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Cross Bones

$ 12.95

This is a desktop published game: glue the counters to some cardboard before cutting them out. Provide your own dice.

Set in the Caribbean in the 17th century, the game can be played on two levels and in two ways, making four different games in all. You can play it simply as a two-player ship-to-ship combat game, using either basic or advanced combat rules. The advanced rules use a system reminiscent of Ace of Aces to track your opponent's sailing ship (and the wind) relative to your ship. The basic game is much simpler, just keeping track of your hull points, guns, sails, and boarders. (Boarding rules are similar to Battle Chips from Tim's Games.)

The campaign game can be played by four players - more if you photocopy player mats and don't mind people doubling up on roles. With four, each person takes one of four roles: pirate, British privateer, merchant, Spanish galleoneer. Each has different goals to win the game. There is a simple map of the Caribbean with six ports (some British, some Spanish, some neutral, some cities, some towns, some villages) and two different sea zones. You simultaneously select your destinations and reveal (you can't go directly from port to port - you must first go to one of the sea zones). If you're in the same area as another player, there may be combat - use either basic or advanced ship-to-ship combat as described above. Once that's resolved, roll on the encounter tables, modifying the result depending on if a port is hostile or friendly or neutral to you. After resolving events and encounters on the tables, you may trade if in port.

Goals involve varying quantities booty, supplies, medals and legends. Booty and supplies you can get through trading, booty and legends can be gotten through fighting, and medals can be bribed out of local governors.