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Subject: Rule clarifications needed! rss

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Adam M
Canada
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Okay so I played this for the first time last night, and we kind of had to 'assume' rules in a few cases.

So, my understanding of the rules were that if a merchant ship is played and someone attacks it, then unless someone else attacks it for a high value before the initial attacker's next turn, the initial attacker wins it. if it is a tie, the ship remains in play indefinitely, either till one player adds to their attack strength or uses a pirate captain. But from my understand everything essentially boiled down to one go around the table from a given action. I played in a 4 player game and it happened a few times where someone played a low value merchant ship and it didn't get attacked so they automatically won it because the other players were either strengthening attacks on other ships or playing their own merchant ships.

I also understood 1 action per turn, so either draw a card, play a merchant ship, attack a merchant ship or add to your attack. this is probably the biggest challenge of the game, trying to decide how to best use your single action (I think this game suits team play alot better as it would make it easier to strategize effectively). I'm tempted thought to add a 'draw one play one' house rule.

I saw something about cards left in hand at the end being negative points, I don't remember seeing this in the rules, is this just merchant ships or pirate ships as well?

I can't remember anything else at the moment, but the rules seemed to be missing several scenario clarifications. Then again, skull and roses has the same problem.

PS I saw mention of a 'if it's not in the rule book, do it' tactic, which I don't agree with. I'd rather discuss with everyone in the game what they feel is most fair/reasonable in a given situation and we agree to adhere to that ruling. Then again this is a pretty simple game, so getting upset over any disputes would be silly.
 
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W M Shubert
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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Sounds like you have the rules right. I thought they were pretty clear.
 
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Sight Reader
United States
Colorado
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bluepisces wrote:
I'm tempted thought to add a 'draw one play one' house rule.

Oooh... NOT a good idea. An important decision centers around this trade-off: should you build up for a big attack, or should you pressure and try to go out?

bluepisces wrote:
I saw something about cards left in hand at the end being negative points, I don't remember seeing this in the rules, is this just merchant ships or pirate ships as well?

Just the merchants, especially since pirates don't count as points either way. It's the big incentive to the "going out" strategy: you can strand guys who overbuilt their hand.

This dynamic is much more apparent and interesting in team games. Not only does having a whole team draw have a bigger impact on the draw pile, but it's also tough to ensure all team members run out of cards simultaneously so you're not stuck with a one person team.

bluepisces wrote:
I played in a 4 player game and it happened a few times where someone played a low value merchant ship and it didn't get attacked so they automatically won it

Yes, this is an absolutely critical strategy and compensates those who are stuck with a handful of merchants they can't defend.

Once again, in team games it works better: we call it "spamming". Wait for everyone else to get busy, then dump waves of low value merchants. They might attack one of them, but no one is willing to give up a big battle to attack all the worthless junk, so you're bound to get some free points.

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