Command the Oceans – Turn 66+ (10/21/2017)

Huzzah for a battle report on Trafalgar DayVery Happy Well not quite by the time this is posted, but oh well haha. This has become somewhat of a tradition for me, as I try to honor such an important event each year in my own way through playing this game. I was even able to play through most of the battle time (afternoon), though in EST haha.

The Pirates have purchased another ladder so the Madagascar and Otter can unload textiles from The Flat without adding to the logjam at the kingdom entrances.

The Pirates venture further into the Tunnel:

At the other end you can see that Bonny Peel and Le Requin have nearly taken the Akua Lapu into Cursed waters:

Another batch of Pirate gunships approach the whirlpool:

On the battlefield, carnage mounts as the Jaguar’s Spirit, Chico and Bonny Kate make their entrances.

The Gilded Monkey used an AA to nearly reach the American home island! Her cannons dismasted the Lynx, and the Pirates continue to anger the Americans by hitting them in places they feel safe. First it was Preble’s flagship, and now it’s nearly an HI raid despite so many American gunships in the area.

The Pirates were mostly ineffective on their turn. With the QAR pinned to the James Madison, Blackbeard cannot escape to repair.

A big problem for the Pirates is that their ships simply cannot dismast or sink American ships yet. The battle has quickly turned into an attritional struggle with little damage being done each turn.

The JR’s use the Huginn to sink the captured Sea Crane before she can be towed home by the Needle! The Jades would rather see the ship at the bottom of the ocean than in the skeletal hands of the Cursed.

This shows how effective the Cursed L-movers have been lately. Tsuro and Tabby (McWarren) are throwing JR ships into the wall of fog that blocks the Tunnel. At that point it is quite likely that the ships will roll to move into a different fog bank or emerge on the wrong side of the wall. This delays Jade efforts and may even prevent an attack on the Cursed.

The Cursed spend a bunch of gold to launch the Rook’s Folly, Pestilence, and a set of their native canoes!

On to the English!

The Metal Dragon exits the Caribbean whirlpool at the Sea of Karkuda! Suddenly the ship is in the middle of the second Pirate-American battle!

Very intrigued and also excited by the possibilities this discovery holds, the Metal Dragon uses an AA from CRGO to return to the Caribbean. There the crew tell the English fleet about the battle. After some quick conversations a big decision is made!

The English enter the fray and they’re here to fight!! Four English gunships arrive in the Sea of Karkuda, ready to kill some Pirates. The Resolution, St. George, Ark Royal and Henry VIII represent the first multi-ship English presence in Karkuda, in addition to a continuation of English policy to explore other oceans through the Caribbean whirlpool. Having secured a truce with the Spanish, the English are now free to get revenge on the Pirates, which has been on their minds since the Pirate whirlpool squadron attacked. Blackbeard’s raid has only compounded English hatred of pirates.

The Spanish turn begins and sure enough they follow LaPlante through the northern whirlpool of Karkuda! The Santa Ana gets an EA to move south while the Santo Columba is the second Spanish ship in the sea.

The French try to find a new whirlpool, but LLG rolls a 3 to emerge in the Caribbean, a whirlpool the French are already familiar with.

The Americans take their turn, with the battle area looking even denser. Indeed, in the middle of this picture it’s almost a solid block of ships from the bottom of the frame to the top.

The Lucky Seven is dismasted, and the Georgetown is completely covered and obscured by multiple masts of debris:

The Black Cat also lost a mast, but some Pirate ships are simply out of range since they’re behind other ships.

Incredible destruction. The Minerva joins the Gruesome on the list of Pirate derelicts. The Hudson stopped towing one of the Minuteman flotillas and sailed north since the Silverback is immune to her L-range guns. This allowed the fresh USS Emerald to enter the battle, and Commodore David Porter connected with a Broadsides Attack! This took out 1.5 of the Silverback’s final two masts, and later in the turn the Ghost Walker cancelled her ability to dismast her.

SLAUGHTERFIELD:

The Americans are deploying a stalling and logjam strategy. If they tow Pirate derelicts or eventually sink them with constant cannon fire, the Pirates will have additional room on their next turn that they can use to put fresh ships on the front lines. The current logjam and unexpected English entrance is severely limiting how many new ships can arrive from the whirlpool each turn as well, furthering the American strategy thus far.

With derelict and weakened Pirate ships everywhere they look, some American ships are actually retreating since they’re not needed yet. The Hudson and President hope to repair at the HI, while the Concordia gets out of the way so the Adventurous can continue towing the Xiamen’s Claws. The Kettering, Quigley, Minuteman and others are ready to assist immediately when needed.

The QAR is dismasted!

The Thrud is dismasted as well, though not by the Fly. After that ship missed both her shots, the Swamp Fox came over and shot away both masts in a single die roll via Broadsides Attack.

Predictably, the Americans are able to dismast the Gilded Monkey right after her encroachment of American territory. As the Lynx repairs, 4 ships team up to wreck the schooner, with the Roanoke being given her first shoot action of the game to finish the job.

The Americans are almost there! They have troops on the Castle, and now just need to unload the fort upgrade from the Enterprise!

Total American domination of the Castle, with their numbers growing by the turn:

Things are considerably calmer north of the American HI. The Aaron Burr, Hancock, and Albany actually turn away from the southern battle, hearing that it is a complete mess and that the American ships in reserve will be able to hold off the Pirates for considerably longer than what was anticipated in a worst-case scenario. However, with Pirate-hating abilities, the Flying Fish and Constitution inevitably head towards the battle area. The Franklin may go either way depending on the circumstances. The captured Ranger was finally traded in after being repaired, and USS Lamon comes into play! She’s the second submarine launched outside of the Mercenaries after the French hired Nemo and the Nautilus.

Turn 67 begins! A full, scheduled resource change was necessary! For the first time in the regular changes, a 1 was rolled for value! Every resource was worth its face value, while a 6 is now the only value roll to not appear yet. In addition, the duration was for a whopping 8 turns, tied for the second-longest of the game!

The Pirates hardly manage any damage against the Americans, but put forth 4 new ships from the whirlpool.

Blackbeard’s ship is now dead in the water, but if the Americans and English can’t combine for 6 hits on their turns, El Dorado can warp the ship to the kingdom next turn using her ability. At the upper right, USS Destiny has been sunk! However, the little sloop is not large enough to make a lot of room for the Pirate advance, which is completely stuck. The unexpected entry of English warships has only complicated matters further, as the Pirates now face opposition from all sides.

Finally unable to put forth a large squadron at Dead Man’s Point, the Pirates still manage to launch 5 new gunships at the end of their turn, though the Snipe will not go to Karkuda. With immunity to ships within S, the Sister’s Rage and Black Arrow will be extremely annoying to the Americans, while the Princess and Morte de Yarborough provide additional cheap firepower.

After a brief lull in the new arrivals, many Pirate ships are poised to enter the whirlpool next turn. This includes many larger ships that can pack more of a punch than the Pirate ships currently in Karkuda. However, with such a ludicrously crowded battle area, how many of them will even be able to make the journey anytime soon? This further proves how effective the American strategy has been: if the Pirates fill Karkuda with their own derelicts which prevent them from getting to the Americans, they may be forced to scuttle those ships (thus losing them for the rest of the game, not a fun thought for any faction) just to make room for new arrivals that can continue the fight.

The Pirate squadron nearly reaches the western end of the Tunnel:

Indeed, you can see the Celtic Fury and other ships from the other side. The Victoire and Harbinger are still guarding that entrance, while the Akua Lapu slowly ventures into new territory….

With horrendous timing, the Jades find that their island has changed resources from food to textiles! The new resource change has food at 4 gold apiece and textiles at 2, so the Jades may finally have to look elsewhere for resources in order to continue their gold flow.

O_O With a megalaunch, the Jades reach deep into their pockets and put forth a big new fleet! The Barbary Corsairs are here!!

This picture shows all the new ships. ALL SEVEN BC 4 masted galleys were launched! They are carrying very effective and diverse crew complements, so they’re ready for anything. Aruj Barbarossa will command the Corsairs (under the command of the Jades of course) from the Nubian Prince. The Crescent Moon’s crew give the Jades a second AA crew in addition to a fast, medical barge lite. The right column contains various other ships, nearly all of which are ready for war. Their crew complements are also quite optimized, and all BC named crew are now in play. The massive launch costed the Jades 318 gold of the 525 they had, so they still have 207 left! They had 369 saved up but added 156 to that by cashing in 39 food tokens at 4 gold apiece. They would have spent more but ran out of room to put ships at their HI! To that end, more BC ships are likely coming soon. With only a couple JR and Viking ships left to launch and the independent Mercenaries somewhat having “first dibs” on their own ships, the Jades were almost forced to go to the Corsairs at some point.

The English fire their guns in Karkuda for the first time! They’re not too effective, but the Ark Royal succeeds at a Broadsides Attack to cripple the already derelict Queen Anne’s Revenge!

Wow! Continuing the English policy of exploration through whirlpool travel, HMS Forge takes the Westminster’s route to the northern whirlpool of Karkuda! The English hope to cement an alliance with the French!

England’s most daring and experienced whirlpool explorer, the Metal Dragon, takes the plunge once again. However, the result is awful. A 1 is rolled to emerge from the southeastern whirlpool in the Sea of Allost! The Zephyr also goes for random travel in an attempt to find new seas, but gets the same result.

Oof! Just like the Jades, the English get a nasty resource change considering the new value roll. At Diamond Rock, spices have run out and are replaced by more textiles, the same resource that made the English rich early in the game!

The English are simply in between right now. Between their point advantage and the current truce, they are not worried about the Spanish. However, they want revenge on the Pirates. After the Metal Dragon got lucky last turn by discovering the Pirate-American battle, the English have sent some ships there. However, between the battle area being extremely crowded and it not evidently being the same area where the Pirate HI is, the English are hesitant or unable to send more ships there. Additional ships are ready to take the plunge, and many options exist for combating the Pirates. They can try to force the issue in southwest Karkuda, or go through the northern whirlpool of Karkuda and try to find the Pirates from there, possibly with French help (the English aren’t aware of the Franco-Pirate alliance). Or, with this turn’s result, they can risk the Sea of Allost and send gunships directly into Pirate home waters. Then there’s the issue of the Spanish exodus, which the English have a hunch may result in complicated relations going forward….

O_O The English cash in spices and spend 189 gold on seven ships!! Showing serious interest in a Pirate beat down, the English invest major money in anti-Pirate activity. On the left, Governor Lynch, HMS Raven, and Jun Suong all get +1 to cannon rolls against Pirate ships. We know how much Norrington despised Pirates, and his Dauntless is outfitted with some serious firepower and extra weaponry. On the right, the third 10 master of the game is launched! With Nemo currently blockaded and his Mercs struggling, it’s only natural that the Shui Xian’s crew would go to the highest bidder. The English crew her with some brilliant options, with Owen’s reroll complementing Portland’s SAT. Now that I’m writing this report I realize that CRGO is already in play aboard the Caradoc, so we’ll pretend that it’s his brother. XD (the Pirates will likely do this with Jack Hawkins since the Jades just got the BC version of him) Woodes Rogers is another anti-Pirate Englishman, while the Hibernia is similarly crewed to take whirlpool travel head-on. The Swiftsure filled out the points and will patrol the Caribbean.

Of the 7 new ships, 6 are ready for the War against Piracy! Indeed, it may be called just that if the English declare war on the Pirates. The SX will get a head start with the Mercenary keyword, but the English gunships will follow with major firepower. Between this, the English squadron to the south, and the 6 English gunships already near Pirate ships in two different oceans, a major clash between England and Pirates is looking more and more likely.

In a reversal of fortune, the Spanish find luxuries instead of textiles on Paradise Island! This is incredibly good for the Spanish, who have generally struggled to find consistently valuable resource production from the island, which is their only source of wealth. In addition, this recent resource change would have favored the English over the Spanish, but with both major Caribbean islands changing, the opposite is now true.

Spanish gunships continue to leave the Caribbean! The Asesino de la Nave, Granada, and Corazon Dorado appear at the northern Karkuda whirlpool.

At this point the game is getting very “global”, with many factions in oceans not native to their HI’s. It’s become a complex and intriguing affair, with many more developments still to come.

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