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Cartagena II: The Pirate's Nest
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Store:  Family Games
Series:  Cartagena
Theme:  Pirate
Other:  Essen 2006 releases

Cartagena II: The Pirate's Nest

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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 45 minutes 2-5

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Product Description

In the first Cartagena game, the players, as pirates, attempted to flee prison by making their way through a tunnel to a boat waiting for them at the end of the tunnel. But simply reaching the boat does not mean they have escaped as re-capture is always possible, perhaps, even likely. They will not be really safe until they reach their Pirate's Nest on Tortuga.

Each player leads a group of pirates to Pirate's Nest on Tortuga.The path leads the pirates through wild jungle and across the waters of open ocean to the island of Tortuga. In addition to the innate perils of the trip are the other pirates, as each group wants to be the first to arrive at Pirate's Nest and will do what they can to slow the others' progress. As soon as one player has all his pirates in Pirate's Nest, he can raise the Jolly Roger and win the game.

Product Information


  • 5 gameboard pieces
  • 1 boat
  • 1 pirate's nest
  • 1 Jolly Roger
  • 105 cards
  • 30 pirate figures
  • 1 rule booklet

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 1 review

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Good game but too much like the first
November 30, 2008

If you don't own a Cartagena game, get one!

Cartagena 2 is a good game and Cartagena fans will like it. Like Cartagena, it's fun, easy, and a game where newcomers don't have a big disadvantage over those that know the game well. Unfortunately Cartagena 2 doesn't add enough new dimension to the game over the the first installment of the series.

Like Cartagena, you move your pirates along the interchangeable board pieces to get to the goal; in this case, "the pirates nest". Sadly, the board pieces aren't as versatile as the first, in terms of different options to assemble the board.

The best new feature of the game is that the game board is split into 2 islands separated by a boat that ferries pirates between them. You get 3 moves per turn in this game, just like the first game, and moving the boat counts as one move. That is, unless you are the captain! If you have the most pirates in the boat at the start of your turn, then you are the captain and you get to move the boat once for free! ...I recommend investing in a pirate's hat so that whoever the captain is gets to wear it! :-D

The "Freebooter" cards add another new feature that makes card hoarding less effective of a strategy than the first game (arguably a minor flaw of Cartagena). Freebooter cards have symbols just like the other cards, but they have a golden boarder. When one of these cards is played it forces all players to discard down to 7 cards, making the card hoarding strategy risky.

Another new feature is that the mechanics for drawing cards is different. Instead of moving one of your pirates backwards to draw cards (like in Cartegena), you move an opponent's pirate forward. This speeds up gameplay and eliminates the one fatal flaw of the first game where you could be left stranded with no options for getting new cards if your only pirate was last in line. This doesn't usually happen for experienced players, but it definintely happens to newcomers and it's no fun when it does. This rules change is definitely a good one!

In the end, Cartagena 2 basically fixes a couple flaws in Cartagena and adds new scenery. If you don't own either, I recommend Cartagena 2. But if you already have Cartagena, then this game is probably not going to hold your interest for long unless you are a die hard fan of the first. As I said in the beginning, if you don't own a Cartagena game, get one! It's should be a staple in a game collection. It's a great game for all ages and great to play at the end of your game night when you want a shorter, lighter game that doesn't take a lot of thinking. Also good as a warmup game.

If you're not obsessive compulsive about your games, I recommend letting the winner of each game name a pirate (write a name on the piece). It's a lot of fun and people in your group will be eager to win so that they get to name one of the pieces. Nearly all of my pirates in my Cartagena set are named and it's fun to refer to them by name when moving them. I would never trade "Billyjack", "Caruso", "Peg-Leg" and "Loafy" for pristine game pieces! :-)

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