Top Race, Cartel, Stone Age and so on

Catching up again.

  • Top Race. A Wolfgang Kramer race game from 1996, just recently released in Finland. Not a bad game to release, though, as the game’s pretty solid for a family racing fun. Players get cards that move all cars, then the six cars are auctioned and the race is driven. The better your car places, the more money you earn — hopefully more than you paid for the cars. Three races, most money wins. Simple and entertaining.
  • Cartel. A Philip Orbanes money game from 1973! The best economics game from 1970s, I’m told, and it’s easy to believe that. Players buy companies that make money, trying to get lots of money and valuable companies. The catch? There’s not enough cash, so the purchases have to funded by bonds (pays half of the company, but sucks half of the profits as well) and selling stock (which would be more valuable later and best if not sold at all). How much debt you can take to expand as much as you wish? Interesting game, but with some luck-of-the-draw issues.
  • Portobello Market. Good: clever game, 20 minutes per match. Bad: just not interesting enough to own.
  • Stone Age. I tried the starvation strategy for the first time. Instead of feeding my people, I let them starve and took 10-point penalties. I got a record score of 290 points (against rusty opponents, though). Next time, I didn’t get any of the necessary cards and had a bit of a bad luck with the dice, and lost. So it’s not a guaranteed winning strategy. In the third game this weekend I took a more traditional approach and got back on the winning streak. Multipliers of 7 for both huts and people, thank you…
Got decent results from a math trade. Didn’t get Acquire and the games I got were not that interesting — well, Tulipmania is — but I did score something like 60 euros and got rid of more games than I got, so that’s a good thing (this math trade allowed using money in trades, which is a very clever idea and a good lubricant for the trades).

Cartel looks lovely:

An empire in the making

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2 responses to “Top Race, Cartel, Stone Age and so on”

  1. Your idea of lovely-looking is clearly not the same as mine 🙂

    Cartel sounds like it could have been a Martin Wallace game, or is that just superficial similarities?