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Wealth of Nations» Forums » Variants

Subject: Merged Trade & Develop Phases rss

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Ben Skellett
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From an idea by Jerome Chan in another thread from 6 years ago, I finally got around to playing a game (with just 2 players) where the Trade & Develop phases were merged into one.

The idea was that the game would be more forgiving to forgetting to pick up cubes for planned developments and it worked great. It even seemed to add a few new features in that we could react to the develop actions of the other player with trading actions & also try to tactically time buying & selling.

Furthermore, an interesting situation occured where the game was going to end (by one player placing all of their flags) but the end game trigger could be unpulled if that player used the Transport Industry Tile action to recover a flag. This led to us tentatively selling all of our cubes in the actions phase hoping that we wouldn't need them for the next round if the game didn't end. I enjoyed the brinkmanship.

Below I've written an informal summary of the rules we used. I intend to edit this into a file & try another session with more players.

At the moment I've given no thought to how to incorporate the military actions in War Clouds rules.



Set-up

Use the set-up from second edition rules, i.e. 12 farm tiles, 7 each for other industries, reduced flags (18/16/16/15/14 for 2/3/4/5/6 players), starting commodity packages with $80, etc.

For 2 players, I prefer to each select 3 of the industry packages (placing when picked up) then 2 of the commodity packages. Use impassable terrain & there is no bartering in a 2 player game.


A round consists of the following phases:

1. Action Phase

- Promissory notes may only be taken or repaid during this phase. This does not count as an action.

Starting with the first player & going left, each player takes one of the following actions until all players pass in succession:

a) Buy up to 3 cubes (may be from different markets)
b) Sell up to 3 cubes (may be from different markets)
c) Barter any amount of cubes, money and promissory notes with ONE other player. [This action is not available in a 2 player game.]
d) Place a flag on an empty hex adjacent to another hex containing your flag (cost: 1 red)
e) Build an industry tile on empty hex with your flag (costs and 'partial dots'/'forced placement' applies)
f) Automate a bloc (cost: 1 blue, 2 white)
g) Move/rotate up to 3 tiles (cost: 1 black in total plus 1 black per tile needing 'forced placement')
h) Pass (may still take actions later unless all players pass)

2. Check for game end

- If any of the following are now true the game will end after phase 4 of the current round:

a) A player has all their flags on the board
b) Every hex on the board contains a flag
c) At least 5 of the 6 industries have run out of tiles

3. Produce Phase

- Players spend energy, food and ore to supply their blocs and produce cubes (banks produce money)

4. Interest Phase

- Pay $1 for each promissory note you are holding
- If the game isn't ending, pass first player marker to the left & start next round

End of game procedure

- Players sell all of their cubes using the following method for each type of commodity:

a) Add up all cubes of that commodity
b) X = total cubes divided by 2, rounded down
c) From the lowest cube on the market, count down X empty wells and place a cube in that well
d) Players sell all cubes of that commodity for the sell price of the next well down

- Promissory notes may now be repaid

- Each player scores points as follows:

a) 4VP / industry tile
b) 1VP / $10
c) -3VP / promissory note

Most VP wins. Ties broken by money, then flags on the board.
 
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Peter Hansell
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Yes, yes, YES - this is the direction I want the game to go. But I still think all the phases should be merged into one phase. More like what Mr Chan was suggesting.

Here is where I am right now with the game flow.
Each person on their turn can do ONE of the following:

1) Buy cubes (Do we need a limit on how many you can take?)
2) Sell cubes (Do we need a limit on how many you can take?)
3) Barter with 1 player (Would love to figure out how to limit this)
4) Build a flag
5) Build a tile
6) Automate a block
7) Activate a single bloc by supplying power, food or ore
8) Move/rotate up to 3 tiles for 1 capital
9) Pass (next player chooses an action)
10) Take out a loan of 1, 2 or 3 promissory notes
11) Payoff a loan of 1,2 or 3 promissory notes

War clouds expansion actions
12) Build Military Unit
13) Make 3 MU Activations for 1 food.

The victory conditions would be checked after each players turn triggering a final round of one turn for each player.

There are are a few outstanding questions.

Debt - I really dont like the idea that the notes have no penalty for not paying them off quickly. I would like to have some long or short term penalty for taking or sitting on notes. Maybe taking and returning promissory notes would cost your turn? Maybe you could only transact up to 2 notes each turn?

Markets - I would like to update the markets to make them more dramatic. I think the rate of change in the markets is too slow. You cant really make a market play and significantly change the price. The markets should respond more to each purchase. My simple solution is to remove every other space. This will keep the general range of prices but it will double the change in prices per cube moved.

Barter - It can be really slow to wait while a player negotiates for barters. It would be great if it had a faster mechanic. Maybe more organization. For example: The active player could push forward an offer. (I offer 3 food) Other players can name their return price (I will take that for 2 energy and 2 cash). If no offers are accepted the acting player can make a second offer. After that the barter phase is over. [this seems fussy and difficult but would organize it]

I would love to hear any feedback from people playing with these ideas. I want to publish an official v.3 rules but it needs more play and testing.

Thanks - you are on the right track for sure

Peter
 
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Alec Usticke
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Peteloaf wrote:
Debt - I really dont like the idea that the notes have no penalty for not paying them off quickly. I would like to have some long or short term penalty for taking or sitting on notes. Maybe taking and returning promissory notes would cost your turn? Maybe you could only transact up to 2 notes each turn?

This is handled in the revised rules with $1 per note interest each turn.
 
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Ben Skellett
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
I know I'm gonna get got. But I'm gonna get mine more than I get got.
badge
And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one.
mbmbmbmbmb
Peteloaf wrote:
Yes, yes, YES - this is the direction I want the game to go. But I still think all the phases should be merged into one phase. More like what Mr Chan was suggesting.

Here is where I am right now with the game flow.
Each person on their turn can do ONE of the following:

1) Buy cubes (Do we need a limit on how many you can take?)
2) Sell cubes (Do we need a limit on how many you can take?)
3) Barter with 1 player (Would love to figure out how to limit this)
4) Build a flag
5) Build a tile
6) Automate a block
7) Activate a single bloc by supplying power, food or ore
8) Move/rotate up to 3 tiles for 1 capital
9) Pass (next player chooses an action)
10) Take out a loan of 1, 2 or 3 promissory notes
11) Payoff a loan of 1,2 or 3 promissory notes

War clouds expansion actions
12) Build Military Unit
13) Make 3 MU Activations for 1 food.

The victory conditions would be checked after each players turn triggering a final round of one turn for each player.

There are are a few outstanding questions.

Debt - I really dont like the idea that the notes have no penalty for not paying them off quickly. I would like to have some long or short term penalty for taking or sitting on notes. Maybe taking and returning promissory notes would cost your turn? Maybe you could only transact up to 2 notes each turn?

Markets - I would like to update the markets to make them more dramatic. I think the rate of change in the markets is too slow. You cant really make a market play and significantly change the price. The markets should respond more to each purchase. My simple solution is to remove every other space. This will keep the general range of prices but it will double the change in prices per cube moved.

Barter - It can be really slow to wait while a player negotiates for barters. It would be great if it had a faster mechanic. Maybe more organization. For example: The active player could push forward an offer. (I offer 3 food) Other players can name their return price (I will take that for 2 energy and 2 cash). If no offers are accepted the acting player can make a second offer. After that the barter phase is over. [this seems fussy and difficult but would organize it]

I would love to hear any feedback from people playing with these ideas. I want to publish an official v.3 rules but it needs more play and testing.

Thanks - you are on the right track for sure

Peter


Great to hear from you. Including activating a bloc as one of the actions will really change things up but when I get a chance I'll do some analysis & try to highlight some of the issues I think this will cause. Then we can discuss what to do about them.

My first thought is that activating a bloc is the most valuable action in the game so players will just try to activate their best bloc over & over again. But maybe there's a way that this balances out (diminishing returns?) & you have to spend a bit of time setting up a good bloc anyway so maybe that's where the strategy will be.

My mains concerns are that there will be a single best strategy (which will make turn order really important) & that the feedback loops in this strategy will get out of control. I'm thinking of something like:

1. activate farm bloc (using energy)
2. activate energy bloc (using food)
3,4,5. activate bank bloc (get $$$ until you run out of food & energy)
6. repeat

I'll give it some more thought & let you know what I come up with.
 
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