways to maximize English wealth and territorial claims.

Ohhh boy!! Spain is back in action! After a dominant showing in the first VASSAL campaign game, they’re off to a HOT start in the third one. Now they’ve invaded the Caribbean and look for another victory! Setting sail from their home island of Hispaniola (thematically), the Spanish fleet contains a familiar ship: the San Estaban! This ship was one of the luckiest ships ever during my Economy Edition game two years ago, so naturally the Spanish are looking to capitalize on the ship’s rich history and surprise unknowing opponents.

Joining the San Estaban are the Magdalena and La Ebro, good sloops from subpar sets. Obviously they are using another island from Rossinaz, while in the background you can see a little preview or “taste” of the Caribbean. Smile A dangerous rock lies in wait, while my handmade sandbars are to the right.

The Spanish split their fleet into three, so they can explore more than one area of the Caribbean at a time.

The crew of the Ebro spot the imposing rock, whose height is nearly the same as the Ebro’s single mast! Before we leave the Caribbean for now, a note about the oceans: as you can generally see already, I am using a combination of completely fictional locations (Sea of Allost) along with a small but pseudo-historical real location (Caribbean). I realize this mix of reality and fantasy is not for everyone, but I can promise you that it will be worth it. Just keep reading. Smile

Introducing: The HARBOR!!

It’s here! With an absolute bevy of ideas percolating in my head over the past few weeks, the Harbor makes a grand entrance. The Harbor was cut from a large piece of foam, as the middle chunk was easily removed to leave a massive frame that works great as a defensible harbor.

In this Sea of Karkuda (name subject to change, also Ocean #3 for playing purposes), the French have arrived to build a massive harbor complex that eclipses the engineering feats of just about all other factions in any “game” ever. However, by the time they were done building it, they were nearly broke and could only afford a single dock for their ships!! Hahah!

A slightly more overhead view, showing how large the man-made structure is. The main harbor rule is as follows: Harbor docks of any size cost 10 gold apiece. I’m hoping this will be a reasonable way to let the French expand their operations within their luxurious confines, without being too cheap to allow for easy exploitation since the French are VERY lucky to have even built it in the first place. It’s capable of holding far more ships than Mysion’s kingdom, and may also be a stronger defensive haven. Therefore, it seems only fair that the French must build it up in order to have a drawback for using it from the beginning of the game. Oh, and another thing: ships must unload at docks within the Harbor, as the main walls cannot be docked at by any ships on the inside OR the outside. This forces the French to travel further inside to unload things, but also forces any potential home island raiders to brave arguably the most dangerous gauntlet of defense constructed in a Pirates game.

I hope you enjoyed the introduction of my new Harbor area. I initially had some issues with it which I’ll expand upon later, but now that I’ve done some serious brainstorming and thinking (thus the word bevy, harhar!), it has the potential to be an all-time great.

Well! Let’s not forget about the faction who controls the Harbor, shall we? The French! Sailing out with an Admiral’s Action to start the game provided by Amiral Gaston de St. Croix, the Soleil Royal is back in action! After a lengthy hiatus, one of my favorite French ships ever returns to physical play. A triumphant return indeed, for she is already sailing at a good clip with Gaston’s help. Speaking of help, Gaston has some of his own. Duncan Rousseau is excited about sailing around the Sea of Karkuda, and provides a nice reroll for the AA ability. His Parley can help to keep the Soleil Royal safe if she gets into a quarry with an enemy, while a helmsman has also been hired to make the ship sail with the best of them. Trailing the SR is the Marianne, a slow but underrated sloop.

I will be making attempts to play this game during peak natural lighting, but some turns (especially those in Karkuda) may have some darker shots. The flash will come in handy, though I’d like to avoid using it a lot because it can look rather strange and unnatural. In this case it helps to illuminate the beauty of the Soleil Royal and show off the basic cardboard I used for the dock lol. With a thick enough piece it can be very durable and comes with a nice wooden color, so I can just cut it and use it without further modification!

Making an entrance similar to the Jades, the Americans are here! They sail into the Sea of Karkuda on two ships: the Bonhomme Richard, legend of the North Sea, and the Argo, legend of nothing. XD Brent Rice and a helmsman crew the Bonhomme Richard, a ship that unfortunately had a very loose mizzenmast when I received her constructed in an eBay lot some years ago. I have not used either ship as much as I’d like to have, especially the BR, so they comprise America’s starting fleet.

The Argo has already spotted an island, but it looks very rocky and inhospitable, at least to humans. However, it has been named “Luck Island” due to the “lucky stone” on top of the main outcropping. (note: In my childhood, summer vacations on a local lake with a rock-filled beach led to the finding of some “lucky stones”, which are simply stones that have a clean hole all the way through) The Americans don’t want to settle on Luck Island, but they also don’t want to go through that dangerous-looking swirl of water off the starboard side of the BR….

Luck Island, with the hole in the rock showing the BR’s jib. A keen eye will notice “land ho!” off in the distance, but that doesn’t mean the Americans can see it yet. (a rare instance of you glimpsing something before the sailors do, as I noted in the first post of this thread)

(Karkuda comes from other real-life location names I enjoy, such as the Sea of Marmara, Barbados, Barbuda, etc.)

If you’ve been keeping count, we are now up to 3 oceans (Allost, Caribbean, Karkuda), 2 rooms (Karkuda is in a different room), and 6 factions. Not to mention some fun new creations!! And don’t worry, the fun nearly hasn’t even started yet! XD We’re only one turn in!

Another round of turns begins! Mysion on the Cassandra sees a familiar sight he saw on his trip in, but he’s been busy “renovating” the now-active Pirate Kingdom base. It’s Pistol Island, so named for its distinctive shape. (long handle at the left, with a barrel at the right and even a bit of a flared muzzle like a flintlock to boot!) Note: This is a rock I discovered at the aforementioned lake many years ago, but this is the first time I’ve used it in a Pirates game. It’s further proof that I’ve been at this nautical stuff for a while, since I may have found it before I got into Pirates and possibly even before the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out!

The Jade Rebellion has quickly found a perfect island to call home in the Sea of Allost! Both ships dock at the beach, but they’re still organizing parties for exploratory purposes.

An imposing sight: the Viceroy carries not only Thomas Gunn, but also Major Peter Sharpe, a bargain-priced marine in the employ of England. The name Gunn is probably familiar to most readers, as the most effective Admiral of the Age in many respects. His new post has him in control of just two ships, but if fortune smiles upon his fate he will command many more before too long….

Oh no! The San Estaban’s luck appears to be more pedestrian already than it was in EE, for the Spanish captain and helmsman aboard the vessel only find some rocks and reefs blocking their path.

The Ebro meets a similar dilemma, and her crew sticks with the plan of meeting with her fleetmates instead of forging ahead with her ability to ignore terrain while moving.

The entire Spanish fleet, showing a good chunk of the Caribbean.

Back to Karkuda: what beauty! The French flagship gets a second consecutive AA from Gaston, allowing her to dock at a nearby wild island and explore it!

With the first island resource roll of the game, the French discover yummy food on the nice island! Here you can see the Merchants and Marauders token I’ll use, along with a French pennant marker.

The Americans discover an island much more “human friendly” than Luck Island! They plan to make it their home after exploring it, similar to the Jades in the Sea of Allost.

That is all for the time being, but I’ll be back with more very soon. However, in the meantime I thought I’d leave you with a final picture, a preview of sorts. This is an undiscovered wild island, which will be called “The Flat” for obvious reasons. It’s another old rock from a long time ago, but in this case it was recently glued back together to look the part for this game! Haha. I hope you enjoyed the start of Command the Oceans. CTO for short, the name was partially inspired by a book I read a few years ago.

Command the Oceans – A Grand Reveal… (9/11/2017)

Turn 3!

Mission reaches Pistol Island at the helm of the Cassandra:

Notice the distinctive shape, hence where the island gets its name:

Wow! All three Pirate ships reach wild islands in the same turn! The Smiling Jim reaches one of my older custom islands while the Fancy docks at a classic from Rossinaz.

The Jade Rebels explore their island, making it their new home! They are slightly disappointed to not find any resources or gold on it, but they like the thought of using that cave to hide valuables….

Introducing: Diamond Rock!

The incredible historical creation is here!!

This had been an idea of mine for quite a while. After creating a custom fort for use in my RISK game back in 2012, I had considered trying to make a physical version of the rock. However, between my lack of desire to spend many hours attempting to create a realistic copy, and the similarities between the stuff created by Ross in AZ and the pictures of the rock, I decided to reach out to Ross and ask about potentially making a physical copy of Diamond Rock for use in Pirates games. Shortly afterwards I now own one of the coolest custom game pieces ever made for this game!!

HMS Apollo docks at the massive rock, while the Viceroy stands guard.

(note: the Sea of Allost and the Caribbean are in a room formerly occupied by a female, so just a heads-up if you ever see decidedly feminine things in the background of pictures lol!)

Ross did a fantastic job making a lifelike Diamond Rock, and I’m extremely excited to use it in my games! Note the cave on the side, which is where the Royal Navy was able to install some artillery on their “ship” during the Napoleonic Wars.

The Magdalena was approaching the rock, but with the dangerous Viceroy in position, the Spanish may think twice about attempting to land at the single beachy area (another historical touch, as most of the island was inhospitable to ships).

As Mickey ironically watches over his own Caribbean franchise, wondering where the Pirates are….

Deja vu! The Royal Navy reaches Diamond Rock first, and claim it as their own. The Viceroy’s rows of bristling guns serve to back up that claim.

Notice the cave beyond the beach along with the foliage, which looks remarkably similar to the real thing. (I highly recommend looking at pictures and old paintings of it, since it’s so unique and cool)

The Spanish arrive!, but alas they appear to be too late.

O_O
Imposing indeed! (click the picture to get the full size version!)

I turned the camera to get this cool shot, which I feel is one of the most realistic of the game so far. A sloop comes around the side of Diamond Rock, whose bulk obscured a large English warship lurking beyond. Almost makes you feel like you’re actually sailing around the rock!

Obviously I can’t get enough of this awesomeness! However, that is all of Diamond Rock for now, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we already have.

The San Estaban turns around, hoping to meet with her other ships and discuss their findings of the area.

The crew of the Ebro is thinking the same thing:

The Soleil Royal prepares to give her fish to the Marianne, allowing her to return to the island and get more and maximize French logistics.

The flash makes it less natural, but it does show the pretty colors of the French ships and the “deep blue” sheen of this unique silky ocean fabric I also used in the Experimental cumulative game.

The Americans explore the wild island and make it their home!

Back in the Sea Allost, turn 4 begins with a Pirate exploration! Mission fittingly uncovers metals on Pistol Island, filling the Cassandra to the brim.

With all three Pirate ships docked as of last turn, it would inevitably lead to all three exploring on this turn! The Smiling Jim finds textiles:

And the Fancy finds Spices!

With three different resource types on nearby islands, the Pirates are now set up for long-term wealth. A great start for them indeed!

The Jade Rebels sail away from their home island for the first time, heading west. The eastern path is blocked by a giant wall of dense fog….

Back in the Caribbean, the Apollo explores and finds textiles! The Viceroy docks at Diamond Rock to load some as well.

Now the Spanish are just plain jealous! LOL!

The Spanish have a fleet meeting to discuss their exploratory operations. The San Estaban’s captain remarks that he found reefs and rocks and turn for home. The Ebro found similar things, but also a mysterious weedy mixture in the ocean to the northeast of their HI. The Magdalena reported on finding the gigantic Diamond Rock, as well as the English who had gotten there first. The captains began brainstorming ways to get resources and simultaneously force the English out of the region….

With an eastern viewpoint this time, we are back in the Sea of Karkuda where the French are hungry for more food!

Shimmering blue waters surround beautiful ships and a similarly beautiful, “fruitful” island.

The Americans do some exploring of their own! The Argo heads back to Luck Island so she can investigate it, while the Bonhomme Richard quickly discovers a new island. Although small, Brent Rice names it Ruby Island due to the reddish hue that appears near the island’s edges.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think of the game so far, and stay ready for more!