everything I know about capitalism I learnt from Enron and DopeWars …

DopeWars on Palm
I play a lot of DopeWars on my Palm. Because of my long commute, I’ve got quite good at it, posting the second highest score ($237,252,973) on the DopeWars for PalmOS high score list.

Here are some tips that might help you play:

  • Always start at Bronx, and take the maximum amount of loan from the Loan Shark. This means you’ll have $62,000 to trade with.
  • It doesn’t seem to matter which order you play the locations. The only one that seem to be noticeably different is Bronx, as it has the Bank and the Loan Shark.
  • Pay off the Loan Shark as soon as you have built up a safe buffer of cash. I don’t tend to pay my debts until my cash is at least twice my debt. If I have a bit more, I’ll bank it, as it’s safe from the cops then.
  • While carrying a loan, try to buy and sell as much as you can in one location. The Loan Shark’s 12.5%/day interest really hurts, and unless you are maximising your value/coat capacity ratio, you’ll end up paying a lot in interest. Hint: a loan at that rate doubles in under six days.
  • Your coat capacity controls how much you can deal. As coat upgrade offers come in randomly, always have at least $200 cash spare. The only time you don’t want to do this is in your first turn, before you visit the Loan Shark. $200 out of your initial $2,000 reduces your loan cap by $4,000, and you never have a problem with overcapacity in the first few turns.
  • Bank early and bank often. The Bank’s the only place that will make you money if your coat is full and nobody’s buying. Don’t put so much in the bank, though, that you’re not able to fill your coat with the highest value commodities. Hint: money deposited in the first week of the game will have at least quadrupled by the end.
  • I always run from the cops, even if I have a gun. And I nearly always get away, while I near always get caught if I fight.
  • This might be semi-superstition on my part, but I like to leave a little bit of spare capacity in case I find some saleables on a dead dude. These are usually high-value items, so it is usually worthwhile.
  • As the game progresses — and your cash increases — the value of each space in your coat increases. So don’t buy and sell low-value commodities, as they’ll only add a small amount to your net value.
  • Don’t take on a loan late in the game. You’ll probably get your legs broken.
  • Buying all of one commodity can be risky, especially if you’re trying to pay off a loan. I usually try to spread the risk over three commodities, like this:
    1. buy a third of the max amount of the most expensive
    2. buy half of what you can of the middle one
    3. buy the maximum amount of the cheapest.

    Do be careful to leave yourself at least $200 for that useful coat windfall.

A lot of the game is luck, though, so sometimes a hopeless game can suddenly perk up — or unfortunately, a great game be ruined by a police raid.

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