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Subject: When is this going to be considered like a deck of cards? rss

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Chris Tannhauser
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So we're at twelve billion sold or whatever, everyone has at least one unplayed Monopoly set clogging up their closets--when are the genius Eurodesigners going to rise to the challenge and create games that use the pieces found in the box? Not just variants but whole new games?

I mean, with a deck of cards I can play everything from Go Fish to Bridge... Why am I stuck playing Monotony with a Monopoly set?

I'll take my public lashing of smart-ass remarks now.

Chris

PS. This is a serious question.
 
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Mark Wright
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Re: When is this going to be considered like a deck of cards
There is nothing wrong with the develop property idea and try to make the most money, but what should be removed is the random nature.

How about 910 minute game design)

Start with £1500 each player.

Play monopoly as normal except,
On your turn
- On a players turn they have option either move or build.


Move
- There are only 2 playing pieces (start at go and free parking) neither is owned by anyone.
- Roll 2 dice and apply one die to one token and one to the other or both dice to one. You must use both dice.
- Pieces can move either direction.
- When you land on a property that is un-owned it is always auctioned. Go round until all pass, you can drop in and out as you please but a round of passes sells the property. You must have money in hand (or mortgage properties or get money off other players), two players cannot buy it together.
- when you land on a property that is owned but the whole set is not owned, pay rent to the owner from the bank.
- When you land on a property whose colour is all sold to one or more players) split the rent between the owners based on no of properties owned. (1/3, 1/2., 2/3)
- Rents are as per normal game
- If you land on go, just visiting jail or free parking do nothing.
- If you land on got to jail send the token to jail. Roll 2D6 multiple by 10 and this Is the fine, starting with the active player the players in turn have opportunities to pay the fine. Each player must place a minimum of a £1 in the pot. He who clears the fine gains the next turn and a bonus turn which they can use straight away or save.
- If you move both pieces onto unowned property they are auctioned off one after teh other in any order.

Build
- All the properties of a colour need to be sold before you can build.
- When building the active player selects the number of houses or hotels to auction. There is one auction, who ever wins the auction can build houses on properties they own (not necessarily the one landed on). Houses and hotels are built as per monopoly in terms of cost which is paid after the auction. Houses that you cannot build are simply lost. The auction is for the right to build. You can build houses on different coloured plots. If you build on a plot you must spread the houses along all of the properties regardless of whether you own them as per the normal game.

Winning
- The winner is the person with the most money after the first bankrupt or 10 turns after the last property is sold. Or the bank empties.

Notes
- Mortages are as now and must be redeemed on final count up at 20% penalty.
- All game commodities are tradeable, deeds, houses, hotels, get out of jail, money. Trades must involve the active player.
- Chance and Community chest cards are used as now. You keep all you draw, they are worth £10 a piece at the final count up.
- Bonus move – you can only have on bonus move saved, you can use it to play whenever the current player finishes. If more than one wants to play use a blind bid into the bank to resolve the order.
- all auctions are until everyone passes after a bid.
- There is nothing wrong in bribing the current player to move the token where you want or to do what you want.
- If you take money in the form of a bribe you are not bound to do what you agreed to.
- Players cannot lend money to each other all money transfers are deemed bribes. You can give it back if you want.

regards
 
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Stven Carlberg
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Re: When is this going to be considered like a deck of cards
Two comments:

First, there already is a Monopoly Card Game. Mostly using cards that look like the property deeds, they've made a rummy game which is reported to be pretty decent for four players.

Second, we've been making up Monopoly variants for decades. This might not reach the level of being Entirely Different Games but are usually ideas to bring a game in under an hour. One of them, for example: Every piece of property anybody lands on goes up for sealed auction (one secret bid). The game ends with the sale of the last piece of property, the winner being the player with the highest total cash plus property value.

Another one, not with any particular intention of speeding the game up, but just to see what would happen, was to move around the board counterclockwise intead of clockwise. It did, interestingly, change the game quite a bit.
 
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Bryan Jensen
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Chris-- I think this is a GREAT idea.

And Mark: Thanks for making the time to write down your ideas. I think there are several really good --if familiar from other Euro games-- ideas in there. I really want to take a stab at playing them. My only thought that first comes to mind is that I wonder, since backward movement is allowed, if the pieces won't end up spending an even more disproportionate side on the 2nd and 3rd tracks that they already do in conventional Monopoly. I think this could affect the power of the orange and red properties even more than they already have. That said the open auctions of the game may be enough to balance that.

A few questions:
1) When two tokens are moved in a turn there can be up to two auctions or transactions that turn, yes?

2) Does moving past Go provide any income? Or does that come exclusively via rents and penalties/bonuses? If it does provide income I think players will definitely vie more for moving it past Go therby keeping the tokens moving well in the first and fourth quadrants. But if so I do think that forward moving over Go may be the only way to award the income.

3) When you talk about dividing rent it happens when all two/three properties in a Monopoly block are owned but by different players? Therefore, say Park Place and Boardwalk are split owned. Say a player lands on Park Place. Rather than the owning player just collecting the base rent, do you double that and then split it between the two block owners? What if the properties are improved? Do you still split the rent? (Therefore if you want to keep all the rent you must own complete color block monopolies just like in regular Monopoly?)

4) The mortgage 20% penalty. Does that mean at end of game players trade in/count the value of their properties for cash. Any mortgaged property only counts for 80% of its mortgaged value?

5) Do all properties of a color have to be owned by the same player before they can be improved? Or are you allowing any property to be improved so long as all properties of a color are owned by one or more players?

6) I'm still unclear on the Jail fine payment: So do you keep going around, in clockwise turn order, with players getting to pay/bid as much toward the fine as they want--minimum $1--until the fine is paid? He/she who pays the final amount pays the fine to the bank, gains the dice move (possibly skipping players who may have had the next turn) and a bonus move to use or save for later?

7) Do doubles rolled still grant another turn? If three consectutive doubles are rolled does one or both of the tokens go to Jail?

8) Say, for example, a player is paying a large rent fee. Do normal Monopoly restrictions still apply: 1) the paying player cannot borrow money from another player. 2) The paying player may not liquidate their property by selling to another player unless the total sum for the fine is raised (thus preventing a fee player from dumping their assets for like $1). 3) Free rents/stays are not allowed but the fee payer can make any transaction via money, cards or assets that satisfy both parties for paying the rent.

9) I presume a player who unmortages a property(ies) still pay the 10% interest to the bank.

10) A question re: "If you build on a plot you must spread the houses along all of the properties regardless of whether you own them as per the normal game.": So say I own two of the three orange properties. (The third is not owned by the bank) If I win the auction to build, say 3 houses, may I build on only one or two of those properties and then the secord or third could go on any other property I own? But if I wanted to improve one of those two orange properties to two houses I could not do it. I would have to build the third house by paying for it normally and giving it free to the owner of the third orange property. Once I won bid for more houses then I could then improve my orange properties to more houses following this same convention. Do I understand correctly?

11) In a right-to-improve auction what happens to the winning bid? Can the winner use that bid toward buying houses/hotels? Can they ONLY use that bid toward buying buildings or can they pay the surplus cost, as may be required, from their normal cash supply or via mortagaging? Can a player mortgage to produce the cash required to bid on a building auction?

12) In order to build complete monopolies all property/asset trades or cash sales are allowed as per the normal game, yes?

13) All fines are paid to the bank as per the normal game, yes?

I am totally stoked to try this out! I have been a big Monopoly fan up till a few years ago. While we play a pretty aggressive base game--wrapping games in about 60-70 minutes--I tired of the mechanics of the game once I really got into Euro games. I've got a whole collection of Monopoly sets just asking to get dusted off and get some play again!
 
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Bryan Jensen
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ssmooth wrote:
Second, we've been making up Monopoly variants for decades. This might not reach the level of being Entirely Different Games but are usually ideas to bring a game in under an hour.


If the group aggressively pursues trades and deals you can easily play a conventional Monopoly game in 60-75 minutes. You must mercilessly bankrupt players. No "charity deals" are allowed. What drags on the base game are players nickel-and-diming each other for eternity, holding off on trading for far too long, and/or players who won't make trades unless they are at a significant and disproportionate advantage over the other player (therefore shutting down trading altogether). My wife's siblings play this way hence I loathe playing Monopoly--or any trading game for that matter (Settlers is horrible)--with them.

For me the draw to the idea isn't a matter of creating house rules to reduce the game length--it is reducing the overwhelming luck factor (which is actually increased via the common Free Parking house rule) in favor of a bit more strategy and/or tactics. It's also via introducing some freshness and originality for how to use the base components to essentially play a different, albeit thematically consistent and familiar, game.
 
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Mark Wright
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Re: When is this going to be considered like a deck of cards
Hi Bryan

I kind of did the design in 10 minutes as a challenge in response to the original question. I am so glad at least someone read my effort. Having thought about it overnight I will try and answer you questions.


A few questions:
1) When two tokens are moved in a turn there can be up to two auctions or transactions that turn, yes?

Yes I thought both tokens if moved would activate the effect ont he square they landed. So landing on two unownwed squares would be two auctions. When moving two tokens you can resolve them in any order.

2) Does moving past Go provide any income? Or does that come exclusively via rents and penalties/bonuses? If it does provide income I think players will definitely vie more for moving it past Go therby keeping the tokens moving well in the first and fourth quadrants. But if so I do think that forward moving over Go may be the only way to award the income.

I always thought going past go to give you money was kind of lame, but I suppose in the original it was needed to counteract the randomness of where you ended up. So I got rid of it now that you can steer the tokens onto your properties. If there was not enough money coming into the game I had thought of variants where you get money for passing go or landing on go specifically. Maybe there could be some general reward to all players starting with the palyer who moved the token past go getting £50, the next £40 and so on round the table as an incentive.
Could Go be one way? - after answering the other questions if there is not enough money coming in overall then go would become a one way location, you can't go from brown to dark blue.



3) When you talk about dividing rent it happens when all two/three properties in a Monopoly block are owned but by different players? Therefore, say Park Place and Boardwalk are split owned. Say a player lands on Park Place. Rather than the owning player just collecting the base rent, do you double that and then split it between the two block owners? What if the properties are improved? Do you still split the rent? (Therefore if you want to keep all the rent you must own complete color block monopolies just like in regular Monopoly?)

My thought was that you collect the basic rent (from the bank) but split it between the owners of the deeds. This gives you incentive to own all of the deeds of a colour to collect all of the rent. The bonus is that owning more deeds makes it easier to collect on that colour. I saw the deeds as more a share in the letting company than deeds to a specific place.


4) The mortgage 20% penalty. Does that mean at end of game players trade in/count the value of their properties for cash. Any mortgaged property only counts for 80% of its mortgaged value?

If i remember correctly the cost of retrieveing a place from mortage in the game is 110% of the mortage value. I thought if you left property in mortage into the end game you were penalised 120% of the mortage cost.


5) Do all properties of a color have to be owned by the same player before they can be improved? Or are you allowing any property to be improved so long as all properties of a color are owned by one or more players?

Properties can only be improved when all of the colour is owned. But as the deeds are 'shares' in the letting company they can be owned by three individuals. The rent from any of the properties being split 3 ways in this case.


6) I'm still unclear on the Jail fine payment: So do you keep going around, in clockwise turn order, with players getting to pay/bid as much toward the fine as they want--minimum $1--until the fine is paid? He/she who pays the final amount pays the fine to the bank, gains the dice move (possibly skipping players who may have had the next turn) and a bonus move to use or save for later?

That was the idea, paying the fine gets you the bonus move, maybe the minimum should be £10, so it doesn't go around for ages. Again I tried for the bonus being that extra move, but you have to pay for it.

7) Do doubles rolled still grant another turn? If three consectutive doubles are rolled does one or both of the tokens go to Jail?

I forgot about this originally, but I thought no doubles do not get an extra turn or end you in jail.


8) Say, for example, a player is paying a large rent fee. Do normal Monopoly restrictions still apply: 1) the paying player cannot borrow money from another player. 2) The paying player may not liquidate their property by selling to another player unless the total sum for the fine is raised (thus preventing a fee player from dumping their assets for like $1). 3) Free rents/stays are not allowed but the fee payer can make any transaction via money, cards or assets that satisfy both parties for paying the rent.

Originally rents were paid by the bank reflecting tenants paying them. Because the tokens aren't owned by anyone they are just there to trigger events. With the tokens being able to move back and forwards people could avoid triggering rent payments.

If a person has to make payments beyond their means (such as chance pay tax on property) then if they cannot make it they will become bankrupt and trigger the end game scenario. If they have to dispose of properties these they they sell by auction to the other players.


9) I presume a player who unmortages a property(ies) still pay the 10% interest to the bank.

yes,

10) A question re: "If you build on a plot you must spread the houses along all of the properties regardless of whether you own them as per the normal game.": So say I own two of the three orange properties. (The third is not owned by the bank) If I win the auction to build, say 3 houses, may I build on only one or two of those properties and then the secord or third could go on any other property I own? But if I wanted to improve one of those two orange properties to two houses I could not do it. I would have to build the third house by paying for it normally and giving it free to the owner of the third orange property. Once I won bid for more houses then I could then improve my orange properties to more houses following this same convention. Do I understand correctly?

That was the idea, you are bidding for the right to build and can build on any property you own but you can't violate the building laws of monopoly as you stated. If you want to build an area up you could be 'giving' a free build to a fellow owner of that property colour. I also hope this will prevent properties going from nothing to hotel as players would not want to foot the bill for other players.


11) In a right-to-improve auction what happens to the winning bid? Can the winner use that bid toward buying houses/hotels? Can they ONLY use that bid toward buying buildings or can they pay the surplus cost, as may be required, from their normal cash supply or via mortagaging? Can a player mortgage to produce the cash required to bid on a building auction?

The auction is for 'planning permission' or the right to build, all building costs are on top of the auction cost. A player can mortage at any time to free up cash.

12) In order to build complete monopolies all property/asset trades or cash sales are allowed as per the normal game, yes?

As long as the trade includes the active player to prevent a free for all.

13) All fines are paid to the bank as per the normal game, yes?

yes.


My concern is that there maybe a money problem in the game concerning income being enough. Thus there may be a need to implement a go solution, and make go one way to prevent trips backwards and forwards over go. But as you have two tokens and with spending your money on properties I suspect players should be able to get enough income by landing on their own properties. (this is the key difference to monopoly, you want to land on your property / colour of property to get income, not avoid properties owned by other players)

The final count up, properties are worth face value and are added to cash, houses and hotels are not counted. Though the chance and community chest cards are worth £10 each.

I am hoping that the auction mechanism will prevent one player grabbing all of orange and red. But with enough players they will want to steer the tokens to other parts of the board.
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Bryan Jensen
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Thank you Mark for taking time to entertain my questions. Its a very good start for "10 minutes" of designing.

I have a few thoughts and concerns that spring to mind:

1) I also wonder about the lack of income. All we have is a the $1500 per person closed revenue system and the small amount of income that comes from Community Chest cards. (The $10 they provide for owning a card does not appear to pay until the end of the game.) Furthermore the penalties from the cards, jail fines, and bids for development become removed money from the collective. Without an income stream to the collective game from the bank I am concerned whether there is the total revenue at play in the system to afford for the development of properties. With rents being shared it seems very possible to keep small amounts money just changing hands and extending the game longer than necessary. Therefore, if the players want this game to move forward it appears this version will boil down to the same advice as for regular Monopoly: aggressively pursue property trades to build monopolies.

While an income stream via Go gives the collective pool the money to improve properties to a greater degree it doesn't fundamentally alter this necessity, it seems to me. If it doesn't come via passing Go I think that there probably should be an income producing event, perhaps awarding players differently based on what they own or have improved or whatever. Therefore only a play test I fear can really clarify for me how great this is a detriment to this concept or not, and perhaps bring to mind a fresher way to solve it.

2) Perhaps the redeeming feature of the concept is that auctioned properties can go for whatever players have money to pay, so it sizes very appropriately to whatever the collective money pool is. Nonetheless since improved properties stay at their fixed prices, a reduced pool may not be of sufficient size to afford much collective building/improvement, thereby staving off the endgame longer than necessary. Perhaps it is better to come up with a mechanism for the auctioning of buildings as well.

3) I like the common tokens but I question whether it is good to allow the die roll to be split. Essentially this leaves eight possible spaces to consider as targets for action with each dice roll. Once properties begin to be improved I wonder if this doesn't give too many options for avoiding the payment of fees, and perhaps encouraging players to take too much time considering all the options for action at hand, thereby unnecessarily lengthening the time to the endgame. I wonder whether it isn't better to reduce the options to four either via allowing forward or backward movement with either token by using the sum of both dice, or by allowing only forward movement via splitting the roll or combining it for a single token.

4) As I've thought about the auctioning mechanism I keep coming back to what I love so much about Modern Art and how well it manages a closed system so well. I've wondered whether it would be fun to make a set of four cards for each player: A fixed price auction card; A closed bid auction card; An open auction card; and a once-around auction card. (Perhaps one or two of these could be doubled up to increase the occurance of certain types of auctions over another in the game.) When a player lands on an unowned property they control it for auction and the way it will auction by using one of their cards. They must use all cards in the hand before they can recycle previously-used types of auctions. Just like in Modern Art if another player buys the property they pay the cost to the player-auctioneer. If that player-auctioneer wins the property auction the money goes to the bank, thus exiting the system.

Naturally in the current concept at hand perceived values of properties will fluctuate based on their probability of being landed on (which is murkier now that backwards movement is allowed); the cost of improving them; and based on what others may own or not own. Nevertheless having every auction be an automatic open auction (instead of the first-right-of-refusal mechanism of the conventional Monopoly) I think maybe there will be too much power put into the richest player's hands. And since that money exits the game it only exacerbates the length to the endgame--although now as I reconsider while I write this I remember you have built a fixed deadline outside of the first bankruptcy: 10 rounds from the last property being sold.

 
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Mark Wright
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Re: When is this going to be considered like a deck of cards
YOu are right, a play test will be the only way to assertain whether the income is sufficient. As the rent income is from the bank and not the players money will enter the game from rental incomes. Perhaps the problem is the current value attached to the properties?
The cost of house buying is high and I think a cash injection needs to be performed. With players normally circulating the board every 5 or 6 turns they gain $200 at a relatively fixed rate that is nothing to do with what they have done. It occurs to me that perhaps income could reflect the completion of a letting company (all of the deeds of one colour sold), in which case the share holders each receive a payout. whether this is the value of the deed I don't know. This wil change the buying of deeds as a way of locking up money that will be ultimately released for improvement.

I like the idea of different auctions with the cards as per the players choice. I think the problem of a rich player can be solved by making sure they pay alot for a property. Then they will not be so rich.

The end game I think will be a problem that cannot be resoled until a playtest.

The issue of token movement, is very true, it may be better to limit the movement to only forward but with the same rules, that way the whole ofthe board will be covered. Then perhaps go could be used for earnings. For each share (deed) in an operating letting company (colour all sold out) you receive a share dividend ($5 a share? or bsed on their ground rent). Perhaps both tokens have to pass go to trigger this.

I think there is alot of ideas here to be tried. I am sure there is a game in here?

 
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