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The "Crew Harvesting" mini-mini-game
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Emmerson
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject: The "Crew Harvesting" mini-mini-game Reply with quote

Reading "Cutlass Isle" has certainly made me a better Pirates! captain. From learning things about the game I didn't know, to motivating me to improve my overall level of gameplay, I'm very grateful for this forum.

F'rinstance, I recently upped my naval battle skills, and as a result have developed a new strategy. I used to try to de-gun a ship before charging in, but that can be destructive for smaller ships, and take too long for larger ships. After reading the posts on here, I have now become a big fan of "de-masting" ships (even if I'm not playing at a good enough resolution to see the de-masting), or at least shredding their sails enough that they will surrender.

Once I got good at that, I realized that there were these sitting duck vessels --some with nigh on 200 crew-- that would happily let me do anything I wanted with them. So I started crew harvesting!

Step 1: Use chain shot to de-mast the ship. You could use round shot to pummel them into submission, but that kills more crew, and that's not what we want!

Step 2: Use grape shot to knock crewmen overboard, and pick them up.

Step 3: Pluck the crewmen out of the water, taking care to stay out of the enemy vessel's "radius of surrender."

That last one is important! The "surrender radius" is quite large, and there have been a few times I've tried to inch over to get a man out of the water, only to have the game go to the "surrender" screen instead. That sucks if there are five or six more guys in the water you were planning on harvesting!

Careful crew harvesting can yield results comparable to visiting tavern when your crew is unhappy, and you don't waste a week of game time! The best I've managed to get off a single ship so far is 11 crew off of a Brig of War that had 160 men on it before I started in with the grape shot.

I've done some playing around with this stuff, and have seen crewmen fly overboard when there were as little as 4 men listed onbaord the ship. Repeatedly pummeling the ship with grape shot when it's listed as having 1 crew has so far not yielded any "bug-related" men overboard, even though the animations still show little men on deck. Wink

Whether or not you employ this strategy depends on what you value more: real time, or game time. This takes a few extra minutes of real time, but a careful pirate can expand their crew quite a bit, and save months of game time.
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TheDS
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will be happy to know that if you sink a ship, there are LOTS of guys suddenly in the water, but you must act quickly to grab them all before the ship sinks and you return to the sailing screen.
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Emmerson
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheDS wrote:
You will be happy to know that if you sink a ship, there are LOTS of guys suddenly in the water, but you must act quickly to grab them all before the ship sinks and you return to the sailing screen.


That's why I prefer the more patient "Crew Harvesting" method. You are guaranteed to get the men, or if not the worst that happens is you accidentally trigger the "surrender" sequence and get to plunder the ship! Very Happy
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rupertlittlebear
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one, the most harvesting I have done is sink the escort, pick up those men and then use them to Board the prize ship.
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Guidon666
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing I've done that too. Nothing like picking up the crew of a ship that fought to the death to defend another only to imediately turn around and be part of your boarding crew to sack another ship. How quickly allegiance changes in the waters.
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Gandalf
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best way to crew harvest is to get yourself involved in a 2-ship battle. Completely sink the ship with the bigger crew (you get pretty a lot more crew than grapeshotting them continuously), and chainshot the other one to death so it doesn't harass you.
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CGM3
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gandalf wrote:
Best way to crew harvest is to get yourself involved in a 2-ship battle. Completely sink the ship with the bigger crew (you get pretty a lot more crew than grapeshotting them continuously), and chainshot the other one to death so it doesn't harass you.


If you attack a ship with its escort, and sink or capture the larger ship first, the sea battle mini-game ends and you find yourself back at the "world view" with the escort nearby.

Sink (or capture) the escort first and you remain in the sea battle mini-game. Curiously, you will not get the credit (or the blame) for taking out the escort, only the other ship.
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Howie
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gandalf wrote:
Best way to crew harvest is to get yourself involved in a 2-ship battle. Completely sink the ship with the bigger crew (you get pretty a lot more crew than grapeshotting them continuously), and chainshot the other one to death so it doesn't harass you.


I find myself doing the same thing now! Harvesting crewmen and barrels is much easier when you have a war canoe and can zig zag to pick up stuff in the water. Doing this seems to add an element of fun to the game as well... Very Happy
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Salty Dog
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:51 pm    Post subject: How do you pick sailors up? Reply with quote

I did not know you could pick sailors out of the water. How do you do it? Run over them or pull along side and click on them?
Thanks.....Salty Laughing
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Emmerson
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you pick sailors up? Reply with quote

Salty Dog wrote:
I did not know you could pick sailors out of the water. How do you do it? Run over them or pull along side and click on them?
Thanks.....Salty Laughing


Just run over them with your ship. You'll hear a little man muttering some gibberish, as well as some "watery" sounds. The crew count on your ship will go up by one. You can exceed your ship's maximum crew capacity for the duration of that battle. After that, the extra crewmen are automagically moved over to additional ships if you have room, or they leave your crew the next time you're at port if all of your ships are full.

Same goes for the barrels. Just run over 'em to pick 'em up. They add 50 gold to your loot.
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dhankskunk
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never realized I was picking guys up when I heard those crazy sounds. Shows how much attention I pay to such things...
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Howie
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhankskunk wrote:
I never realized I was picking guys up when I heard those crazy sounds. Shows how much attention I pay to such things...


I make a little game out of it. See how many men and barrels I can cram on my little Tartane.... errrrr rather War Canoe! Very Happy
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watson42467
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you get a big escort like a frigate, then you can get quite a few men and won't get kicked back to the world screen.
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Emmerson
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howie wrote:
I make a little game out of it.


Me too. Hence the subject of the post.



. . . . and a big thanks to everyone that has posted their own "Crew Harvesting" tips! Very Happy
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rupertlittlebear
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like this in current, but hard to find.
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