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Ranking: Top 10 Gunships
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Subject: Ranking: Top 10 Gunships   PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:41 am Reply with quote

The Rankings threads are back! Well, at least for a couple weeks. Very Happy If you missed any in the original series, there is a compilation of them here. And you thought the Rankings were over, didn't you? Very Happy

I have to give a shoutout to godmason for his point system, as this post inspired the one you're reading now. I thought to myself: I've ranked the top gunships and gold runners for each faction; why not rank them against each other and compile a true top 10 for the whole game?

As many of you know, I've played a lot of games and I like to change up which ships I'm using. However, I know that a lot of others always like to use the best of the best, so this thread for you!

In addition, I'm open to changing my list here. As with the other threads, I'd love for each person to critique my list and then give their own top 10 in their post and critique the lists of others. I wish I had changed some of my other Rankings after hearing the discussion, but the threads are locked right now. Either way, my list will probably change. It's rather subjective, and depends on what you value and your own personal experience. Also, one could argue that coming up with an overall top 10 (rather than limiting yourself to one faction) is harder than any of the previous Rankings we've done. I found this to be quite difficult. As a result, these lists may vary widely, which should make for some very interesting discussion (aka please post!).

I'll say right off the bat: I like accurate guns more than anything. I've had generally poor dice luck with shoot actions, though my dice luck with other aspects (boarding, extra actions, etc) tends to make up for it somewhat. This is also rather ironic because I'm so into Royal Navy history and naval warfare in general, but I digress. Beyond that, I value practical results. I've played over 260 games of Pirates, and by this point I've gotten some hefty experience with a lot of these ships, which is a HUGE reason they're ranked the way they are. Also, it's worth noting that I play a lot of games over the standard 40 point limit, and I'm ranking the ships based on overall value, not just what value a ship can provide in a 40 point game. If that was the case, the list would look a bit different. (And yes woelf, that might mean that El Algeciras could make that list.)

I also didn't want to include any flotillas, since I think they should be kept separate at least for the overall Top 10.

With that criteria out of the way, let's get to the list!

1. El Acorazado


This should come as no surprise to those of you who have followed my fleets and reports over the years. Again, I value practical results, not just theory. I have plenty of proof that the Acorazado is likely the best overall gunship in the game, and here it is.

My extremely successful (27-9 record in 36 games played) HMS Grand Temple fleet faced a classic Acorazado deathmatch fleet on 6 occasions. The Acorazado fleet won every single time (see fleet comments), even when the GT had HMS London backing her up. Two of the best gunships in the game failed to defeat the legendary "Battleship". In addition, though the GT had no canceller, she did have EA capabilities and four 1L (with world-hater) guns, so it's not like she couldn't touch the Acorazado. In short, defensive abilities are better than offensive abilities, but this rare one takes it to an extreme, especially with Joaquin Vega.

The Acorazado has taken on numerous opponents in 1v1 deathmatch action, to see which gunship is better. After four 3-game series, the Acorazado was 11-1.

In a series on intense duels, the Acorazado then went 9-10 against HMS Endeavour. However, three of these games saw the Acorazado try to utilize a shipwright, which backfired and caused her to lose those games. Without that anomaly, the Acorazado went 9-7 that day against arguably the most brutally effective gunship in the game. (Her record over all of these games would be 26-11 against very stiff competition.)

The Acorazado might seem too slow, but when you actually USE her a lot in 1v1 scenarios, you realize that the defense more than compensates.

To conclude, El Acorazado is truly "THE Battleship". Very Happy

(The Constitution would probably be second on this list, but the ships are different enough that I didn't want to combine them, which is why you won't see her here. The Constitution is slightly faster but suffers in other departments.)

2. HMS Endeavour


This ship ranks second in large part because she went 10-9 (more like 7-9) against the Acorazado a few years ago. This ship is the most potent offensive force in the game. With a world-hater and extra action crew aboard (along with the standard captain and helmsman), she can realistically eliminate 20 masts in one turn! Shocked

Since this list is reserved for the absolute best of the best, every ship's weaknesses need to be looked at. I absolutely love L-range cannons, but not having any at S-range is something to consider. Ships like the Jarvis could potentially pick the Endeavour apart. Because of this, a canceller crew becomes even more important to the Endeavour, especially in a 1v1 situation.

The Endeavour is a force to be reckoned with, especially with the right crew.

3. HMS Grand Temple


I feel like I'm giving in to the hype on this one, lol. I ranked HMS Titan above the HMS GT in my first Ranking thread, but at this point I'm on the fence. The Endeavour gets #2 since here I'm really not ranking based on 40 point games, but just as a whole.

With the obvious HMS GT fleet linked above, I've also come up with some variations which show you how flexible and awesome this ship is.

Second
Third
Fourth

With all that content on the GT between the BR's and fleet descriptions, there's not much else to say. There are a few weaknesses, but the point cost and overall firepower more than make up for them.

4. HMS Titan/Enterprise


I didn't really want to rank these ships together, but that allows for another ship to make the list. Both have been strong forces since the early years of Pirates, and they've held up over time. The Titan has an edge in gun range at a slight discount, but the Enterprise is faster. The English are my favorite faction and I love L-range guns, so I prefer the Titan, but the Enterprise is absolutely fantastic and happens to be my second 5 master ever after only La Magnifique.

5. Zeus


This is the first and only ship on this list that I don't own. As a result, I cannot speak to how effective the Zeus is. This ranking pretty much assumes the use of a world-hater crew for just 4 extra points, which makes all 10 cannons 2S. Cadet-Captain Mike makes a good point by saying that world-hater crew are better on bigger ships since more cannons get the bonus. The Zeus is tailor-made for a crew like Bruce Grey, Calico Cat, or Crimson Angel. With that out of the way, the Zeus is a 10 master, and 10 masters have routinely disappointed me so far. However, the Zeus is very cost-effective, and with the right crew (ideally world-hater, captain, helmsman, extra action crew of some kind, and probably an oarsman) this ship can be a huge threat in just about any game.

Other than her large cost (which is low compared to other 10 masters), her main downside is that all of her cannons are S-range. This is a huge downside because not only do junks have a lot of bulk to shoot through (especially when a ship is towards her bow or stern), it also makes her vulnerable to ships like Le Bonaparte. It will be very difficult to get more than half of her guns to bear on any one ship, unless you have enough movement to pull perfectly alongside.

At this point, things got a LOT harder. I found it very difficult to separate ships. This will almost definitely change.

??????????

6. Blackwatch/HMS Gallows


When you actually think about it, these ships are actually extremely similar. They cost the same and have the same speed. The Gallows trades a mast for an extra cargo space. Their effective cannon ranks are similarly amazing (1L,1L,1L,1L vs. 1L,1L,2L,2L,2L). The Gallows isn't as famous, but that cargo space could come in handy and the English have a better selection of named crew than the Americans.

6.5 Franklin


After volt's comment, this ship jumps into the Top 10 after I realized how similar it is to HMS Gallows.

7. USS Kettering


Without question the best longship in the game. This ship combines fast speed with decent cannons for a very reasonable price tag. The built-in canceller just puts this ship way over the top. The low cargo is annoying, but it's enough for something like Jonathan Haraden/Commander Steven Decatur/Ralph David/oarsman, which is honestly pretty brutal.

8. San Cristobal


Ugh... I've held off long enough. I would never want to use this ship as a true gunship without a crew like Almirante Devante Del Nero aboard, but the speed is more than impressive. This ship is one of the best hybrids in the game, especially given her linked crew. The combos and crew setups are endless.

9. HMS London/HMS Halcyon


The London provides some of the absolute best firepower in the game for a very cheap price. The Halcyon is an almost identical ship from RtSS.

These last two spots are very up for grabs right now, and could easily change multiple times for me.

10. Harbinger/Le Superbe/Black Pearl


Obviously I haven't really decided on this last spot yet. I like all three ships, but I'm biased towards 5 masters. However, the Black Pearl combines great speed with formidable long range firepower, though one could argue the Superbe does similar things at a lower cost with more durability. I waffle back and forth between the Harbinger and Revenant, but the Harbinger has some S-range guns (which is good) and that great ability, not to mention her factional strengths.

Very honorable mentions that could jump into my Top 10, in no particular order:
San Cristobal (reminds me of the Titan/Enterprise)
Revenant
Le Soleil Royal


Some more honorable mentions that I don't think will make my Top 10. I could list more, but I tried to limit myself.
HMS Oxford
Le Bonaparte
La Resolucion
Asesino de la Nave
Santa Ana
Black Pearl
Ghost Walker
USS Thomas Jefferson
USS Mercury
Grinder
Executioner
Loki's Revenge
Grand Temple
Grand Path

(And a little shoutout to the Viking 3 masted Longships and the Mercenary 10 masters.)

Please post your lists and give feedback on the lists of others!


Last edited by a7xfanben on Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:49 am Reply with quote

Very impressive list, and I agree with most of it. however I think the Zeus's cannons are not accurate enough, even if there are more of them. In that case, I'd either move the Gallows up, or move the Constitution down. Also the Kettering is very powerful and very brutal, but at the end of the day she is still just a three mast ship, and that fragility will not help her in multi-ship battles, especially against larger ships. The San Cristobal can either move up to take her place, or be dropped from the list completely, her guns are average and the speed does not help if she zooms across the ocean and misses all of her shots.
With those two ships gone, there is room to move the Royal and Black Pearl up a spot, with the DJC, not SM Harbinger taking the last spot. Stealing ships is cool, but there are better things for your gunships to do.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:44 pm Reply with quote

Making a list like this is so hard, as you say, because of what we value and our experiences. It's hard for me to look at this and agree a lot though, since I am used to smaller point games and never really play deathmatch, hence why I have absolutely NO love for El Alcorazado (or the Expensive Constitution). They are too hard to make truly effective in a normal game.

Likewise, while you value accuracy above all else, I view it completely differently. IN my (compared to you, very limited) experience, speed is really what it is all about. It's great if I have 1 rank guns, but if I can't get the first shot in I will loose some of those guns before I can use them. Hence, I value speed and something to mitigate inaccuracy like double actions/reroll/WH above a lower rank. I don't know, maybe I just haven't played enough to be affected by such bad luck heh. More likely though, I am used to games with many people, and hence bigger maps which value speed a little more.

I find it very very hard to use a gunship that has base speed L unless it has a double action of some kind. For example, I would use Oxford every single time over the Gallows (well except vs. Le Bonaparte heh). In my games, I have seen San Cris with a WH and double action just absolute WRECK entire fleets. There is a reason why she is mentioned in the possible banned items list, and her speed is why. The only thing that I have seen stop her when she is correctly crewed is mermaids. To me, she is no question #1. Likewise the Black Pearl and her captain speed boost is also incredible, and something that I value highly, making her much higher in my list.

One more thing about your list - you rank the Gallows pretty high, which is understandable, but compare it to Franklin - its three points higher and its slower, and all you get is one more cargo. Unless you value L guns that much more, or you are considering the much better English crew options, I don't know how you can rank Gallows that high and keep Franklin off the list.

I have to get going, but I will definitely think about what my list would be. Unlike you, I do own the Zeus and have used her in a 40 pt and 60 pt game, and would keep her on the list, although maybe not as high heh.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:21 pm Reply with quote

@Xerecs: Partly because of our extensive campaign experiences, we agree more than volt and I agree. Very Happy

The Zeus was a tough one to rank, and I'm slightly surprised that both of you might have her lower on the list. I'll use her someday.

I don't like the fragility of longships, but I think the Kettering should stay where she is based on her fantastic speed and all-important cancellation.

@Both: As for the San Cristobal, I could never put a gunship with rank-3 cannons #1, but I also can't imagine dropping her off the list. As woelf and volt have pointed out, it's easier to make a ship's guns better than to increase a ship's speed. As with the Zeus, I believe the world-hater to be a necessity when you're using her as a true gunship (and not a hybrid or gold runner). And you're right Xerecs, I've had that happen before with fast gunships - the first few times I used HMS Grand Temple she was the fastest ship on the sea but couldn't hit anything before I added crew like Calico Cat.

Despite my original Rankings thread on Pirate gunships, I believe the SM Harbinger is definitely superior to the DJC version. The DJC version has less accuracy and a much more common (and less useful) ability.

@volt: You're right, our experiences are very different. I may even make a thread for "Best gunships in a 40 point game", but I want this one to be discussed first. This one is for the absolute best of the best, and simply matching gunship against gunship in 1v1 deathmatch action can truly prove which ship is better, hence the Acorazado being king in my book. There is no "unstoppable force" in this game (though the Endeavour comes close), but the Acorazado can actually be the "immovable object". Perhaps I've hyped her up too much based on my experience, but she is simply amazing.

You are also right about our games - I don't play many smaller games with more than 4 players, and I greatly enjoy tight setups with less distances between islands, primarily because it makes the games more exciting, provokes more combat, and gives some of the slower ships a chance to shine. However, for campaign games I often have a ton of factions involved, and once the games reach huge status (1,000 or more points), even some of these gunships become borderline irrelevant with how much there is going on.

Regardless of how much you or I have played, my bad dice luck (mostly just for shoot actions; I've been VERY lucky with Mimi and Tabby in VASSAL Campaign Game 1) has followed me over the years. At this point I've mostly just accepted it and have to plan around it.

Good point about needing double actions for gunships with a base move of L; a fair amount of my intense battles and epic moments have occurred in epic campaign games, where you literally run out of double action crew for every single faction, even the Pirates. Shocked

I think I'll add the Franklin to the list - I've acquired her but funny enough haven't really used her yet. I guess I didn't realize how similar she was! And yes, my English bias and bias towards L-range guns played a role there. However, I wasn't considering the named crew differences - I really dislike doing that (this thread is about the best gunships in the game, not the best crew).

My list is getting very convoluted. Laughing Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out.

Looking forward to seeing more lists!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:35 pm Reply with quote

Interesting points there Volt. Correct it is hard to make a list of this sort but a7 has done his best and now we, the viewing members of the Forum shall discuss this list and any potential changes.

EDIT--Hmm, having read your most recent comments before I posted now makes me a little hesitant to post since you raise some very good point about various ships. I suppose I'll make some smaller posts to address some issues.

I have re-drawn some of my conclusions based on my own knowledge, experience, and some of what you mentioned Volt.
1. A gun ship should never be smaller than 4 masts, and should never have rank 3 cannons of any sort, not even one.
2. Speed does matter.
3. You cannot share spots.

With that almost half of the list is now invalid, what with the rank 3 guns on the San Cris, Zeus, BP, GT, Blackwatch and Acorazado; as well as the Kettering due to her size. All of them are deadly ships, and Volt pointed out why the San Cris is so devastatingly good, her speed. However I value accuracy, and even with a World-Hater, those three guns will miss. I thought about a proposed counter to this list based on my re-conclusions (mentioned above) and on Volt's statements.

1. HMS Endeavour

Offense is the best defense, and it's how you win games, not just in Pirates mind you.


2. Enterprise

Just a hair faster than the Titian puts her at the no. 2 spot over the original English beast. The Titan is a point cheaper, and has L-guns built in to her. The Enterprise is faster, but only just, and the Enterprise can quickly be made Eternal for very little cost, something the Titan cannot do.


3. HMS Titan

She's a point cheaper than than her American counterpart, but she is slower. Speed matters, and with a base move of L, the Titan even with her astounding ability can sometimes not get the first shot in. Yes the English have better crew options, but speed is speed.


4. Revenant

Her ability may be somewhat situational, but at least it's not a reverse Hidden Cove, which is essentially what the Harbinger is. That ability is useful, but it should be on a smaller ship like the Philly, N.O. and El Dorado. On a gunship it's a one-way ticket back to the HI, and away from the action, which is where a gunship should be,especially in multi-ship, multi-player engagements. Thus the Revenant's ability to shoot through ships to get at the hiding or more important ones is better.


5. HMS Gallows

Near perfect guns, she beats out the Franklin due to her accessibility and better crew choices. The Franklin is faster, but the Gallows is better. Her range and cargo hold are excellent for a gunship, however her size is also a factor, placing her here in the 5 spot.


6. Franklin

Extremely accurate guns, and moving at a decent speed for a gunship. She has two drawbacks: her accessibility, and her limited crew options place her below the Gallows.


7. HMS London

The speed and firepower bring the London here, even though she has an ability that will not help he fighting, which is why she is lower than the Franklin. The Franklin may be more expensive and have less crew options, but her ability makes her deadly, while the London's makes her decent. Still near perfect guns, S+S and four masts all for 11 points? Yes please.


8. Saber

Possibly the best Switchblade ship. accurate cannons, an ability that complements her blades with enough room for some good crew arrangements. I would have ranked her higher due to my history with poor boards and how effective ramming and boarding can be in a swarm. However, she is not naturally fast, is expensive, is only 4 masts and is French, who lack good offensively minded crew.


9. Skin Flayer

The next best Switchblade, she has much of the draw as the Saber, however as with the Franklin and Gallows, accessibility is key. The Skin Flayer is a SR from FS, and is therefore hard to acquire. Furthermore the Cursed lack halfway decent crew and ships to begin with. However they do have enough viable options to put the Skin Flayer here at the 9 spot.


10. Grand Path

You'd think that her size and rank 2 guns would put her near the top, but her speed, accessibility, and access to good crew bring her to the very last spot. Her ability is very useful, though it may not look it. Having been on the receiving end of a swarm of rams and boards, +1 to boards is a must, even for ships with more than 5 masts.


With this now done, I can see clear distinctions between the play styles of myself, Volt and a7. Volt is practical and plays standard 40 point games where speed and gold rule. a7 plays games of all sorts and sizes, and thus values accuracy above all else. I play mostly deathmatches and am wary of the possibilities of ramming and boarding. Between those styles however there is common ground to be found.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:50 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
@Xerecs: Partly because of our extensive campaign experiences, we agree more than volt and I agree. Very Happy

The Zeus was a tough one to rank, and I'm slightly surprised that both of you might have her lower on the list. I'll use her someday.

I don't like the fragility of longships, but I think the Kettering should stay where she is based on her fantastic speed and all-important cancellation.

@Both: As for the San Cristobal, I could never put a gunship with rank-3 cannons #1, but I also can't imagine dropping her off the list. As woelf and volt have pointed out, it's easier to make a ship's guns better than to increase a ship's speed. As with the Zeus, I believe the world-hater to be a necessity when you're using her as a true gunship (and not a hybrid or gold runner). And you're right Xerecs, I've had that happen before with fast gunships - the first few times I used HMS Grand Temple she was the fastest ship on the sea but couldn't hit anything before I added crew like Calico Cat.

Despite my original Rankings thread on Pirate gunships, I believe the SM Harbinger is definitely superior to the DJC version. The DJC version has less accuracy and a much more common (and less useful) ability.

@volt: You're right, our experiences are very different. I may even make a thread for "Best gunships in a 40 point game", but I want this one to be discussed first. This one is for the absolute best of the best, and simply matching gunship against gunship in 1v1 deathmatch action can truly prove which ship is better, hence the Acorazado being king in my book. There is no "unstoppable force" in this game (though the Endeavour comes close), but the Acorazado can actually be the "immovable object". Perhaps I've hyped her up too much based on my experience, but she is simply amazing.

You are also right about our games - I don't play many smaller games with more than 4 players, and I greatly enjoy tight setups with less distances between islands, primarily because it makes the games more exciting, provokes more combat, and gives some of the slower ships a chance to shine. However, for campaign games I often have a ton of factions involved, and once the games reach huge status (1,000 or more points), even some of these gunships become borderline irrelevant with how much there is going on.

Regardless of how much you or I have played, my bad dice luck (mostly just for shoot actions; I've been VERY lucky with Mimi and Tabby in VASSAL Campaign Game 1) has followed me over the years. At this point I've mostly just accepted it and have to plan around it.

Good point about needing double actions for gunships with a base move of L; a fair amount of my intense battles and epic moments have occurred in epic campaign games, where you literally run out of double action crew for every single faction, even the Pirates. Shocked

I think I'll add the Franklin to the list - I've acquired her but funny enough haven't really used her yet. I guess I didn't realize how similar she was! And yes, my English bias and bias towards L-range guns played a role there. However, I wasn't considering the named crew differences - I really dislike doing that (this thread is about the best gunships in the game, not the best crew).

My list is getting very convoluted. Laughing Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out.

Looking forward to seeing more lists!


Regarding the Zeus and any ten mast in general, she's so big and poses such a threat that she can make the most bitter of Rivals team up to eliminate her. Once surrounded by two or three ships it wont matter if you have the most deadly crew options on the Zeus, she will still fall. I still want to get my hands on her someday though.

With respect to the powerful cancelling ability, the Kettering should not be on this list, nor should the Ghost Walker. Mainly due to her size but there is a way to get around the Cancelers, swarming them and ramming+boarding. I had an opponent crew his ships with the intent of going after Canceller ships. I realize now that what he was doing was technically illegal due to the stacking rule, but point remains. The Kettering is a very deadly ship, but she will fall short in multi-player, multi-ship engagements. She can only cancel one ability at a time, so surrounding her and swarm ramming her will work brilliantly to get rid of her.

The San Cristobal. The fastest ship in the game. Cannons leave something to be desired, which is why I cannot include her in any gunship conversation. World Hater is nice when the guns start out already very good, and the Cristobal's are average at best. I find her to be a super hybrid of sorts with her amazing speed, and access to Spanish Gold Crew.

Point taken, the SM Harbinger is better than the DJC one, although I don't see S boarding as less useful. However the Revenant is better than either version.

With regards to campaign games, Quantity will take precedence over Quality. The potential to launch several mediocre gunships at once and swarm enemies is great, and I've had that happen to me and done just that.

I too look forward to more discussion on this thread.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:00 pm Reply with quote

Great discussion so far! I can't wait for woelf to arrive. Laughing

Xerecs, I value your experience extremely highly, but I think your new criteria are too specific and narrow.

I have two MAJOR problems with your latest list:
1. Accessibility should NOT be considered whatsoever.
2. I don't think that named crew options should be considered highly at all. Even the Americans, Cursed, and JR's have great named crew to put on their best gunships. They don't have as many so they suffer in campaign games, but for the sake of this discussion, it's about making a list of ships, not crew.

I think you will face some criticism from saying you can't have rank-3 cannons on the list, much like how I will always face criticism for overvaluing the Acorazado and her ability (until they use her like I have! Very Happy). No offense, but putting the Saber above HMS GT is not good. You can even just look at the basic stats: 4 guns for 23 points compared to 6 guns for 15 points? Also, I've found the selection of French named crew to be rather impressive, and their boarding mindset works perfectly with the Saber.

As for the Kettering, ANY of these ships, even the Acorazado, will fall eventually with enough numbers against them. We love talking about our campaign games, but we're pretty much the only two people on this forum who can really go in-depth about that. Keep that 1v1 (ex: Acorazado vs. Endeavour) criteria in the back of your mind for this thread.

I still like the Revenant better than the Harbinger, but lately I've been thinking that the Harbinger is a slightly better ship. It's very close though and I'll probably switch again. Laughing I do like how you can add a helmsman to the Revenant and essentially say she's the faster ship when their point costs are equal.

PS: Volt's games are generally 60 points, so he's played bigger than 40. Smile
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:36 pm Reply with quote

Perhaps I am being too narrow, but having had big bad ships like the GT, Acorazado and Cancelling ships fail in the past, I've come to realize that even in smaller games, boarding and rank 2 guns to start with will win the day, especially against the Eternal ships and crew.

Fair enough, accessibility will no longer be considered, with that the Gallows, and Franklin switch places, as well as the Skin Flayer and Saber. However i still like and prefer ships with rank two cannons to start, and the GT only has two of them, even though she's awesome, rank 3 cannons miss too often for my tastes.

However if we consider ships with decent cannons, then the Lady's Scorn should be mentioned. Re-roll and Eternal built in and her access to superior crew options would make her a formidable gunship. Then there's the Endeavor's lesser played older brother the HMS Leicester

Other ships that can be honorable mentions on your list that I do not see:

HMS Bretwalda
Flying Dutchman
Janissaries' Blood
HMS Lord Algernon - I'm surprised she didnt make it on the list in any form!
Fool's Hope
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:45 pm Reply with quote

Those ships aren't good enough for this list. This is for the best of the best. I don't use BA very much. I feel like the Janissaries' Blood is included only because the Corsairs haven't been mentioned yet. She's good for them, but nothing compared to most of these other ships. HMS Lord Algernon is my favorite ship, but that was before I even knew about most of the ships in the game. She doesn't measure up here, but she's good. If you think she should be an honorable mention, then you'd have to list the Ville de Paris as an honorable mention as well. That version of the Fool's Hope is cool, but her guns, cargo and speed leave much to be desired, and the San Cristobal costs just a point more.
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el_cazador
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Subject: Saint Cristopher   PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:51 pm Reply with quote

I'm surprised at the rating of San Cristobal. She is not an exceptional or unique gunship in that she needs support (world-hater and Roberto Santana) to reach maximum destructive potential. Rather, her unusual speed makes her a supreme threat on the seas. That first strike can end the battle in one action. Even with minimal crew, she's far deadlier than, for example, the USS Kettering.


She's also a great utility ship:

-She's faster than most treasure ships
-She's bigger than most treasure ships
-She has serviceable cannons
-She has serviceable cargo

These traits make her an excellent shipping-killer. Send her on her merry way, and your opponent will watch as his merchantmen sink into Davy Jones's locker.


The HMS Halcyon is much better than her sister thanks to her ability. While both are situational, her additional durability is better than trying to fit gold into an already-packed hold.


If the USS Mercury was just a little faster (even S+S as opposed to L), she'd be so much more of a threat. As is, she deserves the mention, but there's hardly any way for her to make the list.


The Zeus is such a big gunship that if you hit her 5 or 6 times, she can still cripple/derelict/sink you. I think that's pretty valuable in any situation.


As for 'best' gunships, that depends heavily on criteria; we may never have a conclusive list. But I think that a few more ships are worth mentioning:

Deliverance (OE)-- She's fast and links to a discount worldhater/SAT.
La Corse (DJC)-- She's small; she's deadly.
Bonhomme Richard -- She has a good mix of cannons, great speed for her size, and a large cargo hold.
Armada -- I realize that this one is a flotilla, but it has 4 cannons at S+S range that eliminate cargo. Do not take this one lightly.

And let's not forget:
Le Solitaire-- She's unquestionably the best gunship in the game.
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marhawkman

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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:55 pm Reply with quote

there is one major weakness your #1 has... Fire shot. As good as that ability is, fire doesn't care. The places I've played Fireshot was very popular. Lighting an enemy on fire and then running away is an irritating, but viable tactic.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:19 pm Reply with quote

Fire is a good way to kill any ship, not just that one. Good point though, it and ramming are two ways to circumvent that fantastic defense of the Acorazado's.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:30 pm Reply with quote

I like how you drew conditions on your list, X - it makes it a little easier to quantify the list.

And in thinking more about this list, I think the real issue here is "Best Gunship made" vs. "Best Gunship I would actually use in a game." hehe. Since we favor different kinds of games, this is where our disagreements come in.

Sure, Endeavor is a beast, but you know what? I've never used her in a game. Even when I had to make a 60 pt English pure fleet, I didn't use her because of the cost to make her fast enough (Hello, Griffin ) wasn't worth it in my mind (plus, afraid of Mermaids lol)

If I put conditions on my "Best Gunships I would actually use in a 60 pt game or less" list, I think they would be:
1) Speed greater than S
2) Cost less than 20 pt before crew
3) Have at least 4 masts
4) No rank 4 or higher cannons, preferably at least half rank 2 with mixed ranges
5) Have no other role other than fight.

This eliminates Zeus, Endeavor, and a bunch of others you mentioned because of cost, but hey X eliminated the GRand Temple so I don't feel so bad. =)

Under these conditions, my list would look like:

1. San Cristobal - The only one on the list with all 3 rank guns, but a WH can fix that pretty easily.

2. Enterprise - For a faction that has no cheap double action crew, the Enterprise's ability makes her one of my favorite, not to mention my innate love of Star Trek Wink I suppose I can put HMS Titan here as well, but I rank her slightly behind Enterprise because of speed.

3. HMS Grand Temple - Speaks for itself.

4. Black Pearl - as stated above, love the movement bonus (and I can help but love it for the movie)

5. Franklin - for someone who doesn't particularly like playing Americans, I sure do like some of there individual ships heh.

6. HMS London - you guys stated all the reasons this ship just rocks. I will put HMS Oxford here as basically a tie. Both have crappy abilities, but Oxford's speed offsets the lack of L guns.

7. Santo Columba - I love this ship so much, I wrote a review about her. I like S board, so her value is higher to me than a lot of people.

8. Intrepid - Another American, but one that has just been such good luck for me and my group as a whole. I actually crushed my original copy and almost cried lol.

9. HMS Apollo - was a ship that took me a long time to get. Gotta love a built in reroller, plus SS speed. I will put Bonhomme Richard here as a rough tie, although I rank her below the Apollo because of her not as good ability.

10. Basically a lot of really good 5 masted L ships can go here. The top three would be Blackwatch (gosh those sails are awesomely ugly), Revenant (best sails in the game?) and Le Soleil Royal (had to include at least one French, especially since I called it the best french 5 master)


There are a few honorable mentions: Lady's Scorn , one of my favorite ships ever, White Rose , whose ability makes it multipurpose, Le Superbe , Golden Medusa , HMS Gallows, HMS Durham , the other San Cristobal, and Executioner .
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Subject:    PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:23 am Reply with quote

Oh, props to remembering the Santo Columba. I Forgot about her in my own honorable mentions list, like you I value S-board as well. Your mention of Mermaids reminded me of something, I never use them in a game. Ever. This was mostly due to not having that piece until recently, but even now that I do have them I probably wont use them. With this in mind the options for gunships and what we value changes significantly. If ou want a Gunship and not have to worry about Mermaids, then the best one by far should be the USS Stephens
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marhawkman

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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:24 am Reply with quote

ooh the Stephens... yeah that thing is incredible. captain + reverse captain as builtin? It's not got the best cannon or move, but meh.
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