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Pirate card game Libertalia could see a return after ten years thanks to Wingspan publisher - report

The tabletop title has been out of print for several years

In October 2020, Stonemaier Games - the studio behind Wingspan and Scythe - filed a trademark for Libertalia, the title of a 2012 pirate game that has been out of print for some time. The publisher’s most recent tease of its upcoming releases now suggests that we might see a return of the card game next year, if rumours are to be believed.

According to the listing on Justia spotted by Reddit user reveur81, the trademark in question is to be used for “board games; tabletop games; equipment sold as a unit for playing board games,” and other terminology related to tabletop gaming. The class for the trademark - which designates the category that the trademark fits into - is filed under the one used for games and playthings.

The trademark application follows a post made on the BoardGameGeek forum for Libertalia in 2018, which revealed that Paolo Mori - the designer responsible for Libertalia - had re-acquired the publishing rights for the game from Marabunta, the studio that originally released the tabletop title.

Mori confirmed in the same post that they were “currently looking for others interested in putting the game back on the market!”

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In a more recent update to the same thread, user David Masnato pointed out that Stonemaier’s October 2020 project progress report listed a game as being in development under the codename of Sail. According to a recent stakeholder report from Stonemaier, the studio will only be releasing two new board games this year - confirmed as Red Rising and Rolling Realms - with anything else in the pipeline coming in 2022 and 2023. As such, if the rumours are accurate, a Libertalia reprint or brand new edition could potentially see a release as early as next year.

Libertalia is a bluffing card game for two to six players set during the height of the smuggling and pirating trade in the Caribbean Sea. Players become members of a crew of backstabbing pirates looking to collect the most valuable booty possible, at the extent of their crewmate’s lives. The game is split into a series of campaigns, with each one containing several day’s worth of loot for players to get their hands on. At the beginning of the game, players are dealt the exact same hand of cards, which they must use to obtain the best pieces of booty.

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Each turn, players will have to secretly choose a card from their hand to play onto the ship’s board, with each of the game’s cards having different effects and rankings. Whilst some of the cards help players to ensure that they’ll be first to pick from the day’s loot, others are specifically designed to remove opponent’s cards from the board or from their cabin. The players then select what they want from the day’s looting in order of ranking, with the players left at the back having to take the less desirable pieces of booty.

Once they’ve left the ship’s board, cards are placed in players’ cabins and can be used to acquire even more wealth for the player - if they’re still alive by the end of the campaign. The player with the most doubloons, or wealth, at the end of the last campaign is named the winner.

Besides Libertalia, Mori is also known for creating fantasy board game Ethnos and co-designing historical spin-off title Pandemic: Fall of Rome.

Dicebreaker has reached out to Stonemaier Games for further details and will update this story as necessary.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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