Thursday, July 4, 2019

British Vs Pirates Board Game Review

British Vs Pirates

AHOY MATEYS! Prepare your sea legs as today Mature Minded Gamers brings you our review of British Vs Pirates by Exocrate Games. A mix of Skirmish/Pick up and Deliver/Resource/Management, British Vs Pirates is a 2-6 player game that blends action and adventure in a High Seas battle royale. Pick from (at time of review) Six Factions. British, Pirates, Buccaneers, French, South Sea Alliance or the Spanish Armada. Each one provides a unique selection of Captains with various Skills and attributes. Including but not limited to grappling and repelling. Each Captain has a Morale Value that functions as a resource to play faction ability cards out of your hand. This deck of cards are unique per faction and provide depth one shot abilities to change the tide of battle. And lets not forget the reason your really wanting to play this game, the ships!

Each Faction has a unique selection of ships and each have small, medium, and large classes. Within each class their are numerous unique boats, variations of the same class including cannon size, hull points, maneuverability and speed. While British Vs Pirates is not the most refined set of rules, it does provides an easier, faster and shorter game than similar style combat system games such as Battle-tech from Catalyst, while scratching that same itch.



During your turn you activate each of your ships, then play proceeds to the following player. With each of those ships you will be taking one of 2 actions. Sailing then Shooting or Shooting then Sailing. Unless you drop your anchor you are required to sail at least one space. However, by dropping the anchor you leave your self open to attacks from the front or the rear arc. Sailing your ship can change drastically depending on the wind, so getting around you opponent isn't as easy as it sounds. Smaller Class ships like the Sloop moves faster into the wind, but slower against. While large ships fair better against the wind, they are slower with the wind at there back. You choose to either pivot (turn) your ship (up to its Pivot Value) then move or  move then Pivot (again up to its Pivot Value). The wind is determined by a weather vain miniature that is placed in the center of the map. It can be changed by playing faction cards and using the appropriate amount of morale printed on the card. With obstacles in the way such other ships, islands, storms and sea monsters the waters are always treacherous. You see, in BvP positioning means something. Well more than something, it mean EVERYTHING. Each Ship has an armor value that is different on each facing of the ship. Generally speaking the fore and aft (front and back) have lower armor than the port or starboard (left and right) and are more prone to being brought down. Once an armor is reduce on a particular side of the ship that mean each shot coming into your ship from that side will be going straight to your structure (hull). Unless you are wanting to sleep with Davy Jones at the bottom of the deep blue, this is not good.

Combat is a very fun aspect of the game. It brings the importance of maneuvering your ship into position to attack and target a certain side of an enemy ship whilst ensuring your particular ship is at the right distance to achieve maximum damage. For example your may have a ship that rolls 3d6 while it is 3 hexes away from the enemy and 1d6 within one. Or you may have chose and same class of ship that is the complete opposite. You roll a d6 than add you weapons accuracy which again is different for each ship. Each die roll plus modifiers needs to be higher than the target's armor. For each successful hit to the armor on that side of the ship, the armor is reduced by 1. Making each future shot on that same side easier to succeed.



The Components of the game are kind of mixed. While the models for the ships are mostly unique in both size, sculpt and color. Exocrate did go with a VERY cheap quality plastic. The art is the real champion here. Each of the Captain and Ship cards have some amazingly colorful and quite honestly
beautiful unique artwork. The Card quality is standard board game and is neither top notch nor bottom of the barrel. The game does come with a bunch of colored d6 that serve the purpose for what is needed in the game.

Video Game Comparison:

If your a fan of Battletech by Harebrained Schemes, Sea of Thieves by Rare and Pirates of the Burning Sea Flying Lab Games. we encourage you take a look at British Vs Pirates by Exocrate Games.

It lends itself to Battletechs damage grid style combat quite well making deterministic damage selection easy yet satisfying. Sea of Thieves in way of movement, where wind plays a huge factor in positioning and control. And finally Pirates of the Burning Sea in captain selection, ship design and weapons selection.

Final Thoughts:


I am reviewing the game based on the Vol 2 rules and features and It does need to be said that Vol 2 adds a lot of missing flair and flavor of Game play mechanics. Such as random events, advancement movement and forts. All features that really make this game what it is Also, it does seem a little strange to me coming from playing a lot of skirmish/war-games, the ships and/or captain do not have points totals, so games can seem unbalanced. For Example the South Sea Alliance has Huge Ships that are beefier in defense without much draw back in maneuverability, speed or firepower. We played the game with several player counts and 1v1 seems like the best with 1 or 2 ships each. More players just adds to much down time and the potential for one of your ships to be crippled before you have a chance to react.

All in all we did enjoy this game. A wonderful Beers and pretzels game that is highly tactical, while simple and entertaining. So grab some brews, put on your eye patch and shiver me timbers!

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