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The Voyages of Marco Polo» Forums » Variants

Subject: Money problem solution rss

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Mihir Shah

Austin
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After multiple plays with 4 players, we feel money is too scarce in this game, specially long move travels cost a lot and there is just not enough opportunities to get that kind of money.

We were thinking of the following changes and would love to have some feedback on it:
-when player B places their dice over player A's dice then the penalty for doing that in coins does not go to the supply but instead to player A

-Game end we get 1 victory point for each 5 coins with us
 
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jalwaaa wrote:
a few plays with 5 players
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Kevin B. Smith
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I'll start by saying that I think the amount of money available is fine. But also that everyone is free to find variant rules that make the game more fun for their group. I should also say that I have played VoMP several times, but am far from an expert.


Your second suggestion doesn't really seem to solve the problem. If money is already super tight, and nobody has enough of it, they are unlikely to gain more than a point or two from leftover money.

The first suggestion would make the game feel "meaner" to me, which might be a good or bad thing for your group. It would probably increase the value of traveling, to have more spaces to place your dice without paying. I'm not sure how much money would actually change hands.

---

When you say there are not enough opportunities to get money for long travels, for me that's part of the game. Sometimes there are city spaces that generate money. Some contracts generate money. If you're not getting those, then you might either want to choose goal cards that don't include southern cities, or choose a character who will work well in a game with less money available. And if others aren't traveling, it opens up options for those who want to.
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Mark Jackson
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Some games have easy money, some don't. Evaluating that and other factors at the beginning of the game and planning your character choice and strategy around your evaluations are a part of the game, and it largely comes with experience. Personally I would recommend just playing the game more and seeing how the variability can change the feel game to game, and try your hand at adapting your strategies accordingly.

However, if you want to force a cash rich game, instead of introducing variant rules I would recommend simply putting some of the easy money generating large city bonuses around the starting city where they'll be easy for everyone to access.
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Jo Leutton
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Is there a 5 player variant i missed? or an expansion?
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Phil Hendrickson
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lux_interior wrote:
Is there a 5 player variant i missed? or an expansion?


The mini-expansion in the Geek Store adds a nice bit of additional variety to the game, but it does NOT add a fifth player.
 
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Mihir Shah

Austin
Texas
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was writing abt 2 games and got jumbled up, sorry, corrected the original post
 
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David Christopher
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I've played the game 4-5 times now and I did not think money was an issue at all. If you need money for your route then you need to look at scoring some good contracts that reward with $ or putting outposts on the city die spaces.

There are also the ! spaces that are visible at the start of the game that could get you $ at the start of each round.

I just played a game recently where 1 camel and 1 gold netted me 9 coins. And remember I could've done this up to 6 times should I have the die and the resources to cash it in.


 
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S. Mileta
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"For my money" the big part of enjoying this game is setting your strategy in accordance with what came out as big city bonuses in the setup (as well as according to your character) - if there is no easy way to generate money and your character isn't quite the moneymaker, then perhaps it's better to look out for other options and do only a little bit of travelling. That said, I also never had severe money problems, although money can be tight from game to game. On the other hand there were times I had crazy amounts.

I think this is one of the great euros of our time precisely due to, among other things, variety of potential board/character setups that comes in the box and influences the flow of the game. That said, I would recommend small expansion to everyone - it's not necessary, but it adds even more potential variety.
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Matt D
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Before gutting the rules based around a few plays, I'd suggest maybe considering making a controlled map in which you intentionally place some of the (many) coin generating city actions out.

Since you played only a few games, it's possible that none of those appeared in reasonable places. I get it. It just means it is a tight game for everyone.

The tension of coins in this game is one of the bedrocks of it. Messing with that I think throws a bunch of things off. It also makes Berke Khan INCREDIBLY powerful because he can sit back and wait and as long as he is the second in a contested space it costs him nothing (so the player who went first there gets nothing while other players do) and then he profits from it down the road if another player goes there.

Bearing in mind that in a four player game the five spot is open and free, I don't see how you can say money is hard to get -- one player gets 5 for a die every round, everyone else gets 3 and if you manage to roll a 1 you get four.

Suboptimal, maybe. But impossible to get? Hardly.
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Riku Riekkinen
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You could try playing 6 rounds. Especially if you try without special powers as mentioned in your last thread.
 
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Mihir Shah

Austin
Texas
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
You could try playing 6 rounds. Especially if you try without special powers as mentioned in your last thread.


That seems to be a nice idea, worth trying immedieately
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
You could try playing 6 rounds. Especially if you try without special powers as mentioned in your last thread.

My first reaction is that an extra round would make traveling WAY more powerful. You would get an extra round of income from small cities, and would have an extra round to exploit large cities. More players would complete more of their goal cards, and more players would reach Beijing.

I would only try an extra round if we also removed the special powers, because I think the balance of those would be thrown off quite a bit by this variant.

(But of course I love the player special powers, so there's no way I would actually play without them!)
 
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Matt D
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
You could try playing 6 rounds. Especially if you try without special powers as mentioned in your last thread.


I love this game, but I think adding a sixth round would wear out its welcome. It's already a pretty AP prone game as it is, the latter rounds getting much longer than the earlier ones.

I also feel like this may be a solution in search of a problem. The "money problem" is one of the basic elements of the game - it's vital to the entire decision making process. Removing it just feels like you are taking a lot of the game tension away...
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A Huynh
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jalwaaa wrote:
Riku Riekkinen wrote:
You could try playing 6 rounds. Especially if you try without special powers as mentioned in your last thread.


That seems to be a nice idea, worth trying immedieately


To be honest all these variants will likely throw the balance of the game off, adding an extra round would make travel much easier, as would adding more money to the game. Travel is hard for the reason, it can potentially score you for Beijing and your route cards *and* it allows you to use the city action cards which are much more powerful than the actions at the bottom of the board.

There isn't really a "money problem" in the game, as other posters have mentioned you have to evaluate the board state at the start of the game, in some games there are many money generating city action cards out and I've seen people get 36-42 coins in one turn with one dice action (6 resource conversions to money). In other games there won't be much money and you have to plan your strategy around that. I think artificially introducing money would take the challenge out of the game and make it too easy to complete those goal cards.
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katanan wrote:
There isn't really a "money problem" in the game, as other posters have mentioned you have to evaluate the board state at the start of the game [...]


Yeah, I have no idea what people are talking about here. It does a disservice to those looking into this game to suggest there's some fundamental problem with its economy. There isn't. If you find yourself stuck because of money you're just playing poorly.

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Clyde W
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This game has no "money problem."
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A Huynh
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Wretched Git wrote:
playing poorly


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Lorry Moller
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OP mentions long travels; it is generally rare to make large jumps in the game. If Marco Polo makes it to Beijing on turn one is a bit anticlimactic And it would make rubrik's power overbalanced (if that's possible in this game) if big jumps were regular and easy.

I would say maybe that's the answer to this - rather than introducing more money to the system, scale back your expectations of making big travels, generally you will only move 1,2,or maybe 3 at a time. Be sure to supplement your movement with the contracts and cities that let you move one extra jump, that's the key to trying to to drop more than 5 trading posts.
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LorryMoller wrote:
Be sure to supplement your movement with the contracts and cities that let you move one extra jump, that's the key to trying to to drop more than 5 trading posts.


Yes!
 
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Riku Riekkinen
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Money problem is quite common in groups as basically all contracts>travel threads are complaining it. 6th round has been used in several casual groups and doesn´t break the game. For example here are couple of experiences:

How many turns do you play?
 
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
Money problem is quite common in groups [...]


I think you mean "quite rare"? The vast majority of players apparently don't see any problem.
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Adam P
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No money problems here. This is the type of game where you cannot do everything you want.
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A Huynh
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Riku Riekkinen wrote:
6th round has been used in several casual groups and doesn´t break the game.


Playing an extra round, or any house rule ... is already "breaking the game". It's not intended to be an easy game, and making it easier breaks it.
 
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ste ma
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Money in Marco Polo is like food in Agricola: you have to think your strategy.
It's not easy... it's not a filler.
You have to look carefully at the board before choosing the character and the objective cards. Choosing them is part of the game, and it's probably the most important part.

 
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