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Pirate Dice: Voyage on the Rolling Seas» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Pirate Dice (pre)Review (prototype) rss

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Christopher Veatch
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This was the first game that convinced me to support it on Kickstarter. I was fortunate enough to receive a prototype copy of the game and couldn't wait to set sail, but unfortunately, like so many things my wife has to be in the "right mood" for it. Luckily a buddy of mine dropped by and we were talking about board games. He made a remark about there needing to be a pirate game and I knew it was a sign.

Keep in mind that the components are prototypes and will most likely be vastly different in the finalized product. The box mine came in was a very nice bonus as I was expecting a shoe box or something similar. Hopefully the finished packaging will keep the treasure chest feel. I really like the look of the treasure map stylized tile, but it certainly would have changed the feel of the game. The tile size, which I assume will be the same felt like a good size. The command dice size, which I also assume will be the same, felt a little big. Especially when attempting to roll 5 command dice and the treasure dice at the same time. Not too much of a biggie and it would have hurt their readability, but I wish the dice were regulation size.

I usually don't play many 2 player board games because the limited chance for the unexpected tends to ruin the excitement for me. Not so with this game. As my friend pointed out to me it really does capture the uncertainty of sailing the rolling seas. The current and whirlpool mechanics simulates this well. That's possibly the greatest feature of this game, it's mechanics feel so natural that it makes the rules fairly clear after a brief explanation. You could give a thorough rundown of them in under two minutes if you're familiar with them. Setting up takes maybe a minute more.

Our initial race for the treasure was just that, a race. We bumped and drifted our way through the first two tiles with little interaction. Still by the time we reached the treasure tile my friend was already at half health from some ruthless skulduggery on my part. The design of the treasure tile is the perfect setup for conflict. I grabbed the treasure easy enough, but trying to navigate my way out of the tile passed my opponent's ship lead to an epic battle of ramming back and forth into whirlpools and currents. This lead to a mutual parlay of sorts, where we both lowered sails and repaired. I could see how a 4 player game would be filled with chaotic battles and plain awesomeness. In the end, I broke away from my friend's crippled vessel and made it home with my treasure.

Planning out your moves has many satisfying layers of strategy to it. You must envision your and your opponents moves ahead of time. Two player Pirate Dice feels like a tense game of chess on the high-seas. Our first game took roughly 40 minutes, but I could see that being longer depending how strategic the players are playing. Unfortunately we didn't have time for a second game, but we spent the next 10 minutes strategizing for the next game. You know a game has succeeded when it can leave you thinking of the next game.

Editted to say: Sorry for possibly posting this in the wrong subforum. Was in a rush to get it submitted before catching a flight.
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