Pirates CSG Podcast #48: A7XfanBen and Xerecs Talk Campaign Games

Pirates CSG Podcast #48: A7XfanBen and Xerecs Talk Campaign Games

You can listen to the audio via ShoutEngine!

You can also listen on Archive.org.

Xerecs’ profile page at Pirates with Ben: https://pirateswithben.com/members/xerecs/

CoEC 2019: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLY5ESzOKns5gkP98K49iP–589KmYKaNf

The Huge Game Legacy Thread: https://pirateswithben.com/the-huge-game-legacy-thread/

Question of the Day: If you’ve read more than one entire campaign game battle report, which campaign game is your favorite and why?

Battle Reports Compendium: https://pirateswithben.com/battle-reports-compendium/

The Pirate Code: https://pirateswithben.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/The-Pirate-Code-FAQ-Dec-2016.pdf

Find all the game pieces in the Master Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18Z-x-z9gaWiKFLk-kw1weamc0A1-NxMN3xLjWWKsUmA/edit?usp=sharing

Thanks for listening!

A7XfanBen and Xerecs playing CG1

The grand ocean during VASSAL Campaign Game 1, played between A7XfanBen and Xerecs in 2016.

 

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Admiral A7XfanBen, Master Strategist

Admiral A7XfanBen, Master Strategist

Warning: This may be my most arrogant and self-congratulatory piece of content I have ever made or will ever make for Pirates CSG.  It is a way for me to look back at my best and favorite game moments where my obsession with the game’s strategy and my vast experience with playing the game culminated in big wins.  After hundreds or thousands of hours spent on the game in general, I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished in terms of playing the game.

For a long time I only played solo games.  I didn’t play my first game against a human opponent until January 2015.  Since then I’ve played against a few dozen players, some in physical games but even more on the VASSAL module.  This post documents some of my greatest moments as an experienced and extremely passionate player of Pirates CSG.

VASSAL Campaign Game 1

My first non-solo campaign game featured a ton of amazing moments, and it remains as possibly my favorite huge game.  It was smart for my Spanish to optimize their gold system very early on, purposely launching pretty much all of their ships and crew with gold bonus abilities.  The massive fleet of native canoes peaked at 35 total (7 sets), which helped the Spanish rake in a ton of gold throughout the game.  This allowed them to spend on battle fleets, which were used to take on the other factions.  The Americans were forced to pay tribute, and ironically became a vassal state of the Spanish Empire.  The French put up an amazing fight but were crushed by the strength of the Spanish war fleet.  The Pirates were next.  The Cursed and English were also smashed by my Spanish, who steamrolled through the game.  Even though my English fleet looked superior in the endgame, the Spanish managed to wear them down and pull out a well-deserved victory.  My superior launching strategy (of not saving gold for almost any reason) gave me the win.  Check out the factional analysis in the reflection at the bottom of the reports to get a better idea of how dominant the Spanish were.

Here is the retrospective video for a quick summary of the game, with the Spanish theme of the game playing:

VASSAL Campaign Game 2

This game was short compared to CG1, but still featured some interesting plays.  My theme in this game was attacking the Pirates (the main rival of my English) through whirlpools.  I pulled off multiple whirlpool raids, most of which were successful in general.  The final one was a huge move that swung the momentum permanently to the English side.  At that point I was building up an insurmountable points lead, and the game ended somewhat prematurely after my English intervened in a battle between the Pirates and French.  I was able to use 10 masters and submarines to devastate opposing forces, and eventually controlled seven 10 masters and six cancellers!  I mostly accomplished my goals within the game, which were to capture the Zeus, hinder or eliminate Captain Jack Sparrow, and of course win in the end.  Check out my path to victory in this video:

VASSAL Campaign Game 3

CG3 would be perhaps my greatest test yet.  In CG1 I controlled half the fleets (3/6), and in CG2 I still controlled a third (1/3).  In CG3, I’d be at just 1 fleet out of 6 total, with 5 other players trying to win the game.  I still thrived.  Lying low early due to bad resource rolls for my islands, the Americans watched as the Spanish burned brightly but then fizzled out.  After some long-awaited changes in the resource values, my Americans began to have serious spending power.  As usual, I first concentrated on optimizing my gold system, and then began to steadily launch ships for war.

The game’s turning point was an epic display of momentum shifting – the French crushed the Spanish at the central Gateway island, but then my Americans struck and crushed the French in the same location.  From there it was a matter of eliminating the other factions.  My fleet ranged far and wide, with the Zhanfu and others going to the far west to take out the Spanish and English.  The French were eliminated after trying to invade my home waters through a whirlpool.  I correctly anticipated a betrayal by my Pirate allies, and launched a preemptive strike to take care of that threat to my gold system.  The Cursed were the toughest opponent to beat, but yet another whirlpool strike (like in CG2) with the first shot advantage proved to be decisive.  You can even see my epic opening turn of that conflict here.  A long battle at the Cursed home island eventually saw the American numerical superiority victorious, with a massive wave of cancellation coming to dominate the Frozen North.

This grand victory was my third consecutive non-solo campaign game victory in as many efforts, improving my record to a perfect 3-0 and initiating comparisons to Tom Brady and Thanos in terms of utter dominance and early “championship” success.  At the bottom of the battle reports you can see my long strategy explanation for the game.  In this retrospective video you can see the dominance of the American fleet play out.

200 Point Game of Water World

This is one of those extremely rare games where everything goes according to plan.  My strategy was applied, and it worked flawlessly.  Everything I did went right.  It was a bizarre combination of luck, timing, and good gameplay on my part.

The Guichuan’s heist totaled 22 gold, but in reality the final score was about 35-0. I had won the game in a complete shutout despite the big build total. I only lost one ship, the Celtic Fury (plus one canoe haha). I had captured or destroyed Xerecs’ entire fleet.I was also happy because I was intimidated when I saw the enemy fleet – the Zeus and San Cristobal (by some people’s accounts the 2 best gunships in the game), along with the Baochuan and some of the best gold runners in the game. However, with some negative UT’s, effective crew placement, and brilliantly executed gimmick strategy, I was able to pull off the victory!

Calypso Shutout

To be fair, this was against a slow fleet.  However, it was still one of my most impressive wins, with Calypso going ballistic with whirlpools to give the Pirates every single coin in the treasure distribution for a 55-0 victory!  O_O

In a huge blowout, the Pirates defeat the Spanish 55-0! This is one of the only games I’ve ever played where a fleet gets every single coin in the treasure distribution. No gold was sunk, and the Pirates collected and stole the rest for a massive victory. This game made me want to use Calypso more, and it’s also one of the best gimmick games/fleets I’ve seen.

3 Player Circle of Blood game

This 5-hour long game was captured in full on video, found at the bottom of the battle report linked above.  I scored two massive coups that helped me pull out a narrow victory in the end.  The first involved a brilliant combination of using the Harbinger’s ship-stealing ability in conjunction with the special rules of the scenario, where the first island your fleet explores becomes your home island.  This happened early in the game, but there was a ton of action left.

The second “coup” netted me another capture.  I was able to capture a derelict galley and then row her S+S towards the Europa, who used an extra action and Commander Temple’s ability to warp the galley home.  Making it even sweeter was the fact that the 2 gold runners captured in these incredible game moves are two of the best to ever sail: the Banshee’s Cry and Star of Siam.  Quite the prizes indeed!

This second coup of the game for me was triply effective – it made the Hound less of a target, it got the SoS and Europa out of harms’ way (the Black Pearl), and it gave me another capable gold runner in my fleet. All in all one of my favorite moves I’ve pulled off in this game, showing how important it is to consider all options and really think through how you want to tow or “untow” things to your greatest benefit.

I then captured the Black Pearl a la Captain Jack Sparrow retaking his favorite vessel.  In the end it appeared that my moves were needed to keep me in the race, as I won a narrow 85-81 victory.  Truly a memorable game.

VASSAL Tournament #1 and VASSAL Tournament #2

These massive tournaments full of uber-competitive fleets were played between myself and Xerecs.  23 games in T1 and 53 in T2 combined for 76 games of competitive high-stakes action.  I played my ass off consistently, winning a lot of games and having a lot of incredible strategy moments.  A lot of it was gold calculation and making decisions based on available gold and fort strategy.  Really fun and incredible, and Xerecs had plenty of great moments as well.  I also made the somewhat incredible pick of choosing UPS 2 as the fleet to win T2 before the 16 fleet tournament even started!  (so technically 6.25% chance of picking the right fleet, though UPS 2 was an obvious favorite among some others)  This was based on my prior experience using UPS 2 in physical games and knowing how ridiculously effective, efficient, and overpowered that fleet is.  It was a total crapshoot, but I also won the 16 fleet game (using every fleet from T2) by 1 gold, and you can see footage of that game in my Games playlist.

8 Fleet Game after T1

This game was a bit controversial at the end, but my American Pirates fleet made things right with an impressive victory.  Not necessarily my best game in terms of strategy or specific plays, but it was one of the games I was happiest to win.

Blockade BreakerTwice

That was the first of two games with the “Other Worlds” scenario, where you use whirlpools to access multiple tables to dramatically change the setup compared to most games.  My opponent tried to use gunships to blockade my home island after I returned with gold from the other oceans – that way he didn’t have to brave the whirlpools.  I foiled that real quick.  The Philadelphia’s ability (ship stealing just like the Harbinger and Commander Temple) warped home a capture and I charged right back in.  I proved the ineffectiveness of the blockade strategy, and won in a 32-2 blowout.  I basically did the exact same thing a year later against a different opponent.  That game ended up 31-0 in my favor.

3 Player VASSAL Game in 2017

Here I used a gimmicky home island raiding strategy with the Spanish to win by a decent margin.

 

My record speaks for itself.  I have by far the most wins of any player on VASSAL (at least since it’s rebirth in 2016), and I am the only player to win a campaign game on the module that I know of, having won all 3 thus far.

Admiral A7XfanBen, Master Strategiest - VASSAL record as of July 2019

The Huge Game Legacy Thread

The Huge Game Legacy Thread

Originally posted to Miniature Trading on December 27th, 2017

Definitions:
-A huge game is any game of Pirates that totals at least 1,000 points at any given time.
-A campaign game is any game of Pirates CSG that uses gold to purchase additional game pieces during the game, rather than the game ending under the normal rules.
-There isn’t really a difference between a “campaign game” and a “cumulative game”. I would suggest that the main difference is that a campaign game (CG for short) often uses a custom ruleset to make it a campaign, while a cumulative game is generally a “regular” CG without any custom ruleset used aside from a few house rules.

(I was originally going to call this thread the Campaign Game Legacy thread but thought better of it after realizing how confusing the definitions would be if I grouped my “regular” huge games under the CG definition.)

If you’re interested in playing your own campaign games, I’d recommend the Guide to huge games thread. This thread heavily borrows from that, but is more of a reflection and analysis with less how-to and more spoilers.

I have documented the epic history of my huge games, with links to the games played by Xerecs (and his brothers and friend) as well. (he may create entries for his games at some point) Enjoy!

Click on a game’s title to read the battle report.

1. Cumulative game from June 2011

Summary: My first cumulative game, at least as far as I can tell. This may be my favourite battle report I’ve ever written, even though I wrote most of the report years after the game took place. This is my most nostalgic game of Pirates. It’s the only actual game to feature the harbour system, which was mostly used during Historical Fantasy Scenarios.

Factions participating: English, French, Spanish, Pirates, AMerCursedCorsairs (permanent alliance of Americans/Mercenaries/Cursed/Barbary Corsairs)

Starting conditions: 20 points per fleet, 20 wild islands (14 mysterious), many UT’s.

Unique features:
-Harbor system instead of home islands
-Huge ocean using my entire room
-Unprecedented amount of gold on each wild island
-Due to a smaller collection at the time, the opportunity to use duplicate ships and custom rulings for a few game pieces
-Infantry and artillery rules from RISK (hardly used during game however)
-Chain exploring by the Spanish

Battles: (for this entire thread, the instigator will be listed first if known)
-Pirates vs. Spanish: Short skirmish in the middle of the ocean (Spanish tactical victory, made the Pirates hate the Spanish)
-English vs. Spanish: Heavy losses on both sides, English tactical failure and small Spanish strategic victory
-Americans vs. Spanish: Spanish victory (retained the Cursed Conch and dealt the Americans heavy losses)

(there is a break here to denote how much the game changed as a result of the next battle)
-Pirates vs. Spanish (and later vs. English): Largest battle of the game. Spanish eliminated from the game. Very heavy losses for the Pirates. Pirate victory.
-French vs. Americans: Unknown victor, French likely failed in their efforts to steal the Cursed Conch.
-English vs. French (and later vs. Pirates): English and French nearly eliminated each other, making it relatively easy for the Pirates to deal with the leftovers and win the game. Pirate victory.

Wars: (for this entire thread, the instigator will be listed first if known)
Pirates vs. Spanish (essentially started early in the game, though declarations of war weren’t as common in my games back then)
Possibly English vs. French, though this wasn’t important compared to the above rivalry.

Alliances: (for this entire thread, the instigator will be listed first if known)
None known other than the permanent alliance to beef up the smaller factions.

Most notable game pieces:
Cazador del Pirata
Cursed Blade
Various 5 masters
Cursed Conch UT

Most important things:
Spanish (chain exploring from powerful mysterious island)
Cursed Conch
Pirates

Results:
1. Pirates
-I didn’t record the order of eliminations for all the factions, so I’ve left this blank for my spreadsheet.

Reflection

Pros: Epic battles, massive fun with the Cursed Conch and it’s effect on the game, and using the harbour system in a real game.

Cons: Far too much distance between islands and harbours, not to mention the locations of the harbours themselves on the ocean. I used an entire room for this game, and as a result the English and French harbours were considerably more isolated than the Spanish, Pirate, and American harbours near the middle of the sea.

Overall size: Unknown. I never did a point count, but according to my original reports, there were over 100 ships in play at some point. Estimated size between 1,200 and 2,000 total points, the peak size likely occurring right before the outbreak of the big battle between the Pirates and Spanish. I used almost my entire room for the ocean, so it was a very long rectangle with another rectangle for part of it (shaped somewhat like “00oo”, if you pretend that the shape is floor/ocean space). After measuring the same area, the total length was about 15 feet. The narrow end of the rectangle had the English and Spanish harbors (3.5 feet wide), while the bigger end with the Pirate, American, and French harbors was 6.5 feet wide. When combining these two areas (8.5×3.5 and 6.5×6.5), it gives a total ocean size of 72 square feet!

Biggest fleet: Spanish before their elimination at the guns of the Pirates and English

Total length: About a week

Records:
-72 square feet of ocean, the largest for any of my games
-Likely one of the biggest and most chaotic battles of all time with the Pirates vs. Spanish vs. English changing the game for the remainder, eliminating the then-favorite (Spanish), and just causing a huge mess. If the Pirates had suffered smaller losses, they might not have actually won, as the losses forced them to return to their harbor while the other factions fought and weakened each other, allowing the Pirates to return at decent strength.

Favorite quote:

Quote:
All I remember is that all hell broke loose. The Spanish panicked, the chain broke, and the Pirates attacked!

Signature picture: (none were taken during the game, but this gives an example of the harbor system)
Historical Fantasy Scenario of Pirates CSG Harbor example

2. First 5 fleet 500 point game (August 2011)

Summary: Still the largest “regular” game I’ve played, this was the first of three 5 player 500 point games. The first one was definitely the best of the three, and it remains one of the absolute best games I’ve ever played. It featured a lot of memorable moments, and the finish was downright epic, including the top 3 fleets being within 5 gold of each other!

Factions participating: English, French, Spanish, Pirates, AMerCursedCorsaiRebels (permanent alliance of Americans/Mercenaries/Cursed/Barbary Corsairs/Jade Rebellion; referred to as the Amercs in the battle reports)

Starting conditions: 500 points per fleet, 20 wild islands, 21 pieces of terrain, many UT’s.

Unique features:
-Likely the largest game ever by points outside of true campaign games (2,500 total points)
-Possibly the first documented use of chain towing
-Potential for triple actions (based on rereading the battle reports)

Battles:
-English vs. Pirates: Indecisive and short; various capital ships on both sides sunk.
-French vs. Amercs: Indecisive, minor losses on both sides.
-Pirates vs. Spanish: Small stakes; Spanish victory.
-Spanish and French (not allied) vs. Amercs: Amercs would have eventually been eliminated if not for the game ending due to all gold being unloaded.
-English vs. Pirates: Indecisive chase battle. English suffered heavier losses but battle was irrelevant to end results.

Wars:
Anglo-Spanish vs. Amercs: Likely without a declaration of war, but the closest this game came to having a true war. The allies had the upper hand in combat and would have eliminated the Amercs in the long run, but the Amercs got the last laugh by “unintentionally intentionally” giving the Pirates (a rival of both the English and the Spanish) the win via Davy Jones.

Alliances:
English/Spanish

Most notable game pieces:
Davy Jones
Divine Dragon
Missionary
Santa Ana
Enterprise, HMS Titan, USS Stephens, Nautilus, HMS Granville

Most important things:
Davy Jones/Divine Dragon
Anglo-Spanish alliance
Davy Jones vs. allies dilemma
“Last-minute end-of-game chaos”

Results:
1. Pirates: 48 gold
2. Spanish: 45
3. English: 43
4. French: 28
5. Amercursedcorsairebels: 9

Reflection

Pros: Start out with long turns, and then the game gets faster as you go along (the opposite of cumulative games). Very fun and fast-paced gameplay, with a lot of big decisions affecting the outcome.

Cons: None.

Overall size: 2,520 points at the start of the game. This includes the four 0LR +5 crew. Essentially a 2,500 point game. 157 total ships.

Total length: 1 week

Records:
-Tied with the other two 2500 point games for the largest total build points used in a “regular” game.

Favorite quote:

Quote:
…the English/Spanish are planning to go on the attack as soon as they can repair their damaged gunships and formulate a plan of action (or a plan of extra actions, haha).

(plus the entire final battle report from August 12th, 2011)

3. Second 5 fleet 500 point game (February 2012)

Summary: Similar to the first one, just not as exciting and memorable.

Factions participating: English, Spanish, Pirates, France/Americans/Barbary Corsairs (referred to as the French Americans), Cursed/Mercenaries (referred to as the Merccursed in the battle reports)

Starting conditions: 500 points per fleet, 15 wild islands, 14 pieces of terrain, 16 UT’s.

Unique features:
-Likely the largest game ever by points outside of true campaign games (2,500 total points)

Battles:
-Spanish vs. Merccursed: Spanish victory
-French Americans vs. Pirates: Likely Pirate victory; capital ships lost on both sides
-English vs. Pirates: English victory; Pirates lost almost half their fleet
-English vs. French Americans: Small skirmish; English victory
-Merccursed vs. Spanish: Spanish victory
-Merccursed vs. French Americans: Decisive Merccursed victory
-Spanish vs. English: Tactical Spanish victory; irrelevant to final results
-Pirates vs. French Americans: Indecisive skirmishes
-Merccursed vs. French Americans: Unknown victor; irrelevant to final results
-Spanish vs. English: Tactical English victory

Wars:
Not any true wars in this game, it was a somewhat chaotic free-for-all and there wasn’t as much bad blood and defined rivalries as in most huge games.

Alliances:
None known

Most notable game pieces:
Mostly capital ships
Forward
Wolves
HMS Bath, HMS Lady Provost, HMS King Edward

Most important things:
English dominance of Pirates
Capturing ships
Round earth rules

Results:
1. English: 81 gold
2. Pirates: 25
3. French Americans: 21
4. Spanish: 0
5. Merccursed: 0 (I put them behind the Spanish because they never had a single coin at any point during the game).

Reflection

Pros: Same as the other 5 fleet 500 point game.

Cons: Not as exciting as the first 2,500 point game. For me, the least memorable huge game I’ve played.

Overall size: 2,520 total points. 165 total ships.

Total length: 3-4 days

Records:
-Tied with the other two 2500 point games for the largest total build points used in a “regular” game.
-One of the highest totals of ships used in a “regular” game, especially one with an actual battle report (165 ships)

Favorite quote: (not many from this game)

Quote:
The English used the “round earth” rules to go to the other side of the sea and try to get to two far-off islands, but things became much more complicated than that. The English ended up having to send some of their best gunships over to take care of the Pirates, heading for the same islands, and took out 24 masts in one turn of furious broadsides (mostly the work of the HMS Grand Temple, HMS Titan, Bretwalda, Ark Royal, and Apollo).

4. Pirates CSG combined with RISK (June 2012)

Summary: This remains my only personal custom ruleset. Combining the land warfare of RISK with the naval warfare of Pirates, this game was epic indeed. Coming up with the rules and designing a global ocean took a lot of time, but I was eventually satisfied with the setup. This was also my first time playing a huge game that utilized a custom ruleset.

Factions participating: English, French Americans, Spanish, Pirates, MercCursedCorsairRebels (a fleet combining the factions of the Cursed, Mercenaries, Barbary Corsairs, and Jade Rebellion; referred to as the MCCR’s)

Starting conditions:
-20 points per fleet
-Each faction gets a home territory (HT) from the RISK board
-House rules for RISK portion found in the Battle Report

Unique features:
-Combination of two board games
-Land warfare!
-Two maps: the regular RISK board used for land combat, with another area for the world ocean where the ships were.

Battles:
-MCCR’s vs. Pirates: tiny Pirate victory (Fallen Angel captured)
-English vs. French Americans: English victory (establishing dominance at the Battle of the Caribbean)
-English vs. Pirates: Pirate victory in the Indian Ocean
-English vs. Spanish: Decisive English victory in the Pacific
-MCCR’s vs. Pirates: Decisive MCCR victory, Pirates eliminated
-English vs. French Americans: English victory, blockade of French HT set up
-English vs. Spanish: Decisive English victory, Spanish effectively eliminated
-French vs. English: English victory
-Battle for Asia (land warfare): French victorious early on, but eventually pushed back and overwhelmed by MCCR army (French Americans eliminated shortly afterwards)
-Battle of the Atlantic: English victory to win the game

Wars:
None declared that I know of, though the English vs. Spanish and MCCR vs. English (at the end) rivalries could certainly be considered full-scale wars.

Alliances:
French Americans/Spanish (mostly irrelevant)

Most notable game pieces:
HMS Victor
Grim Reaper
Delusion/Baochuan/Shui Xian (in a bad way, as they were horrifically inaccurate)
Ramsgate
English capital ships

Most important things:
Flawed land rules (couldn’t acquire gold via army units, now fixed in updated rules)
Aggressive expansion (English and MCCR’s dominated game after taking the initiative at sea)

Results:
1. English
2. MCCR’s
3. French Americans
4. Spanish
5. Pirates

Reflection

Pros: Truly realistic “global” scale, using real-life territories, continents, and locations. Very interesting take on the world of Pirates CSG to combine it with another game. Grand scale that makes you feel like you’re playing a game of life rather than just a petty war in the Caribbean.

Cons: The RISK portion was underpowered. If I play this game again I’m going to edit the ruleset so troops can acquire gold over land.

Overall size: Unknown. Definitely a huge game, but probably under 2,000 total points. The only clue is that at the beginning of the final battle, the two combatants combined for 62 total ships, with the other fleets having already been eliminated.

Biggest fleet: English

Total length: About a week I think.

Records:
-None that I know of, other than one of the only games (or the only one) to use two maps that represent the same ocean in the same game.
-10 master futility: Shui Xian and Baochuan (the latter with a world hater ability) go 2 for 13 combined during a turn. English won the final battle somewhat easily despite having no 10 masters against 3 for the MCCR’s.

Favorite quotes:

Quote:
The Spanish wanted to control all of North America, as well, and the English HT of Greenland was the only territory left that they hadn’t occupied. They had built the fort Puerto Blanco on Hawaii, and were transporting troops from there to Alaska when the English rounded Alaska and began their assault. The Spanish panicked and asked if the English would stop their attack if the Spanish retreated from Hawaii and stopped the apparent invasion preparations. The English went on with their attack, with nothing to gain from letting the Spanish get away.
Quote:
…the Spanish decided on a desperate cheap shot, using the Santos Romanos to sink both the Victoria and her prize. Furious, the English turned around the untouched HMS Apollo (F&S version) and blew the Spanish blockade runner out of the water at point-blank range. With that, the Spanish lost their last ship and are officially out of the naval war.
Quote:
Shap’ng Tsai, captain of the obtrusive Shui Xian, seems a bit confused on how to help out, as he thought he would be fighting, not watching and carrying troops.

 

5. Third 5 fleet 500 point game – Defence of St. Helens Island (June 2012)

Scenario

Summary: The biggest deathmatch I’ve ever played. A fun scenario, but the fleets were probably too big for it (maybe the only time you’ll hear me say that!). It was more memorable than the second 2,500 point game but slightly disappointing overall. However, the scenario itself is brilliant and rather interesting.

Factions participating:
Attackers: English, Pirates, and MercCursedRebels (Mercenaries/Cursed/Jade Rebellion all in one 500 point fleet)
vs.
Defenders: Spanish, French Americans

Starting conditions: 500 points per fleet, 1,500 total points for the attackers and 1,000 total points for the defenders. The picture shows the rest.

Unique features:
-Likely the largest game ever by points outside of true campaign games (2,500 total points)
-Fun scenario!

Battles/Wars:
The entire game!

Alliances:
Just the 3 on 2 nature of the scenario.

Most notable game pieces:
10 masters (negative)
HMS Bretwalda (successful Broadsides Attack may have made the difference at the end to take out El Acorazado)

Most important things:
Baochuan goes 7/20 in a double action with a world hater aboard, which seemed to anger me so much that it nearly ruined the game and almost definitely made the battle report shorter than it would have been. (the Shui Xian and Delusion doing similarly awful contributed as well)
Tight spaces to sail such huge fleets through
Incredibly massive logistical maneuvering nightmare!

Results:
The attackers won on turn 14, one turn before the time limit would have expired and given the defenders the win.

Reflection

Pros: HUGE deathmatch! Lots of chaotic fighting, especially around the forts and entrance points.

Cons: Fleets were a bit too big – lots and lots of rolling dice.

Overall size: 2,520 points. 137 total ships.

Total length: 1-2 days

Records:
-Tied with the other two 2500 point games for the largest total build points used in a “regular” game.
-Possibly the largest deathmatch ever

Favorite quote: (extremely short battle report)

Quote:
I would play more today, but the ten masters have ruined my gaming experience for the day Sad. I would rather not go on a long rant, but if they keep disappointing me I think I will flip out. Basically, they all stink.

(I do not think I have ever been more frustrated when playing Pirates)

Signature picture: (not my original photo or scenario!)
Defence of St. Helens Pirates CSG scenario

6. Century of the Empires (June 2013)

Ruleset

Summary: A monumental achievement for me on so many levels. The MT era of battle reports was born, as well as the advent of pictures. This was the first cumulative game ruleset created by someone other than me that I played. This game and its reports redefined my standards for battle reports, and I’d like to think they’ve only gotten better and clearer since then. The game itself was absolutely fantastic; CotE is one of the best rulesets created for this game.

Factions participating: English, French, Spanish, Pirates, Americans/Jade Rebellion (referred to as the Americans), Cursed/Barbary Corsairs (Cursed Corsairs or just the Cursed)

Starting conditions: 20 points per fleet, 6 home islands, 12 wild islands, along with a Frozen North and Sargasso South.

Unique features:
-Sariouriel’s ruleset!
-Every ship requires two hits (overall) to eliminate one mast; derelicts only sink when they’ve been hit twice as many times as they originally had masts

Battles:
-English vs. French: English victory
-Americans vs. Pirates: American victory
-Spanish vs. Americans: Spanish victory
-English vs. French: English victory
-Pirates vs. Americans: Minor Pirate victory
-Cursed vs. English: Cursed victory

(these battles started after the gold was removed and the endgame began)
-Cursed vs. English: Decisive English victory, Cursed eliminated
-Spanish vs. Americans vs. Pirates: Spanish victory, all sides taking severe damage, Americans and Pirates eliminated
-English vs. Spanish: Decisive English victory

Wars:
-English vs. French
-Americans vs. Pirates
-Cursed vs. English
-Spanish vs. Americans vs. Pirates (free for all near the end)

Alliances:
None

Most notable game pieces:
Lost/Runes of Magic/Runes of Odin
HMS Gallows
Divine Dragon, Flying Dutchman
HMS Endeavour
Santo Columba, Santa Ana (SCS)
Alquimista, San Pedro
L’Heros
Revenant, Enterprise, Constitution
Various other ships (more than usual since ships stayed healthy and afloat longer than usual due to the house rules)

Most important things:
-2 hits to eliminate a mast, ships rarely sinking from combat
-Colonies and upgrade strategy
-Cessation of gold production (unfortunately)

Results:
1. English
2. Spanish
3. Pirates
4. Cursed
5. Americans
6. French

Reflection

Pros: Epic ruleset, huge ocean, big fleets. There are certain things in the ruleset that mimic real life, colonization, and empire in ways that RISK cannot. I love upgrades and the slow but natural pace of the game. Definitely a ruleset worth playing over and over again.

Cons: Inevitable rich-get-richer/poor-get-poorer nature of a cumulative game. Also takes forever, which I didn’t realize. 3 weeks was a decent start, but not long enough.

Overall size: 1,212 points in the sea at the end of turn 41, when gold production stopped. This sounds low based on the scope and nature of the game; it felt bigger than 1,200. The game ended up taking 62 total turns. The ocean was somewhat of a giant square, as you can see in the pictures, somewhere around 6 feet by 6 feet.

Biggest fleet: English

Total length: 3 weeks, 62 turns

Records:
-My first huge game with pictures
-Not really any numerical records, other than possibly tying the record for most hits required to dismast a ship (21 for the Acorazado with Joaquin Vega aboard)

Favorite quotes:

Quote:
The upside down SM island is actually a Cursed trade current that was placed by the UT Lost that was dumped on the Viper’s Bite via Pandora’s Box.
Quote:
The immense carnage of war at sea, with a view from the mizzen top of the Constitution

Signature picture:
2013 Century of the Empires Pirates CSG game

7. Economy Edition (June 2015)

Ruleset

Summary: After two years of smaller games, it was finally time to take on my most ambitious project yet. The ruleset was key, and it proved to be possibly my favourite ruleset yet, mostly because it limits the rich-get-richer/poor-get-poorer aspect that usually dominates cumulative games.

In the back of my mind, I kept thinking to myself that I wanted to make this game bigger than anything I had ever done. I accomplished that goal, but at what cost?

Factions participating: English, Franco-Spanish (FS), Pirates, Americans, Cursed

Starting conditions: 40 points per fleet, 26 wild islands

Unique features:
-Cannonfury’s ruleset!
-Unique custom terrain (arch, lagoon, shipwreck) that also provided a way to use super-valuable gold and silver

Battles:
-English vs. Americans: Small American victory
-Cursed vs. Pirates: Small and inconclusive
-English vs. Americans: English victory
-Cursed vs. Americans: Cursed victory in the Lagoon
-FS vs. Americans: American victory
-English vs. Americans: American victory, English eventually eliminated
-FS vs. Cursed: FS victory
-Americans vs. FS: American victory
-Pirates vs. FS: Pirate victory, FS eliminated
-Cursed vs. Pirates: Unfinished

Wars:
-English vs. Americans
-Franco-Spanish vs. Americans
-Franco-Spanish vs. Cursed
-Pirates vs. Franco-Spanish

Alliances:
English/Cursed (not fruitful or relevant, weren’t able to collaborate)
Pirates/FS (broken)
Pirates/Cursed (broken)

Most notable game pieces:
Maui’s Fishhook
HMS Pacificum
Devil Ray
Thompson’s Island
San Estaban (one of the luckiest ships of all time, shooting 8/9 with average cannons and surviving two full-scale Cursed attacks before being eliminated by the Pirate assault)
Brachyura
San Cristobal
Paul Revere
Calypso
HMS Swiftsure
Akua Lapu

Most important things:
-Resource system and strategy
-The Arch and Lagoon

Results:
1. Pirates
2. Americans
3. Cursed
4. Franco-Spanish
5. English

Reflection

Pros: Biggest physical game ever. Best-looking game I’ve ever played. Unique, custom made islands, terrain, and locations used for the first time ever. New concepts including the lagoon, arch, and gold-laden shipwreck. A blue ocean was used for the first time. MASSIVE fleets, huge launchings, epic strategy plays, incredibly diverse fleets, extremely unique ruleset that made the game more fair, shiny gold, shiny silver, chain exploring with native canoes, tons of fun, very intense battles, crazy house rules. Also introduced stuff from my custom set, CC Mike’s set, and RtSS. Nuff said?

Cons: The biggest disaster in my history of Pirates CSG. A horrific accident destroyed the entire setup and many ships were destroyed beyond repair. The bigger the stakes, the bigger the potential fall.

Overall size: 2,846 points at the end of turn 33. At the time, this was the biggest game I’ve ever played. Turn 33 alone saw over 1,000 points’ worth of purchases, meaning that one turn saw more stuff introduced than entire games start off with! Those 2,846 points accounted for 163 total ships, showing how heavily crewed a lot of them were. A number of turns later, another ship count revealed 181 ships in play, making this one of the biggest games ever by ship count as well as point count. In addition, with a higher number of ships the second time around, it’s likely that the game exceeded 3,000 total points. The ocean was about 5 feet long by 3 feet wide.

Biggest fleet: Pirates at 104 ships and possibly over 1,800 points

Total length: 1 month

Records:
-Possibly the fastest elimination of a major faction when the FS went from 700+ points to eliminated in just a handful of turns
-Notably held the record for largest physical game until Command the Oceans

Favorite quotes:

Quote:
…the Americans actually lost money on the fiasco
Quote:
Papa Doc cancelled Champ to the surface, allowing Brachyura to rip the serpent’s head off!
Quote:
Notice how the Moulin Rouge is heeled over to starboard from three submarines all ramming her on the same turn, blown backward from the impact
Quote:
The point count exceeded even my expectations, showing the absolutely epic and grand nature of this ridiculous cumulative game!
Quote:
After 38 turns, the carnage and chaos continues to mount.
Quote:
However, the Black Mamba rolled 0/3 and even rolled a 1 to eliminate one of her own masts for one of the least effective shoot actions in recent history, losing masts and not damaging the enemy in the process!
Quote:
…the Black Mamba went 0/3 once again and rolled two more 1’s. This means she’s 0/6 and has lost all of her masts based on her ability, not from any hostile ships shooting at her!
Quote:
An incredibly bizarre sight, the lagoon’s island has been temporarily displaced with gold still on it.

Signature picture:
2015 Economy Edition game (Pirates CSG)

8. Century of Empires (June-August 2015)

9. Economy (December 2015 – February 2016)

10. VASSAL Campaign Game 1 (February-May 2016)

Summary: After reviving the VASSAL module, Xerecs and I became excited by the possibilities of campaign games on the module. We hastily planned the first one, which would be a “regular” cumulative game with no special campaign ruleset or many house rules. Each of us controlled 3 fleets, which we HAD to play independently.

Factions participating: French, Pirates, Americans (controlled by Xerecs), Spanish, Cursed, English (controlled by a7xfanben)

Starting conditions: 30 points per fleet, 18 wild islands

Unique features:
-VASSAL system (virtual gaming platform)

Battles:
-Battle of Thompson’s Island: Spanish victory
-Battle for Cursed Captain Jack and the Cursed wild islands: Cursed victory
-Battle of the Two Paradises: Spanish victory
-Battle of the Devil’s Maw: Spanish victory, Pirates retreat
-Battle of El Puerto Blanco (eastern): Strategic Spanish victory
-Battle of the Pirates’ home island: Spanish victory
-Battle of Dread Isle: Spanish victory
-Battle of the Cursed home island: Spanish and English (not in an alliance) soundly defeat the Cursed
-War for CG1: Spanish outlast and outplay the English to win the game
(Other minor battles took place as well; many had the Cursed as the aggressor.)

Wars:
-Spanish vs. French
-Spanish vs. Pirates
-Spanish vs. Cursed
-Spanish vs. Americans
-Spanish vs. English

Alliances:
-Americans/French
-First Coalition between the Americans/French/English, with the goal of eliminating the Cursed (didn’t officially declare war, and the Cursed were eliminated by the Spanish)

Most notable game pieces:
Spanish native canoes
Cursed Captain Jack
OE Davy Jones (and LOTS of other Cursed game pieces that can move enemy ships, including some customs)
Acorazado, Garante, Augusta, Muerta
Le Bonaparte
Grand River, Harbinger, Swift
Carolina, Frontier
Divine Dragon, Loki’s Revenge, Hell Hound
Dreadnought, Apollo, Grand Temple, Endeavour
Amiral Stephan Dupuy, Emperor Blackheart, Elizabeth Swann, Commodore David Porter, unnamed Spanish admiral (aboard El Garante), Luis Zuan, Davy Jones, and the English Lords Beckett, Mycron, and Gunn
Celestine’s Charts

Most important things:
-a7xfanben launching more often early in the game than xerecs, who preferred to save up gold (which led to the Spanish, English, and Cursed to have faster starts in the arms race and eventually dominant fleets)
-Overarching fleet strategies: the Spanish were my imperial faction from the start, while the Cursed were a trouble-maker and the English would play “nice” (compared to past CG’s) and save gold. Xerecs had his own strategies for his fleets, but they were mostly wrecked somewhat early in the game by the Cursed and Spanish.

Results:
1. Spanish
2. English
3. Pirates
4. Americans
5. Cursed
6. French

Reflection

Pros: First campaign game played remotely (as far as we know). The first of many campaign games between Xerecs and a7xfanben! Plenty of custom game pieces were used. In addition, the interaction between leaders through the VASSAL chat was very unique (much of it wasn’t recorded, but the game was more complex than the battle reports show). It also became the largest game of all time (since broken by Command the Oceans).

Cons: Typical negatives of a standard CG. The rich got richer, and the poor got poorer, almost without exception throughout the entire game. As the game swelled to enormous size, the map started to look a bit too small, but the chaotic and bloody War for CG1 brought the game to a relatively quick end. This was about as “normal” as campaign games get, but it was a fantastic test of VASSAL’s capability (as well as Xerecs and I’s capability!) to run a long campaign game. One of the biggest problems concerned the lag – when the game size reached ~2,000+ points, zooming out to see more of the ocean produced a lag in the module. This was countered by simply ignoring the lag, and sometimes by not zooming out at all.

Overall size: 3,516 total points

Biggest fleet: Spanish at 1,631 points

Total length: 3 months

Records:
-Biggest virtual game ever
Largest single-turn launching: 628 gold (English battle fleet)
Most native canoes used in a game by a fleet: 35 (7 Spanish sets)

Favorite quotes: (also pretty much all my strategy summaries lol)

Quote:
The French might want to be a little more careful with their choice of words in the future, given the short fuse the Cursed have
Quote:
THE SPANISH DEMAND PAYMENT!
Quote:
the Spanish decided to punish the Americans (still not declaring war on them of course, as they are essentially a vassal (pun intended) or tributary state to the Spanish)
Quote:
VIVA EL IMPERIO ESPANOL!

Signature picture:
VASSAL Campaign Game 1 (Pirates CSG 2016 game)

11. Century of Economy (June-August 2016)

12. VASSAL Campaign Game 2 (February-December 2016)

Summary: For the second VASSAL campaign game, which started just a few days after the first one began, Xerecs and I wanted more than just 2 players. The game would be played at a slower pace than CG1, and we managed to bring El_Cazador and ownage98 into the fold. This brought us to a whopping 4 players, a large number of people to play a campaign game with, let alone remotely using VASSAL. Each player would control 1 faction-pure fleet, and just like CG1 there was no special ruleset.

Factions participating: French (controlled by el_cazador), Pirates (controlled by xerecs), English (controlled by a7xfanben), Americans (controlled by ownage98 who dropped out after one turn)

Starting conditions: 30 points per fleet, 13 wild islands

Unique features:
-VASSAL system (virtual gaming platform)

Battles:
-First battle of the whirlpool: minor English victory over the Pirates
-Pirates vs. French: minor French victory
-Second battle of the whirlpool: Tactical Pirate victory/English strategic failure (minor losses on both sides)
-French vs. Pirates: Pirates victory
-Third battle of the whirlpool: Decisive English victory over the Pirates (and the beginning of the end)
-Battle of the deep south: Decisive English victory over the Pirates
-Battle of the southeast whirlpool: French begin to defeat Pirates; English intervene and defeat the French but accidentally trigger the endgame with the French going suicidal and essentially quitting

Wars:
-French vs. Pirates
-French vs. English

Alliances:
None

Most notable game pieces:
-10 masted ships
-Submarines

Most important things:
-Superior English strategy (including getting the first strike in their battles) (possibly my most masterful game along with CG1, this time beating 2 experienced (real, not a solo game) players in mostly dominating fashion)
-el_cazador not understanding how long the game could go/disappearing for weeks or months at a time/not trying to win after a while
-ownage98 dropping out of the game almost immediately after starting, leaving us with 3 players instead of the planned 4

Results:
1. English
2. Pirates
3. French

Reflection

Pros: This gave El_Cazador his first campaign game experience, and allowed Xerecs and I to have a distraction from the intensity of CG1. It was also a great chance to try out some custom game pieces, which we did. As the game took longer than CG1, an edit to the module was completed during the game, which allowed the first usage of 10 masters on VASSAL, during a campaign game no less.

Cons: A huge disappointment. After committing to the game, ownage98 realized he was in way over his head, leaving the game after just a few turns. This took the Americans out of the game and left a void in the western area of the sea. It also left us with 3 players, which was only 1 more than CG1. Other problems began to develop. The ocean was a bit “tall”, and I should have made it as wide as the ocean for CG1. El_Cazador’s frequent absences and hiatuses were a much bigger problem, as he was too busy and/or disinterested to pursue remotely consistent play. As you can see from the battle reports, the game went for long stretches with no turns being played, and even when turns were played, they often ceased soon afterwards for another hiatus. There was no combat until late June, after starting the game in February. You’d think that would spark more playing, but again the game suffered a huge delay, with the next turn happening in late September. El_Cazador tried to sail his fleet off the map before Xerecs and I convinced him to keep playing. The game became lopsided towards the end, and an interference by the dominant faction unintentionally caused the game to stop and end prematurely after a chain reaction which would have led to a predictable finish even had we kept playing.

Overall size: Final point count: 82 ships, 1,417 points

Biggest fleet: English at 1,222 points

Total length: 10 months

(Possible) Records:
-One of longest campaign game I’ve played by how long it took (10 months), but certainly not remotely close by how many turns were played or total time in hours spent playing the game.
-7 ten masters in the English fleet (though “only” 6 for most of the late-game action)

Favorite quotes: (+ my strategy summaries)

Quote:
Whirlpool sub squadron ATTACK!
Quote:
The English were not going to fail in their objective again! The first raid was 2 10 masters and 3 subs, but this raid has 3 10 masters and 5 subs, with the Leicester backing them up to boot!
Quote:
The English are gunning for Emperor Blackheart, and for good reason. While the English have built up their battle fleet with sheer firepower and a possible numbers advantage, EBH threatens to throw everything off course with a single lucky die roll. Lord Thomas Gunn doesn’t see that as fair, and thus has ordered EBH’s execution.
Quote:
Now that the PC and Corcoran have been taken out of action, the English get closer and closer to being able to run unrestricted submarine warfare against the Pirates if they need to.
Quote:
At this point negotiations broke down.
Quote:
In a single turn the 3 English-controlled 10 masters in the deep south fired off around 50 shots to absolutely devastate the Pirate resistance.
Quote:
TIME TO CAPITULATE!!!!!!!
Quote:
The MF will be a busy ship helping out with crew logistics. … This situation is one of my favorite things about campaign games – strategies that aren’t viable in regular games become fun side diversions in CG’s, and the flexibility and grand strategy involved just make it a much more rewarding experience.
Quote:
At this point the English decided to intervene!

Signature picture:
VASSAL Campaign Game 2 (Pirates CSG game)

13. Century of Economy (June-September 2017)

14. Command the Oceans (September-December 2017)

Summary: I wanted to play a campaign game to show off some of my custom stuff I created for the third Ocean Terrain Contest. Funny enough, as I played more and more, it became FAR more about the game itself than simply revealing the new islands and terrain in grand style! With more ocean space than I had for Economy Edition, and determined to top myself after that game and CG1, soon after play began I realized that I would be trying to play my most epic and biggest game EVER!

Factions participating: Pirates, Jade Rebellion, Cursed (officially revealed on Turn 40), English, Spanish, French, Americans, Mercenaries (officially an independent faction starting on Turn 52)

Starting conditions: 30 points per fleet, 3 oceans across 2 rooms, not everything revealed at the start due to faction-based perspective of the battle reports

Unique features:
-TONS of unique islands and terrain used, many of them brand-new with grand reveals happening all over the place! (no regular cardboard islands!)
-“Real” foam icebergs, and breaking them up too!
-Introduction of ladders
-Army units/land combat
-EE resource rules
-House rules
-Custom lighthouses in physical form

Battles:
-First Battle of Fog and Ice: Indecisive, Jades and Cursed suffer reasonable losses
-First Battle of Diamond Rock: English gain decisive victory but lose multiple ships to fire
-Ralph David’s attack: Decisive Pirate victory
-Second Battle of Fog and Ice: Inconclusive, heavy losses on both sides. Jades suffer slightly worse losses but Cursed are the first to retreat.
-First Fight at The Flat: French victory
-Third JR-Cursed battle: Indecisive
-Battle of Paradise Island: Both sides suffer heavy losses; Spanish lose Fortaleza Dorada but English lose multiple ships
-First Battle of the American whirlpool: American victory over the Pirates
-Second Fight at The Flat: French victory over the Americans
-Second Battle of Diamond Rock: Indecisive, stopped with abrupt truce

-Second Battle of the American whirlpool: Decisive American victory
-Fourth JR-Cursed battle: Eventual Cursed victory with unintentional Pirate help, both sides suffer heavy losses
-Battle of the Harbor: Decisive French victory, Cursed suffer light losses
-French-American line of Battle: French victory
-Battle of the northern Karkuda whirlpool: French victory over the Pirates
-Battle for the Castle: Eventual Franco-Spanish victory
-Battle for the Tunnel: Eventual Cursed victory over Pirates with Jade and English help

These were huge battles classified as full wars that dominated the endgame:
War for the Sea of Allost: Anglo-Cursed victory over Pirates, Jade Rebellion and Pirates eliminated
War for Karkuda: Franco-Spanish victory over the Americans, Mercenaries and Americans eliminated
-“Second” War for Karkuda: French victory over the Cursed, Spanish, and English

Wars:
-English vs. Spanish (concluded with a peace)
-Jade Rebellion vs. Cursed (approximately 4 major battles)
-Americans vs. French (French victory)
-Americans vs. Pirates (American victory)
-Cursed, Jade Rebellion, and English (separately but nearly simultaneous) vs. Pirates (Anglo-Cursed victory)
-Franco-Spanish vs. Americans (Franco-Spanish victory)
-Anglo-Cursed (and eventually Spanish) vs. Franco-Spanish (French victory)

Alliances:
French/Americans (broken)
Pirates/French (broken/betrayed)
Spanish/French (broken at end)
English/French (broken/irrelevant)
Cursed/English

Most notable game pieces:
Shal-Bala, Angelica
Crusher/Captain Mission
HMS Lord Algernon
Cassandra
HMS Viceroy
All Jade 6 masted junks
Santa Ana
Bonhomme Richard
President
Flotillas
Nautilus
Dauphin Royal, Soleil Royal, L’Hercule
Celtic Fury
Namazu, Behemoth
Endeavour/Titan/Apollo/Leicester
Admirals: Captain Mission, Warlord Cavendish, Devereaux, Thomas Gunn, Duque Marcus Vaccaro, Gaston de St. Croix, Monsieur Lenoir, Commodore Edward Preble, Captain Nemo

Most important things:
Unique HI situations (Pirate Kingdom, Roost, Harbor, etc)
Terrain boundaries (mainly fog and reefs in Allost and Karkuda respectively)
Unique islands and terrain and their associated rules (Diamond Rock, Tunnel, castle, whirlpool travel to different oceans)
Resource changes from Economy Edition rules (along with resources/gold running out periodically)

Results:
1. French
2. English
3. Spanish
4. Cursed
5. Pirates
6. Americans
7. Jade Rebellion
8. Mercenaries

Reflection

Pros:
I got to show off many of my cool island/terrain pieces. However, the game became much more than just that, since now this game is more about its own legacy than OTC3. I experimented with various house rules. I got into some video content for the first time for a physical game. I did a lot of awesome narrative stuff to make the game exciting and fun to read about, including some big surprises and twists. I had a lot of fun with the strategic and tactical side of things, especially with a whopping EIGHT factions participating. For some factions, I got to use almost my entire collection since the game got so big. I have over 3,500 awesome pictures to use for years to come. The battle reports have inspired multiple people with their own CG efforts, and tons of people have enjoyed reading about the game. Almost the same things about EE could be said here, as it became the greatest campaign game ever by most aspects you could consider.

Cons:
The most frustrating, trying, and difficult game I’ve ever played. The physical hardship of EE was multiplied by 3, both for the length of the game (1 month vs. 3) and the points involved. A full round of turns in a 9,000 point game can take 8 hours, so things progress at a glacial pace regardless of how often you play. There was a lot of bumping things, knocking stuff over, moving between rooms to check a crew setup for a gunship, etc etc. Overall it’s an experience I would not want to repeat again. The lessons hold though – have an unlimited amount of time to play the game, and try to play entirely on tables. You need serious real estate and literally unlimited time to get these things right.

Overall size:
Official new records:
Total points: 9,078
Total ships: 509
Largest recorded single-fleet point total: Pirates at 2,347
Largest fleet of any faction: Pirates at 131 ships
Ocean size: 42 square feet between the 3 oceans involved (Sea of Allost about 6×3, Caribbean 3×3, and Sea of Karkuda about 5×3)

Biggest fleet:
Pirates at 131 ships and 2,347 points

Total length:
About 112 turns over the course of 3 months and a week. (9/9/2017-12/15/17)

Records:
-Biggest physical game of all time
-Biggest overall game of all time
Biggest fleet ever seen in a game (since surpassed briefly by Americans in CG3)

Favorite quotes: Basically all the grand reveals, not just of the HI’s and terrain, but also the ladders, Cursed, events at the Tunnel, and more. These two certainly top things off for me:

Quote:
The Pirates pull off a huge masterstroke of grand strategy, weakening two huge rival fleets with one deal while simultaneously able to focus on their other rival.
Quote:
Charizard+Lord of the Rings+Tunnel=Epicness.

Signature picture: (of 3500+, this was quite difficult)
Command the Oceans - The Sea of Karkuda

15. VASSAL Campaign Game 3 (September 2017-March 2018)

Summary: After having 3 different players combined between CG1 and CG2, CG3 set a big new record at 6 players, with 4 of them being new to campaign games. It was decided that the Economy Edition ruleset would be used, and the ocean would be the same size as CG1.

Factions participating: Spanish (pirateaj14), Cursed (xerecs), Pirates (wifey), French (vixenishcoder66), Americans (a7xfanben), English (repkosai)

Starting conditions: 40 points per fleet, 12 wild islands

Unique features:
-VASSAL system (virtual gaming platform)
-Economy Edition rules

Battles:
Major Battles:
-First Battle of the Gateway Island: French decisively defeat the Spanish
-Second Battle of the Gateway Island: Americans decisively defeat the French (immediately after first battle)
-Battle of the American home island: Americans decisively defeat the French and Pirates
-Battle of the Cursed home island: Americans decisively defeat the Cursed

Minor Battles:
-Skirmishes won by Spanish against English and French
-Battle for Davy Jones: American victory over Cursed
-Battle of the Pirate home island: Americans eliminate the Pirates
(there were some other minor skirmishes)

Wars:
-Americans vs. French
-Americans vs. Cursed
-Americans vs. Pirates

Alliances:
Americans/Pirates (failed at end)
Americans/Spanish (irrelevant)
Anti-American coalition between Cursed, French, English, Pirates (wiped out)

Most notable game pieces:
-10 masted ships
-AA crew

Most important things:
-Superior American strategy (including getting the first strike in their battles) (arguably my most masterful game along with CG1 and CG2, this time beating FIVE other players in mostly dominating fashion despite getting a poor start with resources and having the reputation coming in as the most experienced veteran and still able to pull off a big win)
-String of resource changes that allowed the Americans and Cursed to continue launching a lot while effectively dooming the French
-Early Spanish aggression that caused the French and Americans to play more aggressively, resulting in a domino effect where 3 of the 6 factions (English, Spanish, Pirates) hardly got to play and didn’t stand much of a chance in the long run

Results:
1. Americans
2. Cursed
3. Pirates
4. French
5. English
6. Spanish

Reflection

Pros: Having a lot of players was fun, and gave them some valuable experience with a large game. The EE rules are good, and some players utilized game pieces from RtSS along with some customs.

Cons: The game eventually became lopsided and one faction was able to run away with the game. Unfortunately there was a domino effect that resulted in 3 of the 6 players hardly getting to play, so their first CG experience was quite limited.

Overall size: Final point count: American fleet at 127 ships, 2,414 points

Biggest fleet: Americans at 2,414 points

Total length: 6 months

Records:
Largest recorded single-fleet point total: Americans at 2,414 points
Most cancellers ever seen in a fleet? (likely): 9 (Americans)
Most players ever seen in a campaign game? (impossible to know for sure): 6
Most players ever seen in a virtual/VASSAL campaign game: 6

Favorite quotes:

However, the Americans spent last night plotting and strategizing, planning out their launches for a while in what looks to be a borderline-unprecedented 8 turn spending spree as high volumes of textiles and lumber are cashed in for new ships. The American leaders will have to juggle difficult operations on two fronts, though they will now have the spending power to potentially make aggressive moves at both locales. In the south, they face the fact that it is extremely difficult to eliminate a faction entrenched at their home island. In the north, powerful customs and a “blanket” of cancelling surrounding Cursed operations will require serious efforts to contain or overwhelm.

Quote:
So all in all, you could say “the Americans hit the nuclear option”. XD Declaring war on the second-largest faction, launching a new 10 master, potentially wrecking their only alliance, and going ballistic on the game in an attempt to dominate this ocean. All of this (except the attack on the Pirates) has been in the works for weeks, but only now was it the perfect time to strike. It has now been about 5 hours since I downloaded the new file and started my turn, which took over 3 hours. Thanks for reading, and thank you to those who are playing this huge game! 😀

Signature picture: The Turning Point
VASSAL Campaign Game 3 - The Turning Point

16. Century of Economy 2018

17. Century of Economy 2019

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With that, we can analyze the results and come up with some all-time standings and leaderboards. Since it was very short and a team game with permanent alliances (not to mention a deathmatch), I have not included my Defence of St. Helens game in the results.

Here are my huge games and the finishes for each along with additional stats:

It’s interesting that the Pirates and English won the first 6 huge games I played. It wasn’t until I got on VASSAL that a different faction would win, but then the English won yet again in CG2. The English have won about half of the huge games I’ve played. Until CTO, the French were winless, and they had not even finished higher than 3rd in any of the games. The Americans have only played by themselves in 6 of the 9. The Spanish were either 2nd or 4th in all the games before breaking through for a big win in CG1. Before CTO, the French finished last in 3 out of 4 games played since 2013, and second-to-last in the other one.

The results of Xerecs’ games:
Xerecs Pirates campaign game results

The epic all-time standings!

Overall results
Pirates CSG campaign games all time standings

(Through the end of 2017) As you can see, the English and the Pirates are generally the best factions for huge games. The English do hold a decided advantage in the combat department (last fleet afloat), which really helps in the huge battles and long endgames not seen in smaller games. The English do a little better than you would expect them to based on popular opinion and smaller games, while the French do a little worse than expected.

With a very impressive 3 wins in 2 years, the French have caught the Pirates for second-most all time victories. They have been very up-and-down, literally with first or last place finishes in 5 of the past 6 CG’s! (and second to last in the other) However, they have certainly redeemed themselves and more after a terrible run from 2011-2015.

The Spanish are consistently quite good, but only have one victory to show for it. Especially since 2015, the Americans seem to do quite well or quite bad. The Cursed have yet to win, but have finished twice when you count the RISK game where they commanded the alliance. The 7.5 for “Other” in CTO refers to the Jade Rebellion finishing in 7th and the Mercenaries in 8th.

The Pirates haven’t won a huge game since 2015’s Economy Edition, which I see as kind of a “turning point” or landmark game since it inspired Xerecs and spurred a “new era” of CG’s that has resulted in a whopping 9 campaign games since June 2015 (not counting the unfinished 2017 Campaign by Xerecs).

After a long drought (for them) of 5 straight campaign games where they didn’t win, the English have surged back to win 2 of the last 3 concluded games and second in the other. Quite impressive for a faction that some would consider (understandably so) to be the 4th-best faction behind the Pirates, Spanish, and French.

For now, the English claim the title of best all-time faction in huge games, with the Spanish and Pirates a ways back but close to each other (which shows the Spanish consistency). The French, Americans, and Cursed are together in the next group, surprisingly close together in fact. The “Other” factions are likely to never win, but they made some big waves in the RISK game and the JR’s in CTO.

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Superlatives

True winner of each category listed first when possible; others are similar to honorable mentions, or dishonorable mentions in some cases haha. These are also for games I’ve been involved in, though I have a few shoutouts to Xerecs’ games when I remember enough.

Most dominant: Spanish in CG1, English in 2nd 2500 pointer, English in CG2, Americans in CG3, Pirates in EE

Most pathetic: Americans in CG1, French in CotE, Pirates in RISK, Mercenaries in CTO, Spanish in 2nd 2500 pointer, English in CG3 (dishonorable mention to the Pirate ship Black Mamba, who in EE shot 0/6 with three 1’s to dismast herself without doing any damage to enemies)

Best alliance: French Americans in 2nd 2500 pointer and RISK: French did worse on their own beforehand, and both factions did worse after separating for CotE (France really needs them since Americans beat them in EE and technically CG1, where America needed France more)
However, this has been made mostly a thing of the past now that France and America have 4 victories on their own between them.

Most aggressive: Spanish in CG1 (all declarations of war and essentially all eliminations)

Most passive winner: Pirates in EE (though due to disaster)

Fastest/most sudden eliminations: Pirates in RISK, Franco-Spanish in EE

Most underrated/dark horse: Other (last in first 2 games, but weren’t really trying; then finished 2nd in RISK in the only game where they had a chance) (deserve another chance as CursedCorsairRebelVikings or Cursed+minor factions to make a true Big 6)
Honorable mention to the English and French perhaps: the English kinda stank for a while but have recently surged back to nearly win 3 in a row. The French underperformed for a while but have the most victories since 2016 and are habitually underrated by Xerecs and other players.

Most controversial: Pirates in 1st 2500 pointer (Cursed essentially helping them win and denying the Spanish)
-Likely even more controversial is Xerecs’ winter Economy game, which is still a murky and strange subject.

Best revenge: Spanish taking down English in CG1 after England wins final battle of CotE. Pirates vs. Spanish rivalry in general (2011 CG, 1st 2500 pointer, CotE, EE, CG1 (5 out of 8 they both participated in that are counted)

Closest finish: 1st 2500 pointer (gold scores 48-45-43) (also most “robbed”, or controversial)
-Also Xerecs’ winter Economy game

Most lopsided: CG2 (likely more points in the English fleet than twice the other 2 put together), CG3 (Americans had over 1500 of the 2300 points in play even before the final handful of turns)

Longest win streak: English at 3 consecutive wins (4 if you include the 3rd 2500 pointer deathmatch after the RISK game where they won as the attacking alliance in the Defence of St. Helens scenario), honorable mention to the Pirates for winning both of the first 2 and to the English once again recently with two wins in a row (and only a handful of gunships away from winning CTO for a second streak of 3 wins, truly incredible)

Longest drought: French were technically 0 for 9 in my games before finally breaking through for the win in CTO. The longest current drought goes to the Pirates, who have not won a huge game since 2015’s Economy Edition. (though the Cursed and “Other” have never won).

Most disappointing: obviously French, but also the Cursed a bit; arguably Pirates in recent years

Most durable: English (best average finish in last fleet afloat games)

Most fragile: French (worst average finish in last fleet afloat games with the exception of Other)

Most wealthy: Pirates (best average finish in most total points games)

“Poorest”: Spanish (worst average finish in most total points games)

Most greedy/rich: Pirates (best average finish in most gold games)

Least greedy: Other (last place in both gold games, but due to factional weaknesses)

Most wild/chaotic faction: Cursed in CG1

Most imperial faction: English in general, but also Spanish in CG1, Americans in CotE, Americans in CG3

Best year: English in 2012 (essentially winning all 3 huge games counting Defence of St. Helens)
-Honorable mentions:
Pirates in 2011 (won both)
Americans in 2015 (first and second)
English in 2016 (a win and never finishing last)
Kind of the French in 2016 (won 2, but last in the other 2 lol)

Worst year: 2014 (no CG’s)
Dishonorable mention to Spanish in 2012 (4th out of 5 in both major CG’s and on the losing end at the Defence of St. Helens)

Most satisfying story? Spanish coming very close to winning both 1st 2500 pointer (Cursed interference at the very end) and CotE (somewhat close final battle, closer if the Acorazado hadn’t been eliminated by a UT combo). Then brutally destroying everybody in CG1 for the most dominant and deserved victory of all time.

Most flawed rules: RISK (need to acquire gold over land in future)

Most parity/fairness: Most all, probably more so in VASSAL due to more rigid map construction/lack of real life elements

Least fair: 2011 CG (harbor locations too far from some islands, most dominant factions had a central location in the room, though massive conflict nearly led to neither of them winning)

Biggest game: CTO (9,078 points at peak)

Most ships: 509 (CTO)

Largest single-turn launching: 628 gold (English battle fleet in CG1)

Largest single-fleet point total: Americans at 2,414 points at the end of CG3, honorable mention to Pirates at 2,347 points in CTO

Largest fleet by ship total of any faction: Pirates at 131 ships in CTO

Largest ocean: 2011 CG (~72 square feet), honorable mention to CG1/CG3 at 40.56 square feet and CTO at 42 square feet
-Also Xerecs’ 2015 CoE game (difficult to determine size)

Smallest game: likely CotE (1,212 at point count but possibly higher earlier in the game), also CG2 which peaked at just over 1,400

Best CG? Very tough to pick between 2011 CG (nostalgia), 1st 2500 pointer (nostalgic but close and exciting/classic), EE (aesthetics, epicness/records), CG1 (big and GRAND scope, then-records, extremely enjoyable), CTO (biggest, most aesthetic, most epic physical, etc)

Middle CG’s: RISK/CotE (both great but with some major flaws, especially lack of grandness in hindsight), CG3 (decent but paling in comparison to the best)

Worst CG? CG2 (not a lot of combat, not optimal ocean shape/configurations too formulaic, English dominance, long hiatuses, lame ending with basically 2/4 players dropping out including 1 who essentially didn’t play at all), Dishonorable mention to 2nd 2500 pointer for being somewhat lame and boring

Ranking the CG’s?
1-CG1/CTO
2-EE
3-2011 CG
4-1st 2500 pointer
5-CotE
6-RISK
7-CG3
8-3rd 2500 pointer (deathmatch)
9-2nd 2500 pointer
10-CG2

Very tough to pick between CG1 and CTO; CG1 had way less headaches for me, but CTO was bigger and infinitely more pleasing to look at (and probably more fun to read about, but I truly think CG1 is underrated). I think I need more time to digest CTO to rank it properly and try to forget about how difficult it was at times, after which I’ll probably rank it #1 without a doubt. (for now…)

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I mostly made this for my own enjoyment and something cool to look back on. I will do my best to update with future huge games.

Battle Reports Compendium

Battle Reports Compendium

This is my attempt to organize all of my best battle reports in one place.  I will add to the list over time.  For tips on playing some huge games, check out my Guide to huge games.  You can see summaries of my huge games on this page.  My best strategic moments and well-played games can be found here.

Campaign Games

The 2011 Cumulative Game (2011)

Pirates CSG with RISK (2012)

Century of the Empires (2013)

Pirates: Economy Edition (2015)

VASSAL Campaign Game 1 (2016)

VASSAL Campaign Game 2 (2016)

VASSAL Campaign Game 3 (2017-2018)

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 (2018-present)

Command the Oceans (2017)

The Hourly Campaign (2018-present)

The Caribbean Game (2018-present)

 

Other Huge Games

First 5 fleet 500 point game (2011)

2nd 500 point game (2012)

Defence of St. Helen’s Scenario, 3rd 500 point game (2012)

 

Tournaments

VASSAL Tournament #1 (2016)

VASSAL Tournament #2 (2016-2017)

 

Other Games

The Acorazado Trials (2012)

El Acorazado vs. HMS Endeavour (2013)

My first game with a blue ocean (2015 – some of my best pictures)

Halloween Game – 4 Fleets at 60 Points (2015)

One of the best games I’ve ever played! (2015)

Smallest cumulative game ever (2015)

The Experimental Cumulative Game (2016)

8 fleet game after T1 (2016)

Legend of the Giant Turtle (2019)

4 Fleet 100 Point Game (2019)

2nd 500 point game – February 2012

Originally posted to Pojo in 2012

The Second 5 fleet 500 point game of Pirates CSG

February 19th, 2012

Today (2/18/12) I set everything up for a 500 point game, the second I will have played. I created the fleets on paper earlier in the week.

Once again, there will be five 500 point fleets, with four of the five having +5 0 point Limit Ransom crew (0LR +5), for a grand total of 2520 points on the floor! Things have changed in my Pirates CSG landscape, so the fleets will be composed of slightly different factions than last time. The English, Spanish, and Pirates will all be fighting individually. The French, however, are now allied with the Americans, as well as the Corsairs (this alliance will be referred to as the French Americans). The Cursed have teamed up with the Mercenaries (I will call them the Merccursed). The Merccursed are the only fleet not playing to win, as they will be trying to create chaos for the opposing fleets. I am not using duplicate ships this time (other than two of the Death’s Anchor flotillas), but I am using some duplicate named crew. However, most of the duplicate crew used will be variations of crew with the same name (ex: the Pirates are using the SM Calico Cat, as well as the OE and ROTF versions, and the English will be using the MI Hermione Gold and the ROTF version, among others). The English are using 31 ships total, the Spanish 36, the French Americans 33, the Pirates 36, and the Merccursed 29 (including flotillas and sea monsters), for a grand total of 165 2nd 500 point game!

20 islands will be used, with four treasure coins per island, for 60 total coins (15 wild islands + 5 home islands), of which 16 are unique treasures. 14 pieces of terrain have been placed, with six more on standby for the Lost UT. The nations have chosen their home islands, from east to west: Pirates, French Americans, Merccursed, Spanish, English. The order of turns will be: English, Spanish, French Americans, Pirates, Merccursed. Hopefully it will be as exciting and close-fought as the last 500 point game!

Additional Comment:

First seven turns: The game commenced, and the fleets were off!

The HMS Lady Provost encountered the UT Natives, freezing her for two turns, while the HMS Alexander uncovered the UT Missionary, marking a bad start for the English.

The Spanish got into a fight with the Cursed which is just now ending. They managed to sink the Executioner by canceling ROTF Fantasma’s Eternal keyword, and now they have acquired the Eye of Insanity, which they transferred to El Acorazado, who is also decked out with crew. The Eye lets her substitute one of her crew for a Cursed crew in play, and they naturally picked OE Davy Jones’ guaranteed extra action. Their Toro and San Jose have been sunk, among others, but they have been doing okay.

The French have gotten some treasure with La Vengeance, the Griffin, and the Viper’s Bite (the latter are still on their way home, and in big trouble from the Pirates and English respectively). The Conquerant, Saber, Possession, and Soleil Royal have all been sunk in two separate actions against the Pirates, while the French were able to eliminate the loaded Harbinger, and the dangerous Raninoidea crab. Those same Pirates have had bad luck and bad timing, and almost half of their fleet was annihilated in one turn by the English.

The English used the “round earth” rules to go to the other side of the sea and try to get to two far-off islands, but things became much more complicated than that. The English ended up having to send some of their best gunships over to take care of the Pirates, heading for the same islands, and took out 24 masts in one turn of furious broadsides (mostly the work of the HMS Grand Temple, HMS Titan, Bretwalda, Ark Royal, and Apollo). Both islands were explored by the English, and they built Fort Brompton on the closer one, but the fort was quickly destroyed by the Revenant (soon thereafter sunk by the Lord Walpole), but then rebuilt. The Aberdeen Baron was captured after exploring the farther island by the Viper’s Bite, after having been dismasted by Le Gaule, who consequently was almost dismasted by a collection of English ships. As of now, the Baron is sitting derelict with one treasure coin, the dismasted Viper’s Bite is crawling home at S speed, and the Gaule is doomed (La Dijon was sunk in this action as well). The English appear to be in complete control in this northeast area of the sea. They have captured three Pirate ships, the Raven (now at her new HI repairing), Longshanks, and Darkhawk II (both of which are being towed home with treasure on board).

The Merccursed have been creating chaos in the middle of the sea, harassing the two nearest fleets, those of the Spanish and the French Americans. The Spanish have successfully beaten them back, but the French Americans didn’t fare so well. Their problem was the fact that most of the French gunships (the bulk of their fighting ships) were off fighting the Pirates to the east, while the Merccursed used teamwork to attack the three American five masters, the Enterprise, Blackwatch, and Constitution (OE). They weakened the Enterprise with a host of ships, notably the Forward equipped with a Firepot Specialist and Musketeer, then took out her Eternal crew, Ralph David, with the crew-killing boarding effect of the Jikininki. Then the Blackwatch appeared, but she was handled by the same combination of ships (less the Forward who the Blackwatch sunk). Christian Fiore’s cancelling ability was utilized to cancel Gus Schultz (Eternal) at just the right time, and then the sea monster Slarg Gubbit finished her off. Too bad the Merccursed won’t have any treasure, so they won’t win.

Dozens of other ships were damaged and sunk today; too many to remember. These were just the highlights. The last treasure coin is on an island to the west, protected by the Wolves UT. La Ebro heads there, but there is a large battle looming in that area, in the southwest corner, between the English and the Spanish. The English have more captain crew, but the Spanish have El Acorazado and possibly more ships that are fit for battle. These appear to be the strongest factions at this point, but the Pirates and French Americans are still in the running.

February 20th, 2012

Another five or six turns have been completed, and the game will probably be finished up tomorrow. The English and the Spanish fought in the southwest corner, with the Spanish appearing to have somewhat won . Too bad my English have way more treasure than them!

Some of the English ships have gone to the east using the round earth rule and are just now stealing treasure from the HI of the Pirates. HMS Bath and HMS Lady Provost are taking gold, although it may not even be necessary for the English to win, as I appear to have the most gold of any faction, with some on my HI and more in Fort Brompton. The Viper’s Bite, Longshanks, and Darkhawk II have all been captured by the English, who have been the dominant force of late, as they also recaptured the Aberdeen Baron and sunk Le Gaule. The Acorazado was sunk by a team of English ships, and La Ebro (with Olano’s Marine keyword) has eliminated Wolves, allowing the last treasure to be loaded.

The treasure still has to be counted, but the other four fleets have all but conceded that the English have the most treasure. The Merccursed have repaired and regrouped, but appear to be too late to make any real late-game noise, although they have just recently attacked the French Americans, who were also repairing (from skirmishes against the Pirates). Le Bonaparte and Le Lache de Calvados, both immune to enemies within S, have frustrated the English around the Pirates’ HI, forcing the English to try to ram them, which has not worked. Meanwhile, the Pirates have been officially eliminated, with some of their ships captured by the English, sunk by the French Americans and the English, and scuttled to escape capture. The Coral was the last Pirate ship floating, but now they have nothing, which is important because the English have a free shot at their HI, which has the most treasure other than the HI of the English.

The Spanish fought the English in the hopes of defeating them, but they suffered three serious blows in their efforts today: the Divine Dragon sunk El Villalobos, who was carrying 11 gold in the form of two coins, having been transferred to her by the derelict San Pedro. Also, the English captured the Joya del Sol, who had more valuable treasure on her (probably about nine gold), giving them even more treasure. As if this wasn’t enough, both cancelers (Nemesio Diaz) were eliminated, going down on board the Santa Teresa and the Asesino de la Nave.

With the Pirates unable to defend their dwindling supply of gold, the French Americans losing most of their useful ships and now fighting the Merccursed, and the Spanish without a large amount of gold, the English appear to have won, though hopefully I am not speaking too soon .

HMS King Edward is positioned to take the last pieces of treasure, and the game shall end soon!

February 21st, 2012

The game was finished up today; it didn’t take as long as the other 500 point game. I believe it took only 13 or 14 turns. The King Edward was sunk by a combination of three Spanish ships, ending the game, with the Spanish with nine ships remaining, and the English with 14. The French Americans had some ships, and were in the process of a battle against the Merccursed. This was interrupted when ‘all available gold had been unloaded to home islands’. The final treasure count:
1. English: 81 gold
2. Pirates: 25
3. French Americans: 21
4. Spanish: 0
5. Merccursed: 0 (I put them behind the Spanish because they never had a single coin at any point during the game).

A blowout victory for the English!  The game wasn’t as thrilling as the last 500 point game, but it was fun to see the English play a near-perfect game.

First 5 fleet 500 point game – August 2011

Originally posted to Pojo in August 2011

August 5th, 2011

I am extremely excited to start my next project: a five-way 500-point game! Cumulatively, 2500 total points! O_O  (2520 if we add the ransom crew +5’s)

The factions for this massive enterprise remain the same. It will be the English v.s. Pirates v.s. Spanish v.s. French v.s. Amercursedcorsairebels. I have already constructed the fleets with crew (had to write all of it down last night, it was quite fun!, never built fleets that big). In total, I am using 151 ships and six sea monsters. Many very prestigious and well-known ships will be participating, including: HMS Grand Temple, HMS Titan, Nautilus, Enterprise, Divine Dragon, El Acorazado, Revenant, Harbinger, Raven, Lechim Namod, El Toro, Darkhawk II, Magnifique, Soleil Royal, Jarvis, and Asesino de la Nave. I am planning on using 20 islands, with ten of them being mysterious. I am also planning on using 5 reefs, 5 fog banks, 4 sargasso seas, 4 icebergs, and 3 whirlpools. I am using all of my unique treasure (22, I think?). Hopefully it will live up to my expectations.

August 6th, 2011

Today I started the much anticipated five way 500 point game (the 2500 is in total between the fleets).

The 20 islands and 21 pieces of terrain were placed, home islands chosen, treasure buried, and dies rolled. I, as the English went first, followed by the Pirates, French, Amercursedcorsairebels, and Spanish, in that order. The Leicester, HMS Grand Temple, and HMS Titan used extra actions/SAT’s to get a jump start. The Pirates set out, and had a balanced strategy that included collecting, stealing, and sinking the gold (not surprising, eh?). The French had their own corner, and had the most ships since I don’t have very many crew for them. The Amercs set out not sure of their strategy but knowing they could create havoc with their best ships (Divine Dragon, Enterprise, and USS Stephens). The Spanish were going to try to avoid conflict while providing their treasure ships with adequate cover.

Turn one passed almost without incident. During the Amercs’ turn, they revealed the All Powerful Davy Jones! Obviously the Pirates were quite ignorant of the fact that the Cursed would use him, placing two of their best gunships, the decked out Harbinger and the similarly loaded Prussian Crown, both five-masters, right next to each other! Now I know that what happens next is technically illegal, but I like to keep my games full of surprises! The Amercs rolled a six! (FYI: The OE Davy Jones has guaranteed extra action capabilities, 1-4 is for the ship he is on, 5 for any friendly ship, 6 for any enemy ship) Arguably the most feared man (?) on the sea gave his order, and the Prussian Crown began firing on her own ship, the Harbinger!!!!!  Behold the incredible power and almost limitless possibilities of DAVY JONES!

At the beginning of the second turn, I rolled for my SAT with the HMS Leicester, and got a 6. I also had Myngs and the Gentleman for reroll on board (I know triple actions are also frowned upon, but you’ll see how badly I got paid back!), so I decided to go take on the Harbinger. Using my helmsman, I put my gunship right in the narrow space between the Harbinger and Prussian Crown, the Harbinger already missing three masts. Then I let the dice do their thing, and when it was all said and done both five masters had been sunk!!!!! The Leicester’s superb ability of eliminating two masts per hit let me hit the Harbinger twice, sinking her, then turn to the Prussian Crown, and with the help of Sir Christopher Myngs, sink her, too!

The revenge the Pirates exacted on me was very painful. The Revenant came up and dismasted my Leicester with one broadside! Then I tried to get the Leicester out of there, but accidentally ended up in a horribly undesirable fight! A complete disaster, the Leicester sunk without any crew being saved. The Titan was forced to stop and fight, and was able to dismast the Revenant before the Titan was dismasted by the Broken Key. Even worse for my morale, my HMS Grand Temple, newly built (out of the 151 ships participating in the game, she was the most highly anticipated) and decked out with Calico Cat, Griffin and helmsman, was sunk by a combination of Pirate ships, including the underrated Xiamen’s Claws. I thought I was going to lose all three of my best gunships before getting any treasure/captured ships, but through a small miracle I was able to extricate the HMS Titan from the action through my version of chain-towing (I checked on the Rules thread of MT, this is legal). I used one ship to tow the Titan, placing her at the stern of the nearest ship, then releasing her, then towing her and placing her behind the next ship, and so on down the line till she was out of harms way. I lost the HMS Concorde in the process, but that was a small price to pay for the salvaged ship, probably paid thirty plus points with the crew I had on the Titan.

Both the Pirates and I were happy to disengage and lick our wounds as we headed back to our respective home islands, the Pirates managing to capture the Sea Tiger with Commander Temple on board in the process. Meanwhile, I had signed an imaginary non-aggression pact with the nearby Spaniards, as we were both feeling like being nice and sharing the few nearby islands. The Pirates were doing some simple treasure running with their Darkhawk II’s, and they are trying CCMike’s idea of using a crew (Genny Gallows here) to add +2 to every treasure. Another 6+ ships and the two sea monsters, Seleucis and Teach, tried unsuccessfully to get to the battle with the British, the Britons already sailing away. It was not a large scale battle, but the Broken Key was also sunk.

The French slowly made their way away from their corner to the southeast and started to gather gold. The Soleil Royal possessed the only extra action crew in the fleet, and pounced on the Cursed ship Dark Pact, dismasting her before she could use Wraith to eliminate all the French crew, but then fell into a similar situation as the Leicester. She was isolated and didn’t have access to backup in time before she was also sunk, by the USS Stephens. The Amercs weren’t interested in a full-scale fight, so they let the French eventually capture the Dark Pact, Bashaw Folly and USS Quigley while letting the rest of their ships get away. The Divine Dragon continued to create havoc with Davy Jones as the HMS Bretwalda lost three masts after being fired on by fellow English ship HMS Granville.

The Amercs and Spanish didn’t do too much, although the Spanish got some treasure while the Amercs encountered problems. The Nautilus had Captain Nemo, Luc Savard, and a helmsman on board when she docked at a mysterious island. She rolled for effect just fine, but upon turning over the treasure, found the UT Missionary! Goodbye crew!(16 points worth, too) The new terrain I got, icebergs and whirlpools, didn’t play a role so far, but I expect that to change.

Overall, a very satisfying start (albeit a sad one) to my very anticipated game! I will be away tomorrow but will hopefully play some turns Sunday. I think things through, so moving more than two dozen ships per faction takes a while. Great time I had!

August 10th, 2011

I’ve played a few more turns, and I, as the English, was able to capture the Cursed Blade (with Captain Mission, Lucky the Parrot, and a captain aboard), after she came through a whirlpool looking to steal UT’s from my HMS Lord Walpole. The English also formed an alliance with the Spanish, and now the fleets are collaborating on what to do next. The Spanish seem content to help me get back the Sea Tiger (I want her back for Commander Temple, who is still on board). It’s possible I might go after the Divine Dragon with Davy Jones on board, but this would be difficult. The Amercursedcorsairebels have not been hostile towards anybody(besides with Davy Jones), but seem to be biding their time doing almost nothing. The Nautilus went through a whirlpool to escape the French Rocher Noir (can shoot at submerged ships within S of her), but didn’t have to lose any masts due to her finding of the UT Protection from Davy Jones earlier in the game.

Meanwhile, the Pirate ships damaged from their battle with the English are back at their HI and repairing, while some ships recently brought back some treasure.

The French are about to capture the derelict L’Aguila, who, along with the Alquimista, went in the opposite direction of the Spanish fleet, heading east for gold. Now they are both in trouble! Earlier in the game the French captured the Amercs’ Dark Pact, Bashaw Folly, and USS Quigley, and seem to be developing an effective strategy of hunting in wolf packs of ships that close in on enemy targets who have been separated from the main fleet. They are doing this because I don’t have very many French crew, so instead they have mostly empty ships (37 in the fleet to start), and want to make up for lack of crew by having the largest fleet by a decent margin.

The French and Amercs are the only factions lacking gold right now, but there should be some coming in soon for the French. The Enterprise just passed by some of the Pirate fleet without firing on them, so either a non-aggression pact or alliance may come to fruition between the Pirates and Amercs. It remains to be seen what the goals of the Amercs are, but the English/Spanish are planning to go on the attack as soon as they can repair their damaged gunships and formulate a plan of action (or a plan of extra actions, haha). 

BTW: the icebergs actually were a factor today, taking down 4-5 masts in three turns.

Additional Comment:

Today I got through four more turns.

The English finished repairing their damaged ships and set out to punish the Pirates. They also managed to capture a Longshanks that was out looking for treasure alone. The English got there first, however, and now have some impressive UT’s: Dry Powder, Mines, and Marksman’s Map, although they also have Albatross, so he’s been limiting the number of extra actions ships get (-1 to die rolls made for the ship).

The Pirates are almost done repairing, and the Pandora was able to bring in some more treasure. The Black Diamond and Muerta de la Corona were out raidng the Spanish, but on their way back were surrounded by these same determined Spaniards. The Spanish sunk both ships, but the Pirates were able to put their valuable crew (OE Jack Hawkins and a helmsman, among others) on a few Darkhawk II’s that were nearby. They then proceeded to run away! I don’t have Captain Jack Sparrow, but it seemed like he was in charge, as the Pirates quickly fled from any contact with the Spanish gunships, including the loaded Acorazado.

The French completed the dismasting and capturing of the Alquimista and L’Aguila and began towing them back. The French lost some masts in the process, but not from the Spanish, but icebergs! The die rolls for the icebergs were very effective today, taking out three masts on La Vengeance and both masts on the L’Amazone. The rest of the French fleet slowly turned to the south, seeing a couple of Pirate ships separated from the main group, but the Pirates quickly thought better of it. The highlight today for the French was the building of my only fort, St. Pierre!

The Amercs continued to baffle their opponents, first reversing direction after heading due west the day before, turning back to the east where they came from. Even more surprisingly, they turned down the Pirates’ offer of having an alliance. Then they turned to the southwest to avoid coming into contact with the French. They didn’t see how close the Spanish were to them, and disaster struck (albeit a small one). I, as the British, wanted to capture the Divine Dragon with Davy Jones as her captain, and my allies the Spanish shared the same goal. The normal action for the Divine Dragon was used to explore the Nautilus (finally at the surface) to take the UT’s Protection from Davy Jones and Screw Engine. Davy Jones used another six to move the powerful Acorazado out of striking distance, but allowing the Santa Ana (SCS) to move in and pummel her! The other Spanish ships were too far away to assist, but nonetheless turned toward the sight of the Divine Dragon finally seeming mortal. The Santa Ana’s die rolls were some of the most dramatic yet, the Spanish pausing after each one to yell and celebrate. Out of four possible hits, the Santa Ana scored three, including a firepot, so now the Dragon is on fire and has three masts remaining.

The problem for the allies is that the Dragon has many possible escape routes, and has the entire Amerc fleet nearby. She can dock at the nearby island and use the UT there, Trees, to repair. Or she can use the Screw Engine/extra action to get back to her home island (probably about 8S away) before taking more damage, then repair and sit there until the enemy moves far enough away. The third alternative is to go use the whirlpool to teleport to the remote northwest part of the sea, while not taking more damage due to Protection from Davy Jones. She will not fight because she only has three cannons left, doesn’t have the reverse captain keyword available, and the Acorazado is near with a crew-killer on board. Whatever Davy Jones chooses, it is sure to cause difficult decisions for the rest of the ships involved in the skirmish: whether or not to follow the Dragon through the whirlpool (on both the Spanish and Amerc sides), and if the Spanish want a large-scale battle with the Amercs, having already gotten involved with the Pirates.

The very near future has the possibility of changing the game immensely for the duration, and we will see what exciting developments unfold! 

August 11th, 2011

The Divine Dragon decided to use the Screw Engine and extra action from DJ to escape to her home island. There she was able to fully repair, but not before the captured Cursed Blade rammed her and used her ability to steal the UT Protection from Davy Jones. The Lechim Namod finally entered the fray to try to protect the Dragon from being hit before reaching her home island, and managed to dismast the crew-killing HMS Granville.

Some other Amerc ships returned home for repairs, among them the Congress and Clear Wind. The Santa Molina managed to use Broadsides Attack to sink the powerful Acorazado, and then the Amercs used the Congress’s last mast and the Concord to sink the SCS Santa Ana, which was the only other ship the Spanish had with extra action/SAT capabilities. Now they are in trouble, as the huge French fleet is now sailing for the remaining Amerc ships from the east, while the Spanish are coming at them and engaging them to the west. The Enterprise was cornered by a dozen or so Spanish ships, and decided to go out with a bang, sinking the colorful La Sirviente before being sunk in turn by L’Aguila and the Selkie (captured). The USS Stephens, back at the home island of the Amercs, used Commander Stephen Decatur to get extra actions two turns in a row so she could repair her two remaining masts, then she went and rammed the Cursed Blade, trying to reacquire Protection from Davy Jones. This she did, easily winning the boarding roll and then dismasting the Blade with her built-in captain ability. The only problem is that the Blade can (I think) use her ability next turn to take the UT right back, as she is still touching the Stephens, then have the nearest English ship take it away (maybe I’m overrating UT’s, but they are fun to use).

Meanwhile, those same Englishmen were busy chasing the Pirates, who seem to be getting the better of the battle so far, sinking the HMS Titan before she could wreak havoc. The Titan still managed to dismast two medium-size Pirate ships after being damaged, though . The Pirates are fleeing far to the southeast, but they have reached the French harbour and will soon be at Ocean’s Edge .

The French are going after the Amercs with almost all the ships they have, but the stragglers that were towing damaged ships away from the icebergs of the Frozen North were sunk unexpectedly by the Enterprise.

The Spanish are also going after the Amercs, but from a different direction, creating a trap from which it is unlikely that the Amercs will emerge victorious. Despite the Jarvis and Louisiana sunk, and Santa Molina and Bosun’s Bane being dismasted, the Amercs pressed on, and the Swamp Fox used captain/Broadsides Attack to eliminate one of the giant crabs, El Toro.

These are just the highlights, many other ships have been sunk, and many more will go down in the near future!

August 12th, 2011

The chaos continued, with more and more ships being sunk/dismasted. The Amercs continued to fight off the combined forces (though not actually allies) of the French and Spanish, but they were overwhelmed. The USS Stephens sunk, while the Amercs managed to use the nearby whirlpool to warp to the deserted southwest area, although they were only able to get four ships there, the Divine Dragon, the Nautilus, the Boston, and the cursed junk Clear Wind.

In the southeast corner, the English appeared to be losing the battle, having their HMS Gargantuan sunk and other ships dead in the water, derelict. The French were attacking the Amercs with everything they had, losing one Valois, both Bonapartes, and some masts. The Spanish continued to press from the opposite direction, and the Amercs would have lost the battle…

Now for the moment of truth! The two Spanish Concepcions, loaded with gold after exploring the last island, in the deserted northwest corner of the sea, had the last treasure on board. They didn’t have helmsman (I only have two for the Spanish), and so were sailing at only L speed. The Dragon and her Amerc comrades were possibly within striking range, and knowing that they wouldn’t win anyway, decided to cause some last-minute end-of-game chaos! The Dragon raced towards them as the Spanish approached their home island. The Spanish fleet directly to the east turned around and headed towards the approaching Amercs to try to intercept them before reaching the Spanish treasure galleons. Davy Jones suddenly loomed very large. The Dragon rolled a one and a four on consecutive turns, allowing the Dragon to catch the treasure ships just before they reached their home island (not making this up, they were literally within L of it!). The Dragon had been fully repaired from her battles earlier in the game and made short work of the Spanish ships, sinking both in one turn!  The treasure is not divided between the two players in a multiplayer game with 4+ players, so it was removed from the game.

Now it was time to count the treasure. This was very dramatic, and between the first three fleets, very close as well. The final count:
1. Pirates: 48
2. Spanish: 45
3. English: 43
4. French: 28
5. Amercursedcorsairebels: 9

After I finished the final count (disappointed that the Pirates, of all nations, won, and because I came in close, but still only third), I realized just how important it was that the Divine Dragon had sunk both Spanish Concepcions. Guess how much treasure was on them: 11! This would have been enough if they had made it back to their home island, but instead it was removed, allowing the Pirates to win by a tiny margin of three. Now the what-ifs start: If the Dragon had been sunk back when she was in trouble, being hit by the Santa Ana with El Acorazado not far away. If the Spanish had put a helmsman on even just one of the Concepcions, she probably would have made it back. If the HMS Granville had gotten more than one hit on the Dragon not long before she went through the whirlpool (this is significant because the Granville has crew-killing built in, so she could’ve eliminated another crew on the next turn).

Alas, it was not the Spaniards’ day; the Pirates are once again victorious. They were fighting the English on the other side of the ocean when the Dragon interfered, which appears controversial. The Pirates and Amercs apparently never made a deal for an alliance, but they may have made a secret one, as they never fired on each other and the Amercs appeared to have helped the Pirates win. We will never know, this is just speculation. Maybe it was on purpose, but it does seem like Davy Jones to want to go out with a bang rather than just running perpetually from his adversaries. In cahoots, or not?  On that note, I say goodbye to the biggest game I have played of Pirates, which included many great moments, excitement, and a mysterious ending that will puzzle us all…

Thanks for reading!  Check out my other Battle Reports for more adventures!

The 2011 cumulative game – Pirates CSG Battle Report

Originally posted to Pojo and Miniature Trading on November 10th, 2014.

I haven’t played a game yet, but I wanted to document an old game to the best of my ability. Plus, I don’t want this thread to get locked up. 😀

I started the Pojo version of the Battle Reports thread on July 24th, 2011, about a month after I joined MT and Pojo. I was getting back into the game for the first time in multiple years, and started playing again.

I don’t know exactly how many games I played between mid-June of 2011 and July 24th, but I don’t think it was very many. There were three reasons:
1. I was spending a bunch of time on MT and Pojo getting to know the sites.
2. I believe I did a Historical Fantasy Scenario (HFS), which is basically using the ships to wage huge naval wars without using the actual rules of the game.
3. I played a MASSIVE game that was never fully written about.

#3 has always been a very interesting topic when I occasionally think about it, which isn’t very often. Since I started the Battle Reports thread on Pojo after the game ended, a lot of the finer details have been forgotten. However, here I will write what I remember. This particular game holds a special place in my personal Pirates CSG “lore” if you will – all of my older games are documented, so I can go back and remember what happened. This one is a murky subject that is a legendary game in my book, sort of akin to the SiaB discussions and old eBay posts, among other famous posts here at MT. I have found some limited documentation of the game in the first thread I ever started at Pojo.

Back in those days, when I did HFS’s, I used an entire room of floor space, although the particular room isn’t huge, and of course has many things on the floor to inhibit space (but also provide natural obstructions  🙂 ). Because of the huge sea, ships took longer to reach their destinations.

Each faction had a harbour. The English were in the far east, the Spanish in the south, the Pirates in the north, the French in the northwest, and an alliance of the Americans, Cursed, Barbary Corsairs, and Mercenaries in the southwest. The harbours were made out of dozens of duplicate ship deckplates, with “unlaunched” ships sitting on the deckplates waiting to be bought, whereas launched ships would dock in different places in the harbour. I used to punch out all of my duplicates because I used them for HFS’s and because I hadn’t started trading here yet.

Edit (7/22/2015): I’ve made a harbour example. Here’s what a typical harbour would look like:
2011 cumulative game

The game was a cumulative one, where points are spent as the game goes along to build up your fleet. However, there was a distinguishing factor that set this game apart from all others that I’ve played: the treasure distribution.

Normally for a cumulative game, each island starts out with maybe 3 or 4 treasure coins each, and treasure magically replenishes itself at the end of each turn until the original max is reached. However, when I did HFS’s, I would simply stack as much treasure on the islands as possible. When I say stack, I mean STACK. Each stack of coins would be at least 10 coins high (usually more I think), and there would be a minimum of (probably) around 6 or more stacks per island. This was the case for EVERY island, not just some “Paradise Island” in the middle. (You can see where this is going  O_O)

Since I was so used to placing treasure like this, I did the same for the cumulative game. I can’t remember if I ever had the treasure replenish itself as well, but either way there was basically so much gold on every island that you could barely see the island itself, not to mention that the stacks were taller than some of the ships. XD

Edit (11/27/2015): Here’s an example of what an average wild island would look like for this game:
2011 cumulative game

Also, I used custom rules with the introduction of infantry and artillery units from RISK, but they didn’t play a big factor in the game.

EDIT: I wrote all of this before I found the old thread on Pojo, which I’ll quote from occasionally to supplement the report I wrote today.

06-20-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
I am starting a long game where each player starts with 20 points for ships/crew. I placed 20 islands in my room, 14 of them mysterious. I placed all of my unique treasure, and I am going to experiment using the infantry and artillery units from Risk (I don’t have any forts, sadly). Here are my rules for them (still in the early stages):

Infantrymen units (cost two points): They can be stationed at home harbour (or home island, I use harbours so I can fit all the ships) or on island. A player with an infantry or artillery unit on an island is occupying the island. The infantrymen are eligible for invasions/shoot actions. Invasions: An invasion counts as a general action. Therefore, a ship cannot dock at an island and invade that same turn unless her ability lets her dock and explore in the same move action.

The infantry units act as returning fire, not as an actual cannon. When an enemy ship fires on them, and misses twice in a row, one mast from the enemy ship is eliminated. Boarding parties: When an enemy attempts to invade, they roll on a boarding party as normal. For the designated infantry unit, roll a d6 and add one. If the ship has the higher result, the infantry unit is eliminated and the controller of the ship is allowed to place one of their own infantry units from that ship on the island. Each infantry unit represents one short-range three-rank cannon, for land combat (these cannons can only shoot at other infantry/artillery units). An infantry unit is not allowed a land shoot action the turn it is landed successfully. Infantry units take up one cargo space.

Artillery units (six points): Can be used in invasions, and can be stationed on island or at harbour. On land, they are a long-range two-rank cannon and require two hits from the same infantry shoot action to be eliminated. They can shoot at enemy ships as a regular shoot action, and are mobile (you can position them at any place on the island for optimum range), but cannot be given any extra actions. Artillery units take up two cargo spaces.

 

This game was bizarre in many ways: unspeakable amounts of gold, huge distances between harbours that hindered battling, and weird rulings that came up as part of my house-rulings and somewhat limited collection.

06-21-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
I am making progress on my big game today. The French and alliance of American/Mercenary/Cursed/Corsair have had terrible luck with island placement and mysterious islands. The Spanish were the first to purchase infantry and artillery units for the defense of their harbour. It has been all gold collecting so far, but now the Pirates are gunning to take down what looks to be the fastest-starting faction, the Spanish (mainly because of the Joya del Sol with a helmsman). The Pirates are sending the Revenant and some supporting ships (Muerta de la Corona for +1 to cannon rolls against Spanish ships, and Freedom for gold stealing) to wreak havoc. I am playing as the English, and my harbour is somewhat isolated, at one end of the room, but I have been able to buy some good ships for this gold-running start (HMS Hyena is 9 pts. for S+S and five cargo spaces, HMS King Edward has six cargo spaces).

 

The Pirates began a small fight against the Spanish in the middle of the ocean between their two harbours, but the first action didn’t last long at all. However, it made the Pirates hate the Spanish, which would become more important later on.

I remember the English having to travel the furthest distance to get to their wild island(s), and so they wanted to expand to some more. The Spanish were the closest harbour, and so the English picked on them. (the Pirates were to the north, but their harbour lay around the corner of a cape, so they were harder to get to.) Some English ships including HMS Leicester began attacking the Spanish, inflicting heavy losses on both sides. The attack was eventually repulsed because it was so close to the Spanish harbour, so the Spanish had a much easier time getting reinforcements to the front lines.

Probably the most memorable part of this game was the system of chain exploring set up by the Spanish. The following is a quote from the Rules Thread.

 

a7xfanben wrote:
Warning: This is extremely specific and impractical. It only would only be feasible in huge games, and games where the islands have more treasure on them than normal (a non-standard game with stacks of treasure on islands, or treasure that replenishes each turn). Line up a bunch of empty ships touching at the bow and stern, with the lead ship in the line docked at a wild island. The final ship is docked at your home island. Ideally the island is as close to home as possible. Also, it would help if all of the ships had the same cargo hold. The lead ship explores the island, and each ship on down the line explores the ship in front of her, taking the treasure all the way to the last ship, where it is automatically unloaded.

This is too wacky to even try in 99.9% of games, but in this way you could have a supply line of ships that automatically transports treasure from an island to your home island.

 

Due to the fact that cumulative games don’t have a point limit, this particular game lent itself well to exploiting this idea. The Spanish had a perfect storm going: there were huge stacks of treasure on the wild islands, one of these islands was close to their harbour, and they had bought a lot of ships (the only ones I know for sure were two copies of the Cazador del Pirata) with around 3 masts and at least 3 cargo hold.

With the nearby island to the north of their harbour, the Spanish set up the system. One ship docked at the island, and then another ship lashed herself to the stern of the first ship, with the last ship being docked at the Spanish harbour. The line was at least 5 ships long, maybe 7 or 8. There may have actually been TWO lines, but I don’t know for sure. In addition, they still had a handful of ships sailing to and from the island as normal and bringing back gold. I would estimate that the whole operation consisted of at least 20 ships, all at this one island. (I think they almost were able to set up a second line of ships to another island, but they got attacked before it could be completed.)

Naturally the Spanish were getting rich very fast, milking one island for probably an average of at least 5 coins per turn overall. They launched more ships, both goldships and gunships, making their fleet even more impressive. This is not to say that all of the other factions struggled, for they were generally successful in running gold in a normal fashion. The Spanish were the only ones to set up the chain-exploring system, which hasn’t been seen since.

The other extremely memorable part of this game concerned a single game piece. It wasn’t a ship or even a named crew, but a UT: the Cursed Conch. The Cursed Conch lets you sacrifice one of your ships to move an opponent’s sea monster. However, my collection at the time didn’t contain a single sea monster, and so I house-ruled the ability to say “ship” in place of sea monster. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but soon it became apparent just how dangerous this UT had become.

Which faction discovered the once-legendary Cursed Conch? Naturally, the Spanish.   :/    XD

I’m not sure whether it was discovered on the island they had built a chain to, but it was discovered relatively early on in the game, and therefore had a huge impact.

Now, for a word about the harbour system: the harbours function much differently than home islands. They serve the same purpose, but each harbour was much bigger (probably about 2 feet wide by 2 feet long), with docks coming out from the wall of the room. Each harbour had designated places where ships were launched (on the outside where they could immediately start sailing), and ships were repaired (inside the harbour). The large number of docks and passages lent well to “hiding” ships if a faction wanted to do so.

After the Spanish discovered the Cursed Conch, I think they put it on a 4 master, and began “saccing” her each turn to cause havoc and chaos in other fleets. The Conch was later transferred to either a 1 or 2 master, because the Spanish wanted to use the bigger ship since it was more valuable.

Since the Pirates were the closest harbour (to the north), they were messed with the most. This further angered the Pirates, who had already lost a short skirmish against the Spanish earlier in the game. The Americans were also a target of the Conch, and they were the first to attempt to retaliate.

After the Conch was transferred to one of the smallest Spanish ships, the Spanish docked her deep within the bowels of their harbour, so she could “hide” and be “safe” from enemies looking to sink her or steal the Conch. However, the Spanish harbour was consisted mostly of docks facing due north, and they didn’t have a place to hide their ship in the recessed southeast corner of their harbour. Therefore they docked her almost all the way to the back against the wall in one of the inner docks on the west side. This became important later on.

Edit (7/22/2015): Here’s another mockup picture showing a harbour example with the Honu Iki at the top of the picture approximately how far back the Spanish sloop was:
2011 cumulative game

Again, pretend it’s a Spanish ship, but this is basically what the Pirates and the Cursed Blade were after:
2011 cumulative game

The Americans quickly grew weary of their ships being moved about by the Spanish, and sent some ships (the Enterprise was one of them) east to attack. Their goal was to sink or steal the Conch, but their efforts were too scattered. The Spanish either held on to it or stole it back, and the losses the Americans suffered as a result of these disorganized attacks dealt them losses that were hard to overcome. Additionally, I didn’t have as many good gold ships for the Americans, Cursed, and Barbary Corsairs as I do today, so the Americans weren’t likely to win the game anyway.

06-23-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
In my game today, the Revenant was quickly repelled from her attack on the Spanish harbour when two of her masts were knocked out from the harbour’s artillery batteries.

The infantry haven’t played a role yet, but then again there have not been any real battles (the Revenant action was the first and it was brief-she didn’t have enough backup). The Spanish have had luck with the mysterious islands-the one closest to them lets you take two treasure from every other wild island in the game and put it on this one before you explore, if you roll a five or six.

On the other hand, the French have had their Petit Dauphin sunk, Danae dismasted, and Courageaux damaged at a single island (Roll 5d6. For every 4-6 result, eliminate one of this ship’s masts). The Spanish are calmly and steadily accumulating more gold, while the nearby pirates are scrambling to put a good fleet together to wipe them out (or die trying).

I am using all of my unique treasure, including the Cursed Conch, but I don’t have any sea monsters (normally it lets you give a sea monster an action instead of the ships it is on), so I changed the ability to let the controller move any ship in play. This has had an undesirably overpowered effect. The Cursed Blade has been thwarted from stealing it by being sent back to where she came from, and the Enterprise was moved onto a reef, losing two masts.

Tomorrow the Pirates will attack and we will see which fleet is stronger. As the English, I sent a squadron to steal unique treasure from the other factions, the French and American/Mercenary. Then I finally bought the Leicester for 18 and decked her out with Admiral Morgan (5-6:extra action), Ducie Chads (5-6 same action twice, +1 against Pirates) and the Gentleman (captain ability and die re-roll for the above effects).

 

With one attack repulsed (pun intended; I think I actually used La Repulsa in this game), the Spanish went about their business of chain-exploring. However, they realized what a threat the Conch was to other factions’ security, and so transferred it to a smaller ship that they hid in the back of their harbour. It wasn’t long before it was the center of attention once again.

With the Americans weakened and the French and English having slow gold fleets, the Pirates had in the meantime built a fleet that was surpassed in size only by the Spanish. As a result, the Spanish began using the Conch exclusively against the Pirates, which led them to the conclusion that they must attack the Spanish or face elimination. A battle fleet was gradually launched and assembled, and they began clustering in the ocean to an area to the northwest of the Spanish harbour, but still out of striking distance.

More than anything, the Pirates wanted the Conch. They wanted to steal it and use it against the Spanish. For this they launched the Cursed Blade, one of my favourite ships and the perfect ship for the job. They also considered the Raven because of her speed, but they didn’t want to risk losing a boarding party. With the strategy they were planning, they would have just one shot at the Conch.

The Pirates knew that the small Spanish ship had the Conch and no other treasures. The Cursed Blade didn’t need to win a boarding party to steal the Conch, but only to make contact with the Spanish ship. The Blade was crewed with a helmsman to boost her speed to S+S+S, and Calico Cat to give her an extra action to move twice for a total of 6S. She probably had other crew aboard such as a captain and/or oarsman, but I don’t remember if I had a Pirate reroller back then.

The Cursed Blade positioned herself at the southeast edge of the cluster of Pirate ships accumulating in anticipation of the upcoming battle. The Blade would go in first in an attempt to take the Conch. She had to wait a few turns for the SAT from Calico Cat, turns that were spent in anxious anticipation. There was also a lot of time spent measuring distances and ranges, for the Pirates knew they had one shot at it. They would end their move deep in the Spanish harbour with ships sailing to block the entrance off before she could escape.

The Cursed Blade finally got the SAT, and she zoomed in 6S straight into the Spanish harbour, crashing into the small Spanish ship. I believe the ram took out a mast, and it may have been a 1 master, which would mean she was totally dismasted. Either way, the Blade was successful in grabbing the Conch. The problem was, she couldn’t use it or transfer it to safety until she made it out of the harbour. I don’t think she did.

This is where my memory fails me. All I remember is that all hell broke loose. The Spanish panicked, the chain broke, and the Pirates attacked! I can honestly say that the Cursed Blade’s action that turn altered the game forever, in a single, solitary moment of brilliance that caused a chain reaction that would be felt for the rest of the game.

I want to say that neither the Cursed Blade nor her crew got out of the harbour alive. If they made it out, I think they were sunk soon thereafter. The entire cluster of Pirate ships (probably 2/3 of their overall fleet) sailed down upon the Spanish, and the battle was on! Due to the Spanish being backed up against their own harbour, the battle was extremely close-fought, and I remember a lot of ramming and boarding. The chain broke because the Spanish wanted more of their numbers in the main battle area, which quickly spread a little bit towards the east, where the chain was originally docked. The battle was very chaotic, because the Pirates were in a manic rage to kill as many Spaniards as possible, and the Spanish didn’t expect such a large battle.

The other factions took notice of this epic clash between the two largest navies. The English joined the main battle, but they did so from the east, near where the chain had been. This meant that the Spanish were fighting two foes at once, since most of the Pirate ships were more to the west and south. In the end, the Spanish were generally eliminated through all the carnage, and the Pirates eventually retreated back to their harbour to repair their considerable losses. However, the English had arrived late to the battle, and still had fresh ships sailing up as the battle was ending. Therefore, they kept on sailing west through the area where the battle had been.

In the meantime, the Americans somehow managed to get the Cursed Conch during all of the chaos:

06-25-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
The Pirates are almost finished wiping out the Spanish, and the English eventually got involved also. The Americans/Mercenaries managed to get the Cursed Conch with the Santa Molina (with help from the Enterprise), but now they are under attack from the French.

Many ships were sunk today (the highlights being the Leicester, Revenant, Harbinger, and Acorazado), and now the fleets are trying to salvage what they can after the long melee and distribute shipwrights (because their home harbours are too far away, and they don’t have treasure to repair, I usually require a ship to pay two treasure points to repair at her home island if she doesn’t have a shipwright there, this is what I have done for years with my fantasy scenarios).

The French were exposed to the battle the least and have the most fresh ships. I am looking forward to the final conclusion of what looks like a week-long game, which will probably happen near the American/Mercenary harbour (where they headed after they got the conch).

 

The French (with their harbour based in the northwest) had started to sail southeast towards the main battle as well, but they didn’t get there in time. However, they arrived in the middle of the ocean just as the English were sailing west, and another battle became imminent!

The English and French didn’t have fleets nearly as large as the Pirates and Spanish, so the battle was shorter and less grand overall. I’m not sure who won, but both fleets were battered and weak by the end of it.

At this point, the Pirates had done a bunch of repairs and were ready to have another battle. They weren’t at the full strength they had been at before the Spanish battle, but they were plenty large enough to defeat any of the remaining fleets. They spotted the winner of the English/French battle and promptly sailed southwest to clean up the scraps. It was relatively easy for them to win, and for reasons I don’t remember the Americans had been eliminated as well (possibly as part of the English/French battle). The Pirates were the last fleet sailing, and therefore were the winners of this long cumulative game!  😀

That’s the best I can remember. It was one of the most memorable games I’ve ever played, and now that I’m done writing this it’s much longer than I expected it to be.

06-26-2011, 06-27-2011

a7xfanben wrote:
I am finishing up an unlimited point game where the fleets accumulate ships/crew as you go along, and it has taken about a week. At one point I had well over 100 ships in play at once…

The Pirates ended up winning, as the English and the French got tied up in a decent fleet action, which allowed the Pirates plenty of time to repair, regroup, and bring back some of their sunken ships.

Command the Oceans – Rules and Conditions (9/10/2017)

Command the Oceans

The time has come for me to play another solo campaign game! It will be the first game of this type since my Experimental cumulative game in January 2016, and the first (hopefully) longer-style physical campaign game I’ve played since Economy Edition in June 2015.

I’ve taken my own advice and used my Guide to huge games post to plan this thing out.

Rules

I will generally be using my Basic Rules. Most of the core game rules stay the same for those, and some of the bigger changes like the endgame rules won’t apply here since it’s a campaign game. However, I will point out two things from my Basic Rules to keep in mind:

-Ships cannot do damage by ramming.
-When a ship wins a boarding party, the winner decides whether they will take gold/resources or eliminate crew. The winner chooses which gold/resources to take, but the loser chooses which crew is eliminated.

Those are probably the two biggest things to remember from my rules for the battle reports for this particular game.

Now, onto the house rules! Some of these are subject to change depending on how things go.

-All ships and forts must be hit twice to eliminate one of their masts. These hits can come at any time; they do not have to come in the same turn or during the same shoot action. This rule also applies to ships such as El Acorazado, whose ability now reads “four hits are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts” (not necessarily the same shoot action). (I did this for my Century of the Empires game in 2013 and generally enjoy the rule quite a bit, and as I did back then I plan to track damage by putting the tiny dice next to a mast that has a hit on it)

-To make things even more realistic, ships with no masts remaining must be hit twice as many times as they have masts in order to sink. I used this rule in CotE as well, because ships almost never sunk from pure combat. However, in order to alleviate how many derelicts could be floating around as a result, scuttling attempts succeed on a die roll of 4 as well as 5 or 6.

-Ships can be shot at even if they are docked at their home islands.

-If a faction does not have any ships docked at their home island, all opposing ships may raid their home island freely, taking as much gold and resources as they want.

-Forts and flotillas do not follow the no-duplicates rule.

-Return to Savage Shores game pieces may be used.

-Custom game pieces may be used, as long as they aren’t too overpowered.

-Return fire: After a ship is shot at, that ship can return fire with any remaining cannons, but must roll a 5 or 6 to hit. This occurs during their opponent’s turn, and therefore does not count as any kind of action and cannot be used in conjunction with ANY abilities other than those on the ship that shot first. (such as a defensive ability that would still work as normal)

Land combat/ground forces

There will be opportunities for fleets to purchase army units from RISK for use in the game. There will not be territories and RISK rules, but there will be land warfare. These rules are extremely subject to change.

Infantry: 1 point, L move; can shoot at 3S to eliminate crew only (considered crew)
Artillery: 3 points, S move; can shoot at 2L as a regular cannon (considered equipment)

-These units can only use their abilities on land.
-These units count against the point and cargo restrictions on ships.
-These units must be unloaded with an explore action or an explored island marker – they are not subject to the “free transfer while docked” rule.
-Ships can fire on army units that they can reach with their cannon ranges, but once they are out of range they cannot be shot at. (in which case the attacker would need to land army units of their own on the island or somehow draw the units back into range)
-Army units are unloaded on islands at the location where the ship docked. They must be given move actions to move to other locations on the island. Army units cannot be given more than one action per turn, and they cannot be given extra actions by any means.

During land warfare, infantry units have a 3S cannon that can shoot at other army units, while artillery units have a 2L cannon. Infantry units are eliminated with one hit from any type of army unit, while artillery units are eliminated with two hits from infantry units and one hit from artillery units.

Money!
As of now, I am tentatively planning to use a combination of gold and resources on wild islands. Resources will follow the system implemented by cannonfury for his Economy Edition rules. For those unfamiliar, each resource is assigned a number 1-6 starting with lumber. An initial roll for resource value is made, which follows the “Die Roll” row below. Then 2 d6 are rolled to determine how many turns the values last before they change. As with Economy Edition, I will be using face up coins for resources and face down coins for gold.

Die Roll……1……2…….3…….4…….5…….6
Lumber……1……6…….5…….4…….3…….2
Textiles……2……1…….6…….5…….4…….3
Metals……..3……2…….1…….6…….5…….4
Fish………..4……3…….2…….1…….6…….5
Spices……..5……4…….3…….2…….1…….6
Luxuries…..6……5…….4…….3…….2…….1

Other rules

As you will eventually see, various custom house rules will need to be instituted during the game for different reasons. These include longer range lines of fire from higher altitude vantage points, in addition to custom rules for “special” game pieces. I anticipate this game getting chaotic to the point of absolute bedlam, but I will do my best to create rules so that certain things make sense and can be explained thematically and hopefully with proper rules as well.

Starting Conditions

As the name of the game implies, there will not be just one ocean area for this game. In fact, the space constraints and logistics of the two different rooms I’m playing in will result in not two but THREE different oceans! Very Happy The general sizes of these oceans are 6×3, 5×3, and 3×3, for a grand total of 42 square feet of ocean!

I will not say how many or which factions will be participating. All I can say is that the number is more than 4, but less than 10, as not all of the factions will be playing individually. The main factions will become obvious once play begins, but the factional boundaries will not necessarily stay constant until the end of the game. Along with the uncertainty of in-game house rules, this is one area in which even I don’t know what the future holds.

-Fleets will have 30 points for their starting fleet.

-Flat earth rules are being used.

The setup will be revealed in due time, don’t worry. Smile I will be purposely leaving some things “off camera” until the viewer needs to see what they are. Twisted Evil

Also, the factions don’t know the various areas well at all, as they’re new to the locations. As a result, things will seem a bit off at times, but this is simply to emphasize that the scale of the oceans is larger than it appears, so fleets cannot simply “see” something even if it looks clear in the actual pictures, since it’s farther away than it looks to us. This is part of the reason that the oceans will not be revealed from the start – the factions have to find their way by sailing around, so the reader of these reports is discovering things as the factions discover them! Very Happy

An important note about the setup: I consider the aesthetics of my games a pathetic joke compared to the gameplay itself, so if you don’t like how something looks, make a prettier version of it and send it to me lol. I am a firm believer that you can spend far too much time pondering about this game, making fleets for it, making detailed and beautiful custom terrain, but then complain that you don’t get to PLAY as much as you’d like. I am the opposite – I am sacrificing aesthetics and long hours spent toiling on stuff in order to PLAY THE GAME!

Victory Conditions

-Last fleet afloat wins the game.

-As I’ve warned with my other physical campaign games, this game may end very suddenly at any point in time. It may abruptly stop all of a sudden without me expecting it to. Even if it doesn’t, it may require an artificial “ending” depending on the circumstances, as physical campaign games are difficult to play to true completion (aka last fleet afloat wins). Therefore, in the case of an earlier finish, the fleet with the most points in play will win.

Other
-One of the three ocean areas is on the floor, but I will be preventing any disasters with proactive measures.
-To avoid this game taking over my soul like Economy Edition did in June 2015, I am going to attempt play limits. After the first week or so of play, I plan to only play one turn per day. I plan to do battle reports consistently, possibly even on a per-turn basis.

Please comment what you think about this game! I would LOVE to have feedback on the rules I’m using, the setup, the house rules I’m implementing, and anything else you find interesting. Don’t hesitate to comment which faction you’re rooting for, or what you thought of something that happened. I want as much interaction as possible!
-I have some surprises for you all, and some things that people will be happy to see. I am very excited to play this game and I hope that a lot of people read about it! Even if you don’t plan to post in the thread, go ahead and hit “Watch this topic for replies” at the bottom of the page so you don’t miss the excitement! Smile

Final note of warning: I am about as hyped for this game as I have ever been before starting a game of Pirates CSG. I have purposely made this post somewhat nonchalant, but I believe my enthusiasm will show through indeed. If this thing somehow, someway, works out, we are all in for a wild, WILD ride. O_O

Command the Oceans – Play Begins! (9/11/2017)

Please read the first post if you haven’t already!

PLAY HAS BEGUN!

The first resource rolls! For the first 8 turns, fish would be the most valuable resource.

Introducing: Captain Mysion’s Pirate Kingdom!

After being inspired by his flavor text, I made a Pirate Empire fleet to showcase what I thought of the idea. Now I’ve taken it a step further! With a large piece of foam cut to form a hideout inside, as well as arch entrance and exit points, I now have a “Pirate Kingdom” in physical form!!
The self-proclaimed King of Pirates is either a genius or a buffoon, depending on which side you are on. Though many of his actions are inexplicable, they seem to work out for him in the end. And when it’s all said and done he lords over the only defensive pirate haven in the world.A group of shipwrecked pirates stole a ship to escape their island prison, not realizing it was a secret Cursed vessel. Taking it to Captain Mysion’s pirate “kingdom”, they received a hero’s welcome.

Here you can just make out all three Pirate ships that are in Mission’s starting fleet. At the bottom of the picture, notice the splash of gold…

At ship level now, this is the southern entrance (for this game) of the kingdom. Notice the imposing rocky walls that make up the archway leading inside. Sail too close, and yards may begin flying everywhere!

Up close above the northern arch.

This is just above sea level at the southwestern corner. There is a foreboding deep cave, with some weeds and foliage growing in many spots of the formerly uninhabited rock.

Another great view from above, showing most of the rocky haven. Notice the flat parts surrounding that high outcropping in the middle, as well as the shelf-like outcropping protruding from the western wall.

A golden waterfall?!? Shocked Smile Or, as Mysion likes to call it, his “goldfall”. Very Happy

A view from the gold waterfall, showing the two Pirate sloops. As you can see, one of them is nestled in against the interior wall for superior defensive positioning. The other sloop is docked against one of the arch entrances, ready to sail out at a moment’s notice.

The “goldfall” leads straight to the Cassandra, and you guessed it – Mission is aboard! However, this is his Mysterious Islands iteration, and he’ll try to give extra actions to his new ship to make her extra effective.

With great fanfare, Mission leaves his kingdom and sets out into the sea! What a great scene!!

Mission’s helpers are currently the Smiling Jim and the Fancy. Both are speedy and accurate Pirate sloops, but neither can carry much cargo. However, the Cassandra certainly can! This was all part of Mission’s plan for such a new area – as long as he kept the goodies in his personal stores, the crew on the other ships couldn’t tempt the others into coming aboard and leaving Mission. A clever Pirate indeed. Clever enough to not only find such an amazing natural defensive structure, but exploit it to the point of making it a powerful pirate base.

But this isn’t just a party for pirates, now is it?! Look who’s here: the Jade Rebellion is back!! On their own once again, the Jade Rebels are looking to avenge a frustrating loss in their own home waters of the South China Seas during the Experimental cumulative game about a year and a half ago. Leading their efforts this time around are two brand-new ships to my collection: the huge GRAND WIND and the Sea Snake! Warlord Cavendish commands the Grand Wind, with a helmsman aboard to make the ship sail at an acceptable pace.

The Jade Rebels seemingly appeared out of nowhere at the edge of this ocean, which is not just “Ocean #1” (for gameplay purposes and turn order), but also the Sea of Allost! (pronounced like you’re saying “all lost” as one word, not like ballast hah) The sea was so named because according to ancient legends, “all are lost who travel these waters”. This is not true in the least, as sailors seem to find their way rather easily in the Sea of Allost. (note: I love mispronouncing the real life Sea of Azov as “A-zovv” so this was a way for me to make a similar sounding name along with a vague flavor explanation lol)

Welcome to the Caribbean!

Well, kind of. XD Due to space constraints and another factor, it doesn’t resemble the Caribbean at all, but more a tiny snapshot of one fictionalized area of the Caribbean. By fictionalized, I mean that there are a couple Caribbean-type things involved, but they aren’t in their regular locations and the scale is tiny. (as it had to be, unfortunately) For the purposes of turn order and sequence, this is also known as Ocean #2.

Clearly the English have arrived! They sail in on two more ships that I built just before the game started, as I usually try to do with physical campaign games. HMS Viceroy and HMS Apollo have officially entered Royal Navy service, and they are eager to prove themselves in such fine and beautiful waters. Speaking of beautiful, check out their home island! You may recognize the style and aesthetics of it, and indeed it is yet another creation from Ross in AZ. You are probably impressed, but don’t be jealous of me – you can get some too! He sells (and sometimes trades) them; check out details on his Facebook page.

The English depart from Port Royal, looking for ways to maximize English wealth and territorial claims.

Ohhh boy!! Spain is back in action! After a dominant showing in the first VASSAL campaign game, they’re off to a HOT start in the third one. Now they’ve invaded the Caribbean and look for another victory! Setting sail from their home island of Hispaniola (thematically), the Spanish fleet contains a familiar ship: the San Estaban! This ship was one of the luckiest ships ever during my Economy Edition game two years ago, so naturally the Spanish are looking to capitalize on the ship’s rich history and surprise unknowing opponents.

Joining the San Estaban are the Magdalena and La Ebro, good sloops from subpar sets. Obviously they are using another island from Rossinaz, while in the background you can see a little preview or “taste” of the Caribbean. Smile A dangerous rock lies in wait, while my handmade sandbars are to the right.

The Spanish split their fleet into three, so they can explore more than one area of the Caribbean at a time.

The crew of the Ebro spot the imposing rock, whose height is nearly the same as the Ebro’s single mast! Before we leave the Caribbean for now, a note about the oceans: as you can generally see already, I am using a combination of completely fictional locations (Sea of Allost) along with a small but pseudo-historical real location (Caribbean). I realize this mix of reality and fantasy is not for everyone, but I can promise you that it will be worth it. Just keep reading. Smile

Introducing: The HARBOR!!

It’s here! With an absolute bevy of ideas percolating in my head over the past few weeks, the Harbor makes a grand entrance. The Harbor was cut from a large piece of foam, as the middle chunk was easily removed to leave a massive frame that works great as a defensible harbor.

In this Sea of Karkuda (name subject to change, also Ocean #3 for playing purposes), the French have arrived to build a massive harbor complex that eclipses the engineering feats of just about all other factions in any “game” ever. However, by the time they were done building it, they were nearly broke and could only afford a single dock for their ships!! Hahah!

A slightly more overhead view, showing how large the man-made structure is. The main harbor rule is as follows: Harbor docks of any size cost 10 gold apiece. I’m hoping this will be a reasonable way to let the French expand their operations within their luxurious confines, without being too cheap to allow for easy exploitation since the French are VERY lucky to have even built it in the first place. It’s capable of holding far more ships than Mysion’s kingdom, and may also be a stronger defensive haven. Therefore, it seems only fair that the French must build it up in order to have a drawback for using it from the beginning of the game. Oh, and another thing: ships must unload at docks within the Harbor, as the main walls cannot be docked at by any ships on the inside OR the outside. This forces the French to travel further inside to unload things, but also forces any potential home island raiders to brave arguably the most dangerous gauntlet of defense constructed in a Pirates game.

I hope you enjoyed the introduction of my new Harbor area. I initially had some issues with it which I’ll expand upon later, but now that I’ve done some serious brainstorming and thinking (thus the word bevy, harhar!), it has the potential to be an all-time great.

Well! Let’s not forget about the faction who controls the Harbor, shall we? The French! Sailing out with an Admiral’s Action to start the game provided by Amiral Gaston de St. Croix, the Soleil Royal is back in action! After a lengthy hiatus, one of my favorite French ships ever returns to physical play. A triumphant return indeed, for she is already sailing at a good clip with Gaston’s help. Speaking of help, Gaston has some of his own. Duncan Rousseau is excited about sailing around the Sea of Karkuda, and provides a nice reroll for the AA ability. His Parley can help to keep the Soleil Royal safe if she gets into a quarry with an enemy, while a helmsman has also been hired to make the ship sail with the best of them. Trailing the SR is the Marianne, a slow but underrated sloop.

I will be making attempts to play this game during peak natural lighting, but some turns (especially those in Karkuda) may have some darker shots. The flash will come in handy, though I’d like to avoid using it a lot because it can look rather strange and unnatural. In this case it helps to illuminate the beauty of the Soleil Royal and show off the basic cardboard I used for the dock lol. With a thick enough piece it can be very durable and comes with a nice wooden color, so I can just cut it and use it without further modification!

Making an entrance similar to the Jades, the Americans are here! They sail into the Sea of Karkuda on two ships: the Bonhomme Richard, legend of the North Sea, and the Argo, legend of nothing. XD Brent Rice and a helmsman crew the Bonhomme Richard, a ship that unfortunately had a very loose mizzenmast when I received her constructed in an eBay lot some years ago. I have not used either ship as much as I’d like to have, especially the BR, so they comprise America’s starting fleet.

The Argo has already spotted an island, but it looks very rocky and inhospitable, at least to humans. However, it has been named “Luck Island” due to the “lucky stone” on top of the main outcropping. (note: In my childhood, summer vacations on a local lake with a rock-filled beach led to the finding of some “lucky stones”, which are simply stones that have a clean hole all the way through) The Americans don’t want to settle on Luck Island, but they also don’t want to go through that dangerous-looking swirl of water off the starboard side of the BR….

Luck Island, with the hole in the rock showing the BR’s jib. A keen eye will notice “land ho!” off in the distance, but that doesn’t mean the Americans can see it yet. (a rare instance of you glimpsing something before the sailors do, as I noted in the first post of this thread)

(Karkuda comes from other real-life location names I enjoy, such as the Sea of Marmara, Barbados, Barbuda, etc.)

If you’ve been keeping count, we are now up to 3 oceans (Allost, Caribbean, Karkuda), 2 rooms (Karkuda is in a different room), and 6 factions. Not to mention some fun new creations!! And don’t worry, the fun nearly hasn’t even started yet! XD We’re only one turn in!

Another round of turns begins! Mysion on the Cassandra sees a familiar sight he saw on his trip in, but he’s been busy “renovating” the now-active Pirate Kingdom base. It’s Pistol Island, so named for its distinctive shape. (long handle at the left, with a barrel at the right and even a bit of a flared muzzle like a flintlock to boot!) Note: This is a rock I discovered at the aforementioned lake many years ago, but this is the first time I’ve used it in a Pirates game. It’s further proof that I’ve been at this nautical stuff for a while, since I may have found it before I got into Pirates and possibly even before the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out!

The Jade Rebellion has quickly found a perfect island to call home in the Sea of Allost! Both ships dock at the beach, but they’re still organizing parties for exploratory purposes.

An imposing sight: the Viceroy carries not only Thomas Gunn, but also Major Peter Sharpe, a bargain-priced marine in the employ of England. The name Gunn is probably familiar to most readers, as the most effective Admiral of the Age in many respects. His new post has him in control of just two ships, but if fortune smiles upon his fate he will command many more before too long….

Oh no! The San Estaban’s luck appears to be more pedestrian already than it was in EE, for the Spanish captain and helmsman aboard the vessel only find some rocks and reefs blocking their path.

The Ebro meets a similar dilemma, and her crew sticks with the plan of meeting with her fleetmates instead of forging ahead with her ability to ignore terrain while moving.

The entire Spanish fleet, showing a good chunk of the Caribbean.

Back to Karkuda: what beauty! The French flagship gets a second consecutive AA from Gaston, allowing her to dock at a nearby wild island and explore it!

With the first island resource roll of the game, the French discover yummy food on the nice island! Here you can see the Merchants and Marauders token I’ll use, along with a French pennant marker.

The Americans discover an island much more “human friendly” than Luck Island! They plan to make it their home after exploring it, similar to the Jades in the Sea of Allost.

That is all for the time being, but I’ll be back with more very soon. However, in the meantime I thought I’d leave you with a final picture, a preview of sorts. This is an undiscovered wild island, which will be called “The Flat” for obvious reasons. It’s another old rock from a long time ago, but in this case it was recently glued back together to look the part for this game! Haha. I hope you enjoyed the start of Command the Oceans. CTO for short, the name was partially inspired by a book I read a few years ago.

Command the Oceans – A Grand Reveal… (9/11/2017)

Turn 3!

Mission reaches Pistol Island at the helm of the Cassandra:

Notice the distinctive shape, hence where the island gets its name:

Wow! All three Pirate ships reach wild islands in the same turn! The Smiling Jim reaches one of my older custom islands while the Fancy docks at a classic from Rossinaz.

The Jade Rebels explore their island, making it their new home! They are slightly disappointed to not find any resources or gold on it, but they like the thought of using that cave to hide valuables….

Introducing: Diamond Rock!

The incredible historical creation is here!!

This had been an idea of mine for quite a while. After creating a custom fort for use in my RISK game back in 2012, I had considered trying to make a physical version of the rock. However, between my lack of desire to spend many hours attempting to create a realistic copy, and the similarities between the stuff created by Ross in AZ and the pictures of the rock, I decided to reach out to Ross and ask about potentially making a physical copy of Diamond Rock for use in Pirates games. Shortly afterwards I now own one of the coolest custom game pieces ever made for this game!!

HMS Apollo docks at the massive rock, while the Viceroy stands guard.

(note: the Sea of Allost and the Caribbean are in a room formerly occupied by a female, so just a heads-up if you ever see decidedly feminine things in the background of pictures lol!)

Ross did a fantastic job making a lifelike Diamond Rock, and I’m extremely excited to use it in my games! Note the cave on the side, which is where the Royal Navy was able to install some artillery on their “ship” during the Napoleonic Wars.

The Magdalena was approaching the rock, but with the dangerous Viceroy in position, the Spanish may think twice about attempting to land at the single beachy area (another historical touch, as most of the island was inhospitable to ships).

As Mickey ironically watches over his own Caribbean franchise, wondering where the Pirates are….

Deja vu! The Royal Navy reaches Diamond Rock first, and claim it as their own. The Viceroy’s rows of bristling guns serve to back up that claim.

Notice the cave beyond the beach along with the foliage, which looks remarkably similar to the real thing. (I highly recommend looking at pictures and old paintings of it, since it’s so unique and cool)

The Spanish arrive!, but alas they appear to be too late.

O_O
Imposing indeed! (click the picture to get the full size version!)

I turned the camera to get this cool shot, which I feel is one of the most realistic of the game so far. A sloop comes around the side of Diamond Rock, whose bulk obscured a large English warship lurking beyond. Almost makes you feel like you’re actually sailing around the rock!

Obviously I can’t get enough of this awesomeness! However, that is all of Diamond Rock for now, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we already have.

The San Estaban turns around, hoping to meet with her other ships and discuss their findings of the area.

The crew of the Ebro is thinking the same thing:

The Soleil Royal prepares to give her fish to the Marianne, allowing her to return to the island and get more and maximize French logistics.

The flash makes it less natural, but it does show the pretty colors of the French ships and the “deep blue” sheen of this unique silky ocean fabric I also used in the Experimental cumulative game.

The Americans explore the wild island and make it their home!

Back in the Sea Allost, turn 4 begins with a Pirate exploration! Mission fittingly uncovers metals on Pistol Island, filling the Cassandra to the brim.

With all three Pirate ships docked as of last turn, it would inevitably lead to all three exploring on this turn! The Smiling Jim finds textiles:

And the Fancy finds Spices!

With three different resource types on nearby islands, the Pirates are now set up for long-term wealth. A great start for them indeed!

The Jade Rebels sail away from their home island for the first time, heading west. The eastern path is blocked by a giant wall of dense fog….

Back in the Caribbean, the Apollo explores and finds textiles! The Viceroy docks at Diamond Rock to load some as well.

Now the Spanish are just plain jealous! LOL!

The Spanish have a fleet meeting to discuss their exploratory operations. The San Estaban’s captain remarks that he found reefs and rocks and turn for home. The Ebro found similar things, but also a mysterious weedy mixture in the ocean to the northeast of their HI. The Magdalena reported on finding the gigantic Diamond Rock, as well as the English who had gotten there first. The captains began brainstorming ways to get resources and simultaneously force the English out of the region….

With an eastern viewpoint this time, we are back in the Sea of Karkuda where the French are hungry for more food!

Shimmering blue waters surround beautiful ships and a similarly beautiful, “fruitful” island.

The Americans do some exploring of their own! The Argo heads back to Luck Island so she can investigate it, while the Bonhomme Richard quickly discovers a new island. Although small, Brent Rice names it Ruby Island due to the reddish hue that appears near the island’s edges.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think of the game so far, and stay ready for more!