Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Economic (stock)

The best board & card games with a stock market system...

Also nominated:

For comparison purposes, the top six games from 2002:



Blogger Chris Farrell said...

I had some problems with this category, specifically that just because you have components in a game labeled as "stock" does not make that game a stock market game. Union Pacific is an egregious example ... the game may have "stock certificates", but there is no market for them - you can't sell them ever, they have no valuation, you can't freely buy them. They are stock certificates no more than the "money" in that game (which you completely illiquid and can't actually be used to buy anything) is really money. Union Pacific is a very fine game, but it's a set-collection game, not a stock market game. It's not even an economic game really, since there is no cash and nothing is ever bought or sold or valued in any real sense. You just spend actions to draft or play cards.

Same comment for Stimmt So!, which is also a set-collection game and simply not a stock market game. There is no market for the things that just happened to be labeled as stock.

I was willing to concede that Stephenson's Rocket and Acquire are stock market games, but even those cases are borderline: Acquire stock certificates certainly aren't very liquid, and neither are they in Stephenson's Rocket. I think both do capture the feel of stock market speculation, so that's good, even if the game mechanics don't actually model a stock market. That would be fine, but the criteria for nomination says the game should include a stock market system. Very few of the nominated have an actual market for stocks.

Obviously, 18xx is the premiere stock market game, and 1825 specifically.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Degann said...

I am in absolute agreement with Chris on the issue of defining "stock". Well stated. As I mentioned in an earlier article, the so-called "stock" in UP could have easily been represented as area control. Instead of taking a "share" a player could put a wooden cube in an area. The game would be the same.

The category is more meaningful for games where players buy shares hoping that they will appreciate, for later sale. 18xx is the classic example, but others (on and off the list) include:
Goldbrau (which I like to call 18xx very-lite)
Palmyra/Buy Low Sell High
Big Boss
Cartel (different in that it is more of a corporate finance game, in which players start out owning all the shares of their own company, and must time their sale in order to raise capital for expansion.)

11:49 AM  
Blogger AnakinOU said...

Die Baumeister von Arkadia is my recent favorite, as far as "stock market" games go. Simple, straightforward, and without too much additional...stuff...getting in the way.

11:01 AM  

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