Pirate hunters are used in our games sparingly, if at all.
Pirate hunters are a mix of the other ship types with a few benefits from their roles and lacking others. They have medium to smaller boats that are maneuverable and quick for the pursuit of their prey. Pirate Hunters lack the ability to move to the pirate Island if they leave the perimeter of the board and end up on Cannibal Island. Their ships tend to be well armed but their hulls are smaller and less tolerant to damage. Their unique advantage is that they receive 1 extra upgrade to their vessel. In example a class 3 pirate hunting ship would get 4 upgrades instead of 3. This gives them a little more edge over their opponents. For bounties the Pirate hunter gathers points like a War Ship but instead of collecting honor beads they collect gold coins in the amount equal to the ship’s value, the damage pips total on the ship’s record sheet. Bringing a Pirate captain to a governor is worth $100 gold coins per skill level of the captive. Thus a skill level 4 pirate is worth $400 gold. Smugglers have no bounty value to a pirate hunter. Any cargo captured can be sold at market value in any legal port. Pirate hunters purchase land grant cards to collect points to win, however if they capture a Pirate and can convince the pirate to forfeit his buried treasure cards those points count also.
1) If you want to attract pirates, act like a merchant vessel. Buy and sell cargo and lure in your prey. It serves as limited income between captures.
2) Pirates appear and retreat from the perimeter of the boards. Try to maneuver between them and cut off their escape.
3) If you encounter a Pirate boarding a merchant, board the pirate once skirmish has broken out. The Pirates can’t fire guns (cannon), swivel guns, or repel you. You enter Melee combat against the Pirate by adding your crew to the current force opposing the pirates and use your skill level to fight and defend if better that the merchant crew.
4) Honor duels are a 50/50 chance if things turn bad for you in combat take that option, but understand Pirate hunters have a good chance of being killed out-right by the Pirates when they lose.
5) There are 5 Pirate captains on the game table. That is between 2000 & 2500 points if you capture them each only once.
6) Talk to the Merchants, you basically start with no money. If they will pay you a few coins for a protective escort it may cover some cargo and repairs in the future.
7) Pirate hunting vessels are a primary target for pirates, they’re heavily armed, fast and maneuverable.