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Subject: Libertalia: The Game of Booty - Review #1 rss

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Delton Brack
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Edmond
Oklahoma
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Libertalia is all about being the best pirate you can be. Morality of course comes into question when it comes to pirates, and sometimes Mutineer’s come out on top. The Beggar gets what he wants from the high ranks and the Brute can’t seem to start the brawls after Booty is divided. The quest for booty fuels your actions and in the end the crew with the most doubloons reigns supreme.

GENERAL INFO:
Libertalia is a great pirate themed game that pits pirate crews against one another. It can play 2-6 people and works well with any number, but is best with more than 3. It is card based in nature and all of the turns are taken simultaneously by all of the players which speed up the games. An average game without a new player will take around 45 minutes, as the box says. With 5 or 6 players it can take around an hour, although I have not played with this many yet.
The game is played in a series of 3 weeks, each week consisting of 6 days and a rest day.

SETUP:
To start the game each player gets 10 doubloons and a reference card with their ship of their color. The small round Jolly Roger tokens are placed at the start location on the scoring track. One player then shuffles their deck of cards and draws out 9 cards; every other player takes the same 9 cards so each player has the same hand. Booty tiles are then placed within the 6 day slots on the main board. The amount of Booty tiles used is equivalent to the amount of players; so with 4 players one would put 4 Booty tiles on each day.

PLAY:
At this point in the game everyone is ready to play. Each player chooses a card from their hand and keeps it hidden until everyone is ready. Then all players reveal their cards simultaneously and place them on the main game board in the designated slots according to rank. The ranks of these cards are determined by the number in the top left. They number from 1-30. If there is a tie in the ranks, there is a secondary ranking number on the lower left of the card in grey. That will determine what order the tied cards go in. For Example if two Captains are played, one for Blue and one for Red, each having the Rank of 29 then the tie breaking number is used. Let’s say Blue’s secondary rank is 3 and Red’s is 5; they would then be placed with Blue’s Captain on the left and Red’s on the right in ascending order.
Once these cards are arranged according to rank the actions on each card are taken. First the Day powers are resolved in ascending order; lowest to highest. These are designated with a circular Sun symbol. After those take place the Dusk powers are resolved in descending rank; highest to lowest. These have an orange-red sunset image. After the Dusk powers are resolved you proceed to take Booty tiles in descending rank.

BOOTY TILES:
Booty tiles are the main item in this game that the players will try and obtain. They will decide for the most part what cards a player will choose. They are broken down into some different kinds and each one has either an action or a doubloon value.

Chest: 5 Doubloons
Jewels: 3 Doubloons
Goods (Barrel): 1 Doubloon
Scroll: 1 or 2 are worth no Doubloons. 3 are worth 12 Doubloons.
Cursed Mask: -3 Doubloons
Sabre: Kill any pirate from the Den of a player to your left or right
Spanish Officer: The player immediately discard the pirate they just played

After you take Booty tiles and place them in a place together (We place them on reference card) the players will then take their pirate cards and put them in their respective Den. Once all the cards are in the Dens the night actions take place. These are dictated by the Crescent moon image on the card. That would conclude one day of the week. The players then repeat this process 5 more times. After the 6th and final day the players have a day of rest. This day is when the Rest powers, or Anchor powers, take place. These are dictated by a green Anchor symbol. After those are resolved the current Den and Discarded cards are removed from the game. The cards still in hand are kept and one player will draw 6 new cards. All other players match these and the next week begins.

THEME AND COMPONENTS:
I really enjoy the theme to Libertalia. Pirates are always fun for me although sometimes they can get annoying (Especially after so many Pirate movies). I like how each Player reference card has the name of the Captain and the Ship for each color. I enjoy that small addition and a friend of mine loves to be Dirk Chivers, the black ship Captain. The reference cards, aside from color and the names, only have one other thing that is different which is each crew’s Jolly Roger. I do like the differences in the Jolly Rogers, although they could be more diverse but even if they weren’t it wouldn’t even worry me. The art work on the cards is great as is the card stock. They are nice yet I need to sleeve them in fear of damage. The coins are punch-outs and are good quality. I enjoy that on them the coins image is not centered and symmetrical, to give the illusion of a coin made in a time where giant machines did not fabricate them. The main board is a nice bird’s eye view of a ship’s deck. It is small and doesn’t take up a lot of space. You could play this easily on a coffee table. The box insert is also a nice build. Sadly I don’t think it will accommodate sleeves but I do like how there are slots for mass storage and slots for each deck to be separated for an easy to grab place during play. There are slots you can keep the coins during play as well. Everything really works well together and being able to shout “BOOTY” in a pirate voice is always fun when you get to be the first to pick and get a Chest!

THOUGHTS ON GAMEPLAY:
The game is simple and easy to teach others. We like to use it now to introduce people into the board game world or to play a short game when we don’t want to play for too long. It’s a nice gateway game. I enjoy the way Ranking ties are decided on the cards and how the actions resolve. It makes for some extra thought when you really don’t want a Cursed Mask or Spanish Officer. There has been one situation we had to rule on ourselves which was where all three players played the Brute. The first Brute would knock out the highest Ranked person so only one Brute would be left. Does he knock himself out? We could not figure it out in the rulebook. Speaking of which! The rulebook (aside from the Brute issue) is very well made, short, simple, to the point, and easy to understand. It makes learning the game a breeze. The gameplay runs smoothly and once you play a week of play then you have the pattern down.

REASONS TO BUY:
• Fast Gameplay
• Easy to learn and play
• Fun and well done theme
• Good components
• Scales well with any number of player
• Yelling “BOOTY” in a pirate voice is fun.

SUMMARY:
I really enjoy Libertalia. The theme is well down and the components are solid. The gameplay is easy and fun and everyone I’ve played with so far has enjoyed it and asked to play again. The mechanics work well and it plays in a short time.
I would recommend this to anyone!
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Michael Pittman
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Re: Libertalia: The Game of Booty
I love Libertalia.

One of the things I thought when I first played it, and what I tell people whom I teach it to, is that all this guff about day and dusk and night and anchors and dens seems overwhelming when it's first explained ... but it all makes perfect sense after playing one or two 'days'.

The hardest part is getting new players to resist the urge to shuffle the unused cards.

I like the different captain and ship names for the different crews too. However, it would have been AMAZING if each crew also had more customised themes and unique artwork (black is a lock for an undead crew). I realise that would add to production costs ... it'd work for a special edition maybe.
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Delton Brack
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Re: Libertalia: The Game of Booty
DreadFool wrote:
I love Libertalia.

One of the things I thought when I first played it, and what I tell people whom I teach it to, is that all this guff about day and dusk and night and anchors and dens seems overwhelming when it's first explained ... but it all makes perfect sense after playing one or two 'days'.

The hardest part is getting new players to resist the urge to shuffle the unused cards.

I like the different captain and ship names for the different crews too. However, it would have been AMAZING if each crew also had more customised themes and unique artwork (black is a lock for an undead crew). I realise that would add to production costs ... it'd work for a special edition maybe.
I wish they could have done something like that as well. Each crew could have had different clothing colors or poses. Maybe the captains could have each had a different ability. Production would have gone up for sure but that would have made it that much better. A special edition like that would get my attention for sure.
 
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