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Re: Chinatown/Negotiation Games

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  • 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 1 of 3 , Aug 1, 2000
      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 2 of 3 , Aug 2, 2000
        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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