Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Sad Tale of "Black" Jack Blood

I recently acquired Blackbeard in the Great Australian Maths Trade, with the intention of playing it solitaire. I set it up last night but was too tired to tackle the opaque rules, so I got into it first thing this morning. I must say, Berg has done a spectacular job with this game - it's the only solitaire game I've played where I was bored by the down time. What a talent the man has!

But seriously, the way you tell whose turn it is is to draw a card, look at the 3 player line, and it will tell you Player 1, Player 2, or Player 3. I was Player 3. I had one turn near the start of the game where I sailed over to near a merchant ship. Players 1 and 2 then had lots of turns during which Emmanuel Wynne had an entire career (rising to 11 Notoriety) and was killed by a warship off the Gold Coast. The merchant ship I was chasing sailed back to England, down the west coast of Africa, circumnavigated the globe, discovered the Northwest Passage, and was finally placed in a museum, all before I got a second turn.

Wynne was replaced by the effeminate Oliver La Buze. About this time I got a few turns, and La Buze and Blood chased pirates in the Caribbean while Christopher Condent grabbed two prizes off the coast of Madagascar, and returned the booty to port much to the joy of his scurvy-ridden crew. I discovered a fat prize off Jamaica, but couldn't capture it, and return to port for repairs. La Buze suffered a similar fate with the same ship. While I waited in port, La Buze repaired his ship, returned to attack the merchant again, and let it escape. La Buze headed north to search for more prizes, while I headed south towards the South American coast.

Sadly, all I found there was a storm which caused damage to my hull, leaving my speed at -1. I limped into Curacao to repair the damage. While I was there, a warship appeared off the coast, and for some reason decided to attack me. An unidentified warship can move d6 movement points, and it needed a 6. So it rolled one. The warship attacked my immobile sloop, and "Black" Jack Blood was killed.

So let's look back at the wicked career of the man known as "Black" Jack... he attacked a ship once. He claimed no prize. He took nothing. He got caught in a storm. That was the highlight of his career, really. Then he died. "Black" Jack gained no loot and no notoriety.

If you want to have an exciting pirate adventure too, you should get this game.

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