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Subject: Painted Wooden Cubes on Balance Issues rss

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Mark Taylor
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While mutual dependency may be the basis for negotiation to be meaningful (I will give you the wood you need in exchange for the brick I need is meaningful in terms of the outcome of a game), imbalance is the basis for negotiation to be interesting. Cosmic Encounter recognizes this, as does the similarly divisive Diplomacy (each of which I like rather a lot).

But in other games imbalance can be much harder to stomach, so it is a mistake to claim that it is imbalance alone which is the making of
Cosmic Encounter: imbalance in itself is neither desirable nor undesirable – it works in this case as a short-cut to set-up stimulating, unfamiliar situations.

Why does imbalance work in the favour of some games, but not others?
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