Pirate Game Setup

Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2011 by Steve Jackson.
Version of January 3, 2011

I'm experimenting with simpler setups than documented in the main rules. I am finding a lot of merit in starting every player off just the same, with the standard cutter setup (below) and no special crewmen. This is very fast . . . setups can be created in advance and handed out quickly. (Plastic or paper cups are good for holding ten crewmen and a Captain!) If there are not enough cutters, then brigs may be given one gun and played as cutters.

As they are handed their setup, those players who costumed well, or otherwise earned some consideration, are given extra crew, or invited to pick game slips for "non-combat specials" or special crewmen.

This setup sheet requires muskets to be bought, but for sail-and-shoot games with no economics more complex than "steal stuff and sell it to buy bigger ships," I find it best to assume that all pirates have muskets.

PLAYER SETUP for ___________________________

Players may join the game at any time. Start by visiting the Head Referee to see if you get any costuming bonuses. Then visit the Sutler and fill out this Setup Sheet to choose exactly what you get.

Each player starts with a Pirate Captain (whom he should name), a small ship (which you should also name), and a crew. Each player will also get a clipboard with a record sheet and movement plot for your ship, and a ruler. (Ignore the "Crew" number on your Ship Record. In a simple sail-and-shoot game, you get more crew than is shown there.)

When you are outfitted, you can embark on your career.

Players start with their choice of:
_ _ _ A Cutter, one cannon, 10 men, and 15 bonus points, or
_ _ _ A Brig, 15 men, and 10 bonus points.

Each crewman comes with a pistol. Those without a hook-hand also come with a cutlass. Muskets must be bought. Fill in below to spend the bonus points:
_ _ _ points for extra pirates, at 1 point each.
_ _ _ points for muskets, at 2 muskets for 1 point.
_ _ _ points for special abilities, at 3 points per ability. Note below abilities you are buying. Specify which ones are going to the captain, or whether any man gets more than one ability!

Manning the Fleet

Everyone has one Captain, and the men they start with. If you want more crew, you must hire them.

Regular Crew:

You may have as many ordinary pirates as you can hire, as long as they can stand up (or sit down, or grab the rigging) on your ship. Any pirate who falls off is overboard, and must swim back or feed the sharks.

Special Abilities:

You may buy these when you start, and add them to any pirate you own. Later, if you are lucky, you may be able to hire more special crewmen.

Special crew are never hit in combat, unless there are no ordinary seamen left. Pirates may have more than one special ability, but only one nationality. So you can have a Completely Loyal Polish Gunner for 7 points, or even a Completely Loyal Polish Gunner who is an Old Salt and a Navigator for 13 points, but you can't have a pirate who gets both +1 to damage control and +2 with a cutlass, because that would make him both Scottish and French.

If you hire more special crew later, note them on this sheet.

Indicate which figures represent special crew by marking on the figure (on the back of the legs, so it can be erased easily) with a grease pencil.

Captains may be given special abilities. All captains are already navigators and have a +1 with all weapons. Extra weapon bonuses from a nationality DO add to this. A French captain would have a +4 with a cutlass. Zut alors, me hearties!

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