BLUE CHIP - Reviewed by Mike

Category/Format: Business/Board

Somewhat unusual business game which revolves around the use of Bid cards to secure company assets. At the start of play each player has 56 Bid cards, valued 1-50 million, plus 6 blanks.

Players move around a board consisting of flight paths and they simply move the next asset square of the path they are on. If the asset is not owned by any player an auction takes place. If nobody bids the player landing on the space can purchase the asset for its face value, otherwise it goes to the highest bidder. It follows therefore that by astute bidding you could get say a 30 million asset for 23 million. However all bid cards played are lost for good so the player who bid 22 million may not be pleased.

If the asset is owned by a player players bid in 2 rounds. The first round consists of players other than the owner playing 1 or 2 Bid cards, which are then resolved. On the second round 1 further card may be added and the owner of the asset must also bid and it must exceed that of the highest bid in the first round, unless the owner plays one of his blanks, in which case he is prepared to give up the asset. This system leads to some cagey use of the cards and it's very annoying to play your 46 million card only to lose it to a 47 million card. Another consideration is that if the owner successfully defends his asset it is considered safe ( a Blue Chip) and is placed face up in front of him on the table and cannot be lost.

If a player manages to get 2 cards of the same commodity group safe the value of each is doubled; if he gets all 3 the value of each is trebled. This leads to some really big bids by other players to prevent this happening, and of course all bid cards played are removed from play. This means that the clever player who can remember which high value bids have been played can obtain other assets more cheaply and use his big bid cards as a defence against takeover.

We quite liked this system, the only drawback being the time taken to play the game, which was approaching 3 hours, but this was our first time through so maybe we can speed it up a bit next time.

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