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Late Sunday afternoon, after a very busy day that was growing late, I needed to find a short game to play with my kids as I had promised that I would spend some time with them before bed. I suggested "Match of the Penguins", but a couple of the smaller ones weren't too keen on that since they know it is harder to do well against the older ones in that game. They would have liked "Treasure Falls", but that only plays 4 players. When I suggested "Loot", almost everyone said: "that's the one"!
So my wife and 5 oldest kids (ages 4-9) sat down around the kitchen table for a 7-player game where every player was on their own - the first time we had tried it this way together. Adam, one of my 6-year-old twin boys, was especially eager to play this game, as he's starting to get a grip on the strategy.
After dealing the cards, play started to my left with my 4-year-old daughter. She played merchant ships from her hand almost every time she had the chance, and seemed to get a lot of them. My wife did reasonably well with a healthy dose of attacking other people's ships. Adam hardly ever seemed to have a merchant ship, but got a lot of 3 and 4 skull pirate cards that put him in good stead, along with the admiral at one point. He spent the majority of his time on the attack, and did very well for himself.
Sam, my 7-year-old, played the first pirate captain of the game on a high-value merchant ship, which I immediately trumped with a pirate of my own, which in turn was trumped by a captain played by my wife. So 3 of the captains were out and gone early in the game. The rest of the game continued the trend for Sam, but he was a good sport about it.
Bethany, the 9-year-old, had a real knack for knowing when to play merchant ships that no one would attack. There were a couple of moments in the game where 5 or 6 merchant ships were all out at sea, and with a big disparity in their relative worth, playing another small-value merchant ship was a good move.
Isaac, the other 6-year-old twin, played along as best as he could, but wasn't getting very valuable pirate cards - a lot like his dad. This was one of those classic games where anytime I put a merchant ship out, everyone seemed to play "let's get daddy", and would leave other merchant ships sailing alone while they ganged up on me - great fun!
In the end, Adam won the game with a slight lead over Bethany, but they were both quite a ways ahead of everyone else. Adam was very pleased with himself, convinced that his "strategy" had worked. And you know a game with daddy is successful when he ends up in last place - in this case, tied for last with Sam and the 4-year-old. Regardless of what it says on the box, a 6-year-old can certainly understand this game, and everyone seems to have a good time playing it. It took 30-40 minutes, and was the perfect way to close out the evening.
Daddy, Sam, and the 4-year-old: 3
Thanks for the interesting session report. I've seen several places that the new edition supports up to like eight people, and it is nice to see that is true. I have the Pirat edition, which I think is the original version, and it claims only up to five. If I can in reality play up to eight with my current edition, that is indeed good news. I shall have to track down the current edition rules. Of course, it's cheap enough I could just buy a copy of Loot
BTW, does your four-year-old have a name? Or are you just keeping her name off the online world until she is a little older? Sorry to be nosy, it just struck me as odd when all of the other kids are named.
This was one of those classic games where anytime I put a merchant ship out, everyone seemed to play "let's get daddy", and would leave other merchant ships sailing alone while they ganged up on me - great fun! You're a good daddy!
And you know a game with daddy is successful when he ends up in last place