Monday, 29 July 2013

There's Pirates On the Spanish Main

[Just to paraphrase by George Takei auotgraphed copy of The Firm's Star Trekkin' ]

With the X-wing game last week reminding a bit of my box of never used Pirates of the Spanish Main, I took advantage of the poor Sunday weather to lay down some ocean and get the plastic ships out with Arabiansquire

We looked through the ship choices just played a basic 40 point game (No crews or Unique treasure). Despite getting a few rules wrong the game ran pretty smoothly (it's a simple ruleset) with a good bit of combat (made more exciting by some really poor dice rolling on either side).
Things get a bit crowded in an early island landing.
For those not familar with the game, the aim is to pick up gold on neutral "wild" islands and return said loot back to your home island. Movement is nicely handled via stats on the ship card referring to the long or short sides of the stat card. Each ship has masts (funnily enough) which also correspond to the number of canons on board. These cannons also have a short or long range. To hit another ship you have to roll higher than the number indicated on the mast. Damage comes by way of removing a mast from the ship (to save on mast snappage incidents I have smoke markers). Every ship has a special rule to help make it different (+Short movement when unloaded for example). That's the basic mechanics really.

 The wee lad won the first (unphotographed)  Pirates vs Spanish game by virtue of one of his ships boosting the gold collected by 2. The game is quick enough that we had time for a second game (and for me to fetch a camera).

The Bonaparte lands to pick up gold the two American
vessels capable of damaging it look to get into canon range.
Looking through my American force options I decided upon a cunning plan of 4 smaller ships that were faster than those we'd played with in the last game. I'd be down on firepower (although I hope a couple of special rules I had would even things up) but would run rings rounds his floundering fleet and nip off with the gold. Unfortunately Arabiansquire's French harbour released 3 large ships that went faster than my choices with more capacity and better cannon! And one of his ships had a special rule meaning that I only had 2 canons in my entire arsenal that could damage him. As I'm sure you can already guess the French Coffers were the healthier at the game end.

The Bonaparte's manoeuvring delays until
support arrives.
A fun game in all, and with enough fleet building options to pour over to keep it fresh. Next time we'll add in the crew elements (who bring special rules), which may help those smaller vessels.


  1. Never heard of this game thanks for the tip. It looks neat.

  2. You're Welcome. The game is "dead" as Wizkids folded, but you can still pick up sets, boosters and collection for a reasonable price or a bargain sometimes.