Game Ideas

This is a page for all the different ideas for games that I have heard about or created. I think it will be useful for reference in case any players want some fresh takes on Pirates CSG. Hopefully it will also spark interest for people to start playing. 😀  If anyone has more ideas, please post them here!

Huge compilation of scenarios all in one document (tocoking)

Cadet-Captain Mike’s Pirates Page (there are a few scenarios that aren’t listed in the above document)

PotCS Adventure Book Game Scenarios

Scenarios at Pojo

-There are some scenarios towards the bottom of this page from the old Wizkids site

ChaosReaper’s scenarios

captain_vendari’s scenarios

Defence of St. Helens (deathmatch scenario) (Gustawicyryl)

Circle of Blood scenario (Riz’s website was taken down, but luckily I copied the scenario into my Pirates google doc.)

Water World (brettb45)

Uncharted Territories

Scenarios from a fansite (docbrown)

The Curse of the Flying Dutchman Scenario (Prince Rana)

The Governer’s Daughter Scenario! (CasualSax)

Hole in the bottom of the sea (marhawkman)

Race scenario (BootStrapBill)

Jade Invaders (el_cazador)

Joyful Seas (marhawkman)

Balancing Secret Missions Scenario (unknown)

Captain Nemo scenario (captainhawkins)

Luxury Goods to Ports Square Scenario (Ed+Capin’Gerg)

9 Pirate Lords Free for All (Captain Randy)

Maelstrom scenarios inspired by At World’s End (A7XfanBen)

Hunt of the Black Pearl (T26E4)

Campaign Games:

Economy Edition (cannonfury) (absolutely amazing campaign game that I played in June 2015) (original post) (Battle Report of Xerecs’ Economy Edition game)

Century of the Empires (Sariouriel) (fantastic ruleset with a battle report that gives an idea of how the game would play) (Battle Report of Xerecs’ CotE game)

Century of Economy (Xerecs’ fusion of Economy Edition and Century of the Empires)

The Caribbean Game (A7XfanBen and Xerecs) (+the similarly delayed World Game)

Pirates CSG combined with the board game RISK (A7XfanBen)

Pirates of the Cursed Seas Campaign (Captain_Vendari)

Series Campaign (Captain_Vendari)

Colonize the Caribbean (louisxiv)

ARMADA (Wired_Wolf)

Supremacy (Parker)

-Cumulative games – treasure is spent as the game progresses, making the game bigger and bigger (these games usually either end with a time limit where you count up how many points each player has, or it devolves into a deathmatch).

To check out how fun, grand, and long these games can get, check out The Huge Game Legacy Thread.

Variant Rulesets:
The Pirates of Catan (Pirates CSG combined with the game Settlers of Catan) (Woelf) (Quick Reference Guide)

Tattered Sails and Shattered Gunwales (Custom rules that incorporate the effect of wind) (ThomasC)

Complete Alternate Rules (EarthwormJim)

Buccaneer (crikeymiles)

Letter of Marque (Uethym)

Wooden Ships and Iron Men (scribidinus)

Master Mariner (Tim Kask)

The Pirate Lab (collection of various house rules and game ideas/etc.) (Jeff McDowall)

Custom Sets: (Use existing ships as proxies, or create your own game pieces)

Most of these are now in the Customs Database!

Pirates of the Age of Sail and Pirates of the Epic Seas (A7XfanBen)

Return of Davy Jones (Xerecs)

Fiends of the Blood Islands (Xerecs and j_w_darkhurst)

Pirates of Spherus Magna

Cadet-Captain Mike’s Set

Pirates of the Cursed Seas: The Great Sea (el_cazador)

Pirates of the Cursed Seas: Rise of the Moon Sorcerer (el_cazador)

Pirates: Treachery on the High Seas (vladsimpaler)

Pirates: The Golden Age (vladsimpaler)

Pirates: Back to War (Player-Made Set) (the_grandmaster)

Pirates of the Kraken Sea (mr_awesome) (original discussion thread)

Pirates of the Tolling Depths (alanqsmithee)

Pirates of the Forgotten Coast (Riz)

Custom Ships Organized Version (Custom ShipsCustom Ships 2PwB version)


Cadet-Captain Mike’s Random Setup Tables

New Pirates CSG Concepts for a New Age (in picture form here)

Multiplayer setups thread (linked to the post concerning custom terrain rules, but there are other ideas throughout the thread as well; pictures of thread here)

-Have a Sealed Pack game! You could also consider combining it with a draft based on the packs opened. (Brian)

Play with real money.

-Look up fleets and use them.

-Pick your absolute favourite game pieces and create fleets just for fun. Also check out Miniature Reviews of game pieces you have to inspire their usage!

-Use the Return to Savage Shores game pieces by using proxies. (found in the Master Spreadsheet)

-500 point games – these are huge games that take a while but are quite fun. I’ve played 3, including one as the Defence of St. Helens scenario, but the first one was the best.

-300 point games pitting a fleet of huge ships against a fleet of small and tiny ships. The third paragraph of this post gives a brief insight into my experience with this idea.

-100 point deathmatches (when you’re looking for a bloody battle without gold)

-Regular 40 point games. What I like to do is have a 3-game series between the fleets to determine which one is better. Sometimes I do a tournament with at least four fleets, and one time I did eight.

-Make fleets using ONLY game pieces that you’ve never used before. This will open your eyes to some ships and crew that are overlooked and underrated, not to mention that it’s actually fun to change things up and stop using your HMS Titan and La Monarca.

-Vary the playing area. Use a bigger table/floor space than you usually do, or confine the game to a very small space.

Points in play + gold for the win. (Whoever has the most points in play AND gold in play at the end of the game is the winner.)

Keen eyes in the fog (Ritterton)

Wind Rules v1.1 (LionFish42)

Simultaneous movement and phased turns (Lufbery)

Hiring Mercenaries during the game (etcmn)

Alternate abilities for mysterious islands (woelf)
New ideas for Mysterious Islands (louisxiv)

Aaaar Me Hearties! (Chris H)

Pirates of the Cerulean Seas: Miscellaneous House Rules (Ryan Hackel)

-An idea by godmason to have a single wild island with at least 100 gold on it, surrounded by terrain and possibly some forts and flotillas.

I had a flurry of ideas once I heard about and played Water World. This is what I wrote down; I may expand upon it or explain myself better in the future:
-Fog home islands (HI’s move around, combine with HI raiding)
-One HI for all fleets (+ one HI for all fleets but with islands that have multiple beaches (inspired by rossinaz’s islands))
-Sea is entirely made of terrain – no open ocean (maybe with icebergs) (example game)
-Every ship automatically has the HI raiding ability (maybe with one HI for all fleets, fog HI’s)
-All gold starts on HI’s, players rob each other (probably have every ship get the HI raiding ability)
-Use only Unique Treasures, possibly with just 1 wild island (tested out)

-Round earth with home islands close together on edges of map, HI Raiders mandatory/every ship has HI Raider. Include Wine as well.

Prize value/incentivize captures

-All sunken ships become wrecks at the bottom of the ocean.  Submerged submarines can be given explore actions underwater where they sunk to recover gold (which is NOT revealed when ship is sunk), + crew that now have Ghost Ship or Eternal keywords.  If shipwreck within S of an island, can use an action to try and raise it (only works on 5-6 or with Hoist ship, etc).

-Uneven tables at different heights.  Waterfall into bay. Can only go down onto lower ocean, not back up unless Turbine/Submarine (perhaps sea creatures too).  1 whirlpool on lower table that can be used to get to 2+ whirlpools on higher table.

-Table bottleneck – line up 2 tables diagonally with small space connecting them.  Can also create a bottleneck with land dividing ocean with tables still aligned.

-Team-based play: “games with teamates and allies having to work together towards a goal in hybrid style games more along a campaign or 2 vs 2 match.”  (Daddy Garand)

-Have treasure in the water, and ships pick up coins as they sail over them. (similar to video games like Sonic where in-game currency is accumulated as you speed through a map)  When a ship is made derelict or sinks, she could spill all the coins in her cargo hold!

-Blitz/Speed Pirates: time limit on turns.  (ex: each player only has 2 minutes to finish all their actions with the exception of die rolls/etc resulting from their final action; no actions can be taken past the time limit) (use chess clock/etc)

-“Open Strategy” game.  Players are encourage to talk about every minute aspect of the tactical and strategic elements of the gameplay.  Great for learning and “what if” scenarios/etc.

-Expanding on Captain Randy’s 9 Pirate Lords idea, have a PotC themed game where the 9 Pirate Lords battle against the antagonist alliance from At World’s End – Lord Beckett’s English fleet led by Davy Jones.  (regular game or deathmatch, with a build total likely in the 100-200 point range)

-“A very underused game mechanic in my opinion is the you cut I choose method. My playgroup usually likes to take turns having one person set up the game board, but the person who does gets to choose his/her home island last.
It creates cool map layouts as it allows for one person to be creative, but at the same time balance as the person making the map doesn’t want to be left with the worst position on the board so it encourages the person setting up to be as fair as possible.”  (MangoSmoothie)

Defensive shields (MangoSmoothie)

Simultaneous actions/hidden movement (Mechavelli)

-Expanding upon the Race scenario linked above: line (“drag race”) vs. circle/oval (or other!), have islands with UT’s on them (power-ups/upgrades/etc), shortcut opportunities, NPC creatures.

Setup for the Circle of Blood scenario:

Circle of Blood - Pirates CSG Game Ideas


  1. Hi Ben,

    This was an incredible amount of documentation for the Pirates CSG tabletop. This page and your site in general seems to be loaded with information on this game. I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but I really enjoy tabletop games so I suspect I’ll be looking through a lot more of your site so I can learn as much as I can!

    • @Tyler: Thanks! I’ve certainly worked on the site a lot since launching it around April 2018, and now I’m happy to have over 500 posts and over 100 pages.

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