I’ve tweaked the rules for attacking and defending: players can now choose up to three cards to attack and defend with.
This changes the game in interesting ways. Choosing more than one card is a big risk: you stand to lose a lot of your crew by doing so, as all cards used are always lost in the attack. However, the attacker does not have to play all three: this means a defender has more chance of winning if they have a decent crew. They do have to be careful not to sacrifice their whole hand though, as that would leave them very vulnerable. Overall, it makes combat a lot more strategic than simply “does the other ship have a 10”, which was how combat often went beforehand.
One drawback is that it might potentially encourage hanging around islands in order to pick up a slew of cards than end up there. Card drops are quite random, and unless you are cleverly card counting you are unlikely to know which suits other players will play in combat. However, after a big fight it could leave a large stack of cards right next to a lucky player. If this proves to become a problem on 3/4 player games, I’ll think about introducing a rule to only allow the picking up of one face card per island visit.
What do you think? If you try it, let me know how it affects your games!