Billabong Boardgamers - March 2nd, 1999
Present: Roger, Dey, Bernie, Doug, Janet, Moray, Liz, Alan, Julian, Greg
Doug Adams writes:
Lots of people, lots of games - due to a rotten cold I'm having a hard time remembering what I'm supposed to be reporting on, so I'll just wing it.
This is one of Greg's favorite games, and a game strangely neglected at Billabong. I can only ever recall playing it once there. Janet and I went berserk when we first received a copy, and played it to death several years back. It was good to play it again.
Playing were: Alan, Greg, Doug, Janet, Bernie House rule: all stock open
Bernie arrived just as we finished setting up (Bernie is clever!), and we went into the game. Tower started in a strong position in the center of the board and expanded in an "east-west" direction across the board. American and Festival were soon swallowed up and Tower quickly became "safe" with 11 in the chain. Doug and Greg were the majority holders in Tower.
Alan and Bernie had put a lot of early effort into Continental, a lucrative chain, but seemed to be having some trouble getting it merged into the large Tower chain. Janet was holding the other rich chain, Imperial, which was also in danger of takeover. Doug quickly invested in Imperial.
Worldwide up in the top left of the board was started early by Greg, and he invested in it very early. Doug began collecting Worldwide as well. From this point on the holdings of Greg and Doug were remarkably similar, each player having trouble in establishing a majority over the other.
At about the 90 minute mark the game looked like ending shortly, with Tower threatening to hit 41 hotels. Worldwide had finally slid into Tower, giving Greg some nice cash, while the Tower majority was split at 9-9 between Greg and Doug.
At the end of the game the scores were:
This could have easily been Greg's game: - Greg had the opportunity to sell off all his Festival after a takeover, but held one share in case the chain restarted. It wasn't, so that single Festival share was left in Greg's stock. - Both Greg and Doug missed an opportunity to purchase the single Tower stock that was left, to give a 10-9 lead over the other player. I can't believe we both missed it! Janet bought it.
Doug's rating: 8
This started off as a five player game with Liz, Moray, Dey, Roger and a very croaky Doug trying to explain the rules. All that "Moo-ing" during Zoff in Buffalo had really caused the voice to degenerate.
The rules were explained - and I think this game must take the prize for the "easiest-to-play-but-hardest-to-explain" game of all time - when there was general hilarity and uproar from the other table. Greg had been eliminated from a game of Filthy Rich and was pushed in our direction.
Aha! Time to try the 6 player version for the first time, courtesy of K-ban's