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Black Fleet - Board Game Box Shot

Black Fleet

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Dastardly villains have captured the governor’s daughter, and it’s up to you to save her. Employ merchants to trade goods, or use your pirates to sink your enemies and steal their treasures. Barter or blast your way to victory!

In Black Fleet, players employ their pirates, merchants and occasionally, the Royal Navy to trade for gold, and sometimes just take it. Every turn you will play a movement card to determine where and how you can move, and what you can do when you get there. Swashbuckle your way across the Caribbean, and rescue the governor’s daughter from the Black Fleet.

User Reviews (4)

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Book Lover
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Intermediate Reviewer
121 of 130 gamers found this helpful
“Get your hands on this treasure!”

Initial Thoughts

I was intrigued when I saw the Space Cowboys logo on the Black Fleet box. The minds behind games such as Splendor, Elysium, and T.I.M.E. Stories have hit it out of the park once again! If the rich, thematic cover art (by the outstanding Denis Zilber) doesn’t immediately set your mouth to watering, just wait until you open the box….

What’s In The Box?
Instead of listing the different components, I have to gush about the absolutely gorgeous quality of them. The attention to detail on the different types of ships (they have molded slots for the cargo cubes!) is amazing, the “clinky” solid metal doubloons (silver and gold colored) are fantastic, the artwork on the different cards (Action, Fortune, and Development) is lovely, and the large board itself is bright and eye-catching. Heck, the box insert that holds all this treasure is an actual skull and crossbones! Pull this out at your next game night, and heads will definitely turn.

Each player takes control of the two of their own vessels—the merchant and pirate ships I mentioned earlier. There are also two “neutral” Navy ships that are looking to sink the pirates. The merchant ships visit different ports and pick up supplies (colored cubes), travel across the treacherous waters, and deliver them to other ports—earning doubloons for each good still on board. The pirate ships sail around these same waters and earn doubloons for attacking those merchants and swiping cargo, and then earn more doubloons by burying it at one of the many islands. What’s a merchant to do? Well, there are two “neutral” Navy ships that are all about seeking out those pirates and sending them to the bottom of the sea (at least until the next turn, that is).

Movement is determined by the movement cards. Each card depicts the three different ships and lists the maximum number of spaces that ship can move. Also, the bottom of each card shows how many treasure cards the player must pick up or discard. Those treasure cards give a one-time buff to the player, bending the rules of the game in one way or another. After all ships have been moved, the player is allowed one action per ship: pick up, deliver, or steal a goods cube, bury a goods cube, or attack another ship.

The ultimate goal of the game is to earn enough doubloons to unlock all of your four development cards. This is a lot like Machi Koro in this regard, and like the cards in Machi Koro, these development cards give the player special (and increasingly awesome) abilities. Once all four development cards have been purchased, the player must make enough money to purchase the end-of-game Governor’s Daughter card to make it official. The player who has the most doubloons (not necessarily the one who flipped the end-of-game card) is the winner.

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a fun, light family game with plenty of opportunities for smack talk, pirate accents, laughter, and “gotchas”, this is it. The rules are easy to pick up (much like those goods cubes), the components, as I’ve already mentioned, are fantastic (just try not to clink those doubloons!), and the gameplay is quick. Set sail for a great time!

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108 of 117 gamers found this helpful
“Sail the high seas in 3 unique roles”

In Black feet you will control a pirate ship a merchant ship and maybe one of the two neutral naval ships.

The goal of the game is to purchase all 4 random development cards that may cost 5, 8, 11, or 14 doubloons. You also need to purchase the governor’s daughter card.  She costs 10 doubloons – or 20 for a longer session – to ransom. The winner is the player with the most gold plus having purchased all cards mention above. The end of game is triggered when any play purchases all their cards and continues until the last player in a round has a chance to play.

Gold is received by picking up goods and delivering them to port by merchants or plundering a good from another player as a pirate and burying them on an island or as a naval ship by sinking other ships. Remember you can play all roles each turn in this game. The amount you are allowed to move is controlled by cards that have a distance to move for Pirates, Merchants and Naval Ship. They may or may not have bonus features on them.

Any ship that is sunk comes back on your next turn.

You need to navigate away from from pirates and naval ships while trying to get your goods to port. It is hard to plan ahead since the board may change greatly from turn to turn depending on what movement cards are played by other players.

The game handles 3-4 players and there is a 2 player variant floating around.

I enjoyed the game and would play again. There are 2 members in my usual game group that own the game. It is more of an entry game then a heavy game. It is good for children and people new to gaming. Replay-ability is good. It varies because of the availability and the sequence players play movement cards.

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112 of 130 gamers found this helpful
“Really good game”

Played this the other day and I really enjoyed this. It’s not a very heavy game but it is by no means a game that shouldn’t find time on your gaming table. There is enough strategy to keep hardcore gamers in your group happy. The idea is that you have a merchant ship and a pirate ship each in your own colour. There will also be 2 navy ships (yellow and purple). On your turn you will move your 2 ships and (most of the time) 1 of the navy ships. The movement will be decided by the cards you have in your hand. They will tell you how much to move each ship and you can move them in any order. Your merchant ships are sailing from port to port delivering goods and getting money (WOW is it nice money. Solid metal coins!), your pirate ship is trying to loot from the other merchant’s ships which they then bury for money and the navy ships are sailing around trying to sink pirate ships and to a lesser extent blocking merchants as you can’t sail through the navy unless you’ve played that navy card this turn (if you play a card that tells you to move the purple navy ship then for that turn your merchant can move through the purple navy ship) which gets you money for sinking a pirate. With all this money you may once per turn flip over an upgrade. The first person to flip all their upgrades wins. Now for my one knock against the game and that is we played a three player game and maybe my opinion would change with a 4 player game but this game needs to be 5 maybe 6 player game cause we ran into each other but in needs a little more interaction so that strategies can be more present. There is also cards that you may only ever have 3 in your hand of that bend the rules for that turn only and the upgrade cards there are many so the players will not get the same cards so the replay value on this game is high.

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13 of 39 gamers found this helpful
“Why do all pirate games sound the same?”

My friend said we were going to play a pirate game and I was excited. He told me the name and it was this but I thought he meant Dark Sea which is a game with laying down tiles and this was a game of delivering items to get gold. It was good and it was fun – but why do all pirate games sound alike?

I think I would like to play Merchant and Maneuvers next – how is that? I seems like a good pirate game.


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