There’s no better day to invite your friends over for a raiding parrrrrty than International Talk Like a Pirate Day. If you’re going to be speaking like a pirate, mateys, you might as well put that accent to good use with a pirate-themed board game.
Me hearties, here are five piratey picks for tabletop games that will have you and your friends yelling “Avast!” and “Aye!” not just on Talk Like a Pirate Day, but just about any day of the year. Looking for an amazing RPG to really get into character? Check out 7th Sea.
Take control of merchants, naval ships, and pirate ships in this high-quality game by Space Cowboys. The ship pieces are large and detailed, and little cargo cubes can fit inside as you trade them from port to port. Earn doubloons but watch out for attacking pirates that want the cargo for their own.
With a large, colorful game board, striking art on the cards, and metal coins that clink as you plunk them down, plus easy-to-learn rules, Black Fleet will get players young and old weighing anchor in no time.
Ages 14+, 3-4 players
The simple rules make this pirate treasure the most kid-friendly game in the list. Roll the dice to win booty as players vie to take as much gold for themselves as they can. As you push your luck in the dice rolls, you can steal gold from your fellow plunderers or even take all of the gold from the king in one massive score.
Quick and easy-to-learn, this dice game from Blue Orange Games is the perfect way to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day if you only have a few minutes to spare with your mateys at the end of a long day.
Ages 8+, 2-6 players
In the bluffing game Libertalia, you must outwit and outplay your fellow pirates to plunder all the booty. Each player is given a randomized hand of character cards with special abilities during the daytime, nighttime, or at the end of the campaign. Play your cards right (get it?) and you’ll be taking the best booty for yourself. Make the wrong move, and you’ll find yourself holding a cursed mask–or nothing at all.
To hear Wil Wheaton and friends talk like pirates themselves, tune into the Libertalia TableTop episode packed with the best/worst pirate accents you’ll hear.
Ages 14+, 2-6 players
If you take your pirating seriously, settle in for the long haul with Merchants & Marauders. In fact, set aside most of your Talk Like a Pirate Day if you’re ready to play. There are a lot of components to this game, from detailed game boards to actual treasure chests; this one isn’t for casual gamers just looking to throw “ahoy, mateys!” around in a silly game.
Play the game your way, either as a swashbuckling, brash pirate or a simple merchant just trying to make a living making your way from port to port. But be careful–your fellow players can attack and take everything you’ve earned, even your ship. This complex and enjoyable pirate game isn’t for the faint of hearrrrrrrt.
Ages 13+, 2-4 players
Like the other games in this list, this card game is all about collecting loot. The treasure in Pirate Den comes in the form of plastic gems and gold pieces. Cards are played each round to collect gems from the pot in the middle, or steal them from other players. When you’ve gathered enough gems, turn them into buried treasure where they’re safe from the other pirates’ grabby hands. The player with the most treasure wins.
Light strategy, bluffing, and a little bit of pushing your luck make this game just the right mix of piratey fun that even young buccaneers can join in. (The age is listed as 14+, but there’s no questionable content and the rules aren’t too complicated.)
Ages 14+, 3-5 players
Arrr, mateys, what be ye favorite pirate game? Share ’em in the comments down tharrrr!
Featured Image: Z-Man Games
Other Images: Space Cowboys, Blue Orange Games, Asmodee, Z-Man Games, and Crash Games