- Designer(s): Kasper Aagaard, Christian Marcussen
- Artist/Graphic Designer: Ben Nelson, Chris Quilliams
- Publisher: Z-Man Games
- Year Published: 2010
- # of Players: 2 − 4
- Ages: 13 +
- Playing Time: 180 minutes
- Website: Z-Man Games
|Sep 2013||1.3||Several very minor typos fixed|
|Jul 2011||1.2||Rewrite of section describing bounty markers; new reference sheet with port descriptions/movement flags/plunder|
|Jun 2011||1.1||Some fixes after seeing the FAQ|
|May 2011||1||Original release|
Live the life of an influential merchant or a dreaded pirate in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. Seek your fortune through trade, rumor hunting, missions, and of course, plundering. The game features a unique trade system and a thematic combat system, allowing for critical decisions and intense excitement. Modify your ship, buy impressive vessels, load deadly special ammunition, and hire specialist crew members. Will your captain gain eternal glory and immense wealth—or find his wet grave under the stormy surface of the Caribbean Sea?
Here’s just the right mix of complexity, theme, fun and strategy required for the perfect pirate game. Games of Merchants and Marauders can be quite long, but you’ll be so immersed in the theme that you won’t notice. Buying and selling cargoes, evading and fighting pirates and naval vessels, plundering merchant ships, claiming missions and following up rumours are the main meat of the game; mix in a wide variety of very thematic cards and you’ll swiftly encounter some classic pirate moments.
At one stage my opponent’s ship was slipping through the fog off Basse-Terre, just managing to avoid the pirate ship that lurked in those waters; at another time he was desperately fending off a pirate attack that was shooting his ship to splinters; in the meantime I took a safer route, upgraded my sloop to a galleon and delivered goods in demand between Havana and Santa Domingo. War broke out between France and England and I took a French merchant vessel off Cartagena; but my opponent reached his home port and stashed gold to reap glory points enough for the win! Time flew by, there was always something interesting to do. If you’re at all a pirate fan, you’ll enjoy this excellent game.
Lots of options, variety, plastic pirate ships, combat, trade, naval vessels; even 3D cardboard chests in which to stash your gold. Arrrrrrr!