Shutting it Down with American Guns
Originally published to Miniature Trading on November 30th, 2018
This is my entry into brettb45’s Crew Targeting Fleet Challenge.
Given how difficult it is to make a very small fleet (just 40 points) that can effectively and efficiently shut down enemy crew, it was hard NOT to look at the best options for a faction right from the start. I considered a Spanish killing fleet, but decided against it because it would be rather fragile and I’ve already used the combo I was thinking about. Capturing is fun but the low build total would likely limit that strategy to one ship, or two lackluster ones. I like Switchblades for this sort of idea, but then I’d only have one ship. (and some of my favorite Switchblade combos are more than 40 points)
My thoughts shifted to the Americans and the amazing USS Kettering. With built-in cancelling and plenty of firepower, she would be good right from the get-go. Add in some flair, and a very capable gunship emerges. Perry allows me to exceed the regular build limit with generic crew for the second ship, while Mays links (all American ships) to give the ship 4 cargo spaces, allowing himself to come aboard. A helmsman would be nice, but I really wanted another crew targeting ability, hence the Stinkpot Shot. Mays’ SAT gives the fleet the element of explosive attack power and additional speed, not to mention the nice Crew Protect ability. I didn’t really want to use that ability in this challenge since it’s kinda gamey and a fun-ruiner, but my original build came to only 38 points before adding Perry, so between Mays linking and his awesome SAT ability, there weren’t many other options (since most of the other high priced American crew don’t link to all of their ships, and I had already maxed out both cargo holds). All told, the Kettering will move up to S+L+S+L with 12 3L shots, one of which could shut down an entire ship’s complement of crew if it hits, with guaranteed cancelling even if the stinkpot shot backfires.
The second ship was relatively easy after I did a search for American ships that move S+L. USS Hudson has long been a favorite of mine and other players, for good reasons. She is not all that different from the Kettering – rank-3 cannons, S+L speed, and great bang for your buck. The handy crew killing ability built into the Hudson was the clincher. She’s got the standard captain and helmsman to make her rather quick, and of course some stinky stuff to blast enemies with as well. Her ideal first attack would be using her speed to get the first strike, and then using stinkpot shot right away to disable the enemy ship’s crew AND kill one of them with a single shot.
Edit (12/10/2018 ): Added the Frontier with 3 points of crew with the increased build total and announcement of gold in play. Easy option for 20 extra points of great gold running – S+S+S speed on a hoist with 7 cargo open.
Either ship’s first strike could be so devastating that an enemy could have a difficult time recovering. Overall I think the speed, crew protect/cancelling, and firepower (essentially 10 cannons total) could make up for any 1 rolls on stinkpot shots.
Thank you for checking out my fleet. Feel free to comment below and vote on a scale of 1-5.
|Section: Ship #1 (5 miniatures)|
|1||x||Captain Montana Mays||PatOE||096||Crew||R|
|1||x||Commodore Matthew Perry||PofSCS||096||Crew||R|
|Section: Ship #2 (4 miniatures)|
|Section: Ship #3 (3 miniatures)|