I played the seven-player 80-point game yesterday but don't remember all of the details. The Aberdeen Baron again proved her worth and the English won again!
Today I used mostly the same fleets (only the Cursed went for a complete makeover), but upped the points to 100. To mix things up, I broke the rules and strung together terrain to make sure they would be used. In the middle of the play area I strung together around a dozen Sargasso Seas in a long S. I surrounded one island with Fog Banks, another with Reefs/Sargasso Seas, and another with Reefs/Fog Banks. The terrain would finally be used.
The Cursed and Americans came in wanting to cause as much destruction as possible. The other factions went for a balanced approach, with the French and Pirates going for a stealing gold/capturing crew combo, and the Merccorsairs, Spanish, and English looking to grab gold and escort it home. Many of these strategies were wrecked in the first few turns. The Grim Reaper used Wraith to eliminate the Darkhawk II's complement of crew (Calico Cat (SM), Coconut, Helmsman) and taking out three of her masts. The Xiamen's Claws quickly swept in and sunk the Cursed menace, but she was sunk soon thereafter, with Bonny Peel going down with her and ruining the Pirate strategy (although they still had three ships and Angelica). The Americans had a brief change of heart and started to gold-run with their gunships, but then realized they would never win in this way. The Raven went away to a far-off island, while the Divine Dragon (making a return with Davy Jones in command) towed the Death's Anchor towards the much coveted treasure island (with 8 treasure on it) in the northwest corner, following the Executioner, who had ROTF Fantasma on board (Fear, Eternal, SAT).
The English picked their harbour last, and so had the worst time trying to get treasure. The Spanish Joya del Sol used SAT from Capitan Alarico Castro to leap ahead of her companions, and began to overtake the three Corsair galleys in the race to the northwest island. Following her were the San Pedro, Cristal del Obispo, Monte Cristo, and Algeciras. The other Spanish ship, the Alquimista, managed to get through the ring of fog banks and grab the treasure on the easternmost wild island. The HMS Victoria captured the tiny Coeur du Lion (French 1-master) before joining the HMS Lord Walpole outside the fog banks, waiting for the Alquimista to emerge and pounce on her. The Aberdeen Baron and HMS Hyena sailed towards the treasure island in the northwest, but were surprised by the previously friendly Frenchmen, who suddenly opened fire with the Descharges, Vengeance, and Mercure! The good guns of this trio, shooting before the English could get away, reduced the Baron to one mast (she would later be captured), and sunk the Hyena.
A meeting between the Mercenary Forward and Cursed Executioner (both w/4 masts) left the Executioner a burning hulk, and was then sunk, but she returned to the Cursed HI with Fantasma's Eternal. The Forward then turned her wrath on the Joya del Sol, taking out three masts and leaving the other to fire, to be sunk later in the turn by the Jade Sea Serpent, who had Osvaldo de Deus Celemente on board. The French then singled out and captured the Corsair galley Carthage, but neglected to tow her home, leaving her to her own oar power.
I can't remember all of the details, but now there commenced a sort of war against the treasure runners, with gunships abandoning their own treasure runners to attack others. The American 5-master Blackwatch did a particularly large amount of damage.
The San Pedro was eventually able to penetrate the weeds around the northwesternmost island and return home with the treasure. The Spanish were able to team up and sink the Divine Dragon at this point. The Monte Cristo knocked down one mast, and then the San Pedro got a lucky die roll at the mysterious island nearby (the northwest one surrounded by terrain). The 5-6 effect let the Spanish move an enemy ship using her base move. The Spanish used this to throw the Dragon onto a reef, where she rolled a 1 and promptly lost four masts, leaving her easy picking for the Cristal del Obispo, who finished her off.
Meanwhile the Pirate ships Recreant and Ladron sunk the American ships USS Quigley and Swamp Fox. The Cristal del Obispo killed Angelica after a failed swoop attack. The English managed to capture the Spanish Alquimista, but then she was sunk by the Blackwatch, who also sunk the Sea Tiger, Coeur du Lion, and HMS Lady Provost. I finally got my revenge on her by sinking her with the Victoria, but she returned to her home island with Ralph David's Eternal.
The L'Heros tried to take treasure from the Americans' home island, but she was captured by the Cursed, then the Americans, and eventually sunk by the Blackwatch, who then captured the Executioner (Blackwatch was causing chaos all over the sea!). The Pirate ship Raven was captured by the French, but in doing so, the French ships were badly damaged by the other Pirate ships trying to recapture the Raven, the Recreant and Ladron. As a result, the HMS Lord Walpole easily sunk the captured Raven and the ship towing her, the Descharges (Le Mercure had already been dismasted; she was later scuttled).
The English took away the Carthage from the French, but with the French capturing the Aberdeen Baron and the Lady Provost at the bottom of the sea, the Carthage would bring home the only gold the English could muster, their efforts doomed by the French and the Blackwatch. The Spanish repaired from their travels to the treasure island in the northwest, then went out and dismasted the Victoria, leaving her to be captured by the Algiers.
At this point it became obvious that either the French or Spanish would win. Most of the treasure had been sent to the bottom, but the Spanish entered the whirlpools and returned to the treasure island to seal their victory. The Cristal went derelict from a combo of reefs and a vicious mysterious island roll, but managed to salvage another coin, while the French Dijon appeared and did her best gunship impression, scoring two hits to dismast the damaged San Pedro. Alas, it would not be enough. The newly repaired (as a result of the UT Trees) Victoria appeared and dismasted the Dijon, and this ended the game, with four of seven players unable to give any of their ships any future move actions. The Cursed, French, Pirates, and Spanish had been beat up. The Americans only had a damaged Blackwatch and a captured derelict, the Executioner. The Mercorsairs only had the Victoria and the Algiers, and the English only had the poor Carthage, struggling to get home on just S movement (at least her treasure counted!).
The treasure was counted, and sure enough, the Spaniards won, with 23 gold. The French came in second, with 13, and the English in third with 8. The Americans and Mercorsairs had 3 gold each, and the Cursed and Pirates had none at all.