17 August 2017

Merchants & Marauders: Seas of glory review

I had been looking for this expansion to Merchants & Marauders forever when Caroline spotted it by accident in our LFGS and called me to confirm this was the game I had been ranting about!

Unbelievable, I remember writing an email to the publisher a couple of years ago asking about a reprint but no such reprint was planned. Needless to say I was super excited to get my hands on this product. The expansion does not add a new "a new expansion module" but rather several small enhancements that you are free to implement as you see fit. There are 8 modules in total, some of them are so simple that you will barely notice them, other are game variants, but mostly it adds some components that enhance the gameplay imo. 

Worth mentioning as number one is the expanded sideboard for your ship. It can now include crew morale/loyalty, contraband cargo hull along with new ship weapons and modifications and a favor track. The crew morale/loyalty track is great for pushing players to play more daringly and punishes you if you end up in the same port as you started in.  Favors are great for re-rolls and illegaly entering blockaded ports, while the contraband is a new type of resource that you may buy and ship to designated locations on the board to earn more victory points and gold.

The new ship weapons and modifications are also excellent, with the crow's nest being a favorite of mine.

There are tons of new tokens for the new modules. A "must use" feature is the storm token, and the wind gauge. Both add new rules to the board, the storm is pushed around by the wind on the board and add unpredicted danger that you want to avoid while the wind gauge add extra movement to ships traveling with the wind, and less movement to ships traveling against the wind. Simple but very thematic features both of them.

You also get new locations if you want to replace the printed special locations on the board with new ones. Then there is the Spanish treasure galleon which sails around generating gold each time it moves, which ultimately makes it a very tempting although dangerous target for a daring pirate captain. The pirates and players also get a new ship type, the brig which is something of a mix between a flute and a sloop.

The rules variants offered in the game also add for additional game modes for those that want a more challanging game - or simply a game that is less about winning by saving gold and more about actually trading and doing pirate raids.

All in all I'm super pleased with this expansion box, I may not use all the modules when we play the game but I use most. The expansion makes an enjoyable and great game even better.

Highly recommended to anyone already owning Merchants & Marauders if you can find this expansion!

2 comments:

  1. Yo, let me know if you're playing this again, and you happen to have a free spot. Ever since you introduced me to the core game a few years ago, I've been looking to play it again.

    /Anders

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never knew this even existed! I love the original game. My whole family plays it.

    ReplyDelete

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