Draft Challenge: Old School

Draft Challenge: Old School

Originally published to Miniature Trading on November 2nd, 2013

This is my entry for Woelf’s Draft Fleet Challenge.

I drafted a fleet with two core ships in mind: a very good gunship and a very good treasure runner. Most of my original collection from back in the day was from the first three sets, which are still my favourites. Plus, I felt it was appropriate for such a classic supership like the Titan to go in the first round (even more appropriate if the Banshee’s Cry was the first overall pick).

HMS Titan is one of the most famous ships in the game, and here she will serve as the flagship of yet another fleet. She is equipped with a captain and helmsman to turn her into a lethal beast. In addition, I used the extra few points I had at the end of the draft to add Stinkpot Shot, which is one of the more underrated pieces in Pirates. It only costs one point and gives you the opportunity to cancel the entire complement of an opposing ship, rather than just one ability like a standard 5 point canceller. Even if you miss, you still have 4 rank-2 cannons left with which to pulverize the enemy! The oarsman is insurance for Bratley, or potential sac fodder (for either ship  ). Bratley brings a certain pirate aboard my second ship.  I wanted to get a reroller for the extra action, but the points weren’t convenient to spend (and the Limit keyword stopped me from getting another 0LR).

The second ship is another classic, the Neptune’s Hoard. Between her good base move, 5 cargo spaces, treasure-runner-friendly ability and above-average durability, she was one of the best treasure runners available in the draft. When you add a helmsman and explorer, she gets even better. Add the legendary sac Captain Blackheart and an oarsman, and you’ve got a monster.

Saccing the oarsman on the first turn, she’ll zoom S+L+S+S+L+S out to an island. From there she can take some coins home, possibly saccing the explorer to move twice once again. After this, she could either go out for another treasure run, harass enemy runners, or assist the Titan. As noted previously, the extra oarsman on the Titan could come in handy as extra sac fodder.

Ramsgate was a late-round pick that will be built for strategic purposes if the opportunity presents itself.

So there you have it: a two-ship fleet that packs a solid punch in both facets of the game. The usual weaknesses are there: too much invested in too little ships, only one treasure runner, susceptibility to cancellers, etc. However, this fleet still has enough to give most 40 point fleets a run for their money!

This fleet is interesting and a bit unique in that it (to a degree) combines the two most popular “old school” tactics: trying to give as many actions as possible to one ship (before that was illegal) and Norvegia (saccing for extreme speed and building forts to win without bringing gold home, also illegal). Although these strategies are obsolete in today’s game, their methods of complete domination are still applicable and can be quite effective.

Here’s the order in which my picks went, if you’re wondering. I made sure to get the ships I wanted first, and I knew that I would have a good shot at getting a 0LR +5 crew and a pirate sac captain, whichever ones were still available. From there it was smooth sailing with the necessary generic crew and filler points.
-HMS Titan (SM-041)
-Neptune’s Hoard (Rev-002)
-Administrator Scott Bratley (CC-046A)
-Captain Blackheart (SM/PC-002)
=Captain[English] (SMU-103)
=Helmsman[English] (SMU-110)
=Helmsman[Pirate] (SMU-108 )
=Explorer[Pirate] (SMU-116)
-Stinkpot Shot (F&S-108 )
=Oarsman[English] (SM EC-OA)
=Oarsman[Pirate] (SM PC-OA)
-Ramsgate (RV-038 ) [fort]
-Lawrence (BC 056) [not used]

Thanks to Woelf for running the Draft Challenge, thanks to all the participants, and thank you for reading and voting!

Section: Ship #1 (6 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Administrator Scott Bratley PofCC 046B Crew C
1 x Captain PofSM EC-CA Crew U
1 x HMS Titan PofSMU 041 Ship R
1 x Helmsman PofSM EC-HM Crew C
1 x Oarsman PofSM EC-OA Crew C
1 x Stinkpot Shot F&S 108 Equipment U
Section: Ship #2 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain Blackheart PofSM PC-002 Crew R
1 x Explorer PofSM PC-EX Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofSM PC-HM Crew U
1 x Neptune’s Hoard PofR 002 Ship U
1 x Oarsman PofSM PC-OR Crew C
Section: Forts (1 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Ramsgate PofR 038 Fort C

 

Draft Challenge - Old School

Fleet page at Miniature Trading

Pirate Empire – Captain Mysion’s Grand Fleet

Pirate Empire

Captain Mysion - RotF Super Rare version

Captain Mysion – RotF Super Rare version

Originally published to Miniature Trading on September 9th, 2013

“A group of shipwrecked pirates stole a ship to escape their island prison, not realizing it was a secret Cursed vessel. Taking it to Captain Mysion’s pirate “kingdom”, they received a hero’s welcome.”

“The self-proclaimed King of Pirates is either a genius or a buffoon, depending on which side you are on. Though many of his actions are inexplicable, they seem to work out for him in the end. And when it’s all said and done he lords over the only defensive pirate haven in the world.”

Captain Mysion – An Epic Pirate

Ever since I read the flavour text for Captain Mysion’s ROTF release, I’ve been intrigued by him as a character in our favourite CSG. Characters like Fantasma, Jack Hawkins, Calico Cat, Blackheart, Barbossa, and Captain Jack Sparrow have ruled over the seas as Pirate lords and appeared numerous times throughout the expansions. However, none of their exploits are quite as grand as those of Mysion. Not even “Emperor” Blackheart can claim to have an entire kingdom, or “defensive haven”. Mysion doesn’t even make an appearance until later in the series, first appearing in MI, yet he obviously had some kind of back story before the events of this set. We don’t know how he built his pirate kingdom, but we do know that he had substantial power up until his last appearance in F&S.

This Pirate Empire fleet is loosely based on Mysion’s given flavour text (I don’t have access to the flavour text of his MI version, but I recall it being similarly arrogant and anti-mercenary). This is my attempt at re-creating his kingdom, his defensive haven for all things Pirate. I would have made this fleet bigger, but between the fact that most people aren’t willing to comment and vote on fleets over 100 points and the fact that the Pirates can fit tons of stuff into a build with any point limit, I kept it to 100. There are treasure runners, gunships, and hybrids. It showcases the best of the best that the Pirates have, and why they are regarded as the best faction. I imagine that if a player used this fleet as designed, they would be able to create their own “pirate empire”.

The Ships and Crew

The Revenant is the flagship of Mission’s Pirate Empire fleet, especially since the “self-proclaimed King of Pirates” is aboard. She will sail through the carnage inflicting massive damage upon the enemy while using Parley to remain relatively unharmed. The helmsman gives her respectable speed while the oarsman gives her a crew defence.*

The Darkhawk II will be a hybrid ship, ready to run gold or fight (or both) at a moment’s notice. She still has 5 spaces for treasure (or 4 considering the ability, still enough to empty an island). She also moves at L+S, and has good enough cannons to take out any opposing treasure runners heading for her islands. Jack Hawkins makes her more effective in a fight to the death for essentially just one extra point.

The third ship, the Neptune’s Hoard, is another classic pirate ship, harking back to the days of old Norvegia. She’ll zip out at S+L+S+S+L+S on the first turn and return back almost as quickly, possibly trading away any bad treasures she finds. She could keep them just for Parley, especially if the opposing fleet(s) look gun-heavy.

The Eagle was actually the last ship picked for this fleet. For just 14 points, you get a four master with good guns moving L+S with 3 cargo spaces left over. Not a bad deal at all, she’s one of the more underrated ships the pirates have.

The last three ships are the bread and butter treasure runners (does that rhyme?) that make this fleet lethal, if not very predictably. I don’t think there’s any further explanation needed.

For the most part, I don’t like using events, and I wanted this fleet to be a bit more realistic, as if there really was a pirate kingdom back in the 17th or early 18th century.

This is the fleet as it stands now. I may change it. I definitely need to playtest it at some point. Probably the biggest weaknesses would be a lack of speed (no extra actions) in the gunships and a vulnerability to a simple canceller on an enemy gunship. Also, since the “pirate kingdom” is described as a defensive haven, there would probably be more gunships, maybe even big slow ones to guard the harbour. Can woelf or anyone else familiar with the flavour text from Wizkids elaborate on the text?

The only issue with adding more would be that either the points would exceed 100, or the treasure runners would have to be cut out, giving it a strictly deathmatch approach. What do you guys think I should do with it?

*What are people’s thoughts on describing generic crew and their functions on a ship in a fleet? I usually give a description of the entire complement of crew on each ship, at least mentioning the less important ones. Most readers will know that L speed isn’t good enough, and that the oarsman is just there to protect against crew-killers. Just wondering if I should still include this much detail in my fleet descriptions.

Thanks for reading; comment and vote!  If you want to see a much more massive Pirate Empire in a real game, check out this record-breaking fleet from my Command the Oceans game:

Section: Ship #1 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain Mysion RotF 089 Crew SR
1 x Helmsman PofSM PC-HM Crew U
1 x Oarsman PofSM PC-OR Crew C
1 x Revenant PofSMU 001 Ship R
Section: Ship #2 (4 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain Jack Hawkins PofSMU 032 Crew C
1 x Darkhawk II PofSMU 011 Ship U
1 x Explorer PofSM PC-EX Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofSM PC-HM Crew U
Section: Ship #3 (5 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x “Don” Pedro Gilbert PofR 016 Crew R
1 x Explorer PofSM PC-EX Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofSM PC-HM Crew U
1 x Neptune’s Hoard PofR 002 Ship U
1 x Oarsman PofSM PC-OR Crew C
Section: Ship #4 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Captain PofSM PC-CA Crew U
1 x Eagle PofCC 004 Ship U
1 x Helmsman PofSM PC-HM Crew U
Section: Ship #5 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Banshee’s Cry PofR 013 Ship R
1 x Explorer PofSM PC-EX Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofSM PC-HM Crew U
Section: Ship #6 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Bloody Jewel PofR 008 Ship C
1 x Explorer PofSM PC-EX Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofSM PC-HM Crew U
Section: Ship #7 (3 miniatures)
Miniature Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Bonnie Liz PofCC 015 Ship C
1 x Explorer PofSM PC-EX Crew C
1 x Helmsman PofSM PC-HM Crew U

 

Pirate Empire Fleet

Fleet page at Miniature Trading