Another game was played, this time at 5 fleets, 60 points.
The fleets went in the following order. In parentheses are the usernames of each individual who created the custom game piece.
Froide Vengeance (selxaxri) + Radi Jaeger (el_cazador), Mademoiselle Josephine Godiva
Le Gaule (cazador) + Michel Dubois (cazador), chieftain
Native Canoes (cazador) + one canoe with Exploding Shot
(proxied at 15 points for this game)
This ship may tow Icebergs.
Still at war with the English, one general who skirted the floes of the northern waters concocted a hare-brained scheme- blockading the british fleet using the floes themselves.
Link: Lupus, Lupus Regnum
Captain, Born Leader.
Flavor: Radi Jaeger fights for the Russian Empire under the promise that they will grant Fhirald, his homeland, independence in reward for his service. He encourages his crew of this fact, although he has reservations.
When this ship sinks another ship, give this ship a free move action.
Flavor: After decisive action against the Cursed near the coast of French Indochina, this legendary vessel has come to the Atlantic to fight the English.
Flavor: Dubois fights for gold and will turn down opportunities to sink the English in favor of obtaining more money.
Points: X (13)
Cargo: 1 (x5)
Cannon: 3L (x5)
Native Canoes, Captain
Flavor: The natives of Indonesia have been trained in the art of war by French capitaines, and they pursue the monsters of the deep.
Chef de Tribu
Before you give any of this chieftain's canoes an action, roll a d6. On a 5-6 they may shoot at submerged ships.
Flavor: This chieftain's men have had conact with the Monster Hunter's guild.
HMS Fatalis (cazador) + Hermione Gold
HMS Puma (cazador) + Thomas Gunn
, Trevor van Tyne
HMS Growler (cazador) + explorer
Type: 3-mast hoist
This ship eliminates two masts with one hit.
Flavor: The HMS Fatalis was comissioned to pillage and plunder and and rifle and loot; occasionally she even burns the town down. She's really a fright.
This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against crew, forts, and ships within S of her.
Flavor: The HMS Puma's captain has little patience and will often sail straight into combat, even though the Puma carries long-range cannons.
Type: 3-mast square rigged
Schooner. This ship gets +L to her base move if she starts her move action within S of an island.
Flavor: The Growler, called by some the Prowler, slinks along coasts and archipelagos, looking to use her relatively shallow draft to seize a first strike.
Rusty Hook (captain_vendari) + Tetra (cazador), Purlo (cazador)
Last Shot (a7xfanben) + captain
Base Move: L
Cannons: 3L, 2S, 2S, 2S
Ability: You opponent cannot initiate a boarding party against this ship.
Flavor Text: ???
Link: Donovan Richtarian
Hostile: Cursed, Captain, Explorer. Hylian crew may use their abilities aboard this ship.
Flavor: Tetra had been captaining for years before Hyrule emerged as a sea power. While not all of her work has been ethical, she is effective at what she does and is always willing to lend Hyrule her aid against the Cursed.
Hostile: Cursed, Helmsman. Once per turn, this ship may randomly take one treasure from any ship she touches.
Flavor: Purlo was a con artist in Castleton until he was caught by the Ranging and Enforcement corps. Noting his skill, they referred him to the navy, where he began a new life leading boarding parties and raids.
Ability: Portburner- This ship may dock at an enemy Home Island, and roll a d6. On a 4-6 she explodes and is immediately eliminated from the game. Roll another d6 the result is the number of treasure coins removed from the Home Island. On a 1-3 she may take one treasure and leave on her next turn if able.
Faction Affiliation: Pirate
Point Value: 13
Cargo Space: 3
Base Move: S+L
Number of Masts: 3
You may double the range of the last cannon this ship shoots each turn.
Cursed: (two of the three ships are Mercenary, but I didn't want to refer to different Merc fleets)
Tenfold (cazador) + Onox (cazador), Koloktos (cazador), Gentleman Jocard
Lamprey (cazador) + explorer
Type: 3-mast hoist
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.
Link: Ganondorf's Revenge
Ganonite, Ex-Patriot, Black Mark, Captain.
Pirate crew may use their abilities aboard this ship.
Flavor: Onox is secretly recruiting men for Ganondorf's future Second Gerudo Empire. It is said that there is no ruthless, traitorous fiend he won't turn down.
This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls. This ship may dock at an enemy home island and take as much treasure as she can carry. She must leave (if able) on her next turn.
Flavor: The dark magic that powers this automaton has given it a keen sense of when to raid enemy ports.
Type: 2-mast longship
Flavor: This abomination from the Frozen North seems to have suffered permanent damage to her firing accuracy.
Gladius Dei (cazador) + Caesar (cazador), helmsman
+ Osvaldo de Deus Celemente
+ helmsman, oarsman
+ explorer, oarsman
This ship gets +S to her base move and +1 cargo spaces if she doesn't carry crew.
Flavor: The "Sword of God" is rumored to have been built by the Vatican in an attempt to safely move Catholic wealth and artifacts around the globe.
Link: Gladius Dei
Limit, Ex-Patriot, Navigator
As a free action, friendly Mercenary-faction ships may unload treasure at your home island if they are within S of it. Gold unloaded in this way loses one point of value, to a minimum of zero.
Flavor: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." - Mark 12:17 - Caesar draws Ex-Patriots to himself like few others, often leading cooperative efforts to gather the wealth needed by his fellow exiles. Caesar takes twenty percent of the haul as his dues; what few know is that he gives half of that to parishes of the Roman Catholic Church.
The setup featured rossinaz's big island with 5 beaches as the home island for every fleet! Round earth rules were used. It was going to be an icy affair, and I even used all three of my custom foam icebergs, including that giant one you see towards the left. There were 5 wild islands, with two of them being mysterious. Each island had 8 coins on it, with some UT's present. Also, the two widest arches were showcased, and each arch had 4 coins where a ship could dock. There was also some fog, 4 whirlpools, and some rocks to add to the mayhem. As I normally play, icebergs began moving on turn 2, although unlike last game, the normal iceberg rules were used - rolls were made at the beginning of each player's turn rather than the beginning of each round of turns. The custom icebergs acted as "1" icebergs, continuing the game's theme of trying to roll high for good things to happen. In addition, icebergs could combine together to form a larger iceberg, in which case the whole thing could move if either of the numbers were rolled. Lastly, icebergs could traverse whirlpools, with a third die roll being used to determine the exit location: the northeast whirlpool (upper right in the first picture) was #1, southeast #2, and so on.
As usual, each fleet picked its HI in the opposite order of the play order. The Mercs wanted to utilize the Gladius Dei's link to Caesar, which could give the Mercs a boost at either of the nearby MI's. The Cursed took the opposite side, also looking to take advantage of the fact that each arch was partially above wild islands, meaning that 12 total coins were in a very close area. The other fleets picked their beaches, and the game was ready to begin! (Interestingly enough, the French made a bold move by placing their native canoes on the opposite side of their HI (HI still means the home island or "home beach" in this case), partly because of round earth and partly because of their Captain keyword which gave the French more confidence they could get home if they ran into trouble.)
The eastern area. You can see the exploding shot underneath the middle French canoe:
The middle area:
The western area:
The French took the first action of the game, and the Froide Vengeance immediately made history and towed an iceberg! Other factions were eager to avoid them, but there were so many that it was only a matter of time before the ice started taking a toll on the ships.
The Mercs dove underwater, and on the second turn the Froide ditched one iceberg to tow another, much larger iceberg!
The French let their canoes explore, and in addition to some gold they picked up, they found Turtles
England was the first nation to feel the brunt of the ice, with the Fatalis losing a mast. HMS Puma wanted no part of the dangerous Froide, especially with her SAT capabilities.
The Cursed got off to a good start. Here the Lamprey sits in the fog to avoid any ice while waiting to pop out and explore on the next turn. Just around the corner, the Tenfold hoists gold to herself and the Hare's Luck, finding Power Cannons
and an abandoned oarsman
The Mercenaries took a turn to dock. The Gladius Dei used a mysterious island effect to move the Tenfold into an iceberg, showing hostility between the two Merc fleets. The Devil Ray explored and found an abandoned musketeer, who the Bashaw Folly would soon take for her helmsman.
The English continued to suffer bad luck, with the Puma getting hit. To complicate matters, she was stuck between a rocky outcropping and the iceberg that hit her. However, she would soon encounter something more dangerous...
The Pirate ships Last Shot and Rusty Hook began chasing the French, who started to flee the area. However, the turtles could only move S and were a long ways from home. The large wave to the right marks the eastern boundary of the sea, and once across it, ships would be in the west.
The decision making soon became complicated, which is part of what makes this game so interesting. The French could turn their canoes around and take on the Pirates to protect the turtles, but they also knew that the gold they held on the canoes was worth more than the turtles. In addition, round earthing to the west meant that they would be near their main gunships, the Gaule and Froide Vengeance. Lastly, the submarines Gladius Dei and Devil Ray were in the west, and the French chieftain allows the canoes to shoot at submerged ships on a 5 or 6.
The Gladius Dei has surfaced and is about to explore. However, the slow (S+S) Gaule lurks about, looking to possibly explore as well, attack the Gladius Dei, or even head south towards the English. Michel Dubois, in command of the French fleet and the Gladius Dei's captain, decides to take up a flexible position where the Gaule can intercept any homecoming canoes or turtles and possibly take on any Pirate ships that emerge from the east.
The French didn't have to ponder their next decision! With an SAT from Jaeger, the Froide Vengeance towed the giant iceberg into the stern of the Growler, taking out two masts on the way by. The iceberg finished the dismasting. The Vengeance used her second move action to rake the Puma's stern, and miraculously shot 3/3 to crush most of the English fleet in a single turn!
A look at the devastation:
A turtle narrowly avoids a nearby iceberg. (which can't eliminate the turtles anyway, it's just for flavor!)
The English got immediate revenge, but the damage had been done. You can see that three icebergs are still in the immediate vicinity, and this catastrophic turn of events would hold up the English for a long while.
As turtles and canoes alike flee, the Last Shot is faster than all of them! Her "last shot" (and only in this case!) narrowly misses a canoe. But where has the Rusty Hook disappeared to?
She's whirlpooled her way into the west already, losing a mast in the process. The Rusty Hook hopes to cut off the French gold "fleet" (of canoes and turtles, no less, but quite sizable in number right now), but it won't be easy with Le Gaule around.
The Cursed are unconcerned with the conflict in other parts of the sea. The Lamprey explores while the Tenfold and Hare's Luck head home.
Another angle, where you can see the Hare's Luck and Tenfold's hoist through the hole in the arch. (Legend says Vieil Homme was so powerful he just flew right through the rock!)
The Mercenaries suffered a setback, finding Wolves
with the Gladius Dei. Conveniently enough, the Bashaw Folly grabbed the Devil Ray's abandoned musketeer. However, the French didn't want anything to interrupt their already-thriving gold game.
The French sent two canoes over Ocean's Edge along with 6 turtles, but the remaining three canoes turned to attack! The lack of the Rusty Hook's commanding presence gave the French an opportunity to surprise the weaker Last Shot. They hit 2/3, including landing an exploding shot, which knocked out the Last Shot's captain and set the stern gallery aflame.
The French weren't about to stop there, as the Gaule took advantage of the fact that the Gladius Dei needed to stay surfaced for two turns because she didn't have an explorer, blasting the sub to pieces.
The Last Shot tried to sail, but the fire overtook her mainmast and she was a burning hulk. To add insult to injury, a uniquely shaped iceberg surrounded her bow as her remaining crew abandoned ship.
The overall scene just a handful of turns into the game. The only new developments in the picture are the Torpedo at the top right, bringing back a coin for the Pirates, and the English situation. Despite their hatred of the French, the English are wise enough to know that they could use the Froide Vengeance, so they've captured her and Godiva. The Rusty Hook hides in the fog waiting to pounce.
In order the help the vital Gladius Dei (Caesar's ability is the only way the fleet can get gold home), the Bashaw Folly has taken on the much larger Gaule! The Folly is counting on her new musketeer and boarding bonus ability to help out in the fight.
The Bashaw Folly only knocked down 2 masts, but the Devil Ray has deposited a coin for the Mercs. The Cursed ships are approaching home, and the Lamprey has moved back into her familiar fog bank. Just to her left, a regular and a custom iceberg have joined forces to form a cluster iceberg.
Trouble in the west! The fighting continued, with the Gaule managing only one hit on the Bashaw Folly. The Gaule didn't move away to ram and board the Folly, since the Gaule's current position where she had broadsided the Gladius Dei meant she blocked the Bashaw Folly's path to the GD. The Gaule wanted to keep the Bashaw Folly pinned so she couldn't assist the Dei or kill the Wolves before the French had some cargo spaces open to run gold. At this point, the French had the luxury of not even caring about the loss of the Froide Vengeance, since they had relative control over the west with plenty of gold slowly making its way home. Two canoes were in range of the now-submerged Gladius Dei, but the chieftain's roll for the turn didn't result in a 5 or 6.
Save the wee turtles!
The Fatalis has returned her prize (the Froide Vengeance) home, receiving 5 gold as a ransom payment. This gold was un-stealable and indestructible, which was important with the presence of Koloktos and the Torpedo, the latter of which has lost a mast to an iceberg.
The French chieftain failed to deliver once again! The Rusty Hook gets a cannon in range of a canoe, but misses.
After losing another mast to an iceberg, the Tenfold uses her hoist to empty all three ships in her fleet in one turn! The Cursed now led the gold race, but the Tenfold couldn't dock at her HI and didn't have a shipwright available, so her defenses were proving to be useless in a game with so much ice. However, her various named crew and Turbine keyword assured that she would stay a force in the game until a ship managed to sink her.
Battle under the arch! The Bashaw Folly scores another hit on the Gaule.
The west is an absolute war zone! After missing one canoe, the Rusty Hook is shot at by four, and three hits make her a derelict! At this point, the Torpedo is the Pirates' only hope, which isn't saying much. The sea is abnormally crowded for a relatively small game, with 10 turtles, 5 canoes, multiple ships and mast wreckage all over the area.
The Last Shot has been scuttled, and now the Rusty Hook is doomed as well. This makes the Pirates hate the French, and the Torpedo plans to attack the French HI, once they actually get some gold there at least!
The Devil Ray has sped off to the northernmost island, while the Cursed head back out. The Fatalis and Froide have finished repairing, the latter with the help of an SAT from Radi Jaeger.
French victory! The Rusty Hook has been sent to the depths, while the Gaule has captured the Bashaw Folly and her musketeer, the only way in the game to eliminate the nearby Wolves and access the gold. Turtles swim by the derelict Gladius Dei, who again avoids elimination.
Finally repaired from the huge southern mess, the English head out to start round 2 of the recovery process: getting their derelicts working again.
Now the French faced an annoying conundrum: the Gaule had a full crew complement in terms of points, so she couldn't load the Folly's abandoned musketeer without losing Dubois, which gives her the captain and explorer abilities. In addition, with just two masts left, the Gaule could be vulnerable to any attack by another fleet on the way back. All the canoes had full holds, and the Froide was long gone, now in English hands. The Gaule left the Folly where she lay to return home for repairs. The Torpedo made a feint towards the French HI, but there was nothing there for her to steal or eliminate. At the upper right, the Devil Ray has explored the island and found, what else but an abandoned shipwright
! Now, if only the Devil Ray could successfully get this shipwright to the Gladius Dei, the Mercs could be back in business! She also found Runes of Loki
, which could be used at an opportune time to change the French chieftain's die roll to a 1 so the French canoes wouldn't be able to hit the Gladius Dei, saving the sub from being sunk!
With an SAT from Jaeger, both derelicts (the Growler and Puma) are taken in tow.
At the left, the English continue cleaning up their fleet. The French canoes are gradually finishing their long and harrowing journey from the eastern wild island back to home, accompanied by the damaged Gaule. The Torpedo has retreated into a fog bank, and the Pirates are not going to win the game with a fragile ship with one cargo space. However, they still want some measure of revenge on the French. At the top of the frame you can just make out the Tenfold picking up the scraps of what the Devil Ray didn't want, while the Devil Ray speeds west underwater to help the Gladius Dei (the Devil Ray left her explorer on the island to make room for the shipwright). At the right, the Cursed continue to have bad ice luck (see what I did there?), with the Lamprey being dismasted on her way to the southeastern island. The Hare's Luck has fared better and reaches the easternmost island where the canoes started the game.
The French are almost back. The French chieftain misses his roll AGAIN, and the French still aren't able to sink the Gladius Dei.
How's that for a change of pace! The English, once with just two masts standing in their entire fleet, have captured the powerful French icebreaker and towed back their derelicts to fight another day. Their tiny home beach is barely big enough to fit the now-largest fleet in the game.
This shows all three Cursed ships. The Lamprey has explored, while the Tenfold and Hare's Luck head back. The Tenfold suffers an unlucky iceberg hit, leaving her with no masts, which isn't a huge problem with her Turbine keyword. However, the only way she can repair is the Devil Ray's abandoned shipwright, currently in the west on a submerged submarine.
Ahhh! The Devil Ray surfaces and begins attacking the turtles!
The French canoes are FINALLY home!
As the Fatalis goes out to get gold, the Froide Vengeance tows an iceberg to get it out of the way. The Puma and Growler continue repairing.
The Tenfold deposits her gold and the gold from the Hare's Luck on her HI, but the Cursed have only two masts standing in their fleet. The Tenfold gives Power Cannons to the Hare's Luck since the Tenfold can't shoot. To the right, a cluster iceberg has smashed into the Puma, taking a mast off as soon as it was repaired! This greatly annoys the English, and the captured Froide Vengeance will have her work cut out for her making her new owners happy.
The Devil Ray has taken out another turtle, and the French canoes go out to defend the turtles they discovered way back on turn 2. Even the canoe stationed to sink the Gladius Dei rounds an iceberg, which is exactly what the Devil Ray wanted...
Also, to the right, notice the open ocean! The Froide got a timely SAT from Jaeger, and moved to eliminate both of the icebergs that formed the cluster! The Puma is safe for now (hint hint), but another cluster has formed with the giant iceberg just to the west.
In a flash, the Devil Ray dives and speeds S+L+S to meet up with the Gladius Dei, still derelict and still submerged. She's been waiting ages for this, and the Mercenaries are close to completing their comeback. The turtles relax, and they're almost home!
The French chieftain FINALLY rolls a 5/6 to allow the French canoes to shoot at submerged ships, but the Mercs reveal their secret weapon: Runes of Loki! The die result is changed to a 1, and the French chieftain has failed yet again. This saves the Mercs for another turn, but they're running out of options and luck.
After a huge delay, the English have finally explored an island!
The Fatalis found Buried Treasure
, and it was worth 6 gold! They also found Whirlpool
, which was inconsequential. The Growler sails out to pick up what the Fatalis didn't, and the Froide has begun towing the huge cluster of ice.
The moment has arrived! The Devil Ray and Gladius Dei both surface, and the Devil Ray exchanges her helmsman and abandoned shipwright for Caesar! (Caesar went to the Devil Ray because with the canoes nearby, he had a slightly better chance of surviving on the Devil Ray than the Gladius Dei.)
The Gladius Dei has repaired:
... (disappointed voice) and just like that, the Mercs are blown to pieces. The canoes shot a perfect 3/3, including an exploding shot hit on the Gladius Dei. The Mercs have no shot at winning the game, though it was a long shot anyway ever since the Wolves were discovered and the Bashaw Folly captured.
A pair of French canoes engage their former ally, knocking a mast off the Froide Vengeance, who returns fire to take out a canoe, the first one eliminated. The Puma is finally back to full health.
During all this chaos, the Cursed were making their way around the north side of the middle island with the Tenfold and Hare's Luck. Between the Turbine keyword, Koloktos' HI raiding ability, and the offensive capability of the Hare's Luck (now with an abandoned captain and oarsman in addition to Power Cannons), the Cursed decided to have a go at the French home island, which had the most coins other than the Cursed themselves.
The Cursed have eliminated two more turtles, and the fully-repaired Gaule could only manage to get one gun in range of the Hare's Luck. In the meantime the French canoes sunk both subs to eliminate the Mercs from the game and took another mast off the Froide.
The Puma pursues the slowed Lamprey, looking to use Trevor van Tyne's hatred of the Cursed and S-boarding to steal gold.
The Cursed have done it! The Hare's Luck eliminates a turtle and shoots a mast off the Gaule, while Koloktos moves the Tenfold in to steal three coins from the French beach!
This picture was taken at a difficult angle, but you can just see a coin on the Cursed beach through the opening. Unfortunately for the Tenfold, she would have to go all the way back around.
The Froide sunk a second canoe and towed the huge iceberg into French waters, blocking the Tenfold from taking the easy path home. The Gaule reversed direction and dismasted the Hare's Luck, but couldn't reach the Tenfold, who she wanted to capture and not sink.
With some slick maneuvering and S+S+S speed, the Tenfold makes a break to the north. The slow Gaule can't quite reach her bow, while a canoe sunk the Hare's Luck.
Another French canoe dismasts the Froide, and the end of the game is near. The Fatalis is back with gold, and the Growler is on her way with more. The English have displayed brilliant resilience and good strategy, using their captured gunship to clear their waterways of ice and then blocking the Cursed and French with ship and ice to prevent any spillover of that conflict into their home area. To the right, the Puma has stolen a coin from the Lamprey, but also loses a mast to an iceberg.
The Tenfold is obviously making a break for the northwestern whirlpool, from which she can emerge from the southeastern whirlpool and dock home her stolen loot with her hoist within a few turns. The canoes and Gaule are moving a full S slower and won't be able to capture the Tenfold. Michel Dubois has no choice but to give the order: "Sink the Tenfold". He doesn't want to watch his hard-earned gold go to the bottom, but he really doesn't want it in the hands of the Cursed.
A canoe moves within range, shoots, and misses. Another canoe does the same, and misses. The Gaule moves forward and can only get her 3L jib in range. SHE MISSES!
Dubois screams in agony and disgust as the Tenfold gleefully churns away. (At the right, the Torpedo is still lurking in the fog; the Pirates were [i]really
patient in their desire for revenge today!)
As the Tenfold emerges in the south, there's nothing any fleet can do to stop her, with the Fatalis unable to get there in time and the Growler only able to move L. At the right, the damaged Puma is a familiar sight... wait, didn't she repair?! Yes, and she got hit three times in the course of a turn or two by hostile icebergs. The Puma had the worst "ice luck" of this game - truly abysmal and, almost unbelievable.
A canoe chases the Tenfold through the whirlpool, but it's too late. The Tenfold returns home all three coins she stole, a remarkable display of... luck? Either way, the successful raid was an impressive feat. The Growler has returned home with gold, and the Puma is approaching.
The Fatalis eliminates a canoe but is hit with exploding shot in return. The Gaule gets hit by the Fatalis after towing the Froide to recapture her after all this time. That French canoe that came through the whirlpool actually sunk the Tenfold to eliminate the Cursed from the active game, but it was too late for revenge. The Pirates disagree with that attitude, with the Torpedo finally emerging from the fog to approach the French HI, sensing the end of the game and an opportunity to strike while the French are as weak as they've been. The Puma is just happy to make it home!
What a mess! The war continues:
On the French turn, the Gaule couldn't quite block the path of the Torpedo. The English went next, scuttling the Fatalis and repairing the Puma. Then the Torpedo made her move: sailing in at L+L, the Torpedo docked at the French HI... and rolled a 3. This meant that she could only steal treasure rather than eliminate it.
After an unsuccessful shoot and ram by the Gaule, the Torpedo had another chance! This time she exploded! The final die roll of the game was just a 1, meaning that one random coin would be eliminated from the French HI, and the randomly chosen coin was also a 1! Alas, the Pirates wanted revenge, but the Torpedo went off like a dud.
After 300 total points and many turns of carnage, this was all that remained:
With 3 of the 5 fleets eliminated, the game ended! (I wanted to go until all the gold was gone or there was only 1 fleet, but the game had already taken too long at this point.)
The final count:
1. Cursed: 35 gold
2. English: 27
3. French: 6
4. Pirates: 3
5. Mercenaries: 2
What a game! The final scores may look somewhat lame, but this was a memorable and fun contest. The French won the previous game, so there was some desire to hinder them, especially after their luck continued: Turtles, a successful gold run with their canoes, the Mercs being stopped by Wolves and then finished by the French, and the devastating attack on the English by the Froide Vengeance. The French had it all early on, but the long game meant that everything could change, and it did. The Cursed played an excellent game, staying out of trouble for a while and only doing their usual crazy and gimmicky antics (HI raiding with a hoist in this case) after they got a bunch of gold. If anyone is wondering, the Tenfold's heist (see what I did there?) gave the Cursed 11 gold, so it did matter. They were eventually eliminated, but the Cursed managed to explore three different wild islands and one of the two arches, bringing back a variety of gold. The English also played an excellent game, and like I said made a good strategy play with the captured icebreaker. It was also good to repair their derelicts, and with a little more time they could have eclipsed the Cursed's gold total. The Pirates didn't have the best gold game from their fleet build, but they should have done a bit better. The Last Shot and Rusty Hook were both eliminated before they could really do anything, courtesy of the French native canoes. The Torpedo didn't have enough cargo to run much gold, and sat in the fog for a while before an ineffective strike to end the game. The Mercenaries would have done fine, but they had to contend with Wolves, the dangerous French fleet, and a dependence on Caesar's ability to have any gold game. The Bashaw Folly is one of my favorite Merc ships, but a 2 master is just too weak to stand up to much competition. The Devil Ray made a heroic effort to eliminate some turtles and revive the Gladius Dei, but it was too much of a long shot.
Notes on custom pieces:
(perhaps unnecessary due to the report, but possibly of interest to their creators)
captain_vendari (Rusty Hook): The Rusty Hook really wasn't able to shine; I'd like to see her again, maybe even with the same crew combo from el_cazador.
selvaxri (Froide Vengeance): The Froide was a fantastic ship, but I put so many icebergs out there because I wanted to see what she could do; most games wouldn't have this many icebergs. Still, she proved a potent force, able to tow icebergs into enemy ships at S+S and potentially disrupt shipping lanes. I pegged her at 15 points for this game, which I think may be about right. Her cost could rise, but again, this game was catered to seeing her in action.
xerecs (Torpedo): The Torpedo's game-changing Portburner ability didn't work too well, but her rolls were as bad as they could get. With such low cargo and low durability, she's effectively a one-trick pony, which makes her a tough choice in any game smaller than 80 or 100 points. Her high price tag should perhaps come down, unless a revision makes her viable to use in an alternate role.
a7xfanben (Last Shot): Similar to the Rusty Hook, the Last Shot wasn't able to provide much to the Pirate fleet, and the canoes took care of her quickly. I think her cost of 13 points is fine... it's just another example of one game not being enough to really get to know what a ship can do.
el_cazador (various): Oh my, where to start... I know you'll read the report and provide your own comments, so I'll keep it short. Tetra, Purlo, and Onox didn't really get to use their abilities much, but Koloktos shined in the late game with that daring raid. Caesar is probably fine, but I may make a post about him and the Gladius Dei in Custom Ships soon... the French named crew Radi Jaeger and Michel Dubois were worth their costs, not surprising given their abilities and their "old-school" nature (existing abilities rather than brand-new ones like Caesar). As for the ships... The Fatalis is fun to use with HGold, I still think her cost is fine. The Puma and Growler are relatively simple ships and are also good to go as far as I can tell. The Tenfold is quickly becoming one of my favorite ships (I'm becoming slightly obsessed with it lol), and her power is undeniable. Just like the first time I used her, terrain neutralized her defenses and she still shined... I would want to test her again at this point cost of 22 before raising it or making any changes... again, the original cost of Turbine is more underpriced than the ship itself. The Lamprey is funky for a longship but fine. The Gladius Dei is definitely the piece that needs the most testing along with the Tenfold - I'm still not sure what to think of her (post in Custom Ships coming soon). I think the Gaule and Native Canoes are fine... the canoes are definitely powerful and versatile, but I think their speed and the fact that it's hard to find a ship that's appropriate for their chieftain does enough to keep their cost where it is at 13. The Gaule actually didn't sink an enemy ship during all of that, I don't think.
Wow, that was a long report. I may be crazy enough to do another game relatively soon with these fleets mostly the same, but add 20 or 40 (more likely 20) points to the build total.
(I'm doing this from my own personal curiosity and love and interest in this game, so no need to thank me or anything. Nobody has requested that I use their game pieces, which I appreciate. I'm doing this because it's awesome!) [Hoping that didn't come off too strangely... it's a Pirates' life for me!]