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The Sealed Pack Fleet Challenge! (Compromise Coming Soon)
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Subject: The Sealed Pack Fleet Challenge! (Compromise Coming Soon)   PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:50 pm Reply with quote

By popular vote the members of Miniature Trading have selected my proposal of a Sealed Pack Fleet Challenge to succeed the Draft Fleet Challenge!

The Challenge

Design a fleet for a Standard 40-Point Game using randomly generated packs provided to you! Your fleet will be played against your fellow entrants in a tournament to determine the winner!

Rules and Setup:

-Entrants must only use the pieces that they receive from their virtual, randomly-generated packs that they will receive via PM from me. For those that are curious I will be posting exactly how I am constructing these packs in the post below.

-Naturally you cannot use any pieces that you do not pull, just like a real-life sealed pack game where you open your pack, make a fleet from what you get and play your best with what you have!

-I want to keep the competition fair by having everyone draw from the same sets. I also want to satisfy different tastes. So I’ve decided, unless there is protest, that each entrant will pull 4 packs – 1 Revolution, 1 Barbary Coast, 1 South China Seas and 1 Davy Jones’s Curse. I hope that provides good variety while mitigating the infamous power de-creep that allegedly went on throughout the sets.

-Entrants will be able to create one and only one fleet for this challenge.

-Since these sets don’t have many recurring characters or ships I will say for now that the no-duplicates rule will stay in place. In the unlikely case that someone does get a repeat character I’ll either lift the rule or let them decide if they want a replacement pack.

-Fleets can be multi-national (I’d be surprised if someone will even be able to create a pure-nation fleet!). In fact, as per the official rules Wizkids posted for Sealed Games, individual ships can be multi-national. That is, “Basic crew can be used on any ship of any nationality”.

-However, named crew may still only use their abilities on ships of their respective nationality, unless the ship or another crew has an ability that lets them do otherwise. “Pirate crew may use their abilities on this ship”, etc. *

-BC, SCS and DJC each saw a one-set faction (though the Cursed later joined the big leagues). Their flavor is valued so for the intents of named crew placement and other abilities they will all combine under one banner, that of ”The Cursed Jade Corsairs” (aka ”CJC”) for this challenge.

-All other standard game rules are in effect.

What will and will not be in the pack circulation is included in the second post below.

*Don’t forget that, if you find yourself with leftover points that you can’t fill with anything else, you can still bring named crew that you don’t have national ships for. You can leave the crew at home or bring them along for the ride on one of your ships and if you happen to capture an enemy ship, you can make good use of them! Particularly Shipwrights.

Notes on scoring and such:

If I were to conventionally judge these fleets, it would be difficult to separate quality-constructed fleets from quality pulls. These fleets are going to consist of pieces not of your choice – it’s the fleet construction and strategy in the description that’ll be what you control. Also, it was difficult for me to judge and score in a timely manner for the “The Overthrow of Davy Jones” Challenge. So instead of investing the judging time on paper, this time these fleets are going to be tested in a high seas tournament to crown the winner!

Each fleet will be entered into an elimination tournament. Each round will see two fleets pitted against the other in games that I will play against myself (“Pirates Solitaire”, to be practical and fair). Whoever wins advances to the next round where they will play another winner from a previous round. This will continue until only one fleet is left standing. Here’s a visual:



Note: Fleets will be repaired in between rounds.

Therefore the key to winning this challenge will be creating a fleet that can win a real game. You will also need to think about your opponents and strategize ways to beat them. The fleet description will be all the more important. I will play all fleets equally using my best skills but if I’m not given specific instructions I will have to rely only on my own common sense. Razz Since you are not given much creativity/freedom in selecting what pieces you are given, you will be getting creative with what you get.

Yes, I know, you are all worried that lord_denton’s challenge is going to take FOReverrrrrrerrr. I am worried about that too. But I’m going to try and keep the games moving at a reasonable pace that isn’t too slow or too fast. I do hope to publish brief (compared to the writings of volt and A7xfanben) battle reports for each game. It’s going to be a learning experience for me but I do think it’s realistic since I am willing and able to commit the time. If I can keep the games moving along I hope there will not stress or pressure. This is supposed to be fun! Very Happy

Submitting/The Tournament:

This needs a special note. I don’t want an enthusiastic A7xfanben submitting his fleet the night he opens his cards while a crafty Woelf (the opponent of A7 in round 1) sees and tailors his fleet to beat A7. I'd like you all to assemble your fleet and type your fleet description in a separate document and then private message me the contents of that document. Then there will be a date where everyone publishes at more or less the same time (let’s call it Grand Reveal Day), where they are not allowed to make changes to their fleet. It’s supposed to be a surprise. Very Happy I’ll then post the tournament bracket and the assigned dates for each matchup on Grand Reveal Day. Before each game you can PM me specific strategies or crew assignment that I should use against your opponent but you can’t change the composition of your fleet.

How will the seeding of the tournament be decided? If people get packs that are roughly equal in power the tournament will be seeded randomly. If there is a group of people with weaker pulls and a group with stronger pulls I think I'll have the weak play the weak and the strong play the strong in the first round so that the weaker have a chance to make it to the later rounds.

Other Technical Stuff:

-Again, please PM me your fleet composition and description and wait to publish it until the Grand Reveal Day. If you have a Premium Membership you can publish it as a private fleet that only you can see, then publicize it on Grand Reveal Day. Also Miniature Trading saves the data of fleets and descriptions when you click the “Update” button so you can store it there (make sure to back it up though, just in case) until you need to publish it.

-When you do publish it, please include “Sealed” or some other obvious reference to this Challenge in the title.

-Please post in this thread if you accept this Fleet Challenge and as soon as I can I will PM you your packs. You probably won’t get them for a few days as I finish setting the document up, run tests and fine-tune it.

Prizes:

-Bragging rights and the opportunity to create the next fleet challenge!

Deadlines:

Today is Saturday, June 28th**. Please post in this thread as soon as you’ve decided to accept this challenge and I'll PM you your packs ASAP. With the 4th of July here in the USA sometimes that leaves people with extra time, sometimes not. So, Friday night, July 18th (at midnight Central Time) will be the deadline for PMing me your fleet and its description and then Saturday July 19th the Grand Reveal Day where the fleets get posted and I post the tournament. If we get ahead or behind that date that is fine, we will adjust accordingly. If 8 people enter the tournament there would be a total of 7 rounds so if I can keep it to one game a day this should last a week. If an odd number of people enter the tournament I’ll make some packs for myself and enter a fleet.

**(centenary of the assignation of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife by the way)

I will post how I will be generating the packs in the post below.

Good luck and have fun! Very Happy

One of many edits - changed from "Let the Games Begin!' to "On Hiatus" .[ And now, let the games recommence![/list]


Last edited by lord_denton on Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:01 am; edited 10 times in total
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:52 pm Reply with quote

Here is how I'm going to be randomly generating these packs. The goal is to try and simulate an actual pack online. This post is fairly long and it's not crucial that you read it in order to participate in the challenge. It's for the interest of others, a labor of love but also to help me get my ducks in order. Very Happy The process work and banned list should also be useful for anyone trying to make a fair sealed game.

I'm not trying to be exactly precise because that would be quite difficult. I don't have enough information either - perhaps the distribution changed from set to set anyways. The first golden rule will be this: All packs will come with 6 cards. No more, no less.

What I've done is noted the number of cards that each ship uses based on its model. I will create the ships first and then let the number of crew cards be dictated by that. There must be 6 cards remember. The other golden rules are that there must be 2 ships and there must at least 1 crew (technically in a real booster pack the “game in every pack!” slogan has to be satisfied so each pack has to have at least 1 crew with treasure coins on it - I will bend that rule for time’s sake).

The next thing I’ve done is to number each game piece by their category. There are 8 categories, determined by a combination of type of piece and rarity:

Common Crew (red corners and the treasure coin generic crew cards)
Uncommon Crew
Rare Crew (includes Unique Treasure. Events are included under whatever rarity they are under.)
Super Rare Crew
Common Ships
Uncommon Ships
Rare Ships
Super Rare Ships


So each piece is put into a category and numbered off in order. Example: In the Spanish Main, the Revenant was the first rare ship, so she is numbered “1” in the “Rare ships of the Spanish Main” category. The Snipe was the second rare ship so she is “2”. The Shadow, #005, is the first uncommon ship so she is “1”. Calico Cat is the first rare crew so she is “1”.

So now I can start creating the packs. I’ve decided to use a random digit table. I’m using this one: http://www.nist.gov/pml/wmd/pubs/upload/AppenB-HB133-05-Z.pdf (please ignore their explanation on how to use it – I was taught differently). A random digit table is a sequence of numbers, with each number being selected independently of the others. This is better than me choosing a sequence of numbers because in trying to be random I actually won’t be random. Sometimes on the random digit table you’ll see something like “1717” or “999”. If I were generating these numbers I would never do something like that because repeating numbers like that doesn’t seem random, but it is! Very Happy I’m not sure exactly how they come up with the table I can only hope its randomness is reliable…

Here is a sample from a table:

9 2 9 0 4 5 5 2 7 3 1 8 6 7 0 3 5 3 2 1

You read the numbers left from right and if it applies, use it! Though if I’m supposed to choose an uncommon ship and there are 27 uncommon ships in the set I wouldn’t be able to use the first two-digit number “92” because there is no 92nd uncommon ship in this set! I would cross that number out and move on. I wouldn’t be able to use 90, 45, 52 or 73 either. I can use 18 though – that means the uncommon ship I need will be the 18th uncommon ship in the set!

So I start with the first ship. These are the probabilities I’ll be using for the ships:

Super Rare 1%, Rare 19-20%, Uncommon 30%, Common 50%

First you select a rarity for a piece. Then using the type and rarity you pick a number and select a piece from the category.

Say that 18th Uncommon ship above is my first ship and it has 3 cards, like the HMS Dunlap from Ocean’s Edge. That means that my second ship can’t have 3 cards because I’d have no crew! I’d pick again if I got another 3-card ship. Also if the first ship is a Super Rare that means the entire pack is Super Rare. If the first ship isn’t Super Rare then none of the pack can be Super Rare so the Rares will get the Super Rare’s 1%.

After I’ve chosen the ships, the remaining cards will be crew. The more ship cards used (and that usually means you’re getting bigger ships) the less crew you will get.

The probability for crew will be as follows:

Rare 30%, Common 70%

Wait a second, where are the Uncommon crew?! Well as it turns out there just weren’t that many uncommon crew – For Rev, SCS and DJC the uncommoners were just Firepot Specialists and BC didn’t even have any! Now, firepots are just too good at 2 points even with the “new” fire mast ruling. If I kept their probability high then all the fleets would be dominated by firepots. If I knocked it down to 10% or even 5% then a few fleets would get them, the other fleets wouldn’t have them, and the firepots would dominate anyway. So I’m just going to remove them entirely so that they don’t decide the games.

So that should do it. Now, here a list of things that will and will not be included in the packs:

-Again, I am creating random booster packs that are trying to simulate the real deals. So expect to only pull pieces that were available in the booster packs. That means that Special Edition, Limited Edition or Promotional items will not be in the circulation for this Challenge.

-Gold, islands, etc. will not be affected by the sealed nature of the game. That is, the only things that will be pulled from packs are ships and crew-type cards!

-Mysterious Islands will not be in the circulation nor will they be used in the tournament.

-I have decided that Unique Treasures will be in the circulation, however they will be limited to a maximum of one per fleet. If you get more than one I’ll disregard the extras and pick a new number. I don’t want all your crew spots being taken up by UT’s that don’t make sense in your fleet.

-Events will also be in circulation. I’d put a limit on them, but they are all on crewfer-twofers so then I’d be cutting out crew, which I don’t like. Instead the 40 point limit will limit their usage anyway.

-I’ve decided that I’ll be excluding certain “God” (insanely strong powergamer pieces that push the envelope of balance) and “Garbage” (pieces whose usefulness is very questionable) pieces. Here’s the list:

Excluded “Gods”:

-There is one “God” piece in particular that is being excluded by popular request. Wink It’s from Pirates of the Revoultion. Wink It’s a one-mast Pirate ship. Wink It rhymes with “Coffee’s Dry”. Wink

-Ships: La Monarca (another staple treasure runner that sets the bar way too high) Le Bon Marin (ditto), Bloody Jewel (ditto), Le Bonaparte (Potentially game-breaking)

Crew: Li Quin & Commodore Matthew Perry (0LR+5 – distorts the level playing field), Derrik the Red & Don Pedro Gilbert & The Headhunter & Zheng Li Kwan (the guaranteed extra action of SAC is overpowered), Kian Ng (4 points to eliminate a cargo with every shot? Ehhhh no). If any of these are crewfertwofers unfortunately the other crew will be eliminated for simplicity… Hopefully your substitute will compensate.

-UTs: Poseidon’s Breath (Overpowered), Missionary (too hard on treasure runners), Wolves (if no one has a Musketeer or Marine I don’t want to have to deal with a stalemate headache) Kharmic Idol (this would give me a headache) Holy Water (ditto) Albatross (too easy to make a gunship fleet and saddle a gold fleet with that), Pandora’s Box (I don’t want to be opening THAT box!), Monkey’s Paw (too anti-gold runner)

-Events: Mermaids (Too good for the cost) Favor of the Gods (now that Mermaids are out there’s no good reason to have this) Hidden Cove (Slingshot your choice of a gunship or goldship to a wild island for less points than Mermaids? No). For simplicity’s sake I’m just going to cut the crew out that were on the other side of these events.

It’s hard to draw the line of exclusion. What’s the difference between overpowered and just really good? If I cut the USS Enterprise (as I was tempted to) I found that the Black Swan and HMS Swallow had to go and then the line got blurred. Cutting the ‘Cry made excluding the other three much easier but some Barbary Corsair ships are similar to the above ones - the Corsairs suffer from factional problems which makes the tradeoff worth it but faction fleets aren’t the focus of sealed games. But if you’re going to cut the line anywhere at all, it’s probably going to cut these pieces.

Excluded “Garbage”:

-Ships: Tiger (would be hard to make use of this one), Le Loup-Garou (17 points for a 3 master… Not justifiable in this setting), Banshee’s Wail (ditto), Hannah (Cheerleaders are too costly), Sea Wind (ditto), Majestic (ditto), USS Springfield (ditto).

-Crew: Papa Doc (expensive and impractical), Sir Edmund Atkinson (ditto), The Unblinking 99 (Missed the cost mark by a mile), Marques Miguel Antonio (ditto – also helps that he’s on the flip side of Atkinson), White Crew (Would anyone really be able to build them into a strategy? At 7 points… No) Kiowa (terrain not going to be that big of a deal, if it’ll even be included) Sir Watkins Defoe (ditto), Phillipe Amqui (ditto), The Patch (ditto).

UT’s: Sextant (terrain won’t be a huge deal), Livestock (very situational), Cursed Conch (I don’t think we’re going to get a lot of sea monsters)

Events: False Treasure (a 10 point Event would be very difficult to include in a 40 point game)

I hope that I’ve only removed things that wouldn’t be useful. There’s probably a few more but hopefully people will only get things that they can at least consider using.

Questions or comments? Please post here! Very Happy


Last edited by lord_denton on Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:53 am Reply with quote

I'll be boarding this ship.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:40 am Reply with quote

I'm in =)
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:27 pm Reply with quote

I'm in. Thanks for creating such a comprehensive post!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:31 pm Reply with quote

Count me in
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:59 pm Reply with quote

I'm definitely in!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:51 pm Reply with quote

Deal me in as well!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:05 am Reply with quote

I have a question regarding the "Pirates Solitaire". Will each round consist of only one game? Or will it be best of 3 (or something like it)? I'm aware of possible time constraints, but I personally don't believe a single round is enough to allow a fleet to shine.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:14 am Reply with quote

captain_vendari wrote:
I have a question regarding the "Pirates Solitaire". Will each round consist of only one game? Or will it be best of 3 (or something like it)? I'm aware of possible time constraints, but I personally don't believe a single round is enough to allow a fleet to shine.


I totally agree with this. When I'm determining which fleet of two is better, I always play at least three games. Plenty of games go one way or another because of a well-timed UT, abnormally horrible dice luck, and other strange occurrences.

The nice thing about playing more games is this: If you set both fleets up and play one game with them, a 40 point game doesn't take long at all. Then you have to put everything away again (although since it's a tournament you can keep things off to the side until a fleet is eliminated). Playing three games in quick succession doesn't take too much longer and also gives you a much better idea of which fleet is superior.

I don't want to pressure you lord_denton, but sometimes when I have more than two small-size fleets out, I do a big multiplayer game at the end. It wouldn't affect the results of the challenge, but it would be intriguing to see which fleet would win in a free-for-all with all fleets participating!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:45 pm Reply with quote

Regarding named crew, will we be allowed to trade the pack if we don't get a ship that matches its nationality?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:19 pm Reply with quote

captain_vendari wrote:
I have a question regarding the "Pirates Solitaire".


Pirates Solitaire does not refer to the tournament structure. It refers to how I play the games. It means that I, lord_denton, will control both/all fleets for each game. To use the above example, one fleet will be constructed by a7xfanben and controlled by lord_denton and the other fleet will be constructed by woelf and controlled by lord_denton.

I've played a few games against myself before. It can be hard playing the fleets equally but I do my best. I might take a few tips from Cadet Captain Mike's Guidelines.

http://www.cke1st.com/Games/PirSolit.htm

Quote:
Will each round consist of only one game?


Let's take a look at my visual again.



A "round" is a set of matchups between two (or more) people. I think "matchup" is what you meant by "round", so yes I was thinking of only one game per matchup.

Quote:
Or will it be best of 3 (or something like it)? I'm aware of possible time constraints, but I personally don't believe a single round is enough to allow a fleet to shine.


I didn't really consider best 2 out of 3 because I was worried about 1 game per matchup taking too long, both for the forum's patience (I didn't know if the tourney was going to be well-received or not) and for myself. I was second-guessing whether or not I should do it at all. Now that I think about it, yes, best of 3 would be a better indicator of which fleet is better. In statistics, more trials always means that your answer will be closer to the truth. In this case, which fleet would win more games.

The question is, is it practical and realistic to play 3 games per matchup? If 8 people enter the tournament and I still do two-player games (that's another matter entirely as we'll discuss below) that means there could be a maximum of 21 games played.

Quote:
I totally agree with this. When I'm determining which fleet of two is better, I always play at least three games. Plenty of games go one way or another because of a well-timed UT, abnormally horrible dice luck, and other strange occurrences.


Yes, I agree, best of 3 games would be a better indicator, if we really want to be dedicated to finding the best fleet. It's either that or be okay with some of these matchups being decided by strange occurrences. Smile

Quote:
The nice thing about playing more games is this: If you set both fleets up and play one game with them, a 40 point game doesn't take long at all. Then you have to put everything away again (although since it's a tournament you can keep things off to the side until a fleet is eliminated). Playing three games in quick succession doesn't take too much longer and also gives you a much better idea of which fleet is superior.


Well, my track record shows that I go a bit slower. I remember this one game two summers ago that took several days to complete. Of course there were 3 fleets, and they might've been 60 points, not 40. I'm not sure.

But yes I agree the biggest part of this is getting everything set up. The setup time goes way down if the next game is just going to be a reset - same crew, same ships, etc.

Quote:
I don't want to pressure you lord_denton, but sometimes when I have more than two small-size fleets out, I do a big multiplayer game at the end. It wouldn't affect the results of the challenge, but it would be intriguing to see which fleet would win in a free-for-all with all fleets participating!


That's another thing. Sometimes two fleet games become a lot like chess, and sometimes I can't stand chess. It's such a knife-fight in a closet. Multiplayer games are always more interesting because there's multiple targets for the gunships to go after and that means the goldships have more of a chance to get away. If 6 or 9 players were to join the tourney I would definitely consider 3 player matchups. Or if 7 join, give weaker (deemed so by my discretion... on one hand it's an insult, on the other it gets your fleet into round 2 Very Happy ) fleets a bye? Just speculating.

A battle royale at the end would be interesting if I have the time. Smile

Well... More games per matchup would mean I'd have to play more games. I'd have to think more (have to consider my "real" life Wink ) but I could be down for that, provided that people are okay with that and understanding that it will take longer.

While you are waiting for your packs, I'd appreciate some more feedback! I'll try and do what the people want.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:54 pm Reply with quote

I needed to do an entire experimental fleet. Here is what your fleets are going to look like when I start creating them, hopefully today or tomorrow!

Quote:
Experimental fleet 1
Revolution Pack:
Chesapeake
La Santa Isabel
John Paul Jones
Michel Bordeaux

Barbary Coast:
HMS Durham
El Toro
Wet Gunpowder
English Smokepot Specialist

South China Seas:
La Anunciada
Yarbrough's Revenge
Kanhoji Angria / Bruce Grey
Jade Firepot Specialist
French Firepot Specialist

Davy Jones's Curse:
Sea Fox
Dark Pact
Spanish Firepot Specialist
Pirate Firepot Specialist


I think I need to do some adjusting so that uncommon crew appear less frequently. Embarassed Often the uncommon crew are firepot specialists and that's a lot of firepot specialists. Wink

Otherwise that's a pretty playable fleet I think! Very Happy Some ships are more or less usable than others but none are complete "Garbage" and the only "God" is the La Santa Isabel. To use John Paul Jones you'd have to put him on the Chesapeake. It'd be a tight squeeze but it could work. Bordeaux doesn't have a French ship to use his ability on (unless that doesn't apply to Marines?) but he can be dropped off at an island to cause trouble. Otherwise there's some synergy in this fleet. It's not unbalanced or one-sided. There's some goldships, there's some gunships. No Captains or Helmsmen, the staples of typical fleets... Lots of Firepots though. Very Happy

I need to make some decisions regarding Gods, Garbage, UT's and Events and also adjust some probabilities. Then I should be ready to start sending packs! I will also update the second post at some point.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:33 pm Reply with quote

[quote=lord_denton]Well... More games per matchup would mean I'd have to play more games. I'd have to think more (have to consider my "real" life Wink ) but I could be down for that, provided that people are okay with that and understanding that it will take longer.[/quote]

As long as you keep us updated after each round, I don't think I'll mind how long it takes (I can't speak for the rest of us, but that's on my mind).
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:39 pm Reply with quote

(Pulled from the eBay thread)
lord_denton wrote:
captain_vendari wrote:
As far as I've seen, ebay is the best bet, but you can also find singles on independent sites; you just have to look harder.

Right. Any recommended singles sites off the top of your head?
Quote:
As for the sealed pack battles, I'd recommend getting a couple and just using them to proxy as other turtle ships.

Right again, because I'm going to be doing a lot of proxying for this challenge anyway. As it turns out I have about 60% of Rev, 40% of BC, 1% of SCS and DJC. Razz The important thing is that I have all of the ship types so it will be very easy to do some proxying. Thanks to the Divine Dragon from OE I'm even covered on 6 mast junks - only the Turtles Ships have eluded me. Crying or Very sad I do wish that I could have more forts though. Confused

Instead of spending all of the time and money to track down the original ships and/or suitable proxies, wouldn't it be simpler to just adjust the "random" packs so they only include stuff that's already available to you?
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