Crew Members: Zevvy, Martin, David, Nima
We finally got to play the last in a long line of games Martin wanted to teach us. And just in time–we will miss you Martin!
Players control a Merchant Ship, a Pirate Ship and shared Navy Ships. Delivering goods earns you coins which can be used to buy upgrades, and after all upgrades are bought you can ransom off the governor’s daughter. Sinking ships and raiding goods also produce coins, and special move cards make every turn a little unpredictable.
The early game did not see much use of the pirate ships, as movement was limited and any attempt to raid was countered by the Navy. I picked up a Trade Upgrade early on, and Martin got his Navigation Upgrade which was worded strangely but our interpretations didn’t affect the game too much. Once our Pirate Ships were more mobile players began being raided left and right, and since most people were crossing the center of the map more than one treasure was buried for 6 coins.
David got the Pirate Hideout upgrade which made his ships a universal presence, but with four players the map was crowded enough to hide behind each other, and I managed to safely deliver a full ship near the end of the game. In the final round, David was one movement short of making a delivery, but a lucky draw gave him the push he needed to buy the last upgrade before my turn. Since I went first, the round was over and David won as the only player to pay the ransom.
Black Fleet is a pretty new game, and one of the designers is actually Israeli. Hopefully interest in board games will increase here and prices will drop, though probably economics are more complicated than that (all my economics knowledge is probably from playing board games…)