Waddington's "Buccaneer" was published in 1971 and is as much fun now as it was then. My old box is getting a bit crusty, and there's a substituted button for a missing pearl amongst the treasures, but it is otherwise holding up well after nearly forty years. Not bad for a family game.
The basic idea is to collect at your home port 20 points worth of 'treasure' - barrels of rum, pearls, gold ingots, diamonds and rubies before anyone else. You do this by hanging around Treasure Island, trading at any of the ports, or piracy (of course).
The rules are well written, and printed on the inside of the colourful box cover. Although simple, they leave players with different strategies, modified always by the vagaries of Treasure and Pirate Islands, as well as the tropical storms, yellow fever, lost charts and piratical hero's like (Long John Silver). A player needs to be flexible to catch the tides of fate in this free flowing game.
The structure of a player's turn forces them to consider their plans for future turns (as one would expect with a good sailing game), especially when maneuvering in the waters off Treasure Island (left).
We played a couple of three player games this evening. Each game took less than an hour and, surprisingly for us, involved no vigorous debate. There was one act of piracy in the second game (shaun plundering nancy's galleon), but combat did not feature heavily. For the record, I won the first game on a conservative sail and trade strategy, and Shaun came home with the goods in the second - from my port! I suspect there'll be a few more piratical adventures over the next week or two.
All in all a grand ol' game, accessible to new gamers young and old, and with enough intricacies in its play to satisfy the old seadogs amongst us.
"Haaaahr me hearties!"
PS I have added Storm and Conquest to the blog scroll. Part of another aussie group, interested atm in ECW and Dark Ages. His blog scroll is interesting also. In his most recent post, he has some nice pictures of a magnificent motte and bailey at the Goulburn Gamers, with a bunch of his viking and saxon rebels attacking it. The defender's perspective is here at the Unlucky General. All of it worth a read.
11 hours ago