Friday, November 09, 2012

Boardgame Cafe: Crude Oil

So tonight we ended up back at Boardgame Cafe as we were free tonight and there were new games from Essen to try out.

First up tonight: Crude Oil, with sinbadwolf, Khim, angxj and yours truly.

It's a dice-throwing game where players take turns throwing dices to activate assets they've built on their quadrant of the board (we kept thinking of Battleship).

You throw the dices, activate buildings that land on the coordinate lines (harvesting crude oil, refining crude oil to gasoline and selling said gasoline if possible), and buying/selling assets as the player sees fit according to the market forces.

The game starts with everyone having $200mil, and gameplay progresses until a player gets $750mil, then there's a final turn for all players (except the player that triggered the endgame step).

Pretty much looks like a quick game of throw-dice, get oil, buy-sell, and hopefully don't get screwed by the market.

Jack208 said the game would take around an hour or so to complete. Our game went from...late 9.30pm all the way till 1am. We're thinking this was due to dice rolls and inventory hoarding. The game began with everyone going roughly for the same strategy (a refinery to convert crude oil to gasoline, a couple of gas stations to sell gasoline to customers, and as many oil drills to dig for oil), with angxj going for more oil drills concentrated in a certain area of his quardrant.

Somewhere in our first round itself we were hit by taxes when angxj and us rolled double 1s, bleeding our funds dry when we had to pay tax for every barrel of crude oil and gasoline we owned - angxj was first to have to decide which of his assets he had to sell to pay off taxes. It didn't help when the economic state went on the rise, pushing prices of refineries/drills/stations up.

Soon everyone got a feel for the flow of the game, and worked towards his own strategy: angxj kept up with trying to build oil wells to generate crude oil, Khim aimed more on selling gasoline via gas stations, sinbadwolf had a balanced game, and we decided on buying crude oil from the domestic/foreign market, concentrating on refineries to convert them and stations to sell them to customers while keeping a minimal number of buildings.

In our game run, the economic state of the game kept switching from recessions, depressions, downturns and recoveries, keeping the customer market for selling gasoline low (although buying buildings were also cheap). We've only ever hit a economic state of prosperity twice, so trying to make money from selling gasoline wasn't lucrative enough. Even selling to the domestic/foreign market fared only slightly better.

angxj and sinbadwolf hoarded crude oil produced by their oil wells, and when it came to a point where we were all locked out from buying crude oil from the foreign market, the rest of us suffered as prices for crude oil went on the rise, from less than 10mil to 10-15mil per barrel. It didn't help Khim and us that angxj and sinbadwolf only sold a few barrels back to the market, and customer demand for gasoline remained low.

In the end Khim had to rid himself of his oil well to finance his other assets, angxj utilised his entire territory with an orderly arrangement of oil drills and wells, stations and refineries, sinbadwolf and us were trying to get more wells. Then came a point where angxj, having stocked up enough barrels of crude oil and gas, decided to sell everything to trigger the end game.

End score:
sinbadwolf: 820
Khim: 741
angxj: 1169
us: 714