Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Politest Mutiny

Despite the generous amounts of rum and cutlasses going round in this game, it is very well behaved. In fact, it's a bit dull.

Don't be fooled by the box, no violence in this game. At all
This is a worker placement game, where players bid their doubloons and rum on the favour of five members of the ship´s crew. Each of them offers different rewards for the highest and second highest bidder. Cutlasses which you need to win, rum that you can use for bidding, the ability to give extra resources to players, or to take them away, a tie breaker, and extra doubloons. The first of the crew members also allows you to move some of your doubloons around, allowing you to win a tied bit later on.

The turn is straightforward: first five blind biddings on the characters. The bids are then resolved one at a time to determine the winners and second places, who get their rewards immediately before resolving the next character. Then the next turn starts. You get your doubloons back every turn, but rum used for bidding is lost.

When one or more players have gathered at least 7 cutlasses, the game ends. The player with the most cutlasses wins, with the doubloons and rum as tie breakers.

The game should balance itself through the bidding system, but that doesn't always work. When you've got five or six cutlasses, it's easy to bid everything on the crew member that rewards you with cutlasses  because it is unlikely that all other players will be committing all their resources to stop you. There's a good chance you'll gain at least one cutlass or even two.

The advantage of this game that it is easy to learn, and quick to play. It is a streamlined design (by Kevin Wilson) with no fat on the bones, but therefor it also not so rewarding.

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