Pirates for Thanksgiving In Quarantine Aboard A Destroyer
This is a simple game I played on my Navy ship with a fellow Sailor while in quarantine! (shortly after getting to the ship on deployment) It was played on Thanksgiving Day 2020 (11/26/20), the report was written a day or handful of days after, and this post on my site was created on Christmas Day 2020. And now I’m finally posting it in May of 2021! 😀
The game fulfilled one of my long-term Pirates CSG goals, which was to play a game of Pirates CSG on water and/or at sea. The next step up would be to play on a ship on water while outside, but real-world wind could be an issue there….
I taught him the main rules and we got started sailing.
The Pirates chose the middle island for their home, leaving the English to settle for the upper right island. The Durham grabbed 2 coins from the southeastern island on turn 1.
The Shadow grabbed coins but was then savagely slammed by a broadside from HMS Goliath!
The Flying Dutchman (FD) headed southwest for gold. The English captured the Shadow. The Durham provided some cover for the Goliath’s activities while sailing west for more gold after depositing her first load at home.
The Goliath docked home the Shadow, netting the English more gold. After putting 2 coins on their HI, the Pirates wanted revenge, with the FD hitting the Durham twice while she grabbed two coins from the northwestern island. (picture shows the end of my subsequent turn)
The Pirates weren’t satisfied, and the FD shot up the Durham again, this time dismasting her! However, the English deployed their other two assets to complicate things! The Goliath sailed out to take two masts off the FD, while the Shadow robbed a coin from her former home island!
The Dutchman fought both broadsides, hitting each ship once to dismast the Shadow and complicate English decision making.
The Goliath began towing the Durham while simultaneously hitting 2/2 against the FD.
The Pirates maneuvered the FD to touch her bow to the Shadow’s bow and the Pirate HI at the same time. Regardless of whether or not it is legal to do such a capture play, we house ruled that it made enough sense and was fine for this game. This allowed the Pirates to recapture the Shadow, get one of her original coins back, and repair her all in one turn. The Goliath made way towards home but the islands are rather close together….
And the Pirates aren’t done! The Shadow rammed and boarded the Durham, losing her cannoneer as the English fought hard to protect their gold. However, the FD then simply began ending things, sinking the Durham and her cargo of 7 gold.
The English repaired the Goliath at home while the Shadow took another coin from the island she originally explored. The FD repaired as well, but would soon be called to duty once more as the Goliath dismasted the Shadow for the second time in the game!
The FD took advantage of her musketeer and shot 2 masts off the Goliath:
The Goliath captured the Shadow again (swapping control for the 3rd time in one game!), but the Pirates were simply fed up with the shenanigans. The FD sailed out and sank both ships, ending the game!
English: 12 gold
Pirates: 5 gold
In the end, the initial gold found by the Durham and Shadow gave the English the win. For a basic introductory game, it was surprisingly active and exciting!
November 23rd 2020 was the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Facebook group created by Captain Vendari! To celebrate the occasion some of the moderators there played a game on VASSAL.
It was a 70 point game between myself, Xerecs, and Captain Vendari. We each contributed 10 coins of any value or type, except that each player had to contribute at least one coin worth a gold value. We ended up with 6 wild islands, so 5 coins per island. Towards the end of the game, Xerecs and I kind of retroactively decided that it was being played under round earth rules – one of a number of asterisks this game can be viewed under. However, it was quite a fun and bizarre game. 😀 It took longer and was more strategic than I expected, although that is often par for the course with Pirates CSG. The game can be a lot more in-depth and strategic than a lot of people think… this was one of those instances where it almost turned into a chess match of varying possibilities, not all of which are even discussed here.
Here are the fleets in the order of play. We rolled for turn order then chose home islands in reverse turn order. Game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet.
USS Morning Star + Shap’ng Tsai (SS version), helmsman, cannoneer, explorer, oarsman
Destiny + Ralph David (RV version), silver explorer, 2 crew for Tsai’s Sac ability
Providence + Captain Charles Richard, Montana Mays (OE version), Diamond Nelson Turner (BC version), Commodore Matthew Perry, helmsman, oarsman
A7XfanBen Mind Control is back! My favorite and ultimate gimmick fleet has returned with a vengeance after a long hiatus! As soon as Xerecs mentioned the 70 point build total I knew what fleet I would use. George Washington LeBeaux’s (GWL) flavor text: “The deep swamps of Louisiana breed a different sort of man. LeBeaux has learned from the mambos, magic men, and shamans that those who harness the power of the loa for evil means are an affront to life itself.” GWL was about to change his mind… or have his mind, changed for him….
Baochuan + Admiral Zheng He, Ms. Cheng, Zheng Li Kwan, Kian Ng, Chang Pao, captain, helmsman, shipwright, firepot specialist (nearly all crew started facedown)
HMS Patagonia + Lord Mycron, Robinson
Le Coeur du Lion + navigator
Being the second to choose a home island, I purposely went in the middle. I thought of it as a central base or “home brain” for the nefarious operations of my mind controllers. With a UPS-based fleet (the Americans) on one side and a loaded Baochuan on the other, I went into the game feeling like I had a slim chance of winning. However, that wouldn’t stop me from wreaking maximum havoc!!
Incredibly, on my first turn both GWL and Davy Jones were successful in their mind control tactics! The Baochuan and Providence were thrown onto reefs, losing 4 and 1 masts respectively.
Maps of Alexandria was found, revealing a lot of UT’s in the setup. This affected the rest of the game, as ships knew exactly which islands to target to get specific treasures. This is an aid to my Mind Control design by revealing exactly what the fleet needs to do in order to set up “doom combos” that, once acquired, make it very hard for any opposing fleet to dictate the remainder of the game.
But in bigger news… the Baochuan was dismasted by another reef toss combined with the Divine Dragon’s shooting! I can’t remember the details on which mover was successful each turn, but Davy Jones was giving enemy ships move actions on 6’s, while GWL on the Kentucky was moving enemy ships L (not a move action) on 5’s and 6’s, aided by the ship’s Reroll ability. Mind Control was getting lucky early on, showing their true potential. Xerecs made the map, and neither I nor Vendari based our fleets on it. However, I came out luckier in that regard, with many reefs in play perfect for moving big enemy ships onto. The Baochuan had already been thrown onto reefs twice, losing all her masts and potentially costing the Jades the game only a few turns in! However, the game was FAR from over…. I didn’t attempt to sink the Baochuan with the Divine Dragon’s remaining cannons after asking Vendari if an oarsman was aboard. He said there wasn’t, which I chose to believe partly because I wanted it to be true. XD The Divine Dragon (DD) docked at the southern island of the ring, as it looked like a great option to explore.
However, I made the mistake of underestimating what Vendari would be able to do with the Baochuan on the next turn. The ship repaired with a newly revealed shipwright, then moved off the reef at L+S with Mycron’s help for a second action. The island was S-explored on the previous turn, allowing the Baochuan to dock and take coins! She loaded up everything except for Turtles, which started swimming in the water next to the 10 master. The coins included a 7, Spices, and Smuggled Goods. I started to feel pretty dumb for not sinking the Baochuan when I had the chance, especially now that it looked like the Jades were going to get a massive windfall. However, I knew the Baochuan’s path home was nearly paved with reefs, and perhaps good things would come to one who waited…. (though I think realistically I still just botched this lol) I had wanted to capture the Baochuan, thinking it would be a way to rival the UPS fleet’s gold total.
In the meantime, Xerecs’ American UPS fleet was getting busy, with the Morning Star flipping two silver coins to the Destiny, who added +3 value to each coin via her crew. The Cyclone docked at the eastern ring island, but it looked like the Providence had interest in it too. Each fleet had at least one ship basically parked at their home island for a (different) specific duty – navigating, action generation, L-moving, and gold factory production. Say what you may about ships sitting at home, because that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to sit there forever….
The Morning Star builds Thompson’s Island for the Americans. The Baochuan repairs twice. The Divine Dragon is about to explore the western ring island, the Rover is slightly confused about which island to go to, and the Cyclone is dismasted by the Providence, who lost no masts in her second reef encounter. However, I was willing to accept that outcome. That was because the Cyclone was able to explore that island before getting whacked. She grabbed Pandora’s Box, with Vendari and Xerecs giving the ship Fruit and Rum (the latter to freeze her for the next turn). I loaded up Runes of Odin, playing it to place a deadly iceberg right next to the USS Morning Star! Alas, the plan failed when DJ and GWL didn’t come through with their rolls, meaning I couldn’t chuck the MS into the iceberg to remove her and all her crew and treasure from the game.
The MS promptly escaped, heading west to a new island. That made the Rover turn away from that island towards the DD. The Providence captured the Cyclone, giving the Americans a 4th ship while taking my fleet down to 3. However, Mind Control still had a successful turn – the Divine Dragon explored the western ring island to grab Nemo’s Plans….
And they moved the Baochuan onto another reef to wreck her!! O_O
USS MS explored the northwestern island, sacrificing the abandoned musketeer for an extra action. The Destiny was moved away from the American HI by Mind Control, though that wouldn’t affect much. The Providence is about to dock home gold.
For Mind Control, the Rover dumped her shipwright on the western ring island to load a coin – it would have fit regardless, but I wanted the full S+L speed on the way home so I had to drop the crew to avoid the negative ability. The shipwright actually remained hidden the whole game but wasn’t of any real consequence. The DD headed east towards the captured Cyclone and the island she had explored.
With the help of Mycron and a trade current, the Coeur du Lion sails off in search of wrecked Baochuan gold, reaching the ship easily.
The MS moved and then got moved. The Odin iceberg moved a little away from Thompson’s Island. With the then-friendly Cyclone having already explored the eastern ring island, the Divine Dragon picked up Runes of Thor from that island (!!) before continuing south with DJ’s extra action. The Coeur explored the Baochuan and took all her coins, which combined with the incoming bale of sea turtles to give the “Jades” some serious hope. (we didn’t use any campaign/army unit rules in this game, Vendari just wanted to decorate the home islands XD)
But it wasn’t Christmas. More bloodshed and frustration was necessary to determine a winner today. With their newfound megapower of a “permanent” Runes of Thor (on the same ship as Nemo’s Plans), Mind Control was about to truly live up to their name. This could be used on the abilities of Davy Jones OR GWL every turn, and here the Morning Star was tossed onto a reef on her way to a whirlpool, knocking free three masts. Evil maniacal admiral… using UT combos… to become a god-like puppetmaster of doom… where have I heard that before? …. oops, nothing to see here tee hee!
However, Mind Control would not go unchallenged, with the Providence racing south to intercept the Divine Dragon in Davy Jones’ quest for the legendary Runes of Odin UT, the normal copy (first iteration via Pandora’s Box heh) of which was on the southeastern island. The Providence hit 2/4 with her cannons, then rammed another mast off the DD. The picture below does not show the whole sequence, but both players declined to board. An important factor was DNT, the American canceller from BC that Xerecs revealed to cancel Davy Jones on the next Mind Control turn. Soon afterwards, the DD hit the Providence twice, and Xerecs rolled consecutive 5’s to let me throw DNT and Mays off the ship via Captain Charles Richard’s ability!! O_O This meant uncancelled Davy Jones could resume normal business hours on my next turn! XD
For quite a while, the Cyclone was kind of “stuck” between Xerecs moving her and her getting moved in other directions via the Maps of Hades and GWL. At the lower left, the Coeur unloads the Baochuan’s gold, completing a harrowing journey for the Spices and Smuggled Goods.
The MS emerged from the whirlpool near home, where the Destiny sailed out to greet her. For the other “home ships”, Kentucky and Patagonia stayed home while the Coeur sailed north.
This was a big turn in the game. Seeing Bad Maps on the southeastern island, I knew I had to position the severely weakened Divine Dragon (1 mast remaining) properly so that when the ship moved with the island, the DD wouldn’t end up on a reef and possibly wrecked. With the dangerous Providence off the stern, Davy Jones piloted the ship into the island’s shore, triggering UT’s. Bad Maps was resolved, with Vendari moving the island and DD west, right into the Providence’s lines of fire. However, I knew it didn’t matter, since the “ultimate” combo was now in play…. Nemo’s Plans… Runes of Odin… Runes of Thor with an L-mover…. O_O A modified ODIN MISSILE. By placing an “Odin iceberg” next to an enemy ship, then using Thor’s auto-6 to guarantee GWL’s success with L-moving the same ship, I could now eliminate any ship in play, once per turn, every turn. O_O Precision cruise missile strike capability unlocked! HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!
The Norse god Odin appeared in the sky, called by the great Davy Jones. He reared back and threw an iceberg next to the Providence. Finally embracing the dark side and using the power of the loa for evil, GWL (possibly with an assist from another god, Thor) slammed the Providence into the iceberg, blowing it up! GWL was converted to The Cursed cause, helping Davy Jones to sink a fellow American ship. Suddenly the threat was gone and the DD was free and clear! 😀 XD
As an Avenger would say, “we’re in the endgame now.” True indeed. Davy Jones was getting excited. OE flavor text: “As his power grows and his minions cause more destruction, Jones has begun his second wave of terror, one that will take his power beyond the edge of the oceans themselves—setting him up to rule the seas once and for all!”
With that, the second wave of terror had begun. If the first wave had seen the Baochuan and Providence thrown onto reefs, this one was going to prove more deadly. Davy Jones ordered a missile strike from the gods, who complied by crushing the Coeur du Lion with an Odin iceberg. A turn later the USS Morning Star was removed as well, eliminating any chance of more UPS shenanigans. Suddenly the other two players were running out of ships, and quickly.
Vendari sailed the Patagonia away from his home island, with that being his last ship. The Americans only had the Destiny and the wretched Cyclone, who was still struggling to make progress towards her new home island due to some combination of “movers” (Maps of Hades/DJ/GWL). In the meantime, Mind Control was regrouping, with the Cursed and Pirate ships returning home as the Kentucky wreaked havoc with GWL’s loa powers. Indeed, the DD would soon start repairing, slowly making her a dangerous weapon again.
Around this time Vendari had to leave, with Xerecs and I continuing the game. Xerecs gave actions to the Patagonia as optimally as he could, as we talked out trying to play it like Vendari would.
This is also where things got weird, lopsided, and extremely strategic. After the Baochuan fiasco and likely being in last place at this point, I considered myself mostly an also-ran for much of the mid-game. However, now I was in the driver’s seat, with most of the power remaining in play giving me the ability to potentially dictate the outcome of the game. I had to slow down and really consider a lot of options. I wasn’t playing this game like T2, where I would pay close attention on every turn and essentially keep track of how much gold both fleets had at any given time (as much as humanly possible given the standard total of 30 gold along with bonuses and help like Maps of Alexandria/etc). Therefore I had no idea how much gold Xerecs had. Before Vendari left he said he had 36 gold on his home island, quite a bit more than I had. I was worried Xerecs had even more. As a result, I had the mindset that I had to play things near-perfectly for the remainder of the game in order to maximize my gold score no matter what.
There was still a bunch of gold in play, with at least one coin on 5 out of the 6 wild islands. If I simply eliminated the other players, it would trigger an endgame condition and I would lose since I didn’t have enough gold. Therefore I had to keep at least one player alive (even artificially!)
Three ships remained in play, and each represented an opportunity for Mind Control to win, or possibly lose.
Destiny: This American ship had Jade aboard, which doubles the lowest-value coin on the ship and doesn’t have to be unloaded. I started moving the Destiny away from the American home island, realizing that capturing the Jade UT could lead to a win if I got multiple coins doubled up. I rammed her into an iceberg twice (the same one that eliminated the Morning Star), but then realized that Xerecs could easily scuttle her to counter my plan. I continued moving her north, which Xerecs eventually did as well, likely because there were still two coins (one silver) on the southeastern island. In the next picture you can see her moving north after round earthing to the south with only one mast remaining. Xerecs and I decided round earth made sense for the game (I had mistakenly assumed we were using that house rule from the start since I like it and almost always prefer to use it), but in hindsight it’s at least possible that Xerecs may have made a different decision(s) if that had been established from the start. However, most of the stuff in play (especially islands) was pretty far from the map edges, so it’s extremely possible everything would have turned out exactly the same. After round earthing, the Destiny was bound for the southeastern island, which is exactly where I wanted her to go… the Cursed had been busy repairing the Divine Dragon, who was powering up for a critical capture opportunity. Davy Jones planned to take nearly the same route southeast as he had earlier, cutting through the sargasso gap in the reef ring. The DD had a max speed of 6S with DJ rolling a 1-5, so the DD wouldn’t have much trouble catching the Destiny whether she continued to the island or made a break for the whirlpool east of her.
Cyclone: The Cyclone still had Rum aboard, which was worth 5 gold. I wanted to be cautious and fully assume I needed that coin to win the game, so I wanted to capture BOTH the Destiny and the Cyclone at one point. However, even with Runes of Thor hitting GWL every turn and Maps of Hades occasionally working against Xerecs’ efforts to get the Cyclone home, it would be difficult. The Cyclone was making slow but steady progress towards Xerecs’ HI, and I soon started to need GWL for a different purpose.
Patagonia: The lone ship left in Vendari’s fleet was tempting to just hit with an Odin Missile and be done with her. However, I realized that she would potentially be the key to my victory. At one point I think I was still using GWL on different ships, moving any of the 3 to prolong the situation. However, especially since I didn’t even want DJ to get 6’s at this point (it would slightly delay his progress towards the Destiny, which held Jade, one of the big keys to my strategy), Runes of Thor was used every turn on GWL but it wouldn’t be enough. With essentially just one mover now, I was trying to control or delay three enemy ships at once. Even with none of them having a base move faster than S+S and the guaranteed “backwards L” provided by Thor/GWL, it wasn’t going to be sustainable. The Cyclone or Destiny would get home, and the Patagonia… could suicide? More on that soon….
My plan was put in play – with 4 masts up on the Divine Dragon, Davy Jones felt comfortable sailing out. He raced the ship southeast to intercept the Destiny, which was quickly captured. This netted me the Jade UT. The Rover arrived home with a 2 coin while GWL moved the Patagonia back.
Back to the Patagonia. This is where an interesting rules hangup occurred. The Patagonia could ram the western iceberg that removed the Coeur, eliminating the Patagonia’s only mast. Then she could row over to a sargasso sea just southeast of that area, trapping herself on purpose! “If a game piece is tangled, you can use its action for the turn to try to free it. Roll a d6 and add the current number of masts or segments on the tangled game piece to the result. If the result is more than 6, the game piece is untangled.” O_O With 0 masts, she can’t roll more than a 6! In that case, she would be “stuck forever”, potentially triggering the “no future move actions” end condition if Xerecs’ fleet was also out of action by that time… BUT, with GWL guaranteed to be able to move the Patagonia L on each of my turns, I could potentially finagle my way out of it and prevent the seaweed from stopping play.
I developed a new plan. The Patagonia would be stopped from exploring, stopped from scuttling herself after losing a mast, stopped from getting stuck forever in a sargasso sea, stopped from doing… anything. Every time she moved S for any reason (Xerecs continually directed her northwards), GWL (w/Thor as needed of course) would move her back L. She had to be kept away from icebergs so she couldn’t lose her lone mast. I was helping out Vendari! 😉 XD LOL! First sparing the Baochuan and now this! XD Or just using his last little ship as a puppet to make myself rich heh.
I also realized (way later than I should have) that any/all three of the enemy ships could make plans to scuttle themselves. It wasn’t limited to one – the Patagonia and Destiny could ram icebergs to eliminate their final masts and then scuttle themselves, and the Cyclone was still pretty close to the last surviving Odin iceberg she could use to remove herself from play. With the Destiny now in my possession and the Cyclone already derelict and able to be scuttled, the choice became obvious.
In the end, the clear best decision was to put the Patagonia on artificial “life support” to prevent the game from ending. XD What a thought – Davy Jones’ second wave of terror was so scary, it nearly led to the game ending via mass suicide! :/
True to form, things went as I planned or expected. The Divine Dragon was towing the Destiny home when the Cyclone rammed herself into the final Odin iceberg, removing her and Xerecs from the game. Now it was only Vendari’s Patagonia keeping the game afloat, and she was certainly doing fine lol – in no trouble whatsoever! Moving only S every turn meant she would never get anywhere, with GWL forcing her back on each of my turns.
This created something I haven’t seen all that often – one player has complete control of the game (usually there’s more of a ticking time bomb in the form of a suicidal enemy ship), but decides not to end it so they can get the most gold and ensure victory. I’ve barely ever played Yugioh and not in many years, but this reminds me of the infamous Yata-Lock. O_O XD Similar to that situation, here we have a player that continues taking turns as they see fit while completely denying the enemy player any action at all – completely robbing them of even playing the game. Here the GWL/Thor/Patagonia combo is the lock, using an enemy ship rather than a friendly “monster” to keep the game going – of course, until all the gold in play is mine. 😀 LOL!
Say what you will about this being a “lame” ending or whatever, but remember what it took to set up – a Mind Control gimmick fleet that is theoretically far outclassed by UPS/Baochuan enemies, who didn’t stop my fleet from accumulating the incredible Nemo’s Plans+Runes of Thor combo that allowed it to transpire in the first place. (with some additional help from Odin of course heh)
With that, there was no reason to continue playing “normally”. Now began “the simulation”, where I was able to do whatever I wanted with no interference from the remaining player. Xerecs and I talked this out and basically I would spend probably an hour (or more) gathering gold from the various sources, taking care to unload each and every coin individually with Jade applied to double it. This would likely be accomplished with the Destiny, since she had cargo spaces open along with a silver explorer that would give +1 to the DD’s silver 5. Since I didn’t keep track of Xerecs’ gold (and Vendari could be bluffing about his 36, though he wasn’t and his gold was easier to track since it all came in in a 2 turn windfall), no chances could be taken – I would max out my gold score to give me the absolute best chance of winning. No reason not to, especially in a simulation that doesn’t need to be played out since I was sailing unopposed.
The one slight wrinkle was Thompson’s Island, which held the 3 to build it along with another coin. However, a fully repaired DD and Kentucky were available for this, and I rolled some dice to make sure I would eliminate the fort to get all the island’s gold. I even got lucky and didn’t face return fire, with a double action Divine Dragon proving enough to overpower the fort. The other coin was a 7, so the 10 gold would provide a nice boost – especially when doubled individually via Jade.
The Final Scores
1. A7XfanBen (Mind Control): 72 Gold
2. Captain Vendari: 36 Gold
3. Xerecs: 29 Gold
If Thompson’s Island was left intact: 1. A7XfanBen: 52, 2. Xerecs: 39, 3. Captain Vendari: 36
Crazy enough I actually didn’t even need Jade either.
Without Jade: 47-36-29 (with me destroying Thompson’s Island, and Vendari in 2nd again)
A number of Rules questions came up during the game, though I don’t think any of them would quite affect the outcome directly, or at least not overturn the result.
Asterisks: Vendari had to leave early (Patagonia actions afterwards not consequential though), round earth affecting strategy/Xerecs’ play, some potential Rules hangups.
Perhaps it’s fitting that going after the Destiny was a path to my victory. (“fulfill your destiny”) This game got pretty dark, there are definitely some weird parallels to mass genocide/suicide that were carried out by Davy Jones. Perhaps GWL used the loa to control the gods…
“Commandeering the Gods to commit mass genocide” – Indeed, here Davy Jones led a campaign that resulted in a brainwashed, mind-controlled GWL to use the power of the loa to commandeer the gods for the purposes of a partial genocide, which directly resulted in mass attempted suicide. But then GWL intervened and didn’t even let the victims get what they wanted, refusing them (the Patagonia with Mycron and Robinson aboard) “assisted suicide” until finally Davy Jones had his fortune and reigned supreme. Yikes….
I didn’t play perfectly, but I still feel this game deserves to be in my Master Strategist post. Despite my gaffes, some solid accomplishments for just one game. 🙂
Wreck the Baochuan: Check
Beat a UPS fleet with a gimmick fleet/Mind Control: Check
Win the game with more gold than the other two fleets combined: Check (with a proper ending, or “full simulation”)
Permanently lock a ship in place: Check
Use Odin Missiles in a normal game: Check
I was able to insert or “inject” CG4 into this game. Which is a little absurd given how tiny this game is to CG4, which realistically has over 7000 total points in play, over 100 times this game’s build total. (and given how long it took to accumulate combos in that game)
Thanks to Xerecs and Captain Vendari for helping to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the FB group with a wild game!
Thanks for reading! 😀 Comment below what you thought of the game!
+All forts available to these factions (but mainly Paradis de la Mer, The Devil’s Maw, and Dead Man’s Point)
The Zeus gets Coved to an island on the first turn, and sacs to redock twice, sending coins to the Bonnie Liz and Sea Crane. They redock, giving each coin +3 to its value, transferring freely in between actions. The Zeus sacs each turn and continues sending coins home, changing islands when necessary. There are plenty of oarsmen to feed the treasure loop, so the Zeus shouldn’t run out of sac fodder for a while. If the Zeus is compromised, the Bonnie Liz and Sea Crane are both very capable gold runners ready to sail out whenever needed. If enemy home island raiders become a problem, Paradis might be built to send gold to a wild island if the Zeus can’t deal with the raiders.
If you want, comment below your thoughts on the fleet and rate it on a 1-5 scale!
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)
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…
2. LE Griffin (RotF version; #207)
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.
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 Myngs
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.
6. Lawrence, Administrator Scott Bratley (BC version)
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.
7. Commodore Rhys Gryffyn Owen, Countess Diana Doone (BC versions)
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.
8. Admiral Morgan
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.
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)
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.
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
Hi everyone! This is a thread where you can share what Pirates stuff happened over the past year. It can be just about anything, from accomplishments to purchases to cool ideas. If this seems too vague, you can look at mine for an example. There’s also the option of stating your Pirates Goals for 2021.
It will be nice to look back upon the entire year and find joy and amazement in how much we’re capable of. List (possibly with links and/or a short description) everything you accomplished in 2020 in regards to Pirates that you thought was a good thing that happened. Everyone could make their own post and contribute their own things that they did or are currently doing. When I think about this past week for example, I don’t really think much of it, but when I consider everything I’ve personally done in the entire year, I feel amazed at myself! ? I think others could share that feeling as well if they look back at everything. Also, little things count too, so it doesn’t have to be all about one particular event or anything. Once everyone has posted, we can talk about what we accomplished as a whole forum.
Pirates Goals for 2020(set last year)
-I did play at least one game – in fact, a handful of “endable” games. (as opposed to the next goal lol)
-I played a bunch of ridiculously long and epic CG4 turns.
-I did teach 2 new players.
-I was able to be on Pirates with Ben more than I expected.
-I did a podcast and a bunch of videos!
I was fortunate to have more free time than I expected this year, which allowed me to exceed my own Pirates expectations and goals for the year.
-Bought a 3D printer and made some ships from it!
-Recorded 29 videos with one still in the works. +1 podcast.
-Helped some creators with custom game piece feedback and expanded the Customs Database.
-Played 5 games (Of the 5 games, 2 were teaching new players and 1 was introducing a player to VASSAL)
-Continued CG4… and then some. To say the least. 🙂
-Played with 3D printed ships and wood paste ships for the first time
As a side note, the (extremely fun) time I spent playing CG4 this year probably would equate to 100+ games of “standard” games (1v1 at 40 points)…. One of the reasons I don’t care about yearly game count anymore. It does already feel healthier to go with “impact” and fun factor with games played. Though I still miss my relatively gargantuan totals from 2011-2017.
I know it’s boring, but my goals for next year are for now going to be nearly identical to this year.
Pirates Goals for 2021
-Play at least one game. (Tentative goal: Play a game on water)
-Play my turns in CG4 when/if I am able.
-Teach at least one person how to play the game.
-Check in to and maintain Pirates with Ben when I can.
-If able, contribute to the Pirates realm of 3D printing/etc, with testing/creating 3D print files/looking into an artwork solution/etc.
-I’d love to do a podcast episode and maybe a few videos, but these seem less likely than the above.
Feel free to comment below with your own 2020 Year in Review! Or post your submissions for the 2020 End of Year Awards!
Played a quick little game on VASSAL with Tyraziel, who is back into Pirates after many years! He was a member of Flightleader’s old site, I think called Pirates Pocketmodels World.
I made a new fleet I hadn’t used before and rolled to go first. Game pieces can be found in the Master Spreadsheet.
La Victoire + The Hag of Tortuga, captain, helmsman, firepot specialist, exploding shot, fire shot
White Rose + Hammersmith (F&S)
Le Dauphin Royal + Capitaine Arathiel, Gaston de St. Croix, Phillipe du Brissac, Vicomte Jules de Cissey, Claude Perier, oarsman
L’Artesien + explorer
Le Bon Marin
(Xerecs made the English fleet at the top but wasn’t able to play)
The Royal got Gaston’s SAT, but without a helmsman she couldn’t reach the Victoire. The Pirates took full advantage, moving L+S to rake the Royal’s bow with a lethal barrage of flaming weaponry. One after another each fire weapon was revealed, with the Victoire missing on the 2S firepot but hitting with all three 3L’s in range, setting the Royal ablaze and putting the French sloops on notice. De Cissey was killed by the exploding shot, giving the Pirates 1 gold via Ransom.
The Dauphin returned fire aggressively, hitting twice in her first action while keeping the fires at bay. However, things quickly unraveled from there, with fire spreading and engulfing the foremast. Perhaps blinded by the smoke and heat, the Royal’s gunners then shot her final cannon out the starboard side of the ship, with no chance at hitting the Victoire.
From there it was a relatively easy and predictable takeover by the Pirates, with the Victoire continuing her fiery success by dooming both the Royal and Artesien via flaming shots! My cannon luck was better than usual today. Fire is a very satisfying aesthetic when it works right.
The White Rose had explored the southern island and returned home with its 3 coins, then whirled to the north to help intimidate the Bon Marin. However, this game was nearly all La Victoire, with yet another exploding shot connecting to end the game!
With my preferred house rule of “sunken gold is gone”, I won 10-0 (three 3’s from the White Rose + 1 from Ransom). With the regular 2 player rules of splitting treasure, I won 14-3 (splitting the gold from the Artesien). The Victoire setup was rewarding to use, with that ship laying down 5 fire hits out of 7 masts in the enemy fleet, and two crew eliminated via exploding shot!
Welcome Tyraziel aboard and huzzah for another game! 😀
The idea for this fleet came to me when a game for the 10th anniversary of the Facebook group was discussed. Xerecs led the setup process, with a build total of 70 points. I immediately thought of an idea – use the extra 30 points to “enhance” my powerful and competitive UPS 5 fleet. (which did rather well in VASSAL Tournament #1)
It’s a fun concept I actually haven’t really played around with much – take an existing uber-competitive UPS fleet build, and scale it up to non-standard build totals. I do find 70 points to be a fun build total, so let’s see how much better UPS 5 can be with some extra points available. Just the thought of “enhancing” any UPS fleet is scary…. O_O XD
As a side note, all credit goes to darrin for (as far as I know) creating the UPS fleet strategy – his fleets can still be seen via links in the T2 bracket.
I quickly started realizing I could combine existing elements of prior UPS fleets and integrate them into UPS 5. However, the original idea was to start with UPS 5 and enhance it from there with the extra points, so I came back around to that. For the next iteration, see Bonus Zeus. XD All game pieces found in the Master Spreadsheet.
Zeus + Captain Jack Sparrow (058 Common version), “Don” Pedro Gilbert, Tia Dalma, helmsman, explorer, oarsman
Le Coeur du Lion + 2 oarsmen
Jolly Mon + The Hag of Tortuga
Sol + helmsman, explorer
Banshee’s Cry + Genny Gallows (SM version)
4 oarsmen on the home island (1 or 2 being Spanish)
+All forts available to these factions (but mainly Paradis de la Mer, The Devil’s Maw, Fortaleza Dorada, Dead Man’s Point and St. Pierre)
Tia Dalma climbs aboard the Zeus to provide cancelling protection. This will help to ensure the Zeus is protected while CJS does his dirty work, in addition to making it more likely that the Zeus would get a first strike advantage against any opponent.
This is where it gets fun. The UPS strategy has been beaten to death by myself and darrin, so I won’t go into the extreme details. However, with the additions there are now TWO ships teleporting coins home, and two ships waiting at home to unload the goodies for instant gratification. XD
The Zeus might still sac out to the nearest wild island, but Hidden Cove allows for supreme flexibility and options. The Sol doesn’t have great speed or a source of extra actions (for a build total of 80, add the Patagonia+Robinson+Mycron combo for 10 points), so she is likely to get Coved out. In that situation, both ships should be able to teleport coins home on the first turn.
The Coeur was the unloader in UPS 5, but in this fleet the Banshee’s Cry is the primary unloader. The BC isn’t even a regular gold runner or the star of the fleet as she usually is, she’s just a home island receiver barge! XD Here the free transfer of crew to and from your home island gets abused – par for the course among UPS fleets lol. When the Zeus or Sol explores, the BC starts with an oarsman aboard. The oarsman is flipped for a coin. Then Genny Gallows boards the BC as a free action. Then the BC redocks and unloads the coin, giving it +2 to its value! XD
This fleet might still be susceptible to a fleet that has at least one (preferably two) hard hitting gunship, especially something with good L range cannons like HMS Grand Temple that could start messing with the Zeus (maybe via Capitaine Chevalle) without having to deal with Tia Dalma. But given the powerful presence of the Sol and BC, those ships might allow the Zeus to just handle combat on her own. If the Zeus went ham on an enemy gunship, it could spell trouble for any adversaries – between Sac and cancelling, the Zeus is a pretty nasty foe. There’s also the potential for the Zeus to sac for L+S+L+S speed and chase down an enemy runner late in the game, boarding with Hoard to steal a win. However, with two sources of the CJS ability, a +2 bonus applied to multiple coins, and the BC as gold running backup, I don’t think this fleet will have a lot of trouble winning games.
If you want, comment below your thoughts on the fleet and rate it on a 1-5 scale!
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.
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)
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 Spanish can make a strong case for being the 2nd best faction in the game, and being one of the Big 4 factions along with England, France, and the Pirates, it’s no surprise that their ranks of named crew are impressive. 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. If you see something you like, feel free to click the affiliate link to see if it’s available on eBay. Let’s see the Top 10 for Ranking Spanish named crew!
1. Capitán Alarico Castro (SM version)
Point Cost: 3. Link: Castro’s Loyalists
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. (aka Born Leader or SAT)
Castro was the top dog for Spain since the early days of the game. The cost effectiveness and versatility of SAT brings him slightly ahead of the more specific use cases of the rest of this list.
2. Victor De Alva(F&S version)
Point Cost: 8
Ability: Loyal:Spain, Captain. Once per turn, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, this ship can be given an extra action.
Combining two of the best abilities in the game into one crew and therefore one cargo space, this version of de Alva is the perfect crew for a hybrid or gunship. He is perfect for the insanely good San Cristobal.
3. Duque Marcus Vaccaro
Point Cost: 0
Ability: Limit, Ransom. Choose one Spanish 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 perfect crew to pair with any EA/SAT/AA crew is a 0LR Reroller. Vaccaro is of course easy to fit into any fleet and very commonly used when Amore is not in a Spanish fleet.
4. Nemesio Diaz
Point Cost: 5. Link: Fernando Sanchez
Ability: Once per turn, cancel the ability of one crew or ship within S of this ship.
The original Canceller, Diaz is a great fit for a number of Spanish ships, notably El Acorazado and the San Cristobal.
I ranked these together even though they’re not quite equal; the BC version of Castro is the best of the trio. However, Freda provides SAT for 5 points (still a good cost for such a great ability) along with a cannon bonus against the Corsairs, while Rivera provides EA for 6 points. Seeing their artwork all in a row kinda makes me feel like they’re all part of the same family. XD
As much as I don’t like the Cargo Master ability, this version of Bianco definitely deserves a spot on this list, and could arguably be higher. Being able to give all Spanish ships in your fleet +1 cargo is incredible, and is clearly a broken ability in large or campaign games. Secret Hold is always nice to have on a gold runner or hybrid, with Bianco being the kind of “grand” crew sometimes missing from the Spanish ranks compared to the other Big 4 factions. (for example, the Spanish don’t have a single AA crew, while the English and Pirates got 2 each)
7. Dominic Freda (RotF versions)
Point Cost: 4
Ability (common version): Explorer. This ship gets +1 cargo spaces. This crew takes up no cargo space.
Ability (LE version): Explorer. One of this ship’s treasures is worth +2 gold when unloaded at your home island.
Consistently one of the best named crew across expansions, Freda ranks up there with Castro and Bianco as Spanish “all star” crew. It’s worth saying that you’ll probably use these versions of Freda more than the BC version if you have SM Castro, but as I said in the intro, using this list for fleet building is somewhat futile if you need specific abilities for specific setups. In this case both secondary 3 point abilities are extremely good; the +1 cargo version is of course a cheaper card to obtain, but +2 gold on something like the Joya del Sol could be a game winner.
8. Luis Zuan (MI version)
Point Cost: 7. Link: La Colera
Ability: This ship may move and shoot using the same move action. This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against any non-Spanish ship.
I realize I’m a bit biased since this is one of my favorite named crew ever, but I really think that combining these two great offensive abilities into one cargo space gives Zuan the edge over his older self. (by age not by set heh)
9. Luis Zuan (RotF version)
Point Cost: 2
Ability: Hostile: Pirate, Loyal: Spain. Captain.
The only 2 point captain in the entire game, this Zuan might appear in the top 3 on others’ lists. However, it’s not usually that hard to fit Captains into fleets (you generally need to, after all) at their regular 3 point cost, and I’ve actually seen the Hostile: Pirate become a problem when making mixed nationality competitive/”meta” fleets.
10. Roberto Santana
Point Cost: 6
Ability: Loyal:Spain. Once per turn give any ship in your fleet +1 to all of her cannon rolls.
This final pick feels like a total wild card. I wanted to go with the SS version of Bianco’s Haulers, but that would be letting my Guichuan doom setup bias me too much, and this is a Spanish crew list. XD
Santana gives Spain a very valuable “global World Hater” crew, who just like AA crew can generally thrive more and more the bigger the game gets.
Extremely Honorable Mentions: Bianco’s Haulers (SS version; This ship cannot be shot at while docked), Almirante Devante del Nero (BC version; World Hater for 4 points), Duque Alfonzo de Castilla (FN; Captain+Crew Killing)
Other Honorable Mentions: Almirante Carlos Pavón y Miranda, Comandante Antonio de Silva (SM version), Master Bianco (SM version), Joaquin Vega
Feel free to comment below your version Ranking Spanish named crew! 😀