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The tavern on Tavern Island is the most famous watering hole in all the High Seas. It is the place to trade and barter, share a bottle of rum and brag about mermaids and wenches...

Each visit to Tavern Island gives its visitors the opportunity to buy Tavern cards, at the cost of 2 gold pieces each.

Occasionally, pirates will also receive Tavern cards as a result of plundering some of the outer islands or fleeing to the safety of Pirate's Cove. If the tavern card draw pile runs out, reshuffle the discard pile back in place.

There are six different types of Tavern cards:

  1. Parrot cards
  2. Mastercraft cards
  3. Event cards
  4. Battle combat cards
  5. Volley combat cards
  6. Fame cards

A. Parrot Cards

Once in a great while, a wise old parrot can be found at the Tavern, searching for an adventurous new owner. Having spent many a year perched on the shoulder of some rather noteworthy- thy pirates, these birds have picked up some very useful secrets. One might be willing to share those secrets with their newfound owner in exchange for the occasional sip of rum and a few good curses.

Each of the four parrots has specific knowledge to assist you with a particular part of your ship (cannon, crew, hull and sails), as indicated by the corresponding icon on the parrot card.

  • Captain Flint's parrot - "Shiver my timbers" - You may carry an unlimited number of treasures.

  • Long John Silver's parrot - "Pieces of Eight" - Always roll 6 dice in combat. Long John Silver's parrot supersedes the effect of a Grapple attack Battle card.

  • Billy Bones' parrot - "Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum"- Always fire all your cannons. Billy Bones' parrot supersedes the effect of a Grapple attack Battle card.

  • Squire Trelawney's parrot -"Shew me the man"- Adds + 20 to your speed.

Parrot cards come into effect immediately upon being drawn. Place the parrot card on the Parrot's Perch on your ship mat.

There can never be more than one parrot on board a ship at any time. Should you draw a second parrot card, you can choose to release your current parrot at a cost of 1 point of fame and take on the new one, or turn down the new one.

Any unused parrot must be shuffled back into the Tavern deck. Discarding a parrot does not entitle you to draw a replacement card.

A parrot is hit in combat whenever the section it advises on (indicated by an icon on the card) takes a hit. On the first hit, the parrot is hurt (and its card turned sideways). On a second hit, the parrot dies.

If the parrot is killed, its owner loses 2 points of fame and the Parrot card is then sent to the discard pile. (Dead parrots tell no tales!).

Should a Parrot provide advice on a section protected by a Mastercraft card (see below), the Mastercraft card will always take the first hits to that section. Parrots are smart enough to take cover!

If a parrot is hurt during battle but survives to victory or flees alive to Pirate's Cove, it will automatically heal its wound. Put its card back in its initial upward position during the Upgrade phase.

B. Mastercraft Cards

Many of the outer islands' natives have become expert craftsmen over the years, outfitting ships of legend. When placed on a ship's section, the Mastercraft card makes this section of the boat legendarily battle-hardy.

Mastercraft cards are played during the upgrade phase, by attaching the card to the section of your ship you would like to protect. The Mastercraft card can be played even while mooring at Tavern Island, Treasure Island or Pirate's Cove.

There can never be more than one Mastercraft card onboard a ship at any given time. (Alternative rule: Players may agree to allow multiple Mastercraft cards per ship, but limit them to one card per ship's section).

In any combat, the Mastercraft card will absorb the first two hits to that section of your ship. Upon the first hit, the upgrade is damaged and you flip the card sideways. Upon the second hit, the upgrade is blown to pieces, and the card discarded for good.

A damaged Mastercraft card can only be repaired by paying 1 gold during the Upgrade phase.

Should a Mastercraft card and a parrot be attached to the same section of a ship, the Mastercraft will always be attacked and damaged first during combat. The parrot is smart enough to take second seat in battle!

C. Event Cards

A pirate's life is filled with travails and surprises and a number of event cards reflect the ever-changing seas a successful pirate must sail through. They are:

  • A fond farewell

    Played at the end of the Navigation phase, even after a Royal Navy Intercept card. Let's you sail your ship to any unoccupied Island or Treasure Island. This card also cancels the effect of any Consort played on your ship.

  • Consort

    Played at the end of the Treasure phase. The player of your choice must share half of the booty he earns this turn with you. This includes fame, treasure, gold, and tavern cards.

    The spoils are rounded up in your favor, down in his. If he goes to Treasure Island and buries treasures or gold, you split with him the fame he collects there.

  • Crow's nest

    Played at the beginning of the Navigation phase, before players select their island of destination. Instead of being simultaneous, the navigation phase is done in clockwise order this round, starting with the player of your choice.

  • Going on the account

    Played during the Upgrade phase, from any Island including Tavern and Treasure Island and Pirate's Cove. You may increase any 1 section of your ship by one additional level at no cost.

  • Privateering Commission

    Played at the end of the Navigation phase, in reaction to a Royal Navy card. Send any Royal Navy tipped off to your whereabouts back to the outer island of your choice. The Royal Navy cannot be sent to an island occupied by the player of this card.

  • Royal Navy Intercept (x 2)

    Played at the end of the Navigation phase, after players have revealed their destination of choice. Send the Royal Navy to the outer island of your choice.

    The Navy has never found Treasure Island, nor Pirate's Cove, so you cannot send her there. The Royal Navy always rolls 4 dice in attacks; she takes 4 hits before sinking; has Sail value of 20; and is worth 4 Fame points if defeated. The Royal Navy cannot be sent to an island occupied by the player of this card.

  • Secret Map

    Played at the end of the Treasure phase. Roll 1 die and place a treasure marker on the outer island number that corresponds to the die. If you get a 6, re-roll the die.

    If you capture the island thus designated during the next turn, double the value of any treasure plundered from it.

Battle and Volley Combat Cards

Pirates and buccaneers have always been exceptionally ferocious combatants. There are two types of Combat cards that are played during a battle. Battle cards must be played in turn, one at a time, from fastest to slowest ship; they remain in effect for the entire duration of combat. Volley cards must be played before any volley and are only in effect for that volley.

D. Battle Cards

  • Avast belay!

    For the rest of this battle (including any firing volley), no other card can be played by anyone. Cards played prior to Avast Belay during battle (if any), stay in effect for the duration of the battle and are not canceled.

  • Blow me down! X 2

    For the rest of this battle, your sail has a bonus of + 6. The two "Blow me down!" cards can be played together for cumulative effect, when owned by the same player.

  • Grapple attack x 2

    For the rest of this battle, everyone rolls the number of dice indicated by their crew, regardless of their number of cannons. Billy Bones and Long John Silver's parrots supersede the effect of any grapple attack.

  • Smoke screen x 2

    For the rest of this battle, you can only be hit on rolls of 6.

  • Treasure over board

    For the rest of this battle, your sail is increased by a speed bonus of +2 for each treasure you throw overboard. Move as many treasures as you want from your hull onto the card. At the end of the battle, this treasure is thrown back onto Treasure Island and the card discarded.

E. Volley Cards

  • Grapeshot attack x 2

    For the next volley only, rolls of 3, 4, 5 or 6 hit the enemy. Afterwards, your cannons receive 2 hits of damage. If this cripples your ship, you must retreat to Pirate's Cove.

    A Grapeshot attack supersedes the effect of a Smoke screen, for the volley it is used on. Beware of using Grapeshot if you have Long John Silver's parrot on board: if he is not protected by a Mastercraft card on the ship's cannons, the after-shock of the Grapeshot will kill him off!

  • Powder keg x 2

    For the next volley only, any hit does 1 of damage to every ship's hull (yours included!). Hence, 3 simultaneous hits on a roll of 5 dice will inflict 3 points of damage to the Hull of all the ships present in this combat!

    This effect is cumulative with the hit themselves for the ship attacked, if its Hull was targeted during the volley. This card can be played out of turn (ie during the volley card playing phase of one of your opponents, before his roll of dice).

    Veteran pirates keep this shot as a last resort when vastly outgunned, usually when facing the deadly combination of a legendary pirate and the Royal Navy. If you own Captain Flint's parrot, think before using this card, or you will send him back to his ancestors!

  • Six Gun Salute x 2

    For the next volley only, any hit inflicts damages to all the sections of the enemy's ship simultaneously. However, during the next volley, your guns need to be reloaded and cannot fire. Pass your turn.

F. Fame Cards

What would pirate's life be without a few good drinks, the crew singing sea ballads, and of course the Pirate's booty?

Fame cards are kept in the player's hand till the end of the game, at which point their fame value is totaled and the player's marker correspondingly advanced on the fame track.

The Royal Navy

The Royal Navy cruises these waters, trying to keep some semblance of safety for merchant ships... If another player tips them off to your whereabouts you might find them in hot pursuit of your precious cargo!

If more than one player occupies an island when the Royal Navy arrives, Player ships must take out any Royal Navy ship present - or opt to flee - before fighting each other.

The player who uses the Royal Navy Intercept or Privateering Commission card to send the Royal Navy to an outer island, always rolls the dice for her and gets to decide which ship to fire at first if there are multiple players ships present. The Royal Navy cannot be sent to an island occupied by the player who sends it.

The Royal Navy may only be attacked and hit on her hull, taking 4 hits to defeat her. Defeating the Royal Navy is worth 4 fame points, which are split among all players present who survive the combat. Fame points that cannot be distributed evenly are rounded down to the nearest whole number.

The Royal Navy cannot play any combat cards (though they might be affected by some played by players' ships). They can- not flee or fight against a Legendary Pirate.

At the end of any battle (win or lose) the Royal Navy is removed from the board.

The Legendary Pirates

Famous Pirates of old haunt the islands surrounding Pirate's Cove. Once in a great while, you might sail into their waters. Often as not, this leads to outright trouble, as these Legendary Pirates can be powerful adversaries!

If, at the end of the navigation phase, you end up on the same island as a black ship, you are about to face off against a Legendary Pirate in battle. Which one will depend on the summary card attached to it.

The Legendary Pirates fight according to the characteristics on their respective summary cards. Legendary Pirates may only be attacked and hit on their hull. During the course of the battle, you must keep track (for instance using a dice or stack of treasures) of the current hull value of these ships.

Once it reaches zero, the ship is considered sunk. If the Legendary Pirate defeats all players on an island, his ship is automatically fully repaired immediately following the end of its successful battle.

All the other capabilities (levels of sails and crew/cannons) of a Legendary Pirate cannot be attacked, and remain at the value indicated on their reference card throughout the entire battle.

Dice are rolled on behalf of Legendary Pirates by any player who is not engaged in the current volley of fire.

Legendary Pirates never play any combat cards (though they might be affected by some played by players' ships). Legendary Pirates never flee from combat, nor do they fight each other. They know better.

If a Legendary Pirate is defeated by use of a Powder Keg or Grapeshot attack that results in the player's ship getting crip- pled, that player earns the fame points for defeating the Legendary Pirate, earning some consolation as he limps away to Pirate's Cove.

Legendary Pirate battles with Multiple Players

Player ships must take out any Legendary Pirate ship present - or opt to flee - before fighting each other.

Each ship on the island, including the Legendary Pirate, shoots once during each round of volleys beginning with the fastest ship and then in order by decreasing speed.

The Legendary Pirate ship fires at the player with the highest-ranking area of the ship indicated on his particular summary card. On the next volley, he then attacks the player with the second highest rank in that area, continuing in this manner until he's fired at all remaining players.

Remaining player ships are then re-ranked by their new relative strengths and battle continues until either the Legendary Pirate is defeated, or all player ships are either defeated or they flee.

If a Legendary Pirate is sunk, the fame value indicated on its reference card is immediately split among all players present who survive the combat. Fame points that cannot be distributed evenly are rounded down to the nearest whole number. Surviving players continue combat until only one player ship remains.

Here's a brief overview of the famous pirates known to be haunting the waters of Pirate's Cove.

  • Edward Teach "Blackbeard"

    Blackbeard's withering volleys, unmatched speed, and exceptionally sturdy hull make him the most feared opponent in all the high seas.

    In battle: Blackbeard shoots 6 dice against other pirates' hulls (attacking the pirate with the most cannons first); his Hull takes 8 hits before sinking; has a Sail value of 24; and is worth 6 Fame points if defeated.

  • The Flying Dutchman

    The skeleton crew aboard this famed phantom ship gives her special recuperative powers. If hit in combat, the Flying Dutchman will regain up to 2 hull points at the end of each combat round (i.e. after all ships in the battle have fired once), until sunk.

    She can never exceed her initial Hull value of 5 however, nor recover hull points lost before the last round of firing volleys.

    In battle:Cannon - 4 dice against crew (attacks largest crew first); Hull - 5 hits, regains up to 2; Sails - 16; Fame points - 6.

  • Captain Hook

    Cruelly comic and served by a haphazard crew, Captain Hook's ship is a rather unpredictable, if sometimes laughable enemy. Even when Captain Hook misses in an attack, that shot may hit one of the other player's ships present.

    When Hook is firing a volley on a player, the remaining players on that island are assigned a number from 1 to 4 beginning with the player to the left of the pirate being attacked and moving clockwise. If Hook misses in his attack, but rolls one of the assigned numbers, then that player takes the hit.

    Hook's misfires have no effect on non-player ships, nor ships that are not on the same island.

    In battle: Cannon - 3 dice against hull (attacks biggest hull first); Hull - 5 hits; Sails - 18; Fame points - 3.

  • Ann Bonny and Mary Read

    Two of only a handful of women pirates in history, Bonny and Read were said to fight, curse and swear as well as any man. Any hit by Bonny and Read damages all the sections of the ship targeted!

    In battle: Cannon - 3 dice against all sections (attacks fastest sails first); Hull - 5 hits; Sails - 22; Fame points - 6.

  • The Cacafuego

    One of the largest treasure ships ever captured, the Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion was rather vulgarly nicknamed the Cacafuego by her own Spanish sailors because of her immense treasure and almost criminal lack of cannon.

    The Cacafuego is defenseless against attack. Player pirates battle each other to determine who can pilfer the great riches of this floating treasure chest, but don't know how much booty they are fighting until after the battle is won.

    The victor rolls a single die and wins as many fame points as indicated on the die.

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