My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

My 500th Game!


After about 11.5 years of consistently playing Pirates CSG, I found myself realizing that my 500th game was upon me! (3 BR’s will be posted in the future) I knew I wanted to make #500 special, and decided to do a solo effort since I knew my idea was likely to take 8+ hours, not something I wanted to burden my group with.  It would be a 6 fleet game with each of the Big 6 factions, where gold on home islands could be used to purchase new game pieces from outside the game and add them to the fleet, the main rule seen in campaign/cumulative games.  However, unlike those games where usually the last fleet afloat or points in play decides the winner, the endgame rules for this game would be completely standard!  “Gold wins the game!” (as the PDXYAR group would say)

For the most part I used the Seattle Pirates house rules, with the following exceptions:
-All-Powerful functions as normal
-Lord Mycron is not banned
-Each fleet can only place up to 1 oversized terrain.
-10 coins per island (random treasure coins and random UT’s)
-Pure faction fleets. Gold can be used to purchase any game pieces from any minor faction (Jade Rebellion/Barbary Corsair/Viking/Mercenary), but each of the Big 6 must stay within their own faction for launches (ex: Pirates can only purchase Pirate and minor faction stuff, not English/etc).

The build total was 40 points.  Here are the fleets in the order of play!

HMS Nautilus + RotF Thomas Gunn, Bratley (0LR+5)
Edinburgh Trader + RotF Hermione Gold, explorer
HMS Hermes + helmsman
The English focused on good speeds and an armed gold runner/hybrid in the Trader.

El Cristal del Obispo + Inquisitor Sebastian Blanco, Alejandro Malaspina, captain, helmsman, tribal chieftain, oarsman
Santa Teresa + Contessa Anita Amore
Spanish Native Canoes
The Spanish wanted to use Malaspina on the first turn so the canoes could redock and grab coins without having to wait a turn when exploring normally. The Cristal was overloaded, so a rare appearance from Blanco helped make the setup legal.

Le Gaule + Jules de Cissey, F&S Lenoir, captain, helmsman
St. Joan + explorer, oarsman, towing Mont Blanc
The French were guns-heavy, looking like one of the most intimidating fleets.

Panda + Captain Blackheart, The Hag of Tortuga, helmsman, oarsman x2
Barnacle + helmsman, explorer
I went with a “classic pirates” fleet where their ships were small and fast, more similar to true Age of Sail historical pirates. They had multiple treasure running options backed by a nasty Panda killing machine.

USS Stephens + helmsman, explorer, oarsman
USS Lamon + Commodore Matthew Perry, Captain Montana Mays, helmsman
The Americans looked as aggressive as the French, but only had 2 cargo spaces open for gold.

Lechim Namod
Loa’s Justice + Sargasso Nightmare, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Nightmare + helmsman, explorer, oarsman
+oarsman on HI
The Cursed came in at a disadvantage with no 0LR+5 available, and indeed the only fleet to not utilize one. However, Lechim Namod looked to benefit from having Captain as part of the Sea Monster keyword, and was supported by an L booster on one of the two gold runners.

The map with only islands placed:

Setup notes: English and French place islands farther due to higher speeds in their fleets. Cursed want as close as possible resulting in crowded middle. English and Pirates reef the crap out of the tight archipelago in the middle, due to faster speeds (+Hermes ignoring terrain) and small ships respectively. French add some reefs while Spanish and Cursed go mostly for fog. Americans place all three whirlpools. The Cursed wanted MI’s to take effect but none of the other factions did, and they were eventually outrolled (so no MI effects would happen).  I ended up using 30 random UT’s out of the 120 total coins.

The full setup!  😀

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The big reef chain in the middle would likely split capital ship combat into the north and south, potentially making the terrain area a haven for small gold runners looking to stay safe.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Pirates wanted their small ships near the reefs that could barely hurt any of them.  The Cursed picked first and ended up lucky that nobody chose super close to them.  The Spanish chose their HI based on where they thought their canoes could be as close to home as possible, and where they anticipated the English going.  The English picked last but liked their round earth options.  The French and Americans wanted to keep their 5 masters away from the reefs, but close to some nearby wild islands.  Overall each faction ended up pretty happy with their HI result as the game began.

Here’s a video of the first half of the first round of turns!

The Pirates went next, with the Barnacle finding Missionary, which took out both her crew.  They immediately thought about getting the Explosives to the Zephyr, as she had the fastest base move yet lowest cargo of the Pirate sloops, making her an ideal suicide bomber.  The Fancy would join her in snagging coins, while the Zephyr headed east instead of west having seen the St. Joan (with dangerous flotilla in tow) make landfall at the island she originally wanted.

Barnacle sloop explores

The Stephens explores, using Jailhouse Dog to eliminate the Plague UT and save her crew!  The 5-4 off the island show they are the coins loaded by the Stephens, while the rest are left on the island (face up so you can see what else is on it).  Overall a solid island for the Americans, and I think the only wild island in this game with no 1 coins on it.

The Lamon’s activities were captured on camera!

The Nightmare explored to find some nice goodies, but Message in a Bottle would yank her away from the gold!

It docked her at the “Pirate wild island” that the Barnacle and Fancy had plundered, but she avoided reef damage.  The Loa’s Justice (LJ) was off to a better start, loading 14 gold and the Eye of Insanity! O_O  (perfect for the Cursed since they could potentially hire Davy Jones/etc and use the Eye to essentially create a duplicate)  Lechim Namod (LN) laid in wait, aiming to protect the LJ from harm.

A happy beginning for our fleets today!  XD

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

HMS Hermes explores!  O_O  It appears to be a lucrative island, with the Cursed Conch potentially allowing the English to control LN….

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Cristal heads home while escorting the gold-laden canoes, S-exploring the sargasso-like island on the way there.  The Santa Teresa is stuck with Anita Amore aboard and has no room for treasure, so heads home to stay safe in case the Panda tries to go crazy on the Pirate turn.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The French were next!

The Pirates followed and the carnage spread to the north!!

The Pirates launched the Raven’s Neck with a captain and helmsman for 17 total gold!

The first launch of the game!  Time will tell if launching vs. saving is more pragmatic in this tight balance of gold budgeting.

On the American turn the Lamon got another SAT and continued north, this time harassing the English.  However, the ram failed and the Edinburgh Trader defended herself well to win the boarding party!  For this game I generally used the white GF9 tokens for the English, black for the Pirates, and then faction pennants for the other wild island markers.

The 9 gold brought back by the Stephens is the perfect amount for the Americans to expand their fleet and dramatically increase their gold running capability!  The Corsair galley Queen of Sheba is hired, with a helmsman and explorer aboard to make her one of the better runners in play.

The Cursed consider saving for a larger purchase later on, but decide to quickly spend the LJ’s entire haul of 14 gold on the Sea Rat with generic crew.  LN has slunk away into the fog bank, hoping to avoid Lenoir’s Gaule for the rest of the game unless the Cursed can get some canceller support via RtSS Papa Doc.  The Nightmare has explored the middle island.

The Trader’s 12 gold is used to hire Lawrence and launch HMS Trepassey!  The English see Lawrence as a necessary counter to both Lenoir and the Lamon.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Santa Teresa returns to the S-explored island to actually explore it and finds a game changer: Kharmic Idol!  She would have loaded the 3 UT’s in the row underneath it, but the Idol wipes out all face up UT’s in play.  The elimination of the Cursed Conch and Eye of Insanity put a damper on nefarious English and Cursed plans.  In reality I think the Idol would have also eliminated the turtles, if so a big mistake there.  The canoes return home, with their bonuses turning 3’s into 4’s.

The Cristal could get maybe 1 cannon in range of the Panda, so Malaspina decides to return home instead.  The Spanish build Fortaleza Dorada with their HI gold!  Their strategy is to use the fort to protect gold that the canoes will ferry one by one, getting as many +1’s as possible in an attempt to make up for losing their other 3 canoes.  The fort will also provide protection for the canoes, as even the Cristal may not be enough with an additional Pirate gunship (Raven’s Neck) now in close proximity to the Spanish.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Marksman’s Map eliminated by Kharmic Idol had been on the St. Joan, which the French had used to spy Wolves on the island the Gaule would later dock at.  This was part of the French plan – since Wolves would prevent other negative UT’s from affecting the Gaule and her valuable crew, the French felt comfortable exploring the island just to see what else was on it.  It was a true hoard, with 22 total gold along with Relics and Rum!

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The French decide to make the gold even more inaccessible, building Paradis de la Mer with the St. Joan’s pair of coins! (a 3 and 2)  This is a big move on the part of the French and a decent gamble – the French are putting their eggs in one basket, with 27 total gold in the fort.  Part of the French reasoning is that even if Paradis gets destroyed, the French will try to quickly rebuild it – their strategy is to just hold the fort until the end of the game, not bothering to try and kill the Wolves to get any gold off of it.  With the Gaule ready to protect the fort and LN injured, it looks like a viable strategy against a relatively weak Cursed neighbor.  If the French can put some nearby gold into the fort as well, it could become a game-winning kingpin, although risking the all or nothing approach which may see them go from first to last if the fort gets destroyed right before the gold count.

This wide shot shows various other happenings.  Clockwise from top left: Lamon rams a mast off Trepassey then uses SAT to go southeast, the Pirates gather in fog banks with severely anti-Spanish plans, the Nightmare returns home with a little gold while other Cursed ships hide in fog, Americans head for more gold, HMS Nautilus picks up the Cross of Coronado UT, and St. Joan prepares to repair now that she is home safe.

The Pirate plan is to blow up the Cristal del Obispo using the Zephyr’s Explosives!  Following that, they hope that a pincer attack with the Panda and Raven’s Neck could cripple their fort and/or remaining ships.

At the bottom, notice the Trader and HMS Nautilus linking up via round earth to explore the northeast corner… a journey that eventually would have major implications for some factions….

Warily eyeing the Pirates, the Spanish play it safe and take the Santa Teresa home, keep the canoes docked, and put the Cristal in a fog bank.

With the Cursed turn immediately after America’s, a peace agreement was made.  The Americans and Cursed would not fight each other over that island, agreeing to share the gold.  It was a bit uneasy given the firepower each escort had, but this was understandable.  The Sea Rat and LN came out of the fog, with the Sea Rat grabbing 3 coins.

Further north, the Cursed gold runners resume normal gathering operations after premeasuring the Gaule’s movement potential.

Fleet deckplate area showing each ship’s cargo arrangements:

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

Similar to other factions on recent turns, the English play it safe.  The Trader could reach the island off the Gaule’s bow, but instead goes west to explore the island the Spanish canoes started at.  This does allow HMS Nautilus to fully catch up with the Trader, and she has the better cannons of the two.  The Trader loads a 2 and the Mines UT.  At the top right, you can see the Hermes and Trepassey docked at wild islands in the distance.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Pirates have been using the Raven’s Neck to spy on various coins throughout the map, and have spotted quite the coin on the island the Trader nearly went for… the Altar of the Loa.  O_O  They quickly begin scheming on how they can use their knowledge as power, wondering if they should tell the English.  The Spanish are next in the turn order after the English, and thus would be controlled by the English if the latter made a sacrifice at the Altar.  This could benefit the Pirates, as they are ready to strike Spain hard and have designs on the treasure in Fortaleza Dorada.  Upon this discovery I spent a good 5-10 minutes considering the possibilities and ramifications, even just for the Pirates as they are the only one privy to the information as of now.  A huge potential weapon that could destabilize the entire game as soon as it’s revealed!

Pirates spy the Altar of the Loa

Interestingly enough the French also spied on that island’s coins with the Marksman’s Map, but only saw 5 of the 10 which didn’t include the Altar.

The French tried to pull a fast one on the Cursed!

The rest of the round was uneventful, with all four Cursed ships getting or going home and the Zephyr changing fog banks to be closer to her target (the Cristal).

What an island!  The Edinburgh Trader heads south to explore, knowing that Lawrence will cancel Lenoir on the Gaule to allow HMS Nautilus to broadside the French 5 master.  The Trader finds a whopping 5 UT’s, with the Altar being the most consequential.

It was definitely a good time for another video!  Until writing the report right now I didn’t realize I accidentally cheated with the English briefly, as the Trader can’t normally carry 12 points of crew.  However, I think there was a legal way to do it without affecting any part of the rest of the game (ex: drop the Castaway oarsman for the explorer per the free transfer rules).

The English build Ramsgate!!  This was a “coup” of sorts, as it would deny all other fleets from using the Altar, as you cannot dock at an island that has an enemy fort on it.  In addition, it brought much more firepower to bear on the Gaule, who was now facing up to 11 English cannons in the area instead of 6.  Things were getting interesting!

English build Ramsgate fort

The Spanish kowtowed to English demands to “stop being wussies”, moving most of their fleet towards Fortaleza’s gold.  The canoes couldn’t quite make it (1-2mm away), but the Cristal dumped Malaspina to make room for a 4 that she intended to ferry back to the Spanish HI.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The French return fire!!

A brilliant final move segment by the St. Joan to get all of the Mont Blanc’s cannons in range of the Nautilus, coupled with 6/8 shooting overall, smash up the strong English position at the Ramsgate-Altar island.

HMS Nautilus dismasted

Here is the long-awaited Pirate combat turn!

Not as epic as the Pirates were hoping for, but still crippling to the Spanish fleet!

Pirates blast Spanish

A rare view from the northeast: USS Stephens has loaded Barbary Banner from the Queen of Sheba, the Lamon has rammed the Santa Teresa derelict, and the Sea Rat has returned home with gold as the Loa’s Justice repairs.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The French thorn in the English side was growing.  If only the Spanish could be eliminated faster, the next player in the turn order after the English would be the French, which would have been perfect for the English.  However, for now it would simply be ugly.  The English figured they needed to save the Nautilus, and thus the Trader took her under tow while combining with the fort to cripple the Gaule.  In addition, Hermione Gold knew she had Mines hidden on the Trader, which could be used to eliminate the Gaule’s final mast.  However, it would be another turn sitting in range of Mont Blanc, and another turn not using the Altar of the Loa.

English vs. French situation

Having accumulated various coins from different wild islands with the Hermes and Trepassey, the English decide to go all-in on spending and launch HMS Hyena with a complement of 5 generic crew for their entire coffer of 17 gold!  O_O   It will be interesting to see if this cripples the English long-term gold game and costs them a potential win, or if the firepower and sacrificial crew destined to die at the Altar will provide them the means needed to dictate enough of the endgame to ruin other fleets and control the outcome.  The English also bought the ship to provide a third ship with which to fight the French and any other Altar hopefuls, with the trio of Gaule-Lenoir-Mont Blanc providing heavy opposition for the English thus far.

HMS Hyena launched

As soon as the Gaule started moving on the French turn, the Mines UT was revealed, causing the ship to lose her final mast at the end of the action.  However, Mont Blanc shot 2/4 to beat up the Trader.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

With the Gaule now derelict and likely in range of Ramsgate’s L+L range cannon, the St. Joan comes over to assist, towing the flagship and warping her behind the fog bank.  At the upper right, the Cristal has repaired a mast at Fortaleza Dorada, with one canoe fleeing into fog and another loading a coin from the fort to try and deny the Pirates from ever having it.  (Santa Teresa repairs)

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

Unsurprisingly, the Pirates take control of the situation.  The Raven’s Neck sinks the canoe with gold on it and re-dismasts the Cristal, allowing the Zephyr to capture her (one of the Panda’s hits had taken out the oarsman).  The Panda has no good sac fodder left and a dangerous path home to pick up new hires, so Captain Blackheart takes her southeast to shoot at the Nightmare over a reef, dismasting the vessel!  The cargo wrecking also forced the Cursed to make some hard choices with their cargo, choosing to eliminate the Nightmare’s helmsman and a 2 while keeping her oarsman and the other 2. (this way the Nightmare could row into the fog bank on the Cursed turn, then eventually get home and use the 2 to get another helmsman)

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

With the Stephens in range of the Fancy, the Pirates duck the latter into the huge fog bank in search of safer treasures.  The Sea Rat has lost her oarsman to a whirlpool as she goes north in search of loot.  The Americans are bringing home more gold.  They have an inkling that they will have to destroy Paradis to win the game, and thus send the Lamon east to potentially meet up with the Stephens where the Gaule is now.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

Hermione Gold and Thomas Gunn are extremely relieved to see the arrival of English reinforcements.  The Hyena and Hermes are on the scene.  Hyena brings needed firepower and Altar fuel, while the Hermes will start ferrying some gold from Ramsgate back to the English HI.  The English already anticipate needing to build another fort on the Altar island with gold from their HI if Ramsgate is destroyed.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Spanish get some measure of revenge, sinking the Zephyr and captured Cristal!  The fort also hits the Raven’s Neck, which is actually the only real threat the Pirates have against the fort.  The Panda only has L-range guns, and the RN only has a pair of 3S’s that can hit Fortaleza, so the Pirates may need to launch another gunship if they hope to take the fort’s gold.

O_O   Mont Blanc shoots 4/4 to sink the Trader and take Ramsgate down to 1 flag standing!  HGold and Lawrence go do with the ship, a devastating blow for the English.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Fight for Fortaleza ends with the Panda and RN moving on to safer objectives.  Seeing the RN and Barnacle approaching and not wanting to lose their HI raiding gold runner, the Cursed turn the Sea Rat around, go back into the whirlpool, and return home, desperate to conserve their assets.  They’ve played a guarded game, unwilling to lose any units while slowly gathering gold from nearby islands.  The Spanish send their final canoe through a whirlpool to the southwest in search of some leftover “English gold”, but the Fancy emerges from the megafog in hot pursuit.  The Pirates plan for the Panda to return home and restock sac fodder for just 2 gold, while the RN and Barnacle will get the coins the Sea Rat was headed for.  In the meantime, the Queen of Sheba is helping the Americans mount a comeback in the gold race.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

HMS Nautilus repairs at Ramsgate, whose last cannon cannot do anything against the Mont Blanc as it takes two hits from the same shoot action to eliminate the flag (and a third hit overall to sink the flotilla).  HMS Hyena docks at the fort with crew to spare at the Altar, but the English are in an agonizingly terrible position.  They can only control the Spanish through the Altar right now, who are the weakest faction in play by far.  So weak in fact, that the English sacrificing two 1 point generic crew wouldn’t even be worth it, as they could only move around a canoe and the Santa Teresa. Much more appealing is taking control of the French, who the English would control if the Spanish were to be eliminated.  Thus, the English engage in talks with the Pirates to potentially team up and eliminate the Spanish.  The Pirates generally respond that they would like the Spanish out anyway, if the Fancy can hit the last canoe and the Santa Teresa can be captured for a 5 gold Ransom payout.  In the end the English are simply frustrated, as controlling the Spanish feels like a waste since they must spend valuable gold and continually ferry sacrifices to the island in order to use the Altar to eventually, someday get at the French.

In the meantime, the Hermes grabs coins to the north.  However, the Lamon is coming….

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

Mont Blanc destroys Ramsgate!  The French had unknowingly positioned the flotilla in the perfect spot where all of her cannons were in range of the fort, while only the L+L cannon was in range of the flotilla!  Some of the flotilla’s cannons were also sometimes in range of English ships docked there (hence the Trader sinking), meaning the French had accidentally stumbled into a perfect zone control situation where they were slowly crippling English plans!  In addition, the flotilla and Paradis served as a kind of “block zone” against the nearby Cursed HI to the west, making Cursed access to the Altar harder.  Plus, Lechim Namod was still missing two tentacles, making the Cursed scared to take on Paradis.

The St. Joan arrives home with the Gaule, who is repairing. At the lower left, a mini-conflict is brewing as three ships have designs on the low-value coins the Hermes originally saw.  At the top right, the Lamon has rammed a mast off the Hyena.  The English still look like a threat to win if they can control the endgame through the Altar and firepower, so the Americans are enjoying harassing them while waiting for the opportune moment to strike Paradis. (although it could be now with the Gaule repairing, the Stephens is simply too far away)  The Nightmare repairs and “restocks” her helmsman as the entire Cursed fleet happens to be at home.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

A round of relative peace finally ensues, with plenty of low-value gold scraps to go around.  The English surge south, having made a weak agreement to attack Paradis with the Cursed on the following round.  St. Joan has returned to the area via round earth, but it remains to be seen if she will ferry gold from the Altar island to Paradis, use the Altar, take Mont Blanc under tow again, or none of the above….  The Lamon shadows the English movements, further complicating the situation as the submarine is extremely dangerous to both the English and French forces.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Pirates then made an announcement: at the conclusion of this round, the Cursed have a total of 27 gold on their home island.  The Raven’s Neck had used her ability to spy every coin on the Cursed HI, and the Pirates were telling the truth.  This worried the Americans most, who I know had 22-25 at the time and suspected the French to be ahead of them.  Factions made some grumbling about capturing the Sea Rat to use her HI raider ability, but no coalition was formed.

The English started off the next round with a ram, as the gold-laden Trepassey dismasts the Fancy.  The English saw this as necessary, as they had premeasured that the Fancy would be able to ram the Trepassey on her way home before the latter could arrive with gold.  Basically, a game of don’t become derelict first. (neither ship has any crew; Trepassey won the board)

In a very frustrating round of shooting, HMS Nautilus and HMS Hyena both hit 1/2 to not damage Mont Blanc at all!  Ruining an opportunity to cripple the English for good, the flotilla misses all four shots on the English gunships to not do any damage as well!  O_O

The Panda finally gets home and loads up two new oarsmen as fresh sac fodder for Blackheart. At the right, Lamon has rammed another mast off the Hyena, making it even harder for the English to defeat Mont Blanc.  The Cursed think about sending the Sea Rat to raid the American HI while the Stephens is away, but the nearby Gaule on the west side of that whirlpool makes it too scary.

More disaster for the English as Mont Blanc dismasts the Nautilus and the Hyena is dismasted by the Lamon!  The Stephens is transferring a coin to the Queen of Sheba so she can continue east soon to potentially interfere with French or Cursed operations.  The Spanish are camping out the Santa Teresa in a fog bank next to their HI in order to stay alive in the game.  They are rooting for whoever can beat up the Pirates and potentially control them through the Altar (which would be the French as they go before the Pirates in the turn order).  Basically, since the English will control the French if the Spanish are eliminated (bad for the French and therefore the Spanish), the Spanish are both anti-Pirate and anti-English.  More of these interfactional dynamics were present than I can remember, especially due to the presence of the Altar, which shifted how some factions played based on who went before them in the turn order (and could control them), and who went after (and could be controlled).

By this point the Pirates were spying on the coins in Paradis, and decided to remind everyone that Wolves had been found on the island, making it impossible to get the gold without a Marine or musketeer even after plowing through Paradis.  The Americans had kinda forgot about the Wolves, and this would alter their endgame strategy a bit, not wanting to buy anything given how tight the final gold count was looking.

The English experienced a golden homecoming, with the Hyena zooming home on oar power through Jack’s Compass to dock home a 2, the Hermes arriving on the same turn, and the Trepassey not far behind with 4 more gold along with the prize Fancy in tow.  However, considerable English expenditures earlier in the game meant they were facing an uphill battle here towards the end, a battle they were certainly not winning as their purchases got hammered by the French and USS Lamon.

The Pirates were getting desperate as well, with Fortaleza Dorada somewhat likely to win a fight against the Raven’s Neck but the Pirates too poor to launch an effective support gunship with S-range cannons to assist the RN (plus, launching a ship at this point might singlehandedly take a fleet out of the running).  The Pirates decided to up their chances by hiring SM Calico Cat to lead the RN.

At the top center, the Pirates look to be round earthing the Panda towards the Spanish canoe (trying to get her 1 home, +1 it and use the 2 to launch El Raton lol), but potentially also towards the American ships in the south.  Montana Mays redirects the Lamon northwestwards to intercept, leaving the Altar island abandoned for the first time in many hours of gameplay.  The Cursed are nearly done gathering nearby gold, which will bring their total to at least 30.  Le Gaule has finished repairing, an ominous sight.

It was time for an important French turn!

A massive French move that likely dooms any chances the Pirates had of making up ground in the standings!

With that, the Stephens had an easy target.  Finally the big ship was able to loose a broadside, dismasting the Panda.  At the top of the frame, the Cursed have sent the Sea Rat through the same whirlpool as earlier, but this time with their sights set on the now-abandoned Pirate HI….

USS Stephens dismasts the Panda

The Cursed absolutely refuse to take the bait of capturing the Barnacle, as LN’s tentacle will be in range of Paradis’ L-range guns if the squid surfaces to ram the Barnacle derelict.  At the top right, the Hermes returns to the northeast to scrounge for scraps.  USS Lamon turns around again and heads southeast, with a pair of goals: stop the St. Joan from putting more gold in Paradis, and sacrifice crew at the Altar to take control of the Cursed if truly necessary.

The Gaule dismasts the Raven’s Neck!

St. Joan scurries towards Paradis with a couple coins as the fort dismasts the Barnacle:

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Panda is able to row into the huge fog bank, hoping to return to the Pirate HI soon.  The Stephens turns her wrath to the final Spanish canoe, easily sinking it and taking another 1 gold out of the game.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

With one of their final two units out of play, the Spanish decide to finally suicide.  In an attempt to help the French win (knowing there’s not enough in Fortaleza to win and Santa Teresa can’t unload Anita Amore to get more), Anita Amore pilots the Santa Teresa into a whirlpool, emerging right next to the French home island with the teleportation knocking off the sloop’s lone mast.  The Spanish have been eliminated!  Anita hopes to be captured by Lenoir, who can bring the vessel home for a 5 gold Ransom payout.  However, the French also want the Raven’s Neck so they can use her and Calico Cat to hopefully capture the Sea Rat and steal gold to secure a win.  The Spanish have cared little about the outcome for many rounds, having been effectively eliminated a while ago.  They didn’t tell the French about this plan, doing it on a whim.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

Immediately after the French turn where the Gaule captures the Raven’s Neck, the Panda swoops in from the fog and captures the Santa Teresa!  This is an embarrassment for the Spanish and the Contessa, who are now in the hands of the despised Pirates!  O_O

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Sea Rat raided the Pirate HI for a coin!  However, this made the Pirates feel extremely stupid, as they could have spent all their gold last turn on new game pieces to deny the Sea Rat any coins as soon as they saw her approach through the whirlpool.  The Pirates are aggravated and annoyed, and know they have just about no shot at winning now.  So they go “full troll” and spend their 8 gold on cheese ships – Rover, Mermaid, and Banshee’s Cry + oarsman.  Making the situation even sillier is the Pirate desperation to block the Sea Rat from accessing the whirlpool on the Cursed turn – the Panda sacs her helmsman to move out of French waters and back home, with the Hag of Tortuga making sure both ships touched the whirlpool in an alignment that maximized blocking it off from the Sea Rat.  XD   Compounding the ridiculous situation, I believe Captain Blackheart died in the whirlpool travel while Contessa Anita Amore survived.  The French have ruined the Pirates’ endgame schemes, and now they will play spoiler in any way possible.

Pirates launch 3 ships

However, the Sea Rat is able to escape with her Pirate 1 coin into the nearby fog bank.  At the top left, the Hyena has finished repairing to full strength.  The Americans are getting desperate now too, as the St. Joan has deposited her pair of coins from the Altar island into Paradis.  The Stephens round earths to the north, considering an attack on Fortaleza Dorada or simply heading towards the Altar island where the endgame may be decided.

Some interesting developments: HMS Hyena heads for the Altar, the Hermes and Trepassey bring back a couple more 1’s for the English, Gaule gets the RN home to start repairs, the St. Joan retows the Mont Blanc only to be dismasted by a Lamon ram, the Nightmare appears to have designs on the Altar (first Cursed movement towards it), and the Sea Rat returns to Cursed home waters with her stolen coin.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The beginning of the next round saw HMS Hyena dock at the Altar island and sacrifice two crew!  With the Spanish eliminated, the English could at long last control the French fleet!!  O_O  (in hindsight this is not legal, but certainly a worthy topic for a rules debate especially if the player potentially being skipped has no fort (or other unit not capable of movement) in play)

This is the point in the game where the reefings began, and perhaps where the “true endgame” commenced.  It was already devolving into silly and strange shenanigans, and now it would ignite in newly bizarre ways.  Le Gaule was tossed into a whirlpool and thrown onto a reef in the north, but she only lost 1 mast.  The RN wasn’t in range of a reef but was sailed north towards one, with the Hyena’s captain acting as puppetmaster at the Altar of the Loa.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The English use the Mont Blanc to sink the Nightmare!  Bow to the power of the Loa!

Feeling the desperation mounting, the Lamon surfaces, docks at the Altar island, and the Americans sacrifice Montana Mays and a helmsman to the Loa!!  O_O   What has come over these factions??  Are the loa possessing their spirits?

Americans use the Altar of the Loa

The Sea Rat and Lechim Namod are sent through the whirlpool!  The Sea Rat suffers no damage, but LN is nearly killed as her sagging underbelly is ground into powder on the sharp coral reefs.  The Panda returns the Santa Teresa home to the Pirate HI, where the latter repairs immediately as Anita Amore becomes a permanent capture in a dark grimy dungeon where Blackheart kept his sac fodder.  The last of that fodder is the Panda’s oarsman, which gets transferred to the Banshee’s Cry (BC), a ship that already had one.  That means she has two oarsmen aboard… enough for a sacrifice at the Altar….

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

By now ships were almost literally piling up at the only reefable whirlpool, with likely no space left to place any more ships there in sabotage attempts.  The endgame was spiraling out of control, with both the Cursed and French being okay with it ending as soon as possible.

The Loa’s Justice sails out to greet Paradis on her own, hoping the guns will send her to the depths.  The 5 on the Barnacle means the Pirates have successfully scuttled her.

Seizing an opportunity for yet another scrap of pitiful coinage, the English ram the Lamon with the Hyena, triggering the ship’s ability to kill off Commodore Matthew Perry and net themselves another 1 gold.  The Hermes has taken up Altar duties and I think it was time for another English turn of control over the French!

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

Le Gaule dismasts the Sea Rat.  The Cursed did not mind this at all, but the English wanted themselves or the Pirates to steal the Sea Rat and use it themselves to steal coins from at least one of the front runners.  The Pirates have mixed success on their turn trying to kill the ship’s oarsman.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Americans see the game flash before their eyes: the Lamon can load two coins now that her cargo hold is completely empty, and the Stephens can increase the value of Barbary Banner by blasting away at the various English ships in the area!  Perhaps the American comeback story is not yet complete?  The Stephens also had designs on using the Altar, but the Cursed are already quite weak now and the Stephens can be more useful simply knocking off masts to make Barbary Banner more valuable.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Hyena rams to steal a coin from the Lamon.  The loa party continues as the Fancy arrives on the scene with fresh sacrifices!  She sacs her oarsmen to let the English take control of the French yet again!!  XD  And the English rebuild Ramsgate to deny the Americans (and Cursed) from using the Altar, simultaneously “claiming” the island’s remaining gold for the approaching gold count!  O_O

By now things were getting so desperate and short on actions that there wasn’t even much to do with some of the Altar plays.  However, the Gaule was moved onto a reef where she lost her remaining masts, while the Raven’s Neck suffered no damage.

The Panda avoids a shipwreck herself and captures the Gaule!  O_O   LN has shot off the Rover’s mast but the Sea Rat is still under attack.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

The Stephens gets to work, taking out three masts between the Hermes and Fancy!  Each mast eliminated gets them 1 gold via Barbary Banner, getting them closer to a potential winning score.  Can they do it?

However, the Lamon is sunk before she can submerge! (I believe by the Mont Blanc)

USS Stephens goes crazy

The Sea Rat is able to row into the whirlpool for home.

The English sink the St. Joan with Ramsgate, and HMS Trepassey arrives on the scene with fresh crew!  O_O   In what may have been a fourth consecutive turn of control, the English take over what remains of the French fleet, using Mont Blanc to sink the Loa’s Justice!

The Stephens uses one of the last actions of the game to shoot at the English again!  However, it is a major disappointment, as she goes 1/4 to hit the Hyena.

The Cursed are ready to count and dump the Sea Rat’s oarsman on their HI in an attempt to end the game since the ship is derelict (though still capable of future move actions via the oarsman or repairing, so not a proper sabotage).  However, it was over, as I was way past my planned “hard stop end time” of 10pm.  It was 1am and I was having trouble making proper decisions for the fleets.

My 500th game of Pirates CSG!! (November 18th, 2022)

It was time to count!  Here are the counts in play order!

English: 24 gold

Spanish: 14 gold

French: 32 gold

Pirates: 10 gold

Pirate fleet ransom captures for 10 total gold

Americans: 32 gold

The Cursed: 33 gold

O_O  The Cursed win one of the closest games of all time!!  O_O

  1. Cursed: 33 gold
  2. French: 32 (3 units in play – Paradis de la Mer, Mont Blanc, Raven’s Neck)
  3. Americans: 32 (1 unit in play – USS Stephens)
  4. English: 24
  5. Spanish: 14
  6. Pirates: 10

What a ludicrous game and finish!  Unfortunately it comes with an asterisk as the game was not played to true completion, but I still went way past the “time deadline” (at which point I believe the Cursed still would have won).  This mirrors the insanely close results of the recent PNW Weekend Marathon of multiplayer games, making me realize even more than ever before that winning this game is a bit of a crapshoot (for better or worse).  It’s quite likely that any single die roll falling differently in various circumstances throughout the game could have changed the outcome.  Not to mention the “French implosion” – if the Gaule had captured the Santa Teresa that turn instead of the Raven’s Neck, the French could have brought Anita back for 5 gold, plenty enough to win with 37 (perhaps the Panda could have rammed the ST to kill Anita and deny such a result, but Lenoir’s cancelling would have helped by cancelling helmsman or Sac).  The Americans were ONE hit away from victory – if one more shot had hit the Hyena on that final shoot action, Barbary Banner would have been worth 7 gold instead of 6, tying them with the Cursed at 33 and likely winning additional tiebreakers (I think LN was killed by a shot from a Pirate sloop during the last round, leaving both the Americans and Cursed with one unit each – at which point the Americans would win the points in play AND masts standing tiebreakers with the healthy Stephens vs. derelict Sea Rat).

The Cursed won by playing a very guarded and cagey game, being about as safe as I’ve ever seen them play as a faction.  Their sole launch helped them acquire more gold, and they needed every bit of it to win.  The Sea Rat’s HI raid against the Pirates even netted them the 1 coin that made the difference, as without that they would have lost both tiebreakers in a 32-32-32 count.  The Cursed benefited heavily from the setup, which was something they helped to engineer.  The close islands near their HI helped with quick gold runs back and forth, while the terrain nearby made their HI and gold running operations less accessible to some of the nasty gunships wreaking havoc towards the outskirts of the map.  They got a bit lucky choosing a home island first and not having anyone really encroach upon that area with other HI placements.

The Spanish get the last laugh against the Pirates, beating them despite being eliminated before the long and crazy endgame really got going.  The Pirates felt the need to “spend to protect” their gold after the Sea Rat threatened all of it, but still avoided a shutout when the Panda went crazy with kidnappings in the final rounds of the game (going from 0 gold to 10 gold after snagging two Ransom crew).

The English finished with a better score than I anticipated, having spent 29 gold across two separate turns on Lawrence, the Trepassey, and Hyena with crew.  They must have spent at least 4 additional gold towards the end on “Altar Fuel” in the form of cheap sacrifices.  They were way too excited to buy things, and probably could have been in very good position to win if they hadn’t blown a lot of their money.  However, their purchases did help to keep them alive and net them some gold, but not enough at the end.  It’s fitting (and relieving) they didn’t contend directly for the victory, as their turtles (and 10 of the gold used on the Hyena launch) should have been axed by Kharmic Idol.

This was a wild experience for me, and generally “worthy” of being my 500th game despite various frustrations (and tiredness towards the end).  I’m so used to saving being a terrible strategy in campaign games where gold can be used to purchase game pieces, so it was hard to shake that mindset even though I knew that most gold would take it going into the game.  Although the win comes with various “what if” asterisks, the Cursed played a masterful game of correctly managing their money, not making enemies, protecting their gold, and snagging low values over the long endgame to come away with enough to win.

For posterity and my own future reference if I play more games with this house rule, a few lessons:
-The factions that spent more did worse (English and Pirates).
-The factions that bought gunships did worse (English and Pirates).
-The factions that bought gold runners did better (Cursed and Americans)
-It’s hard to know when a game like this will end, so it’s better to conserve gold and make sure you’re consistently in the running than spend early on and have to make up a large differential in a desperate and chaotic endgame where most of the “readily available” coins are 1’s and 2’s.
-If I play with this house rule again I want to have a longer timeline. I played for about 11 hours straight and it wasn’t enough. I probably needed at least another hour to reach a proper endgame condition, which was likely going to be half or more fleets unable to give future move actions (the Cursed had almost taken themselves out, and any more reefings of the Raven’s Neck likely would have eliminated the French). This was at a mere 40 point build total, so to finish a game like this properly I’d probably go down to 4-5 fleets if using the same build total. If using a higher build total (even 50 or 60), I’d cap it at an absolute max of 4 fleets.  Although you could manipulate it by putting less gold out there, less total gold in play disincentivizes purchases even more, and we already saw the big spenders come in 4th and 6th in this game.
-I enjoyed it a lot and recommend trying this style of play at least once! (purchases legal but regular endgame conditions)

Thanks for reading and please comment below your thoughts on the game! 😀

7 Player Game at 120 Points – Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

7 Player Game, 120 Points


The largest game of the 2022 Pirates CSG Weekend Marathon was a 7 player game with a 120 point build total!  😀  A power outage at Mox Boarding House in Bellevue led us to go to their Seattle location instead. We used these house rules and some additional ones:
-Lord Mycron legal, but has Limit and Ransom in addition to his regular abilities.
-Custom game pieces are allowed if all players agree to their legality.
-Three islands placed per player.
-Each player can place 3 pieces of terrain during setup (in the same order as islands, per usual), with a maximum of 1 massive terrain and 1 medium terrain per player. (Picture – Massive=7 in top 2 rows; Medium=7 in bottom row)
-The last player in the turn order chooses their home island location first, followed by the second to last player until the first player chooses their home island last.
-Each player must contribute an equal number of coins of any value or type in order to have 4 coins per wild island. (8 coins per player due to 2 wild islands per player)
-Gold bonuses will be applied permanently to the coin in question (ex: a 7 becomes an 8 ). The added value stays with the coin, and the coin can be “used” normally for the purposes of home island raiding, fort building, etc.

These were the fleets!

Xerecs (custom Ionic fleet; game pieces found in the Customs Database)
Ignition + Atuam, helmsman, captain (proxied by Kentucky)
Okoto + Ekimu, Ackar, Kinaa, Helyrex, Draxon, captain, oarsman
Three Virtues + Amakav, helmsman, Onua, oarsman
G’Ki + Gukon, helmsman (proxied by Santa Lucia)

La Vengeance + crew
La Danae + crew
Black Swan + crew
Conquerant + crew

Le Soleil Royal + crew
Golden Medusa + crew
Kirbac + crew
La Felicite + crew
La Santa Isabel
Banshee’s Cry + crew
Executioner + crew

Gazerbeam543 (some customs used)
Inarrêtable + Mademoiselle Moulin, Lenoir, Jordan Dumas, Griffin, Helmsman
La Dijon + helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Fetu + Lady Roimata, Madame LaFontaine, Khalid Youssef, Helmsman, Oarsman
Le Coeur du Lion + Princess Arii Auraa, Capitaine Baudouin Deleflote, Oarsman
Mist Walker

Baochuan + Admiral Zheng He, Warlord Cavendish, Ms. Cheng, RotF Crimson Angel, Grim the Savage, Bianco’s Haulers, RotF Captain Mysion, helmsman, oarsman
Coeur + Auraa, Deleflote
Floating Stone + Calypso
Neptune’s Hoard + Hammersmith, Tia Dalma, oarsman
Philadelphia + helmsman, oarsman

El Acorazado + RotF Luis Zuan, Nemesio Diaz, Roberto Santana, Joaquin Vega, helmsman, shipwright
Santo Columba + Christian Fiore, Castro’s Loyalists, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Cazador del Pirata + Fernando Sanchez, captain, helmsman, oarsman
El Duque + captain, oarsman
Bilge + Lord Mycron, Robinson, oarsman

HMS Titan + crew
La Vengeance + crew
La Santa Isabel + crew
Buscador + crew
HMS Lady Provost + crew
HMS Gallowglass + Lord Mycron

We were ready to set sail!

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

Maps of Alexandria was once again found early, revealing the location of all the various treasures.  The Baochuan has marked an island explored and grabbed some gold from it.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

Cutty’s fleet setting out.  What lunacy might Pandora’s Box bring about?

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

The Fetu and Dijon were rapidly acquiring some hefty hauls for Gazerbeam’s fleet:

Luckily for me the Neptune’s Hoard had found Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight, but soon afterwards Cutty’s Pandora’s Box exploration would yank in a Pirata Codex to eliminate all face up UT’s from the game!

This shows the “far east” of the ocean where Xerecs’ Ignition has been dismasted by Kyle’s Black Swan.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

In a huge move, Gazerbeam took his custom French 10 master over the edge of round earth to sink the Okoto (Xerecs’ custom Ionic 10 master) with help from Mist Walker!  Southwest of there, the big fog bank is getting a bit crowded.  The Santo Columba has emerged from it and is about to eliminate Cutty’s Raninoidea.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

Peter continues to accumulate gold with the Fetu hoist:

Here it looks like Xerecs was trying to take the Three Virtues back to his home island in a roundabout way, but he couldn’t expect any clemency from me after raiding my HI with his Ionic sloop.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

Indeed there would be swift action, as the NH and Baochuan teamed up to dismast the Three Virtues, allowing the Philadelphia to capture it after Tia Dalma cancelled the ship’s oarsman.

Gazerbeam builds Paradis de la Mer:

custom French 10 masted junk

My next turn was a homecoming, as I hoped that the Three Virtues would be a valuable addition to my fleet after some time spent repairing.

The most notable development here is at the upper left, where Cutty has warped into Witch’s territory using a whirlpool from his Calypso on the Golden Medusa.  Witch has built a Spanish fort in the corner and Cutty may have designs on its gold.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

The available gold in play was already dwindling down a bit, and I wanted to grab some of it in addition to hopefully a home island hoard via Grim afterwards.  I used my Calypso to warp the Baochuan and Neptune’s Hoard into the far east.  The NH was primarily there for protection, mostly via Tia Dalma’s canceller ability.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

In a huge asterisk for the game, Cutty had a car emergency which forced him to take his entire fleet out of play.  Gazerbeam has built another fort near his HI.  Kyle has captured the Ignition with the Black Swan, but the huge sargasso sea is severely slowing his progress in making any use of the prize.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

Spencer had somewhat quietly been playing a very good game, accumulating considerable gold while sinking the Santo Columba with HMS Titan and protecting Mycron by putting the Gallowglass in a fog bank.

I had miscalculated the risk to my ships, as I hadn’t anticipated a multi-canceller multi-player collaboration against the Baochuan and Neptune’s Hoard.  Witch’s Acorazado whirled into the area, with Diaz and Dalma cancelling each other out.  Mycron’s Bilge gave the Acorazado a shoot action, which sank the NH!

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

More trouble was on the way, with Kyle’s Conquerant getting an extra action to shoot and ram the Baochuan, taking her from 10 masts down to 1!!  The Baochuan’s defenses (Parley and can’t be shot at while docked) were cancelled by Diaz on the Acorazado and Lenoir on the Conquerant.  Seleucis gave Ophidious a second action to surface and shoot, sinking the Baochuan!

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

Witch was playing to sink ships rather than win, and thus took the Acorazado into further combat, sinking the Conquerant and injuring Ophidious.  By now Kyle had captured Xerecs’ final ship, eliminating him from the game.  The Fetu is the latest ship to get stuck in the big sargasso.

Spencer’s Lady Provost was the latest HI raiding threat against me, and she was joined by my Coeur in the fog bank now that Deleflote had a minute to breathe with both of my primary ships out of play.  The Three Virtues had finished repairing, but I knew my chances of winning were quite slim.

Kyle had the unique idea of putting 058 Captain Jack Sparrow (of UPS fame) on La Danae, something I never would have expected.  The Baochuan sinking provided some fireworks, while Ophidious would soon start repairing after an intentional reefing to trigger Eternal.

Witch took the Acorazado near the reef to dismast the Black Swan:

With the help of Lord Mycron, Spencer’s Lady Provost was able to rob a coin from Gazerbeam’s HI and immediately duck into a nearby fog bank for safety, quite the perfect trick as time wound down.  Unfortunately we were fighting another time constraint from various real-life angles, so this marked another game that would not be finished properly.  My HI was raided for the third time (by a third ship and third player!), this time by the Cazador del Pirata with Fernando Sanchez on board.  Gazerbeam now controlled the last 10 master standing and used it to make Witch’s fort abandoned in the northwest.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

The final few turns featured some of the more exciting plays of the game, mostly with desperate boarding attempts.  On the left the Buscador and Lady Provost ram the Cazador del Pirata for stolen loot.  At the right, I used an extra action from the Three Virtues to emerge from a whirlpool and eventually destroy one of Gazerbeam’s forts, freeing up a few coins.  However, this effort was in vain as the Acorazado and Inarretable arrived on the scene and sank the Three Virtues.  On my last turn the Philadelphia rammed the Fetu but failed to win the boarding party.

7 Player Game at 120 Points - Pirates CSG 2022 Weekend Marathon (October 16th, 2022)

Unfortunately the time was up and the game was over!

  1. Gazerbeam543: 53 gold
  2. L0rdgingerbread: 42
  3. Kyky: 18
  4. A7XfanBen: 11
  5. Witch: 0 (still active)
  6. Xerecs: 0 (eliminated)
  7. Cutty: 0 (left game)

Congratulations to Gazerbeam on what looks like a near-perfect game played!  Aggressive gold acquisition early while knocking out an enemy 10 master set him up well for the rest of the game.  Any threat I could muster was quashed by the anti-Baochuan alliance, while Spencer couldn’t quite steal enough gold at the end to make up the difference in coinage.  Kyle played a nice game for a sneaky 3rd place finish.  Witch accomplished his goal of sinking at least 10 ships (11 total), while Xerecs and Cutty were on the wrong end of some devastating broadsides very early in the game.

Here is some game footage!

October 2022 Pirates CSG Weekend Marathon Bellevue WA PNW meetup group picture


ELEVEN Player Game in Portland Oregon!! August 27th, 2022

ELEVEN Player Game

Mox Boarding House in Portland Oregon


With a HUGE amount of help from Redgoat and Witch, I met up with a ton of people at Mox Boarding House in Portland Oregon for a whopping ELEVEN player game of Pirates CSG!!!  O_O  Witch has a group that plays in Vancouver Washington, with 7 of the players coming from him and his group.  Redgoat brought along Sir Steevn Basil Drakestongue, another founding member of PDXYAR.  Add in myself and Koltyre of the discord server and we had 11!  This completely shattered my previous high, which was 6 players set in 2016 and tied earlier this year in Los Angeles.

House rules:
-No Unique Treasure
-No Forts
-No Cancellers
-No Limit crew
-Ramming only succeeds on a 5 or 6
-Fleets are faction-pure
-Round earth is the default unless otherwise specified. Ships cannot shoot over round earth, they must be on the same side of the map to shoot.
-No minimum distance between islands (understanding that most will still be placed at least 2L apart)
-Terrain can touch islands and other terrain.
-Winners of boarding parties choose whether to eliminate crew or steal treasure, and can choose which treasure to take (loser still chooses which crew is eliminated)
-Whirlpools have negative effects on rolls of 1-3 instead of 4-6.
-Generic crew may use their abilities on ships of any nationality.
-Sea Monsters get the Captain keyword built-in.
-Shipwrights do not take up cargo space.
-Home Island Raiders can look at all treasure on an enemy home island when they dock and choose which treasure(s) to take.
Ban List
All events
Ships: DJC Le Bonaparte
Crew: Lord Mycron

Drakestongue rolled to go first, choosing his home island last.  The order of play was as follows clockwise around the table: Drakestongue, Redgoat, Koltyre, A7XfanBen, Witch, English, Barbary Corsairs, Raven’s Neck Pirates, White Rose Pirates, Spanish, Providence Americans.

The “Core Four” community members of myself, Redgoat, Witch and Koltyre made the setup, and as discussed way prior to the game, we would be using only half as many wild islands as players, with only a couple extra coins per island to compensate.  This was to keep the game length to a theoretically reasonable limit, and to prevent us from needing a second table for the ocean.  5 wild islands were used with 6 coins on each of them.  With so many players and so few gold options, things promised to get ugly and desperate rather quickly.

Who would win this crazy crapshoot for the ages??

This was my fleet. Basic idea was to use the LP’s speed to grab coins early and then use her ability later on to steal some more. Temple would remain facedown on the Oxford until I could steal a ship or two, hopefully increasing the size of my fleet to give me more options in the endgame.  Strategizing as much as I normally do felt pointless with the amount of randomness involved, and theoretically each player had just a 9% chance of winning the game when it started.  XD
HMS Oxford + Commander Temple, captain, helmsman
HMS Lady Provost + helmsman, explorer, oarsman

Witch was using a modified Carcharodon where it doesn’t have the Massacre ability and costs 8 points as a result.  Le Bourbon was a proxy for La Possession.

Home island placement anywhere was allowed, but players ended up with home islands close to their location at the table.  On the eastern half are the wild islands of Drakestongue, Redgoat, myself, Witch and Koltyre, while the 6 players Witch brought with him are on the western half with the lighter blue.

ELEVEN player game

Eleven player game of Pirates CSG

Drakestongue takes the first move action and the eleven player game has begun!

Eleven player game of Pirates CSG

Ben's English fleet in Eleven player game of Pirates CSG

Koltyre was using a fleet of American schooners:

Koltyre fleet in Eleven player game of Pirates CSG

With plenty of time in between my turns, it was the perfect opportunity to record some game footage!  Here is all of it in one video:

Partway through round 1 and most fleets are sticking together:

Eleven player game of Wizkids Pirates CSG

The Wicked Kareen draws first blood, knocking a mast off HMS Interceptor:

Eleven player game of Wizkids Pirates CSG

The other English fleet:

USS Mercury gets an EA from Commodore Peregrine Stern to sink the San Cristobal!  Redgoat’s 5 masters (Black Swan and Revenant) team up to sink the Marrakesh.

Drakestongue’s Black Arrow has gone through a whirlpool to rejoin his other ships, increasing competition for the gold in the northeast.  The Lady Provost and Oxford have loaded 5 of the island’s 6 coins.

But the French are the ones who deal the damage!  Witch reveals Capitaine Arazure and Gentil de la Barbinais on La Possession, allowing the 4 master to round earth and slam the English with 4/4 shooting!

French slam the English in eleven player game of Wizkids Pirates CSG

eleven player game of Wizkids Pirates CSG

I took the Oxford into a nearby fog bank, but the Lady P could not row there fast enough at S+S speed.  Drakestongue’s Pirates converged on the island, setting up a potential clash with La Possession.

Redgoat reveals probably the niftiest crew surprise of the game, with the Black Swan’s SM El Fantasma stealing a coin from the Corsair home island!  The White Rose is doing some raiding of her own in the southwest corner, but the Raven’s Neck is making her pay for it. Two of Koltyre’s American schooners arrive via round earth in the same area.  At the upper right, the San Pedro is under attack by the other American fleet.

The Black Swan loses masts to the Wicked Kareen, but the latter is then captured by Redgoat with some help from Captain Blackheart on the Revenant!  The Possession has sunk the Lady Provost and Eagle, and the Flying Dutchman could be next!

eleven player game of Wizkids Pirates CSG

The Carolina and Intrepide are getting some gold at the upper left, but both Witch and Koltyre have made it clear the whole island is barely worth anything.

USS Mercury dismasts the San Pedro, eliminating the Spanish from contention!

Spanish are eliminated

A look at PDXYAR legend Redgoat’s growing fleet:

Captain Redgoat fleet in eleven player game of Wizkids Pirates CSG

HMS Dauntless engages the Revenant near the center. At the upper right, La Possession has crippled the Flying Dutchman.

eleven player game of Wizkids Pirates CSG

The Providence has returned home with another haul of 3 coins for the Americans, making them the favorite to win.  At some point the Raven’s Neck Pirates revealed that through spying, they learned that the Americans had amassed a total of 18 gold.  HMS Interceptor is repairing, the Intrepide brings home gold for the French, and the Flying Dutchman whirled to escape the Possession’s cannonade.

Some time later and things have gotten more interesting.  The partially repaired FD is about to grab some of the last gold in play.  I was talking some strategy/rules with Redgoat and it looked like he was looking to team up with his old rival/nemesis Drakestongue.  If the FD could stay alive with gold on her, it would extend the game and potentially allow Redgoat to raid the American home island for enough gold to win.

The Gruesome has pinned herself on the Providence (docked at her home island), allowing the Americans to finish her.

The Americans are clearly in the lead and thus face some opposition at their home island in the form of the Raven’s Neck, HMS Interceptor, and Wicked Kareen.  However, an uncoordinated effort may be in vain.  Redgoat repairs his 5 masters but fears he will run out of time to steal gold with El Fantasma.  Calico Cat was clutch earlier in the game but now takes a backseat, further delaying Redgoat’s plans.  Koltyre’s Freedom and Minuteman have been sunk in the far west.

The Raven’s Neck is dismasted by USS Mercury, but the White Rose lies in wait in the big fog bank southwest of the American HI….

The Black Swan whirled to the southeast to check out what gold Koltyre had left on his home island (he left, taking the Carolina with him).  However, the pesky French pounced, causing a surprisingly busy situation in a formerly dormant area of the sea.  HMS Oxford is finally repaired to full health after a long journey waiting in fog for carnage to dissipate and then repairing at home.

With Drakestongue’s Black Arrow ramming a mast off the Possession, the unlikely “PDXYAR alliance” is made more obvious as Redgoat turns the Black Swan towards my home island.  My desire to not be shut out overcame my desire to see Redgoat win (the latter since I realistically had no chance at this point with just 2 gold), as the Oxford defended English territory and dismasted Redgoat’s favorite ship.

Eleven player game

In other big news, the Providence was sunk!  The White Rose has emerged from the huge fog bank to steal gold from the American HI!  This was the endgame climax we had been building towards.  The Corsair player left, making them a non-factor from here on out.

Redgoat was actually eliminated in short order, with the Possession sinking the Black Swan and the Dauntless sinking the Revenant and Wicked Kareen.  HMS Interceptor has been sunk as well.  The White Rose is redocking to steal more American gold, and the Mercury can only trigger Captain Mysion’s Parley ability rather than damage her!!

With the White Rose continually redocking and the Mercury continuing to try to shoot at her, a “Parley loop” is observed where the White Rose steals a coin and then Parleys it back to the American HI when the Mercury tries to shoot her.  Drakestongue brings the Flying Dutchman home via whirlpool, avoiding the Oxford in the process.  The Possession is finally spent, with Arazure her final crew left and down to 1 mast after whirling towards home.

Stern failed an EA roll on the Mercury, allowing the White Rose a better chance to escape with 2 or 3 coins intact in her hull.  The Mercury hit 2/3, and the White Rose sped back into the huge fog bank.  With her home island on the other side of it, it looked as though the Pirates would get away with some valuable loot.  On the right, the Oxford has captured the Black Arrow.  I was finally able to reveal Commander Temple and warp her home on my next turn, but it wouldn’t matter at all.

The White Rose emerged from the fog bank to dock home her stolen loot to end the ~3.5 hour game!  In the end it mattered immensely!!
1. White Rose Pirates: 14 gold
2. Redgoat: 12
3. Raven’s Neck Pirates: 10
4. Providence Americans: 8
5. Corsairs: 7
6. English: 6
7. Witch: 5
8-10. Ben, Drakestongue, Koltyre: 2
11. Spanish: 0

Wow!  A close and exciting finish that saw a reversal of fortune!  It does look like the HI Raider choosing house rule is overpowered to some extent.  Overall it was a fun game and a really cool experience to play with so many people at once!  Thanks for reading!

ELEVEN player game of Wizkids Pirates CSG at Mox Boarding House in Portland Oregon! 8/27/2022

EPIC SCALE PIRATES – Game with Captain Redgoat in Portland Oregon! (August 27th, 2022)


Playing with Captain Redgoat in Portland Oregon!


I met up with Captain Redgoat in Portland Oregon!  One of the founding and leading members of PDXYAR (also known as “the Portland group” among the Pirates CSG community) for many years, this was essentially a dream come true for me and a bucket list goal accomplished.  Although PDXYAR has long moved on from playing Pirates and has been dormant lately, former member Redgoat still had all of the huge foamboard ships and game pieces he made way back in the day!  He hadn’t used them in many years and was looking to give them a new home, and thus gave all of it to me!  😀  (I gave him $100 since I didn’t want him to have nothing for it)  They are now in Washington where I plan to play games with them at parks near Seattle with my group!  🙂

A7XfanBen with Captain Redgoat of PDXYAR

We did a podcast before setting up for a casual game at 40 points.  We drafted the 3 ships each of us wanted, with some basic mixed fleets ready for action.  I rolled to go first:

Grand Path + captain, helmsman
Terror of Gibraltar
La Cazadora

Ben's epic scale fleet

President + captain
Proud Tortoise + helmsman
HMS Sea Phoenix + helmsman

Redgoat's epic scale fleet

With that we were ready to set sail!  Redgoat picked Cathedral Park as the location for the game because it’s where PDXYAR played with the epic scale ships at two of the Portland Pirate festivals back in the day.  In fact, you can still see the pictures from 2008 and 2009!

epic scale pirates at Cathedral Park

The ships are quite a sight to behold. For reference, the total length of one of the Grand Path’s hull pieces is 24 inches long!  The plastic skulls are explored island markers.

(I’m aware the turtle ship is built wrong)

The Terror of Gibraltar sets out.  It’s quite a change from the tabletop game since it involves far more exercise. You constantly have to walk around and get down to pick up the ships.  Extremely tangible experience every step of the way!

The measuring sticks are fun in their own right.  Redgoat said many were broken over the years as a result of the inevitable impromptu sparring matches.  How could you not use them as swords??

The Grand Path emerged from fog to hit 3/6 against the President!  The schooner dipped into fog, eager to escape the Jade warship’s grasp.

The Proud Tortoise has snagged some coins for Redgoat, but each of my three ships is now poised to explore the other 3 wild islands.

Cathedral Park in Portland Oregon

Epic Scale Pirates!!

Epic Scale Pirates

I was happy to have one of those “homecoming parties” somewhat common in Pirates CSG where a bunch of ships come home nearly at the same time.  This was useful for keeping the HI Raider Sea Phoenix at bay.

The President is nearly finished repairing here.  I was hoping to get some of the final coins to lock up a probable win, but the Proud Tortoise had grabbed the President’s captain and blasted a mast off the Cazadora!

HMS Sea Phoenix robbed a 5 under the house rule that HI Raiders could look at all the gold and choose which to take.  However, she was quickly dismasted by the Grand Path!

Redgoat takes the derelict under tow with Proud Tortoise and hits the GP, but getting any stolen loot back home will require a miracle.

The Terror of Gibraltar finally comes in handy during combat, winning a boarding party to steal back the 5!  Boarding is super fun since we just throw the dice at each other.  They’re about the size of dodgeballs and of similar weight!

The Cazadora comes home to repair while simultaneously blocking the Proud Tortoise a bit.  The Grand Path re-engages the President, dismasting her at last!

The Terror of Gibraltar returns my 5 coin as a Jade civil war breaks out just off the coast!

epic scale Pirates CSG

The Grand Path shot off the turtle ship’s panels and the Cazadora rammed her derelict to end the game!  (nothing Redgoat could have done with her rowing around to swing the tide in his favor)

Epic Scale Pirates CSG in Cathedral Park, Portland OR

Gold wins the game!

  1. Ben: 17 gold
  2. Redgoat: 13

In a strange irony, the numbers mirror the proposed numbers of Obago Deuces in existence! (since under debate as there may be more out there)  Supposedly 17 Obago Deuces went to PDXYAR back in the day, with another 13 in existence that didn’t go to the Portland pirates.  Almost spooky!

HUGE thanks to Redgoat for unearthing his epic collection of supersized ships, and for entrusting me with their future!  Next stop for them will be Washington!  😀    Thanks for reading and come out to Seattle if you want to play some epic scale Pirates CSG!

A7XfanBen and Redgoat of Portland Pirates PDXYAR and Wizkids Pirates CSG

CG4 Battle Reports (sorted chronologically)

CG4 Battle Reports (sorted chronologically)

Rules and Beginning of Game (mid-2018; the game started 4/22/2018)

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 continues after 5 month hiatus (11/25/2018)

VASSAL CG4 continued – July 2019 (7/28/2019)

CG4 Turn on VASSAL – August 2019 (8/27/2019)

More Turns of VASSAL Campaign Game 4 – Late 2019 (12/8/2019)

HUGE Resource Change and Big Pirate Launch – March 2020 (3/31/2020)

Tensions Rising (4/1/2020)

Another EPIC Campaign Game Attack!! (4/7/2020)

Huge Pirate Turn and Unveiling of a WMD (4/17/2020)

Pirates Launch More Epic Customs and The Cursed Attack!! (5/9/2020)

A More Relaxed Turn in CG4 (6/10/2020)

The Pirates Attack as the Buildup Continues! (7/3/2020)

BREAKING THE GAME | + A Global Biological Terrorist Attack Threat (7/27/2020)


Second Point Count of the Game! +Threats and Cursed Crew Swap (8/22/2020)

A LONG Turn – Including 2 Attacks and 57 New Ships Launched! (10/26/2020)

THE BIGGEST GAME OF ALL TIME | The Reign of Terror has begun…. (8/7/2021)


Xerecs also does video battle reports for CG4!


Also see: Naval Wars: The Last Campaign (A Pirate’s Story) (CG4 hype video)

6 Players, 100 Points in Los Angeles! January 22nd, 2022

6 Players, 100 Points in Los Angeles!

January 22nd, 2022

After lots of messaging with friends and fellow players on the Discord server, I was able to coordinate a meetup with a whopping 6 different players!  While in San Diego on Navy business I knew there might be good opportunities to drive up to LA for Pirates CSG and EDM events.  This was the culmination of a decent amount of planning, as various house rules had to be agreed on, a venue was eventually chosen, and in this case it worked out perfectly with 6 people from the online community meeting up to play a big in-person game of Pirates CSG!  😀

The game was played between myself, Xerecs, JW Darkhurst, Gingerninja (those three are all brothers who live together), Gazerbeam543, and projekt355.  We met up at Fire and Dice games in Winnetka California, near where the Bowen brothers live and in the valley northwest of LA.  We each came with a prepared 100 point fleet, which promised some absolute mayhem in a game of historic proportions.  I cannot think of a larger meet up (in terms of total players or total points in play for a game) that the online community has organized so far.  It was great to meet everyone and I highly recommend trying to play Pirates with these great people if you are in LA!


Here were the fleets!





JW Darkhurst








Here is the setup! We used the Gale Force Nine islands, a moderate amount of terrain, and round earth rules.  Simply for ease of reporting the events of the game and reading about them, the top of the ocean here is north, right is east, etc.

It was no surprise to see four 10 masters, including two Zeuses and the Fortaleza from RtSS. Not to mention the other big players such as HMS GT, San Cristobal, and Neptune’s Hoard.


Gazerbeam went first and we were off to the races!  JW moved his San Cristobal near a whirlpool that was within striking distance of my Zeus, which happened to be a 3D printed glow in the dark Zeus that Vulkan made for me. I revealed Calypso on the Floating Stone, whose whirlpools could give my fleet a lot of striking distance and attack options around the sea.  I was tempted to take on the SC to potentially capture her eventually using my strategy of Commander Temple on HMS Oxford, but I was extremely worried that Gazerbeam’s Zeus would come through the whirlpool near his home island and slam my Zeus on the next round.  It turned into a huge regret of mine, but I decided to go after Gazerbeam’s Zeus. I knew from experience and reading Xerecs’ CoEC campaign game battle reports that JW is more passive than the average player, and I didn’t know what kind of gameplay Gazerbeam would be up to.  Hoping the SC wouldn’t warp through a whirlpool to tag team my Zeus with assistance from Gazerbeam’s Zeus, I put all my cards on the table on Turn 1.  The Zeus went through a whirlpool, emerged by Gazerbeam’s home island (HI), received an extra action from Lord Mycron on the Patagonia, and revealed Grim the Savage!!!  O_O  That’s right, Grimm them bois!!  XD  The Zeus loaded up the gold that Gazerbeam had already put on his home island from his turn, and then proceeded to shoot a miserable and game-changingly bad 2 for 10 (I think all cannons were in range) against Gazerbeam’s Zeus!  O_O  This was a huge momentous event in the first round that would affect various parts of the rest of the game.  I misjudged how aggressive Gazerbeam would be and overestimated how much damage I could do to his Zeus with my 3S cannons.  I can’t trust my cannon luck!


The first round home island hoard and Zeus civil war was certainly the story of the first round, but barely anything had happened in the game so far.  You can see various ships searching for gold.


The Baochuan and Fortaleza have round earthed:


Retaliation!  Gazerbeam’s Zeus fires on mine, using two actions to dismast her twin!!


I quickly realized I would need to play pretty aggressively to make up for likely losing my Zeus, so HMS Oxford zoomed over to dismast the Rocinante.  The 3 represents how many masts are missing from the hoist.


At the upper left, Xerecs’ fleet is concentrated in the northwest corner. In the middle, my Longshanks has explored an island, but the Fortaleza and Algeciras (with flotilla in tow) lurk to the north. JW’s fleet has established a perimeter around the exploratory actions of HMS London.


The Baochuan is headed towards gold with the Neptune’s Hoard observing from ocean’s edge.


Xerecs strikes!  HMS Grand Temple and HMS Swallow pulverize Gingerninja’s Buscador.


My worst fears had been realized, with Gazerbeam capturing my Zeus. He was now in possession of both, with mine having Home Island Hoard on it to boot! (via Grim the Savage)


I was able to pull off a tactic I quite enjoy, warping home the Rocinante via Commander Temple on the Oxford. It was a homecoming party, with the Longshanks docking home gold this turn as well. I believe the Oxford was given an extra action via Mycron, which she used to dismast the Algeciras.


A view looking from north to south. The Neptune’s Hoard has whirlpooled towards the center.


With a double action, HMS Oxford snags the Algeciras and sinks the Diablo flotilla!


The Baochuan has walloped the Black Pearl in the northwest, with Xerecs’ remaining two ships ducking into a fog bank to the south.  Gazerbeam’s fleet regroups at his home island, with various repairs occurring and about to commence.


The southwest gets even more testy, with JW’s Thomas Jefferson arriving on the scene where a derelict and gold-laden Buscador lays derelict.


Both Zeuses repair, while the Baochuan carries a bunch of gold. In the south, the Oxford and Longshanks have dismasted Gazerbeam’s San Jose.


But it proves to be a costly move!  The Zeus arrives through the whirlpool and is given an extra action to sink the Oxford and eliminate a mast from the Longshanks!  Other ships explore nearby….


The War of the Brothers continues!  The Baochuan had become quite a target, and now JW Darkhurst decided to get in on the action!  The San Cristobal and HMS GT made short work of the 10 master, making her a ripe prize.


The Longshanks barely escapes her encounter with the Zeus, losing a second mast to a whirlpool on her way home.


At the left, you can see my desperation kicking in as Gazerbeam appears the clear leader in the gold race. The Algeciras rams the Neptune’s Hoard to no avail.  I made some attempts to rally the other players against Gazerbeam, but it didn’t work. The Zeus tows the San Jose through a whirlpool while La Dijon arrives back at the HI. The Buscador repairs at Gingerninja’s home island, but his Baochuan is approached by the Fortaleza…


… who captures the original 10 master!


A unique and fascinating sight!


This is where Gazerbeam was able to seal the deal.  He used my Zeus to hoard from Gingerninja’s home island, netting him yet more gold as the Buscador and Fortaleza struggle to stop the bleeding.  The Algeciras rams HMS Ram at her HI, but killing Mycron won’t do enough to stop the momentum now.  Calypso is unloaded to my HI, as more whirlpools are not needed at this point.


At the top right, this does create an opportunity for Gingerninja to reclaim his Baochuan and her gold:


The San Jose did have the Wine UT aboard which was possibly worth fighting for, but the Rocinante failed to steal it after whirling over the Gazerbeam’s HI. The Longshanks rams a mast off the Dijon as the final gold in play dwindles down.  In a smart move, Gazerbeam unloads Grim the Savage to his HI to prevent someone from potentially keeping the game alive if they managed to capture his weaker Zeus.


JW is happy to dismast the captured Zeus with HMS London, while I scrounge for any gold I can find via the Longshanks.


Gingerninja managed a small miracle by not permanently losing either the Buscador or Baochuan, but their crews’ hopes at riches have been dashed by the carnage of play….


The game ended here.


Final Scores

Gazerbeam: 53 gold

A7XfanBen: 27

JW Darkhurst: 22

Craig: 13

Gingerninja: 4

Xerecs: 0


Although a bit lopsided, it was still a memorable game. I came away quite frustrated with myself for losing my main asset and strategy ploy in the first 2 rounds, but had to be somewhat content with getting second place after such a horrific fiasco.  Gazerbeam made the right plays throughout, earning him an impressive win in a game against 5 other players with 600+ total points involved.  Craig had some poor luck and was hit pretty hard by my HMS Oxford.  The Bowen brothers got entangled in a civil war that distracted them from Gazerbeam’s running away with the game.  Overall it was a really cool experience to play with so many people from the online community at once, and to do it in such a large game!  😀

6 players in Los Angeles for Pirates CSG games

UNBOXING THE MOTHERLODE | Massive Pirates CSG Collection Haul


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

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

Phase 1 Comics and Games order:

Phase 1 Comics and Games order

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

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

Pirates CSG Packs

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

Holofernes Revolution complete set binder

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

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

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

Sorting English ships by mast count:

Absolutely ridiculous towering stacks of unpunched ships and crew:

styrene cards

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

Pirates CSG storage

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

970 Pirates CSG ships in 5000 count storage box

And now it is time!  The full grand pictures!



The Motherlode (Pirates CSG)

Unboxing the Motherlode The Motherlode (Pirates CSG)

The Numbers

Unboxing the Motherlode final stats

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

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

Playing with Tiffany O’Brien! Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington (September 18th, 2021)

Playing with Tiffany O’Brien!

Mox Boarding House in Bellevue WA

September 18th, 2021

I met up with former Wizkids product manager Tiffany O’Brien for a game at Mox Boarding House in Bellevue WA, near the location of the Wizkids offices they used when the game was still in print!  O_O  😀

Having done a podcast last year, Tiffany and I met at a very cool gaming venue. My ship’s relocation has provided the perfect opportunities to meet up with various Pirates CSG players and former Wizkids employees located near Seattle.

She brought 2 regular packs and 2 megapacks of Ocean’s Edge, which we used for the game!  I got a “mirror” or duplicate megapack, and neither of us ended up using many crew.  It would be a 40 point game with round earth using my Basic Rules.

The Fleets

El Acorazado (OE version)
HMS Hermes + oarsman

Ghost Walker
El Toro

We used the Gale Force Nine islands and put some terrain wherever we wanted it.

Playing with Tiffany O'Brien!

El Toro pinned El Acorazado in place, but no ram damage and no crew on either game piece meant no damage of any kind could be done!

Hostilities commence, with the Spanish flagship blasting away the creature’s arms before the crab can gain the upper hand!

El Acorazado shoots at El Toro

The Strix and Hermes have reached islands.  The Ghost Walker cancelled the Hermes’ Catamaran keyword but missed badly!

Playing with Tiffany O'Brien

The Battleship finishes off The Bull!

The Battleship finishes off The Bull!

The Hermes dropped off gold, being shadowed by the Ghost Walker.  The Juggernaut and Acorazado are headed home with gold, with the Strix looking for a second haul of her own.

Two turns later and Tiffany was getting rich!

Playing with Tiffany O'Brien

The Ghost Walker finally got some more shots in, cancelling Catamaran again and dismasting the Hermes.  However, she would also need to get a coin and hope the Strix could rob the Juggernaut….

The Ghost Walker explored the island to grab the loot but the Acorazado blocked her easy route home:

The Strix did manage to ram the Juggernaut, but to no avail!

Strix rams Juggernaut. Playing with Tiffany O'Brien! Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington

The Ghost Walker round earthed to find a route home, while Tiffany’s fleet regrouped.  The Juggernaut brought home more gold as the Acorazado took the Hermes under tow.

Playing with Tiffany O'Brien! Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington

The Ghost Walker docked home the final coin and it was decided!

Tiffany wins 27-13!

  1. Tiffany: 27 gold
  2. Ben: 13 gold

We had a fun time with the great game of Pirates CSG!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

Ben and Tiffany. Playing with Tiffany O'Brien! Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington

Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, Washington

THE BIGGEST GAME OF ALL TIME | The Reign of Terror has begun….

What the hell is going on!?

Fleet Status Update


Spanish (home island is in the southeast): 15 ships, 243 points. Recently attacked by the Pirates through whirlpools at the spice island southwest of their home island (HI).

Jade Rebellion (south central): Approximately 5 ships for 50 points. They have struggled to grow.  Although they were the first faction to reach The Archipelago, their Noble Swan was captured by the Pirates, netting the Pirates a key UT combo that has pretty much permanently destabilized the game.

The Conglomerate/The Alliance: ~27 ships total.  Recently hired Mata-Nui gives them the Copier ability, and since bringing him into the fold they’ve gotten Hidden Trove twice, netting them over 1000 gold in a short period of time.

English: 16 ships in play. The English have been pretty average so far, gathering reasonably valuable resources and staying out of conflict.


Pirates (home island is northeast and southeast due to round earth rules): Already the dominant faction of the early game, the Pirates are quickly reaching all-time great status.  Combining the captured Runes of Thor+Nemo’s Plans combo with the custom Arcane ship has vaulted them into a new stratosphere of fleet size, recently topping out at 148 ships and ~3740 total points in play!  They have become the de facto favorite, with a staggering amount of firepower that grows by the turn (41 ships launched last turn!) along with a growing collection of WMD’s – Weapons of Mass Destruction.  The sheer amount of ability and UT combos available to the Pirates gives them striking range and power unlike anything ever seen in a Pirates CSG game.

Cursed (northwest): With some intriguing help from the Pirates along with Davy Jones’ Copier ability, The Cursed have gone from an average faction to the second largest fleet in play.  Among their 37 ships are a whopping five 10 masters, with more possibly on the way given that they’re still sitting on around 2000 gold.

Vikings (north central): The Vikings have basically just collected lumber, and lost the Sleipnir to the nearby Pirates. However, 14 ships is not terrible considering their severe factional limitations.  They have a Copier (Jord), but have had no luck copying the Arcane thus far.

Barbary Corsairs (northeast): The Corsairs have been an instigator, teaming up with the Vikings in a somewhat anti-Pirate/local alliance.  They attacked the Pirates with some of their best custom 4 masters; although their initial attack was devastating, they lost all 4 of the ships.  However, a Copier of their own has allowed them to resurge, with 26 ships and nearly 500 points in play.


Dutch (southwest): ~7 ships. The Dutch have some interesting ships and UT’s.  It looks as though they may be trying to establish an alliance with the French.

Americans (northwest): 16+ ships. The Americans have done quite well for themselves, raking in metals to launch a bunch of their best ships.  Recent attacks by The Cursed have left them in a state of some disarray.

Mercenaries (east): 6 ships.  It took them a while to get going, but now the Mercenaries have some ships beyond just their starting fleet.  They have been rather “anonymous” and are located far from any conflicts.

French (southwest): 8+ ships.  The French have been stuck with poor resources for a while, and have not yet had the chance to make a mark for themselves in the game.

Alliances: Corsairs and Vikings (not publicly announced in game, so for thematic purposes only these factions know along with whoever they may have told about it)

Wars (declarer first): Pirates vs. Spanish


A 33 Hour Turn

As a general reminder, if you haven’t read the previous battle reports for CG4, this will be harder to understand.  I recommend starting with the rules and first reports, followed by the rest in the tag.  The tagged posts start with the most recent, so going bottom up from the last page is in chronological order.

This turn with my four factions took approximately 33 hours, up from last turn’s previous record of 30.5 hours.  It was played from late May 2021 until July 31st 2021, with approximately 15 different sessions of playtime.  The longest sessions were 5 hours on May 30th and about 4 hours on July 24th.  I think the point count took about 4 hours, with the battle report taking about another 5+, so what you’re looking at represents over 40 hours of dedication just for this turn.


I started my party of a turn listening to this excellent mix.  I am absolutely drunk on power…. XD

Arcane Rolls: Vesok allowed Gilded Figurehead to work, which was used to replace the bad Arcane roll with a 6.  This allowed the Pirates to place a Hidden Trove on the Shadow Thief!  This would not be the last of their successes….

It is almost crazy just keeping track of the Pirates’ AA (Admiral’s Action) rolls – they now have nine of those abilities in play.  8 of them have Reroll with them on the ship in question, while the 9th is Ching Shih whose AA hits on a 4-6 due to Vesok being aboard the Smoke’s Hand with her.  O_O  So at the beginning of each Pirate turn, I am just doing around 20 d6 rolls to see how many AA’s I get and which Arcane rolls/rerolls/etc work out.  XD  In addition, the Shadow’s Hand now carries the Antikythera Mechanism, which just hit on this turn with a 6, allowing the Pirates to give an action to an enemy ship!

The Smiling Jim brushed up against the Noble Swan, giving the former the Plague but allowing the Noble Swan to explore the Smiling Jim, also giving her Enemy of the State.  The Smiling Jim was launched specifically for this purpose, so the Noble Swan will be able to dock at the Pirate HI (finally!) when the Warring Tribes gets her there.

The Tempest got Cannonball Gallows’ EA to move out of the whirlpool area near where the attack on the Spanish took place.  She emerged from the fogpool near the Pirate home island, using her second action to touch the Inferno.  The Inferno was given an explore action, swapping a face down crew for the Tempest’s Aert van Tuyl, the historical custom chieftain for the Natives of Madagascar native canoes.  The Tempest is even more loaded now….

Chain exploring is back in vogue!  With the ability to yank in Hidden Trove at will every single turn, the Pirates have less need for gold runners.  At some islands, the Pirates are now planning to go with a more passive gold running approach, chaining together their resource gatherers so they barely have to sail them around at all.  Ideally the last ship in the chain that would normally be docked at the home island will have some kind of ability that allows her to unload at the home island if she’s within S of it.  This allows ships to transit the busy waters right around the home island rather than create a blockage where ships would normally have to sail all the way around the chain of exploring ships in order to get to the other side of the home island area. (or break up the chain to allow a ship through the line, which slows down the flow of resources)  Due to their guaranteed (and massive) income with essentially infinite Hidden Troves, the Pirates aren’t worried about whether or not the chain exploring is truly optimal for resource collection (they might get X less of metal per turn compared to regular operations where each ship is given a move action, though I haven’t done the math on all that).

Chain exploring Pirates in CG4

In what would normally be a large coup, the Harbinger sacced to capture the Joya del Sol and warp her home, netting the Pirates a grand Spanish prize along with her cargo of 7 spices, suddenly worth the max of 42 gold under the new resource change! O_O Of course, that is now chump change compared to the Pirates’ near-unlimited wealth….

The Tempest used Avak’s help to get a 6 on the ship’s special ability, which allows her to place a whirlpool from outside the game anywhere on the ocean!  This would become important later on….

For reference, here is the Pirate-Spanish situation towards the end of this Pirate turn.  Some of the gunships that attacked last turn left the area already, with the Pirates cleaning up a bit.  The 10 masters continued circling the spice island.  Despite the fact that a state of WAR exists between the two factions, the Pirate ships made no moves towards the Spanish home island (HI).

BUT THAT WAS NOT THE END OF IT!!  THE LEVIATHAN IS HERE!  The custom Pirate 5 master with D movement came swooping in, but she was not without some extra help!  The Pirates got ALL THREE Arcane rolls this round (with some help from Runes of Thor of course! lol), allowing them to put UT’s on The Leviathan.  Here is the footage of what happened next!!

14 masts eliminated from 7 Spanish ships, from a UT that is now reusable!!!  O_O

The Leviathan uses Neptune's Trident against the Spanish!

The Leviathan is dismasted… but the Pirates have a plan for that… at least, … someone does….


Now it was time for another Odin Missile!  The WMD that the Pirates introduced last turn is still fully operational!  The Pirates don’t care much for the Jade Rebellion, so why not hit them?  Runes of Odin introduced a new deadly iceberg to the game, and then Runes of Magic was used to slam it into the Virtuous Wind, removing her from the game!!  O_O

The VW was carrying a bevy of UT’s when the icy missile broke her to pieces:

The Stormy Night moved the Tycoon into the iceberg that destroyed the Virtuous Wind.

What happened next was nothing short of shocking and evil.


Summary: With the Pirates controlling her, the Chimeratron Legacy captures 8 American crew and scores 8 hits combined on the Mercury and Blackwatch.  Making matters much worse for the Americans, The Cursed are next in the play order, which means the CL can probably get 2 more actions before the Americans can even respond….

The Tempest used her ability to place a whirlpool… right next to The Leviathan….  O_O  Anyone paying close attention to the customs in play may have an idea of what this means… very soon….  oh no…..

In the northeast, the Pirates continued moving their mass of gunships to the southeast towards the whirlpool and fogpool.  Perhaps they’re forming some sort of defensive line against the Corsairs?  Even in zoomed-in pictures like this you can see the massive scale of campaign games.  So many ships in one area, and true fleet movements occurring as they did in the Age of Sail, rather than a handful of ships scurrying about in a 40 point game.  XD

The Blackleaf was given the final AA of the turn to teleport from the fogpool to a whirlpool in the far northeast that is surrounded by sargasso sea (at the far right in the above picture). The whirlpool is close to the spice island the Corsairs and English have been making trips to, which is now rather valuable given the resource change making spices worth 5 gold each. The Blackleaf also carries town and military port upgrades….

At the upgraded Skull Valley fortress, the Pirates gave actions to their newly launched ships there.  Along with some random-looking maneuvers, it once again appears that the Pirates are generally just trying to clear as much room as possible at their launch points….

And that is exactly the case!!  The Shadow Thief docked home a Hidden Trove. 334 ships in play meant it was worth 668 gold. Silverback John doubled that to 1336, which got added to the Pirates’ existing 565 gold for a grand total of 1901 gold!

Pirate Launch Period

C=Captain; H=Helmsman; O=Oarsman; FPS=Firepot Specialist; B2W=Back to War (Pointless Arrow’s custom set)

Launched from Skull Valley: 9 ships, 207 points
El Dorado + CH, Dinghy, Streamlined Hull
Ranger (B2W) + CHO, Ballista; towing Guinea (B2W)
Broken Wind + Iolkos (Captain, S-Board, crew kill on every hit), helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull
Prussian Crown + CHO, Ballista, 68lb Carronade, Swivel Gun
Sea Keg + CHO, Ballista
Foresight + helmsman, Dinghy, 2 shipwrights, 5 oarsmen
Dharma + helmsman, shipwright, Dinghy, 4 oarsmen
Sunrise Fire + helmsman, Dinghy, 2 shipwrights, 3 oarsmen

Launched from the textiles military port: 11 ships, 247 points
Berserker+ CHO, Dinghy, 2 equipment
Burnt Bones + CHO, Dinghy, Carronade, 2 equipment
Recreant + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
El Ladron + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Revenge (PotC version) + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Accused + CHO, firepot specialist, musketeer
Silverback + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot, Dinghy
HMS Rickets + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Fortune + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Plague of the North + CHO, firepot specialist
Dart + CH, Dinghy, facedown crew

Launched from metals military port: 15 ships, 335 points
Bruja + François l’Olonnais, helmsman, oarsman
Bloody Spear + Fidel Zuan, CHO, FPS, Streamlined Hull
Flying Death + Richard Sawkins (Captain, +1 to boards, +1 to d6 rolls against the Spanish), helmsman, Dinghy, oarsman
Charles + Jean L’Escuyer (+1 to cannons against the Spanish), CH, FPS
Black Gentleman + Daniel Johnson (+1 tod6 rolls against the Spanish and +1 to boards), CHO, Ballista (one of the very few ships in the Pirate fleet utilizing Silverback John’s cargo master +1 bonus)
-This completes the Anti-Spanish Squadron (for now?) at 12 ships.

Greyhound + CH, FPS, shipwright
Mocha + CHO, FPS
Panama Sun + CHO, FPS, shipwright
Poison Dagger + CHO, FPS
Pillage + CHO
Foultrader + CHO, Ballista
El Diablo Negro + Jacques Tavernier, Judy Rodriguez (Helmsman+Cannoneer), oarsman, Ballista, Dinghy
Viper + CH, Dinghy, Ballista
Santiago + CHO, Ballista, fire shot
Zanzibar + CHO, FPS

Launched from their home island: 10 ships, 238 points (seen in the previous 2 pictures)
(Northern half)
The Deserter + CHO
Black Arrow + CHO, chainshot specialist, Dinghy, stinkpot shot
Ningpo + Captain, Ballista
Delight + CHO, Ballista
Dolphin + CH, shipwright
Plague of the East + CHO, shipwright, fire shot
(Southern half)
Charming Mary + Calico Cat (already in play), CHO, shipwright, Streamlined Hull
Silver Dagger + CHO, Streamlined Hull, gold coin, fort upgrade
Bonny Kate + CHO
Royal Fortune + CHO
El Chico + CH

+the Harbinger received a Dinghy and restocked oarsmen; she is one of the VERY few ships in the Pirate fleet actually taking advantage of Silverback John’s cargo master bonus and therefore she will sail out next turn with 5 oarsmen.  (I despise the usage of cargo masters in campaign games because it breaks their ability, so I use it as little as possible and generally just ignore the fact that all my Pirate ships in this game have an extra cargo space.)

The Arcane is essentially up to 4 “bodyguard” ships now. This is like the military policy of Defense in Depth.

You may notice that a lot of the launches are rather lackluster.  This is partly because they’ve already launched a ton of the really good ships I wanted them to launch, and because it’s easier to launch cheaper or “basic” ships to save time so my turn can take about 3 months instead of maybe 4.  XD  It’s finally gotten to the point where the Pirates are so big and powerful that it doesn’t feel remotely necessary to fully optimize their launches every single turn like I usually do in campaign games.  The term I’ve been using for a ship like Poison Dagger (average across the board but more likely to be a gunship than a gold runner) is “stock gunship”.  The Pirates, having the most ships ever released in this game, inevitably have a lot of 2-3 masters that are sometimes quite good (like the Recreant) along with a lower tier of similar ships that blend together and just aren’t usually that notable on their own.  These are generally what I call stock gunships (at least, in campaign games).  Almost like pure “numbers” gunships that wouldn’t normally carry named crew, but can stock up on “extra weaponry” (as I call it) such as cannoneers, musketeers, specialists, and offensive equipment.

The Pirates launched 18 ships from stock this turn.

The Pirate launch phases have now transitioned from fully optimal, to more of a numbers game where they continue rapidly expanding the size of their fleet, but nowadays filling it out with “stock” as they run through ship after ship from the Master Spreadsheet and Customs Database in a frenetic pace to “launch ’em all”.  Time will tell if they slow down on purpose despite their massive wealth, or if they splurge onwards and continue adding 40+ ships to their fleet every turn….

This Pirate Turn By the Numbers
Ships Launched: 45 (new high for them this game, and likely for any fleet in any game; 86 ships added to their fleet in the last 2 turns)
Gold Spent: 1,027
Gold Remaining: 874
New Fleet Totals: 196 Ships, ~4,700 Points  (continue reading for the point count…)

The Cursed

-Got the FD’s UT ability to work with Kalfu’s regular Reroll. This was used to put a copy of Runes of Thor on the Shadow’s Hand, completing the Pirate trifecta of THREE auto-6’s!! (three ships in their fleet now have both Nemo’s Plans and Runes of Thor aboard)  This is also certainly not the first time The Cursed have used the FD to give the Pirates a positive UT….
-The Pantheon got her Arcane roll to work! Nemo’s Plans placed on the Chimeratron Legacy!  O_O   Uh oh….
-The Pirates use one of their Runes of Thor copies on the Royal Feces’ Arcane roll that goes through Eye of Insanity and Davy Jones! This is used to bring in Nuva, which was placed on the Pantheon! (Any crew ability on this ship may be used by another crew within S of this ship.) Just like the Pirates have done with the Smoke’s Hand, this will allow the copying of a Copier, giving The Cursed yet another chance at Arcane rolls every turn! (just like the Pirates, they will now have 3 cracks at it every turn, and you can trust they will do everything they can to optimize the system with Reroll/Gilded Figurehead/etc.)
-The Spiral Chaos used Nuva to copy Davy Jones (and the Arcane through DJ) through her oarsman. The 6 was used to bring in Runes of Thor which was placed on the Chimeratron Legacy!  O_O

The Chimeratron Legacy was up next… dare to watch the carnage unfold??  See it here….

She sank the Blackwatch, damaged the Kettering, and captured the Mercury!  O_O  The deed is done.  But the turn is not.  Devil’s Storm, continue the slaughter.  And that she did, capturing the Kettering and hitting the Bonhomme Richard.

The Cursed press their attack against the Americans in CG4

Funny enough the attack was not complete!  I forgot one of the recently acquired Cursed weapons!  Tridax (a custom ship from Xerecs) got a 5 to warp to an island and shoot the Americans, sinking the Lynx and further damaging the Bonhomme Richard!

With just a few ships The Cursed have thrown the American fleet into disarray.  Some American ships have been captured or sunk, while others flee with significant battle damage.  What was already a gloomy situation for the Americans is made even more horrendous with the arrival of Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse – the newest Cursed 10 master on the scene!  With the CL about to warp out of the picture by capturing the Mercury via Lord Jonathan Morgenstern and Dinghy, the Chimera serves as the CL’s replacement on the battlefront.  (not that she needed a relief)

The Spiral Chaos used Kalfu’s global reroll to get her ship’s ability to work on a 6!  “Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 5-6, move any ship within L of a whirlpool into that whirlpool. You may choose the exit location of the ship.”  The Cursed chose the Spanish!  The Colector del Dia spun through a whirlpool…

Colector del Dia on her way out

…and got sent to Davy Jones’ Locker by Figlar Castle #2!!  O_O   Imagine the shock the Spanish felt as one of their ships was mysteriously yanked into a new whirlpool (created by the Pirates…), only to never see her again as she was sunk far away across the ocean by a new whirlborne Cursed fortress of doom!!  O_O

The Cursed ships scattered from their home island, likely making room for new launches in addition to the Chimeratron Legacy, who warped home with the Mercury after exploring her via Dinghy.  You can also see a good number of Cursed ships entering fog banks.


A familiar WMD, in Evil hands

O_O   The Cursed combine their old copy of Runes of Odin (that they found normally quite a while back) with a new copy of Nemo’s Plans to introduce their own version of the Odin Missile!  Oya-lansan is used to shove the iceberg into the Fuerza de Dios, instantly removing the Spanish 5 master from the game!


Now for a case of severe shock….


Figlar Castle whirls into Spanish territory

and BOOOOOOM!!!!!!!   O_O_O_O_O

The Cursed launch 4 10 masters right next to the Spanish home island!!!!!

The Cursed launch 4 10 masters right next to the Spanish home island!!!!!  O_O

Figlar Castle: This fort can only be built on a whirlpool when a Cursed ship is touching the whirlpool. Starting the turn after construction, this fort can travel through whirlpools like a ship, but without having to roll for damage. Ships docked at the fort do not travel with the fort. Cursed crew can use their abilities in this fort.

The Cursed warped the recently upgraded 1st Figlar Castle through her original whirlpool to arrive in what still looks like Spanish territorial waters!  And during their launch period they launched 5 ships from the fort including 4 10 masters!!  Holy cow and What The Hell!?   LOL!  Not only does this look really bad for the Spanish, but the fort and 10 masters just so happen to completely cover the dismasted Leviathan and likely block the Spanish off from doing her any harm.

Now you can see why I said in the last report regarding the second copy (only 2 of each custom fort allowed in this game) of Figlar Castle being built by the Solenostomus: “This should seem… far more than ominous….

The Cursed Launch

From the Figlar Castle by the Spanish Home Island: 5 ships, 329 points
Berzerker + Berserk Overlord, helmsman, oarsman, Ballista, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew and 1 equipment
Devil’s Wrath + helmsman, oarsman, 4 crew, 2 equipment
Diabolic Monstrosity + helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew, 2 equipment
Slaughter of Innocents + helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew, 1 equipment
Slaying of the Savior + helmsman, oarsman, 4 crew
+High Command, Throne of the Antichrist with Underworld Maniacs as the 10+ point crew

From the Cursed Home Island: 9 ships, 416 points
Colossal Rupture + Taiken, Magnesis, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew
World of Apathy + Demonwraith, The Shadow King, Bitil, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, stinkpot shot
Black Star + Moon Sorcerer, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew
Great Apostasy + Archbishop Fiend, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew
Porphyrion + Marcus Augustine, helmsman, oarsman, 1 crew, 2 equipment
Courtship of Evils + Archfiend of the Apocalypse, Ring Besis, Archdiocese of the Apocalypse, Witch Queen Salem, Senosis, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull (48 points of crew and equipment on a 29 point ship!)
Fallen Angel + captain, shipwright, oarsman, stinkpot shot, Dinghy
-towing the Devil’s Fireball flotilla
Severance + captain, helmsman, shipwright, oarsman

Total: 14 ships, 745 points (a sickening 53 points per ship…)

Reading that again… 5 ships for 329 points… doesn’t even make sense!  XD  Almost only possible with customs, or maybe like a Wizkids launch of 5 fully loaded (or overloaded) 10 masters.

The Reign of Terror has begun….



With the help of Shayna Deux’s reroll… Jord got a 6 while copying the Arcane!!  O_O It brought in a new Hidden Trove that the Hrothgar redocked to unload for a massive payout of 778 gold!! O_O (I had the game at 389 ships in play at the end of the Cursed turn based on previous counts and adding to them)  This is a game changer!!

The effect was immediate. Viking ships abruptly stopped. Most of their lumber gatherers simply turned around and started heading at full speed towards the home island. The Muninn (patrolling southeast of their home island) ducked into a fog bank, anticipating becoming a target of the all-powerful Pirates. Everything changed. Jord and the other Viking leaders immediately started serious strategic discussions about which ships to launch and how soon they could be ready. The secret alliance with the Barbary Corsairs from years past suddenly looked viable again. Perhaps this means that old plans… could be revived….

Launched from the Viking Home Island: 6 ships, 314 points
Monjuer + Streamlined Hull, 4 crew (+2 facedown UT’s from the Viking HI….)
Hringhorni + helmsman, Streamlined Hull, 5 crew
Storm’s Eye + Streamlined Hull, 5 crew
Njord + Dinghy, 6 crew
Säl + 4 crew, 1 equipment
Tyr + Dinghy, 2 crew, town and military port upgrade
2 crew and 1 equipment for the Hrothgar
+5 other points on HI

The Vikings are wary of the Pirate “spy network” as they call it (officially known by the Pirates as the GSP or Global Surveillance Program), and have placed almost as many new crew and equipment face down as possible. This will force a longer spying process out of the Pirates if the Pirates want to try and see all the Vikings’ face down stuff.

But wait, there’s more!

Barbary Corsairs

The Corsairs pulled out all the tricks they use to get an Arcane roll to work, and eventually they did! (Nephila is their ship copying Arcane)  With 395 ships in play, Hidden Trove was now worth a whopping 790 gold to the Barbary Corsairs!!

But first, it was time to get down to business.

Corsairs launch another attack on the Pirates!

With that, the Corsairs have launched ANOTHER major attack against the game’s most powerful faction in the Pirates!!  O_O   Is it madness?  Or brilliance?!

At the end of the attack, HMB Sayyida got her SAT and was able to get in range of the Osiris! Getting stuck on a sargasso sea on an unlucky roll of 6 at the end of her movements would not stop her cannon barrage! With that she revealed the Ballista equipment (ship gets 3 extra 3L cannons) along with Captain and Cargo Wrecking abilities! Although the Osiris has Crew Protect, it wouldn’t stop the Sayyida from taking out the ship’s final mast. In addition, the Corsairs noticed that the Anubis (built in Canceller) was just within S of the Osiris, meaning that the latter’s Eternal could be cancelled to send her to the depths! If the Sayyida hit 3 times out of 5 that is…

With some important rolls, it was a bit of a roller coaster attack. The Sayyida’s regular 2 cannons in range were 1’s! Then the crew got to firing the Ballista, of which the first 2 hit! However, the final roll was a 1, backfiring to eliminate the Sayyida’s oarsman and failing to deliver a fatal blow to the Osiris, which would have been the ultimate revenge for the Corsairs! Alas, one of the many Pirate sources of AA (with Reroll) is still alive, and is quite likely to be saved through some combination of moving and blocking on the next Pirate turn.

All told, the Corsairs eliminated 10 masts and have made any Pirate counterattack somewhat harder by leaving crippled ships in the way of their fresh gunships.

Crazy enough, the attack didn’t even end there!  The Agha’s Whip has been the lame duck of the Corsairs for a while, carrying The Cursed and Monkey’s Paw UT’s.  However, she was in the perfect position to intercept the Blackleaf, the fast Pirate 4 master who may be headed to the spice island pictured with multiple island upgrades!  The galley rammed but could not win the boarding party.  However, she partly slammed into the Blackleaf just in an attempt to slow the Blackleaf down, in case the Corsairs, English, or another faction can potentially get help to the area soon in an attempt to stop the Pirates from colonizing the far northeast and thereby cutting off an important (and currently valuable) island from both the Corsairs and the English.

Agha's Whip rams the Blackleaf

Barbary Corsair launch: 5 ships, 107 points
Ivory Star + 3 crew, 1 equipment
Jackal’s Teeth + 4 crew
Meshud + 5 crew
Gallows + 3 crew
Divan’s Punishment + 4 crew, 1 equipment
-They also spent 120 gold on two town upgrades and two military port upgrades which are sitting on their home island. This is partly because the Corsairs are wary of the Pirates potentially trying to rob them of their Hidden Trove spoils.

Sadly the Corsairs have very little room to launch a lot of ships at their home island, between the Nephila (copier ship) sitting there, the Gauntlet of Pestilence fogbank off their north shore from the beginning of the game, and the considerable width of each galley from the space their oars take up.  However, if they can get a military port or two up eventually, it will help alleviate their limited launching capabilities.

This shows the general Pirate-Corsair front and battle area, which has opened up once more with a vengeance.  The Agha’s Whip has expanded the conflict to a spot east of the Corsair home island, with more Pirate and Corsair gunships coming into play every turn.  Neither the Pirates nor the Corsairs have declared war on the other, though I have a feeling that could change soon.

Barbary Corsair attack and launch in VASSAL Campaign Game 4


What a turn!!  This turn with my factions saw hostility from the Pirates and Cursed against the Spanish and Americans, while the Vikings finally got lucky with Jord to jump into the rapid fleet building sweepstakes.  The Corsairs got another Hidden Trove as well, but launched only after a brash attack on the Pirates!



Faction Ships Points Ship % Points % Points/ship
Spanish 11 194 2.8% 2.1% 17.64
Jade Rebellion 4 43 1.0% 0.5% 10.75
The Conglomerate 27 531 6.9% 5.6% 19.67
English 16 230 4.1% 2.4% 14.38
Pirates 196 4697 50.3% 49.8% 23.96
Cursed 51 2171 13.1% 23.0% 42.57
Vikings 20 488 5.1% 5.2% 24.40
Corsairs 30 575 7.7% 6.1% 19.17
Dutch 6 76 1.5% 0.8% 12.67
Americans 15 215 3.8% 2.3% 14.33
Mercenaries 6 91 1.5% 1.0% 15.17
French 8 123 2.1% 1.3% 15.38
Total 390 9434 24.19

9,434 total points in play.


With that, VASSAL Campaign Game 4 eclipses Command the Oceans as the biggest recorded Pirates CSG game EVER!!

CTO held the previous record for most points in play, at 9,078 in November 2017.  Now CG4 is even bigger, although a lot less balanced across the factions.  CG4 has kind of lumbered along slowly for a while, and still hasn’t seen much combat compared to other campaign games like CTO.  However, that seems to be starting to change… it’s time for CG4 to live up to the hype!!!  XD   😀

The Pirates have almost exactly half the total number of both ships and points in play.  They have expanded on their existing records from last turn, and next turn they should eclipse some truly staggering numbers: a fleet of over 200 ships, with over 5000 points in play.  O_O  The Jade Rebellion accounts for nearly a standard fleet at 43 points, which represents only half a percentage point of the total number of points in play.  The Pirate number of nearly 24 points per ship is impressive (representing a lot of named crew and expensive gunship builds), but The Cursed have accomplished something downright sickening – a very large fleet that averages over 42 points per ship.  O_O  This is unheard of to my knowledge, and speaks to the vast numbers of 10 masters and hyper-expensive weapons of war that they have put in play so far.  51 ships is not a ridiculous number for a fleet in CG’s, but with nearly 2200 points in play, they’re quickly climbing the list of biggest fleets of all time by point count.  The Conglomerate, Vikings and Corsairs have all made big strides lately, but still pale in comparison to the Pirates.  If the Vikings can climb ahead of the Conglomerate, I will control all 4 of the biggest fleets….

As a little caveat, the points in play totals generally reflect the points in play from ships, crew and equipment assigned to ships, and gold used to build forts and lighthouses.  For this point count, it generally does not count points from island upgrades, crew and equipment “attached” to islands (such as the 300 points the Pirates have invested in HI defense with Catapults and the oarsmen used to crew them), and sometimes other little things.  With these included, the Pirate total comes to 5371, The Cursed to 2481, the Vikings to 548, and the Corsairs to 735.  This brings the GRAND total to, technically, 10,638 points in play.  O_O  However, I’d like to reach the ridiculous (and likely unseen to this day) 5 figure point total the “regular way” without including all the easy upgrade/etc purchases before making it official.  Of course, the game is on a crash course to far exceed the sickening number of 10,000 total points in play, so we’ll surely pass it next round!! (or even this one if PirateAJ14 is able to launch at least 566 points of stuff).

There are currently 137 points of crew assigned to the Chimeratron Legacy.  O_O  (another record I guess!)  The ship costs 90 points by itself, which makes for 227 total points for one ship, which accounts for 2.4% of the points in play and more points than 5 of the 12 fleets participating in the game!

Breaking it down a bit more:

Ships Points Ship % Points % Points/ship
Xerecs 58 998 14.87% 10.58% 17.21
A7XfanBen 297 7931 76.15% 84.07% 26.70
PirateAJ14 35 505 8.97% 5.35% 14.43

The insane concentration of points in the Cursed fleet boosts my overall points per ship number higher than any individual non-Cursed faction!

Another new record: 20 10 masters!! (12 Cursed, 4 Pirate, 2 Viking, 1 Corsair, 1 Conglomerate)  The Cursed alone put 7 10 masters in play this round, which is also very likely a record.


Here is the unprecedented game in full glory, with the map slowly filling in….  (open in a new tab to view full size)

Thanks for reading!  Feel free to comment what you think of the game!