Game Ideas

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  • #10545
    Ben
    Keymaster

    I could get behind a structured competitive gambling scene for Pirates. With money on the line there may be a need for more strict guidelines on fleet builds. Las Vegas would be the perfect place to test out this theory!!! ?

    No kidding!  I’m starting to think the idea has some merit.  There could be specific tables for various rulesets, with a very basic set of rules (similar to Start Here but slightly modified) being the beginner table people could start out on.

    #10546
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    Could work that into the Pirates League I’m thinking of making.

    #10774
    Jean-Luc
    Participant

    I hope I’m doing this right.. I mentioned in the survey an idea about dungeons being part of the game. It’s a far-fetched idea but just to elaborate:

    A dungeon would be similar to a Fort, Mysterious Island, and Ship all kind of mashed together.

    Players could dock, unload, explore, and even form boarding parties when docking at enemy controlled Dungeons.

    It would start off as a Mysterious Island, and upon exploration, the player learns the faction and abilities…and just to throw everyone for a loop… It could be an island that all players can simultaneously dock at.

    And just to shiver yer timbers some more, let’s say 2 Forts can be built on either side of the island, by ANY player, and “Raids” between Forts can happen just the same as boarding parties.

    Maybe make the dungeon have some sort of preset NPC players first have to eliminate, making it always risky to explore.

    Dungeons would have some sort of treasure bonus, so players have extra incentive to sail around them.

    And if Wizkids ever started reprinting, it’d offer entirely new cards… Instead of Forts, maybe it be something like “Tortuga” from POTC.

    Idk, the kinks would have to be worked out but… This the kinda stuff that fills my head.

    #10775
    Ben
    Keymaster

    @jbiondo: Sounds pretty neat overall.

    And just to shiver yer timbers some more, let’s say 2 Forts can be built on either side of the island, by ANY player, and “Raids” between Forts can happen just the same as boarding parties.

    Sounds a bit like the land warfare ideas I’ve scratched the surface on with my RISK, Command the Oceans, and Caribbean/World games.

    Dungeons would have some sort of treasure bonus, so players have extra incentive to sail around them.

    I assume you mean sail TO them?  They sound pretty rough to deal with if you didn’t get lucky and pull the faction you’re playing as, so a substantial “hidden cache” stored in the dungeon would likely be necessary.

    Have you considered an alternate word other than dungeon?  I was thinking of caves at first, but this is sounding more and more like a settlement or town. (maybe “hideout” if you wanted to keep them all to a similar theme and not go “big” like Tortuga would represent)

    #11006
    Ben
    Keymaster

    Game Idea: round earth with home islands close together on edges of map, HI Raiders mandatory/every ship has HI Raider.  Include Wine (UT) as well.

    This is inspired by my pair of amazing 4×100 games, in 2015 and 2019.  Forcing every fleet to have at least one HI raiding ability is a fun way to guarantee some chaos and wild action.  XD  When combined with round earth and UT’s that aid in home island raiding… yikes.  😀

    #11011
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    Had an idea for putting a Quest into a game. Would have to be a large game, or a game centered around fulfilling the various quests, such as Sink X number of enemy ships; Bring X to get Y.

    #11158
    Jack
    Participant

    Starting up my yearly summerly dive into this game, here’s my idea:

     

    English, Spanish, and Pirate players. They start out only allowed to use Spanish Main ships and crew, plus forts and 0 point crew.

    A normal 40 point game is played. When one fleet wins the round, either by getting a majority of the available coin or both other players pass, the winner takes the remaining coins on wild islands.

    Any built forts remain in place. Players can now replenish their fleets by buying ships/crew (1 gold per point) from either the Spanish Main OR Crimson Coast sets. This basically represents time/technology progressing. (Long term this gives Spain a disadvantage, but they arguably start out with the strongest potential fleet, so that seems to fit historically speaking.)

    Gold is distributed to the islands as normal and play resumes. The player with the lowest point total fleet goes first. After that round Revolution ships/crew are allowed, and so on and so forth.

    Victory is achieved either through economy (100 gold on home island) supremacy (one player controlling 4 forts at the end of a round) or domination (only one player has a fleet, or the coin to purchase a new boat, at the end of a round.)

    #11164
    Ben
    Keymaster

    @Jack: It’s a neat idea thematically.  I think the biggest problem would be predictability, as the rich get richer effect so prevalent in campaign games would likely take over and a runaway leader would be difficult to stop.

    I think this is also where keeping treasure face down would be best, just as in the regular multiplayer rules.

    Multiplayer Rules

    End Condition #2 (“more than half of the starting gold”) is not used.

    Are you saying to do away with this?  It might become a power gamer environment where everyone races to get >50% of the gold in play and as soon as they do, they claim the rest (which could be a lot).  Being able to add to their total even more would make it even more unbalanced as the rounds go on.

    One potential way to keep the party going would be to have eliminated players return to the game in the next set with that set’s “signature faction”.  Ex: The Spanish are knocked out in the RV round.  That player takes control of the Corsairs in round 4 and is allowed the lowest build total in play (of a surviving player) to make their new fleet.

    #11166
    Xerecs
    Moderator

    This sounds like a decent idea or scenario for a campaign, but it needs a wee bit of modifying, especially when custom ships are taken into account.

    #11169
    Jack
    Participant

    I’ve had issues with campaign type games before with the player who takes an early gold lead running away with things, so I might have some tweaks to make. I forgot about the 3+ player rule getting rid of the majority gold requirement! That should probably stay and rounds should go until all the gold is brought to home islands or everyone passes. (Worried about a situation where there’s like only one or two coins left and whoever tries to take it will be immediately blown up by the other players.)

    No custom ships here, my collection is large enough to keep this going through BC anyway. Putting defeated players back into the game with the next set’s signature nation is a good idea too. My crimson coast French fleet is usually pretty strong but I couldn’t think of a way to incorporate them into the game before.

    #11249
    Jack
    Participant

    I’m going to try this campaign soon with this addition to how gold is exchanged for new ships/crew, to try and prevent one faction from snowballing:

    Between rounds, when adding new ships/crew to your fleet, the cost depends on how many points your fleet is currently worth. The gold-point ratio is whatever the tens number of your fleet’s current point value is.

    0-9 points = free

    10-19 = 1 gold

    20-29 = 2 gold

    And so on. So for example:

    Let’s say the pirate player got their fleet hit pretty hard, and is down to 8 points. (Like perhaps Cat and Zephyr.) They also collected 30 gold. They could add the Raven’s Neck for 10 gold. (The first 2 points are free.) Their fleet is now worth 20 points so they need to spend 2 gold per point.  Then with their remaining 20 gold they could do something like purchase the Darkhawk II.

    #11629
    Jack
    Participant

    A couple of house rules I may try:

    Boarding RISK style:

    Whoever initiates the boarding is the attacker. The other player is the defender.

    Boarding roll is number of remaining masts + remaining crew + die roll.

    Winner of a roll eliminates a crew on opponent’s ship. Tie goes to defender. Then you repeat, and you can continue until one ship loses a boarding roll while having no crew remaining. The attacker may call the boarding off between any given roll. If a ship loses a boarding roll while having no crew, it is captured. It can not be given an action for as many turns as it has masts remaining. (Crew like the Inquisitor eliminate all crew on a single successful round of boarding. Capture crew work the same way.)

    Ghost ships, more like GOAT ships:

    Ghostly ships can not shoot, but opponents need to to roll a 6 to hit them.

    Mercenaries get paid:

    The Mercenary keyword now includes the line “for each mast this ship eliminates, place 1 gold on your HI.”

     

    #11857
    Gigi
    Participant

    Is there a rule set for solo gameplay? I am lucky, and have a crew for game  nights but would like to get this on my table more.

    My apologies if the rule set is posted already; I may be looking in the wrong places.

    #11858
    Woelf
    Moderator

    Is there a rule set for solo gameplay? I am lucky, and have a crew for game  nights but would like to get this on my table more.

    My apologies if the rule set is posted already; I may be looking in the wrong places.

    A few people over the years may have come up with versions of their own, but there’s never been a good solo variant that has caught on or been widely known.   Even though the base rules are relatively simple, there’s so much complexity in how things are done that I don’t think there’s any good way to write an AI that could handle it, at least if you wanted it to be even remotely competitive against a real human.

    However, playing it multi-handed where you control each “player” yourself in turn does work pretty well, and I think that’s generally what Ben and various others do when running large campaign games by themselves.

    #11859
    Gigi
    Participant

    Thank you.

    #11860
    Ben
    Keymaster

    Is there a rule set for solo gameplay? I am lucky, and have a crew for game  nights but would like to get this on my table more.

    Not an official one, but if you really want something to look at, Cadet-Captain Mike has a page for it on his site.

    I’ve played hundreds of solo games, and my best advice is to play each fleet equally as if you’re personally trying to win the game with every single fleet you control.  Put yourself in that fleet’s mindset and strategy when their turn comes up, then shift gears for the next one.  I actually love it because you have so much control over what happens and you can play each fleet however you like.

    #13233
    Derrick Derksen
    Participant

    Here are two game types I’ve implemented in my play group:

    Capture the flag(ship)

    60 point fleets

    Game type rules:

    Gold is used to buy back ships that have been sunk, lost crew cannot be retrieved.  Gold does not replenish so buy backs must be done carefully, as the buy back cost is equal to the point value of the ship.  To buy back a ship, you must have coins with value equal to or greater than the point cost of the ship on your home island, and you must have a ship docked at your home island.  Normal gold collection and home island rules apply.  The game starts with coins equaling 30 gold for each player in play, with the coins being divided equally amongst wild islands.  For example, a 4 player game would have 120 gold available.

    At the center of the play area there is a wild island that has both gold and a derelict ship.  The derelict ship can be whichever ship you choose, I always pick a 2 masted, 2 cargo ship.  The derelict ship has a helmsman and a random value treasure on it, which may be transferred to the exploring ship.  The first fleet to return the derelict ship to their home island wins the game, normal towing rules apply*.  If a ship towing the objective derelict sinks, the objective derelict remains in place until towed by another ship.  If the objective derelict is away from it’s starting position, and is not currently being towed, the fleet that sank the ship towing the objective derelict may choose to attempt to scuttle it.  If the objective derelict becomes towed again by an enemy fleet before the scuttle resolves, the objective derelict is not scuttled.  If the scuttle succeeds, normal scuttle rules are applied, then the scuttled objective derelict is returned to it’s starting position.

    Exceptions:

    Ships and crew that allow for immediate return of derelict ships to your home island cannot be used on the objective derelict, but may still affect derelicts belonging to enemy fleets.

    Ships you own, but are captured by an enemy fleet, may be bought back only by the fleet that captured them if they are sunk.

    The objective derelict cannot be given any actions and cannot sink, except by the scuttling clause.

    *If the objective derelict is at it’s starting position, towing may be initiated by contacting any part of the derelict, rather than only the bow.

    Forts cannot be used.

    King of the Hill(island)

    40 point fleets

    Game type rules:

    Gold is used to buy back ships that have been sunk, lost crew cannot be retrieved.  Gold does not replenish so buy backs must be done carefully, as the buy back cost is equal to the point value of the ship.  To buy back a ship, you must have coins with value equal to or greater than the point cost of the ship on your home island, and you must have a ship docked at your home island.  Normal gold collection and home island rules apply.  The game starts with coins equaling 20 gold for each player in play, with the number of coins divided equally amongst the wild islands.  For example, a 4 player game would have 80 gold available.

    At the center of the play area there is a central island with a fort on it.  The fort is factionless and cannot be given any actions, nor can it be shot at or destroyed.  Coins are NOT placed on this island and crew cannot be unloaded on this island.  The objective of the game type is to dock a ship from your fleet at the fort island while no enemy ships are docked there.  Each player is given a turn counter (I use D20 spin-down dice for this).  At the end of your turn, if you have a ship docked at the objective island and no enemies are docked there, increase your turn counter by 1.  For 2-4 players, the first player to increase their turn counter to 5 wins the game.  For 5+ players the first player to increase their turn counter to 3 wins the game.  Normal game rules apply.

    Exceptions:

    Ships you own, but are captured by an enemy fleet, may be bought back only by the fleet that captured them if they are sunk.

    Player controlled forts cannot be used.

    I’d love to hear feedback on these game types, particularly problematic situations I may not have come across or did not think of!

    #13249
    Ben
    Keymaster

    Quite interesting.  Why can you scuttle the derelict normally if that is the win condition?  Any method of sinking it could cause a draw.

    King of the Hill sounds even cooler to me.  I like it!  A variant could be the first player to capture the fort using some boarding over land metric (such as the fort has a boarding score of 8).

    I like how both would probably lead to a lot of chaotic fighting over the central theme and objective.

     

    #13250
    Derrick Derksen
    Participant

    The derelict is scuttled per scuttling rules, then replaced in it’s starting position.  It’s never sunk permanently.

    So it’s essentially the mechanic that returns the flag to where it was to begin with.  The derelict does not stay sunk, it returns “home”, but any treasure or crew aboard the derelict as it is scuttled are lost to Davy Jones’s Locker.

    We played both variants last night with 6 people.  It was indeed chaos, but man was it fun.  Everyone was laughing so hard by the end it hurt.  Buy back was only used a few times between the games but it was an incredibly powerful mechanic when it was used.  The good – The game types are challenging and require a lot of planning and strategy to win.  It forces you to play balanced fleets where all of your ships are capable of gunning, supporting, or running gold at any given time, which kind of weeded out the most powerful ships in each category.  At least that I own.  The fleets were primarily 3-4 masters with some 2s, few 1s, and 1 5 master and combat was tricky.  The bad – both game types were skewed hard to the larger ships.  There are a ton of fast 4 and 5 mast ships that are difficult to catch and sink, or difficult to survive attacks from.  Both game types came down to multiple fleets having to take on the 5 master before being able to continue objectives.  To balance this, instead out right banning 5+ mast ships, we placed a ring of reefs L+S distance away from the objective island.  Then we had a segmented ring of sargasso seas placed L distance outside the ring of reefs, each sea having a distance of S between it and the next sea.  Finally we placed 4 whirlpools in the primary cardinal positions, between the rings of reef and sea.  The home islands were placed equally distanced from each other, and placed L+S distance outside the sargasso sea ring.  Islands with gold were placed S distance outside the sargasso ring in such a way that two players had quick access to each island.  So 3 total gold islands placed.  With this set up, both game types went smoothly and were a blast.  The big ships were then most effective as support to the objective runners, rather than having the big ships being able to do everything.  In capture, 2 fleets were completely gone when the game ended and in King 4 fleets were completely eliminated at the end.  Both game types are worth playing for sure.  They’re a lot more interesting overall than just collecting more gold that the rest of the players.

    #13253
    Ben
    Keymaster

    @Derrick Derksen: Wow that sounds awesome!  Glad it went well.

    The good – The game types are challenging and require a lot of planning and strategy to win.

    This sounds great and right up my alley.  I hope to try them sometime!  😀  Thanks again for sharing.

    #13254
    Derrick Derksen
    Participant

    It was a great time.  I hope you do get to try it out and if you do, please report your experience with the game types as well.  The feedback will be helpful! Next up we are implementing “return fire” in the shooting rules.  I will let you know what we find with that mechanic as well! Happy sailing.

    #14004
    Ben
    Keymaster

    I’m wondering if there are any commonly-accepted house rules that help the game be more fun / balanced?


    @stonetwig
    : Replying here since Xerecs already answered your rules questions.  I enjoy using my Basic Rules that do away with ram damage, make boarding more practical (winner chooses the option and which treasure(s) to take), whirlpools are bad on low rolls, and some other changes.  In terms of making the game more fun, the page version of this thread has a ton.  🙂

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