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from 5 customer reviews
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Game of Pirates!
I love this game, my friend owns is, and I beg him on a weekly basis to play it. Only one thing wrong with the game. It takes a very long time to play, and needs a dedicated 6 hour period to set up and complete the game. The game is very unforgiving, and plays out to luck more than a rendering of skill. Treachery is abound and the rules are superior. Rules are EASY to get to, and are simply explanitory.
Our group has adapted the rule of making the other person role to Retire where you can't use Cunning to prevent him to do so. Everything else we pretty much use in the game. The first time I won it I killed Peter Blood (my thrid Pirate) on the guns of a French Port in the Carribean...
Once you play it, you'll be instantly addicted!
Blackbeard allows you to sail freely across the seas, plundering and looting. Once you are familar with the rather intimidating manual and its rules, you'll enjoy this one. Just make sure you have a big table to play on and lots of time! Blackbeard has tons of cards, markers, dice, etc.
One of the cooler features is that your character can suffer battle injuries, like losing an eye or leg, which stay with you and affect your abilities in the future. Also, the Random Event cards keep things lively. One nice variant is to have someone play a King's Commisioner for the whole game. Sorta a piratey Cops & Robbers. The solitaire game also lets you plunder alone and is actually pretty fun!
This is probably my favorite game. We have even adapted it to play via email and are playing it at Games Pirates Play, a forum devoted to board/card games with a pirate theme.
Blackbeard does a great job of simulating the rollercoaster lifestyle of the pirate. The game's events are unpredictable, and each pirate quite often spends much of his time waiting for something to happen to him. Unfortunately, this doesn't blend as well as it should into a game: while the game mechanism is top-notch, it's not always fun to sit around waiting for your turn to come up. There's also a fair bit of luck involved in order to win. In one game that our gaming group sat through, I completely dominated, merely through having the best events happen constantly to me, whereas the other players tended to contract scurvy or get wounded quite frequently. This sort of gameplay (while impressive to a history nut) will no doubt turn off many people who would otherwise like a game of this genre. The rules can also be a little too complicated at times. Finally, there are so many tiles and counters to keep separated that not only does it take an age to set the game up before playing, but you'll always be afraid of losing some of the pieces. A nice try from Avalon Hill, but this one may be destined to hang from the yard arm.
Blackbeard is a very enjoyable game for those who don't mind a bit of tediousness. The game has an incredibly well-designed game balance. If another pirate is gaining notoriety faster than you and it appears he/she can't be caught, you can petition to become a King's Commisioner (with a seriously lethal warship, I might add) to hunt the scoundrel down!
On the negative side, there are some lengthy procedures, events that make you shuffle the deck every five minutes, and tons of counters with no tray for them that make for a lot of lost game time. The game is also a little too dice-driven for my taste, or else I would give it 5 stars.
The game can be long at first with a lot of rule-reading, so try and play with someone who has played before, if at all possible. The game is best with 4 players and takes about 3 1/2 hours.
I expected exciting sail-fighting and bloody boarding action in this game. I imagined myself surrounded with treasure I got at my last play.
Unfortunately, this game cannot satisfy my expectations and desires. Instead, it teaches me how difficult it would be to survive as a pirate for a long period. It's definitely a good simulation, and it shows the real situation of the pirates, but, in my opinion, it's not so exciting.