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Rules for Pirates: Economy Edition

 
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cannonfury

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Subject: Rules for Pirates: Economy Edition   PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:35 am Reply with quote

Hello everyone! I'm getting ready to post a new battle report detailing the events of a game I played with my new rule-set. As a supplement to that, I thought Id post the newest version of these rules so that readers would actually understand some of the mechanics that were occurring in the game, as well as to allow any of you to emulate the game if you so wish.

Note that this is also related to my custom ships thread, as many of those pieces were designed with this rule-set in mind.

Errata:

-all ships must be unique, no duplicates; once a ship is sunk or otherwise removed from gameplay, it is no longer available for use for the remainder of that game, unless an ability allows for return to play

-all named crew must be unique, but there can be multiple copies of generic crew; once a named crew is eliminated or otherwise removed from gameplay, it is no longer available for use for the remainder of that game, unless an ability allows for return to play. Generic crew may be used as many times as you can afford

-unique treasure may be used, but note that due to the nature of some rule changes, they may no longer function as intended

-resources are represented through tokens; players may choose whatever kind of tokens they wish as long as all players agree. A ship cannot carry more than 4 of a resource type at a time, although it can carry differing types of resources to its maximum cargo capacity

-at the end of each turn, players are required to pay one gold for every ship in play that is not docked at their home island. At the beginning of the game, this gold comes from the initial build points. The construction of a fleet must take this cost into consideration.

-game time is measured in rounds. A round begins with the start of the first player’s turn and ends with at the finish of the last player’s turn


Starting Conditions: Players begin with 40 gold to design a fleet, either mixed or pure nationality. A pure nation fleet may contain other minor nations, per mercenary rules.

For each player, place 3 to 6 wild islands on the table, with home islands placed at opposite ends of the playing area, or in the case of a multiplayer game, at equidistant locations from one another on the boundaries of the map. Wild islands are empty at the beginning of the game, but if players wish, small amounts of gold may be placed on a few island pieces. Terrain may also be placed, and contrary to normal rules, are recommended to be placed in chains of at least 3. You may place as many terrain pieces as you desire.

Each player begins at their home islands, with no resources other than their starting fleet and any remaining points. Unique treasures may be placed on wild islands face down at the start of the game. Players take turns and move their ships, performing as per normal Pirates CSG rules.


Victory Conditions: A player wins when one of four conditions are met:
-time limit: The player with the most gold coins (not resources) wins after a set amount of time has passed
-fleet elimination: All enemy ships have been sunk, even if islands are still generating resources
-trade monopoly: All resource generating islands belong to one player
-a victory condition from an adventure card is met
Players may surrender if they feel that they no longer have a chance at fulfilling any of these victory conditions.

Action Modifications
Explore Actions: An explore action at a wild island takes a turn, as usual. When a wild island is explored for the first time, the player that performed the action rolls a d6—match the result to the number of the corresponding resource. That island now produces that resource for all players, and you may load up to 4 tokens of that resource onto this ship up to its cargo limit; each token fills one cargo space. Abilities that remove exploration markers may reset the resource of an island.

Repair Actions: Repair actions occur normally, with the exception that a ship carrying both lumber and textiles may repair a mast at a wild island, per the shipwright rules; these resources are used in the process.

Combat Actions: Combat actions occur normally, although boarding actions have received updates and new actions, blockading and razing, have been created.


Resources
Resources are the main source of gold production in the game, but must first be converted for a variable price at the home island into treasure coins, which can then be used to purchase ships, crew, equipment, etc.
Resources count as cargo, and abilities that affect treasure coins also affect resources (i.e. each of these coins is worth +1 gold…turns to each of these resources is worth +1 of whichever resource is in question).

The value of a resource is determined by a die roll. At the beginning of the first player’s turn, a d6 and a d20 are rolled. The d6 roll determines the values of all resources (refer to the quick reference for exact values) while the d20 roll determines the number of turns this value will hold.
Lumber: (1) Fundamental for ship and settlement building, lumber is the basic building block of any naval civilization.
Textiles: (2) Needed for sails and clothing, textiles are a key part of the trading industry.
Metals: (3) Stronger than wood, metals allow for the construction of sturdier ships and deadlier weapons—as well as providing the means for paying for them.
Fish: (4) A food source from the sea, fish are bountiful and whales provide a large source of oil.
Spices: (5) Useful for preserving and improving the taste of foods, spices were highly sought after
Luxuries: (6) The rare items crews find on their journeys through the world’s seas—from the beautiful to the wild to the truly cryptic.

~~~~~

[added by a7xfanben for clarity so everything is in one post:]

Die Roll......1......2.......3.......4.......5.......6
Lumber......1......6.......5.......4.......3.......2
Textiles......2......1.......6.......5.......4.......3
Metals........3......2.......1.......6.......5.......4
Fish...........4......3.......2.......1.......6.......5
Spices........5......4.......3.......2.......1.......6
Luxuries.....6......5.......4.......3.......2.......1

So let's say hypothetically that I dock at an island and I roll a 1. That means that island now produces lumber. There are the two main die, a d6 and a d20, that control that market in the game. If I roll a 3 on the d6 and a 14 on the d20, you go to the chart value of 3 for die roll and read down. For the next 14 turns, lumber is worth 5 gold, textiles 6, metals 1, and so on.

After that set is done, I now roll a 6 on the d6 and a 4 on the d20. For the next 4 turns, lumber is now worth only 2 gold, which means if I was depending on lumber my market value just plummeted. Does that clear that up?

Originally I did have resources playing other rolls, but for simplicity I cut that out. Technically if you have a lumber and textile on board you can replace a mast by the old rules, but I believe I took that component out. The names are purely for flavor purposes, so you could have any resources you want so long as there are 6 of them and the economy rules stay the same.

~~~~~

Technology Upgrades
Islands: An island upgrade is bought at the home island; a token representing that upgrade can be loaded onto any ship, and fills one cargo space. That ship must return to the previously explored island and may unload the token as a free action. On the next turn, the island is upgraded. If a ship is sunk on transit, the token is lost and another must be purchased.

-Encampment: Automatically created after an explore action. Abilities that remove explore actions can eliminate encampments. Encampments simply mark that this island has been explored by the player; enemy encampments may exist on the same island.

-Fort: An encampment may be upgraded to a fort per the normal fort rules. A fort generates no resources. Crew may be hired at this island. Resources can be unloaded at a fort, but they cannot be converted.

-Settlement: An encampment may be upgraded to a settlement by paying 10 gold. Abilities that remove explore actions do not eliminate towns. Having a town on an island gives control of that island to a player; other players may no longer take resources from that island. Towns can be razed by enemy ships, they have no natural defenses and after three hits are considered destroyed. A town may also be captured through a boarding action. Once destroyed, the island becomes unexplored in regards to all players, and its resource value may be reset.

-Colony: A settlement may be upgraded to a colony by paying 10 gold. Players have a choice between either a trading or a military port; an island can only accommodate one.
1) Trading Port: Allows a player to trade any two resources for one other resource, of any type. An opposing player’s ship may also dock at your trading port to trade commodities, but they must pay one resource to the owner in addition to the two resources being traded. Ships with the parley keyword do not have to pay this fee. A trading port can be blockaded by any ship.
2) Military Port: Allows a player to repair ships docked at this island as if it were a home island. Crew and ships may be purchased at a military port using gold from your home island. A military port cannot hold gold like an ordinary fort. A military port cannot be blockaded, and acts as a four flag fort with 3S cannons.

Ships/Equipment
-Clipper: This ship gets +S to her base move when she carries treasure.
-Gunboat: This ship’s printed cannon ranges are doubled. When this ship is given a shoot action you may roll two dice for each mast. You may choose different targets for each cannon on a mast, and you may roll them individually. If you wish to roll both dice at once, you must designate which die applies to which target before rolling. This ship cannot move faster than its printed base-move.
-Steamship: If this ship becomes derelict, she may still move S. She gets +S to her base move if she has all of her masts.

Crew
-Explorer: Explorer crew has been updated. If a ship performs an explore action with an explorer on board, that ship may reroll for the initial resource value. Hoists also benefit from this ability.

Updated/New Mechanics

-Boarding: after a successful boarding action, the winning ship may, in addition to taking gold or killing crew, take up to three resources, of any type, up to their maximum cargo space. A settlement can be considered to have 2 masts in a boarding roll, and is captured by the winning ship. If a ship loses a boarding roll against a settlement, the attacking ship must remove a mast and move +S away.

-Blockading: A trading port can be blockaded by a ship. If a ship docks at a trading port and declares hostilities, that port is considered to be blockaded; all trading ceases and the player loses all bonuses, including the production of commodities. The blockading player gains the resource bonuses, and can choose to take resources up to their cargo limit or remove them from the game.

-Razing: A colony can be razed after a successful boarding action, it is considered to be a 4 mast ship. If the boarding ship wins, the colony is removed from the game, and the boarding ship receives all the resources available, up to that ship’s cargo limit. If the colony wins, the opposing player takes that ship, but all crew on board are removed from the game.

-Raiding: A ship with the home-island raiding ability can dock at an enemy home island and take as many resources as she can carry, in addition to any gold. If able, she must leave on her next turn.

-Privateering: Once a trading port has been established, minor nations (Barbary Corsair, Jade Rebellion, Mercenaries, or Viking) may be hired by the major nations as privateers. The ship or crew is bought for gold worth its build cost at the trading port. The ship comes into play immediately at that island; it is considered a member of your nation for all purposes except that once it docks at the home island, a military port, or a trading port, it is removed from play, along with any crew of the same nationality aboard. It may be hired again once it has been removed from play for the same cost.
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a7xfanben
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:43 pm Reply with quote

I feel silly asking this, but I still can't wrap my head around the Resources concept. Specifically, how do you determine the value of different resources?

cannonfury wrote:
The value of a resource is determined by a die roll. At the beginning of the first player’s turn, a d6 and a d20 are rolled. The d6 roll determines the values of all resources (refer to the quick reference for exact values) while the d20 roll determines the number of turns this value will hold.


Your original thread has a part that concerns the specific values for each resource, based on a second die roll that happens after you roll for the resource TYPE when you first explore. Are you still using those values? I reread the battle report but I can't find the method used to determine which resources are more valuable than others.

If all the resources are worth the same amount, it wouldn't matter which resource you got.

Just to clarify: a ship loads one resource type from an island, all of which take up one cargo space and are unloaded at your home island worth gold determined by the die roll. The resources go out of play (essentially back to the wild island) and you have gold coins on your home island, which leave the game as you purchase new ships and crew.

Also, are there any functions that resources play in the game outside of having more or less value than other resources? I think there were originally, but I can't blame you for making it more simple; the complexities of custom rulesets often become more of a hindrance (and time sucker) than a benefit.

Quote:
Soon after, the steady market that we had been experiencing suddenly wildly fluctuated, causing the market in metals to crash. For the next several rounds, some prices skyrocketed and on the very next round plummeted to being almost worthless. This event marked the end of the early game as fleets scrambled to cope with the constantly changing market. I personally enjoyed this time, as never before had I really rethought my course in the middle of a voyage, but this happened several times as islands would suddenly be worth much more for short periods of time.

It definitely feels more like a realistic Spanish Main game, with island positioning playing a huge role in strategy, as well as the constantly shifting economy. I’ve never seen our group get so vicious over only a single island, and I liked that islands with strategic value were very valued even if their resources were not worth much.


I'm SUPER interested in this. As I mentioned in Battle Reports I find that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, with alliances being the only reliable way to take down the richest players (who usually had the best early game - say the first 10 turns for example). I love the thought of having fluctuations during the game so the long-term outcome is extremely unpredictable (but strategic rather than unfair).

I like how you used the d20 to incentivize colonizing. When I first read that, it seemed like a bad idea since the markets wouldn't change as often - but you can still roll low so it balances out nicely. I thought about rolling two d6 (especially since I don't have a d20) so the values would last for more than one turn, but potentially as long as 12 turns, a happy medium between 6 and 20.

I had another idea: use a random timer so people don't know when the values will change. Right now the players don't know what the new values of different resources will be, but they DO know when the values will change. It would be hard to base your strategy off a variable like this, but throwing even more randomness would make things even more chaotic and unpredictable. Instead of rolling a d20, there could be some kind of random timer. Shocked I don't know how else you'd do it. The problem would be the timer wouldn't be able to be set for an unknown number of turns, but an unknown value of time. I googled "randomized timer" and found some options. You could set the interval to be between maybe 10 and 30 minutes, with the timer sometimes going off after 10 minutes and sometimes after 25 minutes. This would (to a degree) simulate the economy effect more realistically, although I'm not quite sure exactly how it would affect things since I haven't played using these rules yet. I could see a problem where the timer goes off during the middle of someone's turn, which could either be played as-is or played out after the end of their turn.

I'm also a little confused as to why the French couldn't move the Saber early in the game. Even if both the Saber and L'Afrique were crewed to capacity (9+7=16*2=32) there would still be 8 gold, enough to move both ships for 4 full turns. Is there something I'm missing?

Thanks again for creating this - I'd love to try it out sometime! I don't know if I'll be able to (maybe parts of the rules and not others) anytime soon, but I can't help but consider it nonetheless. Very Happy
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cannonfury

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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:38 am Reply with quote

No problem! I noticed I didn't post the chart for that.

Die Roll......1......2.......3.......4.......5.......6
Lumber......1......6.......5.......4.......3.......2
Textiles......2......1.......6.......5.......4.......3
Metals........3......2.......1.......6.......5.......4
Fish...........4......3.......2.......1.......6.......5
Spices........5......4.......3.......2.......1.......6
Luxuries.....6......5.......4.......3.......2.......1

So let's say hypothetically that I dock at an island and I roll a 1. That means that island now produces lumber. There are the two main die, a d6 and a d20, that control that market in the game. If I roll a 3 on the d6 and a 14 on the d20, you go to the chart value of 3 for die roll and read down. For the next 14 turns, lumber is worth 5 gold, textiles 6, metals 1, and so on.

After that set is done, I now roll a 6 on the d6 and a 4 on the d20. For the next 4 turns, lumber is now worth only 2 gold, which means if I was depending on lumber my market value just plummeted. Does that clear that up?

Originally I did have resources playing other rolls, but for simplicity I cut that out. Technically if you have a lumber and textile on board you can replace a mast by the old rules, but I believe I took that component out. The names are purely for flavor purposes, so you could have any resources you want so long as there are 6 of them and the economy rules stay the same.

a7xfanben wrote:
I'm SUPER interested in this. As I mentioned in Battle Reports I find that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, with alliances being the only reliable way to take down the richest players (who usually had the best early game - say the first 10 turns for example). I love the thought of having fluctuations during the game so the long-term outcome is extremely unpredictable (but strategic rather than unfair).


It definitely changed the game up. I usually almost always win in my group because I'm playing with my younger brothers and I have a larger collection, but these rules evened out the playing field substantially. You can change the balance of power with well-timed strategic strikes, and the randomness of the economy stops anyone from running away with the game.

The random timer would be interesting, but I prefer knowing when the market is going to change as it really forced the players to think about what their next turn would be, or if if would be worth pursuing a really high payout resource when there were only a few turns left.

As for the Saber, that completely had to do with how far the islands were separated. I believe it was around 3L, and with the Saber's movement of L it would have not made it back to the home island in time.

a7xfanben wrote:
Thanks again for creating this - I'd love to try it out sometime! I don't know if I'll be able to (maybe parts of the rules and not others) anytime soon, but I can't help but consider it nonetheless. Very Happy


My pleasure! I had a great time making the rules, crafting new game chits and testing it out, so the least I could do was to share it with the community! I'm glad you've enjoyed it so much as well, it certainly makes it all worth it when the players get a thrill from it.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:48 am Reply with quote

cannonfury wrote:
No problem! I noticed I didn't post the chart for that.

Die Roll......1......2.......3.......4.......5.......6
Lumber......1......6.......5.......4.......3.......2
Textiles......2......1.......6.......5.......4.......3
Metals........3......2.......1.......6.......5.......4
Fish...........4......3.......2.......1.......6.......5
Spices........5......4.......3.......2.......1.......6
Luxuries.....6......5.......4.......3.......2.......1

So let's say hypothetically that I dock at an island and I roll a 1. That means that island now produces lumber. There are the two main die, a d6 and a d20, that control that market in the game. If I roll a 3 on the d6 and a 14 on the d20, you go to the chart value of 3 for die roll and read down. For the next 14 turns, lumber is worth 5 gold, textiles 6, metals 1, and so on.

After that set is done, I now roll a 6 on the d6 and a 4 on the d20. For the next 4 turns, lumber is now worth only 2 gold, which means if I was depending on lumber my market value just plummeted. Does that clear that up?


Okay, now everything is clear! Very Happy

Thanks again.
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Subject: Re: Rules for Pirates: Economy Edition   PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:17 am Reply with quote

Hey Cannonfury,

I have been cooking up a homebrew set of rules for some time for my Pirates games. They just never seem to get done and allow me to get "my Pirates game" to the table. I do get the standard game out here and there, but really want to get the variant I have in my head to table. That said, I'm glad I haven't brought it out yet, because I think what I have in my head right now would be totally unplayable in real life. Not because it wouldn't work, but because the time to plan a game would just be totally over the top unreasonable.

For that reason, I was glad to read about this in your ruleset:

cannonfury wrote:
--game time is measured in rounds. A round begins with the start of the first player’s turn and ends with at the finish of the last player’s turn.


I am totally stealing this idea. I don't know why I never thought of it before; certainly there are lots of games that use the concept of rounds. I just never brought it into my thoughts for "my" game until I read your post.

cannonfury wrote:
-Victory Conditions: A player wins when one of four conditions are met:
-time limit: The player with the most gold coins (not resources) wins after a set amount of time has passed
-fleet elimination: All enemy ships have been sunk, even if islands are still generating resources
-trade monopoly: All resource generating islands belong to one player
-a victory condition from an adventure card is met


Note- the emphasis on your final victory condition was added by me.

I am also planning to have something like this in my game. I'm calling the concept "quests", and it's a little bit like solving a rumour in Merchants & Marauders but a bit more challenging. The idea is that first you have to find out what your quest will be, then you have to go and do it. I'm curious, though, what your adventure cards look like and what some of the victory conditions on them might be? Do you have anything you can share?

cannonfury wrote:
-resources are represented through tokens; players may choose whatever kind of tokens they wish as long as all players agree.


I am also using resources and may borrow some of your concepts. I've also borrowed from Woelf's "Pirates of Catan" crossover, in that the resources I use are going to be Catan "goods" --> Wood, Wool, Wheat, Brick, and Ore. The best thing about using them is that I already have physical bits for my goods : the "Yucatan" meeple packages.


Link to a google image search for Yucatan token set

I got a good group of ideas from your post. I'll try and put what I've got up in a post soon and perhaps other people might be similarly inspired b something I've come up with.

Thanks for sharing!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:54 pm Reply with quote

ahoy_scott wrote:
Note- the emphasis on your final victory condition was added by me.

I am also planning to have something like this in my game. I'm calling the concept "quests", and it's a little bit like solving a rumour in Merchants & Marauders but a bit more challenging. The idea is that first you have to find out what your quest will be, then you have to go and do it. I'm curious, though, what your adventure cards look like and what some of the victory conditions on them might be? Do you have anything you can share?


Currently, not quite yet, but they would be cards similar to the ones in Catan where you purchase them with resources and they would provide a challenge or ability, or even give a victory condition.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:41 pm Reply with quote

cannonfury wrote:
ahoy_scott wrote:
Note- the emphasis on your final victory condition was added by me.

I am also planning to have something like this in my game. I'm calling the concept "quests", and it's a little bit like solving a rumour in Merchants & Marauders but a bit more challenging. The idea is that first you have to find out what your quest will be, then you have to go and do it. I'm curious, though, what your adventure cards look like and what some of the victory conditions on them might be? Do you have anything you can share?


Currently, not quite yet, but they would be cards similar to the ones in Catan where you purchase them with resources and they would provide a challenge or ability, or even give a victory condition.


Sariouriel's Century of the Empires was supposed to include quests but the idea wasn't fully explored (there are some on the last post of the thread).
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:17 pm Reply with quote

Here's the relevant part from what sariouriel had written:

Quests:
Each country representant has some missions that guarantee some money from his government. Every 2 turns you roll a dice. 1-3 nothing 4-6 you get a mission (you draw a card from a mission card pile). If you manage to complete that quest, you receive gold, ships, or some crew. I took that idea from Total War series, it really works great on the high seas.
1. Build a certain structure within X turns
2. Find a certain treasure
3. Hunt for a sea monster (like in Quest for Davy Jones' Gold)
4. Create X colonies
5. Make a decent battlefleet
6. Create an alliance with nation X
7. Sink X ships within Y turns from player Z.

I like many of the Merchants & Marauders rumours and will likely adapt some of them to use as quests in PotSM.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:04 pm Reply with quote

ahoy_scott wrote:
Here's the relevant part from what sariouriel had written:

Quests:
Each country representant has some missions that guarantee some money from his government. Every 2 turns you roll a dice. 1-3 nothing 4-6 you get a mission (you draw a card from a mission card pile). If you manage to complete that quest, you receive gold, ships, or some crew. I took that idea from Total War series, it really works great on the high seas.
1. Build a certain structure within X turns
2. Find a certain treasure
3. Hunt for a sea monster (like in Quest for Davy Jones' Gold)
4. Create X colonies
5. Make a decent battlefleet
6. Create an alliance with nation X
7. Sink X ships within Y turns from player Z.

I like many of the Merchants & Marauders rumours and will likely adapt some of them to use as quests in PotSM.


If you can come up with 11 of these, you can just roll two d6 to determine your mission.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:54 am Reply with quote

Didn't know this until I played it the opposite just recently: (reply is from cannonfury)
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