First, I like to unlock the cultist/skeleton first (Rotten Heart Mission). The reason for this is that she makes a very good crew member and a great Captain. Play as you will to get her unlocked (you may choose to use some of the strategies in this guide to help).
Ideally, once you have the cultist/skeleton unlocked:
1. Choose to start with +500 gold (always useful).
2. Check if there is a cultist in the starting tavern (ideally level 2-3 is better since she wont cost anything to recruit).
3. Check if there is a “Voodoo of Life I,II, or III” in the Voodoo shop. (I prefer the Silver Monkey Skull which is Level II). This item allows you to heal allies (not self), or do damage to an enemy. This has a good range and does not require line of sight either.
(NOTE: I tend not to buy this, I just want to know where to get it, need to conserve funds)
4. Set sail with just the captain (don’t forget to register as the captain before you leave, I also change names of her and the boat typically)
5. Look for all other towns (Typically one of two shapes: a “C” shaped island or a 4 pointed starfish shape).
6. Once you have some located, compare the trade routes, and pick the closest pair and most lucrative. Granted these initial runs will be small since you only have some much gold to work with, but after a few good runs you should have close to 4-5000 saved up.
7. Use your gold to buy higher level characters ( I prefer a skeleton if two crew, add another cultist if three crew. Get some gear for them, Voodoo of Life for the cultist(s) and shield and melee weapons for the skeleton and maybe a shield, etc. I try to keep 1-2000 gold just in case I need to trade again.
8. Once you have your crew together, go do some dungeons at the easy level if possible to round out your gear and get some gold.
9. Once you get back to 6-7000 gold you can upgrade your ship to the frigate, which I consider the best ship. This allows a fourth crew member, which I recommend either another cultist if you can get the gear for her (Voodoo of Life), or possibly another Skeleton or ranged unit. Ranged units are very powerful but hard to use and hard to keep alive. You decide what you like the best.
10. Once you have your larger crew outfitted (by trading, shops, or dungeons), pursue your quest to completion.
I have used this play loop several times and it has served me quite well.
Basic Strategy Loop
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