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Subject: merchant card - must we play it rss

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John blog
Australia
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1) do all character has to be played?
2) why would anyone play the merchant card, since it only benefits others (getting 5 points instead of 3 for the majority player in the commercial area other than and the player who play the card )? Am I missing something?

sean
 
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Kelly Bass
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1. No, you don't have to play the card.

Quote:
Merchant: This card must be played during the counting phase. For the duration of this phase, every commercial area yields five points (instead of three) for players who have the majority in it. In other words, in each of the four areas, the five points may be won by other players than the one who has played the merchant card. The card is discarded at the end of the turn.


2. It does not benefit ONLY others. It benefits ANY player who has the majority (including the player who used the card).

It is worded that way to show that when you can play that card to earn yourself 5 points, other areas not yet counted will score the majority player there (you or an opponent) 5 points also.
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Vid Dles
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Illinois
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Remember that the merchant card is played at the beginning of the counting phase. This means that it allows you to decide whether the commercial areas are worth three or five points after everyone has placed their brokers (but before any upside-down brokers are revealed).

The idea is that you try to get the majority in as many commercial areas as you can during the broker placement phase, and then you play the merchant card for a hefty point sweep. If the other players have majorities in the commercial areas (or you suspect they do), then you can save the card for a future turn.

 
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