This last weekend, I made it down the local game store to pick up some new toys. I had originally planned to get a game in with the High Elves, but I couldn’t arrange it. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my models with me, because I could have played a pick-up game instead. Oh well, lesson learned.
I picked up a box of the Sisters of Avelorn, since I already have some of the old, metal Shadow Warriors and I think that the Sisters models look cool. My son thought that I should also get the Lion Chariot, because he thought that the lions looked like they would be good. Since I didn’t see myself running chariots any time soon, we picked up Carcassonne: The Castle instead.
I have to admit that I was a little sad when, I directly thought about the fact that I can buy an entire board game (albeit a cheaper one) for the same cost as a single chariot. What an expensive hobby this is…
My son and I also managed to fit in another game of Merchants & Marauders when we got home later that day. We also did a practice run of placing tiles in Carcassonne: The Castle, so that we could kind of see how it worked. I will probably add a review of this within a month or so.
Merchants & Marauders
I didn’t mention it earlier, but I picked up some card sleeves for this game, which I highly recommend doing. It is so much easier to shuffle the decks of cards when they are sleeved. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy enough, so I could only sleeve 4 of the decks or so.
With me being sick of getting stuck with the merchant captains, I implemented a house rule that we each could draw 2 captains and pick which one to use. This worked nicely for me, since I finally broke my streak of drawing merchant captains. My son ended up with a merchant captain that could draw an extra good in French ports.
As in the previous games, the game was pretty close at first, even with my son suffering the setback of having his captain killed and losing all of his stuff (except for accumulated Glory). By the end of the game, my captain had 4 English bounties on his head and 1 French one. The sea was crawling with naval ships, so it was becoming quite dangerous for me. I was fortunate that the naval ships stuck mostly on the western half of the board, while I was on the eastern half. Here is the points breakdown for the Glory:
- 2 – Merchant Raid of 12+ Gold
- 1 – Bought a Galleon
- 2 – Defeated NPC
- 1 – Trade 3 or more In Demand goods
- 4 – Gold Stash (40 gold)
- 2 – Trade 3 or more In Demand goods
- 1 – Bought a Galleon
One decision that I had to make this time was whether to buy a Frigate or a Galleon. As a merchant, the choice is easy, because the Galleon can hold more and is tougher, so you clearly want that. However, as a pirate, you might want a quicker ship. The only advantage that the Frigate has over the Galleon is the maneuverability. For everything else, it is worse. The increased maneuverability only comes into play in 2 situations: 1. Merchant Raids; 2. If you get the Improved Sails upgrade and are fighting a Galleon or Man-of-War, you will receive the extra die for the Seamanship contest. These tend to be actions that a pirate would be taking, but I still opted for the Galleon instead. Another great feature of the Galleon is that its increased cargo hold allow you to have an easier time of gathering 3 In Demand goods. Maybe next time, I will try the Frigate, but the Galleon seems to be a safer choice. I would appreciate anybody’s thoughts, if they have played the game.