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Legendary home of lore and plunder... hideaway of pirates and buccaneers... Pirate's Cove haunts the hearts and minds of every young lad who yearns for a life at sea.

Starting with a modestly outfitted sloop salvaged from last winter's storm, you set sail to Pirate's Cove one early morning, your eyes filled with visions of treasure and fame, your lungs filled with the salty air of the High Seas.


  • 1 Board map
  • 7 Pirate ship miniatures )
  • 5 Pirate Ship Mats and Captain's Wheels
  • 5 Wooden Fame markers
  • 20 Strength markers
  • 112Illustrated cards:
  • 44 Doubloons
  • Treasure chests
  • 6 wooden dice
  • Rules booklet
  • Summary Card


Place the board map of Pirate's Cove in the center of the table.

Shuffle the Treasure cards, and place them in stacks of twelve each, on their matching spot on each of the outer islands (Islands 1 through 5). Shuffle the Tavern cards and place them, face down, on the matching spot on Tavern Island.

Take the Legendary Pirate cards (with the ship illustration on back). Set aside the Royal Navy card face up, next to the board and shuffle the remaining Legendary Pirate cards before placing them face down next to the board.

Each player chooses:

  • a Pirate ship miniature of the color of his choice
  • Four Strength markers and a Fame marker that match his ship color
  • a Pirate ship mat
  • a Captain's wheel
  • One doubloon of 5 gold and four of 1 gold, for a total of 9 gold.
  • a Tavern card (drawn from the top of the stack at Tavern Island)

Note: When playing for the first time, first remove the doubloons and Captain's Wheels from the punchboard.

To assemble the wheels, remove the small center circle from the wheel and fix a black plastic arrow to the front of the wheel, using the small black plastic piece to hold it in place from the back of the wheel. If the wheel spins too loosely, reverse the black plastic piece on the back.

Each player puts his fame marker on the Jolly Roger starting spot on the fame track running along the map's border. Throughout the game, each time a player wins fame points, he will immediately advance his marker accordingly.

Each player lays the Pirate ship mat in front of him. Each player then puts his four Strength markers on their starting position - the second position from the left on the Pirate ship mat, as indicated by that section's skull icon - and stores his doubloons next to his ship mat.

All remaining doubloons, and all treasure chests are then buried on Treasure Island (#6), in the center of the board.

One of the Legendary Pirate black ships starts the game moored at Tavern Island (#1), so place her there. Reveal the first Legendary Pirate card from the stack next to the board and place it by the black ship.

If you are playing with three players, a second Legendary Pirate black ship is anchored off Cannon Island (#4) at the start of the game. Reveal a Legendary Pirate summary card for that second ship, and place it next to her.

You are now ready to set sail and become the most famous pirate of the Caribbean!

Object of the Game

Your objective is to sail the islands off Pirate's Cove and become the most famed and feared pirate the world has ever seen (well, this year, at least)! To do so, you will, in turn, need to navigate shrewdly, fight recklessly and plunder mercilessly.

You will gain fame by winning fights, burying gold and treasure, and bragging about your exploits at the Tavern.

At the end of twelve months (game turns), the pirate with the most fame will be declared winner of the game and most fearsome Pirate of the High Seas!

Know your Ship

Before sailing in these pirate-infested waters, each aspiring buccaneer should take stock of his ship.

A ship's sea-worthiness and battle-readiness is set by the level of its equipment in 4 distinct sections of the ship as indicated by the Strength markers:

  • the Hull, which dictates how much treasure can be safely loaded aboard her;

  • the Crew, which, when paired with cannons, decides how many dice are rolled in combat;

  • the Cannon, which, when manned by a crew, decides how many dice are rolled in combat;

  • the Sails, the more deployed, the faster and more maneuverable the ship.

Important: To each man his cannon and vice-versa! The attack capability of a ship (which dictates how many dice are rolled in battle, see Combat page 6) is determined by the lowest number of the ship's current crew and cannon level.

Hence a ship with 2 crew members and 3 cannon or one with 3 crew and 2 cannon will roll 2 dice in battle, while a ship with 3 crew and 3 cannon will roll 3.

Rigging Her Properly...

At the beginning of the game, before the first turn, each pirate gets a chance to rig his ship to his liking. You can upgrade any or all of the sections of your ship by paying an upgrade cost.

To upgrade one of your ship's sections, move the Strength marker for that section to its desired level. Using your gold doubloons, you must pay the upgrade cost indicated in white next to that level by moving the corresponding number of gold doubloons from your hull to Treasure Island.

Upgrade costs are cumulative, so upgrading your sails from 5 to 7 costs 1+2 = 3 gold. The rigging of ships at the start of the game is done simultaneously, without prior knowledge of the other players' chosen rig settings.


Throughout the game, some actions will be performed on successive islands in what is referred to as westward (or clockwise) order.

This westward order is: the five outer islands, (Tavern, Hull, Sail, Cannon, and Crew island) numbered 1 through 5, followed by Treasure Island (6), in the center of the map, and finally Pirate's Cove, off center.

Game Play

The game is played over 12 consecutive months (game turns). Whoever gains the most fame by the end of the year is declared winner of the game. Each turn is divided into 6 distinct phases:

  1. Treasure - Turn over the top card from the stack of Treasure cards on each of the outer islands 1 - 5. Listed on each card are the rewards for capturing this island this turn. Pirate cards run out on the 12th and last turn of the game.

  2. Navigation - Secretly set the arrow on your Captain's Wheel to the island you want to sail to and plunder. Reveal all captains' wheels simultaneously and move each pirate's ship to her destination.

  3. Combat -Beginning with ships moored off Tavern Island and proceeding in westward direction, resolve any combat.

    Combat occurs on any outer island (islands 1 - 5) where 2 or more ships are present, and on Treasure Island when running into a Legendary Pirate anchored there. Each combat is made of a preparatory Battle phase, followed by successive firings of Volleys.

    Combat continues until one lone player ship remains on the island; or until all player ships have been either crip- pled or fled to Pirate's Cove.

  4. Plunder - Beginning with Tavern Island and proceeding westward, any surviving ship occupying an outer island is free to plunder it. Her captain takes the corresponding Treasure card and receives the indicated amount of gold, treasure, Tavern cards and fame points.

    If treasure, gold, or Tavern cards run out, you get none, hence the importance of plundering in order.

  5. Upgrade - Beginning with Tavern Island and proceeding westward, each player may take advantage of the "upgrades" available on the island he occupies:

    • On Tavern Island, to purchase up to 3 Tavern cards at a cost of 2 gold each;

    • On Hull, Sail, Cannon or Crew Island, to upgrade his ship's corresponding section as much as desired, by paying the corresponding cumulative upgrade costs;

    • On Treasure Island, to bury treasures and gold for fame (1 fame point for each treasure or 3 gold pieces) and/or upgrade any one section of his ship 1 level at twice its regular cost;

    • On Pirate's Cove, to draw 2 tavern cards (or 1 Tavern card and 2 gold) from the stack, and repair his crippled ship.

  6. Move black ships & check treasures - Move the Legendary Pirate black ship(s) one island westward each. Pirate's Cove is a safe haven from Legendary Pirates, so after Treasure Island, the black ship moves back to Tavern Island.

    If a Legendary Pirate was defeated during combat, draw a new card from the Legendary Pirate deck to replace it. If needed, reshuffle that discard pile. Check Treasure loads, and throw off any treasure on board a ship that exceeds its hull capacity.

    Discarded treasure is returned back to Treasure Island. Finally, discard any remaining face-up Treasure card left on the islands.


Pirates are a rowdy and jealous bunch: any outer island (#1 - #5) where more than one ship (including any other players' ship, the Royal Navy and any Legendary Pirate ship) chooses to moor, bears witness to an epic naval battle.

Combat may also erupt on Treasure Island, if a player runs into a Legendary Pirate anchored there. Battles are won when you either cripple your opponent(s) by inflicting enough damage to force one of their strength markers off their ship's lowest level; or if they flee from your onslaught.

Order Of Combat

Battles are fought in westward order, starting from Tavern Island on.

Battles are resolved by preparation for battle followed by successive rounds of Firing Volleys:

  1. Preparing for Battle - Battle cards are played, at each player's option.

  2. First round of volleys fired:

    1. The fastest ship either:

      • Fires a volley at another ship;
      • or Flees to the safety of Pirate's Cove.
    2. The second fastest ship, if not crippled, either:

      • Fires a volley at another ship;
      • Or Flees to the safety of Pirate's Cove.
    3. Play continues in order of decreasing speed until all ships have had the opportunity to fire a volley, retreat to Pirate's Cove, or be crippled before having a chance to fight.

  3. Second and all subsequent rounds: Additional rounds of firing volleys then occur in similar fashion in order of decreasing ship's speed until all opposing ships have been crippled and one lone player ship remains on the island; or until all player ships have been crippled or opted to flee to Pirate's Cove.

    The ships' current Sails level at the beginning of each volley determines their relative speed. If a ship's Sails get damaged, its speed, hence its order of play, might change from one combat round to the next.

    Throughout the Combat, Plunder and Upgrade phases, the fastest ship on an island always acts first. If two or more pirates have the same level of Sails, each rolls a die against the other(s) to break the tie in favor of the highest number.

    All other ties throughout the game are decided by using the same dice roll mechanism.

Preparing for Battle - (optional) card playing

Starting with the player with the fastest ship, players may play any one Battle card they wish from their hand. The card played is read aloud and its effect applied immediately.

The second fastest player may then play a card, or pass, followed by the third fastest, etc. The playing of Battle cards continues in successive turns until each participant in the battle chooses to pass during the same turn.

A player can pass, then play a Battle card later on as long as one of the other combating players has played a Battle card since that pass.

Battle cards last the entire duration of the combat they are played in. They are discarded at the end of the combat, regardless of whether they took effect or not.

Battle cards can only be played on behalf of a player' s own ship, never on behalf of the Royal Navy or the Legendary Pirates.

Firing Volleys

A player deciding to fire a volley:

  1. Plays any Volley card(s) he desires, prior to any roll of the dice. The effect of the Volley card only applies to the upcoming dice roll. The card is then discarded, regardless of its successful use or not. Volley cards can never be played on behalf of the Royal Navy or a Legendary Pirate.

  2. Announces in a strong voice whose ship, and which section (Hull, Cannon, Crew, or Sail) of that ship, he intends to fire his cannons at. Legendary Pirates ' ships and the Royal Navy can only be attacked on their Hulls.

  3. Rolls a number of dice equal to the lowest of his levels of Crew and Cannons. Each roll of 5 or 6 is a hit. With each hit, the attacked ship loses one level in its targeted section. Its strength marker is moved down ( left) one level to reflect the damage taken and lowered capability.

If a Legendary Pirate and /or the Royal Navy are present on the island and the player stays to fight, he must target his vol-leys at them until all such ships have been sunk. Only then will he be able to direct his cannons at fellow players' ships, if any is still present.

If the section attacked features a Mastercraft or Parrot card, that card absorbs the first two hits prior to any damage to that section. On the first hit, the card is turned sideways to show its damage and on the second it is discarded. Only then do further hits on that section cause the strength marker to be lowered (moved left).

Volley cards can never be played on behalf of the player-controlled Royal Navy, only on behalf of the players' own ships. Legendary Pirates never play any cards; they are powerful enough without them.


Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. During his turn in combat, a pirate may decide to escape by fleeing to Pirate's Cove. If the ship has been hit during combat prior to fleeing, all opponents remaining on the island receive 1 point of fame upon seeing her flee.

If a ship flees to Pirate's Cove without having been crippled (that is, without having one of its strength marker's pushed off its lowest level), its captain runs the risk of a mutiny.

He rolls 1 die; if he rolls a 1, a mutiny occurs. The crew, tired of working for a cowardly captain revolts and takes over the ship. The player loses all gold and treasure on board, and its captain walks the plank (-2 fame points).

Legendary Pirates and the Royal Navy never flee.

Forced Retreat

If any of the ship's sections receive so much damage that its strength marker gets pushed off its lowest level, the ship can no longer fight and is crippled. To save his crew, the captain must immediately sail to Pirate's Cove for rest and repair.

A crippled ship brings all remaining opponents on that island 1 point of fame.

Note that it is possible for a slow ship to get crippled before her captain ever gets a chance to fight.

Safe Havens

No player-to-player combat on Treasure Island

Rival player pirates have a long-standing gentlemen's agreement never to fight each other on Treasure Island.

Legendary Pirates such as Blackbeard however, are no gentlemen: they will shoot down any one that sails across their bow, regardless of location.

The location of Treasure Island is a secret known only among pirates, therefore the Royal Navy will never be found sailing there.

No combat on Pirate's cove

Pirate's Cove is a desolate strand of beach, not worth fighting for. No battle ever occurs there, and no non-player ship ever visits it.


Pirates GAIN fame from each of the following actions:

  • Winning Battles (1 point per player that is defeated or flees after being hit)
  • Plundering an island (fame value on the Treasure card)
  • Defeating Legendary Pirates & the Royal Navy ( fame value on the card)
  • Burying treasures (1 fame each) and gold (1 fame for each 3)
  • Collecting Fame cards

Fame points are LOST by:

  • Walking the plank due to a mutiny (-2 points)
  • Getting your parrot killed (-2 points) or dismissing it (-1 point).

End of the Game

At the end of the 12th month (round) all the Treasure cards are gone from the islands. Each player then reveals any Fame cards and moves their fame marker accordingly. Any treasure or gold coins that were not buried on Treasure Island are lost and worth no fame.

The pirate with the most fame points is declared the winner and becomes the most fearsome pirate in all the High Seas!

If two or more players are tied for the most fame, these players must fight to the death. In the final epic battle, the lone survivor is declared most famous pirate!

You are now ready to set sail... Enjoy your cruise!

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