VASSAL Campaign Game 2
Played from February-December of 2016
With much anticipation and planning, the second VASSAL campaign game has begun! This one goes in a separate thread so they don’t get confused, with the first one having battle reports in the regular BR thread.
The game is being played by four different players, listed in the order of play below. As with the first campaign game (Campaign Game 1 or CG1), the starting fleets were 30 points. Each wild island had 7 coins which would replenish when at least 4 islands were empty. Flat earth rules are being used.
Progress has been made! Ownage decided to drop out of the game, leaving El Cazador, Xerecs, and myself to continue.
After a month of inactivity, CG2 has continued! Still no shots fired, but this picture gives a glimpse of all the launchings.
A quick ship count, in the order of gameplay:
French: 9 ships
Pirates: 24 ships
English: 19 ships
Total: 52 ships
This game has continued.
The first official point count, in the order of play:
French: 11 ships, ~169 points*
Pirates: 34 ships, 442 points
English: 28 ships, 413 points
Total: 73 ships, 1,024 points
With over 1,000 total points in play, we have already reached huge game status!
(*El Cazador has kept many of his crew face down, so I simply assumed an average of 3 points each for those)
It’s worth noting that Emperor Blackheart made the Corse fire upon Le Soleil Royal, but other than that there hasn’t been any combat action.
We have begun using the new version of the Pirates module to play CG2.
Exciting things are finally happening!
The Zeus is loose! Xerecs’ Pirates respond with a 10 master of their own!
However, the English have attacked! They’re not going to be nice like they were in CG1! Whirlpool sub squadron ATTACK!
The Terror came through a whirlpool first, using El Cazador’s custom Nobunaga marine crew to shoot a mast off the Pride, a Pirate schooner. Then the Slipstream followed suit, using Major Peter Sharpe to blast off another mast. To complete the attack, HMS Oxford sailed through the whirlpool and was given an AA (Admiral’s Action – the crew you must roll a 6 with) to knock three masts off the nearby Darkhawk II and steal a coin!
CG2 has finally continued!
The English press their attack! (southwest of the center) The Pirates managed a nice counterstrike, dismasting the Oxford! However, more submarines were on the way! The Terror and Slipstream were followed through the whirlpool by the Mobilis and Hephaestus, as well as HMS Bolingbroke! The Bolingbroke splintered masts on the Darkhawk II and the Thirty Tyrants, while the Terror surfaced to shoot at the Windjammer! The Pride has been dismasted, but the Pirates have the Broken Key and Ranger nearby to help recover from the raid.
Up close in the action! The Bolingbroke was dismasted, and is due to be scuttled. The Terror was sunk! The other English-controlled subs were ineffective, but they had a final ship join them: HMS Success. She was given an AA (admiral’s action) after coming through the whirlpool, inflicting minor damage on the Ranger. This burst of combat has spiced up the game, and we hope to continue soon!
In terms of launches, El Cazador launched a custom 5 master, while I launched HMS Durham with Lord Cutler Beckett, giving the English 4 total AA (admiral action) crew.
Two more turns have been played. HMS Success and HMS Oxford were captured by the Pirates, who launched the Prussian Crown, presumably to deal with the Mercenary subs hired by the English. Those three subs were ineffectively ramming the various Pirate gunships in the area, while Major Peter Sharpe missed sinking the Oxford (to deny the Pirates from using her).
The French nearly sailed off Ocean’s Edge, but had second thoughts and eventually turned their ships around. Introducing El Cazador’s custom Hyrule faction to the game, the French launched the RHS Nayru and built Hyrule Castle on their home island!
More turns have been played with very interesting developments.
The English did something I believe to be unprecedented. After launching the Shui Xian, they proceeded to launch the Zhanfu on their next turn! The Zhanfu is one of the 10 masters from Return to Savage Shores. Then, after using an AA (admiral’s action) to dock home the Scots’ Pride for enough gold, they purchased the Fortaleza (also from RtSS) as well!! Three 10 masters in three turns! However, by the end of it they were flat-out broke and will remain poor for the time being. They also didn’t have enough gold to put much crew on the Fortaleza – the gold from the Scots’ Pride was needed just to launch the final 10, let alone have a good crew complement aboard. However, the crews of the Shui Xian and Zhanfu are more impressive, hosting the likes of Lawrence, Huang Bai, Captain Nemo, and others. This flurry of launches give the English 4 10 masters in play, which may be a campaign game record.
The English had also cleaned up in the south against the Pirates. After a dismal turn of bad rolls, they had two good turns in a row to sink not only the captured Oxford and Success, but also the Pirate ships Thirty Tyrants and Darkhawk II! Most recently, the Deliverance showed up to contest the now-surfaced Hephaestus, but the Deliverance was sunk by the Mercenary sub after the Hephaestus went 6/6 with an AA! So in total, the English raid through the whirlpool almost had 3 distinct stages: initial success with the element of surprise, followed by the Terror being sunk and the Oxford and Success captured, and now with the remaining submarines (Hephaestus, Mobilis, and Slipstream) doing a great job of salvaging the operation and hurting the Pirates by permanently taking some of their better ships out of the game. It also mirrors CG1 a little bit, where the English got some hired help to combat the Cursed. However, the English are doing a much better job this time around, making sure their minor faction helpers have enough crew to be effective in their missions.
The French seem to be changing their ways a little bit. Understandably shy in combat so far with a (somewhat) smaller battle fleet, they attacked the Pirates! The Recreant had actually shot first, but the French got the better of the engagement, capturing the Pirate 3 master with Le Lyon. The Soleil Royal then ventured into Pirate waters to dismast the Dragon! This was a rare instance of hurting a fleet’s gold system, and that’s one of the best ways to bring down a faction in a campaign game (though it’s often difficult).
If it looks like the Pirates had a rough day, that would be correct. However, they were well prepared for whatever came next. The 20 point Flying Dutchman sailed towards the submarines with canceller Tia Dalma aboard, with the sub-hunting Prussian Crown and Corcoran nearby. The Zeus and other Pirate gunships still loomed large, and in the far south you can see the Victoire departing the Pirate home island.
The next phase of the game promises much excitement!
A single turn has been played since the last report, but it was a notable one. The Flying Dutchman opened fire on the Hephaestus and did minor damage.
Emerging from the whirlpool, both ships sacced for extra actions. The Shui Xian was first, hitting 5/9 overall (I think) against the Corcoran and Prussian Crown. The Zhanfu was next, and Huang Bai positioned her to ram and board the Flying Dutchman, with Lawrence aboard the Shui Xian cancelling the FD’s Ghost Ship keyword. The Zhanfu was a bit less effective, taking out three masts on the Flying Dutchman. At the end of the attack I rolled 4 consecutive 1’s, two on shots, one on a reroll, and one on the ram roll. However, the Zhanfu won the boarding party! This allowed Captain Nemo to capture Captain Barbossa! I wanted to make sure I could ram in order to have enough crew to sac on the next turn, since the Zhanfu was running with one less extra crew than the Shui Xian, and I wanted to avoid saccing the shipwright or primary oarsman.
Xerecs’ counterattack will no doubt be devastating, but the Fortaleza may also be sent through the same whirlpool!
Three other things: the Shui Xian is using Woodes Rogers, a rare instance of him being useful. At the end of Xerecs’ turn, he launched the Grand Path and Fool’s Hope at his home island. Also, El Cazador’s Soleil Royal managed to light the Cassandra aflame with some exploding shot, continuing the assault on Pirate gold runners!
|From my turn right after this:
Cassandra immediately turned for home, but the fire spread, however the Lighting has come out to meet her, possibly to tow her home. La Victoire used a SAC to bring the Royal down to one mast, and then the Feathered Hat got in on the action, sinking the Royal, and damaging another french ship in the process.
The FD got her SAT and went 2/4 against the Zhanfu, while Lawrence and Tia Dalma cancelled each other out. The Sea nymph used a double action provided by Jean Laffite to fire 8 time on the SX, but only hit with half her shots. The PC and Corcoran split off, trying to get to safety to repair. The Zeus used a SAC to get her first five cannons in range of the SX, but only hit once in five tries.
The Grand Path and Fool’s Hope have deployed from the Pirate HI, ready to assist Pirate efforts on any front.
|From my turn right after this:
With the sudden disappearance of Le Soleil Royal, the French decided to stay put and hit harder. Down went La Victoire to the holy sword of St. Michael and the booming guns of the Nayru. Vive la France!
I also launched a custom 1 masted French galley.
And good to see the Cassandra burning. She sinks immediately at the start of Xerecs’ next turn.
Xerecs: note the crew on those ships. I have 2 cancelers in the area (in case you try to attack).
More exciting developments have unfolded!
Xerecs’ counterattack knocked out more than half of the Shui Xian’s masts, and the Zhanfu took damage as well.
As the English, my main objective had failed (if you can guess what is was heh). However, I eventually came to the conclusion that I needed to get my 10 masters out of a bad situation instead of losing them, or worse, having the Pirates capture them. The English were close to giving the Mercenaries the go ahead, but it would have been suicidal, and the main objective would likely have failed anyway.
Of course, there was damage to be done on the way out!! The Mobilis and Tia Dalma cancelled each other out, right before all three submarines high-tailed it outta there! Then it was time for the 10 masters. The Zhanfu was already on top of the whirlpool, so her first action was used to further damage the Flying Dutchman. The Zhanfu then used a sacrifice action to go through the whirlpool and emerge in the northwest where she had come from, near a friendly English fort where she and the Shui Xian could repair. The submarines had gone to a different fort, partly because the other fort would be quite crowded, and also to provide 2 targets via different whirlpools in the event of an immediate Pirate counterattack.
Here you can see the aftermath of a major skirmish. Certainly not a full-scale battle, but an important part of early-game combat. The Shui Xian and Zhanfu are looking to repair in the northwest, where the Fortaleza and Baochuan (two more 10 masters!) provide insurance in the case of a Pirate attack through the whirlpool. The battlefield looks strangely empty without the Merc 10’s and the submarines – the Zeus is nearly intact, while the FD has been sunk. The Prussian Crown repairs at the Devil’s Maw.
From north to south: the Baochuan has begun running treasure, picking up an entire island’s worth of gold on her first trip. A bunch of English gold runners are crowded around their home island, and with some of the gold coming in I launched a few more ships. In the center, the French continue to get gold from their main 3 wild islands. In the south, total carnage between the French and Pirates! Xerecs recently launched the Rampage, a custom Merc 5 master with built-in cancelling.
It’s a small picture, but a closeup of the carnage! One 5 master on each side lies derelict. The Nayru (a custom Hylian 5 master similar to El Acorazado) and Nautilus, both equipped with cancellers, hold the key to France’s hopes in the battle. Their main opponents are the Grand Path and Feathered Hat, though El Ladron still has all her masts.
Here are the latest ship and point counts as of October 11th!
French: 14 ships, ~232 points
Pirates: 33 ships, 515 points
English: 35 ships, ~670 points
Total: 82 ships, 1417 points
Since the last point count (June), the French have made some strides in their fleet, and lately they’ve made some waves by attacking the Pirates. The Pirates have about the same number of ships they had in June, but they have more crew since their point total is higher. The English, however, have climbed into the lead in both ship and point count! Their quartet of 10 masters (3 of them just about fully crewed) explains their point differential compared to the Pirates while having just 2 more ships.
After the English had failed to achieve their objective with a raid on the Pirates through the whirlpool, they finally had their 10 masters and submarines repaired! The turns of waiting and organizing another raid were over, and it was time for another strike!
ATTACK!! The Fortaleza is given an AA to sail through the whirlpool and unleash her firepower! A custom equipment of mine was revealed to be aboard:
Faction Affiliation: Neutral
Point Value: 5
This ship gains two additional cannons that can only shoot from the foremost mast of the ship. The cannons follow the range of the foremost mast of the ship, but they have 4 rank and the Extended Range keyword. The cannons can only fire in a straight line directly forward of the ship’s bow. Other pieces of equipment cannot be used with Bow Chasers.
The Fortaleza’s gunports opened up, and the upgraded Devil’s Maw fort was in range! The new bow cannons missed, but her regular cannons hit, damaging the Pirate investment. Lord Thomas Gunn is the new admiral of the fleet, and from HMS Dauntless he gave the Fortaleza +1 to her cannon rolls this turn. However, in my opinion the Bow Chasers should stay at a fixed rank that cannot be modified, similar to how they cannot be used with other pieces of equipment.
Ducie Chads gave HMS Leicester the SAT, and she came through the whirlpool! The Zeus was in trouble! The Leicester revealed some Bow Chasers of her own and scored 3 hits to take out 6 masts on the Zeus! Then it got even worse for the Pirates – the Zhanfu is back!
With a successful shoot and boarding party, the Zhanfu took the Zeus down to one mast and captured sac captain Havana Black with Captain Nemo! Then it was the Shui Xian’s turn. A 3rd 10 master came through the whirlpool, and just like the Zhanfu the SX sacced for an extra action. The SX missed the fort despite Woodes Rogers’ rare bonus ability, but the Zeus was dismasted!
This shows the entire ocean. The subs also came through the whirlpool, including the two new ones. The English were not going to fail in their objective again! The first raid was 2 10 masters and 3 subs, but this raid has 3 10 masters and 5 subs, with the Leicester backing them up to boot! Lawrence and Tia Dalma have teamed up to freeze the Zeus, cancelling her helmsman and oarsman abilities. On their turn, the Pirates built Dead Man’s Point and hired some crew, while the French have been forced to retreat from the southeast area where the Pirates have the new fort.
The English onslaught was so abrupt and powerful that there wasn’t much the Pirates could do about it in the short term. The Pirates backed off, save for the Ranger, who missed two consecutive Broadside Attacks against the Fortaleza. The Fortaleza responded by sinking the Ranger and the Rising Sun. However, the Pirates managed to get two valuable ships out of harm’s way: check out the Hai Peng and Prussian Crown sailing away from the battle.
As you can see, the Zhanfu captured the Zeus! The Shui Xian and Fortaleza teamed up to destroy the upgraded Devil’s Maw fort, technically costing the Pirates 55 gold!
With that, my first objective was complete! This is from my strategy document, and thus I can’t show my other strategies which are still in progress. Destroy the fort upgrade with the 10 master squadron, sinking 10’s with the subs if captured. Mission accomplished! The fort was no more, and the English hardly lost any masts (2 on the Shui Xian), let alone any ships. My thinking was that if the Pirates had a launch point near a whirlpool, they could launch ships with which to get revenge on the English by using similar tactics, since it was the English who started this conflict. That being said, keep in mind that the English still haven’t declared war on the Pirates. In fact, there hasn’t been a declaration of war in this game!
The capture of the Zeus gives the English a whopping SIX 10 masted ships! The fifth was actually HMS Union Jack, a custom 10 master from Pirates of the Kraken Sea. The battle squadron in the south is somewhat exposed, but it has enough firepower to defend itself. I suppose it feels exposed since I am the one controlling it, and each ship had a special purpose until now, since the situation is more stable at this point. The 10’s have good crew complements aboard, while the Leicester and submarines provide good support in the case of an emergency.
It seems to be a good time to do a general overview of each fleet’s situation.
Here are the English in the north. From left to right: the Baochuan is being used as a gold ship, since she can empty an entire island each trip! HMS Durham (with valuable Lord Cutler Beckett aboard) is her guard ship. I love how campaign games get so big that you can simply assign a ship to guard another ship, like a personal bodyguard. The Dauntless is heading home, hoping to pick up some additional crew. That’s what the Union Jack has just done, and she has some very good crew indeed. Her current setup gives +2 to her cannon rolls via Admiral James Norrington and Griffin. Many other ships are running gold. It looks less necessary now that the English have the largest fleet, but early in the game I made it a point to have “treasure runners with teeth”. The English gold system is not a vulnerable one, because many of the gold runners have more than 2 masts, and a handful of them carry a captain in addition to a helmsman, providing more flexibility in the case of raids or attacks. The English have plenty of natural hybrids, and among their current ranks running gold are the likes of HMS Dover, Hyena, Metal Dragon, Swallow, Scots’ Pride, and the Tiger’s Eye. At the lower right, HMS Titan guards Ramsgate, in the case of an attack by the French or by a fleet through the nearby whirlpool. HMS Rye guards the Titan, giving the English two cancellers in one spot (Bratley is aboard the Titan). At the upper right, smaller English gold runners have handled the reefs rather well. There isn’t much point in sailing the larger ships to that hazardous island, and so the 1 and 2 masters do the job. It’s also the furthest island the English are currently harvesting, but with 6 ships running gold it’s reasonably efficient.
The center area, showing the entirety of the French fleet. They have fallen on hard times of late, as their raid on the Pirates didn’t go as well as planned. They were thwarted in trying to get another island in their possession, losing two capital ships in the process. However, the Nayru and Nautilus have survived intact, and they and their cancellers provide France with some good weapons and defense. France simply needs to optimize her gold system and avoid a war with either of the other two factions (aka not making them angry lol), and she could begin to make major strides in this game.
The Pirates in the south. As you can see, their territory has been encroached upon by the English, who have essentially cut off two of their valuable islands. The English didn’t foresee their attack going so well and being able to cut off some of the Pirates’ resources, but the Pirates are still a strong faction, as evidenced by their many capital ships and powerful named crew. The English were particularly annoyed by the Pirate usage of “OP” game pieces, such as the UPS gold strategy. The capture of the Zeus and elimination of things like the Rising Sun (UPS) and Flying Dutchman (Eternal) may serve to level the playing field going forward, which is exactly what the English were after. However, factors such as Emperor Blackheart threaten to throw things out of balance once more, and if the Pirate shenanigans continue, it may inevitably lead to war….
The entire ocean. Notice how the English attack has dramatically reshaped the south – the northwestern part of the southern hemisphere is all of a sudden nearly devoid of Pirate activity. The Shui Xian quickly built Fort Royal on the island where the Devil’s Maw stood, giving the SX and Zeus a place to repair. The Zeus moves S+S towards the fort on oar power, an ominous sign. Why so ominous? The ghostly crew of the Devil’s Maw lay there, along with plenty of sacrificial oarsmen. It may be only a matter of time before the English loose Calico Cat on her former fleetmates….
Finally, the topics of UT placement and forts repairing via shipwrights have come up. No consensus has been reached, but it’s likely that some of the “light” UT’s will make an appearance at some point.
Another day, another turn. The French are running gold almost exclusively due west to due east, as you can see from the orientation of their ships. The Nautilus has surfaced to repair near the French home island.
In a devastating turn of events, Emperor Blackheart rolled a 6 to use the Leicester! The gunship nearly dismasted the Zhanfu, and now only one of the four 10 masters in the area has all of her masts. It was a blow to the English cause, but it only served to make them extremely angry.
Exciting developments in the southwest! The Gladius Dei and Devil Ray came out of the fog to ram the Corcoran, hoping to dismast the sub hunter and therefore eliminate her as a threat to themselves. The Dei was completely ineffective, but the Devil Ray got an EA from Count Gustov and succeeded with both rams!
With an AA, the Leicester used her Bow Chasers to smash masts off the Foresight!! The English are gunning for Emperor Blackheart, and for good reason. While the English have built up their battle fleet with sheer firepower and a possible numbers advantage, EBH threatens to throw everything off course with a single lucky die roll. Lord Thomas Gunn doesn’t see that as fair, and thus has ordered EBH’s execution. HMS Apollo and HMS Union Jack have arrived through the whirlpool, the latter having been given an EA from Mycron to do so. The Zhanfu and Zeus (double Z! lol) repair, while the Shui Xian and Fortaleza are too far away to reach the Foresight.
The Pirates have sent most of their gunships west. However, the English may give them more trouble, as two more Pirate hunting gunships have been launched – HMS Victoria and HMS Diamond. The English will have justice!
CG2 has continued once more! Xerecs and I took our turns to complete the round and I did a gold replenishment at the end.
The Pirates went on the run after being attacked by the English. Emperor Blackheart tried to get away aboard the Foresight, but the Leicester was given an AA to sail over the Sargasso Sea (rolling a 3 to not get stuck) and fire! With Ducie Chads’ help, her powerful guns sank the Foresight, and EMPEROR BLACKHEART IS DEAD! This fulfills another one of my objectives as the English. Mission accomplished! EBH didn’t roll many 6’s before his demise (unlike Davy Jones in CG1), but one was all it took for the English to snap. The crippled Zhanfu is still repairing, and will be for quite some time. A weapon as powerful as EBH needed to be eliminated, and now the English and French (who also wanted EBH dead) can sail the seas without having to worry about having their capital ships too close together.
However, the situation may actually get much more interesting. The Leicester needed some support down in the deep south of the ocean, and the 10 masters were willing to assist. The Shui Xian used a sac action to sink the Prussian Crown, another ship on the English hit list. Now that the PC and Corcoran have been taken out of action, the English get closer and closer to being able to run unrestricted submarine warfare against the Pirates if they need to. Speaking of which, the Gladius Dei and Devil Ray managed to dismast the Cursed Blade with a series of rams; the Cursed Blade and Windjammer are visible at the extreme left of the picture.
The Fortaleza was next on the scene with an AA, but missed both her shots against the Longshanks. HMS Union Jack, England’s latest 10 master, also arrived with an SAT from Commander Spencer Portland. However, the Pirates have considerable force amassed at their home island, most notably with the Rampage (a custom Merc 5 master with built-in cancelling) and two Jade privateer 6 masted junks.
Exciting developments unfold!
Another round of turns took place today. The Pirates went after HMS Leicester, seeking revenge for the death of Emperor Blackheart. The Longshanks and Grand Temple (the latter with help from Tsai’s SAT) dismasted the English gunship and captured Henry Ducie Chads with Dragon Eyes, at which point Woodes Rogers (aboard the nearby Shui Xian) hailed the Pirates:
Woodes Rogers: I would like to point out that we are not after the elimination of the Pirates. We have objectives that need to be met, but open war is not our primary goal with you scum.
* L Tool moved by Xerecs*
<a7xfanben> – WR: In other words, perhaps we can work out some terms?
<Xerecs> – Genny Gallows: You killed the Emporer.
<a7xfanben> – I think this is the first convo of this type lol, similar to CG1 heh
<Xerecs> – GG: But we can listen,
<a7xfanben> – WR: As needed. He ruins everything for everyone but yourselves.
<Xerecs> – One Extended shot from Ningpo on that ten
*** <Xerecs> rolls Red D6 ->  ***
<Xerecs> – miss
<Xerecs> – GG: We have quarrel with the French
<a7xfanben> – WR to himself: Even as they continue to fire…
<a7xfanben> – XD
<Xerecs> – GG: Blasted Frogs
<Xerecs> – GG: T’was one shot
<Xerecs> – GG: and it missed
<a7xfanben> – WR: You are still more powerful than the French. If certain things don’t happen soon, that may change.
<Xerecs> – GG: You can take the Leicester back,
<Xerecs> – GG: But the Polaris and Sigurd are important to us.
<a7xfanben> – WR: We are not interested in a talentless Viking….
<Xerecs> – GG: I would not call him talentless…..
<Xerecs> – GG: I quite fancy him
<a7xfanben> – Lawrence: Blackheart is not the only nuisance in your fleet
<Xerecs> – GG: To what other nuisance to you refer?
<Xerecs> – GG: Captain Sparrow?
<a7xfanben> – WR: A certain junk, let’s call her “Hai Peng”?
<a7xfanben> – WR: Him as well.
<Xerecs> – GG: Is oyur issue with the ship or with er captain?
<a7xfanben> – WR: Both are unnatural…
<a7xfanben> – WR: I would hardly expect the Pirates to be surprised that His Majesty’s Navy wants Sparrow dead.
<Xerecs> – GG: Killing Sparrow would result in a cursed version of imself.
<Xerecs> – GG: Neither are in our best intrests
<a7xfanben> – WR: We’re not asking you to kill one of your own.
<a7xfanben> – WR: Simply keep him in a jail cell where he belongs.
<a7xfanben> – WR: If not, Beckett will not simply keep him in a jail cell…
<Xerecs> – GG: But he brings us such nice shiny things……
<Xerecs> – GG: I’ve heard he is going to the Dead Man’s Point…….
<a7xfanben> – WR: With unnatural powers that will lead you to your own doom.
<Xerecs> – GG: I can arrange for im to be……Detained
<a7xfanben> – WR: Good. We hope for hostilties to cease.
<Xerecs> – GG: Mind you, I cannot stophim from using his ‘unnatural’ powers one last time once he arrives.
<Xerecs> – GG: But after that it sould be simple to keep him there
<Xerecs> – GG: Your giant ships off our coast make us quite Nervous Woodes
<a7xfanben> – WR: Unless he escapes… or should I say when you LET him escape in his usual fashion?
<Xerecs> – GG: Only a Pirate could keep him permanently in place.
<a7xfanben> – WR: How could we make demands without a show of force?
<Xerecs> – GG: For only a Pirate can truly know the mind of another Pirate
<Xerecs> – GG: Impressive display Woodes, you took one of ours to make it so.
<a7xfanben> – WR: Gives us Ducie Chads in the meantime; his hatred of Pirates will make him kill himself before you can get him back to the ransom market.
<Xerecs> – GG: Alas i truly do not know how to give im back, he’s fallen to the Dragon Eyes, a truly mysterious fellow.
At this point negotiations broke down. Almost all the English ships in the southern hemisphere have Pirate-hating crews aboard. In addition, the large crews of the powerful 10 masters had grown restless. The Leicester had taken care of the main objective – eliminating Emperor Blackheart. The English and Mercenary crews were itching for some action, and the Grand Temple’s dismasting of the Leicester (and subsequent capture of Chads by Dragon Eyes) put them over the top. The Fortaleza surged forward and it was on! With an AA the Fortaleza shot about 9/20, taking the Grand Temple and Grand Path down to 3 masts each. The Shui Xian was given a sac action to move and shoot twice as well. Her first broadside sank the Longshanks, while her second broadside dismasted the Grand Temple and Raven’s Neck and sank the Greed’s Hammer. Then at long last it was time for the English 10 master: HMS Union Jack! The Union Jack had a triple cannon bonus against Pirate ships: +1 from Governor Lynch, +1 from Griffin, and +1 from Admiral James Norrington! This also meant that she had a +2 cannon bonus against ships of any faction, but against Pirates, 2’s hit on all of her cannons! Commander Portland’s SAT roll failed, but Mycron gave the ship an extra action to bail him out. The Raven’s Neck and Ningpo were sunk in short order. Then the Union Jack had to maneuver so that some guns were in range of the Grand Path, but so that the UJ wasn’t in range of the Rampage’s built-in cancelling ability. This was accomplished, and the Grand Path was sunk! With 2 L-range guns in range of the Rampage, the UJ rolled a pair of 6’s to damage the dangerous vessel. Finally, all 4 aft cannons on the UJ scored hits on the Ladron, making the Ladron the final Pirate ship to sink on the turn, one of six I believe. The English ended their turn by advancing even more Pirate-hating ships: HMS Apollo, HMS Victoria, and HMS Diamond are on their way. In addition, you can see the Mercenary subs advancing, without the Prussian Crown and Corcoran to oppose them.
The ocean. In a single turn the 3 English-controlled 10 masters in the deep south fired off around 50 shots to absolutely devastate the Pirate resistance. The English are still not interested in war, as they have made their demands to the Pirates clear:
<a7xfanben> – 1. Don’t use Captain Jack Sparrow for the rest of the game.
<a7xfanben> – 2. Scuttle the Hai Peng.
<a7xfanben> – The English will be taking the Rampage as a prize of war; resistance will mean the end of the Grand Temple, Polaris, Dragon Eyes, Tsai, and Andersen.
<a7xfanben> – If the two demands are not met, the English will have no choice but to use force. In that case anything that gets in the way will be eliminated.
<a7xfanben> – TIME TO CAPITULATE!!!!!!!
A few turns later, and the Pirates have agreed to the English demands. The English captured the Rampage, and a house rule allowed the Fortaleza to load Ducie Chads (previously captured by Dragon Eyes) after the Shui Xian eliminated the Grand Temple’s oarsman. In the deep south you can see the 10 masters turning north, while the Mermaid has taken the Grand Temple under tow. The Leicester is about to get Chads back, after which he hopes to provide an SAT so the ship can move 4S on oar power. The Leicester will repair at Fort Royal, where the Zhanfu and Zeus have half of their masts up. The Victoria and Apollo have docked there as well, having lost masts to the whirlpool. Those two were originally headed south in case the 10 masters needed backup, but the battle has concluded already, the English objectives having been met.
In the southwest, the Devil Ray received an EA from Count Gustov, but missed all 4 of her shots in an attempt to sink the Corcoran. The Slipstream (with Major Peter Sharpe aboard) is coming over to assist the Devil Ray if needed, while the Gladius Dei prepares to ram any Pirates attempting a rescue.
The Pirates’ plans seem to have shifted back to their beef with the French. Gunships have been launched on both sides. Among the new Pirate ships are the Harbinger, Coleoptera, and Nubian Prince. The French have hired more Hylians in their quest, with RHS Ordona joining the ranks. The Duc de Bourgogne and the Delacroix have set sail as well. It looks as though another battle could happen in almost the same location as the previous one.
The English have launched more ships as well. One turn saw them purchase 3 new gold runners, among them 2 armed merchantmen. The latest turn saw them launch another trio, this time all gunships. It remains to be seen what they intend to do in the near future, but they certainly have plans.
Here we have another round of turns completed. The French certainly appear to be renewing their conflict with the Pirates: check out their squadron in the east heading south towards the Pirate fort. That group of ships includes the Nautilus (with canceller Christian Fiore aboard) and RHS Nayru, a Hylian ship similar to El Acorazado (also with a canceller aboard). Other ships are sailing with them, such as the defensive powerhouse La Corse.
The Pirates appear a bit worried about the French, which is quite understandable, especially considering that the Pirates don’t have any cancellers at this point, Tia Dalma having been killed in combat earlier in the game and the Rampage being recently captured by the English. The Pirates are grouping up south of the fort however, and have some great firepower of their own: the Sea Nymph, Viper, Harbinger, Coleoptera, Akua Lapu, Golden Medusa and others look to be ready for battle. It will be interesting to see how that situation unfolds. It looks like the Pirates could be trying to draw the French into the southeast corner, putting them further from the French forts and home island, while also keeping the Pirates’ main treasure lane open to that island. However, if the French can interrupt Pirate trade, the Pirates will have to fight farther north in order to end the threat. With the Pirates and English having fought numerous times (without either faction declaring war however) and their conflict at an end, the Pirates can go to their southwestern island more easily now. That’s important since the Pirates really only have 2 islands readily available to them right now.
And what about the English? As their controller, I have various plans which I won’t divulge here. I can give a few past strategies though (specific objectives in this case):
Sink the Hai Peng
Deals with the Pirates (?)
-The HP wasn’t sunk, but probably won’t need to be. Captain Jack Sparrow was unloaded at Dead Man’s Point, where he won’t be used anymore. Without him the Hai Peng is considerably less valuable (and less OP!) to the Pirates. A deal was made, as I explained earlier, and the Rampage was taken. It’s been some months since this much peace existed between the Pirates and England.
The English launched a ship at the end of their turn: the Maui’s Fishhook. I didn’t want to launch a hoist this early in the game, but she is absolutely the perfect “medical barge”. I believe that term was coined by cannonfury in his review of the Frontier. The MF has loaded up with 6 crew, two of which she’ll keep: William Dampier (SAT) and a helmsman. The other 4 are oarsmen here, and they are to be delivered to ships that need them. The MF will be a busy ship helping out with crew logistics. Between the sac captains on the Shui Xian and Zhanfu, the somewhat under-crewed submarines hastily launched to get the sub squadron, and crew lost in combat, there are plenty of opportunities to use the MF. Her unexpected appearance and sudden strategy of using her combines with an objective the English have. This situation is one of my favorite things about campaign games – strategies that aren’t viable in regular games become fun side diversions in CG’s, and the flexibility and grand strategy involved just make it a much more rewarding experience.
Shortly after this picture, the Maui’s Fishhook was able to complete her crew logistics mission to perfection, using an extra action to give an oarsman to the Mobilis (who also received a shipwright from the Hephaestus before being a given a move action of her own) and 3 oarsmen to the Shui Xian.
Attack! The French do tremendous damage, sinking multiple ships and getting the advantage of the first shot. The Pirate counterattack saw the Gris and Delacroix take considerable damage, with Barstow capturing Robert Surcouf.
At this point the English decided to intervene! The English were after the Nayru’s Captain Darbus and the Nautilus’ Christian Fiore, which could allow the English to complete their canceller squadron. HMS Rye and Scott Bratley cancelled Darbus and the Nayru’s ship ability (same ability as El Acorazado), which allowed the Titan and HMS Union Jack to dismast the Nayru. Five support ships followed those three English ships through the whirlpool.
The French then surrounded the Nayru with all of their ships in the area, trying to prevent her from being captured. A 5 roll meant she would be scuttled at the beginning of the next French turn. The Union Jack and Rye lost masts, the Nautilus surfacing to shoot at the UJ. Many months ago the French had told the English that if the English attacked them, the French would retaliate with everything they had. The English had forgotten about that, and the French stuck to their plan. Indeed, France’s attention now appeared to be solely fixed on England, as the French/Pirate battle was essentially over already. At this point, the French had declared war on both the Pirates and the English.
The English showed their classic gunnery on their turn, blasting their way to the Nayru and capturing her with Commander Temple, who was aboard HMS Swallow. The English had accomplished half of their objective (with one canceller captured), but with the unintended consequence of France declaring war on England. It was truly total war, as the French suddenly sent their gold-laden treasure runners north to invade English home waters.
French gold runners attacking Ramsgate and the ship docked there, the Tiger’s Eye. At the bottom you can see more French ships on the way, while to the left the damaged Victoria has returned through a whirlpool.
In the southeast, Christian Fiore committed suicide by ramming the Nautilus into the Union Jack and dying in the boarding party, so the English couldn’t capture him. Between Fiore being gone and the difficulty of capturing the Nautilus, the English decided to sink the Nautilus. The Gris was captured while HMS Phoenix missed a bunch of extra-long-range shots. The Pirates were enjoying their time off from fighting, looking to re-explore the island that Dead Man’s Point was on, towing the Cursed Blade in the southwest, and getting the Grand Temple home to repair. All four French ships at Ramsgate have been dismasted. At the end of their turn the English launched HMS Endeavour and the Celtic Fury, giving them seven total 10 masters. The English hadn’t planned on launching the Celtic Fury (her ability allows French crew aboard), but seeing that the French were deploying a total war strategy and seeing that the French likely wouldn’t have the funds to launch her, the English broke their own record for most 10 masters in a single game. Shortly after this picture the Vengeance dismasted the Victoria.
And that was that. Unfortunately this means that the game is effectively over. The French will attack the English, who have no choice but to fire back and eventually eliminate them. The Pirate fleet is still weakened by the English raids earlier in the game, and further weakened by the French attack. Letting the Pirates build up their fleet would take a while, and the English would have a ton of gold saved up even if they backed off for a long time. Even if the Pirates came back, the English would have an advantage between their 7 10 masters and 6 cancellers, not to mention all the English capital ships in reserve. (The game has not ended, but the English have all but won.)
Out of curiosity, I did a point count of the English fleet to see how big it is. The fleet totaled 54 ships for 1,177 total points, which is one of the biggest fleets of all time and surprisingly it could be the largest English fleet I’ve ever commanded. Although, with the 10 masters, the fleet has a lower percentage of English game pieces than in past English fleets I’ve had.
Here are my strategies as the English.
CG2 Strategy (keep all players in the game and let them build)
Assemble canceller squadron, keep it intact
Capture the Nautilus/Nayru if possible (Lenoir?)
Use MF for crew logistics (Mobilis: oarsman, Rye: oarsman, Fortaleza: oarsman, Slipstream: shipwright+oarsman, Zhanfu: oarsman, Zeus has an extra oarsman)
Beyond that, I was hoping to break up fights between the Pirates and French and keep the fun of this campaign game going for as long as possible.
Customs (my crew, other English customs) (Custom sets)
More gold ships
Gunships with chieftains (establish canoe fleets at forts)
Ships with Bow Chasers
Double boarding ability
Monjuer, Crown Jewel
Fort upgrade in south? Fire squadron?
Potential ships for chieftains: