Saturday, January 20, 1996

McMulti Game (1/20/1996)

Players: Allan Joshua, Mike, Scott

We hadn't played McMulti in a while, and our faulty memories led to several hosings early in the game. Both Joshua and Mike got to stock their islands with a fair amount of equipment under the favorable "Recovery" economy, but because we rolled to see if the economy changed after each player's turn (which we now know we weren't supposed to do), both Allan and Scott had to pay exhorbinant amounts for much less equipment. All players tried their level best to develop an oil well early, and because of the cheaper (and therefore, more numerous) rigs that they got, Mike and Joshua had success right away. Limited resources combined with his usual poor luck rolling the dice left Allan scrambling to catch up and Scott bought little equipment but got the rolls he needed to begin oil production relatively soon.

Joshua forged an early lead with two working pumps, with Mike close behind (after turning a $65 million profit on the sale of his first well) and Scott not far from Mike. Allan's bad luck continued as the first bit of news closed the foreign market, leaving him with massive reserves of refined oil and nowhere to sell it. In addition to the closed market, the economy was quite stagnant (due to another rules misinterpretation on our part), often staying in one mode for four to eight rounds. These conditions forced players to hoard their oil until something broke the tide, but further news threatened to tax those reservers and there seemed no way out. Scott left (at 1:00) and the others persevered.

The boredom of playing with no economic change spurred Mike, Joshua and Allan instituted a house rule that when the consumer market hit zero the economy automatically switched over to "Depression." This helped Joshua, who had free oil coming out of the ground and being refined all the time (though they failed to tell me how this affected the other players), and made the game more interesting since you could always buy your equipment during "Depression" and sell it when it became more valuable and because the consumer market always moved. Game ended (at about 2:45 am) when the "tax" news came to fruition and Allan couldn't sell enough equipment to pay for it (the one disadvantage of playing so often in "depression"). Joshua won and everyone wanted a more dynamic economy and some sleeeeep.

A word from our winner, Joshua

"LUCK and diversification are the key to this one. Get a pump, a refinery, and a station and you have a money machine that pays in all seasons. Don't just stick to stations, the margin in buying gas and selling to the consumer market just isn't enough to compete when others can produce gas for free. If you do acquire the pieces to a money machine, USE IT. Always sell everything you can to earn a free buck:. Remember: any oil that comes out of a pump is free money -- so take it."

Scott's words to live by:
- Reread the rules when you dust off a game that has set on your shelf for a year.
- This game probably has too much luck to be taken very seriously (see next week's "winner's tip" for details).

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