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Subject: Another memorable game of Bootleggers rss

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Bill Jones
United States
Niantic
Connecticut
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Our gaming group played Bootleggers last night for the first time in 6 months. It was our 7th time playing it overall. And it was the second time we had a fantastic, memorable ending.

The first memorable ending for us with this game was actually the first time we played it two years ago, where I described that game in a review http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/448182/beneath-the-inter.... In that one, a player going into the 11th round with less than $50G played a masterstroke with the "Big Payoff" Thug card to haul in $70G in one shipment at the Real McCoy and pull off the unlikely win. We were all so stunned in admiration of that perfectly executed move that we hardly minded losing in that way. It was a boisterous, beer-spilling moment - one that none of us will ever forget.

And last night it happened again. There were 6 of us, including two players new to the game. One of the noobs, call him Ed The Hammer, is a particularly skilled gamer who quickly caught on to the game's strategies. By the 8th round, The Hammer had gained control of Mother's Speakeasy and had started pulling in consistent $24G shipments, and by the 10th round it was looking more and more like just a matter of time before he would announce that he had reached $100G. During the constant in-game banter, The Hammer was almost cocky while identifying the two players (Robin Big Tuna and BabyFace Koneru) he thought were his biggest threats, and he actually scoffed when I suggested there was another player he was dismissing who was still very much alive with a handful of powerful Thug cards showing. Being new to the game, he underestimated the game-changing ability of some of the cards.

The player who had amassed the Thug cards was just biding his time until his moment came. He never had controlling influence in any Speakeasy all game, but nonetheless, had enough influence, production, and shipping to stay competitive while preparing for his move. I would point out that this player (Ken Crazy Eye) is also an excellent gamer, and his strategy was very well thought out. In front of him were the "Investigation," "Word of Mouth," and "Big Payoff" Thug cards. "Investigation" nullifies any other Thug card, and one of the best things about having this card is that no one else does. "Word of Mouth" increases the profit by $1G/crate in an open Speakeasy for one round. The "Big Payoff" allows a player to control any open Speakeasy for one round.

In Round 11, Crazy Eye made his move after knowing the last of the Speakeasy shutdown cards had been played. He moved in on the Real McCoy, playing both the "Big Payoff" and "Word of Mouth" cards in combination to pull in a smooth $38G profit on top of his $16G shipment.

At round end, The Hammer called out Crazy Eye. Ed The Hammer was showing a cool $105G. Ken Crazy Eye had come up a little short, showing an even $100G. But, in a stunning twist, Crazy Eye suddenly "remembered" a secret stash of chips stuck in his shirt pocket, bringing his total to about $112G! The room was still buzzing 15 minutes later!

I can't remember a more fun ending to any game we have ever played in our group. I practically cried I was laughing so hard. And the first time we played Bootleggers two years ago was probably the second most fun ending to any game ever in our group. Bootleggers is most certainly a crowd-pleasing game. The interaction during the game, with the open-ended negotiating and back-stabbing tactics, is second to none. So the atmosphere stays supercharged througout, making rousing endings more likely than not. I know I speak for the group in saying that none of us will ever, ever forget Crazy Eye and his almost-forgotten, game-winning stash.
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Flying Arrow
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Pennsylvania
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Why were the thug cards in front of him? Unless he's using them for extortion, that is. No need to advertise a plan...
 
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Tyrone Slothrop
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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I've always played with the cards hidden myself, but I guess it really doesn't matter, they are all exposed at first. You pretty much remember them anyway.

Sounds like a good game though! I haven't played bootleggers in a while, this has got me inspired, think Ill bring this to my game group this weekend, thanks!
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Christopher Hill
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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Awesome report Bill! We have several in our group who love Bootleggers too, including myself. Seems like every time we play the trash talk gets better. I don't think the game is for everyone, but when you get the right group together in the right mood it is a blast.
 
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ray e
United States
Unspecified
Michigan
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AWESOME!!!!

-the "R" in SDR games.
 
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