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Subject: secret container values for end game scoring rss

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Tycho van der Meij
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Hi,

I have never played container, and only scanned te rules but the game seems to me an open information game without any luck.
This appeals to me, but one thing i am not so sure about is the secret values for end game scoring.

I would appreciate any comments on the possibulities during the game of deducting other players values.

regards

Tycho
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Gustav Åkerfelt
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Hi,

Container is a game i love to play, and the scoring system is a big part of why.

It's hard to figure out what enyone is after.

The reason here is that since you have to ignore the container type you have the MOST of entirely when scoring them, people will be trying to buy in lots of containers that have their lowest points-value (to sacrifice). So, you (and everyone else) will be trying to get the SECOND most of your highest value container, and you need to watch out for the dual-value container, becouse if it's a tie between what colours you have the most of, that's the one you lose.

Also, even IF you manage to figure it out, I'd almost recommend AGAINST trying to do anything about it. I think you'l score better just by trying to max out your own points. That's hard enough, let me tell you. If you start buying in container shipments just to deny your opponents, you are probably doing so well money-wise you don't have to.

There are big diffrences from game to game in Container, and one thing that particularly changes is the avarge size of a ship bringin containers to the island. If you have many smaller shipments, the prise is usually better, but those big shipments seems to be more tempting. This again leads to that sometimes you have to pass on a big shipment becouse it contains too much of you best scoring containers, and getting it would result in you losing all of them in the end-scoring.

Also note that we have seen a person without ANY containers on the island win the game with money in hand. Another fun thing is that many times people tend to over-invest in the logistics, or take out loans needlessly. This can not only kill the game for them, but also have a huge negative impact for the other players, as there is one less buyer/seller on the market.

All in all, Container is my favorite "lighter" economics game, that does wonders with simple rules.

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J C Lawrence
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You should know each of the other player's score-cards by the mid-game if you are paying attention. The information-passing in the blind bidding is key to this.
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Dave Dyer
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clearclaw wrote:
You should know each of the other player's score-cards by the mid-game if you are paying attention. The information-passing in the blind bidding is key to this.


Ha! I hardly think about what's on my card until midgame. Good luck
trying to guess what I'm after if I don't know myself.
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J C Lawrence
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Then you are losing the significant advantages of early information passing.
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Dave Dyer
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clearclaw wrote:
Then you are losing the significant advantages of early information passing.


I didn't say that I don't pay attention to what the other players are
buying, but good luck gleaning any information from my early buys.
 
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J C Lawrence
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There are advantafpges gained from the information passing of what you bid, what you put on your ship, what you pu in your warehouses, what you produce, how you price, and even by simple elimination given the data passed by other players. The key however is that the information-passing benefits the passer and the responsive recipient, and you lose ground against those who do participate if you don't.
 
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Tycho van der Meij
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thank you for your answers, this is interesting stuff,

i thake it that the exchange of singals trough the blind bidding can indeed be win win situation,
but could an advantage be gained by simply guessing at the start of the game, before anything happens, the values for each player, hope you are right and fully commit your resources to make te most of the envisaged scenario.vs players who hedge their investments a little bit at the start and await the first auctions for more information?

i am very curious...

regards

 
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Randall Bart
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clearclaw wrote:
The key however is that the information-passing benefits the passer and the responsive recipient, and you lose ground against those who do participate if you don't.


Only Clearclaw believes this.
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Gustav Åkerfelt
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In the early game, people might well buy anything and everything, just to get a base of containers, and to get atleast one of every colour to boost their 5/10 valued container. I would NOT burn to much brainpower trying to judge people's container values from that. Depends on who you play with i guess, if all the players are mega-pro's and plan each and every buy down to the last percentage of profit, then perhaps there is more actual info in the early buys. The people I play with (and my own strategy included) the early game is more of general collecting, and making money to buy the harbour upgrades you want.
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J C Lawrence
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Barticus88 wrote:
Only Clearclaw believes this.


You have not read the Container fora, particularly those around altering the auction-type.
 
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Tim Harrison
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Barticus88 wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
The key however is that the information-passing benefits the passer and the responsive recipient, and you lose ground against those who do participate if you don't.


Only Clearclaw believes this.


If you rate the game a 5.9 and have only played twice (according to your profile), it's no wonder that you might think so.

Cooperation with others is critical to success in the game. If you don't work with others, you'll quickly fall behind the players that do. As JC said, there are plenty of posts that discuss it.
 
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T. Fred
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Interesting. Sounds like a very high level of cheating. I realize folks will object to that characterization, but think about it. Table talk revealing that information is forbidden so why would someone be permitted to do the same thing by bidding in a manner that other sophisticated players would understand. Its really no different than using code or hand signals.

Put in economic terms, it sounds a bit like an anti-trust problem when two huge oil companies conspire on bid rigging and price fixing (whether hi or low).

I like it better when its each man for himself. Of course the winsome train games don't work that way, but it is understood. Container doesn't present itself like the winsome stock/train games in which shared interests are obvious.

That said, I haven't read the container fora but will take a look.
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J C Lawrence
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FezAZ wrote:
Interesting. Sounds like a very high level of cheating. I realize folks will object to that characterization, but think about it. Table talk revealing that information is forbidden so why would someone be permitted to do the same thing by bidding in a manner that other sophisticated players would understand. Its really no different than using code or hand signals.


Because almost the game is mostly (entirely?) about the manipulation of tempo, and the primary method of affecting tempo after the very early game is careful information leakage and manipulation. In the early game the information leakage is mostly centered around container values (which doesn't necessarily mean value cards, but can). In the later game the information leakage is centered more around future commitments.

Quote:
Put in economic terms, it sounds a bit like an anti-trust problem when two huge oil companies conspire on bid rigging and price fixing (whether hi or low).


Container is an explicitly collusive game in which the players are significantly rewarded for (among other things) collaborating towards mutual price inflation and discouraged from price efficiency.

Quote:
I like it better when its each man for himself. Of course the winsome train games don't work that way, but it is understood. Container doesn't present itself like the winsome stock/train games in which shared interests are obvious.


Container is no less collusive than the Winsome games (eg Wabash Cannonball), and in many ways is more collusive due to the gross (implicit) collaboration required by market protection, price inflation, tempo management, economy management etc in addition to the simpler shared interest structures.
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Steve Bachman
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clearclaw wrote:
FezAZ wrote:
Interesting. Sounds like a very high level of cheating. I realize folks will object to that characterization, but think about it. Table talk revealing that information is forbidden so why would someone be permitted to do the same thing by bidding in a manner that other sophisticated players would understand. Its really no different than using code or hand signals.


Because almost the game is mostly (entirely?) about the manipulation of tempo, and the primary method of affecting tempo after the very early game is careful information leakage and manipulation. In the early game the information leakage is mostly centered around container values (which doesn't necessarily mean value cards, but can). In the later game the information leakage is centered more around future commitments.

Quote:
Put in economic terms, it sounds a bit like an anti-trust problem when two huge oil companies conspire on bid rigging and price fixing (whether hi or low).


Container is an explicitly collusive game in which the players are significantly rewarded for (among other things) collaborating towards mutual price inflation and discouraged from price efficiency.

Quote:
I like it better when its each man for himself. Of course the winsome train games don't work that way, but it is understood. Container doesn't present itself like the winsome stock/train games in which shared interests are obvious.


Container is no less collusive than the Winsome games (eg Wabash Cannonball), and in many ways is more collusive due to the gross (implicit) collaboration required by market protection, price inflation, tempo management, economy management etc in addition to the simpler shared interest structures.

I'm glad I don't play in your group, JC. Sounds like you take pretty much all of the fun out of playing games.
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Jason Reid
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Ward wrote:
I'm glad I don't play in your group, JC. Sounds like you take pretty much all of the fun out of playing games.


Ooh, neat, I haven't seen this argument on the internet for at least 5 minutes. Let's do it again.
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J C Lawrence
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BrenoK wrote:
You don't really give that information on purpose, people just naturally understand that a person that bids high on a one-container shipment is bound to have that container high on his value-list.


It is less direct than that. A high bid for a small number of containers early in the game mostly means that the player wants to incent that sale type/pattern. Correlation with other actions in the game and the game state will suggest which pattern they are trying to encourage. Observation over time will usually close the rest of the gap. An easy explanation may be that it is their $2 container and they want an over-supply of it in the game so as to make their colour mix management on the island easier. Another explanation may be that they want to encourage the producer of that colour to produce more often so as to push tempo towards them. A third explanation may be they simply want to ensure that the selling player has (excess) money for the next few player turns. Or it may be all three at the same time, plus some other explanations yet unmentioned. Decisions in Container are rarely obvious and almost always multi-faceted and subtle. A common fourth model would be that they are shoving a vendor competitor (their action-type pair, the other factory player most typically) to over-produce early and thus miss out on the late-game margin increases (that they hope to engender).

Quote:
Considering all the containers are listed in the cards in the exact same order (orange above white, white above black, something like that), it's not that hard to see which player wants what.


In order to ease analysis, I place the container supply and factory supply in that order, and order all containers on each player's island slot also in that order.
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J C Lawrence
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Ward wrote:
I'm glad I don't play in your group, JC. Sounds like you take pretty much all of the fun out of playing games.


That rather depends on what you consider fun.
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Tim Harrison
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Ward wrote:
I'm glad I don't play in your group, JC. Sounds like you take pretty much all of the fun out of playing games.


Quite to the contrary, I would love the chance to play in JC's group, as it would be an incredible opportunity to learn. Afterall, some people like to learn.
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Steve Bachman
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GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
Ward wrote:
I'm glad I don't play in your group, JC. Sounds like you take pretty much all of the fun out of playing games.


Quite to the contrary, I would love the chance to play in JC's group, as it would be an incredible opportunity to learn. Afterall, some people like to learn.

Has nothing to do with learning. Much of the enjoyment of strategy games is learning and exploring.

clearclaw wrote:
Container is an explicitly collusive game in which the players are significantly rewarded for (among other things) collaborating towards mutual price inflation and discouraged from price efficiency.


Explicit collusion, however, greatly diminishes the fun. Obviously, your mileage may vary, but such tactics are rather gamey and have little to do with learning.
 
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Steve Bachman
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clearclaw wrote:
Ward wrote:
I'm glad I don't play in your group, JC. Sounds like you take pretty much all of the fun out of playing games.


That rather depends on what you consider fun.

Yes, you are correct of course. Fun is highly subjective. I apologize for using an overly broad brush with my comment. Obviously, there are others who like to play Container in the way that you do, and find enjoyment in it. What I should have said was that your method of play would take much of the fun out the game for me. Collusion can easily break Container, as mentioned in other threads not long after its release, and what's the point of playing a broken game?
 
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J C Lawrence
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Ward wrote:
GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
Quite to the contrary, I would love the chance to play in JC's group, as it would be an incredible opportunity to learn. Afterall, some people like to learn.


Has nothing to do with learning. Much of the enjoyment of strategy games is learning and exploring.


It all seems like learning to me.

Quote:
clearclaw wrote:
Container is an explicitly collusive game in which the players are significantly rewarded for (among other things) collaborating towards mutual price inflation and discouraged from price efficiency.


Explicit collusion, however, greatly diminishes the fun. Obviously, your mileage may vary, but such tactics are rather gamey and have little to do with learning.


On the contrary, the trick is to learn how to setup the relationships so that you are the primary beneficiary of all player's attempted (implicit) collusion. This is non-trivial.
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Ward wrote:
Collusion can easily break Container, as mentioned in other threads not long after its release, and what's the point of playing a broken game?


(For me) implicit collusion (Container is not a negotiation game) is the only thing that makes Container work as a game, as well as being the primary source of interest in the game. It is far from being a broken game.
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Tycho van der Meij
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thanks everybody for the illuminating comments!
 
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Randall Bart
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Ward wrote:
Sounds like you take pretty much all of the fun out of playing games.


Clearclaw never takes the fun out of a game. He steadfastly prevents any fun from getting into the game in the first place.
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