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Subject: PIRATEKING argghhhh (and I mean that in a good way) rss

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Randolph Bookman
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The Classic Family Game You've Never Played Before


Pirate King, by Flaster Siskin, is a new family/gateway game that takes the best features of classic games we all grew up playing like Monopoly and Risk and adds new game mechanics and a terrific pirate theme. The object of the game is simple, become the pirate king and wipe out the pirates that would oppose you. To do this, you must take control of the local islands, build up fortifications, trade goods, find buried treasure, avoid the commodore and of course fight other pirates.

The Game
Each player starts out with a treasure chest of jewels and gold. This is kept hidden and can be used to bluff other players during a parlay. Players also start off with a trading good which correlates to an island on a map. Once you pass or land on the island, you receive the payment indicated on the card and receive a new cargo card. This is the basic money making system for the game and it also gives the players reasons to try and visit specific islands.
As you do, inevitably you will land other special territories. Pirate?s Booty, Captain?s Log, Secret Passages, Turn About, Mutiny, Buried Treasure, Crosswinds and the dreaded Commodore. These territories represent both good and bad events that pirates will have to deal with as they make there way around the board. The rest of the board is made up of islands in a figure eight configuration. Each group of islands is color coded to represent the group it belongs too. Once you land on an island, if it is not controlled by another player, you may purchase it. If you?ve ever played Monopoly, then you know what I mean. But unlike Monopoly, you only need control of the neighboring island of the same color before you can begin a trade route and fortify your position. This makes it very interesting as players try to plan a strategy and parlay with other players. If you land on someone?s property, you can pay a dock fee and stay there, but what pirate worth his weight in gold doubloons would ever pay to stay on an island? Instead of paying you can opt to attack the island with your pirate ship. If you are successful you can claim the island for yourself. If you fail your ship ends up in Davy Jones? locker and you must now buy a new ship.
Battles occur both between ports and ships and occasionally in the open seas between ships. To make sure you become the scourge of the sea you?ll need cannons and men to fire them. Building up your ship is done by landing on one of the ports you own and paying the amount designated by each port. This is where building up those fortifications becomes so important. In addition to its money value and defense, fortifications are used to buy more cannons (dice) and crew (hit points) for your ship. For this reason you will want to try and fortify as much of your property as soon as you can if for no other reason then the chance to build up your warship.

Game pieces and Art
The version I played came in a huge box with a lot of ton of pieces. It had very cool 3D pirate ships with magnets that let you add or remove cannons. The map was colorful sturdy. The card stock is a little flimsy but laminated and well printed. I really love the art in this game. The map looks like a navigational sea chart. Cargo cards are shaped like cargo boxes and the pirate treasures are shaped like skulls. The artwork on both the map and the cards was absolutely amazing. I wasn't expecting a lot from Pirate King, but I was thoroughly impressed with the detail that Flaster Siskin and Temple Games put into this product.



Final Score

Gameplay: 3/5 (Smooth and intuitive. A bit long, but still enjoyable)
Fun Factor: 4/5 (Fun and entertaining)
Replayability: 4/5 (Families will play it again and again)
Components: 4/5 (Good looking board, and nice components)
Theme: 5/5 (Arrrr... There be pirates in this game what could be better)
Overall: 4/5 (It has PIRATES!!!! Need I say more? A new take on classic gaming for the entire family).




 
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Kris J
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Electra Bellum. Electra Gloriosum.
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Interesting that, for your first review of a game, you chose a game that hasn't been released or, to my knowledge, finalized. Do you have a connection with the producers of this game?

How did you come to play this game? Did you buy it or were you shown the game?

Love to know where you are coming from . . . and I'm sure many others!

You see, many believe there is at least a mild shill campaign going on, as I'm sure you know, and you did not seem to address that. Would love your opinions on that.

How would this game's components compare with TI3's components? How do the dice compare with 'arcassone's dice?

Thanks for submitting a review on a game shrouded in mystery! Welcome to the Geek!


 
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Randolph Bookman
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I've been floating on the site for a while so if you think I'm shilling this review pull it. I don't feel the need to lambast someone eIse's review either. I found a copy at puzzle zoo in LA. The pieces don't compare to TI3. It also costs 30 dollars less. The dice are standard 6 sided white dice. LOL I don't own Carcassone, but I've played it. There are no dice in that game. Jesus you guys are like the Gestapo. PK did came with some barrels to roll the dice in and some plastic chests to hold the money in. I did play it at a table with the maker of the game a few weeks ago, down in San Diego. That's how I got a chance to play it early. I'm not the viral marketing machine.

The game will definitely not appeal to the hardcore gamers who are looking for the pirate version of twilight imperium, but I thought it was a lot of fun for the family and a great gateway game to introduce kids to gaming without forcing monopoly on them. It fits in with avalon hill games you find at toys r us.

I will add that since I have opened my copy the box is huge!!!!! And I wish for the love of god they had made a better interior case for all the pieces. Also watch out if you have small kids. Lots of little pieces.

I stand by my review. It's a fun game . I love pirates. I love the art and the map. I like the fact that it fills the niche of the overplayed games of my youth.

The negtives are the flimsy laminated cards and bad interior box. I also think the game runs longer than it needs to, but I feel that way about risk and monopoly.

Shieldwolf
 
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Kris J
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Electra Bellum. Electra Gloriosum.
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Thank you for answering my questions. I'm sure you understand my concerns.

Is this game actually available for purchase now?

 
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Randolph Bookman
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It is for sale in Los Angeles. No worries on the 3rd degree. I haven't posted any reviews because the games I own have been out so long that already have 50 reviews. This was the first game . that I saw had a questionable review and I thought I could add my 2 cents. That said, I will write up a session report or update my review after we play it a few more times. I'm interested in seeing how it does with the hardcore group.



ps
where the heck is Sid Meyers' Pirates boardgame??
 
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Darren Foulk
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I say string up the shill!!!

Actually, I'm good friends with Randy and he wouldn't write something without believing it. Plus, notice that he wrote both good and bad points and didn't give it a 10 like the other people being accused of shilling.

Darren
 
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Scott Woodard
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My wife got a copy of this for me for Christmas (just unwrapped it about 20 minutes ago), so it is available, note, however, we do live in the Los Angeles area. I believe she purchased this copy from Enchanted Deva's Pirate Shop in North Hollywood: http://www.myspace.com/enchanteddevas
 
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Anthony Serenil
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I played it last night with my son. I bought for $50 from strategicon in LA. This game shares many similarities with Monopoly. I am not a big fan of Monopoly, but Pirate Kings's combat aspect made it interesting enough to keep my attention. Just imagine Monopoly where instead of paying your opponent his rent when you land on his space, you have the option if the odds are in your favor to defeat his space and take it away from him instead.

I have some complaints. First the ships were a real pain to put together. Throwing some plastic ship tokens instead would have been just as good.

Second, the price was a bit steep for what is basically Pirate-themed Monopoly.

Third, and this may just be my copy of the game, was the smell of the some pieces of the game. The game board had some green powdery substance that I had to clean off. Not a bad smell, more like a strong musty smell. I chalked it up to the printing process.

Overall I would say it might be worth getting used or at a discount.
 
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Ann Hamon (annhamon@aol.com)
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How very odd. Our copy, which we bought in Madison Wisconsin, also had a strong musty smell. I wonder if it was stored in a moldy warehouse for a while. Or maybe it is the printing and the plastics. We haven't played ours yet - still waiting for it to air out.
 
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Robert Green
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I just got this at Ollie's Bargain Outlet for $9.99. Ollie's can be a pretty good place for hidden boardgame treasures, it's a closeout store.

I haven't opened the box yet, but it did appeal to me due to the pirate theme and the picture of the gameboard and such didn't look too bad on the back of the box. I'll give it a shot and post my opinions on it.
 
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Robert Green
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Tried it out just playing against myself(this game is tagged solitaire too, oddly.)

Musty smell, like mentioned in another review. My copy is missing ships and cannons, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as I used my WizKids Pirates ships for tokens. Also used dice to represent how many cannons.

The cards are annoying, should have been cardstock. Someone with access to scanner and pdf software could scan them and then print them off on cardstock.

That wind die thing could annoy some, but it's fairly realistic of how sailing worked. Also liked how money isn't the ultimate goal, the VP system is Eurogame-like.

All in all, it's not the greatest game in the world, but it's pretty darn good, as I see it so far.

Rating it right now, I'd say at least a 5.

I read here that there is a second edition out, don't know if the game pictured on the Temple site is the second one or not. I'm gonna look into this.

But for $10, yeah, grab it. House rule it even. There's potential here.

 
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Robert Green
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Downgrade review to a 4. Colors are ANNOYING. They need to differentiate better. In bad light, the brown chests and that special black one look about alike. Same with flags.
 
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Call Me Ishmael
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I picked this up at Ollie's in Hollidaysburg (in Central Pennsylvania) last night and took it back the next day due to the mildew on the board. zombie Ollie's was fine with exchanging it for a new copy. I opened in the store, and it seemed okay. I read the rules over lunch; we're set to play it tonight. arrrh
 
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