The English's only Bombardier, named Bombardier (I wonder why?) is one of the most powerful ships in the Pirates Franchise, and the second least expensive of the four Bombardiers.
Like the other three Bombardiers, this ship is made for annihilation. Either incinerating enemy ships, or killing them from long range. This ship is not made for gold running, as with only 3 cargo spaces, and a base speed of L, this ship will not get much gold very far. However, with such a huge cannon on the bow, you just have to blow up something. So which to use; flame cannon, or big boom cannon? Both have their advantages, the flamestrkike cannon is basically a built-in fire pot specialist, with the flame portion measuring S, a useful feature. The best part is, as per the Code, as long as you can draw a straight line to your target from the dice on the cannon, the big cannon can fire, even if it can’t physically turn that far, just come as close as you can. So you have a flame thrower with roughly a 270 degree firing arc. If you have a SAT (Same Action Twice) or similar crew on board, you can leave just about any ship in ashes, and you enemy to quote Beckett, "Bloody hell, there's nothing left." That be all well and fancy, but it only has S range, and that just doest cut it sometimes. So your other option would be to have your gun a big@$$ artillery piece, with the extended range keyword, giving it a range of S+S. If you and your opponent still use forts, that's one way to take it out, unless the fort happens to be Ramsgate. The artillery could be used in all kinds of ways, to disable that gold runner that thought he was out of range, or to get the first hit in on that incoming warship, easier to do with this ship's special ability. Both cannons have great uses, it all just depends on your imagination, and your style of piracy.
Strategies and game play:
This ship is great its job, not much else. That said, if the whole purpose of your fleet is to completely wipe your opponent off the face of the Earth, this ship is a must. If you are looking for good pirate insurance, this is one of the best policies, albeit one of the more expensive ones (good things ARRen’t cheap!). With this ship's special ability, you can knock out those one of two really good cannons on that larger threat, severely damaging his attacking ability, pulling his teeth, as it were. The most expensive combo I ever used with this ship was 30 points, a little steep, but there are plenty of good cheap treasure running ships out there. As stated above, you can bombard forts from range, take out otherwise "safe" ships, or clear the way for that ship that can steal gold from your opponent's home island.
Combos with other miniatures:
A must for any Warship is a Captain, generic or otherwise, and for a ship that goes L, most pirates want a helmsman. But I prefer captains who ARRnt afraid to get dirty and take the wheel themselves. Hermione Gold from the Rise of the Fiends set is my kind of women, coming in at 5 points, with the Captain and Helmsman abilities all in one crew, taking up one cargo space. For a bombardier, whose cannon jams on a dice roll of 1, a shipwright is a must, and with Ms. Gold at the helm, that is a possibility. Now any pirate who passed basic ARRithmetic will point out, “That’s only 2 cargo spaces!” And I say “I was getting to that.” My favorite crew combo is Captain Gold, Shipwright, and Dr. Richard Scott. While making your ship cost a whopping 30 points, Dr. Scott insures if you won’t lose crew very easily, making for a more effective fighting ship. This still leaves you with 10 points to buy gold runners with, and I happen to know two ideal ships, the L'Artesien, and the Le Coeur Du Lion, at 8 and 2 points respectively, with a combined cargo space of 7.
Ways to counteract it:
Like any ship, it is susceptible to cannon fire, especially ships bigger than herself. The big cannon on the front does not count as a mast, so it only takes four shots to sink her. Any well armed 4 or 5 mast ship will get the job done. You could also insert, Lost, or Witch’s Brew into the treasure pool, but you have to be the one to find them. For a cost, you could invest in equipment such as Fire Shot, Exploding Shot, or Smokepot Shot. Chain shot will keep it from moving while you pound it into submission, and Grapple shot will allow you to board it from range. There are many ways to counteract this type of ship; the Bombardier has more bark than bite, an oversight on Wizkid’s part. However, in the right circumstances, and with the right crew, this ship can do a lot of damage.
The best combo for the Bombardier that I’ve tested costs 30 points, and that’s just one ship. The English are brawlers by nature, so there are many other better choices for a topnotch warship. There are so many options I don’t know where to begin, so if any of my worthy pirate colleges wish to post their ideas, just comment on this review.
Built in flamethrower (if ye so desire) or an artillery cannon.
Good cannons (all long range) and good ranks (one 2, and two 3s)
Really kick@$$ special ability.
Slow speed, small size, and a 1 in 6 chance of major gun jam.
Artwork and aesthetics:
This ship has excellent artwork, standard HMS red and white, with striped sails and a pristine, undamaged look (hinting at its heavy fire power). Artwork gets a 10/10.
I give this ship a well deserved 7/10.
Fair winds to ye all, and may your holds be full and your cannons on target.