Meeting of the Minds
Parker Brothers Exec: Thank you for coming on such short notice, gentlemen. You are here because you are the best of the best. Our marketing department has determined that a board game about real estate in Atlantic City would be incredibly popular this year. Given your respective credentials, we will leave the details up to the six of you. Good luck!
Martin Wallace: "Real estate in Atlantic City" is a little thin. What's the real theme going to be?
Alan Moon: 10 Days in New Jersey.
Leo Colovini: Why do we need a theme at all? Just get some cubes in five colors...
Reiner Knizia: Don't worry about theme, Leo. We can paste it on later.
Wallace: Each player represents a powerful Italian Renaissance brokerage firm vying for control over The New World.
Moon: Will there be trains?
Klaus Teuber: They sail to The New World, settling on the shores, competing for resources.
Wolfgang Kramer: Each time a ship lands, players have a round of scoring based on who has the most and second-most brokers on each property.
Teuber: Not brokers. Settlements.
Colovini: There are 5 different kinds of properties, each a different color.
Moon: There's a deck of cards with these five colors. Players draw cards on their turn, and place a new settlement if they can play 3 cards of the same color.
Wallace: Players should be able to make deals and sell their cards to each other.
Colovini: Perhaps we need some kind of connectivity.
Wallace: Works for me.
Kramer: Players each have some kind of pawn they can move from place to place...
Colovini: To...supervise...the building of these settlements? Some kind of...provost?
Teuber: Um...Reiner? Reiner?
Knizia: Oh, sorry. I was just making some notes. I worked out the math of a real estate market, interest rates, etc., and made some charts.
Colovini: You really think players are going to enjoy looking at charts?
Knizia: Of course not. The numbers will be seamlessly worked into the design.
Wallace: Okay, so what can you do on your turn? What actions are available?
Kramer: And how many action points should they each cost? Let's see. Build. Move. Buy. Sell. Do we want to have gems?
Moon: Gems! When players excavate to build their settlements, they find gems!
Knizia: In New Jersey?
Colovini: So how do you move around the board? I think maybe by playing cards.
Teuber: Two six-sided dice. That eliminates the luck of the draw.
Kramer: One action point per space.
Knizia: Why move at all. Players should be able to pick arbitrary spaces in which to perform their actions. The meat of this game is economics.
Wallace: It's just another bargaining chip. If I can move three spaces and you can't, then I can negotiate with you for something you have, either as some sort of deal or threat.
Teuber: And if you roll a 7, then you can steal something from another player.
Wallace: For 5 actions points, my settlement can attack your settlement. Roll 2d6...
Wallace: ...and add any modifiers to determine victory. But there can only be 3 attacks per real estate season.
Moon: Can you attack by train?
Colovini: I think you should have to play cards in the color of the opponent's property to attack them.
Kramer: Gentlemen! We are getting nowhere. Let's try to focus on the current topic: the components.
Wallace: A map of the Atlantic Ocean with New Jersey on the left and Europe on the right.
Teuber: Marty, forget Europe. We need a close up of Atlantic City with roads and locations.
Colovini: Five different colors of properties to own, several of each color.
Knizia: If a player owns all the properties of a single color, they get some kind of monopoly bonus.
[Everyone perks up.]
Moon: The larger the set, the larger the bonus. Triangular sequence?
Wallace: Different areas of the city should be worth more than others.
Colovini: There could be more than just property too. Cities need water and electricity.
Moon: And trains!
Colovini: And trains. And perhaps even taxes.
Kramer: Who's going to want to play a game with taxes? You might as well have human sacrifice.
Knizia: And pyramids!?
Teuber: This still sounds too deterministic. We need a random element. Perhaps a deck of cards with events on them?
Wallace: Events should be put on tiles that are all face up. Players should be able to choose any event they want as long as they can pay for it.
Kramer: Okay. That's 3 votes for wood, 1 for cardboard, 1 for plastic, and 1 for...metal?
Wallace: It's bold, but a little unorthodox.
Colovini: Sounds expensive.
Knizia: Doesn't really fit the theme well, does it?
Kramer: [spit gag] Um...yeah, good point, Reiner.
Teuber: [brushing water off his shirt] Let's take a break. It seems like we are all getting tired, and hungry to boot.
Moon: Did you just say, "boot"?