Finally got around to completing game adjustments to allow a 5 or 6 player game. Also built a custom chest to hold all the pieces, plus a bit of game pimping to boot.
Purchased a second set of M+M as well as Seas of Glory. Created 2 new player colors, purple and black. Have incorporated 2 sets of the player boards into original game.
Here are some of the adjustments I have made.
- crowded space, have divide the center Caribbean Sea zone into 4 spaces using removable lines, have extra merchant chits for each space and added 2 circles for merchant raid replacement chits in upper map corner.
- increase cards, added 50% more to the cargo cards, ship mods.
With so many players on the board we decided to allow more space to move around and allow for escape by having more sea zone in the center of the map. Took great care in selecting the cargo cards from 2nd games so we added 50% while keeping the balance of cargo type, damage, escapes, and number types as well as contraband.
As far as downtime, our group really likes Variant #1 flexible turns, but even with 4 players it slows down considerably, so we modified it to randomly draw all the players at the beginning of each turn, instead of one at a time. Still get the randomness factor but allows for simultaneous turn taking if 2 players are on opposite sides of the map, or acting player goes to port action on their phase 3, and the next up player doesn't effect their actions. With 6 players it happens often enough to make a difference.
6 player strategy- you really need to pay attention to what's going on all over the board, with 6 players if you lose track of any player they can sneak by you in points or surprise you when you least expect it. More difficult to sell cargo in demand as they change frequently. https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/3621044/firemarkhttps://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/3621045/firemarkhttps://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/3621046/firemarkhttps://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/2585576/merchants-maraud...