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Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Spreadsheet link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...HgwI/edit#gid=0

https://imgur.com/a/3Rk7M

Because I'm slightly crazy, I decided that running just one pbf wasn't enough. I recently acquired this game, and have few hopes of playing it myself with my current gaming group, so I will have to be satisfied with experience it from the sidelines. This is a rather dry game of trading and speculating using an abstractized global currency market. The good news is that the rules are actually rather simple. Play goes clockwise, and each player chooses one of four action. What has the potential to make things interesting is the complex behaviour that emerges out of those fairly simple actions.

First, a link to the rulebook on BGG:
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/152342/ex-rulebook

I will give a short summary, but going through that document will be required to play the game.
First, a description of the market. There are 7 currencies that you can trade back and forth, and they each have an exchange value to each other, with one of the two always being 'stronger' than the other. Here is a sample screenshot from the spreadsheet I intend to use to run this:


Let us take a random currency pair, EUR and CAD. The token indicating their relative value to each other will be in the row corresponding to the stronger currency. We can see a CAD token in the EUR row, indicating that EUR is stronger. Specifically, 1 'unit' of EUR is worth 1.5 'units' of CAD, as you can tell by the column in which you can find the token. It is possible for two currencies to have an exchange rate of 1:1, but one of them will still be stronger (for example, GBP and EUR). No exchange rate will ever be more imbalanced than 1:8.

Throughout the game, individual currencies will constantly become strengthened or weakened. When a currency is strengthened then the following happens:
- for each currency pair where it is stronger, the paired currency will move one step to the right in the table. If it is already at an exchange rate of 8:1, then it will not move further.
- for each currency pair where it is weaker, it will move one step to the left in the table. If it is at an exchange rate of 1:1 then the two currencies will swap. The exchange rate will stay the same, but the currency will take over as the stronger one.
If a currency is weakened, the exact opposite happens.

Each player turn consists of one optional spot trade, followed by one obligatory action.

A spot trade is an exchange with another player of exactly one unit of relatively strong currency to the amount of another currency that is indicated in the table. This exchange must be consented by both parties. Half-units of currencies may be owned and traded. As such, if we look back at the example table, a player might trade 1 GBP for 1.5 EUR.

There are four available actions to a player:
1) Make a contract with a bank.
The player commits themselves to, at a point in the future, trade one currency for another at the current exchange rate. The amount of the stronger currency must be in whole units and may not be larger than 10. Using that same table, a player might commit themselves to trade, for example, 10 USD for 35 CNY, or 35 CNY for 10 USD, when the contract is resolved (explained later). A maximum of six contracts can exist at any given time.

2) Invest
The player may spend 2 units of a currency to acquire one certificate for that currency. As a result of this, the currency is strengthened. This action can be viewed as an investment in the particular economy doing well, as there are certain points in the game where certificates pay dividends.
Within a single Investment action, a player may acquire either one single certificate, or two certificates of different currencies. A player may never own more than four certificates of the same currency.

3) Divest
The player may permanently remove owned ccertificates from the game and receive 2 units of the appropriate currency from the bank per certificate. Within a single Divestment action, a player may sell any number of certificates of the same currency. The currency is weakened one step for every certificate thus sold.
Furthermore, when a player does this action, all other players may, as a free action, also divest that type of certificate. These divestments also weaken the currency in question

4) Resolve
There is a Contract Queue in the game that can contain three types of items:
- Dividends
- Contracts
- Loans
This action resolves the next item in the queue.
At the beginning of the game, the queue has a single item in it, which is the first dividends card. Whenever a contract is made, it is added to the end of the queue.
4.1) Dividends
There are five dividends cards in the game which, when resolved, pay out moneys to certificate holders. The first starts the game in the queue, and whenever a dividends card is resolved, the next card is added to the back of the queue. When the last card is resolved, that immediately triggers the end of the game: All items remaining in the queue are resolved, after which the game ends.
The first dividends card does not actually pay out anything. Further dividends cards pay out 2 units of currency per certificate, and the last card pays out 3 units per certificate.
4.2) Contracts
When a contract is resolved, the owner of the contract (note: this can be different from the person performing the Resolve action) must immediately perform the trade they committed to. If they are not able to, then the contract becomes a Loan. Let's take an example.
The contract that must be resolved is a trade of 8 GBP for 24 CAD. The owner does not currently have 8 GBP. Interest is accrued in the form of exactly one unit of currency, regardless of how high the contract's value was, so the owner's new obligation is 9 GBP. The owner immediately takes the money they were meant to receive (so they gain 24 CAD), and a 9 GBP Loan is added to the end of a contract queue.
There is a special case, where a player has already taken a loan. In that case, the amount of the new loan is simply added to the other one, regardless of where it is in the contract queue, and regardless of currency. As such, it is possible to end up with a loan for multiple currencies.
4.3) Loans
When a loan is resolved, the owner must immediately pay it back in full. If they are not able to do so, they go bankrupt, and the game ends immediately. Further contracts in the queue are not resolved.

When the game ends, the 'strongest' currency is determined (check rulebook for details). All other monies are converted to that currency, rounded down.The person who ends up having the most money wins the game.

Accepting sign-ups. I'm hoping to get 4 players for this. Sign-ups will be open for at least 48 hours.

I set up a little spreadsheet that I imagine would be very useful to keep track of the game status. Feel free to offer comments or suggestions; it's meant to be easy to read.

Dancer fucked around with this message at Nov 19, 2017 around 21:16

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Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Okay, due to interest being higher than expected, and me getting too hyped , I'm going to shorten sign-ups. Randomly drawing 4 players this evening (in like 8 hours).

Also, a quick rule I failed to mention the first time: Whenever dividends are paid, we determine the currency with most player-held certificates. That currency is strengthened one step. In case of a tie, the resolving player decides.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Okay, I just did the draw. We have the following players:
1. Jordan7h
2. Some Numbers
3. Mr. Squishy
4. Lecher
Y'all can start playing immediately. I'll clear the spreadsheet in a few minutes (for clarity, everyone starts with 2 bucks of each currency). I just now also selected what certificates are removed from the game:
CNY
USD
GBP
EUR
CNY
USD

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Oh, and important detail: Please always number your turns. So Jordan7hm should start their post with "turn #1" or something like that, Some Numbers should use "turn #2" etc. I will add a cell to the spreadsheet to show which turn was last processed.

One last clarification: I will use the notation for dividend cards that is used in the rulebook. So the first (non-paying) dividend card is 0, and the last one is 4.

Dancer fucked around with this message at Nov 19, 2017 around 19:35

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Ideally I won't bug the admins again. If all of you send me a PM on Discord, I'll just make a group chat with the 5 of us. I'm the only Dancer on the server.

e: Here's the Discord invite from the board game thread OP
https://discord.gg/DWnexP3

Dancer fucked around with this message at Nov 19, 2017 around 20:22

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


A spot trade is part of your turn. Yes, it kinda goes without saying that all actual game actions (including the spot trades that happen) will be posted in the thread. I'm okay with discussion occuring in Discord (as long as it's public to all the players), but I'm also okay with it happening here. It might be a bit slower, but it's not a big issue.

Mr. Squishy posted:

You can set up a contract when a currency is weak and if its strong when it pays out you've... created value? That's something, right?
And you're right, there's limited discussion in that spots are always going to be 1 strong buck for whatever in weak (or vice versa). That's sensible for a thread.

Some Numbers posted:

So the only way to get additional currency is through Dividends? Otherwise, the economy is completely closed (including the bank)?

And I for one, think all discussions should be in the thread.
Contracts can also generate new money: Imagine selling 10 USD for 20 CAD (when the exchange rate is 1:2) and later selling 10 CAD for 10 USD (when the CAD has become stronger so exchange rate is 1:1). The world now contains 10 more CAD than when we began.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Jordan7hm posted:

I think have the private discussions wherever, but I won't have a chance to be on the discord much. It makes sense to have one though.

In any case...

not too sure about nomenclature

Turn #1

Make a contract with the bank:

4 GBP : 8 CAD

Just pointing it out, in case someone isn't aware yet. A contract that is written like this, without literally pointing out which part is "selling" and which is "buying" indicates that the person commits to paying the left "side of the contract" to the bank when it resolves, and receiving the right side.

(note that I'm not complaining, there's absolutely nothing wrong with keeping it compact like this, I'm just explaining).

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


It occured to me that this game may not be very fun to spectate in this format. To help just a little, I decided I'm going to make a clone of the spreadsheet every 4 turns. If you're watching this game with some delay, maybe that's useful.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Oh that's definitely true, I intend to upgrade the sheet after each move (or at least as often as I'm online). But then the old state is gone. Just saying this way there's some "history" people can look at, should they care.

For the players, the sheet should be accurate up to the "last processed turn" indicated in the top right.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


BTW Some Numbers, you know it was your turn to play when you posted, right ?

Like, I don't meant to pressure you, I understand if you're taking your time to figure out a strategy, just making sure you know.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


The last thing I do is change the "Last update processed" cell, so if that matches the latest turn number you're good to go.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


No worries, life is important . I accept basically any reasonable reason for being late, poo poo happens.

Just to make sure, you are aware you could invest in a second currency as well, right? My idea (as someone who has literally never played the game or watched it played) is that you should totally do that because it's a more efficient use of your action. But I don't know what plans you have in your head.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Not sure what you mean with "timing", but for now you basically already have enough to pay back the loan.Your dividends are guaranteed to be resolved before the loan and will pay out 4 GBP. With the 1 GBP you have that's enough.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Jordan7hm posted:

I think the dividend only pays out 2 GBP, no? 4 CAD and 2 JPY as well.

Timing means if I divest after the dividend but before the loan resolves. That would get out of it as well.

Derp, I thought you had 2 GBP certs. Feel free to ignore me .

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Spreadsheet updated; GBP is indeed 2.5 CHF.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Poking Mr. Numbers. Mr. Numbers to the trading floor please.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Thanks, fixed it.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Psst folks, please remember to number your turns. It's not too big a hassle for me, but it makes it much easier for the next player to know that the sheet is up to date.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Not cool you guys

Some Numbers posted:

Spreadsheet is wrong, my contract should be for 2 CAD, not GBP
Fixed.

Mr. Squishy posted:

E: is that legal? I'm away from the manual and can't remember if the resolve queue is capped at six or seven?
It's not the resolve queue that's capped, it's the number of contracts, and it's 6. So, alas, no slot for you.

Spreadsheet is up to date now btw.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Kids, there's enough CNY for everyone. If you don't stop fighting daddy's taking away your certs.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


I just double checked and Lecher absolutely had enough money to pay for the contract. But sure, we can rewind. I'll re-do the sheet in a minute.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


For clarity: I rewound to after turn 25. So it's Some Numbers' turn.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Alright, reverting the rewind. Yes, it's your turn.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


One good thing is this game offers much more house-ruling "freedom" than others. If you come up with a fix, you're not very likely to break the game in some other ways.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


silvergoose posted:

...how so? Like, can you explain that a bit further?

I was being brief because phoneposting, so it came across wrong, but it seems to me that there are so many knobs and dials you can tweak without fundamentally altering the game. If you think contracts are by far the strongest action, maybe allow investing in 3 currencies/one currency twice, to buff that action, then do the rotating "button" for resolving that was just discussed. With this game I'm less scared than I'd be with many other games that I will break its balance if I started tweaking.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Before I make that final, can I suggest you reconsider ? It seems to me that, in the case where you do ever divest CAD again, and also the case where you don't, divesting zero is strictly better than divesting one. Of course I might be missing stuff, but if you're going to be saving certs to collect CAD, you should probably save all of them.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


A'ight, it's final. still the strongest currency, if only barely.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Jordan7hm posted:

Turn 35?

Iím going to invest in the euro.


This was turn 37, for the record.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Jordan7hm posted:

Turn 45
Invest JPY


I should have 0 EUR bucks and 2 certs.

Fixed.

Jordan7hm posted:

Oops. It was late and I didnít want to be the bottleneck.

Thoughts on game so far? I actually think the experience might be pushing this off my buy list for the hollandspiele sale. On the other hand, Forex, AIT, Agricola, and a free mini game for the price of Forex and AIT...

I keep sitting down to try to answer this question, and I still can't figure out what I exactly think. Not being in the driver seat myself means that I haven't really invested in trying to figure out something that might constitute good strategy, and I'm also not yet sure whether "good strategy" is at all a thing that is possible. In the abstract, I like a lot about this game. I like how it is in this weird area where it feels intuitively like it's very close to a closed system, but you can still magically make money (well, and non-magically with dividends). I like the interesting timing that comes with the contract queue, though I indeed believe that resolving needs to be buffed. It's just a bit too tangled for me to figure out whether I like the gameplay without playing myself, I think.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Some Numbers posted:

Turn 46
Divest USD


Note, I'm assuming you're divesting all of it.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Oh derp, was looking in the wrong place.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


I should inform you that I'm currently in the process of moving. I should still be able to access my PC at least once a day, but it could feasibly happen that I won't.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Since there is slight confusion, I'll ask both participants to confirm a spot trade (it also works if you confirm something that is exactly and unambiguously what someone suggested).

Jordan7hm posted:

Do the trade with Some Numbers.

It's Known Lecher who's asking for the trade.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Just for clarity, those last two were 54 and 55, respectively.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


The contracts look weird because a certain someone has been deeply irresponsible and has taken out a second loan before repaying the first one. The rules of the game are slightly weird in that regard, and say the new loan merges into the old one.

On an unrelated note, I've been away, but I'll be at my PC in like half an hour, and can update again.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Jordan7hm posted:

Turn 57
Resolve


You need to choose whether JPY or CNY is strengthened one step (since they're tied for "most player-owned certs").

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


That is correct. I paid out all the dividends, just forgot to update the queue.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Mr. Squishy posted:

Making other people's money work for you, that's what it's all about. I like the pooling of debt, I don't know if it effects the game much, but I like it.
E: i will give you 1 CAD for 3 CNY if that's the trade?
E2: also, does a pooled debt free up the contact slot? I thought the marker just moved to the old loan. It's late and I don't have the rulebook, and I'm not sure if the contact slot has been freed up.

A contract slot is freed up. You just move the money in the left column, not the contract token. That one is placed back..


Jordan7hm posted:

I don’t think this will ever be relevant for us but just so you know, there is no 7 column for currencies.

I had somehow totally omitted this. Fixed.

Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


Gonna need to rewind there, a player may only own 4 certs of any currency. Some Numbers needs to play something else.

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Dancer
May 23, 2011

Fly me away on the wings of an angel.


CHF is somehow 1:1 with JPY so, at a glance, it seems "obvious" that you're ahead... but that's a lot of maths to make sure of it.

e: like, all currencies you own a lot of are 1:1 with JPY, so yeah it's looking good for you.

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