VASSAL Pirates – Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

VASSAL Game 16

VASSAL Game 16 – a7xfanben vs. xerecs

With the World game in limbo until Xerecs can get a computer upgrade or something, we decided to play a “regular” game. However, we wanted it to be special and memorable. Each of us would control two 80 point fleets, which would function independently (so effectively 4 “players”).

The order of play:

Fleet 1 (Xerecs)
HMS Apollo + Thomas Gunn
Black Pearl + Griffin, Calico Cat, “Cannonball” Gallows, helmsman
Tiger’s Eye + helmsman, explorer
Hai Peng + Captain Jack Sparrow, explorer

French Mercenaries (a7xfanben)
Le Gaule + Captain Nemo, Lenoir, captain, helmsman
Tenfold* + Zedekiah*, helmsman, oarsman
Le Triton + captain

*Both customs courtesy of El_Cazador
Type: 3-mast hoist
Nation: Mercenary
Points: 22
Masts: 3
Cargo: 5
Move: S+S
Cannons: 4L,3S,3S
Link: Zedekiah
Mercenary, Hostile: Caesar, Hoist, Turbine. Two hits from the same shoot action are required to eliminate one of this ship’s masts. This ship ignores the first hit she takes each turn if she has all of her masts.

Flavor: Zedekiah’s ironclad ship has been in the employ of several nations, most recently the French. His hope is to repurchase the ancient land of the Jews with the lucrative profits he makes from shipping. As he is fond of saying, if you hire him, your investment will repay tenfold.

Type: Crew
Nation: Mercenary
Points: 8
Link: Tenfold
Ex-Patriot, Hostile: Barbary Corsairs, Cursed, Pirate, Viking; Captain. One of this ship’s treasures is worth +2 gold when unloaded at your home island.

Flavor: Zedekiah has had run-ins with all the worst on the seas yet always comes out ahead. He captains his ship well but prefers to play the tunes of his people on his clarinet.

Fleet 2 (Xerecs)
San Cristobal + Victor de Alva, Duque Marcus Vaccaro, helmsman
HMS Morning Star + Hermione Gold, Lawrence, Sir Christopher Myngs
La Santa Isabel + Dominic Freda, helmsman
Longshanks + explorer

Mind Control (a7xfanben)
+ additional ships
Banshee’s Cry + helmsman, explorer
English Letter of Marque x2: one on the Kentucky, one on the Cyclone (the nationality was determined at random by die rolls – it just happened to come up English both times)

Xerecs created a great map, with 8 total islands. The home islands were selected in reverse play order, and the wild islands were towards the edges. Round earth rules were in effect, and my Mind Control fleet made sure there was plenty of terrain around.

Play begins! The effects of the mind controllers were felt immediately: GWL on the Kentucky rolled to move any ship L! The San Cristobal was the closest big ship to a reef, and incredibly she rolled two 1’s in a row (with Vaccaro’s reroll) to lose 4 of her 5 masts! The brainwashed Americans aboard the Kentucky exclaimed with glee, and Davy Jones offered a rare smile. In the meantime, Fleet 1 was the only fleet that didn’t appear to scatter on the first turn.

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

Early on the next turn, the Tenfold was the first ship to reach an island! Using her hoist to explore, she found an alarming cache of UT’s! First, Plague eliminated her three crew. Then, she rolled a 3 for Lost! Reefs appeared under the Divine Dragon, Apollo, and Morning Star! Just like the San Cristobal, the Dragon rolled a 1 to lose all but one of her masts! The English 5 masters were more fortunate, losing 1 mast between the two of them.

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

The San Cristobal and Divine Dragon returned home to repair. Especially with a severe loss in durability, Davy Jones knew that Captain Nemo aboard the Gaule was sailing for him.

The next ship to explore was the Banshee’s Cry, and what a haul she found! Maps of Hades backfired, being found by the mind controllers themselves. Ammunition was turned into a Spanish Letter of Marque in exchange for marooning the explorer on the island, in anticipation of a possible attack by the approaching Santa Isabel. However, two UT’s proved to be even more interesting: Maps of Alexandria and Nemo’s Plans. The Maps revealed all treasure on the other two wild islands! In the northeast, it showed that both Runes of Odin and Runes of Magic were on the same island, which could give the ship exploring the island the opportunity to play both at the same time and eliminate any one ship in the game virtually at will! The mind controllers were very excited, because the Mermaid and Rover were already headed towards that island. If they could get both Runes on the ship with Nemo’s Plans, nothing would be able to stop them!

The northwestern island had an interesting mix of UT’s, including Bad Maps (lots of maps in this game haha). This forced Fleet 1 to make a decision – would they explore the island and get wrenched around by the French Mercenaries, and if so, which ship would do the deed?

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

In the end, the Tiger’s Eye and Black Pearl continued west while the Hai Peng explored the wild island. The French Mercenaries moved it south, while the Hai Peng was saddled with some other UT’s, including Nemo’s Charts, Runes of Thor, and Weapons. The mysterious island also took a mast from the Hai Peng.

The French Mercs were next. The Tenfold headed home, with the Triton’s captain putting his ship between the Tenfold and the enemy ships. A battle was imminent. To the northeast, the Gaule just barely managed to S-board the Kentucky! The Gaule won the boarding party, and Nemo captured GWL! Now the mind controllers could possibly have their strategy used against them!

The mind controllers made a nice strategy decision with Nemo’s Plans. Knowing they didn’t want the Plans to be on a ship with Maps of Hades (the Banshee’s Cry, which could get wrenched around by Fleet 2), they had the Cyclone use her ability. The ability specifically allows the Cyclone to take unique treasures that otherwise can’t be removed, namely the Plans. Now the mind controllers had Nemo’s Plans aboard a more durable ship, which also had an English Letter of Marque aboard, and which wasn’t near enemy gunships. To complete the plan, the Mermaid and Rover docked at the northeastern island and prepared to explore. However, the round earth rules would soon prove problematic, and even the best-laid plans go wrong…

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

Fleet 1 attacks! The Black Pearl uses the Runes of Thor (aboard the Hai Peng) to force an extra action from Calico Cat, which allows the ship to get in range of both the Rover and Mermaid! The Rover is quickly sunk, while Griffin’s reroll is used to dismast the Mermaid. The mind controllers’ fragile fleet was crumbling, and things were about to get worse…

Captain Nemo captures Davy Jones!! The Divine Dragon had little choice but to repair on the previous turn, but it wasn’t enough against Le Gaule, who was actually able to use her +1 to boarding rolls against the Cursed ability. This left the mind controllers with no crew essential to their strategy.

Combat also erupted in the south. The Triton positioned herself between the Morning Star and Longshanks, but her captain was cancelled by Lawrence. The Tenfold took matters into her own hands, ramming the Morning Star! This gave the English the Plague, and Lawrence paid the price for his cancelling. All the crew died, but now the Tenfold was pinned to a larger ship.

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

Fleet 2 quickly retaliated, sinking the Triton. The San Cristobal fully repaired, and the Santa Isabel sailed home with gold. The mind controllers had an eventful turn. The Kentucky and Divine Dragon combined to go 3/4 to weaken the Gaule. The Banshee’s Cry was able to emerge from a fog bank (previously hiding from the Gaule) and dock home gold, also transferring the Spanish Letter of Marque to the Divine Dragon. The Cyclone, seeing the now-dismal situation in the northeast, simply picked up a 1 from the nearby island. The Mermaid had one clear choice. She couldn’t pick up the abandoned shipwright to repair, since she can’t carry crew. In addition, the Black Pearl could easily sink her on the next turn regardless. Therefore, picking up regular gold wasn’t a good option either. She decided to put as much of the Rune combo into play as possible, without having a second ship to assist her. She explored the island, loading Runes of Odin. Then the UT was flipped, and a big wall of icy death appeared off the stern of the San Cristobal, still docked at Fleet 2’s home island!

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

The ball was now in Xerecs’ court: the Tiger’s Eye sailed to the northeastern island and explored it. The ship loaded 4 regular treasures and a unique treasure, but not Runes of Magic. Xerecs had an opportunity to eliminate a fully-loaded San Cristobal (!) from the game. He didn’t take it.

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

The chaos continued. Lenoir, having no place for Captain Nemo to dock, decided on a dual mission: engage the Black Pearl on the way to pick up the abandoned shipwright. The BP lost 2 masts, but the Gaule didn’t S-board. The Longshanks and Morning Star began wearing down the Tenfold, and things were not looking good for the French Mercenaries. The San Cristobal escaped the deadly iceberg, but the Santa Isabel did not. The Mermaid, surprised to be afloat after the Black Pearl turned south, re-explored the northeastern island to load and use Runes of Magic, and the iceberg sank the Santa Isabel with lots of gold aboard! The Cyclone headed home with gold, the Kentucky finally departed her HI, the Divine Dragon continued repairing, and the Banshee’s Cry finally rolled badly for Maps of Hades and was forced onto a sargasso sea.

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

The San Cristobal dismasts the Hai Peng!

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

The SC is then dismasted by the Apollo! The BC makes it to the northwestern island. The mind controllers have captured the Black Pearl, and the Divine Dragon seeks revenge on the French!

The Gaule prevails with Lenoir’s cancelling, and cripples the Divine Dragon.

The Cyclone somehow makes it home with the Black Pearl, but the Dragon is sunk. Fleet 1 unloads a ton of gold all at once!

The BC slips by the Gaule after winning a boarding action! The Gaule rolled a 1 when S-boarding to lose 6-4! Unfortunately, the BC can’t quite make it into the fog.

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

The Gaule somehow can’t sink the BC on her next turn, allowing the Black Pearl to get in range. However, the Pearl only hits once. The Gaule then sank the BC with 6 gold aboard! In the meantime, the Tiger’s Eye and Cyclone gathered gold while the Apollo and Morning Star fought in the south.

The Black Pearl sank the Gaule but could only delay the Tiger’s Eye so long with MI effects. Fleet 1 further proved their dominance, with the Apollo eliminating the remnants of Fleet 2.

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

In the end there could be only one winner!

VASSAL Pirates - Game 16 on August 26th, 2016

The final tally:
Fleet 1: 26 gold
Mind Control: 15
Fleet 2: 3
French Mercenaries: 0

This was a good game that saw a lot of interesting UT interactions and some rules questions. My Mind Control fleet continues to prove its worth in multiplayer games, coming in second after a string of victories a few years ago. Despite losing their controllers, they were able to salvage a decent game. In the end, it came as no surprise that a fleet with the Tiger’s Eye and Hai Peng would emerge victorious, and Xerecs has his third win on VASSAL!

Our next endeavour could be even crazier: a 200 point game of Water World!

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