Ok, I too have been struck by the Blackbeard bug. I've not yet played it, and never played the original, but a detailed pirate game seems so awesome. I bought the game a week or two ago and have read the rules many times, set the board up for a few rounds of solitaire play and been doing the obligatory daily checks to BGG for rules updates. Still, after playing it myself a bit, I found quite a bit of look ups necessary. I know that's the kind of game this is, but it might prove too distasteful to some I game with. It seems like the game could flow better with concepts better consolidated. To help things move a bit, I've created an 11x17 player aid. This combines the Pirate Actions list with basic procedural guidelines done graphically.
The front of a player aid guide with Pirate Actions. The back will have Anti-Pirate actions and whatever else I can get that is meaningful.It includes some symbols for key concepts so that it can be scanned if looking for a particular one. For instance, if you are looking for things relating to booty or loyalty there are icons associated with them. For actions that are continuous (or need to follow another action), I've kept on the same scrap of paper which appears to fold over for the next step.
I will probably get this uploaded to Geek if others find it helpful, though if there are mistakes, it would be good to know. Send me an email. I cobbled together concepts from the rules, so I could have gotten things wrong. I know there are also some procedures missing, like Dueling. I didn't want the player aid to necessarily have everything, but cover all the main concepts I would need if just starting.
Next on the agenda is the Anti-Pirate actions, which will go on the back side of the sheet.
After setting the game up, I found the need for more dimensionality. The lack of objects with depth tend to make this game seem less exciting than it really should be. Also, I found many pieces getting lost on the board – like merchant ships. It's not terrible, but I did find that adding cubes and pieces helped the experience. Here, you can see cubes for merchant ships yellow for new ships, white for 0 cargo holds, red for 1, blue for 2, green for 3 and black for 4). Once found, yellow cubes are replaced with one that is randomly drawn from bag. For the KCs, I used large wood cubes that I had on hand. These then correspond to player colors, which I feel is needed. I felt like without player colors, I tended to lose track of my ship a bit. So, I've added player color flags to AOEIII ships. Red flags are used for D&B status which seems nice. Below some images for of quick modifications.
Some modifications to make more appealing to me (and hopefully others in my group).
Congratulations to the Berg/GMT team for this! Very much looking forward to playing. I also am really looking forward to the remake of one of my favorites from yesteryear, Conquistador – another Berg title.