There’s nothing to the set up here for you to pick – even the pirate ships are random. So let’s dive straight in to five short tips for your choices in the game.
During the game:
Avoid the 0’s: During the game you will have many chances to grab an island card with a 0 value to it but be careful with these. Each round you may only be able to pick up a certain number of cards from your deck and filling your deck up with 0’s not only means more hands of lower scores but more rounds before that precious 3 or 4 card comes back around. Having these in the deck will slow you progress and may cost you key mid-game cards. However, if they have a “+2 Cards” then they could be net positive at least for now!
Trash Cards: Don’t hesitate to trash the “-1” and the aging cards as they come back into play, but also there may be opportunities to trash “0” or “1” cards which are holding you back. Look at the pirates you are facing as some will remove half the cards you play, but otherwise use opportunities to clear the weak parts of your deck and keep winning “2” or higher value cards!
Grab “double” & “copy”: These powers can help you double the value of your top card or copy a “+2 cards” or other ability. These are really helpful ways of accelerating your deck and often are attached to lower value cards you might otherwise pass over. They are also more flexible to the situation you are in, and suddenly that “copy” might be a “+2 Life”
Count the cards: At least at first this can be really important. There is, after all, only one “2” in that starting deck and only 5 positive points. If you have seen these go then they won’t come back till you shuffle. Knowing the rough expected value of what’s left is crucial early game and helpful right through to the finish. Don’t be precise, but knowing there is still a “4” left in there might allow you to take that gamble for a valuable card!
Think carefully about the last card: In the yellow and red round on the island, you may have a final card due to an odd number left in the deck. Be careful about whether or not you take that card on – sometimes it’s worth trying for it, but often it’s a good opportunity to duck a less useful card and keep moving!