Reverse Captain Smokepot in a Small Game – June 21st, 2015

This game was played on 6/21/2015.

Fleet 1:
Batavian Bat + captain, helmsman
Augusta + helmsman
San Pedro + oarsman

Fleet 2:
L’epee de L’ange + captain, helmsman
Freedom’s Hand + explorer

Fleet 3:
Muninn + captain, helmsman, smokepot shot
Polaris + helmsman, explorer, oarsman

The game featured a few pieces of terrain and three wild islands placed in the center.

The Polaris was the first ship to explore. The Batavian Bat turned out to be a surprisingly good choice of gunship since the other two gunships in the game had exclusively L-range guns.

The Bat has knocked a mast off the Freedom’s Hand, while the San Pedro has emptied an island. The Polaris is back with gold, and Fleet 2 has drained an island using all three ships.
Reverse Captain Smokepot

The Batavian Bat was then able to dismast the Freedom’s Hand, but she kept rowing, desperate to dock home her gold.
Reverse Captain Smokepot in a Small Game - June 21st, 2015

The San Pedro returns as the Freedom’s Hand sinks:
Reverse Captain Smokepot in a Small Game - June 21st, 2015

The Muninn can’t hit the Bat, but she goes 4 for 4 against the LEdA.
Reverse Captain Smokepot in a Small Game - June 21st, 2015

Knowing she probably won’t sink the Templar with her inaccurate cannons and because the Templar was within S rowing range of her HI, the Bat engages the Muninn, winning the ram roll but losing her helmsman in the boarding.
Reverse Captain Smokepot in a Small Game - June 21st, 2015

With all L-range guns, the Muninn decides to utilize her smokebank/reverse captain combo. Sinking the LEdA, the Muninn then ducks into a smokebank to avoid the Bat.
Reverse Captain Smokepot in a Small Game - June 21st, 2015

The game soon ended with the Augusta and Polaris bringing home the final coins!

Fleet 1: 17 gold
Fleet 2: 5
Fleet 3: 6

Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos – July 12th, 2015

This game was played on 7/12/2015. I don’t remember all the details (including the crew in each fleet) since this isn’t a same-day report.

Fleet 1:
A Fearsome Creature

Fleet 2: 
Angel de Guarda + Master Bianco, helmsman
Black Mamba

Fleet 3:
Bruja + captain, helmsman
Pawtucket + helmsman

The islands made by rossinaz were used as the wild islands.

Shal-Bala immediately appeared to have its eyes on the Pawtucket, while the Angel de Guarda was the first ship to reach and explore an island.

The Bruja was quick to engage the Angel, killing some of her crew in the process.
Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos - July 12th, 2015

Shal-Bala unsuccessfully swoops in on the Pawtucket as that wild island becomes more crowded. A Fearsome Creature has surrounded the Black Mamba!
Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos - July 12th, 2015

The Bruja was stuck in Sargasso, allowing the Angel to make a lucky getaway. Her fleetmate the Pestilence grabbed all three coins from the farthest island as the Black Mamba and kraken dueled. In the background, Shal-Bala continues to struggle.
Black Mamba vs kraken

Fleet 1 regrouped on the next turn, with the kraken sinking the Black Mamba and Shal-Bala looking for a new target, the Angel. In the background, the Bruja has rammed the Pestilence derelict.
Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos - July 12th, 2015

A great view of the massive wingspan of a sea dragon. However, Shal-Bala missed yet another swoop attack!
Shal-Bala wingspan sea dragon wings

Joining her kraken friend, Shal-Bala returns to stalk the Pawtucket, as the Bruja tows home the captured Pestilence. The Angel has gold on her and is free to return home, but only because Fleet 1 sees Fleet 3 as a bigger threat.
Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos - July 12th, 2015

The Pawtucket heads to the last island with gold…
Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos - July 12th, 2015

… but Shal-Bala finally wins!
Shal-Bala sea dragon swoop attack

Fleets 2 and 3 have returned some gold, and the endgame is approaching. The Bruja and Pestilence look to support the doomed Pawtucket, with a showdown in the center of the ocean imminent.
Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos - July 12th, 2015

Shal-Bala finished off the Pawtucket, moving on to the Angel. The kraken has engaged the Bruja, pitting the two most powerful game pieces on the sea against each other!
Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos - July 12th, 2015

This looks familiar…
kraken surrounding Bruja

The area around Fleet 2’s home island is chaotic, with two tall sea creatures wreaking havoc on the survivors!
Cursed Fleet Causes Chaos - July 12th, 2015

The Angel finally meets her match:

In the end, the destructive Fleet 1 couldn’t get any gold. Fleet 3 (Bruja and Pawtucket) won with Fleet 2 as the runner up!

3 Players at 60 Points – July 5th, 2015

Fleet 1:
Grand Path + Shap-‘ng-TsaiMs. ChengKian Ng, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Virtuous Wind + captain, helmsman, explorer
Glorious Treasure + helmsman
Jade Rebellion fleet at home island

Fleet 2: 
Poor Adams + captain, helmsman
San Pedro + cannoneer, explorer, oarsman
Algiers + explorer
HMS Meresman + captain, helmsman
+ fire shot on the home island

Fleet 3:
L’epee de L’ange + helmsman
Antamasia + helmsman
Napolitana + captain
USS Buffalo + explorer

Three wild islands were used, with a reef in front of each one and two sargasso seas in the middle of the trio of wild islands.

The Jade Rebellion sets out:
Jade Rebellion ships sailing

Partway through the second turn, and the Grand Path has already sunk the Napolitana: (sorry, turtle ship is built incorrectly)

The islands from rossinaz functioned as the HI’s:
Ross in AZ home island cliff

The Grand Path sunk the Buffalo and moved on to face the Epee, while the Virtuous Wind and Poor Adams squared off after the Meresman was dismasted.
3 Players at 60 Points - July 5th, 2015

The Epee, desperate to avoid the Grand Path, got stuck in a sargasso sea. The Virtuous Wind and Poor Adams were locked in a brutal engagement.
3 Players at 60 Points - July 5th, 2015

The Poor Adams managed to ram the second mast off the Virtuous Wind before the VW went on to dismast the Poor Adams and sink the Algiers after the Grand Path dismasted the Algiers.

In the end, only the VW, Glorious Treasure, and Epee got home safely with gold.

The Jades (Fleet 1) finished with 11 gold, with 5 gold for Fleet 3 and 0 for Fleet 2.

Check out more of my games in the Battle Reports section!

Super Close Treasure Score – May 24th, 2015

Four players, 40 points

This game was played on 5/24/2015. The fleets went in the order of play as follows:

Fleet 1:
HMS Resolution + captain, helmsman
HMS Silent Swan + captain
HMS Swiftsure

Fleet 2:
HMS Talon + captain, helmsman, cannoneer
Enfant Terrible + explorer

Fleet 3: 
Antamasia + Master CPO Charles Richard + Inquisitor (house ruled with new players having small starter collections)
Pawtucket + helmsman, explorer

Fleet 4: 
Freedom’s Hand + captain, cannoneer
San Pedro + explorer
Algiers + helmsman, explorer

The Freedom’s Hand and Resolution were involved in a short skirmish on the first few turns as the Swiftsure safely returned home with gold.
Resolution English ship

Fleet 2 looked to use their big gunship, the new HMS Talon. Slicing into the San Pedro, the Talon was able to dismast the Spaniard and take one of her coins.
HMS Talon attack
HMS Talon switchblade attack

Still in the early stages of the game, each fleet has brought back some gold:

The Silent Swan was the next ship to fall victim to the Talon.
Super Close Treasure Score - May 24th, 2015

The Freedom’s Hand was third, but not before she finally dented the Switchblade’s armor for a hit.
Super Close Treasure Score - May 24th, 2015

At this point, the gold was becoming scarce. The Resolution took a few masts off the Talon, and the Talon proceeded to lose her remaining crew in a failed boarding attempt against the Inquisitor’s Antamasia.
Super Close Treasure Score - May 24th, 2015

The Resolution finished off the Talon, and the Algiers quickly became the most-wanted target with 3 gold coins on her. She was quickly attacked by the Enfant and Antamasia, as Fleet 3 tried to reclaim their gold.
Super Close Treasure Score - May 24th, 2015

The Algiers and Swiftsure tried to steal the final coin from the Pawtucket, but they were foiled and the game ended at last!
Super Close Treasure Score - May 24th, 2015

The final treasure count was extremely close:

Fleet 1: 15 gold
Fleet 2: 12
Fleet 3: 13
Fleet 4: 13

The Swiftsure of Fleet 1 was extremely lucky to find a 7 and a 5 on the first island she explored, overshadowing the great games played by the other fleets. Still, one of the closest games you can ever have and a lot of fun!

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage – May 17th, 2015

A 3 player 40 point game was played on 5/17/2015.

Fleet 1:
Valeroso (just acquired in a trade from selvaxri) + captain, helmsman, explorer
Trinity + helmsman, explorer
Exploding Shot on the home island

Fleet 2:
Antamasia + captain

Fleet 3:
L’epee de L’ange + captain, helmsman
Freedom’s Hand

The order of gameplay was the same as the order of fleets above.

After playing the rules inconsistently for a few years, new house rules were officially instituted, and I’d like them to be permanent for my games. When a boarding party is won, not only does the winner get to pick whether they take a treasure or eliminate a crew, but they also get to pick whatever treasures they want. If you won a boarding party on an enemy ship laden with gold, would you really settle for the cheap trinkets presented to you by the guilty captain? I wouldn’t!

I’ve quickly grown tired of seeing brown wooden tables as the background for my ocean in the battle reports, so for the first time ever, the Plunder Pack game mat was used. As you can see, some of the creases and folds were still present, but they didn’t affect gameplay.

As for the home islands, they are beautiful custom creations by none other than rossinaz. I may experiment this summer with making my own custom islands, but as usual I will focus on playing first. Either way, between the mat and new islands, this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing reports I’ve done yet.

The first player deliberately left Exploding Shot on their HI to maximize the Valeroso’s trip to a wild island. Between her and the Trinity, Fleet 1 loaded 5 coins on the first turn.

The Augusta marks an island explored as the Carcajou crests a wave.

Unfortunately, Fleet 3 just barely couldn’t make it to a wild island on their first turn, but with two galleys and a dangerous French gunship looming, they looked to be competitive.

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

Fleet 1 was the first to bring back gold, depositing it on their beautiful new home island.

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

Exploding shot on home island

The Antamasia and Carcajou looked to take gold from different islands, but the inaccurate guns of L’epee (LDA) took a mast off the Carcajou. The Valeroso loaded up Exploding Shot.

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

The Augusta brought home gold for Fleet 2, but the LDA shot away the remaining mast on the Carcajou.

At this point, the game started heating up. The Trinity, still with both movement bonuses, moved S+S+S to ram and board the Antamasia, but an unsuccessful boarding attempt killed her valuable helmsman.


Fleet 2 exacted revenge on the LDA, with the Antamasia going 3 for 3 to leave the French gunship with just one mast.

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

The Valeroso catches a wave as she sets the Algiers on fire with an exploding shot.

Valeroso sets Algiers aflame

Pirates CSG burning ship smoke

The LDA ran a suicide mission, taking out two masts from the Antamasia while stealing a coin. The Trinity moved S+S to take the coin from the LDA, putting a target on her back. The Augusta grabbed the Carcajou and got her out of the way, and she repaired on the next turn, bringing home gold along with the treasure from the Antamasia.

Pirates CSG combat

Seeing an opportunity, the Valeroso dumped her equipment on the last wild island that still had gold on it in order to load both treasure coins. The Algiers and Freedom’s Hand brought back gold for Fleet 3, extinguishing the fire aboard the Algiers. The Trinity began sailing for home with her gold coin. At this point, Fleet 1 had all 3 of the last coins left in play.

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

For the endgame, everyone went after Fleet 1, desperate to get as much gold as possible.

endgame begins!

A huge ramming and boarding parade began in earnest, with the Trinity being caught quickly moving just S as she had lost a mast to the Antamasia a few turns earlier. The Freedom’s Hand caught up to the Valeroso, who had swapped her explorer for Exploding Shot as a free action at the beginning of her turn. The Augusta and Algiers can be seen circling islands in anticipation of cutting off Fleet 1.

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

Rough seas made for an even more chaotic environment!

ramming and boarding in Pirates CSG

The Valeroso just barely couldn’t make it home, allowing the Augusta to steal a coin, at which point she immediately turned and ran. The Trinity had given up her action for the turn to swap the higher value coin to the Valeroso, who could move L+S compared to the Trinity’s pitiful S. In addition, the Trinity was in rough shape, being rammed by the Freedom’s Hand and Antamasia as her masts fell overboard. The Valeroso docked a coin home and simultaneously set the Augusta alight, upon which the fire spread quickly.

Augusta ship on fire

The Carcajou and Antamasia teamed up to sink the Trinity and coin, which was only worth 1 gold. However, there was still a 2 on the burning Augusta, which was quickly set upon by the galleys of Fleet 3. Fleet 1 watched in amusement as the Valeroso poured in a heavy fire, content to see the gold sink beneath the waves to be lost forever.

Greed, chaos and gunpowder:
Valeroso pours in a heavy fire to fiercely burning ship Augusta

The Algiers and Augusta were sunk on the next turn, but not before the Algiers gave the final coin to the Freedom’s Hand.

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

The Freedom’s Hand was promptly sunk by the Valeroso, ending the game at last!

Plunder Pack Mat First Usage - May 17th, 2015

Gold was tallied up, with plenty of booty to go around:

Fleet 1: 19 gold
Fleet 2: 15
Fleet 3: 11

Unfortunately, I think the order of play mattered a bit too much in this game, but this hasn’t been the case in many of my games. Despite this, it was a great game, hard-fought and hotly contested until the bitter end!

You’ll be seeing more of the islands (made by rossinaz) and probably more of the play mat soon!

English Pirates vs. Cursed Americans – May 1st, 2015

English Pirates: 
Bombardier + Thomas GunnFirst Mate IsmailSir Christopher Myngs, firepot specialist, fire shot
HMS Prince of Chichester + Hermione Gold, explorer
Princess + helmsman, explorer

Cursed Americans: 
USS Albany + Commodore Peregrine SternWayne Nolan, helmsman
Juggernaut + El Fantasma, captain, helmsman
La Rosario
English Pirates vs. Cursed Americans - May 1st, 2015

The Cursed Americans went first, followed by the English Pirates. The Rosario was the first ship to reach an island, but the Prince of Chichester was the first to explore.
English Pirates vs. Cursed Americans - May 1st, 2015

The Prince got away with three coins and knocked a few masts off the Juggernaut, who then rammed her and killed her explorer.

(Terrible picture but at least you can see where things are.)
English Pirates vs. Cursed Americans - May 1st, 2015

The Prince was also rammed by the Albany, who stole two 4’s from the Prince, leaving the battered ship with just one 2. The Prince took out the Rosario (who herself was carrying a few coins) before sinking from the Juggernaut’s long-range cannons. In the meantime the Princess zipped home with 8 gold for the English Pirates.
English Pirates vs. Cursed Americans - May 1st, 2015

At this point the Bombardier had failed Myngs’ SAT (with reroll) since the first turn, and thus was unable to get into action very effectively. The Albany received an extra action from Stern and took out all three of the Bombardier’s masts, capturing her on the following turn and towing her home to repair her.

At this point, the Princess slipped under the radar and brought home more gold for the English Pirates, which proved to be just enough. The last treasure coin was loaded aboard the Albany, and the game was called after the Princess was sunk, with only the Cursed Americans left standing. However, the English Pirates had collected more gold and won the game by a narrow 14-12 margin!

A quick but close game that featured a few interesting crew combinations I had been wanting to try for a while (on the Bombardier and the Albany). Unfortunately you have to double the cost of the SAT with Ismail since there’s not enough cargo on the Bombardier, but I really like the Albany setup getting EA, captain, helmsman, +1 to boarding rolls and a free reroll all for just two cargo spaces, which still leaves three spaces available with which to steal gold.

3 Players at 40 Points – April 11th, 2015

Here’s a simple 40 point game that was played.

HMS Shetland + helmsman
HMS Comet + oarsman
HMS Snipe + explorer
HMS Albion

Augusta + helmsman
Napolitana + captain, oarsman
San Pedro + explorer

L’epee de L’ange + captain, helmsman
Algiers + explorer
Freedom’s Hand

The fleets went in the order of play as shown above.

The Snipe grabbed a 5 from a nearby island but the other English ships were too slow to get anywhere on the first turn.

The San Pedro quickly emptied an island for the Spanish as the other two Spaniards docked as well.

The Algiers headed east as the Freedom’s Hand docked at the same island as the Augusta.
3 Players at 40 Points - April 11th, 2015

The Shetland and L’Ange both headed east as ships made the short journey home to unload their gold.
3 Players at 40 Points - April 11th, 2015

The L’Ange dismasted the Albion and shot away one of the Shetland’s masts as well.

The Snipe traded her explorer for the two coins aboard the Albion.
3 Players at 40 Points - April 11th, 2015

The Albion was sunk by the L’Ange, who turned around and kept shooting at the Shetland even as she captured the Snipe.
3 Players at 40 Points - April 11th, 2015

The English got revenge by sinking the Snipe with the Shetland, though it was too late for the English to win.
3 Players at 40 Points - April 11th, 2015

The L’Ange sunk the Shetland, ending the game! The Spanish won with 17 gold, with the Mixed-nationality fleet coming in second with 8 and the English in third with 5.

Circle of Blood – March 21st, 2015

Circle of Blood

From the Corsairs of Douglas County website:

rizz wrote:
Players design 100 pt fleets, mixed nations allowed. The privateer for the battle sets up islands in a pattern along the lines of this…

Rizz Circle of Blood diagram

White-neutral sea monsters
Red/Yellow-starting positions of ships (in this case yellow was Player 1 and red was Player 2)
(No forts were available, or else they would go on the middle four islands)

Circle of Blood 2015 setup

rizz wrote:
Now for the good stuff. Place 4 randomly selected gold coins, and 1 randomly grabbed UT on each island. No one has a home island at this time. The first island each player explores will become their new home island; all gold on that island is automatically theirs, as is the UT, apply the UT effect if applicable.

After both players take a turn, then the creatures get a turn. Each time the creatures get a turn, roll a d6 for each creature still alive, compare this number to a fog bank in play, the creature will move its full move in the direction rolled. If it encounters an island, iceberg, reef, or Sargasso Sea, it will stop moving until its next turn (ignore fogbanks for creature movement). At the beginning of a creatures turn, if ANY ship is within any attack range for the creature (this is checked before movement), instead of moving it will attack that ship (or the closest ship if more than one is in range). It will continue to attack this ship until either; 1 it is out of range, 2 it is destroyed, or 3 another ship moves closer.

Since the gold is a randomly selected amount, there is no “half way” rule for ending the game, it will continue until there is no gold left, or only one player remains (this puts HI raiders at a premium). Another variant we do here is throw four NPC forts out on the islands marked in orange.


USS Concordia + Montana MaysRalph DavidDiamond Nelson Turner, helmsman, shipwright, oarsman
Peacock + captain, chainshot specialist
Pawtucket + helmsman, explorer
Flying Fish + explorer
Philadelphia + explorer
Harlequin + explorer

L’Ange de la Mer + captain, helmsman
El Rosal + Luis ZuanExploding Shot
St. Denis + captain
El Cervantes + Capitan Alarico CastroDuque Marcus Vaccaro, helmsman
Le Coeur de Lion + Aramis, captain, helmsman (just realized it was 8 points but it’s only 1 point over)

Circle of Blood 2015 setup Circle of Blood 2015 setup with sea monsters in center
The fleets started sailing. The Franco-Spanish (hereafter referred to as FS, not to be confused with F&S) explored first by marking their home island (HI) with El Cervantes. Other FS ships quickly docked at islands in the outermost ring, all of which were mysterious in this game.

The FS set up shop in the east, while the Philadelphia explored an island in the northwest which became the HI of the Americans. After the first turn the sea monsters and icebergs began moving! A house rule was quickly instituted which let the sea monsters stay submerged until they were in range of an enemy ship or would have to surface to ram.
Circle of Blood 2015 game Circle of Blood 2015 game

As more ships docked and loaded gold, one mysterious island effect that is borderline “broken” in a game of this size captured all attention. The Peacock rolled to move 2 coins from EVERY other wild island to the island that she was docked at, creating a mother lode of gold on a northern island.
Circle of Blood 2015 game
On her next turn, the Peacock explored, only to find a ton of UT’s that had been transferred via the MI effect! This slowed the game down as everything was resolved. Holy Water and Metal Hull made the Peacock borderline invincible, but trouble was brewing for the poor little ship. Natives were transferred to the island, making the huge amount of gold somewhat harder to access. Pandora’s Box was the real killer (literally), spawning an outbreak of the Plague, killing all of the ship’s crew (the Peacock grabbed some Wine from the box to numb the pain). In order for the Castaway to actually have effect it was ruled that he came aboard the ship to captain it (literally the crew was a captain) after the Plague had already struck. After it was all said and done, the ship was stuck for two turns from Natives and could only move S. I guess the captain saved himself from the Plague by drinking of mixture of Holy Water and Wine!
Peacock full deckplate

In the meantime, a shark introduced himself to the Philadelphia, who would soon run in the other direction.
shark chases Philadelphia

The FS soon had a crowded HI, with ships coming and going with new gold. Despite their fighting crew the Ange de la Mer and Rosal managed to contribute to the findings.
Circle of Blood 2015 game Circle of Blood 2015 game

An iceberg and the Teach began consistently moving northwest, directly towards the American HI. This was an ominous sign and unbeknownst to the players, a foreshadowing one as well. In addition, the Leviathan seemed to enjoy the bright new lines of the dangerous Concordia.

Tragedy soon struck in the form of a huge lightning storm. Odin’s Revenge (a gift from trox I might add) toppled a mast from every ship in play, leaving the Harlequin derelict and all alone in the southernmost part of the sea. The FS were still around their HI and therefore didn’t lose much momentum at all, quickly repairing the ships already docked at their HI. In terms of percentage of masts lost this also benefited the FS more because the Pawtucket was the only American ship other than the big Concordia that had more than 2 masts.
Odin's Revenge lightning storm Circle of Blood 2015 game

The Flying Fish made her way home via whirlpool as the Philadelphia came home to repair her foresail. The Pawtucket used round earth rules to get home more quickly. Once again the Teach and Leviathan moved directly towards American ships.
Circle of Blood 2015 game

The FS experienced a little bad luck of their own, with the Lion being smashed by a hostile iceberg just off their HI. As with Odin’s Revenge, however, the FS were able to repair quickly without much time lost. The St. Denis came in for repairs as well, bringing even more gold to their HI.
bringing in gold to home island

The Peacock was finally able to get moving due to Jailhouse Dog eliminating Metal Hull, restoring her to her full S+S+S speed. She darted out of the way of Slarg Gubbit, eager to get revenge on the FS and give them some of their own medicine in the form of the plague!
Peacock back in action

However, the Peacock’s plan was quickly foiled via MI farming. The Rosal rolled a 6 to slam the Peacock into a nearby iceberg, taking out her second mast and leaving her dead in the water. With Plague still aboard it was unlikely that any ship would want to go near her.
Circle of Blood 2015 game

The American player (who happened to be me, lol) was running into a lot of difficulties around his home island. Teach and Leviathan were seemingly on a mission to sink his entire fleet! An iceberg was also nearby, giving the Americans a handful of bad luck just as they began to bring in some gold. As soon as she repaired and set back out again the Philadelphia was rammed by the Teach, although since she had already left her explorer at home the Teach didn’t get to eat any poor Americans. The Concordia purposely positioned herself right next to the Leviathan, losing two masts in the process. Montana Mays knew the strength and relative invincibility of his ship (with DNT even aboard to cancel the Leviathan’s stinkpot-esque breath attack that could shut down Eternal and make the ship vulnerable), and therefore he wasn’t afraid to lose a few masts if he could still win the battle.

Americans attacked by sea monsters Shark attack! Philadelphia gets rammed

The FS soon tried their hand at more luck with MI farming, but they soon learned their lesson and got burned, with the St. Denis losing all four of her masts to the same MI.
St. Denis at mysterious island

As the St. Denis and Philadelphia limped home to their respective HI’s, the Concordia shot the Leviathan to pieces, leaving only the head of tail of the great beast. Leviathan shot back and dismasted the Concordia, although the Concordia would still be able to fire with all of her cannons. Earlier in the game the Harlequin had found Albatross, which was soon transferred to the Concordia and rendered her mediocre guns even less effective.
Circle of Blood 2015 game

No wonder the Concordia can still shoot when derelict! American blood and steel take on nature’s most terrible creature:
USS Concordia vs. Leviathan great beast Circle of Blood 2015 game

The Concordia docked at her HI, giving her immunity to the annoying Leviathan, shooting off the tail in the process. The Teach continued to harass the American HI, even moving around the island to chase the poor Philadelphia. The damaged Pawtucket and Flying Fish shot at her from their HI but missed again and again. The bad luck experienced by the Americans in this game was borderline unprecedented. To make matters worse, two icebergs blocked their path to the southeast, which you can just see in the next picture on the far right.
Americans have horrible luck at home island

As the Pawtucket repaired, the sea monsters finally gave the Americans a break, letting the Flying Fish and Philadelphia sail in opposite directions. The Flying Fish headed off without crew (due to Natives) to the rich northern island. The Philadelphia was sunk by the L’Ange de la Mer, who was headed home with gold from that northern island. The Rosal and Cervantes looked to capitalize on the Americans’ weaknesses, but the partially repaired Concordia loomed just out of range. In the relatively deserted south, the Lion captured the Harlequin and began the long journey home at S+S.
Circle of Blood 2015 game

Both factions were content to run gold for the time being as the Concordia guarded the northern island. The Americans had the advantage of their HI being closer to this major island, but it would be interesting to see if that advantage could turn the tables on their history of bad luck and how it affected their early game. Speaking of which, the FS were nearly intact outside of Odin’s Revenge and enjoyed considerable wealth flowing in from neighboring wild islands.

Due to space constraints during setup, the sea monsters’ deckplates were placed next to the FS fleet’s deckplates, which made the admirals think that this coincidence had affected the minds of the sea monsters, as they had only attacked the Americans.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

The Leviathan used the round earth rules to ram and board the Mer. Both rolls failed, and the serpent was quickly eliminated by the French flagship.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

While the shark and sea serpent were harassing the Americans, the two squids (Slarg Gubbit and Lusca, where did those names come from?) were busy moving back and forth aimlessly. Gubbit got in the way of the Americans a few times but didn’t directly attack them. Eventually they seemed to grow fond of each other and moved directly together. After a few turns of mating they headed off in opposite directions, desperate for human blood.
bizarre sea monster mating ritual

A few turns later:
sea creatures mating again!

Since Montana Mays protected his crew from elimination, the Concordia began towing the Peacock, handing off Plague to the already dangerous American flagship. The American shipwright went the opposite way, coming aboard the Peacock in order to get her sailing again. The Flying Fish was busy making trips to the northern island, but the Pawtucket wanted no part of the Natives. Earlier in the game the Pawtucket’s helmsman became linked to Manawa no Kowhatu, giving her Eternal and Fear.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

As the Lion returned home with the captured Harlequin, a similar situation occurred for the second time (the first being around the time of Odin’s Revenge), with almost the entire FS fleet crowding around their HI as ships came in for various reasons.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

This brief period of peace allowed the Pawtucket, Concordia, and Peacock to sail east as the Flying Fish continued to take gold from the northern island. Both fleets had considerable gold, with less than a dozen still on wild islands.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

As the FS fleet spread out once again, the Americans knew they’d have to do some fancy maneuvering to gain the upper hand with a numbers disadvantage. The Peacock sailed south with Wine, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. The Concordia and Pawtucket sailed north, with the Concordia eyeing the Mer with Plague aboard (Luis Zuan had been killed aboard the Rosal earlier in the game via a UT). The Pawtucket was quickly sunk by the Armada and Mer, although the Mer moved into perfect positioning in the process.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

The Concordia unloaded her deadly Plague, killing the Mer’s captain and helmsman. She also had a very successful shoot action, rolling 4/5 to dismast the schooner!
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015 Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

The St. Denis took advantage of her L-range guns and moved to avoid the range of DNT, sinking the Concordia! This placed her alongside the Pawtucket to repair. (via Eternal)
Concordia sinks but returns home via Eternal

The Rosal let go of the Armada and grabbed gold from the northern island. With the Concordia gone the Lion and Harlequin also moved into the area.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

With the FS HI deserted, the Peacock seized her chance and intended to exchange Wine for any treasure she wanted. However, her captain (from the Castaway UT) had forgotten about the shipwright she inherited from the Concordia, which meant that she had no space with which to load the gold! (The treasure you exchange for Wine still takes up cargo space)   Perhaps he had gotten drunk with the Wine!  XD
Peacock drunk, can't use Wine!

The St. Denis dismasted and captured the Peacock, who would have been hit anyway once Wine was off the ship. The endgame was nearing, with the northern theater holding all of the tension.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

The Concordia and Cervantes were the only ships in the area capable of putting up a fight. The Cervantes SAT’d away as the Concordia sunk the Mer. At this point the game was called since there were only 5 coins left on the once-rich northern island and both players knew they were all 1’s.
Circle of Blood - March 21st, 2015

Both players counted up their treasure, with the FS getting the majority of the 5’s and 6’s. The Franco-Spanish beat the Americans by a score of 67-41!

The scenario worked well for the most part. The sea monsters could perhaps move based on different icebergs/fog banks that are facing different directions so a roll of 1 doesn’t always move them north. Also, with so many wild islands (10 after the HI’s are explored) the game could revolve around gold running a little bit too much.

This was a great game that saw some interesting new UT’s such as Castaway and Odin’s Revenge. The Americans suffered from bad luck with icebergs, sea monsters, and shoot actions early on while the Franco-Spanish benefited from finding a handful of high-value coins. The late-game UT ploys by the Americans failed to overcome the difference, as the superior Franco-Spanish gold running and powerful escort ships won the day!

Other Worlds Part 1 – February 27th, 2015

Other Worlds Part 1

The first of these two games remains one of my finest efforts in a non-solo game, and really proves the ineffectiveness of a particular strategy that often appeals to new players.


Two more games: one was 80 points, the second one was 40.

Game 1

Cursed Americans: 
Whydah + Hag of Tortuga, captain, helmsman, oarsman
USS Lenox + helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Flying Fish + captain
Sea Duck + explorer, oarsman
Philadelphia + Gus Schultz
80 point Cursed American fleet

Imperialists: (English/French/Spanish – the main imperial nations of the Age of Sail period)
Monaque + captain
Mont Blanc
HMS Lord Lineton + captain, helmsman
Edinburgh Trader + captain, helmsman
Virtuous Wind + captain, helmsman
80 point Imperialist fleet

The game used a unique setup, inspired by the “Other World” scenario from the scenario compilation on BGG. The two home islands were on a small table separate from two other tables, which contained 4 wild islands apiece (8 total) with 6 random treasures on each island. Both fleets would have to brave whirlpools in order to get to the other oceans to get treasure.

One table had the islands in a line with 4 whirlpools on the outside, while the other table had the islands in a square with just one whirlpool in the center.
Other Worlds setup
Other Worlds setup

The fleets sailed out, with the Cursed Americans weary of the considerable firepower contained in the Imperialist fleet, who had crewed every ship with a captain. The CA’s (Cursed Americans) had gone first and were eager to get away from the initial ocean and out into the wild of the other worlds.

In a strange opening to the game, an iceberg adjacent to a whirlpool moved into it, and a new house-rule was created on the spot. The iceberg was sent flying through the whirlpool and into another ocean! Each whirlpool was labeled 1-6 and a die roll was made to see where the iceberg would end up.
Other Worlds start of play

With the Virtuous Wind moving S+S+S and approaching the CA fleet, the Whydah, flagship of the CA fleet, gave the Flying Fish an order to deter the Wind from attacking. Knowing it would turn into a suicide mission, the captain aboard the Flying Fish complied, turning to port and knocking a mast off the Spaniard while also positioning herself to block the Wind’s movement.
Flying Fish attacks!

The Lenox was the first ship to brave a whirlpool, losing her oarsman in the process. She warped to the ocean with four whirlpools.
USS Lenox whirlpool USS Lenox whirlpool

The Monaque and Lord Lineton sank the Flying Fish as the rest of the CA fleet fled towards the whirlpool. The Virtuous Wind ran home to quickly repair her one mast.

The Sea Duck followed the Lenox into an ocean, but came out through a different whirlpool. The Edinburgh Trader and Philadelphia warped to the other ocean, the one with a single whirlpool.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Lenox had acquired a few high-value coins and wanted to make a deposit back at her home base. When she arrived via whirlpool at the home island ocean, however, she found the hulking Monaque (towing the dangerous Mont Blanc) and HMS Lord Lineton standing in her way! The Sea Duck had managed to move the Monaque in the opposite direction via a lucky mysterious island roll, but things weren’t looking good for the CA’s.

The Squalo stayed in the HI ocean (rather than follow the move boosting Hag on the Whydah) since she didn’t have any crew to sacrifice to the whirlpool and only had two body segments.
arriving back home via whirlpool

With four gunships and two of them (the Virtuous Wind and Lord Lineton) with the HI-raiding ability, the Imperialist strategy now became obvious. They would try to blockade the CA home island and steal their gold rather than risking the whirlpools on the way to and from the wild islands. The Cursed American admiral aboard the Whydah hadn’t expected such a low-volume gold strategy with 8 wild islands and two oceans to choose from, and so had to make a quick change of plans.

The Whydah went after the Edinburgh Trader, the only ship that the Imperialists had sent to a different world. Knowing that the Philadelphia could teleport the Trader home if the Whydah could derelict the Trader, the CA’s planned to break the blockade by suddenly forcing two ships (the Philadelphia and Edinburgh Trader) to appear at their HI, with the Imperialists unable to continue the blockade with an opening now created at the CA HI. Also, the Trader could repair and then begin firing on her old allies, who wouldn’t be able to return fire as long as the Trader stayed docked. The CA’s saw it as the best possible plan, since they would get massacred if their runners all came home against the Imperialist gunships. The Whydah sailed through a whirlpool in pursuit of the Edinburgh Trader.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

With the Philadelphia off grabbing gold in the same ocean, the Whydah struck. With 3 cannons of 4 in range, she connected for two hits on the Edinburgh Trader, who had to wait a turn to explore since she only had a captain and helmsman aboard.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

Meanwhile, back at the HI ocean, trouble was brewing. The repaired Virtuous Wind joined the Monaque and Lord Lineton in an impressive display of firepower. The Lenox cautiously sailed outside their range as the Sea Duck joined her, also with gold aboard.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Edinburgh Trader fled into a fog bank, and with the Philadelphia nearby, the CA’s took a risk and sent the Whydah back home to support her gold runners. The CA’s were relying on the Philadelphia to ram the Trader derelict, and then capture her on the following turn.

When the Whydah appeared through the whirlpool, the Squalo took advantage of the Hag of Tortuga’s presence and swam L+L underwater to arrive astern of the Virtuous Wind. The CA’s wanted to make as many points of contact with their HI as possible so the Imperialists wouldn’t be able to completely surround their HI. The Lenox and Sea Duck used round-earth rules to divide up and make the Imperialists focus on multiple targets.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

On the next turn the Sea Duck slipped her gold home as the Imperialists turned their ships around. The Squalo stayed submerged, using the Fear keyword to successfully cancel the Virtuous Wind’s ship and crew abilities. The Whydah lurked outside of range.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

In the other world, the Philadelphia managed to ram the last mast off the Edinburgh Trader, who was now dead in the water!
Philadelphia rams Edinburgh Trader

On the next turn, the pent-up tension that had been building for many turns finally exploded! Suddenly there were four ships docked at the CA home island! The Philadelphia warped herself home with the Trader, who immediately used her action for the turn to begin repairing. The Monaque looked on helplessly as the Philadelphia docked home her prize. The Philadelphia and Trader both had gold on them, bringing even more action to the CA home island!

On the previous turn, the CA admiral completely forgot about the HI-raiding abilities of the Lord Lineton and Virtuous Wind. Both ships swooped in and docked at the CA HI.

The Fear keyword is so seldom used that the ability wasn’t read correctly (forgetting that it affects ship abilities as well as crew abilities). The Virtuous Wind’s crew were too scared to steal any of the treasure from the CA home island! The Lord Lineton, however, pounced on a 5 that had been brought back by the Sea Duck. The Sea Duck and Squalo teamed up to dismast the Virtuous Wind.
home island chaos! Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Philadelphia and Trader hastily repaired their lost masts. The Squalo turned around, but the crew of the Lord Lineton weren’t impressed. The Whydah sailed into range of the Monaque but only hit once.

With the Lord Lineton worried about the gold she had on board, the derelict Virtuous Wind, and the not-so-scary Squalo, the Lenox was able to sneak into port on the quiet side of the CA HI.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Lord Lineton tried to save the Virtuous Wind, but the CA’s now had a numbers advantage. The Lineton was dismasted by the Lenox and fully repaired Edinburgh Trader.

The Monaque dismasted the Whydah but was unable to sink her. The Mont Blanc killed Squalo, leaving the CA’s with one less advantage.

Seeing another opportunity to use her ability, the Philadelphia scooted out and grabbed the Whydah and got her back home so she could repair. The Monaque sailed for home, disappointed with the outcome of this chaotic battle.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Monaque and Mont Blanc sunk the Lenox, while the Edinburgh Trader used her long-range guns to sink the derelict Lord Lineton and Virtuous Wind. This cleaned up some of the mess of the battle, leaving only four ships (plus the Mont Blanc) left in play. The Whydah and Monaque, flagships of their respective fleets, repaired and prepared for a final battle.

The CA’s sailed in line of battle with the slow Whydah at the end of the line.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Monaque attacked first, dismasting the Philadelphia. The Trader and Whydah ganged up on the French five master and crippled her, but not before she sank the hated Philadelphia using her special “shoot through ships” ability. The CA’s won this final confrontation by a hair, but the game was already over with so much gold on the CA home island.

The CA’s had collected 29 gold, along with 3 from the 5 that the Lord Lineton had stolen. With the Edinburgh Trader captured the Imperialists only had the 2 from the Lineton’s heist, giving the Cursed Americans a 32-2 victory!

Although only half of the islands were explored and most of the action took place back at the HI ocean, this was still a fun and hard-fought game. It was nice to see usage of the Philadelphia’s ability, the Fear keyword, and home island raiders. The chaos in the HI ocean at the end of the game made this one memorable as well.

Game 2

French Pirates: 
La Lyon + captain, helmsman, musketeer
L’Intrepide + explorer, oarsman
Hades’ Flame + explorer

Cursed Americans: 
Whydah + captain, helmsman
USS Lenox + helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Sea Duck + explorer

This was also an “Other World” game, but with a much different map. There were two whirlpools near the HI’s, and only one other ocean. The other ocean contained three whirlpools and four wild islands.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The French Pirates went first and sent each of their ships through a different whirlpool. However, the Intrepide quickly sailed back into the whirlpool when the entire Cursed American fleet emerged right next to her!
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

Every ship in this game docked at a wild island, but only the treasure runners had any gold to speak of. The random treasure used happened to be almost all 1’s and 2’s, making for some disappointing hauls.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

With the wild islands so far apart there wasn’t any action in the other ocean. The treasure runners headed back as the Whydah made a feint towards the Lyon.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Hades’ Flame and Sea Duck were the first to bring gold back, with the Lenox following soon after.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Whydah slowly made her way back with an extra 1 gold as the Sea Duck and Lenox headed out for blood. Eager to break the peace, the Cursed Americans wanted to cut off the Intrepide before she could return home.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

Unfortunately for the CA’s, they couldn’t quite ram the Intrepide, who sneaked into port. At the beginning of the turn the CA’s paid their price for sailing their ships right past an iceberg, losing one mast on the Lenox.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

With the CA’s plan failing, the French Pirates took advantage and sunk the Lenox and captured the Sea Duck. The Whydah approached the French HI looking for revenge.
Other Worlds Part 1 - February 27th, 2015

The Lyon sailed out and promptly dismasted the Whydah with the help of her musketeer, ending the game!

The gold was tallied up, with the CA’s bringing home 7. The French Pirates had found the lone 6 among a pile of 2’s and 1’s, giving them a resounding victory!

Two 60 Point Games – February 13th, 2015

Two more games have been played, with a build total of 60 rather than 40.

Game 1

Monaque + captain, helmsman
La Lyon + captain, helmsman
Le Coeur de Lion + helmsman, explorer
L’Intrepide + explorer
Mont Blanc
60 point French fleet

Foresight + BarstowHammersmith, oarsman
Bruja + captain, helmsman, oarsman
Splinter + helmsman, explorer, oarsman
60 point Pirate fleet

The setup featured just four islands, but instead of 16 coins worth 30 gold we used 24 coins of random amounts. In this way we had two wild islands with 12 coins on each island. Reefs and fog banks were set up to encourage conflict, with two icebergs ominously dominating the middle of the ocean.

Both fleets set out in clusters, with neither side wanting any part of the first iceberg.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015 Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

The Pirates were the first player, which allowed the Foresight to explore the first island and take 5 coins. The Bruja was escorting her with the abysmally slow Splinter predictably bringing up the rear.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

As the Bruja and Foresight made sail for their home island, the French continued west and struck first, with the Lyon taking out all three masts on the Splinter.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015 Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

Seeing an opportunity to hurt the French fleet, the Bruja turned around and attacked the nearby Monaque, who had rounded the first island as the Splinter sank beneath the waves. The Bruja hit twice, killing both the captain and helmsman aboard the Monaque. In the meantime the Foresight got home and the Coeur de Lion explored the far island.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015 Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

The Bruja was now double-teamed by the Monaque and Lyon, who sank her with their powerful guns. The Foresight was now in trouble, with no expensive named crew to convert to gold via Barstow and with a plethora of French cannons in her way of getting back to an island. The Foresight tried to run, but when the Lyon blocked her path she decided she just had to attack, missing all three shots against the Lyon.

The Lyon shot back and hit twice before the Foresight retaliated with a successful shoot-and-ram, using Barstow to capture the French captain.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

However, by now the Intrepide had towed the dangerous Mont Blanc into range, which effectively ended the game.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

The Pirates had more gold on their home island, but the French proceeded to NOT sink the Foresight in order to accumulate more gold on their HI while the Foresight lamely tried to sink the entire French fleet with just one cannon. After this brief simulation the French came out on top, by a score of (if I remember correctly) 16-12. Not a bad game at all, with a good balance of shooting between the two fleets! I was very happy to use Barstow, if only to explore with the Foresight and capture a crew that wasn’t able to be brought back.

Game 2

(Same as the above French fleet)

HMS Richards + Sir Christopher Myngs, captain, helmsman, oarsman
HMS Cheshire + helmsman, explorer
Edinburgh Trader + helmsman, explorer
HMS Galway

A rather unique setup was used, with the two home islands combined into one in the middle of the sea. Four wild islands with 6 random treasures apiece were arranged in an X away from the HI’s. Whirlpools and fog banks formed in the west and east, with an iceberg in the north and south.
combined home island game

The English used their speed to sail out quickly, with the Cheshire the first to reach an island and explore. All of the French ships headed for wild islands, with the smaller ships heading northwest and the gunships heading northeast.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

The Edinburgh Trader, Cheshire, and Galway all brought home their first loads of gold. Knowing the Intrepide was the best treasure runner the French had and that their gold game would be crippled if she could be sunk, the Richards sailed north and waited for an SAT from Myngs. In addition, the French player blurted out that the Intrepide had found “quite a lot” of gold on the northwest island, furthering the bloodlust of the Richards’ captain. Myngs brought her within range and with two shoot actions, the Richards sank the Intrepide and took two masts off the Monaque!
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

The Frenchman was deking, for the Intrepide was carrying only 5 gold between 3 different coins!

This left the Mont Blanc dead in the water, but it also left the Richards in an unenviable position between multiple hostile ships and an iceberg.

The French exacted revenge on the next turn by sinking the Richards, while the Cheshire ducked into a fog bank. With the fast Lyon, shoot-through-ships L-range guns of the Monaque, the Extended Range keyword of the Mont Blanc, and the doubled ranges of the Coeur’s guns, the French had considerable “zone control” of the northern half of the ocean. The English would try to get around this with their superior speed and strategy.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

The three English gold ships explored different islands as the French convened on their HI, with the Lyon dropping off a coin and the Monaque repairing.

The Coeur turned north to tow the Mont Blanc as the English continued their steady accumulation of gold.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

With the Galway slowed down by her cargo of 1 gold, the Lyon was able to corner her and send her to Davy Jones’ Locker.
Lyon vs. Galway

With only half of his original fleet remaining and powerful French ships still dominating the middle of the sea, the English knew they’d have to get creative to get even more gold, which was to be found on the “French” islands, in the north. The Cheshire ducked into a fog bank and the Edinburgh Trader followed her lead, staying out of range of the newly repaired Monaque.
Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

At this point, a rather unique situation began to develop. Revealing his strategy, the English player sent the Cheshire through a whirlpool to access the northwestern part of the sea without having to contend with the French gunships. The Edinburgh Trader emerged from the fog and grabbed the last treasures from the northeast island. Both ships then darted back into the fog in anticipation of docking home their gold, but an unwelcome surprise awaited them at their home island!

The French were blockading the English HI, with considerable help from their own HI (which blocked the northern side) and an iceberg, which split their fleet in two but covered part of the southern side. The English had so much gold on their HI that it was obvious who would win, but the situation was definitely worth playing out just for fun!

Two 60 Point Games - February 13th, 2015

The English waited in the fog until they got the right iceberg roll (a 3). Luckily for them the iceberg moved south, allowing the Cheshire to come home with 3 additional coins (she left her explorer on the northwest island in order to load an extra coin). This left the Edinburgh Trader to fend for herself, and she proceeded to ram the Lyon. The Lyon and Monaque sank her on the following turn, ending the game at last! The English were victorious with a 34-12 win!
home island blockade battle (failure)

As a side note, the first of these two games was technically my 206th game of Pirates CSG (since 2011, I don’t know how many I played before that – probably 1 or 2 dozen), which breaks the record formerly held by islander on BGG. Maybe I’ve played this game more than anyone else, ever. Just kidding! Laughing Still, it was nice to finally get to the top since I write so many reports and most of the folks at BGG (understandably) don’t have any reports of the huge numbers of games they’ve played. (At the time of this republishing in June 2019, I’m at 430 total plays!)