Board Game Review: Sword and Skull

by Nathan Stout (of

Welcome to this latest game review (video included) that we are posting to promote our KickStarter project: Rise of the Rock Star, an According To Whim board game of Rock and Roll Fame! Please visit our project and back us!


Sword and Skull is a Monopoly-style board game from Avalon Hill. Each player takes on the role of 2 different characters (the Pirate and the Officer). Players take turns moving either (and times both) of their characters around the board, collecting power or money. When the player feels either of their characters are tough (or rich) enough, they can move into the middle of the board and try to take on the Pirate King and win the game.


Players move around the board and land on spaces that allow them to draw cards, buy equipment, recruit crew, or gain money. The fact that each player controls 2 different character pawn on the board is unique and can make for varied gameplay. While you move around the board you will find yourself gaining either more power or more money. You should choose one or the other and focus on gaining as much of it as you can. You can win the game by beating the Pirate King with power or by paying him off with massive amounts of money. Your strategy will depend on what spaces your characters land (money or power) and which you can more easily accumulate.


Avalon Hill produces another high quality game here. It comes with some nice sculpted pawns (2 of each color, one pirate, one officer). The gold pieces are high quality plastic pieces and the cards are standard as well as the board. The art work is nice and is in the style of sketches (something I personally like). The dice are slightly different than your typical D6 and that is kinda neat. The game box comes with a cardboard tray for separating the pieces, cards, etc.


My suggestion for this game is to simply play it by ear and draw as many cards as you can. Since you have the option to move either character on your turn you need to weigh each move and see which character might benefit more and go with it. You might find yourself with more money as opposed to gaining power all the sudden. You can switch over to this tactic and go for the win or you might find yourself doing the opposite and switching to that tactic. You have to keep your options open.

Pay attention to your power level (or money amount) at all times. If you look at the middle of the board where the Pirate King is, you can gauge how much (of either) you will need. Go for the win as soon as you can afford to, don’t give the other players the chance to beat you to the punch.

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