With AC4: Black Flag, most people assume the hard part of taking a ship is the naval battle. While that is challenging, especially against some of the legendary ships, the battle doesn’t end once the ship has been incapacitated. You still have to approach the ship, board it and kill enough of the crew to make the ship your own. On that note, the following tips will make the process easier.
The positioning of the Jackdaw when you initiate the boarding process can make the task considerably easier for you.
The best way to board is to initiate the process directly parallel from the opposing ship, and at maximum boarding range. From this distance and positioning, you have ample time and a good angle to use the swivel gun. However, if you come in at an odd angle, or initiate the boarding process close to the other ship (unless you’re battling a much smaller ship), you won’t have good angles and the swivel gun will serve little purpose.
Another strategy to note is that the crew of the Jackdaw will not head over to the opposing ship until you reach a certain range. If you start the boarding process from maximum range, you have more time to inflict damage with the swivel gun. It’s not out of the question to take care of everything you need to do to take the ship, without a single member of your crew heading over to the other ship. With no crewmembers heading over, there’s no danger of losing them, and no need to replenish lost crewmen.
The swivel gun can be the key to taking a ship and saving the lives of your crewmen. In most cases when you take a ship, you need to kill a certain number of crewmen from the opposing ship and possibly take out some supplies or ignite explosives. While the swivel gun has limited ammunition, you can almost always take care of a bulk of these objectives before you even attempt to physically board the ship. In some cases, you can take care of all the objectives without ever having to step foot on the other ship.
One of the big factors in how well you perform with the swivel gun is your distance from the ship when you begin the boarding process, and how quickly you can move over to the swivel gun, aim and fire. As we mentioned, if you start the boarding process directly parallel to the opposing ship, and at maximum range, you’ll have the ideal angle for the swivel gun.
If you’re going up against a bigger ship, the closer you are, the harder it is to hit anything of significance with the swivel. From maximum boarding range, you can target crewmembers and specific objectives despite the fact the opposing ship is larger. At a closer distance, you won’t be able to hit much of anything, and the swivel gun will be useless.
When aiming the swivel, it’s important to adjust based on your objective. If you’re aiming for the crew, it’s best to aim for groups. You don’t have to hit each individual crewmember with a shot from the swivel gun. If you aim for the middle of a group, you’ll take them all out with a single shot. In addition, any explosives on the deck will ignite and take down members of the crew in close proximity. It’s also important to remember that the crew is constantly on the move. Aim where the crew will be when the shot lands, not where they are at the time of the shot.
Crew vs. Crew
Once you’ve initiated the boarding process and inflicted as much damage as possible with the swivel gun, it’s time to actually board the ship. Of course, if you did well in the previous phases, you may not even have to board the ship, but let’s assume you do. Anytime your crew boards the opposing ship, you risk losing crewmembers. While you can replenish your ranks with people from the opposing ship, the best course of action is to limit the casualties.
Edward is the best fighter on his crew. You need to take down the Brutes first, and as quickly as possible if there are multiple Brutes on the opposing ship. Before you engage in combat, be sure to note where your other crewmembers are and keep an eye on them. If they’re engaged in combat for more than five or 10 seconds, it’s likely they’re losing and will die soon. You don’t need to kill the enemy they’re attacking to stop this. All you need to do is run over and get their attention. They’ll stop attacking the crewmember and focus on you, even if only for a split second. That’s more than enough time to save your crewmember from death.
If the enemy starts attacking you, it actually helps you out. Once you’ve started the death sequence, you can kill all surrounding enemies with a single attack animation. The more enemies surrounding Edward, the more he can kill with a single attack. This makes reaching the kill objective much easier. You should always be fighting multiple members of the crew, and killing them as swiftly as possible to reduce the casualties among your own crew.
For more Assassin’s Creed 4 tips, check out some of the fun you can have with the various mini-games!