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Subject: 1 pirate vs 3 merchants rss

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Rasmus Crumb Sheik
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Just a little musing after one game, I read some of the balance discussions but one thing I didn't see mentioned was the number of pirates vs merchants.

We played our first game and I ended up pirate and the 3 others went for merchants, effects:

*I need to remove all 8 merchant tokens myself before they re-spawn forcing me to move a lot around the map and the juicy locations re-spawn very rarely.

*I can't really hunt all 3 players, I could probably annoy one or two players mostly being a spoiler/kingmaker but not helping myself much compared to the cost/risk of PVP combat.

*Cards targeting pirates only target me.

*Fleets only hunt me, and they are generally stronger and more numerous than NPC pirates.


Of course being 1 merchant and 3 pirates might make the merchant's life hard especially if the other players perceive him as the favourite to win from the start.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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The Herbie Nichols Project - Dr. Cyclops' Dream
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Overhamsteren wrote:
*I need to remove all 8 merchant tokens myself before they re-spawn forcing me to move a lot around the map and the juicy locations re-spawn very rarely.

That is more than balanced by the fact nobody else will take them before you get there.

Overhamsteren wrote:
*I can't really hunt all 3 players, I could probably annoy one or two players mostly being a spoiler/kingmaker but not helping myself much compared to the cost/risk of PVP combat.

You need to pursue your own goals more than hold the Merchants down anyway. You can focus on whoever appears to be ahead, and make the others nervous.

Overhamsteren wrote:
*Cards targeting pirates only target me.

What cards? It's not likely you'll be fighting all the other players anyway.

Overhamsteren wrote:
*Fleets only hunt me, and they are generally stronger and more numerous than NPC pirates.

Fleets hunt pirates. That's true regardless. And they'll attack merchants too, if the two nations are at war.

Overhamsteren wrote:
Of course being 1 merchant and 3 pirates might make the merchant's life hard especially if the other players perceive him as the favourite to win from the start.

This is more of a real issue than the things you listed about 1 pirate with 3 merchants. With 3 aggressive pirates, a single merchant will have to stay on his toes. He'll be less likely to see in-demand goods delivered to ports just before he arrives, though.

I play to the strengths of my own captain and don't worry much about whether there are equal numbers of merchants and marauders. There's room enough in the Caribbean for everyone.
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Rasmus Crumb Sheik
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Just played 3 pirates vs 1 merchant, was very hard for the merchant.

Still think 2 of each is best.

Of course the first game we had all 4 navy ships on the board by turn 7 or there about, while this time it took like 10 turns before the 2nd navy ship appeared.

The big respawn rate of NPC merchants was a big boon for the pirate who had his homebase in Providence with free repairs and cheap special weapons, he didn't have to venture far to find merchants and since he almost didn't spend any money repairing and buying weapons he stashed the 50 gold extremely early.

Guess in a replay another pirate should go harass him. Could take some heat off the merchant, who knows.
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Robert Stewart
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It strikes me that a heavily-laden merchant player with too much gold on board is a tempting target for a pirate player to attack to build up his own stash, but otherwise the main goal in attacking merchant players would be to limit their cargo and delay their trading...
 
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Josh A
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I honestly think that one on one, the merchant is more efficient in generating gp and gold than a pirate. The reason some people disagree on which is more powerful is likely because they are playing with a different ratio of merchant/pirates. If you play 2p with 1 pirate and 1 merchant, you'll see that merchant is WAY more efficient. It's one reason I don't like the game.
 
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