Pirates: Economy Edition
Played in June 2015
Ever since cannonfury came up with his Rules for Pirates: Economy Edition, I’ve wanted to play it. I’ve always found that in cumulative/campaign games, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, making for a somewhat predictable game, although still extremely fun and much more involved and complex than your average Pirates game. I love the resources concept and especially how their values change mid-game.
I’ve decided to play a slightly modified version of Economy Edition, which is what I’ll be calling it unless cannonfury wants to change the name (Economy for short). He posted a great report or two earlier in this thread detailing his playtests of the game, but naturally with my penchant for HUGE games, I’ve decided to take it a step further and plan on making it one of those epic, long, MASSIVE endeavours that goes for weeks (and in this case almost definitely months) with no end in sight. That being said, things from “real life” do come up, so there are no guarantees whatsoever. This game could abruptly end on a dime without warning, or I may have to do something similar to what I did with Century of the Empires, with a forced conclusion to finish things up if they take too long.
If you plan on reading any of my reports this summer, I suggest you take a look at cannonfury’s post, another link here.
The following modifications will be made, and I’ve also included some information about the game:
– Named crew must be unique, but once a named crew is eliminated or removed from the game, a DIFFERENT version of that crew can then be purchased as long as they aren’t in play at the same time.
– I don’t have the time or desire to make or purchase tokens to represent resources, so here’s how I’m going to do it: after a ship rolls for the resource type and loads resources, the ship will load gold coins that correspond to the numbered resource (for example, a ship with lumber on board would have 1’s). When the ship unloads the resources at the home island, the 1’s (in this case) are swapped out for the value of the resource. If the value of lumber was 4, when the ship docks at her HI (home island), the 1’s come off the ship and go back into the treasure chest and 4’s appear on the HI, which can then be used to purchase ships and crew.
I can separate the piles of coins on a ship’s deckplate to distinguish between resources and gold.
– Players will NOT be required to pay one gold each turn for every ship not docked at their HI. Why? I want this game to be huge, so anything that slows the game down is getting cut out. I like this concept, since you have to pay the crew and supply them with food and rations, but for this game I can’t afford to be paying gold every turn when there are already going to be a ton of ships being launched all the time. Also, if this game gets as big as I want it to, it would be extremely annoying to count how many ships each fleet had at the end of their turns.
– There are 5 fleets participating, and the order of play will go as follows: English, Franco-Spanish (a permanent alliance, abbreviated FS), Pirates, Americans, Cursed. The English, Pirates, and Cursed have all gotten major additions in the year so far, while the French and Spanish have lagged behind (a coincidence).
– Fleets start out at 40 points.
– There are around 26 wild islands, along with the 5 home islands. See pictures and explanations below for details.
– No unique treasures have been placed during setup, although islands that generate gold may have UT’s appear on them throughout the game. UT’s are not going to give any fleets an advantage or disadvantage in the critical early stages of the game, when everyone needs to get off to a good start.
– There will be no adventure cards. I have my hands full learning a new ruleset and trying to incorporate house rules and new ideas, not to mention that I don’t want this game to end based on a quest scenario. The general time limit for this game is 3 months, although as I said before it may end much sooner than that depending on the circumstances.
– An island’s resource will be represented by one of the tiny dice, which will be turned upright to the corresponding number.
– I think islands will be upgraded on the current turn that an upgrade token is unloaded, but the functions of the upgrade can’t be used until the next turn, similar to forts.
– There may be house rules regarding the settlement and colony rules.
– The keywords cannonfury created will not be used, but I would like to try and use some of my own creations from the Custom Ships thread.
House Rules/Potential changes to the game:
This game is going to be very open-ended and subject to changes. There may be house rules and custom ideas implemented in the middle of the game, and in the middle of player’s turns. Things will be as fair as possible, but I’m really interested in delving into new ideas, some inspired by others and some from my own musings.
– When a ship wins a boarding party, the winner gets to choose whether they kill a crew or take a treasure. If the winner decides to steal a treasure, they can look at all gold on the losing ship and choose which coin(s) to take.
Potential in-game house rules to be figured out later include making reefs and fire much more relevant, among other things.
As you’ll see in the pictures, there are two Sandbars in play:
(Unofficial Terrain)Inspired by Cadet-Captain Mike (Cke1st’s Pirates Page)When any part of a ship or sea creature moves onto a sandbar, roll a d6. The result is the sandbar’s rating until the end of that player’s turn. Compare the rating to how many masts or segments the game piece had when it was constructed. If the sandbar’s rating is less than the number of masts or segments, the game piece has run aground and might not be able to move.
For example, if a 3-mast ship sails over a sandbar with a rating of 4, she may continue her movement across it. If a 4-mast ship sails over a sandbar with a sandbar with a rating of 2, it must stop, even if she could move farther that turn. If the sandbar rating and the number of masts or segments are the same, the ship must stop after sailing over the sandbar, even if she could move farther that turn.If a game piece has run aground, you can use its action for the turn to try to free it. Roll a d6. Subtract the current number of masts or segments or the result from whichever is higher. If the result is 1 or less, the game piece is free. It can be given a move action to move normally next turn.(This is designed to be an obstacle similar to Sargasso Seas, but targeted for larger ships rather than smaller ships, and not damaging like a Reef)
I’m sure there are things I’m forgetting, but I’ll mention them as I remember them during the battle reports. Now, onto the setup!
(Note: some of the captions here have important information for the game!)
This is without doubt the best (by far) looking game I’ll have played. I’ve made some custom islands and terrain, and I’m also using the islands that rossinaz gave me in a trade that you may have seen in an earlier battle report.
Introducing: The Lagoon
The lagoon is a large lagoon located in the middle-western part of the ocean. The lagoon is only accessible by game pieces that can submerge. Ghost ships cannot cross the lagoon’s borders. This puts submarines at a premium, although hostile sea monsters can also access the lagoon and potentially attack the submarines.
The lagoon holds vast gold reserves from a Pirate long dead. This island generates no resources, but rather replenishing gold stores.
Introducing: The Arch
The Arch is a piece of styrofoam that was cut in different places and glued to another small piece to form a triple archway. The middle archway is the tallest, with just enough room for somewhat large ships to pass through. The side arches are lower, allowing only ships with lower decks and shorter masts. The angled arch that was glued on is the shortest.
As you can see in the first picture, the arch has gold on it, but this gold can only be accessed by docking at the low point where the gold is. Ships can only dock at this one point, and if they hit the arch in any other spot the ship loses a mast. The arch functions as a wild island that generates gold instead of resources, similar to the island in the lagoon. The arch has some terrain around it, including a reef jutting out to the east from the shortest, angled archway.
I believe I mentioned it in the Hijack thread a while back, but I received a Duke from a CC pack that wasn’t cut all the way through on the deckplate card, making the ship impossible to assemble after I splintered the deck of the ship. After punching out the broken deck, it was the perfect opportunity to create a shipwreck. There was just enough on the deck to attach one of the hull pieces, and I broke the other one in half. The ship lost its mizzenmast in the wreck, and her jib was smashed off. The pirates all perished, but they left behind a considerable haul of gold, which I created by dripping just a few drops of metallic gold paint down into the hull of the ship. This fixed shipwreck will function as a special wild island that has gold on it, but the gold does not replenish itself as with the lagoon and arch. Ships must brave the reef to get to the Duke, and I may create a special house rule that allows the Cursed to put crew on the Duke and begin firing her cannons once more.
As for the lagoon, arch, and Duke, they all have a generous helping of gold. A lot of the gold they contain is shiny gold from the OE SR Cursed captain and shiny silver from this card. Shiny gold will be worth twice its printed value, while shiny silver will be worth three times its printed value (the shiny silver has more glitter and sparkle on it). Also, to incentivize the use of silver explorers, the +1 bonus will be applied before the multiplication, so a shiny silver 3 from a ship with a silver explorer will be worth 12 gold! These gold coins are currently only on the island in the lagoon, the arch, and the Duke shipwreck, but that may change during the game.
As for my custom islands, a trip to Hobby Lobby and a few pieces of styrofoam did the trick.
In this game I am trying to use a TON of the new stuff I’ve gotten recently from trades and acquisitions, so don’t expect to see ships I’ve used before, at least not very often! I also want to focus on using a lot of game mechanics I haven’t used very much if at all, which is much easier in a huge game than a standard game.
The first 11 turns have been played! The game has quickly gone from the starting 40 point fleets to massive fleets that are growing exponentially at rapid rates. This is the ONLY time I will be able to play this many turns in one day, mostly because it was the start of the game. From here on out I’m only expecting to play one or two turns per day.
A few things to note before I go into the actual battle report:
– Return to Savage Shores, Cadet-Captain Mike’s set, and my own custom set (Pirates of the Age of Sail) are all available for this game. However, due to the fact that there are so many new game pieces I haven’t used and there will be more coming in mid-game from ongoing trades, it is likely that very few of these pieces will make it into the game as proxies.
– There is a document on BGG that details custom house rules, and the ones for shipwrights I liked. A ship docked at its home island (HI) can repair two masts per turn if it has a shipwright on board. Also, shipwrights can repair forts after they’ve been stationed at the fort. Shipwrights can only repair one flag per turn and the fort cannot shoot while repairing.
– I have already begun to run out of helmsmen. Since I don’t use musketeers and cannoneers very often, these two generic crew will proxy as helmsmen for the duration of the game, unless noted otherwise. Therefore, if you see a musketeer or cannoneer on an island or fort, that crew is very likely a helmsman in reality.
– As I mentioned in my above post, ships with explorers are not rerolling for the initial resource die roll when they explore an island.
– You’ll see mysterious islands in the pictures, but their effects are not being used at all. They are not a good fit for this game.
– Island upgrades are represented through tokens from the RISK board game, which serve no other purpose in the game. Infantry units represent settlements, cavalry units represent trading ports, and artillery units represent military ports. As with regular games, a nation’s pennant flags represent the encampments in Economy.
– Resources are always placed face up, whether they are on a ship (on the deckplate or in the water for simplicity) or on a home island. Gold is always placed face down, whether on a ship or on a wild island or home island. I’ve already forgotten to keep resources face up, but this system makes it easier to play the game. In this way, resources may be kept face up on the home island for fleets waiting for the resource values to change, but it’s a gamble to not cash in since the resource value could go even lower.
This is a very interesting part of the strategy that I didn’t think of until soon after the game started. It’s generally advantageous to cash in your resources immediately since you don’t want to get behind in the arms race, but depending on the number of turns left until the resource values change, fleets may want to wait and see if their market values increase with the new die rolls. Also, resource values may change while a ship is carrying them home, which makes for interesting strategy decisions and movement measurements! I absolutely love the resource system so far.
Now, onto the game!
With great excitement and anticipation, the first resource value die was rolled, which came up a 5. Fish were king, with Spices almost worthless. Two d6 were rolled to determine how long these values would hold, with the first 6 turns being the answer. Since it was the very beginning of the game, these 6 turns would pass much quicker than others, but it still gave fleets enough time to get some resources home before the values changed.
With such a large game that has no length or point limit attached to it, none of the fleets wanted to make an enemy early in the game. The fleets have focused on treasure running, or in this case you could call it resource gathering (resourcing?).
The beautiful Maui’s Fishhook was given the first action of the game, setting the long-anticipated Economy Edition game in motion!
The English take off and scatter in different directions. Most games aren’t ideal for ships with the Kirkwall’s ability, but with so many islands and such a large ocean, the English decided to take a stab at the long-failed strategy of marking islands explored. For this game, marking the island explored doesn’t result in rolling for the resource type, which happens when docking or during an actual explore action.
The Celestine, with Master Scribe aboard, has already begun dropping trade currents to help out her Cursed comrades. Sadly I still don’t have any SS islands, so the backs of original SM islands are used as trade currents.
HMS Swiftsure had the honor of being the first ship to be launched. Times like these make me wonder if ANY of the ships that started the game will be there at the conclusion…
Master Scribe and his ship (the Celestine) have been busy, giving the Cursed a much-needed speed boost to get them out of the gate quickly. The Sea Duck and Hades’ Realm are new additions to the fleet.
Up until this point, the most common resource was textiles with a die roll of 2. There was a considerable amount of luxuries and metals available, with lumber and fish being the rarest resources.
The Americans were disappointed to find a lot of luxuries, which quickly piled up on their home island. Desperate for more ships, they launched the USS Sea Tiger and Devil Ray, the latter of which was the first ship launched that could access the lagoon. Since privateer nations (like the Mercenaries) can only be purchased at a trading port, this purchase of the Devil Ray was in error, but the Americans would pay for it later once I realized the mistake, as you’ll see later in the report.
At this point, 6 turns had been completed, which meant that the dice would be rolled for the first in-game value change! All the fleets held their breath, with even more anticipation than during the opening roll:
Wow! The one signifies that all resources are worth the same as their numbered value (ex: lumber is numbered at 1 and now worth 1 gold), which makes it very easy since there is no exchange rate to worry about. Perhaps even more importantly, these values would hold for 11 turns, only one off the max of 12 from rolling two d6! This marked a major shift in the game, as the Americans and FS benefited greatly with their stockpiles of now-valuable resources. This changed everything, and with fleets getting bigger every turn, the game started to slow down considerably as each fleet’s turn got longer and longer. With such a long duration of 11 turns, this phase of the game would be long enough to plot strategies around.
With a stack of 10 luxuries whose total value increased from 20 to 60 with a roll of the dice, the Americans were suddenly swimming in gold! Eager to set up the long-awaited chain system, two additional sets of native canoes were launched along with the USS Albany, Harlequin, and Fly. With a nearby island producing precious luxuries, the Americans looked to be in great shape for the time being.
(As a side note, these 15 canoes are all I have for the Americans, but if anyone has extras that they’d be willing to part with, I’d gladly pay shipping for them! I’m hoarding canoes for huge games like this, but I really need more American canoes.)
The arch has finally been explored! The MF reached over on her way through the tallest archway and picked up some of the supercoins placed on the low point of the arch, which is the only spot where ships can dock and pick up gold on the arch.
The Pirates have launched a new flagship, the Foresight. The values of their nearby resources (fish and metals) dropped on turn 7, but they’re still producing a healthy stream of gold.
Now you can see why I need more canoes! The Americans are the first to receive a home island expansion, which I knew would be inevitable with such fast-growing fleets. The newly launched Paul Revere and Black Bear carry the first island upgrade tokens.
Around this time during the game I realized that the Americans had hired the Devil Ray and her Mercenary helmsman without having a trading port. Privateer nations (the minor factions) are only to be hired at trading ports. Since the error was relatively major, with the Devil Ray being the first ship in the lagoon and the first submarine introduced, the Americans would have to pay a steep penalty. For every turn that the Devil Ray was afloat, the Americans had to pay the cost of the ship and any crew assigned to her every turn. The Americans immediately let go of the Devil Ray, removing her from the game. They used the gold from luxuries and the Devil Ray’s own shiny gold 4 (worth 8 gold) to pay off the whopping 60 gold that resulted from the Devil Ray’s 5 turns in play (10 points from the ship + 2 from the helmsman = 12 gold * 5 turns = 60 total gold cost). As a result, the Americans actually lost money on the fiasco, although they did learn what the lagoon held and still have the only encampment within the lagoon.
The Celestine and Sea Duck approach an island in the middle of the sea, until noticing the Albany, Harlequin and two canoes sail around the other side. The submerged Pyre is visible, hinting that the Cursed are the second fleet to have designs on the lagoon.
What did the Maui’s Fishhook bring back? With four cargo spaces available after her helmsman, her haul from the arch included a shiny 4, two shiny silver 2’s and a shiny silver 4. If you didn’t read the introductory post, shiny gold is worth twice its printed value and shiny silver is worth three times its printed value. In this way the MF brought home 32 gold on four coins!
Almost the entire Franco-Spanish fleet, with a HI expansion necessary. They spent a current-record 94 gold on turn 11. The Trinity and St. Denis highlight the additions, along with three island upgrade tokens.
The Celestine rolled a few 1’s in a row, eliminating a few trade currents. However, turn 11 saw them replaced by a doubly successful roll on both the Celestine’s ability and Master Scribe’s navigator ability. The Cursed appear to have a serious interest in the lagoon, as they’ve launched their second submarine, the Locker. The Cursed have slowed their expansion as the islands nearest their HI produce textiles and metals, which aren’t all that valuable at the current time.
This is where things stand after 11 turns! You can see how crowded the home islands are becoming, with new ships being put in the water every turn by almost every fleet. The Americans, Pirates, and Franco-Spanish have the biggest fleets, but the English and Cursed have also done well.
What a great start to such a huge endeavour! As I said previously, this is the only day where this many turns will be completed. I won’t be able to play every day, and even when I do play it will likely be about a turn or two at once. I can’t wait to see how things develop!
A few more notes before I go into what happened today (6/1):
– Forts, flotillas, and native canoes can be used as many times as fleets want to use them, and fleets are allowed to use duplicates of these game pieces at the same time.
– Ships with the same name that have different stats, regardless of the flavor text and whether or not they are technically the same ship, are allowed to be in play at the same time (like the USS James Madison and USS James Madison).
– As far as the arch goes, building a fort on the arch does not function like the regular rules for forts. The gold on the bottom part of the arch does not automatically get placed inside the fort, and the gold at the bottom of the arch is still available to ships that dock there. Also, if a fort is built on the arch, the fort’s cannon ranges are measured from any point on the TOP of the arch, rather than from the flags of the fort or any point on the arch. Measuring from the flags makes the fort less effective but allowing measurement from any point of the arch makes the fort too effective. Also, forts cannot be built on the island inside the lagoon, and needless to say forts also cannot be built on the wreck of the Duke. Islands that produce resources are the only islands on which forts function normally, although just like in the ruleset they don’t produce resources on the island after they’re built.
I was able to play three turns, 12-14. Things are constantly progressing and the strategy aspects are beginning to take on a more important role now that fleets have a consistent supply of resources coming in almost every turn.
The Fly has explored the arch for the Americans, and they have quickly made their presence known by building Thompson’s Island atop it! It’s great to see the arch being used to full effect, as building a fort on it was one of the things I was most looking forward to.
I didn’t realize how dark this one turned out, but beyond their new fort the Americans have launched USS Shark, USS Atlanta, USS James Madison and the Minuteman. This completes their pile of relatively new stuff that I haven’t put into my binders yet.
The Celestine and Master Scribe have been busy laying trade currents, hoping that the Rum Runner won’t become hostile.
The hostilities have commenced! The first combat of the game wasn’t a shoot action, but true to the Economy focus of the game, was a boarding attack against a settlement! The Pacificum easily won the action, changing the settlement from American to English (it’s still American in the picture – the English units are red).
The Paul Revere immediately swung her bow to starboard and approached the Pacificum with loaded guns. With the first shoot action of the game, the Americans got revenge on the English by taking off two masts! Deciding it would be easy to recapture the colony later, the Revere also successfully S-boarded the Pacificum (who therefore couldn’t use her +1 boarding bonus), killing her oarsman and taking two textiles!
The Rum Runner slips past the Celestine, whose Cursed submarines Pyre and Locker are in the lagoon. The American sea monster Champ is in the lagoon with the Locker, but without the ability to move and shoot and no way to attack the Locker while she’s submerged, it looks like a stalemate.
Desperate to catch up in the arms race, the Cursed launch the Sskwa’aluk, an SE windcatcher from Return to Savage Shores.
Masts: 3 (Windcatcher)
Ability: Wind Catcher. On the turn this ship is pinned, eliminate one crew and one mast from the rammed ship.
Flavor: Crewed entirely by Trogs, this foul vessel actually carries a coral nest beneath her hull. What lives within the nest is known only to the Trogs—and the captives who are lowered into the hull as food.
I had to include that flavor text just because it’s so disturbing! I don’t know if I’m going to refer to this ship by name during the report. I’ll probably just call it Skwaluck (how I pronounce it) or SK for short. Either way, she’s being represented by the Ghost Walker. I would use the Mystic, but the Pirates may want to use that ship at some point…
The Cursed also launched the Nightmare.
The English head east. The MF and Galway find luxuries and textiles (still the most common resources in the game) respectively, on islands marked explored by the Kirkwall. The Raven is sailing towards the easternmost island, which is just north of the Duke wreck.
The Pirates launched the Rising Sun and crewed her with Le Requin, Coconut, Bootstrap Bill Turner and an oarsman, hoping to quickly get her out to the Duke before other fleets and use her ability to get the gold home automatically rather than waiting to bring it back. A twist on the UPS strategy, using the Rising Sun instead of Captain Jack Sparrow. The Jolly Mon was camped out at home with some spare oarsmen.
However, the Hades’ Realm also appears to be sailing towards the wreck of the Duke…
The Cutlass had brought the Pirates’ first island upgrade to an island that the Cursed and the Pirates had explored, a situation very similar to the one up north between the Americans and English. The Cursed didn’t have any ships near the Cutlass, but it didn’t take long to find out whether this situation would escalate as well.
Using yet another trade current from the Celestine, the Hades’ Realm moved S+L+S to rake the bow of the Rising Sun, who had just emerged from a whirlpool. The Rising Sun only lost her mizzenmast, but the Cursed had been angered by the settlement established by the Cutlass.
Champ makes a move, desperate for some kind of action. The Locker surfaces and moves out of range, loading gold before she will inevitably submerge next turn. The lagoon’s island may replenish itself in the near future.
The Paul Revere was unsuccessful when trying to recapture the English settlement via S-boarding. He’e moves into position to guard the arch, while the glint of the MF’s hoist arm is visible to the east.
The ocean has become considerably more crowded, and although you can’t see them here, some trading port and military port upgrades have been purchased, though they haven’t been unloaded to the islands yet.
Only one turn was played today, 6/2. This was partly because over 300 points worth of stuff was introduced.
By the way, the islands made by rossinaz can only be docked at on the beach part, not at the taller rocky part (similar to the arch).
I didn’t think it would happen after only a few days, but some debris and dust has already begun accumulating on the sheet. Unfortunately there’s no way to wash or vacuum the sheet without permanently wrecking the entire game, but I’d like to think of it as the random junk that floats in the ocean, especially once chunks of wood and sails are taken off ships in combat.
Turn 15 was mostly about the spending. The Franco-Spanish took in a new record 117 gold during the turn, which they immediately used on a bunch of new stuff.
The San Cristobal was assembled, and turn 16 will be the first time I use such a legendary ship. She’s crewed with Victor de Alva, a helmsman, explorer, and oarsman, which is a perfect crew setup for what the FS want her to do.
The FS also built the Nox and La Moulin Rouge with captains and helmsmen. Soon I’ll be running out of generic captains as well! The FS also purchased some island upgrades, which you’ll see come into play soon.
The USS Shark has brought William Eaton to the arch, where he will be able to move around the arch (with his rock-climbing skills!) and fire from any point of it. Right now he’s stationed atop the lowest archway, near Thompson’s Island (Thompson’s Archway?). This shows the Americans have a very serious interest in the arch, with multiple layers of defence now guarding it including He’e and USS Atlanta towing the Minuteman in addition to the ground defence.
The Paul Revere managed to retake the American settlement via S-boarding before turning for home to repair. You can see the Americans have a very strong position (relative to the fleet sizes so far at least!) around the arch.
Similar to the FS, the Americans also had a field day on turn 15, raking in 107 gold. They got themselves some warships, including USS Eagan, USS Appalachian, and the Saratoga, the latter two of which I’ve never used in a game. In order to optimize their chain exploring system of gathering resources, they also launched the Peacock, Flying Fish, Argo, Brandywine, and Nene-nui.
As for the other fleets, the Locker escaped the lagoon before Champ could attack. The Rising Sun didn’t receive the SAT from Requin, and so ducked into a fog bank to avoid the Hades’ Realm. The Pirates have launched the Inferno and purchased numerous island upgrades.
I’d like to do a count of the different fleet sizes at different points during the game, and every 5-15 turns sounds about right. After 15 turns, this is where the fleets stood:
English: 15 ships
Americans: 28 (counting each set of canoes as one ship)
Cursed: 9 (they have been saving up gold, but their resources aren’t worth much right now)
I simply counted deckplates, so the list includes sea monsters and the two flotillas in play. It’s doubtful I’ll ever do a count of points because it would take so much longer, but if I can sense that the game is at its peak I could set aside some time for it, just because it would be interesting to see if I could make this the biggest game I’ve ever played, though my first documented game was also cumulative but I never counted the total points (and the same with the RISK game).
I’ve played turns 16 and 17! Things are going to peak on turn 18 since that’s when the resource value and duration rolls occur.
Before I was able to get started, an inevitable event occurred: the Pirates have pushed the French out of their shared box, and now it is completely Pirate! The box used to hold the Cursed as well, but now they’re in a different box with the Americans.
On turn 16, the Franco-Spanish used their new trading port, strategically located near the lagoon, to launch the new Hephaestus, the first official privateer ship in the game! Earlier in the turn, their new and old fleets sailed out in unison for a rather large show of force.
The Rising Sun, having ducked into a fog bank to avoid the Hades’ Realm, rolled a 6 to stay in the fog but at the same time slam into a new island. With Coconut on board, the Rising Sun was able to send home some fish via her ship ability, an unexpected but welcome outcome of the voyage.
HMS Raven has finally reached the easternmost island, discovering a supply of lumber. The Hades’ Realm has successfully navigated the reef surrounding the Duke shipwreck, but without an explorer will have to wait to look at the gold.
The FS strategy with the new San Cristobal has become clear. Armed with extra action capabilities, S+S+L+S speed, and an explorer, the San Cristobal has set out to build French and Spanish forts (up to 5 total!) on islands that can’t be easily reached by the FS fleet back home. Whirlpooling into the center of the map, the Cristobal has already explored the final island to be docked at, marking it with St. Pierre. Since resources aren’t generated by islands with forts on them per the ruleset, the FS are trying to hinder the other fleets’ progress and delay their efforts.
The FS also launched El Acorazado and put Don Osvaldo Guillen and Master Gunner Rogelio Vazquez (as well as a helmsman) aboard to increase the ship’s effectiveness. Right now she looks intimidating as a potential settlement raider, with S-board and +1 to boarding rolls, while the L-range guns effectively increase her striking range, which is essential since she’ll only be moving S+S.
On the left, the Eroica heads east to establish a military port, while the Trinity has already done so on the right side of the photo. The Lurker Dessous and Tepant follow the Hephaestus towards the lagoon.
The Rising Sun came out of the fog and promptly rolled a 1 while crossing the reef to lose her remaining two masts, leaving her derelict! Unfortunately for the Cursed, Coconut’s explorer ability combined with the Rising Sun’s ship ability let the Pirates transfer a shiny silver 6 worth 18 gold back to the Pirates’ HI right underneath the Cursed eyes! In this way, the Rising Sun’s expedition had turned into a relative disaster, but at least she had just about paid for herself and her crew in the process, if not only making the Cursed more angry.
I used the flash for a change, showing the tense situation around the English HI and the American settlement just to the west. The island’s textiles are only worth 2 gold apiece right now, but that could suddenly change on turn 18 when the resource values change.
The Americans have been saving up a considerable amount of gold, possibly to be spent on the next turn. The Lamon has reached the lagoon, with the Mercury not far behind. The Hessian has established a colony on the island to the east of the lagoon, while the Albany has upgraded the settlement on the middle right side of the picture to a trading port.
The Cursed have struggled of late, but they have some gold and resources saved up, hoping to get a better roll this time around. The Pyre and Locker have returned with gold from the lagoon, with the Pyre looking to make a return trip now that the lagoon and arch have replenished themselves.
It wasn’t the most eventful two turns, but that was partly due to the climactic nature of turn 18, when the new resource value and duration rolls will be made. The English cashed in luxuries worth 78 gold on turn 17, and now they’re waiting to see what happens with the resources before they decide what to buy. The Pirates are in a similar situation, with 102 gold received during turn 17. The Americans and Cursed have also held off on purchases for the last few turns, making turn 18 possibly one of the longest and most exciting yet!
Turn 18 marked the need for new resource rolls! With great anticipation a 6 and a 7 were rolled, meaning that the market in luxuries crashed while the values of all other resources increased by one each! Not really a big change, except for the luxuries. The 7 means that turns 18-24 will be played using these values. Spices are now the most valuable resource, and luckily for the Americans and Franco-Spanish, they both have islands that produce spices nearby as well as the luxuries they had been taking in for the last 11 turns. The Cursed and Pirates gain modestly by the change, while the English suffer, having only islands that produce textiles (now worth 3 gold) and luxuries (now worth 1 gold) nearby.
The English and the Americans have finally clashed! The English, with a fully repaired HMS Pacificum and support ships, looked to take back their settlement to the west. HMS Diamond was the first on the scene, and together with HMS Resistance they shot away both masts on the James Madison. At the end of their turn the English launched HMS Dauntless and crewed her with Lord Cutler Beckett, a captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, and fire shot!
Meanwhile, the San Cristobal was busy building El Castillo del Infanta on an island that the Cursed had previously found textiles on.
However, the Dauntless received a 6 from Beckett on their first turn in play, letting the big bad 5 master get right into the thick of the battle. The English poured in a heavy fire, sinking the James Madison and crippling the Atlanta and He’e:
The English made the mistake of sailing the Serapis too close to the arch, from which the guns of Thompson’s Island now boomed. The Serapis was sunk in short order, but the American squadron near the arch and their settlement had been decimated.
To the west, the Americans were optimizing their chains of canoes, setting them up to transfer gold from the island with spices (where the Wasp has established a military port) and from the two submarines in the lagoon.
The Americans weren’t done just yet! Using some of their vast gold pile, they built the Constitution and USS Hudson. The Constitution was crewed with Jonathan Haraden, Commander Steven Decatur, Gus Schultz, a helmsman and an oarsman, making her the biggest threat in the game.
The Pirates and Cursed have been dormant for a while now, but that will change eventually. Both fleets have large reserves of gold.
This is great shot of most of the ocean, with only the English HI not visible. Note the submerged Hephaestus and Lurker Dessous just outside the lagoon, with Champ waiting inside. The Pyre and Locker are headed back for a return trip, with the Lamon and Mercury also looking to get more gold soon. A battle inside the lagoon is inevitable, but it will be interesting to see who instigates it.
I only played one turn today, but I’m hoping to play at least 2 tomorrow. Not much happened, but tension is building all around the ocean and fleets are getting ready to launch relatively large additions to their existing fleets.
The English finished off He’e as the Dauntless ducked into a fog bank. However, even as the English had won the battle, they hadn’t won the war, with more American ships reinforcing their settlement. The Minuteman took three masts off the Pacificum later in the turn.
Complicating matters for the English, the San Cristobal moved north and built Paradis de la Mer on the textiles island that the English were making trips to.
I’ve played turns 21-23! The English had been saving up gold for a while, and they finally had enough to launch something I’ve been looking forward to for a few months now: the FIRE squadron!
In this way the Bombardier has a chance to create up to 4 fire masts in a turn, along with 3 each for the switchblades.
After building Paradis, the San Cristobal captured an English settlement and built El Puerto Blanco.
At the end of their turn, the FS launched a scaled-down version of their own fire squadron (Conquerant w/Duncan Rousseau + Grand Vainqueur w/Gentil de la Barbinais), along with the Neptune (with linked crew Phillipe Jordan aboard) and San Estaban, for a total of 103 gold.
Partly as a result of these forts, and also because they are struggling a bit more than the other three fleets, the English and Cursed have agreed to an alliance! With fleets in the northeast and southeast, they could potentially combine to take back the east from the FS and drive the Americans back west. Time will tell if the alliance is fruitful, and even more importantly, if it lasts any considerable amount of time.
The Americans launched the Franklin and crewed her with Commodore Edward Preble in addition to the standard captain and helmsman. They also purchased the USS Annapolis with the RtSS version of George Washington LeBeaux aboard, who is the American version of Lord Mycron. This gives the Americans some flexibility, but in the near future they’re looking to give Champ the move-and-shoot.
The Cursed have been saving up gold for a while as well, and they finally spent 113 gold on a sea monster squadron!
Serpent’s Fang + captain, helmsman, fire shot, chain shot
My regular (uncommon) version of Brachyura was broken (crabs seem easy to break), so I built my SR Brachyura. Since it’s glittery and shiny I’m giving it the captain ability built-in.
Funny enough, both ships (the Serpent’s Fang and Crocodile) are also named after sea creatures, a serpent and a crocodile, making the additions even more appropriate.
The English used the new shipwright rules to repair the Dauntless and Pacificum in short order. When a ship is docked at it’s home island, with a shipwright aboard it can repair two masts per turn.
On turn 22, the Americans launched two more five masters:
The Pirates, in an act of good faith, took some gold with the Cutlass and gave it to the Cursed to help them out. The Cursed considered attacking the Cutlass and her partner ship the Lady Newport, but thought better of it considering that they’re not in the best position in the game right now, although their position is getting stronger. Both factions considered this act to be the beginning of a possible alliance.
The Ranger was also headed towards FS waters with some gold, presumably with the same purpose in mind.
The Americans used their trading port to build the Revolution, a gift from trox received in the mail just before she was put together and introduced into the game. She’s crewed with Queen Teresa Pavon, a helmsman and a firepot specialist.
The Cursed have reached the lagoon with their sea monster squadron, but Champ isn’t worried since it can submerge. However, the Cursed have a secret weapon on Brachyura: Papa Doc. Not the lame version, but the RtSS version:
Ability: This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls. Once per turn, one crew or ship within S of this ship can’t use its ability that turn.
Turn 24 was played, with a few interesting developments.
The English have destroyed El Puerto Blanco, showing that the San Cristobal’s fort-building adventure is no match for England’s gunnery. Without anything to support the forts, they’re easy targets for a powerful squadron of gunships that now includes a bombardier, two switchblades, two 5 masters, and HMS Raven.
The Tepant, Nox, and Lurker Dessous form a line of battle to protect the submerged Hephaestus from the sub-hunting USS Eagan, hiding in a fog bank with the Appalachian. As new warships set sail, you can see the logjam around the FS home island.
The Americans relaunched the Devil Ray, following in the footsteps of her Mercenary comrade the Revolution:
The Cursed have attacked! Entering the lagoon all at once, their four sea monsters have overwhelmed the Americans inside the lagoon. Papa Doc cancelled Champ to the surface, allowing Brachyura to rip the serpent’s head off! Champ only lost two segments in the attack, but the monster is as good as dead. The other Cursed sea monsters blocked the American subs from getting to the island as the Locker and Pyre took the last coins off the island, which will now replenish itself, along with the arch and Duke.
At this point, two dozen turns have been played. As it’s been the full 7 turns since the resource rolls were made, turn 25 marks the next round of rolls! Between these two factors I thought it would be a good time to do another ship count. As with the last count I just counted deckplates for simplicity, so flotillas and sea monsters are included in the counts:
English: 17 ships
However, the Pirates have a huge amount of gold (pushing 300 as of now) on their HI, so their number could be bigger. Between that and the current English-Cursed alliance, everyone is doing pretty good right now. I will say that there is some mounting tension between the Americans and the FS, with an American trading port very close to an FS military port, along with the Eagan and Appalachian getting too close to the Hephaestus. Also, the English have essentially made themselves an enemy of the FS after destroying two of their forts. The English and the Americans are the only two fleets truly at war, but it looks like the Cursed have certainly declared war on the Americans, though the conflict just started and it’s currently confined within the lagoon. As for the English, they know they’re not strong enough to take on the massively improved American squadron now defending the settlement that the English attacked earlier.
With a gold replenishment and new resource rolls on the way, turn 25 promises to be rather intriguing!
The resource rolls for turn 25 were made, with a 2 and 8. For the next 8 turns lumber would finally be worth 6 gold, with the values of textiles, metals, and fish bringing in subpar returns.
The English, with large stores of luxuries and a handful of lumber, saw the value of their resources jump, allowing them to take in 123 gold on turn 25 and spend it all. They purchased HMS Royal, HMS Forge, HMS Zephyr, HMS Guy Fawkes, HMS Iron Prince, and Honu Iki, with an assortment of fun named crew and equipment (the face down crew represent captains and helmsmen):
On turn 26, the Swiftsure explored the island that Paradis de la Mer had sat on, since the destruction of the fort reset the exploration markers and resource value of the island. The English rolled for yet another textiles island, which are currently only worth 1 gold.
On turn 26, the game started to explode.
The FS and Americans were getting closer and closer to each other, with an FS military port only a move action or two away from the American trading port where the Americans had launched the Revolution and Devil Ray.
In a sudden, abrupt declaration of war, El Acorazado docked at the American trading port, opening fire on the Nene-nui! Two masts fell overboard, but the Spaniards weren’t done yet. The Acorazado razed the colony with a successful boarding action, destroying the trading port in an extreme act of hostility.
However, the FS were just getting started. The Acorazado’s actions meant war. The Moulin Rouge was next in line, slipping in between the Acorazado and Nene-nui. This close-quarters broadside took off the American ship’s final mast.
In the meantime, the nearby FS military port produces lumber, which is now the most valuable resource in the game. FS treasure runners are flocking to the island, further strengthening the FS position.
To the south, Lurker Dessous rammed and pinned the USS Eagan, pinning her in such a way that only the Eagan’s latter two masts are in range of the beast. The ram was unsuccessful but the boarding killed the Eagan’s helmsman.
Finally, just to prove their point that turn 26 was a huge declaration of war and not just a skirmish, the FS launched 5 gunships at the military port with their considerable gold reserves sitting on their HI. The additions include the Monaque (with Amiral Gaston de St. Croix), L’epee de L’ange, El Galeon de Gibraltar (with The Inquisitor), Le Duc d’Enghien, and the Carcajou.
After war breaks out between the Franco-Spanish and the Americans, the canoes and associated chieftains (aboard the Albany and James Madison) are quick to flee the area, letting the four masted gunships and submarines take over. The island to the south has spices on it, which are still worth 4 gold each.
The Americans soon realized the seriousness of their situation. With a very powerful FS opponent to the west and the growing English battle fleet in the east headed towards their settlement, the Americans sprung into action, knowing that it wouldn’t be easy to make it out of this dual war.
The Americans have one of the best (if not the best) gold systems in the game, coupled with lucky resource rolls that give them every resource except for fish and lumber readily available. They exchanged their existing lumber for 6’s and their luxuries for 5’s, adding them to the considerable pile of gold already on their HI. This gave them enough gold to launch 8 new ships, some of which are positioned to aid the powerful eastern squadron, but 5 of which are going to immediately help out the Americans fighting the FS to the west.
The Americans launched some of their best ships, showing that they mean business and are not going to hold back: Bonhomme Richard, Blackwatch, Intrepid, Congress, Mohican, USS Sioux, Julius Caesar, USS Springfield.
The Pirates and Cursed are in the currently dormant southern hemisphere, although the FS have sent a line of battle east along the south side of the lagoon.
Any attack could be seen as a declaration of war on the Franco-Spanish, though it would be hard for the FS to expect anything else at this point. The Pirates are the only nation yet to be attacked or annoyed by the FS, who, to their credit, look like the best fleet right now, especially considering the Americans will have to fight two battles at once on either side of their home island.
The game is really heating up! The northern half of the ocean is quite crowded, and with one battle starting and another imminent, the game is finally devolving into chaos!
The battle has begun!
The Tepant fires a broadside directly into the hull of the Appalachian (with some exceptions, I’d like to only use the insert a miniature function when ships are commissioned, so if you want the stats for the ships there are links in my above posts):
The Epee and Galeon de Gibraltar teamed up to sink the Nene-nui, giving the Moulin Rouge and Acorazado a chance to maneuver. The Duc D’Enghien shot a mast off the Peacock and the James Madison, the latter fleeing with one of the valuable tribal chieftains aboard. The Rouge continued the attack, taking the Madison down to one mast.
The Nox sailed up and sunk the Appalachian, the second American ship to be sunk in the battle. This allowed Lurker Dessous to ram and pin the Revolution, but only the boarding roll was successful, killing the Mercenary firepot specialist.
The Acorazado sailed south along the west side of the island that used to house an American trading port and shot a mast off the Eagan.
The Ranger finally arrived at the FS home island, giving them 12 gold just as the Pirates had done with the Cursed. The FS welcomed the Pirates and quickly agreed to an alliance, but their thoughts and commanders were elsewhere, their home island being as deserted as it had been since the start of the game.
The Franco-Spanish attack was quite effective, and they looked to be in a very strong position, especially having been the aggressor.
However, the Americans were very serious and determined in their counterattack, which proved to be twice as devastating!
Two of the best gunships in the entire game, the Blackwatch and Intrepid, got the battle started on the American side. Both ships carried fire shot, and their accurate cannons left scores of masts, spars, and sails in the water as their broadsides ripped through the FS hulls. The Blackwatch was able to rake the bows of the Galeon and Epee with one move action, while the Intrepid headed west to take on the formidable Monaque.
Normally reserved for the now-dead sea monster, Champ, the RtSS (Mycron) version of GWL was now available to a powerful ship like the Blackwatch. The Blackwatch is one of my favourite ships in this game. Using another deadly shoot action, the Blackwatch dismasted both the Epee and Galeon. However, in a good strategy play, the Americans purposely didn’t sink the ships, since this would allow the nearby FS five masters (Neptune and San Cristobal) to surge through the gap and attack the Americans more easily (though the Blackwatch does have the canceller version of DNT aboard).
The Eagan sailed north to assist, ramming and shooting two masts off the Duc D’Enghien while also dismasting the Carcajou. I love how this picture shows the devastation. Notice how the Moulin Rouge is heeled over to starboard from three submarines all ramming her on the same turn, blown backward from the impact:
To end the successful American counterattack, the Congress and Sioux took masts off the Duc and Monaque respectively, and the Congress finished off the Moulin Rouge. Also, the Monaque has been hit with stinkpot shot.
A shot of almost the entire battle area, with guns blazing and masts falling overboard. To the left, the damaged Peacock has docked home to repair as the other American treasure runners flee to the south and east, getting out of the warships’ way. Between the damaged FS ships and the three American gunships to the north (at the bottom of this picture), the Neptune and San Cristobal will have a hard time getting into battle effectively.
Overall, both fleets lost two ships during the turn (the American Nene-nui and Appalachian and the FS Moulin Rouge and Lurker Dessous). The Americans naturally look slightly better after their devastating counterattack, but the FS still have three intact 5 masters.
The English and the Americans are at war once more!
… and hits all 4 times! I believe this is the first time a large warship has been completely set aflame during one shoot action in any of my games. I’ve been wanting to emphasize fire for a long time, and here it’s finally paying off.
The English have gained the upper hand with their attack, but the Americans proved in the battle against the FS that they know how to follow up. The Dauntless also eliminated William Eaton and took out one of the guns on Thompson’s Island.
But first, the FS would get the last word in their battle to the west. The Monaque was utterly useless against the Intrepid, and while the Neptune was able to take out two masts and two crew, the French gunships weren’t proving as effective as the FS needed them to be.
At this point, the FS ordered a general retreat from the battle, for a few reasons. The Monaque and Neptune had been the FS’s best chance of salvaging the battle, but now they were at the mercy of the American gunships, who were still relatively healthy. Also, the San Cristobal would not be able to turn the tide of the battle by herself because the Blackwatch would have cancelled her captain ability with Diamond Nelson Turner. As a result, the FS were willing to cede defeat in the battle, but they knew the war was far from over. They had done well to catch the Americans off guard, destroy their trading port, and sink two of their ships.
However, the FS weren’t done yet! Still after the lagoon, the FS squadron that had been sailing southeast finally reached the Cursed gunships outside of the lagoon. The Conquerant emerged from a fog bank with an extra action, sailing up at 6S to dismast the Serpent’s Fang.
The Americans then took their prizes, with numerous American ships capturing the Duc, Carcajou, Neptune, Monaque, and Epee. For this game, there will be a house rule that allows fleets to turn in a fully repaired prize for it’s combined cost in ship and crew points, which then has to be spent by the fleet.
To the east, the Constitution was essentially invincible with Decatur, Gus Schultz and an oarsman, so she sailed into battle with no restraint. Unfortunately, even with an extra action from Decatur and Haraden’s reroll, the ship only shot 3 for 11, continuing my rather abysmal cannon rolls. The Diamond was sunk by American guns during this turn.
Bringing back memories of the first 500 point game I played, the Americans now used chain towing to move the Paul Revere to the west, out of harm’s way. The Shark would then be responsible for towing her home to repair.
The French bombardier was no match for the combined might of Brachyura and Calim. As the Frenchman slipped beneath the waves, Brachyura fell upon the San Estaban and pinned her as well. However, Calypsos was too slow to get out of the lagoon.
Turn 29 saw the English launch their second attack of the battle, using their switchblades to damage the Concordia and Thompson’s Island. The Hudson, Minuteman, and Constitution were sunk, but the Constitution had eternal and was free to begin repairing back at the American home island.
At the end of their turn, the English launched the Nova Scotia, HMS Merlin, HMS Lord Lineton, HMS Sea Phoenix, and Sea King, giving them valuable reinforcements as the more powerful English ships started taking major damage.
The FS began their turn near the lagoon, sinking the Serpent’s Fang with the Conquerant, officially taking out the second of two +L sea monster bonus ships that had supported the sea monster squadron. The San Estaban shot off three of Brachyura’s four arms, and she’s now 6 for 6 in her two shoot actions this game! She was purchased as an afterthought support gunship for 14 gold, but now she’s one of the most effective ships in the FS fleet. L’Hercule and the San Salvador have combined to eliminate four of Calim’s five segments.
At the end of their turn, the FS showed that the Americans would get no rest, using gold from their HI to launch 5 fresh gunships at their military port: La Manila, La Catedral del Mar, L’Auguste, La Cleopatre, and La Toussaint L’Ouverture, also purchasing some shipwrights for use. In the distance, the San Cristobal has re-explored the island that started this conflict, but the resource roll was the same: more luxuries! This, combined with the Maui’s Fishhook finding even more textiles on an island to the east, suggests that I may have to do something about the resources at some point.
If the carnage is too confusing, the Forge, Raven, Talon and Pacificum are in tatters, but the English still have considerable firepower available.
The Cursed sea monsters were desperate for revenge, but they are no match for Franco-Spanish warships. Calim and Calypsos can’t even dent the mighty Hercule, and Brachyura is almost dead. As Calypsos vacates the lagoon, all eyes turn towards it’s golden island, now deserted. Reminds me of the Lonely Mountain from the Hobbit when Smaug is finally gone!
The game is chaotic, with two battles raging and another war likely to resume soon. In conclusion, the Americans have won the first battle against the FS, while the FS look to have all but defeated the sea monster squadron. The English seem to have the upper hand in the northeast, but the Americans don’t intend to give up anytime soon.
Due to the absolutely massive size of the game, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to play more than one turn per day from here on out.
The FS squadron in the south has finished off the entire sea monster squadron, further proving the relative uselessness of sea monsters in this game. The FS only lost the Grand Vainqueur and the Conquerant’s helmsman.
The Pirates have finally made a move! On turn 29 they purchased the Flying Dutchman and crewed her with Calypso, Captain Davy Jones, Elizabeth Swann, and a helmsman. On turn 30, Calypso created a whirlpool next to the Dutchman.
Since the other whirlpool can be placed within L of ANY wild island, the Pirates have found a way to get ships into the lagoon!! Circumventing the standard rules that only allow subs and sea monsters to enter the lagoon, the second whirlpool was placed inside the lagoon, where the Neptune’s Hoard (OE version), Princess, and Seref all appeared. This intimidating and likely growing presence meant that the Pirates were the second faction to dominate the lagoon, after the Cursed and their short-lived sea monster squadron.
The Americans fought back hard on their turn, sinking the Royal, Talon, and Salient, marking the end of the entire fire squadron. These battles have been fast and furious, which is why I used house rules for the CotE game to make it more realistic. However, I’m glad the battles are going faster because I want to cycle through so many ships and utilize so many different strategies, not to mention have more than just a few battles!
The amazing American resource system is being stretched to its limits. Using almost all of their available gold, the Americans purchased the President, Grampus, USS Kettering, Saratoga, and Concord, all of which would be necessary to survive the dual war against the FS and English. However, the Americans are tired of the FS and have sailed some of their gunships east, presumably to help out against the English.
The American home island. Some ships are repairing, some are coming in with resources, some are going out for resources, some are brand new, and some are eager to fight the English. Overall, only a sight you’ll see in a massive, epic game of Pirates.
After 30 turns, here are how the fleets stack up:
English: 22 ships
(123 ships total!)
The English, FS, and Americans all look strong, but they’ve lost a handful of ships and have been busy replacing them. The Pirates have incredible amounts of gold, which is still piling up on their HI. The Cursed just lost their sea monster squadron, but they have a decent amount of gold, metals, and textiles saved up, though nowhere near as much purchasing power as the Pirates.
Here’s an overhead view of the Cursed situation. They are going to launch things soon, especially if their resources surge in value. However, they are having a rough time, with the Celestine rolling 1’s almost every turn to eliminate trade currents. The FS southern squadron is approaching, but their sights are set on the far east.
Turn 32 will mark the final turn of this 8-turn round of resource values. The Pirates have the biggest savings of all, but other fleets are also eagerly awaiting the new rolls. I’d like to do a point count soon, but I’m waiting on some purchases to try and catch it on a peak.
The Thomas Jefferson, Albany, and Atlanta all suffer considerable damage as the English continue to fight gallantly. The Iron Prince has brought home the Pacificum for repairs, the second time she will have been repaired from a battle with the Americans.
The FS southern squadron has reached Cursed waters, with the San Cristobal having caught up to and reinforced the impressive formation. The San Salvador (to the far left) is the only ship in the battle squadron without a captain.
The Americans fight back, damaging the Zephyr and Sea Phoenix. More importantly, the Americans have a strong force sailing east, which is just starting to arrive at the battle area. The Albany has been pulled out of the picture via chain towing. To the right, American ships ferry gold back from the arch as the Concordia docks at it, able to repair at the arch because Thompson’s Island still sits atop it.
The Cursed warily eye the FS, using their subs defensively as the Sea Duck scrambles out of the way to a textiles island. You can see the vast metal reserves and considerable fish and gold reserves on the Cursed HI, signalling that they’ll be launching things very soon.
The resource values will likely change on turn 33, marking a big shift in the game. However, even more exciting concerns the big spending that is likely to follow on the same turn, as fleets use their existing gold and supplement it with some of their saved-up resources. The Pirates and the Cursed have the biggest capacity to make purchases, which should make the southern hemisphere more crowded.
The nature of this monumental turn means that I’m going to be spending a lot of time launching things (getting out deckplates, ships, and crew) rather than actually playing, and the Pirates’ plan will be especially time-consuming. After that, I’ll probably do a point count at the end of the turn. All of this combined means that the turn will likely take at least 2 days, but I’ll probably do a report each day for the part of the turn that’s been played. I’m really looking forward to this next turn, and I think it will finally signify the all-encompassing nature of the mammoth fleets!
The first part of turn 33 has been played, with the English and Franco-Spanish taking their turns.
However, before the English could go, new resource rolls were needed! A 6 on the first roll meant that every resource was now worth 1 gold more than it’s printed value, with spices being worth 6 and the gold and luxuries markets crashing hard. This benefited the Pirates and Cursed the most, but every faction except for the English have a good amount of resources to gather. The English only have luxuries and textiles readily available.
The Pirates are next, but they’re planning something so big that I can’t promise to be done with it by the end of tomorrow. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks, and it’s finally going to happen!
The Pirates have taken their turn for gameplay purposes, but they still have to finish their turn with what I believe is the biggest in-game launching in the history of Pirates CSG.
Introducing: The Home Island Raiding Squadron
The Akua Lapu is sort of the flagship of the squadron, and everything can be perfectly summed up by her flavour text:
Under the cover of darkness, the seemingly crewless “Trickster Spirit” will sneak into sleepy port towns and make off with untold riches.
Pirate Native Canoes:
Masts: X (Canoes)
Ability: Native Canoe. This ship can dock at an enemy home island and load one treasure. If able, she must leave on your next turn.
These canoes will be represented by the Cursed native canoes.
The other HI raiders:
Wicked Wench + Gentleman Jocard, helmsman
Belladonna + helmsman
Black Pearl + Captain Barbossa, Kanhoji Angria
Golden Medusa + Devereaux, captain
Lucky Seven + captain, helmsman
Shadow + Derrik the Red, captain, helmsman, oarsmen x2
White Rose + Lady Baptiste, Captain Sao Feng, oarsman (towing the Widowmaker)
Queen Anne’s Revenge + captain, helmsman
Freedom + Captain Mysion, helmsman
Siren’s Song + captain, helmsman
Gilded Monkey + Gunner, helmsman
Pandora + El Phantasma, Calico Cat, helmsman, oarsman
Mystic + Havana Black, helmsman, oarsmen x3
Weasel + helmsman, oarsman
The escort ships:
Draconum + Bruce Grey, captain, helmsman
Crusher + Blackheart, captain, helmsman
Fool’s Hope + tribal chieftain, captain, helmsman
Diamond Strike + captain, helmsman, oarsmen x3
Jape + Jean Laffite, captain, helmsman
Pride + Benito de Soto, helmsman, Smokepot Shot
Black Cat + captain, helmsman, smokepot shot
Xi’an + captain, navigator
Executioner + captain, helmsman, smokepot shot
26 total ships for 549 gold. The Pirates also have a lot of gold coming in next turn, so the squadron isn’t even complete yet. It should probably be called a fleet and not a squadron!
As I said before, to my knowledge this is the largest in-game single-turn purchase in the history of any of my games.
As you can see from the fleet listing, almost all of the ships with the HI-raiding ability also have captains, and almost all of them have at least 3 masts, making this a true battle fleet. There are a handful of sac abilities, a great variety of named crew, and some very powerful ships, including the two Pirate pokeships. More than half of them have never been used in my games.
There are 17 ships with the HI-raiding ability. The Akua Lapu, Wicked Wench, Belladonna and brand-new Native Canoes are looking to steal the most gold.
It will be interesting to see what the Pirates do with this massive new fleet, since they have alliances with both the Franco-Spanish and the Cursed. Only time will tell, but for now I move on to the Americans and Cursed, with the epic turn 33 being more than halfway done.
This game is really blowing up! Every faction is getting more serious about their chances of winning, and things have just exploded to the point of absolute insanity in terms of the game size! Keep reading to see the epic point count!
The days-long turn 33 continued with the Americans sinking four English ships and restoring dominance over their settlement waters. The Sea King and the Iron Prince are the only English gunships not docked at their home island. This formidable American war fleet is too strong for the English to handle right now, but if the Americans lay off like they did last time to fight the FS, the English will have time to build their fleet back up again.
The Americans weren’t done, launching the Providence, USS Overton, USS New Orleans, Hannah, and Chesapeake. The Providence loaded a trading port upgrade and the Fly has loaded a military port upgrade. The Eagan, Sioux, and three submarines form a defensive line to guard against the nearby FS.
The Cursed took an uneventful play turn before going into a lengthy end-of-turn launching period. The Cursed have finally signaled their arrival! Spending every last bit of resources and gold from their HI, they spent a total of 291 gold, second only to the Pirates for the biggest single-turn purchase of this game!
Among the new Cursed ships are two brand-new ones:
(from Cadet-Captain Mike’s set)
VoCC (The Vengeance of the Cadet Captain) – 006, Common
Cannons: 3L, 3L
Once per turn, if this ship carries treasure and is within S of an enemy ship, you may randomly trade one treasure with that ship.
(The Poltergeist is also carrying smokepot shot.)
Masts: 4 (Sea Serpent)
Ability: Sea Monster. Give this sea monster a shoot action. A wave S wide and 2L long leaves the sea monster in one direction. Up to 2 masts of every ship in the path of the wave are eliminated. Eliminate one of this sea monster’s masts.
Last Hope + Hag of Tortuga, captain, helmsman
Hellfire + captain, helmsman
Bloody Blade + tribal chieftain, captain, helmsman
Sickle + Sammy the Skull, Wraith, helmsman, oarsman (Ouch!)
Loki’s Revenge + Christian Fiore, captain, helmsman, oarsmen x2 (OUCH!)
Sea Hag + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist
Juggernaut + captain, helmsman, exploding shot
This shows the amazing new Cursed additions at their extremely crowded home island. The Cursed now have an incredibly diverse fleet, having launched a longship, squid, serpent, kraken, sea dragon, switchblade, scorpion, and other ships all in one turn!
The epic turn 33 has finally come to a close. I believe this turn saw over 1,000 points’ worth of stuff introduced into the game! This is probably a record. Between the huge additions to the fleets and the relative ease of doing a point count (knowing exactly how much the Pirates and Cursed spent and being able to simply tack on their previous, smaller fleets), I decided to count up the total number of points for every fleet! I’m not sure that this is the actual climax of the game in terms of the total number of points on the ocean, but it very well could be.
I wanted to do this at some point, and it didn’t take as long as I thought (only a few minutes per fleet). Forts, island upgrades, and unused resources were not included in the counts, but everything else was, including crew sitting on HI’s.
With great anticipation I totaled all five fleets:
English: 259 points
Total: 2,846 points in play
Wow! The point count exceeded even my expectations, showing the absolutely epic and grand nature of this ridiculous cumulative game! I think my Century of the Empires game had 1,212 points at the point where islands stopped producing gold, so this game far outstrips that game. The old 5-player 500 point games all started with 2,520 points on the sea, so this Economy Edition game takes the title of the biggest game a7xfanben has ever played. For all I know it could be the biggest game in the history of Pirates CSG. I’m so happy to know that I’ve outdone myself!
The English are the weakest faction right now, having been decimated in their ongoing battle against the Americans, who still have an amazing gold system and the second-biggest fleet in the game. The Pirates’ recent mega-turn catapults them into the top spot as the biggest fleet, though in reality the Americans and FS aren’t far behind. I half expected the FS to have the largest fleet, but they have lost some ships to the Americans, while the Pirates are still the only fleet not to be shot at. The Cursed are in fourth, but their recent spending and numerous deadly options make them a threat.
Turn 34 has been played. It was one of the longest turns of the game despite only one faction spending gold, primarily because there was an additional 1,000 points on the ocean to move around!
At the beginning of the turn, I counted up the total number of ships for each faction.
English: 18 ships
Total: 163 ships!
The English are the weakest faction in terms of points and ships, while the Cursed have a lot packed into those 20 ships. The other 3 fleets are huge.
The turn began with the English doing rather minor damage to the Grampus and Concord, while the Sea King sunk the eternal Thomas Jefferson, who reappeared at the American HI. In a desperate move, the Iron Prince recaptured the settlement that started this war in the first place.
A Franco-Spanish squadron heads southeast, waving a friendly hello to their allies the Pirates and their new fleet. Le Loup-Garou (LLG) catches up to the squadron quickly with Dupuy aboard, carrying a settlement upgrade.
The FS southern squadron continues sailing east, trying to stay as far away as possible from the new Cursed stuff. A line of terrain makes this more difficult, but the squadron is intent on establishing a Franco-Spanish presence in the eastern reaches of the sea.
The Pirates have continued spending gold to make their fleet even bigger, with three ships returning with valuable gold from the lagoon. They launched the Cannibal King, Panda, Royal James, Hades’ Flame, Cacao, Delight, Empress, and Ophidious.
Literally at Ocean’s Edge, the HI-raiding squadron sets sail with high hopes! The Xi’an’s navigator has already placed a trade current for the canoes, while the newest Pirate ships have been launched at the military ports.
The American HI, where some ships have returned with spices and others have come back from a trip to the arch. The Americans are plotting right now. The Shark has almost reached home with the derelict Albany, who was lucky to be saved from the battle with the English because she’s carrying one of the three tribal chieftains, the other two being on the Concordia and James Madison.
Ironically enough, the fully repaired Paul Revere returns to the scene of battle many turns after she was set completely on fire by the Bombardier! Once again using her S-board to recapture the settlement, the Paul Revere has proven her worth and is quickly becoming one of my favourite ships for many reasons. The Providence carries a military port upgrade, which the settlement badly needs to keep it from changing hands back to the English again. Also, note in the distance how far the Americans have driven back the English, almost to their HI. Four more English ships were sunk this turn, and the English are really suffering heavy losses. To make matters even worse for the English, they didn’t take in any resources this turn and only two ships will dock home on turn 35.
The Americans in a position of dominance. The Kettering used an extra action from GWL on the Annapolis to rip off 12 shots, sinking the Resolution and dismasting the Hastings. Only the St. George and Pacificum remain in the way of the Americans disrupting English trade, which would surely spell the end for the struggling fleet.
The Cursed have turned their beasts loose! In a sudden, swift attack, the Cursed declare outright war on the Franco-Spanish and it’s on! Namazu unleashes a huge tidal wave, devastating half of the squadron’s ships in one of the most damaging opening attacks in the history of battles:
With the help of a trade current and the Hag of Tortuga, Gog-Clocthoth is next to strike, going berserk on the famed San Cristobal. Both rolls (ram and board) fail, but the Last Hope bails out the sea monster, going 2 for 2 in her first-ever shoot action!
The Cursed continued their assault, with the Locker and Pyre ramming the San Salvador derelict. With a double action via saccing, the Loki’s Revenge showed her destructive power, sinking the Rayo, San Salvador, and Espadon all in one turn! To finish the attack, Terrox enveloped the Corazon Dorado with its huge tentacles, trapping the ship in a circle of death!
To end their turn, the Cursed sent Shal-Bala northeast where it appeared to eye fort St. Pierre. This is the first time a sea dragon has been used in a game in many years. To the west, Castillo del Infanta was damaged earlier in the game by the Sea Duck, while the San Estaban (perhaps the luckiest ship in the game so far, having gone 6/6 in her first two shoot actions and avoiding damage here) is the only FS ship left intact after the Cursed went crazy.
If I have time tomorrow I think I’ll open my next post with a sort of “what the heck is going on?” explanation for anyone that has joined the game and also just to refresh the overall nature of where things have been and where they’re going. Hopefully I’ll do that at the end too, to see just how big of an adventure this was.
What the heck is going on?!
Franco-Spanish (FS): Northwest
What has happened:
English: Got the worst resource rolls of the game, almost exclusively textiles and luxuries. Tried unsuccessfully to permanently capture an American settlement to the west.
FS: Great resource system, variety of resources on islands near their HI. They’ve split their fleet, sending a squadron south to support forts in the east that the San Cristobal built in a one-ship expedition. Lost a battle to the Americans over a trading port, but now have replaced that American trading port with one of their own.
Pirates: Have 3 of the 6 resource types readily available (textiles, metals, and fish), the Pirates remain the only fleet yet to be shot at. Saved up gold for a LONG time before spending over 650 gold in two turns to purchase over 30 ships. Currently dominate the lagoon via whirlpools created by Calypso.
Americans: Similarly fortunate with the resource rolls as the FS. Very strong fleet, capable of dealing with multiple threats at the same time by defeating the FS and then turning east to focus on the English. The Americans were the first fleet in the lagoon and now dominate the arch, with an amazing gold system being fueled by 3 sets of their fantastic native canoes.
Cursed: One of the more isolated fleets, the Cursed have only recently increased their fleet size. They have explored the Duke and lagoon, but lost an entire sea monster squadron to the FS southern squadron.
English/Cursed (not relevant so far)
Pirate/Cursed (friendly neighbors)
Pirate/FS (friendly neighbors)
The English and Cursed teamed up because they had (and still have) the smallest fleets, with an interest in taking back the east from the FS and holding strong against the Americans.
The Pirates started the above alliances by sailing 12 gold each to the Cursed and FS home islands. Therefore, both factions like the Pirates, but the Cursed and FS hate each other.
Wars (with instigator listed first):
English vs. Americans (almost over)
FS vs. Americans (only one battle so far, currently with a tense peace)
FS vs. Cursed (ongoing)
The FS have also angered the English, so they’re essentially at war with everyone except for the Pirates.
What is happening:
English: Pulverized and weak from their war against the Americans, the English have the smallest fleet. Unable to defeat the Americans in the long term unless the Americans back off.
FS: Currently with a divided fleet, the FS have seen their southern squadron attacked by the now-dangerous Cursed fleet. There is a squadron sailing to reinforce them, but it may be too late. The FS are satisfied with their trading port near the American HI, at least for the time being.
Pirates: Raking in gold from the lagoon and their fishy island, the Pirates are sailing their HI-raiding squadron north.
Americans: About to finish off the last English gunships. Their gold system is working well, but they’d like to retake their former trading port and get back in the lagoon with their subs.
Cursed: Have dealt a serious blow to the FS southern squadron. Also have finally purchased some island upgrades, the final fleet to do so. The Cursed are growing in size and scope.
What will happen? (plans and plots, many to soon be wrecked and ruined!)
English: Want to stay alive vs. the Americans and retake their settlement. Would also like to take over the arch and join forces with the Cursed to dominate the entire eastern half of the ocean and eliminate the FS presence there.
FS: Want to establish almost a second HI (military port in this case) in the east and continue their efforts to have the biggest and most empirical fleet in the game. Also would like to dominate the lagoon via Merc subs launched from their new trading port.
Americans: Eliminate the English threat and keep it down so they aren’t bothered by the English again. Go back to the lagoon and reassert themselves to the west against the FS.
Cursed: Sink every FS ship and kill all FS crew no matter what it takes.
That was fun! I think I’ll do that more often, but perhaps not as comprehensively.
Turn 35 was played, with the Americans and Cursed having rather spectacular turns!
The English sunk the Concord and dismasted the RotF Saratoga, but they knew their time was running out. With their backs against the wall (or against their own HI in this case), the English fought hard.
The FS has sent reinforcements southeast to assist their floundering southern squadron. As they pass by the shiny new Pirate ships, many Frenchmen and Spaniards are excited, happy to have such a strong ally. LLG has used an EA from Dupuy and Ghost Ship to fly past the reinforcing squadron, which is now being joined at the rear by the Nox.
… to the east! The FS are bent on building a huge presence in the east, which started with the San Cristobal’s fort-building expedition. Now it continues with the southern squadron, which is still trying to support the two remaining forts and eventually build a military port FAR from the FS HI, giving them two bases of operations. It’s a major endeavour, and without the Cursed to hinder them it would most definitely work.
The Pirates are making full sail towards the FS home island, eager to show off their new battle fleet to their allies. Perhaps they’ll join forces with FS ships and head east to spearhead an attack against the Americans?
With a much darker tone, gunshots boom out east where the Americans continue to press their attack on the English.
The Americans have finished off the Hastings, St. George, and Pacificum, marking the end of the English battle fleet!
A nice view of the battle area, which is still moving east as the Americans continue to sink English ships. The Providence has upgraded the American settlement to a military port, officially kicking the English off the island.
For the first time, two ships are within the arch at the same time! As the Concordia finishes repairing, the damaged Atlanta is thinking about the same thing – using Thompson’s Island to repair at the arch!
As a matter of fact, the Atlanta was only able to pass through the lowest archway (and it is pretty low clearance) because of her missing masts, making her the first ship to traverse that particular archway:
The American HI, with the Thomas Jefferson almost finished repairing. She’s given her shipwright to the Albany, who was just docked home by the Shark. The Eagan and Sioux are still guarding the western side of the American fleet.
The Fly has established a trading port on a metals island near the arch, giving the Americans a trading port once more! The Devil Ray has been sent east for unknown reasons, moving at S+L+S while submerged. American treasure ships traverse the waterways, bringing home spices and gold.
Now it was time for the Cursed!
Turn 36 marked the need for new resource rolls! A 5 was rolled for both the value and duration, meaning that for the next 5 turns, fish and metal were very valuable while spices and luxuries were not. This benefits the southern fleets (Pirates and Cursed) more than the fleets in the north, who don’t have a lot of fish and metal available.
Out of sheer desperation and necessity, the English launched HMS Shetland, with their luxuries falling to 2 gold apiece. The Shetland may be the last English gunship launched in this game, but they may be able to muster something else up as well.
As for the FS, the San Estaban has fled east as the only ship to come out of battle unscathed. The Hercule got a bad roll coming out of the fog and is now fighting for her life, inflicting damage on Gog-Clocthoth. From the main topmast of the Nightmare:
In an unprecedented move, the Pirates have launched all FOUR krakens on the same turn!! Formerly a humble military port guarded by the Inferno, the island has now been joined by the huge beasts of the sea.
In a surprise move, the Americans have renewed their conflict with the Franco-Spanish! With the crack of a wooden hull, the Mercury and Lamon have rammed the LTO, dismasting her! More uniquely, the Eagan has used her sub-hunting ability to damage the submerged Hephaestus! This was all that happened on turn 36 in the FS vs. American war, but the battle will almost certainly grow to a larger size.
Using her fast speed, Brent Rice’s world-hater, and an extra action from GWL, the Kettering has sunk the Maui’s Fishhook and teamed up with the Saratoga to sink HMS Rose and dismast the Albion! This marks the first time any fleet in the game has had its trade compromised. Dealing a blow to the English resource system, the Americans look like they want to permanently eliminate the English. The Shetland will be given an action next turn, but it’s too late to save the English gold runners.
The Americans have done it! Using their new trading port, the Americans have launched the first 10 master of the game, the Zhanfu!
Masts: 10 (Junk)
Link: Huang Bai
Ability: Junk. Mercenary. Dories. American crew can use their abilities on this ship.
Ability: Ex-Patriot. Hostile: Spain. Once per turn, you can eliminate one of this ship’s crew to give her an extra action. After looking at treasure on a wild island, you can trade any one treasure from that island for a random treasure on any other wild island. This ship must load the traded treasure.
Just because the Americans actually are at war with the Spanish right now and the Zhanfu/Huang Bai were literally “hired”, the flavour text is perfect:
Unwilling to cede the end of the Jade Empire, Huang Bai nonetheless realizes the need to pause and rebuild—as a mercenary. His first customer, America, is eager to pit him and “Golden Axe” against the expanding Spanish empire.
Gog-Clocthoth and Namazu rejoin the Hag of Tortuga (aboard the Last Hope) as the Juggernaut sinks the Conquerant. To the left, the Last Hope and Sea Hag have finished off the two FS forts, making the San Estaban the last FS presence in the east.
LLG and the reinforcing FS squadron appear on the horizon, but at this point the Cursed are waiting for them. Shal-Bala is still hungry, while the two subs lurk in front of the dangerous Loki’s Revenge and Terrox. To the left, you can see the long shadows of the Pirate krakens in the west.
Somehow I was able to play both turns 37 and 38 today (6/22)! The game is spiraling out of control, with a lot of exciting developments and one of the biggest surprises in Pirates CSG history!! (Warning: immense carnage and chaos ahead.)
The English started the day’s action by sinking the RotF Saratoga with their new Shetland. Using a considerable stockpile of luxuries worth only 2 gold apiece, the English had no choice but to launch new ships in an attempt to stay in the game. They brought in the HMS Granville, HMS Comet, and HMS Silent Swan, which you can see at their HI in the picture.
The Franco-Spanish finally had a chance at redemption against the Americans! After the Americans restarted their war on the previous turn, the FS brought Hephaestus to the surface and teamed the sub with their other gunships to launch a counterattack. Unfortunately for the FS this was one of my worst-ever days for gun rolls (not a surprise!), and the FS shot 4/10 to dismast the Eagan between 4 different ships! The Manila, Tepant, and Galeon de Gibraltar can be seen to the south heading east towards the Americans.
But what would a Pirate really do?! A real Pirate wouldn’t team up with a rich imperial nation! A real Pirate wouldn’t give an honest word to such a despised enemy! A real Pirate would behave like the Pirates of old!
In possibly the largest-scale betrayal in Pirates CSG history, the Pirates have turned on the Franco-Spanish!! They never meant to be allies with the FS; it was all lies! The Pirates decided now was the time to attack, and the gag was up. The Buscador’s crew turned from confusion, to disbelief, to horror, as the White Rose opened her gunports and let loose a thunderous broadside!
Now it became evident why the Pirates had launched their 500 point home island raiding squadron: to deceive the FS, sail up to their front door, and then proceed to rob them dry! The White Rose and Akua Lapu reaped in gold as the FS became angered and saddened, realizing their mistake in trusting pirates.
Just south of the FS HI, the carnage mounted as the big Pirate gunships opened fire. The FS thought they had an ally in the Pirates, and no FS gunships were anywhere near their HI, with most either fighting the Americans or trying to salvage the eastern expedition that fell victim to the Cursed. The FS gold runners were easy prey for the well-equipped Pirate fleet.
A sac action from Derrik allows the Delight to participate in the brutal assault. The Pirates have betrayed the FS, dealing a serious blow to their resource fleet, which is essential to stay in the game and keep launching new ships and crew.
Looking north in this picture, you can see the large nature of the attack, with more Pirate gunships having destroyed one of the FS’s valuable military ports, converting the island into an unexplored wild island and resetting the resource value. Numerous Pirate ships haven’t even made their way into battle due to the close quarters, but it’s already obvious that the Pirates have a huge advantage.
Most of the HI raiders are being ushered in to the right of the photo, with Pirate gunships to the left trying to clear the area so they can dock by sinking the FS ships that are in the way. The Mystic has begun raiding the home island, and one of the native canoes was able to dock as well.
Complicating matters for the FS, and being a brilliant move on the Pirates’ part, Calypso has created two more whirlpools, with one being right next to the Pirate HI (like the original one used for the lagoon portal)…
… and the other being placed near the FS HI! This allows Pirate ships to quickly travel back and forth, possibly enabling multiple raids while also making it much more difficult for the FS to get their gold and resources back.
The new krakens ominously move out, with nearby FS ships suddenly becoming very nervous. Ophidious has made it’s way to the lagoon, where it joins the Cutlass and Lady Newport on patrol duty. This is one of the very unique things I love about huge games – fleets get so big that you can afford to have some of your ships do nothing or just patrol your waterways for protection! The Inferno (out of the frame at the bottom, docked at the Pirate military port) hasn’t done anything this game but provides additional support for the otherwise deserted military port.
With a huge turn, the Pirates essentially declared war on the FS, which meant that the FS were now technically at war with every faction in the game. It seems that the eastern expedition was a good idea in theory, but the imperial desires only served to anger the English and Cursed. The FS instigated their costly war with the Americans, all for a trading port that hasn’t seen any Mercenary subs launched at it for the purpose of getting gold from the lagoon. However, the FS weren’t at fault in their latest mishap, although they shouldn’t have placed so much trust in the Pirates, who have now betrayed them in a huge way.
Now, onto the Americans!
Naturally, the Americans hate the FS for taking their trading port, so the Sioux and Thomas Jefferson dealt major damage. This battle wasn’t as chaotic as the first battle between these fleets, but it was more aggressive since the bad blood had time to boil.
South of the American HI, many American ships are sailing to and fro. The Fly has blocked the FS from attacking the formidable Zhanfu, who keep in mind is still a Mercenary ship, and therefore is removed from the game if she docks at an American trading/military port or their HI.
An interesting angle on the eastern battle, with American ships continuing to sink English gold runners. However, the Swiftsure can’t be hit by L-range guns, which means that the Kettering, DJC Saratoga and President can’t damage her with gunfire.
Turn 38 was the bloodiest turn of the entire game up to this point.
Even more impressive, the Granville and Ram teamed up to dismast the Intrepid and use their abilities to kill both her crew! It was too late to turn the tide of the battle, but the English really surprised the Americans with their valor, and events like these cost the winning fleets a considerable amount of repair time, not to mention buying back generic crew that have been eliminated.
The FS knew they would simply be sunk or captured if they tried to keep ferrying resources, so they also decided to fight back, just like the stubborn English. However, their opening salvos proved quite ineffective, with no captains and only a few rank-2 cannons between their feeble treasure runners.
The FS squadron that had been heading east to reinforce the now obliterated southern squadron decided to turn around and attack the hated Pirates. The Pirates have thrown almost all of their firepower at the FS HI up north, and the Nox and Lepanto teamed up to destroy a Pirate settlement that the Otter had been making trips to. The island was producing metal, but now the Pirates will have to re-explore the island and reset the resource value. This picture gives a good look at the hull of the Nox:
In an impulse move, the Valeroso continued east and captured a Cursed settlement right near their HI! This was more of a nuisance to the Cursed than anything else, and it appears that the FS are going down in a blaze of chaos and bloodshed.
Back in the northwest, the FS have a ray of hope: the San Estaban! With something like an 8 for 9 shooting record (with rank-3 guns!) and the ONLY ship to survive the Cursed attack in the southeast that took out the southern squadron, the San Estaban is the luckiest ship in the game. She lost a mast coming through the whirlpool, but at least the FS now have a ship near their HI with a captain aboard.
For this game, I’m making a custom house rule where if more than one ship with the HI raider ability is docked at an enemy HI with no other ships docked at that HI, the fleet whose HI is being raided cannot spend gold or convert resources. Think of it as having no one home when a robber comes in – the person who owns the home can’t stop the robber from withholding valuables while they’re still there and the owner is not. The FS couldn’t get any ships home on turn 38, so they also couldn’t launch any new ships to defend themselves, with the Pirates being in complete control of their HI.
The Pirates strike back in the south, surrounding the Lepanto and Valeroso with krakens. The Alma and Extremadura hide in the fog, knowing they’ll have to come out before the fog is completely surrounded by Pirates.
The Swiftsure is having one of the most remarkable single-ship games in the history of my games! Words cannot describe the incredible effort the little ship is putting forth.
The Swiftsure was the first ship launched in the game by any faction. Used as a treasure runner by the English, she’s now picked up a captain from their HI since she has a 2S cannon, which is better than the other guns English treasure runners are carrying. She hasn’t done much damage, but the stubborn sloop is putting up quite a fight! Neither the Kettering, Saratoga, nor President can hit her because of her L-immunity. Frustrated, the President has rammed her, but miraculously rolled a 1 to miss the dismast attempt! With Peregrine Stern giving +1 to boarding rolls and the President having a 3 mast advantage, the boarding attempt looked like a lock. However, the Swiftsure rolled a 6 to the President’s 1, winning the boarding party 7 to 6 and killing Stern, one of the most valuable named crew in the game at 9 points!!
The Pacificum and Maui’s Fishhook were in the game for a while, but after this heroic effort I think the Swiftsure has to get the MVS (Most Valuable Ship) award for the English fleet during this game.
The Blackwatch and Paul Revere sink the Edinburgh Trader, but naturally the Swiftsure holds on. Between her hatred of the English and the nearby Hannah, the Providence had rank-1 shots against the Graville, who sunk quickly.
With the San Estaban having fled through a whirlpool and the reinforcing FS squadron having turned their attention to the Pirates, the Cursed are regrouping. They are definitely looking to launch things soon, probably as early as next turn.
After 38 turns, the carnage and chaos continues to mount. There could be a lot more masts in the water, but I like to keep things moving as ships sink and are permanently removed from play. CotE was unique in that ships almost never sunk because of the house rules, and also because of the deathmatch ending where it was an all-out fight to the finish.
A very rare shot looking from the east directly west. The English and FS are being driven out of the eastern hemisphere, while the west continues to have a lot of things going on. At the center left, notice the submerged Devil Ray sneaking her way to the southeast. You can also see the tallest archway beneath Thompson’s Island. At the lower right, the Swiftsure’s time will be up soon.
After 38 turns, things have changed considerably from the epic turn 33 and ensuing chaos that resulted. A new ship count was in order:
English: 4 ships
The Nox tried to simultaneously attack the Rum Runner and the Pirate military port at the same time, which turned into an utter disaster. The Rum Runner used Parley to move a coin from the Pirates’ HI to that of the FS, where it would simply be loaded by a Pirate ship on their turn! The Nox failed to raze the colony, giving the Pirates control of the ship. They’ll sail it back to their HI, where they can trade her in for 10 gold (the ship’s point cost).
The Lepanto fights admirably against the Kraken, while the Valeroso misses all three times against her captor. The Alma and Extremadura have thoughts of trying to return to their HI once the Pirates leave, but getting back in one piece will be virtually impossible.
The Pirates at the FS home island. The White Rose and Mystic have sunk the San Estaban, and the Rosario has also been sunk. Canoes scramble out of the way as larger HI raiders move in to dock and take lumber and spices. A new trade current helps Pirate ships reach the whirlpool they’ll use to teleport home quickly.
The Americans finally figured out how to sink the pesky Swiftsure – simply cancel her L-immunity with the Kettering! Sending the little ship to the bottom, the Americans also managed to sink the Comet and Ram, leaving only the Silent Swan. The Revolution finished her off as well, which means that the English have been eliminated! As the first fleet officially out of the game, the English had pretty much the worst game. They had their moments when luxuries were valuable and they managed to win their first preliminary battle against the Americans, but the American resource system and powerful gunships spelled the end. The English still technically have a settlement to the far east, but with no ships available to continue it will be easy pickings for the Americans. The President has already captured their other settlement in the northeast corner of the sea.
The Americans can finally relax, at least for the time being! For gameplay purposes the English HI has been reduced to its original size and now reverts to a regular wild island that produces resources. The Americans have won the war against the English.
The Americans have also won their war against the FS! Although they had unintentional help from the Pirates destroying the FS gold system, the Americans did a good job to win the second battle north of the lagoon and finish off the remaining FS battle fleet. The Peacock has brought the captured Catedral del Mar in for repairs, while the Tepant had to be captured by the Concordia since she has Eternal. The Thomas Jefferson used an SAT from JPJ to sink the Acorazado, while the Zhanfu finished off the Galeon de Gibraltar.
The Hades’ Realm has recaptured the Cursed settlement to the west, while the Cursed warships can turn east as the FS reinforcing squadron is in shambles. Curiously, the Cursed purchased 6 island upgrades but no ships, although they still have large amounts of gold on their HI even after spending the 60 gold.
At the bottom of the picture, Cursed runners make their trips. The Cursed are done regrouping and have decided to continue sailing north and east, looking to expand their operations now that the FS presence in the east has been wiped out.
The Cursed had an alliance with the English, although the fleets never were in contact with each other and therefore never had time to plan strategy and combine their fleets. As a result, the Cursed aren’t all that disappointed or angry that the Americans eliminated the English, but the Cursed would definitely like to control the east and possibly continue working their way north towards where the English once sailed. This will probably put the Cursed and Americans at odds with each other, but who knows what will happen?
The FS are about to be the second fleet eliminated, and they met one of the quickest and most sudden ends in any of my huge games. Normally a fleet that large takes a while to eliminate, but being at war with every other faction makes for a lot of bloody battles. The FS were too aggressive in their imperial adventures, splitting their fleet into two battle fleets and an unprotected resource fleet.
Interestingly, this leaves the Pirates, Americans, and Cursed, none of whom have declared war on any of the others. This makes for a rather unique situation. They are each at very different locations on the ocean, although the Pirates and Cursed are both in the south. The Pirates have an old alliance with the Cursed, but the Cursed are worse than pirates and don’t consider the Pirate military port near their HI to be a friendly gesture.
At this point in the global theater, the Americans are in relative control of the north and northeast, while the Pirates have complete dominance over the entire western 1/3 of the sea. The Cursed still lurk in the southeast, with a desire to expand. Each fleet still has a lot of work to do and some space with which to grow their empires, but eventually they’ll meet and things will get interesting in a hurry!
This report is for turns 40-42!
The Alma cancelled Beastie’s Kraken keyword, allowing the FS to start eliminating segments. The FS were about to be eliminated, but still were able to get some measure of revenge against the hated Pirates.
A great shot of the southwest corner. To the left, Pirate gunships sail about with nothing to do. In the upper center, the Empress and Black Mamba have engaged the Alma and Extremadura, the last pocket of FS resistance. However, the Black Mamba rolled 0/3 and even rolled a 1 to eliminate one of her own masts for one of the least effective shoot actions in recent history, losing masts and not damaging the enemy in the process! The Pirate resource system is alive and well at their HI, with HI raiders adding even more riches to the mix. At the bottom right you can see the Akua Lapu going back for more.
The American battle fleet dominates the northeast. The Providence has explored the former English HI, finding spices. The Saratoga and President head to a friendly military port for repairs, while the Kettering takes up patrol duty.
An interesting shot of the arch looking due north, with only the lowest archway visible. The Congress and Chesapeake patrol American waterways, while the Grampus repairs beyond Thompson’s Island. The Revolution would also like to repair, but she’ll have to get a Mercenary helmsman transferred to her by another ship since she’s removed from the game if she docks at an American trading/military port or their HI.
Another picture looking directly north, the American resource system hasn’t been bothered so far. To the left, the Concordia tows the captured Tepant as the Thomas Jefferson also heads home for repairs. At the top of the frame, the Catedral is almost finished repairing next to an enormous pile of spices.
Turn 41 marked another resource change! With some drama a 2 and a 3 were rolled, meaning that every resource was worth one less than its printed value (and lumber worth 6), but these values would only hold for 3 turns! This continued a trend of quick changes, since the last two rolls were for 5 and 3 turns.
The FS were able to eliminate Beastie, but Eternal simply returned the kraken to its HI where it could begin repairing.
The Franco-Spanish have been eliminated! The Pirates sunk the Alma and have dismasted the Extremadura, signalling the end of the game for the FS! They are the second fleet to be eliminated, and they met a very quick end after a very prosperous 35 turns or so.
In the background, the Black Mamba went 0/3 once again and rolled two more 1’s. This means she’s 0/6 and has lost all of her masts based on her ability, not from any hostile ships shooting at her! She’s the opposite of the San Estaban, perhaps the unluckiest ship of the game so far.
As with most resource-changing turns, turn 41 marked another launching turn. The Pirates cashed in their stolen lumber for 6 gold apiece and spent 90 gold, purchasing the Satisfaction, Fuchuan, Kirbac, Dolphin, Fancy, Kin Tai Fong, and Death’s Angel:
Collector’s Number: ?
Faction Affiliation: Pirate
Rarity: FP (Fake Prototype)
Point Value: 16
Cargo Space: 4
Base Move: S+S
Number of Masts: 4
Galley. Eternal. Broadsides Attack.
The Rook’s Folly is the proxy for the Death’s Angel.
The incredibly hectic Pirate home island. Between all the HI raiders coming and going, ships repairing from whirlpool damage, and resource ships making trips to and from different islands, it’s almost impossible to get in or out.
The Americans have made a huge statement in the privateer sector of the game! After launching the Zhanfu, their trading port has become busy once again. With a large portion of American gunships either sunk or already in the water, the Americans look to the privateer nations (all 4 minor factions) for help.
The Americans launched 10 ships on turn 41, and 8 of them were at the trading port, spending a total of 225 gold.
Jackal’s Teeth + Kheir-ed-din, Uluj Ali
Muninn + Sigurd Andersen, Shayna Duex, helmsman
Wiglaf + Olof Linstrom, captain, helmsman, shipwright
Grand Path + Dragon Eyes, helmsman, chainshot specialist, shipwright, oarsman
Grand Temple + Kian Ng, captain, helmsman
Grand Mountain + Katsura-chan, Shap-‘ng-Tsai, helmsman
Mobilis + helmsman
Brave Selkirk + helmsman
Philadelphia towing the Minuteman
Those are all 3 Jade 6 masters that I have, so the Americans have a relative monopoly on those and their associated named crew, not to mention most of the Viking named crew I have. Since the Americans also have the Devil Ray and the Hephaestus has already been sunk, at this point the Americans have a monopoly on the Merc subs in addition to the Mercury and Lamon. On top of all that, the Americans also now have two “fleet admirals” (Kheir and Sigurd) and two Marines.
With both of the other two fleets making large purchases, the Cursed couldn’t be left in the dust! In a stunning move, they purchased three of the most dangerous ships in their arsenal.
Delusion + Davy Jones, El Fantasma, Captain Nemo, Ibrahan Ozat, Cavendish, Chang Pao, Sir Edmund, helmsman, explorer
Flying Dutchman + Freddie Kroger, captain, helmsman (explained below)
Executioner + Devereaux, captain (towing the Death’s Anchor)
The Flying Dutchman is the last official game piece from my custom set, and it’s more of a movie-themed FD than the DJC version:
Collector’s Number: 142
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Point Value: 21
Cargo Space: 3
Base Move: S+S
Number of Masts: 5
Broadsides Attack. Fear. At the beginning of each of your turns, determine whether or not this ship is submerged. If she is submerged, her base move becomes S+L, and she may be given only move actions. She has to surface to shoot, repair, dock, and explore. While she is submerged, she cannot pin or be pinned, ram or be rammed, and tow or be towed, and cannot be shot at. Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a unique treasure from your collection on an enemy ship.
The Dutchman carries Freddie Kroger, a Cursed crew from Cadet-Captain Mike’s custom set:
Collector’s Number: 011B
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Point Value: 4
All non-Cursed ships get -1 to their cannon rolls against this ship.
At the left of the frame, the Sea Duck and Celestine have found luxuries, a resource the Cursed have been sorely missing. Beyond them, the Sea Hag is joined by Cursed monsters and the Last Hope. To the east, Cursed gunships sail slowly as the Shal-Bala parks itself within swooping distance of the submerged Devil Ray, which is out of the picture behind the Duke shipwreck. Tension is mounting between the Cursed and Americans.
I’ll admit, turn 42 was one of the more relaxed in recent memory. After the flurry of launchings and elimination of the FS on turn 41, the fleets were content to sail out their new ships and go about business as usual.
The Pirates’ HI. After the elimination of the English and Franco-Spanish, the Pirates are now the first fleet to go each turn, followed by the Americans and Cursed. This would seem to make the game go faster, but the fleets are at a massive size.
Beastie has beached itself on the HI for repairs, while gold continues to pile up as more HI raiders dock. The Seref and Neptune’s Hoard have emerged with gold from the lagoon, while to the left the Gilded Monkey and Ranger head north with military port upgrades.
A broader photo showing the large nature of the fleets. At the lower left, the Empress has captured the Extremadura, while the Centurion has begun towing the Black Mamba. At the lower right, the Pirates have split their new force in an attempt to confuse the Cursed. The lagoon is almost full, since I’ve made a custom rule in this game that allows krakens to submerge. The lagoon is as safe for the Pirates as it has ever been. Up north, American waters become even more congested.
A unique shot looking south at the Pirate empire. Pirate gunships sail on the edges of their territory, ready to protect HI raiders and resource ships from any potential American intruders. The canoes are making the long journey home as the Duke has made a new Pirate settlement at the right. In the distance, a forest of masts surrounds the ever-busy home island. The Pirates still have the biggest fleet in the game, and they haven’t slowed down since their epic 26-ship launching back on turn 33.
A better view of the new settlement created by the Duke. The Princess carries another settlement upgrade, but she’s headed farther north. The canoes are enjoying the Xi’an’s trade currents. To the right, the Cacao has explored a new island that used to be an FS island, finding spices. It seems as though most (but not all) of the re-explored islands in this game have turned out to produce the same resource as they did earlier in the game.
The Constitution has captured the last English settlement, wiping out the final English presence in this game. The Devil Ray scurries away from Shal-Bala (out of the frame to the lower right), her expedition to the Duke shipwreck foiled for the time being.
The Peacock found luxuries and the Zhanfu found spices! This continues the trend of spices being a mostly northern resource and fish being a mostly southern resource. The Concordia is looking to make the southern island an American trading port, just like in the “old days” before the FS destroyed it. At the upper left, the 6 masted junks add some diversity to the American fleet.
The Cursed have shown that they aren’t afraid of the Pirates and will do anything to protect their new trading port. Both subs and Terrox are relatively immune to being shot at, while the Executioner and Delusion wait nearby. The Pirates had plans of raiding Cursed shipping and potentially blockading their trading port, but now they’ll need reinforcements.
The Sea Hag doesn’t have any cargo space available, but she used an explore action to establish spices on an island right in between American and Cursed waters. The Cursed are sailing in line-of-battle, ready to take on the Americans at a moment’s notice. Shal-Bala lurks behind the Duke shipwreck, disappointed it couldn’t feast on the Devil Ray. To the right, the Nightmare has created another Cursed settlement on their new luxuries island.
|This is real fun to read, cant wait for the next report.|
You’ll be happy then, because things are about to get CRAZY!
Note: This report is rather enthusiastic; I’m more excited about this game than I have been in over a week!
The Pirates had a ton of gold saved up on their HI, and now being the first faction to go each turn, it took them a long time to move their fleet. At the end of their turn they made some huge purchases!
Ability: If this ship wins a boarding party, she can either take as much treasure from the other ship as she wants, up to her available cargo space or can eliminate all of the other ship’s crew.
The Pirates launched 10 new ships and 2 sea monsters, including 4 capital ships. It’s obvious they’d like to do some crew capturing, and the Baochuan is the third and final ten master to be introduced, carrying a dangerous complement of crew.
Here it is, in all its glory, the Pirate fleet at an epic, unrivaled size. I made a fleet called Pirate Empire a while back, but that fleet doesn’t do the idea justice. This does.
(That’s actually not the entire fleet!)
The New Orleans is just short enough to duck under the lowest archway, while the Congress has to sail around the only beach and go through the tallest archway. I love how the Muninn’s sails mix nicely with the red sails on the Congress.
The Cursed have re-thought their plans to launch a western offensive, with new Pirate gunships and the Baochuan dangerously close to Cursed waters. However, the Cursed have a few tricks up their sleeve! A sharp eye will notice a few strange things on their home island…
As turn 43 came to a close, turn 44 marked the need for new resource rolls. However, in an unprecedented event, the gods of the sea have spoke, and there will be no resource rolls on the next turn!!
With much drama, values of every single resource suddenly dropped to 1 gold each!! These relatively worthless resource values would hold for the next 6 turns, 44-49. Things will return to normal on turn 50, at least for the most part.
How would fleets acquire gold to spend? In another major twist, abnormally HUGE amounts of gold awaited the fleets in the lagoon, at the arch, and at the Duke shipwreck, the three places where gold can be loaded instead of resources! Little do the fleets know, most of this new gold isn’t just treasure, but UNIQUE TREASURE! UT’s haven’t appeared in this game so far since I didn’t want any fleets to have an unfair advantage or disadvantage, and also because I wanted to focus on the resource system for as long as possible. However, it’s time for a change! Most of the UT’s are positive, but I’ve slipped a few surprises in there, including two of the most devastating UT’s in Pirates, one of which is the only UT from my custom set!
With such a monumental shift in the game about to occur, it was the perfect time to do a ship count.
Pirates: 104 ships (!)
Total: 181 ships in play!
This is a bit more biased than I thought, with the Pirates having a larger fleet than the other two fleets combined. They look unstoppable right now, but they are arrogant after their incredibly successful home island raid/elimination of the FS and their newly launched ships. The Pirates are willing to rest on their laurels as they continue to rake in gold.
However, the Cursed are plotting. With a few unique game pieces added to their fleet and some rather interesting die rolls happening each turn (Davy Jones and the new Flying Dutchman), the Cursed are perhaps the most overlooked faction in the game right now. The Americans also look to the west with apprehension, with the Pirates having the biggest fleet in any single cumulative game in my history of playing games. The Americans don’t seem to be interested in the Cursed right now, since the Pirates are a much bigger threat, and also because the lagoon, arch, and Duke are now the only spots from which to reliably obtain gold.
The next few turns will be very unique (pun intended). As positive UT’s are discovered, some of the more powerful ones will undoubtedly be fought over, and the overwhelming value of the lagoon may demand something extreme…
The new system started on turn 44 and would continue until the end of turn 49! All resources were worth 1 gold apiece, and the replenished lagoon, arch, and Duke shipwreck were loaded with new UT’s and super-valuable gold and silver.
The Pirates took their long turn, moving all of their 100+ ships in a beautiful display of teamwork and logistics. They aggressively moved some ships into Cursed territory, daring them to make a move. The lagoon was packed when the Hades’ Flame used her action for the turn to check out the new stuff on the lagoon’s island.
The only proxy is Volcano, which was actually something FAR, FAR worse…
Collector’s Number: 096 (Pirates of the Age of Sail)
This treasure is not loaded when revealed. When revealed, roll a d6 for every ship within 2L of the island Hurricane was revealed on. The die result is the number of masts eliminated. Ships docked at the island where Hurricane was revealed do not have to roll: they are not damaged. Ships can be sunk by Hurricane.
Devastation was unleashed! With huge gusts of winds and blasts of water, a huge storm surge ricocheted all around the lagoon, wrecking everything in its path!
The most destructive UT ever used in Pirates CSG. The Seref, Lady Newport, and Cutlass were sunk outright. Ophidious permanently died because his Eternal only kicks in (house ruled if necessary) during a combat situation. The Neptune’s Hoard, Treasure, and three remaining krakens all suffered severe damage.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, the next UT to be resolved was Bad Maps. The Cursed flung the lagoon’s island and corresponding eye of the Hurricane out to the northwest, where more Pirate ships were sailing! This marked an unprecedented event, where the lagoon’s island was outside of the lagoon itself! Bringing the chaos of the Hurricane with it, more Pirate ships were exposed to the destructive forces of mother nature.
As a house rule, since I still want the lagoon to be important, the lagoon’s island will only remain outside of the lagoon for 2 turns, upon which it will be restored to its normal place within the lagoon’s borders. However, this still gives fleets a potential chance to grab gold from the island without having the uniquely Pirate advantage that is Calypso.
The lagoon’s borders are thin and flat, so the Hurricane had no trouble passing over the meager land barrier, flattening Pirate masts in its path of devastation. The Mocha, Pioneer, Executioner and USS Mercury (submarine) all sunk beneath the waves. The Diamond Strike and Death’s Angel were dismasted, while the Harbinger and Fool’s Hope also suffered considerable damage. The high winds of the storm threw masts and sails in every direction, making for an even more high-carnage scene than a battle, with debris strewn everywhere!
An incredibly bizarre sight, the lagoon’s island has been temporarily displaced with gold still on it. The Pirates have been stunned and shocked by this horrible turn of events, and they made the mistake of having the Hades’ Flame take the last action of their turn, so they are paralyzed until next turn.
You may have noticed that the Hades’ Flame is missing from the above picture, which seems wrong given that ships docked at the island where Hurricane was revealed don’t have to roll for damage since they’re in the eye of the hurricane.
However, the HF had already been yanked around by another force of nature: Whirlpool!
The nearest whirlpool was the whirlpool that Calypso had placed inside the lagoon to allow Pirates ships to access the lagoon. Since the HF would have to pass through the lagoon’s borders to get to the whirlpool, which is illegal even with a Ghost Ship, this ruling was house-ruled. The Hades’ Flame was moved in the direction of the whirlpool, but ran aground on the lagoon’s border, making the ship a wreck!!
This made for an even more incredible and bizarre sight, with a wreck not actually present on a reef. The HF couldn’t pass the lagoon’s borders, and so was now wrecked on the edge of the lagoon with a cargo full of precious silver and a huge cache of UT’s!
Pandora’s Box was next, with the Americans and Cursed choosing Missionary and Celestine’s Charts, which killed the Hades’ Flames’ silver explorer and eliminated all 7 Pirate trade currents. The Pirates gave the HF Metal Hull, which they intended to give to a different ship. The HF had also found Lost, and after the Pirates rolled a 6, they were able to replace almost all of the trade currents that they had lost (pun intended).
The Cursed have struck the first blow in the war against the Pirates! Terrox surrounded the Morte, while the Loki’s Revenge and Delusion teamed up to sink the Satisfaction, Fuchuan, and Kin Tai Fong, but not before Nemo (on the Delusion) captured the Satisfaction’s captain.
At the end of their turn, the Cursed played their surprise: Duel! Picking the 12 point OE Davy Jones and the 6 point Calypso, the Cursed won the duel easily. The Cursed had been plotting this move for a few turns, and now that Calypso is out of the game, the whirlpools she created are also removed from the game! This limits what the Pirates can do with their HI raiders, and also eliminates the all-important lagoon whirlpool!
The Pirates began recovering from their Hurricane episode, turning around and sailing for the nearest military port at which they could repair. The Diamond Strike and Death’s Angel were able to row at S+S, so although the damage was severe, it looked as though the Pirates could get some of their floating ships back in action.
The DJC Harbinger checked out the wrecked Hades’ Flame, taking all of her face-up UT’s since the Harbinger had no space with which to take the remaining treasure. The Harbinger has mostly good UT’s aboard, but also Maps of Hades.
With some Pirate gunships (like the Mocha and Pioneer) sunk and others severely damaged, the northern Pirate squadron turned back west away from the advancing Americans. However, more Pirate gunships were on their way from the southwest, which meant the Pirates still had a considerable force in the northwest.
A similar but wider shot than the last one. At the top of the picture, Pirate gunships sail in line abreast after turning west to retreat. Angelica joins them, while the Princess begins the long journey home with textiles from a new settlement. To the left, the Lady’s Scorn, White Rose, Delight and others provide welcome reinforcements for the weakened Pirate fleet. At the far right, only a few American ships are visible, but the picture is deceiving…
The Pirate Empire strikes back! The Morte has inflicted damage on Terrox, while the Fancy docked at the Cursed trading port and declared hostilities, the first time a trading port has been blockaded! The Kirbac dismasted the Demon Gate, while other Pirate gunships try to get in range. The Baochuan hides in the fog, a tribute to a classic battle report from another campaign game. For now, the turtle ships have been tasked with protecting the military port. In the meantime, HI raiders regroup and head southeast, possibly plotting a raid of the Cursed HI while the Cursed are distracted?
Looking northwest, the Americans gather some of their biggest and baddest gunships on the western front in anticipation of a battle with the Pirates. In addition, notice that the Lamon has surfaced for the first time in ages, taking gold from the lagoon’s island before it’s moved back into the lagoon.
The canoes dance around hired Viking gunships headed west, as the western hemisphere continues to become more and more crowded while the east lies dormant as usual. The Flying Fish looks to be the first ship to explore the arch since the UT’s were placed there, but who knows what she’ll find? Beyond the arch, a menacing sight approaches as the Kettering and Congress attempt to join the American battle fleet in the west.
The Americans still care about controlling the east, however. The Paul Revere has docked at a former English island while the Chesapeake and Mohican run patrol duty. The Harlequin and Sea Tiger carry military port upgrades, while in the distance the Brandywine is about to establish a settlement on the former English home island.
The Cursed continue to surprise the Pirates, playing their second event: Becalmed! I think this is the last event to be used in this game, since they’re quite overpowered for how I want this game to go.
Becalmed allowed the Cursed to position their ships in such a way where they can’t be hit by enemy guns, but they’re in striking distance for their next turn. The Delusion sunk the Kirbac as Gog-Clocthoth sped up and smashed right into the Lady’s Scorn (F&S version) taking out two masts and a helmsman in the ram and board! Becalmed even froze the Baochuan in her fog bank, so the Pirates are really going to have a tough time next turn against the Cursed.
There’s a lot going on in this picture! Becalmed has frozen all nearby Pirate ships, while Terrox has taken out two masts on the Morte. Shal-Bala has parked itself outside of L-range but within swooping range! It’s important to note that the custom Flying Dutchman is submerged in this picture, so she’s also immune to the Pirates on their next turn.
East of the previous picture, around the Cursed HI. Namazu waits impatiently behind the Delusion for its chance to strike, while Cursed gunships flood the area as they return from the far east. The Celestine has upgraded the island north of their HI to a military port. A wide variety of resources pile up on the HI, with lumber and spices being a bit farther off.
As turn 45 came to a close, the lagoon island returns to its rightful place inside the lagoon! The Lamon was the only ship able to dock at the island while it resided outside of the lagoon’s borders, and consequently she would be exposed to a devastating broadside from the Harbinger if not for the crippling hurricane. The Pirates still control the lagoon, but with no submarines or whirlpooling ships capable of getting gold home from it, they don’t have nearly as much incentive to protect it. Duel was a game-changer and a brilliant play on the Cursed’s part. However, again, I think events are too powerful for this game.
A horrible event has occurred. A massive accident has destroyed the entire setup, wrecking the entire Economy Edition game and breaking many ships beyond repair. Economy Edition is no more.
If you play a huge game, don’t leave it on the floor. Try to use tables. I didn’t take any pictures because I don’t want the sad scene to be remembered. I’ve already cleaned some things up, but the recovery process won’t be quick.
More than being sad or angry, I’m simply disappointed. I thought this was going to be the first truly successful HUGE game I’ve played, but something always seems to go wrong, although this was much worse than any previous complications. I can safely say this is the biggest Pirates CSG disaster I’ve experienced.
Was this event inevitable? All I can say is that Pirates CSG, and more specifically this Economy Edition game, have slowly been taking over my soul for a while now. With a complete sudden destruction of the game, there was no hope of resetting the game in any form, partly because so many ships are destroyed.
I’m going to try and focus on the positive. Like I said, perhaps this was karma for spending too much time on Pirates. Now that Economy is over, I’ll have way more time to focus on things that are more important than Pirates that I’ve been neglecting ever since the game started. That being said, I’m disappointed.
I want to come back stronger than ever after this catastrophe. However, I can’t spend the time necessary to play another cumulative game. It’s going to take over my life and demand too much time, effort and energy. It may be a LONG time before I play another game of this nature.
There is no way to make up for this horrible event, but I have one idea in mind that may make up for it somewhat. However, I’m going to have to wait and see if it’s plausible before diving into it. I was thinking about possibly playing a 6-fleet 500 point game, for 3,000 total points on the ocean. It’s doubtful this game will be played, but perhaps it could happen. A campaign/cumulative game where points are spent along the way is too big an endeavour now that a month of the summer is already gone. However, a “regular” game, even at 3,000 points, could potentially take 2 weeks or less. Again, it probably won’t happen. Either way, the added free time will also allow me to play real games more often, which is another way to focus on the positive.
For the record, the Pirates are given the title of the winner of the Economy Edition game, since they had the biggest fleet. The final standings:
Although this game ended prematurely, I can still proudly say it’s the biggest game in my Pirates CSG playing history, and without a doubt one of the biggest games ever by anyone’s standards.
At it’s peak there were over 2,800 points in play, with 163 ships. The latest ship count revealed 181 ships in play, which means that the game may have exceeded 3,000 points.
To wrap things up I’m going to make a couple of “big games” threads in the next week or so. Hopefully this will allow me to have more closure. I’ll also go into greater detail on how things function with these types of monster games.
I’m sorry there won’t be any more battle reports for the game. Obviously I’m more disappointed than anyone else could be. However, just like with Century of the Empires from 2 years ago, I vow to play Economy Edition once more at some point in the future and play it to true completion. Unfortunately, due to a lot of factors in my life, this summer was my last chance for a WHILE to play games this large, so it could be decades before anything similar is attempted again.
I’ve played a few smaller games while Economy was being played, so hopefully I’ll get those reports up soon. I’ll be back!