- Soloing may also refer to the tactic in swordfighting or rumble where a player is the only one attacking a particular pirate.
Reasons for soloing
Players usually solo when memorizing league points, transporting gems, fruit or other commodities for profit, or when floating a ship to an island in preparation for a blockade. Highly skilled pirates may sometimes solo a sloop while attempting to win Kraken's blood.
Cost and jobber availability are often underlying factors in determining whether or not to solo a ship. For instance, a player who is memorizing may not want another pirate aboard to drink all the rum aboard. Similarly, a skilled pirate will often choose to solo a merchant brig full of commodities, instead of opting to pay jobbers expensive wages. In both cases however, there is a tradeoff between ship security (the ability to fight off attacking vessels) and cost.
It is possible to sail any ship solo with swabbies, and since release 2013-09-16 most ships may be sailed sustainably. Sustainability in this context means that it is possible to reach the maximum speed after a number of league points, and from then on a pirate is able to sail the ship any number of leagues at speed without any net gain of bilge water or damage. This is to say, if and only if a ship is in a stable state at maximum speed, then that ship can be sailed sustainably.
Sloops may be sailed sustainably, since only one swabbie is required to address each station. An example of soloing unsustainably is a single pirate with fourteen swabbies aboard a grand frigate. Here, 12 swabbies must be kept on carpentry to prevent damage rising, but not enough remain to cover the sailing and bilging stations. Even if all swabbies were placed on sailing stations, the damage would result in bilgewater, which would eventually overpower the sailors' efforts and return the ship to minimum speed. Thus, a grand frigate may never be sailed solo sustainably. Note that at the time of writing, pirates have been able to sail sustainably on all ships except for grand frigates.
It is not often that pirates are seen soloing larger ships into sea battles, since it is difficult for one or two swabbies to generate enough move tokens, and difficult to reduce any damage gained. Any damage larger ships gain is also likely to render the operation unsustainable, since a lot of damage must be cleared before the ship can attempt to reach full speed again, and in this window they may be attacked again. Thus, larger ships are normally reserved for moving commodities, while smaller ships are preferred by players if there are likely to be battles involved, due to the possibility of easier damage control.
- Before release 2013-09-16, only 4 swabbies accompanied any pirate on any ship (except for sloops, which were limited to 3 swabbies). This reduced the ability of pirates to solo larger ships, and made soloing any ship larger (in terms of pirate capacity) than a merchant brig impossible. The release has had the effect that pirates do not need as many jobbers.
- Prior to release 2012-03-21, brigand and barbarian ships would not spawn in the 30 minutes leading up to a scheduled reboot. This often gave players a 30 minute window to transport commodities, or float ships to a destination. In turn, many PvP hunters took advantage of the many ships out at sea, and made fortunes preying on merchant vessels. However, after the release, brigand and barbarian ships were allowed to spawn, removing the window of opportunity from both traders and PvP hunters.
- Prior to release 2010-06-29, swabbies could not load cannons and could not be ordered to gun. Any pirates sailing solo before this release were required to fill guns themselves, often making battles more challenging since pirates needed to be competent at both gunning and navigating.