In Tortuga: A Pirate's Tale, you can only take a ship into combat if you have a captain to command it. Besides the main character, there are ten captains throughout the Caribbean who have what it takes to steal the Spanish Treasure Fleet. Each has a unique set of skills and preferences, so your actions will determine who makes the best fit for your team.
We've recruited all ten playable captains to determine which are the most bloodthirsty buccaneers of all. Remember that you can only have five companions, so use this list to build your ultimate crew!
10 Jaap Steenhuis
An unscrupulous Dutch merchant, Jaap Steenhuis can be recruited in the Florida Keys if you have at least fifty thousand ducats in cash on hand. His specialty is getting the best possible prices from merchants, but the game's market fluctuations make this far less impressive than it sounds. Also, your crew doesn't like it if you make too much money from buying and selling – they much prefer to loot and plunder!
If you find yourself near southern Florida early in the game with an open captain slot, it can still be worth recruiting Steenhuis for his ship. He starts with a Fluyt, giving him a considerable size advantage over other captain's starting vessels.
9 Mary Read
Historically, Mary Read is a fascinating character, so it's a shame that her in-game persona doesn't stack up. She has the least impressive set of Abilities in the game, and her refusal to work for France and distaste for fighting other pirates can make her a liability. If you do recruit Mary Read, do so later in the game so that you can quickly unlock Huge Chainshot, an attack that can immobilize enemy ships with ease.
Mary Read can be recruited at the Tavern in Port Royale, but only after you've successfully looted at least ten French convoys. Her personal quest is a lot of fun, and features battles against Jonathan Barnet, the pirate hunter who captured her in the real world. Taking part in this adventure is the main reason to recruit Mary.
8 Jacob Ford
Jacob Ford is the only privateer of the bunch, and he's thoroughly dedicated to the service of England. He excels at reducing the mobility and combat effectiveness of the enemy, but in most cases it's better to forget the fancy tricks and just sink or capture ships as soon as possible, limiting his effectiveness.
Ford can be recruited in Guadeloupe, but you'll need to carry out some missions for England first. He'll offer to join you if you're Baron rank or higher with his home nation, and best of all doesn't mind looting English convoys as long as you let the captains live. Keep a good supply of tobacco and coffee on board, and he'll be happy as a clam.
7 Clement Mercier
This renegade French nobleman has his heart in the right place, seeking to liberate the common people, but it's clear that he's not fit for the pirate's life. His Abilities are all over the place, making him more of a generalist than anything else. That said, having Clement on your team is better than having no captain at all, and once he unlocks Lucky Shot he can deal some decent damage, especially if he's supported by other captains.
Clement can be recruited in New Orleans, but will only join you if you have at least ten thousand ducats worth of goods in your hold. As long as you maintain good relations with France, he's fairly easy to keep satisfied.
6 Benjamin Hornigold
An aging pirate out for one last adventure, Hornigold brings a lifetime of experience to your team. His ability to repair nearby ships mid-combat is a great reason to recruit him on its own, and his ship's resilience and morale bonuses will be welcome in your fleet as he levels up.
Benjamin Hornigold can be recruited in Trinidad. Curiously, he won't join you until you've reached Baron rank or higher with England, but after that he'll want to attack English ships. He also dislikes Bread and gets grumpy if there is any in your hold. If you can handle his odd requests, old Ben can form the centerpiece of your formation.
5 Seamus Walsh
Seamus can always be recruited at the very beginning of the game in the Tavern of your starting city. He has no requirements to join up, and while he's middle-of-the-road compared to the better captains, he's a great companion for the early game.
Seamus' ships can take hits like no other, and once he's leveled up his Maniac Ability makes his cannons more powerful as his ship takes damage. Put him on the deck of a heavy warship like a Carrack or a Queen Anne, fully loaded with Tier-Three hull, frame, and armor, and he'll be an unstoppable juggernaut on the waves.
4 Charles June-May
Dapper and debonair, Charles June-May is a bit of an enigma, but he's second to none when it comes to fleet support. Between Marking Ammo and Precise Instructions, June-May all but guarantees that your cannons will hit their targets. Once he's leveled up, he can even take over repair duty from Hornigold.
If you find yourself in the Gulf of Mexico, be sure to put into port at Veracruz to recruit June-May. He requires that you complete any two missions for Governors, regardless of nationality. That's a fairly easy requirement, so recruiting him early for his Experience boost is often a solid strategy.
3 Charles Vane
Vane is a hard-bitten mercenary who can be found in Portobelo. He's one of the trickier captains to recruit, since he demands that you make at least two captured captains walk the plank. There's only a small chance of taking a captain alive when you capture a ship, so getting Vane on your team is largely a matter of patience and luck.
Vane is well worth the time investment, as he's an extremely efficient boarder. Using his Bloodthirsty ability, you can ram enemy ships and guarantee a successful boarding maneuver. His later Abilities, along with good gear like Sabers and Handguns, help ensure that he and his crew win the ensuing melee.
2 Anne Bonny
Anne Bonny is easy to recruit but hard to keep satisfied; unless you adopt a very specific (and ruthless) playstyle, she'll head straight back to Port Isabel after only a few voyages. Whether you try to keep her on for the long term or only recruit her for a specific mission, it's hard to find a better captain for combat in the entire game.
Anne Bonny gets damage bonuses when firing at close range – put her in a ship with two cannon decks outfitted with short-range cannons and buff her with Precise Instructions, and she can reduce nearly any foe to splinters. It's a good idea to give her some armor as well, or draw fire away from her with Challenge, since she'll usually be in the middle of the enemy fleet and prone to take hits.
1 Dayron Esposito
The Cuban freedom fighter is practically a must-have thanks to his unmatched boarding skills. Like Charles Vane, Esposito is at his best when he has a large crew, Grappling Hooks, Sabers, and Handguns. His starting Ability, Boarding Frenzy, lets him punch well above his weight; in the late game, he can even capture a fully-upgraded Ship Of The Line with little to no preparation.
When you start a new campaign, immediately sink a few Spanish convoys to reach the first level of Infamy with Spain, then head straight to Seville to welcome Esposito onto your crew. His presence lets you capture the best ships available, ensuring that your fleet quickly becomes the terror of the seven seas!
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