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Acquire» Forums » Variants

Subject: Seeding Variant rss

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Mark Baird

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I've been playing Acquire for several decades without it ever becoming tedious or boring, but I have found that one change improves the beginning game substantially. The problem at the very beginning is that the initial chains are sometimes so sparsely spread it makes it too much a guessing game where to invest. So several turns are "wasted" building up the tile density to the point where stock purchases can be strategically made. The seeding variant simply gets these turns out of the way right away as follows: each player draws enough tiles so that the total tiles held by all players is about a dozen. These tiles are then laid down, all at once or in turn, it doesn't matter, "seeding" the board. Any tile that would create a hotel is discarded and a replacement drawn until all dozen are placed. The player who placed a seeding tile closest to A1 then starts the game normally from that point.

This preliminary seeding tends also to prevent "left out" players who wind up putting all their money into merger orphans, although those players are usually the ones not yet familiar enough with the game to realize that "guessing" what to invest in is a poor strategy.

Or the most common error made by beginners is emotional attachment to whatever hotels they happen to start rather than cold assessment of merger potential, and they often wind up majority holders of never merged orphans. Seeding the board at the beginning cures these problems.
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