First of all, thank you for supporting Privateer and for your interest in making this game as great as it can possibly be! Note that Privateer has already undergone hundreds of hours of testing before this playtest package was available. As such, this playtest package is not intended to overhaul the game in any way but to instead accomplish a few things:
- Refine the Rulebook. We want Privateer to be as easy to learn as possible. To accomplish this we want throw each playtest group to the proverbial wolves by offering as simplified a rulebook as we can. The majority of Privateer’s players will not be as seasoned as our testers, so we want to identify the hardest parts of the rules to grasp for new players and iron out and simplify as much the problem rules as much as possible. We want our testers to recognize these hard-to-translate rules and let us know how those rules can be better explained. We are prepared to offer detailed graphics (images which explain rule implementation) as well as online videos of rules in play. Let us know which rules you think will require the most explaining for beginners. Additionally, we strongly dislike when a situation arises in a game that is not clearly defined by the rulebook. The problem is that some of these situations are very rare and it is very hard to plan for all of them. If you run into any situations that don’t seem to have an official ruling, let us know!
- Familiarize our Testers with Privateer. This playtest is mostly designed to test out our upcoming expansion for Privateer, Seven Seas. It is imperative that testers have a strong understanding of Privateer’s mechanics before jumping headfirst into expansion material testing. Testers should be able to play a game of Privateer without the need to consult the rules before attempting to test Seven Seas. We worked very hard on balancing Privateer so that every captain can be competitive if played optimally, so it is important for each tester to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and viable strategies for each captain before testing the new expansion captains. Without this mastery any feedback we receive from testers would be invariably flawed. To ensure familiarity with Privateer’s base mechanics before prematurely testing Seven Seas we will be allowing only testing of Privateer for a month or two before allowing groups to download the Seven Seas materials for testing. This has the added benefit of allowing our team to test Seven Seas in-house and eliminate the most glaring imbalances before passing the materials on to the test groups.
What’s in it for me as a tester?
Besides being able to play Privateer and its upcoming expansion months before anyone else, testers will be able to cement a favorable spot in the upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Seven Seas. Testers will receive an exclusive pledge level for a highly discounted copy of Seven Seas (should they choose to pledge for one.) Additionally, this version will include all unlocked Stretch Goals (if any) and will include deluxe materials, such as the highly anticipated metal coins, at no additional cost.
We understand that testing is both time consuming and expensive (the print costs add up!) As such, we want to ensure that every tester feels adequately rewarded for their time. If at all possible we will include exclusive items in each Seven Seas copy that a tester pledges for to personalize and immortalize their copy.
What do I need to do to become a tester?
Unfortunately, the window to join the playtest has expired and we are no longer accepting new testers.
Legal disclaimer: Ensignia Games gives all play testers the rights to print and utilize all files relevant to the Privateer Playtest, including the board, cards, and rulebook.