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Letter of Marque» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Ice-breakers and Japanese Whalers in the Antarctic? rss

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John Shortall
New Zealand
Christchurch
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Spoiler : the title has no bearing on the game other than 'ice-breaker' but I might consider a variant.

This game 'Letter of Marque' is very light so I won't try to emulate what others have written. I played this game with our 7 and 13 yr old daughters and we had a great time filling in a 15 minute break. It is a game for all levels of gamer, all at once - an everymans game if you like. Add to your pirate gamenight!

The basic premise is bluffing your way to victory. Each player receives 5 ship cards, 3 Cannon cards, and 5 plastic ships.

There are 6 sets in different colours - Cream, Blue, Purple, Red, Green, and Orange. All the cards and ships are well illustrated and of a high production quality.

Cards are valued from 3-7. A card is placed in the centre of the table and one of your ships is placed on it. Of the ships you have, 2 have cannon symbols underneath. These defend your cards from attack. The thing is, do you protect your high value cards or bluff your way through?

PLAY

The cards are shuffled and placed in front of you face down. Your cannon cards are placed separately. Your ships are kept close by.

On your turn you choose one of the following 4 choices:

Draw your top card, reveal it and place it on the table so that every one can see the points value. Place one of your ships on it.
OR
You can take your own ship off the table and score the points. Discard the ship that was protecting it. This is a worthwhile pursuit and can tend to be compulsory near the end anyway.
OR
Attack an opponents ship by placing a cannon card on their treasure card and revealing the underside of the ship protecting it. If it has a cannon symbol the attacker loses and gives his cannon card to the defender. This is worth 1 point at the end of the game. The treasure card and ship remains. Best part of the game.
If the ship has no cannon symbol then the treasure card is lost to the attacker, the ship discarded, and the points scored at the end of the game.
OR
Pass - you may pass if you have no more ships 'at sea' or cards in your deck.

GAME ENDS when no cards are left in a players deck and no ships left on the table 'at sea'. Each player tallies their points on the cards collected.

YES I Know, everbody seems to be complaining about lack of gameplay, simple premise and generally naysaying BUT it is a great ice-breaker and is a good family or party filler. Not sure why the Age 13+ is stated. My 7 year old loves it. I also get to play with the little ships in the bath! Maybe I'm just asimple pirate.

Bruno Faidutti is one of my favourite authors and there is no reason to dislike this game. It is designed for a particular market and provides income for the author and publisher and supports BGG (We get to comment).

If you find the rules too simple there is plenty of scope to modify them or add some more value. arrrh









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Alter Ego
Germany
munich
Bavaria
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jshortall wrote:
Not sure why the Age 13+ is stated. My 7 year old loves it. I also get to play with the little ships in the bath! Maybe I'm just asimple pirate.


the age 13+ is curious indeed. I wonder if it is related to the plastic/material used to produce the game ... ninja
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bruno faidutti
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PARIS
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It's related to the new US regulations with toys. The cost of the various tests necessary to write a lower age on the box is so high that FFG prefers to pay it only wth their kids line, and to sell the other games only to older gamers.
Some european kid games publishers have left the US market last year because of this cost.
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