Nan o’ War CH18: Blighty Makes Righty

By Rutskarn
on Jul 28, 2017
Filed under:
Lets Play

I feel that if your game is set between 1500 and 1850, you should be able to fight Blackbeard. You might say that doesn’t make any sense at all, and that Blackbeard, while a timeless cipher, is not appropriate thematically to every gaming experience. You would be totally correct, but also just a little less cool than you were before you opened your piehole.

Because you know what? I don’t care that Blackbeard wasn’t even around in 1670. I don’t care that his crew may not have ever killed or even shot at anyone except in strict self defense. I don’t care if his historical KD ratio is “clubbed a guy with his pommel one time” against “got beheaded.” I don’t care if he probably didn’t light fuses in his beard, kill his crew to keep the others in line, or strike bargains with the Guédé loa to ensorcell his peers and bring confusion to his enemies. It’s all happening on the inner-child level. You show me a swordfight, and a Blackbeard, and a point on the graph where the lines cross, and I’ll show you a guaranteed one-half of a thumbs up. In this economy, that’s nothing to be sneezed at.

Unless I can negotiate to fight <em>two </em>Blackbeards, I`m taking this to the mattresses.
Unless I can negotiate to fight two Blackbeards, I'm taking this to the mattresses.

This battle’s not just indulgently awesome, it’s an excellent metric of my progress. You see, Blackbeard’s one of the more famous pirates in history; my intuition tells me that his stats in general will be slightly higher than most of his piratical brethren. From which I may conclude that, should I happen to win this battle, the Brethren of the Coast ain’t got shit on me. Which means I’ve hit the peak of the game’s flume climb of difficulty and am about to slip down a six-mile-long gentle incline of baby-soft grinding.

Here’s, uh. Hoping?

Believe it or not, it’s at times like this that my gambling exploit really comes in handy. Filling my war chest with the help of outfoxed NPCs means I don’t have to pursue other sources of income, like, what’dyou call it—“piracy.” This means I can dispense with securing anything valuable, like “his men’s lives” or “his ship” or “anything I don’t feel like clicking on.” Which means for the battle itself, instead of coming in close and gently spritzing him with grapeshot to keep his ships standing, I can just merrily blast the bejeesus out of him from range and not worry about sinking profits.

And so the bejeesus I blast, cracking ships like eggs, until finally he actually makes ready to engage my men…

Oh, boy. This isn’t even worth wasting a bomb on. I absolutely will, because I’ve got like a whole trunk of grenades at this point and I think they go bad after a few months*, but still.

*Is this grenades or avocados?

The whole thing’s over before I even find an enemy combatant. It made me wish I’d found the game’s hang back guys I got this button, just so I could have the pleasure of actually trying out this fancy pistol I hadn’t actually got a chance to fire yet.

Now badly outnumbered, his ships fare little better than his crew. Before five minutes have passed Blackbeard’s whole fleet is scattered. In the twist of the century, I actually manage to capture him instead of just watching him ride a dolphin to the safety of the coastline. Behold, my prisoner!

Seriously, why do games keep doing this?

So there it is. I’ve got the best ships I’m likely to get any time soon, I’ve just defeated one of history’s greatest armed robbers, I’m able to become rich at will, and as if all of that wasn’t a sign that I was headed in the right direction, England just casually offered to let me become a subject again. I agree, and my relationship with the Brethren of the Coast actually goes up—despite my reputation with England also going up whenever I attack the Brethren.  Once again, it’s like the writers of Caribbean! couldn’t decide if they were going to make their pirates historical privateers or birthday clowns.

*Wiry nan
*Wiry nan

Well, it’s not my problem. From now on my problems include shooting the Spanish, trying to fit into my high school suit of platemail, and figuring out where to put all this money. Once I’ve sorted those out, I’ll get back to you.

NEXT WEEK: THE INTERMISSION RESUMES WITH A NEW MINISERIES

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1515 comments. (Fifteen is the smallest natural number with seven letters in its name.)

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ever since you announced who you are going against,I was hyped for a thing like this.And as soon as I reached that picture,I knew that the game did not disappoint.Behold,blackbeard!Heck,its even better because that beard,its a pretty weak beard.

    I wonder though:Is there a trope for this type of screwup?There has to be at this point.

    • Niriel says:

      The man lived for 350 years. Maybe, at the time of this game, he was just starting to grow some chin hair.

      • KarmaTheAlligator says:

        That’s exactly what I was thinking, he’s just started or something, he hasn’t got the beard yet.

        • Zak McKracken says:

          Either that or he tried to very quickly disguise himself by trimming and the beard a bit and changing colours.

          Or!

          … a few days later, Lackbeard finds out they accidentally got the wrong person, and the real Blackbeard has actually escaped the battle — who could have known?

      • Shoeboxjeddy says:

        Blackbeard Begins

        Blackbeard Origins

        Blackbeard Awakening

        Blackbeard Year Zero

        Blackbeard The Pre-Sequel

        Blackbeard The Early Years

        The Blackbeard Kids

      • Fade2Gray says:

        At this point in Teach’s time traveling career, he had just returned to the historical golden age of piracy after vacationing in the modern day Caribbean, during which time he had watched the Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time. Upon seeing Jack Sparrow’s beard, and being slightly tipsy due to his recent discovery of mojitos, he declared “I could pull that look off!”

        The beard color is an entirely unrelated story having to do with a trip to California in the ’90s.

  2. Warclam says:

    What do you mean by “platemail”? Plate armour? Plated mail?

  3. Ardis Meade says:

    How pathetic. That picture of Blackbeard doesn’t look anything like Ben Grimm.

  4. Philadelphus says:

    his historical KD ratio is “clubbed a guy with his pommel one time” against “got beheaded.”

    Wow, I think that’s even worse than my typical K/D ratio in multiplayer games, and that’s no mean feat!

    Also, when glancing at that dark screenshot of the night battle, for a split second I thought Blackbeard was piloting a WWII-era destroyer and thought “Well, that’d be a twist!”

    I think they go bad after a few months*,[…]
    *Is this grenades or avocados?

    That’s grenades. Avocados go bad much, much, faster. I know because it’s just about that time of the year when the tree in my backyard starts gently littering the ground with myriads of speedily-decaying avocados faster than I can get rid of them. (Also the breadfruit tree, for added inconvenience.)

  5. Hypatia says:

    It makes sense. All games that take place in a distant scifi future need a space Blackbeard and are lacking if they don’t have space Blackbeards.

  6. Mistwraithe says:

    Bravo! May Nan’s adventures never end…

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