Freibeuter / Freebooter


Published by Hans-im-Glück
Designed by Rainer Stockhausen
Translated by Mike Schloth

2-4 players
30-45 minutes
38 DM

You get

Translator's Note

It's not as swashbuckling as I would have liked but it sounds as if it could be cutthroat enough. This is a quick translation and I offer no guarantee that I picked up everything, but I'm 90% sure that I did.



Each player takes 25 boats in a chosen color as well as $20 worth of Treasure Chest cards.

Separate and shuffle the Sea Cards and the Flying Dutchman (hereafter called "FD") Cards.

Each player gets 4 Sea Cards and 1 FD Card.

The remaining cards are placed in two separate stacks, face down, by the side of the board.

The FD boat and the Treasure Chest Cards ( the Bank) are also placed to the side of the board. One player is designated the banker and manages the Treasure Chest Cards.

All 36 Ship, Pirate Warehouse, and Double Value disks are mixed face down and placed face up, beginning with one of the corners, on each of the circles found where the lines of latitude and longitude intersect.


OK, there are really just two things you need to know about this game:

You only gain booty if a ship is both BOARDED and ENCIRCLED. And you MUST board before encircling or the ship escapes and is removed from the board and placed back into the box.

It would be nice if you could board and encircle ships all by yourself, but because of the luck of the deal you will probably need the help of your fellow pirates--who will demand a share of the prize money.

So this is the life of a Pirate. On your turn, you must decide to either:

1. Board a ship (no card play necessary, just place one of your boats on top of any free ship counter).

2. Place one of your boats in a Sea Square (you need a Sea Card to place a boat).

3. Place the FD boat in a Sea Square using a FD card.

The trick of the game is to pounce at the proper time.


The three options in detail.


Play no card. Just place one of your boats on top of one of the ship counters. Boarding by itself gains you nothing. If later the ship is encircled then you will divide up the spoils.

Only one boat may be on any given ship.

You may never board a Pirate Warehouse counter or a Double Value counter. After boarding, the next player takes his turn.


You choose a Sea Card from your hand, reveal it, and discard it.

You then place one of your boats from your off-board pool onto the board on the Sea Square that corresponds with the coordinates on the Sea Card you discarded. If the Sea Square in question is empty, you must place a boat. If a boat is already there, you may either place a boat OR not place a boat and receive instead $2 from the bank.

You now draw a card. You may draw a Sea Card or a FD Card. However, you must always have at least one Sea Card in your hand at the end of your turn. If there are no more Sea Cards to draw, the game ends. If there are no more FD cards, then you must draw a Sea Card.

Now it is the next player's turn.


You reveal a FD Card from your hand and discard it. You take the FD boat from the side of the board (it is always removed from the board at the end of the turn it was placed) and place it in any Sea Square along the column or row shown on the FD Card you discarded. RESTRICTION: The FD boat may only be placed to encircle a ship (or a Pirate Warehouse, or a Double Value) counter. Otherwise a FD Card may not be played!

At the end of your turn return the FD boat to the side of the board and draw another Sea or FD Card.

Now the next player takes his turn.


A ship (or a pirate warehouse or a double value) is encircled if each of the four surrounding Sea Square is occupied by at least one boat and/or the Flying Dutchman boat.

It is important to remember that boarding and encircling are two different things and that both boarded and non-boarded ships may be encircled.


If the ship is NOT boarded, then the ship escapes and its counter is removed from the board and placed back into the box--it is out of the game.

If the ship has been boarded then the booty is divvied up.

The player who boarded the ship takes the ship's counter and now that player must pay out a share of the booty to all other pirates who helped him to capture the ship he boarded.

Note the fraction on the ship counters, the lower number is the amount that the boarding player must pay to each of the other players who had ships in one or more of the four Sea Squares surrounding the boarded ship. The payment is per boat which means that if there happens to be two boats in one or more of the encircling Sea Squares, then each of those boats must receive a share. [Kind of like the payoffs in the Goldsieber game STERNENHIMMEL]. If the player who boarded the encircled ship also had boats that aided in the encirclement, those boats do NOT receive a share of the booty. The only thing that the boarding player gets is the ship counter itself.

EXAMPLE (see the illustration in the margin of page 3): Birgit has just placed one of her boats to complete the encirclement of the ship (15/3) that Volker had boarded earlier (Volker's boat is on the ship counter). Volker must pay out: $6 to Birgit ($3 for 2 boats), and $3 to Dieter ($3 for 1 boat). Volker also had one boat helping in the encirclement but he receives no booty for helping himself. Volker must pay out $9 of his own money. Volker takes the ship counter for himself (turning it face down before himself) and places his boarding boat back into his off-board pool of boats. At the end of the game, the ship counter will be worth at least $15 to Volker. Now Birgit draws a Sea or a FD Card and her turn ends.

If the FD boat helps in an encirclement it does not have to be paid off. Treat it as if it is one of the boarding player's boats for this turn.


If a Pirate Warehouse is encircled, then that counter is set next to the board and any player who had a boat in the encircling force receives $2 per boat.

If a Double Value counter is encircled, then that counter is set face up next to the board.

At the end of the game, each ship counter with a matching prize value will have that value doubled.

Note that the placement of a boat (player owned or the FD) may simultaneously encircle one or more ships, Pirate Warehouses, and/or Double Value counters. The player who triggers the multiple encirclements decides the order of resolution. (this can be important for credit purposes--see below).


For each of the outer Sea Squares there is only one Sea Card in the deck (A1-A7, G1-G7, B1, B7, C1, C7, D1, D7, E1, E7, F1, and F7). All of the other Sea Squares are represented by two Sea Cards.

That means that each of the inner Sea Squares may contain up to two boats each. You may place a second boat into a Sea Square, or you may skip placing the second boat and instead take $2 from the bank. You may only take the $2 if the named Sea Square already contains a boat. If the named Sea Square contains no boat, then you must place a boat.


Pirates demand payment when the job is done. If a boarding player cannot meet his obligations to his fellow pirates who helped him capture a ship, then he must take a credit from the bank.

At the end of the game, all credit must be paid back double.

EXAMPLE: Say that in the previous example Volker had only $2 of the $9 he needed to pay to Birgit and Dieter. First, he takes $7 from the bank and with this and his own $2 he pays off Birgit and Dieter. Second, he takes another $7 from the bank and places one of his boats from his off-board pool on top of the money. The boat serves as storage for all credits that Volker will owe at the end of the game and the boat may not be used as a boat on the game board. The $7 under this boat serves only as a reminder.

[Question: If Volker incurs further debt, will he place the "reminder" treasure chests under the boat on top of his previous debt ($7), or must he use another boat as storage for his new debt?]

At the end of the game all debts must be paid back double. [I see nothing that says that you may pay off debts before the end of the game].


The game ends immediately when one of the following happens:

Players now add up their treasure chest cards. To this sum they add the value of their captured ships (don't forget to check for captured Double Value counters!). The richest player wins.

EXAMPLE (see last page), Birgit's Booty:

The Double Value counters for $15 and $10 prize ships have been encircled during the game.

Birgit captured two 15/3 ships that earn her, taking into consideration the matching Double Value counter, $60.

She has no 10/2 ships but she does have two 5/1 ships and one 20/4 ship. Adding everything to her treasure chest card total of $36 gives her a total of $126.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell