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Dead Reckoning is live (Crafty pirates)

Update: Dead Reckoning has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 24 days. You may either back the standard or the deluxe edition of the game. Deluxe includes the Saga 1: Deep Legends expansion, a ghost ship dice tower, and more content that will be unlocked during the campaign.

Our preview post below was published on July 6.


Dead Reckoning is a 1-4 player card crafting and area control game about becoming the wealthiest pirate in the Caribbean. It will launch on Kickstarter on July 7.

Image source: BGG

In the solo mode of Dead Reckoning, you are competing against a pirate AI. It has its own deck of 18 cards, and on each round, you draw one and execute its instructions. The difficulty can be scaled. At the start of the game, you pick a ship and place it in the matching harbor (and do the same for the AI). You then set up the map by mixing island tiles and open seas tiles, and arrange 12 of them in a 3x4 grid. The top 3 are revealed, all the others stay hidden. You then shuffle the level 1 Advancement deck that contains both Encounter and Upgrade cards, and place one card on each of the revealed map tiles.

Image source: BGG

Besides your ship, you will get a hand of crew cards: a Captain, 3 Crew, 2 Deck Hands, 2 Gunners, a Buccaneer, a Bosun, a First Mate, and a Purser. They all start at level 1, but you can later upgrade them by 'crafting' their cards (inserting better cards in the sleeves). You shuffle them and draw 4.

On each turn, you may do as many actions as you wish: play a crew member from your hand and execute its action, unload cargo at your warehouse in the harbor, load cargo on your ship, set sail, move by consuming movement points, acquire Advancement cards by paying their cost, place a cube in an island space in order to control it eventually. Controlling an island gives you both in-game benefits and victory points at the end of the game.

When you encounter a merchant ship, you can trade with it (give it cargo), and acquire the card as an Advancement. Alternatively, you can attack it: you flip the merchant ship card to the back side and check its Win/Lose conditions. You then take as many cubes of your colour as you have cannons, plus the black cubes of the merchant ship and throw them all in the ship cube tower. You check the effects of the icons where the cubes have landed and apply the Win/Lose consequences depending on the result. Opponent ships can be attacked as well.

Image source: BGG

Over the course of the game, you will be trying to gain achievements: explore, construct buildings, build upgrades etc. At the end of the game (when someone gains their 4th achievement in the multiplayer mode), you collect coins from controlled islands, achievements and Advancement cards.

How exactly the AI cards work will be revealed when the Kickstarter launches. The designer has said that he is also working on a 2 player co-op variant against 2 AI opponents.

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