This is my entry for woelf’s Fleet Challenge of Return to Savage Shores.
The fleet has 13 masts for just 45 points, and I tried to have all of the actual ship game pieces come from RtSS. The fleet has your standard gunship, a treasure runner/raider that will take advantage of opportunities when they arise, and the new English set of Native Canoes with their funky ability. I wanted to use HMS Goodfellow, but she needs a helmsman, while the canoes are just the right amount of points.
Ability: When this ship sinks another ship, you can repair one of this ship's masts.
HMS London, from CC, will be used in place of HMS Halcyon. Almost the same ship, the Halcyon simply has a more practical ability that suits her stats better. She is equipped with the customary captain and helmsman, as well as Bratley, to add 5 points to the build, which brings it to the perfect amount. She will either take out the enemies’ gunship(s) and/or treasure runners. She is to be used as a standard gunship, and her repairing ability may be augmented by some native canoes that tag along for the ride.
Masts: 4 (Galley)
Ability: Galley. This ship can move and shoot using the same move action. This ship gets +1 to her boarding rolls. She gets +2 instead if her opponent is a sea monster.
This is the ship that HMS Gallows represents, being the only 4 masted English galley other than the Alexandria. With a built-in captain ability and nice S+L speed, she is ready to go right out of the pack. Her high point cost and combative abilities may make her seem like a pure combat ship, but since you don’t need a captain and helmsman to crew her, I have put an explorer on her to be the main treasure runner. She also will have the chieftain on board. However, she will see much more use than that. She has room for two treasures, but you’d be crazy to ignore the abilities. She will be a very tough opponent for any treasure runners that sail to the same island as her, since she can blast them with her move-and-shoot, and possibly ram and board as well. The ram won’t do any additional damage, but it isn’t necessary, either, with the Galley keyword. Also, she could be used to chase down any enemy treasure runners and take their gold by shooting at them and boarding them.
Tribal Chieftain & Native Canoes
Masts: X (Canoes)
Ability: Native Canoe. Give this ship a move action but do not move her. Instead, roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, you may repair one mast on ships within S of any native canoes.
Represented by the Aberdeen Baron since she has five masts and costs 12 points, this turns the fleet from somewhat interesting into something that hasn’t been done before. That potentially ‘game-breaking’ ability that is unique to this game piece can be used multiple times throughout the game, by each and every canoe. Here is the discussion that details some of their pros and cons, and their rules questions. There you can see many of their potential uses, and in this fleet they could help out the two main ships quite a lot. They could follow them around and give them repairs when needed, and help run treasure. HMS Halcyon could be turned into a nightmare of a gunship for your opponents, with endless stamina. The Elthelfleda could keep up a steady stream of successful boarding actions against enemy ships with her eliminated masts sprouting back up every turn. I am not familiar with Native Canoes (especially not this set), so if I missed anything important, please point it out.
Unfortunately, I don’t own a single 4 masted galley or any canoes, so it would be quite difficult to try this fleet out in a game by using proxies. I would if I could. That said, however, I think this fleet would do reasonably well between its outstanding durability (13 masts and possibly a ton of repairs) and good speed.
Thanks for reading-comment and vote!
Edit-I have since acquired the Alexandria and the Spanish native canoes, so playtesting this fleet is not out of the question anymore... we'll see how things go.