Ranking: Mail-in game pieces

1. Zeus/Blackheart

2. Baochuan/Zheng He
I almost always throw Chang Pao aboard, at which point her cannons become quite formidable at 3S,2S,2L,2L,2L,2L,2L,2S,3S,3S, and considerably better than the Guichuan. The Jades have SAC, multiple versions of SAT (hello Pirate crew), and a mandatory AA crew who is easily improved.

I’m not even sure the Guichuan has her beat as a warship; the Baochuan gets world hater for 5 points less (like a free captain and helmsman for the comparison), and can move better. As a hybrid/runner it’s not even close, with the Baochuan having more cargo and better speed for the same cost.

3. MiaB pack
Wanted to rank all the 10’s at the top but this has got some really good stuff. I like the usage of abandoned crew in general, but they can be very confusing. Slipstream is very versatile and interesting.

4. Guichuan/Headhunter
To me, S speed on a 10 master is a disaster. Even at L+S speed for most of the others, maneuverability is pathetic. S+S is very difficult to even use with a ship that long that swings wildly when turning.

5. Polaris / Serpent’s Fang / Odin’s Revenge 
Similar to an SR pack, and a pretty good one at that. Polaris is often the ideal spot for Sigurd Andersen in big games. (including CG3, where my Americans just hired him yesterday!)

Quantity matters in a ranking like this, and getting 3 solid game pieces (including two that stand out well in their faction) instead of 1 mediocre or bad game piece makes them deserve a reasonably high slot.

6. GF9
Solid ship but nothing remarkable. Love the gallery picture.

7. Obago 

8. USS Denver 

9. Specter 
Don’t know why they didn’t just make it better. 5 cargo with 3L,2L,2L,2L,3L guns would be more worth the cost.

10. Chum Maker 
Just stinks!

11. Sleigh/Whitebeard

Ranking: Super Rare Packs

Here is how I would rank the Super Rare packs from best to worst. This was VERY difficult, and other than the couple stinkers, you could really just arrange this in almost any order. Yeah, now that I think about it, this is just a crapshoot. XD

1. Barbary Coast: Black Lotus , Tiger’s Breath , Zheng Li Kwan , 2 Captains

This one was just pretty darn good overall. Nothing weak, and everything was at least good if not great. The Black Lotus is a cool hybrid, while the Tiger’s Breath is a very good gold runner for the Jades. This version of Kwan wasn’t as good as the rare iteration, but I like the thought of him gaining skills over time. The double captains was a nice touch, giving the pack a whopping 5 total game pieces. I just don’t have any complaints!

2. Caribbean: Black Pearl , Fantasia , Cursed Captain Jack , Kraken Gong 

Maybe the most exciting or diverse pack, which gets it high marks in my book. This version of the BP is easily the worst, but really isn’t too bad of a ship. 4 cargo or nixing Fear to make her 10-12 points would have made her more competitive. The Fantasia is a cool way for Disney to subtly advertise their non-PotC content without it being obvious, since the ship is so rare. Also makes it a collectible piece for people who don’t even care about Pirates. XD CCJ is one of my least favorite crew to play against, as evidenced by VASSAL CG1. He’s extremely powerful and can ruin games more and more the bigger they get. The Kraken Gong went too far, but is a funny gimmick that can really turn a game on its head. A weird example where the crew and UT are far more game-breaking than either of the ships, but that makes it more memorable.

3. Davy Jones’ Curse: Behemoth , Mist Walker , “Screaming” Mimi , The Red Skull 

The first of three all-creature packs, and definitely the best of them. Behemoth is crazy cool and unique. Mist Walker is VERY playable as far as sea creatures go, and it’s awesome to have a monster that can fog hop. Mimi was one of the first L-movers, a very fitting ability for the Cursed to dominate. The Red Skull is the only weak part of this pack, since it’s generally irrelevant.

4. Savage Shores: Maui’s Fishhook , Honu Iki , Lady Kamaile , Necklace of the Sky 

English are my favorite faction, and they got some good stuff in this one. MF is objectively the worst hoist even considering RtSS, but isn’t really a bad ship. Honu Iki gives the English another pure-bred gold runner, something they’ll always appreciate. Kamaile is very tough to use, but I managed to include her in a cool fleet (that could really use more votes and comments!). Necklace of the Sky is little-known but can be devastating when used at the opportune moment. (spoilers) In CG1 I flipped it to teleport an overloaded (meaning 16 total cannons O_O) HMS Dreadnought right into Cursed territory where she was able to basically sink anything she shot at. Laughing

5. Rise of the Fiends: Crusher , Doombox , Captain Mysion , Silver Explorer

I have a bit of bias for this one, since I’ve gotten little obsessed with the flavor text. Mysion is one of the more interesting characters in the game, and seems to change from each version to the next. This is the coolest artwork he got, in addition to a very nice gameplay version. Parley for 1 point is just incredible, and he’s probably one of the most underrated named crew in the game due to lack of usage. I’ll never like Scorpions, but the Crusher is both shiny (lol) and far better than most of the Cursed ones. On the other hand, I’ll always like flotillas, and Doombox is a nice one that outperforms Widowmaker (and is much cooler looking). The Silver Explorer may not seem like much, but the coins from that card have provided some fun for me in campaign games (CG’s), with shiny silver being worth 3 times its printed value.

6. Return to Savage Shores: Fetu, Pararaihe, Lady Roimata, Eye of Maru

To me this one is cool but OP. Honestly the link is just too good… Hoists are kind of OP as-is, so letting one go L+L+S+L+L+S with minimal effort (just 24 points with Madame LaFontaine and a helmsman) was not the best choice. I like the sloop, but I’d actually rather use her as a hybrid due to the ramming problem. I like the UT for sniping.

7. Fire and Steel: Skin Flayer , Silver Coffin , Tabitha McWarren , Soul Mark 

This one is mostly about that big bad ship. The Skin Flayer can be made into a devastating capital ship with the right high-priced Cursed crew aboard. Silver Coffin is inferior to Death’s Anchorfor me, but importantly gives them another platform from which to fire (Cursed will take everything they can get to compete lol). Tabby was really just a clone of Mimi, but those eyes (not shown in that picture) can get you. XD Soul Mark was a cool variation on the Letters of Marque equipment, and shows that Wizkids wasn’t completely lazy when designing one of their worst sets. Smile

8. South China Seas: Monkey’s Paw , Samedi’s Curse , El Fantasma , The Cursed 

A tale of two halves. The Monkey’s Paw and Fantasma are great, giving the Cursed rare options for 5 masted firepower and home island raiding. Fantasma is known for having cool artwork, and this may be my favorite version for that. The MP has the speed and firepower to be a Cursed flagship in just about any game. However, the other half of the pack holds it back quite a lot. Samedi’s Curse isn’t much more than a flotilla tug or expendable explorer in a big game. The UT is sort of cool, but Fear just doesn’t affect gameplay much. Still a very good SR pack for artwork overall.

9. Mysterious Islands: Cadara , Shaihulud , Queen Teresa Pavon , Nemo’s Plans 

I think this one is cool but somewhat average. The creatures and named crew are decent, giving the Mercenaries the odd option of having sea monsters in their fleet. And then of course there’s Nemo’s Plans, which, unlike some of the other SR’s that I feel deserve attention, has certainly been talked about quite a lot.

10. Revolution: Asp , Star of Siam , Wesley , chainshot specialist

I used to like this one more, and I still don’t have it in physical form. However, it feels like a bit of a letdown. At the time it would have been incredible, giving the Pirates an amazing gold runner and foreshadowing a cool and aesthetic new ship type. In hindsight the SoS is the only memorable thing here. The Asp and Wesley just aren’t that great, and the chainshot specialist feels like a wasted opportunity to do a named crew with a generic crew ability (chainshot specialist + helmsman or something, etc).

11. Crimson Coast: Roanoke 

Might catch some flak for this one, but I care about quantity as well as quality with these things. The first SR “pack” was just one ship, although it’s one of my favorite American ships in the game. It started the SR pack trend as well as the “preview” theme that saw action for a bunch of SR packs afterwards. Love the ship, but there’s not enough here to justify ranking it above the other options.

12. Frozen North: Urd , Verdani , Runes of Death 

I can’t get into this one. Urd is somewhat cool but just meh. She could have 2S guns or S+L speed and not be OP. Verdani is too fragile for her abilities to work well, and would almost never see action in standard games. Runes of Death is kinda cool but just nasty. Feels like a weak pack with just 3 pieces, none of which are that great. Don’t know why they couldn’t have just tossed in some Cursed viking freakazoid with some outlandish ability. XD

13. Ocean’s Edge: Brachyura , Squalo , Captain

Almost objectively the worst of the packs, this had nothing new… other than… glitter. Yeah. Confused Wizkids made a big mistake with this one. Making it even worse is that of the cloned pieces, one of them is a near-useless shark, understandably one of the most despised ship types ever. The only saving grace was that SR packs rebounded after this set, and the rest of OE was decent if lackluster.

Ranking: Hoists

1. Frontier

2. Fetu

3. Rocinante
-I don’t think I’ve used this one yet, but to me the combination of a faster base move and Secret Hold make her edge the Buscador despite being 4 points more expensive.

4. Buscador
-A very good ship and the best bang for the buck, but I don’t value that ability very highly. Middling durability and fast gunships will usually make it irrelevant, along with L-range guns at the bow of enemy ships giving chase.

However, I would say that these ships are almost tied. Both can thrive with Capitan Alarico Castro / Duque Marcus Vaccaro /helmsman (and hopefully oarsman), so it just comes down to what you can afford. Buscador is more playable at 40 points (at 19 you could get the San Cristobal with Luis Zuan and helmsman in the same fleet Shocked ), but if you have the 4 points, Rocinante will be a better ship.

5. USS Strongarm
-Can have helmsman and oarsman for the same 20 point cost as the MF, with somewhat comparable armament that will hopefully not be needed.

6. Maui’s Fishhook
-To me, the only hoist that doesn’t work that well in-game. Requires a massive point investment to get good value out of her, making her generally unplayable in 40 point games. With the lower cargo I’d probably rather just get HMS Swallow with Thomas Gunn as a hybrid for 22 points.

I think of the MF as more of a “luxury” option. XD She’s super rare (therefore more expensive irl), shiny (you don’t want to break her), and has the special take treasure ability in addition to Secret Hold and very nice cannons. However, compared to her peers, she’s just not that effective. There are some interesting crew combos you can use, but she’s not one of the better hoists.

I think the Strongarm is pretty good, but she’s overshadowed by the Frontier. In fact I would argue that every hoist other than the MF is an above-average ship in the game; I have used most of them quite effectively in different game sizes.

To me the Fetu is simply broken. Between her and the San Cristobal , it’s clear that Wizkids should have made that ability +S and maybe more expensive too. The Fetu was also a large reason the French (essentially) won Xerecs’ 2016 winter EE game. And the Frontier and Strongarm have been very effective for the Americans in CG3.

I’ve always thought that putting a cargo master on the Frontier is just pointless overkill. I’d rather have the Rattlesnake in the same fleet, or maybe be able to afford a captain and helmsman for another ship (even the Strongarm! XD).

Ranking: Hoists

Original thread on Miniature Trading

Ranking: Bombardiers

1. Conquerant 
2. Bombardier 
3. Draconum 
If Batman was in Pirates CSG, this would be his ship. Laughing
4. Grand Vainqueur 
A grand point cost that should be much lower. Wizkids should have announced this as some kind of misprint, for the Conquerant is better or the same in every way for the same cost. Confused

To me the Grand Vainqueur is the worst, and one of the worst Pokeships in general. An absolutely atrocious cost that she cannot justify at all. You could get a world hater AND cannoneer on the Draconum and still come in at 19 points, allowing you a “free” helmsman just to get to 21. XD The GV should cost about 14 points, with the Draconum at perhaps 11. I see the Draconum as somewhat playable, while the GV is not really playable (especially when you consider her far superior sister ship for the same cost – no idea what WK was thinking). Also, the GV’s 3L is not the artillery cannon, they’re all 3S and I submitted a correction to the database.

I know the artillery cannon with extended range could be useful, but I’ve always found bombardiers to be the least cost-effective fire option. You can get a captain, helmsman, and firepot specialist on Le Descharges for a point less than either of the overpriced French ones. The Pirates have a plethora of good options that would be cheaper and more effective than the Draconum just by putting a FPS aboard. (and don’t even get me started on my English XD)

Ranking: Bombardiers

Original thread on Miniature Trading

Ranking: Switchblades

  1. Skin Flayer
  2. Saber
  3. HMS Salient
  4. HMS Talon
  5. Sickle

However, I must admit I’ve had the best success with the Saber. By virtue of being French, she has access to some amazing crew combos that can fit very well into the 23 point cost. Not great below 80 points, but a monster with the right setup.

Ah yes, during a fleet binge I even made a “combination compilation” of the Saber:
Combos with the Saber

Captain Nemo with a sac captain can be devastating, as seen in one of the best games I’ve ever played. (no link since I still have to redo the pictures for the BR)

I do think that extra actions of some kind can be more useful to Switchblades than S-boarding. More actions mean more movement, which means more rams and boards with the blades. With extra actions and L+S+L+S speed, you can really go crazy with crew capturing/killing in a big game with a dense battlefield.

I also think Switchblades are the best of the Pokeships, despite their huge cost. To me Bombardiers and scorpions are priced even worse; switchblades can at least fill the monster gunship role in a fleet with the right crew. (I don’t usually call a Hoist a Pokeship, but you can make a case Laughing )

Ranking: Switchblades

Original thread on Miniature Trading

Ranking: 6 masters

  1. HMS Grand Temple
  2. Grand Temple
  3. Grand Path
  4. Divine Dragon
  5. Grand Dynasty
  6. Grand Mountain
  7. Grand Wind
Ranking: 6 masters

Original thread on Miniature TradingA7XfanBen ranks all of the Icebreaker ships in Pirates CSG, taking into account their stats and abilities in addition to his wealth of playing experience.

Ranking: Forts

1. Paradis de la Mer
2. Fortaleza Dorada
I find that S range guns on forts are quite frustrating, as you cannot even control the area around the island all that well. Plus, the fort’s cannons have to shoot over at least some land area, which effectively makes the range even worse.
3. Devil’s Maw
4. Dead Man’s Point
5. Ramsgate
REALLY love this one and think it probably deserves better, but I’m trying to be objective about the others haha. Great for area/zone control/denial.
6. Fort Brompton
7. Thompson’s Island
I’ll take the bonus on all 5 cannons than a reroll (on Castillo) for a cannon that’s not likely to hit anyway. Easy to station some cheap stuff here, or better yet, have a canoe always docked here after it uses its ability to take something from a gold runner and then simply redocks to unload it at the fort.
8. Castillo del Infanta
9. St. Pierre
Have you used this ability in a game? Despite it being my first fort, I still haven’t. I suppose there is some value in a “chain” type system where this fort is the middleman between a wild island and home, but I’m still not sure how useful it would really be. I do consider small games for these rankings too, and for those this thing is puzzling. You’d much rather have the gold on your home island, so leaving it in the fort to get another action (outside of a hybrid running off to attack) seems counterproductive.
10. El Puerto Blanco
I still don’t think I’ve used this ability in a game, and even in larger games there are a lot of things to consider. A spy can do similar work, and a lot of times the reveals will be fruitless. Also, even if you spot a 7 or a great UT, there might be better stuff on another island that you haven’t seen yet. The island in question might be deep in enemy territory and not worth trying for. Also (CG1 spoiler alert!) the Spanish won CG1 without ever using this ability (not that it wouldn’t have helped, but they certainly didn’t need it). Armament still matters, and this thing is incredibly weak. Protecting gold and holding territory is more important than snooping around islands you can’t get to in the near future.

Ranking: Forts

Original thread on Miniature Trading

Ranking: Catamarans

1. Orphan
2. Cannibal King
3. Skipping Stone
4. Brazen
5. Polaris
6. Hermes
7. Speedy Return

Ranking: Catamarans

Original thread on Miniature Trading

Ranking: Flotillas

1. Gibraltar
2. Armada
3. Diablo
4. Tower
5. Mont Blanc
6. Minuteman
7/8. Doombox/Death’s Anchor
9. Silver Coffin
10. Widowmaker

I haven’t seen a huge benefit to the L+L range compared to S+S, and that comes from experience and missing constantly with the 4L+L’s. S+S range is plenty good enough to get past cancellers, junk, and L-immunity.

Ranking: Flotillas

Original thread on Miniature Trading