"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars" - unknown
Name of the game: Francis Drake
Number of players: 3-5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Mechanic of the game: Auction Bidding, Set collection, Worker placement
Location: Epic Loot Comics and Games in Dayton Ohio
Date: July 17th
Time: 7:00 pm
It has been a long time since i have demoed a game at this amazing store. The two main reasons were life was a little crazy and Dayton Ohio is such a far trek for me after work. But i decided that since i was able to snag a copy of this amazing game at Origins, they deserved an awesome demo. Besides, they are very nice people, and i intend on making it out there more often.
The moment i walked in and found a table (it was actually rather crowded) someone was very curious what games i had brought to play. The moment i showed him Francis Drake he was instantly excited. I invited him to play, but he as well had a game to run tonight. He did have a compromise though, if his crowd didn't show up (they were already late) he would play this game.
I started to set up this gorgeous game. He casually walked over and said that his crew wasn't coming and he wanted to sit in. Since he showed up first i let him pick out what color he wanted to play with. Shortly after that a couple came over and sat as well. Once i had everything set up, one last player came over. I looked around to see if anyone else possibly wanted to play, but everyone was involved in their games, so i took the remaining color (which was yellow, somehow i always get this color).
I decided that I would give a quick introduction of the game but really concentrate on the first part of the round which is picking up supplies. Everyone grasped this quickly. Once everyone had their supplies and their ships were ready for sailing i explained the second part of the round. Since this was the first round of play, no one really had a plan of attack so they were just testing what things did on the board.
Blue seemed to pick up this game quickly and he decided that he liked to fight the galleons in the game. Green seemed to like collecting the trade goods. Orange really liked fighting the forts and cities while Red couldn't make up his mind on what he wanted to. My plan of attack was to let everyone else have fun and take the supplies i was able to and make due with what i had.
Round two came and most players had a plan of attack. Blue decided to gather up as many guns as he could and upgrade his ship so he can attack as many galleons as possible. He also decided he was going to make it difficult for everyone else to get supplies so he had a better shot at fighting things on the side of the board that needed 4 supplies to get to. Green was stocking up on crew and trade goods. Orange was a little indecisive but he decided he wanted to beef up the crew and grab the pinnace flag so he can fight the forts easier. In round two red decided to go for trade goods, but this did backfire on him. I had a hard time grabbing things as i was the last player in gathering supplies. I literally took what was left. I did manage to get a lot of guns and upgrade my ship.
Once the supplies were gathered we went exploring once again. Blue took out the majority of the galleons while i managed to take out one. This one galleon took all of my guns which left me with none the rest of the round. Red got all of the trade goods he wanted to get, but this hurt him because he was not getting VP like the rest of us were. Green also gathered the trade goods, but she was smarter in that she was able to defeat a few cities. Orange fought the forts and cities. At the end of the round we calculated the bonus points and set up for the third round.
At the start of round three i was surprised i was in the lead. I'm not sure how that happened, my best guess was that i was the only one who had not used the investor option yet and that i managed to gain 10 VP by defeating a city, fort, and galleon in the last round. This meant i had a target on my back and i had to tread carefully.
Once again i was last in picking out supplies. I literally was not given much of a chance to get much. I managed to snag a ship upgrade, a couple of guns and a few crew and only three supplies. I was not happy to have so little to work with. Blue once again was hogging most of the supplies by collecting as many guns and supplies as he could. Red, orange, and green were taking mostly crew and trade goods.
The last round i concentrated mostly on forts and cities since i didn't have much. I also decided to try to get one galleon. I managed to win it but once again this hurt me because it took most of my guns. However, i was smart and most of the cities and forts i claimed needed one or two crew. There was only one spot i could not overcome, i was one gun short. Blue surprised me this time around because he did not go after the galleons like i thought he would. He went after the cites and forts no one else could reach and managed to take out most of them. Red, green, and orange stuck to their plan and managed to take out cities, forts, and trade goods.
The moment of truth came as soon as the game ended. We added the VP from the treasure collected, trade goods collected, and things we conquered through out the last round:
2nd: Yellow (me)
Everyone who played this game enjoyed this game. This was the first time i demoed this game, so i was pretty happy it all went well. I've already had a request to return with this game. I plan on keeping that promise.