Yesterday (2/12) I won an extremely brief game against hiddenelephant. Xerecs arrived and we set up for a 3 player game, which will hopefully happen sometime soon.
After resuming T2 and stopping in the middle of the second game for a rules question, we decided to have a quick deathmatch. My Acorazado fleet was at 29 wins, tied with my HMS Grand Temple fleet for the most all-time.
Xerecs took the Acorazado on with a crew elimination/boarding strategy:
Each of the FD’s hits would eliminate a crew, even if they didn’t eliminate a mast. Vega and the helmsman were the first to go, but the Acorazado responded by going 3 for 4.
In a big moment, the FD won a boarding party to kill all of the Acorazado’s remaining crew! This left her very vulnerable, but she managed to dismast the FD. However, the FD would win the game if she was sunk, because we ruled that Eternal could still work once. The FD had to be captured, but between her oarsman and the Acorazado’s lack of a helmsman or SAT from Castro, that didn’t happen. The FD managed to get away to repair, setting up a second clash. This time the FD won since Tia Dalma was able to cancel the Acorazado’s ability and the Acorazado had no crew to use. It was honestly one of the most frustrating games I’ve been involved in, not just because I lost, but because there were so many complex ability interactions and annoying occurrences (such as the boarding roll arguably determining the whole game’s result, and the no-win situations that both fleets seemed to be in at various times). It made me think that home islands should perhaps be eliminated from deathmatches once the game begins (or do away with them altogether), between Eternal being undercosted and the temptation to lurk near your home island so your opponent will come to you.
The Death’s Anchor is proxying in for the Minuteman while the Diablo is a proxy for the Armada.
Two islands were placed 6L apart and the games got under way. The GT (Grand Temple) fleet didn’t use Divers or the UT’s since it was a deathmatch. The GT fleet went first for the first two games and the Kettering went first in the last game, not that it really mattered. Both fleets simply tried to maneuver to get the first shot. With three cancellers, two flotillas and the Grand Temple things were bound to get heated quickly!
The GT got the SAT from Crimson Angel and moved just out of range of the cancelling Kettering . She had 5 guns in range and hit every time, dismasting the Kettering and Algeciras. The Armada retaliated but only hit once in four tries, although this eliminated CRGO (Commodore Rhys Gryffyn Owen). The Minuteman also went 1 for 4 to take a second mast off the GT. The Grand Temple then sank both the Algeciras and Kettering. The Minuteman sank the Rye and the Armada hit the GT twice, eliminating both H. Gold and Lawrence. The GT eliminated the flag on Armada but only had two guns left so she couldn’t sink her, allowing Armada to dismast the Temple and win the game for the Spanish Americans!
For the second game the GT again waited to get an SAT from Angel in order to strike first, taking out both flotillas in a 6 for 6 shoot action. After the first game the GT didn’t want to face the flotillas late in the game.
Luis Zuan was cancelled aboard the Algeciras but she moved to ram and dismast the Rye, who was still able to move with her oar power. The Kettering, originally with her stern to the GT, managed to get two of her three guns in range and hit all 4 times, once again leaving the GT with only two masts. However, this was just enough for the GT to shoot and ram the Kettering to dismast her. The Algeciras sunk the Rye but the GT then dismasted the Algeciras, giving the English a victory to even the series at one apiece.
For the third game the Spanish Americans decided to be more aggressive and try to at least get a shot in before the GT got the SAT. The Algeciras maneuvered the Armada to get her S+S range guns just into range, hitting 1 out of 3 times and eliminating CRGO (cargo just like the ability says ). The Minuteman and Algeciras also got a few hits in to leave the GT with three masts. The Kettering missed the GT twice before the GT could retaliate, dismasting the Kettering. However, the flotillas showed their power once again by combining to sink the GT.
For this series, the USS Kettering fleet defeated the HMS GT 2 fleet 2 games to 1.
I also set up for the Defence of St. Helen’s scenario. I used the dimensions given (the table in the link is too small for what they have listed, probably because they don’t play huge games ), and tried to set up the islands and icebergs the same way.
There will be five fleets, five 500 point deathmatch fleets (so a total of over 2500 points in play, just like the regular 500 point games). The fleets of the Spanish and the French-Americans are the defenders, and have worked out a sort of strategy before the game’s start. Their biggest and best ships are concentrated in the rear, while they send their other ships out first to annoy the attackers while the forts do some damage. Since I only have one Spanish fort (El Puerto Blanco) and two French forts (St. Pierre and Paradis de la Mer), and four are required for the game, I have let the defenders use the Pirate fort Dead Man’s Point. The English, Pirates, and MercCursedRebels (I may refer to them as the MCRs, not to be confused with My Chemical Romance) are the attackers, and have similarly positioned their uncrewed/weaker ships at the front of their formation (one of those awesome sights, a ‘forest of masts’). The ratio is 3:2 in favour of the attackers, with 1500 points and 1000 points. The attackers command 81 ships, and the defenders, 56, for a total of 137 (not quite 200 , but I am using crew).
Original as seen on Deviantart
The game has started, with the first three turns down. Five defender ships have been sunk, and Dead Man’s Point has been destroyed. The defenders are harassing the attackers with some of their smaller ships, and have formed a defensive line blocking the southern path from the edge of the game area to the islands protruding from the centre. I would play more today, but the ten masters have ruined my gaming experience for the day . I would rather not go on a long rant, but if they keep disappointing me I think I will flip out. Basically, they all stink. The Baochuan went 7 for 20 in her double shoot action today thanks to a rare 6 from Zheng He. She has 7 rank-3 guns, and they were essentially rank-2’s thanks to world-hater Chang Pao. Whatever. In a rage, I ignored the ‘can’t shoot at ships in your own fleet’ rule and sunk all three of them easily. HMS Leicester sunk the Baochuan without any help, and she didn’t even have Hermione Gold (MI version) on board. I think I will redo the turn and place them back where they were, and give them a final chance. I know they aren’t designed for just combat, but the fact that they are this bad is just plain embarrassing. Hopefully they will prove me wrong when I resume play again tomorrow.
I have finished this game, and the attackers won on turn 14, one turn before the time limit. The ten masters did reasonably well, so they are safe for now. The attackers basically just flooded the top, middle, and bottom of the game area with tons of ships, and the defenders were overwhelmed. The last defending ship afloat was El Acorazado, but her defences were bypassed by a Broadsides Attack from HMS Bretwalda. A good scenario, although a chunk of attacking ships didn’t get to see action.
Today I played a three game set of deathmatches between two 300 point fleets. The idea was to have a small group of true super-gunships against a much larger group of good, cheap, smaller gunships. The only restrictions were the 300 point limit, but I also only let the small ship fleet have ships that cost less than 10 points, and have 3 masts or less. The big ship fleet contained just 6 ships for all 300 points, with the Baochuan, Delusion, Shui Xian, El Acorazado, HMS Dreadnought, and Le Bonaparte (DJC version). The small ship fleet contained 25 ships, with most of them either Pirate or Spanish, although there were also ships from England, France, America, and the Cursed. The big ship fleet won 2 of the 3 games. They lost the third game only because the small ship fleet had incredible luck with the dice. The ten masters were respectable in these games, although at one point the Shui Xian (with world-hater MI Hermione Gold on board) missed five times in a row, and Le Bonaparte rolled four one’s in a row . If not for this aberration, the big ship fleet would have won all three times. Their biggest advantage was that they had a sac captain, three cancelers, and two SAT crew.
My next few games will be much smaller, as I intend to test out this fleet and possibly some others.