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high tea

[kong link]

it's a fun little supply and demand game that unfortunately plays a little differently on a fast computer vs. a slow computer. what i like about it is that it's a casual game that also has a fairly steep learning curve, and i also like how the best strategy for the game changes as the game progresses despite seemingly doing the same thing.

after playing a handful of times i hit upon this strategy which has a high success rate (but not 100%):

when i first start the game, i make my first 60-100 purchase in opium and ignore tea. even if the tea rate goes up, it's more worthwhile to stockpile what will eventually become good cash in early stage vs. filling the tea quota. After that, i balance tea vs opium buying based on price.

For selling, i ignore most deals that aren't +$80 for multiple chests, but if they're close by then i might do it anyway since the availability of sale rate is so slow in the beginning. Sometimes when a marginal deal comes up, i'll wait until half of the cycle to see if something comes along that's better. i ignore all risky deals.

This runs until i'm able to get two boats.

Buying turns into an even stream of opium and tea, still conscious of trying to get a price of 40 or less. As far as selling, two boats make it possible for me to be less picky about the deals that are available and take a less attractive profit if it will give me more cash. i start to pay more attention to quantity of sell; i'll sell, say, 20 or less of deals in $70 or so, but i won't sell 50 at that price, i'll save that stock for $80+. i still ignore all risky deals.

when i get the bribe card, i wait to use it on a location that offers 40+ chests at $99.

when prices of opium or tea dive, i stockpile.

when the game goes into frantic mode, i change my buying/selling philosophy away from absolute numbers to more relative ones. i'm pretty much constantly clicking, buying tea and opium so long as it's in the $50 or less range, and then selling it for anything about $60 no matter where so that i can keep the profit and cashflow going. I adjust a little on the fly if my supply of money or opium gets too low. I'll also take a risky deal if it's very profitable and then forefeit the ship if i get caught since having 5 ships vs. 4 ships really doesn't matter.

i think there's a flaw in my late game strategy description - i don't know if that's exactly what i do since i'm not thinking about it much when i do it, i just go on auto-pilot, so it's possible i'm more picky about it than i describe. I think that that strategy has some flaws overall too depending on how much opium i have stockpiled from previous stages, because the less buffer of that i have, the more likely i won't have enough money to buy the tea for the quota.

all of which doesn't ultimately matter because it's just a flash game. *shrug and smile*

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Comments

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dr0ss
Feb. 15th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
I can't beat this because every time the opium market crashes and I stock up, it gets halved by that one event that I can't quite remember the description of right now. Also while the final order is due, no one wants opium.
lifeofmendel
Feb. 15th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
the event that halves it is that 'compensation for your loss' deal towards the end of the game. yeah, that deal is pretty annoying.

people still want opium towards the end of the game, but the amount that they want is dependent upon you having a good supply. it gets tricky at that point. i still don't beat the game every time, but i beat it more often than i don't. it took me a handful of games to get comfortable with it.
dr0ss
Feb. 15th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
booya

dr0ss
Feb. 15th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
I changed my strategy on this one. I quit being so careful and realized that constant flow is more important than always getting a good deal. I basically mashed the buy buttons anytime either was below 40, and sold to any port offering more than 60. When I got the bribe card I deliberately took a hugely risky trade that was offering a lot of chests for 99. I prioritized tea until I had enough for the next shipment.
dr0ss
Feb. 15th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, also when the price of tea or opium crashes, if you alternate buys and make sure you're still using ports, it won't trigger the price hike from too much buying nearly as quickly.
lifeofmendel
Feb. 15th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
yeah, that's more my mid-late strategy. it's an important shift to make when you have a lot less weeks to fill the tea quota.

the other thing i do is once i have four or five boats i start to take risky trades for high value even when i don't have the bribe card. i'm not sure what the odds are of getting caught, but there becomes a point where the chance of selling 50+ chests for 99 silver is worth the risk of having to forfeit the ship and lose access to that port for a while.
dr0ss
Feb. 16th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I did that too. I think that the constant-flow strategy is viable even early game especially because of the relatively low average price of both items at the time.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 21st, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
Занимательно
Занимательно. Отлично написанно.
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