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Merchants & Marauders» Forums » Variants

Subject: Merchants in the area rss

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SnipedintheHead
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Played last night with a buddy who was having a good run as a privateer, until he got sunk by a bad merchant run. He did a scout for a merchant ship only to find out that the ship was French, and it was in a French territory. As a French Privateer this meant that he lost his mission card and wasn't able to cash it in. Now, I understand some of that is the plum luck of the game, he shouldn't have pushed his luck if he wasn't willing to risk it.

But, part of the thing is, is that we don't feel like it's very thematic. He could, after all, find a merchant ship, realize it's French and choose not to attack it. From my understanding of the rulebook, this is not possible, as soon as you find a ship, you have to attack it. My thoughts would be to modify scouting one of two ways:

1)You can choose not to attack a ship if you find it.

2)While in port you can pay 2 gold and make an influence check. A successful check lets you flip up the merchant token for the area you are in. The idea is that as you grease the palms of the locals, they tell you what ships they have seen in the area. This both requires that a pirate do an influence check (which, from what I've seen, most don't have great stats in that skill), while also costing them a turn, if they weren't going to be in port that turn anyway.
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Blorb Plorbst
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He could have not scouted in french waters! He knew the risks and could have chosen other options. Not a failing of the game. A failing of strategy.
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SnipedintheHead
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CrankyPants wrote:
He could have not scouted in french waters! He knew the risks and could have chosen other options. Not a failing of the game. A failing of strategy.


This is true, and I admit that (he also could've turned the card in much earlier). But we still want opinions on the variant, as it could be thematically better. A privateer being paid by the French government to hunt down other nations ships would not attack a french ship just because he saw it. He may, at some point make the decision to do it, but that option was never given to my friend. He found a French merchant, and according to the rules, he HAD to attack it and get a bounty.
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Dan Bigmore
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weirdboy_1 wrote:
From my understanding of the rulebook, this is not possible, as soon as you find a ship, you have to attack it.

Actually, from Page 10 of the rules:
Quote:

After declaring your intent to “scout” for a merchant, you roll your Scouting skill. If successful, you remove the Merchant Token from the Sea-Zone and reveal the nation on its flip side. The nationality of the merchant is then either that on the token, or of the Sea-Zone you are in (i.e. Spanish if in the Santo Domingo Sea-Zone). You decide which of the two, and ultimately if you want to engage the merchant at all.

(emphasis added)
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Kevin 'Rocky' Robertson
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arrrh

You can after scouting a ship just let it sail through, you don't need to attack it, you could just say "Hi!"

It doesn't state in the rules you must attack a scouted ship.

But I do like you idea about finding out which merchants maybe in the area

arrrh

Well done Dan, beat me to it and better too!
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SnipedintheHead
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Bigland wrote:
weirdboy_1 wrote:
From my understanding of the rulebook, this is not possible, as soon as you find a ship, you have to attack it.

Actually, from Page 10 of the rules:
Quote:

After declaring your intent to “scout” for a merchant, you roll your Scouting skill. If successful, you remove the Merchant Token from the Sea-Zone and reveal the nation on its flip side. The nationality of the merchant is then either that on the token, or of the Sea-Zone you are in (i.e. Spanish if in the Santo Domingo Sea-Zone). You decide which of the two, and ultimately if you want to engage the merchant at all.

(emphasis added)


Ah! There's the rule that I missed!
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Dan Bigmore
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Any misunderstanding probably comes from the rule under Scouting, as it says there:
Quote:
Roll your Captain’s Scouting skill. If successful, you find the ship you scouted for after which a battle takes place.

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