The seven seas are dangerous for merchant ships because they’re flooded by pirates who attack ships, steal their goods and trade them on the black market. In Tiny Epic Pirates, each player takes on the role of a captain on one of those pirate ships and tries to be the first one to bury all the collected treasures.
1-4 players, age 14+
Playing time: 30-60 minutes
Designer: Scott Almes
Artwork: Chip Cole, Nikoletta Vaszi, Ian Rosenthaler & Felix Wermke
Publisher: Gamelyn Games
During their turn, players choose an action on their action wheel, sail with their ship and perform the chosen action at their destination. By plundering settlements and attacking merchant ships, players collect loot to trade for gold on the black market, gold that they’ll need later on to bury their treasures.
By acquiring additional captain and crew cards, players receive bonus actions, which, if planned well, can cause a chain reaction that is an important part of your strategy.
Pirates are not the only ones to sail the seas, the Royal Navy is always on the lookout to mess with their plans and help a merchant in distress. The Curse of Amdiak expansion also brings a ghost ship into play that curses the pirates and the gold they steal, and an additional set of skeleton crews adds new bonus actions and new combinations. To win the game you must now bury not only the three treasures, but also the urn containing the ashes of Amdiak, the legendary pirate.
Tiny Epic Pirates is a great game in a small box; it’s a fact that time and again we’re amazed at how much material Gamelyn Games gets in those boxes. Small boxes that take up less space on the shelves but offer quite a deep gaming experience are always a good thing, don’t you think?
And there’s definitely a lot of things going on in Tiny Epic Pirates: the use of a rondel offers a lot of interesting decisions, as you can use workers to skip certain spots, while if you don’t use them they give you bonuses on certain actions; there’s definitely a lot to think about.
Only downside is some of the components are maybe a bit too small; it can become a bit fiddly when putting cubes on the ships or ships falling over when playing.
But apart from that, this is a very enjoyable game with different paths to victory and definitely more depth than expected!