First time play Report:
Players: Matthew, Melin, Greg, Nathan
This was one of the lighter games that I had requested for my birthday and after playing a heavier game of Princes of Florence we decided we had about enough time for a quickie game.
The rules were easy to explain and we were off and running in about 5 minutes.
The first round of bribing met with three of us all bidding for the same ship and Greg going uncontested for two others. He was thus able to capture a ship for 5 and another for 4 and walk all over the map. The three others actually all TIED for the first and second places of our choice and thus the ships sat... doing nothing.
Amazingly the rest of the game was the same. One ship would be contested heavily while Greg walked away with the others. I shifted gears to stop him but by then it was too late. He had a COMMANDING lead in gold and within short order the game was over.
In the end I think I would have liked to have seen a little more distance between the ports and the havens. Where skill would dictate getting the treasure there a bit more. As it was whoever got an uncontested 5 on a ship would sack a villiage and dump the treasure off at a safe haven in that very turn.
We will give it a few more tries but I am not hugely impressed at first run.