Corey's Crib Notes

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Basic Strategy for Merchants of the Middle Ages

Merchants of the Middle Ages is fundamentally a bidding game. The biggest challenge for anybody playing these games for the first time is “how much do I bid?” I like to avoid answering this question, since it will vary greatly depending on the game and who you are playing with, but in instead re-work the question to this: What is important to bid on?

#1 Being Loadmaster.

If you can be load master for all 7 or 8 carts, you will win the game. This is because you are guarantied to ship 3 goods instead of 2. Also, you can charge fees that will cover the cost of being the Loadmaster. This is effetely a tax on the other players who can only ship, at most, two goods.

For example in a three player game and all goods are sold at $800 (to keep the math easy), you win the bid at $600 and charge each player $300 for their two goods. When the cart lands at a city, you will receive your full profit for all three goods, $2400. Now the other two players will be $1300 (this includes the fees they paid you).

$2400 vs. $1300 per load.


Basic Strategy for Merchants of the Middle Ages

#2 Investment Cards

Try to get at least two of these cards. You don’t have to worry about getting a particular one since any of them can screw or help with your plans. It is more a question of being able to balance the other player’s cards.

Some of these cards can be worth $2000 or more:
Office Cards If you can sink opponent’s good price just before their pay out, it can cost them $800 to $1200.
Driver and Courier Cards These four cards give you flexibility to gain Influence cards which can help remove other players “screw you” moves.
Reduced Cost Buy ANY three goods for $100 total.

Other things you need to keep an eye on:

  • Make sure you have goods in a city that is about to move a cart out.
  • If you are high on the social status track, then try to end the game as soon as possible. Upkeep fees will kill your pocket. Having the “Low Upkeep” card will save you $1200.
  • Influence cards are powerful. Try to get them every turn if you have the power to move the courier.
  • How the cards move to cities. You want to move them to a city that does not produce your goods to get the bonus.

The beauty and balance of the is game is that for each situation that ails you, there is a card that can remedy it.

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