Island Placement Strategic Meta

Island Placement Strategic Meta

Lately I’ve been thinking about some rabbit holes.  Specifically, those involving the thinking man’s strategic aims when setting up for a game or playing it.  This is one of my absolute favorite topics in Pirates CSG – competitive optimization from thinking through options and deciding on a best course of action.  It’s a bit more theory and less experience-based than I usually am, but it’s real fun for me to think about.  These snippets come from the Pirates CSG Discord server and I hope to add more over time.

The player who goes first chooses the location of the first island. The second player chooses the location of the final island, which they can place 6L away from the island in play that is already in the most remote location. Then the second player chooses the home island location of the first player, which at that point, why not put the first player as far away as possible?

I can’t believe I haven’t thought of or noticed this before, at least not to a clear strategic goal. This makes it seem like the optimal standard setup (1v1 at 40 points with 6 total islands) would pretty much always have at least one island farther out than all the rest, or would even make the island placement look a lot less like the typical circle or pyramid shape I’m very accustomed to seeing since people often default to placing islands no more than 3L away from other islands.

I think the follow up is: Does an “island placement meta” emerge where because Player 1 knows they will be placed 6L away from an island to start the game, do they place their 2nd and 3rd islands (the 3rd and 5th to be placed) the maximum distance (6L) away from other islands because they know that they will HAVE to place Player 2 at an island that would otherwise be closer? It is suddenly obvious that they will want ALL the islands to be 6L apart to minimize their relative distance to getting gold compared to Player 2.

This could also exacerbate the existing “issue” of speed being the most important attribute in the game along with extra actions. If both players are well aware that one of them (50% either way) will start the game 6L away from the nearest island, they are almost forced to build speed fleets that attempt to make up for such a distance. Which results in more Hai Peng/Banshee’s Cry/Lord Mycron type fleets. This in turn forces the other player to build a more competitive fleet as well, and results in even less average or below average ships and crew from being used.

You would see the ships you’re going up against, but would have to make educated guesses on the crew. That’s where experience and having a somewhat encyclopedic knowledge of the game pieces could come in handy. A bunch of face down crew on the Hai Peng and a potential Mycron ship is a pretty decent bet you’ll be seeing some crazy S+L+S+Lx2 stuff going on in the game. But opponents could also bluff what their crew setups are or just lie about what they have, which gets into the strategic elements I’m also thinking about…

I’ve just been thinking more in-depth about the rules than usual in the past month or two. Plus I keep going first and losing, though this certainly isn’t the reason why. XD

When you go as deep as the rabbit hole goes, you could even say everything is playing the game. Even what you say to the other player prior to meeting up. Bluffing that you’re using a casual fleet and saying the roommate took your tin by accident that morning. XD

I might lose competitive games in the future because I’m bringing this topic up right now. O_O

I just think if you “reverse engineer” it or go backwards, Player 1 realizes that they will have terrible positioning either way. Even if the first 4 islands are set up in a square 6L apart, and Player 1 puts the 5th island 6L away from a corner of the square, Player 2 can still place island 6 (which they know will be 1’s HI) 6L away from the square in the same direction. I think I’ll have to draw this out or make a video about it soonish.

Player 1 would want some powerful ships to stop P2 from getting gold home. This could even affect fleet building for everyone involved – if you know you’ll get screwed with a gold fleet in Player 1 position, BOTH players might just hedge their bets and bring loaded fleets with minimal points invested in gold running.

Terrain is vastly harder to talk strategy about and theorize a “meta” around, simply because it’s FAR more variable than the islands. So many types of terrain, with so many places they can each go on the ocean

I countered my own idea from earlier. Player 1 would anticipate Player 2 placing the final island as far away as possible, and therefore would likely place island 5 in the middle. (this is very basic with the first 4 all maximally 6L apart. Then P2 picks the final location 6L off a corner of the area which they choose as the P1 HI.

I think P1 starts to depend on whirlpools at this point.
the rules don’t specify about agreeing on the TYPE of terrain, so players would potentially just bring a lot of everything and base their choices on whether they go first or second.

Man the meta continues! Because with terrain, P1 can now try to MAKE other islands more appealing for P2 to choose as P1’s HI! By putting whirlpools near a faraway island, it could make P2 think twice about making that P1’s HI.
Maybe this all circles back to the official HI selection choice rule being quite good?

Continuing the discussion on the Discord on 9/27/2021:

This gets into more island placement strategy. Player 2 knows they can put P1’s HI wherever they want. They can place it near their own HI with the full intention of blasting away on their turn (the end of “round 1”) because they had HI protection while P1 doesn’t (unless they keep ships there and likely forfeit actions).

This could also dramatically impact terrain type selection AND placement by P1 because they know they’re going first and will have their HI chosen by P2. If they think P2 will blast them in R1, it could benefit them to place fog banks near as many islands as possible so they can hide right after the game starts if necessary.

UNBOXING THE MOTHERLODE | Massive Pirates CSG Collection Haul

UNBOXING THE MOTHERLODE

Documenting my hoarding habits from purchases made in the time period of November 2020 through September 2021.  Most of it is contained within this youtube playlist, with 18 separate videos showing the stuff I got!

Before it was all unveiled.  The 11 boxes totaled 138 pounds!!

Phase 1 Comics and Games order:

Phase 1 Comics and Games order

The same order at the bottom right.  8 Ocean’s Edge Special Edition boxes from the UK at left, Troll and Toad order at upper right.

Packs of SM, RV, and OE along with some Plunder Packs:

Pirates CSG Packs

Super awesome to get a set of Revolution from Holofernes himself. (one of the most legendary and complete supercollectors ever, and the main editor behind the Wikipedia page for the game as far as I know)

Holofernes Revolution complete set binder

Finished the boxes with one from Matt L.  Quite excited to finally get most of the CC LE’s, MI SR’s, the Independence and HMS Mirage.

This weekend it took quite a while to get everything sorted and organized.  My way of organizing ships is by faction (based on a combination of history, preference, and size), then mast count (biggest to smallest), then ship type (ex: 5 masted square rigged before giant squids), then set (chronological), then collector’s number.  In this way, English 5 masters from SM would be the first ships in my collection, followed by those from CC and so on until the 4 masters start with SM again.

Here are some in progress sorting pics.  The big stack at lower left is 133 Unique Treasures.  Left of that are a bunch of Ocean’s Edge megacard ships, with punched deckplates above those.  In the middle section are each faction’s ship and crew piles, with the huge stacks at the back being the second stacks of unpunched ships for each of the Big 5 factions.

Sorting English ships by mast count:

Absolutely ridiculous towering stacks of unpunched ships and crew:

styrene cards

This is after I got the Big 5 into a 5000 count storage box.  The box can hold over 1000 ships, as it is not full here with 970 unpunched ships in it.  For now I thought it would be fitting to store the UT’s in the treasure chest tin.  🙂

Pirates CSG storage

I’ve always wanted to have a massive card box full of Pirates stuff after seeing artisturn’s collection, and here it is!  Almost 1000 ships!  O_O

970 Pirates CSG ships in 5000 count storage box

And now it is time!  The full grand pictures!

 

THE MOTHERLODE

The Motherlode (Pirates CSG)

Unboxing the Motherlode The Motherlode (Pirates CSG)

The Numbers

Unboxing the Motherlode final stats

So there you have it.  870 packs, 3109 ships including over 1100 not even in packs, 509 crew, 133 UT’s, and a dream come true.

I think this concludes UNBOXING THE MOTHERLODE.  XD   I am officially a Hoarder!!

Game with Luke at Mox Boarding House in Seattle! (September 19th, 2021)

Game with Luke at Mox Boarding House in Seattle

September 19th, 2021 (Talk Like a Pirate Day)

I met up with new Pirates CSG player Luke in Seattle, coincidentally on Talk Like a Pirate Day!  We played at Mox Boarding House Seattle, the sister location of the venue I visited with Tiffany O’Brien the day before.

We went with a 60 point build total, round earth, and generally my Basic Rules, with the exception that rams could still cause damage and terrain was literally tossed onto the map and played where it landed.

I went first with this Anglo-French fleet:
La Belle Etoile + captain, helmsman, oarsman
La Belle Poule + helmsman
Maui’s Fishhook + LE Griffin, captain, helmsman

He followed with this mixed fleet.

Mox had a nice playmat lying around that worked well as a unique ocean I’ve never played on before.  More of a snowy/icy look than water, but certainly good enough for us!  Luke included his nice custom made island along with a few rocks.

Game with Luke at Mox Boarding House Seattle 2021

Luke Menzie custom island for Pirates CSG

The Maui’s Fishhook (MF) flew out at L+S+S and grabbed some coins with her shiny crane:

Luke’s fleet sailed out, but the Belles would reach wild islands first.  I docked the Belle Etoile at an angle where she could shoot all three cannons at the Santa Isabel, but true to form my characteristically terrible cannon luck continued, shooting 1/3 and only eliminating a minor crew from the Isabel.

This left the Belle Etoile open to attack, and the Spanish pounced, dismasting the ship!

La Santa Isabel dismasts La Belle Etoile

A different angle showing my ships coming home with gold:

The Belle Etoile tried to sneak away on oar power:

The Maui’s Fishhook caught the Pride sailing off my home island, and eliminated two masts!  While the Santa Isabel was busy grabbing gold, the Belle Etoile escaped into a fog bank.

The Pride did a hit and run on the Belle Poule on her escape attempt, but the MF caught and dismasted her.

Overhead shot showing the MF capturing the Pride, while Luke’s ships gather gold at home and abroad (Courageux at top of frame).

I wanted the center island’s gold more than a derelict Pride, so the MF dropped the tow and hoisted more booty aboard.

The Belle Etoile took up towing duties, but the similarly speedy Santa Isabel was ready to strike!  She sank the Belle Etoile shortly afterwards.

Pirates Constructible Strategy Game on Talk Like a Pirate Day

The Santa Isabel also sunk the other Belle (Poule).  The MF grabbed (now friendly but probably not voluntarily obliging) Calico Cat off the captured Pride, with Griffin (English LE version, not the one still on the Pride!) looking to throw her overboard as insurance policy against potential whirlpool damages.  Only now is it occurring to me how strange this situation was thematically, especially with Calico Cat’s history with the English, Griffin’s backstory and two versions in play in the same fleet, etc.  O_O

However, the Santa Isabel turned around and blasted two masts off the MF!  At the upper right, you can see the final coin in play, which is all that stood between us and the final gold count.

The MF did manage to whirl towards the coin, but there was too much ocean and game left…

This is where Luke’s luck abruptly ran out, going a combined 0 for 5 on his turn! (Santa Isabel and Coeur missed 4 shots and the Courageux failed her ram attempt)

Maui's Fishhook lives

The Maui’s Fishhook lives!  She used her unique ship ability to nab the final coin, but it wasn’t likely to survive with it in her secret hold.

Pirates CSG game with Luke on TLAPD 2021

Luke sank the MF and the game ended!

  1. Luke: 24 gold
  2. Ben: 20 gold

We had a great time and some interesting Pirates CSG discussions.  I highly recommend Mox Boarding House (both WA locations) and hope to meet more Pirates CSG players and fans there!  😀

After the game we did a really cool impromptu trade!  Luke gave me an Isle of Fire from Savage Shores (my first one I believe!) so I returned the favor by giving him a sealed pack of Revolution!  He opened it on the spot and found a neat pack including his first fort (Ramsgate), first event (Divers), and favorite ship! (Le Courageux)

We noticed a sliding part above the table which made me think about potential waterfall ideas, or something thematically opposite of the Bowen sub-ocean….

As an aside, I seem to keep going first, but keep losing all the time (5 straight losses now).  They have been mostly casual games, but something needs to change perhaps….

Playing with Tiffany O’Brien! Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington (September 18th, 2021)

Playing with Tiffany O’Brien!

Mox Boarding House in Bellevue WA

September 18th, 2021

I met up with former Wizkids product manager Tiffany O’Brien for a game at Mox Boarding House in Bellevue WA, near the location of the Wizkids offices they used when the game was still in print!  O_O  😀

Having done a podcast last year, Tiffany and I met at a very cool gaming venue. My ship’s relocation has provided the perfect opportunities to meet up with various Pirates CSG players and former Wizkids employees located near Seattle.

She brought 2 regular packs and 2 megapacks of Ocean’s Edge, which we used for the game!  I got a “mirror” or duplicate megapack, and neither of us ended up using many crew.  It would be a 40 point game with round earth using my Basic Rules.

The Fleets

Tiffany
El Acorazado (OE version)
HMS Hermes + oarsman
Juggernaut

Ben
Ghost Walker
El Toro
Strix

We used the Gale Force Nine islands and put some terrain wherever we wanted it.

Playing with Tiffany O'Brien!

El Toro pinned El Acorazado in place, but no ram damage and no crew on either game piece meant no damage of any kind could be done!

Hostilities commence, with the Spanish flagship blasting away the creature’s arms before the crab can gain the upper hand!

El Acorazado shoots at El Toro

The Strix and Hermes have reached islands.  The Ghost Walker cancelled the Hermes’ Catamaran keyword but missed badly!

Playing with Tiffany O'Brien

The Battleship finishes off The Bull!

The Battleship finishes off The Bull!

The Hermes dropped off gold, being shadowed by the Ghost Walker.  The Juggernaut and Acorazado are headed home with gold, with the Strix looking for a second haul of her own.

Two turns later and Tiffany was getting rich!

Playing with Tiffany O'Brien

The Ghost Walker finally got some more shots in, cancelling Catamaran again and dismasting the Hermes.  However, she would also need to get a coin and hope the Strix could rob the Juggernaut….

The Ghost Walker explored the island to grab the loot but the Acorazado blocked her easy route home:

The Strix did manage to ram the Juggernaut, but to no avail!

Strix rams Juggernaut. Playing with Tiffany O'Brien! Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington

The Ghost Walker round earthed to find a route home, while Tiffany’s fleet regrouped.  The Juggernaut brought home more gold as the Acorazado took the Hermes under tow.

Playing with Tiffany O'Brien! Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington

The Ghost Walker docked home the final coin and it was decided!

Tiffany wins 27-13!

  1. Tiffany: 27 gold
  2. Ben: 13 gold

We had a fun time with the great game of Pirates CSG!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

Ben and Tiffany. Playing with Tiffany O'Brien! Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington

Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington

Teaching Two New Players! (September 17th, 2021)

Teaching Two New Players!

I went over to a friend’s house and taught a couple friends how to play Pirates CSG.  They were the first players I’ve taught since spring 2020, though it felt like it had been even longer.

I gave both of them a pack of RV and OE each, though player 1 didn’t open the OE pack as his RV pack was enough with some generic crew to make a solid 30 point fleet, which is the build total we used. We allowed all crew to use their abilities on ships of any nationality.

Fleets in the order of play:
Eric
Jarvis + Jean Laffite, captain, helmsman
Le Pique

Ben
United States + captain, helmsman
Peacock + oarsman

Michael
Lusca
Strix + helmsman, oarsman
+Oarsman on home island

For the introductory game we used 3 islands with 4 coins apiece, no terrain, and round earth rules.  The home island locations were coincidentally all on one side of the map.

Teaching Two New Players how to play Pirates CSG on September 17th 2021

The race for the gold was on!

The Jarvis and United States got into a skirmish, while Lusca surfaced to ram and pin the Peacock.  My position in the center of the other fleets was not looking enviable.

I wanted to save some gold from the Peacock and so the United States started blasting tentacles off of Lusca’s disgusting slimy body!

Alas it was too late, for the Peacock was doomed to sink!

The Jarvis actually joined the festivities and attacked Lusca!

When the squid fought back the United States was looking terrible:

Eventually the squid was finished off, allowing the Americans to continue their civil war!

With a Broadsides Attack the United States was able to finish off the Jarvis, but the other fleets were getting all the gold.

The Strix lost a mast before shooting the United States derelict at last:

Le Pique proved to be the game’s MVS (Most Valuable Ship), sailing over to sink the Strix after providing her fleet with just enough gold to win!

  1. Eric: 9 gold
  2. Michael: 8 gold
  3. Ben: 0 gold

60 Point Game with Captain Randy in Las Vegas (September 12th, 2021)

Ben vs. Captain Randy at 60 Points

September 12th, 2021

Once again I played against Captain Randy in Las Vegas, this time at his house where we played some games in July 2021.  We used the same custom rules as the previous game.

I used the Deliverance, Frontier and Philadelphia while he went with a mostly Cursed fleet:

Executioner + OE El Fantasma, DJC Tabitha McWarren, Gendermarie Rene Moreau, RotF Ralph David, helmsman, oarsman
Grinder + chieftain, helmsman
Coeur du Lion + helmsman
Cursed native canoes

Game with Captain Randy in Las Vegas on September 12th, 2021

On Randy’s first turn the Executioner used a whirlpool and Sac to sink the Frontier!  Things were already not looking good for me.

Similar to our last game, I struck back quickly, eliminating 3 masts from the Executioner:

The Cursed were laying claim to 3 of the 4 wild islands when the Deliverance zoomed over and started sinking native canoes!

The Deliverance caught the Executioner on her way home and dismasted her.  However, the Philadelphia has been useless so far (I really wanted to take advantage of her ability given the points in play win condition) and the Coeur has unloaded gold for the Cursed.

The pesky marine made the Deliverance go home for repairs, while the Philadelphia rammed the Coeur to try and steal some gold.  At this point the Executioner had one remaining face down crew, which I first assumed was an oarsman (especially with the Sac Captain El Fantasma aboard).  However, Captain Randy didn’t move the Executioner for a turn or two, so it became more evident that it was unlikely to be an oarsman.  I didn’t want to touch the Executioner with one of my ships (trying to tow if it didn’t have an oarsman) and end up losing valuable crew in an accidental boarding party.  Overall it made for a memorable time and is one of the cool things about having crew face down.  Between potential bluffing about face down crew and not reacting when you discover really good gold coins, there is definitely a “poker face” aspect to Pirates that is really interesting to see play out in real time.  🙂

Now it got a bit crazy.  The Philadelphia captured the Executioner (no oarsman to prevent dereliction), while the Deliverance tried to steal gold from the Grinder as she approached the Cursed HI. (the 6 marks a successful scuttle roll on the Executioner, as Ralph David made her Eternal)

The Gunship Swap

Within a turn, the fleets started looking rather strange.  The Executioner warped the short distance home with Eternal and started repairing, while the Cursed fleet was able to dismast and capture the Deliverance!  However, this is where we messed up a bit – under the points in play victory condition, we had already made a modification to Eternal that says “all cargo assigned to the ship is removed from the game” when Eternal kicks in.  This is to prevent the keyword from being OP with the alternate rules.  We forgot to remove the cargo (a bunch of valuable crew including the source of Eternal itself) so this game comes with a small asterisk, though I don’t think the end result would change.

Captain Randy and I both admitted that we wish we had played better as both of us made some mistakes in this game.  Here I took advantage of Randy not repairing the captured Deliverance as soon as he had docked her at his HI, which left the derelict ripe for the Executioner to recapture her!  Now I had both gunships under my control, but only 1 mast standing between the two of them.  The Philly did a small chain towing maneuver in an attempt to get the Deliverance out of range of the Coeur and Grinder.

The Executioner was dismasted but the Philadelphia was able to use her ability to warp the Deliverance to my HI where she repaired a mast.

Somehow the Philadelphia ended up capturing the Grinder as well!  This was a convenient boon for me, as the Turbine keyword allowed the Grinder to speed straight to my HI without any masts.  However, I just now realized that this is another gaffe, as Turbine says: “A ship with this keyword is not derelict when it has no masts remaining. If it has no masts, one hit still sinks it.”  Since it’s not derelict, it can’t be captured….

I think we swapped gunships again (now back to their original fleets) and the game ended shortly afterwards.

Congrats to Captain Randy on a 95-35 victory! (mostly from gold multiplied by 4) It was certainly a learning experience, both for the new rules and even understanding normal keywords.  I will say that I LOVE towing and capturing logistics, as well as the face down crew intrigue game.

Game on the Las Vegas Strip with Captain Randy! (September 10th, 2021)

Game on the Las Vegas Strip with Captain Randy!

Captain Randy and I met up at The Park by the New York New York hotel to play a game of Pirates on the Strip!  😀

Here’s the little preview footage:

We used a 60 point build total, round earth rules, and some new rules myself and few others have been working on.  The biggest change is that the winner of the game is the one with the most total points in play at the end of the game, which includes points and gold in your fleet.  Each player had to contribute 8 coins worth 60 gold (right now we’re trying an equal amount of points and gold at the start of play, so 60 points and 60 gold per player for 240 total at the beginning of the game), which we accomplished by simply multiplying the values of all coins by 4.  (since the standard rules call for 8 coins worth 15 gold)

I went first with a Pirate fleet:
Deliverance + OE Calico Cat, OE Griffin, The Hag of Tortuga, helmsman, oarsman
Cursed Blade + captain, helmsman
El Dorado + helmsman
Lightning

He used an English Pirate fleet.

Game with Captain Randy in Las Vegas September 2021

The lighting affected the picture quality a bit, but here the Lightning is being blocked from Randy’s fleet by the Cursed Blade and El Dorado:

Deliverance in a fog bank with the lights of the Strip in the background:

The block ships didn’t stop Captain Randy!  With HMS Gallows he came in guns blazing real hot, using a double action to sink the Cursed Blade and El Dorado and dismast the Lightning!!  O_O

The Pirates got instant revenge on my turn, with the Deliverance coming out of the fog to dismast the Gallows!  Mostly due to the close home islands, this was definitely going to be one of those games where a flurry of actions and casualties happen at the start, and the remainder of the game is basically picking up the pieces and salvaging what you can to try to win.

Not as picturesque or piratey as Senor Frogs where we played in 2019, but a nice night in Vegas!  The Deliverance has sunk the Gallows.

The Aberdeen Baron round earthed to get some gold, with the Deliverance the only hope for the Pirates at this point.

Eventually the Deliverance got around to towing my Lightning, but the Aberdeen Baron (after getting some gold home) went on the attack.

After some more shenanigans I think I was able to end the game with the Deliverance!  However, we had forgotten that coins were worth 4 times their printed values, so Captain Randy won 40-35!

Afterwards we got up to some shenanigans at the Bellagio, where I disposed of an $1800 ship and we threw some coins into the water for good luck.  😉

Game with Gino in New York! (September 8th, 2021)

Game with Gino in upstate New York

Gino got back into Pirates last year and although I don’t live in New York State anymore due to the Navy, I figured there would be a chance we could meet up at some point given my hometown is near Syracuse NY.  It all came together on my latest leave period!  After attending Derek Jeter’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, I drove just a short way to Gino’s house so we could talk shop and play Pirates!!  He was the fifth member of the online community I’ve now met up with in person, after Captain Randy, Xerecs, JW Darkhurst, and Gingerninja.

Gino is an awesome guy and the one who made these ships using a laser cutter and styrene.  We played with his cool setup including a custom ocean with homemade islands and terrain!

We decided to go with a 60 point build total and round earth rules.

I went with a Franco-Spanish fleet including the Buscador, Sirviente towing Diablo, and the Enfant Terrible.

Gino went with a ghost fleet of the Deliverance, Amity, and Hades’ Flame:

The Amity was able to ghost through some fog but unable to dock at the center island, so the Buscador snagged the gold out from under the Pirates!

The Hades’ Flame looks to grab gold:

The Deliverance had a navigator and was busy laying trade currents for the speedy Pirate runners.

The Buscador returned home with booty while her fleetmates sailed off to harass the Amity.

The Enfant chased the Amity, finally finishing the job:

It looked like the Deliverance would have to get gold for the Pirates to stay in it.  However, that meant marooning Lady Baptiste and the navigator on the island.

However, the Ghost Ship conundrum struck again – even though Gino had great luck with getting double actions for the Deliverance this game, Ghost Ship helped his ships pass through terrain but they couldn’t dock at the end of those move actions.  This basically forced the Deliverance to stop just short of the Pirate HI, at which point the Sirviente and Diablo pounced (having already round earthed), dismasting the ship!  In the background you can see that the Enfant has captured the Amity.

Meanwhile the Buscador continues increasing Spanish wealth:

In a clutch game-saving move, the Hades’ Flame towed the Deliverance, who explored the HF so Calico Cat (I think) could transfer to the HF.  The double action roll succeeded, allowing the Hades’ Flame to dock the Deliverance at home and save the ship!  This is one of my favorite parts of the game – towing logistics and optimizing crew setups and gameplay moves through crew transfers while towing.  An underrated (or possibly underutilized) part of the strategic meta.

The Hades’ Flame wanted to get more gold…

… but the Spanish played spoiler, dismasting the ship:

At this point we effectively called it, as the Buscador was likely to get the remaining gold in play especially with the Sirviente, Diablo and Enfant Terrible to protect her.

The Franco-Spanish won 17-11!

We both had an awesome time!  Afterwards we were talking about Pirates of course, including the legal issues surrounding it along with the British vs. Pirates game that fellow Pirates CSG fan Cannonball (discord username) successfully started.

Ben and Gino (Gigi) after playing Pirates CSG in New York State on September 8th 2021

THE BIGGEST GAME OF ALL TIME | The Reign of Terror has begun….

What the hell is going on!?

Fleet Status Update

Xerecs

Spanish (home island is in the southeast): 15 ships, 243 points. Recently attacked by the Pirates through whirlpools at the spice island southwest of their home island (HI).

Jade Rebellion (south central): Approximately 5 ships for 50 points. They have struggled to grow.  Although they were the first faction to reach The Archipelago, their Noble Swan was captured by the Pirates, netting the Pirates a key UT combo that has pretty much permanently destabilized the game.

The Conglomerate/The Alliance: ~27 ships total.  Recently hired Mata-Nui gives them the Copier ability, and since bringing him into the fold they’ve gotten Hidden Trove twice, netting them over 1000 gold in a short period of time.

English: 16 ships in play. The English have been pretty average so far, gathering reasonably valuable resources and staying out of conflict.

A7XfanBen

Pirates (home island is northeast and southeast due to round earth rules): Already the dominant faction of the early game, the Pirates are quickly reaching all-time great status.  Combining the captured Runes of Thor+Nemo’s Plans combo with the custom Arcane ship has vaulted them into a new stratosphere of fleet size, recently topping out at 148 ships and ~3740 total points in play!  They have become the de facto favorite, with a staggering amount of firepower that grows by the turn (41 ships launched last turn!) along with a growing collection of WMD’s – Weapons of Mass Destruction.  The sheer amount of ability and UT combos available to the Pirates gives them striking range and power unlike anything ever seen in a Pirates CSG game.

Cursed (northwest): With some intriguing help from the Pirates along with Davy Jones’ Copier ability, The Cursed have gone from an average faction to the second largest fleet in play.  Among their 37 ships are a whopping five 10 masters, with more possibly on the way given that they’re still sitting on around 2000 gold.

Vikings (north central): The Vikings have basically just collected lumber, and lost the Sleipnir to the nearby Pirates. However, 14 ships is not terrible considering their severe factional limitations.  They have a Copier (Jord), but have had no luck copying the Arcane thus far.

Barbary Corsairs (northeast): The Corsairs have been an instigator, teaming up with the Vikings in a somewhat anti-Pirate/local alliance.  They attacked the Pirates with some of their best custom 4 masters; although their initial attack was devastating, they lost all 4 of the ships.  However, a Copier of their own has allowed them to resurge, with 26 ships and nearly 500 points in play.

PirateAJ14

Dutch (southwest): ~7 ships. The Dutch have some interesting ships and UT’s.  It looks as though they may be trying to establish an alliance with the French.

Americans (northwest): 16+ ships. The Americans have done quite well for themselves, raking in metals to launch a bunch of their best ships.  Recent attacks by The Cursed have left them in a state of some disarray.

Mercenaries (east): 6 ships.  It took them a while to get going, but now the Mercenaries have some ships beyond just their starting fleet.  They have been rather “anonymous” and are located far from any conflicts.

French (southwest): 8+ ships.  The French have been stuck with poor resources for a while, and have not yet had the chance to make a mark for themselves in the game.

Alliances: Corsairs and Vikings (not publicly announced in game, so for thematic purposes only these factions know along with whoever they may have told about it)

Wars (declarer first): Pirates vs. Spanish

 

A 33 Hour Turn

As a general reminder, if you haven’t read the previous battle reports for CG4, this will be harder to understand.  I recommend starting with the rules and first reports, followed by the rest in the tag.  The tagged posts start with the most recent, so going bottom up from the last page is in chronological order.

This turn with my four factions took approximately 33 hours, up from last turn’s previous record of 30.5 hours.  It was played from late May 2021 until July 31st 2021, with approximately 15 different sessions of playtime.  The longest sessions were 5 hours on May 30th and about 4 hours on July 24th.  I think the point count took about 4 hours, with the battle report taking about another 5+, so what you’re looking at represents over 40 hours of dedication just for this turn.

Pirates

I started my party of a turn listening to this excellent mix.  I am absolutely drunk on power…. XD

Arcane Rolls: Vesok allowed Gilded Figurehead to work, which was used to replace the bad Arcane roll with a 6.  This allowed the Pirates to place a Hidden Trove on the Shadow Thief!  This would not be the last of their successes….

It is almost crazy just keeping track of the Pirates’ AA (Admiral’s Action) rolls – they now have nine of those abilities in play.  8 of them have Reroll with them on the ship in question, while the 9th is Ching Shih whose AA hits on a 4-6 due to Vesok being aboard the Smoke’s Hand with her.  O_O  So at the beginning of each Pirate turn, I am just doing around 20 d6 rolls to see how many AA’s I get and which Arcane rolls/rerolls/etc work out.  XD  In addition, the Shadow’s Hand now carries the Antikythera Mechanism, which just hit on this turn with a 6, allowing the Pirates to give an action to an enemy ship!

The Smiling Jim brushed up against the Noble Swan, giving the former the Plague but allowing the Noble Swan to explore the Smiling Jim, also giving her Enemy of the State.  The Smiling Jim was launched specifically for this purpose, so the Noble Swan will be able to dock at the Pirate HI (finally!) when the Warring Tribes gets her there.

The Tempest got Cannonball Gallows’ EA to move out of the whirlpool area near where the attack on the Spanish took place.  She emerged from the fogpool near the Pirate home island, using her second action to touch the Inferno.  The Inferno was given an explore action, swapping a face down crew for the Tempest’s Aert van Tuyl, the historical custom chieftain for the Natives of Madagascar native canoes.  The Tempest is even more loaded now….

Chain exploring is back in vogue!  With the ability to yank in Hidden Trove at will every single turn, the Pirates have less need for gold runners.  At some islands, the Pirates are now planning to go with a more passive gold running approach, chaining together their resource gatherers so they barely have to sail them around at all.  Ideally the last ship in the chain that would normally be docked at the home island will have some kind of ability that allows her to unload at the home island if she’s within S of it.  This allows ships to transit the busy waters right around the home island rather than create a blockage where ships would normally have to sail all the way around the chain of exploring ships in order to get to the other side of the home island area. (or break up the chain to allow a ship through the line, which slows down the flow of resources)  Due to their guaranteed (and massive) income with essentially infinite Hidden Troves, the Pirates aren’t worried about whether or not the chain exploring is truly optimal for resource collection (they might get X less of metal per turn compared to regular operations where each ship is given a move action, though I haven’t done the math on all that).

Chain exploring Pirates in CG4

In what would normally be a large coup, the Harbinger sacced to capture the Joya del Sol and warp her home, netting the Pirates a grand Spanish prize along with her cargo of 7 spices, suddenly worth the max of 42 gold under the new resource change! O_O Of course, that is now chump change compared to the Pirates’ near-unlimited wealth….

The Tempest used Avak’s help to get a 6 on the ship’s special ability, which allows her to place a whirlpool from outside the game anywhere on the ocean!  This would become important later on….

For reference, here is the Pirate-Spanish situation towards the end of this Pirate turn.  Some of the gunships that attacked last turn left the area already, with the Pirates cleaning up a bit.  The 10 masters continued circling the spice island.  Despite the fact that a state of WAR exists between the two factions, the Pirate ships made no moves towards the Spanish home island (HI).

BUT THAT WAS NOT THE END OF IT!!  THE LEVIATHAN IS HERE!  The custom Pirate 5 master with D movement came swooping in, but she was not without some extra help!  The Pirates got ALL THREE Arcane rolls this round (with some help from Runes of Thor of course! lol), allowing them to put UT’s on The Leviathan.  Here is the footage of what happened next!!

14 masts eliminated from 7 Spanish ships, from a UT that is now reusable!!!  O_O

The Leviathan uses Neptune's Trident against the Spanish!

The Leviathan is dismasted… but the Pirates have a plan for that… at least, … someone does….

 

Now it was time for another Odin Missile!  The WMD that the Pirates introduced last turn is still fully operational!  The Pirates don’t care much for the Jade Rebellion, so why not hit them?  Runes of Odin introduced a new deadly iceberg to the game, and then Runes of Magic was used to slam it into the Virtuous Wind, removing her from the game!!  O_O

The VW was carrying a bevy of UT’s when the icy missile broke her to pieces:

The Stormy Night moved the Tycoon into the iceberg that destroyed the Virtuous Wind.

What happened next was nothing short of shocking and evil.

 

Summary: With the Pirates controlling her, the Chimeratron Legacy captures 8 American crew and scores 8 hits combined on the Mercury and Blackwatch.  Making matters much worse for the Americans, The Cursed are next in the play order, which means the CL can probably get 2 more actions before the Americans can even respond….

The Tempest used her ability to place a whirlpool… right next to The Leviathan….  O_O  Anyone paying close attention to the customs in play may have an idea of what this means… very soon….  oh no…..

In the northeast, the Pirates continued moving their mass of gunships to the southeast towards the whirlpool and fogpool.  Perhaps they’re forming some sort of defensive line against the Corsairs?  Even in zoomed-in pictures like this you can see the massive scale of campaign games.  So many ships in one area, and true fleet movements occurring as they did in the Age of Sail, rather than a handful of ships scurrying about in a 40 point game.  XD

The Blackleaf was given the final AA of the turn to teleport from the fogpool to a whirlpool in the far northeast that is surrounded by sargasso sea (at the far right in the above picture). The whirlpool is close to the spice island the Corsairs and English have been making trips to, which is now rather valuable given the resource change making spices worth 5 gold each. The Blackleaf also carries town and military port upgrades….

At the upgraded Skull Valley fortress, the Pirates gave actions to their newly launched ships there.  Along with some random-looking maneuvers, it once again appears that the Pirates are generally just trying to clear as much room as possible at their launch points….

And that is exactly the case!!  The Shadow Thief docked home a Hidden Trove. 334 ships in play meant it was worth 668 gold. Silverback John doubled that to 1336, which got added to the Pirates’ existing 565 gold for a grand total of 1901 gold!

Pirate Launch Period

C=Captain; H=Helmsman; O=Oarsman; FPS=Firepot Specialist; B2W=Back to War (Pointless Arrow’s custom set)

Launched from Skull Valley: 9 ships, 207 points
El Dorado + CH, Dinghy, Streamlined Hull
Ranger (B2W) + CHO, Ballista; towing Guinea (B2W)
Broken Wind + Iolkos (Captain, S-Board, crew kill on every hit), helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull
Prussian Crown + CHO, Ballista, 68lb Carronade, Swivel Gun
Sea Keg + CHO, Ballista
Foresight + helmsman, Dinghy, 2 shipwrights, 5 oarsmen
Dharma + helmsman, shipwright, Dinghy, 4 oarsmen
Sunrise Fire + helmsman, Dinghy, 2 shipwrights, 3 oarsmen

Launched from the textiles military port: 11 ships, 247 points
Berserker+ CHO, Dinghy, 2 equipment
Burnt Bones + CHO, Dinghy, Carronade, 2 equipment
Recreant + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
El Ladron + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Revenge (PotC version) + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Accused + CHO, firepot specialist, musketeer
Silverback + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot, Dinghy
HMS Rickets + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Fortune + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Plague of the North + CHO, firepot specialist
Dart + CH, Dinghy, facedown crew

Launched from metals military port: 15 ships, 335 points
Bruja + François l’Olonnais, helmsman, oarsman
Bloody Spear + Fidel Zuan, CHO, FPS, Streamlined Hull
Flying Death + Richard Sawkins (Captain, +1 to boards, +1 to d6 rolls against the Spanish), helmsman, Dinghy, oarsman
Charles + Jean L’Escuyer (+1 to cannons against the Spanish), CH, FPS
Black Gentleman + Daniel Johnson (+1 tod6 rolls against the Spanish and +1 to boards), CHO, Ballista (one of the very few ships in the Pirate fleet utilizing Silverback John’s cargo master +1 bonus)
-This completes the Anti-Spanish Squadron (for now?) at 12 ships.

Greyhound + CH, FPS, shipwright
Mocha + CHO, FPS
Panama Sun + CHO, FPS, shipwright
Poison Dagger + CHO, FPS
Pillage + CHO
Foultrader + CHO, Ballista
El Diablo Negro + Jacques Tavernier, Judy Rodriguez (Helmsman+Cannoneer), oarsman, Ballista, Dinghy
Viper + CH, Dinghy, Ballista
Santiago + CHO, Ballista, fire shot
Zanzibar + CHO, FPS

Launched from their home island: 10 ships, 238 points (seen in the previous 2 pictures)
(Northern half)
The Deserter + CHO
Black Arrow + CHO, chainshot specialist, Dinghy, stinkpot shot
Ningpo + Captain, Ballista
Delight + CHO, Ballista
Dolphin + CH, shipwright
Plague of the East + CHO, shipwright, fire shot
(Southern half)
Charming Mary + Calico Cat (already in play), CHO, shipwright, Streamlined Hull
Silver Dagger + CHO, Streamlined Hull, gold coin, fort upgrade
Bonny Kate + CHO
Royal Fortune + CHO
El Chico + CH

+the Harbinger received a Dinghy and restocked oarsmen; she is one of the VERY few ships in the Pirate fleet actually taking advantage of Silverback John’s cargo master bonus and therefore she will sail out next turn with 5 oarsmen.  (I despise the usage of cargo masters in campaign games because it breaks their ability, so I use it as little as possible and generally just ignore the fact that all my Pirate ships in this game have an extra cargo space.)

The Arcane is essentially up to 4 “bodyguard” ships now. This is like the military policy of Defense in Depth.

You may notice that a lot of the launches are rather lackluster.  This is partly because they’ve already launched a ton of the really good ships I wanted them to launch, and because it’s easier to launch cheaper or “basic” ships to save time so my turn can take about 3 months instead of maybe 4.  XD  It’s finally gotten to the point where the Pirates are so big and powerful that it doesn’t feel remotely necessary to fully optimize their launches every single turn like I usually do in campaign games.  The term I’ve been using for a ship like Poison Dagger (average across the board but more likely to be a gunship than a gold runner) is “stock gunship”.  The Pirates, having the most ships ever released in this game, inevitably have a lot of 2-3 masters that are sometimes quite good (like the Recreant) along with a lower tier of similar ships that blend together and just aren’t usually that notable on their own.  These are generally what I call stock gunships (at least, in campaign games).  Almost like pure “numbers” gunships that wouldn’t normally carry named crew, but can stock up on “extra weaponry” (as I call it) such as cannoneers, musketeers, specialists, and offensive equipment.

The Pirates launched 18 ships from stock this turn.

The Pirate launch phases have now transitioned from fully optimal, to more of a numbers game where they continue rapidly expanding the size of their fleet, but nowadays filling it out with “stock” as they run through ship after ship from the Master Spreadsheet and Customs Database in a frenetic pace to “launch ’em all”.  Time will tell if they slow down on purpose despite their massive wealth, or if they splurge onwards and continue adding 40+ ships to their fleet every turn….

This Pirate Turn By the Numbers
Ships Launched: 45 (new high for them this game, and likely for any fleet in any game; 86 ships added to their fleet in the last 2 turns)
Gold Spent: 1,027
Gold Remaining: 874
New Fleet Totals: 196 Ships, ~4,700 Points  (continue reading for the point count…)

The Cursed

-Got the FD’s UT ability to work with Kalfu’s regular Reroll. This was used to put a copy of Runes of Thor on the Shadow’s Hand, completing the Pirate trifecta of THREE auto-6’s!! (three ships in their fleet now have both Nemo’s Plans and Runes of Thor aboard)  This is also certainly not the first time The Cursed have used the FD to give the Pirates a positive UT….
-The Pantheon got her Arcane roll to work! Nemo’s Plans placed on the Chimeratron Legacy!  O_O   Uh oh….
-The Pirates use one of their Runes of Thor copies on the Royal Feces’ Arcane roll that goes through Eye of Insanity and Davy Jones! This is used to bring in Nuva, which was placed on the Pantheon! (Any crew ability on this ship may be used by another crew within S of this ship.) Just like the Pirates have done with the Smoke’s Hand, this will allow the copying of a Copier, giving The Cursed yet another chance at Arcane rolls every turn! (just like the Pirates, they will now have 3 cracks at it every turn, and you can trust they will do everything they can to optimize the system with Reroll/Gilded Figurehead/etc.)
-The Spiral Chaos used Nuva to copy Davy Jones (and the Arcane through DJ) through her oarsman. The 6 was used to bring in Runes of Thor which was placed on the Chimeratron Legacy!  O_O

The Chimeratron Legacy was up next… dare to watch the carnage unfold??  See it here….

She sank the Blackwatch, damaged the Kettering, and captured the Mercury!  O_O  The deed is done.  But the turn is not.  Devil’s Storm, continue the slaughter.  And that she did, capturing the Kettering and hitting the Bonhomme Richard.

The Cursed press their attack against the Americans in CG4

Funny enough the attack was not complete!  I forgot one of the recently acquired Cursed weapons!  Tridax (a custom ship from Xerecs) got a 5 to warp to an island and shoot the Americans, sinking the Lynx and further damaging the Bonhomme Richard!

With just a few ships The Cursed have thrown the American fleet into disarray.  Some American ships have been captured or sunk, while others flee with significant battle damage.  What was already a gloomy situation for the Americans is made even more horrendous with the arrival of Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse – the newest Cursed 10 master on the scene!  With the CL about to warp out of the picture by capturing the Mercury via Lord Jonathan Morgenstern and Dinghy, the Chimera serves as the CL’s replacement on the battlefront.  (not that she needed a relief)

The Spiral Chaos used Kalfu’s global reroll to get her ship’s ability to work on a 6!  “Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 5-6, move any ship within L of a whirlpool into that whirlpool. You may choose the exit location of the ship.”  The Cursed chose the Spanish!  The Colector del Dia spun through a whirlpool…

Colector del Dia on her way out

…and got sent to Davy Jones’ Locker by Figlar Castle #2!!  O_O   Imagine the shock the Spanish felt as one of their ships was mysteriously yanked into a new whirlpool (created by the Pirates…), only to never see her again as she was sunk far away across the ocean by a new whirlborne Cursed fortress of doom!!  O_O

The Cursed ships scattered from their home island, likely making room for new launches in addition to the Chimeratron Legacy, who warped home with the Mercury after exploring her via Dinghy.  You can also see a good number of Cursed ships entering fog banks.

 

A familiar WMD, in Evil hands

O_O   The Cursed combine their old copy of Runes of Odin (that they found normally quite a while back) with a new copy of Nemo’s Plans to introduce their own version of the Odin Missile!  Oya-lansan is used to shove the iceberg into the Fuerza de Dios, instantly removing the Spanish 5 master from the game!

 

Now for a case of severe shock….

BOOM!!

Figlar Castle whirls into Spanish territory

and BOOOOOOM!!!!!!!   O_O_O_O_O

The Cursed launch 4 10 masters right next to the Spanish home island!!!!!

The Cursed launch 4 10 masters right next to the Spanish home island!!!!!  O_O

Figlar Castle: This fort can only be built on a whirlpool when a Cursed ship is touching the whirlpool. Starting the turn after construction, this fort can travel through whirlpools like a ship, but without having to roll for damage. Ships docked at the fort do not travel with the fort. Cursed crew can use their abilities in this fort.

The Cursed warped the recently upgraded 1st Figlar Castle through her original whirlpool to arrive in what still looks like Spanish territorial waters!  And during their launch period they launched 5 ships from the fort including 4 10 masters!!  Holy cow and What The Hell!?   LOL!  Not only does this look really bad for the Spanish, but the fort and 10 masters just so happen to completely cover the dismasted Leviathan and likely block the Spanish off from doing her any harm.

Now you can see why I said in the last report regarding the second copy (only 2 of each custom fort allowed in this game) of Figlar Castle being built by the Solenostomus: “This should seem… far more than ominous….

The Cursed Launch

From the Figlar Castle by the Spanish Home Island: 5 ships, 329 points
Berzerker + Berserk Overlord, helmsman, oarsman, Ballista, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew and 1 equipment
Devil’s Wrath + helmsman, oarsman, 4 crew, 2 equipment
Diabolic Monstrosity + helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew, 2 equipment
Slaughter of Innocents + helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew, 1 equipment
Slaying of the Savior + helmsman, oarsman, 4 crew
+High Command, Throne of the Antichrist with Underworld Maniacs as the 10+ point crew

From the Cursed Home Island: 9 ships, 416 points
Colossal Rupture + Taiken, Magnesis, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew
World of Apathy + Demonwraith, The Shadow King, Bitil, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, stinkpot shot
Black Star + Moon Sorcerer, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew
Great Apostasy + Archbishop Fiend, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew
Porphyrion + Marcus Augustine, helmsman, oarsman, 1 crew, 2 equipment
Courtship of Evils + Archfiend of the Apocalypse, Ring Besis, Archdiocese of the Apocalypse, Witch Queen Salem, Senosis, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull (48 points of crew and equipment on a 29 point ship!)
Fallen Angel + captain, shipwright, oarsman, stinkpot shot, Dinghy
-towing the Devil’s Fireball flotilla
Severance + captain, helmsman, shipwright, oarsman

Total: 14 ships, 745 points (a sickening 53 points per ship…)

Reading that again… 5 ships for 329 points… doesn’t even make sense!  XD  Almost only possible with customs, or maybe like a Wizkids launch of 5 fully loaded (or overloaded) 10 masters.

The Reign of Terror has begun….

 

Vikings

With the help of Shayna Deux’s reroll… Jord got a 6 while copying the Arcane!!  O_O It brought in a new Hidden Trove that the Hrothgar redocked to unload for a massive payout of 778 gold!! O_O (I had the game at 389 ships in play at the end of the Cursed turn based on previous counts and adding to them)  This is a game changer!!

The effect was immediate. Viking ships abruptly stopped. Most of their lumber gatherers simply turned around and started heading at full speed towards the home island. The Muninn (patrolling southeast of their home island) ducked into a fog bank, anticipating becoming a target of the all-powerful Pirates. Everything changed. Jord and the other Viking leaders immediately started serious strategic discussions about which ships to launch and how soon they could be ready. The secret alliance with the Barbary Corsairs from years past suddenly looked viable again. Perhaps this means that old plans… could be revived….

Launched from the Viking Home Island: 6 ships, 314 points
Monjuer + Streamlined Hull, 4 crew (+2 facedown UT’s from the Viking HI….)
Hringhorni + helmsman, Streamlined Hull, 5 crew
Storm’s Eye + Streamlined Hull, 5 crew
Njord + Dinghy, 6 crew
Säl + 4 crew, 1 equipment
Tyr + Dinghy, 2 crew, town and military port upgrade
2 crew and 1 equipment for the Hrothgar
+5 other points on HI

The Vikings are wary of the Pirate “spy network” as they call it (officially known by the Pirates as the GSP or Global Surveillance Program), and have placed almost as many new crew and equipment face down as possible. This will force a longer spying process out of the Pirates if the Pirates want to try and see all the Vikings’ face down stuff.

But wait, there’s more!

Barbary Corsairs

The Corsairs pulled out all the tricks they use to get an Arcane roll to work, and eventually they did! (Nephila is their ship copying Arcane)  With 395 ships in play, Hidden Trove was now worth a whopping 790 gold to the Barbary Corsairs!!

But first, it was time to get down to business.

Corsairs launch another attack on the Pirates!

With that, the Corsairs have launched ANOTHER major attack against the game’s most powerful faction in the Pirates!!  O_O   Is it madness?  Or brilliance?!

At the end of the attack, HMB Sayyida got her SAT and was able to get in range of the Osiris! Getting stuck on a sargasso sea on an unlucky roll of 6 at the end of her movements would not stop her cannon barrage! With that she revealed the Ballista equipment (ship gets 3 extra 3L cannons) along with Captain and Cargo Wrecking abilities! Although the Osiris has Crew Protect, it wouldn’t stop the Sayyida from taking out the ship’s final mast. In addition, the Corsairs noticed that the Anubis (built in Canceller) was just within S of the Osiris, meaning that the latter’s Eternal could be cancelled to send her to the depths! If the Sayyida hit 3 times out of 5 that is…

With some important rolls, it was a bit of a roller coaster attack. The Sayyida’s regular 2 cannons in range were 1’s! Then the crew got to firing the Ballista, of which the first 2 hit! However, the final roll was a 1, backfiring to eliminate the Sayyida’s oarsman and failing to deliver a fatal blow to the Osiris, which would have been the ultimate revenge for the Corsairs! Alas, one of the many Pirate sources of AA (with Reroll) is still alive, and is quite likely to be saved through some combination of moving and blocking on the next Pirate turn.

All told, the Corsairs eliminated 10 masts and have made any Pirate counterattack somewhat harder by leaving crippled ships in the way of their fresh gunships.

Crazy enough, the attack didn’t even end there!  The Agha’s Whip has been the lame duck of the Corsairs for a while, carrying The Cursed and Monkey’s Paw UT’s.  However, she was in the perfect position to intercept the Blackleaf, the fast Pirate 4 master who may be headed to the spice island pictured with multiple island upgrades!  The galley rammed but could not win the boarding party.  However, she partly slammed into the Blackleaf just in an attempt to slow the Blackleaf down, in case the Corsairs, English, or another faction can potentially get help to the area soon in an attempt to stop the Pirates from colonizing the far northeast and thereby cutting off an important (and currently valuable) island from both the Corsairs and the English.

Agha's Whip rams the Blackleaf

Barbary Corsair launch: 5 ships, 107 points
Ivory Star + 3 crew, 1 equipment
Jackal’s Teeth + 4 crew
Meshud + 5 crew
Gallows + 3 crew
Divan’s Punishment + 4 crew, 1 equipment
-They also spent 120 gold on two town upgrades and two military port upgrades which are sitting on their home island. This is partly because the Corsairs are wary of the Pirates potentially trying to rob them of their Hidden Trove spoils.

Sadly the Corsairs have very little room to launch a lot of ships at their home island, between the Nephila (copier ship) sitting there, the Gauntlet of Pestilence fogbank off their north shore from the beginning of the game, and the considerable width of each galley from the space their oars take up.  However, if they can get a military port or two up eventually, it will help alleviate their limited launching capabilities.

This shows the general Pirate-Corsair front and battle area, which has opened up once more with a vengeance.  The Agha’s Whip has expanded the conflict to a spot east of the Corsair home island, with more Pirate and Corsair gunships coming into play every turn.  Neither the Pirates nor the Corsairs have declared war on the other, though I have a feeling that could change soon.

Barbary Corsair attack and launch in VASSAL Campaign Game 4

 

What a turn!!  This turn with my factions saw hostility from the Pirates and Cursed against the Spanish and Americans, while the Vikings finally got lucky with Jord to jump into the rapid fleet building sweepstakes.  The Corsairs got another Hidden Trove as well, but launched only after a brash attack on the Pirates!

 

THE POINT COUNT

Faction Ships Points Ship % Points % Points/ship
Spanish 11 194 2.8% 2.1% 17.64
Jade Rebellion 4 43 1.0% 0.5% 10.75
The Conglomerate 27 531 6.9% 5.6% 19.67
English 16 230 4.1% 2.4% 14.38
Pirates 196 4697 50.3% 49.8% 23.96
Cursed 51 2171 13.1% 23.0% 42.57
Vikings 20 488 5.1% 5.2% 24.40
Corsairs 30 575 7.7% 6.1% 19.17
Dutch 6 76 1.5% 0.8% 12.67
Americans 15 215 3.8% 2.3% 14.33
Mercenaries 6 91 1.5% 1.0% 15.17
French 8 123 2.1% 1.3% 15.38
Total 390 9434 24.19

9,434 total points in play.

THE BIGGEST GAME OF ALL TIME.

With that, VASSAL Campaign Game 4 eclipses Command the Oceans as the biggest recorded Pirates CSG game EVER!!

CTO held the previous record for most points in play, at 9,078 in November 2017.  Now CG4 is even bigger, although a lot less balanced across the factions.  CG4 has kind of lumbered along slowly for a while, and still hasn’t seen much combat compared to other campaign games like CTO.  However, that seems to be starting to change… it’s time for CG4 to live up to the hype!!!  XD   😀

The Pirates have almost exactly half the total number of both ships and points in play.  They have expanded on their existing records from last turn, and next turn they should eclipse some truly staggering numbers: a fleet of over 200 ships, with over 5000 points in play.  O_O  The Jade Rebellion accounts for nearly a standard fleet at 43 points, which represents only half a percentage point of the total number of points in play.  The Pirate number of nearly 24 points per ship is impressive (representing a lot of named crew and expensive gunship builds), but The Cursed have accomplished something downright sickening – a very large fleet that averages over 42 points per ship.  O_O  This is unheard of to my knowledge, and speaks to the vast numbers of 10 masters and hyper-expensive weapons of war that they have put in play so far.  51 ships is not a ridiculous number for a fleet in CG’s, but with nearly 2200 points in play, they’re quickly climbing the list of biggest fleets of all time by point count.  The Conglomerate, Vikings and Corsairs have all made big strides lately, but still pale in comparison to the Pirates.  If the Vikings can climb ahead of the Conglomerate, I will control all 4 of the biggest fleets….

As a little caveat, the points in play totals generally reflect the points in play from ships, crew and equipment assigned to ships, and gold used to build forts and lighthouses.  For this point count, it generally does not count points from island upgrades, crew and equipment “attached” to islands (such as the 300 points the Pirates have invested in HI defense with Catapults and the oarsmen used to crew them), and sometimes other little things.  With these included, the Pirate total comes to 5371, The Cursed to 2481, the Vikings to 548, and the Corsairs to 735.  This brings the GRAND total to, technically, 10,638 points in play.  O_O  However, I’d like to reach the ridiculous (and likely unseen to this day) 5 figure point total the “regular way” without including all the easy upgrade/etc purchases before making it official.  Of course, the game is on a crash course to far exceed the sickening number of 10,000 total points in play, so we’ll surely pass it next round!! (or even this one if PirateAJ14 is able to launch at least 566 points of stuff).

There are currently 137 points of crew assigned to the Chimeratron Legacy.  O_O  (another record I guess!)  The ship costs 90 points by itself, which makes for 227 total points for one ship, which accounts for 2.4% of the points in play and more points than 5 of the 12 fleets participating in the game!

Breaking it down a bit more:

Ships Points Ship % Points % Points/ship
Xerecs 58 998 14.87% 10.58% 17.21
A7XfanBen 297 7931 76.15% 84.07% 26.70
PirateAJ14 35 505 8.97% 5.35% 14.43

The insane concentration of points in the Cursed fleet boosts my overall points per ship number higher than any individual non-Cursed faction!

Another new record: 20 10 masters!! (12 Cursed, 4 Pirate, 2 Viking, 1 Corsair, 1 Conglomerate)  The Cursed alone put 7 10 masters in play this round, which is also very likely a record.

 

Here is the unprecedented game in full glory, with the map slowly filling in….  (open in a new tab to view full size)

Thanks for reading!  Feel free to comment what you think of the game!

FINALLY Playing a Game with the Bowen Brothers! July 13th, 2021

It finally happened!!  I met up with Xerecs, The Lord Sentinel and his 2 brothers in real life and we played Pirates!  Although most of our time was spent on CoEC and Pirates discussions the day before, we were able to eat at Applebee’s together on Tuesday 7/13/2021.

This game was the first test of my new game idea I’m quite excited about – packs as wild islands!  It would be a small 20 point game game with 3 wild islands, the center island of which was an unopened Revolution pack I had brought with me on the trip!

Whoever explored the pack would claim its contents – any ships and crew would immediately become part of their fleet, the island in the pack would replace the pack on the table, and gold from the card would be punched for use.

We rolled for initiative, with the player order being: JW Darkhurst, Xerecs, A7XfanBen, Gingerninja.

FINALLY Playing a Game with the Bowen Brothers! July 13th, 2021

I used the Cutlass with a captain and helmsman, along with the Lightning and a helmsman.

Gingerninja’s fleet:

JW Darkhurst went first and was the first to reach the island!  Xerecs was using the French native canoes from Return to Savage Shores, made out of wood paste by CloudofCraftGaming.  He actually had a really neat setup on one of his 2 masters to make it work – Robinson, Brother Virgil, and the tribal chieftain.

The Tiger’s Eye explored and suddenly JW Darkhurst was able to add the Julius Caesar and Rattlesnake to his fleet!  Certainly a good American pack!  Fittingly enough, he didn’t have either of those two ships in his personal collection yet, so it worked out well.  Though maybe not for the rest of the players…. XD

I took the Cutlass around the newly placed wild island and true to form started missing cannon shots!

At the bottom, the Bloody Jewel has dismasted the Lightning.  At the upper left, the Corsairs run home with gold.

The English captured the Cutlass, with the game ending soon afterwards.

The Final Scores:

  1. JW Darkhurst: 31 gold
  2. Gingerninja: 16
  3. Xerecs: 7
  4. A7XfanBen: 0

It was very small and short, but at least Xerecs and I finally played a physical game together!  Hopefully more games will be in our future, though it will likely have to resume on VASSAL for now.