As with all T.I.M.E Stories scenarios, Brotherhood of the Coast is designed to be a story that unfolds as you play. Due to this, I will try not to give anything away as I review what is now the seventh expansion in the series.
As normal you are working as a team, this time tasked with a mission to hunt down four well-known buccaneer brothers. Set in the Caribbean during the 17th Century, you now have some additional mechanics that are new to the series, such as additional gameplay as you travel from one island to next. With the chance of storms, ship battles and shark attacks you can really get into the role of a buccaneer.
Playing Brotherhood of the Coast
The set-up of these games is incredibly simple and if you’ve played the base game you should find the concept of this expansion easy to understand. Although this is the seventh expansion you do not necessarily have had to have played any of the previous games, in fact this was the second expansion I played.
As you work through your first pack of cards you are given a story about how you are chosen for this mission, before being given instructions on how to lay out the board, how the new mechanics will work and what the aim of the game will be. After this it is entirely up to you to decide where you want to go first and what you want to do, which trail to follow and who to talk to. You will come across many different options where you will have to make a choice as to what you want to do, such as which ships to buy, which people to hire and what information to follow.
The theme runs well throughout; the feeling of chasing pirates pulls you into the story. Every character is well thought out and believable in the roles as you search the islands and extract information.
Treasure can be found along the way, but sometimes these treasure hunts come to a dead end, perhaps another pirate beat you there, or maybe there was never any treasure to start with. The places you visit are well-known in the piracy world, and lets not forget the sea battles, hidden islands, hiding from the guards and of course the barrels of rum.
Brotherhood of the Coast (designed by Ulric Maes and Manuel Rozoy) is a game that requires all players to take part in every decision made, such as which location to travel to next, where to place your receptacle or what to buy. Of course, when it comes to travelling everyone must agree, however in the event that an agreement can not be settled upon, the T.I.M.E captain has the final say. But don’t worry, the role of T.I.M.E captain changes throughout the game giving everyone the chance to be in control of what happens.
Although this series is designed to be played once, with expansions designed to keep you playing in new time periods, with a huge range of different themes, it is possible to re-play. With so many different routes all leading to the end of the game you can easily play again and just choose a different route.
The marketplaces and battles also offer the chance that gameplay will be different. However, keep in mind that the main plot of the game will be the same, and you will also have some idea about what not to do again. This knowledge is the reason why these games are designed to be played once only, but if like me you have different groups of friends, why not get it out and let them make the decisions? Everything will be new to them and you can see if your friends fall for the same traps you did.
Final Thoughts on Brotherhood of the Coast
Overall, Brotherhood of the Coast is one of my favourite T.I.M.E Stories expansions. The new game mechanics as you travel from island to island makes the game more interesting. I would recommend having a copy of the rulebook from the base game at hand, just to remind you of some of the main rules you may have forgotten.
This game can take a long time to play so if you find you run out of time to play or an unexpected visitor arrives, you can “save” your progress. This is one of my favourite features in this series, within the box of the base game you can place your character pieces, along with any health, resources and cards that character has collected in their designated spaces. There are allocated spaces for your deck, and even for your Tu piece, meaning that you never need to worry about remembering where you where or having to write it all down.