The newly opened galactic cluster 5632 is finally ready to do some business after a devastating alien attack. Untold profits await any savvy space trader with enough pluck and panache to take advantage of the opportunities in this new financial frontier. Pick a pilot, cruise the galaxy, customize your ship, establish first contact with alien colonies that have been cut off from galactic civilization, and set up trade routes for maximum profits. At the end of thirty rounds, the player that has amassed the most credits wins the game!
Piloting the Pitfalls of Profits in Space
Managing the interstellar landscape is the first step in any one’s play for profits, and navigating the hazards of space is no easy feat. Merchants have to contend with tests of their ship’s lasers, shields, and their pilot’s navigational aptitude. Navigation Spaces and Telegates can also send you careening off-course if your not an especially careful captain. Check out our full preview of the hazards of space-trading in our preview article .
It pays to sink some credits into upgrading your ship and training your pilot to make the management of these myriad problems a little easier. Pilots gain levels by training at the Galactic Base or a planet occupied by their home culture. Training your pilot improves his navigation capabilities, and can even gain him some special abilities for getting around the galaxy. Even the best pilot is useless without a decent ship at his disposal, and shields and lasers are the bread and butter of safe space travel. Some alien cultures will have laser and shield upgrades available for purchase, so you can gear up to blast and bull your way through hazards and Space Pirates alike!
Lasers and shields aren’t the only way to give your ship an edge in the game of galactic trade. The alien cultures scattered across the cluster offer a host of options for trader with some credits to invest in their ride. Extra cargo holds will help you fill your ship with even more goods, and a new Red, Yellow, or Combo drive can have you doing double time across the vastness of space. Each alien culture has been hard at work during the cluster’s embargo period, and they have a wide array of new technologies available. Each culture has a unique upgrade called a Racial Tech available for purchase. These special upgrades range from Fancy Spoilers and Fuzzy Dice to Variable Shields and Wave Emitters, and have a wide range of effects. Learn more about the best way to bolster your ship in our in-depth article.
Of course the point of getting all this work done is to be able to maximize your profits. After all, the name of the game is the amassing of credits, and making the most of market conditions is key to getting the most for your goods. All goods are bought for the same price, but can be sold for different profits depending on a market’s condition. Each market has a High, Active, and Low state. A High market gets you the best price for your product, with Average and Low markets getting you less and less. The condition of the market shifts each time you make at least one sale on a given world, so make the most of the High market while you can.
Missions and Fame
Celebrity has its benefits, and making a name for yourself in the galaxy can be a great way to get a bit of an extra edge on your competition. Accruing Fame gets players extra credits when the final score is tallied. Players can increase their Fame by a number of different methods, and completing specific Missions is one of the best ways to go about getting your name out there.
Each player is given a Mission card at the outset of the game which has specific requirements to be met and, many times, a destination. Satisfying Mission requirements gains a player Fame and, in addition, he gets to collect a Reward card for his efforts. Reward cards have a wide range of benefits, and some can be sold for credits if it turns out to just not be what you were looking for. Transporting important passengers, defeating or evading Space Pirates, and upgrading your ship all contribute to spreading your legend across the cluster. Check out our preview for a closer look at how to make your presence known in the cosmos and amass Fame to gain some extra cash.
The market waits for no man, so get out there and find fame and fortune in the game of galactic trade. There are profits to be made and time is money, so pick up your copy of Merchant of Venus at your local retailer today!
Discover new alien cultures and get rich selling their goods in Merchant of Venus , the board game of space exploration and interstellar trade for one to four players! Featuring a double-sided board, Merchant of Venus presents both Richard Hamblen's beloved classic and a newly reimagined design by Rob Kouba.
© 2012 HASBRO, Inc. All rights reserved. Merchant of Venus and its logo are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. Used with permission. Licensed by Wizards of the Coast.