First Game at 80 points: Pirates vs. Americans – December 25th, 2013

I’ve started yet another game between the Pirates and the Americans. The next 2 or 3 games will have an 80 point limit. The Americans subbed (first game at) the Mercury back in for the Eagan, added the Nene-Nui (3 masted junk from SS) and crewed her with an explorer, and used the USS Bartlett (3 master from MI) instead of the Paladin. Peregrine Stern was replaced with Captain Montana Mays and a generic captain (on the Bartlett), while the Mercury added to her crew complement by getting a musketeer, firepot specialist, and oarsman (in addition to her captain and helmsman).

The Pirates went for an even more extensive overhaul, as they have not fared well with their previous fleet choices. The Swift is the only ship that stayed in their fleet, and she had Bartholomew Roberts come aboard to join her helmsman. The Pirates commissioned the Obago (OE promo) as their largest vessel, with 4 3L guns. A captain and helmsman make her a capable gunship. The Pirates also added their other two F&S LE ships, the Royal Rover and the Queen Anne’s Revenge. The Royal Rover was crewed by Blackbeard (captain + crew-gold capturer) and a helmsman, while the Queen Anne’s Revenge received Sean Cannonball Gallows (extra action version) in addition to the standard captain and helmsman. In this way, all four Pirate ships had captains, with one ship (the Queen) a HI-raider and another (the Rover) ready to capture crew and turn them into gold.

The setup called for a fresh take on the islands and treasure. Three islands were placed in an obtuse triangle fashion, with another three around 4L or 5L to the south. The home islands were the upper two islands on the edges, and just two coins were placed on the middle island, so the fleets would have to travel south to win. The southern trio of islands held 6 coins each, since 4 UT’s were introduced in addition to the regular 16 coins from the earlier games.

The Pirates went first, with the Queen Anne’s Revenge accompanying the Swift to the island in between the two HI’s. There she found two 1’s, using Bartholomew Roberts to trade one away for a 2 from a southern island. The Obago and Royal Rover headed south in anticipation of the Americans doing the same thing. All four American ships started out sailing south, with the Frontier’s S+S+S speed giving her the advantage of being the first ship in either fleet to reach a southern island (the middle one in this case). Using her hoist to explore the island, she found 3 of the 4 UT’s that were introduced for this game. Wine and Letter of Marque are a powerful combination that lets the ship in question steal gold from enemy home islands, repair while they’re there, and not get shot at while they are within S of an enemy home island. The Frontier also got 8 gold and Homing Beacon.

To the north, the Mercury turned around underwater when she saw the Queen Anne’s Revenge turn for the American HI. The Revenge was ready to prey on any gold that would come in, now that she was done escorting the Swift, who brought home 3 gold for the Pirates. Seeing the Mercury’s maneuver, the Revenge quickly turned back, at least for the time being.

Meanwhile, the first shots were being fired in the middle of the sea. The Obago shot just 1 for 4 against the Frontier, rolling three 1’s and one 6. The Bartlett was about to help out, but the Royal Rover got to her, shooting away two of the Bartlett’s masts and dismasting her via a ram. The boarding action was an easy win for the Pirates, who used Blackbeard to capture Montana Mays, who happened to be the highest point crew (7) in the American fleet. Up to this point, the Pirates had all the momentum.

The Mercury responded to the Pirate attack by turning around, surfacing, and taking off three masts on the Obago, setting her on fire. Just to the south, the Nene-Nui had explored an island and was in the process of taking 3 coins back home when she got involved in the mess. The Obago rammed her and blocked her path, taking out two of her three masts. Her other prey, the Frontier, escaped with just one lost mast as she used Homing Beacon to return home.

Who will win this hard-fought game?

Edit: This game has been finished up. The Mercury ended up sinking the Obago, while the Queen Anne’s Revenge dismasted the Frontier. The Royal Rover was almost to the Pirate HI with Montana Mays on board when the Nene Nui docked home 10 gold for the Americans, giving them 18 gold for an 18-3 win!

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