Quick Game with Random Setup Tables – June 8th, 2018


El_Cazador and I played a game on VASSAL using Cadet-Captain Mike’s Random Pirates Set-Up Tables.

You can find the game on youtube!


6: Roll on Special Set-Up 2 table; no Limits

4: One free Rare ship; one free Common ship; 15 points

I wanted to max out my points expenditure, so I went with HMS Dreadnought and USS Springfield, basically the two most expensive ships of their rarities.  (some other commons are also 18)

The Tiger’s Eye found a bunch of UT’s at her first island, including Wolves.

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables - June 8th, 2018

Through the custom Fountain of Dreams UT, I was able to get Nemo’s Plans on the Dreadnought and then transfer Neptune’s Trident to the Dreadnought from the Coeur, thus making a powerful ship even more extreme.

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables - June 8th, 2018

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables - June 8th, 2018

Quick Game with Random Setup Tables - June 8th, 2018

El_Cazador conceded the game so I won 15-0.

First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight – May 30th, 2018

This was the First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight! You can hear this awesome mix that I just found.


Megabyteknight went first with a mix of factions:
Raven’s Neck + captain, helmsman
HMS Victor + helmsman
Peacock + explorer

I used my new fleet “All Spanish on a Spanish Main“, which exists because of a youtube fleet making tutorial I made.

He set up a tightly packed arrangement of islands, with 3 coins per wild island.

The action got started on the first turn, with the Corazon del Mar knocking a mast off the Victor!

First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight - May 30th, 2018

The battle only intensified, with the Raven’s Neck and Aguila trading blows. Inable to perform at his best (I didn’t get the SAT roll XD), Capitan Castro piloted the Aguila the short trip home, knocking a mast off the Raven’s Neck on the way to safety. The Corazon and Victor traded hits before the Corazon moved in for the decisive blow by getting broadside and hitting 2/3!

First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight - May 30th, 2018

With the Raven’s Neck gathering gold at an island and the Victor with only 1 mast standing, the Spanish decided it was time to strike with maximum force! The Corazon del Mar sailed over to the Raven’s Neck and improbably hit 3/3 to dismast the ship! This was a devastating blow to their cause, but it only got worse. With no need to capture the Raven’s Neck right away or finish her off, L’Aguila sailed over to the Victor and promptly sunk her! This was a weird and unlikely case where the fleet with the advantage was able to switch targets in a 2v2 setting.

First Game on VASSAL for MegabyteKnight - May 30th, 2018

With the Raven’s Neck captured and brought back to Spanish waters, and the Peacock the only ship opposing the Spaniards, the game was all but over. Some coins were unloaded, and the Spanish had won a 10-5 victory!

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!!

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock – April 27th, 2018

This was the VASSAL introduction game for captainjohnlock! (JohnLock on VASSAL)

He went first with an English fleet, I followed with the French. We used a 40 point build total with no crew to keep it simple. Flat earth rules, and with 3 coins per island (no UT’s).

Knowing combat would be hampered without any captains to rely on, I purposely chose the SCS version of the Coeur de Lion with her sniping ability. I got a handful of extra long range potshots in early against the Gallowglass and Duke of York, but none of them connected. JohnLock’s method of tagging the deckplates around with the ships is a solid way to keep track of things for beginners. (to which I said: “never woulda thought a that!” )

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock - April 27th, 2018

Many ships picked up gold from the various wild islands in play, while the Coeur mounted a somewhat heroic and effective defense of the French home island. She was able to hit 2/2 with her regular 2L guns once the Englishmen came into range. Again, no captains on gunships meant that the first shot would usually go to the defender.

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock - April 27th, 2018

Eventually the English began hitting their mark, but by the time the Coeur was in trouble, the French “cavalry” was returning home! All three of their other four ships arrived on the scene to turn the tide back in French favor.

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock - April 27th, 2018

In a rare usage of reverse captain, the Duc dismasted the Gallowglass and then docked home her gold, simultaneously blocking the Coeur from the Gallowglass on the previous turn to potentially save the former from sinking. The East Wind captured the Gallowglass, while the Glaive unloaded some loot from the southeast.

ships on VASSAL

The Duke of York did manage to get the better of the Coeur, but she too was dismasted by the Duc of the French fleet. Once again the reverse captain ability proved some measure of worth (usually it doesn’t get used since there aren’t many opportunities for it, and it’s certainly overpriced), as the Duc shot off the Duke’s final mast (getting confused?) and then moved to tow her as well. We both agreed to call this “VASSAL introduction” game a bit early, and the French won 24-21!

VASSAL Introduction for CaptainJohnLock - April 27th, 2018

More adventures await!

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game – April 9th, 2018

April 9th is the 10th anniversary of Fire and Steel being released. Xerecs and I played a little “celebratory” game to commemorate the anniversary. (not sure if this particular set is worth celebrating… XD)

Foresight + Barstow, Hammersmith, oarsman
Napolitana + Victor de Alva, helmsman

HMS Salient + Hermionie Gold, captain, helmsman
HMS Ark Royal + captain

I believe this is the first time we’ve tried to proxy a switchblade into VASSAL. For now, I used an L-range tool rotated from the center of the Salient.

For the setup, the “move and rotate randomly” option worked better than it ever has before for me. The islands and terrain were generally placed that way.

Both fleets headed a bit southwest, with the Ark Royal being the first to explore:

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

However, both fleets found only 0 coins at their islands!! I had placed six 0’s and two UT’s into the treasure mix, and it quickly dawned on me that Xerecs may have placed only 0’s as well!

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Ark Royal and Salient split up, while the Napolitana brought home a coin… which I assumed was a 0.

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Napolitana got an EA from de Alva and shot up the Ark Royal. She was attacked by the Salient immediately, but only lost one mast.

The Salient eventually dismasted the Napolitana and started towing the Ark Royal, which the English were trying to scuttle. By this point the Salient was loaded with some “extra weaponry” in the form of Ammunition (turned into Stinkpot Shot) and Deck Cannon (transferred from the Ark Royal).

fighting at Ocean's Edge

The Foresight got involved, hitting 1/2 on the Salient. The Salient answered with a big turn, combining her proxy switchblade with a solid 2/3 shooting effort (helped by the extra cannon and HGold’s reroll) to knock 3 masts off the Foresight and kill the Pirate oarsman.

Pirates CSG combat on VASSAL

The Foresight’s shooting and ramming attack dismasted the Salient! Barstow captured Hermione Gold! However, just as the tables turned against the English, the Ark Royal warped home via an Eternal scuttle.

Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary Game - April 9th, 2018

The Foresight round earthed to the north, where she was caught by the Ark Royal JUST before she could dock home HGold for an 8-gold payout! (a haul of Gold, in more ways than one! XD) After electing not to use Broadsides Attack (my luck with it is generally horrible, and with the ram attempt after the shots I had a decent chance of getting 2/3 rolls to work), the Ark Royal hit twice in a row to dismast the Foresight! However, the English killed Barstow in their valiant boarding attempt, eliminating any chance of getting Hermione Gold’s payout to work… for themselves? (this was getting even weirder…)

The Pirates now had no future move actions left, so the game was over. To my chagrin, the Napolitana had indeed brought back a 7, not a zero! This put Xerecs firmly in the lead, as the Spanish Pirates beat the English 7-0.

This was a very Fire and Steel 10th Anniversary game that came down to the wire. Once it became obvious that most or all of the coins would be worthless, I was afraid it would be a boring deathmatch. However, the endgame was very tight and satisfying, with multiple momentum shifts throughout. I finally tested out my idea of using only 0-value coins, which I have talked about multiple times on the forum at Miniature Trading. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the single coin worth a dime, let alone 7 gold! XD It was also notable as (likely) the first VASSAL game with a switchblade present. Using the L tool as a proxy worked fine during the one blade attack, but I still want to measure a physical switchblade to see if it’s the right size.

Thanks for reading; only one more anniversary game remains!

Rise of the Fiends 10th Anniversary Game – January 2018

This was an utter fiasco.


January 30th marks the 10th anniversary of Rise of the Fiends being released!

To celebrate the occasion, a 5 player “game” has been played on VASSAL!  XD

The players in turn order:

  1. xerecs, with a Spanish fleet using the rare San Cristobal
  2. pirateaj14, with a Spanish fleet using the LE San Cristobal
  3. cursedfan99, with a Pirate fleet
  4. wantkrakens, with a mixed Franco-Spanish fleet
  5. a7xfanben, with a mixed French Pirate fleet

We used 5 home islands and 5 wild islands, with the wild ones getting 6 coins each.

a7xfanben had the first strike, using an EA from the Fool’s Hope to dismast the Argo of the Franco-Spanish (and American) fleet.

Rise of the Fiends 10th Anniversary Game - January 2018

Much blood money was found, in addition to dolls and monkeys.  The Fool’s Hope captured the Argo as various ships gathered gold.

I didn’t look at the Argo’s coins until after the FH got another timely EA (with one mast remaining!) to return home through the whirlpool and dock home her prize.  Then it was a fiasco with different players operating on different rules and Blood Money was naturally at the center of it all.  That has been just about my least favorite UT for years and now I will officially never play with it again.  All in favor of banning Blood Money/Bloody Gold say aye!  XD

Shutting it Down with American Guns

Shutting it Down with American Guns

USS Hudson in CTO chaos

USS Hudson in CTO chaos

Originally published to Miniature Trading on November 30th, 2018

65 Points

This is my entry into brettb45’s Crew Targeting Fleet Challenge.

Given how difficult it is to make a very small fleet (just 40 points) that can effectively and efficiently shut down enemy crew, it was hard NOT to look at the best options for a faction right from the start. I considered a Spanish killing fleet, but decided against it because it would be rather fragile and I’ve already used the combo I was thinking about. Capturing is fun but the low build total would likely limit that strategy to one ship, or two lackluster ones. I like Switchblades for this sort of idea, but then I’d only have one ship. (and some of my favorite Switchblade combos are more than 40 points)

My thoughts shifted to the Americans and the amazing USS Kettering. With built-in cancelling and plenty of firepower, she would be good right from the get-go. Add in some flair, and a very capable gunship emerges. Perry allows me to exceed the regular build limit with generic crew for the second ship, while Mays links (all American ships) to give the ship 4 cargo spaces, allowing himself to come aboard. A helmsman would be nice, but I really wanted another crew targeting ability, hence the Stinkpot Shot. Mays’ SAT gives the fleet the element of explosive attack power and additional speed, not to mention the nice Crew Protect ability. I didn’t really want to use that ability in this challenge since it’s kinda gamey and a fun-ruiner, but my original build came to only 38 points before adding Perry, so between Mays linking and his awesome SAT ability, there weren’t many other options (since most of the other high priced American crew don’t link to all of their ships, and I had already maxed out both cargo holds). All told, the Kettering will move up to S+L+S+L with 12 3L shots, one of which could shut down an entire ship’s complement of crew if it hits, with guaranteed cancelling even if the stinkpot shot backfires.

The second ship was relatively easy after I did a search for American ships that move S+L. USS Hudson has long been a favorite of mine and other players, for good reasons. She is not all that different from the Kettering – rank-3 cannons, S+L speed, and great bang for your buck. The handy crew killing ability built into the Hudson was the clincher. She’s got the standard captain and helmsman to make her rather quick, and of course some stinky stuff to blast enemies with as well. Her ideal first attack would be using her speed to get the first strike, and then using stinkpot shot right away to disable the enemy ship’s crew AND kill one of them with a single shot.

Edit (12/10/2018 ): Added the Frontier with 3 points of crew with the increased build total and announcement of gold in play. Easy option for 20 extra points of great gold running – S+S+S speed on a hoist with 7 cargo open.

Either ship’s first strike could be so devastating that an enemy could have a difficult time recovering. Overall I think the speed, crew protect/cancelling, and firepower (essentially 10 cannons total) could make up for any 1 rolls on stinkpot shots.

USS Kettering Captain Montana Mays Commodore Matthew Perry , captain, Stinkpot Shot 
USS Hudson + captain, helmsman, Stinkpot Shot 

Thank you for checking out my fleet. Feel free to comment below and vote on a scale of 1-5.

Section: Ship #1 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofR 132 Crew C
1 x Captain Montana Mays PatOE 096 Crew R
1 x Commodore Matthew Perry PofSCS 096 Crew R
1 x Stinkpot Shot F&S 108 Equipment U
1 x USS Kettering PofFN 200 Ship LE
Section: Ship #2 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofR 132 Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofR 133 Crew C
1 x Stinkpot Shot F&S 108 Equipment U
1 x USS Hudson PofSCS 088 Ship U
Section: Ship #3 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Frontier SS 005 Ship R
1 x Helmsman PofR 133 Crew C
1 x Oarsman PofR 138 Crew C


American guns shutting it down

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

Rare Frenchmen – BIG and small

Rare Frenchmen – BIG and smallLe Superbe sailing

Originally published to Miniature Trading on August 22nd, 2018

40 Points

This is my entry for brettb45’s Rare Fleet Challenge.

Checking out the rarities of all-valuable helmsmen crew, I saw both Hammersmith and “Bootstrap Bill” Turner in the Pirate corner. Thus, I assumed nearly everyone would just use the Pirates after a glut of Spanish entries in my Uncommon Fleet Challenge. I thought about going Pirate but decided against such an easy path.

English are my favorite faction and they have Thomas Gunn , so let me NOT use them. I did consider minor factions very briefly, but I didn’t want to do a typical overdone Grand Path/Grand Temple setup just to stay competitive.

Well, the French have a ton of great rare ships and crew, and plenty of players on MT hate them, so let’s give the French the love they deserve in this game. Such a fantastic faction to play.

It was pretty typical for the largest and smallest ships to be Rare in Pirates CSG, so it comes as no surprise that we see a 5 master and two 1 masters in the fleet.

Le Superbe is the big bad gunship, fitting a whopping 5 abilities (Captain, S-Board, SAT, Reroll, +1 against English) into just two cargo spaces from her crew complement. With a base move under S+L, I knew it was imperative to get some extra actions with regularity, hence the SAT with reroll combo feeling almost required. Originally I had Jordan Dumas paired with St. Croix, but then realized that I should have a “free” reroller instead and therefore switching Dumas with Surcouf. I’m not a big fan of S-Board, but in my mind I’m almost getting it for 1 point here (instead of 4) considering the original setup paid the full 3 for reroll. Besides, Dumas and the trio of Captain/S-Boarders are the only Rare French named captains. If for some reason there was a Pirate Letter of Marque, I would have used that due to the nature of this challenge, but in this case the English one makes a lot of sense too – Thomas Gunn is somewhat likely to appear, and it fits perfectly with the classic Anglo-French bias presented by history and St. Croix’s secondary ability. The Superbe does have 2 cargo spaces left in case she wants to raid an enemy ship, or pick up predetermined (already seen) “safe” coins from an island I’ve previously explored.

Here is a cropped “action shot” of Le Superbe sailing the Sea of Karkuda in Command the Oceans during 2017.

Sure the Bon Marin is overplayed, but I felt it was justified knowing the challenge and members involved. One of the best gold runners in the game, completely awesome even with no crew.

Le Pique was the final ship “added” (see below), to make the fleet even more competitive and add a second great gold runner. Her and the Bon Marin will simply get as much gold as possible.

The UT’s are nasty but useful since both gold runners are running without crew. Second copy of Natives is one from RtSS:

Tiki of the Volcano
Eliminate all but one crew from this ship. If there is a Tribal Chieftain on this ship, you must eliminate only one crew from this ship.

Originally I had La Delacroix as the 5 master, but was able to cut a point and increase cargo by switching to the Superbe. I love the Delacroix and switching back wouldn’t hurt the fleet too much.

I also had the Jeux instead of the Pique, but realized I probably wouldn’t win if the fleet wasn’t optimized for competitiveness. Oh well I guess. I wanted to use the Ébat from Return to Savage Shores at one point, but that would cost me both the Bon Marin and Pique/Jeux (though I could have used Ebat with Le Coeur du Lion , I am slightly more sick of the Coeur than the Bon Marin haha). Basically just a more expensive version of the Jeux, which I couldn’t afford in this case.

Thanks for checking this out! Comment and vote!

Section: Ship #1 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Capitaine Gaston de St. Croix PofCC 085 Crew R
1 x English Letter of Marque F&S 101 Equipment R
1 x Le Superbe PofR 047 Ship R
1 x Madame LaFontaine PofR 060 Crew R
1 x Robert Surcouf PofBC 081 Crew R
Section: Ship #2 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Le Bon Marin PofR 059 Ship R
Section: Ship #3 (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Le Pique PofR 058 Ship R
Section: Unique Treasures (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Missionary PofR 109 Unique Treasure R
1 x Natives PofR 106 Unique Treasure R
1 x Natives PofRU UL106 Unique Treasure R
1 x Scurvy PofCC 092 Unique Treasure R


Rare Frenchmen - BIG and small

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

Barbary Bite

Barbary BiteBarbary Corsairs 2014 Fleet Review

Originally published to Miniature Trading on June 13th, 2018

40 Points

I know the Corsairs are often better at just running gold with their plethora of cheap and great cargo ships, but sometimes it’s fun to surprise your opponents. In which case, you’d have to NOT use the Tiger’s Eye , which has become one of the most overused ships in the entire game.

Here we’ve got a “Barbary Bite” fleet where all three ships have captains, and all three are ready for hybrid use. They will probably scatter to get gold, with each ship capable of defending itself or going out of their way to raid enemy gold runners for extra loot. (using the Galley keyword to not be pinned in the process, and maybe even using it to turn into an opponent’s ship)

Simple and straightforward, it’s not going to be the best Corsair fleet at 40 points, but it’s flexible with high cargo and accurate guns.

Section: Ship #1 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofBC 116 Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofBC 118 Crew C
1 x Meshud PofBC 013 Ship C
Section: Ship #2 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofBC 116 Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofBC 118 Crew C
1 x Queen of Sheba PofBC 027 Ship C
Section: Ship #3 (2 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofBC 116 Crew C
1 x Sahara PofBC 028 Ship C


Barbary Bite fleet

Fleet page at Miniature Trading