Beards and Booty
A pirate-themed, real-time, pattern-matching, card game!
What is Beards and Booty?
Choose your legend, shuffle the deck, collect your tiles and get ready to race! Players use their tiles to match the patterns revealed on the underside of the Adventure Cards. The first player to match the pattern correctly and call out “done”* collects the card and gets to turn the next card. When the Legend card at the bottom is matched, all players count out the gold that they’ve matched during the game. Whoever has the most pieces of gold at the end, wins!
The game is fast, fun, easy to learn and quick to set up and play – with over 100 illustrated cards with unique patterns that you use your acrylic tiles to match.
Beards and Booty is coming to Kickstarter later this year!
*Also suitable is Arr, Ahoy or Yo Ho!
Where did the game come from?
I LOVE pirate stories, both real and fantastical and so wanted to make a game that could include inspiration from history and, well, anything that popped into my head!
During lockdown, my sons and I played many simple games around other activities – games that were easy to set up and put away and quick to get started. We also found that we really enjoyed real-time games as (being quite young) they could lose interest when waiting for other players to take their turn.
Living in Germany, a lot of my son’s friends would only speak German so it was really important that whatever we played involved as few language barriers as possible.
These factors and some other inspirations gave us the idea of first using dice, then tiles to use in a pattern-matching race that has kept us entertained around the table as we tested and trialed the ideas that have no become our boxed set of Beards and Booty!
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
A lot of what is in this game is inspired by the pirates, privateers, buccaneers, and fantasies of what many call the Golden Age of Piracy.
If you’ve made it this far down the page then, perhaps, you have the same kind of love for pirates as I do. So I thought this would be a fun place to leave a few things I’ve learned about during the making of Beards and Booty and a few of the famous pirates who inspired some of the artwork and characters!
Anne Bonny and Mary Read
Anne was born in Ireland and fate led her halfway around the world to Nassau where she met Mary Reed and Calico Jack. While initially disguised as men to gain passage, they later revealed themselves as women and gained respect and fame through their bravery, ferocity, and success.
Was the most successful male pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy, taking over 400 prizes in his career. Roberts is noted for creating his own Pirate Code, and adopting an early variant of the Skull and Crossbones flag. He became known as the Greate Pyrate and, later as Black Bart.
A term used for the flags carried by a ship.
A Spanish coin made of gold and worth sixteen pieces of eight.
Better known as Blackbeard, Teach captured a French slave ship known as La Concorde, renamed her Queen Anne’s Revenge, equipped her with 40 guns, and crewed her with over 300 men. He became a renowned pirate, his nickname derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses (slow matches) in his hat and beard to frighten his enemies.
He was romanticized after his death and became the inspiration for an archetypal pirate in works of fiction across many genres.
The Golden Age
Thousands of pirates were active between 1650 and 1720, and these years are sometimes known as the ‘Golden Age’ of piracy.
Pieces of Eight
Silver pesos (Spanish coins) that were worth eight reals (another former Spanish coin).
Someone legally entitled, by letter of marque from a monarch or government, to attack enemy ships.
Crossed ropes that run from the side of the ship to the sails, that sailors used to climb to the top of the mast.
Was a famous French Corsair. He had a brilliant privateering and naval career and eventually became “Lieutenant-General of the Naval Armies of the King” and a Commander in the Order of Saint-Louis. Ten ships of the French Navy were named in his honour.
As with business, art, or politics, the 18th century world was a male dominated one and any woman who wanted or needed to become a pirate had to pretend to be a man. They would dress, fight, swear and drink like the men around them – often bettering them in all areas of pirate life!
Sir Henry Morgan
A Welsh privateer, plantation owner, and, later, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. From his base in Port Royal, Jamaica, he raided settlements and shipping on the Spanish Main, becoming wealthy as he did so.
Zheng Yi Sao
Also known as Ching Shih, was a Chinese pirate leader who was active in the South China Sea. She began her pirating career at age 26 in 1801 and, after the death of her husband in 1807, took control of his pirate confederation. As the commander of the Guangdong Pirate Confederation, her fleet was composed of 400 junks and between 40,000 to 60,000 pirates. Zheng Yi Sao has been described as history’s most successful pirate.