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Pirates of the Spanish Main Tips

The Best Ship
April 2, 2007

I just started playing the game about a month ago, and I have bought
 at least a box of each set except for south china seas( because I
 can't find it anywhere). I have all the send-aways, le's, and
 convention ships! My question for you guys is, what is the best ship overall? - Bill Buff


The best ship? Best at what?

There are a multitude of things a ship in this game can do, from the broad (gold running, fighting) to the focused (stealing derelicts, robbing home islands). A ship that is good at one of these roles will typically be mediocre at most of the others. But some can fill more than one role, and a very few can do really well in multiple roles.

To me, that is what a "best" ship is - flexible. It also needs to give above-average value for its point cost. To narrow the field, I'll pick one "best" ship from each of the factions I'm familiar with, and a runner-up that, while not as flexible, is either an unusually good ship or a superb value.

Pirates - there are many contenders, but I have to go with The Darkhawk II for its awesome cargo, four fair-to-good cannons, and a very low price for what you get. Runner-up: the Banshee's Cry, for her extraordinary speed, good cargo, and jaw-droppingly-low price of only three points.

England - the most flexible ship in this faction may be HMS Gibraltar, with her blazing speed, two good cannons, and a special ability (rob enemy home island) that scares people. Runner-up: HMS Titan, which is not cheap, but is probably the baddest five-masted fighter in the game.

Spain - this faction has some good gold ships and some good fighters, but one stands out: the Santa Isabel, with excellent cargo, very good speed, four decent cannons, and a fun special ability (one treasure worth +2). Runner-up: La Monarca, one of the fastest gold ships in the game, at a good price.

France - here, I have to vote for the ship that, in the hands of other players, has caused me more grief than any other: Le Courageux. With good cargo, two good cannons, very good speed, and a good special ability (ignore first hit while intact), she packs a wallop for a low price. Runner-up: Le Bon Marin, a superb gold ship with a built-in Explorer for a minuscule price.

USA - no question, my favorite has always been USS Franklin, with good cargo and four good cannons that become devastating, thanks to her special ability (+1 if she has a Captain). She's no gold ship, but she's one of the best fighters you can get. Runner-up: USS Freedom, with very good speed, good cargo, and four decent cannons that become good if her special ability (+1 vs Pirates) comes into play.

Corsairs - this faction has one outstanding ship, the Tiger's Eye, with blazing speed, very good cargo, three decent cannons, and a good special ability (ignore L cannons). Runner-up: the Golden Peacock, an unexceptional gold ship, but I just like the look of her.

Jade - there isn't much to choose from, but I have to pick the Grand Path, with six good cannons and very good cargo. She's also the toughest boarder in the game (except for the ten-masted junks).
Runner-up: the Noble Swan, a turtle ship with high speed, a low price, one good cannon, and invulnerability to both ramming and boarding.

Cursed - I own and use only one Cursed "ship," and that's Calim, which is just about the only sea monster with enough speed to make a nuisance of itself.

Mercs - they have nothing in the same league as the ships I've listed above.

Vikings - they have some interesting ships, but they're all overpriced, which disqualifies them from this little contest.

So which one is the best? That depends on your playing style; what's best for me may be so-so for you. But if I had to pick one ship, I'd flip a coin to decide between the Santa Isabel and the Darkhawk II.
These two are both so good in so many roles, and give such good value for the points you spend, that they both deserve the title "Best Ship Overall."

Cadet-Captain Mike

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