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Top 10 SE Boxed 4-Masters

 
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godmason
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Subject: Top 10 SE Boxed 4-Masters   PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:32 pm Reply with quote

This is a ranking of the SE/LE ships from value boxes, many of which are average or terrible. I speculated with Ben once that they were meant to be a "flagship" of sorts for new players in case they didn't get any bigger ships in the packs included, which makes some sense, but it doesn't excuse how weak many of these ships turned out to be. Nevertheless, there are strong options among them, and here they are.

10. Independence

Her guns are great, but her ability is garbage, her hold average, and her cost noncompetitive. She's useable, but there is too much good competition (even among SE ships) to rank her any higher.

9. Red Curse

Red Curse has worse armament than Independence, but better cargo space, and a more useful ability. She's a home island raider that can defend herself.

8. HMS Phoenix

An acceptable hybrid, or a solid choice for a budget warship. Her ability is really little more than a novelty, but even without it, she's a respectable ship, and you could argue she would pair well with world haters, flotillas, or Sir Christopher Myngs.

7. HMS Burma/Last Hope

They're all but the same ship, and simple gunships at that. If I had to pick one, I'd take Burma for her better range and superior crew selection, but they're otherwise similar enough that I think they're worth listing as tied.

6. HMS Forge

She reminds me of HMS Lord Algernon. Forge has better speed, a bigger hold, and a lower cost, at the cost of being one mast smaller, with a 3S gun toward the rear. The better base cannon ranks and ability not available on English crew make her better than Burma or Last Hope in my book.

5. Isabela

A lame duck base move doesn't stop Isabela from making #5, though she may deserve a higher place still, because that ability is a game-winner. Her armament, though decent, is still nothing to focus on when you have that much cargo and such a good ability. I have her down at this spot because speed is crucial as a gold runner, and a base move of S is crippling for ships that are otherwise good.

4. Empty Sky

Build her for what you want, because she can be a dangerous gunship, a hybrid, or even a decent gold runner. I maintain that this is one of the most underrated abilities in the game, and I honestly wish WK would have made her faster, even if her cost was 2-3 points higher, because that'd give her the ability to accept crazier crew setups. She beats Burma/Hope out by having more cargo space and better base gun ranks, but her speed is utterly pathetic.

3. Hades' Realm

Hades' Realm's base speed is trash, and her guns average, but her ability is a real shocker, and with a simple captain+helmsman, she'll do S+L+S speed, beating everything else on this list. She can go faster, too, as outlined in my recent (yet woefully incomplete) review of her, where I highlight a setup that allows her to move at S+L+S+S.

2. HMS Richards/USS Seattle

Same ship, different day, as the say. The only differences are that Richards has all L range guns, and Seattle gets bonuses against forts too. Both make fine hybrids, or budget options for flagships in smaller games. They are a little on the dull side, like both ships in the #4 spot, though they beat them out due to greater cargo space offered for just one point more.

1. Franklin

If you put a captain on this ship (and you will) then you're rocking quad 1S guns. Assign Commander Albert Crenshaw and you have the equivalent of quad 1L guns, sans weaknesses to range-resisting abilities. That kind of build gets pricy, but Franklin can be either a truly devastating gunship or a strong hybrid regardless, and for that reason, she's the top SE boxed ship.
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a7xfanben
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:35 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
I speculated with Ben once that they were meant to be a "flagship" of sorts for new players in case they didn't get any bigger ships in the packs included, which makes some sense, but it doesn't excuse how weak many of these ships turned out to be.


That actually happened with me a bit, since the Broken Key and Black Diamond were the largest Pirate ships in my original collection of 49 ships, thus functioning as co-flagships (though mostly just for the Historical Fantasy Scenarios I did and not for actual games which came later after more acquisitions).

I think my Ranking would be subject to change, but here's what I came up with.

1. Franklin
2. Hades' Realm
3. HMS Forge
4. HMS Phoenix
-Perfect for a world hater, and an underrated hybrid/budget gunship option.
5. Red Curse
-Cargo, ability and guns make this one quite interesting, and one of the better hybrids.
6. HMS Richards / USS Seattle
7. HMS Burma / Last Hope
8. Jape
-Solid short-range brawler, not too inferior to the above ships.
9. Isabela
-Spain has so many better ways to get gold bonuses, and the speed really holds her back.
10. Empty Sky

Just missed: Independence , Tasmanian Devil (one of the most underrated first-strike options in the game with S+L+S speed and essentially four 3L cannons assuming captain+helmsman)

Honorable mentions: Electric Eel , Fool's Gold
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cursedfan99
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 am Reply with quote

I tend to think of Isabela as a game winning ship. That cargo hold and ability with those cannons is really quite great. Captain, helmsman and oarsman with 3 spaces left plus the +2 bonus. Could also make use of crew like Master Bianco to boost your capacity.

What it boils down to is if this ranking is looking at all ships or just these.
If you’re comparing the Isabela to all of Spain’s ships, yeah, not so great. However, within the category of SE box topper ships, it is a game winner based on that ability and cargo hold.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:18 am Reply with quote

cursedfan99 wrote:
I tend to think of Isabela as a game winning ship. That cargo hold and ability with those cannons is really quite great. Captain, helmsman and oarsman with 3 spaces left plus the +2 bonus. Could also make use of crew like Master Bianco to boost your capacity.

What it boils down to is if this ranking is looking at all ships or just these.
If you’re comparing the Isabela to all of Spain’s ships, yeah, not so great. However, within the category of SE box topper ships, it is a game winner based on that ability and cargo hold.


I'd venture to say that the Isabela is a decent ship for the Spanish, her only drawback is her speed. Cargo and ability are secondary if you cannot get to the gold first, and with a theoretical max speed of S+S, that's not going to cut it most of the time. Ships with poor speed like the Isabela are better in larger/campaign style games.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:04 pm Reply with quote

xerecs wrote:
cursedfan99 wrote:
I tend to think of Isabela as a game winning ship. That cargo hold and ability with those cannons is really quite great. Captain, helmsman and oarsman with 3 spaces left plus the +2 bonus. Could also make use of crew like Master Bianco to boost your capacity.

What it boils down to is if this ranking is looking at all ships or just these.
If you’re comparing the Isabela to all of Spain’s ships, yeah, not so great. However, within the category of SE box topper ships, it is a game winner based on that ability and cargo hold.


I'd venture to say that the Isabela is a decent ship for the Spanish, her only drawback is her speed. Cargo and ability are secondary if you cannot get to the gold first, and with a theoretical max speed of S+S, that's not going to cut it most of the time. Ships with poor speed like the Isabela are better in larger/campaign style games.



Yeah we've used her in dozens of games ranging from 40-500 points and she always pulls through.
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woelf
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:21 pm Reply with quote

xerecs wrote:
cursedfan99 wrote:
I tend to think of Isabela as a game winning ship. That cargo hold and ability with those cannons is really quite great. Captain, helmsman and oarsman with 3 spaces left plus the +2 bonus. Could also make use of crew like Master Bianco to boost your capacity.

What it boils down to is if this ranking is looking at all ships or just these.
If you’re comparing the Isabela to all of Spain’s ships, yeah, not so great. However, within the category of SE box topper ships, it is a game winner based on that ability and cargo hold.


I'd venture to say that the Isabela is a decent ship for the Spanish, her only drawback is her speed. Cargo and ability are secondary if you cannot get to the gold first, and with a theoretical max speed of S+S, that's not going to cut it most of the time. Ships with poor speed like the Isabela are better in larger/campaign style games.
Isabela's biggest problem is that La Santa Isabel exists, and costs only a single point more. When you have both available there's absolutely no reason to ever choose Isabela, unless your build total is so high that you can afford to use both.

One thing that is really great about Isabela - it's the perfect stand-in/proxy for Castigue.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:28 pm Reply with quote

woelf wrote:
xerecs wrote:
cursedfan99 wrote:
I tend to think of Isabela as a game winning ship. That cargo hold and ability with those cannons is really quite great. Captain, helmsman and oarsman with 3 spaces left plus the +2 bonus. Could also make use of crew like Master Bianco to boost your capacity.

What it boils down to is if this ranking is looking at all ships or just these.
If you’re comparing the Isabela to all of Spain’s ships, yeah, not so great. However, within the category of SE box topper ships, it is a game winner based on that ability and cargo hold.


I'd venture to say that the Isabela is a decent ship for the Spanish, her only drawback is her speed. Cargo and ability are secondary if you cannot get to the gold first, and with a theoretical max speed of S+S, that's not going to cut it most of the time. Ships with poor speed like the Isabela are better in larger/campaign style games.
Isabela's biggest problem is that La Santa Isabel exists, and costs only a single point more. When you have both available there's absolutely no reason to ever choose Isabela, unless your build total is so high that you can afford to use both.

One thing that is really great about Isabela - it's the perfect stand-in/proxy for Castigue.


I also like the direct comparison to the Concepcion - nearly the same ship. Worse cannons but better speed, which can sometimes be the deciding factor. I'd still take the Concepcion, but the Santa Isabel is of course a better hybrid and gold runner than either of them.
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