Today (2/18/12) I set everything up for a 500 point game, the second I will have played. I created the fleets on paper earlier in the week.
Once again, there will be five 500 point fleets, with four of the five having +5 0 point Limit Ransom crew (0LR +5), for a grand total of 2520 points on the floor! Things have changed in my Pirates CSG landscape, so the fleets will be composed of slightly different factions than last time. The English, Spanish, and Pirates will all be fighting individually. The French, however, are now allied with the Americans, as well as the Corsairs (this alliance will be referred to as the French Americans). The Cursed have teamed up with the Mercenaries (I will call them the Merccursed). The Merccursed are the only fleet not playing to win, as they will be trying to create chaos for the opposing fleets. I am not using duplicate ships this time (other than two of the Death's Anchor flotillas), but I am using some duplicate named crew. However, most of the duplicate crew used will be variations of crew with the same name (ex: the Pirates are using the SM Calico Cat, as well as the OE and ROTF versions, and the English will be using the MI Hermione Gold and the ROTF version, among others). The English are using 31 ships total, the Spanish 36, the French Americans 33, the Pirates 36, and the Merccursed 29 (including flotillas and sea monsters), for a grand total of 165!
20 islands will be used, with four treasure coins per island, for 60 total coins (15 wild islands + 5 home islands), of which 16 are unique treasures. 14 pieces of terrain have been placed, with six more on standby for the Lost UT. The nations have chosen their home islands, from east to west: Pirates, French Americans, Merccursed, Spanish, English. The order of turns will be: English, Spanish, French Americans, Pirates, Merccursed. Hopefully it will be as exciting and close-fought as the last 500 point game!
First seven turns: The game commenced, and the fleets were off!
The HMS Lady Provost encountered the UT Natives, freezing her for two turns, while the HMS Alexander uncovered the UT Missionary, marking a bad start for the English.
The Spanish got into a fight with the Cursed which is just now ending. They managed to sink the Executioner by canceling ROTF Fantasma's Eternal keyword, and now they have acquired the Eye of Insanity, which they transferred to El Acorazado, who is also decked out with crew. The Eye lets her substitute one of her crew for a Cursed crew in play, and they naturally picked OE Davy Jones' guaranteed extra action. Their Toro and San Jose have been sunk, among others, but they have been doing okay.
The French have gotten some treasure with La Vengeance, the Griffin, and the Viper's Bite (the latter are still on their way home, and in big trouble from the Pirates and English respectively). The Conquerant, Saber, Possession, and Soleil Royal have all been sunk in two separate actions against the Pirates, while the French were able to eliminate the loaded Harbinger, and the dangerous Raninoidea crab. Those same Pirates have had bad luck and bad timing, and almost half of their fleet was annihilated in one turn by the English.
The English used the "round earth" rules to go to the other side of the sea and try to get to two far-off islands, but things became much more complicated than that. The English ended up having to send some of their best gunships over to take care of the Pirates, heading for the same islands, and took out 24 masts in one turn of furious broadsides (mostly the work of the HMS Grand Temple, HMS Titan, Bretwalda, Ark Royal, and Apollo). Both islands were explored by the English, and they built Fort Brompton on the closer one, but the fort was quickly destroyed by the Revenant (soon thereafter sunk by the Lord Walpole), but then rebuilt. The Aberdeen Baron was captured after exploring the farther island by the Viper's Bite, after having been dismasted by Le Gaule, who consequently was almost dismasted by a collection of English ships. As of now, the Baron is sitting derelict with one treasure coin, the dismasted Viper's Bite is crawling home at S speed, and the Gaule is doomed (La Dijon was sunk in this action as well). The English appear to be in complete control in this northeast area of the sea. They have captured three Pirate ships, the Raven (now at her new HI repairing), Longshanks, and Darkhawk II (both of which are being towed home with treasure on board).
The Merccursed have been creating chaos in the middle of the sea, harassing the two nearest fleets, those of the Spanish and the French Americans. The Spanish have successfully beaten them back, but the French Americans didn't fare so well. Their problem was the fact that most of the French gunships (the bulk of their fighting ships) were off fighting the Pirates to the east, while the Merccursed used teamwork to attack the three American five masters, the Enterprise, Blackwatch, and Constitution (OE). They weakened the Enterprise with a host of ships, notably the Forward equipped with a Firepot Specialist and Musketeer, then took out her Eternal crew, Ralph David, with the crew-killing boarding effect of the Jikininki. Then the Blackwatch appeared, but she was handled by the same combination of ships (less the Forward who the Blackwatch sunk). Christian Fiore's cancelling ability was utilized to cancel Gus Schultz (Eternal) at just the right time, and then the sea monster Slarg Gubbit finished her off. Too bad the Merccursed won't have any treasure, so they won't win.
Dozens of other ships were damaged and sunk today; too many to remember. These were just the highlights. The last treasure coin is on an island to the west, protected by the Wolves UT. La Ebro heads there, but there is a large battle looming in that area, in the southwest corner, between the English and the Spanish. The English have more captain crew, but the Spanish have El Acorazado and possibly more ships that are fit for battle. These appear to be the strongest factions at this point, but the Pirates and French Americans are still in the running.
Another five or six turns have been completed, and the game will probably be finished up tomorrow. The English and the Spanish fought in the southwest corner, with the Spanish appearing to have somewhat won. Too bad my English have way more treasure than them!
Some of the English ships have gone to the east using the round earth rule and are just now stealing treasure from the HI of the Pirates. HMS Bath and HMS Lady Provost are taking gold, although it may not even be necessary for the English to win, as I appear to have the most gold of any faction, with some on my HI and more in Fort Brompton. The Viper's Bite, Longshanks, and Darkhawk II have all been captured by the English, who have been the dominant force of late, as they also recaptured the Aberdeen Baron and sunk Le Gaule. The Acorazado was sunk by a team of English ships, and La Ebro (with Olano's Marine keyword) has eliminated Wolves, allowing the last treasure to be loaded.
The treasure still has to be counted, but the other four fleets have all but conceded that the English have the most treasure. The Merccursed have repaired and regrouped, but appear to be too late to make any real late-game noise, although they have just recently attacked the French Americans, who were also repairing (from skirmishes against the Pirates). Le Bonaparte and Le Lache de Calvados, both immune to enemies within S, have frustrated the English around the Pirates' HI, forcing the English to try to ram them, which has not worked. Meanwhile, the Pirates have been officially eliminated, with some of their ships captured by the English, sunk by the French Americans and the English, and scuttled to escape capture. The Coral was the last Pirate ship floating, but now they have nothing, which is important because the English have a free shot at their HI, which has the most treasure other than the HI of the English.
The Spanish fought the English in the hopes of defeating them, but they suffered three serious blows in their efforts today: the Divine Dragon sunk El Villalobos, who was carrying 11 gold in the form of two coins, having been transferred to her by the derelict San Pedro. Also, the English captured the Joya del Sol, who had more valuable treasure on her (probably about nine gold), giving them even more treasure. As if this wasn't enough, both cancelers (Nemesio Diaz) were eliminated, going down on board the Santa Teresa and the Asesino de la Nave.
With the Pirates unable to defend their dwindling supply of gold, the French Americans losing most of their useful ships and now fighting the Merccursed, and the Spanish without a large amount of gold, the English appear to have won, though hopefully I am not speaking too soon.
HMS King Edward is positioned to take the last pieces of treasure, and the game shall end soon!
The game was finished up today; it didn't take as long as the other 500 point game. I believe it took only 13 or 14 turns. The King Edward was sunk by a combination of three Spanish ships, ending the game, with the Spanish with nine ships remaining, and the English with 14. The French Americans had some ships, and were in the process of a battle against the Merccursed. This was interrupted when 'all available gold had been unloaded to home islands'. The final treasure count:
1. English: 81 gold
2. Pirates: 25
3. French Americans: 21
4. Spanish: 0
5. Merccursed: 0 (I put them behind the Spanish because they never had a single coin at any point during the game).
A blowout victory for the English! The game wasn't as thrilling as the last 500 point game, but it was fun to see the English play a near-perfect game.