Jevon Heath
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I finally (FINALLY!) got to play 7th Sea again last night. My only 10-rated game, and it's been almost three years since my last play. I finally (FINALLY!) managed to coerce my old group to pull their old cards out of storage. I managed to play seven games yesterday evening, and hopefully there will be more later in the week.

Since it had been so long, I'd had time to make eleven decks and tune them to perfection. Since it had been so long, though, I'd forgotten what they were. Each game I had my opponent, Alex, choose a random deck for me to play. He only had two decks ready, both Castilian, although he made a third during our session.

Following is an accounting of the seven series of naval engagements that took place after so long a period of peace in Théah:

1) Captain Upham (Black Freighter) vs. Enrique Orduño (Corazón de Castile)

Alex had an excellent start and immediately began pumping out quality crew. I figured out this was a regen-boarding deck that had no card-drawing. Orduño boarded me early mid-game and killed Iken of Venderheim, but did little other damage. I discovered my deck did have card-drawing. I quickly filled my ship with Skeletons, and Alex succumbed after two successive boardings.

2) Captain Robert Mèchant (The Freighter) vs. Inquisitor Figueroa (El Fuego Negro)

Alex had explained this was a Holy shenanigans deck, so I lent him the Castilian Holy captain. Unfortunately his starting crew consisted entirely of his first mate, so he had no sailing. Also unfortunately, Inquisitor Figueroa starts in the sea next to me. My swarm-boarding deck ran over him in three turns.

3) Kheired-Din the Reborn (Freedom's Key) vs. Enrique Orduño (El Fuego Negro)

Alex swapped captains back to Enrique, while I had a Corsairs captive-sacrifice deck. Alex tacked out a little too much to play Antonio Aldonez, forgetting my captain's ability was in effect. I boarded him and traded almost all our crew, leaving him with just Enrique and me with Kheired-Din and one captive. I had initiative, so each turn I would cannon him with my captain before he could use his ship to board me. This persisted for about six turns before I drew enough Influence actions to cannon him twice.

At this point we had a break while Alex created a Castilian cannon deck.

4) Scar (The Revensj) vs. Enrique Orduño (Corazón de Castile)

I still can't remember what this deck was supposed to accomplish; whatever it was, it doesn't work very well. I kept drawing cards I didn't know what to do with, while Alex kept producing quality crew. I decided the only way to win would be to board before he could build up too much; unfortunately I miscalculated in pushing Scar forward. Enrique himself faced my captain; Scar lost the exchange and thus his life.

5) Yngvild Olafsdottir (The Revensj) vs. Enrique Orduño (Corazón de Castile)

My Yr Hägin deck against Crazy Castilian Cannon (C3). Alex had never seen this deck type before, and was completely unprepared for Yr Hägin's ability. He let me board thinking I had no offense, but my two Yr Hägins resulted in 14 damage to his tacked-out ship. Next turn was mop-up.

6) Ysabett du Montaigne (The Dolphin) vs. Enrique Orduño (Corazón de Castile)

My Blink Attack deck drew a First Mate's Duel in the opening hand, and I had initiative. Also, we started in the same Sea.

7) Ysabett du Montaigne (The Dolphin) vs. Enrique Orduño (Corazón de Castile)

We had a rematch, with Alex using a Safe Harbor. This was a lot more even. I spent most of the game running from him, which he didn't realize. He spent too much time building a cannon stack, which gave me enough time to duel his sailors away. Eventually he couldn't move, and I didn't have to.

We called it after seven games, with full intentions to pick it up again the next day (today!) with a couple more people. I foresee rough waters ahead...




Final strategy note: I know a couple of people here have said they don't think a boarding strategy has a chance. I suspect they may be waiting too long to go on the offensive. The trick is to begin boarding when you're not quite ready, as you'll still be more ready than your opponent.
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howl hollow howl
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7th Sea is my favorite game too!
cadavaca wrote:
Final strategy note: I know a couple of people here have said they don't think a boarding strategy has a chance. I suspect they may be waiting too long to go on the offensive. The trick is to begin boarding when you're not quite ready, as you'll still be more ready than your opponent.

Easier said then done. You need enough of a crew advantage to get on board and still have enough guys to ping crew dead. This often requires building up real crew (but if your boat is bigger, it's slower) and/or virtual crew (e.g., the Tiller, Cheap Sails, Pistol, etc.).

For speed decks - either cannon, boarding, or a mix - my favorite technique is to use action cards that create surprise active crew offsets. So, you lure your opponent into safety, wait for them to tack a bunch of crew (most commonly for influence), then play the card and catch 'em with their pants down.
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Jevon Heath
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Dave wrote:
Easier said then done. You need enough of a crew advantage to get on board and still have enough guys to ping crew dead.

All you need to do is deliver one hit they can't take. That's one less crew they'll have next turn. Small advantages can compound; don't be afraid to pursue them.

Quote:
This often requires building up real crew (but if your boat is bigger, it's slower)

Any time you spend building up crew gives your enemy time to build up their crew. Ideally they'll build less than you overall because they'll be wasting resources guarding against your threats, but this isn't always the case. It's often a mistake to wait until your opponent is ready for you.
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howl hollow howl
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cadavaca wrote:
Dave wrote:
Easier said then done. You need enough of a crew advantage to get on board and still have enough guys to ping crew dead.

All you need to do is deliver one hit they can't take. That's one less crew they'll have next turn. Small advantages can compound; don't be afraid to pursue them.

I agree that a single hit is fantastic, but my point was that, to do so, it usually requires a 2-crew advantage to get in a guaranteed hit in (and even then, they often have an action card to absorb it). That can be hard to manage early on without trickery (such as what I detail above).
cadavaca wrote:
Any time you spend building up crew gives your enemy time to build up their crew. Ideally they'll build less than you overall because they'll be wasting resources guarding against your threats, but this isn't always the case. It's often a mistake to wait until your opponent is ready for you.

I don't disagree, and my use of action cards to spring surprise attacks is most effective in quick decks. You have to feel it out. If you can pin him and scare him from completing adventures to build up cannon, while slowly building up real/virtual crew yourself until you have an advantage, that can work too. But, yeah, sailing around casually while allowing your opponent to freely build up while you do the same rarely works, partially due to cannon effectiveness, and partially due to your ships speed being proportional to your crew size (e.g., if you have a large ship so you can hold more crew, either it will be harder to catch him due to having a slower ship, or you will have a boat full of Topmen and the like that do a poor job at absorbing cannon).
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Jevon Heath
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Here are the stats for two of the Captains I played with, from the Syrneth Secret expansion.

Scar
Vesten Captain
Starting Crew: 8
C: 0 Sa: 2 A: 5 I: 3 Sw: 4
Heroic * Villainous * Laerdom: 1 * Swordsman +2
Starting Sea: Trade Sea
While you have 4 or more other Vesten Crew on your Ship, your Loyal Vesten Crew have +1 Adventuring and you may use the following ability:
React: When you push a Crew forward to start a Boarding Attack, you may draw a card and play it as the Boarding Attack for that Crew.

Captain Upham
Black Freighter Captain
Starting Crew: 9
C: 2 Sa: 3 A: 5 I: 3 Sw: 3
Villainous * Fear 1 * Swordsman +2
Starting Sea: The Mirror
Non-Black Freighter Crew cost you 3 more to hire.
React: If you have 3 or more other non-Skeletal Black Freighter Crew, draw a card after playing a card with the Monster or Skeletal trait.
 
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Randy Miller
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I don't remember Yr Hägin; care to explain what that Scar deck's trick with him was?

Also, what was your buddy's plan for the Figeroa deck? Starting with just one crewis super risky, imo. I have a deck that does that, with safe harbor or something, but it's mostly to use cards and not much good in all honesty (with the unalinged fate captain and the syrenth ship).

 
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Jevon Heath
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Yr Hägin Brønsson's a Laerdom crew with poor stats but an interesting ability:

React: Once per turn, target a player drawing one or more cards during the Actions phase other than during a Boarding. Inflict a number of Hits on that player equal to the number of cards drawn.

The trick is to get into a Boarding and end it quickly (e.g. with But Not In Vain). Over the course of the Boarding, the deck will have drawn the card It Doesn't Matter:

React: Play when a Boarding ends. The players involved with that Boarding must discard their hands and draw 7 new cards.

Yr Hägin's ability kicks in for 7 free hits. 3 Yr Hägins means 21 hits without tacking a crew.

As for starting with Bascalle: I think he just wanted to try out the First Mate, as he'd never played with him before. Also, he was expecting a game involving a lot of build-up, as with the previous game. It wasn't really a competitive move.
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Randy Miller
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Oh, that's a mean trick with yr. Heh.

My Holy Castillian deck can do some neat tricks with the Inquisition and a couple other attachements that key off of villianous, tacking or untacking or so, and of course Influence out the missinmast, and Castille has some great holy cannon crew to at some more direct offensive omph.
 
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Jevon Heath
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What sort of tricks do you use? I've tried on several occasions to use Inquisitor Figueroa, but I've never managed to make a deck that clicked.
 
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Randy Miller
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Well, Figueroa can turn any crew villainous. The Inquisition attachment can tack any villainous crew in the same sea, without tacking. Downside is fairly easy to get 4 cannons to kill. Cross of virtue can fit on half the crew; between the Captain and annointed by Theus we can cancel anything; Flashing swords Inn can untack any villainous non-captain crew, which is any given the captains ability; Inquisitor Carlino is great fun for reducing influence of ships without holy crew, which are fairly rare outside Castille; Crucible of faith gives great absorbtion; Padre Esteban benefits from prayer & Bascalle; Stirring Speech works off of Holy Crew as well to untack another crew.

Just for flavor are Reynaldo Pasado, Poisoned Wine, Inquisition Witch Hunt, Sinking of the Hanged Man, and of course, The Stake. angry

Bear in mind my decks are a bit large and aren't super competitive in general; I only get a chance to play against people who don't have any cards themselves.
 
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tec goblin
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I've never managed to make the Freighter work as well as my other fast boarders. It never managed to reach Berek's 10 starting wealth, nor had it any access to laerdom (which is great to slaughter a tapped opponent after a boarding). Could you tell me how you did it?
 
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tec goblin
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I think I just managed to build a competitive Figueroa deck. After some playtesting, it worked much better than anticipated. I don't play a lot with his anti-villainous ability, I just use it to keep up the pressure on turns 2 to 4 if needed. I can say that I use his holiness more, and Los Vagos even more (strange alliance, huh?). The ability to board without tacking anyone can lead to crew advantage, and with some fancy swordplays, El Osoque Occulto can be deadly (I mostly use its second ability):

Inquisitor Figueroa
El Fuego Negro

Andare de Castillo 2
Antonio Aldonez Exp 1
Augusto de Augustin 1
Botas Rojas 2
Doña Arabtxa Grijalva 3
Doña Lucia del Torres 3
Inquisitor Carlino 1 (starting against marketeers-heavy decks, like Vendel or the Black Freighter)
Jaimé Espejo 1
Josette Quadros 3 (one in the starting crew, if carlino is not there)
Marketeers 2 (starting crew, both)
Miguel Bascalle 1
Miguel Cortez 1


Another Betrayal 1
Crossing Swords 2
El Osoque Occulto 3
Fancy Swordplay 3
Handsome Scar 1
Know Your Opponent 1
Prayer 2
Reporting Drunk 1
Responsive Helm 1
Southern Trade Winds 1
Unexpected Reunion 2
Would-Be Adventurers 2
Would-Be Traders 1

Duel with a Castillian 1
Rose & Cross Apprentice 3
True Faith 1

Brilliant Disguise 1
Los Vagos Henchman 2
Main Gauche 1
The Inquisition 2
The Mask of El Vago 1
The Noble Flag of the Castillian Armada 1

Crucible of Faith 2
The Coming Tempest 1


What do you think?
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Jevon Heath
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I have the cards for this; I will give it a try!
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tec goblin
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Great! Give me some feedback .
 
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Jevon Heath
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I finally got a chance to use this Figueroa deck! It worked very well. I used Carlino against the Black Freighter, and was able to board turn two. Looking good.
 
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