Billabong Boardgamers December 28th, 1997
Present: Doug, David, Janet, JulianPrevious session report
Doug Adams writes:
Julian bought along the mystery game that he finally had the rules for (thanks to Ty - we'd been looking at this box for 6 months and wondering). In this game, the players play forgers who run fake money off their printing presses. The amount they make depends on how many presses they own. This money can be kept, or laundered into 'real' money.
The object of the game is to collect the most silver coins at auction, and real or fake money can be used to bid for these at various auctions that appear throughout the game.
The game is phase driven and players get various choices of action throughout a turn. You can upgrade printing presses to produce a higher currency (at risk of losing the press, and not producing anything with it this turn), launder as much fake money into real money as you want, buy new presses (but only with real money, the sellers can spot fake money!), participate in coin auctions (which you have to do if you're going to win), etc.
The auctions are interesting - when coins are up for auction the initial bid is made, and everyone who wants to stay has to match the bid. The matcher to the left of the initial bidder then raises the bid and can use either real or fake money. The bids have to be matched in exactly the same denominations if the bid is raised in fake money. This adds a whole layer of complexity to the game in terms of what fake money do you hold in your hand, and what do you launder into real money ?
The game ends when either the launder deck is empty (as in our game) or all printing presses are scrapped (a game mechanic progressively removes your printing presses in lower denominations up...). In our game it totally got away from me as David and Julian had more $150 presses than I did and I was sunk. Even though the last hour was boring for me, I could appreciate that there was quite a good "gamers game" happening here - very much a resource management game - but about 30 minutes too long for my tastes. Both David and I couldn't work out how to catch Julian in the endgame, and the last 2 turns seemed pointless as Julian cleaned up the coins. The game probably needs another play, but at 2 hours plus, would be a bit too long for a Billabong night session.
Julian 19 coins
With about 45 minutes left we roped in Janet for a game of Bohnanza. The rules were explained to David and off we went. You've all played it before, but I must say that I was dealt 1 Chocolate bean and picked up the other 3 out of the deck! Amazing. Third bean fields went to David and Janet (not sure if Julian bought one...), and the results were:
Janet 19 Julian 18 Doug 18 David 11