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Subject: General Comment rss

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Played this game again for the first time in 15 years last weekend. Game play was fun, but it seems like it would do a lot better with the following idea for a variant:

Make the picture of the ship and the compass on your side of the board "safe spots". At one, you can repair your ship in two sections (remove hull damage from two sections, replace 2 masts, or any combination) and then have to go out to sea again on the next turn. At the other "safe spot" you can 'Shanghai' some more men and cannons on your ship -- four more men and two more cannons, say -- and then you have to go out to sea again on the next turn. You can only go to each "safe spot" only once in the game.

I'm curious as to what this might add to game. I think it might lengthen the broadsides portion a bit, but I think it would increase the tactical decision-making in the game, which would be nice.
 
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Mark Hubbard
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Re: General Comment/B&B
A friend of mine suggested a couple of variants that seem to work out okay. All we had to do was swipe a small treasure chest from one game, about 12 cannon from an old ship model, and "borrow" 2 ships from a Regatta game, photocopy the deck layout of the bigger ships but minus 1 mast...well, and make up some more movement cards. This setup can be played by 2 solo players, or up to 4 people with 2 per team.

Anyways, we put the chest on the central island, with totally random amounts of "gold pieces" assigned per game. Only the fleet that safely absconded with the gold and made it to their opening movement spot could claim it, and replace the value inside with a different "gold piece" count. With enough collected "gold pieces" over time, one could upgrade upon predetermined upgrades per cost.

We then called the 3-masted Regatta ships 'sloops'. Using the photocopy of the original ships' decktops (but leaving out the aft, or poop, deck), we assigned 6 cannons to each, leaving their placement to the whims of the individual player.
Each sloop was also given a 4th card per turn instead of the ship-of-the-line's 3 card draw, simulating the smaller ship's agility.

If there is only 2 people playing, they become commodores, pilating both ships. The usual scenario ends up being that the rival sloops dash to the island, and try to abscond with the chest, while the ships-of-the-line duke it out, or try to blockade the opposing sloop IN the central island's harbor.
I HAVE seen when 1 sides' 2 ships catch an opponent in a broadside crossfire...devastating, if you roll well! But...that leaves a mad scramble to catch the sneaky ship that's already pulled up to the island, and is now absconding with the treasure chest...
 
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