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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: 3.8 in 5 reviews

by Shipkit
If you like pirate lore, ship models, you'll love Broadsides!
January 11, 2016

Ahoy their mates-

I first purchased the MB Broadsides and Boarding parties game as a past time for both my daughter and myself in the mid 1980's. For the longest time, I have actually kept a ship's log of each game and just how long it took for the game to come to an end. One game of B&B lasted just over 4 hours on a snowy New Jersey evening. We enjoy listening to sea shanties while playing the game as it get us in the proper mood for the game.

One of the main reasons I purchased this game was that it included two very nice plastic ship model replicas. MB did their home work with the research of the vessels.

I am a true scale model shipwright, meaning I love to fashion the old tall ships and period ships from plans and construct the model in wood from scratch. I have been doing such for well over 40 years and have my ship models in maritime museums up and down the east coast from New York to Florida.

I took the plastic hulls of these ship models intended for game play and highly converted and customized them with brass fittings on the transom plate, added stern windows, anchors, stern running lights, and the like. I painted and weathered both ships to look like they were at sea for years on end crusted with salt streaks and rust. I added rolled up cloth sails to all the masts for realism and even spent weeks hand painting the crews in official Royal English and pirate clothing even eye patches.

I weathered and painted the masts to simulate real oak and even added crows nests to the main masts, I had some nautical flags and streamers from other kits that I had finished over the years and pressed these flags into service aboard the ship models. Adding a simple cloth Pirate flag is a very simple but effective way to detail your model. An English Jack would be good for the other ship.

In order to keep the game pieces within their areas and to keep the cannons in place, I simply added 1/4 " basswood strips along the grid marks on the deck. It also helps to make sure the cardboard deck is laying perfectly flat and not rippled as this will cause problems later on.

I used very thick super glue and making sure the deck was level, glued the deck to the hull all the way around. I let it dry overnight. I then took left over pieces of the 1/4 inch bass wood and reinforced the deck from underneath making her super strong and cutting out the vibration.

It's amazing what a little hobby paint and time can do to make this game a one of a kind masterpiece.

After a few years, the game box took a beating. I took out a bottle of Windex and sprayed the box art and then peeled of the art quick and easy in one piece. Using 3/4 " pine I constructed a new game box like a 200 year old sea chest with wrought iron hinges, hasp and a old antique jailer's lock I found on line. I took the box art and glued it to the inside lid of the chest. I am also a self taught wood carver and took the design from the top of the playing cards with the skull and crossed broadswords and carved it into the top lid of the chest. I stained the chest and then high lighted it with steel wool and sandpaper.

Due to hard times, I was forced to sell this one of a kind Broadsides and Boarding Parties game set on ebay. The customized B&B went for $200.00 + shipping. The family that purchased the game sent me amazing photos of the family gathered around the dining room table cheering on the "captains"! I'm glad that the game went on to a good family.

Not once did I find the game boring at all. If you have two players that are thinking ahead of the the other it makes the game much more exciting. Try to stay away from your opponent as mush as possible but still keep in range for a full broadside. Try to navigate the entire board to make the game last longer.

I remember at one mall hobby show where I exhibited my scale ship models, I set up the game and played with my daughter. It was amazing just how many folks would stop and watch the game being played and ask where they could get a set like the one we were playing. I told them it was one of a kind and they smiled and nodded saying that the models were very life like and very cool.

I am now in the market to find another Broadsides and Boarding Parties game for my 13 year old grandson. I'm trying to ween him away from those terrible video games and actually apply his mind to something that will make him "THINK"!!

Will I convert the next B&B and customize the ship models??? That's a big "AYE SIR"!!

I thank you all kindly for letting me voice my opinion here as I am a new to this site.

Frank R. Maritime Artworks Limited Jacksonville, Florida

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+

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