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Subject: What Happened? rss

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Jesse Dean
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On Wednesday at Coolstuff games a group of us played Container. After we were done, two other people joined us who wanted to play, so we split into two groups. One became a four player game of Age of Steam, the other three of us (Mike, Will, and I) played in a game of Indonesia. It was entertaining (as always), but I lost and I am not quite sure what caused it to happen. Lately I have been very successful with a strategy where I make sure that I acquire a rice and spice company before the end of the first era, merge them together, and then make aggressive use of mergers to prevent others from being able to make other siap faji companies. It has even reached the point where newer Indonesia players (such as Will) who have been playing with me recently have joked how it is something I "always" do. Because of this I was more inclined to try something new than pursue my usual strategy with an iron-tight grip.

The game opened in a fairly usual manner. Will started the Sulawesi Salatan shipping company in the waters between Kalimatan and Sulawesi, I started the Halmahera spice company, and Mike started the Java Barat rice company. So my spice company got served and Mike’s rice did not. Second round we all acquired new companies, with Mike taking the Lampung shipping company, Will taking the Java Timur shipping company, and me taking the Halmahera shipping company.

The next round Will merged his shipping companies together. Mike and I both had more money than Will (I had the most), so Mike bid on the company and I had the opportunity to take it myself. I think not taking it may have been one of my mistakes, because it put Mike in a position where I had to use his newly combined shipping company to ship my spices at distances that were just as efficient for him as me and it also gave Will a bunch of money, giving them both an advantage at my expense. I followed this up with another mistake as I passed on the opportunity to get another company and will took both the Bali rice company (which has shipping route access, which I did not identify) and the Maluku spice company. This triggered the next era.

Will had turn order advantage in the next era so he went ahead and merged together his spice and rice companies and grabbed the Kalimatan Barat rubber company. This irked me, as this is one of my favorite companies, but I wasn’t in a position to sink money into making sure I went first. Instead I grabbed the Java Barat shipping company. This way even if I did not get the Sumatera Barat rubber company on the following turn I could choke out whoever did take it. It did not end up mattering, as I ended up with initiative and grabbed the rubber company I wanted.

Will next took the Rian rubber company, and this served as the basis for what ended up being a series of acquisitions and mergers throughout Era B. He first merged the Rian and Kalimatan Barat rubber companies together, then the Kalimatan Timur and Aceh rice companies, and ended the era with the Sumatera Utara shipping company. I merged my shipping companies together and ran it, my spice company, and my rubber company for a while before I decided that I needed to a) reduce the amount of shipping I was paying for my spices (most of the cities were distant from Halmahera) and b) create more pressure for Will. I did not have enough money to bid higher than the base value of the merged Halmahera spice company and Java Barat rice company, but I was not too shaken when Mike won it and grabbed the better positioned Sulawesi Tengah spice company.

At the beginning of Era C Mike and I both had open slots and Will did not. Will attempted to merge his Sumatera Utara shipping company with Mike’s Lampung so that he could empty out a slot and acquire an oil company but, in the process of trying to bid Mike up, ended up taking the combined shipping companies for himself. This allowed Mike (who had initiative) to take the Maluku and Sarawak oil companies. I took the Papua.

The next turn Mike merged the Papua oil company with the Sarawak oil company enabling him and Will to end the game. They did.
At the end the game was pretty close. There was only $150 between first (Will) and last (me). Will would have failed to win if he had not switched from shipping over Mike’s lines to shipping over my lines during the last turn.

As it was, it was a pretty close game, and slightly frustrating because I could not see what I had done wrong that had landed me in the position I was. I also realized about halfway through the game that I was probably going to lose and I wasn’t sure quite how to get out of that position. Still, it was a good game, and I can’t wait to get it into play again so I can get a deeper understanding of what happened and where I went wrong.
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Not really Ryan Leaf
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i really want to play this game with you guys some time. sounds like it's right up my alley.


how did Container go this time? Did the light click on, or did it go much like the last game we played?
 
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Jesse Dean
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Yeah, you will probably like it, much like all the other games I have introduced you to. devil

A little bit better. I still don't fully get it, of course, thus explaining my last place position.
 
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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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That's a close game. I've found that 3 players games tend to be a two-player game with a third player lagging behind. Of course, I've had to explain this game to every other player every time I've played it, so perhaps it happens less with experienced players?
 
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Will Pirnasch
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Maybe you were just distracted for a moment eating your Chinese food... heard that can happen...
No, I don't think you did anything large wrong. The game was extremely tight, and you cannot calculate out every move in the first era if it makes you 50 more or less total over three eras. I think my strategy was sound enough not to fail easily, and none of you did anything to kill it (so I'll try it again, until you find a weapon against it). What I tried to implement is getting *lots* of companies, and merge them together right away, to have space for even more. With loosing the very first merger, you two gave me the tool I needed - the most cash at hand. From then on, I could easily just keep merging two of my companies, basically riskless. I just needed to grab the right companies, and go through the proper moves with everything else. That left me with more companies than either of you had, and that in turn provided the income to keep me ahead - just very slightly, but ahead.
I think I could have done relevantly better, in choosing expansion earlier, and slightly better, in not getting stuck with the merged shipping lines late in the game (although I'm not sure if it was not an advantage after all).
Playing the same strategy again, I would choose expansion earlier, to make my companies stronger/bigger, and otherwise watch whom I give my shipping - I nearly gave away the win by shipping on Mike all the time (believing for a long time he would not stand a chance), and he would have won, if I had not realized this in the very last round.

All in all, not a lot done wrong on either side, and a very tight result to prove it.
I still love the game.
 
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