“Suspicious and not very welcoming of the newcomers to her ocean-bound land, Lady Roimata has made overtures towards France for the benefit of her people. French cannons may be put to even better use against neighboring islands.”
This review is not of Captain Arazure (If it was, his review would state one thing - "Use Capitaine Arathiel instead") – instead we will be looking at a Return to Savage Shores (RtSS) piece, Lady Roimata. This piece was never produced, although we are lucky enough to have a taste of what we missed when Wizkids went under (thanks Woelf!). Lady Roimata is a French Crew, also priced at 6 points. She is a captain, and also has the Born Leader ability: Once per turn before you give this ship an action, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, this ship can be given the same action twice (SAT) She is part of the Super Rare French set in RtSS, and comes linked to a Hoist ship named the Fetu.
Return to Savage Shores gave us a whole lot of fun and unique pieces, but Lady Roimata takes it up a notch to provide us with a unique combination of two of the most important abilities you can have in the game. This combination saves you a valuable cargo spot, and this makes Lady Roimata one of the best cards to come out of RTSS and puts her as one of the most important named crew the Tricolor can employ.
Uses and Strategies:
Given her abilities, Roimata is clearly built for offense, so her role seems to decidedly point toward a gunship of some sort, especially since she is a captain. Her SAT ability also makes her a wonderful option to pair with a reroller – either a built in or from a another crew.
The French do have a 5 pt Extra Action piece, as well as a superb Sac Captain, so she can of course be used in other rolls beside your main gunship. Just by adding her you can transform a small support ship into something with a little more bite. Her linked ship Fetu is a hoist, which is meant for gold gathering, so she can certainly be used there or on another large goldship to give it a chance to go faster and fend off attacking ships.
The point here is she can be used anywhere because her combination of abilities is that good. Second actions – whether to attack or get gold – win games, bottom line. When you build a pure French Fleet, it is going to be very hard not to use her somewhere.
Combos with other miniatures:
One of the most obvious combinations for Roimata is with a reroller of some sort, and France has a lot of crew options to make that happen, including the straight rerollers of Severus Snape and Aramis. They also have rerollers packaged with parley and in one form of Jordan Dumas, packaged with the ability to bring in crew from other nations.
The first obvious combination with a ship would be with her linked ship, the Fetu, also from RtSS. The Fetu is a hoist ship costed at 16 points, and her ability is that a captain gives her +L to movement. This gives us one of those rare instances when links actually make sense and play off each other. Even though the Fetu would probably be used as a gold ship, Roimata’s ability and link give her a bite to defend herself and will make her very, very hard to catch.
Since Roimata can be used in so many ways, she can theoretically be useful on almost every French ship that can fit her cost. I will try to focus on a few ships whose small cargo have limited them, and thanks to her handy combination and cargo saving makes her extra useful.
One of the first combinations that comes to mind is the La Bonne Chance. LBC is an awesome ship in so many ways, but her one cargo has limited her to a captain, or if you were desperate, a Captain/S-Board combo. Here you have a perfect combination – not only does Roimata give LBC extra bite with the SAT, but LBC’s built in reroll is a match made in heaven. For 16 points you have everything you could possibly need in a support ship. A great fleet would be to add in Le Bon Marin, and use a +5 crew to bring in 23 points of Gunship, like Le Soleil Royal with a Sac Captain, Helmsman and 3 oarsman. Or, have the LBC pull Mont Blanc and have 7 good guns with a rerolled SAT moving at SSS! This comes in at 28 points, so this combo might be best for larger games.
A second combination that will make your opponents moan is the mighty Le Bonaparte. Bonaparte sports one of the most disgusting abilities in the game, and thus far the one thing limiting her OPness was her measly 3 cargo. Before Roimata, you had room for a Captain and two other crew – often a canceller and then your pick of a helmsman or an Extra Action Crew. Now, however, Roimata brings in the SAT with the captain ability, and you can have room for a Canceller and Helmsman, or a Worldhater (Gentil de la Barbinais) or even Severus Snape to reroll Roimata. That one extra space makes Bonaparte become so much more fearsome and adaptable.
An often underestimated ship, La Geographe , also benefits greatly from Roimata. Just like LBC, her built in reroller pairs with the Maori beautifully. Add in Gentil for some help with the cannons and you have a great ship with 2 cargo left at only 22 points.
The last combination I would point out is the mighty La Delacroix. An absolutely stacked ship, her biggest drawback, just like Le Bonaparte, is her miniscule three cargo. With Roimata you can have room for a helmsman and a reroller/Worldhater, making this ship truly scary.
When Spanish Main came out, it gifted the then three factions with a 3 pt SAT crew – Calico Cat, Capitan Alarico Castro, and Sir Christopher Myngs. These three crew are some of the most used crew in the game, and almost exclusively they are used in conjunction with a captain.
Since that set, despite the introduction of the French, Americans, Cursed, and other smaller factions, that kind of crew was only repeated again – twice, including a sexier clone of Cat – and only for the Pirates. The French did get a 5 pt Extra Action Crew (they didn’t get the shaft quite like the Americans or Cursed) and have two Sac-Captains, so those crew are the direct competition for Roimata. While Sac-Captains are certainly more powerful, they and the Extra Action Crew cost more overall (if you include the necessary sacrifices and captain respectively), so Roimata’s cost and combination with the captain put her slightly ahead in the “useable” category to me, especially when you consider she will only take one cargo spot, which you can't say about the other options.
It is interesting to look at Roimata’s release partners. In Savage Shores, the Super Rare pack was all English, and included Lady Kamaile, her linked hoist ship Maui's Fishhook, and a small 1 masted treasure ship named Honu Iki. In Return to Savage Shores, the Super Rare pack included all French pieces, including Lady Roimata, her linked hoist ship Fetu, and a small 1 masted treasure named the Pararaihe. Lady Kamaile’s abilities, while useful and a unique combination, are not as significant as Roimata’s, and while Maui’s Fishhook is a good ship, her high cost and smaller cargo for a hoist make her inferior to the superfast Fetu. The treasure ships are at best a wash, although the UT from the SS pack, Necklace of the Sky, seems a bit more useful than the RtSS UT Eye of Maru. Still, I think it is clear the French SR pack was a better collection overall which makes it just hurt even more that it was never produced.
Ways to counteract it:
As a crew, crew killers are the best way to counteract Roimata. Because she will be revealed probably at turn one, she will be easy to target either with some kind of crew killer, UT ability, or as a target for boarding. Runes of Loki would also be particularly annoying to Roimata's controller. Destroying the ship she is on is also obviously effective, as would be cancelling one of her abilities to make her ship easier to sink to the locker.
- Originality for French
- Combination of Matched Abilities
Artwork and aesthetics:
- Not actually produced, so only legal in games if both sides agree
- If Killed, loss of two abilities at once
Since Lady Roimata was never actually produced, she never had any official artwork. But, if we extrapolate from what Lady Kamaile looked like, we can envision a younger woman, perhaps looking a little more suspicious and menacing from the clues in her flavor text. A quick search of “maori pirate” gives you a pretty good image, complete with tattoos.
Why Maori? “Roimata” is Maori for “tears from crying” (as opposed to happy tears) and it follows the ideas of “Savage Shores” and the Pacific theme (Lady Kamaile was Hawaiian). The English colonized New Zealand, home of the Maori people, so it makes sense that she is looking at a way to combat the English. While the French did not colonize New Zealand, they were in relative nearby French Polynesia. I do love it when history is accurate in this game.
Lady Roimata is an invaluable crew for the French, and can find a place in any French fleet. If she was produced, she would probably be the most used and popular French named crew, becoming as famous as Calico Cat or Hermione Gold
. She brings an ability (SAT) that the French lacked, and packages it with a useful complimentary ability. She is probably the best and most useful card from RtSS. I easily give her a 10/10 as a rating.
Another thing that makes Roimata so special is she is the first female captain the French have been given. The English, Jade, and Vikings all have one, the Mercs two, the Pirates a whopping four, and the Spanish, Barbary, Cursed, and Americans have yet to have any.