Last time I wrote about general mechanics of Mercurius, I explore the game a little bit deeper in this preview.
As I said on every changing price card there is chamber emblem and goods icon. Stocks change price by 1 a turn for each card and goods change it by 2.
The thing is that every chamber trade with two goods from which one is major. So if you play a card raising a stock value you lower price of good it trades. The opposite is true too of course.
It creates mechanics where when Amsterdam stock is high its corresponding good is low.
As particular chamber can deliver more and more goods of one type, it is more common on the market and even if chamber gets richer, the goods price descent. In reverse if chamber can’t deliver its good, the good price get higher but chamber stock price descent.
Another little trick is, that cards are balanced in a way that stock prices should be higher in the end of the game then goods prices. So generally it is better in the end of the game to have stocks but during game you can get more profit from goods which risky cause there are more cards lowering their prices. These make decision harder.
When you someone buying particular good you expect him to have some cards (information) that would raise its price, you can join in, especially if you have such card, but you can’t be sure that other players will not play cards to prevent you from making great profit. Players would have to balance risky and safe transactions, watching what other players are doing to know what businesses would be best in the particular situation during play.
The title of the game:
The game is about speculating commodities strongly connected to VOC (East India Company). So the first title for the game was Concordia, which was name of one of its ships. Historical Concordia crashed somewhere near Australia shores which we thought was thematic in the game where stock price are depend on things like safe sea routes etc. From the other side Concordia also means concord which is also thematic for game with a lot of alliances even if not constant ones.
And then the Italian ferry Concordia crashed and a lot of people said us that it won’t be the best title for our game. After some deliberations we decided Mercurius as there was another VOC ship of that name and Mercury is great patron god for a game about commodity speculation we think.