A pillage is a voyage aboard a ship with the intent of attacking brigands and earning PoE. This is arguably the most common form of earning PoE in the game.

Starting a pillage Edit

The first thing to be done when starting a pillage is selecting the ship or ship type. Smaller ships such as sloops and cutters run efficently with small groups of people while larger war brig and war frigates require a larger number of players to staff it well.

After selecting the ship type, it is necessary to verify that there are enough materials on board the ship for the pillage; if not, stock them. Running out of rum leads to rum sickness and poor effectiveness from the puzzles. Cannon balls are needed to fight effectively versus other players and tougher brigands (but there may be times where having zero cannon balls makes sense).

Once a ship is stocked the next step would be to get people onboard (if desired). This is often done with a call to crew members and other flag officers. After this the commanding officer will open up boarding to jobbers (again, if desired).

When a person applies for a jobbing position in the crew all officers on the ship get an alert whistle and a popup in the ahoy tab that takes the focus giving a link to the pirate and the option to hire them for the voyage.

To Cannon ball or Not to Cannon ball Edit

Cannon balls have benefits and drawbacks. When cannon balls hit the other ship, the game adds black blocks to their puzzle boards during the swordfight. However, each cannon ball loaded into a cannon deducts a cannon ball from the hold, and cannon balls cost PoE.

Some brigands are such poor swordfighters that they can easily be defeated even if you never shot their ship. These brigands also tend to pay poorly, making it desirable to defeat them with as few expenses as possible. When everyone on the ship in a pillage has a very, very low sea battle ratting, it is very likely that you will run into such brigands. In this case, it make may more sense to pillage without cannon balls. During the sea-battle phase, you will attempt to either

  • grapple the brigands quickly before they can shoot you or
  • give the brigands a chance to grapple you quickly and hope that they don't shoot you instead or
  • if attacked by a tougher brigand than you think you can handle or a tough PvP opponent, run and disengage

The cannon ball-less pillaging style also has the advantages of having shorter and simpler sea-battles that are better suited for those getting used to Sea Battle. Since most brigands are very eager to get close to your ship and grapple, getting an early grapple or getting grappled early is frequently easy to do. You do not need a gunner for this style of pillaging. This style of pillaging also helps you learn how quick grapples occur and can give you good ideas for escaping quick grapples in future fights.

However, the cannon ball-less pillaging style, while good practice for those with low sea battle ratings, is not the best long term strategy. As your seabattle rank improves (or if you travel on more difficult routes), the brigands become tougher and it may be necessary to shoot them two or three times to give you a good chance of winning the swordfight. Tougher brigands may require you to give them max damage during the sea battle to have a realistic chance at winning. Fortunately, at higher levels, the brigands pay much better and it is easier to justify buying and using (more) cannon balls.

Rule of thumb: while cannon balls cost short term money, in the long run, having as many victories as possible (and thus a higher sea battle ratting) earns more PoE. If there's a doubt of who will win the sword fight, shoot them. If there's still doubt, shoot them again. If you're still not sure, max damage them.

Attacking Brigands Edit

Brigands tend to be quite poor at both creating and budgeting movement tokens during sea battle. If you can avoid and early grapple and/or shoot them a few times, they tend to run low or even out of movement tokens. This works out to your advantage as it's much easier to shoot a target with poor mobility. Therefore, a common stategy is to evade the brigand's early attempts to shoot and grapple you while generating movement tokens for your ship. Once their ship starts to slow down, get behind or in front of their ship and shoot them.

Brigands also have difficulties with rocks and it may be possible to lure them into situations where they have to hit rocks in order to move. However, higher level brigands can show amazing skill at using whirlpools, including using multiple whirlpools in one turn. If you are trying to avoid an early grapple, be aware that the brigands may be able to strategically use whirlpools to cover a long distance quickly.

Divvying Booty Edit

Divvying (or dividing) Booty only takes place when a ship is in port and the ship has acquired booty.

Booty cannot be divided until the ship is ported at an island. Once the ship is in port, the captain can submit a suggested booty division to the crew. Once more than half the crew on board the ship votes "Aye", the booty is split. The amount of poe each pirate gets is dependent on the Booty shares that the captain of a crew sets.

The booty divvy is calculated automatically. After the ship restocking fee is deducted from the total booty, the remainder is divided among the crew based on the number of battles in which a pirate has fought. For example, if the booty share is "Even" (i.e., split evenly between all pirates), a pirate who was in five battles will get five times as much booty as a pirate who was in one battle.

Some crews may choose to use other booty division schemes; for instance, giving more shares to certain pirate ranks such as officer or captain. A crew's booty scheme can be examined in their crew statement.

A pirate will get his or her share of the booty automatically; he or she need not remain on the ship or even remain online to receive the booty share. If the pirate is not on the ship at the time of booty divvy, though, that pirate will not be able to vote on the divvy.

Icon duty puzzles Ship
Sloop (Alice, Ancient, Bardic, Casino, Chocolate, Cupid, Cursed, Emerald, Frost, Gingerbread, Gold, Gunpowder, Harvest, Hunter,
Inferno, Lagoon, Midas, Phantom, Rogue, Roister, Serpent, Skelly, Smuggler, Steam, Tiburon, Valkyrie, Vampire, Verdant)
Cutter (Harvest, Verdant) | Dhow (Rogue) | Fanchuan (Dragon) | Longship (Frost) | Baghlah | Merchant brig | Junk (Fortune)
War brig (Cupid, Gingerbread, Gold, Haunted, Imperial, Inferno, Rogue, Smuggler) | Merchant galleon | Xebec (Wondrous)
War frigate (Atlantean, Casino, Gold, Imperial, Phantom, Rogue) | Grand frigate (Midas, Rogue)
See also: Shipyard | Shipwrightery | Pillaging | Limited edition ship | Ships requiring designs for construction