But enough text. Lets see the game!
There was no way a non-aerial shot could take in the awesome size of the play surface. This shows two out of three of the "open sea" boards. The Pirate island and Cannibal Island are visible in the background, but my favorite board, Adventure Island, is off the shot to the right.
Our hard-working hosts.
I played on the Dutch team. Here's my ship, the Rood Dijk (yeah, I know...). She was wicked fast, but for the first half of the game, I was under the impression that she was a Millenium Falcon-style fast small freighter. Little did I realize that she was actually a fragile yet lethal warship.
One of the great things about the game was the way that there were plenty of occasions for wild, crazy things to happen at a moment's notice, just short of a sharknado, but I would not be surprised to see such a lethal waterspout in future iterations. So OF COURSE the Kraaken made an appearance. It sank one English vessel and crippled a French warship. That's funny because they're not Dutch.
Here is my first engagement. War with the English broke out just as I had finished trading with two merchant vessels at sea. They opened fire on me, and I found to my amazement that my return volley almost entirely wiped out the crew of one of my attackers as he tried to board me. Go swivel guns! Anyhow, he lacked the personnel to capture me, and my own crew was so small that I could not afford to take a prize. I think the Brits were more scared of me than I was of them, and they agreed to a deal in which they would let me sail off unharmed. So, my first battle ended with an embarrassed clearing of throats and an agreement to pretend the whole thing never happened. Much like the real Anglo-Dutch War.
One of my Dutch brethren sailed away from the fleet, only to be cut off by six English warships!
Here's the English town I helped to capture, which is just as well, since our own port fell to the French. And pirates. And I'm pretty sure the cannibals and Kraaken were in charge at one point. But we had Kingston, mon.
Kayla rings the bell to announce the last turn...
...which is just enough time for the Ghost ship to ram a Spanish vessel that the English had captured. Good times.