Maelstrom Game Mat and House Rules

Maelstrom Game Mat and House Rules

Thanks to my awesome friend Gigi, a unique Christmas gift arrived recently: a Maelstrom game mat!  😀   He was inspired to make it after seeing the concept as a Game Idea, and now fittingly enough I will be able to recreate the incredible scene from At World’s End!  I’ve come up with both regular and deathmatch house rules which you can see below.  The Maelstrom game mat is about 3 feet square, and has 10 concentric circles within it, not counting the foreboding center area.

Maelstrom Game Mat for Wizkids Pirates CSG

General House Rules:
-Ships can only travel around the maelstrom in an “anticlockwise” direction, just like in At World’s End.
-A move segment is required in order to move from one concentric ring to an adjacent one. This uses that move segment for the move action. Instead of moving the ship forward around the ring it’s currently in, move it laterally to the desired adjacent ring. (ex: a ship with L+S base move can use either segment to move to an adjacent ring, then use the other segment afterwards to move forward in that new ring. Or, it can jump two rings, or move L+S in the ring it’s already inside of.)

Maelstrom of Gold Scenario

These house rules are for a regular game with gold, though additional changes may be necessary.
-Set up for a regular game of Pirates, but with a minimum distance between islands of only 1L or 2L.
-Ships in the innermost ring can shoot at other ships in that ring regardless of cannon range (“unlimited” range to reach ships on the other side), as long as a clear line of fire can be drawn to the other ship.
-If a ship enters the center of the maelstrom, immediately remove the ship and all her cargo from the game.

Deathmatch Scenario

These house rules are for a deathmatch, ideal for recreating the epic movie scene.
-No islands. Each fleet starts outside the maelstrom on one of the four corners (opposite sides in a 1v1 deathmatch), and must enter the maelstrom from that corner during the first round (though not necessarily in the same spot for all ships).
-Ships cannot move rings towards the outside of the maelstrom. Concentric ring movement is limited to going towards the center of the maelstrom, as all ships get sucked into the middle.
-At the end of each player’s turn, each of their ships move laterally one ring closer to the center. (this cannot result in ramming/boarding/etc because it is not a move action)
-Ships within the innermost 3 rings of the maelstrom can shoot at other ships in those rings regardless of cannon range (“unlimited” range to reach ships on the other side), as long as a clear line of fire can be drawn to the other ship.
-If a ship enters the center of the maelstrom, she may be given one final action (unless she has already been given two actions that turn) before being removed from the game.
-Eternal only works once, regardless of whether or not the ship was sunk normally or by entering the center of the maelstrom.  If Eternal is triggered, the ship returns to the corner of the map she started in, outside the maelstrom.  She can repair normally there, and the player can move the ship into the maelstrom before repairing all masts.  If all masts are repaired, the ship’s next action must be to move the ship into the maelstrom.

Other Ideas!
These are meant to be interesting alternatives worth trying out, but not part of the core scenario ideas.
-Changing the movement rules: Instead of using an entire move segment to move laterally from one ring to another, ships can move “normally” under the same idea – you still need a move segment to cross a ring line, but you can move forward/diagonally as normal for enhanced speed.
-You may voluntarily eliminate any type of cargo during a ship’s action to move laterally towards the outside of the whirlpool (as if the ship is getting lighter and can potentially outpace the maelstrom).
-Risky middle: ships in the innermost 3 rings get +S to their base move, but must roll a d6 at the end of each of their actions.  On a 1-2, they lose a mast.
-All range extending abilities are doubled (or tripled). Ex: a flotilla with S range cannons and Extended Range can now shoot at a range of 4S (or 6S if tripling is preferred).
-Maximum shooting: S range cannons shot from within the innermost 5 rings can shoot at targets within those rings. L range cannons can hit anything in the maelstrom rings that a clear line of fire can be drawn to.  Or, all S range cannons have a range of 6S and all L range cannons have a range of 6L.
-Combine with the Other Worlds scenario with the Maelstrom being the “home island ocean” with HI’s on the outskirts of the maelstrom. Only once a ship reaches the center of the maelstrom can she use it as a whirlpool to teleport to the other oceans where the gold lies. (this may require banning HI raiders or other house rules to discourage blockading)

I realize there are a lot of game mechanics that might get fuzzy or confusing given these house rules, but they can be worked out as necessary. This post is subject to editing upon playtesting. 🙂

Maelstrom game mat - Black Pearl and Flying Dutchman

We have seen this before….

Maelstrom game mat - Black Pearl vs. Flying Dutchman

Black Pearl vs. Flying Dutchman!

A LONG Turn – Including 2 Attacks and 57 New Ships Launched!

Two Attacks and Tons of New Ships Launched

October 2020 in VASSAL Campaign Game 4

This was quite a long turn for me in CG4 – I tracked the time spent and including this battle report and everything else, the turn took over 30 hours to complete.  O_O

New Rules:

-Forts can be given repair actions if they have a shipwright in them. They cannot repair and shoot on the same turn unless they have an extra action available.

-Relaunching Rule: Non Big-6 factions (Big 6 being England, France, Spain, Pirate, America, Cursed) can relaunch Wizkids AND custom game pieces without restrictions other than the No-Duplicates rule being applied to their own fleet. (this is to give the minor factions more of a chance if their best ships are captured and not traded in)

The Master Spreadsheet has information on all the Wizkids game pieces mentioned in this report, while the Customs Database has the custom ones.

PirateAJ14 and Xerecs Factions

PirateAJ14’s Americans cashed in metals to launch the Franklin and Ghost Walker.

Xerecs’ turn marked the start of a new round, and it would be the final round for this LONG duration of resource values!

The Spanish launched the Viento Enfermo, while the Jade Rebellion launched the Sea Fang and Tycoon, both from the_grandmaster’s Back to War set.

It was a huge turn for the Conglomerate!  Mata-Nui copied the Arcane, and with the help of Helyrex’s reroll ability, got the 6!!  Hidden Trove was brought in to give the Conglomerate over 500 gold!!!   O_O

The Conglomerate got busy spending and launching, putting 10 new ships into the water.  Among these were a pair of 10 masters, the Outbound Flight and Okoto!  Among other ability hightlights, the Outbound Flight is a 40 point 10 master with L-immunity moving S+S+S (!), while the Okoto has Treasure Ship and a base cargo hold of 9!  Suddenly the Conglomerate look like a real threat, especially in the western half of the sea, which has been a bit less populous and active thus far in the game.

The English launched HMS Howell, a high-quality unreleased ship.

One of the Longest Turns of All Time

First, I was able to resolve the Pandora’s Box chaos from the previous round.

A review of what they demanded to receive:
The Cursed: Nemo’s Plans (done)
Vikings: Antikythera Mechanism (done)
Barbary Corsairs: Mask of Concealment (not complied with-Skull Spiders instead)
Dutch: Runes of Thor (FN)
Americans: Aegis Shield (The Vengeance of the Cadet Captain)
Mercenaries: Nightmare’s Knot (Fiends of the Blood Islands)
French: Garai (Pirates of Spherus Magna)
Spanish: Mask of Valor (Pirates of Spherus Magna)
Jade Rebellion: The Ring (Seas of Doom)
The Conglomerate: Mask of Wisdom (Spherus Magna)
English: Neptune’s Figurehead (CC)

Here are the UT’s the Pirates actually received from the other players:
Dutch: Runes of Magic
Americans: Plague
Mercenaries: Dead Man’s Chest (OE version)
French: Runes of the Serpent
Spanish: Forged Papers
Jade Rebellion: Abandoned Oarsman
The Conglomerate: Nemo’s Charts
English: Bad Plans


Using the Bomb Box, the Pirates threw out Plague and Bad Plans. The Pirates were irked that the Americans and English gave them negative UT’s. However, almost NONE of the factions in the game gave the Pirates what they wanted! We’ll see how that turns out!


With Studding Sails the Gale Force Nine and Blackleaf took off from the home island at L+L+S+S, as fast as the Hai Peng!  Some resource gatherers got home with valuable metals, while a lot of ships seem to be making a beeline for that fogpool….

Some ships at the metals island deferred docking for now to allow room for inevitable Pirate launches coming at the end of the turn.  Between Hidden Trove, Evenstar, Silverback John, and a likely change in resource values, the Pirates aren’t too concerned anymore with maximizing their metals production.

First the Hera arrived!  She sacced an oarsman to broadside the Diablo flotilla and the ship towing it, El Algeciras!  She hit 8/10 to sink the flotilla and nearly dismast the 2 master!  The Deceit came through next, providing a canceller in the area for the Pirates.  She was also using Phineas Bunce’s ability on the Zeus, giving the latter an extra cannon bonus on top of Lord Henry McLean’s regular bonus.  This basically made the Zeus have all 1S cannons for this turn!  She blasted away at the Joya del Sol and Castigue, shooting 6/9, causing considerable damage.

The Slave Revolt was next, saccing an oarsman to get a move and shoot after arriving through the whirlpool.  Her cannon barrage was disappointing, not coming close to dismasting the Castigue as she was supposed to.  However, with Capitaine Chevalle’s Cargo Wrecking ability, her 2 hits on the Castigue still took out 2 of her 3 crew.

The Howler was the next ship through the whirlpools, revealing both Grim the Savage (F&S version) and Richard Berry!  With a pair of Marines, this submarine was able to shoot a pair of 2S shots while still submerged!  One of them connected, causing further damage to the Castigue.

The Pirates were growing frustrated that their incredible firepower couldn’t even take out this relatively simple Spanish squadron, and so they surprised even themselves by sending the Tempest into the fray with an extra action via Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight (EPoE) on the Jolly Mon.  She hit 3/5 to beat up on the Castigue, who was now nearly dismasted.  The Leviathan warped into the area, using Edmund Cooke’s +1 cannon bonus against the Spanish to help eliminate 2 canoes and dismast the Algeciras.  The Harbinger arrived and took a second action via Sac, but my poor dice luck would not stop, with the Harbinger rolling four 1’s and only hitting once to eliminate a single canoe.

All in all the Pirates were very disappointed with the final result of their sudden, brutal surprise attack.  Still, they had managed to dismast 2 ships, nearly dismasted another, and eliminated 3 native canoes.  This shows a couple interesting things – for one, whirlpool attacks can be limited in scope because ships can only be given one extra action after arriving via the whirlpool on the same turn, so the immediate damage output of a surprise attack is somewhat limited (for example, imagine if the Zeus had 18 shots instead of 9).  In addition, the game is still in the very early stages of combat, and this attack showed how huge the 2 hits per mast rule is.  If not for that, the Pirates would have had an easier time taking care of business.

At the end of their turn, the Pirates declared war on the Spanish!

This shot shows the battle area in what is being called The Battle of Whirlpool Island.  You can see the Spanish home island where most of their masts and firepower is concentrated.  It will be interesting to see if the Spanish try to retaliate in the short term.

The Archipelago was rather quiet overall this turn, with the Deliverance docking at Skull Valley to replenish an oarsman.  The Stormcloud uses her shipwright to repair a mast.  The Black Pearl was the ship to get the Arcane roll this turn… placing Runes of Odin on the Zeus!!  O_O

What a sight!  Over a dozen Pirate ships strive to reach the whirlpool created earlier in the game by the Tempest.  The Pirates show their strength, as many of these ships will be able to support and back up the Pirate 10 master squadron against the Spanish if things go wrong.  Ships launched last turn from the textiles military port (MP) simply scatter, with orders to get as far from the island as their turn’s action(s) will allow.  This is because the Pirates still have a MASSIVE amount of gold, and they certainly plan to use it….

The Pirates are not quite as concerned with the Barbary Corsairs as you might think.  Although the Corsairs have their own super squadron ready to set sail this round, the Pirates have a lot of firepower still in the area, not to mention another megalaunch from the MP after their play turn ends.  However, the Splinter and Flying Dutchman (both just east of the whirlpool) are moving into a defensive position to potentially be the first Pirate ships on the front lines if the Corsairs charge and try to block the whirlpool/attack the military port/etc.

At the home island, various small ships (two with flotillas) swarm off the Arcane’s stern.  The Osiris got SAT this turn, so she is off and running at 6S speed towards the possible confrontation with the Corsairs.  The Corsairs are certainly close enough to see her heading towards them – what a horrible sight it must be, to see your former flagship heading out to fight you while in Pirate hands.  🙁

You might have noticed something abnormal compared to the last few turns – Pirate resource runners docking at the home island!  It is the last round for this resource value, so the Pirates wanted to get some extra textiles home.  They had been delayed for a while due to all the megalaunches from Hidden Trove windfalls.  However, now the Pirates have 4 launch points instead of 2 (starting this turn), and it actually felt really good as a player to just dock them home normally.  This is a more normal way of playing campaign games, instead of holding off because of all these crazy massive windfalls brought in by custom game piece combos.  It was also nice to dock some of them home because the Akua Lapu and Hades’ Flame have needed repairs ever since the short but intense battle with the Corsair squadron of 4 masters. (which was back in April)


The Pirates wanted to end their turn with a statement.  Something so epic and powerful that it would scare the hell out of every other fleet.  Something truly god-like.  They knew they had the pieces put together to pull it off….




(these are not my pictures)


The Zeus has a certain UT aboard from earlier in the turn…


Runes of Odin!!

Load this treasure face down. When revealed, place an iceberg from outside the game anywhere in the play area not within S of an island. If the iceberg touches any ship, remove the ship (and any crew and treasure aboard her) from the game. Then remove Runes of Odin from the game.




The Pirates placed the iceberg just off the Conglomerate home island!!

Then it was time for… Runes of Magic!!  Given to the Shadow’s Hand by the Dutch via Pandora’s Box, this UT would prove decisive!

Load this treasure face down. When revealed, move any iceberg L in any direction. Then remove Runes of Magic from the game.


The iceberg was moved directly into the Outbound Flight, the Conglomerate’s brand-new custom 40 point 10 masted junk!!!!!


With that, the Outbound Flight and all her crew were removed from the game!!


Introducing: The Odin Missile

It’s almost as if the Pirates have direct control over the gods now.  It started with Thor last turn, with Runes of Thor being used on the Cursed turn with the custom Flying Dutchman’s ability so the Cursed could place Nemo’s Plans on the Zeus… Zeus!  The Pirates got Runes of Odin to Zeus this turn, playing it in conjunction with Runes of Magic to complete one of the most powerful combos in the entire game.  The best part is, the “Odin Missile” is reusable.  Both Runes are on ships with Nemo’s Plans, so the Pirates retain both elements of this absurdly nasty combo.  This means that once per turn, the Pirates can essentially just pick any ship in play (that isn’t in a fog bank), and just remove it from the game.  O_O

The order was given.  Zeus and Odin eyed the tiny ships below from up in the clouds.  Odin creates a massive iceberg and hands it to Zeus, who will throw it in lieu of his trademark lightning bolts.  Zeus winds up and hurls the iceberg at high speed down towards the water… thousands of sailors from across the fleets look up towards the sky, noticing what looks like a meteor, something from the heavens coming down upon them.  The large new fleet of The Conglomerate navy is peacefully docked at their home island.  Many new sailors are excited to set sail for the first time, having only recently joined the service.  With horror they look to the sky at a massive iceberg plummeting towards their new fleet.

In a flash it is upon them.  With a massive sudden impact, the iceberg comes crashing down amidships on the Outbound Flight, the newly launched 10 masted junk.  The ship is split in half, with the bow and stern rising out of the water as the iceberg plummets through the ship and blows up the powder magazine, sending a vast explosion full of wood, ice, fire and body parts flying in all directions.  A new Weapon of Mass Destruction is now in the hands of the Pirates.

With that, the Pirates have an auto-hitting precision strike missile WMD capable of knocking out a ship every turn.  This brings them one step closer to having a full scale GMS….

The Pirates have been planning to introduce the Odin Missile for some time now.  However, recent events accelerated the development of their WMD program.  Even if it was a total accident, by giving the Pirates Runes of Magic, the Dutch helped the Pirates eliminate a Conglomerate ship! We’ll see if that leads to any tension between the Conglomerate and Dutch….

Pirate Launch Period

The Pirates raked in 139 gold from resources, adding it to their existing 1596 for a total of 1735 gold!  O_O  With 4 locations available for new ships to be launched at, it was inevitable that the Pirates would get busy spending big!  😀 The Pirates don’t have a lot to hide with their quadruple megalaunch (!), and so I will provide more detail than usual regarding what each ship has on board. Naturally, some things should start face down. 🙂 (these are from my notes so some things may be overly abbreviated)
CHO=Captain, Helmsman, and Oarsman (C+H=Captain and Helmsman) | WH=World Hater | FPS=Firepot Specialist | CSS=Chainshot Specialist

From Skull Valley: 9 Ships, 308 Points
The Pirates launched my version of the “movie” Queen Anne’s Revenge (from On Stranger Tides) with a big crew setup: Evan Stern (Captain+SAT), Jean Hamlin (Helmsman+World Hater except against the French), Nidiki (transferred from the Branwen), Coconut (Reroll+Explorer), Dinghy (+1 cargo), oarsman. She will be resupplied by Cadet-Captain Mike’s Quedagh Merchant, who is the QAR’s personal support and supply ship.
The Arbiter was launched to provide a new place for Nuva to copy Vesok/Arcane to so the Black Pearl can get back to her regular gunship duties.
Cor’dahk + The Mastermind (EA), Hernán Sanchez (C+WH), helmsman, oarsman.
Freedom Fighter + Captain Archer Rook (Sac+Gold Capture), One-Eyed Bennett (C+H), 4 oarsmen.
Fiasco + Roger Hawkins (C+H), The Headhunter (Sac+World Hater), Volting Junipau (FPS, CSS, crew kill on 6’s), Streamlined Hull, 4 oarsmen.
Victoire + Howard Hook (Sac Captain + spying), helmsman, 4 oarsmen
Albino and Destiny’s Bounty, each with CH, Dinghy and 5 oarsmen.

Pirate megalaunch from Skull Valley fort at Archipelago

From the textiles military port: 13 Ships, 397 Points
Toruk + Chen Tianbao (C+H), Trainer (SAT+Dark Hunter), Bessho Kai (used as World Hater), oarsman.
Kingpin + Christopher Condent (Captain+WH+Filching Gold), Cai Qian (EA), Iron-Plated Hull, helmsman, and Streamlined Hull.
Crescent Rose + CHO, Ballista, equipment
Lilac + CHO, Ballista.
Fool’s Hope (LE) + CHO, equipment
Misfortune’s Keep + Le Requin (SAT), El Mulato Grillo (WH+Spanish Massacre), CHO, shipwright.
Red Sky at Morning + Emanuel Wynn (Captain, +S w/in S of enemy ship, +1 to boards against English), helmsman, shipwright, oarsman.
Dead Man’s Revenge + CHO.
Screecher + CHO, shipwright.
Shadow Stalker + stuff
Eclector + helmsman, shipwright, 5 oarsmen, Dinghy, Streamlined Hull.
Pandora (Seas of Doom) + helmsman, shipwright, 4 oarsmen, Dinghy, Streamlined Hull.
Oyster + helmsman, 2 shipwrights, 3 oarsmen, Dinghy

Pirate megalaunch from military port in CG4

From the metals military port: 12 Ships, 260 Points

Introducing: The Anti-Spanish Squadron!
With their declaration of war against Spain, the Pirates have invested a considerable chunk of points into a new anti-Spanish squadron. Every ship in the squadron gets at least +1 to their cannon rolls against Spanish ships, and some get +1 to all their d6 rolls against Spain. The Fame’s Revenge is the flagship of the squadron, which the Pirates hope to expand to at least 10 ships (7 for now) in the near future.
Fame’s Revenge + Daniel Montbars (arguably the most anti-Spanish pirate to ever live), CHO, FPS.
Muerta de la Corona + CHO, FPS.
Claudia + Guilder (Captain+S-Board), Vincenzo Alessandri (Musketeer, +1 boards), helmsman.
Ranger + Michiel Andrieszoon (Captain, +1 to d6 rolls against Spanish), Jan Willems (+1 to boards against Spanish), helmsman, +more.
Broken Key + John Cooke (Captain, +1 to cannon rolls against Spanish), David Marteen (+1 to d6 rolls against Spanish), helmsman, oarsman, equipment.
La Morte de Yarborough: Jean Thomas Dulaien (Captain, +1 to d6 rolls against Spanish), helmsman, +more.
Batavian Bat + Michel de Grammont (Captain, +1 to cannon rolls against Spanish, +1 to boards against Dutch), helmsman, oarsman.

These will likely be patrol gunships – the first 4 all rather similar and all some of my favorite classics from the original sets.
Executioner + C+H, others
Panda + CHO, Ballista, equipment
Royal James + CHO, FPS
Cutlass + CHO, crew
Zui Quan + Mo Guanfu (Captain+Cannoneer), helmsman, oarsman, Ballista
-Once in a while the Pirates like to just throw something out there in full view to show some might. The Zui Quan can shoot 5 cannons as a 2 master, hitting at L+L range on 6’s to eliminate 2 masts per hit. 🙂

Home Island: 7 Ships, 246 Points
Dark Aster + Lars Gathenhielm (Captain, global +1 to cannons like Roberto Santana), Richard Noland (Crew Protect+reducer), helmsman, musketeer, oarsman, Streamlined Hull
Wicked Wench + Crew, helmsman, oarsman, Dinghy
Belladonna + Crew, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull
Bombay + Iolkos (Captain, S-Board, Crew Killing), helmsman, oarsman, Ballista, equipment
Draconum (my custom version) + Hendrick Lucifer (Captain, Smokepot Specialist, +1 to boards), helmsman, oarsman, FPS, shipwright, Dinghy
Sea Devil + CHO, Ballista, equipment
Apocryphia + CH, Dinghy, Ballista, equipment

Some of these are… very scary.

Pirate megalaunch from military port and home island in VASSAL Campaign Game 4

You may notice a trend developing between this and the previous recent Pirate launches… perhaps an “assembly” of sorts….

This Pirate Turn By the Numbers
Ships Launched: 41
Gold Spent: 1,211
Gold Remaining: 524
New Fleet Totals: 148 Ships, ~3,740 Points


The Pirate fleet was already #1 all-time with their point total from last round, and now they have become the largest fleet of all time by ship count!!  😀


Just bonkers crazy numbers!!!

A 41 ship fleet for 1211 total points is a nice total for any fleet to reach in a campaign game.  The Pirates just added it in one turn!  In addition, their fleet size by point total is now larger than almost all other recorded huge games ever played.  Their long term vision and plans are rapidly coming to fruition!!

The Cursed Play Turn

The Cursed rolled successfully on both the custom Flying Dutchman’s ability and Davy Jones copying the Arcane!  With the FD they brought in Runes of Thor, giving it to the Pirates!!  It was placed on the Zeus, who already carries Nemo’s Plans.  This meant the Pirates now have two ships that carry reusable versions of Runes of Thor, due to Nemo’s Plans.  O_O

The successful Arcane roll was used to bring in Hidden Trove, placed on the Maman Brigitte!  The custom ship The Rock copied Davy Jones (and through him, the Arcane) via the Eye of Insanity UT.  After failing the roll and reroll, the Pirates intervened!  They used their original Runes of Thor (on the Noble Swan) to force a 6!  This allowed the Cursed to bring in Evenstar, placing it on the Maman Brigitte!!  The Maman Brigitte was given an explore action targeting the home island, unloading both UT’s for a supermassive windfall!!!!!

307 ships in play at the beginning of the Cursed turn means Hidden Trove is worth 614 for The Cursed. Evenstar triples it to 1842 gold!! Add in their existing 617 and they have 2459 total gold!!  O_O

The Pirates use their second RoT on a failed Cursed AA! It is used to propel the Chimeratron Legacy towards the Americans!  She speeds out from the home island at an absolutely sickening speed of S+S+L+S+L(Python bonus)+S(trade current)(first action)+S+S+L+S+L(Python bonus)!!!!  O_O

Video footage of the Legacy’s first turn of actions!

Here comes the superweapon!!  Isaiah van Tyne L-boards the Kettering!  Between her crew and bonuses, the CL has a base boarding score of 21!  O_O   This made rolling a non-issue; there was no way this supermassively overloaded maxed out 10 master was going to lose this boarding party!  The CL wins and Captain Shamshere captures ALL four of the Kettering’s crew!!  O_O   How’s that for an entrance!

Then it was time to start shooting.  The CL used Bow Chasers to slightly damage the Bonhomme Richard, then shot a grapple shot at S+S range to board the Richard.  The CL won and stole all the crew from the BR!!  O_O  Both American gunships were suddenly devoid of crew, with all 7 now residing on the CL.  The CL then managed to finish shooting a mast off the Kettering.

Chimeratron Legacy first action for a superweapon

Then the Devil’s Storm turned around and shot up the stern of the Bonhomme Richard, eliminating 2 masts!  In more bad news for the Americans: Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse is on her way.  And the same for the Python and Devil’s Frenzy!  This shows the Cursed-American situation in the northwest.  At the far right, you can see that on their turn, the Pirates got the Stormy Night’s ability and used it to move the Rattlesnake onto the sargasso sea where the Harlequin is still stuck.

Indeed, ships were departing the Cursed HI en masse. Ships generally scattered, all going off on different missions.  At the bottom of the frame, the Solenostomus has upgraded Figlar Castle!!  O_O  The Cursed used Barst (just like Lord Mycron; on the Tomb of Lucifer) to give the Opal Shrine an extra action, which she used to enter the whirlpool and arrive in the northwest corner (you can see her at the top left).  There she used her gold to build another copy of Figlar Castle!!  O_O    This should seem… far more than ominous….

Figlar Castle doubled up!

Cursed Launch Period

With a decent amount of room at their home island and over 2400 gold, The Cursed did a megalaunch!  For the second turn in a row, they placed as many ships as they possible could at their home island.

Tridax + 3 Crew, Ballista
Call of the Sea + 3 Crew, helmsman, shipwright, oarsman, Dinghy
Royal Feces takes over for The Rock on Eye of Insanity (Davy Jones proxy) duties.
Spiral Chaos + The Sister of Tortuga (Shipwright+can’t be pinned), helmsman, oarsman, Gilded Figurehead
Sargasso Nightmare + Duogoth Vonnagos (Captain+Grapeshot Specialist), Ole Gregory, equipment specialist, helmsman, oarsman, Dinghy, Ballista
Ganon’s Phantom + CHO, Dinghy, equipment
Sea Hag + Crew, CHO.
Cerberus + CHO, equipment
Apparition + CHO, equipment
Hangman’s Joke + CHO, Ballista, equipment
Ghost Wind + CHO, Ballista
Needle + CHO, Streamlined Hull
Alligator + Captain, Streamlined Hull, smokepot shot

The Cursed spent 363 gold on 13 new ships! They completed their fog hopping squadron, in addition to adding some more ships for specific purposes.

Cursed megalaunch in CG4 October 2020

The new Cursed totals: (last time at 24 ships, 961 points)

37 ships, 1324 points

The Cursed are expanding rapidly, increasing the size of their fleet (by ship total) by just over 50% in one turn.


Vikings and Corsairs

The Vikings once again couldn’t get Jord’s copied Arcane roll to work even with Shayna Deux’s reroll to help out.  However, the Hrothgar returned home with three lumber tokens, allowing them to cash in for 12 gold to get the Timperswayd (from Pirates of the Kraken Sea) with a helmsman.  This brings their fleet to 14 ships and 239 points.

The Corsairs sent some of their newest ships (the super squadron launched last turn) west, appearing to aim them straight at the Pirates. It seems unlikely they would actually try to attack the Pirates at such a numbers disadvantage, as a more foolish idea can hardly be imagined.  The Corsairs brought home enough resources to launch a bit, but they didn’t get any Arcane rolls to work (all on the Nephila, but 4 total tries between Gilded Figurehead, a 2d6 ability, and Reroll).

The Corsairs launched:
HMB Sayyida + helmsman, 3 other crew and 1 equipment
Great Desert + C+H, Ballista

2 ships launched for 53 points.  This brings their totals to 26 ships and 477 points.

Here is a wide view of the northeast, showing (from left to right) the home islands of the Vikings, Pirates, Corsairs, and English.  With massive megalaunches happening every turn, the Pirate deckplate areas have been overflowing in all directions lately.  At the upper right, notice that a huge percentage of recently hired Corsair crew are face down.

With that, my turn was over!  There are now 323 ships in play, with my factions adding 57 this round!  Throwing some numbers together, I can also come up with a new point estimate.  My factions spent a total of 1644 gold this round (1211+363+12+58).  The Conglomerate spent most of their Hidden Trove, which we can estimate at 500 gold now at around 2144 new points in play this round).  Some other factions launched but some crew were lost in combat, so we’ll be conservative and not assume a point gain from that.

Using last turn’s point count of 5297 and adding 2144…

~7,441 Total Points In Play

O_O   This means that CG4 could be the second biggest game of all time behind only Command the Oceans!!  O_O

Here is the massive ocean!!

A LONG Turn in VASSAL Campaign Game 4 - over 30 hours in October 2020

References: First Zeus picturesecond Zeus picture

“Concept” Game with 3D Printed Ships, Wooden Ships, AND Wizkids Ships

10/22/2020: I’m a day late for a Trafalgar Day game, but this is the game I’ve been wanting to play for almost a month, ever since my package from Cloud of Craft Gaming arrived and in the same week I 3D printed my first ship.  😀

I’ve had mixed success with 3D printing ships so far, having initial success very early before running into a myriad of issues (all my fault lol, I’m a total beginner).  However, I have made some progress and improvements (don’t use “soft” PLA for Pirates stuff!), and now have an additional 4 master in addition to a 5 master.  I did not create any of the files used to 3D print any of the stuff used in this game.  Here are the resources I used:

Juulm’s files for the 4 master and Skull Island volcano
Todd C’s files for the 5 master
Circular fort
Torus Knot fort

-Both forts and the Skull Island volcano were printed at about 50-65% size, with 10-20% infill.

This was a “concept game” to test what it would be like to play with a combination of regular Wizkids ships, the wooden ships, and 3D printed PLA ships – along with 3D printed island/fort stuff.  The setup and fleet makeup was secondary to showcasing the stuff and trying it out, but nicely enough the game turned out surprisingly great!

I am not concerned with artwork yet, which is why things are bare and white. I hope to delve into that eventually, but for now my focus is on 3D printing (ex: getting more ship types available in terms of files/etc).

Here are the fleets used in the order of play – 4 at 50 points each.  All game pieces from Wizkids can be found in the Master Spreadsheet, while most of the customs are from my Epic Seas set in the Customs Database.

The Cursed

Devil’s Glory + Ebenezer Foxe (from Riz; has Captain+Helmsman), Disciples of Lucifer (Cannoneer+Crew Protect), oarsman

Namazu (RtSS)

Just using basic crew chips to proxy in for the other crew. (C+H for Foxe, blank for Disciples)


Tempest + Emperor Blackheart, helmsman, oarsman

Spanish Mercenaries

Fortaleza + captain, helmsman, oarsman

El Neptuno + helmsman

El Picador

The Spanish were the one faction “civilized” enough to have an actual building on their home island.  🙂


Cascade + Jonathan Haraden, John Paul Jones, helmsman, oarsman

Jarvis + explorer

The Islands

Skull Island volcano has a special house rule – when a ship docks at it, they have to roll a d6.  On a 1-2, choose one crew from the ship to be removed from play.  Dead spirits haunt the island and are looking for new recruits.

I love how intricate this one is, and how the staircase leads up to the top:

With the Pirate deathbat flag (and podcast logo) fittingly in the background:

Maybe the island will take flight?!  😉

The circular fortress has 12 cannons, all at 3L and they can only fire in a straight line from where the cannons are actually pointing.  The fort can be hit normally, and each hit eliminates a cannon (ships actually choose which cannons to shoot at to eliminate).  On the 12th and final hit, the fort is destroyed and the fleet that got the final hit automatically gets 10 points/gold towards their final score.

The Torus fort has no cannons, but must be stormed to get to the gold inside.  When a ship docks here, they can roll for a boarding party against the fort. The fort has a base boarding roll of 2 (like a 2 masted ship).  When a ship wins, they can take a number of coins from the fort equal to the boarding score difference.  If the fort wins, no gold can be taken and the losing ship eliminates a mast.

Ready for action!  Round earth rules in effect!  Also, no damage from ramming.

It doesn’t take long for shots to ring out!  Guided by Blackheart’s All-Powerful, the Tempest smashes 2 of the fort’s cannons right away.

The Cursed and Spanish both head east.  What a sight!  A 3D printed 5 master and fort, a wooden 10 master and wooden sea serpent, and El Neptuno!  😀

Pirates CSG concept game with 3D printed and wooden ships

The Cascade shuts down two more of the fort’s guns – could this lead to a conflict between the Americans and Pirates?

The Jarvis is brave enough to sail for Skull Island volcano!

The Devil’s Glory is the first to storm the Torus fortress! She succeeds and loads 3 coins!  (should have been more but I forgot about Hidden Gold)

The circular fort is proving to be rather inept, missing the Tempest and not finding any good ranges to the Cascade:

The Pirates go rogue and blast the Cascade!  Both the ship and fort take damage!

With a double action via All-Powerful, the Tempest lays waste to the American ship! Blackheart purposely kept the Cascade in between the fort and the Tempest, making sure the fort would have trouble reaching the Tempest if any cannons were in range.

El Neptuno’s crew storm the castle!  Both sides fight admirably but the Spanish come out on top!  3 coins are loaded after the 11-8 score differential.

Here comes the Fortaleza!!  She rounds the big island and gets her bow L range cannons in range of the Devil’s Glory!  One connects, no doubt angering The Cursed.

The Americans have a decent turn, taking 3 coins from Skull Island as the Jarvis avoids getting spooked, while John Paul Jones gets the Cascade home to repair with SAT.

Submerged prior to now, Namazu has surfaced!  I have a bad feeling I know what that S range straw means….


Namazu’s wave attack blasts through two thirds of the Spanish fleet, dismasting El Picador and doing damage to the Fortaleza:

The Fortaleza’s “fort” mast has fallen on the Torus fort:

Spanish forces watching at home are horrified by what they witness.  Unfortunately for the Spanish the atrocities will continue!!

Wave attacks like Namazu and Neptune’s Trident are one of the most fun things in Pirates CSG!

The Cursed aren’t done yet!  The Devil’s Glory shoots 4/4 to smash the Fortaleza even more!

Barely needed Wizkids stuff to play this game 😀

With the Glory’s Cargo Wrecking ability, the cannonade also eliminated all three of the Fortaleza’s crew!!

Back in the east, the Tempest does work, eliminating an additional 5 cannons from the fort.

The Fortaleza gets some measure of revenge, taking two masts off the Devil’s Glory:

The Neptuno headed for home, towing the Picador on her way back.  However, this slight deviation of course proved unfortunate for Spain, because they had unwittingly put themselves into the line of fire (or line of tsunami) again….

Another tidal wave attack by Namazu blasts another 4 masts off the ships!!

The Fortaleza is really hurting now:

The Pirates finish off the circular fort, netting them 10 gold automatically!  Then the Tempest heads even further east, probably looking to round earth towards the chaotic western area!

Realizing their mistake of towing the Picador, and wanting to get gold home before the Tempest potentially arrives with a bang, the Neptuno scurries home to unload her coins.  I put them under the cube building, which is the perfect size for coins.

The Fortaleza hits on both of her shots to kill Namazu!  The great beast is dead, but not before taking out 8 masts in successive tsunami blasts!

An overview of the small sea, showing that the Americans have gotten back on their feet with gold and repairs.

Not bothering to repair, the Devil’s Glory comes out for another round!  She hits twice to dismast the Fortaleza!

Devil's Glory dismasts Fortaleza in Pirates CSG game

Emperor Blackheart is here to take over the game!  However, his crew barely wins a boarding party (8-7) against the Torus fort, only escaping with one coin.

El Neptuno plans to round earth and join the Jarvis at Skull Island, but the excitement here lies with the Cascade joining the other gunships in the west!

The Devil’s Glory pulls off a sweet maneuver, angling into the island to tow the Fortaleza as she docks at the fort to steal its final coin!

But Emperor Blackheart is All-Powerful!!  He sinks the massive junk and prepares to wheel around the stern of the Devil’s Glory!

The Tempest knocks down the DG’s final masts:


The Cascade arrives, taking two masts off the Tempest and killing her oarsman!  She captured the Devil’s Glory (oops) and had her explore the Cascade, grabbing her coin.  This shouldn’t have happened since the DG had both Crew Protect and Oarsman aboard.

I was just playing this game to showcase the new stuff and I got a horrid bloodbath!  O_O

The Tempest shoots at the Cascade and hits her with a wave attack!!  Namazu’s not the only one who can do that in these parts…

The Jarvis isn’t so lucky this time, with her explorer abandoning ship to join the dead at Skull Island.

The Cascade rows away at 4S and the DG at 2S (realizing my mistake on the latter, keeping the Cursed alive).

Blackheart continues to take over the game, sinking both ships!!

The Tempest finally succeeded at her whirlpool generation ability, placing one next to the Pirate home island in case they would be able to make a quick getaway soon (if another whirlpool was placed elsewhere).  The 1 on their HI just represents the 10 from the destroyed fort.

The Neptuno loses her helmsman to the spirits of Skull Island!  The island may have been drained of gold today, but it gained two new souls… perhaps we will see it again….

The desperation of the endgame has begun.  Blackheart gets his first 6 with All-Powerful and commands the Jarvis to shoot at the Neptuno!  However, she shoots 0 for 3!  XD

The Neptuno flees, but gets rammed by the Jarvis again. The Jarvis again loses the boarding party, failing consistently here at the end of the game.  Blackheart arrives in the Tempest to bring the Neptuno down to 1 mast, with all 3 ships nearly at Ocean’s Edge!

The Jarvis does something I try to avoid but could not in this situation: a round earth ram!  She finally wins a boarding party to steal a coin.

El Neptuno does a high wire act, reminiscent of the Black Pearl at the end of Dead Men Tell No Tales:

The Jarvis wouldn’t fit on the other side, leading to the main awkward thing about using round earth.  Still worth it though!!

The uncaptained ships were content to make their way home with a coin apiece, but as Thanos said, “destiny still arrives.”   In Pirates CSG that destiny takes the form of All-Powerful Emperor Blackheart, rolling another 6 to force the Neptuno away from her own home island.  The Tempest round earths and slaughters her final mast, eliminating the Spanish from the game.

The Tempest captured the Neptuno and brought her to the Pirate HI, while the Jarvis got home with another coin for the Americans.  With all gold unloaded, it was finally over.

I had no idea the game was going to be this bloody and full of carnage, with nearly all ships sunk or dismasted:

In the end, The Cursed claim victory!

  1. The Cursed: 18 gold
  2. Americans: 14 gold
  3. Pirates: 12 gold
  4. Spanish: 7 gold

What a game!  Not only was it exciting and a bit crazy throughout, there were even close scores at the end.  This game was like a love letter to Pirates in a way – even with a rushed setup and quick gameplay, it was absolutely incredible!  It really showed how great the game is overall.

The new stuff was great to see in action for the first time.  The wooden ships have really neat artwork, while the 3D printed ships feel about as sturdy as the original styrene models.  Some improvements should be made with the 3D printed stuff, since the ships aren’t perfect (not saying this is the fault of the file creators, I think it’s just somewhat inevitable).  However, playable is awesome to have so soon after getting my printer.  I also really like the 3D printed forts and island, though I think in the future I’ll change the fort rules a bit, probably making them more difficult to face if in the same category of an NPC. They could also be regular forts, or maybe even start as NPC before being taken over and used by a player.  Tons of possibilities and fun house rules!

If you love Pirates CSG, I do recommend the Ender 3 V2 as it led to exactly what you saw in this report!  Now that I’ve played this game I plan to continue working on 3D printing Pirates stuff when I have time.  If you have any contributions of your own, feel free to post them in the 3D printing thread.

BREAKING THE GAME | + A Global Biological Terrorist Attack Threat


Plus: A Global Biological Terrorist Attack Threat

If I had to pick my own “MUST READ” battle report for 2020, this is it.

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 has continued (introduction and rules here).  The previous battle report is probably worth a refresher before getting into the events of this past… weekend.  Indeed, my turn took up a huge portion of my weekend from Friday-Sunday.  Things have spiraled out of control to a degree not seen before in any other game of Pirates CSG, at least that I know of in its recorded history.  Game balance is a thing of the past.  Welcome to a new era – “exploits of the power gamer”.  😉  I listened to this epic mix for most of the Pirate play turn.

A turn this long and epic deserves a long report to do it justice.  Especially given the “injustices” that have taken place… and of which there are likely more to come.  If you make it through the whole thing, please consider leaving a comment at the bottom, as it should help my fansite and the visibility of this post that apparently has 5625 words.  It would be useful to have the newly released Customs Database available while reading, as there were a LOT of customs involved….

As usual for my turns, we start with the Pirates.  The Eagle gave Resurrection Codex to the Zeus. (a pretty big deal in a more “normal” game or even a campaign game) 

Having crushed Xerecs’ Spaniards in the Archipelago last turn with a grand display of powerful weaponry, their combat of this turn was mostly about cleaning up in the center of the ocean.  The Deliverance got the Pirates started by eliminating two Spanish canoes (revealing Isandro Ramirez to be her captain).

From there, things quickly got… unprecedented.

The Smoke’s Hand got two actions and used the second to sink the final canoe and shoot at the Morning Star, who was dismasted by the Stormcloud.  This allowed the Sapphire Sea to tow the Spanish galleon, with the Pirates capturing her!  Given she was loaded with textiles (a valuable resource right now) and additional cargo, in any normal circumstance this would be a major deal and win for the Pirates.  This was, however, arguably even for me the least normal turn EVER taken in a Pirates game…..

As you may have seen in the video, the Arcane herself rolled for her signature ability.  “Once per turn, you may give this ship a move action, but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 6, you may place a Unique Treasure on any ship in your fleet.”  First try of the entire round, and she got a 6.  O_O

The Pirates brought in…













HIDDEN TROVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Xerecs’ Return of Davy Jones custom set:

Hidden Trove: Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.


Reaction to bringing in Hidden Trove

LOL!!!!  Hidden Trove was placed on the Osiris, who naturally was already docked at the Pirate home island.

The report goes a bit out of order here… XD

Naturally it begs the question: how many ships are in play?  Well, at the end of the Pirate play turn: 173.  O_O

This means that Hidden Trove is worth 346 gold.  O_O   XD

But Wait, There’s More

😀  Of course there is!

The Pirates were not even CLOSE to being done yet!  XD

As mentioned in the May 9th report, the Pirates have a mass surveillance program.  They call it the “Global Surveillance Program”, or GSP (not to be confused with GMS).  Think of it like the NSA.  XD   If you’ve got something and want to hide it, odds are the Pirates already know about it.  I believe the Pirates know where every single face down UT on the map is.  O_O   They also know about most of the face down crew in play.  This allows them to make focused decisions that do not rely on assumptions or wild predictions.  They have also become extremely self-sufficient, not needing to bargain with other factions for intelligence purposes.  The Pirates already knew about something they wanted… something that would combo perfectly with their new Hidden Trove….

The Leviathan was put into action!!  In her first turn in play, The Leviathan (from vladsimpaler’s Treachery on the High Seas set) was immediately ready to show off how much of an asset she could be to the burgeoning Pirate fleet.  With D movement, she was able to “fly” anywhere on the ocean at will.  She got her orders to intercept a Dutch ship far from Pirate waters, off in the southwest.  The Prins Willem carried Ivory, a custom UT created by the legendary Cadet-Captain Mike:

Ivory: When unloaded, this treasure is worth as much as the most valuable treasure coin currently on the ship.

O_O     … You may see where this is going.

The Leviathan warped out to meet the Prins Willem, careful not to ram the ship and become pinned.  She simply brushed ever so slightly up against the hull of the Dutch 3 master, and fired off a full broadside of 5 shots just for good measure, courtesy of Captain crew Gregory Rose (a custom by JW Darkhurst).  All shots missed!  However, blood was not what the Pirates were after.  That laid elsewhere.  The Prins Willem had 2 other UT’s aboard: Barrel o’ Monkeys (created by Woelf!!) and Letter of Marque.

Barrel o’ Monkeys: When this ship leaves a wild island, randomly choose one of her treasures and put it face down on that island. When this ship touches another ship, randomly choose one of this ship’s treasures and put it face down on the other ship; eliminate the treasure instead if the other ship’s cargo is full.

Emphasis added; the random part was where my Pirates needed some luck.  I assigned Letter of Marque a 1-3 and Ivory a 4-6; sure enough, the d6 roll came up 6!!  😀   This put Ivory on The Leviathan!

With great haste she flew home, carefully landing to just barely touch the Osiris, who still hadn’t been given an action on the turn.

Now it was time for a true rarity: using SAT (Same Action Twice/Born Leader) to explore twice in a row.  O_O  I don’t know if I had ever done that in a game up until this point, but it was certainly the perfect time.

*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 -> [6] ***
<a7xfanben> – O_O   Got Danvian Arrestelos’ SAT on the Osiris, which is suddenly key because both AA’s were already used

With SAT available, the Osiris used her first explore action to explore The Leviathan, taking Ivory.  With her second explore action she targeted the home island, unloading both Hidden Trove AND Ivory at the same time!!!!!

Hidden Trove was worth 346 gold!!  Ivory was worth the same amount as Hidden Trove!!

Suddenly the Pirates had a fortune on their home island!!!



692 GOLD!!!!!!!!!!

O_O   XD

The Pirates also brought in a fair quantity of metals and textiles this turn, still the game’s 2 most valuable resources for now.  This gave them an additional 58 gold, which would be a pretty good total for them under normal circumstances.

This left them with a grand total of….






750 GOLD.


Even in a campaign game, this is beyond belief….

Anticipating one of the biggest megalaunches in memory, Pirate ships immediately scattered away from the home island, with the Pirates desperate to make as much room at their launch points as possible.  Get out of the way!! Make room, make room!!  XD  Despite needing more repairs, the Agnis Crystalis and Darkhawk II simply sail straight out away from the home island, with priority going to the new ships that will inevitably be launched in short order….

I almost never do bulk copy+paste of the module chat in actual battle reports, but this is one turn where I think it is fitting.  🙂

<a7xfanben> – Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – Its worth will be calculated….
<a7xfanben> – But first
<a7xfanben> – Time to try out the newest superweapon
<a7xfanben> – THE LEVIATHAN!!
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Here’s hoping this works XD
<a7xfanben> – D movement
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – (not her final location for this move)
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* UNDO: * [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – Placed alongside, touching but not ramming…
* **** Crew – Pirate (Gregory Rose) revealed by a7xfanben ****
<a7xfanben> – Gregory Rose: Captain. Eternal. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against English ships.

(shots miss lol)
<a7xfanben> – Now for the key, and maybe a little luck.
<a7xfanben> – Prins Willem has Barrel o’ Monkeys aboard.
<a7xfanben> – When this ship leaves a wild island, randomly choose one of her treasures and put it face down on that island. When this ship touches another ship, randomly choose one of this ship’s treasures and put it face down on the other ship; eliminate the treasure instead if the other ship’s cargo is full.
<a7xfanben> – From the Code: Barrel o’ Monkeys is not included in the random selection
<a7xfanben> – It comes down to Ivory and Letter of Marque.
<a7xfanben> – D6 roll: 1-3 Letter of Marque is transferred, 4-6 Ivory is transferred.
<a7xfanben> – Here goes
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 -> [6] ***
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Oh my god….
<a7xfanben> – This is absolutely staggering…
* Coin moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
* Coin moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
<a7xfanben> – Ivory goes to Leviathan
<a7xfanben> – Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight on the Jolly Mon to give The Leviathan another action!!
<a7xfanben> – Not pinned since no ram 🙂
<a7xfanben> – Bye
* Coin moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
* [The Leviathan] moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
<a7xfanben> – She knows just where to go…
* [The Leviathan] moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
* Coin moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – Touching the Osiris
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Her first action is to explore The Leviathan and take the Ivory
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Now her second action…
<a7xfanben> – Is used to explore the home island!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – Hidden Trove: Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.
<a7xfanben> – Ivory: When unloaded, this treasure is worth as much as the most valuable treasure coin currently on the ship.
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – O_OOO_O_O_O_O_O_O_O
<a7xfanben> – LOLOLOLOL
<a7xfanben> – A MULTIPLIER!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – UNLIMITED POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – (force lightning spews from eyes in all directions)
<a7xfanben> – The craziest part is… IT IS NOT OVER. Not for another faction………
<a7xfanben> – The Pirates have not even used their Runes of Thor this round.
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Someone else eagerly awaits….
<a7xfanben> – All shall perish.

Things have gotten a bit strange in Pirate waters.  Multiple damaged ships are almost stranded in between the two launch points of the Pirate HI and their military port, with orders not to dock at either given the mass influx of valuable new ships about to enter play.  At the bottom left the Giza tries to row away from the island at an angle that will allow the maximum number of ships to be docked at the port by the end of the overall Pirate turn.  The Triton’s Fury could have docked and loaded textiles but simply doesn’t.  At the bottom right, 3 Pirate gunships are headed in the direction of the whirlpool created by the Tempest.

Round earthing to the other side of the Pirate home island, the Amity has unloaded 3 gold at the metals island to build Plumb Point Lighthouse!

At the end of their turn the Pirates followed through with their plan to build a fort on an Archipelago island.  They built my custom Skull Valley fort, which has Extended Range. (The fort shuts down resource production on the island; this snapshot was taken before I removed the textiles token or added the 5 gold cost of the fort)

A true pirate stronghold, the Skull Valley is located on an undisclosed and unnamed island either in the Caribbean or the Pacific, depending on who you talk to. More of a town than a fortress, the valley is inside hilly terrain that prevents enemies from getting a clear look at their target. Massive mortars and a huge cache of old Spanish culverins provide ample firepower over the hills.  [Ironically fitting flavor text given that the Spanish were just here and had explored that island]

Then it was time for the launch period.  The Pirates had 750 gold at their disposal, more than any fleet I’ve controlled with the exception of the English in CG1.  With near-unlimited options…

The Pirates spent… ALL OF IT.  O_O

I didn’t know if it would be possible with just 2 launch points, but it was.  The Pirates spent 750 gold in one turn, eclipsing my personal record of 628 that the English spent in CG1.  50 of it was spent on a military port upgrade, with most of the rest of it going to ships and crew of course.

The Pirates are putting Catapults (custom equipment from Xerecs’ Spherus Magna set) on their textiles island to fortify it even more (12 “island cannons” between those and the 8 3S’s from the MP).  The Catapults are manned by new oarsmen.  The Catapults are 3L+L cannons that can fire from only one point on the island.

The Pirates completed their fleet of 10 masters, launching the last 2 that I am aware of.  Both customs of mine: the Slave Revolt and Hera.  Despite the massive costs, both 10 masters actually needed “reducer” crew to make their mammoth setups work.  The Slave Revolt has The Stump aboard to allow (I think) 37 points of crew to fit onto the 31 point ship.  The Hera is even more extreme – Jonah had to be hired in order to fit (I think) 38 points of crew onto the 23 point ship.  O_O  Helping out the Slave Revolt’s poor speed was Woelf’s custom Streamlined Hull equipment, which shows up on a handful of the ships I launched this turn:

Streamlined Hull

We have house ruled it to 3 points for CG4 due to the no ram damage house rule and after feedback from Woelf himself.  This comes from Woelf’s Treasure Trove of Fenrir equipment set, and not the last of it you’ll see….

As ships potentially get into combat and some face down crew are eventually revealed, I hope to talk more about the crew setups on some of the ships.  For now my fellow players (Xerecs and PirateAJ14) can gawk at the epicness of what is not face down (unless they have spyers of course to look at face down crew/cargo!).  🙂    I listened to Dawn of the Villains while the Pirates were launching.

From the following picture you can see that both 10’s were launched from the military port south of the Pirate HI; starting above the Giza (derelict galley) and going anti/counterclockwise from that ship, the Pirates launched (custom creator in parentheses): Deceit (Riz), Shark (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood), Howler (the_grandmaster/PointlessArrow), Coleoptera, Fantasia, Chasseur (vladsimpaler), Karda-Nui (JW Darkhurst), Scepter, Challenger (JW Darkhurst), Silent (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood).  😀

Pirate megalaunch at military port in CG4

The Pirates are putting together a certain type of squadron… however, it involves so many game pieces and parts that it is not currently possible to put it in the water all at once.  It will be more of an intermediate-term assembly of various things.  You can see that the Pirates are massing some 10 masters; the Zeus and Hera are thematically and practically the perfect “pair”, while the Slave Revolt has some truly terrifying combos aboard.  There is also a theme of submarines and cheerleaders….

But wait, there’s more!  From the northern half of their home island, the Pirates launched two ships, both created by Xerecs: the Inferno and Shadow Thief.  In the deckplate area you can see 7 of the new ships’ cards; the Slave Revolt is absolutely loaded.

Another 10 new ships were introduced at the southern half of the Pirate HI.  Docked at the island, clockwise from lower left with custom creator name (if applicable) in parentheses: Smiling Jim, Albatross (El_Cazador), Wretched (Avery), Gale Force Nine, Turbulence+Divination+La Mosca (all by mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood), Coastal Ranger (JW Darkhurst), Stormy Night (A7XfanBen).  You can also see more of the Pirate deckplate area, which is quickly expanding and looking rather impressive.

Pirate megalaunch in CG4 July 2020

Nearly every ship the Pirates launched is maxed out in some way – either her point cap space has been filled (14 points of crew/equipment on a 14 point ship), or her cargo hold is full.  With the overstuffed 10 masters adding an excess +~21 points of crew, it’s possible (but unlikely) that I actually spent more gold on crew and equipment than ships this turn.  O_O  The Pirates are trying to optimize every build from the point of launch so ships don’t have to go back into port to pick up new crew/equipment they could have had the first time out.  Plus, it helped to spend all the gold the Pirates took in, which was a fun goal to achieve.  There are a few logistics ships in the mix, such as the Silent – carrying extra crew to replenish those who might be in need of them in the future.

In order to expedite the completion of a short-term plan, the Pirates also launched a new set of native canoes from the middle Archipelago island.  These are the ones from RtSS that have the home island raiding ability built in.  How crazy that 2 turns ago this area was dominated by peaceful Spaniards, with 10 of their canoes here.  Now it is Pirates-only, with 10 of their canoes instead.  With a 10 master and a new fort to boot!

Archipelago dominated by the Pirates

The Pirates launched 25 total ships – 12 from their home island, 12 from their military port on the textiles island south of their home island, and RtSS native canoes at the middle Archipelago island.  This left the game at 198 total ships in play….

The Pirates didn’t even need to use Runes of Thor! Or maybe… they didn’t want to….


Whew.  Of course there’s MORE!  That was only one of my four factions!!  😀

Now it was time for The Cursed.  The Devil’s Storm came out of the fog bank she was in to shoot at the Boston!  She shot 3/4 to nearly dismast the schooner.  Although the fleeing Americans had lost their brief skirmish against The Cursed, the Devil’s Storm was all alone with no backup.  It would be very easy for the Bonhomme Richard to blast the Devil’s Storm on the American turn.

Devil's Storm hits Boston schooner

However, there was a reason for the Cursed aggressiveness and confidence… a good reason indeed….

The Opal Shrine uses the Eye of Insanity to copy Davy Jones on the Cursed home island to her oarsman, which is used to copy the Arcane’s ability!!  A 6 is rolled!!!!!!!!!




Hidden Trove was yanked into the game again, this time placed on the Maman Brigitte, fittingly one of the most hated ships in the game.  She was a move action away from the home island, docking home to unload textiles and Hidden Trove.

198 ships in play x2= 396 gold for The Cursed!!

Combined with 1 gold on their HI and 30 from converted textiles…



427 GOLD.  O_O

Here we go again!!  Time to megalaunch!!  😀

The Cursed have a vastly different situation than the Pirates.  The Pirates have been the “favorites” (in quotes because there’s been almost no combat and I believe it to still be early in the game) for a while, but The Cursed had only 8 ships in play going into this turn.  Their small fleet was struggling to grow quickly.  Hidden Trove would change all that.

However, the Cursed went straight to the top.  Straight to the top of the customs hierarchy if you will, to the top of the heap.  To something horrific and awesome at the same time.  A superweapon of epic proportions…













Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 90
Number of Masts: 10
Cargo Space: 12
Base Move: L
Cannons: 2S-2S-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-2S-2S
Ability: Junk. Eternal. Turbine. Sniping.* Two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts. This ship gets +1 to her equipment rolls. This ship must be assigned at least 7 crew at the start of play.
Link: Any 1 10+ point Cursed named crew, (and) Aliktoril Bellen

*Sniping: You may double the range of this ship’s cannons each turn, but you must roll a 6 to hit.

Flavor text: Filled to the brim, with a ludicrously massive cargo hold, technical innovations aplenty, and well over a thousand fiends to defend her, this ship is the best of all worlds. No one knows where the ship came from, or if it was built in a visible shipyard somewhere in the world. The ship is said to be the heaviest afloat, with huge amounts of metal aboard given the technological aspects that seem to indicate that the Cursed are growing at a faster rate than even the English. With enough gunpowder to supply an entire small fleet, and some steel plating on her hull, the vessel could be the first truly “unsinkable” ship. Although her crew is made up of demons and fiends, the despicable and vicious Aliktoril Bellen has come aboard to provide a steadying hand. He plans to drive the ship to unparalleled heights of power as the Cursed machine of death revs up for a grand campaign of terror that will end human existence.

“God mode 10 master with defenses”; End of All Things

O_O   XD

We are entering new territory now, sailing into new waters.  The CL comes loaded like no other ship in the history of the game… but first, a look at the glorious deckplate:

Chimeratron Legacy deckplate

A familiar theme began playing….




Now for the elaborate setup that took probably at least an hour (maybe two) to come up with and actually put in the game file:

Chimeratron Legacy CG4 crew setup

If you don’t want to look up all the customs, here’s a summary: a 10 master that can move S+S+L+S with Captain, all rank-1 cannons (effectively) that have Extended Range and two extra 4L+L’s from the bow, super-Nemo capture, Commander Temple steal-a-ship ability, “global” Possession of cheapish crew, L-board, Sac, the potential to board up to 3 enemy ships in a turn without ramming, stinkpot shot, and more.  This is a doomsday superweapon that comes with a full loadout price tag of 180 gold.  180 points!!  O_O

The CL is optimized for maximum efficiency.  As soon as she starts capturing crew via boarding parties and Captain Shamshere’s super-Nemo capture, she can start sacrificing them to Isaiah Van Tyne for extra actions.  If they run out, Makuta can provide fodder from afar.  The ship may have unparalleled striking range, likely to eventually be greater than even HMS Swallow with Power Cannons and extra actions, a combo seen in the English fleet of CG1 fame.  The CL will not be operating without support….

Her speed may be aided by the Python, who carries First Mate Hamlet, a custom from the_grandmaster/PointlessArrow and his epic Back to War custom set: If a sea monster or ship begins its turn within L of this ship, it gets +L to its base move.  Adding to the insanity is the classic Cursed support ship Celestine and her linked crew Master Scribe.  Between them The Cursed may be able to place 2 trade currents per turn with some luck.  In addition, Barst is now in play, a Lord Mycron clone created by Xerecs and placed onto my custom Tomb of Lucifer turtle ship.  Between the bonuses and a guaranteed extra action (whether from Barst or eventually Sac), the Chimeratron Legacy should be able to move up to S+S+L+S+L x2 +S in one turn.  O_O  Python + CL will be moving at “WARP MACH SPEED”.  Another theme plays…

You would think that The Cursed would want to keep such a powerful thing a secret.  However, with such a massive price tag and ludicrous crew+equipment loadout, I decided to just put it all out there, at least with this setup.  The ship alone is a massively intimidating presence on the water.  The Cursed are basically letting everyone know that they mean serious business and are not to be trifled with.  Mess with them, and you may just see the Legacy on your doorstep moments later.  This is why the Devil’s Storm felt so confident going after the Americans.  If she gets attacked, there is at least a chance that the CL will be able to reach the combat area next turn.  Besides, if the Cursed lose the longship, it’s not a big deal because they are almost literally swimming in gold.  XD

The Cursed saw the potential of the Arcane last turn with the Pirates’ exploits, which is why they rushed to hire Davy Jones.  They made sure they could copy the ability as soon as possible and yank in the Trove for a massive windfall that would allow them to simultaneously beat off a possible American attack in the future, and also begin to finally put their MANY plans into place via launching and logistical efforts.  For the CL was just the beginning!

I listened to Soundtrack For a Supervillain for most of the rest of the Cursed launch period.  The Cursed launched the Solenostomus as well, one of my newest customs and based on nature.  Uh… she is carrying a fort upgrade…. ?!

The Cursed have launched one of my favorite and oldest customs: the movie version of the Flying Dutchman!

Flying Dutchman
Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 30
Number of Masts: 5
Cargo Space: 3
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 2L-2S-2S-2S-2L
Ability: Broadsides Attack. Fear. At the beginning of each of your turns, determine whether or not this ship is submerged. If she is submerged, her base move becomes S+L, and she may be given only move actions. She has to surface to shoot, repair, dock, and explore. While she is submerged, she cannot shot or be shot at, pin or be pinned, ram or be rammed, and tow or be towed. Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a unique treasure (that can be loaded) from outside the game on an enemy ship. Bow Chasers equipment does not take up cargo space on this ship.
Link: Davy Jones

The FD carries some crew, including customs Wendigo (Fear+Canceller; from Cadet-Captain Mike) and Guardian Corps (Crew Protect; from El_Cazador).

However, Davy Jones was not boarding the Dutchman… he was boarding… the Pantheon!!

Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 40
Number of Masts: 10
Cargo Space: 8
Base Move: S
Cannons: 4S-4S-4L-4L-4L-3S-3S-2L-3S-3S
Ability: Junk. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against forts within S of her. When this ship reaches her cargo limit, she gets +1 to her cannon rolls. If this ship’s point limit is reached by her assigned cargo, she gets +1 to her boarding rolls. If this ship is assigned at least 3 Cursed crew that cost at least 10 points each, she gets +1 to her d6 rolls.

Flavor text: There have been so many powerful Cursed officers joining the ranks that Xenthalos doesn’t always have a ship to assign them to. The Pantheon was raised from the depths of an ancient underwater Cursed city to house all manner of powerful creatures. The ship excels when crewed with great leaders, with near-certain doom befalling her enemies when fully optimized. The ship’s original constructors took the fore and after “castles” to new heights, with top-heavy stonework at the bow and stern of the ship slowing her down but making her a monster in close-quarters combat.

The Pantheon loaded up on some crew, and it was already over!  Having spent an ungodly amount of gold on just a few ships and various extremely expensive crew, The Cursed were out of gold!  They had spent all 427 of it on just 7 ships and the fort upgrade!  O_O  (even minus the fort upgrade cost of 40 gold, this comes out to a sickening 55 points per ship; 387/7)

The haul with new ships clockwise from right: Chimeratron Legacy, Solenostomus, Flying Dutchman, Celestine, Pantheon, Tomb of Lucifer, Python.


Now it was time for the Vikings.  They too saw the Arcane stuff get crazy last turn.  And guess what: they too have a copier!!  O_O  Jord from Pirates of the Kraken Sea!  (created by mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood)

Jord and Shayna Deux were hired last turn and are currently aboard the Asgard, Shayna’s ship.  Although the Vikings didn’t get as lucky as the Pirates or Cursed, they look forward to using the Copier ability again next turn.  The Pirate GSP/NSA did not see Jord, as she was just put in play and the Pirates weren’t looking at Viking crew this round.  (The Cursed have Shipping Charts but have been using it to spy on the Americans)  As a result, this is an unexpected twist that may anger both the Pirates and The Cursed.  The Vikings did bring in 12 gold on their turn, combining it with 6 saved to launch the Noble Glacier, a custom icebreaker of mine from Epic Seas.

The Barbary Corsairs got home some valuable textiles and used it to launch 2 custom ships – one of mine and one from the_grandmaster’s Back to War.  I purposely made this a wide shot to show the dire situation the Corsairs made find themselves in… two Pirate 5 masters are just off their west coast, with the megalaunch from the military port not far off in the distance.  At the lower right you can see the English have made some solid launching progress lately.

As my 4 faction turns came to a close, The Cursed had not quite yet had their fill.  They made a grand announcement to ALL players and factions in the game, a “general announcement” of sorts:

(please do not be offended, this is a game and The Cursed being The Cursed)




(This is meant to shock but not offend. I am not trying to make light of the actual virus and how devastating it has been. It is an analogy given what’s happening in real life and how the Cursed are the supreme evil in Pirates CSG. Not meant to offend anyone.)

Obviously this doesn’t make much sense as the game is theoretically taking place in the Age of Sail long before the recent discovery of the virus (maybe The Cursed can see into the future?), but there it is.

The Cursed have made a global biological terror threat.  O_O  This is a bad day.  And we thought 2020 couldn’t get worse!  :/    It remains to be seen if this general threat is directed at the Americans, who are (as far as “we” know?) the only faction to have specifically annoyed The Cursed thus far in the game.  It will certainly be interesting to see if The Cursed are serious about this, or if it is more of a bluff.  Serious thought went into the massive, offensive threat.  The Cursed considered not making it, but are determined to make other factions “play ball” their way and not do stupid things.  If The Cursed are angry enough, they might release biological or chemical agents of terror into the game.

(sorry if I have “gone too far”; my passion for Pirates campaign games is intense and I have been very immersed in my turns for the game this year – it is the perfect escape from everything else)


From my notes:

After Cursed launch 7 ships, it makes for 205 total ships in play.
Increased to 207 total after Vikings and Corsairs launch one ship each.
-From Pirate launch of 25 ships, this netted the Cursed an extra 50 gold!
Total gold spent this turn between my four factions: 1,236!!!! (Pirates: 750, Cursed: 427, Vikings: 18, Corsairs: 41)
-Total income: 1223 gold
34 ships launched (Pirates: 25, Cursed: 7, Vikings: 1, Corsairs: 1). This rounds up to a 20% increase in one round (34/173=19.65%).
-Will have to do a point count this year to top CG1 as the biggest overall virtual CG ever!

The 1,236 total gold spent in one round may be my highest total ever; realistically only Command the Oceans could be higher.


Throughout the turn I was stunned and in disbelief. All previous standards have been completely shattered. If the game was an egg that the Pirates had been poking holes in with a fork, as of this weekend they have obliterated the egg with a massive sledgehammer.

It’s almost like the game has been broken into a thousand pieces, or; a thousand gold pieces that have gloriously fallen into Pirate and Cursed coffers.

The Pirates are trying to create “closed loop systems” of ultimate efficiency. That way, the beast feeds itself. Each combo feeds into the next so that abilities and UT’s aren’t wasted. Every time Hidden Trove is brought into the game and used to launch ships, it makes the next Hidden Trove windfall payout even bigger.  You can already see this happening – the Pirates’ Hidden Trove was worth 346 gold, but now with 207 ships in play, the next Trove will be worth at least 414 gold – an increase of 68 gold, enough to launch a fully loaded 10 master.  Or better yet, perhaps 7 ships that make the next Trove worth 14 more gold than the last.  XD  The beast feeds itself!!

I am topping even my prior VASSAL campaign game efforts now. I am arguably putting more effort into the game than I need to, simply because I LOVE it so much. I love optimizing fleets, strategy and epicness in campaign games above almost all else.
Compounding Combos. I love how none of this is my fault. The game pieces involved are basically not mine at all. Arcane, Hidden Trove, The Leviathan, Ivory – none of the absolutely key customs used to pull off this insanity came from me. XD

From the report prior to this one:

In time, it could become surreal and bizarre unlike anything anyone has ever seen in Pirates CSG.

Yes, yes indeed.  XD  😀   And this “part” is still in the very early stages…


Finally, a view of the huge ocean.  1,236 additional points worth of stuff is in play, though a huge percentage of that is concentrated in the deckplate areas.  Four new 10 masters in play!

Thanks for reading!  Please consider leaving a comment below with your thoughts!  What did you think of my turns?  What was the craziest part?  Who are you rooting for?  What do you think will happen next??  😀

CG4 after turns in late July 2020

Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

Well, I’ve gone crazy with unreleased stuff again, but this time everything was from either Return to Savage Shores, one item from Pirates of the Age of Sail, and The Vengeance of the Cadet Captain (reminiscent of Economy Edition).

Using unreleased and custom game pieces may become somewhat common, so please give me feedback on how you like the “fleets” area where I detail what is in each fleet. Would you rather have the fleets listed with everything in a small space first, and then list the details of each piece below, OR just like I’m doing here and have the information on each game piece within the specific fleet section? There’s also the option of doing it the way it is here, but with fleet titles (ex: English, Fleet 1, etc.) bigger in size so it’s easier to differentiate between each fleet and the associated parts of it.

(Warning: the sheer amount of new stuff you may not be aware of can make this a somewhat challenging or chaotic battle report, and I put a lot of effort into all of the different aspects of these types of reports. I feel like a link wizard or something! Lastly, any advice on how to improve is always appreciated, though I like how I do things now.)

It was an 80 point game with 3 fleets, sailing in this order:

Rocinante + Sebastian Rojo, captain, helmsman, oarsman x3
Babieca + Antonio de Silva (RtSS), Dominic Freda, helmsman
San Martin + Luis Zuan, helmsman, explorer

RtSS-005, Rare
Points: 18
Masts: 3 (Hoist)
Cargo: 7
Move: S+S
Cannons: 4S-4S-4S
Ability: Hoist. Secret Hold. This ship can’t be pinned.

Flavor: The heroic vessel Rocinante launched from Spain amid a roar of applause. The hopes and dreams of a new age of Spanish glory go with her.

Sebastián Rojo
RtSS-027b, Common
Points: 9
Ability: Marine. Once per turn, you can eliminate one of this ship’s crew to give her an extra action.

Flavor: Rojo’s past is steeped in blood. An expert at dealing with natives and policing those disloyal to Spain, Rojo has dedicated himself to ensure that the conquest of the South Pacific is successful.

RtSS-050, Special Edition
Points: 13
Masts: 3 (Windcatcher)
Cargo: 5
Move: L
Cannons: 3L-2S-3L
Ability: Windcatcher. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts.

Flavor: Named in honor of the warhorse of the legendary Spanish hero, El Cid, the Babieca displays strength and stamina in combat fitting of her namesake.

Commandante Antonio de Silva 
RtSS-011, Rare
Points: 6
Ability: Captain. Musketeer.

Flavor: Still devoted to protecting the interests of the Crown, De Silva fights to forge a new era of prosperity for Spain.

San Martin
PotAoS – Limited Edition
Points: 15
Masts: 4
Cargo: 5
Move: L
Cannons: 3S-2S-2S-3S
Ability: Cannoneer. This ship’s base move becomes S if she reaches her cargo limit.

Cuerno de la Cabra + Cursed Captain Barbossa, Capitaine Chevalle, helmsman
Hispaniola + captain
Sea King + Bartholomew Roberts, oarsman
Centurion + Thomas Tew, helmsman
Beast’s Belly + helmsman

Cuerno de la Cabra 
RtSS-023, Common
Points: 11
Masts: 2 (Junk)
Cargo: 3
Move: L
Cannons: 2L-2L
Ability: Junk. Two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts.

Flavor: Arrogant sailors of every nation have mistaken the small size of the “Goat’s Horn” for weakness—and their pockets have paid dearly for it.

VotCC #015, Uncommon
Points: 8
Masts: 3
Cargo: 4
Move: S+L
Cannons: 3S-3L-3S
Ability: Explorer.

Sea King
VotCC #014, Uncommon
Points: 14
Masts: 4
Cargo: 4
Move: S+L
Cannons: 2S-3L-3L-2S
Ability: If this ship wins a boarding party, it can take as much treasure as it can carry. (Hoarding Gold)

Bartholomew Roberts 
VotCC #020, Rare
Points: 5
Ability: Captain. Cannoneer.

Mongrel + Joshua Humphreys, explorer
Paul Revere + Commodore Peregrine Stern, Wayne Nolan, helmsman, firepot specialist
Providence + Huang Bai (I once again forgot about the Ex-Patriot keyword), helmsman, oarsmen x3
USS Valley Forge + captain, helmsman

RtSS-021, Common
Points: 13
Masts: 3 (Junk)
Cargo: 4
Move: S+S
Cannons: 2S-3L-2S
Ability: Junk. If this ship is within S of a friendly ship when this ship is given a move action, she gets +S to her base move.

Flavor: She’s no beauty, but the Mongrel has a lot more to offer than the pretty faces of her crew. She is frequently set upon enemy vessels to ensure safe passage.

Joshua Humphreys
VotCC #066B, Common
Points: 3
Ability: This ship gets +L to its base move if no Helmsman crew are aboard.

Huang Bai
RtSS-051, Limited Edition
Points: 5
Ability: Ex-Patriot. Hostile: Spain. Once per turn, you can eliminate one of this ship’s crew to give her an extra action. After looking at treasure on a wild island, you can trade any one treasure from that island for a random treasure on any other wild island. This ship must load the traded treasure.

Flavor: Unwilling to cede the end of the Jade Empire, Huang Bai nonetheless realizes the need to pause and rebuild—as a mercenary. His first customer, America, is eager to pit him and “Golden Axe” against the expanding Spanish empire.

Now that the pieces are out of the way, onto the game!

The setup featured all three home islands close together at one end, with a big wild island with three separate beaches at the other end. The island was completely surrounded by reefs and, on the far side, icebergs that wouldn’t move. Each beach held 7 coins, and 5 UT’s were included as well. 10 preselected UT’s were mixed around, and 5 were randomly chosen to be in the game.

The Spanish are at the bottom right, with the Pirates in the middle and the Americans up top.

Proxies: Buscador=Rocinante, Mystic=Babieca, Matthias Vospero=San Martin, Ranger=Sea King, Kin Tai Fong=Cuerno de la Cabra, Nancy Nox=Hispaniola, Sea Wind=Mongrel.

The Rocinante used the sac-marine Sebastian Rojo to jump out ahead of the rest of the Spanish fleet. The Pirates purposely created a fleet where every ship would move L+S, planning to stay in a wolf pack. The Americans also had major speed, with the Paul Revere and Providence capable of extra actions at S+L+S, and the Mongrel moving S+S+S+L between her ability and Humphreys (one of the fastest ships to sail without a helmsman).
Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015 Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

With the Spanish going first, it surprised no captain that the Rocinante was the first to reach the island. She passed over the reefs without harm, but only took one treasure from the nearest beach.
hoist reaches island to explore

The Mongrel was the second ship to reach the reefs, as the Paul Revere maneuvered to guard the American gold ships.
Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

The Rocinante explored another beach, and was more satisfied with this hoard than the last one: she took a 5, a 2, Exploding Shot via Ammunition, and Claw Cannon. The hoist now had some good UT’s in addition to the marine and captain abilities, making her an intriguing and diverse offensive threat (she’s also a good gold raider ship with her secondary abilities of Secret Hold and not being pinned). This put a target on her back.
hoist reaches crane arm over to explore wild island beach

Up to this point, the fleets hadn’t shot at each other despite the close quarters race to the island. Predictably, the game started to devolve into chaos (one of my favorite phrases!).

Basically, Stern on board the Paul Revere got bored and wanted to put his S+L+S x2 speed to good use. The Rocinante was the only enemy ship with gold, so the Paul Revere sped over the reef (losing a mast) and attacked! Her remaining guns rang true with the help of Wayne Nolan, and the Rocinante was reduced to a burning hulk, losing her final oarsman in the S-board as well.

In the meantime, the Mongrel was busy grabbing a coin and a Castaway captain from the last unexplored beach, as the Providence sailed over a reef. She was undamaged, but the Hispaniola wasn’t so lucky. The Pirate ship lost two masts on a 1, and then was dismasted by the Paul Revere’s first action as the PR sped over to the Rocinante.
Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015
Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

The Spanish were quick to exact revenge on the Americans, with the combined might of Rojo, Babieca and San Martin sinking the Paul Revere. This was evidently going to turn into a bloody game, possibly even more brutal than the last one.
Pirates CSG reef combat

As the Pirates made their way onto the reefs, the Cuerno de la Cabra (Cuerno) began towing the Hispaniola, who was the only true Pirate gold runner. However, they had a flexible fleet with cargo spaces open on all their ships, so they weren’t going to let the reef stop them.

The Mongrel headed for home as the Providence docked and explored the nearest beach with an extra action from Huang Bai. The Valley Forge rolled an unlucky 1 to lose a mast.
Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

The Babieca was the next ship to lose a mast to a reef, but the Spanish had a good turn, with the Rocinante hoisting crew and gold all over the place. When it was all over, the beach was empty, with gold on each of the three Spanish ships (most on the Babieca and San Martin now that the Rocinante was derelict). The hoist was able to move into position with her oarsman and helmsman, and then transferred the Exploding Shot and Claw Cannon to the Babieca. There was also a small crew transfer – I believe the Rocinante took the San Martin’s explorer, but there may have been an additional swap. Either way, Rojo knew that his best place was on the Rocinante with no gold left to protect on the beach and a derelict hoist to row home.
hoist goes crazy in Pirates CSG game

Then the Pirates attacked! The Sea King went a perfect 4/4 to dismast the Providence, and then used her ability to rob the ship of both her coins! To make matters worse for the Americans, the Centurion and Beast’s Belly docked at the same beach and planned to explore on the next turn. However, the Americans had a sudden realization!
Pirates attack!

The Mongrel had already explored the other beach, so the Americans knew what treasures were there. The Providence used one of her oarsmen and her helmsman to limp over and dock at the beach. For the first time in a long time (possibly the first time ever), Trees was used to great effect!! (usually it just sits face down on the island the whole game)

With a fully repaired Providence (who also took aboard a few more coins to replace those she had lost to the Sea King), the Americans were back in the running! (sailing?)
Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015
Proxy War! 3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

With great trepidation, the Rocinante sailed over a reef… and rolled a 4! (I’ve become slightly obsessed with wrecks if you couldn’t already tell from the last few games)

Now all three fleets had some ships going home. The Pirates weren’t playing nice, and the Sea King dismasted the Providence once again!

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

The Sea King also took another coin from the Providence, who turned around and headed back to the beach. There were no Trees to help her, but she did find Screw Engine in addition to picking up a coin to fill her hold. The Valley Forge tried to guard her and took a mast off the Sea King.

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

Ships continued to take a beating. The Providence headed home, but rolled a 2 on a reef, and finally, at long last, there was a wreck in one of my games! In the meantime, the Centurion dismasted the Valley Forge but lost a mast herself to a different reef.

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

With gold still on the Providence, the Mongrel immediately headed back out.

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

As the Mongrel sped out, she couldn’t resist taking some revenge on the Pirates, making the Centurion derelict. You can see the Pirates have a slight edge over the Spanish in the race for home (including the Cuerno and Hispaniola), which would make things very interesting in the near future. The Cuerno has finally docked home the Hispaniola.

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

You can see the ocean littered with masts:
Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

The Sea King battered the San Martin, and the Hispaniola and Cuerno de la Cabra moved into position. However, none of their combined 3 guns could hit! Barbossa’s Fear slowed the Babieca, but she was too close to her HI for it to matter.

high seas combat

The Beast’s Belly turned around to tow the Centurion, as the Mongrel approached the wreck of the Providence.

going to a shipwreck

The Spanish docked the Babieca first, who successfully hit twice to land an exploding shot on the durable Cuerno. Following her lead, the San Martin docked and dismasted the Hispaniola. The Spanish had accomplished their plan of getting their gold home, as the Rocinante had purposely only kept a 1 earlier in the game knowing she was going to be the last ship to get home.

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

Nothing like some late-game excitement!
combat on the ocean

The Mongrel explored the wrecked Providence, and considered her options. After a shuffle, her hold was full with crew and gold. The Cuerno planned to sink the Rocinante, but was foiled by the spreading fire.

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

The Rocinante docked home, and the Mongrel used Huang Bai to sink the Centurion!

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

At this point the Pirates had unloaded their gold, and it was accepted that the final 1 left on a beach wasn’t worth fighting over.

Proxy War!  3 Fleets at 80 Points on November 1st, 2015

Spanish: 11 gold
Pirates: 8
Americans: 6

This was a fun game (truly a “proxy war”) that saw many great new pieces introduced. I liked all of them!

Halloween Game – 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015

This game was interesting. I wanted to play a game on Halloween, and naturally the Cursed were involved. It turned out to be a oddly brutal game… there was a strange sense of hostility present throughout. The setup didn’t turn out quite as well as I hoped, but it was still a memorable game.

All custom pieces courtesy of el_cazador. He’s working on a huge custom set right now, which looks quite interesting.

4 fleets at 60 points each, going in this order:

(all Wizkids game pieces can be found in the Master Spreadsheet)

Tenfold + Zedekiah, helmsman
Fathom + Herr Fuchs, helmsman, shipwright
Hare’s Luck + helmsman, explorer

Type: 3-mast hoist
Nation: Mercenary
Points: 18
Masts: 3
Cargo: 5
Move: S+S
Cannons: 4L,3S,3S
Link: Zedekiah
Mercenary, Hostile: Caesar, Hoist, Turbine. Two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn if she has all of her masts.

Flavor: Zedekiah’s ironclad ship has been in the employ of several nations, most recently the French. His hope is to repurchase the ancient land of the Jews with the lucrative profits he makes from shipping. As he is fond of saying, if you hire him, your investment will repay tenfold.

(The Buscador is the proxy for the Tenfold.)

Type: Crew
Nation: Mercenary
Points: 6
Link: Tenfold
Ex-Patriot, Hostile: Barbary Corsairs, Cursed, Pirate, Viking; Captain. One of this ship’s treasures is worth +2 gold when unloaded at your home island.

Flavor: Zedekiah has had run-ins with all the worst on the seas yet always comes out ahead. He captains his ship well but prefers to play the tunes of his people on his clarinet.

Nightmare + captain, shipwright, double shot
Silver Coffin
Maman Brigitte + helmsman, explorer

L’Aube + captain, helmsman, fire shot, grapple shot
Le Pluton + helmsman, explorer
Le Rochefort + Princess Arii Auraa, chieftain, navigator
French Native Canoes

Canots Indigènes 
Nation: France
Points: X (13)
Masts: X
Cargo: 1 (x5)
Move: S+S
Cannon: 3L (x5)
Link: None
Native Canoes, Captain

Flavor: The natives of Indonesia have been trained in the art of war by French capitaines, and they pursue the monsters of the deep.

Chef de Tribu
Nation: France
Points: 13
Link: None
Tribal Chieftain
Before you give any of this chieftain’s canoes an action, roll a d6. On a 5-6 they may shoot at submerged ships.

Flavor: This chieftain’s men have had contact with the Monster Hunter’s guild.

(The Cursed native canoes represent the French ones.)

Maui’s Fishhook + Captain Percival Blake, Commodore Rhys Gryffin Owen, Professor Clive Defoe, helmsman
HMS Interceptor + Thomas Gunn, explorer

The Mercenaries were using a brand-new hoist, which featured a rather grand set of abilities and combos. Their support ships were capable of running a little bit of gold, though Herr Fuchs would have the Fathom keep a close watch on the Tenfold.

The Cursed looked slow but intimidating, with 16 total cannons available. Typical of their fleets, they also had some fun abilities at their disposal.

The French looked ready for battle, with some interesting new canoes in addition to their 5 masted flagship. Le Pluton’s size and guns only added to their heavy armament, while the Rochefort was playing the character of Le Coeur du Lion.

The English only had two ships, but they included a decked-out Maui’s Fishhook and the speedy and versatile Interceptor.

The setup was somewhat intricate, and in hindsight perhaps overthought. It featured 6 mysterious islands with 4 coins each, and two shipwrecks with 6 coins each. The sea was littered with reefs, and fog only made things even more dangerous. There were all sorts of fun treasures to be found!

(I forgot to put the Merc ships S away from their home island.) 

The Tenfold started the game by hoisting some treasure into her cavernous cargo hold, and with a +2 bonus from her linked crew, looked to be perhaps the best Mercenary treasure runner of them all.

hoist ship

However, the Cursed had other plans. Tsuro started off their game with a 6, and the new Mercenary hoist was immediately thrown onto a nearby reef by the Cursed’s powers, though she wasn’t damaged. On Halloween, the Cursed wanted to feast on human flesh rather than candy.
hoist thrown onto reef

All the fleets spread out, with the MF (Maui’s Fishhook) able to grab a coin with her own hoist crane.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015

The Tenfold was quickly back with a big load of gold, and her hoist arm meant she was the Mercs’ only hope of winning the game. The Fathom surfaced to dock, and you can just make out the Hare’s Luck at the upper left successfully exploring one of the shipwrecks.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015

On the second turn, Tsuro continued its devious ways, moving the Tenfold back onto a reef! This time the Tenfold lost a mast, and the Cursed’s strategy was working so far. They knew it would be difficult to catch and dismast the Tenfold just by shooting, so instead they used reefs to bypass her defenses.

However, the Cursed would soon see a change in their luck, as the Maman Brigitte found Enemy of the State and Albatross! The Nightmare turned around to take the Enemy of the State UT so the Brigitte could dock, but the Cursed were off to a typically slow gold running start.

In the meantime, HMS Interceptor found Barrel o’ Monkeys, so the randomly selected UT’s weren’t making things fun so far! This and the rising tension made for a somewhat nasty game.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015

The French were running into their own problems, with the Pluton losing the maximum 3 masts after she sailed over the reef that held the infamous Duke shipwreck!
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
The Tenfold now used her hoist arm to grab the treasure from the Fathom. She also had Letter of Marque aboard, which would help her repair if she got into trouble.
Mercenary hoist explores submarine

Thanks to the Cursed, trouble found her very quickly, as Tsuro rolled yet another 5/6! This time the Tenfold really felt it, as a 1 knocked out both of her remaining masts. The reef was wearing away her defenses, and Zedekiah signalled the Fathom to come to her assistance.
Massive reef damage in Pirates CSG game

The Cursed ships pair up, with the Nightmare taking Enemy of the State so the Maman Brigitte can dock on the next turn.
Cursed home island operations
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
Unable to move, the Tenfold again survived, with the Fathom coming into the range of her hoist arm. The Tenfold plucked out the Merc shipwright stationed on the Fathom, and soon her mainmast was repaired. The Hare’s Luck eagerly awaited the Tenfold to do a gold transfer. To the right, the Pluton limps home with some good gold.
hoist ship uses crane arm
Some French canoes are back with gold, but one of them found Wet Gunpowder, and the French don’t want to waste an entire turn “repairing” one canoe. The Interceptor is exploring the Sultan wreck, but Barrel of Monkeys is proving to be frustrating. Things weren’t about to get sunnier.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
The Tenfold unloaded both her gold and the gold from the Hare’s Luck as the Fathom dived. However, the Aube sailed around a fog bank and promptly sank the Hare’s Luck! This was the first direct combat of the game, and continued the anti-Mercenary theme (not on purpose!). In the background, two French canoes are exploring the Duke shipwreck.
Mercenary home island

The Cursed have finally figured things out, while the Interceptor docks home more gold for the English.

At this point, the Mercenaries had a choice to make. They had the durable but offensively weak (especially with just one mast remaining) Tenfold, and the decently armed Fathom, who could use her ability if the Tenfold attacked the Aube first. It would have been easy to send both ships into the safety of the fog.

The Mercs considered the possibility of the Tenfold surviving the counterattack, since this was the main issue. If the Tenfold was sunk, the Mercs would have very little chance of winning the game.

With the Tenfold’s defensive ability, it would take at least three shots from the Aube to sink her. The Mercs deliberated, and then decided to attack! They hoped the combined power of their two ships would take out at least three masts on the Aube.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
With a vengeance, the Tenfold slammed into the Aube, and incredibly both the shot and the ram worked! This left the ship ready to be attacked by the Fathom…
Tenfold ship attacks L'Aube

… and the Fathom scored a perfect 3/3 without even needing Herr Fuchs’ cannoneer ability! The French flagship laid in tatters, with wreckage strewn around the Merc HI.
French flagship dismasted by Mercenary ships
A huge moment in the game:
devastation; L'Aube dismasted

The Interceptor now used her L+L+S speed to surprise the Cursed, shooting two masts off the Nightmare. The Maman Brigitte turned around, seeing how much gold was on a western island and the Sultan wreck right next to it.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
The Cursed had another streak of lucky die rolls, going 3/3 with the Nightmare’s double shot and sinking the Interceptor with the Silver Coffin!

English attack The Cursed

The Tenfold repaired a mast, but the angry French were on their way. One of their canoes had found an abandoned captain, and looked to give it to the Pluton, who had almost finished repairing.

Tsuro finally left his post at the Cursed HI, but it wasn’t long before he stopped and resumed messing with opposing ships.

Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015

Herr Fuchs knew the Cursed had no counter against the Fathom, and the Fathom unsuccessfully rammed the Nightmare. The Tenfold set a course for the Sultan wreck.

For the first time in the game, a fleet took advantage of the whirlpools. The Nightmare dragged the Silver Coffin through one, emerging close to the Tenfold. It was the best move the Cursed could make, but it failed miserably. The Nightmare and flotilla both lost masts to the whirlpool, and the Silver Coffin’s inaccurate guns couldn’t dent the Tenfold’s armor.
low view under arch rock
flotilla fails to hit hoist ship low angle view

At this point, the Maman Brigitte settled for UT farming, with the Fathom lurking about. Even with Tsuro’s help, the Cursed had trouble duplicating their early-game luck moving opponent’s ships around. With the Nightmare limping about and almost no gold on their home island, they knew they were out of the race.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
In a beautiful turn for the Mercenaries, the Tenfold dismasted the Nightmare while simultaneously taking gold off the wreck of the Sultan. The Fathom explored a mysterious island and was looking to get the gold home via the Tenfold. However, the Mercs would still run into more trouble.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
The Maui’s Fishhook came out of nowhere to sink the Nightmare and grab gold, similar to what the Tenfold had just done. The Maman Brigitte forced the Tenfold onto the Sultan’s reef, but no damage was done. In the meantime, 3 of the French canoes had finally reached Mercenary waters, and they hoped to block the Fathom and potentially use their chieftain to sink the sub.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
With the Tenfold on a reef, the English saw a chance to eliminate a huge gold threat. Percival Blake gave the order, and a thunderous Broadsides Attack ripped through the Tenfold’s defenses and sent her to Davy Jones’ locker!

To complicate matters even more for the Mercs, the Fathom didn’t have an explorer and had to wait an extra turn at her MI, with the French native canoes waiting for her back at her HI, although now with the Tenfold gone she wouldn’t even be able to get the gold home. The French just wanted revenge. The Pluton and remaining two canoes were also making all speed towards the Fathom.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015

The Cursed knocked the MF onto a reef, where she lost two masts. The French canoes cornered the Fathom, blocked her path, and began blasting her apart.
brutal Pirates CSG game French assault Mercenaries in Wizkids Pirates CSG game
The Fathom took a canoe with her but couldn’t withstand the French attack. This meant the Mercs were the first fleet out of the game! It looked like more would follow, with not much gold left and a weakened MF looking to go out again for more gold.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
The French now turned their Pluton and canoe piranhas on the Cursed, but only hit 2/7 against the Maman Brigitte!

In the meantime, the MF grabbed some Rum, which was now worth 4 gold after she left Blake and Defoe on her home island. However, Owen and the helmsman drank it all by themselves, immobilizing the ship and making her vulnerable to the nearby French.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
The French now dominated what was left of the carnage-filled ocean, dismasting the MF.
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
The game was basically over, but the Cursed had to at least try and wreak some more havoc. Tsuro lost its tail in a whirlpool and was then destroyed by the Pluton, who then towed the MF home to end the game!
Halloween Game - 4 Fleets at 60 Points on October 31st, 2015
The game went down to the wire! The Rum mattered! 

French: 25 gold
Mercenaries: 24
English: 16
Cursed: 3

The French had 21 gold before the Rum boosted their score, so they won by not giving up and making sure they did everything and anything they could to win. The Mercs brought in a lot of gold early with the Tenfold, including 4 extra from Zedekiah’s ability.

The English played a decent game but were predictably hampered by a scarcity of cargo available, as well as some named crew that didn’t really affect the game (Owen and Defoe). The Cursed had good luck with the dice but bad luck with treasure and slow ships. Not only did the Maman Brigitte find Enemy of the State and Albatross on that single island, but the other two treasures were a 3 and a 0!

Overall this was a fun game, and it became brutal as it went on. The Tenfold is fantastic, and quite possibly slightly overpowered especially with her link. However, more playtesting is needed before changing anything. The French native canoes were fun and seemed about right for their cost, and the navigator really helped the French fleet.

Looking forward to more soon!

Pirates CSG Podcast #39: A7XfanBen and Xerecs Review Custom Game Pieces!

Pirates CSG Podcast #39: A7XfanBen and Xerecs Review Custom Game Pieces!

Question of the Day: Do you have a favorite custom game piece from this episode?  Do you enjoy the custom review episodes more or less than the other episodes?



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