BUCCANEER BONES from Wattsalpoag Designed for 1-4 players by Kris Gould
BUCCANEER BONES is a simple fun game with very little in the way of Tactics or
Strategies, a lot in the way of Luck, and a fair portion of Fun!
Each player takes a personal Sea-Lane board and 6 ships in their chosen colour. These are
placed face up in front of them. No secrets in this game at all.
The actual setup is not particularly well documented. It says to put the six ships on the Ports
but doesn't explain what a Port is or whether you are allowed to put more than one ship in a
Port - not that you would want to, but you never know. Nor is it actually explained which way
round the boards should be.
The player's personal boards are, we have decided, placed with the Ability Icons at the lower edge
closest to the player. The spaces above these icons show portions of land which we perceive to be
the islands mentioned in the rules, thus leaving the land masses at the top edge of the board to be
determined as the Ports. The illustrations in the rules seem to show this is the correct assumption.
Having established the correct layout, which is one ship per space placed along the top edge, let's
proceed to the game mechanic and object. The idea is to be the first player to score 3 Gold/Treasure
by discovering it on the islands and / or from stealing it from your opponents. In a solo game you are
not playing against any opponent, only against yourself, counting the number of turns it takes you to
win. The rules are exactly the same no matter how many players there are. (exception: you obviously
cannot steal treasures when you have no opponent to take them from).
The game revolves around the roll of Dice. To begin with players can Roll 4 dice, and they are looking
for results of a pair or a trio of the same number. A pair will allow the Ship in the same lane as the number
rolled can sail 1space, a trio of the same number gives 2 spaces of sailing. So for example: If a player rolls
2 x 3s (as in a die roll of 2,3,3,6) then they can move the ship in Sea Lane 3 one space. If the die result was
3 x 2s (as in a die roll of 2,2,2,6) then they can move the ship in Sea Lane 2 two spaces. In the second case
if the player already had a ship on the island in Sea Lane 2 they could use the 3 x 2s to search for Gold.
Ships only sail towards the islands, once they are there they can search for Treasure or are just placed back
in Port. Ships on an island can also spend their time there using the ability of the Icon in the Sea Lane - the
ship then is returned to its Port.
Players who do not roll either a pair or a triple may instead place their 1st Mate dobber on any of the islands
(their choice). In the next turn the 1st Mate can Scout (use the islands Icon ability), Thief (Attempt to steal a
treasure from an opponent) or Defend (against an opposing Thief).
As I said earlier. there are no real Tactics or Strategies, only luck in die rolling and choice in selecting how to
and/or when to go for Treasure or Ability. This game is just fun, it hasn't any other motive than to entertain. It
isn't educational, it isn't historical, it represents no actual land or sea area, it is just fun! Isn't that refreshing.
Pic 1 Pic 2
The pictorial examples above show that the Ship in Lane 3 (pic 1) could move 2 spaces forward (only one
as there is only one space to go to the island) and the Ship in Lane 4 (pic 2) could search for Treasure (Gold).