It is a guide to sailor, cold steel, carpenter, and more in Blazing Sails.
Guide to Sailor, Cold Steel, Carpenter, and More
Arrr me hearties it be Capn’ Jasta here ready to whip you into shape for a life on the ocean main. I won’t be tellin’ ye the basic controls or any of that stuff, this is more some wise words from an old salt on how to stay above Davy Jones’ Locker and maybe earn yourself a pegleg before you’re strung up from the yardarm.
If you need to find out more about the basics try watching this tutorial video!
Finding Your Sea Legs
First thing when you join the lobby is you’ll need to join a ship. Try to avoid being aboard a ship with only two or three crew – you’ll just be fresh meat for the sharks. If you’re a solo or duo, find a flag of another ship looking for some more crew or put down your own flag and try to recruit some more shipmates.
Don’t be the 5th Ship!
Your first task when the match starts for real is to choose a starting island. Try to pick a spot that has at least one treasure chest, but be warned the islands with the most booty also have the most competition. Sometimes it’s better to have an entire island chain to yourself than fight over a bunch of chests.
When you do spawn, immediately look and see if you have any enemy ships nearby, as they will be an immediate threat. Be especially careful of any ships hidden just around a bay or headland. Just because they look quiet and stationary right now, doesn’t mean they can’t sink you one minute later.
If in doubt, have one person get your ship moving BEFORE they go scavenge the island.
There will be other chances to get loot and if you just leave your ship sitting there it’s likely to be halfway to the ocean floor by the time you can teleport back if your enemy has a weather eye out. Alternatively if you’re feeling aggressive have someone return as fast as possible with some wood and cannonballs and let them have it. It can be extremely difficult to save a ship early on in the game if the crew is mostly ashore. Don’t forget to watch out for boarders as well!
When you are looting, your primary objective is to get to any chests as fast as possible for ship upgrades and weapons, but don’t forget the basics. Wood is the most important resource – as long as you have wood you always have a chance to win. Drop crossbow bolts and fish ammo if you’re low on space, they’re not often needed.
A good idea is often to have one member use one of the colourful teleporters to head to another island so you’re not all covering the same ground – but be wary this is pretty random and you might end up in the middle of a gang of cutthroats with no support!
A Life on the Ocean Main
Once you’ve looted your first few islands and started to sail the wider seas, make sure your crew is in order. There are many ways to crew a ship but here’s a few important roles to keep in mind:
It’s not the most swashbuckling role but it’s incredibly important and possibly the most difficult. The ship that can keep its cannon pointed at the enemy and in fair winds and following seas will win the game. If you’re new to the game or with an unfamiliar crew, probably best not to take this role unless nobody else is.
The Captain is required to:
- Man the WuHEELL
A stationary ship is a sitting duck for boarders and cannon fire. It’s your job to make sure you’re always on a steady course away from trouble and obstacles, out of the danger zone and not getting sandwiched in the crossfire from multiple enemies. Don’t be afraid to hit the anchor to make hard turns but you should always be the first person on the capstan to pull it up again – your crew won’t always know if or when to start heaving away and when the anchor is down you have less to do behind the wheel.
- Keep the guns on target
If the gunners can’t lay their guns accurately they’re basically useless. When you’re in ship to ship combat you have to keep your main guns pointing at the enemy. Swivel guns won’t get the job done!
- Trim the Rear Sail
You should be able to keep this sail rotated towards the wind and steer the ship to get maximum speed. Your crew should handle the front sail.
- Return Fire!
If you have a rear swivel or a sniper rifle or crossbow AND you have time you can take a few pot shots at nearby ships but it’s critical you don’t get distracted! Try to stay on the poop deck (Yarr!) where the wheel is. The Crow’s Nest is too distracting.
- Repel Boarders!
Be aware you’re probably a primary target for boarders when they first jump aboard so a good melee weapon is handy.
Not the most glamorous but maybe the most important. Without a dedicated repairer you’ll be swimming for Tortuga in minutes. You don’t need to be below decks with a hammer the entire time but you MUST at least nominate someone to be the first person below when the timbers start popping loose or your crew will just assume somebody else is doing it.
This is a good role for whoever didn’t get the best weapons – but you’ll see your fair share of action!
The Carpenter is required to:
- Repair the ship and man the pumps
If there’s any flooding or holes in the hull it’s your job to get there first. Always make sure the pump is going before you start repairing and patch up the big holes first. Don’t forget your wood!
- Stay Onboard!
If there’s any chance at all of action you need to be ready to repair. If you go boarding other ships or looting sea chests when everyone else thinks you’re repairing you’re sunk. You can loot islands if it looks safe but be extra quick to return to ship if trouble is spotted.
- Call for assistance
If you’re taking a serious pounding, one pirate won’t be enough to keep the ship afloat. Call for help early if your ship is starting to look like Swiss cheese.
- Protect the Cork
You might be the first line of defense against boarders if they manage to sneak below decks. Remember to block with your melee weapon and be aware you can often get a quick shot in before it comes to blades or paddles.
- Get some fresh air
If your ship isn’t leaking/flooded feel free to go on deck and man the cannons, help reload, spot from the crow’s nest etc. Just always be the first to go below when things start getting wet!
The last two members of your crew will probably be one of these roles which are fairly interchangeable depending on your gear and cannon upgrades. If you have a lot of special shells and good cannons, you’ll want to do more shooting. If you have quad barrels and fancy swords, you’ll want to do more boarding. Ideally you can do a bit of both.
Remember that if you both board an enemy ship, your own cannons will probably fall silent – for quite a while too if you both die. The Captain and the Cabin Boy really can’t afford to cover your guns.
The Gunner/Boarder is required to:
- Man the Guns
Make sure you keep the cannons loaded, be ready to fire special shots and give instructions to the Captain if you need help bringing the guns to bear. A dedicated Gunner should probably have a long range weapon to take the occasional pot shot at swimmers and exposed crew but their main focus is the cannon.
- Board the Enemy!
Ideally nominate your crewman with the best short ranged weapons to be the main boarder. Any of the swords, Quad barrels, Fish guns or Bomb Launchers make excellent boarding weapons. Try to coordinate with your mates. Sending two boarders can be extremely effective but is also very risky if you get counter boarded while you’re away or dead.
- Repel Boarders
Keep an eye on the waves to spot enemy swimmers. They’re sitting ducks in the water. You also want to make sure you’re not surprised while behind your guns as you may be dead before you can respond and be ready to head below if you get corked.
- Lend a Hand
Be ready to help raise the anchor if you see the Captain jump on it. Be ready to man the pumps and stop the leaks if you take a serious battering or are in the danger zone. Keep an eye out for sea chests and inform the Captain and keep the front sail trimmed to the wind when possible.
An optional role and one that can be a trap for new players however if you’re good and you have the right weapon (don’t bother with a Crossbow) you can turn the tide.
The Sniper is required to:
- Thin their Ranks
Your first job is to make sure you take out any enemy snipers who can make life hell for your crew below. Sometimes you just have to fight fire with fire. Next targets should be any potential boarders swimming across to your ship so keep an eye out on the waves. Lastly try and take out the cannoneers. Their positions are predictable and they have less obstacles obscuring them than the helmsman.
- Don’t get distracted
If you’re sitting up top sniping, you’re not on deck steering, repairing or sinking ships!
More of an opportunity than an actual role but don’t ignore just how effective land based cannons and snipers are. Because they’re not being tossed on the rolling sea, land cannons can shoot MUCH MUCH further than ships and present tiny targets in return. The element of surprise is also not to be ignored and dropping off a sailor to spring a nasty trap on a chasing enemy is a fiendish tactic.
The Landlubber is required to:
- Let them have it!
Given that many shore based cannons are located on elevated positions, you can shoot for miles and up close they are incredibly accurate. A single pirate on a shore battery can genuinely win a gunnery duel with a fully crewed ship and while you probably won’t sink them, they can’t sink you either and you don’t have to burn through wood!
- Not go AWOL
This is a naval game after all and any sane Captain under shore bombardment will just retreat out of range or line of fire. Don’t hang around waiting for a possible new target. Get back on board and back in the fight.
Boarding is its own special skill in Blazing Sails and a lot of players new to the Pirate life make some elementary mistakes. Capn’ Jasta is here to give you some advice.
- Don’t try to sink the ship on your own!
Even with the best weapons a pirate can find, you won’t have a lot of luck taking on four alert crew just by yourself. The longer you can stay alive on the enemy ship the longer they’re running around trying to kill you instead of patching holes or firing cannons. Be unpredictable and don’t be afraid to jump overboard to buy some time.
- Cut off the head!
A good first target is the Captain at the helm. A ship with no pirate at the helm is a ship out of control. Better yet, when the captain leaves his position you can quickly take the wuheel and slam on the anchor. This can really throw the ship into chaos, ruin their gunners aim and gives you a chance to reboard if you need to take a swim to avoid retaliation.
- Don’t Go Off Half Corked!
Charging straight for the cork is unlikely to get great results. Corking a fully manned ship will likely do almost nothing if they’re paying attention and chances are you’ll get a musket ball in the back while you try. The cork can be a good distraction if you’re completely unseen or the final nail in the coffin if they’re already a man or two down but it’s not your primary objective. Better to kill off some crew first or just stay alive!
- Don’t Forget to Plunder!
You probably don’t have time to steal while the enemy ship is still afloat but absolutely grab anything that isn’t nailed down if it’s already done for. It’s much slower than grabbing your own stores but extra speciality cannon balls or rum can be a godsend.
- Don’t Bring Presents
Take enough small ammunition and a few bottles of rum when you board but definitely try not take wood, cannon balls or ship upgrades! Pirates take, they don’t deliver!
- Ok Maybe Bring One Present
A keg of TNT can be a very nasty surprise when boarding… but it’s tricky to use as you need to drop it on the ground and then detonate it somehow – ideally by shooting it from a safe distance but often you’ll have to result to more desperate measures. a Keg of TNT does a decent amount of hull damage and will kill any nearby enemies (or friends for that matter) when it goes off.
If you find your ship going from healthy to holed in fifty different places all of a sudden, chances are you got rammed with a keg followed by another being dropped with a few cannon shells thrown in for good measure.
The Drunken Sailor
Keeping your ship on an even keel and in safe waters is critical and a well steered vessel can overcome a huge gap in weapons and resources.
- When in Doubt, Keep Moving!
A stationary ship is far easier to hit than a moving one and far easier to board as well – often when you least expect it. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that because your guns will be a bit more accurate as well that it’s worth it – it usually isn’t.
Having said that, if your crew is lightning fast on the capstan, there are times when you can drop the anchor to your advantage. Haul the wheel hard over and drop the chain to make sharp turns – but make sure you get on the capstan immediately to get under way again. You can also use it as a last ditch attempt to keep your guns on target for a final kill shot but this is for advanced crews for the most part.
- Any Port in a Storm
Sometimes when the zone is closing in but you’re well inside it and you’re not under immediate threat it can be a good idea to let the other ships battle it out and waste their resources – especially if you know they’re already fighting or struggling to stay inside the red.
Find a cove and drop anchor to wait it out for a bit – ideally near an island you can loot. Understand that you won’t be finding any sea chests or stealing other ships resources however and don’t get caught dozing in a bay when an enemy rounds the headlands!
- Don’t Become a Ship Sandwich
You cannot keep your ship afloat if you’re being hit by cannons from both sides for any length of time. If you’re at the wheel and there’s at least two other ships in sight you must avoid getting trapped between them in cannon range or you’ll be sleeping with the fishes tonight.
- Don’t Rely on Swivel Guns in Ship to Ship Combat
Swivel guns can be useful for taking pot shots at enemy crew, keeping their Carpenter busy and having something to do if no other shots present themselves but they’re extremely unlikely to have any long term effect on anything but a ship without any wood. Chasing a ship down and peppering them with the two forward swivels is sometimes your only option but it’s often a waste of ammo. The zone will hem them in sooner or later for your main guns. Fighting a rearguard action is even more useless as they will probably have two swivels to your one. (Always add for’ard swivels before placing a rear one)
- Stay Out of the Red
Every second you’re in the danger zone you’re wasting wood, your most precious resource. Sailing ships don’t turn on a dime or have instant speed so always plan ahead to avoid getting trapped by the voodoo fog of doom. Don’t forget to trim (turn) your sails to stay ahead of the weather and using the anchor to pull a sharp 180 is often better than taking a long sail around an island about to be cut off by the red.
- None Found