I thought it was a great game and concept and then I tried capturing the ports past Montego... Such as Potoprens, Fijo and Panama.
Even with 3 fully upgraded Karraka (Which I found to have the highest HP and only sacrificing a small amount of attack compared to the Caravella) could not survive the onslought at those 3 ports. Especially when the enemy gets to attack first. That also confuses me. How it is determined who gets to attack first?
The only way I can see of winning is if I grind killing smaller fleets of enemies to try and weed out more powerful ones for more rewarding loot or continuously sail between ports buying and selling various resources to make diminishing profits. Then to watch my accumulated gold rapidly decrease at 5,000 gold a pop to have any fair chance at conquering those ports.