Everybody knows it; everyone has done it at least once, if you are not completely new. It’s one of the easiest ways to get rid of competitors. It’s accepted by a lot of players, but the victims hate it and may do the same back to the players who did it to them. I am talking about the lot wars, specifically: “boxing in”.
It is a pretty well-known term in Miniconomy. It actually means that you box your competitor on the map. The boxed player cannot buy any more lots because all adjacent lots are bought. This way your competitor gets stuck and cannot continue his trade, because of lack of resources.
This method to get rid of competitors is the most used method. However, it is not the cheapest solution, since you have to buy all the lots around your competitors lots.
Personally, I hate it. I find it cowardly. It can be effective to box your competitor in and cut him from the resources, but doesn’t that mean that you are afraid to compete with that person? I see it that way. You can ruin someones joy in the game and/or ruin his round. This is not to be taken lightly. Instead of competing with each other by prices, marketing, setting up marketing in the shops so players will see your shop earlier, players use this ‘boxing in’ method. What is more fun than to compete with others?
I find the boxing in dirty; I would have given cheater status to players who do it. The biggest problem I see is that the method is legal. The most dirty and unfair method to compete is completely legal.
This round I am an example. I am a victim of being boxed in. I started the round with plastic, and decided to do gas with it. Some hours later, the player in question, Xzese, started to trade plastic as well, claiming he had the product earlier. I didn’t even mind that he was doing plastic. We both were happily digging oil out of Centropolis.
But after some time, Xzese started to offend me. He said to me in chat, that he doesn’t want me at his part of Centropolis. That really offended me, like I was not to be trusted somehow, and I was not even close to the place he was digging. He was digging west of the main road and I was digging east of the main road. I felt mistrusted, which was not a good beginning for Xzese with me.
I had many rounds where I was able to dig together with other oil diggers without having problems. Without saying anything we were able to dig peacefully by each others sides. But with that being said, Xzese was claiming his part of Centropolis.
But today (at the time of writing) I was shocked at first. Suddenly, someone was digging loads of lots, right beside mine. Most often that is a sign of someone boxing you in. After looking around a bit, I was indeed boxed in. But I became really agitated when I saw who boxed me in. Xzese, the one who was forbidding me to go near his lots, had bought all the lots around me, giving me no space at all to dig.
Boxing someone in is low, but forbidding someone to dig near his lots, and then boxing that player in, is way lower than low. I have no words for how dirty this trick is. Towards Xzese I said, “Screw you, Xzese. I thought you were a reasonable player, but first claiming not to get close to you and then boxing me in after, will make you no friend of mine. You can go with another bunch that deserves cheater status for the same reason. I hope you are happy with your life now.”
Now comes the tips: how to avoid being boxed in completely by players like Xzese. First, when you start buying lots, make sure you make little boxes for yourself. If you buy a perimeter around some resource lots, you are still able to dig resources, while someone boxes you in.
Secondly, make sure you have some good friends who are always able to help you out. If you find someone who can sell you a lot outside of the box, you can go farther outside the box. You could even box the player who boxed you in. In that case it will be payback.
At last, stay focused on the map. If you have the feeling someone is digging towards your lots, start digging around so the player cannot get to your lots immediately.
So these are my concerns about boxing in. I hope the honest players can use these tips and prevent being boxed in during lot wars. All I can hope for further is that it will be illegal someday.