Buccaneer board game

The Buccaneer board game was published in the UK by Waddingtons between the 1930s and 1980s and was first produced in 1938. Over the years there were several different editions. The last major change was around 1978 although the Buccaneer board game remained on sale throughout the 1980's. The various editions introduced changes in the materials used: metal, wood, plastic, and changes in the presentation and/or packaging format. Earlier editions have 6 ships, later ones have 4 ships. The board represents the sea with home ports. A tray placed in the middle of the board represents a treasure island, and holds diamonds, rubies, pearls, bars of gold, and barrels of rum. Opponents ships can be attacked and treasure or crew captured.

Each player had a ship which they would sail to Treasure Island and pick up a 'Chance Card.' These cards contained instructions, either bad ('You are blown to Cliff Creek') or good ('Take treasure up to 5 in total value'). The treasure would be placed inside the plastic ship, which could contain up to two treasures, and the player would sail back to home port to unload the treasure, or trade treasure and crew at the other ports.

waddingtons buccaneer

Players could attack other players' ships during the game and capture their treasure or crew. The number of spaces a player could move, as well as the outcomes of battles was decided on the crew cards in the hand of each player.

In all versions of the Buccaneer board game since at least the 1958 version; the winner was the first to collect 20 points worth of treasure. There seems somewhere to have been the idea that in at least one version the winner of the game was the first to acquire five treasures of the same kind, but this Wikieditor has seen many versions of this game and believes the 20 points worth of treasure to be the standard win condition. There are only 6 of each treasure type in all versions up to the time the game was changed from 6 to 4 players (see below), when the treasures were dropped to 5 of each type. The only exception to this is in the early 1938 version, where there were 9 rum barrels available, but only 6 of each of the other treasure items.

Buccaneer game instructions

Download here the original Buccaneer rules/manual (PDF).

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1 comment
Dee - November 12, 2010
I have unearthed a small box Buccanneer complete, and have made a board - but can someone tell me the writing on the ports? I can't make it out from the web links.