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

John Company

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27 Apr 2020 10:28 #309674 by JoelCFC25
Replied by JoelCFC25 on topic John Company
Did all you guys see Cole on the livestream in late March talking John Company 2nd Edition? He previews it on TTS and talks a great deal about the changes (largely just graphics/UI, but some event system and private firm stuff that's worth watching).



Starts at about the 1 hr 11 min mark. Was probably linked elsewhere already, apologies if so.
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27 Apr 2020 10:54 #309679 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
Thank you, Joel! I saw a Twitter thread from him on it. I'm actually skeptical of his graphical changes (move it all to cards).

I'll listen to that this morning.

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27 Apr 2020 11:18 #309684 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic John Company
Remember, I crashed that share price because I was about to get cut out of the Court of Directors completely, and I wanted to buy my way back in cheaply.

I had pretty crap rolls in the first family placement (rolling multiple Captains on Turn 1 is a big fuck-you from the dice, as there's no way you'll have enough cash to use them), and with no extra shares so I wasn't making very much on the dividends. I definitely underplayed the Director of Trade, and should have just eaten the nepotism penalty in some cases, the shipping manager especially.

With a lot of ground to gain and a surplus of writers, I should have been making all sorts of promises, because the best case is I make enough cash+opportunities to fulfill them and the worst case is I still just lose. Being risk-averse there didn't do much for me. But that sort of thing is exactly why I'm interested in playing the game more.
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27 Apr 2020 12:11 - 27 Apr 2020 12:12 #309688 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic John Company
re: 2nd edition, I was skeptical at first glance but after Cole explains the logic behind the choices I think I really like it. The events system needs a bit of work and I'm not clear on how ship purchasing will be impacted (the factories make sense, but it's not clear if shipyards will go to single family member ownership or stay as shared ventures or how that would work). Also, Cole is a designer who I trust a hundred percent to do it right. He's pretty up front that the 1st edition was rushed and there were things he wanted to do better.

re: write-up, yeah I think none of us really knew the true value of anything and our motives weren't always clear or sensible. All I know is that I like it a lot and want to play again.
Last edit: 27 Apr 2020 12:12 by mezike.

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27 Apr 2020 12:15 - 27 Apr 2020 12:29 #309689 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
The events system will be a big, important improvement from what he's describing in this video but I'm very skeptical about opening negotiations to shipyards and factories, etc and complicating those assets more.

edit: allowing family firms to take on debt is crucial and will be a very good addition to deregulation and the rounding chart on that thing is absurd so I'm glad they're putting some attention to it and doing something simpler.
Last edit: 27 Apr 2020 12:29 by Gary Sax.
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27 Apr 2020 12:59 #309692 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic John Company
I'm not too sure about some of the changes, but some of them look really good.

I like the map and the event system, but I don't love the two linked components of the token and corresponding card.

The shares system looks like a slight improvement, but I think the limit of ten shares (and the minimum payout) will make splits difficult to execute.

Overall I'm hopeful that they'll beat it into shape, since this is clearly still work-in-progress.

Just makes me want to play some more as well.
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27 Apr 2020 21:04 #309715 by Msample
Replied by Msample on topic John Company
Great write up Mezike.

I've only played 6 games. and only two of them were the kitchen sink / campaign / deregulation variety. Without deregulation, its a relatively straightforward. Adding it in...things can get wild and the mechanics change quite a bit. In some ways it becomes two games in one , as the independents vie with those remaining in the company.

In reading the AAR, one thing that struck me is that I've only played 5/6 player games; in those nepotism can often be simply impossible. In the 3 player game you mention, its a max penalty of two cubes . Much more likely to occur.


I did watch the 2nd edition preview. I am kind of conflicted, I agree its cleaner, but I am so used to the original board I can see the appeal to new users but for first edition owners its kind of a wash. The event cards seem a bit easier to implement. Hard to determine what actual rules changes there are; shipyards and guns based purely on the map seem generic and no negotiation for whose are built ? One possible change they mention is that players VOTE to deregulate vs it happening via event. It will be more accessible to new users I am sure, but the original dilemma of new users needing to understand the value of offices, money etc will remain.
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27 Apr 2020 21:58 #309718 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
I think the original board and card design is gorgeous which is a weird thing to say about a spreadsheetish game.

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27 Apr 2020 22:46 #309719 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic John Company

Msample wrote: Great write up Mezike.

In reading the AAR, one thing that struck me is that I've only played 5/6 player games; in those nepotism can often be simply impossible. In the 3 player game you mention, its a max penalty of two cubes . Much more likely to occur.


It's up to (and often) four cubes in a 3-player game, because of the low player count. Anytime the Jones family is in play, the nepotism penalty is doubled (very last part of F3). I still should have given those cubes in a few occasions. With a lower player count, almost any promotion that's not nepotism will get you one of those cubes back, and there are a lot of offices to go between three families.

I think the original board is "appropriate", which is to say it evokes a lot of what the game has going on. It looks and feels like a weird Victorian proto-monopoly, which adds to the appeal for me. I like the play improvements of the new board, but I'll definitely miss the crazy design.

He's not kidding about the lack of space in some areas of the board, though.

I almost forgot about the "voting to deregulate" part, but I agree that's an exciting change. I'm not sure I can assess the value of when to do so just yet, but having that in control of the players seems like a nice tweak.
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28 Apr 2020 05:50 #309723 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic John Company

Not Sure wrote: It looks and feels like a weird Victorian proto-monopoly, which adds to the appeal for me.


That's a great insight, and I agree. The overly-busy look also gives off the feel of period scrollwork and woodcut where white space on parchment was considered an enemy to conquer with baroque detail. If only the text in the presidencies was printed upside-down :silly:

Something that I like about it is having Britain on one side of the board and India on the other, it creates a feeling of separation with production on one side, destination on the other, with a big chunk of busy stuff between them and the movement of goods connecting them in the middle. It's a weird thing to articulate but the movement of pieces around the board helps give a purpose to the theme/setting.

Thinking about the factories/shipyards some more, it's something that feels like it will be more fitting for the deregulated and full game where you are setting up your own family firm. Having your factories etc. right in your play area along with the senior postings that you hold in the EIC defines the scale and scope of your holdings (and power) even if you don't formally incorporate as a firm. It makes more sense than individual player boards because a tableau is organic and can wax and wane without border or limitation. It might make it easier to parse the leverage that each player has on the game with everything they own right in front of them. But I need to play the deregulated game to understand how that really feels in practice.

Regarding the new share mechanism, I'm surprised he isn't going with a dozen shares instead of ten given how much easier it is to break down into whole number fractions. Especially so given that currency at the time was factored on a base of twelve.
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28 Apr 2020 10:30 #309728 by JoelCFC25
Replied by JoelCFC25 on topic John Company
I'm not experienced enough to have a very savvy take that I can back up, but adding the map of India and being able to indicate who attacks where and showing dominated/prosperous with tokens on that map has GOT to be immensely more intuitive than the overlapping/flippable cards placed either to the side or above the board.
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28 Apr 2020 11:44 #309734 by Msample
Replied by Msample on topic John Company
Yeah the India map is an improvement for sure, it looks like overall they are trying to reduce the card iconography.

One minor thing I hope they address is to tweak the family card powers . The family that allows a one time vote advantage is very situational and if drafting, one I'd pick last every single time.

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28 Apr 2020 12:36 #309742 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
Compared to like the one that gives you extra dice. It's a huge leg up not only for the player. I could see it also sometimes encouraging others to install you into a position if they want the Company to succeed and don't want to install themselves, which is a big advantage.
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28 Apr 2020 12:45 #309745 by Msample
Replied by Msample on topic John Company
Yeah extra die guy is often walked right into the first open presidency to aid cash flow.

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09 May 2020 18:27 - 09 May 2020 18:29 #310119 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic John Company
Had a good time again with this game with 3p. Mezike mentioned that this is a game where you really take risks. He pulled of a massive reinvestment risk in the company and pulled out our game on the last turn.

We talked a little afterwards about how having the post-monopoly option afterwards adds an important consideration and I think that's absolutely right. I hope we play more, if we can only muster three again we should try one of the other scenarios, maybe even the what-if no monopoly scenario to wrap our heads around that play dynamic. Wehrle said he considers the first scenario (the one we've been playing to learn the ropes) just scratching the surface of the game.

But ideally would like to get some higher player count intro scenario games, though.
Last edit: 09 May 2020 18:29 by Gary Sax.

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