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Store:  Strategy Games
Edition:  Corsairs / Störtebeker
Theme:  Pirate


original German edition

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Thorsten Lopmann, Andreas Wetter

Manufacturer(s): Hans im Gluck

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Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.9 in 7 reviews

very good game
March 20, 2001

I only knew the game in German and I love it. It's a special composition of strategy and luck. And it's good to play with two players, and it works well if you play it with three or more players. If you want to play a good 'small' game, buy this one!

An ingenious, well-crafted game
December 07, 2000

It's unfair to review a game without playing it.

It's silly to criticize the cards for not being loot. They're not loot: they're the provisions that the pirates must stock up on in order to launch their attacks on the galleys. It's the galleys that are the loot.

For an extremely abstract card and dice game, this actually has a lot of pirate color. You get to provision your missions, fire broadsides, board the galleys, and endure counterattacks, and there's always the possibility that you'll lose your prize to the other pirates.

But enough of that; let's talk about what playing the game is like.

At first it seems very prone to the whims of fortune: there's a lot of luck of the draw, and many dice rolls (two different kinds of dice!), and you never know what sort of galley is going to sail into your gunsights next.

But there's so much luck that over the course of the game it evens out: you can set up a lot of 50-50 gambles over the course of the game and you're unlikely to get so lucky (or so unlucky) that you win more (or less) than half of them. If you win this game by being lucky, you've been very, very lucky.

The core of the game is deciding which gambles to take. Do you go after the high-value galley, knowing that you'll have to spend several turns provisioning your mission and enduring your opponents' broadsides? Or do you swoop down on the low-value tender prey and snap it up in one move?

This game is full of surprises. And for a game that's so apparently simple, it throws a remarkable number of non-obvious choices at you.

I'm very impressed with the design of the galley cards. It's not just a question of one galley being worth 2 points and another being worth 7; the fights over the 7-point galleys are a completely different kind of experience than the fights over the 2-point ones. This is a really ingenious, well-crafted game.

My main criticism of the game is that there's no development. It's like Bazaar or Silberzwerg: after the first couple of turns, every turn is essentially like the last. You're presented with new and different challenges every time a new galley card is turned up, but there's no sense of overall progression towards a conclusion. The game's over when the supply of galleys runs out. It's a little anticlimactic. There's little difference between opening, midgame, and endgame.

Even so, it's an excellent game, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

by Mike
"Pirates of Produce" is a Feast of Fun!
December 17, 2000

I LOVE the person who said Corsairs should be called the 'pirates if produce'. It certainly doesn't have the feel of a maritine war game like Wooden Ships and Iron Men, but this game is REALLY fun. The intended audience of this game is a family strategy game. Corsairs will not be accused of being La Citta or El Grande, but it sure is fun in the same tradition of Hare & Tortoise or Mississippi Queen.

I played this game with both two and three players and I found it too be enjoyable in both. Two things that I normally find annoying in games; little cards and lots of dice rolling, actually make sense. The cards have to be small to stack along side the ships, and the dice rolling actually adds some suspense to the game.

Broadsiding an opponent and stealing their cards is also really pleasing--it adds a cute little bit of nastiness to this game.

So, for those expecting a high skill level, resource management style game, this may not be for you. But those of us who like a pirate theme game with some random nastiness and decent interaction and clever game design, then buy Corsairs and become a 'pirate of produce', because this is a feast of fun.

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