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Subject: How do your games go? rss

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Bruce Padget
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I've now got in two full games, 2p and 4p. (I lost the first by a point and won the second on the "more cash" tie-breaker.)

In both games the Favors never came into play. Also, the Rumors and Majority Shareholder actions were used almost entirely to help the player who used them. Commodity and Stock prices were sometimes sent down, but almost always when the player was positioning himself to buy.

Of course, the various ways of directly manipulating demand and value lend themselves to screwage, and I'm sure that one key to good play is well-timed screwage. But you could also find yourself in a screwage-heavy game.

So, do your games tend toward screwage, benefit, or a mix?

The other thing I noticed last night was a bit of a narrative flow, working our way from buyer on the docks to wholesaler to stock trader. I don't mean to say this was exclusively how the game went, but the players' emphasis seemed to shift along those lines. (The second finisher in the 4p noted that his story was really cute -- started as a thief on the docks and finished as a stock trader.)

Siena has a similar narrative flow, but it's dictated by the game. In MoV it just seems to be a natural consequence of the mechanics. Has anyone else seen the story develop that way? Was this intentionally part of the game?
 
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Andrew Miller
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bapadget wrote:
In both games the Favors never came into play.


That varies from game to game. I've played several where nobody visited the church and I've played games where they were critical, and most players bought at least one.

When I explain the game I talk about favors as "save your ass" tokens or "insurance policies". You can take a gamble that orders will increase that might or might not pay off, and having a favor in your pocket will protect against the latter. Or, you might just not be able to raise orders enough (either by someone lowering them unexpectedly or just running out of cash) and, as such, a favor is your last resort.

How much they're needed is based on the experience of the players and whether or not they can budget wisely; as well as the aggressiveness of seasoned players.


Quote:
Also, the Rumors and Majority Shareholder actions were used almost entirely to help the player who used them. Commodity and Stock prices were sometimes sent down, but almost always when the player was positioning himself to buy.


That's generally how I see them used. They can be another "save your ass" token that gets kept in hand until the right moment, or just held until the end of the game to mess with stock value. Rarely have I seen them used mid-game as an offensive tool, but that can also be a factor of the experience of the players. If I saw someone making an awkward middling bid that seemed to just be there for the purpose of raising orders to make a sale or delivering on a guild order, then I might drop the orders a point to mess with him.

The entire game is situational, where you have to adapt to what's happened and what's about to happen, and with the unlimited possible scenarios that play out, parts of the game may or may not get used, and that's totally fine.

Quote:
So, do your games tend toward screwage, benefit, or a mix?


Since I've largely played games with at least one new player, I've kept my screwing to a minimum, but it still happens, and I'm continually watching for and coming up with ideas on how to really screw other people when the opportunity arises. Play more games with a dedicated group and I bet the games will get more cutthroat.

Quote:
Siena has a similar narrative flow, but it's dictated by the game. In MoV it just seems to be a natural consequence of the mechanics. Has anyone else seen the story develop that way? Was this intentionally part of the game?


It certainly can be, and that's often how people play it out. Get an order or some stocks, buy resources for your order or sale, go fulfill order/sell goods.

To me, though, the real fun in the game is deviating from that and trying to control one, maybe two aspects. One game I just tried to corner the market in a good or two and made a KILLING while fulfilling only my original guild order. One game I snatched up almost all of the shipping office shares, then kept getting the thief to deplete supply so that everyone had to go to the shipping offices and earn me oodles.

I think I'm going to take something away from your experiences and role play my games a little more. =)

--ElSoy
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