A dramatic title for what was a rather quick game of Galleys & Galleons. I'd like to say I was trying out more rules I hadn't explored before, but I wasn't; I just set up the Pirate Galleon from the rules chasing two Merchant Galleons, (also lifted straight from the rules).
It all started in a promising fashion. The merchants used their Pilot ability to cut close to an island rather than run into the middle of the board and close proximity to the pirate.
As the pirate approached they each fired a broadside. Both merchants scored criticals, and both criticals were fires.
The pirate blew up.
As I said; a quick game.
I ran it again, with a more cautious approach from the pirate this time. The pirate fired a broadside at the lead merchant who (you've guessed it) promptly caught fire and blew up. The other merchant fired a broadside which damaged the pirate's rudder. The time the pirate lost turning into the chase meant that the merchant managed to build up a decent lead. A pirate with the Razee ability could have closed the gap, but this was a simple chase downwind involving two ships of equal speed. The pirate kept up a steady fire from its chasers, but couldn't score the crippling critical it needed to bring the merchant to a halt. So one merchant was destroyed and the other escaped; probably not a win for the pirates, nor for the stockholders.
I have, however, been thinking about how criticals affect movement. There are six means of locomotion in Galleys & Galleons: Sail, Oars, Steam, Unorthodox, Ornithopter and Gyrocopter. A 'Rigging' critical affects each one differently, but not at the same rate. Some methods suffer an effect from the first critical, then suffer a total loss of propulsion from the second. Others can take two hits, with the third causing a loss of propulsion. My view is that the first four listed (Sail, Oars, Steam and Unorthodox) should all be able to take a two step loss, with the third hit immobilising the vessel. (Ornithopters and Gyrocopters are supposed to be fragile, so I am happy with their one step loss; a second 'Rigging' critical actually destroys them.) Sail and Unorthodox both take two criticals with the third immobilising, so all is good there. Really all I need to do is house-rule Steam and Oars, both of which are totally lost after two hits. But I haven't decided how I'll do this yet.