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Every Windcatcher, Ranked

 
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godmason
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Subject: Every Windcatcher, Ranked   PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:28 pm Reply with quote

Windcatchers follow the same vein as catamarans, in that they didn't actually get much love from WK while the game was in print. Most were actually solid, interesting ships, if lacking in a couple areas in comparison to their competition. Also like catamarans: five were released, and two were planned for RtSS. The wildcatcher keyword itself is reminiscent of the schooner keyword, but the ability to measure your move from the ship’s stern has uses in every role, making it incredibly useful.

7: HMS Mirage

Even the weakest of the windcatchers is, in its own right, an effective ship. Combine her with a ship like HMS Granville to knock down the first mast, and she'll then clean up with a trio of boosted 2L guns. She doesn't compare too favorably to HMS Nautilus, though, which comes in at three points cheaper, with more speed, and better guns.

6: USS Mercury

Not the submarine. Like the Mirage, she's a warship, but she's cheaper and faster, at the expense of hold space. Her ability to ignore terrain is of questionable value, but I would argue it makes her more focused as a whole, as part of a windcatcher's strength is its mobility, so it shouldn't be hindered by terrain, should it?

5: Mystic

Mystic is a fun ship that doesn't get much attention, due to the plethora of excellent pirate gold runners she competes with. She nevertheless deserves credit for what she has: solid armament, a good hold space, and a useful ability, though her underwhelming move speed does hold her back some. Hammersmith and Calico Cat turn her into one heck of a hybrid.

4: Ghost Walker

Perfect armament, a strong ability, and a good cargo space make Ghost Walker a ship not to underestimate. Her keyword offsets her poor move of L, but at 15 points for a three masted ship, she's pushing the limits as is, and I say that as a fan of the Americans, who have no shortage of costly three-masted ships.

3: Sskwa'aluk (RtSS)
An honest-to-god Cursed gold runner, but with some bite to her. Either Master Scribe or a Helmsman would be perfect for her, and if an enemy came knocking, they'd have to face her crippling ability. On the expensive side, but nevertheless a welcome addition to the Cursed... in theory, that is, because she doesn't exist, and never will. Sad

2: Babieca (RtSS)
Similar to Mystic, but with better armament, a defensive ability rather than an offensive one, and a lower point cost, Babieca is an intriguing ship that I wish had made it to print. She's begging to be used as a multipurpose ship with stats like those, and I think she'd have excelled with Dominic Freda, Luis Zuan, and a Helmsman.

1: Libellule

The cheapest windcatcher, the least durable, and also the best gold runner by far. A good move speed, great hold space, and reasonable cost mean she's at her best when paired with a helmsman and something like an explorer, SAT, or Nicolas-Thomas Baudin. She’s focused, and exceptional in her role.
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a7xfanben
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:02 pm Reply with quote

Fun list! You're right about them being interesting and quite playable. Windcatchers were pretty good compared to the rash of mediocre stuff in the sets they were found in.

1. Libellule
No argument here, and one of the best overall gold runners in the game. Also an absolute beast in tiny games at under 40 points.

2. Ghost Walker
Canceller on a mid-size ship with 2L cannons and good cargo? Sign me up! Less important to the Americans because of the Kettering than she would be to other nations, but still an amazing ship that can shine in standard games and campaign games.

3. Sskwa'aluk
Perhaps the most frustrating name of any ship ever created by Wizkids, but also one of the most incredible Cursed cargo ships. She doesn't exist in physical form, but she did well for the Cursed when I proxied her into Economy Edition and used her as a "schooner" ship type in VASSAL Campaign Game 1.

4. Babieca
The type of ship I like - good stats in almost every category, with the ability and cargo making up for the lack of speed. I like her but the two above her definitely outshine her as one of the better 3 masted gunships in the game and one of the best Cursed gold runners. Could play an interesting hybrid role, but I'd still prefer the Cazador del Pirata or her faster counterpart from RtSS, the Colector del Dia.

5. Mystic
Her "hybridity" just barely keeps her ahead of the next ship.

6. USS Mercury
Surprisingly good, I've used her well in CG3 so far. I will say that these S+L windcatchers are incredibly quick ships, especially if you dock a bunch and therefore have to essentially reverse direction. With a helmsman and the windcatcher keyword, they can really get somewhere in a hurry. This is the fastest attack ship of the bunch, being able to bypass terrain and get the first strike against unknowing enemies. Underrated and possibly deserving of the 5th spot.

7. HMS Mirage
Yes I love the English, but this one falls just short of the two above ships. She's quite playable but falls in between roles. Not great as a gunship or gold runner, but cool-looking IMO (I imagine the Swaluck looking similar). The only one I don't have or haven't used (Babieca was also in CG1).
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woelf
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:08 pm Reply with quote

a7xfanben wrote:
1. Libellule

2. Ghost Walker

3. Sskwa'aluk
It's tough to say for sure on the others, but this matches with my top 3.

Libellule is a phenomenal runner, and that ability that seems like a negative is actually a positive because it makes the ship nearly impossible to capture. Unless you have a canceler on hand when you fire the fatal shot, you're not going to touch anything in this ship's cargo hold.

Ghost Walker is a little sluggish, but never, ever underestimate a solid gunship with its own canceler aboard, especially built-in. If it wasn't for USS Kettering stealing much of its thunder, Ghost Walker would get a lot more attention.

Sskwa'aluk may seem only average when compared to other ships across all of the nations, but for the Cursed it's a game-changer, finally (almost) giving them a huge boost in treasure-running capabilities.



Quote:
4. Babieca
The type of ship I like - good stats in almost every category, with the ability and cargo making up for the lack of speed. I like her but the two above her definitely outshine her as one of the better 3 masted gunships in the game and one of the best Cursed gold runners. Could play an interesting hybrid role, but I'd still prefer the Cazador del Pirata or her faster counterpart from RtSS, the Colector del Dia.
Babieca isn't a bad ship, but aside from the novelty of being a Windcatcher and having that nice defensive ability, it's not overwhelmingly spectacular either. The problem is that it's Spanish, and they have so many other amazing ships in that 10-15 point sweet spot that this one is barely even worth a second look. I think this ship would have been a lot more noteworthy if it had gone to some other nation.
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