An Awesome Game! English vs. French at 80 Points – January 9th, 2014

An Awesome Game – First 80 Point Game between English vs. French

With the English having a decided advantage in the 60 point setup as they won both games, I decided to increase the point total to 80. The French added the OE version of the Santa Lucia (allowing a duplicate for the sake of using unused game pieces), 3 helmsmen (for the two Santa Lucias and the Tunis), and a few generic crew for their ships, giving them six ships overall. The English increased their total to five by adding the Pyre, the other Cursed LE submarine from MI. They also added Edward Low (the LE crew from MI – 8 points for crew possession) by removing the firepot specialist from the Locker. For this first game the Pyre went without crew, with all three Cursed crew aboard the Locker.

The game was really fantastic, and I actually had time just now to write a lengthy report for it. The island setup featured the two HI’s being far away from each other, with the four wild islands (1L apart from each other) arranged in a square in the middle of the sea.

With the English as the first player, the Algiers got things started with an extra action that she used to quickly sail out to one of the wild islands. Since she got there before the slow-moving Patagonia, she explored the island to help out the Patagonia, who was able to leave her explorer at home and free up a cargo space to be utilized for treasure instead.

The Triton and the Belle Poule eagerly got busy exploring the nearest wild islands, but the English would quickly be upon the French fleet.

The Baionnette was escorting the Belle to a wild island when the English fired the first shots of the game. The Lord Cauldwell and Algiers teamed up to sink the French two-master in one turn. The Triton would retaliate on the following turn, using her cannoneer to sink the Algiers. This marked new territory for the English, as they would have to go the rest of the game without their stubborn flagship. The Lord Cauldwell, now with a clear path after sinking the Baionnette, shot away the Belle’s lone mast, but the Triton was able to shoot a mast off the Lord Cauldwell, but rolled a 1 on the ram, missing her chance to dismast the durable ship.

In the meantime, the English were busy trying to run gold with their slower, un-captained ships. The Patagonia got lucky with two 4’s and a 2, raking in 10 gold on one trip to give the English the early advantage in the gold race. The Pyre docked at the island she had already explored to grab the final coin, although it was just a 1. However, since she had to surface in order to dock at the island and take the treasure, the Santa Lucia (SCS version) seized her chance to damage the sub, hitting her with a firepot (the rules say that subs can’t extinguish fire by submerging, Rolling Eyes ). The Pyre rolled a 6 to rid herself of the flames before ramming off one of the Santa Lucia’s two masts.

To the south, the French gold game was heating up. The Belle Poule limped home at S speed, with the Triton ramming the Lord Cauldwell derelict to end the threat (now both English gunships were out of action for the first time). She brought home 5 gold, while the Tunis found 6 more on a wild island.

Near the English home island, the French had a plan in mind. The crew of the OE Santa Lucia were drooling over the Patagonia’s treasure haul worth 10 gold, since the OE version has the HI-raiding ability. With her older self (the SCS version Santa Lucia) escorting her, the two ships almost made it to the English HI. The OE version smartly sailed over the submerged Pyre, but the SCS Santa Lucia was not in such a good position, and the Pyre rammed her derelict on the next turn. Up until now, the Locker had yet to get in on the action, undecided as to which ship she should target. Seeing the imminent threat of gold being stolen, she turned around and rammed the one masted OE Santa Lucia to dismast her. The French were able to scuttle both Santa Lucias on the next two turns, as they were too far from home for the other members of their fleet to come get them.

Just when things were looking dismal for the French, their other situations improved. The Tunis docked home the 6 gold she had found earlier in the game, which tied the game at 11-11 (the Baionnette had 1 gold on her when the English sunk her). At the French HI, the Triton captured the Lord Cauldwell and towed her home to let her repair, marking the first time either fleet was able to get a captured ship back in play. The Triton also had a 2 on her that she found in the first few turns, giving the French a 13-11 lead. This is where things really went down to the wire!

The Patagonia and Belle Poule headed back out to acquire more gold for their respective fleets, knowing that whoever got theirs back first would likely win the game. The Patagonia and the Pyre (still with the 1 on board) headed back home with gold, while the Locker went after the Belle and dismasted her with an underwater ram. The Tunis sailed out to transfer the Belle’s gold to her cargo hold. The Triton’s guns couldn’t hit the sub, but she helped out by positioning herself to block the sub off to the Tunis, hindering the Locker’s mobility. The Lord Cauldwell finished repairing and sailed out to help her new fleetmates.

The Lord Cauldwell and Triton moved to block the movements of the still-submerged Locker. This let the Tunis move freely towards the French HI, but she was still one move action away. The Patagonia and Pyre docked home 3 more gold for the English, giving them a narrow 14-13 lead. At this point, there were three 1’s left in play: two on the Tunis (she could only take two because her helmsman) and one on the Belle Poule.

Both the Patagonia and Pyre were too slow and too far away to affect the outcome of the situation in the south near the French HI, leaving the fate of the English fleet in the hands of the Locker. Due to the Lord Cauldwell and Triton being in the way, the 90 degree turn limit rule, and the fact that submerged submarines can’t end their move actions underlapping (?) other ships, the Locker had no choice but to surface and shoot her aft guns at the Tunis in a desperate attempt to sink her, since the Tunis was so close to her HI that the S movement provided by the Galley keyword would get her home in one turn. From bow to stern, the Locker’s guns are 3S, 4S, 4S. She shot a mast off the Triton with the 3S gun that wasn’t in range of the Tunis, but missed with both 4S guns aimed at the Tunis!

The Tunis docked home her 2 coins, giving the French the lead once again, this time 15-14! An Awesome Game However, the game was still not over, as the English could force a tie if the Locker managed to sink the Belle Poule, moving S per turn on oar power. Naturally the English wanted anything other than to lose to the French, so they tried to force the tie.

Unfortunately for the Locker, subs can’t surface and submerge on the same turn, so she was now a sitting duck for the Triton and Lord Cauldwell. The Lord Cauldwell missed both times (as usual), but the Triton had been waiting since the first 60 point game for this moment, and her crew angrily blasted away two of the Locker’s three hull pieces. Their anger temporarily blinded them, however, as the Triton moved ahead a few feet as part of a move-and-shoot, allowing the Locker just enough space to get around the stern of the Triton and get her 3S gun (now the only shot she had) in range of the Belle Poule. But of course, the shot missed Rolling Eyes , allowing the French to sink the Locker and dock the Belle’s coin, giving the French a memorable 16-14 victory!

This was one of the best games I’ve played, and it may be the first time there’s been a 16-14 score (not to mention the 11-11 tie, 15-14 lead, and numerous lead changes). An unfortunate hallmark of my games, bad luck with the dice crippled the efforts of both fleets, but the French strategy and multiple gold runners eventually prevailed. At least one more 80 point game will be played, hopefully tomorrow!

Second 60 Point Game – January 8th, 2014

I played the second 60 point game between these fleets (previous BR). The Triton explored an island early, only to have one of her masts shot away by the Algiers. The Tunis also explored an island, but her comrade was in trouble. The Lord Cauldwell missed the Triton, but the Algiers scored two more hits to make her a derelict. The Santa Lucia managed to hit the Algiers, but the Algiers retaliated by dismasting the Tunis, leaving her to try to get home on oar power.

Meanwhile, the submerged Locker rammed the Baionnette, as the Lord Cauldwell captured the Triton. The Algiers sank the Tunis, and the game only got better for the English, as the Patagonia docked home 7 gold. The Lord Cauldwell finally rolled a few 6’s to sink the Belle Poule, giving the English a 14-6 gold advantage. However, the Santa Lucia managed to recapture the derelict Triton, as the Baionnette tried to escort the two fragile ships (with 3 gold on the Triton) back to the French HI.

Another well-timed extra action for the Algiers (her good luck evens out the horrible luck of the Lord Cauldwell) let her dismast the Baionnette and ram the Santa Lucia. The Locker now rammed the Santa Lucia to dismast her, leaving the French with no actions left to give to their ships, as the English won, 14-6.

One to Remember – 60 Point Game – January 6th, 2014

I’ve played the first 60 point game (some previous matchups), and it was one to remember. The islands were placed in a column fashion, with two columns of three islands each. The two home islands were picked to be the islands at the southern part of each column.

The game started with the Locker immediately getting into action, in her first game ever! She rammed a mast off the Baionnette to start the melee. The Triton explored the nearest island north of the French HI, and brought home 6 gold on just the second turn of the game. An extra action from the Algiers let her dismast the Belle Poule, but she missed the other one masted galley, the Tunis.

Still submerged, the Locker rammed the Santa Lucia to take out one of her masts, while the Lord Cauldwell missed taking out her second mast. After docking at her HI, the Triton sped over to the English HI and dismasted the Patagonia just before she could dock. Unfortunately for the French, her galley keyword let her move S on her next turn, and she was just barely able to make it in with 5 gold!

The Belle Poule limped away from the action at S speed, but the Algiers sunk her before she could get to a northernmost wild island. Using her firepot specialist, the Locker reduced the Tunis to a blazing hulk, but the Lord Cauldwell had more bad dice luck, unable to finish off the tiny galley.

Back at their respective HI’s, the Baionnette and Patagonia repaired to get back in the action.

With just one mast standing, the Algiers continued to put her remaining 2L gun to good use, sinking the Tunis. The Lord Cauldwell turned around and rammed the slow-moving Santa Lucia, taking out her final mast and killing her captain in the boarding action.

In the far northeast, the Triton picked up two more gold coins as the situation with the rest of her fleet worsened. The Baionnette blew her chance to dismast the Algiers (who along with the Lord Cauldwell is proving to be one of the most stubborn ships I’ve ever used), and was subsequently dismasted herself on the following turn by both the Algiers and the Locker (the Cauldwell missed yet again). The Santa Lucia now sunk after a successful scuttle roll, leaving the French with only the Triton.

Since treasure is placed face-up on HI’s in 2-player games, the English could see that they couldn’t sink the Triton outright, with the French owning 7 gold against the 6 of the English. They would have to make the Patagonia (moving S+S) dock before the Triton (S+L+S)! Here the Locker and her deadly crew-killing ability would come in handy.

The Locker rammed the Triton and set her mizzen mast on fire, leaving her with two against the three hull pieces of the Locker. The Locker rolled a 3 on the boarding party, but the Triton rolled a 2, giving the Locker’s boarders the chance to kill all three crew aboard the Triton.

Despite being on fire and having lost her captain, helmsman, and explorer, the Triton was not finished yet. On her next turn, she put out the fire and moved L+S towards her home island, sailing deftly between the hostile Algiers and Lord Cauldwell. However, without the extra +S from the helmsman, she couldn’t get home in time. The Patagonia docked home 2 gold for the English, giving them a narrow 8-7 lead. This allowed the Algiers and Lord Cauldwell to dismast the Triton and win the game for the English! Yet another exciting game that was very hard-fought and close throughout!  One to Remember

English and French – Final 2 games at 40 points – January 6th, 2014

English vs. French at 40 Points

The next two games of this 40 point series have been played between the English and French. For the second game, the French got off to their exploratory ways right from the start. The Lord Cauldwell missed hitting the Triton, but the Algiers quickly made up for it by shooting and ramming the Triton to dismast her. The Baionnette tried to retaliate by damaging the Lord Cauldwell (the Algiers was not in range), but she needed both of her cannons to hit due to the defensive ability of the Lord Cauldwell. Considering that one of the Baionnette’s two cannons is a 4S, she is not the best match to attack the English blockade runner, and this time saw her miss as well. On the next turn, the two English gunships teamed up to dismast the Baionnette.

The Belle Poule docked home just 4 gold at the French HI, while the Lord Cauldwell finished off the Baionnette. The Algiers began towing the Triton, and sprinted 4S away from the Belle with help from an extra action and helmsman. Just before the Algiers got home, the Patagonia docked home 10 gold for the English, having gotten lucky in finding the highest value treasure coins. The Algiers brought home the Triton (and the gold aboard her) to give the English a 17-4 win!

For the third game, the English finally got to go first. The French chose the middle island to be their HI, since the French had not fared well while they occupied the same territory. The Patagonia headed in the opposite direction of the French fleet towards a wild island. The Lord Cauldwell headed west, with the Algiers sailing east. The English were looking to cut the French off regardless of which way they went, but made the age-old mistake of dividing their forces English and French .

The French sailed west, with the Triton shooting away one of the Lord Cauldwell’s masts (finally!). With both French gunships sailing with the Belle Poule, you’d think that she would be protected with such an escort. Fortunately for the English, their luck with the dice would soon overcome their early mistake.

The Algiers rolled an extra action, reversed direction, and sailed right into the battle, taking out a mast on the Baionnette and the lone mast of the Belle Poule. Getting revenge on the Triton, the Lord Cauldwell took out a mast on the Triton. Now we had a good old-fashioned shootout!

The Triton missed with her cannons on the next turn, but her captain saw the golden opportunity to ram the final mast off the Lord Cauldwell. Alas, she rolled a 1, with the Cauldwell taking out her second mast on the next turn. Continuing the one-sided dice luck, the Baionnette missed the Algiers with a firepot. Another extra action for the Algiers let her sink the Belle Poule and dismast the Baionnette, leaving the French with just one mast remaining. The Triton sailed away from the Cauldwell and shot away the only mast the Patagonia possesses. The Cauldwell then missed the Triton, but the Algiers was able to finish her off, ending the game with all French ships either derelict or sunk!

Neither nation had brought home any gold, but since the Patagonia still had 6 gold in her cargo hold and the English had more points and masts afloat, they were declared the winner!

Now that the English have defeated the French both times, I will move on to the 60 point variation. However, since the additions used in these two fleets are the only ones I have for the French and English, the fleets will now ally with other ships that I haven’t used yet! The French have added the Santa Lucia (SCS version, same ability as the Lord Cauldwell) and equipped her with a captain, and they’ve also added the Tunis, a Barbary one master that has a built-in explorer (almost the same ship as the Belle Poule). The English have added the Locker, the LE Cursed submarine from MI, and crewed her with a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist.

First of 2014! English vs. French at 40 Points – January 2nd, 2014

First Game of 2014

I’ve made the fleets for the next series of games! As expected, the matchup will start out with the English facing the French. The English count HMS Algiers, HMS Lord Cauldwell, and the Patagonia as their only new additions, while the French have acquired Le Triton, La Baionnette, and the Belle Poule. The Algiers, Lord Cauldwell, Triton and Baionnette all have captains, with the Patagonia and Belle as the designated treasure runners (although the Triton and Baionnette have cargo space for gold if they want it).

The French started out the game on a gold run. They piled up 13 gold between the hulls of their three ships, and headed back with it. It’s important to note that the English (as player #2) strategically picked the middle island to be the French HI, in order to guarantee that they wouldn’t have to go far to corner the French.

The Triton, moving faster than any other ship in either fleet (S+L+S), was the first to dock at her HI, bringing home 6 gold. She shot at the nearby Lord Cauldwell as soon as she docked, but the Cauldwell’s ability (two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts) overcame her firepower. Meanwhile, the Algiers went in the direction of the Belle Poule and the Baionnette. The Baionnette punished her by setting her on fire!

Off in the south by herself, the Patagonia slowly brought in 4 gold for the English (she would later bring home 2 more), while the battle up north continued to rage. The Algiers shot at, rammed, and boarded the Baionnette, but all to no avail. With the Baionnette busy and the Triton off to explore a new wild island, the Lord Cauldwell sunk the Belle Poule, giving 3 gold to each nation. Before the Baionnette could do any further damage to the Algiers, the Algiers used her S+S+S speed to catch up with the Triton (now docked at a wild island) and once again, shoot, ram, and board. However, this sequence was much more successful than the first, as the Triton lost two masts and her explorer! The Algiers would have taken one of the recently loaded treasures if not for her full cargo hold of crew.

On the next turn, the Baionnette responded by taking out the second and final mast of the Algiers, whose resilience would show through once again. The Algiers was essentially out of the game for good, but she managed to roll a 5 to put out her fire while simultaneously getting an extra action to move S+S towards home via her oarsman!

Now the battle was in the hands of the Triton, Baionnette, and HMS Lord Cauldwell. As she had two treasure coins aboard and only one mast remaining, the Triton was the main target of the English. The Lord Cauldwell hit once to dismast her but couldn’t sink the French schooner. The Baionnette now began towing the Triton, looking to bring her in to dock and win the game (the French had 10 gold on their HI with another 7 on the Triton). The Lord Cauldwell, already near the French HI, sailed in the way of the Baionnette, taking out one of her two masts. The Cauldwell may have been able to dismast the French ship if not for her ability that makes her masts immune to ramming. Here’s where the supremely effective ability of the Lord Cauldwell came into play: with just one mast left standing in the French fleet, they had no hope of taking out the Lord Cauldwell’s masts by shooting, making the Englishman basically immune to combat (plus the Baionnette didn’t want to ram the Cauldwell since she needed to get the Triton’s gold home). The Lord Cauldwell dismasted the Baionnette, letting the English tow the Triton and win the game 16-10!

[lord_denton points out mistake]

At this point I don’t know who would have won the game. I’m not going to count this as a victory for either side in terms of the series. I’m just glad it was a great game! First of 2014

Final 80 Point Game between the Pirates and Americans – December 27th, 2013

The final 80 point game has been played! For the final Pirate/American game, the island setup was pretty standard,

Frontier Pirates CSG Final 80 Point Game

Frontier

especially after the last setup had unintentionally given the Pirates a possible advantage concerning their raiders. This time, the fleets had their HI’s far away from each other.

The game started with consecutive extra actions for the Queen Anne’s Revenge from Sean Cannonball Gallows. This let her reach the Bartlett and the Nene Nui, but she only scored 2 hits out of 10 shots over the course of 4 shoot actions, continuing the deplorable dice luck, although at least now I’m used to it. The Revenge also docked at the American HI and stole a coin that the Frontier had brought back, since the Frontier had used Homing Beacon to return home one turn after grabbing gold from the nearest wild island. She also took a mast off the Bartlett, although the Bartlett took off a mast on the Revenge a turn later. The other Pirate ships all got gold from islands near the Pirates’ home island, with the Swift bringing back a 4 and a 3.

The Frontier and Nene Nui had combined to bring back 8 gold for the Americans, while the Pirates had accumulated 9. The Mercury and the Bartlett now chased the Pirates back to their HI, where the Mercury sunk the Royal Rover was sunk with 3 gold on her just before she was able to dock. This evened up the gold game at 10 apiece. Now that the Mercury was finally above the surface, the Pirates saw their opportunity to damage the durable sub (she ignores the first hit she takes as long as she has all of her masts). The Swift went 2 for 2, damaging the Mercury for the first time ever! The Obago looked to derelict her or possibly even sink her, but of course, the Obago rolled three 1’s in a row.

Meanwhile, the Frontier and Nene Nui had been finding more gold away from the action. The Nene Nui had to deal with Barrel O’ Monkeys, which made it impossible for the Nene Nui to explore the islands with just one coin on them, which was the case with two of the three wild islands that still had treasure on them. To the north, the Frontier found 5 gold on an island.

Back where the battle was taking place, the Bartlett moved to block the Swift’s path to explore her island, while the Mercury rammed the Obago (still at her HI) to knock her down to 2 masts.

Since the Frontier and Queen Anne’s Revenge had docked at the American HI on the same turn, it was easy for the Revenge to follow and harass the Frontier all the way out on her second treasure run. More bad gun rolls saw the Revenge go 1 for 4, but at least the Frontier was damaged, with two masts now remaining. Right after the Frontier had explored the island near the Pirates’ HI (where she got the 5 gold), the Swift was upon her. The Swift hit with both cannons, and the Frontier was derelict. The Queen Anne’s Revenge captured her and used yet another extra action (her third of the game) to sprint home moving 4S, giving the Pirates an extra 8 gold (5 from the Frontier and the stolen 3 that was still on the Revenge) to win the final 80 point game, 18-10!

This was a very enjoyable game, featuring many twists and turns. Who would’ve thought that the Swift (the smallest ship in their fleet) would be their hero? She brought home 7 gold, became the only Pirate ship to score a hit on the Mercury, and dismasted the Frontier at a crucial moment.

For the entire 8 game series, the Americans beat the Pirates 5-3, although the Pirates fought back to win the final series (2-1) after falling in a hole 5-1. It was good to see the Americans do well, and nice to see the fight in the Pirates! I’m looking at making some more fleets soon, possibly starting with the English facing the French.