I’ve been considering whether the drift rules work correctly or not. Thematically, drifting fits - you don’t have enough crew to man the boat, or your boat is too weighed down with treasure, special cards or landlubbers to sail properly.
In a three player game you only start with a few crew cards: in a four player game you have even less, which means that you are constantly fighting for crew as soon as you get a bit of treasure. Burying treasure “lightens the boat”, which should make drifting in light winds with half a crew much easier.
After some thought and a few more playtests, I’ve changed the drifting rules:
You can now drift if you have three cards or less rather than two cards or less. That means in four player games you can drift from turn one if you need to. That in turn will mean that more storms will spring up, making the map more chaotic and congested with more players. I’ve yet to test this, but I think that’ll just add to the fun!
Previously you could assert “I have no crew cards” and simply drift with lots of treasure. That’s no longer allowed as it makes it easy to cheat and makes crew card management less necessary. Therefore, a new rule in version 1.2.0 reads as follows: if you cannot place a crew card to sail and you have more than three cards, you must lighten your ship load by burying treasure. You must place cards face down cards on your square until your cards total three or less, and then your ship may drift. This could be a heavy penalty if your ship is loaded with treasure: don’t run out of crew cards!
I’ve also tweaked the scoring: Aces are now worth 4, Kings 3, Queens 2 and Jacks 1. This makes it worth exchanging Queens for Jacks and gives you a few more options in the end game. It’s also easier to remember.
Let me know what you think of the new rules!