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Ahoy! Kitten

Ahoy there! In this light family game, designed by Yoshiteru Shinohara and published by Mayday Games, Broadway Toys and Korea Boardgames, the 2-6 players are pirate cats. You're not interested in gold doubloons: all you want is fish, and there are plenty of fish in the sea. Well, there are, to be precise, 18 red, 18 blue, 18 yellow and 6 white fish in a bag rather than the sea.

Depending on the number of players, you lay out 2-5 ocean tiles and you draw fish from the bag so that two are placed on each ocean tile. There will always be one ocean tile fewer than the number of players (in a two-player game you play with each player controlling two pirate cats, so the equivalent of a four-player game). The players simultaneously point to the ocean tile they want to fish. If they are the only claimant for a tile, they get the fish and place them on their character tile. If two or more players pointed to the same ocean tile, they get nothing.

The ocean tiles are replenished with two fish on any empty tile and just one added to a tile that still has fish on it, and you repeat the process until all the fish stocks have been depleted. However, once a player has fish on their character tile, that tile becomes another target for other pirate cats to point at. Meanwhile the player with fish on their character tile can take the decision to bank the fish so they cannot be stolen by another player by using their action to cover their character tile rather than point to another. This also costs them their next turn.

It's a fast fun game involving bluff and push-your-luck decision making. Players are always trying to second-guess each other, particularly as the fish mount up on ocean tiles that weren't taken on the previous round. Remember, if two players go for the same tile then both get nothing, so maybe going for a tile with fewer fish is the safer option; but then, if I think you'll take the safer option, maybe I can get away with nabbing the larger haul... It's a variant of the Prisoners Dilemma. It makes for an entertaining enough game for adults to play but it's light enough for kittens (kids) to play too, and with attractive art from Roxy Dai.

At the end of the game, you'll score a point for each solitary red, blue or yellow fish, but five points for each set of three. However, if your games turn out to be anything like ours, players will all just be trying to get their paws on as many fish as they can with little regard for which ones group into sets. That said tho', the white fish being worth 2 points did make them an especially juicy prize...

#AhoyKitten #Mayday #BroadwayToys #KoreaBoardgames #cats #kittens #pirates #setcollection #pushyourluck #bluffing

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