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Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents» Forums » Rules

Subject: Stock limit and Phase 2 & 3 auctions rss

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David Combs
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What happens if a player already owns 4 shares in an opponent's company and then wins a luminary in the phase 2 or 3 auction and the luminary comes with a share for that opponent's company, giving them 5 shares? Do they get to keep all 5, do they immediately sell 1 share, or are they not allow to bid on any luminary that would put them over the limit?
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Dirk Knemeyer
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dhc3po wrote:
What happens if a player already owns 4 shares in an opponent's company and then wins a luminary in the phase 2 or 3 auction and the luminary comes with a share for that opponent's company, giving them 5 shares? Do they get to keep all 5, do they immediately sell 1 share, or are they not allow to bid on any luminary that would put them over the limit?


We actually never had this come up in testing, because the economic engine is designed to make it hard and buying just one opponent's stock is super typical - even in a two player game, because there are so many more patent and internal building opportunities to be had.

So anyway, the language in the rules says "you may never own more than" which would follow along that you may not take the luminary with the fifth stock certificate. However, this could lead to paradoxical situations that break the game (two player game, phase 3 auction, both certificates are of the company you already own four shares in). Plus, just from a playability standpoint, I don't like that.

So the ruling is that you may not purchase stocks on the stock market that push your portfolio past four shares, but your portfolio pay exceed four shares if acquired via the luminary auction.
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David Combs
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Thanks! I didn't think it would happen that often, but with all the early game pledgers reporting that there seems to be a huge stock grab in the game I thought that it might be possible. Though, I suppose by the time people have enough money to buy a lot of stock at once, the Phase 3 auction probably already happened.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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One of the things inherent in the game's design is the use of auction and market mechanics to undermine specific strategies. Certain stock approaches seem overpowered until everyone is doing them; then the player(s) able to take advantage of other efficiencies are going to win. The tendency of Euro gamers is to BUILD, so emphasis on the tech tree and projects will often make the stock market the most efficient play for those "zagging" to the building zig. But, as soon as it hunkers down into a stock grab cycle, the players taking the efficiencies in building their companies will be the ones succeeding.

That said, there is an exploit where, if the last player has many shares of their stock on the market on their last turn, they can arbitrage other holdings they have and buy back their own to make an overpowered move. It is easily avoided - don't leave a lot of their shares sitting there for them, yo! - but when it happens it is devastating.

dhc3po wrote:
Thanks! I didn't think it would happen that often, but with all the early game pledgers reporting that there seems to be a huge stock grab in the game I thought that it might be possible. Though, I suppose by the time people have enough money to buy a lot of stock at once, the Phase 3 auction probably already happened.
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Steve Carey
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dknemeyer wrote:
That said, there is an exploit where, if the last player has many shares of their stock on the market on their last turn, they can arbitrage other holdings they have and buy back their own to make an overpowered move. It is easily avoided - don't leave a lot of their shares sitting there for them, yo! - but when it happens it is devastating.


Dirk, what we saw (near the end game) in our 5P session the other day was players dumping opponents' stock to lower its value and to also raise funds for additional stock purchases. That puts stock back into the pool, and the cycles were repeating themselves.

Let's say that Player A has 6 shares of their own stock and Player B has 1 share of Player A's company. Player B sells that 1 share and the negative impact is much greater on Player A (since he has 6 shares) than on Player B (who now has no Player A shares but now has money to buy someone else's share). Other players do this to, then on Player A's turn he dumps opponents' stocks to buy his own shares back from the pool to increase its value. Other players follow with the same tactics.

If Player B doesn't dump then it keeps Player A's share out of the pool that's true, but then Player B has just 1 share at X value while Player A has those 6 shares at X value - not good.

We really enjoy the game, but there are concerns with the rampant stock manipulations near the end game - instead of being easily avoided, it's seemingly what players have to do to keep things competitive.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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But its not what players have to do, right? Like in poker the last to act has a big edge in late game stock manipulation. If you are early in the cycle on the last turn under no circumstance should you be dumping later players' stock in large quantities unless they clearly have other things to do (such as sitting on level 5 tech and access to those lucrative projects). You don't have the same flexibility for market liquidity that they do. It just needs to be central to your thinking at that stage of the game. Dumping the stock of a player later in the cycle in quantity at the end game is player error in many cases.


Steve Carey wrote:
dknemeyer wrote:
That said, there is an exploit where, if the last player has many shares of their stock on the market on their last turn, they can arbitrage other holdings they have and buy back their own to make an overpowered move. It is easily avoided - don't leave a lot of their shares sitting there for them, yo! - but when it happens it is devastating.


Dirk, what we saw (near the end game) in our 5P session the other day was players dumping opponents' stock to lower its value and to also raise funds for additional stock purchases. That puts stock back into the pool, and the cycles were repeating themselves.

Let's say that Player A has 6 shares of their own stock and Player B has 1 share of Player A's company. Player B sells that 1 share and the negative impact is much greater on Player A (since he has 6 shares) than on Player B (who now has no Player A shares but now has money to buy someone else's share). Other players do this to, then on Player A's turn he dumps opponents' stocks to buy his own shares back from the pool to increase its value. Other players follow with the same tactics.

If Player B doesn't dump then it keeps Player A's share out of the pool that's true, but then Player B has just 1 share at X value while Player A has those 6 shares at X value - not good.

We really enjoy the game, but there are concerns with the rampant stock manipulations near the end game - instead of being easily avoided, it's seemingly what players have to do to keep things competitive.
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Steve Carey
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dknemeyer wrote:
But its not what players have to do, right? Like in poker the last to act has a big edge in late game stock manipulation. If you are early in the cycle on the last turn under no circumstance should you be dumping later players' stock in large quantities unless they clearly have other things to do (such as sitting on level 5 tech and access to those lucrative projects). You don't have the same flexibility for market liquidity that they do. It just needs to be central to your thinking at that stage of the game. Dumping the stock of a player later in the cycle in quantity at the end game is player error in many cases.


Steve Carey wrote:
dknemeyer wrote:
That said, there is an exploit where, if the last player has many shares of their stock on the market on their last turn, they can arbitrage other holdings they have and buy back their own to make an overpowered move. It is easily avoided - don't leave a lot of their shares sitting there for them, yo! - but when it happens it is devastating.


Dirk, what we saw (near the end game) in our 5P session the other day was players dumping opponents' stock to lower its value and to also raise funds for additional stock purchases. That puts stock back into the pool, and the cycles were repeating themselves.

Let's say that Player A has 6 shares of their own stock and Player B has 1 share of Player A's company. Player B sells that 1 share and the negative impact is much greater on Player A (since he has 6 shares) than on Player B (who now has no Player A shares but now has money to buy someone else's share). Other players do this to, then on Player A's turn he dumps opponents' stocks to buy his own shares back from the pool to increase its value. Other players follow with the same tactics.

If Player B doesn't dump then it keeps Player A's share out of the pool that's true, but then Player B has just 1 share at X value while Player A has those 6 shares at X value - not good.

We really enjoy the game, but there are concerns with the rampant stock manipulations near the end game - instead of being easily avoided, it's seemingly what players have to do to keep things competitive.


Well, yes and no - several players (including the eventual winner) found themselves boxed in on the eastern portion of the map so stock manipulations were the way to go.

We're 18xx players and that system has more reasonable restrictions imposed, whereas here we saw frenetic late-game stock activity as players madly scrambled to secure the best value for their own companies.

Ironically enough, the winner had the lowest share value in his own company, he had the smallest project network, and he also had the lowest tech, but he had the largest portfolio and so managed to prevail via multiple stock manipulations near the end.

Thanks for the feedback Dirk, I'm enjoying the discussion and look forward to exploring the game more during our next group session later this week.
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Mike Pokrzywa
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We are finding that stock manipulation is a dominating strategy. I cannot see a way to stop it other than multiple players using this strategy. All this does is shift the game into the favor of those playing the other aspects of the game. I am hoping a fix comes soon as I think a limit on stock purchases is a viable fix.
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Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
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Mike P wrote:
We are finding that stock manipulation is a dominating strategy. I cannot see a way to stop it other than multiple players using this strategy. All this does is shift the game into the favor of those playing the other aspects of the game. I am hoping a fix comes soon as I think a limit on stock purchases is a viable fix.


Same here. I love the game but it is in need of tweaking.
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