Command the Oceans – Things are a changing (10/12/2017)

Turn 60! New resource rolls!

A 2 roll for 5 turns! The 2 was the first time that came up for a regular roll, though it did occur on one of the random one turn changes. Lumber was worth 6, with luxuries 5 and spices 4. Not only that, but the duration roll was for exactly 5 turns, the 4th time in the last 5 changes that a 5 was rolled for duration!

Captain Villanueva’s hunch pays off! The Rum Runner loads newly discovered gold from the Sultan shipwreck! Northwest of her, Blackbeard returns from the Caribbean, satisfied with his captive English captain. He would have liked to abduct more crew, but the English gunships turning around from battle would have wrecked the QAR quickly.

The Pirates have a solid position within the Tunnel. The Harbinger and Victoire are still guarding the western approach while hiding in the fog. The Sea Nymph and Royal Rover are patrolling inside the Tunnel, while Mission (in the Crusher) and Calico Cat (in the Revenant) head east on important business.

The Silver Dagger is also speeding east after her quick trip out with the ladders.

Not the French turn yet, but the Pirate whirlpool squadron is busy in the Sea of Karkuda. At the right, the Feathered Hat meets up with the Celtic Fury, and the Pirate captain has a discussion with Eileen Brigid O’Brien. The FH’s captain makes sure to emphasize how rich and powerful the Pirates are, and how they have a golden island right near their “huge” kingdom. Smile O’Brien is impressed and will inform Nemo but not the French, who are still unaware of the Mercenary situation. At the left, the Madagascar and Otter will soon take textiles from The Flat but French repair and regroup efforts are blocking their path somewhat.

With a rare view seen from the Noble Swan’s only mast, you see what the crew of the NS doesn’t: the Sea Crane has rolled to emerge from the fog on the OTHER side, exposing the huge southern wall of the Tunnel. The Sea Crane is the first Jade ship to go east of the fog! Funny thing is, it happened by accident. The SC was only in the fog after a Cursed L-mover put her there. Who knows what this will result in – possibly some Jade scouting of the Tunnel, or the full scope of the Pirate operations finally revealed to them.

The Cursed are on the move! About six gunships appear to be making a break for the Tunnel! Just above them, you can see a cargo ship logjam.

Fog hoppers attack!! Using the Eye on a tactical strike for the first time, the Sea Hag, Needle, and Hangman’s Joke emerge in the Sea of Karkuda! This is the first time the Cursed have showed up in that ocean!! The Sea Hag somehow hit 4/4, making it easy for the Hangman’s Joke to capture the Brandywine!

The Needle was going to capture the ship, but she got a bad fog roll so the Hangman’s Joke hopped between oceans as well.

Just when you thought the Cursed turn couldn’t get any better, the Gold ship appears! …

… at both of their wild islands!! However, both times the ship disappears just as suddenly, with the Cursed unable to communicate with it or fire at it.

The Cursed have been gathering lumber, and combined some of that with a large chunk of saved up luxuries and spices that were cashed in! They spent all 213 gold on a megalaunch! No less than 5 new sea creatures emerge from the depths, including the Super Rare version of Brachyura, who will (tentatively) have Eternal built-in to accommodate for the sparklyness. XD

The Flying Dutchman is a new Cursed flagship, as they’ve been operating with multiple flagships throughout this game. The Monkey’s Paw and Soul Crusher (where Wraith lies) have been the others in general, though the Soul Crusher has not been in combat yet. The Roost is quite crowded! In addition, this launch likely put the Cursed at just over 1,000 total points in their fleet, making them the fourth fleet to reach that huge milestone! O_O (FOUR 1,000 point fleets in one game… wow…)

The Poor Adams does a fog hop of her own, getting a nice roll out of the one where the Executioner now sits to move to the next one, taking advantage of a break in the JR line of battle. This gets the Poor Adams pretty close to the Jade HI, and she’s a ship with the HI raiding ability. The Executioner may be looking to do the same next turn if the Jades don’t close that gap.

It was a quiet day in the Caribbean, with the first turn of a 10 turn truce passing peacefully. Both fleets took their final derelicts under tow and began the journey home for repairs.

French operations with their huge fleet. At the lower right, the Ange and Bourbon look to defend the eastern food island and possibly explore new territory. At the end of their turn, the French cashed in a lot of luxuries but didn’t spend any gold, an uncommon occurrence in this game of hyper-spending and megalaunches.

The extremely strong French position at The Flat, which now stands at nine 5 masted capital ships with many more gunships sailing in from the east. The French wanted to put their best fleet forward, and they’ve done that. It’s slightly similar to another cumulative game I played a while back, when the French had a line of battle with just 5 masters from end to end. An impressive display of firepower, and ANY faction would now be very hard-pressed to dislodge the French from The Flat. Thinking the Mercs are still on their side, French ships make sure a path is clear for the Celtic Fury’s move action next turn.

Hearing gunfire and commotion to the east, and wanting to help, the captain of the York sails his ship towards what eventually becomes evident as a Cursed incursion! The Americans are shocked and unhappy to see the Cursed in the game. The York misses her only shot against the Sea Hag.

As you may have seen from the previous picture, the Castle has some openings that are perfect for schooners to sail through, which the Gold Eagle takes advantage of here. The Mercury’s crew are still exploring the Castle, and are finding it rather dilapidated. The Philadelphia’s crew call for help across the reef barrier! They fear the worst for the Brandywine, who has disappeared.

Preble himself hears the call, and sends the lumbering United States over the reef! Improbably, that ship rolls a 6 to avoid damage but the Saratoga (RotF version, all three versions are in play haha) rolls a 1 to lose two masts! With such unpredictable results, Preble is not likely to risk the President on the reefs, especially when 5 new exploding shot barrels will be arriving shortly.

The Americans are sending some gunships and their troop transports south towards the Castle. At the right you can see the foresail of the Mercury as if the ship sits in drydock, while the Gold Eagle ducks under the narrow arch built long ago as part of the Castle.

A rare view showing how long the western wall of the Castle is, with various American ships visible.

A possibly unprecedented situation at the American home island, with 14 ships at various stages in the repair process. The logistics have become so hampered by the cleanup of the two battles that various ships cannot even dock. The canoes, Lynx, Pawtucket, and others must wait their turn. The continual difficulties have led to frustration for Preble and the rest of the Americans. Preble is intrigued by the Castle as a possible second base of operations, and may dedicate considerable spending to renovate and restore it. That’s his best case scenario, but interference by the French, Pirates, or even Cursed may hinder his plans. He is proceeding with cautious optimism and plans to oversee things at home and at the Castle from his current post near Ruby Island in between the two areas.

Turn 61 begins with a surprising random resource change! Just a turn after the regular change, I rolled a 1 to change things yet again. The two means the new change would only last for a turn, just like the previous random changes, as I haven’t rolled two 1’s in a row yet for this. However, the final die was a 1 as well, the first time in the game that a 1 came up for resource values! Everything would be worth its face value, with lumber plummeting to 1 for a turn while luxuries and spices increased to 6 and 5. As I mentioned in the last report, many factions are sitting on big stockpiles of spices, so this will be a LONG turn!

I only played the Pirate turn of this round so far, since it took quite a while.

Mission and Calico Cat emerge from the Tunnel in a picturesque Pirates CSG scene:

Wow! With Cursed ships approaching the western entrance to the Tunnel, Captain Blackheart and Hammersmith emerge from the fog aboard the Harbinger and Victoire! However, this time the Pirates are able to actually talk to the Cursed, instead of being hissed at by the ill-tempered Wraith. El Fantasma himself appears from the deck of the Divine Dragon. A very long conversation is had. Many things are discussed, most of which I won’t discuss here. XD I can say that the Cursed had planned to infiltrate the Tunnel, possibly to access the Pirate gold island and/or to circle back around the eastern entrance for a surprise attack on the Jades’ unprotected eastern front. However, the Pirates talked and threatened them out of it: not only do the two Pirate 5 masters have sac crew aboard (being able to rip off 20 shots between them this turn alone), but the Pirates have a strong squadron stationed off the northern whirlpool which could trap or intercept any Cursed squadron entering the Tunnel. (the conversation was actually quite long because the more I thought about the situation, the longer it took me to figure things out!) Things are getting complicated in this game. Oh yeah. Very complex. With 3 oceans, over 6,000 points, now 8 fleets, and various alliances, lies, truces, and wars occurring, the game is finally reaching a level of complexity I don’t think I’ve seen in ANY of my games. At the end of the day, no hostile actions or words were exchanged. Instead, you could say that the Pirates made a deal with the Devil – literally. O_O

The Pirates were one of the factions sitting on spices until they were worth 5 or 6, and now they cash in all their chips! Spending 315 gold on the second megalaunch of the day, the Pirates put 16 new ships in the water. Those first 5 on the left are for various roles, with Bonny Peel and Will Turner looking to join Blackbeard in the kidnapping festivities. XD The Stoneheart has built-in reroll for Calypso, a crew that came up huge for the Pirates in Economy Edition and whose one-of-a-kind ability could do the same here in CTO. The Draconum is the second bombardier launched after the French Conquerant, while the Amity will use Ghost Ship to avoid logjams at the kingdom when unloading resources, just like the Hades’ Flame has done recently.

The other 11 ships launched are part of a task force whose goal is known only to the Pirates as of now. Most of the ships (some quite colorful) are launched from Dead Man’s Point, which is full once again.

With this launch, the Pirates have almost exactly the same number of points in play as the Americans, passing the French and nearly tying the Americans at around 1,365 points each. O_O Not only that, but with around 500 points between the Cursed and Pirates, the game has reached 6,500 total points and may even reach a ridiculous 7,000 by turn’s end.

The Stoneheart and Amity begin their journey in the game inside the kingdom:

More action coming soon! I’m getting quite excited about the possibilities, and like I said, things are getting VERY complicated. The strategy and diplomacy will require both finesse and strength in order for a faction to prevail! More is coming soon, though with large quantities of spices still to be cashed in, Turn 61 promises to be one of the longest yet. In fact, how about I record what is currently on my index card of saved up gold and resources for the factions who have stuff: (this doesn’t include what is still physically on their HI’s!)

Jades: 56 spices (with maybe 20+ in physical form too, so they could cash in for nearly 400 gold this turn)
Cursed: 17 textiles (not valuable now)
English: 38 spices (booyah! lol)
Mercenaries: 5 fish, 2 textiles
French: 7 textiles, 8 fish, 178 gold
Americans: 10 textiles, 196 gold


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