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Subject: BLACKBEARD is Back! rss

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Richard H. Berg
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As has been floating around BGG for 24 hours, GMT will be publishing a new version of BLACKBEARD, one that has been revised to eliminate the two factors that some complained about the original. The new BLACKBEARD is now highly interactive with almost no player downtime.

Even better, it can be pre-purchased at a considerable discount from GMT . . . go to their website, www.gmtgames.com . . .

We should have some visuals of the playtest version - NOT the final art, but some really spiffy reliminary work by Mark Mahaffey - posted here shortly. We will also, hopefully, be getting the comments and After Action reports (AAR) of the horde of playtesters we have doing final playtesting on the game.

Some comments from some of the earlier playtesters:

"I do like it- moves fast, improvements such as ease of placing ships a help, love the anti-pirate possibilites. "

"The original Blackbeard was a flawed success. The ‘random’ turn order,
indeterminate down-time and minimal player interaction tended to put
a damper on the fun. The new version has addressed all these concerns
and improved game play while streamlining the mechanics (no mean feat).

"Enough of the old game has survived to make learning the new one an
easy task for fans. At the same time, the new rules make teaching
the game fairly painless. The elimination of ‘Game turns’ while
introducing anti-pirate actions has worked out very well.
Instead of sitting around waiting for their next turn,
players are required to pay attention to what everyone else is doing and pounce on any opportunity that arises to ‘mess’ with their opponents' plans.

"Would I buy the new one? Assuming that the components (map, cards, counters) are up to current standards of quality, YES. And I should mention that my answer would have been different prior to v5.0. But each iteration of the rules has improved upon the last to the point where I think v5.0 is just about there.

"Originally, I was playing the game to test it. Now I want to continue to play it because it’s a fun time.


If anyone has any questions, want to see anything rules-wise, etc., feel free to ask away.

We think you folks will really enjoy the newset version of this old classic.

RHB
 
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Brett Myers
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Sounds very interesting from the description on the GMT page. How would you rate the complexity of this new version and it's suitability for casual gamers? (I've never played the original and am relatively new to wargaming, assuming this has similarities to wargames)

Thanks,
Brett
 
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Olivier Lamontagne
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Quickly ordered arrrh
 
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Neil Randall
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disclamer wrote:
Sounds very interesting from the description on the GMT page. How would you rate the complexity of this new version and it's suitability for casual gamers? (I've never played the original and am relatively new to wargaming, assuming this has similarities to wargames)


Brett, I would suggest that the game has more detail than the average Euro but considerably less than a hard-core wargame. We're going to streamline the rules as much as we can, and we'll include a Quick-Start summary which, along with the charts, will let you start playing right away. We'll also be including a full-color play guide with tons of examples.

The game is about pirate actions on the sea and in ports, not about jumping onto ships with swords in hand, nor about the supernatural found in, say, Pirates of the Caribbean. The idea is to provide a solid historical view of what pirates did or could do, and how they were fought against, but to do so with lots of color - because, after all, these are pirates we're talking about.

All of which is to say that the game would rate fairly low in complexity on the wargame scale, but I'd put it a few notches higher than, say, Ticket to Ride. Still, it's not the complexity that's important, it's the detail - for example, there are several possible actions in ports, all of them historically derived, so you have a number of possible decisions to make when you're involved with a port.

Our goal is to provide a highly enjoyable game with some good history behind it - we want it to play quickly and we want every player to experience numerous decision points at all times. Development will proceed with those goals firmly in mind. Most definitely, we want to appeal to an audience beyond the wargaming crowd, and we're even considering including a set of "family" rules.

Neil Randall (Developer)
 
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Cory Williamson
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not as quick, but hastily ordered.

this is a P500 so spread the word.
arrrh
 
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Richard H. Berg
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"...assuming this has similarities to wargames..."

I was never an aficionado of the word, "wargame", as i think it says far more - some of it negative - than one wants to say. Not all games that use history as more than just a title are about war . . .

Having said that, BLACKBEARD is not, in my opinon, a "wargame". There is conflict, and ships to go toe-to-toe (or bow-to-port, or whatever). What BLACKBEARD wants to be is a game that brings the player into the Golden Age of Piracy, and why such an avocation became so popular . . .and what piracy was about.

To that end, it is, as Neil points out above, more detailed and a bit more demanding than many Euros. There are also more than a handful of pirate-based games that are nothign more than that, games . . . some of which are az lot of Fun, but none of which will tell you anythign about what piracy is about.

We would hope that, ultimately, all gamers would enjoy playing BLACKBEARD, and it will certainly be a game that one can learn quite quickly when others are teaching it. (And it plays in under 3 hours . . . ).

RHB
 
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Richard H. Berg
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I was somewhat remiss in forgetting to note, when I mentioned otherp irate games, that Van Overbay's SEA ROVERS - yoiu can find it here on The Geek - is a most colorful middle ground in this area: a fun game with a lot of piratical history thrown in. Give it a look.

And, as I will note on the front page, all of the artwork you see - and it is very good work - is PRELIMINARY, done for the playtest version. None of it is final, nor has it been "approved" by GMT (altho we hope it will). We would like your comments on it, though . . .

RHB
 
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Van Overbay
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Thanks Richard. I can't wait to see (and get) a final production copy of the new Blackbeard. No doubt the original was the most influential pirate themed game to ever hit the market and I'm sure the new version will make an equally resounding mark as well (like the echo of a broadside from Queen Anne’s Revenge!).

My best,

—Vanderdecken

——————————————
"I WILL round this Cape even if I have to keep sailing until Doomsday!" — The Flying Dutchman
 
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Brett Myers
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BergBROG wrote:
"...assuming this has similarities to wargames..."

I was never an aficionado of the word, "wargame", as i think it says far more - some of it negative - than one wants to say. Not all games that use history as more than just a title are about war . . .

RHB


Forgive my poor use of terminology.. In this case, I meant physical similarities to wargames, in that there will likely be a map with point-to-point movement, counters, a CRT and event cards, all of which can be intimidating to casual gamers - moreso than a handful of cubes and cute little wooden pirate ships.
 
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Neil Randall
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disclamer wrote:
BergBROG wrote:
"...assuming this has similarities to wargames..."

I was never an aficionado of the word, "wargame", as i think it says far more - some of it negative - than one wants to say. Not all games that use history as more than just a title are about war . . .

RHB


Forgive my poor use of terminology.. In this case, I meant physical similarities to wargames, in that there will likely be a map with point-to-point movement, counters, a CRT and event cards, all of which can be intimidating to casual gamers - moreso than a handful of cubes and cute little wooden pirate ships.


Yep, there will be a map, counters, charts and tables, and event cards. So in that sense, it's definitely more detailed than many light games.
 
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David Seddon
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I like what I'm hearing. I like Pirate Games, so I'm 75% there anyway.

So are we saying that this is a Weuro - a more complicated one than normal, but a weuro nonetheless?
 
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Michael Lawson
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Richard, are the rules finalized enough for GMT to post them? Or, lacking that, a posting of a sample game turn would be great.

 
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Richard H. Berg
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mtlawson wrote:
Richard, are the rules finalized enough for GMT to post them? Or, lacking that, a posting of a sample game turn would be great.



We posted several AAR - hobbybreve for After Action Report(s) - in the old (AH) BLACKBEARD Forum when we were over there . . . I think I saved most of them. Problem is they often take up a great deal of space . . . and they ARE playtest reports, complete with the usual problems, etc etc. I'll see what I can do . . .

As for posting rules, we usually wait until we've reached ap oint where we think that what we have is what we will use, subject to dusting and cleaning. Not sure we're quite there, yet . . . almost . . .

RHB
 
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David Seddon
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How long are the rules likely to be? I know that so far, they're not done, but compared to the old rules, are they going to be much shorter? Will there be a playbook and/or scenarios, or do you just start the same way each time?
 
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Neil Randall
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Admiral Fisher wrote:
How long are the rules likely to be? I know that so far, they're not done, but compared to the old rules, are they going to be much shorter? Will there be a playbook and/or scenarios, or do you just start the same way each time?


I don't have the old rules, David, so I really can't compare the length. But I'm guessing the new rules will be about 16 pages, which includes card descriptions. I could be off here, but I hope not.

There will be an extensive playbook, including full-color examples of play. Also in here will be a set of Quick-Start Rules, which I'm determined to keep to 4 pages or even fewer (I'm trying for 2 pages).

Scenarios? We don't have any in mind yet, just that standard starting point. But we'll see what further development brings.

Neil
 
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Mark Mokszycki
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Where are the hexes?
From the map image, it appears that there are no hexes on the maps. Has hex-based movement been removed from the new version?
 
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Neil Randall
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duckweed wrote:
From the map image, it appears that there are no hexes on the maps. Has hex-based movement been removed from the new version?


Yes. More on this when we do a detailed explanation of the game in the near future (i.e., as soon as I learn it well enough to sound like I know what I'm talking about).
 
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Michael Lawson
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BergBROG wrote:
mtlawson wrote:
Richard, are the rules finalized enough for GMT to post them? Or, lacking that, a posting of a sample game turn would be great.



We posted several AAR - hobbybreve for After Action Report(s) - in the old (AH) BLACKBEARD Forum when we were over there . . . I think I saved most of them. Problem is they often take up a great deal of space . . . and they ARE playtest reports, complete with the usual problems, etc etc. I'll see what I can do . . .

As for posting rules, we usually wait until we've reached ap oint where we think that what we have is what we will use, subject to dusting and cleaning. Not sure we're quite there, yet . . . almost . . .

RHB


Richard, I've been reading over in the CSW forum for Blackbeard, and I was wondering if it was okay to cut and paste over some of the playtest reports over here.

--Mike L.
 
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Michael Lawson
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Boy, that didn't take long....

On the latest P500 listing, we have the following:

221 Blackbeard
212 Successors III
224 Clash of Monarchs

 
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Richard H. Berg
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> "I was wondering if it was okay to cut and paste over some of the playtest reports over here."

In theory, yes . . . but I usually edit them (if, alone, under the premise that brevity is the soul of wit) . . . but i think it would be Ok to put one or two up. You could start a new folder here, BLACKBEARD: Playtest Reports . . .letting readers know that thgese ARE playtests of a game unsder development. Keeps the Linearists at bay . . .

Thanx

RHB
 
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Michael Lawson
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BergBROG wrote:
> "I was wondering if it was okay to cut and paste over some of the playtest reports over here."

In theory, yes . . . but I usually edit them (if, alone, under the premise that brevity is the soul of wit) . . . but i think it would be Ok to put one or two up. You could start a new folder here, BLACKBEARD: Playtest Reports . . .letting readers know that thgese ARE playtests of a game unsder development. Keeps the Linearists at bay . . .

Thanx

RHB


Certainly. Thanks.
 
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Michael Gilbert
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Wow, I was just looking at the Blackbeard section of BGG because we (me, wife, & 9-year-old son) played Blackbeard on Monday. The 1991 version is still one of the favorites on our table (despite its perceived shortcomings), so I am looking forward to seeing the new version.

Sadly, yesterday's game did not go well. My pirate (Edward England) was leading in notoriety, so was of course attacked by a roving warship. He was unable to avoid interception, and sustained significant damage before finally escaping from the battle. Unfortunately, he was unable to move away before the warship received another turn and was able to finish him off. Ironically, he was leading in notoriety with a whopping 4 points, acquired by taking a total of 60 doubloons from 2 ships in the Caribbean, capturing a Brig in the process. The second-most notorious pirate at the time had 3 points, but a hold full of 1000 doubloons from striking lucky in the Indian Ocean!

It was also an unusual game (for us) in that 4 of the 6 Governors were anti-pirate.

Arrrgggh!

arrrh
 
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James Krolak
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I hope it still has "Mandatory DnR." I just love that phrase.
 
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