Over that past few months I have enjoyed many games of The Kaiser’s Pirates. I have come to recognize the value of certain cards that I can hold and achieve a victory when behind or if in the lead to stave off the closet contender. In this article I will present my strategy. For the player holding the following cards it is important to keep track of the number of cards remaining to be drawn from the Action Card Deck. You want to make sure that you will have a turn to play the cards you hold to maximize your chances for a victory.
FOG BANK: This is a good card during all game-play, but becomes especially powerful at the end of a hand. If you are in the lead, you can play this on the closest contender during the last or second to last round to keep that player from being able to get more Victory Awards. If you are behind in Victory Awards, then play this on the leader to prevent the gain of any further Victory Awards. Since it is not an “attack” card you can play Fog Bank on one player and then attack another player in the same activation.
INTELLIGENCE: During the endgame, I use this card to reorder the top cards in the Action Card Deck. This let’s me get the card that I want and know what the other players will be drawing. Occasionally I will use it to examine an opponent’s hand whose ships I intend to hit with my other endgame cards, but I have found the reordering of event cards to be of greater assistance to me.
INTERROGATE: A great card any time, but much more profitable when you play it in your turn in the last round of play and succeed in sinking a Raider. Make sure that you have a merchantman to pair the card with to get the victory award.
LAY MINES: If you have a Raider to do this, being able to have the opportunity to sink three Merchantmen at the very end of the hand can change the game into your victory. The added bonus is that the merchantmen cannot roll for “Safe Passage” after your attacks and therefore will not give the opponent Victory Awards.
RECON AIRCRAFT: I use this card against an opponent I am going to attack with Minefield cards to draw any Minesweeper cards they may have to maximize the chances of a successful attack. An added bonus is that if another player has been saving endgame cards like this you could benefit by having more of these cards in your hand than that player. I usually use this card on the second to last turn I play.
SECOND CHANCE: If this card is used during the endgame you can attack an opponent twice, knowing what his responses (or the lack thereof was to your first round of attacks). SECOND CHANCE could shorten the game in your favor, especially if played during the last round. Depending on your position of play this card could end the hand if that is in your favor.
SUBMARINES UC-16 or UC-29: By using these cards to make a mine attack it is possible to sink three Merchantmen, which will have no ability to make “Safe Passage” rolls. The Minesweeper card can be played in response to prevent this, however.
The random element of drawing cards will dictate what you will have available, but if you keep these cards in mind you have better chance for effective and exciting endgame play.
All the cards, which I have looked at here, are “Offensive” cards. In a future article, I will review “Defensive” cards that I like to hold for the endgame.