Marques Miguel Antonio from Davy Jones’ Curse – Mike Mulvihill’s personal crew in the game
Mike Mulvhill is one of the true giants of Wizkids Pirates CSG history, having designed the majority of the game pieces! He was heavily involved in numerous aspects of the game from Spanish Main through Rise of the Fiends, and helped with certain aspects on Fire and Steel. The game was basically his in terms of game design, concept creation, game mechanics and gameplay concepts, as well as rules, factions, and the specific individual game pieces.
Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O’Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!
This was one of my favorite opportunities with Pirates CSG thus far. A Wizkids Pirates game with some of the original crew! With my friend Tiffany O’Brien helping to coordinate, I was able to play a game with Mike Mulvihill (lead designer and game piece creator for the majority of the sets!), Tiffany (former Wizkids Product Manager when Pirates was being made), Becky Wilson (former Wizkids Marketing & Communications Manager in the last chunk of the Wizkids Pirates era), and Becky’s husband Jared! O_O Huge thanks to them for playing, and to Tiffany for being so awesome and helping to bring us all together! 😀 We met up at Mox Boarding House Bellevue, one of my favorite venues for playing. A video version of this battle report is at the very bottom of this page if you prefer that style.
They hadn’t played in quite some time, so I made fleets for all the players – therefore, all crew started the game face up for simplicity and because I knew what all the crew in play were. The fleets were made mostly based on the player’s faction preferences that they sent me beforehand. We played almost purely standard rules, with the exception of picking home islands in reverse turn order (rather than picking each others), and having some islands less than 3L-6L apart due to space constraints with 15 islands on the map. We placed 3 terrain each, with a few within S of an island. We simply used random coins, with no UT’s. No forts would be used either. Flat earth rules with the border being an impassable boundary.
Tiffany rolled to go first! She was stoked to be playing as her own character in the game, created by Mike. Eileen Brigid O’Brien! Tiffany was truly “in” the game! It was truly a remarkable thing to witness – one of the original Pirates contributors playing in a game with her own character 15 years after the game went out of print.
Ben’s Pirates Cannibal King + Hammersmith (F&S version), explorer, oarsman (20) Skipping Stone + Gentleman Jocard, Genny Gallows (SM version), Genny’s Red Rampage, explorer (20)
-I had been wanting to use the Cannibal King for a while ever since I got a new one from generous PCSG community veteran Ve1m. My original copy in New York is broken to some degree, so it was cool to get an intact CK for use in Washington. That ship started the fleet, and then I figured I would complete it with another Pirate catamaran, the Skipping Stone. Cannibal King would try to rob opponents of gold after perhaps one trip to an island, while Skipping Stone would mostly gather gold in the traditional way. However, Skipping Stone still had some bite between her 3L cannons, +1 boards, and Reroll ability. She had 5 cargo total w/+1 and link, 3 that take up space for 2 total open spaces.
Jared’s Cursed Corsairs Bey’s Revenge + captain, explorer (17) Pestilence + captain, helmsman, oarsman (23)
-Jared had only played a few times but is an experienced gamer, and wanted something with more flair or complexity. He had the option of that Pestilence setup or a 23 point combo of Royal James + explorer and the Lechim Namod squid, choosing the former. That way he had some ship type keywords, Reverse Captain, and the Scorpion/Fear keywords to play around with.
With that, we were ready to set sail on the seas of nostalgia!
Ships mostly scattered to different islands in search of loot. Tiffany’s Nene-nui was the first to explore. The Algeciras whirled into the northwest to join the Cannibal King in the hunt for gold, but lost a mast in transit.
Hammersmith couldn’t resist the tempting Spaniard prize. He led the CK’s gunners in a brief broadside off her starboard quarter, leaving the Algeciras derelict. In the meantime, one of his explorers ran off onto the beach to snag some booty. Skipping Stone has explored the southwestern island and loaded the best two coins from it. Bey’s Revenge and Congress are exploring, while Nene-nui gets Tiffany/Eileen on the scoreboard.
A few rounds later, showing Hammersmith’s capture of the Algeciras as the CK returns home via whirlpool. The French are busy exploring the southeast, while Tiffany prepares to transfer her gold to the Nene-nui due to her Ex-Patriot keyword preventing her from docking the Congress at home.
Now the gold piles started to accumulate. A few ships were headed out for more.
The Cursed attack the French! Pestilence does battle against La Ville de Paris, but the French get the better of the encounter in the long run. The French gunners respond to being pinned with a powerful broadside that sinks the scorpion! Intrepide and Cleopatre return with gold, while the Congress is spotted near their HI.
The Congress gets in action! La Cleopatre is dismasted!
The Americans captured the Cleopatre with the Nene-nui, netting them a valuable home island raider for the late game. In the west, Skipping Stone and Concepcion have both docked home their second loads of treasure, netting Ben and Mike a pair of +2 gold bonuses each. More combat was brewing in the east, with Cannibal King shooting, ramming and boarding the Bey’s Revenge. A shot landed, but Hammersmith lost the boarding party, meaning one of his generic crew was killed in action.
That delay meant L’Intrepide was going to reach and be able to explore the northeast island before CK, so she went into a fog bank to wait until the gold had been loaded. Hammersmith wanted to steal it with the ship’s Hoard ability. Congress was headed northeast as well, and despite earlier American-French tension, Tiffany and Becky made it quite obvious they were likely working together for the rest of the game.
Nene-nui has whirled into the northwest to snag one of the lone remaining wild coins. With Cleopatre fully repaired and Becky and I both encouraging Tiffany to rob the other’s home island, Skipping Stone returned home to protect my gold. Mike’s Concepcion takes the center whirlpool to the southeast in pursuit of one of the other wild coins, but is immediately set upon by the Ville de Paris, who punishes the Spanish for encroaching on French territory. Intrepide and Congress are taking coins from the northeast island, while CK and Algeciras head towards fog to lie in wait for an ambush.
Jared wasn’t out of the game either! Down to one ship, he still played a role in the endgame phase. Bey’s Revenge slammed into the Congress and shot off two masts. Intrepide can take the last wild coin in the east with ease since the French have already explored that island. My ships are eager to influence the final coins in play, but a relatively healthy La Ville de Paris is a monstrous presence this late in a 40 point game.
Having lost her helmsman to the Congress earlier in the game, Cleopatre was only moving L. Skipping Stone shot off one of her masts as she approached my home island to steal gold. In the east, conflict erupts once again. With the Ville de Paris protecting the Intrepide, my Pirate raiders set upon the weakened Congress, taking out masts and crew (including Eileen! Tiffany is alive and well). Algeciras boards to steal one of her coins, but won’t be able to carry any more. Nene-nui and Concepcion return home, the former with a coin.
With such momentous players participating, I had to get some kind of video footage from this special event. 🙂
The typical desperation of the endgame in full swing! La Ville de Paris smashed up CK, blasting away her outrigger defenses and a mast. The Bey’s Revenge unsuccessfully boards the Algeciras, while Congress rows away at S+S, still with one coin aboard.
La Resolucion was approaching. She hadn’t seen combat yet, but the hyper-accurate Spanish warship could loom large against this cluster of weakened ships. Critically, Intrepide has docked home all her gold.
Cleopatre managed to steal a coin and start sailing away until the Skipping Stone’s gunners were finally awoken by a furious Genny Gallows rampaging through the gun decks. 2 more shots found their mark, leaving the raider derelict. However, Nene-nui was there to back up the schooner.
Nene-nui towed Cleopatre so as to keep her out of Skipping Stone’s cannon and ramming range, frustrating Jocard and Gallows who did not like seeing their booty stolen. The eastern battle has continued, as I decided to stand and fight, with little chance of escaping home with the stolen coin on Algeciras. CK went after the Congress again while Bey’s Revenge dismasted Algeciras.
Nene-nui was able to tow Cleopatre home on the American turn, completing a somewhat unlikely home island raid made more possible by the Skipping Stone’s combat futility and lack of captain ability. The Algeciras was sunk, and CK dismasted. The last coin or two were resolved soon afterwards, and the game was over!
Becky’s French: 26 gold
Mike’s Spanish: 25
Ben’s Pirates: 21
Tiffany’s Americans: 18
Jared’s Cursed Corsairs: 13
A close finish with tons of gold collected! Congrats to Becky on the win! I thought it was cool how we all had a solid pile of gold at the end – everybody was easily into double digits. It was quite a good Wizkids Pirates game. Thank you again to Mike, who gave me some extra busts he had. Thanks again to everyone who played, and thank you for reading!
-Revision to the Duplicates Rule (changes underlined): -There cannot be duplicate Wizkids ships in play until a faction has purchased every single standard ship (including flavor duplicates (such as all three versions of the 5 master HMS Apollo, for example, but not including customs)) available to them. Once a faction has every official Wizkids ship in its fleet in play, that faction can launch duplicates of those official Wizkids ships. Only one duplicate ship is allowed, but if a faction has two of every ship in play, they can begin a third set of duplicates. However, once a ship is sunk, it MUST be replaced before duplicates can be launched again (This is also known as the “complete the fleet” rule). Unreleased game pieces designed by Wizkids are not included in the Duplicates Rule. Wizkids faction fleets cannot have duplicate custom ships. Since the Dutch and Conglomerate factions have no official Wizkids ships, their entire fleets of custom ships are subject to the Duplicates Rule. For example, if ALL custom Dutch ships are in play at once, they can begin a second set of each custom Dutch ship.
-Minor revisions to the Resources errata and how they work (changes underlined): -Resources are represented through tokens; players may choose whatever kind of tokens they wish as long as all players agree. Ships can carry any number of any resource types up to their cargo limit. After a ship rolls for the resource type and loads resources, the ship will load face-up gold coins that correspond to the numbered resource (for example, a ship with lumber on board would have 1’s). When the ship unloads the resources at the home island, the 1’s (in this case) may be unloaded just like treasure. At any point during a player’s turn (usually at the beginning of the launch phase, after the play phase ends), any resources on the home island can be swapped out for the value of the resource in gold. If the value of lumber was 4, the 1’s are swapped for face-down gold 4’s on the home island (HI), which can then be used to purchase ships and crew during the launch phase at the end of the turn. Players may use UT tokens to represent total gold or resource quantities on their home islands, but should keep in mind that a UT worth 400 gold could be stolen by a home island raider with a single open cargo space.
-2 hits/mast rule addition: Flotillas must be hit 4 times overall in order to eliminate their flag (none of the hits have to come from a specific shoot action).
-Encampment clarification: Abilities that remove explored island markers eliminate encampments.
-Face-up Unique Treasure can be loaded and unloaded to and from islands as part of the free transfer rules. (slight clarification)
-Ships can load face-down treasure and resources from their home island with an explore action. Face-up Unique Treasure can be unloaded to islands as part of the free transfer rules. Ships can load face-up Unique Treasure from their home island as part of the free transfer rules.
-If both players agree to it, opposing ships can touch without ramming, boarding or pinning. While touching, they can be given an explore action to transfer cargo freely between them.
-Submarines can do ram damage while both surfaced and submerged.
-Only up to 3 copies of each unique set of native canoes can be in play at a time.
-There are currently only two storm terrain in play, but I have added their rules to the main post as well. From Xerecs’ Century of Economy games: Storms are a Custom terrain piece. At the end of a round of turns, a d6 is rolled. Match the result to the number printed on any Storms in play. Roll the d6 again. Match the result to the number printed around the edge of the Storm and move the Storm L in a straight line in that direction. If two or more Storms collide or move into contact with one another, they merge and move as one Storm. If any part of a game piece touches a Storm, it is immediately placed inside of it. Roll a d6, the result is the number of masts, segments, flags or damage points removed from the game piece. If the result is more than the number of remaining masts, segments, flags or damage points, the game piece is eliminated from the game. If a storm spends more than three rounds over a body of land, it is removed from the game.
Additions to the Ban List: Odin’s Revenge, Kharmic Idol, Pirata Codex, Flood UT, Missionaries UT (those last two are customs)
Clarifying which tokens are for each type of island upgrade:
Encampment: Faction color token used to mark islands explored (under Markers)
Fort upgrade: Shipyard token (under Structures)
Lighthouses=Taverns (under Structures)
Town=Infantry unit (these last three all under Army Units)
Trading Port=Cavalry unit
Military Port=Artillery unit
Starting this turn, factions may start naming islands if they want to. Especially islands they’ve explored or taken control of through island upgrades. For example, an obvious one is “Whirlpool Island”, the island surrounded by whirlpools south of the Spanish HI.
Custom Sets inplay (by the end of this report) with abbreviations and creator name. (from now on, only the set abbreviation will be used for the launch phase specifics – that way you can find the customs used in the Customs Database if desired)
Age of Sail (AoS), Epic Seas (ES) – A7XfanBen
Return of Davy Jones (RoDJ), Fiends of the Blood Islands (FoBI), Spherus Magna (SpMa) – Xerecs
Great Sea (GS), Rise of the Moon Sorcerer (RotMS) – El Cazador
Dark Tides (DT), Seas of Doom (SoD), Eldest Seas (ELS) – JW Darkhurst
Vengeance of the Cadet Captain (VotCC) – Cadet-Captain Mike
Back to War (B2W) – The Grandmaster/PointlessArrow
Dutch East Indies (DEI) – Avery
Treasure Trove of Fenrir (TToF) – Woelf
Lost Isles (LI) – Shockwave
Obsidian Isles (OI), Siren Islands (SI), Oceans of the Apocalypse (OotA) – projekt355
Islands of Ice (IofI), Age of Extinction (AoE), Search for Golden Shores (SfGS), Rise of the Rebellion (RotR) – Pirate Captain Andrew/DoubleAAsauce
Baltic Sea (BS) – Skelebone
Treacherous Waters (TW) – Ochobrazo2298
Pirates Who Never Met (PWNM), Pirates Who Spent Too Much Time Together (STMTT) – Gazerbeam543
Forgotten Coast (FC) – Riz
Treachery on the High Seas (T), The Golden Age (TGA), – Vladsimpaler
Kraken Sea (KS) – mr_awesome
Lighthouses by The9ofSpades
Pirates of the Sendoran Coast (SC) – Captain Vendari’s customs
That’s a whopping 34 custom sets being used! Nearly all custom creators of Pirates CSG game pieces are represented in CG4 by the end of this turn and report!
The Story So Far
Here is a video describing the general events of the game over the first 5 years of its existence – from April 2018 to spring 2023.
If you’d like more details of some of the early stages of the game, you can also check out Xerecs’ CG4 BRs and the ones I did linked above. If you just need a quick recent events refresher, here’s the last report.
Here are a few things I held back from saying in previous reports that seem fine to reveal now….
Very old (probably from 2019): Jade Rebels probably pissed at the Pirates after Dungeon gave Plague to the Virtuous Wind.
5/8/2020: Dungeon explores island SW of Archipelago, uses Pirates’ extensive spying network to strategically trade Davy Jones’ Key for a Necklace of the Sky (latter grabbed from the middle Archipelago island).
7/13/2020: The Cursed lie to the Spanish that an anonymous source told them that the Americans were coming to attack them. The Cursed are looking for a reason to look pissed at the Spanish so it looks more natural when they go on the offensive.
7/24/2020: “The Cursed Pirates are teaming up to harness the power of the Norse gods to unleash true Hell upon the seas.”
Here is a color-coded “faction locations” map picture from the last round, before PirateAJ14 and Xerecs took their latest turns. The main colored areas are labeled with each faction, with the Pirates having some additional clusters of ship activity in the dark gray areas and The Cursed having a presence next to the Spanish HI.
Here is a giant map picture also showing the entire ocean, this one taken after PirateAJ14 and Xerecs’ latest turns before I started my turn. The Americans have continued to retreat eastward away from the Cursed, while the Spanish have mostly made all speed away from the Cursed 10 masters launched next to their HI.
After a 2 year wait from my previous turn, it was finally time for another epic session of CG4 chaos and carnage! I do recommend watching the play videos for this turn, as I explained things in much more detail and avoided any music-only combat footage and whatnot. I’m trying to make better battle reports (especially for CG4), so feel free to give feedback in the comments at the bottom!
The playing aspects of my turn took a whopping 51 hours, which doesn’t include the time spent planning and strategizing before playing, which was about 12 hours. Then add 9 hours for this battle report, and we get a grand total of 72 hours on this CG4 turn overall. O_O (up from about 42+ last turn)
196 Ships, 4697 Points in Play
The Pirates eagerly started another gigantic turn. Becoming more infamous with each passing round, they have used their “Infinite Money Glitch” to become the richest faction in the history of any Pirates CSG game. “Arcane abuse” has completely destabilized all notions of parity, leading to a bizarre situation where many factions may have to team up quickly in order to stop piracy from taking over the entire sea.
Tensions between the Pirates and their neighbors (the Corsairs and Vikings) began four years ago when the factions were fledgling fleets, content to slowly build up a foundation of strength. Now that tension is boiling over into all-out war. It is too soon to say what will ultimately transpire, but the possibility of a prolonged and bloody war is certainly there.
Beginning of turn Abilities and Effects
It was time to start! Each of my CG4 turns begins with much anticipation and excitement. However, there is always a lot of “housekeeping” to do – remembering and reviewing where things left off, consulting my notes for strategic ideas and order of operations optimizations, etc. There are also a number of “beginning of turn” abilities or effects that are resolved early to start getting a picture of what the turn will look like. This involves rolling for all of a faction’s AA (Admiral’s Action) abilities, as well as any Arcane rolls they can do.
The Pirates were disappointed to only get 1/9 AA’s, but their EPoE (Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight) was acting as a guaranteed “Mycron” via the Jolly Mon (a ship who of course was hidden in a fog bank next to their home island). They then used their Global Surveillance Program (GSP) to spy on some Barbary Corsair assets, to make sure they knew full well what they’d be getting into if they committed to a full counterattack on the Corsairs.
The GSP is now better than ever since spying can happen on every faction’s turn! (multiplies spying efforts by 12!) I think it will be best to just do it at the beginning of each faction’s turns for all the factions that took their turn before the current faction playing.
Next it was time for the Arcane rolls! If you’re unaware of this particular “theme” of CG4, I explain it in full in this video:
UT #1: Hidden Trove. UT #2: Evenstar. (both placed on Shadow Thief) UT #3: Eye of Insanity (placed on Sphinx).
393 ships in play x2=786 gold from Hidden Trove. x3 w/Evenstar=2358 gold. x2 w/Silverback John=4716 gold. +876 they already had=….
O_O Another new record! The most gold ever raked in by a single faction in a single turn. The Pirates estimate their “gold burn rate” at a minimum of 1200 gold per turn, which allows them (hopefully) at least 4 turns of megalaunching without having to use Arcane rolls for gold production. Now they can bring in other UT’s next round….
Trove optimization: 1 Trove + Evenstar = 3 Troves. x2 from John=4716. Vs. bringing in a Trove every turn. No Evenstar-1572 gold (Trove doubled with John)
Evenstar gives 3x gold in the short term to allow for more choice flexibility in the long term. Better than having to constantly bring in Troves to support the crazy spending sprees.
A new “Eye of Insanity meta” is starting to emerge. Each EoI can be used to copy the Arcane, through the Cursed version of Davy Jones. This can be used to bring in additional copies of Nemo’s Plans and Runes of Thor, which can be used to guarantee that those EoI Arcane rolls are 6’s on future turns, which can be used to bring in additional Eyes on other ships. Of course, at any point the Pirates could decide to stop simply “optimizing the system” and go into full brutality mode, bringing in many copies of devastating UT’s such as Neptune’s Trident in one turn and placing them on various attack ships. The combos and possibilities are nearly endless, and the Pirates and Cursed both have a long list of UT’s that they’d like to bring in….
I got in touch with Woelf to answer a question about the Eye of Insanity UT: “A crew targeted by the Eye retains its original ability, so it would still count normally toward other abilities regardless of what got copied.” I asked this because the Sphinx gets +1 to her d6 rolls with a Captain aboard (per her ship ability), but she might have to use that Captain with the Eye. With that ruling answered, she can still succeed at copying the Arcane on a 5 or 6 due to the +1, even if the Captain is used with the Eye.
These “eyes” also pair well with the idea of the Global Surveillance Program….
At long last it was finally time to start giving out normal actions to the other 193 ships in the Pirate fleet!
The Smiling Jim took the Plague from the Noble Swan (lower left of the next picture), finally freeing the prize from her last negative UT. The Noble Swan explored the Smiling Jim to give her Runes of Wealth, a UT that was needlessly taking up a cargo space on a ship that will probably need it for something else in the future.
The Pirates are optimizing their “chain exploring” system at their metals island. They’re going to have ships at both ends of each line have either the Dinghy equipment (which allows you to explore an island or ship within S as a free action) or an “unload within S” ability. That way, no ships in the chain have to remain docked for the chain exploring system to work. This frees up space at both islands, which is great for maximizing how many ships can be launched from those islands. It also opens up a sea lane where ships can easily traverse from the east or west side of those islands to the other without having to sail all the way around the chain. The Pirates expect to have the optimized system finished next turn, at which point their metals income will be automated, likely at 6-7 metals per turn. This is so they don’t have to spend as much time giving actions to their resource runners, and also to minimize traffic jams near those launch points. However, with their near-unlimited gold income via Hidden Trove funding, there is a chance the Pirates will abandon resources altogether and simply outfit those resource runners with crew and equipment so they can fight if needed.
The tavern token that the Raven unloaded at the Pirates’ textiles island last turn is now a full-fledged Plumb Point Lighthouse! This means that all Pirate ships within L+L of the lighthouse get +S to their base move during that action, kind of like a giant trade current.
The Stormy Night rolled a 5 for her ability with the help of a reroll from Norman Spells. It allowed the Pirates to move any enemy ship S into terrain (therefore the enemy ship must already be within S of a terrain piece). The Sultan’s Riches was the easiest target – a Barbary Corsair resource runner approaching a storm. She got sucked in, and had the misfortune of rolling a 4, sinking the ship instantly! She went down with a helmsman and 3 textiles tokens, eliminating 6 points from the Corsair fleet.
The Blackleaf’s Studding Sails equipment malfunctioned, taking down her mizzenmast with it.
Iolkos, captain of the Bombay (custom 6 masted junk), has sent a strange “dowry demand” to Ekimu, the Grand Admiral and Supreme Commander of the Ionic Navy (part of The Conglomerate faction). He did not specify to whom he wishes to be married, having spied no female crew in the Conglomerate fleet at the time of the letter.
The Pirates realized they had made a gaffe with The Leviathan, though not a consequential one. Since the ship “sank” via Eternal scuttling, her Nemo’s Plans and Neptune’s Trident UT’s were removed from the game. It definitely makes The Leviathan less of an automatic (and broken) superweapon, and the Pirates will be more careful about how they use her in the future.
Here’s a broad overview of the Pirate-Corsair situation, showing the Corsair attack from last turn at the center left. The northern half of the Pirate HI is just out of sight to the upper left, while you can see the English HI southeast of the Corsair HI. Things were about to explode.
The Pirates declared war on the Barbary Corsairs on July 3rd!The massive counterattack would now commence!! Here is the video if you’d like to see the raw footage of the entire assault, with both my narrative explaining everything and background music. A picture+caption summary is below if you prefer that.
After the damaged ships moved out of the way as best they could, The Slash (custom 4 master) got things started! She carries my good friend Captain Randy, who was ready to take the fight to the Barbary Corsairs! Both bow cannons hit the Great Desert, a sign of good luck for the Pirates to start the battle so well! Not including the Great Desert, you can count 8 Corsair ships (including the flotilla and two submarines) in the main Corsair attack force. The Pirates wanted to neutralize as many of them as possible. Various options were considered for this counterattack – including committing as few forces as possible. However, the Pirates realized that although going all-in on the counterattack might delay their short-term plans for the WSG (to be revealed soon!), it would be better to completely smash the Corsairs, neutralize the threat, and teach them a harsh lesson.
As the shots began to ring out across these battle-torn red waters, both sides gritted their teeth for the carnage to come.
Next up was the Shadow’s Hand, who carried the Shadowed One – a devastating custom crew from Xerecs! His primary ability: “Give this ship a shoot action. A beam S wide and 2L long leaves this ship in one direction. Replace up to two masts with fire masts for every ship in the path of the beam. This ship cannot be given an action on its next turn.”
A “fire beam” attack of godlike power!! It was time to unleash one of the many Pirate Weapons of Mass Destruction!
6 ships are set alight for a total of 11 fire masts! O_O
Now it was time for another flame weapon! Though far less powerful, it’s one that probably all of us know….
The Queen Anne’s Revenge greek fire attack! From my “movie version” custom from Pirates of the Epic Seas: “Once per turn, you may eliminate one of this ship’s crew to shoot a flame S wide and 2S long directly forward of the ship’s bow. For every ship in the path of the blast, replace one of that ship’s masts with a fire mast.” HMB Sayyida is set alight as the Nubian Prince and Anubis become raging infernos!
With the flashy WMD’s providing some serious firepower, now it was time for the conventional weaponry of the massive Pirate fleet to get to work. Vortex and Slave Revolt set upon the Crown Jewel (Corsair 10 master), eliminating 4 of her masts. With the latter’s Crew Protect cancelled by the Vortex, Vincenzo Gambi led a boarding party from the Slave Revolt to massacre all of the Crown Jewel’s crew. A large number of effective Corsair crew were killed in action: Gazim, Ardagundas, Murat Rais, Sheik Al-Wahed, helmsman, oarsman.
Flotillas took some shots at the Sayyida, while the Crescent Rose used Extended Range (via my Powder Kegs equipment), shooting over the top of a burning submerged submarine to damage the Elephant flotilla. The Misfortune’s Keep sailed into the fray, though her captain ability was cancelled by the Anubis (which is what the Pirates wanted, having intentionally waited until now to approach the Anubis). At the bottom of the frame you can see some support ships doing towing logistics in order to get the derelict Splinter out of the way, making room for gunships to surge forth.
One last look at the severe carnage before the sinkings began:
The Pirate attack was in full swing. More gunships poured into the area, sinking the Anubis, Elephant, and Majestic. This opened a gap that allowed more shots to fall in range of the Crown Jewel, which quickly became a wildly burning mastless hulk. Despite the Crown Jewel’s Iron-Plated Hull equipment preventing some damage, the sheer volume of cannonade put forth by the Pirates crushed her in one turn. At the right, that’s a brand new iceberg brought in by Odin himself! It was an Odin Missile! The Pirates used their Rune combo to eliminate the Grand Desert from the game. Sickening devastation.
With the Slave Revolt and Shadow’s Hand both getting second actions coming out of the whirlpool, I felt that this round was a proper time to finally reveal the meaning of WSG… a foreboding acronym that the Pirates began using amongst themselves years ago….
WHIRLPOOL STRIKE GROUP
A terrifying concept whose true power has still yet to be seen… the WSG is at the core of Pirate combat philosophy. It’s what they’ve been building towards for years now. A massive, multi-faceted strike group that can utilize whirlpools to hit enemy targets anywhere, anytime. There are a number of key pieces to the WSG, among them the Tempest – the custom 5 master that can create a new whirlpool anywhere on the map if she rolls a 6 with her ability. Many of the recent Pirate launches were specifically to build up the WSG, as it fast becomes the largest battle fleet in Pirates CSG history. At the end of last turn I estimated the total size of the force at 50+ ships, with more being launched every single turn.
The criteria for a “WSG ship” is simple – either a ship that can generate its own second action (via Sac/EA/SAT/etc), or supply/support ships that have abilities like the Cheerleader ability (+1 to cannon rolls for friendly ships nearby), or high-cargo supply ships that carry extra oarsmen and shipwrights to replenish the attack ships when they run low on crew or equipment. It is a vast enterprise that the Pirates have been working very hard to optimize. They realize how costly whirlpool travel can be – going into enemy territory and coming back via whirlpool can easily cost a ship an oarsman and a mast, not to mention any damage or casualties sustained while fighting abroad. For that reason, the Pirates have invested heavily in a large supply chain network. They have many ships whose sole purpose is to resupply ships with oarsmen (primarily Sac-powered ships that have a high burn rate of oarsmen, losing them both in whirlpools and while generating extra actions), as well as shipwrights so that combat ships can repair themselves if whirlpools take out some of their masts. The idea is to have a self-sustaining combat force that can fight anywhere at any time for prolonged periods.
There is a massive number of attack ships dedicated to the WSG. Nearly every single “action generator” ship and crew in the Pirate arsenal of game pieces has been launched as a “WSG attack ship”. This is due to the sheer quantity requirements of the WSG – many EA and SAT rolls fail every turn, and sometimes Sac-powered ships have to hang back to replenish their sac fodder stores with new oarsmen. As a result, large numbers of gunships with similar action generation tactics are on hand to keep the strike group strong and flexible. Ex: If 8/10 SAT ships fail to get their SAT rolls, perhaps the EA ships will get luckier to bail them out. Or, Sac ships will make up the difference with their guaranteed double actions. This is also because whirlpool attacks are inherently limited by the 2-action limit: one action is always required to go through a whirlpool, meaning that a ship can only ever be given one additional action on the other side where the combat will occur. As a result, large numbers of attack ships help the odds of a whirlpool attack success by making sure there is enough firepower to achieve decisive victory over the enemy, preferably on the first turn of the attack.
Recently the Pirates have begun to realize just how expensive and demanding it will be to keep the WSG operating in full for many rounds on end. Sometimes supply ships may have to follow the attack ships through whirlpools to attack zones, depleting their stock and strength more quickly. Therefore, the Pirates have begun to launch “resupply” ships – ships that will supply the suppliers. This is to optimize the flow of oarsmen and shipwrights that help keep the gunships healthy and ready for action at all times. As more combat occurs, the demands on the WSG supply system will grow and cargo logistics become quite complicated. My CG4 tracking spreadsheet has a row for nearly all the ships in each of my fleets, with many ships in the Pirate fleet having notes about “needs S+O” (for example) to remind myself that next turn that ship should be supplied with a shipwright and oarsman if possible.
Lastly, the WSG has some extremely powerful weapons in it. If the main bulk of action generator ships cannot do the job… there are WMD’s to back them up. The Pirates have four 10 masters in play right now, as well as various superweapons like the Shadowed One that can provide ample firepower as a last resort if they are not part of the main initial assault. The Pirates are flexing their might, and we could see the WSG become quite the deterrent force over time. With the ability to create whirlpools at will and surge through them with game-changing firepower, no faction on the sea is safe from potential Pirate wrath.
ALL OUT WAR. The Pirates have slaughtered the Corsairs in a grand display of strength. At the upper right, 9 ships (most or all from the WSG) came out of the brand new whirlpool created by the Tempest near the Corsair/English spice island! They wreaked absolute havoc, smashing up the Corsair resource runners and effectively cutting off Corsair access to that valuable island. At the bottom of the frame, Plague of the West got a second action to eliminate masts from the Corsair runners gathering textiles. At the left, one of the most ominous signs of all – the Zeus and Hera have returned home from their excursion to Spanish waters. They’re getting a few brief replenishments but staying near whirlpools in case the Pirate fleet needs their flagships. Off their port sides, you can see newly minted ships of the WSG making their way to the whirlpool area. Another handful of ships wait in the fogpool nearby, primed and ready to enter that whirlpool next round. At the far left, a squadron of 10 warships (mostly stock gunships launched last turn) makes their way around the west side of “Textiles Island” to take up position against the growing Viking fleet in the north.
That marks 6 Corsair ships sunk by the Pirates this turn, with 3 additional ships dismasted and 7 ships partially damaged. By my count the Pirates had 20 ships fire shots at the Corsairs, with 16 Corsair vessels either sunk or damaged. At long last, the full scale combat of CG4 can begin….
The Pirates would also like to make a few PSAs known. They have generally been iterated to the other players, but just for full disclosure:
-Attempts to eliminate the Arcane will be met with extinction.
-Jailhouse Dog (reusable once per round with Nemo’s Plans) will be used to cancel out Fountain of Dreams if it is brought in. Not playing JD to cancel Hidden Trove or Evenstar.
-When using the Sac (Sacrifice) ability where crew are eliminated to gain extra actions, keep this in mind (from the Pirate Code) regarding Captain Davy Jones’ ability to possess crew on 6’s: “If a ship (or crew) has the ability to eliminate a crew to gain an extra action, this ability may be applied. If the roll is successful, the crew is placed on this ship normally and the ship does not gain the extra action because the crew did not remain eliminated.”
Captain Davy Jones is on the Slave Revolt in the Pirate fleet, and he will choose to roll whenever any non-Pirate or non-Cursed game pieces try to use Sac. The Pirates also have some auto-6 capability, so if some high-stakes combat occurs, there is a chance they might use that to force rolls to 6’s in order to shut down Sac for a ship or two (very unlikely however).
As usual, the Pirates went on a massive spending spree across their 4 launch points. Many new customs will see play for possibly the first time ever! Any custom game pieces launched will have their set abbreviation in parentheses so you can use the reference near the beginning of this post to see who they’re from and in the Customs Database if you want to check them out in full (ctrl+h works really well to find things quickly). There are a few exceptions for very commonly used generic customs, such as Dinghy from PointlessArrow’s Back to War (B2W) set and Gilded Figurehead and Streamlined Hull from Woelf’s Treasure Trove of Fenrir (TToF) set.
Skull Valley: 10 ships, 329 points
Bane (SoD) + Mr. Constantine (BS), Gilded Figurehead, oarsman (she also will have Vesok aboard)
Golden Medusa + Henry Every (OotA), CHO, shipwright (30)
Dark Trance (STMTT) + Three Eyed Roger (STMTT), CHO, shipwright (26)
Cunning Calypso (OotA) + Raveneau de Lussan (AoS), helmsman, shipwright, oarsman (21)
Devil’s Float (STMTT) + Captain Leviathan (BS), Dinghy, shipwright, oarsmen x2 (34)
Grim Spectacle (STMTT) + Captain Sally Silver (OI), Master Gunner Jarvis Johns (OI), The Mad Finn (BS), helmsman, shipwright, oarsmen x2 (46)
Royal Rover (SI) + Hugh S. Shine (RotR), Rosie Richards (SI), captain, shipwright, oarsmen x2 (38)
Pyorremyrsky + Edward Lewis (B2W), CHO, shipwright (28)
Zloty Kot (BS) + CHO, shipwright, exploding shot (22)
Spirit of Freedom (BS) + CHO, shipwright (17)
Gilded Figureheads (32)
Home Island: 15 ships, 284 points (504 points with island upgrades included) Southern half: (7 ships, 129 points (349 including the island upgrades))
Banshee’s Cry + HE, 3 coin, and fort upgrade (49)
Blinding Sun (STMTT) + Karmiine Klovisk (SC), helmsman, Dinghy (23), carrying town and military port (MP) upgrades (60)
Fickle Fiend (STMTT) + helmsman, explorer, oarsman (14), carrying town and military port (MP) upgrades (60)
Pirates Booty (STMTT) + helmsman, explorer, oarsman (13) carrying town and military port (MP) upgrades (60)
Rum Stealer (STMTT) + Evil Scott (STMTT), CHO (25) WSG supply
Blubber (RotR) + H, oarsmen x4 (12)
HMNV Naval (AoE) + helmsman, Dinghy, shipwright x4, oarsmen x3 (32)
This picture also shows the ships launched from the Metals military port (MP), detailed below.
The Mercy and Fancy are dedicated “tugboats”, while those next three are mainly for defending the Arcane. The Arcane is so valuable that she is beginning to have her own defense squadron, which may reach over a half-dozen ships. The Vikings’ recent Hidden Trove acquisition has made them a serious threat to the Pirates’ western border, so the Pirates are beefing up the stock gunship squadron launched last turn with more weapons.
Here we start to see the true scale of the WSG – simply launching half a dozen supply ships for the grand scale of the venture. Just those new ships alone carry 20 oarsmen and 12 shipwrights. However, the Pirates want all their supply ships to have a “permanent shipwright” aboard in addition to any extras meant to be given away – that way the supply ships can repair themselves after whirlpool travel, not just the gunships. The WSG attack ships are likely to operate wholly at sea for very long periods of time, while the supply ships might come back to a launch point eventually to replenish their cargo, or simply be resupplied en route by yet another ship in the supply chain.
Textiles MP: 6 ships, 223 points
34 points of crew and equipment for various ships that docked on the play turn: Darkhawk II, Dragon, Star of Siam, Triton’s Fury, Raven, Pandora, Agnis Crystalis. Anti-Viking Defense Squadron
Cat’s Curse (SI) + Calvin the Wicked (SfGS), Los Diablo Rojo (OI), CHO, FPS, shipwright (46)
Fallen Eagle (BS) + Scout the 3rd (STMTT), CHO, shipwright (31)
Polska (BS) + Kazimierz Lux (BS), HSO, FPS (30)
Death’s Hand (BS) + Anne Bonnie (SI), captain, oarsman, Bow Chasers (AoS) (33)
Revenant + CHO, 2 equipment (30)
Gruesome + CHO, FPS (19)
The Pirates finally let a bunch of their older ships dock at this MP in order to come in for repairs and/or get some needed cargo. On recent turns the Pirates just wanted to max out their launches no matter what, but now they finally feel somewhat satisfied with the size and power of their fleet. This will allow many Pirate ships in need of things to come in and get them rather than waiting off the coast as endless new ships are built in rapid succession. It could be said that the Pirate policy of “maximum launching” is over, but of course it might resume in a crisis situation. Every launch point will still likely resemble spokes of a wheel for many more rounds, as eventually I may want the Pirates to control every single ship ever made for them, both Wizkids and custom. O_O You can see where the WSG attack ships have gone east, diverging from the weaker anti-Viking squadron that heads northwest. Both have formed impromptu lines of battle.
Launch Totals for the turn: 44 ships, 1111 points (1331 points including island upgrades)
Overall Fleet Size: 240 ships, 5797 points (at least 6017 total including upgrades)
51 Ships, 2171 Points in Play
The Cursed also start their turn with various d6 rolls – over a dozen with more every round!
Hidden Trove was now worth 864 gold (388 ships in play after the Pirate combat, but then they launched 44 ships for 432 total). Tripled with Evenstar=2592 gold. Plus what they already had=3943 gold. Just like the Pirates, The Cursed wanted to guarantee megalaunches for a few turns, estimating their burn rate at no less than 1000 gold per turn (so this should cover them for at least 3 turns, potentially less if they put up enough launch points). The Cursed got 5 AA rolls to work (+Barst, a Mycron crew), giving their burgeoning fleet a lot of flexibility.
Magnesis yanked the Ivory Star into the Gauntlet of Pestilence fog bank next to the Corsair home island, killing her oarsman in the gloom.
The Cursed are on a frenetic pace with both launches and island upgrades, upgrading their custom “whirlpool forts” (Figlar Castle and Gunos Fortress, two of each in play) at breakneck speed. To that end, they realized they’d have to do some logistical “magic” this turn. Using one of their trade currents, the Dinghy equipment, and an intermediary ship to support bridging the gap, they managed to get both island upgrades from the Devil’s Child to the Sea Duck, and the DC’s fort upgrade to the Gerudo Gale, the latter of which was already docked at the Gunos Fortress needing the upgrade. Originally the DC was going to upgrade both the island and the fort afterwards, but the Cursed really want to expedite how fast they can get launch points up, specifically the whirlpool forts. Soon they will have no less than FOUR upgraded forts that can essentially megalaunch from any whirlpool in play. O_O Talk about weaponizing terrain! Arguably just as intimidating as the Pirate WSG….
The shipyard token is placed and The Cursed will be able to launch from this fort next turn!
The Spanish get slammed!
The Spanish have been crushed. 7 ships sunk, 1 ship captured, 4 ships left in play. 2/3 of their fleet was wiped out in one turn by the 10 master strike squadron. O_O The Pirates also have their “Anti-Spanish Squadron” sailing north towards the Spanish HI…. War is upon us indeed.
A familiar voice whispered from shadow, aboard the Devil’s Kiss of the Pirate fleet…
“The Dead have taken command of the sea….”
The killing was not over yet. It was time for a new menace to reveal itself….
TaaW=Terrain as a Weapon
Also known as: Weaponizing Terrain
In yet another instance of the Pirates getting help from The Cursed (or vice versa), the Sargasso Nightmare teleported into the area to provide some extra firepower support, making The Cursed an enemy of the Barbary Corsairs if they weren’t already.
Nearly all terrain types have now been weaponized. The Pirates can create whirlpools at will and surge forth deadly legions. The Cursed continue to build up their fog hopping squadron, which will be larger and more deadly than ever before. Odin Missiles rain down from the sky every turn as icebergs from the heavens sink ships. Now even seaweed is something to avoid, because you never know when a swampy Cursed fiend will pop out and shoot you.
The Cursed and Pirates will be using increasingly aggressive rhetoric in their dealings with other factions as their patience continues to wear thin.
All Shall Perish.
Home Island: 6 ships, 210 points (390 including island upgrades)
For Wisp: helmsman, oarsman, Dinghy (6), +42 for gold+fort upgrade token.
For Maman Brigitte: Streamlined Hull, oarsman (4)
For USS Mercury: equipment (14)
For the Grand Misfortune: Melegaunt (ES), Streamlined Hull, exploding shot, stinkpot shot, chain shot (11)
Obsidian Sun (OI) + Maleficent (OotA), helmsman, oarsman (18)
Pale Moon + Lilith (OI), Tzilacatzin (RotMS), Gilded Figurehead (26)
Insidious (STMTT) + Rapunzel (SI), helmsman, shipwright, Dinghy, oarsmen x3, gold, fort upgrades x2 (26 for ship, 92 additional)
Cursed Chalice (SI) + Merrow, Tidal Fiends, helmsman, Dinghy, oarsman, gold, fort upgrade (21 for ship, 46 additional)
Voodoo Child (STMTT) + Marie Laveau (STMTT), Vodyanoy (BS), Chirox (SpMa), HS, oarsmen x10 (66)
Bloody Cutlass + helmsman, shipwright, Dinghy, oarsman (18)
From Figlar Castle #1: 11 ships, 532 points
End of Days (ES) + Lord Hellsing (ES), Carnal Sinner (ES), Wraith (SS version), Madame Maria (RoDJ), Dhornikov – Prime Executioner (ES), SO, Streamlined Hull (TToF), smokepot specialist, stinkpot specialist, grappleshot specialist, exploding shot, grapple shot, chain shot (114)
Calamity (ES) + Acronius The Calamitous (ES), Jolly the Skull (OI), Phantom (OI), Skell (RoDJ), Streamlined Hull, shipwright, oarsmen x4 (88)
Cataclysm (ES) + Volgaad The Volcano God (ES), Sorcerer Jafar (OotA), Deranged Spider (ES), Vamprah (SpMa), Streamlined Hull, helmsman, shipwright, oarsmen x5 (95)
Blood Sacrifice (MS) + CHS, oarsmen x3 (27)
Moctezuma’s Revenge (MS) + helmsman, Streamlined Hull, shipwright x3, oarsmen x5 (36)
Rat’s Circle (IofI) + CH, oarsmen x2 (17)
Eternal Curse (ELS) + CHS, Dinghy, oarsmen x3 (31)
Arabian Nights (OotA) + The Nightsister (OI), helmsman, shipwright, Dinghy, oarsmen x4 (38)
Spinax (SoD) + CHO, shipwright, Dinghy (26)
Specter (OotA) + Lord Icarus of Destral (DT), Heir to the Satanic Temple (ES), CHOS (36)
Krikun (BS) + helmsman, Dinghy, shipwright x2, oarsmen x3 (24)
One of the most sickening and incredible launches of the game sees The Cursed spend over 500 gold at a single fort. The 10 master expenditures average 99 points each. Even more sinister… it appears that The Cursed may be building their own WSG….
From Figlar Castle #2: 12 ships, 318 points
Farore’s Cataclysm (GS) + Vaati (GS), CHO, Gilded Figurehead (38)
Fiend’s Plot (ES) + CHO, shipwright, Streamlined Hull, Gilded Figurehead (27)
Banshee’s Wail + “Screaming” Mimi, CHO (29)
Dance + Tabitha McWarren (F&S version), helmsman, oarsman (19)
Crypt + Heiress of the Apocalypse (ES), helmsman, oarsman (22)
Siren’s Stone (B2W) + CHO (21)
Black Jar (OotA) + CHO, shipwright x3 (25)
Mauled Mermaid (SI) + Captain Nachtmare (OI), oarsmen x4 (29)
Hellish Stench (ES) + Maxis Penumbra (SoD), oarsman (20)
Man O War (AoE) + helmsman, smokepot specialist (10)
Hanging Tree (RotR) + CHOS (19)
Flesh of Oman (RotR) + Icarax (SpMa), Kaulu Kaikamahine (SI), HSO (48)
The Necromancer placed in fort (ES) (11)
This Figlar Castle whirled into the middle of a fog cluster, which was perfect for what The Cursed had in mind. They’ve put in play a “mover squadron” full of abilities that can wrench enemy ships around against their will.
Cursed PSA that all the other factions know about: The Cursed now have SS Wraith in play (aboard the End of Days), meaning there are two “d6 possess” abilities in play. From the Code: “-If a crew is eliminated and multiple different players have this ability available, each may attempt the die roll using the normal player turn order, starting with the current player, until a roll is successful or all able players have rolled.”
Following through the play order, the Pirates will roll first followed by The Cursed. Just like the Pirates, The Cursed are intentionally going to use this to try and impede Sac and similar abilities from the other factions.
Launch Totals: 29 ships, 1060 points (1240 including island upgrades)
Overall Fleet Size: 81 ships, 3245 points (3721 including upgrades)
20 Ships, 488 Points in Play
Since they didn’t have nearly as many beginning of turn rolls as the Pirates or Cursed, I decided not to record the start of the Viking turn. This proved to be a mistake, as the Vikings pulled off a grand coup of luck.
The Vikings got a 6 with All-Powerful Thor! They had tons of options for it, with many hundreds of enemy ships in play, including some nasty pirates nearby. They didn’t want to bring in the legendary Fountain of Dreams UT as they didn’t fully trust all of the other factions – too many variables with what could be brought in.
In the end, the Vikings took control of the Cursed Flying Dutchman! They got a 6 for Kalfu (“Once per turn roll a d6. On a 6 you may change the result of any die roll to a 6.”) (!!!)
The Flying Dutchman roll to bring in a UT and place it on an enemy ship didn’t work, so the roll was forced to a 6 to bring in a Hidden Trove!!
It was placed on HMS Alexander!!!! O_O
The Vikings have immensely helped the English by giving them a massive windfall, with Hidden Trove to be worth over 900 gold on the next English turn!!
This was a grand moment of much anticipation. For a few years now, the Vikings and Corsairs have started to consider “gift Troves” for other factions by using their copiers to copy the Cursed Flying Dutchman instead of the Arcane, allowing them to place a UT from outside the game on an “enemy” ship instead of their own ship. However, the Vikings did not expect it to come from All-Powerful, which allowed the Vikings to control the FD and effectively use All-Powerful to copy the FD’s special ability. The English could be rich as soon as next round, and perhaps the greatest thing for the possible “allies” is – there’s no Pirate or Cursed turn in between in which it could be stolen by one of the major powers. An interesting thing about the Pirate-Cursed cooperation is that they go after each other in the turn order, so all 10 of the other factions have their turns in between, uninterrupted by the “great evils”. It’s a double-edged sword because it also allows the Pirates and Cursed to potentially execute absolutely devastating coordinated attacks in back-to-back fashion. However, in the case of UT generation it may help.
This is also a massive deal because it could change some of the power dynamic in the northeast. The Pirates have likely irked the English of late, sending the Blackleaf into the northeast corner with island upgrades to possibly take over the spice island the Corsairs and English have been profiting from. That island was explored with a Dinghy on the Pirate turn, meaning the Corsairs and English are quickly running out of time to prevent yet another Pirate launch point from surrounding their home waters. In addition, the Corsairs have been severely weakened, and could really use some help. They have made contact with the English about combating the Pirates together, but until now the English had very limited means to do so. If this turn made it look like the Pirates were about to completely take over the northeast corner, this Hidden Trove gift from the Vikings to the English could change or delay that. The Vikings also like this outcome for the sake of their positioning. They are located just west of the Pirate home island and textiles MP. The Corsairs are their allies on the eastern side of the Pirate launch points. However, the Corsairs have been so badly beaten that the Pirates might be able to turn all their home waters might against the Vikings, which would mean a quick and certain Viking defeat. However, if the English (east of the Corsair HI) build a battle fleet that draws Pirate attention, the Vikings have a better chance in any local combat zones.
The Vikings had wanted to give a Trove to… the Spanish! They have been on a “gift list” of both the Corsairs and the Vikings for a few turns now. This turn was almost the perfect moment for it, with the Vikings feeling somewhat secure with their new launches and an “extra” crack at the UT generation shenanigans via the lucky 6 on Thor’s All-Powerful. It was all set for the Spanish to get rich instead of the English… until the Vikings realized that no Spanish ship was within docking distance of the Spanish HI. If a Hidden Trove was placed on a Spanish ship, it would have to be at sea where it was likely to be stolen by the Pirates or Cursed (or someone else) before the Spanish could get it home. The Vikings didn’t want to waste their luck on that, and so pivoted to the English instead.
Next it was time for the Viking copier, Jord. Having already given out a Trove to a possible future ally, the Vikings would definitely be copying the Arcane to try and benefit themselves.
Jord rolls to copy Arcane. First Gilded Figurehead, then Jord, then Reroll via Shayna Deux:
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 ->  ***
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 ->  ***
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 ->  ***
Another successful roll!! Used to place a Hidden Trove on the Timperswayd!! O_O 😀
With that, the Vikings raked in another huge windfall, increasing their gold reserves further so they could launch for multiple turns without fear of bankruptcy.
This picture shows most of the Viking ship movements. Their recently launched warships are headed south towards a fog cluster, where the Muninn attempts to spy on Pirate movements to the east. Some of their “lumber squadron” has broken off from their usual trade route to join up with the main force, as the Vikings anticipate needing all the ships they can spare in a possible battle with the Pirates – which they anticipate could be coming soon. Even some resource runners are turning east, simply to beef up numbers and provide support as tugboats or block ships. There is little need to run the lumber trade, with Hidden Troves providing a steady supply of gold from which to fund the fleet.
The Barbary Corsairs and Vikings have been reaching out over the past few years in regards to forming alliances with some of the other factions in play, possibly to combat the Pirates together. However, the Vikings have a more… brusque approach when it comes to communicating. XD It remains to be seen if that impacts their alliance hopes, not just with the English, but other factions as well….
Launch Phase: 6 ships, 195 points (347 including upgrades)
For Timperswayd: Dinghy, town+MP upgrades (3+60)
For Noble Glacier: Shayna Deux (already in play), helmsman, equipment x3 (5)
9x Gilded Figureheads (9)
Eagle’s Brood (LI) + HSEO, Dinghy, gold, fort upgrade (22 + 48 for gold+upgrade, 70 total)
Ratatoskr (IofI) + HSO, Dinghy, gold, fort upgrade (21 + 44 for gold+upgrade, 65 total)
Berserker (IofI) + Blakenos Arnfoot (ES), CHO, Dinghy (29)
The Norse Anvil (LI) + Kould the Conquerer (IofI), CHOS (40)
Naegling + Wilhelm Hadraade (OotA), Galnarl the Terrible (ES), helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull (36)
Ruby Ice (ES) + Zaura Vikman (LI), Powder Kegs (ES), oarsman, stinkpot shot (30)
Without revealing their exact plans, it’s clear that the Vikings are investing heavily in the upgrade game. They hear about what the Pirates and Cursed are doing, and want to get a slice of the pie. There are only so many islands in play (36 wild at the start of play), and the Pirates and Cursed appear to be snatching up a fair number of them. In addition, the Vikings are severely hampered in their launch phases by the physical size of their ships. With most of their ships available being oared, their average ship width is quite big, comparable to the Corsairs and all their galleys. This means they can’t launch as many ships per turn because they run out of space at their home island sooner than most factions would. As a result, more launch points are needed to get the Viking fleet built up at an adequate speed.
Overall Fleet Size: 26 ships, 683 points (895 including upgrades)
22 Ships, 422 Points in Play(down from 30 Ships, 575 Points in Play at the end of their last turn)
The Corsairs are down in the dumps. They have been absolutely devastated by the Pirates and Cursed, losing 8 ships and 153 points in the time between their last turn and this one. Morale has never been lower. Even compared to when the Corsairs lost a battle squadron to the Pirates years ago. Some of their best fighters perished in the Pirate counterattack, and there is absolutely no way the Corsairs can launch enough new warships to keep up this war effort against the Pirates right now, especially if the Pirates keep pushing east to the Corsair HI.
The Barbary Corsairs attempted to bring in a UT…
Making matters even worse, the Corsairs failed to get the roll – the only one of my factions to not bring in any UT’s this turn. The black days are upon them… depression and hopelessness are starting to set in across some parts of the Corsair fleet. They do not have the gunships available to defend their resource system, which has come under attack by the Pirates and the WSG. (I may be upbeat in the above video, but the Corsairs are anything but)
The Corsairs did their best to regroup and reprioritize, negotiating a tense truce with the Pirates on some strict terms. The Pirates agreed not to attack next turn if the Corsairs made concessions – they would not fire a single shot against the Pirates this turn, nor would they launch a 10 master or a full battle squadron (some new ships could have captains, but not all). The Corsairs are angry at the Pirates, but are more sad and shell-shocked than anything else. They currently also have a female leader (Galina) who is mourning the loss of many Corsair captains, including Gazim, the admiral who perished when Vincenzo Gambi mercilessly slaughtered the crew of the Crown Jewel. The Corsairs are actually rethinking their strategy a bit – their plan just one round ago was to push the Pirates to the brink and wage all-out war with tons of gunships launched from their home island. However, facing extinction, the Corsairs realize they should play the long game and try to get off the Pirates’ radar a bit.
The Nubian Prince was the only burning ship capable of movement, but her fire spread even further above deck, completely engulfing the ship in flame. The Crown Jewel and both submarines are doomed. With those 4 ships all very likely to sink due to the automatic scuttle next turn, it would bring total casualties from the Pirate attack to 10 Corsair ships sunk, 12 if we include the pair of ships sunk by The Cursed. The warships launched last turn sail out to form a wall line of defense against any further Pirate encroachment, with 3 war galleys north of the iceberg and one east of it. The Crescent Moon pulls into port to stock up on some cargo the Corsairs have been planning to give her. Corsair resource runners generally headed east to a rendezvous point near the new whirlpool by the spice island. With nowhere to run or hide, the Corsairs are praying the Pirates don’t go back on the truce and attack them next turn. It is a rough time when your life depends on trusting fickle pirates.
However, the turn was not without hope. Receiving an AA from Kheir-ed-din, the Djinn of the East sped through the new whirlpool and emerged in an area completely new to the Corsairs – and for that matter, any faction. She is the first ship to take The Vortex, a reef formation shaped by a whirlpool in the middle of it. This is a distinct feature of the map, though unlikely to see much use due to the obvious dangers. However, the Corsairs were desperate, and the whirlpool was near an untouched wild island they may have designs on. It’s in between Viking and American outposts, and far from any Pirate or Cursed influence so far.
Launch Phase: 6 ships, 208 points (374 points including upgrades)
Gilded Figureheads x10
Nephila: added Dinghy and shipwright (5)
Crescent Moon: shipwright, oarsmen x2 (4)
Zeitgeist (RotR) + Prince Numidia (RotR), Baahir The Brave (PWNM), Dinghy (30)
Orion’s Belt (SfGS) + Pallamir (ES), Bomb Box (ES), HSO, Dinghy, gold, town and MP upgrade (28+60)
Rabat (ES) + Cleopatra The Wise (PWNM), HSO, Dinghy, town and MP upgrade, gold, fort upgrade token (33+106)
Camel (SfGS) + helmsman, shipwright x2, Dinghy x3, oarsmen x3 (36)
Dieu-Le-Vuit (LI) + Ramoran (ES), CHSO, Dinghy, stinkpot shot (30)
Anubis (OotA) + Rajastos (ES), Vorash (ES), HSO, Dinghy (32)
The Corsairs got busy launching just as many ships as the Vikings did. 4 new 4 masted galleys, as well as a large new submarine and a schooner! They were digging deep into all the various new custom game pieces that have been added to the Customs Database since the last CG4 turn (much like my other factions). Indeed, the sheer quantity of sets and customs out there at this point is likely to satisfy even the smallest of minor factions. This Anubis is a 4 master, not a relaunch of the cancelling 3 master sunk earlier in the round. Although the relaunching rule would allow for the Corsairs to get some of the best combat assets back quickly, I simply dislike the flavor implications of relaunching stuff that just sank less than a round ago.
Overall Fleet Size: 28 ships, 630 points (961 including upgrades)
Starting this round, I am attempting to track ships and points in play for each faction on an action-by-action basis. This means that whenever a boarding party results in crew elimination, I immediately subtract that crew’s point cost from that faction’s point total in the spreadsheet I use for the game. It does make combat take a little longer, but I expect it to be fully worth it as it eliminates the need to go around the map at the end of my overall turns and count up everything each faction has in play. This will likely result in some minor discrepancies in the numbers over time as a few crew or equipment eliminations or additions might be missed once in a while, but it’s worth the time saved. The last full point count took about 4 hours, so I’d prefer to avoid doing that each round. I know tracking the points in play is not required, but I really love keeping track of how big each fleet is and seeing the crazy records grow with each round.
Here are the latest faction totals! I know a lot of it is extremely lopsided, but that may change a bit over time if more “gift Troves” can be handed out or procured. There are three fleets in the 25-30 ship range that have the best hope of contending with the Pirates (and/or Cursed). However, almost half the factions (5/12) have less than 10 ships in play. Of course, perhaps that makes them less likely to draw interest from the power factions, possibly allowing them to slip under the radar. The Pirates’ percentage of points in play actually decreased slightly this round, but they could still become a ridiculous statistical anomaly in that regard – if they cross 50%, they’ll be just one faction out of twelve and still in control of a points majority!
Last turn saw this game become the largest in Pirates CSG history. This turn, the game broke through the 10,000 point threshold. O_O For some years now I have fantasized about playing a game that went into 5 figures worth of points in play. After my Command the Oceans campaign game in 2017 passed 9000, I began to think it was inevitable. Now we have reached it! However, we didn’t just get to 10K points – we blew past it, reaching an astounding 11,721 total points in play.
We are indeed in the Reign of Terror. It remains to be seen just how allied the Pirates and Cursed are, but they currently control over 9000 points, nearly 80% of all points in play. They also own 69% of all ships afloat, meaning you could double the fleet sizes of all other factions and they’d still have more. Next round is likely to see The Cursed become the second fleet in play to reach 100 ships, truly a huge milestone for any massive campaign game fleet. In the meantime, the Pirates will continue their assault on the record books. Already the biggest fleet ever, they will easily blow past 6000 total points next round and look to eventually become the first 300-ship fleet. O_O
Stats by player. Things have ballooned to a size not seen before. Technically I did control more ships during CTO in 2017, but that game never reached a 5 digit point total. Now I’m not the only player playing, and I still control over 10000 points. O_O
10 masters in play: 24 – 4 new this turn, all Cursed. (16 Cursed, 4 Pirate, 2 Viking, 1 Corsair, 1 Conglomerate)
WSG: Whirlpool Strike Group
TaaW: Terrain as a Weapon
Burn rate: Total gold spent per turn by a faction. Good for a faction to know for when they’ll need more Hidden Troves or are likely to run out of gold. Variable by the turn but generally in the 1000-1200 range for the megafleets that have 3+ launch points.
Here is the grand map! I recommend opening it in a new tab and zooming in to view in full size to give yourself a tour of this crazy game. You’re looking at the first documented Pirates CSG game to surpass ten thousand points. This picture shows nearly 12,000 points in play.
With that, another one of my mammoth turns is in the books! This round saw brutal and decisive attacks on the Corsairs and Spanish by the Pirates and Cursed. Both battles appear to be over, with capitulation nearly inevitable in the short term. However, the Vikings have rivaled the Conglomerate and Corsairs as perhaps the third most powerful faction, even “playing god” to decide who gets rich this turn! Could the Hidden Trove gift to the English backfire, or will the English be eager to join the cause against the Pirates and ally with the Vikings and/or Corsairs? What could happen next? I’d love to hear your predictions in the comments!
As dusk sets across the ocean, a voice of black speech whispers across the waters… “All Shall Perish.”
Comment below your thoughts on the game, predictions for what will happen, and how I can improve my reports! If you’d like to support my efforts with Pirates CSG, feel free to check out my Patreon or buy things through the affiliate links throughout my website. Thank you so much for reading about this game and following along with the epic developments! 😀
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.
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! 😀
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.
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.
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
HMS Hermes explores! O_O It appears to be a lucrative island, with the Cursed Conch potentially allowing the English to control LN….
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Here is the long-awaited Pirate combat turn!
Not as epic as the Pirates were hoping for, but still crippling to the Spanish fleet!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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….
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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….
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!
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
It was time to count! Here are the counts in play order!
English: 24 gold
Spanish: 14 gold
French: 32 gold
Pirates: 10 gold
Americans: 32 gold
The Cursed: 33 gold
O_O The Cursed win one of the closest games of all time!! O_O
Cursed: 33 gold
French: 32 (3 units in play – Paradis de la Mer, Mont Blanc, Raven’s Neck)
Americans: 32 (1 unit in play – USS Stephens)
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! 😀
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Unfortunately the time was up and the game was over!
Gazerbeam543: 53 gold
Witch: 0 (still active)
Xerecs: 0 (eliminated)
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.
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.
-No Unique Treasure
-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
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.
Drakestongue takes the first move action and the eleven player game has begun!
Koltyre was using a fleet of American schooners:
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:
The Wicked Kareen draws first blood, knocking a mast off HMS Interceptor:
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!
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!
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!
A look at PDXYAR legend Redgoat’s growing fleet:
HMS Dauntless engages the Revenant near the center. At the upper right, La Possession has crippled the Flying Dutchman.
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.
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!
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! 🙂
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
President + captain
Proud Tortoise + helmsman
HMS Sea Phoenix + helmsman
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!
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.
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!
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)
Gold wins the game!
Ben: 17 gold
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!
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!
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.
Gazerbeam: 53 gold
JW Darkhurst: 22
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! 😀
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:
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:
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)
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:
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. 🙂
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
And now it is time! The full grand pictures!
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!!