Testing a gimmick fleet – June 27th, 2017

Played another game on VASSAL with repkosai! You can check out the video if you’d like.

I went first with a recent fleet of mine. To fill out the last 5 points I added the Paradox with an explorer.

Repkosai followed with a Spanish fleet:
El Acorazado + captain
Morning Star + Capitan Alarico Castro, helmsman
El Leon + captain

The setup featured 6 wild islands with 3 coins apiece, and flat earth rules.

Calypso was successful on the first turn, and the Paradox used a trade current to reach the first whirlpool and pop out of the second near the southwestern wild island. The Akua Lapu didn’t want to risk a lot of masts or crew via whirlpools, and needed to wait in order to use Grim’s ability, so she wasn’t in a hurry to do anything for the first part of the game. I must admit that the 5 extra points helped, since it allowed me to have a dedicated gold runner. The Paradox is very slow without a helmsman, but between trade currents and the whirlpools being placed close to wild islands, she wouldn’t need a lot of speed to move all over the map.
Testing a gimmick fleet

The Spanish set out, and the Paradox has an eventful trip already. She found an abandoned helmsman in the south, but also Barrel o’ Monkeys and a 6 coin. The monkeys took the 6 for themselves, which left the Paradox with no gold. Thus, she used another of Calypso’s whirlpools to emerge near another wild island, losing a mast in the process.

Risking negative UT’s, the bored Akua Lapu looks to explore in the northeast. The Paradox gets 3 coins from an island but one will be left behind due to the greedy monkeys.

Here, the Morning Star has emptied an island for the Spanish, while their gunships head northwest towards the Pirates. The Paradox unloads, while the Akua Lapu loads up 3 coins.

The AL gets the SAT from Calico Cat, allowing the AL to dock home for a Pirate windfall! You can see the strange situation around the Pirate HI, with two sargasso seas, a bunch of whirlpools, and a few trade currents, all near a corner of the map.

Much excitement! After some rules issues, the Paradox is forced south from using some faulty Bad Maps! However, the Spanish weren’t completely fortunate: Calypso finally rolled to place another whirlpool, and luckily for me Calico Cat also rolled successfully. The Akua Lapu took off for the Spanish home island!

Grim the Savage led a raiding party, and the Pirates took all of the Spanish loot!! The gimmick was complete, though the AL still had to make it home in one piece and unload the gold. Speaking of unloading gold, the Paradox did just that, further increasing the Spanish treasure deficit. At this point everything in my fleet was working perfectly, as even the slow Paradox was turned into an awesome gold runner between the whirlpools and her explorer.

Calypso placed another whirlpool, allowing the AL to scoot around the fog bank and be whisked back to friendly waters. The Morning Star unloaded another island worth of gold, and the Leon was approaching the Pirate home island and managed to hit the AL.

Another windfall! The Akua Lapu docks home the stolen gold, and the game was turning into a blowout. I decided I had enough whirlpools and trade currents to execute any late-game strategies and maneuvers I might need, so the Coeur and Banshee’s Cry got to do some sight-seeing.

However, the Morning Star would have none of it! She rammed the Coeur out of action and stole the 6 that the monkeys had originally stolen from the Paradox. The Leon arrived through a whirlpool, but the attack naturally triggered a Pirate response, with the Paradox and Akua Lapu arriving shortly thereafter. In hindsight, the AL could have just raided the unprotected Spanish home island a second time, but instead there was some fun combat.

Disaster for the Spanish! The Leon sank the Coeur, but the Morning Star boarded the Paradox (when she had 3 masts remaining after the AL shot off 2 of them) and lost the 6 coin! The Paradox took full advantage, speeding away through the whirlpool. The AL got another SAT from Cat and blasted two masts off the MS before turning east in anticipation of another HI raid!

The MS and Leon exchange crew so the Leon has Castro, captain, and helmsman. The Paradox docks home the 6 coin she originally found on the second turn, while the Banshee’s Cry prepared to sacrifice herself to defend the AL.

Race for the Spanish home island! The Leon gets an SAT from Castro, but now the Paradox is ready to assist the AL too.

The AL raided the Spanish home island of the last two coins in the game, but Castro got an SAT to allow the Leon to shoot twice. Furthering Spanish woes, both shots missed, which allowed the AL to escape via whirlpool after yet another SAT from Cat. The Pirates had escaped, and more gold was unloaded to end the game!

In a huge blowout, the Pirates defeat the Spanish 55-0! This is one of the only games I’ve ever played where a fleet gets every single coin in the treasure distribution. No gold was sunk, and the Pirates collected and stole the rest for a massive victory. This game made me want to use Calypso more, and it’s also one of the best gimmick games/fleets I’ve seen.

We both learned a lot from this game: I learned how effective Calypso can be by not always needing helmsmen on slower gold runners, as the Paradox was just as valuable a ship as the Akua Lapu. Repkosai learned the opposite – speed wins games, as the Acorazado was way too slow to have any impact on the game. We also learned some rules situations; though I was surprised by the answers and we played them wrong, it wouldn’t have affected the final outcome since the Pirates were so dominant in this game. Thanks for reading! More adventures await!

8 fleet game after VASSAL Tournament #1 – September 2016

8 fleet game after VASSAL Tournament #1

September 22nd, 2016 

This is the 8 fleet game played with the fleets used in VASSAL Tournament #1.

Here is the setup for the 8 fleet multiplayer game!
8 fleet game

And here is the turn order:

Fleets controlled by a7xfanben:
1. Vassal La dominación española
2. American Pirates
3. UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style
4. Extra Action Gold Runners

Fleets controlled by xerecs:
5. The “Dread Galley” Speed Fleet
6. Barbary Untouchables V 2.0
7. dakmor’s swarm fleet
8. Xerecs’ HMS GT fleet

September 24th, 2016

Xerecs and I have begun the 8 fleet multiplayer game!

Here is the setup once again:

And here is the turn order:

Fleets controlled by a7xfanben:
1. Vassal La dominación española
2. American Pirates
3. UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style
4. Extra Action Gold Runners

Fleets controlled by xerecs:
5. The “Dread Galley” Speed Fleet
6. Barbary Untouchables V 2.0
7. dakmor’s swarm fleet
8. Xerecs’ HMS GT fleet

The American Pirates (AP’s) used Hidden Cove on the Amity to put her at a wild island in the center of the map. She found the turtles UT on the first turn! My other fleets also got off to fast starts, with the Zeus building Dead Man’s Point on an island for UPS 5, while both the Star of Siam and Joya del Sol got extra actions for the EA Gold Runners fleet.

Xerecs’ fleets sail out! The swarm fleet began to split up, but the Intrepide was shot at by the Algeciras of the EA gold runner fleet. There were 3 different Algeciras’ in this game, as well as multiple copies of the Banshee’s Cry and the Hag of Tortuga. HMS Grand Temple has struck! Using a whirlpool, the GT ambushed the Joya del Sol (of the EA gold runner fleet, not volt’s fleet), dismasting her and capturing Castro with Bonny Peel! Despite the Amity finding Missionary, the AP’s were off to the fastest start, with 8 gold aboard the Amity and essentially 10 more swimming home in the form of sea turtles. The Roanoke looked to empty that same center island, but there was a long way to go….

Another turn by Xerecs, and more carnage! The Star of Siam was set upon by swarmers, while the Banshee’s Cry rammed the Tiger’s Eye in the northeast! The other Star of Siam (of the Dread Galley speed fleet) found Monkey’s Paw and Runes of Death, and decided to leave the island’s gold to the Tiger’s Eye and Algiers. At the lower right, some swarmers have round earthed to the southeast, but they may have to deal with the wrath of volt’s loaded Santo Columba. In the far north, the Longshanks of the GT fleet has found more turtles, while the GT herself stole another crew from the derelict Joya del Sol!

Volt’s fleet finally had an eventful turn. The Algeciras hopped through a whirlpool to the northeast, where she would try to either stop the Longshanks or the turtles. Both the AP and GT fleets looked very good, with turtles found close to their HI’s in addition to regular gold making its way home. However, any fleet taking on the AP’s would have to contend with the Roanoke, so the Algeciras went north. In the meantime, the Joya del Sol docked at the southeastern island, confident that the Santo Columba could hold off the swarmers. The SC smashed the Lezard and Venture, but more ships were coming.

Speaking of the AP’s, the Amity returned home with valuable loot. A situation was brewing in the center, and a familiar one at that: the Roanoke vs. the Zeus! In a rematch of the final round of Tournament 1, the AP’s and UPS 5 were about to clash! The Roanoke loaded the final two coins from the center island and maneuvered to defend her turtles. The Zeus, having deposited a nice cache of coins, now sailed out to cause mayhem for the other fleets. Seeing the AP’s about to get rich, and just to the west, it was an easy choice. The Zeus loaded up the oarsmen remaining on the HI, and sailed to war. After a sac action, both of her guns in range hit! The Coeur du Lion rammed the Roanoke and another mast fell! In a quick attack UPS 5 had left the Roanoke crippled, and essentially unable to launch a counterattack (the Roanoke would be able to hit the Zeus at most 4 times with a double action, which would still leave the Zeus with 6 masts). The EA gold runner fleet was in shambles, but the Star of Siam managed to get an EA from Gallows to dock home a few coins.

Bonny Peel on the GT managed to capture the entire crew complement of the Joya del Sol, which would make for an impressive gold haul. The Barbary Untouchables fleet was starting to make some waves: the Tiger’s Eye docked at the northwestern island for gold, while the Nubian Prince sailed out of a whirlpool to emerge right next to the Zeus! Her immunity to ships within S meant the Zeus was relatively powerless against her, but in a game with this many fleets and whirlpools, UPS 5 would have no trouble finding an alternative target…. In a way, the NP’s arrival may have saved the Roanoke and some of the AP’s turtles, which could eventually have implications in the final gold count.

In the far north, the Pique managed a successful ram and board against the Longshanks, but was quickly dismasted for the effort. As for the Dread Galleys, the Tiger’s Eye had escaped via round earth, while the Star of Siam was almost home to eliminate the dreaded Runes of Death. The Algiers took up exploring duties, and was promptly set upon by the same brave Banshee’s Cry! At the lower right, the swarmers are successful against the Santo Columba, taking her down to 2 masts.

Volt’s fleet had a rough turn at the beginning of the next round, with the Santo Columba failing miserably against the Carrion Crow and Coeur du Lion. Making things worse, the Joya del Sol found Natives and mediocre gold values. The AP’s frantically tried to make the right decisions, with the Roanoke returning home both to deposit gold and to repair. With no obvious sac options left and both of the Amity’s crew eliminated due to Missionary, the Roanoke’s offensive capability was limited. The Bandido, after making a trip to the same island the Dread Galleys explored, was incredibly able to grab two of the last three coins from the island! Many turns ago I intended to use her to ram the Banshee’s Cry if she loaded gold. Once the Dread Galleys showed up, I figured there wouldn’t be gold left to take once the Bandido was finally able to explore. Instead, circumstances left the Bandido unharmed and (now) full with treasure! It wasn’t all perfect for the AP’s, as the Coeur eliminated a turtle. However, they breathed a sigh of relief to have the Zeus off their backs…

That’s right, the Zeus is loose! Wanting no part of the extremely obnoxious Nubian Prince, Captain Jack Sparrow saw a golden opportunity. The Zeus used a whirlpool to emerge right next to the HMS Grand Temple! Using Skrew Engine, the Zeus was able to move a second time and rip off 8 shots, 6 of which found their mark! Suddenly the GT was a mastless hulk! A rematch of the first series of the first round of T1! I decided to not sink the GT, hoping to tow her home with her vast riches of captured crew. In hindsight, even though things would soon go terribly wrong, perhaps getting the GT’s gold was the only hope UPS 5 had of winning this game?

In a brilliant move, Xerecs used the Banshee’s Cry to tow the derelict Joya del Sol out of the GT’s path! With an SAT from Myngs the GT was able to go through the whirlpool at S+S (helmsman and oarsman) and safely dock home 13 gold worth of captured crew!! I sat there in utter shock and anger, kicking myself for my mistake. I was naive enough to think the BC was going to explore, and I think I told myself that the BC in question belonged to the swarm fleet, not the GT fleet (wanting to believe it). Alas, I had made a huge mistake, and I was afraid it would cost one of my fleets the game. With 13 gold already on their HI and a full “fleet” of 10 turtles not far from reaching that HI, the GT fleet was the most obvious target for the Zeus. The AP fleet was also rich, but their turtles were essentially already safe (with no way to block them) and the Roanoke and Amity already home with gold. The GT fleet had 10 turtles 2 or 3 turns from home, in addition to a damaged Longshanks with gold aboard. The Zeus went through the same whirlpool as the GT, with a uniquely angry Captain Jack Sparrow aboard.

In the meantime, the swarmers grabbed gold and the Roanoke (barely) dismasted the Coeur du Lion of the UPS 5 fleet. The AP’s had fantastic luck with gold (finding turtles and NOT finding Wolves, Natives, or Runes of Death, etc), but terrible luck with cannons. The Roanoke had to sac her helmsman just to end the Coeur’s threat to the turtles, which effectively took the Roanoke out of the game, with just L speed at this point. The AP’s were also lucky not to have their gold runners attacked in any way – the Bandido was about to return with gold, while the Amity had gone through a whirlpool towards the northwestern island, which was less volatile than the other WI’s with gold on them. In the east, the Dread Galleys have unloaded gold, volt’s Algeciras has unsuccessfully attacked the Longshanks, and the Santo Columba and swarmers have fought to a stalemate of sorts, with neither side having much of anything left at the end of that battle.

After another turn by Xerecs, more gold has been loaded and unloaded. The Nubian Prince follows the Zeus, but without the help of extra actions there will be no chain shotting today! In the southeast, the Santo Columba has fallen to the swarm ships, but the Joya is finally ready to set sail after spending two full turns docked at the island (one to explore, another to wait after Natives affected her helmsman).

In the northwest, the Star of Siam and Amity race to a wild island. The AP’s have a sudden influx of gold, taking in 9 turtles and 2 coins from the Bandido in one turn! The hardships of the Roanoke have not been in vain, for the AP’s look like the fleet to beat! (so far heh) As expected, things are going to get messy in the far northeast. The Zeus got busy, eliminating two turtles with a double action. The GT was repairing, while the Nubian Prince didn’t have the speed to catch the Zeus.

After another turn, exciting developments unfold! Volt’s Joya del Sol is almost home with gold, though her comrades (the Santo Columba and Algeciras) have sank beneath the waves. The Tiger’s Eye of the Untouchables fleet has docked home an impressive haul, while the swarm fleet has some gold of their own on its way to their HI. The Zeus eliminated two more turtles with another double action, but even more importantly she sank the Longshanks with a whopping 10 gold aboard!! That could prove important later on, though there wasn’t anything the GT fleet could do about it. The final action of the night was a major stroke of luck on the part of the EA gold runners, the winners of my historic 12 fleet game from early 2015. The Star of Siam had used Runes of Speed the turn before to dock at the northwestern island ahead of the Amity. Since neither ship had explorers, this meant the SoS would explore first. The AP’s go right before the EA fleet in the turn order, and the Amity rammed the final mast off the SoS. The EA fleet’s only remaining ship was the SoS, so the pressure was on her alone. Gallows gave her an EA, meaning she could explore and slowly begin to row away. The Star then explored, finding a few low-value coins, but also a very well-timed UT: TREES! The UT meant the SoS had both masts fully repaired! Anticipating a base move of only S, suddenly the Star of Siam was back in action with Trees! With her second action the Star sped into a fog bank, where she patiently waits… as this was the last turn of the night! Stay tuned for more, because this is a very interesting, exciting, close game! We are nearing the end, but perhaps more twists await?

September 27th, 2016

Last night saw a ton of Pirates action! Not only did CG2 continue, but the 8 fleet game as well! It was a bit crazy playing two games at once, and this battle report skims over some of the details that I cannot remember.

In the southwest, the Star of Siam (SoS) has escaped through a whirlpool:

The northeast became very chaotic. The Zeus finally was able to move again, and I had to sac her helmsman just to get her out of the Nubian Prince’s range. In the far northeast, the Dread Galleys have gold, which attracts the Amity to the area. The Grand Temple has repaired and is sailing once more.

The Bandido predictably finds Wolves on one of the northwestern islands, meaning that island is essentially irrelevant. Ships continue to flock to the east: the Zeus is slowly trying to get into position to protect the Dead Man’s Point fort, which is about to come under attack by both a Tiger’s Eye and the Roanoke. The fort holds gold, which is becoming quite scarce indeed. The Joya has whirlpooled to the southeast, where the Dread Galleys are round earthing their way home. The swarm fleet is also concentrated in the east at this point, and there’s sure to be some desperate battles for low-value coins!

The Amity boards the Jolly Mon of UPS 5, killing that Hag of Tortuga to net another gold for the AP’s! The Nubian Prince hit the Zeus with chainshot again, while the Grand Temple moved southwest. The Roanoke damaged the fort, inadvertently getting in the way of the Tiger’s Eye lol. But in the far south, things were even more exciting! The Joya del Sol (of volt’s fleet) stole a coin from the Dread Galleys, and then the Star of Siam from EA gold runners came through a whirlpool with an EA and rammed the Star of Siam of the Dread Galley fleet! Battle of the Stars! XD

Ships began scattering. The Joya and SoS whirlpooled near home in order to dock their stolen loot. The GT appeared in the southwest, Bonny Peel intent on capturing the swarm fleet’s Hag of Tortuga. The Nubian Prince held the Zeus in place with chain shot while hitting with her regular cannons, a trend that would continue for 3 straight turns! The Dread Galleys had already run into trouble with having their gold stolen, and they weren’t done yet. The AP’s and swarmers were the next to pick on them.

The Joya and SoS have docked home their gold, while the Amity managed to steal a coin. The fort is no more! The Roanoke managed to dismast the Coeur on the same turn, but the swarmers had a plan…. In the far west, the unthinkable happened: the mighty Grand Temple rolled a 1 when ramming the Jolly Mon, meaning that she would be pinned as long as the JM didn’t move away!! Bonny Peel captured the Hag of Tortuga, but the swarmers had a perfect opportunity to deny the GT fleet her 5 gold payout in addition to keeping the other swarm ships safe from the big gunship.

The Coeur explored with her last gasp, and the Banshee’s Cry moved in right beside her to take the gold formerly held in the fort! In the meantime, the Roanoke had come under attack from other swarm ships! With gold aboard the BC and the GT pinned, things looked great for the swarm fleet. The Nubian Prince has knocked the Zeus down to just one mast, but UPS 5 would have a few more fireworks in them…

At this point, Xerecs did something I may never fully understand, but here’s his explanation after I asked him about it through email:

xerecs wrote:
The swarm thought and figured that the gt would go after ships with crew on them, like the Zeus or NP. The swarm has a mentality of meat shields for their few remaining runners, also they know that the gt wont bother with them since now that the hag is gone, the gt has no more business with them.


All eyes turned to the southeast. The Roanoke was in major trouble, while the Tiger’s Eye of the Untouchables fleet had loaded the final coin from the island that had Dead Man’s Point on it. It was a congregation of survivors, and things were about to get even more interesting!

That’s right, UPS 5 has captured the Roanoke! In a last-ditch effort to deny the Roanoke’s gold (or 10 gold payout from her two crew if Bonny Peel captured them) via towing her back home or scuttling her, the Zeus made a big move. Even crazier was the other parts of UPS 5’s turn. Unfortunately I had to sacrifice Captain Jack Sparrow to get the Zeus into position, something that is extremely rare. But then the Jolly Mon won a boarding party to steal a coin from the Tiger’s Eye! It was an improbable turn, but the winner of T1 was too weak to sustain these brief advantages.

Utter confusion in the southeast. Many rams and boards were happening at this time, some of them likely irrelevant. The whole process of boarding, stealing a coin, and then the other ship stealing the coin back began in earnest. What I do know is that UPS 5 successfully rolled to scuttle the Roanoke, while the Zeus got into position to block the GT, who surprisingly didn’t blow the nearby Raton to smithereens.

More chaos! The Dread Galleys captured the Roanoke, but the Roanoke had her coin stolen by the TE of the Untouchables fleet! The GT captured Don Pedro Gilbert, leaving the Zeus (and UPS 5 as a fleet) with no crew! The Banshee’s Cry looked like she would escape, though not before the SoS would steal one of her coins! The Amity then stole it from the SoS, who lost Gallows in trying to get it back! The game was just plain messy!

This shows more rams and boards, and general combat. XD Who will win this epic battle!?

September 30th, 2016

The 8 fleet game has finally concluded!

The Roanoke was sunk!! This denied Bonny Peel from getting her crew, and also gave the Untouchables fleet 1 gold from drowning Commodore Perry. In the southwest, the Joya has turned around – I forgot that the Banshee’s Cry was carrying a helmsman, so the sloop was able to dock home her gold without getting attacked. In the north, the Amity has escaped the mess in the southeast and looks to dock home her stolen gold.

A few turns later, and the action has shifted! The Tiger’s Eye of the Untouchables fleet has both of the last few coins in play, making her a magnet to be mauled by the other fleets! The Dread Galley TE and volt’s Joya each steal a coin, making themselves the new targets. Bonny Peel unloads some captured crew for the GT fleet, while the Jolly Mon tows the Zeus for UPS 5.

The ensuing chaos results in the Untouchables’ TE stealing her coin back from the Joya. The Star of Siam of the EA gold runners fleet was sunk, eliminating them from the game.

However, that same TE is captured by the swarm fleet’s Banshee’s Cry after losing a mast to a whirlpool! The lost mast meant the TE couldn’t get home on oar power at one third her normal speed. The Dread Galley TE docked home her coin for the speed fleet. The Amity has been scuttled, eliminating the AP’s from the active game. Volt’s Joya has also been sunk, eliminating his fleet from contention. Most of the days’ action concerned Xerecs’ fleets, for I came into the day with exactly one functioning ship in each of my four fleets. By the end of the game I could only do stuff with the Jolly Mon of UPS 5!

Numerous galleys sailed through the whirlpool to try and catch the Banshee’s Cry, but she was too quick. Using the captured TE’s action to give herself the coin, the BC was able to dock home the final coin! This ended the game, after which the GT fleet docked home Bonny Peel’s final two captured crew.

The gold was counted up, and the American Pirates have won the 8 fleet multiplayer game!!

Final scores:
1. American Pirates: 31 gold
2. Xerecs’ HMS GT fleet: 28 gold
3. UPS 5: 15 gold
4. Barbary Untouchables 2: 14 gold
5. EA Gold Runners: 13 gold
6, 7, 8: Volt’s FC fleet, Dread Galley speed fleet, dakmor’s swarm fleet: 12 gold

Shocked

An incredible game! The final scores were extremely close – a group of two elites at the top, followed by a pack of SIX fleets all within THREE gold of each other!! We couldn’t have asked for a better game – it was just about perfect. Not only did every single fleet get some gold (a rarity for a game with this many fleets), but the last 3 fleets all tied with 12, so no fleet stands out as getting “last” place! The game also featured lots of twists, turns, decisions, and exciting moments. Early UT luck was predictably a major factor, but things evened out in the long haul, especially as ramming and boarding became a major tactic.

The ending avoided controversy by a hair. If the Grand Temple had docked home Bonny Peel’s captured crew before the Banshee’s Cry had docked, the GT fleet would have won with 35 gold! However, after woelf’s answer in the Rules thread, nothing is in doubt. If the GT fleet had won, they would have advanced to Tournament #2! Alas, the AP’s were already in T2 after making it past the first round of T1, and thus simply further prove themselves as one of the more competitive fleets out there. I personally find it fitting that the GT fleet didn’t win, because the AP fleet easily could have won by a larger margin. After the swarm fleet’s (another fleet controlled by Xerecs) Jolly Mon “unpinned” the previously trapped Grand Temple at the swarmers’ HI, the GT went on to capture numerous crew, and indeed, eventually enough to win if another turn had passed. Therefore the questionable decision was almost enough to have the GT fleet win but only with the help of the swarm fleet. Nothing against Xerecs, but perhaps a lesson in playing all the fleets equally in multiplayer games, a bit of “karma” if you will. Smile

It was now time to hand out some awards! Xerecs and I did this on a whim; it may become a tradition depending upon the game(s) played. It usually won’t be worth doing for standard 40 point games, but in a series of games (such as these tournaments) or a multiplayer game it’s more applicable.

MVS (Most Valuable Ship): Amity (of the AP fleet)
The Amity was a workhorse from the beginning, being one of the first ships to explore. Both of her crew were killed by the Missionary UT on the first turn, but somehow she survived almost the entire game. She brought back 8 gold on her first trip, discovering valuable turtles at the same island. Only 1 turtle was killed, resulting in a net of 17 gold from one wild island, which turned out to be higher than the totals of almost all the other fleets! The Amity then went on different raiding missions, and I believe two were successful. Either way, you could say she truly made the difference, for one of those raids brought home a 2 coin, while another killed UPS 5’s Hag of Tortuga for 1 gold, resulting in the difference of 3 gold in her fleet’s 31-28 margin of victory!
Honorable mentions: Roanoke, Banshee’s Cry, HMS GT, etc.

MVC (Most Valuable Crew): Bonny Peel (of the GT fleet)
Bonny managed to capture a whopping 30 points’ worth of crew, although 7 gold was left aboard when the game ended. 13 gold came from the EA runners’ Joya del Sol, whose entire crew complement was ransomed off. She then went on to terrorize other fleets, stealing the swarm’s Hag of Tortuga (which could have been the last crew she swiped), Don Pedro Gilbert of UPS 5, and the last two crew of the Nubian Prince (captain and Murat Rais for the unloaded 7). In the end, the GT fleet didn’t actually have any gold on their home island – they had 23 gold from crew captures and 5 turtles! This is made all the more amazing by the fact that it’s exactly the same amount of gold that Dragon Eyes captured in my epic game from last fall! However, Bonny Peel captured crew worth 30 gold in the game overall, which can stand as a record! (they are tied at 23 each for most captured crew unloaded in a single game)

With that, the AP’s improve to 9-7 overall. In terms of fleet records, Xerecs and I have agreed to only count games as losses if less than 4 players/fleets are involved. Therefore, in games with 4 or more fleets, the winning fleet is credited with a win (of course), but the other fleets aren’t charged with a loss. I think 3 fleets is a reasonable cutoff; once you have 4 or more players the chances of winning the game really decrease, and obviously 8 fleets is quite a large game.

It’s also nice to see some parity in the scores; my fleets were 1 and 3, Xerecs’ 2 and 4, etc. I collected 71 total gold against Xerecs’ 66 total gold, but Xerecs had all his fleets active at the end while I only had the Jolly Mon from UPS 5.

It was a memorable game, and now that it’s over, we look to VASSAL Tournament #2! This is the big one – the fleet that wins T2 will be declared the best fleet of all time!! 16 fleets will be participating, in the same elimination style bracket as T1. We are in the process of choosing our fleets and setting up the bracket. Tournament 2 will soon begin!

VASSAL Tournament #1

September 5th, 2016

VASSAL Tournament #1

Welcome to the first VASSAL tournament! Xerecs and I have agreed to play not one, but two tournaments on the VASSAL module! The purpose of the tournaments is to determine which fleet is the best of all-time! Very Happy

Tournament 1 (T1) acts as a play-in round. The top 4 fleets from T1 (not just the winner) will advance to Tournament 2 (T2). There will be 8 fleets participating in T1, while T2 will have a whopping 16 fleets! Each matchup consists of 2 fleets facing each other in 1v1 competition in a 3-game series. The fleet that wins the series advances to the next round. To save time, if a fleet wins the first 2 games of a series, the third game of the series will likely not be played. If you’d like to join the tournament, just let us know.

Fleet selection: In a spreadsheet, I have documented the records of various fleets I’ve played in the past. Based on these records, some fleets get a “bye” of sorts and are automatically placed in T2. You can check out the current standings in this thread. The fleets for T1 were selected by myself and Xerecs. They are the fleets we considered the most competitive of the other fleets available, and/or they were fleets we really wanted to give a shot to, for a chance to enter the grand Tournament #2.

I’ve done this tournament idea in the past, but it’s time for competitive play to return! The previous tournament saw Norvegia victorious, but the fleet was then swept 3-0 by my HMS GT fleet immediately afterwards in exhibition play. Therefore, my original HMS GT fleet will head into T2 as a #1 seed. The rest of the seeding process will be based on records and possibly other criteria such as vote scores on MT or margins of victory in past games.

These games are being played under most of the “standard” game rules (8 coins per player worth 15 gold, 6 islands, etc). However, there will be a few house rules:
-Xerecs and I are changing the turn order after the first game of each series. The fleet that went second in the first game will go first in the second game. This is to ensure maximum fairness so one die roll doesn’t effectively decide a series. (though Game 3’s will still feature regular rolls)
-We will play until there is a clear winner. This will often be the “more than half the starting gold” rule, but there may be exceptions.

Here is the bracket for Tournament #1! I am playing as UPS 5, dakmor’s swarm fleet, EA Gold Runners, and American Pirates. Xerecs is playing as his own GT fleet, Volt’s VASSAL fleet challenge fleet, Barbary Untouchables 2, and the Dread Galley speed fleet. I placed my fleets in the bracket in no particular order. We then assigned numbers to the fleets, for example, UPS 5 got a 1 because it would be the first series of the first round. Xerecs then rolled dice to determine the matchups, and the bracket was set up! For future rounds, if one person controls both fleets, they pick which one they want for that round, and the other person gets the other fleet. The matchups certainly looked interesting on paper, with a giant matchup headlining the first series!

VASSAL Tournament #1

UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style

Xerecs’ HMS GT fleet

(It’s highly recommended that you check out the fleets beforehand to have context going into the games)

The first game was underway! I rolled to go first, and quickly sacced an oarsman to get the Zeus to a wild island. Trading away a bad UT, we immediately began to run into rules questions lol. This picture shows the Zeus at a second wild island; two coins have already been tossed home via Captain Jack Sparrow (CJS). The Longshanks had her crew eliminated by a missionary, but it prevented some natives from freezing the ship. So far, Xerecs’ bad UT’s were hurting him, and Don Pedro Gilbert’s treasure trading ability ensured the Zeus would be reasonably safe from harm at most islands.
VASSAL Tournament #1

The Longshanks and Zeus returned home with gold, while the Banshee’s Cry (BC) was dismasted by the Coeur du Lion. The Zeus was running out of oarsmen to sacrifice, but UPS 5 already had a major lead in the gold game.

The Grand Temple got an SAT from Myngs and blasted the Zeus! However, the Zeus and her crew were annoyed to find Natives on the island, trading it away for another coin. Eager for the game to end, it was time to fire. ZEUS SMAAAASH!! Saccing the explorer, the Zeus dismasted the GT! A few more shenanigans followed, but UPS 5 was the obvious victor. The final score of the first game of T1: 18-3.

The second game was about to begin!

In extremely similar fashion, the Zeus traded away Wolves to an island close to the Longshanks and BC! The second game was a near-repeat of the first.

The Grand Temple made a move for the Hag of Tortuga, and captured her! The Zeus emerged from a fog bank to simultaneously dock at her HI and shoot at the GT, hitting only 5/16 in a double action. This wasn’t all that surprising given her 3S cannons and my generally poor luck with shoot actions. The BC and Longshanks reached the far islands, while the GT had the mast she needed to get home.

This led to an interesting situation – the Zeus blockading the BC and LS in a fog bank, while the GT repaired. The Jolly Mon, with no Ransom crew around, sailed off in search of treasure. However, all she found was Natives, meaning that the gold on ships was essentially the only gold left in the game. Theoretically the Zeus could have explored the other island and traded away the Wolves for the Natives (making the gold accessible), but there was no reason for me to do that with a fully repaired HMS GT charging the Zeus while she sat immobile due to the Natives. In addition, I already had the gold advantage once again.

Thus we began playing cat and mouse. The LS was shadowed by the Zeus, while the Jolly Mon and Coeur came up to support the 10 master. I had realized something: since I wasn’t going to be trading away any more gold home for oarsmen on the Coeur, there was no reason not to send the Coeur out to meet the Zeus and just give her the oarsman manually. This would give the Zeus two oarsmen, which might allow her enough actions to catch all three enemy ships.

I quickly tired of the maneuvering, and decided to force the action. The Jolly Mon rammed the Longshanks, who stayed in place and fired. This allowed my plan to work, with the Zeus dismasting the Longshanks and stealing her coin (I wanted the extra gold before sinking the LS). The Coeur came alongside the Zeus and was ready to transfer the final oarsman.

The GT got an SAT and attacked the Zeus. Incredibly, she missed all 6 times!! This allowed the Zeus to sink her with a double shoot, also sinking the LS. The BC was all alone in the fog.

I managed to corner the BC near my home island. Docking the Zeus to deposit my last coin (stolen from the LS), I then shot at the BC and sank her! This ended the game, with UPS 5 winning 15-5! This was the fleet’s second win in as many games, winning the pair by a combined score of 33-8. UPS 5 advances to Round 2 and therefore also to a spot in Tournament #2!

The second series featured more awesome fleets:

dakmor’s swarm fleet

Vassal La dominación española

Once again I rolled to go first, and the swarm fleet was off!

The BC reached the northeastern island, and things got silly in a hurry. She found 3 3’s (the highest treasure value in the distribution for these two fleets) as well as the Turtles UT. Xerecs’ bad luck was apparently going to continue, as my fleets consistently found better UT’s and values.

The Santo Columba began blasting her way through the swarm, but it was already too late. To add insult to injury, the Intrepide had found 8 more gold on her island, while the Lezard and Mermaid found Skrew Engine and Runes of Speed on their island.

The UT’s were flipped and the BC also returned home, netting me 15 gold in one turn. 10 turtles weren’t far behind, and just to make things even more lopsided, my tiny ships rammed effectively, taking the Santo Columba down to 2 masts.

The Santo Columba eliminated a turtle, but then the Intrepide docked home and the game ended. The swarm fleet had won a massively lopsided game 23-5. They look to advance to T2 with another win, a game that will hopefully be played soon.

The bad luck experienced by Xerecs on this night was beyond comprehension. Luck wasn’t the only reason he lost all three games, but it was truly hard to believe, especially the GT going 0/6 and the completely perfect treasure distribution that the swarm fleet got lucky with.

After three games, here are the standings! For future reference, the top fleet will have the first score (ex: if volt’s fleet had just won the latest game 10-5, it would say 5-10 instead of 23-5.)

Which fleet will face the formidable UPS 5? And which fleets of the other 4 will advance? Stay tuned to find out!

September 6th, 2016

The tournament has continued!

Here’s the setup for the second game of the second matchup.

dakmor’s swarm fleet

Vassal La dominación española

Once again the swarm fleet found Turtles! This made the swarm even harder to deal with – in addition to 11 ships (Jolly Mon sitting at home), the Spanish had to deal with 10 turtles as well!

A pileup emerged in the center, with the swarmers putting their best gunships (Intrepide, Carrion Crow, Venture) alongside the Santo Columba.

The Santo Columba was victorious and eliminated almost the entire swarm fleet! At this point we simulated the rest of the game since the Spanish would keep the Jolly Mon afloat in order to get the remaining gold. The Spanish won the game 25-15!

That set the stage for the first game 3 of the tournament! The stakes were high, with the loser facing elimination.

The home islands happened to reverse from the previous game.

The Banshee’s Cry was sent west with the Mermaid to get gold from an island that I expected to be contested. The Intrepide, Pique, and Lezard all headed south. I put together the best battle squadron I could (Carrion Crow, Venture, Algeciras, Rover) and sailed them straight towards the Santo Columba. The Coeur and Raton would act as block ships or potential “tugboats”.

The BC and Mermaid loaded gold, but the Mermaid was sunk and the BC dismasted! (both by the Santo Columba) I decided to try and trap the SC and prevent her from towing the BC (who had 8 gold aboard), and proceeded to eliminate 3 of her 4 masts in a series of rams and shots. Countessa Amore was killed in a boarding attack, netting the swarmers 1 gold. In the east, the Pique headed home with gold while the Intrepide and Lezard lagged behind to protect the turtles. That’s right, for the third game in a row, the swarm fleet had found the Turtles UT! However, I had also stashed Grease Barrels away on the Intrepide, hoping to make her a surprise ramming threat if needed…

The Joya del Sol was busy filling her cargo hold, while the Algeciras sailed in and capture the BC. In a complex series of maneuvers I managed to extricate one of my derelicts out of the way so that another ship could tow the Santo Columba. I then utilized a small chain tow with the Intrepide to move the SC farther from the Algeciras. You can see how crowded the area was, and 10 turtles just to the east only made it busier.

The Algeciras attacked, but my prize was safe: the Santo Columba! Guess what saved her? The Grease Barrels! I flipped the UT aboard the Intrepide to allow her to dock home before the Algeciras potentially could have sunk the SC on the following turn. An SAT got the SC repairing quickly, and now the swarmers had access to the very weapon that caused their demise in the previous game, and the only huge threat between the two fleets combined.

Turtles began reaching safety, while the Algeciras re-towed the BC. The SC fully repaired, and the Intrepide set sail again.

I figured I could catch the Joya del Sol with the Santo Columba, but I forgot about the other UT’s: Skrew Engine and Runes of Speed. The Joya had both aboard, meaning she could move 12S in two turns to get home. The Algeciras swapped her captain (Luis Zuan) for a coin on the BC, hoping to salvage some value from the prize, knowing that she wouldn’t make it home at S speed while towing the BC. I moved to recapture the BC. At this point I had a very good idea of what Xerecs had on the Joya, since I had explored two islands and knew what values were present on the BC. It was possible that the score would end up 20-19!

Things went according to plan for a turn, surprisingly enough! I captured the BC, Xerecs got the Joya home, and the SC fought with the Algeciras.

The SC used S boarding to steal the coin from the Algeciras, but the Joya stole it back! The SC managed to retrieve it, and sped away from the scene. The BC was towed back while that was happening, and the game ended.

Dakmor’s swarm fleet wins 22-17 in a fantastic finale! They advance to Round 2, where they will face UPS 5!

The third matchup:

Barbary Untouchables V 2.0 (commanded by Xerecs)

Extra Action Gold Runners

We changed the setup once again but made sure to keep it fair and standard. Also: this game hasn’t concluded yet!

The Star of Siam got an extra action early, and I found turtles for the fourth game in a row. The Algeciras hid from the Nubian Prince, while the Joya and Tiger’s Eye headed east.

The Star of Siam ducked into a fog bank as well, knowing she could get home when receiving an extra action. The Tiger’s Eye turned south but the Joya got an EA to get there first and explore.

As I had planned, a lot of things started happening at once. The Star came out of the fog and docked home gold. The Algeciras emerged as well and scored a hit on the Nubian Prince, while the turtles and Joya del Sol raced home.

The Algeciras was quickly dismasted, while the Star of Siam tried to block the Nubian Prince from sailing over the turtles.

Just like the Star of Siam, the Joya hid in a fog bank until she could get home, this time with a UT. The Nubian Prince dismasted the Star, who fled into a fog bank. The Joya rammed the NP, taking out a second mast. The Tiger’s Eye had filled up with gold.

Who will win the first game of this series and take an advantage into the second game?

September 10th, 2016

The games have continued!

Barbary Untouchables V 2.0 (commanded by Xerecs)

Extra Action Gold Runners

The first game of the third series came to a quick end, with the EA gold runners fleet victorious 22-13!

The Corsairs went first to start the second game:

The Nubian Prince dismasted the Algeciras, but once again I had found turtles!

Then I tried to make it look like my ships were heading northeast to contest the Tiger’s Eye at a wild island. It worked, as the Nubian Prince turned northeast. The Joya then got an EA at the perfect time and slipped past the Prince. The Star of Siam sacrificed herself and partially blocked the Prince. The turtles continued to swim home.

The Nubian Prince missed the Joya del Sol with a chainshot, and the game was effectively over.

EA Gold Runners wins the game 24-13! They capture the series and move on to round 2, and by extension Tournament 2!

Now it was time for the final matchup of round 1:

The “Dread Galley” Speed Fleet (commanded by Xerecs)

American Pirates

The setup was changed a bit, and we were ready to play! Unfortunately this game wasn’t able to be played to completion, but we got off to an interesting start.

The Amity got gold home quickly with some help from Hidden Cove, while Captain Blackheart sacced some an oarsman to fire at the Algiers.

The Star of Siam lost a mast to a reef and another to the Bandido with a ram. The Roanoke proceeded to get another double action and sink both ships!

This game should conclude very soon, and Round 2 of Tournament 1 is approaching…

September 11th, 2016

Tournament 1 continues once more!

The Roanoke was unable to hit the Tiger’s Eye, giving the galley another chance to explore. Knowing the general gold situation, I had the Roanoke grab the final coin (at the island the Amity is docked at) rather than pursue the Eye.

The American Pirates prevailed 15-13!

The second game of the series began:

The Roanoke engages:

The galleys congregated in the south, and the Roanoke stalked them. The Amity and Bandido made short work of a wild island.

Things got interesting in a hurry. The Amity rammed a mast off the Tiger’s Eye and stole a coin, while the Roanoke went after the others, who were far from home. With a double action the Algiers was dismasted, but the Star of Siam escaped unscathed.

The Tiger’s Eye made a mistake trying to cross a Sargasso Sea, and became tangled. The Amity grabbed a coin, while the Star of Siam fled for home. Blackheart wanted more crew for his sacrifices, and sailed southwest to pick up the crew that the Dread Galleys had left off.

At this point the game began to tip in my favor. The Bandido rammed a mast off the Tiger’s Eye and robbed a treasure, while the Amity took a short detour and rammed the TE derelict. This left her stuck in the Sargasso with no easy way out. In the east, the Roanoke sank the Algiers and a bunch of coins!

In the end the American Pirates won 14-9! They advance to Round 2 of Tournament #1 and qualify for Tournament #2!

Round 2 of Tournament 1

With that, it was time for the second round, the semifinals!

UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style

dakmor’s swarm fleet (commanded by Xerecs)

It was truly an odd matchup – essentially one ship (the Zeus) versus 11 ships!

The Zeus set up Dead Man’s Point on an island, and sailed back home with the rest of the island’s gold. The Banshee’s Cry quickly unloaded an island by herself with the help of some UT’s. The main question was whether or not the Zeus could catch the enemy gold runners before they docked home some gold.

The swarm fleet killed the Hag of Tortuga in a boarding action for an extra gold, while the Zeus picked up the oarsmen that would normally be loaded onto the Coeur du Lion. Captain Jack was ready for battle!

There were 4 swarm ships with gold aboard, and the Zeus quickly dispatched two of them. The Intrepide was tougher to get to, with the Rover in the way.

The Zeus dismasted the Intrepide and Lezard! This left towing as the only option for the swarmers. Chain towing helped a bit, but in the end the Zeus was too fast (with double actions each turn due to saccing) and had too many cannons. Both ships were sunk, and UPS 5 won the game 10-7!

Here is the tournament bracket, completely updated through the end of Round 1! My fleets proved their worth, and now two of them must face each other in the second series of Round 2. In the meantime, the winner of the current matchup will soon be decided!

September 12th, 2016

UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style

dakmor’s swarm fleet (commanded by Xerecs)

Looking for a second sweep in as many rounds, UPS 5 started game 2 of the series in the northwest while the swarm fleet started in the east.

After returning 10 gold to her home island, the Zeus battled her way to another 5 gold. However, she couldn’t catch any of the swarming gold runners, and the game ended in a 15-15 tie!

The series went to a game 3, though the series was still 1-0 in favor of UPS 5. I made a mistake and put Xerecs and the swarm fleet near the middle of the sea. This would give them access to 3 of the 4 wild islands.

As the swarmers scattered, the Zeus scooped up all the oarsmen she could carry and headed towards the swarm fleet’s home island. I knew I’d have to move quickly to sink a bunch of gold before it got back.

Both Hags of Tortuga were killed to net us 1 gold apiece, while the Zeus sank the Intrepide and 3 coins!

The Zeus rammed the Pique and stole both of her coins, which was only possible after saccing some oarsmen to unintentionally free up cargo space! However, the Mermaid and Lezard still posed threats. The Coeur and Jolly Mon joined the Zeus, and it was once again time for the Zeus to take center stage.

Shots of little consequence were fired, as the Zeus maneuvered into position. The Mermaid would be able to dock, but could only carry a single coin.

This picture doesn’t do justice how close the end of the game was. The Algeciras blocked the Zeus, but I managed to go 2/4 and sink the ship with the Zeus’ first action! This proved decisive, as it allowed the Zeus to sail north and get some cannons in range of the Lezard. Guns boomed once more, and the Lezard sank quickly. The game was effectively over, with the Zeus returning home and the swarm fleet largely eliminated.

UPS 5 wins the third game 13-7! The fleet now advances to the finals of Tournament #1, and looks to secure a high seed in Tournament #2 as well as further increasing its winning streak. UPS 5 is now 4-0 through two series.

Dakmor’s swarm fleet put up a good fight, losing the series by a combined score of just 38-29 when the tie game is included. It will be interesting to see what the swarm fleet has in store for Tournament 2 as well as the 8 fleet multiplayer game. That’s right, there will be a multiplayer game after the conclusion of Tournament 1! All 8 fleets will be participating. It’s largely an experiment, but the stakes could not be higher for the fleets that were eliminated in Round 1 and therefore will not advance to Round 2. The fleet that wins the multiplayer game will automatically advance to Tournament 2! This is a form of second chance – if one of the “underdog” fleets (now that they’ve lost in Round 1) manages to pull off a win against all 7 other fleets, they get into T2 with the win! Of course, if one of the 4 fleets that has already advanced to T2 wins the 8 fleet game, it will have no effect on T2 (other than a possible seeding tiebreaker or something), but it will be interesting to see who wins regardless. My EA gold runners fleet is still under .500 at 8-9 overall, but perhaps their greatest claim to fame is that they won that massive 12 fleet game in January 2015 as the conclusion of that “era” of competitive play (my previous “era” would be when Norvegia won a tournament in 2013, and this new era is the current one and will be the most comprehensive). Winning a huge multiplayer game definitely gives a fleet some bragging rights. And yes, we are planning to do a 16 fleet game at the conclusion of T2 using every single fleet from that tournament. Of course, that’s a long way off right now…

And with that, the second semifinal matchup is next! As I was the victor in advancing both of the fleets, I get to pick which one I control for the series. I love both fleets, but I’ve chosen EA gold runners because it’s one of my oldest fleets, I still believe in it even though its record isn’t fantastic, and because I prefer not to use events (the American Pirates fleet has Hidden Cove). We may not be able to continue for a few days, but we’ll be back! Very Happy

September 16th, 2016

The second matchup of the semifinals!

Extra Action Gold Runners

American Pirates (commanded by Xerecs)

In the first game of the series, I got lucky and found most of the UT’s, including the turtles.

The Joya escaped to the southwestern island…

But was soon cornered by the Roanoke!

The AP’s managed to subdue the EA gold runners, but the gold was more important. I had found 11 gold, while 9 turtles reached safety. The final score was 20-19 in favor of the EA fleet!

The AP’s went first in the second game, and the home islands were close together.

The EA runners took care of the northern islands while the AP’s headed west. Xerecs had a new strategy, sending the Amity to the farther island after Hidden Coving her out. It was at the southwestern island that Xerecs finally found the Turtles UT!

I had a bunch of gold, but knew that I needed to eliminate some turtles or steal from the Amity to win. The Joya and Algeciras headed south to intercept the AP’s, while the Star of Siam headed west to pick up a 2.

Unsurprisingly the Roanoke was able to sac my fleet to pieces, and the AP’s won 20-18 in another extremely close game!

Game 3!

Xerecs found the turtles again, which meant I would be facing an uphill battle to win the game.

The Algeciras hit 2/2 to damage the Roanoke, while the Joya del Sol is heading west to pick up Skrew Engine. As in the last game, the Amity is sailing to the far island to get the best coins, leaving the Roanoke and Bandido to pick up the scraps.

The Amity picked up high value coins, and I sent the Joya in pursuit. However, the Roanoke had repaired with Trees at the northwestern island, and she gave chase. Realizing that I had a chance to eliminate some turtles (and knowing that they should be the priority since they would get home before the Amity), I suddenly sent all my ships towards the AP home island. The Joya got an extra action, while the damaged Algeciras and Star of Siam also sped north. (The Algeciras had rammed the Bandido derelict when the Roanoke repaired)

The Algeciras and Joya began eliminating turtles while also blocking the home island off from the remaining turtles. The SoS didn’t receive an extra action from Gallows, and the Roanoke and Amity were coming.

The Roanoke used a double action to sink the Algeciras and damage the Joya! Knowing how much gold I had and how many turtles had gotten home safely, I realized that I could win the game if I got the final 3 gold on the southwestern island. The Joya sailed at great speed for the island, while the Star of Siam would try to intercept the Amity.

In a surprise to me, the Amity rammed the Joya and took out a mast! With only one mast remaining the Joya reached the island and loaded the final two coins.

This is where it got ugly. The Amity caught the Joya and rammed her again. Rolling two consecutive 1’s, she didn’t eliminate the Joya’s final mast and the Joya managed to steal a coin! There was some confusion over how we played the boarding rules. From now on, as I usually play, the winner of the boarding party gets to choose whether they eliminate a crew or take a treasure. If they take a treasure, they can choose which coin they take (since it’s more realistic). If they eliminate a crew, the loser picks which crew is eliminated (since it’s more balanced). Under these rules, the EA gold runners fleet won the game 24-12. However, then we went back (by undoing everything) and played it again from the same boarding action. This time, the American Pirates won 20-16. As a result, we effectively called Game 3 a tie (!)… which meant that we now had to play a historic Game 4 to decide the winner of the series!

Unfortunately the fourth game was a complete blowout. Hidden Cove was used on the Roanoke, who sank the Joya and dismasted the Algeciras. I found the turtles, but it was already too late. The AP’s win 25-5 and advance to the final round!

Tournament 1, Final Round: UPS 5 vs. American Pirates

This will be played soon; Xerecs and I decided to swap fleets. I will control the AP fleet like I did in the first round and Xerecs will have his first opportunity to control UPS 5.

September 18th, 2016

The final round of Tournament 1!

UPS 5 (commanded by Xerecs)

American Pirates

CJS aboard the Zeus made a mistake in putting the home island of the AP fleet right in the middle of the new setup. This would allow them to hit three of the four wild islands relatively easily.

I was able to make separate trips to the 3 islands while the Zeus returned home the other island for UPS 5.

After the Roanoke and Bandido got home, it was clear that the AP’s were victorious! Their 16-9 win meant that UPS 5 is no longer undefeated!

The second game featured different home islands:

The AP’s went with a different strategy, using Hidden Cove on the Amity, who then began sailing even further west. Once again I wanted to hit more than half the wild islands, sending the Roanoke to the middle and the Bandido west. The Roanoke managed a couple hits on the Zeus with a double action.

The Zeus is loose! The 10 master nearly dismasted the Roanoke while also sending home a coin via CJS.

The Roanoke repairs as the other ships bring in gold:

The Amity grabs the final coins from the southwestern island, while the Roanoke heads to grab the final coin in the far west. The Coeur, now empty, looks to get gold in the north. The Bandido is now an expendable block ship, but the Zeus turns south…

A few turns of mayhem! The Zeus managed to catch the Amity with some sac actions, taking off a mast. However, her other 2 guns in range missed, allowing the Amity to dock home valuable coins. Knowing the Zeus could probably blockade my home island effectively, and seeing the vulnerable Coeur more than a turn away from docking at her HI, I decided to change course and send the Roanoke northeast! She got there just in time, blocking the Coeur. Her guns missed the little ship, and the Zeus turned around.

Knowing a victory was within reach, I managed to play the end of the game quite effectively. The Roanoke sank the Coeur with gold aboard, then turned around to ram and board the Jolly Mon, eliminating the Hag of Tortuga for an additional 1 gold. These differentials would turn out to be important… I wasn’t worried about the 1 on the Roanoke at this point, having prioritized sinking the Coeur. The Bandido appeared just off the bow of the Zeus, hindering her movement. The Amity was sailing up as well, but the game was over. The AP fleet wins 16-13!

For various reasons, I wanted to play at least one more game despite the AP fleet winning two games in a row. We swapped fleets, and T1 continued.

This game featured an explosive start! The Roanoke used Hidden Cove to appear at the middle island right next to the Zeus! With a double action from Blackheart the Roanoke went 6/10 to damage the behemoth! However, with a double action of her own, the Zeus responded by dismasting the Roanoke! The Amity and Bandido had hardly begun sailing, and the flagships had already lost 11 masts between them!

The Roanoke tried to escape at 4S speed via a combination of helmsman, oarsman, and sac action, but it wasn’t quite enough – the Zeus sank her! This was a big deal, for it meant that the Zeus and her firepower was essentially unobstructed for the rest of the game. However, the fierce battle in the center had cost UPS 5 valuable time.

After a few more turns, things have become peaceful. The Zeus unloaded gold and picked up the remaining sacrificial oarsmen. The Amity and Bandido headed home with gold. I opted not to repair the Zeus because it would cost me too much time (even if I just repaired 1 or 2 masts), and with 4 3S cannons at the bow of the ship and no captains remaining in the enemy fleet (not to mention potential sac actions), the Zeus could dictate any battle she found herself in.

The Amity headed for the northeastern island, but the Zeus scared her off. The Zeus claimed the gold on that island, while the AP fleet finished off the rest of the gold. UPS 5 was victorious 19-12! (one extra gold from sinking Perry aboard the Roanoke)

After this third game, it was even less clear which fleet is superior. As a result, at least one more game will be played, hopefully in a matter of hours!

September 19th, 2016

The last day of play in Tournament #1!

UPS 5

American Pirates (commanded by Xerecs)

With the AP fleet up in the series 2-1 heading into Game 4, they had a chance to win glory as the winner of a competitive tournament!

Early in the game the Zeus managed to catch the Roanoke and take her down to one mast!

UPS 5 had the Coeur grab some coins, while the Zeus followed the Amity:

The Amity was sunk and UPS 5 remained in control of the game. They ended up winning 18-12 to even the series at 2 games apiece!

The setup for Game 5, with the HI’s close together:

This game was short and without combat. Faced with a choice between trying to catch one or both of the AP runners (Bandido and Amity) or simply emptying a second island, I made the wrong move. The northeastern island happened to have both of the 1’s in the treasure distribution, which meant it was too late to salvage the game. The AP’s won a close 16-14 victory!

With the American Pirates up in the series once more (3-2), we decided to swap fleets again: Xerecs took over for UPS 5 while I regained the AP fleet (just like the first 2 games of the series, which in hindsight is funny given the 2-3-2 nature of the series and the similarities to playoffs in the NBA and MLB heh).

Game 6!!

I used Hidden Cove to fling the Amity as far as possible, but it wasn’t enough. I expected Xerecs to turn the Zeus home to dock the gold, but instead he went after the Amity, sinking her easily. This destroyed my game, and it was a quick win for UPS 5 afterwards. The final score was essentially 12-0 (12-4 if counting the 4 gold on the Bandido).

Now the series was tied 3-3, which meant… you guessed it…

Game 7! The final series of the first tournament was coming to an epic conclusion!

Open fire! I knew I had to strike, but the Roanoke’s guns weren’t good enough. After Hidden Coving to the middle island, she went 4/10 in a double action.

After having some trouble maneuvering, the Zeus only managed two hits of her own! This gave the AP’s another chance, which was also squandered. The Roanoke went a whopping 0/6 with 3L cannons, and the game was effectively decided. The Zeus blasted the Roanoke to pieces, and the Amity and Bandido couldn’t get enough gold to make up the difference! Don Pedro Gilbert’s treasure swapping also helped the UPS fleet in this final game, but the Roanoke’s own abysmal shooting was the primary cause of the quick demise. UPS 5 wins Game 7 by a score of 17-14!

UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style has won VASSAL Tournament #1!

It was a fitting end, for the Universal Pirate Shipping strategy pioneered by darrin is simply one of the best (if not the best) ways to win this game. It was fitting on a personal level as well – one of my fleets won the tournament, but Xerecs controlled it for the final game (and 4 of the 7 games in the final series), so we’re both champions! Very Happy

The final bracket. For the gold scores, the first number is the gold total of the upper fleet.

Looking back on the first VASSAL tournament, it was a great experience. The first round saw 3 sweeps in 4 series, with all 3 of my fleets advancing. It wasn’t nearly so lopsided after that, with the final two series being especially interesting. EA Gold Runners is almost like the dark horse of the tournament, having barely missed a trip to the finals. The final round was a bit of a mess, but it turned into a rather epic 7-game series in which UPS 5 prevailed 4-3.

Here are the current records of the fleets involved in T1 after its conclusion:
UPS 5: 8-3
American Pirates: 8-7
EA Gold Runners: 9-11
Volt’s VASSAL FC fleet: 2-3
dakmor’s swarm fleet: 2-3
Xerecs’ GT fleet, Barbary Untouchables 2, Dread Galley speed fleet: 0-2

Of course, the last two rounds were mostly for bragging rights and seeding for VASSAL Tournament #2, which is the real deal – whichever fleet wins that tournament will hold the current status of the best fleet ever! The four fleets that advanced to Round 2 (UPS 5, dakmor’s swarm fleet, EA Gold Runners, and American Pirates) have advanced to Tournament #2, where they will compete against absolutely brutal fleets. Before T1 even started I picked 6 fleets to have a “bye” into T2, which includes 4 fleets based around the UPS strategy. The other two are my HMS Grand Temple fleet and the classic Norvegia fleet. It will be something to behold…

BUT! First we play the 8 fleet multiplayer game with all the fleets from T1! As I explained previously, if a fleet that didn’t advance to Round 2 of T1 wins the multiplayer game, they automatically advance to T2! The stakes could not be higher for the fleets that got swept in T1, as well as Volt’s FC fleet.

Coming soon: a picture of the setup for the multiplayer game, with all 16 islands and 8 fleets. We’ve also established the turn order, so we’re ready to begin, probably sometime next weekend. In the meantime, thanks for reading about Tournament 1, and as always, just hop on the module if you’d like to join us on VASSAL! (and let us know if you’d like to play fleets in Tournament 2!)

Water World – at 200 points! September 2nd, 2016

VASSAL Game 17 
9/2/2016

Xerecs and I have played a 200 point game of Water World!

I went first with this fleet while Xerecs used this fleet. When creating my fleet, I was quite inspired by some of the ideas I presented here. With 200 points at my disposal, any combo was possible, even that monster one with the Guichuan. I’ll admit this report is a bit biased towards my perspective on things, but that’s entirely because this was one of the best games I’ve ever played. (as in, I played it really well, not that the game itself was that exceptional) Hopefully it won’t sound too conceited haha!

My strategy going into the game was as follows. The whole premise of the fleet was to basically sail the Guichuan up to the enemy fort, flip Grim to steal all the gold (or at least 7 coins anyway), and then be immune to cannon fire with the Haulers. Then, after stealing all the gold from said fort, proceed to sink it to add insult to injury! The Oxford is the sidekick to the Guichuan, chosen for her speed (able to keep up with a Guichuan going 4S per turn with Mycron’s help) and ability. The canoes provide transfer backup if needed. Honestly, the rest of the fleet was just created as a distraction. Realistically, the only thing that can distract an opponent from the Guichuan is another 10 master. Thus, the Celtic Fury. I chose her because France has some crew with the Parley ability, and using Parley as offense is another thing I’ve been wanting to test further. Roimata’s captain/SAT was the perfect complement to Lenoir’s reroll, while a stinkpot specialist was added to fill out the points and provide some insurance against tough foes. The support gunships are other distractions – with this many points available the Constitution was a support gunship! The Black Coral was added for another RtSS piece, and I thought she could be a backup gold runner, with Secret Hold being extra-useful in the Water World scenario. The Mercure is a ship I’d like to use more often, and was the perfect fiery pest to fill out points with.

I wondered to myself if this grand plan was even plausible. Somehow, it worked.

6 wild islands, 8 coins per island, round earth rules.
Water World

The canoes explored, and the first island sank beneath the waves. I was hesitant to make my strategy obvious early on, but knew I needed to strike Xerecs’ fort when he was least expecting it, preferably early in the game soon after some gold had been unloaded there. The Celtic Fury was to be a distraction, and a suicidal one if need be. She and the Mercure headed straight for the enemy 10 masters, with the Constitution not far behind. The San Cristobal grabbed a bunch of gold but also found Scurvy.

The Frontier grabbed the SC’s gold with her hoist, and I began to maneuver the Guichuan and Oxford into position in anticipation of Xerecs unloading gold at his home fort. After the Black Pearl was distracted by Natives at a northern wild island, the Celtic Fury moved to strike. With Lenoir still face down, I actually gave Mycron’s action to a native canoe in order to get some gold in my fort. I wanted Parley ready in case the Zeus was able to strike first with an SAT from Crimson Angel.

Xerecs was able to drain two islands completely, meaning that half of the wild islands were already gone. This worried me, since I didn’t know if the Guichuan’s potential haul would even be enough to tip the treasure game in my favor, especially if the heist didn’t go as planned.

I nearly attacked the Black Pearl since she was a sitting duck with the Natives UT affecting her for 3 turns, but decided not to risk it. Tia Dalma aboard the Zeus could easily cancel Lenoir’s Parley, leaving the Celtic Fury open to a devastating broadside. The Constitution was coming, but she wouldn’t arrive in time. At the bottom of the frame, I decided to not explore with the Black Coral since I knew some of the negative UT’s I put into the mix, and to provide support for the Guichuan from the west if needed.

Xerecs moved the Zeus west a bit, allowing the Celtic Fury to SAT into position. However, she only knocked one mast off the Pearl, being careful to stay out of Tia Dalma’s cancelling range. The Mercure ducked into a fog bank to hide from the Zeus, while the Constitution arrived on the scene. In the meantime my canoes had finished unloading gold, while the San Cristobal did the same on the opposite side of the sea. With the Celtic Fury getting some action going in the north, the distraction was in place. The Guichuan and Oxford turned their bows west, towards Xerecs’ fort accessible via round earth.

The Zeus sped north, while the Baochuan took over against the Celtic Fury. However, I flipped Lenoir to Parley my way out of the situation! The random coin chosen from my home fort was a 1, and the Celtic Fury was safe!

The Celtic Fury responds with a thunderous broadside, crippling the Baochuan! The Constitution and Mercure team up and sail north, possibly to pursue the Zeus. At this point the game was in a relatively flexible state, but I knew one thing for sure: I was going for it. The Guichuan and Oxford round earthed their way to the east, where the San Cristobal was the only ship guarding the home fort. In the meantime, the Black Coral attacked the Joya del Sol, who was headed north with an abandoned musketeer to take out the Wolves that were found on the same island with the Natives.

Attack! The Celtic Fury dismasts the Baochuan, while the Constitution and Mercure team up to take the Black Pearl down to 1 mast. The Morning Star went through a whirlpool and aimed her bow at my home fort, which funny enough, I had left unguarded! I interpreted this as a potential raid, but my ships weren’t close enough to deter it. However, the Guichuan was ready to strike, while the San Cristobal sailed away from danger.

The Frontier discovered a mess of UT’s at a middle island, which sent the hoist into a whirlpool. The Morning Star turned south, alleviating my fears for a moment. However, the Zeus was on her way to my home fort. Uh oh. The Joya escaped into a fog bank, while the Black Pearl joined the Zeus with her high speed and an EA from Calico Cat. I was a bit worried, but my excitement level was also very high, as the game was about to hit its climax.

Chaos! The Guichuan raids the home island! Grim steals everything! Bianco’s Haulers is also flipped, and I realized something. Originally I planned to dock, steal as much gold as possible, and then sink the fort all in one turn. However, with the Haulers available, I could purposely stay docked while not sinking the fort, meaning the Guichuan couldn’t be shot at until I sailed away or sank the fort. It worked to perfection – the Guichuan damaged the fort on the approach and while docking, getting a lot of help from the Junk keyword. Once the loot was loaded, it was the Oxford’s turn. She blasted the final cannons off the fort while simultaneously firing at the still-dangerous San Cristobal. However, I was just getting started. The native canoes round earthed to the east, and the full extent of my plan became clear – the canoes could use their transfer ability to grab gold from the Guichuan and then scatter! This was a variation on my Golden Cranes idea.

With the Joya in the fog, the Black Coral turned her attention to a new opponent: the Frontier. She hit once, but it was a good example of the Black Coral being my ultimate utility ship in this fleet. To the north, the Constitution began sailing back to my home fort, desperate to get there before the Zeus did. The Mercure stayed in the northeast, and nearly sunk the Baochuan (which in hindsight is what I probably should have done haha). What about the Celtic Fury? Well, I knew I’d need her for home defense, so I sent her through a whirlpool to intercept the Zeus. With an SAT from Roimata she was able to dismast the Morning Star after teleporting! All in all, this turn saw me dismast one ship, damage two others, and steal 6 coins all at once!

Knowing full well that Parley would be cancelled, the Celtic Fury had to make a stand – she was only in the fleet to be a distraction anyway. She positioned herself right between the oncoming ships and her home fort. The Constitution was going to be late, similar to the earlier battle. The Joya emerged from the fog to kill the Wolves, but was set aflame by the Mercure. The grand plan was nearly complete! The Guichuan began sailing for home with her stolen gold, while the Oxford easily sank the remains of Xerecs’ home fort, leaving the Black Coral utility player to deal with the weakened San Cristobal (making the SC the 3rd ship the Black Coral engaged during this game).

Here the Zeus has blasted the Celtic Fury to pieces! 8 shots hit their mark, and a second 10 master was ruined.

For trivia reasons I wanted to do what could have been the first inter-world (?) gold transfer: using the canoe’s ability to transfer a coin from a canoe in the west to a canoe in the east. It didn’t quite happen, partly because I was in a rush to get home. Predictably, the Celtic Fury hit with a regular cannon but not with her stinkpot specialist, which could have given the Zeus some big problems if it had hit. In other news, the Black Coral missed the San Cristobal all three times while the Mercure captured the Baochuan! Knowing how unlikely it would be to tow her home and use her, I was mostly after the Baochuan for Zheng He’s admiral ability, which would give me two along with the Headhunter. At this point I wasn’t worried about the gold remaining on islands – I knew I had enough to win between the gold in my fort and the gold coming home from the Guichuan’s heist. The last thing I wanted was the game to end since the islands had disappeared, because I knew I had an inferior gold fleet.

The Zeus sinks the Celtic Fury! The showdown is at hand! (and the Black Coral finally dismasts the San Cristobal heh)

The Zeus reaches my fort and blasts away! She hits 6 times in 9 shots – if all 9 had hit, my fort would have sunk. Alas, the odds were not in Xerecs’ favor at this point. I returned fire with my fort, the Constitution, and the Guichuan, who was just able to get some guns in range. The ending was rather bizarre, with two 10 masters fighting with a floating fort in between them. The canoes had just docked home some gold from the heist. To add to the strange finale, Lord Mycron’s ship (the Patagonia) was actually in the Guichuan’s way of getting more cannons in range, but the Patagonia couldn’t move out of the way since that would mean Mycron wouldn’t give his action to the Guichuan and the Guichuan wouldn’t have any guns in range in the first place!! The Mercure abandoned the Baochuan in the fog (I just wanted her for Zheng He’s ability, which I never rolled a 6 with haha), going after the Frontier. The Black Coral sank the San Cristobal.

I docked home my stolen loot and sank the Zeus and Frontier to end the game! To make things even more strange, the gold I originally had in my home fort was gone! The Guichuan’s heist totaled 22 gold, but in reality the final score was about 35-0. I had won the game in a complete shutout despite the big build total. I only lost one ship, the Celtic Fury (plus one canoe haha). I had captured or destroyed Xerecs’ entire fleet.I was also happy because I was intimidated when I saw the enemy fleet – the Zeus and San Cristobal (by some people’s accounts the 2 best gunships in the game), along with the Baochuan and some of the best gold runners in the game. However, with some negative UT’s, effective crew placement, and brilliantly executed gimmick strategy, I was able to pull off the victory!

I have to admit, this is one of the best performances I’ve ever had. There aren’t many games that go this well – almost my entire gameplan worked to a T. It was truly a perfect game.

2nd 500 point game – February 2012

Originally posted to Pojo in 2012

The Second 5 fleet 500 point game of Pirates CSG

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 2nd 500 point game!

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.

February 20th, 2012

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!

February 21st, 2012

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.

First 5 fleet 500 point game – August 2011

Originally posted to Pojo in August 2011

August 5th, 2011

I am extremely excited to start my next project: a five-way 500-point game! Cumulatively, 2500 total points! First 5 fleet 500 point game (2520 if we add the ransom crew +5’s)

The factions for this massive enterprise remain the same. It will be the English v.s. Pirates v.s. Spanish v.s. French v.s. Amercursedcorsairebels. I have already constructed the fleets with crew (had to write all of it down last night, it was quite fun!, never built fleets that big). In total, I am using 151 ships and six sea monsters. Many very prestigious and well-known ships will be participating, including: HMS Grand Temple, HMS Titan, Nautilus, Enterprise, Divine Dragon, El Acorazado, Revenant, Harbinger, Raven, Lechim Namod, El Toro, Darkhawk II, Magnifique, Soleil Royal, Jarvis, and Asesino de la Nave. I am planning on using 20 islands, with ten of them being mysterious. I am also planning on using 5 reefs, 5 fog banks, 4 sargasso seas, 4 icebergs, and 3 whirlpools. I am using all of my unique treasure (22, I think?). Hopefully it will live up to my expectations.

August 6th, 2011

Today I started the much anticipated five way 500 point game (the 2500 is in total between the fleets).

The 20 islands and 21 pieces of terrain were placed, home islands chosen, treasure buried, and dies rolled. I, as the English went first, followed by the Pirates, French, Amercursedcorsairebels, and Spanish, in that order. The Leicester, HMS Grand Temple, and HMS Titan used extra actions/SAT’s to get a jump start. The Pirates set out, and had a balanced strategy that included collecting, stealing, and sinking the gold (not surprising, eh?). The French had their own corner, and had the most ships since I don’t have very many crew for them. The Amercs set out not sure of their strategy but knowing they could create havoc with their best ships (Divine Dragon, Enterprise, and USS Stephens). The Spanish were going to try to avoid conflict while providing their treasure ships with adequate cover.

Turn one passed almost without incident. During the Amercs’ turn, they revealed the All Powerful Davy Jones! Obviously the Pirates were quite ignorant of the fact that the Cursed would use him, placing two of their best gunships, the decked out Harbinger and the similarly loaded Prussian Crown, both five-masters, right next to each other! Now I know that what happens next is technically illegal, but I like to keep my games full of surprises! The Amercs rolled a six! (FYI: The OE Davy Jones has guaranteed extra action capabilities, 1-4 is for the ship he is on, 5 for any friendly ship, 6 for any enemy ship) Arguably the most feared man (?) on the sea gave his order, and the Prussian Crown began firing on her own ship, the Harbinger!!!!!  Behold the incredible power and almost limitless possibilities of DAVY JONES!

At the beginning of the second turn, I rolled for my SAT with the HMS Leicester, and got a 6. I also had Myngs and the Gentleman for reroll on board (I know triple actions are also frowned upon, but you’ll see how badly I got paid back!), so I decided to go take on the Harbinger. Using my helmsman, I put my gunship right in the narrow space between the Harbinger and Prussian Crown, the Harbinger already missing three masts. Then I let the dice do their thing, and when it was all said and done both five masters had been sunk!!!!! The Leicester’s superb ability of eliminating two masts per hit let me hit the Harbinger twice, sinking her, then turn to the Prussian Crown, and with the help of Sir Christopher Myngs, sink her, too!

The revenge the Pirates exacted on me was very painful. The Revenant came up and dismasted my Leicester with one broadside! Then I tried to get the Leicester out of there, but accidentally ended up in a horribly undesirable fight! A complete disaster, the Leicester sunk without any crew being saved. The Titan was forced to stop and fight, and was able to dismast the Revenant before the Titan was dismasted by the Broken Key. Even worse for my morale, my HMS Grand Temple, newly built (out of the 151 ships participating in the game, she was the most highly anticipated) and decked out with Calico Cat, Griffin and helmsman, was sunk by a combination of Pirate ships, including the underrated Xiamen’s Claws. I thought I was going to lose all three of my best gunships before getting any treasure/captured ships, but through a small miracle I was able to extricate the HMS Titan from the action through my version of chain-towing (I checked on the Rules thread of MT, this is legal). I used one ship to tow the Titan, placing her at the stern of the nearest ship, then releasing her, then towing her and placing her behind the next ship, and so on down the line till she was out of harms way. I lost the HMS Concorde in the process, but that was a small price to pay for the salvaged ship, probably paid thirty plus points with the crew I had on the Titan.

Both the Pirates and I were happy to disengage and lick our wounds as we headed back to our respective home islands, the Pirates managing to capture the Sea Tiger with Commander Temple on board in the process. Meanwhile, I had signed an imaginary non-aggression pact with the nearby Spaniards, as we were both feeling like being nice and sharing the few nearby islands. The Pirates were doing some simple treasure running with their Darkhawk II’s, and they are trying CCMike’s idea of using a crew (Genny Gallows here) to add +2 to every treasure. Another 6+ ships and the two sea monsters, Seleucis and Teach, tried unsuccessfully to get to the battle with the British, the Britons already sailing away. It was not a large scale battle, but the Broken Key was also sunk.

The French slowly made their way away from their corner to the southeast and started to gather gold. The Soleil Royal possessed the only extra action crew in the fleet, and pounced on the Cursed ship Dark Pact, dismasting her before she could use Wraith to eliminate all the French crew, but then fell into a similar situation as the Leicester. She was isolated and didn’t have access to backup in time before she was also sunk, by the USS Stephens. The Amercs weren’t interested in a full-scale fight, so they let the French eventually capture the Dark Pact, Bashaw Folly and USS Quigley while letting the rest of their ships get away. The Divine Dragon continued to create havoc with Davy Jones as the HMS Bretwalda lost three masts after being fired on by fellow English ship HMS Granville.

The Amercs and Spanish didn’t do too much, although the Spanish got some treasure while the Amercs encountered problems. The Nautilus had Captain Nemo, Luc Savard, and a helmsman on board when she docked at a mysterious island. She rolled for effect just fine, but upon turning over the treasure, found the UT Missionary! Goodbye crew!(16 points worth, too) The new terrain I got, icebergs and whirlpools, didn’t play a role so far, but I expect that to change.

Overall, a very satisfying start (albeit a sad one) to my very anticipated game! I will be away tomorrow but will hopefully play some turns Sunday. I think things through, so moving more than two dozen ships per faction takes a while. Great time I had!

August 10th, 2011

I’ve played a few more turns, and I, as the English, was able to capture the Cursed Blade (with Captain Mission, Lucky the Parrot, and a captain aboard), after she came through a whirlpool looking to steal UT’s from my HMS Lord Walpole. The English also formed an alliance with the Spanish, and now the fleets are collaborating on what to do next. The Spanish seem content to help me get back the Sea Tiger (I want her back for Commander Temple, who is still on board). It’s possible I might go after the Divine Dragon with Davy Jones on board, but this would be difficult. The Amercursedcorsairebels have not been hostile towards anybody(besides with Davy Jones), but seem to be biding their time doing almost nothing. The Nautilus went through a whirlpool to escape the French Rocher Noir (can shoot at submerged ships within S of her), but didn’t have to lose any masts due to her finding of the UT Protection from Davy Jones earlier in the game.

Meanwhile, the Pirate ships damaged from their battle with the English are back at their HI and repairing, while some ships recently brought back some treasure.

The French are about to capture the derelict L’Aguila, who, along with the Alquimista, went in the opposite direction of the Spanish fleet, heading east for gold. Now they are both in trouble! Earlier in the game the French captured the Amercs’ Dark Pact, Bashaw Folly, and USS Quigley, and seem to be developing an effective strategy of hunting in wolf packs of ships that close in on enemy targets who have been separated from the main fleet. They are doing this because I don’t have very many French crew, so instead they have mostly empty ships (37 in the fleet to start), and want to make up for lack of crew by having the largest fleet by a decent margin.

The French and Amercs are the only factions lacking gold right now, but there should be some coming in soon for the French. The Enterprise just passed by some of the Pirate fleet without firing on them, so either a non-aggression pact or alliance may come to fruition between the Pirates and Amercs. It remains to be seen what the goals of the Amercs are, but the English/Spanish are planning to go on the attack as soon as they can repair their damaged gunships and formulate a plan of action (or a plan of extra actions, haha). 

BTW: the icebergs actually were a factor today, taking down 4-5 masts in three turns.

Additional Comment:

Today I got through four more turns.

The English finished repairing their damaged ships and set out to punish the Pirates. They also managed to capture a Longshanks that was out looking for treasure alone. The English got there first, however, and now have some impressive UT’s: Dry Powder, Mines, and Marksman’s Map, although they also have Albatross, so he’s been limiting the number of extra actions ships get (-1 to die rolls made for the ship).

The Pirates are almost done repairing, and the Pandora was able to bring in some more treasure. The Black Diamond and Muerta de la Corona were out raidng the Spanish, but on their way back were surrounded by these same determined Spaniards. The Spanish sunk both ships, but the Pirates were able to put their valuable crew (OE Jack Hawkins and a helmsman, among others) on a few Darkhawk II’s that were nearby. They then proceeded to run away! I don’t have Captain Jack Sparrow, but it seemed like he was in charge, as the Pirates quickly fled from any contact with the Spanish gunships, including the loaded Acorazado.

The French completed the dismasting and capturing of the Alquimista and L’Aguila and began towing them back. The French lost some masts in the process, but not from the Spanish, but icebergs! The die rolls for the icebergs were very effective today, taking out three masts on La Vengeance and both masts on the L’Amazone. The rest of the French fleet slowly turned to the south, seeing a couple of Pirate ships separated from the main group, but the Pirates quickly thought better of it. The highlight today for the French was the building of my only fort, St. Pierre!

The Amercs continued to baffle their opponents, first reversing direction after heading due west the day before, turning back to the east where they came from. Even more surprisingly, they turned down the Pirates’ offer of having an alliance. Then they turned to the southwest to avoid coming into contact with the French. They didn’t see how close the Spanish were to them, and disaster struck (albeit a small one). I, as the British, wanted to capture the Divine Dragon with Davy Jones as her captain, and my allies the Spanish shared the same goal. The normal action for the Divine Dragon was used to explore the Nautilus (finally at the surface) to take the UT’s Protection from Davy Jones and Screw Engine. Davy Jones used another six to move the powerful Acorazado out of striking distance, but allowing the Santa Ana (SCS) to move in and pummel her! The other Spanish ships were too far away to assist, but nonetheless turned toward the sight of the Divine Dragon finally seeming mortal. The Santa Ana’s die rolls were some of the most dramatic yet, the Spanish pausing after each one to yell and celebrate. Out of four possible hits, the Santa Ana scored three, including a firepot, so now the Dragon is on fire and has three masts remaining.

The problem for the allies is that the Dragon has many possible escape routes, and has the entire Amerc fleet nearby. She can dock at the nearby island and use the UT there, Trees, to repair. Or she can use the Screw Engine/extra action to get back to her home island (probably about 8S away) before taking more damage, then repair and sit there until the enemy moves far enough away. The third alternative is to go use the whirlpool to teleport to the remote northwest part of the sea, while not taking more damage due to Protection from Davy Jones. She will not fight because she only has three cannons left, doesn’t have the reverse captain keyword available, and the Acorazado is near with a crew-killer on board. Whatever Davy Jones chooses, it is sure to cause difficult decisions for the rest of the ships involved in the skirmish: whether or not to follow the Dragon through the whirlpool (on both the Spanish and Amerc sides), and if the Spanish want a large-scale battle with the Amercs, having already gotten involved with the Pirates.

The very near future has the possibility of changing the game immensely for the duration, and we will see what exciting developments unfold! 

August 11th, 2011

The Divine Dragon decided to use the Screw Engine and extra action from DJ to escape to her home island. There she was able to fully repair, but not before the captured Cursed Blade rammed her and used her ability to steal the UT Protection from Davy Jones. The Lechim Namod finally entered the fray to try to protect the Dragon from being hit before reaching her home island, and managed to dismast the crew-killing HMS Granville.

Some other Amerc ships returned home for repairs, among them the Congress and Clear Wind. The Santa Molina managed to use Broadsides Attack to sink the powerful Acorazado, and then the Amercs used the Congress’s last mast and the Concord to sink the SCS Santa Ana, which was the only other ship the Spanish had with extra action/SAT capabilities. Now they are in trouble, as the huge French fleet is now sailing for the remaining Amerc ships from the east, while the Spanish are coming at them and engaging them to the west. The Enterprise was cornered by a dozen or so Spanish ships, and decided to go out with a bang, sinking the colorful La Sirviente before being sunk in turn by L’Aguila and the Selkie (captured). The USS Stephens, back at the home island of the Amercs, used Commander Stephen Decatur to get extra actions two turns in a row so she could repair her two remaining masts, then she went and rammed the Cursed Blade, trying to reacquire Protection from Davy Jones. This she did, easily winning the boarding roll and then dismasting the Blade with her built-in captain ability. The only problem is that the Blade can (I think) use her ability next turn to take the UT right back, as she is still touching the Stephens, then have the nearest English ship take it away (maybe I’m overrating UT’s, but they are fun to use).

Meanwhile, those same Englishmen were busy chasing the Pirates, who seem to be getting the better of the battle so far, sinking the HMS Titan before she could wreak havoc. The Titan still managed to dismast two medium-size Pirate ships after being damaged, though . The Pirates are fleeing far to the southeast, but they have reached the French harbour and will soon be at Ocean’s Edge .

The French are going after the Amercs with almost all the ships they have, but the stragglers that were towing damaged ships away from the icebergs of the Frozen North were sunk unexpectedly by the Enterprise.

The Spanish are also going after the Amercs, but from a different direction, creating a trap from which it is unlikely that the Amercs will emerge victorious. Despite the Jarvis and Louisiana sunk, and Santa Molina and Bosun’s Bane being dismasted, the Amercs pressed on, and the Swamp Fox used captain/Broadsides Attack to eliminate one of the giant crabs, El Toro.

These are just the highlights, many other ships have been sunk, and many more will go down in the near future!

August 12th, 2011

The chaos continued, with more and more ships being sunk/dismasted. The Amercs continued to fight off the combined forces (though not actually allies) of the French and Spanish, but they were overwhelmed. The USS Stephens sunk, while the Amercs managed to use the nearby whirlpool to warp to the deserted southwest area, although they were only able to get four ships there, the Divine Dragon, the Nautilus, the Boston, and the cursed junk Clear Wind.

In the southeast corner, the English appeared to be losing the battle, having their HMS Gargantuan sunk and other ships dead in the water, derelict. The French were attacking the Amercs with everything they had, losing one Valois, both Bonapartes, and some masts. The Spanish continued to press from the opposite direction, and the Amercs would have lost the battle…

Now for the moment of truth! The two Spanish Concepcions, loaded with gold after exploring the last island, in the deserted northwest corner of the sea, had the last treasure on board. They didn’t have helmsman (I only have two for the Spanish), and so were sailing at only L speed. The Dragon and her Amerc comrades were possibly within striking range, and knowing that they wouldn’t win anyway, decided to cause some last-minute end-of-game chaos! The Dragon raced towards them as the Spanish approached their home island. The Spanish fleet directly to the east turned around and headed towards the approaching Amercs to try to intercept them before reaching the Spanish treasure galleons. Davy Jones suddenly loomed very large. The Dragon rolled a one and a four on consecutive turns, allowing the Dragon to catch the treasure ships just before they reached their home island (not making this up, they were literally within L of it!). The Dragon had been fully repaired from her battles earlier in the game and made short work of the Spanish ships, sinking both in one turn!  The treasure is not divided between the two players in a multiplayer game with 4+ players, so it was removed from the game.

Now it was time to count the treasure. This was very dramatic, and between the first three fleets, very close as well. The final count:
1. Pirates: 48
2. Spanish: 45
3. English: 43
4. French: 28
5. Amercursedcorsairebels: 9

After I finished the final count (disappointed that the Pirates, of all nations, won, and because I came in close, but still only third), I realized just how important it was that the Divine Dragon had sunk both Spanish Concepcions. Guess how much treasure was on them: 11! This would have been enough if they had made it back to their home island, but instead it was removed, allowing the Pirates to win by a tiny margin of three. Now the what-ifs start: If the Dragon had been sunk back when she was in trouble, being hit by the Santa Ana with El Acorazado not far away. If the Spanish had put a helmsman on even just one of the Concepcions, she probably would have made it back. If the HMS Granville had gotten more than one hit on the Dragon not long before she went through the whirlpool (this is significant because the Granville has crew-killing built in, so she could’ve eliminated another crew on the next turn).

Alas, it was not the Spaniards’ day; the Pirates are once again victorious. They were fighting the English on the other side of the ocean when the Dragon interfered, which appears controversial. The Pirates and Amercs apparently never made a deal for an alliance, but they may have made a secret one, as they never fired on each other and the Amercs appeared to have helped the Pirates win. We will never know, this is just speculation. Maybe it was on purpose, but it does seem like Davy Jones to want to go out with a bang rather than just running perpetually from his adversaries. In cahoots, or not?  On that note, I say goodbye to the biggest game I have played of Pirates, which included many great moments, excitement, and a mysterious ending that will puzzle us all…

Thanks for reading!  Check out my other Battle Reports for more adventures!

The 2011 cumulative game – Pirates CSG Battle Report

Originally posted to Pojo and Miniature Trading on November 10th, 2014.

I haven’t played a game yet, but I wanted to document an old game to the best of my ability. Plus, I don’t want this thread to get locked up. Very Happy

I started the Pojo version of the Battle Reports thread on July 24th, 2011, about a month after I joined MT and Pojo. I was getting back into the game for the first time in multiple years, and started playing again.

I don’t know exactly how many games I played between mid-June of 2011 and July 24th, but I don’t think it was very many. There were three reasons:
1. I was spending a bunch of time on MT and Pojo getting to know the sites.
2. I believe I did a Historical Fantasy Scenario (HFS), which is basically using the ships to wage huge naval wars without using the actual rules of the game.
3. I played a MASSIVE game that was never fully written about.

#3 has always been a very interesting topic when I occasionally think about it, which isn’t very often. Since I started the Battle Reports thread on Pojo after the game ended, a lot of the finer details have been forgotten. However, here I will write what I remember. This particular game holds a special place in my personal Pirates CSG “lore” if you will – all of my older games are documented, so I can go back and remember what happened. This one is a murky subject that is a legendary game in my book, sort of akin to the SiaB discussions and old eBay posts, among other famous posts here at MT. I have found some limited documentation of the game in the first thread I ever started at Pojo.

Back in those days, when I did HFS’s, I used an entire room of floor space, although the particular room isn’t huge, and of course has many things on the floor to inhibit space (but also provide natural obstructions Smile ). Because of the huge sea, ships took longer to reach their destinations.

Each faction had a harbour. The English were in the far east, the Spanish in the south, the Pirates in the north, the French in the northwest, and an alliance of the Americans, Cursed, Barbary Corsairs, and Mercenaries in the southwest. The harbours were made out of dozens of duplicate ship deckplates, with “unlaunched” ships sitting on the deckplates waiting to be bought, whereas launched ships would dock in different places in the harbour. I used to punch out all of my duplicates because I used them for HFS’s and because I hadn’t started trading here yet.

Edit (7/22/2015): I’ve made a harbour example, detailed in this thread. Here’s what a typical harbour would look like:
2011 cumulative game

The game was a cumulative one, where points are spent as the game goes along to build up your fleet. However, there was a distinguishing factor that set this game apart from all others that I’ve played: the treasure distribution.

Normally for a cumulative game, each island starts out with maybe 3 or 4 treasure coins each, and treasure magically replenishes itself at the end of each turn until the original max is reached. However, when I did HFS’s, I would simply stack as much treasure on the islands as possible. When I say stack, I mean STACK. Each stack of coins would be at least 10 coins high (usually more I think), and there would be a minimum of (probably) around 6 or more stacks per island. This was the case for EVERY island, not just some “Paradise Island” in the middle. (You can see where this is going Shocked )

Since I was so used to placing treasure like this, I did the same for the cumulative game. I can’t remember if I ever had the treasure replenish itself as well, but either way there was basically so much gold on every island that you could barely see the island itself, not to mention that the stacks were taller than some of the ships. Laughing

Edit (11/27/2015): Here’s an example of what an average wild island would look like for this game:
2011 cumulative game

Also, I used custom rules with the introduction of infantry and artillery units from RISK, but they didn’t play a big factor in the game.

EDIT: I wrote all of this before I found the old thread on Pojo, which I’ll quote from occasionally to supplement the report I wrote today.

06-20-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
I am starting a long game where each player starts with 20 points for ships/crew. I placed 20 islands in my room, 14 of them mysterious. I placed all of my unique treasure, and I am going to experiment using the infantry and artillery units from Risk (I don’t have any forts, sadly). Here are my rules for them (still in the early stages):

Infantrymen units (cost two points): They can be stationed at home harbour (or home island, I use harbours so I can fit all the ships) or on island. A player with an infantry or artillery unit on an island is occupying the island. The infantrymen are eligible for invasions/shoot actions. Invasions: An invasion counts as a general action. Therefore, a ship cannot dock at an island and invade that same turn unless her ability lets her dock and explore in the same move action.

The infantry units act as returning fire, not as an actual cannon. When an enemy ship fires on them, and misses twice in a row, one mast from the enemy ship is eliminated. Boarding parties: When an enemy attempts to invade, they roll on a boarding party as normal. For the designated infantry unit, roll a d6 and add one. If the ship has the higher result, the infantry unit is eliminated and the controller of the ship is allowed to place one of their own infantry units from that ship on the island. Each infantry unit represents one short-range three-rank cannon, for land combat (these cannons can only shoot at other infantry/artillery units). An infantry unit is not allowed a land shoot action the turn it is landed successfully. Infantry units take up one cargo space.

Artillery units (six points): Can be used in invasions, and can be stationed on island or at harbour. On land, they are a long-range two-rank cannon and require two hits from the same infantry shoot action to be eliminated. They can shoot at enemy ships as a regular shoot action, and are mobile (you can position them at any place on the island for optimum range), but cannot be given any extra actions. Artillery units take up two cargo spaces.

 

This game was bizarre in many ways: unspeakable amounts of gold, huge distances between harbours that hindered battling, and weird rulings that came up as part of my house-rulings and somewhat limited collection.

06-21-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
I am making progress on my big game today. The French and alliance of American/Mercenary/Cursed/Corsair have had terrible luck with island placement and mysterious islands. The Spanish were the first to purchase infantry and artillery units for the defense of their harbour. It has been all gold collecting so far, but now the Pirates are gunning to take down what looks to be the fastest-starting faction, the Spanish (mainly because of the Joya del Sol with a helmsman). The Pirates are sending the Revenant and some supporting ships (Muerta de la Corona for +1 to cannon rolls against Spanish ships, and Freedom for gold stealing) to wreak havoc. I am playing as the English, and my harbour is somewhat isolated, at one end of the room, but I have been able to buy some good ships for this gold-running start (HMS Hyena is 9 pts. for S+S and five cargo spaces, HMS King Edward has six cargo spaces).

 

The Pirates began a small fight against the Spanish in the middle of the ocean between their two harbours, but the first action didn’t last long at all. However, it made the Pirates hate the Spanish, which would become more important later on.

I remember the English having to travel the furthest distance to get to their wild island(s), and so they wanted to expand to some more. The Spanish were the closest harbour, and so the English picked on them. (the Pirates were to the north, but their harbour lay around the corner of a cape, so they were harder to get to.) Some English ships including HMS Leicester began attacking the Spanish, inflicting heavy losses on both sides. The attack was eventually repulsed because it was so close to the Spanish harbour, so the Spanish had a much easier time getting reinforcements to the front lines.

Probably the most memorable part of this game was the system of chain exploring set up by the Spanish. The following is a quote from the Rules Thread.

 

a7xfanben wrote:
Warning: This is extremely specific and impractical. It only would only be feasible in huge games, and games where the islands have more treasure on them than normal (a non-standard game with stacks of treasure on islands, or treasure that replenishes each turn). Line up a bunch of empty ships touching at the bow and stern, with the lead ship in the line docked at a wild island. The final ship is docked at your home island. Ideally the island is as close to home as possible. Also, it would help if all of the ships had the same cargo hold. The lead ship explores the island, and each ship on down the line explores the ship in front of her, taking the treasure all the way to the last ship, where it is automatically unloaded.

This is too wacky to even try in 99.9% of games, but in this way you could have a supply line of ships that automatically transports treasure from an island to your home island.

 

Due to the fact that cumulative games don’t have a point limit, this particular game lent itself well to exploiting this idea. The Spanish had a perfect storm going: there were huge stacks of treasure on the wild islands, one of these islands was close to their harbour, and they had bought a lot of ships (the only ones I know for sure were two copies of the Cazador del Pirata) with around 3 masts and at least 3 cargo hold.

With the nearby island to the north of their harbour, the Spanish set up the system. One ship docked at the island, and then another ship lashed herself to the stern of the first ship, with the last ship being docked at the Spanish harbour. The line was at least 5 ships long, maybe 7 or 8. There may have actually been TWO lines Shocked , but I don’t know for sure. In addition, they still had a handful of ships sailing to and from the island as normal and bringing back gold. I would estimate that the whole operation consisted of at least 20 ships, all at this one island. (I think they almost were able to set up a second line of ships to another island, but they got attacked before it could be completed.)

Naturally the Spanish were getting rich very fast, milking one island for probably an average of at least 5 coins per turn overall. They launched more ships, both goldships and gunships, making their fleet even more impressive. This is not to say that all of the other factions struggled, for they were generally successful in running gold in a normal fashion. The Spanish were the only ones to set up the chain-exploring system, which hasn’t been seen since.

The other extremely memorable part of this game concerned a single game piece. It wasn’t a ship or even a named crew, but a UT: the Cursed Conch. The Cursed Conch lets you sacrifice one of your ships to move an opponent’s sea monster. However, my collection at the time didn’t contain a single sea monster, and so I house-ruled the ability to say “ship” in place of sea monster. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but soon it became apparent just how dangerous this UT had become.

Which faction discovered the once-legendary Cursed Conch? Naturally, the Spanish. Rolling Eyes Laughing

I’m not sure whether it was discovered on the island they had built a chain to, but it was discovered relatively early on in the game, and therefore had a huge impact.

Now, for a word about the harbour system: the harbours function much differently than home islands. They serve the same purpose, but each harbour was much bigger (probably about 2 feet wide by 2 feet long), with docks coming out from the wall of the room. Each harbour had designated places where ships were launched (on the outside where they could immediately start sailing), and ships were repaired (inside the harbour). The large number of docks and passages lent well to “hiding” ships if a faction wanted to do so.

After the Spanish discovered the Cursed Conch, I think they put it on a 4 master, and began “saccing” her each turn to cause havoc and chaos in other fleets. The Conch was later transferred to either a 1 or 2 master, because the Spanish wanted to use the bigger ship since it was more valuable.

Since the Pirates were the closest harbour (to the north), they were messed with the most. This further angered the Pirates, who had already lost a short skirmish against the Spanish earlier in the game. The Americans were also a target of the Conch, and they were the first to attempt to retaliate.

After the Conch was transferred to one of the smallest Spanish ships, the Spanish docked her deep within the bowels of their harbour, so she could “hide” and be “safe” from enemies looking to sink her or steal the Conch. However, the Spanish harbour was consisted mostly of docks facing due north, and they didn’t have a place to hide their ship in the recessed southeast corner of their harbour. Therefore they docked her almost all the way to the back against the wall in one of the inner docks on the west side. This became important later on.

Edit (7/22/2015): Here’s another mockup picture showing a harbour example with the Honu Iki at the top of the picture approximately how far back the Spanish sloop was:
2011 cumulative game

Again, pretend it’s a Spanish ship, but this is basically what the Pirates and the Cursed Blade were after:
2011 cumulative game

The Americans quickly grew weary of their ships being moved about by the Spanish, and sent some ships (the Enterprise was one of them) east to attack. Their goal was to sink or steal the Conch, but their efforts were too scattered. The Spanish either held on to it or stole it back, and the losses the Americans suffered as a result of these disorganized attacks dealt them losses that were hard to overcome. Additionally, I didn’t have as many good gold ships for the Americans, Cursed, and Barbary Corsairs as I do today, so the Americans weren’t likely to win the game anyway.

06-23-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
In my game today, the Revenant was quickly repelled from her attack on the Spanish harbour when two of her masts were knocked out from the harbour’s artillery batteries.

The infantry haven’t played a role yet, but then again there have not been any real battles (the Revenant action was the first and it was brief-she didn’t have enough backup). The Spanish have had luck with the mysterious islands-the one closest to them lets you take two treasure from every other wild island in the game and put it on this one before you explore, if you roll a five or six.

On the other hand, the French have had their Petit Dauphin sunk, Danae dismasted, and Courageaux damaged at a single island (Roll 5d6. For every 4-6 result, eliminate one of this ship’s masts). The Spanish are calmly and steadily accumulating more gold, while the nearby pirates are scrambling to put a good fleet together to wipe them out (or die trying).

I am using all of my unique treasure, including the Cursed Conch, but I don’t have any sea monsters (normally it lets you give a sea monster an action instead of the ships it is on), so I changed the ability to let the controller move any ship in play. This has had an undesirably overpowered effect. The Cursed Blade has been thwarted from stealing it by being sent back to where she came from, and the Enterprise was moved onto a reef, losing two masts.

Tomorrow the Pirates will attack and we will see which fleet is stronger. As the English, I sent a squadron to steal unique treasure from the other factions, the French and American/Mercenary. Then I finally bought the Leicester for 18 and decked her out with Admiral Morgan (5-6:extra action), Ducie Chads (5-6 same action twice, +1 against Pirates) and the Gentleman (captain ability and die re-roll for the above effects).

 

With one attack repulsed (pun intended; I think I actually used La Repulsa in this game), the Spanish went about their business of chain-exploring. However, they realized what a threat the Conch was to other factions’ security, and so transferred it to a smaller ship that they hid in the back of their harbour. It wasn’t long before it was the center of attention once again.

With the Americans weakened and the French and English having slow gold fleets, the Pirates had in the meantime built a fleet that was surpassed in size only by the Spanish. As a result, the Spanish began using the Conch exclusively against the Pirates, which led them to the conclusion that they must attack the Spanish or face elimination. A battle fleet was gradually launched and assembled, and they began clustering in the ocean to an area to the northwest of the Spanish harbour, but still out of striking distance.

More than anything, the Pirates wanted the Conch. They wanted to steal it and use it against the Spanish. For this they launched the Cursed Blade, one of my favourite ships and the perfect ship for the job. They also considered the Raven because of her speed, but they didn’t want to risk losing a boarding party. With the strategy they were planning, they would have just one shot at the Conch.

The Pirates knew that the small Spanish ship had the Conch and no other treasures. The Cursed Blade didn’t need to win a boarding party to steal the Conch, but only to make contact with the Spanish ship. The Blade was crewed with a helmsman to boost her speed to S+S+S, and Calico Cat to give her an extra action to move twice for a total of 6S. She probably had other crew aboard such as a captain and/or oarsman, but I don’t remember if I had a Pirate reroller back then.

The Cursed Blade positioned herself at the southeast edge of the cluster of Pirate ships accumulating in anticipation of the upcoming battle. The Blade would go in first in an attempt to take the Conch. She had to wait a few turns for the SAT from Calico Cat, turns that were spent in anxious anticipation. There was also a lot of time spent measuring distances and ranges, for the Pirates knew they had one shot at it. They would end their move deep in the Spanish harbour with ships sailing to block the entrance off before she could escape.

The Cursed Blade finally got the SAT, and she zoomed in 6S straight into the Spanish harbour, crashing into the small Spanish ship. I believe the ram took out a mast, and it may have been a 1 master, which would mean she was totally dismasted. Either way, the Blade was successful in grabbing the Conch. The problem was, she couldn’t use it or transfer it to safety until she made it out of the harbour. I don’t think she did. Question

This is where my memory fails me. All I remember is that all hell broke loose. The Spanish panicked, the chain broke, and the Pirates attacked! I can honestly say that the Cursed Blade’s action that turn altered the game forever, in a single, solitary moment of brilliance that caused a chain reaction that would be felt for the rest of the game.

I want to say that neither the Cursed Blade nor her crew got out of the harbour alive. If they made it out, I think they were sunk soon thereafter. The entire cluster of Pirate ships (probably 2/3 of their overall fleet) sailed down upon the Spanish, and the battle was on! Due to the Spanish being backed up against their own harbour, the battle was extremely close-fought, and I remember a lot of ramming and boarding. The chain broke because the Spanish wanted more of their numbers in the main battle area, which quickly spread a little bit towards the east, where the chain was originally docked. The battle was very chaotic, because the Pirates were in a manic rage to kill as many Spaniards as possible, and the Spanish didn’t expect such a large battle.

The other factions took notice of this epic clash between the two largest navies. The English joined the main battle, but they did so from the east, near where the chain had been. This meant that the Spanish were fighting two foes at once, since most of the Pirate ships were more to the west and south. In the end, the Spanish were generally eliminated through all the carnage, and the Pirates eventually retreated back to their harbour to repair their considerable losses. However, the English had arrived late to the battle, and still had fresh ships sailing up as the battle was ending. Therefore, they kept on sailing west through the area where the battle had been.

In the meantime, the Americans somehow managed to get the Cursed Conch during all of the chaos:

06-25-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
The Pirates are almost finished wiping out the Spanish, and the English eventually got involved also. The Americans/Mercenaries managed to get the Cursed Conch with the Santa Molina (with help from the Enterprise), but now they are under attack from the French.

Many ships were sunk today (the highlights being the Leicester, Revenant, Harbinger, and Acorazado), and now the fleets are trying to salvage what they can after the long melee and distribute shipwrights (because their home harbours are too far away, and they don’t have treasure to repair, I usually require a ship to pay two treasure points to repair at her home island if she doesn’t have a shipwright there, this is what I have done for years with my fantasy scenarios).

The French were exposed to the battle the least and have the most fresh ships. I am looking forward to the final conclusion of what looks like a week-long game, which will probably happen near the American/Mercenary harbour (where they headed after they got the conch).

 

The French (with their harbour based in the northwest) had started to sail southeast towards the main battle as well, but they didn’t get there in time. However, they arrived in the middle of the ocean just as the English were sailing west, and another battle became imminent!

The English and French didn’t have fleets nearly as large as the Pirates and Spanish, so the battle was shorter and less grand overall. I’m not sure who won, but both fleets were battered and weak by the end of it.

At this point, the Pirates had done a bunch of repairs and were ready to have another battle. They weren’t at the full strength they had been at before the Spanish battle, but they were plenty large enough to defeat any of the remaining fleets. They spotted the winner of the English/French battle and promptly sailed southwest to clean up the scraps. It was relatively easy for them to win, and for reasons I don’t remember the Americans had been eliminated as well (possibly as part of the English/French battle). The Pirates were the last fleet sailing, and therefore were the winners of this long cumulative game! Very Happy

That’s the best I can remember. It was one of the most memorable games I’ve ever played, and now that I’m done writing this it’s much longer than I expected it to be. Surprised

06-26-2011, 06-27-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
I am finishing up an unlimited point game where the fleets accumulate ships/crew as you go along, and it has taken about a week. At one point I had well over 100 ships in play at once…

The Pirates ended up winning, as the English and the French got tied up in a decent fleet action, which allowed the Pirates plenty of time to repair, regroup, and bring back some of their sunken ships.