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Port Royal» Forums » Variants

Subject: After about 60 rounds... these two rule changes seem necessary rss

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Miika Väyrynen
Finland
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Here's one opinion. After playing Port Royal for a few months, I feel two changes to the rules fix the game. Fine-tune the rules by boosting Jester and Trader: Jester works also on your own turn, and Trader works also on other's turns. This means you receive 1 money also when you crash it, and when others take money ships corresponding to the colors of your Traders. The card images still work well with these two necessary changes to the rules. We also always use the ending rule of one mandatory Expedition.
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P. oeppel
Germany
Duisburg
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The jester already gives you a coin if you bust on your turn, so no rule change necessary there...

The other one seems quite overpowered to me. Did you already test it? If yes, with how many players?
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Hardy
Germany
Münster
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The first edition (as "Händler der Karibik" then) had a different rule wording which suggested to play the traders the strong way, so we played several games like that. The traders a very strongliek that. Especially with 4 or 5 players, I would say too strong, as getting traders early seems oligatory then. With just 2 it's ok.
With teh updated offcial rule the traders are rather weak, but still offer the best money for VP ratio, so I think that's ok.
 
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Miika Väyrynen
Finland
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Thanks for your comments pinoeppel & actaion!

pinoeppel: The 2014 Pegasus Spiele Rulebook says the following... "Jester (5 times). If you are currently not the active player and during a Phase 2: Trade & Hire it is your turn to take a card - and there are no cards left in the harbor display, immediately gain 1 coin. Should a player forfeit his turn during a Phase 1: Discover and the 2nd Phase will be skipped, all players with a Jester gain 1 coin." It seems to me we have different original rules (?)

We actually haven't tested it with more than two players, so it's a good thing you asked. I play mostly 2-player games of Port Royal, so the rule fix is entirely based on that experience. In our games, pretty soon Traders and Jesters became completely ignored, because they seemed too weak to match the other cards.

actaion: That is interesting. It didn't occur to me that Traders could become too powerful with more players. I'll still probably use this variant because otherwise Traders seem too weak. Then we buy them only for points and that almost never happens and when it does, it's kind of boring. Also I feel it adds a nice little tactical element to deciding which ship to take when others have Traders. I guess I'm not that worried about Traders being too strong because Governor and Admiral seem powerful enough to match them. At least I get to buy some Traders at last. Those poor fellas, completely ignored in the deck...arrrh
 
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Miika Väyrynen
Finland
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pinoeppel: It seems I misunderstood the original rule about Jesters. I'm glad it's that way in the original rules. The phrase "if you are currently not the active player" led me astray as I thought the card only works when I'm not the active player. It does say "all players with a Jester gain 1 coin". I probably would have understood it correctly had it said something like "whenever you don't get to take or buy a card due to "crashing" or buying, you receive 1 coin / Jester". More points for Pfister!
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Annemarie Post
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I will try your new trader rule next time I play Port Royal. The way they are now, they are completely uninteresting for us and we even leave them out of the game, because literally neither of us will buy them ever.
 
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Miika Väyrynen
Finland
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Anny48: That's cool to hear. I kept the Traders in the deck so we would have a bigger deck and therefore a little less re-shuffling. Also, they helped getting 5 cards on the table with the Admiral. If you want, let me know how it worked out for you.
 
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xorsyst xorsyst
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The strength of various cards in this game depends quite significantly on the number of players. With 5, Jesters are probably the best early pick. With 2, even with the correct rule interpretation, they are weak.

Similarly, traders are much better with 5 - you're quite likely to get ships on other players' turns relatively often, and they introduce a nice element of making sure to take the right ships to deny other players' traders. With 2, they are quite weak (although good for VP, and much better if you have a Mademoiselle).

Conversely, I find governors are much stronger in 2 player than 5.

As for compulsory expeditions, I don't see a need for it. Expeditions are very strong in any number already, and more often than not the winning player will have one anyway.

In summary - I don't agree with you that any changes are needed for this excellent game
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ste ma
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Imho, traders have a boosts with the expansion.
Contracts and clerks (a combo clerk-trader could be really nice: if you get the right color ship, you get more money and you can buy a card more) make them worth to buy.
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Miika Väyrynen
Finland
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Thank you both for your comments. They add new angles to this discussion.

xorsyst_uk: Ok. Interesting points. You make your case well. Still, I play mostly 2-player — that's why I feel it's necessary to change the original Trader rule. I feel that the mandatory Expedition brings more tension to the game, which I appreciate.

glokta: Ok! I also have the expansion, but I haven't used it yet.
 
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Andre Eppler
Germany
Braunschweig
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Traders get indeed a bit boosted with the expansion.

In the base game they can work well together with governer (first buy trader then take ship of the matching color on your turn). Together with Mademoiselle and govener that's a real boost and you can buy basically 1vp for 1 coin...which is even a better ratio than going for expeditions (1.5 vps per coin, if no jack of all trades are used)

So traders are bought only occasionally but I would not ommit them from the deck cause this will also change pobabilities how often ships occur.
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Miika Väyrynen
Finland
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Blechbirne: Thanks for the strategy tip. Who knows, maybe I'll use the original Trader rule with the expansion, if this variant seems too powerful with it (which I guess I'm still doubting). But first I'll exhaust myself (and others) with the base game. That will probably take a long time, since the 60 games I've played feels like nothing. laugh It seems hard for me to get tired of this game. Cheers, Mr. Pfister.
 
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