Yesterday I featured a post in the Facebook group the game I played on May 17th 2015, and Xerecs made a comment about how fast the time had flown by since I originally posted the report. It got me thinking a little bit today, since this time of year features some other “anniversary” things as well. I’ve been looking through the Pictures megafolder on my computer each day and searching by “datecreated: 5/18/20XX” for example, typing in the different years from 2011-2017 to see if any anniversary dates came up for pictures taken. At this time last year, I was finishing up college and printing a huge volume of Pirates CSG documents, some of which I mailed to other members who wanted the Master Keyword List and others in physical form. I was also finishing up my Basic Rules, which I’ll be putting on this site soon. Even a year later it’s almost nostalgic, but I suppose that’s just due to it being my final week at college.
Three years ago this month I was in a 2 week planning phase for Economy Edition, which in June 2015 became (at the time) the largest recorded game in Pirates CSG history. If you follow along this blog for a while, you’ll definitely be hearing more about EE as I call it. As I outline in my Guide to huge games thread, planning is a very essential step in the process of playing a campaign game. If you’re not prepared, game time will be wasted figuring things out. It’s inevitable that things will crop up during a campaign (mostly organizational and rules related), but it’s best to be fully prepared going into it.
I didn’t do much on the site yesterday, but I have youtube videos planned for upload this weekend and should be able to add something today.
Pirates CSG Card of the Day
Set number: 1 – Spanish Main
Collector’s Number: 015 – El Ballista
Faction Affiliation: Pirate
Point Value: 9
Cargo Space: 2
Base Move: S+L
Number of Masts: 4
On the turn this ship is pinned, eliminate one crew from the enemy ship.
Flavor: Under Spain’s control, the El Ballista was considered unbeatable, but Jack Hawkins won her without firing a shot. He wanted to name her the Sea Nymph in honor of his female accomplices, but his crew decided to keep the name and lose Hawkins instead.
Wow, another interesting ship! The Ballista is an extreme ship from the very first set, a set in which most of the 4 masters had good if not great or absurd cargo hold sizes (Darkhawk II and Joya del Sol at EIGHT! O_O). This is the original suicide attack ship. You can make a good case that the Maryland and others did it better in later sets, but the Ballista pioneered the strategy of sailing straight towards your enemy, ramming, and just letting all hell loose. XD
The speed and ability are the only true strengths here, but the cannons are usable considering the low price. In fact, the Ballista is in very select company, as one of only four 4 masted ships that costs less than 10 points. Indeed, getting a large ship like this for a single digit cost is a deal by itself, let alone considering her decent attributes. The Ballista cannot realistically be a gold ship, so she’s relegated to the very front lines of warfare. Since she’s cheaper than any other ships her size, not well-armed, and has a “suicidal” ability, the Ballista is one of the most “disposable” warships in the game. You cannot expect her to last long; just hope she causes adequate damage and chaos on the way out. XD
The strategy is essentially to put a captain and helmsman aboard, and then use that S+L+S speed (VERY fast for a 4 master) to slam into an opponent. Between the 2+ cannon shots, the ram, the boarding, and the pinning ability, you’re very likely to knock out some masts and crew. Alternatively, you could run her empty and try to steal gold, but I don’t think that maximizes her effectiveness at all.
Standard 40 point games: At least a helmsman, and probably a captain. (11-14 total points)
Medium size games (50-100 points): Captain/helmsman, possibly oarsman. (14 total points)
Large games (over 100 points): Quite frankly I don’t see much point in putting more crew aboard since it’s a ship that won’t be able to take full advantage anyway. Her cargo and point cap are too low to make use of many named crew, who could die in the boarding parties anyway. Also, once you get pinned, there’s not much you’ll be doing other than shooting the cannons and trying to get unstuck haha. If you have a limited collection, a captain/reroll crew like Griffin could help with boarding and shooting, but he’s often better on a true gunship to reroll SAT or EA.
Game Piece Rating: 6.5/10. This one is tough to rate, since it’s another very niche ship. The Ballista will never be a good gold runner or gunship, but in terms of causing chaos and disruption when she enters a battle, not many ships can deliver like she can for this price.
You can actually see the Ballista on the homepage right now, as the signature picture of the site is a Pirate fleet at the home island. Ironically the Grand Barnacle was in that fleet as well (she was the Card of the Day recently).
Later in that actual game, you can see the Ballista at the right, taking on my opponent’s entire fleet all at once! XD
Picture of the Day
This is a nice picture I took soon after I acquired these vessels. I love how this silky blue fabric I got is shiny like real water. Definitely something I plan to get more into later on (such as acrylic plastic sheeting, possibly). The Dauphin Royal, Neptuno, and Grand Barnacle lead the charge.
It’s a Pirates’ Life for Me.