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Author Topic: In defense of Monopoly  (Read 21667 times)

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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 »
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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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permanoob

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2012, 01:46:11 am »
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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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hjackson

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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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Polk5440

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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 »
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@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 »
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@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 »
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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 »
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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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shMerker

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #60 on: May 31, 2013, 01:06:40 pm »
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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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Titandrake

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #61 on: May 31, 2013, 01:49:17 pm »
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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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pacovf

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2014, 08:04:59 am »
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(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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pacovf

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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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markusin

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2014, 03:51:29 pm »
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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 »
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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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markusin

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2014, 05:34:54 pm »
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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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Roadrunner7671

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #72 on: March 06, 2016, 11:47:39 pm »
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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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silverspawn

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Re: In defense of Monopoly
« Reply #73 on: March 07, 2016, 04:58:42 am »
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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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