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Subject: Caribbean 15th 16th Century culture and goods rss

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Wade Broadhead
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Working on some interesting shipping games in the Caribbean that are not primarily Pirate games (although they contain elements of piracy). I love the visceral feel of interesting goods in games.

My question is how did the Spanish ship goods and what types of interesting goods did they ship back to Europe that would add flavor to a game besides those in Puerto Rico. I recently read a book about Cochineal, red dye, and it's worth, but I was looking for some other ideas too. Think 15-1600s...

BGG has a big brain when combined so....

What type of interesting type of exotic/trade goods would you like to see in 1500-1600 Caribbean pick up drop off game.

And yes I know some other "Pirate/shipping" games are in the works now, and I'm not developing anything along those lines.
 
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Alan Kaiser
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I don't have any specific suggestions other than maybe gold but I'm sure that one is obvious. You might try looking through someof the web pages on pirates. Some will mention what they looted from specific ships and that might be a way to figure this out. It might be a little digging but it'd be a place to start.
 
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Tim Deagan
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As an interesting potential mechanic/dynamic in a game of this sort is the history of Puerto Real, a Spanish colony in what is now Haiti.

Puerto Real was founded in approximately 1504 and abandoned in 1578. The reason is that the settlers continued to trade with pirates/smugglers in contravention to the Spanish laws, which established a trade monopoly for Spanish companies and the colonies in the new world.

Hide and tallow were their main trading strengths after depopulating the natives as slaves (the hoped for mines had not panned out.) They couldn't compete for space on the treasure fleet with the colonies producing precious metals, so they turned to smugglers (primarily Portuguese corsairs.)

Spain eventually relocated the entire colony eastward into what is today the Dominican Republic.

So, potential items in gaming;
- shipping space challenges
- Hide and tallow from cattle
- alternate economies with smugglers that must be balanced to keep the authorities happy

Hope that helps.
 
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Tim Deagan
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A useful list of trade items from a paper by Charles Ewen at http://www.lost-colony.com/strangers.html;

Quote:
My excavations at Puerto Real in 1984-1985 focused on a high-status residence occupied primarily during the latter half of the sixteenth century. Living in that residence were a relatively wealthy Spaniard, his Spanish wife, and possibly a child. The interior of their home and their possessions reflected the family’s high status. Their table was set with fine Spanish majolicas (tin-enameled ceramics) and Italian glassware. Their clothing, as reflected in the ornaments and buttons recovered during the excavation, apparently followed the fashions prevalent in Spain. In the rear of the house, slaves, probably African, prepared the food they had collected in cooking vessels they themselves had made. Their master, judging by the abundance of coins and leather-working tools, may have been a merchant dealing in hides and slaves. The porcelain in his household suggests that a least some of his business was conducted illicitly with the Portuguese corsairs who frequented the harbor (the only dealers in porcelain before 1573).
 
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