Had a funny and wild idea for a game – make it all about turtles! Here’s a game with only turtle ships, using movable Great Turtle islands, with all 3 of my Turtles Unique Treasures! XD
I scoured my collection and was surprised by how few turtle ships I actually own. However, I was able to use enough for a small multiplayer game.
-Turtle ships with turtle panels cannot have their masts eliminated by ramming.
-All fleets must contain at least one named crew.
-The Giant Turtle follows the same rules as the Great Turtles, except that it cannot be chosen as a home island.
(in play order)
The Pirates rolled a 6 to go first, doing something I’ve never seen before. I threw the d6 on the adjacent table I’m using for deckplates and supplies. It bounced off the table, hit off a box, and then spun on a corner like crazy! It was probably spinning for 3-5 seconds before resting on a 6. This was the night before the game when I did the setup, but it would not be the last luck the Pirates encountered….
The Pirates went with a super fast gunship in the Proud Tortoise, along with two other ships that would mainly focus on gold. Of course, these are the only Pirate turtle ships I own, so there weren’t many options. XD
Tsai’s Jade Rebels
Due to the low cargo of turtle ships, the Sea Snake looked like one of the best gold runners in play. Tsai’s SAT would help to make the fleet more versatile and dangerous.
Easily the weirdest fleet of the four, this odd alliance was born of necessity, as I don’t have more than one turtle ship for either faction and I didn’t want to have 3 of the 4 fleets be from the Jade Rebellion. The Crypt is about as loaded as any turtle ship ever has been, with SAT/Fear/Eternal complementing the ship’s 2S cannon and captained S+S speed. (plus Massacre and Oarsman, yikes!) The Crypt was the scariest ship in any fleet, but this fleet has nearly no cargo spaces open for gold.
Katsura-chan’s Jade Rebels
The other Jade fleet had TWO named crew, giving the Dragon’s Talon a near-automatic 2L weapon and the Hansan Island some extra speed.
I wanted to keep the setup basic, with no terrain or round earth. True to the original multiplayer rules, each island held only 3 coins. None of the fleets wanted a Great Turtle as a home island, so all the wild islands are movable turtles!
The Pirates start the game! The Proud Tortoise and Inferno look like polar opposites.
Tsai’s SAT hit on the first turn, allowing the JR Proud Tortoise (PT) to dock at an island.
The Cursed saw the Pirates as a big threat, with the Crypt heading for the Beast’s Belly. This prompted Hammersmith to turn his PT around to guard the BB.
The Inferno explores and finds Turtles!! XD LOL! She loads the other 6 gold.
The Beast’s Belly explores in the north and finds the other 2 Turtles UT’s!!! This means the Pirates have all 30 Turtles in the water heading for their home island!! O_O
The first 2 ships to explore find all 3 Turtles UT’s! The Pirates have epic luck and are already set up to win the game easily!
They weren’t even done! The PT shoots a panel off the Crypt, as Fantasma watches in awe at the sight:
As you might imagine, the other three fleets panicked. It looked like the game was already over. The 3 non-Pirate fleets hastily made an alliance – all of their ships would do everything in their power to stop the Pirates. The race was on!
The Floating Stone runs over a turtle while the Sea Snake tries to block the Inferno. The JR PT found a 3, but sails towards the Pirate fleet without depositing it at home first.
Fantasma’s SAT allowed the Crypt to eliminate 2 turtles, but both of her shots missed the PT.
The Dragon’s Talon and Hansan Island are making all speed towards the east:
The Pirates manage a decent turn, but it’s pretty obvious that many turtles will die on the short journey to the Pirate home island.
SAVE THE WEE TURTLES!!
Fantasma was going crazy on the Crypt, with Fear helping against the PT and his SAT allowing the ship to eliminate two more turtles. The Floating Stone took advantage of the Fear effect (which shut down the Turtle Ship keyword), shooting off the PT’s mast.
Tsai’s Jade fleet was making quick work of the Giant Turtle’s turtles, with additional reinforcements about to arrive:
The Beast’s Belly gets home first for the Pirates, but their other 2 ships are stuck behind turtles! XD
This is where things started getting intense, and a little confusing. The Dragon’s Talon arrived and shot a panel off the Inferno.
In addition, there were now 2 Floating Stones and 2 Proud Tortoises in the same battle!
Unfortunately the BB’s ability began to put a bit of a stain on the game. It was almost as if the Beast’s Belly could ram to eliminate masts, but it took out a crew as well without any boarding happening. The Jade PT was the first victim.
It was an all-out turtle massacre. Sea turtles were being run over left and right as 3 fleets ganged up on the Pirates in an attempt to stop them from amassing a huge amount of gold. The PT and Inferno lost panels as the Dragon’s Talon and Crypt shot as much as they could.
View from the Pirate HI:
The Inferno got home with her coins. The Sea Snake has turned for home to repair. With most of the turtles killed and no Pirate ships with gold remaining, the first crack appears in the alliance as the Dragon’s Talon captures the JR PT.
The Beast’s Belly uses her ability to dismast the Dragon’s Talon, but is finally smashed herself by the Floating Stone. A few turtles make it home, with Fantasma’s Crypt stopping as many as possible from reaching the shore of the Pirate home island. The Dragon’s Talon and captured JR PT are rowing west towards some gold and that fleet’s HI.
A messy scene! At the top of the picture, the Hansan Island has been dismasted, while the Pirate PT finally reaches home at the bottom.
This is when the game got even weirder, and more confusing! The Cursed fleet captured two turtle ships, with Katsura-chan’s Jade Rebels still in control of Tsai’s PT. (Katsura-chan herself killed in action)
In the end, only 4 turtles out of 30 made it home safely. O_O Fleets were regrouping and trying to understand what had just happened!
I actually looked at all the gold remaining in play to see if any fleet could beat the Pirates. The Pirates had 15 gold on their HI, but there was 17 left in play. The game would continue!
It was getting really bizarre. Mastless turtle ships were running amok. Without an oarsman to prevent the state of dereliction, some were easily captured if you could catch them. A kind of tag was played between Tsai’s Jade fleet and Cavendish’s Jade fleet. Things flip-flopped many times in the second half of this game, with captures and recaptures too many to remember. That’s why you see turtle ships at the left pointing in odd directions – once you capture a ship, you can give it an action on your turn, if able. Since all the ships in the game can row at S (or sometimes S+S with a helmsman) via the Turtle Ship keyword, there was a lot of capturing and then moving away immediately afterwards. Then get recaptured on the next turn, and move in the direction your new owner prefers. XD
And that is where a new (?) concept or game idea was born: chain capturing. At the upper right, the Floating Stone of Tsai’s fleet was able to capture the remaining two ships of the other Jade fleet by herself (Hansan Island had been recently sunk). Back and forth they went, with each fleet controlling 1 or 2 ships each turn of the three pictured. Eventually Tsai’s fleet was able to chain together enough successful moves, and the captured Dragon’s Talon was within capturing distance (S+S rowing distance in this case) of Tsai’s own ship, the Proud Tortoise. The PT was reclaimed for his own Jade fleet (this is hard to even put into words because of how confusing it is lol), completing the chain of captures that led to the elimination of the other Jade fleet! XD This is one of those bizarre occurrences that would only happen in a very similar situation, with lots of oared ships that are “capturable” (aka no oarsmen) and moving amongst each other and jockeying for towing position on just about every turn.
Tsai is now back in his own fleet, and the other Jade fleet has been eliminated!
After a successful game, Hammersmith’s PT is finally smashed apart by the Franco-Cursed.
However, the Beast’s Belly quickly put a stop to them. The Crypt and Floating Stone lost their masts to the annoying ability, while the Inferno and PT went home to repair.
The Sea Snake has finally reached the Great Turtle explored by the JR PT way back on Turn 2, with that PT rowing for home past the Giant Turtle. The other 2 Jade ships are exploring the western Great Turtle.
And with that, the Jades have the ingredients for a potential comeback win! All of their ships carry gold, with the 17 enough to upset the Pirates!
However, the Pirates will have something to say about that!! They are repairing in earnest, with the French Floating Stone joining their ranks.
The Jades have a shot at winning, but they are very s l o w . . . . 3 of their 4 ships have no sails up.
Fantasma scuttled the Crypt so she could get home to repair faster! (via his Eternal ability)
Darkness and light…
The race is on!! The final part of the game will see a showdown!
… but a quick one at that. XD Hammersmith’s PT is back in action, quickly zooming south to capture the Sea Snake. He then moved on to the Jade PT, and it looked like the Jades were in big trouble.
The Jade PT was captured as well, with the newly brainwashed Tsai using SAT to propel the ship towards the Pirate HI. The JR Floating Stone dismasted the Pirate PT, but now half of the Jade ships were in Pirate hands. Up north, you can see the Crypt having a brief fight with her old fleetmate. Perhaps it was only natural that the Cursed and French would end up fighting each other in this game? Not a big surprise after all, given the events of Command the Oceans.
The Pirate captures of the Jade turtle ships sealed their victory!! It was over. The Pirates had held on and won with 15 gold! (all other fleets with 0) Although only 4 turtles survived the triple onslaught of turtle ships attacking them, the Pirates won based on early luck. They had it made from the start, going first and somehow finding all 3 Turtles UT’s before any other fleet could explore. They did well to hold on throughout the long second half and preserve the shutout, with all three of their ships performing well.
The top right of the map is truly a turtle graveyard – all the eliminated turtles sit in a pile, while the debris from the chaotic battle drifts on the waves.
This was one of the weirder and more wild games I’ve played. The sheer amount of ships changing hands was astounding. By the end of it, the Pirates controlled 6 ships. Only once did a fleet sacrifice an action to move a Great Turtle, so that mechanic didn’t really affect anything.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this report! Feel free to comment below: What was your favorite aspect of this game?