The Pirates Attack as the Buildup Continues! (July 3rd in CG4)

I was extremely excited to play my turn, as usual.  Xerecs’ report on recent events reinforced my last report that showed a relatively tranquil ocean.  Here you can see the Spanish with 10 canoes and a couple treasure galleons in the center of the map at the Archipelago:

THE PEACE WILL NOT CONTINUE!!!!

The Pirates have designs on the Archipelago!  They have been planning and plotting to an EXTREME degree in recent months, to the point where I’ve often spent more time strategizing Pirate faction stuff than I do actually playing all 4 of my factions put together.  O_O   I’m talking many hours of planning and custom game piece and combo research before, during, and after each Pirate play turn.  It has gotten completely bonkers!  Each turn you see the fruits of my efforts to optimize the Pirates and my other fleets.  The Pirates have so much happening behind the scenes that it boggles my mind and just about literally made me dizzy today from the possibilities of what could happen and what is to come.  In time, it could become surreal and bizarre unlike anything anyone has ever seen in Pirates CSG.  😀

Alright, enough rambling, what actually happened?  The Smoke’s Hand is a 40 point custom 5 master that can copy any keyword each turn (whether it’s in play or not).  She has a boatload of stuff aboard as well.  She was launched last turn along with the Arcane, a custom from JW Darkhurst’s Seas of Doom set.  Check out her ability: “Once per turn, you may give this ship a move action, but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 6, you may place a Unique Treasure on any ship in your fleet.”  O_O

This is where it starts to get complicated, and where the turn started to get just as time consuming as I thought it would.  The Arcane rolled for her ability, getting a 5.  However, this was bumped to a 6 with Hakann’s Piraka keyword, which gives the ship +1 to all d6 rolls.  Therefore, I didn’t have to use Runes of Thor on the Noble Swan to get the Arcane’s ability to work!  After looking over a LOT of custom and Wizkids UT’s, I decided to take what I saw as a big risk and go with Nuva, from Xerecs’ Pirates of Spherus Magna.  “Any crew ability on this ship may be used by another crew within S of this ship.”  My intention was to get Vesok copied to another crew that could then use the Arcane’s ability again.

Time to back up.  Vesok is another custom crew, with 3 keywords: Piraka. Limit. Copycat.
Piraka: This piece has the Black Mark keyword, and gets +1 to all die rolls.
Copycat: At the beginning of each of your turns, choose any ability possessed by any ship or crew in play; this character has that ability. You may make a different choice each turn.

Vesok is on the Smoke’s Hand to allow for maximum flexibility and power in one ship.  The SH (Smoke’s Hand) has a true copier aboard, and the ship itself can copy any keyword.  Almost as good as having two copiers on one ship.  O_O  It gets weirder.  🙂

The Agnis Crystalis, with only 1 mast standing from the carnage of the Corsair battle but with plenty of crew left, was the perfect ship to start using Nuva with.  The Nuva UT is on the SH.  The Agnis Crystalis used her oarsman to essentially copy Vesok using the Nuva UT.  This meant that the AC basically had a full copier for this turn as well.  Now that the AC’s oarsman could copy any ship/crew ability in play, naturally the Pirates chose to copy the Arcane’s ability and use it again.  I didn’t get the roll… but it didn’t matter, since I just forced it to a 6 with the Noble Swan’s Runes of Thor UT, which of course stays in play via Nemo’s Plans.  Guess what the Pirates brought in with this second usage of the Arcane’s ability?  Another Runes of Thor UT.  O_O   XD  This RoT was placed on the Pandora, a ship in the vicinity chosen at random because I knew I’d be using it right away this turn.

Okay – now that those logistics are out of the way (for now), it was time to actually get to the Archipelago.  How would the Pirates do that, with no ships even close to the center of the map at the start of their turn?  Well, combos and UT’s of course.  😀   Vesok copied the ability of another Spherus Magna custom that the Pirates launched recently: the Phantom (not the infamous Cursed 4 master from Xerecs’ games, a different ship).  The ability: Once per turn before you give this ship an action, roll a d6. On a 6 this ships base move becomes D for this turn.

O_O  And there you have it!  With this ability now used by Vesok, the Pirates were in business.  The new Runes of Thor was used to change the d6 roll to a 6, allowing the Smoke’s Hand to have D movement for this turn, meaning she could teleport anywhere on the sea at will!!!!!  O_O   The Pirates chose the Archipelago as the location for their attack!!  The Smoke’s Hand warped out to the middle of the map, revealing John James, a historical custom with the Captain and Canceller abilities.  This meant that not only could the Smoke’s Hand teleport, but she could shoot right afterwards!  The SH started blasting away at the Spanish native canoes from Return to Savage Shores, getting +1 to her cannon rolls due to Vesok’s Piraka keyword.  She hit 4/5 to knock out most of the set.  Then it was time for the impressive Pirate logistics to help out.  The Jolly Mon sacrificed her (useless) action via Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight, allowing the SH to move and shoot again.  The SH warped slightly southeast to dock at a textiles island the Spanish have explored, eliminating the final RtSS canoe and 2 from the SS set in the process.  The Smoke’s Hand has enough gold to build a Pirate fort on the island and to upgrade it afterwards, but due to the ruleset we’re using in CG4, things like that can only happen one turn at a time.  The SH copied the Explorer keyword this turn to explore the island, but she has to wait until next turn to actually deposit the gold and build the fort.  Then on the turn after that, the fort can be upgraded.

This was just the start of the Pirate attack.  Next it was time for the Tempest!!!  One of her abilities is one of my favorites: Once per turn you may roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a whirlpool anywhere on the play area.

The roll didn’t work at first, but Amos Carter (a custom crew with Reroll) bailed out the Pirates and rerolled to get a 6!  O_O  The Pirates put a whirlpool southeast of their textiles island in the northeastern part of the sea, near the fogpool that the Stormcloud popped out of when she attacked the Corsairs.  Speaking of the Stormcloud, she was the first ship that would go through the newly created whirlpool….

The Pirates only got one of their 5 AA rolls this turn, but it was one they needed.  The Stormcloud used her first action to go through the whirlpool and emerge in the center of the map by the Archipelago!  With Robert Alcantara and Lady Baptiste failing to give the ship an Extra Action (EA), the AA was used to guarantee a second action coming through the whirlpool.  The Stormcloud surged eastwards, blasting away at the Morning Star!  She only hit 4/9 times, destroying 2 masts on the MS.

Of course the Pirates weren’t done.  🙂  The Black Pearl was next, getting an EA from Sao Feng to come through the whirlpool and hit the Morning Star 3/4 times, taking out another 1.5 masts.

In order to block the Spanish ships, provide backup, and get in position for next turn, the Pirates sent additional ships to the area despite knowing they wouldn’t be able to shoot yet.  The Deliverance sailed in from the northwest, using the whirlpool she had previously used near the Cursed HI to teleport to the center.  The Sapphire Sea (one of my custom ships) arrived via the Tempest’s whirlpool.  The Shadow’s Hand (a custom 5 master by Xerecs with the Fog Hopper ability) arrived via a fog bank, using a little bonus from the Shrunken Heads to narrow the distance between her and the textiles island later in the turn.  The Archipelago has gone from paradise to bloodshed!

Pirates attack the Spanish at the Archipelago in CG4!

Later in the turn I decided why not just put the Natives of Madagascar canoes in the area too?  They were going to head home and flee Spanish waters from the island they had been launched at, but they had nothing to lose by going through the whirlpools surrounding that island they were launched at.  Suddenly all 5 showed up in the Archipelago as well!  XD  Including every canoe (which skews the numbers of course), the “ship swing” at the Archipelago went from Spanish: 12, Pirates: 0 to Spanish: 5, Pirates 11. O_O  (4-0 to 3-7 counting the canoes as one ship per set)

Pirates swarm the center!

Here is the attack footage!  As it happened!

A report was quickly made to Lord Henry McLean (aka Captain Mission) on the Zeus: “The Spanish have been savagely slaughtered in the center.”  At this point the Stormcloud is still the main Pirate flagship, with Robert Alcantara as the primary “admiral” in tactical command of battle-ready Pirate forces.  As of right now, Lord Henry McLean is more of the administrative, home front leader overseeing growth efforts and less combat-focused tasks.  Mission has more experience and authority than Alcantara, but Alcantara can basically do whatever the hell he wants.

The Pirates have not declared war on the Spanish… there is a LOT going into each decision the Pirates make.  They were getting antsy.  Before the game progresses any more, I think this is a good time to reveal some notes from my document I use for games like this:

Bizarre crew setup on Tempest (needed a shipwright and wanted to fill out points – so a Chieftain/Shipwright custom lol) led to “bored” Pirates trying to bait someone into attacking them – conveniently the Spanish, since the Pirates also wanted another Necklace of the Sky. Pirates itching for some action and wanting an excuse to put their crazy weapons to good use. XD

Basically, the Natives of Madagascar canoes were launched at the Spanish spices island to try and bait the Spanish into attacking the Pirates.  Between that not working (at least not right away, the Pirates were not patient enough to see if it would work longer term lol) and the canoes having rules troubles getting the Necklace of the Sky at a reasonable rate, the Pirates decided to just initiate things.  The Pirates wanted to be able to blame the Spanish for instigating conflict, but the Pirates have been growing more confident as their fleet grows.  Plus, the Pirates captured the Santa Isabel way earlier in the game and are now using her as a resource runner at last, so the Spanish may have already had some beef with the Pirates.  As their arsenal of weapons grows by the turn, the Pirates were getting excited and anxious to do a “test firing” to see how effective a small version of their plan might be.  The Pirates also have some designs on the Archipelago, which has been somewhat dominated by the Spanish so far.  The Pirates are enjoying their sudden strike capability and want to make it clear they mean business in the center of the map.

In the southern part of Pirate waters, some ships (including the Tempest) are making their way into the fogpool in order to be prepared to come through a whirlpool (likely at the Archipelago) in case they are needed in the next few turns as reinforcements against the Spanish.  As you may have noticed from my previous campaign game performances, I usually like my attacks to have maximum redundancy.  At the bottom, you can see that another 5 master has been launched.  This is another “WMD”.  O_O   The Leviathan.  This one is from vladsimpaler’s Treachery on the High Seas set from 2008.

The Leviathan, 23 points, Pirate (Link: The Mastermind) [Rare]
Masts: 5
Cargo: 1
Speed: D
Cannons: 4L-4L-3L-4L-4L
Abilities: This ship ignores the first hit it takes each turn as long as it has all of its masts.
The Leviathan is the new flagship of the Mastermind. Reports of the ship landing in one port and docking at one thousands of miles away are fairly common. Nobody knows how it works, except that it sails by unholy means.

Another weapon, this one with unlimited movement!!  O_O  She comes with 2 face down crew, which does work because Edmund Cooke is aboard to give +1 to her cargo hold.

Another broad shot of the northeastern theater shows 3 of my 4 factions gathering resources.  The Cassandra unloaded the military port upgrade at the Pirates’ textiles island, meaning it will be upgraded next turn.  Next turn the Eagle will give the Resurrection Codex to the Zeus (uh oh… XD).  At the very bottom of the frame you can see the whirlpool that the Tempest created, which is where the Stormcloud, Black Pearl, and Sapphire Sea all went through.  The whirlpool was almost created to the northeast where the Flying Dutchman (11 point version) and Harbinger are located, but the Pirates decided they wanted arguably their best asset (the Stormcloud) in the Archipelago to better protect the Smoke’s Hand, especially because of Tia Dalma being on the Stormcloud.  The Vikings actually had one of their best turns in ages, cashing in lumber for 32 gold and adding 8 saved up gold to it for 40 total.  They spent a bunch of it on the Asgard and some crew.  The Vikings are hoping to get in on something wild that might happen soon.

A bit out of order, but here is the northwest.  The Americans have put a bunch of good ships in play, with the Blackwatch, Kettering, Mercury and Lamon making up what looks like a new strike force.  The Cursed are getting excited and cashed in resources to hire a crew.  They are unconcerned and have a flippant attitude at the moment.  The Wisp has returned home early with no cargo, a strange occurrence.

A full view of the ocean reminds me of how gigantic it is.  The substantial new action in the center is barely visible!  XD   Who knows what happens next?  I may have some ideas….

CG4 full ocean picture July 3rd 2020

Thanks for reading!  And definitely, stay tuned.  😀

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