Pirates Constructibles

Pirate ShipYaaar! There be Pirates!

I love games, and just this last week I started playing an extremely fun new game called Pirates Constructibles, from Wizkids Games. Pirates is like Magic: the Gathering in that it’s a CCG (Collectible Card Game), but it’s also a miniatures game—some of the cards have pirate ships that you punch out and assemble. (The cards aren’t cardboard; they’re a kind of thin, strong compressed plastic foamboard.)

You play the game on a tabletop; all you need is an area about 3 ft. square. There are little islands you place around the playing field, which you then load up with tiny gold dubloons. You board a few talented crewmembers, place your ship (or ships) on your home island, and start playing pirate.

To win, you must pick up the most gold and transport it to your home island, but you can also attack each other to steal your opponent’s gold or simply sink his ships down to Davy Jones’s Locker.

The rules are relatively simple for a miniatures game (I got my butt handed to me by an 11-year-old kid in my first tournament last Sunday) but are complex enough to make it interesting. There’s a lot of thought involved, from fleet-building to strategic gameplay. The miniatures look great, and there’s even a bit of historical accuracy for historical battle buffs—you can play English, French, Spanish, American, or Pirate.

I only have two complaints:

One, it’s yet another $4-a-pack collectible game, and there are already FIVE editions on the market. The good news is that you can start playing a simple game with just one pack, so entry is cheap. But you could easily invest your life savings trying to get that great super-ship your buddy kicked your keister with last week.

Two, the masts on the little ships are pretty fragile. I broke one my first game. A tube of gel superglue is required equipment.

Highly recommended.

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