The Kaiser's Pirates
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The Kaiser's Pirates is a fast-paced card game of high adventure on the high seas during the First World War. Each player has a split personality -- each controls some of Kaiser Bill's ace commerce-raiding converted merchantmen, passenger liners and light cruisers to attack merchantmen and also has the ability the use the Royal Navy to attack other player's raiders. The primary object of the game is to use the raiders in the traditions of the privateers and pirates of old to sink or capture as many Allied and neutral merchantmen as possible. It is an excellent multi-player game for up to four players of a piratical mindset or the challenging solitaire version can be played. The raiders have anonymity, guns, mines, torpedoes, atoll hideaways and even the occasional primitive scout plane to help accomplish their mission. But beware, fuel can get scarce, there are sneaky converted armed merchantmen serving as disguised escorts and "Britannia Rules the Waves" -- there are numerous sleek British and Allied cruisers sailing the world's oceans to sweep the seas free of these menaces to trade and commerce.
Every player gets three wallowing merchantmen to protect and three German converted raiders and/or light cruisers laid out in front of them. The action cards in their hands permit them to use their ships to attack other player's ships. There are many different types of action cards and using them effectively and at the right time is the key to developing a winning game strategy.
This game is a fast moving straightforward card game of WWI naval war that I was introduced to at WBC this year. Each player plays raiders and Royal Navy with a lot of non-stop action. The game is easy to learn (and has good, plain speaking rules) so you're up and playing quickly. I travel for work and one thing I like a lot is that you can play solitaire without losing any real oomph from the original game play. It's great for boring hotel rooms, long flights - or nights when no one is around to play. Also this is a subject matter that hasn't been done to death - the art on the cards is incredible, and if you're interested (as I am) in historical ships, the game company who publishes the game has a lot of great ships articles about the ships on the cards on their site.