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Store:  War Games, 2-Player Games
Series:  Gamemaster
Theme:  Nautical/Aquatic
Genre:  War & Combat
Format:  Board Games

Broadsides and Boarding Parties

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Play Time Players
60 minutes 2

Manufacturer(s): Milton Bradley

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Product Information

  • Manufacturer(s): Milton Bradley

  • Year: 1984

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Weight: 700 grams (estimated)

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 4 reviews

by stokamoto
Fast satisfying game play and action
November 28, 2014

If you like Pirates, maybe enjoyed the old Errol Flynn movies or maybe Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies then your going to enjoy this unique treasure of a game. Set in an era where Pirates were known to intercept ships for in the Caribbean this game is colorful and highly detailed. The most striking feature of the game is the 2 large waterline sailing ships each one representing the 2 opposing ships one light color being the Royal Isabella and the Dark brown ship being the Sea Hawk. 2 ships that actually existed in that time and were found in the movies. Portions of the ships logs are inscribed on the game board near each ships respective spaces that they occupy during the game. The ships contain 5 removable masts to indicate damage to the masts from cannon fire and the decks contain cannons that protrude from their gun ports on the decks and the crew man the cannons with 2 spare crewman standing near the Captain who wears a large hat. The board has places to lay your movement cards down which are turned up in sequence and allow you to move your pawn or small ships on the board closer to attack range. Islands dot the board which you can use to hide or trap your enemy near the shore to limit their counter attack. Cannon fire is done by dice role so like any attack a bit of luck does play into the strategy. You can ram your enemy ship and conduct the boarding parties of the game. Here the large models are moved side by side with the main masts removed to ease movement of the crews as they cross over to each others ships. Goal here is to capture the enemy captain and take over the ship and crew or defeat the entire crew. Games can be quick with the longest taking up to an hour but after a few games you can play very quickly several rounds.

Broadsides has some minor annoyances. The top portion of the main mast can easily be knocked loose. The crew on the upper decks tend to slide off the smooth decks when the table is jarred or the ship is lightly bumped. An easy fix is to glue small pieces of rubber to the bases and the crew will have a make shift non skid under their bases. However minor nuisances compared to the overall fun of the game. It is a unique an attractive looking game which always attracts attention. The game is not hard to play but the lightness of the play is a welcome change from the heavy ruled strategem games that plague the marketplace. If your short on time and like recreational play in a relaxed setting this game is for you.

Epic battle on the High Sea
October 08, 2001

Broadsides and Boarding Parties is one of the best games ever made. It has outstanding models, quick play, and great fun. Although it lacks the complexity and depth of its [page scan/se=0829/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Master Series brothers, it is still a solid member of the MS group.

The premise is two dueling sailing vessels, one a mighty Man-o-War of the Spanish Armada and the other a swift pirate clipper fighting among the islands of the Caribbean Sea. The Isabella and Seahawk with their respective crews of royal sailors or low-down, crusty seadogs battle to stay afloat. The winner will sail away with a fortune of gold; the loser has a one-way ticket to Davie Joness locker at the bottom of the sea.

The game includes two large ship models complete with tall ship-style masts, sailor figures, and cannons. Pieces are small but very detailed. A nicely illustrated game board has miniature ships to represent position. Movement cards depict various maritime symbols. Various counters mark damage to the ship's hull.

Players navigate their ship through the gameboard with movement cards. Through your use of move forward, port, starboard, and anchor cards, you must position your ship to hit your opponent with your cannon batteries. Depending on how skilled a captain you are, you can sail your ship to broadside your enemy--unleashing all five of your cannons to smash their hull. Once the enemy is crippled, you can choose to finish the job from a distance with your cannons, or make it 'up close and personal' by boarding their ship and engaging in hand to hand combat.

I highly recommend playing Broadsides when you dont have enough time to sit-down and play a 4+ hour game of Shogun or [page scan/se=0431/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Axis & Allies. A typical Broadsides game last about 1 hour, including set up time. This lets you fit in a bunch of games in an afternoon. (You could even get a quick game in between those hour-plus turns of the other Master Series games.)

If you like sailing or maritime history, you will love this game. Even if you dont have a love of the sea, Broadsides and Boarding Parties is an extremely fun game that you can play in a relatively short amount of time. A+

by Paul
Nice boat models
October 10, 2001

That was the most flattering headline for this game.

If it takes an hour to play, most of that is setting up and cleaning up. It's 2 separate games, the sea maneuvering game and the fight on the deck of a ship game. Neither is very good, and, often as not, the boarding never occurs.


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