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Endeavor: Age of Sail» Forums » General

Subject: Exploit Spotlight #1: The Spice Trade rss

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Josh Cappel
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Welcome to the Endeavor: Age of Sail Exploit Spotlight series! This series offers an early look at the major new Exploits aspect of the game. Endeavor: Age of Sail is currently on Kickstarter, click here to check out the full campaign!

To visit Exploit Spotlight HQ and see all the Exploits so far, CLICK HERE.

The Spice Trade
This Spotlight written by Josh Cappel


The Details

Historical Flavour: The Spice Gardens of Asia offered unmatched potential riches, and the spice trade dominated global commerce for centuries. Wishing to avoid taxes levied by the Ottoman Empire for passing through their territory, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama forged a new route to the Far East via India by sailing around Africa, connecting the West with the Orient by sea for the first time in history.

Regions to unlock: Africa and India

Ability 1 (Ship Action): Place a worker in the open sea of Africa, India, or the Far East, then immediately take a Draw action in the same region.

Ability 2 (Ship Action): Remove any number of your own discs from the open sea of Africa, India, or the Far East, and place them on your Wealth and/or Influence tracks (distributed as you wish) as if they were tokens of that type.

Game End Scoring: If you have at least 1 disc in the open sea of Africa, score 1 Glory for each of your own discs on Africa's shipping track. Follow the same scoring process for India and for the Far East.

Analysis

This Exploit is all about the open sea element of the game, adding a gameplay element to it more dynamic than just using it to get presence somewhere in a pinch. It's important to notice that although it uses Africa and India as its "unlocking" regions, the Far East features equally in gameplay as an affected region.

The first ability allows you to get your discs into the open sea without feeling like it's a wasted action, since you get a Draw action for free along with it. The sweetener here is that it lifts your presence in the region before the Draw, leading to better cards for you!

The second ability allows you to convert those ships (and any others you may have sailed there by other means) into Wealth or Influence gains, which means you can focus on other attribute gains with normal shipping; since you can pick up a bunch at once, you want to maximize your gains here and not pull them home too early.

The scoring system is one that you want to keep an eye on early. If you can really dominate a shipping track, you can pull home a big chunk of points. Just make sure you leave a ship in the open sea to qualify!

Combines Well With

Letters of Marque: It gives you opportunity to knock opponents out of the shipping tracks, which can boost your scoring potential here.

Manila Galleons: It gives great flexibility on moving open sea ships around. Coordinate your moves to profit best from both Exploits!

_________________________________________

Interested in what you've seen here? Don't forget to check out the full campaign, funded in FOUR HOURS and currently cruising through Stretch Goals on Kickstarter!

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Dale Rowe
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The theme for this one is certainly subtle but I rather like that you have to do a bit of research or mechanical leg work to understand how this fits with the Spice Trade theme.

The Ottoman Empire has blockaded our route to the east and so we are being mechanically rewarded for circumnavigating it via our shipping proficiency.

The draw action is also mechanically akin to the spices we have garnered.

Very good, look forward to seeing more.
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Jarratt Gray
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GarcianIII wrote:
The theme for this one is certainly subtle but I rather like that you have to do a bit of research or mechanical leg work to understand how this fits with the Spice Trade theme.

The Ottoman Empire has blockaded our route the east and so we are being mechanically rewarded for circumnavigating it via our shipping proficiency.

The draw action is also mechanically akin to the spices we have garnered.

Very good, look forward to seeing more.


Yeah absolutely. The Spice Trade had been going for centuries, but we had to look at how it could be represented in the era of Endeavor Age of Sail.
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Stuart Dunn
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Example Question Using this Exploit: So if I placed a disc in the open sea of Africa and that was my only disc there, and the top card of the Deck had a 1 value, would I be able to draw it since I have one disc there (even if it is in the open sea)?
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Josh Cappel
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Dismas wrote:
Example Question Using this Exploit: So if I placed a disc in the open sea of Africa and that was my only disc there, and the top card of the Deck had a 1 value, would I be able to draw it since I have one disc there (even if it is in the open sea)?


Absolutely! Discs in the open sea of a region always count towards your presence there.
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Stuart Dunn
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Thanks, Josh. I thought so, but having never played just trying to understand it all in theory.
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Outside Lime wrote:
Dismas wrote:
Example Question Using this Exploit: So if I placed a disc in the open sea of Africa and that was my only disc there, and the top card of the Deck had a 1 value, would I be able to draw it since I have one disc there (even if it is in the open sea)?


Absolutely! Discs in the open sea of a region always count towards your presence there.
I hope that that is clearly explained in the rules!
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MC Crispy
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Outside Lime wrote:
Historical Flavour: The Spice Gardens of Asia offered unmatched lucrative opportunity for European traders and explorers, and the spice trade dominated the world economy from early in the Middle Ages. When the Ottoman Empire rose, Western European traders sought a new trade route to the Far East via India by sailing around Africa, rather than face hefty taxes.
I understand that space is at a premium, but I feel that this text is incomplete: it says "to avoid taxes", but doesn't explain who levied those taxes or how the new route avoided them. That's a shame if you are having at least the pretence of historical accuracy with the intent to inform.
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Josh Cappel
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mccrispy wrote:
I understand that space is at a premium, but I feel that this text is incomplete: it says "to avoid taxes", but doesn't explain who levied those taxes or how the new route avoided them. That's a shame if you are having at least the pretence of historical accuracy with the intent to inform.


Hmm that's a good point.

How about:

"Wishing to avoid the hefty taxes levied by the Ottoman Empire for passing through their territory, Western European traders instead forged a new trade route to the Far East via India by sailing around Africa."

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MC Crispy
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Outside Lime wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
I understand that space is at a premium, but I feel that this text is incomplete: it says "to avoid taxes", but doesn't explain who levied those taxes or how the new route avoided them. That's a shame if you are having at least the pretence of historical accuracy with the intent to inform.


Hmm that's a good point.

How about:

"Wishing to avoid the hefty taxes levied by the Ottoman Empire for passing through their territory, Western European traders instead forged a new trade route to the Far East via India by sailing around Africa."

Way better, thanks.
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Dale Rowe
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Quote:


How about:

"Wishing to avoid the hefty taxes levied by the Ottoman Empire for passing through their territory, Western European traders instead forged a new trade route to the Far East via India by sailing around Africa."



This is much more flavourful.
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I'm begging you to make the font larger and bolder on the card. At least the game-rule elements (flavor text can be as unreadable as you'd like). Please. Please.
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Jarratt Gray
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mccrispy wrote:
Outside Lime wrote:


Absolutely! Discs in the open sea of a region always count towards your presence there.
I hope that that is clearly explained in the rules!


This has always been in the rules.

A players "presence" in a region is based on the number of their population markers there.
-Cities
-Shipping Tracks
-Open Sea

Additionally getting to the open sea is something you could always do with a ship action. There are some additional actions you can do now too.
In an unopened region you may (even if you don't have presence);
-Take the next space in an open shipping track
In an open region you may (even if you don't have presence);
-Ship a marker to a "Ship" space on the board
-Ship a marker to the open sea (except in Europe). The open sea is the empty space within a region.

These last two are ways that players can gain presence in a region even if they missed out on the shipping track.

With Exploits you may also use the ship action to perform ship-based actions on Exploits.
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MC Crispy
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jarratt wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
Outside Lime wrote:


Absolutely! Discs in the open sea of a region always count towards your presence there.
I hope that that is clearly explained in the rules!


This has always been in the rules.

A players "presence" in a region is based on the number of their population markers there.
-Cities
-Shipping Tracks
-Open Sea

Additionally getting to the open sea is something you could always do with a ship action. There are some additional actions you can do now too.
In an unopened region you may (even if you don't have presence);
-Take the next space in an open shipping track
In an open region you may (even if you don't have presence);
-Ship a marker to a "Ship" space on the board
-Ship a marker to the open sea (except in Europe). The open sea is the empty space within a region.

These last two are ways that players can gain presence in a region even if they missed out on the shipping track.

With Exploits you may also use the ship action to perform ship-based actions on Exploits.
Yes, I have the original game. But I know how players approach situations that aren't explicitly covered in the rules In the base game there was no concept of having one's disk in any other location other than in a printed circle on the board - so it would be useful for the new version to contain the explicit definition of Presence that you provided. (The original certainly implies that non-circled locations on the board are allowed, because of Shipping, but your definition does not appear in my rules.)
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Mark Gilbertson
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dreadpirate wrote:
I'm begging you to make the font larger and bolder on the card. At least the game-rule elements (flavor text can be as unreadable as you'd like). Please. Please.

... ditto, from the proud owner of two 56 year old eyes cool
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mccrispy wrote:
Yes, I have the original game. But I know how players approach situations that aren't explicitly covered in the rules In the base game there was no concept of having one's disk in any other location other than in a printed circle on the board - so it would be useful for the new version to contain the explicit definition of Presence that you provided. (The original certainly implies that non-circled locations on the board are allowed, because of Shipping, but your definition does not appear in my rules.)


It's not as clear as it could be. I think it's clearer in the new rules but adding a section on presence, what it means and how you gain it seems like a great idea.
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Why does the image say "Not for print" on it? I thought I read in one of your email updates that you were happy for existing owners of the game to print and try out the Exploits?
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Grim Norsefury wrote:
dreadpirate wrote:
I'm begging you to make the font larger and bolder on the card. At least the game-rule elements (flavor text can be as unreadable as you'd like). Please. Please.
... ditto, from the proud owner of two 56 year old eyes cool
woodnoggin wrote:
Why does the image say "Not for print" on it? I thought I read in one of your email updates that you were happy for existing owners of the game to print and try out the Exploits?
Good example! 'NOT FOR PRINT' is more readable than the card text.
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woodnoggin wrote:
Why does the image say "Not for print" on it? I thought I read in one of your email updates that you were happy for existing owners of the game to print and try out the Exploits?


This was in regards to the two Exploits that we released ahead of the campaign as a sneak peek for players to try out the Exploit mechanism.

Since we have a pledge level on the campaign (Lieutenant) that gets backers a PnP package of high-quality files for all of the Exploits (and all the associated tokens), it would undercut those backers to make images of the Exploits available here. I tried to overlay the watermark so that people could still easily see how the Exploit works.
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dreadpirate wrote:
I'm begging you to make the font larger and bolder on the card. At least the game-rule elements (flavor text can be as unreadable as you'd like). Please. Please.


Readability is very important, we know! The main action font is 12pt. They look small here on screen, but the Exploits are not poker-sized cards... they are very large tiles. Each one is 7" x 4.75". Check it out:

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Dale Rowe
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The font ratio looks spot on to me. But then I do enjoy good graphic design sometimes over overt readability. Still, I think this is fine.
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