Another part of the Q&A series here at Pirates with Ben. This was asked in the Facebook group – a question about the best crew to use.
Best Crew to Use
Captains and helmsmen are the most important. I’m not the biggest fan of explorers but they can be quite good as well. In terms of named crew, anything that gives extra actions is extremely good (SAC/EA/SAT/etc). It does depend on my strategy and the ship though. Empty gold runners can work pretty well, but you’re not going to have an “empty gunship”, so a lot of times the percentage of crew in a fleet is massively biased towards gunships (meaning 75-90% of crew points spent could be assigned to gunships, for example).
C+H necessary to stay competitive
Specifically, if a ship has a base move of S+S or slower, she nearly always needs a helmsman for your fleet to stay competitive (exception is empty gold runner that gets +S with no cargo). Even the recent Savage Shores anniversary game is a good example of this. Gunships always need captains, and almost always need helmsmen too. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you don’t use captains and helmsmen on your gunships, you will not win against competent opponents.
However, a gimmick fleet might go with very little crew or many “abnormal” crew that don’t get pure results, but are VERY fun to use. These fleets often still use captains and helmsmen as a “backbone” of sorts, in addition to the wacky stuff that make them fun and unique. That said, if you’re strictly looking to WIN, you’re better off hammering the basics to ensure optimized fleet building. Personally I get a little bored of winning with the same fleet or strategy all the time, so I like to change it up!