Posted by: gschloesser | September 1, 1971


Variants to shorten the length of the game and mitigate the bonus awarded by the official variant.

This fairly light and entertaining game from Thorsten Löpmann and Andreas Wetter has proven quite popular with both my gaming group as well as family and friends.  However, we have found that, as is, the game takes too long to play to completion and outlasts its welcome by 20 – 30 minutes or so.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to rectify.  The official rules call for the removal of a certain number galleys (the amount dependent upon the number of players) prior to a game begins.  We have simply increased this amount and have found that this has the effect of shortening the game by 20 – 30 minutes, which is just perfect.  Here are the numbers called for in the rules, followed by our recommendations:



GALLEYS REMOVED (Official Rules)











We have also found that playing with the variants recommended in the rules, especially variants 1 and 2, greatly add to the strategic planning involved in the game.  However, several have been troubled by the size of the bonus awarded for successfully capturing three galleys of the same color.  The rules call for the bonus to be equal to the highest-valued galley captured of that color set. 

So, we now use the following method and have found it to still provide a strong incentive to capture color sets, but the bonus isn’t so strong as to overwhelmingly tilt the game in favor of the player who accomplishes this feat.

If a player has boarded three or more galleys of one color, he scores a bonus equal to the average value of these like-colored galleys, rounded up.  For example, if a player manages to capture like-colored galleys with values of 8, 5 and 4, he will receive a bonus of 6 (17 divided by 3, rounding up).

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