I finished Turn 75 and ALL of Turn 76!!
Le Gaule sets the Jackson on fire, while the Auguste continues to surprise with solid accuracy, doing further damage to the Swamp Fox. Le Bonaparte and La Toussaint L’Ouverture are ready to back up when needed.
The Jackson extinguishes her fire but cannot do damage to the Gaule. The Swamp Fox hits a Broadsides Attack on the Auguste, but the Americans get even better news: reinforcements are coming! The Seminole has brought 5 gunships with her, and captured Pirate ships will also arrive soon.
The Ville de Paris is surrounded on all sides by carnage and death. The Lamon is putting up a ton of smoke, while the Concordia hits a whopping 6 for 6 (with a musketeer) to dismast the Mercure. The Ville herself is hit a handful of times, losing two masts.
The Sea of Karkuda. Crazy enough, not even this gigantic 3-faction battle is taking up all the resources of the two major factions (yet). The French and Americans have about 15 combined gunships blockading the whirlpools, and the French have additional gunships that are patrolling the southeast part of the ocean.
Turn 76 marks a resource change! After a huge 8-turn wait that saw no random changes throughout, it was time for a regularly scheduled change. The result was truly momentous. A 5 for value meant that food and metals were the top two resources, with luxuries and spices crashing hard. Even more important was the duration: a whopping 10 turns, the longest of the game so far! With each turn taking about a full day to complete, this change was a big deal to all of the factions. Many factions have been sitting on considerable stores of resources during the last 8 turns, so this turn would undoubtedly see some major cashing in.
After the Victoire and Harbinger roll for exit locations, the fog at the western end of the Tunnel lifts! This is an intriguing development, as it makes the Tunnel more obvious and inviting for the Jades and Cursed….
Cashing in metals for around 275 gold, the Pirates spend a chunk of it on some gunships they’ve been waiting to launch for a while. The Black Swan may be their final 5 master launched, while those three in the middle are three of my favorite Pirate ships. In fact, I like all 5 of these quite a bit.
You may have noticed that more fog has lifted! When the Grand Temple used her SAT to emerge from two different fog banks (separate move actions), the fog disappeared when she departed the bank! We’ll see if this weather change has any implications for the future gameplay.
The Virtuous Wind docks at the wild island, but it has no more resources left to give! With the Silent Death leaving a fog bank, more fog is gone. As of now there is a surprisingly large amount of empty ocean space between the front line and the Jade HI.
In possibly a surprise to both you and the Cursed, the Jades press their attack!! Despite Namazu’s presence and the launching of the Loki’s Revenge, the Jades advance essentially into the Roost! The Jackal’s Teeth has knocked a mast off the LR before the latter can even take an action in the game.
The Death’s Anchor is set aflame by the Divan’s Punishment! I know this is illegal, but flotillas have been a bit OP in this game (my own fault, especially since I’m allowing duplicates) so flotillas can be set on fire.
Flooding the area! The Donar repairs, while the Griffin, Splendor, and Nubian Prince all arrive on the scene. It seems unlikely that the Jades will be able to win this Battle for the Roost (a sub-battle of the current one) with the ships pictured here, but they’ve been waiting and wanting to do this for a long time. Ever since the captain of the Divine Wind told the story of that fateful expedition, the Jade Rebels have wanted to exterminate the Cursed.
The beauty of a campaign game – two months later, the Jades get some revenge!
An incredible effort by the allies in the northern part of the battle! The three Corsair/Viking ships on the right went 5/5 against the Sea Monkey, setting her on fire. The Desert Wind got in action, knocking a mast off the Rook’s Folly. At this point the Cursed have officially lost control of their lumber island.
The Cursed wanted to be able to use Relics again, so they shot at the Wicked Kareen with the Locker before shooting with the Death’s Anchor flotilla in the background. In the foreground, the Needle has fog hopped back into the fray. The Monkey’s Paw continues to increase her shooting percentage to a more reasonable level, dismasting the Scorpion and Queen of Sheba.
The Banshee’s Wail dismasted the Gallows, with the Poor Adams coming out of the fog to capture the ship. Top right: the Whydah looks to repair at a super-crowded Roost. Top left: Terrox is looming, though there aren’t many Corsair ships left in the area that are worth attacking.
Talk about crowded! The Pale Moon will have trouble repairing herself and her towed ally, the Executioner. Making matters worse for the Cursed, they may now have more gunships needing repairs than healthy ones.
Unsurprisingly, the Cursed were able to dismast the Jackal’s Teeth. However, it took a lot of shots to do it, with the Loki’s Revenge going 4/8 with a sac action and the Bloody Blade going 2/4 (with a cannoneer) to finish off the third mast.
Cursed troops descend from above!!
There are three distinct areas of this giant battle:
In the center, the Jades have caught the Cursed a little off guard, but the Cursed are finally getting some proper support by the main gate of the Roost. (LR, Guinee, Bloody Blade, and now three Death’s Anchor flotillas since the one that burned just got relaunched)
It’s official! The Spanish plan to leave the Caribbean for good!!! After sending most of their gunships to the Sea of Karkuda by whirlpool travel, this turn marks the total, absolute change of mindset for the Spanish in this game. They intend to vacate their home island and set up shop at the Castle, trusting that they will capture it by throwing their full might against it and combining their firepower with that of France to oust the hated Americans. It’s about as risky a move they could make, but perhaps a needed one since they’re by far the weakest of the main 7 factions. The San Francisco has loaded their two UT’s, and all Spanish ships are now making their way towards the whirlpool.
With Paradise Island not even producing luxuries, the Spanish don’t have much reason to stay in the Caribbean. Normally the cargo ships with luxuries aboard would at least cash them in at the HI and use the gold for a launch, but in this case luxuries have dropped to 2 gold apiece for the next 10 turns. By that time all of the ships can be in Karkuda, and the Spanish anticipate having full control of the Castle before then.
In the meantime, the captain of HMS Resistance has been meeting with Admiral Thomas Gunn on board the Lord Algernon to discuss the apparent Spanish exodus. If that becomes a reality, the English will have the Caribbean all to themselves! However, the War against Piracy is heavy on the minds of these Englishmen, with revenge as their motivation. The English are not currently in battle with any other faction, which is why I consider them the “dark horse” candidate once again… the Pirates are not in battle now either, but they have made themselves an enemy of literally every faction in the game besides the Spanish (who are allied with the French, who hate the Pirates).
The Lache dismasts the Sunrise Fire again, with the Felicite landing an extra hit so the Pirates have to repair hull damage next turn and not just pop a mast back up, therefore allowing the French to capture the ship next turn.
The Concordia has been captured! Lenoir of the Dauphin Royal got close enough to cancel the ship’s oarsman, at which point the ship was truly a derelict and the Orient captured her. This is another momentum shift in this long and arduous battle, making up for the French loss of La Charlemagne.
At the right I see 9 French gunships that are healthy and ready for battle. The French could loose the Concordia back on the Americans since she can fire when dismasted, but they will probably repair her at The Flat.
One of the best combat photos I’ll ever take. The damaged Ville de Paris is shrouded by smoke caused by her own firepot specialist, with friend (Mercure) and foe (Saratoga) alike dismasted around her. Masts and debris litter the battlefield to the point where only small patches of seawater can been seen. An American artillery cannon has been shooting for many turns now from the Castle ramparts, but winning this battle will require a herculean effort.
Once again the natural obstructions (in this case islands rather than fog) make for a severe bottleneck of the battle area. It just so happens this battle is being fought along a territorial border with many things in between, from the island at the left down to Fish Island.
The Providence unloads her infantry at the lumber island, though it too has stopped producing resources. The troops will give the Americans a (likely temporary…) vantage point and platform from which to add musket volleys into the mix of chaos.
The Jackson was scuttled due to her fire, while the Swamp Fox was towed out of the way by the Seminole, an American cheerleader like the Springfield and Hannah. The Lenox has replaced the Swamp Fox to fight the Auguste, backed up by the Niagara.
American logistics at this late stage of the game. With no more resources to gather, the Rattlesnake, Argo, Louisiana and James Madison head to the Castle for crew since the home island is too crowded for more ships to dock. The Constitution, Ghost Walker, Vermont, and Appalachian head north to inject life into the American resistance.
Between that picture and this one, you can see that the Americans still have a very real shot at winning this war. Four Pirate prizes look to back up the American line, showing that the conflict will not end anytime soon. Some canoes stay put to avoid getting in the way, while others head towards the hottest action.
The American home island, where 14 ships are in various stages of the repair process. The Bellevue carries the final metals from Luck Island, while you may have noticed a few new ships that were just launched…
The Americans have cashed in their metals and textiles for a big windfall! Spending 158 of 336 gold, they launch some ships they’ve been waiting on for quite some time. The Thomas Jefferson is one of my absolute favorite American ships, and you can probably guess that it’s the canceller version of DNT. The others are crewed great as well, with the Eagan and Mercury ready to dish out serious punishment. The Hessian is arguably the toughest little 1 master in the game from a combat standpoint: in a game with no ram damage, she becomes even more obnoxious. The canceller ability is key, but 4 cargo spaces and 9 points of cap space allows you to go crazy with crew and equipment. Here she has a captain, helmsman, shipwright, oarsman, and grape shot to be a little devil to the French.
A very rare shot looking due east. I love how it shows the custom terrain and structures I’ve made, as well as the relationship between The Flat and the Castle: control one, and you’ll likely be brought into conflict with whoever controls the other.
With that, another report is finished. Soon, the game will be finished. However, that will not be the case unless I make some extreme changes. You have already seen the start of this, with most islands running out of resources when ships dock at them, and with fog lifting to reveal more of the ocean to all the factions. A change of season perhaps. XD
It was always my intent to play this game to true completion, which would mean that the last fleet afloat is the winner. With an ending date goal of 12/20 in mind, I clearly cannot make that happen at the current pace, with over 9,000 points in play and about 3 weeks to go. I didn’t want to change the rules, but I’d rather do that than finish the game with a point count and with a ton of stuff unresolved (wars, storylines, alliances, etc). The following changes will be instituted NOW, at the beginning of Turn 77:
-Back to regular combat rules. Ships do not have to be hit twice to lose a mast, and do not have to be hit twice as many times as they originally had masts to sink.
This will massively speed things up. Ships will sink left and right, at a frenetic pace that will likely far outstrip Economy Edition (when more than 10 ships would sometimes sink on a turn). The weeks-long battles that have been going on will finally be decided, and wars will be fought to a satisfying conclusion rather than stopped artificially when “time is up”.
I am still worried that I will not be able to truly finish the game by around December 20th, but I will do my best. More rules will likely be necessary. Here are the main ones I am thinking about:
-No more launches (likely to be instituted on Turn 80)
-No more repairing, in any way, ever. O_O
These are both likely to take effect, especially the first one (which I’m basically planning on at this point). Thus, this latest resource change will likely be the last outside of any random changes in the next few turns. It’s a fitting end though, since the change allowed most factions to cash in major stores of resources, and lasts for a long enough time (10 turns) that resources and launches will be irrelevant by the time the next change would occur.
As I said, I’m not happy to have to do this, but this thing has to stop at some point. XD I’d much rather have a real conclusion by changing all sorts of rules than have to suddenly stop when a ton of stuff is happening all around the oceans.
Thanks for reading!