Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game – April 9th, 2018

April 9th is the 10th anniversary of Fire and Steel being released. Xerecs and I played a little “celebratory” game to commemorate the anniversary. (not sure if this particular set is worth celebrating… XD)

Xerecs:
Foresight + Barstow, Hammersmith, oarsman
Napolitana + Victor de Alva, helmsman

A7XfanBen:
HMS Salient + Hermionie Gold, captain, helmsman
HMS Ark Royal + captain

I believe this is the first time we’ve tried to proxy a switchblade into VASSAL. For now, I used an L-range tool rotated from the center of the Salient.

For the setup, the “move and rotate randomly” option worked better than it ever has before for me. The islands and terrain were generally placed that way.

Both fleets headed a bit southwest, with the Ark Royal being the first to explore:

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

However, both fleets found only 0 coins at their islands!! I had placed six 0’s and two UT’s into the treasure mix, and it quickly dawned on me that Xerecs may have placed only 0’s as well!

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Ark Royal and Salient split up, while the Napolitana brought home a coin… which I assumed was a 0.

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Napolitana got an EA from de Alva and shot up the Ark Royal. She was attacked by the Salient immediately, but only lost one mast.

The Salient eventually dismasted the Napolitana and started towing the Ark Royal, which the English were trying to scuttle. By this point the Salient was loaded with some “extra weaponry” in the form of Ammunition (turned into Stinkpot Shot) and Deck Cannon (transferred from the Ark Royal).

fighting at Ocean's Edge

The Foresight got involved, hitting 1/2 on the Salient. The Salient answered with a big turn, combining her proxy switchblade with a solid 2/3 shooting effort (helped by the extra cannon and HGold’s reroll) to knock 3 masts off the Foresight and kill the Pirate oarsman.

Pirates CSG combat on VASSAL

The Foresight’s shooting and ramming attack dismasted the Salient! Barstow captured Hermione Gold! However, just as the tables turned against the English, the Ark Royal warped home via an Eternal scuttle.

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Foresight round earthed to the north, where she was caught by the Ark Royal JUST before she could dock home HGold for an 8-gold payout! (a haul of Gold, in more ways than one! XD) After electing not to use Broadsides Attack (my luck with it is generally horrible, and with the ram attempt after the shots I had a decent chance of getting 2/3 rolls to work), the Ark Royal hit twice in a row to dismast the Foresight! However, the English killed Barstow in their valiant boarding attempt, eliminating any chance of getting Hermione Gold’s payout to work… for themselves? (this was getting even weirder…)

The Pirates now had no future move actions left, so the game was over. To my chagrin, the Napolitana had indeed brought back a 7, not a zero! This put Xerecs firmly in the lead, as the Spanish Pirates beat the English 7-0.

This was a very Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary game that came down to the wire. Once it became obvious that most or all of the coins would be worthless, I was afraid it would be a boring deathmatch. However, the endgame was very tight and satisfying, with multiple momentum shifts throughout. I finally tested out my idea of using only 0-value coins, which I have talked about multiple times on the forum at Miniature Trading. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the single coin worth a dime, let alone 7 gold! XD It was also notable as (likely) the first VASSAL game with a switchblade present. Using the L tool as a proxy worked fine during the one blade attack, but I still want to measure a physical switchblade to see if it’s the right size.

Thanks for reading; only one more anniversary game remains!

Rise of the Fiends 10th Anniversary Game – January 2018

This was an utter fiasco.

1/27/2018

January 30th marks the 10th anniversary of Rise of the Fiends being released!

To celebrate the occasion, a 5 player “game” has been played on VASSAL!  XD

The players in turn order:

  1. xerecs, with a Spanish fleet using the rare San Cristobal
  2. pirateaj14, with a Spanish fleet using the LE San Cristobal
  3. cursedfan99, with a Pirate fleet
  4. wantkrakens, with a mixed Franco-Spanish fleet
  5. a7xfanben, with a mixed French Pirate fleet

We used 5 home islands and 5 wild islands, with the wild ones getting 6 coins each.

a7xfanben had the first strike, using an EA from the Fool’s Hope to dismast the Argo of the Franco-Spanish (and American) fleet.

Rise of the Fiends 10th Anniversary Game - January 2018

Much blood money was found, in addition to dolls and monkeys.  The Fool’s Hope captured the Argo as various ships gathered gold.

I didn’t look at the Argo’s coins until after the FH got another timely EA (with one mast remaining!) to return home through the whirlpool and dock home her prize.  Then it was a fiasco with different players operating on different rules and Blood Money was naturally at the center of it all.  That has been just about my least favorite UT for years and now I will officially never play with it again.  All in favor of banning Blood Money/Bloody Gold say aye!  XD

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels – 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels – 10th Anniversary Game

Here is a game to celebrate the 10th anniversary (November 6th) of the Pirates of the Caribbean set!

Only PotC game pieces were allowed, except for generic crew.

Xerecs‘ Pirates
Fleur de la Mort + Cursed Captain Barbossa, Captain Sao Feng, Cursed Crew 2, helmsman
Revenge + Capitaine Chevalle, captain, helmsman
Ranger + helmsman, explorer
Song + helmsman

A7XfanBen’s English
HMS Phoenix + Admiral James Norrington, helmsman, oarsman
HMS Hyena + Lord Cutler Beckett, helmsman, explorer
HMS Success + captain, helmsman
Edinburgh Trader + captain, helmsman

The game featured plenty of UT’s, many of which were found early on. Beckett got his first two AA rolls, giving the Edinburgh Trader and Phoenix a fast start. The Hyena found Marines and Cannibals on the same island!

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels - 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

The Phoenix shot two masts off the Revenge from L+L range, but that precipitated a major brawl between the 4 most heavily armed ships. The Success dismasted the Revenge but took major damage in the process. The Fleur couldn’t capture Norrington from the Phoenix, who shot 1/3 to take a mast off the Fleur.

Pirates CSG in action
Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels - 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

The Pirates used Dead Man’s Chest to get 4 extra gold, and the Edinburgh Trader found TWO Aztec Medallions on the same wild island! Not rolling a 1 for either, she found Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight. However, it was likely too late.

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels - 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

The Fleur de la Mort captured Admiral James Norrington!

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels - 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

The Trader unloaded her coins, and the game was over! The Pirates won 40-16!

What did you think of the Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels 10th Anniversary Game?

Ocean’s Edge 10th Anniversary Game – April 15th, 2017

Today is the 10th anniversary of Ocean’s Edge! Due to lack of interest and some annoying no-shows, there weren’t any VASSAL games played for this anniversary after all, so I had to play by myself. However, ironically enough the game turned out extremely well, despite using some of the most maligned ships ever!

Using only game pieces from OE, there were 4 fleets participating at a 50 point build total. After some die rolls, the order of play was Cursed, Spanish, Americans, Pirates. Each faction brought at least one sea creature; the Pirates brought two. To further emphasize the Ocean’s Edge/At World’s End aspect, flat earth rules were used, though they didn’t come into play (though if round earth rules were used perhaps the game would have been slightly different).

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

Here is the setup, with 5 coins on each of the 5 wild islands. 5 whirlpools were also present.

Ocean's Edge 10 years later

The Americans had two S speed ships and their sea serpent Champ.

Ocean's Edge American fleet

The Spanish had some nice diversity – a crab to cause terror, a slow but capacious gold runner, and a small but similarly capacious home island raider.

Ocean's Edge Spanish fleet

The Pirates were simply out for blood. They had only two open cargo spaces, but they were on the powerful Jape. Angelica and Teach were ready to eat plenty of man flesh with their sharp teeth!

Ocean's Edge Pirate fleet

The Cursed looked similar to the Americans, with two ships and a sea serpent. The Nosso Lar and Nightmare aren’t two of their better ships, while Maxehebel isn’t one of their best sea creatures. However, the Cursed sized up their arguably pathetic competition and knew they had a fighting chance.

Ocean's Edge Cursed fleet

After a turn, it looks like the Spanish and Cursed may clash over the northern island. The Americans stick together, while the Pirates do the opposite: they’ve decided to split their “fleet” into three, sending the Jape after the Americans, Angelica after the Cursed, and Teach after the Spanish.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Mezquita was the first ship to explore, and found the first UT, which sent her through a whirlpool and out another one. The Santa Lucia turned east towards the same island to avoid the Cursed, but a submerged shark appeared off her larboard bow!

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Mezquita lost a mast, but was actually closer to her home island than if she hadn’t found the UT. El Toro has decided to not engage the Cursed, instead guarding the Spanish HI to make sure the Mezquita gets home in case of a sneak attack by the Jape.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

With a swoop attack Angelica savagely rips apart the Nosso Lar! In a rare opportunity to sail the ocean, the poor little Cursed ship barely gets a chance to prove her worth!

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The next turn started with the Nightmare finding Lost and Homing Beacon on the northern island! 4 reefs showed up underneath a whopping 5 different ships! Angelica flew away from harm, but the Jape, Mezquita, and Aaron Burr all lost a mast each, with the Oregon losing two. Suddenly the Americans weren’t looking good at all, especially with the Jape hot on their tail.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017
Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

Both American ships were almost to the island before running into the sudden reef!

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017
American ships on reef

After coming through a whirlpool, Teach popped up and tried to bite off one of El Toro’s arms!!

shark vs. giant crab

The attack failed and El Toro viciously ripped the shark to shreds with its huge claws!! It was a rare sea monster-only battle, with El Toro easily winning.

giant crab (titan) wins battle against shark

More combat! Chaos erupts in the southeast, as Champ can’t quite block the Jape from hitting one of the two American ships. Sadly USS Aaron Burr will have to sail another time, as the Jape sunk her with one shoot action.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

Angelica uses flamethrower! It’s super effective against the Nosso Lar! A nice UT (Protection from Davy Jones) and a 7 sink to the locker.

Angelica sea dragon

Champ emerges to go 2/4 against the Jape, but the Jape escapes becoming a shipwreck to sail across the reef, ram the Oregon, and steal a 4 coin! The Americans can’t catch a break, and the Cursed and Pirates have really messed with their game.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

With one victim already sent to the depths, Angelica flies to an area where she’s in range of the Mezquita and Nightmare, sizing up her prey. El Toro makes sure the Santa Lucia gets home safely while keeping an eye on the newly repaired Mezquita.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

Champ rams off the Jape’s last mast, but the Jape can still row at S+S with the stolen coin while her captain dies. The Oregon gets home, ensuring the Americans won’t get shut out.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

In a bold but disastrous move, Angelica swoops on El Toro, coming up short! The Pirates have fallen apart, though the Jape survives another hazardous trip across the reef while trying to row away from the Americans.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

In another brutal attack, El Toro rips Angelica’s head off!! (I got a little carried away and now I could use a new Angelica… however, the tape job I did after the game worked remarkably well for now, so I don’t have a headless dragon.)

El Toro giant crab rips sea dragon's head off!!

Maxehebel had tried to block the Mezquita, but the Spaniards aboard decided to duck into a whirlpool rather than face the beast, taking a slight shortcut in the meantime at the cost of another lost mizzenmast.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Santa Lucia and Nightmare are already engaged in a chess match of sorts, with the Santa Lucia’s HI raiding ability containing huge potential for the Spanish. Champ finally eliminates the Jape’s oarsman, officially eliminating the Pirates from the game!

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

Will El Toro, now feeding on the dead carcass of Angelica, be distracted long enough to give the Cursed an opening in the south?

El Toro feeding on dragon carcass

The Mezquita is cornered…

Maxehebel is successful, but the Nightmare utterly fails! The Mezquita has a whopping 13 gold aboard, and the Spanish already have 4 gold at their HI. The Cursed are in the lead with 5, while the Americans also have 4. The Pirates are already out of it, but they caused some sufficient chaos before exiting.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

El Toro’s answer is a clear no! Urged onward by Victor de Alva, the giant crab continues its reign of terror, this time grabbing Maxehebel by the tail and yanking it off! The Mezquita escapes, but the CHAMP is here! lol

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Santa Lucia has robbed the Cursed home island! The Oregon heads northeast to capture the Jape and her stolen loot, while at the bottom of the picture you can just see the tail of Maxehebel still in El Toro’s grasp.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

In a brilliant maneuver, the Cursed use Maxehebel’s reverse captain ability to dismast the Mezquita and then move out of the Nightmare’s way, as the Nightmare promptly boarded the Spaniard and robbed her of 10 gold! This left 11 total gold on the Nightmare and 3 on the Mezquita. However, El Toro approached from behind once again, taking a chunk out of Maxehebel and a mast off the Nightmare. Then Victor de Alva overplayed his hand in a typically melodramatic manner! Swinging on a rope from Toro’s biggest claw, he led an S-boarding party with his entire crew! But the evil Wraith was waiting for him aboard the Nightmare, and the Cursed brutally cut down every last Spaniard, leaving the Toro with no human support! (In hindsight, this could be argued to be a Spanish mistake, but they had a boarding advantage and Wraith could have still been face down if it wasn’t solitaire, so it wasn’t a total bonehead move. It’s also a good example of how overpriced, ineffective, and overrated the “+1 to boarding rolls” ability is, for the Spanish essentially had this advantage but lost the boarding attempt 8-5.)

Cursed make brilliant play

Here, the Nightmare tries to escape even after losing her second mast. Maxehebel and Champ both ram El Toro, and the crab is down to two claws. More importantly, it can’t quickly pursue the Nightmare and use its claws at the same time.

The crew of the Santa Lucia suddenly realized they had room for more Cursed loot, and went back to rob their HI again! At the far right, the Oregon has taken the Jape under tow.

This was when the game started to get even more complicated. The Nightmare lost Wraith to a whirlpool (she couldn’t afford to lose her final mast or helmsman), while the Santa Lucia loaded up the final Cursed coin from their HI, giving her 5 gold on two coins aboard. The SL still had a cargo space open, and the Nightmare was about to deposit valuable gold. The Spanish knew she had at least a 6 and a 4 aboard, since it was stolen from the Mezquita. This could potentially lead to a standoff, with the Santa Lucia waiting for the Nightmare to unload the gold, but the Nightmare unwilling to since the SL would just steal it and likely get away with her faster speed. With just his head above water, Maxehebel abandoned the fight against El Toro and swam towards a whirlpool to assist the Nightmare and/or try to cut off the Santa Lucia before she could get home. Champ and El Toro were left staring at each other with the derelict but valuable Mezquita nearby.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Spanish thought about what the Americans would likely do on their turn. El Toro was already touching an island and could explore it and load the last two coins, which the Spanish knew they were only worth 2 gold total. They also knew the Americans didn’t know this, and thought they could deke the Americans into keeping El Toro alive for longer, since they would have to bring the Oregon or Jape over to win the gold in a boarding party since Champ didn’t have any cargo space. The Spanish realized this could keep the dangerous El Toro alive even longer, and the giant crab had already claimed the lives of both Pirate sea creatures and numerous masts and segments from other ships. The Spanish also saw no downside to this, since the Toro was unlikely to win the battle against Champ, being down 4-2 in firepower with equal “cannon” ranks. There was also no way the Toro could tow the Mezquita home without one or both of them being sunk by Champ. El Toro decided to load the gold. The Americans thought the situation through as well, and decided to kill El Toro because it was such a chore to retrieve the gold (with a regular boarding party from the Oregon, mostly likely), and because keeping El Toro alive could hurt Champ and the Oregon. Finally, the Americans also reasoned that the Oregon could likely tow the Mezquita home for her remaining coin, similar to what they did with the Jape (since the ocean was less crowded and the Cursed and Spanish were already in a tense standoff up north with only a few masts standing for either side). Champ finished off the crab, and El Toro was no more! The Americans breathed a sigh of relief when it looked like the coins involved wouldn’t have won or lost them the game, though it was looking tight enough to possibly be the case at this point in the game. (the Spanish loaded the 0 to make it look like the Toro had more gold to deceive the Americans)

The situation up north has been forced by the Nightmare, who broke off the stalemate with the Santa Lucia by sailing southwest towards the one island that still had coins on it. The Spanish, now with just the Santa Lucia remaining in their fleet, decided to save their stolen loot and sailed the SL home (knowing they could turn her around if the Nightmare also turned around). In a surprise twist, Maxehebel has gone through a whirlpool in the east, in the hopes of ramming the Jape to eliminate her 4 coin! However, with just one segment left, he couldn’t emerge from the whirlpool within range of the Oregon’s guns, leaving him in a bad spot. The Oregon eliminated the chance of any shenanigans by moving straight towards her HI, and the Jape looked to be safe for the moment. However, it was a dual plan by the Cursed, as Maxehebel could now potentially block the Santa Lucia from docking at her HI or simply shadow the sloop and try to prevent further HI raids.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Nightmare moves within S+S (one move action) range of her HI, ready to dock on her next turn if the SL moves further away, or turn towards the western island if the SL comes back. The newly free Champ nearly throws a wrench into that plan, moving through the whirlpool and hungrily eyeing the Nightmare’s helmsman. Maxehebel moves towards the SL, who has no choice but to save her 5 gold and moves towards home (or face being surrounded by the Nightmare and Maxehebel caught in between the HI’s). The Oregon docks home with the Jape, who unloads her 4 gold and immediately starts repairing. This puts the Americans in the lead with 8 gold; the Spanish with 4 and the Cursed actually with 0.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Nightmare finally docks home her gold, with most of it stolen from the Mezquita! This gives the Cursed a brief lead with 11 gold, and the Americans are quickly in last after the Santa Lucia bumps the Spanish total to 9 gold (11-9-8 ). The SL scoots past Maxehebel, careful to stay out of ramming or shooting distance. The Spanish know they can’t save the Mezquita against the now-mighty Americans, but they can hope to get some of their stolen gold back from the Cursed. Indeed, in this picture the Americans have 3 relatively healthy ships for 10 total masts against 4 masts remaining in the other two fleets combined. In the west, Champ has taken up station to guard that final wild island, while the Oregon hurries to capture the Mezquita.

At this point, the Cursed have 11 gold but know the Americans and Spanish might have more (especially the Spanish since they had 6 total coins against 3 for the Cursed). The Nightmare must risk another gold run to guarantee victory, and might be able to evade Champ at the western island. The Cursed have some problems in their plan, with Maxehebel too slow and weakened to provide adequate HI defense against the raiding Santa Lucia. However, the Nightmare can’t hang around until Maxehebel returns, since the Jape is fully repaired and sailing to a whirlpool to get the gold on the western island. Therefore, there is no time to waste and the Nightmare sails again! Sure enough, the SL saw a chance to raid and comes through the northwestern whirlpool to attempt it. The Oregon has begun towing the Mezquita, and the Americans now have 4 ships in their fleet, more than they started with! The Jape lost her crew to Champ, but is still a formidable ship at this stage of the game and the Nightmare would very much like to avoid confronting her in the west.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

Knowing the western island has just 6 total gold on it (3,2,1 for the coins from when the Nosso Lar explored early in the game), the Nightmare pursues the SL after she re-steals the 6 from the Cursed HI. Unfortunately Maxehebel is likely a non-factor at this point, but he’s had a good game. In a break for the Cursed, the Santa Lucia rolled badly while whirlpooling, and was forced to lose her helmsman! (rather than the coin or her lone mast, her oarsman having died earlier in the game) Champ is still guarding the western island, and is rewarded when the Jape appears through a whirlpool. The Oregon docks home the Mezquita for her 3 coin, and the Americans lead once more (11-9-5, 5 gold for the Cursed currently).

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Spanish had to hope for a miracle, but they didn’t get it. The Nightmare would have to roll a 1 on the ram and lose the boarding party for the SL to dock home her 6 successfully. The Spanish were officially out of the game! In a bizarre turn of events, the Americans have gone from having almost no ships (when the Aaron Burr and Oregon were damaged by reefs and nearly both sunk by the Jape) to having an empire of sorts, with ships to throw at every opportunity they see! The Oregon goes out for yet another mission, this time her first designated combat mission.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The Jape is about to explore the western island, while Champ looks to kill Maxehebel for fun, or block the Cursed HI if the Nightmare somehow escapes the Oregon. The barely-seaworthy Mezquita sails with one mast, looking to join the fray somehow! At this point, the Americans could say they were “playing with house money” in Pirates form… the endgame was extremely tactical and strategic, but the Americans just so happened to dominate the final few turns of the final phase of this game.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

Maxehebel was eliminated, leaving the Nightmare desperate for some kind of miraculous boarding party and escape route. She nearly succeeded despite the Mezquita blocking her and the Oregon sailing off with the 6 coin that originally belonged to the Mezquita when she was in Spanish possession. Champ arrives on the scene for support, while the Jape arrives via whirlpool as well, with 6 gold aboard. After most of the game was played over many different areas, it fittingly came down to just a small area with all 5 remaining ships in one spot.

Ocean's Edge 10th Anniversary Game - April 15th, 2017

The USS Oregon, of all ships, is the MVS (Most Valuable Ship) of the OE 10th anniversary game! She survived a reef placed by Lost, an attack by the Jape, and an attack by the Nightmare. She captured two ships and essentially brought back 17 gold! The Jape also docked before Champ finished off the Nightmare, giving the Americans 23 total gold. The Spanish were second with 9, the Cursed third with 5. The Pirates of course had 0.

USS Oregon is a hero!

This was an amazing game and a fantastic celebration of the Ocean’s Edge set for the 10th anniversary of its release! Despite the many lackluster ships used, it turned out to be one of the best games in recent memory and a cool example of parity within a set, using a handful of relatively equal game pieces instead of the typical OP ones (Zeus, HMS GT, Pirate named crew, etc). I was glad that Lost didn’t completely wreck the game, since the faction most hurt by it went on to win. Indeed, the Americans had a cool underdog story in this game. The Spanish and Pirates were almost like the antagonists for me, with the Pirates simply menacing everybody and the Spanish dominating the early game with healthy ships and the huge presence of El Toro. The Cursed actually felt like the good guys, losing a ship early, somehow taking gold from the Spanish and getting into the lead, but only to be stretched thin later on before falling to repeated HI raids and the emergence of American firepower. Champ somehow didn’t lose a segment all game long, while the other 4 sea creatures were eliminated. The Nosso Lar and Aaron Burr didn’t get a chance to prove themselves, but it’s safe to say that the Oregon, Nightmare, Santa Lucia, and Toro all outperformed what players might normally expect from them. I loved how much of an effect the whirlpools had on the game, but I was a little disappointed to see Protection from Davy Jones sunk so early on. There were definitely a few game-changing moments, such as the failed swoop attack on the Toro and the Toro’s failed S-board against the Nightmare and Wraith (among others). Of course, neither of these involved the winning fleet, so it was a very even game that seemed like a very fair outcome for all sides. Hooray for Ocean’s Edge!

Frozen North Pirates! Another 10th Anniversary Game – February 2017

Today (2/14) is the 10th anniversary of Pirates of the Frozen North! Over the course of two sessions on VASSAL a 3 player game using only game pieces from FN was played.

These were the combatants, in the order of play:

Cursed (agiantpie):
Loki’s Revenge, Baba Yaga, Serpent’s Fang

French (xerecs):
La Delacroix, Marie Antoinette, La Dijon

Vikings (a7xfanben):
Muninn, Donar, Sleipnir

We changed the setup rules slightly, with 4 wild islands (just like a 2 player game) and 6 coins of any value or type (as long as the UT’s were from FN) on each island. The VASSAL module doesn’t have icebergs, but the fog banks look great as icebergs and even have the same dice markings on the edges, so fog was ice in this game.

The fleets after a turn:

I forgot to take pictures for a while, and you can see here that a lot of UT’s have been discovered and played. Of the 8 coins that I contributed to the mix, all were UT’s from FN! Throw in an extra Runes of Death and one Odin’s Revenge, and things were bound to get crazy. The Dijon found the first Runes of Death very early in the game. However, she was very close to her home island… but the Loki’s Revenge sank her! A whopping 13 gold was sent to the bottom of the sea, and the French had their main gold runner sunk. The French experienced further woes when the Marie Antoinette found many UT’s at the northeastern island, among them Odin’s Revenge. That UT hurt the Vikings the most, dismasting the Sleipnir. The Vikings were smart to explore with the Sleipnir on their turn, for she found the second Runes of Death that could have been loaded by the Donar! With no crew or masts remaining, death was averted, at least for the time being.

However, the Cursed soon played Runes of Magic, moving an iceberg towards the fragile Viking fleet, whose Muninn and Donar would take damage from the iceberg. The Delacroix and Marie Antoinette descended upon the crippled Viking fleet, but they weren’t as successful as anticipated. The Delacroix took damage from an iceberg and a ram from the Sleipnir, while the Muninn engaged the Marie Antoinette. Runes of Thor was played on the Vikings’ Sigurd Andersen to guarantee an Admiral’s Action, since it looked like the Donar (the ship carrying Runes of Thor) would be captured by the MA.

Frozen North Pirates!  Another 10th Anniversary Game - February 2017

This is when the game began to turn odd. The Delacroix and Marie Antoinette captured the Sleipnir and Donar respectively, temporarily giving the French 4 ships. However, this was but a mirage of success for France, as the Muninn dismasted and captured the MA, while the Delacroix lost her final mast to an iceberg! Suddenly the French only had two usable ships, both former Viking ships with gold aboard. In the west, the Cursed have set out once more, while a double iceberg has been formed between the 3 home islands.

Frozen North Pirates!  Another 10th Anniversary Game - February 2017

The miraculous Viking comeback continues! The Muninn recaptures the Donar, brings her back to unload gold, and uses her reverse captain ability to cripple the Baba Yaga only after the Baba Yaga missed the derelict Donar twice in a row! Not to mention the Marie Antoinette being repaired to full strength, and the mega iceberg dismasting the Baba Yaga! #tombrady #johncena #nevergiveup. lol. (just kidding, the Vikings never had much of a chance in this game, and unfortunately for me they didn’t win at the end heh)

Frozen North Pirates!  Another 10th Anniversary Game - February 2017

The Muninn and MA stopped the Loki’s Revenge from getting home with a coin, but the Serpent’s Fang brought home a few more for the Cursed. The final coins on the northeastern island wouldn’t have mattered, as the game had been decided.

Frozen North Pirates!  Another 10th Anniversary Game - February 2017

1. Cursed: 16 gold
2. French: 5
3. Vikings: 2

The Cursed win a fun one! The French and Vikings got embroiled with UT’s and each other, while the Cursed found a 6 and a 4 early in the game. The Cursed essentially clinched their victory by sinking the Dijon and her 13 gold. The late-game surge by the Vikings (“Frozen North Pirates” of this game) was fitting considering it was an FN-only game, but it turned out to just be some late fireworks. The icebergs were a big factor, and between them and the Runes, it was a very thematic way to celebrate Pirates of the Frozen North.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

Today (February 14th, 2017) is the 10th anniversary of Pirates of the Frozen North! To commemorate the occasion I played a game using ONLY stuff from FN, with the exception of generic crew so the game would be more fair.

Here are the fleets in the order of play, as the Vikings rolled to go first!

Viking fleet

My current traveling collection actually has some of the better Viking gold runners, though I was disappointed to leave the Donar out. However, with the Grendel, Sleipnir, and Kalaallit (abbreviated KL) getting gold, the Vikings looked to be in good shape. The Wodin looked to function as a hybrid, with 3 spaces open for gold, the captain and helmsman ability with good guns, and the gold capture ability for yet another option. The Hrothgar was the flagship of the 100 point fleet, carrying two of the best Viking named crew (Shayna Deux and Sigurd Andersen) as well as a proxy helmsman as my Viking crew options are lacking.

The opposition: a conglomeration of ships from the Big 5 factions, which is almost all the other FN ships in my traveling collection!

Multinational conglomerate fleet

The rarely used Seminole would try to give the already-deadly Tartessos and Orkney an extra cannon bonus, making for an intimidating gunship squadron. The Marie Antoinette (MA) led a group of four gold runners, the rest of which were small, uncrewed ships. The MA had Leander Arnaud aboard, who would try to take advantage of the MA’s S-boarding and steal lots of Viking loot. This would be my first time using the Seminole, Tartessos, and Ahura Mazda, as they are all recent acquisitions.

Welcome to the Frozen North!!

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The Big 5 picked an island near lots of icebergs to be the Viking home island. The Vikings didn’t want to deal with the Orkney and Tartessos, choosing one of the furthest islands away, and hoped the arches and some icebergs could give them trouble. The straws at the upper left and right are the round earth boundaries.

The 3D foam icebergs would function as icebergs numbered 1, 2, and 3, with the largest being 1 and the smallest being 3 since you want to roll high in this game. For their direction, 1=NE, 2=E, 3=SE, 4=SW, 5=W, 6=NW (essentially clockwise from the north with no due north/due south).

6 regular icebergs were also in play, with 6 FN islands making up the home and wild islands. I didn’t use my custom islands (with lots of green foliage heh) since I wanted the setup to be as thematic as possible.

Viking fleet at home in the Frozen North

Arches always seem to lead to great picture opportunities, and this game was definitely no exception.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)
Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

Both home islands and both arches:

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The Big 5 had 7 ships to the Vikings’ 5, but both fleets had plenty of ships on the small side.

Which fleet would weather the cold and emerge victorious?

The west:

The east:

The arch on the left is usually flipped to the right to put gold on it, but here I liked it a bit different, allowing the little nook you see at the closer end. Each island had 6 coins, except for an accidental 7 on the southern island.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

They’re off! Eager to take advantage of two nearby northern islands, and to avoid the gunships of the Big 5 fleet, all the Viking ships fittingly sailed north.

Viking longships sail out

The Big 5 is confident that their diverse fleet will prevail. The gold runners scatter while the Orkney, Tartessos, and Seminole begin sailing towards the Vikings.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

This was the ideal formation, with the gunships leading from the front but still withing S of the sheltered Seminole. The Orkney and Tartessos were willing to take an iceberg hit if it meant protecting the Seminole and keeping her speed at L+S to keep up with the gunships.

sailing squadron

Bam! The first iceberg hit of the game and the MA is down a mast.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

I love how realistic the foam icebergs are. They’re very easy to make, as there’s no painting/gluing/etc involved. I’d recommend trying some, especially if you like icebergs (which I usually don’t lol).

iceberg smash hit

The Sleipnir found the first Rune of the day, Runes of Magic, which could be very valuable with so many icebergs around.

Trying to avoid an iceberg, the formation splits up as the Tartessos prepares to navigate an archway.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The MA has round earthed to the north, while the sneaky Grendel may have similar ideas.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The KL finds more runes! Runes of Thor could have been used on Runes of Wealth to turn the 1 into a 6, but the Vikings figured they might want the 6 for a guaranteed extra action from Sigurd Andersen at some point in the future. There were better treasures than the 1 on the island, but the KL smartly grabbed a 1 and promptly turned it into a 4 via Runes of Wealth with a decent die roll.

Here, an iceberg has smashed up the stern of the Tartessos, while the Wodin has returned to the Viking home island, wary of a possible blockade or attempted interception of the Viking gold runners.

I’d wanted La Tartessos for a long time, especially after she proved herself in VASSAL Campaign Game 1. It was great to build the ship and see the unique artwork on the hull.

La Tartessos

With the Wodin and Hrothgar relatively near, the squadron sails under the arch.

Looking at English, American, and Spanish flags through the arch and seeing Viking flags beyond:

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The Cantabrian and MA have reached wild islands; at the top right Grim the Savage aboard the Grendel has realized it will be some time before the Big 5 get some gold to their home island, so he docks at the KL’s island to load gold while postponing any raiding attempts.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

Watch out for the imperialists!

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The Hrothgar in heavy seas, ready to defend the Sleipnir if necessary.

Hrothgar

I love pictures that look through archways: here you can see the massive iceberg beyond the Wodin.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

This picture almost makes it look like the ships are sailing very fast:

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

No more maneuvering – the Wodin attacks! However, after using her stern turn to get both cannons in range, the Wodin utterly fails, missing four consecutive shots, failing to eliminate a mast via the ram, and losing her helmsman in a disastrous boarding party. This time, getting the first shot backfired with very poor dice rolls. The Sleipnir has docked home gold, while the KL and Grendel aren’t far behind with more.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)
Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

This left the Wodin as a sitting duck for the Orkney, who sank her with the help of the Seminole’s bonus.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The Tartessos has turned around, while the Hrothgar had docked at the Viking home island in a similar fashion as the Wodin, ready to break up a blockade and/or protect the gold runners.

On the Vikings’ next turn, Sigurd Andersen rolled a 6! This gave the Hrothgar two actions and up to 12 shots!! The Hrothgar’s first action sank the Seminole and crippled the Orkney, while her second was a dud. (only 4 cannons were in range of the Orkney on the second action since the Hrothgar returned to the safety of her home island in anticipation of a counterattack)

Hrothgar strikes!

The Tweed has finally reached the southern island, finding valuable gold. The MA, Cantabrian, and Ahura Mazda all have gold for the Big 5.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

Chaos reigned during this period of the game, with the Orkney dismasting a departing Sleipnir and the Tartessos basically running away from the Hrothgar, who couldn’t be shot at while docked at her HI.

An impressive sight, but unfortunately for the Big 5 those guns were more useful in last year’s CG1 than this effort.

La Tartessos broadside

Through an arch: Viking flags, a desperate Englishman, and the carnage of battle.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The KL has returned home with gold, while the Grendel is almost back. The loss of the Wodin was not in vain, as the event partially helped the Vikings turn the tide.

With perfect timing, the Vikings reveal their secret weapon – Runes of Thor! This UT changed Sigurd Andersen’s die roll to an automatic 6, allowing the Hrothgar another pair of devastating actions!

Runes of Thor used

The Hrothgar’s guns are mediocre, but the sheer volume of firepower allowed her to sink the Orkney…

Hrothgar strikes again

…and dismast the Tartessos.

Wrath of the Hrothgar longship

The Grendel docks and the KL goes out for more gold:

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

All four of the Big 5 gold runners are close to unloading, while at the right, the Tartessos tries to run with her helmsman and oarsman. You may have noticed something terrible happening to the Grendel…

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

!!

MASSIVE iceberg slams into small ship

Unlucky enough to get smashed by an iceberg at her own home island, the unthinkable then occurred: the EXACT same die rolls were made for icebergs at the beginning of the Viking turn, which slammed the iceberg into the Grendel once more, this time dismasting her! I nearly made a house rule where icebergs could sink derelicts (or the giant iceberg eliminated two masts per hit, etc), but it wouldn’t be fair to the Viking fleet in particular to make it up on the spot.

Grendel dismasted

Luckily the oared Sleipnir was nearby to try a rescue attempt:

huge iceberg hits Viking fleet

The Hrothgar sinks the Tartessos, eliminating the last remnant of the Big 5’s gunship squadron. The Hrothgar has had an impressive game indeed, in no small part because of her excellent crew.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The Tweed, knowing the faster Hrothgar would likely come after her, took a risk that didn’t pan out! She sailed too close to an iceberg, which moved to dismast her at the beginning of a turn. The MA sails out to rescue her, but the Hrothgar is faster than any of the ships remaining in the Big 5 fleet. At the top left, the Ahura Mazda will try to add value to each coin the Cantabrian brings back. The Sleipnir has successfully taken the poor Grendel under tow, while the KL loads gold from the southern island.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

With another AA from Andersen, the Hrothgar wrecks any chance of getting the Tweed’s 8 gold home. The MA is sunk and the Vikings look close to being able to control the final part of the game.

Indeed, the Vikings have the momentum here. The KL unloads yet more gold, while the Sleipnir and Grendel repair.

The Hrothgar prepares to annihilate the final two ships in the Big 5 fleet, but the Ahura Mazda stays docked at home and the Cantabrian sails out for more gold with Runes of Speed.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

Knowing both ships must survive somehow, the Pirates go into desperation mode, ramming a mast off the Hrothgar while the Cantabrian looks to evade or get lucky if the Hrothgar misses. To make matters worse for the Big 5, the Grendel is fully repaired and Grim the Savage is finally ready for his highly anticipated home island raid!

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

BAM! The KL dismasts the Ahura Mazda, while Grim steals 3 coins from the Big 5 home island!

Grim the Savage home island hoard!

The Hrothgar intercepts the Cantabrian and dismasts her, abruptly ending the game!

Hrothgar dismasts Cantabrian

The Big 5 has no future move actions available, while most gold has been unloaded to home islands.

Frozen North 10th Anniversary Game #1 (Physical Game, 2017)

The Vikings win 21-6! If not for Grim’s last-minute raid, it would have turned out 21-16, so in reality the game was much closer and quite exciting!

gold scores revealed, Vikings win!

It was great to pay homage to the Frozen North set, which has never been one of my favorite sets actually. However, it has some very cool stuff in it, and I like all the sets heh. It was nice to play some ships that are new to my collection. Fittingly, the Vikings won! The Hrothgar was definitely the “MVS” (Most Valuable Ship), sinking or dismasting the entire opposing fleet! The Runes of Destruction and Magic were also used, but not with much consequence. I didn’t want to use Runes of Odin since it’s a bit OP heh, especially when combined with Runes of Magic.

Thanks for reading!

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game! November 15th, 2016

Pirates of the Mysterious Islands – 10th Anniversary Game

11/15/2016

Today is the 10th anniversary of Pirates of the Mysterious Islands being released!

To celebrate, a 50 point game with all-Mysterious Islands stuff (except for generic crew).

The fleets in the order of play:

Spanish:
La Sirviente + Luis Zuan, helmsman, musketeer
La Manila + The Mask, helmsman, explorer, oarsman

Spanish deckplates

Mercenaries:
Santa Molina + Christian Fiore, captain, helmsman
Barracuda + helmsman, oarsman
Devil Ray + helmsman, explorer

Mercenary deckplates

Here is the setup, with all 4 wild islands being mysterious. Wary of the Sirviente attacking on the first turn, the Santa Molina guarded the Barracuda while the Devil Ray started on the other side of the Merc HI.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016 Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016 Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016
Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

It quickly became apparent that the Mercenaries would not have the luck of their own set on their side, with the Barracuda rolling a 1 on the first island she docked at. However, the Mercs were able to rectify the situation somewhat by tossing two coins towards the island the Devil Ray was pursuing.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

Luis Zuan aboard the Sirviente knows he must get the first strike, but with Christian Fiore aboard the Santa Molina, only half of his cannons (with the musketeer as the fourth) will be in range, and that only with some good maneuvering! Zuan is desperate to win the battle, as the Santa Molina is a former Spanish ship.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Sirviente descends off a swell, while the “Manila galleon” is about to load gold.

Spanish ships at sea

After another turn, the Manila also rolls a 1 at a mysterious island – the Mercs will move her on her next turn. The Sirviente and Santa Molina eye each other from afar, while the Barracuda loads gold and the Devil Ray reaches the island in the far east, which now has 6 coins on it.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Mercs move the Manila away from her home island, while the Sirviente sails away from the Santa Molina to ambush the Devil Ray when she surfaces!

La Manila Spanish ship of Pirates CSG

With a view from the mizzenmast of the Manila, the Devil Ray’s crew decide to ram the Sirviente rather than risk getting attacked! However, the ram fails.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

With the Devil Ray submerged and the Manila back to normal, the Spanish turn back around.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Devil Ray is finally able to dock and explore! The need for a crew/treasure swap became apparent…

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

…as the Devil Ray loaded both Screw Engine and Power Cannons! A regular coin was loaded as well, while the explorer would have to sit the rest of the game out.

Devil Ray deckplate card

Christian Fiore cancels the Barracuda’s Mercenary keyword, allowing the Mercs to score first.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

Luis Zuan saw his opportunity! After consulting with his expert helmsman, it was obvious that he could bring all of his long range firepower to bear on the Santa Molina. Cheering his gun crews on, the Sirviente scored two hits! The Santa Molina’s firepower had been cut in half, and the Spanish were successful in their first strike.

Sirviente hits Santa Molina

Between these two ships and La Manila, every “ship” in the game had red or orange sails! The Sirviente is a particularly becoming vessel.

Colorful ships of Pirates CSG

With a lot of luck the Santa Molina absolutely crushes the Spanish!! Both shots connected, killing the musketeer, and the ram dismasted the Sirviente, leaving her derelict. Fiore’s boarding party overwhelmed that of Zuan’s, and the Spanish helmsman was cut down in the action. In one action the Sirviente had lost all of her masts and 2/3 of her crew complement. In the background, the Devil Ray has used Screw Engine to move almost all the way home.

Sirviente dismasted

The nature of the game has changed, as the Mercs have 3 ships available to the 1 for Spain.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Santa Molina takes a few shots at the Sirviente while getting into position to support the Devil Ray’s landing. Naturally, both shots miss, leaving Zuan yelling on deck about how “why couldn’t the earlier shots have missed?!” Fiore finally cracks a smile, his first in quite some time.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

With her gold finally unloaded, the Manila is free to pursue the Santa Molina. Since the Merc subs are faster than the Manila, Spain’s best hope is to kill Fiore and thus stop any future gold deliveries at the Merc home island. The Mask has a secret weapon to help him do just that: Targeting Scope. The Sirviente has been sunk.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

With the Manila approaching, the Mercenaries pulled off a brilliant move. The Devil Ray moved into contact with the Santa Molina, who was given an explore action. Christian Fiore descended into the Devil Ray, while the Santa Molina loaded the DR’s Power Cannons. This way, Fiore would be safe underwater, since he could cancel The Mask’s S-boarding technique as soon as he came within S range of the Devil Ray. In addition, the Santa Molina would be better equipped to fight off the Manila, since guns with 2L range would be quite effective against such a slow ship. The Barracuda had found Enemy of the State, but it essentially had no effect since the ship was already Mercenary.

Mercenaries deckplates

The Mercs do their exchange, while the Manila looks to get some gold since she can’t get in range of the Santa Molina just yet.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

Another great turn by the Mercenaries: the Devil Ray submerges, and Fiore cancels to let the Barracuda unload gold. The Santa Molina opens fire on the Manila at extreme range, scoring a hit and eliminating the Spanish oarsman!

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016
Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Manila is immune to ramming, and thus had nothing to fear from the two submarines. She charged in with guns blazing, but only the one with the targeting scope hit! The S-board attempt also failed, allowing the Santa Molina to steal a coin!

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

This allowed the Santa Molina to shine again, and she did. The Manila lost another mast, along with her explorer. The Mask was furious.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

The Manila finally dismasted the Santa Molina, but somehow lost another boarding party to lose her other coin!

orange and red ships battle it out at sea

Soon afterwards, the Manila looted the derelict to get her gold back, and then sank the Santa Molina for good as she returned to the Spanish home island. Meanwhile, the Mercs load more gold from the far east.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

With the Mercs likely in the lead with gold, the Manila has no time to repair after dropping off the two coins. Spain’s best hope to win lies with The Mask’s S-boarding ability, which could be used to steal one or both of the Barracuda’s coins. The problem is, the Merc subs are faster than the Manila, and Fiore could cancel The Mask if the Devil Ray and Barracuda stick together.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

As the debris of three ships floats away, the odds are against the Spanish.

La Manila chasing submarines

And indeed, the Mercs get to their HI first! The Devil Ray stays underwater, and Fiore allows the Barracuda to unload for a whopping third time in the game. The Devil Ray still has a coin on board, but it’s irrelevant since the Manila cannot get it with Fiore around.

Mysterious Islands 10th Anniversary Game!  November 15th, 2016

1. Mercenaries: 16 gold
2. Spanish: 10 gold

With 3 gold left in play, the Mercs were declared the winner! It was an impressive victory, with great shooting by the Santa Molina and effective cancelling by Christian Fiore. Both of those game pieces utilized their abilities to full effectiveness. The Spanish were a bit less lucky, but both fleets had some nasty MI rolls. The loss of the Sirviente gave the Mercs the decisive advantage for the remainder of the game, though the rest of the game was probably more fun! In hindsight, it may have been slightly better to have a shipwright on one of the submarines (to be transferred to the Santa Molina as needed) instead of the explorer and oarsman. The Santa Molina would only be able to repair if she transferred Fiore to a submarine and then had the sub stay within S at the Merc HI.

How fitting that the Mercenaries, of all factions, win the 10th anniversary of Mysterious Islands game!

Davy Jones’ Curse 10th Anniversary Game! May 31st, 2016

Today (5/31/2016) is the 10th anniversary of the release of Davy Jones’ Curse!

Xerecs and I played a game on the VASSAL module to commemorate the occasion (though it was played about a week in advance).

The game had a 60 point build total, and only game pieces from DJC were allowed.

Xerecs played as the Cursed, I as the Americans.

Cursed:
Executioner + El Fantasma, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Spilled Salt + explorer, oarsman
Fiddler’s Green + explorer

Americans:
Paul Revere + captain, helmsman, oarsman
Swamp Fox + captain, helmsman
Saratoga + captain
Brandywine

The Americans got the first shot, blasting two masts off the Executioner.

The Executioner and Paul Revere duked it out, with the Paul Revere finally winning the battle. However, she was severely damaged from the encounter. The Brandywine and Spilled Salt explored for their respective fleets, while the Swamp Fox missed a Broadsides Attack against the Spilled Salt. The Fiddler’s Green has turned north.

Davy Jones' Curse 10th Anniversary Game!  May 31st, 2016

The Cursed gained a bit of momentum, with the Fiddler’s Green holding up the Paul Revere while the Spilled Salt hit twice on the Swamp Fox, who missed another BA.

Davy Jones' Curse 10th Anniversary Game!  May 31st, 2016

The Swamp Fox finally hit with a Broadsides Attack! Combined with a successful ram, and the Spilled Salt was derelict. The Fiddler’s Green had sunk the Paul Revere and dismasted the Swamp Fox with a ram, but the Cursed were running out of options. The Brandywine had unloaded gold for the Americans and was headed towards the battle area.

Davy Jones' Curse 10th Anniversary Game!  May 31st, 2016

The Saratoga finally got into action and sunk the Spilled Salt! This left the Cursed with no gold on their home island or ships, and the Saratoga and Brandywine were still in the way.

Davy Jones' Curse 10th Anniversary Game!  May 31st, 2016

After a short battle the Americans won the game 10-0!

Americans win DJC 10th anniversary game

My favorite part of this Davy Jones’ Curse game was that every ship was able to play a combat role – no ships were left unnoticed.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game! February 6th, 2016

This game was played on 2/6/2016. It was a 60 point game, notable for being possibly the last physical game I’ll play with the first person I ever taught Pirates to (but maybe not the last!). Also, as part of the upcoming 10th anniversary of South China Seas, I’ve got quite a lot of South China Seas in my current traveling collection.

Jade Rebellion:
Grand Mountain + Dragon Eyes, helmsman, oarsman
Sea Wind + captain
Hansan Island + captain, helmsman, fire shot

Mixed:
HMS Victor + captain, oarsman
Templar + helmsman
HMS Clear Wind + helmsman
Scorpion + explorer
El Duque + helmsman, explorer

The setup featured the shipwreck cove, as well as three places to get gold. There were two coins placed on a beach on the same island where the home beaches were located. A few more coins were on an island near the main wild island, which lay in the cove.

SCS 10th anniversary

Almost 10 years since the release of South China Seas, and the junks look as good as ever!

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

After the relative monotony of VASSAL pictures, it was refreshing and almost stunning to see this quality return!

Chinese junks sail out
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Duque grabs the nearby gold, while all the other ships make for the far islands.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
Jade Rebellion fleet

Here the Sea Wind’s colors actually blend in well with the ocean.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
Jade Rebellion ships

The fleets converge on the main wild island:

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Sea Wind explores as the Hansan Island and Grand Mountain split up. All three Jade ships have captains.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Jade Rebellion declares war! The Hansan Island sets the Victor ablaze, while the Sea Wind sprints for home and hits 2/2 on the Duque in passing.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
Jade Rebellion attacks!
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Victor repaired at sea, only to have the Hansan Island connect again with another fire shot! The Grand Mountain dismasted the Templar, and the Jades were doing well.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

Dragon Eyes got busy capturing crew, but the Clear Wind rammed the Hansan Island derelict, ending that threat.

battle at the wild island
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Sea Wind returns for more gold, but loses a mast trying to go the shorter way over the treacherous reefs.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Clear Wind has captured the Hansan Island!

coins on island
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Victor hits the Grand Mountain, and the momentum is shifting!

Grand Mountain under attack

The Grand Mountain fights back and captures the Victor’s captain!

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

As the Hansan Island is towed away, the Jade Rebellion is becoming surrounded.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Sea Wind re-engages the Duque but fails to inflict damage and loses another mast to the reef! The Grand Mountain and Victor are locked in battle.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

A great shot of the failed ram and board, and a good shot of the wrecked Flying Dutchman with her stern in the air.

failed ram and board
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

As the battle rages, the Grand Mountain loses her oarsman.

naval battle rages on

The Duque rams the Sea Wind derelict! The Scorpion tries to sink the junk but misses.

Sea Wind is derelict
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Duque captures the Sea Wind, while the Clear Wind drops the Hansan Island to help the Victor against the Grand Mountain.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016
South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Jade Rebellion has only one ship left, and it’s doubtful that she’ll make it home safely. However, at this point she has 8 points of captured crew aboard in addition to 2 gold!

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

The Victor has fully repaired while the Grand Mountain slowly sails home.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

As expected, the Grand Mountain has been cornered by the Mixed fleet. Note the unintentional (weak) line of battle sailing to the Mixed HI! They now control 7 of the 8 ships in the game.

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

Just a turn from her HI, the Grand Mountain is rammed and blocked!

Grand Mountain in trouble again

The Grand Mountain shot a mast off the Scorpion, but the galley’s block meant she couldn’t get home…

South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

After all that carnage, the Mixed fleet rammed the Grand Mountain derelict to end the game!

end of the game. South China Seas 10th Anniversary Game!  February 6th, 2016

1. Mixed fleet: 19 gold
2. Jade Rebellion: 13

(If the Grand Mountain had just an extra turn to return home, it would have been 23-13 in favor of the Rebellion! Another great game!)

Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

Today (10/26) was the 10th anniversary of Barbary Coast’s release!

What better way to tribute such a great set than having an all-BC game?

It was a simple 30 point game, partly because these 4 ships are literally the only ships from BC in my current traveling collection! Funny enough, this turned into one of those relatively rare games that, despite being very one-sided, was quite exciting and fun.

Barbary Corsairs: 
Silent Death + Murat Rais, captain, helmsman
Golden Peacock

vs.
Terror of Gibraltar + Wesley, helmsman, oarsman
Tripoli

To switch things up for a change, the home islands were located right next to each other. In addition, the single wild island was completely surrounded by fog! Lastly, since this was a game featuring 100% Barbary Corsairs, each fleet would have to bring its gold back to the other home island.

Both fleets immediately sailed into the fog, and knew that whoever was lucky enough to roll to reach the island first would hold an advantage.

The Silent Death looked to be an aggressor, while the Terror of Gibraltar wanted to steal gold from the Golden Peacock. As is typical in this game, the exact opposite happened!

The two fleets jostled for position, but neither had any luck whatsoever with the extremely foggy conditions. All game long, a ship would roll for one of the two edges and emerge straight into another fog bank! When an outside roll was made, the ship would duck right back into a different fog bank, careful not to be vulnerable to one of the captained ships.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The Terror of Gibraltar managed to stay on the Peacock’s trail, but the conditions were so bad that neither fleet made any gold or combat progress for a while.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

At long last, the Tripoli broke through with a lucky roll and docked at the island. Neither fleet had explorers, but the Terror also was able to dock on the same turn.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The Silent Death and Golden Peacock again simply shifted from one fog bank to another, as their enemies started the journey home.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The smaller ships got lucky soon after, with the Tripoli able to dock home her two coins and the Silent Death finally reaching the wild island. The Silent Death was only able to pick up one coin due to her heavy crew complement.

At this point, to speed the game up, whenever a ship rolled a 1 for a fog roll, a random coin would disappear from the island. In addition, if a ship rolled a 6 for a fog roll, the fog bank farthest from the home islands would disappear.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The Tripoli soon reached the island for a second time, and a coin and fog bank quickly disappeared.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

Wesley aboard the Terror had a plan – with his one available cargo space, earlier in the game when he explored he took the lone 0 coin, hoping to lure the Golden Peacock into taking it. Due to the nature of this game, he unsurprisingly had his plan ruined!

At this point, the Golden Peacock’s frustration reached a high, with the ship rolling to emerge on the outside of the fog ring to sail around the circle. The Silent Death, useless against the escaping Tripoli, sailed out to meet her. Another coin disappeared from the wild island.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The Silent Death and Golden Peacock maneuvered to the opening in the fog. The Tripoli sailed home as the Terror approached her enemies.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The plans now became apparent, and things started to get weird. The Silent Death handed off Murat Rais and her captain to the Golden Peacock, who was immediately rammed by the Terror. Wesley’s bonus wasn’t even needed, and the Peacock immediately lost Rais in addition to her mizzenmast. In the meantime, the Silent Death went from dangerous gunship to content treasure runner, picking up two coins to augment the one she had loaded earlier in the game, which felt like ages ago.
Barbary Corsair combat

With the Tripoli home safe with another hefty load of gold, the other Corsairs realized they were in trouble. The Silent Death continued to flounder in the fog as the Golden Peacock fled into a different fog bank.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The role reversal on the part of both original gunships continued. In a move that made it obvious she intended to win the game, the Terror of Gibraltar docked at the wild island, unloaded both Wesley and her helmsman, and picked up two additional coins! Although this made it obvious that their fleet would win the game if the Terror could make it back home, the mutiny (by the lone oarsman left on the ship, lol) angered Wesley, who was left stranded on the fog-shrouded island. This would soon hurt what was left of the Terror’s crew.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

With a chance for revenge against the Terror, the Golden Peacock emerged from the fog to ram the big ship, scoring a hit! However, the Peacock lost the boarding party, which meant that her essential captain was no more. This left the fleet with just one crew, the helmsman on the hapless Silent Death. That is, unless they could recruit some angry Corsairs…
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The gold-laden and slowed-down Terror fled into the fog, where the poor Silent Death was still sailing to and fro. The unscathed Tripoli headed back out for another run.

To complete the civil war aspect of this game and make it even more bizarre, the Golden Peacock, who had lost both of her valuable crew (Murat Rais and captain, which originally came from the Silent Death), now docked at the island and loaded the betrayed crew of the Terror – Wesley and a helmsman! Eager to get revenge on the Terror, they were essentially replacements for the crew the Peacock had already lost in battle. However, they would be sorely needed, as the Terror and Tripoli looked to be close to victory. It was up to the Golden Peacock to sink or steal the treasure from the Terror.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The Peacock had to pull double duty, knowing she also couldn’t let the Tripoli get home with another load of gold. With S+L+S speed, the Peacock came around the fog to surprise the Tripoli, but her shot missed. The Terror took advantage of the distracted ship to duck into a different fog bank.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

At this point, another 1 was rolled in the fog, eliminating the last treasure from the wild island and eliminating the Tripoli as a gold threat. Now the Tripoli would try to support the Terror, but they were on opposite sides of the fog and the Tripoli had just ducked into the fog to escape the only captained ship remaining, the Golden Peacock. The Peacock raced to intercept the Terror, who was slowly making her way through the fog.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The Terror now made a decision to break for the home island, despite her S+S speed and relative safety of the fog.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The Golden Peacock easily outstripped the Terror and caught her! With the first real broadside of the game, the Peacock missed both shots!

In the background, you can see the Tripoli will be too late to join the fight. The ever-frustrated Silent Death has ditched the fog entirely and began the long journey around the entire ring from the inside out.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015

The Terror of Gibraltar couldn’t quite make it home on her next turn, and the Peacock finally scored a hit, but it was too late. Funny enough, she lost the boarding party and therefore her helmsman. Even if she had won to eliminate the Terror’s oarsman, the Terror’s Galley keyword would dock the Terror home on the next turn even if she was derelict. You can see how many 6’s were rolled late in the game, with lots of fog disappearing on the far side of the island.
Barbary Corsair Civil War! October 26th, 2015
The Terror docked and the game finally ended!

Terror of Gibraltar/Tripoli: 17 gold
Golden Peacock/Silent Death: 0 gold (although they had 8 on the Silent Death and 2 on the Golden Peacock for 10 total)

What a strange game! The big/small ship fleet was able to prevail despite having smaller cargo holds and inferior guns, although it was partly due to the Tripoli’s fog dice luck. The midsize ships put up a gallant fight, but the civil war is over. The setup was rather unique and interesting, especially when the house rules were instituted mid-game to eliminate gold and fog. The crew killing and swapping made for an especially bloody and emotional conflict, a civil war that will not soon be forgotten in the annals of the Barbary Corsairs.