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Hidden deep in an archipelago serving as a lair for pirate bands, lies a largely unexplored island, bitterly defended by ferocious natives. A rumor has been circulating through sleazy taverns that this land may be genuine Eldorado. What self-respecting pirate could resist the temptation of sending their crew to sieze the gold that may be hidden there? Especially if doing so would make that pirate the Captain of the entire archipelago! To succeed, players must defend their territories, vanquish hostile natives, and amass gold. Any players who do not could fall into enemy hands....
As the captain of your own pirate bands, you get 10 moves per turn to command your crew, load your ships, explore unknown territories, attack your opponents, etc. You also have special cards that you can use to make your moves more effective, or to counter those made by your opponents--you have a wide range of maneuvers that you can use to lead your motley crew to victory!
First off, one should play with two optional rules:
Cards, which add a new dimension to the game, and
Recruitment, which helps with the resource starvation that will ensue with cards in the game.
I find this game to be a better version of Risk. Neither as time-consumingly detail specific as Axis and Aliies nor random-element-free like Diplomacy, it occupies the middle ground and does a great job with it.
I especially enjoy the alternate win conditions, which make the game very dynamic indeed; everyone is not going for the same goal, and thus there is no right answer to any decision. Each decision, each move, has disadvantages.
This is an excellent game, I couldn't disagree with St Louis's review more
i *REALLY* wanted to like this game ... but i just couldn't. there was no interaction between the players. it felt very much like several people playing solitaire on the same board.
the rules are very brief, but unfortunately not well written enough to know how to resolve certain things that come up (if a player loses their ships, how do they get back into the game?).
we played a few times, trying to give this game the benefit of the doubt, especially after enjoying Serenissima and other strong titles from this company.
sorely disappointed. the game has one neat mechanic -- the discovery of gold and natives in unexplored areas -- and the rest is a lackluster game with few challenging decisions and very little interaction.
You'll need to be everywhere in these perilous seas of opportunity. Everyone starts on a home island in a corner of the board, with two ships and 18 pirates spread over seven cities. The central island is split into lucrative territories, five with settlements. Spend 10 Action Points each turn to: (1) Launch, board, load, and move ships. (2) Explore an uncharted territory adjacent to your ship, or to a region you control. Roll a die to determine its gold and native resistance (indicated by placing tokens). (3) Fight occupants of adjacent regions with battle dice. (4) Invade an unoccupied explored island and plant your flag there. You can transport gold from your territories to a city you control, in exchange for more pirates. Win by controlling four of the central island's settlements, or four cities on enemy islands. You'll soon discover that expanding while keeping an eye on your homeland can be a very delicate balancing act when you only have two ships.