"My Q3 indiaman is within the flagship's command range and gets a +1 modifier to their Q roll!" paraphrases I all enthusiastically. "I shall roll all three activation dice because I only need 2s or better ..." I continues, "What could possibly go wrong?"
Two 1s and a 2 is what could go wrong. And did. Often.
I once more took control of the Dutch East India Company fleet (two indiamen, two cromsters, a sloop, a merchant junk and two small merchant junks), facing off against a pirate fleet (galleon, brig, lorcha, jacht, raft, two flotillas of pirate cutters) which also included the steam driven monitor and the drebbel, stretching historicity somewhat in the name of continued rule testing.
Having one of my indiamen (the Hollandia) as a flagship meant that I had to roll to see the nature of my admiral. Would he be a political appointment, or perhaps a swaggering yet sensitive terror of the high seas? I - not uncharacteristically - rolled a 1, being landed with a landlubber (Admiral van Landlubber to you!), greatly reducing that ship's responsiveness to orders.
The shot above is from the Dutch corner showing the impressive amount of canvas in the employ of the VOC. Below are the pirates. In the G&G expasion, there are rules for stowing and deploying boats from larger vessels, and the pirates started the game with the boats aboard the galleon and the brig.
The opening turns saw lots of early turn overs for the Dutch, with only the swift sloop Nassau and the merchant junk Nutmeg breaking from the deployment formation. Loath as he would be to admit it, JB, the pirate player, appeared to have some form of plan. And followed it. What ungentlemanly behaviour.
Above, the pirates on the left fan out, as the Dutch on the right spread their line (sort of).
The sloop Nassau got off the opening shot, across the bows of the pirate brig Oberon, causing damage, but not being able to stop the inevitable boarding action. What followed turned quite nasty actually, as the galleon Irrepressible decided to join the boarding action too and the sloop quickly succumbed (top right of picture).
Meanwhile, copious fire from the dutch cromsters and indiamen started to tell on the pirate lorcha. Not enough to destroy it, but nonetheless moderately satisfying in a vengeful sort of way .
Then the lorcha Lotus returned fire on one of the Dutch cromsters, setting it alight. In the next Dutch turn, the first thing it did was explode as the magazine caught fire (centre of the pic above is the smoking wreakage). Karmically (sure that is both a real word and how it is spelt), the Lotus caught fire in the explosion.
The Lotus subsequently also exploded, but this time sank without causing further fires to start on other ships.
Meanwhile, distracted by explosions, hamstrung by van Landlubber's poor command rolls and my own poor decisions, the large merchant junk Nutmeg ran aground on an island... and the small junk Tea Chest collided into the back of the flagship Hollandia. The pirate raft Phoenix boarded the other Dutch indiaman Brabant and while it ended up the loser in the boarding actions, did keep the Brabant tied up for a couple of turns.
Meanwhile, the monitor Crocodile was circling. Her gun turrets gave her a perfect field of fire...
The Crocodile fired into the stern of the flagship Hollandia, causing yet another blaze to break out. As the Tea Chest was still in contact with her flagship following the collision, she too immediately caught alight. In my next turn, the Tea Chest burnt to the water line and sank, while the Hollandia exploded. Having lost almost all the Dutch convoy at that point, I decided that it was time to fold and surrendered unconditionally...