Mind Control – One of My All Time Favorite Fleets!

Mind Control

Originally published to Miniature Trading on August 30th, 2012

This is a fleet designed for controlling your opponent’s ships and messing with their strategies. It is a gimmick fleet that is meant for fun. I don’t recommend using it competitively, and if you vote on it, please don’t judge it by it’s overall effectiveness against tough fleets.

70 points is a bit strange, but if you bump it to 100 with 30 points of treasure runners, it can become more practical. This fleet was used in a game where 0LR +5’s weren’t allowed (just to mix things up for a changeMind Control ).

The Divine Dragon is the flagship, and with Davy Jones, captain, and helmsman, she is decked out to the max (actually, over the max, as I had to add Edmund to make all 17 points of crew fit). In the end, she takes up half of the build total, but I have a soft spot for the Dragon and for Davy Jones. The primary objective of these 35 points is to use 6’s to control the enemy, but the Dragon serves as a solid gunship as well (at least, a solid gunship for the Cursed). Jones rolling 6’s is the best way for this fleet to win, as he can make your opponent shoot at their own ships! Mind Control

The Kentucky is a 17 point rock that serves one purpose: providing a reroll and ship for LeBeaux. His ability is good on a 5 as well as on a 6, so your opponents will be wrenched around by him quite often. You can pull enemy ships into range, throw them onto reefs, make them forever lost in the fog, or create any other hindrances you can think of to ruin your opponents’ gameplan. Alternatively, you can use the USS Annapolis with Wayne Nolan for a total of 12 points, instead of 17. Edit (12/19/14): Now that I’ve acquired the Annapolis I thought I would put her in for the Kentucky, but I like how the Kentucky has a lot more size for only 5 more points. However, the Annapolis has a built-in explorer that makes her viable to use as a runner to help find the UT’s, so she would still be a good fit for this fleet.

The third ship also has a very specific role. The Cyclone will use her enhanced speed and unique Mind Control ability to steal the unique treasures from enemy ships. The UT’s are essential to the success of this fleet. Steal the Eye of Insanity and Nemo’s Charts from the enemy, unless you manage to find them first. You could also use La Monarca with Rollando to save 2 points, but the Cyclone hasn’t seen nearly as much action as the Monarca. In addition, it helps keep the Cursed theme for this fleet which is appropriate for a “mind control” theme. It’s also nice to have the Galley keyword.

The Rover is a UT dump. She will either discover UT’s by exploring islands, or receive them from the Cyclone after she steals them. The shipwright is the ‘sac’ crew for the Eye (you can also use an oarsman). Suddenly, we have a one mast with a makeshift Davy Jones onboard Mind Control . This is just so we can roll more 6’s and mess with our opponents with two All-Powerfuls Mind Control .

Nemo’s Charts is to be found/stolen and then used in combination with the specific mysterious islands I have listed. Try to include as many of those two as you can, so they will be close by no matter where your home island is. Perpetually annoy your opponent by repeatedly docking at the MI’s and rolling 3-6, and then throwing their ships off course and into terrain  . Throw some icebergs into the terrain pile and then watch as their ships are continually slammed into them again and again. He he he…

The Cursed Conch is a very specific UT that will only bear fruit if your opponent brings a sea monster to the game. The Rover is the best ship to sac actions on to use your opponents sea monsters, but again, be prepared to go get it.

Maps of Hades is another chaotic UT that relies on die rolls, but since you probably won’t find it (with no ships really designated to grab gold), your opponent will have yet another obstacle in their path. In a two player game, you will always be the one to give the action, so just hope for more high die rolls Mind Control .

I would have like to have included the UT Lost in this fleet, but your opponent would most likely find it first. However, if you use more than 70 points, you could add a swarm of small ships that could uncover it first, letting you place more terrain for you to toss your opponents’ ships into.

To be effective, this fleet needs almost everything to break right. It is extremely unrealistic to think that all of these things will happen, and this fleet has almost no treasure running capability and a small amount of firepower for 70 points. That said, think about the possibilities of having all of these UT’s available, and good luck with the dice:
If your opponent had Calim (S+S+S speed), you could potentially move it S+S+S+S+S+S+S+S+S+S+S+S+S+S+S+L! You can make your opponent’s best gunships fire on each other! Throw those useless ten masters and krakens onto reefs and laugh as your opponent watches in disbelief as you win the game (potentially) a. without firing a shot, and b. without doing any real gold running.

Edit: Mind Control Mind Control     Mind Control

I was just looking through the Rules thread of the forum and came across discussion centered around Runes of OdinRunes of Magic, and Nemo’s Plans. Once you or your opponent throws down an iceberg, all of your controlling effects can quickly tilt the game dramatically in your favour. With good luck on the die rolls, you could eliminate their entire fleet!     Plus Nemo’s Plans helps not only with the Runes, but also with protecting your other UT’s.

I’ve also added Bad Maps, to help wrench your opponent all around the board, and Maps of Alexandria, to aid in the acquiring of the UT’s.

These new additions make this fleet more interesting, and more powerful. Also, this adds another layer of complexity to the fleet, which intrigues me. You may want to wait as long as possible to reveal the strategy, because if you make your intentions known too soon, your opponent may keep the Runes face down the entire game. Also, this makes it even more practical to add more points to the build to add multiple treasure runners in order to get as many UT’s as possible. I don’t own either of these UT’s, but I will probably proxy them into the next game I play with this fleet.

Especially in the midst of the current Gimmick Challenge, this re-sparks my interest in this fleet idea, and I will continue to search for ways to make it more powerful, and potentially, more practical for competitive use.    

Another edit (1/22/13): I just saw “ziotoo’s Creative Fleet”, and it looks spectacular. That looks like an even more effective (and practical) way to win by controlling the enemy. I look forward to playing that fleet, possibly in tandem with this one. Out of respect for ziotoo’s build, I will not simply copy tactics from that fleet into this one, but that fleet is better than this one (at least in terms of winning). Go check it out!

Another edit (12/19/14): I’ve decided to add Perry in order to add some events. This fleet was originally used in a game without 0LR +5’s; I may edit Perry back out and change it up even more at some point. For convenience, the Annapolis subbing in for the Kentucky is a perfect 5 point swap that lowers the cost to 65.

Edit (1/4/2015): As marhawkman over at BGG pointed out I have two Limit crew in this fleet with Davy Jones and Perry. For now I’m taking Perry out to make the fleet legal again. I’m leaving Foul Winds and the helmsman for now which makes this a 75 point fleet. Even without Perry it can be a 70 point fleet if you use the Annapolis instead of the Kentucky.

Foul Winds is a nasty event that is one of the only guaranteed ways of being able to move enemy ships. Again, like with Maps of Hades you’ll be the one moving their ships in a two player game. With multiplayer it gets more chaotic! I also added a helmsman to the Kentucky so she’s not so slow. When LeBeaux doesn’t succeed she’ll be able to provide some support/escort for my other ships.

I also considered ditching Perry and just making this an 80 point fleet. In this way I’d add Foul Winds, Becalmed, and Cursed Zone and forgo the helmsman on the Kentucky. Becalmed would be used on the first turn to freeze my opponent (another way of controlling them). After putting Cursed Zone near their ships I would be able to use all of my multitude of controlling gimmicks to move their ships into the dreaded Zone and crush them from there! I may make this edit at some point, however for now I like the fleet as a 75 point fleet with a helmsman on the Kentucky. In addition I’m not a big fan of events in general and using three in one fleet (especially Becalmed) is a bit much. Lastly, I still like the thought of combining this fleet with 30 points’ worth of treasure runners to make it more viable as a real fleet and round the points out to 100.

Edit (9/11/2015): I added Runes of Thor to help Davy Jones roll 6’s!

Edit (10/12/2015): As perfect as Foul Winds is for this fleet, I really don’t think events should exist in the first place, so I took it back out.

Section: Ship #1 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofDJC 109 Crew C
1 x Davy Jones PatOE 016 Crew R
1 x Divine Dragon PatOE 001 Ship R
1 x Helmsman PofDJC 121 Crew C
1 x Sir Edmund F&S 082 Crew C
Section: Ship #2 (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x George Washington LeBeaux PofDJC 045B Crew C
1 x USS Kentucky PatOE 087 Ship U
Section: Ship #3 (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Cyclone F&S 064 Ship C
1 x Helmsman PofDJC 121 Crew C
Section: Ship #4 (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Rover PofCC 018 Ship R
1 x Shipwright PofSM PC-SW Crew C
Section: Events (6 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
3 x Mysterious Island #13 PofMI I13 Island C
3 x Mysterious Island #2 PofMI I02 Island C
Section: Unique Treasures (10 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Bad Maps PofSCS 104 Unique Treasure R
1 x Cursed Conch PofDJC 107 Unique Treasure R
1 x Eye of Insanity PofDJC 106 Unique Treasure R
1 x Maps of Alexandria PofBC 101 Unique Treasure R
1 x Maps of Hades PofDJC 103 Unique Treasure R
1 x Nemo’s Charts PofMI 100 Unique Treasure R
1 x Nemo’s Plans PofMI 137 Unique Treasure SR
1 x Runes of Magic PofFN 092 Unique Treasure R
1 x Runes of Odin PofFN 096 Unique Treasure R
1 x Runes of Thor PofFN 095 Unique Treasure R

Here are a few battle reports of games that this fleet was involved in. The other fleets were also ‘gimmick’ fleets.

quote from a7xfanben:
A short description of the four fleets, in the order of gameplay:

1. A fleet based on controlling the opponent. This fleet used crew like Davy Jones and George Washington LeBeaux, as well as UT’s and mysterious islands, to control the enemy ships and mess up opposing strategies.

2. A fleet based on home island raiders. Of the four ships in the fleet with the HI raider ability, all of them had solid firepower, and two had captains, so the fleet looked formidable.

3. A fleet based on recycling crew. The main game pieces in this fleet were Captain Davy Jones (POTC) and Captain Blackheart. The Deliverance, with these two crew onboard (along with Lady Baptiste to reroll Jones’ ability), was supported by ships that are effective crew killers, such as the Asesino de la Nave, the USS Quigley, and El Villalobos. The eliminated crew are supposed to then be recycled by Jones, and then sacced by Blackheart for extra actions that would let the Deliverance dominate the battle.

4. A fleet based on using three sea monsters. The Raninoidea was equipped with OE Calico Cat and OE Griffin, and she was towing the Pirate flotilla Doombox. Also in the build were the Seleucis, who would use her unique ability to essentially give the Leviathan the move-and-shoot.

The game got underway, and the Raninoidea and Seleucis were quickly killed, leaving the (mostly) Pirate sea monster fleet in bad shape.

The HI raiders didn’t actually get to raid any home islands, as they were preoccupied fighting Raninoidea, and then repairing from that fight. Also, the Doombox was left behind close to the fleet’s island, so the flotilla kept harassing the HI raiders as their runners brought home a good amount of gold.

The crew-recycling fleet struggled mightily to get into action, as there was an obstacle course of terrain around their HI (two of them created by the UT Lost). When they finally started shooting (desperately trying to feed their big gunship), they killed some crew, but weren’t able to get the 6’s required to link them to Davy Jones. Their strategy failed miserably, but they were able to keep themselves out of last place with their treasure runners, the Alquimista and Joya del Sol.

The ‘mind control’ fleet had solid luck with the dice, and they were able to create chaos around the sea with LeBeaux, good MI rolls that were aided by Nemo’s Charts, and essentially two of OE Davy Jones. The first one was the real one onboard the Divine Dragon, and the second (temporary) one came from the Eye of Insanity UT, which lets the owner of the ship it is on choose any Cursed crew in play and substitute their ability in for a crew aboard the ship that the Eye is on. In this way, this fleet had four abilities that let them control their opponents, which would prove to be somewhat valuable.

In the end, one ship proved her worth: HMS Lady Provost. She made a daring raid on the HI of the crew-killer fleet, taking a 7 and a 2 on consecutive turns. She was not actually part of the HI raiding fleet, but a regular treasure runner in the ‘mind control’ fleet. In the end, that fleet tied with the HI raider fleet for first with 15 gold each. Coming in third was the crew-killer fleet, with 5 gold (therefore, they still would not have won if the Provost didn’t take their gold; in that case, the HI raiders would have had sole possession of first place). Bringing up the rear was the sea monster fleet, with 0 gold. They will have another chance tomorrow, however, as I am going to play at least one more game with these fleets.

The setup for the next 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.

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).

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).

So there you have it! Four victories in five games! Not bad, especially for a multiplayer game.

Edit (11/24/2020): The fleet participated in a 3 player game on VASSAL!

To conclude:

Again, this is a fun fleet, not a competitive one. The fleet is based around one principle (controlling the enemy), and many things have to go right for it to be effective. However, it is my personal favourite ‘fun-only’ fleet, and it can be very satisfying. It is one of those fleets that you’ll have fun with no matter how badly it performs, since you’ll be coming into the game with low expectations for it (at least, they should be low expectations), and therefore, you won’t be disappointed.

Please comment! I realize this fleet may not win many more games… but it’s proving to be pretty effective at 5-1 now.  I’d love to hear about more ways to control the enemy.

Mind Control Fleet Wizkids Pirates CSG

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

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