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Subject: Millions of Dollars ~ Deranged Review. rss

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Deranged
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~Deranged Review~


Hello! Welcome to this Deranged Review.

One of the things I was looking forward to about Essen was playing games in the evening. After the fair, most of those I know sleep in the same place, where there's a cantina that's a cross between a sportsbar and your grandma's house. So there's beer, good company, and of course taking the new acquisitions for a testdrive to see what's what. And this one certainly delivered ^^.

Some random Belgian dude just walked into our temporary dwelling, had a few beers and brought this game with'm. 's about the most random way I ever encountered a game.

I'll be giving grades on several aspects of the game, such as discussed here.
For ART, I look at the big picture, and how that picture looks. EASE covers ease of play and learning curve, FLEXIBILITY covers the amount of free will you have and is therefore linked to replayability. FUN might be deceptive, as it's a gut thang, but I'll try and specify in the text, and COMPONENTS should be self-explanatory. I'll not say a lot about rules and specifics - you can find those out for yourself.


The Game Itself: Ocean's Dogs.
Plan heist, get cash! First to 20 mille wins.

ART
-Hot chicks aplenty in this game, and the illustrations all have the kind of slick look that makes you believe they'd actually pull of the heist. The colours and role cards are clear, the money is ok, and the box shows you all you need to decide if you'll like it.

EASE
-Due to multiple wrong rule interpretations, we had a few problems during our first and second games, but once you get the hang of it (or actually read the rules carefully), the game is really not too difficult. Discussion over the rules somewhat lessened my enjoyment (as I got screwed by the rules on more than one occasion), but I expect that to not matter next time.

Once you get past that, the game is remarkably easy and fun.

FLEXIBILITY
-There's some choices, and none of them are the right one.

Well, that's not true; your choices matter, but like in every good game they all depend on what your opponents do. In short, you choose a role for this heist, which all have small benefits attached to them; pay an amount of ante; have all but one of the roles revealed, and watch the chaos unfold. In true Highlander fashion, there can be only one of each role (#1), so once the chosen roles are revealed it's time to convince others of standing back. Because you hand in one role card and keep the other (the big one with the team member on it), you can't switch halfway through, so it's go on or bust. All doubles still in the running will be removed, the snitch can kill of one role of his/her choice, and the leftover cash will be spread equally over all remaining thiefs.

So, you make your choices beforehand, and then choose to stay in or not based on the info presented to you. The trick is in getting others to back down without being overly obvious about your role (or moving out for a lot of money). As there's always one role hidden, you can never be really sure about anything. It's like Ca$h & Gun$ with bluff instead of intimidation flavoured with a dash of Citadels.


FUN
-It's Ca$h & Gun$'s more thinky brother. It has bluffing, betrayal and bullets. Yeah it's fun .

COMPONENTS
-Like I mentioned somewhere before, the money looks really good; if million dollar bills were anything but imaginary, you could just use these to buy a can soda and a wheelbarrow (#2). Although I'd imagine these characters would rather rob the grocery store .

Pro's
Short & reliant on actual skill.
Awesome illustrations.

Con's
Somehow somewhat difficult to explain at first.

End result:
This game is just fantastic! Anyone who likes both C&G and Avalon should just get this game, as it ends up somewhere in the middle. It's Thinky AND Bluffy AND Screwy!

The Thinky part is where you choose which character you'll use this turn, based on what all the others have been doing... keeping in mind that they might just come to the same conclusion you just did ^^. The Bluffy part comes into play once the role cards are revealed - who can be trusted? Who sits back unto the couch just a split second too late? Who took the pile of money last time? What's so Screwy about it? Well... you don't HAVE to be a double to move out...



Somewhere in the very near future, I'll have to arrange for a gamenight consisting of Millions of Dollars, Colt Express, Ca$h & Gun$, and Family Business(#3). That'll be fun!

Thank you, random Belgian dude! ^^

As usual, please give your opinion in the comments .

Oh, by the way, I am Deranged. I like to have fun with (and around) boardgames, and have played many of them over the years. I've been furniture in my FLGS for years ^^. I tend to like old games; well, I tend to like good games, most of which have been around for bit ^^. I've written 86 reviews as of yet, which you can access here, and a handful of random topics discussed here. If you want me to write a review for you or recommend me a game, there's this neat little envelop near my avatar!

googoo

#1: Who needs two drivers, anyway?
#2: For the change, silly.
#3: I'd add Burgle Bros., but that's sorely lacking in both screwage and my collection.
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Edmund Cheow
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thanks for the review. do you think that if they included the roles effects on the role cards instead, it would make it easier to understand for new players? as there would be less reliance on the reference card.
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Deranged
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actmoon wrote:
thanks for the review. do you think that if they included the roles effects on the role cards instead, it would make it easier to understand for new players? as there would be less reliance on the reference card.


Welcome ^^.

Hmm, it might help, but most players figure it out after one or two rounds anyway. Perhaps if they used pictograms instead of text? The reference card is a mess, actually. All that text!

They could add a textbox on the large, gang-specific cards. There's plenty of space there.
 
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Julien Suzor
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i have the game and i am looking forward to playing it. Just wondering how the lying and bluffing exactly evolves in the negotiating phase. Why would you lie about your role? Don't really see what the benefit is just by reading the rules. Could this lead to one-on-one discussions( i am the driver-no, i am the driver?) Or has it happened that 3 or more people claim that they are the driver for example?

hope you clear this up for me. Thanks
 
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Deranged
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We had a few trigger-happy snitches in our first evening, which left quite the impression on me.

Besides, if there's two Green ones showing while I played Red, I wouldn't mind stepping out as well... for the right amount of money, that is.

Otoh that's how we play it. Different groups favour different styles, you know? Cultural playing styles between cities differ enough to make for hilarious results sometimes. I heard where the Utrecht brigade went to.. say Amsterdam for a game of, idk, let's say Catan. Amsterdam players were like "I'll do this thing which mildly inconveniences you, no big deal, we do it all the time. Next." Utrecht players were like "THIS MEANS WAR!" Hilarity ensued.
 
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Jeremie Kletzkine
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First - thank Deranged for the great review

Dear Edmund,

Multilingual games like Millions of Dollars are indeed relying on reference cards (which is an easier option to translate a game). We all want our overseas friends to be able to play the game as it is playable in Dutch, English, French and Spanish.

Dear Julien,

Honesty and integrity are important values, they contributes to a positive mindset and facilitate morally acceptable behaviors. However, those values won't help you much to earn the biggest share of a loot after a heist

Jeremie
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Deranged
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jrmk wrote:
First - thank Deranged for the great review

Dear Edmund,

Multilingual games like Millions of Dollars are indeed relying on reference cards (which is an easier option to translate a game). We all want our overseas friends to be able to play the game as it is playable in Dutch, English, French and Spanish.

Dear Julien,

Honesty and integrity are important values, they contributes to a positive mindset and facilitate morally acceptable behaviors. However, those values won't help you much to earn the biggest share of a loot after a heist

Jeremie


:O that's the same name as on the box!

You're welcome; 's easy to write about a game this fun to play . If you got any more, just give me a heads-up ^^.
 
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Jeremie Kletzkine
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Derang3d wrote:
You're welcome; 's easy to write about a game this fun to play . If you got any more, just give me a heads-up ^^.


I primarily design games to have fun with my friends, so maybe we can be friends

I had 4 games released at Essen, Millions is one of them, the others are Siege by AEG, The Cohort by Mage Company and Naova by Amigo, but that last one is only in german for now...
And I have more in the making with AEG, Bezier and more that are hidden identity games like Millions of Dollars

Keep up the good reviews!

Jeremie
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Deranged
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I thought I had responded allready? Oh well anyway...

I can't try those others yet as they're out of my reach... for now...

Will keep an eye out for the new releases though!
 
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Richard Lea
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Hot chicks aplenty indeed. Despite bank robbery being an overwhelmingly male activity, the artist seems detemined, quite unfairly, to suggest that women are just as likely to engage in such criminality.
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Deranged
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Equality, eh?
 
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Martin Larouche
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rplea wrote:
Hot chicks aplenty indeed. Despite bank robbery being an overwhelmingly male activity, the artist seems detemined, quite unfairly, to suggest that women are just as likely to engage in such criminality.


The gangs are all based on movies and novels characters.

The godfather gang is certainly there and easilly identifiable.
Pretty sure Thelma and Louise is there.
The ladies from the feather gang is an obvious match for the 1980s manga "Cat's Eye" (3 sisters paintings thieves).

I have not identified half the gangs yet.

So between Bonnie and Clyde, Cat's Eyes, Thelma and Louise and many others, there's actually a huge pool of female thieves to take inspiration from.

I will argue that in most other games, people complain there's not enough gender equality. Here, they are equally represented, so lets not complain about there having equal representation... and both genders have them as hot dudes or hot chicks just about equally.
The artist is also a girl... so to suggest she did it to be unfair... i highly doubt that.

Mr designer, if you are lurking these forums... do you have the inspiration match for all the gangs? It drives our group nuts to try to find who they are based on...
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