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Manila» Forums » General

Subject: Seriously? rss

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Garfield Cat
Switzerland
Zurich
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Hi

I played it yesterday for the first time. We were 4 players. After the first round it was already clear who will win. One person plundered the 36-ship, got 36 pesos + 15 because he bet that no ship will make it to the harbor... So he was in the position to be the harbor master in 95% of the next rounds.

My opinion about the game:
- Too much luck involved
- Too less possibilities to influence the ships
- pilots are useless and too expensive
 
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Mark Brown
United States
Carmel
IN
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With 4 players, why was that player the only person on the 36 value ship?
Usually the ships are full, and the 36 is split between the players on the ship.
 
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Michael Frost

Iowa
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Having played the game many times at all player counts (including a 2-ply version I came up with to play with my GF) I agree that such an unbalanced start is possible. And there is no explicit catch-up mechanism. BUT I've also seen many games where a player who was never the Harbor Master or only the HM say once win.

But unbalanced games happen all the time due to both luck and strategy (esp. in heavy games with new players who barely know what they are doing).

The key to Manila is players who understand probability. If no one else is a pirate and the pirate gets to plunder, that pirate will be rich. In most games players realize this and it is rare that there is just one pirate. Though I have seen it happen near the end of the game where a desperate player who is behind just tries to pirate. And their bet pays off.

Even in a game where a player may run away with the score, the other players have still had fun.

This great game doesn't take long to teach or play. So you have one unbalanced game. Just play another!
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Michael Frost

Iowa
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When only one pirate plunders a punt, that one pirate kicks all the other players off the punt, steers it into either side of the port and collects ALL the money. So with just one pirate, 36 rubles. If there had been 2 different pirates, they would've split 18 rubles a piece, though the head pirate would determine which side of the port the punt ended up landing. And that pirate chooses the side that either benefits him the most or hurts some other players outcome the most.
 
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Michael Frost

Iowa
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And do keep in mind this is an entirely probability-driven game. So yes, long-shot "bets" can pay off. BUT they rarely do, which is why they are long-shot bets to begin with. In most games I've played, few long-shot bets pay off. And the player who put his money down on it loses the pesos. But every now and then they do pay off, and if only one player is making them, that player will make out like a real bandit that round.

The beauty of the game is that by the 3rd placement the players have a pretty good idea about which bets are a given, which are impossible, which are near sure things, and which are real long shots. And they place their last meeple according to their risk assessment. Of course, if all the best and good "bets" are taken, you can pass. You aren't forced to take a bad "bet". But once a spot is taken, you can't place your "bet" there.
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