Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O’Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!


This was one of my favorite opportunities with Pirates CSG thus far.  A Wizkids Pirates game with some of the original crew!  With my friend Tiffany O’Brien helping to coordinate, I was able to play a game with Mike Mulvihill (lead designer and game piece creator for the majority of the sets!), Tiffany (former Wizkids Product Manager when Pirates was being made), Becky Wilson (former Wizkids Marketing & Communications Manager in the last chunk of the Wizkids Pirates era), and Becky’s husband Jared!  O_O  Huge thanks to them for playing, and to Tiffany for being so awesome and helping to bring us all together!  😀  We met up at Mox Boarding House Bellevue, one of my favorite venues for playing.  A video version of this battle report is at the very bottom of this page if you prefer that style.

They hadn’t played in quite some time, so I made fleets for all the players – therefore, all crew started the game face up for simplicity and because I knew what all the crew in play were. The fleets were made mostly based on the player’s faction preferences that they sent me beforehand.  We played almost purely standard rules, with the exception of picking home islands in reverse turn order (rather than picking each others), and having some islands less than 3L-6L apart due to space constraints with 15 islands on the map. We placed 3 terrain each, with a few within S of an island. We simply used random coins, with no UT’s.  No forts would be used either. Flat earth rules with the border being an impassable boundary.

Tiffany rolled to go first!  She was stoked to be playing as her own character in the game, created by Mike.  Eileen Brigid O’Brien!  Tiffany was truly “in” the game!  It was truly a remarkable thing to witness – one of the original Pirates contributors playing in a game with her own character 15 years after the game went out of print.

Here are the fleets in play order:

Tiffany’s Americans
Congress + Eileen Brigid O’Brien (MI version), helmsman, oarsman (23)
Nene-nui + helmsman, explorer, oarsman (17)

Ben’s Pirates
Cannibal King + Hammersmith (F&S version), explorer, oarsman (20)
Skipping Stone + Gentleman Jocard, Genny Gallows (SM version), Genny’s Red Rampage, explorer (20)
-I had been wanting to use the Cannibal King for a while ever since I got a new one from generous PCSG community veteran Ve1m. My original copy in New York is broken to some degree, so it was cool to get an intact CK for use in Washington.  That ship started the fleet, and then I figured I would complete it with another Pirate catamaran, the Skipping Stone.  Cannibal King would try to rob opponents of gold after perhaps one trip to an island, while Skipping Stone would mostly gather gold in the traditional way.  However, Skipping Stone still had some bite between her 3L cannons, +1 boards, and Reroll ability.  She had 5 cargo total w/+1 and link, 3 that take up space for 2 total open spaces.

Mike’s Spanish
La Resolucion + captain, helmsman, oarsman (19)
Concepcion + helmsman, explorer (15)
El Algeciras + captain (6)

Jared’s Cursed Corsairs
Bey’s Revenge + captain, explorer (17)
Pestilence + captain, helmsman, oarsman (23)
-Jared had only played a few times but is an experienced gamer, and wanted something with more flair or complexity. He had the option of that Pestilence setup or a 23 point combo of Royal James + explorer and the Lechim Namod squid, choosing the former. That way he had some ship type keywords, Reverse Captain, and the Scorpion/Fear keywords to play around with.

Becky’s French
La Ville de Paris + captain, helmsman (21)
La Cleopatre + helmsman (14)
L’Intrepide (5)

With that, we were ready to set sail on the seas of nostalgia!

Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O'Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!

Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O'Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!

Ships mostly scattered to different islands in search of loot.  Tiffany’s Nene-nui was the first to explore.  The Algeciras whirled into the northwest to join the Cannibal King in the hunt for gold, but lost a mast in transit.

Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O'Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!

Hammersmith couldn’t resist the tempting Spaniard prize. He led the CK’s gunners in a brief broadside off her starboard quarter, leaving the Algeciras derelict.  In the meantime, one of his explorers ran off onto the beach to snag some booty.  Skipping Stone has explored the southwestern island and loaded the best two coins from it.  Bey’s Revenge and Congress are exploring, while Nene-nui gets Tiffany/Eileen on the scoreboard.

Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O'Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!

A few rounds later, showing Hammersmith’s capture of the Algeciras as the CK returns home via whirlpool.  The French are busy exploring the southeast, while Tiffany prepares to transfer her gold to the Nene-nui due to her Ex-Patriot keyword preventing her from docking the Congress at home.

Wizkids Pirates at Mox Boarding House Bellevue

Now the gold piles started to accumulate.  A few ships were headed out for more.

The Cursed attack the French!  Pestilence does battle against La Ville de Paris, but the French get the better of the encounter in the long run.  The French gunners respond to being pinned with a powerful broadside that sinks the scorpion!  Intrepide and Cleopatre return with gold, while the Congress is spotted near their HI.

La Ville de Paris sinks the Pestilence

The Congress gets in action!  La Cleopatre is dismasted!

The Americans captured the Cleopatre with the Nene-nui, netting them a valuable home island raider for the late game.  In the west, Skipping Stone and Concepcion have both docked home their second loads of treasure, netting Ben and Mike a pair of +2 gold bonuses each.  More combat was brewing in the east, with Cannibal King shooting, ramming and boarding the Bey’s Revenge. A shot landed, but Hammersmith lost the boarding party, meaning one of his generic crew was killed in action.

Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O'Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!

That delay meant L’Intrepide was going to reach and be able to explore the northeast island before CK, so she went into a fog bank to wait until the gold had been loaded.  Hammersmith wanted to steal it with the ship’s Hoard ability.  Congress was headed northeast as well, and despite earlier American-French tension, Tiffany and Becky made it quite obvious they were likely working together for the rest of the game.

Nene-nui has whirled into the northwest to snag one of the lone remaining wild coins.  With Cleopatre fully repaired and Becky and I both encouraging Tiffany to rob the other’s home island, Skipping Stone returned home to protect my gold.  Mike’s Concepcion takes the center whirlpool to the southeast in pursuit of one of the other wild coins, but is immediately set upon by the Ville de Paris, who punishes the Spanish for encroaching on French territory.  Intrepide and Congress are taking coins from the northeast island, while CK and Algeciras head towards fog to lie in wait for an ambush.

Jared wasn’t out of the game either!  Down to one ship, he still played a role in the endgame phase. Bey’s Revenge slammed into the Congress and shot off two masts.  Intrepide can take the last wild coin in the east with ease since the French have already explored that island.  My ships are eager to influence the final coins in play, but a relatively healthy La Ville de Paris is a monstrous presence this late in a 40 point game.

Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O'Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!

Having lost her helmsman to the Congress earlier in the game, Cleopatre was only moving L.  Skipping Stone shot off one of her masts as she approached my home island to steal gold.  In the east, conflict erupts once again.  With the Ville de Paris protecting the Intrepide, my Pirate raiders set upon the weakened Congress, taking out masts and crew (including Eileen! Tiffany is alive and well). Algeciras boards to steal one of her coins, but won’t be able to carry any more.  Nene-nui and Concepcion return home, the former with a coin.

With such momentous players participating, I had to get some kind of video footage from this special event.  🙂

The typical desperation of the endgame in full swing!  La Ville de Paris smashed up CK, blasting away her outrigger defenses and a mast.  The Bey’s Revenge unsuccessfully boards the Algeciras, while Congress rows away at S+S, still with one coin aboard.

Wizkids Pirates CSG endgame carnage at Mox Bellevue 2023

La Resolucion was approaching.  She hadn’t seen combat yet, but the hyper-accurate Spanish warship could loom large against this cluster of weakened ships.  Critically, Intrepide has docked home all her gold.

Cleopatre managed to steal a coin and start sailing away until the Skipping Stone’s gunners were finally awoken by a furious Genny Gallows rampaging through the gun decks.  2 more shots found their mark, leaving the raider derelict.  However, Nene-nui was there to back up the schooner.

Cleopatre raids Pirate home island (HI)

Nene-nui towed Cleopatre so as to keep her out of Skipping Stone’s cannon and ramming range, frustrating Jocard and Gallows who did not like seeing their booty stolen.  The eastern battle has continued, as I decided to stand and fight, with little chance of escaping home with the stolen coin on Algeciras.  CK went after the Congress again while Bey’s Revenge dismasted Algeciras.

Nene-nui was able to tow Cleopatre home on the American turn, completing a somewhat unlikely home island raid made more possible by the Skipping Stone’s combat futility and lack of captain ability.  The Algeciras was sunk, and CK dismasted.  The last coin or two were resolved soon afterwards, and the game was over!

Wizkids Pirates game with Mike Mulvihill, Tiffany O'Brien, Becky and Jared Wilson!


  1. Becky’s French: 26 gold
  2. Mike’s Spanish: 25
  3. Ben’s Pirates: 21
  4. Tiffany’s Americans: 18
  5. Jared’s Cursed Corsairs: 13

A close finish with tons of gold collected!  Congrats to Becky on the win!  I thought it was cool how we all had a solid pile of gold at the end – everybody was easily into double digits.  It was quite a good Wizkids Pirates game.  Thank you again to Mike, who gave me some extra busts he had.  Thanks again to everyone who played, and thank you for reading!

A Pirate’s Life for Us!!

Ben, Tiffany, Jared, Becky, Mike

If you’d like more insider stories about this great game, check out the podcast I did with Tiffany.

Video version:

Posted in Battle Reports and tagged , , .


  1. This is so cool! I bet it was really surreal to them to play a game they created almost 20 years ago and play it in modern day. This was a great read and maybe just maybe the game will pick up again some day.

    One can hope.

  2. That’s awesome! Looks like it was a lot of fun!

    Getting to play any game with people who designed it and/or worked on it is always a treat. I’ve been able to do that a few times with other games, but not Pirates.

    In that first group photo, who is who?

    • Yeah, it was definitely one of those unexpected bucket list/dream come true type things for someone who loves the game as much as I do.
      Left to right: me, Mike, Jared, Becky, Tiffany.

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