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

My 500th Game!

11/18/2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The map with only islands placed:

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

The full setup!  😀

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barnacle sloop explores

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

The Lamon’s activities were captured on camera!

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

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

A happy beginning for our fleets today!  XD

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

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

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

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

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

The French were next!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fleet deckplate area showing each ship’s cargo arrangements:

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

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

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

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

Pirates spy the Altar of the Loa

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

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

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

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

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

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

English build Ramsgate fort

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

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

The French return fire!!

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

HMS Nautilus dismasted

Here is the long-awaited Pirate combat turn!

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

Pirates blast Spanish

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

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

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

English vs. French situation

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

HMS Hyena launched

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was time for an important French turn!

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

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

USS Stephens dismasts the Panda

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

The Gaule dismasts the Raven’s Neck!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pirates launch 3 ships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Americans use the Altar of the Loa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USS Stephens goes crazy

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

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

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

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

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

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

English: 24 gold

Spanish: 14 gold

French: 32 gold

Pirates: 10 gold

Pirate fleet ransom captures for 10 total gold

Americans: 32 gold

The Cursed: 33 gold

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNBOXING THE MOTHERLODE | Massive Pirates CSG Collection Haul

UNBOXING THE MOTHERLODE

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

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

Phase 1 Comics and Games order:

Phase 1 Comics and Games order

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

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

Pirates CSG Packs

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

Holofernes Revolution complete set binder

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

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

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

Sorting English ships by mast count:

Absolutely ridiculous towering stacks of unpunched ships and crew:

styrene cards

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

Pirates CSG storage

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

970 Pirates CSG ships in 5000 count storage box

And now it is time!  The full grand pictures!

 

THE MOTHERLODE

The Motherlode (Pirates CSG)

Unboxing the Motherlode The Motherlode (Pirates CSG)

The Numbers

Unboxing the Motherlode final stats

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

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

The Return | Massive Progress | Epic Selloffs | CG4 Continues Soon | Pirates with Ben Blog #70

Question of the Day: Which Pirates CSG project are you most excited about?

 

A MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who has been doing great things with the game lately!  It is SO awesome to see the progress made!

-Holofernes selling off entire collection for $8822!

-OD new record at $1825.01

 

Link to join the Discord: https://discord.gg/qeY7e3Q

Projects discussion: https://discord.com/channels/468973063325876234/812021803497029662

 

TilorFire27’s database with all cards on one page: https://tilorfire27.github.io/PiratesCSGDB/index.html

His Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meepleswoodworking/

Vulkan’s Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CustomPiratesCSG/

3D print files from PirateCaptain Andrew (DoubleAASauce): https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4777771

 

Matt P’s site: http://www.gladius-games.com/piratesPricing_4_21.htm

 

I should be moving to Washington by early September!  (near Wizkids old location, some of their Pirates employees, and not far from PDXYAR!  Not to mention shortish flights to Vegas and LA to see Captain Randy and Xerecs!)

-Hope to be in Las Vegas for about a week in July if you want to join Captain Randy and I for the beginnings of a PirateCon

 

Deal of the Day: http://www.phase1comics.com/catalog/pirates_constructible_strategy_game/14909

The MI box (affiliate link): https://ebay.us/dKNSW9

Card of the Day: Cat’s Claw, 032 from OE.  All game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/PiratesCSGMasterSpreadsheet

Picture of the Day: https://www.etsy.com/listing/998688384/3d-printed-decaled-copy-of-baochuan-10?ref=shop_home_active_4&crt=1

 

Stay tuned for another epic turn in VASSAL Campaign Game 4!

 

A LONG Turn – Including 2 Attacks and 57 New Ships Launched!

Two Attacks and Tons of New Ships Launched

October 2020 in VASSAL Campaign Game 4

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

New Rules:

-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)

The Master Spreadsheet has information on all the Wizkids game pieces mentioned in this report, while the Customs Database has the custom ones.

PirateAJ14 and Xerecs Factions

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
Americans: Plague
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!!!!!

O_O

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.

Pirate megalaunch from Skull Valley fort at Archipelago

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

Pirate megalaunch from military port in CG4

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. 🙂

Home Island: 7 Ships, 246 Points
Dark Aster + Lars Gathenhielm (Captain, global +1 to cannons like Roberto Santana), Richard Noland (Crew Protect+reducer), helmsman, musketeer, oarsman, Streamlined Hull
Wicked Wench + Crew, helmsman, oarsman, Dinghy
Belladonna + Crew, helmsman, oarsman, Streamlined Hull
Bombay + Iolkos (Captain, S-Board, Crew Killing), helmsman, oarsman, Ballista, equipment
Draconum (my custom version) + Hendrick Lucifer (Captain, Smokepot Specialist, +1 to boards), helmsman, oarsman, FPS, shipwright, Dinghy
Sea Devil + CHO, Ballista, equipment
Apocryphia + CH, Dinghy, Ballista, equipment

Some of these are… very scary.

Pirate megalaunch from military port and home island in VASSAL Campaign Game 4

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

O_O

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!!  😀

O_O

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!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6jouv6GPow

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.

Chimeratron Legacy first action for a superweapon

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….

Figlar Castle doubled up!

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.

Cursed megalaunch in CG4 October 2020

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

Here is the massive ocean!!

A LONG Turn in VASSAL Campaign Game 4 - over 30 hours in October 2020

References: First Zeus picturesecond Zeus picture

RECORD BREAKING GOLD. EXTORTION. ARMS RACE.

RECORD BREAKING GOLD. EXTORTION. ARMS RACE.

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.

RECORD BREAKING GOLD

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.

O_O

They were both placed on the Shadow Thief.  And she revealed….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SILVERBACK JOHN!!!

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.

O_O

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….

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,556 GOLD.

O_O

The Pirates also had 112 gold from resources this turn, bringing their record-breaking single-turn grand total… to an unprecedented, dizzying, somewhat incomprehensible….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,668 GOLD.

Two thousand six hundred sixty eight gold.  O_O

 

Vince McMahon reaction to sextupling Hidden Trove

 

 

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.

Archipelago dominated by the Pirates

 

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)

Pandora’s Box
-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…. 😉

Pirates trigger Pandora's Box in the Archipelago

 

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).

Another Pirate megalaunch from their military port

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).

A recap:

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!!

Figlar Castle
10 gold
Cannons: 3S-3S-3S-3S-3S-3S
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.

O_O

Doom indeed!!

 

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,398 Gold.

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).

Cursed megalaunch from home island in CG4!!

Another epic deckplate as The Cursed delve into my ship-ton of custom 10 masters they have….

Chimera, Divine Beast of the Apocalypse deckplate in VASSAL

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.

 

The Vikings…

… didn’t get lucky!  XD

<a7xfanben> – Jord copies Arcane
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 -> [1] ***
<a7xfanben> – reroll
*** <a7xfanben> rolls White D6 -> [2] ***

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.

Barbary Corsairs megalaunch from home island in CG4!

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.

VASSAL Campaign Game 4 - Mid August, 2020

 

Big News:

-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….

BREAKING THE GAME | + A Global Biological Terrorist Attack Threat

BREAKING THE GAME

Plus: A Global Biological Terrorist Attack Threat

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIDDEN TROVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

O_O

Reaction to bringing in Hidden Trove

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 -> [6] ***
<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!!!

 

 

692 GOLD!!!!!!!!!!

O_O   XD

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….

 

 

 

 

 

750 GOLD.

O_O

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 -> [6] ***
<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:

Streamlined Hull

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).  😀

Pirate megalaunch at military port in CG4

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.

Pirate megalaunch in CG4 July 2020

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!

Archipelago dominated by the Pirates

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.

Devil's Storm hits Boston schooner

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!!!!!!!!!

O_O

TIME TO BRING IN ANOTHER HIDDEN TROVE!!!!!!!!!

XD

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHIMERATRON LEGACY!!!!!!!!!

Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 90
Number of Masts: 10
Cargo Space: 12
Base Move: L
Cannons: 2S-2S-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-2S-2S
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

O_O   XD

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:

Chimeratron Legacy deckplate

A familiar theme began playing….

 

 

 

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:

Chimeratron Legacy CG4 crew setup

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!

Flying Dutchman
Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 30
Number of Masts: 5
Cargo Space: 3
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 2L-2S-2S-2S-2L
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!!

Pantheon
Type: Ship
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Point Value: 40
Number of Masts: 10
Cargo Space: 8
Base Move: S
Cannons: 4S-4S-4L-4L-4L-3S-3S-2L-3S-3S
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.

O_O

(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??  😀

CG4 after turns in late July 2020

6×150: My 2019 Game of the Year

6 Fleets, 150 Points – September 2019

Here it is!  After planning the details of this game since perhaps April or May of 2019, it is finally complete.

Comment below if you liked it!  I would love to hear what you thought of the fleet setups, the gameplay, the crazy moments, the strategic decisions, the house rules, who you were rooting for (if any fleet in particular) and the results!

House Rules

Points in play + gold for the win!  The winner of the game will be the fleet with the most total points in play AND gold combined into one grand score. (game ends when all gold is unloaded to HI’s or only one fleet remains)
Round Earth.
Wind rules.
Gold multiplier: coins are worth 5x their printed value, shiny gold backed coins are worth 50 gold each. 900 total gold in play excluding UT’s that can have a gold value.  Should be a balance between gold and points in play (900 for each at the start of play).
I’m using my Basic Rules; no ram damage is the main thing to keep in mind.
Waterfall: Uneven tables at different heights. Waterfall into bay. Can only go down onto lower ocean, not back up unless Turbine/Submarine/sea creature. Ships on edge of waterfall have Extended Range for shots crossing over waterfall with their normal range. Ships can brave the waterfall going down into the bay, but must roll a d6. On a 1-3, they lose one cargo. On a 4-6, they get +L to their base move after their other move segments are resolved.
Giant Turtle Rules: Functions like a great turtle from SS. Ships can dock at grassy areas on turtle and build forts on it. Giant Turtle’s movement can be controlled by building a fort on it. At that point, the turtle can be moved S in any direction the controlling fleet chooses once per turn (like a ship). Fort cannons can fire at any time during the turn.

The Fleets

The linked fleets (Golden Cranes and Crew Recyclers) are two I’ve been waiting and wanting to use for a long time.  Of course, anticipation and excitement was just as high for the (somewhat) newly created fleets as well.  Game pieces can be found in the Master Spreadsheet and customs from Pirates of the Epic Seas (3rd sheet).

In the order of play

1. Cursed
(60) Guichaun + The Headhunter, Sammy the Skull (F&S version) Grim the Savage (Viking version), Cavendish, helmsman, stinkpot specialist, Bianco’s Haulers, oarsman
(77) Delusion + Davy Jones (OE), El Fantasma (OE), Captain Nemo, Christian Fiore, Ibrahan Ozat, Sir Edmund, helmsman, oarsman
(13) Sea Rat + helmsman, explorer

Here we see my original monster setup on the Delusion, which totals a massive 77 points, nearly the maximum you can ever spend on a single ship and crew.  With a canceller and potentially multiple sources of guaranteed extra actions, the Delusion could be dangerous even if inaccurate.  The Guichuan setup is just wild and similar to one I used to sheer perfection in this game.  The Sea Rat filled out the points while giving them some gold running insurance and a second HI raider.

Cursed fleet

2. Golden Cranes – Hoist Madness!

This is a fleet I have been very excited to use, as evidenced by the massive description I wrote for it.  However, the lack of defenses and firepower could give them problems in such a chaotic environment full of huge threats.

Golden Cranes - Hoist Madness!

3. English Mercenaries
(60) Eighth Wonder (30) + Frederick Xernias (11), Apprentice of Xernias (4), Larkon Presyl (6; Parley,+1 cargo), Jozeran Danklidge (6; shipwright+HI Raider), Xavier Gedry (3; This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls when carrying gold.)
(28) HMS Gallows + Thomas Gunn, CRGO (0LR reroller) oarsman, exploding shot, fire shot, stinkpot shot, double shot
(31) Elthelfleda + chieftain, helmsman, oarsman
-English native canoes from RtSS
(14) King’s Ghost (10) + captain, oarsman
(13) -towing Gibraltar flotilla + First Mate Ismail, Exploding Shot
(4) HMS Ramsgate

This fleet is unique in that it contains game pieces from a custom set, Return to Savage Shores, and an Unreleased ship from Spanish Main! 😀  I wanted to use some customs in a game, and went a little crazy with non-standard stuff!  This makes another fleet with an HI-raiding 10 master, and another fleet that had a flotilla assigned crew.

English Mercenaries fleet

Here are the non-standard game pieces for reference: (points-masts-cargo-base move-cannons-ability)
Eighth Wonder  (proxied by the Shui Xian) 30 10 7 L 4L-4L-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-3L-4L-4L Link: Frederick Xernias A: Mercenary. Junk. Dories. If this ship eliminates 5 or more masts this turn, you may give her an extra action.
Frederick Xernias (Link: Eighth Wonder) 11 points A: Ex-Patriot. Captain. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn as long as she has all of her masts. One of this ship’s treasures is worth +1 gold when unloaded at your home island.
Apprentice of Xernias (Link: Frederick Xernias) 4 points A: Helmsman. Once per turn, if this ship is touching another ship, reveal all treasure aboard the other ship. This ship can take as much unique treasure from the other ship as she can carry, even those that otherwise can’t be removed.
Larkon Presyl 6 points A: Ex-Patriot. Parley. This ship gets +1 cargo spaces. This crew takes up no cargo space.
Jozeran Danklidge 6 points A: Ex-Patriot. Shipwright. HI Raider.
Xavier Gedry 3 points A: Ex-Patriot. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls when carrying gold.

Elthelfleda (proxied with the Alexandria) 16 4 4 S+L 3S-4L-3S-4L Galley. This ship can move and shoot using the same move action. This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls. She gets +2 instead if her opponent is a sea monster.
Native Canoes (proxied with the Spanish canoes) 12 1 1 L+S 3S Native Canoe. Give this ship a move action but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, you may repair one mast on ships within S of any native canoes.
King’s Ghost  (proxied by the Newport) 10 1 2 L+L 1L Eternal. This ship may use the effects of any equipment with “shot” in the name.
HMS Ramsgate (proxied by HMS Meresman) 4 2 2 S+S 1S-1S This ship cannot carry crew.

4. French
(41) Celtic Fury + Eileen Brigid O’Brien (SS), Duncan Rousseau, captain, helmsman, oarsman
(46) Ultimate Saber Attack Combo + oarsman (Bonny Peel, Commander Steven Decatur, Jordan Dumas (OE), helmsman)
(26) Pluton + Leander Arnaud, Godiva (0LR reroller), captain, helmsman, oarsman
(22) Le Descharges + Guy LaPlante (F&S), helmsman
(15) Renard à Ailes + captain, oarsman
Renard à Ailes (proxied with the Sea Serpent) 11 2 3 S+S+S 2S-2S A: Junk. Once per turn as part of a move action, this ship can randomly take one treasure from any ship up to S away from her.

I love this basic and “cheap” 10 master combo (SAT w/Reroll + Parley) to go along with a mostly French fleet.  The Saber is beyond fun and probably my favorite switchblade due to the sheer number of combos you can create with her.  Overall this fleet is based on boarding.  Mostly to steal gold, but also crew with Bonny Peel.  The Renard is definitely one of the coolest ships from RtSS, and fit perfectly with the theme.

French fleet

5. Jade Vikings
(60) Baochuan + Zheng He (AA+S-Exploring), Ms. Cheng, Dragon Eyes, Zheng Li Kwan, Sensei Xu, helmsman, oarsmen x4
(32) Asgard + Shayna Deux, Sigurd Andersen, helmsman, oarsman
(28) Muninn + Ethan the Farseeker, captain, helmsman, oarsman
(30) Naegling + Olof Linstrom, captain, helmsman, oarsman

This fleet is the definition of concentrated firepower.  28 captained shots across 4 ships, 29 counting the Marine.  A pair of AA crew (both with reroll!) could help them a lot with some luck.  The main concern was the dependency on the Baochuan for gold collection – if the giant gets taken down early, the Vikings would probably struggle to stay relevant.  However, in a game where points in play matter as much as gold, this fleet looked extremely intimidating.

Jade Viking fleet

6. Crew Recycling 2.0

This fleet has roots from way back in my gimmick games of 2012.  It would probably be better in deathmatches, and really is a strange kind of gimmick fleet, but wanting to use this fleet was one of the reasons I decided on the 150 point build total in the first place.  I picked the fleets before deciding to use the points in play house rule, so unfortunately this fleet’s strategy of killing as many enemy crew as possible could be a detriment.  However, they had some serious firepower available along with the only game piece (A Fearsome Creature) that could climb the waterfall.

Crew Recycling 2.0

Setup

Here is the map and setup! The west half of the ocean is called “Great Turtle Bay”, while the east is the upper part and slightly smaller. (due to the size of the silky blue sheet and wanting to have 3 fleets of deckplates on one of the tables)

6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year

The amount of gold varied by location. The Giant Turtle had the most coins with 10. 11 locations held 5 coins each – the 3 remaining wild islands in the west, the 2 shipwrecks (Duke and Sultan), the gold island in the east, and each of the 5 beaches on the big island in the east. 3 shipwrecks at Shipwreck Cove held 2 coins apiece. This totalled 71 coins worth 900 total gold – with the multiplier and special coins of course, but not including any UT’s that could produce a gold value.

The shiny gold backed coins are worth 50 apiece.  I tweaked the distribution to my liking to have the points in play equal to the gold points in play.

gold distribution

Choosing HI (home island) locations was an interesting process. Although the Crew Recyclers picked their home island first, they didn’t end up with an advantageous position, because everyone wanted to stay away from them! They need to capture enemy ships for points to win, since they have nearly no cargo available with all their (literally) killer combos. They chose a great turtle in the southwest, thinking other fleets would want to prioritize the Giant Turtle.

Overall it was interesting to see the locations picked because 41 of the 71 coins were located in the west, yet 4/6 fleets picked home islands in the east. This was due to a variety of reasons – the Crew Recyclers immediately showed up in the southwest, and everyone wanted to avoid getting attacked by such a dangerous foe. Even with round earth and whirlpools, the waterfall presented an intimidating challenge. Starting on the upper level meant you could go down easily without having to worry about having to go UP. Finally, the volume of reefs in the west made the fleets with 10 masters understandably nervous, since reefs and 10 masters don’t mix!

eastern half of ocean for 6x150 game

Will these two fleets have an easier time in great turtle bay due to less competition?

great turtle bay

Going last, the Crew Recyclers also got to choose the initial wind direction.  They picked north, as it would benefit at least their first turn or two.

wind blowing north

Crew Recycling 2.0 fleet

Crew Recycling 2.0 fleet

Tall ships loom in the background above the bay:

Crew Recycling 2.0 fleet

The semi-“expanded” Shipwreck Cove, with plenty of loot to be found for those who dare:

Shipwreck Cove

Between the silky material of the blue fabric and the logistics of having two tables side by side at different heights, some slight movement of the waters would be inevitable.  However, this seemed to only enhance the realism of the game, as waves and water movements could be seen instead of a permanently flat surface (also fitting given I actually had wind in the game).

The Game

The Cursed got things started with a BANG!  😀

After that walloping, the Golden Cranes fleet got a tiny measure of revenge by knocking a mast off the Delusion with the remaining canoe.  The Frontier took off to the north via round earth, while part of the fleet hid in the fog to avoid the dual 10 master threat.

play begins!

The Monarca had a great turn, using the wind, Mycron, and her ability to grab a bunch of coins and start heading back home all in one turn!  The Peacock sailed out to escort her.

However, the Rum would slow her down next turn….

The English Mercenaries immediately split their fleet into 3.  The Eighth Wonder would accompany the canoes and try to drain the Giant Turtle.  The small ships headed to the reefs, as they would be immune or nearly immune to damage from Shipwreck Cove.  The 4 masters headed north, eyeing the great turtle in the southwest corner via round earth.

The French liked their chances – the Cursed looked to be completely vacating the northeast, and the French could potentially have a lot of gold from 3 different beaches on the 5 beach island.  The wind slowed them down a bit, but they had gold runners heading to the right places….

OR SO THEY THOUGHT.  O_O

With a favorable wind blowing north, the Jade Vikings pounce and CRUSH the Celtic Fury!!

Celtic Fury dismasted

The Asgard prepares to explore a beach next turn as tons of carnage quickly piles up in the far east.  One dismasting of a 10 master can create a huge debris field and maneuvering difficulties.

The Crew Recyclers end the round.  Most of their ships sail northwest; the Royal James heads north.  She has one of the only open cargo spaces in the fleet and intends to explore the Duke shipwreck.

Here is the second turn by The Cursed!

The Sea Rat explores new waters:

The Maui’s Fishhook is the next to brave the waterfall!

The immense Guichuan looms above:

What a wild sight!  The Frontier balances on Ocean’s Edge, with not quite enough movement left to take the plunge!

Frontier on Ocean's Edge waterfall

The hoist fleet is totally scattered by the invasion of the Cursed 10 masters.  The Buscador hides in the fog, with Mycron assisting the Sea Serpent to tow the Monarca into a smokepot specialist-created fog bank.  They roll to successfully scuttle the Peacock.

The Cursed want both ships, so the wrath of Davy Jones’ Delusion is not likely to be over soon.

The English native canoes explore the Giant Turtle!  Marines had no effect, and the canoes didn’t have enough individual cargo to load the Sunken Treasure.  However, it looked like a huge haul for the English Mercenaries if they could get it home.

The Elthelfleda and Gallows round earth to the southwest, where they see the Crew Recyclers trying to sail around the Giant Turtle….

The Eighth Wonder has docked at the Giant Turtle to load up the Sunken Treasure and some coins the canoes didn’t have room for!  Frederick Xernias will ensure the canoes get their gold home safely.

How confident should Xernias be?  Lots of firepower potentially headed his way….

To the east!

The Pluton and Renard team up to dismast the Muninn!  The Saber cannot quite get into the action, but docks nearby at the French HI to be ready for combat next turn.

The Celtic Fury explores, giving her Power Cannons and Ammunition for exploding shot!  Of course, with no cannons she won’t be able to use the UT’s anytime soon.

Here I explain the situation and play part of the Jade Viking turn!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCuijI2u9oU

The loaded Baochuan becomes even more crowded, with multiple named crew captures and a coin joining the full crew complement.

Baochuan deckplate situation

The Muninn escapes sinking by rowing through the whirlpool, and the Asgard drains the Celtic Fury of coins!

As expected the Crew Recyclers clash with the English!

The Armada couldn’t quite get the SAT from Castro and Vaccaro (the 4 result), which likely spared the Gallows.  However, the two shots that connected knocked out half of the Gallows’ equipment arsenal along with two masts of course.

The Cristal attacks the Eighth Wonder by herself!  But Larkon Presyl is flipped to Parley away one of the EW’s new coins!  Between Parley, ignoring the first hit, and sheer durability, the EW is likely to be a very tough customer in this game.

The Crew Recycling fleet has completely split up, with the Flying Dutchman heading north to try and attack the English canoes.  A Fearsome Creature eyes some vulnerable prey to the east, while the Royal James reaches the Duke shipwreck.

The end of the round sees considerable carnage piling up.  Three 10 masters are absolutely wreaking havoc in the east.

eastern half of ocean

The west is more calm, but fights have begun to break out.

6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year

With the first shift, the wind started blowing to the east!

As usual, the Cursed got the round started with some action!

Davy Jones rolls a 6 to force the Sea Serpent and Monarca out of the fog bank!   This meant they couldn’t hide in the fog indefinitely with the smokepot-reverse captain strategy.  Davy Jones was ready to hunt….

The Cursed take advantage!  The Delusion captures the Peacock, while the Guichuan sails over (with some help from the wind) to dismast the Sea Serpent and steal all the gold from the Monarca with The Headhunter’s ability!  O_O

The Rum would slow down the Guichuan for a turn, but the Cursed had no immediate threats to worry about.

Cursed 10 masters dominant

The Maui’s Fishhook finds an interesting mix of coins after braving the waterfall:

Such a uniquely pretty ship with her silver crane reflecting off the water:

Maui's Fishhook

The MF went into a whirlpool and popped out of a nearby one.

The Sea Rat’s explorer fell overboard and drowned in the waterfall descent.  This allowed the Frontier to reach over and grab coins from the Sultan shipwreck right in front of the Cursed!  Jail would slow her down (helmsman and other crew back to HI), while the Curse of Davy Jones was tossed since it didn’t apply to any game pieces in play.  Keep in mind that the two coins are worth 75 total gold!

6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year

It’s a bit of a comeback turn for Golden Cranes, as all three hoists explore on the same turn!  The Buscador finds Necklace of the Sky along with some decent loot.

6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year

An extra action from Lord Mycron’s Patagonia allows the Frontier to explore a Flying Dutchman shipwreck with two more coins!

Frontier explores shipwreck

I love the aesthetic of Shipwreck Cove.  In the background you can see the English reaching the far side of the area.

Shipwreck Cove illuminated

Even with Xavier Gedry giving +1 to cannon rolls with gold aboard, the Eighth Wonder only goes 3 for 8 against the Cristal del Obispo!  The Spaniard’s ability allowed her to only lose 2 masts, meaning the Crew Recyclers were still in the fight against the junk.  Of course, Parley meant the Mercenaries could do pretty much whatever they wanted for the time being.

Here comes HMS Gallows!  In a highly anticipated attack, she did her job well.  Exploding shot set the Rosal aflame, while the second shot was VERY unique: stinkpot shot used against a flotilla.  O_O  Sounds like a once in a Pirates CSG career moment!  The Armada carried SAT with reroll, and the English wanted to ensure they wouldn’t be receiving 8 cargo-wrecking shots from the flotilla on the Crew Recyclers’ turn.  The stinkpot shut down the crew, limiting the flotilla’s effectiveness.  (orange 5 represents the stinkpot hit so I remember not to use the crew on their turn)

HMS Gallows attacks

One of my favorite pictures from the game – lots of red, orange, and yellow:

6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year ship aflame with combat action

The Elthelfleda attacked next, going 2 for 4 to cripple El Rosal:

TIME FOR CHAOS!

The Saber goes ballistic with a suicidal double switchblade assault!!

The Saber goes ballistic with a suicidal double switchblade assault!!

The Renard and Pluton tried to soften the Baochuan up a bit before the Saber’s crazy boarding attempt.  They took off a few masts.

The Saber goes ballistic with a suicidal double switchblade assault!!

The Saber shoots 3 for 3 against the Baochuan!!  However, both the Baochuan AND Asgard roll 6’s to defeat both of the Saber’s boarding parties!!  O_O  Commander Steven Decatur’s Crew Protect means the Saber doesn’t lose any crew, saving Jordan Dumas and company for the time being.  The boarding party against the Baochuan was especially dramatic and a battle of the Gold Capturers: the Baochuan narrowly prevailed 11-10 to deny Bonny Peel from capturing Dragon Eyes!!  (worth 10 gold!)

The Saber goes ballistic with a suicidal double switchblade assault!!

This is why you play!!  One 10 master dismasted, carnage everywhere, and a blaze of glory switchblade suicide against two powerful opponents, all in a cramped area at Ocean’s Edge!!!  😀   O_O
This is why you play!!  One 10 master dismasted, carnage everywhere, and a blaze of glory switchblade suicide against two powerful opponents, all in a cramped area at Ocean's Edge!!!  :D   O_O

This is a big reason why switchblades are one of my favorite ship types despite their lack of historicity – super fun and always creating incredible gameplay moments!

Seen from another angle, the Baochuan’s huge bulk almost completely obscures the attack.  Can anyone compete with the Baochuan’s power in this game?

Baochuan in battle

The French knew they were up against a superior foe once the Celtic Fury got beat up.  Jordan Dumas is known for being a bit crazy, and his wild side showed through in a desperate moment to try and stave off the Jade Viking invasion.

An incredible sight:

An incredible sight

A loaded up switchblade is one of the most fun ships to do a “blaze of glory” attack with.  Cannons, blades, extra actions, captures, and chaos!!

A loaded up switchblade is one of the most fun ships to do a "blaze of glory" attack with.  Cannons, blades, extra actions, captures, and chaos!!

GOODBYE FRENCH!!

In a savage counterattack, the Jade Vikings SINK the Celtic Fury AND the Saber!!!   3 masts combined are also knocked down on the Renard and Pluton.  The Naegling dealt huge damage, ensuring the incredible Saber combo would not hurt anyone else in this game.  It was a bit sad to see the switchblade and a 10 master go so early in the game, but it really proved the might of the Jade Vikings.

In a savage counterattack, the Jade Vikings SINK the Celtic Fury AND the Saber!!! 

The Baochuan got an AA to move and shoot, but could barely hit the Pluton, keeping her alive!  Some of the debris has floated over into the deckplate area, showing just how much devastation is quickly accumulating.

An amazing shot: the Celtic Fury’s green stern upside down as she sinks below the waves, with the Jade Vikings triumphant right near the French home island.

An amazing shot: the Celtic Fury's green stern upside down as she sinks below the waves, with the Jade Vikings triumphant right near the French home island.

Wow.  Time for another fleet!

The Royal James explores the Duke shipwreck!  Turtles and Relics are two of the best UT’s, but the schooner may find a hard time giving Enemy of the State to an ally to unload one of the 2’s.  There are almost no open cargo spaces in the Crew Recycling fleet, and the Flying Dutchman needs to keep her Eternal active.

The Royal James explores the Duke shipwreck!  Turtles and Relics are two of the best UT's, but the schooner may find a hard time giving Enemy of the State to an ally to unload one of the 2's.  There are almost no open cargo spaces in the Crew Recycling fleet, and the Flying Dutchman needs to keep her Eternal active.

The flames aboard El Rosal spread towards the bow, dooming the vessel.  Alfonzo de Castilla takes the ship into the Gallows, but to no avail. (notice the unrealistic reflective “canvas” sail XD)

The Armada flotilla takes two masts and two crew off the Elthelfleda.  At least one was snagged by the Crew Recyclers (Captain Davy Jones and Wraith).

The Cristal del Obispo tries to fire at the Eighth Wonder, netting her fleet another coin via Parley.  The Flying Dutchman cannot catch the English native canoes and turns east with the wind.

The Cristal del Obispo tries to fire at the Eighth Wonder, netting her fleet another coin via Parley.  The Flying Dutchman cannot catch the English native canoes and turns east with the wind.

After another round, here is the map:

6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year 6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year

The Delusion captures the Sea Serpent and begins towing her away.  Davy Jones thought about turning the ship ghostly to assault the Descharges (top of picture), but it would be risky and unnecessary.

The Delusion captures the Sea Serpent and begins towing her away.  Davy Jones thought about turning the ship ghostly to assault the Descharges (top of picture), but it would be risky and unnecessary.

The Rattlesnake of the Golden Cranes fleet finds some nice coins by the waterfall.  Trees repairs her missing mast, but she looks to be in trouble… the Crew Recyclers are approaching.

The Rattlesnake of the Golden Cranes fleet finds some nice coins by the waterfall.  Trees repairs her missing mast, but she looks to be in trouble... the Crew Recyclers are approaching.

The Maui’s Fishhook raids the home island of the Crew Recyclers!  Grim the Savage only has room for one coin, but the Golden Cranes fleet is desperate for anything with their fleet trashed and scattered.

The Maui's Fishhook raids the home island of the Crew Recyclers!  Grim the Savage only has room for one coin, but the Golden Cranes fleet is desperate for anything with their fleet trashed and scattered.

The Buscador uses Necklace of the Sky to dock at the southwestern island!  She used the second part of the Hoist ability to explore the island, finding good coins.  Lost was ineffective even with a 5 roll, because almost all parts of the map were within S of other islands and terrain, including all of the 10 master locations at the time of the UT discovery.  Golden Cranes placed a fog bank near their HI and some reefs in the east, trying to make the waterfall and Cursed HI waters more treacherous.

The Buscador uses Necklace of the Sky to dock at the southwestern island!  She used the second part of the Hoist ability to explore the island, finding good coins.

The King’s Ghost finds some UT’s at Shipwreck Cove, while HMS Ramsgate looks to explore it next turn.  The abandoned shipwright might be a target of The Cursed if the Delusion ever needs it….

The King's Ghost finds some UT's at Shipwreck Cove, while HMS Ramsgate looks to explore it next turn.  The abandoned shipwright might be a target of The Cursed if the Delusion ever needs it....

Now able to ignore the burning Rosal, the English 4 masters team up to sink the dangerous Armada.  The English are mildly annoyed that the Buscador took gold from the great turtle that they had planned to explore before the Crew Recyclers forced their hand.

Now able to ignore the burning Rosal, the English 4 masters team up to sink the dangerous Armada.  The English are mildly annoyed that the Buscador took gold from the great turtle that they had planned to explore before the Crew Recyclers forced their hand.

After some weird back and forth (Parley and bad shooting), the Eighth Wonder finally gets the better of the Cristal del Obispo.

After some weird back and forth (Parley and bad shooting), the Eighth Wonder finally gets the better of the Cristal del Obispo.

The Pluton and Renard were able to row into the eastern whirlpool to escape the Jade Vikings’ wrath.  However, the Descharges was captured in a nice move by the Asgard!  This brings Neptune’s Trident into the Jade Viking fleet, making them even more dangerous.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpRz-hPtMYQ

 

A Fearsome Creature surrounds the Rattlesnake!

A Fearsome Creature surrounds the Rattlesnake!

The Crew Recyclers have a plan to get some gold – the Flying Dutchman will cut off the Frontier before she can enter the whirlpool.  The Frontier is slowed and loaded – she lost her helmsman to the Jail UT but now has plenty of gold aboard.

The Crew Recyclers have a plan - the Flying Dutchman will cut off the Frontier before she can enter the whirlpool.  The Frontier is slowed and loaded - she lost her helmsman to the Jail UT but now has plenty of gold aboard.

Really love everything about this picture.

Pirates CSG game 2019

As usual, Golden Cranes faces yet more trouble, this time from the Crew Recyclers:

As usual, Golden Cranes faces yet more trouble, this time from the Crew Recyclers

A dramatic shift in the wind!!  A 6 was rolled and now the wind blew west!

A dramatic shift in the wind!!  A 6 was rolled and now the wind blew west!

The wind shift changes the plans of the Cursed!!  The Crew Recyclers aren’t the only fleet with designs on the Frontier!  She is a golden egg just waiting to be snatched!  XD

The wind shift changes the plans of the Cursed!!  The Crew Recyclers aren't the only fleet with designs on the Frontier!  She is a golden egg just waiting to be snatched!  XD

Here comes the Delusion!

Here comes the Delusion!

The captured crew of the Sea Serpent (including Wayne Nolan) get a wild view as the Delusion ghosts through a reef and down the waterfall!  O_O

The captured crew of the Sea Serpent (including Wayne Nolan) get a wild view as the Delusion ghosts through a reef and down the waterfall!  O_O

How fitting – Davy Jones goes over the Ocean’s Edge!  😀

How fitting - Davy Jones goes over the Ocean's Edge!  :D 

Sir Edmund’s view from the main topmast of the Guichuan:

Sir Edmund's view from the main topmast of the Guichuan

And here she is!  In an epic display of power, the Delusion dismasts the Frontier, with Christian Fiore cancelling the ship’s Secret Hold ability to steal Poseidon’s Breath!!

And here she is!  In an epic display of power, the Delusion dismasts the Frontier, with Christian Fiore cancelling the ship's Secret Hold ability to steal Poseidon's Breath!!

The truly All-Powerful Davy Jones and his ship will likely throw a wrench into the Crew Recyclers’ plans.

The truly All-Powerful Davy Jones and his ship will likely throw a wrench into the Crew Recyclers' plans.

The shift in the wind also benefits the Golden Cranes fleet – the MF gets home via a whirlpool and Mycron.

The shift in the wind also benefits the Golden Cranes fleet - the MF gets home via a whirlpool and Mycron.

Another vulnerable hoist!  The Buscador is dismasted by the English!

Another vulnerable hoist!  The Buscador is dismasted by the English!

HMS Ramsgate finds two UT’s at the northern end of Shipwreck Cove.  I decided to toss Bad Maps because moving Shipwreck Cove didn’t make much sense thematically (not an island) or logistically (moving it 2L would cause bizarre over and underlaps and more issues than I had time for).

HMS Ramsgate finds two UT's at the northern end of Shipwreck Cove.  I decided to toss Bad Maps because moving Shipwreck Cove didn't make much sense thematically (not an island) or logistically (moving it 2L would cause bizarre over and underlaps and more issues than I had time for).

The Eighth Wonder captures the Cristal del Obispo!  The native canoes have deposited their 5 coins and head north.

The Eighth Wonder captures the Cristal del Obispo!  The native canoes have deposited their 5 coins and head north.

Tension rises in the center!  The Frontier gets a successful scuttle roll from the Golden Cranes fleet.  Even though she’ll almost definitely be captured before it happens next turn, it still creates some urgency for the fleets vying for her riches.  The Royal James captures the Sea Rat from the Cursed and the Flying Dutchman turns towards the Delusion.

Tension rises in the center!  The Frontier gets a successful scuttle roll from the Golden Cranes fleet.  Even though she'll almost definitely be captured before it happens next turn, it still creates some urgency for the fleets vying for her riches.  The Royal James captures the Sea Rat from the Cursed and the Flying Dutchman turns towards the Delusion.

Potions and Brews couldn’t save the Rattlesnake from A Fearsome Creature’s wrath!

Potions and Brews couldn't save the Rattlesnake from A Fearsome Creature's wrath!

Another shift in the wind, as a 4 brought it back to its original heading!

wind shifts north

The Delusion struts her stuff again.  Here she snags the Frontier and dismasts the Flying Dutchman, as OE Davy Jones takes out his movie doppelganger.

The Delusion struts her stuff again.  Here she snags the Frontier and dismasts the Flying Dutchman, as OE Davy Jones takes out his movie doppelganger.

Finally a game where the Delusion can really shine!  She seems unstoppable!

Pirates CSG gameplay

And the other Cursed 10 master is still healthy!  Finally fully recovered from the Rum, the Guichuan’s large crew complement is doing a good job towing the potentially valuable Monarca back home.

And the other Cursed 10 master is still healthy!  Finally fully recovered from the Rum, the Guichuan's large crew complement is doing a good job towing the potentially valuable Monarca back home.

The Maui’s Fishhook recaptures the Peacock for Golden Cranes, while the French and Jade Vikings regroup and repair.

The Maui's Fishhook recaptures the Peacock for Golden Cranes, while the French and Jade Vikings regroup and repair.

Christian Fiore is the only canceller in play, and unsurprisingly got to make some tough decisions in this game.  Here he deferred cancelling the FD’s oarsman, allowing her to move away so he could cancel the Royal James’ captain to prevent any damage to the Delusion and her crew.  (RJ has cargo wrecking via Chevalle AND crew killing, so 2 hits could eliminate 2 masts and 3 crew)  Especially with the kraken lurking, it was still an intriguing situation.  It would be interesting to see if the Delusion could recapture the Sea Rat and capture the FD while simultaneously denying the RJ and kraken.

Delusion 10 master in action with Christian Fiore

The action after a day of play.  The Buscador has been captured, furthering the expansion of the English Mercenary fleet.  The English native canoes have round earthed to the south, looking to cut off the Turtles swimming home for the Crew Recyclers.

The action after a day of play.  The Buscador has been captured, furthering the expansion of the English Mercenary fleet.  The English native canoes have round earthed to the south, looking to cut off the Turtles swimming home for the Crew Recyclers.

The east is quiet now, but the sheer volume of HI raiders and gold still in play will likely end that soon.

The east is quiet now, but the sheer volume of HI raiders and gold still in play will likely end that soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ekXTq7F61c

Another shift in the wind!

Another shift in the wind!

Game video of Cursed turn!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zqHavMNQ8k

The MF grabbed the last coin from the tiny beach of the 5 beach island, heading home with the Peacock in tow.

The MF grabbed the last coin from the tiny beach of the 5 beach island, heading home with the Peacock in tow.

The Eighth Wonder unloaded a coin with Dories, passing the captured Cristal to the King’s Ghost so she could be towed home and repaired.  The Gallows is towing the Buscador home. (didn’t want to leave her in the south and forget)

The Baochuan unloads her gold captures and a coin, with the Asgard close behind.  The Naegling is towing the Descharges home, while the Muninn goes out to grab a derelict or two from the Golden Cranes fleet.

Jade Vikings fleet operations

Game video: big Cursed turn and aftermath!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjY-K0o2W-c

A big party for the English Mercenaries!  Nearly their entire fleet converges at home in a coincidence I see as fairly common in games.  The Elthelfleda and Ramsgate will transfer Necklace of the Sky and Protection from Davy Jones to the Eighth Wonder, making her a huge teleportation threat.  The Spanish captures start repairing and this fleet is definitely one of the favorites to win right now!

A big party for the English Mercenaries!  Nearly their entire fleet converges at home in a coincidence I see as fairly common in games.  The Elthelfleda and Ramsgate will transfer Necklace of the Sky and Protection from Davy Jones to the Eighth Wonder, making her a huge teleportation threat.  The Spanish captures start repairing and this fleet is definitely one of the favorites to win right now!

The native canoes get busy, killing three turtles and trapping them before they can reach their new home island!

The native canoes get busy, killing three turtles and trapping them before they can reach their new home island!

Save the wee turtles?  The Crew Recyclers will not be able to….

turtles dying in water

However, they are able to frustrate The Cursed a bit.  The Sea Rat is sunk by A Fearsome Creature.  The Royal James goes over a reef, trying to wreck the Frontier to force the Delusion to brave a reef to get her gold!  However, the attempt barely fails with a 3 roll.

Game video: overview of first 2 rounds of the day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8i91np7ZiQ

Yet another wind shift and it’s back to blowing northwards!

Yet another wind shift and it's back to blowing northwards!

The Cursed were not able to have their ideal solution to the Crew Recycler problem, but the Delusion blasted A Fearsome Creature out of the game on 7 for 8 shooting (!) and successfully rolled to scuttle the Flying Dutchman.

The Cursed were not able to have their ideal solution to the Crew Recycler problem, but the Delusion blasted A Fearsome Creature out of the game on 7 for 8 shooting (!) and successfully rolled to scuttle the Flying Dutchman.

Although her first shoot action was one of my best ever while using a 10 master (and the POLAR opposite of my Delusion’s early failures back in 2012), the Delusion couldn’t keep the luck going.  She went 1/6 against the Royal James to not even dismast the ship.  Still 8/14 overall on the turn was still more accurate than her cannon ranks (3’s and 4’s).  Ibrahan Ozat S-boarded the RJ so Captain Nemo could capture Capitaine Chevalle.

Although her first shoot action was one of my best ever while using a 10 master (and the POLAR opposite of my Delusion's early failures back in 2012), the Delusion couldn't keep the luck going.  She went 1/6 against the Royal James to not even dismast the ship.  Still 8/14 overall on the turn was still more accurate than her cannon ranks (3's and 4's).  Ibrahan Ozat S-boarded the RJ so Captain Nemo could capture Capitaine Chevalle.

Wizkids Pirates game in progress, game being played

The Guichuan strikes!  She round earths to dock at the Golden Cranes HI, stealing all of their coins!

Guichuan

The MF would like to dock home her coins, but she knows that Grim the Savage will just steal them next turn!  And Bianco’s Haulers allow the Guichuan to not be shot at while docked, so the Guichuan can just sit there as long as The Headhunter wants!  Truly a nightmarish combo to face!

The MF would like to dock home her coins, but she knows that Grim the Savage will just steal them next turn!  And Bianco's Haulers allow the Guichuan to not be shot at while docked, so the Guichuan can just sit there as long as The Headhunter wants!  Truly a nightmarish combo to face!

English Mercenaries in a big gearing up phase:

The poor turtles have no hope against 5 fast canoes….

The poor turtles have no hope against 5 fast canoes....

In the east, plenty of movement and repairing.  The Muninn captures the Sea Serpent, who had been previously captured by The Cursed.

In the east, plenty of movement and repairing.  The Muninn captures the Sea Serpent, who had been previously captured by The Cursed.

The wind continues to shift just about every turn, going back to the west now!

The Delusion finally puts an end to the shenanigans in the center, ghosting over Shipwreck Cove and cancelling the RJ’s oarsman to capture the vessel.  Crew Recycling 2.0 is the first fleet eliminated!!

The Delusion finally puts an end to the shenanigans in the center, ghosting over Shipwreck Cove and cancelling the RJ's oarsman to capture the vessel.  Crew Recycling 2.0 is the first fleet eliminated!!

The Monarca is taking advantage of the wind and goes over the falls.  The Cursed want her to tow the Frontier home on the last leg of the trip, since the Delusion can’t dock with her Ex-Patriot crew aboard.

La Monarca

With the Maui’s Fishhook simply hiding out in the fog, the Guichuan finally turns for home.  The Headhunter plans to return soon if the MF dumps her haul.  In the background, you can see the Flying Dutchman start repairing.

Guichuan turns south

All the turtles are gone, and it’s possible that the Crew Recyclers will finish with a total grand score of 0.  The clustered English Mercenaries may be able to create some serious late game chaos, but they’re worried they might lose a potential lead in the points+gold race if any of their large ships get captured.

6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year

The French have mounted an admirable comeback.  The Renard finds high value coins at the 5 beach island that the Pluton intended to explore early in the game.

The French have mounted an admirable comeback.  The Renard finds high value coins at the 5 beach island that the Pluton intended to explore early in the game.

The Asgard explores another beach on the island, finding a lot of gold as well:

Asgard explores

Here we go again!  The Vikings just won’t take it easy on the French, with the Naegling dismasting the Pluton right after she finished repairing!

Naegling dismasts Le Pluton

The 6 signals a dramatic shift in the wind!

wind shifts east!

With an AA and wind help, the Asgard and Baochuan were able to get all 5 coins from the southeastern beach, potentially catapulting them into the lead.  In the northwest, the English Mercenaries look to be assembling a large squadron for a potentially wild whirlpool raid.  The Cursed are still trying to get the Frontier home, and should soon have a healthy Flying Dutchman to join the Guichuan and Delusion.  Right now it looks like a tossup between The Cursed, English Mercenaries, and Jade Vikings.  Neither of the other two remaining fleets have much of a chance, though their gold may play a big role in the final standings, especially if it gets stolen.  The amount of HI raiders in play (Grim the Savage x2, Jozeran Danklidge, Wine) could extend the endgame period considerably, or the game could end suddenly if all gold is on HI’s at any point.

full map picture - 6x150: My 2019 Game of the Year

Game video: overview of Day 2!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxhkpT-jlzs

The wind continues to shift, now blowing to the south!

The wind continues to shift, now blowing to the south!

Seeing that the King’s Ghost (with Gibraltar flotilla) will catch the Monarca if the latter takes over towing duties of the Frontier, Davy Jones simply uses an extra action to take the Frontier home himself.  The Delusion’s second action of the turn was used to S-board the Renard, with Captain Nemo stealing her captain.  The 1 result represents French futility on their own turn later in the round – the Renard missed on both 2S shots.  The Guichuan has unloaded stolen loot from the Golden Cranes HI.

Cursed operations

The English Mercenaries get a bit more aggressive, sinking the captured Royal James to deny her points and gold from The Cursed.  At this point in the game, sinking hard-to-capture ships or logistical nightmares (RJ had oarsman and Enemy of the State aboard) became a reasonable option to pursue.  The Monarca and Ramsgate both want the final coin from the Duke shipwreck.

The English Mercenaries get a bit more aggressive, sinking the captured Royal James to deny her points and gold from The Cursed.  At this point in the game, sinking hard-to-capture ships or logistical nightmares (RJ had oarsman and Enemy of the State aboard) became a reasonable option to pursue.  The Monarca and Ramsgate both want the final coin from the Duke shipwreck.

The Eighth Wonder uses Danklidge to steal the lone coin on the Crew Recyclers’ HI!  This means that fleet will indeed finish the game with a score of 0.

The ever-growing Jade Viking fleet is the complete opposite – lots of points and lots of gold.  The Sea Serpent begins repairing as the Peacock is towed home and the Descharges sails out – all captured ships.  Grabbing the Sea Serpent netted them 5 gold – the JV’s are happy to have Wayne Nolan’s Ransom payout of 5 rather than a reroller worth 0 in the final scores count.

Lady Kamaile (aboard the MF) of Golden Cranes hardly knows what to do – if Grim the Savage steals Cursed gold, the Guichuan can just steal it back.  If they go after the Jade Vikings’ gold, the MF will probably be captured or sunk before she can get back home.

Another round begins, and the wind is back to blowing east!

Another round begins, and the wind is back to blowing east!

The Cursed are doing some serious transfers of valuables.  Knowing the King’s Ghost and Gibraltar would make short work of her, the Monarca returns home to tow the Frontier to safety.

Everything is being moved to the Guichuan due to her important status as the home island hoarder and the ship that could net the Cursed a bunch more gold in a short period of time.  Besides, it seemed as if some of them were overkill on the other ships – Neptune’s Figurehead isn’t needed on the Frontier and won’t work on the Delusion due to Ex-Patriot, while the Delusion also gave away Relics because she has canceller Christian Fiore.  Between all the stuff she’s carrying the Guichuan is nearly unshootable (Relics and Bianco’s Haulers), unsinkable (Neptune’s Figurehead), and unboardable (Ghost Ship).  With a favorable wind, AA’s and Poseidon’s Breath, she might even be uncatchable too!  O_O

Guichuan ship deckplate is loaded

Here’s something I forgot about since the setup phase!  The Maui’s Fishhook rolled a 1 coming out of the fog, smashing into a rock to lose a mast and stay in the fog!  XD

Unbelievable!!  Lord Mycron gives the MF another action, but she rolls a 1 again to smash into the same rock and lose another mast!  O_O  After all the misfortune that befell the Golden Cranes fleet in this game, this seems like icing on the cake for their opponents.  They are literally just beating themselves up at this point!

(Also reminds me of the Black Mamba’s horrid performance in my 2015 Economy Edition game where she rolled 1’s to dismast herself with her ability – here the MF cannot even roll a 2-6 to escape a simple fog bank, nearly getting dismasted in the process.)

The King’s Ghost with Gibraltar has been a loyal sidekick for the Ramsgate in this game.  Having chased off La Monarca, they can now explore the Duke shipwreck in peace.

The King's Ghost with Gibraltar has been a loyal sidekick for the Ramsgate in this game.  Having chased off La Monarca, they can now explore the Duke shipwreck in peace.

All four of these ships (not the 10) have gone from damaged to healthy!  The English Mercenaries are ready to rock, but they are understandably hesitant due to the factors at play.  Since points in play matter so much to the final score, they don’t want to lose anything in a daring whirlpool raid.  In addition, the other fleets with the most gold (Cursed and Jade Vikings) have plenty of firepower of their own, with plenty of it right around their HI’s.

The Jade Vikings are approaching one of the ultimate luxuries in any Pirates CSG game – having more ships than they know what to do with.  The Descharges and Baochuan are headed north, looking to take the final 2 coins from the 5 beach island.  The only question is whether they’ll take them from the beach, the Renard, or another ship….

Taking advantage of the shifting wind, the Muninn round earths to the west and eliminates 4 of the 5 English native canoes!  In a weird way this wasn’t a big deal.  The canoes’ point cost of 12 is represented by the tribal chieftain, who is alive and well on the Elthelfleda.  There is almost no gold left in play for the canoes to get, and their ability is unlikely to have much effect with a (currently) completely healthy fleet.  However, the Jade Vikings wanted to eliminate as many threats and contingencies as possible, and the canoes were ripe for destruction.

Taking advantage of the shifting wind, the Muninn round earths to the west and eliminates 4 of the 5 English native canoes!

A 6 reverses the wind direction!  This would be an ominous sign, and one of extreme luck for one of the favorites….

A 6 reverses the wind direction!  This would be an ominous sign, and one of extreme luck for one of the favorites....

A nice turn for The Cursed!  The Delusion S boards the Renard to steal her oarsman with Captain Nemo, then sinks her!  The Monarca docks home the Frontier with an AA, netting the Cursed a lot of gold!  The Flying Dutchman finishes repairing, and the Guichuan heads north to raid the Golden Cranes HI and take back the gold that the MF stole.

Cursed big turn

I will admit my Delusion setup has some funny flaws – with Davy Jones rolling 1-4 so often for an extra action, Fantasma doesn’t even need to sacrifice Nemo’s captures that often.

Delusion deckplate with crew - Pirates CSG

The Ramsgate braves the reef that claimed the Duke, while the Eighth Wonder turns around and uses Dories to deposit the 2 from the Crew Recyclers’ HI.  The final canoe flees into the fog, but where have some of those large ships in the northwest gone?

Through a whirlpool to emerge in a northeast!  The captured Spanish ships are sent to steal gold from the vulnerable French home island, as the English Mercenaries suddenly remembered that HI raider Fernando Sanchez was still aboard the Buscador!

whirlpool arrival

The English Mercenaries were trying to hedge their bets, sending a few ships to a relatively peaceful area to grab some lightly defended gold without risking their entire squadron.  If things went wrong, the Gallows, Elthelfleda, AND Eighth Wonder were ready to arrive in the same area next turn.  This part of the game is where the EM’s lack of extra actions and/or AA’s started to look like a weakness compared to the Cursed and Jade Vikings.

The English Mercenaries were trying to hedge their bets, sending a few ships to a relatively peaceful area to grab some lightly defended gold without risking their entire squadron.  If things went wrong, the Gallows, Elthelfleda, AND Eighth Wonder were ready to arrive in the same area next turn.  This part of the game is where the EM's lack of extra actions and/or AA's started to look like a weakness compared to the Cursed and Jade Vikings.

Now it was the Jade Viking turn.  That 6 represents that they got BOTH AA’s, from Sigurd and Zheng He.  O_O   I also see a little something in the bottom right hand corner…. and the wind was blowing west.  O_O

AA rolls successful

I must have been thinking about their options and possibilities for a good 15 minutes before deciding what their optimal choice was!

Here are the notes I took to figure things out, although I considered even more stuff than this:

Epic JV turn w/ both AA’s: Baochuan and others have TONS of options. Baochuan can attack Delusion and then try to Sac OR use an AA – either way, Delusion in big trouble. Fiore has no idea who/what to cancel – Captain (won’t get shot up as much on the first action), Gold Capture (save Davy Jones from being captured by Dragon Eyes), Sac (JV’s would need to use an AA on Baochuan). Should probably cancel captain because Delusion will sink since Eternal doesn’t work with the Ex-Patriots aboard.

Baochuan can also whirl to smash EM’s in the northwest, but not enough firepower in one action to cripple the Eighth Wonder enough to make it worthwhile. Can also whirl to hit Cristal+Buscador, but that could let the Delusion off the hook (though Descharges can hit Delusion a little with an AA).

In the end, it seems optimal to focus all firepower on one area – Baochuan leads the attack on the Delusion and uses Neptune’s Trident with the inevitable second action, whether it comes from Sac or an AA. Muninn gets an AA to whirl to the northeast and blast Buscador. Descharges assists the Baochuan against the Delusion.

And off I went!  XD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HENPzksgSbM

When it was all said and done, the Delusion and Cristal del Obispo each had one mast remaining.  Davy Jones was captured by Dragon Eyes (talk about a showdown!), and the Buscador was sunk (28 points out of play!).

When it was all said and done, the Delusion and Cristal del Obispo each had one mast remaining.  Davy Jones was captured by Dragon Eyes (talk about a showdown!), and the Buscador was sunk (28 points out of play!).

The second 10 master to be absolutely mauled by the Jade Vikings in this game!

Suddenly the game has changed.  The Delusion has gone from being one of the biggest threats with All-Powerful and a canceller, to a wimpy opponent that must run to avoid being sunk.  The English Mercenaries suffer a large blow, and their arguably half-hearted offensive has backfired.  The Jade Vikings already looked like a favorite – now it will be embarrassing if they lose!

The JV’s are also doing a fine job with captures.

Counting the Buscador, the Jade Vikings knocked out 14 masts this turn, even with mediocre shooting.  If the Delusion and Cristal had been sunk as well with 4 more total hits, the game would probably be out of reach for the other fleets.

Always an epic sight full of carnage as a 10 master meets her match.

Delusion with masts toppled over the side

Can the Cursed recover to have a chance at winning?

The Jade Vikings have really been incredible this game, and now the Cursed and English Mercenaries are even more intimidated by them.

Time to flee!  Saccing the Renard’s oarsman, Fantasma turns the Delusion ghostly and takes advantage of the wind (still blowing west) to reach the fog bank near the Cursed home island.

Time to flee!

The Guichuan still round earths to approach the Golden Cranes HI – the Cursed want to pull off at least one more heist before the game ends, especially since the gold they’re eyeing was theirs.  The MF pulls in to dock and repair – Bianco’s Haulers prevents the Guichuan from being shot at while docked.  This means the MF basically can’t defend her gold, which is a horrible feeling for Lady Kamaile as she is forced to watch the Cursed take everything and get away with it.  Such a brutal combo.

The English Mercenaries are feeling more timid than ever, like a shamed dog with its tail between its legs.  The Gallows and Elthelfleda get on either side of the damaged Cristal so she can make it home to repair.  Frederick Xernias considers the locations and risks of one more HI raid….

And now the Jade Vikings officially have more ships than they feel they need.  The Peacock finishes repairing as the Asgard stands guard (Asguardian?  as guardian…) over their HI.  The Naegling heads west, unsure if she will try to intervene near the Golden Cranes HI, take the whirlpool somewhere, or neither.