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Flashback Friday - Merchant of Venus - Love It or Hate It? Do You Still Play It?

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26 Apr 2019 11:58 - 26 Apr 2019 12:30 #296127 by ubarose
So love it or hate it? Do you still play...

Love it or hate it? Do you still play it?

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Rate and Review Merchant of Venus
Last edit: 26 Apr 2019 12:30 by ubarose.

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26 Apr 2019 12:09 #296128 by Gary Sax
Merchants is the almost perfect essence of the pick up and deliver genre. Plays fast, streamlined, with a great but super subtle supply and demand system that jiggers and rejiggers which routes are most valuable and worthwhile, preventing completely efficient play (along with to a lesser extent the dice).
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26 Apr 2019 12:36 - 26 Apr 2019 12:45 #296132 by Sagrilarus

It was originally designed on commission for Mccormick Spices as a spice trading game. Mccormick rejected the design as too complex. So Avalon Hill rethemed the game and published it in 1988 as Merchant of Venus


Welcome to Bal-more hon!


This game is a pleasure to play every time. The way some products become more valuable over time and then devalue once they become available . . . really shows what can be done with cardboard if you take your time and design carefully, and then put the time in to refine the concepts.

We have a Merchant of Venus night at our May Gaming Getaway every year, so I'm due to play this coming weekend. Very much looking forward to it.
Last edit: 26 Apr 2019 12:45 by Sagrilarus.
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26 Apr 2019 12:41 #296134 by lj1983
I really enjoy Merchants. another game I've re-acquired, this time after trading it to Sag. I've yet to play the "new" version from FFG, the classic has just the right mix of randomness and planning.
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26 Apr 2019 12:46 #296135 by Sagrilarus

lj1983 wrote: I really enjoy Merchants. another game I've re-acquired, this time after trading it to Sag. I've yet to play the "new" version from FFG, the classic has just the right mix of randomness and planning.


Thank you for the Plano box by the way.

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26 Apr 2019 12:49 #296136 by Legomancer
Love it every time. I have and enjoy the FFG version but have never played by their rules, just the classic ones.
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26 Apr 2019 13:02 #296137 by ubarose
I find the original Avalon Hill version to be more functional and easier to play. The FFG version is prettier, but after playing it, I decided that the changes they made to the components made the game even more fiddly.

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26 Apr 2019 14:03 #296144 by Vysetron

ubarose wrote: I find the original Avalon Hill version to be more functional and easier to play. The FFG version is prettier, but after playing it, I decided that the changes they made to the components made the game even more fiddly.


I thought Fiddly was one of the Fs in FFG.

Seriously, they always do that. Rare is the FFG game that isn't full of a million tiny bits that need to be configured just so. It's the worst with their reprints because you know it could have been better, like in this case.

...from what I've seen anyway. I haven't gotten to play MoV. It seems like the kind of thing I'd enjoy. Maybe someday.
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26 Apr 2019 14:12 #296146 by Matt Thrower
The original AH mechanics are the best board game economy I've ever seen. Basic supply and demand, with the strategies that unfurl from it, right on your tabletop. And of course the sci-fi theme makes it a whole lot more fun to explore.

The FFG reprint of those rules was great. FFG's own "version" was some bloated, over-worked, over-long, Elite-on-a-board garbage.

Much as I enjoyed the AH rules, this is one I did sell on eventually. It ran just a bit too long for what it was, and didn't see regular play.
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26 Apr 2019 14:50 #296149 by Ah_Pook
I picked this up in a trade in January and it has rapidly become one of my very favorite games. Ive played it 17 times in that time, and I foresee playing it many many more. Everyone I've introduced it to has loved it. Plus it is easily my favorite solo game, just playing 4p all sides.

I haven't ever tried the new FFG rules, and I don't think I ever need to. The original rules are perfect, and the FFG changes look universally bad.
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26 Apr 2019 16:07 #296150 by hotseatgames
I've never had the opportunity to play it. I hope it returns to print one day.

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26 Apr 2019 16:29 #296151 by Count Orlok
How rare are copies of this now? It seemed like there was "demand" for a reprint, and then the snafu with republishing generated interest, but it seemed to have come and gone pretty quietly. I meant to get a copy at some point, but never did.

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26 Apr 2019 16:57 #296152 by Ah_Pook
Used copies go for $50-70 looks like, and there are some available on the bgg atm. It's oop but definitely gettable.

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26 Apr 2019 18:32 #296153 by Michael Barnes
A masterpiece, and out of Hamblen’s games this is the one that I think has the most longevity- it runs long, but it just kind of does that. Taking out the fifth and sixth player was really a good idea, I prefer it with 3.

There is not better pick up and deliver game. It’s better than Firefly, Xia, Merchants and Marauders, all of them. Those games have come and gone, but MoV remains, even out of print again.

The FFG rules are the typical overwrought miss-the-mark bullshit with stupid details and fiddlefuck crap that the game got by fine without. But this reprint came at PEAK Fantasy Flight, and that was frankly a pretty terrible time for their designs and remakes. It was almost like Mr. Petersen would call a production meeting and present a PPT with details about how to fuck up a reprint with unasked for shit. Had FFG released it without the classic game in the box, it would have been a total fiasco. Thank god the Stronghold thing happened and the outcome was that the original game stayed.
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26 Apr 2019 18:34 #296154 by Michael Barnes
FWIW, I would happily trade the FFG edition for an Avalon Hill one...anybody?

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