Posted 01 January 2014 - 07:54 AM
Edited by Adler, 01 January 2014 - 07:59 AM.
You can defeat El Impoluto with only Advanced Hull (the penultimate hull upgrade if I'm not mistaken) but it will take a bit of playing around with the enemy AI, and your other upgrades should be advanced or elite. What I did was fire off no more than 2 initial mortars as the engagement begins, and all the while, rotating my ship to sail away from El Impoluto to match its direction so I can maneuver as it charges.
While sailing away from the Spanish ship, there is a sweet spot in the heading of your ship such that El Impoluto's AI will try to ram you, but will also alternate between that and maneuvering to fire broadside at you. Say you are to the right and ahead of El Impoluto, when you turn left, you are completely vulnerable to a ram charge, and El Impoluto will attempt just that. If you turn right to avoid the ram, El Impoluto will turn left in order to fire broadside. Using this sweet spot and forcing the enemy to turn both left and right but away from your ship at the last minute, you can barely manage to avoid the ram, and, while staying ahead of El Impoluto, you will be able to throw fire barrels directly against the enemy ship. This has the effect of stopping it from ramming you straight in its tracks, which I might add, is glorious to behold.
From this point, turning right will place you in the line of fire from broadsides so turn left instead so you are in front of El Impoluto and will be able to fire your own broadsides at it. Your broadside options will eventually be exhausted due to the uncertainty of whether El Impoluto will maneuver to broadside you (in which case you try to avoid or brace), or whether it will try to sail away from you. In the event that the enemy sails away, quickly correct your heading to follow the ship, and fire chain shot to slow down the enemy while it is still in range, and use any option of damaging the ship that you can (mortar, more chain shot, ram the rear of the enemy, or simply turn to heavy shot). If El Impoluto goes too far away, just follow it, mortar when you can, and entice it to ram you, and you can repeat the process described previously.
This is rather difficult to pull of without elite hull since broadsides will whittle your ship health down, and ram damage is devastating, which should be prevented at all costs. This took me about an hour or so, so expect a lot of retries before you perfect this method. I don't know if there are better methods, but this is how I managed it after stubbornly persisting for an hour without trying to get the upgrade.