Command the Oceans
The time has come for me to play another solo campaign game! It will be the first game of this type since my Experimental cumulative game in January 2016, and the first (hopefully) longer-style physical campaign game I’ve played since Economy Edition in June 2015.
I’ve taken my own advice and used my Guide to huge games post to plan this thing out.
I will generally be using my Basic Rules. Most of the core game rules stay the same for those, and some of the bigger changes like the endgame rules won’t apply here since it’s a campaign game. However, I will point out two things from my Basic Rules to keep in mind:
-Ships cannot do damage by ramming.
-When a ship wins a boarding party, the winner decides whether they will take gold/resources or eliminate crew. The winner chooses which gold/resources to take, but the loser chooses which crew is eliminated.
Those are probably the two biggest things to remember from my rules for the battle reports for this particular game.
Now, onto the house rules! Some of these are subject to change depending on how things go.
-All ships and forts must be hit twice to eliminate one of their masts. These hits can come at any time; they do not have to come in the same turn or during the same shoot action. This rule also applies to ships such as El Acorazado, whose ability now reads “four hits are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts” (not necessarily the same shoot action). (I did this for my Century of the Empires game in 2013 and generally enjoy the rule quite a bit, and as I did back then I plan to track damage by putting the tiny dice next to a mast that has a hit on it)
-To make things even more realistic, ships with no masts remaining must be hit twice as many times as they have masts in order to sink. I used this rule in CotE as well, because ships almost never sunk from pure combat. However, in order to alleviate how many derelicts could be floating around as a result, scuttling attempts succeed on a die roll of 4 as well as 5 or 6.
-Ships can be shot at even if they are docked at their home islands.
-If a faction does not have any ships docked at their home island, all opposing ships may raid their home island freely, taking as much gold and resources as they want.
-Forts and flotillas do not follow the no-duplicates rule.
-Return to Savage Shores game pieces may be used.
-Custom game pieces may be used, as long as they aren’t too overpowered.
-Return fire: After a ship is shot at, that ship can return fire with any remaining cannons, but must roll a 5 or 6 to hit. This occurs during their opponent’s turn, and therefore does not count as any kind of action and cannot be used in conjunction with ANY abilities other than those on the ship that shot first. (such as a defensive ability that would still work as normal)
Land combat/ground forces
There will be opportunities for fleets to purchase army units from RISK for use in the game. There will not be territories and RISK rules, but there will be land warfare. These rules are extremely subject to change.
Infantry: 1 point, L move; can shoot at 3S to eliminate crew only (considered crew)
Artillery: 3 points, S move; can shoot at 2L as a regular cannon (considered equipment)
-These units can only use their abilities on land.
-These units count against the point and cargo restrictions on ships.
-These units must be unloaded with an explore action or an explored island marker – they are not subject to the “free transfer while docked” rule.
-Ships can fire on army units that they can reach with their cannon ranges, but once they are out of range they cannot be shot at. (in which case the attacker would need to land army units of their own on the island or somehow draw the units back into range)
-Army units are unloaded on islands at the location where the ship docked. They must be given move actions to move to other locations on the island. Army units cannot be given more than one action per turn, and they cannot be given extra actions by any means.
During land warfare, infantry units have a 3S cannon that can shoot at other army units, while artillery units have a 2L cannon. Infantry units are eliminated with one hit from any type of army unit, while artillery units are eliminated with two hits from infantry units and one hit from artillery units.
As of now, I am tentatively planning to use a combination of gold and resources on wild islands. Resources will follow the system implemented by cannonfury for his Economy Edition rules. For those unfamiliar, each resource is assigned a number 1-6 starting with lumber. An initial roll for resource value is made, which follows the “Die Roll” row below. Then 2 d6 are rolled to determine how many turns the values last before they change. As with Economy Edition, I will be using face up coins for resources and face down coins for gold.
As you will eventually see, various custom house rules will need to be instituted during the game for different reasons. These include longer range lines of fire from higher altitude vantage points, in addition to custom rules for “special” game pieces. I anticipate this game getting chaotic to the point of absolute bedlam, but I will do my best to create rules so that certain things make sense and can be explained thematically and hopefully with proper rules as well.
As the name of the game implies, there will not be just one ocean area for this game. In fact, the space constraints and logistics of the two different rooms I’m playing in will result in not two but THREE different oceans! The general sizes of these oceans are 6×3, 5×3, and 3×3, for a grand total of 42 square feet of ocean!
I will not say how many or which factions will be participating. All I can say is that the number is more than 4, but less than 10, as not all of the factions will be playing individually. The main factions will become obvious once play begins, but the factional boundaries will not necessarily stay constant until the end of the game. Along with the uncertainty of in-game house rules, this is one area in which even I don’t know what the future holds.
-Fleets will have 30 points for their starting fleet.
-Flat earth rules are being used.
The setup will be revealed in due time, don’t worry. I will be purposely leaving some things “off camera” until the viewer needs to see what they are.
Also, the factions don’t know the various areas well at all, as they’re new to the locations. As a result, things will seem a bit off at times, but this is simply to emphasize that the scale of the oceans is larger than it appears, so fleets cannot simply “see” something even if it looks clear in the actual pictures, since it’s farther away than it looks to us. This is part of the reason that the oceans will not be revealed from the start – the factions have to find their way by sailing around, so the reader of these reports is discovering things as the factions discover them!
An important note about the setup: I consider the aesthetics of my games a pathetic joke compared to the gameplay itself, so if you don’t like how something looks, make a prettier version of it and send it to me lol. I am a firm believer that you can spend far too much time pondering about this game, making fleets for it, making detailed and beautiful custom terrain, but then complain that you don’t get to PLAY as much as you’d like. I am the opposite – I am sacrificing aesthetics and long hours spent toiling on stuff in order to PLAY THE GAME!
-Last fleet afloat wins the game.
-As I’ve warned with my other physical campaign games, this game may end very suddenly at any point in time. It may abruptly stop all of a sudden without me expecting it to. Even if it doesn’t, it may require an artificial “ending” depending on the circumstances, as physical campaign games are difficult to play to true completion (aka last fleet afloat wins). Therefore, in the case of an earlier finish, the fleet with the most points in play will win.
-One of the three ocean areas is on the floor, but I will be preventing any disasters with proactive measures.
-To avoid this game taking over my soul like Economy Edition did in June 2015, I am going to attempt play limits. After the first week or so of play, I plan to only play one turn per day. I plan to do battle reports consistently, possibly even on a per-turn basis.
–Please comment what you think about this game! I would LOVE to have feedback on the rules I’m using, the setup, the house rules I’m implementing, and anything else you find interesting. Don’t hesitate to comment which faction you’re rooting for, or what you thought of something that happened. I want as much interaction as possible!
-I have some surprises for you all, and some things that people will be happy to see. I am very excited to play this game and I hope that a lot of people read about it! Even if you don’t plan to post in the thread, go ahead and hit “Watch this topic for replies” at the bottom of the page so you don’t miss the excitement!
Final note of warning: I am about as hyped for this game as I have ever been before starting a game of Pirates CSG. I have purposely made this post somewhat nonchalant, but I believe my enthusiasm will show through indeed. If this thing somehow, someway, works out, we are all in for a wild, WILD ride. O_O