Command the Oceans – Turns 41-43 (9/21/2017)

I played 3 long turns today, but that will probably be the most I can play in a day for quite some time now… probably!

Turn 41 begins with the Pirates firing at the Americans. Ralph David’s squadron is decimated by cannonballs and fire shot, with the Concord doomed to the flames and the Freedom and Flying Fish down to one mast each.

Elsewhere in the Sea of Allost, the Jade Rebels engage in all-out war with the Cursed! The Crushed Skull is crushed, and suffers three hits while dismasted as well (3 more hits to sink due to the house rule). Jade cargo ships that have been equipped with captains for a while now (the East Wind and Virtuous Wind) shoot 3 segments off Mist Walker, who is quickly in trouble.

Just as she was in the Battle of Fog and Ice, the Monkey’s Paw is tag-teamed by a swarm of small Jade ships, but this is effective as it was before! The Monkey’s Paw loses 3 masts in short order, and will likely have to retreat again in order to stay afloat or avoid capture. In the interests of keeping things mostly consistent and not having OP abilities, I have decided that abilities that eliminate masts (such as the Scorpion keyword, or in this case the ability of the Glorious Treasure, which allows you to eliminate a mast and crew from the enemy ship after being pinned) function the same as a regular cannon hit. This means that those abilities do not automatically eliminate masts, as I had been playing it up until today. Especially with the automatic pinning, scorpions have nearly gone from overpriced to overpowered, so I’m trying to keep things fair.

Speaking of scorpions, the Scythe is in trouble! The Grand Mountain emerges from a fog bank to connect with both fire shot and a stinkpot specialist! (the latter represented by the smoke that originated from a bombardier card)

The Asgard and Hrothgar team up to put some serious hurt on the Hellfire right under the Roost!

Just to the southwest, the Grand Dynasty is struggling against the Sickle: her fire shot backfired, setting the ship alight. Making matters worse, she couldn’t even eliminate a mast from the Sickle with her other cannons! The Jades are unable to scuttle the derelict Divine Wind.

Time for the Cursed turn! The Monkey’s Paw does as expected and flees into a nearby fog bank, but not before she instills some Fearinto the nearby Jade ships! Rolling for the keyword a whopping 6 times, the MP is successful twice, shutting down abilities on the Sea Phoenix and slightly slowing the Dragon’s Talon. However, much worse for the Jades is the considerable empty spot at the top of the frame….

The Grand Temple is captured! With the Pestilence and Spilled Salt gaining the upper hand in the sudden Cursed attack on Turn 40, the GT was not quite strong enough to resist those Cursed attackers in addition to the Jikininki and Banshee’s Wail. Here the Wail has begun towing the giant Jade flagship, arguably their best ship in play so far and a symbol of JR pride. In addition, now that she’s a member of the Cursed fleet, it will be very difficult for the Jades to reverse this event, needing to capture the Wail or somehow hit the GT 12 times before the Cursed dock the GT back at the Roost.

However, satisfied with their work in the area and seeing too many healthy Jade ships just east of the spicy island, the Cursed turn some ships around. The Spilled Salt, Pestilence, and Monkey’s Paw are all heavily damaged, while the Banshee’s Wail and Jikininki don’t have the crew or firepower to do much damage on the way out. In addition, at the top of the frame notice that most of the Cursed fog hoppers have already retreated regardless of casualties – the Cursed consider their fog hopping squadron a major long-term asset, so they will not risk its destruction this early in the combat phase of the game.

The Crushed Skull tries to escape! Turning ghostly and using her helmsman and oarsman to great effect, the ship rows at S+S towards that fog bank with the hoppers safely inside. With only 3 hits required to permanently sink the accurate ship, the Jades are determined not to let her get away. The Cursed attack isn’t over though! The Scorpion herself comes out of a fog bank and slices at the Grand Path! However, her fire shot backfires, which is very bad news for the Cursed. An icewreck rams the Grand Path to finish the elimination of her mizzenmast.

Slightly to the north, the Scythe fares far better than her sister ship, putting out her fire and slicing the final mast off the Beowulf:

Cramped quarters can result in amusing situations! The Sickle engages her blades for the first time to send a boarding party to the Divine Wind, but the ones on the starboard side get stuck in an icewreck’s berg! She does manage to shoot a mast off the Grand Mountain, using her ability to great effect as she rolled a bunch of 3’s today which would not have hit healthy ships.

The Hellfire puts out her fire and stands her ground (water?), blasting off the Asgard’s last mast.

Some Cursed cargo ships returning home with gold! If only the Jades knew what immense riches were contained in the hold of the Maman Brigitte, they might send the Hrothgar to intercept. However, with the cancelling Guinee right there, and the MB nearly home, it would be a futile attempt in the first place.

Cursed cargo ships in the far west of Allost make trips to and from Broken Horn Island, which has produced luxuries all game. Behemoth hasn’t lost a segment yet but is eager to avoid any damage in order for the fog hopping squadron to flourish.

Finally, the long-awaited English attempt to hoist a cannon all the way up to the summit of Diamond Rock! Getting the cable from the Malton in position takes an entire turn, but the English have been patient for a while now and will continue to exhibit that necessary quality here.

With various ships in some states of disrepair, the English fleet is slightly in disarray. They have used a bit of chain towing to get the San Estaban behind the Metal Dragon, who will tow the prize home. Various other ships are going home for repairs, mingling with the resource runners on their way by.

I didn’t need another picture of the familiar Spanish fleet here, but it’s worth noting that the Rafael has picked up a few UT’s from Paradise Island left there by the Gold ship. She may also be the first ship in the game to carry both gold and resources at the same time, though I think I’m mistaken.

The French take in 78 gold from valuable textiles found on The Flat, spending it all on 4 ships! The Gaule is tasked with general island defense, and is equipped with shot to help her in that role. La Possession has a completely new job: whirlpool diplomacy! Guy LaPlante has been chosen by Admiral Gaston as France’s first “diplomat” in the game. The Possession is tasked with going through whirlpools and investigating what she finds, and here she’s crewed with a full complement to emphasize that mission. The shipwright can repair lost masts, while the oarsman helps to protect all 4 vital crew. The French are brave to send the ship off alone into the unknown, but she is one of France’s oldest ships (not just by chronological set order, but also in regards to my personal collection) and LaPlante is eager to see what lies in other areas! The Felicite essentially has 2L guns, which are great for equipment. The face down chip actually represents exploding shot, which I have temporarily run out of. The Petit Dauphin is the fourth ship – her deckplate is not visible, but she will simply be another resource runner for the French.

Using their first two docks, the French launch 4 new ships. Also note the large quantities of fish on their outer docks.

Nemo informs Gaston of the island east of the Harbor, and the French admiral immediately signals for ships to be sent there.

Noticeably quieter since encountering the French and the Pirates (though he didn’t speak to Havana Black aboard the Deliverance), Commodore Preble sets all sail for the American home island. He passes the gunships patrolling the area and gives them new orders.

The Fool’s Hope loses another mast to Ralph David’s squadron, but the Americans are finished.

-Turn 42-

There it is! After saving up gold for a considerable number of turns now, the Pirates have finally spent all of it! With a whopping 250 gold, the Pirates purchase the first fort upgrade of the game! This is represented by a block token, which must be loaded aboard a ship and unloaded at a fort to upgrade it. Once upgraded, a faction can then launch ships and crew from that fort using gold from their home island!! I hope this is a fair cost for the fort upgrade. Cheaper would probably be too easy to exploit, but more than 250 gold starts to become ludicrous even by campaign game standards. Furthermore, when you consider that the Pirates could have outfitted around 10 or a full dozen large warships with great crew complements for that same 250 gold, it really does seem like a huge expense. The Eagle has loaded the upgrade token and will sail straight back to Dead Man’s Point.

If an upgraded fort is destroyed, the token simply disappears, since I do not really want a coin worth 250 gold floating around lol. (although it would be interesting to watch haha)

The Pirates were at 246 gold when they took in 36 from textiles being cashed in. The extra 32 gold got them 5 shipwrights and a couple new ships. Here the shipwrights are gathered on the ledge of the kingdom – better hope they don’t jump! XD

The new Pirate ships are the Neptune’s Hoard (RV version, I can’t stand the OE version especially after using it in Economy Edition lol) and the Shamrock, an underrated ship from Mysterious Islands.

Victory! The Pirates finish off Ralph David’s squadron. The Concord burned, and the Freedom is doing the same here after David once again refused to surrender to Pirate scum. The Flying Fish was dismasted by the Lady’s Scorn and Recreant, with the Pirates embarrassingly having to use Jean Laffite’s AA (Admiral’s Action) on the Recreant after the Scorn only hit like 1/5 lol. The Accused has already gone to the fort to repair, while Mission is telling the Pirates on the island to begin preparations and expect big things soon!

Back to the war! It’s not very practical to actually do, but here I wanted to show the shot from an artillery piece with one of the L range straws. However, the shot missed.

A moral dilemma! Knowing the GT is unlikely to be recaptured, the infantry on the island must decide whether or not to fire on their old comrades. Tsai, Katsura-chan, and the helmsman all scream to be killed outright, fearing that the Cursed will torture them for information or just for fun. Briefly hesitating, the infantry shoot their muskets, but miss the captured crew!

The Jade Rebels pull off a coup! (COO!! XD) Sinking the Crushed Skull (!) to make space, a group of Jade ships shoots the Scorpion until she is ready for capture. Then the Proud Tortoise maneuvers beautifully to tow the ship! It may seem like a waste since the ship is about to burn to the waterline, but the ship has the Eternal keyword and will soon reappear at the Jade home island! The Jades gained a needed morale victory with this development, especially after losing the GT.

If the Monkey’s Paw weren’t in the fog, this would be the view from her mainmast. The Glorious Treasure eliminates a mast from the Spilled Salt amid dense wreckage, mostly from the Grand Temple’s huge sails.

More cannon shots boom out! This time they are from a longship but aimed at one of the icewrecks! I have made a new house rule, where shipwrecks can be separated from their icebergs and sink if they are hit as many times as they originally had masts. In this case, the icewreck was hit 3 times, meaning the wreck would slip into the depths forever, leaving a regular (non-possessed) iceberg behind! The Jades quickly discovered this and were determined to rid the seas of the menace.

More Jade success! The Grand Mountain continues to be a thorn against the Cursed, dooming the Scythe with fire!

Grateful to be released from Behemoth’s grasp, the Polaris darts into a fog bank. The Asgard and Hrothgar wisely do the same, living to fight another day and avoiding capture right at the Cursed HI of the Roost.

Oh jeez. In an utterly pathetic day at the guns, the crew of the Grand Dynasty miss all 4 times against the Sickle, but also roll a 1 with Double Shot to shoot themselves in the mast!! XD

A view of nearly the entire battlefield after the Cursed take their turn. Notice they are retreating just as they did at the conclusion of the Battle of Fog and Ice! The Cursed have lots of ships in need of repairs, and would like to lock up the Grand Temple as their grand prize.

In addition, notice that the Maman Brigitte has docked home her coins, which is another reason for the Cursed retreat…. The Sickle is putting some hurt on the Grand Dynasty, who is likely doomed due to pinning and the horrific failures of her own crew.

Holy Maman indeed!! The MB brought back the best coins I currently have in play, with the 100 coin, the 60 coin, a shiny silver 6 (worth 18 gold), and a shiny silver 5 (worth 15). This means the ship had just unloaded 193 gold at once! The Cursed go crazy, combining it with some saved up gold and spending 211 gold at the end of their turn!

Purchasing a sea monster squadron, the Cursed get the Serpent’s Fang (who is an L booster for sea monsters), Tsuro, Tiamat, Maxehebel, and Squalo! At the right, the Nightmare and Abomination are also launched, both with full crew/equipment arrangements.

With a very rare shot looking west at the Roost, the new Celestine is docked next to the Maman Brigitte. However, I don’t like trade currents and won’t be using them in this game – her ability now gives her +S to her base move on a roll of 3-6, with no effect on a 1-2. Still a very good gold runner for the Cursed.

In the Halls of the Dragon King!! O_O Your first look at the interior of the Roost shows more new ships, with the Fallen Angel (towing the Death’s Anchor flotilla), Madness, and Lilu (towing the relaunched Silver Coffin).

Back in the Caribbean…

The English have gotten their cable affixed to the summit of Diamond Rock! The Malton is ready to hoist the artillery unit up!

This time the operation is successful! The English have done it! They now have an artillery unit on the summit of Diamond Rock!O_O

It took a long time and many many actions, but the English finally have cannons in all three viable areas of Diamond Rock.

On the other hand, the Galapagos finally succumbs to the flames, ironically pictured here in the shadow of the volcano:

Gaston and Lenoir meet aboard their flagships, with many things to discuss. They talk about meeting the Americans and the Pirates, as well as their plans to utilize The Flat and the newly discovered island east of the Harbor.

The Americans cash in and combine that gold with some old coins to go on a spending spree! They spend 127 gold, and for good reasons. Notice Ralph David on their HI! I have made a new ruling for Eternal for this game: if a crew has Eternal, they can only use it on a ship one time, but if that ship sinks again, the Eternal crew alone is returned to the HI. The Freedom had used RD’s keyword once, but her second sinking at the hands of pirates would be her final moment in the game. This is my attempt to curb Eternal shenanigans, although I’m not 100% sure yet what I’ll do with ships that have the keyword. However, David somehow made it home alive, and immediately told everyone around how powerful and rich the Pirates looked (using hyperbole in abundance… ).

David’s second tale, even more impressive (and embellished) than the first, inspired William Eaton to commission another anti-Pirate squadron. However, the Americans at home also had recent orders from Commodore Preble (the American admiral as of now) to launch warships and send them east through the opening in the reefs. Juggling multiple priorities, David was promised a full squadron in time, but for now he would have to wait for more gold to flow in to have a ship for himself. The Georgetown, Gold Eagle, and Paladin (mistakenly not pictured here) were launched to combat the Pirates. The James Madison would assist the Colonial Trader in getting metals from Ruby Island. Finally, the Albany and Seattle were launched to satisfy Preble’s demand for more ships to head east. In total, six ships along with a couple more infantry units.

Another usage of ladders! Now it’s clear why some Pirate ships were gathering under the ledge of the kingdom – the shipwrights will descend from above so the ships don’t create a logjam by entering the kingdom! This was a brilliant move by the Pirates, who were able to keep their resource and gold system running on all sails but still getting shipwrights to the whirlpool squadron. That’s right, each ship of the Pirate whirlpool squadron will be getting a shipwright. That way they can repair outside the kingdom (not needing to spend time inside and create logistical headaches on their way in and out), and also repair after whirlpool travel when they go off on another mission!

The Deliverance and Feathered Hat get shipwrights first. The Madagascar will get one from the Hat while the Sunrise Fire and Otter wait their turn.

Can’t get enough of this ladder idea with the kingdom! XD The climb down is somewhat dangerous, but the Pirates have the equipment and knowledgeable people around to make sure things go smoothly.

The all-important Eagle emerges from the kingdom with the fort upgrade aboard! The Fool’s Gold temporarily goes the wrong way to make room for the ship.

The Pirates are anticipating the arrival of their considerable investment, and have sent ships along the route to guard against any danger. The Cassandra and Grand Barnacle are simply heading home with textiles, but the Queen of Cups, Golden Medusa, and Crusher have all altered course in order to protect the Eagle as she sails out to Dead Man’s Point.

The Pirates complete their victory in the (First?) Battle of Dead Man’s Point, capturing the Flying Fish with the Fool’s Hope. The Lady’s Scorn is the only ship not damaged by the Americans in the battle, but it was still a lopsided victory for the Pirates.

The Scorpion sinks but goes to the Jade home island via Eternal! The Jade Rebels now have a scorpion ship of their own to unleash upon the Cursed. The Floating Stone, Muninn, and Grand Wind are all home for repairs, with the Grand Wind also docking home some spices. Warlord Cavendish is shaken by his close encounter with the Cursed (Mist Walker and the Sea Hag), and sees them as a huge threat to the Jade Rebellion’s survival.

The Sea Phoenix lands a shot on the captured Grand Temple, but the Jades give up the chase, knowing they won’t be able to recapture or sink the former JR flagship. After their first taste of direct combat, the JR cargo ships are back to running spices.

With the GT gone, defense of that wild island is now up to the smaller Jade ships that were undamaged from the battle.

Save the icebreakers! Knowing they’ll need them to combat the icewreck menace, the Jades use chain towing to get the Beowulf out of harm’s way.

The Hrothgar and Asgard get lucky rolls coming out of the fog (both rolled to face in the general direction of home), with the Hrothgar blasting away at an icewreck on the way by.

Predictable at this point, but still pathetic. The Grand Dynasty’s fire spreads as she continues to miss the Sickle.

The Cursed begin their turn, and the Sickle finishes off the Grand Dynasty. The GD has a disappointing run in this game, and is likely finished for the rest of it (unless I need to let weaker factions relaunch ships).

In other news, the Serpent’s Fang has given all four creatures +L on their first move of the game, and they depart the gates of the Roost! No wonder they’ve been called the “gates of hell”! Smile

An impressive cohort of Cursed cargo ships head back to their gold island. The Nightmare and Abomination go to a fog bank, with not much other room available.

Between this picture and the next, notice the fog hopping squadron hiding out for the time being.

The first major Cursed logjam of the game! The GT is a big prize ship in the way, with the Pestilence repairing to port of the Banshee’s Wail. The Loa’s Justice is another new Cursed ship, and one of their best cargo carriers. New ships depart while old ones come back for repairs:

I wanted to take a few wider shots from the Jade HI to show the scale of the JR/Cursed war and their operations:

(In the bottom foreground, notice the infantry unit tipping over to the right – perhaps a little too much rum after the battle ended? Wink)

A much higher view of the similar location: not as impressive, but there’s obviously a lot of points out there, with various debris from the battle still floating around.

The general English area of the Caribbean, with a stalemate just off the northwest side of Diamond Rock. At the lower right, the San Estaban has been docked at her new home, but has not repaired yet. This is because I am forcing derelicts to wait a turn to start repairing even though they normally could, since I like the time delay and it feels more realistic. In addition, it only takes one turn to repair a mast even though two hits are required to eliminate a mast. (very unlikely to change, but important to remember)

Many French ships sail out of the Harbor, with the Soleil Royal and Dauphin Royal continuing to sail slowly east, Gaston and Lenoir still engaged in deep conversation….

ATTACK!!!! In one of the shortest-lived alliances in history, the Americans break trust with the French and surprise them! The Concord dismasts the Bon Marin and continues to the Vengeance!

With a VERY timely AA from Commodore Preble, the Concord shoots at the Vengeance with her second action, freezing the ship for her next turn with a chainshot specialist hit! (represented by the orange die in the water so I remember haha) The Congress comes around the west side of The Flat to capture the Bon Marin, while the Minuteman sails around from the north to finish knocking a mast off the Vengeance!!

An American assault! The Coeur du Lion is also hit, and the Americans have not held up their end of the alliance, to say the least!

There is URGENCY in the American fleet today!! Preble is getting everyone ready for action, in multiple areas of the sea(s), and in multiple ways. Cargo ships depart the home island, with the Albany and Seattle also setting sail for the first time.

The American area, with David’s future anti-Pirate squadron currently in reserve (guarding against intrusion from the whirlpool) until the Americans can find a suitable ship for RD himself and possibly even more ships for the expedition as well.

Preble is determined as of late! He sees a great future of American dominance, with a great resource system expanding by the day and various warships launched by night! Here he makes all sail for the American HI, where he can better control launching operations to further his ambitions. In fact, the President nearly collided with the Providence on her way back, narrowly finding the gap between the ship on her port side and a dangerous reef to starboard.

There have been a few hints recently as to Preble’s disposition, and today things have become clear. Under his guidance, the Americans have big plans. They believe they can take on the French, and would love to control The Flat. They anticipate more fortunate resource changes in the near future, at which point their vast quantities of saved up food, spices, and luxuries make them incredibly rich. Finally, they are urgently carrying out operations and giving everything they’ve got to every task of every day!!

With that, Turn 43 comes to a close. I enjoy opening a day of play and battle report with a resource change, since it is rather fitting, but here I decided to change things up and roll the dice at the end of the day’s session!

UGH!!! Oh no! To my great frustration ANOTHER THREE was rolled, meaning that textiles were still worth 6 and metals were still worth 1. This would be the 4th time in 7 rolls that I rolled a 3 for value! I haven’t even rolled a 1, 2, or 6 for value yet. Even more unbelievable, I rolled a 5 for duration again, meaning that this resource change was exactly the same as the last one. (meaning that nothing changed, and the value roll of 3 is essentially being held for 10 turns)

There are various ways to change up the resource system a bit, which I look forward to unveiling when the time is right! For now this is the action. Unfortunately a heat wave will prevent me from playing as much as I’d like to over the next week. However, I’ll try to do at least 2 turns Friday and Saturday, and one turn per day from Sunday-Wednesday. Turns are really taking a long time, and I’ll do another point count soon as the game has definitely exceeded 2,000 total points by now.

Question: Who do you consider the victor of this latest Cursed vs. JR battle? (both sides heavily damaged, Cursed capture GT but retreat, Jades capture Scorpion but have now lost the Grand Mountain due to fire)

Command the Oceans – Turn 44 (9/22/2017)

With some frustration over the exact same resource change happening again, I have decided to implement a system Xerecs and I may also use at some point in the World game.

-Players may agree to change the resource system. Instead of simply rolling a d6 for values and two d6 for duration, other options may be added for more randomness.
Example: A round of turns begins with the d6 roll. A 1 is rolled (on a 2-6 the resources stay the same, until a 1 is rolled on some other turn). Since a 1 was rolled, roll again. If the second roll is a 2-6 (anything other than a 1), the resources only change value for that turn. On the next turn, they revert back to whatever they were on the previous round, or a different system is once again agreed upon by all players (such as starting over with regular EE rolls, or using the system described in this example). However, if the second roll is a 1, the current EE rolls are disregarded, and new rolls are made (both for values and duration).

This has begun on Turn 44, and as long as I remember to do it at the beginning of each round, it will probably remain that way. For the first roll, I got a 2, which meant that nothing would happen.

Only one turn was played today, but it was definitely a good one!

The Pirates use ladders so recently hired shipwrights can descend to the ships waiting below the ledge! (The Deliverance and Feathered Hat have them as well)

With a fort upgrade worth 250 gold aboard, the Eagle makes all sail for Dead Man’s Point, northwest of the Pirate Kingdom. Mission himself has joined the escort force, which now also includes the Golden Medusa and Queen of Cups.

Speaking of DMP, the fort has a new visitor: the Flying Fish, an American schooner captured in the brief battle. The Fool’s Hope and Recreant will repair there as well, while the Accused rejoins the Lady’s Scorn on patrol duty near the whirlpool.

The Pirates spend 51 gold on 5 small ships! Not quite satisfied with their resource fleet after all, the Hades’ Flame, Bloody Jewel, and Coral will help in the gathering of riches. The Tejon and Carrion Crow are hired for island and perimeter defense.

The Grand Path docks home the Beowulf, while 4 other ships carry out repairs. For this game I am letting turtle ships repair their shell panels.

Clearly the battle has ended. The Jades form up in a defensive line to protect their territory and shield the damaged ships. The line is weaker at the left with small ships, but becomes stronger as you go east with various 3 masted longships still healthy.

The Cursed now have 6 cargo ships running gold from their northern island, while the Nightmare (4 masted DJC version) and Abomination set sail for the first time.

With some difficulty the Cursed resolve most of their logjam out west. The Jikininki guards the new Loa’s Justice while ships sail to and fro, with some going to the Roost for repairs.

This is the general situation in front of the Roost. The fog hopping squadron has been joined by the icewrecks in the fog, who are afraid of sinking or getting broken up by the Polaris and Beowulf. Submerged sea monsters surge forward, though Tsuro uses its action for the turn to roll for its L-mover ability (unsuccessful). The Sickle has officially sunk the Grand Dynasty, eliminating a Jade 6 master from the game. To the left of the Sickle, the Banshee’s Wail has docked home the captured Grand Temple, though she has been moved to the area behind the Roost since she will take a long time to repair.

The English have gotten their artillery unit in position! They are ready to fire it for the first time!

Since the cannons on the ships can hit things L distance away with gunports just above sea level, I knew I would have to do something about higher altitude firing in this game. With the summit of Diamond Rock around L+L up in the air, projectiles fired from the summit would of course have a much greater range than cannons fired from the gun deck of a ship (just like the real Diamond Rock in the Napoleonic Wars). Therefore I have made some custom measuring sticks for this game, and you already saw the S+S one. However, with the summit of Diamond Rock being one of the highest points of any terrain piece ever, I have given any artillery placed there L+L+L range!!

The English fire off a shot from the summit! It sails over the entire defensive wall of Spanish ships and lands a bit short of El Rafael, who is nearly off the map! XD In this case the English would have hit if there was anything there, but I’m still working on the realism of having shots fired from high altitudes. The English may experiment a bit with smaller powder charges, which could enable them to “bomb” things within L+L of Diamond Rock, or go with the full charge and have a wide swath of firing range!

Another view of the impressive firing range. At the upper left, you can see the “edge” of the Caribbean, and how the cannon could potentially limit Spanish activity to that route on the outside of the Sargasso Seas if ships within the range can be hit.

While the English were gleefully testing out their new weapon, their workers got busy at the HI. Three ships were launched: HMS Royal, Ark Royal, and Antelope. The first two are meant for war with Spain! The Antelope will gather textiles for now.

The English are gearing up for an attack on the Spanish! With their artillery at Diamond Rock terrorizing the Spanish fleet and potentially forcing them to sail new sea routes, the English see it as a great time to take advantage of metals being so worthless. The Durham and Gibraltar flotilla are being joined by HMS Lord Algernon and HMS Victor, with the new ships arriving soon as well.

Welcome to the summit! Keep in mind that due to the army unit rules (they must be given move actions to get into position), the English would have to expend an action on the cannon to give it a new line of fire. However, as of now they like how it’s aimed straight to the northwest, directly at Spanish trade!

The view from the English camp at the summit:

Spanish cargo ships are in trouble! The Spanish continue to suffer at the hands of the English.

Looking down from the top of Diamond Rock at the stunned Spanish fleet below:

Spain answers! With 28 gold coming in from Paradise Island, the Spanish spend it all on a new flagship: the Santa Ana! With the capture of the San Estaban, the Spanish have been leaderless lately. Now they will be led by Duque Marcus Vaccaro. He is usually a 0LR reroller crew, but for this game I have modified those crew to function as normal 3 point rerollers with no other abilities.

The Spanish are ready to fight! The Santa Ana is also crewed with a captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, cannoneer, and oarsman.

A new man-of-war is about to set sail. She carries the hopes of Spain with her.

The French explore the wild island east of their Harbor, finding yet more textiles! Textiles has been the most found resource in the game, as well as the most valuable on average.

The French don’t want a war, but are forced to retaliate against the deceitful Americans! The Dauphin Royal lets loose the first French cannon shots of the game, felling the Concord’s mizzenmast.

Immobilized by the Concord’s chainshot specialist, the Vengeance shoots 1/3 against the Congress. The French are angry that the Americans not only betrayed their alliance, but also captured one of their best cargo ships, Le Bon Marin.

The French weren’t in a position to do much damage, but many more ships are coming! The Americans may have picked a bad time to attack the French, as the French just launched 3 new gunships. The Possession, Gaule, and Felicite are speeding towards the battle area. With some help from the lighthouse, the St. Michel nearly reaches an American ship, showing that France is willing to risk some of her cargo ships to provide assistance in the battle.

After some deliberation, the Americans decide to stick it out! This was a big decision, as all three attacking ships could have made it out of the area relatively easily. However, between Preble’s aggressive orders and the possibility of help coming soon, the captain of the Congress leaves his squadron at The Flat and doubles down on the gunnery! The Concord is unable to hit the Vengeance with chainshot this time around, but she and the Congress dole out major damage. Lenoir (aboard the Dauphin Royal) prevents the Concord from moving and shooting, while you may have noticed that the Minuteman is absent….

Since the captain of the Congress sent her to go get help! Knowing how serious Preble was about The Flat and Karkuda in general, and also noting the change in American imperialist attitude recently, the captain of the Congress knew that fleeing was not an option. The Minuteman sped off to the northern whirlpool of the Sea of Karkuda.

Ugh! The Minuteman rolls a 2 to emerge from the northern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost! This is not what the Americans wanted, to say the least. The Minuteman was attempting to come out of the southwestern Karkuda whirlpool near the American HI. Not only was this the wrong whirlpool, but the Pirates lurked nearby, and may see it as another attacking squadron coming through!

Suddenly realizing the seriousness of the situation, the captain of the Delaware decides that if the Minuteman was unable to reach home, there would be no saving the Congress, Concord, and likely the Delaware as well. With a desperate “hard a starboard!” maneuver, the captain swung his ship around to the west, and hastily ran up a signal!! Having not given the President a move action yet*, Preble just managed to see the signal in time! (you can see that the ships barely have a clear line of sight to one another, and could barely “see” each other since I am using vague but important relative distance criteria in this game to make the size more realistic)

*Timing of actions can matter a LOT in CG’s, and it’s often best to do combat first during a turn. However, thinking things through can make a big difference, and contributes to how long these games take! It’s almost always far more strategic than regular small games.

Preble relayed the signal, and Brent Rice spurred the crew of the Bonhomme Richard into action! The Richard was already on whirlpool patrol duty, watching for hostile Pirates, and therefore could easily sail into the southwestern whirlpool. However, needing a 4 to emerge from the northern one since the Americans haven’t traveled there yet, Brent Rice got a 5 to spin out of the same whirlpool! XD

Fearing the worst for his eastern squadron, Preble demanded that more gunships try to reach the southwestern whirlpool. They would attempt to emerge from the northern one and reinforce the Americans fighting the French. The only other ship that could was the newly launched USS Paladin!

O_O Ohh boy!! The Paladin rolls a 1 to emerge from the southeastern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost!! This whirlpool was previously unknown to the Americans, and is a BIG deal. Now they can travel without rolling for location between their HI and this whirlpool, which is closer to the Pirate Kingdom than the whirlpool Ralph David has used twice now. The Paladin loses her mainmast on the voyage, but her crew almost immediately sight various Pirate ships, and know that they’re onto something important, not seeing the various reefs to the south that Ralph David had described in his tale. To the north, they also notice a huge hulking black object in the distance…. (though they can’t quite make out what it is)

The Wasp is alone in the beautiful shimmering waters of the far northwest corner of Karkuda. On a beach that previously held a bit of gold, her crew is surprised to find metal!

Commodore Preble reaches home and immediately begins issuing orders! The Americans are motivated and ready to dominate! However, now they’re a bit worried about the disappearance of the Minuteman and Paladin, not to mention their small squadron by The Flat.

A logjam at the opening of the reefs. Preble himself experienced this on the previous turn, and would have launched a ship with more exploding shot to destroy more reefs if he had the gold. However, the fight at The Flat was of more immediate importance.

And thus, two more American gunships are built to combat the French! The Franklin is just about their most accurate vessel, and carries some firepots to light ships up during battle. The Peacock is a swift, agile, and deadly vessel, who also carries a firepot specialist. (both have the mandatory captain of course, but I’ve been neglecting to mention that because every gunship launched will have one, and 95% of gunships launched will also have a helmsman)

With the Americans on the move and desperate for an empire, another turn comes to a close. It was an entertaining one, and I really enjoyed testing range from the top of Diamond Rock for the first time and the operations of the Americans.

With a good amount of turns passing since the last point count, and various launchings happening frequently, I decided to do another point count! This was done for deckplates only, so any army units, ladders/cables, and forts in play were not counted here.

9/22 ship and point count, in the order of play:

Pirates: 33 ships, 507 points
Jade Rebellion: 28 ships, 482 points
Cursed: 40 ships, 697 points
English: 24 ships, 367 points
Spanish: 14 ships, 167 points
French: 21 ships, 309 points
Americans: 25 ships, 418 points
Total: 185 ships, 2,947 points

O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O

In a complete surprise to me, I have already passed my Economy Edition game record (2,846 points) of the biggest physical game in Pirates CSG history!!!! O_O Shocked

Wow! I wanted to make this game bigger than my EE game from 2015, but I definitely didn’t expect it to get this big after only about 2 weeks of play. To be fair, my EE game reach only 100 points less in 11 less turns (last point count done on Turn 33 in EE), but that was with 5 factions on one ocean about the size of the Sea of Karkuda and oftentimes smaller distances between islands. Although, my EE game likely reached between 3,100 and 3,200 points soon afterwards. Either way, the next record up would be VASSAL Campaign Game 1, which is the biggest game of all time at 3,516 total points, though it likely reached 3,700 soon afterwards. O_O

By ocean:
Sea of Allost: 101 ships, 1,686 points
Caribbean: 38 ships, 534 points
Sea of Karkuda: 46 ships, 727 points

I do find it interesting that the Sea of Allost has a whopping 1,686 of the points in play (57%), although it is the only ocean with 3 factions on it. With another megalaunch of 200+ gold, the Cursed have climbed into the points lead, as they did in the first point count. We already knew the English had a decided advantage over the Spanish in the Caribbean, but with over 2,000 points sailing around the other two oceans, perhaps Spain will call for help at some point? Either way, I am looking forward to more exciting turns and will do another point count sometime, possibly after a big resource change if food spikes in value (meaning the French and Americans would both have a ship-ton of gold to spend lol).

As I said with the previous report, the ill-timed and unexpected heat wave will almost definitely prevent me from playing more than a turn a day for the next 7 or so days. However, with the game about to reach 3,000 total points in size, it’s also getting to the point where the length of a round alone can prevent me from playing multiple turns in a day.

Command the Oceans – Turns 45-47 (9/23/2017)

I was able to play 3 turns today, mostly since the first 2 were some of the easiest and fastest since the game reached 2,000 total points.

The Pirates’ whirlpool squadron receives more shipwrights, while in the background, the Eagle has an entourage…

… as the Pirates are about to complete the first fort upgrade of the game!

The JR-Cursed situation, with the Cursed capturing the Divine Wind and both sides setting up lines of gunships around the perimeter of their islands.

The English continue to cash in textiles and launch immediately, getting the Resolution and Westminster to expand their whirlpool squadron.

The French continue to pummel the Americans! The Concord is dismasted and captured, while the Congress is hit hard by the St. Michel and Possession.

Preble’s Americans continue to send gunships through their whirlpool in an attempt to roll a 4 and emerge from the northern one, but the Bonhomme Richard rolls a 1 to emerge where the Paladin saw the Pirates! Here Brent Rice gets his own view of the piratical activities:

Further failures for the Americans! The Georgetown rolls a 3 to emerge in the Caribbean, and they just can’t seem to roll a 4.

The Minuteman comes back to Karkuda, after a brief and mistaken excursion to the Sea of Allost. She loses a mast on the return trip and therefore is not quite fit for battle, not that the Americans really have a chance at this point anyway.

The Albany and Seattle will be a bit too late to salvage the fight at The Flat.

The Paladin and Gold Eagle return from their unsuccessful whirlpool trip, with the former needing repairs after being damaged by both whirlpools.

The Eagle docks at Dead Man’s Point, and the Pirates have the first fort upgrade of the game in place! Now they can launch things from the fort, which is a BIG deal and should greatly help with the troublesome logistics of their kingdom. I am still hoping 250 gold was enough of a drawback….

A broad overhead shot of almost the entire Pirate operation. Two more 4 masters were launched today: you can see the Black Heart at the upper left and the Dragon’s Breath nestled in the kingdom. The BH carries Captain Elizabeth Swann, their second AA crew after Laffite. The Dragon’s Breath is an expansion of their whirlpool squadron but may be too late to join them for their second adventure.

A wide shot of the western 1/3 of Allost, with various JR ships repairing and the Cursed resolving the logjam that was taking place on the west side of the Roost.

With the flotillas towed by cargo ships back near the Spanish HI, and the newly launched Santa Ana not quite there yet, the English nearly open their attack on Fortaleza Dorada and Paradise Island! However, at the last moment they decide to add some crew to the Durham (who only has a captain and oarsman) and Victor (only a captain since she lost her helmsman in battle earlier) to optimize them and attempt to avoid losing more great gunships to fire. The new arrivals Royal and Ark Royal take their place, while the Lord Algernon herself is in the area along with the repaired Serapis. The English still plan to strike soon. In the meantime, the cannon on the summit of Diamond Rock shot at the Anunciada, but missed twice in two turns.

The French achieve total victory at the First Battle of The Flat! The Felicite has taken up towing duties of the Concord, while the Gaule captures the Congress! Also, the Bon Marin is chain towed by the Dauphin Royal and Soleil Royal to get her out of harm’s way. The French system is still in full swing despite their surprise at the betrayal/sneak attack, with the St. Michel and Triton loading textiles while also looking for enemy ships to intercept. The Possession has already proved herself as a great gunship, as she was more accurate than the Dauphin Royal in the battle. Gaston (aboard the Soleil) has decided that it’s time he gets a new ship and/or gets a proper captain aboard. Duncan Rousseau’s reroll has been ineffective of late to boost his AA chances, and with both aboard the ship runs out of point space quickly. (11/13 points taken up by non-captain and non-helmsman abilities)

The Americans try AGAIN to roll at least one 4 to get access to the northern Karkuda whirlpool, but all 3 ships emerge or stay in the Caribbean! The new captain of HMS Apollo is confused and sails in the opposite direction. XD Whirlpool travel is getting to a frustrating point, but I think it works well thematically and gives faction an interesting hurdle to overcome when traveling between oceans, which is a pretty big deal.

The Minuteman begins the somewhat long journey home to repair, while the Franklin and Peacock make all sail to join up with the 3 ships near The Flat.

Annoyed and unsatisfied, Preble hears of the recent whirlpool failures and decides to brave them himself! He plans to use the President to find the elusive northern whirlpool from the southwestern one, possibly using the ship’s reroll to aid him instead of using it on his own AA ability as he normally does.

The Americans are saving up the 4 resources that have the 4 lowest values, while cashing in the lumber and textiles that have recently been found just beyond the reefs. They have certainly gotten good and diverse resource rolls in this game, similar to my EE game in 2015. The Yankee has loaded two exploding shots aboard… probably to destroy more reefs! The current bottleneck has become a hindrance, and even one more reef out of the way would make a big difference.

A great shot of Mission’s Pirate Kingdom! Here you can see that it IS truly a “kingdom”: nearly 600 points’ worth of piratical activity sails the waves. Three islands produce three different types of resources, two of which have been very valuable for every resource change thus far. A fourth island has produced plenty of gold. The only attacks the Pirates have suffered has been at the hands of small American squadrons led by Ralph David, which were quickly dispatched. The kingdom is in full swing! Notice a new 4 masted schooner at the northern entrance: the Bloody Spear has been tasked with simple island defense. Also check out the Royal Rover nearing the ledge, as a little swap will soon take place.

ATTACK! Eager to get the first strike in their next conflict with the Cursed, the Jade Rebellion opens up the THIRD battle of their war! The Dragon’s Talon goes outside of S range of the Fallen Angel and connects, allowing the Glorious Treasure to finish off the mast with her ability.

Another battle erupts! From left to right: the Sea Phoenix deals damage to the Death’s Anchor flotilla, the Hrunting nearly dismasts the Lilu, and the Silver Coffin, Madness, and Jikininki all take minor damage. The Jades are trying to focus their efforts to the west this time to cut off Cursed access to the “luxurious” Broken Horn Island.

But they also have enough ships to attack the Roost! In an awesome display of firepower, the Huginn hits 6/6 to dismast the Pestilence!

Then, in a brilliant move, the Huginn is awarded Sigurd Andersen’s AA to capture the Pestilence and simultaneously shoot at the Sickle and Banshee’s Wail! However, the scuttle attempt on the Pestilence was unsuccessful. This was a rare example of a faction nearly eliminating an opposing gunship from the game with the efforts of one ship on a single turn. (which is difficult to pull off here due to the house rules around mast elimination and sinking)

The Cursed strike back!! Ready for anything, the Cursed weren’t really surprised by the Jade attack (though they assumed they would wait for more ships to finish repairing first), and sent their new sea monster squadron into action. Two serpents and a shark pin the Muninn and eliminate her helmsman. Tsuro stays behind to use its ability, which drags the Grand Path into range of the Nightmare! However, in a somewhat minor disaster for the Cursed, the Nightmare hits just 1/5 (5th shot provided by a musketeer) and watches her fire shot backfire to set herself aflame! The Abomination, Serpent’s Fang, and Hellfire are on the way but unable to get in range yet.

Viewed from the mainmasts of the Grand Wind, the icewrecks emerge from the fog and are ready to resume hunting Jade Rebels! The Cursed are happy that both icebreakers are repairing, and see it as a good opportunity to terrorize with ice again.

Swift and predictable revenge: the Sickle, Banshee’s Wail, and Needle (!) team up to take the Huginn down to 2 masts. The fog hopping squadron is generally in reserve, but with most JR ships either out west or repairing, the Cursed saw it as an opportune time to take advantage of a few extra shots from the Needle.

Flotilla power! The Death’s Anchor hits 3/4 to nearly dismast the Sea Phoenix, but a much more impressive display is shown to the right of them. The Silver Coffin rotated to shoot 4 shots at the Hrunting, and 3 of them were 6’s! Then, with 5 hits already scored on her (only one hit needed to dismast), the Lilu shot a firepot with her remaining 4S cannon and also got a 6!! Combined the duo got four 6’s in five shots, with the Hrunting possibly doomed for good due to the flames. At the upper right, the Madness and Jikininki are ineffective against the Sea Lion and Hrothgar.

Back in the Caribbean, the English have completed their fortification of Diamond Rock!! After loading one of the artillery pieces from the bottom, the Malton took it out to sea and then hoisted it up to the summit with a big cable!

Here is something new that I haven’t mentioned yet: a faction can exchange a captured ship and its associated crew for an equal total point value if the captured ship is fully repaired, but they must spend those points immediately. (they can’t be saved as gold) The captured ship is removed from play but can be hired by the original faction since it was never sunk.

In this way the English rid themselves of the San Estaban in exchange for HMS Wycliffe with a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist. (in this case the point costs of the ships and the crew complement happen to be exactly the same, but that isn’t required)

In the southwest part of the Caribbean, the King John and Guy Fawkes get quite close to the Spanish home island:

English domination of Diamond Rock! As part of my personal goal for the game (not necessarily for the English to do it, but any faction), they now have a historically accurate defense of the rock, which I love. Two 24 pounders at the bottom, one in a cave halfway up, and two 18 pounders at the top! Very Happy

The 3rd shot from the first cannon on the summit connects to damage the Santa Ana!

The Spanish take their turn, with the Santa Ana getting an EA for the first time to reach Fortaleza Dorada, where she will repair briefly. By necessity, the Spanish are in defensive survival mode. However, resources will change again soon, and hopefully metals will skyrocket in value to make them more competitive. (I did the rolls at the beginning of the turns today for the rules I laid out at the beginning of the last report, but didn’t roll any 1’s.)

French dominance of The Flat! Paradis de la Mer is built on it, although with a new ability: “This fort ignores the first hit it takes each turn when it has all of its flags.” The Triton will tow the captured Congress home, allowing the Gaule to join the Dauphin Royal on serious patrol duty with numerous (and dangerous) Americans lurking to the north.

The Felicite speeds home with the Concord in tow due to the lighthouse’s bonus. The upper right also has some developments. France has a new gunship, Le Bonaparte (OE version). The Coeur du Lion has repaired and is already headed back to The Flat. The Dijon has a new helmsman and has loaded some army units.

Uh-oh! The Americans desperately continue searching for that northern whirlpool, but the Georgetown emerges in the Sea of Allost! If the Pirates spot her and attack she might be in big trouble.

Very frustrated at this point, the crew of the Gold Eagle find themselves in the Caribbean again.

The whirlpool failures are forcing the Paladin and eventually Bonhomme Richard to go home for repairs. At this point the Concord and Congress are far past saving, but Preble still wants to find the route from whirlpool #5 (at the lower left) and whirlpool #4 (near The Flat). As said above, he will do it himself if necessary. From the approaching cargo ships you can tell the Americans will have some stuff coming in next turn, while at the upper right, the Franklin and Peacock have joined the other 3 American gunships near The Flat to form a solid 5 ship squadron.

One turn remains until the next resource change. With today’s launches, the game has officially exceeded 3,000 total points in size. This makes it the only recorded physical game to officially reach that level! O_O

Command the Oceans – Cursed on September 13th

This is not an actual battle report, but simply a few old pictures of the Cursed when they were “off camera”. Smile

These pictures were taken on 9/13. Sort of a “flashback” when the game was considerably smaller.

The Monkey’s Paw was a recent purchase:

After the Soul Crusher and crew was bought for 33 gold:

(Also when the Samedi’s Curse was still afloat)

The “gates” before it was truly… THE ROOST! XD

Shal-Bala watches over the Cursed fleet:

And that was the Cursed and their Roost before things got crazy… and will get MUCH crazier….

Command the Oceans – Turn 48 – full of fails! Utter failures everywhere. XD (9/24/2017)

The Georgetown comes under attack from the Feathered Hat and Deliverance! However, the Pirates roll an abysmal 1/5.

The Grand Path veers off from her conflict with the Nightmare to target that ship and the Abomination simultaneously. Of course, the only miss was a 1 for exploding shot, which took off her mizzenmast (after it hit the Nightmare however). The Muninn hit 3/6 against the sea monsters pinning her.

In a masterstroke of tactical strategy, the Huginn took off for a fog bank with the Pestilence in tow, after the scuttle roll for the prize was unsuccessful. The Pestilence was then released from the towing once the ships were inside the fog, meaning the Pestilence is doomed, forever sitting in the fog bank! XD Although, perhaps the Cursed can manage a way to pull her out somehow…. At the left, the Grendel has taken a risk and gone all-out against the Needle, but fails miserably. She hit once in two shots but lost the S-board despite getting +1 to boarding rolls against the Cursed (lol, just further demonstrating how overrated +1 to boards is).

More “epic failures”! Well, sort of. The Hrunting let the Naegling take her place in the battle line, with the Naegling dismasting the Lilu and nearly sinking the Silver Coffin if she hadn’t rolled a 1 on one of the shots. The Sea Lion continues to be the least effective ship in the entire war, as I would now estimate her shooting record to be about 1/10. Her guns are rank-4, but I usually hit with those about as often as rank-3 lol. However, the Hrothgar hits 3/4 to dismast the Jikininki, taking the Cursed pest out of action.

A bit of a strange sight: ships fail miserably while sea monsters are effective! The Nightmare and Abomination have been HORRIBLE for the Cursed, with the Nightmare’s fire spreading and missing both her shots against the Grand Path. Then, just like the Nightmare last report, the Abomination rolled a 1 on her fire shot to set herself aflame! Ugh, what a pathetic display in this war today. Although, the triple-headed sea monster threat managed to hit 7/8 to completely dismast the Muninn!

The Nightmare and Abomination have set themselves on fire and managed exactly one hit on the GP combined (the mast was eliminated via the backfiring exploding shot). The Muninn is a suddenly derelict ship floating amid her own wreckage.

The Fallen Angel tries to row the damaged Death’s Anchor flotilla out of harm’s way, but not before the DA damages the Glorious Treasure and Sea Phoenix. The Cursed were absolutely inept today. The Lilu was derelict and couldn’t tow the Silver Coffin into a better position. As a result, the SC’s only target was the Proud Tortoise, but that ship is immune to L-range guns. XD The Madness did manage a firepot specialist hit on the Sea Lion, the latter of which I wouldn’t mind seeing at the bottom of the ocean lol. The derelict Jikininki prevents the Spilled Salt from attacking the Hrothgar, so the Salt turns away and heads southwest instead. At the far right, I have ruled that icebergs and icewrecks can only damage a ship with one hit out of the two required to eliminate a mast, rather than mast elimination outright (which still happens when equipment backfires). The icewrecks have seemed too powerful to me. At the upper right, the Needle goes home to repair, not wanting any part of the Cursed-hating Grendel. The Monkey’s Paw is visible, fully repaired and ready to return to the war.

The Jades are already on the cusp of blasting away at Cursed trade, but the pathetic nature of both fleets’ efforts may prevent them from a decisive victory.

The English whirlpool squadron reaches the Caribbean whirlpool, where the captains of the Westminster and Gold Eagle exchange words. The Gold Eagle’s captain seems in a hurry and appears confused, leaving the captain of the Westminster to raise his eyebrows. The English wanted to make sure they could all enter the whirlpool on the same turn, and now with the Resolution caught up, they plan to take the plunge next turn!

An array of American operations over their full turn. Preble does indeed brave the whirlpool himself! However, he gets a 5 (which would spin him out of the same whirlpool) and then a 6 with his reroll, a 6 meaning that the ship stays in the same place and doesn’t even get spun out of the same whirlpool (meaning it also doesn’t have to roll for damage). Having experienced the bizarre whirlpool shenanigans himself, Preble now understands the plight and confusion shown by his officers aboard other ships. He is still determined, but realizes he must be more patient. Word of the French captures reaches him, and he is understandably disappointed. The Gold Eagle returns from the Caribbean. The Georgetown returns from her harrying journey to the Sea of Allost. They will join the Paladin and Bonhomme Richard as whirlpool victims in need of repairs. At the far right, the Yankee rolled a 6 with exploding shot to destroy another reef! This nearly doubles the gap available to the Americans, and should really help them going forward in their quest to expand. At the home island, lumber and textiles are unloaded and cashed in! Preble shows how serious the Americans are, launching two of their best ships: the Frontier and Intrepid!

Turn 49 will see new resource rolls! Hopefully I won’t get a 3 and 5 again. Ugh. Anyway, there will probably be a lull in the game here since I can’t play many turns over the next few days. In the meantime, feel free to speculate. Very Happy

Command the Oceans – Only half a turn, but exciting stuff (9/26/2017)

Play continued, although only for about half a turn. That’s because activities in the Sea of Allost alone took about 2 hours, mostly due to a Pirate megalaunch! Very Happy

Turn 49: new resource rolls! I was a bit disappointed to get a 4 for values, since I still haven’t rolled a 1, 2, or 6 for values. In fact, the last 5 changes including this one have all been rolls of 3 or 4. However, the duration was a positive – only 3 turns, the shortest duration of the game so far! This continued a trend of resource changes lasting less and less time – the first 5 changes were all for 6 turns or more, but the last 3 have been 5 turns or less. The value change meant that metals were the most valuable resource again! The Spanish rejoiced! The other factions were generally fine with the change, with textiles valuable as usual. The Cursed and JR saw their values drop even lower, but it’s doubtful that it will stop them from waging all-out war on each other….

The Pirates! They combined some saved gold with new gold via cashed in metals and textiles, and also cashed in a ton of saved up metals! With a massive windfall, the Pirates suddenly have 393 gold, and they spent every ounce of it. O_O

The next 3 pictures show what the Pirates got for the biggest single-turn purchase of the game so far. They could basically buy whatever they wanted, and with a very effective resource system already in play and more cargo ships only making more logjams at the kingdom’s entrances, they bought gunships almost exclusively! Three capital ships were launched, which will be the flagships outside of Mission’s command from the Crusher. The Harbinger and Victoire have sac abilities and a combined nine oarsmen between the two ships, providing for massive extra action potential. The Revenant will also be extremely deadly, with Griffin rerolling Calico Cat’s EA and firing her cannons at rank-1 with the standard captain/helmsman combo also aboard of course. From the top left on down you can see more standard gunships with the regular crew complements in addition to the random specialist/cannoneer/musketeer crew. The Rum Runner with HI-raiding Villanueva aboard is the only ship the Pirates launched that doesn’t have a captain aboard!

The spending continues, with ship after ship after ship brought into play via the spending spree. The Ballista is well-equipped to be a very effective suicide attack ship, while the 2 masted Pirate support gunships I love so much are outfitted to the max. For example, the Raven is a 10 point ship but carries 5 crew for the maximum 10 total points! I like pairing specialists with 2S guns (since you don’t have the shorten the range of an L-range cannon) and shot equipment with L-range guns (since you can take advantage of the extra range). The Raven, Royal James, Executioner and Panda are some of my favorite Pirate ships. Also, it’s worth noting that the Freedom’s Hand will be towing the Pirates’ second copy of the Widowmaker flotilla to have 6 shots at S+S range moving around at S+L speed. Nice combos everywhere!

I’ve generally memorized the stats and abilities of most or all the ships I have over time with my 400+ games played and time spent making fleets on Miniature Trading, so I can afford to cover things up and save space in the deckplate areas (which I need since they are very crowded already with how massive this game is getting!).

The last few ships the Pirates picked out, with somewhat less extravagant “extra weaponry” but still lots of pure firepower quantity.

Only a few turns after being completed, the fort upgrade comes in VERY handy!! Without that option, the Pirates wouldn’t even be capable of launching all 393 points’ worth of stuff, so they’d have to split it up into smaller launches over more turns. That said, this launch was so big that the fort is completely covered with new ships! They are beginning to look like the Pirate fleet from my Economy Edition game, a Pirate Empire that was previously unrivaled in historic size. However, with how this game is going, Mission’s Pirate Kingdom may even exceed that!!

The launch was so big that they couldn’t quite fit all the ships at the upgraded Dead Man’s Point, so the Rum Runner, Charles, and Xi’an are berthed inside the kingdom.

With 507 points in their fleet at the last point count, and 393 gold spent here, the Pirates have now become a 900+ point fleet! Their efforts will soon allow them to exceed 1,000 points. O_O The megalaunch also means that the Sea of Allost alone has over 2,000 points’ worth of stuff on it!

The Pirates do have plans to use their new ships, to say the least. Mission is now very content with his home waters, and plans to send at least a squadron (if not a large one) after the Americans, especially since the Pirates can travel from their southern whirlpool (though not the northern one close to the fort) to both whirlpools in the Sea of Karkuda. In addition, Mission plans to sail west soon, towards unknown and foggy waters….

Mission’s Pirate Kingdom, perhaps starting to grow to an unmanageable size?

Back to the dominant war of the game! The Jade Rebels have a decent turn, taking off the flag on the Death’s Anchor and nearly dismasting the Spilled Salt (both courtesy of the Naegling). The fire aboard the Sea Lion spread, dooming the ship. I can’t say I’m unhappy about that, since the ship has been so ineffective and lame the entire game lol.

The Hrothgar does damage to the Jikininki and an icewreck, while the Grendel hits the Hellfire twice in a row to set the Cursed vessel aflame!

The Grand Path dismasted the Abomination and nearly killed Squalo. In the foreground you can see 3 newly repaired Jade ships returning to the war effort – the Polaris, Grand Mountain, and Asgard are back in action!

The Jades are also piling up the spices, with 56 of them in addition to what’s on their HI, but that resource has been the least valuable in the entire game, never being in the top half of values.

The Cursed take a turn, though they don’t have many ships on the western front with which to defend their cargo ships. The main development here is the Monkey’s Paw, who has returned to battle after another extensive repair effort. Her firepower combined with both flotillas to eliminate two masts from the Naegling, a ship the Jades really don’t want to lose and will therefore retire from the battle on their next turn. At the upper right, the Madness and Spilled Salt sail home for repairs, while the Fallen Angel slowly tows the Death’s Anchor away from the battle.

In a nice reversal of fortune from the failure-filled Turn 48, the Hellfire puts out her fire and combines with the Banshee’s Wail to eliminate a mast from the Grendel!

The Cursed sea monsters were very effective once again, and the Muninn is sunk! However, after being dismasted by the Grand Path, the Abomination succumbed to the flames and sank as well. This meant that each side of the battle had lost a large gunship on the turn, which is pretty damaging considering the house rules around mast elimination and sinkings. The Abomination left a hole which was conveniently filled by the Serpent’s Fang, who shot effectively to damage the Grand Path (missing with her firepot specialist however). At the left, the Nightmare has put out one of her fire masts and turned ghostly in order to sprint home for repairs if she can make it back in time.

That is all for now, as operations in Allost took about 2 hours today lol. I hope to finish this rather grand turn tomorrow, when the Spanish will definitely cash in metals and get new ships! I expect the English and Americans to launch as well, so it’s possible that the game would become the biggest game EVER by the end of tomorrow! (I’m not planning a point count, but since it surpassed 3,000 points the other day and saw about 400 points of Pirate stuff introduced today, plus the launchings tomorrow during the second half of the turn, it may theoretically exceed the 3,516 of CG1!)

Command the Oceans – More of Turn 49 (9/27/2017)

The second part of Turn 49 was finished today, with activities in the Caribbean and Karkuda providing little excitement but much in the way of long-term operations.

With no Spanish ships docked at or right near the home island, the English have struck directly! HMS King John opened her gunports and hit twice in a row to destroy the lone Spanish artillery unit stationed there. HMS Guy Fawkes didn’t have a target but sailed west as well.

The English whirlpool squadron was ready to take the plunge! All 4 ships went through the whirlpool, hoping to discover new areas. Incredibly, just as they did before, the Metal Dragon and Bath both rolled 3’s to reemerge from the same whirlpool, albeit with damage! The Resolution rolled a 6 so nothing happened to her, which leaves only the Westminster…

… who rolled a 1 to come out of the southern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost! The directional heading of 5 left her right next to Pirate warships of that faction’s whirlpool squadron! Havana Black spun around at the helm of the Deliverance, and his eyes narrowed at the sight of a Royal Navy vessel….

The English cash in 11 textiles for 55 gold and combine it with the 20 gold they had saved on their HI, spending 75 gold at the end of their turn. In the foreground, the Caradoc carries CRGO, the first of two English AA crew. At the right you can see three new English warships: HMS Lord Kettering, HMS Resistance, and HMS Granville. The English plan to augment their battle squadron sailing off of Paradise Island with even more ships. The tension has already been rising for several turns now, so a strike seems imminent and inevitable!

However, with metals luckily worth 6 gold apiece once again, the Spanish do a considerable launch of their own! They spend 101 gold on 5 ships. From right to left: the Cristal del Obispo, Voz de Dios, Granada, Corazon del Mar, and Reconquistador. Not only do those 5 ships just about double the fighting capacity of the Spanish Navy, they also give them a presence at their HI to deter the English from starting to cut off gold runners before they can reach home. Most of the ships are crewed and equipped to the max, but note that the Cristal only has a captain, helmsman, and oarsman aboard, in order to leave 3 spaces open. The Spanish plan to use her as a super durable hybrid since their resource/cargo system could still use some work. (they have been forced to buy for war due to the English)

Back in the Sea of Karkuda, the French have a small logjam at their Harbor but things are progressing smoothly for them. At the bottom left, the Dijon has army units aboard which are en route to The Flat.

Nemo goes rogue! Tasked with defending the island just east of the French Harbor (visible in the background at the upper right), Nemo has become extremely bored with his orders! He anticipated being in the thick of the fight, not defending a boring island in some far-flung corner of the sea. In addition, he doesn’t see his vision lining up with French plans. He has changed the course of his Nautilus to point southwest, and speeds away from French waters. Who knows what he’s up to??

Preble goes through the American whirlpool again, but instead of being spun out of it, he ends up in the Caribbean! Yet another instance where the Americans just cannot seem to roll a 4 to guarantee passage from their whirlpool to the other one in Karkuda. He arrives next to the English whirlpool squadron, who are similarly confused and disoriented. XD

Whoa! The southwest beach of the big island has suddenly stopped producing food, which was found readily there the whole game so far! However, luckily for the Americans and their canoes, textiles are discovered instead!

Continuing a big turn of big spending, the Americans cash in 16 metals and add 36 gold to the mix to spend 132 gold on a bunch of stuff! They have a very diversified launch, which I’ll explain over the course of these last 3 pictures. First off, Ralph David finally has another ship! With a reasonably large windfall, the Americans could afford a proper ship for the Pirate hunter. What better ship than the OE Constitution, which gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Pirate ships! A firepot specialist and oarsman join the standard crew aboard the new vessel, and Ralph David is ready to go hunting again!

American operations around their home island. Along with Ralph David getting a new ship, the Bonhomme Richard and Paladin are now fully repaired, giving RD a proper squadron! Of course, the Americans aren’t yet aware of the Pirate megalaunch, in which case David would certainly want to wait for the Georgetown and Gold Eagle to repair as well. Notice the new set of canoes at Ruby Island.

The Brandywine was launched for her ability to ignore terrain, as the Americans plan to send her east of Ruby Island and into new territory. The Sioux, Cleveland, and Saratoga were all purchased to further reinforce the squadron that Preble eventually anticipates taking The Flat with. At the top of the frame, the Springfield was launched to carry the tribal chieftain for the new canoes, and also to serve as a cheerleader ship in home waters. She currently tows the Minuteman flotilla, the first one launched by the Americans! The Springfield is certainly a very odd ship, with an extremely high point cost and base move for a 3 master (along with low cargo), but these games allow her to shine a bit more than usual. They certainly aren’t new ships, but the Providence and Louisiana have loaded some army units to be taken to the lumber island west of The Flat. The Americans are preparing for potential war with France, and want to defend their border as best they can if the French strike first. (which you can tell is unlikely from what little French gunships there are, but keep in mind that even the Americans aren’t aware of the Harbor itself yet…)

A few notes to flesh out this shorter report.

-I have begun running out of not just actual crew and equipment chips, but even the little paper ones that I originally made for new players that have the main generic crew (captains, helmsmen, explorers, oarsmen) on them. To solve this problem I am planning to write things on the back of the ones I’m not using, which are mostly just the explorers. I will most likely abbreviate, so if you see things like that in a deckplate picture, my general plan is FPS=firepot specialist, FS=fire shot, GS=grape shot, SPS=stinkpot specialist, etc etc.

-Partly because they technically have no masts and partly because they are very effective for their point costs, I have decided that native canoes are not subject to the 2 hits per mast elimination rule. Therefore each canoe will still sink after a single hit. (and partly because it would be very difficult to balance a marker die on any part of them!)

With that, the heat wave is nearly over!! Between that and my vastly increased availability on Wednesday-Saturday (in this case Thursday-Saturday since today was still very hot), things are about to REV UP in this game!! Very Happy I am hoping to play quite a bunch the next three days, although with the game likely surpassing 3,500 total points with today’s launches, one turn per day may still be quite a lengthy affair haha. Many exciting developments are likely just around the corner, as well as some new discoveries even after about 50 turns have passed! (and since I am excited about breaking the record from CG1, I may do another point count as early as Saturday)

Command the Oceans – CTO becomes the biggest game of all time (already!) (9/28/2017)

What the heck is going on?! 

Now that I’ve reached Turn 50 and a considerable amount of stuff has happened, I think it’s a good time for the first recap of the game.

Oceans and rooms:
Sea of Allost: first ocean in the turn order, with the Pirates, Jade Rebellion, and Cursed
Caribbean: second ocean in the turn order, with the English and Spanish
-those oceans are both in “room 1” if you will
Sea of Karkuda: third and final ocean in the turn order, with the French and Americans

Fleet locations in play order:
Pirates: Far east in the Sea of Allost
Jade Rebellion: Southwest in the Sea of Allost
Cursed: Northwest in the Sea of Allost
English: East in the Caribbean
Spanish: West in the Caribbean
French: Northeast in the Sea of Karkuda
Americans: Far west in the Sea of Karkuda

What has happened:

Pirates: Have had nearly no conflict thus far, and have not started conflict with any faction. Currently sourcing textiles, metals, spices, and sometimes gold from their 4 wild islands for one of the best economies in the game.

Jade Rebellion: Only have one wild island, but the textiles it produced have been in the upper half of values (4 gold or more apiece) through all 8 resource changes. However the island changed to produce spices, the least valuable resource on average that has ironically been the only resource to never be in the top half of values, always worth 3 or less. After multiple investigations, finally found the evil Cursed faction and declared war after being attacked by them.

Cursed: Purchasing a powerful sea dragon early in the game, the Cursed have benefited from special house rules in addition to finding super valuable coins on a northern island. The luxuries on Broken Horn Island have also provided a solid source for launches. Currently engaged in all-out war against the Jade Rebellion which is taking a major toll on both sides. Also a “secret faction” until the readers discovered them through the eyes of the Jade Rebels.

English: Established a strong presence at Diamond Rock early in the game which has only grown stronger with time. They have massively benefited from how amazing textiles have been, and now have beaten the Spanish in a few battles.

Spanish: A slow and cautious start was mostly fixed by finding gold and metals on Paradise Island, where they now have a strong presence in addition to the formidable Fortaleza Dorada. Still losing their war to the English and are overly reliant on metals (usually worth 1 or 6 lately) to fuel their efforts.

French: The most isolated faction of the game until recently, the French were unaware of other factions for most of the turns so far. Found immense quantities of food (fish) on their closest islands, which they now have huge quantities of on the docks of their Harbor. More recently they have discovered other resources and won a small victory over the Americans, who they briefly had an alliance with.

Americans: With many islands very close to their home island, the Americans have an economy that rivals that of the Pirates and the French. Preble has whipped them into imperial shape and they have gone on a tear recently, but constant whirlpool frustrations and some overzealousness has delayed their progress of late.

Alliances:
Americans/French (already broken)

Wars (with instigator listed first):
English vs. Spanish: English winning, but timely Spanish launches when metals skyrocket in value has kept things largely in check
Cursed vs. Jade Rebellion: JR’s declared war after Cursed dragon attacks. With 2 major battles concluded (both indecisive for the most part) and another one ongoing, this one is ugly, bloody, full of hate and with no end in sight.

What is happening:

Pirates: Recently took over the points lead from the Cursed with a megalaunch, the Pirates look very strong and appear ready to finally strike back against the Americans after Ralph David led two American whirlpool expeditions against the Pirates.

Jade Rebellion: Struggling a bit with spices never valuable, they are simply fighting the Cursed and want to win at all costs.

Cursed: With a solid economy fueling their war effort against the Jades, the Cursed have long-term plans that have been put on hold by the frequent and intense battles.

English: Finally satisfied with the fortifications on Diamond Rock, the English have turned their attention to Spanish-controlled Paradise Island and have been assembling a major squadron to attack it.

Spanish: Fighting to stay alive!

French: Fully established control of The Flat but really hoping for food to become valuable so they can beat the Americans back and continue exploring Karkuda in peace.

Americans: Reeling from their loss to the French and major damages due to whirlpool failures, the Americans are still looking strong due to their great economy.

What will happen?/Future plans

Pirates: Want to explore west of their kingdom, and strike back against the Americans with a whirlpool squadron of their own.

Jade Rebellion: Defeat the Cursed, kill Shal-Bala, and finally get around to exploring the Sea of Allost properly and possibly finding trade partners and allies.

Cursed: Kill the Rebel scum! Then, execute grand plans with a long-term “solution” for any opposition….

English: Drive the Spanish out of the Caribbean and establish total English hegemony! Afterwards, get whirlpool ready and figure out what lies beyond, where the Americans must have come from….

Spanish: Take Diamond Rock and look for allies in other oceans if necessary.

French: Get Nemo and the Nautilus back and explore all of Karkuda.

Americans: Take The Flat, go after the Pirates in the Sea of Allost and establish an American Empire!

~~~~~

Turns 50 and 51 were played today! The size of the game is completely spiraling out of control, and into completely unknown territory.

With little anticipation since the previous few rolls hadn’t been 1’s, I did the extra roll at the beginning of each turn to see if the resources would change at all. I was surprised to see that for the first time since instituting the rule below, I rolled a 1!

In case you forgot:
A round of turns begins with the d6 roll. A 1 is rolled (on a 2-6 the resources stay the same, until a 1 is rolled on some other turn). Since a 1 was rolled, roll again. If the second roll is a 2-6 (anything other than a 1), the resources only change value for that turn. On the next turn, they revert back to whatever they were on the previous round, or a different system is once again agreed upon by all players (such as starting over with regular EE rolls, or using the system described in this example). However, if the second roll is a 1, the current EE rolls are disregarded, and new rolls are made (both for values and duration).

This promotes more resource randomness, and makes the game more exciting and less predictable! The second roll was a 3, meaning that resources would only change value for this turn, which happened to be the milestone Turn 50. However, the third and final roll (for resource values on this specific turn) was the most shocking and crazy of all!! A FIVE was rolled!!! This meant that food would be worth 6 gold apiece for the first time in ages! O_O Suddenly, things were shaken up completely in terms of purchasing power! If you remember from the last handful of reports, both factions in the Sea of Karkuda have been stockpiling enormous amounts of food, which suddenly went from 1 to 6 in value per token!! The French and Americans rejoiced and as soon as the 5 came up I knew they would go completely bonkers with launchings. XD With that in mind, no wonder I could barely even finish Turn 51 today lol.

The Pirates begin their turn by attacking the Westminster, an English ship that had come through the whirlpool near Pistol Island on the previous turn! With the ship already missing a mast due to whirlpool damage, the Pirates were able to dismast the ship, needing the Sunrise Fire to finish the job since the Deliverance couldn’t use her L-range cannons.

The Royal Rover is underneath the ledge of Mission’s Kingdom for a reason – the Pirates have upgraded Bartholomew Roberts! Paying 12 gold, here is my custom version, which is based on history and how Black Bart was able to capture a ton of ships in his career.

Bartholomew Roberts
Pirate crew
18 points
Captain. Reroll. This ship can tow a ship by touching a derelict in any location (not just the bow), and can immediately initiate towing after resolving any action. This crew can be assigned to any ship of the same nationality regardless of point costs; if this crew’s cost is greater than the ship, no other crew or equipment can be assigned to that ship.

The new Pirate fleet from their megalaunch departs the upgraded fort of Dead Man’s Point and joins the existing Pirate ships!

Uh oh! Although the Pirates use some gold to launch the Bruja at the island, it has run out of textiles!! This is the first Pirate-controlled wild island to run out of a resource.

To the west!

Elsewhere in the Sea of Allost, the Sea Tiger finds that spices are no longer on the JR wild island – food is found instead!! I wanted to make Turn 50 something special, and it was turning out to be just that!

The Polaris rams an icewreck:

The Grand Path retreats with half her masts standing, as the Jades know they can’t afford to lose another capital ship. The Grand Mountain and Asgard take her place, killing Tiamat!

With the Naegling also retreating from battle, Olof Linstrom gets off a shot at the last second to sink the derelict Lilu! It was a good turn for the Jades, as they permanently eliminated two Cursed game pieces from play.

The Cursed strike back! The Asgard loses a mast and her crew are paralyzed by Fear, which would slow her on the next turn if she hadn’t been pinned as well. The Serpent’s Fang hits with a firepot to put the Grand Path in danger! However, the GP is already approaching the Jade HI and will likely make it back in time.

The Monkey’s Paw only hits the Glorious Treasure once. After a few ships have sunk and the damaged fleeing for repairs, the battle area is considerably less crowded. At the right, the Hellfire and Nightmare return to the Roost for repairs in addition to a new captain for the Hellfire.

The Half Moon is surprised to find that spices have replaced textiles as the resource on Diamond Rock!! Similar to the Pirate finding, this is the first time all game that the English have experienced either a resource shortage or a random change.

With the English whirlpool squadron failing as miserably as the Americans’, the Westminster manages to return to the Caribbean on oar power and reports to the captain of the Resolution on the Pirate attack.

Speaking of attack, it was finally time for the English to strike! The Ark Royal would be the first ship in the battle, and the English were ready to initiate the (First) Battle of Paradise Island!! With a predictably lame outcome, the Broadsides Attack failed with a 1. XD

The English open up their gunports and resume the next phase of their war against the Spanish! The Santa Catalina and Armada take damage, while the Anunciada and Catedral del Mar are set aflame! The Catedral was the hardest ship hit, being blasted by both the Serapis and Victor. A view of the action from the top of Diamond Rock:

With a view from the southeast, you can see the Durham at the upper right. She hits 1/2 and does slight damage to Fortaleza Dorada. The English want to destroy the fort and claim the island as their own.

I like the natural daylight effect of not using the flash and seeing the various shadows, but sometimes using the flash can illuminate things brilliantly.

The Spanish strike back, although it is mostly ineffective. The Royal loses a mast but the Anunciada’s fire spreads, dooming the ship before she can even fire a shot….

Fire everywhere! The Extremadura’s fire shot backfired, but the Catedral hit the Serapis with her firepot specialist to make more smoke and flame:

Even more! The Santa Ana sails into the fray on the far side of Paradise Island, and combines with the fort to take two masts off the Durham.

Reinforcements on the way! Spain is eager for her 5 new gunships to reach the battle area:

A rare shot from the northwest:

Continuing the trend of random resource changes all across the seas, the French find that metals are produced on their northeastern island instead of textiles! However, the French are far more concerned with a different resource…

FOOD! With an insanely massive stockpile saved up for quite some time now, the French can finally cash in their food for gold!! The tokens here combined with the amount they had saved off-camera (on an index card I mentioned earlier so I don’t have to go searching for coins all the time only to have them converted to gold in the long run) gave the French a whopping 99food tokens!!

You can quickly note that 99*6 gold apiece = 594 gold, and the French combined it with metals and gold from their home island to spend a ridiculous 639 gold all on one turn!! O_O

In fact, the launchings of Turn 50 represent a potential “road to war” or a massive GEARING UP if you will, at which point you may want to listen to this throughout the rest of the report as an excellent buildup/rising tension song.

The French launch 16 new ships! That may seem very low for that amount of gold, and it is, but for a good reason…

40 of the gold was spent on 4 new docks, doubling the total number of docks in the Harbor to 8! You can see them here in the upper right and upper left corners of the Harbor. The French needed them just to launch all the new stuff!

On the east side of the Harbor, you can see some of the new capital ships. The Superbe, Ville de Paris, and Corse are visible, as are the Belle Etoile, Eroica, and Argus.

On the west side of the Harbor, more new ships everywhere! The Libellule, Pluton, and Pique will be cargo ships, while the Delacroix, Gaule, and Hercule are launched for war. Check out the little “sick bay” dock at the upper right, where the captured Congress will soon begin repairing! This is similar to my old HFS harbors, where deep and recessed parts of the harbor is where the most severely damaged ships would be repaired over long periods of time. On the Royal Louis (RotF version with Parley) you can see why the French only got 16 ships for all that gold – check out the blue fort upgrade token (250 gold purchase price) on the main deck! O_O

With a rare view from the north, you can see the docking system the French have built in the Harbor. The Charlemagne is another French 5 master that was launched, one of five such major capital ships. From the deckplate picture you may have noticed a few odd ships as well – the French plan to actually use the Solitaire and Crete Argentee in this game since points are of almost no issue and their cheerleader abilities could help out a large squadron during a battle.

The French Harbor is complete! (likely, at least for now)

An impressive display of riches and power:

To the Americans! Preble returns from the Caribbean, albeit with even more damage than the President sustained on the way out. Ralph David’s newest Pirate-hunting squadron, consisting of the Constitution, Bonhomme Richard, and Paladin, is ready to set sail through the whirlpool! On the islands, notice that even more resource changes have taken place, as Ruby Island now produces spices instead of metals and Luck Island has run dry for the second time in the game.

The Frontier loads resources for the first time, using her hoist to grab some lumber! The Intrepid joins the American squadron off The Flat, increasing their numbers to six gunships strong.

More reinforcements! The Providence and Louisiana are still ferrying resources, but carry some army units to the lumber island. The other three ships in the foreground can make the American Flat squadron number 9 gunships.

The French had more food saved up than any resource stockpile of any other faction, but the Americans had a ton as well! They cashed in 74 food tokens (25 less than the French, but still a ton) and combine it with a small bit of gold for a windfall of 459 gold! Then, they immediately spent 365 of it! No less than 21 ships are launched, even more than the French put forth! (I have even started running out of paper crew chips in addition to the real ones, so I’m writing things like “H 2” on the backs of useless explorers to denote helmsmen and the like. Of course I know that a helmsman costs 2 points, but I’m writing it to make the point counts faster.)

The Americans just barely fit all their new ships at their home island! A perfect fit! XD

The Americans placed their ships strategically in the right positions, with the fastest ships sailing out first and certain objectives leading to certain parts of the island that a ship is launched at. The Jarvis and Boston for example, have abilities and crew aboard to let them be dedicated fort wreckers, which the Americans need to retake The Flat. The Americans are determined to expand further east into Karkuda and have launched ships designated as troop transports to expand their “empire”. The Carolina, Jackson, Atlanta and Bartlett are carrying three army units each, and all have been given orders to reinforce American positions on islands and beaches. Many small but effective gunships have been launched, mostly for the purpose of potential war with France.

After an insane 5 HOUR Turn 50, I was finally able to continue! XD

Turn 51 begins with the Deliverance jumping into the whirlpool near the Pirate Kingdom! She improbably rolls a 3 to emerge from the Caribbean whirlpool, which means that suddenly the Pirates are aware of the Caribbean as the home of the English!! This also means that the Pirates have access to all 4 other whirlpools without needing to roll for location when they travel from their southern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost! Not only that, but Havana Black sacced an oarsman to give the Deliverance an extra action coming out of the whirlpool, and attacked!!

And they’re here! The Pirates are in the Caribbean!! XD

The entire Pirate whirlpool squadron surges forth, not needing to roll a 3 as they simply followed the Deliverance’s lead. With their exploratory whirlpool squadron quite successful (finding both other oceans without too much difficulty), the new launches from Dead Man’s Point will now have an easy time finding some Americans to take down…

… as the Flying Fish ironically gets things going! The Pirates thought it would be funny to send the captured American ship to the Sea of Karkuda first. It did trick the Americans for a moment, until Ralph David realized that the ship was now crewed by his least favorite thing in the world: Pirates!!

ATTACK!!! The four Pirate ships that used to guard Dead Man’s Point surge through the whirlpool after the Flying Fish, with the Fool’s Hope being given an AA from Captain Elizabeth Swann (aboard the Black Heart back in the Sea of Allost) to attack the Constitution and Ralph David himself! The Constitution and Bonhomme Richard are damaged, and the Constitution loses her oarsman and part of a mast in the lost boarding party.

In the Sea of Allost, the Golden Medusa is guarding the whirlpool while more Pirate gunships make their way to it! After being extremely crowded, Dead Man’s Point seems strangely empty, with textiles no longer being produced on the island and all of the Pirate ships setting sail. The squadron of effective but small Pirate support gunships have headed east, as they will not brave whirlpool damage due to their size.

From the mainmast of the patrol ship Cutlass, an imposing sight. The Sea Nymph is in the foreground, but in the background you can see 3 of the most dangerous ships to ever sail the waves: the Revenant, Harbinger, and Victoire, all ready to fight with various double action crew. At the right, Mission smiles in glee at his success and good fortune, and has joined up with the “super squadron” of sorts….

DMP isn’t empty for long! With metals once more becoming the most valuable resource as the values reset (a 4 roll for 3 turns, with 2 turns left including this one), the Pirates continued their absurd spending rate, launching 5 ships from the upgraded fort. 4 of them have the home island raiding ability, in an ominous and dangerous homage to the past perhaps? The Lady Newport also comes into play along with some infantry units to help guard the fort.

A wide shot of the declining JR-Cursed situation. At the left, the Dragon’s Talon has taken the derelict Sea Phoenix under tow, as she has 9 points of crew aboard and carries some nice 2S guns. The Proud Tortoise sails behind the stern of the towed ship, hoping her L-immunity will prevent the Monkey’s Paw from interfering and trying to sink the SP. However, on their turn the Cursed simply used Tsuro to move the SP into a fog bank where she is lost forever, essentially sinking the ship! At the upper right, notice that the Jades have not retreated from the battle entirely: the Grand Mountain sets the Serpent’s Fang aflame with exploding shot! In addition, the Beowulf and Asgard damage Maxehebel as the Polaris destroys an icewreck once and for all.

In a terrible spot, the crew of the Westminster decide to row back into the whirlpool, rolling a 4 to emerge in the Sea of Karkuda! The Resolution does the noble thing and blocks the Deliverance while shooting at her, likely sacrificing herself in the process. However, the English aren’t used to Havana Black and his “ghostly” ship….

Carnage mounts near Paradise Island! The Royal does major damage to Armada, while the Serapis suffers a setback when her own fire shot backfires just a turn after the same thing happened to her sparring partner, the Extremadura! The fast Ark Royal and Victor shoot the gap in the Spanish line, breaking it! (this was not planned or staged to look like historical Royal Navy tactics haha)

The Ark Royal tries another Broadsides Attack, and this one connects!! The Alquimista loses 2 masts and the English have directly struck Spanish trade!

A view directly above the stern of the Lord Kettering. At the left, the Malton is mostly obscured behind Diamond Rock. At the right, HMS Durham scurries home to extinguish her fire, letting a bigger ship take her place…

Admiral Thomas Gunn and HMS Lord Algernon officially enter the fray!! The Lord Algernon easily dismasted the Catedral del Mar and then set Fortaleza Dorada aflame with her firepot specialist! At the right, more English ships have joined the battle! The Granville used double shot and fire shot perfectly to set the valuable Santa Ana on fire, while the Resistance used an AA from Owen (CRGO) to blast away at the fort!

Paradise Island is starting to resemble hell instead, with the deafening roar of cannons amid constant smoke and fire:

Believe it or not, Thomas Gunn almost turned the Lord Algernon around when he heard news about the Pirate attack in the south. Figuring his other gunships could take care of the threat and that he needed to concentrate on the Spanish in the far north, he stuck to his plan and his guns. At the right, three English ships are launched to counter the Pirate threat: the Plantagenet (+1 to cannon rolls against Pirate ships), Henry VIII, and Orkney.

Spanish reinforcements arrive! However, only two ships were in range of English vessels this turn. The Cristal del Obispo dealt damage to the Victor and Royal, with the Lady’s Scorn missing 0/3 against the Royal. The Granada has become entangled in a sargasso sea, while the Corazon del Mar and Reconquistador look to get into action soon.

After some nice maneuvering by the Spanish, both flotillas in the area were able to shoot at the Ark Royal, nearly dismasting the ship and also killing all three of her crew due to Armada’s ability.

The fire inside Fortaleza Dorada spreads! However, the Santa Ana has a nice turn, docking at the fort to eliminate her own fire while simultaneously setting the Resistance aflame with her own firepot specialist! The Resistance also lost her mizzenmast from the fort’s artillery barrage. (the fort didn’t shoot at the Lord Algernon since 3/5 of the Lord Algernon’s cannons are L-range and the fort would need to hit all three times to get past the Lord Algernon’s ability and eliminate a mast)

Paradise no more? Spanish soldiers struggle to extinguish the blaze at Fortaleza Dorada:

With metals worth 6 gold apiece once more, the Spanish cashed theirs in for 36 gold to get two gunships they would need. The Profeta is very boring but the Asesino de la Nave was possiblythe first ship I ever built, and definitely one of my first 4 ships ever! Her foremast was broken a bit long ago but the tape job has held great over the years and she is ready to fight once more!

-Back to the Sea of Karkuda-

After going rogue, Nemo has continued to pilot the Nautilus south of French waters, and here you can see his submerged vessel coming upon a large black rocky structure!! O_O

The Nautilus disappears into that opening you saw, and suddenly Nemo is gone!!! O_O

Introducing: Captain Nemo’s Mercenary Submarine Hideout!!

Now it is clear why Nemo went rogue! After being hired by the French, Nemo knew there was a chance he’d be able to conveniently “escape” from his employer in order to take refuge in a classic Mercenary base. Knowing that his old hideout was somewhere south of the French Harbor, Nemo took a risk and made a break for it. The submarine hideout has been in the Sea of Karkuda the entire time, but it was abandoned after a falling out among the Mercenaries stationed there. However, it is still operational! The submarine hideout was a naturally black rock with natural sea caves inside and underneath it. Since discovering it, Captain Nemo has heavily modified the island to suit his needs. Using typically advanced Mercenary technology, Nemo installed steel doors designed to look like wood or light-colored vegetation from the outside. The doors are mechanically operated and Mercenary submarines can open and close the doors whenever they want!

The western side (for this game) of the hideout, showing the other doors at the base. Each of the four sides has two doors that Nemo and his comrades built. I wonder what Nemo will do now – hide out and wait for the French to forget about him, or even open up use of the hideout to the French and play along that he was helping them the whole time?

Back at the Harbor, the French depart! Only a few ships are coming in, while the new launches go out. Certainly unrealistic from a logistical perspective, but the French know what they’re doing! XD The Pluton is the only ship completely unable to move in the logjam, and soon French ships will be swarming all over the place.

No shots fired here! Guy LaPlante hails the remaining crew of the dismasted Westminster, who narrowly escaped capture in her own home waters of the Caribbean after the Pirate attack. Some words are exchanged, and the French learn that the Pirates seem to be a dangerous foe with a penchant for sneak attacks. The English crew say they wouldn’t mind some help, but the French respond that they have no idea how to get to the Caribbean and are busy reinforcing their weak position at The Flat. A bit of a surprise – Anglo-French peace in their first encounter of the game:

The first batch of reinforcements arrive at The Flat, though it’s not much. The Dijon drops off some army units, while the Bonaparte takes the place of La Possession, who still may go through the whirlpool soon if Gaston or Lenoir gives the order and the French don’t need the ship in a potential fight with the Americans.

Oh wow, total carnage in the deep southwest! The Americans launch a counterattack against the hated Pirates, doing major damage. At this point, ALL Americans are beginning to hate the Pirates. Ralph David had convinced some of them a while back, but now the American fleet has a Pirate invasion on their doorstep! David himself nearly goes into a rage when the Constitution rolls two 1’s in a row to start her broadside against the Recreant, but rolled a 6 and a 2 to (barely) set the ship aflame.

At the lower right, BOTH the Paladin and Brandywine hit the Accused with firepots, dooming one of the best 3 masted Pirate gunships in the game. The Bonhomme Richard blasts the Fool’s Hope, and the captured Flying Fish is the only ship not damaged in the attack.

A busy scene: canoes go home with newly found spices, new cargo ships join old ones in the trip to Luck Island, and at the top of the frame Preble has returned home to repair and launch some new ships to counter the Pirates with. The United States lumbers forward but will take some time to reach the battle area.

Mass departure! The Sea of Karkuda is becoming VERY busy, an absolute hotspot of activity that may only increase in intensity over time!

The Americans send MASS reinforcements to augment their half-dozen ships currently stationed west of The Flat. No less than 10 proper gunships are headed east, with some other captained ships (like the Philadelphia and New Orleans, launched to capture enemy ships) and troop transports joining them. The Providence has already begun unloading troops at the lumber island, while the Louisiana carries an artillery unit. Talk about GEARING up!! XD

With 365 gold spent last turn and 88 this turn, the Americans have introduced an additional 453 points into the western 1/3 of Karkuda in one day. Combine that with the Pirate squadron showing up through the whirlpool, the huge French launch, and the English discovering Karkuda and the French faction in general, and the Sea of Karkuda is absolutely blowing up!

The 4 new American ships. The Saratoga shields Preble’s President from harm, while 3 nice SCS ships make their entrances: the Appalachian, Overton, and Hudson. At the right and upper right, the Destiny and 4 US blockade runners make their way towards the Pirate battle, since the Americans have already sent a large squadron east towards the French and the Americans don’t know if more Pirates are coming!

With that, a big day of play comes to a close. Launches alone took a huge amount of time, and I can say that over 1,100 new points were introduced to the game today. The French and Americans alone combined for over 1,000 gold spent!! This is why I said above that the game is entering completely unknown territory. Assuming the game had already reached around 3,600 total points at the start of the day, it is now likely over 4,600. Shocked O_O Things are becoming completely insanely ridiculous to the point of total nonsense. XD Just kidding, it’s manageable but definitely gigantic to an extreme lol. As a result, the average turn may take about two and a half hours for the foreseeable future, and that’s without any megalaunches of 200+ gold. If you’re wondering, I still plan to do a point count soon, likely after I (hopefully) complete a full turn on Saturday.

Many, MANY developments are still to come. As I hinted at with the song, things are just boiling at a high temperature right now. The tension is rising in all 3 oceans to the point of absolute bedlam all around the world. The future is unclear, but one thing is for certain: TOTAL CHAOS AWAITS. O_O

Command the Oceans – Big developments and big battles! (9/29/2017)

Here is the report for Turns 52 and 53!

Here we start in the Sea of Karkuda instead of the Sea of Allost, as the Pirates are in combat with the Americans! The Fool’s Hope surges forward and rams Preble’s own ship, the President!! However, the fires aboard threaten to consume the ship.

It really is a true Pirate invasion! No less than 5 new ships emerge from the whirlpool, with 4 gunships and the Rum Runner, who has HI raider Villanueva aboard.

The Accused survives! Due to how powerful fire has been in this game (too powerful in many circumstances), I have made a custom rule where a ship can extinguish all its fires if it rolls a 4-6 after the regular whirlpool damage roll (basically ships that are burning roll an extra time when going through a whirlpool, but this roll can only help them and not hurt them). The Recreant doesn’t put out her fire, but she also avoids losing her final mast, and it’s possible that the Pirates will be able to repair both ships! In the meantime, even more Pirate ships approach the whirlpool, looking to absolutely flood the American area with piracy!

Havana Black turns the Deliverance ghostly to sail through English ships!! The Deliverance uses her first action to dismast the Honu Iki (directly smashing English trade!), but misses with her other shots.

The Otter and Madagascar use their handy shipwrights to repair, while the Sunrise Fire discovers the Duke shipwreck! The Pirates are annoyed at seeing the wreck of a fellow pirate ship, and get angry when they assume the English are responsible.

The booming of cannons! The Deliverance uses a sac action to ghost through the Wycliffe and shoot at her from the southern side, hitting 4/5 to take off two masts. The Feathered Hat and Dragon’s Breath surround the Resolution and dismast her!

I know it’s a bit silly with a giant Mickey Mouse watching over the events lol, but I like taking sea level shots like this sometimes. I like how the gold from the Duke shipwreck leads straight to the last coin residing there. A bunch of masts are in the distance, and the giant Diamond Rock completely obscures Paradise Island.

Captain Mission has wanted to explore west of the Pirates’ Kingdom area for some time now, and he finally gets a squadron ready for the task! Not far west of the Gold island, the squadron discovers what they had seen from a distance in the past: a huge WALL of fog!!

What could lie beyond? It looks dark and intimidating.

Well, I could only keep this a secret for so long! The mass of fog hides one of the creations I’m MOST excited about….

Calico Cat got her extra action, and the Revenant bravely sails into the fog!

With the Revenant almost completely disappearing from view, Mission aboard the Crusher is now about as unsure as he’s been all game!

The Pirates purchase an artillery unit to be stationed at Dead Man’s Point, and also launch a new ship. The Lady’s Scorn (RotF version) will be Jean Lafitte’s new ship. He has captained the Grand Barnacle for a while now, but transferring him to the LS will give him a built-in reroll for his AA ability in addition to freeing a cargo space on the Grand Barnacle. The home island raiders have departed the island, while the 2 masted gunships are on general patrol duty.

The Hrunting completes her repairs, while the Grand Path gets home to put out her fire mast and do some repairs of her own. At the edges of the picture you can see other Viking ships coming in for repairs: the Naegling, Grendel, and Huginn.

The Beowulf rams and absolutely CRUSHES an iceberg and splits it cleanly in half! The shipwreck that was the driving force behind it immediately falls into the water and begins sinking. The icebreakers’ shots against the Serpent’s Fang tell, dismasting her and making a statement!

The Polaris destroys an iceberg, and the western half of Allost is looking a lot cleaner of late. At the right, the Grand Mountain is burning badly and turns around for eventual repairs.

Not backing down from the fight, Jade turtle ships again engage the Monkey’s Paw in swarm fashion! I believe this is the third time in three major battles between the two factions where this has happened: the Monkey’s Paw fighting nearly alone against a host of JR turtle ships.

The Naegling and Hrothgar are in need of major repairs, and the Glorious Treasure will join them:

The Monkey’s Paw rolls very effectively for Fear, which will cause minor trouble for the Dragon’s Talon and Proud Tortoise. The MP then moves south and combines with Silver Coffin to blast panels off the Floating Stone.

The Cursed island that has produced gold all game has finally run out! Luckily for the Cursed, just a turn later they find textiles! (that face down coin is the Trees UT)

Broken Horn Island now produces lumber instead of luxuries!

I forgot to mention it last report, but the Cursed finally finished repairing the captured Grand Temple and Divine Wind! They used the trade-in rules to get rid of those ships and get new Cursed ships! The GT has turned into the Divine Dragon, my original Cursed flagship and a veteran of MANY great games, as those of you who have read some of my oldest reports would know. She is in great condition and joined by the Hades’ Realm, another great Cursed gunship. Combine those with the Sickle, Madness, and Hellfire (the latter two being repaired just recently) and the Cursed have a strong presence at the main entrance to the Roost. At the right, the derelict Serpent’s Fang was able to put out her fire from earlier and rows into a fog bank.

Back to the Caribbean!

HMS Apollo misses both of her shots, but the Metal Dragon and Wycliffe team up to eliminate masts from the Deliverance and set the ship aflame!

Braving a reef (where a roll of 3 or lower would wreck the ship!), the Resolution rows towards the English home island, knowing she could be sunk or captured if she didn’t take the risk. Beyond her, the Caradoc and Plantagenet are ready to provide support next turn, daring the Pirates to come across the reef in the meantime.

To counter the sudden Pirate threat, the English mobilize their reserve gunships that were stationed south of Diamond Rock. The Burma, King John, and Guy Fawkes answer the call, while the Duke of York continues to stand guard against the Spanish. At the upper right, the Lady Provost has taken the Honu Iki under tow while the Cheshire loads spices.

Back at the First Battle of Paradise Island, the Serapis is doomed to her fires! However, the Santa Ana is pummeled by the Granville and Lord Algernon, losing two more masts and her cannoneer!

In the shadow of Diamond Rock, war rages on. The Granada is damaged, but the English aren’t able to cripple the larger Cristal and Voz de Dios.

From the guns atop Diamond Rock, you can see that the English warships have raked the bows of the Spanish:

An effective Spanish counterattack! The Cristal gets stuck in the sargasso sea while maneuvering for a better position, but the Victor takes damage and the Malton and Lord Kettering are hit as well. The Extremadura had a nice turn, docking at the fort to eliminate her fire mast while simultaneously shooting to dismast the Ark Royal. At the lower right, the Royal has lost her final mast. Notice the Santa Ana scurrying away! She got an extra action and decided the damage she could do with 2 shots was not nearly worth being sunk or captured. The Spanish are desperate not to give up on Fortaleza Dorada, but they made the right move here to try and preserve one of their best ships. Notice that the Spanish cargo ships have stopped towing the flotillas – in another nice move, the Spanish leave the very expendable flotillas near the fort to preserve some firepower there and cover the damaged ships’ retreat.

Looks like 3 on 3 at this point, but those flotillas are pouring a heavy fire into the Victor!

Back to the Sea of Karkuda!

What’s that!? One of the doors to Nemo’s sub hideout is opening!

And another opens on the other side!

The Mercenaries are here!!

Nemo has officially gone rogue to start his own Mercenary faction! He was given 30 gold to start a fleet, just like the other factions at the start of the game. With it he commissioned the Mobilis with linked crew Eileen Brigid O’Brien and a helmsman, and the Devil Ray with a helmsman.

The Mobilis discovers a brand-new island!! This is Fish Island, named for the distinctive shape of the shell, not the resource. XD Especially if you look at the island upside-down, it could look like a fish jumping out of the water with a fin, tail, mouth, and eye!

Nemo accompanies the Devil Ray in the Nautilus:

The French are up next in the turn order, as the Mercenaries will go first of the (now) three factions in the Sea of Karkuda. Guy LaPlante was hired for diplomacy, not war, and sends the Possession through the northern whirlpool! In a potentially chaotic result, the ship takes damage and emerges from the southwestern whirlpool of the same ocean! Uh-oh!!

French army units are moving north across The Flat, where a ton of French ships are headed. Just outside the Harbor wall, the Westminster is rowing away from the whirlpool? I wonder where she’s heading? One thing is for sure: her crew don’t know if the Pirates are still swarming around the Caribbean whirlpool, so the crew don’t want to risk a potentially fatal return trip.

The mass departure from the French Harbor continues. At the upper right, an important crew swap has taken place. Admiral Gaston de St. Croix has left the Soleil Royal to board the Bourbon, a ship with built-in reroll perfect for his AA ability. The Soleil retains Duncan Rousseau and a helmsman, but receives more fighting crew as well. Gaston is still the supreme French commander (at least for now), but he will lead from afar and trust his senior officers aboard the capital ships to lead in any battles.

And now we go right into the thick of the fight! This is the hottest and most crowded action in the game right now. Back at the American whirlpool and home island, the Pirates and Americans have become locked in a death struggle. The Saratoga and United States pulverize the Fool’s Hope from both sides, toppling her final two masts. The Pirates are fine with that, since Eternal will warp the ship home once she succumbs to the flames. The Lady’s Scorn has two fires of her own burning as well after another devastating broadside from Brent Rice’s Bonhomme Richard.

Ralph David shoots at his former ship (the Flying Fish) aboard the Constitution. At the right, the Rum Runner uses Parley to avoid being shot at by the Paladin.

In a not-so-surprising move, the Brandywine sails up and fires point-blank into the Possession!! Guy LaPlante is knocked over by a blast, which sets the ship aflame! American-French tension has been rising recently, and all American captains have been told to engage French ships as they see fit.

The Americans spend even more gold, which may put them at over 500 gold spent over 3 turns. The Saratoga, Hannah, Vermont, and Septem Maria are launched to help out against the Pirates and possibly against the French eventually as well. Preble is shaken by his near-death experience with the Fool’s Hope, but this only makes him more focused and determined to win!

Due to the schooners repairing and the battle just to the south, only one canoe from the new set can dock.

The American Armada just keeps coming! O_O

….

Turn 53 marked the need for new resource rolls!! After 4 turns of chaos and bloodshed, what result would dictate the next stage of the game??

A 5 is rolled for value and duration! This means that food is once again the most valuable resource, just as it was on the monumental Turn 50 and at various points early in the game. The Sea of Karkuda is already becoming extremely crowded, and with food readily available to the French and sometimes the Americans, that is not likely to change anytime soon! This change hurt the English the most, but all the other factions have decent resources available with the new values.

Seeing 4+ fresh English gunships approaching from the northwest, and new launches coming out from the northeast, Havana Black decides to pull his whirlpool squadron out of the Caribbean for a break! The Pirates announced their presence to the English in grand style, and did some big damage to the Honu Iki, Wycliffe, and Resolution. However, this squadron is mostly exploratory, and isn’t meant to be lost on one expedition. Therefore, they are retreating for now so they can repair and decide on their next mission. (Mission has given Black full control of the squadron, so he can do as he wants with it) It looks like the right move, since the Sunrise Fire was the only ship of the 6 not to lose a mast to the whirlpool on the return trip! The Deliverance put out her fire with a regular 5-6 roll before the return trip, so no worries there.

At the top, those infantry units were recently unloaded at the gold island by the Paradox.

Oh my god. The Pirates send 5 more ships to the American whirlpool! It’s an utter logjam!! XD

Here the flash illuminates the battlefield, which is becoming crowded to the point of madness. If you’re confused, I’ll try to make some sense of it. Directly northwest of the whirlpool, the Pirates have an impromptu “line of battle” with the Lady’s Scorn, Ballista, Delight, and Jape. The Centurion is accidentally trapped between the Delight and Ballista by coincidence, but at least it shields her from enemy fire haha. At the bottom, three Pirate 4 masters have emerged right at the edge of the Sea of Karkuda. On the right, notice that the Rum Runner has disappeared! Villanueva wanted to rob the American HI, but after seeing the ridiculous logjam and the plethora of American gunships in the area, decided to back out! It was certainly the right thing to do, because without Ghost Ship and extra actions, there is NO WAY any Pirate ship is about to dock at the American HI lol. At the bottom right, LaPlante mistakenly finds himself on the edge of the battle, temporarily making it three factions in the area. All this while the Roanoke and Bellevue try to load metals from Luck Island on the left! XD

You can see the Rum Runner is damaged from the whirlpool, but the Recreant has put out her fire mast and will survive just like the Accused! I was very happy about those two gunships staying alive, since there have been so many of my favorite ships lost to fire already. I will admit that my soft spot for the Accused was what partially led to the whirlpool house rule where fire masts can be extinguished on a 4-6, but it does apply to all factions and all whirlpools, and makes sense given how well water puts out fire of course. North of the damaged ships are the HI raiders; I hope they’re not going to try to rob the Americans! XD

The Fool’s Hope burns to the waterline but her Eternal keyword kicks in, returning her to the bowels of Mission’s Kingdom!

O_O

THE FOG LIFTS!!!!

Introducing: The Tunnel!

I will be doing a proper introduction of the Tunnel once a faction fully understands it and can see the whole breadth of the structure. For now, you see what the Pirates see, as usual! XD

Calico Cat aboard the Revenant leads the Pirates into the Tunnel. Mission himself follows, awestruck at the immense natural structure:

Looking skywards from the masts of the Crusher:

The darkness inside the Tunnel. O_O

More on that later!! XD

The Jades rejoice as their food becomes valuable!

Launching for the first time in quite a while, the Jades get three new Viking ships: the Wiglaf (who gets +1 to cannon rolls against the Cursed!), Wodin, and Fenrir.

A broad shot of the Cursed area. They are gathering gunships under the Roost and running resources as normal. The Monkey’s Paw shoots to dismast the Floating Stone, but the battle is mostly over. Inconclusive as usual, it was a slight Jade morale victory more than anything else. Both sides lost some stuff, as the Cursed lost 3 sea monsters but the Jades lost the Muninn, Sea Phoenix, and Sea Lion. Both sides are completely exhausted and spent after 3 full-scale battles in the war. Not much of anything has been achieved by either side! XD Again though, I don’t mind that since naval warfare in the Age of Sail was often similar. Right now it’s just two factions beating the carp out of each other without regard for much else. XD

The shocked and stunned English are suddenly in peaceful waters south of Diamond Rock. Saddened and confused by the Pirate attack, they will now begin the long process of repairing, regrouping, and reestablishing trade routes, although not a ton of ships were affected by the raid. The English definitely plan to have an official “whirlpool defense squadron” stationed near the whirlpool to prevent future disasters.

Paradise no more! A messy scene of death and despair, as Fortaleza Dorada burns. In fact, it will continue to burn. The Resistance and Lord Algernon teamed up to eliminate the fort’s final flag after the fire spread again, and the garrison stationed there is simply charred corpses. The rules for a burnt fort will work slightly different than for ships: the fort goes out of play on the faction’s next “next” turn, as in two turns after having only fires. However, it will burn to the ground at the beginning of that turn, rather than when the faction chooses as in the case of the automatic scuttling by fire masts rule. The 6 on the Ark Royal shows that the English have scuttled that ship, but she is Eternal and will return to their home island, though all her crew were killed by Armada and the ship was nearly sunk by gunfire alone. Truly the horrors of war in this picture!

The battle continues, with absolutely CRUSHING blows dealt by the Spanish! The Malton and Lord Kettering were largely ineffective for the English, and the Spanish fought back hard. The Victor was sunk (!) by the flotillas, while the three Spanish gunships hit very often to cripple the LK and dismast the Malton. At the top right, the Spanish have even scored a coup, capturing the Ark Royal (who was about to return home via Eternal scuttling) with the Extremadura!

The First Battle of Paradise Island is likely almost over. The English dominated in the far north, nearly dismasting the Santa Ana and destroying the fort by fire. However, the Spanish have done extremely well southwest of the fort in the most recent 2 turns, turning the tide a bit and really showing the English that they won’t be easy to defeat or eliminate.

With the metals from Paradise Island still quite valuable, the Spanish are able to launch 3 new gunships. The Acorazado (OE version), Ebro and Serpiente join the fleet. The Spanish are saving the SM Acorazado for a later time in the game, assuming the OE version will be sunk or captured and assuming the Spanish will not be eliminated anytime soon. The Acorazado is one of the best Spanish ships for Master Gunner Rogelio Vazquez, who comes aboard (as he did in my EE game) to turn all 5 of the ship’s S-range cannons to L-range! The Santa Catalina gets a new helmsman while the Alquimista and Santa Ana join her for repairs. At the right, more Spanish success! HMS Royal was captured by the Corazon del Mar and chained towed by the Profeta, giving the Spanish a potentially powerful gunship!

The guns atop Diamond Rock have damaged the Corazon del Mar, but the Spanish have won a very important victory in the second phase of this First Battle of Paradise Island.

The Mercenaries have signaled their arrival! All three submarines surface to dock at the wild islands:

The Felicite, Delacroix and Ville de Paris arrive at The Flat, while the Amazone unloads another infantry unit.

The Americans started their turn with their battle against the Pirates, but logistical difficulties meant that they needed to advance their entire chain of ships north of their home island to even allow the canoes to dock and other ships to move out! XD So I’ll do this part first haha.

ATTACK!! Surging forward, and maneuvering to stay out of Lenoir’s cancelling range, the Intrepid kicks off the Second Fight at The Flat!! Her cannons are effective as the Dauphin Royal is set aflame and one of the French infantry units is blasted into the ocean! Lenoir is thrown into the air by the explosion aboard the Dauphin, with his back slamming into a wall and various Frenchmen dying in the attack.

The Americans declare war on the French!! Hardly a surprise, but here we go! The Cleveland inflicts a hit on the Dauphin while the Grampus surges forward! A ton of American ships behind follow suit!

And it’s on! The Albany and Seattle round the north cape of The Flat, with the latter blasting apart an artillery unit. The Delaware, Peacock, Franklin, and Yankee are all present as well! LaPlante can’t seem to escape the warfare, as the Possession leaves one whirlpool of death to emerge at the beginning of another major battle!

O_O Literally like an assembly line of firepower and soldiers, the American war machine is in full operation!!

The Americans have a continuous double (sometimes triple!) line of warships going all the way from their home island to The Flat:

The Americans declare war on the Pirates!!

The carnage mounts in the southwest! The Rickets proves difficult to hit, but the Lady’s Scorn, Ballista, and Claret are pulverized. The Americans do some neat maneuvering so the Hudson, Destiny, Overton, and Appalachian can all get shots in. At the upper left, the cargo ships get out of the way. From this scene, I counted a maximum of 25 ships involved in the battle.

A forest of masts on the battlefield, though it threatens to become more of a forest fire! XD

With 3 or 4 ships blasting away at the Lady’s Scorn, Preble is finally able to repair the President. At the right, the Ballista was quite effective against the Bonhomme Richard earlier, but now the Americans get revenge.

Speaking of the Bonhomme, she moved on to fight the Jape. The Paladin was very effective against the Claret, who has taken direct hits to her hull from the Hudson and Destiny. The ship has lost most of her crew and is now burning out of control. At the left, notice the Centurion still perfectly intact, shielded by Pirate ships but also unable to shoot as a result!

With LaPlante’s Possession fleeing, the bloodthirsty captain of the Brandywine moves on to attack the Bruja instead. When they came through the whirlpool, these newest Pirate ships rolled pretty well for damage, keeping them healthy unlike the exploratory whirlpool squadron that took major damage on their trip home.

After a lot of complex maneuvering, the canoes are finally able to dock! The Americans spend their last chunk of gold on two additional Minuteman flotillas, which will guard their HI and Preble himself for the time being. In fact, those were my other two duplicate American flotillas, so all 3 that I own are shown here.

So to recap, in the order of play:
-Pirates discover The Tunnel
-JR-Cursed war sees a THIRD battle mostly conclude, indecisive once again
-Pirates pull whirlpool squadron out of Caribbean after doing major damage to some English ships
-English win first part of battle around Paradise Island, but Spanish have decisively won the second part and look to have a major victory (Fortaleza Dorada lost, but the Serapis and Victor were sunk and the Ark Royal and Royal captured, though getting the AR home will be difficult). Plus, the resource change favors the Spanish for now.
-The Mercenaries officially arrive!
-On the same turn, the Americans make dual declarations of war against France and the Pirates. They have instigated another Fight at The Flat, and are fighting an intense action against the Pirates near their HI and whirlpool.
-HEAVY warfare in the Caribbean and the Sea of Karkuda!

With turns taking such a long time to complete, the likelihood of playing partial turns increases. For example, finishing operations of a turn in ANY one of the three oceans feels like a decent accomplishment right now lol. Another point count is coming….

Command the Oceans – Turn 54 (9/30/2017)

The Pirates venture deeper into the Tunnel they had discovered last turn!

A view of the dark interior from the other side! Calico Cat doesn’t even realize she has come out the other end of the tunnel…

For the Revenant ends up in a fog bank!

Various Pirate ships approach the eastern entrance to the Tunnel, curious about the new finding.

Three Pirate ships go to Dead Man’s Point for repairs, and Villanueva (aboard the Rum Runner) tells fellow HI raiders to NOT go through the whirlpool near the American HI. It is absolutely swarming with the chaos of battle. They heed his advice, and the Mystic is sent through the northern Karkuda whirlpool to investigate that situation….

The Mystic pops out near the Possession, who returns from the American-Pirate battle as did the Rum Runner. The crew of the Mystic hear gunfire to the southwest where The Flat is, and it’s about to get a LOT louder….

The Pirates finish their turn in the Sea of Karkuda, continuing their attack! However, no more ships arrive from their whirlpool, which could mean that all the Americans have to face in this battle is already in the area. Of course, it’s still quite a force.

The Pirate ships closest to the American HI aren’t that effective:

However, the recent arrivals show their might! The Centurion pairs with the Jape to dismast the Bonhomme Richard and set her alight, dooming the ship AND Brent Rice, who has been a staple of American command for a long time! O_O

The Paladin’s crew are Fearful of the Bruja, though the Pirate ship only hits 1/4 against the Paladin and Brandywine.

Ralph David is in trouble aboard the Constitution:

At the end of their turn, the Pirates launched the Silver Dagger, who loaded all three of their ladders….

The JR home island is busy once more. Some ships dock for repairs, while others have already begun the process. Other ships leave, some for resources and some for the war against the Cursed. The Jades have already repurchased the Grand Temple after she was traded in by the Cursed!

Cursed ships go to and fro, with the Spilled Salt replacing the damaged Monkey’s Paw around the war zone.

The Caribbean. English ships stand guard near the whirlpool and Diamond Rock, while the Resolution, Wycliffe, and Durham look to carry out repairs.

The Lord Kettering is given Owen’s AA, using it to set the Voz de Dios on fire and capture the Extremadura, who was dismasted by the Resistance! This allowed the English to recapture the Ark Royal and re-scuttle her, reversing the events of the previous turns where the Spanish managed to save the Extremadura from fire and also capture the Ark Royal.

Eileen Brigid O’Brien brings the Mobilis to the surface! Exploring Fish Island, the Mercenaries find textiles! XD (currently being barfed up by the “fish” lol)

Back at The Flat, the French counterattack! The Intrepid is nearly dismasted, and at the right the Delacroix has been given Deleflote’s action to cripple the Albany, one of the USA’s most accurate ships.

Many French ships are sailing west and reaching The Flat! Guy LaPlante is looking for quick repairs and plans to dock the Possession at The Flat rather than going all the way home. He knows the risk he’s taking by putting his ship closer to the battle. Le Superbe may be a fantastic ship for this crowded battle area, as her lines of fire are not blocked by other ships. At the right, the Royal Louis approaches with the fort upgrade….

Looking directly north at the French Harbor. They have 84 gold saved up, with more coming soon. It may seem like they should launch to fight the Americans, but their reason for waiting is likely obvious….

The Americans surge forward and strike with full force!! The Dauphin Royal is set aflame, while the Gaule loses two masts. In one of the best shoot actions of the game, USS Seattle goes 5/5 (with double shot) to crush the Bonaparte and set her aflame! At the north end of The Flat, the Peacock has explored the island for the Americans, since it’s such a large island that the fort doesn’t prevent another faction from exploring it from the other side. This could allow the Americans to land troops there and assault the fort from land! O_O

The Seattle and Franklin are extremely effective, putting serious hurt on the Bonaparte and Delacroix:

Up close in the most crowded area! There are so many American ships that they will have to wait their turn in the battle line. The two French capital ships shielding the rest have already taken major damage, so it’s only a matter of time until fresh ships are needed. This will likely be a brutal slugfest of attrition!

The various American troop transports are nearing The Flat, while the Intrepid and Albany retreat.

O_O Devastation in the southwest!

Literally the hottest action of the game right now. The Lady’s Scorn will soon burn to the waterline. USS Overton has shot 4/4 to hit both the Ballista and Jape, making up for the RotF Saratoga going 0/3 in her first shoot action of the game. The Appalachian tries to shoot the gap in the Pirate line, which is weakening a bit.

The Brandywine, Hudson, Paladin, Adventurous and Destiny damage the Bruja and Centurion:

The Constitution and Speedy Return team up to take a mast off the Rickets, while the United States gets a successful Broadsides Attack to take two masts off the Delight!

From the opposite side. The Springfield (towing the Minuteman) has arrived to give ships within S of her +1 to their cannon rolls, but in a similar problem the Americans are having at The Flat, the horde of ships is so thick that it’s nearly pointless! Many ships are flat-out stuck, and you can even see the Vermont trying to push the lumbering United States along, to no avail.

In a time of great need, Preble calls upon one of the best American gunships and one of his best colleagues: the Concordia with Captain Montana Mays! Gus Schultz comes aboard to make the ship Eternal, meaning that both American Eternal crew are now in play. The Concordia is also equipped with a helmsman, shipwright, and oarsman to make her an “Eternal god ship” (Eternal, can shoot all guns even when dismasted, crew cannot be eliminated, etc). The Concordia is launched right near the battle area to swing things in American’s favor.

I know it’s probably overkill and overwhelming, but I wanted to take a few extra pictures just to document the immense wreckage caused by these giant battles.

Masts, spars, and sails from various ships litter the battlefield. Between those and the Bruja herself, the whirlpool is almost completely obscured.

Almost like a scene from illustrations of naval battles in the Age of Sail:

Fire, a ship’s worst nightmare, spreads from ship to ship as the horrors of battle reveal themselves to all present. The Saratoga can hardly move due to the wreckage in her path. The mainmast of the Ballista falls onto the main deck of the Overton, sending crew scurrying below.

Looking down at the carnage:

I count 14 masts in the water just in this closeup alone:

Between that and this, the Sea of Karkuda is starting to turn red with blood.

I didn’t have time for a point count today, but I’m still planning to do one soon. Since it will take some time with so much afloat, I may even just post it as a separate “report”. Thanks for reading!