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Subject: What a cracker! rss

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Paul Billingham
United Kingdom
St Albans
Hertfordshire
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After a quick game of For Sale it was decided to get straight into a game of Tycoon, a game I had borrowed off Mr Wade and was keen to try out again as I hadn’t played it for a few years. My playing partners were Dave and Tim. Dave was a relative newbee to gaming but extremely enthusiastic after a number of recent games evenings. Tim was a gaming virgin and keen to play after feeling gutted at missing past gaming nights. Tycoon was a perfect introduction. The board was greeted with interest as the players studied the somewhat retro artwork and played with the simple plastic planes. The rules were pretty easy to explain and pretty soon we were ready to take off.
The mood was very jovial and as the wine and beer flowed, almost immediately the money was being referred to as “elephantums” and the act of flying around the world to various cities had taken on a life of its own. Before long Dave had spent most of his money on tickets, Tim had got side tracked in Sydney and I was content to fly here and there to boost my distribution and get ahead in some hotel chains. Very soon all of us had lost our initial angst at getting out loans and were borrowing freely.
Now I won’t get bogged down in the boring details of scores and results because quite frankly I can’t remember them. It was one of those nights. All I would say is that Dave had a very good head for numbers and kept tabs on his borrowing/investments. Into the last round Dave and I were pretty equal on the money front with Tim lagging behind with a few debts still to pay. Dave and Tim had quite a few factories including one each in Sydney which was the longest hotel chain. The state of play was such that I decided to go all out and invest heavily in Monaco, making it the longest chain plus getting two factories there. This was working a treat until the penultimate turn where Dave and Tim managed to join forces, fly to sydney and both buy a hotel making the chain one longer than mine. This doubled their score and halved mine. Error on my part. Dave won with 158 million elephantums and Tim came an amazingly close second with 156 million elephantums. I was way back with only 112 million elephantums. The two newbees had stitched the relative old timer and I was well impressed with their efforts.
I have to say that I think that this is an excellent game. It has to be a young classic. The slightly old fashioned 80’s style artwork is charming. The theme is brilliant. You really do become absorbed in flying around the world and buying the tickets to make the connections makes you feel like one of the jet set just for a moment. And as for the crack. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. This game made a refreshing change and I would give it my full recommendation as a more light hearted game which still has enough strategy to keep everyone interested.
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John Harrington
United Kingdom
Hertford
Hertfordshire
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On the last two occasions that I have played this (July and November of 2018), the game has been won both times by a player who had a factory (or two) on Monaco but at least on the second occasion I spotted this and tried to prevent Monaco from being the longest chain.

Coincidentally, I did so by boosting Sydney, as was the case in Paul’s game (see above).

Paul may berate himself for not building an extra hotel in Monaco to preserve its longest chain status but the game is quite clever in that the law of diminishing returns sets in and the last few hotel spaces actually diminish the pay-out, so it may have been self-defeating to have done so.

Our group now thinks that building factories in expensive resorts and then pumping in hotels is the way to win but I feel sure there are counter-strategies. When I play this game I always get the feeling I am playing against the other players rather than exploiting “can’t fail” strategies.
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