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Subject: trading resources? rss

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Daan haeyen
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A question for the designer: have you ever playtested the ability to trade resources with other (adjacent?) Players? I think it could be fun as a special ability, or maybe for everyone.

Daan.
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Helge Ostertag
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thumbsup We will think about it for the planned expansion.

EDIT (to clarify):
But there is already the possibility to exchange ressources (with the general supply) into other ressources:
look at powerbowl III, a priest can become a worker, a worker can become one gold...
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Daan haeyen
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Okay, maybe i'll try it out next game.
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Fabian L
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That's true that anything can become gold, but gold is always just gold or VPs. Sometimes it seems that it would be nice to have the ability to trade with other players, but of course it would add to the length of the game and I'm not sure how it would affect player's who are excluded from the trade? Maybe it can be done instead of taking power with a player who is adjacent.

Horologiom wrote:
thumbsup We will think about it for the planned expansion.

EDIT (to clarify):
But there is already the possibility to exchange ressources (with the general supply) into other ressources:
look at powerbowl III, a priest can become a worker, a worker can become one gold...
 
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Peter Chinkin
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Thematically you should be able to trade with a neighbor if one or both of you has a trading house bordering the other. This would increase the interaction and make the information a bit less perfect.
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James Wolfpacker
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I wanted to revive this old thread for discussion.

Trading and negotiation is a skill that is applied in real life and in many other games. Some people are better at this skill than others. However Terra Mystica does not have this skill used at all between the players. TM is also said to be a perfect information game, except what other people might decide to do. I would say that if TM added a trading variant option it would still be a perfect information game because anyone can trade with the active player and see what he has and what each other player has.

I propose that the two trading factions be at least indirectly connected such that at least 1 of the factions can ship/carpet/tunnel to the other in order to trade and at least one of them have a Trading Post. This would add another layer of strategy IMHO because then you would want to have at least some connection to each player and have a Trading Post to be able to trade. Also I would make trading with another faction/player be a complete action for their turn with no ability to use what they just received except Chaos Magicians when they take a double turn. This would also help their weak SH too. Players would be allowed to make offers to the current player as well.

I propose to allow the following things to be traded:
Quote:
Power Tokens Bowl 1
Power Tokens Bowl 2
Power Tokens Bowl 3
Workers
Coins
Priests
Favors
Cult Steps


Trading Example 1:
Quote:
Nomads have burned 7 power tokens and have 5 tokens in Bowl 3. Mermaids have burned no power tokens and have 10 PT in Bowl 1 and have 2 PT in Bowl 3. Nomads offer 2 PT in Bowl 3 to all connected factions in return for 3 PT in Bowl 1. Darklings refuse and Mermaids accept. Now Nomads have 3 PT in Bowl 1 and 3 PT in Bowl 3. Mermaids have 7 PT in Bowl 1 and now 4 PT in Bowl 3. Mermaids have the next turn and now they have 4pw in Bowl 3 to take ACT5. On the Nomads next turn they take ACT1.

Trading Example 2:
Quote:
Darklings need 1 more Priest on their turn. Darklings offer on the Swarmlings turn to give them 2 Water Cult steps for 1 Priest. Swarmlings accept and move from Water 2 to Water 4 and gain 1 power naturally. Swarmlings return the Priest to their blue supply. Darklings then move down from Water 10 to Water 8 and take a Priest from their black supply. On the Darklings turn they dig 1 and build. Since this is a round with cult bonus Water 4 gives 1 Priest, and all priest spots on Water are filled this is a great trade for both the Swarmlings and Darklings. Swarmlings can gain the Priest next round anyway since they didn't really need it this round and the Darklings can still get the 2 Priests from being on Water 8. Also later in the game the Darklings can choose to advance back to Water 10 and gain the 3pw that comes with it.


Hey! Don't blame me! The Acolytes started this Cult Step mess you know!!! I also think this might help the Auren with their 2 Cult Action since good traders can use them to trade their cult steps away for better economy.

Trading Example 3:
Quote:
Round 4 is D>>2vp and Round 5 is D>>2vp. Riverwalkers have 8D with FAV11 near the end of Round 4 and 0 coins with 4 workers. Giants have FAV10 but only 3D with 3 TPs and 15 coins. Giants offer FAV10 and 6 coins for FAV11. Riverwalkers accept on their turn since they need to upgrade to Trading Posts before building any more Ds in Round 5. Giants have several spots that they can build on in the next round if they pass on their turn and take BON4.
 
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SiberianRanger
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There are more than zero people who absolutely hate direct player interaction in their games, for example, the trading component of Settlers of Catan.
 
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James Wolfpacker
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SiberianRanger wrote:
There are more than zero people who absolutely hate direct player interaction in their games, for example, the trading component of Settlers of Catan.


There are also more than 0 people playing Terra Mystica who would like to see more direct player interaction. I really like the trading component of Settlers of Catan. As I said, trading and negotiation is a skill! Another layer of strategy is not a bad thing.

If something like I proposed above is made into an official variant then people still have the choice to use it or not.
 
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Robert
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I think trading between players would remove a significant feature from TM, which is predictability of what can and cannot be done by other players. In the examples you give, in #1 the 4th player can no longer be sure that ACT5 cannot be taken by the Mermaids, in #2 the Darklings suddenly can dig despite not having a priest, in #3 any careful calculations that the Giants could not gain more than x VP until round 6 are null and void.

I'd find this very annoying, especially since it boils down to two players actively negotiating a mutual benefit which hurts the other players. Sorry, but that's no longer Terra Mystica to me.
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James Wolfpacker
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^All the information is still present to be able to predict a trade. So if I can predict a trade could occur, then you could as well. The thing about trading is that it will open up many more possibilities. I do not think you should knock it until you try it!

As I said, if it a variant then you can always choose to play without it. If it is no longer Terra Mystica to you, then call it Terra Mystica: Open Markets because Terra Mystica as it is now is a model of mercantilism. Is North Korea or South Korea more prosperous?

Anyway, I am fairly certain that a game of this variant will be playable on snellman with "option loose-adjust-resource." Once all of the 5p Fire and Ice Test Tournament is over, I would like to try a game or 2 of this which will be unrated of course.

I'm not sure if it will enable Favor trading or power tokens. I think it would enable all of the other trades. In the case of power tokens it might have to just be power (to trade 1 power in Bowl 3, you move it to Bowl 1 which would allow another player to gain +2pw).

I do not think that any VPs should be allowed to be traded as they are really supposed to be an intangible measure of a faction's strength. Losing vp to leech is fine because they are trading their strength for something tangible... power. Same for Alchemists.
 
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Robert
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
As I said, if it a variant then you can always choose to play without it.
No kidding! I'm executing that power for 99% of the variants described in this forum, and that's despite the fact that most of them maintain the spirit of Terra Mystica way more than your proposal.

I took the effort to tell you why I don't like your idea, and telling me "then don't use it" doesn't convince me otherwise.kiss
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Matthias Reitberger
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You cannot predict a trade. If a trade makes sensefor two players one could still try to get more out of it.
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James Wolfpacker
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You can predict the opportunity for arbitrage. Where 2 players might come to an agreement is not predictable. Players are just as unpredictable in their Terra Mystica moves too. I've seen players making moves that I didn't predict... as I thought there was a better move. Sometimes it works out for them and sometimes it doesn't. You never know when another player thinks that doing a dig 2 to block you is better when they could have built something else for more vp.
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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But they are limited in their resources.
A darkling with only one Priest and not enough power for act5 can't do a double dig. Now he could give someone 2w for a priest.
 
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Robert
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Trading could be used as a threat too as it makes it super-easy to throw a game to somebody in ways unimaginable right now. "Hey Sue! Joe would win, but he took that key hex from me so I cannot win. Therefore I'll trade you all my resources and favor tiles in exchange for a power token in bowl I." How rewarding and a sure way to get that sense of achievement from good planning!
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Per Olander
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I agree with everything DocCool has said.

TM is about perfect information, clean-cut limits, planning ahead and making decisions based on this.
Trading will make the game much longer, break the aspects that makes it a great game to begin with, and most important, make king-making and irrational backstabbing a BIG part of the game...

and this comes from a guy who loves to play Diplomacy, where bargaining, making (and breaking) alliances, king-making etc. is the vital backbone of the game. in a Diplomacy game that is split with 3 active players, controlling 17/15/2 supply centers per player, all 3 are as big a part of the decisions, and can all realisticly be part of a win/draw.

I like those aspects in a game build around it, but not in a game like TM.
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James Wolfpacker
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DocCool wrote:
Trading could be used as a threat too as it makes it super-easy to throw a game to somebody in ways unimaginable right now. "Hey Sue! Joe would win, but he took that key hex from me so I cannot win. Therefore I'll trade you all my resources and favor tiles in exchange for a power token in bowl I." How rewarding and a sure way to get that sense of achievement from good planning!


That type of trade rarely happens in Catan in real life and in online. Most people still want to finish as high as they can. Making a trade such as that would destroy a player completely.

Now I will say that in Catan sometimes an slightly uneven trade might happen say between 2nd place trading away a lot to a clear 4th place to get 4th place to stop 1st place so 2nd place can try to win, or to delay the game long enough such that the other players have some way to catch up. It rarely works out for the devious trade because at that point that they realize this it might be too late to stop a player anyway.

Also in Terra Mystica the game is over when all players have passed and basically all resources have been spent entirely and you can see that. In a build and trade game such as Catan a fixed number of points is when the game ends and you don't know when any player can end it because you don't know what they have in their hands.

I still think that it would be at least interesting to try.

Oh, and no one has answered my question: Is North Korea or South Korea better off? North Korea basically has a economic system of mercantilism with communism and South Korea has capitalism. Terra Mystica basically has mercantilism with communism. Does anyone want to deny this? I am proposing capitalism for Terra Mystica just to see what it would look like. Careful planning is a neat skill, for communism, but you still always get further ahead through trade.
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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You definitely can score more points with trading.
I stopped playing Catan 15 years ago.
It dragged out because of trade embargos against the leader and finally ended with a lucky draw or the right dice value.
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James Wolfpacker
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I don't normally play the base version of Catan because the strategy is not enough and players can be stopped too easily. I enjoy Cities and Knights (and combined with other expansions) though because there are enough mechanisms to slow down the leader but the leader usually has enough options to keep forward movement. I also really like the latest Catan expansion, Explorers and Pirates, because it adds the gold rule for resource production - if you do not receive a resource after a dice roll, you receive 1 gold, on your turn 2 gold can be traded to the bank for 1 resource up to two times. Gold can be earned in other ways and traded along with resources. The effect of the gold did one noticeable thing in Catan in ftf and online at PlayCatan: it severely lowered the amount of in game trading that was done, some people eliminated trading entirely, some others still did some trading.

I bring this up because in Terra Mystica there is not much anyone can do within "reasonable" game play limits that can stop a player on a steamroll. Many other games do have normal mechanisms in game play that can halt or slow the progress of other players or allow other players to cooperatively catch up to the leader.

Trading resources is the most natural method of doing this. No alteration is needed to anything else in the game! Would you prefer new FAVs or BONs that directly hinder other players progress? Does BON11 come with an action to steal a player's priest and replace it with a worker? Does FAV13 make you lose 3 earth spots, but you get to steal 1W from a player each round?

It seems that many of you who disagree with this idea think that it will wildly unbalance Terra Mystica. I do not think that will happen. I think it will lead to tighter and higher overall scores and give some lower rated players a better chance in the game. Realistically, if Stones and Xevoc played TM against 1100 and 800 rated players it should almost always end up X, S, 1100, 800. With some trading going on it could end up being S, X, 800, 1100 occasionally or 1100, X, S, 800 or S, 1100, X, 800. Without trading the result is almost always going to be X, S, 1100, 800 about 90% of the time, at some point that's not fun anymore. Do players in Division 1 start the games concentrating on hurting Xevoc since he's won the TM Tour so many times and that's why the last 2 seasons have different winners?

Remember trading is not random like dice or shuffling cards. It is a SKILL.
 
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Matthias Reitberger
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I guess stones will beat xevoc in 1 out of 4 games and the 800 player comes in third even more often.
Trading will generally not help the weak players. They will often not have the resources to do good trades and no strategy to see what they need. All they might do is help stones to win more often by offering him better trades than xevoc
 
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Robert
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
I enjoy Cities and Knights (and combined with other expansions) though because there are enough mechanisms to slow down the leader but the leader usually has enough options to keep forward movement. I also really like the latest Catan expansion, Explorers and Pirates, because it adds the gold rule for resource production - if you do not receive a resource after a dice roll, you receive 1 gold, on your turn 2 gold can be traded to the bank for 1 resource up to two times. Gold can be earned in other ways and traded along with resources. The effect of the gold did one noticeable thing in Catan in ftf and online at PlayCatan: it severely lowered the amount of in game trading that was done, some people eliminated trading entirely, some others still did some trading.
This sounds like a cool expansion. I pretty much gave up on Settlers a while ago, unless the other players desire it - and then I try to steer them towards Cities and Knights since it's so much better than the base game. I never played Explorers and Pirates - your description sounds cool and I may have to try it one day.

JamesWolfpacker wrote:
I bring this up because in Terra Mystica there is not much anyone can do within "reasonable" game play limits that can stop a player on a steamroll. Many other games do have normal mechanisms in game play that can halt or slow the progress of other players or allow other players to cooperatively catch up to the leader.
The main mechanism (if you can call it that) probably is that the leading player probably has a turn or three more to make each round, and thus passes late, which won't get the +1c bonus tile nor the cool power action next round. Neither is much of a significant compensation, that's true.
OTOH the "player on a steamroll" is quite rare in TM and only experts will be able to safely predict before late round 5 whether the game will end with +1VP or -2VP to their nearest competitor.

JamesWolfpacker wrote:
Trading resources is the most natural method of doing this. No alteration is needed to anything else in the game! Would you prefer new FAVs or BONs that directly hinder other players progress? Does BON11 come with an action to steal a player's priest and replace it with a worker? Does FAV13 make you lose 3 earth spots, but you get to steal 1W from a player each round?

It seems that many of you who disagree with this idea think that it will wildly unbalance Terra Mystica. I do not think that will happen.
Neither do I. Trading won't unbalance TM, it will however greatly change TM to a different game, just like your (presumably semi-serious ) ideas about adding aggressive elements like stealing stuff from opponents would.

And that is exactly my point: I like TM because it is like it is (full information, no inter-player interaction, clear limits to inter-player aggressiveness, player A attacking player B mostly leads to advantages for the others). Adding aggressive/destructive actions, or trading, or dice rolls, or secret power cards, or negotiation would change the spirit of TM as I love it. And the fact that 95%+ of all "Xevoc against three of my ilk" TM games will end in a Xevoc victory is something which attracts me to TM and I oppose the idea that three mediocre players could start some schemes and/or strike deals just to bring Xevoc down.
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James Wolfpacker
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^^Possibly, but trading is a different skill than planning although there is some overlap. Trading and deals usually involve immediate needs, and planning usually involves future needs.

Does anyone just want to try a few games just as an experiment? I love experiments! laugh I'm a little busy right now though with real life and also having to finish up my 4p league games and admin of the 5p F&I test league.
 
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James Wolfpacker
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DocCool wrote:
JamesWolfpacker wrote:
I enjoy Cities and Knights (and combined with other expansions) though because there are enough mechanisms to slow down the leader but the leader usually has enough options to keep forward movement. I also really like the latest Catan expansion, Explorers and Pirates, because it adds the gold rule for resource production - if you do not receive a resource after a dice roll, you receive 1 gold, on your turn 2 gold can be traded to the bank for 1 resource up to two times. Gold can be earned in other ways and traded along with resources. The effect of the gold did one noticeable thing in Catan in ftf and online at PlayCatan: it severely lowered the amount of in game trading that was done, some people eliminated trading entirely, some others still did some trading.
This sounds like a cool expansion. I pretty much gave up on Settlers a while ago, unless the other players desire it - and then I try to steer them towards Cities and Knights since it's so much better than the base game. I never played Explorers and Pirates - your description sounds cool and I may have to try it one day.


That's not the only cool thing, the explorers ships are not like the ships in seafarers (moveable roads on water). They actually move freely across water and carry cargo: crew=wool+ore, settlers=wood+brick+wool+wheat, spice sacks, and fish hauls. You send out ships with crew to fight pirate lairs or trade for spice sacks to get benefits, settler to found new settlements, or empty to discover new land and have space to pick up fish hauls. There are 3 missions, fighting pirates, returning spice, and returning fish for points. There are no dev cards or robber, but each player has their own pirate on the seas (only 1 player at a time though) that can hinder the other players.
 
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James Wolfpacker
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DocCool wrote:
And that is exactly my point: I like TM because it is like it is (full information, no inter-player interaction, clear limits to inter-player aggressiveness, player A attacking player B mostly leads to advantages for the others). Adding aggressive/destructive actions, or trading, or dice rolls, or secret power cards, or negotiation would change the spirit of TM as I love it. And the fact that 95%+ of all "Xevoc against three of my ilk" TM games will end in a Xevoc victory is something which attracts me to TM and I oppose the idea that three mediocre players could start some schemes and/or strike deals just to bring Xevoc down.


Ok, let's be real here: what are the reasons for making Terra Mystica or any other game? In no particular order, it is to bring fun and joy to people and to make money for the designers. Obviously, some people enjoy Terra Mystica as it is. Awesome! They have purchased the game, play it, and have fun, and the designers made the money. Some people do not enjoy it as it is a heavy game and not so interactive. Has Terra Mystica reached a market saturation point at its current spot in its game life-cycle? I seriously doubt it. Online PlayCatan had 250,000 free accounts with 3,000 paid. TM has less than 4,000 (according to ratings, played 5 or more 3p games) and all are free. Yes, I realize that Catan is 21 years old and TM is 4 years old. I don't know about online Ticket to Ride or a few others. I'm not sure if Tabletopia will even pan out either. This is also a time and age where every product matures and saturates the market at a faster rate than when Catan was published.

What additional variant which has A COST OF NEARLY ZERO , but can expand the player base by tens or hundreds of thousands of people? The trading rules above. It might cost $0.01 to print out an extra half-sheet with the trading rules and stuff it in the box or attach it to the outside of the box until the next rulebook version incorporates it like the Cultist errata. Will it make TM a different game? In some respects, yes it will. However, now the designers have a better offer to entice new players: TWO GAMES IN ONE!

Also in a real life player groups, it will increase the chances for different players to win instead of the same player ALL THE TIME. It's not fun for the other players and hence they don't want to play the game again. In my area, I'm known as the main guy for Catan and hardly anyone could beat me in it (except in a tournament with base game only) no matter the scenario or dice rolls for 2 years! It made several people not interested in playing with me. Finally, a few people in the last 2-3 months have gotten better and I've been losing some games. Soon they will be at a point in which I can finally combine Catan Explorers and Pirates with Cities and Knights.
 
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Robert
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TM with trading may appeal to some group of people more than TM, just like Chessboxing appeals to some group of people more than Chess. What I'm saying is that I'm in neither of these two groups.
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