This article was originally posted at portalgames.pl - ARTICLE: Introducing the Merchants and Mutants
The world of 51st State is in ruins. It’s up to you to rebuild. Take charge of a group of survivors and fight your way to salvation. You must rebuild. You must overcome. Beware everyone else… they are trying to do the same.
The 51st State Master Set comes with 4 factions for players to take control of. Each offers a unique set of resources as well as some small special abilities. New York, Mutans, Appalacians, and Merchants. You may find that you prefer one… so I’ll try to introduce you to a few.
The Merchants Guild spans the new world, controlling trade between cities that all but forgot about each other. The men and women that manage the trade routes between these cities are ruthless. Setting up trade is easy… if you’re willing to pay their fees. No one dares make deals without the Merchant’s blessing.
The Merchants Guild produces Fuel and relies on it to fund their trade. If you are lucky with your turn 1 draft, you can start the game with 3 deals. This gives you a ton of flexibility to begin the game with. If you want to develop your fuel strategy, you should be looking for the Oil Rig and Gasoline Drinkers Den early. The powerful thing about the Merchants Guild, however, is that you can mostly ignore Fuel production and still develop a strong Production through deals each turn. You’re going to need lots of Scrap if you want to build, so you should focus on grabbing those deals early on.
Born from the radioactive sludge that gathered in the Mississippi River basin, the Mutants are fiercely territorial… and they’re spreading. Most survivors chose to flee East to escape the waste, but some were trapped, and consequently became contorted and violent. Now the Mutants want more. They are aggressively fighting to take back some semblance of their former lives.
The Mutants Union are aggressive. You begin the game with guns and the ability to destroy a player’s Production building. You aren’t going to be making deals this game, and building is difficult, so you should focus on destruction. Who needs deals when you can just take what you want? You’re going to need Grey contact tokens, so drafting Construction Vehicles and Sarrash is possibly more important for you than the other factions. You can be peaceful if you want, so watch out for Shadow and Gun Shop… but honestly, what’s the fun in that?