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Game Review – HMS Dolores

Game Review – HMS Dolores

I’m a sucker for a deception game, so I was intrigued to see how HMS Dolores would break into the market and bring something different to the table, but with Pirate theme, it was already off to a good start.

I was a but dubious when we first opened up the game and read the rules. While I’m very adept at deception games and the tactics that go with them, I’ve never had to play a deception game that also involves negotiation. And I’m a rubbish liar.

dol01_mainEach player is a pirate on a team of wreckers, and I use the term team rather lightly here. For each round the wreckers work in pairs, with one pirate drawing four loot cards, two for the pirate to his left, and two for himself. These two players then enter the negotiation phase, will they share the loot, go for their top choice or fight for it all!

Once the decision has been made, the players count to three and indicate their action;

  • dol01_hand_guidePeace (palm extended) – I want the 2 in front of me
  • War (fist) – I want them all
  • First pick (thumb up) – I want just one, pick first

The problems occur when a Pirate goes against the agreement in their action. Will they ever be trusted again?

The negotiation phase adds a whole new element to the game, and makes it really interesting. You’re constantly checking both your loot, and the loot of the other players, trying to work out what they need and how they will play the round, while still trying to also make sure you win!

It turns out that playing HMS Dolores gives you a lot more to think about than there first seems, but it’s still super easy to setup, and very quick to play, making it a great game to crack open when you’re just looking for a bit of fun (or deception and lies).

The RRP for HMS Dolores is £13.99, and it can be found at independent game stores, which can be found using this store locator

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