Mark and Jason came over Saturday for some gaming. Dave was unavailable, so it was just the three of us, and we went for a ‘long game’ of Blackbeard.

I went for the same pattern as our previous three-player game, and deployed two pirates at the start, one in the Atlantic and one in India. Mark put one in India with me, and another in the Caribbean, while Jason just deployed one in the Caribbean to start with. The good news is that I had drawn Edward Teach (Blackbeard) as one of my three, and kept him in reserve at first.

I managed to swoop in and take the merchant that had started in India before Mark could, and he ended up sailing for the Gold Coast. I managed to get a decent start on VPs with a couple early retirements, and brought out Edward Teach in the Atlantic. Jason had taken the lead with a very nice retirement on his Caribbean nest egg, but I managed a very good career with Teach, living up to his name by taking prizes up and down the Atlantic coast, and getting a decent amount of ransom. He successfully retired with a Notoriety in the mid-20s and a decent net worth, which shot me  up to ~120 VPs, and well past Jason (Mark had been somewhat even with me).

Further retirements pushed Mark and Jason past 100 VPs, but I was climbing into the high 100s. As the game was coming to a close, Jason’s latest captain did very well in the Caribbean, getting a good amount of Notoriety and several high-value cargoes, as well as staying too strong to be challenged by warships and King’s Commissioners. All this time, I had been holding a Duel-4 captain to possibly get someone else’s ship, but I didn’t have the Piratical Ambition card. I finally drew it in between the turn that Jason converted all his booty to net worth and bought a safe haven, and the turn where he used it. With four dice for the duel, I rolled poorly, burned a Cunning and re-rolled just about as bad, and then used his last Cunning to re-roll a 15, which Jason couldn’t match on a 3-die Duel rating. Sadly, all I got was an empty ship with poor crew loyalty, and a captain with no Cunning left, but I had kept Jason from retiring with 7900 Net Worth. Between that and double Notoriety, he would have gone well into the 200 VP range.

My previously-active captain was on the Atlantic coast, following in Blackbeard’s footsteps (wake?), racking up a decent score, but I got the third draw of the General Pardon card on the turn that he would have gone in and retired, getting me 12 points for his Notoriety instead of 24 for that and ~14 VP for Net Worth. My final score was 210 VPs, while Jason had 104 and Mark managed 111 at the end.

One really good retirement put me in a strong lead, and I managed to do fairly well for the rest of the game to keep it. Getting that duel to wreck Jason’s main chance really shows how powerful keeping the right captain in reserve can be. I think Anti-Pirate activity was overall down from our previous game, though I certainly gave it a few tries. I pretty much ended up sticking with the Atlantic coast the entire game, but there were consistently merchantmen to be had there, which made up for the poor cash value. I should probably try concentrating on the Caribbean next time, as I’ve never really done that, though it tends to get attention from everyone else.