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repkosai
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:51 pm Reply with quote

Here's a small, scattered battle report to wade back into the waters, more notable for the players in the game than the game itself. I've finally got the opportunity to play a short introductory game with my parents (as well as wifey). We set up a small map of four home islands, with three wild islands forming a triangle between them, each wild island 1 1/2 L from each other. We set up 30 pt fleets, as follows:

Repkosai's Americans
Philadelphia
Minuteman
USS Plymouth Rock

Wifey's Pirates
El Dorado
Freedom
Freedom's Hand

Mom's Franco-Spanish
El Leon
San Pedro
La Bonne Chance

Dad's Rum & Gun
Rum Runner
La Cazadora , towing Armada

DISCLAIMER: As this was an introductory game, and my mother is hardly classified as a detail-intensive gamer, all pains were made to run this game as simply as possible. As such, we played with no crew or equipment, and (evidently) fewer coins than we should have, which led to an abbreviated, ho-hum sort of game.

Within the first few turns, La Bonne Chance had left her southern home island and found the first wild island of the excursion. As the French gunner loaded the first prize of the day, past the horizon in the north, the Rum Runner had reached the shores of another wild island, with La Cazadora close behind. Caught between projected showdowns between the French gunner and the Spanish ship/flotilla combo, the USS Plymouth Rock wavers on a course of action, and loses her early speed boost trying to tow a line between.

In the west, the San Pedro lays claim to the eastern side of a wild island within moments of an entire Pirate fleet docking in the west. Strangely, no hostilities ensued, and the island quickly found itself barren of gold, then swiftly devoid of visitors. Back east, the homeward route of La Bonne Chance leaves an opening the Americans can't ignore, as the Minuteman and the Philadelphia sneak in to explore where the French ship vacated.

The Rum Runner returns to her northern home, banking a hefty sum of gold. With La Cazadora in her shadow carrying a heft sum as well, the captain of the Rum Runner feels confident enough to simply stay home, and let the remaining forces fight over the scraps.

What fighting had happened was over about as swiftly as it started. the USS Plymouth Rock darted past El Leon, who was guarding the reutrn voyage of a gold-laden San Pedro. Sadly, the American ship's ram failed, and in the following turn, the Spanish ships swiftly disposed of her. Not wanting to chance the same fate the Plymouth Rock suffered, the onlooking Freedom's Hand decides to head for safer waters. With the docking of the San Pedro, Minuteman, and Philadelphia at their respective home islands, all that's left is a dejected Freedom, carrying the few coins the Pirate fleet were able to scrounge.


At games end, the gold tallies were as follows (I'll also do a gold/points remaining score)

Americans 10 gold (+22 pts for a total of 32)
Pirates 4 gold (+30 pts for a total of 34)
Franco-Spanish 19 gold (+30 pts for a total of 49)
Rum & Gun 28 Gold (+30 pts for a total of 58 )


The game itself was brief and cordial, which actually left all walking away reasonably satisfied with the game.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:58 pm Reply with quote

repkosai wrote:
Here's a small, scattered battle report to wade back into the waters, more notable for the players in the game than the game itself. I've finally got the opportunity to play a short introductory game with my parents (as well as wifey). We set up a small map of four home islands, with three wild islands forming a triangle between them, each wild island 1 1/2 L from each other.


Nice little report! I enjoy your BR's since the writing style is so different than mine. Love that you had the alternate score with points in play added. Smile
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Subject: 10 years since F&S   PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:58 am Reply with quote

April 9th is the 10th anniversary of Fire and Steel being released. Xerecs and I played a little "celebratory" game to commemorate the anniversary. (not sure if this particular set is worth celebrating... XD)

Xerecs:
Foresight + Barstow , Hammersmith , oarsman
Napolitana + Victor de Alva , helmsman

A7XfanBen:
HMS Salient + Hermionie Gold , captain, helmsman
HMS Ark Royal + captain

I believe this is the first time we've tried to proxy a switchblade into VASSAL. For now, I used an L-range tool rotated from the center of the Salient.

For the setup, the "move and rotate randomly" option worked better than it ever has before for me. The islands and terrain were generally placed that way.


Both fleets headed a bit southwest, with the Ark Royal being the first to explore:


However, both fleets found only 0 coins at their islands!! I had placed six 0's and two UT's into the treasure mix, and it quickly dawned on me that Xerecs may have placed only 0's as well!


The Ark Royal and Salient split up, while the Napolitana brought home a coin... which I assumed was a 0.


The Napolitana got an EA from de Alva and shot up the Ark Royal. She was attacked by the Salient immediately, but only lost one mast.


The Salient eventually dismasted the Napolitana and started towing the Ark Royal, which the English were trying to scuttle. By this point the Salient was loaded with some "extra weaponry" in the form of Ammunition (turned into Stinkpot Shot) and Deck Cannon (transferred from the Ark Royal).


The Foresight got involved, hitting 1/2 on the Salient. The Salient answered with a big turn, combining her proxy switchblade with a solid 2/3 shooting effort (helped by the extra cannon and HGold's reroll) to knock 3 masts off the Foresight and kill the Pirate oarsman.


The Foresight's shooting and ramming attack dismasted the Salient! Barstow captured Hermione Gold! However, just as the tables turned against the English, the Ark Royal warped home via an Eternal scuttle.


The Foresight round earthed to the north, where she was caught by the Ark Royal JUST before she could dock home HGold for an 8-gold payout! (a haul of Gold, in more ways than one! XD) After electing not to use Broadsides Attack (my luck with it is generally horrible, and with the ram attempt after the shots I had a decent chance of getting 2/3 rolls to work), the Ark Royal hit twice in a row to dismast the Foresight! However, the English killed Barstow in their valiant boarding attempt, eliminating any chance of getting Hermione Gold's payout to work... for themselves? (this was getting even weirder...)


The Pirates now had no future move actions left, so the game was over. To my chagrin, the Napolitana had indeed brought back a 7, not a zero! This put Xerecs firmly in the lead, as the Spanish Pirates beat the English 7-0.

This was a very unique game that came down to the wire. Once it became obvious that most or all of the coins would be worthless, I was afraid it would be a boring deathmatch. However, the endgame was very tight and satisfying, with multiple momentum shifts throughout. I finally tested out my idea of using only 0-value coins, which I have talked about multiple times on the forum at Miniature Trading. Unfortunately I couldn't get the single coin worth a dime, let alone 7 gold! XD It was also notable as the first VASSAL game with a switchblade present. Using the L tool as a proxy worked fine during the one blade attack, but I still want to measure a physical switchblade to see if it's the right size.

Thanks for reading; only one more anniversary game remains!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:08 pm Reply with quote

'Tis a sad time for players like me. Between photobucket and now postimages.org failing (the latter likely permanently, but who knows), it appears that the "age" or era of text and picture based battle reports is over. Almost this entire thread is now "broken". Rolling Eyes Crying or Very sad

Hundreds or even thousands of hours would be required for me to get my battle reports back up in some form, and the failure rate of popular media and websites make me not want to even bother, especially since my campaign game reports are broken again less than a year after I fixed them following the collapse of photobucket. At least we have the text and general story. I do have my reports saved in google docs, so hopefully google won't collapse quite yet. Shocked Laughing

Anyway, just a warning that any reports with pictures are in future trouble. (I know about imgur and the like, but I can't trust any now. Just had a thought about putting pictures directly into a google doc that is shared, but the data usage and/or mechanics of it could be problematic.)
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:50 pm Reply with quote

Century of the Empires


Played in June and July of 2013

The setup has gone well so far for the Century of the Empires game. I'd like to make it one of the biggest and most realistic games I've ever played. There will be 6 fleets participating (in order of gameplay): English, French, Spanish, Pirates, Americans/Jade Rebellion, Cursed/Barbary Corsairs. The Americans and Cursed have permanent allies in an effort to boost their chances of winning. I'll probably just refer to them as the Americans and the Cursed, but the "Cursed Corsairs" has a nice ring to it Smile . Also, the Mercenaries will function as true Mercenaries in the game, since they are the only faction not directly involved. Any fleet can hire them and their ships, but at the cost of 1 extra gold per crew and 3 extra gold per ship.

Each fleet gets 20 points to start the game. There will be 18 islands to start the game, with 6 being HI's. Extra islands may be added if more wild islands (and therefore, more colonies) are desired (think underwater volcanoes Mr. Green ). I'm going to use a bigger space for the ocean than usual, for the first time in a few years. I'd like to be able to take pictures, but no promises. There will be plenty of terrain, and some of it will be strung together. There is truly a "Frozen North", with 6 icebergs located at the northern end of the sea, as well as a tropical, "Sargasso South". This area will be sort of like the Caribbean, with plenty of sargasso seas and reefs.

The home islands will be the capital islands, with each capital island consisting of 3 islands put together, since there will be 4 buildings on each one, as well as the gold coming in and the new ships being built. I'm using the houses and palaces from Monopoly to represent the city halls, taverns, fortresses, and shipyards. Colonies will be represented by a house, or two houses, if the colony is upgraded.

One of the biggest changes to the game is an idea I've had for a while (but have yet to play-test): in order to make the game more realistic, it takes two hits to eliminate one mast. Basically, every ship gets the Acorazado's ability, with the modification that the hits don't have to come from the same shoot action. I've always been a bit puzzled by the combat system of this game. The idea came to the forefront when lord_denton started this thread. The other new concept introduced in this game will make things even more realistic: Back in the age of sail, it was extremely difficult to sink a ship during combat. Unless a ship was blown up, burned, or scuttled, most ships would stay afloat as derelicts. To implement this point, there could be a house rule requiring that extra hits be scored on derelicts in order to have them sink. Maybe once a ship is derelict, she must be hit 5 times before she goes down. Also, I've made a rules change regarding shoot actions: instead of having derelicts sink after they've been hit the same amount of times as they originally had masts, I'm going to double it. In this way, it takes 2 hits to sink a derelict one master, 4 for a derelict two master, and so on.

Since I don't want to have UT's appearing on capital islands and colonies, all of the UT's that will be present in the game are in the initial pool of 36 coins. In this way, there are only a few actual gold coins right now, but that will eventually change once things get going.

I've thought about loosening the restrictions on the upgrades for the Americans and the Cursed, but I'm not sure how that will work out quite yet.

I think that to start, each nation will receive a quest every 5 turns, but they won't receive the first one until the 5th turn (this may change). I still have to think of more ideas for quests, and about how to scale the amount of the reward based on the difficulty of the quest.

For now, colonizer crew will cost 3 points each, unless I hear otherwise. The city halls on the capital islands will generate 2 gold per turn, not 3 (both numbers were in Sariouriel's original post), in order to incentivize colonizing and not sitting at your HI.

Also, Risk infantrymen and artillery pieces will be available, but I'm not looking for them to play a huge role (these modified rules are from my first thread here!):
Infantrymen units(cost one point): They can be stationed at home islands or on wild islands. A player with an infantry or artillery unit on an island is occupying the island. The infantrymen are eligible for invasions/shoot actions. Invasions: An invasion counts as a general action. Therefore, a ship cannot dock at an island and invade that same turn unless her ability lets her dock and explore in the same move action.
The infantry units act as returning fire, not as an actual cannon. When an enemy ship fires on them, and misses twice in a row, one mast from the enemy ship is eliminated. Boarding parties: When an enemy attempts to invade, they roll on a boarding party as normal. For the designated infantry unit, roll a d6 and add one. If the ship has the higher result, the infantry unit is eliminated and the controller of the ship is allowed to place one of their own infantry units from that ship on the island. Each infantry unit represents one short-range three-rank cannon, for land combat(these cannons can only shoot at other infantry/artillery units). An infantry unit is not allowed a land shoot action the turn it is landed successfully. Infantry units take up one cargo space.

Artillery units(two points): Can be used in invasions, and can be stationed on island or at harbour. On land, they are a long-range two-rank cannon and require two hits from the same infantry shoot action to be eliminated. They can shoot at enemy ships as a regular shoot action, and are mobile(you can position them at any place on the island for optimum range), but cannot be given any extra actions. Artillery units take up one cargo space.


Through the first 5 turns, each fleet has had some good and bad things happen. The English are looking to establish colonies, but discovered Wolves on an island to prevent them from taking the other treasure on it. The French have been the last fleet to get to the islands they've gone to, so they haven't brought back any gold. The Spanish have found some UT's with their native canoes, but the San Jose is being sidetracked by Maps of Hades. The Pirates had the Banshee's Cry thrown across the ocean by Message in a Bottle, but they also got Lost, which let them put sargasso seas underneath the Bon Marin, Carolina, Rattlesnake, and Viper's Bite. The Bon Marin and Viper's Bite are still stuck. The American ship Rattlesnake has just explored an island, and the Carolina is moving north after the Bloody Jewel explored the island the Carolina was going to explore before she could do so. The Cursed are heading south of their HI, towards the direction of Paradise Island.

Quests are not going to be used, at least for the time being.

Here are some pictures to show the general layout of the sea:
This first one is an overhead shot looking northeast from the southwest. You can see the Cursed HI to the north of the galleys (the red building is the fortress), with the English HI just to the northwest. To the northeast of the English HI are the French, with the Spanish HI to the east of theirs (just to the left of the tin).


The next one shows a broad view of the entire northern half of the ocean, with the (clockwise from middle left) Cursed, English, French, and Spanish home islands in the shot.


Here's a shot looking to the southwest, with the Cursed Corsairs the main fleet pictured. You can make out Paradise Island in the upper left corner (the deepest part of the southwest corner), surrounded by terrain. Off to the left, the Bloody Jewel is towing the Bonnie Liz.


Finally, here's the southeast part of the sea, showing the home islands of the Americans (in the middle) and the Pirates (upper right). You can see the Raven stuck in a Sargasso Sea, and the Carolina damaged after her experience with a mysterious island. In the lower right corner, an American colony produces gold, as the Argo and Rattlesnake sail further south to colonize another island.


A shot looking out of the southeast and towards the northwest. Almost the entire ocean is visible, with the American and Pirate activities in the foreground. To the left you can see the reefs that separate the Sargasso South from the Paradise Island south.


With a more realistic angle, this is looking NNE from the Cursed Corsairs' area. From south to north, the HI's of the Cursed, English, and French are almost lined up. The upside down SM island is actually a Cursed trade current that was placed by the UT Lost that was dumped on the Viper's Bite via Pandora's Box.



6/14/13: After another handful of turns, each faction has made good progress.

The English were the first to colonize an island, sending the Hound with a colonizer and 5 gold to an island east of their HI. They also used the Sea Tiger and the newly built Starbuck to colonize an island to the south of their HI. They got a musketeer for the Antelope, which she used to kill the Wolves on a northern island. In order to load the Sunken Treasure UT, the Antelope dumped both her musketeer and helmsman.

However, before the Hound could get to the island, the French got there first. The Artesien stole both crew on the island, while the Emeraude colonized the island (the Artesien had an explorer). The Dijon is sailing southeast in search of gold. Meanwhile, L'Amazone put an explored marker on an island that the Spanish had already taken gold from, making it easier for them to colonize in the future, if they choose to do so.

The Spanish sent the San Jose through a whirlpool in search of gold. They bought the Alquimista and crewed her with a colonizer, helmsman, and explorer. She moved south and explored an island, and now she's waiting for the native canoes and their 5 gold to arrive at the island.

The Pirates have built the Bonnie Liz, and her and the Bloody Jewel are looking for treasure farther away from their HI. The Coral and Banshee's Cry are teaming up to colonize the easternmost island, the one closest to their HI.

The Americans have had interesting UT adventures. Their turtles are almost back to their HI, and they've launched the Argo, who is headed to the island turtles was on with the Rattlesnake, in hopes of creating a colony on it. The Carolina was the first ship in the game to lose a mast, but it was due to a MI effect, not a shoot action. She found the Cross of Coronado, Barrel o' Monkeys, and Buried Treasure on the same island. When she left the island, she had to put the Buried Treasure back (due to the monkeys), via a die roll to determine which UT would be left behind.

The Cursed Corsairs were off to a slow start, but they've picked up their pace. They built the Tiger's Eye, and the Queen of Sheba has some UT's on her. The Viper's Bite is partway through a crazy adventure to one of the southern islands near Paradise Island. The MI effect took out her only mast, but it only got weirder from there. The three treasures on the island: Enemy of the State (ship gains the Mercenary keyword and can't dock at her HI), Pandora's Box (the first time I've ever used it in a game), and Smuggled Goods (which is useless when there aren't any coins with gold values on them). Via Pandora's Box, the each player chose a UT to put on the Viper's Bite. Normally, this would produce 5 bad UT's and 1 good one (in a six-player game). However, the fleets all tried to get in the Cursed's good graces by putting positive UT's on the ship. Trees got her mast back up, while Homing Beacon and Frond of Fisaga should boost her speed. Ammunition gave her Stinkpot Shot, and now she's ready to go! Cool


6/16/13: Some more interesting developments have unfolded, and the first sign of tension has appeared.

The English have gained some gold from their colonies, with the newly launched Alexander working with the Starbuck to transfer gold from their two colonies to their HI. Some of that gold has been used for upgrades, as the English have both their shipyard and tavern at level 3. They are the first fleet to purchase a named crew, the ROTF version (captain + helmsman) of Hermione Gold. The Hound and Sea Tiger are off to try to colonize at least one more island, to the east of their HI and just south of the French HI...

However, the French have other ideas. The Artesien, Pique, Amazone, and Dijon are all headed to the same island the English have their sights set on. The Dijon is missing her mizzenmast after going through a whirlpool near the Americans' HI, after picking up the Buried Treasure that the Carolina had to leave behind. Now the UT is worth 5 gold, enough to make a colony (the Pique has a colonizer). Also, the Bon Marin finally rolled a 6 to get out of the Sargasso Sea she had been stuck in for ~10 turns, and now she's taking some of the gold off the lone French colony, with the Coeur du Lion sailing in her direction to help. It looks like the Anglo-French situation could boil over as soon as next turn, with the French having a numbers advantage at the current time.

The Spanish have done well to colonize an island south of their HI, and now three native canoes are grabbing the gold produced and taking it back to their HI. The other two native canoes and the Alquimista are heading north towards a MI that the Spanish hope to colonize. They've bought the Algeciras and crewed her with a captain. The San Jose is off on her own in the southwestern part of the ocean, near where the Cursed Corsairs are sailing towards Paradise Island.

The Pirates have had a rough few turns. The Bonnie Liz, after sailing unharmed through a whirlpool to get to a mysterious island near Paradise Island, was dismasted by the MI effect. The Rover had her only mast taken out by the same whirlpool, but she has since been scuttled and rebuilt (as she only costs 2 points). The Bloody Jewel went through a whirlpool west of the one previously described, in hopes of exploring Paradise Island. However, with the Cursed Corsairs having their entire fleet in her vicinity and the Bonnie Liz in need of assistance, it looks as though the Jewel has changed course, and is sailing east instead of south, towards the Bonnie Liz. The Banshee's Cry is heading north from the island that she and the Coral teamed up to colonize. The Coral is taking the first few coins produced by the colony back to her HI. The Pirates spent 10 gold to build the Raven, and she has loaded up 5 gold, sailing northeast to meet the Cry at another wild island the Pirates have explored, but not yet colonized.

The Americans have used the 10 gold from Turtles to build the Mohican and equip her with a captain and helmsman, making her the first true gunship on the ocean. She is headed for the MI that the Carolina originally explored, with her and the Carolina carrying 5 gold between them. The Argo is sailing to meet them there with her colonizer. Meanwhile, the Rattlesnake is ferrying gold from the colony to their HI.

The Cursed Corsairs are starting to look pretty good. The Tiger's Eye just became the first ship to dock at Paradise Island, with the Viper's Bite, Griffin, and newly built Algiers close behind. The Queen of Sheba has loaded gold from their HI and is headed south with a colonizer.


After a few more turns, the English have decided to play it safe and not combat the French in a battle for that wild island. The French have colonized it. The Spanish have built the San Pedro, giving them two fast ships that have the +2 gold bonus. The Americans have their second colony on the Carolina's original island, where the Argo rolled a 6 on the effect, letting the Americans move the Pirate schooner Raven into a Sargasso Sea. The Cursed Corsairs have used Homing Beacon to dock the Tiger's Eye at their HI, where she unloaded both a 4 from Paradise Island and Smuggled Goods. In this way, the Cursed took in 28 gold in one turn (24 from the two treasure coins, since the 4 was tripled from Paradise Island's rules, and then doubled by Smuggled Goods, and then 4 from their city hall), giving them the opportunity for the first spending spree of the game. They added in the 8 gold that was already on their HI and spent it all on the Meshud, Tripoli, and Carthage, along with two helmsmen and a captain. Now the Morocco is the only Corsair ship left for them to buy, and then they'll start delving into the Cursed stuff. Also, the Viper's Bite, Griffin, and Algiers are all starting to sail for home with more gold from Paradise. To make their turn even better, the Queen of Sheba gave them their first colony.


6/17/13: A few turns later, and the English have built HMS London and crewed her with Hermione Gold (ROTF). She has sailed north and demolished the French colony in the northwest corner of the ocean with the first shoot action of the game. She also dismasted the Coeur du Lion, and now the Hound is docked there. She is waiting for the newly built Lady Provost to arrive with her 5 gold.

The French have turned their gold efforts to their one remaining colony, and they've built L'Heros for their first gunship.

The Spanish have built the Concepcion (who gets the +2 gold bonus) and crewed her with a helmsman, Capitan Alarico Castro (SM version-SAT), and Vaccaro, their 0LR reroller. They have a pretty good money generation system going, and they also bought Luis Zuan (MI) for future use.

The Pirates have colonized the easternmost island with the Coral and the Banshee's Cry, but now the Raven is stuck in a Sargasso Sea and the Rover is the only ship available to make treasure runs. They've just upgraded both their tavern and shipyard to the third level.

The Americans are looking to make their third colony, near the Pirates' HI. Last turn, they used 20 gold to buy the Dark Fox (S+S+S) and Brandywine (S+L) to make gold runs to and from their two existing colonies.

The Cursed Corsairs have just made their second colony on the island northeast of Paradise Island, the one that the Bonnie Liz was dismasted by. The Queen of Sheba is now ready to start making gold runs. Coincidentally, she is the only one of the Cursed's 8 ships to not be in the same place at the same time. The three ships returning from Paradise are currently sailing past the four ships going out, creating a logjam that wasn't expected this early on. Confused

Also, I've made a rules change regarding shoot actions: instead of having derelicts sink after they've been hit the same amount of times as they originally had masts, I'm going to double it. In this way, it takes 2 hits to sink a derelict one master, 4 for a derelict two master, and so on.


6/19/13: There has been more action in the game. The English had their colony in the northwest corner of the ocean (the one the London destroyed) taken out over the course of two turns by L'Heros, while the London was sailing south. She quickly turned around and sailed towards the French three master. In the meantime, the English had launched another ship, the Hyena. The Hyena swapped crew with the London, giving the bigger ship the captain and helmsman, while Hermione Gold became the captain of the Hyena (to save space). The Heros sank the captured French sloop Coeur du Lion, who was being towed by the Hound. Next, the Hound transferred the Dry Powder UT to the London, giving her the potential for a double shoot action. She wouldn't need it, however, since the English launched another gunship, the HMS Nautilus. The Nautilus, Hyena, and London teamed up to dismast the Heros (remember, it takes two hits overall (not necessarily from the same shoot action) to eliminate every mast). To the south, HMS Rye, Sea Tiger, Starbuck, Antelope, and Alexander (all one and two masters) are all busy running gold from the colonies back to the English HI.


That's what happens when the French take on the English! Laughing Cool

After the Heros was dismasted, the remaining French ships that were headed to support her (not true gunships) turned back to the east. The French are struggling to produce results with just one colony in operation. They did launch L'Auguste last turn, and she's got a captain and helmsman, as well as +1 to her cannon rolls against English ships (something tells me that wasn't an accident Razz ).

The Spanish are one of two fleets remaining (the other being the Cursed) to not have been in combat thus far. Their gold generation system is working well, between the native canoes, Alquimista, San Pedro, and Concepcion. Each of these ships has either a +1 or +2 gold bonus, and since they are sailing to and from their two colonies (one to the north of the Spanish HI, and one to the south) at the same rate that gold is being produced, each coin brought back is getting a bonus. They've recently launched the Santa Ana (SCS version) and Santo Columba, two formidable gunships with crew to match.

The Pirates are better off than they were about 10 turns ago, but they're still struggling with a mix of good and bad. On the bright side, they've managed to build the Darkhawk II and send her out to bring back gold. The Bloody Jewel and Bonnie Liz are finally back home after their fruitless whirlpool expedition to the southwest, where they never even reached Paradise Island. The Raven and Banshee's Cry have also stopped in to drop off unused gold.

However, the Americans have foiled their plans for a second colony. After the Banshee's Cry left the island to bring gold back home, the Coral stayed behind to load the first three coins produced by the colony. However, this made her a sitting duck for the nearby Americans. The Mohican (guns of 2S, 2L, 2S) came in and rammed the Coral, taking out her lone mast. The Mohican hit all three times on the colony, with only one more hit needed to destroy it. Out of desperation, the Pirates used the gold produced by the colony to upgrade it to the second level. However, the first shoot action only had one successful roll, so no masts were eliminated. The Mohican scored two more hits, and then the colonists fired back successfully. Unfortunately for them, however, the Mohican had Cross of Coronado, so she still has all three masts up. On the Americans' turn, the Mohican wiped out the colony once and for all, with the Coral as her prize. Realizing that the Americans were a much bigger threat to them than they had previously thought, the Pirates have built the Windjammer and the Doombox flotilla.

The Rattlesnake is headed to her HI with gold from the Americans' third colony. The Americans are doing well, but they are struggling to maximize their gold income, with gold on the colonies piling up and reaching the 5 gold maximum before ships can take it home. For their second gunship, they've purchased the Concord, who gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Pirate ships. She is crewed (coincidentally, not on purpose) with Stephen Decatur, whose flavour text shows his hatred of Pirates. She is also carrying Ralph David, a 1 point Eternal crew who is Hostile to Pirates Smile . These two factions are clearly not getting along!

In the southwest quarter of the sea, the Cursed Corsairs are steadily accumulating gold without launching any real threats, at least not yet. Five galleys are heading home with gold, with four of them coming from Paradise Island. These galleys are carrying the last of Paradise's coins, and I wasn't planning on letting Paradise be colonized. I'm not really sure what to do with it yet, or what (if anything) will become of it.

6/20/2013

This latest picture was taken on turn 26, showing the Cursed Corsair fleet coming and going south of their home island. You can see that they've upgraded their city hall (green) to the second level, as well as having a level 3 tavern (gray) and level 4 shipyard (black).



6/20/13: The English have captured L'Heros and towed her back to their HI, where she is almost done repairing. They have launched the Aberdeen Baron and crewed her with Lord Cutler Beckett and Commodore Rhys Gryffyn Owen. The London and Nautilus sailed east to one of their colonies, since it looked as though the French were going to attack it. However, the French turned back around, deciding not to risk their one remaining gunship (L'Auguste) in a battle the English would most likely win.

Here we're looking ENE with the HI of the English in the foreground. You can see the Heros repairing, with the newly launched Aberdeen Baron just beyond her. Further east, the London and Nautilus have successfully deterred the French (at least for now) from attacking one of their colonies. To the left of the London, the Auguste (who's just turned around) and the rest of the French fleet are visible.


The French have had trouble with icebergs recently, with bad luck resulting in lost masts on both the Dijon and Pique.

The Spanish have made the most upgrades to their capital island, with their tavern at level 3, their shipyard at level 4, their city hall at level 2, and their fortress at level 3. Only their shipyard hasn't been given the maximum upgrade. They launched the Santa Isabel last turn, giving them yet another ship with the +2 gold bonus. They've been the most consistent faction in the game, mostly because their gold system hasn't been interrupted at all. The Algeciras and Santa Ana have teamed up to destroy an American colony between the HI's of the two nations. The Santa Ana used an extra action to take out one mast on the Brandywine and both masts on the Argo, who is carrying three treasure coins. The Brandywine has since begun towing the Argo, but is still in range of the Santa Ana.

The Pirates are continuing to be aggressive, sailing the Windjammer (and the Doombox that she's towing), Raven, and Rover out of the comfort of the Sargasso South. The recent launch of the Revenant brings into play the first five master of the game! She's got Captain Blackheart aboard, along with a helmsman, exploding shot, and two crew to sac.

The Americans were on the verge of colonizing their fourth island, but things are taking a turn for the worse. Now they're down to two colonies after the Spanish took out the one northwest of their HI. The Mohican may have trouble getting home at S+S speed (since she's towing the Coral), for the Pirates are almost upon her. The Concord is in the vicinity, but she doesn't have a helmsman, relying upon Stephen Decatur's extra action to double her base move of L.

Here's the situation in the southeast, with a nice view from the main topmast of the Santo Columba. The town hall marker that was on the nearest island is gone (courtesy of the Algeciras and Santa Ana). You can see the Santa Ana dominating the Argo and Brandywine, although she lost a mast to the lone cannon on the former colony. You can make out the Carolina approaching and the Rattlesnake leaving the American HI. Beyond the Carolina is the (blurry) Mohican, towing the Coral, with the Concord and Windjammer to the right. Off in the distance, the foreboding black sails of the Darkhawk II and Revenant characterize the upper right part of the picture.


The Cursed Corsairs have continued to run gold, but they are developing the same problem that the Americans have: gold accumulating on colonies before ships can run it back home. However, this should be fixed with more ships and upgraded colonies. The ships carrying the last gold coins from Paradise Island are almost back, and the Cursed should have another spending spree coming up in the next few turns.

6/21/13: After a few more turns (31 turns total up to this point), the English have launched HMS Endeavour, although for now she is only crewed with Admiral Morgan and world-hater Norrington. She will eliminate a mast for every hit, due to her powerful ability. The French have launched La Corse, a four master that takes two hits to eliminate every mast. In this way, she'll need to be hit four times to take out one mast! She also has Lenoir onboard, giving her fabulous defences against enemy ships. The Spanish have launched El Cristal del Obispo, while the Santa Ana has begun towing the American ship Brandywine. The Santo Columba is towing the Argo, with the Algeciras nearby. The Pirate ships Revenant and Windjammer are sailing west towards the southernmost American colony. The Americans have launched the Enterprise and crewed her with plenty of generic crew along with Gus Schultz, making her Eternal. The Cursed Corsairs are almost ready for another turn of buying, with the Queen of Sheba the last ship in the treasure rotation to return to their HI.

6/22/13: The game is really starting to slow down, at least in terms of how long it takes to complete a turn. The game started with 120 points of game pieces on the ocean, but after 30+ turns, the fleets have expanded quite a bit, and now it takes quite a while to go through one round of all 6 fleets. However, this is mostly a good thing - this game was supposed to be huge!

The English are truly at war with the French. The Hyena and captured L'Heros were sailing towards the French HI from the west, but hesitated when the French launched La Corse on that side of their HI. The Endeavour is making her way toward the current battle, which is taking place at the lone French colony. That is, it was the only French colony, before the London and the Nautilus annihilated it. These two ships have also managed to inflict damage on the Emeraude and Amazone, but they've been hit in return. The Auguste scored a fire mast hit on the Nautilus, but the French are really in trouble. On top of their current predicament, the English have launched HMS Grand Temple!

Here's a picture of the engagement, with the Nautilus on fire after the broadside by the Auguste. The London has knocked out the colony as well as masts on the Emeraude and Amazone. The dice are used as damage counters, since it takes two total hits to eliminate each mast. In the background, you can see how close the French HI is to the colony, with the Corse sailing north. In the upper left, the Hyena and Heros are looming.


The Spanish appear very strong at this point. The Santa Ana and Santo Columba are towing the Brandywine and Argo back to their HI, while the Spanish treasure system keeps pumping out new stuff. La Resolucion (OE version) and El Monte Cristo are their newest additions.

The Pirates and Americans are still in pure hatred of each other. The Concord and the Revenant are dueling right now, with the Revenant getting the better of the action so far. The only thing the Concord has been able to do is kill a sac crew on the Pirate five master, while losing two masts (including one to fire) in return. The Americans have launched the three masted schooner Jarvis (her first action in at least two years!), and she's sailing at the rear of an impromptu battle line of three ships, with the Mohican and Enterprise as her fellow gunships. The rest of the Pirate fleet is close by, so there could be a hot action coming soon! Also, the Pirates launched the Cursed Blade and the Shamrock.

Here's a nice shot looking to the southeast, giving a good view of the battle between the Revenant and Concord (on fire). To the left are the other American gunships heading toward the Pirates, who are sailing northeast to try to reestablish a colony. The Windjammer escorts the Banshee's Cry, while the newly launched Cursed Blade rounds the peninsula of sargasso seas.


The Cursed Corsairs had been saving up gold for a handful of turns, and with the last ship coming in last turn, they finally counted it up and spent it. They had 81 gold Surprised (a record for this game so far), and they spent 76 of it on the Flying Dutchman, Divine Dragon, Fallen Angel, Death's Anchor, and crew. At last, some Cursed pieces on the sea!

This one doesn't need much of a caption! The impressive new Cursed ships leaving home.


6/26/13: The English have won the battle against the French. The war is not over yet, but the English have sunk every French ship except for La Corse. The Nautilus, London, Endeavour, and Grand Temple were all involved in a chaotic melee that saw the London lose two masts, the Nautilus one, and the Endeavour two. At one point, the Endeavour had two fire masts, but she got lucky and rolled two 6's to eliminate both of them. The Auguste, Bon Marin, Amazone, Artesien, and Dijon have all been sunk, with the Emeraude captured. While that battle was going on near the former French colony, the Hyena and Heros managed to destroy the French fortress protecting their capital island. They were preparing to bombard the city hall as well, but the Corse came in and dismasted the Hyena, while the Heros scurried to the other side of the island to grab a few coins using her HI-raiding ability. The French have used their remaining gold to purchase the Soleil Royal and crew her with a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist.

This picture shows the Anglo-French battle in its last stage. The London is about to tow the Emeraude, while the Amazone (with 3 hits out of 4 on her "hull health") and Dijon are about to be sunk by the Endeavour and Grand Temple. To the northwest, the Hyena has seen better days after a drubbing by the powerful Corse.


The Spanish are busy running gold (as always), while their new gunships sail southeast toward the American area.

Here's a picture of the Spanish fleet, with the north at the top of the picture. You can see the Santa Ana and Santo Columba towing the two American ships back to their HI, while the Cristal del Obispo and Algeciras are out in front of the newly built Resolucion and Monte Cristo.


Here's the same shot looking north just above sea level, with the Algeciras, Santo Columba, and Cristal in the foreground.


The Pirates are locked in conflict with the Americans, and the battle has become quite intense. After she dismasted the Concord (who has since been captured and towed by the Cursed Blade), the Revenant set her sights on the Enterprise, promising an epic duel between the two powerful five masters. Saccing an old colonizer to move-and-shoot twice, the Revenant took out three masts on the Enterprise to start the engagement, with one falling on the ram roll. However, the Enterprise is having fantastic luck rolling for her built-in extra actions, and she combined that with a shipwright to immediately repair two masts. Now, normally shipwrights aren't viable for gunfights like this, and I don't use them too often, but between the new rule of two hits being required to eliminate every one mast and the extra action capabilities of the Enterprise, the Americans decided a shipwright would be a good fit for this game. So far, they are correct. By repairing, the Americans ensured that the Revenant would have to score 4 hits out of 5 to take out two masts on the following turn. The Revenant scored 4 hits, but the one miss was a disastrous 1 on the Exploding Shot roll, which meant that the equipment had to be removed from the game, not to mention that the Revenant lost a mast in the process. On the next turn, the Enterprise again repaired two masts, bringing her back to full strength. In this way, the Enterprise has turned the tables, turning a three mast deficit into a one mast advantage. Now the Revenant is pinned and without her Exploding Shot and any more sac crew!

The other part of the battle has also been exciting. The Jarvis scored a fire mast hit on the Rover, and she has since been scuttled. Then, the Pirate ship Windjammer (and her flotilla, the Doombox) took out two masts on the Jarvis while the Banshee's Cry and Shamrock both tried to flee the area. Originally the Windjammer had been escorting the Cry so that she could set up a colony on an island, but with the Windjammer occupied, the Mohican struck. She has dismasted both the the defenceless Pirate treasure runners, although only the Cry had any gold on her. With the Darkhawk II sailing out of the Sargasso South to assist her fellow fleet mates, the Pirates may flip the battle again. However, the Americans have saved up gold on their HI and may be about ready to launch a new gunship.

Here's the Pirate-American battle in the early stages. The Revenant has barely begun shooting, while the Rover burns to the waterline. The Windjammer is about to turn around and attack the Jarvis at the left. In the upper left, the Mohican has rammed and dismasted the Shamrock. To the right, the Cursed Blade tows the Concord as the Darkhawk's sails fill with wind.


The Cursed Corsairs have gotten into a minor logjam at their HI, where their two big ships were trying to sail out of the way and take on valuable stuff at the same time. By that, I mean the transfer of crew and UT's from the galleys that originally used them to the ships that need them more for the future. The Carthage gave the Dutchman her helmsman (I house-ruled Cursed crew to be able to use their abilities on Barbary Corsair ships), while the Tiger's Eye gave the Divine Dragon Stinkpot Shot.

37 turns have been played, and there are many still to come! Cool

6/28/13: In the Frozen North, the French Soleil Royal has captured HMS Hyena, and she has just finished repairing. Also, the Royal took out the last mast on the London, setting her ablaze. Before that transpired, the Corse was quadruple-teamed by the London, Heros, Grand Temple, and Endeavour. Lenoir could only cancel one captain per turn, and the assault on the ship began. Requiring 4 hits to take out each mast (and two when the Endeavour was shooting), the Corse was dismasted after a furious shootout. One of her masts actually fell due to an iceberg, with the Endeavour finishing her off. The Endeavour then captured the French four master, but it remains to be seen what the English intend to do with her.

To the west, there has finally been a conflict between the English and the Cursed Corsairs. Their home islands have always been uncomfortably close to one another, but somehow they've made it work, with the English getting gold to the north and east, and the Cursed getting gold to the south. However, the Cursed have had enough of this "friendly neighbour" business. The recently launched Grim Reaper and Executioner joined the Flying Dutchman and the Divine Dragon in a fog bank, waiting for the right moment to strike. However, the English had taken precautions of their own to guard against the unwelcome possibility of a Cursed attack, launching HMS Victor and HMS Gallows to escort the English treasure runners (Sea Tiger, Starbuck, and the Rye) to and from their colony southwest of their HI. I still don't own an English canceller, so the English paid 7 gold to buy Christian Fiore (the Mercenary canceller). He boarded the Gallows, who took on the Eye of Insanity UT from the Antelope, who had discovered it earlier in the game. The Gallows grabbed a shipwright with the sole purpose of using him for the Eye. This UT, as you may already know, lets you use the abilities of a Cursed crew that is in play, rather than the ability of one of your crew. With All-Powerful Davy Jones in play, it's been a no-brainer so far, with the Gallows getting two actions per turn. However, the Cursed used a 6 from the real Jones to make the Gallows shoot at her own treasure runner, the Sea Tiger, taking out a mast. Then the Cursed gunships sailed out of the fog and attacked! However, the captain abilities aboard the Divine Dragon and the Flying Dutchman were both cancelled by Fiore and the built-in cancel ability of HMS Rye. The English didn't escape this first attack unharmed, however. The Grim Reaper took out a mast on the Victor and killed Sir Christopher Myngs in a boarding action. The Executioner had horrible luck with her die rolls, inflicting just one hit (that didn't take out the mast) on the Rye.

The Cursed gunships looming in the fog bank. The Gallows and Victor wait patiently, while the newly launched Leicester is about to turn around and go head east, and then south.


One turn later, and the battle has begun! To the far left, you can see the Sea Tiger missing her mizzenmast (the English colony is just to the left of her, out of the shot). The Grim Reaper has crashed into the Victor, while the Executioner attempts to "break the line" by raking the bow of the Rye. The Flying Dutchman would be in a better position, but Davy Jones rolled a 6 and therefore she was only able to move S+S coming out of the fog.


The English have used their steady income of gold to purchase a couple of gunships. It looks like the English intend to disrupt Cursed trade. The Alexandria has +1 to cannon rolls against the Barbary Corsairs built in, and the Leicester is crewed with Admiral Robert Blake, who is also a Corsair-hater.

The Spanish appear to be building an armada. Just in the last few turns, they've launched the Asesino de la Nave, Leon, Reconquistador, Sirviente, and their new flagship, the legendary Acorazado Cool . To the southeast, the Alquimista has established a third Spanish colony where an American colony formerly was. The Resolucion and Monte Cristo have caught up with the Cristal del Obispo and the Algeciras, who have finished wrecking an American colony and dismasting and capturing the American blockade runner Dark Fox.

New and old ships of the ever-expanding Spanish fleet. The four masters in the foreground are the Santa Ana and the Santo Columba, with the newer ships in between them.


The Pirates and Americans have finished up their conflict (at least for now), with the Pirates generally getting the better of it. The Darkhawk II swooped in to save the Revenant from the Enterprise, who limped home with just one mast standing (the Revenant is sailing home with three). The Darkhawk then captured the derelict Jarvis, while the Windjammer successfully chased down the damaged Mohican, taking her as a prize. The Cursed Blade has brought the Concord back to the Pirate HI, where the American ship is repairing. In the meantime, the Pirates have scuttled the Shamrock and quickly rebuilt her. More importantly, they've launched their second five master, the original Harbinger! Crewed with Havana Black (sac captain) and Crimson Angel (SAT + world-hater), she is a sight to behold. They also employed a few oarsmen, who will board Captain Blackheart's Revenant when she returns home.

The Americans used their gold savings to buy the Constitution (OE version) and the Ghost Walker (windcatcher with built-in canceller). Those two are sailing north towards the Spanish, who have now taken out two American colonies, leaving them with just one left (and that one has already been destroyed once by the Revenant). When the Spanish took out the first one, the Americans were occupied with the Pirates and didn't want to split their forces. Now that the Pirates appear to be the stronger foe, plus the fact that they never got revenge on the Spanish, the Americans have turned their attention to the Spaniards.

Here's a picture looking towards the Sargasso South from the former American colony. In the foreground, the Spanish are about to capture the Dark Fox. South of them, the Enterprise repairs while the Ghost Walker and Constitution set out for revenge on the Spanish. To the left, the Darkhawk II captures the American schooner Jarvis, while the Windjammer captures the Mohican. On her way back to her HI to repair, the Revenant passes by her fellow five master from the Spanish Main, the Harbinger.


In the deep south, the Fallen Angel and the Morocco are teaming up to make a third Cursed colony, although it is a decent ways from their HI and will thus require significantly long trips back and forth.

6/29/2013

Due to other factors in my life, I will have to end this game prematurely. In order to speed things up, city halls and town halls will not produce any more gold. As a result, the game should quickly turn into a large deathmatch. This is not how I wanted things to go, but I can't spend the time necessary to play this scenario with my current situation.

6/30/2013

I've removed all the treasure from the ships, capital islands, wild islands, and colonies. Now there's only an epic battle standing in the way of the winner of this game!

If the game ended right now (under, let's say, a 41 turn time limit Embarassed ), this is how the fleets stack up, including captured ships and crew.
1. English: 343 points
2. Spanish: 319
3. Pirates: 223
4. Cursed: 202
5. Americans: 90
6. French: 35

There's almost three groups of two in terms of fleet sizes, although the Pirates and Americans would be almost equal if not for the Pirates' recent captures of American gunships.

All in all, 1,212 points on the ocean. Not bad for a cumulative game that's taken a few weeks thus far. I just wonder what the total would be if the game was played to true completion...

I'll probably do the bulk of playing out the battle-to-the-death on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I should have some more reports to do, and hopefully some good pictures as well! Cool

7/2/2013

With all the gold out of the game and no more gold being produced, there has been immediate, intense fighting. Each fleet tried to gather itself at least a bit, but for the most part ships just started sailing in the direction of their enemies and attacked!

With some of the English and Cursed ships already engaged in battle, they were the only group not to have their sailing plan dramatically altered by the sudden turn of events. With four Cursed gunships against the two English, the Cursed had a decent advantage. However, it was an extremely hard-fought contest. The Gallows outdueled the Divine Dragon, using her makeshift Davy Jones shipwright to maximum effect. She was also able to use Christian Fiore to cancel El Fantasma, so that the Dragon couldn't move-and-shoot, let alone sac a crew to shoot twice. The Dragon managed to take out the remaining mast on the Sea Tiger, and she has since been scuttled. The fleets have generally been scuttling their derelicts, since there won't be much, if any, time to tow them back and repair them. They are just dead weight getting in the way. However, some of the bigger gunships that are derelict are being fought over, since they can still be valuable (and they can block lines of fire). After dismasting the Dragon, the Gallows used Jones' extra action to move around the big junk and send the Death's Anchor to the bottom.

The ship astern of the Gallows was the Victor, who came under attack by the Grim Reaper, who has slightly better guns. The advantage of the Reaper's guns (plus the fact that Myngs was gone, so the Victor couldn't get a SAT) bore itself out over the course of a few turns, with a furious gunfight seeing the Victor lose all three of her masts and the Grim Reaper lose two of her three masts. Next in line were the Rye, towing the Gibraltar, and the Starbuck. These small obstacles were no match for the likes of the Executioner and the Flying Dutchman, who dismantled them in short order, but not before the Dutchman lost two masts. Soon after this, the nearby English treasure runners Hound and Lady Provost sailed toward their damaged comrades in an attempt to help out, but it was too little too late. The Dutchman hit both with successful broadsides, dismasting them.

Next, the Gallows rolled a 6 with her All-Powerful shipwright. The Executioner shot up the Flying Dutchman, while the two Cursed ships tried to make their way over to the powerful Gallows. The Gallows canceled the Dutchman's captain and took out two more of her masts, before falling victim to the overwhelming numbers advantage that the Cursed now enjoyed. The Grim Reaper continued to mercilessly pound shot after shot in the Victor, until she was so severely damaged that she sunk. The Corsair galleys Viper's Bite and Queen of Sheba came along to tow the Gallows and Divine Dragon, respectively.

The Cursed had won the battle, but not the war, for the English ships they had captured and sunk were only a fraction of their entire fleet. The rest of their fleet was split into two more squadrons, with one group of damaged gunships (the Endeavour, towing the Corse, the Grand Temple, the captured L'Heros, and the Antelope towing the derelict London) sailing west from their eastern battle against the French that saw the Soleil Royal sunk, and one group of somewhat random ships farther to the south. This group includes the Leicester, Nautilus and Alexandria (towing the Tower flotilla) among its gunships, with the Aberdeen Baron and Alexander also in the mix.

Here you can see the Cursed after their victory over the English (you can see that my mast removal is somewhat random, as the Gallows and Divine Dragon are actually derelict; six and ten masted junks are generally the only ships I almost never remove masts from during the game). The red dice are basically damage counters, with the number of hits each ship has taken. When I actually remove the masts, I just put one die on ships that have had a hit scored on them that doesn't remove the mast, or the first hit of the required two. The Grim Reaper has narrowly beaten the Victor, while the Sea Tiger (to the right) is about to be scuttled.


Now, for an interesting strategy play on the part of the English (no bias, just them trying to win the game like everyone else). The Hound had been in the English fleet since the very beginning of the game, and her ability lets her look at one face down cargo on any ship once per turn. Soon after the game began, the English found both Shipping Charts and Runes of Magic. Runes of Magic is a face down UT that lets the player move an iceberg L in any direction when revealed. Knowing that they had also placed Runes of Odin in the treasure mix, they wanted both to be able to pull off the combo. Runes of Odin lets you place an iceberg from outside the game into the ocean, and the first ship to come into contact with the iceberg is removed from the game, crew and all. Shipping Charts has the same effect as the Hound's ability, letting the English look at two enemy treasures per turn. They immediately began scouring enemy treasure runners for Runes of Odin, hoping to steal it at some point in the game. They finally found it on the Algiers, a Barbary Corsair galley. They didn't act upon the discovery right then, since they were still building their fleet and didn't want to have the Cursed as an enemy. However, once the Cursed initiated a war on the English, they weren't going to hold back any longer. The Leicester sailed up to the Algiers, quickly dismasted her with her powerful cannons, and captured her, letting the English gain control of both UT's at once. They immediately played both, for one of the most unlikely and deadly combos in Pirates CSG. They could essentially pick any ship in the game and simply eliminate her and her crew. Now, the English are confident that they can beat the Cursed Corsair fleet over the long term, as they have more gunships and more overall ships, not to mention the fact that every one of the Cursed gunships except for the Executioner was severely damaged from their battle in the west. The English saw the Spanish as their greatest long-term competition, and so decided to take out the mighty El Acorazado. Placing an iceberg right near the Spanish five master (who was just entering a battle that will soon be discussed), they moved it against her and took her out! Shocked

As of the latest turn, the Corsair galleys sailing parallel to the southern English squadron have attacked, while the biggest Cursed and English ships try to make it home to repair.

Here you can see the entire English vs. Cursed situation, with the ships from the first encounter breaking up to the west at the left side of the photo. The fully built ships on or adjacent to HI's are actually sunk. To the northeast, damaged English gunships return home from their battle against the French (the Grand Temple should be missing two masts). To the south, the second battle of this war is just starting.


Meanwhile, the French have resorted to trying to get second place by sailing their lone ship, the captured HMS Hyena, as far away from conflict as possible.

If you thought that the English/Cursed action sounded hot, wait till you read about the eastern battle!

On the other side of the ocean, the Spanish and their relative armada (having the most overall ships of any fleet entering today's turns) sailed south towards the Americans and the Pirates. Things quickly deteriorated and spiraled out of control. For one thing, the Americans hate the Spanish in this game. The Spanish don't like the Americans. Most of all, the Pirates and the Americans have a passionate hatred of each other. With the three fleets all in the vicinity, things got ugly in a hurry.

The Americans only had six remaining ships, but they were prepared to fight to the death. The Enterprise finished repairing and used an extra action to move to the front of the American battle line. Following her were the Ghost Walker and the Constitution. They also owned the Carolina, Rattlesnake, and captured pirate sloop Coral, but they would be non-factors. The lead Spanish ships were the Asesino de la Nave, Cristal del Obispo, Resolucion, and the Monte Cristo, with many more ships (including the Acorazado, Santo Columba, and Santa Ana) sailing closely behind. The battle is going on right around the American home island.

To start things off, the Asesino de la Nave shot up the Enterprise, using her cargo-wrecking ability to kill many of the crew aboard the legendary American five master. With the Cristal and Resolucion following the Asesino, the Enterprise was under extremely heavy fire within one turn of the action. There is a whirlpool just to the northwest of the American HI, and this prevented the other American gunships from coming to her immediate aid. Cannonballs tore through limbs as splinters flew through the air, with a considerable amount of carnage soon evident. The masts and sails of the Enterprise littered the waters where the battle began, and she was set alight by a firepot shot from the Cristal del Obispo. Things were getting very cramped, with ships pressed for space and engaging each other at extremely close quarters. Sight was limited from the smoke from the guns, and any verbal orders were drowned out by the constant thunder of hundreds of cannon.

With the Enterprise a burning hulk, the Spanish moved on to other ships. The Monte Cristo engaged the Ghost Walker at extremely close range, locking two ships with fantastic cannons in a death struggle. The Ghost Walker prevailed and dismasted the Monte Cristo, but not without the help of the Constitution, whose captain was finding maneuvering extremely difficult with a whirlpool on his starboard bow and the Monte Cristo on his port side. Eventually the Constitution began towing the Cristo in order to get her out of the way, while the Ghost Walker moved on to face the Santa Ana. The Santa Ana, one of the first Spanish gunships, saw her as a serious threat and treated her as such, taking out her two remaining masts with her first broadside of the battle.

Just a few turns into the battle, and the chaos has started. The burning Enterprise is raked by Spanish gunships, while her fleetmates the Ghost Walker and the Constitution are stuck. You can see how close the ships are, with the whirlpool and American HI making things even more cramped. To the south, the Asesino and Acorazado shoot holes in the Carolina's hull, while the Pirates start entering the battle.


The same view, except looking from the south towards the north this time. The Raven and Cursed Blade are at the right, with the Santo Columba and Resolucion at the left.


The immense carnage of war at sea, with a view from the mizzen top of the Constitution:


After the Asesino de la Nave sneaked inside to rake the bow of the Carolina, the Acorazado had her chance to force herself into the Spanish line, and she immediately delivered. The Cristal del Obispo missed four times out of five against the Carolina, but Luis Zuan of the Acorazado's many crewmembers showed her Spanish comrades how it's done, scoring a perfect five shots on the American schooner to dismast her. However, the Acorazado would not be in the thick of the action for long, as the English pulled off their devastating rune combo to remove her from the game.

The dense "forest of masts" from the main topmast of the Windjammer, still in the early stages of the battle.


At this point, the Pirates were finally entering the action. Looking to get in on the annihilation of the hated Americans, the Pirates got more than they bargained for. Upon sailing past the Cristal and Santo Columba in an attempt to get to the remaining American ships, the Harbinger received a rude awakening in the form of a powerful gun volley from the Cristal. This battle was clearly a free-for-all, a pell-mell battle with no reason or structure. The Harbinger, Bloody Jewel, Bonnie Liz, and Doombox (towed by the Windjammer) responded by taking out three masts on the Cristal, leaving her with just her mainmast. The Windjammer is exchanging broadsides with the Asesino. The Cursed Blade and the Raven entered the fray by going on the inside of the Harbinger, sailing right by the American HI. The Raven was quickly dismasted by Spanish ships, while the Cursed Blade rammed the Rattlesnake. The Darkhawk II, Revenant, and Concord (captured from the Americans) are on their way, giving the Pirates some significant reinforcements that they will need. The Harbinger has only two masts left and is still locked in battle with at least one Spanish gunship, while the two masters Bloody Jewel, Bonnie Liz, and Shamrock likely won't last long in this intense, heated action.

To the north, more Spanish ships (mostly non-gunships) are pouring into the battle, with the Santa Isabel, San Jose, Brandywine, and Argo (with the latter two having been captured from the Americans) sailing around the whirlpool to engage the Constitution, Cursed Blade, and others. At one point, the Spanish had captured the Enterprise, but they have since released her, giving the Constitution a chance to recapture her.

As described, more Spanish ships enter the action. The San Jose and the derelict Monte Cristo are in the center.


A more broad view of the entire battle, showing the Santa Ana dismasting the Ghost Walker at the lower left, with the Constitution having just recaptured the Enterprise. To the south, the three powerful Pirate ships that have yet to see action.


Up close and personal with the battle between the Spanish and the Pirates. The Windjammer is taking advantage of the damaged state of the Asesino de la Nave, while the Santo Columba takes over for the Cristal against the Harbinger. To the right, the Resolucion rakes the overmatched Bloody Jewel.


With their Native Canoes and about five or six other ships still sailing towards the battle, the Spanish still appear to have the upper hand, but the dual fight won't be as easy as they thought. They've underestimated the Pirates, and the Constitution is somehow undamaged thus far.

My personal favourite picture from the battle so far, showing most of the action with good quality:


From the main mast of the Revenant, the battle in all its glory.


7/3/2013

Another 10 turns or so have been played, with both battles coming to a conclusion.

In the west, the English overwhelmed the Cursed with numbers, using the Endeavour and Grand Temple to dismast both the Executioner and the Grim Reaper. The Flying Dutchman was soon derelict as well, and the English captured her and the Divine Dragon and recaptured the Gallows in order to have both Davy Jones' in their fleet. The Leicester, Aberdeen Baron, Heros, and Alexandria teamed up to sink the Corsair treasure runners, with the Queen of Sheba, Morocco, Carthage, Meshud, and Tiger's Eye all going to the bottom. The Fallen Angel was also sunk, and the Cursed Corsairs were no match for the powerful English gunships. With that, the English began sailing east to face the victor of the eastern battle.

Here's the western battle, showing the English in a position of dominance.


A few turns later, and the Cursed have been eliminated!


The battle involving the Spanish vs. the Pirates vs. the Americans has also finished up, with the Americans bowing out first. After recapturing the Enterprise, the Constitution came under heavy fire from the Santa Ana and the Sirviente, sustaining two fire mast hits as the Leon later joined the fracas. The Spanish captured both American five masters shortly afterward, and they were scuttled, with no time or energy left to tow them back home and repair them. Several Spanish ships teamed up to sink the Cursed Blade, but not before the Blade sunk the Rattlesnake. La Reconquistador towed the Ghost Walker to use her as a canceller, while the Pirates did the same with the Cristal del Obispo (who had Nemesio Diaz onboard) after she lost her final mast.

The carnage of a naval battle, with the Constitution on fire.


The Windjammer finally dismasted the Asesino de la Nave, but the Santo Columba dismasted her in turn after doing the same to the Harbinger. The Doombox flotilla was sunk, and the Resolucion paired with the Columba to dismast the rest of the Pirate two masters, the Bloody Jewel, Bonnie Liz, and Shamrock.

Instead of going around the west side of the American HI, where the two Spanish five masters used to be, the Darkhawk II, Concord, and Revenant went around the eastern side, where the Darkhawk quickly getting shot up by the Santa Isabel, Algeciras, and Brandywine. The Spanish eventually sunk her with the help of the Sirviente, but not before the Darkhawk took out two more masts on the Isabel (leaving her with one) and dismasting the Algeciras. The Concord towed the Cristal and was ripped apart by the Santo Columba and the Sirviente. With every Pirate ship but the Revenant and the Banshee's Cry taken care of, the Spanish wearily turned their attention to these final two ships.

Looking to the southeast, showing the area where some of the most heated action took place earlier in the battle. At the top left, the Cristal is about to be captured.


A shot of the entire battle, with the hottest action switching from the western side of the American HI to the eastern side.


Meanwhile, the English approach from the west:


The Banshee's Cry was pinned to the Santa Ana, and although the Santa Ana enjoys a huge size advantage over the little sloop, her crew was decimated and she was missing two masts. The Cry rammed her and left her with one mast, and also killed her helmsman. The Santa Ana couldn't get an extra action, and her final gun kept on missing. The Resolucion finally sailed up and took out the Cry, but the Revenant exacted revenge later that turn. The Revenant and Resolucion had a short duel that saw the Revenant victorious. However, by this point the rest of the Spanish ships had caught up to the damaged Pirate flagship, and the Sirviente and Santo Columba dismasted her, knocking the Pirates out of the game. At this point, the sea was littered with masts, spars and sails. The battle-weary Spaniards began to regroup and reload their guns in anticipation of the approaching English fleet.

Some of the Spanish fleet sailing south to try to catch up with the Revenant:


Another view of the whole battle, with the Sirviente and the Revenant being the only ships currently firing broadsides. The Revenant has taken damage, I just didn't want to take out her masts. She is about to be dismasted to eliminate the Pirates from contention.


For the final confrontation to decide the winner of the game, it will be the remaining nine English ships taking on the remaining nine Spanish ships! These numbers don't include the captured ships and derelicts that won't be factors in the battle (with the exception of the Ghost Walker, who is now being towed by the Alquimista after the Reconquistador was dismasted). The English are approaching in a rough group headed by the Endeavour, sailing in from the west. The Spanish have formed a ragged line with the severely damaged Santa Isabel at the front.

Looking from the main mast of the Alquimista, the two remaining fleets gather their forces for one last epic conflict.


Looking northwest at the English fleet and the head of the Spanish fleet.


Also, the French are technically still in it, as the Hyena is lurking east of the Endeavour, hoping to get a piece of the action. For the actual winner of the game, I think I will combine the results of the point tally with the recent battles. The Americans were the first fleet to be eliminated, followed by the Cursed and then the Pirates.

7/5/2013

The game was finally finished up today. The Endeavour started the final battle by sinking the captured HMS Hyena, officially knocking the French out of the game.

Now it was just the English and the Spanish. The iceberg that took out the Acorazado hit the Santa Isabel, taking out her final mast. The next ship in line was the Argo, a two masted treasure runner. She was no match for HMS Leicester, but the Santo Columba was third in the Spanish line. Now the Spaniards' best ship, she acted as a flagship for this battle to the death. The Argo started towing the Isabel before she was dismasted, creating a physical block to gain the lagging Spanish ships some extra time before the rest of the English fleet was upon them.

As the Endeavour sailed along as the easternmost English ship, the westerly ships came into action. The Heros and damaged Nautilus were first, followed by the Alexandria, towing the Tower. L'Heros took out a mast on the Santo Columba before having one of her own masts taken out. Before the Nautilus and Alexandria could do any damage, the Spaniards' second-best ship, El Leon, sailed into the fray. Guns blazing, she took out a mast on the Heros and a mast on the Nautilus. She finished her attack by ramming the Nautilus to take out her last mast. This was a great effort by the Spanish, but they simply lacked the firepower to compete with the English. The Alexandria used a double action provided by Beckett to move-and-shoot twice, dismasting the Leon and pulverizing the San Pedro. Then the Leicester came around the iceberg and raked both the Concepcion and the San Pedro, dismasting both ships.

At this point, the battle was tipped heavily in favour of the English, but they still had to finish strong. The Santo Columba moved away from the Heros to take on the Grand Temple, who was missing her two short range guns from the earlier battle against the French, which now seemed like ancient history. However, the Temple prevailed in this fight, crushing the Spanish flagship. Meanwhile, the smaller English ships, Antelope and Alexander, captured both the Argo and the Santa Isabel.

Here you can see the battle in an early stage. The Endeavour (upper left) has just sunk the Hyena, while the English have gone around the obstacle created by the Argo and the Santa Isabel. The Santo Columba duels the Heros, while the Leon attacks the Nautilus. In the upper right corner, you can make out the hull of the Alquimista, the last Spanish ship to enter the battle.


With that, only the two remaining native canoes and the Alquimista remained. The canoes were quickly demolished by the Heros and Alexander, while the Endeavour moved south to take on the Alquimista. This final Spanish ship was only moving S because she had the captured American windcatcher, Ghost Walker, in tow. The Alquimista was hoping to make up for her lack of a captain by using the Ghost Walker's built-in canceller to cancel an enemy captain, thereby gaining the upper hand. The problem was, the Ghost Walker was behind the length of the ship, and she had hulks of derelict Pirate ships on either side of her, preventing her from maneuvering in such a way that would let her get the canceller into a good position. The Endeavour sailed up and raked her by the bows, sending all three masts into the ocean to seal a hard-fought victory for the English!

Victory at last! The English have captured or dismasted every Spanish ship, with the Endeavour finishing off the Alquimista to end the game (you can see the Ghost Walker, but not the Alquimista, as she's dwarfed by the English five master).


A similar view looking southeast, with the Grand Temple having finished off the Santo Columba in the foreground.


As they had the highest number of points at the peak of the game, and they were the last fleet afloat, the English won the game on both fronts. It wasn't easy, however, and it was rather close. They didn't dominate like they occasionally have in the past. Coming in second was the Spanish, who played a brilliant game. They may have won if not for their anxiousness to get into a dual-conflict, as well as their behemoth flagship (who would have required 25 hits just to dismast Surprised) being sunk by a UT combo. The Pirates finished third in the point count, and were the third fleet eliminated. The Cursed came in fourth, with a well-played initial game that fell victim to the power of the Royal Navy. In fifth, the Americans were actually the first fleet eliminated, but they certainly played a better game than the French. With a good mix of aggression and treasure running, they almost became the only faction to have four colonies, but therefore had spread themselves a bit too thin. They were unfortunate to have two of the strongest factions in the game, the Spanish and the Pirates, attack them from the north and south, respectively. With a slightly different game and better luck, they could have finished at least two spots higher. Although they were the third-to-last fleet remaining, the French finished dead last in the point count and had problems throughout the game. The English were a tough adversary to have early on in the game, but the French made mistakes in choosing a home island that was right in the heart of the frozen north (losing 4 or 5 masts to icebergs in the early going), and the fact that they were too timid going about their empirical desires.

This was a good game, and I definitely like the scenario that Sariouriel created. It is very long and time-consuming, but I would recommend it if you like big games. I still wish I could have finished it the proper way by playing it out, but who knows how long that would take. Maybe someday I'll play it again and have the time to finish it. Three weeks later, and there is finally a winner to the Century of the Empires game! Very Happy
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Subject: Economy Edition   PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:03 pm Reply with quote

Pirates: Economy Edition


Played in June 2015

Ever since cannonfury came up with his Rules for Pirates: Economy Edition, I've wanted to play it. I've always found that in cumulative/campaign games, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, making for a somewhat predictable game, although still extremely fun and much more involved and complex than your average Pirates game. I love the resources concept and especially how their values change mid-game.

I've decided to play a slightly modified version of Economy Edition, which is what I'll be calling it unless cannonfury wants to change the name (Economy for short). He posted a great report or two earlier in this thread detailing his playtests of the game, but naturally with my penchant for HUGE games, I've decided to take it a step further and plan on making it one of those epic, long, MASSIVE endeavours that goes for weeks (and in this case almost definitely months) with no end in sight. That being said, things from "real life" do come up, so there are no guarantees whatsoever. This game could abruptly end on a dime without warning, or I may have to do something similar to what I did with Century of the Empires, with a forced conclusion to finish things up if they take too long.

If you plan on reading any of my reports this summer, I suggest you take a look at cannonfury's post, another link here.

The following modifications will be made, and I've also included some information about the game:

Errata:

- Named crew must be unique, but once a named crew is eliminated or removed from the game, a DIFFERENT version of that crew can then be purchased as long as they aren't in play at the same time.

- I don't have the time or desire to make or purchase tokens to represent resources, so here's how I'm going to do it: after a ship rolls for the resource type and loads resources, the ship will load gold coins that correspond to the numbered resource (for example, a ship with lumber on board would have 1's). When the ship unloads the resources at the home island, the 1's (in this case) are swapped out for the value of the resource. If the value of lumber was 4, when the ship docks at her HI (home island), the 1's come off the ship and go back into the treasure chest and 4's appear on the HI, which can then be used to purchase ships and crew.

I can separate the piles of coins on a ship's deckplate to distinguish between resources and gold.

- Players will NOT be required to pay one gold each turn for every ship not docked at their HI. Why? I want this game to be huge, so anything that slows the game down is getting cut out. I like this concept, since you have to pay the crew and supply them with food and rations, but for this game I can't afford to be paying gold every turn when there are already going to be a ton of ships being launched all the time. Also, if this game gets as big as I want it to, it would be extremely annoying to count how many ships each fleet had at the end of their turns.

Starting Conditions:

- There are 5 fleets participating, and the order of play will go as follows: English, Franco-Spanish (a permanent alliance, abbreviated FS), Pirates, Americans, Cursed. The English, Pirates, and Cursed have all gotten major additions in the year so far, while the French and Spanish have lagged behind (a coincidence).

- Fleets start out at 40 points.

- There are around 26 wild islands, along with the 5 home islands. See pictures and explanations below for details.

- No unique treasures have been placed during setup, although islands that generate gold may have UT's appear on them throughout the game. UT's are not going to give any fleets an advantage or disadvantage in the critical early stages of the game, when everyone needs to get off to a good start.

Victory Conditions:

- There will be no adventure cards. I have my hands full learning a new ruleset and trying to incorporate house rules and new ideas, not to mention that I don't want this game to end based on a quest scenario. The general time limit for this game is 3 months, although as I said before it may end much sooner than that depending on the circumstances.

Resources:

- An island's resource will be represented by one of the tiny dice, which will be turned upright to the corresponding number.

Technology Upgrades:

- I think islands will be upgraded on the current turn that an upgrade token is unloaded, but the functions of the upgrade can't be used until the next turn, similar to forts.

- There may be house rules regarding the settlement and colony rules.

Ships/Equipment:

- The keywords cannonfury created will not be used, but I would like to try and use some of my own creations from the Custom Ships thread.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

House Rules/Potential changes to the game:

This game is going to be very open-ended and subject to changes. There may be house rules and custom ideas implemented in the middle of the game, and in the middle of player's turns. Things will be as fair as possible, but I'm really interested in delving into new ideas, some inspired by others and some from my own musings.

House Rules:

- When a ship wins a boarding party, the winner gets to choose whether they kill a crew or take a treasure. If the winner decides to steal a treasure, they can look at all gold on the losing ship and choose which coin(s) to take.

Potential in-game house rules to be figured out later include making reefs and fire much more relevant, among other things.

As you'll see in the pictures, there are two Sandbars in play:

Quote:
Sandbar
(Unofficial Terrain)

Inspired by Cadet-Captain Mike (Cke1st's Pirates Page)

When any part of a ship or sea creature moves onto a sandbar, roll a d6. The result is the sandbar's rating until the end of that player's turn. Compare the rating to how many masts or segments the game piece had when it was constructed. If the sandbar's rating is less than the number of masts or segments, the game piece has run aground and might not be able to move.
For example, if a 3-mast ship sails over a sandbar with a rating of 4, she may continue her movement across it. If a 4-mast ship sails over a sandbar with a sandbar with a rating of 2, it must stop, even if she could move farther that turn. If the sandbar rating and the number of masts or segments are the same, the ship must stop after sailing over the sandbar, even if she could move farther that turn.

If a game piece has run aground, you can use its action for the turn to try to free it. Roll a d6. Subtract the current number of masts or segments or the result from whichever is higher. If the result is 1 or less, the game piece is free. It can be given a move action to move normally next turn.

(This is designed to be an obstacle similar to Sargasso Seas, but targeted for larger ships rather than smaller ships, and not damaging like a Reef)


I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting, but I'll mention them as I remember them during the battle reports. Now, onto the setup!

(Note: some of the captions here have important information for the game!)

The ocean, with a thin blue sheet as the backdrop:


The western half of the sea. The Pirate home island is in the lower left corner, with the FS (Franco-Spanish) at the top left. The American HI is at the top right.


The eastern half of the sea, with the Cursed HI at the bottom of the picture. The English are at the top, and the American HI is visible at the top left.


Looking east from the FS home island:


This is without doubt the best (by far) looking game I'll have played. I've made some custom islands and terrain, and I'm also using the islands that rossinaz gave me in a trade that you may have seen in an earlier battle report.

Introducing: The Lagoon



The lagoon is a large lagoon located in the middle-western part of the ocean. The lagoon is only accessible by game pieces that can submerge. Ghost ships cannot cross the lagoon's borders. This puts submarines at a premium, although hostile sea monsters can also access the lagoon and potentially attack the submarines.

The lagoon holds vast gold reserves from a Pirate long dead. This island generates no resources, but rather replenishing gold stores.



Introducing: The Arch



The Arch is a piece of styrofoam that was cut in different places and glued to another small piece to form a triple archway. The middle archway is the tallest, with just enough room for somewhat large ships to pass through. The side arches are lower, allowing only ships with lower decks and shorter masts. The angled arch that was glued on is the shortest.

The shorter two archways:


Looking west, the archway is by far the tallest structure in the game and may provide an ideal place for a fort, if any fleet is brave enough to put men atop it:


As you can see in the first picture, the arch has gold on it, but this gold can only be accessed by docking at the low point where the gold is. Ships can only dock at this one point, and if they hit the arch in any other spot the ship loses a mast. The arch functions as a wild island that generates gold instead of resources, similar to the island in the lagoon. The arch has some terrain around it, including a reef jutting out to the east from the shortest, angled archway.

I believe I mentioned it in the Hijack thread a while back, but I received a Duke from a CC pack that wasn't cut all the way through on the deckplate card, making the ship impossible to assemble after I splintered the deck of the ship. After punching out the broken deck, it was the perfect opportunity to create a shipwreck. There was just enough on the deck to attach one of the hull pieces, and I broke the other one in half. The ship lost its mizzenmast in the wreck, and her jib was smashed off. The pirates all perished, but they left behind a considerable haul of gold, which I created by dripping just a few drops of metallic gold paint down into the hull of the ship. This fixed shipwreck will function as a special wild island that has gold on it, but the gold does not replenish itself as with the lagoon and arch. Ships must brave the reef to get to the Duke, and I may create a special house rule that allows the Cursed to put crew on the Duke and begin firing her cannons once more.

As for the lagoon, arch, and Duke, they all have a generous helping of gold. A lot of the gold they contain is shiny gold from the OE SR Cursed captain and shiny silver from this card. Shiny gold will be worth twice its printed value, while shiny silver will be worth three times its printed value (the shiny silver has more glitter and sparkle on it). Also, to incentivize the use of silver explorers, the +1 bonus will be applied before the multiplication, so a shiny silver 3 from a ship with a silver explorer will be worth 12 gold! These gold coins are currently only on the island in the lagoon, the arch, and the Duke shipwreck, but that may change during the game.





As for my custom islands, a trip to Hobby Lobby and a few pieces of styrofoam did the trick.

Sandy beaches surround a rare forested area:


Reefs and a sandbar:


A rocky island, inhospitable but perhaps brimming with valuable resources:


The islands made by rossinaz will function as resource islands:


East of the lagoon with another of rossinaz's islands and the second sandbar:


One last look for the time being:


In this game I am trying to use a TON of the new stuff I've gotten recently from trades and acquisitions, so don't expect to see ships I've used before, at least not very often! I also want to focus on using a lot of game mechanics I haven't used very much if at all, which is much easier in a huge game than a standard game.

English:
Maui's Fishhook + helmsman
HMS Kirkwall + helmsman
HMS Ram + helmsman

Franco-Spanish:
Le Marseillais + helmsman, explorer
L'Eroica + helmsman, explorer
Bazana + helmsman

Pirates:
Princess + helmsman, explorer
Revenge + helmsman
Seref + helmsman, explorer
Paradox + helmsman

Americans:
USS James Madison + tribal chieftain
Native Canoes
Wasp
Hessian + helmsman

Cursed:
Hangman's Joke + helmsman
Sea Rat + helmsman, explorer
Celestine + Master Scribe

5/31/2015

The first 11 turns have been played! The game has quickly gone from the starting 40 point fleets to massive fleets that are growing exponentially at rapid rates. This is the ONLY time I will be able to play this many turns in one day, mostly because it was the start of the game. From here on out I'm only expecting to play one or two turns per day.

A few things to note before I go into the actual battle report:

- Return to Savage Shores, Cadet-Captain Mike's set, and my own custom set (Pirates of the Age of Sail) are all available for this game. However, due to the fact that there are so many new game pieces I haven't used and there will be more coming in mid-game from ongoing trades, it is likely that very few of these pieces will make it into the game as proxies.

- There is a document on BGG that details custom house rules, and the ones for shipwrights I liked. A ship docked at its home island (HI) can repair two masts per turn if it has a shipwright on board. Also, shipwrights can repair forts after they've been stationed at the fort. Shipwrights can only repair one flag per turn and the fort cannot shoot while repairing.

- I have already begun to run out of helmsmen. Since I don't use musketeers and cannoneers very often, these two generic crew will proxy as helmsmen for the duration of the game, unless noted otherwise. Therefore, if you see a musketeer or cannoneer on an island or fort, that crew is very likely a helmsman in reality.

- As I mentioned in my above post, ships with explorers are not rerolling for the initial resource die roll when they explore an island.

- You'll see mysterious islands in the pictures, but their effects are not being used at all. They are not a good fit for this game.

- Island upgrades are represented through tokens from the RISK board game, which serve no other purpose in the game. Infantry units represent settlements, cavalry units represent trading ports, and artillery units represent military ports. As with regular games, a nation's pennant flags represent the encampments in Economy.

- Resources are always placed face up, whether they are on a ship (on the deckplate or in the water for simplicity) or on a home island. Gold is always placed face down, whether on a ship or on a wild island or home island. I've already forgotten to keep resources face up, but this system makes it easier to play the game. In this way, resources may be kept face up on the home island for fleets waiting for the resource values to change, but it's a gamble to not cash in since the resource value could go even lower.

This is a very interesting part of the strategy that I didn't think of until soon after the game started. It's generally advantageous to cash in your resources immediately since you don't want to get behind in the arms race, but depending on the number of turns left until the resource values change, fleets may want to wait and see if their market values increase with the new die rolls. Also, resource values may change while a ship is carrying them home, which makes for interesting strategy decisions and movement measurements! I absolutely love the resource system so far.

Now, onto the game!

With great excitement and anticipation, the first resource value die was rolled, which came up a 5. Fish were king, with Spices almost worthless. Two d6 were rolled to determine how long these values would hold, with the first 6 turns being the answer. Since it was the very beginning of the game, these 6 turns would pass much quicker than others, but it still gave fleets enough time to get some resources home before the values changed.



With such a large game that has no length or point limit attached to it, none of the fleets wanted to make an enemy early in the game. The fleets have focused on treasure running, or in this case you could call it resource gathering (resourcing?).

The beautiful Maui's Fishhook was given the first action of the game, setting the long-anticipated Economy Edition game in motion!

The English take off and scatter in different directions. Most games aren't ideal for ships with the Kirkwall's ability, but with so many islands and such a large ocean, the English decided to take a stab at the long-failed strategy of marking islands explored. For this game, marking the island explored doesn't result in rolling for the resource type, which happens when docking or during an actual explore action.


In my opinion the prettiest ship in the game, the Maui's Fishhook:


Turn one of infinity:


The MF (Maui's Fishhook) grabs some textiles from an island just north of the arch:


The Celestine, with Master Scribe aboard, has already begun dropping trade currents to help out her Cursed comrades. Sadly I still don't have any SS islands, so the backs of original SM islands are used as trade currents.


The southwest portion of the sea:


The Kirkwall was able to mark 4 wild islands explored for the English, although they're still making their way towards three of them.


The Eroica and Hessian are the first ships of different fleets to dock at the same wild island, but they're too greedy for gold to fight!


The Pirates fared extremely well on their resource rolls, with one island producing fish and another producing metal, worth 6 and 5 gold respectively.


The American Native Canoes zip home as the Wasp journeys to a new island.


HMS Swiftsure had the honor of being the first ship to be launched. Times like these make me wonder if ANY of the ships that started the game will be there at the conclusion...


The Franco-Spanish (FS) brought home spices, but since they were only worth 1 gold apiece, decided to leave them on their home island for the time being.


Master Scribe and his ship (the Celestine) have been busy, giving the Cursed a much-needed speed boost to get them out of the gate quickly. The Sea Duck and Hades' Realm are new additions to the fleet.


Up until this point, the most common resource was textiles with a die roll of 2. There was a considerable amount of luxuries and metals available, with lumber and fish being the rarest resources.

The Americans were disappointed to find a lot of luxuries, which quickly piled up on their home island. Desperate for more ships, they launched the USS Sea Tiger and Devil Ray, the latter of which was the first ship launched that could access the lagoon. Since privateer nations (like the Mercenaries) can only be purchased at a trading port, this purchase of the Devil Ray was in error, but the Americans would pay for it later once I realized the mistake, as you'll see later in the report.


After a handful of turns, the fleets have reached a reasonable size. The Pirates have launched the Rum Runner and Seref, among others.


The MF approaches the arch as the Americans sail out to gather more resources:


At this point, 6 turns had been completed, which meant that the dice would be rolled for the first in-game value change! All the fleets held their breath, with even more anticipation than during the opening roll:


Wow! The one signifies that all resources are worth the same as their numbered value (ex: lumber is numbered at 1 and now worth 1 gold), which makes it very easy since there is no exchange rate to worry about. Perhaps even more importantly, these values would hold for 11 turns, only one off the max of 12 from rolling two d6! This marked a major shift in the game, as the Americans and FS benefited greatly with their stockpiles of now-valuable resources. This changed everything, and with fleets getting bigger every turn, the game started to slow down considerably as each fleet's turn got longer and longer. With such a long duration of 11 turns, this phase of the game would be long enough to plot strategies around.

The MF rounds the arch in pursuit of good-old gold:


The Franco-Spanish rejoice as their spices and luxuries are finally worth cashing in! The Buscador, Matthias Vospero, Rosario, and Rochefort are built in short order.


With a stack of 10 luxuries whose total value increased from 20 to 60 with a roll of the dice, the Americans were suddenly swimming in gold! Eager to set up the long-awaited chain system, two additional sets of native canoes were launched along with the USS Albany, Harlequin, and Fly. With a nearby island producing precious luxuries, the Americans looked to be in great shape for the time being.

(As a side note, these 15 canoes are all I have for the Americans, but if anyone has extras that they'd be willing to part with, I'd gladly pay shipping for them! I'm hoarding canoes for huge games like this, but I really need more American canoes.)


The arch has finally been explored! The MF reached over on her way through the tallest archway and picked up some of the supercoins placed on the low point of the arch, which is the only spot where ships can dock and pick up gold on the arch.

A rather fantastic shot of the MF picking up shiny silver coins with her shiny silver crane:


A view through the northernmost archway:


A great shot of the other two archways, with the MF about to sail on through:


Perhaps the best picture yet, you can tell I'm really stoked about this arch thing! This picture also shows the relatively large size of the structure.


A busy FS HI sees many arrivals and departures:


The Pirates have launched a new flagship, the Foresight. The values of their nearby resources (fish and metals) dropped on turn 7, but they're still producing a healthy stream of gold.


An awesome shot of the Devil Ray sneaking into the deserted, untouched lagoon and the massive mother lode waiting inside:


Now you can see why I need more canoes! The Americans are the first to receive a home island expansion, which I knew would be inevitable with such fast-growing fleets. The newly launched Paul Revere and Black Bear carry the first island upgrade tokens.


It started in 2011 with my first documented game, continued with volt's Chain of Fools fleet, and now is developing in Economy Edition: the chain-exploring system.


The MF leaves the ominous archways behind, with a cargo hold full of some of the most valuable coins ever discovered:


The Buscador transfers treasure from the island...


... to the Marseillais.


Shocked and awed, the hired Mercenaries aboard the Devil Ray find themselves in paradise:


After seeing such mountains of gold in the lagoon, the Americans eagerly summon Champ to protect it. He'e is also called to action, but for a different purpose in mind: watching over the arch.


Not a declaration of war or open hostility, but the establishment of an American settlement on an island previously explored by the MF shows the game is accelerating.


The beauty of chain-exploring, with the Devil Ray's coins being transferred home almost immediately upon her surfacing just outside the lagoon.




Around this time during the game I realized that the Americans had hired the Devil Ray and her Mercenary helmsman without having a trading port. Privateer nations (the minor factions) are only to be hired at trading ports. Since the error was relatively major, with the Devil Ray being the first ship in the lagoon and the first submarine introduced, the Americans would have to pay a steep penalty. For every turn that the Devil Ray was afloat, the Americans had to pay the cost of the ship and any crew assigned to her every turn. The Americans immediately let go of the Devil Ray, removing her from the game. They used the gold from luxuries and the Devil Ray's own shiny gold 4 (worth 8 gold) to pay off the whopping 60 gold that resulted from the Devil Ray's 5 turns in play (10 points from the ship + 2 from the helmsman = 12 gold * 5 turns = 60 total gold cost). As a result, the Americans actually lost money on the fiasco, although they did learn what the lagoon held and still have the only encampment within the lagoon.

The Celestine and Sea Duck approach an island in the middle of the sea, until noticing the Albany, Harlequin and two canoes sail around the other side. The submerged Pyre is visible, hinting that the Cursed are the second fleet to have designs on the lagoon.


I can't get enough of this ship! The Maui's Fishhook, with the afternoon sun glinting off her shiny hoist arm.


What did the Maui's Fishhook bring back? With four cargo spaces available after her helmsman, her haul from the arch included a shiny 4, two shiny silver 2's and a shiny silver 4. If you didn't read the introductory post, shiny gold is worth twice its printed value and shiny silver is worth three times its printed value. In this way the MF brought home 32 gold on four coins!


Almost the entire Franco-Spanish fleet, with a HI expansion necessary. They spent a current-record 94 gold on turn 11. The Trinity and St. Denis highlight the additions, along with three island upgrade tokens.


Worried by the Americans' apparent hostility, the English have no choice but to defend themselves and their interests, launching the HMS Pacificum and HMS Raven.


The Pirates had a field day on turn 11 as well, launching the Lady Newport, Ranger, Splinter, Pearl, and Cutlass.


The Americans load spices from an island made by rossinaz:


The Celestine rolled a few 1's in a row, eliminating a few trade currents. However, turn 11 saw them replaced by a doubly successful roll on both the Celestine's ability and Master Scribe's navigator ability. The Cursed appear to have a serious interest in the lagoon, as they've launched their second submarine, the Locker. The Cursed have slowed their expansion as the islands nearest their HI produce textiles and metals, which aren't all that valuable at the current time.


This is where things stand after 11 turns! You can see how crowded the home islands are becoming, with new ships being put in the water every turn by almost every fleet. The Americans, Pirates, and Franco-Spanish have the biggest fleets, but the English and Cursed have also done well.


What a great start to such a huge endeavour! As I said previously, this is the only day where this many turns will be completed. I won't be able to play every day, and even when I do play it will likely be about a turn or two at once. I can't wait to see how things develop!

6/1/2015

A few more notes before I go into what happened today (6/1):

- Forts, flotillas, and native canoes can be used as many times as fleets want to use them, and fleets are allowed to use duplicates of these game pieces at the same time.

- Ships with the same name that have different stats, regardless of the flavor text and whether or not they are technically the same ship, are allowed to be in play at the same time (like the USS James Madison and USS James Madison).

- As far as the arch goes, building a fort on the arch does not function like the regular rules for forts. The gold on the bottom part of the arch does not automatically get placed inside the fort, and the gold at the bottom of the arch is still available to ships that dock there. Also, if a fort is built on the arch, the fort's cannon ranges are measured from any point on the TOP of the arch, rather than from the flags of the fort or any point on the arch. Measuring from the flags makes the fort less effective but allowing measurement from any point of the arch makes the fort too effective. Also, forts cannot be built on the island inside the lagoon, and needless to say forts also cannot be built on the wreck of the Duke. Islands that produce resources are the only islands on which forts function normally, although just like in the ruleset they don't produce resources on the island after they're built.

I was able to play three turns, 12-14. Things are constantly progressing and the strategy aspects are beginning to take on a more important role now that fleets have a consistent supply of resources coming in almost every turn.

The English fleet, with the Pacificum headed west towards the island that the Americans established a settlement on. HMS Diamond and HMS Galway have joined the ranks.


The Fly has explored the arch for the Americans, and they have quickly made their presence known by building Thompson's Island atop it! It's great to see the arch being used to full effect, as building a fort on it was one of the things I was most looking forward to.


The Paul Revere has turned around as the Pacificum approaches. The fort has the high ground but a limited firing range.


I didn't realize how dark this one turned out, but beyond their new fort the Americans have launched USS Shark, USS Atlanta, USS James Madison and the Minuteman. This completes their pile of relatively new stuff that I haven't put into my binders yet.


The Celestine and Master Scribe have been busy laying trade currents, hoping that the Rum Runner won't become hostile.


The Sea Rat and Hades' Realm head east towards unexplored islands and the shipwrecked Duke.


The hostilities have commenced! The first combat of the game wasn't a shoot action, but true to the Economy focus of the game, was a boarding attack against a settlement! The Pacificum easily won the action, changing the settlement from American to English (it's still American in the picture - the English units are red).


The Paul Revere immediately swung her bow to starboard and approached the Pacificum with loaded guns. With the first shoot action of the game, the Americans got revenge on the English by taking off two masts! Deciding it would be easy to recapture the colony later, the Revere also successfully S-boarded the Pacificum (who therefore couldn't use her +1 boarding bonus), killing her oarsman and taking two textiles!


The St. Denis gives the Franco-Spanish their first settlement:


Looking north towards the busy American home island:


With the sun setting on turn 13, the Pirates struggle to find enough water for all their ships:


The Rum Runner slips past the Celestine, whose Cursed submarines Pyre and Locker are in the lagoon. The American sea monster Champ is in the lagoon with the Locker, but without the ability to move and shoot and no way to attack the Locker while she's submerged, it looks like a stalemate.


Desperate to catch up in the arms race, the Cursed launch the Sskwa'aluk, an SE windcatcher from Return to Savage Shores.

Sskwa'aluk
RSS-047

Cursed
Points: 13
Masts: 3 (Windcatcher)
Cargo: 5
Move: L+S
Cannons: 5L-5L-5L

Ability: Wind Catcher. On the turn this ship is pinned, eliminate one crew and one mast from the rammed ship.

Flavor: Crewed entirely by Trogs, this foul vessel actually carries a coral nest beneath her hull. What lives within the nest is known only to the Trogs—and the captives who are lowered into the hull as food.

I had to include that flavor text just because it's so disturbing! I don't know if I'm going to refer to this ship by name during the report. I'll probably just call it Skwaluck (how I pronounce it) or SK for short. Either way, she's being represented by the Ghost Walker. I would use the Mystic, but the Pirates may want to use that ship at some point...

The Cursed also launched the Nightmare.


The English head east. The MF and Galway find luxuries and textiles (still the most common resources in the game) respectively, on islands marked explored by the Kirkwall. The Raven is sailing towards the easternmost island, which is just north of the Duke wreck.


The Pirates launched the Rising Sun and crewed her with Le Requin, Coconut, Bootstrap Bill Turner and an oarsman, hoping to quickly get her out to the Duke before other fleets and use her ability to get the gold home automatically rather than waiting to bring it back. A twist on the UPS strategy, using the Rising Sun instead of Captain Jack Sparrow. The Jolly Mon was camped out at home with some spare oarsmen.

However, the Hades' Realm also appears to be sailing towards the wreck of the Duke...


The Cutlass had brought the Pirates' first island upgrade to an island that the Cursed and the Pirates had explored, a situation very similar to the one up north between the Americans and English. The Cursed didn't have any ships near the Cutlass, but it didn't take long to find out whether this situation would escalate as well.

Using yet another trade current from the Celestine, the Hades' Realm moved S+L+S to rake the bow of the Rising Sun, who had just emerged from a whirlpool. The Rising Sun only lost her mizzenmast, but the Cursed had been angered by the settlement established by the Cutlass.


The Pyre was quick to follow suit, coming out of the lagoon and ramming the Princess, though the ram was unsuccessful.


Champ makes a move, desperate for some kind of action. The Locker surfaces and moves out of range, loading gold before she will inevitably submerge next turn. The lagoon's island may replenish itself in the near future.


Most of the ocean, looking west to east. You can see it's generally easier to load resources into the water next to the ship carrying them than place them on the deckplates each time.


The Paul Revere was unsuccessful when trying to recapture the English settlement via S-boarding. He'e moves into position to guard the arch, while the glint of the MF's hoist arm is visible to the east.


The ocean has become considerably more crowded, and although you can't see them here, some trading port and military port upgrades have been purchased, though they haven't been unloaded to the islands yet.


6/2/2015

Only one turn was played today, 6/2. This was partly because over 300 points worth of stuff was introduced.

By the way, the islands made by rossinaz can only be docked at on the beach part, not at the taller rocky part (similar to the arch).

I didn't think it would happen after only a few days, but some debris and dust has already begun accumulating on the sheet. Unfortunately there's no way to wash or vacuum the sheet without permanently wrecking the entire game, but I'd like to think of it as the random junk that floats in the ocean, especially once chunks of wood and sails are taken off ships in combat.

The English, a little surprised at the bite shown by the Americans to the west, launched HMS Serapis and HMS Resistance, as well as the HMS Rose and HMS Blazer as potential resource runners.

Turn 15 was mostly about the spending. The Franco-Spanish took in a new record 117 gold during the turn, which they immediately used on a bunch of new stuff.

The San Cristobal was assembled, and turn 16 will be the first time I use such a legendary ship. She's crewed with Victor de Alva, a helmsman, explorer, and oarsman, which is a perfect crew setup for what the FS want her to do.

Hinting at a potential interest in the lagoon, the French also bought the Tepant and crewed her with Jules Arnaud, who would help the Lurker Dessous move up to L+L+S in a turn.

The FS also built the Nox and La Moulin Rouge with captains and helmsmen. Soon I'll be running out of generic captains as well! The FS also purchased some island upgrades, which you'll see come into play soon.

The new additions to the FS fleet join their comrades who brought back the resources used to purchase them:


The USS Shark has brought William Eaton to the arch, where he will be able to move around the arch (with his rock-climbing skills!) and fire from any point of it. Right now he's stationed atop the lowest archway, near Thompson's Island (Thompson's Archway?). This shows the Americans have a very serious interest in the arch, with multiple layers of defence now guarding it including He'e and USS Atlanta towing the Minuteman in addition to the ground defence.

In the distance, you can make out the new English ships mentioned above.


The Paul Revere managed to retake the American settlement via S-boarding before turning for home to repair. You can see the Americans have a very strong position (relative to the fleet sizes so far at least!) around the arch.


Similar to the FS, the Americans also had a field day on turn 15, raking in 107 gold. They got themselves some warships, including USS Eagan, USS Appalachian, and the Saratoga, the latter two of which I've never used in a game. In order to optimize their chain exploring system of gathering resources, they also launched the Peacock, Flying Fish, Argo, Brandywine, and Nene-nui.

The Americans have a very similar HI situation as the FS. At the lower left, USS Mercury and USS Lamon make their way towards the lagoon.


As for the other fleets, the Locker escaped the lagoon before Champ could attack. The Rising Sun didn't receive the SAT from Requin, and so ducked into a fog bank to avoid the Hades' Realm. The Pirates have launched the Inferno and purchased numerous island upgrades.

After 15 turns of Economy Edition, this is what the sea looks like:


I'd like to do a count of the different fleet sizes at different points during the game, and every 5-15 turns sounds about right. After 15 turns, this is where the fleets stood:
English: 15 ships
Franco-Spanish: 19
Pirates: 19
Americans: 28 (counting each set of canoes as one ship)
Cursed: 9 (they have been saving up gold, but their resources aren't worth much right now)

I simply counted deckplates, so the list includes sea monsters and the two flotillas in play. It's doubtful I'll ever do a count of points because it would take so much longer, but if I can sense that the game is at its peak I could set aside some time for it, just because it would be interesting to see if I could make this the biggest game I've ever played, though my first documented game was also cumulative but I never counted the total points (and the same with the RISK game).

6/4/2015

I've played turns 16 and 17! Things are going to peak on turn 18 since that's when the resource value and duration rolls occur.

Before I was able to get started, an inevitable event occurred: the Pirates have pushed the French out of their shared box, and now it is completely Pirate! The box used to hold the Cursed as well, but now they're in a different box with the Americans.


On turn 16, the Franco-Spanish used their new trading port, strategically located near the lagoon, to launch the new Hephaestus, the first official privateer ship in the game! Earlier in the turn, their new and old fleets sailed out in unison for a rather large show of force.


The Rising Sun, having ducked into a fog bank to avoid the Hades' Realm, rolled a 6 to stay in the fog but at the same time slam into a new island. With Coconut on board, the Rising Sun was able to send home some fish via her ship ability, an unexpected but welcome outcome of the voyage.


To the north, the Americans gather around their settlement as the English wait for their flagship (HMS Pacificum) to repair:


HMS Raven has finally reached the easternmost island, discovering a supply of lumber. The Hades' Realm has successfully navigated the reef surrounding the Duke shipwreck, but without an explorer will have to wait to look at the gold.


The FS strategy with the new San Cristobal has become clear. Armed with extra action capabilities, S+S+L+S speed, and an explorer, the San Cristobal has set out to build French and Spanish forts (up to 5 total!) on islands that can't be easily reached by the FS fleet back home. Whirlpooling into the center of the map, the Cristobal has already explored the final island to be docked at, marking it with St. Pierre. Since resources aren't generated by islands with forts on them per the ruleset, the FS are trying to hinder the other fleets' progress and delay their efforts.


The FS also launched El Acorazado and put Don Osvaldo Guillen and Master Gunner Rogelio Vazquez (as well as a helmsman) aboard to increase the ship's effectiveness. Right now she looks intimidating as a potential settlement raider, with S-board and +1 to boarding rolls, while the L-range guns effectively increase her striking range, which is essential since she'll only be moving S+S.

On the left, the Eroica heads east to establish a military port, while the Trinity has already done so on the right side of the photo. The Lurker Dessous and Tepant follow the Hephaestus towards the lagoon.


The Rising Sun came out of the fog and promptly rolled a 1 while crossing the reef to lose her remaining two masts, leaving her derelict! Unfortunately for the Cursed, Coconut's explorer ability combined with the Rising Sun's ship ability let the Pirates transfer a shiny silver 6 worth 18 gold back to the Pirates' HI right underneath the Cursed eyes! In this way, the Rising Sun's expedition had turned into a relative disaster, but at least she had just about paid for herself and her crew in the process, if not only making the Cursed more angry.




I used the flash for a change, showing the tense situation around the English HI and the American settlement just to the west. The island's textiles are only worth 2 gold apiece right now, but that could suddenly change on turn 18 when the resource values change.


The Americans have been saving up a considerable amount of gold, possibly to be spent on the next turn. The Lamon has reached the lagoon, with the Mercury not far behind. The Hessian has established a colony on the island to the east of the lagoon, while the Albany has upgraded the settlement on the middle right side of the picture to a trading port.


The Raven has made an English settlement to the right, but the easternmost 1/3 of the sea is still largely deserted:


The Cursed have struggled of late, but they have some gold and resources saved up, hoping to get a better roll this time around. The Pyre and Locker have returned with gold from the lagoon, with the Pyre looking to make a return trip now that the lagoon and arch have replenished themselves.

To the left, the Pirate ships Rum Runner and Princess return home with spices, hoping that their values don't drop on the way back.


It wasn't the most eventful two turns, but that was partly due to the climactic nature of turn 18, when the new resource value and duration rolls will be made. The English cashed in luxuries worth 78 gold on turn 17, and now they're waiting to see what happens with the resources before they decide what to buy. The Pirates are in a similar situation, with 102 gold received during turn 17. The Americans and Cursed have also held off on purchases for the last few turns, making turn 18 possibly one of the longest and most exciting yet!

6/5/2015

Turn 18 marked the need for new resource rolls! With great anticipation a 6 and a 7 were rolled, meaning that the market in luxuries crashed while the values of all other resources increased by one each! Not really a big change, except for the luxuries. The 7 means that turns 18-24 will be played using these values. Spices are now the most valuable resource, and luckily for the Americans and Franco-Spanish, they both have islands that produce spices nearby as well as the luxuries they had been taking in for the last 11 turns. The Cursed and Pirates gain modestly by the change, while the English suffer, having only islands that produce textiles (now worth 3 gold) and luxuries (now worth 1 gold) nearby.



The English and the Americans have finally clashed! The English, with a fully repaired HMS Pacificum and support ships, looked to take back their settlement to the west. HMS Diamond was the first on the scene, and together with HMS Resistance they shot away both masts on the James Madison. At the end of their turn the English launched HMS Dauntless and crewed her with Lord Cutler Beckett, a captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, and fire shot!

The battle begins, with a view from Thompson's Island:


Meanwhile, the San Cristobal was busy building El Castillo del Infanta on an island that the Cursed had previously found textiles on.


The Americans showed their mettle on their turn, using the Atlanta and Minuteman to knock a mast off the Diamond and sink the Resistance, the first English ship to be sunk in the game.


However, the Dauntless received a 6 from Beckett on their first turn in play, letting the big bad 5 master get right into the thick of the battle. The English poured in a heavy fire, sinking the James Madison and crippling the Atlanta and He'e:


The English made the mistake of sailing the Serapis too close to the arch, from which the guns of Thompson's Island now boomed. The Serapis was sunk in short order, but the American squadron near the arch and their settlement had been decimated.


The Minuteman managed to take off two of the Dauntless' masts.
A view from above the arch showing the carnage:


To the west, the Americans were optimizing their chains of canoes, setting them up to transfer gold from the island with spices (where the Wasp has established a military port) and from the two submarines in the lagoon.


The full chain from wild island to home island, partway through the turn:


By the end of the turn, two canoes have gold from the subs and luxuries aboard, while the Eagan and Appalachian head west, possibly in pursuit of the FS:


The Americans weren't done just yet! Using some of their vast gold pile, they built the Constitution and USS Hudson. The Constitution was crewed with Jonathan Haraden, Commander Steven Decatur, Gus Schultz, a helmsman and an oarsman, making her the biggest threat in the game.

Textiles (2), metals (3), and luxuries (6) pile up as the Americans spend a portion of their gold reserves on two new gunships I've never used before in a game:


The Pirates and Cursed have been dormant for a while now, but that will change eventually. Both fleets have large reserves of gold.

This is great shot of most of the ocean, with only the English HI not visible. Note the submerged Hephaestus and Lurker Dessous just outside the lagoon, with Champ waiting inside. The Pyre and Locker are headed back for a return trip, with the Lamon and Mercury also looking to get more gold soon. A battle inside the lagoon is inevitable, but it will be interesting to see who instigates it.


6/6/2015

I only played one turn today, but I'm hoping to play at least 2 tomorrow. Not much happened, but tension is building all around the ocean and fleets are getting ready to launch relatively large additions to their existing fleets.

The English finished off He'e as the Dauntless ducked into a fog bank. However, even as the English had won the battle, they hadn't won the war, with more American ships reinforcing their settlement. The Minuteman took three masts off the Pacificum later in the turn.


Complicating matters for the English, the San Cristobal moved north and built Paradis de la Mer on the textiles island that the English were making trips to.


The lagoon has become more crowded, but both submarines and sea monsters are too afraid to surface! (Champ and Lurker Dessous are submerged.)


6/7/2015

I've played turns 21-23! The English had been saving up gold for a while, and they finally had enough to launch something I've been looking forward to for a few months now: the FIRE squadron!

Bombardier + Thomas Gunn, First Mate Ismail, firepot specialist, exploding shot, fire shot

HMS Salient + Admiral James Norrington, helmsman, firepot specialist, exploding shot, fire shot

HMS Talon + Hermione Gold, firepot specialist, exploding shot, fire shot

In this way the Bombardier has a chance to create up to 4 fire masts in a turn, along with 3 each for the switchblades.



After building Paradis, the San Cristobal captured an English settlement and built El Puerto Blanco.


The Hephaestus finally surfaced and took gold from the lagoon island, with Lurker Dessous guarding the sub against Champ:


At the end of their turn, the FS launched a scaled-down version of their own fire squadron (Conquerant w/Duncan Rousseau + Grand Vainqueur w/Gentil de la Barbinais), along with the Neptune (with linked crew Phillipe Jordan aboard) and San Estaban, for a total of 103 gold.


The San Cristobal's mission was a smashing success, building 4 forts in the east to hinder the English and the Cursed:


Partly as a result of these forts, and also because they are struggling a bit more than the other three fleets, the English and Cursed have agreed to an alliance! With fleets in the northeast and southeast, they could potentially combine to take back the east from the FS and drive the Americans back west. Time will tell if the alliance is fruitful, and even more importantly, if it lasts any considerable amount of time.

The Pirates continued to save gold, with stores piling up on the expanded home island:


Looking through the lowest archway, the Saratoga sails through the middle arch:


From the main topmast of the Constitution, the Paul Revere, Hudson, and Saratoga have arrived to defend their settlement:


The Americans launched the Franklin and crewed her with Commodore Edward Preble in addition to the standard captain and helmsman. They also purchased the USS Annapolis with the RtSS version of George Washington LeBeaux aboard, who is the American version of Lord Mycron. This gives the Americans some flexibility, but in the near future they're looking to give Champ the move-and-shoot.

The Cursed have been saving up gold for a while as well, and they finally spent 113 gold on a sea monster squadron!

Serpent's Fang + captain, helmsman, fire shot, chain shot

Crocodile + Sargasso Nightmare, captain, helmsman

Calypsos (literally just acquired TODAY in a trade with trox)
Calim
Maxehebel
Brachyura (see below)

My regular (uncommon) version of Brachyura was broken (crabs seem easy to break), so I built my SR Brachyura. Since it's glittery and shiny I'm giving it the captain ability built-in.


Funny enough, both ships (the Serpent's Fang and Crocodile) are also named after sea creatures, a serpent and a crocodile, making the additions even more appropriate.

A glittery titan, two squids, a sea serpent, and two new ships:


The English used the new shipwright rules to repair the Dauntless and Pacificum in short order. When a ship is docked at it's home island, with a shipwright aboard it can repair two masts per turn.

The fire squadron departs from the home island, eager to avoid the guns of Paradis de la Mer:


On turn 22, the Americans launched two more five masters:

USS Thomas Jefferson + Master CPO Charles Richard, John Paul Jones, Ralph David, helmsman, fire shot

USS Concordia + Montana Mays, tribal chieftain (transferred from the fragile Harlequin for protection with Mays aboard), helmsman, firepot specialist



Between the two sea monster bonuses and a trade current, the Cursed sea monsters were able to spring out at speeds like L+L+L+S towards the lagoon, where the Pyre and Locker still resided.


The English, annoyed with the San Cristobal's fort-building efforts, were quick to respond, destroying Paradis on the next turn with their considerable firepower.


The Franco-Spanish proceeded to launch L'Hercule, El Corazon Dorado, L'Espadon, and El Rayo, all of which were acquired in trades received TODAY from trox and piratepickle.

The FS form a defensive line of battle to protect their precious cargo ships:


The Pirates, in an act of good faith, took some gold with the Cutlass and gave it to the Cursed to help them out. The Cursed considered attacking the Cutlass and her partner ship the Lady Newport, but thought better of it considering that they're not in the best position in the game right now, although their position is getting stronger. Both factions considered this act to be the beginning of a possible alliance.


The Ranger was also headed towards FS waters with some gold, presumably with the same purpose in mind.


The Americans used their trading port to build the Revolution, a gift from trox received in the mail just before she was put together and introduced into the game. She's crewed with Queen Teresa Pavon, a helmsman and a firepot specialist.


The Cursed have reached the lagoon with their sea monster squadron, but Champ isn't worried since it can submerge. However, the Cursed have a secret weapon on Brachyura: Papa Doc. Not the lame version, but the RtSS version:

Papa Doc
RSS-028b, Common

Cursed
Points: 8

Ability: This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls. Once per turn, one crew or ship within S of this ship can’t use its ability that turn.



23 turns after the game was set up:


6/8/2015

Turn 24 was played, with a few interesting developments.

The English have destroyed El Puerto Blanco, showing that the San Cristobal's fort-building adventure is no match for England's gunnery. Without anything to support the forts, they're easy targets for a powerful squadron of gunships that now includes a bombardier, two switchblades, two 5 masters, and HMS Raven.


The Tepant, Nox, and Lurker Dessous form a line of battle to protect the submerged Hephaestus from the sub-hunting USS Eagan, hiding in a fog bank with the Appalachian. As new warships set sail, you can see the logjam around the FS home island.


The Americans relaunched the Devil Ray, following in the footsteps of her Mercenary comrade the Revolution:


The Cursed have attacked! Entering the lagoon all at once, their four sea monsters have overwhelmed the Americans inside the lagoon. Papa Doc cancelled Champ to the surface, allowing Brachyura to rip the serpent's head off! Champ only lost two segments in the attack, but the monster is as good as dead. The other Cursed sea monsters blocked the American subs from getting to the island as the Locker and Pyre took the last coins off the island, which will now replenish itself, along with the arch and Duke.


At this point, two dozen turns have been played. As it's been the full 7 turns since the resource rolls were made, turn 25 marks the next round of rolls! Between these two factors I thought it would be a good time to do another ship count. As with the last count I just counted deckplates for simplicity, so flotillas and sea monsters are included in the counts:

English: 17 ships
Franco-Spanish: 29
Americans: 34
Pirates: 18
Cursed: 16

However, the Pirates have a huge amount of gold (pushing 300 as of now) on their HI, so their number could be bigger. Between that and the current English-Cursed alliance, everyone is doing pretty good right now. I will say that there is some mounting tension between the Americans and the FS, with an American trading port very close to an FS military port, along with the Eagan and Appalachian getting too close to the Hephaestus. Also, the English have essentially made themselves an enemy of the FS after destroying two of their forts. The English and the Americans are the only two fleets truly at war, but it looks like the Cursed have certainly declared war on the Americans, though the conflict just started and it's currently confined within the lagoon. As for the English, they know they're not strong enough to take on the massively improved American squadron now defending the settlement that the English attacked earlier.

With a gold replenishment and new resource rolls on the way, turn 25 promises to be rather intriguing!

6/9/2015

The resource rolls for turn 25 were made, with a 2 and 8. For the next 8 turns lumber would finally be worth 6 gold, with the values of textiles, metals, and fish bringing in subpar returns.



The English, with large stores of luxuries and a handful of lumber, saw the value of their resources jump, allowing them to take in 123 gold on turn 25 and spend it all. They purchased HMS Royal, HMS Forge, HMS Zephyr, HMS Guy Fawkes, HMS Iron Prince, and Honu Iki, with an assortment of fun named crew and equipment (the face down crew represent captains and helmsmen):


Eyeing the American settlement, new English ships await the return of the fire squadron:


Brachyura has finished off Champ, giving the Cursed sole control of the lagoon!


On turn 26, the Swiftsure explored the island that Paradis de la Mer had sat on, since the destruction of the fort reset the exploration markers and resource value of the island. The English rolled for yet another textiles island, which are currently only worth 1 gold.

On turn 26, the game started to explode.

The FS and Americans were getting closer and closer to each other, with an FS military port only a move action or two away from the American trading port where the Americans had launched the Revolution and Devil Ray.

In a sudden, abrupt declaration of war, El Acorazado docked at the American trading port, opening fire on the Nene-nui! Two masts fell overboard, but the Spaniards weren't done yet. The Acorazado razed the colony with a successful boarding action, destroying the trading port in an extreme act of hostility.


However, the FS were just getting started. The Acorazado's actions meant war. The Moulin Rouge was next in line, slipping in between the Acorazado and Nene-nui. This close-quarters broadside took off the American ship's final mast.


In the meantime, the nearby FS military port produces lumber, which is now the most valuable resource in the game. FS treasure runners are flocking to the island, further strengthening the FS position.


To the south, Lurker Dessous rammed and pinned the USS Eagan, pinning her in such a way that only the Eagan's latter two masts are in range of the beast. The ram was unsuccessful but the boarding killed the Eagan's helmsman.


Finally, just to prove their point that turn 26 was a huge declaration of war and not just a skirmish, the FS launched 5 gunships at the military port with their considerable gold reserves sitting on their HI. The additions include the Monaque (with Amiral Gaston de St. Croix), L'epee de L'ange, El Galeon de Gibraltar (with The Inquisitor), Le Duc d'Enghien, and the Carcajou.


After war breaks out between the Franco-Spanish and the Americans, the canoes and associated chieftains (aboard the Albany and James Madison) are quick to flee the area, letting the four masted gunships and submarines take over. The island to the south has spices on it, which are still worth 4 gold each.


The Americans in the east ready themselves as the fire squadron turns around to join their new English comrades at the home island:


The Americans soon realized the seriousness of their situation. With a very powerful FS opponent to the west and the growing English battle fleet in the east headed towards their settlement, the Americans sprung into action, knowing that it wouldn't be easy to make it out of this dual war.

The Americans have one of the best (if not the best) gold systems in the game, coupled with lucky resource rolls that give them every resource except for fish and lumber readily available. They exchanged their existing lumber for 6's and their luxuries for 5's, adding them to the considerable pile of gold already on their HI. This gave them enough gold to launch 8 new ships, some of which are positioned to aid the powerful eastern squadron, but 5 of which are going to immediately help out the Americans fighting the FS to the west.

The Americans launched some of their best ships, showing that they mean business and are not going to hold back: Bonhomme Richard, Blackwatch, Intrepid, Congress, Mohican, USS Sioux, Julius Caesar, USS Springfield.

Also, the Shark has returned with the damaged Atlanta, the only survivor of the battle against the English.


The Pirates and Cursed are in the currently dormant southern hemisphere, although the FS have sent a line of battle east along the south side of the lagoon.

The Sea Duck and Hades' Realm eye El Castillo del Infanta from afar, looking to use the Sea Duck's sniping ability to chip away at the fort before they send in the Hades' Realm to finish it off.


Any attack could be seen as a declaration of war on the Franco-Spanish, though it would be hard for the FS to expect anything else at this point. The Pirates are the only nation yet to be attacked or annoyed by the FS, who, to their credit, look like the best fleet right now, especially considering the Americans will have to fight two battles at once on either side of their home island.

The game is really heating up! The northern half of the ocean is quite crowded, and with one battle starting and another imminent, the game is finally devolving into chaos!

6/10/2015

The battle has begun!

The Tepant fires a broadside directly into the hull of the Appalachian (with some exceptions, I'd like to only use the insert a miniature function when ships are commissioned, so if you want the stats for the ships there are links in my above posts):


The Epee and Galeon de Gibraltar teamed up to sink the Nene-nui, giving the Moulin Rouge and Acorazado a chance to maneuver. The Duc D'Enghien shot a mast off the Peacock and the James Madison, the latter fleeing with one of the valuable tribal chieftains aboard. The Rouge continued the attack, taking the Madison down to one mast.


The French chase the Americans west:


The Nox sailed up and sunk the Appalachian, the second American ship to be sunk in the battle. This allowed Lurker Dessous to ram and pin the Revolution, but only the boarding roll was successful, killing the Mercenary firepot specialist.


The Acorazado sailed south along the west side of the island that used to house an American trading port and shot a mast off the Eagan.

The French assault, with more ships on the way:


The Ranger finally arrived at the FS home island, giving them 12 gold just as the Pirates had done with the Cursed. The FS welcomed the Pirates and quickly agreed to an alliance, but their thoughts and commanders were elsewhere, their home island being as deserted as it had been since the start of the game.


The Franco-Spanish attack was quite effective, and they looked to be in a very strong position, especially having been the aggressor.

However, the Americans were very serious and determined in their counterattack, which proved to be twice as devastating!

Two of the best gunships in the entire game, the Blackwatch and Intrepid, got the battle started on the American side. Both ships carried fire shot, and their accurate cannons left scores of masts, spars, and sails in the water as their broadsides ripped through the FS hulls. The Blackwatch was able to rake the bows of the Galeon and Epee with one move action, while the Intrepid headed west to take on the formidable Monaque.


The Mohican was next in line, and she was equipped with both fire shot and a firepot specialist, causing huge damage to the Epee.


The subs were next, as the Mercury, Lamon, and Devil Ray all rammed the Moulin Rouge until she was derelict.


Normally reserved for the now-dead sea monster, Champ, the RtSS (Mycron) version of GWL was now available to a powerful ship like the Blackwatch. The Blackwatch is one of my favourite ships in this game. Using another deadly shoot action, the Blackwatch dismasted both the Epee and Galeon. However, in a good strategy play, the Americans purposely didn't sink the ships, since this would allow the nearby FS five masters (Neptune and San Cristobal) to surge through the gap and attack the Americans more easily (though the Blackwatch does have the canceller version of DNT aboard).

The carnage mounts as the Blackwatch unleashes her fury:


The Eagan sailed north to assist, ramming and shooting two masts off the Duc D'Enghien while also dismasting the Carcajou. I love how this picture shows the devastation. Notice how the Moulin Rouge is heeled over to starboard from three submarines all ramming her on the same turn, blown backward from the impact:


Between Queen Teresa Pavon's cannoneer ability and the ship's built-in reroll, the Revolution was able to destroy Lurker Dessous and knock a mast off the Tepant, furthering the Americans' revenge.


To end the successful American counterattack, the Congress and Sioux took masts off the Duc and Monaque respectively, and the Congress finished off the Moulin Rouge. Also, the Monaque has been hit with stinkpot shot.

A shot of almost the entire battle area, with guns blazing and masts falling overboard. To the left, the damaged Peacock has docked home to repair as the other American treasure runners flee to the south and east, getting out of the warships' way. Between the damaged FS ships and the three American gunships to the north (at the bottom of this picture), the Neptune and San Cristobal will have a hard time getting into battle effectively.


Overall, both fleets lost two ships during the turn (the American Nene-nui and Appalachian and the FS Moulin Rouge and Lurker Dessous). The Americans naturally look slightly better after their devastating counterattack, but the FS still have three intact 5 masters.

Just for contrast, this is the southern half of the sea...


... and the northern half! The battle is obvious, but also notice the massed fleets in the far east, near the arch.


6/11/2015

The English and the Americans are at war once more!

The Pacificum gets things going for the English, blasting masts off the Hudson:


The Diamond proved her worth, going a perfect 4/4 with two hits and a successful ram and board against the Franklin.


The fire squadron makes their entrance as their flagship, the Bombardier, shoots flames, firepots, fire shot and exploding shot at the Paul Revere...


... and hits all 4 times! I believe this is the first time a large warship has been completely set aflame during one shoot action in any of my games. I've been wanting to emphasize fire for a long time, and here it's finally paying off.


The English have gained the upper hand with their attack, but the Americans proved in the battle against the FS that they know how to follow up. The Dauntless also eliminated William Eaton and took out one of the guns on Thompson's Island.


But first, the FS would get the last word in their battle to the west. The Monaque was utterly useless against the Intrepid, and while the Neptune was able to take out two masts and two crew, the French gunships weren't proving as effective as the FS needed them to be.


With an extra action from Victor de Alva, the San Cristobal was able to save the Galeon de Gibraltar from certain capture, bringing her back to the military port where she began repairing.


At this point, the FS ordered a general retreat from the battle, for a few reasons. The Monaque and Neptune had been the FS's best chance of salvaging the battle, but now they were at the mercy of the American gunships, who were still relatively healthy. Also, the San Cristobal would not be able to turn the tide of the battle by herself because the Blackwatch would have cancelled her captain ability with Diamond Nelson Turner. As a result, the FS were willing to cede defeat in the battle, but they knew the war was far from over. They had done well to catch the Americans off guard, destroy their trading port, and sink two of their ships.


However, the FS weren't done yet! Still after the lagoon, the FS squadron that had been sailing southeast finally reached the Cursed gunships outside of the lagoon. The Conquerant emerged from a fog bank with an extra action, sailing up at 6S to dismast the Serpent's Fang.


On the south side of the lagoon, the San Estaban and Grand Vainqueur teamed up to sink the Crocodile, forcing the Cursed sea monsters inside the lagoon to fend for themselves.


The Americans finally had their turn, and with a vengeance they dismasted the Neptune and Monaque, officially sealing their victory in the western battle.


The Americans then took their prizes, with numerous American ships capturing the Duc, Carcajou, Neptune, Monaque, and Epee. For this game, there will be a house rule that allows fleets to turn in a fully repaired prize for it's combined cost in ship and crew points, which then has to be spent by the fleet.


To the east, the Constitution was essentially invincible with Decatur, Gus Schultz and an oarsman, so she sailed into battle with no restraint. Unfortunately, even with an extra action from Decatur and Haraden's reroll, the ship only shot 3 for 11, continuing my rather abysmal cannon rolls. The Diamond was sunk by American guns during this turn.


Thompson's Island and the Thomas Jefferson combined to shoot away four of the five masts on the Dauntless, and you can see the Americans trying to save the burning Paul Revere.


Next, the Concordia sailed through the gap and fought both broadsides, sinking the Dauntless and dismasting the Bombardier with the help of GWL (American Mycron).


Bringing back memories of the first 500 point game I played, the Americans now used chain towing to move the Paul Revere to the west, out of harm's way. The Shark would then be responsible for towing her home to repair.


The Cursed continued to chip away at the Castillo del Infanta with the Sea Duck, but the Hades' Realm has sailed off to the trouble brewing near the lagoon...


... where Brachyura has gone into a frenzied state! The giant crab emerged from the lagoon and overwhelmed the Grand Vainqueur, whose crew were aghast at the terrible sight.


I've wanted to do this for a long time, and it works quite well with a big enough ship:


The French bombardier was no match for the combined might of Brachyura and Calim. As the Frenchman slipped beneath the waves, Brachyura fell upon the San Estaban and pinned her as well. However, Calypsos was too slow to get out of the lagoon.


A full shot of the what is basically the fourth battle of this Economy game, with the Maxehebel pinning the Conquerant to the east:


Turn 29 saw the English launch their second attack of the battle, using their switchblades to damage the Concordia and Thompson's Island. The Hudson, Minuteman, and Constitution were sunk, but the Constitution had eternal and was free to begin repairing back at the American home island.


At the end of their turn, the English launched the Nova Scotia, HMS Merlin, HMS Lord Lineton, HMS Sea Phoenix, and Sea King, giving them valuable reinforcements as the more powerful English ships started taking major damage.


The FS began their turn near the lagoon, sinking the Serpent's Fang with the Conquerant, officially taking out the second of two +L sea monster bonus ships that had supported the sea monster squadron. The San Estaban shot off three of Brachyura's four arms, and she's now 6 for 6 in her two shoot actions this game! She was purchased as an afterthought support gunship for 14 gold, but now she's one of the most effective ships in the FS fleet. L'Hercule and the San Salvador have combined to eliminate four of Calim's five segments.


At the end of their turn, the FS showed that the Americans would get no rest, using gold from their HI to launch 5 fresh gunships at their military port: La Manila, La Catedral del Mar, L'Auguste, La Cleopatre, and La Toussaint L'Ouverture, also purchasing some shipwrights for use. In the distance, the San Cristobal has re-explored the island that started this conflict, but the resource roll was the same: more luxuries! This, combined with the Maui's Fishhook finding even more textiles on an island to the east, suggests that I may have to do something about the resources at some point.


As for the Americans, the battle against the English was reaching its height, showing the true chaos of a pell-mell engagement:


If the carnage is too confusing, the Forge, Raven, Talon and Pacificum are in tatters, but the English still have considerable firepower available.

The Cursed sea monsters were desperate for revenge, but they are no match for Franco-Spanish warships. Calim and Calypsos can't even dent the mighty Hercule, and Brachyura is almost dead. As Calypsos vacates the lagoon, all eyes turn towards it's golden island, now deserted. Reminds me of the Lonely Mountain from the Hobbit when Smaug is finally gone!


The game is chaotic, with two battles raging and another war likely to resume soon. In conclusion, the Americans have won the first battle against the FS, while the FS look to have all but defeated the sea monster squadron. The English seem to have the upper hand in the northeast, but the Americans don't intend to give up anytime soon.

6/12/2015

Due to the absolutely massive size of the game, it's unlikely that I'll be able to play more than one turn per day from here on out.

The English started the 30th turn by inflicting more damage on the Americans:


With their new ships and the San Cristobal, the FS sank their former ships that had been captured by the Americans:


The FS squadron in the south has finished off the entire sea monster squadron, further proving the relative uselessness of sea monsters in this game. The FS only lost the Grand Vainqueur and the Conquerant's helmsman.


The Pirates have finally made a move! On turn 29 they purchased the Flying Dutchman and crewed her with Calypso, Captain Davy Jones, Elizabeth Swann, and a helmsman. On turn 30, Calypso created a whirlpool next to the Dutchman.


Since the other whirlpool can be placed within L of ANY wild island, the Pirates have found a way to get ships into the lagoon!! Circumventing the standard rules that only allow subs and sea monsters to enter the lagoon, the second whirlpool was placed inside the lagoon, where the Neptune's Hoard (OE version), Princess, and Seref all appeared. This intimidating and likely growing presence meant that the Pirates were the second faction to dominate the lagoon, after the Cursed and their short-lived sea monster squadron.


The Americans fought back hard on their turn, sinking the Royal, Talon, and Salient, marking the end of the entire fire squadron. These battles have been fast and furious, which is why I used house rules for the CotE game to make it more realistic. However, I'm glad the battles are going faster because I want to cycle through so many ships and utilize so many different strategies, not to mention have more than just a few battles!


The amazing American resource system is being stretched to its limits. Using almost all of their available gold, the Americans purchased the President, Grampus, USS Kettering, Saratoga, and Concord, all of which would be necessary to survive the dual war against the FS and English. However, the Americans are tired of the FS and have sailed some of their gunships east, presumably to help out against the English.

The American home island. Some ships are repairing, some are coming in with resources, some are going out for resources, some are brand new, and some are eager to fight the English. Overall, only a sight you'll see in a massive, epic game of Pirates.


After 30 turns, here are how the fleets stack up:

English: 22 ships
Franco-Spanish: 31
Pirates: 19
Americans: 41
Cursed: 10
(123 ships total!)

The English, FS, and Americans all look strong, but they've lost a handful of ships and have been busy replacing them. The Pirates have incredible amounts of gold, which is still piling up on their HI. The Cursed just lost their sea monster squadron, but they have a decent amount of gold, metals, and textiles saved up, though nowhere near as much purchasing power as the Pirates.

6/14/2015

Turn 31 saw the English sink both the Bonhomme Richard and the RV Saratoga.


The FS launched the Valeroso, El Alma, El Extremadura, and Lepanto at one of their military ports.


The Americans countered the English by sinking the Forge, Nova Scotia, and Merlin. Fully repaired, USS Atlanta has returned to the scene of the first battle.


Looking north towards the American HI. The gunships sailing east towards battle take priority over the native canoes, who are stuck in traffic.


Here's an overhead view of the Cursed situation. They are going to launch things soon, especially if their resources surge in value. However, they are having a rough time, with the Celestine rolling 1's almost every turn to eliminate trade currents. The FS southern squadron is approaching, but their sights are set on the far east.


Turn 32 will mark the final turn of this 8-turn round of resource values. The Pirates have the biggest savings of all, but other fleets are also eagerly awaiting the new rolls. I'd like to do a point count soon, but I'm waiting on some purchases to try and catch it on a peak.

6/15/2015

The Thomas Jefferson, Albany, and Atlanta all suffer considerable damage as the English continue to fight gallantly. The Iron Prince has brought home the Pacificum for repairs, the second time she will have been repaired from a battle with the Americans.


The FS southern squadron has reached Cursed waters, with the San Cristobal having caught up to and reinforced the impressive formation. The San Salvador (to the far left) is the only ship in the battle squadron without a captain.


The Americans fight back, damaging the Zephyr and Sea Phoenix. More importantly, the Americans have a strong force sailing east, which is just starting to arrive at the battle area. The Albany has been pulled out of the picture via chain towing. To the right, American ships ferry gold back from the arch as the Concordia docks at it, able to repair at the arch because Thompson's Island still sits atop it.


The Cursed warily eye the FS, using their subs defensively as the Sea Duck scrambles out of the way to a textiles island. You can see the vast metal reserves and considerable fish and gold reserves on the Cursed HI, signalling that they'll be launching things very soon.


The resource values will likely change on turn 33, marking a big shift in the game. However, even more exciting concerns the big spending that is likely to follow on the same turn, as fleets use their existing gold and supplement it with some of their saved-up resources. The Pirates and the Cursed have the biggest capacity to make purchases, which should make the southern hemisphere more crowded.

The nature of this monumental turn means that I'm going to be spending a lot of time launching things (getting out deckplates, ships, and crew) rather than actually playing, and the Pirates' plan will be especially time-consuming. After that, I'll probably do a point count at the end of the turn. All of this combined means that the turn will likely take at least 2 days, but I'll probably do a report each day for the part of the turn that's been played. I'm really looking forward to this next turn, and I think it will finally signify the all-encompassing nature of the mammoth fleets!

6/15/2015

The first part of turn 33 has been played, with the English and Franco-Spanish taking their turns.

However, before the English could go, new resource rolls were needed! A 6 on the first roll meant that every resource was now worth 1 gold more than it's printed value, with spices being worth 6 and the gold and luxuries markets crashing hard. This benefited the Pirates and Cursed the most, but every faction except for the English have a good amount of resources to gather. The English only have luxuries and textiles readily available.

The second roll was only 3, meaning that the values would only last for 3 turns, the shortest duration of the game so far!


The English launched HMS St. George, HMS Resolution + Admiral Morgan, HMS Hastings + Sir Christopher Myngs, and HMS Dunlap + Thomas Gunn the Younger and Roderick the Pure.

The Thomas Jefferson has been dismasted as the new English ships are launched:


The FS launched Le Loup-Garou + Amiral Stephan Dupuy at one of their military ports, with an island upgrade aboard the ship as well.


The FS also launched the Arrogant at their other military port, equipping the little demon with exploding shot. The Arrogant is also taking part in the Century of the Empires game.


The Pirates are next, but they're planning something so big that I can't promise to be done with it by the end of tomorrow. I've been looking forward to it for weeks, and it's finally going to happen!

6/17/2015

The Pirates have taken their turn for gameplay purposes, but they still have to finish their turn with what I believe is the biggest in-game launching in the history of Pirates CSG.

Just to give you an idea of the scope of the undertaking:


...

549 gold

Shocked

6/18/2015

It started with a rant, continued with a unique fleet, and now may have finally reached an epic climax:

Introducing: The Home Island Raiding Squadron

Akua Lapu + Hammersmith, Crimson Angel, Grim the Savage

The Akua Lapu is sort of the flagship of the squadron, and everything can be perfectly summed up by her flavour text:

Under the cover of darkness, the seemingly crewless "Trickster Spirit" will sneak into sleepy port towns and make off with untold riches.

Pirate Native Canoes:
RtSS #019

Pirate
Points: 11
Masts: X (Canoes)
Cargo: 1
Move: S+S
Cannons: 4S

Ability: Native Canoe. This ship can dock at an enemy home island and load one treasure. If able, she must leave on your next turn.

These canoes will be represented by the Cursed native canoes.

The other HI raiders:
Wicked Wench + Gentleman Jocard, helmsman
Belladonna + helmsman
Black Pearl + Captain Barbossa, Kanhoji Angria
Golden Medusa + Devereaux, captain
Lucky Seven + captain, helmsman
Shadow + Derrik the Red, captain, helmsman, oarsmen x2
White Rose + Lady Baptiste, Captain Sao Feng, oarsman (towing the Widowmaker)
Queen Anne's Revenge + captain, helmsman
Freedom + Captain Mysion, helmsman
Siren's Song + captain, helmsman
Gilded Monkey + Gunner, helmsman
Thrud
Pandora + El Phantasma, Calico Cat, helmsman, oarsman
Mystic + Havana Black, helmsman, oarsmen x3
Weasel + helmsman, oarsman

The escort ships:
Draconum + Bruce Grey, captain, helmsman
Crusher + Blackheart, captain, helmsman
Fool's Hope + tribal chieftain, captain, helmsman
Diamond Strike + captain, helmsman, oarsmen x3
Jape + Jean Laffite, captain, helmsman
Pride + Benito de Soto, helmsman, Smokepot Shot
Black Cat + captain, helmsman, smokepot shot
Xi'an + captain, navigator
Executioner + captain, helmsman, smokepot shot

26 total ships for 549 gold. The Pirates also have a lot of gold coming in next turn, so the squadron isn't even complete yet. It should probably be called a fleet and not a squadron!

Using two of their three military ports as well as their home island, the Pirates have more than doubled the size of their fleet:


As I said before, to my knowledge this is the largest in-game single-turn purchase in the history of any of my games.

As you can see from the fleet listing, almost all of the ships with the HI-raiding ability also have captains, and almost all of them have at least 3 masts, making this a true battle fleet. There are a handful of sac abilities, a great variety of named crew, and some very powerful ships, including the two Pirate pokeships. More than half of them have never been used in my games.

There are 17 ships with the HI-raiding ability. The Akua Lapu, Wicked Wench, Belladonna and brand-new Native Canoes are looking to steal the most gold.

The westernmost military port, where the primary raiders have gathered:


Another military port with more raiders:


The Pirate home island with some of the brand-new gunships:


It will be interesting to see what the Pirates do with this massive new fleet, since they have alliances with both the Franco-Spanish and the Cursed. Only time will tell, but for now I move on to the Americans and Cursed, with the epic turn 33 being more than halfway done.

6/19/2015

This game is really blowing up! Every faction is getting more serious about their chances of winning, and things have just exploded to the point of absolute insanity in terms of the game size! Keep reading to see the epic point count!

The days-long turn 33 continued with the Americans sinking four English ships and restoring dominance over their settlement waters. The Sea King and the Iron Prince are the only English gunships not docked at their home island. This formidable American war fleet is too strong for the English to handle right now, but if the Americans lay off like they did last time to fight the FS, the English will have time to build their fleet back up again.


The Americans weren't done, launching the Providence, USS Overton, USS New Orleans, Hannah, and Chesapeake. The Providence loaded a trading port upgrade and the Fly has loaded a military port upgrade. The Eagan, Sioux, and three submarines form a defensive line to guard against the nearby FS.


The Cursed took an uneventful play turn before going into a lengthy end-of-turn launching period. The Cursed have finally signaled their arrival! Spending every last bit of resources and gold from their HI, they spent a total of 291 gold, second only to the Pirates for the biggest single-turn purchase of this game!

Among the new Cursed ships are two brand-new ones:

(from Cadet-Captain Mike's set)

Poltergeist
VoCC (The Vengeance of the Cadet Captain) - 006, Common

Cursed
Points: 8
Masts: 2
Cargo: 3
Move: S+L
Cannons: 3L, 3L

Once per turn, if this ship carries treasure and is within S of an enemy ship, you may randomly trade one treasure with that ship.

(The Poltergeist is also carrying smokepot shot.)

Namazu
RSS-003, Rare

Cursed
Points: 15
Masts: 4 (Sea Serpent)
Cargo: 2
Move: S
Cannons: 3S-3S-3S-3S

Ability: Sea Monster. Give this sea monster a shoot action. A wave S wide and 2L long leaves the sea monster in one direction. Up to 2 masts of every ship in the path of the wave are eliminated. Eliminate one of this sea monster's masts.

Gog-Clocthoth
Last Hope + Hag of Tortuga, captain, helmsman
Hellfire + captain, helmsman
Bloody Blade + tribal chieftain, captain, helmsman
Native Canoes
Sickle + Sammy the Skull, Wraith, helmsman, oarsman (Ouch!)
Loki's Revenge + Christian Fiore, captain, helmsman, oarsmen x2 (OUCH!)
Sea Hag + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist
Juggernaut + captain, helmsman, exploding shot
Shal-Bala
Terrox

This shows the amazing new Cursed additions at their extremely crowded home island. The Cursed now have an incredibly diverse fleet, having launched a longship, squid, serpent, kraken, sea dragon, switchblade, scorpion, and other ships all in one turn!


The epic turn 33 has finally come to a close. I believe this turn saw over 1,000 points' worth of stuff introduced into the game! This is probably a record. Between the huge additions to the fleets and the relative ease of doing a point count (knowing exactly how much the Pirates and Cursed spent and being able to simply tack on their previous, smaller fleets), I decided to count up the total number of points for every fleet! I'm not sure that this is the actual climax of the game in terms of the total number of points on the ocean, but it very well could be.

I wanted to do this at some point, and it didn't take as long as I thought (only a few minutes per fleet). Forts, island upgrades, and unused resources were not included in the counts, but everything else was, including crew sitting on HI's.

With great anticipation I totaled all five fleets:

English: 259 points
Franco-Spanish: 659
Pirates: 778
Americans: 716
Cursed: 434


Total: 2,846 points in play

Wow! The point count exceeded even my expectations, showing the absolutely epic and grand nature of this ridiculous cumulative game! I think my Century of the Empires game had 1,212 points at the point where islands stopped producing gold, so this game far outstrips that game. The old 5-player 500 point games all started with 2,520 points on the sea, so this Economy Edition game takes the title of the biggest game a7xfanben has ever played. For all I know it could be the biggest game in the history of Pirates CSG. I'm so happy to know that I've outdone myself!

The English are the weakest faction right now, having been decimated in their ongoing battle against the Americans, who still have an amazing gold system and the second-biggest fleet in the game. The Pirates' recent mega-turn catapults them into the top spot as the biggest fleet, though in reality the Americans and FS aren't far behind. I half expected the FS to have the largest fleet, but they have lost some ships to the Americans, while the Pirates are still the only fleet not to be shot at. The Cursed are in fourth, but their recent spending and numerous deadly options make them a threat.

Almost 3,000 points:




6/20/2015

Turn 34 has been played. It was one of the longest turns of the game despite only one faction spending gold, primarily because there was an additional 1,000 points on the ocean to move around!

At the beginning of the turn, I counted up the total number of ships for each faction.

English: 18 ships
Franco-Spanish: 37
Pirates: 45
Americans: 43
Cursed: 20

Total: 163 ships!

The English are the weakest faction in terms of points and ships, while the Cursed have a lot packed into those 20 ships. The other 3 fleets are huge.

The turn began with the English doing rather minor damage to the Grampus and Concord, while the Sea King sunk the eternal Thomas Jefferson, who reappeared at the American HI. In a desperate move, the Iron Prince recaptured the settlement that started this war in the first place.


A Franco-Spanish squadron heads southeast, waving a friendly hello to their allies the Pirates and their new fleet. Le Loup-Garou (LLG) catches up to the squadron quickly with Dupuy aboard, carrying a settlement upgrade.


The FS southern squadron continues sailing east, trying to stay as far away as possible from the new Cursed stuff. A line of terrain makes this more difficult, but the squadron is intent on establishing a Franco-Spanish presence in the eastern reaches of the sea.


The Pirates have continued spending gold to make their fleet even bigger, with three ships returning with valuable gold from the lagoon. They launched the Cannibal King, Panda, Royal James, Hades' Flame, Cacao, Delight, Empress, and Ophidious.

Literally at Ocean's Edge, the HI-raiding squadron sets sail with high hopes! The Xi'an's navigator has already placed a trade current for the canoes, while the newest Pirate ships have been launched at the military ports.


The Pirate home island, with forests of masts in the distance:


The American HI, where some ships have returned with spices and others have come back from a trip to the arch. The Americans are plotting right now. The Shark has almost reached home with the derelict Albany, who was lucky to be saved from the battle with the English because she's carrying one of the three tribal chieftains, the other two being on the Concordia and James Madison.


Ironically enough, the fully repaired Paul Revere returns to the scene of battle many turns after she was set completely on fire by the Bombardier! Once again using her S-board to recapture the settlement, the Paul Revere has proven her worth and is quickly becoming one of my favourite ships for many reasons. The Providence carries a military port upgrade, which the settlement badly needs to keep it from changing hands back to the English again. Also, note in the distance how far the Americans have driven back the English, almost to their HI. Four more English ships were sunk this turn, and the English are really suffering heavy losses. To make matters even worse for the English, they didn't take in any resources this turn and only two ships will dock home on turn 35.


The Americans in a position of dominance. The Kettering used an extra action from GWL on the Annapolis to rip off 12 shots, sinking the Resolution and dismasting the Hastings. Only the St. George and Pacificum remain in the way of the Americans disrupting English trade, which would surely spell the end for the struggling fleet.


With much anticipation, the Cursed begin the longest turn of their game so far. Namazu hungrily eyes the San Cristobal, its hatred growing as the FS brazenly sail past the Cursed HI.


The Cursed have turned their beasts loose! In a sudden, swift attack, the Cursed declare outright war on the Franco-Spanish and it's on! Namazu unleashes a huge tidal wave, devastating half of the squadron's ships in one of the most damaging opening attacks in the history of battles:


As the sea returns to normal, eight masts lie in the water as the Franco-Spanish try to recover from the onslaught. However, the Cursed are just getting started...


With the help of a trade current and the Hag of Tortuga, Gog-Clocthoth is next to strike, going berserk on the famed San Cristobal. Both rolls (ram and board) fail, but the Last Hope bails out the sea monster, going 2 for 2 in her first-ever shoot action!


The Cursed continued their assault, with the Locker and Pyre ramming the San Salvador derelict. With a double action via saccing, the Loki's Revenge showed her destructive power, sinking the Rayo, San Salvador, and Espadon all in one turn! To finish the attack, Terrox enveloped the Corazon Dorado with its huge tentacles, trapping the ship in a circle of death!


In other news, the Hades' Realm is looking to make a settlement to the west, and the Sea Hag ducks into a smokebank created by the Poltergeist.


Another of my favourite ships:


To end their turn, the Cursed sent Shal-Bala northeast where it appeared to eye fort St. Pierre. This is the first time a sea dragon has been used in a game in many years. To the west, Castillo del Infanta was damaged earlier in the game by the Sea Duck, while the San Estaban (perhaps the luckiest ship in the game so far, having gone 6/6 in her first two shoot actions and avoiding damage here) is the only FS ship left intact after the Cursed went crazy.


The entire situation in the south where the Cursed have re-established their position at last:


If I have time tomorrow I think I'll open my next post with a sort of "what the heck is going on?" explanation for anyone that has joined the game and also just to refresh the overall nature of where things have been and where they're going. Hopefully I'll do that at the end too, to see just how big of an adventure this was.

6/20/2015

What the heck is going on?!

Fleet locations:
English: Northeast
Franco-Spanish (FS): Northwest
Pirates: Southwest
Americans: North
Cursed: South

What has happened:

English: Got the worst resource rolls of the game, almost exclusively textiles and luxuries. Tried unsuccessfully to permanently capture an American settlement to the west.

FS: Great resource system, variety of resources on islands near their HI. They've split their fleet, sending a squadron south to support forts in the east that the San Cristobal built in a one-ship expedition. Lost a battle to the Americans over a trading port, but now have replaced that American trading port with one of their own.

Pirates: Have 3 of the 6 resource types readily available (textiles, metals, and fish), the Pirates remain the only fleet yet to be shot at. Saved up gold for a LONG time before spending over 650 gold in two turns to purchase over 30 ships. Currently dominate the lagoon via whirlpools created by Calypso.

Americans: Similarly fortunate with the resource rolls as the FS. Very strong fleet, capable of dealing with multiple threats at the same time by defeating the FS and then turning east to focus on the English. The Americans were the first fleet in the lagoon and now dominate the arch, with an amazing gold system being fueled by 3 sets of their fantastic native canoes.

Cursed: One of the more isolated fleets, the Cursed have only recently increased their fleet size. They have explored the Duke and lagoon, but lost an entire sea monster squadron to the FS southern squadron.

Alliances:
English/Cursed (not relevant so far)
Pirate/Cursed (friendly neighbors)
Pirate/FS (friendly neighbors)

The English and Cursed teamed up because they had (and still have) the smallest fleets, with an interest in taking back the east from the FS and holding strong against the Americans.

The Pirates started the above alliances by sailing 12 gold each to the Cursed and FS home islands. Therefore, both factions like the Pirates, but the Cursed and FS hate each other.

Wars (with instigator listed first):
English vs. Americans (almost over)
FS vs. Americans (only one battle so far, currently with a tense peace)
FS vs. Cursed (ongoing)

The FS have also angered the English, so they're essentially at war with everyone except for the Pirates.

What is happening:

English: Pulverized and weak from their war against the Americans, the English have the smallest fleet. Unable to defeat the Americans in the long term unless the Americans back off.

FS: Currently with a divided fleet, the FS have seen their southern squadron attacked by the now-dangerous Cursed fleet. There is a squadron sailing to reinforce them, but it may be too late. The FS are satisfied with their trading port near the American HI, at least for the time being.

Pirates: Raking in gold from the lagoon and their fishy island, the Pirates are sailing their HI-raiding squadron north.

Americans: About to finish off the last English gunships. Their gold system is working well, but they'd like to retake their former trading port and get back in the lagoon with their subs.

Cursed: Have dealt a serious blow to the FS southern squadron. Also have finally purchased some island upgrades, the final fleet to do so. The Cursed are growing in size and scope.

What will happen? (plans and plots, many to soon be wrecked and ruined!)

English: Want to stay alive vs. the Americans and retake their settlement. Would also like to take over the arch and join forces with the Cursed to dominate the entire eastern half of the ocean and eliminate the FS presence there.

FS: Want to establish almost a second HI (military port in this case) in the east and continue their efforts to have the biggest and most empirical fleet in the game. Also would like to dominate the lagoon via Merc subs launched from their new trading port.

Pirates: ?

Americans: Eliminate the English threat and keep it down so they aren't bothered by the English again. Go back to the lagoon and reassert themselves to the west against the FS.

Cursed: Sink every FS ship and kill all FS crew no matter what it takes.

That was fun! I think I'll do that more often, but perhaps not as comprehensively.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turn 35 was played, with the Americans and Cursed having rather spectacular turns!

The English sunk the Concord and dismasted the RotF Saratoga, but they knew their time was running out. With their backs against the wall (or against their own HI in this case), the English fought hard.


The FS has sent reinforcements southeast to assist their floundering southern squadron. As they pass by the shiny new Pirate ships, many Frenchmen and Spaniards are excited, happy to have such a strong ally. LLG has used an EA from Dupuy and Ghost Ship to fly past the reinforcing squadron, which is now being joined at the rear by the Nox.


In the meantime, the San Cristobal is fighting Gog-Clocthoth unsuccessfully as the Corazon Dorado eliminates two of Terrox's eight arms. The other ships of the squadron have continued sailing...


... to the east! The FS are bent on building a huge presence in the east, which started with the San Cristobal's fort-building expedition. Now it continues with the southern squadron, which is still trying to support the two remaining forts and eventually build a military port FAR from the FS HI, giving them two bases of operations. It's a major endeavour, and without the Cursed to hinder them it would most definitely work.


The Pirates are making full sail towards the FS home island, eager to show off their new battle fleet to their allies. Perhaps they'll join forces with FS ships and head east to spearhead an attack against the Americans?


Here come the Pirates!


With a much darker tone, gunshots boom out east where the Americans continue to press their attack on the English.

Fighting stormy waters, the Revolution and Intrepid fire into the Pacificum:


The Americans have finished off the Hastings, St. George, and Pacificum, marking the end of the English battle fleet!

The DJC Saratoga and President have already continued sailing east, perhaps foreshadowing what could happen next:


A nice view of the battle area, which is still moving east as the Americans continue to sink English ships. The Providence has upgraded the American settlement to a military port, officially kicking the English off the island.


For the first time, two ships are within the arch at the same time! As the Concordia finishes repairing, the damaged Atlanta is thinking about the same thing - using Thompson's Island to repair at the arch!


American flags dominate the arch, above it and below it:


As a matter of fact, the Atlanta was only able to pass through the lowest archway (and it is pretty low clearance) because of her missing masts, making her the first ship to traverse that particular archway:


The American HI, with the Thomas Jefferson almost finished repairing. She's given her shipwright to the Albany, who was just docked home by the Shark. The Eagan and Sioux are still guarding the western side of the American fleet.


The Fly has established a trading port on a metals island near the arch, giving the Americans a trading port once more! The Devil Ray has been sent east for unknown reasons, moving at S+L+S while submerged. American treasure ships traverse the waterways, bringing home spices and gold.

The Americans had a fantastic turn, eliminating the last English warships and building both a military port and a trading port.


The first American military port on a rossinaz island:


Now it was time for the Cursed!

Using a +L boost from the Hag of Tortuga, Gog-Clocthoth abandoned the crippled San Cristobal and rammed the Conquerant derelict!


The Sickle carved up the San Cristobal just for fun, sinking her easily with a powerful salvo.


In my first fog-hop ever, the Sea Hag emerged from the Poltergeist's smokebank and came out of a fog bank near St. Pierre, shooting away two of the fort's five cannons!


Shal-Bala swooped in and took out two more guns!


A French fort is no match for the big schooner and legendary sea dragon:


With the FS fleeing in the background, the Cursed have shattered FS morale and dealt a serious blow to their hopes of dominating the east.


Making the Cursed turn even more brilliant, the Hades' Realm gives rise to the first Cursed settlement! You may have noticed that Terrox finished off the Corazon Dorado.


The Nightmare carries the second Cursed settlement, sailing to an island the SK has almost reached. That island has produced fish for the new native canoes.


The Last Hope gives one last broadside to the Castillo del Infanta, crushing the structure and making it abandoned:


The Cursed have risen!


Formerly a desolate place almost exclusively English, the east is now gradually being overrun by the Americans and the Cursed.


6/21/2015

Turn 36 marked the need for new resource rolls! A 5 was rolled for both the value and duration, meaning that for the next 5 turns, fish and metal were very valuable while spices and luxuries were not. This benefits the southern fleets (Pirates and Cursed) more than the fleets in the north, who don't have a lot of fish and metal available.



Out of sheer desperation and necessity, the English launched HMS Shetland, with their luxuries falling to 2 gold apiece. The Shetland may be the last English gunship launched in this game, but they may be able to muster something else up as well.


As for the FS, the San Estaban has fled east as the only ship to come out of battle unscathed. The Hercule got a bad roll coming out of the fog and is now fighting for her life, inflicting damage on Gog-Clocthoth. From the main topmast of the Nightmare:


The FS welcomed the Pirates into their waters, with FS ships turning their attention to a different island now that textiles were the most valuable resource readily available to the FS.


The Pirates show off their new fleet to their allies:


In an unprecedented move, the Pirates have launched all FOUR krakens on the same turn!! Formerly a humble military port guarded by the Inferno, the island has now been joined by the huge beasts of the sea.


To the north, the Pirates have six ships in the lagoon. To the right, Ophidious waits for a passing FS squadron.


In a surprise move, the Americans have renewed their conflict with the Franco-Spanish! With the crack of a wooden hull, the Mercury and Lamon have rammed the LTO, dismasting her! More uniquely, the Eagan has used her sub-hunting ability to damage the submerged Hephaestus! This was all that happened on turn 36 in the FS vs. American war, but the battle will almost certainly grow to a larger size.


Using her fast speed, Brent Rice's world-hater, and an extra action from GWL, the Kettering has sunk the Maui's Fishhook and teamed up with the Saratoga to sink HMS Rose and dismast the Albion! This marks the first time any fleet in the game has had its trade compromised. Dealing a blow to the English resource system, the Americans look like they want to permanently eliminate the English. The Shetland will be given an action next turn, but it's too late to save the English gold runners.


The American advance. To the upper right, the President has captured an English settlement. The damaged Grampus is towing home the RotF Saratoga.


Thompson's Island has finished repairing, while the Atlanta has just docked at the arch to begin repairing:


The Americans have done it! Using their new trading port, the Americans have launched the first 10 master of the game, the Zhanfu!

Zhànfǔ
RSS-051

Mercenary
Points: 25
Masts: 10 (Junk)
Cargo: 6
Move: S+S
Cannons: 4L-3L-3S-3S-2S-2S-3S-3S-3L-4L
Link: Huang Bai

Ability: Junk. Mercenary. Dories. American crew can use their abilities on this ship.

Huang Bai
RSS-051

Mercenary
Points: 5
Link: Zhànfǔ

Ability: Ex-Patriot. Hostile: Spain. Once per turn, you can eliminate one of this ship’s crew to give her an extra action. After looking at treasure on a wild island, you can trade any one treasure from that island for a random treasure on any other wild island. This ship must load the traded treasure.

Just because the Americans actually are at war with the Spanish right now and the Zhanfu/Huang Bai were literally "hired", the flavour text is perfect:

Unwilling to cede the end of the Jade Empire, Huang Bai nonetheless realizes the need to pause and rebuild—as a mercenary. His first customer, America, is eager to pit him and “Golden Axe” against the expanding Spanish empire.

The Zhanfu also carries Commander Albert Crenshaw, Shinji Smith, a Mercenary captain, a Mercenary helmsman, and three Mercenary oarsmen.

The Shui Xian is a proxy:


During a cloudy moment:


The Americans have a formidable fleet:


The Cursed have continued their attack on the FS, with the Bloody Blade and Sickle teaming up to sink the Hercule.


Gog-Clocthoth and Namazu rejoin the Hag of Tortuga (aboard the Last Hope) as the Juggernaut sinks the Conquerant. To the left, the Last Hope and Sea Hag have finished off the two FS forts, making the San Estaban the last FS presence in the east.


LLG and the reinforcing FS squadron appear on the horizon, but at this point the Cursed are waiting for them. Shal-Bala is still hungry, while the two subs lurk in front of the dangerous Loki's Revenge and Terrox. To the left, you can see the long shadows of the Pirate krakens in the west.


As the sun sets on turn 36, the Cursed lie in wait:


6/23/2015

Somehow I was able to play both turns 37 and 38 today (6/22)! The game is spiraling out of control, with a lot of exciting developments and one of the biggest surprises in Pirates CSG history!! (Warning: immense carnage and chaos ahead.)

Turn 37

The English started the day's action by sinking the RotF Saratoga with their new Shetland. Using a considerable stockpile of luxuries worth only 2 gold apiece, the English had no choice but to launch new ships in an attempt to stay in the game. They brought in the HMS Granville, HMS Comet, and HMS Silent Swan, which you can see at their HI in the picture.


The Franco-Spanish finally had a chance at redemption against the Americans! After the Americans restarted their war on the previous turn, the FS brought Hephaestus to the surface and teamed the sub with their other gunships to launch a counterattack. Unfortunately for the FS this was one of my worst-ever days for gun rolls (not a surprise!), and the FS shot 4/10 to dismast the Eagan between 4 different ships! The Manila, Tepant, and Galeon de Gibraltar can be seen to the south heading east towards the Americans.


Meanwhile, the slow Acorazado lumbers around some terrain in her attempt to reach the battle area:


The FS are counting on their Pirate allies to help them against the Americans, and many friendly greetings are exchanged as the Pirates enter FS waters.


FS cargo ships sail to a textiles island as the combined fleet makes for an impressive sight:


But what would a Pirate really do?! A real Pirate wouldn't team up with a rich imperial nation! A real Pirate wouldn't give an honest word to such a despised enemy! A real Pirate would behave like the Pirates of old!

In possibly the largest-scale betrayal in Pirates CSG history, the Pirates have turned on the Franco-Spanish!! They never meant to be allies with the FS; it was all lies! The Pirates decided now was the time to attack, and the gag was up. The Buscador's crew turned from confusion, to disbelief, to horror, as the White Rose opened her gunports and let loose a thunderous broadside!


Now it became evident why the Pirates had launched their 500 point home island raiding squadron: to deceive the FS, sail up to their front door, and then proceed to rob them dry! The White Rose and Akua Lapu reaped in gold as the FS became angered and saddened, realizing their mistake in trusting pirates.


To the east, the Siren's Song and Black Cat open fire on the Trinity and St. Denis, while the Executioner dismasts the Provence. A full-scale attack unfolds!


The Golden Medusa was next, dismasting the Trinity as she shielded the HI raiders:


Just south of the FS HI, the carnage mounted as the big Pirate gunships opened fire. The FS thought they had an ally in the Pirates, and no FS gunships were anywhere near their HI, with most either fighting the Americans or trying to salvage the eastern expedition that fell victim to the Cursed. The FS gold runners were easy prey for the well-equipped Pirate fleet.


The Matthias Vospero is derelict as the Shadow enjoys having Derrik the Red aboard.


A sac action from Derrik allows the Delight to participate in the brutal assault. The Pirates have betrayed the FS, dealing a serious blow to their resource fleet, which is essential to stay in the game and keep launching new ships and crew.


Looking north in this picture, you can see the large nature of the attack, with more Pirate gunships having destroyed one of the FS's valuable military ports, converting the island into an unexplored wild island and resetting the resource value. Numerous Pirate ships haven't even made their way into battle due to the close quarters, but it's already obvious that the Pirates have a huge advantage.


Most of the HI raiders are being ushered in to the right of the photo, with Pirate gunships to the left trying to clear the area so they can dock by sinking the FS ships that are in the way. The Mystic has begun raiding the home island, and one of the native canoes was able to dock as well.


Complicating matters for the FS, and being a brilliant move on the Pirates' part, Calypso has created two more whirlpools, with one being right next to the Pirate HI (like the original one used for the lagoon portal)...


... and the other being placed near the FS HI! This allows Pirate ships to quickly travel back and forth, possibly enabling multiple raids while also making it much more difficult for the FS to get their gold and resources back.


The new krakens ominously move out, with nearby FS ships suddenly becoming very nervous. Ophidious has made it's way to the lagoon, where it joins the Cutlass and Lady Newport on patrol duty. This is one of the very unique things I love about huge games - fleets get so big that you can afford to have some of your ships do nothing or just patrol your waterways for protection! The Inferno (out of the frame at the bottom, docked at the Pirate military port) hasn't done anything this game but provides additional support for the otherwise deserted military port.


With a huge turn, the Pirates essentially declared war on the FS, which meant that the FS were now technically at war with every faction in the game. It seems that the eastern expedition was a good idea in theory, but the imperial desires only served to anger the English and Cursed. The FS instigated their costly war with the Americans, all for a trading port that hasn't seen any Mercenary subs launched at it for the purpose of getting gold from the lagoon. However, the FS weren't at fault in their latest mishap, although they shouldn't have placed so much trust in the Pirates, who have now betrayed them in a huge way.

Now, onto the Americans!

Naturally, the Americans hate the FS for taking their trading port, so the Sioux and Thomas Jefferson dealt major damage. This battle wasn't as chaotic as the first battle between these fleets, but it was more aggressive since the bad blood had time to boil.


South of the American HI, many American ships are sailing to and fro. The Fly has blocked the FS from attacking the formidable Zhanfu, who keep in mind is still a Mercenary ship, and therefore is removed from the game if she docks at an American trading/military port or their HI.


An interesting angle on the eastern battle, with American ships continuing to sink English gold runners. However, the Swiftsure can't be hit by L-range guns, which means that the Kettering, DJC Saratoga and President can't damage her with gunfire.


The Americans have sunk the Shetland, with two American five masters (the Blackwatch and RV Constitution no less) yet to be engaged.


Shal-Bala has swooped in and savaged Le Loup-Garou:


Not a fun day for the Franco-Spanish!


The Cursed still don't have as many ships ferrying resources as the other fleets, but a set of canoes will always help:


The Cursed:


The turn 37 graveyard:


Massive holes have appeared in the FS fleet:


Faring even worse, the English are about to be wiped out:


Turn 38

Turn 38 was the bloodiest turn of the entire game up to this point.

The English fought back proudly, doing damage to the Revolution:


Even more impressive, the Granville and Ram teamed up to dismast the Intrepid and use their abilities to kill both her crew! It was too late to turn the tide of the battle, but the English really surprised the Americans with their valor, and events like these cost the winning fleets a considerable amount of repair time, not to mention buying back generic crew that have been eliminated.


The rest of the English fleet wasn't as successful, taking out 1 mast between three rams and one cannon shot.


The FS knew they would simply be sunk or captured if they tried to keep ferrying resources, so they also decided to fight back, just like the stubborn English. However, their opening salvos proved quite ineffective, with no captains and only a few rank-2 cannons between their feeble treasure runners.


However, the Bazana and Rosario made a break for the HI, trying to reestablish some kind of control over the situation.


Carnage piles up around the derelict Dame Riante, who coincidentally is blocking the HI raiders from docking.


The Trinity having been dismasted the turn before, the St. Denis is all alone, shooting a mast off the Golden Medusa:


Sinking the Eagan and Fly, the FS are desperate for some momentum so they can stay alive in this game.


The FS squadron that had been heading east to reinforce the now obliterated southern squadron decided to turn around and attack the hated Pirates. The Pirates have thrown almost all of their firepower at the FS HI up north, and the Nox and Lepanto teamed up to destroy a Pirate settlement that the Otter had been making trips to. The island was producing metal, but now the Pirates will have to re-explore the island and reset the resource value. This picture gives a good look at the hull of the Nox:


In an impulse move, the Valeroso continued east and captured a Cursed settlement right near their HI! This was more of a nuisance to the Cursed than anything else, and it appears that the FS are going down in a blaze of chaos and bloodshed.


Back in the northwest, the FS have a ray of hope: the San Estaban! With something like an 8 for 9 shooting record (with rank-3 guns!) and the ONLY ship to survive the Cursed attack in the southeast that took out the southern squadron, the San Estaban is the luckiest ship in the game. She lost a mast coming through the whirlpool, but at least the FS now have a ship near their HI with a captain aboard.


However, these are still dark times for the FS, as more of their ships sink and Pirates flood their HI.


For this game, I'm making a custom house rule where if more than one ship with the HI raider ability is docked at an enemy HI with no other ships docked at that HI, the fleet whose HI is being raided cannot spend gold or convert resources. Think of it as having no one home when a robber comes in - the person who owns the home can't stop the robber from withholding valuables while they're still there and the owner is not. The FS couldn't get any ships home on turn 38, so they also couldn't launch any new ships to defend themselves, with the Pirates being in complete control of their HI.

All available gold has been loaded, and now the Pirates get greedy and take the remaining stores of lumber and spices!


Furthering the destruction of FS hopes, the Siren's Song and Black Cat have destroyed the other FS military port:


Just for good measure and to be a true Pirate, the Cannibal King robs the St. Denis of her lumber before she is sunk by the Widowmaker.


Within two turns, the FS have gone from being one of the stronger fleets in the game to a wrecked fleet in disorder and without a usable home island.


Creating yet another whirlpool via Calypso, the Pirates have moved the Akua Lapu through it, and she's the first ship from the HI raiding squadron to arrive back home.


The Nox looks for revenge as more Pirate ships return from the lagoon:


The Pirates strike back in the south, surrounding the Lepanto and Valeroso with krakens. The Alma and Extremadura hide in the fog, knowing they'll have to come out before the fog is completely surrounded by Pirates.


The Swiftsure is having one of the most remarkable single-ship games in the history of my games! Words cannot describe the incredible effort the little ship is putting forth.

The Swiftsure was the first ship launched in the game by any faction. Used as a treasure runner by the English, she's now picked up a captain from their HI since she has a 2S cannon, which is better than the other guns English treasure runners are carrying. She hasn't done much damage, but the stubborn sloop is putting up quite a fight! Neither the Kettering, Saratoga, nor President can hit her because of her L-immunity. Frustrated, the President has rammed her, but miraculously rolled a 1 to miss the dismast attempt! With Peregrine Stern giving +1 to boarding rolls and the President having a 3 mast advantage, the boarding attempt looked like a lock. However, the Swiftsure rolled a 6 to the President's 1, winning the boarding party 7 to 6 and killing Stern, one of the most valuable named crew in the game at 9 points!!

The Pacificum and Maui's Fishhook were in the game for a while, but after this heroic effort I think the Swiftsure has to get the MVS (Most Valuable Ship) award for the English fleet during this game.


The Blackwatch and Paul Revere sink the Edinburgh Trader, but naturally the Swiftsure holds on. Between her hatred of the English and the nearby Hannah, the Providence had rank-1 shots against the Graville, who sunk quickly.


To the southeast, the Mohican and Constitution have destroyed Fort Brompton. Thompson's Island remains the oldest and now the only fort in the game.


The English hold on for dear life (rather effectively) as the English have a rare bad day at the cannons:


The Zhanfu makes her entrance:


The Americans had the upper hand in this battle from the start. The sudden demise of the FS makes news throughout all of the fleets.


In return for shooting off one of Shal-Bala's segments, the dragon has responded in kind by wrecking the ship and killing every soul aboard.


With the San Estaban having fled through a whirlpool and the reinforcing FS squadron having turned their attention to the Pirates, the Cursed are regrouping. They are definitely looking to launch things soon, probably as early as next turn.


After 38 turns, the carnage and chaos continues to mount. There could be a lot more masts in the water, but I like to keep things moving as ships sink and are permanently removed from play. CotE was unique in that ships almost never sunk because of the house rules, and also because of the deathmatch ending where it was an all-out fight to the finish.


A very rare shot looking from the east directly west. The English and FS are being driven out of the eastern hemisphere, while the west continues to have a lot of things going on. At the center left, notice the submerged Devil Ray sneaking her way to the southeast. You can also see the tallest archway beneath Thompson's Island. At the lower right, the Swiftsure's time will be up soon.


The turn 38 graveyard. 19 ships were sunk during the turn, a high for this game. 11 FS, 5 English, and 3 American. The Pirates still haven't lost a ship during this game.


After 38 turns, things have changed considerably from the epic turn 33 and ensuing chaos that resulted. A new ship count was in order:

English: 4 ships
Franco-Spanish: 13
Pirates: 62
Americans: 39
Cursed: 20

6/24/2015

A shot of the English vs. Americans battle, looking out of the south for a change.


To the west, the FS are also fighting for their lives, with the Galeon and Acorazado doing minor damage to the Zhanfu and Thomas Jefferson respectively.


The San Estaban is the only ship standing in the way of the Pirates completely taking over the FS home island, and here she rams and shoots at the White Rose.


The Nox tried to simultaneously attack the Rum Runner and the Pirate military port at the same time, which turned into an utter disaster. The Rum Runner used Parley to move a coin from the Pirates' HI to that of the FS, where it would simply be loaded by a Pirate ship on their turn! The Nox failed to raze the colony, giving the Pirates control of the ship. They'll sail it back to their HI, where they can trade her in for 10 gold (the ship's point cost).


The Lepanto fights admirably against the Kraken, while the Valeroso misses all three times against her captor. The Alma and Extremadura have thoughts of trying to return to their HI once the Pirates leave, but getting back in one piece will be virtually impossible.


The Pirates at the FS home island. The White Rose and Mystic have sunk the San Estaban, and the Rosario has also been sunk. Canoes scramble out of the way as larger HI raiders move in to dock and take lumber and spices. A new trade current helps Pirate ships reach the whirlpool they'll use to teleport home quickly.


The Pirates have cleaned up the northwest, completely eliminating the FS presence in their own waters!


The Empress anticipates the arrival of the Alma and Extremadura, the only two healthy FS ships left in the game.


The Delight has captured an FS settlement near their HI, making it obvious the Pirates are intent on completely eliminating the FS from the game.


The crowded Pirate HI, with the Akua Lapu the first ship to dock back home with ill-gotten loot. The Belladonna, Gilded Monkey, and White Rose have come through a whirlpool.


The Pirate krakens crack down on FS rebels.


The Pirates launched the Duke, Black Mamba, Bruja, Treasure, Lady's Scorn, Mocha, La Morte de Yarborough, and Centurion.

The Pirates also bought 6 island upgrades, two of each type. Some of these were immediately loaded onto the new ships.


Some of the new ships were launched at military ports.




The Americans finally figured out how to sink the pesky Swiftsure - simply cancel her L-immunity with the Kettering! Sending the little ship to the bottom, the Americans also managed to sink the Comet and Ram, leaving only the Silent Swan. The Revolution finished her off as well, which means that the English have been eliminated! As the first fleet officially out of the game, the English had pretty much the worst game. They had their moments when luxuries were valuable and they managed to win their first preliminary battle against the Americans, but the American resource system and powerful gunships spelled the end. The English still technically have a settlement to the far east, but with no ships available to continue it will be easy pickings for the Americans. The President has already captured their other settlement in the northeast corner of the sea.

The Americans can finally relax, at least for the time being! For gameplay purposes the English HI has been reduced to its original size and now reverts to a regular wild island that produces resources. The Americans have won the war against the English.


The Constitution and Mohican sail towards the final English settlement and encampment. To the right, the Devil Ray appears to be heading towards the Duke shipwreck.


The Americans have also won their war against the FS! Although they had unintentional help from the Pirates destroying the FS gold system, the Americans did a good job to win the second battle north of the lagoon and finish off the remaining FS battle fleet. The Peacock has brought the captured Catedral del Mar in for repairs, while the Tepant had to be captured by the Concordia since she has Eternal. The Thomas Jefferson used an SAT from JPJ to sink the Acorazado, while the Zhanfu finished off the Galeon de Gibraltar.


The Hades' Realm has recaptured the Cursed settlement to the west, while the Cursed warships can turn east as the FS reinforcing squadron is in shambles. Curiously, the Cursed purchased 6 island upgrades but no ships, although they still have large amounts of gold on their HI even after spending the 60 gold.


At the bottom of the picture, Cursed runners make their trips. The Cursed are done regrouping and have decided to continue sailing north and east, looking to expand their operations now that the FS presence in the east has been wiped out.


The Cursed had an alliance with the English, although the fleets never were in contact with each other and therefore never had time to plan strategy and combine their fleets. As a result, the Cursed aren't all that disappointed or angry that the Americans eliminated the English, but the Cursed would definitely like to control the east and possibly continue working their way north towards where the English once sailed. This will probably put the Cursed and Americans at odds with each other, but who knows what will happen?

The turn 39 graveyard. Another full dozen ships were sunk during the turn, including 4 English, 7 FS, and 1 American.


This is the former fleet location for both the English and the Franco-Spanish. Once a thriving hub with over 50 total deckplates, it's now a deserted, desolate wasteland.


The FS are about to be the second fleet eliminated, and they met one of the quickest and most sudden ends in any of my huge games. Normally a fleet that large takes a while to eliminate, but being at war with every other faction makes for a lot of bloody battles. The FS were too aggressive in their imperial adventures, splitting their fleet into two battle fleets and an unprotected resource fleet.

Interestingly, this leaves the Pirates, Americans, and Cursed, none of whom have declared war on any of the others. This makes for a rather unique situation. They are each at very different locations on the ocean, although the Pirates and Cursed are both in the south. The Pirates have an old alliance with the Cursed, but the Cursed are worse than pirates and don't consider the Pirate military port near their HI to be a friendly gesture.

At this point in the global theater, the Americans are in relative control of the north and northeast, while the Pirates have complete dominance over the entire western 1/3 of the sea. The Cursed still lurk in the southeast, with a desire to expand. Each fleet still has a lot of work to do and some space with which to grow their empires, but eventually they'll meet and things will get interesting in a hurry!

6/28/2015

This report is for turns 40-42!

The Alma cancelled Beastie's Kraken keyword, allowing the FS to start eliminating segments. The FS were about to be eliminated, but still were able to get some measure of revenge against the hated Pirates.


The top of this picture shows the depleted FS home island. The canoes have gotten on their way, and the other HI raiders have made a break for Calypso's whirlpools to get home faster.


A great shot of the southwest corner. To the left, Pirate gunships sail about with nothing to do. In the upper center, the Empress and Black Mamba have engaged the Alma and Extremadura, the last pocket of FS resistance. However, the Black Mamba rolled 0/3 and even rolled a 1 to eliminate one of her own masts for one of the least effective shoot actions in recent history, losing masts and not damaging the enemy in the process! The Pirate resource system is alive and well at their HI, with HI raiders adding even more riches to the mix. At the bottom right you can see the Akua Lapu going back for more.


The American battle fleet dominates the northeast. The Providence has explored the former English HI, finding spices. The Saratoga and President head to a friendly military port for repairs, while the Kettering takes up patrol duty.


An interesting shot of the arch looking due north, with only the lowest archway visible. The Congress and Chesapeake patrol American waterways, while the Grampus repairs beyond Thompson's Island. The Revolution would also like to repair, but she'll have to get a Mercenary helmsman transferred to her by another ship since she's removed from the game if she docks at an American trading/military port or their HI.


Another picture looking directly north, the American resource system hasn't been bothered so far. To the left, the Concordia tows the captured Tepant as the Thomas Jefferson also heads home for repairs. At the top of the frame, the Catedral is almost finished repairing next to an enormous pile of spices.


Most of the Cursed fleet:


Turn 41 marked another resource change! With some drama a 2 and a 3 were rolled, meaning that every resource was worth one less than its printed value (and lumber worth 6), but these values would only hold for 3 turns! This continued a trend of quick changes, since the last two rolls were for 5 and 3 turns.


The FS were able to eliminate Beastie, but Eternal simply returned the kraken to its HI where it could begin repairing.

The Franco-Spanish have been eliminated! The Pirates sunk the Alma and have dismasted the Extremadura, signalling the end of the game for the FS! They are the second fleet to be eliminated, and they met a very quick end after a very prosperous 35 turns or so.

In the background, the Black Mamba went 0/3 once again and rolled two more 1's. This means she's 0/6 and has lost all of her masts based on her ability, not from any hostile ships shooting at her! She's the opposite of the San Estaban, perhaps the unluckiest ship of the game so far.


As with most resource-changing turns, turn 41 marked another launching turn. The Pirates cashed in their stolen lumber for 6 gold apiece and spent 90 gold, purchasing the Satisfaction, Fuchuan, Kirbac, Dolphin, Fancy, Kin Tai Fong, and Death's Angel:

Death's Angel

Collector's Number: ?
Faction Affiliation: Pirate
Rarity: FP (Fake Prototype)
Type: Ship
Point Value: 16
Cargo Space: 4
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 4S-4S-4S-4S
Number of Masts: 4

Galley. Eternal. Broadsides Attack.

The Rook's Folly is the proxy for the Death's Angel.

New Pirate ships launched at their easternmost military port, with three of their four krakens looming in the background.


The incredibly hectic Pirate home island. Between all the HI raiders coming and going, ships repairing from whirlpool damage, and resource ships making trips to and from different islands, it's almost impossible to get in or out.


The Americans have made a huge statement in the privateer sector of the game! After launching the Zhanfu, their trading port has become busy once again. With a large portion of American gunships either sunk or already in the water, the Americans look to the privateer nations (all 4 minor factions) for help.

The Americans launched 10 ships on turn 41, and 8 of them were at the trading port, spending a total of 225 gold.

Jackal's Teeth + Kheir-ed-din, Uluj Ali
Muninn + Sigurd Andersen, Shayna Duex, helmsman
Wiglaf + Olof Linstrom, captain, helmsman, shipwright
Grand Path + Dragon Eyes, helmsman, chainshot specialist, shipwright, oarsman
Grand Temple + Kian Ng, captain, helmsman
Grand Mountain + Katsura-chan, Shap-'ng-Tsai, helmsman
Mobilis + helmsman
Brave Selkirk + helmsman
Philadelphia towing the Minuteman
Lynx

Those are all 3 Jade 6 masters that I have, so the Americans have a relative monopoly on those and their associated named crew, not to mention most of the Viking named crew I have. Since the Americans also have the Devil Ray and the Hephaestus has already been sunk, at this point the Americans have a monopoly on the Merc subs in addition to the Mercury and Lamon. On top of all that, the Americans also now have two "fleet admirals" (Kheir and Sigurd) and two Marines.

First the Zhanfu, and now this:


The American situation up north. The Tepant has begun repairing, while the Peacock and Zhanfu look to reestablish resource values on islands just west of their HI that the FS used to control.


With both of the other two fleets making large purchases, the Cursed couldn't be left in the dust! In a stunning move, they purchased three of the most dangerous ships in their arsenal.

Delusion + Davy Jones, El Fantasma, Captain Nemo, Ibrahan Ozat, Cavendish, Chang Pao, Sir Edmund, helmsman, explorer
Flying Dutchman + Freddie Kroger, captain, helmsman (explained below)
Executioner + Devereaux, captain (towing the Death's Anchor)

The Flying Dutchman is the last official game piece from my custom set, and it's more of a movie-themed FD than the DJC version:

Flying Dutchman

Collector's Number: 142
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: LE
Type: Ship
Point Value: 21
Cargo Space: 3
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 2L-2S-2S-2S-2L
Number of Masts: 5

Broadsides Attack. Fear. At the beginning of each of your turns, determine whether or not this ship is submerged. If she is submerged, her base move becomes S+L, and she may be given only move actions. She has to surface to shoot, repair, dock, and explore. While she is submerged, she cannot pin or be pinned, ram or be rammed, and tow or be towed, and cannot be shot at. Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 6, you may place a unique treasure from your collection on an enemy ship.

The Dutchman carries Freddie Kroger, a Cursed crew from Cadet-Captain Mike's custom set:

Freddie Kroger

Collector's Number: 011B
Faction Affiliation: Cursed
Rarity: C
Type: Crew
Point Value: 4

All non-Cursed ships get -1 to their cannon rolls against this ship.

Another 10 master has made her entrance!


At the left of the frame, the Sea Duck and Celestine have found luxuries, a resource the Cursed have been sorely missing. Beyond them, the Sea Hag is joined by Cursed monsters and the Last Hope. To the east, Cursed gunships sail slowly as the Shal-Bala parks itself within swooping distance of the submerged Devil Ray, which is out of the picture behind the Duke shipwreck. Tension is mounting between the Cursed and Americans.


I'll admit, turn 42 was one of the more relaxed in recent memory. After the flurry of launchings and elimination of the FS on turn 41, the fleets were content to sail out their new ships and go about business as usual.

The Pirates' HI. After the elimination of the English and Franco-Spanish, the Pirates are now the first fleet to go each turn, followed by the Americans and Cursed. This would seem to make the game go faster, but the fleets are at a massive size.

Beastie has beached itself on the HI for repairs, while gold continues to pile up as more HI raiders dock. The Seref and Neptune's Hoard have emerged with gold from the lagoon, while to the left the Gilded Monkey and Ranger head north with military port upgrades.


A broader photo showing the large nature of the fleets. At the lower left, the Empress has captured the Extremadura, while the Centurion has begun towing the Black Mamba. At the lower right, the Pirates have split their new force in an attempt to confuse the Cursed. The lagoon is almost full, since I've made a custom rule in this game that allows krakens to submerge. The lagoon is as safe for the Pirates as it has ever been. Up north, American waters become even more congested.


The Akua Lapu and Belladonna have taken the last piles of lumber off the FS HI, which officially eliminates them from the game. Their former HI now becomes a regular resource wild island.


A unique shot looking south at the Pirate empire. Pirate gunships sail on the edges of their territory, ready to protect HI raiders and resource ships from any potential American intruders. The canoes are making the long journey home as the Duke has made a new Pirate settlement at the right. In the distance, a forest of masts surrounds the ever-busy home island. The Pirates still have the biggest fleet in the game, and they haven't slowed down since their epic 26-ship launching back on turn 33.


A better view of the new settlement created by the Duke. The Princess carries another settlement upgrade, but she's headed farther north. The canoes are enjoying the Xi'an's trade currents. To the right, the Cacao has explored a new island that used to be an FS island, finding spices. It seems as though most (but not all) of the re-explored islands in this game have turned out to produce the same resource as they did earlier in the game.


The Constitution has captured the last English settlement, wiping out the final English presence in this game. The Devil Ray scurries away from Shal-Bala (out of the frame to the lower right), her expedition to the Duke shipwreck foiled for the time being.


Looking northwest at the tallest archway, the Kettering signals the Paul Revere and Blackwatch to turn around as the Cursed grow closer.


In a late afternoon sun, new privateer ships set sail as the Congress leads the Americans to relatively new waters south of the arch.


The Providence is returning home with spices from the former English HI. Three American ships head east with island upgrades.


The Peacock found luxuries and the Zhanfu found spices! This continues the trend of spices being a mostly northern resource and fish being a mostly southern resource. The Concordia is looking to make the southern island an American trading port, just like in the "old days" before the FS destroyed it. At the upper left, the 6 masted junks add some diversity to the American fleet.


A cool shot looking southeast from the American HI:


The Cursed have shown that they aren't afraid of the Pirates and will do anything to protect their new trading port. Both subs and Terrox are relatively immune to being shot at, while the Executioner and Delusion wait nearby. The Pirates had plans of raiding Cursed shipping and potentially blockading their trading port, but now they'll need reinforcements.


The Cursed are excited by their new island upgrades and their new luxuries island:


The Sea Hag doesn't have any cargo space available, but she used an explore action to establish spices on an island right in between American and Cursed waters. The Cursed are sailing in line-of-battle, ready to take on the Americans at a moment's notice. Shal-Bala lurks behind the Duke shipwreck, disappointed it couldn't feast on the Devil Ray. To the right, the Nightmare has created another Cursed settlement on their new luxuries island.


6/29/2015

xerecs wrote:
This is real fun to read, cant wait for the next report.


You'll be happy then, because things are about to get CRAZY!

Note: This report is rather enthusiastic; I'm more excited about this game than I have been in over a week!

The Pirates had a ton of gold saved up on their HI, and now being the first faction to go each turn, it took them a long time to move their fleet. At the end of their turn they made some huge purchases!

Baochuan + Admiral Zheng He, Warlord Cavendish, The Headhunter (RtSS version explained below), Capitaine Chevalle, captain, helmsman, stinkpot specialist, shipwright

The Headhunter
RtSS-013, Rare

Pirate
Points: 6

Ability: If this ship wins a boarding party, she can either take as much treasure from the other ship as she wants, up to her available cargo space or can eliminate all of the other ship’s crew.

Harbinger + Blackbeard, Genny's Red Rampage, helmsman, fire shot, chain shot

Lady's Scorn + Calico Cat, helmsman, exploding shot, fire shot, grape shot, grapple shot

Deliverance + Griffin, Jack Hawkins, fire shot, stinkpot shot

Cassandra + helmsman
Pioneer + Bonny Peel, helmsman
Fleur de la Mort + Will Turner, helmsman
Madagascar + Barstow, smokepot shot
Proud Tortoise + captain
Beast's Belly + helmsman
Angelica
Morgawr

The Pirates launched 10 new ships and 2 sea monsters, including 4 capital ships. It's obvious they'd like to do some crew capturing, and the Baochuan is the third and final ten master to be introduced, carrying a dangerous complement of crew.

Here it is, in all its glory, the Pirate fleet at an epic, unrivaled size. I made a fleet called Pirate Empire a while back, but that fleet doesn't do the idea justice. This does.

(That's actually not the entire fleet!)

On turn 43, the Americans are less concentrated in one area, but still quite powerful:


The New Orleans is just short enough to duck under the lowest archway, while the Congress has to sail around the only beach and go through the tallest archway. I love how the Muninn's sails mix nicely with the red sails on the Congress.


The Cursed have re-thought their plans to launch a western offensive, with new Pirate gunships and the Baochuan dangerously close to Cursed waters. However, the Cursed have a few tricks up their sleeve! A sharp eye will notice a few strange things on their home island...


As turn 43 came to a close, turn 44 marked the need for new resource rolls. However, in an unprecedented event, the gods of the sea have spoke, and there will be no resource rolls on the next turn!!

With much drama, values of every single resource suddenly dropped to 1 gold each!! These relatively worthless resource values would hold for the next 6 turns, 44-49. Things will return to normal on turn 50, at least for the most part.

How would fleets acquire gold to spend? In another major twist, abnormally HUGE amounts of gold awaited the fleets in the lagoon, at the arch, and at the Duke shipwreck, the three places where gold can be loaded instead of resources! Little do the fleets know, most of this new gold isn't just treasure, but UNIQUE TREASURE! UT's haven't appeared in this game so far since I didn't want any fleets to have an unfair advantage or disadvantage, and also because I wanted to focus on the resource system for as long as possible. However, it's time for a change! Most of the UT's are positive, but I've slipped a few surprises in there, including two of the most devastating UT's in Pirates, one of which is the only UT from my custom set!

With resources being almost worthless for the next 6 turns, perhaps the Duke will finally be fought over? (The oarsman is a Pirate oarsman left by the Rising Sun a long time ago.)


As darkness falls, new reserves of gold have appeared on the arch:


The lagoon! Currently dominated by the largest fleet in the game, the Pirates, the lagoon holds a massive store of new UT's.


With such a monumental shift in the game about to occur, it was the perfect time to do a ship count.

Pirates: 104 ships (!)
Americans: 51
Cursed: 26

Total: 181 ships in play!

This is a bit more biased than I thought, with the Pirates having a larger fleet than the other two fleets combined. They look unstoppable right now, but they are arrogant after their incredibly successful home island raid/elimination of the FS and their newly launched ships. The Pirates are willing to rest on their laurels as they continue to rake in gold.

However, the Cursed are plotting. With a few unique game pieces added to their fleet and some rather interesting die rolls happening each turn (Davy Jones and the new Flying Dutchman), the Cursed are perhaps the most overlooked faction in the game right now. The Americans also look to the west with apprehension, with the Pirates having the biggest fleet in any single cumulative game in my history of playing games. The Americans don't seem to be interested in the Cursed right now, since the Pirates are a much bigger threat, and also because the lagoon, arch, and Duke are now the only spots from which to reliably obtain gold.

The next few turns will be very unique (pun intended). As positive UT's are discovered, some of the more powerful ones will undoubtedly be fought over, and the overwhelming value of the lagoon may demand something extreme...

6/30/2015

The new system started on turn 44 and would continue until the end of turn 49! All resources were worth 1 gold apiece, and the replenished lagoon, arch, and Duke shipwreck were loaded with new UT's and super-valuable gold and silver.

The Pirates took their long turn, moving all of their 100+ ships in a beautiful display of teamwork and logistics. They aggressively moved some ships into Cursed territory, daring them to make a move. The lagoon was packed when the Hades' Flame used her action for the turn to check out the new stuff on the lagoon's island.


BOOM!



The only proxy is Volcano, which was actually something FAR, FAR worse...

HURRICANE!!

Collector's Number: 096 (Pirates of the Age of Sail)
Unique Treasure
Rarity: R

This treasure is not loaded when revealed. When revealed, roll a d6 for every ship within 2L of the island Hurricane was revealed on. The die result is the number of masts eliminated. Ships docked at the island where Hurricane was revealed do not have to roll: they are not damaged. Ships can be sunk by Hurricane.

Devastation was unleashed! With huge gusts of winds and blasts of water, a huge storm surge ricocheted all around the lagoon, wrecking everything in its path!

The calm before the storm:


The most destructive UT ever used in Pirates CSG. The Seref, Lady Newport, and Cutlass were sunk outright. Ophidious permanently died because his Eternal only kicks in (house ruled if necessary) during a combat situation. The Neptune's Hoard, Treasure, and three remaining krakens all suffered severe damage.


Unfortunately for the Pirates, the next UT to be resolved was Bad Maps. The Cursed flung the lagoon's island and corresponding eye of the Hurricane out to the northwest, where more Pirate ships were sailing! This marked an unprecedented event, where the lagoon's island was outside of the lagoon itself! Bringing the chaos of the Hurricane with it, more Pirate ships were exposed to the destructive forces of mother nature.

As a house rule, since I still want the lagoon to be important, the lagoon's island will only remain outside of the lagoon for 2 turns, upon which it will be restored to its normal place within the lagoon's borders. However, this still gives fleets a potential chance to grab gold from the island without having the uniquely Pirate advantage that is Calypso.

The lagoon's borders are thin and flat, so the Hurricane had no trouble passing over the meager land barrier, flattening Pirate masts in its path of devastation. The Mocha, Pioneer, Executioner and USS Mercury (submarine) all sunk beneath the waves. The Diamond Strike and Death's Angel were dismasted, while the Harbinger and Fool's Hope also suffered considerable damage. The high winds of the storm threw masts and sails in every direction, making for an even more high-carnage scene than a battle, with debris strewn everywhere!

An incredibly bizarre sight, the lagoon's island has been temporarily displaced with gold still on it. The Pirates have been stunned and shocked by this horrible turn of events, and they made the mistake of having the Hades' Flame take the last action of their turn, so they are paralyzed until next turn.


You may have noticed that the Hades' Flame is missing from the above picture, which seems wrong given that ships docked at the island where Hurricane was revealed don't have to roll for damage since they're in the eye of the hurricane.

However, the HF had already been yanked around by another force of nature: Whirlpool!

The nearest whirlpool was the whirlpool that Calypso had placed inside the lagoon to allow Pirates ships to access the lagoon. Since the HF would have to pass through the lagoon's borders to get to the whirlpool, which is illegal even with a Ghost Ship, this ruling was house-ruled. The Hades' Flame was moved in the direction of the whirlpool, but ran aground on the lagoon's border, making the ship a wreck!!


This made for an even more incredible and bizarre sight, with a wreck not actually present on a reef. The HF couldn't pass the lagoon's borders, and so was now wrecked on the edge of the lagoon with a cargo full of precious silver and a huge cache of UT's!

Pandora's Box was next, with the Americans and Cursed choosing Missionary and Celestine's Charts, which killed the Hades' Flames' silver explorer and eliminated all 7 Pirate trade currents. The Pirates gave the HF Metal Hull, which they intended to give to a different ship. The HF had also found Lost, and after the Pirates rolled a 6, they were able to replace almost all of the trade currents that they had lost (pun intended).

Looking south, a view of the wreckage caused by the hurricane:


American ships continued sailing east hoping to establish new military ports.


The biggest gunships in the American fleet headed west, possibly in the hopes of capitalizing on this opportunity to catch the Pirates while they're weaker.


The Cursed have struck the first blow in the war against the Pirates! Terrox surrounded the Morte, while the Loki's Revenge and Delusion teamed up to sink the Satisfaction, Fuchuan, and Kin Tai Fong, but not before Nemo (on the Delusion) captured the Satisfaction's captain.


The Cursed are heading west, eager to take on the Pirates.


At the end of their turn, the Cursed played their surprise: Duel! Picking the 12 point OE Davy Jones and the 6 point Calypso, the Cursed won the duel easily. The Cursed had been plotting this move for a few turns, and now that Calypso is out of the game, the whirlpools she created are also removed from the game! This limits what the Pirates can do with their HI raiders, and also eliminates the all-important lagoon whirlpool!


The Neptune's Hoard and Treasure are now at the mercy of whatever enters the lagoon, for they are stuck forever with no way out!


6/30/2015

The Pirates began recovering from their Hurricane episode, turning around and sailing for the nearest military port at which they could repair. The Diamond Strike and Death's Angel were able to row at S+S, so although the damage was severe, it looked as though the Pirates could get some of their floating ships back in action.

The DJC Harbinger checked out the wrecked Hades' Flame, taking all of her face-up UT's since the Harbinger had no space with which to take the remaining treasure. The Harbinger has mostly good UT's aboard, but also Maps of Hades.

In the aftermath of the storm, the Pirates limp back into port.


With some Pirate gunships (like the Mocha and Pioneer) sunk and others severely damaged, the northern Pirate squadron turned back west away from the advancing Americans. However, more Pirate gunships were on their way from the southwest, which meant the Pirates still had a considerable force in the northwest.

A similar but wider shot than the last one. At the top of the picture, Pirate gunships sail in line abreast after turning west to retreat. Angelica joins them, while the Princess begins the long journey home with textiles from a new settlement. To the left, the Lady's Scorn, White Rose, Delight and others provide welcome reinforcements for the weakened Pirate fleet. At the far right, only a few American ships are visible, but the picture is deceiving...


A unique angle on the Pirate HI, which is a bit less chaotic than it has been recently. The captured Extremadura is repairing while the last HI raiders dock home their gold.


The Pirate Empire strikes back! The Morte has inflicted damage on Terrox, while the Fancy docked at the Cursed trading port and declared hostilities, the first time a trading port has been blockaded! The Kirbac dismasted the Demon Gate, while other Pirate gunships try to get in range. The Baochuan hides in the fog, a tribute to a classic battle report from another campaign game. For now, the turtle ships have been tasked with protecting the military port. In the meantime, HI raiders regroup and head southeast, possibly plotting a raid of the Cursed HI while the Cursed are distracted?


Looking northwest, the Americans gather some of their biggest and baddest gunships on the western front in anticipation of a battle with the Pirates. In addition, notice that the Lamon has surfaced for the first time in ages, taking gold from the lagoon's island before it's moved back into the lagoon.


The canoes dance around hired Viking gunships headed west, as the western hemisphere continues to become more and more crowded while the east lies dormant as usual. The Flying Fish looks to be the first ship to explore the arch since the UT's were placed there, but who knows what she'll find? Beyond the arch, a menacing sight approaches as the Kettering and Congress attempt to join the American battle fleet in the west.


The Americans still care about controlling the east, however. The Paul Revere has docked at a former English island while the Chesapeake and Mohican run patrol duty. The Harlequin and Sea Tiger carry military port upgrades, while in the distance the Brandywine is about to establish a settlement on the former English home island.


The Cursed continue to surprise the Pirates, playing their second event: Becalmed! I think this is the last event to be used in this game, since they're quite overpowered for how I want this game to go.

Becalmed allowed the Cursed to position their ships in such a way where they can't be hit by enemy guns, but they're in striking distance for their next turn. The Delusion sunk the Kirbac as Gog-Clocthoth sped up and smashed right into the Lady's Scorn (F&S version) taking out two masts and a helmsman in the ram and board! Becalmed even froze the Baochuan in her fog bank, so the Pirates are really going to have a tough time next turn against the Cursed.

There's a lot going on in this picture! Becalmed has frozen all nearby Pirate ships, while Terrox has taken out two masts on the Morte. Shal-Bala has parked itself outside of L-range but within swooping range! It's important to note that the custom Flying Dutchman is submerged in this picture, so she's also immune to the Pirates on their next turn.


East of the previous picture, around the Cursed HI. Namazu waits impatiently behind the Delusion for its chance to strike, while Cursed gunships flood the area as they return from the far east. The Celestine has upgraded the island north of their HI to a military port. A wide variety of resources pile up on the HI, with lumber and spices being a bit farther off.


A broader shot of the east, as the Hades' Realm looks to establish a settlement. The canoes may be looking for fish, while the Constitution is alone at the eastern edges of the sea.


As turn 45 came to a close, the lagoon island returns to its rightful place inside the lagoon! The Lamon was the only ship able to dock at the island while it resided outside of the lagoon's borders, and consequently she would be exposed to a devastating broadside from the Harbinger if not for the crippling hurricane. The Pirates still control the lagoon, but with no submarines or whirlpooling ships capable of getting gold home from it, they don't have nearly as much incentive to protect it. Duel was a game-changer and a brilliant play on the Cursed's part. However, again, I think events are too powerful for this game.

As the sun sets on turn 45, the hurricane will not be soon forgotten:


7/1/2015

Crying or Very sad A horrible event has occurred. A massive accident has destroyed the entire setup, wrecking the entire Economy Edition game and breaking many ships beyond repair. Economy Edition is no more. Crying or Very sad

If you play a huge game, don't leave it on the floor. Try to use tables. Rolling Eyes I didn't take any pictures because I don't want the sad scene to be remembered. I've already cleaned some things up, but the recovery process won't be quick.

More than being sad or angry, I'm simply disappointed. I thought this was going to be the first truly successful HUGE game I've played, but something always seems to go wrong, although this was much worse than any previous complications. I can safely say this is the biggest Pirates CSG disaster I've experienced.

Was this event inevitable? All I can say is that Pirates CSG, and more specifically this Economy Edition game, have slowly been taking over my soul for a while now. With a complete sudden destruction of the game, there was no hope of resetting the game in any form, partly because so many ships are destroyed.

I'm going to try and focus on the positive. Like I said, perhaps this was karma for spending too much time on Pirates. Now that Economy is over, I'll have way more time to focus on things that are more important than Pirates that I've been neglecting ever since the game started. That being said, I'm disappointed.

I want to come back stronger than ever after this catastrophe. However, I can't spend the time necessary to play another cumulative game. It's going to take over my life and demand too much time, effort and energy. It may be a LONG time before I play another game of this nature.

There is no way to make up for this horrible event, but I have one idea in mind that may make up for it somewhat. However, I'm going to have to wait and see if it's plausible before diving into it. I was thinking about possibly playing a 6-fleet 500 point game, for 3,000 total points on the ocean. It's doubtful this game will be played, but perhaps it could happen. A campaign/cumulative game where points are spent along the way is too big an endeavour now that a month of the summer is already gone. However, a "regular" game, even at 3,000 points, could potentially take 2 weeks or less. Again, it probably won't happen. Either way, the added free time will also allow me to play real games more often, which is another way to focus on the positive.

For the record, the Pirates are given the title of the winner of the Economy Edition game, since they had the biggest fleet. The final standings:

1. Pirates
2. Americans
3. Cursed
4. Franco-Spanish
5. English

Although this game ended prematurely, I can still proudly say it's the biggest game in my Pirates CSG playing history, and without a doubt one of the biggest games ever by anyone's standards.

At it's peak there were over 2,800 points in play, with 163 ships. The latest ship count revealed 181 ships in play, which means that the game may have exceeded 3,000 points.

To wrap things up I'm going to make a couple of "big games" threads in the next week or so. Hopefully this will allow me to have more closure. I'll also go into greater detail on how things function with these types of monster games.

I'm sorry there won't be any more battle reports for the game. Obviously I'm more disappointed than anyone else could be. However, just like with Century of the Empires from 2 years ago, I vow to play Economy Edition once more at some point in the future and play it to true completion. Unfortunately, due to a lot of factors in my life, this summer was my last chance for a WHILE to play games this large, so it could be decades before anything similar is attempted again.

I've played a few smaller games while Economy was being played, so hopefully I'll get those reports up soon. I'll be back!
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xerecs

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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:30 pm Reply with quote

Whoa, two of your biggest games, all in one report for each of them, and with pictures! How'd you manage to get pictures, I thought postimage was going the way of photobucket.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:33 pm Reply with quote

xerecs wrote:
Whoa, two of your biggest games, all in one report for each of them, and with pictures! How'd you manage to get pictures, I thought postimage was going the way of photobucket.


See this post. If your reports with postimage links are all in one document, you should easily be able to use "find and replace" to convert them to the new url's. I just copied and pasted the reports of the above games into one doc and used find and replace on the whole thing, then pasted that entire thing into a post here. (CTO seems too big to work XD)
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xerecs

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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:39 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
xerecs wrote:
Whoa, two of your biggest games, all in one report for each of them, and with pictures! How'd you manage to get pictures, I thought postimage was going the way of photobucket.


See this post. If your reports with postimage links are all in one document, you should easily be able to use "find and replace" to convert them to the new url's. I just copied and pasted the reports of the above games into one doc and used find and replace on the whole thing, then pasted that entire thing into a post here. (CTO seems too big to work XD)



Just saw that post. I'm not sure how to use the 'find and replace' but I'll probably figure it out. The reports most affected by Postimage are going to be the 2017 campaign, and the 2016 CoEC game. My CoE game from 2015 used Photobucket, so I'm not sure how to fix that one, other than maybe doing it over in a video.
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Subject: CG1   PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:48 pm Reply with quote

VASSAL Campaign Game 1


Played from February-May of 2016

The first-ever VASSAL campaign game is about to get underway!! Two of the greatest admirals in history, a7xfanben and xerecs, meet in an epic clash on the high seas!

After a number of smaller adventures, both admirals have agreed to take part in the ultimate challenge - a giant cumulative game where gold is spent along the way to build bigger and better fleets. The game has no time limit, and it will go until only one fleet remains or until both admirals agree to stop the game, at which point the fleet with the most combined points afloat and gold on their home island will be declared the winner.

The game is being played with a unique style - each admiral gets to control 3 different fleets, with all of the major factions being present (the minor factions can be hired as privateers). However, each admiral MUST control these fleets independently - they can still form alliances with their own fleets, but each fleet is a separate entity.

Without further ado, here are the starting fleets in the order of gameplay, under a 30 point limit:

Xerecs

French:
La Geographe
Enfant Terrible + Capitaine Baudouin Deleflote

Pirates:
Neptune's Hoard + explorer
Swift + helmsman
Banshee's Cry + explorer
Mermaid

Americans:
USS James Madison + Tribal Chieftain
Wasp + explorer
Native Canoes

a7xfanben

Spanish:
El Alquimista + Tribal Chieftain
La Saragoza + helmsman
Native Canoes

Cursed:
Divine Dragon + Davy Jones, helmsman

English:
HMS Dover
HMS Hound
Sea Tiger
HMS Trepassey

Here is the grand ocean!


Here's the northwest corner, where the English have settled. I purposely made the corner islands harder to get to, since the fleet nearby could otherwise take extra advantage of them. The French have generally the most central fleet location, though they're not really in the actual middle. Here you can see them to the far right.


This is the northeast corner, where the Cursed lie. There's some overlap with the pictures, as you can now see the French at the far left. To the right lies a barrier reef and some fog dangerously close to the shallows.


The southeast corner, with the Americans on the right and the Spanish on the left. I placed those wild islands close together on purpose, so the setup didn't look too artificial with the same distance between all neighboring islands. How fitting that 10 canoes are already docked at those islands!


Finally, the southwest corner, where the Pirates are waiting to sail out. You can also see the French in the upper right corner, while the English HI is almost due north of the Pirates' HI.


Right now there are 18 wild islands in addition to the 6 home islands (HI's). Each wild island starts with 7 coins on it. All wild islands will refill to their maximum of 7 coins when at least 4 of the wild islands are completely empty. UT's will probably make appearances eventually. Flat earth rules are being used.

The current house rules state that when a ship wins a boarding party, the winner chooses which coins to take, and that turtle ships are immune to ram damage. Other house rules will be instituted if needed.

The game will start tomorrow! The other campaign game will start sometime early next week, but I'm planning to create a separate thread for that one to avoid confusion and because this one starts first.

2/13/2016

The first VASSAL campaign game has gotten underway!

The Geographe took the first action of the game, and all of the fleets raced for the gold!


In the southeast, both the American and Spanish native canoes have explored their islands, while in the northeast, Davy Jones on the Divine Dragon is powering the Cursed to a fast start.


Of all the factions, the Cursed make the first launchings of the game! The Loa's Justice and Nightmare join the ranks, both crewed with helmsmen.




The Americans and French have some gold, while the Pirates, Spanish, and English are all about to unload some.


Here you can see some of the islands that have been explored. In the order of play, here are the explored marker colors: French (green), Pirates (gray), Americans (blue), Spanish (yellow), Cursed (black), English (red).


The English spent some gold and bought HMS Lady Provost and a helmsman and explorer for her.


A flurry of launchings soon followed!

Pirates:
Bloody Jewel + Jean Laffite
Dragon + Captain Elizabeth Swann
Rover + navigator

Spanish:
La Santa Isabel + Capitan Alarico Castro, helmsman, oarsman
San Pedro

Cursed: Sea Monkey + helmsman, oarsman

English: HMS Alexander

The Sea Tiger is returning with gold from the remote northwestern island, while the Wasp looks to do the same in the far southeast.


2/13/2016

The game has continued!

The Spanish have built El Castillo del Infanta on the island in the southern middle area! Just like in xerecs' Economy Edition game, forts can be rebuilt as many times as a player wants.


Notice the Spanish flocking to their island to the east.


Responding to the Spanish, the Americans quickly build Thompson's Island, but the Spanish counter with Fortaleza Dorada just to the south! Xerecs has been using navigators, which are now a part of all three of his fleets. The Spanish launched the first true gunship of the game with La Tartessos + captain, helmsman, and fire shot.

The Cursed and English got busy spending as well:

Cursed:
Sea Monkey + helmsman, oarsman
Executioner + El Fantasma, captain, helmsman, oarsman

English:
Edinburgh Trader + helmsman
HMS Durham + captain


The Pirates navigated some reefs in the southwest to reach a corner island with the help of some trade currents.


Davy Jones on the Divine Dragon finally rolled a 6, and seeing that the Americans were the biggest threat to the Cursed, forced the Wasp off the map! Xerecs had forgotten about her way over in the southeast corner, and now she's been moved off the flat earth and removed from the game.

Here's an overview of the situation in the southeast:


The Swift had the honor of being the first ship to lose a mast, while crossing over a reef! However, the Pirates did launch the Cassandra with a helmsman.


The Cursed have been doing surprisingly well for themselves; their newest additions are the Maman Brigitte and Fallen Angel. The Executioner seems to be headed straight for that whirlpool; I wonder why?


Admiral A7Xfanben's favorite faction is the English, so it should come as no surprise that they are launching ships all the time. In addition to building Ramsgate south of their HI, they've purchased numerous ships:
Aberdeen Baron + helmsman
HMS Cheshire
HMS Antelope
HMS Oxford + captain




The fleets have rapidly expanded, with no less than 39 ships already in play! The close of the first day's action saw the French nervously eyeing the expanding English fleet. An interesting part of the game so far has been the differing philosophies of the admirals. Xerecs saves gold more often, belying the potential strength of his fleets, while a7xfanben knows the value of getting lots of gold runners out on the sea as fast as possible to increase the gold flow.

Another interesting aspect is even just writing the battle reports; I have to watch what I say because I don't want to tip off xerecs or make any odd mistakes!

2/17/2016

Here's the game after another turn. The main developments are that the Pirates launched the Black Heart with Cursed Captain Jack, and the Executioner has gone through a whirlpool to arrive in the west.



2/20/2016

A TON of progress has been made on Campaign Game 1!

The French finally spent some more gold:
La Possession + helmsman
Royal Louis + helmsman
Le Courageux
Le Bon Marin

The Spanish purchased another gunship with La Habana + captain and helmsman.

The Cursed launched the Fiddler's Green with "Screaming" Mimi and a helmsman.


The Spanish have instigated the first combat of the game! The Tartessos had been lurking off Thompson's Island, and she finally got the perfect positioning and fired a full broadside at the American fort! Only one hit landed, but it sent a clear message. However, the Spanish assured the Americans that they were NOT declaring war.


On the Cursed turn, Davy Jones rolled a 6! All eyes turned to his wrath, as he could now move any ship in the game however he wanted.

Suddenly HMS Oxford surged forward and fired a broadside into the Aberdeen Baron, taking her down to 2 masts! Davy Jones was wreaking havoc in the English home waters!

Then, the Executioner, who had sailed through a whirlpool the last time the game was played, sailed up and dismasted the Aberdeen Baron!

This shows the first real "battle" of the game, though it was a strange one. The English used the Antelope (who went 2/2!) and Oxford to sink the Executioner, but Fantasma's Eternal sent her back to the Cursed HI!


The Spanish launched two ships: Concepcion (with a helmsman) to further their gold system and the Colector del Dia (with a captain and helmsman) to further their eastern expansion. The Colector del Dia is a 3 masted junk from RtSS very similar to the Cazador del Pirata.

The English began towing the Aberdeen Baron with the Hound and launched HMS Galway.


The next turn was a rare one, with no launchings by any fleet. Thompson's Island was fighting hard against the Tartessos, hitting 2/3 before the Spaniard knocked the fort down to 2 guns. The Executioner used Fantasma's SAT to repair two masts in short order.


With the English in the west and the Cursed in the east, the French have been getting the majority of their gold from the center area south of their HI, where you can see a bunch of trade currents. Each fleet has their own area right now, but fleets are quickly expanding. As more and more ships come into play, treasure replenishments happen more and more often.

Despite the Tartessos losing two more masts to Thompson's Island, the Spanish finally silenced the fort's cannons!

In a huge move, Davy Jones rolled another 6 and forced the Oxford to sink the Aberdeen Baron!! She went down with plenty of gold aboard right near her home island, and one of England's best gold runners is gone for the rest of the game. The Aberdeen Baron also is the first ship to officially sink, though the Wasp was eliminated via round earth and the Executioner was "sunk" before Eternal kicked in.


On the following turn, the Americans made some interesting purchases:
Jarvis + chieftain, helmsman (+ another set of native canoes)
Gator + GWL (RtSS version, the American version of Lord Mycron)

The Spanish immediately responded, launching another set of canoes at the island that Thompson's Island was recently destroyed on (the Spanish weren't declaring war but rather claiming the island), as well as El Garante with a chieftain, captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, oarsman, and fire shot.

The English got busy spending as well:
HMS Apollo + Lord Cutler Beckett, captain, helmsman, oarsman
HMS Patagonia + Robinson, Lord Mycron

The Apollo took over for the Dover as the official English flagship. The English saw the two Pirate fleet admirals and decided to use their own as well.


The new American canoes loaded gold from the island in the far southeast, while the new Spanish canoes loaded gold from the island Thompson's Island was on. The Spanish ended their turn by building their third and final fort, El Puerto Blanco, on the island! This ended their short-term objective of controlling those two nearby islands. Also, forts can be rebuilt as many times as a faction wants if they are destroyed. An agreement has been reached where up to 2 of the same fort can be present at the same time, but flotillas follow the same rules for ships in that they can only be purchased once and can't be brought back if sunk.

The Tartessos repaired at the southern Fortaleza Dorada, while something interesting was brewing up north. The USS James Madison "shot" at the French ship Royal Louis, who parleyed a coin to the American HI. Xerecs (the controller of both fleets) then announced that the French and Americans were agreeing to some kind of alliance, as both factions felt pressure from the fleets around them. Taking it even further, the French then went so far as to make it clear that they considered the English and Cursed to be "enemies", which puzzled and frustrated Beckett and Davy Jones respectively, as no fleet has done anything hostile against the French so far. The French might want to be a little more careful with their choice of words in the future, given the short fuse the Cursed have in addition to their dangerous named crew.

Speaking of dangerous named crew, the Cursed recruited Tabitha McWarren to crew the Lizard's Sting. a7xfanben doesn't dislike trade currents and navigators nearly as much as cargo masters, and so the Cursed also got the Celestine with Master Scribe.

The English then bought 5 new ships, including one named crew: Commodore Rhys Gryffin Owen (CRGO), the other English fleet admiral. The English also received the first home island expansion! As the game gets bigger and bigger I'll probably do more and more pictures of the deckplates since it's faster than typing everything in.


The whole situation:


The gold running pace intensified, and treasure replenishments were happening every turn or two. The Pirates had been saving for a while, and suddenly spent 91 gold on three new ships, including the first use of privateers!


All three ships were ready to capture crew and turn them into gold, while the Grand River is actually a custom of mine (Xerecs is the Pirate controller).

Grand River
Collector's Number: 124
Faction Affiliation: Jade Rebellion
Rarity: SR
Type: Ship
Point Value: 16
Cargo Space: 5
Base Move: S+S
Cannons: 3S,3S,3L,3L,3S, 3S
Number of Masts: 6

Junk. This ship’s base move becomes S when she reaches her cargo limit.

The Spanish then cashed in some gold of their own to get the Isabela, another set of native canoes (their third), and the Afortunado with a navigator. This left the English as the only fleet not to utilize trade currents.

During the actual turn (which happened before the launchings), some interesting stuff went down (literally). The Cursed, annoyed with the English but also the Americans (remember them moving the Wasp off the flat earth as the first ship eliminated), moved a native canoe off the map and sunk another with the Executioner!

The Americans' woes continued. The Spanish decided they needed to make a statement. Despite the destruction of Thompson's Island and the building of El Puerto Blanco on the same island, the Americans didn't seem to be getting the message, with the James Madison sailing into now-Spanish waters. The Colector del Dia shot 3/3 to dismast the JM, though she managed to lose the boarding party 5-4 after rolling a 1. The Spanish still have not declared war on the Americans, but the message is clear: the waters around Spanish forts belong to Spain, and nobody else.

Ominously, the Cursed got the first submarine of the game with the Locker and Edward Low.

The English launched two more treasure runners, HMS Goodfellow (from RtSS) and HMS Lord Kenyon.


At the end of their next turn the Americans finally spent a bunch of gold to get both of their hoists (Frontier and Strongarm, the latter from RtSS), as well as a custom by Xerecs.

USS Mississippi
Faction Affiliation: America
Type: Ship
Point Value: 15
Cargo Space: 6
Base Move: S+S
Cannons:
Number of Masts: 4

Steamboat. (+L to base move, no helmsman allowed) One of this ship's treasures is worth +2 gold when unloaded at your home island.

The Frontier and Mississippi carried the American Eternal crew, while the Strongarm carried a cargo master.

For this game, hoists are represented by 4 masted square rigged ships with no jib sail, where an S range tool can be proxied as the hoist arm.

The Spanish followed by capturing the James Madison with the Habana! This was the game's first capture.

In a brutal display, the Cursed continued to be hostile to the English, using McWarren and Mimi to move the Sea Tiger and Discovery off the map and eliminate them from the game.


The day's action was almost at an end! The French got things started by launching three of the finest ships: the Libellule (with Maurice Aristide), Belle Etoile, and Favori. The Pirates built Dead Man's Point on an island south of their HI.

The Spanish went overboard and bought two more sets of native canoes, bringing their overall total to 5 sets (25 canoes) and breaking my Economy Edition record of most sets of canoes in a single game by one fleet!

The Spanish have already dealt with some moderate traffic jams, but things are about to get a LOT more interesting!


With great drama the Cursed rolled successfully for both Tabitha and Mimi, and threw the Jarvis off the map and out of the game! This took out their last chieftain, and the Americans had to eliminate 3 more canoes! The Cursed were proving to be a major annoyance to the English and Americans, but they're far enough away that going to war against the Cursed would take a major effort. The Cursed are taking huge advantage of the flat earth rules and Davy Jones' 6's. The English have learned not to sail their ships too close to the edge on their trips to and from that northwestern island, which is why the Jarvis got flung next.

Speaking of the English, they launched a set of their native canoes from RtSS!

Here is the overall situation, with the Pirates, English, and Spanish having the biggest treasure fleets. You can see a lot of French trade currents, with the Pirates and Americans (Xerecs' other fleets) laying some down as well. The Spanish and Cursed have gotten started with their navigators.


With all that was accomplished on this great day of Pirating, I thought it would be a great time for the first ship and point counts! For the ship count, each set of native canoes is counted as one ship, while forts are not counted. Forts were not included in the point counts either.

In the order of gameplay:

French: 10 ships, 120 points
Pirates: 12 ships, 180 points
Americans: 7 ships, 91 points
Spanish: 16 ships, 208 points
Cursed: 11 ships, 186 points
English: 21 ships, 266 points

Total: 77 ships, 1,051 points

That means that after just a few days of playing, this game has already reached the status of being a "huge" game! (at least 1,000 total points) Who knows how big it could get? Very Happy

2/22/2016

More turns have been played!

The Spanish had to pay for their mistake of launching two additional sets of canoes without having their associated chieftains on ships. The Spanish immediately purchased the Morning Star and San Jose, and a turn later paid a penalty of 6 gold. However, once that was figured out they had a new-record 5 sets of native canoes for 25 total in play! As impressive as it sounds it's rather obnoxious to move them all each turn!

The Cursed continued to have great luck with Mimi and Tabby, throwing the Grand River onto a reef, where she lost 5 out of her 6 masts! This marked the 3rd fleet that the Cursed had annoyed with their antics. Nobody has declared war on them, partly because they're in their northeast corner and haven't been a huge detriment.


Soon afterwards, the French launched La Charlemange with Capitaine Arathiel (with oarsmen) and La Richelieu with Jean Desailly, captain, and oarsman. This gave the French their second major gunship along with the Possession, as well as one of those annoying crew with the same ability as the Cursed Mimi and Tabby.

The Americans launched the Louisiana with a captain and other crew.

Mimi and Tabby were successful in their rolls yet again! The Grand Path was chucked onto a reef but didn't lose any masts. The American turtle ship Gator was yanked backwards away from the American HI. Davy Jones gave the submerged Locker (with Edward Low aboard) an extra action and rammed the mast off the Gator, and on the next turn she would have had a chance to possess GWL, the American Mycron! Alas, it was not to be, as the Gator rowed home with the help of a trade current and unloaded GWL. Still, it was a narrow escape for such an important crew, and another example of the gimmicky but powerful Cursed named crew.

Check out the Gator and Locker on the far right near the American HI. Also note the considerable gold piles on the Spanish, Cursed, and English HI's.


Over the past two days of action, Cursed Captain Jack has rolled 6's twice. This has greatly annoyed the fleets, as it severely hampers their efforts and essentially just makes the game more boring, as no abilities of any kind can be used. Much grumbling follows his antics....

The fleets continued to run gold, and the Spanish and English were eager to spend. The Spanish had already received a HI expansion and now proceeded to buy El Príncipe de Asturias and the Buscador, both with chieftains for two additional sets of native canoes! This brought them to a grand total of 7 sets of canoes for 35 canoes in play!

With little outward fanfare but much internal excitement, the English launched HMS Dreadnought! She was a long-term investment, and a great example of a naval deterrent. Her crew was picked from the best English sailors of old.

Carbon Charlie

George Anson
Collector's Number: 044
Faction Affiliation: England
Rarity: R
Type: Crew
Point Value: 11

Captain. Canceller. This ship’s crew cannot be eliminated unless she sinks.

Job Hartop
Faction Affiliation: England
Type: Crew
Point Value: 7

Eternal. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against any non-English ship. If this crew would be eliminated OR removed from the game, place it on your home island instead.

(And a helmsman and oarsman!)



The Cursed were the next fleet to make a major launching, and they bought a fog-hopping squadron! This consisted of the Sea Hag, Hangman's Joke, Needle, Howl, and Alligator, all with captains and helmsmen.

Then the English spent some more gold. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of SCS, the English launched the Virtuous Wind, Sea Wind, Tiger's Breath, and Sea Crane. They also got HMS Interceptor.


At the far right, notice the Locker lurking near the Gator and Destiny. Just south of the French home island, the Isabela and San Jose have docked at a wild island. The Dreadnought begins making cannons from 1 coins. The Cursed have made their displeasure with Cursed Captain Jack obvious, using Mimi or Tabby to hinder the Black Heart's movement.


The last few turns of play were quite interesting. The French used Jean Desailly in combination with Deleflote to move both the Divine Dragon and the Locker! The French appeared to be helping their American allies. The Dragon wound up on a reef, losing almost all of her masts just like the Grand River. The Locker was moved away from the American home island temporarily. The Americans launched the Carolina with Commodore David Porter (captain + Broadsides Attack). Speaking of the Grand River, she was almost done repairing in the southwest at Dead Man's Point.

The Spanish joined in on the SCS anniversary festivities, launching some turtle ships (Glorious Treasure, Noble Swan, Proud Tortoise). They also launched some other ships, among them the Espada de Dios (with Bianco's Haulers, just like my latest fleet challenge entry), Bahama, Santa Lucia, and Villalobos. This and their giant native canoe traffic jam required them to get their 3rd and 4th home island expansions.

The Cursed purchased the Tenfold, one of El Cazador's most famous custom ships! Her linked crew, Zedekiah, is Hostile: Cursed, so she's only crewed with a helmsman for now.

Tenfold
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.

This was the first Mercenary ship in the game, but not nearly the first hoist. Speaking of hoists, the English finished their turn by launching the Maui's Fishhook.


As the day's action came to a close, the English and Spanish suddenly saw new French forts on the wild islands they were (respectively) sailing towards and docked at. This puzzled both nations, as neither had done anything hostile to the French whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the French remain the only faction not to be bothered by anyone, and they're one of only two factions (along with the Spanish) not to be bothered at all by the Cursed. The English and Spanish are somewhat perturbed by this development, though it's far from an act of open hostility.

The game has seen a lot of progress thus far. No factions have declared won on one another. There haven't been many skirmishes. The Spanish established dominance over the pair of islands east of their HI, unseating the Americans in the process. The Spanish are feeling a bit chaotic and disorganized, and their admiral is a bit unsatisfied with their gold system. The Cursed managed to anger the English by sinking the Aberdeen Baron through Davy Jones commanding the Oxford, but the English got some revenge by sinking the Executioner (who came back via Eternal). The English have mostly gotten over the emotional loss of having the Sea Tiger and Discovery moved off the round earth. The Cursed have also caused a lot of tension with the Americans, moving numerous canoes and more importantly, the Wasp and Jarvis, off the ocean. With the still-recent Franco-American alliance, the Cursed appear to have a new enemy they didn't intend to have, though the French haven't actually engaged any fleets yet. The Cursed have also been at odds with the Pirates from afar (Cursed in the NE, Pirates in the SW). However, Cursed Captain Jack has caused rising tension in more than just one fleet.

The fleets are still feeling each other out and are mostly content to build up their navies, and it remains to be seen what long-term strategies they might have in mind.

2/23/2016

I've played my latest turn with the Spanish, Cursed, and English.

The Spanish had a mass departure of ships from their HI, and at the end of their turn they launched La Joya del Sol with Dominic Freda, just about completing their "gold factory" system of +1 and +2 gold bonus abilities.

The Cursed took their turn, with the Divine Dragon repairing and the Master Scribe placing another trade current. The submerged Locker was within S of the Carolina, and Edward Low tried to take possession of David Porter! With much drama a 5 was rolled, almost enough to succeed!

The Cursed made their intentions clear: the fog hopping squadron is coming to kill Cursed Captain Jack.

The English launched HMS Bath and the Growler with helmsmen.

HMS Growler
Type: 3-mast square rigged
Nation: England
Points: 10
Masts: 3
Cargo: 4
Move: L
Cannons: 3S,3S,3S
Link: None
Schooner. This ship gets +L to her base move if she starts her move action within S of an island.



2/27/2016

With much anticipation, play has resumed!

The Cursed had taken the Pirates by surprise with the fog hopping squadron! The Black Heart docked at the southwestern island and unloaded Cursed Captain Jack, to much shock in the Cursed fleet. Blackheart, the Pirate admiral, didn't realize that enemy ships could pick up crew from islands, even if their abilities couldn't be used. The Sea Hag used an extra action from Davy Jones to dock at the island and load up Cursed Captain Jack! With him on the island, he couldn't use his Parley ability, but he also couldn't be killed in a boarding party against the Black Heart. The Cursed couldn't kill him immediately, so they settled for the next-best thing: torture, Cursed-style.

This whole saga ironically parallels the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in multiple ways. The Cursed are extremely annoyed with Jack, similar to Barbossa and company in Curse of the Black Pearl. They manage to essentially capture him, and in this case Jack has been taken to the brig, much like how he was a captive during the BP's battle with the Interceptor. However, now it's Davy Jones who's after him, similar to the events of Dead Man's Chest. Another parallel would soon emerge...

Here you can see the Sea Hag docked. The Alligator and Needle have stayed in the area to make sure the Sea Hag can get home safely, while the Hangman's Joke and Howl have gone back into the fog, trusting the trio of Cursed ships to finish the mission successfully. At the right, the Fleur de la Mort and Grand River are a turn or two away from interfering, which would prove key.


On the Pirates' next turn, there was a long series of exchanges between the admirals of the two fleets. The Black Heart's crew loaded the guns and ran them out, but Davy Jones warned the Pirates not to shoot, and reiterated that the Cursed had not declared war on the Pirates. Blackheart (the Pirate admiral) didn't want to listen, but consulted with Elizabeth Swann. Blackheart asked the Cursed if they would return Cursed Captain Jack to the Pirates in return for holding their fire, at which point the muttering started... part of the crew, part of the ship... part of the crew, part of the ship... part of the crew, part of the ship....

Swann told Blackheart there was no reasoning with the Cursed. There was clearly no getting Jack back. part of the crew, part of the ship

And with that, the Black Heart opened fire! She hit twice, but the deed was done (or not done... undone!).


The Pirates were not happy with the Cursed. They pulled a surprise of their own, launching three sets of their RtSS native canoes at the three wild islands the Cursed had been going to!

Tribal Chieftain & Native Canoes
RtSS-019
Pirate
Points: 11
Masts: X (Canoes)
Cargo: 1
Move: S+S
Cannons: 4S
Native Canoe. This ship can dock at an enemy home island and load one treasure. If able, she must leave on your next turn.

The Pirates apparently intended to rob gold from the Cursed by appearing on their doorstep! The ships housing the chieftains were no small threat either: Harbinger, Fool's Hope, and the Black Pearl!

On the Cursed's turn, the Alligator sacrificed herself to the cause of destroying Jack. She used her smokepot shot to create a smokebank that the Sea Hag and Needle ducked into. This left her vulnerable, and she was quickly sunk by the Fleur de la Mort and Grand River. The rare sinking further angered the Cursed, but it was necessary to complete the mission of killing Jack.


Here's a closeup of the Cursed HI situation. At the bottom, the Executioner has gotten busy eliminating Pirate canoes, while the Divine Dragon finishes repairing at the home island. The hired Tenfold is immune to the canoes with her immense defenses, while reinforcements arrive in the northeast with the Hangman's Joke and Howl returning from the short expedition.


The next turn saw a few intimidating launches.

French:
Le Superbe + Capitaine Arazure, oarsmen x5
L'Hercule + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist

Cursed:
Loki's Revenge + Wraith, Keith Atkinson (one of Xerecs' custom crew with the 3 point reroll ability), captain, helmsman, oarsman

The Spanish also purchased the first fort upgrade! Xerecs and I have agreed to fort upgrades, where a faction can pay 50 gold to upgrade their fort, which means that ships and crew can be launched there. The cost is so high because we want to mitigate the rich-get-richer/poor-get-poorer nature of campaign games, and because we want it to be risky, since the fort is still relatively fragile. Getting a fort upgrade can be a big deal. The Spanish chose Fortaleza Dorada, the southern island of the pair east of their HI. I don't recall if I said it yet, but factions can also build up to two of the same fort, which the French have already done with Paradis de la Mer.

In the northeast, the Sea Hag and Needle return home from the expedition, with Jack aboard the Sea Hag. In the southwest, Mimi has moved the Harbinger onto a reef, but the new Pirate flagship wasn't damaged.


In the southeast, the Buscador uses her hoist to take gold from that island, the first time the Spanish have done so! The Spanish also have a group of ships nearing the American HI; however all appears well between the factions as they haven't had any issues for quite some time now.

The English are finally satisfied with their gold system and appear to have begun saving gold.


Another closeup of the northeast. The Sea Hag has docked home to repair and unload Cursed Captain Jack, who can now be tortured on the Cursed HI. The Nightmare lost a mast to a canoe, but they've been mostly neutralized by the Executioner, Divine Dragon, and Loki's Revenge. Only the northernmost set remains, and that's been knocked down to 4 canoes after Mimi moved one off the map.


A treasure replenishment was done after that turn.

Another ship count!
French: 14 ships
Pirates: 15 ships
Americans: 8 ships
Spanish: 31 ships
Cursed: 17 ships
English: 29 ships

Total: 114 ships!

2/28/2016

After another turn, there are some launchings to report on.

The Americans launched the Ghost Walker.

The Spanish spent every penny in their possession (177 gold!) and launched a fire squadron!

La Ebro + captain, helmsman, exploding shot
(This ship was launched at Fortaleza Dorada with the new fort upgrade while the rest were launched at the Spanish HI.)

San Cristobal + Almirante Devante Del Nero, El Bombero, captain, helmsman, fire shot
La Cazadora + captain, helmsman, fire shot
La Sirviente + captain, helmsman, fire shot
La Voz de Dios + captain, helmsman, exploding shot, fire shot
El Argonauta + captain, helmsman, exploding shot, fire shot
La Resolucion + captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, fire shot
Soberano del Mar + Roberto Santana, navigator
El Picador

El Bombero
Nation: Spain
Points: 3
Link: None
Firepot Specialist. This ship gets +1 to her d6 rolls when attempting to extinguish a fire mast.

The Cursed got busy as well:
Dire Miralis
Nation: Cursed
Points: 14
Masts: 2
Cargo: 8
Move: S
Cannons: 2L,2S
Link: None
Longship. Secret Hold.

Lamprey
Nation: Cursed
Points: 8
Masts: 2
Cargo: 3
Move: S+L
Cannons: 5S,5S
Link: None
Longship.

Ghast's Bell (a custom from selvaxri)
Point cost: 12 (For now)
Masts 1
Cannons 4S
Cargo 3
Movement L
Ghost Ship.
If this ship ends her turn in a fog bank, on her next turn she may use her move action to move out of any other fog bank in play.
This ship may take a shoot action after moving out from a fog bank.

The Dire Miralis had a captain and helmsman aboard, while the Ghast's Bell had a captain, helmsman, and smokepot shot, to replace the sunken Alligator.



3/1/2016

The game is absolutely exploding!!

THE SPANISH DEMAND PAYMENT!

After gathering a squadron of warships near the American home island, the Spanish have finally revealed its purpose! A tribute demand! The Americans had little choice but to capitulate, as the Spanish have a much larger fleet and the Americans were powerless to resist. However, the Americans were able to tensely negotiate that the tribute payment would happen on the American turn, rather than the Spanish turn.



The Spanish appear to be the fleet to beat! At the right you can see their canoes going home after receiving the tribute from the Americans. The fire squadron has sailed out.


The French launched La Corse with Amiral Stephan Dupuy, who became their first in command.

The Pirates were the next fleet to launch, with the Flying Dutchman and the Carnage.

Carnage
Link: One-Handed John
Pirate
Rarity: CLE
20 pts
Masts: 4
Cannon: 3S-2L-2L-3S
Cargo: 4
Movement: S+S
Hidden Gold (This ship has 2 extra cargo Spaces that may only be taken by TREASURE. This ship is considered to have the Limit keyword ). If this ship has a cpatain crew, she gets +1 to her cannon and boarding rolls, and is considered Eternal.

The Spanish weren't done just yet! They purchased a second fort upgrade for 50 gold and used it to launch four new gunships at El Castillo del Infanta, northwest of their HI! These gunships included two new ones from Pirates of the Great Sea (Estrella de la Manana and Hurucan), as well as the Granada and Reconquistador.

The Cursed were showing their truly evil side. They docked the Loki's Revenge at their HI, unloaded Wraith and Keith Atkinson, loading up their prisoner Cursed Captain Jack, who had been tortured repeatedly. The Cursed were ready to complete their mission. With no fanfare whatsoever they executed Jack to give the Loki's Revenge an extra action, which she simply used to redock at the HI. The Cursed made a final insult to his legacy by not even using him as well as they could have. Cursed Captain Jack is gone, and Davy Jones is happy.

However, that's not all the Cursed were doing. They proceeded to launch one of the nastiest combinations from the brand-new Pirates of the Great Sea set:

Farore's Cataclysm
Link: Vaati
Cursed
Rarity: R
19 points
Masts: 4
Cannon: 2S,3L,3L,2S
Cargo: 4
Movement: S+S
Ganonite. During your shoot actions, each time this ship hits an enemy ship, you may move that enemy ship S in a direction you choose.

The linked crew has already undergone some revisions:

Vaati
Link: Farore's Cataclysm
Cursed
12 points
Ganonite. Helmsman. Once per turn instead of giving this ship an action, roll a die. On a 1-2, move any ship S. On a 3-4, move any ship L. On a 5, move any ship S and place a Fog Bank within S of that ship (it remains until your next turn). On a 6, move an enemy ship L and eliminate a mast or a crew from that ship. Enemy Turbines may be moved S by their controller after being hit by these effects, but this is not considered an action.

Dark Knights (Crusher Corps)
Cursed
7 points
Reroll. When this ship hits an enemy ship, you may eliminate one cargo from that ship.

The Knights were brought aboard specifically to reroll Vaati's powerful ability, which was the perfect complement to the L-movers Mimi and Tabby. This gave the Cursed an crazy arsenal of weapons that seems to expand with each passing day.

This shows the developments; notice the Spanish forming a short line of battle with the first ships of their fire squadron.


The Pirates launched the Deliverance with Captain Nemo!

The Spanish then noticed something suspicious. They were aware of the French-American alliance, but what they saw puzzled them. The Spanish Admiral hailed Amiral Stephen Dupuy and asked him what was going on. The French were honest and told the Spanish that Le Favori was taking gold to the Americans. Apparently the Americans were going to use the gold to finance an operation against the Cursed, as the Cursed had dogged the Americans in the early game and seriously hampered the potential growth of the US fleet. The Spanish admiral aboard El Garante told the French that as soon as the gold was in American hands, the Spanish would seize it as another tribute payment. The French replied that this would not be happening, and Le Superbe and L'Hercule were sailing close behind the Favori to provide support. The Spanish seemed adamant that the gold would belong to them.

Spain was extremely confident in her young navy, with a more veteran squadron to the east and the newer ships gradually coming up from their HI in the south. Some of the eastern squadron was sent west to meet up with the fire squadron, and in the following picture you can see the crossing of their lines. To top it all off, the Spanish even launched more gunships, with El San Salvador, La Cordoba, and El Montenez being berthed at El Castillo del Infanta.


The Cursed launched as well. They continued their demonic rise, purchasing two horrible new gunships, one custom (the Phantom) from El Cazador and one from Xerecs (Hell Hound).

Ganon's Phantom
Cursed
Rarity: U
17 points
Masts: 4
Cannon: 2L,3S,3S,3S
Cargo: 2
Movement: S+L
Ganonite. Schooner. Fog Hopper.

Hell Hound
Cursed
16 points
Masts: 4
Cargo: 4
Cannon: 2S-3L-3L-2S
Movement: S+S
If this ship wins a boarding party she may eliminate all of the other ships crew.

Both ships had captains and helmsmen, but the Hell Hound carried a new horror, also courtesy of Xerecs:

Admiral of the Skelds
Cursed
6pts.
Link: Skelds
Ability: Eternal, as part of a move action this ship may initiate a boarding party from S away without having to ram, the boarded ship may not use any boarding bonuses.

flavor-This foul creature appeared with the hordes of Skelds, and is the only one who can command them.


Skelds
Cursed
5pts.
Link: Admiral of the Skelds
Ability: This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls for every crew on her.

flavor- A new breed of foulness, the Skelds are decaying sailors animated by dark fire, with a craving for destruction.

This was part of the Cursed strategy, which was unsurprisingly a gimmick. The Hell Hound would go out and murder entire crews on enemy ships, after which Wraith (on the Loki's Revenge) would try to reanimate them with the help of Keith Atkinson. It was a brutal and evil plan, concocted by none other than Davy Jones himself.

In the meantime, the Executioner and Locker headed west...


The Louisiana and Carolina, the only captained American ships on the seas, had been heading west through French waters for quite some time now. This wasn't altogether surprising, given the French-American alliance. However, the English were surprised when they continued even further west, as the Carolina reached English waters. Lord Cutler Beckett, aboard the English flagship HMS Apollo, hailed Commodore David Porter on the Carolina. Porter responded that he sought an audience with the Lords, Beckett and Mycron. The English were curious as to what had brought the Americans so far west! It was especially interesting given their precarious situation back home with the greedy Spanish. Almost immediately, Mycron said that the English were at peace, and desired to remain so. However, Porter responded that the problem laid not with Spain, but with the Cursed.

This got Mycron's attention. The Cursed had messed with the English quite a bit, almost since the very beginning. Davy Jones had used his power to turn the English on themselves, and with the help of the Executioner's arrival, sink the Aberdeen Baron, one of England's finest merchant ships. They had also used Mimi and Tabby to move the Sea Tiger and Discovery (two of England's fastest ships) off the map and into oblivion. Recently, they had moved English gold runners into fog banks, delaying their progress. Porter said that the Americans had already formed an alliance with the French, with the primary purpose of stopping the Cursed madness. He asked Mycron and Beckett if they would be willing to participate. The English responded with a yes, but that their participation would be on their terms; they would send what ships they could, when they wanted to send them. Still, it was a huge moment in the game, as the ice had been broken between factions. Porter announced that the Americans had a gift for the English, which he would bring to Ramsgate. As the conversation ended, it was clear that the First Coalition had been formed!

Things were in motion, but there was more than one aggressive nation on the seas...

THE SPANISH DEMAND PAYMENT! To much eye-rolling in the French and American fleets, the Spanish abruptly demanded another tribute! Another lengthy discussion followed, with the French being the voice of reason. Dupuy assured the Spanish that they would receive their tribute payment, but that it would come from the wild island northwest of the American HI (where the Frontier was sailing), not from the Favori's cargo hold. The Strongarm used her hoist to load the Favori's gold, and the French had officially provided monetary assistance to the Americans. However, the Spanish weren't quite satisfied. Once again they warned the French and Americans that the gold would be paid as tribute to the Spanish. The Spanish also claimed that the gold was now in Spanish waters. Dupuy retorted that the area was marked by American trade currents, to which the Spanish replied that they didn't matter because Spain had the dominant naval force in the area.

The tension was obviously escalating. The Spanish had a point, but they had also sent a good amount of their eastern squadron west to join the fire squadron. They now only had 3 captained ships stationed off the American HI: the Tartessos, Principe de Asturias, and Glorious Treasure. However, they had also blatantly sailed three HI raiders (Espada de Dios, Bahama, and Santa Lucia) near the American HI for some time now, making it obvious that they would get gold whether the Americans cooperated or not. To the west, the still-growing Spanish battle fleet was impressive, with a line of ships stretching almost from El Castillo in the west to El Puerto Blanco in the east.

The Spanish, probably taking in an average of at least 25 gold per turn, launched yet another gunship at the Castillo, the Santa Catalina.

The Cursed continued to make purchases, buying another ship for their fog hopping squadron. However, this time that ship was a submarine:

Interloper
Type: 3-segment submarine
Nation: Cursed
Points: 20
Masts: 3
Cargo: 3
Move: S+S
Cannons: 2S,2L,2S
Ganonite, Submarine, Ghost Ship, Fog Hopper.

This underwater demon carried very interesting new named crew:

Agnahim
Cursed
10 points
Ganonite, Captain, Eternal. When this ship sinks an enemy ship (or causes it to scuttle by fire masts), place all of its treasure on your home island.

Dark Knights (Sniper Corps)
Cursed
8 points
Marine. This crew's gun has the Extended Range keyword.

The English finally spent some of their saved gold! On the previous turn, Davy Jones had forced the Durham to fire upon the Sea Wind, dismasting her! Seeing the Executioner and Locker approach from the east, the English decided it was time to take action. They launched HMS Westminster, HMS Granville, and HMS Ajax, all with captains and helmsmen. In addition, the Apollo weighed anchor and sailed east. After 10 turns, Carbon Charlie's job was temporarily complete, having given HMS Dreadnought a whopping 10 extra cannons, so she now carried 15!

Notice the new launchings, as well as the Spanish battle fleet north of their HI. The Strongarm has loaded gold from the Favori at the right.


With the new First Coalition between the Americans, French, and English, the French continued to prepare themselves for the Cursed! They commissioned RHS Farore, introducing Hyrule to the game! To keep it somewhat more historical and because Hyrule isn't an official faction, each fleet can only have 3-4 Hylian ships in their navy at any one time. The Farore is a 6 masted junk similar to the Grand Temple, and she was joined by the new Le Gaule, a 5 master.

The Pirates continued running gold, and seemed to be the only faction not really at odds with anyone.

The Americans took their turn, and then all eyes turned towards the Spanish.

THE SPANISH DEMAND PAYMENT!

With yet another tribute demand, there was only so much the Americans could offer and promise. They reiterated that the Spanish would be getting all the gold from the island NW of the American HI, but the Spanish weren't satisfied. Knowing of the French-American alliance, the Spanish felt they were being deceived. The Spanish admiral said once again that the Americans would fork over the gold the French had given to them. Once again the French said it wouldn't happen.

Tense negotiations continued, and the Spanish grew angrier and angrier. France and America were getting in the way of Spain's ultimate goal.

The Spanish admiral aboard El Garante considered his options, but in the end he knew what to do. He had waited long enough for this moment, ever since the French had built a fort on a wild island the Spanish explored.

To the west, the Granada suddenly surged forward! Her guns were run out! With a defiant battle cry heard by the thousands, she opened fire on Paradis de la Mer!!

VIVA EL IMPERIO ESPANOL!

THE SPANISH DECLARE WAR ON THE FRENCH!!!!!

With a huge roar the Spanish fleet sailed north! The fort's defenses were tough, but Spain had an overwhelming numbers majority in the area. The Granada and LE San Cristobal weakened the fort, and the Sirviente and Estrella teamed up to destroy it! The San Cristobal used the same action twice to continue sailing northwest, where she fired upon the Bon Marin, sinking her easily! Her final shots set the Libellule aflame, and the fire squadron was in full sail! They finished their turn by launching 4 new ships at the Castillo, and finally their imperial desires were made clear!

The Battle of Paradis de la Mer has begun! The Franco-Spanish war has commenced, and it's the first declaration of war in this game.


Here is the entire ocean again, with chaos erupting in the center. The English got both of their Admirals' actions, and used them in conjunction with Lord Mycron to give double actions to all three of their new gunships, whose crews are eager to protect English trade from the Cursed. The Executioner and English are both out for revenge, in a way, since the English couldn't sink the Executioner for good but Fantasma is angry his ship was defeated in the first place.


What on earth could happen next? Only time will tell, though another report will be coming soon with a ship and point count.

3/3/2016

After another epic ship and point count, here is the game size:

French: 16 ships, 294 points
Pirates: 18 ships, 355 points
Americans: 9 ships, 133 points
Spanish: 51 ships, 752 points
Cursed: 24 ships, 484 points
English: 32 ships, 489 points

Total: 150 ships, 2,507 points

This game is already close to becoming the biggest game of all-time (Economy Edition at 2,846 points), and we've nearly just started! Also, Economy Edition had a max of 181 ships in play, which when multiplied by the average points/ship (2,846/163=17.46) gives an approximate size of 3,160 total points. As a result, I wouldn't feel confident claiming a game as the biggest in history until it reaches around 3,400 total points. The massive totals made me want to do a bit of analysis.

First off, the Spanish have almost 30% of the overall points in play, while the Americans have just over 5%. Even if you take out all 7 sets of native canoes, the Spanish would still have a dozen more ships than the English, the next-largest fleet. In addition, the Spanish now become the second-largest recorded fleet that I've ever played in a game, being surpassed only by the giant Pirate fleet of Economy Edition, which had 778 points in play at the end of turn 33 of that game. However, Spain's 51 ships surpasses that fleet's total of 45, though the Pirate fleet would grow MUCH larger soon afterwards, with 62 ships after turn 38. Then the Pirates continued launching even more, until their fleet was almost unmanageably big, with an astronomical, mammoth size of 104 ships after turn 43. I'm putting this in perspective because although the Spanish fleet is huge, one mustn't forget past epics (and if you multiply those 104 ships by the average points/ship number based on turn 33 (2,846/163=17.46), the Pirate fleet could have theoretically reached over 1,800 points!!).

Here are the numbers on points per ship, rounded to the nearest whole number:

French: 18 points/ship
Pirates: 20 points/ship
Americans: 15 points/ship
Spanish: 15 points/ship
Cursed: 20 points/ship
English: 15 points/ship

It comes as no surprise that the Cursed have the highest average points per ship (before rounding), though I'm a little surprised by how high the French number is and how low the Spanish number is (partly due to the canoes). The Pirate number is so high because it feels like the only gunships they've bought have been 5 and 6 masters with tons of crew on them. The French were the most peaceful nation, but with the first war of the game directly involving them, the Pirates become the current "most-passive" faction if you will.

Also, after the recent weekend of action, I felt the urge to reveal my strategies for the three fleets under my control. Little did I know how much they would change over the course of these eventful days! Now they are different, so I'm not really disclosing any information that could be useful to Xerecs, whose past strategies I'd love to see if they were recorded.

Strategies of 2/26
Spanish: Try to cut off American access to the island in the southeast. Demand payment from the Americans, and threaten with display of force.
(Mission mostly accomplished; cutting off American access to that island was quickly changed based on other things that I won't reveal.)

Cursed: Kill Cursed Captain Jack. Be extremely aggressive and likely lash out against the Americans and/or the French. Continue the gold system, but buy for war.
(Again, mostly accomplished, but the Cursed still aren't aware of the First Coalition against them (consisting of the Americans, French, and English).)

English: Be cautious and controlled. Continue launching gold ships until the system is massive and the fleet can begin saving gold. Do not engage enemy fleets unless they become hostile. Give the Dreadnought at least 10 extra cannons.
(Mission accomplished, though the Cursed have forced their hand.)

3/9/2016

The action has continued!

The French are the first fleet to go each turn, and their counterattack crippled the San Cristobal, Granada, and Hurucan. However, the fire on the Libellule spread and she was doomed.


The Americans used GWL to give an extra action to the Strongarm, who docked home the French gold gift, denying it from the Spanish! True to their word, they launched the Enterprise with Jonas Richman and other crew, with the likely intent of going after the Cursed.


Disaster for the Spanish! Both the San Cristobal's and Sirviente's fire shot equipment blows up! The Montenez and Reconquistador are ineffective, though the Charlemagne is doomed by the flames.


However, another fight has broken out in the northwest! The Executioner reached English trade and started disrupting it! A canoe was eliminated, but the Executioner was just a distraction! Suddenly, the Ghast's Bell popped out of a nearby fog bank! Using her unique ability, she shot a smokebank out right next to some English ships! Then the hordes came forth! The Sea Hag, Ganon's Phantom, and Needle all appeared through the new fog bank! This was disturbing to the English, since they had spent the game peacefully running treasure. Now the Cursed were at their home island!

However, the fog hoppers hopped out too close to the English. On their turn, the English were able to dismast 3 of the 4 ships and cripple the Needle! The threat was a dangerous one, but the English had the gunships and crews available to put it down before it did any serious damage. In addition, the Granville and Westminster teamed up to hit the Executioner twice.


Here's the whole ocean:


As the battle in the center raged, the Spanish gunners weren't as accurate as their French counterparts. Numerous ships had their fire shot backfire, causing chaos. The San Cristobal, Sirviente, and Hurucan were all sunk in short order. The Spanish, with their great gold system, were eager to replace their losses, hiring the Tasmanian Devil, Forward, Revolution, and El Algeciras towing Diablo.

A broad shot of the entire French/Spanish situation. At the left Spanish gunships are unable to touch the western Paradis. The battle rages in the middle, but more Spanish ships are on the way. To the right, the Superbe, Hercule, and Tartessos are three major ships yet to enter the battle.


The Farore gets involved, but fires are burning on her decks and throughout other French ships.


The Pirates continued their trend of launching 6 masted junks, hiring the Grand Temple and Katsura-chan, Kian Ng, helmsman, oarsman.


This picture only shows a few developments; the Spanish have launched a super-sniper and a medical barge:
El Neptuno + captain, helmsman, exploding shot, fire shot, chain shot
La Manila + captain, helmsman, shipwrights x3, oarsmen x2

In addition, the English captured the fog hoppers the Cursed had sent to attack them.


The French soon lost the Charlemagne, but replaced her with Le Bonaparte and El Cazador's custom French native canoes, which have S+L speed and 3L guns, in addition to the Captain keyword built-in. The canoes were launched at the western Paradis.

This picture shows the chaotic melee. The Spanish have built their second El Puerto Blanco on the island that used to have Paradis de la Mer, as the Spanish try to establish themselves in French waters. The Noble Swan has already docked there to repair a mast she lost to her own fire shot. Using an extra action from Deleflote, Le Gaule has hit the Spanish hard, but on the Spanish turn she came under extremely heavy fire. The Augusta, a ship purchased to expand the new Spanish Empire, was fortunate to have a captain aboard. Roberto Santana (aboard the Soberano del Mar docked at her HI) gave the Augusta +1 to her cannon rolls, and most of them hit! The Villalobos did more damage, while the Cazadora finished off La Corse. Slightly north of the Corse, the Possession has the upper hand against the Argonauta, but El Garante, the Spanish flagship, has sailed up on her starboard quarter. Astern of the Garante, the Proud Tortoise and Colector del Dia have taken out 3 of L'Hercule's masts and set her alight. However, one mast standing meant that she could fire all of her cannons next turn. To the east of her, the Cursed have joined the fray on the outskirts! The Hell Hound used an extra action from Davy Jones to surprise the Superbe, crippling her and eliminating all of her crew! This was rather exciting, as it was the first instance of crew being eliminated specifically for the purpose of feeding Wraith (aboard the nearby Loki's Revenge). Both Wraith and Captain Davy Jones (in the Pirate fleet aboard the Black Heart) were able to possess a French oarsman.


The Pirates built the Devil's Maw on the wild island east of their home island, while the Americans launched the Algiers.

The English continued to bring back their Cursed prizes, and the Executioner was captured!


On the following turn, the French managed to sink the Argonauta! However, their new canoes were relatively ineffective. Much to the dismay of the Spanish, the Hercule and Possession dismasted El Garante! This was a morale blow for the Spanish, seeing their flagship in such dire circumstances. In the end, however, it spurred them on with an even greater hatred of the French than they already felt. The Spanish quickly launched the Trinity at the end of their turn, stationing her at the Castillo west of their HI.

The Cursed purchased some cheap firepower in the form of the Baba Yaga, Last Hope, Whydah, and Mourning Star.


The French were being absolutely worn out, with the Spanish enjoying a significant numerical advantage. The Spanish had a great turn, knocking out 4 of the 5 French canoes, dismasting the Possession and Superbe, and crippling both Le Bonaparte (through a team effort involving the Santa Catalina, Canela, Cordoba, and Tasmanian Devil) and La Richelieu. The Hercule was sunk by the Augusta, which was quickly turning into a Spanish hero ship. To the southeast, the Cervantes has removed the American and French explored markers from that wild island and put a Spanish one there instead, further signalling the expansion of the Spanish Empire. Four Spanish gunships repair at the new Puerto Blanco, and it appears the flagship, El Garante, is safe for now.


This isn't all of the action either; stay tuned for more!

3/12/2016

The Spanish flagship, El Garante, was soon dismasted by the Possession. This was a blow to Spanish morale, but it also served to make the Spanish hate the French even more, spurring them on. The English have towed most of their Cursed prizes back home to repair.


The Spanish continued to press their attack, sinking the Superbe and Richelieu. The Villalobos rammed the Enfant Terrible, dismasting her and eliminating Deleflote, one of the most important French crew! The French launched the eternal Tepant, but they had already lost the battle. To make matters worse, the western Paradis de la Mer was destroyed by a combination of Spanish ships and the Diablo flotilla. The Rosario quickly used Alejandro Malaspina to plant the Spanish flag upon the island. In a morale victory, the Noble Swan started towing El Garante, and it appeared that the Spanish had saved their flagship! Another handful of Spanish ships dismasted the Favori, one of the only remaining French gold runners.


In a huge move, the Cursed Hell Hound used the help of a trade current to catch the Enterprise, board from S, and eliminate all of the American ship's crew! The new Cursed gunships have set a southerly course. In another big move, the remainder of the Cursed's fog hoppers have hopped out of a fog bank near the Pirate HI! The Interloper is looking to use Agnahim's new ability to aid the Cursed gold effort, while hurting their old enemy the Pirates (though actually one of their newer enemies haha).


Seeing an intimidating Pirate fleet assemble off the western side of their HI, the Spanish realized that they were stretched too thin. They decided to have a considerably better Home Fleet for home island defense. They started this new plan by launching 5 ships at the end of their turn. One of them was my custom Nautilus (basically faster with better cannons for more points) with canceller Christian Fiore, a captain, helmsman, shipwright, and oarsman. They also got La Academia and stationed her at the Castillo northwest of their HI, where she couldn't be shot at as long as she stayed docked at the fort. This gave the Spanish some extra defense for their vulnerable gold runners, in addition to the fort itself and the Trinity. They also launched a few other ships at their HI: the 2 masted El Toro, and the treasure-seekers Ventura and Halcon. Knowing UT's had just been put into the mix for the first time, the Spanish were eager to launch the ships with such a valuable spying ability, which they would use to look for enemy ships with UT's. These launchings beefed up the Spanish Home Fleet, but they knew they would need more. Fortunately for them, they had done well to put the gold system in place early on so they could afford to launch multiple ships each turn.

The Cursed launched the Pyre with Papa Doc, who would look to join the Locker and Edward Low in the quest to possess crew. The Jikininki also made an appearance, with the Cursed looking to use her to feed eliminated crew to Wraith. They also built the Dark Knights' Tower, a custom fort from El Cazador.

The English launched HMS King Edward and the Metal Dragon.

This picture simply shows the new stuff.


The French weren't nearly done yet! The Bonaparte was busy repairing, while the Farore made it out of the fog but couldn't quite make it home. This actually meant she was completely doomed, since the strong Spanish presence in the area threatened to take out any ship not docked at the French HI. However, there were signs of hope for France. The Tepant ventured out and damaged the Forward and Cazadora. Two French gold runners were almost home with treasure. However, the Spanish had captured Le Favori, and some of their biggest ships were repairing at the nearby El Puerto Blanco just to the south.


This shows the whole ocean from the same point in time. At the left, the Interloper has sunk the Bloody Jewel (and Jean Laffite), giving the Cursed all of her gold! However, they were about to pay for it dearly, especially after the captains of the squadron forgot to move their ships back into the fog and to safety! Two devastating new customs have been launched: the Pirate ship Smoke's Hand (one of my customs which lets you use certain keywords of your choice) and La Muerta (a custom of El Cazador similar to HMS Endeavour).


The Enterprise was pulled away from her HI by Vaati! This allowed the Hell Hound to sink her! The Americans were really struggling, as they had launched the Enterprise for the express purpose of getting revenge on the Cursed. However, in an ironic twist, the Enterprise had been quickly sunk by the Cursed without doing any damage in return! In the meantime, the Spanish had taken another tribute payment.


The Spanish continued to build up their relatively new Home Fleet. Most of their energies had gone north to win the Battle of the Two Paradises, but now that the main battle was over, some ships were able to return to traditionally Spanish waters. Four gunships sailed off the northwest coast of the Castillo, while the submerged Nautilus and La Muerta stood guard closer to home. The Spanish Empire was in full swing.

Up north, the situation was a bit of a mess, but the Spanish had more than enough ships in the area to have things mostly in their control. Some ships were still in the early stages of towing derelicts and repairing from the battle, while north of El Puerto Blanco, healthier ships continued the fight against the French. At the left, the Revolution and Cordoba frantically try to establish a close blockade, while the north and east sides of the French HI see cannonballs flying everywhere. The Colector desperately tries to cripple the Courageux before she can dock home with gold, but the Frenchman's defensive ability thwarts her plan. In the east, the Tepant is surrounded by Spanish gunships. This would seems to spell the end for her, but Lenoir cancelled the Resolucion's captain, giving the Spanish only 4 shots on the Tepant. 3 of them hit, including the Proud Tortoise's fire shot. However, the Tepant's one mast meant she could return home on her turn to repair. At the upper left, note the escaping Royal Louis and the American ships Louisiana and Carolina, who are making the long journey home after their trip to see the English. That trip to form the First Coalition against the Cursed has mostly been for nought, as the English would have defended their gold runners from the Cursed fog hoppers regardless of any coalition agreement. The Americans, French, and English are allied against the Cursed, but the Spanish onslaught and tribute demands (as well as the Cursed themselves, who have had no contact with the Spanish whatsoever, whether friendly or not) have led to almost nothing being done against the Cursed. In short, the Cursed hate everybody, while the powerful Spanish seek only to expand their empire and conquer the entire sea. Those two factions have really made things difficult for the French, Americans, and to a lesser degree the English.


Another report coming soon!


3/12/2016

After another handful of turns, a few interesting events have unfolded.

The French had some of their ships flee north of their home island! However, the Spanish were relentless! They pressed their advantage, dismasting the Royal Louis and Courageux! The Lyon and Bonaparte also took damage, but quickly returned home to repair. Despite the nearby French HI, the Spanish are still winning the War on France. The American ship Louisiana hit the Revolution with chainshot, so the Spanish decided to punish the Americans (still not declaring war on them of course, as they are essentially a vassal (pun intended) or tributary state to the Spanish) by dismasting the schooner with the Revolution and Villalobos, who was still plaguing the French. At the upper left, note how close the battle has come to English waters. The first UT's have been discovered! The English had a horrible run of UT's, finding Wolves on their southern and eastern wild islands. They also found Rats and Monkey's Paw. They hired Lt. Nigel Hardwicke and Major Peter Sharpe to hunt the Wolves. Hardwicke was successful at Ramsgate, but in this picture you can see that Sharpe has missed his first shot aboard the Galapagos. This delayed the treasure replenishment for an extra turn or two, since the English have the most efficient gold system in the game and by FAR the most gold saved up. At the upper right, it looked like the Royal Louis was headed northeast towards Cursed waters in search of gold (she was originally headed towards that island at the left before the Wolves were found on it). The French are really in trouble, since the Spanish have total control of their southern front; they're running out of places to run.


In the southwest, the Pirates turned their gunships west and/or towards their home island. Whether or not they were planning to attack the Spanish gold system, the new Home Fleet seems to have provided some deterrence. In other news, the fog hopping squadron was nearly lost! The Cursed are discovering how ineffective fog hoppers generally are, losing the Hangman's Joke to Pirate gunships. As stated earlier, the Cursed forgot to move the three ships for a turn, which cost them the Joke and some masts. The Howl was nearly sunk, saved only by Vaati and her fog hopping ability. The Interloper was sunk, but Agnahim's Eternal keyword brought her back to the Cursed HI, where she is now fully repaired. This means that the Cursed have only 2 fog hoppers left, with the rest either sunk or captured by the English.

Speaking of the English, Lord Cutler Beckett and Commodore David Porter had another meeting, which could possibly be their last. Both men agreed that it would be best to send the captured fog hoppers back against the Cursed, to give them some of their own medicine. It was up to the English how they want to do this; they talked about having them pop out near the Cursed HI, or assisting the Americans at their HI. Either way, the English aren't worried about losing the prizes, since they're not English ships and the English crews aren't comfortable on the strange ships in the first place.

On their turn, the Spanish announced that they had made a decision. The Americans were essentially like a colony to them, with tribute payments hindering the growth of the tiny American fleet. However, the Spanish could not afford to fight the approaching Cursed. Interestingly, the Spanish are the only fleet the Cursed have had no contact with, and therefore the only enemy they haven't made. Neither faction is interested in fighting the other right now, though that could change. In addition, the Spanish had just received yet another tribute payment, which actually filled up the cargo holds of both the Principe de Asturias and Espada de Dios, the two principal Spanish enforcers still in the area. Wanting to get the gold home, the Spanish decided to pull out their eastern squadron, not wanting to fight/defend on three fronts at once. The Cursed know they've made too many enemies, but the chaos in the center and the general complacency of the English and Pirates have let the Cursed run free to do whatever they want. It appears they want to eliminate the Americans... the Cursed are coming! The combination of Mimi/Tabby/Vaati yanked the Ghost Walker away from her HI repeatedly, and the Hell Hound capitalized, killing GWL (American Mycron) and eventually sinking the Ghost Walker! The Cursed took it even further, using the Last Hope to ram the Destiny at her HI and eliminate the single American navigator. Other Cursed gunships head south.

Here you can see all of the aforementioned developments, with the Spanish leaving and the Cursed overrunning the area. I'm not a huge fan of trade currents, so I put Celestine's Charts into the mix! The Americans were the first to find it, and it really cleaned up their area, knocking out all of their trade currents! This made the American situation even more deplorable, with no American trade currents, only one ship docked at their HI, and Cursed gunships sailing freely around the waters.


With the War on France mostly under control, the Spanish are for the first time seeing a relatively major influx of ships coming home. This is a welcoming sight to them, as they save gold and plan for the future. The French and Americans have become desperate, but both factions have plenty of fight left in them. The Pirates continue to amass an impressive fleet, while the Cursed have invaded American waters and seem to have no enemies intent on destroying them. The English have been saving for what seems like ages, and are still the most peaceful faction. The next few turns will no doubt see very interesting developments!


3/15/2016

Here, the French have been soundly beaten north of their HI. The Royal Louis was captured, and some Spanish ships have turned for home. Some more UT's have been found, and the English have fully repaired their fog hopper prizes and can use them as a squadron against the hated Cursed. The Spanish found Celestine's Charts, eliminating all of their trade currents! However, they responded with a long-term plan coming to fruition: The Spanish Inquisition!

Inquisition squadron (174 gold)
El Cristal del Obispo + The Inquisitor, Castro (SAT), captain, helmsman (28 )
La Catedral del Mar + de Silva (BA), captain, helmsman (23)
Santos Romanos + captain, helmsman (16)
El Rafael + captain, helmsman, musketeer, shipwright, fire shot (24)
El Rosal + Duque Alfonzo de Castilla, oarsman (22)
Armada (9)
El Extremadura + Guillen, helmsman, oarsman (23)
El Tirador + captain, helmsman, grape shot (14)
Martillo de Dios + captain, helmsman, shipwright (15)


This picture shows the Cursed and English turns. The Cursed have continued to send their battle squadron south, further and further into American waters. The Poor Adams has stolen the only coin on the American home island. After it was placed on a different wild island, the Cursed also found Celestine's Charts! Not only does the UT level the playing field, but it also makes the ocean look much better and less convoluted.


This gives an idea of the giant size of the Spanish fleet, with not all of their ships shown here. (Ship and point count coming in the next few days!) Even with 5 home island expansions, there is almost no space to dock at the home island, especially with the launch of the Inquisition.


The French continue to fight, but the odds are against them. The Tepant and Enfant sail out, but both are quickly dismasted. Most Spanish ships not running gold are generally headed west. However, the real excitement here lays to the southeast! The English loosed the captured fog hoppers on their former owners, helping the Americans as promised! Mycron gave the Ganon's Phantom an extra action, but she only hit once on the Baba Yaga. In addition, Vaati pulled the Destiny away from her HI, and the Last Hope sunk her! This left no American presence at their own home island.


MUCH more to come!

3/16/2016

The French sailed the Tepant and Enfant Terrible back home to repair, while the Lyon sailed out in search of gold. She wouldn't find any however, because the Colector del Dia quickly shot off two of her masts. It was obvious that despite the considerably diminished Spanish presence in the area, Spain was not willing to let France go easily.

The Cursed caught up to their captured fog hoppers, and the Baba Yaga blasted them to pieces while the Jikininki rammed the Algiers.

The Spanish had been amassing their home fleet and heading west for a while now, and finally they continued their imperial conquest!

THE SPANISH DECLARE WAR ON THE PIRATES!!

Similar to the Battle of the Two Paradises, the Spanish got things started by attacking the nearby Pirate fort. As a result, this battle will probably be known as the Battle of the Devil's Maw. The San Salvador was the first ship in action, quickly followed by other Spanish gunships. However, most Spanish ships couldn't reach the battle area right away, but the Spanish had already decided that it was the best time to strike. Xerecs would later reveal that the Pirates had been planning to attack the Spanish (which prompted the Home Fleet's construction), but different things got in the way.

The Carnage and Fleur de la Mort were quickly dismasted, but both fleets had a lot of ships on the way. This has all the makings to be one of the all-time great battles!

Here you can see the battle's start at the Devil's Maw, with tons of Spanish ships trying to flood the battle area from the east.


Here you can see how crowded the battle area in the southwest is going to get. The English have docked home their flagship, HMS Apollo, in order to give her extra cannons just like they did with the Dreadnought.


The French continue to fight, taking a mast off the Colector and Tartessos. Spain is sending a lot of the veteran ships of the French war and the blockade southwest towards their new enemy.

The Spanish/Pirate war is just beginning! Here, both factions have taken another turn. The Pirates sunk the Habana, while also doing major damage to the Canela, San Salvador, Neptuno, Augusta, and Reconquistador. The Grand Path, Smoke's Hand, and Black Pearl used double actions to get right in the thick of it. The Spanish counterattack was successful, eliminating all of the Devil's Maw's cannons. Christian Fiore (on the submerged Nautilus) cancelled the Carnage's ability (which provides her with Eternal when a captain is aboard), allowing the Spanish to sink her. The Augusta missed against the Fool's Hope, but the Neptuno helped her out with an improbable 2/2 with both exploding and fire shot, setting the big ship ablaze!


In the far north, the Carolina has been joined by HMS Granville and HMS Westminster to finally take action against the Cursed as part of the First Coalition. The captured Executioner is on her way to join them, and she would make very fast progress in the next few turns due to Fantasma's SAT.


The Spanish have sunk Le Lyon, knocking the French fleet down to just 4 ships. The Americans only have 3 ships left after the Mourning Star sunk the Algiers. The Mississippi and Frontier are hiding in fog banks from the Cursed, who were finishing off the captured fog goons sent there by the English. The Ganon's Phantom sank, and the Cursed had sailed almost to the southeastern-most part of the sea in their assault on the Americans! The Cursed have sent the Locker and Pyre west, where some of the faster and more durable Spanish gold runners have gone north to explore formerly French islands. Ominously, the Interloper and Howl have moved into a fog bank near the Cursed HI, as the remains of the fog squadron are ready to hunt again. The Spanish rolled successfully to scuttle the Royal Louis; although they wanted more ships, she was holding the Tartessos back from more important matters. The Spanish continued to clear out of "French" waters while the Apollo and Carbon Charlie looked to eliminate bad UT's the English have found to give the Apollo extra cannons (turning a negative into a positive).


The second war of the game continues! The Spanish have sunk the Smoke's Hand and dismasted the Fool's Hope. The Grand Path and Black Pearl were both burning fiercely. The Canela and Reconquistador were towed a bit out of harm's way; the Spanish know that to achieve the size of the Spanish Empire they foresee, they will have to save as many ships as possible to keep up their huge fleet.


Xerecs and I are actually playing another turn as I post this; another post coming soon!

3/19/2016

The Pirates began to retreat! Most of the remaining Pirate gunships headed west, back towards their home island. The Spanish, however, pressed their attack, sinking the Fool's Hope and setting fire to the Golden Medusa. Tia Dalma was cancelled by Christian Fiore on the submerged Nautilus. Through the gun smoke of battle, the Spanish didn't realize that they were still shooting at the Flying Dutchman, and she returned to the home island via Eternal. Spanish derelicts are towed to clear room for the advancing gunships. However, the Cursed would soon throw a wrench into their plans...


The Cursed have attacked! In a potentially very bad decision, the Cursed sailed the Mourning Star up to Fortaleza Dorada and opened fire! THE SPANISH DECLARE WAR ON THE CURSED! (Even though the Cursed initiated the conflict, they didn't declare war; it was supposed to be just a raid.) The Spanish are now at war with the French, Pirates, and Cursed! The Cursed also revealed their intentions with the Interloper and Howl, their two remaining fog hoppers. Both hopped out near the Santa Isabel and Saragoza, with the intention of striking the Spanish gold system, the heart of their empire!


In addition, the Cursed used Mimi to yank the Carolina toward the Gerudo Fortress, where two of the schooner's masts were shot off.


North of the French home island, the Bonaparte and Tartessos were locked in battle. Each ship was hurting, and the Tasmanian Devil missed twice on the Bonaparte, keeping the annoying ship alive. Between the Cursed attack on their now-undefended eastern front and the defiance of the French fleet, the Spanish realized that they had sent too many ships to attack the formidable Pirates. Especially with the Pirates losing the Battle of the Devil's Maw and appearing to be in retreat, the Spanish have sent some ships back east and a few to the north.

The Revenant did some damage to the Galeon de Gibraltar, but was quickly dismasted by the horde of Spanish gunships.


The Spanish hired some Jade Rebellion privateers to help their eastern defenses, with the East Wind and Black Lotus joining the fight. However, the Cursed sunk the recently launched Santa Ana (SCS version), while the Interloper sunk the Picador, giving the Cursed two valuable coins via Agnahim's ability! The Cursed recaptured a few of their fog hoppers, while the Whydah looked to join the Mourning Star in bombarding Fortaleza Dorada. In addition, the English had some plans up their sleeve regarding the First Coalition, though they didn't tell Commodore David Porter exactly what they were.




At this point, I was able to do another epic point and ship count! As usual, here are the numbers in the order of play:

Ship and point counts at the beginning of play on 3/18/2016:

French: 4 ships, 54 points
Pirates: 17 ships, 351 points
Americans: 3 ships, 50 points
Spanish: 76 ships, 1,212 points
Cursed: 27 ships, 517 points
English: 37 ships, 595 points
Total: 2,779 points
(164 ships!)

WOW! At the beginning of another day's action we were literally 68 points away from breaking the all-time record of 2,846 total points, held by my Economy Edition game from summer 2015. How incredible! However, as I said in an earlier post, that EE game likely peaked at around 3,200 or 3,300 total points a handful of turns after the final point count. Still, the game is at a massive size. However, it's also obvious that the fleets are radically different in size. The Pirates have the highest points per ship number, at 21 (rounded).

Here is each fleet's point total as a percentage of all points in play, rounded to the nearest whole number:
French: 2%
Pirates: 13%
Americans: 2%
Spanish: 44%
Cursed: 19%
English: 21%

Spanish Empire indeed! The Spanish have a higher percentage share of the points in play than any other two fleets combined, not to mention having almost half (76/164=46%) of the total ships afloat. At 76 ships, they've cemented their place as the second-largest fleet I've ever managed, behind only the massive Pirate fleet from Economy Edition. Imagine a twelve hundred point fleet! The French and Americans are hanging on by a thread, while the middle three fleets continue to have some success in general. In addition, it's worth noting that my turns take so much more time than Xerecs' because I literally control about 84% of the points in play! As of this point count I have to move 140 ships each turn.



The Bonaparte returned home once again to repair, while the Enfant Terrible set out. The Tasmanian Devil shielded the Tartessos and Colector from the French as no less than seven Spanish gunships sailed north to contain the French and bring Spanish dominance back to the area. While fighting on three different fronts, the Spanish would have to manage each fleet appropriately. They had learned from their mistake of sending too many ships to attack the Pirates, and they were determined not to make the same mistake again.


The Pirates launched the Mobilis with a helmsman, and Calypso aboard the Black Heart created two new whirlpools! The Pirates still appeared to be running from the Spanish, though one of their strategies would soon be revealed. Here, the Spanish have captured the Revenant (who lost all of her crew to the Inquisitor), and they intend to use her as a guard ship. Other Spanish ships continue to advance west through Pirate waters. In this picture alone over 15 Spanish ships have captains, with a few HI raiders and flotillas among the others.


At the end of their turn at Fortaleza Dorada in the east, the Spanish launched their best gunship: El Acorazado! They were going to wait longer to launch her, but the sudden Cursed attack on their undefended eastern front forced them to take desperate measures. They crewed her with my favorite crew setup for her: Luis Zuan (MI version), Nemesio Diaz, Joaquin Vega, Duque Marcus Vaccaro, helmsman, oarsman. If the Cristal del Obispo can make it over to the Acorazado, they'll swap the oarsman for Castro, making the setup complete. However, in the meantime, the Acorazado serves as an extremely intimidating presence; her power and history as arguably the best gunship in the entire game sent all of the nearby Cursed ships sailing in the other direction immediately. In a huge game like this one, her presence diminishes simply because of the sheer size of the game, but the Acorazado still commands the utmost respect from every ship on the sea. The Acorazado becomes THE Spanish flagship of their entire fleet, with the Garante moving to second-in-command. In addition to the Acorazado, the Spanish also launched the Corazon Dorado with a captain, helmsman, and exploding shot.

Two other interesting developments in this picture: the Black Lotus had set the Loki's Revenge aflame with fire shot, making the ship a floating time bomb. However, Keith Atkinson's reroll (a custom Cursed crew from Xerecs) saved the ship by putting out the fire! The Loki's Revenge then sacced one of her possessed oarsmen to move 4S while dismasted! She moved towards Cursed waters and a friendly fort. Also, notice the Cursed fog hoppers going right back into the fog: La Muerta approaches. Similar to the legendary HMS Endeavour, La Muerta is the most dangerous Spanish ship afloat, capable of eliminating two masts with every hit. She's also crewed extremely well and carries Metal Hull. The Santa Isabel was soon going to leave the Spanish home island with the Martyr's Amulet aboard, while decreases Cursed cannon rolls against the ship carrying it. If the Muerta can get both the Amulet and Metal Hull aboard, she will be completely immune to Cursed cannon fire!!


The English have launched HMS Swallow with plenty of good crew aboard; she was launched to become the next ship Carbon Charlie added cannons to. However, this time the negative UT's Xerecs added to the mix sort of backfired, since Charlie can eliminate UT's for cannons. This led to a strange situation where Charlie was making cannons out of odd materials rather than precious metals, including wood, Rats, and a Monkey's Paw!


The French continued to repair and regroup, but it's not as if things are looking up for them. In addition to the veteran Spanish gunships returning from Pirate waters and the northern Puerto Blanco, the newly repaired Neptuno and Granada returned as well! The Granada's crew has a special venom reserved for the French; she was the ship that fired the first shots of the war at the original Paradis. Definitely not a good sign for France.

After seeming timid against the Spanish, the Pirates have revealed their plan! Calypso made two more whirlpools, but to the surprise of the Spanish, one of them appeared next to the eastern Puerto Blanco, just north of the recent Cursed attack on Fortaleza Dorada! Not only that, but the Grand River and Harbinger both moved through the whirlpool and got extra actions to smash the Spanish in their own waters! The Grand River eliminated two canoes (including one carrying Elizabeth's Piece of Eight), while the Harbinger bombarded El Puerto Blanco and destroyed the fort's gun armament. The Spanish are much more concerned with the southern Fortaleza Dorada, since it was given a fort upgrade relatively early in the game and thus they have 50 gold invested in it. Speaking of Fortaleza Dorada, the Mourning Star's second broadside knocked that fort down to one cannon before the Acorazado showed up and scared all of the Cursed ships away. And speaking of the Acorazado, she connected twice on the Harbinger as the Battle of El Puerto Blanco began! The Corazon also landed a couple hits, including a devastating exploding shot. The Spanish weren't nearly done in the area; the Black Lotus captured the Mourning Star while the East Wind sank the Jikininki. At the end of their turn, the Spanish spent almost all of their remaining gold out of necessity and bought three ships. The first two were El Alma and El Paso, two ships the Spanish had planned to launch with the Acorazado (with Nemesio Diaz) to form a very small sort of "canceller squadron". Last but not least, they launched the first Viking ship of the game. The Naegling comes into play with Shayna Deux and Sigurd Andersen in addition to a helmsman. The Naegling is the most accurate and devastating Viking longship, and Andersen gives the Spanish a fleet admiral crew, something they've been jealous to have between all of the similar crew in the Pirate and English fleets. Also notice the Frontier finally venturing out of the fog.


The Howl and Interloper returned home, giving the nervous Saragoza a chance to do the same. The Muerta and other Spanish gunships are making their way east to combat not only the Pirate threat but also the fleeing Cursed. Spain's extremely ambitious imperial goals forces them to fight on three fronts at once, which they're still getting used to. However, they've grown as a nation and continue to get better at managing their Empire.

The Spanish built a new Castillo del Infanta just west of their first one, on the island where the Devil's Maw had been destroyed. The new fort was built for three purposes, all of which flowed into one another: expand the Empire, provide a base of operations from which to attack the Pirates, and serve as a repair station for damaged ships. Four Spanish gunships are already docked at the busy new fort, with their crews eager to repair. The captured Revenant has also been towed there, while the Canela has deposited a shipwright inside. Xerecs and I have agreed to have shipwrights give forts repair actions while stationed there. At this point, the Battle of the Devil's Maw had ended in a conclusive Spanish victory, though the Pirates kept their numbers up by not turning the battle into a major fleet action.

El Garante (and her guard ship the Noble Swan) turned east away from the Pirate war. The Cristal del Obispo, lead ship of the Inquisition, took over as flagship of the western fleet. The dynamics of world power were shifting, and the threat of Calypso was troublesome, even for an Empire as great as the current Spanish one.


As much as the Pirates and Spanish were sharing the spotlight, the English were executing on plans of their own! Their plans came together faster than expected, and the English were happy to finally strike directly at the heart of the Cursed! That's right, it's time for the Cursed to pay for what they've done! With France and America badly hurting at the hands of the Spanish and Cursed, England had no choice but to lead the so-far-inactive First Coalition into battle!

It began in the north. The English wanted to give the Cursed a taste of their own medicine, similar to using their own fog hoppers against them. The captured Executioner received an SAT from El Fantasma, and she sped into Cursed waters, sinking the Dire Miralis and damaging the Lamprey! The Westminster and Granville (the ships that teamed up to capture the Executioner) sailed up to Gerudo Fortress and poured in some broadsides, taking out more than half the fort's armament.

The next segment occurred in the southeastern reaches of Cursed waters. The Oxford and Durham, with recently hired oarsmen aboard to help with whirlpool troubles, sped through a whirlpool near the English home island. They emerged from the northeastern whirlpool, near the other Cursed fort! The Durham got an AA (Admiral's Action) from Beckett and she proceeded to STUN the Cursed by sinking the Loki's Revenge!! The LR had a ton of possessed crew from Wraith aboard, not to mention being one of the most dangerous gunships in the game, capable of ripping off 12 shots at 2L in a single turn! This was a big blow to Cursed morale; just a few turns previously they had been in control of the entire far eastern chunk of the sea. Then they attacked the Spanish, and once scared away by the Acorazado and company, turned for home. However, they didn't expect an English sneak attack! If this proves anything, it's that you shouldn't attack the Spanish Empire. They WILL declare war and get payback. If the Cursed hadn't attacked and gotten the Loki's Revenge in trouble, she wouldn't be sailing home so fast and in danger from the English.

To finish the English three-pronged assault, the Dreadnought revealed the secret weapon, found by the Lord Kenyon: Necklace of the Sky! Suddenly the Dreadnought was transported all the way across the northern ocean into Cursed waters, where she docked at the middle Cursed gold island! This stunned the Cursed as well, as they were the ones expected to use teleportation tactics. The Dreadnought carries with her one of the most formidable combination of crew and cannon in the history of naval warfare, as the Cursed are about to find out...


Since this picture, Xerecs has played another turn. The Grand River sailed right back into Calypso's whirlpool near the eastern Puerto Blanco, and used the SAT to sink the Cervantes! This was actually a relief for the Spanish, for they were afraid she would go on a suicide run and take out a bunch of canoes and hurt the Spanish gold system directly. The Frontier is making a break for the American home island, but the Hell Hound is hot on her tail. The Harbinger couldn't make it back into the whirlpool, but at least her fire didn't spread.


What more is going to happen here?!

(Here are some of the recent strategies for my fleets)
Strategies of 3/6
Spanish: Demand payment from the Americans, and threaten with display of force. Drive the French back towards their HI and establish dominance over their waters. (Save for the Inquisition) Demand payment from the French. Establish a HI defense fleet.
Mission accomplished, though the French have no gold to make tribute payments with.

Cursed: Be extremely aggressive and lash out against the Americans and/or the French. Consider attacking the English through various means. Let the Hell Hound kill to feed Wraith. Save for fort upgrades, and then use them to launch attacks against nearby ships. Continue the gold system, but buy for war.
Partially successful, though they attacked the Spanish instead of the French. The English appeared too powerful after the failed fog hopper expedition, and Wraith is gone. They aren't saving for fort upgrades, but for something else entirely...

English: Be cautious and controlled. Save gold. Do not engage enemy fleets unless they become hostile. Use Carbon Charlie to give gunships extra cannons.
Simple but effective. Bad UT's have delayed them a bit, but between turning a negative into a positive by giving those UT's to Charlie and also leading the First Coalition, things are looking good for England right now.

3/19/2016

A few more developments after another turn: the Cazadora used Sigurd Andersen's Admiral Action to dismast the Queen of Sheba; the Spanish gold spyers had seen some nice coins aboard the galley.

The English smashed the Cursed! Both forts were destroyed, including the eastern one that had been upgraded! The Cursed know they need to launch in order to repel the English attack. In addition, the Poor Adams was crippled by the Durham, while the Oxford stole Metal Hull from the Maman Brigitte. The Executioner sent the Lamprey to the bottom.




3/21/2016

Before play started, the Cursed spent every penny in their possession (261 gold) and launched the majority of their planned FEAR squadron!

Dragmirius + Sargasso Calhoun (SAT), The Organist (reroll), Dark Knights (Marine/+1 boarding), captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, oarsman (49)
Monkey’s Paw + Dark Knights (Reroll/Kian Ng), captain, helmsman (29)
Flying Dutchman + Sammy the Skull, helmsman, firepot specialist, shipwright, oarsman (30)
Sautez le Requin + captain, helmsman (21)
Demise + Ghirahim, helmsman, firepot specialist, oarsman (32)
Nayru’s Ire + Veran, Pipe Organ, helmsman (37)
Boneyard + Devereaux, captain, helmsman, oarsman (23)
Verdani + captain, helmsman (21)
Twinrova (10)
Dread Isle (4 gold)
+ captain and helmsman on the HI

The Cursed needed better home defense, and this was the way to do it!

The French still fought the Spanish around their home island. The Tepant took three masts off the Revolution, while the Enfant Terrible had almost reached a wild island in the east; it has been a long while since a French ship carried gold.

The Spanish were growing more and more weary of the French resistance, and decided to become even more serious in their efforts. The Proud Tortoise moved off the Bonaparte's stern and hit with fire shot, while the Ebro's captain was cancelled by Lenoir aboard the Tepant. However, the Tasmanian Devil maneuvered to get 3 guns in range of the Tepant, and 2 connected. Then, the Neptuno got involved in the action! Using her sniping ability to great effect against the Bonaparte (the perfect ship to snipe at), 1 of her 2 shots landed, with the exploding shot taking out the old French chieftain and spreading fires throughout the Bonaparte's decks! To finish the aggressive assault, the Cordoba rammed the Coeur du Lion derelict and eliminated her navigator, allowing the Granada to capture her and leave no ships docked at the French HI!


In the southwest, the Spanish/Pirate war continued to have small and slow developments; the Pirates appear to be stalling for time. Each side had a relatively major victory however: the Flying Dutchman dismasted the Estrella de la Manana (one of Spain's most accurate gunships), but the Cazadora sunk the Queen of Sheba, who went down with admiral crew Kheir and 16 gold aboard. The Spanish also used teamwork to dismast the Flying Dutchman. The Espada de Dios has now taken 2 of the Pirates' 3 remaining gold coins, though the Cassandra is almost home with more. Spanish ships continued to repair at the new Castillo, while the Garante and Noble Swan turned back to the west after hearing of the successes against the French and Cursed in the north and east respectively. All is well in the Spanish Empire.


In the far north, the Carolina received an abandoned shipwright from the Edinburgh Trader, allowing her to repair without having to sail back to the American HI. The English continue to collaborate with the Americans as part of the First Coalition, though it's essentially a two-nation agreement right now due to the Spanish pushing France to the brink of elimination. The Frontier and Mississippi have ventured out of the fog, and after a rather unsuccessful attack by the Hell Hound, the Frontier is almost home!

Between the vastly improved Spanish fleet in the east and the English attack back home, all Cursed forces are being withdrawn from the southeast. The Hell Hound and Last Hope have the best chance of making it back; El Corazon Dorada set the Whydah alight before she sped off with the help of a trade current. The southeastern expedition was mostly a failure for the Cursed, and could even be deemed a fiasco. They sailed south with the intent of eliminating the Americans, which they couldn't do. As a result, they took out their anger on the (seemingly) vulnerable Spanish, who showed their colossal power in this game by quickly re-asserting dominance in the far east, sinking the Baba Yaga and recently capturing the Mourning Star and Sea Hag. That same counterattack was what also led to the English sinking the Loki's Revenge, Davy Jones' second-in-command.

At the end of their turn the Spanish launched 4 new ships. La Monarca was launched at Fortaleza Dorada to give them yet another gold runner, while three 4 masters were launched at the Castillo to the west. With the newly launched Santa Ana (CC version), Matthias Vospero, and Salte el Tiburon in play, Spain has now used every single 4 and 5 masted ship at their disposal except for the OE Resolucion, which can't be launched until the SM version is sunk.

In addition to the above developments, note how quickly the Spanish Empire can react to threats. Just a few turns ago, the eastern Puerto Blanco and Fortaleza Dorada were in serious trouble from the Pirates and Cursed. Now, the area is swarming with Spanish power: probably the two best ships of all 150+ ships afloat, El Acorazado and La Muerta, have been joined by another 5 master, El Cristal del Obispo. The Alma and Paso bump the canceller count to 3, while support sails around them in the form of the Corazon, Principe, Naegling, East Wind, and Black Lotus.


Unfortunately for the English, the Cursed Fear squadron got right to work. The Dragmirius got the SAT from Sargasso Calhoun, sinking HMS Durham and greatly angering the English. The other English ships were lucky to escape, with the Oxford being given an Admiral's Action (AA) to take the whirlpool back home. The Dreadnought's Eye of Insanity was used to copy Davy Jones' All-Powerful, allowing the lumbering battleship to move 4S and accompany the Granville and Westminster back to the west. The Cursed dismasted the Executioner and plan to recapture their first true gunship of this game.


Here's the entire ocean. If you haven't noticed it already, check out the deckplate disparity around the edges. The Pirate fleet is at the lower left, but it very quickly turns to Spanish... and more Spanish... and more Spanish, all the way up to the three remaining American deckplates at the far right. South of their HI, the Spanish have needed to go 4 deep with deckplates, running into the ocean itself! The English and Cursed fleets are quite large; the eight new gunships of the Fear squadron are obvious from all the crew chips just to the upper left of the Cursed HI.


Soon after play for the weekend ended, an urgent letter from Lord Mycron arrived upon the deck of the Carolina, where it would be read by Commodore David Porter.

"Dear Commodore David Porter,

Our worst fears have been realized... the Cursed have suddenly launched a considerable battle fleet and all hope has abandoned our small eastern squadron... we hope to strengthen our alliance soon, but the Cursed are far stronger than we anticipated... we lost one of our finest ships, the Durham, to these fiends. This angers us immensely, and we've already called upon the Barbary Corsairs, Vikings, and our old friends in the Jade Rebellion to help us. They'll be arriving shortly to reinforce our position, but we hoped that our American allies could help in some way as well... if a main force is sent due east along the northern coast of this troubled ocean we think the possibility of an American force coming up from the south could either provide a distraction or vice versa with your force hitting their trade.

Rampant rumours have reached us regarding a Cursed attack on the Spanish Fortaleza Dorada... we've been told the Spanish are even more angry at the Cursed than they are at the Pirates, who they're also at war with... we know you've had trouble with Spain, but if they can be reasoned with, I can't imagine the Cursed being able to repel a 3 pronged attack, especially when they're all cooped up in that demonic corner of theirs...

Good day to you; we hope your ships are luckier than ours!

Lord Mycron"

Porter would respond quickly:

"Dear Lord Mycron

It troubles me to hear this, as it is one of my worst fears as well. Indeed, the Cursed fiends have attacked the Spanish Fortaleza, and they are beside themselves in a rage, however I fear their lust for gold my inhibit our ability to call forth a battle fleet. Nonetheless I shall try to reason with them, and I shall contact what remains of our allies the French. I suspect the Cursed would be hard pressed indeed to repel a three pronged, or even four pronged attack, however it may take time to raise the necessary funds to launch such an attack, however we will try to reason with the Spanish admiralty and see what can be done.

Good day to you,

Commodore David Porter."

"Dear Porter,

Just since my last letter was sent out, from our spies we've heard that the new Spanish admiral is Luis Zuan, as he is the commander of El Acorazado, the new Spanish flagship. We may have more spies than your fleet possesses simply because of the size of our respective fleets. In addition, we've heard that Zuan is more reasonable than the former Spanish admiral (who may be on the Garante; perhaps your past experience with the Spanish gives you such knowledge). However, ever since we heard wrongly that the Spanish had given you Americans gold, we realize we must be cautious with such findings. That said, our hope is that Zuan is at least willing to listen, unlike the first Spanish admiral that gave you such trouble. If any ills befall you on accord of our devious spies where Zuan turns out to be just as harsh as the last admiral, we are truly sorry.

Lord Mycron"

"Dear Lord Mycron,

Thank you for understanding. Once my ship has been repaired, I will set a course toward American waters. I am hoping the Spanish, and Zuan, are willing to listen as well.

Commodore David Porter."

3/23/2016

The latest point count revealed that the game has exceeded 3,000 total points!!

French: 3 ships, 50 points
Pirates: 15 ships, 285 points
Americans: 3 ships, 48 points
Spanish: 88 ships, 1,423 points
Cursed: 28 ships, 622 points
English: 37 ships, 603 points
Total: 174 ships, 3,031 points

3/28/2016

CG1 has continued! Despite only one more turn being played, major developments unfolded!

The French continued to fight back, but they are extremely close to being eliminated by the Spanish! The Tepant was dismasted by the Ebro and Tasmanian Devil. However, the Bonaparte was docked at her home island. The Spanish had sent reinforcements for just this purpose. The Neptuno and Augusta rammed the Bonaparte derelict and killed her captain. Then, in a very fitting end for the obnoxious ship, she was captured by none other than the Granada, the Spanish ship that started this long war!

France holds on for dear life, with 2 ships remaining:


The Spanish see the Pirates as cowards, as they've done almost nothing but run away. Spain punished them, sinking the Flying Dutchman (Fiore on the submerged Nautilus cancelled Eternal), dismasting the Mermaid and Banshee's Cry, and setting fire to the Lady's Scorn. To add insult to injury, the Espada de Dios and Bahama stole the only 2 coins on the Pirate home island.


Things were also happening in the east. The Americans managed to get the Frontier home while the Cursed were still running away! They used her gold to buy the USS Morning Star. The Corazon Dorado has sunk the Whydah, but Davy Jones gave the Hell Hound an extra action, so she's safe for now. The Last Hope has made it to the fort, but the Spanish appear to be serious about their declaration of war - note their small but extremely impressive line of battle. Those three 5 masters are La Muerta, El Cristal del Obispo, and El Acorazado, three of the most powerful ships on the sea! The Spanish are looking to have other ships join them as they sail north. The Spanish launched two ships at the end of their turn: the Cazador del Pirata and Magdalena.


In a morale blow to the Pirates, the Cursed moved the Black Heart off the map! She was eliminated with Calypso, Captain Davy Jones, and tons of possessed crew aboard. The Cursed were tired of their crew being used by another nation, and they were wary of Calypso's power to easily strike the Cursed gold system. In addition, they were already at war with the First Coalition and Spain - the last thing they can afford is a powerful Pirate fleet to make it 4 on 1!

The Cursed spent all of their 21 gold to launch the Spilled Salt with a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist. From now on they're planning to launch the remainder of their planned Fear squadron in chunks. They also recaptured the Executioner, which I believe is the only ship to change hands twice in this game so far.

The English took their turn, getting gold and starting to give the Shetland extra cannons. All seemed well in the northwest as the English appeared content to remain the richest nation.

Suddenly, the English stunned the Cursed by turning their ships around and attacking! After seeing the numbers disadvantage, the Westminster, Granville, and Dreadnought had turned to flee, but now they turned around once more, this time to face the Cursed head on! Both admiral crew had rolled 6's, which meant that all 3 ships could move and shoot twice, as the Dreadnought used the Eye of Insanity to copy Davy Jones' All-Powerful.

The Westminster was the first ship in action, blasting a mast off the Monkey's Paw and another off the Sautez le Requin. The Sautez also lost her helmsman. The Granville shot two masts off the Sea Monkey and rammed another off the Tenfold, damaging Cursed trade. Then it was the Dreadnought's turn.

As I may have mentioned a while back, the Dreadnought had been given no less than 10 extra cannons from Carbon Charlie's ability, over the course of 10 turns. She also had two of my custom crew aboard, which when combined with her oarsman and ship ability, makes her one of those "Eternal god ships". Just to make it even more over-the-top, Peter Sharpe added a Marine crew to the onslaught. The Dreadnought totaled 16 cannons, with all of them shooting at rank-2. However, her speed was still slow, so her first action simply sunk the already damaged Sea Monkey. However, her second action put her in position to rake both the Monkey's Paw and Nayru's Ire by the bows. The cancellers cancelled each other out, and the Dreadnought unleashed a full broadside! The immense firepower sank the Nayru's Ire outright and nearly dismasted the Monkey's Paw!


The English had dealt the Cursed a major blow. In addition, they've become the default leader of the First Coalition. The English won't run from a fight!

However, the English weren't even done! Mycron gave an extra action to the Swallow, who appears to be heading east towards Cursed waters. She carries 5 extra cannons from Charlie for 10 total, in addition to the Power Cannons UT. Between the UT, her speed (S+L+S with a helmsman), and Blake's SAT, she has the greatest overall striking range of any ship in the game right now.

As they had talked about with Commodore David Porter, the English then spent a bunch of gold (209 to be exact) to hire minor faction help in the war against the Cursed! The new ships were launched at Fort Brompton, the closest English island to Cursed waters.

Nubian Prince + captain (18 )
Ivory Star + captain (15)
Meshud + captain (14)
Tiger’s Eye + Murat Rais, captain (19)
Muninn + Count Gustov, captain, helmsman (29)
Huginn + captain, helmsman (20)
Hrunting + captain, helmsman (22)
Grand Dynasty + captain, helmsman (20)
Terror + captain, helmsman (21)
Hephaestus + captain, helmsman (19)
Divine Dragon + captain, helmsman (12)

In addition, the English launched HMS King George III at their home island and also built Fort Royal on the other wild island they control. (Both of those pieces are customs of El Cazador.) This brought total English expenditures of this turn to 232 gold.


England was showing her might, but not nearly her full might. As of 2 weeks ago, they had accumulated more gold than any other fleet that I've ever controlled in Pirates. For those of you that remember, that means they had more than the 549 gold that the Pirates used in last summer's Economy Edition to launch the HI raiding squadron! Though they just spent over 200 of it, they probably have even more than anyone realizes...


4/15/2016

Play finally resumed, and the French have been eliminated!!

The French fought gallantly at the Battle of the Two Paradises, but eventually fell to the superior Spanish fleet, being driven back to their home island. The French continued to dog the Spanish with quick and effective raids, fighting to the last ship. The Spanish suffered a setback and almost lost control of the area when they sent too many gunships southwest to wage war against the Pirates. However, Spain quickly realized their mistake and sent reinforcements to take out the French once and for all. The Bonaparte and Tepant made the war last much longer than Spain expected, but both ships have finally been captured, with the Enfant Terrible being sunk. Spain has won the War on France!

Here's the now-desolate center area, deprived of French trade currents via Celestine's Charts. The French HI converts to a regular wild island.


Spain was also continuing her aggressive westward expansion. Spanish gunships have reached the western reaches of the sea, where the Pirate Grand Temple ran into trouble. Looking to the east, notice Spain's impressive supply chain of fresh ships ready for action.


However, the biggest excitement of the day concerned the mounting tension in the northeast. England was leading the "First Coalition" (now essentially devoid of the French and Americans) into battle from the west, while an extremely impressive Spanish squadron sailed up from the south. The Westminster was affected by Fear to the point where she could only fire in place, but further damaged the Sautez le Requin. The Granville failed to ram another mast off the Tenfold, but the Dreadnought easily sunk the Sea Monkey and Fallen Angel. In the meantime, the Cursed were gathering their best ships to the south at their fort, ready to take on the Spanish. However, La Muerta had both Metal Hull and the Martyr's Amulet aboard, making her almost immune to Cursed cannon fire! The Acorazado required 3 hits just to eliminate her first mast, and the Spanish had 3 cancellers in the area to the Cursed 1. Things were not looking good at all for the Cursed.




The Spanish continue to press their attack! The Pirate Grand Temple effectively used reverse captain to derelict three Spanish ships in two turns, but has finally been dismasted by the Spanish force. Three Spanish gunships have sailed around the north side of the Pirate HI while others go to the south, creating a pincer movement in the next few turns. The Babieca used a trade current to dismast and burn the Swift, but the galley was able to dock home her gold on the next turn with help from admiral crew Swann. The Asesino and Villalobos have taken damage, but the Lady's Scorn suffered worse. Pirate waters continue to be overrun by the Spanish fleet.


The Spanish finally launched the rare version of the San Cristobal after the LE version was sunk in the Battle of the Two Paradises. They also launched the San Estaban, the luckiest ship of my Economy Edition game. However, the Americans made strides as well, launching the Chesapeake and Lynx. However, Admiral Zuan has issued a chilling command from the Acorazado, seeing how weak the Cursed are: "wipe out the Americans before they become stronger." Zuan said this after the Spanish soundly crushed the Cursed squadron south of the Cursed fort.

The Cursed had known to attack first, but the Dragmirius and Hell Hound could only respectively sink the Extremadura and dismast the Corazon Dorado, not nearly enough to win the battle. The Acorazado dismasted the Last Hope (who was later sunk by the Paso) while Diaz cancelled out the Demise's cancelling ability. This gave the Muerta free reign, with no Cursed canceller to cancel her captain or ship ability. She sunk the Dragmirius and dismasted the Demise! The Boneyard was crippled by the Cristal del Obispo and Principe de Asturias. The Alma and Naegling teamed up to dismast the Hell Hound. The Cursed have lost the Battle of Dread Isle almost as soon as it began. It's not over yet, for the Divine Dragon and Flying Dutchman are about to get into action, but the Cursed are finished.


In terms of the English, the Granville and Westminster were inevitably sunk, but the Dreadnought obliterated the Twinrova and Spilled Salt, while the English minor faction squadron continued sailing towards the Cursed.




4/16/2016

War continued in the southwest, with the Spanish advancing. The Deliverance was sunk, while the Lady's Scorn and Swift were captured.


The Spanish continued to crush the Cursed, sinking their derelicts and nearly sinking both the Divine Dragon and Flying Dutchman. Between Nemesio Diaz, El Alma, and El Paso, the Cursed are being cancelled into oblivion. The Cursed could hardly muster anything in their counterattack, with two failed rams in addition to moving the Naegling onto a reef, where she took no damage.


The Cursed had more success against the English than the Spanish, eliminating four masts from the Dreadnought by tossing her onto a reef! The Interloper and Howl teamed up for a final fog hopping ambush, taking masts off the Swallow and Muninn. Both the Interloper and Howl were sunk on the next turn, and the English furthered their cause by rolling a 6 with the Eye of Insanity (copying Davy Jones). The Tenfold (carrying 4 coins) couldn't be sailed off the map, so instead the Executioner was used to bring the Tenfold down to one mast (ironically the English actually had control of the Executioner earlier in the game - El Fantasma must be really confused!). The Cursed aren't quite finished, with some ships repairing at their home island in addition to the newly launched Specter.


In addition to the Specter, the Spanish and English also launched new ships. The Spanish purchased 9 new support gunships, with some stationed in the east to aid in the elimination of the Americans, and some in the west to possibly help the war against the Pirates.

The English decided to count their gold for the first time in a month.


With a grand total of 864 gold, the English have by far the most gold saved up in any fleet I've ever controlled!

The inevitability is coming...

...

With no other options, England began preparing for war with Spain. The two great superpowers of the game have started eyeing each other across the ocean, with tension slowly mounting.

The English built another five master, this time the Dauntless. The Shetland had been given 5 extra cannons by Carbon Charlie, and was thus ready to sail out. Charlie boarded the Dauntless, England's newest capital ship. If it hasn't been obvious, England has avoided becoming an intimidating faction in this game. They haven't looked like a threat, but their "nice" nature has given them the relative peace (with the exception of the Cursed) with which to save gold for almost the entire game, with only occasional launches dipping into their savings. However, with the inevitable war against Spain on the horizon, they will finally abandon their cautious strategy. Notice the lack of famous ships such as HMS Titan, Grand Temple, Endeavour, etc. The Dauntless and her fantastic crew (Admiral James Norrington and Admiral Morgan) signal the end of this phase of the game for the English.

The English decided to keep it simple and spend 64 of their 864 gold, using 32 on the Dauntless and 32 on two support gunships, the Success and Dunlap. Then, to avoid having to recount their gold, they consolidated their remaining treasure in a UT labeled "800 gold".

The northwest corner of the sea, purely English.


Now for a glimpse at the past strategies of my fleets:

Strategies of ~4/10/2016:
Spanish: Eliminate the French. Continue to have a strong presence in Pirate waters. Keep the HI defenses strong and provide good defenses on the eastern front. Launch gunships where appropriate, with eliminating the Pirates as the intermediate-term goal.
Mission accomplished; the Pirates, Americans, and Cursed all face simultaneous elimination at the hands of the huge Spanish Empire.

Cursed: Launch part of the Fear squadron to combat the invading English. Once the threat is over, buy back more gold runners than were previously in use, and once the system is better than ever start buying gunships constantly.
The "threat" became much larger than anticipated, and the Cursed are doomed. The two most powerful fleets have crushed them in a non-allied two-pronged attack.

English: Be cautious and controlled. Save gold. Do not engage enemy fleets unless they become hostile. Use Carbon Charlie to give gunships extra cannons. Put forts on the other two nearby island, and likely purchase at least one fort upgrade. Give bad UT’s to Carbon Charlie for more cannons. Lead the First Coalition into battle against the Cursed, but be wary of losing important long-term assets.
Mission accomplished; the biggest questions are those regarding the future.

Another ship and point count (4/16/2016):
French: 0/0 (eliminated)
Pirates: 10 ships, 152 points
Americans: 6 ships, 82 points
Spanish: 98 ships, 1,566 points
Cursed: 16 ships, 365 points
English: 47 ships, 794 points
Total: 2,959 points

Wow! The game size is slightly smaller than the last point count, a testament to the bloodshed that has occurred since. By far the most interesting thing about this point count is the English number. They have about 800 points in play, in addition to 800 gold saved up. This means that if England launched a giant battle fleet, the Spanish and English would have fleets of almost exactly equal size!! How incredible!

England and Spain now face decisions; England is aware of Spain's somewhat thin but extremely far-reaching and powerful empire. England has to decide whether to initiate the war and try to strike Spain while she is trying to eliminate 3 other factions (Pirates, Americans, and Cursed). Spain is not eager for war with England, as the Spanish have some idea of the vast gold reserves that could be spent in an instant to produce a giant battle fleet. The Spanish favor eliminating the other factions first, which would allow them to repair and regroup before the final climactic struggle to determine the ruler of the sea. England has considered a whirlpool squadron in an attempt to strike the Spanish gold system and hurt their morale, as well as a surprise attack on the Spanish forces that are now fighting the Cursed, since both factions will be near the Cursed HI very soon.

The other three factions can't help but root for the English, between Spain's oppression and the slight possibility that if England attacks soon, it may distract the Spanish and give the other factions a chance to recover. However, the Pirates, Americans, and Cursed won't survive either way, for they would likely be eliminated in the epic crossfire when Spain and England meet in pitched battle!


4/18/2016



The Spanish have almost finished eliminating the Pirates from the game! The Cassandra, Victoire, and Sea Nymph sank while the Dragon was captured.


The majority of the Spanish gold system, the fuel of their empire. The Spanish are beginning a major regrouping, with some of their gunships sailing closer to home to protect against a possible attack through the whirlpool (at the bottom left) by the English.


In the southeastern reaches of the sea, the American face elimination at the hands of the Spanish, much like the Pirates. However, the USS Morning Star has successfully used her ability to teleport Commodore Peregrine Stern from the Mississippi back home, giving the Americans a gunship in the area. Spain is ready for them, with 9 captained ships chasing the Americans.


The mess in the northeast was the hottest action of the day. The Spanish had already sunk the Flying Dutchman and Divine Dragon, meaning that Davy Jones was gone. The Acorazado moved away from the Cursed HI to repair, giving the Muerta a chance to dismast the Poor Adams. The Paso and Alma teamed up to cancel the Demise's canceller and Eternal abilities, sinking the Cursed ship at last. However, the Locker and Pyre pounced on the Cursed turn, emerging from a whirlpool to ram the Paso derelict. The Cursed also moved the Terror (Mercenary submarine of the English) onto a reef, but she took no damage. The Tasmanian Devil (hired by the Spanish) was not so lucky, losing two masts. The Tasmanian Devil signaled the arrival of the Spanish reinforcements, 5 ships sailing in from the west following the elimination of the French. They make the Spanish position in the northeast even stronger.

The Specter set the Tiger's Eye aflame, and after a bad roll she will burn to the waterline. The Terror surfaced to bring the Specter down to 2 masts. Most of the minor faction squadron controlled by the English still hasn't reached the Cursed home island, but the Divine Dragon (Mercenary turtle ship) and Hephaestus teamed up to dismast the Executioner, but not before the Cursed ship sank the Muninn.


It has finally happened! The English spent 628 gold to purchase no less than 26 new ships, most of them very capable gunships! This broke the Pirates' record (549 gold) from my Economy Edition game of the biggest single-turn launching in history! This made their home island extremely crowded, even with three additional home island expansions. They also launched a few ships from Fort Brompton to the east.


And with that, the most important point count yet was done!

4/17/2016 point/ship count
French: 0/0 (eliminated)
Pirates: 6 ships, 96 points
Americans: 5 ships, 75 points
Spanish: 101 ships, 1,631 points
Cursed: 13 ships, 292 points
English: 73 ships, 1,422 points
Total: 3,516 points

Since my Economy Edition game peaked at approximately 3,200 points, I can comfortably say that VASSAL Campaign Game 1 is officially the BIGGEST GAME IN THE HISTORY OF PIRATES CSG!!!!!

The Royal Navy sets sail!


The biggest game of all time, with the biggest war of all time as the inevitable finale... notice how crowded the corners are, with the Cursed, Pirates, and Americans all on the brink of elimination at the hands of the Spanish Empire.


4/23/2016

Before play started I took the time to launch some ships for the Spanish, Cursed, and English. The Cursed were only able to launch the Sea Duck, a desperate play which may be their last purchase.

The Spanish spent almost 100 gold to grab 6 new support gunships, while England spent almost 200 gold to buy a bunch of ships at their upgraded Ramsgate fort and a few at their home island.


The next picture shows a big overview of the entire southwest area. At the bottom left, the Pirates only control two ships, the submerged Mobilis and the fleeing Grand River. The captured Dragon and Rover will sink at the beginning of the next Spanish turn, having been scuttled. However, the English are coming. The main battle fleet of English ships is surging forward, and the Escudo del Mar fortress could be the first casualty of the inevitable war. The English squadron launched at Ramsgate has moved west towards the whirlpool, which the Spanish anticipated. At the bottom right is the whirlpool the English would likely emerge from, trying to blast their way into Spanish trade and hurt the Spanish badly at the outset of the war. The Spanish are reasonably prepared, but they're worried that their imperial adventures have stretched their fleet too thin and weakened their empire to the point where the suddenly strong English could defeat them in a numbers game. The English have a lot of 4 and 5 masted ships ready to go, while the Spanish are starting to rely on their smaller ships when launching, since all of their larger ships are at sea or sunk.


In the southeast, the East Wind caught the USS Morning Star and knocked off her back masts. The Americans also face elimination, but their widespread fleet makes them a better candidate to survive longer than the Pirates and Cursed.

Speaking of the Cursed, they've finally set sail with the four ships they previously had permanently docked at their home island! These are the ships carrying the L-mover crew and Master Scribe. The Spanish cleaned up on their turn, sinking the Specter and capturing the Poor Adams (which has Eternal). The English weren't effective at all, with the Terror unable to take out the last mast on the Tenfold. The English did recapture the Executioner, which means that she has changed hands 3 times this game! The Cursed launched her, the English captured her early on, then the Cursed recaptured her, and the English just re-recaptured her! It remains to be seen if the English intend to ignite a battle against the Spanish in the northeast. The Spanish aren't exactly reeling, but they were shocked and troubled when they lost the Naegling. The Sea Duck dismasted the longship by herself, allowing the Sautez to sink her. The Naegling was a powerful asset, and carried Sigurd Andersen, Spain's only admiral crew. England still has both admiral crew, Beckett and CRGO.


Here's the whole ocean; note the mass of English gunships heading southeast, while the Americans are mostly trapped in the southeast corner. Right now the Spanish are concerned with the English advance; Spain doesn't have enough ships to throw at England to delay them for long. Some ships are moving to intercept the huge battle fleet, with some coming from the battle around the Pirate HI. Six new gunships have been launched at the Castillo, and the newly launched Trinidad will join them. The Augusta and Granada have turned around near the former French HI, and the captured Bonaparte is fully repaired. Despite these forces, the Spanish are the least confident they've been the whole game. To make matters worse for them, England has launched 3 new gunships at their HI for 50 gold. More are undoubtedly on the way, but the English have finally run out of gold!


4/24/2016

It's finally happened...

BUT NOT FROM THE ENGLISH! THE SPANISH DECLARE WAR ON THE ENGLISH!

In a stunning move, Spain, now the underdog, sent the San Cristobal through the whirlpool near their home island to emerge from the whirlpool the English appeared to be after. She used an extra action to move S+S+L+S and sink HMS Goodfellow, one of England's best treasure ships! This sudden, unexpected attack on English trade left the English stunned and angry.

The Spanish also managed to crush the American fleet, sinking the Lynx and Chesapeake while dismasting the Morning Star and Mississippi. The Carolina is the last American ship left, a fitting end for the doomed faction.

Speaking of doomed, the Cursed are also about to be eliminated. The Sea Duck and Tenfold are their final ships, with the others either captured or derelict. The Pirates are faring a bit better, between the submerged cancelling sub Mobilis and the quick Grand River. The Spanish squadron in the southwest is heavily damaged from the Pirate war, yet faces an extremely intimidating English fleet bearing down upon them from the north. The Spanish have gathered their forces and will continue to launch in an effort to delay the English as long as possible.

In the first English hostility of the war, HMS Grand Temple almost destroyed the Escudo del Mar, the Spanish fort closest to English waters. The Ajax, Success, and Dunlap are immediately astern of the GT, but dozens more English gunships are sailing full speed at the Spanish. All-out war is about to ensue!!

In the southwest, the Pirates have almost been eliminated, but the Spanish are reeling and need to repair some of their ships before they take on the English. In the southeast, the Americans have been destroyed by the Spanish Empire, but the Carolina is still relatively safe in the far north after her (very) long expedition. The northeast has seen the Spanish mostly eliminate the Cursed, with the English unable to get into action effectively and unable to inflict much damage when they did (though, it's the minor faction squadron, not a Royal Navy squadron!). In the far northwest, the San Cristobal is doomed against the Endeavour, but she did her part to ignite the War for CG1.

4/26/2016

4/25/2016 ship count (this was done before my latest turn)
(Pirates: 2 ships; Americans: 1 ship; Cursed: 3 ships)
Spanish: 111 ships (new record! Previous record: Pirate fleet of 104 ships in my Economy Edition game)
English: 91 ships
Total: 208 ships (new record! Breaks the previous record of 198 ships set a few turns ago)

Also, the game may be at a new peak level of points, though I'm not planning on doing another point count (I may do one when the fleets are smaller). Based on the last point count from 4/17, the average number of points per ship was 17.76. Multiplying this by the 208 ships in play gives an estimated points total of 3,694!

And now, for the "final" past strategies of my fleets, which are now almost irrelevant:

Spanish: Eliminate the Cursed. Eliminate the Pirates. Eliminate the Americans. Prepare for war on England.

Cursed: Survive? LOL

English: Get Lord Thomas Gunn out there. Use Carbon Charlie to give gunships extra cannons. Eliminate the Cursed. Consider declaring war on Spain; possible attacks include the whirlpool southwest of the Spanish HI, or loosing the minor faction squadron and other ships in a surprise strike. Make the 5 masters the true capital ships and go to war!

Now, for the actual events of the latest turn:

The center and western areas are being overrun by English warships! Tension is at an all-time high! The next turn will see the War for CG1 erupt!


The San Cristobal, having recently sunk the Lady Provost, was able to sink the Tiger's Breath. This hurt the English gold system further, but the Endeavour got revenge by sinking the SC. At the English home island, the Dauntless has been given a fifth and final extra cannon, and it's possible that Carbon Charlie's job is finally done, having created around 25 extra cannons for almost as many turns in a row!

The Cursed have been eliminated!

On the Spanish turn, the Spanish battle squadron in the northeast cleaned up, sinking all Cursed ships south of the Cursed HI. On the English turn, the Terror submerged and rammed the last mast off the Tenfold! With that, the Cursed become the second fleet eliminated from the game.

The northeast corner of the sea. I included the deckplate area to give an idea of just how dominant England has been lately - English deckplates have spilled into the ocean and almost completely over the areas formerly occupied by Cursed deckplates! The Tenfold lies derelict in the far north, but something interesting is occurring just to the south. Despite Spain's declaration of war, neither the Spanish squadron nor the minor faction squadron (controlled by England of course) want to engage in battle just yet. The Spanish are looking to join their comrades in the south, while the English squadron is relatively slow and know the importance of the first strike. In a further irony, both sides are trying to scuttle a captured Cursed ship since they have Eternal, which means the ship would automatically return to their HI, saving a ship a lot of time rather than towing it to the nearest fort. (The once-again-English Executioner is Eternal via Fantasma while the Poor Adams has been captured by the Spanish.)


Speaking of captures, the Spanish have been capturing ships in the hopes of using them to bolster their fleet to take on the English. The USS Morning Star and Mississippi are the latest additions, and both carry some formidable crew that could make them good gunships if repaired in time to help the war effort.

In the meantime, a command has been issued by Admiral Luis Zuan (aboard the Acorazado, the Spanish flagship) to have all able Spanish gunships sail to intercept the English ships before they can reach the Spanish gold runners. Many ships are answering the call, and although the Spanish fleet is still significantly damaged and spread out, they do have a great empire to call on. The Spanish western squadron (which almost managed to eliminate the Pirates) is the closest major squadron available to help, though it's also the squadron most in need of repairs. Around a dozen ships have been launched from the Puerto Blanco fort over the last 3 or so turns, and they're headed towards the massive English battle fleet as well. Joining them are a few ships from the center, though the famous Granada has already been sunk by a devastating combo of SAT and Power Cannons utilized by HMS Swallow. The Granada sunk in just the second ship action of this war (the first being the San Cristobal's whirlpool attack), but she served with distinction throughout the entire game for Spain. She was the ship that fired the first shots of any war during this game, the War on France. After surviving the Battle of the Two Paradises, she accompanied Spanish ships to Pirate waters before returning to the French home island to see them finally eliminated. The Granada fittingly captured the Bonaparte, a ship now serving the Spanish. It's safe to say the Granada is an MVS (Most Valuable Ship) of CG1.

In terms of maneuvering, both the Spanish and English have been sizing up each other's cancellers. Both fleets possess 4 total, and it's well known how much of an asset they can be in battles of any size. 3 of Spain's 4 cancellers are returning from fighting the Cursed, and the Acorazado and Paso need to repair. The submerged Nautilus carries Christian Fiore, who is returning to Spanish waters from the end of the Pirate war. The English have learned from a past campaign game victory, and appear to be throwing a huge bulk of gunships against the Spanish, while keeping their absolute best 3-5 ships in reserve, at least for the time being. That is a luxury the Spanish cannot afford, for they've needed to send every available ship into action to slow the inevitable English onslaught. From the picture it appears that England has the advantage, but Spain's impressive battle fleet and their ability to launch ships each turn from the nearby fort (El Puerto Blanco) should make this an epic fight. Indeed, it will be the largest war in the history of this great game of Pirates CSG!


4/27/2016

The War for CG1 has erupted!!

The Spanish showed no fear, sailing straight towards the enemy and intending to create a huge traffic jam of ships in battle so that the English would have trouble reaching the Spanish gold runners further to the south. The Lepanto got things started, blasting three masts off HMS Grand Temple. She was quickly followed by other brave Spanish ships, eager to earn glory in the name of the Spanish Empire. The Pescados de Plata and Pamplona were a major help, and the Pamplona almost dismasted the powerful Leicester in one action! The captured Revenant served as a temporary shield and firepower magnet, while more valuable ships such as the Garante and Nautilus formed up behind. Just to the west, the Babieca set the Virtuous Wind ablaze, while the Rosario won a boarding party to kill her helmsman. El Algeciras teamed up with her Diablo flotilla to eliminate three masts, while the Augusta managed to sink the Ajax with help from Roberto Santana's cannon bonus! The Spanish attack was effective, but they knew the counterattack would be devastating. Indeed, the battle very quickly turned into a chaotic, extremely close-quarters pell mell engagement.


Here's the wider view of the above picture, showing the far-flung Spanish Empire in full desperation mode. They're frantically sailing to meet the English, but at the same time, their immense combat experience gained from building their empire in the first place gives them a well-earned confidence.


The last two pictures showed only the Spanish turn; these next two pictures show just the English turn. The counterattack was indeed effective, but not as effective as the English were expecting.

The Algeciras, Diablo, Babieca, Rosario, Revenant, Lepanto, Pamplona, Augusta and Bonaparte (among others I believe) were all either dismasted or sunk, but the derelict Lepanto and Revenant blocked English ships from getting through to more Spanish gunships, which meant the Spanish plan was succeeding on some level here in the early stages of the battle. The Spanish have sent most of their ships northwest to meet the English, but some English ships are even coming from directly north of the Spanish HI. The Kirkwall and King George III teamed up to damage the northern Puerto Blanco and nearly dismast the Trinity. With the Alquimista only another turn away, this is as close any faction has come to hurting Spanish trade since the Pirates' whirlpool attack using Calypso.


Though the main battle is obviously concentrated in the middle western area, other conflicts threaten to erupt to the east.


The last three pictures show a full round of the most recent Spanish and English turns.

Here's the absolute hottest part of the fight. The Dunlap and Cygnet have fought through the hordes, but that will expose them to deadly Spanish fire on the next turn. The Dover has been sunk by a combination of 4 smaller Spanish ships, while the Bolingbroke has just dismasted the Cazador del Pirata after the latter sunk HMS London. The Nautilus and Garante will finally enter the fight, and their presence is helping Spanish morale. However, there seems to be no stopping this English flood of ships, though Spain has done a great job slowing it down thus far.


This shows the entire battle area. The English have adapted to their problems by establishing a sort of pincer movement: lots of English ships are sailing almost due east from the area north of the Pirate home island, while plenty of English ships from the north are almost upon the weaker area of the Spanish defences. This puts pressure on the Spanish while also taking attention away from the jam where the battle started, the only place where the Spanish almost have the advantage. Both sides have had some major combat successes, but ironically HMS Success hasn't been able to hit much of anything with her cannons. At the bottom right, the Spanish pulled off a near-miracle: the Colector del Dia (now with a new captain to fight once again!) and Trinity went 4/4 to dismast the King George III, who was then captured and towed by the Alquimista (a gold runner) and La Cordoba. The Kirkwall has sunk the captured ship to deny the Spanish of using her, but the Trinity also docked at the northern Puerto Blanco to put out her fire mast before it was destroyed by the Greyhound, while some Spanish reinforcements are arriving from the northeast. The Tartessos is finally ready for action again, with Spain showing her might in the form of veteran gunships returning to duty. The Tartessos has been joined in the fog bank by El Profeta, just one of many seldom-heralded Spanish ships that the empire has to call on in this time of great need.


More Spanish ships are coming up from the south, and Spain continues to launch ships every turn from the western Puerto Blanco. The Leon, Corazon del Mar, Duque, and Mercenary submarines Fathom and Devil Ray are the latest launchings. The Estrella de la Manana, a veteran of both the French and Pirate wars, is sailing east to pick up some generic crew after she was almost sunk by the Flying Dutchman in the southwest.

A few interesting things have happened outside of the immense chaos in the center; the English won the scuttle battle by scuttling the Executioner before the Spanish could scuttle the Poor Adams! Far from the main battles lines, each nation's most impressive ship repairs at their respective forts: El Acorazado and HMS Dreadnought. Each nation also has an extremely dangerous ship unlikely to see action for a while: La Muerta and HMS Endeavour. The greatest ships in action so far have been the Leicester and Grand Temple, with Spain mostly having smaller support gunships available so far. Speaking of the Leicester, she was saved from sinking by a somewhat unsurprising (by this point at least, if you've read some other BR's of campaign games) chain-towing effort involving no less than 6 other English ships.


As the War for CG1 continues, only one nation can claim victory as the ruler of the ocean!

4/30/2016

The battle continued, with two more turns being played. The Spanish counterattack was somewhat successful, but their hope lied in the reinforcements coming from the south and east. Before play resumed Lord Thomas Gunn was able to recruit Commodore David Porter aboard the Carolina (the last remaining American ship and crew) to join the fight against Spain, based on Spain's past transgressions.


Here's the whole ocean after the English took their turn. The valuable HMS Titan has temporarily fled northward to repair, as well as to meet up with the other English ships that have the canceller ability (Dreadnought, Endeavour, and Rye). They will be joined by the Gallows and Dauntless to form a sort of "super squadron", relatively small but extremely powerful. The Spanish have their own makings of that in the east as the Paso and Acorazado finish repairing. In a stunning move, the Swallow used Mycron's extra action to sink the Santa Isabel with 5 coins aboard! This angered the Spanish, but showed that the English were slowly getting closer and closer to putting a big-time hurt on the Spanish gold system.


After another Spanish turn, English ships such as the St. George, Clear Wind, Burma and Success lie derelict. However, this turn saw very poor shooting on both sides, especially the Spanish. However, they did manage to capture the Swallow, which they need to tow back to their home island. The Garante and others are fighting hard in the west, where a handful of English ships have been sunk, but the English still have a numbers advantage.


This is where the battle stands now, after another English turn. In the west, the Santa Catalina has been sunk, while the Voz de Dios and Manila have one mast left. After dismasting the St. George, the Armada flotilla has been sunk. The Santo Columba has finished repairing, giving the Spanish a capable gunship in the area for the next turn. However, the Villalobos and Asesino are just about out of time for repairs. The Ebro, Antamasia, and Colera are all in the area too, but the flood of English ships is starting to overwhelm the Spanish defences. The Galeon de Gibraltar and Santa Lucia are some of their latest losses, while the Rosal and Garante were very lucky not to have been sunk on the latest turn. Those two ships are the latest in a Spanish effort to block the invading English near where the battle originated. However, this led the English to send a lot of ships southwest around the reefs as well as ships sailing almost due east (and then south) in order to counter. The English have adapted reasonably well, as they seem to have the advantage in the western and center areas of the wide swath of battlefield. The Spanish have held up amazingly well in between those areas, holding off the English (and Grand Temple specifically) for many turns now. In addition, the Spanish have a reasonable advantage in the eastern reaches of the battle, which is more evident from the final picture.


Two and a half months into a giant campaign game. The Spanish and English continue to launch ships from their upgraded forts every single turn, which will keep the battle going for a while. However, Spain needs to focus more of her efforts to the west, because the Castillo (the main launching point right now) will fall once the English break free of the remaining Spanish ships. The Spanish now control almost all of the Mercenary submarines, while the English have launched almost all of their 3 masted ships. As expected, Spain has a repairing problem right now, as many ships repair at their two forts in the far east. Along with those ships, a handful of other gunships are joining part of the northeastern squadron after returning from the far east. Three gunships make their way around the south side of their HI. Between all of these forces, Spain still has a reasonable chance of victory, especially if they can capitalize on their launch point at the fort upgrade. For the existing ships, it's mostly a question of whether they'll get there in time or not (which depends on how effective the newer ships are at holding the lines of defence). I'm somewhat surprised by how the battle has gone so far, especially with Spain holding out extremely well where the action is still the hottest (near the Garante and Grand Temple). Spain has adopted a new strategy of leaving most derelict ships where they are, whether friend or foe. This forces England to tow some of their ships (though plenty have been sunk) and sink all Spanish derelicts, slowing their advance. However, the English gunships are really starting to break through to the west and north. It's been reasonably complex thus far, especially with the maneuvering!


5/1/2016

After another Spanish turn, many more English ships lay derelict or at the bottom of the sea. HMS Richards was one of the latest sinkings, while the English approach from the west suffered heavy damage.


This next picture shows the next English and then Spanish turns. The English counterattack saw them sink the Rosal and Garante, slowly opening the gate for English ships to finally cross through past the area where the battle started. The English finally made the decision to try and scuttle some of their derelicts, simply to get them out of the way of their healthier ships. The Matthias Vospero and La Furia desperately try to re-close the gap at the upper left. To the far left, you can see the English struggling despite having a numbers advantage, but that numbers advantage is about to be almost negated by the new Spanish ships in the area. Three new Mercenary gunships, the (finally-ready-for-battle-once-again) Estrella de la Manana, Asgard, Sahara, and fully repaired Asesino are coming. This gives the Spanish a much-needed presence in the west. Once again, the momentum of each small area of the battle shifts. The English looked to have the advantage in the west and not so much near the Garante, but now it's the opposite. The strong Spanish counterattack and the influx of new ships has solidified the Spanish western position, but now the English have broke free slightly to the northeast, allowing 4-6 gunships that are fresh to sail through. It's very exciting! In addition, the Minnow is giving the English problems, while the Tasmanian Devil is fully repaired at the Castillo.

Towards the right-center, the Neptuno suffered a disastrous shoot action on the Lord Kettering, going 0/5 and setting herself alight with her own fire shot! Luckily for her the San Gabriel, Reconquistador, and Proud Tortoise bailed her out. Before that happened, the Gibraltar flotilla was destroyed by the Algeciras, while the Santa Ana dismasted the Nautilus (English schooner, not Spanish/Mercenary sub) after the Nautilus dismasted the Cordoba. The Grand Dynasty barely hit anything on the English turn, and was then pulverized by three small Spanish gunships. The Bazana has managed to dismast the Ivory Star by herself and ram a mast off the Nubian Prince. At the upper right, the Black Lotus surprised the minor faction squadron's Vikings by turning to starboard and firing a full broadside! Two shots landed, setting the Hrunting on fire. The Sea Hag appears to be safe towing the Swallow home, while Spanish ships are almost done repairing at El Puerto Blanco (lower right).


And finally, the latest English turn. Inevitably, the Santo Columba, Villalobos, Matthias Vospero and Manila all sunk. Somehow the Ebro and Antamasia survived the English onslaught - though the English did have poor luck this turn. In addition, the aggressive English have put themselves in a position to be devastated in the western reaches of the battle on the next Spanish turn. The Cuervo and Corazon del Mar also sunk at the hands of the English, who are eagerly sailing south between that fog bank and the island the Spanish fort was on. Only a few subs and potentially the Tasmanian Devil and the newly launched Gallows stand in the way of England's warships reaching Spain's gold runners. The Pacificum received an extra action from Lord Mycron to sail further south and damage the Santa Ana. The English didn't get either of their admiral crew this turn, but those two and Lord Mycron have definitely provided a somewhat significant advantage during the battle. England usually gets one of the admiral crew each turn because of the rerolls for them, which combined with Mycron allows them to get two extra actions to any gunships anywhere in the fleet.

The Lord Kettering, Nubian Prince, and Divine Dragon all did minimal damage to the Spanish, although the Hephaestus surfaced to cripple the Black Lotus. The hired Vikings didn't do too well for the English, with the Hrunting's fire spreading and the Huginn's captain being cancelled by Nemesio Diaz aboard El Acorazado.


The entire ocean, which shows 79 ships in the Spanish fleet and 90 for the English. This means the numbers have shifted a bit, but the English have many derelicts among those 90 still afloat. Notice the relatively full English deckplate area compared to the once-grand Spanish area in the southeast, which now has many holes and chunks missing. The numbers haven't gone down a significant amount, mostly because each faction launches at least one gunship per turn, and usually they can launch 2, 3, or 4. However, this will only last so long, because the current gold pile is running out. At less than 100 total coins, once the gold runs out, there will be no more replenishments! The end of the game is still a long way off, but it is approaching.


5/2/2016

Somehow I managed to play three turns today.

As expected, the Spanish hit the English hard in the westernmost part of the battle, with the Asesino de la Nave leading the charge. Slightly to the north, the Estrella de la Manana got back into action with a vengeance, dismasting one ship and setting fire to the Alexandria. She's now participated in each of the major Spanish wars - against the French, Pirates and English. The submerged Mercenary submarines lied in wait for the English, while the Spanish launched three new Corsair privateer ships from the Castillo. The Tasmanian Devil and Neptuno engaged the Pacificum (middle of the picture), while the Santa Ana towed the Cordoba home. To the east, the Lord Kettering and Grand Dynasty were sunk, which boosted Spanish morale. The growing Spanish eastern squadron sank the Huginn and Hrunting, while the Hephaestus would soon meet a similar fate.


The following English turn saw them sink the Asesino and other Spaniards such as the Trinidad and Ebro. In addition, the English had a morale boost of their own, when the Pacificum managed to sail south towards the Spanish gold system (bottom right). Her attack on the Concepcion failed, but the point was made, similar to when the Swallow sank the Santa Isabel. However, the English were still struggling mightily in the west and northwest areas of the battle to fight through the horde of derelicts, belonging to both them and Spain. After the Minnow was sunk, HMS Morning Star surged through and used Professor Clive Defoe and Mycron's extra action to sink both the Brave Selkirk and Barracuda! This took out two of Spain's valuable submarines, and the Spanish were foolish to let them get so close to the Morning Star. The Victoria set the Tasmanian Devil aflame, while the Lord Lineton damaged the Neptuno. The Lord Algernon re-established an English presence in the eastern reaches of the battle, taking out La Reconquistador.


The rest of the ocean lies relatively dormant, save for the Spanish and English gold runners hurrying to fund their respective war efforts. It's worth noting that England sent some of their larger gold runners (Interceptor, Metal Dragon, King Edward, Galapagos, and others) off to war, making the Spanish gold system seem more superior of late. However, with the gold replenishment pile running out, it may not matter, which could give England an advantage.


Another Spanish turn, and more devastation. The Estrella dismasted the Halcyon, while HMS Morning Star, Victoria, and Lord Algernon all took major damage. The Spanish have done surprisingly well using a lot of smaller but still effective gunships. The battle has turned into a stalemate, with both sides losing many ships and crew each turn. At the upper right, notice the powerful Spanish eastern squadron slowly assembling; El Acorazado cancelled the Terror to the surface and teamed with the Black Lotus to dismast the submarine. At the bottom, the Concepcion has dismasted the Pacificum to end that threat, while the Hrothgar and Slipstream are the latest Spanish launchings.


The English strike back, sinking the Antamasia, Bashaw Folly, Fathom, Reconquistador, and Toro. In addition, they rolled well for scuttling their own ships, which meant more ships would sink on the next turn. The Goliath slammed into the Estrella and set her on fire, pitting the two 5 masters against one another. At the top of the picture the English super squadron is assembling, with the intent to strike its Spanish counterpart. At the very top right, the Carolina has captured the Poor Adams (a ship the Spanish failed to scuttle), giving the Americans two ships overall.


The Spanish once again prove themselves! In a huge blow to the English attack, the Shetland and Goliath both sank! The Shetland carried 5 extra cannons from Carbon Charlie, while the Goliath was carrying shot equipment and was one of the main English ships in the northwest area of the battle. The Victoria and HMS Nautilus were sunk, while HMS Morning Star was knocked down to one mast. The Spanish continued to push the envelope, and miraculously they've taken control of the central/northern area of the battle! Things are also going better than expected in the west, and the east is predictably Spanish-dominated. The Lord Algernon is derelict, but the King Edward threatens to invade Spanish waters. However, the Spanish seem as prepared to take on any challenge as they have been since the battle began. The momentum naturally shifts each turn with the fast and furious broadsides, but the overall momentum shifted in Spain's favor today. The experience many of their ships gained building the empire is serving them well against English crews with less experience. The Clear Wind and Silent Death are the latest launchings at the Castillo, while ships like the Castigue, Tepant, USS Morning Star (the latter two captured of course), and San Estaban look to finally enter the fray.


No less than 6 English derelicts were scuttled at the beginning of their turn, and that was followed by the English sinking numerous Spanish ships, which meant a large clearing-out in the western area of the battle. The Guy Fawkes finished off the Estrella, while the Belle of Exeter bombarded the western Castillo at the bottom left of the frame. The battle in the west is much more clear now, with 7 or 8 English gunships now free to sail towards the Spanish and not be bogged down by a dozen derelicts in the way. Spain only has about 4 privateer ships to match England's strength in the western area, but more ships are on the way. The middle area has indeed been retaken by the Spanish, but HMS Gargantuan may cause some havoc before the Spanish can send some of those central ships to the west and northeast. At the upper right, the English made a wise decision not to send the King Edward south into more Spanish waters, instead turning around to dismast the Napolitana and temporarily save the Lord Algernon. Since the beginning of the battle, England has put a priority on hurting Spanish trade, but this has led to them being overly aggressive and not taking full advantage of their numerical superiority (which is dwindling or non-existent in the main areas of the battle).


This shows the entire ocean; once again notice the numerous holes appearing in the deckplate areas at the top and bottom of the frame. The Pirates are trying to get some gold with the Mobilis and Grand River, while the Carolina has let the Poor Adams repair with the abandoned shipwright given to her by the English.

There are around 65 Spanish ships afloat, compared to about 74 in the English fleet. This is without a doubt the biggest battle I've ever seen in a campaign game, and also one of the closest. At the middle left of the picture, 8-10 new English gunships (mostly 2 masters) are making their way to the battle from their launch point at Ramsgate. The Spanish have enjoyed their closer launch point at the Castillo del Infanta, which the English have not been able to reach, let alone destroy. Also, notice the massing of the two super squadrons, with the English near the former French HI and the Spanish assembling just to the southeast, where the Terror and Nubian Prince were recently sunk. With a giant (but diminishing in size) stalemate occupying the main battle fleets in the center of the ocean, it's entirely possible that the battle between these powerful squadrons could decide the victor of the war, and by extension, CG1 itself! However, it's also a possibility that the squadrons nearly cancel each other out (literally in some cases!) and the war of attrition leads to a very narrow victory for one of the two factions. Now that I think about it, it's also possible that the gold runners of each faction would meet in a desperate struggle, with most actual gunships already sunk!


5/6/2016

With the game size diminishing as the end approaches, I was able to play 4 turns today! More will follow in the next few days as the pace of play increases due to faster turns.

This first picture shows the first full turn of the day in the battle area. The Spanish inflicted good damage, but England crushed both of her 3 masted longships and used the Gargantuan to devastate some of the smaller ships east of that fog bank in the middle. At this point in the battle, so many ships are being sunk or dismasted on every turn that it's hard to keep track of. However, perhaps the most unique development on this turn concerned the "super squadrons"; Spain turned hers north in an attempt to lure the English squadron away from the Spanish home island and the battle they were continuing to very slowly lose, but the English were too smart for that. They still wanted to get to the Spanish gold system, which they knew would quickly end the war with an English victory. Turning their gunships south, England gave Spain no choice but to do the same, or risk losing everything while the Spanish squadron was unable to defend her home waters.


The next Spanish turn, where they barely have enough ships in the area to fight back. The dismasted Meropis and two 4 masted galleys have taken up the blocking duty in the now-infamous area northwest of the Castillo, but the Spanish are being exhausted by the war effort. On the bright side, they managed to finally dismast the Grand Temple, while the Nautilus rammed a mast off the Lord Cauldwell while submerged. They also took in 72 gold this turn, which was one of their highest totals in quite some time. They used it to launch 4 new gunships at the Castillo, while the super squadron turned around to take care of the King Edward and Executioner.


The next English turn saw the Prince of Chichester use her regular action to destroy the final armaments on the western Castillo, and then use an admiral's action (AA) to dismast the Castigue. The English weren't lucky this turn, but they were inching closer and closer to the Spanish home island.


With all the empty swaths of sea and many deckplates noticeably missing from the English and Spanish fleets, it's obvious that the end of the game isn't far off. Some Spanish gold runners have transferred to the eastern side of their home island, partly due to fear of English invasion from the northwest and partly because the gold system to and from the Castillo island has been more than adequate. At the middle left, notice the steady supply of English support gunships sailing southeast from Ramsgate, which will continue to put pressure on the Spanish defenders.


A turn later, and the western Castillo has been destroyed! However, the Prince of Chichester was captured. The gaps are about to be plugged by the Spanish once again, but notice the wide open lanes available to the English, on either side of the fog bank the Nautilus has ducked into. The Nautilus is desperately trying to reach the Spanish super squadron to give them 4 cancellers in the area, which would match the 4 cancellers in the English super squadron. Also note how densely packed each super squadron is, in anticipation of the epic face-off. At the lower left, the Castigue sees a rarity: using a sac action to repair twice! (before the fort was destroyed)


Xerecs was able to catch up on his turns, and the Americans (Carolina and captured Poor Adams) now sail with England against Spain! The Grand River gave the Pirates a coin, while the Mobilis will soon transfer another.


The next picture shows the following Spanish turn and part of the next English turn. The Spanish fought well once again, doing damage and creating annoying blocks for the English to deal with. With the average English gunship decreasing in size now that most of the bigger ships have been sunk, the battle in the western area is mostly even, though the English continue to gain ground very slowly. At the far left, the Castigue sailed out to battle the Nova Scotia, but her gunners failed her and the English have won that battle. In a scene usually only reserved for games this large, the English have two of their rowing ships towing two derelicts, while a fifth dismasted ship (the Iron Prince) follows (upper left areas).

The Nautilus managed to escape from the fog bank at the perfect location, joining up with the Spanish super squadron at last. At the top of the frame, the Matador used a suicide run to ram and dismast the Rye, one of the four English cancellers. This greatly angered the English, who decided to go all out and not hesitate any longer. The Spanish were still playing a bit smarter, with their experience in previous wars proving to be a key reason they've done so well against a mostly superior force. The Spanish had 3 of their lesser ships form a line to protect the Spanish super squadron, while the captured Swallow got an SAT to join the area as well. The Titan has started this important engagement, and she's about to dismast all three of those ships with an extra action!


The Titan was followed by the rest of the English super squadron, who took part of the Spanish bait. The Spanish had the English where they wanted them, but the English were too smart to sink the line of defense, since it would open the English up to a more devastating Spanish attack on the next turn. Now, Spain will either linger behind her own derelicts or have to tow them out of the way to get a good line of fire. The repaired Leicester has gotten Myngs' SAT almost every turn since leaving the English HI, allowing her to quickly return to action and join the English super squadron to reinforce it. The Spanish have reinforced their own squadron, with some support gunships joining the main force of the Acorazado, Muerta, Nautilus, Alma, Paso, Cristal del Obispo, and captured USS Morning Star. The additions make for a potentially even fight, especially considering that the Swallow now fights for Spain. She and the Dreadnought have extra cannons from Carbon Charlie, though the Dreadnought is far more dangerous. Both sides carry a ship with the Metal Hull UT (the Dreadnought and Muerta) as well, not to mention how similar the Endeavour and Muerta are. This combined with 4 cancellers and multiple extra action crew on each side make for a truly memorable and historic fight. Though I control both sides, the assembling of each super squadron and now their final battle has been a very natural progression. The arms race of cancellers and capital ships will finally explode, with the victor possibly having enough left in the tank to go on to win the game.


Spanish: 58 ships
English: 61 ships

The current state of CG1; note that in the upper left corner, there is no gold pile. With the latest replenishment, the gold has finally run out. There will be no more replenishments, which means that all the gold in the game is the only gold left. This may seem like trying to trigger an endgame, but between the relative stalemate with the War for CG1 and the final climax about to occur, it feels very natural for this to be the final replenishment. Spain and England have been on mostly equal terms for a long while now, so denying them both gold will reveal which nation is truly the ruler of the sea!


5/7/2016

Two turns have been played so far today, and more will be played very soon! The Spanish grouped a lot of ships behind their line and called upon gold runners to help block the English.


The English are fed up with the Spanish hiding behind their own derelicts, so the Titan sinks some of them! The Rye captured the Tasmanian Devil, while HMS Gallows managed to avoid Christian Fiore on the submerged Nautilus and dismast the San Pedro and captured USS Morning Star. Knowing the logjam would prevent them from entering the battle in the east so early on, the Dauntless and Leicester sailed west to help out the English ships in that area. The attack was devastating, and now only a few brand-new launches stand in England's way of finally bombarding the Castillo del Infanta.


And with that, the chaos began to erupt! The extremely dense area just north of the Castillo became convoluted, with many ships engaging. The Cristal del Obispo sank the Gallows, while the Titan was swarmed. The Morning Star was towed out of harm's way, with the Cristal taking her place to block the English from the Spanish cancellers. The Spanish were finally satisfied with their positioning.


The English strike back! The Titan and Dauntless teamed up to sink at least three Spanish ships, and the Dauntless managed to hit the Muerta (with some help from Carbon Charlie's extra cannons) to eliminate her Metal Hull and damage one of Spain's biggest assets! The Leicester and Diamond teamed up to sink the Grand Wind and Terror of Gibraltar, while at the top of the frame the Apollo has sunk the Black Lotus. In a huge move, the Dreadnought entered the fray! The Spanish immediately cancelled her canceller, captain, world hater and Marine abilities, but with an admiral's action she was able to dismast the Cristal. The Spanish focused their attention too much on the Dreadnought, for they should have saved Fiore's cancelling for the Dauntless. However, Spain will now have the opportunity to attack, which they'll do with a vengeance.


Notice how the battle has very slowly shifted towards the Castillo, and by extension, the Spanish home island. The most recent turn saw Spain launch 2 new gunships, with England launching 5.


5/8/2016

A rather complex turn was played just now. Going into the turn, both the English and Spanish had 4 cancellers each, all in the same area. The Spanish were looking to establish a cancelling advantage in order to gain some momentum in the battle. The San Estaban only had one cannon in range of the Rye, but it hit! This sunk the Rye and decreased the English canceller count to 3. Then, the damaged Muerta dismasted the Dauntless by going 4/4 with her powerful ability. Diego Cesar Olano, aboard the submerged Slipstream, delivered a successful shot against the Dauntless, sinking the powerful Englishman. The Slipstream then went underwater beneath the Endeavour and with the help of a trade current rammed the Endeavour, doing no damage. The submerged Nautilus rammed the Titan, also doing no damage. Fiore and Bratley cancelled each other out. Aboard the Dreadnought and Acorazado, Anson and Diaz cancelled each other out. The Paso and Lawrence (aboard the Endeavour) cancelled each other out. The Acorazado had towed the derelict Cristal out of the way, while the USS Morning Star rolled successfully to scuttle herself home with Gus Schultz's Eternal. The Spanish were finally ready to put their biggest prize, HMS Swallow, into action. With no English canceller available to cancel the Swallow's captain, she surged forward into the gap created by the sinking of the Dauntless. With the cannons the English themselves created via Carbon Charlie, the Swallow got one 6 in 5 tries to eliminate the Dreadnought's Metal Hull UT, which meant that she could now be hit normally on non-6's. The Swallow then landed a few more hits on the Dreadnought (bringing her down to 2 masts) before also landing a hit on the Titan. The Principe de Asturias now moved into the gap the Cristal used to occupy, hitting 2/4 to dismast the Dreadnought. Then, in a stunning move, the Alma (Spain's fourth canceller) moved in unopposed on the Dreadnought's larboard quarter and cancelled George Anson's Eternal ability, and then sank the Dreadnought with a hit!! The English were not expecting the Dreadnought to be sunk so soon, and it was a huge blow to English morale while boosting the spirits of the Spanish. The Spanish had taken advantage of their new 4-3 upper hand in the cancelling game, which they leveraged to sink the Dreadnought and further their advantage to 4-2. Also, the Sea Hag has hopped out of a fog bank to unsuccessfully ram the Endeavour.

At the top right of the frame, the Americans have gotten too close to the Spanish, so the Corazon Dorado set the Poor Adams alight with exploding shot and scored an additional hit just for good measure. The East Wind moved into a position to intercept the Carolina, while also making sure the captured USS Morning Star wasn't captured before she could be scuttled. At the lower left, the Tepant has hit 1/2 against the Nova Scotia. The newly launched Typhoon and Duncan got into action, with the Typhoon ramming a mast off the Leicester and the Duncan dismasting the Diamond. The Castillo del Infanta's guns boomed, and the Diamond was sunk.


As expected, the English turn saw more craziness. They started with the Nova Scotia dismasting the Tepant and the Apollo (schooner) dismasting the Duncan. Then Lord Thomas Gunn (aboard the flagship HMS Endeavour) had some major decisions to make. The Titan got an extra action, which she used to sink HMS Swallow (!) and damage the Sea Hag. Then it was the Endeavour's turn. With the Dreadnought gone, only two English cancellers remained in play, and Bratley (aboard the Titan) and Fiore had once again cancelled each other out. However, due to the Acorazado towing the Cristal on the previous Spanish turn, the Endeavour would be able to maneuver to hit the Paso and Alma while staying out of Diaz's range. This is exactly what she did. As a result, the Spanish essentially had a 3-2 canceller advantage on this specific English turn since Diaz wasn't able to help out. Knowing the Endeavour could sink almost anything in range even without moving (between her ability and an extra action from Lord Mycron), the Alma cancelled the Endeavour's ability rather than Lord Gunn's captain ability (after Lawrence and El Paso cancelled each other out, of course). This gave the Endeavour room to move (but not too far east, which would put her in range of Diaz on the Acorazado), but with less overall firepower. The English did give her an extra action via Mycron, and the Endeavour rammed the Paso. Her first shoot action sank the Alma! However, the ram failed, meaning that all three of her guns that were in range of the Paso had to hit in order to sink the Spanish canceller. Unsurprisingly, the great leader Lord Gunn rallied his crew, and with his help they sank the Paso!! This meant that each fleet now had two cancellers at their disposal, with all 4 of them being crew (Diaz and Fiore for the Spanish and Lawrence and Bratley for the English). In other news, the Leicester dismasted the Typhoon, while HMS Apollo sank the Corazon Dorado to the north and damaged the East Wind. The English are still trying to be careful with Lord Cutler Beckett aboard the Apollo, since losing him means the loss of an important admiral crew. As much as England would love to win this battle of capital ships and cancellers, the overall war effort is still more important than this phase of the battle, though they were tempted to have the Apollo come to the Endeavour's immediate aid.


Though this turn saw the Spanish mostly victorious, England managed to correct a brief canceller deficit, while many English support gunships continue to arrive from Ramsgate. More are also on their way from the English home island, with former gold runners like the Growler, Lord Kenyon, and Empress of India having picked up captains to help the war effort now that the gold has run out. In addition, ships like the Zephyr, Forge, Grand Temple, and Burma will be ready for action once more rather soon. These ships, as well as a few others that haven't reached the English forts, were salvaged by the English with their flood of ships that began the battle. It seems to be a smart move, as the Spanish had no way to sink the derelicts at the time, and now the war of attrition has lasted longer than the English anticipated. The Spanish home island is looking strangely empty, with a state of emergency forcing the gold runners to sail to more distant islands to get any gold. Some gold runners have sailed to join the Spanish battle fleet, but it's unlikely they'll make much of a difference.


5/8/2016

Two turns so far today, with hopefully at least two more coming soon!

With each pair of cancellers cancelling each other out, the Spanish had a great opportunity to damage the English. They did just that, dismasting the Titan and sinking the Endeavour!! The Endeavour had been the English flagship since they launched her, and she went down with Lord Thomas Gunn aboard (the English admiral). Obviously a huge blow to English morale, the elimination of these two ships from the battle essentially meant that the Spanish had won the battle of the capital ships! Spain's maneuvering and support ships played important roles, but they were also helped by the fragility of HMS Rye, the first English canceller eliminated. La Muerta also managed to sink the Leicester with an extra action, while some native canoes moved to form a screen against the incoming English gunships from the northwest. The captured USS Morning Star successfully returned home via Eternal. The Poor Adams damaged the East Wind before the privateer engaged the Carolina, who had sunk the captured Metal Dragon. At the right of the frame, the Espada de Dios is the first Spanish ship to reach an island outside of their 4-island comfort zone, all of which are now empty. Native canoes assist her, while others are looking to sail farther north towards former Cursed waters in the northeast.


The English turn saw them try to rescue the Titan, as her oarsman ability had been cancelled (thus not allowing her to move away at 4S with an extra action and helmsman). The canoe screen was eliminated, and the Muerta and Typhoon were predictably sunk. As the Acorazado was still healthy and Spain appeared to be winning the battle for once, the loss of the Muerta didn't affect Spanish morale. At the bottom of the picture, the Academia was finally damaged, while the English captured the Tepant and recaptured the Prince of Chichester. At the top, notice HMS Apollo fleeing the area, for she is no match for the Acorazado and Beckett knows the importance of his admiral ability.


The next Spanish turn was similar to the last: a huge success and an absolute shock to the English! The Gibraltar and Titan were sunk, while no less than 5 other English gunships were dismasted! The Spanish navigators placed trade currents to the north, which the Slipstream and San Estaban quickly took advantage of. The Slipstream surfaced and teamed with the Estaban to dismast the Apollo, while Beckett thought he could escape in time! For the final clincher, the Acorazado got Castro's SAT to move 5S and sink the Apollo, the last true English flagship!! This and the attack on the western front left the English in complete disarray. William Dampier, the new English admiral aboard the repairing Grand Temple, ordered a partial ceasefire for English gunships - the English gunships already upon the battle would continue to fight, but the ones still headed towards the battle would wait and regroup. The Spanish have won the "first" battle of the War for CG1, though they were losing for quite a while and it took them ages to get to this point of having a slight advantage. The English are now looking to regroup their new support gunships and have them join the older and larger gunships that are currently repairing. If England can combine these forces successfully, they will still have a formidable (and superior) battle fleet. However, Spain's 2-0 canceller advantage and the sheer defenses of El Acorazado (essentially immune to anything smaller than 3 masts except for ramming) gives Spain two superweapons they'll need to be careful with. At the upper right, the Poor Adams destroyed a canoe before being dismasted by the Santa Ana, who also hit the Carolina after the Carolina dismasted the East Wind. At this point, the privateer nations have been almost completely drained - the Scorpion and Pasha's Delight are the best launchings Spain could muster near the end of this long game.


The dejected English managed some small offense on their turn, dismasting the Cordoba, Principe, and San Leandro. The Templar sank the derelict Ventura, but these English ships were doomed as a result of the recent order for fresh gunships to stop their approach to the battle area.


At the center left, notice the grouping of small English support gunships assembling between the wild island and reefs, the exact location where the battle began. They will wait for the larger ships to repair and join them, as England wants to mount one final assault with her entire battle fleet to crush the Spanish once and for all. The most important question might be what Spain can do in the meantime. At the top and right sides of the frame, the remaining gold runners for the two fleets race towards the northeast area, which is still rich with gold from past replenishments. A few gold runners head towards the southwest, where the Pirates are still lurking. How amusing it would be if the deserted areas of the sea now held the keys to victory!


5/9/2016

4 more turns have been played, for a whopping 6 in just a day's action. The game size is diminishing, which dramatically speeds up turns.

The Spanish continued to pound the remaining English ships. By far the most interesting development of their turn was a sort of collaboration between them and the English. The English didn't have any cancellers left, while the Pirates still possessed the Mobilis, a submarine that has cancelling built in, therefore needing two cancellers to take out. The English agreed to hold off their newest battle squadron until the Acorazado and Nautilus (with Spain's two cancellers aboard) were able to eliminate the Mobilis from the game.




The English barely managed any offense with their remaining gunships, while the Acorazado continued sailing southwest toward Pirate waters. At the top right, the Americans are about to be eliminated. Commodore David Porter died a hero, leading a losing boarding party to the Santa Ana. He instructed his crew not to give up the ship, and they scuttled the Carolina rather than seeing her captured by the enemy. And so goes one of the most noble ships of CG1, a journey which will be reflected upon in a post once the game ends.


The English have scuttled a few more ships, while in the northwest, her most formidable gunships finish repairing and prepare to go to war against Spain once more.


Sensing that the English would betray them and attack regardless, the Acorazado and Slipstream turned around and headed northeast! This ended the extremely brief and tense collaboration between the Spanish and English. The Spanish were thinking that as long as the English feared the Pirates' long-term game, Spain should keep them alive if the Acorazado and Nautilus could also be kept around. The latter isn't all that difficult, for the Acorazado and Nautilus are almost untouchable at this late stage of the game, with plenty of open ocean and very few capital ships. The Spanish split up the impromptu Acorazado squadron, with the San Estaban sailing south to sink the Templar and the Nautilus following her to dismast the Nova Scotia. The Spanish gold runners were nearing wild islands, while other Spanish ships began efforts to return some derelicts to action. These included the Tepant, Poor Adams, Cristal del Obispo, Munchhausen, and San Leandro. With the capturing of the Poor Adams, the Americans have been eliminated!


With the Spanish breaking their word regarding the sinking of the Mobilis, the English charged in a rage. The squadron of small support gunships sailed directly at the Spanish, who weren't prepared for another fleet engagement just yet. The Growler received an extra action from Mycron to shoot at the closest Spaniards, but missed. In the northeast, the San Jose is the first ship to reach a former Cursed wild island, but more ships will soon join her. All three remaining home islands are as desolate as they've been in months.


The flagship of the Spanish fleet, El Acorazado, now appears to have a new mission: sinking English ships that don't have support around them. The Acorazado and Slipstream sped north, with the Acorazado easily sinking the newly-repaired Zephyr with a double action. The Nautilus has abruptly left the scene of battle in the south to join them. The Pasha's Delight sacrificed herself to delay the English onslaught, while the San Estaban went 3/3 to dismast the Growler. Notice the Sea Hag ducking into a fog bank near the middle of the picture. The English have a secret plan to eliminate Lord Mycron - he sits aboard the Patagonia, a ship that has been docked for almost the entire game on the northwestern side of the English home island. Due to the circumstances where gold runners have sailed far from home in search of elusive treasure, the home islands have been left nearly vacant. The Sea Hag intends to pop out of the fog northwest of the English home island and catch the slow Patagonia, winning a boarding party to eliminate the powerful Lord Mycron (if Robinson died instead, Mycron would have to get tossed because of the ship's point limit). However, Commodore Owen (aboard the 3 masted HMS Durham and the only remaining admiral crew left in the entire game after Beckett drowned in the sinking of the Apollo) is smart, and remembers how vulnerable Mycron could be to an attempt on his life. The Spanish ended their turn by launching two of my custom Mercenary ships and one from Cadet Captain Mike, the Pelayo.


After the only true lull in the War for CG1 subsides, the second and much smaller battle is about to begin.


Conflicts between gold runners may break out in the northeast, while the Acorazado looks to prey upon weaker English ships.


5/10/2016

2 more turns have been played! The San Estaban attacked first, and another melee began! The English line abreast formation broke up, and chaos ensued once more. The Saragoza, one of Spain's original ships from the start of the game, re-explored that island to allow the native canoes to load gold.


At the upper left, the Sea Hag has emerged from the fog for an assassination attempt on Lord Mycron! However, the Durham is there to save him. Once again, the Spanish have been hit with Celestine's Charts, eliminating all of their trade currents. At the lower left, the Grand River has dismasted the Sea Crane, who sailed too close to the Pirates. I believe this is the first act of hostility between the English and Pirates. At the upper right, the Bahama and Edinburgh Trader have reached a contested island in the northeast, but the Bahama will explore first.


More fighting in the battle area, and once again the Spanish are more effective than the English, who once again couldn't take advantage of their numerical superiority. The long-awaited Resolucion has finally been launched, and she sinks the Moor Hound.


The English score some hits on their turn, most importantly the Empress of India going 3/3 with an extra action from Mycron to nearly dismast the Resolucion.


This last picture shows a rarity: a new Pirate ship! The Grand River returned home enough gold for the Pirates to launch the DJC Harbinger, and Blackbeard finally had a ship! (Blackbeard was hired long ago but the Spanish obliterated most of the Pirate fleet before he could participate.) However, the Pirate fort built by the Grand River south of their home island is under siege by Le Favori, a former French and Spanish gold runner now looking to destroy the fort. She can't be hit by L range guns, so she can bombard the fort at her leisure. At the upper right, the Trepassey and Joya del Sol are racing to the former Cursed home island, which now holds untouched gold. In the upper center, the Acorazado hunts. The Antelope is her latest prey, though the little ship isn't carrying any gold. In fact, the Antelope decided to go down fighting rather than run, nearly winning a boarding party if not for Vaccaro's reroll! The English are wary of the Battleship's power, and have launched the Bilge to add to their gunships in the area. The Bilge is looking to team up with the Merlin, Saint James, and Ivory Star (what a random group of ships!) to form a sort of "anti-Acorazado squadron", to give English gold runners in the far east a chance of making it home safely. Their task is complicated by the Slipstream and Nautilus, dangerous subs who act as the Acorazado's bodyguards.

Ship count:
Pirates: 3 ships
Spanish: 39 ships
English: 37 ships


I have to admit, I'm really enjoying the final phase of this game. Deciding on a final replenishment was a great idea, because not only does it speed up the endgame, it also makes for exciting and unique gameplay. Both fleets are sending gold runners far outside their home waters, with ships sailing all over the map in a frantic race to claim the last coins in existence. The main battle in the War for CG1 rages in its usual south-central location, but the potential star of the show (El Acorazado) has left on a mission of her own. After the English have mostly finished repairing, it's now Spain's turn to repair some of her damaged gunships, among them the Cristal, Poor Adams, and Tepant. All the while the Pirates continue to make progress, quietly eager to slip under the radar into a finish better than 3rd place....

5/10/2016

Three turns have been played so far today, with more coming a bit later. Xerecs' Pirates are two turns behind now, which is why they look dormant here.

At the top left, the Sea Hag has turned her attention away from Lord Mycron (now protected by the Durham) to the Goodfellow, a ship carrying 4 now-rare gold coins. In the far north, the Acorazado has been unsuccessfully rammed by both the Pandora's Box and Maui's Fishhook, and for that the fates of those two ships are sealed. Olano (a marine aboard the Slipstream slightly to the south) missed the Antelope, but her days (or turns!) were numbered as well. The Spanish were really struggling in the southern battle, where the Mourning Star has been dismasted. HMS Forge has eliminated a canoe and will soon eliminate the others carrying gold. An even greater threat, HMS Grand Temple, has finally arrived after being dismasted in the heat of the first battle.


After another English turn, the Pelayo and Shadow's Death have sunk. At the right of the frame, Spain's last hopes for winning the battle lie in the captured USS Morning Star, La Academia, and the Castillo del Infanta.


Developments in the north: the anti-Acorazado squadron is poised to strike, the Joya del Sol beats HMS Trepassey to the former Cursed HI, and the Goodfellow slips past the slow Sea Hag.


The Acorazado gets her SAT, and strikes first! The first action sank the Maui's Fishhook, while the second crippled the small squadron. Luis Zuan actually spread out his firepower here, because with the Acorazado's defenses, he only needed to knock each ship down to 2 masts or less to prevent any shots from damaging the flagship. The Nautilus and Slipstream helped out, and the English squadron was already doomed. At the bottom, the Edinburgh Trader is carrying gold to the English home island, while some Spanish canoes are looking for gold at the right.


At long last, English victory in the south! The Burma sank the Saragoza, while the Grand Temple sank other Spaniards and captured the USS Morning Star, hoping to gain her help by scuttling her with Eternal Gus Schultz aboard, much like the Spanish did earlier. The Forge used a double action to take out all of the Castillo's guns, and now La Academia is the only thing preventing the English from getting to the Spanish home island! Unsurprisingly, England's larger ships (GT, Forge, and Burma) tipped the battle in their favor, though both sides were very inaccurate in their gunnery today from sheer exhaustion.


Clockwise from the upper left: The Durham brings the Sea Hag down to one mast while the Goodfellow docks. The anti-Acorazado squadron surrounds the Spanish flagship, but all three rams (and boarding parties) fail and two captains are cancelled. The Trepassey sets off in hot pursuit of the Joya del Sol and her "stolen" loot, but it's unlikely she can win a boarding party against the big galleon. A canoe grabs the last coin from the island, while another successfully blocks HMS Hound, who misses a shot. At this point both fleets have enough gold saved up to launch one or two support gunships.


Pirates: 3 ships
Spanish: 29 ships
English: 32 ships

5/11/2016

A few more turns have been played. At the top left, the Edinburgh Trader sustained damage from the Nautilus before escaping through a whirlpool. In the northeast, the Trepassey managed a heroic act, ramming a mast off the much larger Joya del Sol, and winning the boarding party 6-5 to steal a coin worth 7 gold! The Grand Temple moved east to eliminate some canoes and eventually dismast the Poor Adams. Near the Spanish home island in the south, the Tepant blocks native canoes from the Forge, while the Cristal del Obispo finishes repairing.


In the far north, the Acorazado, Slipstream, and Nautilus took care of the anti-Acorazado squadron, sinking every ship except for the Merlin (who sank on the following turn). The Forge got as close as any ship has gotten to the Spanish home island, taking a mast off the Monarca and ramming the Tepant derelict and causing further headaches for the Spanish. In the northwest, the English have a new plan. Seeing their squadron fail miserably against the Acorazado, England is planning to bunch all of her ships into one or two main fleets, to prevent the chaos that has occurred lately since the final replenishment. The English need to take out the Acorazado to win the game, and to do that they may have to use swarm ramming, though the Grand Temple and others could provide some adequate firepower. Neither fleet is looking very strong at this point, and both need to be careful not to lose their best ships until they confront each other directly.


An interesting situation in the southwest. The Favori has abandoned her bombardment of Dead Man's Point to assist the Morning Star and Isabela, who are in trouble from the Harbinger and Grand River. If the Pirates can capture the tribal chieftains, the Pirates could have some extra gold rather quickly. The 2 on the Pirate HI is from the Sea Crane's helmsman - the Grand River was able to board, but not capture the junk before the English scuttled her.


The Spanish sank the Forge, with the Monarca taking the Tepant in tow. Both fleets have finally launched some ships (undoubtedly some of the last purchases of the game) - the Spanish with the Viking longship Kalmar and the English with the Ark Royal, Victor, and Lizard. Those English ships were launched at Ramsgate, and they look to rendezvous with the Durham and others to form a squadron. The other English squadron is what's left over from the southern battle, though the Grand Temple (the English flagship) has gone north a bit to eliminate some Spanish canoes. About 60 ships remain afloat.


5/13/2016

CG1 has continued! It took 5 ships, but the English managed to capture the Academia. The Spanish battle fleet is assembling, but a recent plan has been revived. The Spanish and English will once again team up to eliminate the Mobilis and likely the Pirates in general. The English need the Mobilis eliminated in order to win the game. The Spanish are worried that the Acorazado and/or Nautilus would be sunk in a fleet action against the English, hence the opportunity to eliminate the Mobilis now before the final battle.


At the lower left, the Harbinger has engaged the Spanish. In the northern center of the sea, the Acorazado, Nautilus, and Slipstream are making full speed towards the Pirates.


After another turn, the Harbinger dismasted the Favori before being rammed by the Isabela. The Isabela was trying to distract the Harbinger so the Morning Star would escape with her gold. In the center, it's evident that the reinstatement of Spain and England's agreement doesn't provide a true armistice, as the Grand Temple and James Madison exchange shots. In the northeast, the Hound has let the Joya del Sol and captured Trepassey go after being frustrated by a canoe blocker.


After another turn, a few major developments. In the southwest, the Harbinger received an SAT from Le Requin and absolutely dominated. The Isabela was dismasted, while the Morning Star lost 3 masts. The Harbinger S-boarded both ships with the double action, capturing the tribal chieftains on both ships, which would be worth 18 gold if unloaded at the Pirate HI! However, that would be a difficult task, as the English and Spanish were both rushing to blockade the Pirate HI. The Spanish launched the Matuku at the end of their turn. The English sank the James Madison and scuttled the Poor Adams, while the Hound headed for the last available gold coins on an island to the north. (Dead Man's Point also has some gold; the coins on the islands in the northwest and southeast corners are the Celestine's Charts UT.) Xerecs and I are trying to finish the game by the end of this weekend!


5/13/2016

The chase for the Pirates continues in earnest!


Using extra actions from CGRO and Mycron, the English arrive first! The Mobilis cancels the Ark Royal's captain, but the Victor slips in and goes 3/3 to take the Harbinger down to 2 masts. The Pirate home island has been blockaded by the English, while the Cristal del Obispo nearly destroyed the Dead Man's Point fort to the south. Outside of the southwestern corner, the ocean is mostly deserted. The Hound and Joya del Sol bring back each fleet's final treasure haul.


With the English seemingly cutting off the Acorazado and Nautilus from the rest of the Spanish fleet, Luis Zuan issues an ultimatum: back off, or the Mobilis will survive. The English immediately obey, knowing the Challenger would need a canceller to even touch the Mobilis. The Spanish finish off the Pirate fort. A big move happened when the English managed to sink the Harbinger! The Ark Royal rammed a mast off, and then Mycron gave the Victor a double shoot action to sink the ship with Blackbeard and 21 points of captured crew aboard! The Acorazado and Nautilus are preparing for the final attack on the Mobilis and Grand River.


After a quick consultation among the members of the Acorazado's crew, the Spanish decided to attack! The Grand River had sunk the Ark Royal, though she returned to the English HI via Eternal. Castro gave the Acorazado the SAT, but first the Nautilus moved forward to cancel the Mobilis and hit the Grand River twice. The Acorazado surged ahead, cancelling the Mobilis to the surface and sinking her!! Then the Acorazado used her second action to go 5/5 and sink the Grand River and eliminate the Pirates from the game!! (This picture also shows the resumption of the war between Spain and England, with the Santa Ana and some canoes already sunk.)


And with that, Xerecs is officially out of the game! I have technically "won" CG1, though two fleets remain for the final battle, which will take place in the next 24 hours. Thank you, Xerecs, for playing such a great game with me, and thank you for sticking it out with all three of your fleets even as they were slowly defeated. More to come in the reflection post!

May 14th will see the War for CG1 come to an end, with either Spain or England claiming victory in the biggest game in the history of Pirates CSG!!

5/14/2016

With the final battle imminent, the final day of play started in CG1!

With the Pirates eliminated, the War for CG1 resumed in earnest. The Spanish managed to sink the Grand Temple, a ship that could have been useful against El Acorazado. Her and the Nautilus are waiting for the English to come to them.




The Iron Prince, with Mycron helping, took the Cristal del Obispo down to 2 masts. However, she and the Cheshire were sunk and dismasted on the next turn. The Spanish had won the battle on the eastern side of the former Pirate HI, but the battle on the western side was just beginning, with the Acorazado dismasting the Goodfellow and damaging the Edinburgh Trader.


The English swarm the Acorazado by ramming her with 5 ships, but none of them roll a 6! At the top of the frame are 3 of England's most important ships: the Challenger (can shoot at submerged ships within S of her), the Durham (carrying the only admiral crew and the default flagship now that the Grand Temple has sunk), and the captured USS Morning Star, their best remaining offensive weapon.


Here, the Acorazado and Nautilus fight off the horde, though they are essentially immune since the ships are pinned to the Acorazado and cannot eliminate masts by shooting them off since the Acorazado must be hit 3 times in one shoot action to eliminate her first mast. The rest of the Spanish battle fleet hurry west to help the Acorazado. Things are not looking good for the English.


A partial turn later, and the Morning Star has sunk the Cristal del Obispo! Finally the Inquisitor is no more!


The Burma and Durham are cancelled by the Nautilus and Acorazado, while the Morning Star is nearly dismasted by the superior Spanish force. Up north a few more English ships are entering the fray, as the Spanish send ships to meet them.


The Spanish recapture the Morning Star, but HMS Burma and HMS Challenger manage to ram two masts off the Acorazado! This is the first time she's taken damage in quite some time. The Acorazado did manage to sink the Durham, which meant that Mycron was the only crew left in the English fleet capable of giving them extra actions.


The whole map, showing how the battle has shifted to the north side of the former Pirate home island. The Hound is almost back to the English HI with 4 gold, while the Joya del Sol sails for gold (now that Dead Man's Point is gone) in the deep south.


After another turn, the Spanish take complete control. The English are brought down to 4 ships, the same number that they started the game with. The Hound, Ark Royal, Patagonia, and Poor Adams are England's last hope.


A few turns later, and the Spanish head north to finish off the English!


The main part of the final battle took place around the former Pirate HI, but the final shots will be fired in the northwest. The Spanish have captured the Ark Royal and bombarded Ramsgate. At the lower right, the Tepant and Poor Adams (both captured ships) are shooting at each other with their bow chasers, with neither ship possessing a captain. HMS Hound used her 4 gold to crew herself with a captain and oarsman, and a double action from Mycron let her dismast the Wodin. The English are fighting hard until the end, as evidenced by the damage on almost all Spanish ships left in play.


After the Nautilus dismasts the Hound, the English are essentially down to two ships, the Poor Adams and Patagonia.


The Slipstream dismasted the Poor Adams, who was quickly captured by the Wicked Kareen! The Hound is sunk, while the Acorazado (the Spanish flagship) fittingly heads north to meet the Patagonia and Lord Mycron, the last English presence in the game!


It started with 6 fleets, grew to a game with over 200 ships and over 3,500 total points in play, and now it all comes down to this.


The Patagonia put up a fight, but was ultimately no match for the legendary Acorazado! The Spanish have won VASSAL Campaign Game 1!!!!


Upon hearing the news, immediately the cheer went up throughout the fleet: VIVA EL IMPERIO ESPANOL!

It's finally over! After almost exactly 3 months of play (the first day of play was 2/12/2016), CG1 has finally come to a conclusive end! The Spanish Empire reigns supreme, for they not only rule the ocean, but I believe they also eliminated all 5 other factions. Tomorrow I will post a reflection upon the game, but for now, Spain is the ruler of the waves!

5/15/2016

Reflection post

Looking back on the first-ever VASSAL campaign game, Xerecs and I have a lot to be proud of. Not only did CG1 become the biggest game in the history of Pirates CSG, it was also the first time that such a long, intense, and epic game was played remotely. With Xerecs in California and myself in New York, we dealt with a 3 hour time zone differential, which we navigated quite well. Any problems were handled quickly and easily, and rules implemented after the game's start were agreed upon to avoid any delays. Through many email exchanges, we were able to coordinate a ton of times where we both could meet, and play this great game. Once again, thank you, Xerecs, for playing this game with me. Also, thanks to B.J. for creating the Pirates module in the first place - without it, this obviously wouldn't have happened. (Also thanks to El Cazador for his occasional watching, and always humorous comments.)

And with that, an analysis of the game. I may be the biggest fan of campaign games this game has ever seen, so it should come as no surprise that I also love the flashbacks, numbers, analysis, nostalgia, and more.

Spain played one of the absolute best games of all time, by any faction and in any setting. Not only did they manage to win the game in the long run, but they did so at extreme odds. The Spanish were imperialists right from the start. They literally declared war on ALL FIVE of the other factions, and wound up eliminating all of them (England technically struck the fatal blow against the Cursed, but the Spanish did most of the work). Showing no mercy, they went on a run that was only slowed by a historically large English battle fleet towards the end of the game. Even with that, Spain still came out on top. It's almost hard to describe just how dominant the Spanish were in this game. In terms of combat and war, this game WAS Spain. In the end, they accomplished their ultimate goal of having a Spanish Empire that dominated the entire ocean.

The Spanish appeared aggressive from the very early stages of the game. Of my three fleets (the Spanish, Cursed and English), I decided that the Spanish would be my "imperial faction". The Cursed would do typical Cursed things and annoy just about everyone, and I had some fun with that for a while. The English would sort of be the "nice faction" this time around, as evidenced by their strategy not to engage enemy fleets unless they became hostile. The Cursed were never a likely candidate to win the game, and so Spain took the early lead. They were the first to instigate combat, with the Tartessos firing upon the American fort Thompson's Island. The Spanish easily established control of the two wild islands east of their home island, while simultaneously denying the Americans and hurting their potential gold system. It was a strong statement, and set them up well for the future. It's safe to say that America never recovered.

In addition to making Spain my most aggressive faction, I wanted to establish a strong gold system that took advantage of their many ships with the +1 and +2 gold abilities. Getting all of those ships into the game was a priority, to the point where the Spanish even started the game with La Saragoza (a ship with the +1 gold bonus ability but also S speed) rather than something like La Monarca. I was determined to launch all of the bonus ships, which included launching many more sets of their native canoes than the one set that started the game. Less than two weeks into the game the Spanish had a record 7 sets of canoes for 35 canoes in total, though they wouldn't launch any more after that.

One of the more impressive things the Spanish accomplished was eliminating the Cursed despite not being a part of the First Coalition. Originally intended to be a major alliance between America, France, and England, the coalition fell apart when Spain declared war on the French and continued to receive tribute payments from the Americans. Later in the game, the English took the lead for the coalition against the Cursed, but by that point Spain had already declared war on the Cursed after the Cursed made a mistake in attacking Fortaleza Dorada. The First Coalition was formed to eliminate the Cursed and contained half of the game's fleets, but it was ultimately unsuccessful, though the Spanish eliminated the Cursed rather easily.

It's worth noting that this was essentially the first huge game I've ever played where I wasn't rooting for my favorite faction, the English. I anticipated rooting for them as the game went on, but the opposite happened. Managing and expanding the Spanish Empire became so fun that I was actually rooting for Spain! (However, there was no bias in the War for CG1 - I desperately played each fleet equally in order to have a true winner.) I also became attached to a lot of Spanish ships through the various battles and wars, which furthered my affection towards the faction.

Spain also made the Americans a "vassal" state, which was truly ironic and amusing given the game was being played on the VASSAL module. However, this eventually illustrated one of Spain's only "failures" - they intended to essentially make the Americans their colony, but maintaining significant resources in the far east began to hold the Spanish back. They let the Americans go, which extended the Americans' stay in the game. The Spanish were also one of the only nations to launch purpose-built squadrons, which included the Fire Squadron and Inquisition Squadron. Lastly, the Battle of the Two Paradises (the main battle of the Franco-Spanish war) was not decisive from the start. Between the effective French gunships in the area and the backfiring Spanish equipment (rolling 1's with fire shot), France had a chance to win the battle early on, but the Spanish had a numerical superiority that was hard to overcome.

Notable ships that were either heroic or had a large impact on the game: Acorazado, Garante, Augusta, Muerta, and many others

A quick analysis of the other fleets, in the order of gameplay (the Spanish went fourth after the Americans):

French
While setting up a huge network of trade currents, the French annoyed the English and Spanish by building two copies of Paradis de la Mer on wild islands the English and Spanish wanted to share. As the French hadn't been bothered by any of the factions up to that point (not even the Cursed), it was a move that started their eventual demise. The French fought extremely well in the Franco-Spanish war and lasted a lot longer than the Spanish wanted them to. They came closest to handing the Spanish navy a defeat.
Notable ships: Le Bonaparte, Geographe, Favori

Pirates
The Pirates had a relatively standard gold strategy, though they made some waves by spending 91 gold in a single turn (probably the most in one turn up to that point in the game) to purchase 3 gunships, all with the gold capture ability. I (and the Cursed specifically) was extremely annoyed to see Cursed Captain Jack make an entrance. From then on, the Pirates hesitated to attack the Spanish on their western front, and never did so. The Spanish declared war and eventually wiped them out.
Notable ships: Grand River, Harbinger, Swift, Black Heart

Americans
To be honest, the Americans were basically stomped on and bullied by the Spanish since the very early part of the game. After losing Thompson's Island and paying tribute to the Spanish, they had no shot at winning the game. However, they fought hard and lasted longer than expected, at first because the Spanish wanted to keep them alive and later because of their own skill and tenacity. The Carolina completed one of the longest journeys of any ship in any game. She departed from the American home island with the Louisiana, sailing almost the entire width of the ocean to arrive in English waters. There, she successfully recruited the English into the First Coalition, which partially led to the elimination of the Cursed. She joined the Americans in fighting the Cursed, nearly being sunk by a Cursed fort. With English help she repaired and then eventually captured the Poor Adams, and made a final stand against the Spanish by helping the English.
Notable ships: Carolina, Frontier, Mississippi, Louisiana, Morning Star

Cursed
The Cursed proved to be a major annoyance almost right from the beginning. They used Davy Jones to eliminate the Wasp from the game, and then turned their attention to the English, sinking the Aberdeen Baron and using their L-movers to force other English gold runners off the map (flat earth rules). Once the English got smart and didn't sail their ships close enough to the edge for the Cursed to shove them off, the Cursed turned their attention back to the Americans, eliminating the Jarvis (and 3 canoes in the process). The Cursed then threw the Grand River onto a reef to eliminate 5 of her 6 masts, which greatly annoyed the Pirates. The Cursed launched the fog hopping squadron, which was moderately successful in carrying out different missions. It was gradually worn away, losing a ship or two per mission. They also launched a big Fear squadron, which fell to the combined might of Spain and England. The Cursed took great advantage of a lot of powerful gimmicks in this game, but didn't come away with much to show for it. Their biggest mistake was attacking the Spanish, who proceeded to wipe them out.
Notable ships: Divine Dragon, Loki's Revenge, Hell Hound

English
The English established a very strong gold system and a decent array of gunships to defend them with. The Dreadnought was launched early on, and Carbon Charlie eventually gave her a new-record 10 extra cannons to increase her firepower to 15 shots per turn. The English began saving gold way back on 2/27, and didn't spend nearly any of it until launching their minor faction squadron on 3/28. The minor faction squadron sailed against the Cursed, but the Spanish got there first, so the squadron was generally ineffective. On 3/9, the English had 504 gold. On 4/16, they peaked at 864 total gold, which they spent to launch the biggest battle fleet ever, intending to eliminate the Spanish. They had a numbers advantage and the first strike, but somewhat poor cannon accuracy and the loss of their super squadron (with 4 cancellers) gave them a close second place finish.
Notable ships: Dreadnought, Apollo, Grand Temple, Endeavour, others

The most important overall crew in the game included Amiral Stephan Dupuy, Emperor Blackheart, Elizabeth Swann, Commodore David Porter, the mysterious "first" Spanish admiral (aboard El Garante), later succeeded by the slightly more reasonable Admiral Luis Zuan, Davy Jones, and the English Lords Beckett, Mycron, and Gunn.

Most important UT: Celestine's Charts (lol)

Here are some interesting things I found while looking back at the reports.

First faction to launch: Cursed
First ship eliminated: Wasp
First ship to lose a mast: Swift
First ship sunk: Executioner
First ship permanently sunk: Aberdeen Baron
First HI expansion: English
First faction to hire a privateer: Pirates
First ship captured: USS James Madison (by La Habana)
First fort upgrade: Spanish
First declaration of war: Spanish (ALL declarations of war: Spanish)
First faction eliminated: France
Strongest alliance: America/England (though Xerecs knows more about the Franco-American alliance than I do)

Dates of elimination:
French: 4/15
Cursed: 4/26
Americans: 5/9
Pirates: 5/13
English: 5/14

Major Battles:
Battle of the Two Paradises: Spanish soundly defeat the French
Battle of the Devil’s Maw: Spanish defeat the Pirates, though the Pirates suffer light losses after retreating quickly
Battle of the Pirates’ home island: Spanish soundly defeat the Pirates
Battle of the Cursed home island: Spanish and English (not in an alliance) soundly defeat the Cursed
War for CG1: Spanish outlast and outplay the English to win the game

Minor Battles:
Battle of Thompson’s Island: Spanish victory
Battle of El Puerto Blanco (eastern): Strategic Spanish victory
Battle of the Cursed wild islands: Cursed victory
(Other minor battles took place as well; many had the Cursed as the aggressor.)

Official new records:
Total points: 3,516 (likely reached about 3,700 soon afterwards)
Total ships: 208
Largest single-turn launching: 628 gold (English battle fleet)
Largest recorded single-fleet point total: Spanish at 1,631 points
Largest fleet of any faction: Spanish at 111 ships
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Subject: CG2   PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:59 pm Reply with quote

VASSAL Campaign Game 2


Played from February-December of 2016

2/16/2016

With much anticipation and planning, the second VASSAL campaign game has begun! This one goes in a separate thread so they don't get confused, with the first one having battle reports in the regular BR thread.

The game is being played by four different players, listed in the order of play below. As with the first campaign game (Campaign Game 1 or CG1), the starting fleets were 30 points. Each wild island had 7 coins which would replenish when at least 4 islands were empty. Flat earth rules are being used.

French (El Cazador)
La Vengeance +
Le Triton +

Pirates (Xerecs)
Darkhawk II + helmsman, explorer
Bloody Jewel + explorer
Banshee's Cry
Mermaid
Lightning

English (a7xfanben)
HMS Yardbird + helmsman
HMS Half Moon + helmsman
Honu Iki + helmsman

Americans (ownage98)
Blackwatch + Commodore Edward Preble
Rattlesnake + captain

Oddly enough, the HI setup coincidentally resembled the real world, with the English in the north, the Americans in the west, and the French in the east. The Pirates took the southern HI.






3/12/2016

Progress has been made! Ownage decided to drop out of the game, leaving El Cazador, Xerecs, and myself to continue.

The action saw each faction launch a handful of extra treasure runners, expanding the fleets and leading to the first gold replenishment.


3/13/2016

Another handful of turns passed, with even more gold runners being introduced. Among them were the Aberdeen Baron, Tiger's Eye, Hai Peng, and Le Lyon.


Here, the Lyon has gone through a whirlpool to emerge in the northwest, while the Pirates take advantage of the broken abilities of the Rising Sun and Captain Jack Sparrow.


4/16/2016

After a month of inactivity, CG2 has continued! Still no shots fired, but this picture gives a glimpse of all the launchings.



A quick ship count, in the order of gameplay:

French: 9 ships
Pirates: 24 ships
English: 19 ships

Total: 52 ships

6/22/2016

This game has continued.

The first official point count, in the order of play:
French: 11 ships, ~169 points*
Pirates: 34 ships, 442 points
English: 28 ships, 413 points

Total: 73 ships, 1,024 points

With over 1,000 total points in play, we have already reached huge game status!

(*El Cazador has kept many of his crew face down, so I simply assumed an average of 3 points each for those)



It's worth noting that Emperor Blackheart made the Corse fire upon Le Soleil Royal, but other than that there hasn't been any combat action.

6/30/2016

We have begun using the new version of the Pirates module to play CG2.

Exciting things are finally happening!

My English launched the Baochuan with Admiral Zheng He and Katsura-chan!


The Zeus is loose! Xerecs' Pirates respond with a 10 master of their own!


However, the English have attacked! They're not going to be nice like they were in CG1! Whirlpool sub squadron ATTACK!

The Terror came through a whirlpool first, using El Cazador's custom Nobunaga marine crew to shoot a mast off the Pride, a Pirate schooner. Then the Slipstream followed suit, using Major Peter Sharpe to blast off another mast. To complete the attack, HMS Oxford sailed through the whirlpool and was given an AA (Admiral's Action - the crew you must roll a 6 with) to knock three masts off the nearby Darkhawk II and steal a coin!


9/26/2016

CG2 has finally continued!

The English press their attack! (southwest of the center) The Pirates managed a nice counterstrike, dismasting the Oxford! However, more submarines were on the way! The Terror and Slipstream were followed through the whirlpool by the Mobilis and Hephaestus, as well as HMS Bolingbroke! The Bolingbroke splintered masts on the Darkhawk II and the Thirty Tyrants, while the Terror surfaced to shoot at the Windjammer! The Pride has been dismasted, but the Pirates have the Broken Key and Ranger nearby to help recover from the raid.


After another turn, the English and Pirates have unloaded quite a lot of gold, while the French appear to be heading east, despite the flat earth rules.


Up close in the action! The Bolingbroke was dismasted, and is due to be scuttled. The Terror was sunk! The other English-controlled subs were ineffective, but they had a final ship join them: HMS Success. She was given an AA (admiral's action) after coming through the whirlpool, inflicting minor damage on the Ranger. This burst of combat has spiced up the game, and we hope to continue soon!


In terms of launches, El Cazador launched a custom 5 master, while I launched HMS Durham with Lord Cutler Beckett, giving the English 4 total AA (admiral action) crew.

10/4/2016

Two more turns have been played. HMS Success and HMS Oxford were captured by the Pirates, who launched the Prussian Crown, presumably to deal with the Mercenary subs hired by the English. Those three subs were ineffectively ramming the various Pirate gunships in the area, while Major Peter Sharpe missed sinking the Oxford (to deny the Pirates from using her).

The French nearly sailed off Ocean's Edge, but had second thoughts and eventually turned their ships around. Introducing El Cazador's custom Hyrule faction to the game, the French launched the RHS Nayru and built Hyrule Castle on their home island!

At the end of my turn, the English launched the Shui Xian and hired crew for the Baochuan!


10/8/2016

More turns have been played with very interesting developments.

The English did something I believe to be unprecedented. After launching the Shui Xian, they proceeded to launch the Zhanfu on their next turn! The Zhanfu is one of the 10 masters from Return to Savage Shores. Then, after using an AA (admiral's action) to dock home the Scots' Pride for enough gold, they purchased the Fortaleza (also from RtSS) as well!! Three 10 masters in three turns! However, by the end of it they were flat-out broke and will remain poor for the time being. They also didn't have enough gold to put much crew on the Fortaleza - the gold from the Scots' Pride was needed just to launch the final 10, let alone have a good crew complement aboard. However, the crews of the Shui Xian and Zhanfu are more impressive, hosting the likes of Lawrence, Huang Bai, Captain Nemo, and others. This flurry of launches give the English 4 10 masters in play, which may be a campaign game record.

The English had also cleaned up in the south against the Pirates. After a dismal turn of bad rolls, they had two good turns in a row to sink not only the captured Oxford and Success, but also the Pirate ships Thirty Tyrants and Darkhawk II! Most recently, the Deliverance showed up to contest the now-surfaced Hephaestus, but the Deliverance was sunk by the Mercenary sub after the Hephaestus went 6/6 with an AA! So in total, the English raid through the whirlpool almost had 3 distinct stages: initial success with the element of surprise, followed by the Terror being sunk and the Oxford and Success captured, and now with the remaining submarines (Hephaestus, Mobilis, and Slipstream) doing a great job of salvaging the operation and hurting the Pirates by permanently taking some of their better ships out of the game. It also mirrors CG1 a little bit, where the English got some hired help to combat the Cursed. However, the English are doing a much better job this time around, making sure their minor faction helpers have enough crew to be effective in their missions.

The French seem to be changing their ways a little bit. Understandably shy in combat so far with a (somewhat) smaller battle fleet, they attacked the Pirates! The Recreant had actually shot first, but the French got the better of the engagement, capturing the Pirate 3 master with Le Lyon. The Soleil Royal then ventured into Pirate waters to dismast the Dragon! This was a rare instance of hurting a fleet's gold system, and that's one of the best ways to bring down a faction in a campaign game (though it's often difficult).

If it looks like the Pirates had a rough day, that would be correct. However, they were well prepared for whatever came next. The 20 point Flying Dutchman sailed towards the submarines with canceller Tia Dalma aboard, with the sub-hunting Prussian Crown and Corcoran nearby. The Zeus and other Pirate gunships still loomed large, and in the far south you can see the Victoire departing the Pirate home island.


The next phase of the game promises much excitement!

10/9/2016

A single turn has been played since the last report, but it was a notable one. The Flying Dutchman opened fire on the Hephaestus and did minor damage.

As the English, I knew what my strategy was. First the three submarines got through the whirlpool to safety, back in the north. Then, it was time to ATTACK! The 10 masters were sent into battle!


Emerging from the whirlpool, both ships sacced for extra actions. The Shui Xian was first, hitting 5/9 overall (I think) against the Corcoran and Prussian Crown. The Zhanfu was next, and Huang Bai positioned her to ram and board the Flying Dutchman, with Lawrence aboard the Shui Xian cancelling the FD's Ghost Ship keyword. The Zhanfu was a bit less effective, taking out three masts on the Flying Dutchman. At the end of the attack I rolled 4 consecutive 1's, two on shots, one on a reroll, and one on the ram roll. However, the Zhanfu won the boarding party! This allowed Captain Nemo to capture Captain Barbossa! I wanted to make sure I could ram in order to have enough crew to sac on the next turn, since the Zhanfu was running with one less extra crew than the Shui Xian, and I wanted to avoid saccing the shipwright or primary oarsman.


Xerecs' counterattack will no doubt be devastating, but the Fortaleza may also be sent through the same whirlpool!

Three other things: the Shui Xian is using Woodes Rogers, a rare instance of him being useful. At the end of Xerecs' turn, he launched the Grand Path and Fool's Hope at his home island. Also, El Cazador's Soleil Royal managed to light the Cassandra aflame with some exploding shot, continuing the assault on Pirate gold runners!

xerecs wrote:
From my turn right after this:

Cassandra immediately turned for home, but the fire spread, however the Lighting has come out to meet her, possibly to tow her home. La Victoire used a SAC to bring the Royal down to one mast, and then the Feathered Hat got in on the action, sinking the Royal, and damaging another french ship in the process.

The FD got her SAT and went 2/4 against the Zhanfu, while Lawrence and Tia Dalma cancelled each other out. The Sea nymph used a double action provided by Jean Laffite to fire 8 time on the SX, but only hit with half her shots. The PC and Corcoran split off, trying to get to safety to repair. The Zeus used a SAC to get her first five cannons in range of the SX, but only hit once in five tries.

The Grand Path and Fool's Hope have deployed from the Pirate HI, ready to assist Pirate efforts on any front.


el_cazador wrote:
From my turn right after this:

With the sudden disappearance of Le Soleil Royal, the French decided to stay put and hit harder. Down went La Victoire to the holy sword of St. Michael and the booming guns of the Nayru. Vive la France!

I also launched a custom 1 masted French galley.

And good to see the Cassandra burning. She sinks immediately at the start of Xerecs' next turn. Very Happy

Xerecs: note the crew on those ships. I have 2 cancelers in the area (in case you try to attack). Razz


10/9/2016

More exciting developments have unfolded!

Xerecs' counterattack knocked out more than half of the Shui Xian's masts, and the Zhanfu took damage as well.

As the English, my main objective had failed (if you can guess what is was heh). However, I eventually came to the conclusion that I needed to get my 10 masters out of a bad situation instead of losing them, or worse, having the Pirates capture them. The English were close to giving the Mercenaries the go ahead, but it would have been suicidal, and the main objective would likely have failed anyway.

Of course, there was damage to be done on the way out!! The Mobilis and Tia Dalma cancelled each other out, right before all three submarines high-tailed it outta there! Then it was time for the 10 masters. The Zhanfu was already on top of the whirlpool, so her first action was used to further damage the Flying Dutchman. The Zhanfu then used a sacrifice action to go through the whirlpool and emerge in the northwest where she had come from, near a friendly English fort where she and the Shui Xian could repair. The submarines had gone to a different fort, partly because the other fort would be quite crowded, and also to provide 2 targets via different whirlpools in the event of an immediate Pirate counterattack.

Here you can see the aftermath of a major skirmish. Certainly not a full-scale battle, but an important part of early-game combat. The Shui Xian and Zhanfu are looking to repair in the northwest, where the Fortaleza and Baochuan (two more 10 masters!) provide insurance in the case of a Pirate attack through the whirlpool. The battlefield looks strangely empty without the Merc 10's and the submarines - the Zeus is nearly intact, while the FD has been sunk. The Prussian Crown repairs at the Devil's Maw.


The Pirates and French continue to fight in the southeast while the 10 masters repair.


From north to south: the Baochuan has begun running treasure, picking up an entire island's worth of gold on her first trip. A bunch of English gold runners are crowded around their home island, and with some of the gold coming in I launched a few more ships. In the center, the French continue to get gold from their main 3 wild islands. In the south, total carnage between the French and Pirates! Xerecs recently launched the Rampage, a custom Merc 5 master with built-in cancelling.


It's a small picture, but a closeup of the carnage! One 5 master on each side lies derelict. The Nayru (a custom Hylian 5 master similar to El Acorazado) and Nautilus, both equipped with cancellers, hold the key to France's hopes in the battle. Their main opponents are the Grand Path and Feathered Hat, though El Ladron still has all her masts.


10/11/2016

Here are the latest ship and point counts as of October 11th!

French: 14 ships, ~232 points
Pirates: 33 ships, 515 points
English: 35 ships, ~670 points
Total: 82 ships, 1417 points

Since the last point count (June), the French have made some strides in their fleet, and lately they've made some waves by attacking the Pirates. The Pirates have about the same number of ships they had in June, but they have more crew since their point total is higher. The English, however, have climbed into the lead in both ship and point count! Their quartet of 10 masters (3 of them just about fully crewed) explains their point differential compared to the Pirates while having just 2 more ships.

Here both of the derelict 5 masters in the southeast have sunk; the Nayru flees the area while the Nautilus has submerged to reach safety underwater.


10/18/2016

After the English had failed to achieve their objective with a raid on the Pirates through the whirlpool, they finally had their 10 masters and submarines repaired! The turns of waiting and organizing another raid were over, and it was time for another strike!

ATTACK!! The Fortaleza is given an AA to sail through the whirlpool and unleash her firepower! A custom equipment of mine was revealed to be aboard:

Bow Chasers
Faction Affiliation: Neutral
Type: Equipment
Point Value: 5
This ship gains two additional cannons that can only shoot from the foremost mast of the ship. The cannons follow the range of the foremost mast of the ship, but they have 4 rank and the Extended Range keyword. The cannons can only fire in a straight line directly forward of the ship's bow. Other pieces of equipment cannot be used with Bow Chasers.

The Fortaleza's gunports opened up, and the upgraded Devil's Maw fort was in range! The new bow cannons missed, but her regular cannons hit, damaging the Pirate investment. Lord Thomas Gunn is the new admiral of the fleet, and from HMS Dauntless he gave the Fortaleza +1 to her cannon rolls this turn. However, in my opinion the Bow Chasers should stay at a fixed rank that cannot be modified, similar to how they cannot be used with other pieces of equipment.

The Fortaleza then fired on the Rising Sun at point-blank range, dismasting the ship. However, the English were just getting started...


Ducie Chads gave HMS Leicester the SAT, and she came through the whirlpool! The Zeus was in trouble! The Leicester revealed some Bow Chasers of her own and scored 3 hits to take out 6 masts on the Zeus! Then it got even worse for the Pirates - the Zhanfu is back!


With a successful shoot and boarding party, the Zhanfu took the Zeus down to one mast and captured sac captain Havana Black with Captain Nemo! Then it was the Shui Xian's turn. A 3rd 10 master came through the whirlpool, and just like the Zhanfu the SX sacced for an extra action. The SX missed the fort despite Woodes Rogers' rare bonus ability, but the Zeus was dismasted!


This shows the entire ocean. The subs also came through the whirlpool, including the two new ones. The English were not going to fail in their objective again! The first raid was 2 10 masters and 3 subs, but this raid has 3 10 masters and 5 subs, with the Leicester backing them up to boot! Lawrence and Tia Dalma have teamed up to freeze the Zeus, cancelling her helmsman and oarsman abilities. On their turn, the Pirates built Dead Man's Point and hired some crew, while the French have been forced to retreat from the southeast area where the Pirates have the new fort.


10/21/2016

The English onslaught was so abrupt and powerful that there wasn't much the Pirates could do about it in the short term. The Pirates backed off, save for the Ranger, who missed two consecutive Broadside Attacks against the Fortaleza. The Fortaleza responded by sinking the Ranger and the Rising Sun. However, the Pirates managed to get two valuable ships out of harm's way: check out the Hai Peng and Prussian Crown sailing away from the battle.

As you can see, the Zhanfu captured the Zeus! The Shui Xian and Fortaleza teamed up to destroy the upgraded Devil's Maw fort, technically costing the Pirates 55 gold!

With that, my first objective was complete! This is from my strategy document, and thus I can't show my other strategies which are still in progress. Destroy the fort upgrade with the 10 master squadron, sinking 10’s with the subs if captured. Mission accomplished! The fort was no more, and the English hardly lost any masts (2 on the Shui Xian), let alone any ships. My thinking was that if the Pirates had a launch point near a whirlpool, they could launch ships with which to get revenge on the English by using similar tactics, since it was the English who started this conflict. That being said, keep in mind that the English still haven't declared war on the Pirates. In fact, there hasn't been a declaration of war in this game!


The capture of the Zeus gives the English a whopping SIX 10 masted ships! The fifth was actually HMS Union Jack, a custom 10 master from Pirates of the Kraken Sea. The battle squadron in the south is somewhat exposed, but it has enough firepower to defend itself. I suppose it feels exposed since I am the one controlling it, and each ship had a special purpose until now, since the situation is more stable at this point. The 10's have good crew complements aboard, while the Leicester and submarines provide good support in the case of an emergency.


It seems to be a good time to do a general overview of each fleet's situation.

Here are the English in the north. From left to right: the Baochuan is being used as a gold ship, since she can empty an entire island each trip! HMS Durham (with valuable Lord Cutler Beckett aboard) is her guard ship. I love how campaign games get so big that you can simply assign a ship to guard another ship, like a personal bodyguard. The Dauntless is heading home, hoping to pick up some additional crew. That's what the Union Jack has just done, and she has some very good crew indeed. Her current setup gives +2 to her cannon rolls via Admiral James Norrington and Griffin. Many other ships are running gold. It looks less necessary now that the English have the largest fleet, but early in the game I made it a point to have "treasure runners with teeth". The English gold system is not a vulnerable one, because many of the gold runners have more than 2 masts, and a handful of them carry a captain in addition to a helmsman, providing more flexibility in the case of raids or attacks. The English have plenty of natural hybrids, and among their current ranks running gold are the likes of HMS Dover, Hyena, Metal Dragon, Swallow, Scots' Pride, and the Tiger's Eye. At the lower right, HMS Titan guards Ramsgate, in the case of an attack by the French or by a fleet through the nearby whirlpool. HMS Rye guards the Titan, giving the English two cancellers in one spot (Bratley is aboard the Titan). At the upper right, smaller English gold runners have handled the reefs rather well. There isn't much point in sailing the larger ships to that hazardous island, and so the 1 and 2 masters do the job. It's also the furthest island the English are currently harvesting, but with 6 ships running gold it's reasonably efficient.


The center area, showing the entirety of the French fleet. They have fallen on hard times of late, as their raid on the Pirates didn't go as well as planned. They were thwarted in trying to get another island in their possession, losing two capital ships in the process. However, the Nayru and Nautilus have survived intact, and they and their cancellers provide France with some good weapons and defense. France simply needs to optimize her gold system and avoid a war with either of the other two factions (aka not making them angry lol), and she could begin to make major strides in this game.


The Pirates in the south. As you can see, their territory has been encroached upon by the English, who have essentially cut off two of their valuable islands. The English didn't foresee their attack going so well and being able to cut off some of the Pirates' resources, but the Pirates are still a strong faction, as evidenced by their many capital ships and powerful named crew. The English were particularly annoyed by the Pirate usage of "OP" game pieces, such as the UPS gold strategy. The capture of the Zeus and elimination of things like the Rising Sun (UPS) and Flying Dutchman (Eternal) may serve to level the playing field going forward, which is exactly what the English were after. However, factors such as Emperor Blackheart threaten to throw things out of balance once more, and if the Pirate shenanigans continue, it may inevitably lead to war....


The entire ocean. Notice how the English attack has dramatically reshaped the south - the northwestern part of the southern hemisphere is all of a sudden nearly devoid of Pirate activity. The Shui Xian quickly built Fort Royal on the island where the Devil's Maw stood, giving the SX and Zeus a place to repair. The Zeus moves S+S towards the fort on oar power, an ominous sign. Why so ominous? The ghostly crew of the Devil's Maw lay there, along with plenty of sacrificial oarsmen. It may be only a matter of time before the English loose Calico Cat on her former fleetmates....


Finally, the topics of UT placement and forts repairing via shipwrights have come up. No consensus has been reached, but it's likely that some of the "light" UT's will make an appearance at some point.

10/23/2016

Another day, another turn. The French are running gold almost exclusively due west to due east, as you can see from the orientation of their ships. The Nautilus has surfaced to repair near the French home island.

In a devastating turn of events, Emperor Blackheart rolled a 6 to use the Leicester! The gunship nearly dismasted the Zhanfu, and now only one of the four 10 masters in the area has all of her masts. It was a blow to the English cause, but it only served to make them extremely angry.

In the meantime, another gold replenishment was done.


10/24/2016

Exciting developments in the southwest! The Gladius Dei and Devil Ray came out of the fog to ram the Corcoran, hoping to dismast the sub hunter and therefore eliminate her as a threat to themselves. The Dei was completely ineffective, but the Devil Ray got an EA from Count Gustov and succeeded with both rams!

With an AA, the Leicester used her Bow Chasers to smash masts off the Foresight!! The English are gunning for Emperor Blackheart, and for good reason. While the English have built up their battle fleet with sheer firepower and a possible numbers advantage, EBH threatens to throw everything off course with a single lucky die roll. Lord Thomas Gunn doesn't see that as fair, and thus has ordered EBH's execution. HMS Apollo and HMS Union Jack have arrived through the whirlpool, the latter having been given an EA from Mycron to do so. The Zhanfu and Zeus (double Z! lol) repair, while the Shui Xian and Fortaleza are too far away to reach the Foresight.


The Pirates have sent most of their gunships west. However, the English may give them more trouble, as two more Pirate hunting gunships have been launched - HMS Victoria and HMS Diamond. The English will have justice!


11/29/2016

CG2 has continued once more! Xerecs and I took our turns to complete the round and I did a gold replenishment at the end.

The Pirates went on the run after being attacked by the English. Emperor Blackheart tried to get away aboard the Foresight, but the Leicester was given an AA to sail over the Sargasso Sea (rolling a 3 to not get stuck) and fire! With Ducie Chads' help, her powerful guns sank the Foresight, and EMPEROR BLACKHEART IS DEAD! This fulfills another one of my objectives as the English. Mission accomplished! EBH didn't roll many 6's before his demise (unlike Davy Jones in CG1), but one was all it took for the English to snap. The crippled Zhanfu is still repairing, and will be for quite some time. A weapon as powerful as EBH needed to be eliminated, and now the English and French (who also wanted EBH dead) can sail the seas without having to worry about having their capital ships too close together.

However, the situation may actually get much more interesting. The Leicester needed some support down in the deep south of the ocean, and the 10 masters were willing to assist. The Shui Xian used a sac action to sink the Prussian Crown, another ship on the English hit list. Now that the PC and Corcoran have been taken out of action, the English get closer and closer to being able to run unrestricted submarine warfare against the Pirates if they need to. Speaking of which, the Gladius Dei and Devil Ray managed to dismast the Cursed Blade with a series of rams; the Cursed Blade and Windjammer are visible at the extreme left of the picture.

The Fortaleza was next on the scene with an AA, but missed both her shots against the Longshanks. HMS Union Jack, England's latest 10 master, also arrived with an SAT from Commander Spencer Portland. However, the Pirates have considerable force amassed at their home island, most notably with the Rampage (a custom Merc 5 master with built-in cancelling) and two Jade privateer 6 masted junks.


12/4/2016

Exciting developments unfold!

Another round of turns took place today. The Pirates went after HMS Leicester, seeking revenge for the death of Emperor Blackheart. The Longshanks and Grand Temple (the latter with help from Tsai's SAT) dismasted the English gunship and captured Henry Ducie Chads with Dragon Eyes, at which point Woodes Rogers (aboard the nearby Shui Xian) hailed the Pirates:

Woodes Rogers: I would like to point out that we are not after the elimination of the Pirates. We have objectives that need to be met, but open war is not our primary goal with you scum.
* L Tool moved by Xerecs*
<a7xfanben> - WR: In other words, perhaps we can work out some terms?
<Xerecs> - Genny Gallows: You killed the Emporer.
<a7xfanben> - I think this is the first convo of this type lol, similar to CG1 heh
<Xerecs> - GG: But we can listen,
<a7xfanben> - WR: As needed. He ruins everything for everyone but yourselves.
<Xerecs> - One Extended shot from Ningpo on that ten
*** <Xerecs> rolls Red D6 -> [2] ***
<Xerecs> - miss
<Xerecs> - GG: We have quarrel with the French
<a7xfanben> - WR to himself: Even as they continue to fire...
<a7xfanben> - XD
<Xerecs> - GG: Blasted Frogs
<Xerecs> - GG: T'was one shot
<Xerecs> - GG: and it missed
<a7xfanben> - WR: You are still more powerful than the French. If certain things don't happen soon, that may change.
<Xerecs> - GG: You can take the Leicester back,
<Xerecs> - GG: But the Polaris and Sigurd are important to us.
<a7xfanben> - WR: We are not interested in a talentless Viking....
<Xerecs> - GG: I would not call him talentless.....
<Xerecs> - GG: I quite fancy him
<a7xfanben> - Lawrence: Blackheart is not the only nuisance in your fleet
<Xerecs> - GG: To what other nuisance to you refer?
<Xerecs> - GG: Captain Sparrow?
<a7xfanben> - WR: A certain junk, let's call her "Hai Peng"?
<a7xfanben> - WR: Him as well.
<Xerecs> - GG: Is oyur issue with the ship or with er captain?
<a7xfanben> - WR: Both are unnatural...
<a7xfanben> - WR: I would hardly expect the Pirates to be surprised that His Majesty's Navy wants Sparrow dead.
<Xerecs> - GG: Killing Sparrow would result in a cursed version of imself.
<Xerecs> - GG: Neither are in our best intrests
<a7xfanben> - WR: We're not asking you to kill one of your own.
<a7xfanben> - WR: Simply keep him in a jail cell where he belongs.
<a7xfanben> - WR: If not, Beckett will not simply keep him in a jail cell...
<Xerecs> - GG: But he brings us such nice shiny things......
<Xerecs> - GG: I've heard he is going to the Dead Man's Point.......
<a7xfanben> - WR: With unnatural powers that will lead you to your own doom.
<Xerecs> - GG: I can arrange for im to be......Detained
<a7xfanben> - WR: Good. We hope for hostilties to cease.
<Xerecs> - GG: Mind you, I cannot stophim from using his 'unnatural' powers one last time once he arrives.
<Xerecs> - GG: But after that it sould be simple to keep him there
<Xerecs> - GG: Your giant ships off our coast make us quite Nervous Woodes
<a7xfanben> - WR: Unless he escapes... or should I say when you LET him escape in his usual fashion? Wink
<Xerecs> - GG: Only a Pirate could keep him permanently in place.
<a7xfanben> - WR: How could we make demands without a show of force?
<Xerecs> - GG: For only a Pirate can truly know the mind of another Pirate
<Xerecs> - GG: Impressive display Woodes, you took one of ours to make it so.
<a7xfanben> - WR: Gives us Ducie Chads in the meantime; his hatred of Pirates will make him kill himself before you can get him back to the ransom market.
<Xerecs> - GG: Alas i truly do not know how to give im back, he's fallen to the Dragon Eyes, a truly mysterious fellow.

Here's the situation after the Pirate turn. 6 Pirate gunships have their bows pointed to the west; the Rampage has turned around and away from the battle.


At this point negotiations broke down. Almost all the English ships in the southern hemisphere have Pirate-hating crews aboard. In addition, the large crews of the powerful 10 masters had grown restless. The Leicester had taken care of the main objective - eliminating Emperor Blackheart. The English and Mercenary crews were itching for some action, and the Grand Temple's dismasting of the Leicester (and subsequent capture of Chads by Dragon Eyes) put them over the top. The Fortaleza surged forward and it was on! With an AA the Fortaleza shot about 9/20, taking the Grand Temple and Grand Path down to 3 masts each. The Shui Xian was given a sac action to move and shoot twice as well. Her first broadside sank the Longshanks, while her second broadside dismasted the Grand Temple and Raven's Neck and sank the Greed's Hammer. Then at long last it was time for the English 10 master: HMS Union Jack! The Union Jack had a triple cannon bonus against Pirate ships: +1 from Governor Lynch, +1 from Griffin, and +1 from Admiral James Norrington! This also meant that she had a +2 cannon bonus against ships of any faction, but against Pirates, 2's hit on all of her cannons! Commander Portland's SAT roll failed, but Mycron gave the ship an extra action to bail him out. The Raven's Neck and Ningpo were sunk in short order. Then the Union Jack had to maneuver so that some guns were in range of the Grand Path, but so that the UJ wasn't in range of the Rampage's built-in cancelling ability. This was accomplished, and the Grand Path was sunk! With 2 L-range guns in range of the Rampage, the UJ rolled a pair of 6's to damage the dangerous vessel. Finally, all 4 aft cannons on the UJ scored hits on the Ladron, making the Ladron the final Pirate ship to sink on the turn, one of six I believe. The English ended their turn by advancing even more Pirate-hating ships: HMS Apollo, HMS Victoria, and HMS Diamond are on their way. In addition, you can see the Mercenary subs advancing, without the Prussian Crown and Corcoran to oppose them.


The ocean. In a single turn the 3 English-controlled 10 masters in the deep south fired off around 50 shots to absolutely devastate the Pirate resistance. The English are still not interested in war, as they have made their demands to the Pirates clear:
<a7xfanben> - 1. Don't use Captain Jack Sparrow for the rest of the game.
<a7xfanben> - 2. Scuttle the Hai Peng.
<a7xfanben> - The English will be taking the Rampage as a prize of war; resistance will mean the end of the Grand Temple, Polaris, Dragon Eyes, Tsai, and Andersen.
<a7xfanben> - If the two demands are not met, the English will have no choice but to use force. In that case anything that gets in the way will be eliminated.
<a7xfanben> - TIME TO CAPITULATE!!!!!!!


12/5/2016

A few turns later, and the Pirates have agreed to the English demands. The English captured the Rampage, and a house rule allowed the Fortaleza to load Ducie Chads (previously captured by Dragon Eyes) after the Shui Xian eliminated the Grand Temple's oarsman. In the deep south you can see the 10 masters turning north, while the Mermaid has taken the Grand Temple under tow. The Leicester is about to get Chads back, after which he hopes to provide an SAT so the ship can move 4S on oar power. The Leicester will repair at Fort Royal, where the Zhanfu and Zeus have half of their masts up. The Victoria and Apollo have docked there as well, having lost masts to the whirlpool. Those two were originally headed south in case the 10 masters needed backup, but the battle has concluded already, the English objectives having been met.

In the southwest, the Devil Ray received an EA from Count Gustov, but missed all 4 of her shots in an attempt to sink the Corcoran. The Slipstream (with Major Peter Sharpe aboard) is coming over to assist the Devil Ray if needed, while the Gladius Dei prepares to ram any Pirates attempting a rescue.

The Pirates' plans seem to have shifted back to their beef with the French. Gunships have been launched on both sides. Among the new Pirate ships are the Harbinger, Coleoptera, and Nubian Prince. The French have hired more Hylians in their quest, with RHS Ordona joining the ranks. The Duc de Bourgogne and the Delacroix have set sail as well. It looks as though another battle could happen in almost the same location as the previous one.

The English have launched more ships as well. One turn saw them purchase 3 new gold runners, among them 2 armed merchantmen. The latest turn saw them launch another trio, this time all gunships. It remains to be seen what they intend to do in the near future, but they certainly have plans.


12/9/2016

Here we have another round of turns completed. The French certainly appear to be renewing their conflict with the Pirates: check out their squadron in the east heading south towards the Pirate fort. That group of ships includes the Nautilus (with canceller Christian Fiore aboard) and RHS Nayru, a Hylian ship similar to El Acorazado (also with a canceller aboard). Other ships are sailing with them, such as the defensive powerhouse La Corse.

The Pirates appear a bit worried about the French, which is quite understandable, especially considering that the Pirates don't have any cancellers at this point, Tia Dalma having been killed in combat earlier in the game and the Rampage being recently captured by the English. The Pirates are grouping up south of the fort however, and have some great firepower of their own: the Sea Nymph, Viper, Harbinger, Coleoptera, Akua Lapu, Golden Medusa and others look to be ready for battle. It will be interesting to see how that situation unfolds. It looks like the Pirates could be trying to draw the French into the southeast corner, putting them further from the French forts and home island, while also keeping the Pirates' main treasure lane open to that island. However, if the French can interrupt Pirate trade, the Pirates will have to fight farther north in order to end the threat. With the Pirates and English having fought numerous times (without either faction declaring war however) and their conflict at an end, the Pirates can go to their southwestern island more easily now. That's important since the Pirates really only have 2 islands readily available to them right now.

And what about the English? As their controller, I have various plans which I won't divulge here. I can give a few past strategies though (specific objectives in this case):
Sink the Hai Peng
Deals with the Pirates (?)

-The HP wasn't sunk, but probably won't need to be. Captain Jack Sparrow was unloaded at Dead Man's Point, where he won't be used anymore. Without him the Hai Peng is considerably less valuable (and less OP!) to the Pirates. A deal was made, as I explained earlier, and the Rampage was taken. It's been some months since this much peace existed between the Pirates and England.

The English launched a ship at the end of their turn: the Maui's Fishhook. I didn't want to launch a hoist this early in the game, but she is absolutely the perfect "medical barge". I believe that term was coined by cannonfury in his review of the Frontier. The MF has loaded up with 6 crew, two of which she'll keep: William Dampier (SAT) and a helmsman. The other 4 are oarsmen here, and they are to be delivered to ships that need them. The MF will be a busy ship helping out with crew logistics. Between the sac captains on the Shui Xian and Zhanfu, the somewhat under-crewed submarines hastily launched to get the sub squadron, and crew lost in combat, there are plenty of opportunities to use the MF. Her unexpected appearance and sudden strategy of using her combines with an objective the English have. This situation is one of my favorite things about campaign games - strategies that aren't viable in regular games become fun side diversions in CG's, and the flexibility and grand strategy involved just make it a much more rewarding experience.


12/12/2016

The French begin their assault! Dead Man's Point is quickly destroyed, and the Pirates have gathered their gunships near some reefs at a point south of where the fort stood.


Shortly after this picture, the Maui's Fishhook was able to complete her crew logistics mission to perfection, using an extra action to give an oarsman to the Mobilis (who also received a shipwright from the Hephaestus before being a given a move action of her own) and 3 oarsmen to the Shui Xian.


Attack! The French do tremendous damage, sinking multiple ships and getting the advantage of the first shot. The Pirate counterattack saw the Gris and Delacroix take considerable damage, with Barstow capturing Robert Surcouf.


At this point the English decided to intervene! The English were after the Nayru's Captain Darbus and the Nautilus' Christian Fiore, which could allow the English to complete their canceller squadron. HMS Rye and Scott Bratley cancelled Darbus and the Nayru's ship ability (same ability as El Acorazado), which allowed the Titan and HMS Union Jack to dismast the Nayru. Five support ships followed those three English ships through the whirlpool.


The French then surrounded the Nayru with all of their ships in the area, trying to prevent her from being captured. A 5 roll meant she would be scuttled at the beginning of the next French turn. The Union Jack and Rye lost masts, the Nautilus surfacing to shoot at the UJ. Many months ago the French had told the English that if the English attacked them, the French would retaliate with everything they had. The English had forgotten about that, and the French stuck to their plan. Indeed, France's attention now appeared to be solely fixed on England, as the French/Pirate battle was essentially over already. At this point, the French had declared war on both the Pirates and the English.


The English showed their classic gunnery on their turn, blasting their way to the Nayru and capturing her with Commander Temple, who was aboard HMS Swallow. The English had accomplished half of their objective (with one canceller captured), but with the unintended consequence of France declaring war on England. It was truly total war, as the French suddenly sent their gold-laden treasure runners north to invade English home waters.


French gold runners attacking Ramsgate and the ship docked there, the Tiger's Eye. At the bottom you can see more French ships on the way, while to the left the damaged Victoria has returned through a whirlpool.


In the southeast, Christian Fiore committed suicide by ramming the Nautilus into the Union Jack and dying in the boarding party, so the English couldn't capture him. Between Fiore being gone and the difficulty of capturing the Nautilus, the English decided to sink the Nautilus. The Gris was captured while HMS Phoenix missed a bunch of extra-long-range shots. The Pirates were enjoying their time off from fighting, looking to re-explore the island that Dead Man's Point was on, towing the Cursed Blade in the southwest, and getting the Grand Temple home to repair. All four French ships at Ramsgate have been dismasted. At the end of their turn the English launched HMS Endeavour and the Celtic Fury, giving them seven total 10 masters. The English hadn't planned on launching the Celtic Fury (her ability allows French crew aboard), but seeing that the French were deploying a total war strategy and seeing that the French likely wouldn't have the funds to launch her, the English broke their own record for most 10 masters in a single game. Shortly after this picture the Vengeance dismasted the Victoria.


And that was that. Unfortunately this means that the game is effectively over. The French will attack the English, who have no choice but to fire back and eventually eliminate them. The Pirate fleet is still weakened by the English raids earlier in the game, and further weakened by the French attack. Letting the Pirates build up their fleet would take a while, and the English would have a ton of gold saved up even if they backed off for a long time. Even if the Pirates came back, the English would have an advantage between their 7 10 masters and 6 cancellers, not to mention all the English capital ships in reserve. (The game has not ended, but the English have all but won.)

Out of curiosity, I did a point count of the English fleet to see how big it is. The fleet totaled 54 ships for 1,177 total points, which is one of the biggest fleets of all time and surprisingly it could be the largest English fleet I've ever commanded. Although, with the 10 masters, the fleet has a lower percentage of English game pieces than in past English fleets I've had.

Here are my strategies as the English.

CG2 Strategy (keep all players in the game and let them build)
Assemble canceller squadron, keep it intact
Capture the Nautilus/Nayru if possible (Lenoir?)
Use MF for crew logistics (Mobilis: oarsman, Rye: oarsman, Fortaleza: oarsman, Slipstream: shipwright+oarsman, Zhanfu: oarsman, Zeus has an extra oarsman)

Beyond that, I was hoping to break up fights between the Pirates and French and keep the fun of this campaign game going for as long as possible.

Launch:
Customs (my crew, other English customs) (Custom sets)
More gold ships
Gunships with chieftains (establish canoe fleets at forts)
Ships with Bow Chasers
Double boarding ability
Monjuer, Crown Jewel
Fort upgrade in south? Fire squadron?

Potential ships for chieftains:
Dreadnought
Bombardier
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Subject: CG3   PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:04 pm Reply with quote

VASSAL Campaign Game 3


Played from September 2017 - March 2018

8/23/2017

With a whopping SIX people interested in playing a virtual campaign game, the opportunity for another adventure has presented itself!

Unlike the first two campaign games on VASSAL, this one will utilize a special ruleset:

Economy Edition

In addition, a few simple house rules:
-No Events
-No 0LR +5 crew
-0LR reroller crew will cost 3 points so they're not free
-When a ship wins a boarding party, the winner decides whether they will take gold/resources or eliminate crew. The winner chooses which gold/resources to take, but the loser chooses which crew is eliminated.
-Whirlpools take effect on a roll of 1-3 instead of 4-6 (since you almost never want to roll low in this game)
-Return to Savage Shores is available
-Custom game pieces are allowed, but they may be modified or banned in-game (through a vote) if they are overpowered (OP).
-Other house rules may be instituted during the game if players are in favor of them.

This game has two abbreviated names:
VEE: VASSAL Economy Edition
CG3: Campaign Game 3

Here are the players with their associated factions, in the order that turns will be taken.

Pirateaj14, Spanish
La Santa Isabel + Dominic Freda
La Monarca + explorer
El Algeciras + captain
Diablo

Xerecs, Cursed
Grinder
Sea Monkey + explorer
Celestine + Master Scribe

Wifey, Pirates
Hai Peng + Captain Barbossa, explorer
Swift + Hammersmith
Banshee's Cry + helmsman

Vixenishcoder66, French
L'Intrepide
Le Pique
Le Bon Marin
La Bonne Chance + crew
Libellule + crew

A7XfanBen, Americans
Nene-nui + helmsman, explorer
Lynx
Carolina + helmsman
Annapolis + helmsman

Repkosai, English
HMS Bolingbroke + captain, helmsman
Aberdeen Baron + helmsman
Honu Iki + captain, helmsman

The home islands were chosen in reverse turn order, with the English choosing first and the Spanish choosing last.

Here is the ocean, created by xerecs! A great barrier reef divides the sea mostly in half, with the Gateway island in the center where the reefs part. There is a Frozen North, as well as a Great Sargasso and Gray Shrouds in the south.


The northwest, where the storms are currently clustered into a hurricane. The storms are from xerecs' EE game:

STORM
Type: Terrain
Every storm has two sets of numbers on it, one in the middle, and 1-6 on the edge. Once per every players turn, roll a d6. If the number matches the middle number of any storm in play, roll another d6, the storm moves L from that number in a straight line. Storms may move over islands and other terrain.
If any part of a game piece, even submerged pieces, touches a storm place the game piece inside the storm, it is now lost. Roll a d6 and subtract the result from the number of masts, segments, or flags remaining on the game piece. Ships may be sunk by storms, and forts may be eliminated by storms as well.
To escape the Storm, give the piece a move action, and roll a d6. Place the game piece facing away from the storm on the resulting number, the game piece may continue moving from there.
If a storm moves over or into another storm they join, if either of them is rolled, move both as one.

The other fog banks with numbers on them (not grouped together) are icebergs. The Spanish and Cursed home islands (HI's) are visible.


The northeast, showing the American HI.


The southeast, showing the American and Pirate HI's, the Barrier Reef, and the Great Sargasso.


The southwest, showing the home ports of England, France, and Spain. Indeed, by coincidence the major imperial factions are grouped in the west half, while the "others" (Pirates, Americans, Cursed) are on the eastern side of the big reef. An island is hidden in the Gray Shrouds, which may part or roll at various times.


Stay tuned, for adventure awaits!

9/3/2017

The third Pirates CSG campaign game on the VASSAL module has BEGUN! VEE (VASSAL Economy Edition) is now in progress!

Video of the first session. "Alive" by Phil Lober is one of the best fantasy/adventure/epic songs that encompasses the grand and epic nature of this kind of game, and provides a perfect thematic start. This was live streamed to youtube but may be quite a rarity because coordinating the logistics of 6 different people across 3 different time zones is rather difficult for the purposes of playing live. However, we wanted to do a "grand opening", and here it is!

The first resource rolls were made! A 4 was rolled for value, with a 9 for duration. This gave us some time to acquire resources and cash them in if desired, with metals and textiles being the most valuable. We are keeping track of the resource rolls with face up coins in the upper left corner.

The first turn of the game! As with the other Economy Edition games, face up coins represent resources, while face down coins represent gold. Launchings happen at the end of each player's turn, and the icebergs and storm terrain is moved at the beginning of each round of turns. We confirmed flat earth due to how the map was constructed.


This shows a chunk of the east, where the first launching has occurred! The Spanish found extremely valuable metals on the island west of their home island, and have cashed in 3 of them for 18 gold! pirateaj14's Spanish launched La Resolucion, giving the Spanish two capable gunships very early in the game. You can see repkosai's English heading for an island north of their HI, while to the east the Gateway island is unexplored.


Incredibly, all four explored islands in the west are metals islands!! All of those metals are currently worth 6 gold apiece, so the English, French, and Spanish are hurrying to cash them in before the next resource rolls are made. wifey's Pirates are making their way around the Great Sargasso to a southern island. In the east, my Americans made the second launching of the game with the Rattlesnake. They have found good resources as well, with their two islands producing textiles and lumber. In the Frozen North, the Cursed have found textiles of their own in addition to luxuries. In the south, the French took great advantage of the explorer-reroll rule, turning an island from fish (currently worth 1) to metals! (currently worth 6)


It was a successful start to this grand endeavor, and we hope to continue soon with individual turns and hopefully live play as well. Stay tuned!

9/9/2017

Another live session has been played! I forgot to take pictures for most of the session, partly because it was recorded.

Partway through the session, the first resource change happened! With great anticipation from a laggy die roll, a 6 was rolled for value, and another 6 for duration! For the next 6 turns, spices and fish would be the most valuable resources.

The Americans launched their native canoes, with the chieftain residing on the James Madison. The Spanish and Americans have established military ports on the islands west of their home islands.


The first shots have been fired! The French sailed the Bonne Chance towards the Gateway, but the Spanish were not having any of it! With a quick turnaround, the Resolucion sailed south and took a mast off the French junk! No declarations of war have been made, but the Resolucion also provided the first sinking of the game on the next turn, sending the Bonne Chance to the depths!

The Spanish found textiles on the Gateway island. From their new military port, the Spanish launched La Tartessos, who began sailing towards the English. The Aberdeen Baron and Bolingbroke were taking a roundabout way back to their HI, using whirlpools to go in a circle of sorts. This may have been to avoid the Algeciras and Diablo, and indeed the Spanish are off to a very strong start. At the bottom left, the Honu Iki prepares to re-enter the Gray Shrouds in hopes of finding the island again.


The Frozen North, where the Cursed reside. The resource change didn't do them any favors, as they currently have access to the lowest-value resources. Although, the Hangman's Joke discovered lumber after fog hopping to the far northeast! You can see the trading port southwest of their HI, but the Sea Monkey has taken a hit from an iceberg.


Likely in response to Spanish aggression, the French launch two 5 masters: the Soleil Royal and Monaque! They join an impressive fleet of French resource runners, who are collecting still-valuable metals from two different islands. At the far right, the Swift has loaded spices from the Pirates' wild island, and the Hai Peng and Banshee's Cry are approaching home farther north.


It was an interesting night, which saw the first shots fired, the first ship sunk, and the first resource change.

10/27/2017

Since Xerecs' last report, some stuff has happened!

Retaliating for the sinking of the Bonne Chance and possibly aiding the English at the same time, the French strike the Spanish hard!! The Acorazado was sunk (!), with the Joya del Sol and Monarca dismasted. The San Cristobal has sailed in to dismast L'Ange, but the Spanish are in major trouble.


Up in the north, the Cursed are using their fog hoppers to great effect, gathering valuable lumber from the northeasternmost island. At the bottom left, my Americans have established the second trading port of the game, which is right near the first one built by the Cursed. At the bottom right, the Pirates' Darkhawk II loads textiles from an island in the far east.


The entire ocean, showing the decent-size French-Spanish action in the middle.


11/8/2017

A few major developments have happened! After the latest report, the Americans spent a whopping 221 gold in one turn to launch the Zhanfu, Baochuan, Nautilus, Mobilis, Concordia and New Orleans, all replete with crew setups!

The French have nearly finished off the Spanish, capturing the Joya del Sol, San Cristobal, and Santa Isabel in addition to eliminating most of their native canoes. The Spanish settlement on the Gateway island was destroyed as well.

After spending big at their trading and military ports in recent turns, the Americans finally show their might! Seeing the potential for huge French competition in the near future (a military port about to be established on the Gateway island with a resource change coming soon to possibly skyrocket the value of French metals), Montana Mays decided to launch a preemptive strike!

With careful execution, the American gunships are sent into battle! The Julius Caesar and York knocked masts off the Belle Etoile, who was docked at the Gateway island with both a settlement and military port upgrade. Then it was the Zhanfu's turn! Huang Bai sacced an oarsman, and the 10 master from Return to Savage Shores surged southwards. Her second action brought her within range of the Soleil Royal. Ibrahan Ozat launched an S-boarding party, which let Captain Nemo capture Capitaine Arathiel! Then, in a rare display of accurate shooting from yours truly, the Zhanfu went 5/5 on the cannons she had in range, dismasting the Soleil Royal! The Atlanta was given the Tombstone's action via GWL (RtSS version of George Washington LeBeaux, the American version of Lord Mycron), and the Belle Etoile was sunk with her island upgrades aboard! O_O


The whole ocean, with the sudden American strike in the center. The Spanish, Pirates, and English have about 8 usable ships between them, leaving the Cursed, French and Americans as the dominant factions as of now. The hurricane in the northwest has not affected play yet, but it has been moving southeast somewhat consistently....


12/2/2017

After two more turns, the Americans have emerged as the dominant faction in the game.

One turn ago, the French tried to escape and salvage what gunships they could. However, Montana Mays and Captain Nemo weren't having any of it. The Zhanfu took out the final mast on Le Bonaparte, leaving her and the captured San Cristobal dead in the water. The Superbe was dismasted and the Soleil Royal captured. The Julius Caesar and Atlanta chased down the Monaque, hitting her with exploding shot and stinkpot shot.


After 8 turns, a new resource change was needed! A 2 was rolled, crashing the textiles market but increasing the value of everything else by 1 (lumber is the most valuable). The values will hold for the next 5 turns.

This past turn, the Monaque shot 2/2 (with Deleflote's action) against the Zhanfu, but the Americans completed their victory just afterwards. The Americans have captured most of the ships, though the Monaque will have to be scuttled. The Mobilis cancelled the Nautilus' Submarine keyword, allowing the ship to tow the Joya del Sol out of the way so the Peacock could dock and explore the Gateway island. However, more textiles were found, a resource readily available to the Americans. Thus, the Americans built Thompson's Island at the end of their turn! This will give them a place to repair, quite convenient given the plethora of valuable derelicts now in their possession.


The Americans have declared war on the French! The Zhanfu also sunk the Mont Blanc flotilla this turn, and the captured Bonaparte will eventually be scuttled since I hate that ship. The American victory is complete, and gives them total control over the center area. The Pirates and French still won't have valuable resources readily available to them during this change, but the final English ship (Aberdeen Baron) may finally be able to dock home on their turn! Curiously, the Spanish have not returned to their HI or tried to gather resources with El Algeciras, as they appear hell-bent on eliminating the English. The Cursed just launched their icebreaker (Urd), and have pretty easy access to islands that produce the two most valuable resources.


1/15/2018

The action has continued! In this picture you can see that the Americans have captured Davy Jones!! This was their ultimate objective when they suddenly sent the Grampus and Bonhomme Richard north into Cursed territory, seizing the opportunity to take out a huge threat (and the reason the Joya del Sol sank after being captured by the Americans, which is why the Americans took action in the first place). The Urd was dismasted by the Grampus, with AA's and GWL (American Mycron) helping out immensely. You can see that the Americans have launched more ships from their trading port, with two turtle ships crossing the reef barrier and four new ships at the port.


However, an even bigger development has been taking place in the mostly deserted western half of the sea...

THE SPANISH HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED!!!!

The Zhanfu had been dispatched to the west a number of turns ago, with the mission of eliminating the final Spanish presence in the game. After they were decimated in the French attack near the Gateway, the Spanish eventually had only two game pieces afloat - El Algeciras and the Diablo flotilla. With the Spanish for some reason seemingly still hell-bent on eliminating the English instead of returning home to secure the HI and start gathering resources again, it was time for the Americans to end things. The slightly weakened Zhanfu (8 masts remaining) dismasted the Algeciras and knocked out the flotilla's flag with her first broadside, and this turn she has sunk both to knock pirateaj14 from the game! They still have their military port, but that is now easy picking for whoever wants that island as their own. There is a tiny loophole in the EE rules where the Spanish could get back into the game, but it would require a failed razing of that port by an enemy ship (at which point the Spanish would capture the ship). The possibility of Cursed or Pirate help potentially bringing the Spanish back into the fold is an ugly one (due to the Spanish often taking the longest to complete their turn despite the lack of time it takes to give a single move action), so it's possible the Americans will have the Zhanfu sac next turn and try to eliminate the port herself.

At the left, the Aberdeen Baron repairs, as the English are still in it!

Action in the north! The first American reinforcements are on the scene of the "Battle for Davy Jones", which the Americans have won so far. The Divine Dragon began towing the Grampus, knocking a mast off the Hades' Realm. The Noble Swan arrived as well, but missed her shot. The DD was later given an AA to shoot and ram the Hades' Realm, taking out two more masts along with a crew (successful shot plus devastating ability). However, the Cursed are on the move with their gunships, with the Grim Reaper and Fallen Angel leading the charge. Those subs at the top of the picture have cancellers (Papa Doc and Madame Maria, a custom by Xerecs), which is part of the reason the newly launched Naegling and Polaris have turned around lol. However, the Glorious Treasure and Slipstream have ventured across the great Barrier Reef. With the captured Slipknot (the ship that carries All-Powerful Davy Jones) failing her scuttle roll again, the Bonhomme Richard was given an extra action by GWL to tow the Slipknot into the fog bank at the lower right, where DJ will be "safe" until his ship can "sink" and warp home via Eternal. Some slightly complicated business, but the Americans have accomplished their objective (it seems, unless the Cursed can extricate their captured leader) and now have control of Davy Jones.

At the bottom, the Mercury (windcatcher) is the first of a few American gunships slowly bringing up support from the home waters to the south. At the left, though, is something else entirely. Wanting to make a STATEMENT, the Americans spent most of their income from this turn on the Fortaleza, their third 10 master of the game! This was a perfect and ironic "gift" the Americans gave to themselves after eliminating the Spanish from the game.


With most of the ocean somewhat deserted, the only remaining conflict is in the north now. Of course, the French, Pirates, and English are all biding their time until the next resource change, which is now less than 2 rounds away. The American force in the south is nearing the French fleet, even as the influence of America reaches far into the west and north. Further conflict between the Americans and Cursed looks inevitable.


1/20/2018

After another turn, the Americans continue to make aggressive moves. The force in the south has reached the primary French resource island, with the combined firepower of three ships destroying the French settlement there! This makes the island go back to unexplored for all players and resets the island's resource. In hindsight the Americans probably should have captured the settlement instead, but oops on my part for that.

In the north, the Cursed appeared to begin retreating, but the Americans are considering their hired turtle ships from the Jades as disposable, so they pressed the attack. The Noble Swan knocked a mast off the Grinder and eventually sank the Urd with an AA, while the Divine Dragon beat up on the Grim Reaper a bit. The Americans have slowly been trying to mass a small force near the reef barrier, with the Glorious Treasure, Mercury windcatcher, Minuteman flotilla, and now Naegling in that area. The recently launched Kettering looks to join them soon. The Slipknot finally got her scuttle roll and will join the American HI soon, while her captor (the Bonhomme Richard) sails to the military port for repairs.

The resources are about to change! Knowing this, the Americans used an AA to get the James Madison home (along with other ships of course) when she otherwise wouldn't have, cashing in some extra lumber in the anticipation that lumber may not be valuable again for a while. This paid off immediately, as the Americans used all but one of their 84 gold to launch 4 new ships from their military port.

A few developments in the west too: the Zhanfu destroyed the Spanish military port to officially eliminate them from the game for good, while the Aberdeen Baron finished repairing so the English are ready to sail once more.


1/23/2018

What is going on?!

This game isn't as big as my EE game, CG1, or CTO, but I'm hyped about it right now and feel like it's a solid time to do a little overview.

Finding valuable resources early, the Spanish got off to the quickest start. They soon launched some of Spain's finest ships and got into small-scale conflicts with their neighbors, the English and French. This ultimately led to their demise, with both factions fighting back.

Eventually the resources changed and the Americans were able to put forth some good warships and start to optimize their resource system. There was essentially a domino effect. First the Spanish largely took out the English, who still only have one ship in play. Then the French got revenge for the sinking of the Bonne Chance and took the Spanish down to one ship remaining. Then the Americans struck suddenly at the Gateway island, sinking or capturing the entire French battle squadron that had crushed the Spanish.

Just recently the Americans have finished off the Spanish, while the Pirates and English slip under the radar and try to recover from difficult starts. The Cursed have been rising of late, and the capture of Davy Jones by the powerful Americans has escalated into very tense relations between those two factions.

~~~~~

Onto the actual developments! Of which there are only a couple now haha, but more soon. A VERY important resource change just took place, with a value roll of 3 for 8 turns!! This is incredibly fortunate for the factions already in power positions, as the Americans and Cursed have the valuable resources (textiles and lumber) readily available to them. Dark times continue for the French and English, who likely wanted nothing more than to cash in their metals and go on a spending spree.

As of the current turn, the Cursed have launched some of their best custom ships, and now have 4 cancellers in play to counter the 4 the Americans have launched over the past few turns. Papa Doc from RtSS is the only standard one, with Madame Maria, the Demise, and the Rampage (a Merc 5 master launched from the trading port) joining the Cursed ranks.

However, the Americans spent last night plotting and strategizing, planning out their launches for a while in what looks to be a borderline-unprecedented 8 turn spending spree as high volumes of textiles and lumber are cashed in for new ships. The American leaders will have to juggle difficult operations on two fronts, though they will now have the spending power to potentially make aggressive moves at both locales. In the south, they face the fact that it is extremely difficult to eliminate a faction entrenched at their home island. In the north, powerful customs and a "blanket" of cancelling surrounding Cursed operations will require serious efforts to contain or overwhelm.

1/27/2018

After a few more faction turns, there has been some big spending. In the far south, the French decided to cash out their immense hoard of metals, spending nearly all of it (almost 100 metals) despite the resource being only worth 1 gold. However, it makes sense because the Americans look to be bearing down on them and have declared war. Waiting 8 turns for the metals to jump in value would be risky as well. The French have launched some new gunships and put some fighting crew on existing vessels.

With the Americans once again possessing the two most valuable resources (textiles and lumber), it was launch time at the home island! Cashing out their stash of 41 textiles for 246 gold and adding to it with some lumber, the Americans spent 292 gold on their turn, completely emptying the coffers. They launched from all three of their available locations: the Grand Temple and Crescent Moon came into play at the trading port, where the Fortaleza and Grand Path also lurk. 6 warships were launched from the military port, and 3 ships were launched from the home island.

In addition, the Slipknot was repaired at her new home after finally being scuttled. The Noble Swan burned to the waterline after being hit with exploding shot, while the Slipstream zoomed back across the reefs after seeing the newly launched Rampage (which has the canceller ability) at the Cursed trading port. The Americans already have about a dozen ships stationed near their own trading port, with more on the way from the south.


It will be interesting to see if the Americans can fight on two fronts at once, with a full squadron of 10 ships still stationed in the south near the French HI. In other news, you may have noticed that the Zeus is loose!! At the lower right you can see her newly launched at the Pirate HI. This is the fourth 10 master in play, with all of them spread out right now in different locations. At the far left, the Aberdeen Baron has finally sailed out after repairing for quite some time!


1/30/2018

Perhaps an unnecessary report, but certainly some interesting developments to report on. The Cursed appear to be in fully defensive mode, with most of their new launches staying docked at their home island and the Rampage and others retreating a bit from their positions a turn ago. In the far south, the French are off! Their entire fleet has departed the HI, heading in a northwesterly direction.

Seeing a chance to really maximize their profits, the Americans are devoting even more cargo capacity to their textile-laden island northeast of their HI. The Providence and Bellevue are being used as hybrid escorts in an attempt to protect the canoes from possible fog hopping attacks by the Cursed. With textiles as the most valuable resource for another 6 turns (after this picture was taken), the Lynx and Carolina have switched islands from the lumber island to the textiles island to assist in the efforts. Finally, you can glimpse four ships heading to the island as well. This is a random mishmash including the recently repaired Strongarm hoist, the newly launched Silver Dollar (Xerecs custom), the fully repaired Slipknot with Davy Jones aboard, and the (finally repaired) Santa Isabel, another grand prize the Americans have brought home from their war spoils. Throw in the Darkhawk II of the Pirate fleet, and the textiles island will see a huge harvest over the coming turns. There was a tiny bit of combat on this turn as well, with the Fortaleza getting an EA from Count Gustov. My custom equipment Bow Chasers was revealed, with the ship using both actions to shoot across the reef and hit 1/4 to dismast the Fallen Angel. The Americans ended their turn by launching 4 new ships from their trading port: the Assassin (one of my oldest customs), the Sigra Mein (a custom Viking 3 masted longship, with S+S+S speed but costing 20 points for just 2 cargo spaces), the Majestic, and the Wiglaf, the latter of which has a cannon bonus against the Cursed.


2/7/2018

A Turn for the Ages

Normally I don't title these but this deserves special mention. Check out the video of my combat turn here.

First, the situation at the end of the Americans' last turn: "tightening the noose". In the north, and the south. The Fortaleza paid the price for using Bow Chasers to dismast the Fallen Angel, with the Cursed dragging her across a reef with an L-mover. This left the 10 master essentially doomed with just 2 masts remaining (3 taken out via the Death's Anchor flotilla, and 5 more from the reef roll), since she couldn't move off the reef without being wrecked automatically (highest roll of 6 for the reef would result in 4 masts eliminated and a shipwreck in this case). Knowing this, the Americans simply shot again, with the Fallen Angel sinking. The Death's Anchor sank the Fortaleza, which the Americans knew was inevitable. However, all the while they have been tightening the noose around the Cursed home island. Not wanting to risk the Grand Temple and Grand Path across the reefs that wrecked the Fortaleza, the Americans sent them west towards a convenient whirlpool. Around 10 ships clustered near the American trading port, waiting for the command to surge northwards. The Kettering guarded the Naegling, who was on a strange mission to explore the Cursed luxuries island as part of an American goal. Further south lies some of America's newest ships, among them 3 cancellers and 3 five masted capital ships (with the President, Montezuma, Eagan, and cheerleading Denver to back them up, an impressive force indeed).

However, the real immediate strength lay in the deep south, where the task force assigned to the French fleet was gathered around the whirlpool, having anticipated an attack on the Cursed for weeks now. In that squadron were three more cancellers, and the mammoth Baochuan. In an important development, the Flying Fish arrived through the southern whirlpool carrying island upgrades, turning a former French metals island into an American military port! This was the final piece of the puzzle for the American strategy, as they could now launch in the deep south to keep the French at bay (or now to blockade them since they are leaving the area). This would free up their megaships (cancellers and best gunships) to enter the whirlpool and emerge in the Frozen North where the Cursed were concentrated!


THE AMERICANS DECLARE WAR ON THE CURSED!!!!
USS Kettering starts the war! She sailed over and cancelled the Interloper to the surface, sinking the expensive submarine with a barrage of cannon fire augmented by her captain Jonas Richman's hatred of the Cursed.


The American force in the north may not look strong enough to take on the Cursed, but with a LOT of help from their friends.... Very Happy


Chaos erupts! The Wiglaf and Sigra Mein brave the Barrier Reef to dismast and capture the Grim Reaper. In a calculated strike, the Americans send forth their cancellers to counter the 4 Cursed cancellers in the area. Christian Fiore (aboard the Nautilus) and Madame Maria (aboard the Locker) cancel each other out. The Mobilis and Papa Doc (aboard the Pyre) cancel each other out. The Constitution gets her SAT with a reroll from Jonathan Haraden, and America's most famous sailing warship is back in action! The Americans had a little trick up their sleeve: the previous turn they had launched the Majestic, a 14 point 1 masted galley that has the cheerleading ability (friendly ships within S get +1 to their cannon rolls). As a Barbary Corsair ship she was fair game to launch at the trading port, and with only one mast, she wouldn't take reef damage when crossing. The Majestic was sent over before the Constitution's second action of the turn, and although she didn't play a HUGE role in the battle so far, it's a cool way to use 19 points on something (with helmsman/shipwright/oarsman aboard for maximum support, as I am wont to do XD) that nobody would ever use in most regular games.


And now things descend into the chaos only seen in huge games. O_O This is where the action is! The Constitution sank the Death's Anchor flotilla before shooting at the Rampage, with DNT and the Rampage cancelling each other out. Next came the mighty Baochuan! However, she wasn't so mighty this turn, as she couldn't quite reach the Cursed trading port (I had wanted to raze it on this turn), but sacced to eventually sink the dangerous Rampage. From there the Americans had a bit of luck, but they were certainly due for it. Since getting two more AA crew (any ship in your fleet gets two actions on a 6) 3 turns ago, the Americans got just ONE AA over those three turns (the one came on this turn). Since I have paired every AA crew with the reroll ability, in this case that represents 1/29 total rolls being a 6. O_O (normal odds would be 5/30, so 1 is extreme) However, the Americans made up for it with their SAT and EA rolls this turn. The Grand Temple got her SAT to blast away. The Kettering received the AA so she could blast away at the Demise. The Grand Path received an extra action from GWL (American Mycron) to do the same thing as the Grand Temple. The cannon smoke hasn't even cleared, but the Cursed lost the Demise and Flying Dutchman in the carnage.


With less emphasis on the action itself, here is the whole situation. The Americans are now at war with the French and the Cursed. The Concordia, Mercury, and Lamon also showed up through the whirlpool from the south. At the lower right, the Americans show that the Cursed must act fast and have a miraculous comeback, for the speedy Sea Wind is carrying settlement and military port upgrades to the luxuries island the Naegling explored! All is revealed in this battle report on the American side, as they plan to build an MP there to launch right near the Cursed and eventually wipe them out. Various ships have surged across the reef barrier and up from the south in an all-out CHARGE!!! O_O


The deep south is suddenly nearly devoid of American activity, though 4 gunships are sailing to blockade the French HI.


In their final action of the turn, the Americans pull a shocker! Having established a secret alliance with the Pirates early in the game, the Americans didn't put any island upgrades on the textiles island northeast of their HI so they could share the island with the Pirates. Nice right? However, the Americans suspect the Pirates might be in cahoots with at least one of the other factions, including the French or Cursed that the Americans are at war with! This is because the recently launched Zeus has pointed her bow towards the American resource system with a crew complement ready to strike! (sac with captain/helmsman and world hater) An attempt to contact the Pirate admiral was in vain, but it didn't help that the Americans were trigger-happy tonight! XD Wanting to get a preemptive strike in the case of a betrayal, the Americans strike first and break their alliance with the Pirates!! The captured Superbe sacs an oarsman to rake the Zeus' bow, but lands just two hits. However, the attack was a statement, since any Pirate aggression will result in earning the wrath of the mighty Americans. The Americans have not declared war, and are even still open to the possibility of working with the Pirates.


Here is the full ocean, with the Americans becoming dominant to the point of a full Empire. They have declared war on the Cursed and crushed many of their best ships with a single, massive, devastating attack, and have sent dozens of ships sailing straight for the Cursed HI in what could become the longest and bloodiest conflict of this game. To show off their might, the Americans launched the Shui Xian from their trading port just a turn after the Fortaleza sank! XD Sink one of their 10 masters, and they'll just launch another. They also launched the Tiger's Breath as an impromptu medical barge, with various Jade ships losing crew from the whirlpool and likely losing more in the War on the Cursed. In the deep south the Americans have begun activity at their new military port, where the USS Thomas Jefferson (one of my favorite American ships) and Brandywine have been launched.


So all in all, you could say "the Americans hit the nuclear option". XD Declaring war on the second-largest faction, launching a new 10 master, potentially wrecking their only alliance, and going ballistic on the game in an attempt to dominate this ocean. All of this (except the attack on the Pirates) has been in the works for weeks, but only now was it the perfect time to strike. It has now been about 5 hours since I downloaded the new file and started my turn, which took over 3 hours. Thanks for reading, and thank you to those who are playing this huge game! Very Happy

2/8/2018

Here are the latest ship and point counts for this game. I didn't post this first one back then since I didn't want it to be as obvious how much of a points lead I had, in an attempt to prevent a coalition against the Americans. XD (though anyone could total things up at any time of course)

12/2/2017 point count
Spanish: 2 ships, 13 points
Cursed: 16 ships, 241 points
Pirates: 4 ships, 62 points
French: 12 ships, 163 points
Americans: 43 ships, 893 points
English: 1 ship, 14 points
Total: 78 ships, 1,386 points

2/8/2018 point count
Cursed: 23 ships, 407 points
Pirates: 5 ships, 100 points
French: 14 ships, 221 points
Americans: 72 ships, 1,565 points
English: 1 ship, 14 points
Total: 115 ships, 2,307 points

The game has ballooned by almost 1,000 points in the past month! The Spanish were eliminated, but most other factions gained at least some stuff. The Americans have had fortunate resource changes, adding 29 ships and 672 points to their fleet! O_O

Points per ship:
Cursed: 17.7 points/ship
Pirates: 20
French: 15.8
Americans: 21.7
English: 14

The Americans have many heavily crewed gunships, along with three 10 masters. What's more impressive is the percentages:

Americans:
Ships in play: 62.6% (72/115)
Points in play: 67.8% (1565/2307)

That means the Americans have more than twice as many points in play as all the other factions COMBINED! O_O
American points in play: 1,565
All other points in play: 742

The Americans are approaching the status of the largest single fleet ever seen on VASSAL, within sight of the Spanish CG1 record of 1,631 points in play. That fleet did have a ridiculous 111 ships in play at that point count, so that record probably won't be broken in this game. The Americans are also approaching the record for the largest American fleet I have controlled, which was 96 ships at 1,660 points from Command the Oceans.

2/12/2018

The Americans are here! With another fantastic turn they tighten their hold on what I would now say is officially the "endgame" assuming the Americans can keep their point lead and win their wars.

Here is the combat situation in the far north, where the action is still hot. The King Jones was dismasted by a trio of ships (including Glorious Treasure and Assassin), with DNT of the Constitution cancelling the ship's oarsman so the Grand Temple could capture her. At the far left, the Baochuan and Minuteman flotilla teamed up to sink the Sea Monkey, but not before the Baochuan won a boarding party to take three textiles. The Americans are disappointed they haven't razed the trading port yet, but at this point they can do that at their leisure, having gained control of the area. After the 2 submerged cancelling submarines on each side cancelled each other out, the Lizard sailed over the Pyre to cancel the Eternal keyword on Admiral of the Skelds, allowing the Grand Path to shoot twice via the only American AA this turn to sink the Hell Hound! Just to the right of that, the Ghost Walker got within cancelling and cannon range of the Locker, bringing the sub to surface by cancelling the Submarine keyword. One hit from the GW and a pair of hits from the Sigra Mein eliminated all three of the Locker's segments. With the now-dominant cancelling advantage the Americans enjoy (4-2 in that area with DNT and the late-arriving Hessian making SIX on the overall battlefield), they hope to capture at least one of the Cursed submarines that has a canceller on it, since cancelling the Submarine keyword allows it to be towed. One thing that didn't go well at all for the Americans this turn was submerged ramming, as their subs generally failed to damage the Nightmare and Hell Hound. The Concordia shot 3/5 to leave just one mast standing on the Hades' Realm. The Cursed have now been pushed back against their own home island as a result of the 2 turn offensive (so far). However, from previous reports you might expect to see more American gunships flooding the area in this picture. Their attention has been drawn elsewhere!


The French have arrived in the northeast! Sending almost their entire remaining fleet through the whirlpool near their home island, they have come to the eastern half of the sea presumably to wage war on the Americans. The Americans have already called 3 capital ships away from the squadron heading north, with the Enterprise, Colossus (out of frame to upper left), Essex, Denver, and Hannah breaking off to head southeast. The Bonhomme Richard was almost finished repairing (4 masts up) when she too was called to active duty, rushing to intercept the oncoming French (the captured San Cristobal is behind her at the far left). At the upper right, the Bellevue only managed to take out one mast on the Sea Hag, and the Americans don't have any other captained ships in the area with which to take on the Ouroboros fort. However, the timing wasn't too terrible for the Americans, since their larger cargo ships (Carolina, Silver Dollar, Strongarm, Slipknot, Santa Isabel) all got loaded up with textiles just before the fort was built last turn. They are now running home along with the canoes, though some might be intercepted by the French before they can get there. However, the Americans probably have enough points in play and resources coming in to win the game as-is, so the triple threat of Zeus/Cursed fort/French attack may not hinder them as much as you would think.

At the lower right, the Kentucky was clutch on this turn, hitting the Zeus 2/2 on her first action and using an AA (not from Preble himself, who is aboard) to hit 3/4 on her second action! This takes the Zeus down to 3 masts, and the Kentucky also towed the now-derelict (courtesy of the Zeus) Superbe with her second action. A canoe and the Argo have positioned off the bow of the Zeus to hinder her mobility a bit, and the powerful Kettering has begun repairing at the home island.

For the first time in a while, the Americans launched only from their HI, buying swift gunships they will use to combat the French threat. They launched four of their fastest and most effective 4 masters, including 3 schooners: the Franklin, Intrepid, Hudson, and Saratoga. The Americans are hoping those 4 can get out and defend the resource system quickly, since the likely imminent French attack puts the cargo ships in danger. Those 4 will combine with the 5 ships coming in from the northwest, along with the two 5 masters from the west, and likely more gunship launches next turn. It's an emergency situation for the Americans, but one that I think they are reasonably prepared to deal with. I have been meaning to launch more hybrids to use as escorts to the textiles island, but the Providence and Bellevue are the only ones around so far. Most of the money has gone towards the War on the Cursed, and understandably so given their powerful customs in play (some formerly) and at one point their 4 cancellers. The Kentucky had been sailing slowly off the south shore of my HI, so she was in decent position to hit the Zeus.


With that, the French appear to be giving up on trying to win, which will likely hasten the end of the game. The American-Pirate alliance is clearly gone for good. As the American admiral I have some inkling that the remaining factions have made a coalition alliance against the Americans, but as evidenced by the latest point count, the Americans have more than twice as many points in play as all of the other factions combined. Shocked

In the far west, the lone English ship (Aberdeen Baron) has turned east, though it's unsure if she is heading towards the anti-American war effort, or simply another wild island in search of resources seeing that the hurricane has overrun the island the English visited a long time ago. In the far south, the Americans were planning to establish a blockade of the French home island, but now that looks generally unnecessary. The York and Destiny are headed there anyway, but the better American gunships in the area (USS Thomas Jefferson, Atlanta, and Julius Caesar) are headed towards the whirlpool to go fight the French or possibly the Cursed. Speaking of whirlpools, that is another area where the Americans could hit the French soon. They almost sent the Lizard through the whirlpool to cancel Lenoir aboard La Gaule (the Americans have been using their 3 cargo spies lately to look at face down French crew), allowing the Grand Temple to zoom through with an AA to smash the French 5 masters. However, I didn't want to give up a canceller in the complicated Cursed situation, and that would also likely mean sacrificing the Grand Temple when a significant defense of the American resource system is being put together rather effectively on the fly. Between their ships in the far north and the USS Thomas Jefferson in the south (EA available via Commodore Stern), the Americans have flexibility for a many-pronged attack to combat the French invasion.

In the middle, The Zhanfu finally reaches Thompson's Island to repair, joining the Slipstream. The Shui Xian may not even see combat in this game, but the newest 10 master in play is lumbering south in an attempt to join the effort against the French and/or Pirates. In the northeast, the Americans have gotten some measure of (largely unnecessary XD) revenge against the Cursed fort, as they've built their own fort on the Cursed resource island! It is a new game piece designed as part of my new fantasy (non-historical) custom set:

Eagle's Roost
American Fort
Cost: 4 gold
Guns: 3L,3L,3L,3L
You may double the range of this fort’s cannons each turn, but you must roll a 6 to hit.


2/17/2018

With another devastating turn of brutal combat, the Americans have mostly recovered from their home island "crisis" and have scored a coup in the far north against the Cursed.

The Baochuan was L-moved by the Cursed onto a reef, where she was wrecked regardless of the die roll! This was the second time the Baochuan has become a shipwreck while in the pay of the Americans, the other example being the famous situation in Xerecs' 2015 CoE game. The Americans are disappointed, but it was arguably inevitable with the Baochuan's extreme length and difficulty positioning. The Baochuan kind of failed in this game (couldn't raze the trading port, didn't last long in combat, and couldn't take advantage of the Treasure Ship keyword to be a hybrid like in CG2), but the Americans have such a massive lead in the game that it hardly matters. They've now lost the Fortaleza and Baochuan, but still have the Zhanfu and Shui Xian. At the far left, the Polaris has destroyed her third iceberg (I believe), making the passage of the Mercury easier.

Near the whirlpool, the Americans scored a "coup" this turn! With enough cancellers in the area, I was hoping to capture at least one of the Cursed cancellers, as Papa Doc and Madame Maria were still aboard the Pyre and Locker. With those cancelling out the Lizard and Ghost Walker, it was time for some finagling. The Sigra Mein got into position and got her temporary Fear ability, gaining the keyword for this turn. Then, I improbably rolled a 5 to scare the Locker, shutting down all crew and ship abilities!! No Submarine keyword meant the sub could be towed immediately, and the Philadelphia did the honors. DNT (on the Constitution) cancelled the Pyre to the surface, where she was dismasted by the Sigra Mein. The New Orleans then started towing her! The Americans have now captured both Cursed cancellers!

The Mobilis was able to repair after surfacing, also putting out a dangerous fire. She cancelled the Atlantis to the surface, who was sunk by the Grand Path and Assassin. The Hades' Realm was captured, with the Divine Dragon recaptured. The Mercury (submarine now) rammed a mast off the Tarantula, and the Glorious Treasure used her ability to take out a mast and crew from the Executioner, whose EA ability provided by Igor McWarren is being cancelled by Christian Fiore of the Nautilus. This represents the beginning of the assault on the Cursed HI, which will likely take many turns and be a brutal affair for both sides. At the far right, the Naegling and President (latter with Bow Chasers as you can see) teamed up to dismast the Skwaluck (not the actual spelling XD) before she can reach the HI. The Americans don't want any more resources coming in, since every potential Cursed launch represents more and more firepower needed at the HI. If you've read the BR's for CG1, you know how incredibly difficult it is to eliminate a faction AT their HI. Knowing this the Americans also launched a few ships from their new military port to the southeast: the Paul Revere and USS Morning Star.


Now, for a historic situation. Now that they have both Cursed cancellers in their possession (Papa Doc pun intended), the Americans control a whopping NINE cancellers as of now. O_O I believe this is the most ever seen in a single fleet in a game of Pirates CSG. The Kettering is back at the HI, but in this picture you can see EIGHT cancellers all in the same general area. I have marked them with the range "rosettes", though of course only the S-range applies to the cancellation. The Nautilus (with Christian Fiore) and Ghost Walker are the farthest to the top, with the Constitution (DNT) on the left. Around the whirlpool is an incredible CANCELLING CLUSTER of 5, with the Mobilis/Lizard/Hessian/Papa Doc/Madame Maria ready to shut down anything and everything that gets close. Even with all my CG experience I have never seen anything like this. The amount of cancelling available to the Americans right here is astounding. Keep in mind that the Americans have the most officially released cancellers of any faction, with 5. This means that to get to this level of 9, you'd have to do a combination of capturing enemy cancellers, using other faction's cancellers (like the Mobilis and Fiore), and/or using custom cancellers that aren't Wizkids official. As a big fan of cancellers this is a wacky but cool moment in this game. Between this coup and the drowning of Lenoir (see below), the Americans also now control most of the cancellers left in play, for a 9-1 (Demise still Cursed) advantage over all 4 other factions.


Chaos reigns in the east! The American home island is under attack, but they are now well-equipped to defend it. The Carolina and a few canoes were sunk by the French and the big Pirate ship Zeus, but the Americans have responded with force of their own. 4 ships have teamed up to dismast the Zeus, but the Americans are purposely waiting on the capture part. I've learned a bunch about 10 masters on VASSAL, and I know how dramatic and extreme their length can be. If I captured the Zeus this turn, the resultant "towing flip" would likely put her in range of the Cursed fort and/or some oncoming French ships. By waiting, the Americans theoretically increase their chance of actually getting the 10 master home to repair, which would once again give them three 10's in play along with the Zhanfu and Shui Xian. Unfortunately the Bellevue (upper right) is likely doomed, as she couldn't hit the Sea Hag much and is now pinned in place with one mast standing. The Americans are rushing to get some L-range cannons out there (Ouroboros can't be shot at by ships within S), including the newly built Blackwatch and Stephens.

Against the French the Americans were actually able to do better than I expected, partly due to 2 AA's this turn (as compared to 1 or 0 on the previous 3 turns). The new launches did their job exactly as intended, with the Franklin, Intrepid, Saratoga, and Hudson zooming out from home to block and blast the French ships. The Franklin was devastating, starting a fire on the Gaule after Lenoir cancelled the Providence's captain. The Intrepid and Saratoga did well, but the Franklin really shined when given an AA, finishing her turn 8/8 to sink the Gaule and dismast the Neptune. The Hudson and Lynx were ineffective against the Possession, but the Saratoga helped out and the ship still lost 2 masts. More to the west, the Enterprise got an EA to team up with the Bonhomme Richard and Denver to sink the Lyon and severely damage the Triton and Libellule. The Colossus and Essex are reaching the battlefield, and two surprise (to me) entrants came in at the end. The Atlanta and Julius Caesar were originally part of the squadron assigned to blockade the French HI, but seeing as how that's unnecessary, they have arrived via the whirlpool to join the fight against France! The Atlanta got an AA, which I knew probably should have gone to the Intrepid or Saratoga. However, I wanted to take a chance and use some equipment instead of the easier option, plus I clearly love extra action-based whirlpool strikes as evidenced by CG2 and this game. The Atlanta did well, and didn't roll a 1 with exploding shot at least. XD Her stinkpot shot hit, shutting down the crew of Le Descharges next turn. Two hits on the Courageux took out a mast due to the defensive ability. Overall the attack on the French went even better than I had anticipated, but having good extra action/AA rolls and tons of ships coming in at multiple angles helps a lot. XD


Here is the whole situation, though the closeups probably show at least 90% of the points in play. The Aberdeen Baron is all alone in the far west, looking for metals as the hurricane moves off to the northwest. The French ship Lezard seems to be hiding among the Grey Shrouds, giving out actions via Deleflote. The Destiny and York are off to take care of her, though they won't be able to do much if she flees into the dense fog.

THE AMERICANS HAVE DECLARED WAR ON THE PIRATES!!!!
Though, it was pretty lame. XD USS Thomas Jefferson was given the Tombstone's action via GWL, but only hit the Hai Peng once, with stinkpot shot. In addition, the Americans have way more points in play than the Pirates, so it's not like the war declaration was a big deal either way now that their alliance has completely fallen apart.


2/26/2018

I was listening to this impressive series while taking my latest turn.

The Cursed used the Executioner to sink the Ghost Walker, taking out one of the many American cancellers. At the far left, the Celestine was sunk by the Polaris. The Cursed home island is under siege, with the Sea Duck captured and L-mover Mimi cancelled by the Hessian. The Americans have captured a bunch of Cursed ships over the course of the battle, but they won't be able to finish them off yet. That's why you see a bunch of smaller ships launched from the military port at the bottom right - to eliminate the Cursed from their HI will be difficult, so the Americans have launched "ram ships" that will serve no other purpose since ships cannot be shot at while docked at their home islands. The Americans were not as aggressive this turn, since their cancellers are still getting into position and Ocean's Edge is just north of the Cursed HI. If the submarines go too far north during their submerged ram attempts, it will leave them vulnerable to being moved off the map by the L-mover crew. One of them is now cancelled, but the Cursed have enough stuff left to hold out for a while, partly due to what they have (2 L-movers, 1 canceller, two sources of Eternal, some oarsmen, etc) and also because of how close their HI is to the dangerous edge of the map.


Much more decisive and quick is the situation at the American home island. The French have nearly been eliminated!! American firepower closed in on the remaining French squadron from all angles, dismasting all French ships in the area. The French managed to sink USS Atlanta, but now I believe they are out of move actions. The Americans are capturing as many French ships as possible to increase their fleet's point total, with the Neptune and Triton being saved from scuttling. At the right, the Zeus is finally captured by the Americans, while the eternal ships Kettering and Concordia repair. Soon the Hudson, Blackwatch and Julius Caesar will bombard the Cursed Ouroboros fort to get the American resource system back to normal. The Americans have still had healthy launches of late, due to how many ships managed to load textiles from that island right before the fort was built, and their undisturbed lumber trade route to the west.


The clincher! The York received an AA to dismast the Lezard, eliminating her potential to escape into the fog and dismasting the final French ship in play. In included the Grey Shrouds because those Cursed fog hoppers could be problematic for the Americans to eliminate the Cursed, as the Cursed also have a fog bank conveniently right next to their HI. At the lower right, the French do have one metal resource token left, so if it increases in value when the next resource change occurs (2 turns from now), they could theoretically put another ship in play. However, the Americans have emerged victorious in their war against France!


The entire ocean, with American victory looking inevitable at this point. They have crushed the opposition and the 4 remaining fleets have considerably smaller areas that deckplates occupy. In fact, the Americans now need about half of all border space available for their burgeoning fleet. Outside of the two HI/battle "hub" areas, the sea is mostly empty at this point.


2/28/2018

Another round of turns has been completed. Here you can see the intense blockade/assault of the Cursed home island. At the upper corners, the Sea Rat and Maman Brigitte have been sunk. With a lot of ramming, the Americans have captured both Cursed L-moving crew, with the Tarantula and Fiddler's Green towed. This was a priority for the Americans, since now the Cursed cannot move American ships off the map with the L-movers. The Executioner and Nightmare lost some masts to ramming as well.

It's a bit of a convoluted mess to the southeast, but the Americans have captured the Grinder by using the Mobilis to cancel the Turbine keyword, and now their newly launched ram ships are sailing towards the Cursed HI. The Cursed now have 7 ships left in play - the Executioner, Nightmare, Demise, and Lizard's Sting at their HI, the Sea Hag, and the Howl and Hangman's Joke in the Grey Shrouds hoping to come home and unload fish. That is why you see the Americans doing a new tactic to the left - the "fog blockade". XD The Americans are trying to block off most or all exit points at that fog bank in order to force the fog hoppers to go somewhere else and eventually be intercepted by the vast American war fleet. If the fog hoppers can pop out right there, they can dock home on the same turn, which would not only allow the Cursed to launch more stuff, but it would also place additional ships that cannot be shot at at the Cursed HI, requiring even more American rams to take them out. The American situations against the French and Cursed show the contrast simultaneously - the Americans disposed of a similar-sized French fleet in just a few turns, but eliminating the Cursed while they are docked at their HI will take much longer.


The situation in the east. The Americans have captured the remaining French ships in play, eliminating their fleet from the game! The sole possession the French have is one metal token, so if that spikes in value (resource change is about to occur), they might be able to launch a small ship to stay alive. At the upper right, the Hudson and Blackwatch teamed up to destroy the Ouroboros fort built by the Cursed. The Julius Caesar shot off the Sea Hag's final mast, so that ship is also now derelict. Next turn the Santa Isabel will re-explore the island and American trade will resume at the island once more. North of the American HI is just towing logistics as French ships are captured and towed home. To the southeast, the Americans show they mean business against the Pirates, with the Colossus, Essex, and Denver whirling into the area from just above the American HI, not wanting to go all the way around. The repaired Kettering is headed south along with the newly launched Wasp, the first of more "ram ships" designated for use against the Pirates. Three more were launched this turn: the Dolphin (custom by Cadet-Captain Mike), Fly and Hornet.


In fact, those three Pirate ships in the above picture are what they have left. In the deep southeast, the Brandywine was given an AA to catch and dismast the Banshee's Cry. Between the resources and gold on their HI and the resources coming in, the Pirates may be able to mount a significant defense of their home island in the coming turns. However, it will still depend somewhat on the resource change roll. In the southwest, the York captures the Lezard as the USS Thomas Jefferson arrives via whirlpool to assist the Zhanfu in chasing down the Aberdeen Baron, the only English ship. As the end approaches, the American fleet is a mammoth size many times larger than all the other factions left in play. Only the 12 deckplates you see in the far west borders are not part of the American fleet now.


3/1/2018

With the help of 3 AA's and GWL's action, the Americans managed to capture all four Cursed ships that were stationed at their home island. From the dense cluster you can tell that I needed a lot of ships to ram the Cursed ships derelict, and indeed five 1's were rolled between the Lizard's Sting and Demise! The Glorious Treasure's ability proved useful, and a clutch 6 ram from USS Mercury (submarine, the windcatcher is actually just to the west haha) dismasted the Demise. With Fiore cancelling the Demise's cancelling, and the Hessian cancelling the Cursed oarsman, the Wiglaf moved in to tow the Cursed gunship. It was a fitting end to the Cursed HI, as the Wiglaf has +1 to cannon rolls against the Cursed and her flavor text is very anti-Cursed. With the Executioner, Nightmare, Demise, Lizard's Sting and Sea Hag all captured, the Cursed have only their two fog hoppers left. However, the close blockade around the Cursed home island could mean they won't be able to get their now-valuable fish home. That's right, the resources changed and finally lumber and textiles weren't valuable. Spices are now the most valuable resource, which is what the Pirates have a bunch of!


However, the Pirates are about to experience a home island attack similar in intensity and nature as the Cursed. At the bottom right, the Hai Peng, Swift, and Darkhawk II are the three Pirate ships in play, but they can launch a bunch more. Already about half a dozen American ships are closing in on the Pirate HI, and a whopping 10 ships have emerged from the whirlpool near the Great Sargasso. Many other ships are on their way or about to be, including many of the ships that recently defeated France along with the captured French vessels. At the upper right, things get back to normal. With the Sea Hag captured and the fort destroyed, the Americans can run resources to and from that island once more. The Santa Isabel explored it to find luxuries, currently the least valuable resource; however it doesn't really matter at this point. In addition, the Americans are still getting some lumber from their western island and cashed in some now-valuable fish and spices to get 36 gold, which they used to launch the Celtic Fury from their trading port. Because why not? XD


This was not the final event on the American turn, but check out the English finally coming into contact with another faction again! After being isolated since the Spanish had to back off, the Zhanfu has sacced to chase down and intercept the Aberdeen Baron. Ibrahan Ozat led an S-Boarding party and captured the English helmsman, with the ship's foremost cannons also shooting off a mast. At this point it's unlikely the Aberdeen Baron will get home to unload her metals, but the Americans have the powerful USS Thomas Jefferson now stationed off the English HI in case things get wacky.


3/5/2018

With only a handful of turns left I would think (and hope! XD), the Americans converge on the Pirate home island! The Pirates did cash in their spices and launched a bunch of well-equipped gunships. Here the Americans have used the captured L-mover Screaming Mimi to move the Revenant away from the Pirate HI, allowing the Hudson and Kettering to sink her. The Revenant carried Dirk Chivers, a new historical crew from my custom set that I was pleasantly surprised to see so early after I created him. The Hai Peng was dismasted, and the Pirates have 5 healthy ships at their home island now (none of my rams worked).


Zoomed out a bit, and you can see the extent of the American operation in its "swan song" days. The Blackwatch got an EA to come south and sink the Darkhawk II. The Americans may already have enough points near the Pirates to eliminate them, but they've sent some additional ships through the whirlpool at the left, and more ships are coming down from the north after repairing at the American HI.


The French are alive again! Cashing in their final resource token, it was just enough to launch the Marianne. The York and Destiny are headed there to dispatch her, while the English do what is also likely to be their final launch in the west. HMS Oxford has a captain and Sir Christopher Myngs aboard, but the Zhanfu has sank the Aberdeen Baron and is ready for more, with USS Thomas Jefferson for support. In the center, the Shui Xian and Celtic Fury are headed to separate whirlpools. In the far north, the Americans now have a close blockade of the Cursed home island and their fog bank.


With that, potentially a "final" point count. It exceeded my expectations, and may require another just before the game ends.

3/5/2018
Americans: 119 ships, 2,263 points

O_O The Americans have nearly reached the size of the biggest fleet of all time! That was the Pirate fleet from Command the Oceans in 2017, with 131 ships for 2,347 total points. So, if the Americans can capture enough ships and crew (along with minor launches) in these final turns, they may just claim the title of "biggest fleet ever". Very Happy I will admit it's somewhat flawed due to how lopsided things are now, and many of the American ships are captures, derelict, or repairing. That Pirate fleet didn't even make it to the final battle of CTO, and they certainly didn't win the game. However, that's part of the reason I want to keep track of the American point total - if it goes up enough, they could become the largest fleet ever AND the largest fleet to ever win a game.

3/9/2018

Given an Admiral's Action from Commodore Preble himself, the York catches the Marianne and dismasts her, officially eliminating the French from the game!!!!


In the far west, the USS Thomas Jefferson gets the Tombstone's action via GWL (American Mycron), hitting 3/5 to set HMS Oxford (the final English ship) ablaze. Then the Zhanfu's commander (Huang Bai) sacced Capitaine Arathiel (a "prize of war" taken from the French much earlier in the game) to get in range of the Oxford, sinking her with a few accurate shots! This means that the English have been eliminated from the game!!!!


Whew! My Americans were on a roll, and I eyed what was very nearly an incredible THIRD faction elimination in one turn! However, it didn't quite work out since the Akua Lapu and Empress are still docked. The Pirates did manage to sink the Essex on their turn, but the Americans hit back by capturing the Black Pearl, Hai Peng, and Swift. They also dismasted the Harbinger, so the AL and Empress are the only two usable Pirate ships left. The devastating flood of American ships has hit the Pirate home island hard, and their elimination is likely only a turn or two away.


The entire ocean, with now only 3 factions left in play: the Americans as the clear dominant force in CG3, the Cursed hanging onto two fog hoppers and a trading port, and the Pirates being besieged at their home island with a few usable ships left.


Keeping in mind the all-time fleet record of 131 ships at 2,347 points set by the Pirates of Command the Oceans, I'm trying to keep track of the American fleet totals on a per-turn basis. The Essex was sunk, but her ~23 points total was easily made up by the capture of the Hai Peng for the same point total. Between the other two Pirate captures and 48 gold spent on launching (the United States and Grand Storm), the Americans actually gained 90 total points from last turn! (they also lost an oarsman, but I don't think any other crew were eliminated)

3/9/2018: 123 ships, 2,353 points

O_O

By point total, this American fleet now claims the title of largest fleet ever!! Very Happy Of course, they're only ahead of those Pirates by 6 points right now, though they should be able to launch next turn as well. They're also behind the Pirates in ship count, and many of the American ships are in bad shape, especially the various captured vessels. Still though, it's an amazing record to break, and I'm happy to have broken the record with a fleet that will actually win the game the record is set in. XD

3/11/2018

After about 8 rams, the Americans capture the final 3 Pirate ships and the Pirates are eliminated from the game!!!!


The Cursed split up as the final faction in play, with the Hangman's Joke making a final stand and shooting 2/2 against the USS Thomas Jefferson.


The Americans clamp down on the incursion and the Zhanfu sinks the Hangman's Joke!


Video of the final turn!

Only the Howl remained. She fog hopped to the northeast and started heading home when the Enterprise caught her. In a fitting end, one of the best American ships in the game sank the Howl! The Cursed have been eliminated!!!!


ADMIRAL A7XFANBEN'S AMERICANS HAVE WON VASSAL CAMPAIGN GAME 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Having won all 3 VASSAL campaign games (CG1 and CG2 in 2016), I have asserted extreme dominance over the CG world, and could now be called "The Tom Brady of campaign games". O_O XD (at 3-0 with 3 wins and no losses in my first 3 non-solo campaign games, like Tom Brady going 3-0 in his first 3 Super Bowl appearances) More on that later, I hope. XD

In their final turns, the Americans captured 4 ships, the final 3 Pirate ships and the Marianne, the final French ship. This increased the size of their fleet of course...

Truly the final point count from this game:
3/11/2018: 127 ships, 2,414 points

This means they have extended their record from the last battle report as the largest fleet of all time by point count. As CG3 is now officially over, the Pirates of Command the Oceans hold onto the ship count record (for now...) at 131 total ships. However, the Americans of CG3 are the first fleet to break the 2,400 point mark, which is an insane number.

I'll leave the rest of the analysis in the now-traditional reflection post, which you can find below.

Reflection post

Scroll up to see the final report!

Looking back on VASSAL Campaign Game 3, I would say it was largely successful. The biggest reason is that we set a new (by far) record for players in a virtual campaign game, with 6! The previous high was 3 for CG2, so to double that and not have any long-term issues with people dropping out or quitting was quite awesome. The game lasted almost exactly 6 months, with play going from 9/2/2017 until 3/11/2018.

The high number of players was certainly a new experience for me, having controlled 3 of the 6 fleets in CG1, and then controlling 1 of the 3 fleets in CG2. However, I eventually came to dominate both of those games points-wise, so the bulk of playing time in the long run was done by me. CG3 was totally different since I theoretically only controlled about 17% (1/6) of the points in play to begin the game, and a reasonably slow start by the Americans meant I was mostly relegated to seeing how things developed.

I will start this with an analysis of my own game that I played; all the other players are free of course to post their thoughts on the game, their strategies throughout, what their plans were, and what they thought of the experience overall. (also feel free to reveal any alliances/etc, with the game over there's not much to hide haha!)

Americans
As play began, I did NOT plan to dominate this much and to eliminate all the other factions. XD Knowing that there were 4 new players in the CG, and hoping the game would have parity for quite a while, I was planning to sort of "take it easy" and be a somewhat passive or friendly faction.

Everything changed when the Spanish started being aggressive though. That got my competitive spirit rekindled, and it was game on from there. XD Within a few turns or weeks I went from hoping I could be passive to being completely optimized and getting ready to dominate in the long-term. This happened because the Spanish showed they meant business VERY early, sinking a French gunship and nearly eliminating the English completely before any of the rest of us could do anything. This did a handful of things for me - it worried me on one hand, since the Spanish were a faction that I saw as a potential territorial rival, since they commanded a strong position on the map (center of the western hemisphere) and I was directly opposite them across the Gateway. In addition, it happened quite a bit faster than I (or possibly anyone else) had anticipated. I didn't want to see another faction eliminated so early, but unlike CG1 and some of CG2, I was not in a position to be "world policeman" (like the British Empire during Pax Britannica 1815-1914) and interfere to guarantee the survival of a faction. The English were at risk of a VERY early elimination, but I had played with the English commander (repkosai) quite a bit on VASSAL in 2017, and I knew he was pretty stoked to be playing in CG3. Therefore, I didn't want to see him go so early without hardly getting a chance to play, so I was somewhat opposed to the early Spanish lead. Some talks were had about a coalition to save the English, but in the end the French were the ones to take the fight to the Spanish since they had similarly valuable resources and the means necessary to get a battle fleet in play.

Very early in the game I pursued an alliance with the Pirates. This was partly since wifey was relatively new to pretty much everything going on - VASSAL, her first campaign game, and even Pirates CSG to a degree (and the EE ruleset of course). In addition, I recognized that their somewhat poor home island position could mean that my Americans would have a much better time getting gold from resources than the Pirates. So I wanted to take the Pirates "under my wing" if you will and have a friendly neighbor. And also, to hopefully prevent a pincer movement on all sides in the case of an alliance against me. XD This secret alliance solidified my position in the game, and made me feel decent about my chances going forward. Other alliances never really came to fruition, as the English didn't respond to my tentative offer of help and the French and Cursed always seemed like factions I would have to fight to win the game. The Spanish actually reached out to me with an alliance offer, which I accepted. However, they then proceeded to establish a settlement on the Gateway island, which was near the American military port. I had doubts about the alliance, and couldn't take it seriously when the Spanish were putting island upgrades near me on islands I also wanted.

As the French closed in and started wiping out the Spanish with their impressive battle fleet, I knew I had a chance to strike. The problem was how long it would take to get at the French (and what was left of the Spanish) effectively. With extreme haste, I rushed to get a trading port on the west side of the Barrier Reef, as the island was nearly untouched by the Cursed and Spanish. Some of the fastest American ships (Peacock, Sea Wind, Mercury windcatcher) were instrumental in this development, which I now see as one of the keys to my eventual victory. I escorted those ships with a few gunships, but not ones I wanted to risk in battle if I could help it (since they had tribal chieftains aboard). I also wanted a trading port because the players had voted that Mercenaries would function as regular privateers, with no bidding system as I had proposed. I was fine with that, but it was fun to get a little "payback" for the decision, as I eventually came to dominate privateer launches. XD We had also decided that the Mercenary 10 masters with faction biases were free to be launched by anyone that could do so, but I decided not to take overt advantage of that, generally only launching those 10 masters once the faction in question had been eliminated or effectively eliminated. The trading port also came in handy for launching AA crew, of which the Americans eventually had 5 including 3 privateers. Various AA's were very useful down the line and provided support in key moments.

I didn't put a trading port on the island northeast of the American HI because I was purposely sharing that with the Pirates, to keep the alliance strong and give them more of a chance if they had another island they could go to. The Cursed were actually the first to build a trading port, but they hardly ever used it for launching. This left the door wide open for me to take full advantage of the one built north of the Gateway, which became a launch hotspot and the bane of both the French and the Cursed.

In early November, I seized my opportunity and started the beginning of the American empire. After some saving, I spent over 200 gold to get some very effective ships, namely the Zhanfu, Baochuan (both 10 masters I felt comfortable launching at the time), Nautilus, and Mobilis. This dramatically increased my potential to hit the French before they could make it back home, as their fleet was somewhat far from home and exposed in the middle of the map while collecting Spanish prizes and being slowed by the towing process. It also gave me two cancellers, which is of course one of my favorite things to have in these giant games. Knowing the Americans have the most cancellers of any faction in the game (5 total), I decided to attempt a "canceller monopoly" that would form a potential "super squadron" surpassing even the super squadrons put together by the English and Spanish of CG1. Due to logistics and opportunities, this squadron never quite came together the way I wanted it to, but towards the end of the game it was mostly unified. Anyway, the Mobilis and Christian Fiore gave me a leg up in the cancelling game, locking up both Merc cancellers after the vote to not implement the bidding system for Mercenaries (and denying them from the Cursed, who had a trading port before the Americans).

I felt my window of opportunity closing fast, so I immediately hit the French as hard as I could. The French were about to establish a military port at the Gateway island (the ship with the upgrades was literally docked at the island and just needed another turn to explore and unload them!), and a resource change was imminent, making me worried that French metals would skyrocket in value and start a chain reaction that could see the elimination of the Americans. The attack went fantastic overall, and the rest is history. XD

After declaring war on the French and capturing many of the ships from the battle, I turned my attention to the Cursed, who were now the biggest long-term threat to the Americans (excepting if metals went to 6 gold apiece, which would have gotten the French back into things in a big way). Once again, the opportune moment came and I couldn't pass it up. Though, the Cursed started it by using one of the American 10 masters to sink a captured prize (through Davy Jones), which I was looking forward to having in my fleet. XD I saw Davy Jones in a unique spot - somewhat isolated, nearly unprotected, and with his own ship open to attack! Knowing the downside if I failed (losing two gunships and their associated tribal chieftains, but only eliminating chieftains directly and rolling badly for them would really affect me negatively, since you only need one chieftain to actually give the canoes actions), and having checked the tribal chieftain rules to see that sinking them wouldn't be too bad after all, I decided to take the plunge! The Grampus and Bonhomme Richard used AA's to sail north and dismast the Slipknot, and after a couple tense turns, the former Cursed admiral was mine! (along with his ship, which was a nice resource gatherer towards the end of the game) This was another "masterstroke" of my game, mostly predicated on previous CG experience. From CG1 and CG2, I've learned that taking action and launching preemptive strikes can lead to great results in the long term, even though being hostile is always risky. In addition, I had learned from CG2 that having an All-Powerful crew in an enemy fleet rolling 6's to sink your own ships (with your own ships) is one of the most annoying things in Pirates CSG. XD So I was determined to get quick revenge and not let it happen again. The skirmish was the start of the greater American-Cursed conflict, which mostly defined the last third of the game.

I was going to blockade the French home island and keep them there as best I could, but they fled the area before I could launch much from the military port the Americans set up in the south. Although there was a brief and somewhat minor "crisis" at the American home island when the French converged from the north and the Pirates sailed the Zeus up from the south (I just assumed they were breaking the alliance due to my points lead), I was actually relieved that the French would not have to be eliminated at their HI, which is extremely difficult and becomes a huge drain on resources the more ships there are to ram-dismast. Instead they were defeated on the open ocean, allowing for a quick elimination and some easy towing back to the American HI. Then I was able to focus on the remaining Cursed and Pirate ships.

Once the French left and I had a military port near their HI, I felt comfortable sending the elite southern squadron through the whirlpool to emerge in the north to combat the Cursed. It was quite the complicated mess for a number of turns, but eventually the Cursed HI was blockaded and their ships captured. That "turn for the ages" was the most complicated of the game, and reminds me of my whirlpool strikes from CG2. (whirlpool attacks are kind of my thing in these games now I guess XD)

If there was a "turning point", I would say it was the Second Battle of the Gateway Island where the Americans defeated the French. This completed the domino effect, and led to the Americans dominating for the rest of the game. It really was a strangely perfect domino effect in a way - the Spanish nearly eliminated the English, the French nearly eliminated the Spanish, and the Americans nearly eliminated the French. The Americans were eventually responsible for the elimination of all the other factions.

So there you go. A detailed look into the mind of the winning Admiral. XD As the "Tom Brady" of campaign games, I'm happy with the way I played.

Of course, anyone could spin it another way. I benefited massively from the strange run of resource changes, which saw American islands (with textiles and lumber) valuable for months on end, whereas French metals stayed very low for just as long. In addition, I came in with a HUGE experience advantage over 4 of the other 5 players (Xerecs being the exception), and indeed this was the first campaign game (I think) for all 4 of those players. However, you could paint it the opposite way and point out that the Americans are almost objectively the second-worst faction of the Big 6, meaning I was at a somewhat severe disadvantage from the start. In addition, the resource changes benefited the western factions for a while at the start, but none of them were able to build up enough of an advantage that would resist the eventual riches of America (sounds familiar... XD). Finally, I am impressed with how quickly the Americans were able to end the game, since 6 months for a virtual CG with 6 players feels pretty short. Once the French were defeated at the Gateway and the Americans continued to get fortuitous resource changes, the steamrolling was just about inevitable and impossible to stop. (Cursed mounted a great defense of their HI but the numbers advantage was too great) I also made some mistakes of my own, though they were generally gameplay gaffes and not strategic blunders. For example, I tried to launch the Mercenary Divine Dragon with Christian Fiore before establishing a trading port (forgot about the EE ruling for that especially after not using it for CG1/2). Ironically I did launch both of those game pieces properly later on. XD I also had the Kettering cancel two abilities in one turn against the Cursed, so she lost her ability to cancel for the turn after. Oops!

Since I won the game and I have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to these kinds of games (and I greatly enjoy these reflection posts), I can give a brief analysis of the other factions and some "pointers". Smile Kinda hesitant to do this since I'm revealing the "grand strategy" that has proven to be essential to winning these things, but I suppose it's easy to understand and maybe not as helpful as I think it will be. XD

In the order of play:

Spanish
The Spanish were the dominant force early on, getting very valuable resources consistently from wild islands. They were the first to do a lot of things, such as launch, build a port, shoot, etc. However, it fizzled out quickly. I think they were a bit too aggressive, which made the factions on their west side of the map hostile to them. In addition, they didn't really optimize their resource system before going after other fleets. They never had a lot of ships getting resources for gold, so things fell apart quickly. They attacked the French when they didn't need to and couldn't handle the later counterattack. Their gunships couldn't handle the French fleet out for revenge, and their "alliance" with the Americans never panned out, especially when they claimed the Gateway island for themselves despite the Americans just to the east. They also seemed hell-bent on eliminating the English, keeping the Algeciras and flotilla stationed off the English HI when they may have been able to survive by running home or trying to get resources (not sure why the Spanish were so onto the English like that). In the end it was too much too soon, but partly as a result of not optimizing their income and launch strategy.

Cursed
The Cursed did well as a somewhat passive or isolationist faction. Their fog hoppers were used to great effect to get resources not readily available on nearby wild islands. The Cursed made themselves difficult to reach and attack early, helping out the English with L movers and positioning themselves in the Frozen North near the icebergs. However, they saved resources and gold too much, never fully optimizing their resource system. This was their Achilles' heel, as other factions were usually ahead of them in point counts. With more ships running resources, the Cursed could have built up a more impressive hoard they could use for defense. One could also argue the Cursed were slightly too passive, and didn't appear to align with any factions against the powerful Americans. When they did anger the Americans, it was too early (or too late) for them to get into that giant conflict. However, the Cursed still played a solid game and finish in second place, VERY good considering the factional limitations.

Pirates
The Pirates' biggest problem was a disadvantageous home island location. In the far southeast, they didn't have easy access to a single island, as the Americans were closer to an island in the northeast and the main Pirate wild island was far to the southwest around the Great Sargasso and possibly as close to the French HI as it was to the Pirate HI. This resulted in the Pirates getting WAY behind right from the start. In reality, they didn't have much of a chance. They did accept a smart alliance with the Americans, so their powerful neighbors were on great terms with them for nearly the entire game. By the time the Americans sensed betrayal, the points lead the Americans had was overwhelming. Outside of that the Pirates didn't really do anything wrong that I noticed.

French
I would contend that the French actually played the second-best game, though that can't always be reflected in the final standings/elimination order. I don't feel like they truly made any big mistakes that doomed them. I suppose you could make the case that they shouldn't have used the explorer's reroll at their second wild island during the first session of play, but it did help them early on. In addition, seeing the battle reports for CG1 and CG2 may have helped them anticipate a strike by yours truly, given the situation near the Gateway. The French were one of the early leaders due to valuable metals, and they sent an appropriately large squadron north to retaliate for the Spanish sinking of the Bonne Chance. As the Americans and French had no real contact prior to my attack (diplomatic or physical), there wasn't a lot to suggest that they'd be crushed almost immediately after their big victory at the Gateway. However, with that decisive battle ending in favor of the Americans, it was very difficult to recover after that. Just as the resource "changes" (aka American and Cursed resources retaining high value) favored the eastern factions, the French were left with little means to launch things with. When one of the final resource changes kept metals at 1 gold apiece, the French decided to just spend what they had (99 metals I believe) and avoid a blockade scenario. If they had gotten lucky and metals had jumped to 6 (basically a windfall of 600 gold!), the French would have done better and possibly altered the final result of the game. (though since the Americans had over 1,000 points in play at that point, it still would likely have taken a coalition to unseat them as the eventual victor) All in all, it was a well-played game by the French, and like I said, in my opinion arguably the second-best game of the six factions.

English
The English went last and got to pick their home island first, which can be both a blessing and a curse. It allowed them to get a good location, but they had no idea where the other factions would settle. In the end they were close to the most aggressive faction of the early game, the Spanish. They were left at the mercy of Spanish firepower, though their questionable detour through a whirlpool route to get home may have doomed them just as much. Unfortunately the English spent many of the game's most exciting turns simply repairing the Aberdeen Baron, the only English ship in play for most of the final half of the game. It was a disappointing outing for a faction that usually does quite well in these grand adventures, but like the Pirates they had lots of trouble early on and couldn't make a comeback.

~~~~~

Random stuff from my google doc I use for all VASSAL CG's (strategy/launch plans/etc)
-I wanted to eliminate the French within the 8 turns when that resource change happened, to prevent their metals from potentially skyrocketing
-At some point (in January or February) the main part of the strategy said "End the game as soon as possible!" XD (in bold) Mostly since it was borderline over, but also so we could potentially start another CG since the other players would get sick of the American dominance and inevitable outcome (trying to rush things so everyone could get a chance again in the next CG)
-Keep cancellers together and protect them (canceller squadron sails against Cursed, non-canceller ships blockade French HI) - this didn't work that much, but it didn't need to since the French left their HI and I couldn't get all the cancellers together until the battle against the Cursed was already going well.
-Try to eliminate Cursed trading port?
-Peacock - where to put next military port? (after Flying Fish puts one near French HI)
(neither of those were particularly relevant as the endgame accelerated, the Celtic Fury did raze the Cursed TP on one of the final turns though)

These were from a while ago:
-Establish an alliance with wifey and possibly repkosai
-Deterrence with a fleet in being
-Escorts around fog banks

I accomplished the alliance with the Pirates, didn't really need a "fleet in being" since I started playing offense earlier than I wanted/expected to, and started to get some escorts around fog banks to protect against fog hoppers. However, the Cursed didn't use them for offense much and Davy Jones was captured before his 6's could wreak havoc on the American resource system.

I also recorded a lot of various launch plans, which I followed some of the time. The game actually ended with a bunch of notes still in that section, so if the game had continued I had another ~400 points of launches planned out. XD I did manage to launch all 4 Merc 10 masters, and I think I put all the American 5 masters in play overall.

The super squadron never united as one due to how things panned out, but this was the fearsome main part of it that I wanted to assemble in the same small area:
Long term: Super squadron w/ Constitution + DNT, cancellers, Eternal, oarsmen
Kettering + Ralph David, Ghost Walker, Hessian, Lizard, Mercury, Lamon (+ Fiore and Mobilis in hindsight)

Here's a random part of the doc where I recorded what I was satisfied with/had done right. XD

Accomplished:
-Alliance with wifey
-Kill Davy Jones and other similar threats before they can be used to cripple gunships (in hindsight, capturing worked even better!)
-MP on one of Cursed wild islands

Alliances: Spanish, Pirates (neither really worked out, but they didn't need to)

~~~~~

The final standings:
1. Americans
2. Cursed
3. Pirates
4. French
5. English
6. Spanish

Major Battles:
-First Battle of the Gateway Island: French decisively defeat the Spanish
-Second Battle of the Gateway Island: Americans decisively defeat the French (immediately after first battle)
-Battle of the American home island: Americans decisively defeat the French and Pirates
-Battle of the Cursed home island: Americans decisively defeat the Cursed

Minor Battles:
-Skirmishes won by Spanish against English and French
-Battle for Davy Jones: American victory over Cursed
-Battle of the Pirate home island: Americans eliminate the Pirates
(there were some other minor skirmishes)

Official new records:
Largest recorded single-fleet point total: Americans at 2,414 points
Most cancellers ever seen in a fleet? (likely): 9 (Americans)
Most players ever seen in a campaign game? (impossible to know for sure): 6
Most players ever seen in a virtual/VASSAL campaign game: 6

Thank you all for playing! Also, thanks to xerecs and repkosai for helping with the battle reports.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:36 am Reply with quote

This was the first VASSAL game for captainjohnlock! (JohnLock on VASSAL)

He went first with an English fleet, I followed with the French. We used a 40 point build total with no crew to keep it simple. Flat earth rules, and with 3 coins per island (no UT's).


Knowing combat would be hampered without any captains to rely on, I purposely chose the SCS version of the Coeur de Lion with her sniping ability. I got a handful of extra long range potshots in early against the Gallowglass and Duke of York, but none of them connected. JohnLock's method of tagging the deckplates around with the ships is a solid way to keep track of things for beginners. (to which I said: "never woulda thought a that!" Smile)


Many ships picked up gold from the various wild islands in play, while the Coeur mounted a somewhat heroic and effective defense of the French home island. She was able to hit 2/2 with her regular 2L guns once the Englishmen came into range. Again, no captains on gunships meant that the first shot would usually go to the defender.


Eventually the English began hitting their mark, but by the time the Coeur was in trouble, the French "cavalry" was returning home! All three of their other four ships arrived on the scene to turn the tide back in French favor.


In a rare usage of reverse captain, the Duc dismasted the Gallowglass and then docked home her gold, simultaneously blocking the Coeur from the Gallowglass on the previous turn to potentially save the former from sinking. The East Wind captured the Gallowglass, while the Glaive unloaded some loot from the southeast.


The Duke of York did manage to get the better of the Coeur, but she too was dismasted by the Duc of the French fleet. Once again the reverse captain ability proved some measure of worth (usually it doesn't get used since there aren't many opportunities for it, and it's certainly overpriced), as the Duc shot off the Duke's final mast (getting confused?) and then moved to tow her as well. We both agreed to call the game a bit early, and the French won 24-21!


More adventures await!
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Subject: A good game   PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:01 pm Reply with quote

Another game was played between A7XfanBen and JohnLock.

I went first with The Jades can use Calypso too! JohnLock followed with a Pirate fleet comprising some of the best ships in the game, including the Banshee's Cry and Hai Peng.

Once again we had 10 wild islands with 3 coins apiece, and flat earth rules.


The Pirates took off for 4 different islands, but the Virtuous Wind had already scoured one of them. I purposely went for islands farther from home, knowing I could probably get close gold later. Calypso got into action early, allowing the Tiger's Breath to explore an island in the south that would have taken longer to get to.


Here I wanted to try raiding the Pirate home island, but Calypso and Cheng couldn't come up with a whirlpool in the north. The Virtuous Wind instead headed northeast.


Seeing both Pirate gunships (Hai Peng and Carrion Crow carried captains) away from the Pirate HI, I decided it was time for the VW's raid. Throughout this game, both of us had dismal luck with whirlpool travel, and Protection from Davy Jones wasn't found until the end.


Having found the Jade UT earlier, I was taking a big risk going to the Pirate HI instead of just going home with the 7 the VW had. Risking both the UT and the 7, the VW only robbed a 1 coin.


Though the Pirate brigade did turn for their robbed home island afterwards, I decided to "ride out and meet them". Smile The Hai Peng had 3 coins aboard, and I figured the VW could win the fight. The Hades' Flame and Carrion Crow have warped to the southeast, losing masts.


The Hai Peng rammed the VW instead of docking at the home island, taking off a mast but being dismasted in return by the Wind. This was my golden opportunity to cash in and tow the HP home for a bunch of gold.


Using a little-known rule, from Page 10 of the Reference Diagrams I confirmed that I could capture and tow the Hai Peng with the Virtuous Wind since the HP was derelict and her bow was already in contact with the VW. The VW moved S to enter a new whirlpool Calypso had created (Clutch Calypso! XD), warping back to the Jade HI in a jiffy!


Both fleets maxed out their gold scores at the end, specifically the Jades with you guessed it, Jade. XD The VW used the UT to double her old 7 coin into 14 gold after the Tiger's Paw took the stolen 1. The TP then gave the 1 back to let the VW double that coin too. Good thing, since unfortunately I would need it....


In very improbable fashion, the scores end up tied at 58-58!!!!

The Jades won on both tiebreakers: they led the Pirates in points in play (my favorite tiebreaker, and something that should have been a standard rule) 55-21, and led in masts standing 7-5.


I'm very happy with how my new fleet performed in its first game, essentially winning against a fleet using some of the best Pirate ships out there. We both made some mistakes; the Hai Peng ramming the Virtuous Wind instead of docking home her gold led to the Jades capturing the infamous junk, while I should have been more conservative actually, since going for the HI raid only resulted in 1 more gold. If the VW had been successful in doubling both the 7 and the 4 from the island northeast of the Jade HI (Carrion Crow eventually got the 4 for the Pirates), the Jade profit would have been 22 instead of 15. However, then I probably wouldn't have captured the HP, who netted 12 gold from her 3 coins. So many moments, decisions, and strategic moves that matter in the end - one of the reasons I love Pirates so much!

Overall though, a very fun, close, and strategic game that came down to the... rope? XD See you next time!!
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Subject: Introduction to VASSAL for MegabyteKnight   PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:15 pm Reply with quote

A game was played between myself and Megabyteknight! You can hear this awesome mix that I just found.

Megabyteknight went first with a mix of factions:
Raven's Neck + captain, helmsman
HMS Victor + helmsman
Peacock + explorer

I used my new fleet "All Spanish on a Spanish Main", which exists because of a youtube fleet making tutorial I made.

He set up a tightly packed arrangement of islands, with 3 coins per wild island.


The action got started on the first turn, with the Corazon del Mar knocking a mast off the Victor!


The battle only intensified, with the Raven's Neck and Aguila trading blows. Inable to perform at his best (I didn't get the SAT roll XD), Capitan Castro piloted the Aguila the short trip home, knocking a mast off the Raven's Neck on the way to safety. The Corazon and Victor traded hits before the Corazon moved in for the decisive blow by getting broadside and hitting 2/3!


With the Raven's Neck gathering gold at an island and the Victor with only 1 mast standing, the Spanish decided it was time to strike with maximum force! The Corazon del Mar sailed over to the Raven's Neck and improbably hit 3/3 to dismast the ship! This was a devastating blow to their cause, but it only got worse. With no need to capture the Raven's Neck right away or finish her off, L'Aguila sailed over to the Victor and promptly sunk her! This was a weird and unlikely case where the fleet with the advantage was able to switch targets in a 2v2 setting.


With the Raven's Neck captured and brought back to Spanish waters, and the Peacock the only ship opposing the Spaniards, the game was all but over. Some coins were unloaded, and the Spanish had won a 10-5 victory!
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