No Games - 31 Oct
No Games - 31 Oct
Tim and Dave arrived to try out BULLFROG GOLDFIELD. This is a railroad (and mining) game where players are investing in companies and trying to make their fortunes. As I noted in the suggestion, this game is centered around the gold/silver rush in the Nevada desert as players try to build out to mines to increase the railroad value. Mines attempt to lure multiple railroads to increase their value (while diminishing the railroads value). Buildings (boom towns) can help both. But as the designer himself mentions, this is not a game of developing a money engine and then revving it up, it is a rush to maximize one’s opportunities at the time. And that was one aspect we didn’t fully appreciate going into the game. We were all surprised how quickly stock value could increase in a company. This is also a game where player interaction is important – by that I mean, if someone opens a railroad, it might behoove others to quickly buy the remaining 2 shares so as to spread the wealth rather than allow someone to monopolize that railroad. We did this later in the game, but due to our play style, we started in separate regions and didn’t interfere with each other until later in the game.
Tim started the Bullfrog Goldfield RR (Black) and with an extra action in the first turn, opened the Tonopah, built buildings in Goldfield, and placed track to have the Bullfrog starting well in the first turn. Rich started from Las Vegas (Blue) and headed for the Goldcenter Mines. Dave started the Silver Peak (Red) which has several mines close by, but all in the mountains. With all the various adjustments for connecting to things, building things – it did take us a while to see how things fit together. And the dividend payout (1/3 of capital, not 1/3 of income) took to turn or two to understand. Dave did run into immediate trouble as he was taking out excessive bonds to develop into the mountains with the result that the SilverPeak would never be profitable and worth 0 at game’s end. Rich did build several buildings in Las Vegas out of his personal holdings as he saw that he would generate returns on each building thanks to having 2 shares of his railroad with Dave holding the third share. By the time we were nearing game end, we were starting to see how each move was really an effort to maximize net return on capital, but by this point Dave’s Silverpeak was his Achilles’ heel and Tim was monopolizing the Bullfrog Goldfield:
Tim: 844 / Rich: 795 / Dave: 538
Wednesday is Halloween (Trick or Treat). As our game table is right next to the front door, I do think it will be a bit disruptive to have games and answer the door on a frequent basis. Also, I suspect that others in the group will have candy giving duties as well this day. Let’s take a 1 week break and meet up again in November. While that might be a bad trick, I do have some potential treats for the weeks ahead. I do have Splotter’s Essen release The Great Zimbabwe in hand as well as a few other new releases as well. So I suspect we will have some good games to explore going forward, as well as a good library of previously played games (Starship Merchants and Bullfrog (for me at least)) that might see more playtime to further explore.
See you in November.