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Subject: Era A shipping companies removed from the game? rss

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David
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In a 4-player game, if everyone takes a production company (and nobody takes a shipping company) then is it correct that the game will enter Era B on the next turn (because only one type of company deed exists on the board)?

Upon entering Era B, remaining Era A company deeds are removed, which means three shipping companies fall out of the game.

This seems to cause a major problem with transporting goods for the rest of the game...
 
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Breno K.
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Yes. It will be very strange if nobody picks a shipping company...
 
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Darrell Hanning
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Not all choices in Indonesia are wise.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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And here I thought it was tight when two of them got removed in the 3er I played Saturday. Ended up with one large shipping company across the entire board.

Did you know that if you wanted to, you could play the whole game without taking ships ever? The game will still end as long as you pick up production companies. Would probably take 4 turns with 4, and be extremely boring. But it would certainly reduce play time.
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Jean-Michel Petit
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Strange indeed!

Being the last person to take a company deed in that first turn and seeing nobody took a shipping company should have been a big incentive to take one. But Hey!, you live, you learn! I wonder if the 4 players are still fans of Indonesia after that game.

Cheers

Micquebec
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Greg Low
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GoPanthers wrote:
That's my main concern with the game. It does require (sometimes tacit, sometimes not so tacit) cooperation to ensure that the game gets off the ground.
Yes, but not substantially more so than other games. There is an implicit contract (understanding rules, playing to win, etc...) that is required for most games to operate.

I just haven't observed this sort of cooperation being needed.

Best,
-Greg
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Dan Blum
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GoPanthers wrote:
That's my main concern with the game. It does require (sometimes tacit, sometimes not so tacit) cooperation to ensure that the game gets off the ground.


It's more self-interest than cooperation. If I'm the last player to choose a company on the first turn, and no one else has taken a shipping company, it is in my best interest to take one.
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David
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I don't see why players 1 thru 3 would *not* choose a production company. This leaves player 4 with no choice (or a choice to stuff up the game, if you prefer).

I know this is messing with the rules, but in a 4-player game I could imagine a variant where the "new Era" rule is disregarded for the start of the second turn only. This would allow all 4 players to get a production company if they wish, and gives the 4th player a choice.

Because if everyone has a production company, there is no shipping that round, so nobody is ahead and the second turn would begin on a fairly even basis.

You could argue that being the 4th player is so bad that the first turn should be about bidding high enough to avoid going last. Unfortunately this doesn't work because the first person to bid is almost certainly going to go last.

Just a thought - I know it's messing with the rules.


 
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Devin Smith
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Ok, explain why you think players 1, 2, and 3 all should choose production companies?

And actually, it's totally reasonable if they do for player 4 to also choose one if they do: the game will be very strange but likely good for him, as he can win the turn order bid and get a (suddenly very precious due to lack of competition) shipping company on turn two.

And again, let's hear the argument that being 4th is so bad on the first turn? You say you could argue this, and it's not clear to me what the argument is.
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David
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Excalabur wrote:
Ok, explain why you think players 1, 2, and 3 all should choose production companies?


I think we've observed that, at least initially, the best returns are made from production companies. Of course, that depends on a nearby and short shipping route. Shipping companies seem to make their most money mid-game. They work better if you own them yourself, as a cost saving measure. In the longer term, the production companies have a much higher expected return, so I can understand why all three players might take them, knowing that the 4th is going to take a shipping company.

Quote:
And actually, it's totally reasonable if they do for player 4 to also choose one if they do: the game will be very strange but likely good for him, as he can win the turn order bid and get a (suddenly very precious due to lack of competition) shipping company on turn two.


I can agree with this. So this puts the onus on player 3 to take the shipping company - shifting the whole problem to player 3 rather than player 4

Quote:
And again, let's hear the argument that being 4th is so bad on the first turn? You say you could argue this, and it's not clear to me what the argument is.


Well, now it looks like player 3 is a bad position - do they take a production company and risk player 4 ruining the game, or do they take a shipping company?

I'm not analysing this in depth, I'm just throwing around ideas. You can poke as many holes as you want in what I say, I'm not trying particularly hard to fill them.


 
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Michael Leuchtenburg
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I've never seen the first 3 players take production companies in a 4-player game. In fact, the first player almost always takes a shipping company because if they take a production company, they may not ship anything on their first turn - there are precious few one sea area routes.

I suppose there's that one rice company that can probably ship, if the correct shipping company is selected.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
badge
He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
Avatar
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The premium given to shipping companies to balance their lower returns is that whoever owns the shipping company controls where the ships go, the hull of the ship, and by extension, the production companies.

Just remember that the early game for ships is based on how many ships the company has, not what era it is. Shipping makes money with more ships, because more companies are using those ships. (shipping companies only really make money when multiple companies ship on them).

So you have to weigh the options, do I want control of ships or do I want more money now? Well, control of the ships and more money now both can turn into more money later if you do it right. But player order has a lot to do with it. For example, if I'm going 4th on the first turn, I can grab my production company next turn. If I'm going 1st-3rd, and everyone has taken production before me, I'm likely not to get a production company in the next round. But then you'll have control of 2 shipping companies...

Have to get this one on the table again!
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