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Subject: Quick Thoughts After ONE Play rss

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Snooze Fest
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Hillsborough
North Carolina
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We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
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COMMENTS

Summary
This game feels sort of like a classic -- i.e., almost untouched by modern Euro- or even "Ameritrash" ideas. It seems like it could be a pretty good mass market game, and certainly a good alternative to Monopoly. Actually, for the mass market it could be to Monopoly what Axis and Allies is to Risk -- similar basic idea but with a step up in depth. But it needs a lot of streamlining before having any chance in the hobby market. I am certainly not likely to play this again without some rules changes!

Problems
Surprisingly, the economics of the game -- drawing from a random mix of cash/action cards based on company incomes -- works reasonably well. Unfortunately, there are several problems:

- Rulebook. Overall well written, the rulebook still left us with several questions, for example:
... does all spent money go to the bank, or is some supposed to go to the discard pile (I don't think this would have any effect, though)?
... When you take a company public, do you remove the company marker from the map (we said yes -- used it to mark the company card so we knew the original owner)?
... Why the "no change" rule for Perceived Value cards, since you can take debt at any time for any reason (just take debt to make up the difference btwn the debt you're paying off, and $25)?
... Do Disasters in a region affect income only from companies in that region, or (as written in rulebook) ALL of companies of any player present in that region (we played the former)?
... What do you do if paying expenses requires debt that takes you over your debt limit?
NOTE: some (many?) of these are answered/clarified by posts here on BGG. I just wish those were in the rulebook! Also, that some of the answers were different (e.g., disasters ARE supposed to hit all of a player's income; this is supposed to be a deal-making/negotiation game)

- The random income, especially since there is just ONE $50 card in the deck, is annoyingly random! But in reality it may not be as horrible as it seems: there are a bunch of Perceived Value cards in there, and they are worth at least $25 each.

- Too many Power Combinations: as companies go in and out of public ownership, it's difficult to keep track of which combos you actually have at any moment. Also, there aren't enough player markers to record all those combos!

- The take-that cards (Lawyer, Disaster) are indeed irritating. Disasters, especially, can hurt a specific player. I don't enjoy take-that games!

- Downtime between turns can be an issue; you can't really plan anything since you receive your income at the start of your turn, and generally end the turn with little or no cards in hand. It may be better to take income at the end of your turn (which may make Disasters more palatable as well).




RULES SUMMARY

Setup
The board is a map of the world divided into 3 Markets, each with 3 Regions. Each region has 4 different industries; each market has 2 of each of the 6 industries in the game. Create the bank with 5 $1s, $5s, and $10s; shuffle all remaining Asset cards together. Each player gets a random company (value 2-6), placing the company marker in its space and an office marker in that region, and a random hand of 10 Asset cards. Random start player.

Player Turns
1. Income. Draw asset cards for all your companies (1-6 cards each), max 15 cards. Also draw 1 card per factory you own.

2. Pay expenses (half of the sum of companies values); take debt if necessary (and at any time for any reason, up to your debt limit (=value of all your companies plus $10 per office and factory you own).

3. Actions, in any order as often as you like:
- pay off debt (with cash, or using Perceived Value cards worth $25 each)
- buy office markers ($10 in your original Market; $20 elsewhere; max 1/player/region)
- buy factory ($10 each; max 1/company -- place black token on the company card)
- take company public (max 1/player/turn): lose control of company, earn immediate income (draw wards = 2 x company number of 1-6)
- play action card
... Lawyer to steal random card from a player, unless they defend with their own lawyer card
... Disaster onto region or to remove previously played disaster; max 3 disasters on board; these halve income from companies in that region; either card for Private auction: flip top Company card, and you may buy it for its Value if eligible = you have office in that region)
... Broker to buy a public company (may not buy back company you just took public this turn). If taking your own company back, it's free! Otherwise, pay company value ($10-60)
- knock = trigger final round (everyone, including you?, gets one final turn). You must have 0 debt, and at least $1 billion in net worth. NO DEBT FINANCING AVAILABLE FOR FINAL ROUND.
... Net Worth = cash + company values + values based on power combinations + values of saved Perceived Value cards
... Power Combos: 12 possible ones, marked on each player's personal board. All public companies can be used to help create these combos.
... Perceived Value cards: each is associated with some combo. At end of game, if you have that combo, card is worth $100 million.

4. Public Auction. Flip top 3 company cards; put ONE up for public auction. Minimum bid = company value. Only players with offices in the region may bid.

5. Pay Interest. If, before step 4, you had any debt, roll the d6 (1-1-5-5-5-10) and take on more debt as indicated.

Winning
Only eligible to win if you have NO debt.
Winner is player with highest net worth.
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Adel Zekri
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Subang Jaya
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Hmmm Interesting Way of reviewing, I like it!

But what is your conclusion on whether you like the game or not?
Your 2 cents worth?
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Snooze Fest
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Hillsborough
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We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
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My thoughts are in the quick summary and problems section, at the top. Basically, I didn't like it. But it's not a game designed for me. For me, it needs to be streamlined, play faster, have less randomness, have a rules rewrite/revision, and better player aids.
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Aaron DeMaster
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Milwaukee
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Just played it for the first time today. Agree that it needs a rewrite and much clarification. Until then, I'll be passing on Globalization...
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Jamieson
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Dublin
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A few responses after playing this for the first time today.

Money to the bank or discard?: We always put spent money into the discard. When we borrowed money, we just took debt cards. Maybe this was the wrong way to do it, but it kept the money flowing, as with only 3 players, we started shuffling a lot once people started getting 3 or 4 corporations. Maybe this was the wrong way to do it, but we really didn't see the point of separating money for the bank. You have a limit of how much you can borrow based on assets, that's the only limiter you need.

Taking a corp public: yes, we did remove the token. Since it's a public company, leaving your marker on it doesn't make sense.

Disasters: We looked this one up online. Disasters affect your draw for all of your corporations. I was in India, and had 2 corps in there, along with some others elsewhere (in other markets too), and was still only drawing half of my cards. Made up for it by getting more corps, and building factories. Took forever to get rid of it.

Debt limit: The way we understood it, you could only borrow money for buying new corps or other stuff up to your limit. We had one guy who had to borrow beyond his limit to pay off his expenses, and he had to pay off that debt before he could borrow any more money to build more.

Random income: I hit that $50 million card 3 times, so I must be really lucky. One guy never saw it. Otherwise, yes it is balanced pretty well.

Power Combos you just need to keep track of from one turn to the next. I screwed a guy out of a scalar run 1-6 by privatizing a 3 corp on my last turn. You're right though, there aren't enough markers provided. Throw in a little bag of glass beads to use as markers on your Power Combo sheet.

Take that cards: well you either like em or you hate em. I got hit early with a disaster, and it took most of the game to get out from under it, but I still almost won. You just need an easygoing group of guys, and nobody who is going to flip the table if they get hit hard.

Downtime: I didn't think downtime was too bad. I was using it to try to plan my next move or so, knowing I had to be able to pay off so much in expenses or in debt. Holding on to a few action cards rather than using them all helps with the strategy.

Oh and we had another rule we figured out: The broker card can be used to privatize a corporation, and then immediately make it public again for a quick influx of cash. HOWEVER you CANNOT make a corporation public, then immediately make is private again afterwards. You need to leave it until your next turn to allow others a chance to buy it.
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Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Sounds interesting but not enough to buy. I might play it someday if someone else brings it to a table near me...

Thanks for the quick thoughts, you just saved me money!
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