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Zarchi's Cursed Island Guide

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Welcome to "Zarchi's Cursed Isles Guide". If you are attempting to learn how to run a exceptional cursed island run, this be the place for you. In this guide I will cover everything from who to job, to getting to the island, and making it back to port safely.


Getting prepared

Charts and where to get them

Cursed Isle Charts
So, first thing's first, you need a chart. Cursed Islands charts, like Atlantis, and Haunted Seas charts, only last for 8 days. The charts have their own special design which ye can view by looking at the picture to the left. To obtain charts for the cursed islands, there are a few things you can do. One, search for skeletons and zombies throughout the islands of your oceans, and join their frays, and ye have a chance of winning a CI chart from them. Secondly, you can win them from battling brigands on pillages. Another way to win them, is to buy black boxes, once in a while, when you open a box, you will find a Cursed Islands chart inside. Finally, the last way, which is probably a lot easier, but will cost you more, is to simply buy one from someone, they usually cost about 1k per day, so the prices vary anywhere from 1-8k. Keep in mind, if you buy the chart, that you are spending your PoE for a chart that will dust within 8 days, so make the most of it! Once ye have your chart, you must get your boat to the island that the chart is off of, if you are buying a chart, then make sure to ask where the CI is located, to make sure that you can get a boat to that island without to much trouble, the negative side of winning a chart from skellies/zombies, is you have no control of where the chart will spawn. Anyway, once ye have your chart, you must drag it into your ship's chart table, once it is there, you will be able to chart the course to the cursed island by clicking on the league point or dragging the chart onto the table, keep in mind, if you sink, the chart is locked in the ship's chart table, and you will lose it as well as your boat.

Which ship type to use

So now that you've got your chart, you're probably wondering what type of ship you should use. Well, there is no "correct" ship that you should use, any ship will work, but obviously, everyone has their own opinion on which ships are the best. The most common ship however, seems to be the sloop. The sloops is usually the first choice for a few reasons, first, it's the cheapest to replace if you do happen to sink. Second, cursed islands, like Atlantis, have "rare" items, such as serpents and alligators. Using this logic, the less people you have on your ship, the higher the odds of you winning one, if your boat does manage to forage one. Another reason is, the cursed islands are very much stat based, if you have higher stats, you're a lot more likely to be jobbed, on a sloop, it isn't too hard to find 6 exceptional pirates (aside from yourself), with satisfactory stats, where if you are using a larger boat, for example a war brig, you're going to have a much harder time finding 29 pirates with stats that meet your standards. However, with the bigger ships, you're going to be able to forage a lot more Cursed Chests (CC's), which will increase the odds of one or more rare items being foraged, and distributed throughout the jobbers. Keep in mind, even though there will be more Cursed Chests, there will be more people, decreasing the odds of you winning something good. Given these points, you may make your choice of which type of ship you would like to use, I suggest for your first few runs, you use a smaller boat, such as a sloop or cutter, and if you want more of a challenge, try using larger boats as you feel comfortable.

How much stock is needed

Now, you've got your ship, you've got your chart, and you're almost ready to go, but wait, you almost forgot, I need stock! Stock amounts depend on what size of ship you have, and how you're going to run your CI trip (explained later), but when stocking rum, just use what you would normally use on a 1-2 hour pillage, for example, on a sloop, anywhere from 20-30 rum would be satisfactory, where on a larger ship, ex. War brig, you would want to bring maybe 60-80, to ensure that you will not run out. (These numbers are just estimates, feel free to use more or less, but make sure you have enough so that you never run out, because, if you run out of rum, you don't have a very good chance of a success. Now, let's talk cannonballs, not everybody brings cannonballs but they can come in handy if you need to shoot rafts that are chasing you, usually no more than 50 balls are brought, but that is your call. Remember, if you buy too much stock, you can always sell back the extra!

Heading to the entrance

How to know whom to job

So, you've got your boat, you've got your chart, and you're ready to go! But now, you need a staff, but how do you know who it is that you should job? Well, that's probably the easiest part. The
Frenetic Forager Trophy
first thing you should look for, that every person you hire should have is, the trophy Frenetic Forager (as seen to the left). This trophy means, that this person has foraged, 15 points (explained later) in one segment of foraging, which is something you are going to want, when on the island. Second thing you're going to want is obviously, someone with decent stats on a certain station, I personally, try to hire people that have a stat of Renowned or better, but, it is up to you who you want to hire. Finally, after confirming that this person has the stat that meets your requirements, you should quickly take a glance at their trophies, and see if they have any tokening trophies for that puzzle, (the more the better), you want someone who is able to token if you are going to be thralling once you enter the board. One other thing that might come in handy to check for, is their swordfighting and rumbling stat, as once you get to the island, you will be doing a lot of fraying, and the better the people, the easier to win, and the farther you can go.

Sailing to the entrance

Cursed isle league point
Now, you've got your crew, and you're headed towards the island, this part is pretty straight-forward, all you need to do is click sail at league points, and avoid incoming ships that try to engage you (the easiest way to do this is by sitting in the crows nest and watching the chart table for incoming green vessels), once you get to the league point (picture shown to the right) at which the entrance is located, in the Vessel tab, near the bottom, you will see a new blue button that says, "Enter the Fog". Once ye click this, you will enter the board, and from there the fun begins!

Heading to the island


Now, you've got your crew, you've got your boat, and you've entered the board, and are sitting in the safe zone. Now it's time for you to make your choice of what you're going to do on the board. Typically, there are three ways that people run their CI's, I will list each way below and how each way works, and the benefits and disadvantages of each way.


A pirate and his thrall.
The first, and most effective strategy is "thralling". For this strategy, when you enter the board, you immediately highlight the thrall token (as shown in the sailing puzzle to the left) and enter the board, staying near the top of the board, as to keep the the enemy vessels away from your ship. Then, while staying near the top wall, you need to let some of the rafts that are chasing you, get beside your boat, and let their sailors board your boat, from there, you're jobbers should
The cursed maneuver token in a sailing board.
call out EO (Enlightened One), or Z (Zombie). Make sure you pay attention how many boarders are on your ship (you can check this by dismissing the battle-navigation puzzle and checking the Ahoy panel), because if the same amount of boarders hop on the ship as you have pirates, the boat will get overrun, and everybody on board will enter a rumble fray, if you lose this fray, you sink. So once people start calling Z, and you have the golden token, you put it onto the navigation table, like any other token, and from there, on the next turn, some of the zombies (1-2) on your boat will become your "thralls" (which are people that fight with you when you get into frays, or when on the island) Once you have all of the thralls possible (ex. On a sloop, you would be able to have 7) you can start heading towards the island and then enter. But, don't forget to make sure there are some zombies on board before you use this token, otherwise you'll be wasting it. The thrall tokens don't only create thralls though, once you have full thralls, the golden token, will send 1-4 zombies/enlightened ones off your boat (if they had boarded earlier) and the silver token will send only zombies off. Please remember, that only the golden token will create thralls, the silver token only kicks zombies off. Remember to tell your jobbers you are thralling so they know to go for the token in their puzzles. Before entering the island, you should try to get rid of all possible boarders, the easiest way to do this, is, after getting your maximum thralls, create one more gold token, and use it right when you enter the island, sending the remaining boarders back into the water. To simplify, enter the board, let a few rafts hit you, but not so many as to get overrun, use golden thralls tokens when there are zombies on board, and once you get maximum thralls, head to and enter the island. The only problem with thralling is it does take a little bit longer than the next 2 strategies. However, it is worth the extra time, because once you hit the island, your jobbers, and your thralls, will appear on the island, and a group of islanders will come up and challenge you to rumble, now it will be all your pirates and all your thralls on your team (every pirate is aloud 1 thrall). So instead of 7, you have 14 (or whatever number of pirates ye have). Which helps a lot in frays to come. In rumble frays, always watch over your thralls, and protect them when the islanders are attacking them, as once they die, they are gone, unlike your fellow pirates. In swordfighting, you can not protect them, so you have to kill as fast as you can, and get lucky. With full thralls, you should be able to make it to Round 7, (The second Vargas) without too much trouble.

Thrall on the go

Thralling on the go, is a mixture of the other 2 strategies, where, even though you are thralling, you are more focused on just getting to the island, and getting out. What ye need to do is, once ye enter the board, head straight for the rafts, and again, highlight the thrall token, once you've got a few zombies on board, start heading towards the island. By the time you get close to the island, you're jobbers should have made a golden thrall token, and all you have to do is use that token, and you'll get 1-2 thralls when entering the island. Keep in mind, you don't only have to do 1-2 thralls, you could move slowly and get a few more on the way, but the point of this strategy is just to get to the island, with a few extra hands. The benefits of this strategy are, it will not take as long as thralling, but, you most likely will not be able to survive until Round 7, unless you have an incredible staff of swordfighters/rumblers, you are more likely to get to around Round 5 or 6, which lowers the amount of stuff you can forage, which lowers your chance at getting something good, but saves time, and allows time for more dips.

Quick entry

Quick Entry, is the easiest, and fastest method of a cursed isles run. All you have to do, is enter the board, and head straight to the island, while avoiding rafts and enemy ships. The main problem with this strategy is, you don't have any thralls so you won't be making as far once on the island, Round 5, will probably be the farthest you make it, unless you have again, a incredible group. This strategy is usually used by people who plan to do more than one dip, which just means, they go into the island, come out, go back off the board, and back onto the board multiple times.

How do to maneuver to the island

No matter what style you are using, you're going to need how to actually get into the island. There is no perfect way of making your way to the island, but there are a few things you can keep in mind while doing it. First thing, be vigilant of your surroundings, you need to keep your distance from the enemy ships, Sinister Sloops, and Cultist Cutters, as once ye are in their line of sight, they will chase ye and even stay near the island while you are inside fighting your frays and hauling your treasures. But, you're not always going to be able to avoid them, so a few tips to get rid of them are, use the wall to your advantage,
The sinister sloop.
if you do right and then left turns into the wall, it will push you diagonally 1, like any other turn, and then it'll push you back onto the board, unless obstructed by a rock, if you go out of the board and against rocks, the boats will not be able to follow you, and you can use this as a getaway to give you some breathing room. Another thing to keep in mind, is the fog. You want to do your best to keep your boat out of the fog at all times (when you approach the island, this will be impossible). The fog has a negative effect on all of your stationed jobbers and will make achieving moves and tokens more of a challenge. Another thing you should do your best to avoid is, the smaller islands (surrounded in wind pushing away from them). These islands are the "spawners" of the cursed isles board. Randomly, with no pattern, the enemy ships and rafts will spawn off of these, so if you are up near one, and something spawns, you're either going to have to deal with a enemy ship, or a group of around 5 rafts, which could easily overrun your ship if on a sloop with 2 other boarders.
The cursed isle surrounded by fog
Speaking of being overrun, if your ship does get overrun, ye need to at once send one of your sailors back to stations, (while in a fray, everything on the board continues to move, so as the navigator, it is your responsibility to keep the boat moving if something has decided you're its next target, this is why the sailor is needed, so the moves can still be produced). Be aware, if you get overrun and there are thralls on board, they will join you in the fight, and you do need to protect them, or you could lose them and have to earn them back again. One last tip, about on board frays, if you have a thrall token already made when you get overrun, you can use it while in the fray, and some of the attackers will be removed from the fray, and added to your thralls. (If a golden thrall token is used). Anyway, back to the actual navigation to the island. The easiest way is to wall navigate, but due to the fact that there could be enemy boats blocking your path, you're going to need to be able to go out into the board and fend for yourself while making progress towards the island. The easiest way to stay safe in mid-board is to use the whirlpools and other on board features to your advantage. Every move counts in CI navigating, don't let any go to waste. Once you approach the main island, if clear, just enter into the gap, and you will be put onto the island, however, if your path to treasure seems to be blocked, the easiest thing to do, is to lead them around the back of the island, make sure they are following you, and then cut around and go in while they are chasing you. In short, keep your distance between your foes, and use everything on the board to your advantage, with these tips, ye should be able to make it to the island every time without too much grief from them cultists!

On the island


Cultists attack!
Once you get onto the island, the first thing that happens is, a group of islanders appear, and you enter the first rumble fray. Your first priority is if you have gotten your boat some thralls, then, it is whoever's name is on the thrall's responsibility to guard this thrall in rumble. To do so, simply click on the box beside the thrall's name, like you would any other person. Only defend your thrall if someone on the opposite team is attacking them. Second most important thing, is to attack the Enlightend Ones (EO's) or Vargas (Round 5 and on) before you attack the zombies, as they are stronger. However, when in a swordfighting fray, you want to attack the Homunculi last, because they only attack with one colour, and if you attack them with small sprinkles, they will just drop giant swords on you. Remember to tell your mates EO's/Vargas first, and Homuncli last! Once you win the fray, immediately click dismiss, and click on the foraging circle and begin the puzzle. After each forage session, you will begin a new fray, and every fray, switches the puzzle, so it goes rumble, swordfighting, rumble... And every fray, the islanders will gain a team member or two, so once it gets to where you are having a hard time beating them in a fray, after your next forage it will say "Look lively! The cultists are regrouping for another attack!" this means another group of islanders is preparing to fray you again, with this message, a Ahoy Panel message will open asking if you want to stay or leave, click leave to go back onto your boat and attempt to exit the island, or click stay (or press nothing) to stay on the island for the next fray.


Foraging for chests
A foraging duty report
Now, foraging in the cursed isles is a little bit different than foraging on a boat. The first big change is, you're foraging bone boxes, fetish jars, and cursed chests (CC's). These chests are located below in the order listed before. The second change, is, instead of combos, like in the foraging puzzle, cursed isle foraging is based on speed, and clearing as many crates as you can as fast as you can. An important thing to remember is always work from the outside in, as to avoid getting stuck on the larger boxes, and if you do get stuck, dismiss the puzzle, and restart it by clicking on the circle again.
Bone Box Fetish Jar Cursed Chest

After the puzzle has finished, and the new islanders have arrived, a duty report will appear and show how many boxes you managed to pull up during the foraging session. This duty report will look much like a treasure hauling one, but with different chests, and different rankings which are only given in the cursed isles. This puzzle is one of the only puzzles that is not about combo'ing but solely on speed. In this scoring system, a bone box is worth 1 point, a fetish jar is worth 2 points and a cursed chest is worth 3 points. The rankings and points required — from highest to lowest, are:

  • Frenetic — 15 points and up
  • Swift — 12 to 14 points
  • Brisk — 9 to 11 points
  • Steady — 6 to 8 points
  • Lethargic — 3 to 5 points
  • Asleep — 0 to 2 points

Leaving the island

The getaway

So, you've made it all the way to the island, and you've stolen some of the islanders treasures! But now, you need to make it out alive! As soon as you leave the island, you need to move, you can't just sit still and think about an exit path, and where you're going to go, because, if you do the Sinister Sloops and Cultist Cutters, will be all over you, and won't rest until they sink you! So, as soon as you get out, look for the clearest path you can find, and start heading towards it. A good way to exit the board, is wall navigating. This is where you face the edge of the board, and turn into it, and then get pushed back onto the board, this comes in handy when being chased as you can use it to get up behind a rock, and get away from your predator. Just keep in mind, when bouncing off rocks, you will receive damage, so make sure you will have enough moves to keep moving, so you do not sit there and bump a rock, adding a lot of damage, and making moves harder to obtain. However, you usually won't have so many rocks as to cause a large amount of damage, so this is the ideal way to escape. Just remember, you need to stay as far away from the enemy ships as you can, so if wall navving is not the best choice, then find something that is! Use wind and whirlpools to your advantage!

Heading to port

Land ahoy

You've done it! You've completed a dip into the cursed isles! Now, for the final step making it too port! All ye need to do, is switch the vessel to evading. And climb in the crows nest, and hit sail, and again, avoid ships and make it to port! From there, divide the booty and you're done! You've ran you're first CI trip!

Closing statements

  • I hope that this guide helps all of you become a better CI runner, and I hope you take these tips, and even improve them and become one of the best CI navvers of your ocean!
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