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Subject: Poor rules, fixable game rss

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Brian Eggert
United States
New Jersey
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game: TOXINS
date: 23 Mar 2007
# players: solo game with 2 players (herein called Alpha and Beta)
total time: 195 minutes
notes: modified rules (see my up-loaded file)

Illegal dumping and reckless approaches were rampant as both players were eager to get ahead quickly (legal dumping costs $4k and can take many turns to reach a proper dump site). Also, both players focused on buying extra trucks until reaching the limit (4 trucks), but Beta was the first to get four. Next, Beta found himself with a pair of corrosive loads in Chattanooga. Knowing that the northwest region produces corrosives almost exclusively, he bought the corrosives dump in Butte. Lady Luck was smiling on Beta with more loads of corrosives in Chattanooga and Oregon, such that all four of his trucks were carrying corrosives simultaneously!! Meanwhile, Alpha had to work harder to make profits, and he saved his money for the juicy $40k poisons dump in Lewiston, Maine. He quickly made two deliveries there, but he couldn't have predicted that the dump would sit idle (unused) for the rest of the game. Alpha and Beta both yearned to own the pricey dumps nearest to the East Coast since the toxins are more likely (statistically) to enter play in the East, but they would need more cash first.

Both players struggled as they found their trucks on one coast, while their loads were on the opposite coast. Beta set his eyes on the Owensburg PCB dump because it is the PCB dump closest to the northeast and north-central regions that commonly produce PCBs. After rolling up 2 PCB loads, he dumped something somewhere, enabling him to buy the coveted Owensburg dump (and deliver the 2 PCB loads there for the bargain price of $1k each). At the twilight of the mid-game, Beta held 1 corrosive dump and all 3 PCB dumps. Alpha held 1 poison dump and 1 corrosive dump (skillfully nabbed to reduce Beta's chances of winning by getting a monopoly on 2 toxins).

Alpha struggled through the end game with low cash flow and long hauls. Beta finished the game with a 1-2 punch in two turns that caught Alpha by surprise. Beta picked up a valuable ($22k) radioactive load at Nine Mile Point, and made 2 deliveries to Owensburg. Beta contemplated buying the Salina radioactive dump because it's closest to the East Coast, but it dawned on him that since he made 2 toxin dumps this turn, he was allowed to buy 2 dumps. He also had a pile of cash. So he needed to buy the 2 cheaper radioactive dumps this turn and go for Alpha's jugular (since the 3rd and final radioactive dump was $30k, and Alpha couldn't get it with $26k on hand and no income on the horizon). Alpha's turn was predictably lame. Beta's new loads appeared at locations 4 or 5 dots away from all 3 of Beta's empty trucks. Beta pushed his luck with a little reckless driving (picking up the 2 new toxin loads and the associated piles of cash); then he made an illegal dump two dots outside of Pittsburgh and bought the Salinas dump site for the win.

After Beta's victory dance, Alpha realized that he could have bought the cheap ($15k) radioactive dump earlier in the game to preclude Beta's victory and force the game to run longer (until someone owned 10 dumps or reached $200k in assets).

Alpha (loser) - $26k, 4 trucks, 3 dumps (1 pink, 1 red, 1 brown)
Beta (winner) - $25k, 4 trucks, 7 dumps (1 brown, 3 dk. blue, 3 lt. blue)
Dumps without owners - 3 red, 2 pink, 1 brown

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