Gravity Feed Box – Pirates of the Caribbean 24 pack box

Gravity Feed Box – Pirates of the Caribbean 24 pack box

Recently I managed to acquire my first gravity feed box of Wizkids Pirates product – a 24 pack booster box of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean set. It features the image-changing effect of the Flying Dutchman on the front, showing the ship at various stages of construction.

Gravity Feed Box - Pirates of the Caribbean 24 pack box

The PotC characters featured on the pack art for the set are on the sides:

Gravity Feed Box - Pirates of the Caribbean 24 pack box

I realize it’s not the most special item, but still a pretty cool and unique part of the game’s packaging history.  The kind of thing you have just to have the unique box.  I generally like regular booster boxes more than the gravity feed box style, but it’s a solid concept.  The Pirates of the Caribbean set is also a pretty decent one, with various impressive game pieces and incredible characters in it.  If you’d like, you can help out the website by buying some packs through the eBay affiliate link.

The back: Gravity Feed Box - Pirates of the Caribbean 24 pack box

This is the quick unboxing video I did:

I got it for about $200 from Poland. I partly bought it since these gravity feed box items seem quite rare.  The only other set I’ve seen them from is Fire and Steel, and I’ve only seen a couple of those.  One F&S gravity feed box sold on eBay in 2023.  Here are the pictures from it (not my pictures!):

The supercollector karakas529 also has one of the boxes:

Gravity Feed Box - Pirates of the Caribbean 24 pack box

Here is the Buy/Sell/Trade facebook group where I found the box for sale. (Please make sure to answer the membership questions and agree to the group rules if you request to join the group!)

Have you come across any gravity feed boxes of Pirates packs at any point in your life?  I’m curious to know if they made them for any other sets!

Curse of the Black Pearl 20th Anniversary Game! July 9th, 2023

Curse of the Black Pearl 20th Anniversary Game!


20 years ago to the day this game was played, it all began. The movie that changed lives and made fortunes. The movie that led Jordan Weisman of Wizkids to make a Pirate game – the birth of Pirates of the Spanish Main and the CSG subgenre of board games. To celebrate The Curse of the Black Pearl 20th anniversary, Xerecs and I played a 50 point game on VASSAL using only game pieces from the Pirates of the Caribbean set! A brief summary follows, with a full video recording of the short game at the bottom of this post.

He went first as the Pirates, while I followed with the English. I wanted to restrict my fleet to only game pieces actually seen in the first film of the series, which got me to 45 total points using various crew on HMS Dauntless and HMS Interceptor, adding Mercer to get to 48.  They would be facing off against the Black Pearl and Hai Peng.

Curse of the Black Pearl 20th Anniversary Game!

Ragetti helped the Hai Peng snag some Plunder early, while Interceptor used her speed to reach an island quickly as well.  However, my own Marines must have been brainwashed by some natives, as they shot and killed the guvna!  Governor Weatherby Swann was eliminated. Only upon making this report and seeing the video do I realize that I accidentally cheated on the following turn, with Interceptor sailing home when she should have been stuck at the island due to the hangover from Rum.

Curse of the Black Pearl 20th Anniversary Game!

On the Interceptor’s sail home, she was intercepted by the Black Pearl!  The epic battle happens again!!  Black Pearl took off two masts, but the English returned fire for the same on their turn!

Black Pearl vs. HMS Interceptor from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

However, this time “Commodore” James Norrington was there to intervene!  HMS Dauntless came whirling onto the scene, with Mercer tossing Murtog overboard to fuel the ship’s extra action, which sank the Pearl!

From there it was a race to get gold home, with Hai Peng’s blazing speed impeded by the Jail UT which had removed her crew and therefore the captain and helmsman speed bonuses.  HMS Dauntless returned to the southwest via whirlpool to explore, but found TWO Aztec Medallions!  One of them eliminated the other coins from the island, though I should have flipped the Jailhouse Dog to reverse that.

HMS Dauntless came through a whirlpool again, with Mercer sacrificing Mullroy to sink the Hai Peng!  However, the Pirates had won 11-10!
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 20th anniversary


I also played some PotC music on violin that day to celebrate the anniversary, and saw the movie in theater at night to cap the grand day of piracy!  😀

Maelstrom Game Mat and House Rules

Maelstrom Game Mat and House Rules

Thanks to my awesome friend Gigi, a unique Christmas gift arrived recently: a Maelstrom game mat!  😀   He was inspired to make it after seeing the concept as a Game Idea, and now fittingly enough I will be able to recreate the incredible scene from At World’s End!  I’ve come up with both regular and deathmatch house rules which you can see below.  The Maelstrom game mat is about 3 feet square, and has 10 concentric circles within it, not counting the foreboding center area.

Maelstrom Game Mat for Wizkids Pirates CSG

General House Rules:
-Ships can only travel around the maelstrom in an “anticlockwise” direction, just like in At World’s End.
-A move segment is required in order to move from one concentric ring to an adjacent one. This uses that move segment for the move action. Instead of moving the ship forward around the ring it’s currently in, move it laterally to the desired adjacent ring. (ex: a ship with L+S base move can use either segment to move to an adjacent ring, then use the other segment afterwards to move forward in that new ring. Or, it can jump two rings, or move L+S in the ring it’s already inside of.)

Maelstrom of Gold Scenario

These house rules are for a regular game with gold, though additional changes may be necessary.
-Set up for a regular game of Pirates, but with a minimum distance between islands of only 1L or 2L.
-Ships in the innermost ring can shoot at other ships in that ring regardless of cannon range (“unlimited” range to reach ships on the other side), as long as a clear line of fire can be drawn to the other ship.
-If a ship enters the center of the maelstrom, immediately remove the ship and all her cargo from the game.

Deathmatch Scenario

These house rules are for a deathmatch, ideal for recreating the epic movie scene.
-No islands. Each fleet starts outside the maelstrom on one of the four corners (opposite sides in a 1v1 deathmatch), and must enter the maelstrom from that corner during the first round (though not necessarily in the same spot for all ships).
-Ships cannot move rings towards the outside of the maelstrom. Concentric ring movement is limited to going towards the center of the maelstrom, as all ships get sucked into the middle.
-At the end of each player’s turn, each of their ships move laterally one ring closer to the center. (this cannot result in ramming/boarding/etc because it is not a move action)
-Ships within the innermost 3 rings of the maelstrom can shoot at other ships in those rings regardless of cannon range (“unlimited” range to reach ships on the other side), as long as a clear line of fire can be drawn to the other ship.
-If a ship enters the center of the maelstrom, she may be given one final action (unless she has already been given two actions that turn) before being removed from the game.
-Eternal only works once, regardless of whether or not the ship was sunk normally or by entering the center of the maelstrom.  If Eternal is triggered, the ship returns to the corner of the map she started in, outside the maelstrom.  She can repair normally there, and the player can move the ship into the maelstrom before repairing all masts.  If all masts are repaired, the ship’s next action must be to move the ship into the maelstrom.

Other Ideas!
These are meant to be interesting alternatives worth trying out, but not part of the core scenario ideas.
-Changing the movement rules: Instead of using an entire move segment to move laterally from one ring to another, ships can move “normally” under the same idea – you still need a move segment to cross a ring line, but you can move forward/diagonally as normal for enhanced speed.
-You may voluntarily eliminate any type of cargo during a ship’s action to move laterally towards the outside of the whirlpool (as if the ship is getting lighter and can potentially outpace the maelstrom).
-Risky middle: ships in the innermost 3 rings get +S to their base move, but must roll a d6 at the end of each of their actions.  On a 1-2, they lose a mast.
-All range extending abilities are doubled (or tripled). Ex: a flotilla with S range cannons and Extended Range can now shoot at a range of 4S (or 6S if tripling is preferred).
-Maximum shooting: S range cannons shot from within the innermost 5 rings can shoot at targets within those rings. L range cannons can hit anything in the maelstrom rings that a clear line of fire can be drawn to.  Or, all S range cannons have a range of 6S and all L range cannons have a range of 6L.
-Combine with the Other Worlds scenario with the Maelstrom being the “home island ocean” with HI’s on the outskirts of the maelstrom. Only once a ship reaches the center of the maelstrom can she use it as a whirlpool to teleport to the other oceans where the gold lies. (this may require banning HI raiders or other house rules to discourage blockading)

I realize there are a lot of game mechanics that might get fuzzy or confusing given these house rules, but they can be worked out as necessary. This post is subject to editing upon playtesting. 🙂

Maelstrom game mat - Black Pearl and Flying Dutchman

We have seen this before….

Maelstrom game mat - Black Pearl vs. Flying Dutchman

Black Pearl vs. Flying Dutchman!

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels – 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels – 10th Anniversary Game

Here is a game to celebrate the 10th anniversary (November 6th) of the Pirates of the Caribbean set!

Only PotC game pieces were allowed, except for generic crew.

Xerecs‘ Pirates
Fleur de la Mort + Cursed Captain Barbossa, Captain Sao Feng, Cursed Crew 2, helmsman
Revenge + Capitaine Chevalle, captain, helmsman
Ranger + helmsman, explorer
Song + helmsman

A7XfanBen’s English
HMS Phoenix + Admiral James Norrington, helmsman, oarsman
HMS Hyena + Lord Cutler Beckett, helmsman, explorer
HMS Success + captain, helmsman
Edinburgh Trader + captain, helmsman

The game featured plenty of UT’s, many of which were found early on. Beckett got his first two AA rolls, giving the Edinburgh Trader and Phoenix a fast start. The Hyena found Marines and Cannibals on the same island!

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels - 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

The Phoenix shot two masts off the Revenge from L+L range, but that precipitated a major brawl between the 4 most heavily armed ships. The Success dismasted the Revenge but took major damage in the process. The Fleur couldn’t capture Norrington from the Phoenix, who shot 1/3 to take a mast off the Fleur.

Pirates CSG in action
Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels - 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

The Pirates used Dead Man’s Chest to get 4 extra gold, and the Edinburgh Trader found TWO Aztec Medallions on the same wild island! Not rolling a 1 for either, she found Elizabeth’s Piece of Eight. However, it was likely too late.

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels - 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

The Fleur de la Mort captured Admiral James Norrington!

Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels - 10th Anniversary Game (11/15/2017)

The Trader unloaded her coins, and the game was over! The Pirates won 40-16!

What did you think of the Pirates of the Caribbean Pocketmodels 10th Anniversary Game?

Pirates of the Caribbean movie – My favorite is…

Pirates of the Caribbean movie – My favorite is…

Curse of the Black Pearl Pirates of the Caribbean movie

Buy the movie for an incredible experience!

I’ve seen each Pirates of the Caribbean movie multiple times.  In a separate post, I ranked them all.  If you’ve already seen that post, this one won’t come as a surprise.

Of course my favorite is the first one, The Curse of the Black Pearl.  Not only is it the best movie in the franchise, it’s the best movie I’ve ever seen!!

A true swashbuckling film from start to finish, this movie resurrected the pirate genre and spurred a blockbuster series that has lasted 15+ years.


  • Cast and the characters they portray
  • Historical setting mixed with the right amount of fantasy
  • Understandable plot with twists and turns that make things exciting
  • Multiple climaxes in a way – many peak experiences throughout the movie
  • Unforgettable music, on par with the best in movie history

Cons: None!  The Curse of the Black Pearl is the most perfect movie I’ve ever seen!

Ben’s Rating: 10/10

In addition to being an incredible film, it seems to have inspired some of the Wizkids sets that came out afterwards, such as Davy Jones’ Curse and Ocean’s Edge.  Taking it a step further, Wizkids even partnered up with Disney to make the notable Pirates of the Caribbean set! (you can see all the sets in the Master Spreadsheet)

Not only a great movie, but a nice set for the Pirates CSG game

In the PotC set, the Wizkids Pirates game saw a ton of useful and awesome pieces from the first movie come to life.  Captain Jack Sparrow is arguably the greatest crew in the entire game (fittingly enough perhaps!).  The Black Pearl is one of the most fearsome gunships in the game.  HMS Interceptor has the potential for blazing speed.  Many other great crew and Unique Treasures make up the set, in addition to the game pieces added for the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  Check out the podcast below for a full overview of the set!


What is YOUR favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie??

Pirates of the Caribbean movies – Ranking them all!

Ranking the Pirates of the Caribbean movies

Pirates of the Caribbean movies are my all time favorite.  I have found no better movie or series that combines action, adventure, excitement, and some historical details so beautifully and perfectly.  I like them so much more than other movies that they almost “break the scale” for me in terms of ranking other movies.  In addition, I usually enjoy even my least favorite Pirates of the Caribbean movie more than any other movies.

In Pirates CSG Podcast #30, I briefly ranked all 5 of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  You can find that podcast at the bottom of this page, but in this post I wanted to rank all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in text form, more comprehensively.  I know this is a little off-topic compared to my usual Pirates CSG focus, but between the 2007 expansion and intense relation to Pirates CSG (exact same theme), I think it’s quite fitting.  Keep in mind that my ratings are comparing these movies against each other – compared to all movies in general, I would rate them all about 9/10 or better haha! (I love them that much)  So without further ado, here is my official opinion on ranking what I believe to be the best movie series of all time!

1. The Curse of the Black Pearl

The first movie is the most classic.  A true swashbuckling film from start to finish, this movie resurrected the pirate genre and spurred a blockbuster series that has lasted 15+ years.  


  • Cast and the characters they portray
  • Historical setting mixed with the right amount of fantasy
  • Understandable plot with twists and turns that make things exciting
  • Multiple climaxes in a way – many peak experiences throughout the movie
  • Unforgettable music, on par with the best in movie history

Cons: None?  I feel that CotBP is the most perfect movie I’ve ever seen!

Ben’s Rating: 10/10

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow

Best game piece from Pirates CSG: Captain Jack Sparrow

This ship can move and shoot using the same move action. When this ship is given an explore action, you can swap a treasure on the wild island with a crew on any friendly ship.
Link: All Pirate Ships

  • Collector’s Number: 058
  • Faction Affiliation: Pirate
  • Rarity: C
  • Type: Crew
  • Point Value: 6

CJS is arguably the best crew in the entire game, as proved by VASSAL Tournaments #1 and #2. You could make a case that he is the single best game piece ever released by Wizkids. When most of the best fleets in the history of the game have this guy as their centerpiece, you know he’s amazing, and you also know that something went wrong. I do find it rather ironic that our beloved character is such a dominant force in the game, since he’s such a major character in the movies as well.


2. Dead Man’s Chest

The second movie was shot simultaneously with the third movie, and DMC does serve as a link to At World’s End while the first movie is really on it’s own in terms of the plot.  While Dead Man’s Chest is another fantastic pirate movie, it’s definitely not as perfect as the first one. (though it would be nigh impossible to match the original of course)


  • We get to see Captain Jack in a completely different state
  • Great amount of fitting humor
  • Davy Jones and his crew are menacing but fun


  • No ship battle
  • Kraken a bit overpowered/excessive

Ben’s Rating: 8/10

Best game piece from Pirates CSG: HMS Endeavour

HMS Endeavour PotC

HMS Endeavour

  • Collector’s Number: 003
  • Faction Affiliation: England
  • Rarity: R
  • Type: Ship
  • Point Value: 21
  • Cargo Space: 4
  • Base Move: L
  • Cannons: 2L,2L,2L,2L,2L
  • Number of Masts: 5

This ship eliminates two masts with one hit.

Flavor text: Lord Beckett’s flagship and the symbol of the Crown’s power, HMS Endeavour is the most impressive warship on the sea.

Sure she didn’t play much of a role until the 3rd movie, but this cannot be avoided.  Just about on par with El Acorazado and the Constitution as the best gunship in the game. Combine the best guns money can buy with just about the best offensive ship ability in the game, and give those to the most offensively-minded faction, and you’ve got a warship for the ages.


3. At World’s End

The 3rd movie is in my opinion the most EPIC, which gets it major points in my book.  The movie is the culmination and grand climax of the first 3 movies, building everything up to some of the most epic moments ever seen in movies.  The humor is still there, the cast is top-notch, and there are few movies that can match its brilliance.  A complicated and difficult-to-follow plot is the only thing that holds it back from being as good as the first movie.


  • EPIC!!  On par with Lord of the Rings for me.
  • Everything you could want in an epic/action/adventure/Disney/pirate movie
  • Climax and payoff of just about all major storylines built up from the start of the first movie
  • Incredible actions scenes including an epic ship battle
  • LUDICROUSLY amazing soundtrack


  • Overly complicated – plot can be very difficult to follow at times

Ben’s Rating: 9.5/10

Best game piece from Pirates CSG: Hai Peng

Hai Peng PotC

An afterthought in the movie, overpowered with the right crew in the game

  • Collector’s Number: 013
  • Faction Affiliation: Pirate
  • Rarity: R
  • Type: Ship
  • Point Value: 13
  • Cargo Space: 4
  • Base Move: S+L
  • Cannons: 3S,4S
  • Number of Masts: 2

Junk. If this ship has a captain crew, she gets +L to her base move.

But where would Captain Jack Sparrow be without a ship? It might not be a ship he even sailed on in the movies, but the Hai Peng is the fastest ship in the entire game, and the fleets involved in T1 and T2 prove how insanely effective it is to pair them up. The only reason the Hai Peng isn’t higher is because without CJS, the HP wouldn’t be as ridiculously good.


4. On Stranger Tides

The 4th movie was supposed to have a smaller budget and reduced cast from the trilogy of 1-3, so I went in with lowered expectations.  That was key to my enjoying the movie, as it turned out to be an (arguably inevitable) serious letdown to most of the fanbase.  With Captain Jack trying to hold up a lesser cast by himself, the movie just doesn’t have the magic, scale, and excitement of the originals.  A “new era” of Pirates of the Caribbean is born after the true high of AWE’s ending scenes.


  • New characters to spice things up (though they aren’t quite as good as those from the original 3 movies)
  • Adventuring theme that may have been slightly lacking in movies 2 and 3


  • A bit “meh” in nearly every way – just not the same for cast, music, plot, action, or emotions
  • No ship battle – in fact, not a single cannon shot I believe!  🙁

Ben’s Rating: 4/10 (still 8.5+/10 compared to all other movies)

With this movie and the 5th one being released after Pirates CSG went out of print in 2008, there were no game pieces from this movie.  However, we can make customs!


5. Dead Men Tell No Tales

If the “lower budget” and different cast made me appreciate the 4th one more, I was overhyped for the 5th movie.  Although fantastic overall, myself and others had many gripes with the movie, from the casting to the plot to redundant repetition.  It’s a fun movie, just not quite as great as the trailers or cast would make you expect.  You can find my full review of the movie here.


  • Humor – St. Martin town scene, wedding scene, etc.
  • Blurring of lines between good vs. bad – you can easily root for the antagonist


  • Wasted star power (Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, and Paul McCartney are hardly in the movie!)
  • Continuity issues/plot holes
  • Too unrealistic – many bizarre things that were really obvious mistakes
  • Meh characters/acting – even Captain Jack is not the same anymore

Ben’s Rating: 6/10 (still 9/10 compared to all other movies)

Although there aren’t game pieces from DMTNT, I’ve made some customs that you can find at the bottom of the Epic Seas sheet (4th tab).

You can also find all the movies in boxed sets, not to mention the excellent soundtracks.

Here you can hear my opinion during the 30th episode of the Podcast.  I’ve also ranked the Top 10 Caribbean game pieces and the best game pieces from the set with multiple versions.

Check out the other episodes of the Podcast here.


Pirates of the Caribbean celebration game 1

Pirates of the Caribbean celebration game played in 2017 to celebrate the 5th movie and 10th anniversary of the 3rd movie! Click for the battle report!

Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Originally posted to Miniature Trading on May 30th, 2017

Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Here are my thoughts after seeing the movie a second time (first viewing was the first one I could go to, last Thursday 5/25/2017 at 7pm).

I thought the movie was great overall but a bit disappointing based on the previews and past movies.

Random things I liked:
-Jack pulling a pistol on Henry after Henry held a sword to him (like father like son, CotBP)
-Jack roping the shark, and tricking Carina
-Pretty much the entire St. Martin part, especially with Jack drinking rum on the way through and the actions/lines of the other pirates.
-Wedding scene was extremely random but funny
-Blurring of lines between protagonist/antagonist. If you hadn’t seen the previous movies, it would be very easy to root for Salazar (who never did any wrong, arguably other than killing defenseless pirates). None of the protagonists are as lovable as in the previous movies (other than maybe Barbossa), and they really don’t deserve everything they get in this movie. If this were anything like real life the bad guys won big-time. (also the Royal Navy wasn’t as “evil” as it was under Beckett, and they lost too)
-Post credits scene (mostly since it hints at a 6th movie)
-Barbossa talking about the Pearl only having one captain (AWE)
-I generally enjoyed the lines and comedy
-Not enough original music, though they did a good job reusing themes in new ways (Geoff Zanelli was supposedly a protege of Hans Zimmer but the lack of brilliance showed)

Things I didn’t like:
-They completely wasted their star power. Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Paul McCartney got like 5 minutes of screen time combined. Everyone was hoping for more Will and Elizabeth after On Stranger Tides, but the movie almost completely ignored them.
-By extension, they wasted the Flying Dutchman. There were multiple scenes where it would have been perfect for Will and the FD to pop up. One was when Jack and his crew threw Henry overboard. Will could get angry at Jack and confront him, which could have led to Will and the Dutchman playing a role for the rest of the film (along with making a great entrance). Also, when Salazar grabs Henry, we don’t see him again until Salazar possesses his body (lol). This is another great opportunity – the Silent Mary is alone on the water, Salazar looks like he’s about to kill Henry, and then all of a sudden the Dutchman shows up and starts shooting at the Silent Mary!! Would have been a fun ship battle, maybe with the same ending if Salazar and his ghost crew just ran away towards the trident and Will can’t do much but watch. Also could have had the Dutchman on the other side of the divide with her own anchor. (can she shoot while submerged? Imagine seeing the FD zooming along underwater, shooting cannons out one side of the water and into the other at the ghost crew!!) An absolute utter waste of one of the coolest characters and coolest ships in the series.
-Continuity problems. Everyone is talking about how the whole flashback did away with the established story regarding Jack’s compass, but also his accessories and hat.
-Why did Salazar and his crew survive? Since they died in the Devil’s Triangle, but this also brings up the fact that they’ve done the same thing for every movie (undead/unkillable antagonist with cursed crew on a ship with some kind of supernatural power)
-Will should die since he has no heart (lol)
-Elizabeth doesn’t talk
-Henry and Carina are a bit bland, and I’m a bit sick of the forced love story between two characters we don’t have a lot of reason to care about (this aspect was far worse in OST but continues here)
-Plot revolves around an all-powerful device that gets destroyed almost immediately without anyone being able to use it hardly at all
-Carina is like the “science woman” who explains everything in plain detail to the audience, while everyone else in the film is a buffoon regarding it (except for Barbossa to some degree)
-Forced family theme (similar to the Star Wars problem) – in a big world/universe, why do random family connections unexpectedly happen all the time? Carina wasn’t that likable and the way and speed in which the concept was introduced didn’t make me care more about Barbossa (he’s already a great character)
-Why was a Royal Navy ship of the line (by the looks of it, nearly a 3 decker if I saw things correctly) able to catch the Black Pearl that night? Barbossa was running from the dead, so there’s no reason to not go full speed.
-Too magical: For me this movie had too many cartoonish, supernatural elements. Obviously that’s been a theme since the beginning, but the entire Trident sequence towards the end (from when they touch land until Barbossa falls) felt way too much like some Guardians of the Galaxy/cheap superhero kids movie sequence. It felt too “disneyfied” (I like Disney but the previous movies had more realism and historicity). Too much science/gems/magic/fake island stuff for me.
-Jack isn’t as enjoyable – I actually didn’t have as much of a problem with this like most people did, since it makes sense for him to be a washed up drunk after all he’s been through and frustrated with the Pearl still in the bottle.
-Pacing was a bit too fast – movie could have been longer with some more exposition/slightly more drawn out scenes. Some fast cuts during the action sequences (especially the night battle between Jack and Salazar) were hard to follow, tough to tell what was going on with the details.
-Another dead villain after one movie. I understand they aren’t sure about a potential 6th movie, but I thought Salazar was probably good enough to remain as a villain for more than one movie (not as good as Davy Jones).
-Salazar and crew too similar to DJ and crew: can’t step on land, can walk through stuff (brig cell w/ Henry)
-Davy Jones or Barbossa returning in another movie would continue to cheapen the threat of death for the main characters (Elizabeth and Blackbeard seem the most reasonably mortal)
-Why wasn’t Jack more hurt from getting stabbed with the trident? (even before it broke there was no blood or evident pain)
-Especially during my first viewing, it really didn’t look like Salazar was about to kill Carina at the end. It seemed like all 5 people on the chain could just keep climbing, with Barbossa letting Carina go ahead of him if he needed to defend her from Salazar. Jumping off and dying on purpose seemed completely unnecessary and was kind of a cheap death, especially with how little the audience likely cared about Carina and how much people loved Barbossa. (Jack also didn’t seem to care about Barbossa’s death at all, but he’s understandably happy to finally not have a rival for control of the Pearl for once)
-Jack just randomly didn’t have his signature hat on when sailing off with the Pearl at the end

I seem to have had the opposite problem most people had. My expectations were too high for this one (based on the cast and amazing previews, again, wasted star power), but low enough for the 4th one (which was originally going to have a lower budget, and obviously a different cast than 1-3). The 4th one was as good or better than I expected it to be, but this one was somewhat of a disappointment. It seems like others expected way more from the 4th but after that one (which most people liked far less than I did), their expectations were lower for this one.

I did enjoy the film a little bit more the second time, since I knew what to expect.

My updated rankings
1. 1 and 3 (1 is a more “perfect” movie due to 3’s plot and deals being hard to follow)
3. 2 (DMC)
4. 5 (DMTNT)
5. 4 (OST)

Also, I agree with most of this.  I’ve made some customs that you can find at the bottom of the Epic Seas sheet (4th tab).

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!!  Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean Tribute Celebration game!

Originally posted to Miniature Trading on May 24th, 2017

This was a special game to celebrate the 5th (and possibly final) Pirates of the Caribbean movie being released this week, Dead Men Tell No Tales. It’s a PotC tribute game, with tons of ships and characters from all 4 movies represented.

Here are the participants. They each have special victory conditions, as they’re fighting for separate goals. This makes it a tiny bit like an RPG (role playing game), and should make for an interesting experience. (crew abilities found here)

HMS Endeavour + Lord Cutler Beckett, Mercer
HMS Dauntless + Admiral James Norrington, Governor Weatherby Swann
HMS Interceptor + Mullroy, Murtog
Edinburgh Trader

At 86 total points, the English fleet is out for pirate blood. They will not stop until all pirates have been defeated.
Goal to achieve victory: Eliminate all Pirate ships and crew.
Pirates of the Caribbean Tribute

Captain Jack Sparrow:
Black Pearl + Captain Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs, Cotton, Marty, Pintel and Ragetti

Somehow the crew fit into the point and cargo limits of the ship due to the links! Jack is up to his usual tricks – staying alive by whatever means necessary. He’s got his full crew aboard to help him, which should make the Pearl a force to be reckoned with.
Goal to achieve victory: Be alive at the end of the game.

Davy Jones’ Cursed:
Flying Dutchman + Captain Davy Jones, Bootstrap Bill Turner, Jimmy Legs, Palafico
The Kraken

Davy Jones is out for more souls, with Jack Sparrow in particular on his hit list. However, he has a target on his back, and wants to live forever. This fleet functions as part of the Cursed faction.
Goal to achieve victory: Be alive at the end of the game. (bonus points for capturing as many enemy crew as possible, and for keeping enemies from finding the chest OR its key)

Hector Barbossa:
Hai Peng + Captain Barbossa, Cursed Crew 1, Cursed Crew 2

Barbossa is wise, and has a lot on his mind. He’d love to get the Pearl back from Jack, but avoiding the English and Davy Jones while doing so will be difficult.
Goal to achieve victory: Capture the Black Pearl. (bonus points for staying alive)

Queen Anne’s Revenge + Blackbeard

Blackbeard is the odd one out here, as the only standout from On Stranger Tides. However, his historical record speaks for itself.
Goal to achieve victory: Survive, eliminate other Pirate rivals (especially Jack and Barbossa), and end up with the most gold whether through coins or captured crew. (his ability lets you unload captured crew for gold worth their point cost)

Jolly Mon + Anamaria (obviously illegal due to her point cost, but I’m also negating the Jolly Mon’s ability because she would weigh less than Jack, especially with all his gear lol)

Anamaria is still annoyed with Jack for not having gotten her ship back. She had to pay for the Jolly Mon to be raised from the bottom of Port Royal, and now demands payment AND another ship from Jack.
Goal to achieve victory: Receive gold AND a captured ship from Jack Sparrow. (can be any amount of gold and any ship in play, with bonus points for HMS Interceptor)

The Brethren Court:
Empress + Captain Sao Feng, Lian and Park, Tia Dalma
Ranger + Gentleman Jocard
Centurion + Captain Villanueva
Seref + Ammand the Corsair
Fancy + Capitaine Chevalle
Otter + Sri Sumbhajee
Ningpo + Mistress Ching

At 101 points, the Brethren Court’s fleet is the only thing capable of directly standing up to the Royal Navy in the Caribbean. Sao Feng has gotten the real Calypso aboard his ship, and intends to release her to combat both Davy Jones, the Royal Navy, and possibly Blackbeard as well. To do this they must get Ragetti’s wooden eyeball (Barbossa’s piece of eight) and Jack’s piece of eight, both of which start the game on the Black Pearl (though they may not realize this).
Goal to achieve victory: Release Calypso, defeat the Royal Navy, and be the last fleet standing.

It’s possible that more than one participant will achieve victory, at which point various tiebreakers may be used.

Now onto the house rules and other variables (forgot to use a few others I originally planned on):
Wind rules
-The Flying Dutchman can submerge. When submerged she follows the rules for submarines, except that she gets +L to her base move and cannot ram.
-Will and Elizabeth Turner will be in the Port Royal jail to start the game. This is where the Royal Navy will sail from. By docking at the port and being given an explore action, any Pirates (not the English or Cursed) can free them and use them if desired.
-Some crew have multiple versions; if that crew is on a ship, either version can be used on that turn.
-The undamaged Empress is standing in for the damaged version, which is the version I’m using stats for.
-Any UT’s can be loaded face down. No UT’s take up cargo space.

Custom UT rules:
Jack’s Compass: Lets you look at all face down treasures on islands and ships. (points to thing you want most)
Dead Man’s Chest and Davy Jones’ Key: If both are on the same ship, you can either kill Davy Jones outright or command the Flying Dutchman and the Kraken. (the latter of which could make you a huge target)
Curse of the Black Spot: Automatically makes this ship a target of the Kraken. (target changes if the Kraken already had a target)
Aztec Medallion: This ship’s crew cannot be eliminated.
Letter of Marque: English ships cannot attack this ship in any way.

Here is the setup. Port Royal is at the upper left, which is the northwest corner of the map. Isla de Muerta is at the top, and you can see that the Black Pearl is starting the game inside a fog bank nearby. Blackbeard has entered the area from the northeast, while Shipwreck Cove holds the Brethren Court’s fleet in the far east. Barbossa has emerged in the southeast. That small island near the center represents Isla Cruces, and Davy Jones and his Kraken are to the south of it. The big sandbar represents the one from At World’s End in the “Parlay” scene. Anamaria is on the Jolly Mon in the southwest.

The English, with the Dauntless anchored in a position similar to the outset of Curse of the Black Pearl. Three 4L and two 4S cannons occupy the fort, which fire in fixed lines of sight (no rotating their line of fire like normal cannons). The Turner couple is in jail.

Scenes from…
The Curse of the Black Pearl:

Dead Man’s Chest:

At World’s End:

World’s End! Ocean’s Edge! This game actually features a waterfall cliff.

A few turns in, and the Interceptor has explored the Sandbar, with Cannibals killing Murtog.

This looks familiar…

… ironically enough, Jack Sparrow has gotten the Curse of the Black Spot! The Kraken is after him! He also picks up Rum (which his whole crew gets drunk on), a Spyglass, and the key to Davy Jones’ chest. (NOT just a drawring of a key!)

Blackbeard aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge has found both Plunder and Smuggled Goods, which will be worth 6 gold combined if he can unload them.

The Edinburgh Trader is the only English ship not to venture into southern waters, but the Flying Dutchman lurks underwater nearby. Barbossa is after the Black Pearl, and would rather not use his Jailhouse Dog to eliminate Jack’s Black Spot, hoping the Kraken can damage the Pearl but leave her intact so Barbossa can capture it.

However, the Brethren Court have other plans, which include taking Barbossa’s and Jack’s pieces of eight to release Calypso!

Barbossa tried to tell Sao Feng that his piece of eight was Ragetti’s wooden eyeball, currently aboard the Black Pearl with Jack. But Sao Feng didn’t trust him! The Empress gets the weather gauge and rams the Hai Peng! However, Sao Feng’s boarding party is repulsed, with Park taking the hit. The Centurion also rammed, taking out one of Barbossa’s cursed crew. Unfortunately Captain Villanueva, one of the Pirate Lords, died in the ensuing boarding chaos. This made Sao Feng come to his senses, and he agreed to not attack the Hai Peng any longer as long as Barbossa was telling the truth. (as a side note, Sao Feng has collected the pieces of eight from the 7 Pirate Lords in his fleet, so he need be the only one alive to release Calypso if he acquired all 9 pieces)

I forgot to take pictures for a while. The Black Pearl used her great speed and some occasional wind gusts to avoid the Kraken and Flying Dutchman. Jack decided to rescue Will and Elizabeth from the Port Royal jail, with no English threats guarding the harbor. However, this put him into a corner, surrounded by Port Royal on one side and Davy Jones and his pet on the other! Jack temporarily accepted his fate, letting the Kraken engulf the Pearl. He planned to fight his way out since he couldn’t run any longer.

Barbossa, Blackbeard, and the Brethren Court head northwest to seek out Jack and the Black Pearl, who were starting a brutal fight against the Kraken! The Seref was attacked earlier in the game by the Dauntless, and here she is being escorted by the Otter back to Shipwreck Cove where she can repair. Unbeknownst to the Brethren, Blackbeard deposited his stash of Plunder and Smuggled Goods in part of the town of Shipwreck, netting him 6 gold. Tia Dalma’s canceller ability halted the Dauntless and Admiral Norrington, so the English have sailed back south. Anamaria was headed to Port Royal to pick up Will and Elizabeth for their assistance, but strong and constantly shifting winds made her journey difficult. By the time she had nearly reached the harbor in this picture, Jack already had them aboard the Pearl.

This looks familiar! Ever the savvy pirate, Jack intentionally let the Kraken take the Black Pearl near Port Royal, who had a cannon in range of the beast.

Devastation: after a fierce fight, the Black Pearl is gone. The Kraken is mortally wounded and has taken damage from the Empress, who used Tia Dalma to cancel the Kraken keyword. All hell has broken loose, as the Royal Navy contingent engages the Brethren Court. Blackbeard has left the scene to pursue Barbossa and the vulnerable Otter with Sumbhajee aboard. However, Barbossa is using the Hai Peng’s speed to full advantage, racing towards the ocean’s edge/world’s end. Anamaria spots him and looks to join, eager to do anything but join the melee up north.

With a timely AA from Beckett, the Royal Navy unleashes English gunnery! The Fancy, Ningpo, and Centurion are quickly dismasted, leaving the Ranger with no support. Even the Interceptor and Edinburgh Trader are available, having no better things to do.

In another unintentional irony, Barbossa steers the Hai Peng off the edge of the world and over the waterfall! Anamaria follows him in desperation on the Jolly Mon!

In the chaotic aftermath of the main battle, the Royal Navy continues to reign supreme. The Flying Dutchman finally was able to get at Sao Feng in the Empress, which sank. Davy Jones then turned his attention to the Dauntless, with Jimmy Legs saccing Lian to provide a move+shoot. It went horribly, and the Dauntless took advantage by blasting off 3 of the FD’s masts. The severely weakened Kraken has surrounded the Edinburgh Trader (again), but the Endeavour and Interceptor are healthy, the latter having captured the Ranger and Gentleman Jocard for the fun of it.

Here’s a cool sea-level view near a rocky outcropping, showing the Kraken in a familiar place and the Dutchman’s gunports. Especially with the Endeavour looming, you can tell the battle is going in favor of the English.

After a turn in Davy Jones’ Locker, Barbossa has succeeded in rescuing Jack and his motley crew from the depths!!

Here is the Black Pearl setup with everyone on board!

The English were able to kill the Kraken and capture the Flying Dutchman.

Knowing they must team up with each other to stand a chance against the Royal Navy, the Pirates band together and fight! A shift in the wind gives the English the weather gauge! The Black Pearl is quickly dismasted, while Blackbeard’s ship loses two masts. The partially repaired Seref arrives on the scene, but the Otter has already been dismasted. The Edinburgh Trader engages the Empress.

Despite the QAR sinking and having just two ships left, the Pirates put up a good fight.

In the end the Royal Navy emerges victorious, having accomplished their goal of ridding the Caribbean of piracy!
Pirates of the Caribbean Tribute

The English definitely benefited from being out of the action during the middle of the game, and basically all the pirates wanted something from Jack, which led to infighting. The themed strategies were fun to watch play out.

This was a fun game that showcased a ton of aspects from Pirates of the Caribbean. I hope you enjoyed reading about it, and I hope my videos will improve over time. I also recorded my first few videos for Instagram, where you can hear the background music I had on and even glimpse a few moments that the pictures don’t show.