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Subject: Passing, Moving Back From The Boat and a Possible Stalemate Situation rss

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Rob Steward
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This has been discussed here and there in various ways, but it seems like playing the game exactly as written in the rulebook a situation can arise where it is impossible to proceed. In the past, I have always played with 5 players and never had any problem situations... but today we played with just 3 players.

First, the rulebook doesn't explicit state whether you can or cannot move a pirate back into the tunnel once he has reached the boat. However, if you don't allow this, there are many times when a player with no cards will be unable to make any moves.

I've read that being able to move a pirate back once he is on the boat was an official ruling at some point. (See: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1371993#1371993 )

However, the rules still state that on your turn you must take at least one action (and up to three actions).

Here is a situation where, even allowing for pirates to be pulled back off the boat, the green player (if he has no cards) cannot take any action whatsoever. He cannot even move back from the boat, since both the available spaces already have the maximum of 3 pirates on them:



So, it looks like the green player must pass, but nowhere does the rulebook mention or allow passing. (It says you must take at least one action.)

I'm not really asking what to do, since it seems like the houserule of "you must take at least 1 action if possible, otherwise you must pass" takes care of the problem.

However, while typing this up, I realized that--even allowing for pirates to come back from the boat, and even allowing for passing--it is possible for this to be a truly locked game, where no player can proceed:



If none of the players has any cards, this game is stalemated. Obviously, there would have to be some very poor play to end up in this situation... but this game is easily played by and/or with young children. So, I guess I'd have to say the rules are a little broken (even though I think the game itself is fairly decent and has some charm).

EDIT: I realize now that the first photo is a stalemate, too... if none of the players has any cards
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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We have usually played this with four or less players and yes it is certainly possible to get yourself into a situation where you can't play.

We warn new(ish) players of the possibility, with experienced players it is generally just bad or risky play and as such I have only seen it occur once.

If it is a problem you could rewind a little, or since it is short game is a very good learning lesson devil
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Mat Thomsen
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My son and I just played our first game and it happened to both of us. So yes, first game = poor play, but we did not know about the possibility of using pirates from the boat.

So, the answer is, don't run out of cards? I would like to hear more on this.
 
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Aaron Edwards
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Late to this thread, but just wanted to chip in that (along with a few other minor rules changes), the new Ravensburger edition states that if you get into a situation where there is nothing you can do, then you may draw one card and pass the rest of your turn. Seems to fix the problem.
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