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The first thing thatís likely to happen in each new game is that the players will try to identify the dummy players and any early dropouts so as to join forces and seize their companies. The same will usually happen to anyone that doesnít communicate.
In the early stages there will probably by quite a bit of shifting of alliances as the game breaks into two or three separate cartels. In this version there may be players outside the cartels. In previous versions that wasnít a viable option.
The composition of the cartels will probably be influenced by the trading needs of the companies involved, as itís necessary to form trading rings to maximise efficiency. In most games you get to pick your allies, and most people pick the ones they find easiest to get along with. In this game youíll often have to deal with people you didnít choose, because theyíre the people with the stuff you need.
In this version thereís a lot more variation in operating costs and prices and a wider range of activities, so there are a lot more decisions that can save or waste money in the longer term. It will be necessary to keep an eye on your margins and keep the figures under control.
The winner in the past has usually been the first player who manages to gain control of a complete ring of companies, that between them make all the things the other companies in the ring need for run their production. Many of the changes should make it easier for groups of players to operate the same way, as efficiently as a single player can do, and to make it more likely that there will be more than one successful trading ring.
If thereís more than one cartel making up a complete ring, then the result will come down to whose alliances hold up the best, or who operates their companies most efficiently.
CHANGES IN THIS VERSION
There are nearly twice as many companies with shares to be traded, and there are twice as many companies that can deal in commodities, make imports and ship stuff around with gives and gets. The balance of play is going to be different.
There are a number of new costs and options to be dealt with. Trading companies will be operating on smaller profit margins as they expand, but most of the extra costs will flow right back into the game through the service companies. Where the money will come back to the players who deal in shares.
The change to the way commodity trades are handled will probably mean the economy will be much more variable. We may see it boom and bust, but if it just grows, as in the old version, then the growth is unlikely to be as steady,
The change in the ordering system should have two main effects, making market trends more predictable and making individual players more powerful. The impact of your orders on the market will change when you change your orders, and the effect of most of your instructions will be spread over several turns. If you donít get the shares you want then youíll still be trying to buy them next turn, when someone else holding those shares can read the trend and maybe offer them for sale.
There should be easy profits to be made by playing the markets, but youíve only got a limited number of actions per turn. The more companies you control, the fewer actions you can spend on each. That should make for a much more balanced game, as players in weaker positions can be more efficient.
You wonít be able to do all the things you want to do, all at once, so youíll be faced with having to decide priorities, to decide whatís important (which I can assure you is much more like making business decisions in real life).