Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

Circle of Blood


Circle of Blood!  This scenario from Riz is one I’ve played a few times before, and this time it would be in Las Vegas against my friend Captain Randy.  We also used these house rules, and all game pieces can be found in the Master Spreadsheet.  Randy rolled to go first with his Pirate fleet led by the Zeus.

I went with an evil themed fleet full of chaos:
Divine Dragon + OE Davy Jones, captain, helmsman, Sir Edmund, oarsman
Cassandra + RotF Crimson Angel, Grim the Savage, helmsman
Locker + tribal chieftain, helmsman
Cursed native canoes
Banshee’s Cry + Jonah, Calypso, explorer
Coeur du Lion + Desailly, Auraa

The mega iceberg was a gift from Captain Redgoat while I was in Portland.  The sea monsters were picked at random out of Randy’s tray with our eyes closed, while the forts were neutral with 8 3L cannons each.  With a whopping 60 coins in play, it promised to be a doozy!

Circle of Blood

Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

There is also some raw video footage of the game!  (it does contain some spoilers for later in the report)

A dramatic first turn!  Randy settles a great turtle as his home island, with his other ships docking elsewhere.  I redock the 3 canoes remaining from the Zeus assault, flinging coins towards the Divine Dragon, who uses her second action to explore the island and claim the gold as mine!  I somehow roll a 6 with the Lost UT, yanking in a bunch of terrain to blanket the map with trade currents and strategically placed fog banks to help me get away with home island raids.  Which was the next step!  The Cassandra started the game right next to what would become Randy’s HI, flipping Grim the Savage on the first turn to home island hoard immediately!!  O_O  My early game luck was so dominant that it looked like it should be an easy win for me.  However, we were in for quite a long game….

Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

Although my Banshee’s Cry and Calypso were eliminated by Gog-Clocthoth due to the Bad Maps UT, I put the Coeur (with L-mover Desailly on board) into a fog bank so she was safe from the Zeus.  Then I used the great turtles as a suction/vacuum effect, saccing move actions from the submerged Locker and fogged out canoe to suck both a wild island and Randy’s home island toward my own home island!!  This would make home island raids in the future even easier, with the goal of having the Cassandra able to raid Randy’s HI for 3 coins and then deposit them on the next turn.  For now the Cassandra hid in fog on her route to my HI, which was quite effective since she could stay safe while at sea in between robberies.

Great turtle suction vacuum effect

Both flagships had All-Powerful, which would prove to be quite the matchup throughout the night (and early morning…).  Emperor Blackheart on the Zeus vs. Davy Jones on the Divine Dragon.  Randy’s fort-immune Windjammer plinks away at an English NPC fort in the northeast quadrant, while the DD round earths to blast masts off the Akua Lapu.  The Cassandra docks home a bunch of Randy’s initial gold from his HI, and Randy’s HI is looking dangerously close to my own.

Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

At the top right, Emperor Blackheart thinking about round earthing the Zeus back to Randy’s HI:

The creatures moved around haphazardly throughout, but other than Gog-Clocthoth sinking the Banshee’s Cry, none of them really affected the game much.

In a shock to me, the Zeus leaves herself somewhat open to attack, with Davy Jones taking advantage in a hit-and-run where the Divine Dragon shoots 3/4 before using the extra action to return home.  I could have gone for the dismasting but I don’t trust my cannon luck, which would have had to be above average to win an all-out slugfest.  At the top of the picture, the submerged Locker rams a mast off the Akua Lapu, leaving her with just one remaining.

Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

A few big plays were made before showing this next picture!  Randy sacrificed a move action to move his home island within docking range of the Coral, who unloaded gold in preparation for his next play.  Randy built The Devil’s Maw at the island the Akua Lapu was docked at, mostly to siphon gold off his home island knowing it would be safer in the fort from Grim the Savage.  However, I had a play of my own to make, using a 6 from Davy Jones to reef the Zeus!!!  This left her mastless, but Randy was able to row her home.  Knowing she would be repairing two masts per turn and that I would inevitably get pinned if I rammed her at all afterwards, the Divine Dragon took the opportunity to strike.  With no masts on the Zeus, the DD had a boarding guarantee (my lowest roll being 7 against Randy’s highest of 6) and no way to get pinned even after Randy started repairing on his turn.  So the DD used her two actions to ram and board twice, eliminating the Zeus’ explorer and oarsman and leaving her with just Emperor Blackheart and F&S Hammersmith (for captain+helmsman).  Capturing the Zeus was definitely a goal of mine, especially seeing her so vulnerable.  By this point in the game Randy had found a second Eye of Insanity UT (the first was eliminated super early by the Pirata Codex), which allowed a crew on his Neptune’s Hoard to copy any Cursed crew in play, which inevitably became Davy Jones and All-Powerful every turn.  So in essence, I was now at an “All-Powerful deficit” at a 1-2 ratio.  However, if I could capture the Emperor, I would be up 2-1 in the arms race.  XD

Zeus dismasted!

The Locker turns her attention to the Windjammer.  The flagship junks have a boarding duel with pirate casualties.

Randy was using the Neptune’s Hoard to ferry a ton of gold into The Devil’s Maw fort, as I had cleaned out his HI and made it nearly pointless to bring gold back to it.  The great turtle I had moved towards my HI earlier in the game was moved by Randy towards his fort.  The Zeus was repairing quickly, but her absence from combat allowed the Divine Dragon to easily capture the Windjammer (only after the Windjammer had blasted the final flag off the English NPC fort, and therefore a blow to Randy’s morale as it seemed like the long attack on the fort was all for naught).  I was seeing my path to victory: if I could just destroy The Devil’s Maw right before eliminating Randy from play, I would win easily.  Knowing this (and being really tired lol), there was no point in going for the rest of the gold on wild islands or attacking the NPC forts needed to get it.  All I cared about was wiping the fort off the map and then triggering an endgame condition immediately afterwards, even if it meant suiciding my own ships which would be incredibly easy between all the hazards in play (iceberg, reefs, forts and monsters that automatically shoot at targets in range).

Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

However, destroying the fort wouldn’t be so easy!  Randy dealt a huge delay to that goal of mine when he got a 6 with All-Powerful, reefing the Divine Dragon!  With the worst possible roll of 1 she lost 5 of her 6 masts!  Like the Zeus she returned home to repair, and I was careful to dock at a location where one S+S+S move action would not be in range of any reefs.

Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

Randy’s mid-game success continues, with another All-Powerful 6 used to reef the Cassandra where she lost all but 1 mast!!  O_O   She was then captured by the Zeus!  The Akua Lapu hits the abandoned fort one final time, destroying it and opening its gold up for exploration and claiming.  Randy seemed intent on putting as much gold in The Devil’s Maw as possible, which slightly amused me since I didn’t think it would help him much (in hindsight it makes sense though to make sure there was more in the fort than on my HI).

Circle of Blood | A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy | Las Vegas | September 5th, 2022

Losing the Cassandra was a big blow to my morale (if Randy could repair her and use her against me to raid my HI, I might lose big in a huge blowout), but I recovered quickly with a clutch turn.  A lucky 5 from Davy Jones was intriguing at first, and turned into one of the biggest rolls of the game.  I surfaced the Locker, ramming twice to dismast the Zeus!  With no oarsman left she was finally ripe for capture!!  The Divine Dragon swooped in and snagged her, netting me a second source of All-Powerful and making it extremely difficult for Randy to win any future battles on the sea.

Divine Dragon captures the Zeus!

The Locker dived below and rammed the Cassandra derelict, as I wanted to recapture her.  I rolled a 6 with All-Powerful, and got overzealous.  I didn’t realize how quickly Randy could end the game by suiciding, and forced the Neptune’s Hoard towards an NPC fort with the intent of weakening the ship.  It did take 3 masts off (would have been 4 without the Cross of Coronado triggering), but I quickly realized I had been too hasty, since Randy clearly had more gold in his fort than I had on my HI.  He had no incentive to continue the game and would be able to suicide before I could destroy The Devil’s Maw.  This made my capture of the Zeus feel slightly in vain since I probably wouldn’t even have time to repair her.

Captain Randy’s gold mountain:

tons of gold in The Devil's Maw fort

Suddenly Randy only has 2 masts standing, with self-sabotage options aplenty and every reason to do so.

Now it was a race against time.  What would happen first – Randy ending the game by eliminating his own fleet from being able to get future move actions, or me securing a gold advantage by destroying The Devil’s Maw and making all of its gold not count for anyone?

The Divine Dragon dropped her towline on the Zeus, sprinting south to round earth for a fort assault.  The Locker headed there as well for any firepower support she could provide.  Randy crashed the Neptune’s Hoard into the megaberg, but Desailly L-moved her away from it (which in hindsight didn’t help much).  I believe a 6 from All-Powerful let me move the Akua Lapu into the fog bank west of the fort, making it harder for the AL to drive onto the reef on the east side of the fort.

Randy reefed the Akua Lapu but rolled too high!  The DD swooped in and started blasting the fort, with the Locker surfacing to assist.

Cursed assault on Pirate fort in Wizkids Pirates CSG game

But in the end the Pirates hadn’t taken everything into their calculations.  Although Randy was able to successfully turn the Akua Lapu into a shipwreck on his next turn, he still had an oarsman left in play on the Neptune’s Hoard, who was fully capable of rowing at S+S with future move actions.  Randy contended that using the Eye of Insanity with the NH’s oarsman to copy Davy Jones’ All-Powerful meant that the Oarsman ability was not technically present on the NH.  In a huge rules question that would basically determine the game’s outcome, Woelf said that the Eye of Insanity cannot trigger the “no future move actions” endgame rule.  With that drama hanging in the balance (I was convinced I was right, and insisted the game wasn’t over), I took my next turn, destroyed the fort and sank the Neptune’s Hoard to end the game at last!!

Circle of Blood in Las Vegas 2022 ends at last

  1. Ben: 29 gold
  2. Randy: 0

What a finish!  This certainly felt like the closest finish of any of the 7 games I played with Captain Randy on my Vegas trip, and easily could have gone a lot worse for me.  If Randy had been able to wreck both of his ships before the fort was destroyed, he would have won 62-29!  (as there was 62 gold in The Devil’s Maw)

This game was characterized by HUGE momentum swings.  I looked unstoppable after the first round or two, with Randy in complete despair as a long week of pirating came to a crushing head.  However, my mid-game was an absolute disaster, as Randy accumulated a ton of gold, worked around his horrific HI situation (I basically stole his HI), nearly wrecked the Divine Dragon and captured the Cassandra.  In the end though, my penchant of often having a strong endgame won me the day.  We both had a lot of lows in this game, with a few massive highs as well. We were tired and the game probably ended around 1:30am on Tuesday morning, with me having to get up at 5am for a flight that same day.  I think fatigue led to the gaffes on both sides.  However, even if it was a really brutal game to play, it’s always much more satisfying to play it out and have a memorable outcome.

With that, I ended my 2022 Las Vegas trip with a 5-2 record, far better than I could have expected going into it (including a trio of 3 player games).  Here’s to hopefully next year!!

120 Point Game with 3 Players in Las Vegas! (September 5th, 2022)

120 Point Game

A7XfanBen vs. Captain Randy vs. Kogz03


This was a 120 Point Game with 3 different players from the Pirates CSG community!  Captain Randy ran a mostly Cursed fleet, while Kogz03 (of the discord server) ran a Pirate fleet.  Labor Day was the “big Pirates day” of my 2022 Vegas trip, with both triple digit build total games happening on Monday!  These are the house rules we used, with all game pieces in the Master Spreadsheet.  Randy went first, followed by myself and kogz03.

Randy is in the south, myself in the southwest, and kogz03 in the north.  Randy was wary of my Mysterious Island plans and chose one of them as his home island to take it out of play.  My initial plan was to use an MI’s “negative” ability to fling treasure closer to home, where some of the canoes could pick up the excess.  My canoes started in the northwest while Randy placed his French RtSS canoes in the east.

120 point game of Pirates CSG

Randy’s fleet included a loaded Guichuan with some international crew, Grinder + helmsman, Coeur du Lion + Princess Auraa and Deleflote, Sea Monkey + explorer, Death’s Anchor, Sea Duck + explorer, and Jolly Mon + The Hag of Tortuga.

Here is the fleet I used:
Zhanfu + captain, helmsman, oarsman, Soul Mark  (this Zhanfu is a wood paste model from Cloud of Craft Gaming)
Frontier + tribal chieftain (swapped for Yeshaji Angria on turn 1), canceller DNT, helmsman, oarsman
Star of Siam + helmsman, explorer, oarsman
10 American native canoes
USS Vermont + Calypso, Captain Charles Richard, tribal chieftain
Patagonia + Robinson, Lord Mycron, Bratley
UT’s: Nemo’s Charts, Protection from Davy Jones, Trees, Neptune’s Figurehead

120 point fleet

Kogz03’s fleet:
Black Pearl + Calico Cat, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Revenant + Sean “Cannonball” Gallows, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Harbinger + Crimson Angel, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Raven’s Neck + Norrington, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Raven + explorer
Bloody Jewel + helmsman, explorer
Banshee’s Cry + explorer
Jolly Mon + The Hag of Tortuga

Two thirds into the first round and both 10 masters have moved into the safety of fog.  Calypso fails her first roll which foils my early plans a bit.

The Frontier is given a second action via Mycron and explores the great turtle out from under Randy’s French canoes.

A sharpie-lined Black Pearl is even more formidable than usual:

Black Pearl from Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean

At the upper left, the Sea Monkey and Death’s Anchor are being attacked by the Zhanfu after taking out some American canoes.  The Star of Siam has emerged from fog to explore a wild island.  The Frontier follows French canoes south while the Pirate fleet splits up.

120 point game

Randy and I were aware of our playing status/rivalry throughout the game, but kogz03 was a new opponent for both of us and probably the most poised to create chaos in multiple areas of the board.  In a big blow to Randy’s gold game, the Grinder was sunk by a dual attack from the Black Pearl and Revenant!  The Harbinger eliminated 3 of the 4 canoes in my “canoe screen”, but the Raven’s Neck was abysmal against the Star of Siam, barely removing a single mast.

The native canoe at the bottom right has loaded two 2’s, Nemo’s Charts, and Neptune’s Trident.  Not far away, Randy’s Guichuan attacks!  She sinks the Star of Siam and blasts two masts off the Raven’s Neck.

120 Point Game with 3 Players in Las Vegas! (September 5th, 2022)

After sustaining 4 hits of damage in her battle against The Cursed, the Zhanfu is victorious in sinking the Death’s Anchor flotilla and captures the Sea Monkey as a prize.  The gold-laden canoe has her 2’s yanked off by nearby support canoes, who use their ability to divvy up the treasure and duck into the big fog bank nearby.  This is because the other canoe is preparing to give its UT’s to the Zhanfu….  At the bottom right, the Frontier and Randy’s French canoes have emptied Mysterious Island #12 in the southeast.

1-2: Move all treasure coins from this island to any other wild island.
3-4: No effect.
5-6: When this ship explores this island, replace one treasure coin with a unique treasure from your collection.

The Black Pearl continues south and sinks the Sea Duck:

120 Point Game with 3 Players in Las Vegas! (September 5th, 2022)

The Guichuan redocked and sank the Raven’s Neck.  It was pretty obvious that Randy was trying to keep the Guichuan docked as often as possible, which made it even more obvious that SS Bianco’s Haulers were probably on the ship.  The surprise for me was when Randy revealed F&S Lenoir to also be aboard, which he revealed to cancel the RN’s captain when kogz03 went to shoot the Guichuan.

120 Point Game with 3 Players in Las Vegas! (September 5th, 2022)

I had a good idea the Trees UT was in the northeast, and transfer Yeshaji Angria to the Zhanfu because I anticipate the Frontier needing to dock at home sometime, likely upon towing the Sea Monkey home for repairs.  However, the Frontier’s free hoist explore does net her the Nemo’s Charts UT, as she is the ship most likely to “farm” the mysterious island if needed.  Plans are set in motion.

120 Point Game with 3 Players in Las Vegas! (September 5th, 2022)

After another round, ships are scattered around the map.  In the north, the return of the Raven and Banshee’s Cry to kogz03’s HI has put him in the lead for gold.  The Zhanfu and Frontier stay together, towing the Sea Monkey to the northeast via round earth.  At the lower left, the Vermont has unloaded Calypso to my HI to avoid triggering her ability.  I was worried that creating more whirlpools would give more avenues the other players could use to attack me, especially with a Deleflote-powered Guichuan and a trio of action generators in the Pirate fleet.  Randy’s canoes sail home with coins aboard, while the Coeur ducks into the fog bank to avoid any potential ram and board threat from the Revenant.  We are getting into the endgame phase, but barely any gold has been unloaded to home islands!  I was fully expecting a home island raider crew and Bianco’s Haulers on the Guichuan, which is why I kept the Frontier loaded with gold and my gold canoes in their fog bank.  I was hoping to wait for Randy to go after kogz03’s home island, at which point it would buy me time to pull off a grand combo and/or get more gold home in the meantime.

120 Point Game with 3 Players in Las Vegas! (September 5th, 2022)

The Frontier explores the northeastern island and the Zhanfu uses a free explore to repair from 6 masts to 10 with the Trees UT!  Randy was grumbling, as he now had a healthy 10 master to potentially deal with.  Little did he know that there was a far bigger threat… just not one currently in play.

Zhanfu repairs with Trees UT

Success!  Just as kogz03 was sailing his gunships towards the Zhanfu and Frontier (possibly because by now I had revealed HI Raider Yeshaji Angria in order to spy on some coins to make endgame gold calculations), Captain Randy took the Guichuan over to his HI and raided it with SM El Fantasma!  The Black Pearl was sunk in short order!  The climax had been set in motion!

Guichuan home island raids and sinks the Black Pearl

Randy’s other two canoes had arrived home with gold, which I knew from the Frontier’s exploratory efforts was likely more than my canoes had aboard.  If he was going to nab some of the Pirate coins, I was at least able to spy which ones via Yeshaji.  However, I knew my time was running out.  Due to the fog bank chain connecting kogz03’s HI to Randy’s HI, the Guichuan could probably remain completely safe in fog if she wanted to as soon as she stopped raiding the Pirate HI.  From there she could dock home stolen loot, at which point it would be extremely difficult to permanently steal, between the Guichuan’s protective firepower and ability to re-steal it.  Thus, I had to prevent the Guichuan from getting home, preferably sinking her with as much gold as possible aboard to deny it from going to Randy or kogz03.  I did use my remaining 4 canoes to move the great turtle towards the Guichuan, but due to the moving restrictions I couldn’t get it into an effective blocking position.

The Zhanfu started towing the Sea Monkey again, as I really thought she might prove useful in the long run if I could ever get her back to my HI for repairs.  The Frontier sped to the southeast with Mycron assistance and did something quite rare and unusual… she used the Hoist keyword to unload one of her own coins to the wild island.  She docked there and rolled only a 2, which changed to a 4 due to Nemo’s Charts (no effect).

Randy redocked the Guichuan twice more (dismasting the Harbinger in the process) to steal an additional two coins from the Pirate HI, bringing the Guichuan to 4 coins total from her thievery.  With a fog exit nearly guaranteed on the next turn for the Guichuan, I knew now was the time to strike.  The Frontier redocked at MI #12, finally getting the 5-6 roll needed to bring in a UT from outside the game.  I was really happy that I had brought some contingency UT’s in my tin on the trip, as I punched a fresh one out and placed it face down on the Frontier.  Mycron then gave the Frontier a second action, with the ship using her hoist to dump another of her own coins on the island before redocking again.  On one of the MI rolls I got a little help from Nemo’s Charts, and with the second roll I had secured the ultimate combo of Pirates CSG.  I went back into my tin and punched out another secret UT and put it face down on the Frontier.  After some brief consideration I knew now was the time to play the combo, immediately.








I flipped Runes of Odin face up to place an iceberg from outside the game right behind the Guichuan.  Next came Runes of Magic, which was used to move the iceberg straight into the hull of the Guichuan.  And just like that, the Guichuan, all her defensive crew and all her stolen loot was removed from the game!   O_O

Randy's Guichuan is Odin missiled out of the game.

Ironically, I had planned to use the same MI for low roll farming in order to fling coins closer to home.  That option became pointless once the coins on the island were gone.  However, once I found Nemo’s Charts and figured there was no better (or easier) option to eliminating the Guichuan as the main threat to my game, the high roll farming became key.  How ironic that in Vegas it was a UT gambling scheme (with a little help from the house 😉 ) that took down a high roller ship.  XD

Now I just had to make sure I would end the game with the most gold.  kogz03’s stolen loot had just gone to the locker, so I peeked at one of Randy’s coins with Yeshaji.  Seeing a 3, I knew he couldn’t have more than me since he only had one other coin.  Throughout the game I was trying to track how much gold was available since we started with 45.  Before the Odin Missile combo I knew I had 15 between the Frontier and canoes in the fog bank.  Essentially “saccing” the lowest value coins on the Frontier (both 2’s) for the Runes brought me to 11, still enough to win since Randy’s second coin couldn’t be more than 7 (so he couldn’t have more than 10 total).  Knowing all this I quickly brought the Frontier and my canoes home, ending the game as quickly as possible now that the Guichuan had been eliminated.

The final scores:

  1. Ben: 11 gold
  2. Randy: 7
  3. Kogz03: 5

Quite the finish!  The Guichuan only had 6 gold on her when she went down, but that still would have been enough for Randy to win with 13 (or kogz03 to tie me at 11) if she hadn’t gone down.  Theoretically I still had the most at 15-13 over Randy if we both had just brought all our gold home, but I have a feeling it would have gotten more complicated than that and Randy would have raided my HI for more (at which point it would have been extremely difficult to re-steal between the Guichuan having Ghost Ship, a canceller, and Bianco’s Haulers).  Besides, it was far more fun for me to sacrifice 4 of my gold to deny 6 gold from either of the other players, essentially ending the game in a grand climax of epic combo savagery!!  Another 10 master crushed by the power of the Norse gods, called by the Frontier’s crew with Nemo’s help!!  O_O

A7XfanBen, Captain Randy, and Kogz03 at beginning of 120 point Pirates CSG game in Las Vegas

Straits of Chaos – Adventure Book scenario in Las Vegas! (September 4th, 2022)

Straits of Chaos – Adventure Book scenario


Captain Randy, Maddy and I played a scenario from the Adventure Book – Straits of Chaos.  We used a 40 point build total and the other default house rules from my trip to Vegas, with the exception that it was flat earth so ships could actually sail off the map properly per the scenario rules.

Randy went first with a Spanish fleet including their native canoes, while Maddy had a mostly Corsair fleet that also included the Longshanks.

My strategy was to use a “mach speed” HMS Swallow to explore the islands as fast as possible with one ship:
HMS Swallow + LE Griffin, captain, helmsman, explorers x2, oarsman
Patagonia + Robinson, Mycron, Bratley

When the coins used for island markers were revealed, it looked like Randy had a huge advantage.  He ended up as the only player on the east side, with the first 3-4 islands perfectly lined up for him.

Straits of Chaos Adventure Book scenario for Pirates of the Cursed Seas

Randy looked like he would use the Algeciras and canoes to explore a ton of the islands all in one turn, but wasn’t anticipating Griffin making my Swallow even faster than normal.  I knew my best chance against the double action San Cristobal would be on the first round, and had to pounce.  Mycron let the ship move S+L+S+S twice (as fast as the Cristobal!), speeding over to get some cannons in range and hit thrice on the Spanish flagship!

Straits of Chaos Adventure Book scenario for Pirates of the Cursed Seas

The Spanish counterattack is effective overall, but the Swallow has 2 masts standing, which is a decent amount of firepower with a guaranteed second action available.

San Cristobal vs. HMS Swallow

The English win the important fight, with the Mermaid taking the San Cristobal under tow.  I quickly realized that scuttling captured ships would be a great way to take advantage of the “no sinking” rule, as all ships essentially have their own version of Eternal in Straits of Chaos.  Because of this I didn’t bother sinking the Rosario, since doing so would just help Captain Randy.  The Swallow explored island #1, but Randy had already explored the first 3 islands.  Maddy’s fleet was making all speed towards the initial islands in the east, but was definitely in last place.

Straits of Chaos Adventure Book scenario for Pirates of the Cursed Seas

Even a weakened Swallow was looking like an absolute menace on these waters, now barren of big threats to oppose her.

It was time to get greedy and dominate.  I knew I would have time to explore islands as I went along, so acquiring more ships became the priority in the short term, both to eliminate the Swallow’s opposition (the Queen of Sheba did have a captain aboard) and to expand my fleet for exploring options.  My fleet got to work crushing the weak ships in the vicinity, dismasting the QoS, Algeciras and one of the Barbary 1 masters.  The San Cristobal and Rosario were scuttled.

Straits of Chaos Adventure Book scenario for Pirates of the Cursed Seas

Even though I had still only explored one island, the game was now mine to lose as the Swallow continued to dominate the ocean.  The captured Queen of Sheba rows towards island #2 to explore it for me, while the scuttled Spanish ships repair at island #1.

Straits of Chaos Adventure Book scenario for Pirates of the Cursed Seas

The oarsman-free galleys really started to expedite my pace of victory as they could row and explore islands immediately after I captured them.  The Whisper and Tunis were added to the ever-growing English fleet.  The QoS explored island #2, Rosario explored island #3, and Tunis island #4 as I tied Randy for the lead at 4 islands explored each.

HMS Swallow domination Pirates CSG

Straits of Chaos Adventure Book scenario for Pirates of the Cursed Seas

The Swallow sent one of Randy’s canoes back to island #4 by sinking it, delaying his progress.  The Swallow explored island #5 and the QoS explored island #6, meaning I just had to get all of my many ships off the map.  In the meantime the San Cristobal took care of Maddy’s Longshanks, which despite my fears did not have a captain aboard.  My ships scrambled for Ocean’s Edge, with Mycron’s Patagonia likely to be one of the last to go after he assisted other ships in speeding away from the scene.

HMS Swallow dominates Straits of Chaos scenario

With the other players unable to explore all the islands, I sailed off the map to victory!  This was a fun scenario where HMS Swallow decisively defeated the San Cristobal early on, which proved to be all I needed to dominate the ocean thereafter.  I don’t recommend galleys in Straits of Chaos, at least not without oarsmen since they are so easy to row around for extra exploring logistics immediately after being captured.

Question of the Day: Have you played any scenarios from the Adventure Book?

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario – Twice! (September 3rd, 2022)

Wreck of the Black Galleon


Captain Randy, Maddy and I met up at Davy’s to play an old Wizkids scenario from way back in the day – Wreck of the Black Galleon.  We used a 50 point build total and some house rules in addition to those from the scenario.  Randy and I actually played the scenario twice, and you’ll soon see why.  The scenario is evidently from the Spanish Main days of 2004/early 2005, as each player contributes only 6 coins worth 12 gold (rather than 8 for 15).  In addition, it seems that terrain didn’t exist when they wrote the scenario (therefore before Crimson Coast was released!), as it doesn’t specify that the wreck should be on a reef.  As a result, we didn’t bother with having ships roll for reef damage when docking at/exploring the wreck.

The galleon itself!  Big thanks to Randy for using a broken El Garante to make this epic shipwreck that was perfect for the scenario.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates of the Spanish Main

Captain Randy had a bit of a swarm fleet, while Maddy had an imposing mix of Darkhawk II, Angelica, Banshee’s Cry and Dragon.

I on the other hand went with what I like to call “douchebag supreme” (could also be known as “hypertroll” or “metatroll” lol):
Slipstream + F&S Lenoir, Gendarmerie Rene Moreau, helmsman
Coleoptera + Hag of Tortuga, Tia Dalma, helmsman
Mobilis + helmsman
UT’s: Wolves

I went first, with all three submarines diving below the water.  Randy’s fleet was going to be in a world of hurt, with his small ships vulnerable to my unrestricted submarine ramming barrage.  The Pique was the first casualty, with many more to come.

Ben trolls all with subMarine fleet to deny all gold

Randy got to the wreck of the Black Galleon and explored it, finding the tricky Wolves UT among all the other coins he was able to see.  This kept all the gold locked up until the Wolves could be eliminated by a musketeer or Marine, and it quickly became evident that I was the only player with such a crew in their fleet.  Of course, I had almost no intention whatsoever of actually killing the Wolves, unless it was at the opportune moment when I could guarantee victory.  XD  By this point my submarines had rammed three of Randy’s other ships derelict, with Moreau being revealed to sink one of the sloops with a 2S Marine shot from underwater (“torpedoes”).  Seeing the situation, Maddy turned around the Banshee’s Cry.  However, it was too late to save Angelica, whose Sea Dragon keyword was cancelled by Lenoir on the submerged Slipstream.  This froze the dragon in place where it wouldn’t be able to move for the rest of the game as I continued to cancel it to lock it in place, a rule I actually learned from one of last year’s games in Las Vegas.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario trolled by a7xfanben

At this point I knew my path to quickest victory was simply to ensure I had the most total units in play, effectively forcing a forfeit by refusing to kill the wolves with Moreau.  With three submarines and Moreau, I had 4 total units that would count toward the tiebreaker rules, so I just had to knock the other players down to 3 or less.  Randy was already down to 2 units that could be given actions so I focused on Maddy.  The Mobilis kept Sea Dragon cancelled until Moreau finished off Angelica with torpedo shots, shooting from underwater while invulnerable.  This knocked Maddy down to 3 units in play, at which point we called it because further play would just see me ram-dismast the remaining ships in play and cancel Submarine intermittently to capture enemy ships docked at their home islands that couldn’t be sunk.  I had won the game by forcing a treasure stalemate and then picking off the opposition until I was ahead in units in play.

  1. Ben: 4 units in play
  2. Maddy: 3 units
  3. Randy: 2 units

My strategy had worked perfectly, though I would say this is probably the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever done in a game.  Once I read the full scenario rules my mind immediately went straight to the douchiest gamification imaginable – lock up all the gold with Wolves since it’s all in one place, then just ram and torpedo the other players out of the game until a sub can load some gold with only 1 enemy mast remaining up, or beat them into submission and win based on units in play as the 0 gold tiebreaker.  I did it partly to make an example out of the scenario (granted it was published before Wolves and submarines existed), and to likely ensure a victory on the trip lol.  The icing on the cake was that even if either of the other players HAD brought a musketeer or Marine, Tia Dalma on the relatively speedy Coleoptera would likely be at the wreck to cancel it in order to protect the Wolves.  XD  Each submarine had cancelling for maximum redundancy, making it extremely difficult for a single coin to be loaded from the wreck.

Ben, Captain Randy and Maddy at Davy's in Las Vegas

Game 2

The second game was just Randy and I.  He used the same fleet while I had a second, more “normal” fleet ready to go:
Joya del Sol + Nemesio Diaz, Fernando Sanchez, Contessa Anita Amore, helmsman
La Monarca + silver explorer, helmsman
San Salvador + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist
OE Algeciras
Coins: 6 silver 2’s

Randy went first, which meant he was likely to explore the wreck first and possibly have a big advantage since all the gold was in one place.

That is exactly what happened, with the Pique, Bon Marin and Bloody Jewel loading coins from the wreck of El Garante. The Monarca was able to grab a couple low value coins but Randy had already loaded all the silver.  The San Salvador got in range of the Bloody Jewel and shot a mast off.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates CSG

Randy’s best blocking efforts were not enough to thwart the speedy San Salvador, whose firepot specialist landed a dooming hit on the Bloody Jewel (Nemesio Diaz being flipped to cancel the Jewel’s helmsman helped in the chase).  However, the best treasure was still going to end up on Randy’s HI, which would leave things up to Fernando Sanchez and the Joya del Sol to determine how the rest of the game would go.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates CSG

The San Salvador was dismasted in turn by Randy’s swarmers, but she had done her job well enough. The Lezard rams a mast off El Algeciras at the wreck.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates CSG

Effectively a ship for ship trade:

The Algeciras unsuccessfully rams the Lezard in return, while the Joya has loaded the final coin in play, fittingly a 0.  Any chance of a Spanish victory hinges on my ability to successfully raid Randy’s home island multiple times with Fernando Sanchez, so my strategy is to give the coin to the Monarca (the fastest ship in play, moving 4S per turn and likely able to avoid Randy’s fleet) to keep the game alive so HI raids can occur and start to swing the balance.  However, I know it’s an uphill battle unlikely to result in a victory.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates CSG

I was pleasantly surprised when Randy decided to scuttle the San Salvador, meaning I wouldn’t have to face my own cannons as the Joya set out for loot.  I captured the Lezard with the Monarca in the middle, but both of my ships are likely to be too busy running around to tow her and the derelict Algeciras home for repairs.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates CSG

Randy’s ships were beginning to encroach upon my fleet dominating the shipwreck area, and soon it would be time to split up and move.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates CSG

As the Monarca sped off to keep her 0 coin safe, the Joya sailed over the Randy’s HI where Fernando Sanchez stole some booty!  Randy’s ships returned to the southwest via round earth to stop the thieving Spaniard.

The Monarca crests a wave, ready to escape indefinitely as the game continues:

La Monarca from Pirates of the Revolution

I believe the Joya redocked to steal a second coin, but then had some masts removed as Randy’s ships converged on the galleon.  I had to make a break for home to repair and keep Fernando’s ship alive, but more of the swarm fleet was waiting there to continue the ramming onslaught.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates CSG

The French were victorious, capturing the Joya and my essential home island raider crew!

Randy had the game in the bag now, just needing to thwart all desperate attempts by the Monarca to recapture Fernando Sanchez, who is now on the Star of Siam.

Wreck of the Black Galleon scenario from Wizkids for Pirates CSG

Randy had various methods of essentially ending the game by killing Fernando Sanchez, but opted to unload him at home where I couldn’t get him.  It was a solid game and Captain Randy’s swarm fleet was victorious!

  1. Randy: 19 gold
  2. Ben: 5

Game in Las Vegas Nevada – 2×60 with Points in Play against Captain Randy (September 1st, 2022)

Game in Las Vegas Nevada – Points in Play at 2×60


This game in Las Vegas Nevada was with Captain Randy!  The player with the most total points in play (including gold) would be the winner.  We also used a few other house rules such as no ram damage in addition to the house rules from this week of gaming in Vegas.  Captain Randy rolled to go first with what I called a “spite fleet”, using various game pieces I don’t yet own.  (USS Morning Star and USS Denver, along with the Bonnie Liz which I do have.)

I followed with my favorite faction, the English:
HMS Swallow + RotF TGunn, Mercer, Commander Temple, explorer, oarsmen x2
HMS Rye + explorer, oarsman, towing Gibraltar
HMS Phoenix + Bratley, helmsman, oarsman
UT’s: Missionary, Jail!, Neptune’s Figurehead, Marines

My goal with the UT’s was to take oarsmen off his ships, which would make them easier prizes for Commander Temple.  Each player was allowed to place 2 oversized terrain and 3 regular terrain.  We each contributed 8 coins worth 15 gold, but gold worth points would be multiplied by 4 so there was an equal amount of gold points and regular points in play (120+120=240 total).

Game in Las Vegas Nevada - 2x60 with Points in Play against Captain Randy (September 1st, 2022)

Definitely some monetary value in Randy’s fleet:

I was intrigued by the idea of the Phoenix as a bulky and well-defended gold runner.

What happened next was nothing short of astonishing!  The Americans didn’t factor round earth into their maneuvering calculations, with the Morning Star dismasted by the Swallow on turn 1!  The Rye explored for England, finding good values.

Game in Las Vegas Nevada - 2x60 with Points in Play against Captain Randy (September 1st, 2022)

Commander Temple snatched up the Morning Star and I already had a big advantage.

In a perfect stroke of luck, the Bonnie Liz found the Jail UT which warped all of her crew to Randy’s home island!  This left her easy pickings for the Swallow, who sacced to emerge from a whirlpool and dismast her!  The Swallow captured her on the next turn, and an English win was looking inevitable.

Wizkids Pirates Game in Las Vegas Nevada - 2x60 with Points in Play against Captain Randy (September 1st, 2022)

Just when it looked like it couldn’t get any more ridiculously one-sided….

The repaired Morning Star and Bonnie Liz will now make gold runs for me:

The Swallow and Rye+Gibraltar did their best to partially block some fog exit locations of the Denver, while I continued making gold runs.

Wizkids Pirates Game in Las Vegas Nevada - 2x60 with Points in Play against Captain Randy (September 1st, 2022)

The Denver got a good enough fog roll to dock home some gold safely, but soon afterwards the game ended.

Wizkids Pirates Game in Las Vegas Nevada - 2x60 with Points in Play against Captain Randy (September 1st, 2022)

The final points in play scores:

  1. Ben: 186 points in play
  2. Randy: 48

One of the most lopsided games I’ve ever seen!  The luck and fleet strategy was entirely on my side tonight, which resulted in a quick and decisive English victory.  It was almost like karma for intentionally teasing me with game pieces I don’t have yet!  XD

Water World Returns – 3×50 in Las Vegas Nevada! (August 31st 2022)

Water World Returns


The first game of seven on my 2022 Las Vegas trip saw the return of brettb45’s Water World scenario!  This is a super fun game idea I pretty much always enjoy playing.  We played at McMullan’s Irish Pub, which was very on-theme with nautical things all around us.

Captain Randy used a Spanish fleet with the Principe de Asturias, Joya del Sol and Rosario. Maddy brought a French Mercenary fleet with the Celtic Fury, Libellule and Bon Marin.

This was the Pirate fleet I used:
Red Curse + Hag of Tortuga, Captain Blackheart, helmsman, explorer, oarsmen x2
Treasure + F&S Hammersmith, SM Fantasma
Dragon + helmsman, explorer
UT’s: CC Letter of Marque, Marksman’s Map, Wolves, abandoned musketeer, abandoned oarsman

This doc has the house rules we used.

Water World Returns - Las Vegas 2022

The pub was actually quite dim inside, making it feel kind of like we were playing on a wooden ship with lanterns.

McMullan's Irish Pub in Las Vegas

We were off to the races and the Las Vegas Pirates gaming week was underway!

The Spanish lose their main gunship in short order:

Ships got busy exploring, with Captain Randy finding turtles right near his home fort!  The Bon Marin finds both Wolves and the abandoned musketeer on the same island, meaning that my UT plan has partially backfired.  However, the goal of including Wolves to extend the game (and thus give my HI Raiders more time for thievery) was still working, as it eventually became known that the game couldn’t end under normal Water World conditions of “no more dry ground”.  With no player having a musketeer or Marine to eliminate the Wolves, the game would continue until only one player remained.  At the bottom you can see another gift from Redgoat, a super useful L/S measuring tool chain made of thin metal tubing.

With no oarsman aboard, the Principe was ripe for capturing by the Red Curse.  The Treasure docked at the Spanish home fort and shot off some flags, revealing SM Fantasma to steal a coin to boot!  Indeed, the Spanish were under heavy fire, as the Celtic Fury gets in on the action by running over a turtle.

Water World Returns - Las Vegas 2022

However, the Spanish have their own HI Raider!  The Joya del Sol is carrying both Fernando Sanchez and Bianco’s Haulers (who prevent the ship from being shot at while docked), making her a major threat to the nearby Pirate home fort!  Any coins the Treasure steals from the Spanish will likely just be stolen back, and the Joya is within one move action of the Pirate/Spanish home forts for quick raids.  The Rosario builds a Spanish fort on a wild island, which diverts gold away from Fantasma… but basically ensures that the gold in the fort can only count for Randy if he retains the fort until an endgame condition is reached. (since if the fort is destroyed, all the gold in it and used to pay for it are permanently locked up by the “immortal” Wolves)

Soon all of the wild islands except the “Wolves island” had sunk, leaving the home island raiders to do more work.  I was chipping away at the Spanish home fort with the Treasure, but didn’t want to sink it while it still had valuable coins on it.  The Celtic Fury has lost masts to the Spanish fort, but the Bon Marin rams the Rosario derelict.

As the Joya goes for another coin while being immune to cannons while docked, the Treasure shields the Red Curse from the Spanish home fort as Randy and I pilfer from each other.

The Pirates struggle to keep up with the Joya’s theft pace, as Hammersmith decides not to dock the Treasure at my home fort.  My strategy was shifting – since Randy could just steal back whatever gold I stole and deposited in my home fort, I had to start planning to win the game based on treasure on ships (which counts in 3+ player games).  My path to victory was basically to destroy all 3 of the other forts in play while keeping all the gold I could on the Dragon, who would hide out in fog where my gold couldn’t be stolen.

The Joya heads west, opening her up to Pirate cannons as she is finally not docked somewhere.  Despite an extra action for the Red Curse, my shooting is abysmal, leaving the Spanish galleon with a mast standing.  The captured Principe is finally ready to set sail after repairing.

Water World Returns - Las Vegas 2022

The Joya fled for the safety of the fog as the French approached my home fort.  I was not in a good position in the gold race, with both of the other players likely benefiting hugely from suicide plays.  I figured the French would try to grind themselves out on my home fort to eliminate themselves from contention, with a few islands worth of gold in their home fort from early in the game.

At some point in this endgame Randy and I made a deal to keep the game alive so I would have time to destroy the French home fort, sinking all their gold if I could pull it off with my guns-heavy fleet.  I decided to go all-in on my strategy of winning by having some coins on the Dragon and just denying the other players’ gold through fort destruction – abandoning my own home fort in the process as the captain-less Celtic Fury approached and got blasted.  The Joya del Sol ran over a reef but did not wreck herself.

The Celtic Fury got SAT from Eileen Brigid O’Brien and rammed the Treasure, but was sunk soon afterwards by the Pirates.  The Joya goes back to her stealing ways, racking up more gold from my home fort.

At this point I had to keep Randy’s Spanish home fort alive because if I sank it, he would suicide the Joya on a reef to end the game before I could reach his other fort and Maddy’s French home fort.  I left it with no flags and headed west, with a plan to destroy the Spanish “Wolves fort” before then moving on to the French home fort.  This was because if I destroyed the French home fort first, Randy would again have incentive to wreck the Joya to end the game in his favor, so I had to go after the forts in a specific order to maximize my chances.  My gunships headed west, with the intention of grouping together to blast a fort with all three captained ships at the same time.

However, the Spanish thought they had more gold than the French and decided to end the game by suicide with the Joya wrecking herself on a reef anyway!  They should have waited for me to eventually destroy the French home fort!

  1. Maddy’s French Mercenaries: 29 gold
  2. Randy’s Spanish: 18
  3. Ben: 0 (my gold was in a fog bank at game’s end)

Quite the game!  It was pretty interesting how the abandoned musketeer ended up on the same island as Wolves, essentially meaning the game couldn’t end until two of the three players were eliminated.  I was a bit frustrated that I finished with 0 gold despite playing hard and to win, but it was a consequence of the all-or-nothing strategy I felt was necessary for a come-from-behind win.  Maddy found really good gold values on islands early in the game, which proved to be enough in the end.  The Spanish had a lot of coins, but mostly lower values.  In the strange endgame their best play was to suicide immediately after I destroyed the French home fort, which would have been enough to win as the gold in their home fort was more than what I had on my ships that I would have taken out of fog.  A fun and interesting return to Water World!

60 Point Game with Captain Randy in Las Vegas (September 12th, 2021)

Ben vs. Captain Randy at 60 Points

September 12th, 2021

Once again I played against Captain Randy in Las Vegas, this time at his house where we played some games in July 2021.  We used the same custom rules as the previous game.

I used the Deliverance, Frontier and Philadelphia while he went with a mostly Cursed fleet:

Executioner + OE El Fantasma, DJC Tabitha McWarren, Gendermarie Rene Moreau, RotF Ralph David, helmsman, oarsman
Grinder + chieftain, helmsman
Coeur du Lion + helmsman
Cursed native canoes

Game with Captain Randy in Las Vegas on September 12th, 2021

On Randy’s first turn the Executioner used a whirlpool and Sac to sink the Frontier!  Things were already not looking good for me.

Similar to our last game, I struck back quickly, eliminating 3 masts from the Executioner:

The Cursed were laying claim to 3 of the 4 wild islands when the Deliverance zoomed over and started sinking native canoes!

The Deliverance caught the Executioner on her way home and dismasted her.  However, the Philadelphia has been useless so far (I really wanted to take advantage of her ability given the points in play win condition) and the Coeur has unloaded gold for the Cursed.

The pesky marine made the Deliverance go home for repairs, while the Philadelphia rammed the Coeur to try and steal some gold.  At this point the Executioner had one remaining face down crew, which I first assumed was an oarsman (especially with the Sac Captain El Fantasma aboard).  However, Captain Randy didn’t move the Executioner for a turn or two, so it became more evident that it was unlikely to be an oarsman.  I didn’t want to touch the Executioner with one of my ships (trying to tow if it didn’t have an oarsman) and end up losing valuable crew in an accidental boarding party.  Overall it made for a memorable time and is one of the cool things about having crew face down.  Between potential bluffing about face down crew and not reacting when you discover really good gold coins, there is definitely a “poker face” aspect to Pirates that is really interesting to see play out in real time.  🙂

Now it got a bit crazy.  The Philadelphia captured the Executioner (no oarsman to prevent dereliction), while the Deliverance tried to steal gold from the Grinder as she approached the Cursed HI. (the 6 marks a successful scuttle roll on the Executioner, as Ralph David made her Eternal)

The Gunship Swap

Within a turn, the fleets started looking rather strange.  The Executioner warped the short distance home with Eternal and started repairing, while the Cursed fleet was able to dismast and capture the Deliverance!  However, this is where we messed up a bit – under the points in play victory condition, we had already made a modification to Eternal that says “all cargo assigned to the ship is removed from the game” when Eternal kicks in.  This is to prevent the keyword from being OP with the alternate rules.  We forgot to remove the cargo (a bunch of valuable crew including the source of Eternal itself) so this game comes with a small asterisk, though I don’t think the end result would change.

Captain Randy and I both admitted that we wish we had played better as both of us made some mistakes in this game.  Here I took advantage of Randy not repairing the captured Deliverance as soon as he had docked her at his HI, which left the derelict ripe for the Executioner to recapture her!  Now I had both gunships under my control, but only 1 mast standing between the two of them.  The Philly did a small chain towing maneuver in an attempt to get the Deliverance out of range of the Coeur and Grinder.

The Executioner was dismasted but the Philadelphia was able to use her ability to warp the Deliverance to my HI where she repaired a mast.

Somehow the Philadelphia ended up capturing the Grinder as well!  This was a convenient boon for me, as the Turbine keyword allowed the Grinder to speed straight to my HI without any masts.  However, I just now realized that this is another gaffe, as Turbine says: “A ship with this keyword is not derelict when it has no masts remaining. If it has no masts, one hit still sinks it.”  Since it’s not derelict, it can’t be captured….

I think we swapped gunships again (now back to their original fleets) and the game ended shortly afterwards.

Congrats to Captain Randy on a 95-35 victory! (mostly from gold multiplied by 4) It was certainly a learning experience, both for the new rules and even understanding normal keywords.  I will say that I LOVE towing and capturing logistics, as well as the face down crew intrigue game.

Game on the Las Vegas Strip with Captain Randy! (September 10th, 2021)

Game on the Las Vegas Strip with Captain Randy!

Captain Randy and I met up at The Park by the New York New York hotel to play a game of Pirates on the Strip!  😀

Here’s the little preview footage:

We used a 60 point build total, round earth rules, and some new rules myself and few others have been working on.  The biggest change is that the winner of the game is the one with the most total points in play at the end of the game, which includes points and gold in your fleet.  Each player had to contribute 8 coins worth 60 gold (right now we’re trying an equal amount of points and gold at the start of play, so 60 points and 60 gold per player for 240 total at the beginning of the game), which we accomplished by simply multiplying the values of all coins by 4.  (since the standard rules call for 8 coins worth 15 gold)

I went first with a Pirate fleet:
Deliverance + OE Calico Cat, OE Griffin, The Hag of Tortuga, helmsman, oarsman
Cursed Blade + captain, helmsman
El Dorado + helmsman

He used an English Pirate fleet.

Game with Captain Randy in Las Vegas September 2021

The lighting affected the picture quality a bit, but here the Lightning is being blocked from Randy’s fleet by the Cursed Blade and El Dorado:

Deliverance in a fog bank with the lights of the Strip in the background:

The block ships didn’t stop Captain Randy!  With HMS Gallows he came in guns blazing real hot, using a double action to sink the Cursed Blade and El Dorado and dismast the Lightning!!  O_O

The Pirates got instant revenge on my turn, with the Deliverance coming out of the fog to dismast the Gallows!  Mostly due to the close home islands, this was definitely going to be one of those games where a flurry of actions and casualties happen at the start, and the remainder of the game is basically picking up the pieces and salvaging what you can to try to win.

Not as picturesque or piratey as Senor Frogs where we played in 2019, but a nice night in Vegas!  The Deliverance has sunk the Gallows.

The Aberdeen Baron round earthed to get some gold, with the Deliverance the only hope for the Pirates at this point.

Eventually the Deliverance got around to towing my Lightning, but the Aberdeen Baron (after getting some gold home) went on the attack.

After some more shenanigans I think I was able to end the game with the Deliverance!  However, we had forgotten that coins were worth 4 times their printed values, so Captain Randy won 40-35!

Afterwards we got up to some shenanigans at the Bellagio, where I disposed of an $1800 ship and we threw some coins into the water for good luck.  😉

Four Player Game at 100 Points in Las Vegas! (July 5th, 2021)

Four Player Game at 100 Points

Las Vegas, NV

July 5th, 2021

Ahoy everyone!  This is a game I played with Captain Randy and his friends Curren and Drew in Las Vegas on 7/5/2021.  It was a four player game with 100 point fleets.  Flat earth rules.  The report was written more than 2 weeks after the game, so some details are fuzzy and this report is extremely biased from my perspective playing in the game.

I played The Cursed:
Sea Hag + tribal chieftain, captain, helmsman, oarsman
Native Canoes
Hangman’s Joke + captain, helmsman
Sea Rat + helmsman, explorer
Cutlass + helmsman
Raptor Maw
Namazu (from Return to Savage Shores)

Captain Randy used the Pirates:
Neptune’s Hoard
Akua Lapu

Curren used a Spanish Jade Rebellion fleet:
El Acorazado
Morning Star
Native Canoes

Drew used a French fleet:
Le Bonaparte
La Dijon
Le Bon Marin
Le Pique
Le Coeur du Lion (with Deleflote aboard)

I was using the Raptor Maw for the first time!

Raptor Maw Pirates of the Cursed Seas Fire and Steel sea dragon

The one whirlpool in the center led to another world containing 5 whirlpools and 8 wild islands!

On the first turn a dragon standoff developed between Raptor Maw and Angelica.  Randy was just jealous he doesn’t have the LE yet.  I was still hoping we could do some “play for keeps” rules after I captured his Morning Star two days prior…. XD

I pulled out, not wanting to lose the Cutlass to the Akua Lapu:

After eliminating a Spanish canoe, the Zeus quickly whirled out of the main ocean, making a huge discovery in the Other World: Altar of the Loa, one of the most powerful UT’s in the game!!  O_O  (I had gone kinda crazy picking chaotic UT’s from Randy’s pile during setup lol)

Namazu surfaces to hit the Akua Lapu with a tidal wave attack!  Raptor Maw swoops on the Akua Lapu but fails!

Could a clash in the center be brewing?

Moving on from the Altar, the Zeus found a UT that improbably and randomly eliminated Emperor Blackheart!!  O_O  However, the Castaway turned out to be Calico Cat, allowing the junk to still have a source of double actions.

Maps of Alexandria or Pirate Globe was found, revealing quite a crazy assortment of UT’s across the map!  O_O

A second dragon standoff occurs, with the Cutlass eyeing Neptune’s Trident:

Raptor Maw with Namazu in the background:

Raptor Maw with Namazu in the background

However, then I made the mistake of sending Raptor Maw into French territory….

The Spanish made up the support for the Baochuan:

My Cursed fog hoppers hopped into the Other World, but they were joined by the Baochuan:

I hadn’t seen the full crew setups in the French fleet.  It was optimized for nasty combos, with the Bonaparte’s canceller basically freezing the Raptor Maw in place by cancelling Sea Dragon after Deleflote allowed the Bonaparte to move S+L+S x2 for max range.

Both dragons fell on hard times here, with Angelica losing body parts to the Baochuan:

The Hangman’s Joke explored the Lost UT to place some extra terrain.  In hindsight I probably could have made better choices, but either way the Cursed fleet was almost entirely united in an accidental homecoming party of sorts.

I had some cargo logistics to work out….

The Baochuan returned home with a large load of treasure, establishing the Spanish Rebels as the favorite to win!

At this point the Zeus had returned to the main ocean as well, with the “French Behemoth” lurking near the center:

At this point a coalition to take down the Spanish Rebels was discussed.  However, it wasn’t formalized and the players were having a hard time getting on the same page, as you’ll see….

I saw my own path to victory being long term and somewhat under-the-radar, so I was willing to bide my time and continue operating as-is until the opportune moment came to strike….

Various ships continue to run gold as the lengthy game draws onwards….

The French and Pirates got into an ugly fight.  Ugly because the Zeus cannot hit the Bonaparte with her S-range cannons.  The Bonaparte continued circling the Pirates and picking off masts while the opposition was powerless to do anything.  Hard to watch.  🙁

Two of my 2 masters returned to the Other World to max out gold income:

The Pirates were able to get some gold home, and the Zeus was busy blocking the Bonaparte as the Neptune’s Hoard approached their HI.  At the whirlpool you can see my Sea Rat, the only home island raider in play.  A plan was coming together.  Namazu and the Sea Hag team up to eliminate 4 masts from the Morning Star.

You know something is broken when the Zeus is a terrible counter against it.

Around this time the Other World became an interesting Wild West kind of theater.  I was still sending random Cursed canoes there out of desperation for more gold, hoping the whirlpool wouldn’t swallow it on the way home.  The Hangman’s Joke and Morning Star are on a collision course….

A situation was finally starting to develop off the coast of the Spanish Rebel home island.  The Sea Hag has dismasted one of the French gold runners.

She was captured and dragged into the fog bank where the Sea Rat was lying in wait to rob the Jades.  Namazu has slowly made its way over the sea to help out.

The Hangman’s Joke captured the Morning Star:

However, Behemoth was coming:

Le Bonaparte decimated the Pirate fleet, killing Angelica and sinking the Akua Lapu and Neptune’s Hoard.  I was still doing cargo logistics with the Cutlass and a canoe, though it wouldn’t end up mattering at all….

We had finally reached the endgame!  Now it would go down.  My story was: could I steal enough gold from the Spanish Rebel hoard AND get away with enough of it to win?

By this point the Other World was kind of a depressing mess:

The Bonaparte captured the Hangman’s Joke:

However, I had plenty of firepower to make a stand!!  The Sea Hag let loose with Neptune’s Trident and excellent shooting, taking the Baochuan down to 1 mast!

Now it was time to raid!  I essentially had a second (though temporary) HI Raider, with the Cutlass acquiring the Wine UT earlier in the game.  She snagged a 7 from the Spanish Rebel hoard, with the Sea Rat not far behind.  In the meantime there’s chaos!  The Zeus sank the Baochuan, but was then dismasted by the Acorazado!  The Sea Hag has the Plague and loses masts.

At this point Namazu and the Cursed canoes were gone, leaving few ships left in my fleet:

I couldn’t lobby hard enough for round earth rules before the game, and now it would have come in really handy.  The Cutlass didn’t have a good place to run, while the Sea Rat stole a coin but was besieged by ramming attacks.

I made a good run at it, but who was there to ruin it? Le Bonaparte of course!!  O_O  🙁   Although the Sea Rat escaped into a fog bank, Behemoth and the Bonaparte had arrived.  The Cutlass was cornered and fell to the French on the final turns.

Four Player Game at 100 points in Las Vegas on July 5th 2021 (Captain Randy)

The game ended soon afterwards.  Here are the final scores:

  1. Drew’s French: 48 gold
  2. A7XfanBen’s Cursed: 41
  3. Curren’s Spanish Rebels: 38
  4. Captain Randy’s Pirates: 35

Wow, some nice close scores and nobody got blown out!  It was interesting to see the Spanish Rebels fall towards the end, with some stolen coins preventing them from holding on.  I made a good run at it and thought I might have had it, but of course the French swooped in to claim victory.

This game serves as a great exhibit of why Le Bonaparte should be way up high on any potential ban lists.  Ugh!

Fourth of July Game with Captain Randy on Lake Mead!

Fourth of July 2021 with Captain Randy

This was the 60 point game that Captain Randy and I played on the Fourth of July 2021!  We drove southeast of his place in Las Vegas to his houseboat on Lake Mead!  The game took place on a nice glass table on the upper deck of the boat, with a nice wavy water effect.  The plant on the table is immoveable, so we decided to base the 3 wild islands around it.  The winner of the game would receive and open a Revolution pack that I had space for in the OE tin I brought on my trip!

Fourth of July Game with Captain Randy on Lake Mead!

Naturally we had to use the English and Americans.  I went first:

HMS Goliath (ghostly version) + LE Griffin, captain, helmsman, oarsman
HMS Hyena + captain, helmsman, explorer, firepot specialist
HMS Sea Phoenix + captain, helmsman

USS Thomas Jefferson + Commodore Peregrine Stern, Wayne Nolan, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Bonhomme Richard + tribal chieftain, captain, helmsman
Native Canoes

USS Thomas Jefferson was the first non-canoe to get some gold.  I opened the hostilities, but HMS Goliath rolled horribly, leaving her open to a devastating American attack.

Would this pack contain the RV Super Rares?

Full size masts in the background! 😀

The Bonhomme Richard struck hard, eliminating 4 masts from the Goliath!

In the meantime, the rest of the American fleet was running home with gold:

HMS Hyena and the Goliath teamed up to severely damage the Bonhomme Richard:

The Americans might be looking to swap their 5 masters.

Finally a game on water!

In a surprising development, the English press their attack with everything they’ve got!  HMS Goliath takes 2 masts off the TJ, while HMS Hyena sinks the Bonhomme Richard!

Carnage ensues!  What else in a Fourth of July game between the English and Americans?

The Americans continue the war effort, with the TJ sinking the Goliath!

HMS Hyena dismasts USS TJ!

Up until now we had both kind of forgotten that HMS Sea Phoenix was a home island raider!  At this point it had been looking like the Americans would win handily on gold.  However, with both American 5 masters out of the mix, now the English could pick off all but one American canoe and then rob their home island slowly dry over time while extending the game!

But the Americans had a counter – Runes of Odin!  O_O

In one of the weirdest and WORST strokes of luck I’ve ever had in Pirates CSG, I proceeded to roll the exact combination of two d6 rolls (3 and then 6) required to push the new and deadly iceberg straight into my own HMS Sea Phoenix, ending the HI Raider threat and likely dooming my chances at a comeback!!  O_O

HMS Sea Phoenix eliminated by Runes of Odin iceberg after unlikely rolls by A7XfanBen

A beautiful setting for a beautiful game….

Even though HMS Hyena sunk the TJ, it was as good as over.

The Americans won by quite a margin, giving Captain Randy the revenge he sought after I won our first game!

I’ll let you watch the video to see him open the pack!