Black Fleet, the pub game Cock & Bull, and Funemployed are played! So many games, so little time!
While at Board Game Night at The Jester’s Court I was joined at the table by two first timers to game night and Tim to play Black Fleet. I have long been interested in the game but this was my first time playing. In fact, it was everyone’s first time. I set up the game’s gorgeous… and I do mean GORGEOUS… components while I explained the rules.
In Black Fleet there are 10 beautifully molded plastic ships that are whimsical, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. In a 4 player game all 10 ships are used; 2 ships solely under the control of each individual player and 2 navy ships that are used by each player on their turn. The 2 player ships are a merchant ship used to transport goods from port to port and a pirate ship used to intercept and steal goods from the other players’ merchants.
On each player’s turn he/she can move each of their 3 ships (including the shared navy ships) and perform 1 of the actions available to said ships. Merchant ships ferry goods between the board’s 5 ports. Pirate ships intercept merchant ships and steal goods, then attempt to make it to beaches to bury those goods. Navy ships are used to sink the other players’ pirate ships.
On a player’s turn a movement card is played which gives a number of spaces for each ship to utilize, as well as a color of navy ship (yellow or purple) the player is allowed to use that turn. These cards also allow players to draw beneficial Fortune Cards which can be played to increase movement, move both navy ships, or earn additional doubloons. Players normally make money by successfully selling goods at port, burying treasure, and sinking pirate ships.
The game’s components are top-notch. The artwork is beautiful, the ships are amazing, and the board is fun to look at with its bright colors and bits of flair drawn everywhere. It should be noted as well that the game includes metal coins to be used as currency, which is even more impressive when you consider the game’s extremely low cost. Black Fleet can be bought for around $30.00 at your FLGS. Without a doubt, Black Fleet
As for objectives and ending the game, players have unique development cards that must be purchased that gift players with powerful abilities. Once all 4 of a player’s development cards have been purchased, a final, Governor’s daughter card can be bought that ends the game.
I started off strong in our game of Black fleet and earned 9 doubloons by making a quick merchant run. I made the first development card purchase of the game, but found myself falling short consistently shortly after. On my turn the other players’ pirate ships were always just out reach of my navy ships, and their merchant ships were always slipping past my own pirate ship. My ships were always a day late and a dollar short as the saying goes.
Outcome – Tim won soundly. His pirate ship was far more successful than my own and his development cards gave him powerful tactical advantages. That rascal…
Cock & Bull
Cock & Bull is a pub game where players take turn rolling dice in order to claim spots on the wooden board and gain victory points. The dice contain cocks, bulls and monkeys, with different combinations allowing different actions. Sean and I played a game of Cock & Bull while standing at the counter before closing at The Jester’s Court recently.
If you’re looking for a deeply strategic, decision-making game then Cock & Bull will most likely fall short; the game is meant to be fun and fast… and accompanied by beer and other such libations. Players roll the dice and perform an action allowed to them according to the result, including moving their score marker around the edge of the 2 part wooden game board.
Sean introduced me to the game and we enjoyed much laughter during the course of the 20 minutes it took to play. Unfortunately, the troublesome monkey kept showing up on my turn and ending it, with me never getting the beneficial double monkey result from the game’s two dice. The game was fast as is apparent in the above picture. Black is at 20 already when poor red has a whooping 2.
Outcome – I was the red player and I was trounced. A glorious victory for Sean!
On International Tabletop Day I only managed to get in 1 game, and that was Funemployed! by Urban Island Games. KT, Arion, and Gretta joined me at the table.
Much like in Snake Oil, one player is the employer while the other players put together a resume from their drawn cards, called Qualification Cards. The cards can range from qualifications that might actually be useful on a resume to highly ridiculous skills and disabilities one would hopefully never mention if they were applying for a real job. It does make for lots of laughs though!
The employer player listens to the other players sell themselves (often very inappropriately) and the chooses one of the candidates as the winner of the round. Afterwards, the next player plays the employer and the game continues. Many of the cards are of an adult nature, so this isn’t a game to play with children.
Outcome – At the end of the game I had the most job cards earned from winning a round. My strategy has been lacking of late so thank goodness for a sense of humor that allowed me this victory!