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Subject: questions, ideas(wind, npc players and cargo cards etc...) rss

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ヴェリ=ミッコアイヤラ
Finland
Sastamala
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Nice looking game!! Hope to see it soon! Few questions and ideas...

1.Did you consider making wind as a part of the game, because I think that this would be a very important aspect in a pirate game.

Example: Playing board woud have an area, that shows the wind direction. the winds possible changes would come from the event cards.(changes in wind direction, calm wind etc). It could give some benefits for moving toward wind direction(like moving AND scouting, or even possibility to move two spaces to that direction, if possible) or restrictions in moving opposing direction(like restricting the player to move opposite direction of the wind or forcing tacking). Calm wind neither benefits or restricts player. This would give the player an opportunity to plan their voyages according the wind direction. It would of course be simpler to make wind directions appear straight in event cards, but this might make wind changes too "harsh and unrealistic", and take away the planning aspect.

Tacking example:wind blows east, if player wants to move west he must go through southwest or northwest.(another idea, player could make a navigation roll to try to manage tacking and moving directly to west).

2.When plundering NPC ship, the player now throws dices similarly as plundering generic merchants. Would it be possible to draw cargo cards under the NPC player cards at the same time when you bring it to play. This would really give the feel that they are carrying specific cargo. Also the order in which players plunder NPC ships or draw cargo cards wouldn't "affect the NPC's cargo". Also, players might have a possibility to see what the NPC's are carrying(like through rumors, action cards or visiting specific NPC's home port). Of course, this might require bit more cargo cards to be produced for the game.

3.Plunder cards. Instead of throwing dices, player get a plunder card, that shows all the ship types and amount of gold(and perhaps cargo) for plundering that kind of ship. Some cards could also have some specific benefit. Of course, these would need more cards to the game, but as a comprimise, cards could be used only with NPC' ships!(thus, the card would be placed under the NPC card like the cargo cards). This would also make plundering the NPC ships more exciting/rewarding.

Examples of special card texts:

"New crew wants to join your party!
(Sloop and flute:1, Frigate:2, Galleon:3" <---the ship you plunder!

"Patriotic crew wants to join your party!
(If you are the same nationality as the ship,
fill up your crew, other, get one crew)"

"Ship has a reinforced hull!
(if you keep the ship, it has a reinforced
hull modification)

"Ship has an extended cargo hold!
(Draw extra cargo card and if you keep
the ship, it has an extended cargo hold)

"You found grappling hooks from the ship!"
(instantly get grappling hooks)

"Ship was transporting a prisoner to cartagena!
(free him and acquire a rumor, or take
get him to cartagena and claim a job with no
requirements needed + 5 gold.
if latter, keep the card as a reminder)


"Ship was transporting a notable person to Nassau"
free him and get a rumor, or hold
him for ransom. If latter, keep the card. When in
Nassau, throw 3d6 for the gold you can get for ransom.

NOTE: In above two examples, the cards could have different towns written to them, and the town would be decided by the nationality of the ship(Use nations mark over the card as a reminder)! This would make more sense(for example, Spanish captain moving a Prisoner to english town, especially in war time would be quite odd

Example:
"Ship was transporting a notable person to...
(Choose the town by the ships nationality: Nassau(en)/Petit Goave(Fr)/curacao(Dutch)/caracas(Sp) ...etc...

It would also be easy to balance the cards(example: good special benefit means less gold)

4. Merchant ship cards (again, more cards to the game, thus rising the cost...)

When scouting merchant ships. Instead of throwing dices to decide the ships nationality and type, players would draw a merchant ship card.
Thus, it could be possible to make different kind of merchant ship with different stats, and they wouldn't feel so generic. Cards might have a flag symbol depicting the ships nationality. Otherwise, the ships nationality would be decided by the waters that where it is sailing(there would be more these cards). There might be a need for a secondary symbol, that decides the ships nationality if it is found in waters that don't belong to any nation. Another and perhaps better idea:

two possible symbols in a card, deciding ships nationality:
1.specific nations flag OR
2.Specigic nations flag with "special surrounding". If ship is found from waters that don't belong to any country, the flag decides the ships nationality. Otherwise the ships nationality is decided by the waters where it is sailing.

5.Also, did you consider making possible to raid towns(thus making it possible to plunder them and/or chancing their nationality to your own)?

Changing towns nationality might also affect the regions "special effects". I was thinking the possibility to gather fame from your nation(or was it already possible? I don't remember...), when plundering enemy nations ships or taking their towns would give you fame. This could be changed to specific ranks(captain, marquis, admiral etc...) that would give you specific benefits. Or you could could be given land somwhere from your nations towns(perhaps from home town).This would give some benefits in this town, and would be worth gold.(possibly, at the end of the game and couldn't ne use as a "stashed" gold. This would give excitement to the end of the game; if someone has more gold than you through property of the land when you have stashed your 100 gold, He wins the game!). OR you could decrease your possible bounty from your own country.

These might be stupid questions/ideas, But had to get them from my mind

I hope that the game succeeds, and we might have some future expansions to the game!

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Christian Marcussen
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First of all, thanks for your post


Quasi wrote:
Nice looking game!! Hope to see it soon! Few questions and ideas...

1.Did you consider making wind as a part of the game, because I think that this would be a very important aspect in a pirate game...

Yes. In fact the idea was to do it exactly as you described, except requireing a Navigation roll. The rules are already quite long, and seemingly complex, so in the most recent versions it was removed and planned perhaps for a later addition. However I still like it and I won't rule out that it could end in the game

Quote:
Punder cards. Instead of throwing dices, player get a plunder card, that shows all the ship types and amount of gold (and perhaps cargo) for plundering that kind of ship. Some cards could also have some specific benefit. Of course, these would need more cards to the game, but as a comprimise, cards could be used only with NPC' ships!(thus, the card would be placed under the NPC card like the cargo cards). This would also make plundering the NPC ships more exciting/rewarding...

Interesting, because we have kind of done what you describe. What we have done (or at least are very close on settling on) is that the Cargo Cards have a dual function. One is simply as Cargo Cards and the other is as plunder. In the bottom of the Cargo Cards will be printed a plunder value. If you draw 4 cards you add together the 4 values printed in addition to getting the cargo. However, I really like you idea with a little event getting printed there as well. What's cool about it is that it's very easy to implement if we agree on doing the dual-function Cargo Cards, which makes it quite likely that your idea could end up in the game. I'm considering it

Quote:
4. Merchant ship cards (again, more cards to the game, thus rising the cost...)

When scouting merchant ships. Instead of throwing dices to decide the ships nationality and type, players would draw a merchant ship card...

At this stage in development adding more cards is rather unlikely. The idea has been discussed but was deemed unnecessary.

Quote:
5.Also, did you consider making possible to raid towns(thus making it possible to plunder them and/or chancing their nationality to your own)?

It has been considered. But put aside due to length/complexity of the rules. However I still like it, and actually HAVE a system developed for it. We will see.

Needless to say (after a publisher took on the game), the rules have been changed a bit since what you have read. There should be a few nice surprises once the final rules are presented

Quote:
These might be stupid questions/ideas, But had to get them from my mind

I hope that the game succeeds, and we might have some future expansions to the game!

Not at all. I'm really flattered when someone is willing to go through everything and take their time to comment. I love it. It's really motivating!

arrrh
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Gerit Driessen
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Mierlo
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I really like this game! Just read the pre-print rules and it sure has raised my interest. I hope we can read the final rules shortly - and can expect release of the game at the beginning of 2008.

Of course I realise I am a bit late with my thoughts on the rules, especially since they will be altered by now. Nevertheless I want to share some details that I stumbled upon.


A. On page 9 it reads under Buy Goods: "If one of the 5 cards you draw is the Good in Demand, you immediately remove the current Demand Counter and place a new one face down. This is a way of simulating that the demand for that good has been normalized."

In my opinion this is not logical/ realistic; you will never reduce demand by buying the good in demand. In fact you would increase demand! The solution is simple: remove the Demand Counter when you sell one ore more shiploads of the good in demand. I could never play it the other way round.

That being said, I really want to compliment you for developping such a great system for trading in so many goods! It is a very good system: it is lively, simple and it makes sense.

B. In the Age of Piracy, most merchants gave up the fight before it had begun; only the sight of the Jolly Roger froze them. I would build in the option for merchants to surrender without a fight. This concerns NPC's only, as a player merchant can talk his way out as is suggested in the section Player Trades/ Blackmail on page 22.

C. In the Merchant Encounter Table it reads that you can only find a Flute or Galleon. Why is this? I would like to to cross a Sloop or a Frigate!

D. I do not think the wind should play a role of importance in this game. I fear it will slow down the game too much. Things like being in the doldrums, or dealing with a heavy storm could be implemented in the event cards, couldn't they?

E. The idea of raiding ports is a good one, as pirates really did that. Changing nationality adds complexity, and in my humble opinion, should be left out as this is not what the game is about.


The little stories between the rules are great! I enjoyed reading them and hope the final rules will contain even more of them. And the fighting is exiting too, with a great example (you can never have enough examples).

I like the new artwork by the way, and I am anxious to see more of it. Can one say anything about when the final rules (or perhaps a newer version) will be available to us?

Anyway, I look forward to this game that offers a lot of exiting decision-making and adventurous play!
 
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Christian Marcussen
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Quote:
A. On page 9 it reads under Buy Goods: "If one of the 5 cards you draw is the Good in Demand, you immediately remove the current Demand Counter and place a new one face down. This is a way of simulating that the demand for that good has been normalized."

In my opinion this is not logical/ realistic; you will never reduce demand by buying the good in demand. In fact you would increase demand! The solution is simple: remove the Demand Counter when you sell one ore more shiploads of the good in demand. I could never play it the other way round.

Hi. hehe - I imagined I would be explaining that one a lot over the release of the game. So here is the first shot at it.

The reason it's done that way is becuase the small amount that the player are selling are not enough to fill the demand of a port. Even if a player sells spice in a port where spice is in demand, there would still be demand for it - it simply takes more than a single ship.

However when a player DRAWS spice for sale at the port it shows that the demand has been fulfilled (since they now are selling the good).

Demand counters represent what the players Captain has heard is in demand at a given port. As they he goes there to buy some goods he may discover that what he heard was not quite true

So just try a few rounds and I imagine it won't be an issue.

Quote:
C. In the Merchant Encounter Table it reads that you can only find a Flute or Galleon. Why is this? I would like to to cross a Sloop or a Frigate!

Because Frigates are essentially warships and sloops are poor merchant vehicles. Frigates and Sloops can still be encountered as player ships, Naval ships and Pirate ships.
 
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Gerit Driessen
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Thanks for your explanation Christian! OK, I understand that I was giving my captain a bit too much economic power, thinking he could normalize demand all on his own . And making the demand depend on the draw of the cards ensures that the demand might be normalized, but not necessarily so. I appreciate that mechanic.

So the way I see it now is: my captain comes in a port with rum in demand. He sells two loads of rum at a great price of 5 gold each. Demand remains high however (and other players may also sell rum at 5 gold).
Next day or so he visits the market place to buy new merchandise and sees an abundance of rum; yesterday a lot of newly arrived ships have unloaded their rum and put them up for sale, dropping the price to 1 gold a shipload... (I base this on a draw of three rum cards).
I can live with that, especially because if I did not draw any rum, demand would still have been great.

You cleared up my question about the different type of ships too, but what is your opinion about the quick surrender of merchants and the raiding of ports? And wind being no issue? Will any of this be in the game?

Arrr... this is a game I really want to play as quick as possible ! Hope the pre-ordering starts soon...
In the meantime I bestow you a well deserved arrrh !!!



 
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Christian Marcussen
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Gerit wrote:
Thanks for your explanation Christian! OK, I understand that I was giving my captain a bit too much economic power, thinking he could normalize demand all on his own . And making the demand depend on the draw of the cards ensures that the demand might be normalized, but not necessarily so. I appreciate that mechanic.

So the way I see it now is: my captain comes in a port with rum in demand. He sells two loads of rum at a great price of 5 gold each. Demand remains high however (and other players may also sell rum at 5 gold).
Next day or so he visits the market place to buy new merchandise and sees an abundance of rum; yesterday a lot of newly arrived ships have unloaded their rum and put them up for sale, dropping the price to 1 gold a shipload... (I base this on a draw of three rum cards).
I can live with that, especially because if I did not draw any rum, demand would still have been great.

Exactly

As I said I anticipate that this mechanic will generate some initial confusion and possibly critique. But I hope it will pass cool

Quote:
You cleared up my question about the different type of ships too, but what is your opinion about the quick surrender of merchants and the raiding of ports? And wind being no issue? Will any of this be in the game?

a) Quick surrender of merchant vessels was considered, but it made life a bit too easy for the pirates
b) More use of wind would be interesting and the raiding of ports are all find ideas, and we actually have rules for them. But these things added extra complexity/options which were not strictly needed in a base game. If the game is successful and there is a demand for it I imagine such things could be part of an expansion. And if nothing else I guess we will be seeing house-rules on these subjects

Quote:
Arrr... this is a game I really want to play as quick as possible ! Hope the pre-ordering starts soon...
In the meantime I bestow you a well deserved arrrh !!!

Thanks. arrrh



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Gerit Driessen
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Hm, too easy a life for a pirate... sounds tempting... devil . But seriously, if it is better for the balance of the game: no easy surrenders!

An expansion set would certainly have my vote because it is always fun to have yet even more captains to choose from, more different events, perhaps more different products, new crew members and so on . And of course the possibility of raiding ports and, allright, a ruleset regarding the wind at sea.

 
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