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Subject: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Closed. Final results posted on page 1 rss

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Eric Jome
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
D Erasmus wrote:

1) You will only receive items that you are willing to trade for.
2) The program will maximize the number of trades across all the participants. The more items people are willing to include in their want lists, the more things that trade.
3) You will get the item that most of the other people do not want.
My primary motive for participating is the new experience that this will be for me. So, I am trying to make it a good experience. Part of what would make it a success would be actually making a trade.

Unfortunately, the rules of the system seem to discourage that from actually happening. If there is something that I really want, I should take all the lots I have offered and create want lists for each one with only that one lot on each of them. This seems to maximize my chances of getting it. If I include anything else on those lists, the program may opt for that instead, lessening my chances of getting what I want... even though there are things that I would want, but not in front of the thing I want the most.

And, in a shadow of the Prisoner's Dilemma, it seems likely that everyone else should reach the same conclusion. And it is likely that many of the people participating will consider the same few things among the best things available.

Yet my intuition tells me that this can't be the way it works in practice or no one would ever do math trades and I understand they are very popular. So, it seems I am missing something, probably in the culture of making want lists. Perhaps people don't put only one item on all their items... even though that seems the best strategy to get something you want.

...

I guess it would be nice to know what the system does with ties. That is, if someone puts 3 other lots for their lot and each of those lots in turn has only that lot in response, who will get the item?

Lots A, B, C, and D. Want lists;

A: B, C, D
B: A
C: A
D: A

Who gets A? Assume these are the only lots in the math trade.
 
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Brent Gallmann
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
It is all about what motivates you....

If your primary concern is to make a trade, then you should list everything you are willing to trade the item for.

If your primary concern is to achieve a specific item, then you should keep your want lists focused. However, the likely-hood of a trade for you is greatly reduced unless that specific trade can be worked into the best string of trades, it will not be made.

Math trades are nice because you get people with both motivations involved.

As for ties like you described, I think the tool randomizes the winner. But, I don't know that for a fact.

The good news is that you will never, ever, have to trade for something you are not willing to accept in return for your item. This safety net, along with the lottery aspect, make Math trades a fun/exciting way to trade.
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Brent Gallmann
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
Think your right Colleen... (that was painful).

It uses priority in this instance. Since user A listed B first, it is assumed that B is wanted more. However, the tool creates the largest possible trade strings first, and then resolves alternates like this.
 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
D Erasmus wrote:
Think your right Colleen... (that was painful).

It uses priority in this instance. Since user A listed B first, it is assumed that B is wanted more. However, the tool creates the largest possible trade strings first, and then resolves alternates like this.
In this instance it might, but this example is entirely misleading and unrealistic. It is rare that you would ever get a situation nearly as clean as that.

We are using "Users Trading", not "Linear Priorities".

What that means is that the trade maximizer will run 100 times (because that's how many I've told it to) and will only consider results which yield the highest number of total trades. Then from those it will pick the one which involves the highest number of users getting at least one trade. If there is still a tie, I think it will pick the one (of those still tied) with the most users getting at least two trades etc.

In the extremely unlikely event of all of this not producing a clear result, then (and only then) could I see it falling back on Linear Priorities as you have in the example above.
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
cosine wrote:
I am really struggling with want lists.

It seems clear that many people will want the same things. How will it decide between a dozen different people that all have the same 2 or 3 things on all their lots?

I guess I just don't understand how this will work. There seems to be no incentive to put more than 1 or 2 things on all lots offered for trade... which will just result in no trades? The more you put on your list, the less likely you make it you will get something in particular you want, correct?

I've never done this before, so I have only my intuition to go on. It seems reasonable that people will value their own lots higher and lower and there will be things on the list they want the most. If the thing you want the most in trade is good enough for any of the lots you've offered, why not put it on every lot?
I've seen your want lists and they're very short, and one or two of the items on them are very unlikely to come your way with for what you're offering - one you won't get for sure but I'm not sure about the other. You reduce your chances of trading automatically with lists like that. Now some of your lists contain a couple of less valuable items and I would say that because we're using "Users Trading", you stand a fair chance of getting one (or both) of those, depending on how many people want your items.

(Remember that you can always update lists before the deadline if you want)

That being said, I did once make a trade with just one item on my want list - but that was because that person had only my item on his. I only did it because I had a valuable entry and his was the only thing that came close in value, so sometimes you do get lucky. For that to happen you either have to have a more valuable entry or you have to be realistic in the value of things you put on the wants. If you put just a few items on your list and you'd be trading up in value significantly in each case, you should expect to be shut out.

Brent's advice was pretty much spot on before about how to construct lists (apart from the priorities thing I mentioned above).

 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
anglotiger wrote:
I've seen your want lists and they're very short, and one or two of the items on them are very unlikely to come your way with for what you're offering - one you won't get for sure but I'm not sure about the other.
How can you know that? Isn't the whole purpose of the math trade that a complex arrangement of trading is handled by the computer, so complex that a person cannot see at a glance what will or will not trade? Judging from the amount of missing data on the first page, it seems impossible to realistically call it at this stage.

Now, if you know that the trade lists of other people will not include anything in the master list, I suppose you could make that call... but I guess I don't understand why a person would list something knowing that there was no chance of a successful trade.

Instead of telling me I'm doing it wrong, perhaps you could give me examples (totally fictional content of course) that are "realistic". Never having done this before, as I mentioned above, I am having trouble understanding how to participate in the spirit of the event.

Quote:
... you have to be realistic in the value of things you put on the wants.
I've have done a very large amount of trading over the years. I've been trading games over the Internet with others since the earl 1990s, hundreds of games of all genres, all over the world. And one thing I've learned is that it is very, very hard to come up with some absolute valuation of games. Certainly retail values or eBay listings are worthless in terms of trade valuation - something someone paid thousands of dollars for may be traded for a handful of something else for all sorts of reasons.

So, how can you be sure that entries I have put up have so little value? Can you make suggestions then on what you would feel would be "realistic" or "fair" trades then? Feel free to geekmail them to me instead of reply in public if you prefer.

I guess at this point I feel pretty disappointed that I am missing the fundamental method of participating in math trades.

Quote:
Brent's advice was pretty much spot on before about how to construct lists (apart from the priorities thing I mentioned above).
I've gone back and re-read it and it really doesn't tell me anything about how I should do this. I guess I need an example.
 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
colleens wrote:
cosine wrote:

Lots A, B, C, and D. Want lists;

A: B, C, D
B: A
C: A
D: A

Who gets A? Assume these are the only lots in the math trade.
I'm assuming the software will select B since it's first on the list. Jack would know.
the list is shuffled, so it's pretty much random
 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
Quote:
Brent's advice was pretty much spot on before about how to construct lists (apart from the priorities thing I mentioned above).


wrote:
I've gone back and re-read it and it really doesn't tell me anything about how I should do this. I guess I need an example.
It sounds like you may be overthinking this a little bit. As Brent mentioned (and I'm quoting him here because I can't say it any better than he did):

"It is all about what motivates you....

If your primary concern is to make a trade, then you should list everything you are willing to trade the item for.

If your primary concern is to achieve a specific item, then you should keep your want lists focused. However, the likely-hood of a trade for you is greatly reduced unless that specific trade can be worked into the best string of trades, it will not be made."


As you've indicated, value is subjective, so as long as you only put items on your want lists that you actually want, there really is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to out together a trade list.

For example, if I listed a copy of Monopoly for trade, I would certainly put Dune on my want list. Now the chances of landing Dune for Monopoly would be next to Nil, but there is no reason NOT do try. If I end up with Dune, then great, but if I end up with nothing, I won't exactly be surprised.





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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
aksosa wrote:
Now the chances of landing Dune for Monopoly would be next to Nil, but there is no reason NOT do try.
I don't understand how anyone can say this.

A: Dune trades for B: big lot of Heroquest trades for C: beat up copy of Union Pacific trades for D: Jambo in the shrink trades for E: Monopoly ... trades for A.

Isn't this what math trades are? Long lists of things that are impossible to predict by looking at what is on offer?
 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
cosine wrote:
aksosa wrote:
Now the chances of landing Dune for Monopoly would be next to Nil, but there is no reason NOT do try.
I don't understand how anyone can say this.

A: Dune trades for B: big lot of Heroquest trades for C: beat up copy of Union Pacific trades for D: Jambo in the shrink trades for E: Monopoly ... trades for A.

Isn't this what math trades are? Long lists of things that are impossible to predict by looking at what is on offer?
I'm not saying it's impossible, but my math trading experience tells me it's very, very unlikely.

You want Monopoly for Dune? Then put it on your want lists. That's all I can really say.

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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
I'm on my way out so this will have to be brief...

cosine wrote:
anglotiger wrote:
I've seen your want lists and they're very short, and one or two of the items on them are very unlikely to come your way with for what you're offering - one you won't get for sure but I'm not sure about the other.
How can you know that? Isn't the whole purpose of the math trade that a complex arrangement of trading is handled by the computer, so complex that a person cannot see at a glance what will or will not trade? Judging from the amount of missing data on the first page, it seems impossible to realistically call it at this stage.
Because I know that at least one item is valued by its owner much more highly than the value of your items listed.

cosine wrote:
but I guess I don't understand why a person would list something knowing that there was no chance of a successful trade.
Ah, Christian has a lot to say on that subject. But every now and then something strange will happen in a math trade when someone makes a mistake on the want list for a valuable item or is just willing to trade down for something they'll play. So people do that just in case. I do it too sometimes. I don't expect it to actually work...

cosine wrote:
Instead of telling me I'm doing it wrong, perhaps you could give me examples (totally fictional content of course) that are "realistic". Never having done this before, as I mentioned above, I am having trouble understanding how to participate in the spirit of the event.
It's not about doing it right or wrong Eric. I'm just speaking from experience here. You list what you want to list - that's not right or wrong at all. You shouldn't list things you don't want just to make a trade. I was just trying to answer your question, by giving the benefit of my experience.

I can't really give you examples because I presume that these are the only things you really want, given that there's a large value disparity in the things you've got on your lists. And there's nothing wrong with that - you just have to understand that you limit your chances of making a trade with such short lists.

cosine wrote:
I've have done a very large amount of trading over the years. I've been trading games over the Internet with others since the earl 1990s, hundreds of games of all genres, all over the world. And one thing I've learned is that it is very, very hard to come up with some absolute valuation of games. Certainly retail values or eBay listings are worthless in terms of trade valuation - something someone paid thousands of dollars for may be traded for a handful of something else for all sorts of reasons.
Absolutely true. But there's a ballpark area that most, if not all, people will be in. As I said before, there's no harm in trying to trade up - as long as you know it's less likely to happen than a trade where you're trying to get something of lesser value.

cosine wrote:
So, how can you be sure that entries I have put up have so little value?
I never said they had "little value", and I think many of your items will be much desired, but you only have four items on your longest wantlist, and at least one of those might well have a blank want list due to there not being much of comparable value out there.

Quote:
Can you make suggestions then on what you would feel would be "realistic" or "fair" trades then? Feel free to geekmail them to me instead of reply in public if you prefer.
I might GM you later. But "fair" isn't really a problem because everyone puts on their want lists what they want to get. My advice isn't about being fair. It's just that you said you wanted to make a trade. And you might. I pointed out that you have two items on your wants that are certainly "gettable" for what you've offered, and a third that's possible. So with only two items on your wants (and maybe a third), that you've got a shot at, it's less likely you'll get a trade. Even with all 4, it's still harder for you to trade.

I'm not advocating putting things on your wants that you don't really want, I'm just trying to point out that short want lists means less chance of trading, and the more valuable the things on them are, the more the chances fall.

You know that I hope you do make a trade or two - it's why I chose to use "Users Trading" as the metric, to increase the chances. I'm just trying to warn you that short lists = less chance of trades.

Got to go, but I'm happy to talk to you later/tomorrow about this further by GM.
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
anglotiger wrote:
You just have to understand that you limit your chances of making a trade with such short lists.
What is a short list? What is a long list?

Are those easy enough questions to answer? Is putting 4 items for a lot too little? 10? 100? What is a "normal" list?

Quote:
As I said before, there's no harm in trying to trade up - as long as you know it's less likely to happen than a trade where you're trying to get something of lesser value.
Why would I want to participate in a trade where I got something I wanted less than things I already have?

"Trading up" in terms of "value" is meaningless. I am trading up when I get something I want for something I don't want. It has nothing to do with any sort of fair market value. And I thought math trades were the kind of thing where it was impossible to predict where things will go... to get a "valuable" thing for a "worthless" thing, there just has to be ANY trade path between the two, no? Indeed, aren't the rules of the trade set to encourage this by insisting on making the longest trading chains possible? We aren't trading directly, but an indirect path could exist between any two items, no?

And yes, I gathered that at least some of the things I am interested in will probably not have want lists submitted and will not trade to anyone. I guess... I dunno... I guess I'd like a person who was going to do that to come to this thread and tell us about it, so I don't waste my time trying to trade for it. It makes me wish I had some clue what sort of thing the person would be looking for in trade, what would be considered eligible.

Quote:
I might GM you later.
I would appreciate it.

There are many more things that I am interested in beyond the things I put on my lists, but it seems like it will give me no chance at all to get things I really want if I include anything lesser at all. If I include anythin I am only minorly interested in on any list, it seems guaranteed that is what I will end up with...
 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
cosine wrote:
And yes, I gathered that at least some of the things I am interested in will probably not have want lists submitted and will not trade to anyone. I guess... I dunno... I guess I'd like a person who was going to do that to come to this thread and tell us about it, so I don't waste my time trying to trade for it. It makes me wish I had some clue what sort of thing the person would be looking for in trade, what would be considered eligible.
Eric, long time - how have you been?

I can comment on this part at least. For example, I listed two rare, OOP Avalon Hill games with pretty significant value - Battle Cry and Star Wars the Queen's Gambit. I like both games, but neither have been played in several years. I put them out there in case anyone else put out any rare/valuable games that I want more. Nothing really came close, so the want list for those two items is blank. There are plenty of games on the list that I want more than those two games (including two that you submitted), but I really can't justify trading away a game that I can sell for $70+ for a game that I can buy for half that.
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
After some help I received in another thread, I think the primary thing I need to do is re-evaluate how willing I am to keep things I already have ... I think certain things I am offering for trade I am much more willing to take a much wider array of things in trade.

By focusing instead on how willing I am to part with things instead of how much I want things, I think I may be able to improve my lists.

Thanks for the help all.
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
If anyone is looking for an anchor at the con (in case Karl is wandering around), I will be at my booth mostly, stop by and say hi. It's the T-shirt booth, Guardtroll-T's.

Karl is the events-manager, I am the vendor-manager.

Thanks to those who get these trades going. It's a lot of fun.


Ian.

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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
cosine wrote:
anglotiger wrote:
You just have to understand that you limit your chances of making a trade with such short lists.
What is a short list? What is a long list
Sorry for the delayed response - valentines day and all that. I will send you a GM tomorrow. I need a little rest.

Quote:
Are those easy enough questions to answer? Is putting 4 items for a lot too little? 10? 100? What is a "normal" list?
Not really, there is no "normal" list. As was said by others earlier, unless you're trying to target specific items and perfectly happy to be unsuccessful this time and save your trade items to try again the next time, then putting everything on your list that you would be happy to take in exchange is probably the best tactic.

Quote:
wrote:
As I said before, there's no harm in trying to trade up - as long as you know it's less likely to happen than a trade where you're trying to get something of lesser value.
Why would I want to participate in a trade where I got something I wanted less than things I already have?
Sorry - perhaps I wasn't as clear there as I should have been. That's the trouble with communication in forums compared to communication in person. What I meant wasn't that you would want less. What I meant was that you were more likely to trade if you were willing to accept something of lesser value than the really high value stuff. To use Al's example from earlier, it's perfectly legitimate to try to trade Monopoly for Bill's copy of Dune, but realistically it's much more likely that you could trade Monopoly for Apples to Apples, due to the relative value. That's what I meant - my apologies if I was unclear there.

Quote:
"Trading up" in terms of "value" is meaningless. I am trading up when I get something I want for something I don't want. It has nothing to do with any sort of fair market value. And I thought math trades were the kind of thing where it was impossible to predict where things will go... to get a "valuable" thing for a "worthless" thing, there just has to be ANY trade path between the two, no? Indeed, aren't the rules of the trade set to encourage this by insisting on making the longest trading chains possible? We aren't trading directly, but an indirect path could exist between any two items, no?
Meaningless? Not really. Most people here at least have an idea of what their games are "worth" as that information is available on BGG, but in every other respect you're absolutely correct.

That being said, someone would have to be willing to take a fair trade down to make it happen in an event where there are just 26 participants. In a larger math trade (and I've presided over ones with a few hundred participants) it's more likely to succeed because several people might be willing to take a smaller trade down in order to get something they want, which might lead to a situation where you get lucky. Or someone might just make a mistake - that's how I got my copy of "Fowl Play!" - that's an $80 game (for reasons that escape me, although it is a nice game) and I got that plus two other games for about $40-50 worth of games if I recall correctly.

Quote:
And yes, I gathered that at least some of the things I am interested in will probably not have want lists submitted and will not trade to anyone. I guess... I dunno... I guess I'd like a person who was going to do that to come to this thread and tell us about it, so I don't waste my time trying to trade for it. It makes me wish I had some clue what sort of thing the person would be looking for in trade, what would be considered eligible.
I understand that. Knowing that ahead of time might make one rethink one's want lists and resubmit. But that's just the way that math trades work - there's no obligation to inform others of your intentions.

That being said, three of my items have blank lists. Two of them because I didn't feel there was anything I wanted of comparable value (there were certainly things of comparable value offered, but I just didn't want them as much) and the third because I don't have it in hand and thought I would before now, and I can't (in good conscience) trade it on without having personally verified the condition.

Quote:
wrote:
I might GM you later.
I would appreciate it.
No problem. I'll do it sometime on Sunday.

Quote:
There are many more things that I am interested in beyond the things I put on my lists, but it seems like it will give me no chance at all to get things I really want if I include anything lesser at all. If I include anythin I am only minorly interested in on any list, it seems guaranteed that is what I will end up with...
The trick, as Brent pointed out, is to not put anything on your want lists that you wouldn't be happy to accept in exchange.

You never want to make a trade just to make a trade. It's better to make no trades and view this event as a learning experience for next time than to make a trade you're not happy with.
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
cosine wrote:
After some help I received in another thread, I think the primary thing I need to do is re-evaluate how willing I am to keep things I already have ... I think certain things I am offering for trade I am much more willing to take a much wider array of things in trade.

By focusing instead on how willing I am to part with things instead of how much I want things, I think I may be able to improve my lists.

Thanks for the help all.
You pretty much nailed it on the head with this statement.

The reason I like Math Trades is to get rid of games that I do not like and for the 'Random' factor. One person's trash is another person's treasure. You could direct trade for OOP games, but you have a much better chance within a Math trade.

My Process: I create a master Want list that I enter in full on my lowest value game. As the games increase in my 'evaluation of how willing I am to keep what I have', I drop the lowest perceived value games off of my want list for the next game and so on until I get to the game that I am least willing to lose, except for something great.

Keep your expectations low, and your hopes high and you may get a surprise or two out of the event.
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Submit want lists!
LarryKruger wrote:
cosine wrote:
After some help I received in another thread, I think the primary thing I need to do is re-evaluate how willing I am to keep things I already have ... I think certain things I am offering for trade I am much more willing to take a much wider array of things in trade.

By focusing instead on how willing I am to part with things instead of how much I want things, I think I may be able to improve my lists.

Thanks for the help all.
You pretty much nailed it on the head with this statement.

The reason I like Math Trades is to get rid of games that I do not like and for the 'Random' factor. One person's trash is another person's treasure. You could direct trade for OOP games, but you have a much better chance within a Math trade.

My Process: I create a master Want list that I enter in full on my lowest value game. As the games increase in my 'evaluation of how willing I am to keep what I have', I drop the lowest perceived value games off of my want list for the next game and so on until I get to the game that I am least willing to lose, except for something great.

Keep your expectations low, and your hopes high and you may get a surprise or two out of the event.
And with your revised lists, I would be very surprised if you didn't get at least one or two trades.
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Jack K
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Want list deadline is 10pm!
We're just waiting for lists from three people now, but it's still 29 items...
 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Want list deadline is 10pm!
anglotiger wrote:
We're just waiting for lists from three people now, but it's still 29 items...
Feel free to end it now if it means I'm getting Leader 1.
 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Want list deadline is 10pm!
Sorry Al, Leader 1 isn't going to trade with its current want list. It has one thing on its want list and that item has a blank want list. You can blame me for that one...

I'm keeping a file of everything with a blank want list, and will share it later just so people can see why they didn't get that one item they were really hoping for.
 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Want list deadline is 10pm!
Down to the last two...

Heath and Christian, where are you?
 
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Want list deadline is 10pm!
I was out sick today. I've been run through the ringer of the worst case of stomach flu that I have ever had.

I've certainly lost about 10 pounds overnight, and wasn't able to do much more than prop myself up until now.

 
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Want list deadline is 10pm!
diehard4life wrote:
I was out sick today. I've been run through the ringer of the worst case of stomach flu that I have ever had.

I've certainly lost about 10 pounds overnight, and wasn't able to do much more than prop myself up until now.

Yipes! Sorry to hear that. That doesn't exactly sound pleasant.

In a strange coincidence, apparently the spouse of one of my co-workers experienced the same thing this weekend. I hope this doesn't mean that something nasty is going around.
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Re: Fire & Ice Con (Manitowoc, WI) no-ship math trade discussion thread - Want list deadline is 10pm!
I've been sick since Tueday night. I just got an email from my mom that my nephew was admitted to the hospital for the same thing we got last weekend.

I barely got my list in, and with horrible mistakes that our gracious host fixed for me. I will lead a rousing round of "He's a jolly good Fellow" at the con - everyone please join in.

I fear there is something going around.
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