Pirates Launch More Epic Customs and The Cursed Attack!!

CG4 continues to develop!  Here is the music mix I listened to for most of the Pirate turn.  Crazy enough, their post-turn period of launching and truly grand strategizing took even longer than their actual turn!!  O_O

I have to apologize for a rules gaffe on my part, and thank Xerecs for pointing it out to me.  During my last turn, the Stormcloud used the fog hopping ability inappropriately.  However, since it had effectively no impact on the game (the exact same result would have happened if the rule was followed perfectly), we have continued as usual.

New rule: No more than 2 of the same custom fort can be in play at once.

In a move that could potentially have ramifications for the rest of the game, the Pirates captured the Noble Swan!  The Warring Tribes began towing her and got Jack Hawkins’ SAT, moving 4S to start skedaddling back to the Pirates’ home island.  The Zephyr was initially the “designated tower”, but the Warring Tribes should be able to get the job done faster due to her SAT capabilities.  Just behind the Noble Swan you can see the Branwen covering the stern of the prize, just in case the Bonne Chance or Jades try anything in the near future.  In addition, the Devil’s Kiss and Lady’s Scorn are sailing out to help escort the small convoy home.

At the bottom of the frame, the Hai Peng has docked at the island the Sea Crane made land on this round!  She explored, finding textiles.  Although textiles are valuable right now at 5 gold apiece, the Pirates weren’t satisfied since they already have textiles so readily available just south of their HI.  In a rare moment for me, they took advantage of the Explorer ability’s bonus under the Economy Edition rules, rerolling for the island’s resource type and getting lumber instead!  This was fine with the Pirates, since it gave them a different resource type relatively close to their home island.  At this point, it has become clear that the Pirates aren’t too worried about what the Jades think of what they’re doing.  As the captain of the Virtuous Wind surely knows, the Pirates have now given the Jades the Plague (via the Dungeon a while back), captured the Noble Swan, and explored an island with the Hai Peng right out from under the Sea Crane.

Pirates capture the Noble Swan!

The lull in metals production has ended, with 5 ships docking home metals this turn.  They were converted to gold at the end of the turn, which gives an idea of the Pirates’ spending power….   Left of the resource system you can see that the Deliverance has taken the whirlpool inside the fogpool to a different location.

Post-battle cleanup efforts in full swing!  The Pirates finished their victory over the Barbary Corsairs by dismasting the final two galleys, the Osiris and Sphinx.  Due to the Giza’s effort to steal the Resurrection Codex last turn, the Red Star sank after being scuttled by the Pirates last turn.  However, the rest of the Pirate plan went perfectly – all three remaining Corsair galleys were captured!  The Splinter knocked out the last mast on the Osiris, while the Stormcloud dismasted the Sphinx.  The Stormcloud then used an EA to sail over so Tia Dalma could cancel the oarsman aboard the Osiris, allowing the Black Pearl to capture her.  Due to Raidamos’ Eternal ability, the Pirates immediately scuttled the Osiris to try and get her home to repair as quickly as possible.  The Giza and Sphinx were able to start rowing on their own power immediately after capture due to the handy Galley keyword.  A team-oriented logistics effort allowed the burning Darkhawk II to sail straight for home, rolling a 3 on the fire mast to keep it at bay for now.  Though, the Pirates could have put it out if they wanted to….   hehe.  🙂

After the light combat and medium-complexity towing logistics and logjam was over, the Pirates decided to risk trying to retake their textiles town right away!  The safest thing would be to wait for the Stormcloud or Zeus to arrive, but Bartholomew Roberts and Genny Gallows (both aboard the Akua Lapu!) agreed that an attack on the town was worth the risk.  However, they were embarrassed in their effort, losing the boarding attempt and the ship’s mizzenmast as a result.  Adding to their frustration was the Star of Siam, who was able to retake the town on her attempt despite no big-name pirates on board.  XD  The textiles island belongs to the Pirates once again!  The Coral and Raven immediately joined the Star of Siam in loading textiles, with some of the Pirate resource runners not even having their routine trips bothered by the brief but intense clash with the Corsairs.  The Cassandra can be seen east of the Zeus, trying to get the new military port upgrade to the island as fast as possible.  North at the home island, the Pandora was given an AA to reach home with 6 textiles tokens, the 30 gold from which would be used directly on the last Pirate purchase of the turn….

Off on her own, the Dungeon explored a wild island southwest of the Archipelago and found the Wine UT along with spices (resource not UT).

Then it was launch time!!  The Pirates had 138 gold to spend, and it worked out perfectly as they spent it all!  The first big chunk went to what looks like another WMD: the Tempest!!

Tempest
Point Value: 35
Number of Masts: 5
Cargo Space: 4
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 3S-3L-3L-3L-3S
Ability: Once per turn you may roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a whirlpool anywhere on the play area. | This ship can move through whirlpools without losing crew, masts, or treasure. | Give this ship a shoot action. A wave S wide and 2L long leaves the ship in one direction. Up to 2 masts of every ship in the path of the wave are eliminated. Eliminate one of this ship’s masts.

Flavor text: A mysterious and rarely sighted ship said to rival the power of the Flying Dutchman, the Tempest creates waterborne chaos wherever she sails. It is rumored she can travel under the waves without any harm to her or her crew. Those who don’t believe the legends are those who have yet to encounter the ship….

With a whopping 35 points to play with and plenty of gold to spend, the Tempest comes outfitted with a FULL crew complement: Hammersmith (Captain+Helmsman), Cannonball Gallows (EA), and 4 customs. Amos Carter for rerolling the EA, Henry Turner (from Dead Men Tell No Tales) to add a cargo space, a face down custom, and Aert van Tuyl. (Chieftain. Shipwright. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Pirate ships.) The new canoes were curiously launched at a wild island near the Spanish HI that Spanish cargo ships have been making trips to. The Natives of Madagascar canoes have the Possession ability built into each canoe, but only L speed. Aert van Tuyl is one of my weirder custom crew (arguably not actually, lol), and serves a dual purpose on the Tempest that doesn’t need to be revealed here. Let’s just say this was a turn in which the Pirates spent a LOT of time strategizing and thinking about long term plans… and more.  😀

Then the attention shifted to the northern half of the Pirate HI, where two new customs came into play, also with considerable crew complements.  The Shadows Hand (custom by Xerecs) is a fog hopping 5 master with good cannons.  Across the island from her is the Phantom, another custom from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna set.  She’s a 2 master with S speed for a whopping 15 points, but her wild ability set makes it understandable: essentially she’s got +2 to boarding rolls, 2 hits/mast defense, and gets D movement for turns when she rolls a 6.  O_O  Safe to say this isn’t the historically-driven Caribbean game!!   XD

That was the end of the Pirate turn, but not the end of their thinking… and amusing ideas.  😉

During this turn, the Pirates accomplished their main short-term goals: capture the Noble Swan and clean up from the Corsair battle (which meant finishing the victory, rounding up the rather epic prizes, and ensuring no Pirate ships were left behind).  They then launched the Tempest, arguably another WMD given her EA capabilities and a full complement of crew onboard.  The Pirates are hard at work on a project codenamed “GMS”….

In addition, the Pirates have a “mass surveillance” program that is helping them make decisions.  They now have a variety of “spies” in play – 5 total.  Many of them have been in the game for a number of turns now.  (listed with per-turn abilities) Between Carina Smyth (can look at all treasures on a wild island), Shansa (can look at two face down crew or treasure coins on any ships or islands), Raven’s Neck (one cargo on an island), Cassandra and Lucky the Parrot (can look at one cargo on a ship), the Pirates have the ability to see as many as approximately 9 cargo per turn across the map.  This network of spies has resulted in the Pirates having their eyes and surveillance activities in nearly every corner of the sea… just one of many things they have going for them right now.  It’s why they were able to single out and snag the Noble Swan so efficiently when they had a chance to do so.  It could also result in more short-term interests being investigated….

As you probably saw in the recent reports, the Americans had been amassing what looked like an attack force off the northeast side of the Cursed home island.  With 3 schooners and the Enterprise stationed there, the Cursed were curious as to American intentions.  Over a week ago the Cursed reached out to the Americans:

From: Captain of Grand Misfortune
To: American force off Cursed home island

… what is your purpose here? Do ya intend to attack… ?
IF so… ya may regret its….

The Cursed

However, by the time the Cursed turn was up this morning of May 9th, no response had been received.  Soon after the game started, the Cursed had become interested in a potential alliance with the Americans to share resource islands and information on which islands were the best to go to.  Between the Americans’ thinly veiled threat of “the newly assembled strike force is looking for a target…” last September and now the proximity of said strike force to the Cursed home island, the Cursed have a feeling they cannot trust the Americans.  They have been using what little purchasing power they have to put some defenses in place, mainly based around small raiders and UT combos.  With most of the American ships of the strike force in range of the Cursed, the Cursed decided…

IT WAS TIME TO ATTACK!!!!!

Check out the video to see the crazy stuff that went down!!!

The Repulsive Waste got things started, coming out of the fog and ramming the Enterprise head-on!  It may look like a severe mismatch, but the RW was just on a suicide mission to give the Enterprise the Plague!!  This killed all 3 of the Enterprise’s crew, leaving her much worse off in the short term for potential combat operations against the Cursed.

Then it was time for the next UT-based raider.  The Devil’s Sneer had been launched for one purpose only: carry Explosives.  She had the UT face down and was waiting inside the fog bank for the perfect time to strike.  The Cursed flagship is the Grand Misfortune, but none of her cannons (all L-range) can hit the Jarvis (who has L-immunity).  Therefore, the Jarvis was the perfect ship to simply eliminate from the battlefield so the Cursed didn’t have to deal with her!  The Devil’s Sneer got a lucky fog exit roll and slammed into the Jarvis!  She rolled a 2, but Explosives needs a 4-6 to work!  However, there was more to the story!!!!  Suddenly out of nowhere the die roll became a 6!!!!!  O_O    RUNES OF THOR!!!!!!  THE NOBLE SWAN HAS RUNES OF THOR!  The Pirates flipped the UT to detonate the Devil’s Sneer and the Jarvis!!  O_O  With a spectacular explosion both ships blew up.  Of course, the Pirates knew what they were doing – the Noble swan ALSO has Nemo’s Plans!  This means that UT’s like Runes of Thor that are normally eliminated after use remain aboard and can be used again!!  😀  The Pirates had anticipated using RoT on their turn to save the DHII from fire or to scuttle the Osiris, but didn’t really need it for anything.  Instead it was saved for a moment like this to cause maximum chaos.

From there it was time for the proper gunships to get in play.  The Devil’s Storm hopped out of the fog bank and maneuvered off the Boston’s stern (unable to get any guns in range of the Enterprise).  She shot 2/4 to eliminate a mast.  Then it was time for the Grand Misfortune!

The GM is absolutely loaded with UT’s, although she would use 2 from her arsenal here. (she started the turn with 7 UT’s aboard!)  The GM is only moving S+S, so she needed a little help to get in range of the American schooners.  Luckily for the Cursed, they found a LOT of help in the UT department from exploring earlier in the game.  Power Cannons AND Fireworks!  O_O  This gave the GM L+L range on all 6 of her cannons, along with +2 to her cannon rolls!  I couldn’t resist this unique and cool shot of the GM lining up her shots to devastate the Julius Caesar.

Cursed attack the Americans in CG4!!

The captain gave the order, and the Grand Misfortune blasted away!  She shot 5/6 to nearly dismast the Julius Caesar!  She really needed the Fireworks too, since 3 of the hits would have missed if not for the bonus.  Although the (probable) American counterattack on the Cursed could be effective, the Grand Misfortune has Metal Hull aboard, meaning she can’t be hit by cannon rolls less than 6!  She also has Eternal and an oarsman, so she has been equipped as a defensive powerhouse with short-term (aka: this turn) offensive theatrics.

Total damage assessment: 2 ships sunk (1 American, 1 Cursed), 3 masts eliminated, 4 crew killed in action (captain of the Jarvis + all 3 crew from the Enterprise).

Here’s a good view of the northwest area where the Cursed and Americans live.  Both factions have valuable resources right now, and the Americans look like they have quite a stockpile of metals available.  At the bottom you can see where the Deliverance emerged.  Her crew are observing the Cursed and hearing the sounds of the clash beyond the fog.

The northeast is still the busiest “quadrant” of the sea, as it is home to many of the game’s most prominent factions thus far.  The Vikings and Barbary Corsairs simply spent their turn gathering resources.

Now the possibilities with Runes of Thor become evident for the Pirates: even just using it on one of their AA crew basically gives them a guaranteed extra action anywhere in their fleet, every turn (without having to actually roll the 6).

Stay tuned, for more exciting developments await!  😀   Thanks for reading!

High Scoring Game – VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

High Scoring Game – VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

Another game was played between A7XfanBen and JohnLock.

I went first with The Jades can use Calypso too! JohnLock followed with a Pirate fleet comprising some of the best ships in the game, including the Banshee’s Cry and Hai Peng.

Once again we had 10 wild islands with 3 coins apiece, and flat earth rules.

The Pirates took off for 4 different islands, but the Virtuous Wind had already scoured one of them. I purposely went for islands farther from home, knowing I could probably get close gold later. Calypso got into action early, allowing the Tiger’s Breath to explore an island in the south that would have taken longer to get to.

High Scoring Game - VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

Here I wanted to try raiding the Pirate home island, but Calypso and Cheng couldn’t come up with a whirlpool in the north. The Virtuous Wind instead headed northeast.

High Scoring Game - VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

Seeing both Pirate gunships (Hai Peng and Carrion Crow carried captains) away from the Pirate HI, I decided it was time for the VW’s raid. Throughout this game, both of us had dismal luck with whirlpool travel, and Protection from Davy Jones wasn’t found until the end.

Having found the Jade UT earlier, I was taking a big risk going to the Pirate HI instead of just going home with the 7 the VW had. Risking both the UT and the 7, the VW only robbed a 1 coin.

High Scoring Game - VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018

Though the Pirate brigade did turn for their robbed home island afterwards, I decided to “ride out and meet them”.  The Hai Peng had 3 coins aboard, and I figured the VW could win the fight. The Hades’ Flame and Carrion Crow have warped to the southeast, losing masts.

The Hai Peng rammed the VW instead of docking at the home island, taking off a mast but being dismasted in return by the Wind. This was my golden opportunity to cash in and tow the HP home for a bunch of gold.

Using a little-known rule, from Page 10 of the Reference Diagrams I confirmed that I could capture and tow the Hai Peng with the Virtuous Wind since the HP was derelict and her bow was already in contact with the VW. The VW moved S to enter a new whirlpool Calypso had created (Clutch Calypso! XD), warping back to the Jade HI in a jiffy!

Reference Diagrams rule

Both fleets maxed out their gold scores at the end, specifically the Jades with you guessed it, Jade. XD The VW used the UT to double her old 7 coin into 14 gold after the Tiger’s Paw took the stolen 1. The TP then gave the 1 back to let the VW double that coin too. Good thing, since unfortunately I would need it….

In very improbable fashion, the scores end up tied at 58-58!!!!

The Jades won on both tiebreakers: they led the Pirates in points in play (my favorite tiebreaker, and something that should have been a standard rule) 55-21, and led in masts standing 7-5.

end of the game

I’m very happy with how my new fleet performed in its first game, essentially winning against a fleet using some of the best Pirate ships out there. We both made some mistakes; the Hai Peng ramming the Virtuous Wind instead of docking home her gold led to the Jades capturing the infamous junk, while I should have been more conservative actually, since going for the HI raid only resulted in 1 more gold. If the VW had been successful in doubling both the 7 and the 4 from the island northeast of the Jade HI (Carrion Crow eventually got the 4 for the Pirates), the Jade profit would have been 22 instead of 15. However, then I probably wouldn’t have captured the HP, who netted 12 gold from her 3 coins. So many moments, decisions, and strategic moves that matter in the end – one of the reasons I love Pirates so much!

Overall though, a very fun, close, and strategic game that came down to the… rope? XD See you next time!!

3 Time Zones, 3 Players – VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

3 Time Zones, 3 Players – VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

Just played a 3 player VASSAL game with Anthony and Xerecs! With Anthony in Italy, myself in New York, and Xerecs in California, we played over 3 time zones for a total time differential of 9 hours! O_O 

Anthony went first with a Jade Rebellion fleet:
Grand Path + captain, helmsman
Sea Duck
Dragon’s Talon + helmsman

I went second with my Halloween 2017 Fleet Challenge entry.

Xerecs used the same amazing type of ships he almost always seems to use:
HMS Grand Temple + Bonny Peel, Sir Christopher Myngs, helmsman, oarsman
Longshanks + helmsman, explorer, oarsman

We introduced Anthony to terrain and UT’s, with 6 total islands and 6 pieces of terrain.

The Grand Temple got an SAT from Myngs to dismast the Amity, who had turned ghostly:

3 Time Zones, 3 Players - VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

The Grand Temple used the whirlpools to head south, while the Dragon’s Talon and Sea Duck got some gold. The Grand Path and Terror sailed past Xerecs’ home island in opposite directions.

3 Time Zones, 3 Players - VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

The Longshanks transferred the OE version of the Dead Man’s Chest UT to the Grand Temple (I thought it was the PotC version), allowing the GT to sink the Terror and eliminate my “Merc Pirates” from the game. The Jades were busy getting gold, but were soon set upon by the English as well.

3 Time Zones, 3 Players - VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

The Grand Path sunk the Grand Temple in a matchup of capital ships, after which the Longshanks went on the run with some gold.

3 Time Zones, 3 Players - VASSAL game of December 29th, 2017

The Longshanks got home with coins, after which the Grand Path did the same after some light skirmishing.

end of game reached (Pirates CSG)

Final scores:
1. Anthony: 31 gold
2. Xerecs: 21
3. a7xfanben: 0

Anthony’s first win on the high seas! 

4 Player Game on VASSAL – August 13th, 2017

4 Player Game on VASSAL – August 13th, 2017

This was a 4 player game on VASSAL between myself, xerecs, repkosai, and wifey. We used Cadet-Captain Mike’s random setup tables, rolling 6-5-1 for free ships totalling 10 cargo and four free crew. Since the game was played in 2 chunks and I was only 1 of 4 players, this is the best summary I can muster.

The play order went from left to right as the fleets appear at the top: xerecs with a mostly Pirate fleet, repkosai with a mixed fleet, a7xfanben with a Cursed fleet, and wifey with a mostly English fleet. We did round earth and included plenty of UT’s!

The fleets scatter, and the gold race begins!

4 Player Game on VASSAL - August 13th, 2017

Repkosai’s Black Pearl (xerecs used that ship as well) found Pandora’s Box, bringing some craziness into the game. Wifey’s Monarca found one of the worst islands in recent memory, with negative UT’s, 0 coins, and Bad Maps, which is why the island in the southeast nearly round earthed to a different part of the map!

4 Player Game on VASSAL - August 13th, 2017

This was taken after we resumed play this past weekend, and Repkosai has lost the Black Pearl and Gibraltar, while wifey’s Monarca and my Lilu also sunk (the latter with copier DJC Davy Jones aboard, who was copying Emperor Blackheart’s All-Powerful keyword to be just like the OE Davy Jones). Xerecs’ Flying Dutchman has just docked home a captured Benito de Soto (via Bonny Peel) for a big 9 gold chunk. Wifey’s HMS Grand Temple found misfortune in the form of UT’s and was set upon by my Cursed fleet, but escaped and rid herself of the Runes of Death via whirlpooling, repairing soon afterwards. The Cursed gathered gold for a while and here they’ve struck, coming out of the fog to dismast Xerecs’ Black Pearl.

4 Player Game on VASSAL - August 13th, 2017

The south became the location of a hot action, with the Hades’ Realm finally revealing her secret weapon: Captain Nemo! I was trying to use Nemo in conjunction with OE El Fantasma (sac captain) in order to sac any crew for extra actions that didn’t benefit the HR (department) while aboard. To make it more complex and fun, Wraith was aboard the Fiddler’s Green to reanimate sacrificed crew for additional usage! The Cursed had the good fortune of discovering the Eye of Insanity early in the game, using it on the Fiddler’s Green to copy El Fantasma with Wraith and give the FG the captain ability. (in)Human Resources won a boarding party against the Black Pearl, allowing Nemo to capture Emperor Blackheart! This was important but also ironic, because I had previously used Davy Jones to copy EBH to essentially use the OE Davy Jones (which is what I originally had before remembering the Lilu was 11 points compared to 12 needed for OE DJ). The Cursed once again had access to an All-Powerful crew! In addition, this gave them an incredible cast of characters all on the same ship: Fantasma, Nemo, and Blackheart, some of the biggest characters from this game.

chaos in southern tier of sea

Here the Fiddler’s Green and Hades’ Realm team up to take down the Flying Dutchman. The Jikininki was also disposed of by the Cursed, a ship notably included by xerecs in a clever (and somewhat gamey) way of exploiting the setup rules, as she’s the only ship (not including sea creatures) in the game to not have any cargo space.

Flying Dutchman dismasted on VASSAL

Repkosai’s Resolucion has captured Xerecs’ Black Pearl, giving us a second irony since repkosai had a BP earlier in the game before it was sunk. The Cursed have captured the Flying Dutchman and scuttled her to take advantage of Eternal.

4 Player Game on VASSAL - August 13th, 2017

After briefly collaborating with repkosai in a secret alliance, I unfortunately turned on him because it was the best move I could make that gave me the best chance of winning the game. Nemo’s captive EBH rolled a 6 to toss the Resolucion onto a reef, where she lost 3 of her 4 masts. The Hades’ Realm knocked the last one off before moving on to the BP. The Fiddler’s Green returns to the scene to get gold, but wifey has arrived! Alas, the Concorde and Grand Temple weren’t crewed enough to take on the juggernaut that the HR had become.

hot action on the Pirates CSG VASSAL module

Ironically the human resources department grew to a massive size, with the HR using Nemo to snag Carlos Pavon off the Resolucion and a helmsman from the Concorde. The partially-repaired Flying Dutchman won a boarding party against the BP to get Hammersmith in Bonny Peel’s hands. I needed as much gold as I could get, and Hammersmith’s 5 and the gold loaded by the Fiddler’s Green would help. Wifey’s remaining ships gave their best effort but without captains were easy prey for the now-unstoppable Hades’ Realm.

4 Player Game on VASSAL - August 13th, 2017

In the end, Xerecs got THREE 7’s, a 1, and Benito de Soto’s 9 gold payout, earning the win despite my fantastic second half that ended in domination of the sea but not of profit.

1. xerecs: 31 gold
2. a7xfanben: 22 gold
3. repkosai: 14 gold
4. wifey: 13 gold

This was a very fun 4 player game that saw a lot of funny moments, ironies, and good gameplay. Xerecs got high gold values, and managed to pull off his plan of nabbing a very high-value crew in Benito. My plans were foiled early, but flourished late in the game. It would have been enough with a different treasure distribution, but I had a lot of fun! Repkosai got two 7’s himself, but was really smashed by xerecs’ Pirates and later betrayed by the Cursed. Wifey played a good game but was plagued by incredible misfortune, with a horrid treasure distribution dooming her chances of victory. With that, we look forward to more adventures on the high seas!

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win – July 29th, 2017

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win (new endgame rule)

This was a 3 player game on VASSAL between myself, repkosai, and wifey.

With some inspiration from this epicness, we decided to play by a new rule. The winner of the game would be whoever had the most points in play PLUS gold. Essentially, you’d start with X points and try not to lose any, and get gold along the way to maximize your score.

We kept it simple for the first time trying out the idea, with standard 40 point fleets. Also, since the new rule could potentially make the gold race irrelevant, we contributed high value coins (only worth 4 gold or more). Here was the turn order:

Repkosai’s Corsairs
El Leon + Castro (SAT version), captain, helmsman
Wicked Kareen + captain, helmsman
Queen of Sheba + helmsman

Wifey’s Spaniards
Asesino de la Nave + captain
El Duque + captain, helmsman
La Monarca + explorer

A7XfanBen’s Unconventional Pirates

The Duque and Raven are the first to reach islands:

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

After some maneuvering, the Leon knocked the flag off the Doombox flotilla before being attacked by the Cutlass and Raven. Barstow nabbed the Spanish captain, but the Raven couldn’t dismast the Spanish ship. To make things more complicated, the Asesino was approaching.

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

The Unconventional Pirates dismast the Leon and nearly do the same to the Asesino! The Monarca lurks north of the wild island the Pirates looted with the Paradox and Cutlass.

Pirates dismasting and capturing ships

The Pirates clean up with a big turn! The Paradox captured the Leon, while the Raven dismasted the Asesino and the Cutlass did the same to the Monarca. At this point I had realized that my strategy of capturing crew for gold with Barstow wasn’t a very effective strategy with the new endgame rule, so I adapted and tried to capture as many ships as possible to control a lot of points. However, the Spanish were certainly winning the gold race, as the Duque brought home her second haul.

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

The Pirates capture the Asesino and Monarca, giving them 6 ships to double the size of their fleet!

Pirates area is busy

The Pirates repair two of their new ships and maneuver so the Paradox can tow the Asesino, allowing the Raven to unload her captured captain. The Duque passes by in a convenient route, allowing the Pirates to attack her as well!

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

The Duque was captured, giving the Pirates 7 ships and their flotilla! The Leon was sent through a whirlpool to steal gold from the Queen of Sheba, which she did with moderate success. Another captured Spanish ship from a different fleet, the Monarca, grabbed a coin from the northeastern island. The Pirates had already begun celebrating – check out the welcoming parade for the Leon and Monarca! With the Spanish eliminated and the QoS docking home her gold for the Corsairs, the game was over with no gold left to collect.

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

The points and gold of each fleet were tallied up!

1. Pirates: 139 total points (93 in their fleet, so they more than doubled their starting build total)
2. Corsairs: 49
3. Spanish: 36 (all from gold)

The Pirates ruled the seas in this game, using a dual strategy of gold capture crew and later adapting to capture ships normally to maximize the size of their fleet.

I must say, I like this new endgame variation, and not just because I won. It’s rather practical, and adds more realism to the game. Ships were very important, and losing a ship could be as bad or worse than losing a cargo full of resources. It really emphasizes keeping your fleet healthy, and trying to make a decisive engagement with another player so you can take ships and crew (and therefore points) from their fleet and add them to your own. In addition, it makes sinking ships less practical, and incentivizes the winners of battles to keep derelicts afloat and capture them. This is also more realistic, as ships didn’t sink from cannon fire very often in the Age of Sail. Finally, it makes combat more enticing since the gold scores aren’t the end-all be-all like they usually are. This is great because various people expected the game to be more of a combat game and wish there was more battling, and because gold running is usually more boring than the combat. I’d love to hear feedback on this “Points In Play AND Gold for the win” idea!  Please comment below your thoughts on it!

20 Point Game of Water World! July 16th, 2017

Just played a 20 Point Game game of Water World on VASSAL with repkosai!

Each of us controlled 2 fleets that would be played independently of one another. The build total was a small but exciting 20 points!

The order of play: (all game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet)

6 gold bonuses at 20 points (a7xfanben)

Corsairs (repkosai)
Queen of Sheba + captain, cannoneer
Arrogant + captain, shipwright

Pirates (repkosai)
Cursed Blade + Coconut, captain, helmsman

Feisty Libellule + Rover (a7xfanben)

4 wild islands with 8 coins apiece, and 4 home forts with 8 cannons apiece.

The game begins, and the Libellule proves feisty indeed! I know how much of a game-winner the gold bonus abilities are, and with a lucky SAT from Roimata I was able to cripple my other fleet on the first turn! The Libellule missed her shots and ram, but the boarding part was what mattered. The chieftain was eliminated and rolled a 6 to eliminate 3 of his native canoes!!

Libellule attacks

Another SAT, and more carnage in the north: the Libellule wreaks further havoc, blasting masts off the Alquimista and Queen of Sheba and eliminating a canoe.

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

With more extreme luck on my part, the French absolutely dominate! The Libellule is a one-ship wrecking crew, eliminating the Spanish by taking out their last canoe and dismasting the Alquimista! The Arrogant looks to salvage the Queen of Sheba, while the French have even more luck! The Mermaid finds Turtles in the southeast! However, this allows the Cursed Blade to fly under the radar….

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

After capturing the Alquimista and QoS, Roimata sets her sights on the Arrogant.

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

The female named crew of the Libellule prove effective once more, as the Arrogant falls and so do the Corsairs! At this point, the Libellule has single-handedly eliminated half of the starting fleets and captured 3 ships.

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

The Turtles reached the French home fort, where the Alquimista and QoS looked to repair. The French hastily made plans for a possible attack….

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

The Pirates continue to run gold, while the French amass an empire relative to the tiny build total! Here they control 45 points total, more than twice what they started with. With 5 now-healthy ships, they look to the southwest and the Pirate fort that is burgeoning with shiny coins.

The Cursed Blade is about to round earth to the southeast, while the Alquimista stays behind to finish a little gold factory operation.

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

The fun of round earth! The Cursed Blade gets Homing Beacon, but can’t quite use it.

trying to use Homing Beacon

The Mermaid tries to block the Cursed Blade’s route home, while the Libellule waits for an SAT from Roimata to start the assault on the fort.

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

Attack!! Sudden chaos at the Pirate home fort! The Cursed Blade got home via Homing Beacon (not using round earth), but the French attacked in full force. The first bombardment took out 3 of the fort’s 8 cannons, while the Arrogant, Mermaid, and Alquimista tried to get into position.

attack on the Pirate home fort!

The Cursed Blade dismasts the Mermaid and damages the QoS. The fort sank the Libellule, ending her string of luck and taking out the surefire MVS (Most Valuable Ship) of this contest. The Alquimista and Arrogant battled the fort for a few more turns, but eventually were overcome by the superior firepower. The Arrogant barely escaped…

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

… but she was cornered by the Cursed Blade to end the game! Despite the 10 gold from Turtles and 6 gold from the Alquimista’s bonus, it wasn’t even close. The Pirates had found all the good coins for a whopping 59-31 victory!

20 Point Game of Water World!  July 16th, 2017

This was a fun and unique game that saw absolute domination by a single ship until the actual gold was counted. Repkosai enjoyed the introduction to the Water World rules, and we look forward to playing more unique games in the future! Hope to see you on VASSAL on August 11th-13th!

VASSAL Multiplayer Game – July 12th, 2017

Just played a game with repkosai and joulex! It was joulex’s first game on the VASSAL module!

This was the turn order:

Repkosai
HMS Concorde + Hermione Gold
HMS Gibraltar + Thomas Gunn, First Mate Ismail

Joulex
La Vengeance + explorer
Le Courageux + captain, explorer
La Bonne Chance + captain

a7xfanben
The Best Raiders of Spain

4 wild islands with 6 coins apiece, and a bunch of terrain with round earth rules:

The English reached the middle island first, but the French were quickly upon them! The French were helped out by Odin’s Revenge, put into the mix by the Spanish. The Vengeance had explored the southern island but got tossed to the middle by Message in a Bottle.

ships at wild island

Despite dismasting the Bonne Chance, the English were quickly out of the running! Repkosai scuttled both of his ships, and it was down to the French and Spanish. I was quite happy with how things were turning out, as the Academia and Espada de Dios were able to clear out an island while the other fleets fought.

VASSAL Multiplayer Game - July 12th, 2017

The Courageux is towing the Bonne Chance, while the Vengeance is looking to dock home her gold. Little do the French know, the Spanish have a devious and evil plan…

VASSAL Multiplayer Game - July 12th, 2017

With perfect timing, the Academia sails up to the French home island right after the Vengeance docked home her gold, and Fernando Sanchez suddenly emerged from below decks! A coin was loaded aboard the Academia, who can’t be shot at while docked.

Spanish steal from French home island!

The Espada de Dios quickly followed suit with her own raid, revealing Bianco’s Haulers to ensure maximum protection. The Academia stole the final French coin, and the Vengeance and Courageux couldn’t do much but look on in bewilderment.

The Spanish raid the French home island

The Spanish raiders docked home their gold for an even bigger windfall than their first, since the northeastern island didn’t have high value coins on it.

VASSAL Multiplayer Game - July 12th, 2017

This shows the beginning of the endgame, where things got more complicated and strategic. The Espada looks to explore the northwestern island, while the Vengeance is about to NOT dock home her second haul of gold, knowing the Academia can steal it.

VASSAL Multiplayer Game - July 12th, 2017

The Academia gives up her useful Relics UT to avoid getting blasted by the Vengeance, who heads south as the Academia ducks into a fog bank and hopes the Vengeance will return soon. The Bonne Chance finally begins repairing, while the Espada is about to unload gold.

VASSAL Multiplayer Game - July 12th, 2017

This is where things got more convoluted. The Courageux went into the fog near the Spanish HI, while the Academia grabbed the final coin from the southern island. The French were playing a bit of cat-and-mouse, unable to dock at their home island while other coins were still in play for fear that the Spanish could take what they wanted. At this point the game was more complex than I can describe.

Eventually something had to give, and it did! The Academia manages to dock home her 3 coin, but the Espada is cornered. If the French could capture one of the Spanish HI raiders, they could potentially use it against the Spanish to tip the gold scale in their favor! Alas, it was not to be, as both fleets rolled poorly and eventually the Espada escaped just in time.

Combat in the north edge of the sea

After a few more shenanigans, the French docked home their gold and the game ended. The final gold count was decisive:

1. Spanish: 29 gold
2. French: 15 gold
3. English: 0 gold

A fine victory for the Spanish! This was another improbable gimmick victory for me, though since they’re becoming more common I may have to make a thread about this phenomenon. This particular game went as well as it could have for the Best Raiders of Spain, between the other two fleets fighting to the death right from the start, good UT luck, and a perfect execution of the HI raiding combo at the right time. We hope to play more multiplayer games in the future, and it was great to see a new VASSAL player!

Here is the video!

Find more game video in the playlist!

3 VASSAL Games, 3 different opponents – July 6th, 2017

3 VASSAL games, 3 different opponents: July 6th, 2017

What a day!! arrrh

2 players, 60 points
7/6/2017

Here’s a 60 point game that was played between myself and wantkrakens, which was live streamed on my YouTube channel.

He went first with a mixed fleet:
Naegling + captain
Grand Wind + helmsman
USS Constitution

I followed with on of my favorite fleets I’ve created, Triple Pirate Barrage.

The setup featured some terrain, including an island surrounded by reefs.

The Greed’s Hammer used Coconut the monkey to avoid rolling badly on the reefs, while the Grand Wind and Madagascar looked for gold elsewhere. The Accused got the first shot against the Constitution, sinking her after a brief battle with the help of her firepot specialist.

3 VASSAL Games, 3 different opponents - July 6th, 2017

The Naegling went 1/2 to knock a mast off the Accused, who hurried home for repairs. The GH docked home gold while the GW and Madagascar loaded some of their own.

The game tilts in favor of the Pirates! The Naegling lurks too close to the Pirate HI, and the Accused punishes her with a furious and fiery broadside that dooms the longship.

The Greed’s Hammer lost a mast to a reef on her second gold trip, but it would have been two masts if not for another of Coconut’s successful rerolls. On her way back home, the GH helped the Accused to fight the Grand Wind, who didn’t stand much of a chance against the accurate Pirate gunships.

3 VASSAL Games, 3 different opponents - July 6th, 2017

The Grand Wind was sunk and the game ended with a 35-10 Pirate victory! This game further proved the effectiveness of crew, as my crew setups were far superior to the mast advantage (14-9) that wantkrakens had. Speed also played a big role, which isn’t surprising. It was great to see wantkrakens (krakens on VASSAL) on the module again, and we hope to play again soon!

~~~~~

Second game of July 6th (2 players, 60 points)
7/6/2017

Played my second VASSAL game of the day, this time with pirateaj14, which was also live streamed on my Youtube channel.

I rolled to go first with my Clones of the Barbary Coast fleet, and pirateaj14 followed with captain_vendari’s Jacks-of-All-Trades fleet.

My Corsair fleet swarms toward the archipelago of 7 islands, each brimming with 4 coins of precious loot!

https://pirateswithben.com/clones-of-the-barbary-coast/

The Morocco uses her ability to scout the center island for the Agha’s Whip, looking for the dreaded Blood Money. Expecting the UT, I purposely put all 6’s for my standard coins to help avoid the effect since the Corsairs were only using low-value crew. I swapped in a firepot specialist for Divers and Raft, since I try to play with no events unless it’s for a tournament like T2. The Gallows was going to escort the Morocco to the southern island.

3 VASSAL Games, 3 different opponents - July 6th, 2017

Seeing Relics on the center island, the Queen of Sheba decided to not escort the Agha’s Whip, thinking the latter ship could handle the Algeciras with the help of the UT. 4 Corsair ships have gold aboard in this picture, while the Santa Isabel takes an entire island aboard for the Spaniards. The Gallows opens the combat phase, knocking two masts off the dangerous Resolucion.

3 VASSAL Games, 3 different opponents - July 6th, 2017

The Griffin gets Wet Gunpowder and Wine, while the Dervish sails home at S+S speed with a cargo hold full of valuable gold. The Agha’s Whip loses a mast to a reef on a 1, but Relics does indeed save her from the Algeciras. The Resolucion dismasts the Gallows, while the Virtuous Wind pursues and attacks the Morocco. The QoS grabs some great gold from the northern island, where in hindsight I should have built a fort.

3 VASSAL Games, 3 different opponents - July 6th, 2017

Continuing my bad luck with rolling 1’s, the Queen of Sheba manages to roll two 1’s in a row against the Algeciras to dismast herself and end any hopes the Corsairs had of being successful in combat! A truly revolting result, that shoot action exemplifies my typical bad luck during shoot actions. The QoS, Gallows, and Morocco were all sunk, leaving the Corsairs with just half of their original fleet. The Agha’s Whip and Dervish returned home with a ton of gold though, giving the Corsairs a big lead in the gold race. With the Spanish sailing straight for them, the Corsairs headed out to meet the Virtuous Wind.

3 VASSAL Games, 3 different opponents - July 6th, 2017

The VW and Algeciras made short work of the last Barbary “clones”, ending the game!

1. Barbary Corsairs: 34 gold
2. Spanish: 18 gold

The Spanish likely would have prevailed if they had left a Corsair ship alone to row around aimlessly, but alas it was a fun time nonetheless! The end of the game was extra fun, as the creator of the Spanish fleet, captain_vendari, joined us after seeing part of the game on Youtube! Both fleets seem pretty effective for 60 point fleets, and it was a good test for them.

~~~~~

Third game of July 6th
7/6/2017

Played my third game of the day for July 6th against a third opponent, which sets a new record for me. This time I faced captain_vendari, and we were live on Youtube with Skype commentary and discussion! This also marks my first game/battle report with commentary.

Vendari:
Coalition of Nations 2.0

a7xfanben:
Ben’s favorite Pirates

The Bloody Jewel, Hound, and Lightning went looking for gold. The Maryland took a mast off the Selkie (not quite able to ram and get pinned on purpose), before being captured by the Cursed Blade and then chain towed a tiny bit by the Carrion Crow to move her out of harm’s way. The Arrogant and Algeciras approached, but between my mast and named crew advantage, I figured I could prevail. As is typical, my dice luck proved me wrong…

3 VASSAL Games, 3 different opponents - July 6th, 2017

The Arrogant rams the Cursed Blade, taking off a mast, while the Algeciras dismasts the Selkie! The Cursed Blade hit 1/2 on her turn, while the Carrion Crow failed to ram the lone mast off the Arrogant.

The Bloody Jewel brought home a bunch of gold with the help of the Jade UT, and the Hound eventually brought back a bunch more.

The Lightning came over to ram the Arrogant derelict, and the Crow captured her. However, at this point the game had been decided, as the Coalition of Nations had an insurmountable lead in gold. They won a blowout 30-0 victory!

Although disappointed with the game itself, I thought this was a great step towards a new kind of battle report with the live commentary. I’d like to try various other combinations, such as my personal commentary with low-level music in the background. Ideas are welcome!

4th of July 2017 Game! Repkosai vs. A7XfanBen on VASSAL

4th of July 2017

7/4/2017

Just played a game with Repkosai on the 4th of July!  Check out the video of the VASSAL game, which was live streamed on YouTube complete with thematic music!

Repkosai wanted to be the Americans, so I played the English/British and rolled to go first:

English

HMS Algiers + Hermione Gold, firepot specialist, oarsman

HMS Frolic + oarsman

HMS Greyhound + captain

Lt. Nigel Hardwicke

Americans

Concord + Commodore Edward Preble, captain

Freedom + Master CPO Charles Richard

USS Plymouth Rock

(all game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet)

The Algiers got an extra action (EA) on her first turn, and I promptly decided to try a strategy I haven’t used very often.  The firepot specialist and oarsman were left at the English home island, allowing the Algiers to load up Hardwicke the marine and drop him off at the center wild island!  Hardwicke, especially with his hatred of the Americans, was to deter the colonists from getting gold from “his” island.  In the meantime, the Greyhound decided to escort the Frolic to the northeastern island, which looked like it was going to be hotly contested after Preble gave the Plymouth Rock an AA (Admiral’s Action) to approach it.

4th of July 2017 Game!  Repkosai vs. A7XfanBen on VASSAL

The Algiers quickly sails back home to pick up her other crew, while it appears that both early-game wild islands will be fought over.  (whether through naval battles and/or amphibious operations!)

4th of July 2017 Game!  Repkosai vs. A7XfanBen on VASSAL

The English take the initiative and fire upon the Americans!  Hardwicke misses, but the Greyhound maneuvers well enough to score a hit on the Plymouth Rock, dealing a blow to the US gold cause.  The Freedom and Concord will now have a free pass at the exposed English marine, but the Algiers has picked up her full crew complement and is lurking nearby….

4th of July 2017 Game!  Repkosai vs. A7XfanBen on VASSAL

A closeup of the action at the northeastern wild island, with English gunnery prevailing.

island action closeup

The Freedom approached the wild island and easily eliminated Hardwicke!  However, my luck was far better than usual, as the Algiers received an EA.  Not only that, I revealed my firepot specialist and hit 3 times out of 4 to cripple the Freedom!

4th of July 2017 Game!  Repkosai vs. A7XfanBen on VASSAL

The Greyhound captures the Plymouth Rock, as part of another plan I hatched….

4th of July 2017 Game!  Repkosai vs. A7XfanBen on VASSAL

The superior speed of the Algiers proves effective, as the English are able to set another American gunship on fire!  With the Freedom’s final mast succumbing to the flames, the Plymouth Rock captured, and now the Concord also aflame, the Americans are in deep trouble.

American ship on fire

But just as the American music turned to a more upbeat march, the Americans fought back hard!  The Concord’s crew watched the Freedom burn to the waterline and were determined not to suffer the same fate!  Simultaneously fighting fires and firing their cannons, they plowed the schooner into the dreaded Algiers.  With a successful shoot, ram, and board, Repkosai’s Americans went 3 for 3 to dismast the Algiers and eliminate her oarsman!  (in hindsight I should have eliminated the firepot specialist)  The English had lost their primary gunship, but another plan had come to fruition: after the Frolic docked home her gold, the English built Ramsgate in the northeast!  My plan was to establish a second base of operations while also letting the captured Plymouth Rock repair so the Greyhound wouldn’t have to tow her home at just S speed.

July 4th Pirates CSG game on VASSAL module

Alas, it was too late.  The Concord’s crew were exhausted from the dual fight against the flames and the Algiers, and the ship was lost to fire.  In a surprisingly short game, the English had won an exciting victory!  (final score was technically 12-0, with 3 gold on the English HI and 9 total in the fort)

We discussed afterwards that although Repkosai seemed to have better fleet construction (my fleet had just 5 total masts along with an expensive and ineffective Marine), I had almost all the luck.  Rolling to go first was just the start, as the Algiers rolled for a couple of well-timed EA’s and my cannons hit something like 6/7, which is nearly unheard of for me.  Despite the shortness of it, we had fun and look forward to more soon!  Hope you had a great 4th of July!