3 players, 40 points
The fleets went in this order:
USS Atlanta + captain, helmsman, oarsman, fire shot, grapple shot
Speedy Return + helmsman, oarsman
+ captain on home island
La Bonne Chance + captain
Le Bonaparte + helmsman, explorer
Enfant Terrible + explorer
Harbinger + captain
HMS Comet + oarsman
HMS Lucy’s Luck + explorer
I purposely used two new ships I had traded for earlier in the year.
The single wild island featured three beaches with 6 coins apiece.
The Americans set out!
The French aren’t willing to sit around, and immediately begin a conflict! Both of the Speedy Return’s outriggers lay in ruins.
The Americans have something to say about that! The Atlanta turns to starboard and sinks the Bonne Chance with a tremendous broadside!
The Atlanta then turned her wrath on the Pirates, hitting the Harbinger twice at sniping range, including a lucky fire shot hit!
Destruction early in the game:
The Harbinger managed to put out her fire, but the French weren’t done with the Americans just yet, with the Bonaparte shooting a mast off the Speedy Return.
The Atlanta tried to hit the Harbinger at extra-long range once again, but this time both of her equipment backfired! The Atlanta’s own guns had set her aflame.
The Atlanta’s fire spread, a concerning sign. However, she wanted to prevent the English Pirates from getting all the gold they had aboard ships. The Harbinger was dismasted, while the Lucy’s Luck had her only mast rammed off.
The Speedy Return and Enfant Terrible returned home with gold, although the Speedy Return had one of her coins stolen by the Bonaparte during their skirmish at the wild island. The Atlanta captured the Harbinger.
Hoping they could return to the derelict Harbinger, the Americans decided to save their own ship rather than risk her burning to the waterline. Their decision was made easier because the Atlanta had stolen a 7 from the Lucy’s Luck. The Speedy Return headed out to resume the war on France.
The Lucy’s Luck and Atlanta returned home to repair, with the Atlanta barely making it back in time (her fourth mast was consumed by fire). The Speedy Return engaged the Bonaparte to no avail.
HMS Comet had initially run away from the Atlanta with round earth rules in mind, but she turned back to the Harbinger, looking to transfer her oarsman to the Pirate flagship.
The Americans were having a tough time in this middle part of the game, with the Atlanta out of action following her fire mishap. The Speedy Return was outgunned by the Bonaparte, so she fled north to look for gold. The Comet completed her crew transfer while the Lucy’s Luck sailed back out.
A handful of turns later, and the Speedy Return dismasts the Lucy’s Luck with a ram, but only after she had sunk the Enfant Terrible! The Bonaparte approaches for revenge, but the Atlanta is back in the area and ready to fight once more. In the meantime, the Comet and Harbinger returned home with gold for the English Pirates.
The Bonaparte and Lucy’s Luck grabbed some of the last coins, and the Speedy Return and Atlanta headed to intercept the Bonaparte via round earth.
Late game carnage! The Atlanta dismasted the Bonaparte, allowing the Speedy Return to capture the Frenchman and eliminate the French from active play. However, the English Pirates weren’t done, with the Harbinger having repaired a couple masts. She hit twice to sink the Speedy Return after making the round earth trip herself! The Comet approached off the Atlanta’s starboard side.
The Atlanta proved that she was the most dominant ship in these waters, dismasting the Harbinger for the second time and sinking her once and for all. The Comet was outgunned, and the American flagship had the situation under control.
The final confrontation: HMS Lucy’s Luck vs. USS Atlanta! Alas, the Lucy’s Luck couldn’t quite block the American ship, so the captured Bonaparte and her 3 coins were docked safely.
However, all 3 coins were 1’s, which didn’t help the Americans much.
The final gold count:
1. English Pirates: 16 gold
1. French: 16 gold
3. Americans: 15 gold
The final scores were as close as they could possibly be! What a finish to a great game. This game was memorable for something I don’t see all that often – the game was truly played to completion. All coins were unloaded at home islands, all ships were in combat in some way, and all fleets played major roles in the game. You can’t ask for much more in a relatively short game of Pirates! (Normally a short game would have decided the tie, but it didn’t happen; the English Pirates win the tiebreakers of most masts standing and most points in play.)