Team Action

By Lembit Tohver

 

     A couple of my gaming buddies (Rick & Bill) came over to my home one Saturday evening to play The Kaiser’s Pirates. Over the past few weeks I had introduced the guys to this great game and they were excited to play again. My son Phil decided to get in on the action too. I wanted to try the team game and all the guys agreed. Phil and I played Rick and Bill after we rolled for teams. We decided to use the optional Tournament setup so that
each player and team had basically the same starting forces. We also all agreed
to use the multiple-damage optional rule.

     Here were the starting forces:

Seat #1 Rick: Raiders/Warship: Emden, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse and Cap Trafalgar; Merchant Ships: La Correntina (9 Victory Awards), Matheran (7) and Hyades (5)

Seat#2: Phil: Raiders/Warship: Königsberg, Wolf and Möwe. Merchant Ships: Voltaire (9), Appam (7) and Saxon Prince (5)

Seat #3: Bill: Raiders/Warship: Dresden, Greif and Leopard. Merchant Ships: Brecknockshire (9), Clan MacTavish (7) and Rio Iguassu (5)

Seat #4: Me Raiders/Warship: Nürnberg, Prinz Eitel Friedrich and Berlin. Merchant Ships: VanDyke (9), Dramatist (7), Hudson Maru (5) 

     Both teams held a strategy meeting. Phil and I decided that we would try to knock out Rick’s Raiders/Warship first while sinking as many of the other team’s Merchantmen as we could. It would become apparent that Rick and Bill had adopted a similar strategy and you will see me become the recipient of their combined attacks.

     The random removal of 20 cards left an Action Deck of 80 cards and 6 cards were dealt out to each player. We each rolled a d10 to determine who would go first. Phil rolled a 10.  In the first couple of turns it is common to get a flurry of action because each player has a full hand. To keep this AAR (After Action Report) brief I will point out highlights of each turn during each player’s activation. Since there were 56 cards left in the draw deck a four player game usually lasts 14 turns. I am also not recording all the dice rolls, just the results. The game uses an opposed dice roll system in which players roll denominations of dice listed on their ships card or the action card being played. The highest die result wins and generally causes an effect.

Turn 1

     Phil laid down two cards. He played a "UC16" submarine card and laid mines  against Rick’s Merchantmen, sinking the Matheran and damaging the other two Merchantmen. Then Phil intercepted and damaged Rick’s Warship Emden. Rick drew the Highland Brae (7) as a replacement.

     Bill laid down three cards. He successfully played “Transfer Commanded” and added my Warship Nürnberg to his fleet.  He played “Interrogate”  successfully and found my Berlin and damaged her. He attempted to intercept my Dramatist, but I avoided damage during the night.

     I laid down 3 cards. I acquired a new Raider, Seeadler, with my “Breakout”  card. The “Recon Aircraft” card provided me with two of Rick’s cards. I  played the “Second Chance” card which gave me another turn. I laid down 3 cards. I first played the “Interrogate” card, which I had drawn from Rick’s Hand      earlier against his Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse which successfully revealed and sunk her. My second action was to play the “Damage control” card to remove the damage on the Berlin.  My last play was the “Reflag” card to hide the Berlin again.

     Rick laid down 2 cards. He played a “Damage Control” card to remove the damage from the Emden. Next he played the “U27 Submarine” torpedo attack against my Vandyke which sank her. I drew the Toilus (7) as a replacement.

     VA Scores: Phil: 7, Bill: 0, Me:  0, Rick: 9

Turn 2

     Phil laid down 3 cards. He played the “Fair Seas” card which successfully brought the Voltaire home. He drew the Mongolia (9) as a replacement. His next action was playing a Raider Intercept card combined with a Good Hunting card to Intercept Rick’s two damaged Merchantmen. The Hyades was sunk and the La Correntina was damaged again (2 damage markers now). Rick drew the Dee (3) as a replacement.

     Bill laid 1 card down. He successfully played “Interrogate” on my Berlin again and damaged her.

     I laid down 2 cards. My first was “Recon Aircraft” which I was lucky to draw on my prior turn, against Rick and randomly drew 2 cards from his hand. Next I had the Prinz Eitel Friedrich attempt to intercept and sink Rick’s La Correntina which had 2 damages. But Rick played the “AMC HMS Carmania” card. This revealed my ship and placed a damage marker on it. I had missed him, but he had no Action cards left.

     Rick passed and drew an action card.

     VA Scores: Phil: 21, Bill: 0, Me: 0, Rick: 9

Turn 3

     Phil had only two cards in his hand and decided to pass and drew an action card.

     Bill laid down 2 cards. He played the British “Intercept” card on my Berlin in

combination with the “Surprise Attack” card which sunk her. I knew that the Berlin would be one of their primary targets because it is also a mine layer ship. Mines attack all the merchant ships in a player’s force.

     I laid down 2 cards. My first action was an unsuccessful “Interrogate” against Rick’s Cap Trafalgar. Then I played “Intercept” from the Prinz and sank the La Correntina (second time was the charm). This merchantman was important because it allows me to count Victory Award for the Warship that I had sunk in Turn 1. Rick drew the Mount Temple (9) as a replacement.

     Rick had only 1 card in his hand. He passed and drew 1 action card.

     VA Scores:  Phil: 21, Bill: 0, Me: 25, Rick: 9

Turn 4

     Phil laid one card down. “Submarine U41” torpedo attacked Rick’s Mount

Temple and damaged it.

     Bill laid one card down, “Wireless Intercept”, which allowed him to pick up and place in his hand the last two action cards played in the discard pile.

     I laid down one card. I played “Intercept” on the Mount Temple with my Prinz and placed another damage marker on her.

     Rick played his only card. He played a British “Intercept” which placed another damage marker on the Prinz.

     VA Scores: Phil: 21, Bill: 0, Me: 25, Rick: 9

Turn 5

     Phil laid down 2 cards. He played “Intercept” with his Königsberg Warship combined with “Shipping Lanes” which enabled the Königsberg to attack all 3 of Rick’s Merchantmen. Phil sank the Mount Temple and Dee, but missed the Highland Brae. Rick drew the Banksfield (7) and Kaipara (7) as replacements.

     Bill laid down 2 cards. His first action was a torpedo attack by “Submarine U41” which was one of the cards he had picked up from the discard pile on his last turn. He sank my Troilus. The Raider Berlin now counted towards his total points. His second action was playing “Intelligence” which allowed him to reorder the top 4 cards in the draw pile. I drew Bowes Castle (5) as a replacement.

     I laid down one card. I played a successful “Transfer Command” on Bill’s Nürnberg which brought her back into my fleet.

     Rick had no cards, so he passed and drew an action card.

     VA Scores: Phil: 33, Bill: 25, Me: 25, Rick: 9

Turn 6

     Phil laid down one card. He played a successful “Interrogate” against Rick’s Cap Trafalgar which placed damage on her and reveals her.

     Bill passed and drew an action card.

     I laid down two cards. I played a British “Intercept” against Rick’s Cap Trafalgar and sank her. I decided to play “Scuttle” on the Prinz to keep her from scoring points for the opposition. She was removed from the board with no Victory Award made. It was definitely fortunate that I was able to get back the Nürnberg.

     Rick passed and drew an action card.

     VA Scores: Phil: 33, Bill: 25, Me: 25, Rick: 9

Turn 7

     Phil laid down one card. He attempted to “Intercept” Bill’s Brecknockshire with his Raider Möwe, but Bill played the “AMC: HMS Alcantara” card in response. The ships sank each other.

     Bill laid down one card. He played “Intercept” with his Raider Grief and damaged my Merchantman Hudson Maru.

     I passed and drew an action card because all my action cards were defensive and I do not want to use them as “Intercept.”

     Rick passed again and drew an action card.

     VA Scores:  Phil: 53, Bill: 25, Me: 25, Rick: 9

StrikeNet Games

    


     In the end, despite the presence of at least five former finalists, the Final was crewed by four new to the tournament, including 13-year-old RJ Gleaton, who had advanced into the semis as first alternate. As is tradition, the Final
was a full three-round game, assigning round points at the end of each deck. The first play of the game was a card draw by RJ, after which the other players decided to go for early points. Ben Collinson, Sr., drew first blood, and both Fair Seas cards were played in the first turn. James Kramer invested heavily in German ships, only to have four of his raiders hampered by a
Rendezvous Missed. Still, James managed to take the round, followed by Ben, Mike Horn and RJ. James chose to sacrifice two cards on the first deal of Round 2 to keep his two best raiders, the Wolf and the Berlin. None of the others kept more than one. RJ experienced the highs and lows of the game in this round, opening by sinking three merchantmen with mines but then having his warship, the Karlsruhe, damaged by each of his opponents before it finally went down. RJ kept the lead, for the round, followed by James. The second round ended with James leading with seven round points, followed by RJ and Ben at five, and Mike with four.

     Again, James sacrificed two cards to keep the Wolf and Berlin in the third round. This time, though, the strategy may have hurt him as he struggled to get points while the other three players actively avoided giving him extra chances to score. Mike, who'd been at the bottom, came out gunning and sank two German ships and an AMC to reach 74 points before anyone else had more than 15, and the chase began. RJ finally managed to intercept and sink the Wolf, and then, after Ben damaged Mike's Nurnberg, James missed the shot and RJ sank it to become a serious threat. The round ended with Mike in the lead, followed by RJ, Ben, and then James in a very distant fourth having managed to sink only one merchantman the entire round. The game ended in a three-way tie for first with RJ taking the victory on the most-victory-awards tie-breaker. Ben was the hard luck fourth, ending just one round point below the others.

Play Games. Have Fun.

The Kaiser's Pirates WBC 2013 After Action Report

By Tim Rogers 

Sinking Ships during the Great War ... The Future Belongs to the Young ... or is that the Present?

     Only one thing was certain heading into the 2013 tournament: we would have a new champion. Jim Day, the game's designer and defending champion, found himself unable to attend WBC this year, leaving the field wide open.

     Except for Jim's absence, it was a good year for the tournament. We had more people playing more games more often, we saw a good number of new faces, and we had a full house for elimination rounds. Overall, the revised tournament format, which limited semifinalists to 16 and seeded them first by wins and then by overall points through three rounds seemed to work. Still, data I've collected over the past two years suggest that the increased

competition at a 4-player table doesn't fully compensate for the increased availability of points at that same table, so next year's seeding will include some sort of point-leveling between 3- and 4-player games. This GM greatly

appreciated both the eagerness of the new players and the patience of more experienced competitors.

     KPR is a game of good card play and lucky dice where even the best plan can come to naught. We saw this in the first heat, for example, when Matt Baccho, the only KPR Centurion, successfully hid the damaged Nurnberg in an Island Refuge and then failed his repair rolls for the next four turns, leaving that ship unavailable to hunt merchantmen (and score points!).

     Competition was fierce throughout the heats, and we ended with 14 individual winners and a couple additional doughty players qualifying for the semis. There, caution (and the desire not to set the table for the next player) seemed the order of the day -- three of the four semifinals were amongst the
lowest scoring games of the tournament, despite at least one player at most tables running out of German ships -- a situation that, admittedly, limits your score but tends to increase someone elses by quite a bit.

    



Turn 8

     Phil passed and drew an action card.

     Bill laid one card down. A played a night “Intercept” by his Raider Grief. I played “Trap” which means the Merchant ship has guns. I damaged his Grief, but he sank my Hudson Maru. The Raider Möwe now counted for his Victory Awards. I drew the City of     Winchester (7) as the replacement.

     I laid down one card. I played “Second Chance”, which I had luckily drawn again. I drew my activation card and played again. I still had only good defensive cards, so I passed and drew another action card.

     Rick passed and drew one action card.

     VA Scores: Phil: 53, Bill 48, Me: 25, Rick: 9

Turn 9

     Phil passed and drew an action card.

     Bill laid down one card. He played “Damage Control” which removed the damage on the Raider Grief.

     I laid down 2 cards. I played “Intercept” from the Warship Nürnberg combined with a “Shipping Lanes” card which allows me to attack 3 of Rick’s Merchantmen. I sank the Highland Brae, but I managed to miss Kaipara and the Banksfield. Rick drew the William P. Frye (5) as a replacement.
     Rick passed and drew an action card.

     VA Scores: Phil: 53, Bill: 48, Me: 48, Rick: 9

Turn 10

     Phil laid 3 cards down. He played the “Intercept” card from the Raider Wolf combined with “Good Hunting” on two of Rick’s Merchantmen. Phil then played the “Surprise Attack” card which provides a +2 DRM (Die Roll Modifier) and sank the Banksfield. Rick played the “Non Combatant” defensive card against the second “Intercept” on the Kaipara which caused Phil to miss. Rick drew the Lundy Island (5) as a replacement.

     Bill laid down one card. He played the “Intercept” card from the Leopard on my Merchantman City of Winchester, but I played the defensive card “Slim Pickings” which cancels the “Intercept”.

     I laid down one card. I unsuccessfully played the “Interned” card against Rick’s Warship Emden.

     Rick passed and drew an action card.

     VA Scores: Phil: 58, Bill: 48, Me: 48, Rick: 9

Turn 11

     Phil laid down one card. He played “Fog Bank” on Bill which caused him to lose his next turn.

     Bill missed this turn. The “Fog Bank” card was placed in discard pile. Phil was positioned in the right place to play this card. If I had played it Bill would have been immune to any attack that Phil might have wanted to play against him.

     I passed and drew an action card.

     Rick laid down 2 cards. He first played a “Rendezvous Missed” card on me which caused my Nürnberg to become low on supplies. Next he successfully played the “Intercept” card on my Merchantman City of Winchester and sank it with his Warship Emden. I drew the French Prince (5) as a replacement.

     VA Scores: Phil: 58, Bill: 48, Me: 48, Rick: 16

Turn 12

     Phil passed and drew an action card.

     Bill laid down one card. He played an unsuccessful British “Intercept” against the Nürnberg.

     I laid down 2 cards. I played a successful British “Intercept” in combination with “Surprise Attack” which damaged Bill’s Warship Dresden.

     Rick laid down one card. He played a successful British “Intercept” which sank my Warship Nürnberg.

     VA Scores: Phil: 58, Bill: 48, Me: 48, Rick: 37

Turn 13

     Phil laid down one card. He played a British “Intercept” on Bill’s Warship Dresden which damaged it a second time.

     Bill laid down one card. He played an “Intercept” card from his raider Grief on my Merchantman Dramatist and sank her. I drew the Guadeloupe (7) as a replacement.

     I laid down one card. I played an “Intercept” card form my Raider     Seeadler (a sailing ship Raider!!) and sank Rick’s Kiapara. He drew the Floride (7) as a replacement.

     Rick plaid one card. He played an “Intercept” card from his Warship Emden on my newest Merchantman Guadeloupe and sank it. I drew the Demeterton (7) as a replacement.

     VA Scores: Phil: 58, Bill: 55, Me: 48, Rick: 44

Turn 14

     Phil laid down 1 card. He unsuccessfully played the “Intercept” card from the British Fleet on Bill’s Warship Dresden.

     Bill laid down one card. He played the submarine "UC29” card which laid mines on Phil’s Merchantmen and sank the Appam and Saxon Prince. Phil drew the Størebror (3) and Charles Gounod (3) as replacements.

     I laid down one card. I played a night British “Intercept” card on Bill’s Warship Dresden which sank it.

     Rick laid down one card. He played a night British “Intercept” on Phil’s Warship Königsberg and sank it. It seemed as if these British became sharpshooters at the end of the game.

     VA Scores: Phil: 58, Bill: 67, Me: 76, Rick: 65

     There was still one card to be drawn from the deck because Bill had missed his turn due to the Fog Bank Card in Turn 11. So Phil got one more turn before the game ended.

     Phil laid two cards down. He first unsuccessfully played a British “Intercept” card on Rick’s Warship Emden. Next his Raider Wolf successfully played an “Intercept” card on Bill’s merchantman Brecknockshire and sank it. Phil drew the final action card which immediately ended the hand.

     These are the final Victory Award Scores: Phil: 67, Bill: 67, Me: 76, Rick: 65  

      For the purposes of the Full game: I received 4 Round Points (RP’s), Bill and Phil both received 3 RP’s (since they each had 67 points) and Rick received 1 RP. Team standings: Phil & I received 7 RP’s while Bill & Rick received 4 RP’s.

     My note taking for this AAR slowed the game down and Rick & Bill wanted to finish the full game before they had to go home, so I only have a short synopsis of the remaining two Rounds.

Round 2

     In this Round, I could not roll well at all when I played the “Intercept” card on Merchantmen and did not sink a single one. I was able to sink 5 Warships/
Raiders, but since I had no Merchantman to pair with them with they did not
count for any points. I ended Round 2 with 0 Round Points. Rick came out on top in this Round with Phil in second and Bill in third. Now the Full Game was:
Rick: 4 RP’s, Phil: 3 RP’s, Bill: 2 RP’s and Me: 0 RP’s. 

     Team standings after two Rounds: Phil & I had 10 RP’s while Bill & Rick had 9 RP’s. We still were in the lead, but just barely.

Round 3

     The final Round was filled with lots of sunken ships, both Warship/Raiders and Merchantmen. Bill came out on top with 122 Ship Victory Awards. I came in second with 93 Ship Victory Awards. Rick was in third with 82 ship Victory Awards and Phil came in last with 76 Victory Awards. For this Round Bill received 4 RP’s, I received 3 RP’s, Rick received 2 RP’s and Phil received 1 RP.

     The Final Team standings were Bill and Rick had 15 RP’s while Phil and I had 14 RP’s. This was a come from behind victory for Bill and Rick! 

     We all had a great time playing the Team Game and everyone is looking forward to the next time we can do this. The Team Game lets the players concentrate on targeting the opposing team’s lead player and adds a nice dynamic to the play.

     If you haven’t tried the Team Game I highly recommend
convincing the rest of the gamers you play with to give The Kaiser’s Pirates team play a try.