Re: Chinatown/Negotiation Games
- Dave Bernazzani <dber@g...> wrote:
> Speaking of Funagain reviews - I just read the 6th review forDavid and I played Chinatown a few times in Munich when it was new.
> Anyone out
> here played it more than once know what's what with the game?
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
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 Hansel wrote:
> It's just one of those games that can bring out the worst inI agree with this, albeit after only one playing, I came away with
> 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>
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, butAgain agreed, it's the people. I do enjoy negotiating games, 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???
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
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
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).
NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...
<Dave made me snip the rest>