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Fleet - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2012
98 12 7

Fleet is a strategic card based game featuring a unique commercial fishing theme. Fleet uses both existing and new mechanics to create an exciting playing experience.

In the northwest corner of Nunavut, Canada, a formerly inaccessible bay off of the Arctic Ocean has become reachable through a secret inlet. Untouched by the hands of time and fed by both the ocean and warm fresh water springs, Ridback Bay is teeming with sea life. A remote, timeless bayside village is now being inundated by entrepreneurs awaiting the influx of the world’s greatest fisherman to harvest this plentiful bounty. The docks and warehouses are being revitalized and now it is time to begin the real adventure. Go build your fleet and become the master of the seas!

Fleet card game contract card Fleet card game boat cards
images © Gryphon Games

User Reviews (3)

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Gamer - Level 6
Viscount / Viscountess
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
Went to Gen Con 2012
181 of 189 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Fleet: Don't Miss the Boat”

Boardgames can be a bit like art in that they are a form of self-expression, can come from unexpected sources and can be solely judged on their own merits rather than their pedigree. Fleet is a game by first time designers Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback. Matt and Ben are lifelong friends who grew up and now work together as engineers at a Fortune 500 company in Detroit. After a few years of playing various ‘euros’ decided in their spare time (lunch hours) to create “the best game ever”. While they use that phrase tongue-in-cheek, they were successful in creating a solid game that ultimately picked up by Gryphon Games, who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign and published the game. At GenCon 2012, I was able to sit down with Matt to learn and play the game of Fleet.

Fleet is a card game set in the harsh high seas of the Arctic Ocean. Players will control a fleet of ships trying to most successfully fish the treacherous waters and, of course, score the most victory points. The main mechanics of the game are auctions and hand management. It has some of the essence and feel of Race for the Galaxy without all of the hard-to-learn iconography and with a well-connected theme.

The game accommodates 2 to 4 players and initially plays in about 45 minutes. Subsequent plays will reduce the average playing time to about 25 – 30 minutes per game. It is easy to learn and teach and has a similar complexity and weight to games like Dominion, Thunderstone, Eminent Domain, and Ascension (but with fewer cards than most of those).

The game is played over several rounds whose number is determined by certain game end conditions. Each round has five phases:
Phase 1: License Action – Players bid using cards for various fishing licenses’ of differing types.
Phase 2: Launch Boats & Hire Captains – Players may launch a boat by paying boat costs in cards and/or hire captains to boats by placing a card from their hand face down over one of their boats.
Phase 3: Fishing – Players place a crate of fish onto each of the captained boats with space available.
Phase 4: Processing and Trading – Players can process crates of fish on processing vessel and later trade them for a boat card.
Phase 5: Draw – Players draw two cards form the boat card supply and discard one.

The game ends on the round that one of the following occurs: there are not enough license cards to completely refresh the license auction, or there no more fish crates available.

The winner is determined by adding up victory points listed on purchased license cards and launched boats. And one victory point for each crate of fish on a boat and bonus victory points gained for the King Crab license.

The game is dripping with theme. You really feel like you are at sea fishing. The game is easy to learn but has deep veins of strategy. There is a lot of open information, so you can see what is happening without a photographic memory. The game is low in confrontation so feelings unlikely to be hurt. The gameplay is solid and fun. It reminds me of a San Juan (the cardgame follow up to Puerto Rico) with simpler gameplay and better art. It is fresh and different enough to put in any collection.

This game is great for:
• New players. You do not need a lot of experience to play this game.
• Players looking for a solid cardgame or medium weight filler game.
• Fans of deep sea fishing or deep sea fish TV.
• All types: Family, Casual, Social, Avid, and some Strategy and Power Gamers.

This game probably won’t work for:
• Someone looking for a long, heavy strategy game.
• People who are looking for direct conflict in their games.
• Power or strategy gamers who need strong levels complexity to feel satisfied.

Notes and acquisition
Currently, the game widely available in online game stores for about $20. I doubt it becomes a standard game in every boardgamer’s library but a nice change of pace.

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I Love Playin' Games
Private eye
The Bronze Heart
140 of 147 gamers found this helpful
“Go Fish”

I got a chance to play this with a few of my friends that own it. We played several games and enjoyed each one of them. The premise was pretty cool, you are a budding fishing entrepreneur looking to score big in the fishing industries. This is card management and bidding, collection game. The game play in summary consist of:

License Auction – players bid for available fishing license.

Launch Boats and Appoint Captains – players launce their boats and then assign there captains

Fish – collect 4 fish and place them on your boat(s)

Process and trade fish – Process your fish, to do this you need a license (hopefully in your hand), players with the licens take one fish crate from each boat that have fish. Trading can also be done in step by removing the crate from the game for the benefit of drawing a card.

Draw cards – All players end the current round by drawing a number of cards and the start token is passed to the next person.

The Game ends when there are not enough licenses to fill all empty license spaces, the game will end at the end of the current round or the game can also end at the end of the round in which the last Fish Crate is taken from the supply.

Points are scored for the number of fish , awards on license, boats and bonus point for king crab license.

Replay value:

Is certainly high and this is a great family game, I can see my wife crushing me in this game. I do think it is better with more than just 2 people due to the bidding aspect of the game, but would still be enjoyable with 2 people.

The game is pretty easy after a few plays, it has great quality components and art work.


At first the theme seem a little strange , a game about fishing…But overall this is a pretty nice little gem of a card game.

Player Avatar
Reviewed My First Game
127 of 170 gamers found this helpful
“Take ur hands off me, ya scurvy dog, Ya smell like fish!”

“BCIndy” has covered the rules and some of the fun (nice job BC!). Please go read that review first.

Anyhow, BC is correct this game does drip with theme, the card art is awesome and reminds one of “The deadliest catch” TV show. If you kick started this little gem the extras (fish meeples,casino, salty captains and Inuit fisherman) add loads more theme and a few interesting gaming options. My favorite the Wharf side Casino adds the luck of a die to the game and a sort of bizarre mental picture of anteing up at the poker table with a raw cod or tuna (all in matey!).

It’s an easy teach but the first few games will take a bit more time than listed to understand the rhythm of the game. As is with all new games being learned from the rule book. My suggestion to you would be to find some one to teach you or watch a few of the online play videos.

Extra note, Pay close attention to your licensees as they are key to building a well oiled fleet. Many of our games slowed due to missed card draws.

The game could use a little more interactivity between players other than just the auction phase.
In the end , any game I can get an unsolicited game play request for from my wife gets high marks in my library.


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