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Games from the Cellar Episode 22 -- Merchant of Venus

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03 May 2023 00:00 #339188 by Sagrilarus
                 
   ...

Join us in the cellar for a play of an eternal favorite -- Merchant of Venus!

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03 May 2023 06:26 #339189 by Cappster_
You know... This one doesn't outstay it's welcome.

But in all seriousness, love Merchant of Venus. I'm ready to play again to erase the shame that was my score last game.

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03 May 2023 10:50 #339191 by Jackwraith
I have a variety of mixed feelings on MoV. I like it as the progenitor of PU&D games. There's room to argue that no one has done it better in all of the derivations that have come since. But when I think about elegance in design, especially for something that spawned a host of imitators, I don't really think of MoV in the same way that I don't think especially highly of Dominion when I think about deckbuilding. Yes, it does just what it says on the tin, but PU&D games for me have always been more about story than function. I like Black Fleet. I like Tiny Epic Pirates. But I like Merchants & Marauders more than either of them because the latter tells more of a story.

When FFG/Stronghold released their version, the caterwauling around here about the different ruleset was absurd. Yes, FFG put their own touch on the game... but they also included the original rules so everyone could play the original! People treated it like sacrilege that FFG would provide an alternate version of what was then considered a grail game (and kind of is again, since it's been out of print for so long.) But, y'know, there were some things I liked about the FFG ruleset better than the original (Heresy!), because the opportunities for story were greater with the chrome that they'd added. That said, the symmetry of the original rules is just as enjoyable as it ever was. But I was kind of put off by some of the reaction around here and, needing real money at one point. I sold off some things that could actually generate money and that was one of them. I kinda regret it now, but given that I have M&M and TEP and an almost-complete set of Firefly... Eh.

That said, I'm interested to hear what all of your reactions were, especially if any of you were first-timers,
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03 May 2023 12:18 #339193 by Sagrilarus
I think it’s worth a listen and I’ll admit to only having played the original rules. That said, our goal during out long weekend at the shore (starting today) is to give the “standard” rules a shot.

Given Mr. Hamblen’s age and stature in the industry it felt disrespectful to do a rewrite without at least consulting him on it. I think that shied me away from it as much as anything else.
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03 May 2023 12:48 #339194 by Jackwraith
Yeah, that's fair. I wonder how much of that was his choice and how much was their choice, given the licensing dispute (he sold it to Stronghold, previous publisher sold it to FFG.) I wonder if he didn't feel right working with FFG after having made his choice for Stronghold. Given their close cooperation with the creators of CE and Dune (for Rex), it would be odd if they didn't try to contact him at all. If they did and he just said "No, thanks", then you can't really fault them for going ahead with their planned revision.

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08 May 2023 15:55 #339265 by ubarose
I saw Mr. Hamblen speak at an event around the time the FFG edition was released. Sadly it was apparent that he was in no condition to consult on the new edition. He was incredibly sweet, but just wasn’t 100% there mentally.

I don’t remember anyone being upset that FFG rules created new rules. I believe that the outcry was that FFG originally intended to release their edition without the original rules.

My personal objection to the FFG version was that it sacrificed functionality for form. I haven’t played the FFG edition in a long time, so I don’t remember all the graphic changes, but I do remember that it obscured things that were easy to see in the original, which significantly slowed down the game. Perhaps because those things were unimportant when playing with the FFG rules??? I was especially salty about it because the FFG was so much prettier than the original, and the bigger chits were easier to handle. But in the end, I stuck with my original copy with the more functional graphics. I have never played using the FFG rules, because everyone I knew that owned the FFG edition told me the new rules “sucked” and they didn’t want to use them.
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