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Subject: How many pirates do players typically end up with in your games? rss

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Mike Geller
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For those who have played the game a few times, I am curious about your experience with pirates.

The reason that I ask is that some people are unhappy with the pirate penalty and are suggesting variants to remediate the problem. They are finding that most players end up with no pirates and so a player with only one pirate might end up with a 16 point penalty for that. (That wasn't our experience in our one play.)

While I'm mainly just curious, I would be inclined to adopt a house rule myself if a large majority agree that the RAW do present a problem.
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Michael Denman
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This is entirely a groupthink thing. I've played with groups where everyone is gathering pirates and not a lot is being done to get rid of them. I've played in groups where everyone is totally crazed about not having pirates and they get rid of them nearly as soon as they gather them. I've been the guy who ended up with 2 pirates at the end of the game and then took the 16 point penalty. I don't think the game needs changing.
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Nuno Fonseca
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And did those 16 points made a big dent on your position on the scoring track?
 
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Michael Denman
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They totally KILLED me. In my last game though, the winner sucked up that 16 point hit and still won.
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Victor Caminha
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For what's worth, the last two games I played we used Curt's suggestion #1, to invert the scores. Everyone at the table agreed it was a better way for scoring pirates.
 
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Mike Geller
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wykthor wrote:
For what's worth, the last two games I played we used Curt's suggestion #1, to invert the scores. Everyone at the table agreed it was a better way for scoring pirates.

How many games did you play with the official pirate rules? What was your experience? Did the same people play the games with the official rules and the 2 games with the Curt variant? Did the Curt variant result in a different person winning than who would have won under the official rules? Did the Curt variant change the way people played the game compared to the way they played under the official rules?
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Victor Caminha
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These are all very good questions and they made me think I should have put more emphasis on my last post it was an impression based on a few plays rather than a well-thought analysis. Now, to the answers:

- How many games did you play with the official pirate rules?

Just once, a four-player game. Yeah, I know, but the -16 VP threat for having a single pirate while others lacked none was a huge turn-off to me.

- What was your experience?

Everyone made a strong effort to avoid pirates and no one ended with them. It made me wonder if the penaly was less harsh it could change the player's strategies or if it was merely group-thinking.

- Did the same people play the games with the official rules and the 2 games with the Curt variant?

Just me and another player (who won both games). Another player participated in the last two games. At the second game, I explained both Curt's variants and the author's variant. They opted for the Curt #1, perhaps for being the more intuitive alternative.

- Did the Curt variant result in a different person winning than who would have won under the official rules?

Winning? No.

- Did the Curt variant change the way people played the game compared to the way they played under the official rules?

Yes, definitely. Everyone was more relaxed when taking pirates and at the first game only one player ended with no pirates. At the second game, everyone scored negative. However, it was a three-player game.
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Edward Uhler
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0-16 or so pirates.

A couple of games it's made a difference and others it hasn't. I think the official rules work well.
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