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Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest Review

When I had heard that Stonemaier games had the publishing right to Libertalia, and that they were going to release a brand new version of the game, I was really excited. I had actually played the original Libertalia, and it looked as if Stonemaier was going to improve upon the original? How does it all shake down? Is it worth double dipping, or picking up for the first time? Let’s take a look!

Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest – Stonemaier Games

Out of the Box

There is a TON of things to punch out and assemble with Libertalia, so if you are picking it up, be sure to prepare the box prior to everyone coming over for board game night. All the coins need to be popped out, the thick cardboard tiles, and you’ll have to assemble the treasure chests that keep your score. I went with the metal coins for this game, which I believe is a good investment if you plan to play it a lot.

Quality of Components

Everything in the box is top notch. The rule book is beautifully done, and printed on great paper. The cards are also well done, and even with a lot of use – we played almost a dozen times – the cards still look as good as new. The cardboard you punch out is nice and thick – this is especially important for the coins as you will handle them a lot. Thin cardboard would quickly fray and become disgusting with frequent use, so I think this was a good design plan.

Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest – Stonemaier Games

The component for building the treasure chests that keep score are also durable, made of a good plastic. Overtime, I have some concerns about the plastic wearing out from being turned so much, but for now they are all still performing as if they were just assembled yesterday. The board and the cards are beautifully illustrated, although I would argue that the artwork doesn’t scream “priates” to me like the original did. It’s unique, and the use of animals as pirates is a neat touch. However, perhaps a more standard pirate theme might have been a better choice, using actualy ships as opposed to sky ships.

All that being said, I can see why Stonemaier wanted to have a unique look for this reprint.

Game Review

If you want to learn about how to play Libertalia, check out this great video from Rodney Smith!

Now that you know how to play – assuming you watched the above video – let’s talk about how it all works. There is a bit of luck in card placement decision in Libertalia as some cards are only impactful if they are the only ones on the board, or if they are in certain spots. That being said, the deeper you get into the game, the more likely your hand is different form other players. Knowing what to play and when is still stratigic, if the end result does feel a bit luck based now and then.

And that’s probably the key here. You want to play cards that are going to earn you the most points, but you need to realize that others might be thinking the same way as you. When you assess your position on the reputation track and what cards you might want to play, you need to be mindful of other players. There may be a good loot token on a specific day, but that token might be good for you and another player. Let’s pretend you are both going after the only second map available – that would be a good piece of loot, worth a lot of points.


Now the decision comes down to which card you want to play. Since loot is taken in the Dusk phase, you want a card with a high number. Higher numbered cards sometimes don’t produce the best actions, which means you might be sacrificing a card just so you can grab a loot token. Deciding the worth of that token is a strategic decision, not impacted by luck.

That’s why I enjoy Libertalia so much. There is a fair amount of luck that will influence the game, but there is a ton of hidden strategy as well. Do you want a low card so you can perform your action first, or a high card so you can select loot first? Do you want to add a specific card back into your hand, or do you want to go for more coins this round? There are so many decisions, each having a huge impact on how the game plays out.


If you love card drafting games that have lots of strategy and a pinch of luck, Libertalia is one you will want to be on the lookout for. Buying the upgraded coins is a huge recommendation from myself if you plan to play this a lot! Welcome to the skies, fellow pirates!


Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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