Star Trader game 9
This is the web version of the latest turn in the ninth postal (PBM/PBeM) game of Star Trader GMed by Mike Dommett and published by Pevans in To Win Just Once, the games magazine. For an introduction to Star Trader follow the link.
Game End Statements
Firstly, my apologies. Moving to A New House has taken up a lot of my time, so if I have not put your contribution in, that's going to be my excuse.
Bob Parkins TRANSURANIC TRADERS
I was not expecting that. I was playing for a longer game. My game plan was to build up my reputation by trading and then establish a strong factory network. This all takes time and cash. How Solar Spice & Liquors was able to own 16 Monopoles factories and have a reputation of 40 early in the game means I still have a lot to learn. All that is left for me to say is, well-done Paul, a well-earned win, and a big thank you to Mike for running the game.
Mark Cowper COSA NOSTRA PIZZA INCORPORATED
Lackey rushes into the office of Don Corleone, CEO of Cosa Nostra Pizza Incorporated: "Signor, it is all over in the Voyager Star System, the people only want spicy food and booze."
"Mama Mia, we did not even have time to launch the Meat Feast special. (sighs) ... close up the office, withdraw the franchises and move on."
Congratulations to Paul - amazing performance, so well done to him, but for me that is another game that has finished in double-quick time. I remember my first game going for 20+ turns. Is it possible to set different victory conditions next time? Most wealth after 20 turns? I am finding my enthusiasm for the game waning slightly as I was just getting going and boom, game over! Twice in a row!
Przemyslaw Orwat INTERSIDEREAL NOVICES
Thank you all for the game, congratulations to the winner!
This time I played a manufacturer with criminal connections - to have a chance for some lucrative smuggle opportunity. There was nothing worth the risk, however. The turn four civil war hit one of my ships like two other unlucky players. Then, when the MH Monopoles price rose I knew the game will end soon.
Paul Evans SOLAR SPICE & LIQUORS
Yes, the quick end of this game took me by surprise, too - though I did see it coming for a few turns. My strategy was my usual one: trade in goods that don't require Cargo pods (all the better to mount weapons), particularly Monopoles, and hire some Agents to see what kind of an edge they give me.
With Dragon giving me an Initiative advantage, Ferret making it easier to land On Planet and Willy providing a boost to black market sales, smuggling was clearly the way to go. Though, in line with my other goods, Tempus would be the only thing I was smuggling.
The strategy was all going swimmingly, with a successful Tempus run boosting my profits, when the News chits turned up Events 6 and 20. It was clear that the Monopoles price was going to max out, so it was time to invest in Monopoles factories to sell off at the peak. That all worked out nicely, too.
Mike Dommett (GM)
Definitely a shorter game than expected. Paul benefitted from the OP chits and Events and quite possibly many did not realise he was close to winning. It certainly hadn't clicked with me. All players were participating, which was good. What did show was that while there are various ways to play the game - we have seen winners who use opportunity chits, winners running passenger lines, winners just involving themselves in trading and, especially if you are not competing with anyone, you can do very well for yourself. What we haven't seen yet is a successful pirate.
Have half a dozen ships moving passengers between the high-level worlds and while you may be paying 50 or 60 HTs interest a turn on the loan you took out to buy the ships, you are bringing in maybe 200 HTs each turn. But if that must be shared between other players the profit drops. Spending on initiative - and first dibs on the passengers matters.
Another way to make money is to buy a dozen factories at a low price - say 3 HTs for the commodity. This costs 300 HTs. The next turn, you bid to buy at 10 HTs, taking perhaps 20 units for a further 200 HTs. IF no one sells that commodity, dropping the price, you can then sell the factories and get 600 HTs back. 100 HTs profit plus 32 units to sell. But you need the money first, and someone selling the goods at the factories' system can reduce the price and perhaps eliminate the profit. Paul, because of fortune with the Event Chits, got the benefits of the rise in price without having to do any buying of Monopoles.
The basics remain sound. Buy cheap and sell dear. When you have a Contractorship, you can deliver goods and sell 5 each turn at the best price and holding agent Percent gives you that ability wherever he is stationed. You need to make a profit overall. Take a loan out for four turns, and you need to make more than four turns interest in profit to make it worthwhile. Hire an agent, and you need make use of him. It has been rightly said that some agents are generally more use than others. Perhaps there is scope to think of another way for Corporations to acquire agents and run as a trial. Players choosing the agent option in free deployment get a choice of two. Perhaps this could be adapted.
Apart from Mark and Martin, all the Corporations were within 500 HTs of the winning margin. I shall consider the victory conditions and perhaps run a Corporation scenario next time.
Corporation value by turn
Figures assume ships are sold at cost and goods are sold at market value in their current location and ignore any OP chits in play.