Gimmicks Galore – Fleet Face-Off on September 1st, 2012

Originally Posted by Cadet-Captain Mike
Have you done any test battles to find a way to beat a swarm of tiny ships? I call that kind of fleet the Zergling Rush of Pirates, and I’d love to know how to win against it.

You mean a fleet like this Those fleets are a different animal from most everything else you see, but there are a few things that should work:

1. It’s a Promo from a rare set, but Odin’s Revenge would be devastating.

2. I dominated a swarm fleet with my HMS Grand Temple fleet. A swarm fleet with 10 ships, was blown out of the water (I could take out 3-4 ships per turn). Although, this was in a deathmatch, so the little ships were all bunched together like a mass of kindling for a fire!

3. Since you like the Americans the best, try using the original Constitution. The small ships wouldn’t be able to scratch her, and with a helmsman and some double action crew, she would be able to pick them off.

Originally Posted by Cadet-Captain Mike
Other things being equal, I’d put my own hopes on the crew-recycler fleet. The controller fleet is potent, but too dependent on dice luck; the HI raiders can’t do any better than any other faction (you can’t steal what hasn’t been brought home by somebody else); and sea monsters are effective only against un-Captained gold ships, in my experience.

As for this, here is what happened in the latest game between these ‘gimmick’ fleets.

The setup for the game was purposely more confined, and things got very crowded toward the end of the game.

The ‘mind control’ fleet had a rough time, losing the Aberdeen Baron to the Raninoidea after she went through a whirlpool. They also were unable to get the UT’s necessary to fuel their efforts.

The crew recyclers were unable to roll a single 6 with Captain Davy Jones, and their gunships had a rough go of it. The Asesino de la Nave missed two of three shots against La Vengeance (of the HI raiders), and then was taken out in the return fire. The Quigley and Villalobos were obliterated in one turn by the Raninoidea, and the Deliverance wasted time fighting a silly battle against the Divine Dragon (silly because neither ship could get their guns to work).

The sea monster fleet (and their Pirate treasure runners) had the best start, but things started to unravel when the HI raiders discovered the Lost UT and rolled a 6. All three sea monsters were ‘reefed’, and all three lost two segments. The Raninoidea was later eliminated by Le Bon Marin using the UT Cursed Conch to move her back onto the reef. The Doombox and a derelict had fog banks placed underneath them, essentially eliminating them from the game. Then the HI raiders came to town. In a sudden swarm, all four ships with the HI raiding ability (Poor Adams, L’Heros, Freedom, Belladonna) attacked the HI of the sea monster fleet. The Belladonna and Poor Adams got into a skirmish with the Raven and the Leviathan, while the Freedom was busy buying time for the other three. L’Heros made the only successful raid, but it was all they needed, because while all of this was going on, the French runners Coeur du Lion and La Dijon grabbed gold and quickly brought it back for a swift, stunning victory!

The final treasure count revealed 16 gold for the HI raiders, 9 for the crew recyclers (La Joya del Sol brought back a 4 and a 5), and 0 for both the sea monsters and the mind controllers. The sea monsters had theirs stolen, while the mind controllers needed very lucky, specific things to happen to win.

Another game was played, but two of the four players wanted to change their fleets. The crew recyclers swapped that fleet for an all-sub fleet, utilizing the Nautilus, Mobilis, Brave Selkirk, and USS Lamon. The sea monster fleet was swapped out for a fleet that would try to capture crew and turn them into gold, using crew like Bonny Peel and Barstow.

On the first action of the first turn, HMS Lady Provost (of the mind controllers) picked up a 5 and a 7 from the same island, which would be too much of a deficit for the others to overcome. The fleet had moderate success rolling for controlling effects, which helped out later in the game.

The all-sub fleet managed to run gold with the Brave Selkirk, whose Mercenary keyword was cancelled by the Mobilis. However, the subs were too slow to get into the real action that dominated the middle and end of this game.

The HI raiders came into the game as victors of both of the previous two, so there was an understandable amount of bias in the actions of the others. After having all of their gold stolen in the previous game, the crew capturers (previously the sea monsters) tried their best not to hold a grudge against the raiders. However, after discovering the UT’s Monkey’s Paw and Maps of Hades, they flew into a rage, vowing to do everything possible to make the raiders lose. The only time they strayed from this promise proved to be the climax of the game.

The raiders’ HI was close to the HI of the mind controllers. After seeing the Provost load up (although they didn’t know what she had), they decided to go after them. However, LeBeaux was able to throw the Freedom onto a reef, and the Divine Dragon was able to protect the Provost so she could return home safely. On the next turn, the angry crew capturers arrived, and the Lady’s Scorn immediately sent L’Heros to the bottom. After the Belladonna and Poor Adams were both dismasted, the crew capturers used Barstow (onboard the Xiamen’s Claws) to capture OE Davy Jones, and later, the captain aboard the Dragon, which would have netted them 15 gold. However, this made the Claws a huge target for the rest of the game, and ships flocked to her to try to capture/sink her. This is where the mind control fleet shined. After the Claws lost all of her masts in a gauntlet of hostile ships, LeBeaux moved her off of a reef and away from the Raven, who was towing her. The Claws was then moved S+S (her base move) further away via a mysterious island roll by the Provost, moving her into a fog bank. Since derelicts in fog banks are lost forever, this ended the threat of the crew capturers having more gold than the mind controllers. The Raven then brought home the last gold coin, transferred from the derelict Longshanks, ending the game.

The treasure was counted, and the mind controllers won despite the capturing of their best crew (Davy Jones) and the sinking of their flagship (the Divine Dragon). They finished with 17 gold, the HI raiders with 12, the all-sub fleet with 9, and the crew capturers with 3.

Additional Comment:

Another game has been played, with the mind controllers winning once again. The game didn’t have any true excitement, but at least the gimmicks were used, and the final treasure count close. The mind controllers finished with 13 gold, the HI raiders with 11, and the crew capturers and subs with 5 each.

Tomorrow, the last game with these fleets will be played, and to elongate the game, there will be double as much treasure on each island (6 instead of 3).

Additional Comment:

The final game between the gimmick fleets was played today. The mind controllers won again, due to their HI being a good distance away from the other three fleets. They had good treasure running, solid luck with UT’s, and they made two brilliant moves to ensure their victory. The Divine Dragon was sent through a whirlpool, and sunk the Lightning and Longshanks, two treasure runners in the crew capturer fleet, right before they could return home with 6 coins of gold.

When the HI raiders L’Heros and the Belladonna approached the HI of the mind controllers, the mind controllers acted quickly and divided their gold up by building two forts, so the raiders only had access to two coins.

The final gold count saw the mind controllers finish with 31 gold (remember there was twice as much treasure, 6 coins per island), both the HI raiders and the subs with 14, and the crew capturers with 5 (they weren’t able to capture any crew).

The mind controllers have cemented themselves as the best of the gimmick fleets, with victories in four of the five games (although one was a tie).

Posted in Battle Reports.

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