Ranking: Top 10 French Named Crew
You can find all the game pieces in the Master Spreadsheet, but I’ve included them for ease of reference. No 0LR+5 crew for these lists.
The French are a very well balanced and effective faction. If you see something you like, feel free to click the affiliate link to see if it’s available on eBay.
Worth mentioning… “Once again I found it to be kind of a crapshoot to rank these. It really just depends on what abilities you need and prefer for fleet building – in which case feel free to throw the numbered rankings out and just look at this list overall rather than in order.”
1. Capitaine Arathiel, Capitaine Arazure (RotF version)
Point Cost: 5-6
Ability: This ship may move and shoot using the same move action. Once per turn, you may eliminate one of this ship’s crew to give her an extra action. (Arazure also has Loyal: France)
Might as well keep things consistent with the Pirate rankings. Sac Captains are tough to beat!
2. Lenoir (F&S version)
Point Cost: 4
Ability: Hostile:England, Loyal:France. Once per turn, one crew or ship within S of this ship can’t use its ability that turn.
This is the only 4 point canceller in the game. The ability is somewhat overpowered at 5 points, so getting it at 4 is a steal.
Or use: Monsieur LeNoir from CC, who has the canceller ability without Hostile/Loyal for 5 points. That version is worth including here, though without his later version, he would probably move down a few spots.
3. Madame LaFontaine, Mademoiselle Josephine Godiva
Point Cost: 0
Ability: Limit. Ransom. Choose one French crew during setup; this crew is linked to that crew. Reroll any die roll, you must use the second result.
I might be ranking these slightly too high, but the French don’t have any SAT/EA crew for less than 5 points. These are extremely versatile crew that can also help out with the AA ability, boarding, Mysterious Island rolls, etc.
4. Amiral Stephan Dupuy
Point Cost: 5
Ability: Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, this ship may be given an extra action.
Classic EA on one of the rare French crew from CC, Dupuy would be even better on a ship with LaFontaine or Godiva.
5. Capitaine Gaston de St. Croix
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. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against English ships.
This version of Gaston would be #4 if not for the relatively “meh” cannon bonus against English ships that drives his cost up 2 points. I’d prefer the flexibility EA provides rather than a bonus against one faction. However, with 0LR +5 crew de Cissey, you could bring this guy in after seeing your opponent’s English fleet.
6. Amiral Louis Cartier
Point Cost: 7
Ability: This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls. Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, this ship may be given an extra action.
One of my favorite crew from FN gave the French some action generator reinforcements. Cartier has a boarding bonus that drives his cost higher than Dupuy’s and therefore makes him even more suitable on a big boarder like Le Gaule or Saber.
7. Maurice Aristide
Point Cost: 3. Link: Phillipe du Brissac
Ability: One of this ship’s treasures is worth +2 gold when unloaded at your home island.
This can be a tough ability to fit onto a gold runner, but it’s extremely effective and perfect for some of the high cargo French runners like Le Favori.
8. Gentil de la Barbinais
Point Cost: 4
Ability: This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against any non-French ship.
World Hater is best used on ships with as many cannons as possible to maximize it; therefore ships like the Celtic Fury, Superbe, Soleil Royal, etc.
9. Capitaine Baudouin Deleflote
Point Cost: 9. Link: L’épée de L’ange
Ability: Captain. Instead of giving this ship an action this turn, you can give another ship in your fleet two actions.
Deleflote is not quite as cost-effective as Mycron, but by putting him on the Ocean’s Edge Coeur de Lion with Princess Arii Auraa (“Princess Vowels”), you can get the combo for just 11 points. This is often combined with +5 crew Jules de Cissey to effectively (not actually) lower the cost to 6 total points, giving you a guaranteed action anywhere in your fleet every turn! In high build total or campaign games you can make a great case for him moving up to the #4 spot.
10. Amiral Gaston de St. Croix
Point Cost: 6
Ability: Once at the beginning of each of your turns, roll a d6. On a result of 6, any ship in your fleet may be given two actions that turn.
AA is another great ability to have especially in larger games, with this version often combined with a Reroll crew (which the French have many of).
Honorable Mentions: Lenoir (RotF – this version has Reroll+Parley for only 4 points; just missed being my #10 pick), Jordan Dumas (BC), Duncan Rousseau (just like RotF Lenoir but without Loyal for 5 points), Lady Roimata (RtSS; with Captain+SAT she would be in my Top 3 if that set were included)
Dishonorable Mention: Ned Lands