08 October 2013

Merchants & Marauders 3-player session

This is a game that I'm very fond of, but which never gets that often. Probably because it leans towards the "light weight", most of my boardgame buddies prefer other more crunchy and tactical games. In this one each player takes on the role of a captain in the Caribbean and the goal is to be the first to get 10 glory points. You get glory points from completing missions, excelling at trading goods that are in demand, pirating merchants and coastal downs or for defeating NPC/human player ships in combat.

But basically the game offers you the possibility to be a merchant - or - a marauder. You can combine both roles, but you often get the most of the game if you focus completely on one or the other. In our session I was doing fairly well, having started out as a regular merchant. As soon as I had upgraded to a bigger ship I figured I would cash in one easy glory point by attacking a tiny pirate sloop.

That idea turned into a bizarre combat situation where I lost every single die roll and got shot up and then boarded and killed! Maneuverability is the key to winning combat, and I was just outclassed by the pirate ship and their captain...This disaster forced me to discard all my stuff and start over with a new captain (only keeping my already earned glory points).

Unfortunately we didn't have time to finish this game as it had grown late, so we had to halfway through the game - I had by that time already managed to fail miserably with my new replacement captain - so it was probably for the best.

I'll have to make sure we play this again soon and actually finish it next time. It was probably a bit too ambitious bringing 3 games and teaching the rules for each game during a single day. But the guys seemed to enjoy all 3 titles.

More info about Merchants & Marauders can be found here PART 1  and PART 2


  1. I do quite enjoy the game, simple pirate themed fun, where you are not straight-jacketed by the game to play one route, the game is your oyster as it were... but get a combat wrong and the game can quickly go sour on you!

    1. Yeah I was baffled when my Galleon was taken out by a small pirate sloop!


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