UNBOXING THE MOTHERLODE | Massive Pirates CSG Collection Haul


Documenting my hoarding habits from purchases made in the time period of November 2020 through September 2021.  Most of it is contained within this youtube playlist, with 18 separate videos showing the stuff I got!

Before it was all unveiled.  The 11 boxes totaled 138 pounds!!

Phase 1 Comics and Games order:

Phase 1 Comics and Games order

The same order at the bottom right.  8 Ocean’s Edge Special Edition boxes from the UK at left, Troll and Toad order at upper right.

Packs of SM, RV, and OE along with some Plunder Packs:

Pirates CSG Packs

Super awesome to get a set of Revolution from Holofernes himself. (one of the most legendary and complete supercollectors ever, and the main editor behind the Wikipedia page for the game as far as I know)

Holofernes Revolution complete set binder

Finished the boxes with one from Matt L.  Quite excited to finally get most of the CC LE’s, MI SR’s, the Independence and HMS Mirage.

This weekend it took quite a while to get everything sorted and organized.  My way of organizing ships is by faction (based on a combination of history, preference, and size), then mast count (biggest to smallest), then ship type (ex: 5 masted square rigged before giant squids), then set (chronological), then collector’s number.  In this way, English 5 masters from SM would be the first ships in my collection, followed by those from CC and so on until the 4 masters start with SM again.

Here are some in progress sorting pics.  The big stack at lower left is 133 Unique Treasures.  Left of that are a bunch of Ocean’s Edge megacard ships, with punched deckplates above those.  In the middle section are each faction’s ship and crew piles, with the huge stacks at the back being the second stacks of unpunched ships for each of the Big 5 factions.

Sorting English ships by mast count:

Absolutely ridiculous towering stacks of unpunched ships and crew:

styrene cards

This is after I got the Big 5 into a 5000 count storage box.  The box can hold over 1000 ships, as it is not full here with 970 unpunched ships in it.  For now I thought it would be fitting to store the UT’s in the treasure chest tin.  🙂

Pirates CSG storage

I’ve always wanted to have a massive card box full of Pirates stuff after seeing artisturn’s collection, and here it is!  Almost 1000 ships!  O_O

970 Pirates CSG ships in 5000 count storage box

And now it is time!  The full grand pictures!



The Motherlode (Pirates CSG)

Unboxing the Motherlode The Motherlode (Pirates CSG)

The Numbers

Unboxing the Motherlode final stats

So there you have it.  870 packs, 3109 ships including over 1100 not even in packs, 509 crew, 133 UT’s, and a dream come true.

I think this concludes UNBOXING THE MOTHERLODE.  XD   I am officially a Hoarder!!

Trading Pirates CSG – A Great Way to Expand Your Collection!

Trading Pirates CSG – A Great Way to Expand Your Collection!

Trading Pirates CSG

I acquired these pretty ships via trade!

One of my favorite ways to expand my collection is by trading Pirates CSG with other community members.  Often when you open fresh packs, you eventually end up with some duplicates (dupes) of various ships, crew, and other game pieces.  Unless you want to sell them or give them away, trading is a great option that can net you some brand new Pirates CSG plunder in return!  How great is that!

Many Options Available

As of this post in late 2019, there are plenty of options available for trading Pirates CSG.  I just released a Buy/Sell/Trade version of the Master Spreadsheet.  It includes all of the game pieces and is ready for you to use.  Just hit File>Download to make a copy for tracking your personal collection!  Once you have your copy, you can edit it however you wish so the data appears the way you want it.  In my opinion, an even better option can be to have your own shared Google Sheet (just like the one above) that you provide a link to.  That way, people can simply click a link to get your full updated collection ready for trading, rather than having to download a .xlsx file/etc that needs constant re-uploading to be up to date.

What about finding people to actually trade with?  I recommend the Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook Group and The non-eBay Sales & Trades thread.  There you will be able to find many of the current community’s active traders.

There are other options as well!  BoardGameGeek has a trading section for each game.  The Pirates section at Pojo has a sub forum for trading.

My Personal Trading Experience

The main reason I recommend trading so highly is because I have been very successful with it.  Trading Pirates CSG has allowed me to grow my collection on a budget.  It allows you to connect with various other “pirates” in the community of fans.  When I first joined the Pirates CSG community in June 2011, I joined the (at the time) “Big Three” of Miniature Trading, Pojo, and BoardGameGeek.  Most of my trades were through MT, though I did one at Pojo as well.

Just to give you an idea of the scope of potential trading operations, here is my record of trading at MT.  122 total trades, 73 references from fellow traders, and many dozens of ships and crew acquired, nearly all from duplicate stuff I had that other people wanted.  Incredible!

I hope that you can have a great experience with trading Pirates CSG.  Feel free to leave a comment below with your own experiences – if people share some great trading stories, it might get other people to post their haves and wants as well, furthering the community driven game that we love!

How I Got My 10 Masters

How I Got My 10 Masters

Most of this post is from 2017, when it was originally posted to Miniature Trading.  Most of these average prices come from the time I wrote the post.

My 10 master story starts at Pojo, where sariouriel (the creator of Century of the Empires no less) linked to some Amazon stuff. From there I found a Plunder Pack for $25 (the original price I believe), which at the time was an absolute steal because the Delusion was going for over $60 a couple times on eBay. That was in February 2012.

Soon after that on eBay:

4/15/12: Shui Xian: $19.00
5/25/12: Baochuan: $26.02

Last December I became the forum moderator and xeriousone teamed up with wantkrakens to give me a very generous gift – the SCS SR’s from xeriousone, and the Celtic Fury from wantkrakens. An example of hard work and dedication paying off unintentionally for some extra unexpected benefit. And thus, my fourth 10 master.

Last week godmason posted an eBay lot on the subreddit, which I snatched almost immediately because I was afraid someone else would buy it first since it looked like such a good deal. Along with 60+ other ships including some very rare stuff, I had a bargain Guichuan. Broken, but already repaired and ready for action. #5!

I think my history of buying 10 masters is possibly the best example of my collecting strategy overall – possibly more patient than anybody and just waiting and waiting for years on eBay until I can strike to get my deals. (hence my large amount of “best memories” on there compared to the quantity of others)

Delusion: $25 but with 10 ships from OE and the Plunder Pack map (all-time average is $29.44 so I saved about $5 but more like $10+ when you factor in the OE megapacks and the higher cost of the Delusion back in 2011/2012)

Shui Xian: $19, saving about $10 off the average of $28.69 but again that all-time high listing of $61 was around that time so realistically I got an even better deal than the all time average suggests.

Baochuan: $26.02, only a little under the average of $27.53

Celtic Fury: free (saving me $30.71)

Guichuan: $49.99 but realistically just about FREE when you consider the value of the 60+ ships in the lot which included the Crypt, Monkey’s Paw, Samedi’s Curse, Soul Crusher, and two DJC SE’s, which combined could possibly sell for $50 by themselves if they were unpunched. Either way, still technically saving me about $15 off the Guichuan’s average of $64.35.

Zeus (acquired 2019): $10; was going to be free as a gift from a fellow community member, but I didn’t want to take it for absolutely nothing and the $10 helped pay for the shipping. (saving me ~$44.39 off average price of $54.39 as of July 2019)

Total 10 master savings (most conservative number): $105.10 (which could buy me another TWO 10 masters!)

Now I have all 6.  3 were acquired in the first half of 2012, followed by a long hiatus of about 4.5 years before getting the CF and Guichuan within the past 9 months.  It probably goes without saying at this point, but getting all 6 has been a high long-term priority.  Check out my 10 master collection in this video:

The Baochuan is my favorite for a variety of reasons. It looks the most realistic (and I actually think it looks very cool), it’s the first one released, and it’s an amazing ship overall. I love the biggest cargo hold in the game and how it combines with the Treasure Ship keyword. The ship also single-handedly makes an entire minor faction better, since the JR’s don’t have a ton of stuff. Just a perfect flagship, and the most historical of them as well.

Shui Xian is probably my second favorite due to the English being my favorite faction and having the potential for quite decent cannons with one of my favorite crew aboard. The Delusion would probably come next since it was my first 10 and glows in the dark, though I haven’t used it in a while. The CF is overrated and the English naturally have a rivalry with the French, while the Guichuan is completely new to me for playing purposes. I do love the Guichuan’s flavor text (and all of them, actually) and how the ship looks, but S speed and Cursed faction aren’t my favorites lol. Zeus is the best for gameplay but I’ve only used it on VASSAL since I still need to get my physical copy. For what it’s worth, I did enjoy playing the Zhanfu and Fortaleza from RtSS in CG2.

Feel free to check out my tutorial on how to build one of these behemoths:


And here they are:

All 6 10 masters, 10 masted junk ships of Pirates CSG

What was your original collection?

What was your original collection?

Originally posted to Miniature Trading on June 29th, 2016

I got into this game back in 2005 (soon after CC came out I believe, but I only remember SM packs in the store), and I purchased a small amount of stuff from the first 6 sets, excluding SCS of course.

This is my original collection of 49 ships that I hold dear to my heart, and these ships are the truest veterans in my entire collection of ~800 punched ships. They’ve been involved in the first-ever Historical Fantasy Scenarios I had, as well as numerous regular games. This was all I had until 2010 or 2011.

HMS Gargantuan x2
HMS Lord Walpole
HMS Birkenhead
HMS Nautilus
HMS Bath
HMS Frolic

La Magnifique
La Possession x2
La Danae
Le Mercure
Le Republicain
Tiger (always thought she was French for some reason lol)
Le Courageux x2

Santo Columba
La Trinidad
Asesino de la Nave (first 2 packs)
La Bahama
El San Jose
El Pulpo
La Repulsa (first 2 packs)

Swamp Fox
Dark Fox

Broken Key
Black Diamond
Dark Pact
Batavian Bat (first 2 packs)
El Dorado
Muerta de la Corona (first 2 packs)
El Ladron x2
Cursed Blade
Carrion Crow x2

The first and biggest ship(s) of each faction were the flagships. The battles between the two Gargantuans vs. the Enterprise and Magnifique were legendary, with the Lord Walpole and Birkenhead often giving the English a victory late in the battle. The amount of Pirate ships sometimes led to a coalition between all the other factions to take them out. The Raven and Mercure were overly fast scout ships that no other fleet could match. In the end, my love of the English usually made them prevail, but it was a fun time indeed. original collection

Of course, your original collection may be quite different than mine, especially if you bought hundreds of ships at once to start out. It could even just be the first pack or first 5-10 packs you opened, or like me, the first batch you had for quite some time before acquiring more stuff much later on.

So, what was your original collection?

My other posts from the thread:

Imagine the gaming experience a player would get if they received an RV pack with Banshee’s Cry, Santa Isabel, and Don Pedro Gilbert! Shocked They would forever be disappointed with everything else… Laughing

If I had to pick “my” flagship, it would have to be HMS Lord WalpoleHMS Lord Algernon is technically my favorite ship, but more because I wanted it so bad back in the day. That being said, HMS Birkenhead was always right up there with the Lord Walpole, while La Magnifique or the Broken Key would be my top non-English flagship back then.
@Xerecs: Your post reminded me of something I meant to put in my first post of this thread.

How could I forget the “lost 3”?
La Belle Etoile
Straw Man

The Belle Etoile was simply lost as far as I know. I believe L’Eroica was lost as well, though she may have been badly damaged during construction, after which point I may have thrown her out. Embarassed The Straw Man was not so fortunate… I had a really bad day and decided to take out my wrath on what I considered my worst ship (from a gameplay, HFS, and artwork perspective). I crushed it in anger, sitting and possibly stomping on it, which I later regretted. I have since acquired another one, but I don’t think I’ve used it and I don’t think I will. Laughing With those 3 it would have been 52 ships.

Also, we have some similarities – we both got a Santo Columba, Swamp Fox, and others very early on. I’ve talked extensively about how my collection has grown in a Pojo thread. Ironically that thread was posted 5 years ago yesterday. It also confirms that I did indeed come back from my long hiatus in 2010 rather than 2011. I may have lurked here longer than I thought (perhaps more than the month that I recall), but I don’t remember much of it haha. I bought 55 ships from Strikezoneonline for $10 (+ $10 shipping) in order to get as much quantity as possible. This was literally just to have as many ships as possible for my Historical Fantasy Scenarios. original collection That purchase is also where my 8 Mayfair’s came from. original collection

To think I played HFS’s for almost an entire year (on and off of course) before I joined Pojo… you should have seen it. My room was completely different back then, between then and Century of the Empires (2013 – the first game I took pictures for). There was a lot of what do you call them… “natural obstructions” which made for deep harbors and interesting interactions between fleets. The only thing I specifically remember is a very low circular table that made for a sort of cave/overhang with at least one or two harbors attached to the supports beneath it. Ships would sail from these harbors in lines of battle to engage each other in epic battles on the high seas… it was only around 6 years ago, but when almost everything in your Pirates CSG career has happened since then, it becomes quite nostalgic. original collection For a week or two now I’ve been thinking about recreating that atmosphere for another “flashback” opportunity… I don’t know how epic I can make it, but it will certainly shed light on the sheer scale of it all… What was your original collection? What was your original collection?

What was your original collection?

First page of the original thread on Miniature Trading

My Collection – Collecting Pirates CSG over the years

Originally posted to Miniature Trading

My Pirates CSG Collection

This is another thread I’m bringing over from Pojo. To see the original thread, go here.

I’ve always kept track of my collection over the years, partly because I like to have all of my possessions organized, but also to keep a record of my Pirates stuff.

I’ll paraphrase from the original thread to detail how my collection grew from 2004-2013.

I got into the game soon after it began, and purchased different packs from SM, CC, RV, BC, and DJC from 2004-2006. This amounted to 49 total ships, because I managed to break three ships beyond repair. Sad

In the summer of 2010 I got 55 ships from Strikezoneonline (104 total ships). In early 2011 I bought 2 18 pack boxes of MI from Dave and Adam’s Card world (when they still had Pirates stuff left), leaving me with 176. Soon afterwards I got a lucky deal on eBay of 311 cards from just the Spanish Main set (my favourite set), which contained 104 more ships (280 total).

In July of 2011 I got a eBay lot of random stuff that contained 97 ships along with a 4 ship lot that had HMS Grand Temple and the Divine Dragon (381 total).

In December of 2011 I added another 143 ships between 3 Fairfield boxes, 1 18 pack box of DJC, and a handful of trades through MT (524 total).


2014: Just recently I’ve gone on a tear and grabbed some good deals.

For the first time ever, I got a large amount of stuff from the Frozen North, Barbary Coast, and South China Seas. I saw some good deals that I felt were too good to pass up. These were the three sets that I didn’t use to have much of, but now I’ve got tons! I also received some stuff from other sets, as well as a few random lots.

Not including duplicates (which I’m leaving unpunched for trade bait), I received a total of 205 new, unique ships to my collection.

Part of the reason I went for the three above-mentioned sets was their rarity and their corresponding deficiency in my collection. However, I also had extremely low numbers of both the Vikings and the Jade Rebellion, and a somewhat-lacking Barbary Corsair fleet. In fact, I didn’t have a single Viking ship!

With that said, it was nice to see some of the lesser factions grow like never before. I now own almost all of the Jade Rebellion ships, and I have every Corsair ship except for the Jackal’s Teeth. The Vikings still have some work to do, but at least now I can play them!

In addition, the Americans have always been a lesser faction in my collection, and I believe that holds true in general. I usually think of it as a Big 4: English, French, Spanish, Pirates, and then a Big 6: those four plus the Americans and the Cursed (although you can argue that the Cursed play worse than any faction other than the Mercenaries). With the stuff I’ve recently acquired, the United States has made a statement. They are looking to break into the dominant factions in the game and permanently establish themselves as a huge power. Between the Americans and the minor factions, it has been a revenge of the underdogs!

With that said, here are the numbers for each faction of NEW ships I’ve added:

New unique ships:
English: 20
French: 23
Spanish: 28
Pirates: 27
Americans: 44
Cursed: 5
Barbary Corsairs: 27
Jade Rebellion: 19 (from 3)
Vikings: 12 (from 0)
Total: 205

As you can see, the Americans take home the biggest fleet of new ships, among them FIVE new 5 masters. The Pirates actually got SIX new 5 masters, and they received a large number of other powerful ships.

The three main imperial nations of England, France, and Spain didn’t do quite as well, but I think it’s all for the better, as they are already dominant. The English did especially poorly, with not only a low number of new ships, but also a lack of quality additions. The French and Spanish both got a bunch of good pieces, but not to the extent of the Pirates and Americans.

The Cursed were the only real losers here, with just five new ships. However, 3 of those 5 are some of the best they have (Calim, Sea Monkey, Whydah).

The Barbary Corsairs saw a huge improvement in quantity and quality. I previously didn’t own any of their 4 masted galleys, but now I’ve got 6 out of 7. The Corsairs were previously severely lacking in crew, both named and generic, but now they’ve got plenty of support in those areas. Between their speed, good-looking ships, and fun crew and abilities, it’s hard not to love the Corsairs.

The Jade Rebellion goes from just 3 ships to 22 total, including 3 of the 5 six masted junks. They also filled out their collection of named and generic crew, which were lacking just as with the Corsairs.

The Vikings aren’t regarded as a very playable faction, but I was thrilled to finally acquire some Viking ships! We’ll see in December and January how they fare in their first games I’ve ever used them in!


As for the total size of my collection, I have no idea at this point. The last official count was 524, but since then I’ve made tons of trades, so I can’t even begin to estimate what the grand total would be now. It’s important to note that the number from the past was the total number of BUILT ships, not including unpunched duplicates. At the time of the last count, I had almost no unpunched duplicates. I’m planning on doing another count very soon, which will be nothing short of epic.

When I do the tally this time, I’m going to track things more closely. I’m going to count the overall number of BUILT ships, which will include everything I had punched previously plus the stuff I have now. As of a year or so ago I started leaving duplicates unpunched for a lot of reasons: I’ve got enough built ships, it’s easier to find and mail them for trades when they’re unpunched, and I don’t do huge historical fantasy scenarios anymore.

I’m also going to count the overall number of UNIQUE ships, that is, the number of ships I have not counting any duplicates, built or not built. In addition, I’d like to do a count for each faction, probably in both forms: overall and unique.

I keep all of my cards in a binder, but with the new stuff I’ve had to buy a bunch of new 9-pocket pages and use another binder. All of this is adding up to a MASSIVE overhaul and re-organizing of my collection, which I’m currently in the middle of! My Collection

And here it is:

2014 Fleet Review!!

2018: Since that Fleet Review in 2014 I’ve acquired more ships of course, but I’d estimate my current collection at around 850 punched ships. (including duplicates)

Feel free to share the progress you’ve made on your Pirates CSG collection in the comments below!

My Pirates CSG Collection

My entire collection from the November 2014 Fleet Review. There are 773 ships in the picture.