-I don’t think I’ve used this one yet, but to me the combination of a faster base move and Secret Hold make her edge the Buscador despite being 4 points more expensive.
-A very good ship and the best bang for the buck, but I don’t value that ability very highly. Middling durability and fast gunships will usually make it irrelevant, along with L-range guns at the bow of enemy ships giving chase.
However, I would say that these ships are almost tied. Both can thrive with Capitan Alarico Castro / Duque Marcus Vaccaro /helmsman (and hopefully oarsman), so it just comes down to what you can afford. Buscador is more playable at 40 points (at 19 you could get the San Cristobal with Luis Zuan and helmsman in the same fleet ), but if you have the 4 points, Rocinante will be a better ship.
5. USS Strongarm
-Can have helmsman and oarsman for the same 20 point cost as the MF, with somewhat comparable armament that will hopefully not be needed.
6. Maui’s Fishhook
-To me, the only hoist that doesn’t work that well in-game. Requires a massive point investment to get good value out of her, making her generally unplayable in 40 point games. With the lower cargo I’d probably rather just get HMS Swallow with Thomas Gunn as a hybrid for 22 points.
I think of the MF as more of a “luxury” option. XD She’s super rare (therefore more expensive irl), shiny (you don’t want to break her), and has the special take treasure ability in addition to Secret Hold and very nice cannons. However, compared to her peers, she’s just not that effective. There are some interesting crew combos you can use, but she’s not one of the better hoists.
I think the Strongarm is pretty good, but she’s overshadowed by the Frontier. In fact I would argue that every hoist other than the MF is an above-average ship in the game; I have used most of them quite effectively in different game sizes.
To me the Fetu is simply broken. Between her and the San Cristobal , it’s clear that Wizkids should have made that ability +S and maybe more expensive too. The Fetu was also a large reason the French (essentially) won Xerecs’ 2016 winter EE game. And the Frontier and Strongarm have been very effective for the Americans in CG3.
I’ve always thought that putting a cargo master on the Frontier is just pointless overkill. I’d rather have the Rattlesnake in the same fleet, or maybe be able to afford a captain and helmsman for another ship (even the Strongarm! XD).