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Subject: What am I missing? rss

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Travis Eberle
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I'll be up front; I've played twice; one was a two-player game to get a feel for it, and a six-player free-for-all game (as opposed to the partnership play that the rule sheet recommends); and I just don't get the point. This says nothing of the fact that three of the pirate colors are indistinguishable without squinting and holding the cards up close, but there's more to it than that.

There's merchant ships attacked by banners that I have in my hand, so I draw. The pirate colors I have are all twos and threes, and I need a four to stay competitive, so I draw. There are five other players so I don't bother to put out a merchant ship because it will get gobbled up by four of the five other players, so I draw. I have two Captain cards but nowhere to put them, so I draw.

Somehow I manage to have as many points in ships scored as I do ships in hand so the whole game is a wash for me with a total score of zero. Is the game that good with three pairs or two teams of three? The friend who brought the game out started to read the rules and didn't stop for questions so nobody knew what was going on, and worse he stopped before "partnership play."

I'd be happy to never play again as I don't care much for chaos and bidding when I don't have much control over any particular outcome, but I welcome comments to the contrary.
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Stephen Eckman
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I think you need to try a few different strategies:
- Lead with a 2 pirate ship and when someone counters with a 4, put down a captain or add a 3 ship for a total of 5.
- Put out some lower value merchant ships and let other players use up their pirate ships squabbling over those and then put down your higher value merchants.
- Put out a high value merchant and let other users fight over that while you try to clean up the small ones.

You aren't going to win every merchant in your hand, so choose strategically when to let them go.
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Billy McBoatface
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As steckman says, there's a fair amount of strategy here, mostly though in the "predict what your opponents will do and try to take advantage of it" type of strategy. Often the winner is the person who picks up a lot of easy points that other players ignored or weren't prepared to fight over.

If you end the game with merchant ships in your hand then you screwed up bad. Just play them when the game end is approaching. It doesn't matter if you get them or not, better to hand them to an opponent than to end the game with them still in your hand.

There's a lot of luck, too, of course. If you draw a bunch more captains than the other players then you can often coast to an easy win.
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Hunter Bennett-Daggett
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The earlier comments are all good; I'd also recommend trying different player counts. I've played a fair number of 2p games with this, but only because the game is fast and portable. It's really not great with 2. With as many as 6, I think teams are a necessity. Otherwise people will frequently get no chance to attack certain treasure ships, and that's no fun. I like this game best with three or four players.
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Gerald McDaniel
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DiAtros wrote:
The earlier comments are all good; I'd also recommend trying different player counts. I've played a fair number of 2p games with this, but only because the game is fast and portable. It's really not great with 2. With as many as 6, I think teams are a necessity. Otherwise people will frequently get no chance to attack certain treasure ships, and that's no fun. I like this game best with three or four players.


I can't argue with these thoughts, because I've never played the team rules. But, I have enjoyed many 6, 7, and even 8-player games (6 being the best of those numbers), without teams. Keys to winning (besides having good card draws) include playing several low-value merchant cards and possibly collecting them, when opponents prefer to attack larger ones played by others. The small amounts add up quickly. Don't get caught up in attacking too many other merchant ships at the same time. Try to set up your own high-value merchant ships for you to win, when you have a good hand of pirate cards for the combat (especially a captain card). Just a few suggestions, but you can't win, if you don't get at least some good cards in your hand.

It's a fun, fast, light game, at least for us.
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Mavis
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gamesgrandpa wrote:
DiAtros wrote:
The earlier comments are all good; I'd also recommend trying different player counts. I've played a fair number of 2p games with this, but only because the game is fast and portable. It's really not great with 2. With as many as 6, I think teams are a necessity. Otherwise people will frequently get no chance to attack certain treasure ships, and that's no fun. I like this game best with three or four players.


I can't argue with these thoughts, because I've never played the team rules. But, I have enjoyed many 6, 7, and even 8-player games (6 being the best of those numbers), without teams. Keys to winning (besides having good card draws) include playing several low-value merchant cards and possibly collecting them, when opponents prefer to attack larger ones played by others. The small amounts add up quickly. Don't get caught up in attacking too many other merchant ships at the same time. Try to set up your own high-value merchant ships for you to win, when you have a good hand of pirate cards for the combat (especially a captain card). Just a few suggestions, but you can't win, if you don't get at least some good cards in your hand.

It's a fun, fast, light game, at least for us.


I agree completely, we also usually play 6 and have never played teams.
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Matthew Cordeiro
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I agree with what others have said, but here are a few additional thoughts.

Don't get bogged down in unending ties. Go after ships you think you can win. And remember, in a 6-player game like the one you played, each player will have an average of 17 points, so you really do have to pick your battles.

There's an additional layer of strategy/tactics with teams. Examples: one plays a merchant and the other plays a pirate on it to deter others; one plays a pirate and the other plays a 2nd pirate or a captain on that same ship; both play merchants, hoping that one will sneak through. If you have 6 or 8 players, definitely give the team play a shot.
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Sight Reader
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cardshark28800 wrote:
I'd be happy to never play again as I don't care much for chaos and bidding when I don't have much control over any particular outcome, but I welcome comments to the contrary.

I've found teams the only way to go in this game; it greatly ameliorates the luck. Some basic strategy is discussed in this thread:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/318023/loot-the-best-way-to-...


You watch the other sieges in progress then make your move. With teams it's far more vicious; there's not much you can do to shift the game balance alone unless you're spectacularly lucky. If you're hands are all Merchants, then you wait for other teams to get tied up in big battles then spam cheap Merchants that aren't worth the effort of those fighting over a 6-8 point merchant.

If you don't like luck, I recommend removing the Captains.
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Travis Eberle
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Luck by itself isn't the problem. Luck, when well-aimed, can make for a terrific game. The luck I'm talking about is when you have to roll a one to enter the race track and on a five you get to move ahead. If you get the right cards you'll do better. I was dealt two Captains and had no place to play them because I had no pirate ships of the matching color. This thread has done a good job of reaffirming the idea that with six players the game should be played in partnerships, and with caution at that.
 
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Hunter Bennett-Daggett
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cardshark28800 wrote:
Luck by itself isn't the problem. Luck, when well-aimed, can make for a terrific game. The luck I'm talking about is when you have to roll a one to enter the race track and on a five you get to move ahead. If you get the right cards you'll do better. I was dealt two Captains and had no place to play them because I had no pirate ships of the matching color. This thread has done a good job of reaffirming the idea that with six players the game should be played in partnerships, and with caution at that.


There is a good deal of luck in the game, like any card-based game. I'd say it's comparable to Hearts, for instance. I've definitely had games of Loot that were pretty much ruined by extremely poor luck on my part or another players. We've found this happens in perhaps one game in five (I haven't kept records, so this is a wild guess). What has redeemed it for us is that you can play a game in 15 minutes, and so can follow the occasional bad game with a good one right after. This is not going to fly in every group, obviously!
 
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Sight Reader
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cardshark28800 wrote:
I was dealt two Captains and had no place to play them because I had no pirate ships of the matching color.

Sorry I didn't read the initial post carefully, but yes, I think it's pointless to play with more than 4 players/teams. The thought that you can be excluded from a battle simply because there's no pirate colors left? Shiver me timbers, that's just plain silly.

If anything, there should be a choice of colors. You don't exclude an enemy by taking up all the colors (that boils down to luck in having the right colors left), but rather force him to fight with a color he doesn't want.

One utility of having sufficient colors for everyone is that any unfinished fight can become a standing invitation to any player/team who hasn't jumped in yet. Keep the forces low and others may be tempted to try their luck, after which you can sneak through cheap merchants while everyone's too busy. Or, if you'd rather, escalate the forces fast to try to keep others out.

Finally, when you're playing teams, weak cards aren't as much of a problem since your team can play a set of the same thing, thus substituting the shock of quality (a scary card) with a shock of quantity (i.e. "being everywhere at once"). That's simply not possible with single players.
 
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