I think I'm going to start an official Battle Reports thread here at MT, after the one at Pojo
was started a few years ago. Part of the reason for this is because Pojo doesn't let me put images directly in my posts. I won't copy the entire thread, but here is how my latest game has gone so far:
The setup has gone well so far for the Century of the Empires
game. I'd like to make it one of the biggest and most realistic games I've ever played. There will be 6 fleets participating (in order of gameplay): English, French, Spanish, Pirates, Americans/Jade Rebellion, Cursed/Barbary Corsairs. The Americans and Cursed have permanent allies in an effort to boost their chances of winning. I'll probably just refer to them as the Americans and the Cursed, but the "Cursed Corsairs" has a nice ring to it
. Also, the Mercenaries will function as true Mercenaries in the game, since they are the only faction not directly involved. Any fleet can hire them and their ships, but at the cost of 1 extra gold per crew and 3 extra gold per ship.
Each fleet gets 20 points to start the game. There will be 18 islands to start the game, with 6 being HI's. Extra islands may be added if more wild islands (and therefore, more colonies) are desired (think underwater volcanoes
). I'm going to use a bigger space for the ocean than usual, for the first time in a few years. I'd like to be able to take pictures, but no promises. There will be plenty of terrain, and some of it will be strung together. There is truly a "Frozen North", with 6 icebergs located at the northern end of the sea, as well as a tropical, "Sargasso South". This area will be sort of like the Caribbean, with plenty of sargasso seas and reefs.
The home islands will be the capital islands, with each capital island consisting of 3 islands put together, since there will be 4 buildings on each one, as well as the gold coming in and the new ships being built. I'm using the houses and palaces from Monopoly to represent the city halls, taverns, fortresses, and shipyards. Colonies will be represented by a house, or two houses, if the colony is upgraded.
One of the biggest changes to the game is an idea I've had for a while (but have yet to play-test): in order to make the game more realistic, it takes two hits to eliminate one mast. Basically, every ship gets the Acorazado's ability, with the modification that the hits don't have to come from the same shoot action. I've always been a bit puzzled by the combat system of this game. The idea came to the forefront when lord_denton started this thread
. The other new concept introduced in this game will make things even more realistic: Back in the age of sail, it was extremely difficult to sink a ship during combat. Unless a ship was blown up, burned, or scuttled, most ships would stay afloat as derelicts. To implement this point, there could be a house rule requiring that extra hits be scored on derelicts in order to have them sink. Maybe once a ship is derelict, she must be hit 5 times before she goes down. Also, I've made a rules change regarding shoot actions: instead of having derelicts sink after they've been hit the same amount of times as they originally had masts, I'm going to double it. In this way, it takes 2 hits to sink a derelict one master, 4 for a derelict two master, and so on.
Since I don't want to have UT's appearing on capital islands and colonies, all of the UT's that will be present in the game are in the initial pool of 36 coins. In this way, there are only a few actual gold coins right now, but that will eventually change once things get going.
I've thought about loosening the restrictions on the upgrades for the Americans and the Cursed, but I'm not sure how that will work out quite yet.
I think that to start, each nation will receive a quest every 5 turns, but they won't receive the first one until the 5th turn (this may change). I still have to think of more ideas for quests, and about how to scale the amount of the reward based on the difficulty of the quest.
For now, colonizer crew will cost 3 points each, unless I hear otherwise. The city halls on the capital islands will generate 2 gold per turn, not 3 (both numbers were in Sariouriel's original post), in order to incentivize colonizing and not sitting at your HI.
Also, Risk infantrymen and artillery pieces will be available, but I'm not looking for them to play a huge role (these modified rules are from my first thread here!):
Infantrymen units(cost one point): They can be stationed at home islands or on wild islands. A player with an infantry or artillery unit on an island is occupying the island. The infantrymen are eligible for invasions/shoot actions. Invasions: An invasion counts as a general action. Therefore, a ship cannot dock at an island and invade that same turn unless her ability lets her dock and explore in the same move action.
The infantry units act as returning fire, not as an actual cannon. When an enemy ship fires on them, and misses twice in a row, one mast from the enemy ship is eliminated. Boarding parties: When an enemy attempts to invade, they roll on a boarding party as normal. For the designated infantry unit, roll a d6 and add one. If the ship has the higher result, the infantry unit is eliminated and the controller of the ship is allowed to place one of their own infantry units from that ship on the island. Each infantry unit represents one short-range three-rank cannon, for land combat(these cannons can only shoot at other infantry/artillery units). An infantry unit is not allowed a land shoot action the turn it is landed successfully. Infantry units take up one cargo space.
Artillery units(two points): Can be used in invasions, and can be stationed on island or at harbour. On land, they are a long-range two-rank cannon and require two hits from the same infantry shoot action to be eliminated. They can shoot at enemy ships as a regular shoot action, and are mobile(you can position them at any place on the island for optimum range), but cannot be given any extra actions. Artillery units take up one cargo space.
Through the first 5 turns, each fleet has had some good and bad things happen. The English are looking to establish colonies, but discovered Wolves on an island to prevent them from taking the other treasure on it. The French have been the last fleet to get to the islands they've gone to, so they haven't brought back any gold. The Spanish have found some UT's with their native canoes, but the San Jose is being sidetracked by Maps of Hades. The Pirates had the Banshee's Cry thrown across the ocean by Message in a Bottle, but they also got Lost, which let them put sargasso seas underneath the Bon Marin, Carolina, Rattlesnake, and Viper's Bite. The Bon Marin and Viper's Bite are still stuck. The American ship Rattlesnake has just explored an island, and the Carolina is moving north after the Bloody Jewel explored the island the Carolina was going to explore before she could do so. The Cursed are heading south of their HI, towards the direction of Paradise Island.
Quests are not going to be used, at least for the time being.
Here are some pictures to show the general layout of the sea:
This first one is an overhead shot looking northeast from the southwest. You can see the Cursed HI to the north of the galleys (the red building is the fortress), with the English HI just to the northwest. To the northeast of the English HI are the French, with the Spanish HI to the east of theirs (just to the left of the tin).
The next one shows a broad view of the entire northern half of the ocean, with the (clockwise from middle left) Cursed, English, French, and Spanish home islands in the shot.
Here's a shot looking to the southwest, with the Cursed Corsairs the main fleet pictured. You can make out Paradise Island in the upper left corner (the deepest part of the southwest corner), surrounded by terrain. Off to the left, the Bloody Jewel is towing the Bonnie Liz.
Finally, here's the southeast part of the sea, showing the home islands of the Americans (in the middle) and the Pirates (upper right). You can see the Raven stuck in a Sargasso Sea, and the Carolina damaged after her experience with a mysterious island. In the lower right corner, an American colony produces gold, as the Argo and Rattlesnake sail further south to colonize another island.
A shot looking out of the southeast and towards the northwest. Almost the entire ocean is visible, with the American and Pirate activities in the foreground. To the left you can see the reefs that separate the Sargasso South from the Paradise Island south.
With a more realistic angle, this is looking NNE from the Cursed Corsairs' area. From south to north, the HI's of the Cursed, English, and French are almost lined up. The upside down SM island is actually a Cursed trade current that was placed by the UT Lost that was dumped on the Viper's Bite via Pandora's Box.
6/14/13: After another handful of turns, each faction has made good progress.
The English were the first to colonize an island, sending the Hound with a colonizer and 5 gold to an island east of their HI. They also used the Sea Tiger and the newly built Starbuck to colonize an island to the south of their HI. They got a musketeer for the Antelope, which she used to kill the Wolves on a northern island. In order to load the Sunken Treasure UT, the Antelope dumped both her musketeer and helmsman.
However, before the Hound could get to the island, the French got there first. The Artesien stole both crew on the island, while the Emeraude colonized the island (the Artesien had an explorer). The Dijon is sailing southeast in search of gold. Meanwhile, L'Amazone put an explored marker on an island that the Spanish had already taken gold from, making it easier for them to colonize in the future, if they choose to do so.
The Spanish sent the San Jose through a whirlpool in search of gold. They bought the Alquimista and crewed her with a colonizer, helmsman, and explorer. She moved south and explored an island, and now she's waiting for the native canoes and their 5 gold to arrive at the island.
The Pirates have built the Bonnie Liz, and her and the Bloody Jewel are looking for treasure farther away from their HI. The Coral and Banshee's Cry are teaming up to colonize the easternmost island, the one closest to their HI.
The Americans have had interesting UT adventures. Their turtles are almost back to their HI, and they've launched the Argo, who is headed to the island turtles was on with the Rattlesnake, in hopes of creating a colony on it. The Carolina was the first ship in the game to lose a mast, but it was due to a MI effect, not a shoot action. She found the Cross of Coronado, Barrel o' Monkeys, and Buried Treasure on the same island. When she left the island, she had to put the Buried Treasure back (due to the monkeys), via a die roll to determine which UT would be left behind.
The Cursed Corsairs were off to a slow start, but they've picked up their pace. They built the Tiger's Eye, and the Queen of Sheba has some UT's on her. The Viper's Bite is partway through a crazy adventure to one of the southern islands near Paradise Island. The MI effect took out her only mast, but it only got weirder from there. The three treasures on the island: Enemy of the State (ship gains the Mercenary keyword and can't dock at her HI), Pandora's Box (the first time I've ever used it in a game), and Smuggled Goods (which is useless when there aren't any coins with gold values on them). Via Pandora's Box, the each player chose a UT to put on the Viper's Bite. Normally, this would produce 5 bad UT's and 1 good one (in a six-player game). However, the fleets all tried to get in the Cursed's good graces by putting positive UT's on the ship. Trees got her mast back up, while Homing Beacon and Frond of Fisaga should boost her speed. Ammunition gave her Stinkpot Shot, and now she's ready to go!
6/16/13: Some more interesting developments have unfolded, and the first sign of tension has appeared.
The English have gained some gold from their colonies, with the newly launched Alexander working with the Starbuck to transfer gold from their two colonies to their HI. Some of that gold has been used for upgrades, as the English have both their shipyard and tavern at level 3. They are the first fleet to purchase a named crew, the ROTF version (captain + helmsman) of Hermione Gold. The Hound and Sea Tiger are off to try to colonize at least one more island, to the east of their HI and just south of the French HI...
However, the French have other ideas. The Artesien, Pique, Amazone, and Dijon are all headed to the same island the English have their sights set on. The Dijon is missing her mizzenmast after going through a whirlpool near the Americans' HI, after picking up the Buried Treasure that the Carolina had to leave behind. Now the UT is worth 5 gold, enough to make a colony (the Pique has a colonizer). Also, the Bon Marin finally rolled a 6 to get out of the Sargasso Sea she had been stuck in for ~10 turns, and now she's taking some of the gold off the lone French colony, with the Coeur du Lion sailing in her direction to help. It looks like the Anglo-French situation could boil over as soon as next turn, with the French having a numbers advantage at the current time.
The Spanish have done well to colonize an island south of their HI, and now three native canoes are grabbing the gold produced and taking it back to their HI. The other two native canoes and the Alquimista are heading north towards a MI that the Spanish hope to colonize. They've bought the Algeciras and crewed her with a captain. The San Jose is off on her own in the southwestern part of the ocean, near where the Cursed Corsairs are sailing towards Paradise Island.
The Pirates have had a rough few turns. The Bonnie Liz, after sailing unharmed through a whirlpool to get to a mysterious island near Paradise Island, was dismasted by the MI effect. The Rover had her only mast taken out by the same whirlpool, but she has since been scuttled and rebuilt (as she only costs 2 points). The Bloody Jewel went through a whirlpool west of the one previously described, in hopes of exploring Paradise Island. However, with the Cursed Corsairs having their entire fleet in her vicinity and the Bonnie Liz in need of assistance, it looks as though the Jewel has changed course, and is sailing east instead of south, towards the Bonnie Liz. The Banshee's Cry is heading north from the island that she and the Coral teamed up to colonize. The Coral is taking the first few coins produced by the colony back to her HI. The Pirates spent 10 gold to build the Raven, and she has loaded up 5 gold, sailing northeast to meet the Cry at another wild island the Pirates have explored, but not yet colonized.
The Americans have used the 10 gold from Turtles to build the Mohican and equip her with a captain and helmsman, making her the first true gunship on the ocean. She is headed for the MI that the Carolina originally explored, with her and the Carolina carrying 5 gold between them. The Argo is sailing to meet them there with her colonizer. Meanwhile, the Rattlesnake is ferrying gold from the colony to their HI.
The Cursed Corsairs are starting to look pretty good. The Tiger's Eye just became the first ship to dock at Paradise Island, with the Viper's Bite, Griffin, and newly built Algiers close behind. The Queen of Sheba has loaded gold from their HI and is headed south with a colonizer.
After a few more turns, the English have decided to play it safe and not combat the French in a battle for that wild island. The French have colonized it. The Spanish have built the San Pedro, giving them two fast ships that have the +2 gold bonus. The Americans have their second colony on the Carolina's original island, where the Argo rolled a 6 on the effect, letting the Americans move the Pirate schooner Raven into a Sargasso Sea. The Cursed Corsairs have used Homing Beacon to dock the Tiger's Eye at their HI, where she unloaded both a 4 from Paradise Island and Smuggled Goods. In this way, the Cursed took in 28 gold in one turn (24 from the two treasure coins, since the 4 was tripled from Paradise Island's rules, and then doubled by Smuggled Goods, and then 4 from their city hall), giving them the opportunity for the first spending spree of the game. They added in the 8 gold that was already on their HI and spent it all on the Meshud, Tripoli, and Carthage, along with two helmsmen and a captain. Now the Morocco is the only Corsair ship left for them to buy, and then they'll start delving into the Cursed stuff. Also, the Viper's Bite, Griffin, and Algiers are all starting to sail for home with more gold from Paradise. To make their turn even better, the Queen of Sheba gave them their first colony.
6/17/13: A few turns later, and the English have built HMS London and crewed her with Hermione Gold (ROTF). She has sailed north and demolished the French colony in the northwest corner of the ocean with the first shoot action of the game. She also dismasted the Coeur du Lion, and now the Hound is docked there. She is waiting for the newly built Lady Provost to arrive with her 5 gold.
The French have turned their gold efforts to their one remaining colony, and they've built L'Heros for their first gunship.
The Spanish have built the Concepcion (who gets the +2 gold bonus) and crewed her with a helmsman, Capitan Alarico Castro (SM version-SAT), and Vaccaro, their 0LR reroller. They have a pretty good money generation system going, and they also bought Luis Zuan (MI) for future use.
The Pirates have colonized the easternmost island with the Coral and the Banshee's Cry, but now the Raven is stuck in a Sargasso Sea and the Rover is the only ship available to make treasure runs. They've just upgraded both their tavern and shipyard to the third level.
The Americans are looking to make their third colony, near the Pirates' HI. Last turn, they used 20 gold to buy the Dark Fox (S+S+S) and Brandywine (S+L) to make gold runs to and from their two existing colonies.
The Cursed Corsairs have just made their second colony on the island northeast of Paradise Island, the one that the Bonnie Liz was dismasted by. The Queen of Sheba is now ready to start making gold runs. Coincidentally, she is the only one of the Cursed's 8 ships to not be in the same place at the same time. The three ships returning from Paradise are currently sailing past the four ships going out, creating a logjam that wasn't expected this early on.
Also, I've made a rules change regarding shoot actions: instead of having derelicts sink after they've been hit the same amount of times as they originally had masts, I'm going to double it. In this way, it takes 2 hits to sink a derelict one master, 4 for a derelict two master, and so on.
6/19/13: There has been more action in the game. The English had their colony in the northwest corner of the ocean (the one the London destroyed) taken out over the course of two turns by L'Heros, while the London was sailing south. She quickly turned around and sailed towards the French three master. In the meantime, the English had launched another ship, the Hyena. The Hyena swapped crew with the London, giving the bigger ship the captain and helmsman, while Hermione Gold became the captain of the Hyena (to save space). The Heros sank the captured French sloop Coeur du Lion, who was being towed by the Hound. Next, the Hound transferred the Dry Powder UT to the London, giving her the potential for a double shoot action. She wouldn't need it, however, since the English launched another gunship, the HMS Nautilus. The Nautilus, Hyena, and London teamed up to dismast the Heros (remember, it takes two hits overall (not necessarily from the same shoot action) to eliminate every mast). To the south, HMS Rye, Sea Tiger, Starbuck, Antelope, and Alexander (all one and two masters) are all busy running gold from the colonies back to the English HI.
That's what happens when the French take on the English!
After the Heros was dismasted, the remaining French ships that were headed to support her (not true gunships) turned back to the east. The French are struggling to produce results with just one colony in operation. They did launch L'Auguste last turn, and she's got a captain and helmsman, as well as +1 to her cannon rolls against English ships (something tells me that wasn't an accident
The Spanish are one of two fleets remaining (the other being the Cursed) to not have been in combat thus far. Their gold generation system is working well, between the native canoes, Alquimista, San Pedro, and Concepcion. Each of these ships has either a +1 or +2 gold bonus, and since they are sailing to and from their two colonies (one to the north of the Spanish HI, and one to the south) at the same rate that gold is being produced, each coin brought back is getting a bonus. They've recently launched the Santa Ana (SCS version) and Santo Columba, two formidable gunships with crew to match.
The Pirates are better off than they were about 10 turns ago, but they're still struggling with a mix of good and bad. On the bright side, they've managed to build the Darkhawk II and send her out to bring back gold. The Bloody Jewel and Bonnie Liz are finally back home after their fruitless whirlpool expedition to the southwest, where they never even reached Paradise Island. The Raven and Banshee's Cry have also stopped in to drop off unused gold.
However, the Americans have foiled their plans for a second colony. After the Banshee's Cry left the island to bring gold back home, the Coral stayed behind to load the first three coins produced by the colony. However, this made her a sitting duck for the nearby Americans. The Mohican (guns of 2S, 2L, 2S) came in and rammed the Coral, taking out her lone mast. The Mohican hit all three times on the colony, with only one more hit needed to destroy it. Out of desperation, the Pirates used the gold produced by the colony to upgrade it to the second level. However, the first shoot action only had one successful roll, so no masts were eliminated. The Mohican scored two more hits, and then the colonists fired back successfully. Unfortunately for them, however, the Mohican had Cross of Coronado, so she still has all three masts up. On the Americans' turn, the Mohican wiped out the colony once and for all, with the Coral as her prize. Realizing that the Americans were a much bigger threat to them than they had previously thought, the Pirates have built the Windjammer and the Doombox flotilla.
The Rattlesnake is headed to her HI with gold from the Americans' third colony. The Americans are doing well, but they are struggling to maximize their gold income, with gold on the colonies piling up and reaching the 5 gold maximum before ships can take it home. For their second gunship, they've purchased the Concord, who gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Pirate ships. She is crewed (coincidentally, not on purpose) with Stephen Decatur, whose flavour text shows his hatred of Pirates. She is also carrying Ralph David, a 1 point Eternal crew who is Hostile to Pirates
. These two factions are clearly not getting along!
In the southwest quarter of the sea, the Cursed Corsairs are steadily accumulating gold without launching any real threats, at least not yet. Five galleys are heading home with gold, with four of them coming from Paradise Island. These galleys are carrying the last of Paradise's coins, and I wasn't planning on letting Paradise be colonized. I'm not really sure what to do with it yet, or what (if anything) will become of it.