Insider 9-22-2011

Having grown up in the coastal state of Maine and traveled internationally on a ship, I have always been partial to the ocean. That quickly translated into a fondness for the pirates of old and the ocean-sailing, freewheeling lifestyle that goes with them. Even before the Pirates of the Caribbean craze, the life at sea and a different port of call every month always appealed to my rebellious side. So when the Journeyman League offered a chance to start a new army, it was the pirate life for me.

I am fond of all the Pirate casters but have always been particularly fond of Captain Phinneus Shae. His ragtag crew and giant pirated cannon really represent the pirate life for me, so I knew I wanted to start integrating him and his Theme Force into my lists toward the later parts of the league. In the meantime, it was all about Captain Bartolo Montador and his philandering ways.

The battlegroup box set starts with Bart, a Buccaneer, a Freebooter, and a Mariner. That group already has a lot of synergy with the Buccaneer’s knockdown net and the Freebooter Trash ability. However, when week two came around and I added Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile, my army really started to sing. It was no longer Bart’s job to follow the Mariner around; it was MacNaile’s. With the Master Gunner’s ranged support options, it was a perfect fit.

At week three, I wanted to add a minimum unit of Sea Dogs for infantry support and Mr. Walls is a strong choice for Sea Dog units. At 21 points, that left me with a couple difficult decisions. There are four great solos—Bosun Grogspar, Doc Killingsworth, First Mate Hawk, and Lord Rockbottom—that I could add to make my Sea Dogs even better, but I only had room for two. After some internal consternation and some external feedback, I settled on First Mate Hawk and Lord Rockbottom. Object of Desire and Paymaster put it over the top.

At this stage of the game, I have focused almost exclusively on playing, and my win/loss record is about even. For week four, I have to decide whether I am making the switch to Shae or keeping Bart. Bart has done very well for me, but Shae and the Commodore Cannon are calling.

‘Til next time,

Jason