Rum & Pirates
#10 ALBS, English language edition of Um Ru(h)m und Ehre
List Price: $39.95
Your Price: $31.95
(Worth 3,195 Funagain Points!)
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from 2 customer reviews
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The players take on the roles of pirates. They move the captain along the alleys of the pirates nest, looking for treasure maps and treasure chests. Or they meet the city guard and deal with them if they can. Naturally, they will visit the few pubs to gather and drink some rum together. They will also have opportunities to acquire the special wares needed by pirates like wooden legs and eye patches. At the end of the day, they head back to the ship and wrangle for the few sleeping places available there. All these activities earn the players tiles, which are worth honor points -- most positive, but some are negative. These honor points are tallied at game end. The player who ends the game with the most honor points is the winner!
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The game is fun, the theme, Pirates & Rum, is very well integrated into the game mechanics. For a change, the game rules are simple and unequivocal. It took us 15-20 minutes of reading to learn the rules before we all started, and after the first round (out of 5 per game) we were all playing "normally".
This is the perfect game to play with guests who are not hard- core gamers, because it's both fun and easy to explain. The game could also be played with younger children (age 8 and above).
The game has at least two original mechanics: (i) we enjoyed the fact that to move from point to point on the board you must use your pirates. Since you start with 10 pirates, it means that there are on average 3-4 moves allowed per round. But you gain gain additional pirates which you should do early on in the game, if possible. (ii) the pirates getting on-board the ship is another innovative mechanism, for there is a disadvantage of being first on the boat, yet it can be compensated by having more pirates joining the boat, or having the special rhum barrels which allow you to re-roll the dice in an attempt to score higher. Overall it's a very clever game.
The game involves some degree of luck (dice rolling + random card selection) but overall it does not play too much of a factor.
In this game for 2-5 players from Stefan Feld, players try to gain rum and renown by moving their captain figure through the village, competing with other players. Certainly one of the most outstanding things about this game is the strong and humorous light-hearted pirate theme.
The game-play features a mix of strategic decision making and the randomness and tension of dice rolling. The strong luck element makes it unusual for an Alea game, so don't expect a deep strategic game. As a result it is more suitable as a family game than a gamers game. It also needs just the right group, because it might be too heavy for some families, but too light for some gamers. Some find that the game goes too long for what it is, although there are easy ways to shorten the game time.
Ultimately, despite its weaknesses, the real strength of this game is the very high fun factor! The fascinating and high quality counter tray that comes with the game deserves special mention.
The bottom line is: As long as you're not expecting a deep gamers game, and can handle the luck of some tense dice-rolling and perhaps a few more rules than most lighter fare, this is an excellent game that offers a great amount of fun for those willing to immerse themselves in the strong pirate theme, and looking for a social experience as well as a game with some strategic choices.