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Top 10 9-Point Ships

 
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godmason
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Subject: Top 10 9-Point Ships   PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:25 pm Reply with quote

There are 102 ships at 9 points, and at least a third of them are somewhere between noteworthy and good. Some are even outright great, most of which appear on this list. This one was a real brain boiler and I bet I've included at least a couple controversial picks, though do note that many of the "tied" ships are in fact honorable mentions or similar to each other.

10. USS Emerald

USS Emerald is a little gem of a gunship, and one of the five most durable you can get for under ten points, all of which earn a mention somewhere in this post. She is in theory approximately as durable as a four master owing to her ability, though a tad more susceptible to ramming damage. Her hold is small, but there are arguments in favor of all sorts of cheap crew to augment her. Captain, helmsman, shipwright, firepot specialist, oarsman, Ralph David, and of course, an optional cargo master. I'd personally go for a captain, oarsman, and Ralph David, opting to use her as a pesky little escort gunship.

9. Sea Crane/Song - Honorable Mention: La Cordoba

Sea Crane and Song are both two-masted pirate junks with the same ability at the same cost—comparing them is a necessity. The former has superior speed and armament, the latter more cargo space. Make no mistake, Sea Crane is superior, never mind the smaller hold, as she can be turned into a better ship with the use of crew. Sure, Song can use a helmsman to catch Sea Crane, but then she's two points more expensive for no benefit. Sea Crane can speed along at L+S+S with a helmsman to scoop up gold before your opponents can, and you can either upgrade to Hammersmith or use Gentleman Jocard depending on your strategy. Song is only here because she's comparable, not because she's at all competitive with Sea Crane.

(La Cordoba is mentioned because she has the same ability, but is a less complete package.)

8. El San Jose/Golden Peacock - Honorable Mentions: San Theodora/Glaive

Four cargo, L+S move, a couple 4S guns, and tangentially useful abilities make these two ships highly comparable. El San Jose might be more likely to bring home more gold or get rid of a negative UT, but Golden Peacock has significantly more survivability, owing to her galley keyword and greater size. As usual, it's up to what worries you to help you decide which to use.

(San Theodora is an HM because she's a meh version of San Jose, and Glaive the same to Golden Peacock.)

7. HMS Victor/El Ladron

Unlike the last two, Victor and Ladron are two similar ships with nothing statistically in common save for their size. They fall under the same category because of their related abilities, though their strengths are divergent. Both are well-armed, though I would argue Ladron is more so, in addition to being more capacious, though Victor is significantly faster. Overall, I would argue Victor is the better ship, as she's focused on being a warship, and Ladron is a tad confused with her good hold and subpar move as to what role she wants to play. There are better hybrids on the list, so this bout goes to HMS Victor.

6. HMS Hyena/El Ballista - Honorable Mentions: HMS Success/La Trinidad

Yet another case of comparing ships by their abilities. Hyena is well-rounded, while Ballista is min-maxy. I'll be clear that I consider Ballista more of an honorable mention, but better than her brethren categorized as such, and a ship that I feel hasn't gotten quite enough attention.

But HMS Hyena: well-armed, decent speed, great hold, useful ability. Thomas Gunn , oarsman, and go out there with your budget, do-it-all hybrid. If you're insistent on padding her further, using Hermione Gold and Trevor Van Tyne adds a little more firepower for minimal investment, but you're pushing 16-17 points there when other ships can get you more for that price.

5. HMS Rye/Hessian - Honorable Mention: Lizard

HMS Rye has the edge as a source for the valuable cancelling ability, due to her inherently superior speed and galley keyword, but Hessian's cargo space almost argues her into gold runner territory, and her armament almost makes her look like a hybrid. For both, I'd probably use a helmsman and oarsman, with consideration for a shipwright, and on the latter, Ralph David.

(Lizard is too middling and lacks interesting enough stats for me to consider her true competition.)

4. Eagle/Adventure (HM-ish)

Both have 5 cargo, two 3S guns, some L range firepower, and a base boarding value of 4. If you're good with that, Adventure is the ship for you, but if you want better firepower, more durability, and a negative ability, look to Eagle. Both are strong hybrid options in this point range, and make me think back to HMS Hyena above. Between Hyena and Eagle, the wings win me over, as Eagle has better firepower and endurance, though Hyena definitely has a better ability and more speed.

Between the three, it'd be Eagle-Hyena-Adventure, though Adventure is listed up here with Eagle because of their statistical similarity. On her own, she'd be near the bottom of this list, if even on it at all.

3. Morning Star

This version of Morning Star is significant due to the fact that she is the single cheapest five-master in the game, and one of only four ships at four plus masts to come in at nine points—there are no ships of 4+ masts below this cost.

As for how to use her, she can be made a fast, durable gold runner, or a moderate-speed, capacious one. Helmsman-explorer for the former, Master Bianco-Dominic Freda for the latter. There are plenty more ways you can work with her, but no matter how you spec her, she's an awesome gold runner. You can make a warship of her if you're strange and foolish, hence, it won't be discussed.

2. Native Canoes

These things are brutally potent if you can use them correctly. Every treasure funneled through them is worth +1, and if you empty an island with them, you're going to see +4 gold provided you can get it all home. Durability is a big concern when using any canoes, but the potential of these cannot be ignored. Just hope your opponent doesn't use any of the UTs that can instantly wipe them out... runes of something or another. It has just enough problems that it doesn't quite make the top spot.

1. Libellule

Libellule is lightning-quick and has gargantuan cargo space. L+S move, six cargo, and the windcatcher keyword make her a mighty gold runner, and among the few expensive(-ish) ones worth using. A helmsman and either an explorer or Amiral Stephan Dupuy with Mademoiselle Josephine Godiva. Kind of hard to argue with a windcatcher moving L+S+S with a 55% chance of EA for 16 points, or just its plainer, but also excellent 12 point setup.

I'd even argue that her ability isn't such a bad negative, as it can save you from seeing your ship captured. Sure, her killer gets the lion's share, but not all of it, and if you're a bad sport, you can even Raft your way out of that. All together, I'd argue she's the best nine-point ship ever released.

Honorable Mentions:
Ventura
Windjammer
HMS Half Moon
Santa Lucia
HMS Caledonia
Sea Lion
USS Sea Tiger
Loa's Justice
Enfant Terrible
Revenge
HMS Bolingbroke
El Leon
HMS Wycliffe
Fortune
Santa Catalina
Selkie
Tiger's Breath
Swift
Recreant
Satisfaction
Le Mercure
Peacock
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woelf
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Subject: Re: Top 10 9-Point Ships   PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:04 pm Reply with quote

godmason wrote:
2. Native Canoes

These things are brutally potent if you can use them correctly. Every treasure funneled through them is worth +1, and if you empty an island with them, you're going to see +4 gold provided you can get it all home. Durability is a big concern when using any canoes, but the potential of these cannot be ignored. Just hope your opponent doesn't use any of the UTs that can instantly wipe them out... runes of something or another. It has just enough problems that it doesn't quite make the top spot.
If you're referring to Odin's Revenge, canoes are completely immune because they don't have masts. Most other negative UTs won't matter to them either because of that same lack of masts, or because they won't be carrying any crew. Even the negative UTs that do stick around will only affect one canoe at a time, not the full set.

Then there's Gem of Hades/The Red Skull, which is weirdly helpful to non-Cursed canoes by making the one that carries it exempt from the "same action" requirement.
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volt
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:02 pm Reply with quote

3 Comments -

1) I can't value ships like HMS Rye - yes of course that ability is great, but with one mast? All you need is one L gun or ram and the ability is gone. Maybe they are still on my list, but nowhere nearly as high.

2) I really like El Ballista. I have put Crimson Angel and a Captain on her and just devastated bigger/more expensive ships.

3) I also really love the Victor, and you are right when you say she is better than EL Ladron. Add Hermione Gold and Sir Christopher Myngs and you have a menace at only 17 points. Her and Nautilus are my favorite English support ships.

My list would be:
1) Libellule
2) Native Canoes
3) Morning Star
4) Eagle
5) Hyena
6) Victor
7) El Ballista
Cool El San Jose
9) Golden Peacock
10) Sea Crane, I guess heh.
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a7xfanben
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:36 am Reply with quote

I definitely see how hard these rankings are getting as there are SO many things to look at and pieces to sift through, but I think the comparisons got a little excessive with this one. Hyena is so much better than Ballista overall that I don't see much point in trying to rank them tied. It's a little confusing to see things you sort of consider honorable mentions ahead of ships that would realistically be ahead of them.

godmason wrote:
Adventure is listed up here with Eagle because of their statistical similarity. On her own, she'd be near the bottom of this list, if even on it at all.


Case in point. I feel that this way of doing things clutters up the rankings. I could put the picture for La Cordoba up next to the Spanish canoes, but it would just confuse people I think.

Quote:
Morning Star
Helmsman-explorer for the former, Master Bianco-Dominic Freda for the latter.


Confused With SO much cargo, there is no reason to ever not put a helmsman on the Morning Star. Especially in that setup you describe, since Bianco would have to be on a different ship, leaving Freda very exposed if he was the only crew aboard.

woelf wrote:
Then there's Gem of Hades/The Red Skull, which is weirdly helpful to non-Cursed canoes by making the one that carries it exempt from the "same action" requirement.


Interesting.... Very Happy

My Ranking:

1. Libellule
2. Native Canoes
3. Morning Star
4. Eagle
5. HMS Hyena
6. HMS Victor
7. Adventure
8. El San Jose
9. Golden Peacock
10. Recreant / HMS Bolingbroke / HMS Wycliffe / El Leon / Selkie / Windjammer / USS Emerald
Pick your poison: I would contend that basically ALL of these are underrated. Ladron and Revenge lose out to Recreant though due to less fitting/less useful abilities.

I HATE to leave the cancellers off this list, but they're so easy to dismast with a ram and even capture quickly (though you should have helmsman+oarsman on both if possible). In huge games they'd get bumped to the 10th spot but they are certainly specialty pieces, more so than stuff like the Kettering and crew cancellers which are more like staples.

Just missed (along with those in the #10 spot XD): Half Moon, Ballista, Sea Crane, Fortune, Caledonia, Tiger's Breath, Swift

Honorable Mentions not mentioned yet:
L'Amazone , Minerva , Muerta de la Corona , Cursed Native Canoes (for gold running), Sea Phoenix
-I could mention more haha - so many good ships at this cost! The Sea Tigers/Lions can't hold a candle to the above haha.
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