ALL terrain/islands – 5 fleets, 20 points
I recently had a few more ideas for games. One of them was quite “out-there” if you will – a game with ONLY islands and terrain. There would be almost NO open ocean, and there was only a little bit because I ran out of the terrain I had on hand.
To continue the trend of using small fleets, this time a 20 point build total was used. There were five fleets, going in this order:
Providence + Brent Rice, captain, oarsman
Rum Runner + Hammersmith, explorer, oarsman
La Manila + captain, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Le Pluton + captain, helmsman
HMS Interceptor + Hermione Gold, explorer
You can see that each fleet opted for just one ship that had at least 4 masts, in order to combat the extremely dangerous setup:
The French were the only fleet crazy enough to pick a home island completely surrounded by terrain, and the Pluton began the game in a fog bank!
On the first turn, the Manila was the first ship to reach an island, using a whirlpool to take three coins. This began the woes of the Americans, who were headed towards the same island. As a side note, icebergs were allowed to move over other pieces of terrain, and push each other around. Unlike the Other Worlds game from earlier this year, icebergs would simply move over whirlpools instead of being drawn into them. Also, icebergs were only rolled at the beginning of each “round” starting with the second turn, rather than every player’s individual turn.
The Manila was also the first ship to have trouble with the terrain, losing a mast to an iceberg.
The Pluton received a lucky fog roll for the second turn in a row to dock at a northern island. The Interceptor and Rum Runner explored as well.
The Pluton navigated a Sargasso Sea to quickly unload her haul, and the Manila docked her gold home as well while avoiding further damage. The Providence finally docked, but the Americans were disappointed with what the Manila left them.
The setup continued to take a toll on the ships. The Rum Runner suffered an unlucky iceberg hit right before she was able to dock home her gold, and the Pluton risked a reef to quickly sail over to the other middle island, losing one mast.
The Providence continued east to take what was left of the Pluton’s northern island. In the meantime, the Pluton avoided taking more damage from the reef and quickly had 6 coins sitting on her HI. This annoyed the Pirates, who saw the French as their main competition at this point.
Each fleet had been relatively isolated so far, but trouble was brewing in the east as the English opened fire on the Spanish!
The Manila kept sailing straight ahead and crashed into the Interceptor’s starboard quarter! A stormy sea made this fight even more dramatic as the two big ships exchanged shots!
The Americans were the only fleet yet to bring back treasure. The Rum Runner had just returned with her second haul when the Pluton made a surprise move and whirlpooled her way towards the eastern battle, where the English had the upper hand. The French wanted to grab the remaining three coins on the wild island while the combatants were distracted. Hammersmith, on board the Rum Runner, saw this and told his crew not to let the Pluton out of their sights.
Icebergs continued to chase the Providence as the Rum Runner emerged from a whirlpool to chase the Pluton. Conceding defeat to the English, the Manila docked at the eastern wild island that began all this conflict and loaded all three coins. The Interceptor quickly dismasted her, but lost her explorer in the failed boarding attempt in addition to the mast she had lost in battle, knocking her speed down to L+S.
The French had arrived! The Pluton struck, using S-board to steal all three coins from the Manila. She also shot a mast off the Interceptor, which disappointed the Pluton’s captain. The Pluton was ready to take off, but the faster Rum Runner wasn’t far behind.
At this point, four of the five ships were concentrated on the eastern edge of the sea, while the Providence was all alone in the west. The Interceptor attacked the Pluton, but failed miserably. She only knocked out one mast between the shoot and ram, and to top it off, Hermione Gold was killed in the boarding party. At this point the English looked to be out of the game, but they were willing to give any assistance possible to the Pirates in order to subdue the hated French.
A closeup of the carnage in the east:
The mostly deserted west. The majority of the gold in the foreground is on home islands, and you can see some open spaces where icebergs have moved out of their original positions.
The Pluton ducked into a fog bank, with the Rum Runner in hot pursuit! The Interceptor started the game as the swiftest on the seas, but was now relegated to moving L in an attempt to get home and repair.
A view of the entire setup – the Providence has fully repaired. The Pluton chose a lesser of two evils, coming out of the fog to sail in between two icebergs. This path was relatively free of obstacles, since she could ignore the whirlpool and dock home within two turns. The other path was fraught with the peril of no open ocean, including an iceberg and up to three reefs.
However, to start the next turn, the Americans got in on the action by blocking the Pluton’s path! The Providence emerged from a whirlpool ready to fight. The Rum Runner caught the Pluton and despite missing all of her shots yet again (possibly 0 for 9 at this point, much to Hammersmith’s disgust), the ram succeeded to dismast the Pluton and finally knock the French out of the active game. They were rich, but they wouldn’t get any richer. The Pirates had finally caught the Pluton, but they hadn’t finished their goal yet.
The Providence towed the Pluton and tried to shoot at the Rum Runner, but the Pirates parleyed a 1 (stolen from the Pluton on the previous turn) to the American home island instead.
Then, with great fury and anger, the Rum Runner sailed full speed into the Providence’s larboard quarter, knocking the ship sideways!
The Rum Runner’s cannons finally found their mark at point blank range, and together with the extreme force of the ram, heeled the Providence out of the water! A devastating broadside killed the American oarsman and showed that the Pirates were determined to win this fight, if not on anger alone.
Wanting no part of the Pirates, the Providence sailed through a whirlpool to chase down the last island that had more than 1 coin left on it. At this point there was one island with 2 coins and two islands with 1 coin each. The Pirates took the remaining gold off the Pluton, and the Interceptor finished repairing.
An iceberg sank the Pluton as the three remaining ships took gold from the three remaining islands. The coins weren’t valuable anyway, so the game quickly ended.
When it was all said and done, the French made a surprisingly good decision to brave the terrain and pick a HI in the middle of the ocean, and they won despite the efforts of all four other fleets trying to stop them.
French: 22 gold
This was a very unique game that saw a brand-new setup idea. I generally liked it, but when I play it again in the future I’m definitely going to use a larger build total, which should be quite fun and chaotic. Also, I may change how the icebergs function a little bit, especially in regards to whirlpools.
There will be another report within the next few days!