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Merchant of Venus (second edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Using factories in the standard game rss

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Chris J Davis
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Is there any reason you couldn't just use factories in the standard game? Can anyone think of any reason why it might upset game balance? For that matter, can anyone think of why they might have been removed in the first place? Did they tend to create too much of a swing in the original game? Was their acquisition too luck-based?
 
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Justen Brown
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I want to say unnecessary clutter and so that they could reuse factories as drill tokens. The standard game's focus isn't entirely on trading so factories are just an unnecessary rule.

I haven't experimented with it but I see no harm in shuffling factory goods with the standard goods as a sort of random super good. You could rule that these super goods sell at their base price regardless of market shifts and they respawn immediately after being sold. There's only one of them and the profit margin isn't that much greater so it shouldn't mess anything up.
 
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Scott Lewis
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Was their acquisition too luck-based?

The initial acquisition wasn't luck based, since when you buy the factory it automatically starts with its good. There is a bit of luck for having it REappear, but not game-breakingly so.

I can't think of any major reason why house ruling them into the standard game would break anything.
 
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Nick Blank
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This is something I plan to try. Drill tokens are not a problem. Drill Tokens on asteroids are Drills, Drill Tokens in market areas are Factories.

The trick is deciding how Factory goods return to market after being sold.

1) Put them back into play immediately (like Racial Technologies)
2) Put them back into play when the Active Market occurs for that culture (1 good and 1 factory good)
3) Only put them back into play when an event card completely replenishes a culture.

I would be inclined to try option 2+3, 1 seems perhaps too often and 3 alone perhaps not often enough. Could be done any of these ways though.
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Scott Lewis
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I would personally probably lean towards a #2a: When Active Market occurs, return a regular good to play, only returning the factory good if there are no more regular goods.

Then couple that with #3 so that the Event cards refresh both. I think this would help preserve the factory good rareness.
 
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Chris J Davis
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sigmazero13 wrote:
I would personally probably lean towards a #2a: When Active Market occurs, return a regular good to play, only returning the factory good if there are no more regular goods.


That seems like it could cause factory goods to never be returned (except by encounter cards) as normal goods could keep getting sold and sent to the side of the board.
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
I would personally probably lean towards a #2a: When Active Market occurs, return a regular good to play, only returning the factory good if there are no more regular goods.


That seems like it could cause factory goods to never be returned (except by encounter cards) as normal goods could keep getting sold and sent to the side of the board.

In the original game, it wasn't uncommon (at least in the few games I've played) for a factory good, once sold, to never see the light of day again.

I guess you could do a #2b: When a good is sold, put it at the bottom of the relevant stack at the side of the board. When new goods come in, take the top one. That way, new goods would come into play in the same order that they are sold.
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Chris J Davis
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
I would personally probably lean towards a #2a: When Active Market occurs, return a regular good to play, only returning the factory good if there are no more regular goods.


That seems like it could cause factory goods to never be returned (except by encounter cards) as normal goods could keep getting sold and sent to the side of the board.

In the original game, it wasn't uncommon (at least in the few games I've played) for a factory good, once sold, to never see the light of day again.


What was the main point of factories, then?
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
I would personally probably lean towards a #2a: When Active Market occurs, return a regular good to play, only returning the factory good if there are no more regular goods.


That seems like it could cause factory goods to never be returned (except by encounter cards) as normal goods could keep getting sold and sent to the side of the board.

In the original game, it wasn't uncommon (at least in the few games I've played) for a factory good, once sold, to never see the light of day again.


What was the main point of factories, then?

They produced a nice good, and the owner of the factory got a 50% commission whenever someone bought it (including himself). Plus, it introduces the potential of having the goods come back (even if they are rare). Finally, since Factories count towards your final score, too, there wasn't really much risk in buying them.

Our games of the original could have been unusual (I just started playing it recently), so they may come into play a bit more often than that (especially since we only played 2 player, and with more players, goods rotate more often).
 
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Chris J Davis
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
I would personally probably lean towards a #2a: When Active Market occurs, return a regular good to play, only returning the factory good if there are no more regular goods.


That seems like it could cause factory goods to never be returned (except by encounter cards) as normal goods could keep getting sold and sent to the side of the board.

In the original game, it wasn't uncommon (at least in the few games I've played) for a factory good, once sold, to never see the light of day again.


What was the main point of factories, then?

They produced a nice good, and the owner of the factory got a 50% commission whenever someone bought it (including himself). Plus, it introduces the potential of having the goods come back (even if they are rare). Finally, since Factories count towards your final score, too, there wasn't really much risk in buying them.


So it basically allows a small one-time only payment to the owner of the factory (maybe a couple more times, if you're lucky)? Seems like a very small effect on the game.
 
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Nick Blank
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They were just good to buy. The idea was you bought the factory when you are at your own space port (get 10% of the cost back for the commission). Then you buy the Factory Good (at your space port, get 50% commission back for owning the factory plus 10% commission back for the transaction being at your space port). So the cost of the item was mitigated right there. Then you could sell it at another of your own space ports at the appropriate culture (getting another 10% commission on the sale). The amount you made on the factory good just by itself was better than the normal goods from that culture, and add in two 10% commissions and a 50% commission on top of that and there was never a reason not to do it if you had the money to invest in the first place.

Then, if the factory good ever came up again for someone (or you) to buy again, that was just gravy. It was always worth doing even if it was just the single time.
 
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Chris J Davis
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nickgb wrote:
They were just good to buy. The idea was you bought the factory when you are at your own space port (get 10% of the cost back for the commission). Then you buy the Factory Good (at your space port, get 50% commission back for owning the factory plus 10% commission back for the transaction being at your space port). So the cost of the item was mitigated right there. Then you could sell it at another of your own space ports at the appropriate culture (getting another 10% commission on the sale). The amount you made on the factory good just by itself was better than the normal goods from that culture, and add in two 10% commissions and a 50% commission on top of that and there was never a reason not to do it if you had the money to invest in the first place.

Then, if the factory good ever came up again for someone (or you) to buy again, that was just gravy. It was always worth doing even if it was just the single time.


So was there actually any, y'know... strategy in when or where to buy a factory?
 
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In short, it was a better deal than the normal good, even if it only cycled the one time. The downside was you had to invest in the factory in the first place, so you could only do it if you could afford to tie up the cash for that. Like buying a space port, it is a good idea, but you have to be able to take the cash for it out of play (it still counts for your score, but you can't spend it anymore).
 
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Chris J Davis
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Hmm... It sounds like reintroducing the factories into the game is almost not really worth it (not in their original form, anyway). Maybe this is why they were removed from the re-imagining...?
 
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Nick Blank
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I can see your point though, if you had the cash for it, it is usually a no-brainer. Could be part of the reason that FFG did not include it in their version of the game.

I am just used to it being an option though. I am also used to the different names for the factory goods. Every culture had a good, and a factory good, and they all had unique names. FFG used one name for both good and factory good, sometimes using the original good name for both, and sometimes using the original factory good name for both. For the EeepEeep, Pedigree Bolts was originally the factory good, the regular good was something else. So in this version it feels like half the items are missing, even thought it is functionally equivalent. (although we have the racial technologies now, and those are fun).

I still miss the other items though. For example, they got rid of Space Spice. In a space trading game. So no more fun comments about the Spice Mines of Kessel. Or Arrakis and sand worms (If the Spice came from the Desert Planet). Really? You removed Spice from the game? How silly, FFG.
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Chris J Davis
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nickgb wrote:
I still miss the other items though. For example, they got rid of Space Spice. In a space trading game. So no more fun comments about the Spice Mines of Kessel. Or Arrakis and sand worms (If the Spice came from the Desert Planet). Really? You removed Spice from the game? How silly, FFG.


One word: expansion.
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
nickgb wrote:
I still miss the other items though. For example, they got rid of Space Spice. In a space trading game. So no more fun comments about the Spice Mines of Kessel. Or Arrakis and sand worms (If the Spice came from the Desert Planet). Really? You removed Spice from the game? How silly, FFG.


One word: expansion.

Well, an expansion would change things up a bit, I'm sure. When Nick is saying they removed the Space Spice, they just removed the name, not the "component"; the good that Space Spice represented is still there, it just has a different name (the name of that culture's Factory Good, to be specific).
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
nickgb wrote:
I still miss the other items though. For example, they got rid of Space Spice. In a space trading game. So no more fun comments about the Spice Mines of Kessel. Or Arrakis and sand worms (If the Spice came from the Desert Planet). Really? You removed Spice from the game? How silly, FFG.


One word: expansion.

Well, an expansion would change things up a bit, I'm sure. When Nick is saying they removed the Space Spice, they just removed the name, not the "component"; the good that Space Spice represented is still there, it just has a different name (the name of that culture's Factory Good, to be specific).


I know. I'm just saying they'll probably bring the Space Spice back... in a different form.
 
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Nick Blank
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Right, it is functionally the same. It is just that extra background flavor that is gone. All the different items and the descriptions of what the different cultures used them for (which was usually not what the original producer had in mind).
 
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Christopher Gnech
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nickgb wrote:

I still miss the other items though. For example, they got rid of Space Spice. In a space trading game. So no more fun comments about the Spice Mines of Kessel. Or Arrakis and sand worms (If the Spice came from the Desert Planet). Really? You removed Spice from the game? How silly, FFG.


The spice must flow.
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chris thatcher
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Old thread ii know..but i just came up with a variant that may be relevant.

I only play the Standard version. My missus likes it also and its one of our fave 2 player games (also great at 3). We love the adventure type feel the standard game gives.

With that in mind i decided to come up with a variant to add one of my fave mechanics. In fortune and glory i liked the idea of the zeppelin flying around getting richer and richer until someone decides to kill it.

This variant uses the factory goods (they have a set sell amount in blue on back of token) and a spaceship token (i dont know what its called, it has a event symbol on otherside)components from the CLASSIC game. The space ship is the Merchant.

1: At the start of the game event cards are flipped until a card showing a planetary system number is revealed. The Merchant is placed in orbit around the system, first player chooses spot.

2: At the end of any players turn he rolls the purple die and moves the Merchant that distance in any direction of his choice.

3: The Merchant ignores all terrain but may go through telegates at active players option.

4: If when a event card is revealed that has a planetary system number on it, move the Merchant to the orbit of that system, active players choice.

5: If you land on the Merchant in your move phase you may stop (as per asteroid) and make a 1 buy from the Merchant. The Merchant stocks 14 goods (the classic game factory goods). The active player chooses one of the goods remaining on the Merchant and pays the cost. These goods are removed from the game after being sold etc. They do not go back to the Merchant. So over time his stock will deplete.

6: The Merchant can be attacked. When a player ends his move phase on the Merchant he may make a Laser check. He immediately gains 1 infamy.

*If the laser check fails the active player takes 1 shield damage. If he has no shield he must trash a upgrade, good, passenger.

*If the laser check succeeds the Merchant is destroyed and removed from the board. He does not return to the game. The active player gets money equal to the round number x10 (300 credits at round 30...if he survives that long..).

7: Players must still encounter the space before the Merchant (ie: pirates)
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