“The crew of the Nautilus consists of colonists loyal to the Crown of England. They have destroyed many ships flying the “joke of a flag” created by the traitorous American scum.”
Ah, the English. If you want guns, you found the right nation. Some of the scariest gunships in the game fly the Union Jack, from the Endeavor and Titan to the Oxford and London. It is easy to be enamored by these shiny gunships and forgot about the rest of your fleet. Who is going to back up your flagship? More importantly, what can you afford after that huge gunship and a probably overpriced treasure runner?
While you have many choices, the English lack a plethora of superior options. One great choice is the HMS Victor , and while she is a wonderful ship she has already been reviewed. There is another great ship out there for British Admirals, though, and it is often forgotten because its famous name is associated with a later, flashier version. While the submarine Nautilus may give homage to 2000 Leagues Under the Sea, the HMS Nautilus is a far more useful ship and one of the best mid-range gunships the Royal Navy has produced.
Uses and Strategies:
Boasting S+L speed and 2 rank guns, your use of the Nautilus is clear: she is meant to shoot. Her measly 3 cargo supports this role – she is not a multipurpose ship. At 10 points, her role will be as a secondary gunship in your fleet, probably lightly crewed, and backing up your main attack ship or protecting your treasure runners. With a fast base speed, she may also serve to hunt down small and fast enemy treasure runners.
Combos with other miniatures:
Given her role, it is going to be hard to crew Nautilus with more than the basic captain. If you want to add a helmsman to make her a deadly foe against treasure runners, she comes in with a 15 pt price tag. That’s a large number for a support ship, and probably not an option given England’s lack of cheap treasure runners or if you have a heavy crewed behemoth leading your fleet.
But, it is doable. If you use one of England’s best treasure runners, the HMS Hound with an explorer (8 pts) and a +5 crew, you have 22 points left for your main gunship. That could be a fully crewed HMS Oxford , HMS Apollo , or even HMS Grand Temple . My favorite fleet with the Nautilus is actually the HMS London with The Gentleman , Helmsman, and Sir Christopher Myngs (22 pts) with HMS Hound and Explorer (8 pts), and the HMS Nautilus with Thomas Gunn (15 pts).
If you are playing a larger game, or using Nautilus as a main gunship, you do have more options to make her deadlier, but you are limited by her low point cost. A second action crew would be helpful to increase her bite. If you have a captain and helmsman and you use Myngs, this gives you two points left to max out her build. The only way to add another crew would be to use a link or use the a fore mentioned Thomas Gunn or Hermione Gold to save a cargo spot. One option for a fourth crew would be to add a cannoneer to cement you hitting with your already accurate cannons, or a firepot specialist which would make her even more of an annoyance to that large gunship you are attacking. Another option would be to use Thomas Gunn the Younger instead of a generic captain and give her crew killing capability, softening up your target for your main gunship.
Let’s keep this short and sweet: there is no 3 masted S+L ship in the game that has Nautilus’ guns at her price or cheaper. A few ships come close. The East Wind misses by one gun, but rather badly. The Victor and Windjammer come close at only 9 points but both only have one 2 Rank gun, and the Victor has one less cargo. Finally there is the legendary Longshanks which only has 3 rank guns, but whose greatness is already cemented due to her miniscule 6 pt price tag.
There are only two 5-masted ships at 10 points or fewer – both are the very rare Morning Stars, and one is not meant for battle, while the other is slow as cursed molasses. As for 4 masters that cost this price or less, there is a larger selection – 11 – and while many of them rank as some of the best ships in the game ( Darkhawk II , Eagle , HMS Dover ) only the small cargoed and terrible cannoned El Ballista matches the Nautilus’ speed. Only the Eagle and Darkhawk have cannons with a better rank than 3, but even they can only boast two of them. While you can certainly make a case that the Darkhawk or Dover is the better overall ship, it is clear that the Nautilus is alone in its combination of speed and guns at this price range and makes it a superb support gunship.
Ways to counteract it:
Even given her strengths, Nautilus is only a 3 masted ship. Assuming you can catch her and get the first shot, any well crewed gunship should be able to sink her to the locker. She doesn’t have the points or cargo for any tricks, so attacking her should be straight forward. Since she is a schooner, you may be able to use her sails to your advantage to block line of sight.
- Great Guns
- Great Speed
- Good price for 3 Masted Ship
Artwork and aesthetics:
- Hating only the Americans, Situational
- Only Average Cargo
There really is nothing to comment on as far as the artwork – she is as bland of a ship as they come, colored in shades of gray, brown, and black. Typical English. She is a schooner which in my opinion makes her a little more distinguishable.
And then there is that name. This Nautilus came out in the Revolution expansion, well before the submarine version in Mysterious Islands, and is named for the series of ships that the English Navy employed over the last 300 years. These included at least one that had a role in the American Revolution, so it’s hatred of the Americans is certainly historically accurate. The submarine Nautilus that Verne took his name from came out later in real life, which parallels what Pirates did, so you can’t be too upset there. Still, most of us think of the Submarine and Nemo, so this Nautilus certainly lives in the shadows of her submarine cousin.
The HMS Nautilus is above average in most ways for her price tag. She epitomizes the English’s bloodlust and I believe she is clearly one of the best support gunships the English have. I give an 8/10 overall, and a 9/10 if you are considering just the English.