For Blazing Sails players, this guide will provide some advice for all ye fresh bait new to the sea from a scurvy sea dog! Aarr! Let’s check it out.
Arrr me hearties it be Capn’ Jasta here ready to whip you into shape for a life on the ocean main. I won’t be tellin’ ye the basic controls or any of that stuff, this is more some wise words from an old salt on how to stay above Davy Jones’ Locker and maybe earn yourself a pegleg before you’re strung up from the yardarm.
Finding Your Sea Legs
First thing when you join the lobby is you’ll need to join a ship. Try to avoid being aboard a ship with only two or three crew – you’ll just be fresh meat for the sharks! If you’re a solo or duo, find a flag of another ship looking for some more mates or drop your own and recruit some jack tars of your own!
Don’t be the 5th Ship!
Your first task when the match starts for real is to choose a starting island. Try to pick a spot that has at least one treasure chest, but be warned the islands with the most booty also have the most competition!
When you do spawn, immediately look and see if you have any enemy ships nearby, as they will be an immediate threat. Be especially careful of any ships hidden just around a bay or headland. Don’t expect an immediate volley of cannon fire but it really doesn’t take long for the lead to start flying!
If in doubt, have one person get your ship moving BEFORE they go scavenge the island.
There will be other chances to get loot and if you just leave your ship sitting there it’s likely to be halfway to the ocean floor by the time you can teleport back if your enemy has a weather eye out. If you’re feeling aggressive have someone return as fast as possible with some wood and cannonballs and stand by to repel boarders!
When you are looting, your primary objective is to get to any chests as fast as possible for ship upgrades and weapons, but don’t forget the basics. Wood is the most important resource – as long as you have wood you always have a chance to win. Drop crossbow bolts and fish ammo if you’re low on space, they’re not often needed.
A Life on the Ocean Main
Once you’ve looted your first few islands and started to sail the wider seas, make sure your crew is in order. There are many ways to crew a ship but here’s a few important roles to keep in mind:
It’s not the most swashbuckling role but it’s incredibly important and possibly the most difficult. The ship that can keep its cannon pointed at the enemy and in fair winds and following seas will win the game. If you’re new to the game or with an unfamiliar crew, probably best not to take this role unless nobody else is.
The Captain is required to:
- Man the WuHEELL
A stationary ship is a sitting duck for boarders and cannon fire. It’s your job to make sure you’re always on a steady course away from trouble and obstacles, out of the danger zone and not getting sandwiched in the crossfire from multiple enemies. Don’t be afraid to hit the anchor to make hard turns but you should always be the first person on the capstain to pull it up again.
- Keep the guns on target
If the gunners can’t lay their guns accurately they’re basically useless. When you’re in ship to ship combat you have to keep your main guns pointing at the enemy. Swivel guns won’t get the job done!
- Trim the Rear Sail
You should be able to keep this sail rotated towards the wind and steer the ship to get maximum speed. Your crew should handle the front sail.
- Return Fire!
If you have a rear swivel or a sniper rifle or crossbow AND you have time you can take a few pot shots at nearby ships but it’s critical you don’t get distracted! Try to stay on the poop deck (Yarr!) where the wheel is. The Crow’s Nest is too distracting.
- Repel Boarders!
Be aware you’re probably a primary target for boarders when they first jump aboard so a good melee weapon is handy.
Not the most glamorous but maybe the most important. Without a dedicated repairer you’ll be swimming for Tortuga in minutes. You don’t need to be below decks with a hammer the entire time but you MUST at least nominate someone to be the first person below when the timbers start popping loose or your crew will just assume somebody else is doing it.
This is a good role for whoever didn’t get the best weapons – but you’ll see your fair share of action!
The Carpenter is required to:
- Repair the ship and man the pumps
If there’s any flooding or holes in the hull it’s your job to get there first. Always make sure the pump is going before you start repairing and patch up the big holes first. Don’t forget your wood!
- Stay Onboard!
If there’s any chance at all of action you need to be ready to repair. If you go boarding other ships or looting sea chests when everyone else thinks you’re repairing you’re sunk. You can loot islands if it looks safe but be extra quick to return to ship if trouble is spotted.
- Call for assistance
If you’re taking a serious pounding, one pirate won’t be enough to keep the ship afloat. Call for help early if you’re ship is starting to look like swiss cheese.
- Protect the Cork
You might be the first line of defense against boarders if they manage to sneak below decks. Remember to block with your melee weapon and be aware you can often get a quick shot in before it comes to blades or paddles.
- Get some fresh air
If your ship isn’t leaking/flooded feel free to go on deck and man the cannons, help reload, spot from the crow’s nest etc. Just always be the first to go below when things start getting wet!
These roles are fairly interchangeable depending on your gear and cannon upgrades. If you have a lot of special shells and good cannons, you’ll want to do more shooting. If you have quad barrels and fancy swords, you’ll want to do more boarding. Ideally you can do a bit of both.
Remember that if you both board an enemy ship, your own cannons will probably fall silent – for quite a while too if you both die. The Captain and the Cabin Boy really can’t afford to cover your guns.
The Gunner/Boarder is required to:
- Man the Guns
Make sure you keep the cannons loaded, be ready to fire special shots and give instructions to the Captain if you need help bringing the guns to bear. A dedicated Gunner should probably have more long range weapons to have the occasional pot shot at swimmers and exposed crew but their main focus is the cannon.
- Board the Enemy!
Ideally nominate your crewman with the best short ranged weapons to be the main boarder. Any of the swords, Quad barrels, Fish guns or Bomb Launchers make excellent boarding weapons. Try to coordinate with your mates. Sending two boarders can be extremely effective but is also very risky if you get counter boarded while you’re away or dead.
- Repel Boarders
Keep an eye on the water around your ship to spot enemy swimmers. They’re sitting ducks in the water. You also want to make sure you’re not surprised while behind your guns as you may be dead before you can respond.
- Lend a Hand
Be ready to help raise the anchor if you see the Captain jump on it. Be ready to man the pumps and stop the leaks if you take a serious battering or are in the danger zone. Keep an eye out for sea chests and inform the Captain.
Boarding is its own special skill in Blazing Sails and a lot of players new to the Pirate life make some elementary mistakes. Capn’ Jasta is here to give you some advice.
Don’t try to sink the ship on your own!
Even with the best weapons a pirate can find, you won’t have a lot of luck taking on four alert crew just by yourself. The longer you can stay alive on the enemy ship the longer they’re running around trying to kill you instead of patching holes or firing cannons. Be unpredictable and don’t be afraid to jump overboard to buy some time.
Cut off the head!
A good first target is the Captain at the helm. A ship with no pirate at the helm is a ship out of control. Better yet, when the captain leaves his position you can quickly take the wuheel and slam on the anchor. This can really throw the ship into chaos, ruin their gunners aim and gives you a chance to reboard if you need to take a swim to avoid retaliation.
Don’t Go Off Half Corked!
Charging straight for the cork is unlikely to get great results. Corking a fully manned ship will likely do almost nothing if they’re paying attention and chances are you’ll get a musket ball in the back while you try. The cork can be a good distraction if you’re completely unseen or the final nail in the coffin if they’re already a man or two down but it’s not your primary objective. Better to kill off some crew first or just stay alive!
Don’t Forget to Plunder!
You probably don’t have time to steal while the enemy ship is still afloat but absolutely grab anything that isn’t nailed down if it’s already done for. It’s much slower than grabbing your own stores but extra speciality cannon balls or rum can be a godsend.
Don’t Bring Presents
Take enough small ammunition and a few bottles of rum when you board but definitely try not take wood, cannon balls or ship upgrades! Pirates take, they don’t deliver!