I'm pouring all of my points in sarcasm.
Box next to hand.
We decided to start our family game for the evening a bit early tonight, since sometimes our games run long and past bedtime. I gave Jessica (13) and Matt (8) a choice of Settlers of Catan or Pirates Cove. Pirates Cove won the vote unanimously.
We'd played a couple of times before, so overall this game went more smoothly than our previous ones. This can still be a "fiddly" game, however, as it requires a fair amount of bookkeeping: keeping track of fame point gains/losses after battle, ship upgrades, battle and volley card timing, determining order of fire during battle, etc. I think we had 95% of it nailed down pretty tightly this time, though.
We all opted to take advantage of the ability to upgrade our ships prior to game start. I decided to upgrade my cannons, Matt hull, Jessica and Nalani sails. Apparently it was "pick on Poppy (that's me!)" night, because out of the first 5 rounds, I ended up getting blasted to Pirate's Cove on 4 rounds. Obviously, I was waaaay behind on fame points midway through the game. Matt had jumped out to a strong lead, as he seemed to have a knack for picking islands nobodoy else went to. Nalani was a close second, Jessica midway between Nalani and me.
Matt's luck changed, however, as he ran up on Blackbeard a couple of times and doggedly decided to stay and fight (and lose, but that boy loves to sling those bones). We play with the alternate Legendary Pirate movement variant, where the Legendary Pirates moves 1 island westward on a roll of 1-3, 2 islands on 4 and 5, and 3 islands on a roll of 6. We like the random factor and it makes for a bit of tension. Hey, you never know where that rascal is going to pop up!
Matthew lost his lead eventually, and Jessica took the lead by getting to Treasure Island, defeating her mom, and burying a buttload of treasure chests. She never lost the lead after that.
On the 12th round I had no treasure in my hull, so I decided to hit Tavern Island with the hopes of getting some VP cards. It paid off, as I got 5 VP's worth of cards, but not enough to take the lead.
Jessica ended up winning, 3 points over Nalani and I (who tied). Matt finished last, 2 points behind us.
This is a fun game for kids, as it does have a lot of theme. The kids always enjoy the battles, and the black pirates are always feared and respected. If any of you parents are planning on purchasing this game to play with your kids, I would strongly recommend having a strong grasp of the rules to make the game run more smoothly.
Thanks for reading!