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Print at Jun 6, 2020 6:10:22 PM

Posted by Hangmann at Aug 29, 2003 3:57:11 PM
Ship HO! Man the guns! A guide to Sea Battle
This is intended to be a guide to sea battle, as the Puzzle Tips thread points out there is not one out there yet. I doubt I'll be the most enlightened member contributing but I can outline some basics.

The first step to sea battle to catch a ship ye can beat. With the right crew some Yellow's may not be out of reach. For the sake of yer ship and yer sanity, lay off the blue ships. Attacking blue ships is what brings out El Pollo Diablo, or the black ship as it?s sometimes called. They will rip your ship a new one and hand ye a loss. Your booty is worth much more then you will add by attacking a blue ship, so just don?t do it. Know the abilities of your crew before engaging in anything dangerous tho, as a good share of your current and future booty is on the line every time ye sea battle. To catch a ship it helps to be moving at full speed. If they are coming up behind you, ye can turn about, target them, and turn about again, and wait for them to overcome you. If they are coming up on you at full speed, its very important you get the "engage" click in before they are upon you and sailing past. If ye get the engage button early enough and turn about, they will overtake you and battle will commence. If they pass you, and ye turn about, give up. Unless you are hot on their tails and they stop at a league point, they're going to outrun you. Check the "radar" (thank you Amberyl, I didn't even know this until today. ) on the navigation table often for potential targets, and current whereabouts of potential targets. Once ye are engaged, move to step two.

Step two of sea battle is the bloated lady tango. Also known as two ships trying to collide. During this step your sailors produce movement tokens (controlled by the selector beneath the tokens) which you use to move your boat. Also during this step the opponent ship has a chance to hit quite a few rocks, and maybe even get cannoned a few times as well. I will try to post screen shots of good positions to cannon from, that result in a 75% probability of hitting them (most likely a lot higher, I do not know the exact forces behind a brigands movement of their ship). I say 75% because the only time you will miss is if they don't move. Seeing as they have 3 other options besides "don't move", that?s 75%.

It should go without saying, but this is a guide so I'll say, don't hit any rocks and try not to get cannonballed. If you stop yer boat facing a rock, ye'r screwed. If you turn into a rock, y'er screwed twice. If the enemy is smart (I.E. PP's) and near you when you hit the rock, y'er most likely cannoned on top of the rock damage.

There are two tiles on the sea battle board that move your boat when ye sail over them. The wind lanes and the whirlpools. The wind lanes are a free straight (in the direction of the wind) and the whirlpools are a free turn. Every whirlpool rotates clockwise. If you sat on a whirlpool without moving you would be back to where you started. When you can use these free moves to accelerate your pursuit or escape, that?s when ye are a master sailor. The rotation that happens on the whirlpools is kind of odd, because it turns you, and thus your boat, even if you were not facing the right way for a turn.

I've found that sitting at the end of a wind lane is a good spot for brigands to intercept ye. You can even get a few pop shots on the cannons if they approach from the side. If you don't feel like chasing around the brigands, ye can employ this tactic to see if they come to you.

In case any one is interested in fleeing, the defender can disengage after 10 turns. The attacker can disengage whenever they want. Once the ships collide, proceed to step three.

Step three is the bearded man melee, also called the swordfight. After everyone who is going to drop drops (they get eliminated without fighting) the fight begins. The key to winning a sea battle fight is targeting. I'm gunna say that again. The key to winning a sea battle fight is targeting. To target someone on the opposite team ye click their picture. You are currently targeting the opponent who's display screen is outlined in white. The number of dots next to an opponents display screen is how many people are fighting them. When fighting NPP's its important that you never team up more than three on one. I'm gunna say that again. When fighting NPP's its important that you never team up more than three on one. When an NPP gets ganged up upon more than 3 on 1, they cheat. It is a fact. Their attacks will suddenly cause much devastation, and come quite quickly. It's so important I'm even going to say it again. Do NOT target more than three on one during sea battles. Should ye find yerself in the unfortunate situation where you are part of a 4 on 1, try to avoid moving to the random pair or solo targeting. Several people who dislike the 4 on 1 may be moving at the same time, and moving the 4 on 1 from one target to another, is not helpful. Move to a blank NPP, wait for the targeting update, and then regroup. A large bright red dot is a 5 on 1. This should also never happen, but incase you are confused, that?s 5, not 1, so retarget.

So by now you have your targets set up in sets of 3 and the random 2's who are left out (due to crew's not always having numbers divisible by 3). Now ye procede to attack wtih abandon. The purpose of most sea battles is booty, and the most booty comes from brigands, so we will be discussing NPP fighting technique. It really doesn't matter THAT much what sword ye use for fighting an NPP. If you constantly send them all 1 color, sure they'll send it back, but beyond that all swords are the same. Here's why: NPP's do not fight like you and I fight. They rearrange their screens constantly. They stack and break blocks based on their skill rating, not based on where they decided to make them fall. Due to this, large attacks are VERY successful against NPP's. They don't get 2 columns completely filled by one huge sword, they count the blocks (I'm not sure if this includes overlap off the top, but I assume it does due to the shape of the NPP's board at any given time. They have those pillars on both sides, where swords like to hit, so the sword wouldn?t get very far). It's quite simple to eliminate ANY NPP with a decently sized triple. If ye land a bingo, its all over. Note, this is NOT how you fight other players, so don't get in the habit if its to hard for you to break when fighting other players. If it takes you 45 more seconds to beat the NPP's its worth it to keep yer swordfight skills up to scratch. After ye eliminate a target, retarget. This is most important. I can't tell you how many sea battles I've seen go the way of the bootch because after killing one NPP a group of like 5 on 1 formed and that NPP destroyed their entire screen killing 2 players or so. It should not be hard to pick a new target, and everyone who was killing Bright Betty starts killing Stinky Pete, for example. If ye see an elimination, check if you are targeting poorly, and adjust.

All this targeting discussion and no hints on what to do if YOU are being targeted. Should this unfortunate even occur, stall. The stall is a maneuver in which ye set yerself up to be attacked. If the NPP's group more than 2 on 1 person for a while, that person should stall. The premise of stalling is that you assume you are going to get eliminated. If you don't touch the spacebar the pieces fall at an excruciatingly slow pace. During this time those targeting you are sending over attacks. These attacks queue up on you, falling 1 attack at a time. By the time ye do get eliminated, if at all (I.E. you stall past the end of the fight), there is a LARGE queue of attacks that you haven't seen, and that no one ever will. Ye take one for the team. To stall, you do not press the spacebar. Ever. The more time they have to attack you, the better. It also helps to try and keep colors connected, but if you are being attacked by random foil colors it can be pretty hard. Every breaker you see should go to clearing the largest amount of your screen it can as well. This allows you to stay alive longer, thus stall longer, and thus take more attacks for the team. Stalling is good. Battles can be won that would be lost, due to stalling.

Before ya know it, yer crew of 5 can take down ships of 12 (Yes, I've done it, we were in The Zone). Ye'll be talking about the battle for many tides to come.

So here's the basic sea battle thread. If anyone has anything to add, please do. Like I said, I'll try to post screens of good cannon shot positions. Hope it helps!
Senior Officer of the Serial Pillagers (Cobalt)

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