This was actual a post about the game in a geeklist, but it turned into session report so I figured I'd post it here too. The geeklist was Heavy Games on Your Tables - June 2016.
This was my first play of Food Chain Magnate and we played with three players. One is very new to the hobby. Off of the top of my head, he's played Metropolys, Midgard, Trajan, Finca, and San Marco. I'm sure there are a few others, but I know Trajan was his favorite so far. My other friend has been in the hobby for years and was excited to find out I had acquired the game so he helped motivate me to get it to the table sooner rather than later.
On to the game... we decided to start with $50 per player in the bank, and predetermined a reserve of $100 per player to keep the playtime down for our first learning game. I aimed for the recruiting and refrigerating milestones, which worked out pretty well to build myself a good foundation. The new player went marketing first which put him a step behind me on trying to get the milestone he was interested in which hurt him quite a bit. That was a shame, but I was kinda glad he did (not because it hurt him) because I was afraid we were all just going to build up and up before we actually started selling anything. This gave us a basic understanding on how marketing and sells were carried out at an early stage of the game. The other player focused on training out of the gate which ended up with a guru which was pretty cool to see in action.
The rest of the game was just one marketing experience after another. I placed a mailbox in the same neighborhood of 4 as the new guys billboard which influenced two of the houses. He could only provide the needs to the two houses with only one demand, and I was supplying luxury goods to the two houses with dual demands. The third guy didn't get into the market til the last few rounds while he was building for the late game.
Then, the third guy transitioned into being able to supply both burgers and pizza which forced us to follow suit in fear of marketing warfare. I believe we all received the two cook milestones that round. He decided to go with pizza, but I kept the burger cook just in case.
Next, I realized that I could train up to radio tower marketer to get the double influence milestone and refrigerate a handful of burgers to get a head start. At this time the other two players had fired their burger cooks so I knew I'd have the upper hand on almost all the houses with a luxury manager. This was a beautiful 'Ah hah!' moment for me, but sadly the third guy had finally started making good sales with me, and after I did the leg work to set that plan up I realized there wasn't enough time to pull it off with our predetermined low reserve.
Now what do I do? I have a good lead, but the others are finally able to capitalize on all the demands and this is the last round. I think the third guy could really pull off his later game strategy. Oh wait! Didn't I recruit pricing manager when I had nothing else better to do last round? Yeah, but a $1 discount isn't enough I need a $2 discount to sweep the town of all of its demands. Is that an additional $1 discount milestone? Yes! Gluttony Burgers is having a neighborhood block party who could supply every demand on the board with competitive pricing!
Wow! So many 'Ah hah!' moments. So much post game discussion, and I'm actually thinking about this game two weeks later. I've even removed a few games from my wishlist because I've thought, 'What experience will that game give me, and does it even come close to how rewarding Food Chain Magnate is?' The new gamer had a rough go at it, and he even said it's his favorite game so far! I can't recommend this game enough... WOW!
The best part is... I know we just scratched the surface.
Just to give you an idea - I've racked up about 20 plays of this both in RL and Online and I still learn new ways of backstabbing everybody