On 2 February 2008, David brought along Samurai & Katana and played it with Nick, Peter and some others. It took most of the evening. At 10pm they started a Cartagena game. Nigel, Manuela, André and others played one game of Power Grid. I brought my recently acquired 30 year old copy of Acquire and played with Michael, Keith and Simon. Only Michael had played it before, some time ago. He told us a re-edition is due this Summer.
We all loved the game. In spite of playing with open stock and money, it’s difficult to get an overview of who’s ahead. We have asked for each other’s stocks a couple of times, but never for the money. In the end, it was exciting to count the money: Simon won with \$49k+, with me less then \$2k behind. Simon got first majority bonuses at various mergers, while I got some 2nd bonuses and the majority in the largest and most expensive chain, Capitol, with 31 hotels. Luckily, Keith had put an extra hotel and declared the game finished (the conditions were already satisfied three turns earlier).
It was always tense to decide which stock to buy (if you had money): do you go for a more expensive chain that has good chances of becoming safe, or do you buy cheap stock in small chains that will be bought out in a few turns ahead? But which chain will merge with which one? And is there still opportunity for the chain to be re-created? In the end, all but Keith had one worthless Tower stock. Imperial and Worldwide were recreated (one of them twice, I think), but not Tower. In the end, only American, Festival and Continental existed.
Very good game, played in about 1h30; quite good for a first-time attempt. I especially liked the flow of the game: cash gets rare, until the first merge happens and then it’s a roller coaster of cash going up and down. I think we played with slightly wrong rules: we sometimes formed an eighth hotel chain. The only thing the game needs is a chain size track to avoid downtime. Fortunately, there are several ones on the Geek.
Michael had to go, so we three played a game of Thurn & Taxis, using Matt’s copy and finished in about an hour. I managed to win, due to several factors: I was the only one to have a post office in each region, I got the first 7 route bonus and the first bonus for the largest region, Bavaria, and I had a 6-card. With a victory, how could my admiration for this aesthetically and conceptually beautiful game not grow?