The Galleys & Galleons expansion, Fayre Winds and Foul Tides, is nearing completion with everything written, just needing to be edited, cleaned up, re-written and edited again. To get a load of the different new rules out on the table in a single match we played a five way game this week using the 'Thar She Blows' scenario from the core rules.
I took control of the 72 point sea monster in the centre of the table, the other four players took control of roughly 100 points each in their allocated corners: two Dutch cromsters (small armed merchantmen) Utrecht and Haarlem, the Spanish airship Nombre de Dios, the ghostly galleon Bluebeard's Revenge, and the steam powered monitor Crocodile supported by a dinky little drebbel (a prototype submarine) Damp Doxy. At the end of every turn I earned a victory point. They each earned a victory point for every point of damage they did to me (or each other) and a bonus 10 points for being the ship to have killed me within the 10 turn limit.
In the opening rounds, I moved my sea monster towards the Dutch cromsters, keeping it submerged to avoid their gunnery. Meanwhile, the monitor and the drebbel also moved in the direction of the Dutch. Opening gunnery from the cromsters quickly sank the drebbel, setting the tone for the evening's game.
Taking advantage of the inter-vessel fighting, I rose to the surface to ram the cromster Utrecht, causing limited damage only, but then being able to swiftly turn and swim away.
By this point, the airship and the ghost ship were starting to close in and Mr Fishy McFishface was feeling the heat. Luckily, much of the heat was directed at other vessels on the water's surface, and I was fairly safe down below. The airship, likewise, rose to high altitude and while not impervious to enemy gunnery, roll well enough to shrug it off.
The gunfight on the surface continued to rage. In order to do a spot more ramming, I had to return to that same surface, and quickly started to accumulate damage/wounds.
Some well timed ramming finished off the Dutch cromster Utrecht, while the others were distracted...
And then in the second last turn I turned my attention on the ghostly galleon, Bluebeard's Revenge. I gave her stern a damn fine ram, only for her to turn around (figuratively speaking) and grapple my scaly hide, sending a stream of spectral pirates over the side, putting an end to my aquatic rampage, and winning the game.
All the new rules worked well together, although lumping them all on a couple of the less experienced players saw a few bewildered looks to start with. Due to low dice rolls, gunnery was fairly rubbish for much of the game, and all critical hits resulted in further hull damage which meant there were no big explosions to contend with.
We used the new weather rules which saw a couple of turns becalmed on the table with little or no movement from the sailing vessels, while the steamer just kept on chugging away. It's ironclad top deck saved it more than once and the turreted guns worked well, even if unsupported by useful die rolling.
In all, each player had a distinctively flavoured command, it was a good, fun game and a successful run through the expanded rules.