Later today, piratical goblin strategy game Buccaneers, Bounty & Boom! [official site] will be released. It’s the new game from Iron Helmet, makers of the infamous Neptune’s Pride. Like that game, BBB is a competitive multiplayer game with simultaneous turns which, depending on the game speed you set, can take place over days and weeks of real time.
Every player (or AI – there’s singleplayer) is competing to become the pirate king, accomplished by accruing 30 pirate points. Points are assigned at the end of each turn according to each player’s collection of buccaneers (on your ships), bounty (the harvest from your settlements) and boom (the attack rating of your ships and settlements). Unlike Neptune’s Pride where there was just a single kind of attack ship, buccaneers in BBB have different skills that help you on the battlefield. The ‘Sneaker’ for example can only be seen by enemies on adjacent tiles, while the ‘Spyer’ can see ships with a 5 hex range. Buccaneers are hired using one of six available resources, which are harvested from settlements or traded for with other players.
Also unlike the original Neptune’s Pride, you can change the length of games of BBB, which means you can theoretically play a match of it that takes a day rather than the month and more it could sometimes take to complete a single match of the original. Here’s a tutorial video for BBB which explains more about the game’s core concepts and how to play:
What hasn’t changed is that the mechanics are relatively simple; it’s the players, and their plots, machinations and inevitable backstabbing that make these games so thrilling to play. And potentially exhausting.
Of course I need to now link to the RPS/PC Gamer Neptune’s Pride diary at this point, for those who haven’t read it and want a taste of the kind of all-consuming strategy games Iron Helmet make. Alternatively, for a shorter read, check out my account of my one match of Subterfuge, a submarine strategy game from a different developer which plays almost like a remake (with permission) to Neptune’s Pride.