Nan o’ War CH2: Entry-Level Brigandry

By Rutskarn Posted Tuesday Mar 7, 2017

Filed under: Lets Play 73 comments

Despite my better judgment I’m playing Caribbean!, and have just finished crafting my ultimate wish fulfillment character: a brittle, penniless grandmother. I’m also playing on the hardest difficulty, which will make it all the more fulfilling when I transition from “ragged nobody” to “pursued, reviled, and heavily in debt.”

The only grace-giving box I checked was the one that lets me save whenever I want. Basically, I’m stupid enough to jump naked into shark-infested waters, but not quite stupid enough to leave the motor running on the boat.

After I’ve signed off on all my terrible choices the game provides a brief backstory:

So there I was, breaking my back and hip for seventy years in the countryside, sweating and toiling and raising a family, when I decided, hey–you know what’d be the perfect investment of my twilight years? Let’s do that again, but with tropical diseases and literally murderous working conditions. Nothing says “a promising new life” like a labor pool generally filled by chattel slaves and political prisoners.

So rather than serve out my full contract of indenturement, which could be of a few different lengths but would most likely comprise the rest of my ancient character’s natural life, I grab some terrible starting weapons, some terrible starting troops, and hop in one of those newfangled disintegrates-before-you-start-the-game boats. A classic swashbuckler’s tale. I’m like Captain Blood, but sexier and without the confrontationally terrible “Irish” dialect.

There’s just one more option we’ve got to address before we can start:

I usually don’t even think about this question–yes, I’ll have more game, please–but if I’m being honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier with a non-adult game because it had adult content slotted in. It’s not that I expect it to add much besides sex appeal; the real problem is that it’s never actually sexy.

There’s something strangely unhot about porn designed as a bullet point and implemented as a committee effort by an art team in the middle of crunch. There’s a lack of personality, which is a big problem, but there always seems to be an equivalent lack of commitment–like the painstaking effort put into every other facet of the experience awkwardly skipped over the horny parts.

“How do you like this sound effect for the gladius? More satisfying than the dirk?”

“I feel like the whoosh needs to be louder. Oh, there, that one was good–when I hit that snake thing, that felt really powerful.”

“Uhuh. Okay. And how do you feel about the coquettish, sultry part of the sylph queen’s kimono?”

“I, uh…”

“Wider? Narrower? Would a sketchpad help?”


“Please describe the effect of this sylph on your groin.

But I want to be thorough. So I am going to turn adult content on; just don’t expect it to turn us on.

Oh, hey, we’re here! We’ve arrived at the videogame now. Let’s see what we’re working with.

Did you--did you see a tutorial box just there? Only for a second? No? Guess it's just my imagination.
Did you--did you see a tutorial box just there? Only for a second? No? Guess it's just my imagination.

That little horsey on the map represents me and my party of six hapless Englishmen. We’re currently standing on the island of Hispanola. For some reason, it’s 1670There’s never been a clear range for the golden age of piracy, but with the exception of Henry Morgan none of the pirates you can name were even alive in 1670. For reference, Blackbeard wouldn’t take a prize until more than forty years later.. I have very little money, some ragged clothes, a bad pistol, and a squat knife called a boucan.There used to be these beach-dwelling sea hermits who barbecued feral cows and salvaged wreckages. When the Spanish started evicting them, they turned to shallow-water piracy. They’re called buccaneers because they cooked on boucans, or special wooden frameworks. Somehow, the word “boucan” was generalized to refer to the crude wide-bladed knives buccaneers used. Getting this fiddly detail right required a great deal of research on part of the developers. This kind of detail makes nearly everything else about this game very confusing.

Here you can see as much of the gameworld as I can fit on one screen. There’s all the major Caribbean(!) islands, plus parts of South and Central America offscreen. You can see the Spanish in yellow have it pretty much their own way, stretching from Hispanola to Cuba to Florida and dominating much of South America. The English in red, the French in blue, and the Dutch in orange pick up what they can everywhere else. As for the Bahamas, they’re occupied by the pirate faction–purple, called the “Brethren of the CoastA real thing in the sense that it was a term historically used to refer to certain pirates and privateers in the Caribbean(!). Not QUITE a real thing in the sense of being an objective faction. But if you’re going to have one, it’s as good a name to choose as any..” These factions consist of towns, plantations, patrols, and standing armies on land as well as various merchants and naval vessels at sea.

Alright–I’ve given it some thought, and I can’t think of any classic swashbuckling stories that start with a grandma going camping. So let’s head into town and see what kind of trouble we can get into. Onward to Santo Domingo! By which I mean, “let’s click on Santo Domingo and wait for the little horsey to get there!”

After a bracing bit of loading clunk, I find myself looking at this picture of the town, and also this tutorial message:

Oh, I'm sorry, were you reading that? Because SO WAS I.
Oh, I'm sorry, were you reading that? Because SO WAS I.

About that tutorial. All these popups appear for like a minute apiece before popping back down forever. The first time this happened, I hadn’t made it past the first few sentences because I was having trouble processing what they actually meant. After that, every time one appeared my fight-or-flight response kicked in and I’d speed-read it all, then realize I hadn’t actually digested any of it–at which point the message would self-destruct and all I’d be left with is a lingering sense of insecurity. Then I tried screenshotting the tutorials and alt-tabbing to read them, but alt-tabbing seems to crash the game, which is a fun little twist and in no way a grave portent.

Let’s cut to the chase: even as you read this, I am unsullied by the game’s attempts to teach me to play it. I have processed zero actual instructions thus far. Which, fine. There’s only tutorial I need, and it’s in my heart.

Luckily, there’s not too much I actually can do to mess things up yet. The options available from the town overview screen are pretty straightforward. I can click on structures to visit them in person, click the leftmost icons to open various buying and logistics menus, and click the bottom icons to exit or actually wander around the streets. There’s usually no reason to do that last one in Mount and Blade games, unless you like running errands to immersively waste your only life, but let’s do it this once–just to see what the town actually looks like.

Reasonably Caribbean(!)y. I try to talk with one of the people walking by, and this happens. If for some reason you can’t watch the video, here’s my best description:

The maid walks up the street toward the cathedral. I approach and get her attention from behind.

Without turning she launches herself through a fissure in time and space. Now she is standing twenty yards away within a manor–not inside the manor, but within the idea of the manor. She no longer walks complacently, but crouches, wary and militant, inside a strange kneeling pugilist. Then she unfolds bravely and crosses her arms. “Good day, madam.”

Slowly, the mind’s eye wanders back across the cobbled plain. I stand disaffected. “Farewell, for now.”

Then the spell is broken, and there I am–alone. It is as if the maid never were.

So I guess there’s a few kinks in Blood and Gold: Caribbean!‘s final build.

On the bright side, you can tell the developers put a lot of effort into making the town’s architecture interesting and colorful. Now, let’s go back to the practical menu and never look at it again.

On to the tavern!

It looks like the majority of the game’s hooks, recruitable NPCs, and miscellaneous merchants can be found here. I’ll give you the ten-piastre tour.

A place where no-one remembers your name, or his wife's name, or his own name.
A place where no-one remembers your name, or his wife's name, or his own name.

Here we have a few specimens of sexworkicus videogamae, or the common abstract videogame prostitute. I’m guessing this comprises some part of the game’s “adult content.” No reason to get into it now.

At the bar is a publican who can be bribed to raise my reputation in town or approached to hire captains for my as-yet theoretical armada. In another corner there’s a named gambler who won’t play with me, very probably because my reputation’s too low. And over here, we’ve got the friendly neighborhood Suspicious-Man.

Suspicious-Man, Suspicious-Man. Does whatever is none of your fucking business.
Suspicious-Man, Suspicious-Man. Does whatever is none of your fucking business.

It looks like you go to the town’s SM to get one-off quest opportunities, instructions on how to sell trade goods to smugglers, and directions to the horse races wait what?

Okay, so people do race horses in the Caribbean(!). Today. I can’t find any sources who claim it was common for people to lug prize racehorses down to the remote, inhospitable 17th century Caribbean(!) just so they could race in front of their bourgeoisie friends, and that is the least stupid thing this man could possibly mean by “horse races.”

So yeah, obviously we gotta check out those horse races. Where are they?

Great. I’ll rush over there, just as soon as I have, uh, a means to cross bodies of water.

Speaking of which…

At the harbormaster, I have access to all the one kinds of vessel currently available, the “armed boat.” A tip for any nautical novices in the audience: if the craft is called a “boat,” you probably don’t want to try attacking any major governments with it.

The kicker is that it costs fifteen hundred piastres. I’ve got one thousand. Looks like I’m not getting out of Hispaniola just yet.

At the goods merchant, I can buy and sell bulk cargo. It looks like trade goods are kept either in your supply train or in the hold of your ship. This is an interesting change from Mount and Blade, where you store any trade goods in the same saddlebags you keep your books, extra arrows, and backup horses in.

Alas, my current cargo amounts to a mound of bananas that I’m pretty sure is our meal plan for the month. Let’s save Wall Street for more auspicious times.

Anything good on the job board?

Looks like the town’s provided four procedural opportunities. There’s some mercenaries I’m not rich or famous enough to hire and a couple jobs that require, you know, ships. The Caribbean(!) job market really is harsh on the shipless octogenarian.

Screw it, let’s hit the bricks and start knocking on doors. And since there’s literally only one other door in town to knock on:

You can tell he’s the governor because his embossed frizzen is worth more than my life. I am saying that as a grandmother who, as part of indenturement, got her life literally appraised.

Any jobs to throw my way, Luke?

Fifteen-hotcha-thousand piastres? As in, ten times the cost of the best ship I can buy? That would be a great start to my career. Where is the Tuxpan Estuary?

Across the–oh. Right. Well, thank you for your time.

Still got it.

Still, that was lucrative. Let’s head over to the nearby town of Petit Goave and see if their governor’s got anything comparable.

The answer is yes! Very comparable. Very, very comparable.

I’m starting to see why they say “tribals or bandits.” It’s because it’s the same quest whether you’re being sent to the heart of the jungle or Des Moines, Iowa. Either way, I’m starting to suspect I lack more than just the obvious means to complete this quest.

So screw it, guess we’re going back to the Suspicious Man. What’s cooking with the shady side of town?

I’m not going to lie. This looks like everything I’ve ever wanted in a videogame.




[1] There’s never been a clear range for the golden age of piracy, but with the exception of Henry Morgan none of the pirates you can name were even alive in 1670. For reference, Blackbeard wouldn’t take a prize until more than forty years later.

[2] There used to be these beach-dwelling sea hermits who barbecued feral cows and salvaged wreckages. When the Spanish started evicting them, they turned to shallow-water piracy. They’re called buccaneers because they cooked on boucans, or special wooden frameworks. Somehow, the word “boucan” was generalized to refer to the crude wide-bladed knives buccaneers used. Getting this fiddly detail right required a great deal of research on part of the developers. This kind of detail makes nearly everything else about this game very confusing.

[3] A real thing in the sense that it was a term historically used to refer to certain pirates and privateers in the Caribbean(!). Not QUITE a real thing in the sense of being an objective faction. But if you’re going to have one, it’s as good a name to choose as any.

From The Archives:

73 thoughts on “Nan o’ War CH2: Entry-Level Brigandry

  1. MichaelGC says:

    Great stuff. Is it actually possible to rent something which is free? Anyway, whatever, I’ve got to admire Nan’s boucan-do attitude.

    1. Viktor says:

      Presumably, “Free” as in “Not currently claimed by another guest”.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Sigh. Wouldn’t that go without saying? Except I suppose in certain motels where they have neon signs stating, “NO VACANCIES UNLESS YOU WANT TO TRY & OUTBID SOME OF OUR CURRENT OCCUPANTS. MAKE IT WORTH IT AND WE’LL TURF ‘EM.”


  2. silver Harloe says:

    Next week you dress as a nun?

    1. Rutskarn says:

      Next week, we frock and roll.

      1. NotSteve says:

        I hope this isn’t going to become a habit.

  3. Hector says:

    I will be deeply disappointed if this does not end with Nan ruing the entire Caribbean as her personal pirating paradise.

    1. Warclam says:

      I rather suspect it will include some rueing. Perhaps not so much of the paradise though.

  4. Philadelphus says:

    You mentioned 1670 being surprising, but I can’t tell if that’s because it’s too early or too late (though I’m guessing the former).

    1. Rutskarn says:

      Good point. I’ll amend that.

      Honestly, the “Golden Age” of piracy can be defined as narrowly as, like, 1710ish to the arrival of Woodes Rogers in the Bahamas in 1718 (also the year Blackbeard was killed in the Battle of Ocracoke).

      1. Viktor says:

        Because successful piracy isn’t ever going to last long-term. Either the pirates are small potatoes(not very interesting), they’re very successful and all the merchants leave the area, or they’re very successful and the military comes in and kills them all. Unless you’re Ching Shih, don’t expect to pirate for a decade and then retire.

        1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

          You’re thinking too narrowly. Most piracy in the Caribbean was state sponsored. Think the Francis Drake story below. If I recall my history, the Golden Age of Piracy is actually the result of a general peace (checks… yup, the end of the War of Spanish Succession) -meaning all these pirates were out of work. So they started waging, shall we say, private wars of their own to make ends meet.

          1. Rutskarn says:

            Bingo, and most of the historical pirates in this game come from period between the end of the war and the Rogers amnesty. So it’s weird that they set the game almost a decade before most of those pirates were even born.

            I guess this opens up the opportunity to play as a “legitimate” pirate by engaging in privateering, but then why have a faction of pirates born from a lack of privateering opportunities?

        2. You forgot option 4 “the pirates become the government”.

          1. TheJungerLudendorff says:

            I always thought it was the other way around.
            First you get the power, then you get the money, then you get the pitchforks, and then you get the plane-ticket and beach resort on the Bahamas with a Swiss vault of gold.

            1. no no no, it’s like this:

              1. Go somewhere where the gov’t is weak to nonexistent
              2. Steal a boat
              3. Use that boat to steal a boat with something good on it
              4. Raid a town
              5. Take town’s cannon
              6. steal numerous more boats/valuables
              7. decide it’s time to retire
              8. Island fortress bristling with cannon
              9. Hey look, I’m the governor of a prosperous town!

              1. Benjamin Hilton says:

                This is very nearly the story of how Rhode Island was founded. Ever wonder Why Rhode Island was rich despite being so small? It’s because it started out with all the pirates smart enough to bow out before they got caught settling in this cozy little bay area. Then Shops and Prostitutes and taverns started popping up to cater to them, and viola, you have yourself a thriving community rich off Pirate gold.

                Also of interest: the reason no one just rolled in to make them pay for their crimes was because the people practiced a specific form of religious freedom that involved forgiving people for their sins while still alive, not just after death. Essentially rolling into town and trying to arrest someone for a crime they had committed someplace else counted as breaking the local law.

                1. Decius says:

                  It seems like that kind of local religious custom would be particularly attractive to pirate gold.

                  1. Benjamin Hilton says:

                    No kidding. Some people believe the law was kinda just a pretext for the non-criminal population of Newport to protect the former freebooters. After all, they got to benefit from the wealth of the town (ill-begotten though it may have been) and the pirates didn’t, pardon my language, shit in their own lawn (generally) since the other citizens were keeping them safe.

                    It’s a beautiful symbiosis when you really think about it.

      2. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        There’s the Golden Age, which is famous -but 1670 was a good year for piracy. This is the era that Captain Blood was set in. And of course the age of the Merchant Adventurers was even earlier -the 1570s and 1580s. Francis Drake’s great raid on the Silver Train happened in 1573!

        1. Rutskarn says:

          I’d like a game where you could play Drake or Raleigh, but this definitely isn’t it.

        2. Dev Null says:

          Yeah, there’s a great earlier age of piracy, which more-or-less led to that starting map with Spaniards everywhere. We call those earlier pirates “explorers”.

      3. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Isnt the golden age of piracy between 2000 and 2015,after the internet became reliably fast and before denuvo was dropped into the mix?

        1. Pete_Volmen says:

          I doubt those pirates will ever become as uncommon as other pirates are in the world (or most of the world, anyway). From Napster to Kazaa to Usenet to torrents, ftp servers, direct download, certain IRC channels and forums based around ‘trading’ music/porn/games/books/movies/what-have-you. Most of the interesting Denuvo games have been cracked by now, with new ones having better and better prospects to being cracked.
          Somehow I doubt a game about this style of pirate would be very hard to make interesting though. Besides, even if it uses Denuvo it’ll probably get cracked anyway. Why bother?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Because with denuvo it can take up to 6 months to do it,so most crackers simply give up by then.Also,just as the crackers are getting more skilled,denuvo is constantly being optimized.

      4. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        What year was it when Gold Roger announced he’d left all his treasure, together in “One Piece”? That’s generally where the start of the Age of Piracy is measured from.

  5. SpammyV says:

    If you don’t know who the Suspicious Man is in your town who can tell you about chances to dress up and kill people, you clearly don’t know your town well enough.

  6. Syal says:

    No, see, they’re not racing the horses, they’re gathering the races of horses. You’ll have your Appaloosas, your Clydesdales, your… other horse races.

    It’s a car show two hundred years before the car was invented.

    1. There’s Quarter Horses and Arabians? Okay, apparently Arabian’s kinda a classification of breed in the same way that say “the Working Group” is one of the dog breed classifications…
      And huh, there are Shire horses? Ooh, do they have elevensies and smoke pipeweed?

      (reads more about horse breeds)….

      WTF, Mountain Pleasure? That might be a coffee brand (or any one of many NSFW other things), but a horse?

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The only grace-giving box I checked was the one that lets me save whenever I want. Basically, I'm stupid enough to jump naked into shark-infested waters, but not quite stupid enough to leave the motor running on the boat.

    This time at least.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,anyone but me still constantly hovering their mice over every picture,still hoping that Buttskarn will follow in Shamooses footsetps?

    1. Narkis says:

      Every. Time.

    2. Eskel says:

      No, I appreciate that descriptions are visible below screenshots without a need to hover :-)

    3. TheJungerLudendorff says:

      I usually already read the hovertext before I even notice the big yellow box below it.

      The Young One has trained me well it sheems

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This game features optional content unsuitable for minors.

    You mean,besides murder,pillage and slavery?Wow,thanks game for allowing us to choose if we want some “adult” content to accompany our life as a pirate.

    Personally,Id rewrite that screen to be:

    This violent,bloody game features optional juvenile “titillating” content deemed unsuitable by censors.Do you want to enable it?

    – No,Im an adult
    – Yes,Im an edgy teenager playing without my parents knowledge

    1. Phill says:

      Yup. Any time you see ‘adult content ‘ in a game you can safely assume they mean ‘ juvenile content for teenagers ‘.

      A real adult content option would be the occasional dialog that pops up to block you from playing the game until you’ve put the kids to bed or repainted the exterior woodwork of your house to stop it rotting. Or just limits you to no more than an hour of playing per day.

    2. Grudgeal says:

      Crusader Kings 2 is still rated ‘Teen’, incidentally.

      It only goes to show what depravities you can get away with in a game as long as you don’t flash any nipples.

      1. Decius says:

        You can’t take your enemies’ daughters that you captured in siege as concubines until they turn 16. But apparently doing so makes everyone respect your family more, and only a couple of people like you less.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    There's only tutorial I need, and it's in my heart.

    I think you a word there.

  11. Jarenth says:

    Listen, that’s fine and all, but I feel not enough attention is pointed at the fact that you called your character Lackbeard.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      What else would you call a beardless pirate?

      1. SharpeRifle says:

        Anne Bonny.

        1. Andy_Panthro says:

          The Monkey Island 2 version would be quite upset with you, especially since at the start he had as many as TWO beards!

    2. pdk1359 says:

      When I saw that, I just glanced at it and read on, then went back & giggled madly for a half minute or so

    3. Rutskarn says:

      I thought it’d be funnier if people noticed it on their own.

      1. Jarenth says:

        Well, you weren’t wrong.

  12. Grudgeal says:

    Seeing Trinidad like that, in the heydays of Spanish and French possession, with the taverns with the Mysterious Man in the corner and the visits to the governor, makes me want to go back to Sid Meier’s Pirates again.

    Or at least, try to get back to Pirates and leave after ten minutes when I inevitably fail because my old-man reflexes aren’t conductive to such a mini-game intensive game any more. Does Carribean! also have a “seduce the governor’s daughter” option by the way? Just asking because it sounds like a glorious trainwreck for you to embark upon.

    1. John says:

      The fencing and dancing Pirates! mini-games are the only ones which require reflexes. You can mostly avoid fencing by attacking enemy ships’ sails until they strike colors. (Mostly.) But if you’re really struggling, you can set the game to the easiest difficulty level. Then, rather than looking at your opponent or partner and trying to interpret their movement, you can look at the numpad diagram and the key for the appropriate response will flash.

      When I play Pirates I usually play on the easier end of the difficulty scale because the Marquis Montabaln is very, very fast and very, very hard to defeat in a fair fight. (You can set up an unfair fight if you catch him at sea, but you have to fight fair when you corner him in his lair.) I do not want to know what he’s like on the hardest difficulty.

      1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        The secret to the dancing minigame is that the dances are, in fact, set. Play long enough and you learn the steps to the music -then it’s not a matter of reflexes.

        The secret to sword fighting is getting better equipment -especially the armored cuirass -so that you have more wiggle room with the fast thrust. You only have to defend high or low -and even if you miss the telegraphing, you still have a 50/50 shot at it.

  13. Bropocalypse says:

    There are weirdly few good pirate games.
    I remember NCsoft had a pirate MMO, don’t know if it’s still going. If I recall correctly it was like ‘EVE Online but with hand-to-hand combat segments’ It looked promising, but it couldn’t hold my attention.
    There’s Windward, which is a somewhat unique and engaging ship-to-ship combat game about territorial control and mercantilism. Ships could be geared towards class roles including tanking, ranged DPS, and even healing. Repetitive, but not so much so that it didn’t hold my attention for a week or two.
    Does Monkey Island count?

    1. Daimbert says:

      Are you thinking of “Pirates of the Burning Sea”? That one is supposedly still around, but it wasn’t NCSoft as far as I can tell …

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Pirates of the caribbean was a surprisingly good game.Probably because they didnt plan to make it into a movie tie in at first.

      And hell yeah monkey island counts.

    3. baseless_research says:

      wasn’t sid meier’s pirates good? I thought it had a good reputation/nostalgia following.

      1. John says:

        Sid Meier’s Pirates! is good. Or at least the remake is good. (I bounced pretty hard off the DOS version.) It’s so good that no subsequent pirate game can avoid being compared to it. It’s so good, in fact, that somebody tried to make a full-conversion Mount & Blade-mod based on it. (Hyuk, hyuk.) And I’m honestly not surprised, because Pirates! and Mount & Blade are really very similar, conceptually speaking.

    4. TheJungerLudendorff says:

      There is also Puzzle Pirates, which I believe is still going strong.
      Although the Pirates part is more theme than anything.

  14. That backstory is almost identical to the story of Captain Blood, except he was a physician who was shipped to Jamaica as an indentured servant because he ran afoul of some fanatics during the Protestant revolution.

    1. Rutskarn says:

      Right. And HE got a free ship. Lucky bastard.

      1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        After spending several years as a slave, and during a Spanish raid. So… maybe induce the Spanish to invade?

  15. Christopher says:

    Which devil fruit are you gunning for?

    1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Going for a devil fruit without a ship is asking for trouble. What is he going to do, ship out on a raft? In a rum barrel?

      1. TheJungerLudendorff says:

        Overthrow the local governors in Haspinola and start the Rutskian Republic.
        Then build a giant catapult to launch himself to Cuba, take that over too and move to Florida.
        Then move in a counter-clockwise fashion through the entire Carribean coastline and create the New Rutskian Empire, ally with the natives, build an army, and invade Europe.

    2. Rutskarn says:

      I’d answer this, but I can’t without spoiling a future joke.

  16. John says:

    Right. It’s time to play Spot the Mount & Blade Analogues! So let’s see, a horse race is a tournament, a barkeep is a barkeep, a Suspicious Man is probably a Guild Master, and a Mr. Embossed Frizzen is probably a local lord.

    On the subject of horse racing, I absolutely believe that there was horse racing in the Caribbean during the 15th century because the minimum sufficient condition for horse-racing is the existence of two horses and two men with a little money for betting. There is always horse-racing. It’s just that the horses in those particular races would have almost certainly have been whatever horses were conveniently at hand rather than specially-bred race horses and the races themselves would likely have been fairly informal.

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I’m from Kentucky. We compete with Caribbean and Florida horse breeders and race tracks. Now, that may be a post-1800 development, but there is horse racing in the islands. We particularly compete with Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

      Now, the question I have is how -in a game where horse speed is hard coded -is the racing any fun? The secret would be to strip naked and ride the fastest horse in the game. And you’d still lose to the computer if it used its perfect reflexes to get off the starting gate marginally faster than you could.

    2. WJS says:

      I don’t think there were horses in the Caribbean in the 15th century. That’s 1400-1500, not 1670. By the late 17th, though? Yeah, I would totally expect that.

  17. Sigspat says:

    Have you completed the playthrough with Lackbeard and are just waiting to write up and post the story in installments, or do you continue playing the game after each post like a developing tale?

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Rutskarn,why are you so surprised that theres horse races in the caribbean?Havent you heard of water polo?

  19. Blackbird71 says:

    Ah, the Caribbean(!), that magical place where no one can spell properly and delicious baked goods are the currency of choice! Although, 70 scones seems a bit steep for a one-night stay at the tavern.

    1. Yeah! Just imagine how many fancy tea parties you could have with that many scones.

    2. WJS says:

      Scones?? WTF?

  20. Inwoods says:


    “There's only tutorial I need,”

  21. WJS says:

    Yeah, those tutorial flashes were really annoying. And coming from me, that means something; I’m a pretty fast reader, so I’m normally only bothered by that kind of thing on loading screens (If you’re only pulling enough from the disk for a half second screen, don’t put text on it!!). I’m far more likely to be bored by text that moves too slowly, yet I too had trouble keeping up with the tutorial popups.

    Also, it’s kind of a good thing you don’t have a ship yet; you would have gotten brutalised trying either of those lord’s missions. I saw a lot of negative reviews saying the missions were way too hard, so I was a little apprehensive getting the game myself. However, after playing it, it’s obvious that those people just hadn’t got the message that lords don’t give you milk runs like in M&B, that’s what the new notice board is for. If you’re going to go bother a lord in person, he’s going to assume that you’re pretty hot shit.

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