Re: Floating Markets

Scott Turner (
Thu, 25 Aug 1994 08:49:55 -0700

>In concept this is great. However it's *very* hard to make markets that
>behave well and can't be manipulated to do very bad and unbalancing
>things. Just look at many failed economic games, like Supremacy, to see

On the other hand, business schools routinely use market simulations,
and there are any number of computer games which model this quite well
as well. One problem with board games is that they have fairly
limited computational power available. That's not a problem with

Rich's markets already have limits on how much they will buy or sell
per turn. Suppose he also adds upper and lower limits on the prices
of items, so for city X:

item: linen
buy: yes
sell: no
minimum qty: 10/turn
maximum qty: 20/turn
minimum price: 20 gold
maximum price: 30 gold

item: wood
buy: no
sell: yes
minimum qty: 5/turn
maximum qty: 75/turn
minimum price: 5 gold
maximum price: 75 gold

In terms of manipulation, I think the best you could do would be to
hold both ends of a trade route and wait until you could get the
biggest spread on your trades, but I really don't see anything wrong
with that. As long as Rich picks reasonable quantity and price ranges
I don't see any major problems.

Were I implementing this, I'd probably also float the quantity bought
or sold, and have the market die out completely if it was starved too

-- Scott T.

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