Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Free Trader - Session report

This is a session report on the next version of the game that I am playtesting. This new version is a simple incremental change on the original game. The changes included are : Lower profit potential, mis-jump capability, money for killing pirates, Alien Invaders ( up-gunned pirates ), greater costs for ship modules.

Starting on Earth I bought three Indu cargos and shot out along the new trade route to Baker. Unfortunately I couldn't sell Indu there, I guess their cargo handlers must have been on strike.

Moved to Tanist, dang! Couldn't sell there either, strikes everywhere.

Moved onto Azerbot into the path of a Pirate. He shot at me but missed. I flashed my lasers and wasted him getting a nice credit from the Galactic bank for my pains.

Sold my cargo bringing the balance up to 11. I brought three Wea cargo pods and jumped to Tarken, and sold the Wea for profit. Also managed to fit a new Laser and a new cargo pod.

Then I bought three cheap Indu cargo leaving me with 6 money. Paid out and jumped to Rijel. More Pirates! Same story as before, I was happy to take the credit for killing bad guys. Sold the cargo ending up with 12 money.

Taking Wea to earth looks like an option but Kailing would be even better but that is too far away. So back to Earth with three Wea.

More dang pirates bigger ones this time. They took a shot at me smashing off one of my engines, I was just thinking how expensive that would be to replace when the danging bank took the first payment on the ship, in the middle of a battle! I returned fire using my shiny new laser and blasted the pirate. Phew! Nice couple of money from the authorities for cleaning up the pirates, but not enough to replace the drive.

The prices here are doing me no favours I can only sell for price I bought them for. No better options within two jumps. :( Tarken is the best option but due to the damage taken thats beyond reach!

There is the new route to Corolis, I cant reach Azerbot and prices are depressed on Baker so it looks like I'm going to Corolis but I have no idea where I'm going after that.

I make the jump with some Agri right into a fight with more Pirates, they're getting bigger! Dodged their shot, then smacked them. Sold my goods and I'm rolling around in money (18). I upgraded the cargo capacity of the ship.

Indu to Kailing looks like the best bet. I jump, and sell the cargo getting up to 20 money! I upgraded Cargo and Defence.

I bought a hold full of Agri and jumped for Rijel. Unfortunately there is no one buying Agri. The new route to Thane has poor furture trade options so I reject that, Tarken only has one trade route, but going back to Earth will offer three trade route options. I jump to Earth and sell at a profit bringing my money up to 17.

I can only buy Agri and Indu here, Indu is cheap and the prices look good for that on Azerbot. I buy 4 Indu and make the Jump.

Huge Pirate ship! He misses me, my attack misses him and dang it the bank demand their payment in the middle of the battle ... oh no, I only have 9 money in the bank, they need 10. Fingers go loose on the controls, what's the point of fighting, I've already lost the ship...

... and the game.

Final status, 4 Indu cargo, 4 Cargo spaces, 3 Engines, 3 Weapons, 3 Defence and 9 money.

Conclusion : Certainly no easier than the previous version. Unfortunately I did not encounter any of the extra features during this first session, so I will have to definitely run some more playtests. Possible that I need to include more than 1 Invader type event in the deck, as Invaders are likely to force jumps those will incur mis-jumps.

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