This fleet is for repkosai's In Search of El Dorado fleet challenge.
The Wraith has disappeared. Having been revealed to the world as a mortal, he had one close call too many to consider it safe to go back to combat without finding some way of breaking his curse. The Wraith has been given one last chance by his master. In exchange for his immortality to be restored, Davy Jones has told the Wraith of a spell. The price of one immortal soul is high, requiring many, many other souls to complete. Still fearing engagements that will attract the militaries of the world to him, the Wraith has decided to set up a home base, one where no navy would bother to sail.
The City of Gold would be the perfect target. A few ghostly whispers in ports across the world and a whole new generation of treasure seekers will come into the Wraith’s foul hands. Ready to be sacrificed for his unholy means.
There's just one problem, not even the Cursed know where the fabled City of Gold hides. With not even the damned themselves are keen to resign themselves to such a futile search, the Wraith has only one option. The one cursed crew who was up to the task, is lead by the Master Scribe, a man already damned to eternal exploration. Giving them what ships the Wraith could spare, they've set out to try and find the city of El Dorodo before any one else does.
Finding inspiration in why the cursed would seek to find a city containing mortal riches, I took to looking at the crew to further the story. Wraith was a stand out choice, but he was either far too expensive or depended on such lucky die rolls that he just could not work in a 25 point fleet, especially for the cursed. Lucky for him, the Master Scribe is the perfect man for the job.
Given the Cursed fleet's tendencies for being expensive, gimmicky (similarly expensive), and being combat oriented (still expensive), the main issue a cursed fleet suffers from is, surprise, being expensive. While other nations have smaller ships to use, the cursed don't have as many, and they aren't always as good. Luckily, in a fleet this small, you can use the two cheapest ships the Cursed have.
The Nightmare is cheap, and can resultingly pull her weight as a Cursed Gunship. Her cargo is alright, and it is her speed that is below average. The Lizard's Sting has better speed, and the same cargo and is also reasonably cheap. Both ships stand to benefit greatly from trade currents however, giving them more ideal speeds for gold runners without limiting their cargo like a helmsman otherwise would.
Given the difficulties of placing any standard crew in a match this size, especially for the cursed, and emphasis on trade currents seems like an efficient way to replicate helmsman on my goldships. Not as reliably, but you save enough points to justify the risk. The linked combination of the Celestine and the Master Scribe is a great combination for such a task, even compared to other nations. Either, you can use the Celestine's roll with the Navigator's to try and place multiple trade currents before sending her out to run gold, or you can use the Celestine's ability to place trade currents while taking advantage of her speed to explore islands before your other vessels reach them. Your choice is probably dependent on how you size up your enemies fleet. If they look like they are pointing too many points in combat, you could consider trying to set up more trade currents, which will help your ships escape in a pinch. If they're running ships like the Banshee's Cry, you might want to rely more on your luck and get the Celestine out into the fray ASAP. If you don't end up using the Master Scribe's Navigator ability, that's alright, he's still an Explorer that provides and extra cargo space for itself, and for 2 extra points and that is still a deal that the Celestine could use.
Now you have a 25 point Cursed fleet for a "Sliders" styled challenge. But for this fleet challenge specifically, we are allowed one ship of another nation, and a +5 crew. So the L'Intrepide was included as a prime, cheap, goldship from a nation with a +5 crew. (Discounting some other, more broken pieces) Formally, the +5 is purchasing the Nightmare and the oarsman on the Lizard's Sting.
The Wraith knows there are many ways to motivate sailors. Fear is a good one, but so is rum. Finding the phrase, “loosening their tongues” taken too literately, the Wraith has started using captured sailors to loosen the tongues of those who still search for the fabled city. Knowing the fate in store for them, these captured sailors have nothing better to do than find the bottoms of their pints.
Cursed Natives is included to try and remove any crew advantage my opponents might have over me, since my fleet is so light on crew. Figuring it should only remove my opponents' helmsman or explorer at best, it seemed like a small advantage I could take advantage of.
As far as weaknesses go, given the Cursed's cost, and the probability Morning Star's making it in, investing in a cursed ship that could reliably pull its weight seemed impossible, taking 15 points. (Grinder and a Captain, or the Mourning Star with a helmsman and a Captain.) This would force out the Celestine and force the Master Scribe to take a ships movement action to try and lay trade currents and it cuts too far into gold game I'm relying on. Though, any small one masters can be rammed by a ship like the L'Intrpide or Celestine, especially with a trade current's speed boost.
And one last point of order, for any fleet challenge that will rely heavily on smaller ships is the fact that my ships all have two masts, or oars. Meaning Odin's Revenge will not completely remove me from play. Seems like something worth mentioning when I have maybe done this before or something