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Cyclopedia explains some of the crew positions, but is a bit vague:

 

OUT OF COMBAT

captain: ??? (I think a map encounter or two checks your captain skill?)

navigator: higher ranks = faster travel time

cook: reduces food use

surgeon: speeds up healing (kind of a moot point because most of the time I am able to return to a port to heal up instantly)

boatswain: ???

helmsman: ??? (I think some map encounters check your total helmsman skill?)

cannoneer: ??? (I think a couple of map encounters check your total cannoneer skill?)

deckhand: ???

 

IN COMBAT

captain: whether or not you have advantage each round

below-deck

navigator: nothing

cook: nothing

surgeon: speeds up healing

cannoneer: fires cannons, determines accuracy

above-deck

boatswain: slight bonus to completing special events (such as repairing your hull or putting out a fire)

helmsman: ships have a minimum helmsman requirement for cannoneer accuracy; according to cyclopedia also increases your ship evasion after a turn or jibe; you need a helmsman to be able to turn or jibe in the first place.

deckhand: ???

 

The big mystery to me is what on earth deckhands do? The cyclopedia says they make your ship faster in combat. Anecdotally, if I use grapeshot and wipe out the entire enemy above-deck crew, it does appear that the enemy ship moves slower (and sometimes they just get stuck holding position). However, my own combat speed (at least according to the ship management UI) appears not to change one bit based on my # of deckhands or their skill level.

 

Anyone know for sure?

Edited by thelee
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You need to assign deckhands to tasks like putting out fires, etc. no?

You can use literally anyone on your ship. I always have people in reserve and just use them. I notice no difference between them and using actual deckhands. The only difference I've noticed is if I have a boatswain, the botswain gives me a bonus on my progress bar (again, regardless of whether I use a deckhand or not).

Edited by thelee
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