Your Starting Ship can have an enormous influence on your campaign during the first stage of the game. Some Starting Ships are player-favourites, meaning that the player is immediately in a position to terrorize anything he comes across. Other Starting Ships can be downright obstacles, possibly putting the player in a position where capturing a better ship would be difficult at best.
In addition, other Starting Conditions may also apply, determining gold on hand, the number of men under your employ, cargo on board, or even Rank with various nations. Together all these factors determine the difficulty of getting your career moving early on, making some era/nation combinations harder to get started than others, and effectively serving as "extra challenge".
In the original game there are 6 eras and 4 nations to choose from, but only 6 Ship Types are used as possible Starting Ships. However, there are quite a few combinations that will have the player starting with more than one ship.
Furthermore, the original game offers several Famous Expeditions, which are basically advanced scenarios that start off with specific parameters that are quite unlike those used for regular campaigns. In these scenarios it is common to have several Starting Ships in your fleet, including even Frigates, not to mention a large amount of men and cargo as appropriate.
Note that in most circumstances, era/nation combinations will also enforce other Starting Conditions, making it more difficult to say which combination is more "difficult" than others just by examining your Starting Ship type(s).
Campaign Starting ShipsEdit
|"Pirates! (1987)" Campaign Starting Ships|
|Spanish Costa Guarda|
|"Pirates! (1987)" Famous Expedition Starting Ships|
|Expedition Name||Starting Ships|
|Battle of San Juan De Ulua (John Hawkins, 1569)|
|The Silver Train Ambush (Francis Drake, 1573)|
|The Treasure Fleet (Piet Heyn, 1628)|
|The Sack of Maracaibo (L'Ollonais, 1666)|
|The King's Pirate (Henry Morgan, 1671)|
|The Last Expedition (Baron De Pointis, 1697)|
Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)Edit
The different combinations produce one of 10 different Ship Types, including one ship type that is otherwise extremely rare (the Mail Runner). Since the game has a total of 27 different Ship Types, 17 types will never appear as Starting Ships.
|"Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)" Starting Ships|