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Merchants & Marauders» Forums » Variants

Subject: 8 player expanded game board! rss

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Jacon SonOfRengar
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Have you ever wondered what an 8 player version of Merchants & Marauders would look like? Have you ever thought that the standard game board gets a little crowded at times? Well I did, and decided to do something about it. I took a map picture of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and surrounding area (From Google maps online).
(geek image#1813509 pending)
I worked to follow the original sea-zone lines as much as was practical; making modest changes around Cuba and panama for example, and adding more as needed. Some editing was needed to cover all the words on the map, and I had to move some port markers to accommodate the differences in map precision from the game original with satellite mapping. I had some fun making up additional ports and sea-zone bonuses while trying to stay historically believable (used MS Publisher software). I then scanned, duplicated, and cut out plenty of markers for merchants, commodities, and ship-mods so that there would be a uniform appearance across the new board. I also bought more boats and painted a grey player, hot pink, lavender, and orange (we play with a lot of ladies-trust me the girly colors are necessary). I got wood blocks about the right size for the ship stat markers and painted them also. I scanned and color copied the player board to have enough to go around.
(geek image#1813511 pending)
Before you all start whining about “downtime” between turns on an 8 player game let me say something. My gaming group is 100% family relations. My wife has 4 grown sisters who are all married and living within the same town (except one who can drive here in about one hour). Her parents also live here, and her two brothers. There are 8 adults in the family who play this game and more are being taught and grand-kids are showing up, and growing up and will be taught to play when they are old enough. Our family events require games that support more than four players. In addition, “down-time” is not wasted time in our gaming events. We are family, but we don’t get a lot of time to visit each other because we all have kids to raise and jobs to work etc. “Down-time” in a game is time to visit, catch up on family news, discuss current events, compare parenting tips, eat snacks, and have a good time! We have given up some games because they don’t have any downtime at all and are just not compatible with a family that includes babies (who need diaper changing) and kids (who need a glass of water as they try to go to sleep{again, [and again]}). Some of you know what I’m talking about.
So, I have pictures on my 8-player Merchant & Marauder board with my personal extras! I like flags to mark “Mission Card Locations,” with matching folded banners to wrap the card itself. I had a little more fun and wrote a faction into the game. I am not ready to release that information at this time since it hasn’t been adequately play-tested yet. But, it gives all players a way to expand their interaction with all NPC ships and a little bit between each other. Plus it added some more thematic color to the game. Here is a teaser—when I explained the faction to my wife she said it was like the Mafia but I thought if was like the Star Trek’s alien race of Ferengi (except, of course, that winning still requires glory as opposed to latinum). : )
Hope you like the look, and gain some ideas for your own game clubs. (maybe we can get an official 8 player variant someday!) Talk to you later, I’m sailing with the tide (there be adventures ahead)!arrrh
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Steve Williams
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Columbus
Ohio
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Hey, Lavender is a manly color! robot

Excellent work.
 
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Sacred Ninja
United States
Washington
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First, this is awesome! Second, did you try playing with two copies of the game on a single official map at all? If you did, I was wondering what your thoughts (or pains) were with that.
 
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Jacon SonOfRengar
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Sorry, have not tried to use two copies of the game on an official map. So long as you have a way to differentiate the player colors and make sea zones, I would think you would be fine. unless you ran out of commodity tiles or merchant vessel tokens. but then you can just photo copy some and get them printed in color. : )
 
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Général Joab
France
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yeaaah great job !!!! very good !

but i'm pretty sure you have to update the rules too for 8 players...
 
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Carsten Jorgensen
Denmark
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kaking wrote:
yeaaah great job !!!! very good !

but i'm pretty sure you have to update the rules too for 8 players...


On the original map you would most likely get more PvP, so the rule about game end with no more captains, might need to be changed (a change to allow one re-shuffle should do the trick).

But other than that one, I don't think any update is needed. 8 players should even result in the missions being used more - and so new ones will come more than usual, so no need for a change there.

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Stian Lavik
Norway
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I am truly impressed with your map! How can I make the board itself? Huge printer? Do you take orders? I have played many hours of Sid Meier's Pirates! and miss many ports on the original M&M map.

Another question: How did you get more ship models? Did you buy two games and paint the four other sets?
 
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Alessandro Tetto
Italy
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Hi JAcon! Did you make a printable version of your beautiful map? arrrh
 
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AJ W
United States
California
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This is fantastic. Do you have a file of this board you’d be willing to upload? I’d LOVE to try this variant!
 
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