Top 10 English Gold Runners
One of the only 5 masters in the game that’s viable as a treasure runner, the Aberdeen Baron has been a staple in my English fleets. The built-in explorer ability makes her fantastic. Some will disagree with her placement here because she’s not dirt-cheap and only has S+S speed. However, for 14 points (with a helmsman) you have an extremely durable runner sailing at S+S+S with room for 4 coins. Having extra masts that can be taken down is invaluable because it allows her to get home without sinking. Only 1 or 2 hits are required to dismast and therefore stop a lot of the best treasure runners in this game. The Baron is a very unique ship that deserves recognition for her greatness.
This one is expensive but worth it. The Provost combines speed (S+L) with a huge cargo hold (6 spaces!). She would be #2 on this list even without the HI-raiding ability, which is perfect for a gold runner like this one. That ability makes her contend for the #1 spot, but I had to choose 5 masts for 12 points rather than 2 masts for 13 points.
This ship only needs an explorer to get started, which ties the Baron at 14 points overall. Add a helmsman for S+L+S speed. Just be careful with the Provost because you don’t want your rather pricy investment to get hit.
3. HMS Hound
Here’s a more typical runner of which England has very few. Simple but effective, the Hound combines adequate speed with adequate cargo space. Plop an explorer on her and she comes in at 8 points. I gave her a slight edge over the next ship because she’s a point cheaper and has a more useful ability. Her ability may not help her directly, but it can help out the rest of your fleet in numerous ways.
Very similar to the Hound but a point more expensive. Between her guns and ability she’s more capable of putting up a fight, but any fleet (especially an English one) had better not be using her for combat.
One of the cheapest ships in the English navy. This ship really needs a helmsman to move quickly enough, but for 7 points L+S movement with 3 spaces available is a great deal. Adding an explorer brings it to 8 points but then you’ll only have room for two treasures. In addition, this little pest has fantastic cannons, which makes her the perfect ship on which to put a captain and a helmsman and become an effective support gunship. In that scenario she would still have two spaces available, perfect for stealing gold from enemy runners. Overall a very versatile ship.
6. HMS Dover
The Dover isn’t always a treasure runner due to her large size and serviceable guns. However, in England’s fleet she fits better as a gold ship because they have so many better fighting options. She can also be used to do both. For 13 points (with a helmsman and explorer), the Dover moves S+S+S with 3 spaces available for gold. She is similar to the Aberdeen Baron when crewed with at least an explorer. Again, durability is an underrated aspect of running gold.
It should say “+S” to her base move, but even with L+S+S speed on the way out this ship is one of the fastest the English have. Unfortunately this means she can’t carry an explorer, but 7 points is still a nice price for being able to move L+S+S to an island, take the best three treasures, and sail back at L+S.
This ship completes the trio of English two masters from CC. The Gibraltar isn’t the worst of the three – you could make a case that she’s the best! However, for strictly treasure running she loses a few points for being expensive and having less cargo space than the other two. This is one of the more versatile ships England has. Send her out with an explorer and she’ll be able to grab a few coins at S+S+S speed, or she can raid an enemy HI when they least expect it. It’s also feasible to send her out with a captain and use her effective guns to support your main gunship and/or raid enemy gold runners and use her two spaces to steal gold from them.
9. Honu Iki
This ship has everything going in it’s favour. Good speed, a lot of cargo space, a decent ability, a nice gun, and Super Rare status. This ship isn’t one of the very best, but she gets the job done. I would recommend either a helmsman or explorer, or possibly both depending on your preferences.
I put these two together since they’re so similar. I have both and they’re effective for their point cost. Both have no ability, so it’s up to you if you want to pay the extra point to get the extra speed and slightly more maneuverability.
Honorable mentions (in no particular order): Edinburgh Trader, HMS Hyena, Bilge, HMS Galway, HMS Hermes, HMS Sea Phoenix, HMS Snipe, St. George, HMS Bath, HMS Half Moon, HMS Starbuck, HMS Discovery, HMS Greyhound, HMS Yardbird, HMS Oxford, HMS Swallow, HMS Cheshire, HMS Prince of Chichester, HMS Rye, HMS Patagonia, HMS King Edward, Metal Dragon, HMS Swiftsure, HMS Durham, Maui’s Fishhook
This was actually harder than ranking the gunships; some of these rankings could easily be changed a bit. In addition, some of the honorable mentions just barely missed the cut.