Today is Trafalgar Day! Fun news: the flag that HMS Minotaur flew at Trafalgar is now at the National Maritime Museum.
In honor of such a special day and important battle, I couldn’t help but have a little game. The fleets went in this order:
Le Gaule + captain, helmsman
Le St. Michel
Le Rochefort + helmsman, oarsman
When this ship sinks another ship, give this ship a free move action.
Flavor: After decisive action against the Cursed near the coast of French Indochina, this legendary vessel has come to the Atlantic to fight the English.
HMS Fatalis + Hermione Gold + helmsman
HMS Sea Phoenix + helmsman, explorer
Type: 3-mast hoist
This ship eliminates two masts with one hit.
Flavor: The HMS Fatalis was comissioned to pillage and plunder and and rifle and loot; occasionally she even burns the town down. She’s really a fright.
(Both custom ships courtesy of el_cazador)
The setup featured 4 wild islands with four coins apiece. The only terrain was numerous rocky outcroppings. The French rolled to go first. Although it was Trafalgar Day, I was conscious to not let any English bias affect the results of the game. It should also be mentioned that during setup, either no fleets or both fleets would have extra action crew or cancellers, to balance things.
The Maui’s Fishhook portrays the Fatalis, while the Aube is a proxy for the Gaule.
The French went first, and sent their runners in pursuit of gold. The Gaule shadowed the St. Michel at a distance, hoping to lure the Fatalis into striking range. The Sea Phoenix headed west, while the Fatalis was just out of range to grab gold with its hoist.
On the second turn, both French runners reached islands, but without explorers they couldn’t do much else. The Gaule tried to anticipate the English moves, keeping a close eye on the St. Michel and Sea Phoenix.
The English explored with both of their ships, with the Fatalis stealing treasure right from under the nose of the St. Michel.
The English headed home, with the Fatalis turning west to help protect the Sea Phoenix from the dangerous Le Gaule. The Fatalis sails through the rocky obstructions:
In the meantime, the Rochefort explored her island and took two coins, eagerly spying on the treasure that the English were about to bring back. The St. Michel didn’t bother exploring to take the final coin off the center island, instead heading northeast to a new island close to the English HI.
The English docked home 5 coins, while the St. Michel docked at the northeastern island. The Rochefort was headed home, and the Gaule helped out by clearing out the island that she had just left.
The Rochefort dropped off two coins for the French, with two more from the Gaule close behind. However, the St. Michel was in trouble. She had just explored to take 3 of the 4 coins, when she saw the Fatalis approaching from the west.
The Rochefort departed to look for more gold, while the Gaule unloaded her haul. The Sea Phoenix picked up the last two coins from the western island she was accustomed to. However, the real excitement lay to the northeast.
This game featured a decent amount of pre-measuring, which I don’t like to spend a ton of time on. On this turn it was crucial, as the Fatalis tried to get positioning on the St. Michel. Hermione Gold wanted at least two cannons in range, but the only way to do that was to rake the St. Michel by the stern as the Fatalis continued sailing east. Gold gave the order, and the Fatalis’ powerful guns echoed across the sea. The first shot was a 4, boosted to a successful 5 from Hermione Gold! Two masts of the St. Michel toppled into the water, the first combat of the game. However, the second shot was a 3, and the mizzenmast was out of range. To complete her successful turn, the Fatalis used her hoist arm to grab the last coin from the island the St. Michel had just left.
From the main top of the Gaule:
Move, shoot, and explore!
Although suffering, the French had to breathe a sigh of relief, with the St. Michel still sailing. She almost made it home, while the Rochefort docked at the center island. Looking for revenge, the Gaule sailed in the general direction of the English home island.
The Fatalis reversed direction, looking to get home with another coin.
On the next turn, the Gaule caught up to the Fatalis! Stormy waters meant that the two ships almost collided, with the Gaule able to get all guns in range!
This picture also shows how the Gaule was pitching to and fro, entering the back part of a wave as the Fatalis leaned to port.
The Gaule’s guns boomed, and the French flagship went 4 for 4! The Fatalis sunk beneath the waves, with her coin (1 gold) going to the French HI.
Using her unique ability, the Gaule now turned her attention to the Sea Phoenix, the most isolated ship of the game. S+S+S was not quite enough however, and the Gaule couldn’t get any cannons in range.
The Sea Phoenix docked home her gold, with the St. Michel and Rochefort doing the same for the French.
The endgame situation:
The gold count:
French: 21 gold
English: 17 gold
This was a fun game that saw two impressive new ships enter the fray for the first time. Time will tell if they set sail again, but for now they both go down as balanced but powerful additions to the Pirates CSG seascape.