BLACK MONDAY - Reviewed by Mike
Category/Format: Business/Card Game
Nice little 45-minute game by Sid Sackson which is loosely based upon share dealings and can accomodate 2-6 players.
There are 4 types of shares in the game and cards repesenting these are placed on the table at the start of the game and from the deck of the other 104 cards 4 are drawn at random to denote the starting price of each share. Players are given $20,000 starting capital and are dealt 8 cards each from the remaining 100 cards.
These cards are dual-purpose as the figures on them can represent either a number of shares to be bought or sold OR an amount by which the price of a share rises or falls.
In a turn a player can perform 3 actions in a sequence of a) buy/sell shares; b) adjust shares prices; c) replenish hand to the starting number of 8.
In action a) certain restrictions apply. Players can sell as many shares as they like and receive the current market price for each but they can only make 2 purchases in a round and may not hold more than 12 shares in any one type.
In action b) restrictions also apply...for each share type the price can only rise or fall within those limits shown on the share type card. So a share type that has limits of Up 4, Down 3 and is currently standing at $700 can only rise to £1100 or fall to $400 and only cards of 400 to 1100 inclusive can be played upon it. However there is one other little trick that Mr Sackson has devised for us, this being that the 1100,1200 and 1300 cards can be used either in the normal way OR to drop the price of a share to ZERO !!
Once players have completed their transactions they replenish their hand up to 8 cards and play passes to the next player.
Once the card deck has been played through once all the discards and the excess cards beneath each share type(leaving only the current price for each) are shuffled and to this deck is added the MARKET CLOSED card. Play then continues as before until the MARKET CLOSED card is revealed, at which point all players redeem the value of their holding at the current market prices and the player with the most cash wins.
As you can imagine this game does not call for a great deal of brain power but you have to make the most of the cards that you are dealt. Do you get a large holding in 1 or 2 types and push the price up ?....this could be dangerous as the other players without that share type will probably play their 1100-1300 cards to crash it to zero at the earliest opportunity. So do you go for a spread of holdings, hoping to cash in on small rises. You're really looking for alliances with other players and hope that you can sell before they crash (after all, this is Black Monday)
Not a game to get too excited about but OK as a filler to end a session, as it doesn't go on too long.