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Subject: What is the deal with "Container"? rss

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Andrew Meadow
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Every time it shows up in an auction is sells immediately for over $100. Did it have a print run of a dozen copies? Is it the greatest game ever made? What is the deal? I know everyone says it is good, but lots of games are good... and less expensive. What is the history behind "Container".
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Blorb Plorbst
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Funky Disco wrote:
Every time it shows up in an auction is sells immediately for over $100. Did it have a print run of a dozen copies? Is it the greatest game ever made? What is the deal? I know everyone says it is good, but lots of games are good... and less expensive. What is the history behind "Container".


I've never played (and I'd love to) but I think it's got a strong reputation as a heavy, low luck, economic game. And I know, for myself, those sort of games have a big draw. Add to that a smallish print run and you get something of a cultish popularity similar to Indonesia or 18XX.
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Liam
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Moved from General Gaming to Container General.

I think you'll get more responses here.
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Graham Walker
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Container is like an exotic cheese that if you like it, you really enjoy it but you don't fault others not having the same taste as you. I was lucky enough to find a copy at a game shop a few years back, just before the prices started going up and I have been enjoying it ever since.

In my mind there is no better example of a relatively simple game (compared to an 18xx) that can mirror an abstracted real world economy as well as Container. It is not a game of building up your economic engine like so many other games. In order to win at Container you need to find your niche in the market. And finding your niche is 100% based on what the other players are building/doing themselves. This is what makes Container interesting.

Some people hate on Container because the players can break the economy if player take on too much debt and don't bring new money into the economy. But to me, Container is game without training wheels and is better for it because this is exactly what can can happen in a real economy. But, it is a short term danger as once the economics is understood then there is no real danger anymore of this happening.

Other people think Container is boring likely because there are no elements like Le Havre style cards to add more variability. Fair enough, but that is not what Container is supposed to be and there are many other games that will provide that.

Container is what it is and what it does, it does really well and if that is the kind of game you enjoy then it is easily worth what it is fetching for on eBay.

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Todd Pytel
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There were plenty of copies of Container back in the day. It was on the shelves for at least a couple of years IIRC. But heavy economic games like Container are a small niche, so I'm sure there were never as many printed as more broadly appealing games. And Container (unlike, say, 18XX) is a very "pure" economic game without the thematic distractions of running railroads, developing real estate, and so on. It's pure supply and demand. So economic gamers new to the fold will tend to seek it out as a very concentrated example of what economic games are about. Hence the high price.

I passed on Container repeatedly back in the day and sort of regret it now. But it would probably still be sitting on my shelf unplayed if I had bought one. Economic games like that really require a group with a particular interest in them. I didn't, and still don't, have one of those.
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Sterling Babcock
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It is also not likely to be reprinted since the company that owns the license is embroiled in legal battles. (See Up Front discussion)
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Liam
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Solamar wrote:
It is also not likely to be reprinted since the company that owns the license is embroiled in legal battles. (See Up Front discussion)


Gulp - I think,here's the long and here's the short.
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Graham Walker
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tppytel wrote:
But heavy economic games like Container


There have been 2 references here to Container being "heavy". Really? Perhaps we have different definitions of heavy but the rule set is fairly straight-forward and there are not too many 'moving parts'.

It is much less complicated than say Agricola.
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Blorb Plorbst
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gerwalker wrote:
tppytel wrote:
But heavy economic games like Container


There have been 2 references here to Container being "heavy". Really? Perhaps we have different definitions of heavy but the rule set is fairly straight-forward and there are not too many 'moving parts'.

It is much less complicated than say Agricola.


Heavy on brain, not on rules.

I consider Chess or Go "heavy" though both can be taught in a few minutes.
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Todd Pytel
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Ditto. Economic games tend to be "heavy" due to the implications of the rules, not the complexity of the rules themselves.
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I don't think of the game as heavy; I think of it as being unforgiving, which is something all together different. I think the two terms have become somewhat interchangeable in gaming circles. I mean, I don't even think of Age of Steam as a heavy game, necessarily, though I suppose its length might play a factor into it being classed thusly.

To me, a heavy game is something like Antiquity or Die Macher.
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Graham Walker
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Quote:
I consider Chess or Go "heavy" though both can be taught in a few minutes.


Yep, we certainly have different definitions of "heavy".

The way I see it:

Heavy Game - A game which combines lots of rules, tokens, abilities, cards that make it relatively laborious to learn requiring many trips back to the rule book in the first few plays in order to keep everything straight and your brain from exploding.

Deep Game - A game that requires you to think really hard about your move, how your opponent will respond to that move and analyse potential future moves in order to do well.

Therefore, by this definition 'Go' is a deep game rather than a heavy game.

So, by my definition Container is certainly not heavy and I don't even really think it is that deep since it is not brain burner of game.

BTW - I am not trying to argumentative, just want to understand where you are coming from. I am not saying my definitions are 'right' just how I view them.

I am curious if other people who have played Container think it is either deep or heavy?

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J C Lawrence
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gerwalker wrote:
...Container is certainly not heavy and I don't even really think it is that deep since it is not brain burner of game.


It is when I play it, with the general result that it also becomes a brain burner for everyone else at the table too.
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Jimmy Okolica
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I would second that it is a deep game. I ultimately traded it for Bus with the expectation that I'd get it again at some point. In the meantime I've just gotten my first play of Wealth of Nations. It is another economic game similar to Container with two exceptions -- it has economies of scale and a central market that players can buy from or sell to in addition to trading with other players. The central market makes the game less fragile but it does lose the pure economic interplay of Container. I hope in the future to have both in my collection.
 
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Justus
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Just wanted to add, this is a game with very simple components. Its not hard at all to mock up your own copy. Try it and see. In my experience its a love/hate game so I would certainly make sure to try before you buy.

But like I said, building a container set is really quite easy.
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neko flying
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How much did it cost back when it wasn't sold out?
 
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Brent Wilson
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flying_neko wrote:
How much did it cost back when it wasn't sold out?


~$40 online.
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neko flying
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Speedyox wrote:
flying_neko wrote:
How much did it cost back when it wasn't sold out?


~$40 online.


wow.
 
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Benjamin Maggi
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I played it once. I loved it. I balked at the online prices when it was still available, but I finally bought the last copy my FLGS had on their shelf for list price. I have played my copy twice since then. I doubt it will get much play.

But, I am glad I bought it.

I don't consider it heavy. I consider it DRY. I think many people confuse the two. I don't think it is all that complex, but it might be considered boring/dry and that is sometimes the same critique of games that are heavy.

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