Water World Returns
The first game of seven on my 2022 Las Vegas trip saw the return of brettb45’s Water World scenario! This is a super fun game idea I pretty much always enjoy playing. We played at McMullan’s Irish Pub, which was very on-theme with nautical things all around us.
Captain Randy used a Spanish fleet with the Principe de Asturias, Joya del Sol and Rosario. Maddy brought a French Mercenary fleet with the Celtic Fury, Libellule and Bon Marin.
This was the Pirate fleet I used:
Red Curse + Hag of Tortuga, Captain Blackheart, helmsman, explorer, oarsmen x2
Treasure + F&S Hammersmith, SM Fantasma
Dragon + helmsman, explorer
UT’s: CC Letter of Marque, Marksman’s Map, Wolves, abandoned musketeer, abandoned oarsman
This doc has the house rules we used.
The pub was actually quite dim inside, making it feel kind of like we were playing on a wooden ship with lanterns.
We were off to the races and the Las Vegas Pirates gaming week was underway!
The Spanish lose their main gunship in short order:
Ships got busy exploring, with Captain Randy finding turtles right near his home fort! The Bon Marin finds both Wolves and the abandoned musketeer on the same island, meaning that my UT plan has partially backfired. However, the goal of including Wolves to extend the game (and thus give my HI Raiders more time for thievery) was still working, as it eventually became known that the game couldn’t end under normal Water World conditions of “no more dry ground”. With no player having a musketeer or Marine to eliminate the Wolves, the game would continue until only one player remained. At the bottom you can see another gift from Redgoat, a super useful L/S measuring tool chain made of thin metal tubing.
With no oarsman aboard, the Principe was ripe for capturing by the Red Curse. The Treasure docked at the Spanish home fort and shot off some flags, revealing SM Fantasma to steal a coin to boot! Indeed, the Spanish were under heavy fire, as the Celtic Fury gets in on the action by running over a turtle.
However, the Spanish have their own HI Raider! The Joya del Sol is carrying both Fernando Sanchez and Bianco’s Haulers (who prevent the ship from being shot at while docked), making her a major threat to the nearby Pirate home fort! Any coins the Treasure steals from the Spanish will likely just be stolen back, and the Joya is within one move action of the Pirate/Spanish home forts for quick raids. The Rosario builds a Spanish fort on a wild island, which diverts gold away from Fantasma… but basically ensures that the gold in the fort can only count for Randy if he retains the fort until an endgame condition is reached. (since if the fort is destroyed, all the gold in it and used to pay for it are permanently locked up by the “immortal” Wolves)
Soon all of the wild islands except the “Wolves island” had sunk, leaving the home island raiders to do more work. I was chipping away at the Spanish home fort with the Treasure, but didn’t want to sink it while it still had valuable coins on it. The Celtic Fury has lost masts to the Spanish fort, but the Bon Marin rams the Rosario derelict.
As the Joya goes for another coin while being immune to cannons while docked, the Treasure shields the Red Curse from the Spanish home fort as Randy and I pilfer from each other.
The Pirates struggle to keep up with the Joya’s theft pace, as Hammersmith decides not to dock the Treasure at my home fort. My strategy was shifting – since Randy could just steal back whatever gold I stole and deposited in my home fort, I had to start planning to win the game based on treasure on ships (which counts in 3+ player games). My path to victory was basically to destroy all 3 of the other forts in play while keeping all the gold I could on the Dragon, who would hide out in fog where my gold couldn’t be stolen.
The Joya heads west, opening her up to Pirate cannons as she is finally not docked somewhere. Despite an extra action for the Red Curse, my shooting is abysmal, leaving the Spanish galleon with a mast standing. The captured Principe is finally ready to set sail after repairing.
The Joya fled for the safety of the fog as the French approached my home fort. I was not in a good position in the gold race, with both of the other players likely benefiting hugely from suicide plays. I figured the French would try to grind themselves out on my home fort to eliminate themselves from contention, with a few islands worth of gold in their home fort from early in the game.
At some point in this endgame Randy and I made a deal to keep the game alive so I would have time to destroy the French home fort, sinking all their gold if I could pull it off with my guns-heavy fleet. I decided to go all-in on my strategy of winning by having some coins on the Dragon and just denying the other players’ gold through fort destruction – abandoning my own home fort in the process as the captain-less Celtic Fury approached and got blasted. The Joya del Sol ran over a reef but did not wreck herself.
The Celtic Fury got SAT from Eileen Brigid O’Brien and rammed the Treasure, but was sunk soon afterwards by the Pirates. The Joya goes back to her stealing ways, racking up more gold from my home fort.
At this point I had to keep Randy’s Spanish home fort alive because if I sank it, he would suicide the Joya on a reef to end the game before I could reach his other fort and Maddy’s French home fort. I left it with no flags and headed west, with a plan to destroy the Spanish “Wolves fort” before then moving on to the French home fort. This was because if I destroyed the French home fort first, Randy would again have incentive to wreck the Joya to end the game in his favor, so I had to go after the forts in a specific order to maximize my chances. My gunships headed west, with the intention of grouping together to blast a fort with all three captained ships at the same time.
However, the Spanish thought they had more gold than the French and decided to end the game by suicide with the Joya wrecking herself on a reef anyway! They should have waited for me to eventually destroy the French home fort!
- Maddy’s French Mercenaries: 29 gold
- Randy’s Spanish: 18
- Ben: 0 (my gold was in a fog bank at game’s end)
Quite the game! It was pretty interesting how the abandoned musketeer ended up on the same island as Wolves, essentially meaning the game couldn’t end until two of the three players were eliminated. I was a bit frustrated that I finished with 0 gold despite playing hard and to win, but it was a consequence of the all-or-nothing strategy I felt was necessary for a come-from-behind win. Maddy found really good gold values on islands early in the game, which proved to be enough in the end. The Spanish had a lot of coins, but mostly lower values. In the strange endgame their best play was to suicide immediately after I destroyed the French home fort, which would have been enough to win as the gold in their home fort was more than what I had on my ships that I would have taken out of fog. A fun and interesting return to Water World!