We had nine now, and we took the opportunity to split up into two smaller groups for games, Dave picked up the copy of Pirate's Cove, and took it to the dining room, where he was joined initially by Helen, Lynnette and Jeff.
The game had one false start, as Jon and Carrie joined us just as we started. There was only one open seat at this table (and none at the other), so Jon sat in as the infamous Purple Pirate, and Carrie helped out with notetaking until a seat opened up at the other table.
The first three rounds involved conflict, and all three conflicts involved Helen. She won two of the three battles, and started to seriously improve her ship. Jeff and Lynnette battled in round 4. Jeff's crew boarded and grappled with Lynnette's, rendering their cannons worthless. Apparently Lynette's crew wasn't up to the challenge, because she was only able to inflict one point of damage on Jeff's ship as she lost four points of sails, enough to cripple her and send her packing. The Royal Navy was tipped off to Jeff's presence in round 5, and Jeff had to flee to avoid taking too much damage. He fled again in round 6, avoiding Helen's withering attack. At the halfway point scores Helen had a lead with 16 points, with the rest of us at either 11 or 9 (two at each score).
In the second half the Royal Navy made a second appearance, this time battling with Helen in round 9. With her halftime lead, she had become the agreed-upon leader, and took a bit of a beating. Jon engaged Helen in battle in round 10, and by virtue of a huge second volley (rolls of 6,6,6,6), wiped out Helen's crew, including the crew parrot, which seriously damaged her chance of winning. Meanwhile Jeff was building his crew, and plundering islands that offered victory points specifically, creeping towards the lead. In round 11 there was lots of burying treasure at Treasure Island, in order to avoid the legendary pirates(LP), Ann Bonny and Mary Read. That set up the final round.
The final round saw two islands that offered fame points, Tavern Island and Hull Island. The legendary pirates were at Treasure Island, of course. Jeff and Dave decided to attack Ann and Mary at Treasure Island, because they both had treasure to bury. The others somehow all decided to go to Tavern Island, leaving the two fame points at Hull Island behind.
Jon began the battle at Tavern Island by firing at Helen, but her smoke screen made her much harder to hit. She fired back at Jon. Lynnette immediately fled. But Jon and Helen continued to fight, firing volley after volley, until Jon's hull and Helen's crew were both hanging by a thread. Eventually Jon picked off the last of Helen's crew, forcing her to flee. Over at Treasure Island, the LP started by firing at Jeff, hitting once, but hitting all facets of his ship. He then missed, and Dave, who used his Powder Keg and his Grapeshot Attack in order to try to score a quick kill, nonetheless hit only once, although it did inflict double damage on the LP due to the Powder Keg. The next round of volleys had all three pirates missing their targets. In round 3, Jeff took another hit from the LP, but inflicted one point of damage on the LP. Dave followed up with one last hit, sinking the LP! For this they each earned three fame points, as well as the right to bury the treasure on their ships.
The scores at the end of the last round had Jeff and Dave tied for the lead, at 29 points. The reveal of the fame points collected at the tavern would decide the match. Jeff had collected 4 points, but Dave had managed to collect 5, giving him 34 total fame points and the win.