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Subject: Which Pirate game for me? rss

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Corné Human
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I've decided there's still room for a Pirate game on my shelve. Question is which one to go for? Specifically, I think the choice boils down to Sea Rovers, the new BlackBeard (2008) and Age of Piracy (not out yet, I believe).

So how are these 3 pirate games different in scope, gameplay and target audience?

Any advice will be highly appreciated...

(PS: I have Pirates Cove already, I'm specifically looking at choosing between the 3 games mentioned above.)
 
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brian
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I don't know about the other two game you listed. I just picked up Blackbeard. I have read through the rules quite a few times but haven't gotten a chance to play. However, my intial impressions are that it is a "grown-up" version of Pirate's Cove. While PC portrays the swashbuckling romanticism of pirates while Blackbeard goes for the real life of a Pirate, there seems to be quite a few parallels between the two. (But perhaps that just reflects my ignorance of pirate games and they all follow this parallel)

Anyway, because of the "basic" similarities, I can envision this game being much easier for me to teach to my fiancee and other gaming friends. Usually they are hesitant with CDGs and come away with random responses. But if I can tell them, "In PC you did this and now BB expands that to this" I think they will grasp it much easier and enjoy it more quickly.
 
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Corné Human
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Thanks for the insight. Since I own PC, describing BlackBeard as a grown up version makes sense to me. I take it that this means you have elements of exploration/trade/combat/upgrading your ship and movement in BlackBeard - just more "realistic". Relatively speaking of course.
 
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brian
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exploration - (PC) pick an island to go to, plunder island; (BB) move around the board and pick ports to go to, plunder merchant ships and attack/sack ports

trade - (PC) Don't recall "Trade"; (BB) no trade unless you consider ransoming hostages as trade - since you are trading life for booty!

combat - (PC) pirate-pirate combat; RN and LP combat - resolved with dice rolling - mulitple rounds; (BB) no pirate-pirate; Attacked by warships and King's Commissioners (as controlled by other players during your turn) - resolved with die roll plus ship/pirate attributes - single roll to determine winner

upgrading - (PC) start at minimums and truly upgrade to get better, can repair when damaged: Sails (speed), Crew and Cannons (Combat), and Hold size; (BB) start at maximum for ship type and can repair (refit) when damaged: Speed, Combat, Crew loyalty, Holds - "upgrading" consists of switching to a larger ship if you discover one as part of plundering merchant ships

movement - (PC) pick an island and go there; (BB) move from sea zone to sea zone and from sea zone to port at one action point a piece, number of action points determined by the value of the card you play from hand (though certain cards allow you to move from one sea zone to any other sea zone as "one action")

winning - (PC) collect gold and treasure but must bury it on PC to convert to victory points; (BB) collect gold (doubloons) and notoriety but must retire to convert gold to victory points.

The rules are online if you would like to read them yourself and get a feel for the game: http://www.gmtgames.com/blackbeard/Blackbeard-final.pdf
 
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Ted Groth
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I haven't tried Sea Rovers.

Age of Piracy has been delayed, as explained in the most recent sad thread. The publisher dropped it, and the designer is looking for a new publisher. This does look to be a very good game, but it depends how long you want to wait. It looks to be a rather involved game, at first glance it seems similar to Blackbeard, but actually it appears it will be quite different. Wish I could give you details. I would guess that by the time this comes out you will want to have both.

Blackbeard is available now, and IS a good game. I wouldn't think that Pirate's Cove is that good of a comparison. The strategy in Pirate's Cove is pretty light. I guess it depends on how much detail you are willing to lump into the "grown-up" descriptor.

Note that in Blackbeard the pirate ships don't directly fight, but there is a lot of player interaction. Instead of unrealistic battles between pirate ships, the pirates attack merchant ships to gain cargo to sell and hostages to ransom or torture for information. The ships also fight off Warships and Kings Commissioner ships that the other plyers send after them. Notably the players DO interact quite a bit though, because whenever it is not your turn, you play anti-pirate actions against the active pirate, controlling those warships, etc., or directly challenging the active Pirate himself, to steal his loot in port, or to take over his ship with a mutiny, or confront him with any of several other difficult circumstances. Also note that you may control several different pirates, during the course of the game, and sometimes several at once.
 
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Chris Morris
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I don't want to offend anyone here, but comparing Blackbeard to Pirate's Cove is like comparing Monopoly to Settlers of Catan where in you roll dice in both games and collect cards. Other than the theme, the two games have very little in common. Pirate's Cove, although good for a light gaming session as a somewhat gateway game, doesn't really have much in common with Blackbeard. That being said, I do like them both and play both games but with very different people.
 
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Corné Human
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No offense taken :-)

I think we all realise the limitations of simply calling BB a "grown up" version of PC and there's no need to push this idea too far. For purposes of my query though, the comparison is OK. At least this comparison is telling me that we are not looking at a more role-playing orientated or "heavy" old style wargame type of game. BB strikes me as a kind of middle-of-the-road wargame/simulation type of game.

And that's all I need for now - the general feel to the games in question.

Thanks for the input so far folks!
 
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Richard Berg
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I think you can have fun with almost any game that plays well . . . your choice here depends on what you want out of the game when you play it. BLACKBEARD offers a deal more meat (historicity). If you want that, you[ll enjoy it.


" . . .in Blackbeard the pirate ships don't directly fight,"

As they very rarely did in history.


RHB
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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Age of Piracy seems to be more like an adventure game where you focus on one character and develop him (a bit like a RPG).

Blackbeard is more an strategy game where you control various pirates and try to optimize your actions to get more vps at the end.

Anyway, right now, AoP is not an option, and the other two seem to be different enough that you could own both and play them at different times.

Sea Rovers seems to be lighter, with a Rummy-like card play mechanic to build your ships and a pick'n'deliver "missions" system where you go to different places to get booty, fight warships, and then deliver it to your haven. Seems like a fun game, but a totally different one...

-Jorge
 
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The Tak
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
since you are trading life for booty!


So Blackbeard has Marriage in it?
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brian
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lubomirvaic wrote:
I don't want to offend anyone here, but comparing Blackbeard to Pirate's Cove is like comparing Monopoly to Settlers of Catan where in you roll dice in both games and collect cards.

Understood and no offense taken. But to me, taking a fun family oriented game that is approachable by all my friends and comparing it to Blackbeard was a great discovery indeed. Since the OP stated he had experience with Pirate's Cove, it made sense to share with him what I thought was both a selling point and an easy teaching point.

No one was trying to make a claim that they were in the same ballbark - but they are the same sport. If the comparison doesn't apply to you, then don't listen. But it was appropriate for at least two of us.
 
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Jose Luis Rodriguez Mena
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chuman wrote:
I've decided there's still room for a Pirate game on my shelve. Question is which one to go for? Specifically, I think the choice boils down to Sea Rovers, the new BlackBeard (2008) and Age of Piracy (not out yet, I believe).

So how are these 3 pirate games different in scope, gameplay and target audience?

Any advice will be highly appreciated...

(PS: I have Pirates Cove already, I'm specifically looking at choosing between the 3 games mentioned above.)


Age of Piracy is officially cancelled. cry
If you are looking for a pirate game in Blackbeard it's very very difficult to find.
You play with various pirates and it's not like an RPG at all. Cofusing rules, gameplay, outdated...
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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jose633 wrote:
chuman wrote:
I've decided there's still room for a Pirate game on my shelve. Question is which one to go for? Specifically, I think the choice boils down to Sea Rovers, the new BlackBeard (2008) and Age of Piracy (not out yet, I believe).

So how are these 3 pirate games different in scope, gameplay and target audience?

Any advice will be highly appreciated...

(PS: I have Pirates Cove already, I'm specifically looking at choosing between the 3 games mentioned above.)


Age of Piracy is officially cancelled. cry
If you are looking for a pirate game in Blackbeard it's very very difficult to find.
You play with various pirates and it's not like an RPG at all. Cofusing rules, gameplay, outdated...


Well, AoP is cancelled, but the designer is looking for a publisher, so eventually I'm sure it'll be published too.

About Blackbeard, it's not like an RPG, indeed, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's more a strategic simulation. It's true there are some confusing rules, but the designers are working hard to clear them up. It's strange because I find that the theme in Blackbeard is very well implemented...

-Jorge
 
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brian
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maka wrote:
It's strange because I find that the theme in Blackbeard is very well implemented...

As do others. And while I may enjoy a Pirate game, I don't necessarily want an RPG. So I think Blackbeard is a good choice.
 
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Richard Berg
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"If you are looking for a pirate game in Blackbeard it's very very difficult to find."

What exactly are you looking for in a pirate game (that you don't find in BLACKBEARD)?

"You play with various pirates and it's not like an RPG at all."

Is it supposed to be. Does the fact that, as someone playing a game you are taking the part of an individual, mean that game must be an RPG? If, so, why>

"...outdated..."

In what way? And how can a game be outdated? Do you mean that every game that comes out must have new rules, new systems, etc etc.?

I', not insisting you m=have to like or enjoy BLACKBEARD, I[m just curious as what to your reasons are, with some specificty.

{I add, tangentially, that 'they' never answer the WHY questions.)


RHB
 
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Ted Groth
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jose633 wrote:
Age of Piracy is officially cancelled. cry
I am also upset that Age of Piracy is cancelled for now, although ever hopeful that it will eventually make it!

jose633 wrote:
If you are looking for a pirate game in Blackbeard it's very very difficult to find.... Confusing rules, gameplay, outdated...

I can't agree with most of this.

Confusing rules, Gameplay? The game is acutally pretty simple to play, once you are playing. If you don't have anyone to explain it to you though, it can be tricky to wrap your head around the rules, and all the different types of things you can do. I found that on my own Blackbeard required some significant study of the rules to sort out the sequence of gameplay, and just how the game works, but now it seems easy enough.

Outdated? It was just updated! The use of look-up tables does admittedly remind me more of wargames than today's multiplayer boardgames, and cuts into the ease of play. Or perhaps by outdated you mean that you wanted pretty plastic ships like Age of Piracy had promised, instead of cardboard chits. (Yes, I know, I want the ships too!)

Hard to find a pirate game in Blackbeard? No way! Blackbeard has a very strong pirate theme. After all, if looting merchant ships for the cargo & prisoners isn't piracy, then what is? And you also get to sack ports, fight warships, duel, bribe, etc. Maybe "hard to find" is really another way to say the rules seem complicated at first?

jose633 wrote:
You play with various pirates and it's not like an RPG at all.
Very true, Blackbeard is not an RPG. This is one of the ways that Blackbeard differs from what Age of Piracy was going to be.

 
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Jayson Ng
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If you check out the original Avalon Hill Blackbeard, it has Hexes on the map! This has a pedigree of a WARGAME for those who don't know. Yarrr :P

 
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Jose Luis Rodriguez Mena
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BROG wrote:
"If you are looking for a pirate game in Blackbeard it's very very difficult to find."

What exactly are you looking for in a pirate game (that you don't find in BLACKBEARD)?

"You play with various pirates and it's not like an RPG at all."

Is it supposed to be. Does the fact that, as someone playing a game you are taking the part of an individual, mean that game must be an RPG? If, so, why>

"...outdated..."

In what way? And how can a game be outdated? Do you mean that every game that comes out must have new rules, new systems, etc etc.?

I', not insisting you m=have to like or enjoy BLACKBEARD, I[m just curious as what to your reasons are, with some specificty.

{I add, tangentially, that 'they' never answer the WHY questions.)


RHB



First of all I'd like to say I'm a great fan of Blackbeard and I appreciate the support you're giving the game and the lot of hard work it has behind.
I'm a bit dissapointed with this new game system. Everything happens too fast.

The fact is that I didn't expect a RPG-like game, the older version wasn't and nobody reprints a bad game.
The system was already right!
But I do expected a more pausable game. Not so fast and furious. (In a session we played recently, nobody scored VPs due to three General Pardon early in the game).
I want to play with 1 or 2 pirates and try to get as much notoriety as I can, but with this new edition I have the feeling that I'm playing Blackbeard on speed, and that makes me feel frustrated.

In the old version you can attack merchants with a different value rating. It's more difficult to find a hostage and ports are really difficult to attack succesfully. I think this new version it's easier because the playing time, you have to play in less than 3 hours.
There're many things to do and little time for performing.

When I say "outdated" mean that you could have included some kind of miniatures, like ships. It would had been a very great addition to the theme.

By the other hand I like the new improvements to the game, like the event cards, no downtimes with a lot of interaction between players, AP actions and the quality of the components.

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying Blackbeard and I consider myself a big fan. Maybe the problem is that I expected too much.
Regards!

P.S. Sorry if my English isn't very good.
 
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Neil Randall
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Quote:
Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying Blackbeard and I consider myself a big fan. Maybe the problem is that I expected too much.


I don't think you expected too much (except for the miniatures, which were never in the equation - see my reply to your post in the warships thread for that). I simply think you were expecting a different game.

The new Blackbeard was designed precisely to be Blackbeard on speed - and to be significantly different from the old version in how it played. The major criticism of the old game was the amount of time it took to play and the amount of downtime while another player did his activities. Richard decided to change this 100% by making it a game of constant interaction - and also to make sure that pirates had a limited amount of time to work with (because their careers were almost always short). That's why the threat of the game ending unexpectedly became a major focus, and why we're pleased with the result of that particular mechanic.

But the game does seem to be ending rather quickly for you - are you sure you're playing the General Pardon card correctly?

 
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Jose Luis Rodriguez Mena
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Quote:

are you sure you're playing the General Pardon card correctly?


I want to believe that yes...
The first time it has no effect, and it's placed back in the Event Deck, (not discards)
The second time brings the Pardon to all active Pirates (they must go to an English port and retires). Card is held out until 20 cards remaining in the deck.
The third time = game over.

I think the problem was that we played a 5 player game with a lot of AP card play. The deck ran fast, so it ended quickly.

As I said before, I didn't pretend to be polemical, and I really appreciate the support you're giving to the game. As a big fan of Blackbeard I felt myself a bit dissapointed. I didn't expect a Blackbeard on speed. That's all.
Maybe you're right and I expected a different kind of game.

Keep on the good job, and sorry for the inconveniences.


 
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Dan C
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Like you, I have Pirate's Cove and am looking for another pirate game. I have recently been reading about Jamaica - which looks amazing. Though, haven't been able to find a good way to order it in the US...
 
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jose633 wrote:
I think the problem was that we played a 5 player game with a lot of AP card play. The deck ran fast, so it ended quickly.

Perhaps you should play the long version where you go through the entire deck before adding in the General Pardon.
 
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Jose Luis Rodriguez Mena
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
jose633 wrote:
I think the problem was that we played a 5 player game with a lot of AP card play. The deck ran fast, so it ended quickly.

Perhaps you should play the long version where you go through the entire deck before adding in the General Pardon.



I think it's the best option for 4+ players games. Thank you.
 
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Elijah
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chuman wrote:
I've decided there's still room for a Pirate game on my shelve. Question is which one to go for? Specifically, I think the choice boils down to Sea Rovers, the new BlackBeard (2008) and Age of Piracy (not out yet, I believe).

So how are these 3 pirate games different in scope, gameplay and target audience?

Any advice will be highly appreciated...

(PS: I have Pirates Cove already, I'm specifically looking at choosing between the 3 games mentioned above.)


I was in the same boat (pun intended!) as you. Here's my take. Buy Blackbeard and enjoy it for what it is (great game so far). When Searovers gets released commercially, I'll be buying that. When (or more if) Age of Piracy gets released, I'll be buying that as well. Why limit yourself to just 1 game?!
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