Maelstrom debut! Two games at 4×60 | September 10th, 2023

Maelstrom debut! Two games at 4×60


It was finally time to debut the Maelstrom map that my friend Gino got me for Christmas!  😀  Two games at 60 points would be played, both using the Maelstrom house rules. The first was a Maelstrom of Gold, with the second being a quick deathmatch before we ran out of time. We played at Laughing Dragon MTG in Issaquah Washington.  It was a really fun meetup – I got to see Luke for the first time in a while, with Xerecs (Billy) and Kyle getting the opportunity to play against Luke for the first time.  This was also the second day in a row where Xerecs got to play a fellow PNW pirate for the first time.  This was the first test of the Maelstrom house rules, so it was a bit of an experimental “wild west” game, with a couple small clarifications needed during the game.  However, I was pleasantly a little surprised by how well it went overall.

We still used the Seattle house rules for any non-Maelstrom stuff.  Here is the setup! (fleets are below)

Maelstrom debut! Two games at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

If you’d prefer to check out parts of the game in video form, here is all the footage I recorded:

Here is a quick peek at the fleets in play order – all game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet.

Xerecs was using Le Gaule, Longshanks+Calypso, and HMS Cordwainer (unreleased ship)+Lord Mycron.

HMS Cordwainer

Kyle went all English, with HMS Oxford, HMS Durham (FN), and HMS Granville among his ranks.

I felt it had been a while since I used a fleet with only minor factions in it, so I went with a relatively basic Corsair Mercenary fleet (alternatively called Barbary Mercs/etc).
Wicked Kareen + captain, helmsman (15)
Queen of Sheba + captain, helmsman, explorer (12)
Tasmanian Devil + captain, helmsman, fire shot (20) (should not have had fire shot due to only 2 cargo)
Shaihulud (13)

Barbary Corsair Mercenary fleet used in 4x60 Maelstrom game of Wizkids Pirates CSG

Luke had the Americans, bringing the Intrepid, Carolina towing Minuteman, and Rattlesnake.

American fleet of ships for Wizkids Pirates

After Xerecs passed giving actions on his first turn, the counterclockwise movement of fleets began.  My Queen of Sheba and Wicked Kareen explored on the first turn, loading up a bunch of valuable gold.

Maelstrom debut! Two games of Wizkids Pirates CSG at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

Looking from the southwest, you can see the English have split up. Intrepid stays at home.

Maelstrom debut! Two games of Wizkids Pirates CSG at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

I was seated in the east, so most of the pictures will be from that perspective. Intrepid got a second action, whirling “backwards” after one move action to slam the Oxford!  She took the English schooner down to 1 mast, but they were quickly ambushed by Le Gaule, who received an assist from Calypso to whirl into the combat area.  OE Jordan Dumas was aboard to let Bonny Peel captain the ship, and she was ready for action.  With the help of Lord Mycron and S-boarding, Bonny Peel managed to nab both 7 point crew from the two ships – Hermione Gold from Oxford and Montana Mays from the Intrepid!  We were in for a swashbuckling adventure, with things just getting started.  At the right, Queen of Sheba has explored another island and exchanged her lowest value coin from the previous island for the best coin of that island.  Wicked Kareen has emerged from fog, not getting the 50% chance roll that she would end up on the wrong side of the fog bank and therefore “stuck” in the fog bank with no way to sail against the strong counterclockwise current.  However, Kyle was making some good points about intentionally staying in fog until the coast was clear, since there was a lot less freedom of movement emerging from fog banks than usual.

Maelstrom debut! Two games of Wizkids Pirates CSG at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

The Americans have explored two islands.  Intrepid returns home for repairs, while Le Gaule returns home for repairs and to unload Bonny Peel’s valuable hostages.

Maelstrom debut! Two games of Wizkids Pirates CSG at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

With two 7’s aboard, I was desperate to get the Wicked Kareen home (especially with no visible HI raiders present). She emerged from the fog bank and took a whirlpool shortcut into home waters, losing a mast in transit.  In the northeast (far right), Tasmanian Devil and Shaihulud take up escort positions surrounding the Queen of Sheba.  I believe the galley had even more gold on her than Wicked Kareen (I think 7,6,4).  Intrepid and Gaule repair, while Kyle continues playing a very patient game.

Maelstrom debut! Two games of Wizkids Pirates CSG at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

Minuteman shot a mast off Wicked Kareen on Luke’s turn. He tried to position Rattlesnake to block incoming shots from hitting the Carolina/Minuteman.

Le Gaule takes center stage once again!  She whirls into action, dismasting the Wicked Kareen and capturing her captain!  Wicked Kareen rows S+S towards home but cannot reach it.  HMS Durham got an extra action from Admiral Morgan and has switched fog banks, sinking the Rattlesnake on her way there.

Carolina ditched Minuteman to whirl home, with the flotilla shooting masts off Le Gaule. HMS Durham sank the Wicked Kareen! Intrepid is now fully repaired, but Le Gaule will have to pull into port for another repairing session.  At the top, my close trio is making full sail towards the whirlpool in the northwest.

Maelstrom debut! Two games at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

I was being way too aggressive with the setup, sending my trio of ships through the whirlpool towards home in an eager attempt to get Queen of Sheba’s gold unloaded safely.  However, Kyle used HMS Durham coming out the back end (normally suboptimal) of a nearby fog bank to shoot and sink the galley!  At this point I knew I was out of it, with only a loaded Mercenary ship and a 0-cargo sea monster in my fleet.

Luke was using the Intrepid to look for gold, using his amazing “schooner swing” tactic to move pseudo-backwards in a clockwise direction.

Le Gaule ended up aflame from a brutal engagement near the center, but Xerecs managed to come away with the Intrepid from it!

In the background, HMS Oxford is home repairing, the Longshanks has sailed out on her own, the English 3 masters have returned to a familiar fog haunt, and my Mercenary pieces are now out to hunt rather than escort.

Maelstrom debut! Two games at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

Le Gaule became a full inferno, but the Longshanks managed to save her with the help of Lord Mycron giving an action to allow Longshanks to tow the Frenchman home.  HMS Durham has captured the Carolina, while the Tasmanian Devil engages the Granville.

Maelstrom debut! Two games at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

By this point, Luke was out of the game. Kyle (and the rest of us) wanted to get the second game in (we were approaching less than 45 minutes until the store closed), and sent his final ship through the center of the Maelstrom to become the second player out and end the game!

Maelstrom debut! Two games at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023


  1. Luke: 21 gold
  2. Xerecs: 17
  3. Kyle: 5
  4. Ben: 1 (from taking out a Ransom crew)

Congrats to Luke on an interesting victory!  Xerecs had a gold capture worth 5 gold on Le Gaule when the game ended, so he would have won if the game had gone on much longer.  However, this was Luke’s first game in a while and possibly the last game I’ll play with him that I’ll be able to document, so it was somewhat fitting.

The second game had to be played at absolute mach speed, with players picking up their area in between turns.  The Maelstrom of Death awaited!

Luke went first in this deathmatch, with some proxies in his fleet.  The flotilla represents Death’s Anchor, while the other 1 master is the Lizard’s Sting.

I couldn’t resist using one of the ships involved in the movie battle. 🙂
Golden Medusa + Hammersmith, Anamaria, Eternal Gus Schultz, F&S Lenoir, oarsman (30)
Black Pearl + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, stinkpot shot, oarsman (22)
Fancy + captain (8)

Kyle went with the same 60 point fleet from the last game. Xerecs went with HMS Grand Temple and the SCS Santa Ana, both with large crew complements of course.

Maelstrom debut! Two games at 4x60 | September 10th, 2023

The fleets began the process of circling each other, with Kyle and I not getting closer to the center except for the mandatory 1 ring closer at the end of each of our turns.

Maelstrom of Death - Pirates CSG

Xerecs caught Luke and crushed his main ship.  My Fancy was sunk by Luke’s Fallen Angel/flotilla combo, but the others were fast enough to stay out of range.

Maelstrom of Death - Pirates CSG

Once the ships entered the center 3 rings, the game quickly devolved into an abrupt shooting match. Various ships were sunk, with the Black Pearl doing heavy damage to Kyle’s fleet once she caught up.  Gus Schultz’s Eternal triggered on the Golden Medusa, sending the ship to the outer ring.  The problem was, nobody else had Eternal, so it was kind of hard for me not to win.  :/  (I figured at least one other person would bring something with Eternal, and didn’t realize it would be such an auto-win if they didn’t, due to the “countdown” nature of the maelstrom sucking ships towards the middle)  We didn’t really have time to play the rest properly but I won since I had a fresh ship that would take many turns to “re-sink”.

Maelstrom of Death - Pirates CSG

I’ll rework at least one of the deathmatch rules, namely Eternal. Perhaps the ability gets “transformed” into something else that costs a similar amount of points, such as +1 or +2 to boarding rolls.  In addition, there is a pretty severe incentive in the deathmatch rules to stay on the outside and avoid conflict as long as possible, letting aggressive players burn out and hit the center before you do.  It would lead to everyone just biding their time and never approaching the center on purpose.  Perhaps a more free deathmatch scenario would work better, where ships are not forced towards the middle and certain death every turn.

In addition, I’d like to experiment with opening up the movement around the maelstrom to go in either direction, especially for a regular game with gold.  However, I’d say that the house rules generally worked pretty well, especially in the first game.  Thanks again to Gino for the map, and thank you for reading!

Xerecs was in town for BrickCon, which is where he got the hat from!

Ben, Xerecs, Kyle, Luke at Laughing Dragon MTG in Issaquah WA

Lastly, please consider supporting my efforts with this game by buying through my eBay affiliate links whenever you would normally buy Pirates CSG stuff from eBay. Purchases made through the links will give me a small commission which helps out the website and the things I do to help keep this game alive.  Thank you!

Maelstrom Game Mat and House Rules

Maelstrom Game Mat and House Rules

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

Maelstrom Game Mat for Wizkids Pirates CSG

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

Maelstrom of Gold Scenario

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

Deathmatch Scenario

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

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

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

Maelstrom game mat - Black Pearl and Flying Dutchman

We have seen this before….

Maelstrom game mat - Black Pearl vs. Flying Dutchman

Black Pearl vs. Flying Dutchman!

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!!

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

Defense of St. Helens deathmatch scenario on VASSAL with Xerecs!

Get VASSAL here:

Get the Defense of St. Helens map I made here:

Here is the Defense of St. Helens scenario, created by Gustawicyryl:

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win – July 29th, 2017

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win (new endgame rule)

This was a 3 player game on VASSAL between myself, repkosai, and wifey.

With some inspiration from this epicness, we decided to play by a new rule. The winner of the game would be whoever had the most points in play PLUS gold. Essentially, you’d start with X points and try not to lose any, and get gold along the way to maximize your score.

We kept it simple for the first time trying out the idea, with standard 40 point fleets. Also, since the new rule could potentially make the gold race irrelevant, we contributed high value coins (only worth 4 gold or more). Here was the turn order:

Repkosai’s Corsairs
El Leon + Castro (SAT version), captain, helmsman
Wicked Kareen + captain, helmsman
Queen of Sheba + helmsman

Wifey’s Spaniards
Asesino de la Nave + captain
El Duque + captain, helmsman
La Monarca + explorer

A7XfanBen’s Unconventional Pirates

The Duque and Raven are the first to reach islands:

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

After some maneuvering, the Leon knocked the flag off the Doombox flotilla before being attacked by the Cutlass and Raven. Barstow nabbed the Spanish captain, but the Raven couldn’t dismast the Spanish ship. To make things more complicated, the Asesino was approaching.

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

The Unconventional Pirates dismast the Leon and nearly do the same to the Asesino! The Monarca lurks north of the wild island the Pirates looted with the Paradox and Cutlass.

Pirates dismasting and capturing ships

The Pirates clean up with a big turn! The Paradox captured the Leon, while the Raven dismasted the Asesino and the Cutlass did the same to the Monarca. At this point I had realized that my strategy of capturing crew for gold with Barstow wasn’t a very effective strategy with the new endgame rule, so I adapted and tried to capture as many ships as possible to control a lot of points. However, the Spanish were certainly winning the gold race, as the Duque brought home her second haul.

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

The Pirates capture the Asesino and Monarca, giving them 6 ships to double the size of their fleet!

Pirates area is busy

The Pirates repair two of their new ships and maneuver so the Paradox can tow the Asesino, allowing the Raven to unload her captured captain. The Duque passes by in a convenient route, allowing the Pirates to attack her as well!

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

The Duque was captured, giving the Pirates 7 ships and their flotilla! The Leon was sent through a whirlpool to steal gold from the Queen of Sheba, which she did with moderate success. Another captured Spanish ship from a different fleet, the Monarca, grabbed a coin from the northeastern island. The Pirates had already begun celebrating – check out the welcoming parade for the Leon and Monarca! With the Spanish eliminated and the QoS docking home her gold for the Corsairs, the game was over with no gold left to collect.

Points In Play AND Gold For the Win - July 29th, 2017

The points and gold of each fleet were tallied up!

1. Pirates: 139 total points (93 in their fleet, so they more than doubled their starting build total)
2. Corsairs: 49
3. Spanish: 36 (all from gold)

The Pirates ruled the seas in this game, using a dual strategy of gold capture crew and later adapting to capture ships normally to maximize the size of their fleet.

I must say, I like this new endgame variation, and not just because I won. It’s rather practical, and adds more realism to the game. Ships were very important, and losing a ship could be as bad or worse than losing a cargo full of resources. It really emphasizes keeping your fleet healthy, and trying to make a decisive engagement with another player so you can take ships and crew (and therefore points) from their fleet and add them to your own. In addition, it makes sinking ships less practical, and incentivizes the winners of battles to keep derelicts afloat and capture them. This is also more realistic, as ships didn’t sink from cannon fire very often in the Age of Sail. Finally, it makes combat more enticing since the gold scores aren’t the end-all be-all like they usually are. This is great because various people expected the game to be more of a combat game and wish there was more battling, and because gold running is usually more boring than the combat. I’d love to hear feedback on this “Points In Play AND Gold for the win” idea!  Please comment below your thoughts on it!

Return of Cadet-Captain Mike’s Random Setup Tables – July 21st, 2017

Just played a game with Repkosai using Cadet-Captain Mike’s random setup tables! Repkosai made the rolls to avoid my bad luck giving us a more boring setup. He rolled a 5-4-6, which gave us: “Free ships totalling 8 masts; One generic crew on each ship, plus two generic crew & one named crew (all free)”.

With that, it was clear that you could afford many of the lesser used small ships with high point costs.

Repkosai went first with an American fleet:
Enterprise + Commodore David Porter, cargo master, helmsman
USS Kettering + captain, helmsman

I went with one of the strangest fleets I’ve ever constructed, and possibly one of the oddest fleets of all time:
Barnacle + helmsman
Loki + helmsman
HMS Swiftsure + captain, stinkpot specialist
Seven Brothers + helmsman
Sea Storm + captain, helmsman
Dharma + Bonny Peel, helmsman
Kalaallit + captain
Le Jongleur + helmsman

Round earth rules. I made sure to include various UT’s, including some wacky and potentially game-changing ones!

The Americans head northwest, while the mixed fleet immediately scatters. My strategy was to raid the American HI with the Loki and Jongleur after the Enterprise docked home. The Sea Storm was a suicidal pest, while the Dharma and Swiftsure were more tactical gunships (especially the Dharma, with Bonny Peel potentially being a nice surprise between the named crew in the opposing fleet and the Longship’s +1 boarding bonus). The KL was a hybrid, but ran gold at the start. The Seven Brothers and Barnacle were the most direct gold runners, and I wanted the Barnacle to find at least one of the UT’s I dumped in…

Return of Cadet-Captain Mike's Random Setup Tables

In an annoying circumstance for both sides, the Enterprise picked up Enemy of the State! Not only could the Americans not unload her gold, but the mixed fleet couldn’t steal it via HI raiding! At the extreme south and east of the sea, the Dharma and Loki look to round earth and surprise the Americans. The Swiftsure and Sea Storm watch the Kettering, almost as eager to stay out of range as they are to pounce.

Return of Cadet-Captain Mike's Random Setup Tables

In the south, the KL finds Ammunition and Driftwood. In the north, the Barnacle finds a UT and some good gold, along with the Dead Man’s Chest UT. The DMC was included since the unique setup rules allowed me various free generic crew. I purposely included only 1’s for regular coins, in order to maximize my personal benefit if the DMC was used properly. With 3 of the islands explored and only one left, the Swiftsure knows what she must do….

With the Enterprise unable to dock, the Americans headed northeast to try and eliminate the Dead Man’s Chest UT from the Barnacle. I made a comment about blowing the game up, but little did the Americans know, I meant it literally! In what looked like a bizarre and suicidal move, the gold-laden Barnacle rammed the huge and powerful Enterprise! The other UT the Barnacle had found was… Explosives! I rolled a lucky 6 and both the Barnacle and Enterprise were blown up!! Luckily the Enterprise had found some Driftwood of her own (separate from that on the KL), which saved Porter, who grabbed onto a log just in time for the explosion to simply throw him to a nearby wild island.

However, this was just the beginning of my nefarious plans, as the Seven Brothers finally explored her island to find another crazy UT: PLAGUE! The Swiftsure had the fastest base move in my fleet, and immediately zoomed up to the SB and grabbed the Plague. This eliminated the Swiftsure’s captain and stinkpot specialist, but the Plague was more valuable in deterring the Kettering from interfering with the endgame, which was approaching quite rapidly. As for my other ships, the KL is headed home with gold, the Jongleur looks to grab some gold from the SB so she’s not trucking it home at just S speed, the Dharma is unable to attempt crew captures from the Kettering due to bad fog rolls, the Sea Storm heads north again to provide bait for the Kettering, and with no gold on the American HI available for stealing, the Loki looks to pick up a coin left over from the KL’s haul.

Return of Cadet-Captain Mike's Random Setup Tables

The Kettering loaded Porter aboard, and the Sea Storm let herself sink so the Swiftsure could ram the Kettering and unload the Plague to kill all the American crew. (the Kettering wouldn’t have caught the KL in time anyway, who was busy unloading gold from the Mercenary ship Jongleur) The Dharma eventually got in on the action against the Kettering, but soon it was evident that the mixed fleet had prevailed. In a very strange setup, the mixed fleet had won 13-0.

This is a great example of what happens in Pirates – just as Gore Verbinski said, “everything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Not a single strategy in either fleet worked properly. The Enterprise wasn’t able to run gold or fight, and was simply blown up without firing a shot. The Kettering managed to do some damage late in the game, but to no avail. My fleet wasn’t able to steal gold from the American HI, capture crew with Bonny Peel, or use many of the ships as intended.

It was a fun game, though lopsided as I tried to exploit the setup rules as much as possible, going with the maximum number of ships and generic crew. I believe my fleet totalled 126 points against just 53 for Repkosai, which is one of the only flaws of the random setup tables. However, we both enjoyed the game and hope to use the tables again in the future!

No home islands and no open cargo spaces! October 4th, 2016

In my first solitaire game since last fall (I think), I decided to do something totally different.

Following the Water World rules introduced by brettb45, there would be no home islands. However, similar to a few other games I played last fall, there would also be no home forts. There was absolutely nowhere to store or unload gold – only gold on ships would count towards victory at the end of the game. The game would end once all the wild islands had sunk, when they had no more gold on them.

To make things even more bizarre, there were 5 fleets at 30 points, but no ship could have ANY cargo spaces open to start the game. Every ship had to be full to the brim with crew and/or equipment, which meant that to load gold, crew would have to be either left on the island or killed in combat! It was a whole new approach to the game, with new strategies, tactics in fleet construction, and odd gameplay. It turned out to be great fun! I also happened to be in a rush playing the game, so all of this happened very quickly.

These were the fleets – one from each of the Big 5. Making the fleets was rather strange – given the constraints of my traveling collection, there were only so many options. It was also tough to fit named crew, especially without defaulting to a one-ship setup. The play order went in the reverse faction order, with the Americans going first, and then the Pirates. Each of the 4 wild islands had 5 coins.

The Pirates unfurled their sails but the Spanish were right behind them! The Furia quickly took out the Fancy, but the Cantabrian struggled mightily against the Selkie, managing to win a boarding party after missing both shots and failing to damage the ship with a ram.

Spanish blast Pirates

The other 3 fleets were content to sail towards wild islands without interference:
No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016
The Selkie fought both broadsides against the Spanish, but missed 0/3 and rolled a 1 with her exploding shot to lose a mast! The Furia punished her afterwards, scoring a hit to dismast the Selkie and eliminate the Pirates from the game before a single island had been explored! In the meantime, the Americans had ominously turned the United States around – why bother getting a few coins early in the game (which would come at the expense of some very valuable crew) when you could wreck havoc first?

The Maui’s Fishhook (MF) finds Plague! The UT wipes out all 5 of her generic crew, but it does allow her to load 3 regular coins without making any tough crew decisions. She left a 0 coin on the island as a decoy, and to keep the game alive in case she would be able to load more gold and/or use the Plague to terrorize other fleets.

Maui's Fishhook finds the Plague UT

The United States sank the Fancy and Selkie to destroy both Pirate ships, but the Furia sailed up and shot away two of the American’s masts! In the meantime, the Cantabrian had explored an island and loaded a couple coins, leaving her captain and helmsman behind. The Spanish were looking good…

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

But so were the French! The Missionary actually made it easier for them – the Floating Stone was their main gold ship anyway, so losing the helmsman and explorer wasn’t a big deal. The French had a plan for the island’s gold.

The Floating Stone loaded two 1’s and the Weapons, which would soon be transferred to the Marie Antoinette, who swapped her explorer for the final 1 coin. It was a good “resource management” turn – the MA would now have a +2 bonus on boards, which was a great combo with her built-in S-boarding ability.

An overview of the situation:

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

Not wanting to risk a Broadsides Attack with a world-hater aboard, the United States went 1/3 to take a mast off the Furia! It wasn’t enough once the Cantabrian and Furia teamed up to eliminate the Americans from the game! The Spanish had their own resource management plan: maximize gold aboard ships by transferring the Cantabrian’s gold to the United States, and then have the Cantabrian go back to the island to pick up more gold. It was definitely a strange game for strategy, but a fun and refreshing one at that!

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

The northwestern island sank, and the Marie Antoinette was looking to attack the Spanish before turning on the English because the MF’s Plague could render the MA relatively weak to the Furia.

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

However, I then realized that due to the Plague (using the old version), the MF couldn’t dock, so she headed straight for the MA!

The Furia sailed bravely into battle to protect her fleet’s gold, but missed her shot against the MA. The MA utilized her S-boarding prior to moving, but remarkably, she couldn’t even win the boarding party with extra Weapons aboard!! With two crew aboard and a die roll of 1, the MA had a boarding score of 7, which was tied when the Furia rolled an improbable 6!

Furia ties boarding party score!

The MA used her move action to smartly get away from the sickly MF, instead dismasting the Cantabrian and sinking the United States with 4 gold aboard! As a result the MF dumped the Plague onto the Furia to eliminate all 3 of her crew, and France now had the upper hand against Spain.

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

The MF actually won her boarding party against the Furia to take the Plague right back! This made her a target for the MA, who dismasted her with (ironically) help from the Furia. (with no crew the Furia couldn’t ram or shoot the MA on her turn)

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

However, the French still had a logistical issue in the way of them winning the game. The only gold they controlled was the three 1’s on their two ships, which could not be counted on against the 3 coins aboard the MF, who was captured by the Spanish. The French countered by capturing the Cantabrian. It was a race to see who could control the most gold the fastest, but the key lied with the MA’s still-healthy crew complement.

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

The Marie Antoinette used her captain and helmsman to sail up to the Spanish, sinking the MF and dismasting the Furia! The game had ended not with all the islands sinking, but with only one fleet remaining!

The French had won with 5 gold! All the other fleets had not a single coin between them. The extremely low values were explained after the game by the unexplored southeastern island, which held a nice cache of 15 gold. Even if the United States had grabbed that gold early in the game, it’s not likely she would have held onto it with the dangerous Furia and MA opposing her.

No home islands and no open cargo spaces!  October 4th, 2016

This was a really fun setup, and I’d recommend it if you want a quick, desperate, and exciting match. I’d like to do it again soon, possibly with other variations (such as making it mandatory to fill up each ship’s point cost with crew, rather than cargo spaces) and likely a higher point limit.

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge – October 1st, 2016

These battle reports concern the following:
Fleet Challenge: Sink The Battleship

4 competitors would face the Spanish Main version of El Acorazado in this setup to determine the winner of the Sink the Battleship fleet challenge!

First up: The Dread… (Xerecs)

The Acorazado maneuvered to get the first shot, and took out three masts.

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

The Dreadnought returned fire twice with all cannons but missed a few times! This left the Acorazado with two masts, which was enough to sink the Dreadnought with an SAT. The Patagonia was also eliminated, and Xerecs was out of the challenge!

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

Next up: Allies in Fire (Volt)

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

The Acorazado maneuvered, staying close to her home island and waiting for a chance to strike.

She struck the Victor, since I believed the Victor’s Exploding Shot to be the most dangerous weapon that I could not cancel or deal with. The Fortune had to come within S to shoot firepots, and so the Victor was sunk.

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

Volt’s fleet struck hard afterwards, and there was simply too much to cancel. I decided to cancel the Fortune’s captain if she came within S range, but in the meantime the Glorious Treasure and Maryland eliminated masts. The Battleship was soon ablaze!

The Acorazado didn’t get Castro’s SAT, so she had to stand and fight. Dismasting the Glorious Treasure and Coeur was the best I could do.

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

The smaller ships closed in and dismasted the Acorazado! Volt’s fleet has beaten the ship in 4 turns!

The third challenger: Gonna Sink You!

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

With no extra action or canceller capabilities, it was difficult for the smaller ships to get the first shot. The Acorazado struck with a double action, and purposely shot a mast off each of the two masters, meaning that their guns would be completely useless for the rest of the battle.

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

The ships had no choice but to ram. All 4 rams failed, and the Acorazado quickly destroyed the fleet and claimed a second victory in three games!

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

The final test for the Acorazado: Cheeseland VS The Battleship

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

The Swallow made sure to stay out of the Acorazado’s range.

Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016

The Acorazado simply sailed away from the Swallow, looking to frustrate the English and leave her vulnerable. The Swallow took the bait, but not only because Griffin and Lawrence were frustrated – they knew that Thomas Gunn’s fleet had already beaten the Acorazado in 4 turns, and time was running out. They had to make a move in order to make El Cazador victorious. Sailing up to the Acorazado on the third turn, they loosed a Broadsides Attack and missed with a 1!

The Acorazado only hit 3 times after failing to get the SAT from Castro. This opened the door for the English, who could tie Volt’s fleet if they sank the Battleship this turn. Turn 4 proved to be the climactic (or anticlimactic) one: the Swallow hit with her first broadside (a 4), but missed with her second on a 3!

Turn 5 wasn’t necessary, but the Acorazado finished off the Swallow just to prove a point. Not only did the Acorazado win 3 out of the 4 games with a considerable point disadvantage, she had also sunk or dismasted 3/5 of Volt’s fleet in her only loss!

@El Cazador: I forgot to copy and paste the chat transcript for the final game before I closed VASSAL. What’s funny is that I forgot about the Swallow’s strategy at first: before undoing the turn, I had the Swallow sail up and broadside the Acorazado on the very first turn (with her second action, after the Acorazado had gone first). However, that BA roll was a hilarious 1. Looks like the Swallow needs some more gunnery practice!

Volt has sank The Battleship and won the Fleet Challenge!! Congratulations! Now it’s up to you to determine the next challenge. Thanks again to all who entered.


The Acorazado faced another English fleet (created by El Cazador) in a deathmatch. This one tried to utilize the Gargantuan’s reverse captain ability, L-range guns, and double cannon bonus (via TGunn the Elder and Griffin) when combined with Mycron on the Patagonia. The Victor served as support with more L-range firepower.

The Acorazado decided to chance an early attack, and hit 2/2 against the Victor.

The Victor rammed a mast off the Acorazado, who had a new strategy: eliminate Lord Mycron. However, the Gargantuan caught her and was able to blast some masts off. Eventually the Battleship fell to the English.
Sink the Battleship Fleet Challenge - October 1st, 2016
Thanks for reading!  Do you think you can Sink The Battleship?  Feel free to post any fleets below that you think would be victorious!