Nan o’ War CH12: Bomb Voyage

By Rutskarn Posted Friday Jun 2, 2017

Filed under: Lets Play 30 comments

The downside of playing on the difficulty where you don’t automatically save when you quit is that—without getting too technical about the mechanics—you don’t automatically save when you quit. So that grand victory that took five hundred precise mouse clicks to score took precisely zero to foul up. My finest moment just unhappened.

Let this be a life lesson, folks! Don’t savescum halfway. Punch your pitons of destiny into every inch of that mountain of tribulations. Just captured a ship? Treat yourself to a save. Found some buried treasure? Why not save! Won a battle with the hardtack shits? Save that game.

The prospect of beating those smugglers again and regaining all the extra crew and funds and levels and backup ships is daunting. It’s so daunting, in fact, that I’m going to skip it and just go attack a War Brigantine instead.

What’s a War Brigantine? Let’s start with “twice the size of my ship.” Let’s move on to the modifier, “War.” As in, “In this brave new world of naval trade and exploration, we killed half a forest so some upper class twit could feed fishes the hard way and we dare you to try stopping us.” You know what my ship’s qualifying word is? “Large.” As in “Large Sloop.” As in, “As far as sloops go, this one’s large. You could almost fit a pool table on here.”

Jesus. Here goes nothing.

So far every naval battle I’ve been in has consisted of my ship and their ship rushing headlong into one another. My excuse is that I’m too dumb to do anything else—I’ve only recently figured out how to rotate my camera to see where my cannons are pointing, which is a surprisingly crucial step in aiming a cannon—but so far the AI has always followed suit and not tried anything tricky, like turning their ship.

My working theory is that enemies always try to board you if they’ve got a significant crew advantage. So far, they always have. This might just be my greatest tactical asset.

As the battle starts, I sail directly at the enemy ship. Then he comes within cannon range, and—this is the clever part—I turn around and start sailing in the opposite direction.

No. Wait. That’s not the clever part at all. The clever part is where I let him get really close to me. Then bank sharply, like the pilot just spotted a quarter on the deck, and fire a cheeky blast from my cannons before Tokyo Drifting back on course.

Actually, that’s not the clever part. The clever part is where I’m firing grapeshot at close range. Ideal for killing crew and leaving valuable War Brigantines standing.

Oh no, I’ve just remembered—the clever part is where I’m sailing every so slightly faster than he is. And he can’t fire back, because in his infinite artificial wisdom he refuses to change course. And where I even tack left and right so I can alternate which cannon crew is firing at him, so that he’s never more than a Mississippi away from a facefull of iron.

The final effect is, I drag his ass across half the Atlantic pounding shot through his crew without taking so much as a puff of return fire. I do this until I get bored—and may I remind you, I finished Battlespire. For the Aubrey Maturin fans in the audience who’ve waiting for a bit of actual naval combat, this was your moment.

And then it’s down to boarding, and thanks to my sustained battery of fire, all he’s got left to fight me with is…

…the population of Bristol.

You know, I don’t know if I like this game.

As the battle starts, his crew squeezes up into a fist and rushes the gangplank. A foolproof gambit. Unfortunately for me, there’s no counterattack to a large force of tightly-packed enemies with little mobility.

Oh shit I forgot I’m strapped to the nards with hand grenades, what now colonialism? Who else wants some of this? Huh? Who wants some of this?

Wow, a lot of them want some of this.

Due to higher than expected demand for some of this, we’re sorry to announce we have run out of this. Please stand by.

Okay, let’s reload that last save. Since I’m still in the experimental phase, this time we’ll skip the bombardment and see how many guys I run up against if I board right away.

God dammit.

This time around I wait for my men to rush the gangplank and plug up his forces at the chokepoint before hurling my grenades. Which is a learning experience, since I immediately discover my men are not immune to friendly grenade damage. I also discover that I don’t particularly give a shit. These suckers knew the risks when they signed on with Granny ‘Nades.

Unfortunately, boarders from the bow take me down with pistols shots. Better luck next try. The good news is that I’m learning valuable lessons and my men are not.

This time I spawn myself at the aft of the ship. It’s a strategic gambit; I give up the initiative but allow myself to keep all my enemies in sight, allowing me to—BOOM GET WRECKED AHAHA

Sorry. I let myself get distracted there. Ahem:


And then I get shot down again. Guess I need to hang back more. No worries. Take four.

Historical fact: masts were the chest-high walls of the colonial era. All I have to do is put one between me and the boarders and throw grenades at anyone stupid enough to poke their head out and soon I’ve killed everyone except, uh…where’s the last two guys?

Did anyone just hear a near-fatal whistle?

Oh. Right.

Campers fuck off.

And that’s how you grenade spam your way to international notoriety. Please note, these tactics only work with the 1670 edition of Piracy. Nowadays they have a patch where The Man destroys your boat with a wire-guided missile before you come within megaphone range.

Now I’ve got a War Brigantine in my flotilla. Since its purpose is to provide cover to the men of the The Good Chair and keep them from being slaughtered, I’ve elected to name it:

And then I save my game sixteen times.



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30 thoughts on “Nan o’ War CH12: Bomb Voyage

  1. BounderTree says:

    Nothing says friendly fire quite like grenades in close quarters combat.
    Now you only need a rifle for all those folks who are inconsiderate enough to hide in the mast out of range of your delicious concussion & shrapnel murder.

  2. Galad says:

    “Reinforcements have arrived”? From where, Cthulhu’s freezer?

    Hilarious to read, as always :)

    1. Philadelphus says:

      Davy Jones’ locker, it’s closer and they don’t have that nasty freezer burn when they pop into existence.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That second attempt,its so funny.Not only has your bombardment not killed anyone,it brought one of your men into existence.

    1. Syal says:

      That guy was snacking on the grapes while they were loading them into the cannons.

      1. Decius says:

        Cannons hot. Grapes cold.

  4. Mistwraithe says:

    Awesome read, thank you.

  5. ColeusRattus says:

    Ruts, the carribbean is in the Atlantic ocean! Dunno why I felt the urge to point it out, but there you are…

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      What about Caribbean!?

    2. djw says:

      It was a really long running battle! I think I saw Tierra del Fuego in the background.

    3. Rutskarn says:

      Yeah, I’m not sure how I messed that up. I think it might have been a joke that didn’t make the cut, but honestly I was pretty groggy editing this. Fixed.

  6. sarachim says:

    “Aubrey Martin”

    Well trolled, sir!

    1. Retsam says:

      Is calling it “Aubrey Martin” instead of “Aubrey Maturin” part of the joke, or a typo? … asking for a friend.

    2. Rutskarn says:

      I wish I can say I was. Honestly, the caffeine just wore off.

      1. sarachim says:

        I assumed that was the joke- that you were inviting us to imagine that you, the author, believed that there was a famous author of nautical fiction named Aubrey Martin. It was this weird shout-out/troll combo, where you were acknowledging the, like, three huge nerds in the audience who get the reference but also making veins bulge in their foreheads. I thought it was pretty clever.

        Point is, you could totally pretend this stuff happens on purpose.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Ah yes, clearly a jest at the expense of Aubrey Maritime…

  7. Flux Casey says:

    As someone who sold furniture in his last job I lost my shit at the brigantine’s name. That’s a good naming convention. So will a third ship be called The Matching Sofa? A tiny, effectively useless ship called The Throw Pillow?

    1. Philadelphus says:

      Yeah, I laughed at that as well, nice pun. Don’t forget that every good chair needs a matching Ottoman! (Actual Ottomans may not be available in the Caribbean[!].)

    2. 4ier says:

      I assumed it was a portmanteau of Anti-Massacre Car, but it turns out it’s just a misspelling of antimacassar. A naming theme is definitely better than a nod at the “extra life” system.

      Maybe Lackbeard’s personal dinghy is named the La Zeda Nià±o?

  8. The Rocketeer says:

    Wait, you kited that War Brigantine halfway across the Pacific? You know, the great thing is that even if you’d meant the Atlantic, the joke still works and arguably works better. What with the mental image of The Comfy Chair serpentining all the way down and around Cape Horn, closely but ineffectually tailed by the nonplussed pursuer.

  9. John says:

    Actual naval combat, hooray! And it’s broken, because of course it is. Why did I expect anything else?

  10. Xapi says:

    Sorry to put this on this post, but the bar at the bottom reccomended the “Star Wars in 2006” article, and found this:

    Scene 11: Prison

    This is lame. Princess Leia is just sitting around, waiting to be rescued? I mean, a helpless princess? Is this a fairy tale? Trust me, nobody will want to see this as written. Here is how it needs to go: Luke and Solo break in, start a fight, and find she's already escaped and fighting her way out! In fact, I think it would be really ironic if they got pinned down and she rescued them. Like, the troopers surround them, all hope is lost, and then BOOM! Princess Leia blasts open a nearby door, runs across the room, and drop-kicks the commander. Maybe knock his head right through a console, which opens the door so they can escape. Now, there is an action scene for you!

    Someone was reading this when they came up with Rey’s rescue for Ep VII.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    but so the AI has always followed suit and not tried anything tricky, like turning their ship.

    I think you a word there.My guess is that the is “far”

  12. Genericide says:

    The second pre-boarding screen was great. Do we know if this pirate game even HAS naval combat? It almost seems like they threw in a bunch of buttons and numbers and hoped no one would check if they actually worked.

  13. Armagrodden says:

    I see the game makes up for the AI’s shortcomings in naval dogfights by just not giving a shit about the results of naval dogfights.

  14. Mr Compassionate says:

    Save literally any time you succeed at anything. Sure it breaks immersion but you know what breaks immersion even more? Having to replay ten minutes of tedious nonsense.

    PS: I love your writing.

  15. KarmaTheAlligator says:

    So, how did you manage to kill 14 of them when they sent 13? Did one give birth in battle? Or did they have more men to send in take four?

    On the bright side, while they’re not mini-nukes, those grenades are very useful, good choice of weapon.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      One guy was killed twice.

      1. djw says:

        Did he install the “Pirates of the Caribbean” tie-in mod?

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Seeing how Ruts’ side fields 5 combatants in one case and 4 in another there is probably some roll giving varying results.

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