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Return to Savage Shores -- Sneak Pe- err, Flashback #1!
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woelf
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Subject: Return to Savage Shores -- Sneak Pe- err, Flashback #1!   PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:07 pm Reply with quote

With a completely new Pirates card game on the way, the fate of the old constructible game appears to be sealed. It'll never go away as long as people still play it, but it'll never be "new" again. With that in mind, it's time for a look back at what almost was...


DISCLAIMER #1:
If you work for or represent NECA/Wizkids and you feel that this in any way infringes upon your new game or future plans for associated games, please contact me and I will remove this posting immediately.



DISCLAIMER #2:
While I intend for this to be the first of several sneak peeks/flashbacks, I'm just going to pull out some of the highlights since I have neither the time nor ambition to cover the entire set. Requests for items will certainly be considered for subsequent postings, but I'm making no guarantees. Of course this also assumes nothing happens with Disclaimer #1 in the meantime.

------------------------------------------------


For this first sneak peek/flashback, we must start by looking all the way back to the Crimson Coast and the venerable HMS London.



It was an incredible ship for its time and remained one of the best "bang for your buck" ships in the game all the way to the end, yet it always felt like it could have been just a little bit better. That ability to steal treasure was never particularly useful, both because of its limited cargo space (after adding some necessary crew, obviously) and because of the way it only worked against Pirates so if you were facing some other nationality you'd never have any chance to use it.

That minor problem has now been fixed. Meet the new and improved HMS London:

HMS Halcyon
RSS-015, Uncommon

English
Points: 11
Masts: 4
Cargo: 4
Move: S+S
Cannons: 2S-2L-2L-2S

Ability: When this ship sinks another ship, you can repair one of this ship's masts.

Flavor: The HMS Halcyon always sees sunny days thanks in no small part to the ingenuity and abilities of her stalwart crew.



In pure stats alone HMS Halcyon is almost exactly the same as HMS London, but the critical difference is that it trades the barely useful treasure stealing ability for one that is much better suited for combat, especially long-term combat over multiple turns with numerous ships involved. Repairing one mast may not seem like much, but each time you do it you're saving an entire action, which translates to an entire turn unless an extra action abilty is available. Those turns add up, and the more you use it the more you save.

Unless you know you'll be facing Pirates and are planning to use HMS London's ability, HMS Halcyon is just barely the better choice between the two ships. Although, at only 11 points each, there's more than enough room in even a standard 40-point game to use them both at once.

---------------------


The Americans always struggled to find extra actions for their ships. Of the few they had, most came with expensive secondary abilities, or worse they appeared on different versions of the same character so only one could be used at a time. That meant they frequently had to shop around in other nations for those additional actions, or do their best to go without. In RtSS, their prayers were answered, with the triumphant return of an old friend.



George Washington LeBeaux
RSS-012, Rare

American
Points: 6

Ability: Instead of giving this ship an action this turn, you can give another ship in your fleet two actions.

Flavor: For many months, strange visions and the sound of unfamiliar drums resonated in LeBeaux’s dreams. Spirits in distant lands were crying out for help and he has traveled far from his native Louisiana to answer them.



Unquestionably it is one of the most powerful abilities ever added to the game and (depending who you ask) it's also one of the most easily abused, despite having appeared only twice before. The English got it on the infamous Lord Mycron, the French got it on Capitaine Baudouin Deleflote, and RtSS would have given the Americans the third.
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lord_denton
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:13 pm Reply with quote

Just when I was thinking the Pirates community needed a desperately needed shot to the arm to get some life. Smile Although I don’t see why you wouldn’t eventually release everything, even if it took a long time, you’ve already made the decision to go in, so why not all the way? (Not all at once, of course, but I don’t see why you rule out all eventualities/possibilities). I think the community could use a monthly bone.

~~~~~

Man, the only difference between these two ships is their name, flavor text, card number + set, and ability. Otherwise, they are completely identical (assuming it was going to use the same ship model as London). This is as good example, I think, of a power creep, assuming you consider the Halcyon's ability more useful than the London’s. It for sure is more versatile and arguably suited better for the purpose of a fighting ship. In the London's defense, there was a greater chance of facing a pirate ship back then (There were only 4 fully-fledged nations [5 counting the imminent Americans]). With the basic Helmsman + Captain combo, it only has 2 spots left, plus it can be tricky to touch a pirate ship (BGG along with the Pirate Code is down for maintenance, but I'm going to assume that it works for both a derelict and a ship with masts remaining). Although, Woelf, I don’t think the London’s ability is that conspicuous of a concern. Wink They both remain absurdly good ships within the English navy, in my eyes anyway.

You said at one point that, in addition to Navigators, Shipwrights were going to be the other generic crew in the original, pre-split SS, right? Fortunately, all the Navigators got pushed to SS. In that case, the Halcyon’s ability is worth even more if you are only playing within the set, since you have one of the few add-on tools already built-in. We will see what else RtSS had in store – if the English don’t have much in terms of gold this ship could do it – she has a fair clip of speed and a decent cargo with no crew. With these sets not having generic captains (At least it doesn’t seem that way) it kind of evens the playing field for all ships to serve as fighting ships, since the captains that are around are so expensive. Of course, in larger-build, multi set games (particularly deathmatches) the Halcyon’s ability only gets more and more useful. If you are planning on facing the pirates or want to go boarding and may end up facing the pirates, the London might just eek out over the Halcyon. Still, however, I don’t see either of these ships being made by their abilities – they are not one-trick ponies, but because of that their abilities are merely add-ons or extras rather than something to build a true strategy around.

~~~~~~~~~~

Well, I’m sure that players more experienced (Both with Lord Mycron and if they have been following the Americans since their introduction in CC) will appreciate LeBeaux better. Within Savage Shores (If we look at SS and RtSS as one set) they aren’t any American ships that could serve the role of faithfully staying at the Home Island to safely distribute extra actions to larger ships. The cheapest combination of LeBeaux and such a ship would be the USS Annapolis from SCS; Such a combo would be 12 whole points. That’s assuming that the ship with LeBeaux wouldn’t do anything else besides giving actions, but trying to multitask might tie your hands a bit. And then there is always the threat of the ram + board, and with the Annapolis only having 1 mast, LeBeaux would likely be hurled overboard in the struggle.
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volt
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:26 pm Reply with quote

<3 Woelf.

I want the Halycon, hah. I've always loved the London, but hated her ability. The Halycon's ability is one of those that sound great but may not come up often, but I still love it, lol.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:46 pm Reply with quote

lord_denton wrote:
Just when I was thinking the Pirates community needed a desperately needed shot to the arm to get some life. Smile Although I don’t see why you wouldn’t eventually release everything, even if it took a long time, you’ve already made the decision to go in, so why not all the way? (Not all at once, of course, but I don’t see why you rule out all eventualities/possibilities). I think the community could use a monthly bone.
After the disappointment of that "Pirates Returns!" announcement, I thought a little morale boost was in order. Smile

I'm still hesitant to release the whole spreadsheet out into the wild, but we'll have to see how things go with these previews/flashbacks for a while.

Either way, this will be a good "feeler" to see if anyone from NECA is paying attention to this site and/or if they even care.



Quote:
This is as good example, I think, of a power creep, assuming you consider the Halcyon's ability more useful than the London’s. It for sure is more versatile and arguably suited better for the purpose of a fighting ship.
I wouldn't call it power creep. It's more of a lateral move, since both are 1-point abilities that have been around since pretty much the beginning. El Ladron and HMS Gallowglass had that repair ability all the way back in Spanish Main, and it reappeared on the Pirate Morning Star in F&S. (I'd always thought it would be a cool ability to see on a crew.)

As straight-up combat ships HMS Halcyon is a little better, but HMS London does give that little bit of extra versatility and flexibility, so the "better" ship is really going to depend on what you plan to do with it. In either case, the minimal cost of the abilities barely effect the two ships at all - they'd both still be great bargains even without them.

Quote:
You said at one point that, in addition to Navigators, Shipwrights were going to be the other generic crew in the original, pre-split SS, right? Fortunately, all the Navigators got pushed to SS.
Correct, and all six of the primary nations were going to get shipwrights in RtSS as the only* generic crew in the set. Basically, they filled the same number slots in the checklist as the Navigators from SS (although not in the exact same order for some reason).

*Actually, that's not entirely true - there is one other generic crew in the set. It shouldn't be too difficult to figure out what it was and which nation got it when you consider everything that was in SS. Smile


Quote:
Within Savage Shores (If we look at SS and RtSS as one set) they aren’t any American ships that could serve the role of faithfully staying at the Home Island to safely distribute extra actions to larger ships. The cheapest combination of LeBeaux and such a ship would be the USS Annapolis from SCS...
If you're looking set-pure even with SS included, GWB gets no help in the cheap ship department - there's nothing for him under 13 points. Looking at the entire fleet as a whole, he'd be much safer on either Carolina (Rev) or Gator (OE) than USS Annapolis.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:49 pm Reply with quote

Well that was an interesting read and I would like to thank woelf for taking the time to write and post this. (And eagerly await the next Flashback Very Happy )
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:42 pm Reply with quote

Hurray for Woelf! What fun!!! Nice Job!!!

<tell us all!!!!!!!!!!>
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:22 pm Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for the sneak peek! LeBeaux would have been a useful crew to have, I wish he could have been released. I look forward to seeing what else could have been.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:17 am Reply with quote

Shocked Shocked Shocked

Those are some seriously neat pieces. I would have loved to use that version of LeBeaux with the U.S.S. Atlanta (FN version). Why Wizkids why?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:21 am Reply with quote

Thanks Woelf, Ireally enjoyed reading this preview/flashback. Looking forward to the next.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:19 am Reply with quote

Thankyou. Smile
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:35 pm Reply with quote

woelf the great!!!

I want to see 'Vieil Homme'

old_man
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:31 pm Reply with quote

Very Nice Woelf!
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captain_nemo

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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:41 am Reply with quote

Ah! If only that set was released...oh well, I'd probably be disappointed at the lack of mercenaries and submarines and just pass it along as another set to just collect ships and crew from...

...there wasn't suppose to be any more mercenary ten masts was there? Wink

~Nemo
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:54 pm Reply with quote

captain_nemo wrote:
Ah! If only that set was released...oh well, I'd probably be disappointed at the lack of mercenaries and submarines and just pass it along as another set to just collect ships and crew from...
RtSS was the second "half" of Savage Shores, so there isn't anything in the second half that wasn't in the first. In other words, no submarines, but there are a few more native canoes and a couple hoist ships.

Quote:
...there wasn't suppose to be any more mercenary ten masts was there? Wink
There were two in the first half, and the second half was going to use the same distribution method (Scavenger Packs), so... Twisted Evil
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:16 am Reply with quote

woelf wrote:

Quote:
...there wasn't suppose to be any more mercenary ten masts was there? Wink
There were two in the first half, and the second half was going to use the same distribution method (Scavenger Packs), so... Twisted Evil


Possibly four ten-masters for the Mercenaries, and none for the English!? I hope I'm speaking too soon. Either way, I too would love to see the whole set in full, though maybe it would be good to space it out, for multiple reasons (not that active here, keep the anticipation up Smile ). Thanks for restoring hope to us all, woelf, if only to reminisce about what could have been. Crying or Very sad Wink
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