Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MIA #12: Pirates Blast (der schwarze Pirat: Das Duell)

Pirates Blast (der schwarze Pirat: Das Duell)
  • designer: Guido Hoffman
  • publisher: Haba
  • date: 2007
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/5.68
  • age: 5+
  • # of players: 2
  • print status: in print
  • cost: $19.79 (maukilo.com)

In a world where sequels are par for the course (did we really need 6 "Rocky" films?) and pirates are hip (did we really need 3 "Pirates of the Caribbean" films?), it wasn't a big surprise that Haba would crank out a sequel to the award-winning game, The Black Pirate. What is surprising is how much fun they managed to pack into the smaller/more portable game... and how it doesn't feel like a cheap knock-off of the original.

This time around, there's only two islands... that come equipped with two small wooden cannons that fire (wait for it!) wooden cubes. (Somewhere in there is a really great joke about Ameritrash violence & Eurogame wooden cubes, but I just haven't been able to tease it out.) There are also two pirate ships & 5 treasure tokens in each of two colors. In case you haven't been paying attention, this sequel is just for - wait for it - two players.

The islands are set across the table from each other... and then one of the players rolls the die & "puffs" his boat forward that many squeezes of the puffing device. When he finishes that move, the other player gets to "fire" his cannon by shooting a cube out of it, again with the puffer. If he manages to hit the ship, it's his turn to move his ship. If he misses, the first player continues rolling the dice and "sailing."

When a ship reaches the opposite harbor, they pick up one of the treasure tokens - 3 of which have chests on them & 2 of which are simply sand. The first player to get 3 treasure chests wins the game.

There's some art/skill to using the puffers... while you'd think that the tiny cloth sail would be the best place to aim, it turns out that it's more effective to puff at the hull of the boat. Tipping over a ship ends your turn, so you want to keep the boat moving without blowing it willy-nilly all over the playing surface.

That skill level means that Haba's "age 5+" designation is right on. But please note the plus sign... I've played almost as many games of this with 40+ year old folks as I have 5 year olds.

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