A Brief Experiment with Return Fire – February 4th, 2017

A Brief Experiment with Return Fire

I was joined on VASSAL by agiantpie! The setup was for 80 points.

I went with a French fleet that had also hired El Fantasma aboard the Hades’ Realm, while agiantpie went with an all-SM English fleet. Plenty of fog was around. (you can find all the game pieces in the Master Spreadsheet)

In addition, we decided to experiment using basic return fire rules! Once a ship was done shooting at another ship, the second ship could return fire with any cannons it had left, though they would get -1 to their rolls.

With an SAT, the Hades’ Realm (HR) made it into a fog bank near the English home island.
A Brief Experiment with Return Fire - February 4th, 2017

The Soleil Royal, Royal Louis, and King Edward all reached wild islands. The HR got an SAT coming out of the fog, and hit the Dover and King Edward with consecutive attacks! The Dover only lost one mast, but the King Edward was nearly dismasted, and Fantasma stole a 5 coin.

A Brief Experiment with Return Fire - February 4th, 2017

With yet another SAT, the HR eventually sank the Dover! This was too much for the English, and the Titan finally caught the Cursed menace and dismasted her. In the meantime, the Montreal had taken up station in the fog bank where the HR was hiding earlier.

A Brief Experiment with Return Fire - February 4th, 2017

The Titan captured the HR and towed her into a fog bank to avoid the Montreal and get the stolen 5 back in English possession. The King Edward docked home gold and started repairing, while the Lord Algernon would explore the middle island. The Royal Louis and Soleil Royal sought the untouched southern island.

A Brief Experiment with Return Fire - February 4th, 2017

The Royal Louis has loaded gold, while the Soleil Royal prepares to defend her, waiting in the fog. The remaining English ships head southwest, while the captured HR repairs.

The Royal Louis parleyed her way out of some sticky situations, but that started to decrease the French gold advantage. The Soleil Royal lost a battle to the Titan after going 2/5 (including losing her grape shot on a 1) and taking major return fire damage (the Titan went 3/3). The Montreal did what she could to help, but it wouldn’t be enough. The Royal Louis ended up pinned, which further ruined French hopes. In the end, although the French parley gamble worked for a while (the lowest value coins from the HI were given up), the gold differential kept tilting towards the English, while the French fleet was soundly defeated in the south. The Royal Louis’ masts finally fell when she couldn’t afford to give away more gold, and the game was over!

A Brief Experiment with Return Fire - February 4th, 2017

The English were up 21-15 at that point, when we decided to call it. The Montreal would have rowed home to repair, allowing the English to get the rest of their gold home and make the final score 33-15.

It was definitely a good game, if not frustrating for both of us lol. The return fire aspect was interesting, though I’m not sure the -1 to cannon rolls is enough moving forward… more playtesting is needed, and hopefully other forms of this oft-discussed but rarely-played house rule will see the light of play.

First Games of 2017 – January 7th, 2017

Played two games on VASSAL with agiantpie.

For his first game in quite some time, we went with a standard setup at 40 points.  He went Spanish with the Acorazado and Pescados de Plata, while I fielded a Pirate fleet with the Arabella, Zanzibar, and Fleur de la Mort.

The Arabella and Fleur de la Mort got tangled with the Battleship, whose amazing defenses saved her from terrible dice luck.

First Games of 2017 - January 7th, 2017

After a double shoot action by the Acorazado, the Pirates were in bad shape:

The Arabella took a mast off the Pescado before both her and the Fleur were sunk by the Acorazado.  The Zanzibar was chased down and the Spanish won in a shutout, 7-0!

The second game was at 50 points, with two strings of terrain added.  A line of reefs and sargasso seas stretched out from the middle island.  I completely overhauled my fleet and went with a Crimson Coast Pirates theme, with the Victoire, Raven, and Royal James.  agiantpie added the Picador with a captain and cannoneer.

First Games of 2017 - January 7th, 2017

The Raven and Royal James took a nice amount of gold from the center island, while the Victoire headed north.  Both Spanish gunships headed straight for the tag team of Pirate schooners.

First Games of 2017 - January 7th, 2017

The Pirates were too quick for the Acorazado, who temporarily retired to the south.  The Victoire decided to take the more exciting route (which turned out to be a mistake heh, but at least it was more interesting) and use the Sextant UT to cross the dangerous reefs to attack the Picador, who had sailed north.

The Raven and Royal James wanted to avoid the Acorazado and get more gold, possibly with El Phantasma aboard the Raven.

First Games of 2017 - January 7th, 2017

However, the Acorazado got an SAT from Castro and dismasted the Royal James!  The Raven’s escort was smashed, but the RJ managed to effectively block the Acorazado by rowing up to her, allowing the Raven to escape.

The Royal James and Picador were sunk by the respective flagships!  This left both fleets with 2 ships left.

The Raven managed to sneak by the Pescado after a brief scuffle, stealing a 4 coin from the Spanish HI!  The Victoire prepared to run interference if necessary, and she also carried the Letter of Marque UT if there was a chance to repair at the Spanish HI.

First Games of 2017 - January 7th, 2017

But the Acorazado is too much for mere Pirates!  Within two turns the Victoire was sunk and the Acorazado barely damaged.

After a closer chase than El Phantasma anticipated, the Raven docked home her stolen loot.

However, the Pescado had time to run off to the northwestern island, bringing back a 6 and 4!  We were running out of time, and concluded that the 3 left in play would be sunk or stolen even if the Raven managed to get it without the Acorazado sinking her first.  The Spanish won a fun game by a 21-19 margin!  This further proves how amazing the Acorazado is, as if we needed more proof.  Even in standard smaller games she can shine as the best gunship in history.  Congratulations to agiantpie for 2 victories in his triumphant return to Pirates!

First Games of 2017 - January 7th, 2017

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games – Late 2016

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge

8/2/2019: These were some of the most shocking and unexpected game results I’ve ever had playing Pirates.


The Spooky Deathmatch fleet challenge has begun.

The first matchup:

Spooked into oblivion  vs.   No One Expects… (commanded by volt)

As I had planned, I kept my fleet together in a tight formation.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

I realized that I didn’t have the setup I wanted, since I wanted the Faerie Fire (the one ship without cancelling) to be in reserve since she had no defense.  The result was some maneuvering that made it look like I was boxing my fleet into a corner lol.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

At last battle was joined!  The higher speeds of the cancelling fleet allowed them to get the first shot, and the Kettering and Ghost Walker teamed up to dismast the Cristal.  The Guinee was quickly sank by the Spanish, after Grinder got some hits outside of cancelling range.  The Rye has maneuvered to cancel the flotilla keyword, which meant that Armada couldn’t be towed.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

Armada had missed the Rye four times in a row, which allowed the Ghost Walker to sink it.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

The Faerie Fire and Catedral came to blows, with the Catedral getting the better of the encounter.  However, the Kettering was there to finish off the Spaniard.  The Ghost Walker took out the Desesperanza, and the Faerie Fire damaged the Grinder before the Kettering ended the game on the following turn.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

Spooked into oblivion moves on, where it will face the fleets of xerecs and evanglazier in the finals.


Spooked into oblivion vs. Spooks of the Sea!

We maneuvered for a while:

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

The Guinee and Ghost Walker (GW) started combat, blasting a mast off the Executioner.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

Here’s the cancelling and chaos in full swing.  The GW and Guinee have been dismasted by the Executioner and Deliverance, while the Black Pearl escapes doom at the hands of the Kettering and Faerie Fire.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

The Executioner is sunk, but my fleet is down to 5 masts against 9 for Xerecs’ fleet.

After more shots were exchanged, only three ships remained, almost all in perfect health: the Black Pearl (missing one mast) and Deliverance against the Kettering.  I put the Kettering right between the two ships and let loose!  Somehow I hit 5/6 to dismast the Black Pearl (her guns being much more dangerous than those of the Deliverance) and smash the Deliverance a bit.

The Deliverance rammed and shot to take out a mast, but the Kettering won the battle.  In the end, the Kettering was left afloat with one mast for a very narrow victory!

Spooked into oblivion vs. Spooky McSpookface Challenge (commanded by Xerecs)

My fleet was more aggressive in this one, and the Kettering managed to dismast the Loki’s Revenge at the start of combat.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

The Kettering and Abomination were soon crippled, leaving my fleet with a firepower advantage.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

After I sank the Pyre and Abomination, my rolls started to go south, and the Nightmare went on a nice run of hits!

I nearly lost and decided to retreat.  Scuttle attempts on the GW and Guinee failed, allowing the Nightmare to capture both.  Xerecs made a nice move and grabbed the Guinee’s captain and helmsman since the Nightmare’s captain had fallen in battle.  Then the Nightmare towed home the GW to repair.  The Faerie Fire would repair at my HI, but the Rye was essentially useless once the GW started sailing again.

The Cursed had gained the firepower advantage and went on to win the game!

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

These games were unique since both featured come-from-behind victories.  My fleet was down 9 to 5 in masts but managed to win.  Selvaxri’s fleet lost its best ship (the Loki’s Revenge) before she could fire a shot, but managed to pull out a nice win.  Another game will be played; if selvaxri wins, he wins the fleet challenge.  If Xerecs wins, volt will likely decide the winner.


The Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge has concluded!

Spooks of the Sea! vs. Spooky McSpookface Challenge (commanded by a7xfanben)

The fleets move out, with Xerecs having a vast speed advantage.

Spooky Deathmatch Fleet Challenge Games - Late 2016

Battle is joined, with the Executioner taking out two masts on the Abomination.  The Abomination and Pyre purposely were maneuvering to try and protect the Loki’s Revenge and Nightmare.

That turn put the Loki’s Revenge in perfect position for a double attack.  Saccing an oarsman, she sunk the Executioner and Deliverance with help from the Pyre and Abomination!  The Nightmare then started chipping away at the Black Pearl, who put up a good fight.  In the end, the firepower disparity was too much, and the Cursed defeated the Pirates!  Selvaxri has won the fleet challenge!

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game! November 15th, 2016

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

Spanish deckplates

Santa Molina + Christian Fiore, captain, helmsman
Barracuda + helmsman, oarsman
Devil Ray + helmsman, explorer

Mercenary deckplates

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016 Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016 Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016
Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Sirviente descends off a swell, while the “Manila galleon” is about to load gold.

Spanish ships at sea

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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!

La Manila Spanish ship of Pirates CSG

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

With the Devil Ray submerged and the Manila back to normal, the Spanish turn back around.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Devil Ray is finally able to dock and explore! The need for a crew/treasure swap became apparent…

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

…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.

Devil Ray deckplate card

Christian Fiore cancels the Barracuda’s Mercenary keyword, allowing the Mercs to score first.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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.

Sirviente hits Santa Molina

Between these two ships and La Manila, every “ship” in the game had red or orange sails! The Sirviente is a particularly becoming vessel.

Colorful ships of Pirates CSG

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.

Sirviente dismasted

The nature of the game has changed, as the Mercs have 3 ships available to the 1 for Spain.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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.

Mercenaries deckplates

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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!

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016
Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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!

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

This allowed the Santa Molina to shine again, and she did. The Manila lost another mast, along with her explorer. The Mask was furious.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Manila finally dismasted the Santa Molina, but somehow lost another boarding party to lose her other coin!

orange and red ships battle it out at sea

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

As the debris of three ships floats away, the odds are against the Spanish.

La Manila chasing submarines

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.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

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!

A Foggy Affair – Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

A Foggy Affair

This game was between 5 fleets at 50 points each.

Here are the fleets in the order of play:

The English were looking to combine extra actions with the Hoist keyword and Commander Temple’s capture ability to snatch enemy ships.

A mixed Corsair/Viking fleet had a big focus on gold. With lots of cargo available, the Donar’s defensive ability, and HI raider Grim the Savage, this fleet looked competitive.

The French were next – similar to the English, they had a “pokeship” along with a 3 masted ship for gold running. The Grand Vainqueur carried a firepot specialist and reroll ability to increase her effectiveness, while the Auguste looked to get bonuses on stolen coins via Maurice Aristide.

The Pirates had two big bad ships and two tiny cheap ones. The Shadow was at the forefront – she would try to steal gold, using Mysion’s Parley ability to escape. The Greed’s Hammer would cause trouble for opponents and act as a hybrid, possibly trying to get the +2 bonus on coins the Shadow stole from enemy HI’s.

Pirate fleet

Finally, the Americans. I saw Crenshaw aboard the Saratoga in one of Cadet-Captain Mike’s battle reports, and decided to try the combo. Exploding shot and fire shot were added to make the ship more deadly, while the Colonial Trader and Argo would get treasure.

American fleet

But something odd happened during setup. The crews found no islands to dock their ships at! Instead, ships had to seek shelter in fog banks. To unload gold, a ship had to enter it’s home fog bank, and HI raiders would have to do the same. However, since ships cannot be shot at while inside fog banks, HI raiders were invulnerable while stealing!

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

Drawing from stuff at the bottom of my Game Ideas post, there would be fog home islands.

fog home islands
Fog home island game

The MF took the first action of the game, and here she extends her crane to find some gold and a UT.

Hoist ship explores

Moments later, the French strike! Throwing caution to the wind the Grand Vainqueur (GV) goes after the CV fleet, sinking the Donar! The Grendel has been set alight, and it’s a terrible start for the new allies.

The Pirates create some chaos of their own, as the Greed’s Hammer dismasts the MF! The Hammer had actually gotten Requin’s SAT roll, but Thomas Gunn gave him some kind of potion or brew of some sort, and Requin thought better of attacking again.

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

Continuing the assault on different fleets, the Americans join the fray! The Mermaid is quickly doomed at the hands of the Saratoga’s powerful gun battery.

The Turn 1 chaos:

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

The Corsairs get gold but the GV is intent on destroying their entire fleet!!

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

As cool as it looks, the GV managed to miss both fire shots, even jamming the flamethrower cannon. Her latter two shots connected to dismast the Dervish.

Bombardier flamethrower ship attacks!

The Pirates have pulled off an amazing turn. The Fancy explored and found Letter of Marque, meaning a ship could repair inside another fleet’s home fog bank. The Shadow got an SAT to grab some gold from that same beach, and then move back to deposit the loot in her fog bank. The Greed’s Hammer captured the MF, and the English were down to the Ajax…

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

And now the Ajax is in trouble! She had loaded some great coins, but the Saratoga sped around the island and set her stern on fire!

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

After another turn, the French and Pirates have unloaded gold. The GV sank the Dervish and nearly dismasted the Sultan’s Sword, who managed to win a boarding party against the Frenchman. The Grendel has repaired, but doesn’t want to leave the fog because the GV is so close by. The Saratoga has round earthed to the west, while one of her victims, the Ajax, burns in the east.

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

Possibly my favorite picture from this game:

Pirates CSG is awesome!

After only a few turns, the English are out of the running.

HMS Ajax burns to waterline

The Grand Vainqueur turns around to finish the job.

ship on fire

It’s happened! Likely the first-ever home fog raid! The Shadow takes a coin from the French, and not only can the French not do anything about it on their next turn, the Shadow has Captain Mysion and his Parley ability to protect her if the French do manage to attack.

Fog home raid stealing

The Greed’s Hammer grabbed the MF’s 5 coin rather than tow the ship back home. The Argo dropped off some high value coins for the Americans, and the Colonial Trader is almost back with more.

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

The Auguste set out to steal gold from the Pirates, but she was caught by the Shadow! The Greed’s Hammer came out to assist, and the Auguste was sunk.

The Saratoga’s fire shot backfires, but her other 3 shots hit, leaving the GV a burning wreck!

Fire and smoke everywhere on the sea battlefield

Just like that, the French have been eliminated! It happened in an instant – they looked like one of the better fleets, but now they have no chance at winning, especially after the Shadow stole a coin.

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

The Pirates’ next target was the Americans, who looked to have the most gold outside of the Pirates and potentially the French.

The Saratoga’s fire spreads, and the Fancy somehow isn’t hit by any shots!

Fancy has early luck against Saratoga schooner.

That gave the Fancy an opportunity to do something remarkable – a 1 masted sloop dismasting a 4 masted schooner with a successful shoot and ram. The Fancy had found an abandoned captain the turn before, which was perfect timing. Alas, the Fancy couldn’t deliver, rolling consecutive 1’s on the shot and ram, and then losing the boarding party 8-7 after both ships rolled 6’s. That gave the Saratoga a 5 coin, and to continue the sudden reversal of fortune for both ships, put out both her fires while hitting the Fancy with exploding shot! It was truly a momentum battle, with the Fancy having all the luck early and a chance to win, before the Fancy failed miserably and the Saratoga completely took over. That exploding shot meant the Fancy would burn to the waterline, and also eliminated the abandoned captain lol. A quick turnaround indeed!

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

The game soon ended, with the Greed’s Hammer capturing the Argo and sinking the Saratoga. That left the Colonial Trader, whose slow speed and inaccurate cannons stood no match for the combined might of the Shadow and Greed’s Hammer. At the right you can see the Grendel made a late-game dash to steal a fortune from the Pirates, but she didn’t stand a chance.

A Foggy Affair - Fog Home Islands on October 28th, 2016

The Pirates had won a considerable victory:
1. Pirates: 29 gold
2. Americans: 19
3. French: 6
4/5. English and Corsair Vikings: 0

This was a fun quick little game. The Pirates simply had the luck on their side. Almost everything went right for them, from the coins they found, SAT luck, and cannon accuracy. Combine that luck with the fact that they’re already the best faction in the game, and it’s no surprise that they emerged victorious. The coin the Shadow stole from the French was a 6, so they would have won 23-19-12 if not for that raid. The Americans got to pick their fog bank first as the last player, so they had a nice location for the Argo and Colonial Trader to grab gold while the Saratoga went crazy setting no less than 4 ships aflame. It’s tough to award an MVS (Most Valuable Ship) here; both the Shadow and Greed’s Hammer played perfect games, using their abilities and taking no damage. The Shadow got more gold, but the Greed’s Hammer’s cannoneers were simply excellent, barely missing at all and dismasting the MF and Argo. The Saratoga and Grand Vainqueur performed well, but the chaos they caused didn’t help their fleets win. The French looked great early on, destroying any hope the CV’s had. The English and CV’s were essentially doomed after a few turns. The Americans played a good game but couldn’t compete with the sheer luck and talent the Pirates possess.

I’d like to do fog home islands again at some point – next time I may have them move each turn, like rolling fog! (originally an event from SCS)

Maxing out ship point costs – October 8th, 2016

Another solitaire game has been played. As before, the Water World rules were the basic rules. However, similar to last time, there would be no home forts.

This time, instead of maxing out the cargo space of each ship, each ship had to carry crew up to its point cost! This meant that a 15 point ship would have 15 points worth of crew aboard.

As you can see, this led to some interesting setups! Unfortunately I forgot about some of the Water World rules when making the fleets, partly because I was in a rush.

The English were ready to go with guns blazing. The Auguste looked formidable for the French. Originally their plan was to use Calypso (aboard the Floating Stone) to have the Auguste raid enemy home islands, but there were none! The French then wanted to use Calypso to let the Auguste get to islands before the opposition. Maurice Aristide’s bonus would count towards any gold aboard the Auguste at the end of the game, since it couldn’t be unloaded. Carcharodon was an interesting way to “cheat” the setup restriction – with no cargo space the French were free to add the monster without maxing out the point cost with crew!

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

The Spanish went with a couple of 3 masted schooners. That face down equipment is actually my custom equipment:

Bow Chasers
Faction Affiliation: Neutral
Type: Equipment
Point Value: 5
This ship gains two additional cannons that can only shoot from the foremost mast of the ship. The cannons follow the range of the foremost mast of the ship, but they have 4 rank and the Extended Range keyword. The cannons can only fire in a straight line directly forward of the ship’s bow. Other pieces of equipment cannot be used with Bow Chasers.

In addition to the extra forward-firing guns, the Sirviente was ready for a fight. She also carried Fire Shot (courtesy of Master Bianco aboard the Cervantes). She had S-boarding, +1 to boarding rolls, and reroll! What a stacked ship! The reroll was multipurpose: use it for a botched S-board, rerolling a 1 with fire shot, or try to get another hit with the chasers. The Cervantes was by far the best gold ship in all the fleets, with 4 open cargo spaces in addition to the Secret Hold, explorer, and S-explorer abilities. The Spanish looked competitive given the restrictions.

The Pirates went next with their own batch of fun. The Greed’s Hammer had an eclectic mix: Barstow, helmsman, oarsman. Barstow would try to grab both coins and enemy crew (crew wouldn’t have to be unloaded b/c no HI’s), assisted by the other Pirate ships. They were ready to fight, and fight they would.

Going last would be the Cursed, with Davy Jones and a captain aboard the Scythe. The Demon Gate got a rare appearance, crewed by none other than RtSS Papa Doc (canceller and +1 to boarding rolls) and a helmsman.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

4 wild islands with 5 coins apiece. The other coins are at the low point of the arch on the other side.

On the first turn Davy Jones rolled a 6! The Hibernia opened fire on the Orkney and shot two masts into the water with the help of Nigel Hardwicke!

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

Careful to stay out of Papa Doc’s cancelling range, the English respond by dismasting the Demon Gate!

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

Chaos! The Scythe blades the Orkney but misses with her cannon. Her other cannons were destroyed by the Plague of the East! The Pirates were eager to capture Davy Jones and Papa Doc with Barstow, who could turn them into 20 gold total!

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

A closeup of the action: Davy Jones uses an extra action to blade the Hibernia as well!

closeup of naval battle

Unpredictable seas were a factor today; here the Orkney rolls to port as the Scythe rips down another mast.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

In the meantime, the French were struggling. Calypso’s rolls failed, so the Floating Stone simply trailed the Auguste, who found not only Wolves on the southeastern island, but also the abandoned musketeer who was supposed to eliminate the Wolves! This left Nigel Hardwicke as the only way to get the island’s gold, and he was fighting for his life against the Cursed. Carcharodon got bored and swam off to eat people.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

More fighting in the southeast as the English get the better of the Scythe. The Orkney’s ram took the Cursed out of the game! However, this made the English a target of the Pirates, who still wanted the Cursed crew for gold payouts. Now that they noticed the English, the Pirates began sizing up the pricey English crew as well…

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

During all of this, the Spanish Cervantes had made off with some riches. The Sirviente protected her, but knew she’d have to fight sooner or later. The Spanish tentatively headed south towards the French, with Carcharodon following.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

Tensions in the south: the Fancy and Greed’s Hammer look to join the fray against the English, who were severely weakened in their battle against the Cursed.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

Commander Temple strikes! I didn’t want him to be a complete waste of 6 points, so I house ruled his ability to say “wild island” instead of home island. The English explored the Scythe and warped both ships to the nortwestern arch, furthest from the hostile Pirates.

English nab Scythe

The only problem was that it left the Hibernia alone to battle the Pirates. She grabbed the Demon Gate to capture Papa Doc and gain his valuable canceller ability.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

But the Pirates simply ram, and then own the south! The Demon Gate is captured, while Barstow captures Nigel Hardwicke (ending any possibility of getting gold from the southwestern island, which is fine with the Pirates) after ramming the Hibernia’s second mast off. It was truly a great turn for the Pirates, as the Fancy even rolled a 6 at doubled range to snipe a mast off the Auguste, who had sailed to the southeastern island after discovering Wolves.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

But here come the Spanish! With a surprise attack, the Bow Chasers are run out and fired at the Greed’s Hammer! Surprisingly they both hit!

Bow Chasers hit!

The angry Pirates suddenly split, and give up control of the south to the French, who have moved in with their entire fleet. The Pirates turn their wrath on the Sirviente, but they only manage one hit in four tries! The Greed’s Hammer has no captain and decides to run for it. At the bottom of the picture, the Cervantes is biding her time, hoping for the game to end while she still has all her gold aboard. At the left, the English experienced a miracle at the arch. The Orkney explored and found the Trees UT! This repaired 3 of her fallen masts and the dangerous English gunship was ready to fight once more!

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016
Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

Absolutely relentless, the Spanish pursue the Greed’s Hammer! With improbable luck and help from Miranda’s reroll, they score two more hits!! The Greed’s Hammer sinks!

Spanish sink Greed's Hammer

At this point the game devolved into chaos. The Pirates, more furious than ever, sank the Sirviente. However, the damage was done. South of them, Carcharodon munches on Cursed helmsman. The French are still under the radar, with a gold plan. The Cervantes and Orkney are still important…

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

The Cervantes turned around, but the Plague of the East hit 2/2. The Auguste had failed an S-board, and was then dismasted by the Fancy. The French had their plan in place though: the Floating Stone dumped Calypso on an island to load 7 gold, while the Auguste carried another 3 with a 1 +2’d by Aristide. The problem was keeping that gold alive.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

The Pirates dismasted the Cervantes, but the shark dismasted the Fancy. The Floating Stone looks to make a getaway.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

The Orkney managed to miss a bunch of times, but eventually dismasted the Plague of the East and sank the Cervantes!

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

At this point the Floating Stone had to tow the Demon Gate (with Papa Doc still aboard) in order to contest the Orkney, who easily killed Carcharodon.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

Blam! In an impressive display of firepower, the Orkney hits 2/2 with her L-range guns (avoiding the canceller) to pulverize the turtle ship’s defenses.

Maxing out ship point costs - October 8th, 2016

The Floating Stone rammed on her next turn, but her attack failed. The English were victorious with just 3 gold! They had captured the Auguste with her 1 gold, which was worth 3 with Aristide’s bonous. However, the English had also outlasted all the other fleets, albeit with some help from a house rule concerning Commander Temple and some lucky Trees!

I would recommend these odd restrictions on crew! They make for a nice change of pace, and a fun challenge when building fleets.

70 Point Water World – A7XfanBen vs. El Cazador on October 7th, 2016

70 point Water World


A 70 point game of Water World was played between myself and El Cazador.  He went with a Pirate fleet with three ships each having double action crew aboard, while I went multi-faction with the Grand Path, Rocinanate, and Renard a Ailes (latter two from RtSS).

The Pirates attacked immediately, with the Akua Lapu going 4/4 to cripple the Grand Path.  The Cassandra flew through a whirlpool and came out to dismast the Renard.  The Rocinante hit the Cassandra twice but the Grand Path’s counterattack failed.

70 Point Water World - A7XfanBen vs. El Cazador on October 7th, 2016

The Pirates then sank the GP and Renard, leaving the Rocinante alone.

70 Point Water World - A7XfanBen vs. El Cazador on October 7th, 2016

The Rocinante put up a fight but the Pirates sank her to win the game!

70 Point Water World - A7XfanBen vs. El Cazador on October 7th, 2016

No home islands and no open cargo spaces! October 4th, 2016

In my first solitaire game since last fall (I think), I decided to do something totally different.

Following the Water World rules introduced by brettb45, there would be no home islands. However, similar to a few other games I played last fall, there would also be no home forts. There was absolutely nowhere to store or unload gold – only gold on ships would count towards victory at the end of the game. The game would end once all the wild islands had sunk, when they had no more gold on them.

To make things even more bizarre, there were 5 fleets at 30 points, but no ship could have ANY cargo spaces open to start the game. Every ship had to be full to the brim with crew and/or equipment, which meant that to load gold, crew would have to be either left on the island or killed in combat! It was a whole new approach to the game, with new strategies, tactics in fleet construction, and odd gameplay. It turned out to be great fun! I also happened to be in a rush playing the game, so all of this happened very quickly.

These were the fleets – one from each of the Big 5. Making the fleets was rather strange – given the constraints of my traveling collection, there were only so many options. It was also tough to fit named crew, especially without defaulting to a one-ship setup. The play order went in the reverse faction order, with the Americans going first, and then the Pirates. Each of the 4 wild islands had 5 coins.

The Pirates unfurled their sails but the Spanish were right behind them! The Furia quickly took out the Fancy, but the Cantabrian struggled mightily against the Selkie, managing to win a boarding party after missing both shots and failing to damage the ship with a ram.

Spanish blast Pirates

The other 3 fleets were content to sail towards wild islands without interference:
No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016
The Selkie fought both broadsides against the Spanish, but missed 0/3 and rolled a 1 with her exploding shot to lose a mast! The Furia punished her afterwards, scoring a hit to dismast the Selkie and eliminate the Pirates from the game before a single island had been explored! In the meantime, the Americans had ominously turned the United States around – why bother getting a few coins early in the game (which would come at the expense of some very valuable crew) when you could wreck havoc first?

The Maui’s Fishhook (MF) finds Plague! The UT wipes out all 5 of her generic crew, but it does allow her to load 3 regular coins without making any tough crew decisions. She left a 0 coin on the island as a decoy, and to keep the game alive in case she would be able to load more gold and/or use the Plague to terrorize other fleets.

Maui's Fishhook finds the Plague UT

The United States sank the Fancy and Selkie to destroy both Pirate ships, but the Furia sailed up and shot away two of the American’s masts! In the meantime, the Cantabrian had explored an island and loaded a couple coins, leaving her captain and helmsman behind. The Spanish were looking good…

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

But so were the French! The Missionary actually made it easier for them – the Floating Stone was their main gold ship anyway, so losing the helmsman and explorer wasn’t a big deal. The French had a plan for the island’s gold.

The Floating Stone loaded two 1’s and the Weapons, which would soon be transferred to the Marie Antoinette, who swapped her explorer for the final 1 coin. It was a good “resource management” turn – the MA would now have a +2 bonus on boards, which was a great combo with her built-in S-boarding ability.

An overview of the situation:

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

Not wanting to risk a Broadsides Attack with a world-hater aboard, the United States went 1/3 to take a mast off the Furia! It wasn’t enough once the Cantabrian and Furia teamed up to eliminate the Americans from the game! The Spanish had their own resource management plan: maximize gold aboard ships by transferring the Cantabrian’s gold to the United States, and then have the Cantabrian go back to the island to pick up more gold. It was definitely a strange game for strategy, but a fun and refreshing one at that!

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

The northwestern island sank, and the Marie Antoinette was looking to attack the Spanish before turning on the English because the MF’s Plague could render the MA relatively weak to the Furia.

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

However, I then realized that due to the Plague (using the old version), the MF couldn’t dock, so she headed straight for the MA!

The Furia sailed bravely into battle to protect her fleet’s gold, but missed her shot against the MA. The MA utilized her S-boarding prior to moving, but remarkably, she couldn’t even win the boarding party with extra Weapons aboard!! With two crew aboard and a die roll of 1, the MA had a boarding score of 7, which was tied when the Furia rolled an improbable 6!

Furia ties boarding party score!

The MA used her move action to smartly get away from the sickly MF, instead dismasting the Cantabrian and sinking the United States with 4 gold aboard! As a result the MF dumped the Plague onto the Furia to eliminate all 3 of her crew, and France now had the upper hand against Spain.

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

The MF actually won her boarding party against the Furia to take the Plague right back! This made her a target for the MA, who dismasted her with (ironically) help from the Furia. (with no crew the Furia couldn’t ram or shoot the MA on her turn)

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

However, the French still had a logistical issue in the way of them winning the game. The only gold they controlled was the three 1’s on their two ships, which could not be counted on against the 3 coins aboard the MF, who was captured by the Spanish. The French countered by capturing the Cantabrian. It was a race to see who could control the most gold the fastest, but the key lied with the MA’s still-healthy crew complement.

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

The Marie Antoinette used her captain and helmsman to sail up to the Spanish, sinking the MF and dismasting the Furia! The game had ended not with all the islands sinking, but with only one fleet remaining!

The French had won with 5 gold! All the other fleets had not a single coin between them. The extremely low values were explained after the game by the unexplored southeastern island, which held a nice cache of 15 gold. Even if the United States had grabbed that gold early in the game, it’s not likely she would have held onto it with the dangerous Furia and MA opposing her.

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

This was a really fun setup, and I’d recommend it if you want a quick, desperate, and exciting match. I’d like to do it again soon, possibly with other variations (such as making it mandatory to fill up each ship’s point cost with crew, rather than cargo spaces) and likely a higher point limit.

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament – June 3rd, 2016

The first two games of the VASSAL Fleet Challenge tournament have been played!

Game 1

El Cazador – VASSAL China (this fleet was played by a7xfanben)

Xerecs – VASSAL Pirates

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

El Cazador’s fleet went first, and both ships quickly reached wild islands.

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

The Nubian Prince cornered the Grand Path, and went 3/3 in the first fleet challenge shoot action we’ve seen in quite a while!


The Grand Path rammed the Nubian Prince, unable to shoot with her S range guns. In a huge turn of events and momentum, Dragon Eyes captured Aruj Barbarossa! This gave the Jade Rebels 10 gold (if they could bring him back home), while also denying his further usage by the Pirates. In addition, the Tiger’s Breath brought home gold, while the Darkhawk II found the Rats UT.

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

The Darkhawk sunk the Tiger’s Breath. After depositing the captured Barbarossa on the Jade HI, the Grand Path sailed out for a stealth raid on the Nubian Prince, but it failed.

After another raid by the Grand Path, the Nubian Prince finally escaped for good.

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

All remaining gold was unloaded, and the game ended! El Cazador’s fleet won 28-15!

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

Game 2

Xerecs – VASSAL Pirates

Volt – VASSAL La dominación española (this fleet was played by a7xfanben)

This time Xerecs went first. For simplicity and fairness we used the same setup.

The Darkhawk docked at the middle island, while the Spanish gunships moved into the fog.

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

The Darkhawk found the Turtles UT! This seemed to give the Pirates a great advantage with their home island so nearby, but when the Nubian Prince moved north towards the Spanish HI, the Santo Columba was able to swoop in and sink the Darkhawk with a double action! The Algeciras killed a turtle while the Joya del Sol docked at the northwestern island.

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

Poor turtles!

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

The Nubian Prince shot two masts off the Santo Columba, and won a boarding party against the Algeciras to capture Luis Zuan.

The battle raged, allowing a few turtles to reach the safe shore of the Pirate home island.

The Spanish decided to cut their losses and flee, knowing that 2 more turtles getting home would only mean 2 gold for the Pirates. However, if Aruj managed to capture some of the Columba’s crew, it could tip the gold balance in favor of the Pirates.

The Nubian Prince dismasted the Algeciras, but the Santo Columba had escaped through a whirlpool while the Joya del Sol sailed out for another gold run.

Knowing she can’t be shot at by the Santo Columba, the Nubian Prince rams the Spaniard but can’t capture any crew. The yellow token at the stern of El Algeciras signifies that the Spanish are scuttling her.

VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament - June 3rd, 2016

The Santo Columba resumed the battle with a double ram, but the Nubian Prince was too tough to take out. However, she lost Aruj Barbarossa and Luis Zuan in boarding parties, dooming the Pirate efforts.

After another skirmish, the Santo Columba had to repair again.

The Joya made a successful trip to the southwestern island, and the Santo Columba protected her return trip.

Volt’s fleet won 32-9!

At this point, Xerecs has lost both of his games and is out of the challenge tournament. This leaves only Volt and El Cazador, meaning that the third game will be a tiebreaker to decide the winner of the fleet challenge!

I didn’t do a battle report for the third game, but these should be the pictures from that game.  El Cazador won the game and therefore the VASSAL Fleet Challenge Tournament!

VASSAL CG4 continued – July 2019

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 continues at a glacial pace, but a few developments have happened so far in 2019.

Most of the factions have expanded a bit with new ships.  UT shenanigans continue to literally Plague a few fleets.  This update mainly concerns my 4 factions.

The Pirates have the biggest fleet, now numbering at 21 ships.  A handful are gathering metal in the south, while in the north (via the connected home island with round earth), the rest of their fleet collects textiles.  This resource change has finally slowed the Pirate launchings, but the resources are set to change again next round.  The Pirates have some of the first gunships in play, with the Akua Lapu and Eagle both equipped with the captain ability.

The Pirates have done a great job salvaging the captured Santa Isabel over the course of MANY turns, knowing their patience would probably pay off.  Maps of Hades was transferred to a flotilla, which cannot be affected since it cannot be given move actions.  Things like Rotting Hull and Wet Gunpowder were eliminated via repairs, and now the Santa Isabel is finally repairing her actual masts!  The Pirates don’t know what to do with the Fruit UT yet, so it will probably have to stay aboard for good and decrease the ship’s cargo to 4, still plenty for a solid gold runner.

The Dungeon has had both Plague and Enemy of the State for a while now – the Pirates launched her specifically to be the designated carrier of both UT’s.  She was making sail towards the Archipelago, but found a target before I expected her to.  On my latest turn, the Dungeon rammed the Virtuous Wind to unload the Plague and kill Tsai and a helmsman!  The Pirates have no beef with the Jade Rebels, but were simply looking to unload the nasty UT on a valid target before too long.  In addition, the game has seen no combat thus far, which combined with the glacial pace makes for an extremely passive game.  Perhaps stirring the pot will entice the other players to get in action more?  I doubt it, but one can try….

The Cursed have been going slow but steady.  They have 5 ships, all of which are going to and from separate islands as of now.  The Sea Duck managed to get in and out of the Archipelago with a load of spices, while the Opal Shrine and fog-hopping Wisp are heading home with UT’s as well.

The Vikings are not satisfied with their launch pace, growing more bored as they once again don’t have valuable resources.  The Frost is returning home with textiles from the island the Pirates have gotten rich off of, with two more Viking ships headed that way now.

The Corsairs have also been taking advantage of the nearby textiles, with four of their galleys docking there this past turn.  Some of their 13 ships are grabbing spices from the east, though the presence of HMS Hyena has made them a little nervous.

Here is the full map.  Bad Maps has changed the look of the Archipelago, moving the SE island towards the center to make the area more compact.  Factions are starting to spread out a little and the opportunity for combat is barely beginning.  Right click to open in a new tab for the full size picture!

VASSAL CG4 continued - July 2019

Feel free to check out Xerecs’ battle reports for the game as well!