Introducing: Pirates of the Golden Seas!

6/8/2024

Pirates of the Golden Seas art

Are you tired of the game being out of print? Have you waited years for our beloved pirate game to come back? Get ready to hoist the colors!

The first set to be commercially available since 2008 will soon be for sale!

Pirates of the Golden Seas is a half-size custom set that has been in development since 2021. After years of progress, hundreds of hours of work, hundreds of failed 3D prints, thousands of painstaking meticulous file edits, playtesting and more, the set is finally ready to sail. Disclaimer: This set is not associated or affiliated with Wizkids.

The initial print run is only 10 copies of the set due to the slow and labor-intensive production method, but I will be exploring additional production method options this year.

Each set is planned to be sold as a factory set (non-collectible). This is due to the difficulty of making random packs out of ships that only have 1 card each (the deckplate/stats card). However, it can bring relief to fans of the game who dislike the collectible pack sales strategy and proponents of one-time purchases and the living card game model.

The set contains 48 game pieces: 28 ships, 4 forts, and 16 named crew.  There are 4 factions, including one new faction. The set will also be packaged with some other goodies, including a new alternate ruleset initially developed for use with the set. I generated the crew artwork with Adobe Firefly, which is the most ethical artwork generator I could find. From Adobe: “The current Firefly generative AI models were trained on a dataset of licensed content, such as Adobe Stock, and public domain content where copyright has expired.”

The set will cost somewhere north of $200 USD, given the enormous amount of hours and labor that have gone into making the set a reality. Tens of thousands of dollars have been foregone in potential wages and opportunity costs to develop and produce the set. Sales of the initial production run will be limited to 1 per customer.

I extend a massive thank you and appreciation to my main collaborators: Gigi, Chops, Xerecs and Vulkan. They each played a direct role in the set’s completion. Gigi designed the artwork for more than half the ships and also made the new ship designs. Chops made the initial designs for most of the new faction’s game pieces. Xerecs was a reliable partner for playtesting and rule/ability changes. Vulkan’s advice shortened the production process by many hours. I also have to thank the other gracious members of the community who helped me in some form or another: Woelf, DoubleAAsauce, TilorFire27, Arshellan and Gladius.

The set currently does not have a release date, but the set will be released in summer 2024. To stay in-the-know about Golden Seas, subscribe to The Pirate Press email newsletter for game piece previews!

Let’s have a look at the first game piece preview from Pirates of the Golden Seas!

012-HMS Devastator (Pirates of the Golden Seas)

HMS Devastator
Nationality: English
Collector’s Number: 012
Point Cost: 22
Masts: 5
Cargo: 4
Base Move: L
Cannons: 2L-3L-3L-3L-2L
Link: Captain Armstrong
Ability: This ship’s cannons may not be eliminated (masts still may be). If derelict, she cannot shoot. If this ship hits an enemy ship on a 5-6, also eliminate one cargo from that ship.

Flavor Text: Reinvigorating England’s presence in the North Sea is the Devastator. Capable of a heavy broadside unmatched by most navies, she sails forth proudly from Devon with freshly minted cannons.

The latest English flagship is an absolute powerhouse. This is the most expensive ship in the set. I wanted this set to have a classic feel, almost like a different take on the original Spanish Main set. A grand English warship to start off the game piece previews, which will continue up until the set is released.

 

Pirates of the Golden Seas is the largest project I’ve undertaken in my 13+ years of obsession with the game, bigger than Command the Oceans (the 3 month long full time campaign game I played in 2017) and anything else I’ve done. It has also been by far the hardest, with dozens of 3D printing setbacks, redoing a lot of the artwork files multiple times, and learning new software, hardware, and processes to produce the set.

I have avoided much of the previews and hype I usually share because I wanted to make sure it was possible before making a formal announcement. Many Pirates CSG projects have been started and abandoned over the years, including some of my own projects. I did not want an undertaking of this size to end up as false hope or a failed venture.

Getting this project off the ground was a huge workload. Every ship is 3D printed, with the longest prints taking over 5 hours to print just a handful of ships. In addition, every single ship has to be decaled by hand – for 10 sets, that means individually decaling 320 ships/forts, 480 cards, and 160 crew chips. As mentioned, in the near future additional production methods will be explored to hopefully drive down the time and money costs of making a set. Other distribution methods than a factory set may also be pursued.

There are some compromises I’ve had to make during production – sometimes the curved bow areas need glue to keep the decals from peeling, and pennants are generally a nightmare due to how small they are and the tolerances of getting them to fit onto mainmast slots (any potential future set I make will likely have the later mast designs to avoid pennants). However, there are also some advantages to the production method. PLA (polylactic acid, the filament type I used with the 3D printers) is less brittle than styrene, making the parts much harder to snap. In the main Pirates CSG survey, breakability of the parts was one of the chief complaints about the game, so this should be a major improvement. In addition, the artwork really pops from the glossy vinyl decals, with lamination doing a great job of protecting the ink.

 

See you on the Golden Seas matey!

 

#BringItBack #BringBackTheGame #BringBackPirates

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9 Comments

  1. Incredible! This is such an achievement! I wonder how open people would be to applying decals to pieces themselves. I imagine it would save a signs amount of time not having to cut and apply decals to each ship. I know personally I would have no problem applying decals myself if I purchased something like this.

    • Thank you! It is an option I’ve thought about a tiny bit. There are a lot of ways to distribute the set, so I’ll likely experiment and see what options make the most sense over time.

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