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"Starchase" and "Merchants of Venus"

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>From: nancy ott <ott@ansoft.com>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Fri, 17 Sep 93 9:49:53 EDT
The way Cherryh describes "Starchase" makes it sound a bit like Avalon Hill's "Merchants of Venus". For those of you who've never played it, "Merchants" is a board game where the players trade goods between star systems, build factories and space stations, and above all, try to make money. Each player represents a different spacefaring race. Every star system has its own native race, each of which is at a different technology level and produces different goods; players get a discount for buying factories and ststions in their home systems. Goods can only be traded between certain races, so setting up "runs" where you can trade cargoes from system to system is fairly important.

The game board is set up randomly, so each session is different. Movement is made by rolling dice -- a different number of dice for each type of ship. Ships range from large, slow transports (big hold, but they only roll 2 dice for movement) to small, fast clippers (small hold, but they roll 4 movement dice). You can also buy star drives that allow you to travel faster across the board. There are optional combat rules.

The diplomatic aspects of "Starchase" are missing from "Merchants", of course. But the way the game is played reminds me of how Compact trade is described in the Chanur books. My main criticisms of it are that the board is very complicated and takes a while to set up, and the combat rules tend to slow the game down (so I don't normally play with them). But I still recommend it to all you board game junkies out there. (Lesley, feel free to skip it!)
- nancy

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>Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1993 07:59:31 EDT
>From: davis@licre.ludwig.edu.au
>Subject: cherryhlist
>The way Cherryh describes "Starchase" makes it sound a bit like Avalon
>Hill's "Merchants of Venus".  
I take it this is a play on words from Shakespeare?
Ian Davis                            davis@licre.ludwig.edu.au

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