Cherno

My fleet is complete (Pic Heavy)

55 posts in this topic

Regarding my upcoming ESPG game: I practically have everything i need for a game, and i'll have 2 players and me. For the first game, i'll set up a simple sail-and-shoot game without the need for a referee/GM, so i will be a regular player while also explaining rules and such. That makes three players total. Scenario will probably be just "Everybody starts at one edge of the map, some small islands get scattered around with treasure and marooned sailors to pick up, and whoever has the most treasure at the end (after two hours or whatever) wins. I'm not sure how to handle player interaction, though, and what happens when a ship gets sunk or captures. I guess i'll just give the losing player another brig to start with.

As for your question regarding the Trading Post flag, i just took a scanned copy of the ITP brig's sail from peeron and edited it in photoshop until i had a nice white background clear outlines, then i adjusted it's size and printed it on regular paper. I did the same for red and blue coat flags and different jolly roger flags.

Edit: Here is a picture of three of the islands. I made them out of orange/yellowish and green felt. works really well i think.

rimg1373b6h5.jpg

Edited by Cherno

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A bunch of small islands "deep in the caribbean" where shipwrecked pirates wait for passing ships. Note that all these guys have yellow pants (or none at all?!?). I color-code my minifigs by pants color; shipwrecked, recruitable pirates have yellow pants, pirates in a player's crew have blue, gray or red, most neutral NPCs (traders, harbor personell etc.) have white, and NPC Pirates have black. Of course, there are also ghost/skeleton pirates, but these can be distinguished easily by their skulls and white (bone) hands.

I like the color coding of recruitable pirates and their color coding. Additional crew is always handy when taking over other vessels. :jollyroger:

In the gaming, are you able to take over a neutral port and use it as a base?

Good idea about the hull hits, too. I was thinking about the same, as one game report on lugnet stated that no one was able to sink anyone else the whole game :D I think it really is about capturing a ship by killing it's crew rather than just destroying it for fun. Slowing a ship with rigging hits seems to be too cumbersome, too.

The lack of sinking ships is very realistic to sailing era combat. The consensus of books that I have read is that few ships were sunk in combat and were instead taken over to be repaired.

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I like the color coding of recruitable pirates and their color coding. Additional crew is always handy when taking over other vessels. :jollyroger:

In the gaming, are you able to take over a neutral port and use it as a base?

In a GM-less scenario, i don't think i'll allow taking over ports. That would probably make the invading player too powerful as the port would be blocked for other players, and i don't plan on having more than one or two ports. Maybe raiding would be an option as an additional way to gain income, but that has to be structured by special rules, too. So at the moment, i guess ports, if they're there at all, are just for buying and selling stuff and quickly reparing a damaged ship.

In a GM-guided game, however, ports have greater importance; NPC traders could start and end their tours here, contacts may give the players quests, etc.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the idea of raiding/taking over ports, i think i'll gie this one a try sometime.

The lack of sinking ships is very realistic to sailing era combat. The consensus of books that I have read is that few ships were sunk in combat and were instead taken over to be repaired.

In an actual game, i think it wouldn't be too much of a difference if a ship is sunk or stripped of it's crew, as a player can only safely command a second ship without the chance of mutiny if he has the special character "Completely Loyal Henchman". As special characters are pretty rare, most players won't be commanding more than one ship, and those that do are probably a prime target for the others. If a ship without crew can't be repaired and crewed by the winner of a sea battle, he has the choice to haul it back to a near port in order to sell it. If a port is too far away or he doesn't want to do it anyway, the ship will maybe sit there for a few turns, getting moved around by the wind, until it is taken off the map in order to avoid cluttering and to always have enough spare ships to give out. At least, that's the way i'll probably handling this. Thanks you very much for bringing this up! Better to make rules beforehand instead of having to decide ad-hoc in the middle of a game when the issue does come up suddenly.

One other thing i might change is the way pistol and musket fire is handled. As per the ESPG rules, volleys of projectile weapons can be pretty devastating, so actual boarding actions are rare. I'd like to give players a reason to jump over to the enemy's ship and start attacking with cutlasses, while at the same time keeping it simple, i. e. no ammo rules or similar. I'm not sure how to do this, or if it's possible at all without breaking the games inherent simplicity.

@Francis Dampierre:

As you have obviously tinkered around with the rules a bit, do you have any idea/advice on how to handle cannon, pistol and musket ranges? Is there a maximum range? I couldn't find anything like that in the official rules, so i assume it would theoretically be possible to fire weapons at a very long range, until the modifier gets too high. 36" for a cannon, 6" for pistols and 18" for muskets sounds about right. Also, a cannon has a no-modifier-zone of 6" to 18" (instead of 6" to 24"), with -1 per 6" after that. That's the way most players in the past seem to have done this.

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As you have obviously tinkered around with the rules a bit, do you have any idea/advice on how to handle cannon, pistol and musket ranges? Is there a maximum range? I couldn't find anything like that in the official rules, so i assume it would theoretically be possible to fire weapons at a very long range, until the modifier gets too high. 36" for a cannon, 6" for pistols and 18" for muskets sounds about right. Also, a cannon has a no-modifier-zone of 6" to 18" (instead of 6" to 24"), with -1 per 6" after that. That's the way most players in the past seem to have done this.

Those limitations sound good. In all reality, the penalties for musket and pistol define the maximum range. Cannons, on the other hand, tend to be a little more decisive in a sea battle, and I don't think it's fair if a fleeing ship keeps getting pounded until it's outside of the four or five foot range. I like the idea of a 36" maximum. And yes, I agree entirely with the 6-18" no-modifier zone.

One exception: someone with a bonus (i.e. an Expert Marksman or Polish Gunner) gets to expand their max range one "increment" (3" for musket, 6" for cannon, etc.)

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Are you still working on rules, I'm very interested in other peoples view of rules for ESPG. I'm actually giving them a little face lift incorporating stuff from Sid Myer's Pirate, like ship upgrades, and magical items. Meeting with a friend of mine and mixing ideas, the idea is to keep it simple like SJ's TOON who I had so much fun playing.

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My fleet and additional components currently sits stored above in the attic, waiting for the signal to prowl the seven seas again ;)

The big problem i have is how to design an engaging scenario for me and two friends which utilises the strengths of ESPG, namely quick, fun ship-to-ship battles and being able to buy new crew members, ship, cannons etc.

But with the amount of islands and bases i have, i also would want to include some land-bases battles, for example assaulting the native village (enchanted island) to raid it for mystical treasure, or rescuing a prisoner from eldorado fortress.

I have tons of ideas for small scenarios (as described above), but can't seem to make them work, because i wouldn't know what to make the players (with me as a sort of GM, controlling the navy and npc merchants) do in between missions. The biggest issue here is the pre-plotting movement mechanic, which i find to be quite cumbersome. For short naval battles it may be fine, but not for long scenarios. If a player just wants to move to a faraway port, he shouldn't be required to plot each of his moves, and the same goes for merchant ships who may be around but not in the immediate vincinity of a player, i. e. not prone to being attacked.

Maybe a solution could be to only use plotted movement when ships are in actual combat, and just letting them move directly when a player is active when not battling others. Another way to deal with it could be scrapping pre-plotted movement altogether, which would make having the initiative very important. Basically, it wouldn't be possible to board or get near an enemy ship if you don't have the initiative, because you have to move first and your opponent just moves away from your ship in his turn.

As you can see, there possibly ARE solutions for all problems, but i would have to pre-plan everything carefully, because i a) don't have the time or motivation to test new mechanics alone and b) don't want to change things in the middle of an actual game with other players if something doesn't work... This is alway a big motivation killer.

I'm sorry if this all sounds rather convoluted, but it sums up why i still haven't played the game yet :pirate_sad2:

Edit: On a side note, regarding the problem with my class 1 cutter which are too small mentioned in the posts above: I have corrected this by elongating these ships, so now they are still narrow, but at the same time very sleek and have enough room for nearly as much crew as their broader cousins in class 2. Actually, both ships now can be put into the same category as class 1 cutters, so i now have ships acurrately representing ESPG ship classification system again.

Edited by Cherno

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Heavy pictures indeed!

I would ask you to resize them to a maximum of 800x600 pixels though, as that's the maximum maintained on Eurobricks.

There are several free resizing programs on the web to be found; Irfanview for example. :pir-wink:

Your fleet is simply stunning, well presented too! :thumbup:

The diversity of the ships is good, every ship is unique which makes the fleet interesting to look at.

Very well done I'd say! :thumbup:

Do you want feedback on each of the ships too?

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I've always wanted to play this game but I'm the only one I know in the real world who likes Lego. Whereabouts in Germany are you? I moved here 4 months ago, I live about 2 hours west of Frankfurt near Pirmasens

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Hi Cherno

I think I figured a way to solve the in between battle movement and at the same time the how much space this game can take

I make mini version of my ships and will be playing on a Blue Hex Mat, for before battle, so when we go in battle we use the big boats, island etc

I will post a photo of a Brig I did with it's mini version, just waiting for a few parts to arrive before I can take a photo

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WOW! That is very impressive! Looks like you need a army to fill in those ships.. wink*wink*

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That is an awesome collection Cherno :pir-oh: I love the work you've put into these. Tis a shame they must stay in the attic :pir-sad2:

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I'm really glad that I stumbled across your Fleet. It is truly an awesome sight to behold. I would really like to get into the Pirates line but I'm trying to keep myself from getting into too many of the different lines of LEGO. Great job.

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:pir-oh: I am impressed! :thumbup: Good work! Very nice fleet! Thank you very much! :pir-blush: Edited by Silverface

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... As usual, special thanks got out to ... Evil Willy for his Tutorial on making sails....

Is this the technique you used to make your sails? And if so, how did you get the fancy designs on the sails? I'm thinking about trying to make my own sails and I noticed yours look really nice. That's why I ask.

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IMPRESSIVE!

I'm new to the sight, but not new to lego Pirates. Many of my sets I've has since their original release. Although I've always favored the Pirates theme, my friends and I have played many a "turn based strategy game" with other sets like Castle and Western. I was fascinated when if found "ESPG" Many of the elements are VERY similar to the various versions we have played over the years. I am working on putting up a page with our version of the game to give other players new ideas.

One thing I thought I would mention involves setting up a sort of non player A.I. to be included in the game when you want to move beyond a quick ship-to-ship deathmatch and play a move involved campaign type scenario on a large scale (to include many islands and "fort" sets) As simple technique we use invoves different zones of our map. In each specific zone there are a table of odds (based on rolling 3 dice) that involve "encounters" for each turn (day at sea) you roll for an encounter. Different zones have different odds (ie: the closer you are to imperial waters, the better the odds of crossing paths with the Imperial Flagship, The closer you are to Tortuga or Port Royal :) the better the odds of crossing paths with Pirates. There are also heavily trafficed merchant zones where, if your chosen profession is Privateer, you have better odds of meeting a treasure heavy spanish merchant vessel) In our version, we've gone to great lenghts to limit the roll of a "GM" type player by creating odds tables for encounters, to the point that it is not even necessary to have a GM for the overall game, thereby enabling you to play with as few as 2 players. Instead other player can temporarily take command of non player ships durring combat scenarios. There are certain AI rules set up before hand, based on your chosen alliance and/or reputation. For example, Imperials will always attack a pirate ship, Merchant vessles are less likely to resist you if you have higher reputation as a pirate, If you are a pirate another pirate ship is not likely to try to attack you, If you are an unloaded merchant ship Pirates will likely not be interested in you ect...

An example of one of our "odds tables"

Sea Encounters

3 None

4

5

6

7

8

9

10 Storm

11 Merchant ship Loaded

12 loaded

13 Empty

14 Imperial

15 Pirate

16Storm

17

18 Monster

So if you rolled 3 dice, and got a 6 (total) you wouldn't have encounterd anything. If you rolled an 11, you would have encountered a loaded merchant vessel, 14, an imperial ship, or 15, a Pirate ship. If you rolled 16 or 17 (storm) we added an extra odds table to see what severity it would be:

Class 5 Wind + 6 3 - 10

Class 4 Wind + 12 11 - 14

Class 3 Wind + 12 13- 15

All Rigging damaged

Class 2 Wind + 14 16 - 17

Rigging Damaged

Rudder Damaged

Class 1 SUNK! 18

(in our version, Class 1 is always highest)

So if you rolled a 16, got a storm, then rolled an 18, your ship was destroyed and you washed up on the nearest (downwind) island. If you had life boats on your ship, your crew washes up to. (in our version, your captain (you) cannot die, you get imprisioned, marooned, stranded ect...)

You can used odds tables like these to create a fairly complex (yet simple to operate) environment for your characters to move around in. We use them to meet special characters in port who will give you special missions (also driven by odds charts) that you can choose to accept, to set up encounters with other non player ships and environmentals (sea monsters, storms) to change the wind patterns durring game (every 10 turns for example)

I am fortunate enough to have a house with an empty finished basement (complete with kitchen) which is great for hosting large "Pirates" games, so if your ever in Wyoming (particularly in winter when its to flippin cold to do anything else!) Swing on by and join us in an adventure in the Spanish Main! I don't have quite the collection of ships you do (yet) but You've certainly given me inspiration to build more!

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I really like your idea of random encounter tables based on the sea zone! It certainly would take away from the time needed to plan things beforehand and just let things happen a little bit more randomly :)

Do you have any winning conditions set, or is it more of a role-playing experience where you just do encounters and missions until it's time to pack things up?

I'd be very interestied in learning more about your various tables. Maybe you could post them, if you have them available in digital form?

Many, many years ago, I had a little carpet floor fight with a friend of mine involving LEGO pirate ships, too. We didn't use much in the way of rules, instead just having a Skull's Eye Schooner, a Caribbean Clipper and the Forbidden Island blast at each other :) It was great fun. We would actually aim with the little cannons (the shooting variant) and try to hit the other guy's figures. Whatever we hit with the little black "cannonball" pieces was removed from play, be it some leaves of a palmtree, some bricks, or a pirate! Of course, after half an hour, especially the island fortress was just a mess :pir-sweet: . And we had some land-based combat, too, just seeing who wins in close combat by throwing the dice. I can also remember about some prisoners. We removed the leg portion of the figures and put them in the "water" near some rocks, and it looked like they were cought there in the shallow water). Good times! Kind of Wizards & Warriors and similar games where out actually can shoot with little cannons :)

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Cherno,

I would have responded to this post sooner, but my notes were unavailable for the past 6 months.

One other thing i might change is the way pistol and musket fire is handled. As per the ESPG rules, volleys of projectile weapons can be pretty devastating, so actual boarding actions are rare. I'd like to give players a reason to jump over to the enemy's ship and start attacking with cutlasses, while at the same time keeping it simple, i. e. no ammo rules or similar. I'm not sure how to do this, or if it's possible at all without breaking the games inherent simplicity.

@Francis Dampierre:

As you have obviously tinkered around with the rules a bit, do you have any idea/advice on how to handle cannon, pistol and musket ranges? Is there a maximum range? I couldn't find anything like that in the official rules, so i assume it would theoretically be possible to fire weapons at a very long range, until the modifier gets too high. 36" for a cannon, 6" for pistols and 18" for muskets sounds about right. Also, a cannon has a no-modifier-zone of 6" to 18" (instead of 6" to 24"), with -1 per 6" after that. That's the way most players in the past seem to have done this.

You could get a better comparison of ranges and reload times for these weapons by referring to the actual weapons.

From the information that I've found for these weapons in real life:

Estimated effective pistol range (dueling range) 20 yards

Effective musket range 50 to 70 yards

Roughly 15 second reload times for muskets & pistols.

Effective cannon range in the sea is 500 yards for solid shot and 200 yards for canister & grape shot

Smaller cannons on land had an effective range of 800 yards

Roughly 2 minute reload times for fully crewed cannons.

For an additional tactic, could you have a raking multiplier of 3-5 damage for when a vessel is raked? This was a very desirable tactic to use in the sailing era. Most ships surrendered once there vessel was raked because of the massive amount of damage it would inflict upon the ship and crew.

Hopefully this information will give you ideas.

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I really like your idea of random encounter tables based on the sea zone! It certainly would take away from the time needed to plan things beforehand and just let things happen a little bit more randomly :)

Do you have any winning conditions set, or is it more of a role-playing experience where you just do encounters and missions until it's time to pack things up?

I'd be very interestied in learning more about your various tables. Maybe you could post them, if you have them available in digital form?

We have played a few death matches, but mostly prefer a more of a role playing adventure type game. We seldom have an actual "Win" to end the game because some games can take WAY longer than others depending on the number and types of encounters you end up actually having. We have a system of captain scoring (where each voyage, battle, encounter ect) adds up to points. The higher your points the better your captain is and you get different bonuses for a better captain (like ship speed +10%, cannon range +3, all crew worth double crew points [manpower] ect...) Since we start off with only 5k and one character with 0 points, we determine the winner of the game whenever we run out of time and have to leave. The most successfull player (most points, most $, most ships/largest ships purchased ect) is the winner. We've even been known to put down a few (real) $ in a pot for the winner :)

We have had great success running with the encounters charts in our games. Adds a very random and exciting element to it! We also use another form based on a deck of cards (instead of 18 for 3 dice) Where, for instance, if you were in port and wanted to hire 3 crew, you draw 3 cards. You then have a chance to hire the hero for which the card represents. (if you can afford or want him) Some of our heroes are similar to ESPG, and we've added a few others. Each has his own ability and his cost is in proportion to his usefullness/value.

I do have them all in spreadsheets... I'll try to post some of them soon!

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Cherno,

I would have responded to this post sooner, but my notes were unavailable for the past 6 months.

You could get a better comparison of ranges and reload times for these weapons by referring to the actual weapons.

From the information that I've found for these weapons in real life:

Estimated effective pistol range (dueling range) 20 yards

Effective musket range 50 to 70 yards

Roughly 15 second reload times for muskets & pistols.

Effective cannon range in the sea is 500 yards for solid shot and 200 yards for canister & grape shot

Smaller cannons on land had an effective range of 800 yards

Roughly 2 minute reload times for fully crewed cannons.

For an additional tactic, could you have a raking multiplier of 3-5 damage for when a vessel is raked? This was a very desirable tactic to use in the sailing era. Most ships surrendered once there vessel was raked because of the massive amount of damage it would inflict upon the ship and crew.

Hopefully this information will give you ideas.

I don't remember how ESPG rated weapons, but here is a little bit of what we go by:

8" for Pistol and a 10 for accuracy [10 and less is a hit](out of 3, 6 side dice) 10 is like 50% accuracy

range of 14" for rifle and its accuracy is 14 (about 75%)

if a character can concievably hide behind something, we will role for a chance for the shot (if it was a hit) to be deflected by his cover. We judge roughly how much cover he is behind and go with a %. Say he is 50% covered, if he rolled a 10 or less he would be safe. If he was 75% covered, 14 and less he would be safe ect... This enables crew in the deck and holds of the ship to avoid a lot of the fire from an opposing vessel and allows for more boarding actions so you can get some H2H action going!

Cannons (depending on class) can be from 16" to 48" and from 6 to 10 in accuracy (25 -50%)

For cutlass and H2H combat, a cutlass swing has an accuracy of 10 (50%) if you do get a hit, but the other guy has a cutlass, he has a 12 (63%) chance of deflecting the hit. If the opponent being swung at has a flagpole, rifle, or other object that could deflect a cutlass, he may get a 6, 8 or 10 (depending on his weapon) chance of deflecting the attack. This seems to work well as it simulates the back and forth, perry and thrust momentum of a real swordfight.

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We have played a few death matches, but mostly prefer a more of a role playing adventure type game. We seldom have an actual "Win" to end the game because some games can take WAY longer than others depending on the number and types of encounters you end up actually having. We have a system of captain scoring (where each voyage, battle, encounter ect) adds up to points. The higher your points the better your captain is and you get different bonuses for a better captain (like ship speed +10%, cannon range +3, all crew worth double crew points [manpower] ect...) Since we start off with only 5k and one character with 0 points, we determine the winner of the game whenever we run out of time and have to leave. The most successfull player (most points, most $, most ships/largest ships purchased ect) is the winner. We've even been known to put down a few (real) $ in a pot for the winner :)

We have had great success running with the encounters charts in our games. Adds a very random and exciting element to it! We also use another form based on a deck of cards (instead of 18 for 3 dice) Where, for instance, if you were in port and wanted to hire 3 crew, you draw 3 cards. You then have a chance to hire the hero for which the card represents. (if you can afford or want him) Some of our heroes are similar to ESPG, and we've added a few others. Each has his own ability and his cost is in proportion to his usefullness/value.

I do have them all in spreadsheets... I'll try to post some of them soon!

It sure sounds nice, but I wonder how you handle player interaction? Is there any reason for players to engage or trade with other players, or is everyone just doing their stuff side-by-side?

Thanks for the explainations so far!

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It sure sounds nice, but I wonder how you handle player interaction? Is there any reason for players to engage or trade with other players, or is everyone just doing their stuff side-by-side?

Thanks for the explainations so far!

Interactions between the players are, for the most part, up to them. For instance, the last game we played two players joined up at the very start. They pooled their money to buy a larger boat (with sail) that could cross open water (normaly you only have enough money to start off with a row boat) and had enough left for one Cutlass. They used the boat to sail to a small island where there was a shipwrecked sailor. The one player asked the sailor to help him pull the boat ashore (so he put down his pistol) and the other player (with cutlass) then attacked the poor unfotunate fellow and stole his treasure. Uppon returning to port they purchased a second sailboat and a crew for each man and went their separat ways, putting them several steps ahead of the rest of the players.

Other times, if a player has rolled and encountered something (storm, ship, monster ect) any players in the nearby area might also be affected and want to, or have to participate in the event. Sometimes by default, other times by an agreed uppon percentage roll of the dice that they were close enough to see and engage (or disengage) from the action. If one player has taken up full time piracy, and another player has rolled for an encounter and come up with PIRATE, that player could choose to be said pirate if he were reasonably nearby... There is a lot of room for imagination and role play, and we don't really have any specifics to make the players engage in activities together, but we seem to wind up with a lot of player interaction anyway.

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arr! I would love to sail the seas of evil stives pirate game with a sea whorthy fleet like that. Great job!!!!!

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I have to say this is the biggest pirate ship fleet I have ever see . I would like to congratulate you on his because this is truley amazing. I am wondering how long this took you to make all these ships? And sorry if this question had already been asked or not.

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