This game tries to reproduce a famous 1672 jailbreak of about 30 pirates from the
supposedly impregnable fortress of Cartagena. It is said that not long after
this astounding escape, a game celebrating it became popular in the pirate
coves of the Caribbean; and that a faster, more chance oriented version
was played in Jamaica, while a slower, more skill-oriented one was played on
Tortuga Island. Which is why in our game, too, we offer two ways of playing: a
"Jamaica way" in which chance plays more of a role and a "Tortuga way" based
mainly on skill. As explained in the rules, the difference between the two
versions is only in the layout and handling of the cards. In all other respects
the two versions are identical.
The game in brief
Each player controls a group of pirates and tries to have all of them
escape through the tortuous underground passage that connects the fortress to
the port, where a sloop is waiting. As soon as a player has brought his
pirates aboard, the sloop sails away and the game is over. In the original game the number of pirates
for each player is 6, in the online version you can choose the number of pirates each player will use during the game
in a range from 4 to 8.
• The computer
joins the board-segments so as to form a continuous under ground passage of
many spaces (signs); this can be done, randomly, in thousands of different ways. In the original game the number of
segments is 6 giving a passage lenght of 36 spaces, in the online version you can also use 4 segments (24 spaces) or
8 segments (48 spaces). You can select the passage length when you create the game.
• Each player receives a set of pirates, from 4 to 8.
• All the pirates are placed at the beggining of the underground passage and
the sloop is docked at the other end.
• The computer shuffle the deck and deal 6 cards to each player.
This is where the two versions differ:
• The Jamaica version in which cards are concealed (more luck): The
players hold their cards in hand (hidden from the other players). The rest of
the deck is placed face down on the table to form a stock, from which players
will pick new cards during play.
• The Tortuga version in which all cards are face up (more skill): The
players lay out their cards face up on the table, for all to see. From the rest
of the deck, 12 cards are dealt face up in a row. The card with the arrow is
placed under the row and shows the direction of the sequence - that is, the
order in which new cards are picked up during play (instead of from stock).
When the row is depleted, a new 12-card row is laid out.
In this online version the arrow is not showed, the cards are picked up from right
to left and there are always 12 visible cards.
How to play
The game is begun by a randomly chosen player... Whenever it is your turn, you may make from 1 to 3 moves.
Two kinds of moves are allowed:
play a card and advance a pirate,
move a pirate backwards and pick up one or two new cards.
Moves may be performed in any order and in any combination but at least one move
must be made at each turn.
The two kinds of moves
Play a card and advance a pirate:
Play a card to the table (discard pile), select one of your pirates (either one
already in the underground passage or one who has yet to enter it) and advance
him to the next vacant space marked with the same sign as the sign on the card
you just played (vacant meaning not occupied by another pirate).
If there is no vacant space with the sign you selected ahead of the pirate you
intend to move, you can advance him all the way to the end of the passage and
let him climb aboard the sloop.
Move a pirate backwards and pick up one or two new cards:
Select one of your pirates and move him backwards to the first space occupied by
one or two pirates, whether yours or belonging to an opponent. While moving
backwards, vacant spaces and spaces occupied by three pirates are ignored and
passed by. (Note that there can never be more than three pirates on a space.)
If your pirate moving backwards lands on a space occupied by 1 pirate, pick up
I card, if occupied by 2 pirates, 2 cards.
But keep in mind that when moving backwards you are not allowed to skip a space
occupied by one pirate in order to reach one occupied by two. In the Jamaica
version cards are picked up from stock, in the Tortuga version from the row of
face up cards. When the deck is depleted, form a new deck with the cards in the
End of game
First to land all his pirates on the sloop wins the game.
The winning player receive 1,000 points.
All the other players receives a score that is directly proportional to the total number of spaces their pirates have moved. It's a percentage scoring system, the winner takes 100% of the available points and the other player a percentage of it related with the final position of all the pirates.
Author: Leo Colovini
Publisher: Venice Connection