ELEVEN Player Game
Mox Boarding House in Portland Oregon
With a HUGE amount of help from Redgoat and Witch, I met up with a ton of people at Mox Boarding House in Portland Oregon for a whopping ELEVEN player game of Pirates CSG!!! O_O Witch has a group that plays in Vancouver Washington, with 7 of the players coming from him and his group. Redgoat brought along Sir Steevn Basil Drakestongue, another founding member of PDXYAR. Add in myself and Koltyre of the discord server and we had 11! This completely shattered my previous high, which was 6 players set in 2016 and tied earlier this year in Los Angeles.
-No Unique Treasure
-No Limit crew
-Ramming only succeeds on a 5 or 6
-Fleets are faction-pure
-Round earth is the default unless otherwise specified. Ships cannot shoot over round earth, they must be on the same side of the map to shoot.
-No minimum distance between islands (understanding that most will still be placed at least 2L apart)
-Terrain can touch islands and other terrain.
-Winners of boarding parties choose whether to eliminate crew or steal treasure, and can choose which treasure to take (loser still chooses which crew is eliminated)
-Whirlpools have negative effects on rolls of 1-3 instead of 4-6.
-Generic crew may use their abilities on ships of any nationality.
-Sea Monsters get the Captain keyword built-in.
-Shipwrights do not take up cargo space.
-Home Island Raiders can look at all treasure on an enemy home island when they dock and choose which treasure(s) to take.
Ships: DJC Le Bonaparte
Crew: Lord Mycron
Drakestongue rolled to go first, choosing his home island last. The order of play was as follows clockwise around the table: Drakestongue, Redgoat, Koltyre, A7XfanBen, Witch, English, Barbary Corsairs, Raven’s Neck Pirates, White Rose Pirates, Spanish, Providence Americans.
The “Core Four” community members of myself, Redgoat, Witch and Koltyre made the setup, and as discussed way prior to the game, we would be using only half as many wild islands as players, with only a couple extra coins per island to compensate. This was to keep the game length to a theoretically reasonable limit, and to prevent us from needing a second table for the ocean. 5 wild islands were used with 6 coins on each of them. With so many players and so few gold options, things promised to get ugly and desperate rather quickly.
Who would win this crazy crapshoot for the ages??
This was my fleet. Basic idea was to use the LP’s speed to grab coins early and then use her ability later on to steal some more. Temple would remain facedown on the Oxford until I could steal a ship or two, hopefully increasing the size of my fleet to give me more options in the endgame. Strategizing as much as I normally do felt pointless with the amount of randomness involved, and theoretically each player had just a 9% chance of winning the game when it started. XD
HMS Oxford + Commander Temple, captain, helmsman
HMS Lady Provost + helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Witch was using a modified Carcharodon where it doesn’t have the Massacre ability and costs 8 points as a result. Le Bourbon was a proxy for La Possession.
Home island placement anywhere was allowed, but players ended up with home islands close to their location at the table. On the eastern half are the wild islands of Drakestongue, Redgoat, myself, Witch and Koltyre, while the 6 players Witch brought with him are on the western half with the lighter blue.
Drakestongue takes the first move action and the eleven player game has begun!
Koltyre was using a fleet of American schooners:
With plenty of time in between my turns, it was the perfect opportunity to record some game footage! Here is all of it in one video:
Partway through round 1 and most fleets are sticking together:
The Wicked Kareen draws first blood, knocking a mast off HMS Interceptor:
The other English fleet:
USS Mercury gets an EA from Commodore Peregrine Stern to sink the San Cristobal! Redgoat’s 5 masters (Black Swan and Revenant) team up to sink the Marrakesh.
Drakestongue’s Black Arrow has gone through a whirlpool to rejoin his other ships, increasing competition for the gold in the northeast. The Lady Provost and Oxford have loaded 5 of the island’s 6 coins.
But the French are the ones who deal the damage! Witch reveals Capitaine Arazure and Gentil de la Barbinais on La Possession, allowing the 4 master to round earth and slam the English with 4/4 shooting!
I took the Oxford into a nearby fog bank, but the Lady P could not row there fast enough at S+S speed. Drakestongue’s Pirates converged on the island, setting up a potential clash with La Possession.
Redgoat reveals probably the niftiest crew surprise of the game, with the Black Swan’s SM El Fantasma stealing a coin from the Corsair home island! The White Rose is doing some raiding of her own in the southwest corner, but the Raven’s Neck is making her pay for it. Two of Koltyre’s American schooners arrive via round earth in the same area. At the upper right, the San Pedro is under attack by the other American fleet.
The Black Swan loses masts to the Wicked Kareen, but the latter is then captured by Redgoat with some help from Captain Blackheart on the Revenant! The Possession has sunk the Lady Provost and Eagle, and the Flying Dutchman could be next!
The Carolina and Intrepide are getting some gold at the upper left, but both Witch and Koltyre have made it clear the whole island is barely worth anything.
USS Mercury dismasts the San Pedro, eliminating the Spanish from contention!
A look at PDXYAR legend Redgoat’s growing fleet:
HMS Dauntless engages the Revenant near the center. At the upper right, La Possession has crippled the Flying Dutchman.
The Providence has returned home with another haul of 3 coins for the Americans, making them the favorite to win. At some point the Raven’s Neck Pirates revealed that through spying, they learned that the Americans had amassed a total of 18 gold. HMS Interceptor is repairing, the Intrepide brings home gold for the French, and the Flying Dutchman whirled to escape the Possession’s cannonade.
Some time later and things have gotten more interesting. The partially repaired FD is about to grab some of the last gold in play. I was talking some strategy/rules with Redgoat and it looked like he was looking to team up with his old rival/nemesis Drakestongue. If the FD could stay alive with gold on her, it would extend the game and potentially allow Redgoat to raid the American home island for enough gold to win.
The Gruesome has pinned herself on the Providence (docked at her home island), allowing the Americans to finish her.
The Americans are clearly in the lead and thus face some opposition at their home island in the form of the Raven’s Neck, HMS Interceptor, and Wicked Kareen. However, an uncoordinated effort may be in vain. Redgoat repairs his 5 masters but fears he will run out of time to steal gold with El Fantasma. Calico Cat was clutch earlier in the game but now takes a backseat, further delaying Redgoat’s plans. Koltyre’s Freedom and Minuteman have been sunk in the far west.
The Raven’s Neck is dismasted by USS Mercury, but the White Rose lies in wait in the big fog bank southwest of the American HI….
The Black Swan whirled to the southeast to check out what gold Koltyre had left on his home island (he left, taking the Carolina with him). However, the pesky French pounced, causing a surprisingly busy situation in a formerly dormant area of the sea. HMS Oxford is finally repaired to full health after a long journey waiting in fog for carnage to dissipate and then repairing at home.
With Drakestongue’s Black Arrow ramming a mast off the Possession, the unlikely “PDXYAR alliance” is made more obvious as Redgoat turns the Black Swan towards my home island. My desire to not be shut out overcame my desire to see Redgoat win (the latter since I realistically had no chance at this point with just 2 gold), as the Oxford defended English territory and dismasted Redgoat’s favorite ship.
In other big news, the Providence was sunk! The White Rose has emerged from the huge fog bank to steal gold from the American HI! This was the endgame climax we had been building towards. The Corsair player left, making them a non-factor from here on out.
Redgoat was actually eliminated in short order, with the Possession sinking the Black Swan and the Dauntless sinking the Revenant and Wicked Kareen. HMS Interceptor has been sunk as well. The White Rose is redocking to steal more American gold, and the Mercury can only trigger Captain Mysion’s Parley ability rather than damage her!!
With the White Rose continually redocking and the Mercury continuing to try to shoot at her, a “Parley loop” is observed where the White Rose steals a coin and then Parleys it back to the American HI when the Mercury tries to shoot her. Drakestongue brings the Flying Dutchman home via whirlpool, avoiding the Oxford in the process. The Possession is finally spent, with Arazure her final crew left and down to 1 mast after whirling towards home.
Stern failed an EA roll on the Mercury, allowing the White Rose a better chance to escape with 2 or 3 coins intact in her hull. The Mercury hit 2/3, and the White Rose sped back into the huge fog bank. With her home island on the other side of it, it looked as though the Pirates would get away with some valuable loot. On the right, the Oxford has captured the Black Arrow. I was finally able to reveal Commander Temple and warp her home on my next turn, but it wouldn’t matter at all.
The White Rose emerged from the fog bank to dock home her stolen loot to end the ~3.5 hour game! In the end it mattered immensely!!
1. White Rose Pirates: 14 gold
2. Redgoat: 12
3. Raven’s Neck Pirates: 10
4. Providence Americans: 8
5. Corsairs: 7
6. English: 6
7. Witch: 5
8-10. Ben, Drakestongue, Koltyre: 2
11. Spanish: 0
Wow! A close and exciting finish that saw a reversal of fortune! It does look like the HI Raider choosing house rule is overpowered to some extent. Overall it was a fun game and a really cool experience to play with so many people at once! Thanks for reading!