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Merchant of Venus (second edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Classic Game Basic Strategy questions... rss

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Pater Absurdus
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"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
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I am trying to play a solo Classic game and am having difficulty since I have not played before. I have read the rules 2x and read through a cheat sheet. The movement is a cinch but the money strategy is confusing. Any help is appreciated.

What are some things that need to be done early and what is the normal order in which to do them?
What are common mistakes made in the early game and why are they errors?
How should I use the First Contact Cards most effectively?
Why would I buy deeds?
What happens if I run out of money?

What might be the correct amount of money to start in a solo game of the classic version (I don't think that an official classic solo game exists)?

Any common rules errors of which I should be aware?

I a hoping to play this at our next game day this Saturday but need to get my head around these rules.
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Jeff Thornsen
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The basic strategy is to explore the planets and use the initial IOU to buy goods which you can sell to other civilizations.

Sometimes, you might spend the IOU on a ship upgrade (mostly shields, but sometimes a clipper or red/yellow drive).

you can also try to explore the asteroids to search for relics, open ports, or tele-gates.

Once a number of civilizations have been discovered, you usually want to try and plan a route so that you can pick up and drop off goods efficiently.

The main reason to buy deeds is because:
* You can buy and sell any number of goods at a spaceport, even if you moved that turn
* You get a 10% rebate/commission on every sale and purchase at your spaceport.
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Chris Laudermilk
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In early stages you are exploring, revealing cultures & trying to work out a good trade circle. I'm looking for places where I can spend the IOUs for a red or yellow drive and shields.

Once a few cultures are known, you should be seeing some trade routes forming. At that point, you will shift gears to start running those and building up your money. If things are going well, a ship upgrade may be in order--though you won't want to do this more than once in a game, otherwise you are shooting yourself in the foot.

Getting deeds is nice if you can work it into your strategy. First thing to remember is that they count towards your end worth, so it isn't sunk cost. The spaceports get you 10% on all transactions performed at it. Factories open up the factory good; this is usually a higher-profit item, and you get a 50% commission on it when purchased.

Always remember that this is a race at its core. First one to the target wealth wins.
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Pater Absurdus
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Carrollton
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"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
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Very helpful.

I was floundering without a good concept of how to get the game moving. It sounds like you need to explore until it is possible to make some sales. Then one can look into more exploration and upgrades or settle into a trade route for a bit.
 
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Ryan Keane
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I'm finding the $100 factories are usually a very good investment once you have located a nearby planet to deliver the high-end good (and especially if there's a demand there for that good). Being able to stop and just sell 1 good for a significant profit and then move on is the most efficient plan for the scout/clipper ships. Transport ship can be worth it if you can find a good network of planets that have spaceports to sell 2 or 3 goods at a time. I haven't bought a freighter yet - it seems you need to be playing to $3000 or more to make them worth it, and really need to get yellow/red drives.
 
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