More Turns of VASSAL Campaign Game 4 – Late 2019

CG4 has continued with some interesting developments, especially regarding my own factions.

The situation in the far north continues to slowly escalate.  At the left near the fog, the Eagle pursued the Diversion for a turn, hitting once to slightly damage the ship but not take a mast off.  We have ruled that partial hits (hits that are considered damage but do not remove a mast due to the 2 hits/mast rule) can be repaired as normal to get a ship up to full health.

The Pirates considered using Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight to give the Eagle an EA to do a hit and run strike on the Diversion, but felt it wasn’t really worth angering the Vikings even more. Plus, they wanted to maximize profit at the end of this resource duration.  The Eagle and Mermaid (towing the Widowmaker flotilla) would soon turn around, as the Vikings launched the dangerous Muninn with plenty of fighting-style cargo.  The Pirates used one of their spyers to see the equipment on the Muninn, which may convince them to stay away for now.  However, check out the long range ruler I created to test the Selkie’s maximum cannon range – at 4L range she is nearly able to start firing potshots at the Corsairs already!  O_O  The 4 masted galley docked at the textiles island is the Akua Lapu, a Pirate (and not Corsair) ship.

Here is the northwest, where the Cursed and Americans reside.  The Dutch ship Prins Willem came through a whirlpool to pass Plague to the Cursed!  Although slightly annoyed, it happened at a somewhat convenient time for the Cursed, as nearly all of their ships are arriving home at the same time after being largely scattered for a while.  The Opal Shrine plans to pass the Plague to the Sea Duck so she can eventually unload and transfer some of her cargo.  The Americans have launched some gunships, after which their controller admitted “the newly assembled strike force is looking for a target…”  An interesting thing to announce!  🙂

CG4 northwest corner

The Pirates consolidate their forces and continue to get as many valuable textiles as possible.  The Selkie missed her chain shot against the Winds of Vengeance with a 2.  The Osiris sailed out to escort the Corsair galleys coming home with textiles, forgetting that it would expose her to a potshot on the Pirate turn.  The Pirates have launched the Rover with a helmsman to be a designated tugboat – assigned to tow home derelicts, both friendlies and prizes.  The captured Sleipnir doesn’t need any help with that, having S+S speed while derelict between her Longship rowing capability and +S with no cargo.

With the Pirates establishing a stronger and more militant presence around “their” textiles island, the Corsairs are beginning to focus more on alternatives for their gold runners.  They have about 6 ships making trips to the spice island in the northeast, while at the bottom of this picture you can see 2 galleys headed south, off to explore new waters for the fleet.  The Vikings have a decent but slower operation going to the west, but they are very dependent on lumber staying valuable.

The Pirates continue to show that they are the biggest fleet currently in the game, making big strides on a great turn!  The Raven unloaded the town upgrade, meaning their textiles island is upgraded on the following turn.  This prevents other factions (namely the Corsairs and Vikings!) from loading resources from the island.  The Selkie missed an “exploding potshot” against the Osiris, who quickly returned to the safety of the home island.

At the end of their turn the Pirates spent their gold to launch the first “WMD” (weapon of mass destruction) of the game.  The Stormcloud is a custom 10 master from my Epic Seas set: 47 points with fog hopping built in!!  O_O  She carries numerous crew, many of which are face down.  The Pirates also launched the Splinter with a captain and helmsman, likely as a defensive hybrid to further increase protection for the resource fleet while also helping them (albeit slowly) gather textiles or other resources.


For the other factions in the area: the Diversion is fully repaired, while the Corsairs are about to dock home their galleys for a decent windfall.

Also check out the BR’s for CG4 done by Xerecs!

Pirates: 2019 Year in Review

Pirates: 2019 Year in Review

Hi everyone! This is a thread where you can share what Pirates stuff happened over the past year. It can be just about anything, from accomplishments to purchases to cool ideas. If this seems too vague, you can look at mine for an example. There’s also the option of stating your Pirates Goals for 2020.

It will be nice to look back upon the entire year and find joy and amazement in how much we’re capable of. List (possibly with links and/or a short description) everything you accomplished in 2019 in regards to Pirates that you thought was a good thing that happened. Everyone could make their own post and contribute their own things that they did or are currently doing. When I think about this past week for example, I don’t really think much of it, but when I consider everything I’ve personally done in the entire year, I feel amazed at myself! 😀  I think others could share that feeling as well if they look back at everything. Also, little things count too, so it doesn’t have to be all about one particular event or anything. Once everyone has posted, we can talk about what we accomplished as a whole forum.


Pirates Goals for 2019 (set last year)
-Didn’t end up teaching any players. 🙁
-I did make a bunch of videos and podcasts about the game.
-I didn’t play The Hourly Campaign a lot, but I found a lot of satisfaction in playing a handful of games that could actually be finished.
-I made some improvements to Pirates with Ben and saw the site grow quite a bit. I finished reposting ALL of my past Battle Reports, which was great. I did set a new personal record for a one month affiliate marketing total, so the site is sometimes paying for itself in some months.
-Although no real progress was made on the NECA/Wizkids front, I did do some “big” podcasts, along with my first physical game with another member of the online community.

General accomplishments:
-Helped with somewhat successful transition from Miniature Trading to PwB/FB groups/etc.
-Produced 13 podcast episodes, including those with James Ernest, Mike Selinker, Jason Mical, Tiffany O’Brien, and Tony Vigil.
-Produced 76 videos for Pirates CSG, including plenty of game footage.
-Created 6 fleets
-Got to 3,000 posts and 300 followers on Instagram (though now it’s lower lol).

-Played 11 games
-Continued CG4 and THC
-For the first time, played a physical game with another member of the Pirates CSG community
-Did what I set out to do with specific game objectives: Legend of the Giant Turtle, 4 fleets at 100 points, 6×150, game with Captain Randy, November game with family, and the final (for now) game with Xerecs.

Pirates Goals for 2020
-Play at least one game.
-Play my turns in CG4 when/if I am able.
-Teach at least one person how to play the game.
-Check in to and maintain Pirates with Ben when I can.
-I’d love to do a podcast episode and maybe a few videos, but these seem less likely than the above.

Feel free to comment below with your own 2019 Year in Review!

Pirates CSG Podcast #50: The Call-In Podcast!

Pirates CSG Podcast #50: The Call-In Podcast!

November Finale – 4 Players, 40 Points on November 30th, 2019

November Finale – 11/30/2019

Likely my last physical game of Pirates CSG for quite some time!

This is a report for a nice family game played with relatives near the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.  We set up for a game with 4 players at a 40 point build total.  It ended up being rather long and complex for a game featuring relatively basic fleets and no UT’s or terrain.  Round Earth was the main house rule.

We used Ross’ 5 beach island as the sole wild island, with 3 coins per beach.  As usual, each beach had to be explored individually.

November finale game 2019

-All game pieces can be found in the Master Spreadsheet.

Here are the fleets, in the order of play:
French Pirates
Bruja + captain, helmsman
Musarde + captain, helmsman, explorer, oarsman

Franco-Spanish (FS)
L’Epee de L’Ange (Epee for short) + captain, helmsman
San Pedro + helmsman, explorer

USS Atlanta + Master CPO Charles Richard (OE version)
Dark Fox
USS Plymouth Rock + shipwright

Cursed Pirates (Ben’s fleet)
Flying Dutchman (PotC 001 version) + captain, helmsman, oarsman
Lechim Namod

And they’re off!

Could I wreak havoc with my nasty beast?
Lechim Namod

The Bruja round earthed while many ships looked for gold early. Lechim Namod (LN) is submerged, hoping to feast on the Americans shortly.

The squid surfaces! The Dark Fox loses a mast, while the Flying Dutchman empties a nearby beach of treasure.

The Bruja shot 0/4 on the FS, allowing the Epee to return fire on her way home, hitting once.

Already facing some tough decisions, the American commander got an incredible clutch roll of Fear. Getting a 5 on it with the Dark Fox, Fear cancelled the abilities of LN, disabling the Sea Monster keyword to unpin the Dark Fox, allowing her to escape with a coin! The Atlanta shot 1/2 to knock a tentacle off LN, after which the Plymouth Rock was essentially sacrificed to give the Atlanta more time. Her shipwright was transferred to the Atlanta, which became important later. LN flailed away and took off the Plymouth Rock’s only mast, with the FD coming over to capture the sloop.

Here come the Cursed Pirates! Love the colors in this picture and that you can make out the ship names.
Pirates CSG game in action

The Bruja found her mark, hitting twice on the Epee to eliminate two masts and two cargo. The crew were eliminated, allowing the Epee to unload a coin on the next turn. The San Pedro went out for more gold, having already deposited 2 coins along with her +2 bonus.

LN moved out of the way to allow the FD to capture the Plymouth Rock.

A deal was briefly discussed between myself and the Americans, with the Atlanta potentially allowed to get home with 2 coins if the Americans didn’t contest the capturing of the Plymouth Rock. Nothing was really agreed upon, and I decided to do what a pirate would and attack anyway. The FD shot 1/2 to eliminate another mast from the Atlanta.

It soon became apparent that the Bruja might finish the job for me, as the dangerous Pirate ship lumbers towards the Americans!

The Flying Dutchman was still carrying 3 coins, so I wanted to get her and the prize home and let LN potentially interfere in the looming Atlanta-Bruja battle. At the upper left you can see that the Musarde has round earthed after getting some coins home for the French Pirates.

The Atlanta managed to evade cannon fire and fled for home, taking a mast off the Bruja as well! The Dark Fox moved to block the Bruja, but was rammed by Lechim Namod, who resurfaced but had trouble maneuvering past the rocks.

I started to realize that capturing the Plymouth Rock was largely pointless, as the FD barely got home at L+S after dropping the tow.

The Bruja moved to block the Atlanta from docking, dismasting her and eliminating a coin with cargo-wrecking in the process. However, on the American turn, the Dark Fox rolled a 6 for Fear on both the Bruja and LN! O_O This was a strange game where Fear was quite successful, even the dominant ability in the game.

The Atlanta repaired with the shipwright she acquired from the Plymouth Rock, and the Dark Fox landed a 6 to hit the Bruja and take her down to 1 mast! Between Fear and her 5L shots, the Dark Fox went 3/4 on 6’s this turn, proving she may not be one of the worst speedy ships in the game. There are 3 coins between two of the “northern” beaches, which are likely to be contested by the Epee, San Pedro, Musarde, and Flying Dutchman. LN has submerged and slowly creeps towards the French ships.

The Bruja dismasts the Atlanta again, with the mast falling on Master CPO Charles Richard. 🙁

LN surfaces to ram and pin the Musarde, who now carries 2 coins.

Another coin will certainly be contested:

LN dismasts the Musarde! However, the Dark Fox is back, ready to scare the big squid for perhaps the 3rd time in the game?

With her explorer the San Pedro managed to load the coin out from under the Flying Dutchman. However, then it was the FD’s time to shine! She did her job well, dismasting the San Pedro easily. Both players declined to board, myself especially because I wanted to be able to use the San Pedro’s crew. (I was thinking that Massacre would override my house rule of letting me as the potential winner choose what option to use, but either way I wanted to capture the ship with all her cargo intact, as she could be valuable in the late endgame coming up.)

The Bruja used round earth to return home, allowing the Atlanta to do the same. The Atlanta unloaded her remaining coin after one of the most harrowing and impressive journeys I’ve ever seen a ship go through in a relatively short and small game. I’ve always thought of her as a bit underrated, and here she was both resilient and lucky.

The Atlanta repairs, the Bruja prepares to do the same; LN knocks a mast off the Dark Fox, and the FD captures the San Pedro. I wanted LN to keep the Musarde pinned until the FD could capture her somehow or steal her gold, but that was looking somewhat unlikely due to how long it would take for the FD to get home with the San Pedro and sail back out again.

The Dark Fox moved to position herself in L range of the LN but out of the LN’s S tentacle range. However, I decided to break the pin on the Musarde, with LN ramming the Dark Fox derelict. The Musarde was now free to row at S+S; I was hoping she might actually get into a better position for the FD to track her down as she approached her home island, especially given round earth making my home island close to that of the French Pirates.

The Dark Fox hit with Fear yet again before being sunk by LN, getting a 5 to stop the Musarde for an additional turn. The Bruja and Epee repair, and it looks like it will be a final showdown in a chase towards the French Pirate HI.

The FD finally docked home the San Pedro, netting my fleet an extra 3 gold total. This brought my fleet to 4 ships total, but I was worried I didn’t have enough gold to win.

The Atlanta prepares to round earth as LN submerges, not wanting to pin the Musarde just to get blasted by the Bruja and/or Epee.

The chase was… anticlimactic! The Atlanta, FD, Epee, and LN all couldn’t reach the Musarde in time. The partially repaired San Pedro used round earth to ram, but didn’t even win the boarding party. XD The Bruja played bodyguard, but barely needed to block the Atlanta, let alone fight her or the FD.

The Atlanta rammed the Bruja for fun, but it killed the hardworking shipwright who kept the Americans in the game to some degree.

The Final Standings:
Franco-Spanish: 18 gold
Cursed Pirates (me): 12 gold
French Pirates: 11 gold
Americans: 6 gold

The Musarde only brought back 3 gold, so her changing hands would not have affected the victor. (ex: Cursed Pirates with 15 and French Pirates with 8)

Thanks for reading! 😀

Quick Game with 2 Players, 50 Points – November 24th, 2019

Quick Game with 2 Players at 50 Points

I rolled to go first with this English fleet:

My opponent rolled a 1 to go second, with one of the new skull dice I received as a gift from Captain Randy when we played in Las Vegas.

My opponent went with:
Poor Adams + helmsman
L’Epee de L’Ange + helmsman
San Pedro + explorer
+explorer on HI

My ships were chosen somewhat randomly, though I like the red-green-blue contrast among them.

An intimidating sight: a square rigged fleet heads out!

I got to the beaches first, with the Merlin and Lord Kettering looking to cut off the beach that was most likely to be contested.

After the San Pedro grabbed some gold and the Poor Adams headed towards the rocky area, the Epee was left wide open.  Percival Blake gave the order for a Broadsides Attack, and surprisingly it hit!  The Lord Kettering needed 4 shots to sink the Frenchman, but she did go down.

The attention then shift back to the other side of the big island, where the Poor Adams was about to load the final coin from the first beach to be landed on.

HMS Lord Kettering:

With the St. George, San Pedro, and Lord Kettering all docking home their gold, it was a race for the final two coins in play (both 1’s).  The Merlin pursued the Poor Adams, but missed both shots as the PA maneuvered among the rocks.

The Merlin managed a few hits in the chase back to the mixed fleet home island, but both the Poor Adams and San Pedro got home safely.  I won the game 12-11!  The San Pedro increased the losing score by +4, so if one of my coins had been worth a little less, the outcome would have been a tie or victory for the mixed fleet.

Thanks for reading about this quick game!  Feel free to post about your own games in the Battle Reports thread!  😀

Señor Frog’s in Las Vegas – Game with Captain Randy

Señor Frog’s in Las Vegas – Game with Captain Randy!

For the first time, I played a physical game of Pirates CSG with another member of the Pirates community!  Captain Randy lives in Las Vegas, which coincided perfectly with my week long vacation there!!  😀

I was trying to pack light, so I wouldn’t have much on hand.  However, reusing a box I received in a trade with PirateAJ14, I was able to bring 4 English ships, their deckplates, and my entire plastic bag of English crew chips for use in the game.  Randy supplied the islands and gold (as well as his own fleet), and we got to talking!

Randy suggested the perfect place to play – at Señor Frog’s just outside of Treasure Island, right on the water near the two sailing ships they used to use for a pirate show!  With the water and fountains in the background I made sure to try and get some very unique pictures.  Check out HMS Dauntless “on” the water!  🙂

We have to thank Señor Frog’s for hosting us!  And once again I thank Randy for actually buying something so it didn’t look like we were just there to play the game!  XD

Señor Frog's in Las Vegas - Game with Captain Randy

All the ships I brought:

We decided to do a 60 point game.  I went with some good English ships and crew, with all of them moving at the same speed.

English fleet

How bizarre!!  Playing a game of Pirates CSG… in the desert… on a fake pond… with the epic Palazzo in the background!?  O_O

Pirates CSG in Las Vegas

In a dry region we had found our oasis:

We placed 6 wild islands along with a bunch of terrain.

I rolled to go first, and fittingly enough I was wearing my HMS Victory shirt to a game where I was playing the English!

English fleet at home island

Captain Randy had a nice Spanish fleet with plenty of named crew.

La Resolucion + Luis Zuan (RotF captain version), Master Gunner Rogelio Vazquez, Joaquin Vega (linked), helmsman

El Principe de Asturias + Master Bianco, captain, helmsman, explorer

San Pedro

Spanish fleet in Las Vegas

The English sailed out, with fountains and lights blazing in the background:

The Empress of India was the first ship to reach an island.  Making the situation even more unique, the sun was setting as we played!

HMS Empress of India

I was going to send the Oxford to an island closer to my home island, but decided it would be better to try and take control of the middle area.  She headed for the middle island, while the Dauntless abandoned the Empress of India (all my ships with captains however) and whirled to the “southwest”.

The weather in LV was PERFECT.  The Empress of India just needed to avoid getting hit with a water spout!  XD

The opportunity for some crazy pictures presented itself.  Here’s the Empress of India with the huge Palazzo hotel and casino in the background:

Empress of India and Palazzo in Vegas

The ship to our left seemed quite operational, with her lines and rigging lighting up the night:

The Principe and San Pedro gathered gold, while La Resolucion potentially looked to take on one of the larger English ships.

As the Empress of India docks home 2 coins, you can see part of the epic Venetian in the background.  The glass partition almost looks like purple water on the horizon.

As darkness descended, the game started to get more interesting.  The Dauntless did not whirl back to the north, as Thomas Gunn the Younger feared a quick strike by La Resolucion.  However, the Durham might not make it home in time….

With the Durham carrying home a full island’s worth of gold, the Spanish strike!  The Resolucion didn’t do a lot of damage, but it opened the combat!

Now we had a real night game going on!

HMS Durham pulled off a nice maneuver to save herself and comrades, simultaneously docking home her 4 coins, shooting at the Resolucion (no hits due to Joaquin Vega), and blocking the Spaniard from attacking the other English ships on the next turn (unless she wanted to brave the reef).

HMS Durham pulls blocking duty

A turn later, and the “moon” was lighting up our game table.  🙂

Masts both big and small!

Now it was the Durham’s turn to shine in front of the Palazzo:

Palazzo Las Vegas from Senor Frog's

Too loud for much video, but I wanted to try!  😀

We talked about commandeering their vessel, but thought better of it when we didn’t see any sails on her.  XD

The Durham takes the fight to the Spanish!  She only eliminates one mast from the Resolucion, who retaliates by shooting and ramming!

Down go all four of the Durham’s masts! (she also lost her oarsman in the boarding party)

HMS Dauntless docked home a few coins, with Thomas Gunn eyeing the Resolucion with revenge….

But maybe a fountain would take them out first?

The Empress docked home another load of gold, while the Dauntless maneuvered to tow the Durham…

… and dismast the Resolucion!

Thomas Gunn completed the battle by capturing the Resolucion:

With the lighted ship conveniently lighting up our game table, the Dauntless went back to towing the Durham.

Had to get a shot of the biggest ship in play with her masts lined up with the masts of the ship in the background:

HMS Dauntless in Las Vegas

The English had won the battle, but will they win the gold race?

Soon afterwards, we had emptied all the islands!

My English totaled 36 gold:

Captain Randy’s Spanish finished with 30 gold:

My English had won a 36-30 victory!  It was a solid game, and a more fun time than it may look like here.

Thanks again to Randy for the game, the podcast we did after, driving me around, and the pinball!  😀

We Pirates had a grand old time!  😀

A7XfanBen and Randy in Las Vegas

Here are some more pics from the travels.

HMS Dauntless against the Palazzo:

Here is the ship we played closest to, with the Wynn in the background:

The same shot at night:

Señor Frog’s at Treasure Island!

Señor Frog's in Las Vegas - Game with Captain Randy

A shop in the Treasure Island hotel had some goodies that would be perfect for games.  Treasure chests for coins… or a big skull with a coin slot in the top that could be put on pillars/stilts so the gold would come out the bottom and land on an island below.

Pirates of the Caribbean pinball!

Pirates of the Caribbean pinball machine

Pirates CSG Podcast #49: In Las Vegas with Randy!

Pirates CSG Podcast #49: In Las Vegas with Randy!

You can listen to the audio via ShoutEngine!

You can also listen on

Question of the Day: Have you ever played Pirates CSG with someone you met online or that is also part of the online community?

His profile page:

The Pirate Code:

Find all the game pieces in the Master Spreadsheet:

Thanks for listening!

A7XfanBen and Randy in Las Vegas

Partway through a jolly night of Pirating!  (I wore my HMS Victory shirt to the game 🙂 )


Past podcasts:

Take the podcast survey!

Feel free to rate and review the podcast on iTunes:

Pirates packs on eBay:

Sign the Petition!

Join the Forum at Pirates with Ben!


The following should eventually be updated from ShoutEngine so they will be available when they get the podcast.



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

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

You can listen to the audio via ShoutEngine!

You can also listen on

Xerecs’ profile page at Pirates with Ben:

CoEC 2019:–589KmYKaNf

The Huge Game Legacy Thread:

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

Battle Reports Compendium:

The Pirate Code:

Find all the game pieces in the Master Spreadsheet:

Thanks for listening!

A7XfanBen and Xerecs playing CG1

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


Past podcasts:

Take the podcast survey!

Feel free to rate and review the podcast on iTunes:

Pirates packs on eBay:

Sign the Petition!

Join the Forum at Pirates with Ben!


The following should eventually be updated from ShoutEngine so they will be available when they get the podcast.



Google Play Music: