FB Group 10 Year Anniversary Game

FB Group 10 Year Anniversary Game

November 23rd 2020 was the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Facebook group created by Captain Vendari!  To celebrate the occasion some of the moderators there played a game on VASSAL.

It was a 70 point game between myself, Xerecs, and Captain Vendari.  We each contributed 10 coins of any value or type, except that each player had to contribute at least one coin worth a gold value.  We ended up with 6 wild islands, so 5 coins per island.  Towards the end of the game, Xerecs and I kind of retroactively decided that it was being played under round earth rules – one of a number of asterisks this game can be viewed under.  However, it was quite a fun and bizarre game.  😀   It took longer and was more strategic than I expected, although that is often par for the course with Pirates CSG.  The game can be a lot more in-depth and strategic than a lot of people think… this was one of those instances where it almost turned into a chess match of varying possibilities, not all of which are even discussed here.

Here are the fleets in the order of play. We rolled for turn order then chose home islands in reverse turn order.  Game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet.

Xerecs
USS Morning Star + Shap’ng Tsai (SS version), helmsman, cannoneer, explorer, oarsman
Destiny + Ralph David (RV version), silver explorer, 2 crew for Tsai’s Sac ability
Providence + Captain Charles Richard, Montana Mays (OE version), Diamond Nelson Turner (BC version), Commodore Matthew Perry, helmsman, oarsman

A7XfanBen
Mind Control is back!  My favorite and ultimate gimmick fleet has returned with a vengeance after a long hiatus!  As soon as Xerecs mentioned the 70 point build total I knew what fleet I would use.  George Washington LeBeaux’s (GWL) flavor text: “The deep swamps of Louisiana breed a different sort of man. LeBeaux has learned from the mambos, magic men, and shamans that those who harness the power of the loa for evil means are an affront to life itself.”  GWL was about to change his mind… or have his mind, changed for him….

Captain Vendari
Baochuan + Admiral Zheng He, Ms. Cheng, Zheng Li Kwan, Kian Ng, Chang Pao, captain, helmsman, shipwright, firepot specialist (nearly all crew started facedown)
HMS Patagonia + Lord Mycron, Robinson
Le Coeur du Lion + navigator

Being the second to choose a home island, I purposely went in the middle.  I thought of it as a central base or “home brain” for the nefarious operations of my mind controllers.  With a UPS-based fleet (the Americans) on one side and a loaded Baochuan on the other, I went into the game feeling like I had a slim chance of winning.  However, that wouldn’t stop me from wreaking maximum havoc!!

FB Group 10 Year Anniversary Game

Incredibly, on my first turn both GWL and Davy Jones were successful in their mind control tactics!  The Baochuan and Providence were thrown onto reefs, losing 4 and 1 masts respectively.

Mind Control is back in action!

Maps of Alexandria was found, revealing a lot of UT’s in the setup.  This affected the rest of the game, as ships knew exactly which islands to target to get specific treasures.  This is an aid to my Mind Control design by revealing exactly what the fleet needs to do in order to set up “doom combos” that, once acquired, make it very hard for any opposing fleet to dictate the remainder of the game.

But in bigger news… the Baochuan was dismasted by another reef toss combined with the Divine Dragon’s shooting!  I can’t remember the details on which mover was successful each turn, but Davy Jones was giving enemy ships move actions on 6’s, while GWL on the Kentucky was moving enemy ships L (not a move action) on 5’s and 6’s, aided by the ship’s Reroll ability.  Mind Control was getting lucky early on, showing their true potential.  Xerecs made the map, and neither I nor Vendari based our fleets on it.  However, I came out luckier in that regard, with many reefs in play perfect for moving big enemy ships onto.  The Baochuan had already been thrown onto reefs twice, losing all her masts and potentially costing the Jades the game only a few turns in!  However, the game was FAR from over….  I didn’t attempt to sink the Baochuan with the Divine Dragon’s remaining cannons after asking Vendari if an oarsman was aboard.  He said there wasn’t, which I chose to believe partly because I wanted it to be true.  XD  The Divine Dragon (DD) docked at the southern island of the ring, as it looked like a great option to explore.

However, I made the mistake of underestimating what Vendari would be able to do with the Baochuan on the next turn.  The ship repaired with a newly revealed shipwright, then moved off the reef at L+S with Mycron’s help for a second action.  The island was S-explored on the previous turn, allowing the Baochuan to dock and take coins!  She loaded up everything except for Turtles, which started swimming in the water next to the 10 master.  The coins included a 7, Spices, and Smuggled Goods.  I started to feel pretty dumb for not sinking the Baochuan when I had the chance, especially now that it looked like the Jades were going to get a massive windfall.  However, I knew the Baochuan’s path home was nearly paved with reefs, and perhaps good things would come to one who waited…. (though I think realistically I still just botched this lol)  I had wanted to capture the Baochuan, thinking it would be a way to rival the UPS fleet’s gold total.

In the meantime, Xerecs’ American UPS fleet was getting busy, with the Morning Star flipping two silver coins to the Destiny, who added +3 value to each coin via her crew.  The Cyclone docked at the eastern ring island, but it looked like the Providence had interest in it too.  Each fleet had at least one ship basically parked at their home island for a (different) specific duty – navigating, action generation, L-moving, and gold factory production.  Say what you may about ships sitting at home, because that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to sit there forever….

The Morning Star builds Thompson’s Island for the Americans.  The Baochuan repairs twice.  The Divine Dragon is about to explore the western ring island, the Rover is slightly confused about which island to go to, and the Cyclone is dismasted by the Providence, who lost no masts in her second reef encounter.  However, I was willing to accept that outcome.  That was because the Cyclone was able to explore that island before getting whacked.  She grabbed Pandora’s Box, with Vendari and Xerecs giving the ship Fruit and Rum (the latter to freeze her for the next turn).  I loaded up Runes of Odin, playing it to place a deadly iceberg right next to the USS Morning Star!  Alas, the plan failed when DJ and GWL didn’t come through with their rolls, meaning I couldn’t chuck the MS into the iceberg to remove her and all her crew and treasure from the game.

The MS promptly escaped, heading west to a new island.  That made the Rover turn away from that island towards the DD.  The Providence captured the Cyclone, giving the Americans a 4th ship while taking my fleet down to 3.  However, Mind Control still had a successful turn – the Divine Dragon explored the western ring island to grab Nemo’s Plans….

And they moved the Baochuan onto another reef to wreck her!!  O_O

USS MS explored the northwestern island, sacrificing the abandoned musketeer for an extra action.  The Destiny was moved away from the American HI by Mind Control, though that wouldn’t affect much.  The Providence is about to dock home gold.

For Mind Control, the Rover dumped her shipwright on the western ring island to load a coin – it would have fit regardless, but I wanted the full S+L speed on the way home so I had to drop the crew to avoid the negative ability.  The shipwright actually remained hidden the whole game but wasn’t of any real consequence.  The DD headed east towards the captured Cyclone and the island she had explored.

With the help of Mycron and a trade current, the Coeur du Lion sails off in search of wrecked Baochuan gold, reaching the ship easily.

The MS moved and then got moved.  The Odin iceberg moved a little away from Thompson’s Island.  With the then-friendly Cyclone having already explored the eastern ring island, the Divine Dragon picked up Runes of Thor from that island (!!) before continuing south with DJ’s extra action.  The Coeur explored the Baochuan and took all her coins, which combined with the incoming bale of sea turtles to give the “Jades” some serious hope.  (we didn’t use any campaign/army unit rules in this game, Vendari just wanted to decorate the home islands XD)

But it wasn’t Christmas.  More bloodshed and frustration was necessary to determine a winner today.  With their newfound megapower of a “permanent” Runes of Thor (on the same ship as Nemo’s Plans), Mind Control was about to truly live up to their name.  This could be used on the abilities of Davy Jones OR GWL every turn, and here the Morning Star was tossed onto a reef on her way to a whirlpool, knocking free three masts.   Evil maniacal admiral… using UT combos… to become a god-like puppetmaster of doom… where have I heard that before?   …. oops, nothing to see here tee hee!

However, Mind Control would not go unchallenged, with the Providence racing south to intercept the Divine Dragon in Davy Jones’ quest for the legendary Runes of Odin UT, the normal copy (first iteration via Pandora’s Box heh) of which was on the southeastern island.  The Providence hit 2/4 with her cannons, then rammed another mast off the DD.  The picture below does not show the whole sequence, but both players declined to board.  An important factor was DNT, the American canceller from BC that Xerecs revealed to cancel Davy Jones on the next Mind Control turn.  Soon afterwards, the DD hit the Providence twice, and Xerecs rolled consecutive 5’s to let me throw DNT and Mays off the ship via Captain Charles Richard’s ability!!  O_O  This meant uncancelled Davy Jones could resume normal business hours on my next turn!  XD

For quite a while, the Cyclone was kind of “stuck” between Xerecs moving her and her getting moved in other directions via the Maps of Hades and GWL.  At the lower left, the Coeur unloads the Baochuan’s gold, completing a harrowing journey for the Spices and Smuggled Goods.

The MS emerged from the whirlpool near home, where the Destiny sailed out to greet her.  For the other “home ships”, Kentucky and Patagonia stayed home while the Coeur sailed north.

This was a big turn in the game.  Seeing Bad Maps on the southeastern island, I knew I had to position the severely weakened Divine Dragon (1 mast remaining) properly so that when the ship moved with the island, the DD wouldn’t end up on a reef and possibly wrecked.  With the dangerous Providence off the stern, Davy Jones piloted the ship into the island’s shore, triggering UT’s.  Bad Maps was resolved, with Vendari moving the island and DD west, right into the Providence’s lines of fire.  However, I knew it didn’t matter, since the “ultimate” combo was now in play…. Nemo’s Plans… Runes of Odin… Runes of Thor with an L-mover….  O_O   A modified ODIN MISSILE.  By placing an “Odin iceberg” next to an enemy ship, then using Thor’s auto-6 to guarantee GWL’s success with L-moving the same ship, I could now eliminate any ship in play, once per turn, every turn.  O_O   Precision cruise missile strike capability unlocked!  HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!

The Norse god Odin appeared in the sky, called by the great Davy Jones.  He reared back and threw an iceberg next to the Providence.  Finally embracing the dark side and using the power of the loa for evil, GWL (possibly with an assist from another god, Thor) slammed the iceberg into the Providence, blowing it up!  GWL was converted to The Cursed cause, helping Davy Jones to sink a fellow American ship.  Suddenly the threat was gone and the DD was free and clear!  😀 XD

As an Avenger would say, “we’re in the endgame now.”  True indeed.  Davy Jones was getting excited.  OE flavor text: “As his power grows and his minions cause more destruction, Jones has begun his second wave of terror, one that will take his power beyond the edge of the oceans themselves—setting him up to rule the seas once and for all!”

With that, the second wave of terror had begun.  If the first wave had seen the Baochuan and Providence thrown onto reefs, this one was going to prove more deadly.  Davy Jones ordered a missile strike from the gods, who complied by crushing the Coeur du Lion with an Odin iceberg.  A turn later the USS Morning Star was removed as well, eliminating any chance of more UPS shenanigans.  Suddenly the other two players were running out of ships, and quickly.

Vendari sailed the Patagonia away from his home island, with that being his last ship.  The Americans only had the Destiny and the wretched Cyclone, who was still struggling to make progress towards her new home island due to some combination of “movers” (Maps of Hades/DJ/GWL).  In the meantime, Mind Control was regrouping, with the Cursed and Pirate ships returning home as the Kentucky wreaked havoc with GWL’s loa powers.  Indeed, the DD would soon start repairing, slowly making her a dangerous weapon again.

Around this time Vendari had to leave, with Xerecs and I continuing the game.  Xerecs gave actions to the Patagonia as optimally as he could, as we talked out trying to play it like Vendari would.

This is also where things got weird, lopsided, and extremely strategic.  After the Baochuan fiasco and likely being in last place at this point, I considered myself mostly an also-ran for much of the mid-game.  However, now I was in the driver’s seat, with most of the power remaining in play giving me the ability to potentially dictate the outcome of the game.  I had to slow down and really consider a lot of options.  I wasn’t playing this game like T2, where I would pay close attention on every turn and essentially keep track of how much gold both fleets had at any given time (as much as humanly possible given the standard total of 30 gold along with bonuses and help like Maps of Alexandria/etc). Therefore I had no idea how much gold Xerecs had.  Before Vendari left he said he had 36 gold on his home island, quite a bit more than I had.  I was worried Xerecs had even more.  As a result, I had the mindset that I had to play things near-perfectly for the remainder of the game in order to maximize my gold score no matter what.

There was still a bunch of gold in play, with at least one coin on 5 out of the 6 wild islands.  If I simply eliminated the other players, it would trigger an endgame condition and I would lose since I didn’t have enough gold.  Therefore I had to keep at least one player alive (even artificially!)

Three ships remained in play, and each represented an opportunity for Mind Control to win, or possibly lose.

Destiny: This American ship had Jade aboard, which doubles the lowest-value coin on the ship and doesn’t have to be unloaded. I started moving the Destiny away from the American home island, realizing that capturing the Jade UT could lead to a win if I got multiple coins doubled up.  I rammed her into an iceberg twice (the same one that eliminated the Morning Star), but then realized that Xerecs could easily scuttle her to counter my plan. I continued moving her north, which Xerecs eventually did as well, likely because there were still two coins (one silver) on the southeastern island.  In the next picture you can see her moving north after round earthing to the south with only one mast remaining.  Xerecs and I decided round earth made sense for the game (I had mistakenly assumed we were using that house rule from the start since I like it and almost always prefer to use it), but in hindsight it’s at least possible that Xerecs may have made a different decision(s) if that had been established from the start.  However, most of the stuff in play (especially islands) was pretty far from the map edges, so it’s extremely possible everything would have turned out exactly the same.  After round earthing, the Destiny was bound for the southeastern island, which is exactly where I wanted her to go… the Cursed had been busy repairing the Divine Dragon, who was powering up for a critical capture opportunity.  Davy Jones planned to take nearly the same route southeast as he had earlier, cutting through the sargasso gap in the reef ring.  The DD had a max speed of 6S with DJ rolling a 1-5, so the DD wouldn’t have much trouble catching the Destiny whether she continued to the island or made a break for the whirlpool east of her.

Cyclone: The Cyclone still had Rum aboard, which was worth 5 gold.  I wanted to be cautious and fully assume I needed that coin to win the game, so I wanted to capture BOTH the Destiny and the Cyclone at one point.  However, even with Runes of Thor hitting GWL every turn and Maps of Hades occasionally working against Xerecs’ efforts to get the Cyclone home, it would be difficult.  The Cyclone was making slow but steady progress towards Xerecs’ HI, and I soon started to need GWL for a different purpose.

Patagonia: The lone ship left in Vendari’s fleet was tempting to just hit with an Odin Missile and be done with her.  However, I realized that she would potentially be the key to my victory.  At one point I think I was still using GWL on different ships, moving any of the 3 to prolong the situation.  However, especially since I didn’t even want DJ to get 6’s at this point (it would slightly delay his progress towards the Destiny, which held Jade, one of the big keys to my strategy), Runes of Thor was used every turn on GWL but it wouldn’t be enough.  With essentially just one mover now, I was trying to control or delay three enemy ships at once. Even with none of them having a base move faster than S+S and the guaranteed “backwards L” provided by Thor/GWL, it wasn’t going to be sustainable.  The Cyclone or Destiny would get home, and the Patagonia… could suicide?  More on that soon….

My plan was put in play – with 4 masts up on the Divine Dragon, Davy Jones felt comfortable sailing out.  He raced the ship southeast to intercept the Destiny, which was quickly captured.  This netted me the Jade UT.  The Rover arrived home with a 2 coin while GWL moved the Patagonia back.

Back to the Patagonia. This is where an interesting rules hangup occurred.  The Patagonia could ram the western iceberg that removed the Coeur, eliminating the Patagonia’s only mast.  Then she could row over to a sargasso sea just southeast of that area, trapping herself on purpose!  “If a game piece is tangled, you can use its action for the turn to try to free it. Roll a d6 and add the current number of masts or segments on the tangled game piece to the result. If the result is more than 6, the game piece is untangled.”  O_O  With 0 masts, she can’t roll more than a 6!  In that case, she would be “stuck forever”, potentially triggering the “no future move actions” end condition if Xerecs’ fleet was also out of action by that time… BUT, with GWL guaranteed to be able to move the Patagonia L on each of my turns, I could potentially finagle my way out of it and prevent the seaweed from stopping play.

I developed a new plan.  The Patagonia would be stopped from exploring, stopped from scuttling herself after losing a mast, stopped from getting stuck forever in a sargasso sea, stopped from doing… anything.  Every time she moved S for any reason (Xerecs continually directed her northwards), GWL (w/Thor as needed of course) would move her back L.  She had to be kept away from icebergs so she couldn’t lose her lone mast.  I was helping out Vendari!  😉  XD  LOL!  First sparing the Baochuan and now this!  XD  Or just using his last little ship as a puppet to make myself rich heh.

I also realized (way later than I should have) that any/all three of the enemy ships could make plans to scuttle themselves.  It wasn’t limited to one – the Patagonia and Destiny could ram icebergs to eliminate their final masts and then scuttle themselves, and the Cyclone was still pretty close to the last surviving Odin iceberg she could use to remove herself from play.  With the Destiny now in my possession and the Cyclone already derelict and able to be scuttled, the choice became obvious.

In the end, the clear best decision was to put the Patagonia on artificial “life support” to prevent the game from ending. XD   What a thought – Davy Jones’ second wave of terror was so scary, it nearly led to the game ending via mass suicide!  :/

True to form, things went as I planned or expected.  The Divine Dragon was towing the Destiny home when the Cyclone rammed herself into the final Odin iceberg, removing her and Xerecs from the game.  Now it was only Vendari’s Patagonia keeping the game afloat, and she was certainly doing fine lol – in no trouble whatsoever!  Moving only S every turn meant she would never get anywhere, with GWL forcing her back on each of my turns.

This created something I haven’t seen all that often – one player has complete control of the game (usually there’s more of a ticking time bomb in the form of a suicidal enemy ship), but decides not to end it so they can get the most gold and ensure victory.  I’ve barely ever played Yugioh and not in many years, but this reminds me of the infamous Yata-Lock.  O_O  XD  Similar to that situation, here we have a player that continues taking turns as they see fit while completely denying the enemy player any action at all – completely robbing them of even playing the game.  Here the GWL/Thor/Patagonia combo is the lock, using an enemy ship rather than a friendly “monster” to keep the game going – of course, until all the gold in play is mine.  😀  LOL!

Say what you will about this being a “lame” ending or whatever, but remember what it took to set up – a Mind Control gimmick fleet that is theoretically far outclassed by UPS/Baochuan enemies, who didn’t stop my fleet from accumulating the incredible Nemo’s Plans+Runes of Thor combo that allowed it to transpire in the first place. (with some additional help from Odin of course heh)

With that, there was no reason to continue playing “normally”.  Now began “the simulation”, where I was able to do whatever I wanted with no interference from the remaining player.  Xerecs and I talked this out and basically I would spend probably an hour (or more) gathering gold from the various sources, taking care to unload each and every coin individually with Jade applied to double it.  This would likely be accomplished with the Destiny, since she had cargo spaces open along with a silver explorer that would give +1 to the DD’s silver 5.  Since I didn’t keep track of Xerecs’ gold (and Vendari could be bluffing about his 36, though he wasn’t and his gold was easier to track since it all came in in a 2 turn windfall), no chances could be taken – I would max out my gold score to give me the absolute best chance of winning.  No reason not to, especially in a simulation that doesn’t need to be played out since I was sailing unopposed.

The one slight wrinkle was Thompson’s Island, which held the 3 to build it along with another coin.  However, a fully repaired DD and Kentucky were available for this, and I rolled some dice to make sure I would eliminate the fort to get all the island’s gold.  I even got lucky and didn’t face return fire, with a double action Divine Dragon proving enough to overpower the fort.  The other coin was a 7, so the 10 gold would provide a nice boost – especially when doubled individually via Jade.

The Final Scores
1. A7XfanBen (Mind Control): 72 Gold
2. Captain Vendari: 36 Gold
3. Xerecs: 29 Gold

If Thompson’s Island was left intact: 1. A7XfanBen: 52,  2. Xerecs: 39,  3. Captain Vendari: 36

Crazy enough I actually didn’t even need Jade either.
Without Jade: 47-36-29 (with me destroying Thompson’s Island, and Vendari in 2nd again)

A number of Rules questions came up during the game, though I don’t think any of them would quite affect the outcome directly, or at least not overturn the result.

Asterisks: Vendari had to leave early (Patagonia actions afterwards not consequential though), round earth affecting strategy/Xerecs’ play, some potential Rules hangups.

Perhaps it’s fitting that going after the Destiny was a path to my victory. (“fulfill your destiny”)  This game got pretty dark, there are definitely some weird parallels to mass genocide/suicide that were carried out by Davy Jones.  Perhaps GWL used the loa to control the gods…

“Commandeering the Gods to commit mass genocide” – Indeed, here Davy Jones led a campaign that resulted in a brainwashed, mind-controlled GWL to use the power of the loa to commandeer the gods for the purposes of a partial genocide, which directly resulted in mass attempted suicide. But then GWL intervened and didn’t even let the victims get what they wanted, refusing them (the Patagonia with Mycron and Robinson aboard) “assisted suicide” until finally Davy Jones had his fortune and reigned supreme.  Yikes….

I didn’t play perfectly, but I still feel this game deserves to be in my Master Strategist post. Despite my gaffes, some solid accomplishments for just one game. 🙂
Wreck the Baochuan: Check
Beat a UPS fleet with a gimmick fleet/Mind Control: Check
Win the game with more gold than the other two fleets combined: Check (with a proper ending, or “full simulation”)
Permanently lock a ship in place: Check
Use Odin Missiles in a normal game: Check

I was able to insert or “inject” CG4 into this game.  Which is a little absurd given how tiny this game is to CG4, which realistically has over 7000 total points in play, over 100 times this game’s build total.  (and given how long it took to accumulate combos in that game)

Thanks to Xerecs and Captain Vendari for helping to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the FB group with a wild game!

Thanks for reading!  😀  Comment below what you thought of the game!

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!)