Pirates of the Frozen North

Pirates of the Frozen North

From: Wizkids, Inc

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

Pirates of the Frozen North is a new Constructible Miniature Game from Wizkids, Inc.

One of the more innovative games to come out is the Pirates constructible miniature games. The Pirates constructible games have been a mainstay at the conventions and game store events I have been involved with.

From the back cover: “Shiver your Timbers”

The Game: The Pirates overall game is comprised of game packs thatcontain a number of ships, perhaps some islands and some gold, as well as specialtycounters sometimes. Upon opening the packets, you build your shipsaccording to the instructions. Any variety of historical ships may be inthe packages, depending on the series, from a number of nations.

The game comes with quick start and advanced rules. In the game, players build fleets of ships based on a point value agreed upon at the beginning. The game suggests a 40-point fleet. Each player has home islands and a goal to get the most treasure than their opponents. Players use the card provided to determine range, one side being the “long side” and the other being the “short side.” Each boat uses a variety of weapons, some have crew and other special features to get them across the sea (table) to the “wild” island where the treasure is and back.

Placement is fairly simple. First the islands are placed by each player in random order, and then each player picks a home island. Any remaining islands are wild or treasure islands. There are specific rules surrounding where and what can be placed, and they utilize the long and short side of a card for measure.

Combat is rather ingenious. Each mast has a cannon rank. It is either in red or white signifying range (red being L or long and white being S or short). It uses a single 6-sider for each attack. Line of site is drawn from mast to target. An attack action allows the player to fire all cannons within range. Masts not only signify the number of cannons but also the life of the ship. One hit takes out a mast, and when all masts are gone, the ship sinks.

To pick up treasure, all one must do is spend an action exploring. There are other actions one can take including ramming, docking and towing. Crew add special abilities but take up cargo space. There are a series of special terms that apply to certain special instances of ship, ability or crew that add further depth to the game, like Mercenary, Broadside Attack, and Fear.

From the back cover : “Pirates of the North invites you to navigate past perilous icebergs, captain fantastical longboats, and dominate the wintry seas.”

Pirates of the Northbrings new keywords and a new terrain type. The two new keywords are Icebreaker and Longboat. Icebreakers are special ships with special terrain abilities and a Longboat has more weapons. The terrain, of course, is an Iceberg which can be particularly nasty in play. They randomly move about each round and cause damage to ships and other targets on the playing area.

In conclusion, I was truly amazed at how simple and elegant this game is. I see it played at the game store I go to often and at conventions a lot. I never knew how simple and enjoyable this game was. You do not have to be a hardcore miniature game player. It is very straight forward and the replayability factor is strong in this game. On top of that it is VERY affordable.

For more details on Wizkids, Inc and their new Constructible Board Game “Pirates of the Frozen North” check them out at their website http://www.wizkidsgames.com, and at all of your local game stores.

Pirates of the Frozen North

From: Wizkids, Inc

Type of Game: Constructible Miniature Game

Written by: Wizkids, Inc

Game Design by: Wizkids, Inc

Developed by: Wizkids, Inc

Game Components Included: Booster packs containing ships, terrain, crew and dice.

Retail Price: $ 3.99 (US)

Number of Players: 2+

Player Ages: 8+

Play Time: 30+

Website: www.wizkidsgames.com

Reviewed by: Ron McClung