Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Awesome Math Trade List on Board Game Geek Part 1: Selections

Whew! I just came home from work over my lunch break to finish my want lists for a giant Math Trade list on Board Game Geek.

The list itself is here. There are 185 games on the list, 4 of them mine (from best to worst: awesome-and-collectible, untranslated-but-fancy, small-but-good, and mediocre). The basic idea: you put up games for trade. After a set time, everyone says which games they want, and it's run through a computer program to find the most daisy-chained trades possible. Albert sends his game to Bob, who sends his game to Crystal, who sends her game to David, who sends his game to Albert.

All that's pretty simple until you look at what I needed to do: given a list I saw at 9 pm, evaluate which of the 181 remaining games on the list would be fair trades for each of my 4 games. After that, rank them in order of which ones I would want first. Yes, the computer program first makes the most trades possible, then if it can make a trade that gives Albert his first pick instead of his tenth pick, it picks that trade chain.

It's possible that nobody will offer a game you want, in which case, you just submit that, and you're off the hook. There are several games involved that are worth $60-$125, due to their collectible status, so probably one or more of those won't get traded.

As it happens, out of the 181 possible games, I only felt 6 or 7 would be a fair enough trade for my out-of-print copy of El Grande. Remember, we still have to ship these games to each other. There was a Seattle-area-only trade that evidently worked great a year ago, since everyone paid low or no shipping.

I'm eager to see who ends up getting what. Overall, I suspect somewhere between 60 and 100 games will end up being shipped... the top few people will probably drop out, others will only have wanted the top stuff, and some people's lists will overlap completely.

Overall, this is way easier than using the trade finder and proposing trades for individual games. I never would have made the offer of some of this stuff... it's too piddly to consider, and too time-consuming.

I think I'm posting $50, $30, $20, and $12 in the 4 games, but I'm not really sure. It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out.


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