Archive for April, 2008

Ok, so the prison won! (Review of the Prison Break Scenario)

Last Wednesday, we ran the Prison Break scenario that I posted earlier. While the scenario was good in concept, in play things went downhill very quickly.

Here's the Prison Island and the surrounding Islands

First off, we randomly picked a Fort from the ones that Privateer had, and ended up with El Castillo del Infanta, which has 5 4L cannons. Now, those cannons don’t sound very good, but in play, we found that you were likely to get hit by at least one or two when you docked at the Prison Island.

An overhead shot of the Prison Islands

We also made some mistakes and underestimated the deadliness of 2 Marines on each surrounding island. Each Marine has a 2S cannon, and we decided that as soon as a ship got within range, then at the end of that players turn the player to their right would get to roll for the Marines and choose where to shoot. Those 2S cannons hit quite a bit in the first round, so after everyone had a chance to act once, we eliminated one Marine from each island. Even so, those Marine were very effective..that is, until we started shooting back at then and killing then off.

Everyone swarms toward the Prison, not knowing what's to comeAnother mistake we made was that the surrounding island were too close to the Prison Island, which led to some nasty traffic jams. And, since some ships were stuck and couldn’t move away, they got shot again by the Prison and Marines. By the end of the game, there were lots of derelict ships.

Prison Break 4We finally ended the game when one player has lost or had made derelict both of her ships. At that point, no one had been able to unload crew on their Home Island. In fact, no one had really left the Prison with any crew, although one player was able to steal crew from several derelict ships, and had 9pts of crew on board.

Things are getting tight!I would like to try this scenario again with a few changes:

  • Only one Marine per Island, and possibly it only shoots once per round (after all players have acted).
  • The surrounding Islands need to be farther out, maybe 2S or even 3S from the Prison.
  • The Prison can also only shoot once per round, and only at ships that are docked. Shots could be spread evenly.

Traffic Jam!

How things ended up at the end of the game

One of the players had a suggestion of having multiple Prisons, but I’m not sure that would work due to space limitations, especially if I spread the Islands out. But, I have an idea in a similar vein (“Sorry, your Princess is in the other castle“) that might work. I’ll post that scenario once I get it fleshed out.

Prison Break – a Pirates Scenario

This is a scenario for any number of players. Each player brings a fleet consisting of 30pts of ships and 15 pts of crew from any combination of sets and nationalities. No 0pt crew or Events are allowed.

The crew is placed onto/into a Fort on a Wild Island 4L from any player’s Home Island. This represents the Prison, although normal Fort rules apply and the Fort can shoot at nearby ships. Around this island, at a distance of about S, are 4-6 other Wild Islands. Each of these islands has 2 Marines who will shoot at any ship within their range.

The goal of the game is to dock at Prison Island, load a number of crew, and get then home. Each time a ship docks at the Prison, roll one die. The number rolled is the number of random crew that ship may load (up to its available cargo space). For this scenario, generic crew (Captain, Helmsman, etc) can be used on any ship, but named crew (Luis Zuan, Hermoine Gold, etc) can only be used on ships that match their nationality, or ships that have the “Crew of any nationality can use their abilities on this ship” ability.

Players are also able to get a “pardon” for one of their crew. If one of their ships is able to shoot and sink an opposing player’s ship that has escaping crew on board, then that ship is able to dock at the Prison and load ONE crew of their choice. Until that ship un-docks with the Prison, the Fort or Marines will not shoot at it.

Each crew that is unloaded on a player’s Home Island is worth its point cost in gold. The first player to get 15pts of crew (either theirs or their opponents) onto their Home Island wins.

PotCS: Fire & Steel – Switchblade Ships

The new expansion to Pirates of the Cursed Seas came out on April 9th, Fire & Steel. One of the new ship types (besides Bombardiers) is the Switchblade, a ship that has 2 blades that extend from the sides of the ship. Here’s the definition of the keyword:

Switchblade. A ship with this keyword has two “blades” that can be moved so that they extend from the front sides of the ship. After this ship completes a move action or shoot action (or if during a move action), any part of either blade touches an enemy ship (or ships), all those enemy ships are considered to be rammed and can be boarded. If the ramming occurs by blade only, this ship is not pinned. The order that rams and boarding parties are resolved (if there are more than one) is determined by the player whose turn it is. Extending or retracting the blades is a free action that can take place any time when this ship is given a move action or shoot action.

The really interesting thing about the Switchblade ships is that they can ram and board multiple ships during their movement, and won’t become pinned as long as it hits the enemies with just the blades. Normally, a ship’s movement stops as soon a it touches another ship, but Switchblades aren’t restricted like that. Instead, you do the Switchblades full movement and keep track of each ship that it’s blade touch. Then, you can remove masts from each touched ship, and resolve each of those ram and board actions in any order that you want.

There are 5 Switchblade ships in the new set. The British have 2, the HMS Talon and the HMS Salient. France has the Saber. And the Cursed have the Sickle and the Super-Rare Skin Flayer. I’d have pictures, but WK hasn’t updated the card gallery yet, and personally I haven’t had a chance to take a look at the new ships’ stats. I’ll post that info in an upcoming post.

Real Piracy is Alive and Well in the 21st Century

I was going to write about the new Switchblade ships in Fire & Steel, but WizKids hasn’t updated their card gallery, so I don’t know which ships in the new set are Switchblades. I hope to get that article up by the end of the week.
Le PonantInstead, I read an interesting series of new stories last week. The French cruise liner Le Ponant was hijacked off the coast of Somalia by 6 gun-wielding pirates. Continue Reading »

Updated Pirates Unique Treasure Reference Sheet

Arr everyone!

I’ve updated the Unique Treasures Reference Sheet to include both Rise of the Fiends and Fire & Steel. The only UTs not on the list are the LE UTs from RotF (since they were never distributed as prize support). If WizKids sends out those UTs, and if they are different than their non-LE versions, I’ll add them to the list. Continue Reading »

PotCS: Fire&Steel – Equipment

One of the more interesting additions that Fire & Steel brings to Pirates of the Cursed Seas is Equipment. These pieces, costing just 1pt each, work a bit like Unique Treasures, but you can install them onto a ship at the beginning of the game instead of putting them into the treasure pool (where an opponent could get them). Continue Reading »

PotCS: Fire & Steel Sneak Peek – Raptor Maw

Here is a sneak peek of a new Sea Dragon from Fire & Steel, the Raptor Maw! Continue Reading »

PotCS: Fire & Steel – Bombardier Ships

The next expansion for Pirates of the Cursed Seas, Fire & Steel, is due out on April 9th. One of the new pieces in this expansion is the Bombardier, a ship with a fiery cannon on it’s bow. Here’s the keyword description:

Bombardier. This ship has a special bombardier cannon that is not associated with a mast and can’t be eliminated or targeted by effects. Before the game begins, announce whether the bombardier cannon will be an artillery cannon (using the artillery cannon piece) or a flamestrike cannon (add the flame piece onto the artillery cannon piece); this choice can’t change once the game begins. Use the range/rank die printed on the artillery cannon piece for both the artillery cannon and the flamestrike cannon. Equipment (see my next post – Ed) abilities can’t affect shots made by a bombardier cannon.

The artillery cannon has the Double Shot keyword.

The flame portion of the flamestrike cannon physically measures S, so you can use it to measure range to enemy ships. When a flamestrike cannon hits, replace one of the target’s masts with a fire mast. If the cannon roll for either version of the bombardier cannon is a 1, the cannon jams and can’t be used again until the ship is given a repair action specifically to fix it.

The new set will have 4 Bombardier ships: one for the Pirates, one for the British, and 2 for the French. So far, WizKids has revealed 2 of the Bombardier ships, the Draconum for the Pirates, and the Bombardier for the British.

Draconum - Pirate Bombardier shipThe Draconum, being a prototype stolen by the Pirates, isn’t that great. With only 3 cargo, a base speed of L, Short #3 cannon Short #3 cannon Short #3 cannon, and a #3 bombardier cannon, she is hardly fearsome. Plus, you have to eliminate one of her masts when she rolls a 1 on any cannon roll. At least this ship is cheap at only 13pts.

Bombardier - British Bombardier shipThe British have a nice ship in the Bombardier, though. A base move of S+S, 3 cargo, Long #3 cannon  Long #3 cannon, Long #2 cannon, a #3 bombardier, and the ability to choose which mast is eliminated on a successful hit makes this a scary ship. This ship costs 18pts.

So far, WizKids has not revealed what the 2 French Bombardier ships are, but my guess, from looking at the Fire & Steel checklist, is that they are the Conquerant and the Grand Vainqueur, both at 21pts. Hopefully, they have decent stats and abilities to support those prices.

I’m a bit hesitant to say that Bombardier ships are going to be useful. I really want to see the definition of the “Double Shot” keyword before I pass judgement. But, with the right crew, if might be fun to run around in the Bombardier and set other ships on fire. :)