The Let's Play Archive

Sid Meier's Pirates!

by FirstAidKite

Part 2

[Allow me to preface this by stating that I've figured out how to create custom textures, so if you submit a flag, there's a chance it will become the fleet's flag.]

Result of the poll: we're bombing some Spaniards, you crazy racist lot you.

Har! The crew found out about the Letter of Marque and practically begged me to sail us to San Juan! On January 12th, we set out to sea from St. Martin and followed a Dutch raider.

[Now to explain about sailing. Let's go over the basics.

1. This is your compass. The gold arrow will always point to the north while the red arrow points in the wind's current direction. Just below it is the date. Just above it is fame, which are your achievement points. You gain a single fame point for various things you do, be that promotions or treasure finding.

2. Here, we have our basic stats. The coin shows us our current gold. The bread and the time in months shows us how long our food will last us. Below that is our crew number. The face in this case changes depending on whether or not the crew is happy. The crew is generally pretty happy when you plunder, have a lot of money, and have a lot of food. There are other things that factor into it but not as much as the two main things of coin and bread.

3. This lists our quests. At the moment, we only have the Jack Rackham map quest which we can't do since we only have the most useless corner of the map.

4. These are our controls, operated using the number pad. 4 and 6 steer us left and right, 1 checks our status, 3 checks the overworld map, 7 pauses, 9 changes the view, 2 and 8 change the sails around, and 5 allows us to attack another ship.

5. This is our ship. It will always be the only ship on the screen without a name.

6. This is the Dutch raider which we were told to follow. It is headed for San Juan. Unfortunately, most missions revolving around following ships ends up with you waiting for them to catch up.]

The Dutch raider was going to take an indirect route to San Juan for the sake of safety. The fluyt would never be directly attacked so I decided to treat the crew to a tour of San Juan before we plundered. Never hurts to know your enemies.

Our navigator marked down our current location and pointed out where San Juan was located. A stone's throw away, it was!

[I thought you guys might appreciate some use of the Pirate-O-Pedia. Unfortunately the Pirate-O-Pedia doesn't seem to list every place, only more important ones.]

Nearly a week later, we found the city in our sights! The men rallied together to watch as the shoreline crept closer to our ship.

What the navigator neglected to mention was the existence of a Dutch settlement very close by! I told the crew that if anything were to happen, that we should meet up there. Regardless, we docked at San Juan. I decided to go have a chat with the governor.

The greedy fool invited me in with great haste.

The only interesting thing of note was his peace treaty with the French. I never much cared for the French, but at the time, I had little reason to bother with the snooty idiots.

And then that rich son of a gunner had the nerve to ask me to pay for a Letter of Marque! Word travels fast across the open sea, but this guy didn't seem to know of my own Letter of Marque. I decided to show it to him.

He rushed me out of his home. He knew what was to come.

However! We couldn't merrily fight through the ranks of the Spanish fleet without the Dutch raider, so I explored the various parts of the port whilst waiting. My first stop was the tavern. There, 21 Spaniards agreed to join my Dutch crew of 37. However, far more interesting was this.

Yet another piece of the map! We were bound to find it in no time at the pace we were going! We even had the X in this part! I informed the men and much jubilation was had. I went to order us drinks when the barmaid called us over, a nice looking lass and dark as the room itself! She had heard of our treasure map and decided to tell us some information she'd heard.

I marked it down, ordered the drinks, and left my men to get drunk. In the mean time, I decided to look for the port's merchant.

We'll not have any of this. When the week is out, the Dutch raider will arrive and San Juan will find themselves in some manner of trouble.

We left the port on February 8th, finding the Dutch raider had just arrived. Furthermore, a Spanish trade galleon had just left port. Almost too good to be true, the crew was yearning for a good fight. We sailed out of the way of the Dutch raider and watched it work the guns.

How utterly pathetic. It fired off five cannons and decided to leave. We'll have none of that! The Dutch raider has disgraced the Dutch name, so where it has failed we shall succeed!

We decided to rid ourselves of the Spanish trade galleon as a true statement of Dutch might.

[In ship fights, your ship's name will be on the top left and the enemy ship will be on the top right. Guns and crew are obvious, but knots refer to the ship's speed. Just below that are our upgrades which I will explain in a bit. The compass remains largely the same, but instead of a date at the bottom, there is a meter that shows how many of our cannons are loaded. The number pad's controrls 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9 are the same, but 1, 3, and 7 now select different cannonball types. 1 (Grape shot) works well in disabling crew of a ship, 3 (Round shot) disables both ship and crew, and 7 (Chain shot) disables the ship itself]

[Ship Lessons 101: Knots in speed are nautical miles. A single knot is a nautical mile per hour, or 1.852 kilometres per hour and, if you're American, 1.1507794 miles per hour. It originated from the use of a chip log to determine ship speeds. A chip log is a wooden panel with some manner or rope attached to allow the weighted board so that it would float upright. The ropes interlocked with the board at uniformed areas, tied using rope knots. The line would be cast over the ship's stern and the line slackened. Another knot on the rope at 47 feet and 3 inches. A sailor with a 30 second hour glass would time how long it took for the aforementioned knot to slip through the caster's hands. Through this, they got what eventually became the nautical knot. Aren't you glad that reading these things is optional?]

[Ship Lessons 101: The three types of cannon fire actually did exist. Round shot was an inefficient yet powerful ball of stone that would be fired from cannons, and chain shot really was just two stone balls or two stone half-balls chained together! Believe it or not, while all forms of shot save for pellet shot are now obsolete, they generally worked for their purpose. Chain shot was very good at taking down masts and sails, roundshot was good at dealing blows to the ship, and grape shot, which was merely an assembly of smaller bits from glass, stone, and chain link, was rather efficient at disabling other crews; it was even the cause of death for Black Bart!]

Let me tell you foolish ones this, a fluyt isn't good in a naval battle. We were running on limited guns, and even though we had 50 crew members, that's still not enough guns to effectively fight. Our only chance was to board the ship outright.

And so we did! We sailed right up to it and the lot of just jumped over the bow to reach it!

[The screen fades to black when you get withing boarding range of a ship. This is why this image looks darker.]

[When you get into any sort of sword fight, you are allowed to pick a weapon. I'm almost always going to go with the cutlass because I've a thing for cutlasses. I wish I had one to decorate the wall of my room.]
[Ship Lessons 101: It'd be easier to quote Wikipedia on this as they can explain things much better than I when it comes to swords.

Wikipedia posted:

A cutlass is a short, thick sabre or slashing sword, with a straight or slightly curved blade sharpened on the cutting edge, and a hilt often featuring a solid cupped or basket-shaped guard.

A rapier is a relatively slender, sharply pointed sword, used mainly for thrusting attacks, mainly in use in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

he Longsword is a type of European sword used during the late medieval and Renaissance periods, approximately 1350 to 1550 (with early and late use reaching into the 13th and 17th centuries, respectively). Longswords have lengthy cruciform hilts with grips over some 15 cm (6 in) in length (providing room for two hands), straight double-edged blades often over 90 cm (35 in) in length, and weigh typically between 1.2 and 1.4 kg (2½ to 3 lb), with light specimens just below 1 kg (2 lb), and heavy specimens just above 2 kg (4½ lb).

See what I mean?]

The fight started out simply enough, we outnumbered them by 10. It would have been tough, but it was definitely winnable.

[When you swordfight, your number pad changes yet again. The left column are all attacks, the middle column are dodges, and the final column is a taunt. All taunt does is alter the advantage bar. The advantage bar leads to a possibility of the enemy surrendering if their forces are low and advantage is low.]

Alas, I had the filthy Spaniard under my blade! I swung!

And I missed! He recovered and went up the stairs! Pulling my cutlass from the stairs, I ran after him and with yet one more swipe!


Our first ship battle! The ship was ours! That Spanish trade galleon serves us well when we had it.

Nine more spaniards wished to join our crew. I allowed this out of the kindness of my heart.

I ordered the crew to take everything they had, including the 63 tons of goods. Surely the goods would come in handy.

Unfortunately, we were not as prepared for what would happen next. Both a storm and Spanish pirate hunters approached us. The storm left, but the ship would be tougher to get rid of.

We were severely outnumbered. Twenty of my crew members were absent, leaving only 30 of the crew to face the barrage of cannonballs.

[Remember, in a ship fight, the flag is next to the name if you're ever confused as to who is who.]

Fires broke out on our ship. We hadn't even touched the fast galleon and we were already losing precious valuables.

The wood was burnt, splintering everywhere! Eight men had already lost their lives and our precious stock was being tossed over by the heavy metal rocks the evil Spanish threw at us!

We took one last heavy hit. The Revenge couldn't handle much more. I feared that Captain Hadd's ship would sink and be with him in the locker deep below.

We were lucky to have boarded, if you can call that luck, because...

...The captain of this ship was a skilled fighter, able to stab and block far better than I could ever hope. He backed me up to the plank.

I had no choice. I jumped ship. I swam away towards our other ship, the Eenhoorn, whilst watching Revenge be burned into the sea. It splintered and cracked, my own men attempting to jump. We had left the Eenhoorn unattended and the flags down. Anchored, the ship would be easy to board and take control of. I just had to take on the ship and sail to St. Martin. Twenty six of the crew made it back to the ship. The rest went down in the crumbling wood or were torched and knifed.

I gave in to the lust for woodshed. Hadd's ship was gone because of the verminous scum! I couldn't stand the thought of it! I had to take them on!

We were extremely outnumbered this time around. We stood no chance. I recklessly sailed us towards our certain doom.

I boarded the ship with ten lives lost. The Eenhorn crashed along the ship's side. My brave crew jumped to the ship and I grabbed my cutlass once again for a rematch.

The man laughed at me for appearing yet again to do battle with him, especially with such odds. My men fought bravely.

Four more died from stab wounds as I stabbed the stairway yet again. I couldn't let things end this way! I yanked the sword out, gave chase, and swung my blade in great furor! The sword made him thirty pounds lighter as the crew cheered in what was at that time a victory.

Unfortunately, this scene dimmed with the realization that none of us are knowledged in the medical field and nearly all of my crew has been fighting with fatal wounds. Their blood would christen this ship, so bloodily taken, the Enkelblessure Bijten. Only two of the crew remained, two Dutchmen. I promoted both of them to position of Commander while I, the captain, began to question how horrible the entire thing became.

Those 13 sailors were largely workers of the underdecks. They didn't even need to ask; I truly needed every bit of help I could get. A colorful group, two of them were English, one was a captured Indian, four were Frenchmen, and the rest were Spanish Gulfers. They agreed to work under Commander Dini's and Commander Scruffy's orders.

The pirate hunters had little. 660 gold was not worth the petty revenge I sought. My hands are stained with the lives of those men who foolishly allowed me to be their captain.

I gave the two Dutchmen control of one of the two ships. Commander Dini took the Eenhoorn whilst Commander David Scruffy took control of the Enkelblessure Bijten. I asked them as a final wish to sail us to the nearby Dutch settlement, Rijkdomstad. I retreated to the Captain's quarters of the Eenhoorn, attempting to think over the errors I've made.

I only intended to stay for a short time. I went to the bar and ordered myself at least four brews. I don't remember what happened next, but I woke up on a bed with this in my hands.

My head swelled with pain. The salty ocean air could do the trick usually, so I went out to the docks to investigate the repairs on the ships.

Eenhoorn was in great shape, a trade galleon that would make a fine flagship for us.

Enkelblessure Bijten was also fixed up, though I feel sorry for the people hired to clean up. While the corpses had been dumped over and the Frenchmen made a great attempt at cleaning it up, it still was stained with the stench of blood until we had it fixed up.

We sailed out that day on my word, Commander Dini and Scruffy sailing the Eenhoorn and the Enkelblessure Bijten. Our trip back was a miracle in and of itself, now that I think about it.

With only 15 crew members, our speed was seriously compromised. Our ships were enveloped in storms thrice! San Juan fired at us as we passed! Cries of "avast" were heard from both ships as we encountered each obstacle on the journey back to St. Martin. We were in over our heads.

The second storm passed with much swiftness.

At long last, we saw St. Martin. It was just ahead of us. Our pace was irritatingly slow, but regardless of a lack of crew and the two previous storms, we remained steadfast in our hopes of reaching land! On this voyage, everyone proved themselves worthy to be on these ships and to venture with me on my quest to rescue my family.

A third and final storm stood in our way. However, as if a sign from God himself attempting to save us, the wind picked up to an extreme. Our once nigh immobile ships sped forward with the speed of a sloop, allowing us to dock firmly at St. Martin, and what great treasures awaited us there!

Paying the governor a visit, he expressed his pride in how we had captured two Spanish ships. I decided against telling him the loss of Hadd's ship and the loss of all but two of the original crew.

13 men agreed to join us, taking our numbers up to 28. Not enough to effectively sail either of the ships, but certainly better than what we were working with.

Furthermore, one of them had a piece of Rackham's map!

With all four pieces intact, I could now read it. It said to "Search South East of St. Martin" and the red X was quite clearly below some sort of geyser. What a day that was! It took my mind off of the disasters of recent, at the least.

Furthermore, a a fleet of Spanish ships was going to Coro with tons of gold bullion! I'd have to just where Coro was on the map.

Before I went to rest, I sold all of our goods to the merchant before buying his entire stockpile of sugar.

Captain's Log

January 1600: Visited the town of San Juan.
February 1600: Captured a Spanish Trade Galleon near San Juan. Pirate hunter sails from San Juan. Captured a Spanish Fast Galleon near San Juan.
March 1600: Visited the settlement of Rijkdomstad.
April 1600: Spain captures settlement of Vesting.
May 1600: Visited the town of St. Martin. Treasure fleet headed for Coro.

The Choice

Today's choice brought to you by Cutlass Co. Because without a blade, you're just not sharp enough.

Alright guys, it's been a fairly eventful update and it's time for you to decide on my next action. It's pretty clear that the Spanish are going down, but you guys get to decide how. Here are today's choices. Pick only one.

1. Get revenge on Spain by taking out the Spanish treasure fleet
2. Do a cannonball run on San Juan until it is a poor town
3. Pick up Jack Rackham's treasure
4. Find Vesting and do something about it