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My Entry for the challenge!
Rociante(18) + Nikos Chelios(5), helmsman(2), oarsman(1)
Maui’s Fishhook(20) + Commander Temple(6), Thomas Gunn(5), Sir Christopher Myngs(3), Commodore Rhys Gryffyn Owen(0), oarsman(1)
La Santa Isabel(13) + Bianco’s Haulers(3), captain(3), helmsman(2), oarsman(1)
Fortaleza Dorada, Fort Brompton
Treasures: Natives, Maps of Hades, Marines, Jail!, Tiki of the Volcano
Coming in with the first ship, we have the Rocainte, from RtSS, with a great combination of abilities. Hoist will be handy for exploring islands and she’ll be expected to do a bulk of the “traditional” gold running. Nikos Chelios will stay face-down until an opportune moment and will take up to two treasures from any ship the Rociante touches, or rams. Normally you’d want to avoid ramming as you become pinned as a result, however, the Rociante cannot be pinned, AND she has secret hold, which will make getting the treasure Chelios steals back almost impossible, short of capturing the Rociante.
Backing up the Rociante is fellow hoist, Maui’s Fishhook. The Fishhook has the most accurate cannons of any hoist, along with the “worst” cargo. Her high point cost allows for Commander Temple to come aboard and command the vessel, alongside Thomas Gunn from RotF, Sir Christopher Myngs, and Commodore Owen from BC. Contrary to the gold running nature of hoists, the Fishhook is kitted out as a gunship, and will do most of the serious fighting. Her objective will to be to find the smaller gold runners I encounter, derelict them, explore them with the hoist arm, and trigger Temple’s ability, thus capturing the ship! Ideally she’ll be able to catch and capture ships with gold already on them, thus running gold by fighting.
Providing support for both of the hoist is La Santa Isabel, the largest ship of the fleet. The Isabel should have no problem keeping pace with the Rociante, and shouldn’t be too far behind the Fishhook. On board are Bianco’s Haulers, to keep her safe while docked, as well as a captain and helmsman. Should things go in favor early on, the Isabel may be called upon to fill out some “traditional” gold running, as both of the hoists are more optimized for stealing treasure from other ships. However, should things not go so well, the Isabel will be tasked with providing cover for either of the Hoists.
With a mostly Spanish fleet, Fortaleza Dorada is included to provide a safe refuge on the open waters, and a secondary place to store gold. Most crucially Fortaleza will allow the Rociante to repair, since the Mercenary keyword gained from Chelios will keep her from docking at home. Fort Brompton is included as a cheaper alternative. Ideally both forts will be built, giving multiple places for ships to repair or store gold.
Treasures are included with the intention of slowing down enemy ships, either by removing their crew (like helmsmen), freezing them in place, or allowing me to potentially move them. I didn’t want to include anything extremely bad that could be used against me, like Plague or Rum. Regular gold values will depend on additional set-up rules. I tend to use random gold values for an entire map or game, and not have gold contributed by players for a set total. In this scenario I’m imagining that there would be some kind of treasure limit or rule. If it’s similar to the regular rules (8 coins equaling 16 gold) I’d have to include a couple high value coins alongside my various UT’s. If there’s only a pre-arranged number (and not value) of coins to be contributed, I’d either throw in a few 0 coins or some high value ones.
This fleet should be able to mount a bit of a challenge to whatever it is facing, either with extreme regular gold running, or by capturing enough ships to turn the tide in my favor. Owen could be dropped from the fleet in favor of a +5 crew to fit Diaz onto either the Rociante or Isabel and I very nearly did that, however I wanted the re-roll that Owen provides as it makes the Fishhook that much better. My one caveat would be that this fleet is small, in terms of number of ships and size of ships. 80 points is enough to throw at least one kitted out ten mast at an opponent, or run a fleet of larger faster ships. Against a 1-2 mast gold runner the Fishhook would have an advantage, against a 3-4 mast or larger, that advantage diminishes greatly. Alternatively a fleet that has almost no gold running put into it and is a straight combat fleet will not be good for me.