The Pirate Game, A Trip To Jail & The Bottom of the Sea
Well, our adventures on high seas did not go as as spectacularly as one would hope- but it was a damn good time! Gianna and I drew a Dutch allegiance to start the game. Gianna was made Captain of the vessel and I was the first mate. Though a Pirate’s Life is the life for me, we were given a military crew with merchant tasks. We set sail from our port with the intention of protecting the large merchant vessels in our fleet with our superior fire power. But alas, it did not quite go as planned.
The large vessels, with the wind at our backs, made it to port ahead of us and while guarding the entrance to the port, we took fire from a dodgy pirate. Thankfully the damage was only to a sail, which we were able to repair after making port ourselves. Leaving the port was when things went a different direction.
While plotting our next move, we saw the ghost ship come into our sights. We decided, “no guts, no glory” and we would try to take on the ghost ship.
The winds had now picked up and we began turning into the wind to head towards the ghost ship when another ship of questionable allegiance came into view towards us. As it got closer, and the ghost ship moved farther out of our reach, we realized the ship headed our way would have to be dealt with.
And so, combat began. First the cannons fired. Firing was a lovely simple mechanic which was easy to resolve. After cannons, the muskets. And then, there was a boarding party- because we could. Now here, it got VERY confusing. I honestly don’t think we could’ve replicated the steps without the assistance from Scott, the Commodore (and game coordinator). After much dice rolling and a great deal of math, our ship was victorious! Due to game rules, we were instructed by the Commodore Scott that no one could be thrown overboard or killed, but instead we would capture the pirate and sail him to port. This is where we made a fatal error. Ideally we should’ve taken the prisoner to our home Dutch port, but that was a long way off and there was a TON of ships between us and home, so we decided to take the prisoner to the closest port- the English port. And when I say “we”, I mean “me” as I was given command of the captured vessel to sail into port with our prisoner.
I got to command my own ship for one, whole turn. Yes, one. I sailed to port and proudly brought my prisoner before the governor- who for reasons unknown to me at the time, did not seem to trust my story. He produced a coin that he flipped to choose whether or not he believed me- I lost. He informed me that while we were locked in battle, a war had been declared with the Dutch, and I was thrown in prison along with my prisoner!
If this wasn’t bad enough, the governor then said, “it’s a shame that neither of you have anything to offer to buy your way out of prison.” Now mind you, Gianna had the treasure chest we had been sailing with, I had not received my own AND it was at that moment that I realized that I had not seen the prisoner’s treasure! The prisoner miraculously produced treasure he had hidden and bought his was out of jail, leaving me there to rot!
The prisoner bought himself a new ship by being willing to spy for the governor but couldn’t sail without a first mate. Now, though I ended in jail and lost my ship, I had earned 52 victory points for taking a ship, which I purchased 100 acres of land with. My now free prisoner then agreed to hire me as a first mate and I returned to the sea under his command!
Meanwhile on the other side of the board, Gianna managed to overtake yet another ship but while making her way back across the board, was blasted into floating rubble.
It was at this point that the game ended for us as it was late and we were famished! The moral of the story is, do not get distracted by the lure of the ghost ship, do not take prisoners and do NOT trust governors of ports other than your own.
All in all, it was a wonderful game, with an absolutely stunning setting, with a great rule set, run by fantastic people.