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Subject: 5 new players approach the bust cautiously rss

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Bruce Murphy
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We had a chance to play my newly arrived copy of Tulipmania tonight. We had four new players and one old hand (who had played a prototype at the UK Game expo) who explained the rules to us. At the last minute, another UK Games Expoer who had played the game before sat down and we set off .

Knowing the history of the period, we were all very edgy around busts. The various tulips cycled up to around 1000 or so in value and then were left unsold leaving the owner to take the transitional money and profit and lower the value. This cycle contiued for a while slowly leaking money into the game while people tried to get what seemed like useful sets of the buyer cards. At this point the game seemed very slow.

The first bust (purple) wasn't triggered until the buyer cards had come out and the tulip only made it up to to 3000 space. Only one player had a purple card left and the rest of the purple owners collected reasonable amounts. Once this money came into the game, speculation became possible and the scores got a lot more volatile.

The eventual winner engineered the next orange bust, and with serious amounts of money in the game. He actually had 4 orange cards in hand and used two to force a speculation by proxy to drive the orange straight up into the f6000 bust rather than the expected sale to 3000. He then had a card to discard and still managed to sell one of his remaining orange tulips for the full price.

After this we quite quickly pushed blue into a boom, and then forced yellow into boom to avoid the winner taking too much advantage from his remaining two red tulips.

The pace of the game after the first and second busts was vastly faster, both because we figured out how it was supposed to work and because there was a lot more money in the game. That's when the mistakes in tulip purchasing and card collection started to really hit home for all the new players.

I failed to get the final scores down but we had more than a factor of 3 between the lowest and highest player with the highest scorer mostly running away having done exceptionally well on the a well-timed second orange bust that he actually had the buyer cards to profit from.

It seems with 5 players (And hence 5 colours of buyer cards, but still only 6 in hand, it's a lot more difficult to collect lots of buyer cards of the same colours. We mostly failed to make use of the buyer cards to inflate values of the tulips we were trying sell ourselves and a lot were wasted waiting for the busts.

I think this is a great game. I look forward to trying it out with a smaller number of people to see how it plays when the game goes faster but I'm definitely going to have to find some poker chips or similar because the paper money is absolutely miserable to play with. A game well worth picking up, love the sensible-sized box.
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David Norman
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Just one quick note.

thepackrat wrote:
The eventual winner engineered the next orange bust, and with serious amounts of money in the game. He actually had 4 orange cards in hand and used two to force a speculation by proxy to drive the orange straight up into the f6000 bust rather than the expected sale to 3000. He then had a card to discard and still managed to sell one of his remaining orange tulips for the full price.


The player who plays the Speculate or Speculate by Proxy to cause the bubble to burst should not discard a buyer card. It is only the other players who must do this.

David.
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Bruce Murphy
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*slaps forehead* well, that would have changed things around a bit! Re-reading the rules I just had a chance to download (the game isn't near me) I see that discarding also doesn't happen when the price rises naturally via buying into the lowest bubble bursting space.

Alright, now I want to play it again!

B>
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Gareth
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Sorry, my fault. I did mention the fact that the person triggering the bust doesn't discard cards, but my explanation was so muddled (and my example so bad) that it was probably lost in the noise. The one about the buying into the lowest space I also knew about but forgot to mention blush
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Bruce Murphy
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Thus, simply from the rules you didn't mention, we can deduce you are a Cylon.

Everyone enjoyed it, thanks for taking the time to give a rules dump for a game you weren't going to be playing

B>
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Donald Dennis
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Sounds like fun, I can't wait to get my copy!

arrrh
 
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Steve K
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I've only played three times (twice 3-player; once 5-player) but I find Tulipmania to be full of tricky and non-intuitive choices.

In our first game, two of us thought we were clever in Buying/Speculating by proxy to push prices up, but late in the game we realised all the bank's money had been going to the third player, who we'd put in an unassailable position.

In the 5-player game, progress was much more tentative - we had to think long & hard about putting some colours up for sale because there was little cash in the game. A couple of times every player passed, and the auctioneer didn't have cards to enable him to buy/speculate by proxy to protect the price, so the price of that colour dropped significantly.
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David Norman
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SteveK2 wrote:
I've only played three times (twice 3-player; once 5-player) but I find Tulipmania to be full of tricky and non-intuitive choices.

In our first game, two of us thought we were clever in Buying/Speculating by proxy to push prices up, but late in the game we realised all the bank's money had been going to the third player, who we'd put in an unassailable position.


Right. Buyers are very valuable in this game. Waste them early on when prices are relatively low, and you'll regret it later on when the bubbles burst and you don't have buyers to sell to at the much higher price.

SteveK2 wrote:
In the 5-player game, progress was much more tentative - we had to think long & hard about putting some colours up for sale because there was little cash in the game. A couple of times every player passed, and the auctioneer didn't have cards to enable him to buy/speculate by proxy to protect the price, so the price of that colour dropped significantly.


But that's good for you. If the red tulip price was f750, then you've just sold your red tulip for f500, while everybody else still has theirs, and they're only worth f125. And hopefully you can buy the next red tulip that goes up for sale, which means you'll get it for f125, so you're back to where you started, but with f375 more money in hand!

David.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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And then repeat a bunch of those little cycles until players have enough money in hand to start really doing interesting things

B>
 
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Steve K
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DavidNorman99 wrote:
SteveK2 wrote:
In the 5-player game, progress was much more tentative - we had to think long & hard about putting some colours up for sale because there was little cash in the game. A couple of times every player passed, and the auctioneer didn't have cards to enable him to buy/speculate by proxy to protect the price, so the price of that colour dropped significantly.


But that's good for you. If the red tulip price was f750, then you've just sold your red tulip for f500, while everybody else still has theirs, and they're only worth f125. And hopefully you can buy the next red tulip that goes up for sale, which means you'll get it for f125, so you're back to where you started, but with f375 more money in hand!


Maybe this demonstrates why I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this game. This happened to another player, but my reaction was "ooof ... he got less for his tulip than expected, and now his 2 remaining red tulips are worth a lot less than before".

I think I'll have to go away and think about this ...
 
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Bruce Murphy
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"But they're bound to come up in value again", at least unless you're either playing a 3-player game or the busts have already started.

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David Norman
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thepackrat wrote:
"But they're bound to come up in value again", at least unless you're either playing a 3-player game or the busts have already started.

B>


Right. And while they may be worth less that they were before, they're probably still worth more than you bought them for.

It's definitely a game of two halves. The first half is a buy-low, sell-high, market game. The second half is pushing your favourite colours up to bursting point first. And a big part of the skill of this game is timing half-time correctly.

David.
 
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Scott Nicholson
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I actually see the game in three stages:

1 - In the beginning, you are building your stock. Prices are low, so you want to acquire what you can, and you want to make sure you have stock not only for your buyers, but also others to play around with, as you need extra stock to cause changes in the colors important to you. Also, having stock in colors important to others allows you to put them up at critical points when they can take a dive.

2 - This stock-building and feeling around goes until someone brings money into the game either by an early pop or using a single buyer to get a nice sale, bringing in cash and dropping the value (which is a great use if you have only one buyer in the color). This money usually allows something to pop early (and you don't want your primary color to pop first, as it will most likely pop on the cheapest row).

3 - Then, when people have money for that final push to pop (or someone spends two buyers), a lot of money comes into the game. Now, timing becomes important as to when the bulbs pop, and you want to do what you can to control that popping. You want to get your colors popping on the expensive columns, but if you wait around too long for it, yours will be the last color left, and then you'll have missed the bubble.

This game plays VERY differently once people are comfortable with the system, and you are just as focused as deducing your opponents colors and ruining them as you are in helping yourself.


If you don't like this indirect nature of player manipulation, I'd suggest you print out the Flaming Tulips expansion in the files section. It gives you the ability to manipulate things and attack other players more directly, and tends to be enjoyed more by people who like take-that card games.
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Scott Nicholson
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(One note with 5 - hopefully, you caught that you have a choice of 3 face-up cards rather than the 2 face-up cards for 3 or 4 players. That's in there to help deal with the extra color.)
 
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Bruce Murphy
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snicholson wrote:
(One note with 5 - hopefully, you caught that you have a choice of 3 face-up cards rather than the 2 face-up cards for 3 or 4 players. That's in there to help deal with the extra color.)


I'm not sure it would be enough in the 3-player game, but I think that game is going to be different enough in general that normalisation won't work. The 3-cards-up is something we did get right.

One question Scott. Why have such irritatingly non-poker-chip friendly denominations?

B>
 
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Scott Nicholson
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thepackrat wrote:

One question Scott. Why have such irritatingly non-poker-chip friendly denominations?


Here's the way I use my chips for it:

25 = 25
50 = 50
100 = 100
500 = 500

1 = 1000
5 = 5000


But, to be honest, I never thought about it during the design process. Using 1s and 5s for 1000 and 5000 always worked for me.
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Bruce Murphy
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snicholson wrote:

25 = 25
50 = 50
100 = 100
500 = 500

1 = 1000
5 = 5000


But, to be honest, I never thought about it during the design process. Using 1s and 5s for 1000 and 5000 always worked for me.


Ha. Bizzare but would work admirably. I'll never use the paper again!

edit; no, wait. People outside the US typically have 20s not 25s. Argh!

B>
 
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Scott Nicholson
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thepackrat wrote:
snicholson wrote:

25 = 25
50 = 50
100 = 100
500 = 500

1 = 1000
5 = 5000


But, to be honest, I never thought about it during the design process. Using 1s and 5s for 1000 and 5000 always worked for me.


Ha. Bizzare but would work admirably. I'll never use the paper again!

edit; no, wait. People outside the US typically have 20s not 25s. Argh!

B>


Just count 20s as 25s, then....
 
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Bruce Murphy
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snicholson wrote:
thepackrat wrote:

edit; no, wait. People outside the US typically have 20s not 25s. Argh!


Just count 20s as 25s, then....


I feel this may pass some threshold of potential confusion. I might try to find some 25-value chips (or blank chips for those) instead.

B>
 
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David Norman
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snicholson wrote:
thepackrat wrote:

One question Scott. Why have such irritatingly non-poker-chip friendly denominations?


Here's the way I use my chips for it:

25 = 25
50 = 50
100 = 100
500 = 500

1 = 1000
5 = 5000


But, to be honest, I never thought about it during the design process. Using 1s and 5s for 1000 and 5000 always worked for me.


Alternatively, use unmarked chips. Then you can assugn colours to denominations in whatever combination works for the game in question...

David.
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Eric Brosius
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thepackrat wrote:
People outside the US typically have 20s not 25s. Argh!


Why can't they have $25 bills like we do?
 
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