I would like to see a “generic” sailing/warship art for the cards and then the player would fill in the name, cannons, cargo, speed, & ability(s). Add up all the factors and there is your point value.
That makes sense too, and reminds me of VASSAL. There you simply have a generic ship template and fill out the stats for each.
I could see a blend of pure white and some generic stuff. Perhaps the masts would have the spars and generic white sails evident, and then people could draw or color over them from there. Perhaps decks that are obviously wooden, but without cannons so people could personalize the ship as heavily armed or a merchant ship. However, perhaps just going all white could really help the cost stay low.
Not saying any of this would be legal now of course – I was suggesting it as a possibility if NECA/Wizkids didn’t hold the rights to the game, or if it went into production under some company.