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Subject: Prospectus: My thoughts after one three player game rss

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Reed Dawley
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Delmar
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We played our first game with SluggishTwitch, my nephew and myself. I watched the Funagain how to play video and had read the rule book so I got to teach the game. The board was on the table, the potion powers randomized and set out, the spell cards were down to ten and we each had an identical set and the crystal ball was standing proud awaiting a steady diet of plastic cubes. (There are differences in spell cards and future cards for three and four player games, so make sure to set up right for your player count.)

My nephew looked at the board and made his "what did I agree to" face. Somewhere between confusion and fear. I told him to breathe and I started explaining the game to the both of them and then told them I'de just start and we'de learn from there. We did our potion drop and selected our cubes with very little idea of why and we drew our three spell cards and they started asking what they do so we decided to play open handed and open information. This really isn't how the game should be played but I decided that for our first play it would help them learn. I went first and this is how the rounds go (it is written on the back of the player shields but I still managed to goon it up a couple times).

Gameplay Round Flow

Sell to the High Council(optional): There are two spaces on each of the future cards that show what the Council wants. You can sell to them which gets you some cash, the use of that color potions power and also when the card is executed will add one to the value of that color.

Make a transaction(optional): You can buy or sell one color only. Buying is limited to the bottom number of the tank the potion is currently in but you can sell any number of cubes.

Cast a Spell: You will have access to three spell cards in your hand on your turn. You can use the spell power, discard it to sell again to the high council or discard it to recharge yout interrupt card.

-optional interrupt-: On another players turn after they announce their intentions for their spell card you can flip your interrupt to get a transaction, limited to the normal transaction rules.

Execute Future Market Card: Just go top to bottom on the card. The two High Council spaces on top, if there is a cube there that color potion goes up by one and that cube is put into the base of the crystal ball, if not it goes down by one. Then collect the colored cubes in the numbers shown on the card and dump them into the crystal ball and see what comes out. If the futures card shows a down arrow, the potion goes down that many spaces, if an up arrow it goes up that many spaces. Then the bottom of the card has a color add a cube to the dividends track for that color. If it hits three cubes pay out a dividend.

-Pay Dividends-: If a dividend track hits three look at the tank that color is in, there is a number on top and each player gets paid that many magic bucks per cube they have. Move the potion value down by one and empty the track of that color into the supply.


Make a Transaction(optional): You can buy or sell one color only. Buying is limited to the bottom number of the tank the potion is currently in but you can sell any number of cubes. (There is a spell that lets you buy more than the tank allows for)

Replenish Cards: Slide the current future card into discard, slide the other future cards to the right and put a new card out in the empty space.

At the end of the game you check the Council Chamber under the crystal ball and make a payout of how many cubes are in there. There are 11 yellow cubes, for each yellow cube you have you get a 11 magic buck bonus for instance. Then you cash out all your potions at the current market value to determine your final score in magic bucks.


The game started out a little choppy while figuring out what spells did and how the turns went but it smoothed out as the game progressed. I started the game almost choosing colors at random until I started looking at the future market cards as I was more concerned with making sure the other players were aware of what they could do. My nephew started into purple early and amassed a good amount and sold at 40, I would have held out for a split but he had used a spell to look at the top three future cards in the stack and saw what was coming. Purple ended up at around 17 by the end of the game without a split. Smart kid, it was around this point that he said "You need to bring this game over from now on" and he started getting into it. He liked getting deep into a color and riding out fluctuations. Twitch on the other hand was playing the market more aggressively, keeping an eye on more volatile stocks and making her money bit by bit, buying low and selling high as they say. Pick up green when there are three upward green cards coming up, sell out before it goes down again. She got the game.

I was more concerned with getting turn order proper and make sure that I didnt forget dividends and just making sure we were playing the mechanics correctly. In other words I was practically buying at random for the first few rounds. Then we settled into the game and I started paying attention to the future cards. I started diversifying my portfolio and used spells to manipulate the market. The game totally gelled and we were cheering when our stocks were up and cursing when they dropped. The decisions were fun, trying to see what is still in the crystal ball to decide if you should hold onto blue when the next future card has one blue cube down and the one after has three and an up arrow. But there are three blues already in the ball waiting precipitously to cause your stock to plummet more than it can come back from. These were the choices and situations that made the game so much fun. I ended up winning but due to us not following the secrecy that should be kept I can't count the victory. But I do want to play more and they want to play more. I would say with learning the rules and having family members wander in and ask questions we played for a little over two hours but I think now that we know what we are doing that time will go down next play.

[Because we were playing with open info the end of the game turned into all of trying to pump yellow up, but I had bought into yellow early and already had six or so cubes when they started buying in and I had been feeding yellow cubes into the council chamber as much as possible during the game]

Final thoughts: We all really enjoyed the game. The board can be a bit of data overload if you try to take it all in at once but once the game gets going it becomes second nature. You are usually really only looking at a couple of places on it on any given turn and the information you need is quick to access. I love the crystal ball, it's use as both a semi randomizer and as a secret place for bonus cubes. It is just plain fun to look at the future card as the cubes come out and start cheering and cursing, sometimes at the same time. I love how some potions are designed to be more volatile and some less so and it is obvious a lot of thought went into the balance of this. At first I wished there were ten magic buck coins as I was acting as the bank but really it didn't matter and we got used to having smaller denominations. It all comes down to this: I want to play more and when we were done we were all talking about what we did right, what we could or should have done and even the bad decisions we almost made and that is the sign of a fun game. Check this game out!

Extras: Have a way to capture the cubes coming out of the crystal ball, we used the fourth player shield and it worked fine but somehow through the magic of the potion cubes they come out at mach 3. Its not a big issue and if you are like us and you had dropped handfuls of cubes through it before playing you were ready for this to happen.

Have a calculator handy as well. When you don't want people to know what you are looking for or how much cash you have on hand you don't want to ask how many 17$ cubes you can buy with the 92 magic bucks you have. It speeds up decision making and cashing things out.
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Chaddyboy
United States
Olathe
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Thanks for the review! Glad to hear you enjoyed things once the game gelled after a few turns!

IMCarnochan wrote:
Have a way to capture the cubes coming out of the crystal ball, we used the fourth player shield and it worked fine but somehow through the magic of the potion cubes they come out at mach 3. Its not a big issue and if you are like us and you had dropped handfuls of cubes through it before playing you were ready for this to happen.

Yeah, it wasn't in the budget to have some sort of cube catcher, but the game does need something to keep cubes from spraying all over. I use the bottom half of one of those plastic card deck holders, which works great. I just keep it in the box.
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Reed Dawley
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Delmar
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It became more of a "feature not bug" thing as the screen hid the results for a few seconds then were revealed. We have plans for a Prospectus themed foamcore cube catcher for our games.
 
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Aaron Gelb
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could you use something a bit more theme-integrated, such as a petri dish, or some sort of magical looking tray? How big of a "catcher" do you need?
 
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Tomas Inguanzo
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Just put the crystal ball in the game box lid.
 
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