Pirates of the Mysterious Islands – 10th Anniversary Game
Today is the 10th anniversary of Pirates of the Mysterious Islands being released!
To celebrate, a 50 point game with all-Mysterious Islands stuff (except for generic crew).
The fleets in the order of play:
La Sirviente + Luis Zuan, helmsman, musketeer
La Manila + The Mask, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Santa Molina + Christian Fiore, captain, helmsman
Barracuda + helmsman, oarsman
Devil Ray + helmsman, explorer
Here is the setup, with all 4 wild islands being mysterious. Wary of the Sirviente attacking on the first turn, the Santa Molina guarded the Barracuda while the Devil Ray started on the other side of the Merc HI.
It quickly became apparent that the Mercenaries would not have the luck of their own set on their side, with the Barracuda rolling a 1 on the first island she docked at. However, the Mercs were able to rectify the situation somewhat by tossing two coins towards the island the Devil Ray was pursuing.
Luis Zuan aboard the Sirviente knows he must get the first strike, but with Christian Fiore aboard the Santa Molina, only half of his cannons (with the musketeer as the fourth) will be in range, and that only with some good maneuvering! Zuan is desperate to win the battle, as the Santa Molina is a former Spanish ship.
The Sirviente descends off a swell, while the “Manila galleon” is about to load gold.
After another turn, the Manila also rolls a 1 at a mysterious island – the Mercs will move her on her next turn. The Sirviente and Santa Molina eye each other from afar, while the Barracuda loads gold and the Devil Ray reaches the island in the far east, which now has 6 coins on it.
The Mercs move the Manila away from her home island, while the Sirviente sails away from the Santa Molina to ambush the Devil Ray when she surfaces!
With a view from the mizzenmast of the Manila, the Devil Ray’s crew decide to ram the Sirviente rather than risk getting attacked! However, the ram fails.
With the Devil Ray submerged and the Manila back to normal, the Spanish turn back around.
The Devil Ray is finally able to dock and explore! The need for a crew/treasure swap became apparent…
…as the Devil Ray loaded both Screw Engine and Power Cannons! A regular coin was loaded as well, while the explorer would have to sit the rest of the game out.
Christian Fiore cancels the Barracuda’s Mercenary keyword, allowing the Mercs to score first.
Luis Zuan saw his opportunity! After consulting with his expert helmsman, it was obvious that he could bring all of his long range firepower to bear on the Santa Molina. Cheering his gun crews on, the Sirviente scored two hits! The Santa Molina’s firepower had been cut in half, and the Spanish were successful in their first strike.
Between these two ships and La Manila, every “ship” in the game had red or orange sails! The Sirviente is a particularly becoming vessel.
With a lot of luck the Santa Molina absolutely crushes the Spanish!! Both shots connected, killing the musketeer, and the ram dismasted the Sirviente, leaving her derelict. Fiore’s boarding party overwhelmed that of Zuan’s, and the Spanish helmsman was cut down in the action. In one action the Sirviente had lost all of her masts and 2/3 of her crew complement. In the background, the Devil Ray has used Screw Engine to move almost all the way home.
The nature of the game has changed, as the Mercs have 3 ships available to the 1 for Spain.
The Santa Molina takes a few shots at the Sirviente while getting into position to support the Devil Ray’s landing. Naturally, both shots miss, leaving Zuan yelling on deck about how “why couldn’t the earlier shots have missed?!” Fiore finally cracks a smile, his first in quite some time.
With her gold finally unloaded, the Manila is free to pursue the Santa Molina. Since the Merc subs are faster than the Manila, Spain’s best hope is to kill Fiore and thus stop any future gold deliveries at the Merc home island. The Mask has a secret weapon to help him do just that: Targeting Scope. The Sirviente has been sunk.
With the Manila approaching, the Mercenaries pulled off a brilliant move. The Devil Ray moved into contact with the Santa Molina, who was given an explore action. Christian Fiore descended into the Devil Ray, while the Santa Molina loaded the DR’s Power Cannons. This way, Fiore would be safe underwater, since he could cancel The Mask’s S-boarding technique as soon as he came within S range of the Devil Ray. In addition, the Santa Molina would be better equipped to fight off the Manila, since guns with 2L range would be quite effective against such a slow ship. The Barracuda had found Enemy of the State, but it essentially had no effect since the ship was already Mercenary.
The Mercs do their exchange, while the Manila looks to get some gold since she can’t get in range of the Santa Molina just yet.
Another great turn by the Mercenaries: the Devil Ray submerges, and Fiore cancels to let the Barracuda unload gold. The Santa Molina opens fire on the Manila at extreme range, scoring a hit and eliminating the Spanish oarsman!
The Manila is immune to ramming, and thus had nothing to fear from the two submarines. She charged in with guns blazing, but only the one with the targeting scope hit! The S-board attempt also failed, allowing the Santa Molina to steal a coin!
This allowed the Santa Molina to shine again, and she did. The Manila lost another mast, along with her explorer. The Mask was furious.
The Manila finally dismasted the Santa Molina, but somehow lost another boarding party to lose her other coin!
Soon afterwards, the Manila looted the derelict to get her gold back, and then sank the Santa Molina for good as she returned to the Spanish home island. Meanwhile, the Mercs load more gold from the far east.
With the Mercs likely in the lead with gold, the Manila has no time to repair after dropping off the two coins. Spain’s best hope to win lies with The Mask’s S-boarding ability, which could be used to steal one or both of the Barracuda’s coins. The problem is, the Merc subs are faster than the Manila, and Fiore could cancel The Mask if the Devil Ray and Barracuda stick together.
As the debris of three ships floats away, the odds are against the Spanish.
And indeed, the Mercs get to their HI first! The Devil Ray stays underwater, and Fiore allows the Barracuda to unload for a whopping third time in the game. The Devil Ray still has a coin on board, but it’s irrelevant since the Manila cannot get it with Fiore around.
1. Mercenaries: 16 gold
2. Spanish: 10 gold
With 3 gold left in play, the Mercs were declared the winner! It was an impressive victory, with great shooting by the Santa Molina and effective cancelling by Christian Fiore. Both of those game pieces utilized their abilities to full effectiveness. The Spanish were a bit less lucky, but both fleets had some nasty MI rolls. The loss of the Sirviente gave the Mercs the decisive advantage for the remainder of the game, though the rest of the game was probably more fun! In hindsight, it may have been slightly better to have a shipwright on one of the submarines (to be transferred to the Santa Molina as needed) instead of the explorer and oarsman. The Santa Molina would only be able to repair if she transferred Fiore to a submarine and then had the sub stay within S at the Merc HI.
How fitting that the Mercenaries, of all factions, win the 10th anniversary of Mysterious Islands game!