Ranking: English Named Crew

Ranking the Top 10 English Named Crew

You can find all the game pieces in the Master Spreadsheet, but crew are easy to copy and paste into the post and don’t take up much space for the discussion of each piece, so I’ve included their most important details in some form. No 0LR +5 crew on these Rankings.

The English are one of the game’s most powerful factions, with a large amount of fearsome ships and competent leaders among their crew. This was a very tough list to make and a lot of it comes down to how you prefer to generate additional actions. Quite frankly, you can scramble the first ~6 spots in ANY order and it would look pretty good. O_O  If you see something you like, feel free to click the affiliate link to see if it’s available on eBay.

1. Thomas Gunn, Hermione Gold (RotF versions)Ranking English named crew - Thomas Gunn
Point Cost: 5. (TGunn links to HMS Apollo, HGold links to Trevor van Tyne)
Ability: Captain, Helmsman. (TGunn has Loyal: England likely made irrelevant by the ship he’s assigned to)

These incredible combo crew didn’t show up until pretty late in the game’s production run, but it’s hard not to rank them #1 here. They give any ship the most essential crew abilities in one cargo space. These two crew alone make the English better at gold running – because of them, nearly any decent English ship can be turned into a hybrid with the cargo saving. Normally the addition of Captain+Helmsman to a ship decreases the cargo by 2 and starts to push her into pure gunship territory, but these crew help the English remain competitive in both small and large games with easy hybrid crew logistics. They should be used with at least an oarsman, since abilities like Crew Killing and Cargo Wrecking can take out both abilities at once.
In fact, I may have to edit my Pirate version to put Hammersmith at #3…

Hermione Gold (Rise of the Fiends)

2. LE Griffin (RotF version; #207)LE Griffin
Point Cost: 7
Ability: If this ship has a crew with the Captain keyword, she gets +1 to her cannon rolls and +S to her base move.

One of the most usable and unique crew in the entire game, this version of Griffin is downright sickening. It is true that his abilities essentially allow for World Hater (+1 to cannon rolls; usually 4 points with the non-faction part) and Helmsman (2 points) to come aboard for 7 points instead of the usual total of 6. However, the key is the stackability. Because Griffin’s ability text is different than both of those regular abilities and has a different trigger (having a Captain), they work in addition to the regular forms of those bonuses. This means that on an English ship that (preferably) costs at least 16 points, you can give said ship +2 to her cannon rolls (likely just +1 against the English) AND +S+S to her base move. O_O (16 points coming from: Captain+Griffin+WH+Helmsman)

The possibilities quickly become nasty here, with HMS Swallow getting up to S+L+S+S speed, just like the San Cristobal. The Shui Xian is probably the best ship in the entire game for Griffin – this results in a 10 master moving L+S+S with all 10 cannons improved at least once, if not twice. Although he may not be fully optimal for small games, LE Griffin is a force to be reckoned with.  The artwork is the same as the common version, so I recommend saving some money (and possibly search time) and just proxying him in.

3. MercerMercer
Point Cost: 3
Ability: Once per turn, you can eliminate one of this ship’s crew to give her an extra action.

One of the least likeable characters in the PotC franchise has a fittingly nasty ability in the game. Although he gets it for a cost of 3 points (instead of the 2 usually seen on Sac Captains), that cost is less OP but still more than usable in the English fleet. I wanted to rank Myngs ahead of him, but the nature of a guaranteed extra action when you need it is tough to beat. You’ll want to use Mercer on a ship with as much cargo as possible, since 3 spots are likely to be occupied before sac crew are added (Mercer+Captain+Helmsman; 2 spots of course if you use one of the crew ranked #1).

4. Sir Christopher MyngsSir Christopher Myngs - Pirates of the Spanish Main
Point Cost: 3. Link: Myng’s Marauders
Ability: Once per turn before you give this ship an action, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, this ship may be given the same action twice.

Myngs is the original SAT source for the English – one of the best crew from SM, he has been invaluable to the English since 2004. The English also have a plethora of good rerollers to use with him, most of which are least mentioned in this post.

5. Lord Mycron
Point Cost: 6
Ability: Loyal: England. Instead of giving this ship an action this turn, you can give another ship in your fleet two actions.

The source of many competitive game victories and tons of fan hate, Mycron is undeniably useful in the extreme. There is a tailor-made combo for Mycron, where he serves on the Patagonia (1 masted galley from SCS at 4 points) with Robinson, and often the 0LR +5 version of Administrator Scott Bratley (from CC) as well. This 10 point combo (effectively 5 assuming you take advantage of Bratley’s points elsewhere in your fleet) allows the Patagonia to “sacrifice herself” every turn for ANY of the ships in your fleet, giving you maximum flexibility and the potential to shape a game. The extra action is often given to the same ship throughout a game, usually something extremely powerful or useful such as the Zeus/Endeavour/Hai Peng/etc. As long as Mycron isn’t taken out, the best ship in your fleet can get two actions per turn, every turn.

Despite the guaranteed nature of his extra action, I ranked him below Myngs because of the extra cost needed to make him work properly. Mycron realistically has a minimum investment of 10 points (though “5” can be argued due to Bratley’s +5), while Myngs can change or win games as-is at just 3.

Lord Mycron

6. Lawrence, Administrator Scott Bratley (BC version)Lawrence (Barbary Coast)
Point Cost: 5. (Lawrence links to HMS Durham)
Ability: Once per turn, one crew or ship within S of this ship cannot use its ability that turn.

As usual, I wanted to rank the cancellers higher, but the various filthy sources of action generation is a slightly more proven game winner. (Which I would say is partly because extra actions are good everywhere (anywhere on the map) for everything (fighting and gold running/etc), while cancellers are best for close quarters combat)

The English got two canceller crew in one set, making away with a windfall of good stuff in Barbary Coast. Lawrence is more likely to be used because of Bratley’s 0LR +5 version from CC – in fact, using that Bratley to bring in Lawrence is a solid idea for English players. Lawrence also wins this “tie” due to his link to HMS Durham, one of the better English 4 masters.

Administrator Scott Bratley (Barbary Coast)

7. Commodore Rhys Gryffyn Owen, Countess Diana Doone (BC versions)CRGO (Barbary Coast)
Point Cost: 0  (CRGO links to HMS Granville)
Ability: Limit. Ransom. Choose one English crew during setup; this crew is linked to that crew. Once per turn, you may reroll any die roll you make for this ship; you must use the second die roll result.

The 0LR Rerollers combine beautifully with any of the numerous English SAT/EA crew, notably with Myngs for a very cheap source of double actions.

Countess Diana Doone (Barbary Coast)

8. Admiral MorganAdmiral Morgan - Pirates of the Spanish Main
Point Cost: 5
Ability: Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, this ship may be given an extra action.

The EA counterpart to Myngs, Admiral Morgan has been a classic staple of English fleets since the early days of the game. The English have a ton of great ships for him, with plenty of good Reroll support crew (and a few ships) to make him more successful.

9. Commander Spencer Portland
Point Cost: 7
Ability: Once per turn before you give this ship an action, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, this ship may be given the same action twice. This ship’s crew cannot be eliminated unless she sinks.

Portland combines SAT with Crew Protect. Arguably just as good as Admiral Morgan, I ranked him lower because his ability set and cost make him less flexible. Portland is optimal for use on the largest gunships that will also have a lot of crew aboard. Ideally you would have as many crew abilities as possible on the ship (possibly making use of RotF TGunn/HGold) to protect them, along with Reroll for his SAT. Another great crew for the Shui Xian, or possibly the Endeavour/Swallow/Leicester/etc.

Commander Spencer Portland

The final spot felt like an utter crapshoot, so I decided to be consistent with my other Rankings and prioritize SAT.

10. Admiral Robert Blake, William Dampier, Lt. Henry Ducie Chads (in that order, just barely)Admiral Robert Blake (Barbary Coast)
Point Cost: 5
Ability: Once per turn before you give this ship an action, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, this ship may be given the same action twice.
+Additional 2 point abilities. Blake: This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Barbary Corsair ships.  Dampier: Pirate crew may use their abilities on this ship. Chads: This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against Pirate ships.
(Blake links to All English ships, Dampier links to HMS Malton, Chads links to HMS Botany Bay)

Here we have some 5 point “SAT variant” crew. I gave Blake the tiebreaker because his link to all English ships is so valuable. Dampier vs. Chads is a tossup; Dampier allows for a number of interesting (and possibly unexplored…) crew combos with the Pirates, while Chads hates Pirates and could prove quite useful against the game’s best faction.

William Dampier (South China Seas)Lt. Henry Ducie Chads

Although I didn’t include them on the list, the Captain+World Hater crew (MI HGold and Admiral Norrington) are actually ones I’ve used much more than the crew in the #10 spot. I think it’s partly because if you use Myngs and/or Morgan, you don’t have as much reason to use the 5 point SAT crew unless the build total is high. If this was a “personal” list I would have to include both C+WH crew in my list and possibly even F&S TGunn as well, since historically I have such bad luck when shooting. It’s possible I’m being too determined to avoid personal bias and that the C+WH 7 point crew should be #10 instead.

Just Missed/Extremely Honorable Mentions: Hermione Gold (MI), Admiral James Norrington, Thomas Gunn (F&S), CRGO (CC), Lord Cutler Beckett

Honorable Mentions: Commander Temple (SM), Thomas Gunn the Younger, The Gentleman+Lord Thomas Gunn (OE), Robinson, First Mate Ismail, Mullroy

Posted in Rankings and tagged .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *