General description: let's start off with a lesson on the phrase "luck of the Irish." Common belief holds it to mean good fortune, but in reality, it means a positive outlook on a negative situation. Hence, the name for this review, because Celtic Fury is the second worst of the ten masted junks.
Why is that? Mostly, it's because Eileen Brigid O'Brien doesn't seem to know how to pick her allies, as she has chosen the French to aid her war against the crown. The problem with the French is that they lack a strong roster of faction-exclusive abilities, and while the ones they have are (mostly) good, none are particularly useful on a ten master. Fortunately for them, they do have access to crew of other nations via Jordan Dumas, whose primary ability will also prove useful in extreme setups.
Allow me to finish examining her keywords, however. Born Leader is just SAT, and Dories means that in spite of being a Mercenary ship, she may actually run gold. There are some superfluous thematic abilities, like those that hamper Delusion, in the form of Ex-Patriot and a faction-specific ability, but a self-linking SAT crew is arguably worth its cost to begin with, and is certainly better than Delusion's linked crew.
Statistically, Celtic Fury is easier to justify than some of her competitors. L move and 7 base cargo is pretty standard for post-OE ten masters, but she has more rank 3 and fewer rank 4 guns than Delusion, making cannon bonuses less necessary to maximize firepower. She also costs a mere 25 points, which makes her a deal when her firepower, durability, and hold space are considered on their own, regardless of her other abilities.
Uses: how does one make the best of Celtic Fury's strengths? Her hold space makes her look like a gold runner, but her speed and high cost make it hard to call this her best use. You would have to pad out her speed with a helmsman, give extra actions with O'Brien, save time with an explorer, and maybe add a re-roller, which brings you to a colossal 33 points for a ship that moves L+S and has 5 cargo, with a 55 percent chance of SAT. Good, but far from cost effective, when you can use Capitaine Baudouin Deleflote and L'Intrepide to achieve the same move and cargo space, but a guaranteed extra action for 16 points.
Strategies and game play: hybrid, warship, and absurdist builds are the best options for Celtic Fury. Because of her large size and slow move, few ships will engage her willingly, so her linked crew and a helmsman are a requisite for each of these builds. Her low cost also means a low points ceiling, reduced to 18 additional points and 6 spaces without Princess Arii Auraa, so in spite of being a better deal than Delusion, her cheesing builds are marginally tamer.
Combos with other miniatures:
Aggressive Boarding Hybrid: Eileen Brigid O'Brien + Helmsman + Robert Surcouf + Madame LaFontaine + Capitaine Arazure (44 points)
SAT-Focused Warship: Eileen Brigid O'Brien + Helmsman + Gentil de la Barbinais + Jordan Dumas (42 points)
SAC-Focused Warship: Helmsman + Gentil de la Barbinais + Capitaine Arazure + Claude Perier + Oarsman x4 (44 points)
Haymaker: Helmsman + Jordan Dumas + Gentil de la Barbinais + Princess Arii Auraa + Gus Schultz + Jack Hawkins + Brent Rice (51 points)
Ways to counteract it: because she's still on the weaker end of ten masters, a properly equipped Shui Xian or Guichuan will have her beat in a straight brawl. Like all ships of her size, the threat of Explosives is hard to ignore, and she basically can't cross reefs, so Lost can be used to great effect. Her extreme size also means she is ever so susceptible to ships that can't be shot within S.
Strengths/Pros: solid deal for a budget ten master, good linked crew, can fulfill numerous roles depending on preference and situation
Weaknesses/Cons: poor native crew selection, low ceiling of capabilities, limited use in cheesing fleets due to a lack of extreme attributes to use for min-maxing
Artwork and aesthetics: the shamrocks make her a beautiful ship, and an eye-catcher in any collection.
Overall rating: 6/10. At high point costs, ships can be made or broken by crew selection, and unfortunately, this ship doesn't have much to pick from. She's still strong in her role, but hard to fit into small games at her best, and in larger games, competing ten masters will get you more value for your points. She'd be better if the French had a stronger or more interesting crew selection, or if she had a larger hold (9+) with which to make use of the potential of the Arii/Dumas combo or to run gold.