The EA Runners fleet went first in both games. The Joya del Sol got the EA from Castro and was able to explore a nearby wild island, finding 6 gold and Turtles.
The Hai Peng was Hidden Cove’d to a wild island where she found Homing Beacon, Cross of Coronado, and Screu Engine along with just one 2-gold coin. After trading this to the Intrepide she sacced to the next island and found the 7, sending it home and using the +2’d first coin to build Paradis de la Mer (I feel like this fleet makes a verb out of everything). This left 9 total gold on UPS’s HI (7 + 2).
On the second turn the EA fleet failed to get any extra actions and was relegated to sailing to and from islands at S+S+S, quite slow in a game like this haha.
Since the Hai Peng knew there was no point in going back to the first island with only UT’s, she redocked twice at Paradis on the second turn, sending home 4 gold total. This was upped to 8 via Aristide and it gave the Pirates a 17-0 victory!
At the end of the first turn the Hai Peng had loaded Homing Beacon, which UPS considered using because the first island was mostly a dud and they couldn’t send coins home from it. The Hai Peng would load two coins from the second island (Paradis), teleport home via the Beacon, then sac an oarsman to catapult to a new island that the Star of Siam had just docked at but not explored. However, it was easier to just use Captain Jack Sparrow and send home two coins from Paradis, upon which Aristide doubled their values and gave UPS enough gold to win. Also, although it was a shutout for UPS, the EA fleet had 6 gold on the Joya and all 10 Turtles approaching their HI.
The Joya del Sol got an EA from Castro on the first turn and found 17 gold on one island! She found the 7 and 6 that her fleet had contributed as well as two 2’s.
The Hai Peng traded back 2 gold as normal, but due to the island setup she wasn’t able to reach a second island. Their HI was the middle island and the Joya’s island and the EA fleet’s HI were the only islands she could have gotten to.
The island setup proved irrelevant on the second turn when the Joya got another EA and docked home her 17 gold to win the game for the EA Runners!
This third game was the fastest of the three and proved that even UPS v. 2.0 can be beat by a ship using extra actions that happened to get very lucky with the gold. It also made me think of the “more than half the starting gold” rule for two player games, which really does make things a bit boring and predictable. These games are meant to use the official rules (which actually help these particular fleets, especially UPS), but it would be interesting to see what would happen if the treasure was more random and it was kept face down on home islands.
Conclusion: UPS v. 2.0 beats EA Gold Runners 2 games to 1. The third game was a bit of a fluke because the Joya found 17 gold on one island and the UPS HI was in a bad spot. I would say that this version of UPS is better than the original fleet because of Jimmy Legs. The Longshanks didn’t really do a lot anyway and this Hai Peng is so fast and active it’s kind of scary.