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Kuildeous

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In defense of Monopoly
« on: April 16, 2012, 12:46:58 pm »
+7

Well, defense is a strong word, as Monopoly is not really that great of a game. On the other hand, I don't think it's quite as bad as some people claim. It's a negotiating game that relies on a lot of luck.

First, I'll address what I feel are valid criticisms of the game.

Swingy: Hoo boy, is it ever! Player A could roll well enough to land only on the card spaces without paying any rent, while Player B unluckily owes rent for hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk. If you thought that missing your Familiar in Dominion was bad, imagine when you cannot buy any properties because the other players bought them first.

Kingmaker: There are very few restrictions to what constitutes a trade in Monopoly. As such, you can see some wildly skewed trades. If Player A is upset at Player B, then he may offer to sell Boardwalk for $1000 while only $500 to Player C. Of course, there are tactical reasons to skew the prices, but this complaint is about arbitrary sale prices. Even worse, if Player A is a ruthless slum lord and Player B is on the losing end and ready to enter Player A's gauntlet of hotels, Player B can choose to sell off his property to Player C for a ridiculously low amount before getting knocked out. Now, a mediocre Player C suddenly has the capital to take on Player A.

Strategy-lite: In Dominion, you can look at the kingdom layout and choose to focus on a Double-Jack strategy or a Gardens strategy. This is nigh impossible in Monopoly. You don't really start off thinking that you'll grab the green monopoly or all the railroads. That's not always true, since you could devote your resources to trading for the entire orange set, but if one person already has the set, will it be worth it to trade for it? It's almost like planning a strategy for electric football.

Boring for Losers: In general, I wrinkle my nose at games where someone can be knocked out and made to twiddle his thumbs while everyone else has fun. This even applies to my cooler games like Robo Rally. Although, sometimes it's a blessing to be knocked out. How many multi-player Dominion games do you just wish would end because you got shafted?

Then there are criticisms that I feel are not deserved.

Tactics-lite: While I agree that Monopoly is not a strategic game, there are plenty of tactical opportunities. You cannot determine where the dice will take you, but there are actually a lot of decisions to make. You may choose to get out of jail as early as possible so that you can buy up the remaining property, or you may stay in jail and collect rent from others while taking no risk yourself. You can choose to buy more houses before a player rolls the dice, banking on the possibility that he'll land on one of those properties. And let's not forget the trading. How much should you sell that property for? What will the other person gain in the process? If that property you want will complete a monopoly, then expect the seller to ask for a hefty sum. Is the amount you're willing to pay going to be covered by the subsequent rent you will be collecting? Even the timing of the trade is important. If you have a chance where you gain a monopoly on orange while your opponent gets a monopoly on red, you may want to wait until your piece has cleared the red spaces before making that deal or you may find yourself paying outrageous rent that prevents you from developing your orange monopoly. Despite some complaints, this game is not determined solely by the dice. There is a lot of luck involved, but the skill in the game is your ability to weather that luck.

Too long: Really, this is the most fallacious complaint I've heard. I've run some Monopoly tournaments, and the official tournament length is 90 minutes. A lot of games conclude in less time than that. Usually, games run long because of weird house rules or rules omissions. Some examples that I've seen:
  • Money is not taken out of the game: Some people place Income tax and Luxury tax money in the middle of the board, to be picked up by landing on Free Parking. These spaces serve a purpose of removing money from the game. Sure, you have Go to give you more money. Generally, that evens out a bit. Also, buying and upgrading property is a way to remove money. If you don't remove money, then you have fat cats with large bankrolls throwing money back and forth. There is no tension in the game.
  • Money is added to the game: Who invented the concept of putting $500 in the middle of the board for anyone to pick up when they land on Free Parking? That person has no business naming house rules. This makes the previous bullet even worse. Even if people do lose money, they can gain it back again with this rule. The fact that it's $500 (it's usually $500) makes an already-swingy game even swingier. I refuse to play Monopoly with this house rule in play (or most any house rule).
  • Not auctioning properties: Most likely, the average Monopoly player does not realize that every property is sold once it's landed upon. If the person landing on it doesn't want to buy it, it goes to auction. The sooner properties are put into circulation, the faster the production. This results in people losing money sooner. 

Ignorance of the Public: I'm sure everyone has had the moment when he explains to family or friends that he likes to play board games and the response is, "Oh, like Monopoly?" It can be daunting. After all, you engage in some pretty complex and deep games, and this person just reduced it down to something as basic as Monopoly. It invokes rage in many a board gamer. This isn't Monopoly's fault, though. If your favorite band has a front man who happens to look like Hanson, do you hate Hanson because people keep comparing your band to them? No, you hate Hanson because they suck. Likewise with Monopoly. I can understand someone disliking the game for being too swingy or a giant kingmaker scenario, but direct your ire at the people who don't know better rather than the game. Actually, such a conversation can be an opportunity to redirect that ire into a moment of explaining the array of awesome games that you play.

I'm sure some people will disagree. I'd love to hear those points. Like I said, it's not a great game that requires huge amounts of planning, but it does require some thought behind your decisions. I won't place it in my Top 10 List or anything, but it does seem to get more gripes than I feel it deserves.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 03:01:01 pm by Kuildeous »
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theory

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 12:57:47 pm »
+7

I think that Monopoly, as "typically" played, is a very poor game.  As it ought to be played, Monopoly is a decent game but an unremarkable one.
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Ozle

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 01:05:36 pm »
0

the problem with Monopoly is that its often peoples first thought when you mention board games, and thus is held up as a standard of board games to the majority of people who don't know better.

I think your 4 rules you agree with are completely true, and are more than enough to justify it to be a terrible terrible game, and I also think the Too Long complating is valid as well.

Sure, world championships only have a limit of 90 minutes, but that will be some hard core players not hanging about and making descisions instantly.

Try playing with a family of 4, two possible children as thats who the game is aimed at and try and see you get a game in. (although the random House rules people think are true rules is a valid point)

my main gripe with it is that the game is effectively over for at least half the players after the first 15-20 mins bar some sort of miracle come back, and then they get bored and dont really care any more. This isn'ta sometimes it happens thing, it will be EVERY game. If you can show me a game of monopoly where all 4 players are still competitive after 45 minutes I will show you a player who is sneaking from the bank (or using one of the house rules you mentioned!)

I agree that its not completely tactics light, but its not exactly 'a lifetime to master' is it. Do I buy this street I have landed on, and how many houses do I buy are pretty much the tactical side. So its more money(resource) management than tactics thinking about it (which is obviously a sub-set of tactics).

So my basic points are why I dont like monopoly are pretty much all the points you have listed, except you seemto have dismissed them as bad points for some reason?

I would rather play Tic Tac Toe against that machine in Wargames than Monopoly!

But mainly, I really hate it because of Board game snobbery, because thats what people assume when I say Board Games. If it was Cluedo I wouldn't mind too much, thats an awesome game!
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WanderingWinder

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 01:16:17 pm »
0

The problem with monopoly is that it's really high variance in a decently long game. Takes at least 45 minutes to play once, and there's so so much based on luck of the dice. Compare with dominion, where your game is much shorter, and yeah there's a lot of shuffle luck, but not AS much.

Thisisnotasmile

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 01:18:27 pm »
0

Well since joining BGG and becoming too good for Monopoly I've learned that I'd always played by many house rules which I believed to be official, most of which concern money being added to/not being removed from the game. Yet this post has still managed to point out two further rules I've been taught incorrectly and TBH I didn't believe it at first. I went and checked the rules and you are right. I never knew you could collect rent while wallowing in jail, and I thought you could only build houses at the start of your own turn. I wonder what else there is I still don't know?

Maybe there's a playable game in there afterall. Not gonna try to get it out at my games club though. With a name like Beyond Monopoly! I don't think I'd find many willing opponents.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 01:21:12 pm by Thisisnotasmile »
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jonts26

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 01:18:51 pm »
+1

A decent video discussing some of the problems with monopoly.

But mostly I agree with Theory. House rules like free parking and whatnot kill the game.
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Robz888

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 01:53:18 pm »
0

Good analysis. I maintain that Monopoly's worst fault is the "Kingmaking" problem. Maybe it's just me and my friends, but Monopoly leads to yelling and anger, like, "Don't trade with them! OMG don't give them that! You're throwing away the game!" And eventually, some people are ALWAYS mad enough to trade all their stuff away to the non-winning player, just for spite. Oh, and the game is remarkably imbalanced. The orange properties right before free parking are so much much better than the others it's not even funny.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 01:57:45 pm »
0

Try playing with a family of 4, two possible children as thats who the game is aimed at and try and see you get a game in.

This is true for any game. Even Dominion can take longer if you throw in a couple of children. I tend to avoid any game with children (unless they're really mature and focused) and people who suffer from analysis paralysis. Those groups of people can lengthen any game that you play.

I can't argue with the claim that Monopoly takes at least 45 minutes. A by-the-rules game won't take much over an hour unless you have argumentative/stubborn players, indecisive players, or luck on the scale of redistribution of wealth. The first two factors can be influenced by who you choose to play with (and they will lengthen any game). The last factor certainly happens, but it's not that common.

I would say that a game could easily take more than 90 minutes if you try to play a real game with players who played for years with the wrong rules. Some people don't adjust that well to the change. I think the best players for Monopoly would ironically be the diehard board gamers who eschew Monopoly. But then, I can't fault them for choosing to play Power Grid and Puerto Rico over Monopoly. I make that choice all the time too.
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jonts26

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 02:13:06 pm »
+10

Good analysis. I maintain that Monopoly's Settlers of Catan worst fault is the "Kingmaking" problem. Maybe it's just me and my friends, but MonopolySettlers leads to yelling and anger, like, "Don't trade with them! OMG don't give them that! You're throwing away the game!" And eventually, some people are ALWAYS mad enough to trade all their stuff away to the non-winning player, just for spite.

FTFY
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 02:19:23 pm »
0

Good analysis. I maintain that Monopoly's Settlers of Catan worst fault is the "Kingmaking" problem. Maybe it's just me and my friends, but MonopolySettlers leads to yelling and anger, like, "Don't trade with them! OMG don't give them that! You're throwing away the game!" And eventually, some people are ALWAYS mad enough to trade all their stuff away to the non-winning player, just for spite.

FTFY


Reminds me of the opening to this review:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/593386/monopoly-a-very-short-entirely-necessary-review
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 03:22:49 pm »
0

The orange properties right before free parking are so much much better than the others it's not even funny.

I wouldn't consider that a problem with the game. Most games thrive on difference in power (Goons is unbalanced compared to Wishing Well). It's more of a disparate knowledge about the game. Not everyone knows that orange is the prime real estate. So, you have some Monopoly-savvy player trying to trade for oranges from people who don't realize their full worth. In MtG terms, it's like a newbie trading away his Force of Nature for a Craw Wurm (I haven't played in over 15 years so forgive my outdated analogy). 

I thought about adding that to my list, but I guess that's really an inherent problem in nearly all games. I would say that groupthink is stronger than ever in Monopoly, though. The average player doesn't know that orange is so strong and tends to focus on Park Place and Boardwalk. This can cause some really unbalanced trades. If everyone knows the true value of the various colors, then trading becomes more intense.

After reading some responses, I did add Ignorance of the Public to the list. I can understand the rage, but that's not technically a reason to dislike the game.
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Rhombus

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 03:43:11 am »
0

I'll preface my response by saying that competitive Monopoly play is completely different than "friendly" Monopoly play.

"Friendly" Monopoly games have the inherent problems listed above - house rules, kingmaking, and slow play.  Almost any game can have slow play (and many games, some extend of kingmaking or incorrect rule interpretation).

Competitive Monopoly however is more like poker.  You play following a fairly standard basic strategy in a group of 3 other competitive Monopoly players that understand how the game works.  In a competitive game, you either get very very lucky, trade, or lose.  Over a set of games (just like shuffle luck in Dominion), this evens out.

Competitive play should be fast - most of the decisions are fairly simple.  A game should take 10-25 minutes, occasionally lasting a bit longer.  10/15 minute games are common online.

If you want an upgrade from the basic Monopoly - try Triopoly.  It's Monopoly, but with 3 levels of boards and multiple building options.  A while back I even wrote a supplemental Triopoly rulesheet including joint venture businesses and contracts that functioned correctly and were fully playable.  Triopoly is definitely a long game, especially with supplemental rules, but absolutely wonderful.
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Davio

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2012, 04:09:44 am »
0

I once played a 10 hour session of Monopoly Stock Exchange all through the night.... and it still wasn't over...
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Ozle

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2012, 07:30:37 am »
0

The very fact that so many people (and i would say most people have) have made up house rules does seem to imply that the original rules are not brilliant to start with does it not?

Also, quite a few of those house rules are actually listed in the rule book!

And holding up ultra competitive world championship play as an example of the only time games are done right doesn't really work for me, that's not how 99.9% of monopoly games are played.

Also Hasbro themselves have acknowledged that it's slow to play, which is why new versions are specifically stated as faster (or contain 'speed dice')

However, I have never played it online, I would imagine that does improve the experience immensely
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2012, 07:43:22 am »
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The very fact that so many people (and i would say most people have) have made up house rules does seem to imply that the original rules are not brilliant to start with does it not?
Which also explains why there's a separate sub-forum for house rules in this forum?-)

Coming up with house rules (and using them) tells more about the people who do so than it does about the game.
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Ozle

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2012, 07:48:01 am »
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The very fact that so many people (and i would say most people have) have made up house rules does seem to imply that the original rules are not brilliant to start with does it not?
Which also explains why there's a separate sub-forum for house rules in this forum?-)

Coming up with house rules (and using them) tells more about the people who do so than it does about the game.

I don't believe most people play with the house rules mentioned in dominion, would reckon that's a small minority.

And the original argument in defence of monopoly was that too many people use house rules and this was the problem....
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2012, 09:19:21 am »
0

Also, quite a few of those house rules are actually listed in the rule book!

I'm a little confused by this. It can't be a house rule if it's in the rulebook. Which house rules are you referring to? Granted, I haven't opened a Monopoly board that's newer than 20 years, so I cannot dispute your claim. I can only say that prior to 1995ish, Monopoly has never made official the house rules about money in the middle and skipping auctions.


The Stock Exchange comment earlier gave me a rueful smile. I remember being excited about that expansion. But it mostly adds money to the game, which was the same problem as the Free Parking house rule. At least it had a component of loss, but I seem to recall that it generally added money. I'd have to take a look at it again.

Competitive play is of course faster than friendly play, but there are plenty of degrees in between. To use Dominion as an example, there are plenty of times with inexperienced players where a turn can take minutes to resolve, lengthening the game to close to an hour. These games are friendly. But the games with my closer gamer friends are also friendly, but they go quickly. There is usually an amused comment when one of us shuffles our deck and realizes it's our turn again before the shuffle is even done. These games can wrap up in under 10 minutes, but it's not any less friendly.


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Captain_Frisk

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2012, 09:30:24 am »
0

I would like to know the orgin of the $500 on free parking "rule".  As a kid we played with it, and my wife confirms (growing up 1000 miles away), but I know it isn't in the rulebook - and I predate the internet!
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Davio

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2012, 09:38:46 am »
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A rule that was quite common to us and a lot of people we played with is that whenever you end up on tax income that money goes in the middle.
When you end up on free parking, you get whatever is in the middle.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2012, 10:35:00 am »
+1

I would like to know the orgin of the $500 on free parking "rule".  As a kid we played with it, and my wife confirms (growing up 1000 miles away), but I know it isn't in the rulebook - and I predate the internet!

As I was posting my reply earlier, I did have the thought of, "How did these house rules come about?" Usually, house rules happen because of a perceived lack in the actual rules.

The Free Parking (and its companion, No Harmful Taxes) rule probably came about due to the inherent meanness of knocking players out of the game. It's easy, whether through shrewd trading by the opponents or dumb luck, to lose your shirt and sit out early. When a game is marketed towards kids, this can be a real downer. So, maybe this came about in order to keep kids from getting knocked out too early. I actually think the rules-as-written are kinder; if you're losing that badly, then you want the game to end. Imagine a house rule in Dominion where you think you're doing a favor for the kids in a Curse game by doubling the number of Provinces and changing the end game to five piles. Ugh, imagine how tedious that game could get.

I'm guessing that the lack of auctioning properties is due to not analyzing rules. "Family" board games were not really heavy on rules. Take a look at Sorry! or Trouble. They have very basic rules. Monopoly is actually considerably more complex in comparison. Of course, Monopoly rules are a breeze compared to the games that we all play, but I remember that they were daunting when I was a kid. Hell, I didn't even fully grasp the mortgage rules back then.

As far as how these house rules spread, that is an interesting concept. Skipping a rule is easy enough to explain. The introduction of Free Parking? A rule so universally recognized that households across the country (globe?) used some version of it? That could be fascinating to map out.
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Ozle

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2012, 11:04:02 am »
0

I would like to know the orgin of the $500 on free parking "rule".  As a kid we played with it, and my wife confirms (growing up 1000 miles away), but I know it isn't in the rulebook - and I predate the internet!


The Free Parking (and its companion, No Harmful Taxes) rule probably came about due to the inherent meanness of knocking players out of the game. It's easy, whether through shrewd trading by the opponents or dumb luck, to lose your shirt and sit out early. When a game is marketed towards kids, this can be a real downer. So, maybe this came about in order to keep kids from getting knocked out too early. I actually think the rules-as-written are kinder; if you're losing that badly, then you want the game to end. Imagine a house rule in Dominion where you think you're doing a favor for the kids in a Curse game by doubling the number of Provinces and changing the end game to five piles. Ugh, imagine how tedious that game could get.

.

Except that doesn't happen in dominion because the game is well balanced and not a total snooze fest for much of its length that people are often dragging about unable to win for 30+mins!

I believe These rules have gained popularity because of the way the game is played means that for long periods of time they are just going through the motions.


And there were definitely house rules in my manual when I played growing up, but it has long since been thrown away! There is a history of monopoly site, but at work at moment so will link it later
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2012, 12:33:12 pm »
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Honestly I don't see how Settlers of Catan and Monopoly are even different tiers of strategy:

1) Both usually have obvious pathways forward (buy properties... build roads/settlements/cities)
2) Both heavily involve trading, and include kingmaking problems
3) Both have clearly winning strategies (taking the purple-yellow instead of green through light blue, versus... counting dots and 85% of the time building towards wherever has the most dots, with slight emphasis on card type.
4) Both are incredibly swingy (you landed on boardwalk while he passed you, you say? Oh look, in this game 10 somehow got rolled more frequently than 8

Trading is Monopoly, IMO, is actually probably more strategic than trading in Catan. Why? Because theres really less of 1) clearly set values of cards and 2) clearly set goals to trade for

and this is coming from someone who must win 65% of catan games I play and lose 70% of monopoly games (not that I play much monopoly)
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2012, 01:44:35 pm »
0

Honestly I don't see how Settlers of Catan and Monopoly are even different tiers of strategy:

1) Both usually have obvious pathways forward (buy properties... build roads/settlements/cities)
2) Both heavily involve trading, and include kingmaking problems
3) Both have clearly winning strategies (taking the purple-yellow instead of green through light blue, versus... counting dots and 85% of the time building towards wherever has the most dots, with slight emphasis on card type.
4) Both are incredibly swingy (you landed on boardwalk while he passed you, you say? Oh look, in this game 10 somehow got rolled more frequently than 8

Trading is Monopoly, IMO, is actually probably more strategic than trading in Catan. Why? Because theres really less of 1) clearly set values of cards and 2) clearly set goals to trade for

and this is coming from someone who must win 65% of catan games I play and lose 70% of monopoly games (not that I play much monopoly)

I maintain that Settlers is more strategic. It takes a series of rolls not going your way to lose Settlers. It takes, like, one bad roll to lose Monopoly.

There's also sort of a couple different paths to victory. Longest Road/Largest Army, building mostly Cities, settlement expansion, etc. I mean, most Settlers games I play tend to be sort of close in the end. Monopoly games are usually not.

The swingiest thing about Catan, ironically, is the development card named Monopoly.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2012, 02:26:38 pm »
0

There's also sort of a couple different paths to victory. Longest Road/Largest Army, building mostly Cities, settlement expansion, etc. I mean, most Settlers games I play tend to be sort of close in the end. Monopoly games are usually not.

Well, the two games do have wildly different victory conditions. In Settlers, it's a race to 10 Victory Points. You never go backwards (in the original, anyway), so having a score of 10-9-9-8 is quite reasonable to expect. In Monopoly, it's king of the mountain. Unless you're playing with a time limit (like in tournaments), you're going have a score of X-0-0-0. And since money usually flows between players, X is going to be really, really huge. Even if you have a time limit, the game is designed such that you're going to see a pretty big gap between players.

But there is pretty much one way to win in Monopoly. You may have the luxury of choosing which properties to focus on, but the win condition is pretty much to knock everyone out.
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Rhombus

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2012, 10:08:38 pm »
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There are multiple paths to win in Monopoly - one of the major decisions is railroads vs streets, and these goals are accomplished [typically] only through trading.

Just like almost any game, it's a set of games that determines who has higher skill.  Would Dominion tournaments work as single-elimination matches?  No, because of the inherent luck.  You could be lucky the majority of the games, but the more games played, the more skill will shine through.  Monopoly is no different.

I'm in no means saying that Monopoly is on the same level of strategic play as Dominion, but Monopoly is a strategic game that the better, more informed player will win a higher percentage of the time.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2012, 09:20:48 am »
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Im not sure anyone is doubting that there is strategy in Monopoly (the amount people view it does seem to vary)

But im willing to bet that 95% of people here have played Monopoly and would rate it as pretty bad.

Even the guy who has posted the 'in defence of monopoly' thread to start with has pointed out in has massive valid critisicsms!

Does everybody hate it? Not at all
Do all games take ages? Not all of them
Is it a terrible design of a board game that is only a sucess due to the massive marketing and cut-throatedness that Parker Brothers/Waddingtons engaged in, and that is so badly designed that 90% of people who play it in thier homes have felt the need to make up thier own house rules (whether these actually help or not) and takes so long to play that even the manufacturers have had to release quicker versions now that people have wised up and learnt there is more to gaming that monopoly and Cluedo (Excellent game)? Thats the question!
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2012, 09:29:13 am »
+1

Yes
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paddyodoors

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2012, 11:28:49 am »
+1

No
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2012, 12:03:13 pm »
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The only defence I have seen in this thread are:

A) Competitive play is a lot quicker
B) it is strategic
And
C) People play house rules
D) "I like monopoly though"

A) is irrelevant to the majority of people playing
B) No on is denying this
C) already answered above
D) that's nice, just because it's a terrible game doesn't mean you have to hate it

So sure people like it, I am a big fan of Ker-plunk myself, but the point of this thread seemed to be to try to defend the accusations against monopoly and I've yet to see anyone even get close
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dondon151

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2012, 01:39:39 pm »
+1

There are multiple paths to win in Monopoly - one of the major decisions is railroads vs streets, and these goals are accomplished [typically] only through trading.

I am fairly confident that a strategy building 3 houses in high traffic areas will, on average, beat a strategy getting 4 railroads.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2012, 04:52:35 pm »
0

terrible game doesn't mean you have to hate it


That's where the arrogance comes in. Games don't have to be strategic to be great (or: not terrible). Mafia is really not that strategic but is widely loved. Cheap, few-use-games like We Didn't Playtest This At All are purposefully unstrategic yet still great to play.

Poker isn't highly "strategic" (see the apparent avoidance of considering trading in monopoly strategic). Scrabble isn't highly "strategic"; most of the game is memorizing the vast array of words (yes, yes I have read Word Freak). Catan isn't highly strategic. Ticket to ride nearly certainly isn't highly strategic (you play what cards are dealt to you...). Because we're removing "trading" from strategy apparently (which really is where 85% of the strategy comes in) one could argue that Risk isn't strategic, because it relies on player-to-player interactions.

All of those (except risk, actually) are still "great games" in my opinion.

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2012, 04:53:32 pm »
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There are multiple paths to win in Monopoly - one of the major decisions is railroads vs streets, and these goals are accomplished [typically] only through trading.

I am fairly confident that a strategy building 3 houses in high traffic areas will, on average, beat a strategy getting 4 railroads.

You combine railroads with a lower-cost monopoly (read: Pinks or Light blues + railroads versus orange/red/yellow).
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2012, 01:03:30 am »
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There are multiple paths to win in Monopoly - one of the major decisions is railroads vs streets, and these goals are accomplished [typically] only through trading.

I am fairly confident that a strategy building 3 houses in high traffic areas will, on average, beat a strategy getting 4 railroads.

4 railroads is generally the strongest combination - they are incredibly strong, especially with the increased probability of landing on them due to distributed location and chance cards.
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Rhombus

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2012, 01:08:44 am »
0

terrible game doesn't mean you have to hate it

Poker isn't highly "strategic" (see the apparent avoidance of considering trading in monopoly strategic). Scrabble isn't highly "strategic"; most of the game is memorizing the vast array of words (yes, yes I have read Word Freak). Catan isn't highly strategic. Ticket to ride nearly certainly isn't highly strategic (you play what cards are dealt to you...). Because we're removing "trading" from strategy apparently (which really is where 85% of the strategy comes in) one could argue that Risk isn't strategic, because it relies on player-to-player interactions.

All of those (except risk, actually) are still "great games" in my opinion.

Funny - I actually love Risk, but that's another matter.

Again I disagree - poker is indeed highly strategic.  There are elements of luck, but these are typically mitigated over numerous hands and sets of games/multiple tournament play.  Poker strategy ranges from reading your opponents to understand probabilities and pot odds and knowing when to bluff.
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dondon151

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2012, 03:42:11 am »
0

You combine railroads with a lower-cost monopoly (read: Pinks or Light blues + railroads versus orange/red/yellow).

Why can't you combine an orange/red/yellow monopoly with a pink/lightblue/purple monopoly?

4 railroads is generally the strongest combination - they are incredibly strong, especially with the increased probability of landing on them due to distributed location and chance cards.

I really disagree with your reasoning for the increased probability to land on railroad spaces; the expected number of times that a player will land on a railroad space per trip around the board is only 33% more than the expected number of times that a player will land on an orange/red/yellow space per trip around the board, and that's only because there are 4 railroad spaces to 3 of each colored space, not because they are more "evenly distributed." Furthermore, the convenient locations of the orange, red, and yellow properties relative to the Jail and Go to Jail spaces more than offset the added likelihood of landing on railroad spaces via Chance cards, not to mention that there are a couple of Chance cards that favor those spaces anyway (Go to Illinois Ave., Go Back 3 Spaces, and Go to Jail).
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2012, 08:44:38 am »
0

Quote
the expected number of times that a player will land on a railroad space per trip around the board is only 33% more than the expected number of times that a player will land on an orange/red/yellow space per trip around the board, and that's only because there are 4 railroad spaces to 3 of each colored space, not because they are more "evenly distributed."

I'd suspect that it's slightly more than 33% because of the railroad-friendly cards. But, the cards also favor the oranges, so I wouldn't know how much more than 33%. For all I know, the orange bias outweighs the railroad bias. I couldn't say.

I can see why the railroads are appealing, because they are evenly distributed. Unless you have a monopoly with the two-space properties, a person won't land on each and every one of your spaces, barring really unlucky draws of "Go Back 3 Spaces" cards. Even then, to hit all three spaces of a property requires rolling consistently low numbers. By contrast, the railroads are 10 spaces from each other. Once someone lands on your railroad, he has a 3/36 chance of hitting the next railroad on the next roll. Even if he falls short, the next roll has a chance of hitting that railroad.

The problem with railroads is that they cap out at $200. You can't go beyond that, while all other properties (except utilities) can hit your opponents harder. Even Mediterranean with a hotel is worth $250 and only costs $310 to build up, compared to the $800 required to build up the railroads. I don't have the actual numbers, but I picked up the idea somewhere that the slow-but-steady race of the railroads do not stack up well with the swingier color spaces, especially orange and red (which get help from the cards as well).

Although, if I can get the railroads for far less than $800, I wouldn't say no to that.
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O

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2012, 12:57:22 pm »
0

You combine railroads with a lower-cost monopoly (read: Pinks or Light blues + railroads versus orange/red/yellow).

Why can't you combine an orange/red/yellow monopoly with a pink/lightblue/purple monopoly?

4 railroads is generally the strongest combination - they are incredibly strong, especially with the increased probability of landing on them due to distributed location and chance cards.
Orange costs a lot more than the railroads, so Railroads + Light Blue or something is often much more viable.

Also, the purple monopoly sucks.  ;D



Also, I'd like to state again that I LOVE mafia. But I haven't found a game IRL where there is that deep of a strategy, mostly because there are always trolls whenever I play. (Also crap like Jester..)
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2012, 01:08:31 pm »
0

Also, I'd like to state again that I LOVE mafia. But I haven't found a game IRL where there is that deep of a strategy, mostly because there are always trolls whenever I play. (Also crap like Jester..)

About twice a year I meet with a group of IRL people that take it seriously and we play some awesome, awesome games.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2012, 02:06:35 pm »
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Also, the purple monopoly sucks.  ;D

I only mentioned the Purples/Browns as an example that the cheapest hotel still has a higher rent than having all four railroads. They're still terrible, but I was just illustrating that railroads will never get you more than $200 on a hit, while any single hotel will snag you more, even the pathetic Purples/Browns. Also, I misspoke. I omitted some details, which could lead a reader to assume that you can build up all the Purples/Browns $310. While it does cost $310 to build up Mediterranean, you need to build up Baltic, as well. Both of these would cost $760 to fully develop. Sorry about the confusion.

And you're right that those other properties cost more to develop fully than the railroads, but the rewards are far greater. For example, the light blues cost $1070 to fully build. A single hit gets you $550 or $600. Two hits will pay for the investment. For the railroads, you need four hits just to break even (unless you buy the railroads for cheap, which is certainly viable). The oranges start to pay off after 3 hits. What's more important than the number of hits to recoup your losses is how much more those hits will earn you. After that third time of an orange getting hit, each subsequent hit gives you about a grand. Each railroad hit? Still only $200.

Railroads aren't terrible, but they're slow. When money bounces back and forth between hotels, it'll be your own hotels' rent that protect you from someone else's rent. Railroads won't be able to keep up, not even—I suspect—with the uniform distribution and more spots.

Although, I'll gladly buy one or two to use in bartering. If I can entice someone into giving me a color monopoly, I'll gladly give him a railroad monopoly and see if I can't squeeze a little something extra out of him. I won't badmouth the railroads during an actual game.
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dondon151

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2012, 02:18:35 am »
0

Railroads and Hotel Light Blues bring in similar profit/turn, I believe. Railroads are much, much more likely to be landed on.

okay

why are you allowed to assume that the railroads player also has a lightblue monopoly

Cost aside, you need to somehow get both monopolies, and you'll probably need a very good deal or an exorbitant amount of luck to gain all 7 necessary components.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2012, 02:23:54 am »
0

Railroads and Hotel Light Blues bring in similar profit/turn, I believe. Railroads are much, much more likely to be landed on.

okay

why are you allowed to assume that the railroads player also has a lightblue monopoly

Cost aside, you need to somehow get both monopolies, and you'll probably need a very good deal or an exorbitant amount of luck to gain all 7 necessary components.

About as much as gaining a Orange+ monopoly and developing it...
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Rhombus

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2012, 11:00:03 pm »
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I really disagree with your reasoning for the increased probability to land on railroad spaces; the expected number of times that a player will land on a railroad space per trip around the board is only 33% more than the expected number of times that a player will land on an orange/red/yellow space per trip around the board, and that's only because there are 4 railroad spaces to 3 of each colored space, not because they are more "evenly distributed." Furthermore, the convenient locations of the orange, red, and yellow properties relative to the Jail and Go to Jail spaces more than offset the added likelihood of landing on railroad spaces via Chance cards, not to mention that there are a couple of Chance cards that favor those spaces anyway (Go to Illinois Ave., Go Back 3 Spaces, and Go to Jail).

Fact: the most common spaces to end up on are Jail, Illinois Ave, Go, New York Ave, B&O Railroad, Reading Railroad, Tennessee Ave, and Pennsylvania Railroad, in that order.  The railroads are the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 25th most landed on spaces on the board. (1)

The reason that certain properties have different probabilities of getting landed on is because of chance cards and 3-double rolls ending you up in jail.  You'll notice that Boardwalk is the 18th most landed on property, while Park Place is the 33rd.

The reason railroads work is the fast pickup, quick return, and high ROI. (2)

Of course, in a game of Monopoly with professional players, what strategy you go for will typically depend on what properties you are able to purchase.  You luck into the orange monopoly in the first 5 passes?  Well you've probably won.  Think of the railroads as a rush strategy (where possible), and combinations of streets being the more commonplace ones.

(1) http://www.tkcs-collins.com/truman/monopoly/monopoly.shtml
(2) http://www.amnesta.net/other/monopoly/
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #42 on: May 10, 2012, 10:35:29 am »
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http://www.amnesta.net/other/monopoly/

I have to admit that I haven't had billions of Monopoly simulations on which to base my opinions. In reading that second link, I can see how railroads are a good initial investment. While it's still a slow and steady race, that is actually a good thing early in the game, which is something I hadn't considered. I only looked at the final numbers, which only works if you have deep pockets. Early in the game, you will be struggling to build up a color group, while getting four railroads is easier on your pocketbook.

Then you can use the railroads' returns to get the high-yield monopolies.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #43 on: May 10, 2012, 11:58:26 am »
+1

(2) http://www.amnesta.net/other/monopoly/

Heh, the comments on that link are both amusing and sad. There is a vast gap between the informed and the ignorant. To be fair, someone who isn't seriously into games isn't likely to read the rules or even remember them if he did. Still, some of these comments add justification to the hatred of the game.

My favorite comment is:If you land on Free Parking DON'T GLOAT!

It's an older comment, so I won't bother to respond, but I did want to reply with something snarky like, "Why would I gloat over landing on a worthless space?" Besides, don't gloat needs to be a universal rule anyway. No one wants to play games with a jerk. If a player gloats over his Village/Torturer chain, I won't play with him again. In a game, you have a winner and losers. People generally don't like to lose, so don't make it worse for them.
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Axxle

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #44 on: May 10, 2012, 05:22:28 pm »
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Would Monopoly be a better or worse game if instead of having the option to buy a place when you land on it, it instead goes immediately to auction?  I always imagined it'd be better, but I've never tried it.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #45 on: May 10, 2012, 06:33:12 pm »
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Of course it'd be better.  But not better enough.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2012, 06:43:07 pm »
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Quote
Would Monopoly be a better or worse game if instead of having the option to buy a place when you land on it, it instead goes immediately to auction?  I always imagined it'd be better, but I've never tried it.

That's the official rule.

I'll play devil's advocate and ask whether anyone would recommend a friend to buy Monopoly instead of more recent games that seem to do the same thing better? Acquire is one example but there are faster/simpler games as well.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #47 on: May 10, 2012, 06:52:36 pm »
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Quote
Would Monopoly be a better or worse game if instead of having the option to buy a place when you land on it, it instead goes immediately to auction?  I always imagined it'd be better, but I've never tried it.

That's the official rule.

I'll play devil's advocate and ask whether anyone would recommend a friend to buy Monopoly instead of more recent games that seem to do the same thing better? Acquire is one example but there are faster/simpler games as well.


>More recent

I mean yes, 1962 is newer than 1934*, its still a bit of a misleading statement  :P


*date disputed
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #48 on: May 10, 2012, 06:56:00 pm »
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Quote
Would Monopoly be a better or worse game if instead of having the option to buy a place when you land on it, it instead goes immediately to auction?  I always imagined it'd be better, but I've never tried it.
That's the official rule.
No. The official rule is that you have the option to buy at list price before it goes to auction. The question was whether removing this "luck" element of having rolled your way onto a property and instead giving them to the people who value them more highly (and/or have more liquid assets) improves the game.
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DG

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #49 on: May 10, 2012, 07:40:04 pm »
0

Fair enough, misread that.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2012, 08:27:41 am »
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Quote
Would Monopoly be a better or worse game if instead of having the option to buy a place when you land on it, it instead goes immediately to auction?  I always imagined it'd be better, but I've never tried it.

That's a very intriguing question. I think it would improve the game. Nobody would luck into an orange monopoly; the other players would have to allow that person to get it. And those players better ensure that he pays dearly for that monopoly. It would pit Monopoly against other bidding games. The end would still be a massive luckfest, as you scoot across the board hoping to avoid your opponents' properties while hoping your own get landed on (and perhaps hoping to land in jail).

This may be a house rule I can get behind. It'd actually improve on the geme.

Quote
I'll play devil's advocate and ask whether anyone would recommend a friend to buy Monopoly instead of more recent games that seem to do the same thing better? Acquire is one example but there are faster/simpler games as well.

I would not. There are plenty of games that are better than Monopoly. What Monopoly has going for it is that it is already entrenched in the common mind. If it came out in the past 15 years, I'd play it briefly and shrug it off. I might still be interested in playing a game here or there. I kind of have that guilty pleasure with Filthy Rich. Sure, it's a swingy-ass game, but it's a fun, goofy game. Yet, it doesn't make its way to the gaming table, even if it strikes my fancy. 
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Rhombus

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #51 on: May 13, 2012, 12:55:30 am »
0

Imagine a few other variants:

1) All properties are auctioned off in a predetermined manner before the game starts (with adjusted prices and starting money, etc), like a single "buying round" followed by a single "action round".

2) All properties are auctioned off similar to above, but in some sort of random manner, perhaps even before any board movement occurs, as above.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2012, 01:46:11 am »
0

Imagine a few other variants:

1) All properties are auctioned off in a predetermined manner before the game starts (with adjusted prices and starting money, etc), like a single "buying round" followed by a single "action round".

2) All properties are auctioned off similar to above, but in some sort of random manner, perhaps even before any board movement occurs, as above.

Not sure how related this is, but the mechanic of auctioning everything off before the round reminded me of the card game Rumble by superstar of game design Kevan Davis. It's a superhero game.
Link: http://kevan.org/rumble.cgi?genre=hero&mode=rules
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #53 on: June 14, 2012, 02:40:00 am »
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I have to agree, though a lot of people seem to have the knack in choosing to put the whole game down, I think that there are still quite a number of good things that you can get out from it.

I still do not believe that it is not a strategic game but rather a game of chance which turns to be something that closely resembles strategy when running low on money comes into play.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2012, 12:30:35 am »
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I really enjoy a good game of Monopoly.

Why do people have all these house rules for Monopoly? I think the answer is that people don't like to be budget constrained. You want to be able to purchase every property you land on without thinking and build up quickly on every Monopoly you acquire. But people don't see that removing the scarcity removes strategic choice, lengthens the game, and ruins the game. Being money constrained forces you to make the interesting trade-offs: purchase at full price? auction it off? mortgage to afford it? or save money as a cushion for landing on others' property? This is the heart of the game. It was not designed so that everyone can roll in the money. Only one player can finish with a positive score!

Did you know you are only supposed to play with 32 houses and 12 hotels even though most games come with a few extra? That's another scarce resource (do I trade up to hotels? or stick with 4 houses on each to block my opponent from building more?). If multiple players want to buy houses, and there aren't enough, they are auctioned off one at a time, too.

Some more points:

1) Auctions are underused. Even when people know the rule, they are afraid of it. Sometimes (more often than you think!) it's better to put a property up for auction, even when you are planning on buying it -- sometimes you can get it really cheap!

2) Offering a good trade (good for you and good enough to get the other party to accept) is difficult and a big strategic step up from most "family games." Not to mention three-way trades. That's the biggest beef I have with the game -- it's pitched as a family game, but it really needs certain types of people. Many kids cannot really evaluate values of trades which makes it difficult to play with parents and children (or older and younger children).

3) You really do want to bankrupt another player -- you get their property (undeveloped, and mortgaged, though -- don't forget to pay that 10% immediately even if you don't unmortgage!). Again, not the best set up for a "family game." People don't have a problem with poker games knocking players out -- it's the same idea here. Poker is not a "family game" so there isn't really this problem of expectations there.

My Favorite VARIANT: For those concerned with speed, the best speed variant I have played (with 2-4 players) is at the start of the game to deal out 3 properties from the deck to each player at the beginning of the game which you must pay for at face value with your starting cash. Games usually last 45 mins.
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shraeye

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2012, 12:35:17 am »
0

@Polk5440
Whoa, that sounds like a cool variant.  I agree with your take that the many "house rules" to make the game nicer, really are the things that make it into a beast of a game that takes forever to finish.

About that variant, what do you think it is that makes it play so quickly?  Would it play that quickly if you were also tacking on silly house rules, or only if you play the real way?
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Polk5440

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2012, 12:54:16 am »
0

@Polk5440
Whoa, that sounds like a cool variant.  I agree with your take that the many "house rules" to make the game nicer, really are the things that make it into a beast of a game that takes forever to finish.

About that variant, what do you think it is that makes it play so quickly?  Would it play that quickly if you were also tacking on silly house rules, or only if you play the real way?

Re: Variant: With 3 (4) players, that's almost a third (half) the properties dealt out at the start. And it's about the number that you usually "auto-buy" anyway (but not always). Having three properties at the start also helps people focus their strategies early and are more open to trades right away. This might be partly psychological...

I've only played the variant without house rules that add money to the game. Sometimes in a regular game I will tolerate a request from a family member to award $50 for Free Parking. And never any trades that allow "immunity" from rents. Those are the worst.
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shraeye

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2012, 01:07:35 am »
0

They really are, my family loves doing those waaay too much.  It just means that people will skip around the board over and over gaining incredible amounts of money.  Like you said, that's not the point of the game.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #58 on: May 31, 2013, 11:26:05 am »
+1

I found this article.

An interesting conjecture on why so many people ignore the auction rules in Monopoly. I'd have to agree that it's better to teach kids how to deal with interpersonal strife. You simply cannot win them all, and you're going to suffer setbacks in games, usually instigated by someone else who doesn't want to lose either. As an aside, I had to teach my youngest nephew a lesson when he was whining about getting killed in a deathmatch video game. He kept screaming at his brothers, "Stop killing me!" I do not abide. If you want to play a game where there is definitely a loser, then you have to expect bad things to happen. I took his place in the game and got promptly pwned by the other nephews. But at least I died several times with dignity and even congratulated a good shot.

So, yeah, I can see why families might choose to placate the youngest kids by not allowing auctions, especially since the youngest won't be experienced enough to bid well. "Okay, so we're going to auction off Boardwalk…."  "$1000!" "Um, okay. Anyone want to beat that?" Then the youngest would be frustrated at not making enough money compared to the adults.

This definitely shows more and more that this is not really a family game. Some would argue it's not a gamer's game either, but I would disagree. Again, not a great game, but it's an adequate game. But for family fun, I'd rather go for a game that ends based on criteria that don't involve attrition. Getting knocked out early sucks in any game (unless you hate the game, in which case you're free to play Xbox).
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gman314

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #59 on: May 31, 2013, 12:17:29 pm »
0

All the minor interest I ever had in monopoly was destroyed by this article.

Because of the $200 you get every time you pass Go, Monopoly may never end. If on an average trip around the board each player's net gain of money is greater than -$200, they will make up their cost for that trip on every trip.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #60 on: May 31, 2013, 01:06:40 pm »
0

You can actually address that by changing the end conditions of the game. Either set a target amount of money that players are trying to get or just end the game when there are only two remaining players. In either case you score based on the value of properties and houses/hotels as well as cash.

There's a game called Fortune Street that is essentially Monopoly but uses both of those rules and a whole bunch of others (like letting you invest in other players' property and even forcibly buy them out to complete your monopolies) to generally make a more sane game that actually moves toward a conclusion.

I think the buyout rule in particular would help Monopoly. How it works is when you land on a property, after paying rent you have the option to buy the property for 5 times its listed value. 40% of this goes to the bank and the rest goes to the owner. Basically it's a way to ensure that players can't just refuse to trade.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #61 on: May 31, 2013, 01:49:17 pm »
0

I haven't played Fortune Street, but I'd like to try it out, because it looks pretty good. There's definitely luck involved, as there's nothing stopping you from rolling three 1s in a row to complete a monopoly instantly. However, there are enough decisions that luck isn't the entire reason for winning.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #62 on: May 31, 2013, 02:00:27 pm »
+1

All the minor interest I ever had in monopoly was destroyed by this article.

Because of the $200 you get every time you pass Go, Monopoly may never end. If on an average trip around the board each player's net gain of money is greater than -$200, they will make up their cost for that trip on every trip.

There could theoretically be an unending game of Monopoly, but it wouldn't be likely. A Monopoly game with more than two players will see the results skew definitely toward one or two people. They'll get richer, and they use those riches to build an empire to help them get richer and so on. By the time you get to two players, one of them will be in a superior position. If it does happen that both players are within $600 of each other, then I can see that being a virtually endless game.

Although, that's probably why tournaments have a time limit of 90 minutes. If a clear winner has not been resolved by then, then you end the game and add up the players' assets. This rule could be implemented for home games too. 
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Powerman

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #63 on: June 07, 2013, 12:19:58 am »
+1

The biggest problem I have with Monopoly is the same problem I have with Settlers of Catan: trading.  Both of these games I would be perfectly willing to play with 1-3 strangers (ie. a random tournament or something) but would NEVER play with family and / or friends.  It is often impossible to make any trades in Monopoly with them, even when they are trades that obviously hurt me, so no one is ever able to really do anything, and the game truly never ends.  In Catan, just way too much kingmaking... "Don't trade him the sheep!! He'll win!!! You'd rather I win!!"
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Twistedarcher

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #64 on: June 07, 2013, 12:42:34 am »
+2

The biggest problem I have with Monopoly is the same problem I have with Settlers of Catan: trading.  Both of these games I would be perfectly willing to play with 1-3 strangers (ie. a random tournament or something) but would NEVER play with family and / or friends.  It is often impossible to make any trades in Monopoly with them, even when they are trades that obviously hurt me, so no one is ever able to really do anything, and the game truly never ends.  In Catan, just way too much kingmaking... "Don't trade him the sheep!! He'll win!!! You'd rather I win!!"

Try playing diplomacy with your friends if you think it's a problem in monopoly or settlers ;)
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loppo

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #65 on: June 07, 2013, 02:43:18 am »
+4

Try playing diplomacy with your friends if you think it's a problem in monopoly or settlers ;)

My one and only dipomacy expirience with family/friends ended with me beeing killed in 3 turns (playing Austria), and the other 6 rejoiced in their shared victory.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2014, 08:04:59 am »
0

(1) http://www.tkcs-collins.com/truman/monopoly/monopoly.shtml

I am necroing this thread again, because I hadn't read it before :P

I would like to point out that he shows that, roughly, you only lose 1/6 of your "Go!" money to taxes. Which would mean that the free parking rule where you get that money back is injecting a minimal amount of money back into the game, so it shouldn't affect game length as considerably as people seem to believe. Especially when you compare that tiny amount of money to the 1500$ you start with.

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shraeye

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #67 on: June 05, 2014, 08:50:58 am »
+3

you should have waited 2 days to necro, so you could have done it on the anniversary of the last post....
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #68 on: June 05, 2014, 09:28:44 am »
+1

It has been 750 days since the original post by Kuildeous.

hjackson necroed this thread 32 days after its first death.
Polk5440 necroed this thread 105 days after its second death.
Kuildeous necroed this thread 246 days after its third death.
I (pacovf) necroed this thread 363 days after its fourth death.

I am currently holding the record for longest necro in this thread, and I am confident I will be able to defend the title for at least a year.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2014, 03:51:29 pm »
0

Speaking of Monopoly, I played the Monopoly board game recently. Still rather swingy, but a lot shorter and more intense energetic.
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eHalcyon

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #70 on: June 06, 2014, 04:11:01 pm »
0

Speaking of Monopoly, I played the Monopoly board game recently. Still rather swingy, but a lot shorter and more intense energetic.

You mean card game, right?  Monopoly Deal is alright, though I'm still not a huge fan.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2014, 05:34:54 pm »
0

Speaking of Monopoly, I played the Monopoly board game recently. Still rather swingy, but a lot shorter and more intense energetic.

You mean card game, right?  Monopoly Deal is alright, though I'm still not a huge fan.
Yeah the card game.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #72 on: March 06, 2016, 11:47:39 pm »
0

I've decided to necro this thread.

My beef with Monopoly is that my family lets us do any sort of trades, so I pull crap like 'I'll give you $x and these properties if you refuse to trade with player X for the rest of the game.' If you're going to invest time in a game that takes as long as four player Monopoly, why not play something strategic and fun?
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #73 on: March 07, 2016, 04:58:42 am »
0

I've decided to necro this thread.

My beef with Monopoly is that my family lets us do any sort of trades, so I pull crap like 'I'll give you $x and these properties if you refuse to trade with player X for the rest of the game.' If you're going to invest time in a game that takes as long as four player Monopoly, why not play something strategic and fun?

Because Monopoly is inherently very political and barely strategic. Why not play to its strengths?

Unrelated, I've once or twice played a variance of monopoly with a newly defined set of cards to replace the event cards, which you can take on your hand and play to do various stuff, mostly harm other players. Also slightly changed rules so that you get a lot more of them. It was super fun.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #74 on: March 07, 2016, 07:53:45 am »
+1

My beef with Monopoly is that my family lets us do any sort of trades, so I pull crap like 'I'll give you $x and these properties if you refuse to trade with player X for the rest of the game.' If you're going to invest time in a game that takes as long as four player Monopoly, why not play something strategic and fun?

Considering that trading is the cornerstone of the game, I'm not sure why that's a problem? The big question is if that kind of trade is enforceable. I'd have to review the rules—and maybe they don't cover this—but I get the feeling that future events are not enforceable. You can promise not to trade with someone in the future, but nothing stops you from doing so. But I may be mixing that up with other trade rules.

How long does your four-player Monopoly take? The game can typically be completed within 90 minutes. In fact, tournament rules state that rounds are 90 minutes with the winner being the person with the most assets if it's not resolved in 90 minutes. When I ran the tournament, most games were completed within that time.

Of course, if it's a casual family atmosphere, then the game can take longer, but that's going to happen regardless of the game, especially if you go with something strategic.

Unrelated, I've once or twice played a variance of monopoly with a newly defined set of cards to replace the event cards, which you can take on your hand and play to do various stuff, mostly harm other players. Also slightly changed rules so that you get a lot more of them. It was super fun.

Having playable cards could cut down on some of the dumb luck. And if they're hoardable, then landing on Chance/Community Chest would actually be a good thing as opposed to the current, "Oh please, oh please, don't suck."

I would create a couple copies of an open Jail card. "Send one player to jail, or release one player from jail. Play before dice are rolled." So early in the game, you can send someone else to jail so he can't get properties or release yourself. Later in the game, you can send yourself to jail or release someone so he can face your orange and red gauntlet.
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faust

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #75 on: March 07, 2016, 08:05:40 am »
+3

It has been 750 days since the original post by Kuildeous.

hjackson necroed this thread 32 days after its first death.
Polk5440 necroed this thread 105 days after its second death.
Kuildeous necroed this thread 246 days after its third death.
I (pacovf) necroed this thread 363 days after its fourth death.

I am currently holding the record for longest necro in this thread, and I am confident I will be able to defend the title for at least a year.

It would seem that pacovf has lost his title to RR. Which, let's be honest, always was your real intention, RR.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #76 on: March 07, 2016, 08:16:53 am »
+4

Someone rename this thread:  "The Necro Wars".  Then everyone immediately shut up and let the games begin.  See you in 2 years.
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #77 on: March 07, 2016, 08:54:56 am »
+1

Huh, while rereading this thread (it has been a while), I saw a reference to the speed die, but I never researched it before. Then I found this: http://monopoly.wikia.com/wiki/Speed_Die

I was going to suggest a variant where each player has a series of tokens numbered 2 through 12 (evenly distributed or maybe with a curve). Each player plays that token for his die roll, but that token cannot be used again until he runs out. Maybe color some of them red to represent a reroll (with the usual stipulation that three in a row puts you in jail). But I didn't like that idea because you need the randomness that might put you on someone's monopoly. If you have enough tokens, you could tiptoe past the big, bad orange. In fact, without the random dice, orange might not even be the strongest color anymore.

The speed die is an interesting take. The Mr. Monopoly side would be a welcome sight early in the game that encourages buying up properties, but then it because a harsh mistress later on as it hastens players' doom. And actually, I like this idea better than my token idea (which I stole shamelessly from Niagara and Space Hulk).
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eHalcyon

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2016, 01:15:39 pm »
0

With that tournament max game length, I suppose there are also rules in place to prevent stalling while in the lead?
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Kuildeous

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #79 on: March 07, 2016, 02:50:33 pm »
+1

With that tournament max game length, I suppose there are also rules in place to prevent stalling while in the lead?

I do not recall any hard-and-fast rules on that. I suppose if a judge felt that there was an unsportsmanlike intentional attempt to stall the game, a ruling could be made.

I believe the only thing to keep that from happening is participant integrity, which of course is not always present, especially when there are prizes involved.

It's been about 20 years since I ran a Monopoly tournament. I'd have to think that something may have been added by now.
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pacovf

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #80 on: March 07, 2016, 03:46:18 pm »
+1

Someone rename this thread:  "The Necro Wars".  Then everyone immediately shut up and let the games begin.  See you in 2 years.

I shall reclaim my title.

*marks March 7th 2018 on Google Calendar*
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scott_pilgrim

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #81 on: March 07, 2016, 04:18:45 pm »
0

I was going to suggest a variant where each player has a series of tokens numbered 2 through 12 (evenly distributed or maybe with a curve). Each player plays that token for his die roll, but that token cannot be used again until he runs out. Maybe color some of them red to represent a reroll (with the usual stipulation that three in a row puts you in jail). But I didn't like that idea because you need the randomness that might put you on someone's monopoly. If you have enough tokens, you could tiptoe past the big, bad orange. In fact, without the random dice, orange might not even be the strongest color anymore.

Huh, that's cool that you came up with that idea, because I thought of pretty much the same thing too.  Maybe 5 years ago or so, I was staying at my grandparents' house with my family, and we were looking for a game to play, and all we had was Monopoly, and then I suggested, why don't we make a list of all the combinations of rolls you can get, and then on your turn, you can choose which one you roll, but you can't reuse a roll until you've used every roll in the list.  Then we realized the game was never going to end that way because you never land on anyone's property (like you mentioned), so we decided after you've used every roll once, then you just start actually rolling the dice again normally.

Anyway, it actually didn't really add much to the game...it was just sort of a weird way of claiming properties at the beginning that was a little less random than the normal way.
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liopoil

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #82 on: March 07, 2016, 05:37:32 pm »
0

Someone rename this thread:  "The Necro Wars".  Then everyone immediately shut up and let the games begin.  See you in 2 years.

I shall reclaim my title.

*marks March 7th 2018 on Google Calendar*
only if this thread dies again today...
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funkdoc

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #83 on: March 07, 2016, 05:39:31 pm »
+1

oh this is a thread huh

all i wanna say here is that monopoly deal is a perfectly nifty lil game and i'd 100x rather play that than the real thing

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #84 on: March 07, 2016, 05:51:49 pm »
0

oh this is a thread huh

all i wanna say here is that monopoly deal is a perfectly nifty lil game and i'd 100x rather play that than the real thing

I <3 monopoly deal
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Titandrake

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #85 on: March 07, 2018, 05:10:41 pm »
+12

Someone rename this thread:  "The Necro Wars".  Then everyone immediately shut up and let the games begin.  See you in 2 years.

I shall reclaim my title.

*marks March 7th 2018 on Google Calendar*

pacovf, you joked about doing it.

I actually did.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #87 on: March 07, 2018, 06:53:05 pm »
+4

Someone rename this thread:  "The Necro Wars".  Then everyone immediately shut up and let the games begin.  See you in 2 years.

I shall reclaim my title.

*marks March 7th 2018 on Google Calendar*

pacovf, you joked about doing it.

I actually did.

Man, imagine if I had actually noted it down on my calendar, then missed posting on the thread long enough that someone else managed to ninja me. That would be stupid.

...see you March 7th, 2021.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #88 on: March 07, 2018, 11:01:19 pm »
+4

Someone rename this thread:  "The Necro Wars".  Then everyone immediately shut up and let the games begin.  See you in 2 years.

I shall reclaim my title.

*marks March 7th 2018 on Google Calendar*

pacovf, you joked about doing it.

I actually did.

Man, imagine if I had actually noted it down on my calendar, then missed posting on the thread long enough that someone else managed to ninja me. That would be stupid.

...see you March 7th, 2021.

*marks March 6th 2021 on Google Calendar*
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popsofctown

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #89 on: March 08, 2018, 01:52:33 am »
0

After playing more Catan, I think the only things that actually put Catan a step above Monopoly are the things that put Machi Koro a step above Candyland.  Or rather, the things that would put Machi Koro with random purchases a step above Candyland.  It's more fun to watch random benefits popup then move around a board with no control and sometimes into traps.  I'm not sure the trading and building mechanics actually add enough depth to make a difference.

Therefore maybe Monopoly isn't that bad because Catan is bad too?

I know these posts are because people want to talk about Monopoly.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #90 on: March 08, 2018, 02:15:03 am »
0

No, Monopoly is bad and Catan is good.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #91 on: March 08, 2018, 02:16:49 am »
0

No, Monopoly is bad and Catan is good.
But I'm at, like, Monopoly is bad and Terra Mystica is good.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #92 on: March 08, 2018, 02:20:30 am »
0

No, Monopoly is bad and Catan is good.
But I'm at, like, Monopoly is bad and Terra Mystica is good.

Doesn't stop Catan from being good.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #93 on: March 08, 2018, 09:12:02 am »
+1

I get where people are coming from when they criticize Catan's randomness. But I don't think it's the same as Monopoly. In Catan, you mitigate this luck. You do so from the very beginning. You pick your starting settlements. And there's a neat mechanic to level the playing field. If you pick first, then you also pick last. If you are the last player to place your first settlement, you're also the first player to place your second settlement. If you know what you're doing, it's really difficult to get screwed over in the initial placement.

And on top of that, you get to build up your infrastructure so that you get more benefit from future die rolls.

Now die luck can always be a problem. You have a 6 wood and an 8 clay, and has even a single 6 or 8 come up in the last 30 goddamn rolls? Why does this game hate me?! The comparison to Machi Koro is apt since I watched someone win with the 8 card (I think) and always rolling an 8 on her turn while the rest of us got nothing. And I can't deny that die luck will screw you over. What you're doing is mitigating risk.

But you can't do that in Monopoly. The way to mitigate risk is to buy up the property that gets landed on frequently, which you can't do if someone else buys it first. Trade negotiations can be used to mitigate this, but I don't know if that's enough to overcome that flaw.

So yeah, Catan has dice luck, but trading can help out. And even if you don't get the precious wood/clay combo, you likely can buy cards so you can use the bandit to steal wood/clay or monopoly to get what you need. You cannot help completely dry spells though.

I've become less enamored of Machi Koro since I found Valeria. Valeria has all the fun dice-rolling of Machi Koro but also lets you still collect resources even if the dice are cruel to you.
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Awaclus

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #94 on: March 08, 2018, 05:08:41 pm »
+2

Well, to be fair, the 3rd player in 4-player Catan has a clear disadvantage because the best two spots on the board were taken by the first two players and the third best isn't as good. The advantage of getting to place both of your starting settlements without anyone ruining your plans in between pretty much mitigates this for the last player in turn order, but the 3rd player gets the short end of the stick in every regard. In 3-player games it's not a problem though.

In practice, it's super rare that you can't trade into the cards that you need. Either you'll be producing the wood and the clay on your own, or you have access to a rare resource which allows you to get really good deals when trading with other players.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #95 on: March 08, 2018, 05:32:30 pm »
+2

I'm really a fan of the tournament rules of Catan; they prohibit trading to people.

Since you must trade 4:1 to the bank if you have no ports, port spaces are always taken in the initial placements.  One thing this does is increase the number of viable places on the board, helping the 3rd player feel less pinched.

It also RADICALLY increases the speed of the game.  A normal game with tournament rules takes about 15 min, and the fastest game I've ever played was 6 minutes.
The reason it is so fast is because if you are not allowed to trade, you often roll the dice, see you can do nothing, and pass the dice, turn done in 4 seconds.
When trading is allowed, turns can go on more than a minute as you try to finagle your way into the cards you need.

---

Monopoly lives and dies on it's rule set.  if you add lots of shitty house rules that balloon the game time, yeah, the experience will be worse. 
if you include the modern official rule variants that get game times down to 30 min, it's actually a bit fun to play.  monopoly is only fun for about 30 min, so if you finish the game in 20 min, you'll probably think "hey, that was good".
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 05:42:47 pm by weesh »
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GendoIkari

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #96 on: March 08, 2018, 06:02:21 pm »
+2

I'm really a fan of the tournament rules of Catan; they prohibit trading to people.

Since you must trade 4:1 to the bank if you have no ports, port spaces are always taken in the initial placements.  One thing this does is increase the number of viable places on the board, helping the 3rd player feel less pinched.


What tournament is this? Every tournament is going to have its own set of rules. I found a couple different rules for a couple different tournaments, neither banned trading. That sounds like it would be a completely different game... maybe better, but probably worse. Trading is pretty fundamental to Catan.

Quote
It also RADICALLY increases the speed of the game.  A normal game with tournament rules takes about 15 min, and the fastest game I've ever played was 6 minutes.
The reason it is so fast is because if you are not allowed to trade, you often roll the dice, see you can do nothing, and pass the dice, turn done in 4 seconds.
When trading is allowed, turns can go on more than a minute as you try to finagle your way into the cards you need.

I find this very hard to believe. Yes, the average turn would be faster, but you would need far more turns per game, since reaching 10 points would be much harder without being able to trade with other players. Also, even though many turns would only be about 4 seconds; several turns would still easily take at least 30 seconds while players think about their options; or even just go through the physical motions of trading with the bank; playing development cards; dealing with moving the robber, etc.

*Edit*

The Catan National Championship 2018, run by Catan Studio, doesn't mention anything about trading with other players being removed. As a side-note, I strongly disagree with one of their rules dealing with winning the game:
Quote
A player has won if he or she has 10 or more victory points (although only 10 will be counted for the ranking) and it is the
player’s turn. If a player does not notice that he or she has 10 points, the player must wait until the next turn before winning
the game (assuming no earlier player wins, and the player still has 10 points).

This is wrong and goes against the official rules as written. There's no requirement to "declare" or "notice" your victory. The moment that it is your turn, and you have 10 points, the game is over and you have won. If you don't notice and don't say anything, and the next player takes his turn, that's irrelevant, that turn happened after the game was already over.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 06:06:47 pm by GendoIkari »
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #97 on: March 08, 2018, 07:20:16 pm »
0

What tournament is this?

The online tournaments and ladder hosted by java settlers.
My mistake for presuming that was the norm everywhere.

Quote
I find this very hard to believe. Yes, the average turn would be faster, but you would need far more turns per game, since reaching 10 points would be much harder without being able to trade with other players. Also, even though many turns would only be about 4 seconds; several turns would still easily take at least 30 seconds while players think about their options; or even just go through the physical motions of trading with the bank; playing development cards; dealing with moving the robber, etc.

Make no mistake, 15 min games only happen with players that have been around the block.  You need to have memorized the four items on the cheat sheet, know how to get to 10 points efficiently, and know the main strategies for getting to 10. 

I played ~100 games with the no trade rule (online, and in person), and I bet zero of them surpassed 20 min.
when my friends played settlers in person with no trading, we did 15 min including new board setups between games.
I've done a 15 min game from a closed and packed box.

Even when people had bank trading and card playing and construction in the same turn, they are typically done in 15-20 seconds per turn.
Turns where people were merely building road settlement were regularly done in 10 seconds or less.
One thing you are missing in your analysis is that a much higher percentage of turns are that you are unable to build.  when trading is allowed, you can have games where something is purchased almost every turn.  there are LOTS of 4 second turns when trading isn't allowed. 

Quote
That sounds like it would be a completely different game... maybe better, but probably worse. Trading is pretty fundamental to Catan.

I am in 100% agreement with you that it is a different game.  totally breaks the mold.
but not worse.  not better.  different.

ports are more important.  trading to the bank happens.  you can't trade away a victory.  you don't have the leader getting blacklisted while the other players try to catch up.

It's more technical, and less touchy-feely.  It's more skill, and less politics.

For some people, this is the clearly better game.  For some, it ruins the game.

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #98 on: March 08, 2018, 07:36:27 pm »
0

I would usually play Catan with my dad and brother. We do makes trades and all, but most of our trades are done at the halfway point I think. In general we are pretty stingy with our cards, so having a starting settlement on a harbor isn't too out of the norm for us.

Also, my brother wins the majority of Catan games, and has the most experience with the game (being the only one of us to have played it online for some length), so it seems like there is a subtle skill to the game and it's hhard for my dad and I to pinpoint the things my brother does right.

Monopoly is fun when you aren't in the mood to think too much and you're at home where you can do other stuff after being eliminated.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #99 on: March 08, 2018, 08:42:44 pm »
+1

it seems like there is a subtle skill to the game and it's hhard for my dad and I to pinpoint the things my brother does right.

That's definitely true. Even if someone is playing the game better than you, it looks like they're doing pretty much the same thing as you are from your perspective.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #100 on: March 09, 2018, 01:30:21 am »
0

I can't see how the obvious strategy of offering less favorable trades and more frequent attacks to the frontrunner doesn't drastically increase the sample size needed for the best player to win more often.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #101 on: March 09, 2018, 03:11:49 am »
+1

Valeria has all the fun dice-rolling of Machi Koro but also lets you still collect resources even if the dice are cruel to you.
Can you tell me more about that game? How good is it?

Mainly asking because Valeria is also the name of my girlfriend and thus it would make for a hilarious present... if it's any good.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #102 on: March 09, 2018, 03:23:35 am »
+3

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #103 on: March 09, 2018, 10:43:56 am »
+1

Mainly asking because Valeria is also the name of my girlfriend and thus it would make for a hilarious present... if it's any good.

Your girlfriend's name is awesome.

So the concept is similar to Thunderstone but with a Catan/Machi Koro style of resource gathering rather than a deckbuilder. You start off with a Peasant and a Knight. Their numbers are 5 and 6. Every time a player rolls one of these numbers or a sum that matches these numbers, you trigger their resource. Peasant gives you a Gold, and Knight gives you a Fight. You can recruit other citizens ranging from 1 to 12 to add to your tableau. Doubles will trigger the same citizen twice, so a 12 will get you two Fight per Knight plus whatever the 12 gives you (which is usually pretty good considering its rarity). The other Citizens give you varying amounts of Gold, Fight, Magic, or even Victory Points when their numbers come up.

On top of recruiting citizens, you can fight monsters. There are five stacks, and each stack has weaker monsters leading up to a boss monster. You cash in Fight tokens and sometimes Magic tokens. They're worth VP and give you an additional reward, such as more resources or additional citizen recruiting.

And there are Domain cards you can buy with Gold. They give you VPs and some sort of ability that can help you out, such as paying 2 Gold to change a die to a 6 or gaining VP every time doubles are rolled.

Similar to Dominion, you play until X number of stacks are exhausted. X = twice the number of players. You also end if all monsters are defeated or all domains are bought. There's your Dominion Province/Colony rule.

The base set is pretty good, but the expansions are nice so far. They've added monsters and domains as well as additional citizens. They also added event cards. Half the Exhausted markers you lay out will trigger random events. They add a little uncertainty to the game. I won a game recently because an event allowed us to spend 3 resources for 5 VP. I had the resources; my wife did not. I won by 3 points.

So it's luck-driven like Monopoly and Catan, but I feel you have a much greater control of your luck. I usually always buy cards so 1-12 are fully represented with extras depending on my secret goal (extra VPs for certain icons). And some domain cards can let you choose your luck by bumping a die to a certain value.  The closest comparison is to Machi Koro, but not as sloppy.

So if you guys are cool with a fantasy theme, you may dig this.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #104 on: March 09, 2018, 11:25:28 am »
+2

Machi Koro is about as good a baseline for judging games as Monopoly.
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GendoIkari

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #105 on: March 09, 2018, 01:24:28 pm »
0

What tournament is this?

The online tournaments and ladder hosted by java settlers.
My mistake for presuming that was the norm everywhere.

Quote
I find this very hard to believe. Yes, the average turn would be faster, but you would need far more turns per game, since reaching 10 points would be much harder without being able to trade with other players. Also, even though many turns would only be about 4 seconds; several turns would still easily take at least 30 seconds while players think about their options; or even just go through the physical motions of trading with the bank; playing development cards; dealing with moving the robber, etc.

Make no mistake, 15 min games only happen with players that have been around the block.  You need to have memorized the four items on the cheat sheet, know how to get to 10 points efficiently, and know the main strategies for getting to 10. 

I played ~100 games with the no trade rule (online, and in person), and I bet zero of them surpassed 20 min.
when my friends played settlers in person with no trading, we did 15 min including new board setups between games.
I've done a 15 min game from a closed and packed box.

Even when people had bank trading and card playing and construction in the same turn, they are typically done in 15-20 seconds per turn.
Turns where people were merely building road settlement were regularly done in 10 seconds or less.
One thing you are missing in your analysis is that a much higher percentage of turns are that you are unable to build.  when trading is allowed, you can have games where something is purchased almost every turn.  there are LOTS of 4 second turns when trading isn't allowed. 

Quote
That sounds like it would be a completely different game... maybe better, but probably worse. Trading is pretty fundamental to Catan.

I am in 100% agreement with you that it is a different game.  totally breaks the mold.
but not worse.  not better.  different.

ports are more important.  trading to the bank happens.  you can't trade away a victory.  you don't have the leader getting blacklisted while the other players try to catch up.

It's more technical, and less touchy-feely.  It's more skill, and less politics.

For some people, this is the clearly better game.  For some, it ruins the game.

I didn't realize you were taking about online games. I can see how those would be much faster to start with; an online game always is. Look at Dominion; you can play a game online in 5 minutes, but in person is going to be at least 20.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #106 on: March 09, 2018, 02:07:13 pm »
0

...
I played ~100 games with the no trade rule (online, and in person), and I bet zero of them surpassed 20 min.
when my friends played settlers in person with no trading, we did 15 min including new board setups between games.
I've done a 15 min game from a closed and packed box.
...
I didn't realize you were taking about online games. I can see how those would be much faster to start with; an online game always is.

Both actually.
In my experience, the online nature was not terribly relevant to how much time was taken.
It's hard to know for sure, but I suspect that the in person no trading games were a touch slower...but they were close enough that I'd want to pull out a stopwatch and measure a bunch of them before I'd be comfortable that the game portion was slower.

Obviously the setup is slower in person, but the game itself didn't elongate perceptibly.

In person, people could shortcut things, place a settlement, then say "go", then when the next player is reaching for the dice, they'd return 4 wood, a brick and a sheep to the supply without specifically trading to the port first, like the online client requires.

Also, the jsettlers client left a bit to be desired.  It required a lot of unneeded clicks of tiny buttons.  perhaps a better coder combined with better graphic designer could have made it significantly faster to play than live matches.

Quote
Look at Dominion; you can play a game online in 5 minutes, but in person is going to be at least 20.
Is 20 the severe low end, or is that repeatable?!
I play with people that have logged 80+ games, and we regularly take 45 min (excluding setup).
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #107 on: March 10, 2018, 06:57:01 am »
+3

I've played no-trading Catan IRL a while ago. I remember it being reasonably fun. I don't like trading, so for me it was an improvement. It also increases the number of turns (though each turn is shorter on average), which helps even out the dice luck.

The issue I think is that when most people want to play Catan, it's because they want to trade. So those people are not going to be happy with the variant. And if you don't like trading, it seems preferable to play a game that doesn't build trading into its design.
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GendoIkari

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #108 on: March 10, 2018, 01:14:02 pm »
+1

20 would be a severe low end; 2 person game only. 45 sounds more typical.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #109 on: July 23, 2018, 12:45:46 am »
+3

One variant of Catan I really like is the Event cards, introduced in the Traders and Barbarians expansion. Instead of rolling the dice each turn, you flip over the top card a deck with the production numbers on them. The number of each result in the deck corresponds with the probability of that roll. (For example, there are five "6s" in the deck, three "10s," etc.) When the deck is exhausted, you shuffle the cards and draw again. This mitigates some of the randomness, as you will no longer have those freak situations where your "5" is rolled once during the entire game while "11" is rolled three times in a row. You can comfortably build while knowing exactly how often you'll receive resources.
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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #110 on: July 23, 2018, 10:36:07 am »
0

One variant of Catan I really like is the Event cards, introduced in the Traders and Barbarians expansion. Instead of rolling the dice each turn, you flip over the top card a deck with the production numbers on them. The number of each result in the deck corresponds with the probability of that roll. (For example, there are five "6s" in the deck, three "10s," etc.) When the deck is exhausted, you shuffle the cards and draw again. This mitigates some of the randomness, as you will no longer have those freak situations where your "5" is rolled once during the entire game while "11" is rolled three times in a row. You can comfortably build while knowing exactly how often you'll receive resources.

I've tried this version once with my family. It didn't stick. It should be noticed that the deck of "dice rolls" is shuffled when there are like five cards left, so there is still some variance in distribution per shuffle of the deck.
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