Today I played a four player, 100 point game. The idea was that each player brought their favourite 'gimmick' fleet, or a fleet that tried to win using an unorthodox strategy. Every player was trying to win, but the fleets were created more for fun than for competition. Each player was allowed to use 70 points for the gimmick fleet, and 30 for treasure runners.
A short description of the four fleets, in the order of gameplay:
1. A fleet based on controlling the opponent. This fleet used crew like Davy Jones and George Washington LeBeaux, as well as UT's and mysterious islands, to control the enemy ships and mess up opposing strategies.
2. A fleet based on home island raiders. Of the four ships in the fleet with the HI raider ability, all of them had solid firepower, and two had captains, so the fleet looked formidable.
3. A fleet based on recycling crew. The main game pieces in this fleet were Captain Davy Jones (POTC) and Captain Blackheart. The Deliverance, with these two crew onboard (along with Lady Baptiste to reroll Jones' ability), was supported by ships that are effective crew killers, such as the Asesino de la Nave, the USS Quigley, and El Villalobos. The eliminated crew are supposed to then be recycled by Jones, and then sacced by Blackheart for extra actions that would let the Deliverance dominate the battle.
4. A fleet based on using three sea monsters. The Raninoidea was equipped with OE Calico Cat and OE Griffin, and she was towing the Pirate flotilla Doombox. Also in the build were the Seleucis, who would use her unique ability to essentially give the Leviathan the move-and-shoot.
The game got underway, and the Raninoidea and Seleucis were quickly killed, leaving the (mostly) Pirate sea monster fleet in bad shape.
The HI raiders didn't actually get to raid any home islands, as they were preoccupied fighting Raninoidea, and then repairing from that fight. Also, the Doombox was left behind close to the fleet's island, so the flotilla kept harassing the HI raiders as their runners brought home a good amount of gold.
The crew-recycling fleet struggled mightily to get into action, as there was an obstacle course of terrain around their HI (two of them created by the UT Lost). When they finally started shooting (desperately trying to feed their big gunship), they killed some crew, but weren't able to get the 6's required to link them to Davy Jones. Their strategy failed miserably, but they were able to keep themselves out of last place with their treasure runners, the Alquimista and Joya del Sol.
The 'mind control' fleet had solid luck with the dice, and they were able to create chaos around the sea with LeBeaux, good MI rolls that were aided by Nemo's Charts, and essentially two of OE Davy Jones. The first one was the real one onboard the Divine Dragon, and the second (temporary) one came from the Eye of Insanity UT, which lets the owner of the ship it is on choose any Cursed crew in play and substitute their ability in for a crew aboard the ship that the Eye is on. In this way, this fleet had four abilities that let them control their opponents, which would prove to be somewhat valuable.
In the end, one ship proved her worth: HMS Lady Provost. She made a daring raid on the HI of the crew-killer fleet, taking a 7 and a 2 on consecutive turns. She was not actually part of the HI raiding fleet, but a regular treasure runner in the 'mind control' fleet. In the end, that fleet tied with the HI raider fleet for first with 15 gold each. Coming in third was the crew-killer fleet, with 5 gold (therefore, they still would not have won if the Provost didn't take their gold; in that case, the HI raiders would have had sole possession of first place). Bringing up the rear was the sea monster fleet, with 0 gold. They will have another chance tomorrow, however, as I am going to play at least one more game with these fleets.