English and French – Final 2 games at 40 points – January 6th, 2014

English vs. French at 40 Points

The next two games of this 40 point series have been played between the English and French. For the second game, the French got off to their exploratory ways right from the start. The Lord Cauldwell missed hitting the Triton, but the Algiers quickly made up for it by shooting and ramming the Triton to dismast her. The Baionnette tried to retaliate by damaging the Lord Cauldwell (the Algiers was not in range), but she needed both of her cannons to hit due to the defensive ability of the Lord Cauldwell. Considering that one of the Baionnette’s two cannons is a 4S, she is not the best match to attack the English blockade runner, and this time saw her miss as well. On the next turn, the two English gunships teamed up to dismast the Baionnette.

The Belle Poule docked home just 4 gold at the French HI, while the Lord Cauldwell finished off the Baionnette. The Algiers began towing the Triton, and sprinted 4S away from the Belle with help from an extra action and helmsman. Just before the Algiers got home, the Patagonia docked home 10 gold for the English, having gotten lucky in finding the highest value treasure coins. The Algiers brought home the Triton (and the gold aboard her) to give the English a 17-4 win!

For the third game, the English finally got to go first. The French chose the middle island to be their HI, since the French had not fared well while they occupied the same territory. The Patagonia headed in the opposite direction of the French fleet towards a wild island. The Lord Cauldwell headed west, with the Algiers sailing east. The English were looking to cut the French off regardless of which way they went, but made the age-old mistake of dividing their forces English and French .

The French sailed west, with the Triton shooting away one of the Lord Cauldwell’s masts (finally!). With both French gunships sailing with the Belle Poule, you’d think that she would be protected with such an escort. Fortunately for the English, their luck with the dice would soon overcome their early mistake.

The Algiers rolled an extra action, reversed direction, and sailed right into the battle, taking out a mast on the Baionnette and the lone mast of the Belle Poule. Getting revenge on the Triton, the Lord Cauldwell took out a mast on the Triton. Now we had a good old-fashioned shootout!

The Triton missed with her cannons on the next turn, but her captain saw the golden opportunity to ram the final mast off the Lord Cauldwell. Alas, she rolled a 1, with the Cauldwell taking out her second mast on the next turn. Continuing the one-sided dice luck, the Baionnette missed the Algiers with a firepot. Another extra action for the Algiers let her sink the Belle Poule and dismast the Baionnette, leaving the French with just one mast remaining. The Triton sailed away from the Cauldwell and shot away the only mast the Patagonia possesses. The Cauldwell then missed the Triton, but the Algiers was able to finish her off, ending the game with all French ships either derelict or sunk!

Neither nation had brought home any gold, but since the Patagonia still had 6 gold in her cargo hold and the English had more points and masts afloat, they were declared the winner!

Now that the English have defeated the French both times, I will move on to the 60 point variation. However, since the additions used in these two fleets are the only ones I have for the French and English, the fleets will now ally with other ships that I haven’t used yet! The French have added the Santa Lucia (SCS version, same ability as the Lord Cauldwell) and equipped her with a captain, and they’ve also added the Tunis, a Barbary one master that has a built-in explorer (almost the same ship as the Belle Poule). The English have added the Locker, the LE Cursed submarine from MI, and crewed her with a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist.

HMS Grand Temple v 4.0

HMS Grand Temple v 4.0

Originally published to Miniature Trading on December 16th, 2014

This is the last one, at least for now!

Previous fleets with the Grand Temple:
First
Second
Third

This fleet is generally designed for combat only. With the right UT’s it can still be successful in a regular game. However, this can be considered a deathmatch fleet.

For this fourth GT fleet, I wanted to hook up a flotilla to the GT to make her even more dangerous!  This means that the helmsman will have to go, leaving the GT with S+S base move and S+S+S+S when she gets a second action, still pretty quick especially for such a large ship.

Blackheart comes aboard along with 3 oarsmen to sac. Unfortunately this leaves no room for other crew to give the GT the world-hater ability, but the firepower and range of the flotilla should make up for this. The GT’s small cargo hold means that she can only have 3 oarsmen but it’s better than the 2 that version 3.0 has.

I used the Gibraltar rather than the Tower for two reasons. The more important reason was point cost. If I used the Tower the total cost of the GT combo would come to 32 points, but I knew I was going to spend at least 14 points on a gunship (Bolingbroke or Nautilus). If you were to use the Tower you’d have to dump the helmsman on the Nautilus.

The second reason was that the Tower is probably a worse flotilla because you’re paying more to get that crew-killing ability, but with worse cannon ranks it’s still a worse deal. I always want the lowest cannon ranks possible no matter what. In addition, with potentially up to 16 shots PER TURN between the GT and flotilla, I don’t really care if I can eliminate a crew or not. This monster is designed to SINK and DISMAST everything! With so many masts falling I don’t think eliminating crew will help much, not to mention that their crew are gone anyway if I can sink their ships.

The Nautilus is the second ship and a lesser version of the previously-used HMS Oxford (too expensive for this fleet). Bratley lets the standard captain and helmsman come aboard because she’ll need to move S+L+S in order to keep up with the GT and catch enemy ships.

The UT’s are there for when this fleet is used in a regular game rather than a deathmatch.

Thanks for reading; comment and vote!

Section: Ship #1 (6 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain Blackheart PofSMU 030 Crew R
1 x Gibraltar RotF 015 Ship R
1 x HMS Grand Temple PatOE 044 Ship R
3 x Oarsman PofSMU 118 Crew C
Section: Ship #2 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Administrator Scott Bratley PofCC 046B Crew C
1 x Captain PofSMU 103 Crew U
1 x HMS Nautilus PofR 028 Ship C
1 x Helmsman PofSMU 110 Crew C
Section: Unique Treasures (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Monkey’s Paw PofDJC 101 Unique Treasure R
1 x Natives PofR 106 Unique Treasure R
1 x Runes of Death PofFN 125 Unique Treasure SR
1 x Scurvy PofCC 092 Unique Treasure R
1 x Wolves PofBC 103 Unique Treasure R

 

HMS Grand Temple v 4.0

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

HMS Grand Temple v 3.0

HMS Grand Temple v 3.0

Originally published to Miniature Trading on December 16th, 2014

This is yet another fleet with HMS Grand Temple after the first one and this one.

This fleet is generally designed for combat only. With the right UT’s it can still be successful in a regular game. However, this can be considered a deathmatch fleet.

Here I wanted to see what possibilities there were to put a sac crew on the GT. The English only have Mercer, but he takes up a valuable cargo space with just one ability. The GT only has 3 spaces so she’s not exactly the ideal gunship to use a sac crew with. Captain Blackheart is too typical and makes it hard to get the world hater ability. However, The Headhunter is perfect. He gives the GT world-hating and the necessary sac ability.

HGold comes aboard to give the GT the standard captain and helmsman, leaving one cargo space open. Two oarsmen come aboard for the Headhunter to eat. The ideal sac gunship generally has at least 3 sac crew but with the GT we have a lack of sufficient cargo space. However, this setup is still very dangerous, fast, and effective. Instead of relying on the SAT/EA rolls we have two guaranteed double actions whenever we want to use them.

In this setup the GT comes in at 28 total points, slightly less than the other two fleets. I’ve added the powerful Oxford as the second gunship. She’s similar to the London but slightly faster, plus we can afford a 12 point ship here unlike the first GT fleet. I also considered the HMS BolingbrokeHMS Hyena and HMS Nautilus. I went with the Oxford for the extra firepower and because I realized I could afford to go higher than 10 points.

Bratley comes aboard in order to get the captain and helmsman on the Oxford. I would’ve loved to put some kind of shot equipment on the Oxford or use Divers as in the second GT fleet, but with S+L speed the Oxford would actually be going considerably slower than the GT and therefore not as able to support her as well. The helmsman gives her a nice boost that should keep the ships relatively even unless the GT sacs both oarsmen on back-to-back turns.

All in all, you have two very fast and effective gunships, one of which has sac capabilities. The UT’s were again added to make this fleet viable against standard fleets with treasure runners. In that sort of game it would be ideal for the GT to use her 6S speed to slam the enemy gold runners on the first or second turn. Even if an opposing gunship gets to the GT she has 6 masts, more than most gunships. Even if she sinks, the Oxford has a good chance of cleaning up the scraps and finishing the game.

Thanks for reading; comment and vote!

Section: Ship #1 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x HMS Grand Temple PatOE 044 Ship R
1 x Hermione Gold RotF 059 Crew C
2 x Oarsman PofSMU 118 Crew C
1 x The Headhunter PofSCS 041 Crew R
Section: Ship #2 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Administrator Scott Bratley PofCC 046B Crew C
1 x Captain PofSMU 103 Crew U
1 x HMS Oxford PofR 026 Ship U
1 x Helmsman PofSMU 110 Crew C
Section: Unique Treasures (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Missionary PofR 109 Unique Treasure R
1 x Natives PofR 106 Unique Treasure R
1 x Runes of Death PofFN 125 Unique Treasure SR
1 x Scurvy PofCC 092 Unique Treasure R
1 x Wolves PofBC 103 Unique Treasure R

 

HMS Grand Temple v 3.0

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

HMS Grand Temple v 2.0

HMS Grand Temple v 2.0

Originally published to Miniature Trading on December 16th, 2014

This is another fleet centered on HMS Grand Temple after the first one.

This fleet is generally designed for combat only. With the right UT’s it can still be successful in a regular game. However, this can be considered a deathmatch fleet.

This one was built to somehow get a canceller on board while still preserving the extreme speed and effectiveness of the GT’s cannons. In order to do this I had to take some “shortcuts” if you will, using Gold to combine the captain and helmsman to save a cargo space and using a discount crew like Crimson Angel (she should cost 7 points) to get the SAT and world-hater abilities. Owen links to Gold and provides a reroll for the SAT while Lawrence is the canceller.

The Rye is the second ship, with another cancel ability. Her fast speed makes her an ideal ship to pair up with the GT. She is extremely vulnerable to ramming, but hopefully she’ll be able to potentially hide behind the GT and cancel enemy captains and/or defensive abilities. I thought about putting an oarsman or shot equipment on the Rye but she’s already a galley and her cannon is only 5S. Instead the last point went to Divers for when this fleet is played in a standard game.

Not many 40 point fleets have two cancellers, let alone a ship as packed and dangerous as the GT. She’ll often be able to move 6S and shoot 12 times, with 8 of those shots hitting on everything but 1. This fleet is better in deathmatches, but it can also go up against a standard fleet quite well because the UT’s are just so devastating and the GT is so fast (plus two cancellers can’t hurt!).

The UT’s are predictable but incredibly effective when playing a standard game with gold.

Thanks for reading; comment and vote!

Edit (12/21/14): This fleet is now 1-2, read the original battle report here.

Section: Ship #1 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Commodore Rhys Gryffyn Owen PofBC 058 Crew C
1 x Crimson Angel PatOE 039 Crew R
1 x HMS Grand Temple PatOE 044 Ship R
1 x Hermione Gold RotF 059 Crew C
1 x Lawrence PofBC 056 Crew R
Section: Ship #2 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x HMS Rye PofSCS 206 Ship PR
Section: Events (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Divers PofR 020B Event C
Section: Unique Treasures (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Missionary PofR 109 Unique Treasure R
1 x Natives PofR 106 Unique Treasure R
1 x Runes of Death PofFN 125 Unique Treasure SR
1 x Scurvy PofCC 092 Unique Treasure R
1 x Wolves PofBC 103 Unique Treasure R

 

HMS Grand Temple v 2.0

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

Barbary Corsair Madness

Barbary Corsair Madness

Originally published to Miniature Trading on November 15th, 2014

I’ve managed to acquire a bunch of Barbary Corsair ships recently, and now I have all but the Jackal’s Teeth. I have been making some 100 point fleets for each faction other than the Mercenaries (since they didn’t get any new stuff as of yet). The rules I made for myself was to limit each faction so that only NEW ships and named crew would be used.

The Corsairs were the first faction since I decided to go in semi-opposite order to change things up. My usual hierarchy of factions (based on history and my collection) is: 1. English 2. French 3. Spanish 4. Pirates 5. Americans 6. Cursed 7. Barbary Corsairs 8. Jade Rebellion 9. Vikings 10. Mercenaries. I purposely avoided using the best game pieces that each faction received, since I know I’ll use them eventually. Also, 100 points is an ideal total to try out things you’ve never used before and to try to take advantage of some of the pricier and more gimmicky combos out there! 

The Fire Djinn was the first ship selected. She is the perfect ship for Barbarossa because of her S-boarding capabilities. Add a helmsman and you’ve got 25 points, a quarter of your fleet. She’ll sail (and row) around at S+S+S shooting, boarding, and stealing enemy crew. Her guns aren’t the best, but the fact that there are four of them partially makes up for the lack of quality.

The Crescent Moon is the perfect ship with which to steal gold. With her large cargo hold and fast base move, she is the most ideal 4 masted galley the Corsairs have to run treasure with. However, when you play as one of the lesser factions, you have to think outside the box. The Crescent Moon has John Ward and a helmsman, which will help her RAM and BOARD enemy ships as much as possible. With S+L+S speed, she’ll hunt down enemy gold runners. Her size and built-in reroll will win her most boarding parties against smaller treasure runners.

Ward is a crew you don’t see often, but he is perfect for sneaking an extra treasure aboard the Crescent Moon. In an ideal situation, the Moon will take two coins from an enemy treasure, and then sail off to loot one more coin from another ship, in which case she doesn’t need to win the boarding party because of Ward’s ability.

The Splendor is another fun ship (the Corsairs are awesome if you didn’t already know!). Similar in nature but faster than the Cursed Blade, she will be stealing gold from enemy runners just like the Crescent Moon. Her smaller size and lower speed make having a captain a big bonus, and therefore Wesley is perfect for the ship. The Splendor can shoot at an enemy runner to soften her up, and then ram, board and steal. Between the +1 to boarding rolls and the Splendor’s ability, she’ll sail away with two treasures.

The Gallows is the cheapest support gunship the Corsairs have with multiple rank-2 guns, and here she is equipped with a captain to bring the fight to the enemy. With so many points on the ocean, she’ll have much to attack. The Gallows can assist the three boarding ships or slow down enemy gunships.

The Majestic carries a very costly ability that is best used in larger games. With three captains and eight overall ships, she is an interesting addition to this fleet. Again, this fleet is meant to combine gimmicky/fun aspects of the game while still remaining competitive. The Majestic’s speed will allow her to assist multiple ships at different times throughout the game, and hopefully multiple ships on the same turn. The Fire Djinn, Splendor, and Gallows will love having her around to assist them. If at all possible, at least two of those three ships may try to stick together with the Majestic at the beginning of the game to devastate the opponent. Also, the more ships there are around the Majestic, the more protected she is. With just one mast, she needs to be careful about letting an opponent ram her into oblivion.

With 16 points left in the fleet, I thought about adding one more ship with some crew. However, I decided to go with 3 uncrewed ships instead, as the points worked out perfectly. The Marrakesh, Whisper, and Dervish will all run gold. The Marrakesh has decent durability with her 3 masts, the Whisper sails out at S+L+S, grabs two coins, and comes back at S+L, and the Dervish is the cheapest Corsair ship.

I had a lot of fun making this fleet! I hope to someday try it out against the other 100 point fleets I made for the other factions. In the meantime, comment and vote! 

Section: Ship #1 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Aruj Barbarossa PofBC 039 Crew R
1 x Fire Djinn PofBC 007 Ship R
1 x Helmsman PofBC 118 Crew C
Section: Ship #2 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Crescent Moon PofBC 005 Ship R
1 x Helmsman PofBC 118 Crew C
1 x John Ward PofBC 046 Crew C
Section: Ship #3 (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Splendor PofBC 016 Ship C
1 x Wesley PofBC 040 Crew R
Section: Ship #4 (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofBC 116 Crew C
1 x Gallows PofBC 023 Ship C
Section: Ship #5 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Majestic PofBC 035 Ship R
Section: Ship #6 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Marrakesh PofBC 017 Ship C
Section: Ship #7 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Whisper PofBC 034 Ship R
Section: Ship #8 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Dervish PofBC 029 Ship C

 

Barbary Corsair madness

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

USS Kettering – Deadly Weapon

USS Kettering – Deadly Weapon

Originally published to Miniature Trading on November 11th, 2014

Just a quick fleet I thought up now that I have USS Kettering. This is a 40 point fleet that is meant to be played in a deathmatch. You can find my video explanation here:

The Kettering has a built in canceller, a world-hater to boost her cannons to 2L (which shoot twice each for 6 total shots), and the standard captain. She’s towing the Minuteman to give her even more firepower. With the flotilla this combination gives you 10 total shots, all of which have at least L range, and some of which have S+S or L+L range.

The Algeciras is the perfect support gunship, and here she has a captain as well as a flotilla of her own, the Armada. The Armada is a cargo-wrecking beast with S+S range. This 15 point
combo gives you 6 more shots with the possibility to take out multiple crew and/or equipment in one turn. I put the oarsman on the Algeciras because there’s no room for equipment on either ship and because it’s more likely the Algeciras will get dismasted. If she can still move for an extra turn or two the Armada isn’t totally immobile.

Since both ships move at S+L they can stick together and support each other. The Kettering’s canceler is the only measure of defence, but it’s still valuable. The guns are numerous (up to 16 shots per turn) and effective.

Thanks for reading; comment and vote!

Edit (12/21/14): This fleet is now 2-1. The original battle report can be found here.

Edit: After losing in the first round of VASSAL Tournament #2, this fleet’s record is now 3-3.

Section: Ship #1 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Brent Rice PofBC 098 Crew C
1 x Captain PofR 132 Crew C
1 x Commodore Matthew Perry PofSCS 096 Crew R
1 x Minuteman RotF 016 Ship R
1 x USS Kettering PofFN 200 Ship LE
Section: Ship #2 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Armada F&S 018 Ship R
1 x El Algeciras PatOE 067 Ship U
1 x Luis Zuan RotF 022 Crew R
1 x Oarsman PofSMU 117 Crew C

 

USS Kettering - Deadly Weapon

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

Miniature Englishmen 2.0

Miniature Englishmen 2.0

Originally published to Miniature Trading on October 27th, 2014

When I made my Miniature Englishmen fleet, I found so many different ships that I wanted to use that I was inspired to make another one! 

The flagship for this fleet is HMS Regent, a one-masted longship from the Frozen North. I also considered HMS Bartlesville, but decided to go with the extra speed and better ability.

The Regent will sail up close to enemy ships and hit them with her doubled 2L cannon. Between her ability and enhanced S+S+S speed, she should function reasonably well as a gunship. However, she is very dependent on her ability to protect her. If an enemy rams and boards the Regent, this fleet will be in bad shape.  However, these fleets were “small fry” (thanks lord_denton!) theme fleets and not meant to be super-competitive. Also, this fleet isn’t as good as the first version. With that said, the Regent could chase down enemy treasure runners since she’s fast, so maybe it would be better if she didn’t engage any enemy gunships.

The Comet is the second gunship, though she’s more of a hybrid. She needs a helmsman to boost her speed to L+S, but since it would be a shame to waste her 2L guns, Hermione Gold comes aboard to combine the captain ability with the helmsman ability. Her built-in explorer ability makes her a hybrid, although she only has one cargo space. She can pick and choose which island to explore, aiming to get the highest value coin possible. Other than that, she’ll mostly function as a gunship, backing up the Regent if she needs help and/or escorting the treasure runners.

The treasure runners were much harder to decide on. I wanted to use the Patagonia since she’s cheap and has plenty of cargo space. With a helmsman she moves S+S with room for two coins. She also carries Bratley, who normally would go on the Regent, but she didn’t have space. He can’t go on the Comet either, since I want to make use of her explorer ability. The Patagonia’s job is to hit the nearest island or two and avoid combat.

The second runner was much harder to choose. I originally wanted to go with HMS Swiftsure because of her speed and L-immunity, which would fit well with the ability of the Regent. However, I only had 15 points when you consider Bratley, and this would run it up to 46 points. Alternatively, you could swap the Bartlesville in for the Regent to save a point and use the Swiftsure.

I also considered the HMS TrepasseyHMS StarbuckHMS Discovery, and the Honu Iki. They are all one masted sloops and therefore quite fragile, just like the Patagonia.

In the end, I decided to go with a classic, HMS Rye. I wasn’t aware of her until sometime in 2013, and she immediately went on my want list. I have acquired her and now she is a staple. The Rye combines a built-in canceller with blazing S+S+S speed, so although she has no explorer and only 2 cargo spaces, she can zip out and back without being harmed by an opponent’s gunship with a captain. The problem becomes when your opponent rams her or comes with 2 gunships. She also functions well as an escort for a large gunship in higher point games.

The UT’s are designed to help the Comet find a high-value coin (which becomes more likely since the UT’s drive up the average value of a coin you put into the treasure mix). Forged Papers may help the Rye and Patagonia explore islands further away from your HI, and if the Rye finds Homemade Flag, she becomes just about invincible against enemy shoot actions.

So there you have it! This fleet is very fragile and not as competitive as the first “Miniature Englishmen” fleet. It’s more for fun and could be very frustrating if your opponent can’t deal with the Regent’s S-immunity and the Rye’s canceller.

Thanks for reading; comment and vote!

Section: Ship #1 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofSMU 103 Crew U
1 x HMS Regent PofFN 213 Ship LE
1 x Helmsman PofSMU 110 Crew C
Section: Ship #2 (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x HMS Comet DPotC 043 Ship C
1 x Hermione Gold RotF 059 Crew C
Section: Ship #3 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x HMS Rye PofSCS 206 Ship PR
Section: Ship #4 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Administrator Scott Bratley PofCC 046B Crew C
1 x HMS Patagonia PofSCS 207 Ship PR
1 x Helmsman PofSMU 110 Crew C
Section: Unique Treasures (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Forged Papers PofSMU 099 Unique Treasure R
1 x Homemade Flag PofSMU 100 Unique Treasure R
1 x Maps of Alexandria PofBC 101 Unique Treasure R
1 x Marksman’s Map PofSMU 098 Unique Treasure R
1 x Pirate Globe DPotC 070B Unique Treasure R
Section: Forts (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Fort Brompton PofCC 047 Fort C
1 x Ramsgate PofR 038 Fort C

 

Miniature Englishmen 2.0

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

Miniature Englishmen

Miniature Englishmen

Originally published to Miniature Trading on October 27th, 2014

With all of the big bad ships that comprise the English faction, their smaller ships don’t get as much attention as they deserve. I randomly thought of the idea for this fleet, and I immediately had a few ideas. All of the ships in this fleet have 1 or 2 masts, and I was tempted to make the fleet bigger since there are so many different options one could choose.

The Bilge is essentially the flagship.  Chances are the last time you saw the Bilge, she was sitting at a home island being used by Lord Mycron to give a huge gunship two actions per turn.  However, don’t disrespect the Bilge because of her past, for she is one of the best one masters in the entire game, let alone in the English faction.

Here the Bilge is the flagship for this fleet of little ships. She is equipped as well as a one master can be, with a base move of L+S and a captain to allow her to move-and-shoot with her 2L cannon. She can survive 3 hits before becoming derelict, and as long as one of her shell panels remains, she can’t be boarded. This protects her valuable crew, among them the 0LR +5 Bratley.

Since the Bilge has a fast base move (especially for the English), she is the ideal ship to tow a flotilla, and here she has the Gibraltar in tow to increase her firepower to effectively that of a five master, with extra range to boot! Between the gun ranks and ranges, this little combo will be quite nasty indeed.

Backing up the Bilge is the Cumberland, one of the four fantastic English 2 masters from the Crimson Coast. She carries a captain and helmsman, giving you two accurate guns moving at L+S for 10 points, with room for two treasures if the opportunity presents itself.

For treasure, I decided to pack in 3 ships for 19 points, with HMS Snipe being the most expensive. I’m not a fan of her ability and I have not used a ship with that ability in a real game yet. She is certainly a gamble, but even without the bonus +L she moves at S+S speed, which isn’t as slow as plenty of other ships with that ability. Theoretically, she’ll be moving S+S+L 50% of the time, which should make up for her lack of cargo space and not having an explorer. I would not normally use a ship like the Snipe, but I wanted to make this fleet a bit different and take a risk.

The Antelope and the Sea Tiger are empty, fast, and cheap treasure runners. They move at S+L and S+S+S, giving all three runners different speeds. This is interesting since they’ll be going out at different rates, which might impact which islands they hit. Although all three runners are fragile, they can carry 6 coins total and move at reasonable speeds. Also, most 40 point fleets don’t have more than 2 runners, let alone 5 ships total.

I don’t really like Natives, but they are nasty and none of the runners have any crew aboard.

Hope you like the fleet! I think it would be reasonably competitive; obviously any large fast gunship would be able to hit this fleet quickly, but between the durability of the Bilge and the fact that there are 5 little ships to chase down, this fleet should win some games.

Thanks for reading; comment and vote! 

Section: Ship #1 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Administrator Scott Bratley PofCC 046B Crew C
1 x Bilge PatOE 214 Ship LE
1 x Captain PofSMU 103 Crew U
1 x Gibraltar RotF 015 Ship R
Section: Ship #2 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofSMU 103 Crew U
1 x HMS Cumberland PofCC 038 Ship C
1 x Helmsman PofSMU 110 Crew C
Section: Ship #3 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x HMS Snipe PatOE 053 Ship R
Section: Ship #4 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Sea Tiger PatOE 168 Ship SE
Section: Ship #5 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x HMS Antelope PofBC 052 Ship C
Section: Unique Treasures (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Barbary Banner PofBC 107 Unique Treasure R
1 x Natives PofR 106 Unique Treasure R
Section: Forts (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Fort Brompton PofCC 047 Fort C
1 x Ramsgate PofR 038 Fort C

 

Miniature Englishmen fleet

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

First of 2014! English vs. French at 40 Points – January 2nd, 2014

First Game of 2014

I’ve made the fleets for the next series of games! As expected, the matchup will start out with the English facing the French. The English count HMS Algiers, HMS Lord Cauldwell, and the Patagonia as their only new additions, while the French have acquired Le Triton, La Baionnette, and the Belle Poule. The Algiers, Lord Cauldwell, Triton and Baionnette all have captains, with the Patagonia and Belle as the designated treasure runners (although the Triton and Baionnette have cargo space for gold if they want it).

The French started out the game on a gold run. They piled up 13 gold between the hulls of their three ships, and headed back with it. It’s important to note that the English (as player #2) strategically picked the middle island to be the French HI, in order to guarantee that they wouldn’t have to go far to corner the French.

The Triton, moving faster than any other ship in either fleet (S+L+S), was the first to dock at her HI, bringing home 6 gold. She shot at the nearby Lord Cauldwell as soon as she docked, but the Cauldwell’s ability (two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts) overcame her firepower. Meanwhile, the Algiers went in the direction of the Belle Poule and the Baionnette. The Baionnette punished her by setting her on fire!

Off in the south by herself, the Patagonia slowly brought in 4 gold for the English (she would later bring home 2 more), while the battle up north continued to rage. The Algiers shot at, rammed, and boarded the Baionnette, but all to no avail. With the Baionnette busy and the Triton off to explore a new wild island, the Lord Cauldwell sunk the Belle Poule, giving 3 gold to each nation. Before the Baionnette could do any further damage to the Algiers, the Algiers used her S+S+S speed to catch up with the Triton (now docked at a wild island) and once again, shoot, ram, and board. However, this sequence was much more successful than the first, as the Triton lost two masts and her explorer! The Algiers would have taken one of the recently loaded treasures if not for her full cargo hold of crew.

On the next turn, the Baionnette responded by taking out the second and final mast of the Algiers, whose resilience would show through once again. The Algiers was essentially out of the game for good, but she managed to roll a 5 to put out her fire while simultaneously getting an extra action to move S+S towards home via her oarsman!

Now the battle was in the hands of the Triton, Baionnette, and HMS Lord Cauldwell. As she had two treasure coins aboard and only one mast remaining, the Triton was the main target of the English. The Lord Cauldwell hit once to dismast her but couldn’t sink the French schooner. The Baionnette now began towing the Triton, looking to bring her in to dock and win the game (the French had 10 gold on their HI with another 7 on the Triton). The Lord Cauldwell, already near the French HI, sailed in the way of the Baionnette, taking out one of her two masts. The Cauldwell may have been able to dismast the French ship if not for her ability that makes her masts immune to ramming. Here’s where the supremely effective ability of the Lord Cauldwell came into play: with just one mast left standing in the French fleet, they had no hope of taking out the Lord Cauldwell’s masts by shooting, making the Englishman basically immune to combat (plus the Baionnette didn’t want to ram the Cauldwell since she needed to get the Triton’s gold home). The Lord Cauldwell dismasted the Baionnette, letting the English tow the Triton and win the game 16-10!

[lord_denton points out mistake]

At this point I don’t know who would have won the game. I’m not going to count this as a victory for either side in terms of the series. I’m just glad it was a great game! First of 2014

Hai Peng Fort Frenzy! My Best 40 Point Fleet

Hai Peng Fort Frenzy!

Originally published to Miniature Trading on October 26th, 2014

I’ve managed to acquire both the Hai Peng and Captain Jack Sparrow, and although I won’t be able to use them for a little while, I read up on them in anticipation of using them in games This fleet is designed to be used in a standard 2 player game featuring 6 islands, with 4 of them wild.  Edit: Check out how this fleet did in VASSAL Tournament #2!

This fleet was inspired by a combination of fleets, reviews, and comments that I’ve looked at recently. First off, darrin’s review of the Hai Peng introduced me to the concept of using her in conjunction with Captain Jack.

I first read darrin’s review and got excited about the possibilities that this combo opened up. I would highly recommend reading the review as it’s very insightful and well-explained. Only recently did I see that he already had made a fleet that is somewhat similar to this one. Perhaps all of the cool combos for this game HAVE already been thought of, but we’ll see. 

I think that the Universal Pirate Shipping fleet (along with the second version) is probably more practical and effective than this particular fleet, but I was relieved to see that his idea wasn’t exactly the same as my own.

In creating this fleet, I was also influenced by a recent fleet that discussed using forts to block enemy movement. Lastly, this old review shed further light on Captain Jack.

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So what do we have here? The strategy is quite simple: build a fort on all four wild islands. From there, the Hai Peng can transfer treasure back home, dropping off oarsmen when her cargo gets too low. Since Captain Jack links to all Pirate ships, the Hai Peng has two spaces available for gold.

Mycron sacrifices the Patagonia each turn so that the Hai Peng can move S+L+S+L+S+L+S+L.

The Lezard holds the oarsmen: the Pirate ones fill up her cargo space, but the French one doesn’t take up space. She can “explore” or move away and re-dock at your HI every turn, bringing in a coin from the Hai Peng.

The Banshee’s Cry is there to help the Hai Peng ferry gold home once the forts are set up. She also has oarsmen in case the Hai Peng needs more once the others are distributed around the islands. (This could lead to a funny sight – the Hai Peng running around incredibly fast with forts of one fleet occupying every single wild island, with a lonesome unsuspecting oarsman in each fort!)

The Banshee’s Cry can be swapped out for Becalmed, which would help you get the jump on your opponent. You can effectively freeze most or all of their ships right from the start, which should prevent the Hai Peng from getting hit by an enemy gunship when she is in the enemy’s part of the sea. You’d also have an extra point, which you could use on an extra oarsman to sit on your HI (that the Lezard would load) or the Jolly Mon.

The Patagonia brings two more potential forts into play. Ramsgate is especially fun with that L+L cannon, which will let you interfere with shipping routes and shoot at ships who are shooting at your other forts at a neighbouring island.

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Turn 1:
1. Use Mycron to move the Hai Peng S+L+S+L+S+L+S+L to the island closest to your opponent’s HI.
2. Explore, using Captain Jack to trade the treasure for an oarsman from the Lezard.
3. Unload the coin on the Lezard at your HI.
4. Send the Banshee’s Cry out towards the nearest wild islands.
5. Build a fort using the traded treasure (Dead Man’s Point with a 3 or Paradis de la Mer with a 4).

Turn 2:
1. Use Mycron to move the Hai Peng twice. You should be able to explore two islands, dropping off unneeded oarsmen as you go along.
2. Trade and unload the treasure from the islands using the Lezard.
3. At this point the Banshee’s Cry should be able to either reach the second-closest island to your own HI, which has already been explored by the Hai Peng. At the very least she can hit the island closest to your HI, docking at it.
4. Build two forts (The Devil’s Maw and Ramsgate should be priorities, but whatever you have gold for is fine).

Turn 3:
1. Use Mycron to move the Hai Peng twice, building a fort on the last island and beginning the process of bringing gold home, whether you want to trade it or sail it.
2. Use the Banshee’s Cry to ferry gold home.

Once you have 16 gold you win. Your opponent’s treasure runners will be completely useless until their gunship(s) destroy at least one fort, which could take a while if they pick on Paradis de la Mer. Either way “your gold” is protected for at least a turn each, if not much longer. The extreme speed of both the Hai Peng and Banshee’s Cry lets you ferry gold home in a hurry. Also keep in mind that the Hai Peng should have 2 open spaces once you dump any extra oarsmen (she can keep one), and the Banshee’s Cry will have all 4 open if you dump her second oarsman. The Cry should concentrate on the closer islands while the Hai Peng sails for the more distant ones, potentially even the furthest one. Since you’ll have explored all the islands and the gold is already in your forts, you’ll know exactly where to go with your ships. The Hai Peng can zip in and out of any island in one turn: she can dock at an island S+L+S+L away, load 2 coins, and then sail S+L+S+L away from harm. If she needs it at any point, Mycron can give the Cry an extra action.

Why the Lezard and therefore the French forts? Simple. Paradis de la Mer is the most durable fort by far. Set it up on the furthest wild island, the one closest to your opponent’s HI. Therefore it will be a pest to them for a while, and they may not be able to destroy it. They will have to sail to further islands to destroy the other forts in order to get treasure, in which case the Hai Peng and Banshee’s Cry will have enough time to ferry/trade gold home. L’Intrepide and Le Pique were considered because of their extra speed and large-enough cargo holds, but the Lezard saves a point, which is essential for a fleet like this.

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Obviously this fleet is extremely fragile and entirely dependent on the island setup and the Hai Peng. You’ll only have 3 masts out there at any given point during the game, none of which possess good cannon ranks. If an enemy gunship gets to the Hai Peng, you’ll probably lose. The Banshee’s Cry is relatively expendable, but still important for getting gold to your HI.

When you place the islands, keep in mind that you’ll want to have the home islands as far apart as possible. Hopefully your opponent won’t see your fleet, and the home islands will be as far apart as possible. If they are close together, you may have to build a fort on a near island and on a far one, depending on the setup and who goes first.

Treasure may be the biggest issue. I didn’t have points for a combo like the one in the Universal Pirate Shipping fleet, where a +1/+2 crew is used to increase the value of the gold. The Lezard doesn’t have room for this (hello, L’Intrepide), but in a higher point game this would be great to have. If the furthest island only has 1’s and 2’s, you’ll either have to re-explore the next turn or go to the next island. This is where Becalmed would be useful, buying you an extra turn. When selecting treasure coins, you could gamble and put some 3’s and 4’s into the mix.

Unique treasures like Missionary and Wolves will cripple this fleet in a hurry. This is why I’ve included the UT’s. They’ll let you see danger in advance and/or eliminate treasures you don’t like.

This fleet is basically a gimmick fleet – build four forts on all four wild islands on the first 2 or 3 turns. All gimmicky fleets have serious flaws, and the nature of the gimmick makes this fleet quite risky. However, I love gimmick fleets and this combo sounds too fun not to try out!

Edit (1/1/2015): This fleet was involved in a series!

I’d like to make some edits to this fleet based on the games it was in, to make it better.

Thanks for reading; comment and vote!

Section: Ship #1 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain Jack Sparrow DPotC 058 Crew C
1 x Explorer PofSMU 116 Crew C
1 x Hai Peng DPotC 013 Ship R
1 x Helmsman PofSMU 108 Crew U
Section: Ship #2 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Lezard F&S 208 Ship LE
3 x Oarsman PofSMU 112 Crew C
1 x Oarsman PofCC 121 Crew C
Section: Ship #3 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Administrator Scott Bratley PofCC 046B Crew C
1 x HMS Patagonia PofSCS 207 Ship PR
1 x Lord Mycron F&S 027 Crew R
1 x Robinson PofR 037A Crew C
Section: Ship #4 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Banshee’s Cry PofR 013 Ship R
2 x Oarsman PofSMU 112 Crew C
Section: Unique Treasures (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Barbary Banner PofBC 107 Unique Treasure R
1 x Holy Water PofDJC 104 Unique Treasure R
1 x Jailhouse Dog DPotC 082B Unique Treasure C
1 x Maps of Alexandria PofBC 101 Unique Treasure R
1 x Pirate Globe DPotC 070B Unique Treasure R
Section: Forts (6 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Dead Man’s Point PofCC 031 Fort C
1 x Fort Brompton PofCC 047 Fort C
1 x Paradis de la Mer PofR 065 Fort C
1 x Ramsgate PofR 038 Fort C
1 x St. Pierre PofCC 091 Fort C
1 x The Devil’s Maw PofR 022 Fort C
Hai Peng Fort Frenzy!

Fleet page at Miniature Trading