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Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:14 pm
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Joined: 11 Jan 2008
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Post subject: My first, of a series, of personal takes on GM theory. Reply with quote

I have decided to adopt a new sort of study; that is, the study of particular GM theories. The reason for this is due to my constant desire to improve my game. maybe help others get better, and because I enjoy looking at all things with an analytical approach for means of intellectual satisfaction and growth.

I realize that a majority of the theories I introduce are not neccessarily created by me, so, keep in mind that my own personalization of this study is my own intrepretations and applications of the GM theory. I also realize that my statements and analysis may be flawed and/or elementary (simple rather than profound). I am doing this for the benefit of all including dominant players and newer players alike, so please feel free to critique my analysis and provide your own.

The first theory analysis I will go over is this:

1. My particular take on the concept of relative property value

Obviously, we can conclude that property value is determined by many variables both personal and with in the particular game, but the concept of relative property value stands alone from the variables themself and allows you to consider the concept a matter of knowledge. If you can come up with a way to determine property value in a relative situation you can easily find many advantageous situations in a game.

I am going to apply this theory to the game specifically by giving an example of a possible game situation. This will narrow my analysis, but will open up other considerations after the application of the particular theory is realized.

In rare occasions of a 4/5p game we see scary situations occur for a player. Ones that can literally kill him or save him, and that result is dependant on so many unpredictable variables. So, in those situations, considering the theories of the concept of relative property value will help him determine his actions that may need to be taken. It will not add a sure way to choose the best route, but it certainly will help.

Lets look at this example of a game: its a 4p game and the start is at +200. 2 players have 1000 cash with no sets, but do hold money making peices (blacks/white). The other two have substantial sets that need completion along with the cash to buy. Our particular player is going for one more pink, and needs 2 more reds and holds 4k in cash. The other player, last player, holds 3k cash along with 2 greens and 1 yellow peice. In our situation the last player lands on his last green needed and he auctions off the peice.

That is a rare case, but lets look at it under theory. How can our player determine the answers to these questions: How much should I bid? Should I let him have the peice or should I take it? Should I start considering 2nd place my only option and go for it? Well, under the concept of relative property value he might find a reasonable answer.

Here are the things our player needs to consider. Actual relativity of property is due to 5. different variables. 1. A player's personal opinion of a particular peice (I.E. the last green of the set). 2. Different game situations in terms of how long until economic collapse. (which can only be guessed at) 3. A player's likelihood of trading in a game. 4. A player's personal strategy.
5. A player's present investment in a peice.

Now lets briefly talk about each condition and how to interpret it each one in a game:

1. A player is attached to a peice if he shows enthusiasm in it by going straight for it early in the game and paying high price for the first peice, starting the auction EXTREMELY soon after landing on it, and/or offering trades that seem to be more advantageous to another player than him for a particular peice. Non-attachment is concluded by the opposite of the above, and by the players expressed attitude towards the peice in the past (if known)

2. A game situation is essentially how much time is left in the game (until recession), how many sets are on the board, how many almost finished sets are on the board, how much cash each player has, and how many players there are. To determine value of peices from this, you simply look at each variable as +'s or -'s to a particular peice. (I.E. +200 start is a major plus on value to a peice).

3. To determine the likelihood of trading try to remember trades in the past. If a player is trying to constantly trade things throughout the game, then the player is a heavy trader. If the player constantly refuses trades and never offers them, it is likely he is a straight goer, as in someone who goes for peices based on opportunity rather than depending on others for substantial peices.

4. Determining a player's personal strategy is tough, and includes the elements of the other 4 things to at least provide a clue at what it could be, but there are some things to note. Study players as the game progresses. If a player is the one bidding on things a lot but not taking them and he is not the only one with cash to raise the price, then it means he enjoys control of game and/or he is a dominantly max price setter in that he determines how much he is willing to pay maximally and listens to that notion consistently. If he is never bidding on anything but peices he needs its likely he depends on the luck element along with personal timing for his strategy. If the player is known by you and you see him consistently using a similar strategy then it is likely he is idealogical about his game. This means that though he will not neccasarily require the same sets, but his philosophy on how to win a game is well in place (I,E, A player who likes to buy cheap peices early is an example of an idealogical player. If the player you know is always using a different strategy then he is a play-by-ear player. Play by ear players are usually more apt to depend on trades, wait lengths of time before even buying their first peice, or value cash over particular properties for a a long period of time. There are several things that can help determine strategy, but all of them require you to constantly review a person's actions, game behaviour (words, actions, and mood of actions), along with the game situation.

5. A player's investment of a peice is relatively easy to determine. Investment is how much he spent (both literal cost and opportunity cost) to achieve the peices required before substantial profit could be made with the buying of one more. If a player spends a quite large amount of the first 2 peices of a set he has invested a considerable amount. Opportunity cost is determined by things sacrficed to obtain a peice. For instance, a player who opens a players 3rd need white and gives at a relatively low price so that he can in turn get a peice cheap has a high investment because although his literal payment is low, hiw opportunity cost is high because he did not have to auction that white and now that he did the player is going to begin making profit off of it sooner.

After all of those things are evaluated by our player we see that he is more likely to make a wise decision in our specific example. Other players in this situation would rationalize buying the last green peice because the player going for it knows he stands to gain great profit from it so early in the game, so a trade will be made eventually that will balance the game in a later stage. Some players would rationalize making the player receive it at a high cost as a means of strategy because it lowers his chances of achieving anything else but green in the game, especially if substantial sets can be acheived quickly and upgraded. Both rationalizations may be correct at times, however one is likely to be dominant over another. The best way to insure that you choose the best one is to evaluate the concept of relative property value. In the end, it will come down to rolls and player's choices of trades or decisions to buy to determine a game, so obtaining one set does not gurantee a set, rather it provides a powerful advantage in both cash, income, and opportunity, so determining property value is not a matter of what set will win the game, but what set can help win the game the best in a game situation.

Hopefully that application was a little helpful to all of you. It is indeed often helpful to define terms that are simple observations never put into actual words until just now to help you understand how each factor weighs in on a game.

This particular take on theory was my first and more crucial one. It defines the standards for the rest of the takes I will have. So this one will be by far the longest and most wrote out.

The next one on my list to do is: 2. My personal take on the GM theory of the concept of trading in a multiplayer game(4/5p)
If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.
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