Pirates vs. Spanish – September 27th, 2014

Pirates vs. Spanish – September 27th, 2014

Hey everybody, finally was able to play again after an eight month hiatus. It’s been too long. Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to play again for a while, but the game I did play was memorable and fun!

After rereading woelf’s review of El Garante, I was inspired to use her, with none other than the Spanish Native Canoes to provide cheerleaders to complement the Garante’s ability. To round out the Spanish fleet, I went with the Rafael, a four masted schooner from DJC that I hadn’t used before, and HMS Trepassey, which is an English ship that I threw in since I hadn’t used her either, being one of the newer additions to my fleet.

The above fleet went against a Pirate fleet with 3 new ships (I had to punch them and everything!) and El Tejon, a superb support gunship with the sniping ability (double the range of this ship’s cannons, hit only on a 6). The other ships were the Black Pearl (the uncommon version), the Freedom’s Hand (another two masted sniper ship), and the Adventure, a three masted schooner from CC with 5 cargo that would serve as the fleet’s main treasure runner.

The fleets were 60 points, and a standard setup with 6 islands, 6 terrain, and 16 coins worth 30 gold was distributed. With a tip from CC Mike, I’ve found that games are usually more fun when the islands are 2L apart from each other (like in the old days), rather than 3L. This was the case for this game as well. It also helps the game go a little bit faster, which can help if you have limited time in which to play.

The full fleets were as follows:
Spanish
El Garante + Tribal Chieftain, captain, helmsman, firepot specialist
Native Canoes
El Rafael + helmsman, explorer
HMS Trepassey 
Pirates vs. Spanish - September 27th, 2014

Pirates
Black Pearl + captain, helmsman, fire shot
El Tejon + captain, helmsman
Freedom’s Hand + captain, helmsman
Adventure + helmsman, explorer
Pirates vs. Spanish - September 27th, 2014

The Spanish were the first player, and the Pirates picked a home island for them in the east. The Spanish went first after picking a western island to be the Pirates’ HI. The native canoes were placed by the Spanish on an island just to the southwest of the Spanish HI.

On the first turn, the Trepassey sailed southeast at L+S+S since her cargo hold was empty, reaching the first island. There she found 5 total gold. The canoes emptied their island, leaving one canoe empty. The Garante set off in the direction of the native canoes, in the hopes that they could unite to make the Garante’s guns more accurate.

For the Pirates, the Adventure sailed northeast to the nearest wild island, escorted for the moment by the Black Pearl. Due to their sniping abilities and the close distances between islands, the Tejon and Freedom’s Hand were able to get their extra-long range guns in range of the Spanish. With one gun in range, the Tejon rolled a 5 (she needed a 6) and missed the Garante. The Freedom’s Hand moved more to the south and sniped a canoe that had loaded a coin from the island, giving the Pirates the gold lead (it was a 1) on the first hit of the game! Her second shot missed, but the Pirates were up 1-0 and the Spanish lost a canoe.

On the next turn, the Trepassey headed back to the Spanish HI, while the Rafael made it to the island she was sailing to in the north. Upon exploring, her crew found just 4 1’s, of which she had room for 3.

In the south, the Garante was looking to avenge the sinking of one of “her” canoes, sailing into range of the Freedom’s Hand. However, there was only one other canoe within S of the Garante when she shot at the Hand, but it helped. The Garante hit 2 times out of 4, dismasting the Hand and ending the threat to the other native canoes. The canoe that was closest to the Garante was the only one without gold, so the other three headed northeast to return to the Spanish HI.
Pirates vs. Spanish - September 27th, 2014
The Freedom’s Hand is a galley, and with a helmsman she was able to move S+S away from the Garante, looking to head home and repair. In the meantime, the Adventure loaded 3 coins from a wild island.

At this moment, the Pirates faced the first dilemma of many that they would encounter in this game. Between the speed of the Black Pearl (L+S+S) and the range of El Tejon’s cannons (2L, or L+L), this Pirate fleet has considerable long range firepower and striking capabilities (plus all four of the Pearl’s guns are long range). However, the speed (L+S) of the Tejon meant that it would be very difficult to get both of her regular guns in range. They measured multiple times, but they determined that they had two options. The Tejon had only one canoe in range of her regular (non-doubled range) cannons, but with the extended range she had 2 canoes in range.

At this point I consulted the Pirate Code to find out if you can double the range of only ONE (or maybe 2 out of 5 if it was a bigger ship like the Neptuno) of the ship’s cannons, and roll regularly on the other one. The Pirate Code didn’t say, so I’m asking in the Rules Thread. However, the ability text reads: “You may double the range of this ship’s cannonS each turn, but you must roll a 6 to hit.” Since it says “cannons”, I ruled that it can’t shoot one cannon at L and the other cannon at L+L on the same turn. Therefore the Pirates were faced with a choice of shooting once at 2L or twice at 5L. They decided to risk shooting twice and rolled a 4 on the first shot. However, the second shot was a 6! As it happened, the shot that hit was on the canoe that was already within L range. Rolling Eyes In the end, a second native canoe was sent to the bottom, but she had a 2 on her. The sunken treasure was split 50/50, giving the Pirates 2 gold to the Spaniards’ 1.

Edit: Woelf ruled that you actually CAN double the range of only one of the ship’s cannons.

The Black Pearl sailed behind the docked Rafael and promptly shot away all four of her masts in a perfect 4/4 shoot action!
Pirates vs. Spanish - September 27th, 2014
On the next turn, the Trepassey docked home 5 gold, giving the Spanish 6 overall. Next to dock were the two remaining canoes that held gold. Fortunately for the Spanish, these were the two canoes that had the highest value coins of the four original canoes, a 4 and a 3. However, the +1 gold bonus from the ability of the canoes brought the total value of the gold to 9 (4+3+1+1), which left the Spanish at 15 overall, only 1 gold away from winning!

Now it was time for the Garante to move. When she sailed south to attack the Freedom’s Hand on the previous turn, this allowed the Tejon to sink one of the canoes. The Garante still had to turn around and sail northeast to get at the Tejon, which would have taken two turns (there was also a Sargasso Sea in the area to complicate things). In the end, she sailed northwest to pursue the fleeing Freedom’s Hand, and easily sunk her. The canoe without gold continued to follow the Garante to give her +1 to cannon rolls.

With 15 gold, the Spanish could taste victory. Knowing how powerful the Black Pearl and the Tejon were, they looked to the fastest way to win: sinking the Rafael. If the Rafael and the three gold (all 1’s) on her went under, the Spanish would win either way. If the Pirates sank her, they would receive 2 gold and the Spanish would receive 1 gold, giving them 16 gold and the win. If the Spanish could scuttle the Rafael, the 3 gold would be removed from the game, which would only leave 14 gold left in play for the Pirates (30 gold – 13 actual gold on Spanish HI since 2 are “tallies” = 17 – 3 gold from Rafael = 14 gold < 15). The Pirates needed the gold from the Rafael and all but one gold from what was left on the islands in order to win the game.

The Spanish rolled a successful 5 on the scuttle attempt, but the Black Pearl captured the Rafael on the Pirates’ turn, making her a member of the Pirate fleet. The Adventure headed home with gold.

The Tejon had turned around and now went after the Garante, since the canoes had already docked home their gold. The Tejon just barely managed to get both of her guns within L+L range, and hit with one of them, taking out one mast on the Garante.
Pirates vs. Spanish - September 27th, 2014
The Spanish took their turn and sent their remaining treasure runners (the Trepassey and the two canoes docked at their HI) to the southeast island that the Trepassey had already explored, since they knew that the one gold on the island would win them the game if they could get it home. The Spanish sent all three in order to have strength in numbers, hoping that the Trepassey could get the coin home while the canoes ran interference.

In the meantime, the big bad Garante decided she’d had enough of the Tejon’s sniping actions, sailing around the Sargasso and sinking the Tejon with help from the canoe that was still following her. In fact, 2 out of the 3 hits were 3’s, which would have missed if not for the +1 provided by the canoe being within S of the Garante! With that, the Pirates had both of their snipers sunk, leaving them with the Adventure and the Black Pearl.

The Adventure docked home 8 gold, bringing the Pirates to 10 gold total. The Spanish still led 15-10. Since towing the derelict Rafael would slow the Black Pearl down (although not very much, since I believe the Pearl would still be able to go S+S+S with her ability and helmsman), the Pearl decided to drop her and speed after the three Spanish treasure runners to the south.
Pirates vs. Spanish - September 27th, 2014
The one masters head south as the Black Pearl looms:
Pirates vs. Spanish - September 27th, 2014
As planned, the Trepassey grabbed the 1 gold from the southeast island, while the canoes tried to stand between her and the oncoming Black Pearl. The canoes are tiny, and had no time to orient themselves properly before the lightning fast gunship was upon them. The Pearl managed to get in range of one canoe, sinking it, but was out of range of the other one and the Trepassey.

The Garante sailed east towards the action, with her trusty canoe following right behind. The Adventure set out to the east as well, knowing she was probably too slow and too late to help the Black Pearl.

The game was coming to a thrilling conclusion! The Trepassey was desperate to avoid the Black Pearl, sailing around a reef in the south and trying to get home. The Garante headed northeast around a different reef to sink the Rafael, who was now a Pirate ship but also a sitting duck.

Here was another Pirate dilemma: the Black Pearl had to either sink the Trepassey, who had the winning gold aboard, or attack the Garante, who was about to sink the Rafael and therefore force the end of the game. Their decision was made easier due to the fact that the Trepassey had just gotten within L+S of the Spanish HI (L+S is her base move when carrying treasure), so the Black Pearl had no choice but to sink the Trepassey. In addition, the Black Pearl would have needed to hit all four times to guarantee (no pun intended) that the Garante would be dismasted and therefore not able to sink the Rafael.

The Black Pearl sank the Trepassey, giving the Pirates the 1 gold on her (Spanish lead 15-11). It was inconsequential, but the Adventure picked up the 2 that was still lying on her island from earlier in the game.

On the next turn, the Garante sailed into range of the Rafael and tried to sink her to end the game! Although the Spanish had been ahead in the gold race for a while at this point, the Pirates had many opportunities for false hope, even to the very end. The Garante missed on her first three shots, and only on the final shot did she roll a 3, sinking the former Spanish ship to give the Spanish a 17-12 victory! (the Spanish got 2 of the 3 gold on the Rafael, with the Pirates getting the other 1) If that native canoe wasn’t still following the Garante around, the Pirates would have had another shot! So although the strategy of using the native canoes to support the Garante didn’t work as well as planned, with only one canoe providing any cannon bonus, that one canoe made all the difference!
Pirates vs. Spanish - September 27th, 2014

Towards the end of the game the Pirates realized that they could have kept towing the Rafael. The Black Pearl had a captain and helmsman aboard, so even with the Rafael in tow she would have sailed at S+S+S, probably fast enough to sink the Trepassey anyway. In this way, however, the Rafael would have been mobile and farther away from the Garante than she was in the actual game, not to mention that the Garante would have to deal with the Black Pearl if she had wanted to go after the Rafael. It’s likely the Spanish would have won even if the Pearl had towed the Rafael around after she had captured her, but it is interesting to think about nonetheless. Cool

Moonlight Battle reenactment – January 16th, 2014

Warning: This is a historical reenactment, not a normal Battle Report!

234 years ago tonight, the Moonlight Battle was fought off Cape St. Vincent.

The reenactment went great! I managed to get a good bunch of quality shots. I’ve only done one other reenactment (the Battle of the Nile in the summer of 2012) but I didn’t get pictures for it.

The reason these pictures are posted here so late (and that the edit will say it’s on the 17th) is because I actually played things out from about 9-11 pm, in order to actually have the battle at night! Cool (the actual battle took place from about 4pm until 2am) Without further ado, here are the pics! You can read wikipedia’s battle report as you follow along if you don’t know how the battle went.

A battle becomes imminent as the two fleets see each other:

Moonlight Battle reenactment January 16th 2014

The English bear down upon the Spaniards:

The Spanish begin to form a line of battle as the English sail ahead in roughly line abreast:

HMS Edgar deals the first broadside of the battle to the Santo Domingo:

The Santo Domingo (on fire) is passed by HMS Marlborough as more English ships catch the Spanish as a result of their copper-sheathed hulls:

Yet another fresh English ship (HMS Ajax) fires into the hull of the Santo Domingo:

A nice shot showing the mixed ensigns as the English infiltrate the Spanish formation:

One of three English three deckers at the battle, the Prince George approaches the action.

At this point I tried to recreate a shot that I found in my War at Sea in the Age of Sail (by Andrew Lambert) book that’s similar but not quite identical to this one:

The Santo Domingo meets her fate in a rare moment of sheer awe and horror:

The huge blast illuminates the hull and sails of the 2nd rate HMS Prince George:

The Princessa gallantly fights the Bedford, but she eventually surrenders:

As the sun sets, the Defence engages the Fenix, flagship of Admiral Langara:

Darkness closing in as the battle rages on:

The Prince George in action against the Fenix:

The Montagu fires on the Diligente as the Cumberland duels the San Eugenio:

HMS Culloden and HMS Prince George team up to take out the San Julian:

Moonlight Battle reenactment January 16th 2014

The Moonlight Battle Cool

After the Apollo harassed the Monarca, the Sandwich (Rodney’s flagship) came on to end the battle:

If there had been a full moon:

Moonlight Battle reenactment January 16th 2014

Third and Final 80 Point Game of Series – January 13th, 2014

I’ve played the third and final game of this series. The order of play went: English, Pirates, Americans, French. The big difference between this game and the previous two was that instead of having the islands placed 2L apart from each other, they would be just 1L apart from each other! Also, no terrain was used.

This shows the fleets at their home islands at the start of the game. Clockwise from upper left: Americans, Pirates, English, French. The short distances between islands made for a smaller gaming area (a good thing if you need to play on a table) as well as a good game.
Third and Final 80 Point Game of Series

The treasure ships for each fleet were immediately able to grab gold, with the islands being so close together. The Queen Anne’s Revenge sank the Patagonia and the 5 gold she was carrying. The Baionnette set the Royal Rover on fire. The rest of the English fleet headed towards the French, aggressively sailing their four dangerous ships into action. They sunk the Belle Poule and dismasted the Tunis.

The Pirates sent Blackbeard (on the Royal Rover) after the Paladin and her 9 point crew, Peregrine Stern. Getting revenge on the French, the Obago now dismasted the Baionnette, and the Queen Anne’s Revenge sunk her. The Paladin dismasted the Royal Rover before she could attempt to board the American three master, as the Nene Nui came home with three coins for the Americans. The SCS Santa Lucia captured the Royal Rover and set the Paladin on fire. The Triton brought home a coin for the French.

The action as the game stood at this point:

Third and Final 80 Point Game of Series

The English were trying a strategy different from the previous two games: concentrate on one opponent rather than dividing forces. They went after the French to begin with, but it quickly fell apart from there. The Algiers got greedy and took off when she rolled for an extra action. On her way up north to attack the Frontier, she dismasted the Paladin as she traveled almost the entire length of the sea with her double move-and-shoot. Her attack on the Frontier was a complete success: both the guns and ram attempt worked, and not only was the Frontier derelict, but the boarding party even eliminated her helmsman! Unfortunately for the English, the rest of the English fleet was too slow to support the efforts of the Algiers, so she was stuck on her own, which wouldn’t work out well since the Frontier had 6 treasure coins on her from the two islands she explored, making her the biggest target in the game.

However, the rest of the English fleet were able to continue their concentrated assault. The Locker surfaced and sank the captured Royal Rover before the French could tow her home. The Pyre rammed a mast off the SCS Santa Lucia, but the Lord Cauldwell predictably missed the Tunis both times in an effort to sink her.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge now stole a coin from the American HI, while also dismasting her fellow Spanish HI-raider in the OE Santa Lucia. Just to the north, the Obago captured the Frontier, giving the Pirates a huge prize if only they could tow her back to their home island. The Nene Nui rammed the Algiers, taking out a mast and her oarsman.

The Mercury finally surfaced, taking two masts off the Queen Anne’s Revenge. To the south, the Tunis brought in gold for the French, while the Triton sailed to an untouched wild island just south of the French HI. The Pyre and Lord Cauldwell pursued the Triton, with the Lord Cauldwell eventually connecting to take out the mizzenmast of the Triton. The Locker submerged and headed east.

In the north, the Frontier is fought over as shots ring out elsewhere:
Third and Final 80 Point Game of Series
To the north, the main conflict grew hotter. The Algiers missed her shot to sink the Frontier, and the Obago dismasted her on the following turn. The Obago, looking to clear the sea of obstacles before she could tow the Frontier home (it was such close quarters that the Obago almost couldn’t maneuver), also shot off two masts on the Nene Nui. The Nene Nui rammed the Obago in an attempt to kill her Pirate helmsman, but failed.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge brought back the coin she stole from the Americans, a rare example of a successful home island raid!

The Tunis repaired as the Triton brought back another coin for the French. The Pyre and Lord Cauldwell both failed in their ram attempts to damage the Triton. The SCS Santa Lucia dismasted the Nene Nui, leaving the Americans with just the Mercury and therefore no way to acquire more gold (subs can’t tow).

For the Pirates, the Swift had brought back three coins during two different gold runs. The Queen Anne’s Revenge (with one mast remaining) grabbed a coin to empty an island near the Pirates’ HI. The Mercury, still mad about having her home island robbed, proceeded to set the Revenge on fire as she was dismasted.

The game entering its final stage:
Third and Final 80 Point Game of Series
The Locker tried to sink the Frontier, but missed. The Obago sank the Algiers, finally giving her a clear path to re-orient herself in the right direction to start towing the Frontier home. The SCS Santa Lucia took a mast off the Obago, but the Obago was still in good shape with 3 masts left.

In the south, the Triton was blasting away at the Lord Cauldwell as the Tunis grabbed the last two gold coins in play from a southern island. The Pyre surfaced and shot at the Tunis, leaving her to depend on oars once again.

The Obago started towing the Frontier, and sunk the Nene Nui for good measure. The Frontier was moved to a new position when the Obago towed her, placing her out of range of the Mercury, who didn’t want to see the formerly American gold docked at an enemy home island. However, the Locker was a bit closer. She went around an island and had two guns in range of the derelict Frontier. The first one missed, but the second one connected, forcing 13 gold to the bottom of the sea! The Swift managed to transfer the gold from the Queen Anne’s Revenge, but the Mercury sunk the Swift before she could dock it.

One turn before it all ended:
Third and Final 80 Point Game of Series

In the south, the game was coming to its conclusion just as the northern events were transpiring. The Pyre missed the Tunis twice, letting the galley dock home the last 2 coins and thus end the game!

The final gold count:
1. French: 12 gold
2. Pirates: 8
3. Americans: 5
4. English: 0

The game would have ended in a 10-10 tie if the Swift had returned with the 2 aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge and the Pyre had sunk the Tunis and the 2 gold that she was carrying.

With their second victory in this multiplayer series, the French have officially won! Their 80 point fleet seems to be the best of the four, winning even in the face of tough odds, as the English dogged them all game long. Their 40 and 60 point versions were soundly beat by the English, so I would say the best 40 point fleet would have to be the Americans, with either the Pirates or English having the best 60 point fleet.

For this 3 game series, the French win two games, the Americans one, and the English and Pirates zero apiece.

I’m looking forward to recreating the Moonlight Battle on Thursday night! Therefore the pics probably won’t be posted on MT until late. Thanks for reading!

80 Point Series, Second Game – January 12th, 2014

1/12/14: The second 4 player 80 point game was played. The fleets would go in reverse order from the last game: first the Americans, then the French, English, and Pirates. Terrain was used, although it unsurprisingly was not a factor.

This shows the sea just before the game started. Clockwise from the upper left, you can see the Pirate, French, English, and American home islands.
80 Point Series Game 2 2014

The Frontier and Triton were the first ships to explore islands. The Pirates immediately went after the Americans, with an extra action from Gallows on the Queen Anne’s Revenge taking a mast off the Nene Nui. The Paladin responded with an extra action of her own, dismasting the Revenge, letting the Nene Nui explore her island. The Frontier explored the island that the Triton previously explored, while the Triton brought back the one coin from it that she could carry. The Tunis and Belle Poule explored islands for the French.

The English were also wary of the success of the American fleet. The Lord Cauldwell rammed the Frontier, while the Algiers tried to hit the Frontier coming out of the fog. The die roll made her come out on the wrong side, however, so the Algiers would have to wait. The Pirate ship Obago would now dismast the Frontier, while the Royal Rover sailed up and took two masts off the Paladin. However, the Americans were able to salvage part of their situation. The Paladin used another extra action to sink the Queen Anne’s Revenge with one move action, and dock home safely with the next. The Nene Nui ducked into a fog bank to escape further harm.

At this point, the USS Mercury decided to showcase her considerable power. After coming to the surface, she hit the Obago twice (including once with a firepot) and rammed off a third mast, not to mention using her 2L guns to take a mast off the durable Lord Cauldwell. HMS Algiers now towed the Frontier and connected for a hit on the Mercury. The Pyre (in the English fleet) rammed the Obago derelict.

From left to right: the Paladin repairs at the American HI, the Nene Nui avoids the Royal Rover by going into a fog bank, and the battle between the Pirates, Americans, and English rages on as the Mercury enters the fray.
80 Point Series Game 2 2014

In other action, the Baionnette and Triton had explored the same island for the French. The Locker missed the Triton with her guns and ram attempt, but managed to win the boarding party and thus eliminate all four crew aboard the Triton.

In the meantime, the Royal Rover dismasted the Mercury (for the first time ever) and began towing her comrade, the Obago, who managed to put out the fire. The Nene Nui docked home 3 gold coins for the Americans while the Paladin repaired.

To the north, the SCS Santa Lucia dismasted the Swift with her firepot specialist, but the Swift was in S of her HI and put it out on the next turn by rowing home. The Belle Poule and Tunis brought back more gold for the French. The Triton and Baionnette went a combined 1 for 4 against the Locker, who responded on her next turn by hitting the Triton and trying to ram the Baionnette. The English forgot that the Baionnette’s masts can’t be eliminated by ramming. The boarding party against the Baionnette ended in another four French crew being eliminated, but despite the power of this ability, it would not help the English much in these games.

Continuing the English vs. French rivalry, the Pyre rammed the OE Santa Lucia just as she was looking to steal gold from the HI of the Pirates (especially since the Swift was derelict and wouldn’t be able to defend the gold she had brought back). The Pyre would then surface to actually shoot at the Santa Lucia, but she missed both times.

The Royal Rover dismasted the Lord Cauldwell, and used Blackbeard to capture the English captain aboard the Cauldwell, to be turned into gold if the Rover could make it to her HI. Making the plight of the English even worse, the Baionnette and Triton finally outlasted the Locker and sunk her to the bottom (to Davy Jones’ Locker!). The Pyre would now be dismasted by the SCS Santa Lucia and sunk by the Royal Rover. On the next turn, the Paladin sunk the Lord Cauldwell. The Algiers did manage to bring back the captured Frontier, giving them 5 gold coins, a huge amount for a fleet with just one treasure runner (the Patagonia brought back just one gold for the whole game).

At this point, the game was winding down. The Swift was fully repaired. The SCS Santa Lucia created more problems for the Pirates by ramming the Royal Rover and taking the captured English captain for herself (unaware that captured crew that had already been captured would not be worth gold unless the capturing ship also had the ability that Blackbeard has). The Rover promptly rammed the Santa Lucia and stole the captain right back!

The Paladin used an extra action to dismast the Algiers, who was going back out after bringing home the Frontier, giving the Americans some level of satisfied revenge for the English taking their prized gold ship. Up north, the Nene Nui took the last coin off the last wild island. The Swift hit the Nene Nui twice, leaving her with one mast. In an odd coincidence, the Belle Poule, Baionnette, and Triton all came home with gold for the French on the same turn. The Swift hit the Nene Nui twice more on the next turn, sinking her to end the game.

Here’s the action just two turns before it was all over. To the left, the Swift approaches the Nene Nui. The Santa Lucia has set the Royal Rover on fire, while the Rover abandoned the Obago to fight the Spaniard. The French are about to dock their final treasure coins, while the Paladin has dismasted the Algiers just north of her home island.
80 Point Series Game 2 2014

The final gold count:
1. French: 24 gold
2. English: 11
3. Pirates: 9
4. Americans: 7

The French managed to largely stay out of the matters of the opposing fleets, and they were lucky that none of their designated treasure ships was sunk on any of their gold runs. The English would have finished last once again if not for their capture of the Frontier. I’d like to do the next game of this 80 point series tomorrow.

First 4 Player 80 Point Game – January 11th, 2014

I played the first 4 player 80 point game. Overall, it was a fun game, although very one-sided. The order of play went: Pirates, English, French, Americans. The Americans swapped the Paladin back in for the Bartlett, while the English swapped some generic Cursed crew in for Edward Low. No terrain was used for the first game, but I’m using a bunch for the second game.

HMS Algiers got an extra action on the first turn and took a mast off the Royal Rover. The Triton, Frontier, Swift, and Queen Anne’s Revenge quickly explored islands. The Royal Rover retaliated by dismasting the Algiers, although she lost the boarding party (and therefore her helmsman), thus denying Blackbeard a chance at capturing a crew and turning it into gold.

The Obago then captured the Algiers, intending to bring the ship back to use it for the Pirates later in the game. The Baionnette would sink the captured Algiers, but not before the Pyre rammed off one of the Baionnette’s masts. The Locker also got to work, ramming the Belle Poule, who would be sunk on the same turn by the Lord Cauldwell.

For the Americans, the Frontier and the Nene Nui explored islands in the southern half of the sea. The Americans got lucky in the HI setup, picking first and getting the most well-positioned island that ended up as the most isolated of the four HI’s, and therefore the most conducive to acquiring treasure.

The Royal Rover missed the Patagonia while she was grabbing gold from a northern island. The Patagonia (with her lone 2L gun) actually managed to dismast the Royal Rover over the next two turns as the Rover missed on the next turn as well. The Obago, angry that the Baionnette had sunk the Pirates’ new ship (the Algiers), dismasted the French two master and captured her as well.

The Pyre rammed the Tunis derelict, but the Triton brought back a gold coin for the French. Off in the east, the SCS Santa Lucia shot a mast off the Queen Anne’s Revenge, who was coming home with a coin aboard. The Swift and Queen Anne’s Revenge docked home their gold, and simply sat there for a turn because both Santa Lucias (including the HI-raiding OE version) were in the vicinity.

The Pyre surfaced to sink the Tunis and the 4 gold she carried. In a bold statement that crushed Pirate morale, the Triton sunk both the captured Baionnette and the Royal Rover on the same turn.

The Frontier and Nene Nui docked home their treasure loads, with 9 coins between the two ships. It was obvious that the Americans had the advantage in the game, but with the English weakened (from losing the Algiers) and far away from the American HI, and with the French and Pirates completely at odds with each other, there wasn’t much that was going to stop the Americans.

Out of nowhere, the Obago sank the Pyre, leaving the English with just 3 ships remaining, although this would go down to 2 after the Triton sunk the Patagonia.

Seeing the Pirate ships at their HI, the two Santa Lucias had turned around and sailed south to check out a wild island, the same one that the Queen Anne’s Revenge had taken one coin off of. Still with a grudge against the French, the Pirates now looked to the HI-raider of their fleet, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. She used an extra action to move within docking distance of the French HI, where she would dock on the next turn and pick up the 4 that the Triton had left there earlier in the game. The Triton responded by taking out two of the three masts on the Revenge while the Pirate ship was still docked at the French HI.

Meanwhile, the Locker and Lord Cauldwell ventured into American water, where they knew they stood no chance against the powerful USS Mercury, escorting the Frontier back home. They managed to sneak around to the south and catch the slow-moving Paladin and sink her after a few turns, costing the Americans an additional 7 gold. The Nene Nui had gone to the same island that the Santa Lucias docked at, but the SCS version blew two masts off the American junk. The Nene Nui aggressively responded by ramming straight into the OE version, dismasting her, and taking one of her two treasure coins. The SCS version would now finish off the Nene Nui, ending the skirmish.

At this point, the Frontier had gone out for a final treasure run to grab the last three treasure coins, signifying that the end was near.

Back up north, the Triton was gallantly fighting a losing battle against the Obago, Swift, and Queen Anne’s Revenge. The Swift and Obago went 2 for 6 against the Triton, leaving her with one mast left. Still able to move and shoot, she dismasted the Queen Anne’s Revenge and triumphantly stole back her original coin as the Revenge tried to sail away. The Queen Anne’s Revenge used an extra action to make two boarding attempts, although they ended in a tie and a lost Pirate helmsman. However, it was too late for the French, as the Swift made the French schooner a derelict and the Obago began towing her.

The Lord Cauldwell and Locker desperately wanted to get at the American duo of the Frontier and Mercury, even though they knew it was too late. The Mercury surfaced and shot a mast off the Lord Cauldwell, who couldn’t do anything in return with just one mast (the Mercury ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts). The Locker surfaced to attack the Frontier, but both her boarding rolls and gun rolls failed, upon which the Frontier docked home the last gold coins on the next turn to end the game.

The final gold count:
1. Americans: 26 gold
2. Pirates: 9
3. French: 2
4. English: 0

I’m looking to play the second game of this series tomorrow! The first fleet to win two games will be declared the overall winner.

Second 80 Point Game between English and French – January 9th, 2014

The second 80 point game was played earlier today (first here). The islands were set up similar to the last game, but this time the four wild islands in the middle were arranged in a straight line perpendicular to the HI’s, forming a wide + formation.

The game started with the Algiers dismasting the Tunis, but the French quickly responded by dismasting the Algiers and setting her on fire with the SCS Santa Lucia. The Triton quickly fetched 3 gold for the French, while the Belle Poule and OE Santa Lucia explored islands of their own. The Algiers limped away at S+S speed (through oar power and her extra action) while her comrades the Patagonia and Lord Cauldwell used explore actions. The submerged Locker dismasted the OE Santa Lucia with a ram while the sloop was docked at an island.

The Tunis, saved by the SCS Santa Lucia, made it home with her Galley keyword and repaired her lone mast. With the Patagonia docked at a wild island collecting treasure, the Santa Lucia missed her both times, but the Baionnette’s 2L gun was just in range, and the Baionnette connected with a firepot. The Algiers rolled a 1 and was now completely engulfed in flames as her oarsmen desperately rowed past the burning Patagonia. The Patagonia dumped her crew to load two more gold coins (6 gold on four coins). Before the English got a chance to scuttle their fallen ships, the Santa Lucia sunk them both with well-placed shots, giving the French a bigger numbers advantage as well as placing 3 gold on each nation’s HI.

In the meantime, the Lord Cauldwell had sunk the OE Santa Lucia, giving the English 2 gold and the French 1. Along with the sinking of the Patagonia, this left the gold race at 7-5 in favour of the French.

The Pyre grabbed two coins from the island that the Lord Cauldwell had explored for her, just as the Triton got back into the fray and shot and rammed her way to dismast the Cauldwell.

The Belle Poule was coming home with gold aboard, but the Locker was just in range for a shot at the galley before she could dock it home. The Locker surfaced (not in ramming range) but missed with her 3S cannon, the only one in range. The Belle Poule docked home an impressive 8 gold to give the French a commanding 15-5 lead. This meant that for the second straight game the English would be playing for a tie. But for the second straight game, they would be at a disadvantage. They only had their two subs left, as the Lord Cauldwell would be scuttled on the next turn.

The Tunis, still docked at her HI, decided to take a risk-free shot and took a hull piece off the Locker. The Pyre submerged with the gold she had gotten from her island and headed home. The Baionnette had collected a 1 from the wild island that the Belle Poule had originally explored, and headed home with only the damaged Locker in her way. The Locker missed the French two master both times, allowing the Baionnette to dock home the coin and end the game with a 16-5 French victory!

As the French obviously had the better 80 point fleet, this will be the end of this series pitting the English against the French. The English won all four games of the 40 and 60 point variations, leaving their record here at 4-2. Although all three series found one fleet winning both games, there were many stellar, hard-fought, close games, and it was nice to see the French fight back to win the final series.

At this point, there will be a four player multiplayer game between all four 80 point fleets: Americans vs. Pirates vs. English vs. French. Each fleet will be allowed to tweak their fleets in preparation for this final series to determine which fleet is the best, but the fleets will mostly be the same. I’m planning on possibly introducing terrain to the setup, but keeping UT’s out since they can have a large impact on any one fleet’s chances.

An Awesome Game! English vs. French at 80 Points – January 9th, 2014

An Awesome Game – First 80 Point Game between English vs. French

With the English having a decided advantage in the 60 point setup as they won both games, I decided to increase the point total to 80. The French added the OE version of the Santa Lucia (allowing a duplicate for the sake of using unused game pieces), 3 helmsmen (for the two Santa Lucias and the Tunis), and a few generic crew for their ships, giving them six ships overall. The English increased their total to five by adding the Pyre, the other Cursed LE submarine from MI. They also added Edward Low (the LE crew from MI – 8 points for crew possession) by removing the firepot specialist from the Locker. For this first game the Pyre went without crew, with all three Cursed crew aboard the Locker.

The game was really fantastic, and I actually had time just now to write a lengthy report for it. The island setup featured the two HI’s being far away from each other, with the four wild islands (1L apart from each other) arranged in a square in the middle of the sea.

With the English as the first player, the Algiers got things started with an extra action that she used to quickly sail out to one of the wild islands. Since she got there before the slow-moving Patagonia, she explored the island to help out the Patagonia, who was able to leave her explorer at home and free up a cargo space to be utilized for treasure instead.

The Triton and the Belle Poule eagerly got busy exploring the nearest wild islands, but the English would quickly be upon the French fleet.

The Baionnette was escorting the Belle to a wild island when the English fired the first shots of the game. The Lord Cauldwell and Algiers teamed up to sink the French two-master in one turn. The Triton would retaliate on the following turn, using her cannoneer to sink the Algiers. This marked new territory for the English, as they would have to go the rest of the game without their stubborn flagship. The Lord Cauldwell, now with a clear path after sinking the Baionnette, shot away the Belle’s lone mast, but the Triton was able to shoot a mast off the Lord Cauldwell, but rolled a 1 on the ram, missing her chance to dismast the durable ship.

In the meantime, the English were busy trying to run gold with their slower, un-captained ships. The Patagonia got lucky with two 4’s and a 2, raking in 10 gold on one trip to give the English the early advantage in the gold race. The Pyre docked at the island she had already explored to grab the final coin, although it was just a 1. However, since she had to surface in order to dock at the island and take the treasure, the Santa Lucia (SCS version) seized her chance to damage the sub, hitting her with a firepot (the rules say that subs can’t extinguish fire by submerging, Rolling Eyes ). The Pyre rolled a 6 to rid herself of the flames before ramming off one of the Santa Lucia’s two masts.

To the south, the French gold game was heating up. The Belle Poule limped home at S speed, with the Triton ramming the Lord Cauldwell derelict to end the threat (now both English gunships were out of action for the first time). She brought home 5 gold, while the Tunis found 6 more on a wild island.

Near the English home island, the French had a plan in mind. The crew of the OE Santa Lucia were drooling over the Patagonia’s treasure haul worth 10 gold, since the OE version has the HI-raiding ability. With her older self (the SCS version Santa Lucia) escorting her, the two ships almost made it to the English HI. The OE version smartly sailed over the submerged Pyre, but the SCS Santa Lucia was not in such a good position, and the Pyre rammed her derelict on the next turn. Up until now, the Locker had yet to get in on the action, undecided as to which ship she should target. Seeing the imminent threat of gold being stolen, she turned around and rammed the one masted OE Santa Lucia to dismast her. The French were able to scuttle both Santa Lucias on the next two turns, as they were too far from home for the other members of their fleet to come get them.

Just when things were looking dismal for the French, their other situations improved. The Tunis docked home the 6 gold she had found earlier in the game, which tied the game at 11-11 (the Baionnette had 1 gold on her when the English sunk her). At the French HI, the Triton captured the Lord Cauldwell and towed her home to let her repair, marking the first time either fleet was able to get a captured ship back in play. The Triton also had a 2 on her that she found in the first few turns, giving the French a 13-11 lead. This is where things really went down to the wire!

The Patagonia and Belle Poule headed back out to acquire more gold for their respective fleets, knowing that whoever got theirs back first would likely win the game. The Patagonia and the Pyre (still with the 1 on board) headed back home with gold, while the Locker went after the Belle and dismasted her with an underwater ram. The Tunis sailed out to transfer the Belle’s gold to her cargo hold. The Triton’s guns couldn’t hit the sub, but she helped out by positioning herself to block the sub off to the Tunis, hindering the Locker’s mobility. The Lord Cauldwell finished repairing and sailed out to help her new fleetmates.

The Lord Cauldwell and Triton moved to block the movements of the still-submerged Locker. This let the Tunis move freely towards the French HI, but she was still one move action away. The Patagonia and Pyre docked home 3 more gold for the English, giving them a narrow 14-13 lead. At this point, there were three 1’s left in play: two on the Tunis (she could only take two because her helmsman) and one on the Belle Poule.

Both the Patagonia and Pyre were too slow and too far away to affect the outcome of the situation in the south near the French HI, leaving the fate of the English fleet in the hands of the Locker. Due to the Lord Cauldwell and Triton being in the way, the 90 degree turn limit rule, and the fact that submerged submarines can’t end their move actions underlapping (?) other ships, the Locker had no choice but to surface and shoot her aft guns at the Tunis in a desperate attempt to sink her, since the Tunis was so close to her HI that the S movement provided by the Galley keyword would get her home in one turn. From bow to stern, the Locker’s guns are 3S, 4S, 4S. She shot a mast off the Triton with the 3S gun that wasn’t in range of the Tunis, but missed with both 4S guns aimed at the Tunis!

The Tunis docked home her 2 coins, giving the French the lead once again, this time 15-14! An Awesome Game However, the game was still not over, as the English could force a tie if the Locker managed to sink the Belle Poule, moving S per turn on oar power. Naturally the English wanted anything other than to lose to the French, so they tried to force the tie.

Unfortunately for the Locker, subs can’t surface and submerge on the same turn, so she was now a sitting duck for the Triton and Lord Cauldwell. The Lord Cauldwell missed both times (as usual), but the Triton had been waiting since the first 60 point game for this moment, and her crew angrily blasted away two of the Locker’s three hull pieces. Their anger temporarily blinded them, however, as the Triton moved ahead a few feet as part of a move-and-shoot, allowing the Locker just enough space to get around the stern of the Triton and get her 3S gun (now the only shot she had) in range of the Belle Poule. But of course, the shot missed Rolling Eyes , allowing the French to sink the Locker and dock the Belle’s coin, giving the French a memorable 16-14 victory!

This was one of the best games I’ve played, and it may be the first time there’s been a 16-14 score (not to mention the 11-11 tie, 15-14 lead, and numerous lead changes). An unfortunate hallmark of my games, bad luck with the dice crippled the efforts of both fleets, but the French strategy and multiple gold runners eventually prevailed. At least one more 80 point game will be played, hopefully tomorrow!

Second 60 Point Game – January 8th, 2014

I played the second 60 point game between these fleets (previous BR). The Triton explored an island early, only to have one of her masts shot away by the Algiers. The Tunis also explored an island, but her comrade was in trouble. The Lord Cauldwell missed the Triton, but the Algiers scored two more hits to make her a derelict. The Santa Lucia managed to hit the Algiers, but the Algiers retaliated by dismasting the Tunis, leaving her to try to get home on oar power.

Meanwhile, the submerged Locker rammed the Baionnette, as the Lord Cauldwell captured the Triton. The Algiers sank the Tunis, and the game only got better for the English, as the Patagonia docked home 7 gold. The Lord Cauldwell finally rolled a few 6’s to sink the Belle Poule, giving the English a 14-6 gold advantage. However, the Santa Lucia managed to recapture the derelict Triton, as the Baionnette tried to escort the two fragile ships (with 3 gold on the Triton) back to the French HI.

Another well-timed extra action for the Algiers (her good luck evens out the horrible luck of the Lord Cauldwell) let her dismast the Baionnette and ram the Santa Lucia. The Locker now rammed the Santa Lucia to dismast her, leaving the French with no actions left to give to their ships, as the English won, 14-6.

One to Remember – 60 Point Game – January 6th, 2014

I’ve played the first 60 point game (some previous matchups), and it was one to remember. The islands were placed in a column fashion, with two columns of three islands each. The two home islands were picked to be the islands at the southern part of each column.

The game started with the Locker immediately getting into action, in her first game ever! She rammed a mast off the Baionnette to start the melee. The Triton explored the nearest island north of the French HI, and brought home 6 gold on just the second turn of the game. An extra action from the Algiers let her dismast the Belle Poule, but she missed the other one masted galley, the Tunis.

Still submerged, the Locker rammed the Santa Lucia to take out one of her masts, while the Lord Cauldwell missed taking out her second mast. After docking at her HI, the Triton sped over to the English HI and dismasted the Patagonia just before she could dock. Unfortunately for the French, her galley keyword let her move S on her next turn, and she was just barely able to make it in with 5 gold!

The Belle Poule limped away from the action at S speed, but the Algiers sunk her before she could get to a northernmost wild island. Using her firepot specialist, the Locker reduced the Tunis to a blazing hulk, but the Lord Cauldwell had more bad dice luck, unable to finish off the tiny galley.

Back at their respective HI’s, the Baionnette and Patagonia repaired to get back in the action.

With just one mast standing, the Algiers continued to put her remaining 2L gun to good use, sinking the Tunis. The Lord Cauldwell turned around and rammed the slow-moving Santa Lucia, taking out her final mast and killing her captain in the boarding action.

In the far northeast, the Triton picked up two more gold coins as the situation with the rest of her fleet worsened. The Baionnette blew her chance to dismast the Algiers (who along with the Lord Cauldwell is proving to be one of the most stubborn ships I’ve ever used), and was subsequently dismasted herself on the following turn by both the Algiers and the Locker (the Cauldwell missed yet again). The Santa Lucia now sunk after a successful scuttle roll, leaving the French with only the Triton.

Since treasure is placed face-up on HI’s in 2-player games, the English could see that they couldn’t sink the Triton outright, with the French owning 7 gold against the 6 of the English. They would have to make the Patagonia (moving S+S) dock before the Triton (S+L+S)! Here the Locker and her deadly crew-killing ability would come in handy.

The Locker rammed the Triton and set her mizzen mast on fire, leaving her with two against the three hull pieces of the Locker. The Locker rolled a 3 on the boarding party, but the Triton rolled a 2, giving the Locker’s boarders the chance to kill all three crew aboard the Triton.

Despite being on fire and having lost her captain, helmsman, and explorer, the Triton was not finished yet. On her next turn, she put out the fire and moved L+S towards her home island, sailing deftly between the hostile Algiers and Lord Cauldwell. However, without the extra +S from the helmsman, she couldn’t get home in time. The Patagonia docked home 2 gold for the English, giving them a narrow 8-7 lead. This allowed the Algiers and Lord Cauldwell to dismast the Triton and win the game for the English! Yet another exciting game that was very hard-fought and close throughout!  One to Remember

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.