Wednesday, 13 May 2020

More Piracy

I had another go at running the Tortuga against a set of randomised threats.

I felt that it's capabilities weren't suited to aggressive piracy, so dropped the razee trait in favour of a combination of carronades, yare and derring-do(the total cost remains the same). I felt the extra turns from yare would give me as much of an edge over the foes as the speed from razee did, the derring do a bonus against the larger ships when it came down to boarding, and the carronades some teeth when it came to gunnery.

I moved the terrain around a little, and ended up with some widely spaced counters.

I decided to go for the blue counter, albeit that it was furthest upwind, because the other two were too close to shallows for my liking.

It turned out to be nothing.

I cut along the coast and triggered the yellow counter, which gave me a small merchant ship, the Pamela (I'm just reusing names here) and a small warship, the Minx.

In the early part of the game, the wind had shifted considerably, meaning the two opposing ships were now going to have to tack up the table to the opposite corner. Whilst this disadvantaged me as well, I felt that my yare trait would give me an edge. I decided to do a fast run past the Minx, and then lock onto the Pamela.

All went well to start with ...

But then the Minx turned sharply and cut across my bows firing a broadside. The Tortuga was damaged!

The Pamela ran close-hauled past her consort as it fired at the Tortuga again. I returned fire, damaging it and killing its captain.

With the Minx hampered by the loss of its captain I decided that perhaps capturing a warship would be a great feather in my cap. I was emboldened when confusion on its decks saw it start a run in order to board me, then veer away, getting caught in irons.

But again the Minx turned back on course, my fire having little effect on it. It cut across the Tortuga's stern and I was damaged again. Most importantly I took a rigging hit. Unfortunately this meant that I was stuck sailing downind and my opponents were now all upwind, as was their destination.

All the Minx and Pamela had to do was sail to safety, whilst all I could hope for was that the wind would shift enough in my favour that I could creep after them

In fact the Minx and Pamela still had to make a difficult series of tacks to get to safety, and in its damaged state this would be risky for the Minx. I turned as close to the wind as I could, repaired what damage I could and waited.

The Minx edges across the shallows, without incident.

Unfortunately a series of failed activation rolls saw it sail far too close to the headland. It scraped its bottom but, once again, escaped damage.

As the crew panicked they mistook the Pamela for the Tortuga, and fired a broadside at their charge. It did no damage.

The wind shifted again, and I could begin to move after the targets. But the shift helped them as well. My only hope was to run the final counter (and hope it wasn't anything too nasty), and also head through the shallows.

The final counter also turned out to be a dummy, and I survived the shallows.

But the Minx and Pamela were both set on a course for safety, and too far ahead of me. I was obliged to let them go and, with no further targets in sight, head for home with an empty hold.

I might tweak the rigging damage a little, as I spent half of the game unable to engage the enemy due to one critical. I have tried allowing ships to repair certain criticals, but I think this is possibly a bit much. One thought is to allow a Jury-Rig action, though - spens one Action to ignore the effects of one Rigging critical for this turn only. This could be applied to any propulsion system, and by tying it to Actions forces a ship to make a choice in order to move. Example: A square-rigged ship is close-hauled and suffers a rigging critical. This reduces its close-hauled move from short to nothing. On its next turn it spend an action to Jury-Rig, so the rigging critical no longer applies - it can make its normal short move.

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