Having got my Galleys & Galleons head back on I played another game this afternoon. One thing I've not tried yet are the magic rules, so I decided to see how they work out. I put together a force consisting of a galleon escorting three merchant ships. The galleon carried a priest (theurgist) because in these waters lurked ...
Ghost-ships! A ghostly galleon and two boatloads of spectral warriors.
All three of these vessels were Spectral, and I also gave them all the Unorthodox trait, which makes their movement unpredictable, but unaffected by the wind. I thought it would nicely reflect some kind of magical propulsion.
The convoy deftly negotiated some shallows.
Unfortunately it then failed to turn to avoid the shallows around an island, and one of the ships scraped its bottom.
It all got a bit messy. The final ship in the convoy was obviously not going to safely clear the island by following the others, so broke off to go around the other way.
Meanwhile the ghost ships were blundering around trying to move into position. The Unorthodox trait makes life very difficult indeed; more than I thought.
The two galleons approached. The priest tried his exorcism ritual against the spectral foe, but to no effect.
A boat full of intimidating spectral warriors slipped past the galleon and menaced one of the merchant ships ...
... who slipped away after firing an ineffective broadside.
The galleons passed each other. Both fired broadsides and the escort was damaged, but the priest's ritual also bore fruit, damaging the ghost-ship.
The spectral ships continued to blunder about, unable to turn fast enough to catch the convoy.
The lone merchantman that had gone the other way found a ghostly boat in its path, but was able to evade it.
The escort turned up into the wind and fired more broadsides. The priest blessed the cannon as they fired, and the now holy weapons caused severe damage to the ghostly galleon.
The lone merchantman escaped, although not via the designated exit point.
Still, the other two did.
Then, finally, the escort.
The escort galleon took one hit from firing, and one merchant vessel had damage from the shallows. Otherwise the convoy escaped unscathed.
Basically a group of ships with Unorthodox propulsion are very difficult to control or coordinate, relying as they do on activations for even the most basic moves and even then having no idea how far that move will be. It's very much a trait for a one-off ship in a force I suspect. I might retry this scenario with more points loaded onto the Ghostly Galleon (and a higher Q value) and maybe drop the boats.
Here are the ship stats:
Escort Galleon - Q3 C3 - Galleon Rig, Drilled Soldiers, Chasers, Magic User: Theurgist, Razee, Trained Gun Crews
Merchantmen x 3 - Q4 C2 - Galleon Rigged, Merchantman, Veteran NCOs
Boats of Spectral Warriors - Q2 C2 - Intimidating, Iron Grapples, Spectral, Unorthodox, Unarmed
Ghostly Galleon - Q3 C4 - Spectral, Unorthodox