Reviewed by: Erik “Kunochan” Even & Paul “Pandachan” Ang
Fleet is a very nice little auction/hand management game from Gryphon Games; the set we tested was purchased through the Kickstarter campaign, and included special wooden painted fish-shaped bits instead of the standard blue squares (fish “crates”). Fleet comes with 122 cards, four reference cards, 100 fish or crates, one wooden boat-shaped marker and one large wooden d6.
Players assume the personae of commercial fishing fleet owners, purchasing commercial fishing licenses and ships; assigning captains to the ships; collecting fish/crates, and trading those fish for money and resources. Players collect victory points for purchasing licenses, buying ships, and collecting fish; and the player with the most victory points when the license cards or fish/crates run out is the winner.
Boat cards double as cash, for purchasing boats and licenses, and as captains; licenses are purchased according to an auction system. Different licenses grant the owner various abilities, such as greater cash resources or the ability to draw extra cards.
What we liked:
- Very good quality cards and pieces; nice art
- Plays quickly like a time-killing game, but has more depth
- Requires some sophisticated strategic decisions
- Relatively short game play time; good for multiple sessions
- Turns are quick, with little downtime
- Reasonably priced for an indie game
- Runaway leader problem — once one player gets ahead of the others, it can be hard to catch up
- Theme (commercial fishing) not strongly attached to game mechanics — it really could be a game about anything
- Takes up a lot of space on the table