I've recently played a few more games: a series of three standard (40 points with gold) games between two fleets. The fleets consisted of a Pirate fleet of the Darkhawk II, Raven, and Bonnie Liz, versus a (mostly) Spanish fleet of La Santa Isabel, La San Jose, El Algeciras, and the Carrion Crow.
The first game went to the Spaniards, without much action.
The second game was one the the hardest fought games I've been involved in. Three of the seven ships were sunk, a fort was built, there was ramming, boarding, stealing, shooting, and just a great amount of good, honest, pirating. The Santa Isabel managed to trap the Darkhawk in between herself and an island, since I've recently implemented the 90 degree rule: A ship can turn no more than 90 degrees for each move segment of their move action. However, the Pirates fought back well, using the fort Dead Man's Point to derelict the Algeciras. After the Santa Isabel stole all three gold coins (totaling 8 gold) from the Darkhawk, she made for her HI with just one mast remaining. The Darkhawk also only had one mast, and she caught the Spaniard just before she could unload the gold. After taking out the Santa Isabel's final mast, the Darkhawk took back the gold and made for home. Meanwhile, the Raven was dismasted by the Carrion Crow and San Jose after she rammed the Crow in an attempt to steal a treasure coin. The Crow headed for home (just a few move actions away) with the Raven in tow, but the Darkhawk (now partially repaired, at three masts) sunk her former comrade, ending the game with the odd amount of treasure going to the Pirates, giving them a satisfying victory!
The third game also went to the Pirates, who took advantage of their HI being in a good spot. The Raven made a few nice treasure runs, and the Darkhawk took full advantage of Captain Blackheart, saccing for at least three extra actions. The Darkhawk had Blackheart, a helmsman, an explorer, "Cannonball" Gallows (the 0LR +5 version), and two oarsmen aboard, with a third oarsman on the HI. This way, the Darkhawk would sac two oarsmen on the way to and from a wild island, and pick up another one after she unloaded the gold.
Those three games were actually the first three in a mini-tournament. The second series of three involved my HMS Grand Temple fleet (now with the London instead of the Meresman, since I've finally acquired her) facing an all-treasure fleet consisting of the Tiger's Eye, La Dijon, Le Bon Marin, Le Coeur du Lion, Coral, and Rover. It was no contest, with the GT fleet winning all three times in dominating fashion. The UT's helped a bunch in slowing down the runners, as they're supposed to.
The final three games pitted the GT fleet against the Pirate fleet with the Darkhawk II, Raven, and Bonnie Liz. This fleet was harder for the Grand Temple and the London to defeat, but the English still won all three games. In addition, there was no English bias involved, as I even made the English HI extra-far-away from the rest of the islands for the last game, to give the Pirates a head start running gold.
It appears that the GT fleet is only to be defeated by fleets utilizing defensive abilities or cancellers.
Today (2/3/13) three games were played: 40 point deathmatches between the HMS Grand Temple fleet and the Acorazado fleet. It was the first time the GT fleet faced the Acorazado fleet with the London instead of the Meresman, so I expected the English to do better than before. They didn't. El Acorazado won all three games, and never lost more than two masts in any one game. Now this fleet is 24-9.