Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
The night before Christmas Eve.
The kids are in bed and six players are gathered.
What shall we play? Ah, Acquire, a family favorite. Someone makes a joke about calling Festival "Festivus Hotels" and thus, we have
The Holiday Edition of Acquire!
Players: My parents (Chris and Carla), my brother and his wife (Ned and Heather), and my husband and me (Mike and Liz).
We decide that each player who starts a new chain has to rename that hotel with a holiday theme that starts with the same letter as the chain usually would. That will be that chain's name for the rest of the game, even if it's merged under and comes back.
Carla started, but with no good tiles, didn't get to start a chain. I got to go second and started the first chain, the renamed Festival chain:
The hotel chain for the rest of us.
Next, my husband Mike starts the hotel formerly known as Imperial:
How freaking fantastic is it that that actually exists??!!?!
Mike buys some Icicle Inn stock and we move along to Chris, who starts the chain once called Tower:
That's the chandelier from their ballroom: Available for all your holiday events!
One problem: I find all of this too hilarious to really pay attention to what other players are buying and selling! That will come back to bite me. Ned played next. He renamed Worldwide (with a generous allowance for using the letter "W") the following:
Joy to the World Motels!
That was obviously going to be a motel, with a name like that.
Official motto: "We'll leave the Christmas lights on."
But seriously. You're going to find something like this in your bathroom at Joy to the World Motels.
Heather's turn! Luckily for her, she can also start a new chain, so she takes the formerly upscale Continental and degrades it to:
Chris Cringle Campgrounds!
Well, I added the "campgrounds" part. Chris Cringle with two C's just makes me cringe.
Maybe it's not so bad. You get to stay in a nice yurt, apparently.
It's now Carla's turn again, and she again laments not having a tile to form a new chain! Whatnot. Play passes to me. No new chain. There are two possible chains left. Mike can't start one either. Still no mergers, if you're following that.
Okay! Chris has a tile to start his second chain, and he takes American and turns it into...
Santa save us all. (I added the 'alehouse' bit; I didn't get to start more than one chain, but I definitely spruced them all up--hey, another holiday pun there! Ouch).
Apparently there's a real place called Congregation Ale House, and it looks amazing. Anyway, moving on....
Only one chain left to start. Ned and Heather didn't have tiles to start them--and I don't think we'd had our first merger yet--when finally, Carla had a tile to start (and name!) the last chain. She took Luxor and turned it into:
Lingonberry Lounge, LLC!
Guess who added the LLC part? Ok, that one was lame. Lingonberries are a Swedish fruit for those of you who are wondering what lingonberries are and what they have to do with Christmas or any other holiday. I recommend you try them on Swedish pancakes.
Their big holiday event is the "Lingonberry Thingy."
We have now named all the chains! Maybe I should report some game play here. THAT would be a novelty in a session report.
Alleluia Alehouse was the first chain to go under, and Mike and Chris had most of the stock. Ned had a lot as well. They each held on to at least some stock, which was wise because it was also the second hotel chain to merge, when I merged it in a deal with Ned, who said he'd merge a chain I might want.
And he did: Festivus Hotels was merged under. I had some of that, since I started it...actually, if I recall correctly, I had a LOT of it, but decided to sell it all back instead of keeping it, which was not a wise decision when it was still fairly early in the game.
Those two chains were the only ones to go under early or mid-game! Next we saw Alleluia Alehouse merged, followed by Festivus Hotels once again. Things were decidedly grim for some of us.
By this point, Chris Cringle Campgrounds was a safe chain heading toward 41 tiles. Tinsel Towers was also safe but not as large. We were coming to the end.
Icicle Inn had 10 tiles, and I got to make the call about whether to make it safe or merge it under. I had 4 stock certificates (which could have gotten me a 2d place bonus), and I was on the fence, so I merged it. Sadly, it only ended up helping Mike, who gained tons of money ($8,000 for 1st place stock holder?), and I did not come in 2d.
Shortly thereafter, Chris Cringle Campgrounds reached 41 tiles on Ned's turn, but he did NOT end the game (that's legal, you know). Instead he bought...hmm...some chain, I don't recall which, hoping for some easy end-game money. Then Heather took a turn. Then Carla took the final turn, merging that chain under (was it Alleluia Alehouse yet again?) for a large amount of money, and ending the game. Let's just say she had a HUGE final turn.
Sadly, none of this mattered for my bank account.
Mike - $38,600. I handed him the game with the Icicle Inn merger. *sigh*
Carla - $36,200. Lucky final turn!
Ned - $35,900. Probably should have won, but what can you do?
Chris - $25,800.
Liz - $19,500 + the original idea. Points for the idea?
Heather - $16,500. Not her game tonight, either.
We had an absolute blast playing this with the newly renamed chains. Heather was handing out stock certificates and refused to give them out if a player tried to use the tired old name it came with.
We also had a fun discussion about holiday movies, including 'the elf movie.'
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Heather: "The elf movie? Which one's that?"
Everyone: < sides double over with laughter >
Heather: "I didn't know; it could have been some Lord of the Rings movie. Those have elves in them."
< short pause by everyone >
Chris: "We watch it every Christmas now."
Everyone: < now actually falling over with laughter >
Ok, you probably had to be there.
I'm hoping to make an ArtsCow deck of these chains for next Christmas. We shall see what happens.
Thanks for reading!
Hilarious. Although it'd be a complete waste of cash, I'd totally buy the retheme off Artscow just for the once-a-year laughs.