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E$

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Author: Armstrong

Publisher: Ravensburger 2004

Awards: none

EVALUATION

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G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

E$ originally was invented by the Armstrong group, a firm that has specialised in inventing products with a high market potential. As far as I could find out, E$ is their first boardgame. An internet portal for the game - where you will be able to play online - is currently under construction.

The board shows a world map, which is segmented in the different countries. As in the famous Risk-game the continents are marked in different colours. During the game the players try to get influence in the different countries by getting involved in various investments. This normally will guarantee them to earn a lot of money when it comes to a cash phase. So as you can see E$ is a kind of economy game.

The basic mechanism of the game is quite simple. At the beginning the players are given some money and draw 2 mission cards and four country cards. On each country card you can find a country and an investment, (which are oil, tractors, satellites, factories, gold and skyscrapers). Whenever the players draw a country card they place the specific investment together with one of their markers on the country.

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Each round begins with the rolling of two special dice. The active player choses one of the action and gives other dice to his left neighbour, who must do the action after the first player has done his turn. The result of a dice-roll can be one of the following:

  • "Yes" or "No" result in drawing one card from the stack. The player then must fulfil the action described on the card. This for example can be taxes on all skyscrapers of the player.
  • If a cash-result on a dice is chosen the player puts the cash marker on the board one, two or three steps forward. In the end one player gets 100.000 E$, the currency of the game. Which player earns the money, depends on the symbol on the new square of the marker. It can be the one with the most investment goods in one continent or with the most investment goods of one kind in the world. If none of the squares is positive for the player, he can sell his right by auction.
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  • The country-result on a dice enables the player to draw a new country card and thus to place a new investment good like in the beginning.
  • With the buy-result the player chooses one country card of an opponent and pays for this the sum of money which is printed on the card. Alternatively he can roll a dice and pays the sum of this special dice. If he is unlucky this can be the double of the price on the card, if he is lucky, it can be a lot less.
  • Sell is the opposite of buy with the difference that now all others players have the ability to buy the card. All interested players roll the dice and the player with the highest roll wins the auction and has to pay the result to the active player.

After the result of the first dice is done the player with the second dice does his turn. First he fulfils the action on the dice and then he rolls the dice himself.

The game ends if one of the player has fulfilled both of his missions or when one player reaches one million E$. During the game the missions can be exchanged by paying an amount of money as printed on the card. But this is quite expensive, so it should be carefully considered whether a change is really useful.

As you can conclude from the description of the game mechanism, E$ is a very simple game and the main factor to win the game is luck. So it was very surprising to me that we had a lot of fun and did it at once several rounds. Perhaps this was due to the fact that two tactical new games before had made us a little bit dull and so E$ was exactly the right game at that moment. But even without this handicap I suppose that the game will give some fascination (as almost every simple economy game) especially to children. Families who like to play monopoly should have a try. The game can be finished easily on one evening, even after a round of Monopoly. In our round every game took us less than half an hour.


Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!


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Copyright © 2004 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Trier, Germany