Gameday First Play – Merchant of Venus (Classic)

Pick up and Deliver around Venus.

“Take a left here… no left, left… LEFT!”

Merchant of Venus uses many elements which come together to form a very interesting game. Players take on the roles of space traders who move their ships through interconnected systems discovering new alien worlds to trade with. As players start to make money delivering commodities in a unique supply-and-demand system, their earnings can be used to purchase better ships and equipment.

This is a roll and move game.. LET ME FINISH!

There are two versions of this game in the Fantasy Flight box, we played Classic mode.

Everyone has a ship and you fly around picking up ‘stuff’ from planets and selling them to planets that want them.

Merchant of Venus Ship

The ship can be upgraded to change speed and cargo space but can also have shields to protect from space damage and engines to increase your movement.

So yes, you roll and move around a pretty expansive board.

Merchant of Venus Board

You move along a line one space per pip on the die until you either reach a space port or a junction. You can buy engines that let you skip the red or yellow spaces… or both. Get those and you’re skipping around the board pretty quickly.

The junctions are… interesting… Before rolling, you pick a direction to declare where you are heading. But you ‘lock’ one die which you will use for movement but also to determine where you go on a junction…

Merchant of Venus Directions

So here if you lock a 6 you will head south-east when you approach this junction. That’s great if you want to go that way, not so great if you don’t. You lock the die after rolling obviously so you can choose which direction to head, but you can’t always go where you want to.

While annoying, I knew about this going into the game and it wasn’t as frustrating as I thought it would be.

Where are you heading? Space ports. Each space for a port starts with a face down card to randomise their starting location. As each port is visited it is revealed. This will show that bases goods for sale, and what they are willing to buy.

Merchant of Venus Planet

So when you get to these planets you can buy upgrades or buy goods to put in the cargo hold. Then you find the planet that wishes to buy your stuff and you go there to sell it.

Be the first to make a certain amount of money and you win.

This was pretty to look at and not bad to play, but it was quite repetitive.

Also, you have ‘Events’. They are placed around the board, some are bad, some are good… I got ALL of them…

Merchant of Venus Tokens

These let me move easier, re-roll, have a shield etc Lots of abilities. It also meant that as the game drew closer to an end I could sell these for free money to buy goods to sell. This mean’t I was gaining money without losing any in the last few turns, which is why I won.

All in all it was an OK game that I don’t really need to play again.

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