The Last Bottle of Rum, hacking is… “health”!
“Aaalllaaaabbboorrddaaaaaage! Clenched teeth, rubicon face, black eyes… Crabby Jones launched his galleon at full power. The captain of the pirate ship wants to do battle with his opponent. But also and above all, take the opportunity to fill your pockets! The ship is rocked in all directions and the waves hit the hull hard. But the boat is holding on. The crew draw their sabers and position themselves in the front to show their determination. The enemy did not have time to react. Not even a small maneuver. Nothing ! Arrived nearby the pirate orders to swing a salvo of cannons. At this distance, the devastation is immediate on the opposing boat. This time for sure, gold will flow freely … And others will go wading in the immensity of the ocean! Mouhahah…!
Pirate friends, here you are at the dock! And now it’s your turn to write your story. To chart your destiny. But before leaving, a little bit of rum, you can’t refuse! Problem, there is only one bottle left on the archipelago. No doubt it will be sold at a high price. Thus, it will be necessary to amass fortune. A fun and user-friendly game from Lord Raccoon Games, to be enjoyed without moderation!
Maybe you’ve never heard of Lord Raccoon Games. It’s normal, this young publisher publishes with The Last Bottle of Rum, his very first board game, for two to five players. At the helm, as a proud captain, the author Quentin Vernet, assisted by Baptiste Michard, who took care of the visuals… and the navigation plans!
If you are a fan of crowdfunding, you have probably seen this project sail into the Kickstarter ocean. Indeed, it is by this means that the project became reality, following a financing which gathered some 2’000 pirates, during March 2020. And as the game is now produced, we could not resist it. want to take an interest in it.
We told you half-word; you are a pirate! Yes, it is like that and not otherwise! There is only one bottle of Rum left in the archipelago and it will be yours. For sure ! Like a good pirate, you go to sea to recover treasures to pay for this delicious drink. Entirely piloted by cards, you play them to move at sea, attack and collect treasures. All of this, before we take them back to Pirate Cove. A simple game of “pick up and delivery” which offers fun and strategic games.
But before setting your course for the southern seas, let’s review the rules of the game …
Rum, women and beer not from…
In the game, you play a terrible pirate. To win the game, you must reach 10 loot points. You then win the last bottle of Rum and you win immediately. Morbleu!
At the start of his turn, the active player draws 4 cards and plays 2 simultaneously from his hand. The different symbols on the cards indicate the actions that can be performed during the turn. Each card also has an effect that the active player can trigger if he pays the cost listed on it.
Now let’s see the different possible actions. The first obviously consists of navigating, moving around the playing field and exploring the various tiles placed face down at the start of the game. On some tiles, you can earn doubloons but also damage your boat while crossing reefs. On the central tile of the pirate lair, you can sell the loot collected during the game. The second possible action is simply to earn duplicates (the in-game currency). Third, such a game would be nothing without the ability to attack another player. To attack a player, you must be near them and pay a doubloon. You inflict damage by rolling a dice and different damage will be assigned to your opponent’s boat. Damage that will reduce travel, storage capacity, navigation, etc. You can still, and this is the last and fourth action, repair damage to negate the negative effects that penalize you.
Note also that the effects of some cards involve curses. During the game, if a player draws a Kraken card or reaches the limit of 5 curses, the Kraken will appear. The monster immediately attacks and inflicts damage.
When the active player has finished his turn, it is the next and we continue in this way until the victory condition is reached by one of the players.
Land in sight!
When it comes to raising the elbow, we are there. When it comes to hoisting the black flag, we are there. So, the two combined … we do not hesitate for a second. And let’s go on an adventure with “The Last Bottle of Rum”! Inside the box, the lid of which has a nice selective varnish, there are many components. A large central tile, 30 island tiles, more than 150 cards, a wooden die, 10 boards and about sixty cardboard tokens, 16 markers and 9 wooden boats, a cloth bag and the rulebook. All stored in a thermoforming. Let’s be honest, we are very surprised – for the better – by the good quality of the material. Surprised, because this game is neither more nor less, the first opus of the publisher Lord Raccoon Games! And the production is simply magnificent! For a first game, hats off! The components use quality cardboard. The cards are canvas, the markers decorated with colored stickers, a small bag bearing the image of the game and an effective thermoforming … It is certain, the production has benefited from a particular care and it is felt, for our greatest pleasure !
Moreover, it is impossible not to note the magnificent illustration work carried out by Baptiste Michard. Colorful, harmonious visuals whose pencil strokes have nothing to envy to the most famous opus. As the game progresses, we take great pleasure in having fun with these sets that promote immersion. Careful work which gives a lot of pleasure and which gives a breath of freshness; just before hoisting the sails, it’s perfect sailor!
Thematically, we are at the heart of piracy. Yes, in case you were still in doubt. On this point, do not look for originality. In board games, this has already been exploited and probably even overused; many opus offer to play the buccaneers of the seas. Nevertheless, in The Last Bottle of Rum, the universe and the theme work very well. In addition, captains have the particularity of being represented by animals with an atypical look. A great originality! Finally, only the title of the game seems a little capillotracted. But rest assured, this element is subjective, harmless, and will absolutely not prevent you from flying the flag to the skull!
But before you hope to set sail, your journey will begin with the rulebook. A ten-page document, small in size (the last three of which are devoted to extensions) and which contains everything you need. The material is correctly presented, as is the set-up and the explanations are rather clear. Read quickly, the rules are presented in an airy way and punctuated by illustrations. Some small cases encountered during the game are not specified in the rules, but as a pirate, you will always find something to decide! Or something to “cut” … a thousand ports!
After a quick setup, you can start your first game. Easy accessibility thanks to a truly affordable gaming system. You only have to play two cards out of four, and everything is indicated there! Especially since small very intuitive pictograms add to a good grip. Whether you are a young Moss or an old Quartermaster, you will have no problem staying the course and mastering your galleon!
For the mechanics, in The Last Bottle of Rum, we are clearly in a race where the game system is driven by cards. Thus, hand management is at the center of the gameplay. The central air of play adds a part of exploration, placement and movement which are important. Especially for collecting treasures and for attacks that can be carried out against other players. And since we are talking about treasures, know that they all have different effects that apply when they are recovered. Thus, in some cases, a risk-taking is added that must be underweighted. But rest assured the assembly remains light and easy to use. And this throughout the game.
However, the gameplay still allows more experienced players to find their account. More successful strategies can be drawn and we clearly appreciated this simple game base but which also allows a nice elasticity towards more complex parts. Moreover, to make this a reality, we will invite gamers to add as soon as possible the “Bounty Fisherman” and “Weather” extensions which have become indispensable with us! Especially since these are included with the basic game; you would be wrong to deprive yourself of it. Let us note again a part of luck that cannot be avoided. Indeed, the game remains quite dependent on this aspect with the random draw of cards, tiles and damage. Without forgetting the rolls of the dice for the fights. But, the actions of the game turn allow everyone to get back on the water quickly and the game is not too punitive on this aspect. And above all, will not destroy the whole strategy that you have in place.
Level of originality of the gameplay, we remain on a classic basis of racing and pick up and delivery. Nothing very innovative but once again, we repeat, the whole works very well and part of the game is nonetheless very pleasant.
We also liked the game turns that focus on the unique act of playing two cards and applying the effects. Then it’s on to the next one. Thus, downtime is reduced, the game offers a very good dynamism and in The Last Bottle of Rum, there is always something to do. Above all, that even outside of our turn, we can be slyly attacked. Better to stay on the lookout all the time… You see, the boat! The game turn and therefore the whole game therefore offer excellent intensity and a tension that does not weaken from start to finish. In the end, that’s really what you expect from a pirate game!
A word more on the replayability of the title. With 150 cards, randomly placed tiles and the expansions provided in the base set, replayability is no problem. Of course, let’s be clear, your actions will continually be to ply the seas to collect treasures and bring them back to Pirate Cove. And so on. But the game system and the possibilities offered by The Last Bottle of Rum allow you to vary the pleasures. Thus, do not hesitate to forge alliances and misalliances with other pirates, to attack you regularly, to show deviousness and above all, to use the powers of the different cards. Your games will only be more fun. And as a pirate, we count on you to be creative! Especially since the game allows it …
Play my little bunny!
Before concluding, we open a little parenthesis on the game for two. This setup exists in the basic box and we haven’t discussed it yet. As such, know that in duo, we add a third player. Let’s clarify it right away, you don’t have to add it. But then there will be the risk that everyone is playing a little too much in their own corner. The solution would then be to remove some tiles from the central board… But, we’ll let you decide. However, this third player is not a ghost player as it is quite regularly seen in pirate games. No. We are on a “real” third player, who moves, who collects treasures and who attacks you. Fight off, helmsman!
This third player – this Automa player – is called “The Specter”. A cursed rabbit! It’s so adorable, don’t you think? In setup, all the island tiles are then placed face up and a board is given to this dear cursed rabbit. Once the two protagonists have played it is the turn of the specter. Two cards are then drawn and The Specter performs his actions normally. He chases down other players, always heads for the treasure with the highest value, attacks other ships within reach, repairs himself if necessary and even collects gold. Moreover, when he has five gold coins, he triggers his power and steals treasures from other players!
The Specter remains a rather pleasant player and can be formidable. Even if sometimes, luck offers him a crushing victory in a quick and brutal way. Thus, with it we sometimes orient ourselves in rather random parts which can be very fast or conversely, much longer. We also appreciated the fact that this pirate really wants to rout us. He chases us, he resents high value treasures and like any other player, he opposes fierce resistance. He can be attacked and attack! A real little playmate … Even if you have to do everything for him and after a while, it becomes a little off-putting. In any case, it has the merit of being present and not just to look pretty!
For us, this two-player setup works very well. We would rather tend to recommend the game from three or even four players, for the only reason that two, the tiles are placed in a visible way. With three or more, everything is done face down, and it’s still a lot more fun.
Show no mercy ! Thousand portholes !
You will have probably understood it, The Last Bottle of Rum clearly pleased us! Yes, it is obvious. Already by his universe worked, funny and really well declined on stage. Added to this is a great production and an easy rule to learn which invites us to embark quickly.
Whether you are a confirmed player or a very young gamer, there is something for everyone. And this element is not to be taken lightly; experience made with us in all configurations! The basis of the game remains simple but the gameplay presents real possibilities. And the opus offers a very nice interactivity. We play our cards, we watch the opponents out of the corner of our eyes and we launch an attack! Mouhahaha bachibouzouk of ectoplasm! Sometimes we boast about our attacks and the next round, we find ourselves with a torn sail and a hug that takes water… This is also The Last Bottle of Rum. And it is terribly pleasant.
A game that will therefore remain for a long time in our game library, due to its ease of access, its immersion and its very open game system. We want more and we recommend it for a little “tropics” on your game table. Pirate friends, you are now warned!
Now it’s up to you to form your own opinion.
The rules of the game in French
The Last Bottle of Rum on Board Game Geek
Lord Raccoon Games publisher’s website
Information for people with disabilities
In addition to our articles, we send details below for people with a health impairment (visual, hearing or intellectual disability):
– This game seems to have no particular limitation.