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Chinatown [speaking of Funagain reviews]

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  • Dave Bernazzani
    Speaking of Funagain reviews - I just read the 6th review for Chinatown - a second 5 star rating to bring the Review Score average to 4.3. Greg Schloesser
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 1, 2000
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      Speaking of Funagain reviews - I just read the 6th review for
      Chinatown - a second 5 star rating to bring the "Review Score"
      average to 4.3. Greg Schloesser really likes the game and it was
      reviewed favorably by Alan Howe in Counter mag.

      I recall the one playing at the SSG was rather lukewarm - some
      seemed to like it and others not so much. I still haven't been
      able to try my copy yet (although it's been played). Anyone out
      here played it more than once know what's what with the game?

      --
      Dave Bernazzani
      dber@...
      http://www.gis.net/~dber (South Shore Gamers)
    • Alison Hansel
      ... David and I played Chinatown a few times in Munich when it was new. I liked it the first time (we were all newbies to the game), but the other times really
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 1, 2000
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        Dave Bernazzani <dber@g...> wrote:
        > Speaking of Funagain reviews - I just read the 6th review for
        > Chinatown
        > Anyone out
        > here played it more than once know what's what with the game?

        David and I played Chinatown a few times in Munich when it was new.
        I liked it the first time (we were all newbies to the game), but the
        other times really turned me off of it. I always mosey-ed on over to
        another table when it was pulled out at the gaming group on Long
        Island.

        It's just one of those games that can bring out the worst in
        negotiating and negotiators. The problem is, as Craig said I think,
        that if you can't get in on trades, you can really be shut out of a
        game entirely. Additionally, it is possible to calculate almost
        exactly how much each side will benefit from a trade, which can make
        the scheming really evil. Those last two times I played it was with
        players who always need to win and who were merciless with their deal-
        making. A la: "Yeah, yeah you're only going to make 2,000 while I
        make 15,000 from this deal, but without this you're hosed for the
        rest of the game! Come on, come on, you have no choice." or "If I
        trade with you, I make 8 and you make 4, or I trade with him and he
        makes 3 and I make 7, or with her and then I'm still 4 points up on
        everybody, so it doesn't matter."

        This once again proves Jenn's theory that it's not just the game, but
        also who you're playing it with! I still want to believe, however,
        that there are some negotiating games out there where this kind of
        thing doesn't or possibly even can't happen and that Chinatown is a
        little weak in this regard (but perhaps they're all like this and
        they're just not for me). What say you negotiator types out there???

        --Alison
      • Mark Edwards
        ... I agree with this, albeit after only one playing, I came away with the same conclusion. The negotiations are just too cut and dried and calculated for my
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 2, 2000
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          Alison Hansel wrote:

          > It's just one of those games that can bring out the worst in
          > negotiating and negotiators. The problem is, as Craig said I think,
          > that if you can't get in on trades, you can really be shut out of a
          > game entirely. Additionally, it is possible to calculate almost
          > exactly how much each side will benefit from a trade, which can make
          > the scheming really evil... <snip>

          I agree with this, albeit after only one playing, I came away with
          the same conclusion. The negotiations are just too cut and dried and
          calculated for my tastes. And as Craig mentioned if you don't get the
          "freebie" tiles and are forced to negotiate for a key tile here or there
          and another player does get the freebies, you're toast. This is
          basically what happened in our (Pete, Richard, Walter, Ed and I's) game.

          > This once again proves Jenn's theory that it's not just the game, but
          > also who you're playing it with! I still want to believe, however,
          > that there are some negotiating games out there where this kind of
          > thing doesn't or possibly even can't happen and that Chinatown is a
          > little weak in this regard (but perhaps they're all like this and
          > they're just not for me). What say you negotiator types out there???

          Again agreed, it's the people. I do enjoy negotiating games, but
          not with ultracompetitive types, and the duplicity that can be involved
          in some of the games (e.g. Diplomacy) makes me uncomfortable. You've
          really gotta have the right crowd that doesn't take the game to heart.
          Which in games of some length or that promote elimination is difficult
          to do.

          I would say that Chinatown is probably my least favorite negotiation
          game. So I think I think Chinatown is very weak in the areas you
          mention.

          On the other hand, KK&K is clearly my favorite negotiation game.
          There is really no duplicity involved, (you screw people right to their
          face, which is OK in my book, heheheh.). And although the payout money
          on a deal is a completely known quantity, the card play adds complete
          chaos to the proceedings. On top of that it moves very quickly and the
          game is over in under an hour.
          But even KK&K would not be immune to the behaviour you mention. I
          would not want to play KK&K with the people you describe above. It
          would probably drag quite horribly. Just imagine everyone keeping track
          of everyone else's money, deals near the end would be excruciating as
          players weigh the details to see who would come ahead. I can also see
          some serious card hoarding as caution sets in. I think it would
          probably boil down to someone getting the right combination of cards
          right after another deal fell apart where everyone had exhausted their
          cards (kinda like CE in that respect).

          Mark


          --
          http://people.ne.mediaone.net/dangermouse/index.htm

          NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...
          <Dave made me snip the rest>
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