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Privateer: War of the High Seas -- New Game Project!

Hey everyone! I'm new to the forum and thought I would journal my newest game project for critique, improvement, and fresh perspective. This is my fourth game project, and I'm designing it with the intent of publishing it. I already am proficient in graphic design and print layouts, so once I can get this game ironed out I can get a jump start on playtesting prototypes and sell it to a publisher. I'm new to that whole process, so I'm also here for insight and wisdom on the publishing sphere.

My game is called Privateer, based on the era of fierce rivalry between privateering nations in the mid-1600s. You control a fleet of ships and a stash of three rare jewels stored in your home port, and by capturing and plundering your opponent's ships, you build your treasure of jewels until you are master of the seas! But beware the cunning corsairs, who troll the sea and annihilate all who sail in their path.

In essence this is a victory point-based game, but instead of garnering victory points, you are capturing and transporting jewels back to your port, where they can still be stolen by other players.

The mechanics used are the following: an extremely basic version of deckbuilding as a method of upgrading, replacing and adding ships in your fleet; six battle dice per player for a hit-or-miss mechanic with each ship having a certain number of hit points; an automatic dice-roll system for the corsairs to travel the seas along preset paths; and a basic currency of coins to purchase upgrades.

So that's the game in a nutshell. I'm going to post my specific problems and ideas for discussion in other posts, but for now I'm just throwing the idea out so you all can know what I'm working on!

That said, any thoughts on the game?


The treasure

Was the choice of three jewels based on your vision for the components? I think of the rule & thematic implications: something small and light can be stolen, but also hidden, counterfeited etc. Compare this to big chests of gold and anything that might come from far away shores...

Hope this answers your question …

I hit on the jewel idea while looking for good ways to measure the progress of the gameplay--basically coming up with this as a victory point system (I started another thread on this same topic). Jewels were a pretty historical part of the privateering story, though--check out Sir Francis Drake's Wikipedia page, for example. Jewels were a very valuable, rare and desirable plunder from far seas and savage ports, and they work as a great game goal. There is also gold in the game, but it is used as a currency to level up ships.

So no, I didn't pick jewels for their own sake … but I can't deny they add a flashiness to the game components that is hard to resist!

Sounds Interesting!

Having not played any pirate games myself this sounds like it could be a fun game! Sounds like they'll be a lot of strategy involved but without a boatload (pardon the pun) of different tokens and mechanics. For me a good game is relatively simple to play but has the potential for interesting strategies.

I look forward to hearing more about it!

Love the pun XD

Thanks @Crumpet22! (The pun is great btw XD) I'm definitely going for a game that keeps you interested and involved without an intimidating rule-book. It's hard to not let the game run away with itself and get complicated, but I'm constantly consolidating and simplifying to keep this one simple. I'll be posting some more specifics of this one soon!


Presumably you mean mid-1600s rather than 1800s? Privateering (which was sometimes hard to distinguish from piracy) was about gone by the 19th century. Nations outfitted their own commerce raiders rather than reply on private entrepreneurs.

Thank you, yes, I meant the

Thank you, yes, I meant the 1600s. Not sure what I was thinking there!

Don't be worried...

But one of the Expansion modules for our game "Tradewars - Homeworld" will be named: "Privateer".

See the XTG3 Family website for expansions at:

Currently we have three (3) Expansions and we are working on the fourth (4) one... Well technically this 4th Expansion will be offered FREE of charge, as it can be simulated with the right components.

Just figured I'd post it -- seeing as we have been working on the Scenario since Friday 9 June 2017 (rough draft and collection of ideas).

Thanks for pointing all that out!

@Arty: Great to know that the name is used by SO MANY Pirate Games... We're Sci-Fi ... so the context is relevant and since it's not the NAME of the game only of an Expansion... We should not have problems people differentiating between:

"Privateer: ..." and "Tradewars - Homeworld: Privateer"

With regards to the Expansion module, like I said we may offer it as a FREE download (PDF Rules) and you can used whatever you like. But we may also include our own CUSTOM "components" for the scenario.

Again thanks for the obvious!

questccg wrote:But one of the

questccg wrote:
But one of the Expansion modules for our game "Tradewars - Homeworld" will be named: "Privateer".

As for the original topic, make sure you have something unique to offer. There are quite a few games like this on the market.

Yes, that's true. But as far

Yes, that's true. But as far as I have seen or heard about, most of the games in this genre are quite complex, and I am trying to target the 8+ audience. And I definitely hope I have something unique here ;)

Thanks for alerting me about the name. Hopefully I won't run into trademark issues with the name Privateer. If I do, I'll just have to think of another one.

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