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Dice of Pirates: A Kickstarter Preview

Dice of Pirates Prototype

All components used for this review are prototypes. They are subject to change.
(All photos of Thing 12 Games product/prototypes were taken and edited by KristaG)

Sharpen your swords, loose the sails, and get ready to weigh anchor! Thing 12 Games is currently crowd-funding a new pocket-sized piratical adventure on Kickstarter.com! The campaign for Dice of Pirates will be running until October 23rd. If you think you have what it takes to ride the winds, raid your enemies, and plunder the seas, then this might just be the dice game for you!

Components

Each game comes with 7 dice, 10 Plunder tokens, 24 Gold tokens, and a Mercenary Ship!

Dice of Pirates is a quick dice game for 2-6 privateers that can be played in about 15-30 minutes and comes in a compact, metal tin perfect for carrying out your pirate dreams while on the go! For me, the portability of this game is a great selling point as I am often taking games with me to coffee shops, laundromats, and impromptu meetups with friends after work. The tin contains 7 custom d6s, 10 Plunder Tokens, 25 Gold tokens, a Mercenary Ship (for advanced play), and a set of rules printed on revlar so they’re almost impossible to destroy.

While there is a fun 2-player variant, the game is honestly meant for 3 or more players. Dice of Pirates focuses on set collection as players set sail with the aim to collect loot and win the game before the other captains manage to do the same. The first player to collect 7 gold (and have the favor of the Mercenary Ship if playing with the advanced rules) wins the game. To earn plunder, the 7 dice are rolled to raid ambiguous sea targets for their gold or to attack other players and capture gold from their coffers all while avoiding the deadly Kraken!

Dice

The 4 possible dice faces that can be rolled: Pirate Flags, Ships, Gold, or Krakens!

Once the active player rolls the dice, they are looking to create sets of 3 from the dice pool. All Krakens are set aside. Having 3 of them at any time will immediately end your turn. Players can re-roll any of the remaining dice as many times as they’d like in attempts to earn gold (set of Gold Coins) and/or make a Raid (set of Black Flags). Any time a Ship is rolled, the winds of Fate come into play and those dice are distributed to other players of choice, allowing those players to re-roll them and have a hand in the active player’s destiny. Will they help you come away with the loot or lead you to your doom?

Raiding Example

In this raid, the player on top has 2 Gold in their coffer and 4 “coins” in their pool. The bottom player has 3 Gold in their coffer and 1 “coin” in their pool. The top player would win the raid and would receive all 3 Gold.

I really like how the Ship die face mechanic works as it means players stay active the entire game instead of just sitting around and waiting for their next turn. Being an active secondary player also has its advantages. There are options to “gift” a player (it can be any player) with a Kraken as well as earning yourself a Plunder token. During a Raid, these tokens can be spent as if a coin had been rolled on a die. The ultimate aim of a Raid is to be the player with the most coins in their dice pool once all dice are done being rolled. (Note: the gold tokens belonging to players do not count as being a part of the pool)

At the time of this review, the included set of rules needed to be smoothed out a little as certain things were a little unclear. Otherwise, I feel Dice of Pirates is a great game for all ages and would love to see what the finished product will look like. As I previously stated, I love that the game is so compact and can easily be tossed in my bag or the pocket of my hoodie. The theme happens to be one of my favorites (I really do love pirate themed things…), so I was really excited about the chance to try it out. I’m usually somewhat picky when it comes to games featuring pirates as I have been let down more times than I can count, yet Dice of Pirates more than does the theme justice so it is definitely one I am glad to have gotten to play! If you haven’t already, I highly recommend taking a peek at their Kickstarter campaign!

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