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Duck Dealer» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review after 3 games and a redesign rss

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Chakroun Karim
France
Besancon
Franche-Comté
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Duck dealer is a pick and deliver game with a random setup
and open information. The winner will be the player
with the most points at the end of the 24th action turn.

There are two ways to earn points:
• building facilities (shipyards, consumer markets, factories)
• trading goods to consumer markets previously built.
The total amount of building points available is 750 pts;
the total amount of trading points is not capped.

In order to build or trade, a player will need
to move around the map with his space ship.
Each player starts with a spaceship that he will equip
with 3 modules out of 4 different types (navigator,
builder, merchant, cargo hold). Each ship has 8 module
slots, but the more modules a player builds into his ship,
the slower the ship will get. The cargo hold modules
are used to, well, hold cargo, while the other three
modules provide energy that will be used throughout the game.

That energy can be obtained when a player takes a
"collect energy" turn. In a "collect energy" turn,
a player can take one token of any of the three colors
of energy, in addition to one token of each color his ship
has a module of.

When a player believes he has collected enough energy,
he can take an "action" turn. There is a finite number
of action turns, and each time a player acts, one
of his cubes is added to the track. The one who plays
the 24th action turn ends the game. The main purpose
of an action turn is to use the energy a player collected
in an efficient way to obtain points by either building
facilities or providing specific goods to consumer markets.
Other meaningful actions allow a player to optimize
his routes or to mess with other people's plans.

At setup, each non-starting planet on the board
is seeded with mines that produce basic goods in exchange
for a "trade" token. Those planets, when discovered
by a player, will also receive one "consumer market" tile.
This tile is picked by the player from the top of the two
columns of consumer market; the columns are seeded randomly,
but in increasing point value. That particular way of
seeding consumer markets can help messing with a player trying
to build a nice points churning engine late in the game.

The starting planets all receive one of the 5 basic goods
randomly, and one shipyard (one of each color, two cargo holds)

I enjoy the tension between players arising from the collect/act dilemma.
You need to collect enough energy to make a meaningful turn,
with spare in case you didn't compute your turn quite well enough,
but try to be too much on the safe side and another player
can take his action turn before yourself and wreck your grand plan.
As many games, being able to guess what the other players want
to do is crucial, but it feels stronger in Duck Dealer.
The fact that you have a limited amount of actions available
in the game forces you to really *really* do the best action
turn possible. Wasting a turn can lose you the game.
The many ways the game variables interlock are really interesting
and worth discovering.

After having played only 2 games, this cannot be a serious review,
but I really enjoy Duck Dealer, while acknowledging it *is* a brain burner.
We haven't played with 2-move ships yet, for example, and our games
have only revolved around fast ships and building. I'm sure slow ships
and trade is another way to victory. We started seeing how
we could manipulate the exploration to stop a player building
his nifty engine a few turns into the 2nd game.

I really regret having only bought this in 2012.
I didn't buy it back in 2008 when it was released and
lost 4 years of not playing it.

I like the game so much that I started a redesign of it,
that you can see here : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/885165

Duck Dealer is right now sold by Splotter direct for €25+shipping,
which is a great deal for EU buyers.
http://splottershop.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=DUCK
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Chakroun Karim
France
Besancon
Franche-Comté
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Follow-up : regarding downtime
A lot of the complaints about Duck Dealer revolve around the perceived downtime; a veteran player and fan of the game suggested on a french forum that the reason for this was that many people counted forward in the following way:

"Ok, so I move, it takes one red, then I trade twice, two blues, then I build, one yellow, etc."

Very easy to get sidetracked when you plan in this way. The game is visually designed so that the players think "downward"

"Ok, I want to trade for "economy", I have 2 radios, I need 2 beads, that's 2 blues, then I need to trade at that factory, that's 2 blues again then again 2 blues for the consumer market; the consumer market is unbuilt, so I need one yellow, total movement is 24, ship has movement of 5, I need 5 reds"

When you plan that way, it's easier to see how other player's moves influence your energy phase.

I guess it isn't more than a tiny tip, but it could help with AP sometimes.
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William Springer
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[q="carthaginian""Ok, I want to trade for "economy", I have 2 radios, I need 2 beads, that's 2 blues, then I need to trade at that factory, that's 2 blues again then again 2 blues for the consumer market; the consumer market is unbuilt, so I need one yellow, total movement is 24, ship has movement of 5, I need 5 reds"
[/q]

Won't the amount of red you need depend on where the stops are, as well as the total distance?
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Brad Pasmeny
Canada
St. Albert
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I believe that point of the comment regarding the reds needed takes that into account.

The plan works back from what you need in the end...thus you tally the items that you need, thus, taking into account the movement required to "hit the stops" is calculated and the number is derived that way.

The insinuation that you count totals for the overall plan instead of approaching it stepwise...and as such saving time and AP...

Correct me if I'm wrong...

meeplemeeple
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