English Fleet Review
My English fleet at the 2014 Fleet Review.
Looking at a faction’s capabilities
In this post, I will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the English fleet. I will analyze the English faction in a concise but detailed manner. Hopefully you’ll learn enough to decide whether you’d like to play the English fleet in games!
Since the time I got into Pirates CSG, the English have been my favorite faction. This is partly due to the large amount of reading I’ve done in regards to the Age of Sail time period. Throughout the Age of Sail, the Royal Navy was a force to be reckoned with, and by the end of the era, Great Britain was easily the most powerful nation on Earth!
Theme – Time to FIGHT!
English cannons win the day against the Spanish!
The English are a brawler. By that I mean that they like to fight, and fight often. I’m glad that Wizkids made the English faction this way, because it’s very accurate to how the Royal Navy performed in real life. By concentrating on combat, an English player can dominate the waves.
The English are known for their gunnery excellence. They have a lot of ships with accurate cannons, both short and long range. Many of their best gunships are also some of the best gunships in the game! Therefore, when constructing an English fleet, you’ll want to include at LEAST one gunship, regardless of the build total. In games with at least 60 points, you’ll probably want 2 or more English warships to wreak havoc on the seas. The linked Rankings pages give you a good idea of the best ships to choose from.
Loaded at the top
Good luck beating a loaded HMS Endeavour!
As mentioned above, the English have an incredible group of gunships that can compete with the best from any other faction. Starting with HMS Titan all the way back in the original set of Spanish Main, the English have had incredibly powerful options from Day 1 in Pirates CSG. This continued from set to set – HMS London in Crimson Coast, HMS Swallow and HMS Oxford in Revolution, HMS Durham in Barbary Coast, not to mention MANY more. Throw in HMS Endeavour, one of the best gunships EVER, and you’ve got a fierce faction ready to go to war!
Augmenting the abundance of firepower are some of the best crew in the game. The English boast numerous extra action givers, from the regular EA (Extra Action) and SAT (Same Action Twice) abilities to both SAC (sacrifice) and AA (Admiral’s Action) crew. On top of that are some crew that give cannon bonuses, including world haters Hermione Gold (Mysterious Islands version) and Admiral Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean. This is just the tip of the iceberg as they say, because the English have a LOT of good named crew.
Better at the gold game than you think!
HMS Lady Provost, one of the finest 2 masted schooners.
Although the English are one of the best fighting factions in the game, don’t sleep on their gold running prowess! Not nearly the powerhouse that the Pirates, French, or Spanish are in the gold game, the English can still hold their own when it comes to getting treasure. They have a variety of decent options. Some of those can also be used as hybrids (multipurpose ships) with a captain aboard.
Players often discount the English potential for winning games. This is due to their gold options being lacking compared to the other “Big 4” major factions. However, the English are still better at getting gold than most of the minor factions and the Cursed. The exception there being the Barbary Corsairs.
Conclusion – Do you like the English Fleet?
Of course I’m biased – I love the English! However, they truly are one of the most powerful factions in Pirates. Indeed, they’ve won 5 huge games, more than any other faction as of January 2019. I’d love to hear your favorite stories of the English fleet in Pirates CSG games.
Ready to get started playing the English? You can find them in any set, but you might even get lucky with a faction lot!