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Guide to solo piracy or how to hunt with a style


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5 hours ago, Benedict Ahhnold said:

 

Hunting Ships, Upgrades, Cannons, Repairs and Perks
Because I focus on capping traders and taking them as a prize, I find I need to really focus on bringing sail repairs, as I'll need to repair not only my own sails (either during battle or afterwards) but also those of the trader who I have captured. Failing to do this means I will be much more subject to revenge interception, as the trade ship will sail very slowly unless its sails are repaired. Curiously, despite "splurging" on fir/fir builds, almost all of the traders I capture do not carry sails repairs. When you're already sailing a vessel worth 50k or more in a capital market, the idea that spending 1/10 of that value on sail repairs seems like trivial insurance to try to hedge your chances of getting away, but most seem to "YOLO" it and do without altogether, so they can maximize the amount of cargo carried. I can't say I understand it, but I guess it improves their bottom line, and certainly my own, as it makes them much easier for me to catch.

 

 

As a trader I would like to explain the reasoning I personally dont bother with sail repairs or even cannons for that matter. With the new speed mechanics you trader loaded with cargo is slow anyway and when you read the setup of the solo raider you realize that if you get caught there is very little chance of escape unless you can force them into a bad tag and even if you do that then you still have to deal with the retag (see other topics on the whole issue of retagging). So if you accept that being caught means losing then you take steps to mitigate loss, sail repairs and cannons cost money and are unlikely to change the outcome of the battle.

On my dedicated trader alt I tend to go with the numbers game of sailing with 3 trader vessels, if caught by a solo raider then I do my best to have him chase me while my other 2 traders escape, so I lead him away from them. My aim is to keep the raider engaged long enough and get him far enough away from my fleet that they can escape even if they are using the control perk. If he goes after one of my fleet vessels I get the other one to follow me and we head off in a different direction. If I am successful, I lose only 1/3 of my ships and cargo. Depending on the cargo I am hauling I also like to mix it up so that the most expensive cargo is in one ship, that way it is a bit of a gamble that the good stuff will get away.

Another tip for traders is not to sail along the coast if you can help it. It may give you more protection from the coastal forts but the raiders know the weak points in the coastal defenses and that is where they will wait for you. With the current lack of GPS positioning anyone out at sea for an extended amount of time moving round on different courses will eventually not be too sure of exactly where they are or will have to constantly recheck their position using a third party site, this is a distraction for them. So when you sail get clear of the coast as quick as possible till you are well out of sight of land and then calculate where to make your alteration of course to head to your destination. The distance in the trader tool can help here. This way even if you are spotted by an alt leaving port they do not know where you are heading.

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CONTENT 1. Introduction 2. Hunting vs Trading 3. What makes you money 4. Hunting areas 5. Tools of the trade 6. Player skills 7. General notes   INTRODUCTION There are numbe

So, I made my way through the guide to see if there was anything I could learn myself, or add. First:  There are always things you can learn.  I don't know if Koltes has ever learned anything fro

Really great guide @koltes, and good additions as well from @Prater, @Iroquois Confederacy and @Hodo. All players whose posts I can see great wisdom in, reinforcing my own experiences as a solo hunter

18 minutes ago, Archaos said:

As a trader I would like to explain the reasoning I personally dont bother with sail repairs or even cannons for that matter. With the new speed mechanics you trader loaded with cargo is slow anyway and when you read the setup of the solo raider you realize that if you get caught there is very little chance of escape unless you can force them into a bad tag and even if you do that then you still have to deal with the retag (see other topics on the whole issue of retagging). So if you accept that being caught means losing then you take steps to mitigate loss, sail repairs and cannons cost money and are unlikely to change the outcome of the battle.

On my dedicated trader alt I tend to go with the numbers game of sailing with 3 trader vessels, if caught by a solo raider then I do my best to have him chase me while my other 2 traders escape, so I lead him away from them. My aim is to keep the raider engaged long enough and get him far enough away from my fleet that they can escape even if they are using the control perk. If he goes after one of my fleet vessels I get the other one to follow me and we head off in a different direction. If I am successful, I lose only 1/3 of my ships and cargo. Depending on the cargo I am hauling I also like to mix it up so that the most expensive cargo is in one ship, that way it is a bit of a gamble that the good stuff will get away.

Another tip for traders is not to sail along the coast if you can help it. It may give you more protection from the coastal forts but the raiders know the weak points in the coastal defenses and that is where they will wait for you. With the current lack of GPS positioning anyone out at sea for an extended amount of time moving round on different courses will eventually not be too sure of exactly where they are or will have to constantly recheck their position using a third party site, this is a distraction for them. So when you sail get clear of the coast as quick as possible till you are well out of sight of land and then calculate where to make your alteration of course to head to your destination. The distance in the trader tool can help here. This way even if you are spotted by an alt leaving port they do not know where you are heading.

Yep, this is exactly the line of thinking I figured was behind the no repairs, no cannons strategy.

For my part, I'm completely content with the idea that I'll at best capture one ship, so I usually either pick the player (so I get the best fight possible) or, if he/she is too far away, then the closest AI. It's a business case for me, too; I know I can't catch them all, so I just focus on catching one to make my money and be on my way. Sometimes I get skunked, sometimes the ship is full of expensive trade goods. It's all part of the fun. I'm at times tempted to ask which they care least about losing, since it's all pure profit for me I don't really care too much either way which of the ships I get, I'm making my money (and hence, sustaining my playstyle) regardless :)

Edit to add: you can probably see that this is really about the hunting for me, not the money or any meaningful pretense to an RVR component. So long as I stay in ships and can get the stuff I need to keep going (mainly just repairs and cash), there's really not a true larger purpose behind my raiding. The materials (if any) that I capture can be regenerated quickly, the ships I capture replaced, etc. I like to think I provide a bit of excitement for the traders, and of course, I become the hunted as soon as I have to sail back my prize, so I very much understand what it feels like to have the shoe on the other foot. It's pretty darn fun, to be honest.

Edited by Benedict Ahhnold
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13 hours ago, koltes said:



Question: can you or how many or have you ever captured an Indiaman in for-to aft rigger? I'm genuinely interested to know. If you are and you give me more info I will add this to the guide with a credit to you
@Prater same here. What is the biggest fish can you get in your Linx or other for-to-aft?

My point was that you are not there to kill traders only. I want to fight larger ships.
My biggest kill on 5th rate was 2nd rate. Never had a chance to fight 3rd rate, but I sunk countless 4th rates in it (connies, aggys).
Heavy 5th rates are also dead meat - Trincs, Idefatigables all go down in 2-3 stern rakes.

 

Being a fore-aft captain also, I can say it is possible to take LGVs, and Indiamen.  LGVs are usually the largest I will hunt in a Privateer, or a Lynx.  Most of the time I will stick to t-brigs or t-snows and running down t-lynxs.   But you have a MUCH better turn rate than the Indiamen,  and you are faster at all points of sail than them if they are loaded.  It is doubtful you will see a full indiamen over 11kn in battle.   So running one down is not an issue.   

It is taking the crew down enough to board it.  You can easily get it below 100men, but then you will be working REAL hard to kill 30-40 more men off that ship.    But with the morale bonus of the Lynx and Privateer, when added with the melee training bonus, and if you must rum rations.. but the other better melee options are available.  Again avoid marines not worth the crew hit.    Your biggest advantage is speed and constant rate of fire. 

Hunting in a fore-aft rigged ship takes a bit more patience and forethought than most 5th rates which you can get away with just sailing up along side and hammering it till it surrenders.   (not that you would or should)  

The Snow is a good, go between when you cant afford a Surprise but dont want to sail a fore-aft rigged ship.  You can get away upwind in most cases.  You have enough firepower to take on every trade ship with ease, and you can out turn or out run anything else.  

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40 minutes ago, dagdriver said:

great and interresting guide.

Unfortunately it also points out how broken the speed mechanic is, and for some reason,  I suddenly just dont feel like playing today. :( 

The current speed meta is one of my biggest complaints about this patch.  I knew it was going to be an issue when they introduced it.  But I figured I would try it out.  Now that I have, I can say... no sir I dont like it.

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16 hours ago, Zoky said:

Reno is actually pretty good even with speed cap. Its cheap and it doesn't require any speed perma mods other then gazele to go 15.

The trouble starts when you were ganked and have to survive. Reno can only achieve its full speed in a very specific POS window at 135° being the best.
SailingProfileRENOMMEE.png

Problem is that all other square riggers also have this as their best point of sail and because everyone is now doing same max speed the Connie will be able to keep up with Reno. Eventually her sails will be shredded and she will get caught. Before patch Reno was at least 2kn faster than any other ships so disengaging on the same POS was not a problem.

I myself really prefer Renommee over Surprise for her handling and pure esthetics. However at this point and time I had to look hard and choose the ship that does the job better which is the Surprise imho
I really hope that devs will remove the cap and drop all mods/upgrades/skill knowledge bonuses by 1 %. It would balance itself out
 

7 hours ago, Hodo said:

The current speed meta is one of my biggest complaints about this patch.  I knew it was going to be an issue when they introduced it.  But I figured I would try it out.  Now that I have, I can say... no sir I dont like it.

Yeah same here.
WHEN or IF they will remove the cap and re-balance speeds so fast ships are fast and bigger slower ships are just slower I will update the guide with the new info.
Until then its a valuable peace of information that is current

Edited by koltes
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MEGA!

@koltes Thanks for sharing and explanation, that's really very useful. I just need to hope that I won't forget most of things you described  :lol:

I like very much how you wrote about player's manner, etiquette, ethics and his relation to another captains no matter if a player attacks or being attacked. That's really nice to see such call from you to the players because there is sometime really a lack of polite and respectfull participants. Unfortunately..

Maybe you need to try yourself in Rise of Flight - the flight-simulator game about World War I Planes? There are 90% players same as you have meant - just gentlemen with respect to themselves and opponents.

Salute!

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On ‎7‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:39 PM, koltes said:

Hmm haven't thought of using Marines and 6pd mediums. Good point man. That would definitely work.
My only issue with mediums is that if you end up in equal fight like Surp vs Surp you will have hard time hitting him. He will be able to control the distance and hit you from a far. When your sails are gone and whats more you have used you rep he will get in close and rake. But I guess knowing this weakness you would not get into fight with such opponent in the first place :) 

 

I would say when are you up against a similar Surprise? I suggest very rarely now. You hunt a specific area with certain targets in. So too does @Iroquois Confederacy. The Surprise that comes up against either and alone I suggest would probably weaker on all areas. Long or mediums to you would be a small issue. Your speed controls the distance his will be heavier…

To hunt either of you turns into an issue of getting you pinned down, and staying pinned. My addiction forces me to use the wrong craft but not impossible. Would I use a Surprise? Probably not I feel I need something heavier Essex… Belle Poule (with all her faults) ….

Just a thought

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Mediums will do more damage, require less crew, fire faster.  I've been undergunning raiders for 2 years now.  Your guns might do less damage than your opponent's guns, but that won't matter much when they bounce off your sides and you send your broadside through the enemy's stern.  In long outdrawn fights you might wish for heavier guns, but as a raider whose defense is speed and not wood/hp, you want to avoid long drawn out fights where you are trading broadsides.

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22 minutes ago, Prater said:

Mediums will do more damage, require less crew, fire faster.  I've been undergunning raiders for 2 years now.  Your guns might do less damage than your opponent's guns, but that won't matter much when they bounce off your sides and you send your broadside through the enemy's stern.  In long outdrawn fights you might wish for heavier guns, but as a raider whose defense is speed and not wood/hp, you want to avoid long drawn out fights where you are trading broadsides.

Sometimes  I will draw out a hunt in battle in hopes of reducing damage by talking them into a surrender.   But I intentionally sail ships with high crew margins so I have room to put bigger long guns on specifically for mast removal.

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Kudos for the very useful guide. 

A very interesting note comparison from the perspective of far less experience. 

This isn't just a guide for the pirate, but also a guide for the competent guard. 

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On ‎7‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 0:44 AM, koltes said:

...As a trader you will always make more money. Always… Unless you keep running into me of course. Then its the other way around, but no one is that stupid :)
Before you decide to go solo you need to make a call of what is more important to you. What are your ultimate goals in this game. Some people play to accumulate in-game assets. They are awesome at trading, finding those sweet deals and avoid seadogs like you and me. They make millions of cash and every day that they play they make 10 times more than you do. I’m ok with that. Are you? The way they experience PVP is by setting aside a budget that they happy to invest into PVP experience. In their mind they have already lost or prepare to lose this money/assets. Because of that they don’t like to go over that budget so if they have sunk too many times we won’t see them PVPing as active until they fit within their budget again.

....

 

Wow, best description I have ever seen on this forum.  Great simple summary.

All except for that thing about running into you, lol.

 

My take on this is:  the battle is engaged PRIOR to you and me (or other privateer) running into each other.  If you've seen me, or more succinctly if you've seen me and caught me, then I have not done my job as a trader, or screwed up at least.  But BTW if you do see me, and then overtake me, you won't be getting an easy win, lol.  However, if you do defeat me you got anything I'm carrying.  ;)

Edited by Jean Ribault
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16 hours ago, Norfolk nChance said:

I would say when are you up against a similar Surprise? I suggest very rarely now. You hunt a specific area with certain targets in. So too does @Iroquois Confederacy. The Surprise that comes up against either and alone I suggest would probably weaker on all areas. Long or mediums to you would be a small issue. Your speed controls the distance his will be heavier…

To hunt either of you turns into an issue of getting you pinned down, and staying pinned. My addiction forces me to use the wrong craft but not impossible. Would I use a Surprise? Probably not I feel I need something heavier Essex… Belle Poule (with all her faults) ….

Just a thought

When I now meet Iroqu we just greet each other and chat. If we meet on the hunting grounds we devide the area or one will leave depending on situation. Mutual respect goes long way. I think we both know we gonna have a pretty equal fight. Who knows who will win. Do we both want to find out? Probably not :)

If we have to fight we will. Else we are hunters and our targets are traders and lone fighters

In terms of hunting us, you will need to bring super fast surp and the captain needs to be very good with the wind. We have 360degrees so there is a lot of directuons we can run to. To catch me more or less every time you will need at least 3 surps of the same speed and captains be on same TS, know what they doing and have a plan. Else its my own fk up or your luck. Those comes offen enough so dont stop trying :) 

 

16 hours ago, Captain Lust said:

You mentioned Muskets & Pistols and Boarding cannons. How viable are those really? How does it fare against marines if you don't have marines?

Great guide by the way. +1

Very. Not as high as marines, but you have more chances to win each round with them.

Also you are not boarding full crew on full crew.

Just recently I have killed a connie killing first its crew from 450 down to 220. When I boarded we had almost the same crew, but his moral was really low. Even with marines his damage was reduced.

Other reason why I personally dont like marines is because of the preparation cost of the attack. 

 

14 hours ago, Tenet said:

This isn't just a guide for the pirate, but also a guide for the competent guard. 

I know right :D 

Edited by koltes
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On 2017. 07. 10. at 6:44 AM, koltes said:

This will achieve the most important thing - you will become ok with sinking. You will stop being afraid of sinking. Being ganked or losing the fight will not have a negative effect on your fighting abilities. And most importantly instead of getting upset and being salty with your enemies you will actually enjoy being sunk due to having challenging game and would congratulate your opponent, which means you will ALWAYS get pleasurable experience from the game no matter if you won or lost the fight.
Get the right attitude and not only your skill will improve, but also your gaming experience.

+1

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The best ship for Solo Hunting is: LGV

  • With smuggler flag on you can dock any port
    • revenge fleet pointless if u are able to dock their port
    • can take pause anywhere
    • can repair cheap
    • can sell the loot
  • 3 knowledge already open
  • Can be fast as the surprise
  • Better turning
  • Better sailing profile
  • 1900 cargo means the repairs wont make you slower
  • Fewer guns but u have crew for Marines
  • Can buy almost anywhere a new ship
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- chaser is a serious drawback but if u tag in good position u can handle

+ bottle is welcome can take up the wreck loot anywhere and sell nearest port

+ most player careless when saw a single LGV

attack magnet is good :) so good

captured Constitution and the fate of the revernge fleet

RL_vs_spain_2017_0712_2.png

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50 minutes ago, Wallentinus said:

- chaser is a serious drawback but if u tag in good position u can handle

+ bottle is welcome can take up the wreck loot anywhere and sell nearest port

+ most player careless when saw a single LGV

attack magnet is good :) so good

captured Constitution and the fate of the revernge fleet

RL_vs_spain_2017_0712_2.png

But I would hardly call that solo pirating.

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