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Subject: 3 player game with the expansion + some thoughts rss

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Jorge Arroyo
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I gave the game a try today playing a 3 player game by myself to see how the expansion works.

I made a small modification to the current rules: Traders only re-roll one die each and you can only steal 1 good from them.

The 1st player went to a big planet and got a roll of 1 Trader and 4 food. The trader took the other good and left 1 water. The 1st player then bought the food and one shield.

The 2nd player traveled to a medium planet, getting just 3 Food which he bought.

The 3rd player went to a small planet and bought 5 missiles, spending all his money.

Then the 3rd player travelled to a medium planet looking for a target to pirate. He found a trader with 1 Luxury good which he stole and sold, not taking any other cargo. He had 24c.

Then the 2nd player went to a big planet but was unlucky enough to find two traders that sold food. He couldn't make a profit as the planet had 3 food so he did nothing.

The 1st player went to a small planet and managed to sell his food, getting 16c. He was lucky police was watching the one pirate that showed up. He bought some missiles thinking it might be a good idea to go after some pirates.

At this point the 3rd player again traveled to a small planet, finding 2 traders. He stole one Luxury from one and sold it. There were two robots on the planet, and the second trader sold one more so the player then bought the 3 robots. His total was now 54c

The 2nd player now went to a medium planet and sold his food for a good profit (there was just 1 on the planet). There were also 3 Robots, so he bought 2 which was as many as he could afford. He had 4c.

The 1st player, with an empty hold, went to a big planet trying to get some cheap goods. He found 3 robots but could afford just 1. He had 1c left.

The 3rd player then kept on travelling to a small planet but was unlucky to find a pirate there. He decided to re-roll the police die to try making them show up as he didn't have shields and his cargo was pretty valuable. Of course, this meant he couldn't actually sell it there, so it was a wasted turn.

He immediately went to another small planet, this time getting a good deal on his cargo of robots without pirates or police messing things up. He also got some missiles and 2 Luxury goods for 19c. He had 51c

The second player reached a planet where Robots were expensive and sold them, but didn't buy anything as it was too expensive. He had 26c

The 1st player then tried to sell his Medicine illegally, but was caught by the police, losing his cargo. Before that though, he managed to destroy a pirate and got a bonus of 5c. His total money was 6c

The third player then hit the jackpot. First he assaulted a trader that was carrying a Luxury good. Then he sold his 3 Luxury goods illegally ending up with 175c.

All the players had now reached 15 days (except the second with 14) and the 3rd player, the pirate, had won by a huge amount of money.

Final Scores: 1st Player 6 - 2nd Player 26 - 3rd Player 175

Thoughts:

Pirating is too powerful

The pirate player had some luck with his rolls as he didn't get many pirates in the small planets (where they can't be re-rolled). He also had to cope with the police only once, and that was on purpose. But even then, I think the rules have to be changed to make this playing option less powerful and more risky.

I think the first logical change would be not to be able to sell what you just stole. You have to fly to another planet after stealing. This will slow the pirate player down a bit.

Also, it seems logical to think that if the police is present on a planet, they'll do more than just ban the pirate player from landing and trading. I think Police should attack a player who's a pirate. In this case the attack works like a pirate attack, but the player can't attack back. If caught, the pirate player suffers the usual penalty.

One more thing I noticed was that once a pirate player manages to make a very good run and the money is in his had, there's no way for other players to reduce that advantage except by making good profit themselves. So I though maybe it would be a good idea to actually fine pirates. 5c per pirate point seems like a safe amount to try this out. Also, that's the money a player would get when defeating a pirate, so it makes sense the money would come from the pirate's pockets

Last, I think independent pirates should offer more reward. I think if you kill an independent pirate, you should get 5c per pirate present in the planet. This way, more dangerous planets offer better rewards.

I think all those changes make a lot of sense and I look forward trying the game out again.

But there's another aspect of the expansion that still bugs me: It's still too hard to attack another player. I'm not sure what could be done about this. I'm thinking of removing the extra day of travel when choosing an existing planet. Another possible solution is to let players pay a fee and stay put, spending one more day on their current planet (no trading possible at all). I'm not sure what the best fee would be, but I'm thinking around 2c. Basically what you're paying for is to be able to skip the roll of a new small planet where pirates and police might wreck your strategy...

So, that's all for now. I'm open to ideas and feedback about all these issues...
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John "Omega" Williams
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Kentwood
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The Pirate, if they an ger rolling with some good hauls, can indeed surge forward some from what I have been seeing. But so can the Bounty hunter and Merchant if they play well.

Id suggest more plays to get a better view of how the luck of the rolls effects things. A single play through usually isnt a good baromiter unless you are pretty sure you hit dead center of the odds.

One option would be to reduce the instance of merchants on the dice and increase the number of pirates. Or at least increasing the encounter pirate chances. This might offset the Pirat player gains just enough to bring them back in line.

Making the Police more agressive sounds like a good idea too.

I think costing the pirate a days travel time also works to balance things as they must sacrifice time to chase after a good target.
 
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Jorge Arroyo
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Well... in this game the pirate was the luckiest player, but such a score in so little time is something I've never seen...

I agree it might be a good idea to increase the number of pirates too, but I'll try first to apply some of the changes above....

About the extra day, I'm not sure anymore... it's just so hard to reach another player... And it's not like the pirate needs to attack other players to make a fortune with the rules as they are
 
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Francisco Javier
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Oviedo
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Or the pirate player can only sell his "hot cargo" at half of original price.

It actually happened in to the reality.

Forget all about the buried treasures, they never existed.
 
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