Our Game is a Handful.

Our Game is a Handful.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

convention Rules 11, The Pirates

The Naughty Lass

The Schooner Orator

Les Bien Hores

The Elk Hunt

 The primary attraction to the time period, playing a pirate isn’t as care free as you may think. Pirates really have the odds stacked against them, limited safe harbors for repairs and trading, smaller ships, generally under-gunned, and the deadliest ships on the board are hunting you down. The actions of a good pirate captain are counter intuitive to the people who for the most part want to play them. The first thing that most pirate players want is to shoot a ship full of holes, kill everyone on board and steal everything they can. I only speculate this is the result of the societal conformity repression. This is short sited and bad for the long game strategy. If you leave a ship adrift, take all their money and goods, that ship is now effectively out of the game. Meaning it’s no longer a viable source of income in the turns to come. Simply robbing them by grappling, negotiating with the other captain for a mutually amicable settlement will allow the merchant to continue operations as future prey.
Pirates have one advantage over the law abiding ships, the ability to leave the perimeter and travel to the secret pirate island. After two port actions, they may choose to return to any other perimeter location.

1)      Allow the merchant ships to make some money before you attack them, wait at Pirate Island till they leave their first stop on the trade triangle. They should have a good trove of goods and treasure.
2)      Never leave a Merchant completely gold or cargo-less, if they have no means to continue their voyage they are left with no other occupation except hunting you down.
3)      If a naval ship is within 36 inches run for a perimeter.
4)      Dutch merchants are armed like warships.
5)      Shallow water is your friend, use Island shallows to mire larger ships.
6)      Merchant Convoy’s should only be attacked from the rear.  
7)      If the occasion arises that you need to threaten a War ship do it in numbers and rake.
8)      If you can trade with smugglers directly do so, it cuts out the pirate governor as a middle man.  
9)      You can deal directly with the colonial governor if you successfully sneak into port and out again.
10)   Pirates have the same goal, enemies, and difficulties. Never assume you are on the same side as your fellow pirates even when you are working together.
11)   If your ship is farther than two moves from a perimeter side you are in some considerable danger of being cut off from escape. \

The Heraclitus is a Barbary Xebec 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Convention Rules part 10, The Spanish Treasure fleet.

Spanish Treasure Galleon

 The Spanish Treasure Galleon is Hauling a 1000 points in Gold and is struggling against the prevailing wind to make it from the corner of the board to the opposing side. There it can escape to the Atlantic Ocean. If it does the captain is awarded 1000 acres in the new world. This heavily armed treasure galleon is no match for a war-ship but if it is clever it can slip away to freedom.

1) Never start into the wind, which is the way you have to go. Start pointed at the french Island. If you zig-zag you will move faster tacking across the tables.  
2) Never be afraid of boarding, you have a bunch of marines and sailors.
3) Blast anyone you see as a threat. 
4) You have no safe harbor for repairs so keep moving. 
5) Unless you capture other ships and take gold you will only ever have 1000 points, so kill anyone you suspect of being richer if the opportunity arises. Don't seek it out. 

 Spanish Man o' War

The Titicaca   
As the Spanish War Ship your captain feels it is his moral obligation to return the Caribbean to its divinely chosen original owners, The Catholics. And not those iffy French Catholics! Your half crazed mission is to engage and destroy all non-catholic ships, merchant, pirate, ghosts, cannibal, and those trespassing Protestants warships. If a port gets sacked divine judgement has spoken.  That Treasure galleon is important to Spain, Si but you have a cephalic induced higher purpose.
1) you really aren't worried about politics, you just want to sink everyone but the Spanish and Portuguese. 
2) You have no home port but reestablishing any other port as a loyal Spanish colony is a good start.
3) Your ship has devastating firepower out to 36 inches. It maneuvers like a bath tub. Watch for raking. 
4) Don't turn into the wind, unless you have no other choice.
5) Use Cannibal Island as a turnaround if you need to.   
6) As a crazed religious zealot gold means little to you so sinking stuff is your only option for honor.    

Convention Rules part 9, The odd Merchants.

Chinese Junk

The Chinese Junk is welcome in all harbors. It peddles opium to all ships and ports that can pay the steep price. They may also buy and sell goods from each port including the pirate port. There are two unique things with the Chinese Junk. First it can never replace crew in a port. The cultural barrier is to much to overcome so their starting crew is all they have. If they run out of crew the Captain is welcome to join another crew and the boat is left at the nearest port. Second if they get boarded, the other ship is immediately set on fire (fireworks in the sails). Money is traded for buried treasure which is hidden on your boat. If any one takes your ship you fore fit the treasure. You may never claim land grants.
1) You have no national enemies so attacking you is only for treasure gain.  All ports are open.
2) Your ship sails at nearly the same speed in all points of sail. 
3) your ship moves like a smuggler. 
4) Your immune to the ghost ship.  (wind chimes)
5) Never need to sneak into town, no one pays much attention to your crew.
6) You always start maximum crew.

Note about Opium: 
Opium, starts on the Chinese Junk, fetches a high price, As long as another crew has it they don’t make morale checks. If you ever sell the opium at port after being used to ignore morale checks, the entire crew must be replaced in port.  

Portuguese Merchant

 The Portuguese Merchant sloop starts out with a cargo of fine Portuguese wine from the old world. The cargo is limited but it sells at a high price, particularly at the French port. Once you begin to peddle it, you may fill your hold with goods and start the trade triangle. You have no true home port but may repair in any port you choose. You may also collect land grants from any port including The Ship wreck Island which serves as a safe haven in Spanish/Portuguese waters. Sell goods and keep moving, see merchant entry.
1) You have no national enemies so attacking you is only for treasure gain.  All ports are open.
2) Sailing in a merchant convoy can make a scary target for Pirates but if your not the person being boarded run like hell! 
3) Being the first into port is much better than last. If your not the East Indiamen, don't be behind it when you make port, the amount of cargo it sells to the port can wreck the local economy and leave nothing to buy for your cargo hold.    
4) Never sail along the perimeter of the board. Pirates enter from here and can ambush you before you can fire a shot. 
5) Parley if your boarded. Pirates only have so much cargo room and showing up in port with less cargo than in a long boat is always preferable. 
6) Don't trust Pirates, Governors, the Navy or smugglers to keep their word in negotiations. 
7) If your a small cargo ship buy rumor cards! you may just hit extra swag, more valuable cargo or a chance at adventure Island. 
8) Make sure to buy Land grants as soon as you can. Land grants can't be taken away from you. 
9) you are immune to the Spanish War Ship