As with many others, the reason for allowing others to refresh their products for free would be a diplomatic tool. Remember that if other players don`t have updated cards, YOU can`t receive any commercial merchandise from them. Non-responsibility: Everything I say in this post is based on speculation, so take it all with a grain of salt. I guess each race will have two merchandise cards, each with some numerical value, just like you have two Trade Agreement cards in TI3. However, instead of giving each other your trade cards, you can simply use one of your cards so that one of your neighbors can draw that number of goods. This means that they “use or lose,” which means that if you don`t give your goods away before you have the opportunity to refresh them, those commercial goods are actually wasted. There may be a certain time when you can do it, but I guess it can happen at any time. This means that if someone uses the trade strategy card, you can give your goods during primary capacity and then update them with secondary capacity. If my speculations are correct (or close to them), I have mixed feelings about it.
I like that you can “act” with almost anyone you want, even if you fight them frequently (example: being an ally, but acting planets/ships to achieve reciprocal conquest goals). However, I am not sure how I feel about the “neighbour” clause. I like that it encourages creating the map so that the vortexes connect across the line and become like the vortexes of shopping malls. It`s very thematic, which I like. However, I am concerned that it will encourage turtling in a game that already tends to encourage this behavior. My favorite IT games were those with early and frequent aggressions. To beat someone up, it often meant acting with one of your neighbors and then attacking your neighbor while you were acting with the guy on the other side. As a harassment race, I would often enter the “personal space” of my Nieghbor and set up a store. Instead of continuing to attack them and weaken my position, I would use my intimidating position to negotiate for trade.
The trade agreement would be a bit of a deterrent for them coming after me later, and I would have a long-term advantage with the extra territory. It may be more difficult to implement this type of strategy with the new system. I think we`ll see how it ends. This raises an additional question: If goods can be converted into commercial goods and commercial goods can be given to any player at any time, what is the point of having goods, in addition to forcing me to play nicely with my neighbors? Perhaps commercial goods will only be transferable to neighbouring neighbours. Or maybe they won`t be transferable at all, and they only serve as a way to save resources and influence between twists and turns. Letnev`s player loses 2 goods. During this round of combat, roll any number of your dice. When a player gives a commodity to another player, that merchandise turns into merchandise; the player who receives the goods overturns the token on his commercial side. Players are encouraged to fill out the goods through the Trade Policy Card and exchange them in mutually beneficial transactions. One of the things that has strengthened the turtling is trade agreements. If they got a solid profit at every turn and that advantage was going away, if you start fighting people, it would encourage you to sit in your corner and not engage. I guess this new type of trade is designed to avoid this problem, so that trade can play a bigger role in the game without you wanting to keep a low profile.
Although this is speculation on my part, the products for trade agreements seem to be adapted from the third edition. Instead of providing maps, each race has a specified amount of goods that can be “produced” on each train.