Gameday First Play – Pirates of the Spanish Main: Shuffling the Deck
You can always trust the untrustworthy because you can always trust that they will be untrustworthy. Its the trustworthy you can’t trust.
~ Captain Jack Sparrow
In Pirates of the Spanish Main: Shuffling the Deck, you want to steer the captains that you sponsor and their ships to treasure, but you need to be discreet about who you sponsor. If another player guesses which ships are yours, they get to plunder half your gold!
The 9 ships are shuffled and placed in a row… The 9 Captains of those ships are shuffled and 2 are dealt face down to each player.
Each player has a number of movement cards, some event cards are flipped face up and you’re good to go.
On your turn you can do a number of things…
The main one is to play a Movement card which moves a ship or ships. These move them up and down the row. Some damage ships which flips them over to their damaged side. Damaged ships can’t get loot!
Another thing you can do is repair, but you repair ALL the ships.
You can discard a movement card and pick a player and pick a ship and if they own it you get half the loot of that loot. If you’re wrong they just tell you.
After taking an action an event card takes place. There are 3 laid out and the one on the end of the row will activate, giving you a chance to see the next 2 cards coming out.
These give ships loot, damage ships, cause some ships to damage other ships etc Lots of different things.
I like these games where you manipulate a line of cards, like Guillotine, and this one is the best I’ve played. It’s really simple to gain loot but tough to not make it obvious who you are trying to give loot to.
Also, once you figure out who someone is what do you do? Call them out and get their loot, right? Well, you get half their loot rounded up, once., so if you wait for them to get more, you gain more. But what if someone else has worked it out too? What if they beat you to it?
The downside is the fiddlyness… You move the row around a lot and as they gain treasure you could be moving a card with 6-7 cards under it, fanned out. They have these little card board trays with handles but they don’t work very well. So yeah, moving was poor. Also, the row isn’t numbered so you have to keep counting when it says spaces 3,5 and 7 get loot.
Neither are big issues, but they get annoying after a while…
So fiddly, but very fun.