I have been playing more "standard" (40-point) games lately since I got back. I created a fleet using the Asesino de la Nave. I also created a 40 point fleet using two SAT crew on gold-runners that went 4-4 (.500) against other 40 point fleets. Another fleet, one with the Enterprise and two supporting ships (Recreant and Ladron) was able to cream this fleet twice in a row though, which puzzled me. Then I made a 40 point "swarm" fleet that utilized ten different ships of various nationalities. This fleet performed well, winning two games, including a four-player multiplayer game. I've played many individual games over the last few days, so I can't remember all the details. Yesterday I played a 100 point four-player game, and the Spanish won.
Today I started a cumulative game, where I use the treasure found to buy new ships and crew. I did this before, but on a much larger scale. This time I put much less treasure on the islands (12 per island instead of huge stacks that take forever to lug back to the HI). Four fleets, starting with the standard 40 points. I am for the most part using the standard multiplayer rules, but there will not be treasure left at the HI's, as it will be spent to launch new ships. Instead, the end of the game will be determined by the amount of points in play when any one endgame condition is met (last treasure unloaded/sunk, 2+ players with no move actions). The points from all the ships and crew (and any treasure still left on ships) will be added up to determine the winner. The participants: English (me), Pirates, Spanish, and Amercursedcorsairebels.
Each fleet started off with just gold-running in mind. The Amercs, lacking the ships/crew to do this, encountered problems, with the Enterprise exploring an island only to discover the UT Wolves (treasure can't be loaded until eliminated, only by Musketeer/Marine). I used the HMS Hyena and Lady Provost to buy the HMS Dover and HMS Nautilus early on. The Pirates had even worse luck than the Amercs, and appear to be almost out of the running already. The galley ship Griffin docked at a Mysterious island and rolled a 6. "Move an enemy ship using this ship's base move." Uh-oh! The Amercs then placed the nearby Darkhawk II broadside to the Enterprise, and promptly three of the Darkhawk's four masts went by the board! Fearing more damage, the Darkhawk limped home after this most lamentable of circumstances, and the Pirates were again on the wrong side of Lady Luck when the Cursed Blade lost a mast to an iceberg. The Spanish, farthest away (to the east), were able to quickly accumulate enough gold to launch the Alquimista, the San Jose, the Algesiras, the Ebro, and in a big surprise, also bought El Toro, my one Titan. They also discovered the Cursed Conch, which would become important later on.
The game progressed rather quickly, and the Amercs splurged on their fourth ship, the Divine Dragon. They bought OE Davy Jones and a cursed captain to beef her up. Sound familiar? This is the same way she was set up in the 500-point game. The Pirates made the mistake of trying to catch the Enterprise (quickened by a helmsman and the occasional extra action), and they were burned. The Enterprise reached the Amerc HI just as the Divine Dragon loaded on Davy Jones and a captain, and the Pirates were suddenly up against two of the most powerful ships I have. The Cursed Blade and the one-master Lightning were dismasted, and the Darkhawk II, with many crew on board, sunk (and this was after she fully repaired!). This put the exclamation point on a dismal day for the Pirates... although it was about time they had one!
I launched the other six-masted junk in my collection, the HMS Grand Temple, and she used Protection from Davy Jones UT to warp across the game area to the Spanish fleet, and sunk the Joya del Sol, the best treasure ship the Spaniards had, in one shoot action. The Spanish didn't like this, however, and I paid the price. Thinking El Toro was a safe distance away, I forgot she had a captain and the Santa Ana, docked at the home island of the Spanish, had the UT Cursed Conch. 2L was still too far away to reach my flagship, though. Then the Spanish revealed their secret weapon, Screw Engine (the ship can move twice in one turn) which would be the key to yet another HMS Grand Temple disaster (maybe I should be more careful with her, or maybe I overrate her and think she won't be sunk early on, idk). The Toro, with the help of two UT's, was able to swoop down on my beautiful flagship, and with the Titan keyword, pin her with the ram attempt (which wasn't successful, she would've had to roll a 7!). I couldn't escape, and help was too far away, so the battle was on! The Toro still had her captain, and the shoot action took out half my masts (the usually unreliable 3-rank guns hit 3/4 times!?). Then I somehow managed to roll a three and two twos with my next broadside. Where's Hermione Gold when you need her!? Incredibly frustrating. The Toro made short work of my remaining masts, and as of now the Temple is sitting there derelict, waiting to be sunk. The rest of my fleet has been doing good, though, and I [I]think[/I] I am in the lead as far as points in play, especially after capturing the Pirate schooner, Raven (Pirates couldn't catch a single break today).
I originally believed the Spanish were my biggest competition, but now, in addition to them, the Amercs are looking somewhat intimidating, with two big gunships capable of teaming up to sink multiple ships in one turn. They are not too far away from my HI, so I will have to keep an eye on them.
I finished my cumulative game today. Simply put, the Amercursedcorsairebels, with the duo of gunships, Enterprise and Divine Dragon, took over the game. First they came after me. They sunk the Dover, Bolingbroke, Nautilus, and Alexander within two turns. Meanwhile, the Spanish Titan El Toro sunk my HMS Lady Provost and my captured Raven. I was quickly out of it, with all my ships sunk. The duo then took out the Toro, who was to the south. In the north, the Spanish had bought a Musketeer, and put him on La Ebro (MI) to take out Wolves so the last treasures could be loaded. The Amercs, not interested in treasure, would have no part of this. They sunk all six ships (a mix of Spanish and Pirate) that were clustered around the island. In the short one-sided battle, the Spanish managed to dismast the Enterprise with El Alquimista. The Dragon took over and dismasted the Pirate Treachery and sunk the Spanish Santa Ana (CC). That decided it! The two gunships worked together to dominate the sea and sunk everybody in sight. Based on my winning condition of most points in play when any endgame condition is met, the Amercs won easily. They totaled 84 points. The Pirates had captured La San Jose, and she was being towed by the derelict Treachery, and they also had some unspent gold on their HI (4 gold), so the Pirates actually came in second with 17. The Spanish had no ships in play, but had two gold left on their HI. They came in third. Bringing up the rear, with absolutely no gold or ships, was me.
The game ended earlier than I thought (the last cumulative game took me a week), and it was somewhat good, although of course I was disappointed. Now I am going to try to make good 40 point fleets utilizing good gunships (deathmatch, but not necessarily). The first one has HMS Grand Temple with OE Calico Cat and OE Griffin + a helmsman, as well as HMS Meresman with captain and helmsman. This fleet just matched up against a fleet I mentioned earlier, a fleet with the Enterprise, Ladron, and Recreant. The British won all three times.
The last few days I have not played so much, but used the fleet with HMS Grand Temple and HMS Meresman to great effect (Temple seems to be proving me wrong). The 3-game sweep of that first fleet featuring the Enterprise, Recreant, and Ladron was followed by many others. I faced a fleet with the Longshanks, Recreant, and Silverback, and won all three. I faced a fleet with the Harbinger and Sea Nymph, and won all three. I faced another fleet, with ships I just can't remember, and won all three. Lastly, I faced my swarm fleet (10 ships for 40 points), and won quite easily all three times. This brings my fleets record to an impressive 15-0. I think I will submit it at MT, although nobody will see it. It appears to me that I was losing the Temple in the huge (500 point) games/cumulative games because she got ganged up on before she could do much damage. Now she is facing only a few ships at a time, and can swoop in at 6S, with the small support of the Meresman coming behind her (World-hater from OE Cat lets me dismast any ship in one broadside, the key to that is this: TWOS HIT!).