Hi all, sorry to bother you but, as I really wanted to love the game (and really like the resource managemente part) I would like for you to try to explain me the reasons why I should want to move the market prices.
My feelings are as follows:
A long time strategy makes philosophically no sense, basically I am betting with my opponents that I am so much better at the game than them, that I can beat them even spending money to raise a price that everybody (without paying money) is going to get for a specific resource. Forgive me but my arrogance does not reach such levels.
A short term philosophy can be done to either sell resources in stock or to gather money to be able to get a specific building, and none of the two makes little sense to me either:
both price increase actions require at least 2 sold resources to give you at least 1 CHF of gain (which is 1/20 of a VP)
the small one (1CHF to raise the price by 1) grants any opponent to gain 1 CHF with the first resource sold which means that you need to have at least 2 resources more than any opponent to gain something (which, as already said, is in the order of 1 twentieth of a VP)
the large one (3CHF to raise the price by 2) grants any opponent to gain 2 CHF with the first resource sold which means that you need to have at least 2 resources more than any opponent to gain something (which, as already said, is in the order of 2 tenth of a VP)
both seem to me give a very limited chance of gain, even considering the fact that the real deal (in terms of VPs are the few buildings that give you more than 1 VP).
about the money gathering for the cool buildings, you have to plan everything in the hope that you might have the chance to have the buildings available, considering that you will need to spend money to win the bid for first player and that you might also need to pay to scrap some buildings to get those that you want in play; and we are speaking of planning partly blindly two rounds aheas.
As said, I really want to like the game, but my feelin right now is that either (most likely) I am missing something or you have missed something during playtesting.
Please enlighten me.
Thank for you question. I will try to give you a subjective answer, and not a solution, sorry.
You are here in the heart of the game. And your conclusion are correct in a given time, but not always. You miss the factor "time". Yes, 1 CHF is 1/20 VP at the end of the game, but how calculate his value at the beginning ?
So I propose you another point of view. Shafausa is like a run. The production is exponential, and normall, when you are first in the run, it is hard to stop you, or min to slow you down.
If you are the first which would make some gold, it is not stupid to make your investment in a long time strategy.
If you are not, it's not stupid to make the price of the buying gold cheaper for two reasons: you can buy some gold cheaper (perhaps without making a gold mine), and at the end of the game, the will not pay 2.5 PV, but only 2 or less.
So you can concentrate you in making for example Silver, to pass in front in the race.
I hope you see what I mean ?
I haven't gotten this game to the table yet, but I've been prepping for it - went through the rules, set it up and did a turn solo... I don't quite get the OP's original question. It seems obvious why you would increase the Sell Price or reduce the Buy Price. If I am consistently producing 1 more Wood than any other player, then increasing the sell price of Wood costs 1 CHF to potentially earn 1 extra CHF per turn compared to other players. Similarly, if I am behind on a commodity but need it for building, spending 1 CHF to reduce the buy price by 1 can save more than 1 CHF when I buy. Especially if I need multiples of the same good to build but other players are producing plenty of it...
So that doesn't confuse me. I also see that Selling a good reduces the Sell Price.
What I don't see is any reason to increase the Buy Price. In a 2-player game, sure. Maybe even a 3-player game. In a 4-player game, if every other player is short on a good, then I suppose it might be a good investment to increase the buy price, but in the more likely scenario where only one other player is lacking, it's the common multiplayer mistake of hurting myself to hurt one other player, letting the other players get ahead.
So, I can see Buy Price getting reduced, and Sell Price potentially moving in both directions, but very rarely Buy Price getting increased. Is this accurate?
Also, just to make sure I haven't missed anything - there's no real concept of supply and demand built into the game, is there? Resources aren't limited and you can always buy/sell to the bank, right? I can see a player who is short on a good reducing Buy Price and a player who is flush with a good increasing Sell Price, then selling into the market reducing Sell Price. But it doesn't seem like the amount of a good being produced or sold into the market affects Buy Price at all (and surplus production is probably no worse than neutral on Sell Price, since the ones with the high production will pay to increase the price by 1 or 2 and only drop it by 1 from sales). Especially since the prices are locked to their own tracks, so Buy Price and Sell Price don't directly affect each other. Is that also accurate?
I'm thinking of two slight variants to tweak supply and demand (something like a limited pool of available resources and also the ability for the price markers to cross tracks (but Buy Price must still always be above Sell Price)), but I want to make sure I understand the economic system first.
(Some people might say play the game before considering a variant, but there's a significant possibility of only having one chance of getting this game to the table, especially if it falls flat...)