Combat is very simple: each ship has a number of masts, typically three or four with one cannon per. When firing each cannon you roll a six-sided die and, roll high enough, destroy a mast (and matching cannon) on the receiving ship. Destroy a ship's masts and it's yours to plunder.
Additionally, each ship can be assigned crewmembers who have special actions, like firing a flaming shot that sets ships on fire. Special treasures in the hold can also add special attributes, however they like crew take up cargo space that could otherwise be used for hauling pirated wares (not warez).
The gameplay itself is simple, the combat perhaps a little too simple, but finding the perfect mix of fast ships for treasure hunting, powerful ships for combat and crew for special abilities is anything but, requiring hours of trial and error. Unfortunately, since those goods come bundled into small packs of virtual cards that cost $3.99 apiece, crafting yourself a competitive fleet can require lots of money, too.