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Pirates: the other White Meat

By Schwerpunkt

Okay, the title is a bit misleading. It is intended to be a humorous reference to a bygone American advertising campaign meaning a nontraditional source of profitable gain.

That written, this guide advises; do not kill the Pirates off completely. Leave them one town and a port.

Pirates in the Caribbean have Galleons. Left to their devices they will perform their piracy quite proficiently and gather unto themselves a mega-fleet. This mega-fleet will contain ships from all classes and from all nations. The mega-fleet will be costly and annoying to destroy and/or capture.

So, Rule #1 is to hit the pirates early to reduce their potential early. I have written another guide on this forum outlining how to do this with Prussia, yes, Prussia, but it applies to all nations. Once you have successfully captured a Galleon by destroying its sails and boarding it you are ready to own the Caribbean.

Rule #2: Take the nice new unscathed Galleon (it is unscathed because you never used cannonballs on it and it auto repairs its sails after each turn) and pair it with a Brig or Sixth Rate. Harbor them beside a Trade Route, along with a local security land unit and merely watch the sea lanes each turn.

Rule #3: The evil pirates cannot afford to not make ships. In a turn or two a second Galleon will sail past. In my experience the pirates simply love French cuisine so I often leave a French port with its nice seaside cafes open. When the newly launched Galleon sails to the French port, I sortie forth with my Galleon and Brig/Sixth Rate to repeat a slightly modified process that captured the first Galleon.

Of interest is the speed of which a Galleon and a Brig reduce a Galleon to routing status. Simply sail your Galleon directly at the enemy. Send the lighter vessel on a broad flanking movement. Cross the bow of your enemy and fire a Galleon broadside of cannonballs as your lighter ship closes from upwind on the pirate. I have yet to see a pirate fight for more than two broadsides from a Galleon and a few sail tears from a Brig. All in, this takes less than three or four minutes.

And this is the profit point. You can either use the new Galleon or sell it, depending on your fleet holdings. A slightly roughed up Galleon can yield well over a thousand gold. Depending on the current point of your campaign, a thousand gold as prize money is a welcome addition.

In my recent campaign I occupied all isles aside from the pirate haven (Tortuga?) and merely stationed my duo of ships a little outside of the remaining pirate harbor. Another option is to block the pirate sea route causing them to respond. These worked just as well over the long term.

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