Seal hunting is a pain

My previous attempts all ended up having reached my destination before getting Troubled Waters to 11, so this time I’m focused on keeping my ship’s progress just slightly lower than 9, and only raising Troubled waters [li]

However, after getting TW 11, I failed at my first Dangerous check, which bumped my progress down quite a bit. Having exhausted all my cards trying to increase TW, The only way to reach my destination is cards.

I can’t help but wonder if this seal is really worth the effort.

BTW, I CAN breed more animals after getting a Hound of Heaven, right?

Yes, you can breed more creatures after getting a Hound of Heaven.

Heh, I’ve hunted down 7 Seals since the mechanics changed, and I didn’t raise Progress over 9 once. Didn’t even come close, I think.

How I do it (I really hope nothing changed since my last Seal):

You see, if you don’t have abyssmal stats, the opportunity cards on the Unterzee are far “better” than the storylets, in that they give more Progress per Troubled Waters as even “Streaming Prudently”. You don’t want that. Play “Make it up as you go” on “Steam Boldly” until Troubling Waters reaches 10, then Steam Prudently until Troubled Waters is 11. Engage the Seal, you can probably do the Second-Chance-spamming trick for that. Sack it and prance around ever gleefully with your new pet (unless you feed it to a titanic bat, that is). Maybe there’s a slightly faster route, but this one works like a charm. The real trouble is coming home after…

It definitely is worth it. Sure, the Echo per action ratio for breeding a hound of heaven is modest, probably around 1, but both the Seal and the Hound are delightful --or delightfully psychotic-- pets. If mechanically overshadowed by rats.

Life is pain. Any one who says differently is selling something.

HinterDemGlas’ advice is correct. It’s how I get my seals. Just keep some “help out a troubled ship”-type cards in case you go over. The Navy ship card can also help lower troubled waters after you get the seal.

The seal’s PPA isn’t good enough to justify getting it for its own sake, but if you’re already sailing for another reason, it’s a nice bonus.

I’m looping the seal at the moment to collect all the text from the process, although the echo yield is decent.

The key really is all in the cards. There are basically two ways to do it in an orderly fashion. One is to play storylets and cards so that Troubled Waters gets to 11 about the same time as Progress gets to 8. Nab the seal, step away from the internet for an hour, come back and use the cards to limp home. The Clinging Coral Mass, Fleet of Truth, Corvette of Her Majesty’s Navy, and Wily Sailor cards are all good for making progress and pulling down Troubled Waters, and at least zee clippers and zumbarines have ship-specific cards that are useful in those situations.

The other way is to just damn the torpedoes and build up Troubled Waters as fast as you possibly can, grab the seal, then use one of the Fury of the Unterzee cards to basically do a full reset on the trip, then treat it as a normal zee voyage (Extrapolate from the charts is generally your best bet there). You have to keep your menaces under control for this one, though, as Fury of the Unterzee cards aren’t particularly nice ones.

Generally, I make the trips out more worthwhile by stopping off at Hunter’s Keep to grind a few echoes and eliminate some menaces, and then loop Corpsecage a couple of times to get Prelapsarian notes to convert into expedition supplies. Killing three birds with trip out from London makes the whole thing relatively worthwhile.