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The Voyages of Marco Polo» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Rank the characters! rss

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Mark Johnson
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“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
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Rank the characters. 1 Star being terrible and 5 being the most powerful.
  1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
Rashid (no dice rolling)
Matteo Polo (white die plus free contract)
Mercator (free resources)
Kubilai (start in Beijing)
Johannes (teleport from oasis to oasis)
Wilhelm (drop off trading posts while moving)
Nicolo and Marco (double meeple)
Berke (use occupied spaces without paying)
Altan Ord (resources for trading posts)
Fratre Nicolao (gifts)
Khan Arghun (6 city cards)
Gunj Kokochin (2 dice placement spots)
      130 answers
Poll created by Eeeville


There was a similar poll about a year ago, but maybe people's tastes have changed and this is more focused on the balance of power. This new poll also includes the promo characters.
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Matt D
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The answer in most cases is going to depend upon the board.

For Mercator, the answer highly depends upon the player count. I don't think you can edit polls, but I'd have included the 2p, 3p, and 4p versions of Mercator separately.
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Morris Ho
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Altan Ord forever.

As for terrible characters, I think I've played enough games to conclude Nicolao & Marco and Johannes as the most underpowered. Giving 2 camels to the Polo team per round and 5 coins to Johannes per round seems to make them more viable, but I'd still pick anyone else over them.
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Matt D
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RKron wrote:
Altan Ord forever.

As for terrible characters, I think I've played enough games to conclude Nicolao & Marco and Johannes as the most underpowered. Giving 2 camels to the Polo team per round and 5 coins to Johannes per round seems to make them more viable, but I'd still pick anyone else over them.


The problem with Johannes is that teleporting SEEMS cool until you actually have to use 3 pips/12 coins to travel every time you use it. I find that when I am backed into playing him, I use his ability once in the early game to launch myself to the other side so I can expand at a more casual rate, esp. if no one is Kublai Khan. That said, when that is his best benefit, I'd rather start in Beijing with the instant 10 point advantage + 1 trading post down in that city.

I didn't necessarily find Nicolao & Marco great at first, but I've found a good groove with them. What I really like is it's a way to make travel more efficient in the sense that if you have four pips, it costs you at most 1 extra coin to send your other guy 1 link (aside from any link costs) if you were looking to take a three link journey.

It also makes it way easier when picking objectives because you can safely pick the middle route without feeling like you'll die halfway through. Or you can send one of them south through Alexandria to Adana if the action or bonus are both good, and then just let them stop there for the rest of the game instead of continuing on at the high swimming cost.
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Morris Ho
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hestiansun wrote:
I didn't necessarily find Nicolao & Marco great at first, but I've found a good groove with them. What I really like is it's a way to make travel more efficient in the sense that if you have four pips, it costs you at most 1 extra coin to send your other guy 1 link (aside from any link costs) if you were looking to take a three link journey.


The thing I find problematic with Nicolao & Marco is travelling with one meeple is already hard enough when you factor in all the camels you need. 1 additional camel per round (5 total) is simply not powerful enough, especially when other travelling characters like Wilhelm, Altan Ord, or Kokochin can compete for the "most fulfilled contracts" bonus at the same time.
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Max
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hestiansun wrote:
The answer in most cases is going to depend upon the board.

For Mercator, the answer highly depends upon the player count. I don't think you can edit polls, but I'd have included the 2p, 3p, and 4p versions of Mercator separately.


Agree on both cases. The setup of the map can make anyone of them the best or the worst. This poll can give some answers about the favorite characters, not about whom you should choose for any given game.
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Phil Hendrickson
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mazmaz wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
The answer in most cases is going to depend upon the board.

For Mercator, the answer highly depends upon the player count. I don't think you can edit polls, but I'd have included the 2p, 3p, and 4p versions of Mercator separately.


Agree on both cases. The setup of the map can make anyone of them the best or the worst. This poll can give some answers about the favorite characters, not about whom you should choose for any given game.


Agreed. The value of each character varies greatly with the board setup and the player count. Berke is very helpful in a 4-player game, but in a 2-player game I might go a whole round or two without ever having to stack dice.
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Matt D
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DrumPhil wrote:
mazmaz wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
The answer in most cases is going to depend upon the board.

For Mercator, the answer highly depends upon the player count. I don't think you can edit polls, but I'd have included the 2p, 3p, and 4p versions of Mercator separately.


Agree on both cases. The setup of the map can make anyone of them the best or the worst. This poll can give some answers about the favorite characters, not about whom you should choose for any given game.


Agreed. The value of each character varies greatly with the board setup and the player count. Berke is very helpful in a 4-player game, but in a 2-player game I might go a whole round or two without ever having to stack dice.


I used to think that way until I figured out how to use him as a bully. Now he dominates most times that I play 2P as well, in a way that few other characters do.
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Ed Chen

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RKron wrote:
Altan Ord forever.

As for terrible characters, I think I've played enough games to conclude Nicolao & Marco and Johannes as the most underpowered. Giving 2 camels to the Polo team per round and 5 coins to Johannes per round seems to make them more viable, but I'd still pick anyone else over them.


I'm not sure about 4p, but Nioolao and Marco is just about my favorite in 2p on many maps. Probably at least 70% of my top 10 scores (most above 110) are with that character. I don't think that character is underpowered at all.
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Matt D
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random user wrote:
RKron wrote:
Altan Ord forever.

As for terrible characters, I think I've played enough games to conclude Nicolao & Marco and Johannes as the most underpowered. Giving 2 camels to the Polo team per round and 5 coins to Johannes per round seems to make them more viable, but I'd still pick anyone else over them.


I'm not sure about 4p, but Nioolao and Marco is just about my favorite in 2p on many maps. Probably at least 70% of my top 10 scores (most above 110) are with that character. I don't think that character is underpowered at all.


Yeah. They definitely suffer in a 4p. The key advantage they have is the ability to split, so whatever path your opponent takes, you can take both of the other two, OR if you have objectives along the same one, still progress along another.

In a 4p game, odds are you won't be able to find an easy path. Almost certainly you won't be able to use two.
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Space Trucker
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Overall best character of the base game is Mercator, the best character in total is Gunj. Both are also very flexible/solid.

Some other characters are pretty hard to rank, as they strongly depend on setup. For example Kublai (starts in Beijing) can be pretty good, if the Beijing/Sumatra side is promising, but can also be very weak. Is that '4', because he can be good, or '2', because he's often not a very good choice?

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Riku Riekkinen
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I can't believe Matteo P's rating. Yes he is sometimes wonderful. But when he is not, then he is not. I mean if he has bad rolls, no one is gonna save him (his main ability can go negative, <i mean cost more than 3 camels). Also his contracts do on average less well than chosen ones.
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alan beaumont
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Rank outsiders?
RKron wrote:
Altan Ord forever.

As for terrible characters, I think I've played enough games to conclude Nicolao & Marco and Johannes as the most underpowered. Giving 2 camels to the Polo team per round and 5 coins to Johannes per round seems to make them more viable, but I'd still pick anyone else over them.
Well, I would have agreed until last Thursday when I posted 107 points with them in a 3 player game! It all depends on the board and they do need to make a flying start on Round 1.
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