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Subject: Level of Direct Conflict rss

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Anthony Harlan
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Orlando
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Bert, what utter nonsense!
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How big is the screwage factor in this game? How much direct "Take that!" conflict? What other games is it similar to in this regard? For example, is it more or less than in Citadels?

On the other hand, how much is this game about tableau/engine building, card combos, and hand management?

The reason I ask is I don't particularly care for direct conflict but I'm still looking for a heavier pirate game (Ironic, I know.). I like Scallywags and Jamacia but they're super light.
 
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Randall Monk
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A pirate game without direct conflict should be made to walk the plank.
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Adam O'Brien
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The entire game is the second half of For Sale. It is blind bidding for treasure tiles, plus card special abilities. There are a few directed card abilities (e.g. I kill your previously played character) but not much screwage apart from someone taking the tile you wanted.

It is nowhere near as interactive/backstabby as Citadels.

There is no engine building at all, and very few card combos. Hand management, however, is the entirety of the game.

A heavy game this is not at all. And the price point is borderline insulting for what you get in the box.
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Dave Heberer
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Lake Stevens
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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I played this only once, and given you don't play with like a third of the cards your results may vary.

There isn't a lot of directed 'take that' but there is a ton of player induced random burns. Not only are a fifth or so of the treasures a 'kill someone to your left or right' treasures, but a good portion of the player powers do something to other players.

If you don't like getting targeted for bad times, this game is probably not for you.
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Patrick Reynolds
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I am going to go ahead and strongly disagree with the above sentiments that this game has a weak screwage factor.

In fact, there can be a huge amount of direct conflict between players... but the level of this is random and based on two distinct factors.

First, you need certain characters in the game. The Brute is huge (although not technically direct conflict since you're not really sure who he's going to knock out, and it might even be himself) because he removes a character from the running. This is a game in which you get 18 chances to collect loot. This character potentially takes one or more of the chances away from you.

In addition, there are the sabres. This is where the majority of the direct player screwage happens, and it's dictated by random draw for the loot available each day. In the game I played, we had a lot of these, and there are a lot of them in the loot mix. So you're very likely to have a bunch come around. These let you kill off a character of your choice in another player's den. Very frequently, sabres are used to destroy the carefully laid plans of your opponents, because the Night and End of Week abilities tend to be very powerful. Do you think that you'll be able to hang onto that character who will give you 10 doubloons at the end of the week? Or will someone whack him with a sabre at the first opportunity?

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I definitely felt a high level of conflict when I played this game - higher than Citadels, that's for sure. In Citadels, you're guessing with the Assassin and the Thief. You might get lucky, or have good intuition, but those cards are only comparable to the Brute in this game, they are as effective as your ability to outguess your opponents card play. The sabres in Libertalia let you pick and choose who to assassinate.
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