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Subject: Stock Flux Varient rss

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Mike Ricotta
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After playing a few games of Imperial we found one thing we really didn't like. No matter what happens to a nation, it's stock can never go down in value. So, imagine a nation sitting in the 4 credit zone gets attacked, a factory gets destroyed, a few tax chips change hands...chances are that stock is still a great buy, even though the nation is garbage. Didn't seem right to us. Also, we found that warfare didn't really help all that much. Sure we had a few minor conflicts, but nothing world shattering...and we are WAR GAMERS dang nab it!

Anyway, in a attempt to rectify all this I came up with the stock flux variant. Bad things happen, the nations stock value goes down. How much it goes down depends on the credit rating of the nation. Also, events that would upset the investors also could lower the rating. (I demand my interest payout!) I feel it makes for an interesting game. We've even seen a country end up with zero rated stock a few times!

Not "officially" part of the variant we also allow for the sale of bonds between players. When it is your turn to buy bonds of a certain nation (we don't use the investor card) instead you may sell one you own. You must set a minimum price and then it goes to the highest bidder. The only other rule is that the owner of the flag may not sell bonds such that control changes.

We have played this a few times and have honed it to it's current form. When always play without the investor card and use the "advanced" game setup rules.

The Stock flux table can be found here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo/29982
 
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Paul Sauberer
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How do your games ever end?

There is only going to be one player (the leader) who wants the the game to end at any given time. The other players, then, should beat down any country that seems close to triggering the end. This shouldn't be too hard to do, so the game should continue indefinitely if a majority of the players are fairly competent.
 
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Mike Ricotta
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ahh, but you are assuming that the power most likely to go to 5 only has one investor. Most of the time it seems that another player is equal to or only one point behind the major investor. The key to a winning country has always been that you have a majority of the players invested. Then the war is simply going against your best interest! Hopefully the 5 or so points behind the major stock holder in the x5 country can be made up with strong investment in a separate nation. WE have never had a problem with the game never ending because by the end game everyone has stocks in so many nations a giant kill the leader campaign is really just hurting yourself.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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If there are two people who have an investment in the country about to go to 5 and it does so, then one of them is going to lose. Whether it hurts that player or not to whack the leading country, they will still lose if they don't. If that player knows this, then it is still to their advantage to whack the lead country as it increases their chance of winning from zero to more than zero.

This will always be the case so it will always be to the advantage of all players who are not going to win to whack the lead country. Therefore, the bulk of the players should always be working to make sure that the game never ends. Which, if countries can be taken down, should keep the game going interminably.

That your group is not doing it seems to indicate that you have not grasped the impact of your rule changes and are collectively playing them poorly. If you don't gang up on the leader, then you are just forfeiting the game.
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Mike Ricotta
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Now you are just assuming that whoever ends the game wins the game. This is rarely the case! Usually it seems that the guy in third ends it to ensure he doesn't go to fourth!
 
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Marshall P.
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"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
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There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
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ricottma wrote:
Now you are just assuming that whoever ends the game wins the game. This is rarely the case! Usually it seems that the guy in third ends it to ensure he doesn't go to fourth!


In a game with a timed ending, where the game is going to end no matter what, you might find yourself in a position where you know you cannot win, and therefore, you might make some move to maximize your placement (e.g. finish third instead of fourth).

But in your varient there is no way for anyone to find themselves in a position to not win if only the game goes on a little longer. Therefore, optimum play would be to always try to extend the game until circumstances transpire to put you in first if the game ends. But then every other player will be trying to extend the game. I think Paul is right. It seems to me 1 player will be trying to end the game and 4 will be trying to extend it.

I think this game needs some mechanism to drive it to an end no matter what.
 
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Patrick S.
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Has anyone tried this yet to give a report on how it went?

While I like the game as is, I have always felt that there should be a way for a nation's value to go down if it is sucking.
 
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Randy Brown
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I'm not convinced that this variant would lead to an interminable game (though it would be a longer one). Consider 2 players, A & B, who each own a good chunk of a country that is poised to go to 5. Let's say that A controls the country. B's best move is not necessarily to use one of the countries under his control to smush it. A better move would be to attack another country that A has a large stake in. Now player A will be less inclined to end the game, and player B did not hurt himself too badly.

So the game would come down to timing. Your objective would be to wrest control of a country just prior to its final taxation (the one that will end the game). You can then, hopefully, end the game on your terms.

In a 5 or 6 player game, I don't think that it would work too well. However in a 3 or 4, it might. The biggest problem would be a stalemate if all of the countries were locked down (unbreakable majority owned by a player). Then there would be a lot of angling and fighting. The game would then play out a lot like a multiplayer war game. Those don't go on forever (though it might seem like they do).

The game would end at some point. If all the shares are out, and the countries were engaged in constant warfare, there'd be no way to get more factories on the board. So as the factories are sniped off, certain nations would be out of the running. In a 3p or 4p game, you'd probably control 2 countries (assuming that you are going to win). That'd give you the flexibility to use one to tank your major threat.

Anyway, I don't know how well it would work, but I don't see it as an endless loop. It might feel like Risk with a 2 hour set up. Or it might be really cool. It's worth a shot though.
 
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