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Merchants & Marauders» Forums » Variants

Subject: Downtime solution? rss

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The Bill
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I haven't played the game yet (I have it and it's burning a hole in my game shelf lol). Everything I've read says there's a problem with downtime, so what would happen if people all secretly chose their 1st action simultaneously and then if two people came to the same port, they would make some kind of roll to see who would access that port first or who might raid the merchant first or whatever. Meanwhile, everyone else who has undisputed actions would resolve them at the same time.

For those of you who are very familiar with the game, what effect would this have? (and if my question is completely dumb considering a mechanic I've not seen in action yet, then I offer my preemptive apologies)
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Crazy Adam
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont.
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When a player is nearly approaching 10 Glory Points, murder him with a cutlass to the belly!

arrrh

EDIT: Come to think of it, this would certainly increase the game's length. Maybe a spoonful of lye in the stragglers' ales would shorten the game?
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Jan Probst
Germany
Kiel
Schleswig Holstein
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freechinanow wrote:
When a player is nearly approaching 10 Glory Points, murder him with a cutlass to the belly!

arrrh


I find your advocating violence at the games table worrying.

(I also have no cutlass, just some replica longsword or other.)
 
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George
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Pennsylvania
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You can take my gameā€¦ when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the board!
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Downtime isn't that bad once you know the rules, but I won't deny that it's a common complaint. Worsened if you haven't played in a while.

I would recommend you try a solo game just to learn the rules if you want the smoothest introduction to other players.

The problem with any sort of simultaneous actions is:
a) players attacking other players need multiple movements in a row, otherwise it's just: I move closer, you move away, I move closer, you move away, etc.
b) Certain actions take much longer than others. Movement is quick. Port & Battles are longer.

Definitely read this thread if you haven't:
"Port" = End of Turn: minimizing downtime *BETA*

That combined with "starting the next turn when you are no where near the previous player", can help quite a bit.


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David Jones
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Wilsonville
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I often compare M&M to Firefly. There is a homebrew variant of Firefly when playing with for to allow the person opposite the active player to take their turn simultaneously, so basically you have two people going at once. I would be curious to know how well this works with M&M as well. However, as previous posts above have noted, this could be problematic when attacking ships or if multiple people need to be in the same port.
 
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Jeff Pratt
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Anacortes
Washington
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Just admit it already, Small World is not a fantasy wargame...it's a Mancala variant!
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We play with a variant I accidentally created by misunderstanding the turn order variant in the expansion. We put three cubes of each player color in a bag. Then we pull a cube and that player takes a single action. We then continue to pull cubes and trigger actions for each player. This creates sort of a threaded turn order keeping everyone involved as well as providing a little uncertainty in regards to outrunning pirates, racing to your stash and it has the added bonus of making the port hop merchant strategy less effective without the rules overhead of the cut-throat variant. It works great and I have yet to run into any unforeseen complications by doing so.

(That's not to say they aren't there...but I haven't gotten tripped up yet!)
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Mick Whyte
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Gold Coast
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Best speed up variant is once a person hits port the next person starts their turn.
 
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