Wreck of the Black Galleon
Captain Randy, Maddy and I met up at Davy’s to play an old Wizkids scenario from way back in the day – Wreck of the Black Galleon. We used a 50 point build total and some house rules in addition to those from the scenario. Randy and I actually played the scenario twice, and you’ll soon see why. The scenario is evidently from the Spanish Main days of 2004/early 2005, as each player contributes only 6 coins worth 12 gold (rather than 8 for 15). In addition, it seems that terrain didn’t exist when they wrote the scenario (therefore before Crimson Coast was released!), as it doesn’t specify that the wreck should be on a reef. As a result, we didn’t bother with having ships roll for reef damage when docking at/exploring the wreck.
The galleon itself! Big thanks to Randy for using a broken El Garante to make this epic shipwreck that was perfect for the scenario.
Captain Randy had a bit of a swarm fleet, while Maddy had an imposing mix of Darkhawk II, Angelica, Banshee’s Cry and Dragon.
I on the other hand went with what I like to call “douchebag supreme” (could also be known as “hypertroll” or “metatroll” lol):
Slipstream + F&S Lenoir, Gendarmerie Rene Moreau, helmsman
Coleoptera + Hag of Tortuga, Tia Dalma, helmsman
Mobilis + helmsman
I went first, with all three submarines diving below the water. Randy’s fleet was going to be in a world of hurt, with his small ships vulnerable to my unrestricted submarine ramming barrage. The Pique was the first casualty, with many more to come.
Randy got to the wreck of the Black Galleon and explored it, finding the tricky Wolves UT among all the other coins he was able to see. This kept all the gold locked up until the Wolves could be eliminated by a musketeer or Marine, and it quickly became evident that I was the only player with such a crew in their fleet. Of course, I had almost no intention whatsoever of actually killing the Wolves, unless it was at the opportune moment when I could guarantee victory. XD By this point my submarines had rammed three of Randy’s other ships derelict, with Moreau being revealed to sink one of the sloops with a 2S Marine shot from underwater (“torpedoes”). Seeing the situation, Maddy turned around the Banshee’s Cry. However, it was too late to save Angelica, whose Sea Dragon keyword was cancelled by Lenoir on the submerged Slipstream. This froze the dragon in place where it wouldn’t be able to move for the rest of the game as I continued to cancel it to lock it in place, a rule I actually learned from one of last year’s games in Las Vegas.
At this point I knew my path to quickest victory was simply to ensure I had the most total units in play, effectively forcing a forfeit by refusing to kill the wolves with Moreau. With three submarines and Moreau, I had 4 total units that would count toward the tiebreaker rules, so I just had to knock the other players down to 3 or less. Randy was already down to 2 units that could be given actions so I focused on Maddy. The Mobilis kept Sea Dragon cancelled until Moreau finished off Angelica with torpedo shots, shooting from underwater while invulnerable. This knocked Maddy down to 3 units in play, at which point we called it because further play would just see me ram-dismast the remaining ships in play and cancel Submarine intermittently to capture enemy ships docked at their home islands that couldn’t be sunk. I had won the game by forcing a treasure stalemate and then picking off the opposition until I was ahead in units in play.
- Ben: 4 units in play
- Maddy: 3 units
- Randy: 2 units
My strategy had worked perfectly, though I would say this is probably the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever done in a game. Once I read the full scenario rules my mind immediately went straight to the douchiest gamification imaginable – lock up all the gold with Wolves since it’s all in one place, then just ram and torpedo the other players out of the game until a sub can load some gold with only 1 enemy mast remaining up, or beat them into submission and win based on units in play as the 0 gold tiebreaker. I did it partly to make an example out of the scenario (granted it was published before Wolves and submarines existed), and to likely ensure a victory on the trip lol. The icing on the cake was that even if either of the other players HAD brought a musketeer or Marine, Tia Dalma on the relatively speedy Coleoptera would likely be at the wreck to cancel it in order to protect the Wolves. XD Each submarine had cancelling for maximum redundancy, making it extremely difficult for a single coin to be loaded from the wreck.
The second game was just Randy and I. He used the same fleet while I had a second, more “normal” fleet ready to go:
Joya del Sol + Nemesio Diaz, Fernando Sanchez, Contessa Anita Amore, helmsman
La Monarca + silver explorer, helmsman
San Salvador + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist
Coins: 6 silver 2’s
Randy went first, which meant he was likely to explore the wreck first and possibly have a big advantage since all the gold was in one place.
That is exactly what happened, with the Pique, Bon Marin and Bloody Jewel loading coins from the wreck of El Garante. The Monarca was able to grab a couple low value coins but Randy had already loaded all the silver. The San Salvador got in range of the Bloody Jewel and shot a mast off.
Randy’s best blocking efforts were not enough to thwart the speedy San Salvador, whose firepot specialist landed a dooming hit on the Bloody Jewel (Nemesio Diaz being flipped to cancel the Jewel’s helmsman helped in the chase). However, the best treasure was still going to end up on Randy’s HI, which would leave things up to Fernando Sanchez and the Joya del Sol to determine how the rest of the game would go.
The San Salvador was dismasted in turn by Randy’s swarmers, but she had done her job well enough. The Lezard rams a mast off El Algeciras at the wreck.
Effectively a ship for ship trade:
The Algeciras unsuccessfully rams the Lezard in return, while the Joya has loaded the final coin in play, fittingly a 0. Any chance of a Spanish victory hinges on my ability to successfully raid Randy’s home island multiple times with Fernando Sanchez, so my strategy is to give the coin to the Monarca (the fastest ship in play, moving 4S per turn and likely able to avoid Randy’s fleet) to keep the game alive so HI raids can occur and start to swing the balance. However, I know it’s an uphill battle unlikely to result in a victory.
I was pleasantly surprised when Randy decided to scuttle the San Salvador, meaning I wouldn’t have to face my own cannons as the Joya set out for loot. I captured the Lezard with the Monarca in the middle, but both of my ships are likely to be too busy running around to tow her and the derelict Algeciras home for repairs.
Randy’s ships were beginning to encroach upon my fleet dominating the shipwreck area, and soon it would be time to split up and move.
As the Monarca sped off to keep her 0 coin safe, the Joya sailed over the Randy’s HI where Fernando Sanchez stole some booty! Randy’s ships returned to the southwest via round earth to stop the thieving Spaniard.
The Monarca crests a wave, ready to escape indefinitely as the game continues:
I believe the Joya redocked to steal a second coin, but then had some masts removed as Randy’s ships converged on the galleon. I had to make a break for home to repair and keep Fernando’s ship alive, but more of the swarm fleet was waiting there to continue the ramming onslaught.
The French were victorious, capturing the Joya and my essential home island raider crew!
Randy had the game in the bag now, just needing to thwart all desperate attempts by the Monarca to recapture Fernando Sanchez, who is now on the Star of Siam.
Randy had various methods of essentially ending the game by killing Fernando Sanchez, but opted to unload him at home where I couldn’t get him. It was a solid game and Captain Randy’s swarm fleet was victorious!
- Randy: 19 gold
- Ben: 5