The Strategies portrayed here reflect the consensus of what our founding members have learned about this game since they began playing it. As more members come on board, more content and ideas will be displayed here.
The Discovery Tree
Pirates: Tides of Fortune uses its daily Sketch trick to lead players on a "recommended" path. Unfortunately, the path they want you to follow takes a lot of time and maybe some money of you get frustrated (that's the idea) with not much to gain. There are five branches to the Discovery Tree:
First is the one that leads you to Mathematics, and having a House of Vespucci to increase galleon loads is useful as the upgrades are reasonably priced. But this is where this branch of the Discovery Tree starts losing its leaves. Smuggling gets you a merchants Guild to slightly increase the speed of your galleons. Not worth the week it takes or the resources. The same goes for the 8 Sketches each for Banking (a windmill), Manufacturing (a sawmill), and Mercantilism (a goldsmith). Take another path unless you're playing this game to be a farmer/merchant.
Next is Fortifications. Get Level 1 for a gate and cannon but even if you expensively surround your haven with walls it won't stop a big attack. Forget Level 2 fortifications and above. Use ships, defensive units and haven skins to protect.
The third branch of the Discovery Tree is where you should focus since it provides all the offensive and defensive units in the game, as well as leading into shipbuilding.
The fourth branch of Flight is necessary as Flying Dutchmen are a cheap and easy deterrent to spying and attacks.
The Tinker throws a curve when you complete Small Arms on the third branch. He starts sending sketches to take you down into the Dragon's Den where you can build a temple and create defensive units that aren't nearly as strong as your Grenadiers and Curaissers. The Junks and Turtle ships are better replaced by Man O'War's and Gunboats. A total waste of time.
What to do with unwanted sketches? Trade at the market if you can, sell at the Observatory, or sell or gift to a Shipmate.
It is shocking to realize how many players still don't use Safe Havens or even understand what they are. To put it simply, Safe Havens are nearby havens where you send your ships and troops when you are getting ready to log off or are being attacked by a force of unknown strength. No one strong enough to attack you can attack a haven below level 15 if they are above level 15, and even level 15 players cannot attack someone under level 9. Go to your map, find a nearby haven that has been abandoned (we use levels 2-4, one for offense and one for defense), click them on, hit Send Reinforcements and go away knowing all that you've built is safe. You can't send Resources so use them up and don't leave them laying around. When you want to Recall your troops or ships, click on your Pirates Fortress, click on Garrisons, locate the Safe Haven, and Recall as little or as many units as you wish. It takes about 5 minutes for them to return to you.
DEALING WITH RAIDERS
Raiders are an essential if not annoying element in any Pirates game. They raid indiscriminately, often frustrating players into abandoning the game. To deal with them, first don't be a target. Stock lots of Flying Dutchmen (our current members have 16-50 each) to make it hard for them to spy on you. If they lose their own Dutchmen on a spy mission they may decide you have lots of defending units also, and look for an easy mark somewhere else. The second thing is, even if they can scout you, don't make yourself a bigger target. Use up your resources and keep your ships and troops in a Safe Haven until you can determine how strong the Raider is.
Raiders are notoriously Offense minded, and outside of having enough Flying Dutchmen so they don't get spied on themselves, they will purchase Offensive Units in far greater numbers than Defensive Units. When they are most susceptible is when they are back in their own haven after an attack. Now their 500 unit attack team is only at about 20% effectiveness defensively and attacking with your Offense (after pulling from your safe haven) of about 200 units should wipe them out.
Here's a trick: If someone keeps attacking and you are online, send your Flying Dutchmen to a Safe Haven, recall all your Defensive Units and let the Raider see what you have. It will probably provoke an attack from them. If not, send a small attack crew (even Bonnie's beauties will do) to martyr themselves and irritate your opponent. When they launch an attack send all your remaining Defenders back to the Safe Haven and use up as many resources as you can. Once the Raider attacks they kill no one and gain little or no resources. Immediately recall your Offensive Units from the Safe Haven and send out a raid party against them. You should be no more than 5 minutes behind when their attacking force returns to their base. Chances are they will be doing something else and won't be able to send assets to their own Safe Haven in that time. You should be able to basically wipe them out and they'll think twice about ever attacking you again.
If you have a Friend or Hearty level 25 or higher that you would like to have join the LIBERTALIA, here is what you do:
Scrawl a note to either Steve Charles (Commander), Dan Talian (Adviser) or Vladimira Violente (Adviser). These are the only people who can invite new members. Give them the name of the player you'd like to invite, and their map coordinates. Referrals will have priority over other invites and will be based on player levels (the higher the level the higher our brotherood is rated) and of course berth availability (adding new berths costs us at least 2k of each resource, in lots of 20-30). You can also invite players who are close to you on the map to help create a presence in your area.