Roam the seven seas in this pirate-themed romp, combining pick-up and drop-off mechanics with aspects of a miniatures game. Gather more treasure and try to stay one step ahead of the other pirate crews.
|Captain Treasure Boots||Cheapass Games||Board Game|
In The Box
Speaking of boots, Captain Treasure Boots is a reboot of a vintage title from Cheapass Games, that now comes standard with more goodies you’ll need to play. Aside from the deluxe editions of Unexploded Cow or Deadwood Studios USA, Cheapass has built a business around shipping games that counted on you to provide some of the components. You’ll only need two dice (d6) to play this baby, and it’s recommended–but not required–that you bring pawns to represent your ships. Packed in the box you’ll find a board, divided into four pieces, and a large supply of cardboard markers that represent treasure. Among these are unique markers showing small ships you can use to represent movement around the board, but it’s also fun to use a ship model or toy and add some realism.
Other unique counters show you the direction the wind is blowing, which is important since all your movement in this game is about sailing around. The remaining treasures are in sets, and there are a lot of them. The rules have you drawing these treasures out of the box during play, but we’d recommend finding a small-medium bag that will hold all your treasure and make drawing feel more dramatic.
How It Plays
At first glance–and for the first round or two–Captain Treasure Boots can seem like a simple race for treasure. Sailing your ship from island to island and unloading at ports is really just the first layer of the onion, as it turns out. Each treasure you collect grants you special abilities ranging from boosted attack, defense, and movement. Pearls you collect can even be spent for a temporary boost in a moment of need. The strategy becomes clear: Do you hoard treasure and go on the offense, or smuggle quickly and efficiently in the hope of outscoring your opponents?
This update to the game that Cheapass originally released in 2006 includes streamlined mechanics, but players still have to contend with winds that can change with a dice roll each turn. Treasure is distributed randomly, and the different options for setting up the board make Captain Treasure Boots fun to replay. Going at it with six players can create all kinds of mayhem and is very satisfying because there are more islands and more opportunities to place treasure. If the style of play reminds you a bit of NECA/WizKids’ Pirates of the Spanish Main, it’s because they share design talents.
What could have been a simple race game in lesser hands does a nice job of helping us channel our inner pirate. Younger players will grasp the basics of movement and battle, but not the deeper strategy or timing.
What I find interesting is that you don’t have tons of freedom to move around because of the wind, which can limit your movement but can also help you…or hurt your opponent.