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Cole could you please elaborate on what the dice pool is for, and why the game is over once it's empty? I feel this is a game for me, with the economics, strategy AND London Season! The latter is such a marvellous detail...
On the board it says that the conspiracies are dealt. Randomly? I think this is the system in which players make the internal policies work as you explained but perhaps you can tell some more about it?
I would love to learn more about the rumors. They are dealt too. I imagine you may see your own rumor, before each player places them on the board after being shuffled. Am I right?
Oh, and yes... what's up with the ships. Are there different ships in the game? You turn the counter to set the price?
You may have noticed how curious this game makes me, waiting in anticipation. Forgive my many questions, it's my enthusiasm...
"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
Today I'm finishing up an example of play in the rules and I imagine they will probably be posted at some point. So, you'll have specific answers there. But I'll say a few words here anyway.
So the economic action that comprises the majority of play is foregrounded by the London Season. Players begin by inspecting a single prize to be won (the "Rumor") but will need to carefully observe the play of others to get a sense of how valuable the others are as well. At the end of the round the prizes get awarded to fanciest scions. So, in a way, the whole action of a turn is something like a slow motion bid for a single auction. In some games I've seen prizes comprise 75% of a players final score.
The actual conducting of business is fairly abstract. There's just one "type" of ship. As much as I wanted to really get into the weeds, if I wanted to capture 1820-1860, I couldn't focus on too many of the particulars. Economic board games (heck even some wargames) have real issues with timescale and are often terribly inconsistent. I wanted to keep my perspective somewhat grounded, so so, fleets are just one part of the production chain. When players place any part of a chain they get to set the price. Too high and they may be undersold (unless they are an industry leader and can benefit from the economics of scale). But, if they sell too low they will have trouble expanding operations.
Thanks for your questions and your enthusiasm!