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Popular Negotiation Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Negotiation mechanic.
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Sidereal Confluence is the Sci-Fi Negotiation Game Full of Weird | Geek and Sundry image
ReviewSidereal Confluence is the Sci-Fi Negotiation Game Full of Weird | Geek and Sundry (https://geekandsundry.com/sidereal-confluence-is-the-sci-fi-negotiation-game-full-of-weird/) [Sidereal Confluence]Like| 0 comments | [+]
Kickstarter Ending (11/15 - 11/22) [Against the Darkmaster, Grimm: a card-based, strategic tabletop game, The Curious Case of the Cats of Crumptown - 28mm Miniatures, BIZLIVE! The Satiri...]Like| 1 comment | [+]
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One of my all time favourite games is #Archipelago, it embodies so many of my favourite aspects of games: negotiation, hidden information, semi-cooperative play it is a game that has the best, most-petty, hilarious discussions and at its best I've rarely enjoyed sitting at a table moving meeples around so much.

However, I do think that the game is very much one of those that gets significantly better the more you play it with the same group and one that makes it easyfor people to bounce off of hard. I'll explain: when the game is first set out and the rules taught it appears very much to be a Euro/4X game. You gather resources, get upgrades, hire (or brith) new meeples, explore new sections of archipelago and build an empire. If you play it like a straight Euro game it isn't great: everything is slow and resource gathering is inefficent/can feel impossible, you don't have enough actions and the traitor (although they are definitely the 'good' or at least 'best' player morally speaking) seemingly has the easiest time rallying the native peoples to overthrow their colonial oppressors and bring the game to a premature end. (On a side-, but important, note, the other glaring flaw of this game is that it very much puts the players in the role of the bad guys casually exploiting an island and its people, and while within my group of friends we are pretty aware of this and use it to spark discuss and comment on how awful we are I can absolutely see this being a deal-braker for some and I wouldn't blame them in the slightest.)

Rant over, the problem with the way the game presents itself is that it is in reality a negotiation and deal-making game much more that it is a Euro-game. The way we have found it plays best, is when everyone is cutting deals and trading with each other while trying to get an edge. The semi-cooperative aspect really comes to life when you are negotiating who is going to use their hard earned resources to deal with the current crisis and how much you are going to pay them for it. The engine building side takes off when players are trading freely, as this is a free action, and so instead of having to use all your actions to collect 1 stone, 2 cows and 2 wood, you instead use one action to collect 8 pineapples and then trade them to get everything you need from other players. When you are trying to work out who is the 'traitor' and then working together (while of course trying not to make any real sacrifices yourself) to economically stifle that player and taking over their 'territory' (no one really owns anything in the game which is amazing) to limit their influence that is is when the game takes off and is a non-stop joy. However, the game doesn't mudge you to do these things at all, it is very much a sandbox, and while I love that aspect in many ways I can see how other people might try it once, not like it and then never bother again. So while I could say that they are just 'playing it wrong' and blame other players instead of the game. I think it is a legitimate critiscm of the game that it hasn't made how it wants to played clear, either mechanically or otherwise, and as such has made itself less accessible than it could have been. 

However, I adore this game, and whenever I teach it I make a point of highlighting these aspects. It still usually takes people at least until the second game to really grasp what makes the game tick, but once they do I've had so many people fall in love with it.

Both of these look really interesting to me, however I tend to dislike open negotiation so I'm not sure how much I would like #Moonrakers. I would be curious to hear your experience with the game.

I'm pretty certain I will pick up #The Whatnot Cabinet at some point though, it looks so charming.

#Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale - Played with my wife on Sunday! And I was right. She does like it more than #Welcome to... because it's a slightly deeper game. She was already having fun coming up with a "title" for herself and the name of the kingdom, so it was a good sign. I've learned from past mistakes that I should never go easy on her, so when an ambush/monster card came up, I drew it on a rather weird spot for her and she knew it was on lol. She wasn't too aware of how monsters work and drew mine on a space that actually worked better for me. Knowing that, when the monster card came up on the second round, she immediately drew it in the most awkward spot on my map and I loved it! Definitely our best under 30/45 min kind of game we have so far, and if we ever get some chill coffee date times in the future, I could see myself carrying it around (not that I drink coffee, since my stomach is pretty sensitive to coffee but not to alcohol for some reason...)

#Inis - Okay, we didn't get to play this. We got it out and I explained the rules, but by the time we were about to start playing, I sensed that we'll end up having to end the game at mid-point when our son wakes up from his nap. So I quickly made the switch to Cartographers, explained the rules, and we got going fast. I'm really glad I made the right call or else it would've been so anti-climatic.

Pre-game thoughts: I read the rules for Inis. And it comes off as an elegant, abstract, highly tactical game that promotes compeititve play. Here's what I suspect so far:

  1. I'll probably like the overall mechanics and appreciate its simplicity
  2. 2p gameplay comes off as chess-like. I can see 3 or more being the ideal count and where it'll be an entirely different experience with elements of negotiation/diplomacy to keep the leader in check
  3. After Leder Games' recent talk about the upcoming 2p focused expansion for #Root, it has rekindled my hope of it becoming one of our favorite games to play together. It has the perfect mixture of all elements I like in games--thematic ties in mechanics, good mixture of tactical and strategical plays, and the thrill of luck in combat--and my wife certainly enjoyed our last session together too but the base game is lacking in variety for 2p gameplay. For Inis, it comes off as an elegant tactical battle that I'll appreciate and have fun at higher player counts, but won't be dazzled by when it comes to 2p gameplay

I'll be trying out Inis two-handed either tonight or tomorrow so I'll get a better feeling for it! It'll be an odd one to two-hand though since the hidden info in cardplay seem to be its core element.

How did you feel it captured the kind of interwoven betrayal, politic-ing and conflict tone of the books?

Was there any negotiation in the game or is it all competitive?

Nah there's no negotiation or anything like that. There's definitely conflict, though. There's not really betrayal, but there are the alliance tracks, and if you pass someone in their influence with a faction, you can steal their alliance token which gives them a point, so that's kinda like the NPC faction betraying you, haha. But really, if you want all of that, you should just play #Dune.

#Agricola (Revised Edition) - I played it once and felt like my hands were tied behind my back while trying to stay afloat while drifting downstream.  I did not enjoy the feeling and have no interest in trying it again.

#Liars Dice (30th Anniversary Edition) - I don't like pure bluffing games in general, but this one really bores me to tears.  If I just play the mathematical odds I either win or come in second.  At this point I would rather sit this game out than ever play it again.

#Catan - I don't like the trading in this game.  I suspect I would enjoy this more if the trading was a set ratio, but the open negotiations of trading X sheep for Y wood really gets old for me.

#7 Wonders - I just find this one very dry.  The game is fine but the theme doesn't draw me in at all.

Good question! I don't think my fiancée would allow many mean games in our house :P

That being said, I generally try to play nice while remaining competitive as long as the game will allow it. Meaning that in a game of #Food Chain Magnate if I have to advertise the pizzas I've been cooking to the houses you've been selling to just to slow you down, I totally will lol. I've also been told I'm savage in #Chinatown, interjecting during the open negotiations to try and get my deals made. I say that's just how the game is intended to be played.

I think the meanest game I've ever played was #Cosmic Frog. I heard a lot about it from the So Very Wrong About Games podcast and had to give it a try. A friend and I played over TTS and it is so arbitrary that it can be incredibly frustrating and downright ruthless. You definitely have to have the right attitude when you sit down to play that one. 

Those are good points. I feel like with any negotiation you have to be somewhat willing to push the friendliness if you want to get what you need. Same with arbitrary rules, that can be incredibly frustrating. I hadn't heard of Cosmic Frog before!