Piratenbucht: Rules

Piratenbucht (Pirate’s Cove)
Translation provided by Oxcat Games, LLC. (www.oxcat.com)

• Lay out the game board
• Shuffle the Tavern Cards and place them on Tavern Island
• Shuffle the Pirate Cards and place 12 face down on each of the five numbered islands: Tavern (1), Hull (2), Sail (3), Cannon (4), and Crew island (5)
• Place the gold and treasure tokens on Treasure Island
• Place Blackbeard’s black ship on Treasure Island (1). If there are only 3 players, place his second black ship on Cannon Island (4)
• Each player should have:
o A ship in their favorite color
    o A ship status card to match the ship
    o Four setting rings that match the ship card
    o A fame marker of the same color
    o A Captain’s Wheel
    o 9 pieces of gold
    o A Tavern Card (drawn from the top of the stack on Tavern Island)
• Each player should place their fame marker in the first spot of the fame track along the outside of the game board.
• Each player then places their setting rings on the second lowest circle of their ship status card. (The circle with a small ship in it.)

The Ship Status Card
The ship status card represents the current state of your ship in four important
• Hull - How much treasure the ship can carry.
• Sails – How fast your ship is (faster ships shoot first)
• Cannons – How many dice you can fight with.

Crew – How many men you have to man your cannons.  

The area at the bottom is the hold, storage for treasure and gold.

The setting rings show the strength of each area on the ship. In the beginning they should all be placed on the next to lowest number, the one with the small black ship in it. The number inside the ring shows the strength of that particular ship feature.

The hull number is how much treasure the ship can carry. There is no limit to the amount of gold it can carry.

The sail number represents the speed of the ship. The fastest ship in a battle gets the first opportunity to fire cannons or flee.

The lower of the cannon and crew numbers represent the number of dice you get to shoot with in a fight. If you have 3 cannons, but only 2 crew, you can shoot 2 dice and vice versa. You have to have a cannon for every man and a man for every cannon. The cost of an upgrade or repair is listed on the line between each circle.

To upgrade your hull from a 5 to a 6 costs 1 gold piece. To upgrade from 5 to 7 would cost
3 gold pieces (1 + 2).

Playing the Game
Each player takes the role of a Pirate, who is at the beginning of his or her
infamous career. The ultimate goal of each player is to be the most famous pirate in the world. A pirate attains fame by bragging about his incredible feats, burying treasure and winning fights.

The game is played in 12 rounds. Each round has 6 phases:
1. Pirate Cards are revealed and ships navigate
2. Action cards are played
3. Battles are fought and won
4. Islands are plundered
5. Special island functions are executed
6. Blackbeard sails

At the end of 12 rounds, the pirate with the most fame is the winner.

Blackbeard’s Pirating Tips:
In the beginning you’d be wise to steer clear of my ships. Your puny ship is no match for my cannons!

Phase 1. Pirate Cards are revealed and ships navigate
For each of the five islands, turn over the top Pirate Card. Listed on each card are the rewards for capturing that island during the current round.

Sail Island (3) has a reward of:
• No fame
• 2 gold pieces
• 5 treasures, and
• 1 Tavern Card

Each player has a Captain’s Wheel with the symbols of the six islands.

Using their wheel, each player secretly decides where their ship will sail to next.

Each island has something to offer besides the rewards on the Pirate Cards.

Hull, Sail, Crew and Cannon islands let you upgrade that section of a ship as many levels as can be afforded.

Tavern Island lets a player buy up to 3 Tavern Cards for 2 pieces of gold each, which are useful in their own right.

Treasure Island lets the pirate bury treasure for fame, bury gold for fame, or upgrade one area of your ship up to 2 levels for the normal cost. Each buried treasure increases a pirate’s fame by 1 point. For every 3 pieces of gold a pirate buries, he receives 1 point of fame.

Once everyone has decided, all wheels are revealed at the same time and ships are moved immediately to their destinations.

Blackbeard’s Pirating Tips
If you plan on tipping off the Royal Navy as to the whereabouts of a rival pirate,
carefully consider the strength of that pirate’s ship. The navy ships are quick to respond, but up against a strong ship or ships they may cause more fame than harm.

Phase 2: Action cards are played
Starting on the lowest numbered island the ship with the most fame may play an action card or pass. Then the ship with second highest fame may play an action card or pass. If there is a tie for fame, 2 dice are thrown to decide who goes first. Once all ships on that island have played a card, the next island’s ships may go continuing on to Treasure Island. It then repeats starting at the beginning. A player who has previously passed is allowed to play a card when their turn comes around again.

Each Action card that is played takes effect immediately. Most are discarded after their use. Five are placed on the Ship Status Card and have a lasting effect, these are: Reinforcement, Quicksilver Sails, Veteran Crew, Six Gun Salute and Carryall Hull. If a ship area that is protected by one of these cards is hit, the card takes the first two hits. With the first hit the card is turned upside down. If it receives a second hit in the same fight, it is immediately discarded and its effect is cancelled. If no more cards are on this area, then the appropriate setting ring is shifted down one space for each hit.

A turned card can be repaired for free in Phase 5, except for Reinforcement, which costs 2 pieces of gold to repair. A player may decide not to pay for this repair, in which case the card stays turned and is destroyed on the next hit to that area of the ship in any subsequent battles.

This phase ends when all players decide to pass.

If the Royal Navy card is played, the card is placed on the island where the player wants them to fight. It is not discarded until after it has fought in Phase 3.

Phase 3: Battles are Fought and Won
If you are alone on an island with a Pirate Card, you may plunder that island immediately and take the rewards listed on the card.

If there is more than one ship (including Blackbeard and/or the Royal Navy) on islands 1 through 5, there will be a fight. Battles are resolved starting with Tavern Island (1) and continuing in order to Crew Island (5).

If either the Royal Navy or Blackbeard are involved in a battle, all other players on the island must fight them first or flee. Only after they are destroyed are battles between players resolved.

Note: Rival pirates have a gentleman’s agreement not to fight on Treasure Island. Blackbeard is no gentleman and therefore shoots at anyone else he finds there. The location of Treasure Island is only known to pirates and therefore the Royal Navy can not be sent there.

Battles between players
A battle is played out in combat rounds. For each round, each player in order of his or her sail speed decides whether to fight or flee. The player with the fastest ship goes first.

Three ships have arrived on Sail Island. Andrés setting ring is on a 6. Beatrice’s ring is on a 5 and Carsten’s ring is on an 8. Therefore, Carsten has the fastest ship. The sequence in the first combat round will be Carsten, André, and then Beatrice.

Sometimes fleeing is the right thing to do, but be aware that faster ships may fire before a slower ship has a chance to get away. If a player decides to flee, they sail their ship to Pirate’s Cove immediately.

If a player decides to fight, they must decide and proclaim loudly whose ship and which area of that ship they want to attack. If there are several opponents, the player can pick only one. Only after announcing their intentions may a player roll their dice. If they forget to announce, the roll is invalid and must be re-thrown. Determine the number of dice to roll by looking at the cannon and crew areas. The lower of the two numbers is the number of dice to roll. A ship needs crew to

man the cannons and a cannon for every crewman. If a ship has the Six Gun Salute card, then it will always roll 6 dice. If it has the Veteran Crew card, then it can fire as many cannons as it has.

Andrés cannon area shows the number of 2, and his crew area shows the number of 4; he will fight with 2 dice. For Beatrice both setting rings show the number of 3; she will roll 3 dice. Carsten has a 5 in the cannon area and a 3 in the crew area; he will shoot 3 dice.
The player rolls all of his dice to attack. Each roll of 5 or 6 is a hit. With each hit, the ship attacked must move the appropriate setting ring down one level. If there is an action card there, it will absorb up to 2 hits before the ring is moved.

Carsten decided to attack André’s sails. He rolled his 3 dice for a 6, a 5 and a 3. Therefore, he hit André twice. André then moves his sail area setting ring down 2 circles, one for each hit, to a value of 4.

After all players on the current island have performed their action in order, the first combat round is over. Damage to areas of the ships may change the number of dice a player can roll or even the battle order. If sails are damaged, a ship will not be as fast as it was when the round began. Therefore, with each new combat round, the firing order must be checked. The fastest ship always goes first.

Carsten’s sail area is set on 9. Beatrice’s is on 7.
Carsten is therefore faster than Beatrice and in the first combat round is allowed to fire first.
He rolls and misses.
Beatrice fires against his sail area and strikes 3 hits. Carsten then moves the setting ring down 3 spaces for a value of 6.
In the next round, Beatrice can shoot first because her ship is faster than Carsten’s.

If any ship receives so much damage that the setting ring for an area goes below the lowest level, this ship is considered crippled. A crippled ship can no longer fight and is dangerously close to being lost. To save his ship and his crew, the captain must immediately sail his ship to Pirate’s Cove for rest and repair. Keep in mind that it is possible that a slower ship may be crippled before its captain has a chance to fight.

If a ship is crippled, every other ship on the island gets 1 point of fame.

If a ship flees after shots have been fired, every other ship on the island gets 1 point of fame. Sabotage does not count as a shot fired.

Combat continues until there is only one ship on the island.

André, Beatrice, Carsten and Daniel are battling over Sail Island.

Daniel is the fastest one. He decides to flee immediately. André, Beatrice and Carsten do
not receive a point of fame, since no one had hit Daniel’s ship yet.
André is the second fastest one. He shoots at Beatrice’s hull area and lands a hit.
Beatrice is the third-fastest and decides to flee.
André and Carsten receive immediately one point of fame and move their markers accordingly.
Afterwards André and Carsten fight each other so for a long time, until one of them flees or its ship is destroyed in an area. The winner receives a point of fame.

Use of combat cards
In order to improve one’s chances in a fight, a player may play combat cards during a battle. Some these cards change the conditions for a whole battle, others only for a single dice throw. Before the first combat round all players on the island are asked whether they want to play a combat card. The fastest ship goes first, after him the players in the order of their sail area values. Anyone who does not want to play a card simply passes. Playing of combat cards continues in a circle until everyone on the island passes. If a player passes, he may decide to play a combat card the next time his turn comes around.

If a player wants to play a combat card, he plays the card face up and reads it out loud. Once everyone has passed, the combat may begin.

During combat, each player may also play a combat card just before rolling his dice. These cards only affect the current battle.

Daniel and Beatrice are together on Crew Island. Before the fight begins, they may play combat cards.
Daniel is faster than Beatrice. Therefore he may play a card first.
Daniel plays the smoke screen card, which means that Beatrice can only hit him with sixes for this battle.
Then Beatrice plays the Sabotage card against Daniel’s cannon area. This means that Daniel immediately receives a hit on his cannons.
As a result Daniel must move the setting ring in his cannon area down by one.

Now the Sabotage card is put in the discard pile.
The smoke screen card remains in effect for the rest of the battle.

Now the actual fight begins. Daniel begins, since he is faster than Beatrice. At the end of the battle each played combat card is put on the discard pile. This applies also to cards that were played but never used. This might happen if the opponent ran away before it could be used, or the  player had to go to Pirate’s Cove, before he could use the card. The effect of the various combat cards is described in detail on the information overview page.

Blackbeard’s Pirating Tips
Pirate’s Cove is a safe haven for us all. Like a great watering hole, no fighting is
allowed there…ever.

Phase 4: The Islands are Plundered
After all battles are completed, there should be only one ship on each island, except for Treasure Island (6) and Pirate’s Cove.

The remaining ship on each island plunders that island and receives the booty listed on the Pirate Card for that island.

The pirate flag shows the number of fame points awarded.

The gold coin shows the number of gold pieces.

The treasure chest shows the number of treasures.

The Tavern Card shows the number of Tavern Cards awarded.

The card above awards no points of fame, 2 gold pieces, 5 treasures and 1 Tavern Card.

Tavern Cards are taken from the top of the stack on Tavern Island (1).
After all islands are plundered, return the used Pirate Cards on each island to the game box.

If there is no gold or treasure on Treasure Island, then no one will receive their gold or treasures until someone empties their hold or buries treasure.  

Phase 5: Special Island Functions
After all the islands are plundered, each island has a special function that may be executed by the player on that island.

Also, any action cards that were damaged (not destroyed) in previous battles may be turned back around. Quicksilver Sails, Six Gun Salute, Carryall Hull and Veteran Crew may be turned for free, but Reinforcement costs 2 pieces of gold to repair.

The Island Functions
Tavern Island
Buy up to 3 Tavern Cards for 2 pieces of gold each.
Hull Island
Upgrade the ship’s Hull as many levels as chosen and can be afforded.
Sail Island
Upgrade the ship’s Sails as many levels as chosen and can be afforded.
Cannon Island
Upgrade the ship’s Cannons as many levels as chosen and can be afforded.
Crew Island
Upgrade the ship’s Crew as many levels as chosen and can be afforded.
Treasure Island
Bury treasures from the ship’s hold for 1 point of fame each. Bury 3 pieces of gold from the ship’s hold for 1 point of fame. Upgrade any one area of the ship up to 2 levels for the normal cost of the upgrade.
Pirate’s Cove
Collect 1 Tavern Card and 2 pieces of gold, or 2 Tavern Cards

If an area of the ship has been destroyed in battle, that player must pay 2 pieces of gold to return that area’s setting ring to its starting level (the level with the small black ship).

When upgrading the cost of the upgrade is listed between the circles. The cost of multiple upgrades is calculated by adding up all the individual costs. No one is required to upgrade their ship. Each player decides for themselves whether to, and how much – as long as they can afford it.

Carsten is on the Sail Island, and he wants to upgrade his sail area from a 7 up to a 10. This will cost 8 pieces of gold (2+3+3). He then takes eight pieces of gold from his ship’s hold and puts them on Treasure Island. He then moves his setting ring accordingly.

Phase 6: Blackbeard Sails
Move Blackbeard’s ship or ships to the next consecutive island. After Treasure Island (6) his ships return to Tavern Island (1).

After moving Blackbeard’s ship or ships, all players much check their hull status and make sure they are not carrying too much treasure. The number on their Hull status area is the maximum number of treasures their ship can carry. Any extras must be thrown overboard and returned to Treasure Island (6) without earning any points of fame. There is no limit to the amount of gold a ship can carry.

Note: It is possible to carry more than your maximum number of treasures in your hold if you can upgrade your Hull area sufficiently in Phase 5.

Daniel has 5 treasures and his hull can hold 5 treasures. During
Phase 2 he plays a Secret Stash card and acquires 2 more. Now he has 7 treasures, two more than his hull can hold. He chose to sail to Hull Island in Phase 1and upgrades his hull in Phase 5 to a 7 for a cost of 3 pieces of gold. Now, he doesn’t have to throw any overboard during this phase.

The End of the Game
At the end of the twelfth round, after all of the Pirate Cards are gone from the islands.

Each player, starting with the player of least fame, plays out his or her tall-tale cards and moves their fame marker accordingly. Unburied gold and treasures are lost opportunities at this point and are worth no points of fame.

The pirate with the most fame is the winner.

If there is a tie, the tied players must battle their ships to determine who the most famous pirate actually is.

Blackbeard’s Pirating Tips
Don’t discount the power a well-told tale has on one’s fame!

Special Combat Situations
Fighting against Blackbeard

The dreaded pirate Blackbeard considers these islands his personal plunder and has vowed to fire his cannons at any pirate that enters his range. If a player finds himself on the same island with
Blackbeard, a battle will ensue.

Blackbeard fights with these properties:
• He always shoots 5 dice
• He always shoots against the hull of his opponent
• It takes 8 hits to defeat him
• His ship’s sails are faster than all sails, except Quicksilver Sails
• His ship is faster than one with Favorable Winds
• He is faster than the Royal Navy
• He never runs away from a fight

If Blackbeard is fighting against several opponents, he shoots at the pirate with the most fame first. Then all ships on the island take turns shooting back in order of descending fame. Blackbeard then fires at the second most famous pirate. When he has shot at each opposing ship on the island, the first combat round is over; the second begins in the same way with Blackbeard firing at the most famous ship first.

André and Carsten are on Cannon Island with Blackbeard.
First combat round Blackbeard shoots first against André, because he has more fame.
Then André and Carsten shoot back successively.
Blackbeard then shoots against Carsten, because he is the second most famous.
Then André and Carsten shoot back successively.
This completes the first combat round.
The second combat round runs in the same way.

Combat continues until either Blackbeard is defeated or all his opponents are defeated. Any non-involved player may roll for Blackbeard.

Combat cards can be used in a fight with Blackbeard, but he does not have any to play himself. If he is defeated, his ship is simply laid on its side. The next round of play this ship will be repaired and moved upright to the next island in sequence.

If a pirate defeats Blackbeard by herself, she receives 6 points of fame. Two pirates receive 3 points each. Three pirates receive 2 points each. Four pirates receive 1 point each.

Fighting against the Royal Navy
Her Majesty has commissioned her Royal Navy to rid these islands of the dreadful pirates that plague them. They are constantly looking for information on the whereabouts of threatening ships.

If a pirate should want to settle a score, without putting his ship at risk, perhaps an anonymous tip sent to the Royal Navy would suffice.

The Royal Navy is an action card that can be played during Phase 2. The card can be played on any island, except Treasure Island. All players who are on the island with the Royal Navy must fight against it.

The Royal Navy fights with these properties:
• They always shoot 4 dice.
• They are faster than all sails, except Quicksilver Sails.
• They are faster than ships with Favorable Winds
• They are slower than Blackbeard’s ship
• They can fire at any ship area
• It takes 4 hits to destroy them.
• The Royal Navy does not run away.

The player who played the card gets to roll for the Royal Navy and decide which ship and which area of that ship to attack. He can select his opponent at will during each round of combat. Once the Royal Navy has shot at its target, each ship on the island gets to fire back in order of their sail speed. The fastest ship gets to shoot first. Combat continues until all opposing ships are defeated or flee or the Royal Navy is defeated. At that time the card is placed on the discard pile.

If the Royal Navy is defeated, the victorious pirate receives 4 points of fame. If there are 2 pirates, they each receive 2 points of fame. If there are 3 or 4 pirates, they each receive 1 point of fame.

Combat cards may be played when fighting the Royal Navy, but it does not have any to play itself.  

Daniel plays the Royal Navy card on Sail Island, where Beatrice and André have their ships.

First combat round

Since Daniel played the Royal Navy, he will roll the dice for it. He decides to shoot first at André’s sail area.

Then, André and Beatrice shoot back.
Beatrice shoots first, because her ship is faster than André’s and gets a hit. Afterwards, André shoots and scores a hit as well.

Second combat round

This time Daniel decides to shoot at Beatrice’s cannons. He could have shot again at André, but decided not to.
Beatrice shoots first at the Royal Navy, then André follows.
The battle continues until the Royal Navy is defeated, or both players flee or are defeated.

Blackbeard and Royal Navy Fight Together Against One or More Players
It is rare, but it can happen that players will find themselves battling Blackbeard and the Royal Navy at the same time.

When this happens, Blackbeard shoots first at the player with the most fame, then the Royal Navy shoots at the ship of its choice. Then all players shoot back in order of their sail speed. The fastest ship shoots first. Each player can decide each combat round whether to shoot at Blackbeard or the Royal Navy, or they can decide to flee to the safety of Pirate’s Cove.

The battle continues until both Blackbeard and the Royal Navy are defeated or all players are defeated or flee. When either one is defeated, combat pauses as fame points are awarded appropriately. If they are both defeated and there is more than one ship on the island, normal combat begins between the ships that are left.

Two players find themselves on an island with Blackbeard and the Royal Navy.

First combat round

Blackbeard shoots against the player with most points of fame. The Royal Navy shoots against a selected player.
The player with the fastest sails shoots against Blackbeard or the Royal Navy.
The player with the second fastest sails fires at Blackbeard or the Royal Navy.

Second combat round

Blackbeard attacks the player with the most points of fame. The Royal Navy fires at a selected player.
The player with the fastest sails shoots against Blackbeard or the Royal Navy.
The player with the second fastest sails decides to flee to Pirate’s Cove.
Combat continues until either both Blackbeard and the Royal Navy are defeated, or the remaining ship is defeated or flees.

Variant: Blackbeard’s revenge
For an even more challenging game, try the following variation:
• Blackbeard moves randomly. In
Phase 6, his ship is not moved.
• After the players have sailed their ships to the islands in
Phase 1, the player with the least fame rolls a single die. She then places Blackbeard on the island rolled. If Blackbeard has 2 ships, then a die is rolled for each ship. The second roll is repeated until both ships are on different islands.
• In the last play round, round 12, a ship of Blackbeard’s must be placed on Treasure Island.
• All other rules still apply.

Card Translations: alphabetical by German
Action Cards

Fliehen – Flee
Escape from Battle!
Sail your ship to any island without ships or go to Treasure Island.

Herausforderung – Challenge
Sail your ship to any island where there is at least one opponent.
Except Treasure Island.

Neue Crew – Veteran Crew
Place on Crew Area. Always fire all your cannons. -2 gold on total upgrade costs.
st hit, turn card. 2nd hit, remove card.

Neue Kanonen – Six Gun Salute
Place on Cannon Area. Always roll 6 dice.
st hit, turn card. 2nd hit, remove card.

Neue Laderaum – Carryall Hull
Place on Hull Area. Can carry an unlimited number of treasures.
st hit, turn card. 2nd hit, remove card.

Neue Segel – Quicksilver Sails
Place on Sail Area. Faster than Royal Navy, Favorable Winds, and Blackbeard.
st hit, turn card. 2nd hit, remove card.

Royal Navy
May be placed on any island, except Treasure Island and the island with your ship.
4 Dice for Attack
4 Hits to Defeat
4 Points of Fame

Verstärkung – Reinforcement
Place on Any Ship Area. The card is damaged before your ship.
st hit, turn card. 2nd hit, remove card.

Combat Cards

Enterangriff – Grapple Attack
For the rest of this battle, everyone rolls the number of dice in their crew area.
A ship with a Veteran Crew rolls 6 dice.

Geheimversteck – Secret Stash
Receive 5 pieces of gold or 3 treasures from Treasure Island.

Geheimwaffe – Secret Weapon
For the rest of this battle, use 1 extra die when rolling.
Does not work with Six Gun Salute.

Kartätsche – Grapeshot Attack
3, 4, 5 and 6 do damage for your next attack only.
Afterwards, your cannons receive 2 hits of damage.

Kartentausch – Sleight of Hand
Exchange this card for one of your choice in the discard pile.
The new card may be played this round.

Nebelwand – Smoke Screen
For the rest of this battle you can only be hit by a roll of 6.

An opponent’s ship receives 1 hit of damage in the area of your choice.

Starker Wind – Favorable Winds
For the rest of this battle your sail area has a bonus of +9.
Never faster than Quicksilver Sails, Bob or the Royal Navy.

Tall-Tale Cards

1 pt. Ich bin auf einem Seeungeheuer geritten.
I rode on a sea-monster.

1 pt. Ich habe im Bauch eines Wals gewohnt.
I have lived in the belly of a whale

1 pt. Ich habe mit einem Riesenkraken gerungen.
I wrestled a giant squid.

1 pt. Ich habe mich mit einem Enterhaken tätowiert.
I tattooed myself with a fishhook.

1 pt. Ich habe eine Jacke aus Seemannsgarn gestrickt.
I knitted a jacket from sailor yarn

1 pt. Ich habe Moby Dick gefangen.
I caught Moby Dick

1 pt. Ich habe den Schatz Ihrer Majestät geplündert.
I plundered Her Majesty’s chest.

1 pt. Ich habe den Fliegenden Holländer versenkt.
I scuttled the Flying Dutchman.

1 pt. Ich habe Neptuns Dreizack zerbrochen.
I broke Neptune’s trident

1 pt. Ich habe mit einer Meerjungfrau getanzt.
I danced with a mermaid

2 pts. Ich habe das Ende der Welt gesehen.
I’ve seen the edge of the world

2 pts. Ich habe Captain Hooks Holzbein gestohlen.
I stole Captain Hook’s wood leg.

2 pts. Ich habe das sagenumwobene Atlantis entdeckt.
I found the sunken city of Atlantis.

3 pts. Ich habe die Royal Navy auf einer Kanonenkugel geentert.
I defeated the Royal Navy in one shot.

3 pts. Ich bin der Herr der sieben Meere.
I am the master of the seven seas!

4 pts. Ich bin der gefürchtete Seeräuber Blackbeard.
I am…the dread pirate Blackbeard!


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