Mercator OP ?

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Mercator OP ?

Post by Phoxtrot »

I have looked at 9 3 or 4 player games with Mercator in them and the Mercator player has won 8 of them.
I know that is a small sample but it is still impressive.

Should the role be nerfed a little or are we supposed to somehow block the player ?

I think hampering the Mercator might work a little in a real life game but the options to do so are limited in this game and such ganging just doesn't happen on BGA unless you play with a regular group. Basically, you can try to rely less on the market and more on the favors (in a 4p game) and cities and possibly get the best contracts even when you don't really intend to fulfill them. But this remains limited and can very quickly cost you too much points.

So, how could the role be nerfed ?
Here are a few ideas:
1) the power only works when at least one of the dice used for the action is colored.
2) or the power at the market only works once per round for each category.
3) or when receiving gold or silk, you must pay one gold or camel or merchandise or VP (to the bank) to get it.

Anyone with access to the game database could run some stats on how often the different personas win the in a 4 player game (as a % of the games where they are present) ?
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Re: Mercator OP ?

Post by Calmon70 »

I agree with Mercator is very strong (and for me also the strongest) in general especially in arena where we always 4 players but there is also a lot of scenarios which makes other roles good.

If I would in charge to nerf mercator I would do it like you suggested in 2). Make it only work once and not for the second use of same trade good. This would tone down especially the camel income.
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Re: Mercator OP ?

Post by Pandevmonium »

He is the OP character in base game, too bad they don't want to implement auction bids for this game :(
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Re: Mercator OP ?

Post by KeithHendricks »

Mercator is indeed super strong.

As for relying on favors, Mercator’s first action every round, presuming at least one six rolled, is to block king’s favor with a six, so that other players either have to get goods above, and feed into Mercator’s ability, or use one of their own precious sixes.

This is such a good move it is even worth bumping a five to a six with two camels.

As for being super strong, Mercator does go last in the opening round. Other players should be taking all the initial nearby large city rewards with travel. Mercator often doesn’t get one of those bonuses. Not that Mercator needs them with their resource income from other players.

As for ongoing strategy against Mercator, obtain as many small city bonuses as possible, as these pay out every round and are 100% proof against Mercator’s ability.
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Re: Mercator OP ?

Post by vre »

Could I suggest to add a table option to exclude Mercator from the initial draft of characters? He's OP by all accounts I've found, including stats from official championships: ... championsh

Could BGA look into this? Gather stats based on the recorded games results and then if the OP hypothesis is confirmed, add that table option? Thanks!
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Re: Mercator OP ?

Post by danielctin14 »

Hi, just to confirm what Vre said in the previous post, these are the results of the most recent 10 000 games played on BGA. Maybe a small sample size but in my opinion enough to be confident that Mercator is an outliner, placing 0.5 places higher than any other character in 3 and 4 player games.

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Re: Mercator OP ?

Post by ylathor »

There can be lots of reasons for diffenrences in average placement of characters:
As a newbie myself I find 2 character powers very easy to use / gain a benefit from. Getting free ressources from Mercator is one of them. So right from the start, having little knowledge of the game, he helped a lot. Other abilities are harder to abuse.
But that does not imply that the same is true for more experienced and better players. Maybe another character is better in the hands of an expert?
Also the board setup plays a part in how strong a character's ability is. So nerfing is a bad way to go. In most games betting victory points is better I think.

Or just get good at the game and be able to win no matter what 😁. That is what I will try.
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