Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Genoa» Forums » General

Subject: Traders vs Chinatown rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jimmy Lin
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm interested to know how Traders of Genoa and Chinatown compare to each other? What are the pros and cons of each and what makes each one unique.

From my impression, Traders is more complex and harder to learn and also plays longer, is this correct?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmb
BeachBoy3000 wrote:
I'm interested to know how Traders of Genoa and Chinatown compare to each other? What are the pros and cons of each and what makes each one unique.

From my impression, Traders is more complex and harder to learn and also plays longer, is this correct?

I have no knowledge of Chinatown whatsoever, but Traders of Genoa is not incredibly difficult to learn (the only thing really tough is the fact that the rules for handling negotiations are needlessly convoluted) nor terribly complex. Also, it doesn't take very long at all, at most an hour once you figure it out, if not 45 minutes or under.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Eisen
United States
Redwood City
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I have to disagree. A game of Traders is significantly longer than that, nearly 2 hours, and can be much worse if someone in the group insists on negotiating deals even after it is clear to everyone else in the room that there is no deal to be had.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sterling Babcock
United States
Longmont
Colorado
flag msg tools
admin
Winkles is here to help!
badge
Please let me know how I can help you.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I know traders is on the order of 2 hours, and well worth it. It is not really that hard to learn. You do have to keep the negotiations going, though.

Chinatown is shorter, probably an hour.

I really like both games, but Traders of Genoa is my favorite of the two.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Huzonfirst
United States
Manassas
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Best hobby, with the best people in the world. Gaming is the best!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BeachBoy3000 wrote:
From my impression, Traders is more complex and harder to learn and also plays longer, is this correct?
Yup. Genoa is a minimum of two hours and three hour games aren't uncommon. One hour games of Chinatown are quite achievable and you'd be hard pressed to play for more than 90 minutes. Genoa is also the more involved game, although I still wouldn't describe it as particularly complex.

Chinatown is unusual for a trading game in that all the information is open. In Genoa, everything can be traded, which makes for very creative deals and a rich gaming experience. Still, I've seen plenty of clever dealmaking in Chinatown as well. There's some luck in both games (Chinatown probably has a little bit more), but skillful play almost always carries the day.

Despite their similarities, the games actually have a pretty different feel. Initially, our group rated Genoa a bit higher, but pretty soon Chinatown was the game we played much more often. Genoa is a great game, but it can drag if the players don't keep things moving along and the trading "bang for the buck" you get in Chinatown is hard to beat. Still, with the right crowd, I'd never turn down a game of Genoa.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jimmy Lin
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
maybe I'll just get both devil

one interesting thing I've noticed from playing bohnanza (which I think is a introductory game to show non-gamers what a negotiation game is like, it is also my gateway game.) is that the loud player that yells alot usually wins soblue
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Grundy
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
NateStraight wrote:
(the only thing really tough is the fact that the rules for handling negotiations are needlessly convoluted) nor terribly complex. Also, it doesn't take very long at all, at most an hour once you figure it out, if not 45 minutes or under.
We're another who usually top two hours when playing. The negotiations get pleasantly warm.

Convoluted rules? I know they're presented in point form with ten numbered sub-clauses, but the subclauses are brief and trivial. Paraphrased:
.1 The current player may trade
.2 It's not an auction, you can change your offer however you like
.3 The agreed offer is binding on both parties... shake on it!
.4 The trade always includes the non-tower player getting the action in the current or specific next building
.5 Any cash (5 ducat increments) and every material item in the game and currently in your posession is available for trade.
.6 Nothing else is available for trade, eg no promises.
.7 EXCEPTION/Clarification: The non-active player can offer things they're going to get out of the building as part of the trade
.8 The trade can include goods/money in both directions
.9 The active player may accept offers which are not "the highest"
.10 EXCPETION/Clarification to .4: The active player may accept an offer to move to a street field rather than the next building.

This is all just to be precise. The bulk in two sentances:
Non-active players attempt to trade with the active player to win the right to take a building's special action, firstly the current action if it hasn't already been used or more usually the building action that will be available on the very next step. All currently held material items and/or cash are available to trade, and the trade can include cash/items in "change" from the active player.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Grundy
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh, also it's "complex" if your players want to start their first game on fair footing... ie having an idea what all the things are and what they might be worth. If they're happy to fly by the seat of their pants for the first game it's not too hard. In total (and I counted) the number of things to know is quite similar to Puerto Rico.

Edit: which is roughly twice as much stuff to know as to get going with Settlers or all the rules of Carc or Ticket to Ride.

Settlers in total has slightly less to know than Traders.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmb
Geez. Y'all must have the slowest groups of people on the planet in your game groups. Honestly, I'll clock the next game we play, but I can't remember the last time it took anywhere near an hour, let alone two.

The turn track averages out to about 150-200 discreet tower movements (and, thus, possible negotiable items) per game, depending on the number of players. Certainly not all of these will actually be negotiated (sometimes the tower player will just do their own thing and say "to hell with the rest of you," and sometimes the tower will inevitably move through the street which hardly ever gets negotiated), so it's probably more like 100-150 negotiable items per game.

I guess if y'all are spending a minute on every single one of those 100-150 negotiable actions, I can see how you'd run past 2 hours, but that just seems like way too much of a good thing. Not every player is going to be involved in every negotation and, once you learn the game, the players that are involved in any given negotiation are going to know relatively well what they're willing to offer or, if the tower player, accept. 30 seconds for each action seems reasonable.

jgrundy wrote:
Convoluted rules? I know they're presented in point form with ten numbered sub-clauses, but the subclauses are brief and trivial. Paraphrased:
.1 The current player may trade
.2 It's not an auction, you can change your offer however you like
.3 The agreed offer is binding on both parties... shake on it!
.4 The trade always includes the non-tower player getting the action in the current or specific next building
.5 Any cash (5 ducat increments) and every material item in the game and currently in your posession is available for trade.
.6 Nothing else is available for trade, eg no promises.
.7 EXCEPTION/Clarification: The non-active player can offer things they're going to get out of the building as part of the trade
.8 The trade can include goods/money in both directions
.9 The active player may accept offers which are not "the highest"
.10 EXCPETION/Clarification to .4: The active player may accept an offer to move to a street field rather than the next building.

This is all just to be precise. The bulk in two sentances:
Non-active players attempt to trade with the active player to win the right to take a building's special action, firstly the current action if it hasn't already been used or more usually the building action that will be available on the very next step. All currently held material items and/or cash are available to trade, and the trade can include cash/items in "change" from the active player.

The break-down summary between offers for the current building, offers for directly adjacent buildings, and offers for any building within reach are almost entirely unnecessary, but each one has a separate section in the rulebook.

Furthermore, you missed other "EXCEPTION/Clarification"s:

.11 The tower player can't deny an offer for the current tower building unless he himself is going to take the action. If he can't, he has to accept any offer, but this only applies to offers for the building where the tower sits, not directly adjacent buildings, until, of course, the tower moves into them.

.12 Offers are sometimes not binding, such as when they don't involve the current tower building or a directly adjacent building. Such offers could have been omitted from the game entirely, but that would make for a stupid game, so they're included, but their inclusion causes this new exception.

.13 Since the trade can include money / goods moving BOTH ways, the technical rules, as stated, would imply that a tower player with no remaining action must take an "offer" of "you give me 50 gold" for the action of the current tower building if no other offers are made. This can't be, but it's the rules.

The rules read atrociously. The concepts aren't hard to grasp once you've used them a few times, but they're ridiculously hard to learn from the rules as written.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
NateStraight wrote:
Geez. Y'all must have the slowest groups of people on the planet in your game groups. Honestly, I'll clock the next game we play, but I can't remember the last time it took anywhere near an hour, let alone two.

I've played 45 minute games of traders of Genoa and 4+ hour games of traders of Genoa. they're both good, but I far prefer the longer games with their more intense and more involved negotiations. For me the 45 minute games have had the enjoyment optimised out of them.


Quote:
I guess if y'all are spending a minute on every single one of those 100-150 negotiable actions, I can see how you'd run past 2 hours, but that just seems like way too much of a good thing. Not every player is going to be involved in every negotation and, once you learn the game, the players that are involved in any given negotiation are going to know relatively well what they're willing to offer or, if the tower player, accept. 30 seconds for each action seems reasonable.

In the games I enjoy every player is actively involved in every negotiation. To further enhance this process we sell the entire route up-front, all five steps, with enactment of the agreed-upon route happening last in a few seconds without any discussion. This usually results in the ultimate route selected having whipsawed around the board in three or four violently different directions before the value offers and thus the selection settled down. A classic negotiation might run something like this:

I'm going to use a StartAnywhere chit and I'm going to pass through the Post Office. Who wants to start where and what do you want to pass through? Pony up guys, who wants what?"

And at that point the entire table goes wild in a highly enjoyable Wall-Street-trading-pit-like behaviour as every player dives in and tries to get their part of the pie while preventing all other player's chances at profits. Money and goods and chits pile up on the board as various paths and contingencies are named, debated and valued and eventually the active player starts selecting key items, forcing the negotiations to evolve toward closure and the next turn, when it all starts over again.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Huzonfirst
United States
Manassas
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Best hobby, with the best people in the world. Gaming is the best!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nate, you do realize that the game's listed duration is two hours, right? There are extremely few games in which the time shown on the box is GREATER than the typical duration--much more often, it's the other way around. It's great that your group can play this game so quickly, but it's far less than the reported norm. I can't imagine even Joe Huber playing this game in less than an hour!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmb
Larry Levy wrote:
Nate, you do realize that the game's listed duration is two hours, right?

My box says "60-120 minutes," so my estimate of around an hour or less isn't really that far off. :-/
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls