The Pirates took the first two games of the final series, beating the English.
For the third game, I decided to mix things up to see just how good the Pirates are. The English were automatically the first player, and they made the Pirates’ HI next to their own.
On the first turn, the London and Hound (towing Gibraltar) moved towards the Pirates. The Star of Siam and Banshee’s Cry went off to get treasure as usual (as did the Aberdeen Baron). Normally the Neptune’s Hoard goes to a wild island on the first turn (and she can get there because of the sacced action), but it was obvious that the English would be able to fire upon her after she docked. Instead, she moved and shot at the London, using the extra action to eliminate all 4 of the London’s masts.
After the Hound (who didn’t have a captain) moved it into position, the Gibraltar shot at the Hoard and took out 3 of her 4 masts. By this point, the Aberdeen Baron was returning home with 8 gold, 2 of them from Smuggled Goods. The Star of Siam had grabbed some gold for the Pirates, and the Banshee’s Cry used it to build Dead Man’s Point on the middle island, which she had just explored. Afterwards, the Cry used Screw Engine to move to the last wild island, the only one yet to be explored.
The Hound wanted to finish off the Neptune’s Hoard, but the Hoard still had plenty of crew left to sac. She zoomed away to assist the Cry in emptying the final wild island. The Hound used to the Gibraltar to destroy Dead Man’s Point, and the gold left over was soon picked up by the Aberdeen Baron.
The Neptune’s Hoard sacced all of her crew (other than Captain Blackheart) to get home in just a few turns, staying out of range of the Extended Range guns of the Gibraltar. The Star of Siam also sacced the rest of her crew to pick up the last two gold coins from the island she had explored earlier.
Since she didn’t have any sac crew, the Banshee’s Cry was stuck moving at L+L+S speed (so slow! ) to get home, with both Barbary Banner (worth 5 gold) and another coin aboard.
Now things got a little crazy: this was the best part of the tournament. The Hound had just finished destroying Dead Man’s Point, but the fort had got off a shot, which took out 1 of the Hound’s 2 masts. The Hound and Gibraltar would be able to cut off the Cry before she got back home. However, the Hoard took Don Pedro Gilbert (the sac crew for the Star of Siam) away from the Star, and sacced him (a sac crew saccing another sac crew since there weren’t any others left) to move within range of the Hound, and she also moved so that she blocked the Hound. With her final mast, the Hoard dismasted the Hound, and the Cry was safe to run home. However, the Aberdeen Baron had the gold from the middle island, and was also racing home. In the end, the Banshee’s Cry was able to get home first (only because of her helmsman, however), giving the Pirates the narrow victory!
The Pirates’ Norvegia fleet proved to be the best of the bunch, winning even in the face of tough odds. They have won the tournament, but I think I’ll test the fleet against my HMS Grand Temple fleet.
The HMS Grand Temple fleet beat this fleet in all three games. The GT was able to crush the treasure runners before they got back home. The devastating UT’s helped a bunch, but the English still won the third game despite not using the UT’s.
Today the Altar of the Loa fleet went against another 60 point fleet. The fleet consisted of HMS London, HMS Victor towing the Tower flotilla, the Bonnie Liz, the Bloody Jewel, and Le Bon Marin. For the Pirate fleet, Becalmed and Divers were used in place of Mermaids and Favour of the Gods, since they should be banned (and I don’t have them).
The first game went according to plan for the Pirates, who were able to get to an MI, and set up the Altar of the Loa system. Becalmed was used to delay the enemy ships while the White Rose raced to the island. The Pirate navigator on board the Rover helped the slower ships get there quckly. Once there, the Pirate ships began saccing crew to control the other fleet, and moved their ships into firing range of the Pirates, who picked them off easily. Due to Becalmed, the other fleet wasn’t able to give actions to their ships on any turn.
The second game was much more competitive, and fun. Since the Pirates went second, Becalmed was only able to affect 2 of the 5 enemy ships. When the Pirates got to the MI, they rolled a 2, which forced them to move all of the island’s treasure to another wild island. Since the MI requires a replacement treasure to be present, the island was a dud for AotL. Of course, they picked the closest island around, but the Bloody Jewel got there first. She picked up some treasure, and then sacced both her helmsman and her explorer to take over the Pirates’ turn. This seriously hampered the strategy of the Pirates, as their tactics were being used against them! However, the Bloody Jewel only had those two crew, so the Pirates were able to take their turn normally in the next round. By this point, Le Bon Marin and the Bonnie Liz had returned home with a total of 12 gold, and sailed back out for more.
Now the Mermaid (of the Pirate fleet) docked at the island with AotL, and rolled a 2, forcing the UT to the center island, where things got heated. The Darkhawk II hit the Victor and sacced some crew so that the other fleet wouldn’t have their turn. The Banshee’s Cry grabbed the last coin on the island, and the White Rose managed to sink the London, Bonnie Liz, Bloody Jewel, and Bon Marin all in quick succession, since they were dead in the water and the Rose was able to get off 8 shots per turn. The Bon Marin went down with 2 gold aboard, which brought the gold total to 13 for her fleet, needing just 2 more to win (since a 2 was replaced with AotL). The Victor was blasted by the Rose as the Cry took home the gold. In the end, the Pirates won with 15 gold, winning by the slimmest of margins.
The Pirates went second in the third game, and again things deteriorated when the MI roll landed with a 2. The White Rose used Havana Black to sac an oarsman and dismast the London and cripple the Victor, while the Darkhawk helped out with a hit on the London. I’m not entirely sure of all the details from the last game, but somehow the Pirates managed to squeak out another victory. Things looked bad for them at first, but once they got ahold of AotL, they were able to dominate the game.
So, “The Pirate’s Way” fleet is currently 3-0 through 3 games, and it’s a very interesting way to play. I would recommend trying it out; it’s very fun. The fleet is not unbeatable, but it has a lot of things going for it.