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Merchants & Marauders» Forums » Rules

Subject: Merchants vs. Marauders: increased cargo capacity? rss

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Denis Davydov
Russia
Moscow
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We met with the common issue: pirates tend to gather victory points MUCH faster than merchants who are focused on honest life and trading. Especially with some of expansion modules.

We tested the game here and through - merchant players are left FAR behind until they start to make raids etc.

So, we come to an idea to increase cargo capacity of non-pirate ships. For example, +2 cargo, or even +3, for galleon, and +1, or even +2, cargo capacity for... suddenly forgot how it is called... the other one than sloop.

What do you think about this? Or are we just idiots who don't get the point of the balance (that's possible)? =)

Thank you!
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
Poland
Poznan
Wielkopolskie
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Again and again: the game's title is Merchants AND Marauders, not Merchants OR Marauders.

Most of the time, people complain the other way around, that playing merchant is too easy.

You win, when you skillfully transition from one to the other and sometimes even transition back. It's not being an idiot, it's just a realization, that the game doesn't ask you to stay within one role. It relies mostly on group think. If you allow your opponents to gleefully do their thing, unchallenged, then you are not playing optimally.
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Matt Bowles
Australia
Tatura
Victoria
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Yep. I have to say that we had the opposite experience.
We were all bashing about, taking on the navy and gunning for rumours and missions while one player just travelled about collecting the prized cargos and dropping them off.
He got 5 points from deliveries and 50+ gold before most of us had 4-5 points and just enough gold to repair

We know now, that we should have sunk him as often as we could. Especially when loaded.

It's totally dependent on how a group plays.
If someone is getting ahead, it's not like you can't do anything about it!!
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George
United States
Pennsylvania
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You can take my game… when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the board!
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It's hard to know what is making it so difficult for your Merchants or easy for your pirates. Kinda wonder if a rule may be being misplayed.

I think increased cargo capacity would help merchants a bit, but not that much.

Check out this thread:
How do you play a Merchant effectively consistently?

I would just add:
- use sea zone abilities effectively
- don't ignore rumors and missions
- consider arming a Galleon and going Pirate hunting!
- For the expansion: don't ignore Contraband if using it, Merchants have access to more ports. Favors to redraw is huge, and the Trade Station Location is awesome.

I also agree switching over the course of a game from merchant to pirate, vice versa, and even back again, is also a valid strategy that circumstances even push you toward at times.
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Denis Davydov
Russia
Moscow
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It seems that the key point for the pure pirate strategy is being very lucky. We have such a person in our group, that's why it seemed that pirates are overpowered.

You are right, merchants have slighter higher chances.

Thanks!
 
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Carsten Jorgensen
Denmark
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DeriusDen wrote:
It seems that the key point for the pure pirate strategy is being very lucky. We have such a person in our group, that's why it seemed that pirates are overpowered.

You are right, merchants have slighter higher chances.

Thanks!


I don't think the bold is true. It is about taking calculated risks.

What are the odds that this NPC will move to my spot, if I get close to it? Combined with the risk of it succeeding a scouting against me if it does move to me?

Or in merchant raids: Should I use special weapons when looking at these intitial 3 cards? If so how many? Or is it better to save them for a second merchant raid before going to port to do repairs and sell my newly accuired goods? And when using skulls, should I use my last one with the risk of the whole raid going bad? Or is the risk of failure so low, that I should take the chance to reach the 12+ gold for a GP?

Edit: Though I have not yet had a chance to try the expansion.
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Denis Davydov
Russia
Moscow
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Carsten, yes, absolutely.

At the same time, this always comes to the same single question: will the pirate get 12+ from Merchant raid or not.
 
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Carsten Jorgensen
Denmark
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DeriusDen wrote:
Carsten, yes, absolutely.

At the same time, this always comes to the same single question: will the pirate get 12+ from Merchant raid or not.


It does - for the most part. Don't think it is worth to get 12+ gold, just to be found by an NPC next turn (usually).

My point about both is that the "lucky" player may just be better at this risk management.
 
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Denis Davydov
Russia
Moscow
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Agree.

At the same time, luck plays a huge role. I played pirate during the last session and ended far from being a winner , because my last 4-5 attempts with frigate brought me to fleeing merchant or not enough gold plundered from a merchant or from a raid on a location (tech from expansion). I was maximizing my 2-dice seamanship successes with weapons every time (in other words, two skulls before changing merchant cards).
Let me add that with scouting 4, I managed to fail to find a merchant at least two times, that brought a lot of laugh to our group =)

I successfully avoided all naval ships and wasn't caught by other players. As I was the only pirate, I had no problems with finding a merchant to be raided. And so on.

That's not the first occasion when I see that luck plays a huge role when you are a pirate. The same was in the previous session with some other player. He rocket-jumped with a sloop with successful 12+ plundering a few times in a row. He was quite ahead of others (we are playing till 12 glory, so he wasn't a winner yet). Next, his frigate went down in a fight with some NPC ship. He took a sloop again, and met with a few failed raides in a row. As if his good fortune left him. Finally, he took 2 glory points while the others took 5-7 points. Still he was a winner, but on a tie of how many gold is stashed with one his opponents.

That's the point. EVERYTHING plays a huge role. It is risk management, absolutely. I agree with your every word =) Still too much depends on luck, and that is not the risk that one can handle by his/her actions.
 
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Mark J.
United States
Texas
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Agreed, luck is a big factor in this game and sometimes nothing can mitigate it. Over many plays the game should see both pirate and merchant balance out though. Any one game can be erratic though. Many posters don't like the game for that reason. I enjoy the theme and game play enough that it doesn't bother me.
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