Okay, I think the time has come… I’m ready to moderate another round of crazy wheeling-n-dealing, if anybody wants to play.
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=421911 (Haggle 1: spelling dope)
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=446660 (Haggle 2: holiday bargain madness)
Here’s how it works. At the start of play, your humble Hagglemaster, (that’s me,) hands out packages to each player, including some valuable game tokens with different identifying characteristics, and also numbered rule slips. The slips, taken as a whole, form a set of rules determining how a ‘portfolio’ of tokens would be scored or evaluated at the end of the game.
You the players are free to make just about any deals you like in the hopes of amassing a killer portfolio, based on, but not limited to, the following types of transactions:
One player giving another a token
Copying out a rule slip so that both participants in the trade hold it.
One player showing another a rule slip, letting them read it and memorizing it, and then taking it back
One player giving another a rule slip.
One player giving out an ‘IOU’ that will be redeemed for a specific value of points after the debtor’s portfolio is scored, and before the winner is announced. In case of conflict, all IOUs are evaluated in terms of the order that they were incurred. If the player who owes you points runs out and goes bankrupt, you cannot collect.
Trading for a ‘share’ of the credit another player gets in the event of a win.
For instance, a proposed deal might be, “Hey Joe - if you let me take a good look at rule #16, and throw in that green card, I’ll give you rule #5. You can’t beat that offer!”
As you might imagine, there’s always a fine line to walk between the tokens and rule slips - don’t give up too many tangible assets in exchange for information, but you need to accumulate enough information to tell you what the tokens are really worth.
There may be ‘white elephant’ tokens that have a generally negative effect, however these can be left out of the portfolio if the player is aware of their impact - similarly, a particular bonus rule might require that only so many of a given counter be submitted - the excess can be discarded before the end of game. Or rules might stipulate that having a particular combination of counters or meeting a specific condition will penalize you.
And, at the end of the night, everybody hands in their portfolios for evaluation, and a winner is determined according to the rules from the slips.
You cannot contact any players about game strategy off the thread. No deals can be proposed, accepted, or rejected in secret. Everybody can see what everyone else is doing, (if they can keep up with the thread.)
The tokens and which number rule slips a player holds are always visible to all, once the moderator has caught up on recent trades and posted an update.
Trade offers are ALWAYS numbered in sequence, (no matter if they are ‘counteroffers’ or not,) and should be colored in blue for ease of reading when scrolling through the thread. Acceptances are in green and should always quote or otherwise indicate which offer is being accepted, and exactly what any terms that have been left open in the offer should be finalized as. If there is any ambiguity in the acceptance, the trade is void until corrected. Removing a trade offer can be done at any time, and should use red lettering.
Post trade offers, in blue, in something like the following format:
Chrisk offer #1: I will give AmazingSarah an F card in exchange for getting a look at rule slip #20.
There are a lot of variants on trades, obviously - you can leave them open to many people, you can leave a lot of options available in what you’re willing to take or receive. You can also mark a trade as ‘repeating’ if it’s such that you’d be able to fufill the terms of the deal more than once, in which case, please say (repeating 4 times) or (repeating infinitely) and more than one player will be able to accept that offer, or one player more than once.
If a trade has some options, such as:
Chrisk offer #3: I’ll show anybody any of my rule slips in exchange for two letter cards, or one letter card out of the following: V, W, X, or Z
Then, if you’re accepting, you MUST specify all of the options or the acceptance will be null and void
BAD - Okay, chrisK, I’ll accept offer #3 and I want to see rule 11.
GOOD - Okay, chrisK, I’ll accept offer #3, and give you two C’s in exchange for rule 11.
Accepts will be posted in green. If you want to make a counter-offer inspired by someone else’s offer, then just post it like any other offer, including numbering it in the same sequence - that is, if you’ve gotten up to offer #4, a new counteroffer will be offer #5 (or counteroffer #5 I guess,) not counteroffer #1
To withdraw an offer before it has been taken, use red. Withdraw my offer #2
And if you can quote someone else’s offer while accepting it, all the better!
So - if you’re interested, signups are right here.