This game against Gazerbeam543 was in Studio City, California. We used his GF9 islands along with almost all the terrain I had with me.
I went first with the French:
Le Triton + Lenoir (RotF version), captain, helmsman, oarsman
La Bonne Chance + captain
L’Afrique (BC version) + captain, helmsman
Le Courageux + captain
The idea was a balanced French fleet that had captains on every ship to take advantage of the various decent guns and still leave plenty of cargo open for gold. Essentially 3 hybrids along with the Bonne Chance.
He went with a Spanish Pirate fleet:
San Cristobal + Victor de Alva (F&S version), Duque Marcus Vaccaro, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Akua Lapu + Hammersmith (F&S version), Crimson Angel (OE version), Coconut
The SC got an EA and round earthed to blast my French fleet. Despite taking some severe pounding, both the Bonne Chance and Courageux survived the assault. Knowing I had a captain on every ship, I was excited to strike back with full force.
In some typical bad cannon luck for me, I returned fire with all seven remaining cannons but only hit twice!
The SC made a break for it but without EA she was easily caught by the Triton and Bonne, who combined to shoot her to the bottom in a reversal of fortune!
At this point both fleets had gotten some gold. The San Cristobal fight was a 4-on-1 action, and the rest of the game looked to be the same with only the Akua Lapu remaining for Gazerbeam’s fleet. Knowing I had Lenoir’s Parley face down on the Triton, I felt comfortable sailing her east to contest the Akua Lapu’s exploration efforts.
The AL found Turtles! These tokens are from Tilorfire27 of the discord server.
The AL returns home with yet more gold, the Triton starts running over turtles, and the Courageux and Bonne Chance repair.
The AL sails back out to attack the Triton, but Lenoir is flipped. Unfortunately in the random draw I Parleyed away my most valuable coin (a 5), but it left the Triton intact to blast off most of the AL’s masts.
The AL flees into fog while the turtle assault intensifies. Kill the wee turtles!! The Afrique and Bonne Chance get in on the action, whacking the greenies out of the water left and right.
Not a single turtle survived the three-pronged French assault, but I was still facing an uphill battle to win the gold race. The Courageux has picked up some lower value coins from the middle island while the Triton and Afrique make a break for the northern island. Blue blur at left is a d6 roll accidentally captured mid-roll. XD
The newly repaired AL sank the Bonne Chance and took a mast off the Courageux, who found the Frond of Fisaga in the southeast. I was happy that such events seemed like sufficient distraction for the Triton and Afrique to get home safely with their gold.
The Akua Lapu finishes off the Courageux before moving on to the French HI. The Triton returns home with gold, blasting a mast off as she pulls into port. However, the Afrique can’t quite make it and will hide in fog until the opportune moment.
Soon afterwards the Afrique emerged to dock home the final coins, ending the game!
1.Gazerbeam543: 33 gold
A solid game against Gazerbeam with some worthwhile abilities used. Perhaps if I had come with a more competitive fleet, if Gazerbeam hadn’t gotten so many EA’s/SAT’s, or Parley hadn’t resulted in a 10-gold swing, the outcome may have been different. Thanks for reading!
Ahoy there! I met up with JW Darkhurst and Gazerbeam543 at Gazerbeam’s house in LA for the final two games of my time in SoCal!
The setup was quite simple – round earth rules, no terrain, with a build total of 120 points.
I went with Calypso on the Floating Stone once again, this time with the Divine Dragon as the primary gunship. The Frontier would be the main gold hauler, but the inclusion of the Coleoptera (a gold version produced by Vulkan) and Slipstream promised to change things up a bit.
Gazerbeam’s fleet was led by HMS Endeavour, with other fine ships accompanying her to include the Neptune’s Hoard, Virtuous Wind and Algeciras.
JW’s fleet had another Frontier along with a trio of large competitive vessels: Enterprise, San Cristobal, and 025 Black Pearl.
We were all loaded with plenty of face down crew!
Calypso’s roll didn’t kick in on round 1 so I kept my non-submergeable ships docked at the home island.
Gazerbeam’s fleet was quickly revealed to be heavily reliant on Sac, with the Neptune’s Hoard and Virtuous Wind easily exploring wild islands because of it. JW’s fleet splits up, with the San Cristobal shadowing the NH.
Seeing an opportunity to potentially capture a second Frontier, El Fantasma sacs an oarsman to send the Divine Dragon into battle. She dismasts the Black Pearl but uses all her firepower to do so!
Negative UT’s have been a real thorn in my side lately and I’ve gotten pretty sick of it. In this case Jail warped the Frontier’s somewhat impressive crew complement to my home island, while Maps of Hades could prove annoying if the rolls went poorly. The submerged Coleoptera is mostly sitting there as a deterrent.
In the meantime, Calypso creates a whirlpool, but the Slipstream is too slow to reach it. This was partly due to a fleet building error on my part where I had to dump the Slipstream’s helmsman last minute due to exceeding the point limit of the ship.
With help from a double action and LE Griffin, the Endeavour sails over and blasts the Frontier, dismasting her! In an attempt to salvage the situation, the gold is unloaded back to the island and into a newly built Paradis de la Mer.
The Black Pearl was able to row home to safety, but the San Cristobal bore the brunt of the Divine Dragon’s next attack. However, JW’s Frontier was free to grab some cargo from the SC. The Virtuous Wind has Plague aboard and it looks like she will team up with the Algeciras+Diablo combo to harass some enemies.
The San Cristobal also had a helmsman and oarsman just like the Black Pearl, and so was able to quickly row home to safety. The Enterprise gets an EA to blast away at the Divine Dragon, hitting consistently to cripple the junk.
The Divine Dragon sacs to reach a whirlpool that carries her nearly all the way home. The Slipstream rammed the Virtuous Wind, giving the submarine the Plague. The Endeavour is not willing to assault Paradis de la Mer, at least not alone. The fog banks are actually trade currents created by a navigator on my Coeur du Lion.
Lots of repairs were carried out at home islands late in the game, but we called it soon afterwards.
Gazerbeam: 24 gold
JW Darkhurst: 11
We agreed to play a second game with the same fleets. However, the setup was changed substantially, with a new cardboard “castle” of sorts being placed in the center of the map. It could only be docked at where the black marks are (the westernmost area), and it contained a little extra gold. We added terrain with the stipulation that it had to be placed in chains of at least 3 terrain each. This led to some long strings.
Such a pretty game!
As could be expected by now, Gazerbeam and I quickly came to blows battling over the center island’s contested beach. The Cassandra was blasted apart, but I knew HMS Endeavour would come calling soon enough.
At the upper right, Gazerbeam’s gold runners have sacced to wild islands. At the lower right, JW pairs the SC and BP while the Enterprise may try to sail around the castle on her own. Up top, notice the Coleoptera has round earthed near Gazerbeam’s home island….
Gazerbeam brought many guns to bear on my forces, sinking HMS Lady Provost and damaging both the Divine Dragon and Frontier. I scooted home to repair, disappointed that he was able to extricate the Cassandra from the chaos. Various details have been forgotten in these recent reports, as battle reports written on the same day as the game is played is much more optimal than trying to describe things weeks later.
My plan is revealed as the Captain Villanueva surfaces the Coleoptera to steal a coin from Gazerbeam’s home island! He’d like to stay and take another next turn, but this is likely suicide with the Neptune’s Hoard docked only a few yards away. Instead, Lord Mycron sacrifices the Patagonia’s action to send the Coleoptera back through the whirlpool she came from, upon which she is near Calypso’s initial whirlpool by my HI and within hoisting range for the Frontier to take and then deposit the stolen loot onto my HI all in one turn!
The Endeavour continued sailing, going south to dismast JW’s Black Pearl. The latter gets home as she did last game, with the San Cristobal also escaping. Up top, the Enterprise may be looking to crush the Neptune’s Hoard, but possibly just missed her chance.
A battlefield developed around JW’s home island, with the Frontier coming through a new whirlpool that allowed canceller DNT to cancel Lawrence on the Endeavour! The Divine Dragon was next, with Fantasma saccing an oarsman to blast away at the Endeavour and finally sink the legendary flagship for good!
Alas, it was too late, as Gazerbeam had earned another victory!
4 Player 60 Point game in LA using Points in Play!
January 30th, 2022
Ahoy again! Just one day after meeting up with 3 other players in Los Angeles for a pair of games, I picked up Xerecs and Gingerninja for a game at Gazerbeam’s house!
We sat down for a 60 point game using the points in play house rule where total points in play would be added to gold for a total score.
Here in LA there be pirates!! XD
I went with a similar fleet from the day before, with the Wicked Wench, Star of Siam, and Philadelphia reprising their roles while the Longshanks replaced HMS Hound for a more optimal crew setup on the Wicked Wench. (no English in my fleet meant I could use F&S Hammersmith on the WW) Gingerninja opted for the Fetu from RtSS, the White Rose, and two smaller ships. The 025 Black Pearl (Gazerbeam) and RV Neptune’s Hoard (Xerecs) were also present. Crazy enough, I was the only player not using the Bloody Jewel in this game!
My Star of Siam and Longshanks worked on draining an island, but the Black Pearl approaches. At the upper right, Xerecs starts a UPS combo with the Neptune’s Hoard carrying the common version of Captain Jack Sparrow.
With my fleet speeding home to unload, the Black Pearl finds a new target in the Neptune’s Hoard. The latter is sunk! Some ships make moves on gold in the southeast, while at the upper left you can see the Fetu busy hoisting treasure aboard.
I built a fort on said southeastern island, but it was quickly smashed up and made abandoned! However, my fleet descended on the scene, with the Wicked Wench and Philadelphia looking to team up and capture a Longshanks.
Gingerninja was in the middle of some gold running for the ages when the Black Pearl suddenly got involved! However, luckily for him the Fetu survived the broadside with a mast standing!
The Fetu may have escaped for now, but the White Rose is slammed on her way home:
The Philadelphia warps home the second Longshanks of my fleet, with a pair of Bloody Jewels docked at the top of the picture.
From left to right: Gingerninja’s Bloody Jewel takes the White Rose under tow; the Black Pearl flees into fog after losing a second mast; the Philadelphia docks at the same island Le Pique is at; (top of frame) my original Longshanks round earths to dismast a target gold runner.
Just had to admire the Star of Siam a bit – it was great to use the physical ship after so many years of wanting her!
Gingerninja gets the White Rose home, with a fat stack of gold piling up….
After what I think was a ram and then an explore action on the next turn, the Philadelphia has robbed Gingerninja of his Le Pique! This was another frustrating time for me with dice rolling, as the Wicked Wench couldn’t get the roll needed to whirl-steal from Gingerninja’s home island in one turn. Even if I got lucky it would be risky. At the top of the frame, the Longshanks needs to eliminate the one master’s oarsman to capture her, but help is on the way in the form of a Bloody Jewel and the Black Pearl….
Repairs occur as the Wicked Wench basically waits for a good roll that will allow her to move and HI hoard coming out of a whirlpool.
The Longshanks and Star of Siam return to home waters as I consolidate my fleet:
Or not! They round earth to the northwest, where the Wicked Wench has finally arrived! However, in a very smart move, Gingerninja has positioned the Fetu and Bloody Jewel perfectly so that the WW cannot move out of the whirlpool and dock at his home island to steal gold. Frustrated, I move the Wicked Wench into the fog bank nearby. Gazerbeam has retained his one masted French ship and repairs the Black Pearl.
At this point the players voted to call the game, although there was still gold in my abandoned fort.
A7XfanBen: 100 combined points+gold
I was happy to finally win a game, though it comes with the asterisk of not knowing exactly how a true endgame would have played out with the fort gold. In the end my capture of Gingerninja’s Pique made the difference, as he would have won 99-95 if he had retained it. The Black Pearl wrecked Xerecs’ plans very early, putting him in a hole that was too hard to climb out of. Gingerninja and Gazerbeam played good games and overall it was another successful day of pirating!
I met up with Gazerbeam543, JW Darkhurst, and Xerecs at Gazerbeam’s house in Los Angeles! We played a game utilizing the points in play endgame condition: whoever has the most points in play PLUS gold at the end of the game wins. This includes forts, ships, crew, equipment, etc. We also used round earth rules.
My fleet was based on a home island hoarder, a ship-stealer (partly because of the points in play house rule), and two gold runners.
Gazerbeam set sail with the French, led by Le Superbe with Lady Roimata on board. The custom crew card is from some impressive photoshop and printing skills! (the crew underneath her not shown are also on the Superbe)
Xerecs was going multi-faction, with Intermediaro, a varied crew setup on the Grand Barnacle, the only Pirate submarine in the game, and the Devil Ray! O_O
JW Darkhurst went Pirate pure and had the most ships of any fleet in play.
(In hindsight these pictures and therefore battle report will be rather first-person focused) I was very cautious in the beginning of the game not to lose my main assets too early. I wanted time to allow the Wicked Wench to make off with a big hoard, with the Philadelphia likely staying close to steal any ships that the WW could dismast.
HMS Hound built Ramsgate on an island in between the home islands of myself and Gazerbeam, potentially fueling yet further fighting between the two of us. The Philadelphia hid in fog while the Wicked Wench eyed JW’s Treasure. I sort of agreed that JW Darkhurst could have that middle island’s gold if he didn’t attack me with the Treasure, but I haven’t been in the mood to play nice lately. It is a game called Pirates after all! XD I blame it on excessive experience and boredom with straitlaced in-person gamesmanship. XD (for better or worse…)
Icebergs were a threatening presence throughout, though worrying about them proved mostly unnecessary.
In the northeast, Intermediaro has used its one-of-a-kind ability to place treasure on the Coleoptera, who speeds home to give it to the Grand Barnacle. However, the French seem to be on their way….
Le Superbe strikes, revealing canceller Lenoir to blast away at Intermediaro! This could put a serious dent in Xerecs’ gold-gathering plans, as the squid scrambles for safety in a fog bank.
In the meantime, the Wicked Wench has grabbed all 4 coins from the middle island, though unfortunately she had to drop a crew in order to make the gold fit. Once it did, Captain Jack Sparrow’s ability was triggered… giving her a move action! O_O That’s right, I was using the Rare version of Captain Jack Sparrow, not the Common one which is far more powerful. Overall though I didn’t think through the setup perfectly, as I had to swap Hostile: England Hammersmith for a regular captain+helmsman combo, which forced a crew off to make things fit. Perhaps I got a little too desperate to use CJS’ ability.
The Philadelphia has picked up the Wicked Wench’s captain:
Will round earth introduce new possibilities to this matchup?
At the top of the frame, Gazerbeam continues gathering gold as the Superbe continues sailing east. The Wicked Wench is nearly home with her loot.
JW Darkhurst had decided not to attack with the Treasure, leaving the Wicked Wench and Philadelphia to return home peacefully.
With Le Superbe looming north of them, JW’s fleet regroups as the square rigged ships sail home with gold aboard.
Gazerbeam’s small gold runners have unloaded gold to his home island. My entire fleet is pointed towards his, with the Wicked Wench possibly looking to steal multiple coins and deposit them in Ramsgate if needed. However, Xerecs’ Coleoptera submarine has whirled into the area, potentially complicating the situation….
The return of the Superbe to home waters deters any would-be home island hoarding, as the prospect of getting cancelled and blown to bits is too risky for me to make a strong move on Gazerbeam’s HI. During this round most of the ships happened to be very close to their respective home islands. Xerecs was able to add gold bonuses to the coin that the Coleoptera gave to the Grand Barnacle.
Le Superbe assaults Ramsgate! Part of the reason I built the fort was to hopefully extend the game beyond its natural end point, as gold in forts is “available” per the endgame rules. 🙂 This may frustrate opponents but is the perfect storm for a fleet with home island raiding, as it keeps the game alive so late-game raids can potentially be carried out (not to mention having the fort as a potential dropoff spot for stolen loot as mentioned above). Ramsgate lost all but its extended range cannon in the attack!
It was now my turn to strike, with the Wicked Wench and HMS Hound taking out 3 masts on Le Superbe. Whether due to home island placements or just coincidence, it seems that Gazerbeam and I are destined to be rivals lol.
As expected, JW Darkhurst plays it safe as more gold arrives at his home island.
At this point, Ramsgate was the only thing keeping the game alive. The other players didn’t want to play it out to the end as per the official rules, so the game was called early with me retaining the fort’s gold. I kind of agreed to let the game end under protest as I figured I needed to keep the game alive longer so the Wicked Wench could have an opportunity to steal someone’s gold to give me the win.
JW Darkhurst: 96 total points+gold in play
With that, JW Darkhurst has a win! He collected the most gold and that was enough to pull out the win. It remains to be seen what would have happened if things had been played to full completion, as this becomes one of those “what if” or asterisk games.
Game 2: Co-op/Teams!
For the second game of the day, we did something we had been discussing via discord for a while: having two teams face off! I had heard of the “co-op” idea various times in the past, but had never tried it before. With 4 players total, it was the perfect opportunity for a 2v2 game.
Each player would have their own independent 80 point fleet and associated home island. However, when an endgame condition was met, a combined gold score for each team of 2 players would be compared against each other (no points in play house rule for this game). Players could drop off gold at their teammates’ home islands and forts, but they could still be shot at while docked at a teammates’ home island.
We rolled dice to determine teams – I think it was based on matching d6 rolls. If you roll the same as someone else, you’re on a team with them. Ironically, Gazerbeam and I ended up together against the brothers Xerecs and JW Darkhurst.
The fleets used were somewhat similar, but with some notable changes. I used the additional points to include a Deliverance setup, while Calypso laid face down on the Floating Stone to maximize my range and attack potential.
Gazerbeam included a Sac setup on the Virtuous Wind:
Xerecs swapped some crew on the Grand Barnacle, notably adding two tribal chieftains to his fleet (the other on HMS Antelope) for a whopping 10 native canoes!
One set of native canoes was proxied by turtle ships since we didn’t have enough.
JW Darkhurst swapped Pirates for a mostly Franco-Spanish fleet with a lot of cargo capacity:
The team dynamic was pretty incredible. I made sure to have a private conversation with Gazerbeam as play started to make sure we were on the same page. The amount of planning and variables can be rather immense, especially when trying to coordinate which ships are going to which islands, who to potentially attack, where to place Calypso’s whirlpools, etc. Crucially, Calypso missed her initial rolls even with help from LaFontaine, so my fleet kind of just flitted about on turn 1. The exception was the Star of Siam, which I was using for the first time today after missing out on the Revolution Super Rares for many years.
Soon afterwards conflict has erupted! The Wicked Wench used a whirlpool from Calypso to blast two masts off the Santa Isabel of JW’s fleet, but the Deliverance couldn’t get an extra action coming out of a different whirlpool. She was trying to hit the native canoes, one of which has loaded gold via Intermediaro’s handy ability.
In the northeast, the English native canoes have unloaded some gold at Xerecs’ HI. At the lower right, the Virtuous Wind has round earthed to grab some gold. Le Superbe has dismasted the Raven in the center.
It quickly became apparent to me that throwing the Wicked Wench into action was a bonehead move on my part, as L’Ange de la Mer moved in for a dismasting. However, my ally Gazerbeam had a solid turn; although the Superbe didn’t get Roimata’s SAT, she captured the Raven and the Intrepide built Paradis de la Mer. The Santa Isabel has unloaded a bunch of gold +2 at JW’s home island.
Missing her SAT roll once again, the Deliverance abandons her anti-canoe mission to focus on rescuing the Wicked Wench. Gazerbeam and Xerecs have respectively unloaded and loaded a hefty amount of treasure.
In a devastating blow for me, the Wicked Wench is sunk by JW’s L’Ange. The Deliverance hits her 3 times for some measure of revenge, while the Superbe docks the captured Raven at Paradis, allowing the schooner to repair.
Elements of Xerecs’ fleet have appeared in the west:
As the available gold dwindles down, the Virtuous Wind and her home island raiding ability become a target. Xerecs closes in, but help for Gazerbeam’s Virtuous Wind appears to be on the way in the form of the Deliverance. The center of the map has become peaceful again.
The Virtuous Wind docks home gold, but the game is very much up in the air. The existence of Paradis de la Mer means that the game should continue even if all other gold is unloaded to home islands.
At this point Calypso has created nearly a full ring of whirlpools around my home island, but as time goes on there are less and less good spots for other whirlpools within L of wild islands, simply because so many have already been placed. In the northwest, conflict has inevitably broken out between the alliances, with both sides taking damage on various ships. In the south (at right), JW’s fleet has established a fort as well.
At this point we had a discussion and came to a decision to reveal what gold we had to see how much more of the game was worth playing out. It was extremely close and we needed to continue!
Gazerbeam and I were victorious in the battle of the northwest, with the Grand Barnacle sunk, Le Triton captured by the Deliverance, and Virtuous Wind still alive! Xerecs’ fleet has been heavily mauled but his teammate and brother JW Darkhurst still has many healthy ships left.
However, things were getting a little late for me and once again the other players weren’t clamoring to continue the game despite fort gold being available. The game was called to an end, with the team of Gazerbeam/A7XfanBen prevailing over Xerecs/JW Darkhurst by a score of 42-41!! O_O
What a game! The team dynamic is certainly a wild game-changer and affects a huge amount of decisions you make as you play the game. It’s extremely interesting to watch how players interact with each other and how many private/side conversations people have with their teammates. The extra co-op strategizing can delay the game a little bit but is fascinating to participate in. There are many new aspects of playing with a partner that I learned about that I’d never thought about before. Sometimes an ally will almost “spill the beans” whether by accident or innocently, which can affect how you communicate with the other players. Of course, bluffing and deception could also be present in the way teammates interact with the opposing team. There are also times when a teammate (like me lol) wants to have a strategic discussion that the other players can’t hear, but your temmate may think it’s unnecessary. Overall it was a really cool, fun and enlightening experience that I want to experiment with more in the future. The additional dynamic of having family members be on a team together (or against each other) is neat because they know each other’s play styles so well, but are used to only competing against each other.
I had some of my worst-ever SAT/EA luck in this game, with the Deliverance only getting it maybe once or twice all game despite having reroll. It really made things awkward when my main ship couldn’t do much. I felt like a bad teammate and Gazerbeam did most of the heavy lifting in terms of gold. Given the shenanigans that happened and our inability to crush any native canoes early in the game I was almost shocked we came away with a victory, though of course it comes with an asterisk with two forts still in play at the end. However, we likely would have held on for the win given our firepower advantage. (especially once our 5 masters were back to full strength and the VW could potentially raid one of the brothers’ HI’s to increase the differential)
I have to hand it to Xerecs lately as he’s been coming with very unique fleets and fun builds. In the past I’ve seen him wield a lot of power-gamer type fleets, but this year I’ve been really happy to see some super cool combos and more unique ideas in his fleets!
Los Angeles California Gaming – 6 Players, 60 Points!
January 22nd, 2022
Following our 100 point escapade, we somewhat miraculously all had time to play another game! This time the build total was 60 points. To speed things up so we could finish, only 6 wild islands were used with no terrain present.
Gingerninja went first:
Followed by Gazerbeam543:
Gazerbeam and I coincidentally continued our conflict from the prior game, with El Neptuno sniping masts off the Franklin:
HMS Ram has been dismasted at her home island by the Chum Maker!
I was disappointed to not find much gold worth values on the wild island the Buscador hoisted from. However, I was certainly happy to find Power Cannons, which I hoped to put on the Neptuno for 4L range.
Alas, it was a game of continued conflicts. Projekt355’s Black Pearl savaged the Buscador and sank the Armada flotilla. Gingerninja’s advantage of going first was paying off handsomely as he explored 3 different islands.
The Buscador rows for home as El Neptuno cuts down masts on the Black Pearl:
The Spanish eventually prevailed, but not before the Buscador was sunk by the BP. Gazerbeam’s fleet repairs in the northwest as more brotherly battles break out between the Bowens.
The Chum Maker’s reign of terror continues as the Star of Siam is dismasted!
The Spanish-Pirate war continued as it often has in games I’ve been involved in, with El Neptuno now battling the Akua Lapu before both sides retreated to repair. In the foreground, I saw Gingerninja as the obvious winner unless drastic measures were taken, but the Rosario’s bum rush was quickly stifled with a firepot from L’Heros.
The accumulation continues at one island paradise… not so much for the others!
The game was already winding down. El Neptuno sailed out to do something about it, but was outnumbered.
I managed to snag the Intrepide but the game ended shortly thereafter.
Gingerninja: 20 gold
JW Darkhurst: 12
The Bowen Brothers and I enjoyed a good meal at Daglas after the heavy day of pirating!
After lots of messaging with friends and fellow players on the Discord server, I was able to coordinate a meetup with a whopping 6 different players! While in San Diego on Navy business I knew there might be good opportunities to drive up to LA for Pirates CSG and EDM events. This was the culmination of a decent amount of planning, as various house rules had to be agreed on, a venue was eventually chosen, and in this case it worked out perfectly with 6 people from the online community meeting up to play a big in-person game of Pirates CSG! 😀
The game was played between myself, Xerecs, JW Darkhurst, Gingerninja (those three are all brothers who live together), Gazerbeam543, and projekt355. We met up at Fire and Dice games in Winnetka California, near where the Bowen brothers live and in the valley northwest of LA. We each came with a prepared 100 point fleet, which promised some absolute mayhem in a game of historic proportions. I cannot think of a larger meet up (in terms of total players or total points in play for a game) that the online community has organized so far. It was great to meet everyone and I highly recommend trying to play Pirates with these great people if you are in LA!
Here were the fleets!
Here is the setup! We used the Gale Force Nine islands, a moderate amount of terrain, and round earth rules. Simply for ease of reporting the events of the game and reading about them, the top of the ocean here is north, right is east, etc.
It was no surprise to see four 10 masters, including two Zeuses and the Fortaleza from RtSS. Not to mention the other big players such as HMS GT, San Cristobal, and Neptune’s Hoard.
Gazerbeam went first and we were off to the races! JW moved his San Cristobal near a whirlpool that was within striking distance of my Zeus, which happened to be a 3D printed glow in the dark Zeus that Vulkan made for me. I revealed Calypso on the Floating Stone, whose whirlpools could give my fleet a lot of striking distance and attack options around the sea. I was tempted to take on the SC to potentially capture her eventually using my strategy of Commander Temple on HMS Oxford, but I was extremely worried that Gazerbeam’s Zeus would come through the whirlpool near his home island and slam my Zeus on the next round. It turned into a huge regret of mine, but I decided to go after Gazerbeam’s Zeus. I knew from experience and reading Xerecs’ CoEC campaign game battle reports that JW is more passive than the average player, and I didn’t know what kind of gameplay Gazerbeam would be up to. Hoping the SC wouldn’t warp through a whirlpool to tag team my Zeus with assistance from Gazerbeam’s Zeus, I put all my cards on the table on Turn 1. The Zeus went through a whirlpool, emerged by Gazerbeam’s home island (HI), received an extra action from Lord Mycron on the Patagonia, and revealed Grim the Savage!!! O_O That’s right, Grimm them bois!! XD The Zeus loaded up the gold that Gazerbeam had already put on his home island from his turn, and then proceeded to shoot a miserable and game-changingly bad 2 for 10 (I think all cannons were in range) against Gazerbeam’s Zeus! O_O This was a huge momentous event in the first round that would affect various parts of the rest of the game. I misjudged how aggressive Gazerbeam would be and overestimated how much damage I could do to his Zeus with my 3S cannons. I can’t trust my cannon luck!
The first round home island hoard and Zeus civil war was certainly the story of the first round, but barely anything had happened in the game so far. You can see various ships searching for gold.
The Baochuan and Fortaleza have round earthed:
Retaliation! Gazerbeam’s Zeus fires on mine, using two actions to dismast her twin!!
I quickly realized I would need to play pretty aggressively to make up for likely losing my Zeus, so HMS Oxford zoomed over to dismast the Rocinante. The 3 represents how many masts are missing from the hoist.
At the upper left, Xerecs’ fleet is concentrated in the northwest corner. In the middle, my Longshanks has explored an island, but the Fortaleza and Algeciras (with flotilla in tow) lurk to the north. JW’s fleet has established a perimeter around the exploratory actions of HMS London.
The Baochuan is headed towards gold with the Neptune’s Hoard observing from ocean’s edge.
Xerecs strikes! HMS Grand Temple and HMS Swallow pulverize Gingerninja’s Buscador.
My worst fears had been realized, with Gazerbeam capturing my Zeus. He was now in possession of both, with mine having Home Island Hoard on it to boot! (via Grim the Savage)
I was able to pull off a tactic I quite enjoy, warping home the Rocinante via Commander Temple on the Oxford. It was a homecoming party, with the Longshanks docking home gold this turn as well. I believe the Oxford was given an extra action via Mycron, which she used to dismast the Algeciras.
A view looking from north to south. The Neptune’s Hoard has whirlpooled towards the center.
With a double action, HMS Oxford snags the Algeciras and sinks the Diablo flotilla!
The Baochuan has walloped the Black Pearl in the northwest, with Xerecs’ remaining two ships ducking into a fog bank to the south. Gazerbeam’s fleet regroups at his home island, with various repairs occurring and about to commence.
The southwest gets even more testy, with JW’s Thomas Jefferson arriving on the scene where a derelict and gold-laden Buscador lays derelict.
Both Zeuses repair, while the Baochuan carries a bunch of gold. In the south, the Oxford and Longshanks have dismasted Gazerbeam’s San Jose.
But it proves to be a costly move! The Zeus arrives through the whirlpool and is given an extra action to sink the Oxford and eliminate a mast from the Longshanks! Other ships explore nearby….
The War of the Brothers continues! The Baochuan had become quite a target, and now JW Darkhurst decided to get in on the action! The San Cristobal and HMS GT made short work of the 10 master, making her a ripe prize.
The Longshanks barely escapes her encounter with the Zeus, losing a second mast to a whirlpool on her way home.
At the left, you can see my desperation kicking in as Gazerbeam appears the clear leader in the gold race. The Algeciras rams the Neptune’s Hoard to no avail. I made some attempts to rally the other players against Gazerbeam, but it didn’t work. The Zeus tows the San Jose through a whirlpool while La Dijon arrives back at the HI. The Buscador repairs at Gingerninja’s home island, but his Baochuan is approached by the Fortaleza…
… who captures the original 10 master!
A unique and fascinating sight!
This is where Gazerbeam was able to seal the deal. He used my Zeus to hoard from Gingerninja’s home island, netting him yet more gold as the Buscador and Fortaleza struggle to stop the bleeding. The Algeciras rams HMS Ram at her HI, but killing Mycron won’t do enough to stop the momentum now. Calypso is unloaded to my HI, as more whirlpools are not needed at this point.
At the top right, this does create an opportunity for Gingerninja to reclaim his Baochuan and her gold:
The San Jose did have the Wine UT aboard which was possibly worth fighting for, but the Rocinante failed to steal it after whirling over the Gazerbeam’s HI. The Longshanks rams a mast off the Dijon as the final gold in play dwindles down. In a smart move, Gazerbeam unloads Grim the Savage to his HI to prevent someone from potentially keeping the game alive if they managed to capture his weaker Zeus.
JW is happy to dismast the captured Zeus with HMS London, while I scrounge for any gold I can find via the Longshanks.
Gingerninja managed a small miracle by not permanently losing either the Buscador or Baochuan, but their crews’ hopes at riches have been dashed by the carnage of play….
The game ended here.
Gazerbeam: 53 gold
JW Darkhurst: 22
Although a bit lopsided, it was still a memorable game. I came away quite frustrated with myself for losing my main asset and strategy ploy in the first 2 rounds, but had to be somewhat content with getting second place after such a horrific fiasco. Gazerbeam made the right plays throughout, earning him an impressive win in a game against 5 other players with 600+ total points involved. Craig had some poor luck and was hit pretty hard by my HMS Oxford. The Bowen brothers got entangled in a civil war that distracted them from Gazerbeam’s running away with the game. Overall it was a really cool experience to play with so many people from the online community at once, and to do it in such a large game! 😀