Draft Challenge: Old School
Originally published to Miniature Trading on November 2nd, 2013
I drafted a fleet with two core ships in mind: a very good gunship and a very good treasure runner. Most of my original collection from back in the day was from the first three sets, which are still my favourites. Plus, I felt it was appropriate for such a classic supership like the Titan to go in the first round (even more appropriate if the Banshee’s Cry was the first overall pick).
HMS Titan is one of the most famous ships in the game, and here she will serve as the flagship of yet another fleet. She is equipped with a captain and helmsman to turn her into a lethal beast. In addition, I used the extra few points I had at the end of the draft to add Stinkpot Shot, which is one of the more underrated pieces in Pirates. It only costs one point and gives you the opportunity to cancel the entire complement of an opposing ship, rather than just one ability like a standard 5 point canceller. Even if you miss, you still have 4 rank-2 cannons left with which to pulverize the enemy! The oarsman is insurance for Bratley, or potential sac fodder (for either ship ). Bratley brings a certain pirate aboard my second ship. I wanted to get a reroller for the extra action, but the points weren’t convenient to spend (and the Limit keyword stopped me from getting another 0LR).
The second ship is another classic, the Neptune’s Hoard. Between her good base move, 5 cargo spaces, treasure-runner-friendly ability and above-average durability, she was one of the best treasure runners available in the draft. When you add a helmsman and explorer, she gets even better. Add the legendary sac Captain Blackheart and an oarsman, and you’ve got a monster.
Saccing the oarsman on the first turn, she’ll zoom S+L+S+S+L+S out to an island. From there she can take some coins home, possibly saccing the explorer to move twice once again. After this, she could either go out for another treasure run, harass enemy runners, or assist the Titan. As noted previously, the extra oarsman on the Titan could come in handy as extra sac fodder.
Ramsgate was a late-round pick that will be built for strategic purposes if the opportunity presents itself.
So there you have it: a two-ship fleet that packs a solid punch in both facets of the game. The usual weaknesses are there: too much invested in too little ships, only one treasure runner, susceptibility to cancellers, etc. However, this fleet still has enough to give most 40 point fleets a run for their money!
This fleet is interesting and a bit unique in that it (to a degree) combines the two most popular “old school” tactics: trying to give as many actions as possible to one ship (before that was illegal) and Norvegia (saccing for extreme speed and building forts to win without bringing gold home, also illegal). Although these strategies are obsolete in today’s game, their methods of complete domination are still applicable and can be quite effective.
Here’s the order in which my picks went, if you’re wondering. I made sure to get the ships I wanted first, and I knew that I would have a good shot at getting a 0LR +5 crew and a pirate sac captain, whichever ones were still available. From there it was smooth sailing with the necessary generic crew and filler points.
-HMS Titan (SM-041)
-Neptune’s Hoard (Rev-002)
-Administrator Scott Bratley (CC-046A)
-Captain Blackheart (SM/PC-002)
=Helmsman[Pirate] (SMU-108 )
-Stinkpot Shot (F&S-108 )
=Oarsman[English] (SM EC-OA)
=Oarsman[Pirate] (SM PC-OA)
-Ramsgate (RV-038 ) [fort]
-Lawrence (BC 056) [not used]
Thanks to Woelf for running the Draft Challenge, thanks to all the participants, and thank you for reading and voting!
|Section: Ship #1 (6 miniatures)|
|1||x||Administrator Scott Bratley||PofCC||046B||Crew||C|
|Section: Ship #2 (5 miniatures)|
|Section: Forts (1 miniatures)|