Just wanted to make a guide on how to be a good sloop captain. It's a great place to start if you're interested in commanding a Galleon. Captaining a Sloop is great fun and, if you're good at it, opens up all the great moments of teamwork and well-earned victories to you! So, enjoy the guide.
Communication With Your Crew
This is the most important part of being a captain. Voice chat is quite essential as typing commands/using the command wheel to tell your crew what to do is inefficient and will often go ignored. Invest in a microphone and get comfortable speaking to strangers!
On top of that, it's also good to know how to give orders to your crew effectively. I often see novice captains getting their words mixed up and rambling, making their orders difficult to follow. Only give information that is needed and obtainable. Never feel the need to explain something unless asked to. For instance, if you wish to attack a ship soon to be off the right side, say:
Prepare to fire, right-side!
This is a great order that tells your crew exactly what has to be done. It's quick, and gets everyone on the right page. Do not feel the need to over-communicate; important orders will get lost among the noise if you are always talking. Save the mic for crucial information.
Lastly, never tell your crew when to "Fire!". Lots of novice captains do this because it looks/sounds cool and feels like what a captain should do. However, of all people on the ship, the captain has the worst knowledge of where canons are aiming. Instead, just say:
Right-side, fire when ready!
Trust your gunners to know when to fire. Also, at the start of the game, encourage them to ask for aim alterations. Sometimes I actually like a crew to tell me where to go. They are on the ship too, and sometimes they will know where to go better than you do.
Do not get "captain syndrome" and start thinking you know what's best. Trust your crew, as in many ways they are more aware of the fight than you are. They know exactly where the canons are facing.
Be Aware of Your Ship
You should always be aware of your ship's condition. Sometimes, the crew can be occupied with loading canons, resupplying, aiming, fighting enemies, etc, that they don't see their ship has a breach. As a captain, it is your responsibility to know how your ship is and alert the crew if it needs fixing.
Also be aware of what cannons are loaded and ready to fire. It's useless asking your crew to fire if none of the cannons are loaded. Always check with the crew that cannons are ready before initiating contact with another ship. When standing at the helm on a Sloop, a captain is only able to see 4 of the 8 cannons on board. Have a crew-mate you trust keep tabs on the rear 4 cannons.
Make Sure Your Crew Knows Where To Stand
This is something that will work really well sometimes, and other times will not work at all. There is a basic crew structure that I like to follow and it goes as follows:
1 Anti-sail gunner – during combat he should fall back and help repair/resupply.
1 manning the 1st pair of cannons
1 Manning the 2nd "
1 manning the 3rd "
1 manning the cabin cannons
1 running resupplies and repairs.
I will always try to explain this to crew before the game begins, however sometimes it just doesn't work. The crew doesn't want roles, or doesn't understand… This is okay. Trusting your crew to know what to do is a good habit to have.
Hopefully these tips help you. If you have any questions on more specific details of being a good captain, please ask.