Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

Blackbeard» Forums » General

Subject: Blinging Up Blackbeard's Components rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Troy Hughes
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was pleasantly surprised to get my copy of the new Blackbeard before it was even listed as shipped on the GMT site!

I quickly cracked it open and reveled in that new game smell. I gave up sleep to set up a sample game and give it a try. I emailed all my gaming friends and set up a Pirate Day gaming session to showcase my new treasure...

And then I stopped to take a breath or two, and realized that most of my gaming friends are hard-core Euro-gamers. (I know, pity this poor wargamer... )

This new edition of Blackbeard does go a long way towards addressing a lot of the problems the original had in enticing a "new generation" of gamers. It addresses the downtime issues very nicely and did away with the hexes by creating a simple and effective area movement system, to name a couple of the changes.

But there remains one small hindrance to Euro-gamer acceptance: There are a LOT of counters, and no miniatures!

(It shows how far I've slid from my wargaming ideals. Before, I would never have even noticed this lack. But after a few years of playing with my current group - I just knew that it was something I would have to fix before I premier it to my friends.

So, I started digging into my game collection for some pirate-y bling.

The first obvious addition was cups from the Pirates of the Caribbean version of Liar’s Dice. While I was at it, I grabbed one of the dice from the same game. It replaced the black dice in Blackbeard. A couple of wooden dice I have (from a kid’s grab-bag thing at a flea market) replaced the original white dice.

I also grabbed a cheap little wooden treasure chest (for the merchant ships), and a plain wooden Go bowl (for the hostages), to make the various draw piles easier to recognize from each other.

Next came the pieces on the board. One thing I noticed from my sample game was that there were lots of little flat counters laying around the board – the merchant ships, the governors, and of course the player’s pieces. Even for me it was a little hard to quickly spot what I was looking for from time to time. For the non-wargamer, this would be more than enough to give the game a firm "meh" before breaking out Cataan.

So, more digging. I found some great little ship miniatures from GW’s Mighty Empires that will work great for the merchant ships. (As an added bonus: When placing the merchants, you only have to place the mini. You can wait until a player successfully finds a merchant before drawing the counter – this helps avoid accidentally seeing the piece when you draw it face up before placing it face down.)

I’m thinking about searching out some good pirate ships from my Pirates of the Spanish Main collection, but then I’ll have to have some way to identify which ship belongs to which pirate (and player). In the meantime, I have a bunch of plastic holders that hold cardboard pieces upright (from games such as Talisman) – I have several different colors, so these will work great for holding the current game’s rectangular pirate counters in an upright position. And the colors will help identify one player’s pirates from another’s! (If there’s one thing Euro-gamers loves, it’s colors...)

Next, the governors... I really only need something to differentiate the pro-pirate and the anti-pirate governors. Some little mini to stand on top of the counter (for at least the pro-pirate guys – since you have to know which ones have been bribed and which ones have not... It really doesn’t matter what the anti-pirate governors’ names are, so those counters can be replaced completely...)

The best I’ve come up with so far is the plastic figures from my game of Risk... The red infantry for the anti-pirates, and blue (or green) for the pro... They’ll do for now.

What else..? One counter that I found was actually missing from the game: something to denote a pirate had Heavy Guns! (I’m frankly a little surprised at this omission. They actually have Letters of Marque chits, which really aren’t needed since you put the appropriate nation’s flag counter in your LoM space on your pirate display. But they don’t have the needed Hvy Guns counter!) A quick and fun fix: Back to the Risk game box for the plastic artillery pieces to sit on the pirate’s display when he gets those big guns.

Finally, something that really isn’t a game component – just something to add to the Pirate Day atmosphere while providing a useful service. You see, I don’t care for the Plexiglas solution for holding down maps. The Blackbeard map isn’t too bad – it’s a good grade of card that doesn’t really need much holding down. But it does tend to bow a little bit, especially in the tropical humidity in which I dwell. Solution: Out come my pirate props! A small sea chest, a dagger, some metal doubloons... And there’s plenty of open areas on the map (all the land areas) where these little things come in handy as paper weights. A viola, useful pirate decoration!

I’ve submitted photos of some of these ideas in action – check out the photos section after they’re (hopefully) approved. (I’ll upload some more to my own gallery and add here soon...)

I’m interested in hearing other ideas for “euro-izing” your Blackbeard components. Ideas for the pirate ships and the governors especially!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy M
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If people can't accept counters as components then I would argue that they don't truly like games. A game is a game, regardless of how it looks. Stand up to your elitist brethren, do not bow to their needless demands. Make them realise that the game is more important, not the production values.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mika R.
Finland
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey, are you sure you meant euro-gamers? I thought Ameritrashers were the ones thirsting for the Bling? Euro-gamers typically have a fascination on geometrical wooden abstract shapes.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brandon Pennington
United States
Springfield
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
badge
If your orange juice doesn't burn on the way down, then you need more vodka!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I thought PotSM ships would work as well.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Berg
United States
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
'Bling bling bling went the tro{y}lley' . . .

RHB
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mika R.
Finland
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
moss_icon wrote:
If people can't accept counters as components then I would argue that they don't truly like games. A game is a game, regardless of how it looks. Stand up to your elitist brethren, do not bow to their needless demands. Make them realise that the game is more important, not the production values.


If you read the OP carefully, you'll see that he is attempting to improve symbolism in the game, which counts as game-loving in my book.

EDIT: I mean that the faster initial learning curve is crossed, the greater are the chances for spreading the love and affection to new gamers.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troy Hughes
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I guess there is a bit of A-T in my E-G group.

Whatever that means... All I know is they like the bling! Wooden cubes, plastic minis - whatever.

And true, I could just hold the line and be strong and tell em where to stick their... components.

But I'd really like to play Blackbeard with people - not just solitaire. soblue

So, it's a matter of doing what I gotta do. (And as I mentioned - there are actually a few improvements to game play that result from my additions...)

Here's another pic of my upgrades. (There's a couple more in the game's photos section...)



I used the cavalry from Risk for the governors, instead of the infantry (they're bigger and more impressive - and I loved the image in PotC II of Lord Beckett coming ashore on horseback in the rowboat...)

The Pro-Pirate governor in Bermuda has his counter underneath him, as he needs to have a name in case someone tries to bribe him. Note the merchant ships and the anti-pirate governors don't have any chits under them. Don't need 'em for the governors, and only need to draw them (from the pirate chest) when a pirate successfully finds it...

Okay, okay - I admit it. I love the little bits too! blush Sue me!

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Ehlers
United States
Mesa
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great picture of the custom components, I'm up for any addition that makes a game more easily played!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brandon Pennington
United States
Springfield
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
badge
If your orange juice doesn't burn on the way down, then you need more vodka!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tried out the PotSM ships. They work pretty well, just sit the names of the Pirates right in between the sails and you are set Now I just need to get a few more to make up the 3 ship types.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruno Valerio
Portugal
Aveiro
flag msg tools
www.rededejogos.com
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
redjack11 wrote:
And then I stopped to take a breath or two, and realized that most of my gaming friends are hard-core Euro-gamers. (I know, pity this poor wargamer... )

But there remains one small hindrance to Euro-gamer acceptance: There are a LOT of counters, and no miniatures!


Hi Troy, i really can't say that i agree with you on that!

I consider myself an Eurogamer, 99% of my gamimg group are Eurogamers and my copy of Blackbeard is on it's way over.

Imho eurogamers don't need miniatures to enjoy a game, (miniatures are appreciated mostly in American games, not Euros). Gamers who prefer Eurogames like heavy complex games with a lot of choices to be made each turn. I personally like a great game with a great theme, i couldn't care less if there are counters or tokens or little army men... as long as it suits the game and makes it practical to play.

I can give you two examples, Age of Steam vs Railroad Tycoon and Struggle of Empires vs Conquest of the Empire. I would choose AoS and SoE over the other two any day, and they are as minimalist as you can get.

Blackbeard has it all, it seems to be a great game, loads of theme and a good production. Alright i would prefer a mounted board, but hey it's GMT and i wasn't expecting anything more than what they did. I own Twilight Struggle which has an identical map and it's a great game.

So if you're friends are eurogamers just have them play the game, i'm sure they will enjoy it even without all the GI Joes. surprise

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Berg
United States
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The problem with using non-cardboard components - be they wood, plastic or whatever - in any game is that it is very difficult to get them to show ratings. Granted, you can stick labels onto blocks, but i always found that I bit much . . . as the blocks themselves were generic (sort of like counters on steroids).

The other problem is cost . . . not only in including them as components, but the fact that they greatly increase the weight of the game, which leads to greater shipping costs.

Having said all that, BLACKBEARD lends itself to use of figures because, e.g., for the pirates, all their ratings are on their cards. When doing the original design work for THE BEARD I had hoped it would use figures . .. doidn't work out that way, but I made it easy for anyone to do so.

If it increases the visual effect of the game, I'm all for it . . . so see what youze guyz can come up with.

RHB
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troy Hughes
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Don't get me wrong! I'm not complaining about the game at all - I love it right out of the box!

And I guess I've fallen a bit behind on the whole euro-ameri-gamer thing. I shouldn't have called my friends euro-gamers... They just aren't wargamers, in general. They're big fans of this whole "new" breed of games - Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride, Winds of Plunder, etc. etc.

While I think they'll like Blackbeard, getting them to try it is going to take a bit of salesmanship on my part. That's what the whole blinging thing is about. Once I get them hooked, I can leave my figs at home if I want...

But I think there's nothing wrong with customizing a game a bit. Even if it's just changing out the dice or providing some themed draw cups... I play the game for the game's own sake. But there's nothing wrong with a little chrome, a little style, while you're at it.

(And I really, REALLY do love the game, Richard. Thanks for taking the time to post in my humble little thread I've played the solo game twice now - Got my butt whipped both times by KCs. The second time I was on my way to retire with 5600 net worth when he caught me!)

Great game, great hobby.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen McNeil
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
moss_icon wrote:
If people can't accept counters as components then I would argue that they don't truly like games. A game is a game, regardless of how it looks. Stand up to your elitist brethren, do not bow to their needless demands. Make them realise that the game is more important, not the production values.


Nonsense.

Why must you assume that the two are mutually exclusive? Why can't I expect the quality of the production values to match the quality of the rules? Are you really going to insist that given the choice between playing a game with a paper map and B/W cardboard chits and playing the same game and same rules with a pretty board, wooden components, and coloured minis, that you'd actually choose to play with the crappy components because it makes no difference?

Board games are a tactile experience. The components matter.

This guy has a game he's excited about, and he's telling us what he did to make it both more fun to play and more evocative of the theme, so that maybe we can do the same. You think that because somebody feels playing a pirate game with actual 3D ships on the board rather than 2D counters make him "elitist"? That taking a few minutes to add something to a game in order to make it more fun is "needless"? The PotSM ships look cool, so they make the game better aesthetically, and you can see them more easily than counters, so they make it better to play as well.
Stop being a wanker.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Crutchfield
msg tools
Where can one get the Mighty Empires plastic ships (the ones you are using for merchant ships) these days?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lee Massey
United States
Teachey
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Casual wargamer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
redjack11 wrote:
Yeah, I guess there is a bit of A-T in my E-G group.

Whatever that means... All I know is they like the bling! Wooden cubes, plastic minis - whatever.

And true, I could just hold the line and be strong and tell em where to stick their... components.

But I'd really like to play Blackbeard with people - not just solitaire. soblue

So, it's a matter of doing what I gotta do. (And as I mentioned - there are actually a few improvements to game play that result from my additions...)

Here's another pic of my upgrades. (There's a couple more in the game's photos section...)



I used the cavalry from Risk for the governors, instead of the infantry (they're bigger and more impressive - and I loved the image in PotC II of Lord Beckett coming ashore on horseback in the rowboat...)

The Pro-Pirate governor in Bermuda has his counter underneath him, as he needs to have a name in case someone tries to bribe him. Note the merchant ships and the anti-pirate governors don't have any chits under them. Don't need 'em for the governors, and only need to draw them (from the pirate chest) when a pirate successfully finds it...

Okay, okay - I admit it.
Quote:
I love the little bits too
! blush Sue me!

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lee Massey
United States
Teachey
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Casual wargamer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JackFlash wrote:
redjack11 wrote:
Yeah, I guess there is a bit of A-T in my E-G group.

Whatever that means... All I know is they like the bling! Wooden cubes, plastic minis - whatever.

And true, I could just hold the line and be strong and tell em where to stick their... components.

But I'd really like to play Blackbeard with people - not just solitaire. soblue

So, it's a matter of doing what I gotta do. (And as I mentioned - there are actually a few improvements to game play that result from my additions...)

Here's another pic of my upgrades. (There's a couple more in the game's photos section...)



I used the cavalry from Risk for the governors, instead of the infantry (they're bigger and more impressive - and I loved the image in PotC II of Lord Beckett coming ashore on horseback in the rowboat...)

The Pro-Pirate governor in Bermuda has his counter underneath him, as he needs to have a name in case someone tries to bribe him. Note the merchant ships and the anti-pirate governors don't have any chits under them. Don't need 'em for the governors, and only need to draw them (from the pirate chest) when a pirate successfully finds it...

Okay, okay - I admit it.
Quote:
I love the little bits too
! blush Sue me!









I like big bits myself!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troy Hughes
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gunmetal1986 wrote:
Where can one get the Mighty Empires plastic ships (the ones you are using for merchant ships) these days?


No idea. I got mine out of the big box on the shelf with "Mighty Empires" on it

But seriously. Anybody seen these little guys anywhere? Does ME even have any GW support anymore?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Evan Stegman
United States
Minneapolis
MN
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
moss_icon wrote:
If people can't accept counters as components then I would argue that they don't truly like games. A game is a game, regardless of how it looks. Stand up to your elitist brethren, do not bow to their needless demands. Make them realise that the game is more important, not the production values.


Yeah! If you try and make things easier to tell apart so you don't have to squint at little counters across the board you don't like games! Just say no to improving usability!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.