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Become a Merchant of the Sky in FFG’s Sky Traders

by Jeff McAleerMarch 6, 2012

Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new title that takes players to an all new fantasy setting where they represent merchants of the air in Sky Traders!

From FFG:

Command your own skyship and become a master merchant in Sky Traders, a board game of commerce and intrigue for two to five players. Evade the ruthless Wind Pirates as you collect influence with the powerful Sky Guild. Manipulate the commodity market using your powers of persuasion. Through clever trades and resourceful captaining, you can seize the title of Master of the Sky Guild!

At the start of the game, players construct the game board from 14 hexagonal tiles. These tiles feature different areas, including cities, Hyperzephyrs, the mighty volcano, and more. Since the board is newly constructed for each game, there are nearly countless configurations.

Before setting sail each turn, every player has to draw an Ill Wind card. These cards create a range of effects, including Wind Pirate attacks. The Wind Pirates are ruthless, so you will have to choose whether to submit to their demands, or attempt to fight them off. At the same time, some of the Ill Winds cards provide rewards. Prepare for anything when drawing from this deck.

When the game begins, you’ll want to fill your ship with cargo and start trading. To do so, sail to a city and use your starting money to purchase goods. Each city specializes in selling one of the six types of goods in the game, so head to the city that carries the good you want to purchase.

Sky traders can also make money by transporting sludge or grog, but these types of goods come with certain hazards. Dumping sludge in an unauthorized area is not advised, as the authorities quickly track down any captain foolish enough to do so.

To sell goods, move your skyship to a city and check the Commodities Exchange sheet. This card displays the current value for all types of goods. Multiply the current value of the goods your carrying by the amount of good you have. You’ll then receive that amount of money from the Treasurer in exchange for your goods. Shrewd captains can influence the price of the goods they are hauling in the Guild Council phase to maximize profits when selling.

If you’re in need of a burst of speed, travel to one of the Hyperzephyr tiles. These contraptions transport ships to another area of the board instantly. Otherwise you’ll have to move about the board one space at a time, burning precious phlogiston. If you run out of fuel, you can mine the clouds for small amounts of phlogiston. To avoid this somewhat embarrassing situation, be sure to purchase fuel when you are in a city, or mine large amounts of fuel from the Phlogiston Geyser tile.

At the end of each turn, players can attempt to manipulate prices and secure Influence with the guild. Team up with like-minded traders to increase the cost of the goods you are carrying, or flat-out bribe your peers for their assistance. However you do it, you’ll be rewarded handsomely for adeptly playing the market.

Purchasing Influence costs a princely sum, but the only way to take control of the Sky Guild is to become its most influential member. As traders move up the Influence track, they can more easily control prices and exert pressure. Powerful guild members are likely ruffle a few feathers during their rise to power, so they’ll have to be on the lookout for rivals who want to take revenge.

Launch your skyship into the clouds and experience adventure and intrigue in Sky Traders. Trade your way to fortune and fame as you attempt to take control of the powerful Sky Guild.

We are excited to announce that Sky Traders arrives late second quarter of 2012. Watch out for future previews of this game in the coming weeks.

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Jeff McAleer
Jeff McAleer
Founder, editor-in-chief, and host of TGG media. Jeff tackles any and all topics but his main gaming focus is war and strategy, RPGs, and miniatures. He's also a fan of independent and small press comics. Plus, Jeff is certainly never at a loss for an opinion...

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