Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

The Saga of a Game Trade

Posted by sodaklady on March 10, 2011

After three months of playing the various crayon rail games (British Rails, Eurorails, and Martian Rails), I decided Richard and I need another game, something to offer variety to our deep 2-player gaming sessions. I decided it was time to revisit the rules to Twilight Struggle.

When I first read the rules to Twilight Struggle, back when it was new, I was intimidated by the long play time, and also how several plays were needed to become familiar with all of the cards. It seemed like more of a time investment than my husband would be willing to put into a game. The crayon rail games have changed that presumption; our first game took 4+ hours and we both enjoyed every minute of it. Even now, after playing nearly every day for 3 1/2 months, it takes 2- 2 1/2 hours to play. So I have to ask myself, “why are they such a hit?”

I’ve come up with three basic reasons:  1) simple rules, 2) the organizational/planning mindset needed to optimize the cards in hand, and 3) the total immersion in the game at all times. I think Twilight Struggle fulfills these qualifications so off I go to find a trade partner!

I was amazed to find over 30 users who were compatible to trade with and decided to narrow my search to the new, Deluxe Third Edition, of which there were a handful available. The first person I sent a trade proposal to responded quickly with a question, which I answered quickly. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. On the third day, an hour before the trade offer would expire, I heard back: a simple no thanks. I have no idea why my offer was refused. I had four games to trade that this person supposedly wanted in trade!

Alright, there are others. So I send off a trade proposal to the next person in line… who also didn’t think my time was worth anything. Three days later the offer died a natural death without one damned word. Yes, they had been on the Geek during that time, and it wouldn’t have taken any time at all to click the “refuse offer” link so I could go on to the next person. See, I don’t think it’s right to put out a bunch of offers, wait for someone to respond favorably, then send a “oops, you’re too late” message to anyone else who accepts the offer. I’ve heard that some people do that and it’s just plain rude.

Next! In my third offer I wrote a note asking that they respond one way or the other rather than let the offer die in its own good time. And I heard back a short time later letting me know that they would indeed let me know as soon as they’d had time to think about it. How nice! Woo hoo! Unfortunately, the answer turned out to be “no” because I didn’t have the version of the game they were looking for. Well, at least I didn’t waste another three days!

So now I decided to just write a geekmail to people asking if they’d be interested. If they didn’t respond in a day and a half or so, even though they’d been on the geek, I could move on to someone else. I sent out two messages and waited. Nothing. Damn, now I’m down to the 2nd editions and ones that are not marked with a version in the trade matching list. And some of them show matches that are nowhere equivalent to TS.

I spent some time looking through peoples’ “want in trade” and “wish” lists and found some games that I wouldn’t mind trading even though they weren’t on my “trade” list. In this way I found one person that had a Deluxe version that hadn’t shown up on the trade match list. Great! I sent a note to him and two other people.

That night I heard from one of the two who had a 2nd Edition copy, asking a question about one of my games for trade. I answered and kept my fingers crossed.

The next morning they answered in the affirmative. Hooray! I then sent off an official trade proposal. Whew, I’m finally going to get a copy of this game before the next printing, which could be as little as a month or two, but could possibly be much longer.

An hour later I received another geekmail, this one from the person with the Deluxe version. Well, of course I did. What’s the old saying: it never rain but it pours? Yep. But I had already thought of this, and decided I would complete this trade as well for two reasons. 1) I would really like the Deluxe version, of course I would, and 2) I just can’t be the jerk that says “oops, you’re too late.”

So I’m waiting for my two copies of Twilight Struggle to arrive. I truly hope that Richard and I enjoy it, and that I can find someone who wants a nice 2nd Edition copy.  😉

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3 Responses to “The Saga of a Game Trade”

  1. Gerald McD said

    Why not report the non-respondents to BGG admin? Might prevent other people from having similar frustration.

    Glad you are getting the game, at least.

  2. Trades can indeed be tricky, as everybody has different criteria for what they’ll accept and how they want to deal with potential traders. I’ve been in similar situations, where I’m trying to trade for a particular game, and I just can’t manage to find that connection that will make the trade happen. Often, I just have to step back and wait a month or so, when new potential trades will show up. Of course, then I’ve forgotten who I tried to trade with already, so I end up annoying a bunch of people with duplicate requests.

    It’s great when it works, but it can be frustrating when you’re in the thick of it.

  3. sodaklady said

    Good advice, Eric, but I hate to WAIT! 😀 And it’s not that the trades weren’t accepted that’s so bothersome– it’s being totally ignored when it would take no work at all to just click the “decline” link.

    Gerald, I don’t think the admins could do anything since I get the feeling that this behavior is fairly normal, unfortunately. Persistence is the best answer. Right next to “42”. 😉

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