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Every Catamaran, Ranked

 
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godmason
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Subject: Every Catamaran, Ranked   PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:34 pm Reply with quote

Catamarans are another ship type that got limited attention from Wizkids, possibly in part because their keyword can be absurdly strong. Over the course of the game, only five were released, with a further two planned for RtSS, but we all know how that story ended. I personally haven’t used catamarans much, as I don’t have them all, and the best ones were part of the stillborn RtSS.

7: Speedy Return

Originally planned as part of RotF (she was even included on its checklist,) Speedy Return's release was delayed, and she barely made it to print as part of SS. I wish she'd swapped places with one of the RtSS catamarans, though, because she's not very good. Her ability is not particularly useful, and as a gold runner or warship, there are far better options, even among catamarans. I like to imagine that she's good for subjecting enemies to negative UTs, but I still think there are better ships for that role.

6: HMS Hermes

No, no, not the itchy rash. Hermes is a confusing ship, because she doesn't seem to have any strengths outside of her catamaran keyword. Is she a tricky small gunship? A support ship? A scout? Her flavor text suggests the third option, but there are better options as scouts go than Hermes.

5: Skipping Stone

Almost identical to HMS Hermes, but there are two key differences: her guns have better range, and her ability is more usable. She's more focused as a warship, and in theory, as a treasure runner too. Being from the same set, she's equally easy to acquire, so go for Skipping Stone before Hermes.

4: Polaris

No, not the icebreaker of the same name, though you could argue equally as rare. Polaris has the appearance of a warship, but her defensive abilities seem to contribute to her point cost more than her offensive traits. If she had better stats in either movement or armament, she'd be a superb ship, but she just falls short of greatness.

3: Cannibal King

Finally we're getting somewhere. Cannibal King may be kind of a silly ship, as she's slow, and tremendously expensive for a two masted ship, but she has good hold space and armament. Not equipped with the most useful of abilities, she still has value as a gold runner, multipurpose ship, or home island raider, though she doesn't do the third of those options nearly as well as...

2: Brazen (RtSS)
Brazen is similar to Cannibal King, albeit with a higher cost, worse guns, a smaller hold... and a truly awesome ability. Gentleman Jocard and a Helmsman would have been an excellent pairing with this ship, and the catamaran keyword would make her slippery even when caught. It's a shame that the two best catamarans were part of RtSS, because it means we never got to play with Brazen or...

1: Orphan (RtSS)
Imagine Paradis de la Mer in ship form. Yeah, Orphan would have been a nightmare to fight, had she been released. Put an HI raider aboard her, like El Phantasma, and watch your opponents go nuts as you slowly pilfer their home island of its gold, their gunships almost unable to hit you at all. Though her armament's weak, her ability would allow her to make a competent warship with a world hater aboard, simply due to how hard she is to damage. Allowing an ability like this to have been copied by Davy Jones could have made for some interesting games, too. Maybe it's for the best that Orphan was never printed, because I see her being almost as game-breaking as Banshee's Cry or Captain Jack Sparrow. Maybe not; WK might have still had time to balance her before release...
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woelf
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:39 pm Reply with quote

No argument about Orphan, which I'm kinda glad didn't make it into the game, but I'd put Skipping Stone in the second slot behind it. At a glance it may not seem any better than Hermes, but that built-in reroll is huge when combined with the Catamaran's innate ability to dodge hits.

I'd probably also move HMS Hermes up a position or two. It and Skipping Stone could both really use more cargo space, but their starting base moves are good, and the costs are low enough to easily use them in standard 40-point games without messing up the rest of your fleet.

Brazen feels like an "also ran" to me. HI-raiding is always fun, and being a Catamaran provides some nice protection, but that lower starting base move means you're going to be spending a lot more time on the trip there and back than you really want to. With the ability showing right there on the deckplate (instead of hidden on a crew), your opponent will be watching and waiting for any moves toward their home island, and will be able to respond more easily.

Cannibal King's price is nice for what you get, but that boarding ability is largely wasted on a two-masted ship. The outriggers let you control when boarding happens, but you're going in at a disadvantage against all but the smallest of treasure-runners, and good luck catching any of those when moving at only L+S after adding a Helmsman.
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xerecs
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:57 am Reply with quote

The Brazen is English, not Pirate, so Jocard would not be able to use his ability on the ship. However you can still accomplish the desired effect with First Mate Ismail.
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