Assassin's Creed 3 Walkthrough Part 27 – Sequence 5: The Hard Way
This is the first boat mission of the game. You see the care that the Captain, Robert Faulkner, takes with the ship and is fairly superstitious. This means that he makes sure Connor gets the full sailor experience right from the start.
Once the cutscenes are over, Connor will emerge from below deck. Head to the helm and take the wheel from Robert. Start sailing by hitting the prompted button to go to half sail. After a short while you can see how the boat handles and can go to full sail to get more speed. When Robert points out the gusty winds, go to half sail. This makes the boat a lot easier to handle and you can see what the rogue winds look like when they hit the ship. This come about as the Aquila gets closer to the exit of the port.
Take no damage before you reach Martha's Vineyard
Once you have a handle on things, which should not take too long, it is time to set out on the open sea for Mathra's Vineyard. Getting there is simple as Connor simply needs to follow the ship in front of him. The two important notes for now are for you to give rocks a wide berth and keep ready to switch to half sail with “Circle”/“B” at a moment's notice to avoid the effects of some rogue winds.
Now as you exit the bay, keep to the middle of the rocks, it will ensure that the Aquila does not take any damage. For now, listen to Robert so he can help you get the feel for sailing. He does mention one nautical rule to keep in mind: a ship that is tacking (turning into the wind) has right of way. It may not come up much, but it can be useful at times. Just keep at half sail and you will not have a single problem during the trip. It only takes a short while to reach Martha's Vineyard so enjoy it. When you see Robert point out the cottages, wait a moment then turn to the left. This is the easy part of the mission. Finish by mashing the full stop button. It only takes a moment to finish this part of the mission.
Once there, a cutscene runs with Robert recruiting a few gunnery officers. The Aquila is now armed and ready for action. Time for that to start moving forward. Head to the helm and take the wheel once again. This time things are not going to go as smoothly, but after some practice.
First is learning to fire a broadside (R1/RB). This is the main method of inflicting a lot of damage. After that you are taught about using the swivel guns (L1/LB). These are good for precision over power. They are accurate when the 2 reticules line up and go red. After the bit of practice, call for half sail to get started.
Shortly after you leave where you were practicing, the Aquila will be ambushed:
Use the Swivel Gun to destroy 2 ships
Successfully Brace during an attack on 3 separate occasions.
The first 3 ships are much more for the basics of nautical combat. If you set into a good circle it will cut the amount of damage the Aquila will take drastically. From there simply fire the swivel cannons as they become ready. After that comes a Frigate that will immediately fire on you. Use the Brace command (“Square”/”X”). You need to do this 2 more times after the initial one. Just watch the water between the two ships. When it starts to flash red, the frigate is about to fire a broadside. Brace just as the flashing grows rapid. Bracing is the best way to survive a naval encounter as it reduces the damage take greatly. It takes a number of broadsides and then look for the appearance of a target on the very front of the boat. The swivel guns must be used to finish off the frigate.
Now you can talk with the crazy man by the docks. Achilles will now ask Connor to don the Assassin's Outfit properly. This will complete Sequence 5 and things are brought back to the present day.