Designer: Peter Hawes

In Francis Drake, you are a privateer raiding the Spanish Main.  You will need to provision your ship, filling it with cannons, crewmen, and trade goods.  Then you’ll go on a lackadaisical cruise through the Caribbean, trading, invading and pillaging as you see fit.

Interesting Mechanic: Provisioning.  Provisioning is interesting in Francis Drake.  Players walk a one-way path in a hero placement game.  They can’t place any place that anyone else placed, and they can’t go backwards, which means that players have to compete for more important resources, which may limit how far they can sail or how ambitious their military aims can be.  Mastering the provisioning game is the key to mastering Francis Drake.

Bonus Interesting Mechanic: Secret Location Choosing.  Once ships are placed, players take turns placing disks declaring their intention to go to a location.  Each disk is numbered from one to four, and is placed face-down.  Once all are placed, they are revealed, and players this do their turn in that order.  Given the first player to land on a location each turn gets additional benefits, this secret order placement allows for a certain amount of bluffing and posturing in order to make this interesting.

Super cool bonus thing: Treasure Chests.  When you capture silver, gold or gems, you get to hide it in a cool little cardboard chest.

Francis Drake is a very cool, superinteresting eurogame with several different innovations that will break your brain in interesting ways.

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(Photo Credit: Eagle Gryphon Games)