HOW TO GET MULTIPLE BOATS INTO THE
SAME REGION AT THE SAME TIME
Odds of victory in a naval engagement increase when you have more than one boat cruising in a region at the same time. But often, when you give the “Set Sail” order to multiple ships at the same time, the crews assemble at very different paces, some quickly and some really slow. So what’s the best way to get ships into a sea region simultaneously?
We asked Bill Spieth, lead designer of Tropico 2: Pirate Cove, and he offered the following suggestions:
“If I want to send out, say, a Frigate/Galleon pair into the same region, I don’t click the Set Sail
button for either ship until both captains are relatively satisfied. To check that quickly, I open the Pirate Satisfaction page in the Island Log and make sure the captains are in the Content Pirates section.
“If the satisfaction levels of captains (who are the most difficult customers to keep happy) are good, I can be pretty sure that the crew is generally good too. Then I click the Set Sail
button for both ships at the same time and keep an eye on both, clicking back and forth to see the crew windows. Remember, you can see which crewmembers are aboard (color icons in the crew window) and which are still ashore (grayed-out icons in the crew window).
“My plan is this: If both captains are aboard, and one ship loads its crew faster and sets sail, I click ‘Set Sail Immediately’ to force the companion ship to departure, even though it is still loading crew. This slower-loading boat sometimes has to leave two or three sailors behind, but rarely more. If, for whatever reason, the two ships just don’t seem to match up — say, the captains arrive at very different times — I’ll click Cancel Boarding Call for the faster-loading ship (just for a few seconds usually) and then re-issue it when the slower-loading boat is ready.
“By the way, this is another reason why you should make sure all your island’s entertainment and pirate housing is close to the docks … so part of this boat-boarding challenge is island planning and layout.
“My brother Ted Spieth [co-designer of Tropico 2] sometimes does something even trickier. He matches a Galleon with a pair of swift Schooners. First, he orders the Galleon to set sail. Then, when it is fully boarded and ready to depart, he orders the first Schooner to Set Sail. With its small crew, the Schooner boards quickly, and its speed lets it quickly catch the Galleon at sea. Obviously, this only works for sea regions that the Schooners can reach with their limited range.
“The Schooner returns soon, as it can only carry a supply of eight sea rations and soon runs out of food. (Galleons take 60 rations.) As it returns, Ted immediately sends out the second Schooner. This strategy relies on the fact that Galleons rarely get sunk, even when sailing alone. One on one, it is very likely to survive. Its problem is catching other ships. So if the Galleon is out there by itself, it will usually survive until its fast escort shows up to hunt down prey for the big boat.”
Page 122 of the Strategy Guide.
system suggests to me that nearly simultaneous departure of ships is secondary to having several ships operating in the same region (seazone). It also covers the problem often mentioned of different length of cruises which leaves the longer cruising ships alone and at a disadvantage. The contact algorithm determines which captain is the semi-official commodore of the fleet. The player need not worry about how the ships find each other and group-up; they evidently do so.
Spreading ships over several seazones has advamtages when searching for something or becoming familiar with several zones. It also presents less of a target for the enemy nations. But it is not required for universal use. There is a limit of six captains\ships in the game, so you have to set objectives for yourself.
... I do know for sure though that ships crusing in the same region at the same time do count as fleet. If either ship catches a foe or gets caught, the other(s) shows up at the rate of 1/round
This is why I've always advised pairing a relatively fast ship with one that has more power. The frigate for instance can intercept and fight for one round. Then the galleon comes up and you devastate your foes. If the fast ship is weak you might even set it to harrass 'em and then bring the big ship in and board 'em.