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Subject: Is this game really as bad as the rating suggests? rss

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Mr. Frothingslosh
Canada
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What the subject sez!

The game looks like it has potential, and the pieces also look great (metal ships!).

I could buy this game for fairly cheap, but will I play it one time and banish it to the depths of my game closet?
 
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DK Kemler
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Sacramento
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I once owned it, and played it a few times.

It has major problems.

With the right combination of starting cards, I can sail from my starting Island, to yours, steal your one starting boat, and sail away, before your first turn. This leaves you stranded on your starting islands, without ways to leave, get resources, or build a new boat.

On top of that,t he game just isn't that fun... Lots of dice rolling, little thinking involved...

As much as I want a good pirate game, this isn't it.
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Mr. Frothingslosh
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degamer wrote:


It has major problems.

With the right combination of starting cards, I can sail from my starting Island, to yours, steal your one starting boat, and sail away, before your first turn. This leaves you stranded on your starting islands, without ways to leave, get resources, or build a new boat.

On top of that,t he game just isn't that fun... Lots of dice rolling, little thinking involved...
.


Quick reply! I figured there was something to the low rankings. I spied it on Ebay for a ridiculous low price (although shipping somewhat offsets this). I'll look into more but I think it will be a 'pass' for me.

Thanks!
 
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Pedro Silva
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Well...

The game does have some issues, but I don't think they are as bad as degamer thinks.

For one, the cards are optional. I've never used them as I think they might indeed unbalance the game. I really can't think, from the top of my head, which combination of cards would allow what degamer mentions, but I can't say for sure it is impossible. One thing he is wrong about is that you do not have a single boat at the start of the game. You have two. And with only 10 action points he'd be hard pressed to achieve the result mentioned. Also he'd be vulnerable to an attack from the player that goes after him.

In my opinion the biggest problem with this game is that the first player to go for a victory must do so in a very secure way or he will lose the game to the one placed second. This sometimes happens because the first player to be in victory condition will have all three other players trying to get him off that position. If he is unable to repeat it (or get another) by the end of his next turn, he's most likely too weakened to try again. Another player with a possibility to try and win might be more successful as he will benefit from one less strong opponent and the remaining two might also have spent too much in fighting the first one.

The other thing is that this game is good with 4. With 3 it's a little unbalanced and with two is extremely cut throat.

Of course a player that loses both his ships is out of the game, but I always mention this to new players. The boats are extremely important. Protect them!
Luck does play a part in the game. Exploring is done through dice. Battling too. So you can expect to get a bit unlucky at times and very lucky at others. Still, if you think about your moves, spare action points, don't explore unless you will probably be the one getting the gold, etc... you'll do fine.

Unlike degamer I think you really need to think about what you will do. That is why the game is listed as having over 1.5 hours of playing time. The mechanics are not complex and the game is not too fiddly, so most of the time is due to tactical considerations by the players.
The first few rounds are typically dedicated to exploring the central island, getting gold and buying armies. Then, when the gold is almost over and the central island is mostly explored or you can't get more armies (which are limited), some serious fighting occurs...

If those things don't bother you, do get the game and try it. The first game will probably take you a couple of hours, but with more experienced players you can finish it in an hour fifteen.

It's one of the games I've had for longer and I try to get it to the table now and again. I usually need to find players in advance to a regular meeting of our group, but I've never had really bad reactions to it.

If you have some specific doubts about it, Geekmail me and I'll try to clarify them.

Have fun.
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Byl Kravetz
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this game was weak when we tried it with my group. none of us liked it.
 
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Schwarz Andreas
Germany
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..the game is unbalanced and has some major problems...if you like to invent rules by yourself, the material is stunning nice to use it for a selfmade game..
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Darrell Pavitt
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Seems that you should avoid games named "Armada" - the old SPI game Armada had problems, too.
 
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Gunter Bosman
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Ouch for just reading this now, as earlier this month I bought me one.
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