All Aboard for Port Royal + New Acquisitions May 2017

Port Royal is a card game with some novel ideas. The cards allow to plunder ships, recruit pirates and a few are missions and taxes that are due. The objective is to accrue shields and when a player gets at least 12 Shields, everyone else gets one more turn. After that the player with the most shields wins.

It is a card game but you don’t have a hand of cards. In your turn you draw blind from a face-down stack. After drawing a card, you may stop and take the card or you can push your luck and draw another card. You may continue as much as you like but if you draw 2 ships of the same colour, your turn ends and you do not get the chance of taking a card. There are bo0nuses for drawing 4 ships of different colours and even more reward should you draw ships of all 5 colours (we’ve never seen that accomplished.)

Ships earn you money. But there are lots of other Pirate cards and you need to accrue some to win the game. The Pirates come with a cost and an icon related to various features in the game. Also, in general, the more shields a Pirate has, the more expensive he becomes to buy. Some pirates have an special icon, a house, or an anchor, or a cross. These icons are reflected on the Mission Cards. When you have the icons to complete a mission, you hand in your Pirates and take the Mission (worth more shields than any other cards). However I have won the game with no Missions. I just had a lot of Pirates in my collection.

The game-play is simple. The trick is to know when to push your luck. When you think that going on drawing is too dangerous, you stop and may take one card from those you revealed. Now the player to the left may take a card from those revealed by you. However before they do that, they must pay you one coin.

Whilst mentioning money, there is another clever idea. All the cards have a coin symbol on the back. When you collect money, you take cards from the face-down stack (without looking at them). Each face-down card you have can be spent on buying the Pirates. I found this mechanic to be original and I think it is a very good idea on behalf of the designer. You cannot rely on cards turning up because they might be in the money owned by all players until it is spent. There are a few tax cards and if you have 12 or more money cards you must hand in half of that number rounded down. So, being very rich has its disadvantage.

Yes, it is luck, but tinged with a lot of skill, micro-decisions you might say. We liked it very much and I heartily recommend it as an end-of-evening game. Note: the cards are shuffled many, many times so putting the cards in sleeves is almost essential .

Now to the new arrivals at Chez Osten in May:

Mea Culpa

Zoch

2016

MacRobber

Queen

2005

Apache

Abacus

2007

Drachenherz

Kosmos

2010

Alles Käse!

Abacus

2013

Han

Abacus

2014

 

Anno Domini: Mixed Edition

Abacus

2014

Affen Theater

Klee

1996

Humoristisches Quartett

Sala

1894

X.Net

Fanfor

1999

Bakerspeed

Spiele Museum

2014

Die Portal von Molthar

Amigo

2015

Jäger + Späher

Kosmos

2014

Benjamin Blümchen Lotto

Blatz

1995

Revolver

Pegasus

2013

Ostfriesenlauf

Clicker

2005

Game of Goose

Jumbo

1990

Zug um Zug: Europa 1912 Expansion

Days of Wonder

2009

Terra Schnupperspiel

Huch

2014

Hau ruck!

Ravensburger

1980

The Lion King: Mega Memo

Cartamundi

2000

Ausgerechnet Buxtehude

Huch

2007

Doppelkopf

Heraclio Fournier

2010

Basil Brush

Whitman

1978

Five Hundred

Waddingtons

1960

Kinder Memory

Ravensburger

2000

Reise Halma

Milton Bradley

1990

Gambit 7: Das Mini-Spiel

Days of Wonder

2008

Eminent Domain

Pegasus

2012

NamNam

Moses

2012

Drunter & Drüber

Hans im Glück

1991

The Lion King: Memory

Ravensburger

2004

Memento

Alga

1996

Streng Geheim

Schmidt

1988

Level 8

Ravensburger

2016

Paddington: Magic 1,2,3

Schmidt

1999

Street

Espenlaub

2001

Ferkel vor!

Ravensburger

1997

Die Sendung mit der Maus: Domino

Ravensburger

1997

Rucki Zucki Kartenblitz

Georg Appl

1985

Shaun das Schaf: Gemüsefußball

Kosmos

2009

 

Teufels Kicker: Talent gesichtet!

Kosmos

2010

Sushi Express

Abacus

2005

Blueprints

Z-Man

2014

Werwölfe - Schnupperpack

Pegasus

2008

 

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