Expeditions are an optional part of pillaging. They are additional destinations a crew can decide to sail to in order to participate in a fun diversion and collect booty for doing so. Currently, there are four varieties of standard Expedition:
- Buried treasure
- Plundering merchants
- Salvaging shipwrecks
- Hunting Brigand Kings
All four of these Expeditions require the crew to collect a page from a defeated brigand captain's journal. Each collected journal entry provides information about the special locations to which the crew can sail.
Additionally, there are special Expedition Charts available from the Explorers' Hall building that allow a crew to sail to and complete special Expeditions, similar to the standard ones available while pillaging. The current set of special Expeditions include:
- Raiding outposts of the Imperial Navy
- Defend outposts against Vikings
Finding an Expedition
During a normal pillage, the crew of a ship has an increasing possibility of winning an expedition with each successive successful battle. Each Expedition won by the crew is essentially information about the location of additional treasure that can be pillaged and divided up amongst the crew.
Expeditions can be located and traveled to on any Pillaging voyage with no additional special settings required. However, once an Expedition has been located, the captain of the ship must select a specific Expedition as the target of the vessel before it can be visited.
Each player on a ship will see a Yer Expeditions menu in their Ahoy! panel when an expedition has been won. This panel provides a link to the Expedition Tracker which details the expeditions currently available to a vessel.
Sailing on an Expedition
Once the captain has reviewed the Yer Expeditions pop up, he may select the destination expedition for the vessel from the Expedition Tracker.
After an Expedition is selected, its distance from the vessel will be shown on the Course Charting menu as an X. The crew will continue to sail and pillage normally until the location of the Expedition is reached. What happens when the ship reaches the Expedition depends on the type of Expedition in question.
Digging for Buried Treasure
Brigand Captains tend to bury their excess treasure on atolls and other small islets around the Ocean. If a buried treasure Expedition is selected on a player vessel, they are able to sail to and access these otherwise hidden locations.
When the vessel reaches a buried treasure destination, all of the crew immediately disembarks on the islet where the treasure is buried. The exact location of the treasure is marked with a variety of different markers. To recover the treasure, the crew must select the icon over the treasure marker and forage for the buried Pieces of Eight left behind by the Brigand crew.
When all the treasure is retrieved, the crew are able to re-board their vessel and continue pillaging. Pirates can indicate their readiness to return to the ship by selecting the row boats on the islet. Doing so marks them as "ready to return to the ship" and also show them the progress of the crew towards collecting all the treasure.
Merchant Brigand vessels are especially valuable targets because, in addition to carrying regular Pieces of Eight, they carry commodities of all sorts between islands.
In the distant past, crews were only able to track Merchant Brigands based on information from the Old Salts that frequent the oceans' Inns. Now, pirates can also gather information on the location of Merchant Brigand vessels as Expeditions from defeated Brigands.
As with buried treasure, Pirates should select a Merchant Brigand expedition from the Expedition Tracker in order to start tracking their target. Once selected, the location of the target Merchant Brigand will appear on the ship's Course Charting menu, as well as the League Tracker on their minimap.
Before the crew catches and engages the Merchant Brigand, the pillage will continue as usual, with other engagements being possible. Once caught, battle with the Merchant Brigand will proceed normally. If victorious, the crew will receive a sizable portion of the commodities from the Merchant Brigand, in addition to the normal Piece of Eight prize from victory.
Hunting Brigand Kings
Much like Merchant Brigands and their bonus commodities, the Brigand Kings pay a rich ransom in special trinkets if they can be defeated at sea. After earning a Brigand King hunt Expedition, you can select it from the Expedition Tracker as above and start tracking the Brigand King as a target. Much like the Merchant Expedition, the location of the Brigand King will appear on both the ship's Course Charting menu and its League Tracker.
Once you catch the Brigand King, you're in for a tough fight! Sea Battles against Brigand Kings follow all the normal rules, but they are the most difficult opponents on the water, so brace yourself!
Unlike other types of Expedition, you are much more likely to locate a Brigand King if you defeat a brigand opponent that is a significant challenge for your ship, so if you're looking to tangle with a King, prove that you're worthy!
Some Brigand Captains are not lucky enough to find a cozy atoll on which to bury their accumulated wealth. Instead, misadventure tends to find these captains, their crew and their coin resting at the bottom of the sea.
When the vessel reaches a location with a shipwreck, the ship will maneuver close enough for the crew to Treasure Haul the lost booty up from the briny depths. Pirates aboard can assist in the effort by clicking the appropriate button on their Ahoy panel, or by clicking on the wreck's mast directly.
When all the treasure is retrieved, the ship will pull away from the wreck, and the crew's pillage can continue.
Leaving an Expedition
Each expedition ends when the crew:
- Retires to their ship after foraging for buried treasure
- Defeats or is defeated by the merchant vessel they engaged
- Has taken all the sunken treasure from a sunken vessel
If desired, a captain can also use the Ahoy panel to order his ship to leave a treasure atoll or shipwreck before all the treasure has been acquired. Either way, after the expedition is complete, the ship will continue on its current course without further deviation. The captain of the ship will be able to select a new expedition from the Expedition Tracker as appropriate.