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Rankings: Overall

 
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a7xfanben
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Subject: Rankings: Overall   PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:10 am Reply with quote

I was putting all of my Rankings for all the factions into a spreadsheet and decided to do a few additional lists for best faction, best fighting faction, and best gold running faction.

Factions-Overall
1 Pirates
2 Spain
3 France
4 England
5 America
6 Barbary Corsairs
7 Jade Rebellion
8 Cursed
9 Vikings
10 Mercenaries

Factions-Fighting
1 England
2 America
3 France
4 Spain
5 Pirates
6 Cursed
7 Vikings
8 Jade Rebellion
9 Mercenaries
10 Barbary Corsairs

Factions-Gold
1 Pirates
2 Spain
3 France
4 Barbary Corsairs
5 England
6 America
7 Jade Rebellion
8 Cursed
9 Vikings
10 Mercenaries

What do you think?
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woelf
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Subject: Re: Rankings: Overall   PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:16 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:

Factions-Fighting
1 England
2 America
3 France
4 Spain
5 Pirates
6 Cursed
7 Vikings
8 Jade Rebellion
9 Mercenaries
10 Barbary Corsairs
If we're going to perfectly honest about this, Pirates need to top all three lists. Being fifth on the combat list especially stands out.

Granted that the English are "known" for the their fighting ability, but that image comes as much from a lack of good treasure-running as it does from actual combat prowess.

The fact is, for almost every power item that England has the Pirates have something equal or similar, and often for a lower price too. On top of that they have access to multiples of pretty much every major named crew ability that you'd want in a battle: Sac-Captains, SAT crew, Extra action generators, World-Haters, etc. They even have a canceler of their own. The only major crew they really lack is Mycron, but with so many other cheap ways to crank out additional actions they don't even need him. If they ever actually do want him, they have several different ships and crew that could easily pull him aboard.


The Americans are also much too high on the combat list, because they're like the English magnified. Their treasure running is even worse, which makes their combat ships seem that much better by comparison. Match their best ships with the best that France and Spain (not to mention Pirates) have to offer, and they're struggling just to break even. Factor in their severe lack of crew diversity compared to those other three and they'd be lucky just to be considered in the same ballpark.


Otherwise, the lists look pretty good. I might swap a position or two here and there on some of the lower sections of the lists, but overall they cover things well.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:41 pm Reply with quote

Have to agree with Woelf... if you are just considering ships alone, then I can see England being ahead of Pirates, but Pirate crew is the best and most diverse in the game. France also suffers from a lack of good double action crew, so I might even drop them below Spain.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:57 pm Reply with quote

woelf wrote:
If we're going to perfectly honest about this, Pirates need to top all three lists. Being fifth on the combat list especially stands out.

Granted that the English are "known" for the their fighting ability, but that image comes as much from a lack of good treasure-running as it does from actual combat prowess.

The fact is, for almost every power item that England has the Pirates have something equal or similar, and often for a lower price too. On top of that they have access to multiples of pretty much every major named crew ability that you'd want in a battle: Sac-Captains, SAT crew, Extra action generators, World-Haters, etc. They even have a canceler of their own. The only major crew they really lack is Mycron, but with so many other cheap ways to crank out additional actions they don't even need him. If they ever actually do want him, they have several different ships and crew that could easily pull him aboard.

The Americans are also much too high on the combat list, because they're like the English magnified. Their treasure running is even worse, which makes their combat ships seem that much better by comparison. Match their best ships with the best that France and Spain (not to mention Pirates) have to offer, and they're struggling just to break even. Factor in their severe lack of crew diversity compared to those other three and they'd be lucky just to be considered in the same ballpark.


I completely understand what you're saying and I respectfully disagree with some of it. (I'm actually glad you disagree because at least we can have some kind of discussion.) We definitely overrate the fighting prowess of England and America in this game.

The Pirates have more ships and crew than any other nation and they have the fighting ships to keep up combat-wise in any game of any size with any other faction. However, England is still better overall. They still have things the Pirates DON'T have. They have two cancellers, which is great for deathmatches. They have HMS Endeavour, a powerful weapon the Pirates lack. They also have ships like HMS Grand Temple and HMS Titan (allow with the Gallows). In addition, England has much superior flotillas. With Mercer they even got a sac crew. England has plenty of action generating crew and they have a lot of crew that the Pirates have.

Outside of the Revenant and Harbingers the Pirates can't stand with England in terms of five masters; England has more ships with better cannon ranks for both five masters and to a large degree four masters as well. We all know that these capital ships dominate naval engagements and in terms of quality and quantity England is superior to the Pirates in this regard. The Pirates do have the Zeus, which is an undercosted (big surprise) ship with mediocre cannons.

America should be lower on the list, mostly because they're a bit more expensive than England overall and I always forget how limited their crew options are.

Perhaps my list could look more like this (switching the Pirates and Americans):

Factions-Fighting
1 England
2 Pirates
3 France
4 Spain
5 America
6 Cursed
7 Vikings
8 Jade Rebellion
9 Mercenaries
10 Barbary Corsairs

volt wrote:
France also suffers from a lack of good double action crew, so I might even drop them below Spain.


I consider France and Spain to be just about equal in terms of both guns and gold, so I have no problem with that. France has better capital ships (in general) while Spain has better crew options.

woelf wrote:
I might swap a position or two here and there on some of the lower sections of the lists, but overall they cover things well.


I'm curious as to what you would switch around. Smile

One last note: We can theorize and talk all day about opinions. The fact remains that England has won a lot of my high-point games and campaign games, in large part because they're the best fighting faction in the game.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:54 pm Reply with quote

I would have to agree with a7xfanben on experience vs theory. On paper the Pirates may have a numerical advantage, but it doesn't matter how many crew they have of any type if both fleets are limited to 40 points.

The English have plenty of crew to match, and pound for pound they usually have the fighting advantage. In my experience the English and Americans almost always win in direct one-to-one battles, although the Americans do indeed lack in necessary crew. In mid-sized ships however, I do have to give the advantage to the Pirates. The Spanish I've almost never had be incredibly effective with war except for a select few ships.

I'd venture to separate the lists between capital ships, as a7xfanben said, and mid-sized ships, so that I'd have.

Capital Ships:
1) England
2) American
3) French
4) Pirates
5) Spanish
6) Jade Rebellion
7) Cursed
Cool Viking
9) Mercenary
10) Corsair

Mid-sized:
1) Pirate
2) French
3) English
4) American
5) Spanish
6) Viking
7) Cursed
Cool Jade Rebellion
9) Mercenary
10) Corsair

But that's my 2 cents.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:15 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:

woelf wrote:
I might swap a position or two here and there on some of the lower sections of the lists, but overall they cover things well.


I'm curious as to what you would switch around. Smile


Here's what I'd shift around:

Fighting
6 Cursed
7 Vikings --> Down to 9
8 Jade Rebellion --> Up to 7
9 Mercenaries --> Down to 10
10 Barbary Corsairs --> Up to 8

Reasoning: The Cursed do belong at top (of this portion of the list) because despite their issues, they are better equipped for combat than any of the minor nations. A lot of it falls well into "gimmick" territory, but is still effective enough to keep them in the running with the other majors.

The JR comes closest of the minor nations, with the combination of several monster ships and a small but decent assortment of named crew to boost them up. If they had a couple more key crew abilities, like another inexpensive action generator or two, they could be a real terror.

The Corsairs always get written off when it comes to combat because of that scattering of 5- and 6-rank cannons and that unusual (but awesome-looking) sail orientation, but they do have a several really nice gunships available, and as many viable crew as any of the other minor nations. The biggest thing holding them back is (similar to JR) the shortage of action generators. If they had a 5-point Extra action crew and a SAT crew that didn't have a secondary ability attached (or at least a more useful one than Jack's) they'd be taken a lot more seriously in combat. (Jack's ability combination is kinda pointless, because the main reason for pulling in Pirate crew would be to get an action generator, which you don't need because he already does that himself.)

The Vikings have better straight-up firepower than any of the other minors and can even match some of the majors, but they're glass-jawed. That firepower drops off abruptly as soon as they start taking hits, and with nothing larger than a 3-mast a few hits will knock most of their ships out entirely. Their named crew are almost worthless. They barely have any in the first place, and most aren't even worth looking at because they're too expensive or too unreliable for what they provide, or they're just plain not useful. Only Shayna is good for combat, but at double the cost of a generic captain her actual value is debatable, especially when you're already paying so much just for the ships. (Grim is cool but he serves zero purpose in combat, and even when it comes to treasure-running he's far more valuable when hired by another nation because the cargo holds of the Viking ships are so small even before adding the minimum required crew.)

The Mercenaries do have some very cool ships and a few really nice crew (even a canceler!), but they're so few in number and have so few cheap options that it's difficult just fielding a full fleet for a game. The greatest strength of their submarines, being submerged, is negated almost entirely when they actually enter combat because they have to be on the surface to shoot. Sure they can still ram while submerged, but unless you're going after ships that are small or already heavily damaged it's an annoyingly slow and inefficient way to do battle. Forward is pretty decent for being a non-submarine, but that one ship isn't enough to dig them out of the hole. Mercenaries are excellent when used as "mercenaries" to bolster fleets of other nations, but when considered in isolation (as they must be for a direct nation-vs-nation comparison), they're just bad.


ADDED: (I could be convinced to bump the Mercenaries above the Vikings, but going any higher with either of them would be overly generous.)
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:58 pm Reply with quote

woelf wrote:
Fighting
6 Cursed
7 Vikings --> Down to 9
8 Jade Rebellion --> Up to 7
9 Mercenaries --> Down to 10
10 Barbary Corsairs --> Up to 8


Interesting. I'm not crazy about Corsair named crew for combat, so I wouldn't put them much higher, maybe higher than the Mercs since they can't repair. The Mercs have subs, a canceller, and two ten masters, none of which the Corsairs have.

Other than that it looks good - now that I think about it I could see the Jade Rebellion above the Vikings, but it's pretty close.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:33 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
woelf wrote:
Fighting
6 Cursed
7 Vikings --> Down to 9
8 Jade Rebellion --> Up to 7
9 Mercenaries --> Down to 10
10 Barbary Corsairs --> Up to 8


Interesting. I'm not crazy about Corsair named crew for combat, so I wouldn't put them much higher, maybe higher than the Mercs since they can't repair. The Mercs have subs, a canceller, and two ten masters, none of which the Corsairs have.

Other than that it looks good - now that I think about it I could see the Jade Rebellion above the Vikings, but it's pretty close.


i have a feeling that making the Shui Xuan and the Celtic Fury of the Mercenary faction was purely tactical. can you imagine for a small set, two factions getting their own 10-master, and them being almost readily available without having to jump though hoops to get, like Zeus or Guichuan ? sure, people could have gone out and bought Plunder packs for the Delusion, but who plays Cursed?

Giving the Shui Xian and the Celtic Fury the "Dories" ability enabled them to do what other Mercenaries were never able to do- unload treasure.

we should discount the 10-masters from the consideration of rankings. If each faction got one, than they should be allowed, but obviously not all factions did.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:23 pm Reply with quote

selvaxri wrote:
we should discount the 10-masters from the consideration of rankings. If each faction got one, than they should be allowed, but obviously not all factions did.
That unequal distribution is why they should all be considered. You can only ignore them if every nation got one that was equivalent (which is why generic crew aren't being considered).

However, even with those two 10-masters (which are arguably more English and French than Mercenary), my point about Mercenaries having a really hard time fielding any sort of viable nationality-pure fleet still stands, especially if you're including one of those 10-masters.

Of all the 10-mast ships in the game, Zeus is the only one that's playable in a standard 40 point game. All of the others will fit in a fleet that size, but they'll be so short on crew and/or support ships that they won't stand a chance against a normal fleet.


Speaking of Zeus, I meant to comment on this earlier:
a7xfanben wrote:
They have HMS Endeavour, a powerful weapon the Pirates lack.
I consider HMS Endeavour and Zeus to be functionally equivalent. E has slightly more accurate cannons and they do double damage when they hit, but Z has twice as many chances to score hits. With either ship you've got more than enough firepower that you can expect to demast and/or sink just about any ship in the game with a single shoot action (the exceptions being other 10-masts and El Acorazado). Zeus makes up for the less accurate cannons with nearly double the cargo space (more than enough to load it with a whole array of powerful crew and/or stacks of meat for a Sac-Character), and by being far more durable. Unless they're battling each other directly, Z is going to last a lot longer in a battle than E simply by being able to absorb so many more hits. It's much like the issue with Vikings and their double cannons - each mast that E loses takes away twice as much potential firepower as a mast lost by Z.

In a direct one-on-one battle E may come out ahead of Z slightly more often than not, but against any other ships I can't imagine there being any significant difference between the results.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:36 pm Reply with quote

woelf wrote:
In a direct one-on-one battle E may come out ahead of Z slightly more often than not, but against any other ships I can't imagine there being any significant difference between the results.


I don't have the Zeus but I have the Endeavour. I am not really all that stoked about getting the Zeus at some point. I roll a huge amount of 1's, 2's, and 3's during my shoot actions in general. This makes cannon ranks perhaps more important than they are for other players. This, combined with the fact that I love L-range guns, makes me somewhat biased in favour of the Endeavour.

Also keep in mind that even with the Junk keyword the Zeus really suffers from having all S-range guns. Some of the masts have to shoot through a good portion of the ship's beam if the ship isn't fighting both broadsides at once (which she won't be more often than not). The massive length of a 10 master also limits her range, and firepower maneuverability. Unless you can move far enough while getting the first shot it's unlikely you'll have more than 4 or 5 cannons in range with the Zeus, making the return fire that much more devastating when some (and in my case most) of the cannons miss. Between the awkwardness of shooting with a ship as big and short-ranged as the Zeus and the L-range guns of the smaller and therefore more manageable Endeavour I feel that the Endeavour is a better overall gunship (not even counting the fact that she moves L+S at the same price of the Zeus uncrewed). It's much easier to get 4 or 5 (L-range) double-damage-dealing cannons on the Endeavour in range than getting more than 5 3S normal guns in range with the Zeus.

(This reply is much longer than I intended - I just wanted to point some things out. Laughing )
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