Players will be divided into teams evenly (British and French), if there are an odd number of players, there will be one lone Dutch player. Either way, the team you are on is secret, and you may not reveal your team to the other players
After this, players are randomly distributed to the two boats.
To finish setup, the captain of each ship decides which nationality's hold the first treasure for their ship starts at
The winner is the team that has the most chests in their team's holds when the Spanish Armada event card is revealed. The Dutch team only wins if the British and French teams are tied at the end of the game. If there is no Dutch team, then the Spanish Armada is removed and event deck is shuffled and the game continues until it is no longer tied.
* Captain: The person at the front of either ship.
* First Mate: The person on the second space of either ship.
* Cabin Boy: The last person on the ship. This may be the first mate or the captain if alone.
* Governor: This is the first person in the line on Tortuga.
On your turn there are a number of actions you can perform and they depend on where your character is located. NOTE: In 2-player games, each player gets 2 actions per turn.
* View 2 Event Cards: Secretly view the front of any 2 of the 5 face-down Event cards
* Reveal 1 Event Card: Reveal any 1 of the event cards. Show this card to all players and resolve the consequences listed on the card. Replace the revealed card with the top card from the event deck face-down
* Force another player to reveal one of two event cards: Choose any other player and then select any 2 of the event cards. The player you chose selects either of those 2 event cards, reveals it to all players, and resolves it
* Move: Move your pawn from either ship or Tortuga to an adjoining rowboat. Or, move your pawn from a rowboat to the back of the line on Tortuga or to the back of the line on the adjoining ship
* Call for an Attack: Successful attacks let you take treasure from the Spanish Galleon. If the Spanish Galleon is out of treasure, successful attacks let you take treasure from the other pirate ship. See “Vote Cards” section for details
* Maroon a player: Maroon any other pawn on your ship to Tortuga
* Call for a Mutiny: Successful mutinies maroon your captain to Tortuga. See “Vote Cards” section for details
* Move a Treasure: Move 1 treasure token already on your ship from the British treasure hold to the French treasure hold, or vice versa
* Call for a Brawl: Brawls move the 2 pieces of treasure already on Tortuga to one or both treasure areas on Tortuga. See “Vote Cards” section for details
Attacks, Mutinies, and Brawls are all types of votes. When a vote is called for, all players participating in the vote will put 1 of their vote cards into the middle. For each type of vote, the top vote card from the vote deck is also added. All cards in the middle are then shuffled and revealed, and the result of the vote is carried out.
After the vote is complete, mix and place all played vote cards face-down at the bottom of the vote deck. Each player who participated in the vote draws a new vote card from the top of the vote deck.
The captain of a ship may call for an attack as their action. If the captain is the only player on the ship, they may still call for an attack. Only players on the attacking captain’s ship participate in the vote.
Only the top section of the vote card matters in an attack and contains a cannon, a torch, or water. Every 1 water cancels out 1 torch. If there is at least 1 cannon, and at least 1 “successful” Torch played in the vote, the captain may take 1 piece of treasure from the Spanish Galleon and place it in either hold on their ship.
If the Spanish Galleon is out of treasure the captain may take 1 piece of treasure from either treasure hold on the other pirate ship (Flying Dutchman or Jolly Roger), even if the other ship has no pawns on it, and place it in either hold on their ship.
Example: If 2 cannons, 1 torch, and 1 water were played, the attack would fail since the water canceled the torch and there were no “successful” torches.
Example: If 1 cannon, 2 torches, and 1 water were played, the attack would succeed since there is 1 cannon and only 1 of the torches was canceled by water, thus leaving 1 “successful” torch.
Example: If 2 cannons and 2 torches were played, the attack would succeed. However, you still only take 1 piece of treasure.
The governor of Tortuga may call for a brawl as their action. If the governor is the only player on Tortuga, they may still call for a brawl. Only players on Tortuga participate in the vote.
Only the middle section of the vote card matters in a brawl and contains either a British flag or a French flag. If a majority of the revealed cards are British flags, place both pieces of treasure on Tortuga in the British treasure area. If a majority are French flags, place both pieces of treasure on Tortuga in the French treasure area. If there is a tie, place 1 piece of treasure in each area. The two pieces of treasure on Tortuga always remain on Tortuga, but they may be moved to either of the areas on Tortuga in future brawls.
The First Mate of a ship may call for a mutiny as their action. Only players on that ship, except for the captain, participate in the vote.
Only the bottom section of the vote card matters in a mutiny and contains either a skull or a helm. If a majority of the revealed cards have a skull, then the captain on the mutinying ship is marooned to Tortuga. If a majority have a helm or there is a tie, nothing happens.
If a pawn on a ship gets marooned to Tortuga, pawns ranked behind it on the same ship will move up to fill in the empty pawn position. If the captain is marooned, the first mate becomes captain. If everyone on a ship has been marooned, the treasure that is on that ship remains on that ship in the same treasure holds. That treasure still counts towards a team’s total treasure unless it is moved later in the game. If a player boards an empty ship, they become captain of that ship.
If you are marooned to Tortuga, your pawn is placed at the back of the line on Tortuga. For example, if Tortuga is currently empty then the “back of the line” is the Governor’s position. For another example, if Tortuga already has 2 pawns on it, the “back of the line” is the “3” position. While on Tortuga you still get turns and you may still perform player actions as normal.
If you are already on Tortuga and you get marooned again, two things happen to you. First, your pawn is moved to the back of the line on Tortuga and pawns that were ranked behind you move up. (If you are alone on Tortuga your position does not change). Second, one of your vote cards is chosen at random by another player and placed unseen at the bottom of the vote card deck. You will play with fewer vote cards for the rest of the game. If you are marooned multiple times while on Tortuga, you will lose multiple vote cards. If you lose all of your Vote cards you may still call for a vote if in a position to do so but you will not be able to participate.
Moving to a rowboat takes one action. Therefore, it takes two total actions to get from Tortuga to a ship or from a ship to Tortuga, since you must move to the rowboat as one action, and move to the ship or Tortuga as the second action. If there is a pawn currently on a rowboat, no other pawn may move onto that rowboat since each rowboat holds only 1 pawn at a time. If your pawn is on a rowboat, you do not participate in votes. You are allowed to “sit” on the rowboat and perform other actions (e.g., viewing and revealing cards) in order to block other pawns. If you are marooned while on a rowboat, you must return your pawn to the back of the line on Tortuga, but you do not lose a Vote card.
Ending and Winning the Game
As soon as the event deck runs out and the only unrevealed event cards left are the 5 in the row, shuffle those 5 cards and lay them out in a new row. The Spanish Armada card will be one of those final 5 cards and revealed cards will no longer be replaced.
Immediately when the Spanish Armada is revealed, the team with the most treasure wins the game. You can win with your team regardless of where your pawn is when the game ends.
In games with an odd number of players, if teams are tied when the Spanish Armada card is revealed, the Dutch player wins.
In games with an even number of players, if teams are tied when the Spanish Armada card is revealed, remove the Spanish Armada card from the game and shuffle all discarded and unrevealed event cards into a new event deck. Do not shuffle in cards that are currently in front of a player, such as an Albatross, Letter of Marque, or a Treasure Map. Lay out 5 new event cards in the row and continue playing where you left off. The first team to take the lead wins the game.
In the descriptions below, any player includes yourself. Another player does not include yourself. All card resolutions are mandatory when revealed.
Helpful Cards (6)
* Letter of Marque (3): Revealer moves any player currently on Tortuga or a rowboat to the back of the line of either ship. Revealer may also save this card and use it as a future action.
* Pistol (3): Revealer selects another player. That player is marooned. Pistols cannot be saved to use as a later action.
Hurtful Cards (6)
* Albatross (3): Revealer keeps this card face-up in front of them for the rest of the game. If at any point a ship has 2 total albatross’ on board, all players on that ship are marooned to Tortuga. Example: The first mate revealed an albatross earlier in the game and has it in front of them. If anyone on that first mate’s ship (including themself) reveals another albatross, everyone on that ship (even those players without albatross cards) are marooned to Tortuga. If you possess 2 albatross cards and you enter a ship, everyone on the ship (including you, who just joined the ship) is immediately marooned to Tortuga. You are essentially a walking bomb. Albatross cards have no effect on Tortuga. If more than 1 player enters Tortuga simultaneously because they all were marooned from Albatross cards, they reverse their rank order (Cabin Boy would get best-ranked open pawn spot on Tortuga, Captain would get worst, etc.).
* Black Spot (3): Revealer is marooned.
Treasure Maps (3)
Revealer gives the treasure map to another player. When the player given the card uses a treasure map, it does not count as an action. A player may be given and possess multiple treasure maps. In 2 and 3-player games, players still must give revealed treasure maps to another player.
* Atlantis (1): Owner may move from one ship to the back of the line on the other ship immediately before any player’s turn (including their own). Using Atlantis does not count as an action. Owner may not use this card to move from Tortuga or a Rowboat to a ship. Discard after use.
* El Dorado (1): Owner immediately draws 1 extra vote card. In any one future vote, owner may play two vote cards instead of the usual one. Players given El Dorado (including those playing down vote cards from being marooned while on Tortuga) may keep the El Dorado card and not use its ability in order to keep more vote cards in their hand. Discard the El Dorado card after using two cards in a vote.
* Fountain of Youth (1): Owner may choose to not be marooned after revealing a black Spot, getting shot with a pistol, being marooned by their captain, or being marooned from a successful mutiny. Discard after use.
Starred Cards (3 added into each game at random)
* Black Powder: Revealer places the explosion token on either rowboat. That rowboat may not be used for the rest of the game. If a player is currently on that rowboat they are marooned to the back of the line on Tortuga. The only way to move to a ship without its rowboat is to use a Letter of Marque or Atlantis.
* Cabin Fever: Revealer chooses 1 other player. Revealer and the chosen player’s loyalty cards are shuffled and redistributed to each of them. They each secretly view their new loyalty card.
* Crow's Nest: Revealer places any one player’s hand of vote cards face-down in the vote deck. Revealer then privately searches the entire vote deck for any vote cards to replace the cards that were in that player’s hand. Shuffle the vote deck after completing. Be sure to replace that player’s hand with the same number of vote cards they had when Crow’s Nest was revealed.
* Eight Bells: All pawns on the revealer’s boat or island are put into the pouch and drawn out randomly back onto that boat or island. There is no effect if the revealer is alone or is on a rowboat.
* Facade: Revealer swaps pawn positions with the player sitting on their right.
* Pirate Code: Revealer may not participate in the next two votes (Attack, Mutiny, or Brawl) that they would have been a part of. They may still call for a vote if in a position to do so. If they are alone for a vote, a vote card is still added from the deck. Discard after not participating in the second vote.
* Scurvy: All players on the same ship or island as the revealer, including the revealer, lose their next turn. Those players still lose their next turn even if they are moved off of the Scurvy revealer’s ship or island. Players losing their turn may still participate in relevant Brawls, Mutinies, or Attacks called for by non-skipped players. In 2-player games, skipped players miss both actions for their next turn.
* Stormy Seas: All treasure on the revealer’s ship is returned to the Spanish Galleon (if on a ship) or the Tortuga treasures are returned to their original starting areas (if on Tortuga). Remember, if there is treasure on the Spanish Galleon, captains can not attack each other’s ships until the treasure on the Galleon is gone. There is no effect if the revealer is on a ship with no treasure or is on a rowboat.
Game Ender (1)
* Spanish Armada: The game ends when the Spanish Armada card is revealed. If the Spanish Armada card is the last card left, players may not use an action to view cards or to force other players to reveal cards.