Here are some concepts important to the Pirates of the Cursed Seas rules:
Sea creatures can't be rammed, pinned, or boarded. Nor can they ram, load treasure, tow, or be assigned crew. Sea creatures can only be given move and shoot actions.
Sea creatures begin the game with any part of their base touching your home island. Measure a sea creature's movement from anywhere on its base. A sea creature's segments do not block its line of fire when shooting( See "Shooting").
Each ship, crew, and sea creature has a point cost and belongs to one of ten nations:
Equipment can be used by any nation; they have the Cog symbol on their cards.
Linked crew and ships. Some crew are "linked" to other crew and ships (as noted by the Chain symbol printed on their cards). When two linked crew are assigned to the same ship, that ship gets +1 cargo space. In the same way, if a crew is assigned to a ship to which it is linked, that ship gets +1 cargo space. Multiple links on the same ship are cumulative; that is, a ship gains +1 cargo spaces each time two linked crew are assigned to her, or a crew linked to her is assigned to her.
Equipment represents cutting-edge "technology" that affects the game in special ways. If you have included equipment as part of your fleet, put it face-down whether on your home island or on the deckplate card of the ship to which you assign it. Each piece of equipment takes up one cargo space on a ship. No matter what a ship's cargo capacity, it can't carry equipment with a total point cost more than the ship's point cost.
Equipment left on wild islands can be loaded by any ship.
Unique treasure. Some treasure is unique. A player can't contribute more than one unique treasure with the same name tot he total treasure contributed to the game. At the beginning of the game, each unique treasure is worth 0 gold. A unique treasure's value can change later in the game, depending on its ability text. Players can insert unique treasure into the treasure that is randomly sorted and placed on wild islands. If you contribute unique treasure, however, the rest of the treasure you contribute must still total 15 gold points (for a 40-point game).
The first player takes the first turn and is able to give one of four actions (move, explore, shoot, or repair) to each of his or her ships (or other game pieces that can be given actions such as sea creatures). You can give actions only to ships in your fleet.
Free action. Unless a game effect specifically requires one of the four actions, that effect is a free action. Free actions happen automatically and immediately. A free action does not count as a ship's action for the turn on which it occurs.
Multiple actions. Some game effects allow you to give a ship a second action during a turn. You can't give a ship (or other game pieces that can be given actions, such as sea creatures) more than two non-free actions each turn.
A ship can't move through any island or another ship. If a ship has a combination move such as L+S, you can choose to move her either L or S first, though she can change direction only between each measurement. If a ship touches another ship or an island during her movement, she must stop, even if she could move farther that turn.
Unloading Treasure. When you dock at your home island, you must unload all treasure worth gold points; this is a free action.
Pin. Unless an ability states otherwise, a ship becomes pinned only after ramming another ship. A ship is pinned when her bow is in contact with any part of an enemy ship. The pinned ship can't move until the other ship moves away or has no masts remaining.
Board. After a ship rams another ship, either player can initiate one (and only one) boarding party as a free action; the player whose turn it is decides first. Each player rolls a d6 and adds the result to the number of masts remaining onhis or her ship involved in the ram. The player with the highest total can eliminate one crew on, or take one treasure from, the other ship.
Sinking a ship. If a ship with no masts is hit, she sinks. When a ship sinks, Remove her and any crew on her from the game.
Sinking a ship with treasure on her. Add together all the gold on the sunken ship and divide it equally between the ship's controller and the player who sank the ship. If the total gold can't be divided equally, the player who sank the ship gets the greater amount. Place treasure you gain this way on your home island as a free action. Unique treasure is removed from the game when it sinks. Ignore this rule when playing with more than two players.
The repair action allows a ship docked at her home island to repair (bring back into play) one mast.
A keyword represents an ability a card has. If a card has a keyword, it appears in bold on the front of the card. When playing that card, follow the rules of that keyword in addition to any other ability text the card might have.
If a keyword or ability doesn't specifically say that a game piece can't do something, then it can do it.
Please see my "Keywords" page for a complete list of keywords and their descriptions.
If a ship has a fire mast, before she is given an action roll a d6 for each fire mast on her. On a result of 5 or 6, remove the fire mast; on a 1 or 2, replace another of her masts with a fire mast. When a ship has only fire masts, she must be scuttled on her next turn. When a ship docks at her home island or a fort, remove all of her fire masts as a free action.
When any endgame condition is reached, players add up the total gold value of on their home islands and in their forts. If there are more than two players, the players also add the gold value of treasure on their ships. Treasure on a ship that is wrecked or lost in a fog bank does not count for any player. The player with the highest gold value wins. If there is a tie, the player with the most remaining units is the winner.
After the game, return any ships that changed fleets (such as if a player towed a derelict belonging to another player back to his or her home island) during the game to their owners.