Posted by: Zach Smith | September 13, 2011

Merchants and Marauders: Session Report

On Friday, September 2nd, the SAGA subgroup of the ET Gamers played Merchants and Marauders.  It was a four player game with myself, Charlie Davis, and two friends of mine from church, Gabriel and Lemuel.

Charlie and Gabriel started as Dutch merchants, Lemuel was a Dutch pirate, and I was a Spanish pirate.  Early in the game, Lemuel attacked my pirate ship, which was laden with booty from a recent merchant raid.  This attack was unexpected and successful.  Facing an early death, I reentered the game as a Dutch merchant and sought to plan my revenge on the dreaded pirate Lemuel.

Charlie struggled early to buy cheap goods to sell at a premium at in-demand ports, but as the game went on, he gradually amassed a small fortune.  He did a great job of avoiding the numerous buccaneers sailing the Caribbean.  Along with trading, Charlie completed an important mission and scouted some rumors to secure his victory, sailing into his home port with a glorious Galleon bloated with wealth.

Even though he was not the ultimate winner, Lemuel did the impossible by defeating an English Man-of-War in a thrilling sea battle.  I have played Merchants and Marauders a dozen times, and this is the first time a Man-of-War has been defeated.  This was one of many sea battles won by the pirate Lemuel.  He was certainly a scourge of the seas and feared by all.

This was an excellent game of Merchants and Marauders.  Charlie claimed the victory, by all four players were in the hunt.   After a dozen plays, I think the game is well balanced between pirates and merchants.  Both have won equally as much in my plays.  If you enjoy the pirate theme, narrative, and dice combat – check this game out!


  1. I have played 2 games and watched most of a third. I agree that the balance is there but you have to maximize the bonuses in each sea area to be efficient. Don’t forget to use them.

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