Attacks coming from land, sea, and AIR
If this is too long and you won’t read it, you can see a few summaries of the action here and here. There is also a video on my Instagram, as youtube and IG occasionally see exclusive footage of the action before the official battle report is posted.
However, the Saratoga set the Santo Columba on fire, and the Enterprise has nearly reached the battle area:
As I showed in one of the videos, the Americans have lost their line of battle in the northern area. The Congress is trading broadsides with the Hercule, but the Paul Revere is fleeing for repairs and the Yankee burned to the waterline.
In a huge morale victory for the Americans, the Monaque is dismasted and set aflame even more! This will probably doom the ship, making it the first French 5 master to sink in this game. On this turn it was a joint effort by no less than 4 different ships, as the Aaron Burr, Overton, President and Boston all got shots in.
Two other considerable foes are also approaching the French line: USS Kettering got Decatur’s EA this turn to speed northeast at S+L+S x2, while the Concordia also heads for the battle. You can also see 5 other American gunships along with the cheerleader ship Seminole heading northeast.
With the Saratoga and others stopping the Spanish advance, the Speedy Return may yet be able to repair at the Castle soon. The main American rival in the game is quickly shifting from the Pirates (handily defeated twice at the southwestern whirlpool) to the Franco-Spanish alliance, who not only threaten to defeat the Americans in what could be called the Third Fight at The Flat, but also threaten to take the Castle itself!
American “graveyard” for Turn 70. They lost over 50 points’ worth of stuff, a rarity due to the mast elimination and sinking rules in addition to how frequently fleets have fled and repaired during and after battles. It’s not that the Americans aren’t being cautious at all, it’s just that these three ships were all caught in the middle of intense gunnery from hostile ships with firepot specialists.
The Pirate turn
The Pirates are determined to limit or STOP the flow of English ships arriving from the Caribbean. To that end they have placed as many ships at or around the southeastern whirlpool as possible. By completely clogging the whirlpool, the English can probably be contained. The Pirates experienced the other end of this very recently, when they couldn’t send enough ships to Karkuda due to the battle area being too crowded, which was multiplied by the initial American refusal to capture ships and the small handful of English gunships that are still right around that whirlpool. Here, the Pirates use ships from the northern whirlpool of Allost to warp to the south. The Pride simply stays where she is and repairs to do her part in the blockade, while the Revenge, Black Mongoose, White Rose, Black Arrow, and Sister’s Rage suddenly appear from the northern whirlpool to block the English from arriving.
The Fool’s Hope didn’t have a good turn against HMS Forge, but the Feathered Hat, Dragon’s Breath and Deliverance all did considerable damage for the Pirates. The severely damaged Bruja and Obago move to the outside to allow healthier Pirate ships to take their place, but the Pirates have an “all hands on deck” strategy here for repelling the English. They will NOT let them get anywhere in the Sea of Allost, let alone get near Mission’s Kingdom.
Also, one of the Pirate infantry units on the gold island eliminated a crew from the Hastings!
The Centurion and Thirty Tyrants repair at the northern whirlpool where they’re joined by the Black Cat and Freedom, the last Pirate ships to escape the American onslaught. Fresh Pirate ships begin to surround the northern whirlpool, where the Pirates will keep a close eye out for invaders.
The four Pirate gunships launched last turn speed south towards the English battle, and are joined by a few support gunships. You’ve probably noticed that the Pirates have a solid home fleet, with various smaller gunships on patrol duty all the time. A full half-dozen of them can be seen here along the eastern side of the reefs, though some have been called to act against the English. The Draconum is the personal “bodyguard ship” for Calypso and her ship, the Stoneheart.
Taken for my own amusement, this picture shows what would have happened if they could get through the big stone. I managed to punch a perfect hole right to where the rock was, and it came off the Tunnel since there wasn’t a lot of glue to hold it. XD The mini screwdriver went through the ceiling of the Tunnel, but the rock was there to block it in the game.
With their home waters threatened, the Raven stops by the entrance to the Tunnel to check to see if things are OK. Her crew are surprised as the Pirates in the Tunnel approach, telling the ship to back off. Those Pirate ships are about to make way for the Celtic Fury to turn around, for Mission is not giving up on his Tunnel operations….
At the other end of the Tunnel, I was quite disappointed to see the Pirate “mini super squadron” fail miserably. The Revenant couldn’t get Calico Cat’s EA, while the Victoire and Harbinger got bad fog rolls that forced them to go back in. However, the Fleur de la Mort eliminated a Cursed canoe (the first time the Pirates or Cursed have had direct combat!) and captured a Viking helmsman via Will Turner’s S-boarding ability.
Not wanting any part of a nasty, messy, and deadly Cursed-JR crossfire, the Royal Rover and Sea Nymph turn around on orders from Captain Mission. At this point Mission has spent a lot of time in the Tunnel overseeing the progress.
The Pirates launched the Seref and Empress at Dead Man’s Point.
At the upper right, you may have noticed Plumb Point Lighthouse, the second lighthouse in the game! Vixenishcoder66 is still working on the major ability, but this is the version I’ll use if it comes up:
|(Rough Draft) Pirates Cove: When an enemy ship enters the range of this lighthouse the player must roll a d6. 1-2 this ship immediately stops and cannot be given any more move actions. The owner of the lighthouse may initiate a boarding party against this ship (no friendly ship is necessary). The lighthouse gets +3 to boarding rolls. If the enemy ship wins the boarding roll nothing happens. The ship may move freely the following turn. 3-4 no effect, 5-6 this ship may be given an additional +S move action. Flavor text: It’s difficult to know who is friend or foe in these waters.|
The new lighthouse is a perfect example of the new Pirate strategy, which is to stay at home and build up for when other factions come for them. It’s a structural investment very close the the Kingdom itself, and should allow the Pirates to gather spices faster, which is currently a valuable resource.
To the JR-Cursed War
The Jades get the party started! The Wiglaf hits the Sea Hag with stinkpots (which I use the green dice for when possible), while the Needle just barely escapes being dismasted by accurate Corsair gunships.
The legendary Flying Dutchman is also engulfed by a blaze! The Scorpion and Fire Djinn were actually quite pathetic against the FD, going a combined 1/7 (though the Scorpion pinned the Hades’ Realm with her sickle). However, one ship really shined here: the Valkyrie. This Viking one master gets +1 to her cannon rolls against the Cursed, and Warlord Thorfinn (from the flavor text) was ready to fight today! The ship got two 6’s in a row to set the FD aflame with fire shot, bailing out her inaccurate comrades!
The Jades were trying to prepare for the possibility of another devastating wave attack from Namazu. The Grand Path repairs, while the Beowulf eliminated part of the Clear Wind’s iceberg so it wouldn’t do further damage to Jade ships if the wave pushed it towards them. Other ships headed home for repairs, while the Grendel was chain-towed a bit. The Hrunting hides in the fog, letting the Donar take over against the Monkey’s Paw, though she is ineffective.
A largely pathetic effort by the Jades up north! The 1 masted longships go 4/6 to finish off the Cursed canoes, but the Strix and Knight’s Errant are still undamaged. The real failure came when the Floating Stone went 0/2 (with her reroll providing the second shot) and the Grand Mountain went just 2/6 and saw her exploding shot backfire!! Instead of the Revenant being damaged and aflame, the Jades had almost nothing to show for their efforts near the Tunnel.
At the right along the fog banks, the galleys cleared a path so the Polaris could finally move towards some icebergs in the north. Two of the best JR ships, the Grand Temple and Naegling, are still stuck in the fog due to the Cursed L-movers and their own poor fog rolls. That wall of fog has proven to be pretty annoying to the Jades, as each bank only has 1-3 locations on the western side and ships often find themselves in adjacent fog banks or staring at the huge southern wall of the Tunnel. Overall I can count at least 40 ships that have been directly involved in the battle at one point or another, with the front stretching from Broken Horn Island to the western Tunnel entrance.
Now, I do have rules for these. When the infantry are dropped onto the decks of ships, they function as an immediate boarding party. When dropped from the air, the infantry have a boarding base of 4 due to the surprise nature of the attack and being dropped from the sky. If I can remember to do it right, their boarding stat will drop by one each turn. This means that if they survive, they stay on the ship and can initiate a boarding party on the next turn, but they will have a boarding base of 3 and so on.
In this case the Ivory Star was the only ship capable of fending off her attackers! However, the Jades have been crewing their ships to the max, and the other three ships only lost oarsmen this turn. However, the fight aboard those galleys is ongoing!
The Sea Hag can’t reach the safety of the beloved (to the Cursed) fog, since her helmsman is affected by some stinky stuff. The Needle escapes, while the Poor Adams finally emerges from her own fog bank to dismast the Grand River!
The Fallen Angel beings towing the Jikininki, while the Whydah really wallops the Hrothgar! She burns, while the Fenrir also loses a mast. The Executioner uses her shipwright to put out her fire, saving the ship for at least this turn (house ruled if illegal). At the right, the Flying Dutchman succeeds with a Broadsides Attack to dismast the Scorpion!!
The Cursed continue dealing damage on a successful turn, knocking masts off the Fire Djinn and hitting the Donar with Fear. Without as many targets as before, and with Davy Jones sick of being selfless, Namazu submerges and retreats deeper into the Roost. However, her escort the Serpent’s Fang (a fitting name given her ability and usage) sets the Beowulf alight! (her crew was also scared by the Monkey’s Paw XD)
With the help of a cannoneer, the Knight’s Errant goes 3/3 and sinks the Sleipnir!! One of the worst ships in the game and carrying a rank-4 armament, this could be her finest moment EVER in Pirates CSG. XD
Davy Jones finally gives his action to his own ship, rather than Calypso’s or Deleflote’s ability! The Guichuan moves a glacial pace towards the battlefield, while the Divine Dragon finally rows home for extensive repairs that will take 10 turns (8 of them due to the “recoil” of Neptune’s Trident).
The DJC version of the Nightmare finally succumbed to her flames, sinking at last. She had a trying experience in this game, but managed to redeem herself on her final voyage after two atrocious efforts. Some considerably damaged ships return from the battle at the Harbor; the Cursed are happy to see them afloat but they won’t be able to help out in the War against the Jades quite yet. The Nightmare was the only ship the Cursed lost in the battle against France, a solid accomplishment given how quickly and totally they were surrounded at the Harbor.
The Caribbean factions
The English dismast the Fancy and capture the Kin Tai Fong, meaning the Pirates have been completely eliminated from southwest Karkuda! The Americans and English have had limited contact in this battle, and the English have not told the Americans about their alliance with the French (in fact these ships may not know about it depending on when they went to Karkuda vs. the Forge meeting the Dauphin Royal). The Americans say the English can take what Pirate derelicts they capture, but this would just be the Fancy and KTF at this point. The English are simply happy that all four ships survived the LONG and messy battle, though the Henry VIII is the only one in good condition.
Speaking of whirlpool battles, the one in the Sea of Allost is expanding and getting hotter! The English have a GREAT turn against the Pirates, putting some ships in major trouble with accurate cannon fire.
An AA from CRGO allowed the Guy Fawkes to move and shoot right after coming through the whirlpool from the Caribbean, and here she sets the Tejon aflame. This AA also allowed for an extra ship to come through the whirlpool in the space the Guy Fawkes would have occupied.
The Spanish continue their improbable run of success, essentially beating the Americans on their own turf with a smaller force! The Santo Columba fought despite her quarterdeck being in flames, setting the Saratoga on fire for revenge. The crippled Santa Ana got a weird fog roll to exit between the two ships, blocking the Santo Columba from American cannons on their next turn but setting herself up to be captured or dismasted. However, the Santa Ana hit with her firepot specialist as well, and the Saratoga is now an inferno!!
The Granada sets the Gold Eagle aflame while the Asesino blasts apart the Kentucky, eliminating both a mast and cargo. On the other side of the Castle, the Acorazado used Master Gunner Rogelio Vazquez to shoot American infantry off a rampart, where they fell into the water on the other side!
With more eventually on the way!! One of Spain’s finest is launched, El Principe de Asturias. She carries a captain, helmsman, oarsman, artillery unit, and two infantry units. It’s time to take back the Castle!
Thanks for reading! Within a week I plan to do a “faction situation analysis” in addition to a point count!