Altar Abuse (40 point standard)
Hai Peng + Bartholomew Roberts, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Patagonia + Robinson, Administrator Scott Bratley, Lord Mycron
Bloody Jewel + helmsman, explorers x2, oarsmen x2
Treasure contribution: Altar of the Loa, Maps of Alexandria, Pirate Globe, Marksman’s Map, Abandoned Oarsman, three 5’s
Forts on hand: all Pirate and English forts
Strategy: Hai Peng zooms to island closest to enemy HI (overall speed of L+S+L+S x2). If you find the Altar on an island closer to your opponent than your own HI, use Black Bart to toss it closer to home where the Bloody Jewel can abuse it soonest. Between the Maps and Globe, the Altar should be located quickly. Once the Altar is found and in a spot you like it, the Bloody Jewel has 4 crew to sac for 2 turns of complete control of the enemy. In a 40 point game with the Hai Peng flying around at mach speed, this should be enough to win you the game. If not, the remaining crew on your two Pirate ships and the abandoned oarsman could give an additional 2-3 turns of mind control, plenty of time to secure enough gold to win.
Biggest issues include your opponent including a bevy of negative UT’s that are too numerous for Bart to trade away, slowing down the Hai Peng. Don’t want the HP to get clobbered on opponent’s first turn if they go second, so you might have to play it safe (premeasuring would be big, and anticipating enemy crew setups for double action potential) and not explore the island closest to their HI on the first turn if you go first. If you go second, it might be advantageous to attempt to explore two wild islands regardless of proximity, just to double your chances of directly finding the Altar in round 1.
Thought about including Hidden Cove, but it starts to cramp how many crew you’ll have to sac at the Altar, or at least the speed of the ship getting to the Altar. With the final 12 points you could swap out BJ+crew for Hidden Cove, Banshee’s Cry + 3 1 point crew, and Coeur du Lion + 2 1 point crew. This would likely be worth it if HC allowed the HP to explore BOTH of the wild islands closest to the enemy HI during round 1. But I like the Bloody Jewel moving at S+L+S compared to two 1 masters both moving slower than that to reach the Altar island. It might be good to swap the Marksman’s Map for an abandoned explorer, simply because that UT would be slow to find the Altar compared to the “reveal all” duo that could make it irrelevant. Simply having a build total of 50 or 60 points would vastly increase the amount of Altar-sac options. One strength of this fleet is that it could win even without Altar abuse, simply because of the speed and OP game pieces getting gold at a fast pace.