Just played a game with Repkosai using Cadet-Captain Mike’s random setup tables! Repkosai made the rolls to avoid my bad luck giving us a more boring setup. He rolled a 5-4-6, which gave us: “Free ships totalling 8 masts; One generic crew on each ship, plus two generic crew & one named crew (all free)”.
With that, it was clear that you could afford many of the lesser used small ships with high point costs.
Repkosai went first with an American fleet:
Enterprise + Commodore David Porter, cargo master, helmsman
USS Kettering + captain, helmsman
I went with one of the strangest fleets I’ve ever constructed, and possibly one of the oddest fleets of all time:
Barnacle + helmsman
Loki + helmsman
HMS Swiftsure + captain, stinkpot specialist
Seven Brothers + helmsman
Sea Storm + captain, helmsman
Dharma + Bonny Peel, helmsman
Kalaallit + captain
Le Jongleur + helmsman
Round earth rules. I made sure to include various UT’s, including some wacky and potentially game-changing ones!
The Americans head northwest, while the mixed fleet immediately scatters. My strategy was to raid the American HI with the Loki and Jongleur after the Enterprise docked home. The Sea Storm was a suicidal pest, while the Dharma and Swiftsure were more tactical gunships (especially the Dharma, with Bonny Peel potentially being a nice surprise between the named crew in the opposing fleet and the Longship’s +1 boarding bonus). The KL was a hybrid, but ran gold at the start. The Seven Brothers and Barnacle were the most direct gold runners, and I wanted the Barnacle to find at least one of the UT’s I dumped in…
In an annoying circumstance for both sides, the Enterprise picked up Enemy of the State! Not only could the Americans not unload her gold, but the mixed fleet couldn’t steal it via HI raiding! At the extreme south and east of the sea, the Dharma and Loki look to round earth and surprise the Americans. The Swiftsure and Sea Storm watch the Kettering, almost as eager to stay out of range as they are to pounce.
In the south, the KL finds Ammunition and Driftwood. In the north, the Barnacle finds a UT and some good gold, along with the Dead Man’s Chest UT. The DMC was included since the unique setup rules allowed me various free generic crew. I purposely included only 1’s for regular coins, in order to maximize my personal benefit if the DMC was used properly. With 3 of the islands explored and only one left, the Swiftsure knows what she must do….
With the Enterprise unable to dock, the Americans headed northeast to try and eliminate the Dead Man’s Chest UT from the Barnacle. I made a comment about blowing the game up, but little did the Americans know, I meant it literally! In what looked like a bizarre and suicidal move, the gold-laden Barnacle rammed the huge and powerful Enterprise! The other UT the Barnacle had found was… Explosives! I rolled a lucky 6 and both the Barnacle and Enterprise were blown up!! Luckily the Enterprise had found some Driftwood of her own (separate from that on the KL), which saved Porter, who grabbed onto a log just in time for the explosion to simply throw him to a nearby wild island.
However, this was just the beginning of my nefarious plans, as the Seven Brothers finally explored her island to find another crazy UT: PLAGUE! The Swiftsure had the fastest base move in my fleet, and immediately zoomed up to the SB and grabbed the Plague. This eliminated the Swiftsure’s captain and stinkpot specialist, but the Plague was more valuable in deterring the Kettering from interfering with the endgame, which was approaching quite rapidly. As for my other ships, the KL is headed home with gold, the Jongleur looks to grab some gold from the SB so she’s not trucking it home at just S speed, the Dharma is unable to attempt crew captures from the Kettering due to bad fog rolls, the Sea Storm heads north again to provide bait for the Kettering, and with no gold on the American HI available for stealing, the Loki looks to pick up a coin left over from the KL’s haul.
The Kettering loaded Porter aboard, and the Sea Storm let herself sink so the Swiftsure could ram the Kettering and unload the Plague to kill all the American crew. (the Kettering wouldn’t have caught the KL in time anyway, who was busy unloading gold from the Mercenary ship Jongleur) The Dharma eventually got in on the action against the Kettering, but soon it was evident that the mixed fleet had prevailed. In a very strange setup, the mixed fleet had won 13-0.
This is a great example of what happens in Pirates – just as Gore Verbinski said, “everything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Not a single strategy in either fleet worked properly. The Enterprise wasn’t able to run gold or fight, and was simply blown up without firing a shot. The Kettering managed to do some damage late in the game, but to no avail. My fleet wasn’t able to steal gold from the American HI, capture crew with Bonny Peel, or use many of the ships as intended.
It was a fun game, though lopsided as I tried to exploit the setup rules as much as possible, going with the maximum number of ships and generic crew. I believe my fleet totalled 126 points against just 53 for Repkosai, which is one of the only flaws of the random setup tables. However, we both enjoyed the game and hope to use the tables again in the future!