Cove has it all--fantastic art, high quality components, and an
elegant design that perfectly fits its pirate theme. The original
game was published in Germany (with the title "Piratenbucht") and
is reprinted, all in English, by a new American game company called
Days of Wonder.
player has a pirate ship that is rated for speed, crew, cannon,
and hull. Each turn (there are twelve turns in the game), players
secretly choose which of six
islands to sail to in order to recover treasure, fame, gold, and
action cards that might be available at that island. The hull value
determines how much treasure a ship can carry.
island allows a player to exchange gold in order to upgrade one
of the elements on their ship or achieve some other benefit.
that choose the same island have to engage in combat or flee. To
fight, the ship with the greatest number of sails gets to shoot
first. The lowest rating for crew and cannon determines the number
of dice to roll. The pirate taking the broadside first declares
which part of their opponents ships they want to hit, then roll
the dice, with a 5-6 indicating a hit.
visits to islands is further complicated by a roving dread pirate that
is not controlled by any single player. Toward the end of the game,
fighting this pirate can bring about considerable fame.
game design here is elegant but simple and captures much of the
drama of sailing the high seas for fame and fortune. The illustrated
instructions are a model of clarity and the quality of the game
pieces are excellent.