December 29th, 2011 – Short HFS + Beginning of 7 fleet game series

A new Historical Fantasy Scenario

Finally, I was able to get my ships out again. Christmas break, so ten days off for me. I have recently acquired an additional 143 ships from three Fairfield boxes, trades on MT, and a DJC booster box, bringing the total to 524 (see Collections thread for details). I put together all of them except for my ROTF SR pack on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and today was able to start a new historical fantasy scenario. As usual, 5 masts, or 20 points worth of treasure, got each faction started. A new development occurred before the start, however. The Cursed had had enough of the Amercursedcorsairebel alliance (Americans, Mercenaries, Cursed, Corsairs, and Rebels combined because they aren’t big enough to be on their own for lack of ships), and defected in a relatively peaceful split, going to the Pirates, who reluctantly agreed, not wanting to be allied with the Cursed, but realizing that it might be necessary to regain the numerical advantage (my new acquisitions put Pirates at 118 ships, while the English took the numbers lead, with 128). The French are now at 75 ships total, the Spanish at 96, and the Cursed at 37. Therefore, the new alliance of the Cursed Pirates gives them 155.

I placed 18 islands, and a handful of fog banks, reefs, and sargasso seas. To change things up, I switched the harbours around. The French are now where the Spanish used to be, in the north. The Spanish are where the Pirates used to be, in the south. The Pirates are where the French used to be, in the southeast, essentially rotating the factions anticlockwise. The Amercs and English stayed put, the Amercs in the northeast and the English in the far west as usual.

All of the fleets started with five one-masters and set them out to gather treasure. The luck of the draw favoured the French, Spanish, and the Cursed Pirates, who had more islands close to their harbour, and also enjoyed finding treasure coins with greater point values than usual. These three factions grew more quickly than the English and Amercs, who weren’t as aggressive as normal. Gold was brought back, counted, and spent as dozens of ships were launched and sent out to find gold in the first handful of “turns” (not using game rules, just going in an order based on harbour locations).

The Spanish and Cursed Pirates soon encountered a problem. Right in between their two harbours (which are somewhat close) is an island that would inevitably be fought over. Sure enough, the Spanish got there first, but the Cursed Pirates got there as they were hauling the gold out to their ships, and you can bet the Cursed Pirates weren’t very happy about the Spaniards taking gold that they thought was rightfully theirs! The Nosso Lar fired on the Spanish galley Sol, and the fight was on! This small frigates-only skirmish didn’t last long, but had enormous consequences, as both sides quickly declared war on each other. Ships raced back to their harbours, new ships were launched, and the new additions set sail for the opponents’ harbour. Since then, the action has been very confused and chaotic, with new ships entering the battle every few hours.

The Spanish are having a hard time so far with the numerical superiority of the Cursed Pirates, but the small number of ships in the Amerc fleet have now attacked the allies from the north after witnessing a Pirate ship-of-the-line (SOL) fire on a Spanish frigate. The Cursed Pirates are in the process of flooding the rapidly expanding battle area with more and more ships. The Spanish are being surrounded on the east, south, and north, while the sea monsters of the alliance recently rose from the depths to sink Spanish ship at their rear, in the west! The battle goes badly for the Spanish, but they have recently made a cry for help to the French, who accepted, eager to help their old allies. Just before this happened, the Amercs chanced upon the new French harbour and these two nations signed an alliance.

It appears as though the Cursed Pirates will now have to fight three factions, but since they are not coordinated in their movements, the Cursed Pirates might just be able to overpower them. Meanwhile, the English have built some ships, but are unaware of the conflict across the sea, and seemingly content for the moment. There is no end in sight for the massive battle between the Cursed Pirates vs the Spanish (as well as the Amercs and eventually the French), so there is much progress to be made.

It was great to get everything back out again, and I hope everyone had a good Christmas! 

Additional Comment:

I am already done with this newest historical fantasy scenario. The Spanish were beaten badly in most areas of the battle, but the Cursed Pirates lost heavily as well. In the north, the frigate battle grew in size as the Amercs entered the fray. This battle the Cursed Pirates would have lost in time, if not for the dismal situation back at the Spanish harbour. The Cursed Pirates had an overwhelming numerical advantage over the Spanish ships stationed at their harbour, and the Spanish fled to the north, getting out just in time. The Cursed Pirates ransacked the harbour, as the Spanish met up with their new allies, the French, in the north. They were then joined by the Amercs and began sailing east, to try to then go south to attack the enemies’ harbour while their forces were divided between there and the Spanish harbour. This did not work, however, as a few stray Pirate ships sighted the large fleet sailing east, and alerted the admirals of this new development. All the Cursed Pirate ships at the Spanish harbour turned to go back to their own harbour, and the nine sea monsters of the Cursed Pirates appeared in front of the allied fleet. Correctly assuming the Cursed Pirates would know they were coming, the allies turned back. The two navies now retreated to their own harbours, and decided to make peace. Only the English didn’t participate in this short but intense war.

Additional Comment:

Today I started a seven-player 40-point game. I tried to use mostly my new stuff, especially in terms of ships, and I am using 20 islands (half mysterious) and 21 terrain. The combatants: English (HMS Victoria and Aberdeen Baron), French (Conquerant, Aquilon), Spanish (Cristal del Obispo and San Pedro), Pirate (Lady’s Scorn, Belladonna, and Lightning), Americans (Blackwatch and Argo), Cursed (Poor Adams, Fallen Angel, and Death’s Anchor), and Mercenary/Corsairs (Forward, Algiers, and Griffin).

The action began, and the English began sailing northwest towards a treasure island. The French, with the Conquerant moving 6S (S+S with helmsman and EA w/reroll) became separated. They realized they were playing more for fun because they had no gold ship(s), so they wanted to create chaos (more of a fun fleet to try out my only Bombardier). The beautiful Cristal del Obispo escorted the San Pedro to the nearest wild island. Then the Pirates departed, followed by the Americans, Cursed, and Mercorsairs, who immediately ran into bad luck-the Algiers was hit by an iceberg, leaving her with two masts.

Three actions quickly developed: The Lady’s Scorn took out two masts on the Forward, but the Forward retaliated with her Fire Shot equipment, scoring a fire mast and another splintered gaff mast. Next turn, the Scorn took out the remaining two masts on the Forward, but now has two fire masts and only her mainmast to guide her.

Meanwhile, just to the north, the Conquerant missed with her flamestrike cannon, but hit with her others, taking out the remaining two masts on the Algiers and one on the Griffin. The galleys fled for home and plan to rescue the Forward. The problem for the French was that the Conquerant was in the way of the English, and so the next turn the HMS Victoria promptly sunk the new ship to get her out of the way.

To the south, it looked as though the Blackwatch and Cristal del Obispo would be content to escort their treasure ships to islands and back home, but the feisty Americans became restless (and reckless, perhaps?). The Blackwatch moved closer to the Spanish ships, but was burned badly. With the help of a helmsman, the Cristal moved S+S+S and took out three masts on the Blackwatch. The Blackwatch has 2L guns with world-hater (TWOS HIT), however, along with EA from Commander Stephen Decatur. The die roll gave the big American gunships two shoot actions, and the guns hit three of four times, taking out three masts on the Cristal, so now both ships have two masts remaining.

To the west, the Cursed one-master Fallen Angel is towing the Death’s Anchor, using it to dismast the American Argo (now with no help because the Blackwatch is too far away), who has been captured by the Poor Adams.

The Lady’s Scorn was able to return home safely and remove her fire masts, sinking the Forward on the way by. The HMS Victoria sunk the Aquilon after finishing the Conquerant, so she single-handedly took out the French fleet. Then the Victoria moved on and sunk both the damaged Barbary galleys, the Algiers and the Griffin.

The duel between the five-masters Cristal del Obispo vs Blackwatch ended with the Blackwatch sinking the Spaniard with her more effective guns. This left the Blackwatch with only one mast, which was quickly eliminated by the Death’s Anchor, and then she was captured by the Poor Adams. The Cursed wanted to tow their new ships (Argo was captured as well) home and repair them and set them loose, but were alarmed to realize the Pirates’ strategy. The Belladonna snuck up on the Spanish harbour and used her ability to take all of the Spaniards’ gold! The San Pedro tried to stop her, but she was rammed and boarded by the swift Lightning. As the San Pedro limped back home to her now-empty harbour, the Cursed appeared to the west of the Pirates looking for a fight just as the newly repaired Lady’s Scorn sailed in from her short battle with the Victoria, who she almost dismasted with four hits. The battle was on, with the Belladonna ramming and boarding the Fallen Angel, taking out her one mast and shipwright she planned to use to repair it. The Lady’s Scorn then missed with all four of her guns!  That’s why it pays to pay for world-haters. The Cursed retaliated as Pirate morale sunk. The Poor Adams sunk the Lady’s Scorn over the next few turns as the Death’s Anchor dismasted both the Lightning and the Belladonna.

Sadly, this brought the action to a close, with four of seven (more than half) fleets now unable to give any possible future actions to their ships (French and Mercorsairs sunk, Pirates sunk and derelict, both American ships captured by the Cursed). Time to count treasure. What wasn’t as exciting as the battles was the superb performance of the English five-master Aberdeen Baron, hauling in coins worth 18 gold, as much as the next two fleets combined! With a large cargo hold, built-in explorer, and the help of a helmsman, this ship was lucky to be unscarred after all the carnage. The Spanish came in second, the San Pedro bringing in gold after the Pirates stole her first runs’ worth. The Pirates came in third with gold aboard the derelict Belladonna. The Cursed came in fourth with two coins aboard the captured Argo. The French, Americans, and Mercorsairs came in dead last with a comination of bad luck and bad strategy. Finally the English won , soon I may start a similar game but with double the fleet sizes (80 points).

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