Turn 57! The day's action begins with Pirate activities at the Tunnel, where Mission is returning to Pirate waters. Bartholomew Roberts is exploring the Tunnel, amazed at both the height and length of it.
With a VERY rare shot looking from north to south in the Sea of Allost, here is a view of the Golden Medusa checking out the outside north wall of the huge Tunnel.
The Pirate whirlpool squadron emerges back in the Sea of Karkuda! After repairing from their sneak attack on the English in the Caribbean, the squadron has headed back to Karkuda after getting wind of the American/French "dispute" XD. The Feathered Hat, generally the flagship of the squadron when Havana Black and the Deliverance aren't around, was given an AA to approach the French ships near The Flat. The other ships of the squadron followed the FH through when the FH didn't return to Pirate waters, as she would have if the situation didn't look good. The captain of the Feathered Hat speaks with various Frenchmen, including Michael Bordeaux and Guy LaPlante. Finding a commonality in their anti-American sentiments, the Pirates and French agree to an alliance!!
Spending time for the Jades! They buy some very expensive and very fragile firepower, since they're running out of ships to purchase. Many of the Viking 1 masters are launched, along with the Donar and Sea Crane. At this point I have even run out of the paper crew chips for new players, so I've been writing "C 3" (for captains) and whatnot on index cards which are then cut into little bits so I can fit as many deckplates in the deckplate areas as possible.
The VERY busy Jade HI, which is also looking like a fortress due to their slow but steady accumulation of army units.
The large and powerful JR squadron on patrol duty has set a clear boundary against the Cursed.
The Cursed answer with launches of their own! The first kraken is now in play: Terrox is here!
The Executioner and Poor Adams are two more additions, while the Jikininki has finished repairing. The Demon Gate and Sea Rat are also launched.
After the surprise Spanish attack to open the Second Battle of Diamond Rock, the English strike back with very accurate gunnery! The Tower flotilla and the Burma do most of the damage, as the Ebro and Acorazado lose two masts each.
But the Spanish have a numerical advantage in that area right now! The Santa Catalina, Profeta, Asesino, and Habana enter the fray to back up their fleetmates! However, their shooting percentage is far lower than the English on this turn, though the sheer number of shots taken mean that the Burma and Duke of York lose additional masts.
Similar to the English at the First Battle of Paradise Island, the Spanish break the English "line" to advance their squadron. However, the farther the Spanish advance, the more English ships they will encounter, not to mention the cannons on the shore of Diamond Rock's only beach.
With the resources going back to normal and food and textiles becoming valuable again, the Mercenaries are able to cash in!! They spend all 38 gold from their first haul and launch the first 10 master of the game!!
The Celtic Fury is here!!
You may have noticed those giant guns protruding from the bow of the CF. They are extra bombardier cannon pieces that I can use as a physical representation of Bow Chasers, a custom equipment of mine partially inspired by PotC
Faction Affiliation: Neutral
Point Value: 5
This ship gains two additional cannons that can only shoot from the foremost mast of the ship. The cannons have 4L rank/range and the Extended Range keyword. The cannons can only fire in a straight line directly forward of the ship's bow. Other pieces of equipment cannot be used with Bow Chasers, and Bow Chasers cannot have their range or rank improved.
Especially when viewed from deck or land level, the Celtic Fury suddenly becomes the most imposing ship on the seas:
Nemo's Mercenary Submarine Hideout can only accommodate submarines, but the Mercenaries can still launch ships S away from the hideout. I'm inclined to allow their sailing ships to dock at the hideout, but for now they can only unload resources and gold when they surface inside the hideout.
Check out the crew setup on the CF. Ms. O'Brien has left the Mobilis to command the largest ship currently in play. The Bow Chasers and the crew fill out the 13 points the Mercs spent.
And so this begins an interesting period of international Mercenary relations. That is clear....
Continuing the theme of major launches (the third faction in the turn to spend 100+ gold), the French spend ALL of their 246 gold to get a dozen new ships!! Those three ships at the top are currently troop transports, while the Conquerant represents a slight change of policy for France in this game. As they cement their (very) strong position in the Sea of Karkuda and gold continues to flow in from their various islands, the French are able to experiment a little bit. The first "flamethrower" of the game shows up with some hesitancy and anticipation.
O_O Whoa... intrigued by Nemo's desertion and change of heart, Gaston himself pays the Mercenaries a visit! However, the French go after the Mercenaries, so the Bourbon is blocked from seeing the submerged Nautilus by the giant new junk! O'Brien and Gaston have a very amicable conversation, with O'Brien following orders from Nemo to lie about Nemo's true intentions. O'Brien tells Gaston that Nemo is doing all of this in the employ of France, and that the Celtic Fury will be joining the French fleet defending The Flat! Gaston eats it up, and everything is going according to plan for Nemo. He glimpsed the Bourbon on the horizon last turn, and the resources changing back was the perfect time to get a pro-France ally out there to talk up Gaston. O'Brien has long been the favorite Mercenary of France, serving them well over the years. She also speaks fluent French, something most other Mercs struggle mightily with. After the pleasant conversation, Gaston heads back to his cabin, impressed with Nemo's direction. Nemo is playing things perfectly, using O'Brien to delay French knowledge of the Mercenaries being their own independent faction.
Nearly the entire French situation:
The ships launched last turn are barely getting out of the Harbor when another batch of new ships arrives! At the left, notice the Westminster has entered the Harbor! The French have agreed to help the English a little: the Westminster can use the French Harbor to repair, but no alliance has been agreed to. At the right, the Conquerant is using the "flamestrike" cannon but I think I'll leave the flame part off when it's not being used, to make things more realistic and make it easier to move the ship around.
The Americans continue to explore the structure they recently found!
The Brandywine uses her ability and an AA from Preble to look at the entire south side of the structure!
Introducing: The Castle!
Hidden on all sides by a variety of reefs, fog, and sargasso seas, the Castle is an abandoned castle built long ago in the Sea of Karkuda. The enormous structure has been decaying for quite some time, but it could make a decent location for a faction if they were inclined to restore it to its former glory....
The next three pictures show the massive American fleet in sections.
The Americans have disabled the last of the Pirate ships in the southwest corner of Karkuda, officially sealing their commanding victory!
The first Pirate captures have been docked at the home island, while some new American ships head out, sailing northeast.
Here you can see 5 American ships heading home for repairs after the Second Fight at The Flat. At the top, a few gunships and the 4 troop transports have been laid up "in reserve" west of The Flat. They are guarding against French intrusion in addition to awaiting further orders. With a huge fleet and very complex logistics, in addition to some newfound uncertainty as to their long-term strategy, there are some American captains that don't know what to do right now.
O_O With the Castle officially revealed at last, you can finally see nearly
ALL of the Sea of Karkuda
!! Here you can really get an idea of just how MASSIVE my custom stuff is. The Harbor is so large that it utterly dominates the entire northeast quadrant of this ocean, which is about 5 feet by 3 feet. The Castle has been an obstacle to my picture-taking until now, and you can notice how I purposely left any clip of it out of pictures near The Flat. I also didn't want the sub hideout so close to the other stuff, but I couldn't realistically have a bigger ocean. In addition, you can see just how crowded
Karkuda has become, with GIANT French and American fleets being joined by Pirates and Mercenaries of late. Formerly a mostly dormant ocean when the Sea of Allost had the majority of the points in play and when we witnessed the First Battle of Diamond Rock, the Sea of Karkuda is now incredibly busy and HOT! XD
The most epic and shocking point count of all time
After anticipating a major ship and point count since the big launches on Turn 50, the time has finally come!! It took a little over a full hour just to tally up all the points and ships in play. As with the previous counts, only deckplate areas were considered for this. Forts, army units, and existing caches of gold are not counted at all.
Without further ado, here are the numbers.
10/6/2017 point and ship count as of the end of Turn 57:
Pirates: 64 ships, 1,052 points
Jade Rebellion: 34 ships, 650 points
Cursed: 45 ships, 802 points
English: 34 ships, 518 points
Spanish: 21 ships, 317 points
Mercenaries: 4 ships, 100 points
French: 63 ships, 1,133 points
Americans: 77 ships, 1,361 points
Total: 342 ships, 5,933 points
Unsurprising at this point, but Command the Oceans has officially become the biggest game in the history of Pirates CSG!!!!
In much more shocking news, this game has completely obliterated
any and ALL point and ship records in any Pirates CSG game you can imagine. It is almost incomprehensible to think about. Most people only play games with a total of 80, or 120, or 200. This game is about to exceed SIX THOUSAND TOTAL POINTS. O_O After it reached around 4,600 after Turn 50, I realized that it would not only be the first game to reach the 4,000 point level, but also the first ever to hit 5,000 points! However, things have kept ballooning to the point of total insanity, with 6,000 points within reach less than 10 turns later. O_O Just for reference, the previous record for a game was 3,516 total points for VASSAL Campaign Game 1. This game has exceeded that game by nearly an additional 2,500 points, which by itself would make a HUGE game!! Finally, the record for a physical game was 2,846 total points for Economy Edition. That record has now been more than doubled.
O_O In the past, my biggest games have sometimes featured the winning fleet peaking at over 1,000 points. In this game, there are THREE fleets at 1,000+ points, with no end in sight!!
I will admit that a handful of factors have contributed to the astronomical point total. First off, three oceans is quite a lot, and it means I have more square footage on which to play than any other CG I've played outside of the 2011 cumulative game, where I used my whole room in a setting I would not repeat today. Secondly, the mast elimination and sinking house rules have resulted in many less sunken ships than EE or CG1. Finally, there has still not been extremely long and drawn-out combat between two factions outside of the Jades and Cursed, who do have lower ship and point totals as a result of that war.
More stats and figures:
Points per ship:
Pirates: 16.4 points/ship
Jade Rebellion: 19.1
Mercenaries: 25 (Celtic Fury is one of four Merc ships XD)
Overall: 17.35 points/ship (almost the same as my 17.46 number from EE's near-peak, so this is a very good gauge for CG's)
Here you can see the difference between a fleet of 6 masted junks and Viking longships, two of the most expensive ship types in the game, as the JR fleet has the same number of ships as the English but 132 more points.
By ocean: (with some give or take necessary due to whirlpool traveling)
Sea of Allost: 143 ships, 2,504 points
Caribbean: 55 ships, 835 points
Sea of Karkuda: 144 ships, 2,594 points
-Almost the same numbers in Allost and Karkuda!
Percentage of points in play:
Pirates: 17.7% (1,052/5,933)
From that you can see that if the Pirate/French alliance is very fruitful, they could combine to control around 37% of the total points in play... however, the current strongest faction is at war with both of them haha. You can also crunch the numbers various ways in an attempt to come up with a majority alliance....
Now for an extended look at the considerable
area in the two rooms that I have dedicated to deckplate areas.
With three columns for the Pirates and Cursed, this is the main deckplate area for the Sea of Allost. However, the Pirates have grown out of this area and have spilled over into the other room
, with the Cursed threatening to do the same soon.
Wall of text? How about a wall of deckplates and crew! XD
At the upper right, Wraith has been repossessing crew for a while now aboard the Soul Crusher.
A few more Pirate deckplates left of their main area, also previewing the JR area...
... which are partially under the Caribbean table.
The rest of the JR section, which are pretty difficult to get to at this point.
The English and the Spanish are near the Caribbean:
The small primary Spanish area is next to the coin tin and the resources bag.
But similar to the other factions, the Spanish have now spilled over into a new area underneath the Caribbean. (underwater lol)
Here we see extra Pirate and English stuff (their more recent launches) along with the new Mercenary faction.
Here is the huge French area, which is basically full at this point. This is the same area where the huge Franco-Spanish fleet from Economy Edition was.
Finally, the Americans with the biggest fleet of them all. Note that without the 7 recently captured Pirate ships, the Pirates would have a narrow lead in ships at 71-70. Alas, with a decisive American victory the Americans have the largest fleet.
I also started Turn 58 with the Pirates!
Another random resource change! For this turn only, metals would be the most valuable resource, with the fish market crashing temporarily.
Using an EA from Calico Cat to travel through most of the Tunnel, the Revenant approaches Pirate waters. The Silver Dagger is given an AA to get close to the Revenant, and an exchange will take place next turn.
The Pirates buy another ladder in order to give two oarsmen to the Deliverance. Havana Black has restocked his supply of sacrificial crew.
The Pirates spent 95 total gold on their turn, launching 5 additional gunships.
With 88 additional points of ships and crew in play, this game reaches 6,021 total points!!!