Straits of Chaos – Adventure Book scenario
Captain Randy, Maddy and I played a scenario from the Adventure Book – Straits of Chaos. We used a 40 point build total and the other default house rules from my trip to Vegas, with the exception that it was flat earth so ships could actually sail off the map properly per the scenario rules.
Randy went first with a Spanish fleet including their native canoes, while Maddy had a mostly Corsair fleet that also included the Longshanks.
My strategy was to use a “mach speed” HMS Swallow to explore the islands as fast as possible with one ship:
HMS Swallow + LE Griffin, captain, helmsman, explorers x2, oarsman
Patagonia + Robinson, Mycron, Bratley
When the coins used for island markers were revealed, it looked like Randy had a huge advantage. He ended up as the only player on the east side, with the first 3-4 islands perfectly lined up for him.
Randy looked like he would use the Algeciras and canoes to explore a ton of the islands all in one turn, but wasn’t anticipating Griffin making my Swallow even faster than normal. I knew my best chance against the double action San Cristobal would be on the first round, and had to pounce. Mycron let the ship move S+L+S+S twice (as fast as the Cristobal!), speeding over to get some cannons in range and hit thrice on the Spanish flagship!
The Spanish counterattack is effective overall, but the Swallow has 2 masts standing, which is a decent amount of firepower with a guaranteed second action available.
The English win the important fight, with the Mermaid taking the San Cristobal under tow. I quickly realized that scuttling captured ships would be a great way to take advantage of the “no sinking” rule, as all ships essentially have their own version of Eternal in Straits of Chaos. Because of this I didn’t bother sinking the Rosario, since doing so would just help Captain Randy. The Swallow explored island #1, but Randy had already explored the first 3 islands. Maddy’s fleet was making all speed towards the initial islands in the east, but was definitely in last place.
Even a weakened Swallow was looking like an absolute menace on these waters, now barren of big threats to oppose her.
It was time to get greedy and dominate. I knew I would have time to explore islands as I went along, so acquiring more ships became the priority in the short term, both to eliminate the Swallow’s opposition (the Queen of Sheba did have a captain aboard) and to expand my fleet for exploring options. My fleet got to work crushing the weak ships in the vicinity, dismasting the QoS, Algeciras and one of the Barbary 1 masters. The San Cristobal and Rosario were scuttled.
Even though I had still only explored one island, the game was now mine to lose as the Swallow continued to dominate the ocean. The captured Queen of Sheba rows towards island #2 to explore it for me, while the scuttled Spanish ships repair at island #1.
The oarsman-free galleys really started to expedite my pace of victory as they could row and explore islands immediately after I captured them. The Whisper and Tunis were added to the ever-growing English fleet. The QoS explored island #2, Rosario explored island #3, and Tunis island #4 as I tied Randy for the lead at 4 islands explored each.
The Swallow sent one of Randy’s canoes back to island #4 by sinking it, delaying his progress. The Swallow explored island #5 and the QoS explored island #6, meaning I just had to get all of my many ships off the map. In the meantime the San Cristobal took care of Maddy’s Longshanks, which despite my fears did not have a captain aboard. My ships scrambled for Ocean’s Edge, with Mycron’s Patagonia likely to be one of the last to go after he assisted other ships in speeding away from the scene.
With the other players unable to explore all the islands, I sailed off the map to victory! This was a fun scenario where HMS Swallow decisively defeated the San Cristobal early on, which proved to be all I needed to dominate the ocean thereafter. I don’t recommend galleys in Straits of Chaos, at least not without oarsmen since they are so easy to row around for extra exploring logistics immediately after being captured.
Question of the Day: Have you played any scenarios from the Adventure Book?