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miniature review Blackwatch: Second Best American Ship in the Game!

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Miniature Review
Blackwatch: click to enlarge

Miniature text:

This ship gets +1 to her cannon rolls against any non-American ship or fort.

Admiral Crabtree's family hails from the original Plymouth settlers. His brushes with horror at sea, however, have turned him to the bottle, and instilled in him a burning hatred for non-Americans.

  • Collector's Number: 088
  • Faction Affiliation: America
  • Rarity: R
  • Type: Ship
  • Point Value: 16
  • Cargo Space: 4
  • Base Move: L
  • Cannons: 2L-2L-3L-3L-3L
  • Number of Masts: 5
Second Best American Ship in the Game!

written by mercenary30
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General description:
In my humble opinion this is the best ship in the Davy Jones’ Curse set. I would also consider this one of the best ships that the American’s have in this game as well. A five master with decent to great cannons and +1 versus all non American ships really makes it a boat with two 1L and three 2L cannons. There are just not a lot of people playing with Colonial ships.

As with all five masters, this is best used as a gun ship. Just add in the obligatory captain and helmsman for a total of 21 fleet points. I prefer to use Jonathan Haraden (reroll captain) instead of a captain to get the reroll ability as well.

Strategies and game play:
Due to the lack of SAC captains or reliable multi-turn capabilities in the American fleet, it takes some trickery and manipulation to get the jump on your opponent. If possible use this boat in conjunction with a smaller gun ship for fire support, giving you more flexibility in dealing with enemy battle ships. I tend to send this boat in the same direction as the treasure runners, and then have it turn around in time to escort them back to your home island. This allows nearly all, if not all of your fleet to participate in the big battle that usually occurs in a round of Pirates.

Combos with other miniatures:
In addition to my mention of Jonathan Haraden for the Blackwatch, I find that a Firepot Specialist is exceptionally dangerous on board this vessel, to take advantage of those 1 ranked cannons.
Using Becalmed, to get the jump on a SAC cruiser is also fairly effective.
Having one of derelict keepers or the Hessian as a follow up ship can allow you to twist your opponents strategy against them.

Ways to counteract it:
Well, if you play American boats, you take away the Blackwatch’s biggest benefit. My suggestion is that you NEVER let it get the jump on you, as you will find yourself missing most, if not all of your sails. Beware of any tricks, and it may suit you to have Favor of the Gods in your fleet to keep any event based strategies from being fulfilled. Don’t be distracted by any support vessels and focus on taking out the Blackwatch.

Edited to add: As will all ships with all long rated cannons, any ships that cannot be hit by L range cannons will be very dangerous.

Built in worldhater on a Five-master.
Availability of a number of American tricks.

Lack of reliable multi-turn solution.
All L cannons can be taken advantage of. (Thanks Gaymboi)

Artwork and aesthetics:
This ship has very appealing artwork. Both times I have played it in competition, other players have remarked on how cool it looks. “Wow, what ship is that?....” They are then wowed again after it beat their butt!

Overall rating:
From an overall stand point I give this ship a 7 out of 10.
From an American Fleet standpoint, I will give it a 9.5 out of 10.
From a Davy Jones’s perspective: 9/10


Modified on October 5, 2006 11:32 pm

Current score for this Miniature Review, based on 8 votes:
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Discussion about this Miniature Review
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United States

Avatar for gaymboi
Subject:    Posted: October 4, 2006 12:12 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

I dunno, it is WAY slow. Too slow to be the best American ship (my vote would be for Enterprise). You didn't list 1 way to make the ship faster-- Hidden Cove. Most people use Cove for their runners, but it also gets slow gunships into the shipping lanes Right Away.

One way to counteract it would be a ship like Prince of Chichester or Le Bonaparte. Blackwatch can move L and shoot L. Boney with a helmsman move in from S+L+S (>L+L) and pin bow to bow. Buh-bye Blackwatch.

Another weakness you left out are those "cannot be shot at by L range cannon" ships (Ivory Star for one, there are lots of others). Blackwatch can only ram those ships, but it probably isn't fast enough to catch them.

Blackwatch could make good use of LE Diamond Turner.

Back to top Modified on October 5, 2006 07:19 pm 
United States

Avatar for mercenary30
Subject:    Posted: October 4, 2006 01:08 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

The speed is L is pretty standard for 5 masters, so I didn't discuss it either way.

I did discuss adding a helmsman, in fact I said it was obligatory. The Hidden Cove is an option for any boat, so I didn't bring it up here.

I could have mentioned the all L cannon weakness, but I didn't think about it.

It is hard to come up with uses and strategys for 5 masters as for the most part it is the same no matter what the ship, except in circumstances where the abilities come into play. Worldhater is a very powerful ability, although it doesn't lend itself to alot of verbose discussion in a reveiw.
Back to top Modified on October 4, 2006 08:17 pm 
United States

Avatar for wild_west
Subject: good overall   Posted: October 4, 2006 03:27 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

i ranked this review as a 4. I would usually rank a review like this at a 3 because you had some writing errors and you didn't explain the abilities of some of the guys you mentioned like jonathen harden. those always help in a review. I gave it a 4 because it is in sharp cantrast with the five minute reviews that people like gaymboi are spamming lately. Those shallow reviews are driving down on the list the serious conversation starting reviews like this one. I wish there were a way to erase those other reviews. i do agree with you on the blackwatch. I like it. the skill and the price are worth it, and yes, you did mention the obligatory helmsan. Every battle ship needs one.
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Avatar for eretsof
Subject: Very Good, Not Great   Posted: October 4, 2006 07:18 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

It's a good ship, but for 2 more points you can use the Enterprise with an extra cargo hold, 38% better movement, and a second action 33% of the time. Calculated on three turns for easier understanding of the results, consider the following cannon results:

Blackwatch (only against non-American ships)
Three turns, three shoot actions, 6 shots at 1, 9 shots at 2. Average masts eliminated: 11

Enterprise (against ANY ship)
Three turns, FOUR shoot actions, 20 shots at 2. Average masts eliminated: 12.7

More masts on average, and against ANY ship. Add the movement ability and cargo space, and you can see the advantage.

I do like this ship, and it is much more aesthetically appealing, but it is not nearly as good of a ship as the E.
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Avatar for cursedfan99
Subject:    Posted: December 23, 2017 08:35 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

I really enjoyed this review. Liked to hear your personal setup. And agree on most of the points.
Not sure it's the best American ship, but I also don't particularly enjoy playing as the Americans, so yanno...
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