Merchant of Venus

MESSAGE: Cluster 5632 requesting removal of Rastur quarantine protocols and immediate construction of galactic base. Rebuilding of war-torn sectors has begun. Whereabouts of friendly civilizations unknown. Need aid in establishing trade routes between isolated cultures. Repeat: Rastur invasion has been put down. Cluster is ready for trade.

Two Games in One!

With its double-sided board, this edition of Merchant of Venus contains two distinct games. The first, referred to as the Standard Game, is Rob Kouba's (Battles of Westeros) redeveloped and reimagined version of the original title.

The second game, referred to as the Classic Game, is FFG's implementation of Richard Hamblen's original, wonderful  design.

The galaxy is bursting with opportunities for savvy space traders to exploit, and the race to profit blasts off in Merchant of Venus! In this exciting game of interstellar trade and exploration, one to four players each represent a fledgling merchant eager to make a name for himself.

Following a devastating alien attack, a galactic cluster is once again opened for trade, and unimaginable wealth awaits the most ambitious merchant. Each player begins the game with a ship and a gung-ho pilot fresh from the Academy. From these humble beginnings, they must find the most profitable trade routes in order to deliver goods, transport passengers, build spaceports, mine asteroids, and acquire fame by completing missions and upgrading their ship and pilot.

There’s a Buyer Born Every Nanosecond

Merchant of Venus launches players into a galaxy full of markets hungry to discover and buy alien goods. Space traders from four different races zip along trade routes to make contact with distant planets and uncover their key consumables.

  • Human–Adaptable and generally content to inhabit any planet they run across through technological inventions.
  • Whynom–A strong race of intelligent horses.
  • Qossuth–Insane and bent on taking over the universe, the Qossuth often devise elaborate plans which require vast sums of money (making them good targets for trade).
  • Eeepeeep–Intelligent machines descended from a single toaster that achieved sentience after being stabbed with one too many kitchen utensils.

From your first contact with alien cultures to the establishment of trade routes and spaceports, your quest for cash demands that you remain on the move. Each round, players take turns declaring their heading, launching their ships, moving through space, and buying and selling goods. The trader with the most wealth wins!

Cruising the Galaxy in Your Starship

Successful traders will quickly locate fast and reliable trade routes, timing their purchases and sales with the interest in the market. You also need to weigh your investment in your ship against the cost to your profit margin. Upgrades to your ship may allow you to blaze through the stars, faster than ever, and they can help you bypass the various hazards of interstellar voyages, including space pirates. Likewise, your basic pilot may be good enough to take your ship on its maiden voyage, but when you’ve got a vital trade line established between multiple planets, do you want to trust your business to a rookie?

Along your journeys, you may also pick up passengers able to pay for transit across the stars, invest in racial technology, and undertake a number of missions that can enhance your fame and profit.

Kick It into Hyperdrive

Fantasy Flight Games has remained true to the wild, intergalactic pursuit of wealth from the game’s classic 1980s roots, and we’ve kicked it into hyperdrive with several new enhancements, including a fantastic new board and sculpted ships.

Fans of the original version will find our implementation of Richard Hamblen’s classic game on one side of the board, and Rob Kouba's newly reimagined design on the other. This revised iteration keeps the core mechanics intact, but boosts them with new options that enrich the game by presenting fresh strategies to players.

  • Missions–Mission cards provide immediate goals that can boost your fame and lead to awards upon completion. Each player starts with a single mission, and can adopt mission-centric strategies if they choose.
  • Fluctuating Markets–Every culture has a market that waxes and wanes on a regular basis. Savvy traders can watch the markets and time their deliveries carefully to sell for maximum profit.
  • Fame–Fame can be profitable! Missions, better pilots, ship upgrades, victories over space pirates, and other game effects allow players to accrue fame throughout the game. At the end of the game, players receive money based on the amount of Fame they accrued.

Multiple worlds are ripe for the picking, and there’s a whole galaxy full of buyers. Space traders, get your ships ready for launch because it’s time to engage in some wild entrepreneurship!

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2 – 4 hours

1 – 4 players

Ages 14+





Player Resources

 Recent News

4 Apr 2013
Answers for the Interstellar Salesman

The FAQ for Merchant of Venus Has Been Updated

12 Dec 2012
Share Your Hard Won Solo Ventures

Download a Solo Game Tracker for Merchant of Venus

All news