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

Subject: Luminaries ranked on how good they are rss

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Rich M
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Any thoughts on Luminaries and ranking from highest(most useful to least)?
 
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Mike Pokrzywa
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All the ones with money go near the top since stock manipulation is the best way to win. The money multiplier is very powerful as the game goes on.
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Rich M
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Mike P wrote:
All the ones with money go near the top since stock manipulation is the best way to win. The money multiplier is very powerful as the game goes on.

So if I were to create an AI for the game I should make it tend towards JP Morgan, Henry Willard or George Westinghouse(if I want a balanced approach utilizing Westinghouse)correct?
 
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Dirk Knemeyer
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I think the luminaries are somewhat strategy-and-inventor-dependent. For example, John Kreusi is somewhat mediocre except for Tesla. In Tesla's company, Kreusi can be a $1,000 last guy gotten and really have a significant impact on the stock game. Whereas, for Thomson, he's terrible. Or, Charles Batchelor and William Stanley, Jr. are super powerful for *anyone* pursuing a technology/projects strategy but that is all that they do.

Personally I think who you buy and how you use them are all about market efficiencies. Getting J.P. Morgan in the first phase is great. Is he still great if he bids up to $10,000? Your mileage may vary.

The early draft-y work I did for a single player variant included replacing the auction with assigned luminaries instead of any form of auction. I vacillated, for the solo player, between randomly making n luminaries available and then their having a set price depending on who that inventor is, or a blind draft, or just taking one of the n that were exposed without a financial transaction. As that list of very different options indicates, I was just in the idea generation and early design phase of things.


Rockin Rocko wrote:
Mike P wrote:
All the ones with money go near the top since stock manipulation is the best way to win. The money multiplier is very powerful as the game goes on.

So if I were to create an AI for the game I should make it tend towards JP Morgan, Henry Willard or George Westinghouse(if I want a balanced approach utilizing Westinghouse)correct?
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Michael Dworkin
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The 'goodness' of the luminaries isn't linear.

In other words they aren't all in a single-dimension sequence from best to worst.

For example, Tesla's lack of financial skills makes it hard for him to secure patents unless hires luminaries with that skill; so, for Tesla, financial skill is vital in luminaries he hires. On the other hand, Edison has mastered the patent process and has reasonable financial skills, so Edison does not need to focus on financial expertise as much in his hiring decisions.

Practically every other inventor / luminary match up has pros and cons that differ on basis of the matched pair, AND on other luminaries hired later AND on the strengths and weak spots of the other players.

In baseball, the 'best' batter to put up against a left-handed curve ball artist is not the "best' batter to put up against a right handed speed-ball ace with control problems and loaded bases.

Similarly the 'best' luminaries depends team mates and on situations.
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Mike Pokrzywa
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dknemeyer wrote:
I think the luminaries are somewhat strategy-and-inventor-dependent. For example, John Kreusi is somewhat mediocre except for Tesla. In Tesla's company, Kreusi can be a $1,000 last guy gotten and really have a significant impact on the stock game. Whereas, for Thomson, he's terrible. Or, Charles Batchelor and William Stanley, Jr. are super powerful for *anyone* pursuing a technology/projects strategy but that is all that they do.

Personally I think who you buy and how you use them are all about market efficiencies. Getting J.P. Morgan in the first phase is great. Is he still great if he bids up to $10,000? Your mileage may vary.

The early draft-y work I did for a single player variant included replacing the auction with assigned luminaries instead of any form of auction. I vacillated, for the solo player, between randomly making n luminaries available and then their having a set price depending on who that inventor is, or a blind draft, or just taking one of the n that were exposed without a financial transaction. As that list of very different options indicates, I was just in the idea generation and early design phase of things.


Dirk I have to ask if you ever played a game where one player made stock moves for 90% of the game? We are seeing a real problem combating this strategy and it makes the money stat unbalanced since you get the bonus on both buying and selling. The fact that you can buy and sell an unlimited number means you can just drive the market.

Other players are driving their stocks up as the game intends but all that does is help the guy who is only looking for the short sell. He then gets to cash in on the work, drive the price down hard and then buy more stocks to do the exact thing to the next player(s). This gives him a huge cash hand to do nothing but stock moves. Of course he buys all of his own company stock super low as his company doesn't change until near the game end.

I want to enjoy the game but I am having a hard time getting past this strategy as the one that is the most dominating.
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David Grier
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Mike P wrote:

Dirk I have to ask if you ever played a game where one player made stock moves for 90% of the game? We are seeing a real problem combating this strategy and it makes the money stat unbalanced since you get the bonus on both buying and selling. The fact that you can buy and sell an unlimited number means you can just drive the market.

Other players are driving their stocks up as the game intends but all that does is help the guy who is only looking for the short sell. He then gets to cash in on the work, drive the price down hard and then buy more stocks to do the exact thing to the next player(s). This gives him a huge cash hand to do nothing but stock moves. Of course he buys all of his own company stock super low as his company doesn't change until near the game end.

I want to enjoy the game but I am having a hard time getting past this strategy as the one that is the most dominating.


I'm sure your playing correctly but just to make sure.... you know you cant buy and sell the same company in the same turn? i.e. you cant just buy up one company and immediately sell it (which is what it sounds like you're suggesting!)

Apologies if I've misunderstood!

Kind Regards,

David
 
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Mike Pokrzywa
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redrigdiva wrote:
I'm sure your playing correctly but just to make sure.... you know you cant buy and sell the same company in the same turn? i.e. you cant just buy up one company and immediately sell it (which is what it sounds like you're suggesting!)

Apologies if I've misunderstood!

Kind Regards,

David


Yes we are playing correctly and I am also aware of the "no more than 4 stocks in other companies" rule. These rules do nothing to stop the problem since you load up one turn and unload the next. While you are unloading one company's stock, you are buying other(s) to repeat this process.
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David Grier
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Mike P wrote:

Yes we are playing correctly and I am also aware of the "no more than 4 stocks in other companies" rule. These rules do nothing to stop the problem since you load up one turn and unload the next. While you are unloading one company's stock, you are buying other(s) to repeat this process.


Good stuff - just thought I'd make sure

We've not found this a problem, but then I did explain to everyone from the outset that this is principally a stock game. Our first game went exactly as you described above (we were all good little builders apart from one). Recent plays have been much more interesting.

 
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Mike Pokrzywa
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redrigdiva wrote:

Good stuff - just thought I'd make sure

We've not found this a problem, but then I did explain to everyone from the outset that this is principally a stock game. Our first game went exactly as you described above (we were all good little builders apart from one). Recent plays have been much more interesting.



We played a handful of games that everytime the player who used stock manipulation wins. I would like to get to that "much more interesting play" category, but I cannot if this is the dominating strategy to win. I am not sure I want to play a game that all we do is manipulate stock either since there is so much more to this game.
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Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
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Mike P wrote:
redrigdiva wrote:

Good stuff - just thought I'd make sure

We've not found this a problem, but then I did explain to everyone from the outset that this is principally a stock game. Our first game went exactly as you described above (we were all good little builders apart from one). Recent plays have been much more interesting.



We played a handful of games that everytime the player who used stock manipulation wins. I would like to get to that "much more interesting play" category, but I cannot if this is the dominating strategy to win. I am not sure I want to play a game that all we do is manipulate stock either since there is so much more to this game.


I have insisted this is an issue. (in other threads) I await all replies to this question, since I think this is going to problematic.
Replay factor went way down for us.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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Our developers did not report this as an issue in their testing.

The mechanics allow all players to pursue any actions each turn. Along with the draft and auction mechanics for the inventors and luminaries respectively it should not be possible for one player to pursue an A-B-C strategy to win at the exclusion of the other players.

Am I missing something here?

Any of you interested in playtesting the first expansion, which will go into formal design process starting in the fall, please PM me.


sakerio wrote:
Mike P wrote:
redrigdiva wrote:

Good stuff - just thought I'd make sure

We've not found this a problem, but then I did explain to everyone from the outset that this is principally a stock game. Our first game went exactly as you described above (we were all good little builders apart from one). Recent plays have been much more interesting.



We played a handful of games that everytime the player who used stock manipulation wins. I would like to get to that "much more interesting play" category, but I cannot if this is the dominating strategy to win. I am not sure I want to play a game that all we do is manipulate stock either since there is so much more to this game.


I have insisted this is an issue. (in other threads) I await all replies to this question, since I think this is going to problematic.
Replay factor went way down for us.
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Rich M
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You could always add a nice little risk reward for someone who abuses the pump and dump stock theory. You could make them pay an increasing fee on every stock trade. So you could make the first action of both buying and selling free. (They buy in company A and Sell company B stock). Then they decide to buy in Company D and Sell Company C stock all during the Visit the Stock Market stage. This is where you charge a fee as a percentage of the trade for the second series of trades. This could be 10%, 20% or whatever the total amount of the trade is. So lets say the total trade for selling was $100,000 @10% they would have a $10,000 fee paid to the bank. This will put a little pain with any type of gain on someone pushing just market manipulation angle. Also bank fees were very normal back then on doing transactions. Just my 2 cents.
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Mike Pokrzywa
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dknemeyer wrote:
Our developers did not report this as an issue in their testing.

The mechanics allow all players to pursue any actions each turn. Along with the draft and auction mechanics for the inventors and luminaries respectively it should not be possible for one player to pursue an A-B-C strategy to win at the exclusion of the other players.

Am I missing something here?

Any of you interested in playtesting the first expansion, which will go into formal design process starting in the fall, please PM me.


I am surprised this didn't come out at playtesting but it does lead to an A-B-C strategy. The only way I can see to stop it is if another player is doing the exact same strategy. The problem then becomes those two players lose miserably to everyone else, so it becomes a "who wants to jump on that bomb" game. I cannot say this happens in 2-3 player games but from a 4-5 players it does. I am hoping a fix comes soon and not in the form of an expansion. I want to like this game but as for now it is unplayable.
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Rich M
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Mike P wrote:
dknemeyer wrote:
Our developers did not report this as an issue in their testing.

The mechanics allow all players to pursue any actions each turn. Along with the draft and auction mechanics for the inventors and luminaries respectively it should not be possible for one player to pursue an A-B-C strategy to win at the exclusion of the other players.

Am I missing something here?

Any of you interested in playtesting the first expansion, which will go into formal design process starting in the fall, please PM me.


I am surprised this didn't come out at playtesting but it does lead to an A-B-C strategy. The only way I can see to stop it is if another player is doing the exact same strategy. The problem then becomes those two players lose miserably to everyone else, so it becomes a "who wants to jump on that bomb" game. I cannot say this happens in 2-3 player games but from a 4-5 players it does. I am hoping a fix comes soon and not in the form of an expansion. I want to like this game but as for now it is unplayable.

So do you see an issue with my suggested fix above?
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John Coveyou
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I am not sure it's possible to take stock market actions for 90% of the actions. It's rare to even be able to buy a share of your stock in the first turn of the game anyway.

And if it you did use 90% of your actions for stock purchases your engine would be completely out of gas and you wouldn't be able to buy more than a couple shares of stock total anyway. I think it would be a loosing strategy. If anyone has seen differently, please layout the process step-by-step for the rest of us.

The cost to going to the stock market is that it slows down your engine. And the cost to trying a purely stock market strategy is that you have to dump everyone else's stock continually, making enemies of all your opponents. I see a simple fix to someone who plays this strategy without much diplomacy.

I think there a big difference between a game being unplayable, and not wanting to play a game.
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Mike Pokrzywa
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JohnCoveyou wrote:
I am not sure it's possible to take stock market actions for 90% of the actions. It's rare to even be able to buy a share of your stock in the first turn of the game anyway.

And if it you did use 90% of your actions for stock purchases your engine would be completely out of gas and you wouldn't be able to buy more than a couple shares of stock total anyway. I think it would be a loosing strategy. If anyone has seen differently, please layout the process step-by-step for the rest of us.

The cost to going to the stock market is that it slows down your engine. And the cost to trying a purely stock market strategy is that you have to dump everyone else's stock continually, making enemies of all your opponents. I see a simple fix to someone who plays this strategy without much diplomacy.

I think there a big difference between a game being unplayable, and not wanting to play a game.


You start with $14 and all stocks are $12. How can you not buy a stock with the first action? Now you use your $ skill luminary to sell that stock for a sure profit and buy another stock at a lower cost. Once actions reset for the next round, you rinse and repeat utilizing the $ that is on all but one of the 5 starting luminaries not to mention any others you can try to win along the way between phases. Soon you will have all the money you need to buy your own stocks at $12 each as yours don't move. You are killing the value of every other company so that when yours does move it is not far off. I have seen this work multiple times, just math it out.

I think a fix is to limit the number bought or sold like in 18xx games, but I did not playtest this game so I have no idea what was considered and what does not work. I am asking those that did for help on this.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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It's an interesting approach. I want to keep the actions as simple and streamlined as possible so would want to do something like that only if necessary.

To Mike P and all, So far lots of people are enjoying the game and a couple are reporting an issue in this area we haven't seen. If it proves to broadly be an issue we will be proactive and decisive in addressing it. But I don't want to make fast changes on limited feedback. That said I am appreciative for all of the input and thoughts people are offering here.
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Dirk Knemeyer
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But other people can buy your stocks as well. It's not passive and open to you it is a market.

Mike P wrote:
JohnCoveyou wrote:
I am not sure it's possible to take stock market actions for 90% of the actions. It's rare to even be able to buy a share of your stock in the first turn of the game anyway.

And if it you did use 90% of your actions for stock purchases your engine would be completely out of gas and you wouldn't be able to buy more than a couple shares of stock total anyway. I think it would be a loosing strategy. If anyone has seen differently, please layout the process step-by-step for the rest of us.

The cost to going to the stock market is that it slows down your engine. And the cost to trying a purely stock market strategy is that you have to dump everyone else's stock continually, making enemies of all your opponents. I see a simple fix to someone who plays this strategy without much diplomacy.

I think there a big difference between a game being unplayable, and not wanting to play a game.


You start with $14 and all stocks are $12. How can you not buy a stock with the first action? Now you use your $ skill luminary to sell that stock for a sure profit and buy another stock at a lower cost. Once actions reset for the next round, you rinse and repeat utilizing the $ that is on all but one of the 5 starting luminaries not to mention any others you can try to win along the way between phases. Soon you will have all the money you need to buy your own stocks at $12 each as yours don't move. You are killing the value of every other company so that when yours does move it is not far off. I have seen this work multiple times, just math it out.
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dknemeyer wrote:
It's an interesting approach. I want to keep the actions as simple and streamlined as possible so would want to do something like that only if necessary.

To Mike P and all, So far lots of people are enjoying the game and a couple are reporting an issue in this area we haven't seen. If it proves to broadly be an issue we will be proactive and decisive in addressing it. But I don't want to make fast changes on limited feedback. That said I am appreciative for all of the input and thoughts people are offering here.


Thank you for the consideration. I like the game a lot based on the theme and the mechanics so I am hoping to figure something out for future plays.
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Mike Pokrzywa
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dknemeyer wrote:
But other people can buy your stocks as well. It's not passive and open to you it is a market.


Yes but how many players have the kind of liquid cash value to start buying 2-3 stocks every round from round 2? Especially if they are trying to up their company value with projects? One player doing this sets the tone for how the game now plays.
 
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John Coveyou
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Quote:
How can you not buy a stock with the first action?


No one said it was NOT possible. It's possible, just rare, bc players see the enormous cost to their engine to buy a share right off.

And I am playing through it now and the actions don't work. You can only afford your own shares with this strategy. You won't have enough cash to by other player's shares with any consistency, as you cannot buy and sell your own shares in the same action, it doesn't work. It will also take you a third of the game just to be able to afford to buy the second share.

Additionally, when everyone else's shares are in the 40, 50 and 60's while yours are worth 12, I can't fathom a scenario where you would have enough stock value to win. You have a preferred share of 4 certificates, worth 12 a piece. Everyone else has a preferred share of 4 worth 4x or 5x of that. The math is not in favor of this strategy.
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JohnCoveyou wrote:

No one said it was NOT possible. It's possible, just rare, bc players see the enormous cost to their engine to buy a share right off.

And I am playing through it now and the actions don't work. You can only afford your own shares with this strategy. You won't have enough cash to by other player's shares with any consistency, as you cannot buy and sell your own shares in the same action, it doesn't work. It will also take you a third of the game just to be able to afford to buy the second share.

Additionally, when everyone else's shares are in the 40, 50 and 60's while yours are worth 12, I can't fathom a scenario where you would have enough stock value to win. You have a preferred share of 4 certificates, worth 12 a piece. Everyone else has a preferred share of 4 worth 4x or 5x of that. The math is not in favor of this strategy.


If I go before player B, I just buy their stock since it is priced at $12 - first turn! If I use a $ Luminary it gets cheaper still, but I want to save my $ luminary for turn 2. If they up their stock value in any way on their turn my investment gains value. Now when I sell I get player B's new value, tank their stock to the left and buy player C stock at cost. Next turns go the same way so long as I have the $ luminary to offset everything. Keep in mind selling stocks makes it go left and that kills almost a whole turn's gain value. Even without a gain in value I make a couple dollars in the transaction and it is enough to keep my engine of stock trade moving.
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John Coveyou
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As long as you're playing by the rules, this [purely stock strategy] doesn't work...
 
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Mike Pokrzywa
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JohnCoveyou wrote:
As long as you're playing by the rules, this [purely stock strategy] doesn't work...


Please explain the rules that don't make this work. Since I have seen it on the table work multiple times now, I would love for you to walk me through exactly how to make it fail. This is my goal in this forum so please elaborate.
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