At the left, various Corsair ships with no chance of affecting the battle are deliberately wrecking themselves on reefs to make it harder for the Pirates to get at the Jade home island. However, this strategy may backfire since the Pirates haven’t shown any inclination to sail out of their home waters.
The combination of Jade ships sinks the Victoire!
The crew of the Grendel hate the Cursed, and the Cursed have damaged the vessel multiple times in this game. Showing the bad blood between these two factions that just won’t dissipate, the Grendel sets fire to the Sickle, essentially sinking her!
Angelica swoops on the Sea Snake!! The attack is successful, which means that Angelica has gained the proper experience and flesh with which to use fire breathing attacks! O_O
Between the Sea Wind and recently wrecked galleys, shipwrecks are beginning to litter this area of the sea.
The Cursed press their attack! The Kirbac is sunk. The Fathom somehow goes 3/3 against the Golden Medusa without even needing her ability!
At the top of this photo you can see some of the more powerful Cursed ships approaching the battlefield. Namazu is submerged but has emerged from the fog.
The general advance. At the bottom right, the Cursed sabotage the Jades by firing upon those ships waiting their turn at the Tunnel battle.
The Cursed surge east, with powerful Royal Navy warships continuing to arrive in the background….
For indeed, the Endeavour and Leicester are here!
The continued exodus from the Caribbean:
It’s mostly French vs. Americans at the eastern part of the Castle. The Enterprise has been sunk!
The French inch closer with their numbers advantage:
One of my favorite pictures yet, showing the carnage near “the spot” from mast level. Ships literally just sailing over piles of masts. XD
The Delacroix and Monaque loom:
The final French gunships have left the Harbor, while the Frontier has dropped off (possibly the last) army units at the Castle.
L’Aube sinks as USS Mercury gets into action:
Almost from the infantry perspective, looking down at the French onslaught:
It’s a Battle of the Heroes! Amiral Louis Cartier and Jordan Dumas fight Commodore Preble himself in an epic clash!!
The Delacroix and President have been two of the most effective ships in their respective fleets, but only one will prevail in this showdown:
The Neptune is sunk and the Superbe is doomed to fire!
At the right you can see the trio of American ships providing a morale boost: the President, Kettering, and Thomas Jefferson are about the best ships they have left.
I think this will become one of my favorite shots from ANY game:
It is interesting that the Zanzibar and Tombstone have turned around; perhaps the Americans have given up that passageway under the bridge?
The ships sunk during the turn:
THE PIRATES HAVE BUILT A PARTIAL FORT ATOP THE TUNNEL!!!!!
This is a modified fort with just one wall of cannons since the Pirates cannot fit more walls facing the ocean. The two cannons are rank-3 but have a range of L+L or even L+L+L, similar to the Diamond Rock situation.
A barrage of musket fire from the top would be cool enough, but now there are actual cannons facing west!!
There are five infantry units stationed in the fort now, and they now have protection from the fort walls.
An incredible feat of engineering and persistence. Now it’s obvious why the Pirates had brought up some fort supplies from the main ladder.
I seem to notice a new absence of ships around the Harbinger…
The Harbinger sacced for a second action, and sank FOUR ships by herself! O_O (9/10 shooting I think, with world hater/sac crew Derrik the Red aboard)
Pirate cannons in the north aren’t nearly as effective, so the Jades took a much harder beating this turn than the Cursed.
Welp, there go the two Merc 4 masters! The Pride (successful BA) and Feathered Hat did most of the damage.
An inevitable clash may be obvious…
… three 10 masters in this picture….
It’s happening!! A 10 master duel!!
Debris falls upon all the surrounding ships:
In a curious move that only helps the Pirates, the Jades continue to fire upon the Cursed. Not only will it help the Pirates, it just makes it more likely that the Cursed will return the favor on their turn. The Jades are blinded by their hatred.
The Noble Swan misses Angelica, and the Jades appear incapable of sustaining any kind of offensive against the Pirates in the south.
The Cursed take their turn. You may remember that Trees has been on this wild island for ages! I said no repairing in any way, but I think this was worth breaking the rule.
The Guichuan suddenly has all her masts up again! O_O
The Cursed continue to advance their numbers towards the Pirate lines:
The Skin Flayer rips into the Thirty Tyrants!
It was tough to get the right angle where the blades would reflect the way I wanted them to.
Allost is very crowded as tons of ships sail to the battle areas:
The Cursed are trying to match the strength the Pirates have up north with their own strength. Along with the Skin Flayer, some of the better 3 and 4 masters in the Cursed fleet are up north. Namazu is swimming along, and now the Cursed have two healthy 10 masters!!
Throw in the Shui Xian and Baochuan, and the anti-Pirate factions have four 10 masters near the same area! The only Pirate 10 master is already hurting badly.
Didn’t expect to see the Cursed and English sailing together in this game, but the situation certainly calls for it.
Here are some nice shots I really liked. All five 10 masters in my collection.
More English ships have arrived:
Getting an intelligence report from the Cursed, the English are sending their smaller ships to the south where they will likely have to travel over reefs to reach the Pirates. The larger ships are headed to the hot actions at the Tunnel and north of it.
In a sneaky move, the Gibraltar tries to raid the Spanish HI, but there’s nothing left! The Spanish have truly packed up and gone, with the Magdalena being the final ship to leave the Caribbean next turn.
Even at the extreme southern edge of this ocean, there is considerable wreckage accumulating. The Carolina cannot sit flat in the water because of it.
The Mercury goes 2/4 against the San Cristobal in an interesting matchup.
Other than the San Cristobal and Resolucion, it’s worth noting that the Spanish are hardly engaged in the Battle for the Castle anymore. The French have largely taken over against the Americans, and in some cases, French ships have accidentally entered the action right between the Spanish and Americans, forming a wedge to protect the Spanish without intending to.
The rest of the Spanish fleet is arriving turn-by-turn at the Castle, at this point just waiting for more docking areas to open up slightly to the south so they can try to win back the Castle in a combined boarding party.
Not many American flags waving in this area:
On the French turn, the Delacroix shot a pitiful 1/6 in a double shoot action with all rank-2 cannons. O_O (she did FAR better earlier in the game) Preble took advantage by giving the President his own AA, vanquishing the ship and winning the battle! Against all odds Preble is surviving every battle he finds himself in. A true leader and brilliant admiral!
Love the color and brilliance of shots like these, with various damaged ships duking it out:
The Descharges will fall to the Jarvis and Champ, but at least 5 French ships are headed around the big island to come at the Americans from a different angle.
French ships are now free to pass underneath the bridge connecting the two Castles! Finally!
The Monaque was busy sinking the Julius Caesar:
Funny how the Castle can make the battle look so much smaller.
The Concordia sails out to fire her cannons again, with the dust and particles as a testament to how long this game has gone on for. (over 3 months now!)
Some pictures with the Tunnel off so you can see the battle better!
Between the Crusher, Celtic Fury, and an AA to the Revenant, the Baochuan is sunk!!
The Santa Molina is set aflame by the Accused, while the Freedom and Proud Tortoise break from the Pirate line to attack various Cursed ships.
Battles lines become blurred as the battle eventually disintegrates into a pell-mell engagement:
With the first 10 master sunk and another about to sink, this battle will clearly have no special survivors regardless of armament and durability. The cannon fire may sink everything! XD
In a slight break from Pirate policy, the Deliverance ghosts over the reefs to shoot at Jade ships in their own waters!
All the shots missed. Various ships are still entering the Tunnel
Gunners atop the Tunnel are still taking aim:
Almost impossible to keep the infantry standing up properly when I remove the Tunnel from the ocean to play the turn. They have been taking some shots against Cursed ships.
Captain Missions is like Commodore Preble: an active, lead-from-the-front admiral!
Even with their numbers and height advantage, the troops in the fort are intimidated by the Delusion:
And now the Guichuan is healthy again, just in time for the War on Pirates.
Caught in an intense crossfire, Mission cannot survive in the heat of battle!! Ironically, Warlord Cavendish (the Jade Admiral) sends him to his doom! The Grand Wind is finally being used as a warship, and makes up for quality with quantity.
The Crusher and Captain Mission are no more. Clearly a morale loss for the Pirates, but their numbers are so great and their leadership so diverse (the likes of Calico Cat, Bonny Peel, Lafitte, Swann, and others are still alive) that they should be able to carry on as normal. In fact, now the Pirates are determined to finish Mission’s legacy with a grandiose victory in the largest game of all time.
The Cursed have a very strong presence at the Tunnel and north of it, but actually penetrating Pirate territory will be very slow, and quite possibly, impossible. XD
The Grand Temple has sunk the Celtic Fury!!
Unsurprisingly, the Hades’ Realm takes some shots at the Crescent Moon:
The Cursed gang up and send the ship to her doom!
The Cursed take their turn by the Tunnel.
The Centurion falls to the Skin Flayer:
The Cursed sink the Freedom but most of their ships are still reaching the battle.
The Delusion retreats a bit, joining the Guichuan behind Cursed lines. Namazu is also still in play….
Love this view, essentially from the top edge of the Roost:
The two dragons have returned to the Roost as the War for Allost rages below.
The Royal Navy overruns Cursed territory in their quest for vengeance:
I love how the flash can bring out the sail and hull colors.
The Caribbean is now a “ghost ocean”. The Spanish have left for good, and only a handful of English ships remain.
Diamond Rock may never need to be defended… at least not in this game perhaps….
A few dark pictures as the sun sets on this day’s action. The San Cristobal goes 3/3 against the Mercury!
The final Spanish ship has arrived from the Caribbean, but there is a logjam of ships that cannot enter the battle yet.
A new record 74 ships were sunk on December 9th. O_O This brings the two-day total to 120.
Forgot to mention that the last report got my Google doc with these reports to more than 400 pages… can’t wait to submit that as a single post at BGG once the game ends…. XD O_O
Just to show the carnage in the hottest spot of the Spanish-American battle:
Having punched a hole in the American resistance, the French are finally free to send ships under the Castle bridge and into American waters!!
A scary sight for the American troops on the Castle:
Truly a cool shot that we’ve never really seen in a game:
The Monaque burns but soldiers on:
With almost no American defenses, the French cannot be contained!
The Eagan is finally sunk, allowing the French to make progress in this part of the battle as well.
Champ will soon have some competition in the northwest….
The War for Karkuda! The Hercule has sunk the President, eliminating Commodore Preble from the game!!
USS Thomas Jefferson enters the fray and nearly kills Amiral Gaston himself! The Bourbon is in serious trouble.
However, not many American ships stand in the way of the gradual French advance:
The Danae is sunk by the Kettering, but Preble’s death could mean the end for the Americans. Diamond Nelson Turner (aboard the Thomas Jefferson) becomes their first in command.
The Americans sink the San Cristobal!
Wreckage has accumulated in this area for many turns now:
The Poison Dagger sails atop a pile of masts around 5 high! O_O
Previously their weakest area for a short time, the southern waters of the Castle are now where the American resistance is the strongest.
Curiously enough, the American infantry moved off the bridge this turn instead of shooting.
The troops jump aside despite having the crew of the Tepant at point-blank musket range:
The Americans aren’t giving up though….
THEY HAVE RIGGED THE BRIDGE WITH EXPLOSIVES!!!!
With a huge explosion heard at the French Harbor, the Americans blow up their own bridge!!
The explosion rockets all over the area, raining debris and tons of wood down on the French ships sailing below!!!!
… but what of the ships underneath it?
The force of the blast knocked over both masts on the Martinique, and scattered various debris.
The Monaque and Saber are both dismasted by the falling rubble:
You can just see that the Tepant was also damaged, with her foremast and forecastle coming off the ship’s hull! A crazy scene, showing how desperate the Americans are:
The American troops got out of the way just in time for the blast to go off, taking down the bridge along with 3+ French ships underneath it.
There was already considerable wreckage in this area from the intense fighting…
… and this will only add to it!
The Saber’s masts were snapped off when the eastern half of the bridge swung downwards (at high speed due to the force of the blast) and crushed everything.
The few survivors of the sabotage move will have a difficult time being rescued. If you can imagine the darkness as the smoke of the burning rubble and debris, this shows one of the most devastating moments in the history of naval warfare. Masts litter the seawater, partly from the never-ending battle and partly from the sudden detonation of the bridge. Wreckage is strewn everywhere.
Unfortunately, the explosion only served to amplify the fires still burning aboard the Monaque, as fire and fresh dry wood fill the air and main deck of the ship:
The fire reaches the powder magazine and the ship explodes!!!!
The Monaque is ripped apart by the second blast!! The western half of the bridge that fell near the Monaque is blown to bits, with debris thrown high in the air!!
The force of the blast has produced a shock wave that has moved the Monaque’s shattered masts along the water. A big piece of burning bridge falls near the reef. The Martinique is forced against the base wall of the Castle, and the Versailles is taking on water. The force of the blast has combined with wood splinters and iron shards to disembowel and maim some of the American infantry stationed on a nearby rampart.
Devastation. The western half of the bridge has been completely annihilated by the upward explosion.
The Americans were ready to sink some Frenchmen with their bridge falling into the gap, but they weren’t ready for a chain reaction that went beyond their simple demolition!
From the previous pictures, you could see the Saber listing heavily to starboard. This second explosion has hastened that development, and the ship has nearly capsized. This is a sad day for France, as two of their better gunships still afloat are gone. The Saber also carried valuable sac captain Capitaine Arazure with a full crew complement to support him.
Whoah! The Tepant is knocked around and heeled over to starboard, with a fire starting!
It appears as though the northern chunk of the western half of the bridge was thrown into the Tepant when the Monaque exploded, knocking the ship sideways and setting her aflame. Up top, you can see that more American troops have perished after being knocked backwards and hit with flying debris.
The Monaque has blown up, knocking the bridge mostly off of her but onto everything else nearby. Somehow the Monaque’s mainmast has ended up inside the Castle! O_O
I kept this picture to show the speed at which things happened, but of course it is worth writing about even though this all took place in a short period of time.
The Tepant is likely doomed: water began seeping into the ship when her bow was splintered by the first explosion, and now she is on fire and taking water on her starboard side as well. To make matters worse, the bridge chunk that slammed into her is still on fire too!
The total damage may be less than what the Cursed did with Neptune’s Trident, but unlike that attack, this one got away from the faction that instigated it. The Americans didn’t bargain for such a mammoth event, and fires are still burning all over the place.
The Martinique will be too badly damaged to continue:
Here you can see how the eastern half of the bridge was bent and shaped by the Monaque blowing up. That part of the bridge was pushed into the Saber, helping to tip the ship over.
Not quite as impressive from afar, but it still has an impact on the War for Karkuda.
This is where the French have been the strongest so far in this war, but the catastrophic event could put a damper on their hopes. There isn’t a way to clear the wreckage quickly, so the French will likely have to sail around the Castle on either side to continue their advance into American waters.
OH MY GOD!!! As the Monaque was sinking, another explosion ricocheted along the length of the ship and shot towards the Castle extension!! Reaching a secret American gunpowder room, the third blast reaches an immense radius!!!!
This incredible THIRD EXPLOSION blasted through the wall of the Castle, destabilizing the entire structure itself!!!
The Castle wall is ripped apart by the blast, and the falling rubble caused some of the upper portions to fall down in an avalanche of debris!
Now we know the French definitely won’t be able to pass through the two castle areas again. XD
This shocking development has hurt not just the French but the Americans as well:
The Americans have lost all but one of their 4 infantry stationed at the Castle. They had the right idea with sabotaging their ill-fated bridge, but didn’t anticipate a chain reaction triple explosion that essentially destroyed the entire surrounding area. O_O
Whew! With that we move back to the Sea of Allost. HMS Durham has lost 3 masts… to what?
Havana Black’s Deliverance! The Pirate captain sacced to ghost through some dismasted Jade ships, shooting at the Durham. His second action was used to ghost the Deliverance through the wall of the Tunnel, thus making the ship immune to return fire on the English turn! A true hit and run, Pirates CSG style.
With the Tunnel removed, the War for Allost is evident.
The Grand Wind is sunk, and Jade Admiral Warlord Cavendish is no more!
The Pirates teamed up to sink the Skin Flayer, whose Eternal didn’t activate due to the no repairing rule (not much point in bringing the ship back).
If I could still afford to be using the house rules for combat, these battles would be even more crowded, but now there are dozens of ships sinking every turn.
The right angle can make even the smallest ship look like a giant:
Concentrated fire from the Pirates on the Tunnel take out a mast and 3 crew from the Guinee.
Artillery gunners at the eastern end of the Tunnel blast a panel off the Noble Swan:
Almost the last hope for the Jade Rebellion, the Beowulf knocks two masts off the Revenant!