Shots have been fired at last! Most of the action has been focused on two forts, and there was a total of four skirmishes which may develop into larger actions in the near future.
The English Corsairs continued their flawless treasure running, bringing back gold with the same group of ships turn after turn. With the gold, they have bought HMS Titan, HMS Gallows, HMS Apollo (ROTF version), HMS Victoria, HMS Leicester, and the Tower flotilla.
Their western squadron decided to take advantage of the lack of Cursed Pirates protecting the Devil’s Maw fort. With HMS Grand Temple in the lead, the English swept in with great force, sinking the Guinee and severely damaging the fort in one turn with just two ships. The Grand Temple destroyed the Guinee with her long-range guns (since the Guinee would have cancelled the Temple’s captain, Lord Thomas Gunn), and HMS Titan hit four times out of five to leave the Devil’s Maw with just one cannon remaining. The Pirates used it to take out the spanker of the Titan, but the fort will probably fall next turn.
In the east, the S+S range of the Tower’s guns sunk the French treasure runner Le Bon Marin. However, the French had other things to worry about.
After buying the USS Quigley, USS Constitution (OE version), and Enterprise (the latter two powerful 5 masters), the French Americans decided to finally use some of their firepower. The Cursed Pirates had towed both the Doombox and the Death’s Anchor into positions that limited the potential movements of the French fleet (essentially invading their sea-space (?) on the northwest boundary). The Nightmare (DJC version) and El Tejon got a bit too close for comfort, and the French Americans had had enough. La Ville de Paris promptly sunk the Tejon, while Le Superbe sacced an oarsman via Capitaine Arazure to sink the Nightmare.
Meanwhile, the Boston fired on the unprotected Spanish fort El Puerto Blanco, since the Boston can’t be hit by forts. This was the first shoot action of the game. It took a few turns, but the fort has been abandoned and one more hit will destroy it.
Also, the Enterprise is sailing to the French fort St. Pierre to pick up some American crew.
A hairy situation was avoided by L’Amazone when she sprinted home with treasure before the Pirate ship Sea Nymph could catch her.
The Spanish Rebels appear to have given up hope of actually winning the game. They have had one of the worst starts to a game I have ever seen, and the speed at which the English and French were (and still are) expanding crushed their morale . They have let El Puerto Blanco fall while saving up gold on their HI. With this pile of gold, they purchased the Baochuan and a full complement of crew for her, totaling 53 points. It remains to be seen what they will do next . They have just enough power to potentially shift the outcome of the game if they choose to do so.
The Cursed Pirates look like the third-best fleet of the four, with treasure coins only sporadically providing the means necessary to make big purchases. Part of their problem lies with the fact that the wild islands they’ve been going to are a bit further away from their HI than those of the other fleets. Also, they haven’t been able to take advantage of the Devil’s Maw fort, used only as an outpost so far.
However, they’ve made solid use of their other fort, Dead Man’s Point, from which the Sea Nymph and Windjammer have been launched, as well as a bunch of their crew. They recently built the Harbinger, their most powerful ship to date. She is equipped with Captain Barbossa (captain + world-hater) and Calico Cat (SAT). However, the recent skirmishes with the English and French has left them looking less than intimidating.
Tomorrow will see plenty of fighting, and a front-runner may emerge from the chaos.
Only one turn was played today, with the Devil’s Maw and El Puerto Blanco both being destroyed.
After another turn, the English lost both HMS Nautilus and HMS Bolingbroke, but managed to damage the Constitution in the process. They then crewed HMS Swallow with the Gentleman, Sir Christopher Myngs, and Commander Temple, while rebuilding the Tower flotilla.
The Spanish headed west with their entire fleet of five ships, and the Baochuan sunk the French 4 master La Vengeance. They are annoyed that the French destroyed their only fort.
The Cursed Pirates are regrouping and have built the Revenant, who is crewed to the max with Calico Cat (OE), Griffin (OE), a helmsman and an oarsman.