Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Author: unknown

Publisher: MB

Awards: none



"It is the 17th Century on the high seas in the Carribean and you and your opponent must decide who will rule the Spanish Main. Pirate ship or Spanish Galleon ? The swashbuckling sea duel challenges you to chart your course to either sink the enemy ship or to seize the enemy captain. Features two 15īī high plastic ships with masts and decks. Plus a 66-piece sailing crew complete with cannons."

After a long search, I was finally able to locate a copy of this game at an Internet-Auction. Itīs incredible, but here in Germany this game is priced at about US$ 350,-, and so I was lucky enough to get it for only US$ 62,-. After the game arrived, I was eager to know whether it was worth all the work it took me to locate the game....

My first impressions after opening the gamebox were great indeed. As shown on the image below, the game contains 2 large plastic Galleons, complete with 23 Crew-Members, 10 Canons and 4 Masts each. These ships must be carefully assembled, and each player places his ship at his place at the gameboard. Now the real game begins. In the middle of the board is a grid-map of a place somewhere in the Carribean. The players each place a small ship, symbolizing the bigger ships, at the opposite sides of the map-grid. Now each player takes up his 15 course cards (3 "Move Forward", 3 "Turn 60 degrees Starboard", 3 "Turn 60 degrees Port", 3 "Hold Position" and 3 "Hull / Mast Damage") and he plots the next 3 steps for his ship. When both players have plotted their course, each player simultaneously turns around his first card and performs the action on it. This is repeated with the second and third card as well, and then a new course is plotted.

The nearer the ships draw to each other, the more dangerous the game becomes. Finally, when the ships are only one space away from each other, each player may fire his cannons at the other. Depending on how much cannons are left and in which angle the ships face each other, each player now fires 0 to 5 cannons at the opponent. The damage taken by the other player is determined by rolling a dice for each cannon. Possible results are the loosing of a cannon and crew, loosing a mast and taking hull damage. For each mast lost and for each two points of hull damage at the same part of the ship, the player owning that ship must use one special "Stay in Place" card for one of his navigation actions. This results in total immobility (=game lost !) when a ship has taken three such damages. A special damage is the loosing of the Captain, in which case the ship is forced to stay in place for one whole round, resulting in a decisive advatage for the opponent.

If the ships should collide during their movement-phase, i.e. they move simultaneously onto the same space, the Boarding Parties Phase of the game begins. Now each player may move up to 3 of his crewmembers for one space on board of the ships. The goal now becomes to kill the opponents captain. Whenever opposing forces meet, a dice is rolled. The player with the lower number loses a crewmember in this space. If a player has more crewmembers in the same space, he gets an advantage since he may add "1" or "2" to his dice-roll.

After having played the games a few times, I was still undecided how to evaluate it. As a matter of fact, the game parts and its board are looking great, but the rules were a little bit disappointing. Having played other games of the GameMaster-Series, I expected a game with more strategy, but not much strategy is left in this game. Honestly, I still think that it is a nice short game, offering a nice Sea-Battle, but I donīt think that this game really should be part of the GameMaster-Series. The game is just too short, too easy and too luck-depending to be a real classic. From this point of view, it seems a little bit strange why collectors pay so much to get this game....

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany