A grand mistake has been made... an embarrassing error that threatens the integrity of the tournament....
The first of two semifinal matchups began, with Hai Peng Fort Frenzy (HPFF) facing the Doldrums fleet. As usual, the Doldrums fleet was cruising along, indeed on their path to an easy 17-2 victory for a nearly unprecedented 5-0 record. Early in the game the Hai Peng returned home to avoid being hit by Becalmed and then the Eagle, who would be Hidden Cove'd to the center island and then given a sac action to move and shoot twice. The Banshee's Cry then moved into a fog bank, which prompted Xerecs to wonder if the fog would make the BC immune to Becalmed. I figured as much since I thought that lines of sight/ability/etc were blocked by fog. The game continued, and here you can see the Eagle in the southwest after sinking the HP, essentially ending the game in favor of the Doldrums.
To confirm my thoughts about Becalmed I went to the Pirate Code, and funny enough I went to the section on Becalmed instead of the section on fog banks (where the answer to the question actually is). It was then and there that I saw it:
-Only one “beginning of turn” event token may be revealed during your turn.
Neither of us knew about this ruling, and it changed EVERYTHING. I immediately looked back at the battle reports concerning the Doldrums fleet, and sure enough, the fleet had used both Becalmed and Hidden Cove on their first turn in possibly every game.
Suddenly the Doldrums' 5-0 record was in doubt. Not only that, but their position in the tournament. One more win would put them into the final round, where a series victory would give them the title of "best fleet of all time". It became very apparent that controversy and scandal would win the night, but with T2 being a somewhat serious affair (we have to get it right), we were determined to fix what we could.
I have decided not to go back and edit any previous reports, since it could be confusing and disrupts the story of the tournament. A new picture of the updated bracket follows at the end of this report.
After a discussion, Xerecs and I narrowly decided to replay both series that the Doldrums fleet was involved in. This would be the most fair, and the Doldrums fleet would need to prove itself using the better rules. After all, it felt like Becalmed had gotten them to the semifinals almost by itself, and it was the only fleet in the tournament using the event. (the latter of which was very lucky - since no other fleet in the tournament uses both Becalmed and Hidden Cove, there wouldn't be any other matchups to replay)
With that, we were suddenly back in Round 1!
American Pirates (#6 seed) (commanded by a7xfanben)
The Doldrums (#11 seed) (commanded by xerecs)
We used the same home islands as in Game 1 of the original series. The Amity used Hidden Cove to load up from the center island.
The Doldrums used their own Hidden Cove to dismast the Amity with the Eagle and take two masts off the Roanoke.
However, on the next turn the Roanoke sank the Eagle! It became clear that playing Becalmed and Hidden Cove on the first turn had been giving the Doldrums fleet quite an unfair advantage.
The Roanoke sank the Bloody Jewel, while the Amity and Bandido eventually returned with gold for the AP's.
The Roanoke was then set upon by the Longshanks (LS) and BC of the Doldrums fleet, until she was dismasted and captured! The Amity repaired two of her three masts before setting out for the final coin on the southwestern island. The Bandido followed her into a fog bank, while the remaining Doldrums fleet looked to intercept. The BC was rammed out of the game, while the Roanoke repaired. Eventually the Bandido rammed the final mast off the LS and captured her, towing the ship to block the Roanoke from attacking the Amity. The Amity returned the coin home and the American Pirates had dealt the Doldrums fleet their first loss! The final score was 17-15 after finding out that Raft had no effect on the Hag of Tortuga; she became 1 gold for the AP's when the Eagle sank.
The setup for Game 2:
This time the "Hidden Cove chess game" resulted in the Roanoke besting the Eagle once again.
Now the Roanoke can effectively terrorize the Doldrums gold runners, while the Amity and Bandido both dock in the west.
The BC was dismasted and captured, while the Amity and Bandido returned home with gold.
The Bloody Jewel ducked into fog with gold aboard, while the LS was targeted by the Roanoke. The AP fleet has formed a temporary chain of ships to block the Bloody Jewel if she comes out of the fog.
Some late-game antics made the game closer than it looks. (capturing the BC was a mistake) However, in the end the AP fleet won 9-8!
The American Pirates move on to Round 2! The Doldrums fleet has been retroactively eliminated! In stunning fashion, the Doldrums fleet falls as far as you could possibly imagine, from 5-0 and one win away from the finals to 0-2 and out of the tournament. 0_0
Now we had a brand-new Round 2 matchup, and HPFF would have to wait to see who their new opponent in the semifinals would be.
Quick wins the game (#14 seed) (commanded by xerecs)
American Pirates (#6 seed) (commanded by a7xfanben)
Quick rolled to go first, and both fleets used Hidden Cove on their first turns, with the Roanoke dismasting but unable to sink the Courageux.
The Roanoke captured the Courageux, which later turned out to be a mistake.
The Amity and Bandido hide in the fog, while the Vengeance blockades the AP home island. The Roanoke uses the opportunity to drop the Courageux and sink the Pique.
Here I made another mistake (one of many this session) and pulled the gold runners out of the fog too early. The Vengeance turned around and dismasted both of them in one action! Now the AP's would have to win with just the Roanoke.
The Vengeance sank the Amity and Bandido, eliminating 11 gold from the game. This left 19 in play, of which the Roanoke deposited 4 from the center island soon afterwards. She then headed northwest for 4 more, while the Vengeance recaptured the Courageux. In a nice move the Vengeance towed the Courageux to dock her at the center island, loading up gold.
With no helmsman, the Vengeance could only tow the Courageux at S speed, allowing the Roanoke to get in range of the Courageux while being out of Lenoir's cancelling range. The Courageux was sunk, and the Roanoke won a brief battle of the gunships to end the game. The AP's win 8-4!
Here is the updated bracket, with Eventgate over. The AP's went from being eliminated to being one win away from a trip to the semifinals (if they get there, they would face HPFF, which would be an extremely highly anticipated rematch for the ages). At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Doldrums fleet proved to be a lot of hype for nothing. This also gives the Quick fleet new life, though now they have to win 2 in a row to advance.