Greatest secret agent in the world!!!
Acquire: Dan called for Acquire next (what's new?) and as it was similar enough to Union Pacific that our "new" player Richard would have no problem learning we all agreed. Besides that it's simply a great game.
Again Richard got the gist quickly and actually was the source of the first merge, which was a long time coming. Dan and I were the last to run out of cash, he because he had taken the slum lord route of mostly investing in Sackson and Zeta, me because I'd actually skipped the first turn buying of the one and only Hydra chain since I didn't want to get into a 3 or 4 way race. I believe there were a few folks sitting on merger tiles that were not favorable to them. Richard finally merged Quantum into Fusion. I took the majority holder's bonus; he took the minority bonus.
From there things continued to go my way. Everyone started to get cash though, but I seemed to be taking bonuses most often. The odd thing about that is that I never caused a merger, not even once. I did have many reform tiles and quickly reformed gobbled up chains when I had the chance, thus netting myself a few free stocks. Marty was the most cash poor, rarely if ever netting a holder bonus, but needing to make a merger here and there to keep his cash flow going.
As the game progressed it seemed like it was a race between Dan and I as towards endgame he and I were the only ones with plenty of cash. He started to buy up Quantums, trying to edge Richard out for 2nd place in this very large chain. He couldn't touch my first place spot, but I bought the last few stocks in order to cut him out of a holder's bonus, instead guaranteeing Richard second place there. Next came a fight over Zeta. Dan had a slight lead over Marty and Richard; both tied for 2nd place. I entered the fray and tied up for second also. Somehow Dan missed a step in there, or something, I'm not sure what, but with 4 remaining stocks in it I was able to buy up 3 and pass him by 2 thus taking away 1st place from him in it.
The game ended shortly after. I had wrapped up the victory, but surprisingly it wasn't Dan who was my closest competition, it was Richard. He had majority holder's bonus in the nice sized Fusion chain, and 2nd bonus in the largest chain Quantum thanks to my earlier move. In the end tally Dan only got the minority bonus for Zeta. I took both majority bonuses in Zeta and Quantum. Marty only had 2nd bonus in Fusion.
Rich: 44, 400
A weird game for me, I never made a merger, but somehow walked away with victory. My locking out of Dan for a bonus in Quantum was a key move, as was my surprise (at least to me) takeover of Zeta (I went from last to 1st during the endgame). I gotta believe Dan missed an opportunity to lock it up. Regardless I probably would've come out on top, but it would've been tighter. As I mentioned cash flow wasn't a problem for most until the endgame and by then there were only a few chains to compete in. So everyone was involved for most of the game. What can I say, another great session of Acquire.
I think Richard enjoyed his intro into these types of games. He seemed surprised and delighted by their depth and short play time. Hopefully he can drop in a couple more times before he heads back to the bayou.