Review – Pirates 2ed, Governor’s Daughter, from Kuznia Gier

Review – Pirates 2ed, Governor’s Daughter, from Kuznia Gier,

Designed by Malgorzata Majkowska, Tomasz Majkowski, Michal Stachyra and Maciej Zasowski

Yo, ho ho and a bottle of rum! Avast ye lubbers! Arrrggghhh! Tis a fine time to play a pirate game! As I haven’t played many piratey games, I picked up Pirates 2ed, Governor’s Daughter at Essen from the very nice folks at Kuznia Gier.

This is a re-edition of an adventure-economic game. The objective of the game is to rescue the governor’s daughter who has been kidnapped by the Dread Pirate Roberts (segue to The Princess Bride, one of my favourite films). So on the surface, I’m excited… Pirates! The Dread Pirate Roberts!  This looks like something right down my street.

The first piece of good news is that there are only 4 pages of rules. Less is more in my view so I’m happy with that. The English translation is fine. The components include a colorful and evocative map with several types of spaces which regulate movement of ships. There are different types of islands including islands with a port and plantation, trading ports, and Pirate Island – home of Dread Pirate Roberts and where you need to go to rescue the governor’s daughter.  There are also sea trade routes traveled by merchant ships and dangerous reef spaces which can damage your ship.

Other components include an adventure card deck which has a variety of icons representing trade goods, special missions, bonuses for your cannon strength, and other effects. Some of these cards are not used in the 2-player game. There are cubes representing trade goods, cardboard pieces representing your ship, merchant ships and warships that patrol the area as well as damage, drunken crew and “wanted dead or alive” tokens. Additionally, there are pieces to track your doubloons, missions, cannon strength, size of your ship’s storage and how much “splendour” you gain as you build your reputation for pirating deeds.

It really seems to tick all of the boxes that you might hope to see in a pirate game.

Gameplay

Your ultimate goal is to rescue the Governor’s daughter. Everything you do needs to lead to this. In order to do this you collect 2 map fragments for 15 Doubloons or 10 Splendour points and then sail to Pirate Island to rescue her by paying 50 Doubloons of ransom to Roberts or actually intimidating Roberts because you have gained 30 Splendor points .

The game flow is very straightforward and gives you a number of choices in terms of what you can do to gain Doubloons and Splendor points. During the Archipelago Phase, you draw a card. If the card shows a trade good other than rum, you can choose to build up stocks for purchase at the matching plantation island, reduce stock at the island to keep others from getting their hands on it, or move a merchant ship along a trade route (which means it is available for you to raid it). If the card shows a rum symbol, Dread Pirate Roberts is getting impatient waiting for the ransom and you lose an action point. If a battleship is drawn, you can send out one of the battleships to harass the other players or set up for own attack. Lots of pirate action.

The Cruise phase is where you can complete missions, play cards against other players, play crew cards and Boarding cards. You spend action points to do a  variety of actions, bearing in mind that if Roberts is becoming less patient, you have less action points. Buying and selling goods, raiding ports, outfitting your ship, fighting pitched naval battles, the lot. Its all there. Combat is very easy and amounts to comparing strengths and adding bonuses. Highest sciore wins and can gain you doubloons, Splendor and or goods.

The combination of all of the options let you choose your strategy. Go for a good old piratey fighting strategy or maybe a more clever economic path? Its up to you.

Did it work for me?

Aye matey, it did. I really like the simplicity and yet there is enough depth and theme here to get a real sens of playing pirate. It took me a little while to get used to the variety and impact of my choices but after a few turns, it come together. I was a bit concerned about the economic aspect but it soon became clear that its all about buying cheap and selling for a profit. Each port clearly lists the prices of goods so you can plan your strategy accordingly. You can also have a raiding strategy which can reap rewards but this can cause you problems as you may become “wanted” which limits your options for a turn. What is really cool about this game is the piratey feel of your choices. Yo ho, Yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!

Pirates 2ed, Governor’s Daughter is a fun family game with enough depth of strategy for gamers as well.

Another Polish company produces a nice game.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7 out of 10

Family Friendly?

Yes, for older children 12+. A nice game for families and I suggest lots of piratey talk around the table!

For more information about Kuznia Gier Games go to – http://kuzniagier.pl/

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