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johnhattan

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Finally got to play a couple of games of Pirates of the Spanish Main with Rick yesterday. It's a game with some real potential and some very compelling bits, but I think the game's got a couple of flaws that need to be addressed.

1. In the default game, you've got 12 treasure coins distributed evenly among four islands. Each coin has a random value on the back. You've got 30 points worth of ships, which will get you three reasonable ships. The most obvious course of action is to send your ships out to the islands and be the fastest to load your ship and return to your home island. While both games did feature some ship-to-ship combat, both games came down to "grab six coins, return home, and hope that your random coins are worth more than your opponent's". Since most ships can hold at least three coins, you can grab enough coins to win with one trip. This is solved by just tweaking the scenario a bit. Perhaps by having fewer islands with more treasure on 'em, so there's more contention for resources.

2. The rule for what happens to treasure in a sinking ship makes no sense. The rules say that if you sink a boat holding treasure, the treasure should be divided equally between the sink-er and the sink-ee. That doesn't really fit with reality. Thinking about it, I think that if you damage a boat enough to sink it, you can keep the treasure if you're touching the sinking ship (i.e. you plunder the ship before it sinks). Otherwise, the treasure goes down with the ship and is out of the game.

Just musing. It's a really fun game, though, and the movement and combat rules work pretty well. I'd like to see some good balanced "canned scenarios" come out for it, ala Warhammer and Settlers.



Belated happy 40th birthday to Bryan Mau. We were planning to make a surprise visit to Austin for his birthday, but hurricane panic just made that too difficult. When we heard that hotel rooms in Waco (an hour north of Austin) were booked, we realized that the whole traffic and lodging situation was just gonna be too much of a zoo.

Happy 40th big guy!



Here's a very cool 3D Flash effect. You'll spend ten minutes scrolling about to see all the little bits they've got in the scene (like the champagne cork). Enjoy.
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Thanks for the birthday wishes! Sorry that you guys could not make it. I definately understand although you did miss a fun party!

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