I played the first 4 player 80 point game. Overall, it was a fun game, although very one-sided. The order of play went: Pirates, English, French, Americans. The Americans swapped the Paladin back in for the Bartlett, while the English swapped some generic Cursed crew in for Edward Low. No terrain was used for the first game, but I’m using a bunch for the second game.
HMS Algiers got an extra action on the first turn and took a mast off the Royal Rover. The Triton, Frontier, Swift, and Queen Anne’s Revenge quickly explored islands. The Royal Rover retaliated by dismasting the Algiers, although she lost the boarding party (and therefore her helmsman), thus denying Blackbeard a chance at capturing a crew and turning it into gold.
The Obago then captured the Algiers, intending to bring the ship back to use it for the Pirates later in the game. The Baionnette would sink the captured Algiers, but not before the Pyre rammed off one of the Baionnette’s masts. The Locker also got to work, ramming the Belle Poule, who would be sunk on the same turn by the Lord Cauldwell.
For the Americans, the Frontier and the Nene Nui explored islands in the southern half of the sea. The Americans got lucky in the HI setup, picking first and getting the most well-positioned island that ended up as the most isolated of the four HI’s, and therefore the most conducive to acquiring treasure.
The Royal Rover missed the Patagonia while she was grabbing gold from a northern island. The Patagonia (with her lone 2L gun) actually managed to dismast the Royal Rover over the next two turns as the Rover missed on the next turn as well. The Obago, angry that the Baionnette had sunk the Pirates’ new ship (the Algiers), dismasted the French two master and captured her as well.
The Pyre rammed the Tunis derelict, but the Triton brought back a gold coin for the French. Off in the east, the SCS Santa Lucia shot a mast off the Queen Anne’s Revenge, who was coming home with a coin aboard. The Swift and Queen Anne’s Revenge docked home their gold, and simply sat there for a turn because both Santa Lucias (including the HI-raiding OE version) were in the vicinity.
The Pyre surfaced to sink the Tunis and the 4 gold she carried. In a bold statement that crushed Pirate morale, the Triton sunk both the captured Baionnette and the Royal Rover on the same turn.
The Frontier and Nene Nui docked home their treasure loads, with 9 coins between the two ships. It was obvious that the Americans had the advantage in the game, but with the English weakened (from losing the Algiers) and far away from the American HI, and with the French and Pirates completely at odds with each other, there wasn’t much that was going to stop the Americans.
Out of nowhere, the Obago sank the Pyre, leaving the English with just 3 ships remaining, although this would go down to 2 after the Triton sunk the Patagonia.
Seeing the Pirate ships at their HI, the two Santa Lucias had turned around and sailed south to check out a wild island, the same one that the Queen Anne’s Revenge had taken one coin off of. Still with a grudge against the French, the Pirates now looked to the HI-raider of their fleet, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. She used an extra action to move within docking distance of the French HI, where she would dock on the next turn and pick up the 4 that the Triton had left there earlier in the game. The Triton responded by taking out two of the three masts on the Revenge while the Pirate ship was still docked at the French HI.
Meanwhile, the Locker and Lord Cauldwell ventured into American water, where they knew they stood no chance against the powerful USS Mercury, escorting the Frontier back home. They managed to sneak around to the south and catch the slow-moving Paladin and sink her after a few turns, costing the Americans an additional 7 gold. The Nene Nui had gone to the same island that the Santa Lucias docked at, but the SCS version blew two masts off the American junk. The Nene Nui aggressively responded by ramming straight into the OE version, dismasting her, and taking one of her two treasure coins. The SCS version would now finish off the Nene Nui, ending the skirmish.
At this point, the Frontier had gone out for a final treasure run to grab the last three treasure coins, signifying that the end was near.
Back up north, the Triton was gallantly fighting a losing battle against the Obago, Swift, and Queen Anne’s Revenge. The Swift and Obago went 2 for 6 against the Triton, leaving her with one mast left. Still able to move and shoot, she dismasted the Queen Anne’s Revenge and triumphantly stole back her original coin as the Revenge tried to sail away. The Queen Anne’s Revenge used an extra action to make two boarding attempts, although they ended in a tie and a lost Pirate helmsman. However, it was too late for the French, as the Swift made the French schooner a derelict and the Obago began towing her.
The Lord Cauldwell and Locker desperately wanted to get at the American duo of the Frontier and Mercury, even though they knew it was too late. The Mercury surfaced and shot a mast off the Lord Cauldwell, who couldn’t do anything in return with just one mast (the Mercury ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts). The Locker surfaced to attack the Frontier, but both her boarding rolls and gun rolls failed, upon which the Frontier docked home the last gold coins on the next turn to end the game.
The final gold count:
1. Americans: 26 gold
2. Pirates: 9
3. French: 2
4. English: 0
I’m looking to play the second game of this series tomorrow! The first fleet to win two games will be declared the overall winner.