12/27/2016

Avast, ye landlubbers, and Walk the Plank!


You and your fellow pirates have displeased the captain of the ship and he's decided to feed all of you to the kraken, except for two pirates who can prove that they've got what it takes to stay on the ship! Walk the Plank is a game of mischief and mayhem for 3-5 players where the goal is to push the other players off the plank by shoving them all sorts of ways, or even taking off a piece of the plank. This game is good for group or family game nights and is fairly easy to understand. Let's check out what awaits our fellow pirates!

Components



1 Ship Space & 3 Plank Spaces
1 Davy Jones’ Locker Space (Your friendly resident kraken)
1 Captain’s Favor token
15 pirate pawns (3 each of 5 colors)
50 cards (10 identical sets in 5 colors)
1 Rulebook

Everything you need for a good time in the sea is located in this small box of wonders. All the cards are of decent quality, the artwork is good, and so are the standard wooden meeples. The planks are not made of wood, but a thick form of cardboard. Not very much to say about the contents; it has all the basic pieces needed for this crazy little game. The cards can get a bit roughed up after a few games, so make sure to give them some loving sleeves.

Rules and Gameplay


Time to walk the plank!
To start things off, place the ship space and connect the 3 plank pieces in a row, ending it with your friendly kraken at the end of the plank, ready for his next meal. Each player then picks a color and takes hold of the meeples and cards associated with that color. They will then place their 3 meeples on the Ship Space, awaiting their fate. The first player is randomly selected and gets hold of the Captain's Favor token. This token is passed on counter-clockwise after each round and it determines whose cards will be executed first.

At the beginning of the round, each player selects 3 cards and places them face-down in the order they want them to be executed. Actions range from shoving a player, pulling another pirate with you, adding and removing planks, or simply running around like a lunatic trying to avoid the jaws of the kraken. You must use these cards wisely and remember that you can only do the shove actions to a pirate that is on the same space as you. Moreover, it is always required that there be at least one plank connected to the Ship Space, so the Retract the Plank action has no effect if there is only one plank left. Similarly, the Extend to Plank action has no effect if there are already 3 planks on the table.

The player with the Captain's Favor token opens his first card and executes that action. Once that's done, the next player clockwise will then execute their first card, then when everyone has opened their first card, the round continues with the second card, and so on until everyone's third card has been played. You MUST execute the action on each of your cards whether or not it is benificial to you. This is where the order is important because you can mistakenly push your own pirates towards the kraken when the unexpected happens before your turn, or you can ruin someone's plans in the same way.

Once the round is done, the token is passed, and all players put back their cards in their hand, except for those which have a red symbol in the lower right corner, which represents cards that cannot be played twice in a row. These are cards such as Retract the Plank and Drag to Sea, and they cannot be used twice in a row in order to give a hint of balance in the game. All pirates which are on a plank when it is retra

When a player loses all of his meeples, they are out of the game. The game ends when there are only 2 pirates or fewer of different colors, or 3 pirates of one color left on the table. The game is fairly easy to understand and is family-friendly. There are a number of "safe" moves one can play like the Run Around card. The game can seem to be pretty random at times and it's hard to exactly plan out a strategy, but as it's a party game it doesn't need the deep mechanics of other games. It's a pretty light, fun game and can induce a few laughs around the table.

Length and Replayability



This is a pretty fast game, which lasts 20 minutes or less. It's a good starter before you delve into more complex games. It's always fun to see the new mayhem you can encounter with different plays, but it's not as fun with 3 people so we would recommend more players. It just takes a while waiting for people when they execute their actions because things don't always go as planned. There are some times which makes the game feel totally unplanned, and it's a great advantage when you are holding the Captain's Favor token as you get to go first. While each play of this game has its unique points, it gets quite repetitive after a few games so we wouldn't play it consecutively in one sitting.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Overall score



This is one of the better party games we have played overall. It's easy to explain but it doesn't have that lull mid-game which some simple games have. It still has a level of strategy such that you have to think ahead or try to predict what your opponent will do, but most of the time it all just boils down to fate and luck. It's a good game to start with during your game nights to get the ball rolling, but it's more fun with more people so I wouldn't recommend playing it with just 3 people. Try it out and tell us how it feels walking on the plank!

View the BGG game page here.




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