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"So What Happened To That Business Card Pirate Game?" Topic

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1,767 hits since 7 Aug 2018
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Cacique Caribe07 Aug 2018 11:22 p.m. PST

This one in the picture. The little ships were apparently punched out of small (business-card size?) laminated cards, seen in the foreground of the photo.

A) Is the game and the little ships still around?
B) What did the players typically use for the ocean surface (tablecloths, tarps, or painted tabletop surface?) and for their terrain pieces?
C) Did any players ever try to do scenarios based on Pirate movies?



Gokiburi08 Aug 2018 1:21 a.m. PST

Pirates of the Spanish Main?
They weren't laminated, they were bendy plastic, like credit cards.
We just played it on the bare table. I don't recall the game itself being very good, but the ships were cool.

earlofwessex08 Aug 2018 1:33 a.m. PST

It's "Pirates" by Wizkids and, no it isn't around. For a while it was everywhere, so it's strange that it's gone. It was made from 2004-2009.

I have more of this game than I ever wanted, but have only played it once or twice. This is because I bought a big odd lot from a seller that was dumping it. It is a purchase I have regretted because even though they look cool, the game itself is pretty primitive. I suspect that there was a lot of house-ruling, scenarios and so forth. If you want to use alternate rules, it would be really cool.

I would love to get rid of mine, if you are interested. I live in Europe, but have a friend going back to the US this Saturday so if you want a bunch, let me know before then.

I just went an weighed them: it's about 4.5 pounds of ships, islands, coins, forts, monsters, characters and cards. If you want them, let me know and you can have them for the cost of shipping from Minn. plus a couple bucks for packing. I just want them to have a good home and we are downsizing.

Cacique Caribe08 Aug 2018 1:57 a.m. PST


I'll take them! Shoot me an email and let me know where to PayPal to compensate you also for their value in some way.

Was there a rule book(s) to the game? Or is there a better rule set you'd recommend to use with the ships? I've never played any sort of naval game in my life, and this might be a good way to test the waters (pardon the pun). :)

Thanks so much

Daniel DOT martinez1 AT sbcglobal DOT net

warwell08 Aug 2018 2:32 a.m. PST

Rules – link

I would look for a better set. As noted, the rules are primitive (e.g. no rules for wind). If I still had my ships, I would consider using Galleys and Galleons – link

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 3:45 a.m. PST

I also wrote a set of rules for use with Peter Pig's excellent 15mm pirate range using the rulers and a similar system to simulate battles between pirates. Will dig it up if people would like a look at it.

dragon608 Aug 2018 4:08 a.m. PST

Don't be silly. Of COURSE we want to look at your Pirate rules

Darrell B D Day08 Aug 2018 5:29 a.m. PST

Patrick – yes, I'd also like to see your rules. I'm supposed to be running a game using these ships in November and some other rule sets would be of interest.


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 6:43 a.m. PST

The game was aimed at kids and, for what it was, was fun. You each bought a pack (like bubblegum cards), put them together and play. It was designed around collecting.

Most gamers bought the ships for use with other rules.

Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 6:44 a.m. PST

We are playing a battle at the Bengal Club Friday using those ships, but another set of 'age of sail' rules. I don't know which one.

Lucius08 Aug 2018 7:55 a.m. PST

I played many, many games with my pre-teen daughters before they grew out of gaming.

One of my happiest memories was when we spent an evening opening a "Pirates of the Mysterious Islands" box, getting both Captain Nemo AND the Nautilus.

If you can ever pick up 5-10 packs cheaply, do it, and put them in a drawer for a rainy day with a niece/nephew or grandkid.

Oberlindes Sol LIC08 Aug 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

Fun little game. Quick and very primitive. I think it would be good for kids. I have a couple of sets somewhere in my gaming stuff.

BuckeyeBob08 Aug 2018 10:56 a.m. PST

Check out boardgamegeek. there are numerous variant rules and other information available to download.


Belisarius08 Aug 2018 1:33 p.m. PST

The Pirates of the Barbary Coast expansion made great Galleys for Galley warfare.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 3:32 p.m. PST

Had no idea they had produced so many sets

roving bandit08 Aug 2018 5:40 p.m. PST

I didn't care much for the Pirates games. But I absolutely loved the Rocketmen game that came later based in part on the Pirates games.
The lack of wind wasn't a problem in space. Also you started with a small mining group and expanded your fleet by bringing home certain elements that you collected. So late game played a bit different than early game. Starts off as a race to grab resources than you follow up with the real action.

Wolfshanza08 Aug 2018 10:47 p.m. PST

Still have a carp load of the ships, etc. As Chick said, we are using them for "Fighting Sail"now. The origional was a fun not terribly serious game.

Cke1st10 Aug 2018 8:48 p.m. PST

I ran a gaming group for young people that met weekly for several years; this was their favorite game. I still have the ships, and I still run a game now and then when my schedule permits. Yes, the rules are simplistic and need tweaking, but any decent gamer can come up with house rules to fix any situation. If your goal is simple fun rather than realism, the game delivers.

My favorite memory from playing the game:

Me: I just hit you twice. Do you want to lose your long-range cannons or your short-range cannons, or one of each?
Young person: Take my shorts off.
Me: I _beg_ your pardon?

Dexter Ward15 Aug 2018 6:13 a.m. PST

The game itself is not bad, and there are a ton of scenarios for it, but the ships are great, and can be used for any age of sail game. I based mine and touched up the white edges and they look pretty good.

Cacique Caribe25 Aug 2018 9:18 p.m. PST

I got the box from Earlofwessex last week and, I've gotta say, I had never seen the ships firsthand until now. They look like they are going to be a whole lot of fun to play with. He even included islands and tons of other stuff. I can't thank him enough.

I talked to my young brother-in-law about them the day I opened the box and he is so interested in them too that he's coming over tomorrow to take his first look at the ships and to see how we can set up a small fleet each to give them a first try.

And with the 3' x 3' neoprene ocean mat I got from Frontline Gaming a few weeks ago we might be able to play our first game soon after we sit down to go over the rules tomorrow.

Like I told Earlofwessex, it feels like Christmas came early … in August!

PS. Here's the neoprene mat I ordered from Frontline:



clifblkskull Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2018 3:46 p.m. PST

I use the Trafalgar rules from GW and do historical actions
I make little flags with historical ship name
I have tons of these and can find almost any ship equivalent
Even Barbary pirates etc.

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