This game was interesting. I wanted to play a game on Halloween, and naturally the Cursed were involved. It turned out to be a oddly brutal game… there was a strange sense of hostility present throughout. The setup didn’t turn out quite as well as I hoped, but it was still a memorable game.
All custom pieces courtesy of el_cazador. He’s working on a huge custom set right now, which looks quite interesting.
4 fleets at 60 points each, going in this order:
(all Wizkids game pieces can be found in the Master Spreadsheet)
Tenfold + Zedekiah, helmsman
Fathom + Herr Fuchs, helmsman, shipwright
Hare’s Luck + helmsman, explorer
Type: 3-mast hoist
Mercenary, Hostile: Caesar, Hoist, Turbine. Two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn if she has all of her masts.
Flavor: Zedekiah’s ironclad ship has been in the employ of several nations, most recently the French. His hope is to repurchase the ancient land of the Jews with the lucrative profits he makes from shipping. As he is fond of saying, if you hire him, your investment will repay tenfold.
(The Buscador is the proxy for the Tenfold.)
Ex-Patriot, Hostile: Barbary Corsairs, Cursed, Pirate, Viking; Captain. One of this ship’s treasures is worth +2 gold when unloaded at your home island.
Flavor: Zedekiah has had run-ins with all the worst on the seas yet always comes out ahead. He captains his ship well but prefers to play the tunes of his people on his clarinet.
Nightmare + captain, shipwright, double shot
Maman Brigitte + helmsman, explorer
L’Aube + captain, helmsman, fire shot, grapple shot
Le Pluton + helmsman, explorer
Le Rochefort + Princess Arii Auraa, chieftain, navigator
French Native Canoes
Points: X (13)
Cargo: 1 (x5)
Cannon: 3L (x5)
Native Canoes, Captain
Flavor: The natives of Indonesia have been trained in the art of war by French capitaines, and they pursue the monsters of the deep.
Chef de Tribu
Before you give any of this chieftain’s canoes an action, roll a d6. On a 5-6 they may shoot at submerged ships.
Flavor: This chieftain’s men have had contact with the Monster Hunter’s guild.
(The Cursed native canoes represent the French ones.)
Maui’s Fishhook + Captain Percival Blake, Commodore Rhys Gryffin Owen, Professor Clive Defoe, helmsman
HMS Interceptor + Thomas Gunn, explorer
The Mercenaries were using a brand-new hoist, which featured a rather grand set of abilities and combos. Their support ships were capable of running a little bit of gold, though Herr Fuchs would have the Fathom keep a close watch on the Tenfold.
The Cursed looked slow but intimidating, with 16 total cannons available. Typical of their fleets, they also had some fun abilities at their disposal.
The French looked ready for battle, with some interesting new canoes in addition to their 5 masted flagship. Le Pluton’s size and guns only added to their heavy armament, while the Rochefort was playing the character of Le Coeur du Lion.
The English only had two ships, but they included a decked-out Maui’s Fishhook and the speedy and versatile Interceptor.
The setup was somewhat intricate, and in hindsight perhaps overthought. It featured 6 mysterious islands with 4 coins each, and two shipwrecks with 6 coins each. The sea was littered with reefs, and fog only made things even more dangerous. There were all sorts of fun treasures to be found!
(I forgot to put the Merc ships S away from their home island.)
The Tenfold started the game by hoisting some treasure into her cavernous cargo hold, and with a +2 bonus from her linked crew, looked to be perhaps the best Mercenary treasure runner of them all.
However, the Cursed had other plans. Tsuro started off their game with a 6, and the new Mercenary hoist was immediately thrown onto a nearby reef by the Cursed’s powers, though she wasn’t damaged. On Halloween, the Cursed wanted to feast on human flesh rather than candy.
All the fleets spread out, with the MF (Maui’s Fishhook) able to grab a coin with her own hoist crane.
The Tenfold was quickly back with a big load of gold, and her hoist arm meant she was the Mercs’ only hope of winning the game. The Fathom surfaced to dock, and you can just make out the Hare’s Luck at the upper left successfully exploring one of the shipwrecks.
On the second turn, Tsuro continued its devious ways, moving the Tenfold back onto a reef! This time the Tenfold lost a mast, and the Cursed’s strategy was working so far. They knew it would be difficult to catch and dismast the Tenfold just by shooting, so instead they used reefs to bypass her defenses.
However, the Cursed would soon see a change in their luck, as the Maman Brigitte found Enemy of the State and Albatross! The Nightmare turned around to take the Enemy of the State UT so the Brigitte could dock, but the Cursed were off to a typically slow gold running start.
In the meantime, HMS Interceptor found Barrel o’ Monkeys, so the randomly selected UT’s weren’t making things fun so far! This and the rising tension made for a somewhat nasty game.
The French were running into their own problems, with the Pluton losing the maximum 3 masts after she sailed over the reef that held the infamous Duke shipwreck!
The Tenfold now used her hoist arm to grab the treasure from the Fathom. She also had Letter of Marque aboard, which would help her repair if she got into trouble.
Thanks to the Cursed, trouble found her very quickly, as Tsuro rolled yet another 5/6! This time the Tenfold really felt it, as a 1 knocked out both of her remaining masts. The reef was wearing away her defenses, and Zedekiah signalled the Fathom to come to her assistance.
The Cursed ships pair up, with the Nightmare taking Enemy of the State so the Maman Brigitte can dock on the next turn.
Unable to move, the Tenfold again survived, with the Fathom coming into the range of her hoist arm. The Tenfold plucked out the Merc shipwright stationed on the Fathom, and soon her mainmast was repaired. The Hare’s Luck eagerly awaited the Tenfold to do a gold transfer. To the right, the Pluton limps home with some good gold.
Some French canoes are back with gold, but one of them found Wet Gunpowder, and the French don’t want to waste an entire turn “repairing” one canoe. The Interceptor is exploring the Sultan wreck, but Barrel of Monkeys is proving to be frustrating. Things weren’t about to get sunnier.
The Tenfold unloaded both her gold and the gold from the Hare’s Luck as the Fathom dived. However, the Aube sailed around a fog bank and promptly sank the Hare’s Luck! This was the first direct combat of the game, and continued the anti-Mercenary theme (not on purpose!). In the background, two French canoes are exploring the Duke shipwreck.
The Cursed have finally figured things out, while the Interceptor docks home more gold for the English.
At this point, the Mercenaries had a choice to make. They had the durable but offensively weak (especially with just one mast remaining) Tenfold, and the decently armed Fathom, who could use her ability if the Tenfold attacked the Aube first. It would have been easy to send both ships into the safety of the fog.
The Mercs considered the possibility of the Tenfold surviving the counterattack, since this was the main issue. If the Tenfold was sunk, the Mercs would have very little chance of winning the game.
With the Tenfold’s defensive ability, it would take at least three shots from the Aube to sink her. The Mercs deliberated, and then decided to attack! They hoped the combined power of their two ships would take out at least three masts on the Aube.
With a vengeance, the Tenfold slammed into the Aube, and incredibly both the shot and the ram worked! This left the ship ready to be attacked by the Fathom…
… and the Fathom scored a perfect 3/3 without even needing Herr Fuchs’ cannoneer ability! The French flagship laid in tatters, with wreckage strewn around the Merc HI.
A huge moment in the game:
The Interceptor now used her L+L+S speed to surprise the Cursed, shooting two masts off the Nightmare. The Maman Brigitte turned around, seeing how much gold was on a western island and the Sultan wreck right next to it.
The Cursed had another streak of lucky die rolls, going 3/3 with the Nightmare’s double shot and sinking the Interceptor with the Silver Coffin!
The Tenfold repaired a mast, but the angry French were on their way. One of their canoes had found an abandoned captain, and looked to give it to the Pluton, who had almost finished repairing.
Tsuro finally left his post at the Cursed HI, but it wasn’t long before he stopped and resumed messing with opposing ships.
Herr Fuchs knew the Cursed had no counter against the Fathom, and the Fathom unsuccessfully rammed the Nightmare. The Tenfold set a course for the Sultan wreck.
For the first time in the game, a fleet took advantage of the whirlpools. The Nightmare dragged the Silver Coffin through one, emerging close to the Tenfold. It was the best move the Cursed could make, but it failed miserably. The Nightmare and flotilla both lost masts to the whirlpool, and the Silver Coffin’s inaccurate guns couldn’t dent the Tenfold’s armor.
At this point, the Maman Brigitte settled for UT farming, with the Fathom lurking about. Even with Tsuro’s help, the Cursed had trouble duplicating their early-game luck moving opponent’s ships around. With the Nightmare limping about and almost no gold on their home island, they knew they were out of the race.
In a beautiful turn for the Mercenaries, the Tenfold dismasted the Nightmare while simultaneously taking gold off the wreck of the Sultan. The Fathom explored a mysterious island and was looking to get the gold home via the Tenfold. However, the Mercs would still run into more trouble.
The Maui’s Fishhook came out of nowhere to sink the Nightmare and grab gold, similar to what the Tenfold had just done. The Maman Brigitte forced the Tenfold onto the Sultan’s reef, but no damage was done. In the meantime, 3 of the French canoes had finally reached Mercenary waters, and they hoped to block the Fathom and potentially use their chieftain to sink the sub.
With the Tenfold on a reef, the English saw a chance to eliminate a huge gold threat. Percival Blake gave the order, and a thunderous Broadsides Attack ripped through the Tenfold’s defenses and sent her to Davy Jones’ locker!
To complicate matters even more for the Mercs, the Fathom didn’t have an explorer and had to wait an extra turn at her MI, with the French native canoes waiting for her back at her HI, although now with the Tenfold gone she wouldn’t even be able to get the gold home. The French just wanted revenge. The Pluton and remaining two canoes were also making all speed towards the Fathom.
The Cursed knocked the MF onto a reef, where she lost two masts. The French canoes cornered the Fathom, blocked her path, and began blasting her apart.
The Fathom took a canoe with her but couldn’t withstand the French attack. This meant the Mercs were the first fleet out of the game! It looked like more would follow, with not much gold left and a weakened MF looking to go out again for more gold.
The French now turned their Pluton and canoe piranhas on the Cursed, but only hit 2/7 against the Maman Brigitte!
In the meantime, the MF grabbed some Rum, which was now worth 4 gold after she left Blake and Defoe on her home island. However, Owen and the helmsman drank it all by themselves, immobilizing the ship and making her vulnerable to the nearby French.
The French now dominated what was left of the carnage-filled ocean, dismasting the MF.
The game was basically over, but the Cursed had to at least try and wreak some more havoc. Tsuro lost its tail in a whirlpool and was then destroyed by the Pluton, who then towed the MF home to end the game!
The game went down to the wire! The Rum mattered!
French: 25 gold
The French had 21 gold before the Rum boosted their score, so they won by not giving up and making sure they did everything and anything they could to win. The Mercs brought in a lot of gold early with the Tenfold, including 4 extra from Zedekiah’s ability.
The English played a decent game but were predictably hampered by a scarcity of cargo available, as well as some named crew that didn’t really affect the game (Owen and Defoe). The Cursed had good luck with the dice but bad luck with treasure and slow ships. Not only did the Maman Brigitte find Enemy of the State and Albatross on that single island, but the other two treasures were a 3 and a 0!
Overall this was a fun game, and it became brutal as it went on. The Tenfold is fantastic, and quite possibly slightly overpowered especially with her link. However, more playtesting is needed before changing anything. The French native canoes were fun and seemed about right for their cost, and the navigator really helped the French fleet.
Looking forward to more soon!