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Subject: 2016 edition: what rules to play? rss

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Gabriel Soto
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I recently acquired a copy of this edition of the game.

So far, I've played one game (three-player) but it left me wondering if some of the new rules may be harming the fun of it.

For reference, here is a great summary by blackgandorf of all the changes introduced in the latest edition.

What most concerns me is the addition of the tertiary bonus when a merger occurs. Not only does a third player get money, but the second bonus level is also higher than before. As was pointed already, this clearly injects much more money into the players' hands compared to the older editions. This could be somewhat balanced with the fact that stock prices get higher faster but I'm not sure, as the bonuses get higher as well.

In the three-player game, it's pretty much guaranteed that every player will get a bonus in a merger, which feels a bit dull. Furthermore, in the only game I played, I never felt like the money was scarce. I bought three stocks per turn, picking the ones I felt were a better investment, but it was the three stocks constraint what I felt limited me from buying more and never the feeling of getting out of money or the urge to save it for later.

I haven't played the older editions so can't compare the experiences. Obviously, I can't judge the game from one play either. However, I see a number of people complaining about the introduced changes. For instance, https://opinionatedgamers.com/2017/02/02/dale-yu-review-of-a....

Now I'm thinking if I should keep playing with the new rules or try a slight tweak where I use the third column as the secondary bonus and discard tertiary bonuses. Has anyone tried this with the new edition?

The new board dimensions and related changes (size of safe corporations, stock price curve, etc.) would be impractical to tweak but these don't seem very disruptive.

So, what are people doing with the new edition? What rules are you playing?
 
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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To me, touching up Sid Sackson's rules would be like touching up one of Rembrandt's paintings. I wouldn't even consider using modified rules.
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Gabriel Soto
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Eric, yes, indeed. Unfortunately, that's not possible with this edition, unless you replace most of the components.

Take my question along the lines of "what can you do to make the most of this 2016 edition?"
 
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Ken Bush
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Eric Brosius wrote:
To me, touching up Sid Sackson's rules would be like touching up one of Rembrandt's paintings. I wouldn't even consider using modified rules.

I think this sentiment is a good analogy. It takes an art aficionado to see Rembrandt's paintings as masterpieces. To the non-art lover it's just a not very interesting painting. I think Acquire and it's new rule set is like that. Experienced and deep gamers will like the tight money methods in the old rules (Rembrandt), but the new rules are more forgiving, much more likely to be accepted by a new-to-gaming person.

Our first play of Acquire ended with one player nearly broke and only a few shares, because he immediately bought shares in a couple companies that didn't merge early. He thought the game would reward that later on. It left a very sour taste because the last 2/3 of the game he spent doing next to nothing because he had no money. The new rules might mitigate this some and lead to a more enjoyable first experience, which might lead you to appreciate deepening the game by using the old rules.

I know it's blasphemy but I don't see why you can't use either rule set depending on the players experience levels.
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Eric Hogue
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gso7o wrote:
Eric, yes, indeed. Unfortunately, that's not possible with this edition, unless you replace most of the components.

Take my question along the lines of "what can you do to make the most of this 2016 edition?"


If you use the rules of previous editions, the change from 12 x 9 (108 tiles, 70 interior) to 10 x 10 (100 tiles, 64 interior) will not be huge.
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Justus
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klbush wrote:
Eric Brosius wrote:
To me, touching up Sid Sackson's rules would be like touching up one of Rembrandt's paintings. I wouldn't even consider using modified rules.

I think this sentiment is a good analogy. It takes an art aficionado to see Rembrandt's paintings as masterpieces. To the non-art lover it's just a not very interesting painting. I think Acquire and it's new rule set is like that. Experienced and deep gamers will like the tight money methods in the old rules (Rembrandt), but the new rules are more forgiving, much more likely to be accepted by a new-to-gaming person.

Our first play of Acquire ended with one player nearly broke and only a few shares, because he immediately bought shares in a couple companies that didn't merge early. He thought the game would reward that later on. It left a very sour taste because the last 2/3 of the game he spent doing next to nothing because he had no money. The new rules might mitigate this some and lead to a more enjoyable first experience, which might lead you to appreciate deepening the game by using the old rules.

I know it's blasphemy but I don't see why you can't use either rule set depending on the players experience levels.


Funny thing...the first game of Acquire we were specifically warned about the dangers of getting cash poor and told to carefully avoid it....and then the rules teacher accidentally stumbled into that trap.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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aaarg_ink wrote:
Funny thing...the first game of Acquire we were specifically warned about the dangers of getting cash poor and told to carefully avoid it....and then the rules teacher accidentally stumbled into that trap.

One amazing thing about Acquire is that before every game I tell myself "don't run out of money", and every game I run out of money anyway.

And I agree with the comment that the change in board geometry probably isn't a big problem. I wouldn't mind playing with the new geometry. I suspect the original shape is because 3M's boxes were not square.
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Jim MacKenzie
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Eric Brosius wrote:
One amazing thing about Acquire is that before every game I tell myself "don't run out of money", and every game I run out of money anyway.


I always run out of money.

It's not about *if* you do, it's about *when* you do. You want your money working for you in this game. If you have too much cash too long, you lose the opportunity for your money to work.

I recently lost a game where I was involved in many, many mergers but all of my companies merged into others, and left me with no shares to buy. I had a crap-ton of cash and nothing on which to spend it. Interesting way to lose.
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Gabriel Soto
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EricHogue wrote:
If you use the rules of previous editions, the change from 12 x 9 (108 tiles, 70 interior) to 10 x 10 (100 tiles, 64 interior) will not be huge.

That's my view as well.

However, there is also the slight tweak in stock prices and shareholder bonuses. If I want to use the old values I would have to print new charts to use with this edition. On the other hand, the changes don't seem that big of a deal, and the new chart values may even work better with the resized board.

If anyone is interested, I've made a chart comparing the stock prices for the low and high-tier chains for both the classic edition and the new one (shareholder bonuses vary in the same way):
.
 
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Whitman Bottiger
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I swear every time I've played the 2016 version we have always run out of money.
 
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