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Ranking: Spanish Gunships

 
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a7xfanben
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Subject: Ranking: Spanish Gunships   PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:40 pm Reply with quote

The Spanish have never been lacking for good gunships and treasure runners. They are a very playable and balanced faction, similar to the French.

Top 10 Spanish Gunships:

1. La Resolucion

This is one of the best (if not the best) world-hating ships in the game. Pure, raw firepower is what makes a gunship great, and this ship fits the bill.

I know there will be a lot of disagreement here with how I've ranked the top 5 or so ships, but this is just my opinion. In large games (80 points or more) and deathmatches, the Acorazado takes the top spot on this list and it's not even remotely close. However, with these lists I'm looking at the ships as a whole. Therefore speed and the viability of the ships to participate in a standard 40 point game is important.

2. San Cristobal/San Cristobal

I'm putting these two together because they're similar and I don't think it's fair if one of them took a spot away from another ship. Both have the ability to move incredibly fast without too much help. Add in more crew or combos and they're such fast gunships that they can essentially fly around hitting whatever they want. However, their high point cost and average guns are a detriment that needs to be looked at.

3. El Acorazado

This is the best true "gunship" in the game. Her problem lies in her speed and high point cost. When crewed correctly, this ship can defeat any other ship in the game in one-on-one battles. I have the battle reports to prove it. Cool

4. Asesino de la Nave

This was one of my first four ships. The "ship killer" is exactly that, one of the most potent forces in the game. She's a bit slow, but this ship is one of the best 3 masters in the game and able to crush any enemy ship with one shoot action.

5. El Monte Cristo

The smaller version of the Resolucion. The same arguments apply here, but the Monte Cristo only has room for a captain and helmsman and nothing else.

6. Santa Ana

This is a great ship overall, with great stats in every category except for speed. She's similar to the LE San Cristobal. Definitely a must-have ship for any Spanish admiral.

7. La Tartessos

This is one of the more simple five masters. Relatively cheap firepower without a lot of space for crew and equipment. Very good gunship.

8. El Algeciras

I'm getting sick of this ship, lol. Best value support gunship in the game, yadda yadda yadda. Perfect for flotillas.

9. El Cristal del Obispo

This ship is perhaps a bit overrated. Her ability generally only works once and it isn't that hard to work around. In addition, she's expensive and has average guns. That being said, the Cristal is still a force to be reckoned with on the high seas.

10. Armada/Diablo

As you may have seen in my other lists, flotillas are a great choice to round out the top 10. They give you very cheap long range firepower while sometimes combining it with devastating offensive abilities. Both Spanish flotillas are among the best. As stated previously, ships like the Algeciras (and maybe San Cristobal) are perfect for towing these little menaces.

Very close to being in the top 10: Santo Columba, El Leon, La Sirviente, El Alma

Other honorable mentions (in no particular order): Virtuous Wind, La Cordoba, La Reconquistador, El Paso, El Toro, Granada, El Montenez, El Neptuno, El San Francisco, El San Salvador, La Catedral del Mar, Santos Romanos, El Rosal, La Ebro, El Extremadura, El Villalobos, La Cazadora, El Algeciras, El Príncipe de Asturias, La Habana, Santa Lucia, El Corazon del Mar, El Duque, El Garante, El Tirador, L'Aguila, La Resolucion, Valeroso
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:18 pm Reply with quote

I love that you are doing this, because I like hearing what other people value. And because I enjoy it, I will point out how I disagree with you haha.

Firstly, I understand why people value El Acorazado, and I understand the strength of its ability, but it can be bypassed by broadsides, for example the HMS Swallow which can easily get the first shot with its speed and/or a second action. (yes its still a 50/50 shot, but still - did you face it in a 1v1?). The combination of S speed and high cost kills it for me in ANY regular game. My gaming group has been playing off and on for 5 years and not once, even in higher point games has anyone used her. (Also, I admit haven't read all your battle reports - did the Endeavor beat it too 1v1?) I'd still put her on my list, but nowhere near the top. I guess I have to use her sometime to gain an appreciation lol.

Secondly, I am very surprised Santo Columbo did not make your list. Maybe I am biased from reviewing her (miniature of the week!), but she is one of my favorite Spanish ships, and she would be in my top 3 on this list easily.

My list would probably look like this:
1. San Cristobal(s) (I would rank these 1 and 2 if separate. You cannot undervalue speed, ever)
2. Santo Columba
3. Santa Ana
4. La Resolucion
5. La Tartessos
6. Asesino
7. El Algeciras
8. El Acorazado
9. El Cristal
10. El Monte

I think your next list may be the hardest of all lol...
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:23 pm Reply with quote

Great list overall, although I'd personally make a few adjustments... Razz

a7xfanben wrote:
1. La Resolucion

This is one of the best (if not the best) world-hating ships in the game. Pure, raw firepower is what makes a gunship great, and this ship fits the bill.
This is a Top 10 ship for sure, but I wouldn't put it anywhere close to the #1 spot.

Yes, semi-permanent Rank-1 cannons are really nice, but in practice (and statistically) they're really not *that* much better than Rank-2 cannons, and that "cannon blindness" of a lot of players is covering up some significant flaws.

The biggest one being the undersized cargo hold, which is a serious problem for this ship. By the time you've added the Captain and Helmsman required to actually use those cannons, you're down to just a single space, which severely limits what else you can do the with ship. This especially hurts with Spain, because there are so many excellent options for support crew - cancelers, bonus actions, crew-killers, etc. You can add Bianco to give yourself two free spaces to work with, but then you're going to be bumping into the point limit if you want to use anything more than equipment and/or cheap crew.

That, along with the starting base move of L, pushes this ship into more of a secondary gunship or support role because even with those high accuracy cannons it's going to have a hard time against a tricked-out flagship on its own. That's not a bad place to be and it is in very good company (Asesino fills in a similar role), but that does knock it out of contention for the top spot.

El Monte Cristo (#5 on the list) has the exact same problems magnified because you lose a cannon AND a cargo space but are paying almost as much to use it. Monte would be fortunate to even make the "almost" list.

Quote:
2. San Cristobal/San Cristobal

I'm putting these two together because they're similar and I don't think it's fair if one of them took a spot away from another ship. Both have the ability to move incredibly fast without too much help. Add in more crew or combos and they're such fast gunships that they can essentially fly around hitting whatever they want. However, their high point cost and average guns are a detriment that needs to be looked at.
This ship, at least the non-LE (+L with a Captain) version has been one of those "elephants in the room" since it came out. The cannons are only average, but being so ridiculously fast virtually guarantees it the critical first-strike in any encounter, plus it can run down almost any treasure ship the opponent could bring to the table.

It is a costly ship, but no more than any of the other "flagship" level ships in other nations, and what that high cost (plus the good-sized cargo hold) does is provide plenty of room to load it up with whatever crew you need to make it even more deadly. If you've got enough points to properly equip El Acorazado, you can do some really scary things with this ship instead.


Lumping the two versions together does sort of a disservice to both, though. Even though their base stats are the same, those abilities make them very different ships. You can make the Non-LE version a "match" for the LE by simply adding Castro , but there's nothing you can do to make the LE as fast as the Non-LE - at least, nothing that can't also be done with the Non-LE (Trade Currents, etc.). If the LE deserves its own space in the Top10 (which if we're being honest it probably does) then so be it, although with the difficulty of actually acquiring it being just below that of Chum Maker, I might bump it down to the "almost" category instead.

Quote:
3. El Acorazado

This is the best true "gunship" in the game. Her problem lies in her speed and high point cost. When crewed correctly, this ship can defeat any other ship in the game in one-on-one battles. I have the battle reports to prove it. Cool

4. Asesino de la Nave

This was one of my first four ships. The "ship killer" is exactly that, one of the most potent forces in the game. She's a bit slow, but this ship is one of the best 3 masters in the game and able to crush any enemy ship with one shoot action.
No arguments on either of these two. Both are excellent ships for very different reasons, although their lower base moves do leave them at somewhat of a disadvantage against some of the key ships from other nations that are much faster. That's not nearly as much of an issue in deathmatch, though.

Quote:
6. Santa Ana

This is a great ship overall, with great stats in every category except for speed. She's similar to the LE San Cristobal. Definitely a must-have ship for any Spanish admiral.
I would have put this one much higher on the list, potentially even second (behind the Non-LE San Cristobal) or third, because it's basically a scaled-down version of the venerable HMS Titan . Having that extra action built-in really opens up the options for crew because you don't need to add one to do it, and even with it kicking in only some of the time it still more than pays for itself in most games. Given a choice, I'd take this ship over the slightly more accurate cannons of La Res every time.

Quote:
7. La Tartessos

This is one of the more simple five masters. Relatively cheap firepower without a lot of space for crew and equipment. Very good gunship.
Good and relatively cheap for a 5-master, but it doesn't really stand out to me, and that cargo hold is pitifully small for a ship of its size. I'd put both El Cristal del Obispo (#9) and Santo Columba ("almost") well above this one.

Quote:
8. El Algeciras

I'm getting sick of this ship, lol. Best value support gunship in the game, yadda yadda yadda. Perfect for flotillas.
Yep, no question. You simply cannot find a better gunship/flotilla-hauler for the price.




One glaring omission from the entire list is La Santa Isabel. Maybe you intentionally left it out because it's going to be near the top of the treasure-runner list, but a ship doesn't earn the title of "best hybrid ship in the game" without being an excellent gunship in its own right. I'd be tempted to even put it in the Top 10 for both lists, or at worst the "almost" category for gunships.


ADDED:
Without going through the entire roster of ships one-by-one, here's roughly how my list would look:

1) San Cristobal (Rare/non-LE)
2) Santa Ana
3) El Algeciras
4) Asesino de la Nave
5) El Acorazado
6) La Resolucion
7) La Santa Isabel
8) Santo Columba
9) El Neptuno - Inaccurate but you can't beat that range, and the price is right too!
10) El Cristal del Obispo

11) San Cristobal (LE) - Really more like #5 or #6, but demoted for the reasons given above.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:00 am Reply with quote

volt wrote:
I love that you are doing this, because I like hearing what other people value. And because I enjoy it, I will point out how I disagree with you haha.


I love that I'm getting feedback and arguments, especially on this list! I encourage more members to contribute to the discussion because the game is so fun to talk about!

volt wrote:
Firstly, I understand why people value El Acorazado, and I understand the strength of its ability, but it can be bypassed by broadsides, for example the HMS Swallow which can easily get the first shot with its speed and/or a second action. (yes its still a 50/50 shot, but still - did you face it in a 1v1?). The combination of S speed and high cost kills it for me in ANY regular game. My gaming group has been playing off and on for 5 years and not once, even in higher point games has anyone used her. (Also, I admit haven't read all your battle reports - did the Endeavor beat it too 1v1?) I'd still put her on my list, but nowhere near the top. I guess I have to use her sometime to gain an appreciation lol.


I did not use the Swallow against the Acorazado in my games. I'll have to try that sometime, hopefully by the time I stop this run of games I'm in right now (until around the third week of January). Both ships would have cancellers so yes, the Swallow would have a solid shot at sinking the Acorazado. If not, the Acorazado would win, so the entire game would always come down to one die roll (the BA roll). Since it's 50/50, you could theorize that each fleet would win a similar amount of games. That would be an easy series to do so I'll probably test that out soon.

As for the Endeavour, that is the only ship that can go toe-to-toe against the Acorazado one-on-one. The Acorazado crushes almost any other ship with ease. When I pitted the Acorazado against the Endeavour in one-on-one action, the Endeavour won 10 games and the Acorazado won 9, although three of the games won by the Endeavour were a bit biased. It really is a perfect matchup since they both cost 21 points and their abilities are polar opposites.

Battle Report from 01-13-2013 wrote:
I was able to play a few games today, earlier than I expected. I only got out two ships, however, and everything is already put away.

The matchup was a duel for the ages: El Acorazado versus HMS Endeavour. I've been wanting to see these two ships (alone) pitted against each other for a long time. Arguably the best defensive ability in the game against arguably the best offensive ability in the game. On paper, it looks like an even matchup, with both ships weighing in at 21 points, both powerful 5 masters. Their abilities are opposites, and most of the time, the crew on both ships were similar.

I expected El Acorazado to win, and I almost wanted her to. As a side note, there was no English bias at work here, since I don't even know which ship I like better.

Since each game was a quick, one-on-one deathmatch (with HI's about 5L apart), I was able to play 19 games in around 2 hours.

The first three games saw the ships go at each other bare-bones with the exception of a generic captain. El Acorazado won 2 out of 3.

The next series of 12 games saw the two ships duke it out full of crew. El Acorazado went with her maxed out setup: Luis Zuan (MI version), Admiral Alarico Castro (SM), Nemesio Diaz, Joaquin Vega, Duque Marcus Vaccaro, and a helmsman. HMS Endeavour was crewed with Hermione Gold (MI), Sir Christopher Myngs, Rhys Gryffyn Owen, Christian Fiore, and a helmsman. I would have maxed out the Endeavour's point cost, but she has 4 cargo spaces. In this stretch of intense games, El Acorazado went 7-5.

Then a series of three games was played with the Acorazado exchanging her helmsman for a shipwright. The idea would be to let the Endeavour fire first, and then repair with a double action as needed. This backfired, as the Endeavour won all three games.

After 18 games, each fleet had won 9. For the final game, the ships went back to their standard crew, from the 12 game setup. HMS Endeavour won the game, but I'm not convinced that she is actually the better ship.


Later post

volt wrote:
Secondly, I am very surprised Santo Columbo did not make your list. Maybe I am biased from reviewing her (miniature of the week!), but she is one of my favorite Spanish ships, and she would be in my top 3 on this list easily.


The Santo Columba was just barely left off and would have been #10 if I hadn't wanted to include the flotillas. I'm not a huge fan of S-boarding and for a point or two less I'll usually go with a more (in my opinion) powerful ship like the Resolucion or Asesino de la Nave.

volt wrote:
I think your next list may be the hardest of all lol...


You think so? I haven't been thinking about which one is the hardest, although once I'm done doing all the factions I can look at which "almost made the top 10" list is the longest. It will be interesting to see if there are as many disagreements with the next list as there are for this one!

woelf wrote:
Great list overall, although I'd personally make a few adjustments... Razz


I was wondering if you'd make an appearance after not commenting on all of the other lists so far! Smile

woelf wrote:
Yes, semi-permanent Rank-1 cannons are really nice, but in practice (and statistically) they're really not *that* much better than Rank-2 cannons, and that "cannon blindness" of a lot of players is covering up some significant flaws.

El Monte Cristo (#5 on the list) has the exact same problems magnified because you lose a cannon AND a cargo space but are paying almost as much to use it. Monte would be fortunate to even make the "almost" list.


Yup, I overvalue rank-1 cannons more than anyone else. Very Happy

My history of bad dice luck (but only with shoot actions) has affected my choices for gunships. However, I rate these ships so highly because with my luck I'll generally hit at least 3 times with the Resolucion and generally two times or less with a ship like the San Cristobal. I wouldn't be surprised to hit 4/4 with the Resolucion and 0/5 with the San Cristobal (things like this happen all the time in my games, hence my decision to value lower ranked cannons above all else).

woelf wrote:
One glaring omission from the entire list is La Santa Isabel. Maybe you intentionally left it out because it's going to be near the top of the treasure-runner list, but a ship doesn't earn the title of "best hybrid ship in the game" without being an excellent gunship in its own right. I'd be tempted to even put it in the Top 10 for both lists, or at worst the "almost" category for gunships.


I probably should have put the Santa Isabel in as an honorable mention. For reasons I just stated above, I can never consider a ship with four rank-3 cannons an "excellent" gunship.

Thanks for all the comments!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:31 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
woelf wrote:
Great list overall, although I'd personally make a few adjustments... Razz


I was wondering if you'd make an appearance after not commenting on all of the other lists so far! Smile
I was just waiting for you to get to a nation worth commenting on. Smile

The French have been my least favorite nation in the game since the moment they first arrived. Gameplay-wise they've always seemed like little more than glorified Pirates, and most of their really good ships and crew are just knock-offs or straight-up copies of something from another nation.

The English are neat, but when it comes to treasure runners just coming up with enough good ones to make a list of ten is a challenge. Your list covered them well enough. I might have switched up the order slightly, but with such slim pickings it wouldn't make that much of a difference. No one is ever going to think of the English first when shopping around for a good treasure runner.

Quote:
woelf wrote:
Yes, semi-permanent Rank-1 cannons are really nice, but in practice (and statistically) they're really not *that* much better than Rank-2 cannons, and that "cannon blindness" of a lot of players is covering up some significant flaws.

El Monte Cristo (#5 on the list) has the exact same problems magnified because you lose a cannon AND a cargo space but are paying almost as much to use it. Monte would be fortunate to even make the "almost" list.


Yup, I overvalue rank-1 cannons more than anyone else. Very Happy

My history of bad dice luck (but only with shoot actions) has affected my choices for gunships. However, I rate these ships so highly because with my luck I'll generally hit at least 3 times with the Resolucion and generally two times or less with a ship like the San Cristobal. I wouldn't be surprised to hit 4/4 with the Resolucion and 0/5 with the San Cristobal (things like this happen all the time in my games, hence my decision to value lower ranked cannons above all else).

woelf wrote:
One glaring omission from the entire list is La Santa Isabel. Maybe you intentionally left it out because it's going to be near the top of the treasure-runner list, but a ship doesn't earn the title of "best hybrid ship in the game" without being an excellent gunship in its own right. I'd be tempted to even put it in the Top 10 for both lists, or at worst the "almost" category for gunships.


I probably should have put the Santa Isabel in as an honorable mention. For reasons I just stated above, I can never consider a ship with four rank-3 cannons an "excellent" gunship.
Fair enough. I know exactly what you mean about dice being uncooperative. Smile

As far as the ships go, I think it's the difference in how we approach gunship design. I've always found it to be much easier to take a fast ship with average cannons and improve its firepower than it is to take a slow ship with great cannons and make it faster. Excluding the few fringe cases like San Cristobal's captain bonus, there are really only three good ways to make any ship faster: a Helmsman, a Trade Current(Navigator), or an additional action, and any of those can be easily used by an already fast ship to make it that much faster. When it comes to improving firepower you have a vast array of options, from the simple +1 bonus, to rerolls, extra shots (Musketeer/Cannoneer), equipment, Specialists, plus all sorts other exotic and unique named crew, many of which don't even care about accuracy just as long as you manage to hit something once in a while.

Mostly I'm a fan of having lots of options, especially the option to load a gunship up with gold and race it home when the battle is over, rather than seeing a one-trick pony be forced to sit and do nothing because it ran out of easy targets or lost a critical crewmember.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:43 pm Reply with quote

woelf wrote:
I was just waiting for you to get to a nation worth commenting on. Smile

The French have been my least favorite nation in the game since the moment they first arrived. Gameplay-wise they've always seemed like little more than glorified Pirates, and most of their really good ships and crew are just knock-offs or straight-up copies of something from another nation.


Whoa! I really like the English and the French! I find the Pirates to be perhaps a bit overrated, but the English and French can definitely hold their own with the Spanish.

You're almost to 2,000 posts! I'm approaching 700.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:31 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
Whoa! I really like the English and the French! I find the Pirates to be perhaps a bit overrated, but the English and French can definitely hold their own with the Spanish.
I'm not saying the French are bad, just that I find them boring. Razz

Other than Le Bonaparte, which is uniquely French, almost all of the other really fun stuff they have can be found in other nations. Sometimes it's a little better, sometimes it's a little worse, but it's out there somewhere (and maybe a little too frequently Spanish).

I like the English. They've always had their own style, and for better or for worse they've stuck to it.

Pirates are more overloaded and over-saturated than overrated. They are really good, but with so much stuff available to them in general (twice as much or even more than any other nation) that's a given. If you go beyond the obvious things like Banshee's Cry , Zeus , and the Sac-Captains, they do have some really fun stuff.

Quote:
You're almost to 2,000 posts! I'm approaching 700.
Ha! I hadn't even noticed. Should be right about there now...
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