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Subject: All that Glitters is not Gold rss

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Benjamin Maggi
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Introduction

Over the weekend I had a chance to play the base game of Container alone, and a second game using portions of the expansion, and below are a few of my thoughts based upon these two plays. I am already a big fan of the base game, and my review of it here sums up many of the good things I believe that the game offers: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/835971/container-better-than...

I have been intrigued with the expansion for a while now, but since it regularly sells for over $40 it has been hard to justify purchasing it for what amounts to basically some new rules, some new cards, and some gold containers. While that may seem like a good value still, it is quite easy to “mock up” portions of the expansion with substitute bits- a few of the variants that come with the game don’t even require new pieces at all. So, what the money is really going towards (in my mind at least) is the intellectual property behind the rules. And if I am going to pay $40 for that it had better be good. Especially since I hold Container to a high standard already… its rules are crystal clear without a single ambiguity in them that I can see, and never have I had to check the rules to answer a question that has come up in the game. Thus, Container: Second Shipment had better be super-good or I won’t buy it.

The Four New Expansions

1.) Gold “Luxury Containers:”
Players add additional gold containers, in a quantity matching the other container amounts (dictated by the number of players) to the container pool. They are not produced in a factory or machine like the regular ones, but instead at the start of a player’s turn he may convert two different colored containers in his factory store, or convert two different colored containers in his harbor store, into a gold container. The value of these containers is dependent not on the secret value cards but instead on the total quantity owned by each person. Luxury containers are worth twice the number of luxury containers that a player has, so one is worth 2 points total, two containers are worth 8 points total, three are worth 18 points total, etc.

2.) Factory and Warehouse Restrictions
These two expansions work similarly, consisting of cards that are stacked in a particular order. They affect the pricing structure for the containers you are trying to sell in your factory or warehouse. As you build more factories or warehouses, a new restriction card comes into play which allow for more options in pricing. Designed to cards mimic economies of scale, they encourage players to invest more in infrastructure.

3.) Financiers
In the base game all loans come from the bank, but using this expansion allows players to loan money to others. This not only makes the interest payments go to other players, creating a good incentive to pay it off soon so that you are not funding others because of your debt habit, but also creates the opportunity for players to assume the role of loan sharks by letting them get “creative” with their offers. The money-desperate player doesn't have to accept a loan offered by another player, but if he doesn't, then he must pass on borrowing money at all that turn. Defaulting on the loan works the same way as in the bas game, with the repossessed goods going to the loan originator.

4.) Monopoly
Players can now have more than one factory of the same color, potentially monopolizing production of a container type. I have never seen the rules so I don’t know if it covers this situation, but we have always pulled all factories out of the box and put them on the table no matter how many players there were. Can someone comment on whether the rules say that the total number of factories per color is equal to the numbers of players or not? In a 3 or 4 player game, this would be a huge advantage as there are only 4 total spots to build factories per player card. In a 5 player game one person couldn’t buy all of the factories of a single color.

Component Review

Again, the pieces are generally very good in this game and match well the pieces from the base game. The money cards and valuation cards are thick and glossy, and both were printed in the same color ink in the game I played. None of the "different graphics on the back of the cards not matching in hue" that plagues other games. Frankly, out of all of the games on this earth that use paper money and not plastic coins, poker chips, or cardboard tokens, I think Container has the best money. It is strong, clear, durable, and uses denominations that are helpful.

The gold containers are also nice, and match the size of the regular containers. I have two gripes with them but only one is minor. First, some of the wood containers in the game I played looked dinged up, and some had poor quality wood which meant edges were gouged, chipped, and beat up. It was clear this damage came from the factory, because the gold paint covered the broken areas. I use the resin containers in my game and never examined the original wooden ones but perhaps they have the same issues. The gold containers aren’t so broken that they cannot work, but since much of the cost of the expansion is for these gold containers I wish they were better.

Second, in some light the gold containers looked similar to the tan ones. There isn’t much to be done about that, as gold is an excellent paint choice for luxury containers (I guess you could make them clear to represent diamonds?) but with the base game colors of orange, black, white, brown, [light] brown, and tan, this made it more difficult to play. I could see my board but looking at others took a few seconds to register the colors. In my game I repainted my containers so it wouldn’t be a problem, but I still think it reflects poorly on the base game’s color scheme. AND YES, there are real containers that are bright blue, red, and green, so VG could have used these colors and been realistic- like the picture on their box!

I don’t know how well the rules were written but we never had to check them, and assuming they were in the box (my game never came with them) I have no reason to doubt their clarity. As one player of our game- who is also a game designer- said, "this is a very clean game." I agree.

Game Play

We chose only to use the luxury container expansion with the game as our group of four had two new players, and there wasn’t any good reason to add extra rules when the base game is already a nice challenge. Frankly, introducing the ability to monopolize the market and/or loan each other money probably isn’t a good thing for beginners. And it was hard for some people to remember the rules that each factory means a storage of 2 containers, and each warehouse means a storage of 1 container (a nice small player aid would have been nice, or perhaps printing that on the board itself?), and using the further expansion to limit pricing structures was too much. But gold containers are too cool to ignore.

The game played like a regular game of Container, except that it took longer. Much longer. At least 90 minutes longer. And here is why: in our game only two players were "producers" and two players were predominately warehousers. Everyone shipped goods now and then. However, the two producers also started converting their regular containers into gold containers, which returned the base-containers back into the pool. Thus, we had many times where one or two colors would get low due to production but then they would turn into gold containers and never dry up. This meant that the game started to drag on. The two producers could have just run the colors out to end the game but it wasn’t in their best interest. The two warehouse guys could have built factories just to burn through the containers but it would have flooded the market with containers, which isn’t a good thing. Thus, we were stuck. The game took 3.5 hours and was a really fun game, but in my mind it was just too long.

What I liked about the Luxury Container expansion

1.) Interesting Snowball Effect: when we brought the first few gold containers to port they didn’t sell for much. But, as the game went on and players slowly acquired one or two they had a greater incentive to buy more. Thus, it was actually helpful to the shippers to have each person collect at least one, because then the market for more would increase. Like crack. Once you get a little, you need some more. Then, as boats with two or three gold containers came over the bidding went crazy!

2.) Predictable Valuations: it is already tough for me to read what other people value containers at, though I admit some can master it, but this expansion made it much easier for me. Whereas a ship with an orange and black container can have four values to four different people, two gold containers can be calculated very accurately. Whether or not bids will match that is another thing, but in general I liked how it made the math simpler.

3.) Increased Auctions: sometimes, by the middle of the game people don’t bother to bid on ships that don’t have what they want. But, as long as a gold container is on a ship there is a great chance that everyone will at least bid something.

What I didn’t like about the Luxury Container expansion

1.) Game Length: a 3.5 hour of Container is too long. The end game got boring because we couldn’t end it, and thus we were forced to make decisions that weren’t in our own best interest to push it along. I hate when that happens. The solution may be to reduce the number of regular containers and thus artificially “dry up” their source. This may backfire, but it was the only thing I could think of that would keep within the economic constructs of the game and work well. Having everyone produce to run them out would ruin the balance of the game.

2.) Low End Bids: because the game went so long, players by about hour 2.5 already had their ideal container percentages on the island. Meaning, they didn’t want to bid on certain shipments because it might make their most valuable containers become their most plentiful ones… causing their value to drop to $0 during scoring. But, because we couldn’t end the game without moving containers through the production system, everything dropped in value and auctions for multiple containers frequently were won for less than $7 for three or four container loads. This doesn’t economically pay, but no one wanted to buy a shipment that would skew their scores. Without the gold containers extending the game length, this wouldn’t happen.

3.) Production Values: I didn’t like how the wood was beat up on some containers, and the gold was similar to the tan. Of course, reviewing the expansion alone the gold was a great choice. It really is a flaw with the base game’s color scheme.

4.) Lack of Sufficient Increased Game Enjoyment: The gold containers were fun to use once, but I don’t think I would use them on a regular basis. In reviewing all of the expansions, luxury containers included, I don’t see how they would take an already great game and make it that much better. Especially for the $40 price tag. If it were $20 then it would be okay, or if it were to save an already dull or broken base game then the expansion might be necessary (Alien Frontiers and Kingsbury, I am looking at you). In fact, the gold containers made the game worse for me as it added length and created problems that weren’t present in the base game.

Conclusion

These expansions are a bit of a mixed bag. First, the cost seems prohibitive for what you actually get in the box, especially when you could take some gold paint and pieces of wood and create your own luxury container expansion. The monopoly rules and player loan rules don’t require special pieces at all. And the last one, the Warehouse and Factory Restrictions, do come with special cards but the rules don’t appeal to me so I wouldn’t care about them anyway. Thus, these expansions may increase your enjoyment of a great game but at a substantial economic cost. I would suggest if you are interested in them that you first try them out by using mock-ups.

I don’t think Valley Games should be faulted for putting out various different expansions to try and improve their game. However, the luxury container expansion “missed the boat” for me and the rest don’t interest me very much. It is hard to improve upon an excellent game, but for gaming groups where the base game has gotten a bit stale this may breathe some more life into it.

EDIT: spelling
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Walt
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I agree that Container: The Second Shipment is rather dear. And Valley Games, Inc. clearly agrees with you that their IP is what they're selling, since they are one of the few companies who do not publish their rules on the net. But I'm also fairly sure the huge extension in your game time came because you "mocked up" the rules as well as the containers.

In short, this is not a review of Container: The Second Shipment but a review of what you imagine it might be. The actual rules are considerably different.
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Nate Straight

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Tall_Walt wrote:
I agree that Container: The Second Shipment is rather dear. And Valley Games, Inc. clearly agrees with you that their IP is what they're selling, since they are one of the few companies who do not publish their rules on the net. But I'm also fairly sure the huge extension in your game time came because you "mocked up" the rules as well as the containers.

In short, this is not a review of Container: The Second Shipment but a review of what you imagine it might be. The actual rules are considerably different.




Everything above is an exact description of how the expansion works.
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Steve Bachman
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For the Luxury containers, I think we definitely should have taken out 4 of each of the containers. I was not a fan of the extended play time, and would reduce the stocks if I were to use the Luxury containers again.

I found it curious that none of the Warehousers converted containers into Luxury containers and let the Manufacturer's control supply. With the multitude of $1 containers being sold, the cost would have been comparable to the selling price from the factory stores.

Regarding the Financiers, they can't be that "creative". Interest is always $1 per turn per loan. The loan amount may be more than $10 though, if there is a competition by lenders. On the one hand, it doesn't take the interest payments out of the economy, but on the other hand it doesn't bring the principal into it either. I could see how it might prevent runaway leaders as the Financiers will have less liquidity due to their cash being on loan.

For the Monopoly rules, a machine of each color is taken out of the game. Normally, you have 1 machine of each color for each player. I can't see myself ever considering to use the Monopoly rules in a 3-player game. 4- and 5-player though, could be interesting.

As for the expansion overall, I like the different features available and the a la carte style of implementation. The container materials are definitely not a tight grained as the base game, but still functional. I like the fact that it also included more $2's and $1's. I also like the fact that I already own it as I don't see it being reproduced in the foreseeable future (unless included in a reprinted base game).

What I don't like about the expansion is that I don't get to play the base game enough to crave additional features/options/complexities. I also don't like the fact that $0's were not included - just five of them so each player could have a bluffer would have been great.

Even though I don't expect to use it much in the next several years, I feel The Second Shipment is worth hanging onto for now.

Nice write-up Ben! Thanks for the games.
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Steve Bachman
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Tall_Walt wrote:
I agree that Container: The Second Shipment is rather dear. And Valley Games, Inc. clearly agrees with you that their IP is what they're selling, since they are one of the few companies who do not publish their rules on the net. But I'm also fairly sure the huge extension in your game time came because you "mocked up" the rules as well as the containers.

In short, this is not a review of Container: The Second Shipment but a review of what you imagine it might be. The actual rules are considerably different.

Perhaps you'd care to clear up what Luxury container rules are "considerably different"? We used the actual expansion, not a mock up of any sorts.

The review is really a review of just the Luxury container portion of the expansion, as that was all that was used. That is probably why Ben gave an overview of the entire expansion while only a critical review of the use of the Luxury containers.

Also, Valley Games does publish their rules on the internet, including for the base game (which led me to purchase it). They do not, however, publish the expansion rules because that is the crux of the product.
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Benjamin Maggi
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Tall_Walt wrote:
But I'm also fairly sure the huge extension in your game time came because you "mocked up" the rules as well as the containers.

In short, this is not a review of Container: The Second Shipment but a review of what you imagine it might be. The actual rules are considerably different.


I don't quite follow you. I wrote up a review of the components as they came in the game. I didn't buy the game, but I played an actual legitimate copy of it that another gentleman had. Thus, my comments on component quality were based on the copy in hand, NOT a mocked-up example. I may mock-up the gold containers for my copy, but I certainly wouldn't review components I made myself!

As for mock-ing up the rules leading to a huge extension in game length, I fail to see the connection. As far as I know we played the game correctly, using the actual rules. (Or, at least as they were taught to us. The game master may have been mistaken but I don't think so.

I would love to hear about how the actual rules are different then what we played. I imagined it would be great, but in reality it was so-so. And that was based on playing the rules correctly. I suppose if I imagined different rules it could be better, but then it wouldn't be what came in the box.
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Benjamin Maggi
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Ward wrote:
I found it curious that none of the Warehousers converted containers into Luxury containers and let the Manufacturer's control supply. With the multitude of $1 containers being sold, the cost would have been comparable to the selling price from the factory stores.


I never converted anything I produced into luxury containers for the simple reason that I had only one machine/factory and could produce only one container. I didn't want to purchase a second factory to open up a second color, potentially saturating the market with containers. It is true that I could have converted containers at my warehouse district into gold ones but they were usually bought before my turn came around again. Had I really wanted to do it, I would have priced them at $6 so no one would have bought them, then the next turn converted them. Or priced them higher in general.

Were we to remove some of the regular colors from the game to shorten it, I would love to play it again. Removing factories per the Monopoly expansion would also be interesting, too.
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Benjamin Maggi wrote:
As for mock-ing up the rules leading to a huge extension in game length, I fail to see the connection. As far as I know we played the game correctly, using the actual rules. (Or, at least as they were taught to us. The game master may have been mistaken but I don't think so.

Having just looked at the rules, you did not. As mentioned above, loans are not a free-for-all, and it would only be natural for open negotiations to extend the game.

Benjamin Maggi wrote:
I would love to hear about how the actual rules are different then what we played. ...

I feel I have to respect Valley's decision not to release the rules. You also probably misplayed the gold containers, which also extended the game. I suggest you have your GM re-read the rules.
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Tall_Walt wrote:
Benjamin Maggi wrote:
As for mock-ing up the rules leading to a huge extension in game length, I fail to see the connection. As far as I know we played the game correctly, using the actual rules. (Or, at least as they were taught to us. The game master may have been mistaken but I don't think so.

Having just looked at the rules, you did not. As mentioned above, loans are not a free-for-all, and it would only be natural for open negotiations to extend the game.

Benjamin Maggi wrote:
I would love to hear about how the actual rules are different then what we played. ...

I feel I have to respect Valley's decision not to release the rules. You also probably misplayed the gold containers, which also extended the game. I suggest you have your GM re-read the rules.


What do you think they did wrong? Others may have also made similar mistakes.
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Jythier wrote:
What do you think they did wrong? Others may have also made similar mistakes.

"Then, as boats with two or three gold containers came over the bidding went crazy!"

This suggests they were not following the gold rules, though it is possible (E5.1 bullet 3). Apparently, E4.1 was not followed. The loan problem has already been explained (E7). If you want to know more, read your rules.
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If it took them 3.5 hours, I wouldn't be surprised if they went to different docks to create the load they wanted...

In this game, production appears to have gotten backed up in the factory, making the factory owners turn goods back in at the 2-1 rate. This makes sense if your stock won't sell or you can sell a gold for twice the price.

It seems the players got wrapped up in the neat luxury containers and shipped them instead of shipping the other containers. Well, you still discard your highest count container, so wouldn't they want more of something above the luxury containers? Things sold for $7 because they were badly put together loads, more likely than not. There was something that would sell, but nobody shipped that, so nobody wanted to ship, and the only thing they could do was throw goods back and get more luxury containers which would ship, and then go from store to store and get more.

Or they were buying them all from one store in which case you're right.
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Jythier wrote:
Well, you still discard your highest count container, so wouldn't they want more of something above the luxury containers?

I wonder if that rule was applied.

Jythier wrote:
...the only thing they could do was throw goods back and get more luxury containers...

Which is a very limited mechanism.
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Tall_Walt wrote:
Jythier wrote:
What do you think they did wrong? Others may have also made similar mistakes.

"Then, as boats with two or three gold containers came over the bidding went crazy!"

This suggests they were not following the gold rules, though it is possible (E5.1 bullet 3). Apparently, E4.1 was not followed. The loan problem has already been explained (E7). If you want to know more, read your rules.

The preface in E4 is, "This section assumes that players desire to play Container with all the additional options provided by Container: The Second Shipment." By reading the thread, it is abundantly clear that we used only the Luxury container option which does not reference E4.1. E4.1 includes the reduction of each machine color by 1, and it is only referenced in the Monopoly option. It is not clear by the rules if that part of setup is for all options. E4.2 was ignored as well as it seemed silly to hand out Player Loan Documents, and Factory and Warehouse Restriction cards that would never come into play. If you feel the "surplus" machines were in err, perhaps you could also explain (a) how one would know that from the rules; (b) how it was apparent from Ben's post; and (c) how it extended the play time when no more than two factories of any color were in use during the game.

The "loan problem" in E7 wasn't a problem at all because, from even a casual read of this thread one could easily discern that the Financier option was not in use. So again, I ask you how the "loan problem" extended the play time.

You were correct on two items however. I had forgotten that the Gold becomes worthless if it is the most plentiful container. Based on the scoresheets from the game, this did not impact the scoring but it may have impacted the bidding as the demand may have been driven up by those not realizing this caveat.

And the third bullet was also missed, which is the limit of 1 Luxury container in a Warehouse/Factory store at a time. IIRC, this only happened in one instance when a manufacturer had two golds and they were both bought from the same warehouser. The 3 gold container shipment included this pair, but the third was from a second purchase.

Despite these oversights, the extended play time was caused by the return of containers to stock on a regular basis. The same two container colors were always used as the third was trying to get pushed into the system (albeit ineffectively).

The main drawback to the Luxury container option is the extended play time. Clearly, VG was aware of this when they added E4.3.1 (VARIANT) that states to optionally reduce all colors of containers by 1 per player in order to reduce play time. Knowing this now, I wouldn't be likely to use the option again without such a reduction.
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It's funny that's the one you decided to add. We add financier always, because when you take a loan, there's usually someone else with a lot of money and nothing to do with it, for the moment. So better to let them loan it out.
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Ward wrote:
You were correct on two items however. I had forgotten that the Gold becomes worthless if it is the most plentiful container. ...

And the third bullet was also missed...

The review is presented as a review of all four segments of 2nd Shipment. I don't mind well-founded criticism, even if I disagree with it. However, the description of the financier rules were incorrect, and the author wasn't sure about E4.1, which could have an impact even without monopoly rules. I don't like to see a game criticized unfairly.

And as you say, gold wasn't played correctly. Under the rules as played, it would be entirely reasonable for everyone to collect as much gold as possible. This has two effects: since gold is made of two other containers, it takes twice as long to run out the gold supply; and, since gold essentially restores the supplies of the containers needed to make it, they don't run out "on time" and may be essentially untouched when gold runs out. So, twice as long to run out the gold, then as long as normal to run out a second supply. No wonder the game took so long! Actually, given the rules you actually played, the game lasted about as long as one would expect.
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Tall_Walt wrote:
The review is presented as a review of all four segments of 2nd Shipment. I don't mind well-founded criticism, even if I disagree with it. However, the description of the financier rules were incorrect, and the author wasn't sure about E4.1, which could have an impact even without monopoly rules. I don't like to see a game criticized unfairly.


As the author, I am pretty sure (as sure as anyone here can be) of what I was presenting my above review as. I did try to review the components of all four expansions as I had access to them. I also qualified that by saying that I wasn't reviewing the rules presentation of all four sections, or any section for that matter, as I didn't see them, read them, or teach them to the group. I also said several times that we only used the Luxury Container expansion and regarding gameplay I was reviewing that. Which I did.

The fact that I was taught it wrong no doubt influenced my review of its gameplay, but it in no way impacted or changed my intention or presentation of the rest.

As for the "description of the financier rules" being incorrect, most of the summations of the above four pieces were taken from a release by Valley Games and presented on BGG. Not wanting to illegally copy something from someone else, I rewrote their short paragraph summaries into my own words. If that is what you take issue with, it is possible that I mis-translated them but I don't think so. If you are concerned with nut-and-bolt descriptions about the financier rules, I never played with those rules, admitted I never read them, made it clear I was only reviewing the Luxury Container rules, and thus am not sure how I didn't give them a fair shake.

As for it being "criticized unfairly," I said the base game was great rules wise. I said it was good components wise. As for the expansion, I said that I never saw the rules but we didn't have any issues with them (even as we played it improperly, no ambiguities came up). As for the components, I also judged them fairly. In fact, I said that of all games using paper money in my opinion it was the best. And as for the containers, chipped wood is chipped wood- even if they look cool (as I also said). I also said a couple of times that I didn't play some of the expansions, and noted that they didn't interest me. If you don't like that I didn't find them interesting, um, sorry?

If I have any beef with their rules, which I may have mentioned in this review or I may not have, it is that my base game never came with the rules. I sent emails to VG and never heard back. I have posted on threads where their employees have posted (or started!) and never heard back. Thank goodness for BGG to make them available, as others have said that they are not available online (though I have not confirmed this). Despite the fact that the missing rules and no attempts to replace them have rubbed me the wrong way, I still love Container. And I think I reviewed the Luxury Container expansion fairly.

I suppose we are doomed to agree to disagree.
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If I reviewed Monopoly and said it took too long because people kept landing on Free Parking, that would be another example of a bad review due to playing by different rules that are not in the rulebook.

Luxury containers really do change up the game. They're not all that overpowering - you need 5 of them to make them as strong as your 10. But when you're shipping them, the difference on an island even a single luxury container can make is often as huge as a big rebalancing move.

For example, when you're getting your third luxury container, the value of it by itself is $6. But, it also jumps the value of the two you already have by $2 each, so the third one is WORTH $10 to your island, even though the actual container is only valued at $6.

This huge individual container value is what makes Luxury containers so different than the other containers. A three luxury-container load is worth a lot more if there's already a luxury container on the island. It's worth $18 without, but with even a single luxury container sitting on an island, it jumps up to $30, which is the same as a 5-container 'perfect' load-out. (10, 10, 6, 4, throw away 2).

It's good for the variety but the base game is amazing as it is. I could take it or leave it.

But, you should still try playing it right and see if it changes anything. It may not. But it might.
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First off, I apologize to Ben for my oversight with the rules. Mea culpa. Another illustration of why I shy away from games without publicly available rules because having only a single person familiar with the rules of a new game is not very beneficial.

Anyhow, I strongly disagree with the repeated assertions that the game was extended by the oversights. I feel very much that the game was lengthened by the Luxury container expansion on its own. This explains why the optional variant was added for the Luxury container section. If we had taken out 4 containers of each color, the game would have ended an hour earlier as two colors were down to 4 or less at that point.

Secondly, the oversight with regards to the limit of 1 gold container in a store at a time actually sped up the game. The only time it happened was when a second one was created to free up production space. If the limit was imposed, instead of the conversion the two colors would have been repriced at the maximum and the gold perhaps dropped by $1. The player producing the bulk of the Luxury containers had his ship parked in the harbor store of the warehouser to his right. Each turn, the warehouser would purchase what he felt this producer/shipper would buy - in this case gold - and it would immediately be bought for the ship. The limit would have added at least one full turn to the game. It is fine to surmise what could happen in the game from an outside view, but Ben and I were actually in the game and know what did happen and what likely would have.

Additionally, I don't feel Ben "criticized unfairly" the expansion as he didn't criticize it that much. The biggest knock was about game length, and that is a factor regardless of whether we caught the limits and the devaluing rules.

I do not share all of his opinions, and feel some may be skewed by the current environment. The $40 price tag mentioned is what the OOP price is for it currently. At the time of release, the MSRP was around $18 which is the price point Ben mentioned for acceptability to him. It is also the price I paid for it, which is why I am not disappointed by it.

As for the low end bids, I feel that was more due to the players than the expansion or game itself. If everyone has a perfect balance on the island, the big bucks will go to the shipper who brings in a balanced load of 1 of each color. It is worth $30 to everyone who has the perfect balance already.

Jythier wrote:
But, you should still try playing it right and see if it changes anything. It may not. But it might.

I agree wholeheartedly, although at this point what I'd really like to do is play the base game more frequently with a core group. I like each of the aspects of the expansion and would like to eventually try each of them at least once.
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Ward wrote:
First off, I apologize to Ben for my oversight with the rules. Mea culpa. Another illustration of why I shy away from games without publicly available rules because having only a single person familiar with the rules of a new game is not very beneficial.


No problem. Playing under the rules as we understood them, I still had an enjoyable time. I didn't mind that it took 4 hours... it was a good 4 hours. I just don't want to make that committment again in the future. And it sounds as if I won't have to, based on a variant in the rules.

Ward wrote:
I do not share all of his opinions, and feel some may be skewed by the current environment. The $40 price tag mentioned is what the OOP price is for it currently. At the time of release, the MSRP was around $18 which is the price point Ben mentioned for acceptability to him. It is also the price I paid for it, which is why I am not disappointed by it.


Too true. There are many games that I wish I could purchase for their original price but now are inflated by demand such that I cannot afford them. I purchased Container new from a game store this past December for $69.99 because I couldn't find it online for less- and now it is worth much more. Would I purchase it now for $100+? Maybe, maybe not. Money isn't a factor for everyone, but it is to some and so I always reflect upon the cost of a game in my review of the game. How I long for an affordable copy of The Queen's Gambit! At $18, I would purchase the expansion but not for $40. It very well may be worth that much to others, but since I already enjoy the base game immensly (though am not very good at it, to tell the truth) I don't feel the need to upgrade it.
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I would not spend $40 on the expansion either.

It weirds me out that your factory players decided that $1 was a good selling point. Whenever I see that, I think, "Time to start warehousing!" Then, when the warehouses drop to below $4, I say, 'Time to start shipping!' And then I don't do anything else until it's not profitable anymore.

When everyone is bidding low on the island, though, it is prime-time to bid just a little bit higher...

Anyway, I love the base game. I'm not a huge fan of Second Shipment, with the exception of the loans.
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Jythier wrote:
Anyway, I love the base game. I'm not a huge fan of Second Shipment, with the exception of the loans.

The loans were the main thing I enjoyed in the expansion as well. To me, the loans are an excellent addition which I'd happily always play with, while the rest of the expansion was just OK for occasional variety.
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I bought it for the containers. I really thought they might add (something besides length) to the game. They do that, sure.

But I mostly ended up playing this one online, and the expansion rules were either all or none, and I loathe the economy of scale rules. LOATHE.
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Jythier wrote:
But I mostly ended up playing this one online, and the expansion rules were either all or none, and I loathe the economy of scale rules. LOATHE.

Interesting. I thought the economy of scale rules were interesting in that they add more realism to the game. A niche producer/warehouser can not undercut mass producers/warehousers. They provide incentive to actually build a 4th factory which from my experience rarely happens.

What about the restriction rules do you dislike so much?
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Ward wrote:
Jythier wrote:
But I mostly ended up playing this one online, and the expansion rules were either all or none, and I loathe the economy of scale rules. LOATHE.

Interesting. I thought the economy of scale rules were interesting in that they add more realism to the game. A niche producer/warehouser can not undercut mass producers/warehousers. They provide incentive to actually build a 4th factory which from my experience rarely happens.

What about the restriction rules do you dislike so much?


They're restrictive. One of the main reasons I fell in love with Container was the ability to set your own prices, and then a silly expansion tears it away, like a lion chasing a mouse.
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Jythier wrote:
Ward wrote:
Jythier wrote:
But I mostly ended up playing this one online, and the expansion rules were either all or none, and I loathe the economy of scale rules. LOATHE.

Interesting. I thought the economy of scale rules were interesting in that they add more realism to the game. A niche producer/warehouser can not undercut mass producers/warehousers. They provide incentive to actually build a 4th factory which from my experience rarely happens.

What about the restriction rules do you dislike so much?


They're restrictive. One of the main reasons I fell in love with Container was the ability to set your own prices, and then a silly expansion tears it away, like a lion chasing a mouse.

I see your point. It's kind of like going to college for architecture. You can freely design as you like in school, but then you hit the real world and have the handcuffs of reality restrict your choices.

Sometimes, too much realism in a game isn't welcome from the sounds of it.
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