T.I.M.E. Stories: Brotherhood Of The Coast
Teaching Time: 20 mins
Playing Time: 90 mins per session
Setup Time: 20 mins
Value For Money: Mid
Solo Play Review
Brotherhood Of The Coast is one of the better T.I.M.E. Stories modules, but has a few odd flaws. It tasks players with investigating the Spanish Main as buccaneers in the golden age of piracy, hunting down four brothers. Game play wise it introduces a few new mechanics to the series and nicely simulates some situations. For example, each island is separated into a different cellophane package, not necessary from a packaging viewpoint but nicely creating a sense of exploration each time you first sail to an island. Sailing and ship combat has its own little sub-system which works perfectly well and the story is nicely paced with both build up and climax. It includes multiple routes to victory and puzzles which can be either circumvented or worked through by trial and error if players fail to get their heads around them.
One thing which feels a little odd is that Brotherhood supplies players with a small additional board which is nice, but just makes me feel like the main board could have been integrated in and supplied more cheaply as mini-boards in modules. While the story of Brotherhood is strong, it relies heavily on players being invested in the larger T.I.M.E. Stories overall story arc. If this was your first module, and for players newly purchasing the base set there is nothing that suggests it should not be, the plot might feel like a confusing sci-fi/pirates mash up. Pirates is a tempting theme, but try to avoid this as a first T.I.M.E. Stories module.
Brotherhood has solid game play and a good story with a theme which all age groups will enjoy, its sub-plots are baffling to those who have not engaged with the overall series arc but otherwise it shows a raise in both quality and complexity for the series.