I was able to play a few games today, earlier than I expected. I only got out two ships, however, and everything is already put away.
The matchup was a duel for the ages: El Acorazado versus HMS Endeavour. I've been wanting to see these two ships (alone) pitted against each other for a long time. Arguably the best defensive ability in the game against arguably the best offensive ability in the game. On paper, it looks like an even matchup, with both ships weighing in at 21 points, both powerful 5 masters. Their abilities are opposites, and most of the time, the crew on both ships were similar.
I expected El Acorazado to win, and I almost wanted her to. As a side note, there was no English bias at work here, since I don't even know which ship I like better.
Since each game was a quick, one-on-one deathmatch (with HI's about 5L apart), I was able to play 19 games in around 2 hours.
The first three games saw the ships go at each other bare-bones with the exception of a generic captain. El Acorazado won 2 out of 3.
The next series of 12 games saw the two ships duke it out full of crew. El Acorazado went with her maxed out setup: Luis Zuan (MI version), Admiral Alarico Castro (SM), Nemesio Diaz, Joaquin Vega, Duque Marcus Vaccaro, and a helmsman. HMS Endeavour was crewed with Hermione Gold (MI), Sir Christopher Myngs, Rhys Gryffyn Owen, Christian Fiore, and a helmsman. I would have maxed out the Endeavour's point cost, but she has 4 cargo spaces. In this stretch of intense games, El Acorazado went 7-5.
Then a series of three games was played with the Acorazado exchanging her helmsman for a shipwright. The idea would be to let the Endeavour fire first, and then repair with a double action as needed. This backfired, as the Endeavour won all three games.
After 18 games, each fleet had won 9. For the final game, the ships went back to their standard crew, from the 12 game setup. HMS Endeavour won the game, but I'm not convinced that she is actually the better ship.