Dead Reckoning #3  But I don’t wanna be a Pirate!!

It would be easy to describe Dead Reckoning as “a Pirate Game”. But that would be an incorrect classification.

At least once per game someone quotes the Seinfeld puffy shirt episode.  “But I don’t want to be a Pirate.” Inevitably someone chooses the merchant or explorer path for their ship and they are more than happy to avoid combat whenever possible.  

I think this shows a new era of enlightened game design.  20 years ago we would have said, “it’s a pirate game” and that would be that.  The modern game design team sees a swashbuckling game.  Options to be “good” or “evil,” aggressive” or “passive,” “sneaky” or “assertive” are all baked into the design and are tools for the players to use as they see fit.  All play styles are welcome and work.  

You will never be forced to attack another player or raid a merchant ship. The islands you control may, however, be asked to defend themselves.  Our advice for any peace loving players is to speak softly but carry a big stick.  Try not to make yourself the biggest target on the seas and when you are the biggest target make sure that the price to attack you is prohibitively high.  Merchants and explorers can bulk up their ships and crew with combat cards and abilities.  This way when you are attacked you can give as good or better than you get, and scallywags and wanna-be pirates will sneak away to find softer prey.  

If you are building a merchant route make sure to protect your islands.  Level-up your Purser (the member of your crew who specializes in Island development) but don’t forget your First Mate (who can drop Garrisons and Forts onto your islands to help them fend off attackers).  

There are 9 objectives in the game.  In order to trigger the endgame one player must complete 4 of them.  7 of the 9 objectives do not require you to focus on battles, and both of the battle objectives can be achieved while defending. 

If you are playing with the Saga Expansion content, the vast majority of the new material can be discovered without firing a shot.

A Note for Pirates and Privateers: It’s not all sunny days and calm waves. Every ship is a prize and every island is worth taking. If you know your crew is stalwart and your cannon are accurate, hoist the Jolly Roger and earn a name for yourself as a terror of the seas! Every great yarn needs a villain! ?  

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