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× Talk about the latest and greatest AT, and the Classics.

John Company

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09 May 2018 18:20 #272986 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
Brought this out and played solo with two players. What a deep game. There is a lot going on. Really cool, many levers and ways to approach making money. It has incredibly high stakes dice rolling too, which you may not expect of a game with this reputation. The particular game I played had a critical parliamentary vote on the calico act, which made the one player heavily invested in factories an absolute mint. Both players got someone into the house of lords (VP card) but the company really suffered with bad rolling for sail actions (trade, the core money making activity) and it was on its last legs.

Unfortunately, I think this game ultimately lives and dies on whether the incentives and tools are great enough to prevent a saboteur at the table from just tanking the company as soon as they get in the lead. I just can't tell because I haven't played it in anger. It could be a stinker if there just isn't enough to keep enough players trying to squeeze money out of the productive company before sinking it.
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28 May 2018 15:49 - 28 May 2018 16:45 #274196 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company


I know most of you hate playthrough videos and think they're beyond the pale, but this is a good playthrough with the designer teaching. It hit a few rules I missed so it helped me out. And it really made me want to play the game fucking bad.

Game speeds up after the first turn which is where the rules are taught, fwiw. The play has a nice arc where the company actually works for a while and rewards the people riding it and playing honestly before a late breakdown with the rats bailing out of the ship.
Last edit: 28 May 2018 16:45 by Gary Sax.

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29 May 2018 08:54 #274211 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic John Company
From my single play, tanking the company is a strategy that's difficult to wield successfully.

It's not difficult to bleed the company dry, but actually tanking it and leveraging that for a victory seems akin to trying to ride a wild lion. It feels most advantageous when you're doing much better than everyone else and want to push the red button and try to end the game early. As an act of frustration, it's difficult to predict who will profit the most from causing the company to fail.

You have to be real careful because if you start to tank the company and you have any cubes in riders, you can count on the Chairman promoting you so that you get hit with the most VP penalties.
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29 May 2018 10:16 #274219 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
I think as chairman it's not that hard to tank---buy a bunch of armies and allocate no real money to the offices so they can't sail.

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29 May 2018 11:19 #274228 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic John Company
Indeed, but I think that situation could be unlikely. The culprit there is the board members are the ones who likely want to maintain fiscal integrity, and they're the ones who will decide the chairman.

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15 Aug 2019 01:30 - 15 Aug 2019 01:30 #300782 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company


This game is endlessly interesting. Now I just need to figure out how to play it with people, ideally playing with people way more than once. It really requires some experience, particularly in being able to understand the implications of the event phase which is *crucial* for planning.
Last edit: 15 Aug 2019 01:30 by Gary Sax.
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20 Sep 2019 11:10 - 20 Sep 2019 11:11 #301867 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
2nd edition Kickstarter next year! I will definitely buy it. Should be a 1st ed upgrade kit too.

I look forward to owning an edition without a completely incongruous pro-colonialism postscript from Phil Eklund!
Last edit: 20 Sep 2019 11:11 by Gary Sax.
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20 Sep 2019 12:04 #301870 by bfkiller
Replied by bfkiller on topic John Company

Gary Sax wrote: 2nd edition Kickstarter next year!


I wonder if I'll ever even get a chance to play my 1st edition before that ships...
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20 Sep 2019 12:08 #301871 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
My tagline isn't shelf toad king for nothing.

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20 Sep 2019 12:31 #301873 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic John Company
One of my friends used to be a board game designer. Like me, he only ever got one game published. He has since given up on boardgame design but sometimes likes to take an existing game and re-theme it with a few changes to suit the new theme. So I have never played John Company, but I have played a re-theme of it that replaces John Company with the Trump Administration. My friend is a moderate Democrat and an obsessive reader of both history and current news. Instead of doing a heavy-handed parody of the Trump Administration, his re-theme requires players to analyze the relative strengths and weaknesses of various high-level personnel working for Trump, and how their personal and political agendas drive them. His re-theme also includes a fun new addition to the John Company structure, which is a Scrabble-like phase where players randomly draw cardboards tokens consisting entirely of words and phrases from actual tweets by Donald Trump. Players are under time pressure to use as many tweet tokens as possible while following a few restrictions on how they combine. The first legal tweet finished gets the player gets some benefit within the game, and the second one a lesser benefit, with ties resolved by whoever comes closest to the character limit for a tweet. It's been over a year since I played, so the details remain elusive, but it was moderately fun and provoked a lot of discussion during the game and after.

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20 Sep 2019 12:42 #301874 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
The John Company structure actually makes a ton of sense for a political administration if you make some assumptions about ulterior motives.

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11 Oct 2019 23:36 #302410 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
www.boardgamegeek.com/article/33130081#33130081

Would any usual or unusual suspects like to play a small game (3, 4 at most) game of John Company via VASSAL? Any more players and I just don't think this would work. Would have to move files reasonably fast since I'm not sure how fast this will play.

I'm also open to scheduling a live game, we could do discord or skype or something. Anyway, just a thought.

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12 Oct 2019 01:23 #302412 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic John Company
It's hard to tell if I'm a "usual or unusual" suspect, but I'm in.

(shouldn't be a surprise, of course)

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12 Oct 2019 05:40 #302413 by mc
Replied by mc on topic John Company
Ooft.
Would really like to Gary....
As to whether I should or not....
Hold me in reserve, but yeah, I'm good to go PBEM if you need the numbers and I am called upon!
(I will read the rulebook tonight and then most likely say, ah just count me in).

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12 Oct 2019 07:04 #302415 by Erik Twice
Replied by Erik Twice on topic John Company

Gary Sax wrote: The John Company structure actually makes a ton of sense for a political administration if you make some assumptions about ulterior motives.

John Company is pretty much The Republic of Rome if RoR didn't have a large negotiation element and was an eurogame.

Which sounds silly, but makes sense to me.

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