I’ve played another 3 game series, this time between a different version of UPS and the EA Gold Runners fleet. Again, if you haven’t checked out these fleets yet I suggest you do so. The links are below.
The island setup was a little bit different after a comment by marhawkman on BoardGameGeek.
The Coral was Hidden Cove’d to an island but she only found one silver coin on the island. She traded it home for +4 to give UPS4 7 gold at the end of the first turn, but she wouldn’t be able to get the extra +1 from the silver explorer back home if she continued to use that first island. However, because of the Sea Crane’s +1 and Gallows’ +2 there would always be at least +3 to the coin no matter the color. The Coral could go to another island and look for silver coins there, but she decided to stay at the first island.
By the end of the second turn UPS 4 had 12 gold on their HI.
On the third turn both of the EA rolls for the EA Runners fleet succeeded, with the Joya del Sol bringing home 7 gold. However, it was too little, too late as the Coral traded a 2 coin for the win after adding the +3 to make it 17-7 in favour of UPS4.
For the second game the HI’s were closer together towards the middle. UPS 4 went first and the Coral actually found the same treasure mix on her island as in the last game (one silver 3 and three gold 2’s).
This second game was quick and predictable after the Coral found the exact same treasure mix (the treasure was mixed up, it was just a coincidence). There was a little excitement however, with the Algeciras taking out two masts on the Longshanks after she docked at the island. The Joya again made it home, making the final score 17-8 in favour of UPS 4.
The third game saw the HI’s a medium distance apart. The Coral once again only found one silver coin, but this time it was a 1, with all three gold coins being 2’s. This meant that it would take four turns instead of three for UPS 4 to win the game since there were no 3’s on the island and therefore UPS 4 couldn’t bring in more than 5 gold in one turn.
The Algeciras was approaching the Coral’s island, forcing the Coral to act and build Dead Man’s Point.
The third turn of this game was the most exciting of the entire series. The Algeciras finally had a chance at the Coral, but only with a ram since the Coral can’t be shot at while docked. The Algeciras rammed but rolled a 1! She did manage to hit both times against the Longshanks, leaving the pirate ship with 1 mast. The Pirates retaliated on their turn by dismasting the Algeciras with both the Longshanks and Dead Man’s Point, but Captain Jack Hawkins died in the boarding action. At the end of turn 3 UPS 4 led 12-7.
The Star of Siam and Joya del Sol couldn’t get any gold home on the fourth turn, and the Coral traded another coin to a 17-7 victory!
For this series UPS version 4.0 beat EA Gold Runners 3 games to 0. This UPS fleet is fun to play although I think my favourite of the three UPS fleets (now that I’ve played them all) is the second one with the extreme speed of having a sac crew on a ship as fast as the Hai Peng.
The EA Runners fleet went first in both games. The Joya del Sol got the EA from Castro and was able to explore a nearby wild island, finding 6 gold and Turtles.
The Hai Peng was Hidden Cove’d to a wild island where she found Homing Beacon, Cross of Coronado, and Screu Engine along with just one 2-gold coin. After trading this to the Intrepide she sacced to the next island and found the 7, sending it home and using the +2’d first coin to build Paradis de la Mer (I feel like this fleet makes a verb out of everything). This left 9 total gold on UPS’s HI (7 + 2).
On the second turn the EA fleet failed to get any extra actions and was relegated to sailing to and from islands at S+S+S, quite slow in a game like this haha.
Since the Hai Peng knew there was no point in going back to the first island with only UT’s, she redocked twice at Paradis on the second turn, sending home 4 gold total. This was upped to 8 via Aristide and it gave the Pirates a 17-0 victory!
At the end of the first turn the Hai Peng had loaded Homing Beacon, which UPS considered using because the first island was mostly a dud and they couldn’t send coins home from it. The Hai Peng would load two coins from the second island (Paradis), teleport home via the Beacon, then sac an oarsman to catapult to a new island that the Star of Siam had just docked at but not explored. However, it was easier to just use Captain Jack Sparrow and send home two coins from Paradis, upon which Aristide doubled their values and gave UPS enough gold to win. Also, although it was a shutout for UPS, the EA fleet had 6 gold on the Joya and all 10 Turtles approaching their HI.
The Joya del Sol got an EA from Castro on the first turn and found 17 gold on one island! She found the 7 and 6 that her fleet had contributed as well as two 2’s.
The Hai Peng traded back 2 gold as normal, but due to the island setup she wasn’t able to reach a second island. Their HI was the middle island and the Joya’s island and the EA fleet’s HI were the only islands she could have gotten to.
The island setup proved irrelevant on the second turn when the Joya got another EA and docked home her 17 gold to win the game for the EA Runners!
This third game was the fastest of the three and proved that even UPS v. 2.0 can be beat by a ship using extra actions that happened to get very lucky with the gold. It also made me think of the “more than half the starting gold” rule for two player games, which really does make things a bit boring and predictable. These games are meant to use the official rules (which actually help these particular fleets, especially UPS), but it would be interesting to see what would happen if the treasure was more random and it was kept face down on home islands.
Conclusion: UPS v. 2.0 beats EA Gold Runners 2 games to 1. The third game was a bit of a fluke because the Joya found 17 gold on one island and the UPS HI was in a bad spot. I would say that this version of UPS is better than the original fleet because of Jimmy Legs. The Longshanks didn’t really do a lot anyway and this Hai Peng is so fast and active it’s kind of scary.
The next three game series will pit UPS v. 2.0 against the Extra Action Gold Runners fleet. I was only able to play the first game of the series just now. Again, if you haven’t checked out those fleets yet I suggest you do so. The links are below.
UPS (v. 2.0) went first. The Hai Peng was Hidden Cove’d to the middle wild island and found Screu Engine which was left behind. A 2 coin was traded via CJS/Intrepide/Aristide (you know the deal by now) and the Pirates were in business with 4 gold. At the next island the Hai Peng found both Turtles and Homing Beacon, making the EA Runners fleet look bad by finding their UT’s before they even left home! Paradis de la Mer was built on this second island. The Rover sailed towards the middle island.
For the EA Runners fleet, all three (counting Vaccaro’s reroll) of the EA rolls failed and therefore the Star of Siam and Joya del Sol were unable to reach islands.
Turn 2 was incredibly predictable. Thanks to darrin’s comprehensive fleet description I was able to follow his instructions to a tee:
1. Move the Hai Peng away and then re-dock at the same island with your first fort. Send another coin to L’Intrepide.
2. As a free action, swap Maurice Aristide back onto L’Intrepide and put another oarsman on Le Coeur de Lion.
3. Use an explore action to unload L’Intrepide’s coin for +2 gold.
4. Sacrifice an oarsman to Jimmy Legs, load the traded oarsman as a free action, and move back to the first island you explored. Send another coin to Le Coeur de Lion.
5. As a free action, move Maurice Aristide to Le Coeur de Lion.
6. Use an explore action to unload Le Coeur de Lion’s coin for +2 gold.
7. Build a second fort at the island where Hai Peng is docked.
Dead Man’s Point was built on the middle wild island.
The EA Runners were luckier than on their first turn with the Joya getting an extra action from Castro without having to reroll. The Joya explored the northeastern island and found 10 gold (the UT’s required the EA fleet to put a 7, a 6 and a 2 into the treasure mix), then turned around and made it halfway home.
Because the gold in forts doesn’t technically count towards victory anymore the UPS fleet would have to make do. The Hai Peng traded another 2 (4 after Aristide) to her HI, leaving the Pirates with 12 gold total on their HI. The Hai Peng then went back to Paradis and loaded both 2’s for 4 gold total. At this point there were no more oarsmen left on the HI for which to trade to the Hai Peng. The Rover had meanwhile picked up a 2 from Dead Man’s Point and was sailing home with it.
For the EA fleet, all 3 rolls failed once again. The Joya del Sol docked home 10 gold to narrow the score to 12-10 in favor of UPS. In the meantime the Algeciras had approached the Rover and managed to get her 3L gun in range, but she missed (this was the only shot fired in the game).
The Hai Peng simply raced home and sacced Cotton (the helmsman) to make it the whole way. She unloaded her cargo of 4 gold to give UPS the 16-10 victory!
Observations: This UPS fleet is obscenely complicated and involved, not to mention FAST. I’d like to congratulate darrin for making such a well-thought-out fleet. It really is interesting to play. I had to look at the fleet description to know what I was supposed to do with all the crew and treasure transfers! What really struck me was how long the turn takes. With the Hai Peng doing so much and getting the two ships at the HI involved, the UPS turns took FAR longer than any normal turn for other fleets, including the EA fleet.
It’s funky to do so much with crew. I started to get confused as to how many crew and points I was supposed to fit on the Hai Peng and which oarsmen were supposed to be on the Intrepide vs. the Coeur. Then the crew ran out! Jimmy Legs and Aristide just make things even more interesting. The explorer is a good candidate to be sacced because after the first turn you really don’t need him since you’ve already explored the two islands you need to hit.
The next two games in this series will be played tomorrow (12/23).
The Death’s Anchor is proxying in for the Minuteman while the Diablo is a proxy for the Armada.
Two islands were placed 6L apart and the games got under way. The GT (Grand Temple) fleet didn’t use Divers or the UT’s since it was a deathmatch. The GT fleet went first for the first two games and the Kettering went first in the last game, not that it really mattered. Both fleets simply tried to maneuver to get the first shot. With three cancellers, two flotillas and the Grand Temple things were bound to get heated quickly!
The GT got the SAT from Crimson Angel and moved just out of range of the cancelling Kettering . She had 5 guns in range and hit every time, dismasting the Kettering and Algeciras. The Armada retaliated but only hit once in four tries, although this eliminated CRGO (Commodore Rhys Gryffyn Owen). The Minuteman also went 1 for 4 to take a second mast off the GT. The Grand Temple then sank both the Algeciras and Kettering. The Minuteman sank the Rye and the Armada hit the GT twice, eliminating both H. Gold and Lawrence. The GT eliminated the flag on Armada but only had two guns left so she couldn’t sink her, allowing Armada to dismast the Temple and win the game for the Spanish Americans!
For the second game the GT again waited to get an SAT from Angel in order to strike first, taking out both flotillas in a 6 for 6 shoot action. After the first game the GT didn’t want to face the flotillas late in the game.
Luis Zuan was cancelled aboard the Algeciras but she moved to ram and dismast the Rye, who was still able to move with her oar power. The Kettering, originally with her stern to the GT, managed to get two of her three guns in range and hit all 4 times, once again leaving the GT with only two masts. However, this was just enough for the GT to shoot and ram the Kettering to dismast her. The Algeciras sunk the Rye but the GT then dismasted the Algeciras, giving the English a victory to even the series at one apiece.
For the third game the Spanish Americans decided to be more aggressive and try to at least get a shot in before the GT got the SAT. The Algeciras maneuvered the Armada to get her S+S range guns just into range, hitting 1 out of 3 times and eliminating CRGO (cargo just like the ability says ). The Minuteman and Algeciras also got a few hits in to leave the GT with three masts. The Kettering missed the GT twice before the GT could retaliate, dismasting the Kettering. However, the flotillas showed their power once again by combining to sink the GT.
For this series, the USS Kettering fleet defeated the HMS GT 2 fleet 2 games to 1.
Dead Man’s Chest UT fleet vs. Universal Pirate Shipping
I’ve started to test out a multitude of fleets that I’ve wanted to play for a while now. First up: Universal Pirate Shipping (by darrin) vs. the Dead Man’s Chest UT Fleet (lordstu). (Note: if you aren’t familiar with these fleets it would be very helpful to read up on them, or else the battle report probably won’t make a lot of sense.)
Because this was a more “serious” game (just as the others between such competitive fleets will be), the islands were placed at their usual distance of 3L apart rather than 2L or 1L. No terrain was used. Since Captain Jack Sparrow can’t trade away the UT’s in the original UPS fleet they weren’t used. In this way the fleet utilized 7 2’s and a 1 so they’d be able to build Paradis de la Mer on the first turn no matter what. The DMC (Dead Man’s Chest) fleet only used the actual UT Dead Man’s Chest since that was the entire object of the gimmick.
For the first game the UPS fleet rolled to go first. The Hai Peng immediately jumped to the first island in the middle and was able to build Paradis de la Mer with the Longshanks and Jolly Mon following.
The DMC fleet Hidden Cove’d the Banshee’s Cry to the northeastern island and she redocked in order to explore, improbably finding the Dead Man’s Chest! The nature of the game (with the original “more than half the starting gold” aka 16 gold) lent itself to a quick ending. The Cry essentially contained an instant win if the UPS fleet couldn’t hit her or eliminate some crew. However, this is where another event, Becalmed, came into play. It was placed midway between the Hai Peng and the Longshanks, partially freezing both ships and the Jolly Mon. I say partially because all three ships had oarsmen and were able to move a little bit on the following turn. They couldn’t move enough to be able to catch the speedy Cry, leaving her to race home and give the DMC fleet a quick victory! The Cry also had 2 gold on her from the island so the final score was:
DMC fleet: 18 gold
UPS fleet: 0 gold
I was stunned that a fleet as slow and gimmicky as the DMC fleet could beat UPS so handily. However, Hidden Cove and Becalmed gave them a huge advantage, and the Cry was lucky to find the DMC UT at the first island she went to.
For the second game the home islands were reversed. UPS went first again, with the Hai Peng springing out to build Paradis de la Mer on the middle island. UPS tried to position their ships farther apart than in the last game but Becalmed still managed to reach the Hai Peng and Longshanks.
The Banshee’s Cry didn’t find the DMC on the first island she went to. However, the abilities of the Morocco and Raven’s Neck revealed it to be on the southwestern island.
Because of Becalmed the UPS fleet couldn’t build another fort on the second turn, but the Hai Peng saw the Banshee’s Cry and decided to go after her because she’s so vulnerable.
The Hai Peng used her extreme speed to catch up to the Cry and knock down her lone mast. At this point the game was looking dismal for the DMC fleet, but the Cry had an oarsman which she used to crawl towards the island with the DMC on it.
Despite their slow speeds the Morocco and Raven’s Neck started to reach the action, turning two all-gold fleets into a couple of fighting fleets! The Morocco rammed the Hai Peng but it backfired when she lost the boarding action and therefore one of her six oarsmen.
On the next turn the Longshanks took out a mast and oarsman on the Raven’s Neck, but the Hai Peng really sealed the game for the UPS fleet. She blocked the Cry, explored the island, took the DMC and built Dead Man’s Point (via Sparrow/Aristide) all in one turn!
At this point the game was safely in the hands of the UPS fleet so the DMC fleet forfeited the game to save some time for one final game to decide the winner of the three game series.
The third and final game was the shortest of them all. The DMC fleet went first for the first time and was therefore able to use Becalmed to freeze the Hai Peng for the UPS’s first turn. The Cry was Hidden Cove’d to an island where she found the DMC. With a turn already lost it was too late for the UPS fleet. The Hai Peng almost managed to catch the Cry since she moves so fast, but she came up just short, allowing the Cry to dock the DMC home for another instant win!
The Cry brings home the DMC just in front of the UPS fleet (unintentionally in line of battle lol).
For this series the DMC fleet beat the UPS fleet two out of three times. This really surprised me, although the original UPS fleet probably isn’t the most effective one. I’ll be testing the others very soon. The two events really help out quite a lot, part of the reason I made that thread recently. I’ll likely use these fleets in some other games soon, especially once more of the 40 point fleets are out.
The Spanish were the first player. With the islands only 2L apart and the home islands close together it would be interesting to see how the Garante and her canoes went about their maneuvering. The Hambre was able to get to the nearest island while all of the other Spanish ships formed a cluster with the Monarca and Anunciada on the port side of the Garante.
The Americans saw the Spanish and considered moving north and northeast to avoid conflict and escort their treasure runners (the Lynx and James Madison) to wild islands. The Lynx and James Madison headed northeast, but the Roanoke and Sioux decided to take a chance and make a run at the Spanish while they were bunched up and vulnerable.
Hidden Cove was flipped, docking the Sioux at the northern side of the middle wild island where the canoes had started the game. She sailed northwest to block all three Spanish ships and fired a powerful broadside, dismasting the Monarca and taking out a mast on the Anunciada! Hidden Cove had been used once again to give a fleet a decided advantage.
The Roanoke sailed north and sank one of the native canoes, missing with her other guns. Then Blackheart sacced the American oarsman and raked the Garante by the stern, shooting away two more masts. After the impressive Spanish fleet had set sail, the game was almost over before it had even started!
Although the Spanish were in bad shape and surrounded by the two American gunships, they fought back admirably on the next turn. The Anunciada set the Sioux on fire with her equipment. Then the native canoes took a shoot action, hitting once in three tries to reduce the Sioux to one mast. Finally the Garante moved and used the nearby canoes to hit the Sioux twice more to sink her! In the meantime the Hambre explored her wild island, finding a 7 and a 2 and no UT’s.
The Roanoke moved quickly to retaliate. Her first action sunk the Hambre, upon which the Americans used Divers to recover all of the sunken gold, giving them 9 gold on their HI. The Roanoke sacced her explorer to move and shoot a second time, dismasting the Anunciada and taking out two more masts on the Garante, leaving the Spanish with one mast on the Garante and four native canoes. The Lynx and James Madison were at islands getting gold.
At this point it was far too late for the Spanish. The Garante managed to take a mast off the James Madison and moved the Lynx and her island via Bad Maps, but the Americans ended the game soon thereafter with the Roanoke.
In the end the final score was technically 9-0 in favour of the Americans, however there was actually another 18 gold on the James Madison and Lynx coming home. The combination of Hidden Cove, Captain Blackheart, and some well-timed Divers made for a quick blowout American victory.
Here were the rolls:
5: Roll on Special Set-up 1 table; no Limits
3: 4 free ships, each with a different hull design or number of masts; roll on Special Crew
4: 12 points for crew & events
This setup once again lent itself well to using rather expensive ships, so not surprisingly only one ship was under 12 points. The fleets unintentionally came out quite random, but the focus was on using game pieces that haven’t been used much yet (if at all) and may not see much usage again, while still remaining competitive.
Just like the last game, three random UT’s were included in the usual distribution of 4 coins for 4 wild islands. The islands were once again about L+S apart, with the home islands being close to each other.
Since there was no pattern in terms of nationality for either fleet, I will separate their half of each turn with paragraph breaks.
On the first turn, both the Sea Wind and the Scorpion grabbed gold to the north and east. The Sea Wind found Knights of Malta Banner, which is all but useless to non-Corsairs. The Scorpion found Runes of Defense, but decided against loading it because it would leave space for only one gold coin. The United States and L’Ange de la Mer (abbreviated with LAM) hovered around the Sea Wind.
Calim immediately went into an enraged frenzy! She stayed above the surface and rammed and boarded the United States. The ram was unsuccessful, but the boarding party took out a mast and the American helmsman. The Cheshire explored the southwestern island, taking two coins and Runes of Loki.
On the second turn, the United States opened fire! Since she was pinned and had her remaining four cannons in range, the Americans decided to go with a Broadsides Attack! With a dramatic flourish a 6 was rolled , blasting Calim backwards and sending her to the depths! The rest of Calim’s fleet frantically looked in the Code for the ruling on Broadsides Attack in terms of using Runes of Loki as a counter. Finding nothing, their excitement mounted until seeing the entry for Runes of Loki in the back of the Code:
The Pirate Code wrote:
Runes of Loki
Runes of Thor
-These abilities may be applied to any die roll that is made during the game regardless of which player rolled it or why, with the exception of a shoot action using the Broadside Attack keyword.
With that, the matter was settled, and Calim officially sunk beneath the waves. Making the situation even worse for the rest of Calim’s fleet, the LAM maneuvered to take two masts out on the Pequod. The Sea Wind docked home her coins.
(this one reminds me of the end of the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, when the Black Pearl initially shoots back the Kraken)
The Bashaw Folly became desperate after the death of Calim. With Celemente aboard, the Mercs were happy to give the Americans some of their own medicine. The Folly rammed the United States and succeeded with her own Broadsides Attack, leaving the United States with just one mast! The ram would’ve dismasted her, but it was a 1. However, the Folly also won the boarding party to kill the US captain, leaving the former five master with no crew.
On the third turn, the Scorpion docked home her gold. The LAM scored 3 hits on 4 tries against the Cheshire, but the Cheshire saved herself by using Runes of Loki to negate one of the hits, leaving her with one mast. The United States, now with S speed and unable to move-and-shoot, rolled once more for a Broadsides Attack to try to dismast the Folly. Luck was not with the Americans this time, however, as they rolled a 1. However, the Sea Wind had docked on the previous turn in such a way that two of her three guns were in range of the pinned Bashaw Folly. Since the United States was within S of the Sea Wind, she would get +1 to her cannon rolls. This meant she needed fours to hit, still an improbable task considering the lack of luck with the dice. However, she rolled two 4’s and dismasted the Folly!
In the meantime, the Cheshire docked home her 2 coins, while the Pequod rammed away the final mast on the United States.
The fourth turn saw the LAM sink the Bashaw Folly. The Pequod rammed the LAM but lost both rolls. The Cheshire repaired a mast.
On the next turn, both the Scorpion and Sea Wind went back to wild islands, while the LAM sank the Pequod.
At this point, the Cheshire had to concede defeat, while stalling tactics would only result in the other fleet gathering more gold. She sailed out to take on the LAM, who promptly sunk her to end the game!
Fleet #2: 17 gold
Fleet #1: 8 gold
This was the last game for now, but I’ll be able to play again in about 3 weeks. That’s when things will really rev up.
Free Ships Totaling 10 Masts – November 29th, 2014
I’ve played another game using CC Mike’s setup tables. For this game (as well as any future ones using the tables), I decided to re-roll any dice that had the same results as before, although no rerolls were necessary today.
I rolled a 4 (free ships totalling 10 masts), a 2 (roll on limits table), and another 2 (no named crew allowed). With no point limit, this would be the perfect game to try out some of those small expensive ships that normally wouldn’t see use.
USS Stephens + helmsman
Pale Moon + captain, helmsman
Sea Serpent + explorer
In addition, 3 random UT’s were placed into the treasure distribution.
Turn 1 consisted of all ships spreading out to the islands. Five ships headed for the northeast island, spelling trouble.
On the second turn, the Sea Serpent explored the northeast island and took 2 coins. The Pale Moon was able to move, shoot, and dock all in one turn, taking out two masts on the Naegling and grabbing another coin from the island. The Tripoli docked at the island as well but had no explorer and so had to wait. The Desert Wind landed a hit on the Sea Serpent, while the Naegling shot away both of the Pale Moon’s masts with her remaining mast using the Longship keyword. The Naegling also boarded the Moon and stole the lone coin she had loaded. In the meantime, the HJ (this is the abbreviation I’m using for the Hlidskjalf) and the Nimcha docked at an island in the northwest.
The Lynx was headed home with three coins. The Pale Moon nabbed the last coin from the northeast island before the Tripoli could explore. Because the Desert Wind can’t be shot at within S, the Sea Serpent had to simply sail for home, unable to use her reverse captain ability that would have been perfect for that situation.
On the BV’s (Barbary Vikings) turn, the Desert Wind shot away the last mast on the Sea Serpent and stole one of her two coins. The Tripoli captured the Pale Moon as the Naegling turned home to repair and dock home the coin she stole from the Moon. The Nimcha and HJ explored their island, only to find three 1’s and the often useless Trees UT. The Fenrir, who had previously been playing cat-and-mouse with the Stephens, moved to within striking distance (L+S) of the American HI.
The Lynx brought home her 3 coins. The mighty USS Stephens finally caught up with the Fenrir and maneuvered to get 4 guns in range. True to form, all four of them missed! This left the door wide open for the BV’s, who capitalized on their opportunity. The Desert Wind rammed and dismasted the Lynx. The Fenrir sailed in and stole two of the three coins that the Lynx had just brought home. Finally, the Tripoli ditched the Pale Moon to block the Stephens. The Nimcha and Naegling both docked, bringing home 2 coins for the BV’s.
The Lynx repaired her mast, while the Stephens somewhat redeemed herself by going 3 for 5 to sink the Fenrir. The Tripoli captured the Sea Serpent. The HJ docked home 2 more coins for the BV’s while the Naegling spent the turn repairing.
The Americans pulled a fast one by using the Lynx’s lone cannon (4L) to sink the captured Sea Serpent! Since the Tripoli couldn’t be shot at and there were no other ships in range, the Stephens simply turned around.
The galleys ganged up on the Stephens. The Tripoli landed an improbable hit with her 4S cannon, which was followed by the Desert Wind moving in to ram the Stephens. This chaos resulted in another lost mast and the death of the helmsman on the Stephens. To make matters worse for the Americans, the Nimcha sailed up and rammed the Stephens, further limiting her movement.
On the seventh turn, the Lynx ran for the only untouched island, while the Stephens dismasted the Nimcha. It was too late for the Stephens, however, as the Desert Wind and Tripoli teamed up to dismast her, upon which she was captured by the Nimcha.
The Lynx grabbed the last coin from the island she had explored earlier in the game, but the Naegling caught up with her and easily shot away her single mast, ending the game!
The BV’s benefited from their boarding and HI-raiding tactics, overcoming the rather low-value coins that they found.
Barbary Vikings: 12 gold
Americans: 9 gold
In addition, there was still 5 gold left on the Desert Wind and Pale Moon, and the Lynx had 1 gold on her when the game ended.
I was able to play a game just now! This was the first game since late September, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been two months, probably since the previous hiatus was so much longer.
For this particular game I decided to use Cadet-Captain Mike’s random setup tables. I rolled a 1 (30 point fleets), a 4 (no limits), and a 3 (no crew limits or bonuses). Basically a simple 30 point game (like back in the SM days ) with no restrictions.
You can see that the French were going for a setup favoring multiple smaller ships while the Pirates set sail with two large ships. The low point limit lent itself well to using the Bonne Chance and the Flying Dutchman, two of the cheaper gunships in the game.
It had to be a quick game, so no terrain and UT’s were used. However, for the first time I was conscious of implementing woelf’s house rules, which I have been interested in for a few months now.
1) The build total is randomly determined by rolling 2d6, a d12, or a d20 and multiplying by 10. (We used the d12 this time.)
2) Fleets are built “on the spot”, so we know prior to building which nations are being used. We also make it known if including any “specialty” ships that require unique counters (specifically, submersibles) in a fleet, so the other players can adjust accordingly. (This minimizes unfair advantages and helps avoid wasting points on contingencies that would be useless without their specific targets.)
3) Treasure (including UTs) is completely randomized after building fleets. We make it a point to mix a variety of different colors – light gold, dark gold, silver, and even transparent.
4) Events and Forts are generally not used. (They aren’t explicitly forbidden, but we just never bother with them.)
5) We play until only one player has ships remaining or there is no treasure left to be unloaded at home islands.
For this game all but number 1 was used, because of the random setup table. For the future, there probably won’t be much variety in terms of gold because the extra-light pieces are few and far between in my collection and therefore it’s easy to see which island has a particular treasure value. I hope to use silver explorers in fleets more often. I don’t have any transparent gold. Events aren’t too popular (if you couldn’t already tell ) unless I’m purposely testing out fleets that are supposed to win every game – Norvegia, Hai Peng combos, etc, etc. On the other hand, I very much enjoy using forts, although sadly they don’t see much action in small and fast games.
The Pirates were the first player, and the French picked a home island for them to the east. The Pirates picked the middle island to be the French HI. In addition, although the ships weren’t from the Spanish Main set, I wanted it to be close to an “original” game, so the islands were placed 2L apart. In general, the closer the islands are to each other the better. Also, now that I think about it, there was no terrain in SM, so it’s actually good that there wasn’t terrain in this setup.
The Pirates went first, and the Black Heart headed to an island. The Flying Dutchman followed on her starboard side in order to potentially block the nearby Bonne Chance. The French split up, with each of the three small ships heading to a different wild island. The Bonne Chance circled around her HI, keeping an eye on the Flying Dutchman.
On the next turn, all four ships designed to carry gold docked at their islands. However, only the Pirates could load gold since the Black Heart was the only ship with an explorer. This left the St. Joan a potential sitting duck for the nearby Dutchman.
On the next turn, the Dutchman sailed towards the docked St. Joan, who would explore later that same turn. The Dutchman’s speed of L+S and S-range cannons weren’t enough to reach the St. Joan, but the Pirates sailed straight for her anyway because they needed to make a move before it was too late and the French runners got home. Also, the Bonne Chance has only three masts against the Dutchman’s five, so the Pirates were willing to take a hit or two if they could cripple at least one French runner.
The Marianne and Fureur loaded gold as the Black Heart sailed home with all four coins from the southeast island. However, the Bonne Chance moved to counter the Dutchman just as the Pirates expected, taking out one mast in a rather unsuccessful shoot action.
The Dutchman was only partially blocked and was able to maneuver around the Bonne Chance and get her remaining four guns in range of the St. Joan. The Pirates were thinking their gamble had paid off, until the Dutchman missed all four shots! The French followed by moving the Bonne Chance out of the St. Joan’s way and simultaneously using her captain to take out two more masts on the Dutchman. The Dutchman’s ineffective guns proved to be the turning point in this game. In the meantime, the Black Heart docked home her gold as the Marianne, Fureur, and St. Joan all headed for the French HI.
With the Dutchman in need of help, the Black Heart headed west. The Dutchman, with only two masts remaining, turned to desperate measures and ignored the dangerous Bonne Chance, heading north and finally succeeding at a shoot action by dismasting the Marianne. The French triumphantly dominated on their turn, with the Bonne Chance sinking the Dutchman with the help of her built-in reroll, and the Fureur and St. Joan docking home 5 coins.
With the St. Joan and Fureur docked, the Black Heart surprised the French by suddenly reversing course and heading north towards the island that the Fureur had explored. The Fureur and St. Joan headed west to tow the Marianne and grab the gold from the island that the Marianne couldn’t get on her first trip. The Bonne Chance shadowed the Black Heart, wary of her size and identical built-in reroll ability.
Once again, the Black Heart changed direction. She went after the St. Joan and Fureur, but the Bonne Chance was too quick for her. The Bonne Chance caught up to her and shot and rammed away all four of her masts, ending the game!
The gold was tallied up, with the French receiving much higher values on average than the Pirates.
France: 21 gold
Pirates: 8 gold
Although a bit lopsided, this was an interesting game that marked a return to the old-school 30 point format. Hope you enjoyed it!
Hey everybody, finally was able to play again after an eight month hiatus. It’s been too long. Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to play again for a while, but the game I did play was memorable and fun!
After rereading woelf’s review of El Garante, I was inspired to use her, with none other than the Spanish Native Canoes to provide cheerleaders to complement the Garante’s ability. To round out the Spanish fleet, I went with the Rafael, a four masted schooner from DJC that I hadn’t used before, and HMS Trepassey, which is an English ship that I threw in since I hadn’t used her either, being one of the newer additions to my fleet.
The above fleet went against a Pirate fleet with 3 new ships (I had to punch them and everything!) and El Tejon, a superb support gunship with the sniping ability (double the range of this ship’s cannons, hit only on a 6). The other ships were the Black Pearl (the uncommon version), the Freedom’s Hand (another two masted sniper ship), and the Adventure, a three masted schooner from CC with 5 cargo that would serve as the fleet’s main treasure runner.
The fleets were 60 points, and a standard setup with 6 islands, 6 terrain, and 16 coins worth 30 gold was distributed. With a tip from CC Mike, I’ve found that games are usually more fun when the islands are 2L apart from each other (like in the old days), rather than 3L. This was the case for this game as well. It also helps the game go a little bit faster, which can help if you have limited time in which to play.
The Spanish were the first player, and the Pirates picked a home island for them in the east. The Spanish went first after picking a western island to be the Pirates’ HI. The native canoes were placed by the Spanish on an island just to the southwest of the Spanish HI.
On the first turn, the Trepassey sailed southeast at L+S+S since her cargo hold was empty, reaching the first island. There she found 5 total gold. The canoes emptied their island, leaving one canoe empty. The Garante set off in the direction of the native canoes, in the hopes that they could unite to make the Garante’s guns more accurate.
For the Pirates, the Adventure sailed northeast to the nearest wild island, escorted for the moment by the Black Pearl. Due to their sniping abilities and the close distances between islands, the Tejon and Freedom’s Hand were able to get their extra-long range guns in range of the Spanish. With one gun in range, the Tejon rolled a 5 (she needed a 6) and missed the Garante. The Freedom’s Hand moved more to the south and sniped a canoe that had loaded a coin from the island, giving the Pirates the gold lead (it was a 1) on the first hit of the game! Her second shot missed, but the Pirates were up 1-0 and the Spanish lost a canoe.
On the next turn, the Trepassey headed back to the Spanish HI, while the Rafael made it to the island she was sailing to in the north. Upon exploring, her crew found just 4 1’s, of which she had room for 3.
In the south, the Garante was looking to avenge the sinking of one of “her” canoes, sailing into range of the Freedom’s Hand. However, there was only one other canoe within S of the Garante when she shot at the Hand, but it helped. The Garante hit 2 times out of 4, dismasting the Hand and ending the threat to the other native canoes. The canoe that was closest to the Garante was the only one without gold, so the other three headed northeast to return to the Spanish HI.
The Freedom’s Hand is a galley, and with a helmsman she was able to move S+S away from the Garante, looking to head home and repair. In the meantime, the Adventure loaded 3 coins from a wild island.
At this moment, the Pirates faced the first dilemma of many that they would encounter in this game. Between the speed of the Black Pearl (L+S+S) and the range of El Tejon’s cannons (2L, or L+L), this Pirate fleet has considerable long range firepower and striking capabilities (plus all four of the Pearl’s guns are long range). However, the speed (L+S) of the Tejon meant that it would be very difficult to get both of her regular guns in range. They measured multiple times, but they determined that they had two options. The Tejon had only one canoe in range of her regular (non-doubled range) cannons, but with the extended range she had 2 canoes in range.
At this point I consulted the Pirate Code to find out if you can double the range of only ONE (or maybe 2 out of 5 if it was a bigger ship like the Neptuno) of the ship’s cannons, and roll regularly on the other one. The Pirate Code didn’t say, so I’m asking in the Rules Thread. However, the ability text reads: “You may double the range of this ship’s cannonS each turn, but you must roll a 6 to hit.” Since it says “cannons”, I ruled that it can’t shoot one cannon at L and the other cannon at L+L on the same turn. Therefore the Pirates were faced with a choice of shooting once at 2L or twice at 5L. They decided to risk shooting twice and rolled a 4 on the first shot. However, the second shot was a 6! As it happened, the shot that hit was on the canoe that was already within L range. In the end, a second native canoe was sent to the bottom, but she had a 2 on her. The sunken treasure was split 50/50, giving the Pirates 2 gold to the Spaniards’ 1.
Edit: Woelf ruled that you actually CAN double the range of only one of the ship’s cannons.
The Black Pearl sailed behind the docked Rafael and promptly shot away all four of her masts in a perfect 4/4 shoot action!
On the next turn, the Trepassey docked home 5 gold, giving the Spanish 6 overall. Next to dock were the two remaining canoes that held gold. Fortunately for the Spanish, these were the two canoes that had the highest value coins of the four original canoes, a 4 and a 3. However, the +1 gold bonus from the ability of the canoes brought the total value of the gold to 9 (4+3+1+1), which left the Spanish at 15 overall, only 1 gold away from winning!
Now it was time for the Garante to move. When she sailed south to attack the Freedom’s Hand on the previous turn, this allowed the Tejon to sink one of the canoes. The Garante still had to turn around and sail northeast to get at the Tejon, which would have taken two turns (there was also a Sargasso Sea in the area to complicate things). In the end, she sailed northwest to pursue the fleeing Freedom’s Hand, and easily sunk her. The canoe without gold continued to follow the Garante to give her +1 to cannon rolls.
With 15 gold, the Spanish could taste victory. Knowing how powerful the Black Pearl and the Tejon were, they looked to the fastest way to win: sinking the Rafael. If the Rafael and the three gold (all 1’s) on her went under, the Spanish would win either way. If the Pirates sank her, they would receive 2 gold and the Spanish would receive 1 gold, giving them 16 gold and the win. If the Spanish could scuttle the Rafael, the 3 gold would be removed from the game, which would only leave 14 gold left in play for the Pirates (30 gold – 13 actual gold on Spanish HI since 2 are “tallies” = 17 – 3 gold from Rafael = 14 gold < 15). The Pirates needed the gold from the Rafael and all but one gold from what was left on the islands in order to win the game.
The Spanish rolled a successful 5 on the scuttle attempt, but the Black Pearl captured the Rafael on the Pirates’ turn, making her a member of the Pirate fleet. The Adventure headed home with gold.
The Tejon had turned around and now went after the Garante, since the canoes had already docked home their gold. The Tejon just barely managed to get both of her guns within L+L range, and hit with one of them, taking out one mast on the Garante.
The Spanish took their turn and sent their remaining treasure runners (the Trepassey and the two canoes docked at their HI) to the southeast island that the Trepassey had already explored, since they knew that the one gold on the island would win them the game if they could get it home. The Spanish sent all three in order to have strength in numbers, hoping that the Trepassey could get the coin home while the canoes ran interference.
In the meantime, the big bad Garante decided she’d had enough of the Tejon’s sniping actions, sailing around the Sargasso and sinking the Tejon with help from the canoe that was still following her. In fact, 2 out of the 3 hits were 3’s, which would have missed if not for the +1 provided by the canoe being within S of the Garante! With that, the Pirates had both of their snipers sunk, leaving them with the Adventure and the Black Pearl.
The Adventure docked home 8 gold, bringing the Pirates to 10 gold total. The Spanish still led 15-10. Since towing the derelict Rafael would slow the Black Pearl down (although not very much, since I believe the Pearl would still be able to go S+S+S with her ability and helmsman), the Pearl decided to drop her and speed after the three Spanish treasure runners to the south.
The one masters head south as the Black Pearl looms:
As planned, the Trepassey grabbed the 1 gold from the southeast island, while the canoes tried to stand between her and the oncoming Black Pearl. The canoes are tiny, and had no time to orient themselves properly before the lightning fast gunship was upon them. The Pearl managed to get in range of one canoe, sinking it, but was out of range of the other one and the Trepassey.
The Garante sailed east towards the action, with her trusty canoe following right behind. The Adventure set out to the east as well, knowing she was probably too slow and too late to help the Black Pearl.
The game was coming to a thrilling conclusion! The Trepassey was desperate to avoid the Black Pearl, sailing around a reef in the south and trying to get home. The Garante headed northeast around a different reef to sink the Rafael, who was now a Pirate ship but also a sitting duck.
Here was another Pirate dilemma: the Black Pearl had to either sink the Trepassey, who had the winning gold aboard, or attack the Garante, who was about to sink the Rafael and therefore force the end of the game. Their decision was made easier due to the fact that the Trepassey had just gotten within L+S of the Spanish HI (L+S is her base move when carrying treasure), so the Black Pearl had no choice but to sink the Trepassey. In addition, the Black Pearl would have needed to hit all four times to guarantee (no pun intended) that the Garante would be dismasted and therefore not able to sink the Rafael.
The Black Pearl sank the Trepassey, giving the Pirates the 1 gold on her (Spanish lead 15-11). It was inconsequential, but the Adventure picked up the 2 that was still lying on her island from earlier in the game.
On the next turn, the Garante sailed into range of the Rafael and tried to sink her to end the game! Although the Spanish had been ahead in the gold race for a while at this point, the Pirates had many opportunities for false hope, even to the very end. The Garante missed on her first three shots, and only on the final shot did she roll a 3, sinking the former Spanish ship to give the Spanish a 17-12 victory! (the Spanish got 2 of the 3 gold on the Rafael, with the Pirates getting the other 1) If that native canoe wasn’t still following the Garante around, the Pirates would have had another shot! So although the strategy of using the native canoes to support the Garante didn’t work as well as planned, with only one canoe providing any cannon bonus, that one canoe made all the difference!
Towards the end of the game the Pirates realized that they could have kept towing the Rafael. The Black Pearl had a captain and helmsman aboard, so even with the Rafael in tow she would have sailed at S+S+S, probably fast enough to sink the Trepassey anyway. In this way, however, the Rafael would have been mobile and farther away from the Garante than she was in the actual game, not to mention that the Garante would have to deal with the Black Pearl if she had wanted to go after the Rafael. It’s likely the Spanish would have won even if the Pearl had towed the Rafael around after she had captured her, but it is interesting to think about nonetheless.