Gameday First Play – Jamaica
Race round Jamaica looting random places…
…and each other!
After a long career in piracy, Captain Henry Morgan skilfully gets appointed to be Governor of Jamaica, with the explicit order to cleanse the Caribbean of pirates and buccaneers! Instead, he invites all of his former “colleagues” to join him in his retirement, to enjoy the fruits of their looting with impunity. Each year, in remembrance of the “good old days,” Morgan organizes the Great Challenge, a race around the island, and at its end, the Captain with the most gold is declared Grand Winner.
The race is from Port Royal, around the island and back again. On your voyage you’ll stop in different places. Ports charge Gold, open sea spaces costs food for your hungry Pirates and Pirate Coves are not only free, but may contain valuable treasure.
You have a hold with 5 spaces and you have a bit of gold and food and you’re ready to go.
You have a hand of 3 cards which are far too big considering they’re only needed for those 2 tiny icons in the top corners. But, and I haven’t tried this yet, you can put them end to end to make a panorama that apparently loops back to itself so there is that… Still, they’re too big.
Anyway, you choose a Captain and they roll the dice…
The Captain put them in the middle of the board in any order. The die on the left, for Morning, is used with the icon on the left side of your card. Right Die/Night/Right Icon.
Everyone picks a card and puts it face down then starting with the Captain and in turn order everyone reveals and takes both actions.
There are 5 symbols, but only 2 really…
Food/Gold/Canons – Take that many Food/Gold/Cannon tokens and add them to one of your holds.
Red Arrow/Green Arrow – Move back, Move forward that many spaces.
After resolving these you check to see if you moved onto a space with another ship, if you did you fight!
The attacker spends Cannon tokens and rolls a die vs the defender doing the same thing. Highest wins and can steal the contents of a hold, a treasure or give away a cursed treasure which are worth minus points.
The combat die has an ‘Instant Win’ icon on one side giving a slight advantage to the attacker as they roll first.
After combat you sort out the space you ended your turn on and draw treasure or pay the costs as required.
Once someone reaches Port Royal this triggers the end of the game and the round ends after its complete.
You score points for your relative position on the board, the Gold you have in your hold, your bonus from treasure, minus any negatives from cursed treasure, most points wins.
Firstly, the insert is great and everything holds everything else in place… almost. The tokens mix together if the box is tipped up… But the bonus that gives is more than lost by the awful rulebook which folds out like a treasure Map which is fun, but also folds out like a Treasure map which is annoying! You have to undo the whole thing to look up one little rule…
But, thankfully the game is fun and pretty simple so you don’t need it too often but on the first play we needed it enough that it was a hassle.
I wonder after one play if you can get lucky drawing the cards. You have one of each combination, (maybe more or less I haven’t checked) but that double move card is pretty strong and I drew it twice in the game. It let me move 4+5 in the last round and move from 3rd to end the game with holds full of Gold for the win.
But anyway, it’s fun, strategic enough to matter, light enough to not care and quite pretty.
A good game.