Alright boys and girls, it's time for my weekly ship ranking thread. This time, I'm talking about a ship type that appeared in one, and only one set: Icebreakers. With only 7 in the game, this will be a short list, so prepare it as light reading while you stand in line for coffee.
7: La Hada
La Hada is a combination of weak attributes and situational abilities, and yet, she costs a whole 12 points. There are so, so
many better ships at this size and cost for every faction. Even with my obsession with using powerful faction-exclusive abilities like Cargo Masters at every turn, this ship isn't redeemed, as her stats just aren't good enough to be worth padding.
What's brown and rhymes with bird? Yeah, you guessed it, Urd! By her marginally better base stats alone, she's leaps and bounds better than La Hada, as her armament and hold can at least be called average, rather than subpar. Her keyword makes no sense on an icebreaker, as she won't be evading boarding action, and the icebreaker keyword allows for her to ignore terrain anyway. As a whole, though, I think that her superior cargo and armament allow much more to be done with her, even if she is one point more expensive.
5: USS Cheyenne
USS Cheyenne takes things a step further than Urd by having a feasible use, as her ability is a rare one, and it matches the icebreaker's role as a support ship. She can clear up paths for gold runners, as well as exploring islands in advance. Her cost, however, is on the extreme end for a three masted ship, so she's still not quite in the neighborhood of desirable ships. I see her best setup as being with a SAT, Helmsman, and maybe a reroller.
4: Le Breton
in icebreaker form, I say. Not cheap, not fast, not especially well armed, but that ability does at least open her up to use some strong faction-exclusive abilities. She also ties with the next two ships for the biggest holds of the icebreakers.
a7xfanben and I disagree on this, but I think the +1 boarding roll bonus is a solid ability. This ship has a clearer purpose, in that she's a slightly more offense-oriented ship, and with her L-range guns in the back, she can fire all her guns before ramming, provided you get the right angle of attack. Again, though, she's not quite at the point of being a good ship for what she costs, though the next two ships get closer to that...
An easily used ability, and a lower cost than Beowulf. With what amounts to the same armament, move, and hold, she's just better. There's still strong competition at his price bracket, so she has to concede the top spot to...
1: HMS Granville
HMS Granville is forward with her use: she's a warship with some utility for gold runners. Her hold space is terrible, and her move subpar, but she has the only rank 2 gun of any icebreaker, and her ability is on the nasty side, and one I've used to delightful effect on Divine Dragon
to bypass the defensive ability of HMS Dauntless
. She's the type of ship I'd combine with the Hermione Gold
+ Trevor Van Tyne
pairing, as well as a boarding +1, reroller, or SAT crew. She still falls short of other ships of even her own faction in this points neighborhood, like HMS Nautilus
and HMS London
, however, and for just two points more you can have the awesome HMS Gallows
Icebreakers are cool ships, but it is disappointing that they came out half-baked, and are really worth using only in games where icebergs cover the play area. I hope to play that scenario some time, though...