My ship route has arrived at the pirate fortress. The fortress still has it's full compliment of chits underneath.

The rules say I "can" attack but I don't want to right now. I want to wait till I have more warships.

Is that OK or must I attack as soon as I arrive?



As written in these rules (pdf) and these rules (plain html) (and as you note in your question), it's optional. And also note you can't attack "as soon as you arrive" but rather at the end of the turn (any turn in which your shipping route has reached the fortress that matches your color).

If your shipping route has reached the pirate fortress that matches your color, you can attack the pirates at the end of your turn

The original German agrees:

Sobald ein Spielermit seiner Schiffslinie die Piratenfestung seiner Farbe erreicht und somit die Schiffslinie zwischen der Piratenfestung und seiner Küstensiedlung geschlossen hat, kann der Spieler die Piratenfestung angreifen.

Which translates to
Once a player reaches the pirate fortress of his color with his trade route and thereby has completed the route between the pirate fortress and his coastal settlement, the player can attack the pirate fortress.

  • 1
    Thanks. "Optional" is what I thought but I have seen others who intepret "can" as "must".
    – gamesman
    Jul 2 at 16:12
  • These "others" are deviating far from the common usage of "can" and "must" in English (and kann and muß in German, for that matter). In the absence of a rulebook glossary overriding the standard English definition, well, we just use the standard English meanings. Jul 2 at 16:49

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