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Subject: cornering the market rss

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eryn roston
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After playing the game a couple times, it sorta seems like the comodity market doesn't have much of an effect on the game. I was curious to know how often people had games where one commodity got bought up quickly. IT seems like in our games they are rarely very expensive and players always seem to have access to cheap sources of energy with which to power their plants.

-E
 
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Philip Thomas
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The market has an effect even without a commodity running out (which does happen sometimes, especially in the end game). For example, in the initial buy, the garbage plant is generally avoided, because of the way the market starts.

If you want to see the market effects more clearly, the France/Italy expansion has different setups on each board. The Italy board is pretty poorly provided with commodities.
 
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Play a few more games, the market can have a huge effect. It certainly doesn't always, but as an example I mentioned in a session report http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/57010#57010 we shut a player out of trash for about three turns in a row, which had a huge effect on his income.
 
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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It doesn't happen every game, but when it hits, it's like a ton of bricks.

I'd estimate there's a serious squeeze in about one-third of the games I play.
 
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Chris Tannhauser
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The market can be an effective offensive weapon, especially when you're in last place (first to buy from the market). You can buy twice what you need, store it on your plants, effectively banking it for the next round simply to drive the price up for the following players. This can cause a neat little panic effect where more players buy twice what they need--and the stone you dropped in the pond ripples all the way to the leader who is now screwed.

Of course, this feature is weakened considerably with fewer players where it's much easier for everybody to be using a unique energy source and everyone is 'playing nice.'

Me, I like blood with my oil.

Chris
 
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Anthony Simons
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The problem with trying to corner the market is it also costs you more. The net effect can often be screwing yourself, so this strategy has to be used with care.

For example, two players own coal plants and the first one to buy can store up to six; the second wants two coal to power his plant. If coal is currently at its lowest it will cost the first buyer an extra three elektros (for three more coal than is needed at 2 apiece - +1 elektro each to drive the cost up for the following buyer by two (because just purchasing three coal would have left the cost per resource at two rather than three). Plus in the following turn, both will be paying more.
 
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Mr Cricket
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My experience was that the first 4 games I played (all 3-player) the market didn't get particularly tight. The fifth game the winner won taking the last coal and squeezing out their closest rival. Since then (and I've played it many times now), the market has often been very tight towards the end.
 
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Damien Browne
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fellonmyhead wrote:
The problem with trying to corner the market is it also costs you more. The net effect can often be screwing yourself, so this strategy has to be used with care.

For example, two players own coal plants and the first one to buy can store up to six; the second wants two coal to power his plant. If coal is currently at its lowest it will cost the first buyer an extra three elektros (for three more coal than is needed at 2 apiece - +1 elektro each to drive the cost up for the following buyer by two (because just purchasing three coal would have left the cost per resource at two rather than three). Plus in the following turn, both will be paying more.


This actually has a run-on effect. If you've played it a few times, you'll remember saying at *least* once "Damn, short by 1!" - or similar.

Well, if you hadn't bought that last coal...
 
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Chris Tannhauser
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Yep, it's a gamble--but that's what makes it fun!
 
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Matt Albritton
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I think new players see no/little effect on the market because they tend to overvalue the wind plants. Having a lot of players running wind takes the pressure off the coal/oil fuelers, letting them run more easily and buy less plants due to those plants generally having higher capacity. One of the high cap players will then end the game before the wind players can catch up in capacity.

Once players start to recognize the value of higher capacity, the market starts to tighten up considerably. It eventually gets to the point where wind power starts to be a viable option again. The game is all about balance.
 
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eryn roston
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Kubigaruma wrote:
I think new players see no/little effect on the market because they tend to overvalue the wind plants. Having a lot of players running wind takes the pressure off the coal/oil fuelers, letting them run more easily and buy less plants due to those plants generally having higher capacity. One of the high cap players will then end the game before the wind players can catch up in capacity.

Once players start to recognize the value of higher capacity, the market starts to tighten up considerably. It eventually gets to the point where wind power starts to be a viable option again. The game is all about balance.


I think you've hit the nail on the head with this comment. Everyone has "ooed and aaahed" in my games when the wind power comes out. They sure sound sexy when you first see em.

-E
 
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