For the first time in YEARS I played a game with NO house rules of any kind. Captain Vendari and I met on the VASSAL module for a “pure standard” game. No ban list, no house rules, nothing beyond what Wizkids intended this great game to be. Due to the prevalence of house rules and ban lists in modern game groups that play Pirates CSG, I have even been calling this “hyperstandard” in my head, though in reality it’s basically just “regular Pirates”.
Vendari rolled to go first. These were the fleets: (all game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet)
San Cristobal + Victor de Alva (F&S version), Luis Zuan (F&S version; Helmsman ability), silver explorer
Bloody Jewel + helmsman, silver explorer
Le Coeur du Lion + Vicomte Jules de Cissey, navigator
UT’s: Kharmic Idol
Black Swan + Captain Jack Sparrow (common 058 version), Bianco’s Haulers, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Patagonia + Robinson, Lord Mycron, Administrator Scott Bratley
Le Coeur du Lion + oarsmen x2 (1 Pirate, 1 French)
Oarsmen x2 on home island (1 Pirate, 1 French)
Events: Hidden Cove, Raft
UT’s: Jailhouse Dog, Relics
With his 0LR+5 Vendari brought in both crew on the Bloody Jewel. I anticipated seeing at least one face down event in his fleet, but once I saw none in his complete fleet as Player 2 I realized I could save the 2 points I was anticipating for Favor of the Gods. My 5 extra points went towards my events and the HI oarsmen, as I figured the Coeur would need more crew to fling out to CJS.
As Player 2 I placed the final island, putting it on the western side. This was to preserve the southeastern island as likely the worst HI location. We didn’t dive too deep into the strategic meta around island placement, but we certainly talked about it as we set the map up. Vendari also won the roll to determine how many terrain pieces each player would place – he voted 6, I voted 2. He placed 3 whirlpools and 3 reefs, while I added 5 fog banks and 1 sargasso sea. I chose for Vendari to start in the SE corner while he chose for me to start in the NW corner. We were ready to play some old-fashioned normal Pirates!
Victor de Alva was revealed, and Vendari got his EA roll to zip the San Cristobal out towards the center island at S+S+L+S+S+S+L+S speed. The Bloody Jewel headed west as the Coeur generated a trade current.
The UPS machine began revving up. I flipped Hidden Cove to start my turn, and the middle island was the closest. I was wary of Nemesio Diaz on the SC being able to cancel one of my important abilities, but decided to chance it and dock near the SC anyway, knowing that I could force a decisive action very early if there was no canceller. (in hindsight, in a hyper competitive environment I would have studied Vendari’s face down crew setups and total points before taking my turn, which would have shown that the final crew on the SC could not have been more than a 3 point crew) The Black Swan used her first action to redock with cannons in range of the SC. I flipped CJS and shot before exploring, since exploring first could reveal bad UT’s that might mess up the shooting. The Black Swan hit 2/3 (definitely above my average with 3S cannons) and then explored, finding some low value coins on the island. I think it was a regular 2 and the rest silver – 2,1,1. CJS flipped the silver 2 to the Coeur, who was given an explore action targeting my HI to unload it.
With Mycron giving the Patagonia’s action away, the Black Swan then redocked again to fire her port broadside, hitting the San Cristobal 1/3 to take her down to 2 masts standing. CJS flung another coin to the Coeur, but she would have to wait until the next turn to unload it. The Black Swan also loaded one of the 1’s, as I would rather get boarded for it (and possibly only lose my explorer since the loser chooses everything for boarding parties) than have the SC just explore the island and take it.
Vendari got another EA from de Alva, and docked at the island next to the Black Swan. However, I was ready to reveal my “trap card”, with Bianco’s Haulers preventing the Black Swan from being shot at while docked! It was still a decent turn for the SC however, as she was able to use the silver explorer to grab the island’s final coin, then use the EA to sail away to the west. The Bloody Jewel scurried home with treasure after finding both Relics and Kharmic Idol on the southwestern island.
With no canceller or oarsman on the San Cristobal, I had to take her. The Black Swan got another Mycron assist to blast the San Cristobal, ramming at the bow as well. The SC was dismasted, and both players declined to board.
The Bloody Jewel returned home with a 3 and a silver 1 that generated an extra 1 gold from the silver explorer’s bonus.
On my turn the Black Swan started towing the SC, then used both actions to dock at the western island where I explored and flipped home a silver 4 to the Coeur who unloaded it. I then built Paradis de la Mer because it would allow the SC to repair, and because Vendari’s fleet was now likely too weak to be able to contest the gold in Paradis at any point in the future. (a safer play than some fort builds, so a no-brainer in this case) The following turn I got de Alva’s EA (quite the generous guy today!) to repair 2 masts on the SC. However, at this point Vendari decided to forfeit, seeing no path forward for him to win given the momentum swing and how hard it would be to get any more coins home.
A7XfanBen: 13 gold
Captain Vendari: 5
Although the game was shorter than I anticipated, it was nice to get back to a regular game of Pirates. It’s been so long since I played with all events being legal and things like the normal boarding rules where the winner has no agency to choose. I think it’s a good idea to do this once in a while, both to satisfy my desire to play competitively and as a way of going old school or back to the roots of the game that Wizkids put out. After all the house rule craziness in recent years, it’s almost a way to “detox” from a bit of “house rule fatigue”. Nothing against house rules to say the least, just kind of a fun experiment to do once in a while, both to actually play (not just theorize) in a competitive meta and almost as a tribute to Wizkids’ original creation.
Spanish (home island is in the southeast): 15 ships, 243 points. Recently attacked by the Pirates through whirlpools at the spice island southwest of their home island (HI).
Jade Rebellion (south central): Approximately 5 ships for 50 points. They have struggled to grow. Although they were the first faction to reach The Archipelago, their Noble Swan was captured by the Pirates, netting the Pirates a key UT combo that has pretty much permanently destabilized the game.
The Conglomerate/The Alliance: ~27 ships total. Recently hired Mata-Nui gives them the Copier ability, and since bringing him into the fold they’ve gotten Hidden Trove twice, netting them over 1000 gold in a short period of time.
English: 16 ships in play. The English have been pretty average so far, gathering reasonably valuable resources and staying out of conflict.
Pirates (home island is northeast and southeast due to round earth rules): Already the dominant faction of the early game, the Pirates are quickly reaching all-time great status. Combining the captured Runes of Thor+Nemo’s Plans combo with the custom Arcane ship has vaulted them into a new stratosphere of fleet size, recently topping out at 148 ships and ~3740 total points in play! They have become the de facto favorite, with a staggering amount of firepower that grows by the turn (41 ships launched last turn!) along with a growing collection of WMD’s – Weapons of Mass Destruction. The sheer amount of ability and UT combos available to the Pirates gives them striking range and power unlike anything ever seen in a Pirates CSG game.
Cursed (northwest): With some intriguing help from the Pirates along with Davy Jones’ Copier ability, The Cursed have gone from an average faction to the second largest fleet in play. Among their 37 ships are a whopping five 10 masters, with more possibly on the way given that they’re still sitting on around 2000 gold.
Vikings (north central): The Vikings have basically just collected lumber, and lost the Sleipnir to the nearby Pirates. However, 14 ships is not terrible considering their severe factional limitations. They have a Copier (Jord), but have had no luck copying the Arcane thus far.
Barbary Corsairs (northeast): The Corsairs have been an instigator, teaming up with the Vikings in a somewhat anti-Pirate/local alliance. They attacked the Pirates with some of their best custom 4 masters; although their initial attack was devastating, they lost all 4 of the ships. However, a Copier of their own has allowed them to resurge, with 26 ships and nearly 500 points in play.
Dutch (southwest): ~7 ships. The Dutch have some interesting ships and UT’s. It looks as though they may be trying to establish an alliance with the French.
Americans (northwest): 16+ ships. The Americans have done quite well for themselves, raking in metals to launch a bunch of their best ships. Recent attacks by The Cursed have left them in a state of some disarray.
Mercenaries (east): 6 ships. It took them a while to get going, but now the Mercenaries have some ships beyond just their starting fleet. They have been rather “anonymous” and are located far from any conflicts.
French (southwest): 8+ ships. The French have been stuck with poor resources for a while, and have not yet had the chance to make a mark for themselves in the game.
Alliances: Corsairs and Vikings (not publicly announced in game, so for thematic purposes only these factions know along with whoever they may have told about it)
Wars (declarer first): Pirates vs. Spanish
A 33 Hour Turn
As a general reminder, if you haven’t read the previous battle reports for CG4, this will be harder to understand. I recommend starting with the rules and first reports, followed by the rest in the tag. The tagged posts start with the most recent, so going bottom up from the last page is in chronological order.
This turn with my four factions took approximately 33 hours, up from last turn’s previous record of 30.5 hours. It was played from late May 2021 until July 31st 2021, with approximately 15 different sessions of playtime. The longest sessions were 5 hours on May 30th and about 4 hours on July 24th. I think the point count took about 4 hours, with the battle report taking about another 5+, so what you’re looking at represents over 40 hours of dedication just for this turn.
I started my party of a turn listening to this excellent mix. I am absolutely drunk on power…. XD
Arcane Rolls: Vesok allowed Gilded Figurehead to work, which was used to replace the bad Arcane roll with a 6. This allowed the Pirates to place a Hidden Trove on the Shadow Thief! This would not be the last of their successes….
It is almost crazy just keeping track of the Pirates’ AA (Admiral’s Action) rolls – they now have nine of those abilities in play. 8 of them have Reroll with them on the ship in question, while the 9th is Ching Shih whose AA hits on a 4-6 due to Vesok being aboard the Smoke’s Hand with her. O_O So at the beginning of each Pirate turn, I am just doing around 20 d6 rolls to see how many AA’s I get and which Arcane rolls/rerolls/etc work out. XD In addition, the Shadow’s Hand now carries the Antikythera Mechanism, which just hit on this turn with a 6, allowing the Pirates to give an action to an enemy ship!
The Smiling Jim brushed up against the Noble Swan, giving the former the Plague but allowing the Noble Swan to explore the Smiling Jim, also giving her Enemy of the State. The Smiling Jim was launched specifically for this purpose, so the Noble Swan will be able to dock at the Pirate HI (finally!) when the Warring Tribes gets her there.
The Tempest got Cannonball Gallows’ EA to move out of the whirlpool area near where the attack on the Spanish took place. She emerged from the fogpool near the Pirate home island, using her second action to touch the Inferno. The Inferno was given an explore action, swapping a face down crew for the Tempest’s Aert van Tuyl, the historical custom chieftain for the Natives of Madagascar native canoes. The Tempest is even more loaded now….
Chain exploring is back in vogue! With the ability to yank in Hidden Trove at will every single turn, the Pirates have less need for gold runners. At some islands, the Pirates are now planning to go with a more passive gold running approach, chaining together their resource gatherers so they barely have to sail them around at all. Ideally the last ship in the chain that would normally be docked at the home island will have some kind of ability that allows her to unload at the home island if she’s within S of it. This allows ships to transit the busy waters right around the home island rather than create a blockage where ships would normally have to sail all the way around the chain of exploring ships in order to get to the other side of the home island area. (or break up the chain to allow a ship through the line, which slows down the flow of resources) Due to their guaranteed (and massive) income with essentially infinite Hidden Troves, the Pirates aren’t worried about whether or not the chain exploring is truly optimal for resource collection (they might get X less of metal per turn compared to regular operations where each ship is given a move action, though I haven’t done the math on all that).
In what would normally be a large coup, the Harbinger sacced to capture the Joya del Sol and warp her home, netting the Pirates a grand Spanish prize along with her cargo of 7 spices, suddenly worth the max of 42 gold under the new resource change! O_O Of course, that is now chump change compared to the Pirates’ near-unlimited wealth….
The Tempest used Avak’s help to get a 6 on the ship’s special ability, which allows her to place a whirlpool from outside the game anywhere on the ocean! This would become important later on….
For reference, here is the Pirate-Spanish situation towards the end of this Pirate turn. Some of the gunships that attacked last turn left the area already, with the Pirates cleaning up a bit. The 10 masters continued circling the spice island. Despite the fact that a state of WAR exists between the two factions, the Pirate ships made no moves towards the Spanish home island (HI).
BUT THAT WAS NOT THE END OF IT!! THE LEVIATHAN IS HERE! The custom Pirate 5 master with D movement came swooping in, but she was not without some extra help! The Pirates got ALL THREE Arcane rolls this round (with some help from Runes of Thor of course! lol), allowing them to put UT’s on The Leviathan. Here is the footage of what happened next!!
14 masts eliminated from 7 Spanish ships, from a UT that is now reusable!!! O_O
The Leviathan is dismasted… but the Pirates have a plan for that… at least, … someone does….
Now it was time for another Odin Missile! The WMD that the Pirates introduced last turn is still fully operational! The Pirates don’t care much for the Jade Rebellion, so why not hit them? Runes of Odin introduced a new deadly iceberg to the game, and then Runes of Magic was used to slam it into the Virtuous Wind, removing her from the game!! O_O
The VW was carrying a bevy of UT’s when the icy missile broke her to pieces:
The Stormy Night moved the Tycoon into the iceberg that destroyed the Virtuous Wind.
What happened next was nothing short of shocking and evil.
Summary: With the Pirates controlling her, the Chimeratron Legacy captures 8 American crew and scores 8 hits combined on the Mercury and Blackwatch. Making matters much worse for the Americans, The Cursed are next in the play order, which means the CL can probably get 2 more actions before the Americans can even respond….
The Tempest used her ability to place a whirlpool… right next to The Leviathan…. O_O Anyone paying close attention to the customs in play may have an idea of what this means… very soon…. oh no…..
In the northeast, the Pirates continued moving their mass of gunships to the southeast towards the whirlpool and fogpool. Perhaps they’re forming some sort of defensive line against the Corsairs? Even in zoomed-in pictures like this you can see the massive scale of campaign games. So many ships in one area, and true fleet movements occurring as they did in the Age of Sail, rather than a handful of ships scurrying about in a 40 point game. XD
The Blackleaf was given the final AA of the turn to teleport from the fogpool to a whirlpool in the far northeast that is surrounded by sargasso sea (at the far right in the above picture). The whirlpool is close to the spice island the Corsairs and English have been making trips to, which is now rather valuable given the resource change making spices worth 5 gold each. The Blackleaf also carries town and military port upgrades….
At the upgraded Skull Valley fortress, the Pirates gave actions to their newly launched ships there. Along with some random-looking maneuvers, it once again appears that the Pirates are generally just trying to clear as much room as possible at their launch points….
And that is exactly the case!! The Shadow Thief docked home a Hidden Trove. 334 ships in play meant it was worth 668 gold. Silverback John doubled that to 1336, which got added to the Pirates’ existing 565 gold for a grand total of 1901 gold!
Pirate Launch Period
C=Captain; H=Helmsman; O=Oarsman; FPS=Firepot Specialist; B2W=Back to War (Pointless Arrow’s custom set)
Launched from the textiles military port: 11 ships, 247 points
Berserker+ CHO, Dinghy, 2 equipment
Burnt Bones + CHO, Dinghy, Carronade, 2 equipment
Recreant + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
El Ladron + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Revenge (PotC version) + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Accused + CHO, firepot specialist, musketeer
Silverback + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot, Dinghy
HMS Rickets + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Fortune + CHO, firepot specialist, fire shot
Plague of the North + CHO, firepot specialist
Dart + CH, Dinghy, facedown crew
Launched from metals military port: 15 ships, 335 points
Bruja + François l’Olonnais, helmsman, oarsman
Bloody Spear + Fidel Zuan, CHO, FPS, Streamlined Hull
Flying Death + Richard Sawkins (Captain, +1 to boards, +1 to d6 rolls against the Spanish), helmsman, Dinghy, oarsman
Charles + Jean L’Escuyer (+1 to cannons against the Spanish), CH, FPS
Black Gentleman + Daniel Johnson (+1 tod6 rolls against the Spanish and +1 to boards), CHO, Ballista (one of the very few ships in the Pirate fleet utilizing Silverback John’s cargo master +1 bonus)
-This completes the Anti-Spanish Squadron (for now?) at 12 ships.
Greyhound + CH, FPS, shipwright
Mocha + CHO, FPS
Panama Sun + CHO, FPS, shipwright
Poison Dagger + CHO, FPS
Pillage + CHO
Foultrader + CHO, Ballista
El Diablo Negro + Jacques Tavernier, Judy Rodriguez (Helmsman+Cannoneer), oarsman, Ballista, Dinghy
Viper + CH, Dinghy, Ballista
Santiago + CHO, Ballista, fire shot
Zanzibar + CHO, FPS
Launched from their home island: 10 ships, 238 points(seen in the previous 2 pictures)
The Deserter + CHO
Black Arrow + CHO, chainshot specialist, Dinghy, stinkpot shot
Ningpo + Captain, Ballista
Delight + CHO, Ballista
Dolphin + CH, shipwright
Plague of the East + CHO, shipwright, fire shot
Charming Mary + Calico Cat (already in play), CHO, shipwright, Streamlined Hull
Silver Dagger + CHO, Streamlined Hull, gold coin, fort upgrade
Bonny Kate + CHO
Royal Fortune + CHO
El Chico + CH
+the Harbinger received a Dinghy and restocked oarsmen; she is one of the VERY few ships in the Pirate fleet actually taking advantage of Silverback John’s cargo master bonus and therefore she will sail out next turn with 5 oarsmen. (I despise the usage of cargo masters in campaign games because it breaks their ability, so I use it as little as possible and generally just ignore the fact that all my Pirate ships in this game have an extra cargo space.)
The Arcane is essentially up to 4 “bodyguard” ships now. This is like the military policy of Defense in Depth.
You may notice that a lot of the launches are rather lackluster. This is partly because they’ve already launched a ton of the really good ships I wanted them to launch, and because it’s easier to launch cheaper or “basic” ships to save time so my turn can take about 3 months instead of maybe 4. XD It’s finally gotten to the point where the Pirates are so big and powerful that it doesn’t feel remotely necessary to fully optimize their launches every single turn like I usually do in campaign games. The term I’ve been using for a ship like Poison Dagger (average across the board but more likely to be a gunship than a gold runner) is “stock gunship”. The Pirates, having the most ships ever released in this game, inevitably have a lot of 2-3 masters that are sometimes quite good (like the Recreant) along with a lower tier of similar ships that blend together and just aren’t usually that notable on their own. These are generally what I call stock gunships (at least, in campaign games). Almost like pure “numbers” gunships that wouldn’t normally carry named crew, but can stock up on “extra weaponry” (as I call it) such as cannoneers, musketeers, specialists, and offensive equipment.
The Pirates launched 18 ships from stock this turn.
The Pirate launch phases have now transitioned from fully optimal, to more of a numbers game where they continue rapidly expanding the size of their fleet, but nowadays filling it out with “stock” as they run through ship after ship from the Master Spreadsheet and Customs Database in a frenetic pace to “launch ’em all”. Time will tell if they slow down on purpose despite their massive wealth, or if they splurge onwards and continue adding 40+ ships to their fleet every turn….
This Pirate Turn By the Numbers
Ships Launched: 45 (new high for them this game, and likely for any fleet in any game; 86 ships added to their fleet in the last 2 turns)
Gold Spent: 1,027
Gold Remaining: 874 New Fleet Totals: 196 Ships, ~4,700 Points(continue reading for the point count…)
-Got the FD’s UT ability to work with Kalfu’s regular Reroll. This was used to put a copy of Runes of Thor on the Shadow’s Hand, completing the Pirate trifecta of THREE auto-6’s!! (three ships in their fleet now have both Nemo’s Plans and Runes of Thor aboard) This is also certainly not the first time The Cursed have used the FD to give the Pirates a positive UT….
-The Pantheon got her Arcane roll to work! Nemo’s Plans placed on the Chimeratron Legacy! O_O Uh oh….
-The Pirates use one of their Runes of Thor copies on the Royal Feces’ Arcane roll that goes through Eye of Insanity and Davy Jones! This is used to bring in Nuva, which was placed on the Pantheon! (Any crew ability on this ship may be used by another crew within S of this ship.) Just like the Pirates have done with the Smoke’s Hand, this will allow the copying of a Copier, giving The Cursed yet another chance at Arcane rolls every turn! (just like the Pirates, they will now have 3 cracks at it every turn, and you can trust they will do everything they can to optimize the system with Reroll/Gilded Figurehead/etc.)
-The Spiral Chaos used Nuva to copy Davy Jones (and the Arcane through DJ) through her oarsman. The 6 was used to bring in Runes of Thor which was placed on the Chimeratron Legacy! O_O
The Chimeratron Legacy was up next… dare to watch the carnage unfold?? See it here….
She sank the Blackwatch, damaged the Kettering, and captured the Mercury! O_O The deed is done. But the turn is not. Devil’s Storm, continue the slaughter. And that she did, capturing the Kettering and hitting the Bonhomme Richard.
Funny enough the attack was not complete! I forgot one of the recently acquired Cursed weapons! Tridax (a custom ship from Xerecs) got a 5 to warp to an island and shoot the Americans, sinking the Lynx and further damaging the Bonhomme Richard!
With just a few ships The Cursed have thrown the American fleet into disarray. Some American ships have been captured or sunk, while others flee with significant battle damage. What was already a gloomy situation for the Americans is made even more horrendous with the arrival of Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse – the newest Cursed 10 master on the scene! With the CL about to warp out of the picture by capturing the Mercury via Lord Jonathan Morgenstern and Dinghy, the Chimera serves as the CL’s replacement on the battlefront. (not that she needed a relief)
The Spiral Chaos used Kalfu’s global reroll to get her ship’s ability to work on a 6! “Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 5-6, move any ship within L of a whirlpool into that whirlpool. You may choose the exit location of the ship.” The Cursed chose the Spanish! The Colector del Dia spun through a whirlpool…
…and got sent to Davy Jones’ Locker by Figlar Castle #2!!O_O Imagine the shock the Spanish felt as one of their ships was mysteriously yanked into a new whirlpool (created by the Pirates…), only to never see her again as she was sunk far away across the ocean by a new whirlborne Cursed fortress of doom!! O_O
The Cursed ships scattered from their home island, likely making room for new launches in addition to the Chimeratron Legacy, who warped home with the Mercury after exploring her via Dinghy. You can also see a good number of Cursed ships entering fog banks.
A familiar WMD, in Evil hands
O_O The Cursed combine their old copy of Runes of Odin (that they found normally quite a while back) with a new copy of Nemo’s Plans to introduce their own version of the Odin Missile! Oya-lansan is used to shove the iceberg into the Fuerza de Dios, instantly removing the Spanish 5 master from the game!
Now for a case of severe shock….
and BOOOOOOM!!!!!!! O_O_O_O_O
The Cursed launch 4 10 masters right next to the Spanish home island!!!!! O_O
Figlar Castle: This fort can only be built on a whirlpool when a Cursed ship is touching the whirlpool. Starting the turn after construction, this fort can travel through whirlpools like a ship, but without having to roll for damage. Ships docked at the fort do not travel with the fort. Cursed crew can use their abilities in this fort.
The Cursed warped the recently upgraded 1st Figlar Castle through her original whirlpool to arrive in what still looks like Spanish territorial waters! And during their launch period they launched 5 ships from the fort including 4 10 masters!! Holy cow and What The Hell!? LOL! Not only does this look really bad for the Spanish, but the fort and 10 masters just so happen to completely cover the dismasted Leviathan and likely block the Spanish off from doing her any harm.
Now you can see why I said in the last report regarding the second copy(only 2 of each custom fort allowed in this game) of Figlar Castle being built by the Solenostomus: “This should seem… far more than ominous….”
The Cursed Launch
From the Figlar Castle by the Spanish Home Island: 5 ships, 329 points
Berzerker + Berserk Overlord, helmsman, oarsman, Ballista, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew and 1 equipment
Devil’s Wrath + helmsman, oarsman, 4 crew, 2 equipment
Diabolic Monstrosity + helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew, 2 equipment
Slaughter of Innocents + helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew, 1 equipment
Slaying of the Savior + helmsman, oarsman, 4 crew
+High Command, Throne of the Antichrist with Underworld Maniacs as the 10+ point crew
From the Cursed Home Island: 9 ships, 416 points
Colossal Rupture + Taiken, Magnesis, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew
World of Apathy + Demonwraith, The Shadow King, Bitil, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, stinkpot shot
Black Star + Moon Sorcerer, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 3 crew
Great Apostasy + Archbishop Fiend, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull, 2 crew
Porphyrion + Marcus Augustine, helmsman, oarsman, 1 crew, 2 equipment
Courtship of Evils + Archfiend of the Apocalypse, Ring Besis, Archdiocese of the Apocalypse, Witch Queen Salem, Senosis, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull (48 points of crew and equipment on a 29 point ship!)
Fallen Angel + captain, shipwright, oarsman, stinkpot shot, Dinghy
-towing the Devil’s Fireball flotilla
Severance + captain, helmsman, shipwright, oarsman
Total: 14 ships, 745 points (a sickening 53 points per ship…)
Reading that again… 5 ships for 329 points… doesn’t even make sense! XD Almost only possible with customs, or maybe like a Wizkids launch of 5 fully loaded (or overloaded) 10 masters.
The Reign of Terror has begun….
With the help of Shayna Deux’s reroll… Jord got a 6 while copying the Arcane!! O_O It brought in a new Hidden Trove that the Hrothgar redocked to unload for a massive payout of 778 gold!! O_O (I had the game at 389 ships in play at the end of the Cursed turn based on previous counts and adding to them)This is a game changer!!
The effect was immediate. Viking ships abruptly stopped. Most of their lumber gatherers simply turned around and started heading at full speed towards the home island. The Muninn (patrolling southeast of their home island) ducked into a fog bank, anticipating becoming a target of the all-powerful Pirates. Everything changed. Jord and the other Viking leaders immediately started serious strategic discussions about which ships to launch and how soon they could be ready. The secret alliance with the Barbary Corsairs from years past suddenly looked viable again. Perhaps this means that old plans… could be revived….
Launched from the Viking Home Island: 6 ships, 314 points
Monjuer + Streamlined Hull, 4 crew (+2 facedown UT’s from the Viking HI….)
Hringhorni + helmsman, Streamlined Hull, 5 crew
Storm’s Eye + Streamlined Hull, 5 crew
Njord + Dinghy, 6 crew
Säl + 4 crew, 1 equipment
Tyr + Dinghy, 2 crew, town and military port upgrade
2 crew and 1 equipment for the Hrothgar
+5 other points on HI
The Vikings are wary of the Pirate “spy network” as they call it (officially known by the Pirates as the GSP or Global Surveillance Program), and have placed almost as many new crew and equipment face down as possible. This will force a longer spying process out of the Pirates if the Pirates want to try and see all the Vikings’ face down stuff.
But wait, there’s more!
The Corsairs pulled out all the tricks they use to get an Arcane roll to work, and eventually they did! (Nephila is their ship copying Arcane) With 395 ships in play, Hidden Trove was now worth a whopping 790 gold to the Barbary Corsairs!!
But first, it was time to get down to business.
With that, the Corsairs have launched ANOTHER major attack against the game’s most powerful faction in the Pirates!! O_O Is it madness? Or brilliance?!
At the end of the attack, HMB Sayyida got her SAT and was able to get in range of the Osiris! Getting stuck on a sargasso sea on an unlucky roll of 6 at the end of her movements would not stop her cannon barrage! With that she revealed the Ballista equipment (ship gets 3 extra 3L cannons) along with Captain and Cargo Wrecking abilities! Although the Osiris has Crew Protect, it wouldn’t stop the Sayyida from taking out the ship’s final mast. In addition, the Corsairs noticed that the Anubis (built in Canceller) was just within S of the Osiris, meaning that the latter’s Eternal could be cancelled to send her to the depths! If the Sayyida hit 3 times out of 5 that is…
With some important rolls, it was a bit of a roller coaster attack. The Sayyida’s regular 2 cannons in range were 1’s! Then the crew got to firing the Ballista, of which the first 2 hit! However, the final roll was a 1, backfiring to eliminate the Sayyida’s oarsman and failing to deliver a fatal blow to the Osiris, which would have been the ultimate revenge for the Corsairs! Alas, one of the many Pirate sources of AA (with Reroll) is still alive, and is quite likely to be saved through some combination of moving and blocking on the next Pirate turn.
All told, the Corsairs eliminated 10 masts and have made any Pirate counterattack somewhat harder by leaving crippled ships in the way of their fresh gunships.
Crazy enough, the attack didn’t even end there! The Agha’s Whip has been the lame duck of the Corsairs for a while, carrying The Cursed and Monkey’s Paw UT’s. However, she was in the perfect position to intercept the Blackleaf, the fast Pirate 4 master who may be headed to the spice island pictured with multiple island upgrades! The galley rammed but could not win the boarding party. However, she partly slammed into the Blackleaf just in an attempt to slow the Blackleaf down, in case the Corsairs, English, or another faction can potentially get help to the area soon in an attempt to stop the Pirates from colonizing the far northeast and thereby cutting off an important (and currently valuable) island from both the Corsairs and the English.
Barbary Corsair launch: 5 ships, 107 points
Ivory Star + 3 crew, 1 equipment
Jackal’s Teeth + 4 crew
Meshud + 5 crew
Gallows + 3 crew
Divan’s Punishment + 4 crew, 1 equipment
-They also spent 120 gold on two town upgrades and two military port upgrades which are sitting on their home island. This is partly because the Corsairs are wary of the Pirates potentially trying to rob them of their Hidden Trove spoils.
Sadly the Corsairs have very little room to launch a lot of ships at their home island, between the Nephila (copier ship) sitting there, the Gauntlet of Pestilence fogbank off their north shore from the beginning of the game, and the considerable width of each galley from the space their oars take up. However, if they can get a military port or two up eventually, it will help alleviate their limited launching capabilities.
This shows the general Pirate-Corsair front and battle area, which has opened up once more with a vengeance. The Agha’s Whip has expanded the conflict to a spot east of the Corsair home island, with more Pirate and Corsair gunships coming into play every turn. Neither the Pirates nor the Corsairs have declared war on the other, though I have a feeling that could change soon.
What a turn!! This turn with my factions saw hostility from the Pirates and Cursed against the Spanish and Americans, while the Vikings finally got lucky with Jord to jump into the rapid fleet building sweepstakes. The Corsairs got another Hidden Trove as well, but launched only after a brash attack on the Pirates!
THE POINT COUNT
9,434 total points in play.
THE BIGGEST GAME OF ALL TIME.
With that, VASSAL Campaign Game 4 eclipses Command the Oceans as the biggest recorded Pirates CSG game EVER!!
CTO held the previous record for most points in play, at 9,078 in November 2017. Now CG4 is even bigger, although a lot less balanced across the factions. CG4 has kind of lumbered along slowly for a while, and still hasn’t seen much combat compared to other campaign games like CTO. However, that seems to be starting to change… it’s time for CG4 to live up to the hype!!! XD 😀
The Pirates have almost exactly half the total number of both ships and points in play. They have expanded on their existing records from last turn, and next turn they should eclipse some truly staggering numbers: a fleet of over 200 ships, with over 5000 points in play. O_O The Jade Rebellion accounts for nearly a standard fleet at 43 points, which represents only half a percentage point of the total number of points in play. The Pirate number of nearly 24 points per ship is impressive (representing a lot of named crew and expensive gunship builds), but The Cursed have accomplished something downright sickening – a very large fleet that averagesover 42 points per ship. O_O This is unheard of to my knowledge, and speaks to the vast numbers of 10 masters and hyper-expensive weapons of war that they have put in play so far. 51 ships is not a ridiculous number for a fleet in CG’s, but with nearly 2200 points in play, they’re quickly climbing the list of biggest fleets of all time by point count. The Conglomerate, Vikings and Corsairs have all made big strides lately, but still pale in comparison to the Pirates. If the Vikings can climb ahead of the Conglomerate, I will control all 4 of the biggest fleets….
As a little caveat, the points in play totals generally reflect the points in play from ships, crew and equipment assigned to ships, and gold used to build forts and lighthouses. For this point count, it generally does not count points from island upgrades, crew and equipment “attached” to islands (such as the 300 points the Pirates have invested in HI defense with Catapults and the oarsmen used to crew them), and sometimes other little things. With these included, the Pirate total comes to 5371, The Cursed to 2481, the Vikings to 548, and the Corsairs to 735. This brings the GRAND total to, technically, 10,638 points in play. O_O However, I’d like to reach the ridiculous (and likely unseen to this day) 5 figure point total the “regular way” without including all the easy upgrade/etc purchases before making it official. Of course, the game is on a crash course to far exceed the sickening number of 10,000 total points in play, so we’ll surely pass it next round!! (or even this one if PirateAJ14 is able to launch at least 566 points of stuff).
There are currently 137 points of crew assigned to the Chimeratron Legacy. O_O (another record I guess!) The ship costs 90 points by itself, which makes for 227 total points for one ship, which accounts for 2.4% of the points in play and more points than 5 of the 12 fleets participating in the game!
Breaking it down a bit more:
The insane concentration of points in the Cursed fleet boosts my overall points per ship number higher than any individual non-Cursed faction!
Another new record: 20 10 masters!! (12 Cursed, 4 Pirate, 2 Viking, 1 Corsair, 1 Conglomerate) The Cursed alone put 7 10 masters in play this round, which is also very likely a record.
Here is the unprecedented game in full glory, with the map slowly filling in…. (open in a new tab to view full size)
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment what you think of the game!
November 23rd 2020 was the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Facebook group created by Captain Vendari! To celebrate the occasion some of the moderators there played a game on VASSAL.
It was a 70 point game between myself, Xerecs, and Captain Vendari. We each contributed 10 coins of any value or type, except that each player had to contribute at least one coin worth a gold value. We ended up with 6 wild islands, so 5 coins per island. Towards the end of the game, Xerecs and I kind of retroactively decided that it was being played under round earth rules – one of a number of asterisks this game can be viewed under. However, it was quite a fun and bizarre game. 😀 It took longer and was more strategic than I expected, although that is often par for the course with Pirates CSG. The game can be a lot more in-depth and strategic than a lot of people think… this was one of those instances where it almost turned into a chess match of varying possibilities, not all of which are even discussed here.
Here are the fleets in the order of play. We rolled for turn order then chose home islands in reverse turn order. Game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet.
USS Morning Star + Shap’ng Tsai (SS version), helmsman, cannoneer, explorer, oarsman
Destiny + Ralph David (RV version), silver explorer, 2 crew for Tsai’s Sac ability
Providence + Captain Charles Richard, Montana Mays (OE version), Diamond Nelson Turner (BC version), Commodore Matthew Perry, helmsman, oarsman
A7XfanBen Mind Control is back! My favorite and ultimate gimmick fleet has returned with a vengeance after a long hiatus! As soon as Xerecs mentioned the 70 point build total I knew what fleet I would use. George Washington LeBeaux’s (GWL) flavor text: “The deep swamps of Louisiana breed a different sort of man. LeBeaux has learned from the mambos, magic men, and shamans that those who harness the power of the loa for evil means are an affront to life itself.” GWL was about to change his mind… or have his mind, changed for him….
Baochuan + Admiral Zheng He, Ms. Cheng, Zheng Li Kwan, Kian Ng, Chang Pao, captain, helmsman, shipwright, firepot specialist (nearly all crew started facedown)
HMS Patagonia + Lord Mycron, Robinson
Le Coeur du Lion + navigator
Being the second to choose a home island, I purposely went in the middle. I thought of it as a central base or “home brain” for the nefarious operations of my mind controllers. With a UPS-based fleet (the Americans) on one side and a loaded Baochuan on the other, I went into the game feeling like I had a slim chance of winning. However, that wouldn’t stop me from wreaking maximum havoc!!
Incredibly, on my first turn both GWL and Davy Jones were successful in their mind control tactics! The Baochuan and Providence were thrown onto reefs, losing 4 and 1 masts respectively.
Maps of Alexandria was found, revealing a lot of UT’s in the setup. This affected the rest of the game, as ships knew exactly which islands to target to get specific treasures. This is an aid to my Mind Control design by revealing exactly what the fleet needs to do in order to set up “doom combos” that, once acquired, make it very hard for any opposing fleet to dictate the remainder of the game.
But in bigger news… the Baochuan was dismasted by another reef toss combined with the Divine Dragon’s shooting! I can’t remember the details on which mover was successful each turn, but Davy Jones was giving enemy ships move actions on 6’s, while GWL on the Kentucky was moving enemy ships L (not a move action) on 5’s and 6’s, aided by the ship’s Reroll ability. Mind Control was getting lucky early on, showing their true potential. Xerecs made the map, and neither I nor Vendari based our fleets on it. However, I came out luckier in that regard, with many reefs in play perfect for moving big enemy ships onto. The Baochuan had already been thrown onto reefs twice, losing all her masts and potentially costing the Jades the game only a few turns in! However, the game was FAR from over…. I didn’t attempt to sink the Baochuan with the Divine Dragon’s remaining cannons after asking Vendari if an oarsman was aboard. He said there wasn’t, which I chose to believe partly because I wanted it to be true. XD The Divine Dragon (DD) docked at the southern island of the ring, as it looked like a great option to explore.
However, I made the mistake of underestimating what Vendari would be able to do with the Baochuan on the next turn. The ship repaired with a newly revealed shipwright, then moved off the reef at L+S with Mycron’s help for a second action. The island was S-explored on the previous turn, allowing the Baochuan to dock and take coins! She loaded up everything except for Turtles, which started swimming in the water next to the 10 master. The coins included a 7, Spices, and Smuggled Goods. I started to feel pretty dumb for not sinking the Baochuan when I had the chance, especially now that it looked like the Jades were going to get a massive windfall. However, I knew the Baochuan’s path home was nearly paved with reefs, and perhaps good things would come to one who waited…. (though I think realistically I still just botched this lol) I had wanted to capture the Baochuan, thinking it would be a way to rival the UPS fleet’s gold total.
In the meantime, Xerecs’ American UPS fleet was getting busy, with the Morning Star flipping two silver coins to the Destiny, who added +3 value to each coin via her crew. The Cyclone docked at the eastern ring island, but it looked like the Providence had interest in it too. Each fleet had at least one ship basically parked at their home island for a (different) specific duty – navigating, action generation, L-moving, and gold factory production. Say what you may about ships sitting at home, because that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to sit there forever….
The Morning Star builds Thompson’s Island for the Americans. The Baochuan repairs twice. The Divine Dragon is about to explore the western ring island, the Rover is slightly confused about which island to go to, and the Cyclone is dismasted by the Providence, who lost no masts in her second reef encounter. However, I was willing to accept that outcome. That was because the Cyclone was able to explore that island before getting whacked. She grabbed Pandora’s Box, with Vendari and Xerecs giving the ship Fruit and Rum (the latter to freeze her for the next turn). I loaded up Runes of Odin, playing it to place a deadly iceberg right next to the USS Morning Star! Alas, the plan failed when DJ and GWL didn’t come through with their rolls, meaning I couldn’t chuck the MS into the iceberg to remove her and all her crew and treasure from the game.
The MS promptly escaped, heading west to a new island. That made the Rover turn away from that island towards the DD. The Providence captured the Cyclone, giving the Americans a 4th ship while taking my fleet down to 3. However, Mind Control still had a successful turn – the Divine Dragon explored the western ring island to grab Nemo’s Plans….
And they moved the Baochuan onto another reef to wreck her!! O_O
USS MS explored the northwestern island, sacrificing the abandoned musketeer for an extra action. The Destiny was moved away from the American HI by Mind Control, though that wouldn’t affect much. The Providence is about to dock home gold.
For Mind Control, the Rover dumped her shipwright on the western ring island to load a coin – it would have fit regardless, but I wanted the full S+L speed on the way home so I had to drop the crew to avoid the negative ability. The shipwright actually remained hidden the whole game but wasn’t of any real consequence. The DD headed east towards the captured Cyclone and the island she had explored.
With the help of Mycron and a trade current, the Coeur du Lion sails off in search of wrecked Baochuan gold, reaching the ship easily.
The MS moved and then got moved. The Odin iceberg moved a little away from Thompson’s Island. With the then-friendly Cyclone having already explored the eastern ring island, the Divine Dragon picked up Runes of Thor from that island (!!) before continuing south with DJ’s extra action. The Coeur explored the Baochuan and took all her coins, which combined with the incoming bale of sea turtles to give the “Jades” some serious hope. (we didn’t use any campaign/army unit rules in this game, Vendari just wanted to decorate the home islands XD)
But it wasn’t Christmas. More bloodshed and frustration was necessary to determine a winner today. With their newfound megapower of a “permanent” Runes of Thor (on the same ship as Nemo’s Plans), Mind Control was about to truly live up to their name. This could be used on the abilities of Davy Jones OR GWL every turn, and here the Morning Star was tossed onto a reef on her way to a whirlpool, knocking free three masts. Evil maniacal admiral… using UT combos… to become a god-like puppetmaster of doom… where have I heard that before? …. oops, nothing to see here tee hee!
However, Mind Control would not go unchallenged, with the Providence racing south to intercept the Divine Dragon in Davy Jones’ quest for the legendary Runes of Odin UT, the normal copy (first iteration via Pandora’s Box heh) of which was on the southeastern island. The Providence hit 2/4 with her cannons, then rammed another mast off the DD. The picture below does not show the whole sequence, but both players declined to board. An important factor was DNT, the American canceller from BC that Xerecs revealed to cancel Davy Jones on the next Mind Control turn. Soon afterwards, the DD hit the Providence twice, and Xerecs rolled consecutive 5’s to let me throw DNT and Mays off the ship via Captain Charles Richard’s ability!! O_O This meant uncancelled Davy Jones could resume normal business hours on my next turn! XD
For quite a while, the Cyclone was kind of “stuck” between Xerecs moving her and her getting moved in other directions via the Maps of Hades and GWL. At the lower left, the Coeur unloads the Baochuan’s gold, completing a harrowing journey for the Spices and Smuggled Goods.
The MS emerged from the whirlpool near home, where the Destiny sailed out to greet her. For the other “home ships”, Kentucky and Patagonia stayed home while the Coeur sailed north.
This was a big turn in the game. Seeing Bad Maps on the southeastern island, I knew I had to position the severely weakened Divine Dragon (1 mast remaining) properly so that when the ship moved with the island, the DD wouldn’t end up on a reef and possibly wrecked. With the dangerous Providence off the stern, Davy Jones piloted the ship into the island’s shore, triggering UT’s. Bad Maps was resolved, with Vendari moving the island and DD west, right into the Providence’s lines of fire. However, I knew it didn’t matter, since the “ultimate” combo was now in play…. Nemo’s Plans… Runes of Odin… Runes of Thor with an L-mover…. O_O A modified ODIN MISSILE. By placing an “Odin iceberg” next to an enemy ship, then using Thor’s auto-6 to guarantee GWL’s success with L-moving the same ship, I could now eliminate any ship in play, once per turn, every turn. O_O Precision cruise missile strike capability unlocked! HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!
The Norse god Odin appeared in the sky, called by the great Davy Jones. He reared back and threw an iceberg next to the Providence. Finally embracing the dark side and using the power of the loa for evil, GWL (possibly with an assist from another god, Thor) slammed the Providence into the iceberg, blowing it up! GWL was converted to The Cursed cause, helping Davy Jones to sink a fellow American ship. Suddenly the threat was gone and the DD was free and clear! 😀 XD
As an Avenger would say, “we’re in the endgame now.” True indeed. Davy Jones was getting excited. OE flavor text: “As his power grows and his minions cause more destruction, Jones has begun his second wave of terror, one that will take his power beyond the edge of the oceans themselves—setting him up to rule the seas once and for all!”
With that, the second wave of terror had begun. If the first wave had seen the Baochuan and Providence thrown onto reefs, this one was going to prove more deadly. Davy Jones ordered a missile strike from the gods, who complied by crushing the Coeur du Lion with an Odin iceberg. A turn later the USS Morning Star was removed as well, eliminating any chance of more UPS shenanigans. Suddenly the other two players were running out of ships, and quickly.
Vendari sailed the Patagonia away from his home island, with that being his last ship. The Americans only had the Destiny and the wretched Cyclone, who was still struggling to make progress towards her new home island due to some combination of “movers” (Maps of Hades/DJ/GWL). In the meantime, Mind Control was regrouping, with the Cursed and Pirate ships returning home as the Kentucky wreaked havoc with GWL’s loa powers. Indeed, the DD would soon start repairing, slowly making her a dangerous weapon again.
Around this time Vendari had to leave, with Xerecs and I continuing the game. Xerecs gave actions to the Patagonia as optimally as he could, as we talked out trying to play it like Vendari would.
This is also where things got weird, lopsided, and extremely strategic. After the Baochuan fiasco and likely being in last place at this point, I considered myself mostly an also-ran for much of the mid-game. However, now I was in the driver’s seat, with most of the power remaining in play giving me the ability to potentially dictate the outcome of the game. I had to slow down and really consider a lot of options. I wasn’t playing this game like T2, where I would pay close attention on every turn and essentially keep track of how much gold both fleets had at any given time (as much as humanly possible given the standard total of 30 gold along with bonuses and help like Maps of Alexandria/etc). Therefore I had no idea how much gold Xerecs had. Before Vendari left he said he had 36 gold on his home island, quite a bit more than I had. I was worried Xerecs had even more. As a result, I had the mindset that I had to play things near-perfectly for the remainder of the game in order to maximize my gold score no matter what.
There was still a bunch of gold in play, with at least one coin on 5 out of the 6 wild islands. If I simply eliminated the other players, it would trigger an endgame condition and I would lose since I didn’t have enough gold. Therefore I had to keep at least one player alive (even artificially!)
Three ships remained in play, and each represented an opportunity for Mind Control to win, or possibly lose.
Destiny: This American ship had Jade aboard, which doubles the lowest-value coin on the ship and doesn’t have to be unloaded. I started moving the Destiny away from the American home island, realizing that capturing the Jade UT could lead to a win if I got multiple coins doubled up. I rammed her into an iceberg twice (the same one that eliminated the Morning Star), but then realized that Xerecs could easily scuttle her to counter my plan. I continued moving her north, which Xerecs eventually did as well, likely because there were still two coins (one silver) on the southeastern island. In the next picture you can see her moving north after round earthing to the south with only one mast remaining. Xerecs and I decided round earth made sense for the game (I had mistakenly assumed we were using that house rule from the start since I like it and almost always prefer to use it), but in hindsight it’s at least possible that Xerecs may have made a different decision(s) if that had been established from the start. However, most of the stuff in play (especially islands) was pretty far from the map edges, so it’s extremely possible everything would have turned out exactly the same. After round earthing, the Destiny was bound for the southeastern island, which is exactly where I wanted her to go… the Cursed had been busy repairing the Divine Dragon, who was powering up for a critical capture opportunity. Davy Jones planned to take nearly the same route southeast as he had earlier, cutting through the sargasso gap in the reef ring. The DD had a max speed of 6S with DJ rolling a 1-5, so the DD wouldn’t have much trouble catching the Destiny whether she continued to the island or made a break for the whirlpool east of her.
Cyclone: The Cyclone still had Rum aboard, which was worth 5 gold. I wanted to be cautious and fully assume I needed that coin to win the game, so I wanted to capture BOTH the Destiny and the Cyclone at one point. However, even with Runes of Thor hitting GWL every turn and Maps of Hades occasionally working against Xerecs’ efforts to get the Cyclone home, it would be difficult. The Cyclone was making slow but steady progress towards Xerecs’ HI, and I soon started to need GWL for a different purpose.
Patagonia: The lone ship left in Vendari’s fleet was tempting to just hit with an Odin Missile and be done with her. However, I realized that she would potentially be the key to my victory. At one point I think I was still using GWL on different ships, moving any of the 3 to prolong the situation. However, especially since I didn’t even want DJ to get 6’s at this point (it would slightly delay his progress towards the Destiny, which held Jade, one of the big keys to my strategy), Runes of Thor was used every turn on GWL but it wouldn’t be enough. With essentially just one mover now, I was trying to control or delay three enemy ships at once. Even with none of them having a base move faster than S+S and the guaranteed “backwards L” provided by Thor/GWL, it wasn’t going to be sustainable. The Cyclone or Destiny would get home, and the Patagonia… could suicide? More on that soon….
My plan was put in play – with 4 masts up on the Divine Dragon, Davy Jones felt comfortable sailing out. He raced the ship southeast to intercept the Destiny, which was quickly captured. This netted me the Jade UT. The Rover arrived home with a 2 coin while GWL moved the Patagonia back.
Back to the Patagonia. This is where an interesting rules hangup occurred. The Patagonia could ram the western iceberg that removed the Coeur, eliminating the Patagonia’s only mast. Then she could row over to a sargasso sea just southeast of that area, trapping herself on purpose! “If a game piece is tangled, you can use its action for the turn to try to free it. Roll a d6 and add the current number of masts or segments on the tangled game piece to the result. If the result is more than 6, the game piece is untangled.” O_O With 0 masts, she can’t roll more than a 6! In that case, she would be “stuck forever”, potentially triggering the “no future move actions” end condition if Xerecs’ fleet was also out of action by that time… BUT, with GWL guaranteed to be able to move the Patagonia L on each of my turns, I could potentially finagle my way out of it and prevent the seaweed from stopping play.
I developed a new plan. The Patagonia would be stopped from exploring, stopped from scuttling herself after losing a mast, stopped from getting stuck forever in a sargasso sea, stopped from doing… anything. Every time she moved S for any reason (Xerecs continually directed her northwards), GWL (w/Thor as needed of course) would move her back L. She had to be kept away from icebergs so she couldn’t lose her lone mast. I was helping out Vendari! 😉 XD LOL! First sparing the Baochuan and now this! XD Or just using his last little ship as a puppet to make myself rich heh.
I also realized (way later than I should have) that any/all three of the enemy ships could make plans to scuttle themselves. It wasn’t limited to one – the Patagonia and Destiny could ram icebergs to eliminate their final masts and then scuttle themselves, and the Cyclone was still pretty close to the last surviving Odin iceberg she could use to remove herself from play. With the Destiny now in my possession and the Cyclone already derelict and able to be scuttled, the choice became obvious.
In the end, the clear best decision was to put the Patagonia on artificial “life support” to prevent the game from ending. XD What a thought – Davy Jones’ second wave of terror was so scary, it nearly led to the game ending via mass suicide! :/
True to form, things went as I planned or expected. The Divine Dragon was towing the Destiny home when the Cyclone rammed herself into the final Odin iceberg, removing her and Xerecs from the game. Now it was only Vendari’s Patagonia keeping the game afloat, and she was certainly doing fine lol – in no trouble whatsoever! Moving only S every turn meant she would never get anywhere, with GWL forcing her back on each of my turns.
This created something I haven’t seen all that often – one player has complete control of the game (usually there’s more of a ticking time bomb in the form of a suicidal enemy ship), but decides not to end it so they can get the most gold and ensure victory. I’ve barely ever played Yugioh and not in many years, but this reminds me of the infamous Yata-Lock. O_O XD Similar to that situation, here we have a player that continues taking turns as they see fit while completely denying the enemy player any action at all – completely robbing them of even playing the game. Here the GWL/Thor/Patagonia combo is the lock, using an enemy ship rather than a friendly “monster” to keep the game going – of course, until all the gold in play is mine. 😀 LOL!
Say what you will about this being a “lame” ending or whatever, but remember what it took to set up – a Mind Control gimmick fleet that is theoretically far outclassed by UPS/Baochuan enemies, who didn’t stop my fleet from accumulating the incredible Nemo’s Plans+Runes of Thor combo that allowed it to transpire in the first place. (with some additional help from Odin of course heh)
With that, there was no reason to continue playing “normally”. Now began “the simulation”, where I was able to do whatever I wanted with no interference from the remaining player. Xerecs and I talked this out and basically I would spend probably an hour (or more) gathering gold from the various sources, taking care to unload each and every coin individually with Jade applied to double it. This would likely be accomplished with the Destiny, since she had cargo spaces open along with a silver explorer that would give +1 to the DD’s silver 5. Since I didn’t keep track of Xerecs’ gold (and Vendari could be bluffing about his 36, though he wasn’t and his gold was easier to track since it all came in in a 2 turn windfall), no chances could be taken – I would max out my gold score to give me the absolute best chance of winning. No reason not to, especially in a simulation that doesn’t need to be played out since I was sailing unopposed.
The one slight wrinkle was Thompson’s Island, which held the 3 to build it along with another coin. However, a fully repaired DD and Kentucky were available for this, and I rolled some dice to make sure I would eliminate the fort to get all the island’s gold. I even got lucky and didn’t face return fire, with a double action Divine Dragon proving enough to overpower the fort. The other coin was a 7, so the 10 gold would provide a nice boost – especially when doubled individually via Jade.
The Final Scores
1. A7XfanBen (Mind Control): 72 Gold
2. Captain Vendari: 36 Gold
3. Xerecs: 29 Gold
If Thompson’s Island was left intact: 1. A7XfanBen: 52, 2. Xerecs: 39, 3. Captain Vendari: 36
Crazy enough I actually didn’t even need Jade either.
Without Jade: 47-36-29 (with me destroying Thompson’s Island, and Vendari in 2nd again)
A number of Rules questions came up during the game, though I don’t think any of them would quite affect the outcome directly, or at least not overturn the result.
Asterisks: Vendari had to leave early (Patagonia actions afterwards not consequential though), round earth affecting strategy/Xerecs’ play, some potential Rules hangups.
Perhaps it’s fitting that going after the Destiny was a path to my victory. (“fulfill your destiny”) This game got pretty dark, there are definitely some weird parallels to mass genocide/suicide that were carried out by Davy Jones. Perhaps GWL used the loa to control the gods…
“Commandeering the Gods to commit mass genocide” – Indeed, here Davy Jones led a campaign that resulted in a brainwashed, mind-controlled GWL to use the power of the loa to commandeer the gods for the purposes of a partial genocide, which directly resulted in mass attempted suicide. But then GWL intervened and didn’t even let the victims get what they wanted, refusing them (the Patagonia with Mycron and Robinson aboard) “assisted suicide” until finally Davy Jones had his fortune and reigned supreme. Yikes….
I didn’t play perfectly, but I still feel this game deserves to be in my Master Strategist post. Despite my gaffes, some solid accomplishments for just one game. 🙂
Wreck the Baochuan: Check
Beat a UPS fleet with a gimmick fleet/Mind Control: Check
Win the game with more gold than the other two fleets combined: Check (with a proper ending, or “full simulation”)
Permanently lock a ship in place: Check
Use Odin Missiles in a normal game: Check
I was able to insert or “inject” CG4 into this game. Which is a little absurd given how tiny this game is to CG4, which realistically has over 7000 total points in play, over 100 times this game’s build total. (and given how long it took to accumulate combos in that game)
Thanks to Xerecs and Captain Vendari for helping to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the FB group with a wild game!
Thanks for reading! 😀 Comment below what you thought of the game!
This was quite a long turn for me in CG4 – I tracked the time spent and including this battle report and everything else, the turn took over 30 hours to complete. O_O
-Forts can be given repair actions if they have a shipwright in them. They cannot repair and shoot on the same turn unless they have an extra action available.
-Relaunching Rule: Non Big-6 factions (Big 6 being England, France, Spain, Pirate, America, Cursed) can relaunch Wizkids AND custom game pieces without restrictions other than the No-Duplicates rule being applied to their own fleet. (this is to give the minor factions more of a chance if their best ships are captured and not traded in)
PirateAJ14’s Americans cashed in metals to launch the Franklin and Ghost Walker.
Xerecs’ turn marked the start of a new round, and it would be the final round for this LONG duration of resource values!
The Spanish launched the Viento Enfermo, while the Jade Rebellion launched the Sea Fang and Tycoon, both from the_grandmaster’s Back to War set.
It was a huge turn for the Conglomerate! Mata-Nui copied the Arcane, and with the help of Helyrex’s reroll ability, got the 6!! Hidden Trove was brought in to give the Conglomerate over 500 gold!!! O_O
The Conglomerate got busy spending and launching, putting 10 new ships into the water. Among these were a pair of 10 masters, the Outbound Flight and Okoto! Among other ability hightlights, the Outbound Flight is a 40 point 10 master with L-immunity moving S+S+S (!), while the Okoto has Treasure Ship and a base cargo hold of 9! Suddenly the Conglomerate look like a real threat, especially in the western half of the sea, which has been a bit less populous and active thus far in the game.
The English launched HMS Howell, a high-quality unreleased ship.
One of the Longest Turns of All Time
First, I was able to resolve the Pandora’s Box chaos from the previous round.
A review of what they demanded to receive:
The Cursed: Nemo’s Plans (done)
Vikings: Antikythera Mechanism (done)
Barbary Corsairs: Mask of Concealment (not complied with-Skull Spiders instead)
Dutch: Runes of Thor (FN)
Americans: Aegis Shield (The Vengeance of the Cadet Captain)
Mercenaries: Nightmare’s Knot (Fiends of the Blood Islands)
French: Garai (Pirates of Spherus Magna)
Spanish: Mask of Valor (Pirates of Spherus Magna)
Jade Rebellion: The Ring (Seas of Doom)
The Conglomerate: Mask of Wisdom (Spherus Magna)
English: Neptune’s Figurehead (CC)
Here are the UT’s the Pirates actually received from the other players:
Dutch: Runes of Magic
Mercenaries: Dead Man’s Chest (OE version)
French: Runes of the Serpent
Spanish: Forged Papers
Jade Rebellion: Abandoned Oarsman
The Conglomerate: Nemo’s Charts
English: Bad Plans
THIS MADE THE PIRATES EXTREMELY ANGRY!!!!
Using the Bomb Box, the Pirates threw out Plague and Bad Plans. The Pirates were irked that the Americans and English gave them negative UT’s. However, almost NONE of the factions in the game gave the Pirates what they wanted! We’ll see how that turns out!
With Studding Sails the Gale Force Nine and Blackleaf took off from the home island at L+L+S+S, as fast as the Hai Peng! Some resource gatherers got home with valuable metals, while a lot of ships seem to be making a beeline for that fogpool….
Some ships at the metals island deferred docking for now to allow room for inevitable Pirate launches coming at the end of the turn. Between Hidden Trove, Evenstar, Silverback John, and a likely change in resource values, the Pirates aren’t too concerned anymore with maximizing their metals production.
First the Hera arrived! She sacced an oarsman to broadside the Diablo flotilla and the ship towing it, El Algeciras! She hit 8/10 to sink the flotilla and nearly dismast the 2 master! The Deceit came through next, providing a canceller in the area for the Pirates. She was also using Phineas Bunce’s ability on the Zeus, giving the latter an extra cannon bonus on top of Lord Henry McLean’s regular bonus. This basically made the Zeus have all 1S cannons for this turn! She blasted away at the Joya del Sol and Castigue, shooting 6/9, causing considerable damage.
The Slave Revolt was next, saccing an oarsman to get a move and shoot after arriving through the whirlpool. Her cannon barrage was disappointing, not coming close to dismasting the Castigue as she was supposed to. However, with Capitaine Chevalle’s Cargo Wrecking ability, her 2 hits on the Castigue still took out 2 of her 3 crew.
The Howler was the next ship through the whirlpools, revealing both Grim the Savage (F&S version) and Richard Berry! With a pair of Marines, this submarine was able to shoot a pair of 2S shots while still submerged! One of them connected, causing further damage to the Castigue.
The Pirates were growing frustrated that their incredible firepower couldn’t even take out this relatively simple Spanish squadron, and so they surprised even themselves by sending the Tempest into the fray with an extra action via Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight (EPoE) on the Jolly Mon. She hit 3/5 to beat up on the Castigue, who was now nearly dismasted. The Leviathan warped into the area, using Edmund Cooke’s +1 cannon bonus against the Spanish to help eliminate 2 canoes and dismast the Algeciras. The Harbinger arrived and took a second action via Sac, but my poor dice luck would not stop, with the Harbinger rolling four 1’s and only hitting once to eliminate a single canoe.
All in all the Pirates were very disappointed with the final result of their sudden, brutal surprise attack. Still, they had managed to dismast 2 ships, nearly dismasted another, and eliminated 3 native canoes. This shows a couple interesting things – for one, whirlpool attacks can be limited in scope because ships can only be given one extra action after arriving via the whirlpool on the same turn, so the immediate damage output of a surprise attack is somewhat limited (for example, imagine if the Zeus had 18 shots instead of 9). In addition, the game is still in the very early stages of combat, and this attack showed how huge the 2 hits per mast rule is. If not for that, the Pirates would have had an easier time taking care of business.
At the end of their turn, the Pirates declared war on the Spanish!
This shot shows the battle area in what is being called The Battle of Whirlpool Island. You can see the Spanish home island where most of their masts and firepower is concentrated. It will be interesting to see if the Spanish try to retaliate in the short term.
The Archipelago was rather quiet overall this turn, with the Deliverance docking at Skull Valley to replenish an oarsman. The Stormcloud uses her shipwright to repair a mast. The Black Pearl was the ship to get the Arcane roll this turn… placing Runes of Odin on the Zeus!! O_O
What a sight! Over a dozen Pirate ships strive to reach the whirlpool created earlier in the game by the Tempest. The Pirates show their strength, as many of these ships will be able to support and back up the Pirate 10 master squadron against the Spanish if things go wrong. Ships launched last turn from the textiles military port (MP) simply scatter, with orders to get as far from the island as their turn’s action(s) will allow. This is because the Pirates still have a MASSIVE amount of gold, and they certainly plan to use it….
The Pirates are not quite as concerned with the Barbary Corsairs as you might think. Although the Corsairs have their own super squadron ready to set sail this round, the Pirates have a lot of firepower still in the area, not to mention another megalaunch from the MP after their play turn ends. However, the Splinter and Flying Dutchman (both just east of the whirlpool) are moving into a defensive position to potentially be the first Pirate ships on the front lines if the Corsairs charge and try to block the whirlpool/attack the military port/etc.
At the home island, various small ships (two with flotillas) swarm off the Arcane’s stern. The Osiris got SAT this turn, so she is off and running at 6S speed towards the possible confrontation with the Corsairs. The Corsairs are certainly close enough to see her heading towards them – what a horrible sight it must be, to see your former flagship heading out to fight you while in Pirate hands. 🙁
You might have noticed something abnormal compared to the last few turns – Pirate resource runners docking at the home island! It is the last round for this resource value, so the Pirates wanted to get some extra textiles home. They had been delayed for a while due to all the megalaunches from Hidden Trove windfalls. However, now the Pirates have 4 launch points instead of 2 (starting this turn), and it actually felt really good as a player to just dock them home normally. This is a more normal way of playing campaign games, instead of holding off because of all these crazy massive windfalls brought in by custom game piece combos. It was also nice to dock some of them home because the Akua Lapu and Hades’ Flame have needed repairs ever since the short but intense battle with the Corsair squadron of 4 masters. (which was back in April)
The Pirates wanted to end their turn with a statement. Something so epic and powerful that it would scare the hell out of every other fleet. Something truly god-like. They knew they had the pieces put together to pull it off….
ZEUS IS HERE!!
(these are not my pictures)
THE GODS ARE IN THE SKIES NOW. THEY HAVE BEEN CALLED BY THE PIRATES!
The Zeus has a certain UT aboard from earlier in the turn…
Runes of Odin!!
Load this treasure face down. When revealed, place an iceberg from outside the game anywhere in the play area not within S of an island. If the iceberg touches any ship, remove the ship (and any crew and treasure aboard her) from the game. Then remove Runes of Odin from the game.
ZEUS THROWS ODIN’S ICEBERG DOWN INTO THE SEA!!
The Pirates placed the iceberg just off the Conglomerate home island!!
Then it was time for… Runes of Magic!! Given to the Shadow’s Hand by the Dutch via Pandora’s Box, this UT would prove decisive!
Load this treasure face down. When revealed, move any iceberg L in any direction. Then remove Runes of Magic from the game.
The iceberg was moved directly into the Outbound Flight, the Conglomerate’s brand-new custom 40 point 10 masted junk!!!!!
With that, the Outbound Flight and all her crew were removed from the game!!
Introducing: The Odin Missile
It’s almost as if the Pirates have direct control over the gods now. It started with Thor last turn, with Runes of Thor being used on the Cursed turn with the custom Flying Dutchman’s ability so the Cursed could place Nemo’s Plans on the Zeus… Zeus! The Pirates got Runes of Odin to Zeus this turn, playing it in conjunction with Runes of Magic to complete one of the most powerful combos in the entire game. The best part is, the “Odin Missile” is reusable. Both Runes are on ships with Nemo’s Plans, so the Pirates retain both elements of this absurdly nasty combo. This means that once per turn, the Pirates can essentially just pick any ship in play (that isn’t in a fog bank), and just remove it from the game. O_O
The order was given. Zeus and Odin eyed the tiny ships below from up in the clouds. Odin creates a massive iceberg and hands it to Zeus, who will throw it in lieu of his trademark lightning bolts. Zeus winds up and hurls the iceberg at high speed down towards the water… thousands of sailors from across the fleets look up towards the sky, noticing what looks like a meteor, something from the heavens coming down upon them. The large new fleet of The Conglomerate navy is peacefully docked at their home island. Many new sailors are excited to set sail for the first time, having only recently joined the service. With horror they look to the sky at a massive iceberg plummeting towards their new fleet.
In a flash it is upon them. With a massive sudden impact, the iceberg comes crashing down amidships on the Outbound Flight, the newly launched 10 masted junk. The ship is split in half, with the bow and stern rising out of the water as the iceberg plummets through the ship and blows up the powder magazine, sending a vast explosion full of wood, ice, fire and body parts flying in all directions. A new Weapon of Mass Destruction is now in the hands of the Pirates.
With that, the Pirates have an auto-hitting precision strike missile WMD capable of knocking out a ship every turn. This brings them one step closer to having a full scale GMS….
The Pirates have been planning to introduce the Odin Missile for some time now. However, recent events accelerated the development of their WMD program. Even if it was a total accident, by giving the Pirates Runes of Magic, the Dutch helped the Pirates eliminate a Conglomerate ship! We’ll see if that leads to any tension between the Conglomerate and Dutch….
Pirate Launch Period
The Pirates raked in 139 gold from resources, adding it to their existing 1596 for a total of 1735 gold! O_O With 4 locations available for new ships to be launched at, it was inevitable that the Pirates would get busy spending big! 😀 The Pirates don’t have a lot to hide with their quadruple megalaunch (!), and so I will provide more detail than usual regarding what each ship has on board. Naturally, some things should start face down. 🙂 (these are from my notes so some things may be overly abbreviated)
CHO=Captain, Helmsman, and Oarsman (C+H=Captain and Helmsman) | WH=World Hater | FPS=Firepot Specialist | CSS=Chainshot Specialist
From Skull Valley: 9 Ships, 308 Points
The Pirates launched my version of the “movie” Queen Anne’s Revenge (from On Stranger Tides) with a big crew setup: Evan Stern (Captain+SAT), Jean Hamlin (Helmsman+World Hater except against the French), Nidiki (transferred from the Branwen), Coconut (Reroll+Explorer), Dinghy (+1 cargo), oarsman. She will be resupplied by Cadet-Captain Mike’s Quedagh Merchant, who is the QAR’s personal support and supply ship.
The Arbiter was launched to provide a new place for Nuva to copy Vesok/Arcane to so the Black Pearl can get back to her regular gunship duties.
Cor’dahk + The Mastermind (EA), Hernán Sanchez (C+WH), helmsman, oarsman.
Freedom Fighter + Captain Archer Rook (Sac+Gold Capture), One-Eyed Bennett (C+H), 4 oarsmen.
Fiasco + Roger Hawkins (C+H), The Headhunter (Sac+World Hater), Volting Junipau (FPS, CSS, crew kill on 6’s), Streamlined Hull, 4 oarsmen.
Victoire + Howard Hook (Sac Captain + spying), helmsman, 4 oarsmen
Albino and Destiny’s Bounty, each with CH, Dinghy and 5 oarsmen.
From the textiles military port: 13 Ships, 397 Points
Toruk + Chen Tianbao (C+H), Trainer (SAT+Dark Hunter), Bessho Kai (used as World Hater), oarsman.
Kingpin + Christopher Condent (Captain+WH+Filching Gold), Cai Qian (EA), Iron-Plated Hull, helmsman, and Streamlined Hull.
Crescent Rose + CHO, Ballista, equipment
Lilac + CHO, Ballista.
Fool’s Hope (LE) + CHO, equipment
Misfortune’s Keep + Le Requin (SAT), El Mulato Grillo (WH+Spanish Massacre), CHO, shipwright.
Red Sky at Morning + Emanuel Wynn (Captain, +S w/in S of enemy ship, +1 to boards against English), helmsman, shipwright, oarsman.
Dead Man’s Revenge + CHO.
Screecher + CHO, shipwright.
Shadow Stalker + stuff
Eclector + helmsman, shipwright, 5 oarsmen, Dinghy, Streamlined Hull.
Pandora (Seas of Doom) + helmsman, shipwright, 4 oarsmen, Dinghy, Streamlined Hull.
Oyster + helmsman, 2 shipwrights, 3 oarsmen, Dinghy
From the metals military port: 12 Ships, 260 Points
Introducing: The Anti-Spanish Squadron!
With their declaration of war against Spain, the Pirates have invested a considerable chunk of points into a new anti-Spanish squadron. Every ship in the squadron gets at least +1 to their cannon rolls against Spanish ships, and some get +1 to all their d6 rolls against Spain. The Fame’s Revenge is the flagship of the squadron, which the Pirates hope to expand to at least 10 ships (7 for now) in the near future.
Fame’s Revenge + Daniel Montbars (arguably the most anti-Spanish pirate to ever live), CHO, FPS.
Muerta de la Corona + CHO, FPS.
Claudia + Guilder (Captain+S-Board), Vincenzo Alessandri (Musketeer, +1 boards), helmsman.
Ranger + Michiel Andrieszoon (Captain, +1 to d6 rolls against Spanish), Jan Willems (+1 to boards against Spanish), helmsman, +more.
Broken Key + John Cooke (Captain, +1 to cannon rolls against Spanish), David Marteen (+1 to d6 rolls against Spanish), helmsman, oarsman, equipment.
La Morte de Yarborough: Jean Thomas Dulaien (Captain, +1 to d6 rolls against Spanish), helmsman, +more.
Batavian Bat + Michel de Grammont (Captain, +1 to cannon rolls against Spanish, +1 to boards against Dutch), helmsman, oarsman.
These will likely be patrol gunships – the first 4 all rather similar and all some of my favorite classics from the original sets.
Executioner + C+H, others
Panda + CHO, Ballista, equipment
Royal James + CHO, FPS
Cutlass + CHO, crew
Zui Quan + Mo Guanfu (Captain+Cannoneer), helmsman, oarsman, Ballista
-Once in a while the Pirates like to just throw something out there in full view to show some might. The Zui Quan can shoot 5 cannons as a 2 master, hitting at L+L range on 6’s to eliminate 2 masts per hit. 🙂
You may notice a trend developing between this and the previous recent Pirate launches… perhaps an “assembly” of sorts….
This Pirate Turn By the Numbers
Ships Launched: 41
Gold Spent: 1,211
Gold Remaining: 524 New Fleet Totals: 148 Ships, ~3,740 Points
The Pirate fleet was already #1 all-time with their point total from last round, and now they have become the largest fleet of all time by ship count!! 😀
Just bonkers crazy numbers!!!
A 41 ship fleet for 1211 total points is a nice total for any fleet to reach in a campaign game. The Pirates just added it in one turn! In addition, their fleet size by point total is now larger than almost all other recorded huge games ever played. Their long term vision and plans are rapidly coming to fruition!!
The Cursed Play Turn
The Cursed rolled successfully on both the custom Flying Dutchman’s ability and Davy Jones copying the Arcane! With the FD they brought in Runes of Thor, giving it to the Pirates!! It was placed on the Zeus, who already carries Nemo’s Plans. This meant the Pirates now have two ships that carry reusable versions of Runes of Thor, due to Nemo’s Plans. O_O
The successful Arcane roll was used to bring in Hidden Trove, placed on the Maman Brigitte! The custom ship The Rock copied Davy Jones (and through him, the Arcane) via the Eye of Insanity UT. After failing the roll and reroll, the Pirates intervened! They used their original Runes of Thor (on the Noble Swan) to force a 6! This allowed the Cursed to bring in Evenstar, placing it on the Maman Brigitte!! The Maman Brigitte was given an explore action targeting the home island, unloading both UT’s for a supermassive windfall!!!!!
307 ships in play at the beginning of the Cursed turn means Hidden Trove is worth 614 for The Cursed. Evenstar triples it to 1842 gold!!Add in their existing 617 and they have 2459 total gold!! O_O
The Pirates use their second RoT on a failed Cursed AA! It is used to propel the Chimeratron Legacy towards the Americans! She speeds out from the home island at an absolutely sickening speed of S+S+L+S+L(Python bonus)+S(trade current)(first action)+S+S+L+S+L(Python bonus)!!!! O_O
Video footage of the Legacy’s first turn of actions!
Here comes the superweapon!! Isaiah van Tyne L-boards the Kettering! Between her crew and bonuses, the CL has a base boarding score of 21! O_O This made rolling a non-issue; there was no way this supermassively overloaded maxed out 10 master was going to lose this boarding party! The CL wins and Captain Shamshere captures ALL four of the Kettering’s crew!! O_O How’s that for an entrance!
Then it was time to start shooting. The CL used Bow Chasers to slightly damage the Bonhomme Richard, then shot a grapple shot at S+S range to board the Richard. The CL won and stole all the crew from the BR!! O_O Both American gunships were suddenly devoid of crew, with all 7 now residing on the CL. The CL then managed to finish shooting a mast off the Kettering.
Then the Devil’s Storm turned around and shot up the stern of the Bonhomme Richard, eliminating 2 masts! In more bad news for the Americans: Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse is on her way. And the same for the Python and Devil’s Frenzy! This shows the Cursed-American situation in the northwest. At the far right, you can see that on their turn, the Pirates got the Stormy Night’s ability and used it to move the Rattlesnake onto the sargasso sea where the Harlequin is still stuck.
Indeed, ships were departing the Cursed HI en masse. Ships generally scattered, all going off on different missions. At the bottom of the frame, the Solenostomus has upgraded Figlar Castle!! O_O The Cursed used Barst (just like Lord Mycron; on the Tomb of Lucifer) to give the Opal Shrine an extra action, which she used to enter the whirlpool and arrive in the northwest corner (you can see her at the top left). There she used her gold to build another copy of Figlar Castle!! O_O This should seem… far more than ominous….
Cursed Launch Period
With a decent amount of room at their home island and over 2400 gold, The Cursed did a megalaunch! For the second turn in a row, they placed as many ships as they possible could at their home island.
Tridax + 3 Crew, Ballista
Call of the Sea + 3 Crew, helmsman, shipwright, oarsman, Dinghy
Royal Feces takes over for The Rock on Eye of Insanity (Davy Jones proxy) duties.
Spiral Chaos + The Sister of Tortuga (Shipwright+can’t be pinned), helmsman, oarsman, Gilded Figurehead
Sargasso Nightmare + Duogoth Vonnagos (Captain+Grapeshot Specialist), Ole Gregory, equipment specialist, helmsman, oarsman, Dinghy, Ballista
Ganon’s Phantom + CHO, Dinghy, equipment
Sea Hag + Crew, CHO.
Cerberus + CHO, equipment
Apparition + CHO, equipment
Hangman’s Joke + CHO, Ballista, equipment
Ghost Wind + CHO, Ballista
Needle + CHO, Streamlined Hull
Alligator + Captain, Streamlined Hull, smokepot shot
The Cursed spent 363 gold on 13 new ships! They completed their fog hopping squadron, in addition to adding some more ships for specific purposes.
The new Cursed totals: (last time at 24 ships, 961 points)
37 ships, 1324 points
The Cursed are expanding rapidly, increasing the size of their fleet (by ship total) by just over 50% in one turn.
Vikings and Corsairs
The Vikings once again couldn’t get Jord’s copied Arcane roll to work even with Shayna Deux’s reroll to help out. However, the Hrothgar returned home with three lumber tokens, allowing them to cash in for 12 gold to get the Timperswayd (from Pirates of the Kraken Sea) with a helmsman. This brings their fleet to 14 ships and 239 points.
The Corsairs sent some of their newest ships (the super squadron launched last turn) west, appearing to aim them straight at the Pirates. It seems unlikely they would actually try to attack the Pirates at such a numbers disadvantage, as a more foolish idea can hardly be imagined. The Corsairs brought home enough resources to launch a bit, but they didn’t get any Arcane rolls to work (all on the Nephila, but 4 total tries between Gilded Figurehead, a 2d6 ability, and Reroll).
The Corsairs launched:
HMB Sayyida + helmsman, 3 other crew and 1 equipment
Great Desert + C+H, Ballista
2 ships launched for 53 points. This brings their totals to 26 ships and 477 points.
Here is a wide view of the northeast, showing (from left to right) the home islands of the Vikings, Pirates, Corsairs, and English. With massive megalaunches happening every turn, the Pirate deckplate areas have been overflowing in all directions lately. At the upper right, notice that a huge percentage of recently hired Corsair crew are face down.
With that, my turn was over! There are now 323 ships in play, with my factions adding 57 this round! Throwing some numbers together, I can also come up with a new point estimate. My factions spent a total of 1644 gold this round (1211+363+12+58). The Conglomerate spent most of their Hidden Trove, which we can estimate at 500 gold now at around 2144 new points in play this round). Some other factions launched but some crew were lost in combat, so we’ll be conservative and not assume a point gain from that.
Using last turn’s point count of 5297 and adding 2144…
~7,441 Total Points In Play
O_O This means that CG4 could be the second biggest game of all time behind only Command the Oceans!! O_O
As always, VASSAL Campaign Game 4 continues to explode. The weekend of August 14th-16th of 2020 saw the biggest single-round total gold income I have ever seen or comprehended!! O_O
As always, it could be useful to have the Customs Database up for reference while digesting the events of the report.
We start with the Spanish, currently Xerecs’ most numerous faction. They launched a new set of native canoes (Savage Shores version).
Next comes the Conglomerate, another fleet that Xerecs launched things for on his turn. In a hugely newsworthy event, the Conglomerate have introduced another Copier into the game!!Mata-Nui! Helyrex is on the same ship with Reroll, meaning that if the Conglomerate wants to copy the Arcane’s ability, they’ll have two cracks at it, much like the other factions and pretty much identical to the Vikings’ Arcane rolling situation. This whole Arcane business is becoming a meta game within the game! XD
The English launched as well. They added an AA with Reroll combo. Here is a shot showing much of the northeastern chunk where 3 factions are in somewhat close proximity to each other. From west to east, the Pirates, Corsairs, and English. The Pirates have their own textiles island, while the Corsairs and English are sharing the one at the bottom of the picture.
Showing Off a Bit
Before Xerecs’ turn, the Pirates decided to randomly interject and reveal one of their new 10 master setups. Partly to remove any suspicions of the setup being illegal (not that anyone thinks I’m cheating), but also to serve as knowledge for the other factions to know how powerful these ships are looking. 🙂 Tee-hee! 🙂
Slave Revolt (from my Pirates of the Epic Seas custom set)
Crew: Havana Black (Sac Captain), Vincenzo Gambi (Massacre + World Hater), Captain Davy Jones (repossess the dead on 6’s; Fear), Capitaine Chevalle (Cargo Wrecking), Blackfoot Bill (WK unreleased-“When this ship is damaged, remove any crew member, except this one, instead of a mast.”), The Stump (2 point reducer) Grappleshot Specialist, helmsman, oarsman.
Equipment: Streamlined Hull (makes base move L instead of S)
In sum, the Pirates have a 10 master moving L+S with sac capability that utilizes a “sadistic recycling strategy”. The ship has multiple ways to kill a ton of enemy crew (Massacre with grappling for extra boards + Cargo Wrecking with 10 cannons that are essentially boosted to almost all rank-3’s or better via Gambi), and then comes the nasty part. CDJ can potentially repossess the victims, who are then sacced by Havana Black to further fuel the ship’s malicious intents. When the ship comes under fire, repossessed victims will be placed in the line of fire by Blackfoot Bill so enemy shots kill their own instead of taking any masts off. I may make a new name for this: the “zombie loop”.
(A few clarifications to avoid any future confusion- “This ability may be used when any crew is eliminated, regardless of previous ownership.” From the Code, meaning CDJ’s ability is voluntary as with most other abilities. Crew need to remain eliminated for effects to apply properly, so it’s good that I can’t loop it indefinitely with HBlack and Blackfoot Bill – their abilities require crew to stay eliminated)
The ship also gets +1 to her boarding rolls for every crew assigned to her, so with 9 crew aboard her base boarding roll starts at 19. O_O XD
This wild setup comes to 68 points total. The cargo comes to 37 points compared to the ship cost of 31, but The Stump subtracts 1 point each from the other 8 crew aboard for 26 points of crew (34 originally), bumped to 29 TOTAL points that count with Streamlined Hull at the modified cost of 3. The ship has 9 cargo spaces because Havana Black links to the ship, and 8 cargo that take up space (8 crew) along with the equipment and oarsman that don’t. Whew! XD (so somehow there is still technically room for 2 points and 1 cargo lol)
And now that I’m writing the full battle report… why not do a reveal of the Hera as well?! XD Some random abilities excluded.
Hera (from Epic Seas)
Crew: Red Legs Greaves (Captain+Helmsman), Cheng I (AA+cheerleading effect), El Castellano (Reroll+Parley), Kerkah (+2 to cannons and boards), Derrik the Red (Sac+World Hater), Jonah, oarsmen x2.
Equipment: Dinghy (This ship gets +1 cargo spaces. This equipment does not take up cargo space. This ship may explore an island or ship within S of this ship as a free action.)
Here we have a 10 master with (essentially) nearly all rank-1 cannons along with Sac capabilities and a Zeus-based movement bonus. She will have plenty of support.
Pirate Play Turn
The Pirates have so much going on every turn that I’ve made a spreadsheet documenting many of the ships in their fleet. It provides a quick and easy reference on each ship’s total speed, abilities aboard, and mission. For some of the ships it also includes current open cargo spaces, and cannons (if the ship has the Captain ability and especially if the cannons are modified with bonuses/etc).
At the southern part of the Pirate HI, a large number of resource gatherers go to and from the metals island. Plumb Point Lighthouse has its first turn in action! The light emitted L+L from its base immediately helps many of the cargo ships sailing about. 6 ships docked home resources for the Pirates this turn, netting them 112 gold. That included the Hai Peng, who returned with a lumber token from an island to the west of this area that the Jade Rebels have also explored. The Turbulence sped out towards the metals island and used Dinghy (which allows the ship a free action to explore a ship or island within S of it) to transfer the newest Military Port upgrade to the Cursed Blade. The Cursed Blade docked at the metals island and unloaded the token, giving the Pirates another Military Port! At the left, the Sapphire Sea is towing the captured Morning Star through the fogpool.
Just like last turn, Pirate ships near the northern part of their home island are told to stay away. The Pirates have something big coming. The still-damaged Darkhawk II simply heads south, with her captain figuring that even if he can’t repair at the first military port to the south, the ship can at least grab some textiles and take them home as normal. There is room at the home island for the Agnis Crystalis to dock and start repairing… but she hides in a fog bank instead. Ships heading home take in sail and avoid coming close enough to dock. These are strange times indeed… but for VERY good reason….
The Pirates are becoming more brash, with the newly launched Stormy Night using her ability to move the American ship Harlequin (far to the northwest) onto a sargasso sea. The Gale Force Nine revealed my Copper Sheathing equipment to boost her base move to L+L.
Off to the races! The new Pirate ships launched last turn from the textiles MP (Military Port) generally head east. The Splinter is the first to reach and cross the whirlpool… perhaps the Pirates are heading to attack the hated Corsairs? This extremely impressive squadron is just beginning. Above the Splinter, note the Harbinger continuing to head south while the Flying Dutchman turns around, pointing her bow north. At the lower right, hostilities between the Pirates and Corsairs recommence! This time it was the Pirates striking first, with The Leviathan teleporting broadside to the Golden Peacock and shooting 2/5 to knock a mast off.
Of course, the Pirates had already rolled for the Arcane. And Vesok, and Nuva. All three of them rolled for the Arcane’s ability to bring a UT into the game on a 6. For reference, the Arcane’s ability: “Once per turn, you may give this ship a move action, but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 6, you may place a Unique Treasure on any ship in your fleet.” Vesok is a copier on the Smoke’s Hand (a 5 master in the middle of the map at the Archipelago), and copied the same ability. Nuva allows a ship within S of Vesok’s ship to have one of their crew copy a crew from Nuva’s ship. This was once again a generic crew on the Black Pearl, copying Vesok to copy the Arcane in turn. And this is how the rolls went….
TWO SUCCESSFUL ROLLS!!!
FIRST THE PIRATES BRING IN HIDDEN TROVE…
AND THEN THEY BRING IN EVENSTAR!!!
From Xerecs’ Return of Davy Jones custom set:
Hidden Trove: Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.
From Xerecs’ Fiends of the Blood Islands custom set:
Evenstar: Load this treasure face-down, it takes up 3 cargo spaces. When this ship docks at your home island, triple the value of the lowest gold coin, then remove Evenstar from the game.
They were both placed on the Shadow Thief. And she revealed….
From JW Darkhurst’s Seas of Doom custom set:
Silverback John: Ransom. Cargo Master. Once per turn, when this ship unloads treasure at your home island, double the value of the lowest-value coin.
With both UT’s aboard, the Shadow Thief moved away from the home island… and simply redocked!! XD
As of the Pirate turn, there were 213 total ships in play. This means Hidden Trove was worth 426 gold.
Upon docking, Evenstar tripled that to 1,278 gold. O_O
Then both coins were automatically unloaded at the home island, triggering Silverback John’s ability to double the value… to….
The Pirates also had 112 gold from resources this turn, bringing their record-breaking single-turn grand total… to an unprecedented, dizzying, somewhat incomprehensible….
Two thousand six hundred sixty eight gold. O_O
We are in the end days…. O_O
Last turn was absurd. This turn is unbelievable. The Pirates are rich to a degree not even close to anything I’ve seen before in any of my games. 2,668 is a very large point total to reach in a campaign game of Pirates CSG, between all points in play from all the fleets. The Pirates just raked in that much gold in a single turn. XD O_O
This is becoming a sickening affair….
But Wait, There’s More
^That is now my catchphrase for this game. It applies to almost every turn I’ve taken this year and it only keeps accelerating – a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. The ludicrous gold income number may have been the craziest thing to happen this round, but it was far from the last exciting thing to happen in the game this turn.
With their GSP (Global Surveillance Program) allowing them to see just about all the face down treasures in play, the Pirates knew exactly what they wanted to try next. Davy Jones’ Key was on the middle Archipelago island. Pandora’s Box was on the island within the Turbulence area (southeast corner of the map). The Shadows Hand had fog hopped to the Archipelago originally to explore a different island of the Archipelago, with the eyes of her crew set on a pretty decent UT. However, a far more interesting and important mission now presented itself – especially now that the Shadows Hand was within docking distance of the middle island of the group. She had come out of a fog bank ready to assist in the fight against the Spanish, but wasn’t needed there. Now one of her cargo, originally meant for that other island, would prove incredibly useful.
From my Pirates of the Epic Seas custom set:
Bomb Box: This equipment takes up no cargo space. When this ship explores a wild island, you may eliminate this equipment to eliminate or remove from the game any Unique Treasures on the island before their effects are applied.
This is a neat little 1 point equipment designed as an option for gold runners that are often ruined by extremely negative UT’s like Plague, Runes of Death, and Natives. Here it would prove even better.
For reference, here is the Archipelago after last turn. The Shadows Hand is the northernmost ship, just south of the eastern canoes.
The Shadows Hand docked at the island and was given an AA (Admiral’s Action) to explore it. She swapped Davy Jones’ Key for Pandora’s Box, triggering a climactic event:
Pandora’s Box: When revealed, each player must choose and put a unique treasure from outside the game aboard this ship.
O_O More UT shenanigans!!!
Here is the full Pirate Code entry on Pandora’s Box, which proved to be extremely important: (emphasis added)
-When this unique treasure is revealed, starting with the player to your left and ending with yourself, each player chooses and reveals one UT and places it on your ship. After all UTs have been chosen they are resolved per the standard rules.
-If a chosen UT can be loaded facedown it is not revealed until used. -All UTs received from Pandora’s Box are treated as if they were on the island when it was explored.
-A UT chosen for this ability may duplicate one that is already in play and/or one that has been chosen by a preceding player. The “no-duplicates” rule applies to UTs only when placed in the treasure pool during setup.
By “player to your left” I’m going with the next “player” in the turn order, which is The Cursed. Keep in mind it says “REVEALS”. Meaning that everyone knows what each fleet gives to the Pirates, and the Pirates know which UT came from each faction. The Bomb Box is being used here as a way to throw out the negative UT’s before they can do anything. That is where the third point from the Code comes into play – since they’re treated as if they were on the island when it was explored, the Bomb Box can be used to eliminate any UT’s before their effects are applied. O_O 😀
Mass Extortion on a Grand Scale
The Pirates would like to make it clear that they will simply throw out ANY AND ALL negative UT’s. In addition, if they are given a negative UT from a faction, that faction may be subject to extremely harsh punishment in the extremely near future. Aka, possible annihilation. If a faction gives the Pirates a bad UT, they might get slaughtered! You might as well be nice!! XD There is no anonymity to hide behind here. So make your choices wisely and consider the pros and cons of paying tribute to the all-powerful Pirates. “Now line up! And offer me a tribute.” LOL!
This is what the Pirates are demanding from each faction: (this is also technically the order the UT’s should be chosen, which could be important for alliance/diplomatic purposes/etc)
The Cursed: Nemo’s Plans (done)
Vikings: Antikythera Mechanism (done)
Barbary Corsairs: Mask of Concealment (not complied with)
Dutch: Runes of Thor (FN)
Americans: Aegis Shield (The Vengeance of the Cadet Captain)
Mercenaries: Nightmare’s Knot (Fiends of the Blood Islands)
French: Garai (Pirates of Spherus Magna)
Spanish: Mask of Valor (Pirates of Spherus Magna)
Jade Rebellion: The Ring (Seas of Doom)
The Conglomerate: Mask of Wisdom (Spherus Magna)
English: Neptune’s Figurehead (CC)
The Cursed and Vikings gave the Pirates what they requested. The Corsairs didn’t, instead placing Skull Spiders (from Spherus Magna) on the Shadows Hand, but it was immediately tossed out via the Bomb Box. ALSO: This should technically happen in real time on the Pirates’ turn. This means the Pirates would give themselves a UT before it even became The Cursed turn. The Pirates have given themselves Jailhouse Dog. Fair warning that negative UT’s brought in via Copiers/etc that would hurt the Pirates will be cancelled by the Jailhouse Dog. That is also likely to apply if someone tries to yank in Fountain of Dreams.
Also from the Code, regarding Jailhouse Dog:
-This ability may be used at any time during the game.
-This ability may be applied as an “interrupt” to avoid any immediate effects that would apply when another unique treasure is first revealed.
This was something the Pirates had been planning for a while. They were originally going to send a ship with a Bomb Box to the Turbulence island to trigger Pandora’s Box. However, once the Shadows Hand was already in the Archipelago, they figured… why wait? This way they could get a good look at where the other factions were at (regarding compliance… lol) and possibly speed up their UT plans….
I was listening to this mix during the Pirate turn and one of the songs is called Pandora’s Box and another is called Dark Tides (the name of one of JW Darkhurst’s custom sets) lol. Talk about ironic….
To finish off the Pirate turn, the Smoke’s Hand unloaded her fort upgrade to Skull Valley in the Archipelago. When combined with the new military port on their metals island, this means the Pirates will have four launch points next turn instead of two. O_O The horror…. 😉
Pirate Launch Period
With 2,668 gold at their disposal, there was almost no way to run out. The Pirates got busy, launching a ton of ships just as they did last turn.
Here are the ships they launched from their military port southwest of their home island, with custom creator name in parentheses. (in the picture, these go clockwise from the top starting with the ship pointed due south)
Scarlet Star, Lhikan II (both by JW Darkhurst), Plague of the West (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), The Slash (JW Darkhurst), Acre (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), Vortex, Kanohi Dragon (both by JW Darkhurst), Typhoon, Diamond Strike, Silver Casket (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), Blue Heron (stats by Woelf for one of the 1 of 1 Ships in a Bottle).
The Slash carries my friend Captain Randy!! He is now in the game!! 😀
None of these ships are picked at random – in fact, the complete opposite. Each one is selected for a specific reason, and each one carries a complement of crew/equipment that will help to optimize the mission for each and every vessel in the Pirate fleet. Optimizing fleets is one of my biggest passions within Pirates CSG, and in a grand campaign with near-unlimited spending ability, I can really execute plans perfectly. There are so many moving parts to the Pirate machine that it will start to become unprecedented. Gunships, equipment placement, managing how many total rerollers there are (between Wizkids and customs), making sure I don’t miss any ships that should get launched, making sure each ship has a specific purpose, supply ships… the Pirates are always hard at work on their turns! In time the grand scope of their plans and launches will become more evident.
The Pirates didn’t have a lot of room at their home island, but managed to put two more AA w/Reroll combos in play; “Admiral” Scathe (JW Darkhurst) on the Stoneheart, and the Mammoth (vladsimpaler) with James Browne. Gotta throw some history curveballs in this crazy game! ;P XD
At the southern tip of their HI the Pirates launched the Smokescreen (Xerecs), Beast’s Belly, and Rhino (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood).
A home island too crowded and busy to dock at… even for ships coming home with valuable textiles, and there will be a resource change soon that could crash their value! A really weird sight.
The Black Jack (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood) is launched from the southern part of their HI with a town AND military port upgrade aboard… and the Blackleaf (Riz) has the same! The Wrath is now in play as well – one of my favorite customs I’ve made for Epic Seas. Her linked crew Bloodbeard is aboard, one of the fiercest to sail the seas. She is configured as a shooting and boarding monster. Here’s a little preview of my note taking from the spreadsheet document… after 9+ years playing big games of Pirates CSG, I like to abbreviate and put almost an inside joke type thing on most of the things I write for myself.
CHO. Massacre w/S Boarding and Grapple Shot. WH, so Cargo killing on 5-6. Currently at +7 to boards bonus with 5 crew.
The Pirates also went a little crazy with the Catapults (2 points each) from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna set:
“This equipment may be used on an island or on a ship. If used on a ship; she gains one 4L cannon that can shoot from any mast (even an eliminated mast). If the cannon roll is a 1, turn this equipment face-down. You may give this ship a repair action to turn it face-up again instead of repairing a mast. If used on an island, this equipment becomes a 3L+L cannon that can only fire from one point on the island. To fire a catapult on an island, a friendly crew must be present on the same island; if the roll is a 1, turn the catapult equipment face-down and remove the associated crew from the game. Catapult must be loaded back onto a ship to be turned face-up again.”
The Pirates spent 300 gold to get 100 Catapults (!) and 100 oarsmen to crew them with. I consolidated all the Catapults into one equipment token and all the oarsmen into one crew token. This is to save space on the HI, but mostly to limit lag in the module. If combat/drama does ensue at the Pirate HI (good luck ;), I can adjust the numbers as necessary or even make a note in the module/etc to keep track of numbers. As it stands now they have near-unlimited firepower at their HI and have turned it into an insane stronghold. Any ships that come within L+L of the Pirate home island are likely to be dismasted (100 3L+L shots could result in 50 total hits).
Hidden Trove: 213 ships in play x2=426 gold. w/Evenstar: 1278; w/Silverback John: 2556. +112= 2,668 Gold to spend! Pirates spend 1072 gold!
592 gold on assorted ships and crew.
300 gold on 100 Catapults and 100 oarsmen to man the Catapults. (all placed on HI)
180 gold on 3 town and 3 Military Port upgrades. (one of each on home island)
20 ships launched:
Ships launched from home island: 8 (5 at northern half, 3 at southern half)
Ships launched from textiles MP: 12
Pirates have spent 1822 gold in the past 2 turns. O_O (750, and now 1072)
Last turn: 25 ships launched, 20 this turn. The Pirates have expanded their fleet by 45 ships in two turns!!
New record single-turn spending: 1,072 gold (a record as far as I know – I will certainly have to update that page this year)
This all in just two turns with two launch points. Imagine four launch points at the end of their next turn when they still have ~1600 left to spend!! I’m just not sure what will run out first – my time or their gold! XD
Now there are 233 ships in play.
Cursed Play Turn
The custom Flying Dutchman submerged and ducked into a fog bank. The Python and Tomb of Lucifer scattered from the home island, anticipating the end of turn events.
The Wisp fog hopped locally and ended her move action touching the whirlpool just south of the Cursed HI…
TO BUILD A FORT!!
Ability: This fort can only be built on a whirlpool when a Cursed ship is touching the whirlpool. Starting the turn after construction, this fort can travel through whirlpools like a ship, but without having to roll for damage. Ships docked at the fort do not travel with the fort. Cursed crew can use their abilities in this fort.
Flavor text: The Cursed have built this monstrosity, which could spell doom for all humanity. They have now created a water-borne fortress that can harness the power of the sea to warp into various locales. Hearing of the shocking development, some sailors have already given up hope, preferring to simply stay on land.
But before that even happened… I rolled some dice.
Remember how there’s always more in CG4? Here we go again. XD
The Cursed use a trio of +1 to d6 roll abilities to trigger another Arcane event!!!
The Cursed bring in Hidden Trove again!! Then they bring in Evenstar!!!
Both are placed on the Maman Brigitte! She redocks and The Cursed are RICH!!! Again!!
233 ships in play. This led to Hidden Trove being worth 466 gold – tripled with Evenstar for 1398 gold!
The Cursed spent 780 of it!(1852 gold spent this turn between the Pirates and Cursed!!)
The Cursed managed to get both Arcane rolls to work, triggering another Hidden Trove + Evenstar event. O_O This netted them a massive windfall. The Pirates used Runes of Thor on the custom Flying Dutchman’s ability, forcing it to work. The Cursed placed a Nemo’s Plans on the Zeus.
This was not the first time the Pirates had played Runes of Thor for the Cursed… they also did it when the Devil’s Sneer blew up the Jarvis with Explosives. This also marks the second Nemo’s Plans given to the Pirates by The Cursed… this very turn.
Cursed Launch Period
The Cursed bought 9 ships. Here they are, listed counterclockwise from the top with the Chimera pointed almost due south. (not in order due to ships already at the HI)
Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse (A7XfanBen), Interloper (El Cazador), Devil’s Frenzy, Nemesis (both by A7XfanBen), The Rock (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), Guichuan (southernmost 10 master), Howl, Devil’s Child (A7XfanBen), Gerudo Gale (El Cazador).
Another epic deckplate as The Cursed delve into my ship-ton of custom 10 masters they have….
The Cursed bought 10 Catapults along with 10 oarsmen to crew them for 30 total gold, placed on their home island.
They also spent a ton of money on island upgrades. 3 fort upgrades, 2 towns, and 2 military ports. O_O This could be bad….
I would love to give more details on The Cursed launchings… but by nature of the game, the future, and plans, it is best to keep things as secret as possible for now. In due time some of The Cursed stuff will be used and then some of the wild setups will come to light. Let’s just say that most of the ships are absolutely stacked. I have been consistently running out of point cap space before running out of cargo space or crew to use, so most of the gunships coming into play lately have as many points aboard as their point cost allows. This is the case for Chimera and the Devil’s Frenzy… which means 192 points between them. O_O
Cursed had 15 ships coming into the turn. 9 new ships brings them to 24 total.
242 ships in play brings the value of Hidden Trove to 484 gold.
They do have a pretty respectable resource gathering fleet for how underpowered they are compared to most of the other factions. Their deckplates are being pushed west by the rapidly expanding Pirate fleet.
The Barbary Corsairs Get In On The Festivities!
THE CORSAIRS HAVE A COPIER! They get some help from Woelf’s Gilded Figurehead equipment to pull in a UT!! O_O
The Corsairs get Hidden Trove!!!
It is worth 484 gold!! Combined with textiles from Marrakesh for 499 gold total!
This shows the entire Corsair fleet at the end of their turn and their general situation. Especially after giving the Pirates a bad UT via Pandora’s Box instead of what the Pirates were demanding, they are extremely worried that a Pirate attack from the west is imminent. Hidden Trove couldn’t have come at a better time!
The Corsairs with their version of a megalaunch!! They spend 331 gold to launch 8 new ships!
Counterclockwise from upper left: Nubian Prince, Sea Tiger (the_grandmaster/Pointless Arrow), Anubis towing Elephant flotilla (both by A7XfanBen), Crown Jewel (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood), Desert Wind, Sultan’s Bride (Riz; her flavor text by AlanQSmithee), Majestic.
On their home island… the Corsairs placed Mons Meg!! O_O
(5 points) Only one of this equipment can be used per fleet. This equipment can only be used on islands following the Marine rules. This equipment has a cannon (5L+L) that eliminates 3 masts with one hit and can sink ships.
For additional home island defense, the Corsairs also matched The Cursed, buying 10 Catapults with 10 oarsmen to crew them with. This along with the new ships massively beefs up the Corsair HI defenses.
As with The Cursed, it would be unwise to reveal the crew setups of the Corsair ships. What I can say is that this is about the closest thing to a super squadron the Corsairs can assemble. Drawing on both Wizkids and extensive customs, the Corsairs have placed in the water a 10 master, two submarines, two “S-Immunity” ships, a canceller (the Anubis), and a cheerleader. The ships are stacked and loaded. The Corsairs are going all out in case the Pirates attack soon. Suddenly the Corsairs have become substantially more powerful, which is just what they needed.
A few other notes:
Corsairs started their turn with 15 ships. Launch 8 so now they have 23 total.
8 additional ships brings the grand total to… 250!! This means the next Trove will be worth 500 gold!! XD
Total gold spent on the weekend of 8/14-8/16: 2,183 O_O This is less than half of what was brought in. 2183/4565=47.8% (2668+1398+499=4565) Just absolutely staggering numbers. And more to come soon too… a point count is coming….
2183 new points in play. Point count in April showed 2067 points in play. So the game is definitely bigger than CG1 ever was!! (3516 official, likely topped 3700) Which means it’s already the biggest virtual/VASSAL Pirates campaign game of all time!
I could hardly believe it when Doragon the Magnificent appeared in the music mix! Maybe it’s a sign he should enter the game soon….
Here it is!! The whole ocean! With over 2000 new points of stuff in play, you can finally see some huge activity even when zoomed all the way out! The 5 Cursed 10 masters in the northwest stand out, while the northeast becomes even more of a hub than it already was. Click to see the full size version where you can zoom in easily.
-At the end of today’s play on August 16th, the Vikings recommitted to their alliance with the Barbary Corsairs. Both factions see the need to stay together at a time when unprecedented and rapid growth of their unpredictable Pirate neighbors threatens their very existence.
-The Pirates and The Cursed have independently threatened violence against all three of the other factions with copiers (Vikings, Corsairs, Conglomerate). The messages basically said if you copy Arcane/etc to bring harm to the Pirates or Cursed, they will respond with immediate aggression. Even going so far as to say a faction that does the wrong thing may face extinction in short order. O_O
-The game is becoming more complicated from a diplomatic or political perspective. This crazy turn is resulting in more messages being sent among the factions than usual. This could mean a lot for the game going forward. Just what though, we don’t know….
If I had to pick my own “MUST READ” battle report for 2020, this is it.
VASSAL Campaign Game 4 has continued (introduction and rules here). The previous battle report is probably worth a refresher before getting into the events of this past… weekend. Indeed, my turn took up a huge portion of my weekend from Friday-Sunday. Things have spiraled out of control to a degree not seen before in any other game of Pirates CSG, at least that I know of in its recorded history. Game balance is a thing of the past. Welcome to a new era – “exploits of the power gamer”. 😉 I listened to this epic mix for most of the Pirate play turn.
A turn this long and epic deserves a long report to do it justice. Especially given the “injustices” that have taken place… and of which there are likely more to come. If you make it through the whole thing, please consider leaving a comment at the bottom, as it should help my fansite and the visibility of this post that apparently has 5625 words. It would be useful to have the newly released Customs Database available while reading, as there were a LOT of customs involved….
As usual for my turns, we start with the Pirates. The Eagle gave Resurrection Codex to the Zeus. (a pretty big deal in a more “normal” game or even a campaign game)
Having crushed Xerecs’ Spaniards in the Archipelago last turn with a grand display of powerful weaponry, their combat of this turn was mostly about cleaning up in the center of the ocean. The Deliverance got the Pirates started by eliminating two Spanish canoes (revealing Isandro Ramirez to be her captain).
From there, things quickly got… unprecedented.
The Smoke’s Hand got two actions and used the second to sink the final canoe and shoot at the Morning Star, who was dismasted by the Stormcloud. This allowed the Sapphire Sea to tow the Spanish galleon, with the Pirates capturing her! Given she was loaded with textiles (a valuable resource right now) and additional cargo, in any normal circumstance this would be a major deal and win for the Pirates. This was, however, arguably even for me the least normal turn EVER taken in a Pirates game…..
As you may have seen in the video, the Arcane herself rolled for her signature ability. “Once per turn, you may give this ship a move action, but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 6, you may place a Unique Treasure on any ship in your fleet.” First try of the entire round, and she got a 6. O_O
The Pirates brought in…
From Xerecs’ Return of Davy Jones custom set:
Hidden Trove: Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.
LOL!!!! Hidden Trove was placed on the Osiris, who naturally was already docked at the Pirate home island.
The report goes a bit out of order here… XD
Naturally it begs the question: how many ships are in play? Well, at the end of the Pirate play turn: 173. O_O
This means that Hidden Trove is worth 346 gold. O_O XD
But Wait, There’s More
😀 Of course there is!
The Pirates were not even CLOSE to being done yet! XD
As mentioned in the May 9th report, the Pirates have a mass surveillance program. They call it the “Global Surveillance Program”, or GSP (not to be confused with GMS). Think of it like the NSA. XD If you’ve got something and want to hide it, odds are the Pirates already know about it. I believe the Pirates know where every single face down UT on the map is. O_O They also know about most of the face down crew in play. This allows them to make focused decisions that do not rely on assumptions or wild predictions. They have also become extremely self-sufficient, not needing to bargain with other factions for intelligence purposes. The Pirates already knew about something they wanted… something that would combo perfectly with their new Hidden Trove….
The Leviathan was put into action!! In her first turn in play, The Leviathan (from vladsimpaler’s Treachery on the High Seas set) was immediately ready to show off how much of an asset she could be to the burgeoning Pirate fleet. With D movement, she was able to “fly” anywhere on the ocean at will. She got her orders to intercept a Dutch ship far from Pirate waters, off in the southwest. The Prins Willem carried Ivory, a custom UT created by the legendary Cadet-Captain Mike:
Ivory: When unloaded, this treasure is worth as much as the most valuable treasure coin currently on the ship.
O_O … You may see where this is going.
The Leviathan warped out to meet the Prins Willem, careful not to ram the ship and become pinned. She simply brushed ever so slightly up against the hull of the Dutch 3 master, and fired off a full broadside of 5 shots just for good measure, courtesy of Captain crew Gregory Rose (a custom by JW Darkhurst). All shots missed! However, blood was not what the Pirates were after. That laid elsewhere. The Prins Willem had 2 other UT’s aboard: Barrel o’ Monkeys (created by Woelf!!) and Letter of Marque.
Barrel o’ Monkeys: When this ship leaves a wild island, randomly choose one of her treasures and put it face down on that island. When this ship touches another ship, randomly choose one of this ship’s treasures and put it face down on the other ship; eliminate the treasure instead if the other ship’s cargo is full.
Emphasis added; the random part was where my Pirates needed some luck. I assigned Letter of Marque a 1-3 and Ivory a 4-6; sure enough, the d6 roll came up 6!! 😀 This put Ivory on The Leviathan!
With great haste she flew home, carefully landing to just barely touch the Osiris, who still hadn’t been given an action on the turn.
Now it was time for a true rarity: using SAT (Same Action Twice/Born Leader) to explore twice in a row. O_O I don’t know if I had ever done that in a game up until this point, but it was certainly the perfect time.
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 ->  ***
<a7xfanben> – O_O Got Danvian Arrestelos’ SAT on the Osiris, which is suddenly key because both AA’s were already used
With SAT available, the Osiris used her first explore action to explore The Leviathan, taking Ivory. With her second explore action she targeted the home island, unloading both Hidden Trove AND Ivory at the same time!!!!!
Hidden Trove was worth 346 gold!! Ivory was worth the same amount as Hidden Trove!!
Suddenly the Pirates had a fortune on their home island!!!
The Pirates also brought in a fair quantity of metals and textiles this turn, still the game’s 2 most valuable resources for now. This gave them an additional 58 gold, which would be a pretty good total for them under normal circumstances.
This left them with a grand total of….
Even in a campaign game, this is beyond belief….
Anticipating one of the biggest megalaunches in memory, Pirate ships immediately scattered away from the home island, with the Pirates desperate to make as much room at their launch points as possible. Get out of the way!! Make room, make room!! XD Despite needing more repairs, the Agnis Crystalis and Darkhawk II simply sail straight out away from the home island, with priority going to the new ships that will inevitably be launched in short order….
I almost never do bulk copy+paste of the module chat in actual battle reports, but this is one turn where I think it is fitting. 🙂
<a7xfanben> – HIDDEN TROVE HAS BEEN PLACED ON THE OSIRIS BY THE ARCANE.
<a7xfanben> – Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – Its worth will be calculated….
<a7xfanben> – But first
<a7xfanben> – Time to try out the newest superweapon
<a7xfanben> – THE LEVIATHAN!!
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Here’s hoping this works XD
<a7xfanben> – D movement
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – (not her final location for this move)
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* UNDO: * [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – Placed alongside, touching but not ramming…
* **** Crew – Pirate (Gregory Rose) revealed by a7xfanben ****
<a7xfanben> – Gregory Rose: Captain. Eternal. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against English ships.
(shots miss lol)
<a7xfanben> – Now for the key, and maybe a little luck.
<a7xfanben> – Prins Willem has Barrel o’ Monkeys aboard.
<a7xfanben> – When this ship leaves a wild island, randomly choose one of her treasures and put it face down on that island. When this ship touches another ship, randomly choose one of this ship’s treasures and put it face down on the other ship; eliminate the treasure instead if the other ship’s cargo is full.
<a7xfanben> – From the Code: Barrel o’ Monkeys is not included in the random selection
<a7xfanben> – It comes down to Ivory and Letter of Marque.
<a7xfanben> – D6 roll: 1-3 Letter of Marque is transferred, 4-6 Ivory is transferred.
<a7xfanben> – Here goes
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 ->  ***
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Oh my god….
<a7xfanben> – This is absolutely staggering…
* Coin moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
* Coin moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
<a7xfanben> – Ivory goes to Leviathan
<a7xfanben> – Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight on the Jolly Mon to give The Leviathan another action!!
<a7xfanben> – Not pinned since no ram 🙂
<a7xfanben> – Bye
* Coin moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
* [The Leviathan] moves Ocean -> Player 1 Locker *
<a7xfanben> – She knows just where to go…
* [The Leviathan] moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
* Coin moves Player 1 Locker -> Ocean *
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
* [The Leviathan] moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – Touching the Osiris
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Her first action is to explore The Leviathan and take the Ivory
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Now her second action…
<a7xfanben> – Is used to explore the home island!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – Hidden Trove: Load this treasure face up, Hidden Trove is worth 2x the total number of ships in the game.
<a7xfanben> – Ivory: When unloaded, this treasure is worth as much as the most valuable treasure coin currently on the ship.
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
* Coin moved by a7xfanben*
<a7xfanben> – O_OOO_O_O_O_O_O_O_O
<a7xfanben> – LOLOLOLOL
<a7xfanben> – A MULTIPLIER!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – HIDDEN TROVE IS DOUBLED!!
<a7xfanben> – UNLIMITED POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<a7xfanben> – (force lightning spews from eyes in all directions)
<a7xfanben> – The craziest part is… IT IS NOT OVER. Not for another faction………
<a7xfanben> – The Pirates have not even used their Runes of Thor this round.
<a7xfanben> – O_O
<a7xfanben> – Someone else eagerly awaits….
<a7xfanben> – All shall perish.
Things have gotten a bit strange in Pirate waters. Multiple damaged ships are almost stranded in between the two launch points of the Pirate HI and their military port, with orders not to dock at either given the mass influx of valuable new ships about to enter play. At the bottom left the Giza tries to row away from the island at an angle that will allow the maximum number of ships to be docked at the port by the end of the overall Pirate turn. The Triton’s Fury could have docked and loaded textiles but simply doesn’t. At the bottom right, 3 Pirate gunships are headed in the direction of the whirlpool created by the Tempest.
Round earthing to the other side of the Pirate home island, the Amity has unloaded 3 gold at the metals island to build Plumb Point Lighthouse!
At the end of their turn the Pirates followed through with their plan to build a fort on an Archipelago island. They built my custom Skull Valley fort, which has Extended Range. (The fort shuts down resource production on the island; this snapshot was taken before I removed the textiles token or added the 5 gold cost of the fort)
A true pirate stronghold, the Skull Valley is located on an undisclosed and unnamed island either in the Caribbean or the Pacific, depending on who you talk to. More of a town than a fortress, the valley is inside hilly terrain that prevents enemies from getting a clear look at their target. Massive mortars and a huge cache of old Spanish culverins provide ample firepower over the hills. [Ironically fitting flavor text given that the Spanish were just here and had explored that island]
Then it was time for the launch period. The Pirates had 750 gold at their disposal, more than any fleet I’ve controlled with the exception of the English in CG1. With near-unlimited options…
The Pirates spent… ALL OF IT. O_O
I didn’t know if it would be possible with just 2 launch points, but it was. The Pirates spent 750 gold in one turn, eclipsing my personal record of 628 that the English spent in CG1. 50 of it was spent on a military port upgrade, with most of the rest of it going to ships and crew of course.
The Pirates are putting Catapults (custom equipment from Xerecs’ Spherus Magna set) on their textiles island to fortify it even more (12 “island cannons” between those and the 8 3S’s from the MP). The Catapults are manned by new oarsmen. The Catapults are 3L+L cannons that can fire from only one point on the island.
The Pirates completed their fleet of 10 masters, launching the last 2 that I am aware of. Both customs of mine: the Slave Revolt and Hera. Despite the massive costs, both 10 masters actually needed “reducer” crew to make their mammoth setups work. The Slave Revolt has The Stump aboard to allow (I think) 37 points of crew to fit onto the 31 point ship. The Hera is even more extreme – Jonah had to be hired in order to fit (I think) 38 points of crew onto the 23 point ship. O_O Helping out the Slave Revolt’s poor speed was Woelf’s custom Streamlined Hull equipment, which shows up on a handful of the ships I launched this turn:
We have house ruled it to 3 points for CG4 due to the no ram damage house rule and after feedback from Woelf himself. This comes from Woelf’s Treasure Trove of Fenrir equipment set, and not the last of it you’ll see….
As ships potentially get into combat and some face down crew are eventually revealed, I hope to talk more about the crew setups on some of the ships. For now my fellow players (Xerecs and PirateAJ14) can gawk at the epicness of what is not face down (unless they have spyers of course to look at face down crew/cargo!). 🙂 I listened to Dawn of the Villains while the Pirates were launching.
From the following picture you can see that both 10’s were launched from the military port south of the Pirate HI; starting above the Giza (derelict galley) and going anti/counterclockwise from that ship, the Pirates launched (custom creator in parentheses): Deceit (Riz), Shark (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood), Howler (the_grandmaster/PointlessArrow), Coleoptera, Fantasia, Chasseur (vladsimpaler), Karda-Nui (JW Darkhurst), Scepter, Challenger (JW Darkhurst), Silent (mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood). 😀
The Pirates are putting together a certain type of squadron… however, it involves so many game pieces and parts that it is not currently possible to put it in the water all at once. It will be more of an intermediate-term assembly of various things. You can see that the Pirates are massing some 10 masters; the Zeus and Hera are thematically and practically the perfect “pair”, while the Slave Revolt has some truly terrifying combos aboard. There is also a theme of submarines and cheerleaders….
But wait, there’s more! From the northern half of their home island, the Pirates launched two ships, both created by Xerecs: the Inferno and Shadow Thief. In the deckplate area you can see 7 of the new ships’ cards; the Slave Revolt is absolutely loaded.
Another 10 new ships were introduced at the southern half of the Pirate HI. Docked at the island, clockwise from lower left with custom creator name (if applicable) in parentheses: Smiling Jim, Albatross (El_Cazador), Wretched (Avery), Gale Force Nine, Turbulence+Divination+La Mosca (all by mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood), Coastal Ranger (JW Darkhurst), Stormy Night (A7XfanBen). You can also see more of the Pirate deckplate area, which is quickly expanding and looking rather impressive.
Nearly every ship the Pirates launched is maxed out in some way – either her point cap space has been filled (14 points of crew/equipment on a 14 point ship), or her cargo hold is full. With the overstuffed 10 masters adding an excess +~21 points of crew, it’s possible (but unlikely) that I actually spent more gold on crew and equipment than ships this turn. O_O The Pirates are trying to optimize every build from the point of launch so ships don’t have to go back into port to pick up new crew/equipment they could have had the first time out. Plus, it helped to spend all the gold the Pirates took in, which was a fun goal to achieve. There are a few logistics ships in the mix, such as the Silent – carrying extra crew to replenish those who might be in need of them in the future.
In order to expedite the completion of a short-term plan, the Pirates also launched a new set of native canoes from the middle Archipelago island. These are the ones from RtSS that have the home island raiding ability built in. How crazy that 2 turns ago this area was dominated by peaceful Spaniards, with 10 of their canoes here. Now it is Pirates-only, with 10 of their canoes instead. With a 10 master and a new fort to boot!
The Pirates launched 25 total ships – 12 from their home island, 12 from their military port on the textiles island south of their home island, and RtSS native canoes at the middle Archipelago island. This left the game at 198 total ships in play….
The Pirates didn’t even need to use Runes of Thor! Or maybe… they didn’t want to….
Whew. Of course there’s MORE! That was only one of my four factions!! 😀
Now it was time for The Cursed. The Devil’s Storm came out of the fog bank she was in to shoot at the Boston! She shot 3/4 to nearly dismast the schooner. Although the fleeing Americans had lost their brief skirmish against The Cursed, the Devil’s Storm was all alone with no backup. It would be very easy for the Bonhomme Richard to blast the Devil’s Storm on the American turn.
However, there was a reason for the Cursed aggressiveness and confidence… a good reason indeed….
The Opal Shrine uses the Eye of Insanity to copy Davy Jones on the Cursed home island to her oarsman, which is used to copy the Arcane’s ability!! A 6 is rolled!!!!!!!!!
TIME TO BRING IN ANOTHER HIDDEN TROVE!!!!!!!!!
Hidden Trove was yanked into the game again, this time placed on the Maman Brigitte, fittingly one of the most hated ships in the game. She was a move action away from the home island, docking home to unload textiles and Hidden Trove.
198 ships in play x2= 396 gold for The Cursed!!
Combined with 1 gold on their HI and 30 from converted textiles…
427 GOLD. O_O
Here we go again!! Time to megalaunch!! 😀
The Cursed have a vastly different situation than the Pirates. The Pirates have been the “favorites” (in quotes because there’s been almost no combat and I believe it to still be early in the game) for a while, but The Cursed had only 8 ships in play going into this turn. Their small fleet was struggling to grow quickly. Hidden Trove would change all that.
However, the Cursed went straight to the top. Straight to the top of the customs hierarchy if you will, to the top of the heap. To something horrific and awesome at the same time. A superweapon of epic proportions…
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Point Value: 90
Number of Masts: 10
Cargo Space: 12
Base Move: L
Ability: Junk. Eternal. Turbine. Sniping.* Two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts. This ship gets +1 to her equipment rolls. This ship must be assigned at least 7 crew at the start of play.
Link: Any 1 10+ point Cursed named crew, (and) Aliktoril Bellen
*Sniping: You may double the range of this ship’s cannons each turn, but you must roll a 6 to hit.
Flavor text: Filled to the brim, with a ludicrously massive cargo hold, technical innovations aplenty, and well over a thousand fiends to defend her, this ship is the best of all worlds. No one knows where the ship came from, or if it was built in a visible shipyard somewhere in the world. The ship is said to be the heaviest afloat, with huge amounts of metal aboard given the technological aspects that seem to indicate that the Cursed are growing at a faster rate than even the English. With enough gunpowder to supply an entire small fleet, and some steel plating on her hull, the vessel could be the first truly “unsinkable” ship. Although her crew is made up of demons and fiends, the despicable and vicious Aliktoril Bellen has come aboard to provide a steadying hand. He plans to drive the ship to unparalleled heights of power as the Cursed machine of death revs up for a grand campaign of terror that will end human existence.
“God mode 10 master with defenses”; End of All Things
We are entering new territory now, sailing into new waters. The CL comes loaded like no other ship in the history of the game… but first, a look at the glorious deckplate:
Now for the elaborate setup that took probably at least an hour (maybe two) to come up with and actually put in the game file:
If you don’t want to look up all the customs, here’s a summary: a 10 master that can move S+S+L+S with Captain, all rank-1 cannons (effectively) that have Extended Range and two extra 4L+L’s from the bow, super-Nemo capture, Commander Temple steal-a-ship ability, “global” Possession of cheapish crew, L-board, Sac, the potential to board up to 3 enemy ships in a turn without ramming, stinkpot shot, and more. This is a doomsday superweapon that comes with a full loadout price tag of 180 gold. 180 points!! O_O
The CL is optimized for maximum efficiency. As soon as she starts capturing crew via boarding parties and Captain Shamshere’s super-Nemo capture, she can start sacrificing them to Isaiah Van Tyne for extra actions. If they run out, Makuta can provide fodder from afar. The ship may have unparalleled striking range, likely to eventually be greater than even HMS Swallow with Power Cannons and extra actions, a combo seen in the English fleet of CG1 fame. The CL will not be operating without support….
Her speed may be aided by the Python, who carries First Mate Hamlet, a custom from the_grandmaster/PointlessArrow and his epic Back to War custom set: If a sea monster or ship begins its turn within L of this ship, it gets +L to its base move. Adding to the insanity is the classic Cursed support ship Celestine and her linked crew Master Scribe. Between them The Cursed may be able to place 2 trade currents per turn with some luck. In addition, Barst is now in play, a Lord Mycron clone created by Xerecs and placed onto my custom Tomb of Lucifer turtle ship. Between the bonuses and a guaranteed extra action (whether from Barst or eventually Sac), the Chimeratron Legacy should be able to move up to S+S+L+S+L x2 +S in one turn. O_O Python + CL will be moving at “WARP MACH SPEED”. Another theme plays…
You would think that The Cursed would want to keep such a powerful thing a secret. However, with such a massive price tag and ludicrous crew+equipment loadout, I decided to just put it all out there, at least with this setup. The ship alone is a massively intimidating presence on the water. The Cursed are basically letting everyone know that they mean serious business and are not to be trifled with. Mess with them, and you may just see the Legacy on your doorstep moments later. This is why the Devil’s Storm felt so confident going after the Americans. If she gets attacked, there is at least a chance that the CL will be able to reach the combat area next turn. Besides, if the Cursed lose the longship, it’s not a big deal because they are almost literally swimming in gold. XD
The Cursed saw the potential of the Arcane last turn with the Pirates’ exploits, which is why they rushed to hire Davy Jones. They made sure they could copy the ability as soon as possible and yank in the Trove for a massive windfall that would allow them to simultaneously beat off a possible American attack in the future, and also begin to finally put their MANY plans into place via launching and logistical efforts. For the CL was just the beginning!
I listened to Soundtrack For a Supervillain for most of the rest of the Cursed launch period. The Cursed launched the Solenostomus as well, one of my newest customs and based on nature. Uh… she is carrying a fort upgrade…. ?!
The Cursed have launched one of my favorite and oldest customs: the movie version of the Flying Dutchman!
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Point Value: 30
Number of Masts: 5
Cargo Space: 3
Base Move: S+S
Ability: Broadsides Attack. Fear. At the beginning of each of your turns, determine whether or not this ship is submerged. If she is submerged, her base move becomes S+L, and she may be given only move actions. She has to surface to shoot, repair, dock, and explore. While she is submerged, she cannot shot or be shot at, pin or be pinned, ram or be rammed, and tow or be towed. Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a unique treasure (that can be loaded) from outside the game on an enemy ship. Bow Chasers equipment does not take up cargo space on this ship.
Link: Davy Jones
The FD carries some crew, including customs Wendigo (Fear+Canceller; from Cadet-Captain Mike) and Guardian Corps (Crew Protect; from El_Cazador).
However, Davy Jones was not boarding the Dutchman… he was boarding… the Pantheon!!
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Point Value: 40
Number of Masts: 10
Cargo Space: 8
Base Move: S
Ability: Junk. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against forts within S of her. When this ship reaches her cargo limit, she gets +1 to her cannon rolls. If this ship’s point limit is reached by her assigned cargo, she gets +1 to her boarding rolls. If this ship is assigned at least 3 Cursed crew that cost at least 10 points each, she gets +1 to her d6 rolls.
Flavor text: There have been so many powerful Cursed officers joining the ranks that Xenthalos doesn’t always have a ship to assign them to. The Pantheon was raised from the depths of an ancient underwater Cursed city to house all manner of powerful creatures. The ship excels when crewed with great leaders, with near-certain doom befalling her enemies when fully optimized. The ship’s original constructors took the fore and after “castles” to new heights, with top-heavy stonework at the bow and stern of the ship slowing her down but making her a monster in close-quarters combat.
The Pantheon loaded up on some crew, and it was already over! Having spent an ungodly amount of gold on just a few ships and various extremely expensive crew, The Cursed were out of gold! They had spent all 427 of it on just 7 ships and the fort upgrade! O_O (even minus the fort upgrade cost of 40 gold, this comes out to a sickening 55 points per ship; 387/7)
The haul with new ships clockwise from right: Chimeratron Legacy, Solenostomus, Flying Dutchman, Celestine, Pantheon, Tomb of Lucifer, Python.
Now it was time for the Vikings. They too saw the Arcane stuff get crazy last turn. And guess what: they too have a copier!! O_O Jord from Pirates of the Kraken Sea! (created by mr_awesome/JuliusPepperwood)
Jord and Shayna Deux were hired last turn and are currently aboard the Asgard, Shayna’s ship. Although the Vikings didn’t get as lucky as the Pirates or Cursed, they look forward to using the Copier ability again next turn. The Pirate GSP/NSA did not see Jord, as she was just put in play and the Pirates weren’t looking at Viking crew this round. (The Cursed have Shipping Charts but have been using it to spy on the Americans) As a result, this is an unexpected twist that may anger both the Pirates and The Cursed. The Vikings did bring in 12 gold on their turn, combining it with 6 saved to launch the Noble Glacier, a custom icebreaker of mine from Epic Seas.
The Barbary Corsairs got home some valuable textiles and used it to launch 2 custom ships – one of mine and one from the_grandmaster’s Back to War. I purposely made this a wide shot to show the dire situation the Corsairs made find themselves in… two Pirate 5 masters are just off their west coast, with the megalaunch from the military port not far off in the distance. At the lower right you can see the English have made some solid launching progress lately.
As my 4 faction turns came to a close, The Cursed had not quite yet had their fill. They made a grand announcement to ALL players and factions in the game, a “general announcement” of sorts:
(please do not be offended, this is a game and The Cursed being The Cursed)
THE CURSED ARE THREATENING TO BRING THE CORONAVIRUS INTO THE GAME.
(This is meant to shock but not offend. I am not trying to make light of the actual virus and how devastating it has been. It is an analogy given what’s happening in real life and how the Cursed are the supreme evil in Pirates CSG. Not meant to offend anyone.)
Obviously this doesn’t make much sense as the game is theoretically taking place in the Age of Sail long before the recent discovery of the virus (maybe The Cursed can see into the future?), but there it is.
The Cursed have made a global biological terror threat. O_O This is a bad day. And we thought 2020 couldn’t get worse! :/ It remains to be seen if this general threat is directed at the Americans, who are (as far as “we” know?) the only faction to have specifically annoyed The Cursed thus far in the game. It will certainly be interesting to see if The Cursed are serious about this, or if it is more of a bluff. Serious thought went into the massive, offensive threat. The Cursed considered not making it, but are determined to make other factions “play ball” their way and not do stupid things. If The Cursed are angry enough, they might release biological or chemical agents of terror into the game.
(sorry if I have “gone too far”; my passion for Pirates campaign games is intense and I have been very immersed in my turns for the game this year – it is the perfect escape from everything else)
From my notes:
After Cursed launch 7 ships, it makes for 205 total ships in play.
Increased to 207 total after Vikings and Corsairs launch one ship each.
-From Pirate launch of 25 ships, this netted the Cursed an extra 50 gold!
Total gold spent this turn between my four factions: 1,236!!!! (Pirates: 750, Cursed: 427, Vikings: 18, Corsairs: 41)
-Total income: 1223 gold
34 ships launched (Pirates: 25, Cursed: 7, Vikings: 1, Corsairs: 1). This rounds up to a 20% increase in one round (34/173=19.65%).
-Will have to do a point count this year to top CG1 as the biggest overall virtual CG ever!
The 1,236 total gold spent in one round may be my highest total ever; realistically only Command the Oceans could be higher.
Throughout the turn I was stunned and in disbelief. All previous standards have been completely shattered. If the game was an egg that the Pirates had been poking holes in with a fork, as of this weekend they have obliterated the egg with a massive sledgehammer.
It’s almost like the game has been broken into a thousand pieces, or; a thousand gold pieces that have gloriously fallen into Pirate and Cursed coffers.
The Pirates are trying to create “closed loop systems” of ultimate efficiency. That way, the beast feeds itself. Each combo feeds into the next so that abilities and UT’s aren’t wasted. Every time Hidden Trove is brought into the game and used to launch ships, it makes the next Hidden Trove windfall payout even bigger. You can already see this happening – the Pirates’ Hidden Trove was worth 346 gold, but now with 207 ships in play, the next Trove will be worth at least 414 gold – an increase of 68 gold, enough to launch a fully loaded 10 master. Or better yet, perhaps 7 ships that make the next Trove worth 14 more gold than the last. XD The beast feeds itself!!
I am topping even my prior VASSAL campaign game efforts now. I am arguably putting more effort into the game than I need to, simply because I LOVE it so much. I love optimizing fleets, strategy and epicness in campaign games above almost all else.
Compounding Combos. I love how none of this is my fault. The game pieces involved are basically not mine at all. Arcane, Hidden Trove, The Leviathan, Ivory – none of the absolutely key customs used to pull off this insanity came from me. XD
From the report prior to this one:
In time, it could become surreal and bizarre unlike anything anyone has ever seen in Pirates CSG.
Yes, yes indeed. XD 😀 And this “part” is still in the very early stages…
Finally, a view of the huge ocean. 1,236 additional points worth of stuff is in play, though a huge percentage of that is concentrated in the deckplate areas. Four new 10 masters in play!
Thanks for reading! Please consider leaving a comment below with your thoughts! What did you think of my turns? What was the craziest part? Who are you rooting for? What do you think will happen next?? 😀
I was extremely excited to play my turn, as usual. Xerecs’ report on recent events reinforced my last report that showed a relatively tranquil ocean. Here you can see the Spanish with 10 canoes and a couple treasure galleons in the center of the map at the Archipelago:
THE PEACE WILL NOT CONTINUE!!!!
The Pirates have designs on the Archipelago! They have been planning and plotting to an EXTREME degree in recent months, to the point where I’ve often spent more time strategizing Pirate faction stuff than I do actually playing all 4 of my factions put together. O_O I’m talking many hours of planning and custom game piece and combo research before, during, and after each Pirate play turn. It has gotten completely bonkers! Each turn you see the fruits of my efforts to optimize the Pirates and my other fleets. The Pirates have so much happening behind the scenes that it boggles my mind and just about literally made me dizzy today from the possibilities of what could happen and what is to come. In time, it could become surreal and bizarre unlike anything anyone has ever seen in Pirates CSG. 😀
Alright, enough rambling, what actually happened? The Smoke’s Hand is a 40 point custom 5 master that can copy any keyword each turn (whether it’s in play or not). She has a boatload of stuff aboard as well. She was launched last turn along with the Arcane, a custom from JW Darkhurst’s Seas of Doom set. Check out her ability: “Once per turn, you may give this ship a move action, but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 6, you may place a Unique Treasure on any ship in your fleet.” O_O
This is where it starts to get complicated, and where the turn started to get just as time consuming as I thought it would. The Arcane rolled for her ability, getting a 5. However, this was bumped to a 6 with Hakann’s Piraka keyword, which gives the ship +1 to all d6 rolls. Therefore, I didn’t have to use Runes of Thor on the Noble Swan to get the Arcane’s ability to work! After looking over a LOT of custom and Wizkids UT’s, I decided to take what I saw as a big risk and go with Nuva, from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna. “Any crew ability on this ship may be used by another crew within S of this ship.” My intention was to get Vesok copied to another crew that could then use the Arcane’s ability again.
Time to back up. Vesok is another custom crew, with 3 keywords: Piraka. Limit. Copycat.
Piraka: This piece has the Black Mark keyword, and gets +1 to all die rolls.
Copycat: At the beginning of each of your turns, choose any ability possessed by any ship or crew in play; this character has that ability. You may make a different choice each turn.
Vesok is on the Smoke’s Hand to allow for maximum flexibility and power in one ship. The SH (Smoke’s Hand) has a true copier aboard, and the ship itself can copy any keyword. Almost as good as having two copiers on one ship. O_O It gets weirder. 🙂
The Agnis Crystalis, with only 1 mast standing from the carnage of the Corsair battle but with plenty of crew left, was the perfect ship to start using Nuva with. The Nuva UT is on the SH. The Agnis Crystalis used her oarsman to essentially copy Vesok using the Nuva UT. This meant that the AC basically had a full copier for this turn as well. Now that the AC’s oarsman could copy any ship/crew ability in play, naturally the Pirates chose to copy the Arcane’s ability and use it again. I didn’t get the roll… but it didn’t matter, since I just forced it to a 6 with the Noble Swan’s Runes of Thor UT, which of course stays in play via Nemo’s Plans. Guess what the Pirates brought in with this second usage of the Arcane’s ability? Another Runes of Thor UT. O_O XD This RoT was placed on the Pandora, a ship in the vicinity chosen at random because I knew I’d be using it right away this turn.
Okay – now that those logistics are out of the way (for now), it was time to actually get to the Archipelago. How would the Pirates do that, with no ships even close to the center of the map at the start of their turn? Well, combos and UT’s of course. 😀 Vesok copied the ability of another Spherus Magna custom that the Pirates launched recently: the Phantom (not the infamous Cursed 4 master from Xerecs’ games, a different ship). The ability: Once per turn before you give this ship an action, roll a d6. On a 6 this ships base move becomes D for this turn.
O_O And there you have it! With this ability now used by Vesok, the Pirates were in business. The new Runes of Thor was used to change the d6 roll to a 6, allowing the Smoke’s Hand to have D movement for this turn, meaning she could teleport anywhere on the sea at will!!!!! O_O The Pirates chose the Archipelago as the location for their attack!! The Smoke’s Hand warped out to the middle of the map, revealing John James, a historical custom with the Captain and Canceller abilities. This meant that not only could the Smoke’s Hand teleport, but she could shoot right afterwards! The SH started blasting away at the Spanish native canoes from Return to Savage Shores, getting +1 to her cannon rolls due to Vesok’s Piraka keyword. She hit 4/5 to knock out most of the set. Then it was time for the impressive Pirate logistics to help out. The Jolly Mon sacrificed her (useless) action via Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight, allowing the SH to move and shoot again. The SH warped slightly southeast to dock at a textiles island the Spanish have explored, eliminating the final RtSS canoe and 2 from the SS set in the process. The Smoke’s Hand has enough gold to build a Pirate fort on the island and to upgrade it afterwards, but due to the ruleset we’re using in CG4, things like that can only happen one turn at a time. The SH copied the Explorer keyword this turn to explore the island, but she has to wait until next turn to actually deposit the gold and build the fort. Then on the turn after that, the fort can be upgraded.
This was just the start of the Pirate attack. Next it was time for the Tempest!!! One of her abilities is one of my favorites: Once per turn you may roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a whirlpool anywhere on the play area.
The roll didn’t work at first, but Amos Carter (a custom crew with Reroll) bailed out the Pirates and rerolled to get a 6! O_O The Pirates put a whirlpool southeast of their textiles island in the northeastern part of the sea, near the fogpool that the Stormcloud popped out of when she attacked the Corsairs. Speaking of the Stormcloud, she was the first ship that would go through the newly created whirlpool….
The Pirates only got one of their 5 AA rolls this turn, but it was one they needed. The Stormcloud used her first action to go through the whirlpool and emerge in the center of the map by the Archipelago! With Robert Alcantara and Lady Baptiste failing to give the ship an Extra Action (EA), the AA was used to guarantee a second action coming through the whirlpool. The Stormcloud surged eastwards, blasting away at the Morning Star! She only hit 4/9 times, destroying 2 masts on the MS.
Of course the Pirates weren’t done. 🙂 The Black Pearl was next, getting an EA from Sao Feng to come through the whirlpool and hit the Morning Star 3/4 times, taking out another 1.5 masts.
In order to block the Spanish ships, provide backup, and get in position for next turn, the Pirates sent additional ships to the area despite knowing they wouldn’t be able to shoot yet. The Deliverance sailed in from the northwest, using the whirlpool she had previously used near the Cursed HI to teleport to the center. The Sapphire Sea (one of my custom ships) arrived via the Tempest’s whirlpool. The Shadow’s Hand (a custom 5 master by Xerecs with the Fog Hopper ability) arrived via a fog bank, using a little bonus from the Shrunken Heads to narrow the distance between her and the textiles island later in the turn. The Archipelago has gone from paradise to bloodshed!
Later in the turn I decided why not just put the Natives of Madagascar canoes in the area too? They were going to head home and flee Spanish waters from the island they had been launched at, but they had nothing to lose by going through the whirlpools surrounding that island they were launched at. Suddenly all 5 showed up in the Archipelago as well! XD Including every canoe (which skews the numbers of course), the “ship swing” at the Archipelago went from Spanish: 12, Pirates: 0 to Spanish: 5, Pirates 11. O_O (4-0 to 3-7 counting the canoes as one ship per set)
Here is the attack footage! As it happened!
A report was quickly made to Lord Henry McLean (aka Captain Mission) on the Zeus: “The Spanish have been savagely slaughtered in the center.” At this point the Stormcloud is still the main Pirate flagship, with Robert Alcantara as the primary “admiral” in tactical command of battle-ready Pirate forces. As of right now, Lord Henry McLean is more of the administrative, home front leader overseeing growth efforts and less combat-focused tasks. Mission has more experience and authority than Alcantara, but Alcantara can basically do whatever the hell he wants.
The Pirates have not declared war on the Spanish… there is a LOT going into each decision the Pirates make. They were getting antsy. Before the game progresses any more, I think this is a good time to reveal some notes from my document I use for games like this:
Bizarre crew setup on Tempest (needed a shipwright and wanted to fill out points – so a Chieftain/Shipwright custom lol) led to “bored” Pirates trying to bait someone into attacking them – conveniently the Spanish, since the Pirates also wanted another Necklace of the Sky. Pirates itching for some action and wanting an excuse to put their crazy weapons to good use. XD
Basically, the Natives of Madagascar canoes were launched at the Spanish spices island to try and bait the Spanish into attacking the Pirates. Between that not working (at least not right away, the Pirates were not patient enough to see if it would work longer term lol) and the canoes having rules troubles getting the Necklace of the Sky at a reasonable rate, the Pirates decided to just initiate things. The Pirates wanted to be able to blame the Spanish for instigating conflict, but the Pirates have been growing more confident as their fleet grows. Plus, the Pirates captured the Santa Isabel way earlier in the game and are now using her as a resource runner at last, so the Spanish may have already had some beef with the Pirates. As their arsenal of weapons grows by the turn, the Pirates were getting excited and anxious to do a “test firing” to see how effective a small version of their plan might be. The Pirates also have some designs on the Archipelago, which has been somewhat dominated by the Spanish so far. The Pirates are enjoying their sudden strike capability and want to make it clear they mean business in the center of the map.
In the southern part of Pirate waters, some ships (including the Tempest) are making their way into the fogpool in order to be prepared to come through a whirlpool (likely at the Archipelago) in case they are needed in the next few turns as reinforcements against the Spanish. As you may have noticed from my previous campaign game performances, I usually like my attacks to have maximum redundancy. At the bottom, you can see that another 5 master has been launched. This is another “WMD”. O_O The Leviathan. This one is from vladsimpaler’s Treachery on the High Seas set from 2008.
The Leviathan, 23 points, Pirate (Link: The Mastermind) [Rare]
Abilities: This ship ignores the first hit it takes each turn as long as it has all of its masts. The Leviathan is the new flagship of the Mastermind. Reports of the ship landing in one port and docking at one thousands of miles away are fairly common. Nobody knows how it works, except that it sails by unholy means.
Another weapon, this one with unlimited movement!! O_O She comes with 2 face down crew, which does work because Edmund Cooke is aboard to give +1 to her cargo hold.
Another broad shot of the northeastern theater shows 3 of my 4 factions gathering resources. The Cassandra unloaded the military port upgrade at the Pirates’ textiles island, meaning it will be upgraded next turn. Next turn the Eagle will give the Resurrection Codex to the Zeus (uh oh… XD). At the very bottom of the frame you can see the whirlpool that the Tempest created, which is where the Stormcloud, Black Pearl, and Sapphire Sea all went through. The whirlpool was almost created to the northeast where the Flying Dutchman (11 point version) and Harbinger are located, but the Pirates decided they wanted arguably their best asset (the Stormcloud) in the Archipelago to better protect the Smoke’s Hand, especially because of Tia Dalma being on the Stormcloud. The Vikings actually had one of their best turns in ages, cashing in lumber for 32 gold and adding 8 saved up gold to it for 40 total. They spent a bunch of it on the Asgard and some crew. The Vikings are hoping to get in on something wild that might happen soon.
A bit out of order, but here is the northwest. The Americans have put a bunch of good ships in play, with the Blackwatch, Kettering, Mercury and Lamon making up what looks like a new strike force. The Cursed are getting excited and cashed in resources to hire a crew. They are unconcerned and have a flippant attitude at the moment. The Wisp has returned home early with no cargo, a strange occurrence.
A full view of the ocean reminds me of how gigantic it is. The substantial new action in the center is barely visible! XD Who knows what happens next? I may have some ideas….
CG4 continues to develop! Here is the music mix I listened to for most of the Pirate turn. Crazy enough, their post-turn period of launching and truly grand strategizing took even longer than their actual turn!! O_O
I have to apologize for a rules gaffe on my part, and thank Xerecs for pointing it out to me. During my last turn, the Stormcloud used the fog hopping ability inappropriately. However, since it had effectively no impact on the game (the exact same result would have happened if the rule was followed perfectly), we have continued as usual.
New rule: No more than 2 of the same custom fort can be in play at once.
In a move that could potentially have ramifications for the rest of the game, the Pirates captured the Noble Swan! The Warring Tribes began towing her and got Jack Hawkins’ SAT, moving 4S to start skedaddling back to the Pirates’ home island. The Zephyr was initially the “designated tower”, but the Warring Tribes should be able to get the job done faster due to her SAT capabilities. Just behind the Noble Swan you can see the Branwen covering the stern of the prize, just in case the Bonne Chance or Jades try anything in the near future. In addition, the Devil’s Kiss and Lady’s Scorn are sailing out to help escort the small convoy home.
At the bottom of the frame, the Hai Peng has docked at the island the Sea Crane made land on this round! She explored, finding textiles. Although textiles are valuable right now at 5 gold apiece, the Pirates weren’t satisfied since they already have textiles so readily available just south of their HI. In a rare moment for me, they took advantage of the Explorer ability’s bonus under the Economy Edition rules, rerolling for the island’s resource type and getting lumber instead! This was fine with the Pirates, since it gave them a different resource type relatively close to their home island. At this point, it has become clear that the Pirates aren’t too worried about what the Jades think of what they’re doing. As the captain of the Virtuous Wind surely knows, the Pirates have now given the Jades the Plague (via the Dungeon a while back), captured the Noble Swan, and explored an island with the Hai Peng right out from under the Sea Crane.
The lull in metals production has ended, with 5 ships docking home metals this turn. They were converted to gold at the end of the turn, which gives an idea of the Pirates’ spending power…. Left of the resource system you can see that the Deliverance has taken the whirlpool inside the fogpool to a different location.
Post-battle cleanup efforts in full swing! The Pirates finished their victory over the Barbary Corsairs by dismasting the final two galleys, the Osiris and Sphinx. Due to the Giza’s effort to steal the Resurrection Codex last turn, the Red Star sank after being scuttled by the Pirates last turn. However, the rest of the Pirate plan went perfectly – all three remaining Corsair galleys were captured! The Splinter knocked out the last mast on the Osiris, while the Stormcloud dismasted the Sphinx. The Stormcloud then used an EA to sail over so Tia Dalma could cancel the oarsman aboard the Osiris, allowing the Black Pearl to capture her. Due to Raidamos’ Eternal ability, the Pirates immediately scuttled the Osiris to try and get her home to repair as quickly as possible. The Giza and Sphinx were able to start rowing on their own power immediately after capture due to the handy Galley keyword. A team-oriented logistics effort allowed the burning Darkhawk II to sail straight for home, rolling a 3 on the fire mast to keep it at bay for now. Though, the Pirates could have put it out if they wanted to…. hehe. 🙂
After the light combat and medium-complexity towing logistics and logjam was over, the Pirates decided to risk trying to retake their textiles town right away! The safest thing would be to wait for the Stormcloud or Zeus to arrive, but Bartholomew Roberts and Genny Gallows (both aboard the Akua Lapu!) agreed that an attack on the town was worth the risk. However, they were embarrassed in their effort, losing the boarding attempt and the ship’s mizzenmast as a result. Adding to their frustration was the Star of Siam, who was able to retake the town on her attempt despite no big-name pirates on board. XD The textiles island belongs to the Pirates once again! The Coral and Raven immediately joined the Star of Siam in loading textiles, with some of the Pirate resource runners not even having their routine trips bothered by the brief but intense clash with the Corsairs. The Cassandra can be seen east of the Zeus, trying to get the new military port upgrade to the island as fast as possible. North at the home island, the Pandora was given an AA to reach home with 6 textiles tokens, the 30 gold from which would be used directly on the last Pirate purchase of the turn….
Off on her own, the Dungeon explored a wild island southwest of the Archipelago and found the Wine UT along with spices (resource not UT).
Then it was launch time!! The Pirates had 138 gold to spend, and it worked out perfectly as they spent it all! The first big chunk went to what looks like another WMD: the Tempest!!
Point Value: 35
Number of Masts: 5
Cargo Space: 4
Base Move: S+S
Ability: Once per turn you may roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a whirlpool anywhere on the play area. | This ship can move through whirlpools without losing crew, masts, or treasure. | Give this ship a shoot action. A wave S wide and 2L long leaves the ship in one direction. Up to 2 masts of every ship in the path of the wave are eliminated. Eliminate one of this ship’s masts.
Flavor text: A mysterious and rarely sighted ship said to rival the power of the Flying Dutchman, the Tempest creates waterborne chaos wherever she sails. It is rumored she can travel under the waves without any harm to her or her crew. Those who don’t believe the legends are those who have yet to encounter the ship….
With a whopping 35 points to play with and plenty of gold to spend, the Tempest comes outfitted with a FULL crew complement: Hammersmith (Captain+Helmsman), Cannonball Gallows (EA), and 4 customs. Amos Carter for rerolling the EA, Henry Turner (from Dead Men Tell No Tales) to add a cargo space, a face down custom, and Aert van Tuyl. (Chieftain. Shipwright. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Pirate ships.) The new canoes were curiously launched at a wild island near the Spanish HI that Spanish cargo ships have been making trips to. The Natives of Madagascar canoes have the Possession ability built into each canoe, but only L speed. Aert van Tuyl is one of my weirder custom crew (arguably not actually, lol), and serves a dual purpose on the Tempest that doesn’t need to be revealed here. Let’s just say this was a turn in which the Pirates spent a LOT of time strategizing and thinking about long term plans… and more. 😀
Then the attention shifted to the northern half of the Pirate HI, where two new customs came into play, also with considerable crew complements. The Shadows Hand (custom by Xerecs) is a fog hopping 5 master with good cannons. Across the island from her is the Phantom, another custom from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna set. She’s a 2 master with S speed for a whopping 15 points, but her wild ability set makes it understandable: essentially she’s got +2 to boarding rolls, 2 hits/mast defense, and gets D movement for turns when she rolls a 6. O_O Safe to say this isn’t the historically-driven Caribbean game!! XD
That was the end of the Pirate turn, but not the end of their thinking… and amusing ideas. 😉
During this turn, the Pirates accomplished their main short-term goals: capture the Noble Swan and clean up from the Corsair battle (which meant finishing the victory, rounding up the rather epic prizes, and ensuring no Pirate ships were left behind). They then launched the Tempest, arguably another WMD given her EA capabilities and a full complement of crew onboard. The Pirates are hard at work on a project codenamed “GMS”….
In addition, the Pirates have a “mass surveillance” program that is helping them make decisions. They now have a variety of “spies” in play – 5 total. Many of them have been in the game for a number of turns now. (listed with per-turn abilities) Between Carina Smyth (can look at all treasures on a wild island), Shansa (can look at two face down crew or treasure coins on any ships or islands), Raven’s Neck (one cargo on an island), Cassandra and Lucky the Parrot (can look at one cargo on a ship), the Pirates have the ability to see as many as approximately 9 cargo per turn across the map. This network of spies has resulted in the Pirates having their eyes and surveillance activities in nearly every corner of the sea… just one of many things they have going for them right now. It’s why they were able to single out and snag the Noble Swan so efficiently when they had a chance to do so. It could also result in more short-term interests being investigated….
As you probably saw in the recent reports, the Americans had been amassing what looked like an attack force off the northeast side of the Cursed home island. With 3 schooners and the Enterprise stationed there, the Cursed were curious as to American intentions. Over a week ago the Cursed reached out to the Americans:
From: Captain of Grand Misfortune
To: American force off Cursed home island
… what is your purpose here? Do ya intend to attack… ?
IF so… ya may regret its….
However, by the time the Cursed turn was up this morning of May 9th, no response had been received. Soon after the game started, the Cursed had become interested in a potential alliance with the Americans to share resource islands and information on which islands were the best to go to. Between the Americans’ thinly veiled threat of “the newly assembled strike force is looking for a target…” last September and now the proximity of said strike force to the Cursed home island, the Cursed have a feeling they cannot trust the Americans. They have been using what little purchasing power they have to put some defenses in place, mainly based around small raiders and UT combos. With most of the American ships of the strike force in range of the Cursed, the Cursed decided…
IT WAS TIME TO ATTACK!!!!!
Check out the video to see the crazy stuff that went down!!!
The Repulsive Waste got things started, coming out of the fog and ramming the Enterprise head-on! It may look like a severe mismatch, but the RW was just on a suicide mission to give the Enterprise the Plague!! This killed all 3 of the Enterprise’s crew, leaving her much worse off in the short term for potential combat operations against the Cursed.
Then it was time for the next UT-based raider. The Devil’s Sneer had been launched for one purpose only: carry Explosives. She had the UT face down and was waiting inside the fog bank for the perfect time to strike. The Cursed flagship is the Grand Misfortune, but none of her cannons (all L-range) can hit the Jarvis (who has L-immunity). Therefore, the Jarvis was the perfect ship to simply eliminate from the battlefield so the Cursed didn’t have to deal with her! The Devil’s Sneer got a lucky fog exit roll and slammed into the Jarvis! She rolled a 2, but Explosives needs a 4-6 to work! However, there was more to the story!!!!Suddenly out of nowhere the die roll became a 6!!!!! O_O RUNES OF THOR!!!!!! THE NOBLE SWAN HAS RUNES OF THOR! The Pirates flipped the UT to detonate the Devil’s Sneer and the Jarvis!! O_O With a spectacular explosion both ships blew up. Of course, the Pirates knew what they were doing – the Noble swan ALSO has Nemo’s Plans! This means that UT’s like Runes of Thor that are normally eliminated after use remain aboard and can be used again!! 😀 The Pirates had anticipated using RoT on their turn to save the DHII from fire or to scuttle the Osiris, but didn’t really need it for anything. Instead it was saved for a moment like this to cause maximum chaos.
From there it was time for the proper gunships to get in play. The Devil’s Storm hopped out of the fog bank and maneuvered off the Boston’s stern (unable to get any guns in range of the Enterprise). She shot 2/4 to eliminate a mast. Then it was time for the Grand Misfortune!
The GM is absolutely loaded with UT’s, although she would use 2 from her arsenal here. (she started the turn with 7 UT’s aboard!) The GM is only moving S+S, so she needed a little help to get in range of the American schooners. Luckily for the Cursed, they found a LOT of help in the UT department from exploring earlier in the game. Power Cannons AND Fireworks! O_O This gave the GM L+L range on all 6 of her cannons, along with +2 to her cannon rolls! I couldn’t resist this unique and cool shot of the GM lining up her shots to devastate the Julius Caesar.
The captain gave the order, and the Grand Misfortune blasted away! She shot 5/6 to nearly dismast the Julius Caesar! She really needed the Fireworks too, since 3 of the hits would have missed if not for the bonus. Although the (probable) American counterattack on the Cursed could be effective, the Grand Misfortune has Metal Hull aboard, meaning she can’t be hit by cannon rolls less than 6! She also has Eternal and an oarsman, so she has been equipped as a defensive powerhouse with short-term (aka: this turn) offensive theatrics.
Total damage assessment: 2 ships sunk (1 American, 1 Cursed), 3 masts eliminated, 4 crew killed in action (captain of the Jarvis + all 3 crew from the Enterprise).
Here’s a good view of the northwest area where the Cursed and Americans live. Both factions have valuable resources right now, and the Americans look like they have quite a stockpile of metals available. At the bottom you can see where the Deliverance emerged. Her crew are observing the Cursed and hearing the sounds of the clash beyond the fog.
The northeast is still the busiest “quadrant” of the sea, as it is home to many of the game’s most prominent factions thus far. The Vikings and Barbary Corsairs simply spent their turn gathering resources.
Now the possibilities with Runes of Thor become evident for the Pirates: even just using it on one of their AA crew basically gives them a guaranteed extra action anywhere in their fleet, every turn (without having to actually roll the 6).
Stay tuned, for more exciting developments await! 😀 Thanks for reading!
High Scoring Game – VASSAL action of May 4th, 2018
Another game was played between A7XfanBen and JohnLock.
I went first with The Jades can use Calypso too! JohnLock followed with a Pirate fleet comprising some of the best ships in the game, including the Banshee’s Cry and Hai Peng.
Once again we had 10 wild islands with 3 coins apiece, and flat earth rules.
The Pirates took off for 4 different islands, but the Virtuous Wind had already scoured one of them. I purposely went for islands farther from home, knowing I could probably get close gold later. Calypso got into action early, allowing the Tiger’s Breath to explore an island in the south that would have taken longer to get to.
Here I wanted to try raiding the Pirate home island, but Calypso and Cheng couldn’t come up with a whirlpool in the north. The Virtuous Wind instead headed northeast.
Seeing both Pirate gunships (Hai Peng and Carrion Crow carried captains) away from the Pirate HI, I decided it was time for the VW’s raid. Throughout this game, both of us had dismal luck with whirlpool travel, and Protection from Davy Jones wasn’t found until the end.
Having found the Jade UT earlier, I was taking a big risk going to the Pirate HI instead of just going home with the 7 the VW had. Risking both the UT and the 7, the VW only robbed a 1 coin.
Though the Pirate brigade did turn for their robbed home island afterwards, I decided to “ride out and meet them”. The Hai Peng had 3 coins aboard, and I figured the VW could win the fight. The Hades’ Flame and Carrion Crow have warped to the southeast, losing masts.
The Hai Peng rammed the VW instead of docking at the home island, taking off a mast but being dismasted in return by the Wind. This was my golden opportunity to cash in and tow the HP home for a bunch of gold.
Using a little-known rule, from Page 10 of the Reference Diagrams I confirmed that I could capture and tow the Hai Peng with the Virtuous Wind since the HP was derelict and her bow was already in contact with the VW. The VW moved S to enter a new whirlpool Calypso had created (Clutch Calypso! XD), warping back to the Jade HI in a jiffy!
Both fleets maxed out their gold scores at the end, specifically the Jades with you guessed it, Jade. XD The VW used the UT to double her old 7 coin into 14 gold after the Tiger’s Paw took the stolen 1. The TP then gave the 1 back to let the VW double that coin too. Good thing, since unfortunately I would need it….
In very improbable fashion, the scores end up tied at 58-58!!!!
The Jades won on both tiebreakers: they led the Pirates in points in play (my favorite tiebreaker, and something that should have been a standard rule) 55-21, and led in masts standing 7-5.
I’m very happy with how my new fleet performed in its first game, essentially winning against a fleet using some of the best Pirate ships out there. We both made some mistakes; the Hai Peng ramming the Virtuous Wind instead of docking home her gold led to the Jades capturing the infamous junk, while I should have been more conservative actually, since going for the HI raid only resulted in 1 more gold. If the VW had been successful in doubling both the 7 and the 4 from the island northeast of the Jade HI (Carrion Crow eventually got the 4 for the Pirates), the Jade profit would have been 22 instead of 15. However, then I probably wouldn’t have captured the HP, who netted 12 gold from her 3 coins. So many moments, decisions, and strategic moves that matter in the end – one of the reasons I love Pirates so much!
Overall though, a very fun, close, and strategic game that came down to the… rope? XD See you next time!!