- Dave GilliganUnited States
This past Thursday three members of the Appalachian Gamers got together to set sail on the high seas in a new offering from GMT, Winds of Plunder. Kris owns the game and explained the rules to Travis and me. Rules and setup only took a few minutes as the game is simple to understand and fairly intuitive. A nice player aid also helped quite a bit.
Having never played the game before I didn’t have a clear plan in mind but I did understand the importance of controlling the direction of the wind as well as controlling turn order. I won the first bid for the wind and decided to head to the west. I decided to go for a provision tile since that would give me the lead in provisions, earning me the card for having the most provisions and extra victory points for each tile as long as I could hold onto it. Kris managed to get a crew while Travis got a treasure map (to the best of my recollection.) Rather than try and recall every turn I will now simply hit the main points.
Early on, Kris was able to gain the lead in weapons giving him the ability to plunder his enemies, which he promptly took advantage of by attacking Travis. Not only does the weapons lead allow a player to plunder but it also blocks other players from placing reputation cubes if they happen to be in the same port during a turn. I simply did my best to avoid ending up in the same port as Kris. By avoiding conflict I was able to build a nice lead on my competitors.
After being picked on a few times Travis turned the tables on Kris and took the weapons lead so now the hunter became the hunted. I continued to stick to my strategy of avoiding conflict and maintained my lead. My method, unfortunately, required me to use the gust of wind action several turns in a row. What I would do was use gust of wind to go to a port that would force Travis to use gust of wind to follow me, something he really didn’t want to do, especially if he could hit Kris without using GofW. For instance, if the wind direction was south, I would use gust of wind and treat it as a northerly wind and move to a port north of Travis. This way he would have to use gust of wind to follow.
The downside of this strategy was that I was not able to use my action points to get back wind cubes or draw/play action cards. Travis and Kris, on the other hand were able to do these things and traded control of the wind. In addition because I was in the lead most of their actions were often aimed at pulling me back into the pack. At one point I was able to gain some wind cubes back and Kris hit me with a card that took half my wind cubes…ouch!
It came down to the last turn. I had a four point lead on Travis while Kris was a bit further back and unable to get enough VPs for the win. Travis was able to play three cards with his final three action points that took away enough of my crew and provisions (and the swindle card gave him a provision) which allowed him to pull ahead of me by one point. It was a really close and hard fought game, to be sure!
- [+] Dice rolls