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Subject: Simpler resource exchange game rss

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I've recently been playing some big economy/resource type games like Captains of Industry and City of Iron. These games are large in scale taking a couple hours to play through, with many abstract decisions to make.

What recommendations do you have for a simpler and shorter length version of the above? I'd like to introduce this class of game to someone who isn't as familiar with this type, but struggled to come up with a good example of a simpler version. Attributes I'm seeking:

1) You make choices about what resources to invest in that is dependent on the choices of resources that others make.
2) The ways the resources interact should be immediately obvious and visible. This is in contrast to how most drafting type games work where you invest in a resource, but it's not always clear what your opponents are focused on.
3) The options for gameplay should be open - you can choose to go almost any direction you want, even if it's inefficient. This is in contrast to a game like Settlers of Catan where you are restricted by where your settlements live on the resources you can invest in. This also contrasts with open drafting games like 7 Wonders where even though you can see what others invest in, you are restricted in your choices by a diminishing hand.
4) The game should have a run time of 1 hour or less.

It would be a bonus, but not necessary, for the game to be playable at 2 players.
 
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Chris Dugas
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I don't play a lot of economic games, but maybe have a look at Mars Needs Mechanics. The components players choose manipulates the cost of those components up or down for the next round. It's pretty much an isolated economic engine without a big surrounding game around it. Steampunk themed.
 
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Holger Doessing
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It seems to me that Santiago de Cuba might satisfy your criteria. It's a rondel-type game, where players takes turns in moving the communal taxi-cab around the Cuban city Santiago. As the car stops at various locations the current player can use that location's ability to gain, exchange or process goods. When the car stops at the harbor, these goods can then be shipped off for victory points.

The demand at the harbor changes over time, and whatever goods a player has decided to focus on, may not be in high demand at a later point in the game. Each player's resources are hidden, but there is a limited supply of each good, so it's easy to tell if a particular good is being hoarded by someone. (Incidentally, this also means that in a 2p game you won't need to play with hidden resources, as you can easily deduct how much your opponent holds of any good by simply looking at the supply; 3-4 players makes the game better.)
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M Smith
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We like the card generating resource in Lewis & Clark and multi use resource action of cards and and tokens in Imperial Settlers.
A simple and clever more dedicated economy game is Harbour.
Love how the resources work in Tiny Epic Kingdoms.
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