Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Merchant of Venus» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Two clippers versus a freighter rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mark Schlatter
United States
Shreveport
Louisiana
flag msg tools
badge
It's The Winslow!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Over the past half–year, our group has played Merchant of Venus three times. That might not sound like a lot, but for us that’s close to heavy rotation. Even with our steady diet of Eurogames, M of V comes up again and again for a couple of reasons:

• Exploration theme: Okay, it’s not Lost Valley or Entdecker, but you do get to find out where different civilizations are on the map. Moreover, there’s always the tantalizing question of whether to go straight to a system or try to pick up relics.
• Pick up and delivery: I like the mechanics here better than, say, Railroad Tycoon. The emphasis on building up a reliable and profitable route is wonderful.
• Customization: Even as (technically) a “roll and move” game, you have many choices when it comes to drives, ship types, and even overall strategies (e.g., spaceports, factories, or a mix).

Our last game involved myself, Roger, and John. We play the old Avalon Hill version (no downloads for us!) and always play to $2000.

Roger and John started off towards the Cloud, while I moved to the system to the left of the Galactic Base. The Cloud turned out to be Roger's home (with Bionic Perfume), while my first system was my base (Space Dust). However, I turned up my nose at the small money to be made on Dust and headed to the Cloud.

Sadly for me, in this game only Roger could make his way through the Cloud. John got sidetracked very early on and started exploring the right hand side of the board. I picked up Bionic Perfume and tried to head back to my homeland, only to be shunted north. Only Roger could roll the desired two to make his way back to the Galactic Base and sell the Perfume. (In fact, at one point Roger rolled four two's while in the CLoud!)

While Roger started selling goods, John and I kept exploring. I eventually found the 5 system next to the 6 system, dumped the perfume, and made a sale. But at this point, both John and I were a few hundred dollars behind Roger and still without reliable routes. Roger used his capital to start building factories and, just like his luck with the two's, kept on drawing factory goods out of the cup after selling them.

I milked the 5 to 6 run a few times to build up my cash and upgraded to a clipper with a red and yellow drive. With some exploration, I discovered a great cycle of 5 to 6 to 7 to 9 to 1a to 4a or 4b. But, Roger was trading in the same vicinity and could make the same pickups and deliveries. I started investing in spaceports along the route. However, since both of us had clippers with only one spot available for goods, spaceports were of limited utility --- we didn't get much more benefit over just landing on the planet. In short, Roger and I were traveling the same route, so I wasn't making any headway on his lead.

At this point, I thought John was completely out of the game. He was wandering and exploring with only a few sales. But then John started picking up valuable fares. With a few fare deliveries, John had enough to buy a freighter. Now, we've often thought that freighters weren't worth it in the medium length game, but John had a couple of advantages. One, he could carry fares and cargo (with neither Roger nor I offering much competition for fares). Two, Roger and I had been mostly ignoring the demand tokens (given our ability to only carry one good). Thus, John was able to carry out some of the hugest deliveries I've seen in M of V. If I remember correctly, at one landing he was able to earn about $470 in fares and sales.

Roger was nervous at the big strides John was taking, but fortunately for him, he had been building up the factory and spaceport deeds. Before John could make another mammoth delivery, Roger took a simple $140 fare to Base to go over $2000 and seal the deal.

Total playing time was about three hours, and, as usual with M of V, we spent a fair amount of time talking over our strategies --- a sign of a good game for us!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bradley Reis
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
flag msg tools
mbmb
Quote:
With a few fare deliveries, John had enough to buy a freighter. Now, we've often thought that freighters weren't worth it in the medium length game


We played the medium length game, where the player who one did it with a freighter. Of course at that point in the game he had both the red and the yellow drive (not the combo) so he could move at a good pace.

Thanks for the session report.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom McThorn
United States
Newark
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

This is one of my favorite all time games. I don't think I've ever bought the freighter but have bought the 3d/3cargo ship before and done well with it. Having the relic yellow drive and a very good route helped.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.