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Subject: Compare with Planet Steam and Container? rss

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Joker Smiley
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How does Masters of Venice compare with two other recent economic games, Planet Steam and Container?
 
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Not really Ryan Leaf
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I have only played Container, so I will address it:

MoV is quite different than Container. MoV is more of a commodity speculation/stock game, whereas Container deals more with production/sales.

In Container, you can purchase production plants and warehouses. The game is focused on resource production and maximizing margins when selling goods, whether they be from your warehouse or from your production facility. Then, you have your secret order card that dictates the value of each crate, so you want to maximize the goods of high value on your island to increase your score. You have blind bidding (which is also prevalent in MoV) and variable objectives via the secret good value card (which is somewhat similar to a guild order in MoV). Container is highly interactive and subject to extreme group think (which I think is a great thing in this case!)... however, MoV's commodity values are determined more by supply/demand. In other words, MoV's commodity prices are obvious and dictated by the game rather than by groupthink.

MoV seems much more comparable to an 18xx game than to Container because the primary focus of the game is not production and eeking out large margins on good sales. Unlike Container, MoV uses role selection (similar to PR or RftG) and worker placement (except you only have one worker). The main focus of MoV is order fulfillment and stock market manipulation. Players get points by either fulfilling a guild order (which is a card requiring 3 types of goods) by somehow acquiring the demanded goods (whether it be from purchasing the goods on the docks/market or trading at the market for the good) and then delivering them to the Guild Hall. Of course, unfulfilled guild orders count against your score at the end of the game.

And then there is the stock market. You can invest in certain companies and then try to increase your ROI by either doing business with the company (via selling goods at their shops -- which also produces dividends... a nice little bonus) or via using their goods to fulfill guild orders. Alternatively, you can invest in a shipping company which pays dividends each time someone uses its action.


In MoV, you can't control which goods are available on the market (whereas in Container, you can select which type of production facility you want, which in turn, churns out a specific type of good). Additionally, good prices are set by demand (rather than by the producer or warehouser in Container). As more cubes are purchased/used, the demand (and price) goes up.


Personally, MoV is my #1 game... and I also really enjoy Container. In fact, Container will probably hit my Top 10 if I get a few more chances to play it. If you like Container and deeper economic games, you are going to really enjoy MoV. And with how cheap the game is, you really can't go wrong. I hope this answers some of your questions. If you have any more, I'll try to help as best I can.
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Joker Smiley
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Thanks for the comparison, David! It sort of sounds a bit like Genoa, except the central mechanism, instead of being free-form player-to-player trading (so prices could also be subject to groupthink), it's mediated by a commodity market...

Otherwise, the Guild Hall = Large Orders, Docks = Warehouses, investing in shops or shipping offices = buying real estate. Though Genoa doesn't have role selection or worker placement, that's accomplished by auctioning off the tower.
 
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Benjamine Allen
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I have not played container, but I have played planet steam.
One difference between the two is that in planet steam you are buying "land" and producing resources on it and then selling or buying what you make with a semi-fluctuating market based on supply and demand, but a structured change.
MoV you buy them from the dock or take them from the shipping office or wherever and then you fulfill Guild orders for points or sell them for money increasing stock prices and more points later.

I would have to say that they are not to similar, but I have enjoyed both of them in the few plays that I have had with both.

I hope this helps.
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Joker Smiley
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Thanks Benjamine - based on your few plays, do you prefer one over the other?
 
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