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Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Privateers and Spanish Galleons, Phase II

There are no set routes to this phase of the game. Moves are calculated on the basis of the number of degrees earned rather than dots. This is why your students need to understand how degrees of latitude and longitude work. (You, of course, can help young players.) All moves must be made along a specific longitudinal line or specific latitudinal line or a combination of the two. For example, if a ship earns 8 degree moves and the ship's current position is 25 degrees N-30 degrees W, the ship may move N or S 8 degrees, OR E or W 8 degrees, OR any combination, such as 4 degrees N and 4 degrees E to a new coordinate position. The ships, cannot, of course, move over land, so they must adjust their course accordingly.

Moves are obtained purely by chance. Each ship's captain rolls a ten-sided (sometimes called percentage or place value) die. Each ship with gold on board moves this amount of dots. Any ship without gold, because it is lighter and more maneuverable, gets to double the amount the die shows.


Before they make their movements, however, he must take a fate card and take in account whatever fate has dealt the ship in plotting the ship's next move. The fate cards may add or subtract movement points or it may negate the roll all together. The ship's captains will then decide how and where his ship should go. At this time, the ship's captain can decide to go less than the moves earned, but any excess degrees are lost. They will record their ship's new position and give this to the teacher. After all ship's captains have turned in their new positions, they can move their ships one at a time with the teacher's supervision.

To make contact with another ship, a ship must end up at the end of a turn's movement within 2 degrees latitude and 2 degrees longitude of another ship. If contact is made, there are three options:

1. The captain of the ship can decide to engage the other ship in battle. A 10-sided die is rolled and the greater roll wins. Tie rolls are rolled again until there is a winner. If it is a ship without gold that is attacking a ship with gold and has won, the gold is now transferred to the winning ship. If neither ship has gold or the ship without the gold has lost, then the losing side loses a crew member of his choice. He must cross him off his sheet. When he is out of crew members entirely, the ship has been sunk and is out of the game. Spanish Galleons who have lost their gold in a previous attack can attack privateers ships in the hopes of regaining their gold.

2. The captain can attempt to sail away under the cover of night. They both roll the 10 sided die and if this captain wins then he successfully escaped. If he loses, the other ship can either take your gold or kidnap a crew member of your choice. When he is out of crew members entirely, the ship has been sunk and is out of the game.

3. The captain can join forces with another ship. If this is the case, both ship's captains that have joined forces roll the die and the scores are totalled together. The other ship rolls only for himself. If the ships that join forces lose, then each ship must forfeit gold/ crew members to the other ship. Also, both ships must sail on the same mutually agreed upon course for the next round, and if they make it back to port, they must share the king's prize.

The first galleon to reach either La Coruna or Cadiz wins the king's prize. The prize can just be winning the game, a candy bar, a cardboard prize ribbon, certificate, small toy or anything you would like. The ship nearest port after the winner, is second place, and so on, as far as you want to go. The privateers, however, serve a different king and their prize can be different. He can also get prizes for sinking Spanish galleons.

You may want to hold a ceremony in which their accomplishments are honored. Or, you can keep it totally low-key and award no prizes or honors at all. It all depends on if this is a motivating and fun aspect to the game or not for your students. Remind them that much of their outcome is due to the luck of rolls and card draws.

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