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Subject: Just focussing on PVP versus "downtime" rss

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The Man
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Trying to make sense of the reviews. Is there a lot of PVP, or does downtime and slowness seem the rule?
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Kyle
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Up Nort' Der
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It depends entirely on the group.

Highly-aggressive groups might be see a ton of PVP combat (almost every round and sometimes multiple battles), while other, more passive or at least less-cutthroat groups could play entire games with just a couple battles or even none at all.

During battles there is some downtime for the uninvolved players, but how much also varies by the group and with experience. With first-time or inexperienced players each battle could take several minutes to complete, but like any of the other time-consuming actions in the game, that time drops significantly after doing it a few times.
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Artemus Maximus
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it depends on many things...

if you have two players taking a pirate or privateer path, then there will likely be more PvP interaction than if the same two players were both merchants. But you could have either or both those two same pirate players be either confrontational towards each other or not, depending on their whims. In any of those scenarios, the NPC ships can attack players, and as their combat decisions and dice rolls are controlled by a human opponent who would have a vested interest in the other player losing, that would be considered indirect PvP interaction IMO. The frequency of the NPC ships attacking player captains can vary greatly from game to game as well; if players actively avoid them it will be less but if they risk getting close to those who would cause them harm, it will be more.

The more players you add to the game, the more likely any type of PvP interaction would occur, on average, I imagine. Unless, again, youre comparing a few peace-loving merchants in a 4P game to a couple of blood-lusted pirates in a 2P game.

There isn't much downtime when I play usually with 2P, just an occasional longer turn during a pivotal moment. But that really depends on who exactly you're playing with. When you add more players, there will be more downtime, of course. But even with 4 who aren't AP prone and can pay attention, downtime isn't an issue in my experience.

So, it depends on the situation of the game state at the micro level, but more so on the people you're playing with/against at the macro level.
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Firemark .
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In the few dozen games we have played PvP seems to be reserved for near the end of the game, when someone appears to be close to the GP threshold. This occurs around 5 or 6 glory points. Now we house rule you have to return to home port to access stashed Gold for victory. So there is some build up to powering up and board positioning to intercept players returning home to win. Or forcing them to gain all 10 GP's abroad to avoid a combat trying to get home. But mostly players I play with tend to ignore one another as there is not a clear advantage to raiding one another as odds are 50/50. Not a smart move when the game just starts. Additionally, if player A attacks Player B then player C tends to take advantage of whoever survived and jumps the wounded victor before they can repair. We tend to hit the weaker targets, merchant raids and NPC ships (at least until we start using NPC upgrades).

We have found in 4 player games that as soon as someone takes a port action and the next player is no where remotely affected by it (far side of board, NPC combat or merchant raid), the next player just starts their turn and each is observed by the non acting players for fairness. There can be many times in a game where the port action of ones turn can overlap the next players action just have to take advantage of it. Definitely speeds up the game and cuts out the downtime.
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