02-14-2017, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Played two games on VASSAL with agiantpie.
For his first game in quite some time, we went with a standard setup at 40 points. He went Spanish with the Acorazado and Pescados de Plata, while I fielded a Pirate fleet with the Arabella, Zanzibar, and Fleur de la Mort.
The Arabella and Fleur de la Mort got tangled with the Battleship, whose amazing defenses saved her from terrible dice luck.
After a double shoot action by the Acorazado, the Pirates were in bad shape:
The Arabella took a mast off the Pescado before both her and the Fleur were sunk by the Acorazado. The Zanzibar was chased down and the Spanish won in a shutout, 7-0!
The second game was at 50 points, with two strings of terrain added. A line of reefs and sargasso seas stretched out from the middle island. I completely overhauled my fleet and went with a Crimson Coast Pirates theme, with the Victoire, Raven, and Royal James. agiantpie added the Picador with a captain and cannoneer.
The Raven and Royal James took a nice amount of gold from the center island, while the Victoire headed north. Both Spanish gunships headed straight for the tag team of Pirate schooners.
The Pirates were too quick for the Acorazado, who temporarily retired to the south. The Victoire decided to take the more exciting route (which turned out to be a mistake heh, but at least it was more interesting) and use the Sextant UT to cross the dangerous reefs to attack the Picador, who had sailed north.
The Raven and Royal James wanted to avoid the Acorazado and get more gold, possibly with El Phantasma aboard the Raven.
However, the Acorazado got an SAT from Castro and dismasted the Royal James! The Raven's escort was smashed, but the RJ managed to effectively block the Acorazado by rowing up to her, allowing the Raven to escape.
The Royal James and Picador were sunk by the respective flagships! This left both fleets with 2 ships left.
The Raven managed to sneak by the Pescado after a brief scuffle, stealing a 4 coin from the Spanish HI! The Victoire prepared to run interference if necessary, and she also carried the Letter of Marque UT if there was a chance to repair at the Spanish HI.
But the Acorazado is too much for mere Pirates! Within two turns the Victoire was sunk and the Acorazado barely damaged.
After a closer chase than El Phantasma anticipated, the Raven docked home her stolen loot.
However, the Pescado had time to run off to the northwestern island, bringing back a 6 and 4! We were running out of time, and concluded that the 3 left in play would be sunk or stolen even if the Raven managed to get it without the Acorazado sinking her first. The Spanish won a fun game by a 21-19 margin! This further proves how amazing the Acorazado is, as if we needed more proof. Even in standard smaller games she can shine as the best gunship in history. Congratulations to agiantpie for 2 victories in his triumphant return to Pirates!
I was joined on VASSAL by agiantpie! The setup was for 80 points.
I went with a French fleet that had also hired El Fantasma aboard the Hades' Realm, while agiantpie went with an all-SM English fleet. Plenty of fog was around.
In addition, we decided to experiment using basic return fire rules! Once a ship was done shooting at another ship, the second ship could return fire with any cannons it had left, though they would get -1 to their rolls.
With an SAT, the Hades' Realm (HR) made it into a fog bank near the English home island.
The Soleil Royal, Royal Louis, and King Edward all reached wild islands. The HR got an SAT coming out of the fog, and hit the Dover and King Edward with consecutive attacks! The Dover only lost one mast, but the King Edward was nearly dismasted, and Fantasma stole a 5 coin.
With yet another SAT, the HR eventually sank the Dover! This was too much for the English, and the Titan finally caught the Cursed menace and dismasted her. In the meantime, the Montreal had taken up station in the fog bank where the HR was hiding earlier.
The Titan captured the HR and towed her into a fog bank to avoid the Montreal and get the stolen 5 back in English possession. The King Edward docked home gold and started repairing, while the Lord Algernon would explore the middle island. The Royal Louis and Soleil Royal sought the untouched southern island.
The Royal Louis has loaded gold, while the Soleil Royal prepares to defend her, waiting in the fog. The remaining English ships head southwest, while the captured HR repairs.
The Royal Louis parleyed her way out of some sticky situations, but that started to decrease the French gold advantage. The Soleil Royal lost a battle to the Titan after going 2/5 (including losing her grape shot on a 1) and taking major return fire damage (the Titan went 3/3). The Montreal did what she could to help, but it wouldn't be enough. The Royal Louis ended up pinned, which further ruined French hopes. In the end, although the French parley gamble worked for a while (the lowest value coins from the HI were given up), the gold differential kept tilting towards the English, while the French fleet was soundly defeated in the south. The Royal Louis' masts finally fell when she couldn't afford to give away more gold, and the game was over!
The English were up 21-15 at that point, when we decided to call it. The Montreal would have rowed home to repair, allowing the English to get the rest of their gold home and make the final score 33-15.
It was definitely a good game, if not frustrating for both of us lol. The return fire aspect was interesting, though I'm not sure the -1 to cannon rolls is enough moving forward... more playtesting is needed, and hopefully other forms of this oft-discussed but rarely-played house rule will see the light of play.
Between these games and the Frozen North anniversary games, plenty of BR's coming soon!
hiddenelephant (Peter O'Connor on the module) just played his first game in quite some time!
We used our own fleets:
40pt French Introduction Fleet
Miniature Englishmen (a7xfanben)
To keep things fair at 40 points apiece I took out the Gibraltar flotilla and added oarsmen to the Antelope and Sea Tiger.
From top to bottom: the Jaguar and Descharges split up with some help from Deleflote aboard the Bonne Chance, but are pursued by the English gunships. The Antelope and Snipe team up at the center island, while the Sea Tiger is stuck for a turn after finding the Natives UT.
The English strike successfully, but their meager firepower can't dismast either French ship.
The Descharges docked home 4 coins, while the Jaguar fought back, dismasting the Bilge with a ram. The English had a windfall with all 3 gold runners docking on the same turn.
The Bonne Chance finally sailed out, engaging the Cumberland. However, she was ineffective, only taking out one mast.
The Jaguar docked home gold, while the Bonne Chance repaired after sinking the Cumberland. The Antelope tries a ram to distract the Descharges while the Sea Tiger is about to load the game's final coin.
The Descharges sank the Antelope with the help of Deleflote and then stole the final coin from the Sea Tiger!
In the end, hiddenelephant was victorious!
1. French: 26 gold
2. English: 21 gold
There she is! Without further ado, introducing my newest 10 master: the Celtic Fury!
After becoming a moderator at Miniature Trading, a gift was sent to me by two extremely generous members of the forum for my contributions. The Celtic Fury came from wantkrakens, while I also received a South China Seas Super Rare pack (which I partially featured on my Instagram) from xeriousone.
The fleets were as follows:
Celtic Fury + Eileen Brigid O'Brien, Duncan Rousseau, captain, helmsman
Royal Louis + helmsman
Grampus + captain, helmsman, oarsman
Pequod + explorer
HMS Henry VIII + oarsman
It's a combo I've been intrigued by in the past, and putting it on a brand-new (constructed hours earlier heh) 10 master seemed even more perfect. Parley on a gunship, while Rousseau's reroll pairs perfectly with O'Brien's SAT. In addition, with her link the Celtic Fury would be sailing with 4 cargo spaces open.
The Celtic Fury (CF) got a quick SAT and reached a beach on the main wild island. At the right you can see the Floating Stone and Royal Louis heading for other gold.
On the second turn the fast Grampus invaded French waters, dismasting the Floating Stone. The Celtic Fury sailed up, and true to my past form (not just in terms of shooting but especially with 10 masters), missed 7 shots out of 8!! It was an unsurprisingly poor start for yet another disappointing 10 masted behemoth. (though, considering the cannon ranks it was much less bizarre than my Baochuan with world-hater Chang Pao aboard missing 6 shots out of 7 in the RISK game from 2012...)
A better angle on the battle:
The Henry VIII reached an island, but the Royal Louis had already taken most of its gold. The Pequod took most of the gold on the beach opposite the fighting.
With the help of an SAT, eventually my strategy of simply putting more and more firepower on the target won the battle (not dissimilar to my strategy in VASSAL Campaign Game 1). The Grampus did sink the Floating Stone, but was sunk herself soon thereafter.
Perhaps the CF's gunners were just waking up? XD Or they're just inexperienced!
The CF heads to finish off the original beach she explored, while the Royal Louis sails over the debris of battle. The English Americans have gold headed home, and not much remains available.
All ships carrying gold eventually got home. The Celtic Fury got another SAT to cripple the Henry VIII, but after that, O'Brien decided she had caused enough carnage for one day.
The final scores proved how many high-value coins had been picked at random for distribution:
1. French Mercenaries: 49 gold
2. English Americans: 24 gold
A mostly successful debut for the Celtic Fury, with a lot of help from her crew combos. The English Americans had success as well, sinking the Floating Stone and collecting quite a bit of gold in a short time. The differential looks lopsided, but the game was arguably over early on, when the Celtic Fury found at least 19 gold (7,6,5,1 or something) in her first haul. I was happy not to use Parley, as it would have made my fleet seem somewhat OP, but Duncan Rousseau and the Royal Louis remain two of my favorite French game pieces. I find it funny how typical my luck was - rather good with double actions (I believe I got 3 SAT's in a row without needing to reroll), but awful with cannon rolls (as usual, including recently on VASSAL).
More reports coming soon - besides not one but TWO Frozen North 10th anniversary games, Xerecs and I have been joined by Noah from England for a 3 player game that is still in progress! (further proving that time zone differences don't necessarily matter, even for live games)
Yesterday (2/12) I won an extremely brief game against hiddenelephant. Xerecs arrived and we set up for a 3 player game, which will hopefully happen sometime soon.
After resuming T2 and stopping in the middle of the second game for a rules question, we decided to have a quick deathmatch. My Acorazado fleet was at 29 wins, tied with my HMS Grand Temple fleet for the most all-time.
Xerecs took the Acorazado on with a crew elimination/boarding strategy:
Flying Dutchman + Hammersmith, Crimson Angel, Tia Dalma, Capitaine Chevalle, oarsman
Each of the FD's hits would eliminate a crew, even if they didn't eliminate a mast. Vega and the helmsman were the first to go, but the Acorazado responded by going 3 for 4.
In a big moment, the FD won a boarding party to kill all of the Acorazado's remaining crew! This left her very vulnerable, but she managed to dismast the FD. However, the FD would win the game if she was sunk, because we ruled that Eternal could still work once. The FD had to be captured, but between her oarsman and the Acorazado's lack of a helmsman or SAT from Castro, that didn't happen. The FD managed to get away to repair, setting up a second clash. This time the FD won since Tia Dalma was able to cancel the Acorazado's ability and the Acorazado had no crew to use. It was honestly one of the most frustrating games I've been involved in, not just because I lost, but because there were so many complex ability interactions and annoying occurrences (such as the boarding roll arguably determining the whole game's result, and the no-win situations that both fleets seemed to be in at various times). It made me think that home islands should perhaps be eliminated from deathmatches once the game begins (or do away with them altogether), between Eternal being undercosted and the temptation to lurk near your home island so your opponent will come to you.
Today (2/14) is the 10th anniversary of Pirates of the Frozen North! Over the course of two sessions on VASSAL a 3 player game using only game pieces from FN was played.
These were the combatants, in the order of play:
Loki's Revenge, Baba Yaga, Serpent's Fang
La Delacroix, Marie Antoinette, La Dijon
Muninn, Donar, Sleipnir
We changed the setup rules slightly, with 4 wild islands (just like a 2 player game) and 6 coins of any value or type (as long as the UT's were from FN) on each island. The VASSAL module doesn't have icebergs, but the fog banks look great as icebergs and even have the same dice markings on the edges, so fog was ice in this game.
The fleets after a turn:
I forgot to take pictures for a while, and you can see here that a lot of UT's have been discovered and played. Of the 8 coins that I contributed to the mix, all were UT's from FN! Throw in an extra Runes of Death and one Odin's Revenge, and things were bound to get crazy. The Dijon found the first Runes of Death very early in the game. However, she was very close to her home island... but the Loki's Revenge sank her! A whopping 13 gold was sent to the bottom of the sea, and the French had their main gold runner sunk. The French experienced further woes when the Marie Antoinette found many UT's at the northeastern island, among them Odin's Revenge. That UT hurt the Vikings the most, dismasting the Sleipnir. The Vikings were smart to explore with the Sleipnir on their turn, for she found the second Runes of Death that could have been loaded by the Donar! With no crew or masts remaining, death was averted, at least for the time being.
However, the Cursed soon played Runes of Magic, moving an iceberg towards the fragile Viking fleet, whose Muninn and Donar would take damage from the iceberg. The Delacroix and Marie Antoinette descended upon the crippled Viking fleet, but they weren't as successful as anticipated. The Delacroix took damage from an iceberg and a ram from the Sleipnir, while the Muninn engaged the Marie Antoinette. Runes of Thor was played on the Vikings' Sigurd Andersen to guarantee an Admiral's Action, since it looked like the Donar (the ship carrying Runes of Thor) would be captured by the MA.
This is when the game began to turn odd. The Delacroix and Marie Antoinette captured the Sleipnir and Donar respectively, temporarily giving the French 4 ships. However, this was but a mirage of success for France, as the Muninn dismasted and captured the MA, while the Delacroix lost her final mast to an iceberg! Suddenly the French only had two usable ships, both former Viking ships with gold aboard. In the west, the Cursed have set out once more, while a double iceberg has been formed between the 3 home islands.
The miraculous Viking comeback continues! The Muninn recaptures the Donar, brings her back to unload gold, and uses her reverse captain ability to cripple the Baba Yaga only after the Baba Yaga missed the derelict Donar twice in a row! Not to mention the Marie Antoinette being repaired to full strength, and the mega iceberg dismasting the Baba Yaga! #tombrady #johncena #nevergiveup. lol. (just kidding, the Vikings never had much of a chance in this game, and unfortunately for me they didn't win at the end heh)
The Muninn and MA stopped the Loki's Revenge from getting home with a coin, but the Serpent's Fang brought home a few more for the Cursed. The final coins on the northeastern island wouldn't have mattered, as the game had been decided.
1. Cursed: 16 gold
2. French: 5
3. Vikings: 2
The Cursed win a fun one! The French and Vikings got embroiled with UT's and each other, while the Cursed found a 6 and a 4 early in the game. The Cursed essentially clinched their victory by sinking the Dijon and her 13 gold. The late-game surge by the Vikings was fitting considering it was an FN-only game, but it turned out to just be some late fireworks. The icebergs were a big factor, and between them and the Runes, it was a very thematic way to celebrate Pirates of the Frozen North.
Today (2/14) is the 10th anniversary of Pirates of the Frozen North! To commemorate the occasion I played a game using ONLY stuff from FN, with the exception of generic crew so the game would be more fair.
Here are the fleets in the order of play, as the Vikings rolled to go first!
My current traveling collection actually has some of the better Viking gold runners, though I was disappointed to leave the Donar out. However, with the Grendel, Sleipnir, and Kalaallit (abbreviated KL) getting gold, the Vikings looked to be in good shape. The Wodin looked to function as a hybrid, with 3 spaces open for gold, the captain and helmsman ability with good guns, and the gold capture ability for yet another option. The Hrothgar was the flagship of the 100 point fleet, carrying two of the best Viking named crew (Shayna Deux and Sigurd Andersen) as well as a proxy helmsman as my Viking crew options are lacking.
The opposition: a conglomeration of ships from the Big 5 factions, which is almost all the other FN ships in my traveling collection!
The rarely used Seminole would try to give the already-deadly Tartessos and Orkney an extra cannon bonus, making for an intimidating gunship squadron. The Marie Antoinette (MA) led a group of four gold runners, the rest of which were small, uncrewed ships. The MA had Leander Arnaud aboard, who would try to take advantage of the MA's S-boarding and steal lots of Viking loot. This would be my first time using the Seminole, Tartessos, and Ahura Mazda, as they are all recent acquisitions.
Welcome to the Frozen North!!
The Big 5 picked an island near lots of icebergs to be the Viking home island. The Vikings didn't want to deal with the Orkney and Tartessos, choosing one of the furthest islands away, and hoped the arches and some icebergs could give them trouble. The straws at the upper left and right are the round earth boundaries.
The 3D foam icebergs would function as icebergs numbered 1, 2, and 3, with the largest being 1 and the smallest being 3 since you want to roll high in this game. For their direction, 1=NE, 2=E, 3=SE, 4=SW, 5=W, 6=NW (essentially clockwise from the north with no due north/due south).
6 regular icebergs were also in play, with 6 FN islands making up the home and wild islands. I didn't use my custom islands (with lots of green foliage heh) since I wanted the setup to be as thematic as possible.
Arches always seem to lead to great picture opportunities, and this game was definitely no exception.
Both home islands and both arches:
The Big 5 had 7 ships to the Vikings' 5, but both fleets had plenty of ships on the small side.
Which fleet would weather the cold and emerge victorious?
The arch on the left is usually flipped to the right to put gold on it, but here I liked it a bit different, allowing the little nook you see at the closer end. Each island had 6 coins, except for an accidental 7 on the southern island.
They're off! Eager to take advantage of two nearby northern islands, and to avoid the gunships of the Big 5 fleet, all the Viking ships fittingly sailed north.
The Big 5 is confident that their diverse fleet will prevail. The gold runners scatter while the Orkney, Tartessos, and Seminole begin sailing towards the Vikings.
This was the ideal formation, with the gunships leading from the front but still withing S of the sheltered Seminole. The Orkney and Tartessos were willing to take an iceberg hit if it meant protecting the Seminole and keeping her speed at L+S to keep up with the gunships.
Bam! The first iceberg hit of the game and the MA is down a mast.
I love how realistic the foam icebergs are. They're very easy to make, as there's no painting/gluing/etc involved. I'd recommend trying some, especially if you like icebergs (which I usually don't lol).
The Sleipnir found the first Rune of the day, Runes of Magic, which could be very valuable with so many icebergs around.
Trying to avoid an iceberg, the formation splits up as the Tartessos prepares to navigate an archway.
The MA has round earthed to the north, while the sneaky Grendel may have similar ideas.
The KL finds more runes! Runes of Thor could have been used on Runes of Wealth to turn the 1 into a 6, but the Vikings figured they might want the 6 for a guaranteed extra action from Sigurd Andersen at some point in the future. There were better treasures than the 1 on the island, but the KL smartly grabbed a 1 and promptly turned it into a 4 via Runes of Wealth with a decent die roll.
Here, an iceberg has smashed up the stern of the Tartessos, while the Wodin has returned to the Viking home island, wary of a possible blockade or attempted interception of the Viking gold runners.
I'd wanted La Tartessos for a long time, especially after she proved herself in VASSAL Campaign Game 1. It was great to build the ship and see the unique artwork on the hull.
With the Wodin and Hrothgar relatively near, the squadron sails under the arch.
Looking at English, American, and Spanish flags through the arch and seeing Viking flags beyond:
The Cantabrian and MA have reached wild islands; at the top right Grim the Savage aboard the Grendel has realized it will be some time before the Big 5 get some gold to their home island, so he docks at the KL's island to load gold while postponing any raiding attempts.
Watch out for the imperialists!
The Hrothgar in heavy seas, ready to defend the Sleipnir if necessary.
I love pictures that look through archways: here you can see the massive iceberg beyond the Wodin.
This picture almost makes it look like the ships are sailing very fast:
No more maneuvering - the Wodin attacks! However, after using her stern turn to get both cannons in range, the Wodin utterly fails, missing four consecutive shots, failing to eliminate a mast via the ram, and losing her helmsman in a disastrous boarding party. This time, getting the first shot backfired with very poor dice rolls. The Sleipnir has docked home gold, while the KL and Grendel aren't far behind with more.
This left the Wodin as a sitting duck for the Orkney, who sank her with the help of the Seminole's bonus.
The Tartessos has turned around, while the Hrothgar had docked at the Viking home island in a similar fashion as the Wodin, ready to break up a blockade and/or protect the gold runners.
On the Vikings' next turn, Sigurd Andersen rolled a 6! This gave the Hrothgar two actions and up to 12 shots!! The Hrothgar's first action sank the Seminole and crippled the Orkney, while her second was a dud. (only 4 cannons were in range of the Orkney on the second action since the Hrothgar returned to the safety of her home island in anticipation of a counterattack)
The Tweed has finally reached the southern island, finding valuable gold. The MA, Cantabrian, and Ahura Mazda all have gold for the Big 5.
Chaos reigned during this period of the game, with the Orkney dismasting a departing Sleipnir and the Tartessos basically running away from the Hrothgar, who couldn't be shot at while docked at her HI.
An impressive sight, but unfortunately for the Big 5 those guns were more useful in last year's CG1 than this effort.
Through an arch: Viking flags, a desperate Englishman, and the carnage of battle.
The KL has returned home with gold, while the Grendel is almost back. The loss of the Wodin was not in vain, as the event partially helped the Vikings turn the tide.
With perfect timing, the Vikings reveal their secret weapon - Runes of Thor! This UT changed Sigurd Andersen's die roll to an automatic 6, allowing the Hrothgar another pair of devastating actions!
The Hrothgar's guns are mediocre, but the sheer volume of firepower allowed her to sink the Orkney...
...and dismast the Tartessos.
The Grendel docks and the KL goes out for more gold:
All four of the Big 5 gold runners are close to unloading, while at the right, the Tartessos tries to run with her helmsman and oarsman. You may have noticed something terrible happening to the Grendel...
Unlucky enough to get smashed by an iceberg at her own home island, the unthinkable then occurred: the EXACT same die rolls were made for icebergs at the beginning of the Viking turn, which slammed the iceberg into the Grendel once more, this time dismasting her! I nearly made a house rule where icebergs could sink derelicts (or the giant iceberg eliminated two masts per hit, etc), but it wouldn't be fair to the Viking fleet in particular to make it up on the spot.
Luckily the oared Sleipnir was nearby to try a rescue attempt:
The Hrothgar sinks the Tartessos, eliminating the last remnant of the Big 5's gunship squadron. The Hrothgar has had an impressive game indeed, in no small part because of her excellent crew.
The Tweed, knowing the faster Hrothgar would likely come after her, took a risk that didn't pan out! She sailed too close to an iceberg, which moved to dismast her at the beginning of a turn. The MA sails out to rescue her, but the Hrothgar is faster than any of the ships remaining in the Big 5 fleet. At the top left, the Ahura Mazda will try to add value to each coin the Cantabrian brings back. The Sleipnir has successfully taken the poor Grendel under tow, while the KL loads gold from the southern island.
With another AA from Andersen, the Hrothgar wrecks any chance of getting the Tweed's 8 gold home. The MA is sunk and the Vikings look close to being able to control the final part of the game.
Indeed, the Vikings have the momentum here. The KL unloads yet more gold, while the Sleipnir and Grendel repair.
The Hrothgar prepares to annihilate the final two ships in the Big 5 fleet, but the Ahura Mazda stays docked at home and the Cantabrian sails out for more gold with Runes of Speed.
Knowing both ships must survive somehow, the Pirates go into desperation mode, ramming a mast off the Hrothgar while the Cantabrian looks to evade or get lucky if the Hrothgar misses. To make matters worse for the Big 5, the Grendel is fully repaired and Grim the Savage is finally ready for his highly anticipated home island raid!
BAM! The KL dismasts the Ahura Mazda, while Grim steals 3 coins from the Big 5 home island!
The Hrothgar intercepts the Cantabrian and dismasts her, abruptly ending the game!
The Big 5 has no future move actions available, while most gold has been unloaded to home islands.
The Vikings win 21-6! If not for Grim's last-minute raid, it would have turned out 21-16, so in reality the game was much closer and quite exciting!
It was great to pay homage to the Frozen North set, which has never been one of my favorite sets actually. However, it has some very cool stuff in it, and I like all the sets heh. It was nice to play some ships that are new to my collection. Fittingly, the Vikings won! The Hrothgar was definitely the "MVS" (Most Valuable Ship), sinking or dismasting the entire opposing fleet! The Runes of Destruction and Magic were also used, but not with much consequence. I didn't want to use Runes of Odin since it's a bit OP heh, especially when combined with Runes of Magic.
Thanks for reading!
Last edited by a7xfanben : 02-14-2017 at 11:37 AM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
HTML code is Off