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Joined: 27 Jun 2011
Posts: 6164

Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:25 am Reply with quote

3 players, 40 points

The fleets went in this order:

USS Atlanta + captain, helmsman, oarsman, fire shot, grapple shot
Speedy Return + helmsman, oarsman
+ captain on home island

La Bonne Chance + captain
Le Bonaparte + helmsman, explorer
Enfant Terrible + explorer

English Pirates:
Harbinger + captain
HMS Comet + oarsman
HMS Lucy's Luck + explorer

I purposely used two new ships I had traded for earlier in the year.

The single wild island featured three beaches with 6 coins apiece.

The Americans set out!

The French aren't willing to sit around, and immediately begin a conflict! Both of the Speedy Return's outriggers lay in ruins.

The Americans have something to say about that! The Atlanta turns to starboard and sinks the Bonne Chance with a tremendous broadside!

The Atlanta then turned her wrath on the Pirates, hitting the Harbinger twice at sniping range, including a lucky fire shot hit!

Destruction early in the game:

The Harbinger managed to put out her fire, but the French weren't done with the Americans just yet, with the Bonaparte shooting a mast off the Speedy Return.

The Atlanta tried to hit the Harbinger at extra-long range once again, but this time both of her equipment backfired! The Atlanta's own guns had set her aflame.

The Atlanta's fire spread, a concerning sign. However, she wanted to prevent the English Pirates from getting all the gold they had aboard ships. The Harbinger was dismasted, while the Lucy's Luck had her only mast rammed off.

The Speedy Return and Enfant Terrible returned home with gold, although the Speedy Return had one of her coins stolen by the Bonaparte during their skirmish at the wild island. The Atlanta captured the Harbinger.

Hoping they could return to the derelict Harbinger, the Americans decided to save their own ship rather than risk her burning to the waterline. Their decision was made easier because the Atlanta had stolen a 7 from the Lucy's Luck. The Speedy Return headed out to resume the war on France.

The Lucy's Luck and Atlanta returned home to repair, with the Atlanta barely making it back in time (her fourth mast was consumed by fire). The Speedy Return engaged the Bonaparte to no avail.

HMS Comet had initially run away from the Atlanta with round earth rules in mind, but she turned back to the Harbinger, looking to transfer her oarsman to the Pirate flagship.

The Americans were having a tough time in this middle part of the game, with the Atlanta out of action following her fire mishap. The Speedy Return was outgunned by the Bonaparte, so she fled north to look for gold. The Comet completed her crew transfer while the Lucy's Luck sailed back out.

A handful of turns later, and the Speedy Return dismasts the Lucy's Luck with a ram, but only after she had sunk the Enfant Terrible! The Bonaparte approaches for revenge, but the Atlanta is back in the area and ready to fight once more. In the meantime, the Comet and Harbinger returned home with gold for the English Pirates.

The Bonaparte and Lucy's Luck grabbed some of the last coins, and the Speedy Return and Atlanta headed to intercept the Bonaparte via round earth.

Late game carnage! The Atlanta dismasted the Bonaparte, allowing the Speedy Return to capture the Frenchman and eliminate the French from active play. However, the English Pirates weren't done, with the Harbinger having repaired a couple masts. She hit twice to sink the Speedy Return after making the round earth trip herself! The Comet approached off the Atlanta's starboard side.

The Atlanta proved that she was the most dominant ship in these waters, dismasting the Harbinger for the second time and sinking her once and for all. The Comet was outgunned, and the American flagship had the situation under control.

The final confrontation: HMS Lucy's Luck vs. USS Atlanta! Alas, the Lucy's Luck couldn't quite block the American ship, so the captured Bonaparte and her 3 coins were docked safely.

However, all 3 coins were 1's, which didn't help the Americans much.

The final gold count:
1. French: 16 gold
1. English Pirates: 16 gold
3. Americans: 15 gold


The final scores were as close as they could possibly be! What a finish to a great game. This game was memorable for something I don't see all that often - the game was truly played to completion. All coins were unloaded at home islands, all ships were in combat in some way, and all fleets played major roles in the game. You can't ask for much more in a relatively short game of Pirates! (Normally a short game would have decided the tie, but it didn't happen; co-winners for now!)
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:07 pm Reply with quote

I played a game on 7/5/2016 with Aaron in Singapore. It was his first game of Pirates ever! Smile

He used woelf's Spanish SM fleet while I used my recent SM English fleet. He wanted a quick and simple game since it was his first game, so we used two wild islands and no terrain.

The English kept their ships together, and the Bolingbroke hit the Joya del Sol.

Both English ships had lost some crew, but the Dover and Bolingbroke had enough firepower to keep the Joya at bay while crippling the Asesino de la Nave.

The Asesino managed to hit the Dover, but in the end English guns won the day!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:57 am Reply with quote

Cadet Captain Mike played recently. It's worth a read, and contains an extremely rare happening: chain exploring. Very Happy
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Subject: Historical Fantasy Scenario flashback battle   PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:40 pm Reply with quote

This is not a regular battle report. Instead, it's a "flashback" of sorts. I finally got around to doing a Historical Fantasy Scenario (HFS) battle, the first since 2011. I didn't have time for a full HFS, but this report will give you an idea of what they were like, back in the day. It's also rather steeped in nostalgia and my personal collection of ships, but that gives it even more of a historical touch.

It was a classic matchup: the English versus the Franco-Spanish. However, certainly not a reenactment of Trafalgar, though that's something I hope to do someday.

The fleets were as follows:
English: 22 ships of the line and 6 frigates (28 ships total)
Franco-Spanish (FS): 29 ships of the line and 8 frigates (37 ships total)
(65 ships total; considering that some of my HFS battles involved over 200 ships, imagine this battle but three times its size!)

Going back to my Historical Fantasy Scenarios, square rigged ships with 4 or 5 masts were considered 3 decked ships of the line, meaning they generally carried at least 90 guns. For flavor purposes I would count the number of cannons the ship has (based on the actual artwork), and then pile on as many cannons as possible, even where it became unrealistic. This helped the numbers simulate reality more often, and helped me have a lot of SOL's (ships of the line). In this battle, the English had nine 3 deckers compared to thirteen in the allied fleet.

Both fleets headed towards each other in double lines of battle, with the frigates at the northern end of the lines. The wind was blowing due south. Of course, being the first HFS action since 2011, and quite possibly the last-ever HFS-style battle, this was no ordinary contest, as the particular ships would prove...

The original French flagship, La Magnifique. The leader of the French in dozens and dozens of battles, and the first 5 master I ever owned. The first true battleship, she has been preserved in her original form, when I put the masts in backwards. Her mainmast isn't broken, but merely loose from the time she was constructed. A true legend in her time, La Magnifique has been brought out of retirement to fight once more!

The exact opposite: France's newest flagship! Le Dauphin Royal was launched just days ago, and a new generation of French sailors eagerly set sail upon the majestic battleship.

The Magnifique and Dauphin Royal headed the two columns of the combined fleet, but directly astern were many of France's best ships. Here you can see the intimidating but beautiful Ville de Paris and Superbe in the foreground, while behind them the Argonauta was the only Spanish 5 master available for the day's action.

This shows the rest of the FS fleet, which is quite impressive.

The backs of the main columns, with the 2 deckers eager to form lines of their own or join one of the main columns.

The French frigate squadron, with the ultra-fast Le Mercure in the lead. The Mercure shared the title of "fastest ship afloat" with the pirate schooner Raven back in the old days. Off her starboard quarter sails Le Republicain, a ship whose gun crews are among the best in the French fleet. Behind them are mostly newer arrivals, eager to prove themselves in such a rare opportunity that this was.

One last look at the French for the time being:

Her Majesty's Navy: 28 of England's finest warships, out to defend their dominion, which is the world's oceans. Unlike the French, their strongest column is the one to windward.

Heading the English line: HMS Titan and HMS Dreadnought. The third ship is one the allies didn't want to see: HMS Gargantuan. Back in 2010 and 2011, times of extremely frequent and intense warfare, the two Gargantuans often dominated the seas as England's flagships. With her sister ship in drydock and this Gargantuan demoted from the front of the line, she holds a somewhat less powerful position than she did in her glory days. However, she still commands immense respect, especially from those newbies in the allied fleet who would be unwise enough to forget the tales of past conflicts.

England's frigate squadron. While small back then too, it was never the reason for England's victories at sea.

A sight the allies dreaded even more than HMS Gargantuan - my first two English ships EVER! Similar to the Magnifique and Gargantuan, HMS Lord Walpole and HMS Birkenhead have been involved in countless battles, and these two have almost always been on the winning side, often teaming up to surround and pulverize larger ships. Probably no two ships in my collection have dealt as much damage as this duo.

Is there a prettier sight to be seen? (other than this in real life haha)

It's time for WAR!

Some of the French 2 deckers begin to join the lines, while the Spanish 3 deckers disobey orders and fail to join the windward column:

The English lines of battle are in accordance with their battle plan, but will their numerical inferiority doom them?

Open fire! Battle is joined! The Titan and Magnifique exchange furious broadsides, with the Magnifique losing her jib.

The Dauphin Royal fires her cannons for the first time as the Titan comes under fire from both sides. Just beyond them, the frigate battle has begun. The Mercure got ahead of herself and overestimated the speed of her fleetmates, and lost her foremast to a well-placed shot from the Saint James, who then rammed the French schooner at full speed.

England's flagship has already lost two masts, but she moves on to face Le Superbe:

The Dreadnought punishes the Dauphin as some of the French ship's shots miss high due to an ill-timed wave.

The Magnifique and Gargantuan meet yet again, but this French admiral has heard the horror stories of past wars and looks to break off the engagement. Up north, the arrival of the other French frigates has signalled a shift in that theater of the battle.

The powerful Republicain comes to the aid of Le Mercure while the Bonifacio dismasts the Minerva.

That swell in the middle of the battle has disrupted things for a moment, but both fleets are in no mood to surrender to the weather!

As per the English strategy, HMS Titan steers away from the allied windward column. The Argonauta and Gaule are afraid of hitting their French comrades in the leeward column, especially when aiming for the rigging, and many gun crews hold their fire temporarily.

In the English leeward column, the Orkney and Burma are slow to get into action. At the upper right and behind the Gargantuan sails HMS Success, a critical part of many English victories. They were especially important when I had 3 of them, but the other two have since been traded to other admirals!

With the Magnifique out in front of the rest of the French column, and the slow Ville de Paris lumbering behind, the captain of the Gargantuan saw his chance. Seizing the initiative, he went with the wind and took his ship out of the line, breaking the French line in the process. The Gargantuan raked the Ville de Paris by the bows, wrecking two of her masts.

With the Titan off fighting the Superbe and the Gargantuan sailing south, the Dreadnought was fighting the southernmost allied 3 deckers by herself. The English roped and grappled their ship to the Dauphin Royal, lashing the two ships together. This caused panic aboard the Argonauta, who soon crashed into the Dauphin's starboard quarter! The force of the collision carried the Argonauta into the Dreadnought as well.

Here the French have a numbers advantage, but the inexperienced Spanish contingent and fears of friendly fire have led to a stalemate in these early stages of the battle.

The Magnifique lets loose an angry broadside, quickly crippling the Oxley. The next ship in the English leeward column is HMS Concorde, which has one of the fastest-firing crews in the English fleet.

With surprising speed, the Lord Walpole and Birkenhead arrive in the action! The Lord Walpole gives a thunderous broadside to the Delacroix, while the Birkenhead follows.

The middle of the battlefield, where despite the high losses in crew the capital ships are faring relatively well.

The Lord Walpole's captain was overly aggressive, and tried to go inside the French line. His ship was nearly quick enough for the maneuver, but the Neptune's jib caught in his rigging! A line was severed, but the Neptune was already colliding with the Lord Walpole's stern, causing a bit of damage and heeling the ship out of the water.

In the center, the Superbe and Titan have become locked together in an epic duel. At the right, a line of 6 ships deep dominates the battle, with the line alternating French-English at 3 ships each. HMS Success and La Gaule are the latest entrants.

The frigate battle was not going well for the English:

In a rare instance of French seamanship, the Magnifique broke part of the English line to rake two ships at once, causing devastation! At this point she was by far the most easterly allied ship, having basically reached the end of the English formation.

Some of the smaller French SOL's are set upon by larger English ships:

As chaotic as the battle was getting, a lot of ships had yet to enter the action!

With this overhead shot, you can see that it's still roughly a line-of-battle affair, but the sheer carnage is threatening to turn things into a pell-mell action.

The battle continues to shift slightly to the south, partly due to the wind.

At the lower right, the Provence would soon become the first allied ship to surrender, while the Intrepide has suffered a double broadside from the Cheshire and 3 decked Burma.

The Lord Walpole has rounded the Neptune only to encounter the L'Heros, while the Birkenhead continues against the Neptune. At the right, the Orkney and Burma have made short work of the Delacroix.

A huge broadside from L'Hercule brings down the King Edward's mainmast:

The exhausted crew of the Dauphin Royal finally broke free of the Dreadnought, only to run into raking fire from the fresh HMS Leicester!

Only three English frigates still have masts standing, as the French have outmaneuvered and outgunned them from the start. It may have helped that there weren't any Spanish frigates, as many Spanish SOL's have yet to enter the main battle or have caused complications for the allies.

Many allied ships have turned southeast in an attempt to join battle, but it may be too late for some of them.

The Magnifique has finally broken free of the fighting to give her crew a short rest, but what she sees is not pleasant: superior English gun crews have led to their dominance in the southern area, while the central area features many shattered French capital ships. As the English columns moved south to crush the French, the Spanish ships with the weather gauge found it difficult to enter the battle, between the logjam in the center and the frigate battle to the north.

The Lord Walpole and Birkenhead sight the Magnifique to the east, and make a beeline towards the flagship, confident in their gun crews.

3 deckers from both sides engage. The Scipion fires upon the Titan, which is now aflame.

The other Spanish 3 deckers finally enter the battle, and the Success is dismasted.

The Concorde duels with the Ville de Paris. Behind them you can see the Hercule and Leicester beating each other to pieces in an evenly matched fight. The fresh HMS Victoria has engaged the battered Dauphin Royal.

The frigate battle is already over! The Saint James was outnumbered 3 to 1, and couldn't make up the difference. The large crew of the Bonifacio took care of the Patagonia, while the other French frigates surrounded their English counterparts.

War at sea:

Here is generally where the battle reached its peak:

History repeats itself! The battle for the ages: La Magnifique vs HMS Lord Walpole and HMS Birkenhead.

The Ville de Paris was winning her battle against the Concorde, but here the Ajax has begun to fire upon her starboard quarter. At the left, two English 64's surround a Spanish 3 decker.

Utter devastation. The Hercule and Leicester have dismasted each other but continue to fight. The Dauphin Royal is close to striking her clors to the Victoria. Behind them, the Argonauta has dismasted a small English SOL before being set ablaze by the fresh Belle of Exeter. At the top of the frame, the Dreadnought is slowly winning a battle of attrition against La Gaule, while the French frigates regroup after the English frigates surrender.

The Saint James was in no condition to be taken as a prize, and the French sunk her.

Overeager to get into battle, the Auguste rams one of her allies!

The center of the battle has become very densely packed, with La Valois as the latest entrant. Her and her sister ships are veterans of many battles, but that may not help her against the sheer firepower of HMS King Edward. At the right, the Titan has lost her final mast to Le Superbe, but refuses to surrender.

At the southern edge of the battle, the English have captured 3 French SOL's.

One of my first four ships ever, the Asesino de la Nave makes the showdown a battle of the classics! The Birkenhead lies derelict, but the Magnifique has been shot to pieces and has half of her crew killed or wounded.

The English continue to clean up in the south, capturing two more French ships. Just north of them, La Toulouse has been dismasted by the mighty HMS Gargantuan. At the right, HMS Victoria delivers a broadside through the stern galleries of the Matthias Vospero.

Carnage in the center:

An ominous sight: the fire aboard the Argonauta spreads, and she drifts south with the wind, crashing into the stern of the Dauphin Royal.

Total carnage!

The entire battlefield, showing the scope of the conflict:

Soon afterwards, ships begin surrendering.

The Argonauta exploded! When the fire reached her powder magazine the big 3 decker blew up, with the force of the explosion capsizing the Dauphin Royal and Hercule and moving the Leicester. The Lord Walpole and Ville de Paris were set aflame by the burning debris.

HMS Success is the first English SOL to surrender, while the English force the Neptune and Delacroix to finally strike their colors.

One of my favorite pictures of the battle, showing the action at mast-level and the beautiful shimmering ocean water.

The end is near...

In a scene of unimaginable carnage of death, the Titan and Superbe refuse to surrender, though their rates of fire have decreased significantly from the battle's start.

Completely exhausted, both sides retire:

The Magnifique finally surrendered, as did some other French ships.

The Spanish, having had trouble geting into the battle early on, still have some ships with all their masts standing, but the new allied commander has ordered a retreat.

A final look at the debris, carnage, and what may be my last-ever HFS battle:

The English were victorious! They had captured 12 enemy ships, and sunk 3 of them. The Franco-Spanish allies had captured the entire English frigate squadron as well as one ship of the line, while sinking the Saint James, for a total of 6 ships captured and 1 ship sunk. The English had lost 50 masts in the day's action, while the Franco-Spanish lost 74 masts. At the close of the battle, the English had 17 seaworthy ships (ships with at least one mast still standing), compared to 21 in the allied fleet. However, only 13 of those 21 were ships of the line, and almost none of them 3 deckers, while the English had all 17 ships of the line and a morale advantage. The English had a superior strategy, hitting the French leeward column very hard while delaying the windward column and the Spanish reserve from coming up to help. They also used superior gunnery to prevail. The allies were not entirely coordinated in their efforts, and the insubordination and general lack of ambition in the Spanish fleet was partially to blame in their loss.

I hope this gives you a better idea of how Historical Fantasy Scenarios were done. Of course, collecting gold, launching ships, expanding harbors, and avoiding battle were all major parts of HFS's, but the battles were the most memorable part. I would say that this battle size was about average for an HFS, though sometimes the number of masts lost was greater or less depending upon the nature of the battle. Of course, this battle pales in comparison to this one, which may be the biggest battle I've ever done. That battle featured around 200 ships and almost exactly twice as many fallen masts, so you can begin to imagine the carnage. Very Happy
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:20 am Reply with quote

I wish the Spanish had won. Sad
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Subject: Back in action!   PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:26 am Reply with quote

With the fall approaching I've started playing with my regular play partner once again! Our first game back was a simple affair, played on the sidelines of a super-casual game night. This led to some interruptions (which may lead to new players though heh) and the game being quite short. I was excited to make a fleet with some of the stuff I haven't used before, and came up with a combo I like. (After Volt's recent report I almost went with Terrox but this was only a 40 point game and the other Cursed stuff in my current traveling collection is less than inspiring lol)

He went first with a mixed fleet:
HMS Dunlap
USS Oregon + captain

Grand Barnacle + Calypso, Coconut
El Ballista + Hammersmith, fire shot

The Grand Barnacle and Mermaid are two of the newest additions to my fleet, and I never use Calypso as much as I'd like to heh. John went with a gold-oriented fleet with plenty of open cargo spaces and durability, while I wanted to use the Ballista as a fast suicide attacker to distract from the Calypso gimmick.

The Ballista quickly set upon the slow Oregon, while Calypso didn't need the monkey's reroll to set up some whirlpools.

The Ballista went 0/4 on her second volley and then was pummeled by the Oregon and Dunlap. The Pequod and Mermaid are almost back with gold, but the Grand Barnacle has the best haul.

The Pirates made it back, and I ceded the rest of the gold in play. Luckily it worked, with the Pirates winning 23-22! (A narrow margin of victory, and almost the same score as Volt's 3-way tie at 22 haha)

It was good to get back to some good ol' pirating, and we look forward to more adventures in the near future!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:56 am Reply with quote

I played two games tonight, in rapid succession. The first was against Xerecs, the second against my friend John.

Xerecs and I decided to pit our Keyword fleets against each other!

a7xfanben - Keywords everywhere

Xerecs - Hoist the Keywords!

My swarm fleet immediately scattered, with the Dervish losing a mast to a whirlpool.

The Dervish was quickly picked apart by her opponents, but the Akua Lapu found Plague! In the meantime, the swarmers had already cleaned off two islands.

The Plague was given to the Dervish, who had no crew to eliminate. The Strongarm then took care of the Plague by sinking the galley.

I anticipated a race-battle to the southwestern island, but Xerecs took the Strongarm through the whirlpool towards my home island. Both fleets unloaded some considerable loot.

After divvying up the wealth among my three ships at the southwestern island, I decided to scatter my units once more! The Grinder headed for the whirlpool, while the Glorious Treasure and Lightning headed for home together. I then went after the Strongarm with the ships that weren't carrying gold, in an effort to distract and block the hoist. This purpose was achieved with canoes, the Sea Tiger, and the Libellule.

The end of the game was rushed, with the Strongarm sinking the Lightning and the 1 gold she carried. The Akua Lapu sailed through the whirlpool, and managed to position the Doombox flotilla so it could smash the Glorious Treasure. Luckily for me, one of the shots missed, allowing the Glorious Treasure to dock home on the next turn. This late-game skirmish also saw a few canoes sink, while the Grinder was damaged. In the end, the swarm fleet was victorious by a score of 28-10!

The second game featured two 60 point fleets. I was in the mood for something a bit wacky, and ended up going first.

French Vikings:
Grand Vainqueur + Jules Arnaud, captain, helmsman
Grendel + captain

Grampus + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist
HMS Henry VIII + captain
Pequod + explorer
HMS Dunlap

(I did not mean for it to look like the shark is breathing fire lol)

The Anglo-Americans attacked on their first turn, dealing damage to the Grand Vainqueur. The French retaliated, setting the Grampus alight while Carcharodon missed taking a bite out of the Henry VIII's deck.

The fighting schooners teamed up to dismast the Grand Vainqueur! It's worth noting that both the GV and Grampus were set alight, but both extinguished the flames with their next actions.

The Grendel was the first to reach the beaches, but things looked grim for the French Vikings. However, the shark proved to be a slippery devil, avoiding hits by the Grampus and Henry VIII.

Indeed, the two gunships combined to miss 7 times in a row, making it almost a fair fight!

Carcharodon is wounded, but he allows the Grendel to slip by with gold. If not for all the misses, it's unlikely I would have brought back any gold in this game.

The shark is finally killed, and the Grendel sets off on a suicide mission.

By necessity the Anglo-Americans keep the lone Viking alive, but she's not a threat and the Pequod and Dunlap return home with enough gold to win the game without sailing back for another trip! The Anglo-Americans defeat the French Vikings 23-15!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:08 am Reply with quote

VASSAL Game 16

VASSAL Game 16 - a7xfanben vs. xerecs

With the World game in limbo until Xerecs can get a computer upgrade or something, we decided to play a "regular" game. However, we wanted it to be special and memorable. Each of us would control two 80 point fleets, which would function independently (so effectively 4 "players").

The order of play:

Fleet 1 (Xerecs)
HMS Apollo + Thomas Gunn
Black Pearl + Griffin, Calico Cat, "Cannonball" Gallows, helmsman
Tiger's Eye + helmsman, explorer
Hai Peng + Captain Jack Sparrow, explorer

French Mercenaries (a7xfanben)
Le Gaule + Captain Nemo, Lenoir, captain, helmsman
Tenfold* + Zedekiah*, helmsman, oarsman
Le Triton + captain

*Both customs courtesy of El_Cazador

Type: 3-mast hoist
Nation: Mercenary
Points: 22
Masts: 3
Cargo: 5
Move: S+S
Cannons: 4L,3S,3S
Link: Zedekiah
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.

Type: Crew
Nation: Mercenary
Points: 8
Link: Tenfold
Ex-Patriot, Hostile: Barbary Corsairs, Cursed, Pirate, Viking; Captain. One of this ship's treasures is worth +2 gold when unloaded at your home island.

Flavor: Zedekiah has had run-ins with all the worst on the seas yet always comes out ahead. He captains his ship well but prefers to play the tunes of his people on his clarinet.

Fleet 2 (Xerecs)
San Cristobal + Victor de Alva, Duque Marcus Vaccaro, helmsman
HMS Morning Star + Hermione Gold, Lawrence, Sir Christopher Myngs
La Santa Isabel + Dominic Freda, helmsman
Longshanks + explorer

Mind Control (a7xfanben)
+ additional ships
Banshee's Cry + helmsman, explorer
English Letter of Marque x2: one on the Kentucky, one on the Cyclone (the nationality was determined at random by die rolls - it just happened to come up English both times)

Xerecs created a great map, with 8 total islands. The home islands were selected in reverse play order, and the wild islands were towards the edges. Round earth rules were in effect, and my Mind Control fleet made sure there was plenty of terrain around.

Play begins! The effects of the mind controllers were felt immediately: GWL on the Kentucky rolled to move any ship L! The San Cristobal was the closest big ship to a reef, and incredibly she rolled two 1's in a row (with Vaccaro's reroll) to lose 4 of her 5 masts! The brainwashed Americans aboard the Kentucky exclaimed with glee, and Davy Jones offered a rare smile. In the meantime, Fleet 1 was the only fleet that didn't appear to scatter on the first turn.

Early on the next turn, the Tenfold was the first ship to reach an island! Using her hoist to explore, she found an alarming cache of UT's! First, Plague eliminated her three crew. Then, she rolled a 3 for Lost! Reefs appeared under the Divine Dragon, Apollo, and Morning Star! Just like the San Cristobal, the Dragon rolled a 1 to lose all but one of her masts! The English 5 masters were more fortunate, losing 1 mast between the two of them.

The San Cristobal and Divine Dragon returned home to repair. Especially with a severe loss in durability, Davy Jones knew that Captain Nemo aboard the Gaule was sailing for him.

The next ship to explore was the Banshee's Cry, and what a haul she found! Maps of Hades backfired, being found by the mind controllers themselves. Ammunition was turned into a Spanish Letter of Marque in exchange for marooning the explorer on the island, in anticipation of a possible attack by the approaching Santa Isabel. However, two UT's proved to be even more interesting: Maps of Alexandria and Nemo's Plans. The Maps revealed all treasure on the other two wild islands! In the northeast, it showed that both Runes of Odin and Runes of Magic were on the same island, which could give the ship exploring the island the opportunity to play both at the same time and eliminate any one ship in the game virtually at will! The mind controllers were very excited, because the Mermaid and Rover were already headed towards that island. If they could get both Runes on the ship with Nemo's Plans, nothing would be able to stop them!

The northwestern island had an interesting mix of UT's, including Bad Maps (lots of maps in this game haha). This forced Fleet 1 to make a decision - would they explore the island and get wrenched around by the French Mercenaries, and if so, which ship would do the deed?

In the end, the Tiger's Eye and Black Pearl continued west while the Hai Peng explored the wild island. The French Mercenaries moved it south, while the Hai Peng was saddled with some other UT's, including Nemo's Charts, Runes of Thor, and Weapons. The mysterious island also took a mast from the Hai Peng.

The French Mercs were next. The Tenfold headed home, with the Triton's captain putting his ship between the Tenfold and the enemy ships. A battle was imminent. To the northeast, the Gaule just barely managed to S-board the Kentucky! The Gaule won the boarding party, and Nemo captured GWL! Now the mind controllers could possibly have their strategy used against them!

The mind controllers made a nice strategy decision with Nemo's Plans. Knowing they didn't want the Plans to be on a ship with Maps of Hades (the Banshee's Cry, which could get wrenched around by Fleet 2), they had the Cyclone use her ability. The ability specifically allows the Cyclone to take unique treasures that otherwise can't be removed, namely the Plans. Now the mind controllers had Nemo's Plans aboard a more durable ship, which also had an English Letter of Marque aboard, and which wasn't near enemy gunships. To complete the plan, the Mermaid and Rover docked at the northeastern island and prepared to explore. However, the round earth rules would soon prove problematic, and even the best-laid plans go wrong...

Fleet 1 attacks! The Black Pearl uses the Runes of Thor (aboard the Hai Peng) to force an extra action from Calico Cat, which allows the ship to get in range of both the Rover and Mermaid! The Rover is quickly sunk, while Griffin's reroll is used to dismast the Mermaid. The mind controllers' fragile fleet was crumbling, and things were about to get worse...

Captain Nemo captures Davy Jones!! The Divine Dragon had little choice but to repair on the previous turn, but it wasn't enough against Le Gaule, who was actually able to use her +1 to boarding rolls against the Cursed ability. This left the mind controllers with no crew essential to their strategy.

Combat also erupted in the south. The Triton positioned herself between the Morning Star and Longshanks, but her captain was cancelled by Lawrence. The Tenfold took matters into her own hands, ramming the Morning Star! This gave the English the Plague, and Lawrence paid the price for his cancelling. All the crew died, but now the Tenfold was pinned to a larger ship.

Fleet 2 quickly retaliated, sinking the Triton. The San Cristobal fully repaired, and the Santa Isabel sailed home with gold. The mind controllers had an eventful turn. The Kentucky and Divine Dragon combined to go 3/4 to weaken the Gaule. The Banshee's Cry was able to emerge from a fog bank (previously hiding from the Gaule) and dock home gold, also transferring the Spanish Letter of Marque to the Divine Dragon. The Cyclone, seeing the now-dismal situation in the northeast, simply picked up a 1 from the nearby island. The Mermaid had one clear choice. She couldn't pick up the abandoned shipwright to repair, since she can't carry crew. In addition, the Black Pearl could easily sink her on the next turn regardless. Therefore, picking up regular gold wasn't a good option either. She decided to put as much of the Rune combo into play as possible, without having a second ship to assist her. She explored the island, loading Runes of Odin. Then the UT was flipped, and a big wall of icy death appeared off the stern of the San Cristobal, still docked at Fleet 2's home island!

The ball was now in Xerecs' court: the Tiger's Eye sailed to the northeastern island and explored it. The ship loaded 4 regular treasures and a unique treasure, but not Runes of Magic. Xerecs had an opportunity to eliminate a fully-loaded San Cristobal (!) from the game. He didn't take it.

The chaos continued. Lenoir, having no place for Captain Nemo to dock, decided on a dual mission: engage the Black Pearl on the way to pick up the abandoned shipwright. The BP lost 2 masts, but the Gaule didn't S-board. The Longshanks and Morning Star began wearing down the Tenfold, and things were not looking good for the French Mercenaries. The San Cristobal escaped the deadly iceberg, but the Santa Isabel did not. The Mermaid, surprised to be afloat after the Black Pearl turned south, re-explored the northeastern island to load and use Runes of Magic, and the iceberg sank the Santa Isabel with lots of gold aboard! The Cyclone headed home with gold, the Kentucky finally departed her HI, the Divine Dragon continued repairing, and the Banshee's Cry finally rolled badly for Maps of Hades and was forced onto a sargasso sea.

The San Cristobal dismasts the Hai Peng!

The SC is then dismasted by the Apollo! The BC makes it to the northwestern island. The mind controllers have captured the Black Pearl, and the Divine Dragon seeks revenge on the French!

The Gaule prevails with Lenoir's cancelling, and cripples the Divine Dragon.

The Cyclone somehow makes it home with the Black Pearl, but the Dragon is sunk. Fleet 1 unloads a ton of gold all at once!

The BC slips by the Gaule after winning a boarding action! The Gaule rolled a 1 when S-boarding to lose 6-4! Unfortunately, the BC can't quite make it into the fog.

The Gaule somehow can't sink the BC on her next turn, allowing the Black Pearl to get in range. However, the Pearl only hits once. The Gaule then sank the BC with 6 gold aboard! In the meantime, the Tiger's Eye and Cyclone gathered gold while the Apollo and Morning Star fought in the south.

The Black Pearl sank the Gaule but could only delay the Tiger's Eye so long with MI effects. Fleet 1 further proved their dominance, with the Apollo eliminating the remnants of Fleet 2.

In the end there could be only one winner!

The final tally:
Fleet 1: 26 gold
Mind Control: 15
Fleet 2: 3
French Mercenaries: 0

This was a good game that saw a lot of interesting UT interactions and some rules questions. My Mind Control fleet continues to prove its worth in multiplayer games, coming in second after a string of victories a few years ago. Despite losing their controllers, they were able to salvage a decent game. In the end, it came as no surprise that a fleet with the Tiger's Eye and Hai Peng would emerge victorious, and Xerecs has his third win on VASSAL!

Our next endeavour could be even crazier: a 200 point game of Water World!
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Subject: Water World - at 200 points!   PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:53 am Reply with quote

VASSAL Game 17

Xerecs and I have played a 200 point game of Water World!

I went first with this fleet while Xerecs used this fleet. When creating my fleet, I was quite inspired by some of the ideas I presented here. With 200 points at my disposal, any combo was possible, even that monster one with the Guichuan. I'll admit this report is a bit biased towards my perspective on things, but that's entirely because this was one of the best games I've ever played. (as in, I played it really well, not that the game itself was that exceptional) Hopefully it won't sound too conceited haha!

My strategy going into the game was as follows. The whole premise of the fleet was to basically sail the Guichuan up to the enemy fort, flip Grim to steal all the gold (or at least 7 coins anyway), and then be immune to cannon fire with the Haulers. Then, after stealing all the gold from said fort, proceed to sink it to add insult to injury! The Oxford is the sidekick to the Guichuan, chosen for her speed (able to keep up with a Guichuan going 4S per turn with Mycron's help) and ability. The canoes provide transfer backup if needed. Honestly, the rest of the fleet was just created as a distraction. Realistically, the only thing that can distract an opponent from the Guichuan is another 10 master. Thus, the Celtic Fury. I chose her because France has some crew with the Parley ability, and using Parley as offense is another thing I've been wanting to test further. Roimata's captain/SAT was the perfect complement to Lenoir's reroll, while a stinkpot specialist was added to fill out the points and provide some insurance against tough foes. The support gunships are other distractions - with this many points available the Constitution was a support gunship! The Black Coral was added for another RtSS piece, and I thought she could be a backup gold runner, with Secret Hold being extra-useful in the Water World scenario. The Mercure is a ship I'd like to use more often, and was the perfect fiery pest to fill out points with.

I wondered to myself if this grand plan was even plausible. Somehow, it worked.

6 wild islands, 8 coins per island, round earth rules.

The canoes explored, and the first island sank beneath the waves. I was hesitant to make my strategy obvious early on, but knew I needed to strike Xerecs' fort when he was least expecting it, preferably early in the game soon after some gold had been unloaded there. The Celtic Fury was to be a distraction, and a suicidal one if need be. She and the Mercure headed straight for the enemy 10 masters, with the Constitution not far behind. The San Cristobal grabbed a bunch of gold but also found Scurvy.

The Frontier grabbed the SC's gold with her hoist, and I began to maneuver the Guichuan and Oxford into position in anticipation of Xerecs unloading gold at his home fort. After the Black Pearl was distracted by Natives at a northern wild island, the Celtic Fury moved to strike. With Lenoir still face down, I actually gave Mycron's action to a native canoe in order to get some gold in my fort. I wanted Parley ready in case the Zeus was able to strike first with an SAT from Crimson Angel.

Xerecs was able to drain two islands completely, meaning that half of the wild islands were already gone. This worried me, since I didn't know if the Guichuan's potential haul would even be enough to tip the treasure game in my favor, especially if the heist didn't go as planned.

I nearly attacked the Black Pearl since she was a sitting duck with the Natives UT affecting her for 3 turns, but decided not to risk it. Tia Dalma aboard the Zeus could easily cancel Lenoir's Parley, leaving the Celtic Fury open to a devastating broadside. The Constitution was coming, but she wouldn't arrive in time. At the bottom of the frame, I decided to not explore with the Black Coral since I knew some of the negative UT's I put into the mix, and to provide support for the Guichuan from the west if needed.

Xerecs moved the Zeus west a bit, allowing the Celtic Fury to SAT into position. However, she only knocked one mast off the Pearl, being careful to stay out of Tia Dalma's cancelling range. The Mercure ducked into a fog bank to hide from the Zeus, while the Constitution arrived on the scene. In the meantime my canoes had finished unloading gold, while the San Cristobal did the same on the opposite side of the sea. With the Celtic Fury getting some action going in the north, the distraction was in place. The Guichuan and Oxford turned their bows west, towards Xerecs' fort accessible via round earth.

The Zeus sped north, while the Baochuan took over against the Celtic Fury. However, I flipped Lenoir to Parley my way out of the situation! The random coin chosen from my home fort was a 1, and the Celtic Fury was safe!

The Celtic Fury responds with a thunderous broadside, crippling the Baochuan! The Constitution and Mercure team up and sail north, possibly to pursue the Zeus. At this point the game was in a relatively flexible state, but I knew one thing for sure: I was going for it. The Guichuan and Oxford round earthed their way to the east, where the San Cristobal was the only ship guarding the home fort. In the meantime, the Black Coral attacked the Joya del Sol, who was headed north with an abandoned musketeer to take out the Wolves that were found on the same island with the Natives.

Attack! The Celtic Fury dismasts the Baochuan, while the Constitution and Mercure team up to take the Black Pearl down to 1 mast. The Morning Star went through a whirlpool and aimed her bow at my home fort, which funny enough, I had left unguarded! I interpreted this as a potential raid, but my ships weren't close enough to deter it. However, the Guichuan was ready to strike, while the San Cristobal sailed away from danger.

The Frontier discovered a mess of UT's at a middle island, which sent the hoist into a whirlpool. The Morning Star turned south, alleviating my fears for a moment. However, the Zeus was on her way to my home fort. Uh oh. The Joya escaped into a fog bank, while the Black Pearl joined the Zeus with her high speed and an EA from Calico Cat. I was a bit worried, but my excitement level was also very high, as the game was about to hit its climax.

Chaos! The Guichuan raids the home island! Grim steals everything! Bianco's Haulers is also flipped, and I realized something. Originally I planned to dock, steal as much gold as possible, and then sink the fort all in one turn. However, with the Haulers available, I could purposely stay docked while not sinking the fort, meaning the Guichuan couldn't be shot at until I sailed away or sank the fort. It worked to perfection - the Guichuan damaged the fort on the approach and while docking, getting a lot of help from the Junk keyword. Once the loot was loaded, it was the Oxford's turn. She blasted the final cannons off the fort while simultaneously firing at the still-dangerous San Cristobal. However, I was just getting started. The native canoes round earthed to the east, and the full extent of my plan became clear - the canoes could use their transfer ability to grab gold from the Guichuan and then scatter! This was a variation on my Golden Cranes idea.

With the Joya in the fog, the Black Coral turned her attention to a new opponent: the Frontier. She hit once, but it was a good example of the Black Coral being my ultimate utility ship in this fleet. To the north, the Constitution began sailing back to my home fort, desperate to get there before the Zeus did. The Mercure stayed in the northeast, and nearly sunk the Baochuan (which in hindsight is what I probably should have done haha). What about the Celtic Fury? Well, I knew I'd need her for home defense, so I sent her through a whirlpool to intercept the Zeus. With an SAT from Roimata she was able to dismast the Morning Star after teleporting! All in all, this turn saw me dismast one ship, damage two others, and steal 6 coins all at once!

Knowing full well that Parley would be cancelled, the Celtic Fury had to make a stand - she was only in the fleet to be a distraction anyway. She positioned herself right between the oncoming ships and her home fort. The Constitution was going to be late, similar to the earlier battle. The Joya emerged from the fog to kill the Wolves, but was set aflame by the Mercure. The grand plan was nearly complete! The Guichuan began sailing for home with her stolen gold, while the Oxford easily sank the remains of Xerecs' home fort, leaving the Black Coral utility player to deal with the weakened San Cristobal (making the SC the 3rd ship the Black Coral engaged during this game).

Here the Zeus has blasted the Celtic Fury to pieces! 8 shots hit their mark, and a second 10 master was ruined.

For trivia reasons I wanted to do what could have been the first inter-world (?) gold transfer: using the canoe's ability to transfer a coin from a canoe in the west to a canoe in the east. It didn't quite happen, partly because I was in a rush to get home. Predictably, the Celtic Fury hit with a regular cannon but not with her stinkpot specialist, which could have given the Zeus some big problems if it had hit. In other news, the Black Coral missed the San Cristobal all three times while the Mercure captured the Baochuan! Knowing how unlikely it would be to tow her home and use her, I was mostly after the Baochuan for Zheng He's admiral ability, which would give me two along with the Headhunter. At this point I wasn't worried about the gold remaining on islands - I knew I had enough to win between the gold in my fort and the gold coming home from the Guichuan's heist. The last thing I wanted was the game to end since the islands had disappeared, because I knew I had an inferior gold fleet.

The Zeus sinks the Celtic Fury! The showdown is at hand! (and the Black Coral finally dismasts the San Cristobal heh)

The Zeus reaches my fort and blasts away! She hits 6 times in 9 shots - if all 9 had hit, my fort would have sunk. Alas, the odds were not in Xerecs' favor at this point. I returned fire with my fort, the Constitution, and the Guichuan, who was just able to get some guns in range. The ending was rather bizarre, with two 10 masters fighting with a floating fort in between them. The canoes had just docked home some gold from the heist. To add to the strange finale, Lord Mycron's ship (the Patagonia) was actually in the Guichuan's way of getting more cannons in range, but the Patagonia couldn't move out of the way since that would mean Mycron wouldn't give his action to the Guichuan and the Guichuan wouldn't have any guns in range in the first place!! The Mercure abandoned the Baochuan in the fog (I just wanted her for Zheng He's ability, which I never rolled a 6 with haha), going after the Frontier. The Black Coral sank the San Cristobal.

I docked home my stolen loot and sank the Zeus and Frontier to end the game! To make things even more strange, the gold I originally had in my home fort was gone! The Guichuan's heist totaled 22 gold, but in reality the final score was about 35-0. I had won the game in a complete shutout despite the big build total. I only lost one ship, the Celtic Fury (plus one canoe haha). I had captured or destroyed Xerecs' entire fleet.I was also happy because I was intimidated when I saw the enemy fleet - the Zeus and San Cristobal (by some people's accounts the 2 best gunships in the game), along with the Baochuan and some of the best gold runners in the game. However, with some negative UT's, effective crew placement, and brilliantly executed gimmick strategy, I was able to pull off the victory!

I have to admit, this is one of the best performances I've ever had. There aren't many games that go this well - almost my entire gameplan worked to a T. It was truly a perfect game.

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Subject: Let the games begin!   PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:51 am Reply with quote

VASSAL Tournament #1

Welcome to the first VASSAL tournament! Xerecs and I have agreed to play not one, but two tournaments on the VASSAL module! The purpose of the tournaments is to determine which fleet is the best of all-time! Very Happy

Tournament 1 (T1) acts as a play-in round. The top 4 fleets from T1 (not just the winner) will advance to Tournament 2 (T2). There will be 8 fleets participating in T1, while T2 will have a whopping 16 fleets! Each matchup consists of 2 fleets facing each other in 1v1 competition in a 3-game series. The fleet that wins the series advances to the next round. To save time, if a fleet wins the first 2 games of a series, the third game of the series will likely not be played. If you'd like to join the tournament, just let us know.

Fleet selection: In a spreadsheet, I have documented the records of various fleets I've played in the past. Based on these records, some fleets get a "bye" of sorts and are automatically placed in T2. You can check out the current standings in this thread. The fleets for T1 were selected by myself and Xerecs. They are the fleets we considered the most competitive of the other fleets available, and/or they were fleets we really wanted to give a shot to, for a chance to enter the grand Tournament #2.

I've done this tournament idea in the past, but it's time for competitive play to return! The previous tournament saw Norvegia victorious, but the fleet was then swept 3-0 by my HMS GT fleet immediately afterwards in exhibition play. Therefore, my original HMS GT fleet will head into T2 as a #1 seed. The rest of the seeding process will be based on records and possibly other criteria such as vote scores on MT or margins of victory in past games.

These games are being played under most of the "standard" game rules (8 coins per player worth 15 gold, 6 islands, etc). However, there will be a few house rules:
-Xerecs and I are changing the turn order after the first game of each series. The fleet that went second in the first game will go first in the second game. This is to ensure maximum fairness so one die roll doesn't effectively decide a series. (though Game 3's will still feature regular rolls)
-We will play until there is a clear winner. This will often be the "more than half the starting gold" rule, but there may be exceptions.

Here is the bracket for Tournament #1! I am playing as UPS 5, dakmor's swarm fleet, EA Gold Runners, and American Pirates. Xerecs is playing as his own GT fleet, Volt's VASSAL fleet challenge fleet, Barbary Untouchables 2, and the Dread Galley speed fleet. I placed my fleets in the bracket in no particular order. We then assigned numbers to the fleets, for example, UPS 5 got a 1 because it would be the first series of the first round. Xerecs then rolled dice to determine the matchups, and the bracket was set up! For future rounds, if one person controls both fleets, they pick which one they want for that round, and the other person gets the other fleet. The matchups certainly looked interesting on paper, with a giant matchup headlining the first series!

UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style

Xerecs' HMS GT fleet

(It's highly recommended that you check out the fleets beforehand to have context going into the games)

The first game was underway! I rolled to go first, and quickly sacced an oarsman to get the Zeus to a wild island. Trading away a bad UT, we immediately began to run into rules questions lol. This picture shows the Zeus at a second wild island; two coins have already been tossed home via Captain Jack Sparrow (CJS). The Longshanks had her crew eliminated by a missionary, but it prevented some natives from freezing the ship. So far, Xerecs' bad UT's were hurting him, and Don Pedro Gilbert's treasure trading ability ensured the Zeus would be reasonably safe from harm at most islands.

The Longshanks and Zeus returned home with gold, while the Banshee's Cry (BC) was dismasted by the Coeur du Lion. The Zeus was running out of oarsmen to sacrifice, but UPS 5 already had a major lead in the gold game.

The Grand Temple got an SAT from Myngs and blasted the Zeus! However, the Zeus and her crew were annoyed to find Natives on the island, trading it away for another coin. Eager for the game to end, it was time to fire. ZEUS SMAAAASH!! Saccing the explorer, the Zeus dismasted the GT! A few more shenanigans followed, but UPS 5 was the obvious victor. The final score of the first game of T1: 18-3.

The second game was about to begin!

In extremely similar fashion, the Zeus traded away Wolves to an island close to the Longshanks and BC! The second game was a near-repeat of the first.

The Grand Temple made a move for the Hag of Tortuga, and captured her! The Zeus emerged from a fog bank to simultaneously dock at her HI and shoot at the GT, hitting only 5/16 in a double action. This wasn't all that surprising given her 3S cannons and my generally poor luck with shoot actions. The BC and Longshanks reached the far islands, while the GT had the mast she needed to get home.

This led to an interesting situation - the Zeus blockading the BC and LS in a fog bank, while the GT repaired. The Jolly Mon, with no Ransom crew around, sailed off in search of treasure. However, all she found was Natives, meaning that the gold on ships was essentially the only gold left in the game. Theoretically the Zeus could have explored the other island and traded away the Wolves for the Natives (making the gold accessible), but there was no reason for me to do that with a fully repaired HMS GT charging the Zeus while she sat immobile due to the Natives. In addition, I already had the gold advantage once again.

Thus we began playing cat and mouse. The LS was shadowed by the Zeus, while the Jolly Mon and Coeur came up to support the 10 master. I had realized something: since I wasn't going to be trading away any more gold home for oarsmen on the Coeur, there was no reason not to send the Coeur out to meet the Zeus and just give her the oarsman manually. This would give the Zeus two oarsmen, which might allow her enough actions to catch all three enemy ships.

I quickly tired of the maneuvering, and decided to force the action. The Jolly Mon rammed the Longshanks, who stayed in place and fired. This allowed my plan to work, with the Zeus dismasting the Longshanks and stealing her coin (I wanted the extra gold before sinking the LS). The Coeur came alongside the Zeus and was ready to transfer the final oarsman.

The GT got an SAT and attacked the Zeus. Incredibly, she missed all 6 times!! This allowed the Zeus to sink her with a double shoot, also sinking the LS. The BC was all alone in the fog.

I managed to corner the BC near my home island. Docking the Zeus to deposit my last coin (stolen from the LS), I then shot at the BC and sank her! This ended the game, with UPS 5 winning 15-5! This was the fleet's second win in as many games, winning the pair by a combined score of 33-8. UPS 5 advances to Round 2 and therefore also to a spot in Tournament #2!

The second series featured more awesome fleets:

dakmor's swarm fleet

Vassal La dominación española

Once again I rolled to go first, and the swarm fleet was off!

The BC reached the northeastern island, and things got silly in a hurry. She found 3 3's (the highest treasure value in the distribution for these two fleets) as well as the Turtles UT. Xerecs' bad luck was apparently going to continue, as my fleets consistently found better UT's and values.

The Santo Columba began blasting her way through the swarm, but it was already too late. To add insult to injury, the Intrepide had found 8 more gold on her island, while the Lezard and Mermaid found Skrew Engine and Runes of Speed on their island.

The UT's were flipped and the BC also returned home, netting me 15 gold in one turn. 10 turtles weren't far behind, and just to make things even more lopsided, my tiny ships rammed effectively, taking the Santo Columba down to 2 masts.

The Santo Columba eliminated a turtle, but then the Intrepide docked home and the game ended. The swarm fleet had won a massively lopsided game 23-5. They look to advance to T2 with another win, a game that will hopefully be played soon.

The bad luck experienced by Xerecs on this night was beyond comprehension. Luck wasn't the only reason he lost all three games, but it was truly hard to believe, especially the GT going 0/6 and the completely perfect treasure distribution that the swarm fleet got lucky with.

After three games, here are the standings! For future reference, the top fleet will have the first score (ex: if volt's fleet had just won the latest game 10-5, it would say 5-10 instead of 23-5.)

Which fleet will face the formidable UPS 5? And which fleets of the other 4 will advance? Stay tuned to find out!

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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:38 pm Reply with quote

The tournament has continued!

Here's the setup for the second game of the second matchup.

dakmor's swarm fleet

Vassal La dominación española

Once again the swarm fleet found Turtles! This made the swarm even harder to deal with - in addition to 11 ships (Jolly Mon sitting at home), the Spanish had to deal with 10 turtles as well!

A pileup emerged in the center, with the swarmers putting their best gunships (Intrepide, Carrion Crow, Venture) alongside the Santo Columba.

The Santo Columba was victorious and eliminated almost the entire swarm fleet! At this point we simulated the rest of the game since the Spanish would keep the Jolly Mon afloat in order to get the remaining gold. The Spanish won the game 25-15!

That set the stage for the first game 3 of the tournament! The stakes were high, with the loser facing elimination.

The home islands happened to reverse from the previous game.

The Banshee's Cry was sent west with the Mermaid to get gold from an island that I expected to be contested. The Intrepide, Pique, and Lezard all headed south. I put together the best battle squadron I could (Carrion Crow, Venture, Algeciras, Rover) and sailed them straight towards the Santo Columba. The Coeur and Raton would act as block ships or potential "tugboats".

The BC and Mermaid loaded gold, but the Mermaid was sunk and the BC dismasted! (both by the Santo Columba) I decided to try and trap the SC and prevent her from towing the BC (who had 8 gold aboard), and proceeded to eliminate 3 of her 4 masts in a series of rams and shots. Countessa Amore was killed in a boarding attack, netting the swarmers 1 gold. In the east, the Pique headed home with gold while the Intrepide and Lezard lagged behind to protect the turtles. That's right, for the third game in a row, the swarm fleet had found the Turtles UT! However, I had also stashed Grease Barrels away on the Intrepide, hoping to make her a surprise ramming threat if needed...

The Joya del Sol was busy filling her cargo hold, while the Algeciras sailed in and capture the BC. In a complex series of maneuvers I managed to extricate one of my derelicts out of the way so that another ship could tow the Santo Columba. I then utilized a small chain tow with the Intrepide to move the SC farther from the Algeciras. You can see how crowded the area was, and 10 turtles just to the east only made it busier.

The Algeciras attacked, but my prize was safe: the Santo Columba! Guess what saved her? The Grease Barrels! I flipped the UT aboard the Intrepide to allow her to dock home before the Algeciras potentially could have sunk the SC on the following turn. An SAT got the SC repairing quickly, and now the swarmers had access to the very weapon that caused their demise in the previous game, and the only huge threat between the two fleets combined.

Turtles began reaching safety, while the Algeciras re-towed the BC. The SC fully repaired, and the Intrepide set sail again.

I figured I could catch the Joya del Sol with the Santo Columba, but I forgot about the other UT's: Skrew Engine and Runes of Speed. The Joya had both aboard, meaning she could move 12S in two turns to get home. The Algeciras swapped her captain (Luis Zuan) for a coin on the BC, hoping to salvage some value from the prize, knowing that she wouldn't make it home at S speed while towing the BC. I moved to recapture the BC. At this point I had a very good idea of what Xerecs had on the Joya, since I had explored two islands and knew what values were present on the BC. It was possible that the score would end up 20-19!

Things went according to plan for a turn, surprisingly enough! I captured the BC, Xerecs got the Joya home, and the SC fought with the Algeciras.

The SC used S boarding to steal the coin from the Algeciras, but the Joya stole it back! The SC managed to retrieve it, and sped away from the scene. The BC was towed back while that was happening, and the game ended.

Dakmor's swarm fleet wins 22-17 in a fantastic finale! They advance to Round 2, where they will face UPS 5!

The third matchup:

Barbary Untouchables V 2.0 (commanded by Xerecs)

Extra Action Gold Runners

We changed the setup once again but made sure to keep it fair and standard. Also: this game hasn't concluded yet!

The Star of Siam got an extra action early, and I found turtles for the fourth game in a row. The Algeciras hid from the Nubian Prince, while the Joya and Tiger's Eye headed east.

The Star of Siam ducked into a fog bank as well, knowing she could get home when receiving an extra action. The Tiger's Eye turned south but the Joya got an EA to get there first and explore.

As I had planned, a lot of things started happening at once. The Star came out of the fog and docked home gold. The Algeciras emerged as well and scored a hit on the Nubian Prince, while the turtles and Joya del Sol raced home.

The Algeciras was quickly dismasted, while the Star of Siam tried to block the Nubian Prince from sailing over the turtles.

Just like the Star of Siam, the Joya hid in a fog bank until she could get home, this time with a UT. The Nubian Prince dismasted the Star, who fled into a fog bank. The Joya rammed the NP, taking out a second mast. The Tiger's Eye had filled up with gold.

Who will win the first game of this series and take an advantage into the second game?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:29 pm Reply with quote

The games have continued!

Barbary Untouchables V 2.0 (commanded by Xerecs)

Extra Action Gold Runners

The first game of the third series came to a quick end, with the EA gold runners fleet victorious 22-13!

The Corsairs went first to start the second game:

The Nubian Prince dismasted the Algeciras, but once again I had found turtles!

Then I tried to make it look like my ships were heading northeast to contest the Tiger's Eye at a wild island. It worked, as the Nubian Prince turned northeast. The Joya then got an EA at the perfect time and slipped past the Prince. The Star of Siam sacrificed herself and partially blocked the Prince. The turtles continued to swim home.

The Nubian Prince missed the Joya del Sol with a chainshot, and the game was effectively over.

EA Gold Runners wins the game 24-13! They capture the series and move on to round 2, and by extension Tournament 2!

Now it was time for the final matchup of round 1:

The "Dread Galley" Speed Fleet (commanded by Xerecs)

American Pirates

The setup was changed a bit, and we were ready to play! Unfortunately this game wasn't able to be played to completion, but we got off to an interesting start.

The Amity got gold home quickly with some help from Hidden Cove, while Captain Blackheart sacced some an oarsman to fire at the Algiers.

The Star of Siam lost a mast to a reef and another to the Bandido with a ram. The Roanoke proceeded to get another double action and sink both ships!

This game should conclude very soon, and Round 2 of Tournament 1 is approaching...
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:11 am Reply with quote

Tournament 1 continues once more!

The Roanoke was unable to hit the Tiger's Eye, giving the galley another chance to explore. Knowing the general gold situation, I had the Roanoke grab the final coin (at the island the Amity is docked at) rather than pursue the Eye.

The American Pirates prevailed 15-13!

The second game of the series began:

The Roanoke engages:

The galleys congregated in the south, and the Roanoke stalked them. The Amity and Bandido made short work of a wild island.

Things got interesting in a hurry. The Amity rammed a mast off the Tiger's Eye and stole a coin, while the Roanoke went after the others, who were far from home. With a double action the Algiers was dismasted, but the Star of Siam escaped unscathed.

The Tiger's Eye made a mistake trying to cross a Sargasso Sea, and became tangled. The Amity grabbed a coin, while the Star of Siam fled for home. Blackheart wanted more crew for his sacrifices, and sailed southwest to pick up the crew that the Dread Galleys had left off.

At this point the game began to tip in my favor. The Bandido rammed a mast off the Tiger's Eye and robbed a treasure, while the Amity took a short detour and rammed the TE derelict. This left her stuck in the Sargasso with no easy way out. In the east, the Roanoke sank the Algiers and a bunch of coins!

In the end the American Pirates won 14-9! They advance to Round 2 of Tournament #1 and qualify for Tournament #2!

Round 2 of Tournament 1

With that, it was time for the second round, the semifinals!

UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style

dakmor's swarm fleet (commanded by Xerecs)

It was truly an odd matchup - essentially one ship (the Zeus) versus 11 ships!

The Zeus set up Dead Man's Point on an island, and sailed back home with the rest of the island's gold. The Banshee's Cry quickly unloaded an island by herself with the help of some UT's. The main question was whether or not the Zeus could catch the enemy gold runners before they docked home some gold.

The swarm fleet killed the Hag of Tortuga in a boarding action for an extra gold, while the Zeus picked up the oarsmen that would normally be loaded onto the Coeur du Lion. Captain Jack was ready for battle!

There were 4 swarm ships with gold aboard, and the Zeus quickly dispatched two of them. The Intrepide was tougher to get to, with the Rover in the way.

The Zeus dismasted the Intrepide and Lezard! This left towing as the only option for the swarmers. Chain towing helped a bit, but in the end the Zeus was too fast (with double actions each turn due to saccing) and had too many cannons. Both ships were sunk, and UPS 5 won the game 10-7!

Here is the tournament bracket, completely updated through the end of Round 1! My fleets proved their worth, and now two of them must face each other in the second series of Round 2. In the meantime, the winner of the current matchup will soon be decided!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:17 am Reply with quote

UPS v. 5.0: Zeus style

dakmor's swarm fleet (commanded by Xerecs)

Looking for a second sweep in as many rounds, UPS 5 started game 2 of the series in the northwest while the swarm fleet started in the east.

After returning 10 gold to her home island, the Zeus battled her way to another 5 gold. However, she couldn't catch any of the swarming gold runners, and the game ended in a 15-15 tie!

The series went to a game 3, though the series was still 1-0 in favor of UPS 5. I made a mistake and put Xerecs and the swarm fleet near the middle of the sea. This would give them access to 3 of the 4 wild islands.

As the swarmers scattered, the Zeus scooped up all the oarsmen she could carry and headed towards the swarm fleet's home island. I knew I'd have to move quickly to sink a bunch of gold before it got back.

Both Hags of Tortuga were killed to net us 1 gold apiece, while the Zeus sank the Intrepide and 3 coins!

The Zeus rammed the Pique and stole both of her coins, which was only possible after saccing some oarsmen to unintentionally free up cargo space! However, the Mermaid and Lezard still posed threats. The Coeur and Jolly Mon joined the Zeus, and it was once again time for the Zeus to take center stage.

Shots of little consequence were fired, as the Zeus maneuvered into position. The Mermaid would be able to dock, but could only carry a single coin.

This picture doesn't do justice how close the end of the game was. The Algeciras blocked the Zeus, but I managed to go 2/4 and sink the ship with the Zeus' first action! This proved decisive, as it allowed the Zeus to sail north and get some cannons in range of the Lezard. Guns boomed once more, and the Lezard sank quickly. The game was effectively over, with the Zeus returning home and the swarm fleet largely eliminated.

UPS 5 wins the third game 13-7! The fleet now advances to the finals of Tournament #1, and looks to secure a high seed in Tournament #2 as well as further increasing its winning streak. UPS 5 is now 4-0 through two series.

Dakmor's swarm fleet put up a good fight, losing the series by a combined score of just 38-29 when the tie game is included. It will be interesting to see what the swarm fleet has in store for Tournament 2 as well as the 8 fleet multiplayer game. That's right, there will be a multiplayer game after the conclusion of Tournament 1! All 8 fleets will be participating. It's largely an experiment, but the stakes could not be higher for the fleets that were eliminated in Round 1 and therefore will not advance to Round 2. The fleet that wins the multiplayer game will automatically advance to Tournament 2! This is a form of second chance - if one of the "underdog" fleets (now that they've lost in Round 1) manages to pull off a win against all 7 other fleets, they get into T2 with the win! Of course, if one of the 4 fleets that has already advanced to T2 wins the 8 fleet game, it will have no effect on T2 (other than a possible seeding tiebreaker or something), but it will be interesting to see who wins regardless. My EA gold runners fleet is still under .500 at 8-9 overall, but perhaps their greatest claim to fame is that they won that massive 12 fleet game in January 2015 as the conclusion of that "era" of competitive play (my previous "era" would be when Norvegia won a tournament in 2013, and this new era is the current one and will be the most comprehensive). Winning a huge multiplayer game definitely gives a fleet some bragging rights. And yes, we are planning to do a 16 fleet game at the conclusion of T2 using every single fleet from that tournament. Of course, that's a long way off right now...

And with that, the second semifinal matchup is next! As I was the victor in advancing both of the fleets, I get to pick which one I control for the series. I love both fleets, but I've chosen EA gold runners because it's one of my oldest fleets, I still believe in it even though its record isn't fantastic, and because I prefer not to use events (the American Pirates fleet has Hidden Cove). We may not be able to continue for a few days, but we'll be back! Very Happy
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:52 pm Reply with quote

The second matchup of the semifinals!

Extra Action Gold Runners

American Pirates (commanded by Xerecs)

In the first game of the series, I got lucky and found most of the UT's, including the turtles.

The Joya escaped to the southwestern island...

But was soon cornered by the Roanoke!

The AP's managed to subdue the EA gold runners, but the gold was more important. I had found 11 gold, while 9 turtles reached safety. The final score was 20-19 in favor of the EA fleet!

The AP's went first in the second game, and the home islands were close together.

The EA runners took care of the northern islands while the AP's headed west. Xerecs had a new strategy, sending the Amity to the farther island after Hidden Coving her out. It was at the southwestern island that Xerecs finally found the Turtles UT!

I had a bunch of gold, but knew that I needed to eliminate some turtles or steal from the Amity to win. The Joya and Algeciras headed south to intercept the AP's, while the Star of Siam headed west to pick up a 2.

Unsurprisingly the Roanoke was able to sac my fleet to pieces, and the AP's won 20-18 in another extremely close game!

Game 3!

Xerecs found the turtles again, which meant I would be facing an uphill battle to win the game.

The Algeciras hit 2/2 to damage the Roanoke, while the Joya del Sol is heading west to pick up Skrew Engine. As in the last game, the Amity is sailing to the far island to get the best coins, leaving the Roanoke and Bandido to pick up the scraps.

The Amity picked up high value coins, and I sent the Joya in pursuit. However, the Roanoke had repaired with Trees at the northwestern island, and she gave chase. Realizing that I had a chance to eliminate some turtles (and knowing that they should be the priority since they would get home before the Amity), I suddenly sent all my ships towards the AP home island. The Joya got an extra action, while the damaged Algeciras and Star of Siam also sped north. (The Algeciras had rammed the Bandido derelict when the Roanoke repaired)

The Algeciras and Joya began eliminating turtles while also blocking the home island off from the remaining turtles. The SoS didn't receive an extra action from Gallows, and the Roanoke and Amity were coming.

The Roanoke used a double action to sink the Algeciras and damage the Joya! Knowing how much gold I had and how many turtles had gotten home safely, I realized that I could win the game if I got the final 3 gold on the southwestern island. The Joya sailed at great speed for the island, while the Star of Siam would try to intercept the Amity.

In a surprise to me, the Amity rammed the Joya and took out a mast! With only one mast remaining the Joya reached the island and loaded the final two coins.

This is where it got ugly. The Amity caught the Joya and rammed her again. Rolling two consecutive 1's, she didn't eliminate the Joya's final mast and the Joya managed to steal a coin! There was some confusion over how we played the boarding rules. From now on, as I usually play, the winner of the boarding party gets to choose whether they eliminate a crew or take a treasure. If they take a treasure, they can choose which coin they take (since it's more realistic). If they eliminate a crew, the loser picks which crew is eliminated (since it's more balanced). Under these rules, the EA gold runners fleet won the game 24-12. However, then we went back (by undoing everything) and played it again from the same boarding action. This time, the American Pirates won 20-16. As a result, we effectively called Game 3 a tie (!)... which meant that we now had to play a historic Game 4 to decide the winner of the series!

Unfortunately the fourth game was a complete blowout. Hidden Cove was used on the Roanoke, who sank the Joya and dismasted the Algeciras. I found the turtles, but it was already too late. The AP's win 25-5 and advance to the final round!

Tournament 1, Final Round: UPS 5 vs. American Pirates

This will be played soon; Xerecs and I decided to swap fleets. I will control the AP fleet like I did in the first round and Xerecs will have his first opportunity to control UPS 5.
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