Anchors Aweigh! is a new board game from Z-Man Games by designer Carlo A. Rossi (known for Divinity Derby) with art by Michael Menzel (known for Legends of Andor). It was originally published in Germany as Alles an Bord?! (Everything on board?!) by ABACUSSPIELE. Anchors Aweigh! is for 2-4 players, aged 8+, and plays in about 30 minutes.
“The wind rushes, carrying the smell of salt water and ruffling your hair. The crew bustles around you, hauling up crates of supplies and organizing them in the cargo hold. You hear the crash of the waves against the side of the ship. The captain calls for the anchor to be hauled up. It’s time to set sail!” [source]
In Anchors Aweigh! players have ships with cargo holds which they prepare before adventures by quickly filling with equipment (known as assets) which they grab from a central asset pile. Players match these tiles according to requirements set on adventure cards. For example, an adventure may require a rope and a sailor to complete it. The first player to fill their cargo hold shouts “Anchors aweigh!” and gathers the face-up adventure cards. The other players will have to fill their cargo holds from memory and hope they grab the right supplies. Everyone then sets sail.
“Another ship is spotted in the distance. The captain grabs the spyglass to see what approaches. The other ship is quickly catching up, sails billowing out with the wind. As the ship gets closer, her crew raises a flag. The wind catches the fabric, stretching it out to show the skull and crossbones emblazoned on the dark background.” [source]
As players sail the high seas they will encounter pirates who they either fight or flee from. To fight them they have to satisfy the supply requirements on their cards or pay a penalty. If they defeat the pirates they gain treasure or valuable cargo items.
There are also Discovery, Trade, and Contract cards which allow players to offload cargo for gold, gain extra cargo, or trade items. After two rounds, the player who earned the most treasure from their adventures wins the game. The game is currently available for pre-order on the Z-Man Games website.