Command the Oceans – Shocking developments unfold! (9/15/2017)

A few things before I get into the main report:

-Forts can now be set on fire. This is a house rule that started in my Experimental cumulative game and continues with the World ruleset.
The rules for flaming forts will work like this: instead of the fort rolling for each fire every turn, it rolls one die regardless of how many fire masts it has and regardless of whether the fort is given an action during the turn. The roll follows the regular rules for fire masts. The fort will be automatically destroyed if the fire consumes all 8 areas (not how many guns the fort has). A shipwright can only put out one fire per turn, but no flag is raised in the fire’s place until another repair action is given.

-Unlike the Economy Edition rules, building a fort on an island does not shut down resource production on that island.

Clarifying the army unit rules in regards to hits from ships:
-Infantry units are eliminated by a single hit from a ship or fort, but artillery units follow the naval combat rules and must be hit twice overall to be eliminated.

-I am working on figuring out how to have factions launch things outside of their home islands. This could be done a variety of ways, such as a military port from the Economy Edition rules or possibly a fort upgrade for 50 gold that lets a faction launch things from that fort with gold from it.

I was able to play 6 turns today! (9/15)

It was time for another resource change! The 3 meant that textiles were once again worth 6 gold apiece, just as they were after the first change. The values would hold for 6 turns. This continued some trends: the value rolls have only been 5 and 3 through 4 different rolls. They have alternated each time:
5 roll for 8 turns
3 roll for 7 turns
5 roll for 9 turns
3 roll for 6 turns
This also shows that the 5 roll keeps increasing in duration each time, while the 3 roll keeps decreasing in duration. Fun coincidences!

Amongst his fellow Pirates, Bartholomew Roberts sets sail in the Royal Rover:

Logjam! The Foresight cannot fully exit the kingdom due to the Grand Barnacle.

On the northern side of the kingdom, 3 large Pirate ships leave for the super valuable textiles out west. Notice the army unit movements at the lower right: there is some mulling about and getting things “into position”.

Still aghast at their encounter with Shal-Bala, the surviving crew of the Divine Wind make all sail towards the Jade home island! The Proud Tortoise and Dragon’s Talon immediately notice something is wrong, as the ship is missing two masts but more importantly, the crew are wide-eyed and white with fear.

Sounding the alarm! The Jade turtle ships get the report from the Divine Wind, and understand the gravity of the situation. Signal flags are raised, and the chain of messages ends with the Noble Swan docking at the home island and getting people in motion!

Warlord Cavendish catches wind (pun intended I suppose haha) of the situation, and orders a massive launch. The Jade Rebellion springs into action! From their gold reserves they launch 7 ships including the Grand Temple and Grand Mountain! They also hire some infantry and artillery to guard against raids by the beast that killed so many of their comrades aboard the Admiral Yi and Hansan Island.

Nearly the full might of the Jade Rebellion! They are preparing for the worst – an all-out fight to the death with an ancient and powerful dragon!

The English making some big progress at Diamond Rock! Using the 2L length of ladder from HMS Viceroy, they manage to rig it up to the summit! However, getting people and equipment up there is another story, possibly one that will be fraught with peril.

Back at the bottom, you can just make out the two ladders, in addition to England’s newest resource gatherers. With textiles going from 4 to 6 in value, the English will have opportunities to spend big in the coming turns.

And indeed they spend immediately! HMS Victor is launched with a captain and helmsman to patrol the waters around her HI, while the Cheshire is a multipurpose asset tasked with both collecting textiles and supporting equipment logistics at the rock.

Somewhat confused by their orders from the San Estaban’s captain, the crew of the Matthias Vospero pass near the Tower flotilla, with neither side really knowing what to do. The MV is searching for the King John but doesn’t know the area well.

The Spanish were already struggling to put forth new ships, and the latest resource change meant their metals dropped to just 1 gold apiece. Here they are frustrated, as the Aguila was about to cash in her haul of 4 metal tokens for 20 gold, but now they are nearly worthless.

Back in the Sea of Karkuda…

The Dijon finds luxuries! This is great news for the French, since they only had found food until now.

The French resource system coming and going at the Harbor. You probably notice a familiar-looking submarine there in the center…

Ohhhh wow… the French have hired Captain Nemo and the Nautilus!!

The French have a nice selection of hired crew on board, and this launching makes them the first faction to hire Mercenaries! I had to include this picture just for the silly circus/frog/demon shipwright thing. XD (and the nearly as crazed captain and helmsman lol)

Now you can finally see the American plan!! Dropping a loaded keg of gunpowder over the side, the Americans try to time their fuse correctly! They are trying to blow up the reef and eliminate it!!

After finding reefs all along their eastern sea area, the Americans have grown frustrated. Trying an idea cooked up by Commodore Preble and some of his captains, they have gotten into position. If the lighted fused inside the barrel is too short, it may not reach the coral. If it’s too long, water may seep into the barrel and put it out.

The rules for attempted reef destruction are as follows: If a ship with Exploding Shot is within S of a reef, you may use this ship’s action for the turn to drop a charge into the water. Eliminate the Exploding Shot from the game and roll a d6. On a 1-3, nothing happens. On a 4-6, eliminate the reef from the game as well.

Just missed it! The charge explodes but causes no damage to the reef:

The Minuteman confirms the failure and the Argo is ordered to load up more exploding shot for another attempt. *No coral or animals were harmed in the making of this battle report. I do not condone the destruction of natural wildlife. Blame Preble. End disclaimer.* XD

Brent Rice finds gold in the far northwest of Karkuda:

Back in the Sea of Allost, the Pirates have some army units lumbering into positions.

In a very impressive show of force, the Jade Rebellion battle fleet sets out! Their goals are as follows: Definitively explore the region northwest of their home island. Find the “gates of hell” and defeat any dragon that appears. Establish Jade dominance over Allost!

In the meantime, the textile gatherers flock back to the island, which has been very valuable all game (average (unweighted lol) resource value of 5 between the different changes) and the biggest reason the JR’s were able to put forth so many ships immediately after the Divine Wind reported on the stunning developments.

The Grand Wind unloads more textiles for 24 additional gold, allowing for massive fortification of the Jade home island! They are extremely determined to be as prepared as possible for any dragon attack. The home island is turned into a veritable fortress, with guns bristling everywhere and large amounts of musketry corps on alert.

Speaking of alerting, the crew of the King John relay information about the Spanish attack to other ships in the English fleet. The news is received with some interest but little concern, as the English are growing confident in their considerable fleet operations, which seem to grow by the turn.

The Victor patrols the far southeastern reaches of this Caribbean, but sees nothing of importance, value, or danger.

Oops! In her haste to catch up to the Matthias Vospero and get revenge on the English, the San Estaban gets stuck in a sargasso sea! However, it could actually be for the better, since the Tower flotilla has some accurate extra-long-range cannons….

Exploring southwest of the French Harbor, the Dauphin Royal finds some terrain on her own travels:

With food plummeting in value but the new luxuries worth 4 gold apiece, the French concentrate their efforts at the new island. The Nautilus has submerged and begun moving.

This is what Brent Rice found for the Americans on a northern beach of that big island. However, the Bonhomme Richard only had room for the shiny silver 3, which would be worth a cool 9 gold.

The anti-reef operations continue, with the Argo preparing to deliver two loads of exploding shot to the Congress. The Colonial Trader (at the bottom) has sailed north after the apparent demise of Luck Island.

In territory completely untouched by ANY faction, the crew of the Freedom pass by a shipwreck. However, Ralph David has no time to waste finding trinkets!

Oh!! Evidently the Freedom has been sailing in the Sea of Allost since her Caribbean escapade, for we can see her violently slamming into the Smiling Jim!! Ralph David’s anger turns to happiness as a pirate falls overboard:

Unfortunately for the Americans, even with a cannoneer and faction bonus against the Pirates, the Freedom only manages one hit on each “ship”. For now, flotillas will work as follows: it takes 4 hits to eliminate the flag, and 2 hits afterwards to sink it. (which follows the 2 hits per mast rule and the custom sinking rules)

Ouch! Ralph David’s sudden attack looks like a big mistake, as the Pirates arrive at the scene! The crew of the Smiling Jim smartly redock to allow some shots from the Doombox before the 4 masters take over and pummel the Freedom. Note: the tiny dice are used as damage counters, and the ones on ships don’t matter which facing they have since it takes two hits to eliminate a mast. However, the die on the Doombox should be at 1 (1 hit out of 4 required to take out the flag) instead of 6. It is very difficult to maintain this as ships are picked up and the dice constantly fall off and whatnot. The counter is more important for derelicts, since that number is how many hits the derelict has taken.

RD arrived at a terrible time, just as fresh new Pirate hybrids were entering the area and right when the Pirates’ textiles island became their most valuable producing asset.

New Pirate ships near their gold waterfall. The Fool’s Hope and Recreant enter play under the watchful eyes of the artillery troops.

The Jade Rebels charge ahead! In a serious mood, they are eager to discover what has been plaguing their ships. Two turtle ships become engulfed by fog, while the Typhoon is overeager and hits an iceberg.

The Grand Temple is in the lead but finds more fog! What on earth could lie beyond?? The Jades don’t know either, as the dense fog limits their sight to what you can see here:

Trepidation sets in as the Grand Temple disappears….

Even back at the textiles island, the fog seems to swirl and grow in intensity:

With a sudden whooshing sound, A BLADE DESCENDS FROM THE GLOOM!! The Typhoon is hit by what looks like a giant ice pick! Hissing and screeching accompanies the sound of splintering wood, and the Scythe spears her prey!!

Ahh!! At the left, an ice shipwreck surges forward and rams a regular iceberg, pushing it into the Clear Wind like a chain of dominoes!! The bow of the ship is splintered by the impact, but another icewreck suddenly slams the ship’s starboard quarter!

The Clear Wind is smashed up, but it only gets worse as the Crushed Skull appears!

Sailing in from the north, the Samedi’s Curse appears with the Silver Coffin in tow! However, the flotilla scores no hits.

I’ll let you make of that what you want….

Vibe change: dark – light! XD

Back to the Caribbean! In a daring maneuver, the first men climb the ladder to the summit of Diamond Rock!!

And they’re there! The English claim sovereignty over Diamond Rock!

It wasn’t easy and it took some time, but the English have found a way to get their troops up on the rock.

Excited by the development, the English spend a bunch of new gold back home. They launch the Bretwalda, Sultan, and Honu Iki.

The sympathetic crew of the Matthias Vospero nearly hook a line to the San Estaban to get her out of the sargasso sea, but the SE’s captain warns them away from getting stuck themselves!

The French flagships find a rocky piece of terrain, but it doesn’t look hospitable to anything – resources or humans.

Ignoring common sense and any notion of sanity, Ralph David loses his mind and attacks the Fool’s Gold!

The Pirates take their turn after the Americans once the next round starts, and here you can see they’ve taken care of the Freedom easily. It seems like they would want to capture her, but Ralph David completely refuses to surrender.

The Grand Temple finally emerges from the fog, but finds herself alone and facing the so-called “gates of hell” described by the crew aboard the Divine Wind! Scared for their comrades and hearing screams to the southeast, the Tsai has the GT turn around and head back the way they came.

She loses her larboard oars in the maneuver, but the Floating Stone manages to knock a mast off the Scythe!

The Crushed Skull is damaged as well, but the Jade 6 masters manage to sink the Samedi’s Curse!

With desperate cries for help heard to the northwest, the Jades take in an IMMENSE quantity of textiles (19*6=114 gold) all at once and spend it all! They have nearly run out of ships to launch from their own faction already, but here they turn to another minor faction: the Vikings! Sigurd Andersen boards the Polaris and offers Norse help to the Jades in exchange for payment. In this way the Vikings function like mercenaries or privateers for this game. Both Viking icebreakers are launched for obvious purposes, and 3 impressive longships are also purchased.

The Scythe is relentless in her attack, slashing the Typhoon’s final mast down! The Jikininki comes out of the fog with her crew at a full howl! However, the boarding roll fails. In the background you can glimpse the Grand Temple’s position, but the Jades don’t know she’s there and she’s still lost in the fog. (another rare instance where you can see more than what the faction in question sees)

Ouch! With a thunderous broadside, the Monkey’s Paw officially enters the fray and blasts all the panels off of two turtle ships!

The Crushed Skull finishes dismasting the Clear Wind, and another Cursed ship has arrived: the Last Hope! She makes her entrance by obliterating the Proud Tortoise:

After another action given to another infantry unit, the English have more troops atop Diamond Rock, in addition to a ladder.

You can just barely make out all three ladders the English have on the beach, though only one reaches the summit.

The Cheshire loads resources for the first time while at the right, you’d have to believe the Burma will try again but possibly with a different tactic this time….

Whoa! Out of nowhere, the Matthias Vospero sails near the Viceroy and hits 2/2, with the second hit coming from fire shot!

The other two Spanish shots missed the Tower flotilla. At the left you can see why the Spanish attacked: the San Estaban is free!

Note: fire follows the 2 hits per mast rule for shooting, but follows the fire mast rules for spreading/elimination. Basically, to set a ship on fire it has to be the second hit that actually eliminates the mast. However, if a fire mast spreads it spreads normally – it doesn’t cause a damage marker or need a second bad roll, it just spreads like it would under the normal rules. This way fire isn’t a cheap way to ignore the 2 hits per mast rule, but it can still spread and be very effective.

O_O
Just when the Spanish think their resource situation can’t get worse, the GOLD ship appears! Paradise Island lives up to its name once again!

The crew of the Aguila are just as awed and starstruck as those aboard the Crusher earlier

Back in Karkuda, a meeting of the minds. Gaston, the French admiral aboard the Soleil Royal, consults with Lenoir, the commander of the Dauphin Royal. Topics of their conversation include exploration, resources, and how far to venture into the unknown.

To the far west, the Americans fail again! The Congress drops another exploding shot on a reef, but to no avail.

An impressive wide shot of the American fleet, which is entirely north of their HI since Ruby and Luck Island ran out of resources.

Black Bart’s ship:

The Foresight’s name is just visible between the masts:

Mission’s flagship, the shiny and super rare Crusher:

With Ralph David refusing to surrender, the Pirates are forced to pour shot after shot into the Freedom to sink the ship and get it out of their way:

The Fool’s Hope emerges from the kingdom:

The Queen of Cups acting as a guard ship under the ledge out front:

Teamwork! Back in darker waters, Jade ships swarm the Monkey’s Paw to eliminate two masts.

The Last Hope comes under intense fire, from the Dragon’s Talon and Grand Mountain. The Mountain scores a hit with exploding shot!

The Monkey’s Paw flees into a fog bank…

… leaving her attackers strewn with wreckage!

With very loud creaking and groaning, the Scythe makes yet another blade attack on the Typhoon. Incredibly, this time the blade actually begins to splinter the deck and hull of the ship!

Like a great beast rending bone from bone!

Oh no! The Clear Wind has spent too long near the iceberg! The ship seems to slip into an abyss, and becomes an icewreck herself!

A new Viking arrival narrowly avoids being hit by an icewreck:

The Cursed fight back, inflicting several hits on the Grand Mountain but still failing most shots with the Silver Coffin.

-Back to the Caribbean-

The horde of English ships part, making way for their flagship. HMS Viceroy is Thomas Gunn’s favorite, and is abandoning operations at Diamond Rock in a desperate attempt to get home. The concerned sailors aboard the other ships look on helplessly. In fact, the Viceroy should have two fire masts here – I took the foremast out but forgot to add the fire.

The English get some measure of revenge! The flotilla shoots and is followed by HMS Durham, sending three masts overboard in an effective display of English gunnery!

In the first army unit shoot action of the game, one of the 24 pounders on the beach of Diamond Rock dealt the sixth and final hit of the turn!

An ominous sight: hearing the gunfire, HMS London rounds the rock.

Seeing their inspirational leader in danger, the English troops are spurred onward by a desire to fulfill Gunn’s wishes. The ladder on top of Diamond Rock is lowered into position to reach the cave halfway up.

An impressive show of teamwork and logistics have gotten the English this far:

Fearing the worst, Spain’s resource ships sail as far away from the London as possible. The Ebro drops off her flotilla so it can guard Paradise Island. The Aguila and Rafael are content to go the long way if it means they get home safely.

The San Estaban was originally going to join the Matthias Vospero in the attack, but with the MV taking major damage, the Spanish decided to flee.

One of the widest shots of the game so far, with action finally erupting in the Caribbean.

After yet another failure, the Americans buy more exploding shot. The third attempt was their third 3 in a row, meaning they have just missed rolling the 4-6 every time. Preble orders the Colonial Trader to turn around and go check on the southern islands to see if they’re producing anything valuable.

Last turn of the day! With one more turn until another resource change, I was determined to finish strong and complete an entire resource duration round in one day.

With the Widowmaker flotilla nearby, the Cutlass guards the gold island and has orders to fire upon the gold ship and capture it if possible. Mission has gotten over his shock and wants that ship for himself!

Mission’s latest mission was to get the Widowmaker out to a spot where it can defend Pirate territory but not be a hindrance to fleet logistics (aka getting in the way of move actions). He is now satisfied with its positioning. He then signals Bartholomew Roberts on the Royal Rover to return to the kingdom with all haste. The two pirates are planning to hire someone with great capabilities.

Pirate cargo ships on the move:

The Recreant is a great midsize gunship option:

After sinking the Freedom, the Pirates go back to their usual business of gathering resources.

The Smiling Jim receives an AA from Jean Laffite in order to move deep within the kingdom to repair. As you could expect, ships can repair their partial damage as regular repair actions. However, if a ship is missing masts it can also repair those as normal. The flotilla can repair its damage as well without having to lose its flag first.

Fearful of a possible dragon raid on the textiles island, Warlord Cavendish loads some infantry and artillery aboard the Grand Wind:

Damaged JR ships make their way past stunned resource runners. The realities of war and combat become evident.

At the right, note that the Divine Wind has repaired and is returning to the northwest area.

Viking longships make way for the icebreakers:

More carnage up north, where the Last Hope and Silver Coffin take considerable damage:

Oh my god. The Scythe cuts all the way through the Typhoon, ripping the ship apart and sinking her for good:

A truly horrendous scene, with bodies and blood everywhere. Never had a Jade Rebellion ship met a more gruesome end.

An icewreck hits the Muninn! Notice the Clear Wind in her new state at the left.

An effective Cursed counterattack! All ships except for the Sea Lion take damage:

O_O

Shocked Complete and utter disaster for the English!! In a total shock, both fire mast rolls were 2’s, resulting in the ship becoming totally engulfed by the flames! Gunn’s flagship will be no more.

Not only did this stun the English fleet, it was also an utter shock to me. The Viceroy was the English flagship and the first ship selected for their fleet, and even this game possibly. She was Gunn’s favorite as well as being one of the most recent English acquisitions in my collection. After just two lucky hits from the Matthias Vospero, she was set alight, and now has rolled badly 3 times in a row to be completely doomed.

With most other ships sailing away to escape the huge flames and smoke, HMS Lady Provost approaches to rescue Gunn and the captain of the Burma:

The thick smoke nearly obscures HMS Sultan, who is trying to reach Diamond Rock and unload some brand new artillery units.

The English vow revenge, with HMS Bretwalda replacing the Viceroy and Durham at the scene of the skirmish.

The trigger-happy captain of the London is seething and just can’t wait! With one shot in range he finds his mark and lands a hit on the San Estaban:

Both Spanish gunships hurry home to repair their damages, but clearly a nasty conflict is likely just beginning. The Spanish had won a major upset, but also made the English extremely angry.

Knowing the resources will change again soon, France is simply busy getting as many luxuries AND fish as possible.

A familiar scene, as the Argo loads exploding shot in order to supply the Congress.

(You can see some Wizkids tape at the upper left XD)

In a fitting end to this report, Ralph David’s journey is NOT at an end! His Eternal keyword has warped the Freedom back home.

I almost changed the Eternal keyword to be less powerful in this game, but I decided I didn’t want to start messing with keywords in addition to changing many of the core rules.

A very interesting day of Pirating! Clearly the bloodiest day yet, with conflicts erupting in the Sea of Allost and the Caribbean. The arrival of some Cursed warships is an ill omen, while the rash actions of Ralph David and the lucky heroics of the Matthias Vospero provided some truly stunning and bizarre moments. So many questions remain unanswered. Who knows what the future holds?

Well, here is the latest ship and point count. I have decided to just count deckplate areas, so this includes ships and crew but not army units and things on home islands.

Pirates: 21 ships, 303 points
Jade Rebellion: 23 ships, 393 points
English: 15 ships, 212 points
Spanish: 7 ships, 85 points
French: 17 ships, 231 points
Americans: 14 ships, 233 points
Total: 97 ships, 1,457 points

The Jade Rebels climb into the lead, but most of the other factions are quite impressive as well.

Questions for you, as the reader:
-What is your favorite custom island/terrain piece thus far? (if you have one)
-Which faction(s) are you rooting for?
-Do you have a preference for regular or video battle reports? (here is a great example of a video BR, as I would likely have a similar format)

A warning: I will not be able to play nearly this much over the next 4 or so days. However I’d like to play at least one turn per day and report on the developments as they happen. I may be able to ramp things up next Wednesday-Friday again like I did this week.

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