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Ranking: Pirate Gunships

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Avatar for a7xfanben

Joined: 27 Jun 2011
Posts: 5776

Subject: Ranking: Pirate Gunships   PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:02 am Reply with quote

The Pirates have always been the best faction in the game when you consider the quantity and quality of ships. While they're generally a bit better at getting gold (through various means), they can really put up a fight as well.

Top 10 Pirate Gunships:

1. Zeus

Sometimes I forget about the Zeus since I don't own her yet, with my biggest Pirate ships being the five masters. She is something to behold, and although I don't generally think ten masters are worth paying for, the Zeus is the cheapest of the bunch. Her guns leave something to be desired - I would highly suggest using Bruce Grey since the more cannons a ship has, the more value you get out of improving each and every one of them. With Bruce Grey and the standard captain and helmsman, this ship will be dominant. She is viable in 40 point games, and her ability and huge size makes her perfect for stealing lots of gold from your opponent's poor treasure runners.

After the Zeus, things get a lot harder in a hurry. The next 6 or so spots could easily be changed around.

2. Black Pearl

For some reason I always underrate this ship, so I was surprised to rank it this high. This is the best version of the Black Pearl. Her ability is key, allowing her to move L+S+S with a captain and helmsman with 2L, 1L, 1L, 2L guns. This is a great package.

3. Revenant

This is the original Pirate flagship! The Revenant is and will always be a classic. I find her ability to be a bit more practical than the Harbinger's. This is one of the only Pirate ships with 4 or more masts to have unmodified rank-2 guns.

4. Harbinger/Harbinger

These two are the same ship thematically and similar in gameplay, so I'm combining them to make room for another ship in the top 10. The derelict ability is powerful, but the problem is twofold in a game, especially a smaller game. The Harbinger will be transported away from where the action was, so depending on the situation, you may not want to use the ability. In addition, the odds of repairing the captured ship and actually using it effectively against your opponent in the same game are relatively small, especially in smaller/faster games. The Harbinger will have to dismast an enemy ship and capture her very early on in the game. That being said, you can't go wrong with either of these gunships.

5. La Victoire

This ship loses out to the above ships because her cannons are a bit less accurate. However, the Victoire is one of my favorite new ships and one of the most unique ships in the game. You can use French crew on the Victoire, and she's got 6 cargo spaces! This makes her ideal for leaving some spaces open to run gold and/or steal it. Her point cost is great and probably even a little too low, making this ship a great option. She looks black in the picture but is actually a very dark purple, making her even more unique!

6. Black Pearl (damaged)

Here's another version of the Black Pearl, trading speed and point cost for a nice ability and S-range guns. Her ability makes her ideal for packing crew aboard, and this is a gunship to be reckoned with.

7. Darkhawk II

This ship is legendary. She has more cargo spaces than most ten masters and almost as many cargo spaces as points! On top of everything else, she makes for a great gunship. If you want to go overboard you can use tailor-made Jonah to turn this ship into a monster. Easily one of the best ships in the game. I remember CC Mike saying that he thought this was the best ship in Pirates. In addition, possibly the best overall hybrid ship.

8. Deliverance

I have a soft spot for the original Deliverance (listed below as an honorable mention), but this is the better ship. The Deliverance is the fastest Pirate five master, making her intriguing right off the bat. She would be ranked higher on this list if she wasn't lackluster in other areas. If you're looking for a very large gunship that's also very fast, this is the best the Pirates have got.

9. Windjammer

This is one of the best 3 masted gunships in the game, with great speed, solid cannons, and a nice ability, all for just 9 points! If you haven't used the Windjammer I would highly recommend doing so. For more details check out my review of her.

10. Recreant

This was a tossup. Any of the ships in the "almost" list can be subbed in for the Recreant, but I felt that she deserves more recognition than she's gotten so far. The Pirates have a plethora of awesome 3 masted gunships (see below for more), and the Recreant is one of the best. For 14 points she'll move L+S with the move-and-shoot and built-in crew-killing.

Very close to being in the top 10 (in no particular order): Empress/Empress, Morning Star, Eagle, Selkie, Diamond Strike, Black Swan, Golden Medusa, Accused, Doombox, Ophidious

Other honorable mentions (in no particular order): Black Pearl, Flying Dutchman/Flying Dutchman, Kray-kin, The Kraken, Revenge, Freedom's Hand, Minerva, Splinter, Widowmaker, Angelica, Deliverance, Raninoidea, La Morte de Yarborough, Raven, Royal James, Treasure, White Rose, Devil's Pay, El Tejon, Xiamen's Claws, Cutlass, Executioner, Panda, Pride, Red Curse, Greed's Hammer, Sister's Rage, Carrion Crow, El Ballista, El Ladron, Longshanks, Raven's Neck, Sea Nymph, Fool's Hope/Fool's Hope, Lady's Scorn, Akua Lapu, Bruja
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Avatar for volt

Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 715

Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:56 am Reply with quote

This was a tough list. I have a special love for the White Rose, Golden Medusa, and Lady's Scorn (I reviewed her), and have a hard time ranking them below the two 3-masters you put on there. Those three ships all speak to me because of their abilities, rather than their guns.

Good list though =)
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Avatar for lord_denton

Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Posts: 1496

Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:54 am Reply with quote

Very, very good list! I think the upper part of the Top 10 could be more or less chiseled in stone.

Of course I feel the need to add some of my own. Wink They are sort of long shots though. How about the Draconum , Devil's Pay and the Grand Barnacle ? The Devil's Pay would need another ship with a Navigator, or something to give her speed. The Grand Barnacle and Black Swan are very comparable, though the Barnacle has two worse cannons for one more cargo space.

(I nominate the Raven's Neck and Red Curse for the Support Ship category, when the time comes!)
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Avatar for woelf

Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2944

Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:05 am Reply with quote

All great ships. Zeus was pretty much a lock for the top slot no matter what else the Pirates had, just because it's so ridiculously cheap for the sheer number of cannons you get. Their accuracy is only average, but when you've got 10 you can afford to miss a few times. The fact that you're not required to bring along a specific crew makes it effectively cheaper yet. Slap on a +1 to cannons crew and an action generator, and you're all set.

Darkhawk II is extremely good for the price, but the flaws keep it from being the best of the best. The 10-point capacity means that you pretty much have to rely on Jonah if you want to use on any more than the most basic of crew, and that put them all at risk of getting ejected any time you take the ship into combat. Go with just a captain, helmsman, and at most one or two other crew to stay under the 10-point limit and you're wasting half the ship's capacity.

Windjammer has always seemed average at best. The fort protection is really nice, but any player that lets this ship hang around one of their forts long enough to do any meaningful damage to it deserves to lose that fort. Longshanks gets you almost the exact same ship (trading one cannon's accuracy for a cargo space), but comes at only 2/3rds the price - basically making it the original El Algeciras.

I'd put Akua Lapu in the Top10 just because it's tailor-made for Bonny Peel to grab crew left and right - with no risk of ever being pinned.
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Avatar for a7xfanben

Joined: 27 Jun 2011
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:46 am Reply with quote

lord_denton wrote:
How about the Draconum , Devil's Pay and the Grand Barnacle ?

I purposely left the Grand Barnacle out because she's so similar to the Black Swan but with worse cannons. I think bombardiers (and fire in general) are a bit overrated, but I could see the Draconum as an honorable mention especially since she's cheap.

I did include the Devil's Pay as an honorable mention. She has no place in the top ten with low speed and no way to carry both a captain and helmsman. Her cost is nice but I like the Carrion Crow better for the extra speed and maneuverability.
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