Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ OTK Cheras 9/11/2012 – Crude the Oil Game, CO2, 18Ruhr
A redux of CRUDE OIL and CO2 with CRUDE seeing the Rig Gambit in play. We also unboxed 18RUHR for a partial learning game. Read on for a first-look at our latest 18xx.
Gamers: Sinbad, Ivan, Alvin, Wei Yii, Boon Khim, Chee Ho, Aycee, Heng, Henry, Ang, Waiyan, and CK Au.
Games: CO2, Crude the Oil Game, 18Ruhr.
Date/Time: 9 November 2012 (Fri) 8.30 PM – (Sat) 3:00 AM
THREE FRIDAYS OF ESSEN SPIEL 2012 GAMING
After two Fridays of playing new Essen 2012 games (Samurai Sword, The Great Zimbabwe, Villages, Seasons, Big Badaboom, Crude the Oil Game and CO2) and a few awesome sessreps (*cough* if I may say so myself), we continued with our momentum as we did a retake of two games (CO2 and Crude the Oil Game) and a partial learning game of the latest 18xx to hit the OTK tables 18RUHR.
Read on to find out how this week’s sessions of CRUDE and CO2 went, and if you are interested in no-luck pure-strategy business games, do check out our thoughts on 18Ruhr.
For links to past week’s sessreps,
This is not a “new” game (as it was first published in 1974) but this edition is a new release at this year’s Essen Spiel. We’d done this game a couple of times in our earlier Essen Play sessions
but given it’s appealing nature (old school Euros, dice, oil industry theme), I find it’s a game most gamers won’t mind playing.
So we’ve another session this week – while the other table hosted another session of CO2 – among Boon Khim, Ang, Sinbad and Janvier (oh.. this fella hasn’t been seen in OTK for awhile). Props to him (Janvier) though as he not only came back, played a game but he also contributed to a sessrep!
We came, we played, we wrote.
In essence, this is what Boardgamecafe.net and OTK is all about – a gathering of friends, great games, and fantastic sessreps! And our Friday Meetup
is free and open to everyone!
P/s If there’s any other way you feel we could still do better, we’ll be happy to hear from you. 😛
CRUDE THE OIL GAME Sessrep
By Janvier Soldat
So tonight we ended up back at Boardgame Cafeas we were free tonight and there were new games from Essen to try out.First up tonight: Crude Oil, with sinbadwolf, Khim, angxj and yours truly.
It’s a dice-throwing game where players take turns throwing dices to activate assets they’ve built on their quadrant of the board (we kept thinking of Battleship).
You throw the dices, activate buildings that land on the coordinate lines (harvesting crude oil, refining crude oil to gasoline and selling said gasoline if possible), and buying/selling assets as the player sees fit according to the market forces.
The game starts with everyone having $200mil, and gameplay progresses until a player gets $750mil, then there’s a final turn for all players (except the player that triggered the endgame step).Pretty much looks like a quick game of throw-dice, get oil, buy-sell, and hopefully don’t get screwed by the market.
Jack208 said the game would take around an hour or so to complete. Our game went from…late 9.30pm all the way till 1am. We’re thinking this was due to dice rolls and inventory hoarding. The game began with everyone going roughly for the same strategy (a refinery to convert crude oil to gasoline, a couple of gas stations to sell gasoline to customers, and as many oil drills to dig for oil), with angxj going for more oil drills concentrated in a certain area of his quardrant.
Somewhere in our first round itself we were hit by taxes when angxj and us rolled double 1s, bleeding our funds dry when we had to pay tax for every barrel of crude oil and gasoline we owned – angxj was first to have to decide which of his assets he had to sell to pay off taxes. It didn’t help when the economic state went on the rise, pushing prices of refineries/drills/stations up.
Soon everyone got a feel for the flow of the game, and worked towards his own strategy: angxj kept up with trying to build oil wells to generate crude oil, Khim aimed more on selling gasoline via gas stations, sinbadwolf had a balanced game, and we decided on buying crude oil from the domestic/foreign market, concentrating on refineries to convert them and stations to sell them to customers while keeping a minimal number of buildings.
In our game run, the economic state of the game kept switching from recessions, depressions, downturns and recoveries, keeping the customer market for selling gasoline low (although buying buildings were also cheap). We’ve only ever hit a economic state of prosperity twice, so trying to make money from selling gasoline wasn’t lucrative enough. Even selling to the domestic/foreign market fared only slightly better.
angxj and sinbadwolf hoarded crude oil produced by their oil wells, and when it came to a point where we were all locked out from buying crude oil from the foreign market, the rest of us suffered as prices for crude oil went on the rise, from less than 10mil to 10-15mil per barrel. It didn’t help Khim and us that angxj and sinbadwolf only sold a few barrels back to the market, and customer demand for gasoline remained low.
In the end Khim had to rid himself of his oil well to finance his other assets, angxj utilised his entire territory with an orderly arrangement of oil drills and wells, stations and refineries, sinbadwolf and us were trying to get more wells. Then came a point where angxj, having stocked up enough barrels of crude oil and gas, decided to sell everything to trigger the end game.
Thoughts from jack208
Always nice to read sessrep written from another person’s perspective. When we played this a couple of weeks back, there were a number of discussions as to what would be the optimal strategy – Diversify? Concentrate on rigs? Buying assets cheap, selling them high?
Today we’d a chance to see one of them in play… specializing in drilling rigs, hoping to strike oil, and with the right timing sell those oil wells for huge profit! While you looked at Ang’s final winning score and thought, well he succeeded. Yes but not without some trials and tribulations along the way. 😛
Ang (top right) starting with his concentrated investment in drilling rigs. At $5m a piece, a drilling rig is the cheapest asset at game start. Would this work?
Ang struck oil early (see the two oil wells above) but what happened to his oil refinery? Think this is where Ang has to sell off his oil refinery to pay for the taxes as described in Janvier’s report. Ouch.
“Somewhere in our first round itself we were hit by taxes when angxj and us rolled double 1s, bleeding our funds dry when we had to pay tax for every barrel of crude oil and gasoline we owned – angxj was first to have to decide which of his assets he had to sell to pay off taxes.”
This can be a setback that you might never recover from… without the oil refinery, he’s only left with one gas station to provide cashflow.. Those drilling rigs were not gonna generate much moolah anytime soon.
Ang, still looking jovial despite that early setback to his plan. As they say, to succeed you simply must be able to maintain a positive outlook regardless of all the shit that’s happening around you! LOL
The game as it developed… Ang came back strongly with more gas stations and surprisingly two oil refineries (the red colored buildings). He did share with me in our chit-chat later he actually questioned his own decision to build those refineries and was not sure if they gave him good ROI.
You can also see crude oil (black barrels) piling up in Ang’s corner as his oil well has been producing pretty consistently. But an observant person would also tell you Ang has not struck his third oil – there’s still only two oil wells in his area.
His neighbour – Boon Khim – (top right) bet all his fortune on gas stations… At more than $40m per barrel, you can’t fault his move. 😛
With too many sellers of gasoline to the Consumer Market (look at the number of gas stations built), the gasoline supply in the Domestic & Foreign markets started to get scarce, driving price up.
LOL. Think this is when the market bottomed and assets were super cheap. Everyone’s piling their money into more assets. Ang (bottom right) full stocking up on his investment! Note also the crude oil barrels he’s hoarding, which played a key part in his victory (see next).
This was a pivotal moment in the game, when a middle east crisis unexpectedly drove up prices on the crude oil market… which ultimately benefited those who played the rig gambit! In truth, both Sinbad and Ang have been hoarding crude oil and drying up the markets but when the middle east crisis locked up the foreign market, the game tipped to the crude oil producers.
In one of the earlier game last week, the players mentioned there’s no “movement” in the market. I suspected that’s largely becoz everyone’s parroting and complementing each other’s move. I buy, you sell. He buy, she sells. Here in this game, you see different strategies adopted by each player which worked to create the gap in the market’s supply & demand.
A well played Rig Gambit by Ang… he went past the $1b mark (only $750m required to win) in his final score. Last I heard, he was being tapped to execute some local oil conglomerate’s rig gambit plan. 🙂
We did our first play last week but as Heng said succintly, “here’s a shortened version. Carbon trading rules complicated, rules botched, rematch”, we knew we’ll always get this back to the table for another session. Let’s see how this round went.
We’ve Ivan, Wei Yii (black tee) and Alvin (green tee) joining us for this session.
Eeerr… this game started with everyone proposing their own project in the first turn! I did explain – and again – that it’s semi cooperative and if everyone focused on doing their own thingie, we’ll hit 500 ppm not-very-long.
So did we? 😛
Black (CK) going to the Summit early…
There’s a nice balance spread thru-out the game. For eg if everyone largely ignores South America and did not construct green power plants there, when an ecological disaster hits South America, there’ll be a good number of tech cubes (white) contributed by those who played no role in providing South America with green energy. These white cubes are then used to sponsor (partially) the construction of new green plants, thereby attracting players to build their next green power plants in South America.
The Expertise tech track – most players understood quickly the importance of these tracks and were putting efforts to gain a lead here. I observed Green (alvin) has lead or no. 2 positions on most tracks.
A bird’s eye view of the game board towards late stage of the game (5th decade)…. With the CEP rule played correctly, there’s a lot more dynamism in the CEP market.
Lots of CEPs left in their respective region, which will only swing the game dramatically to the Region Controller (unless we are able to crash the CEP market price). The exploitation of CEP markers in a region is one aspect of the game we did not explore (read: abuse) yet….
We basically left America to rot!! LOL. No green power plants constructed there by any player.. And no one was enthusiastic about even proposing plants there. Oh dear… why la, no love for America? 😛
Score at end game: Both Green (alvin) and Blue (wei yii) have went round the scoring track twice (that’s a 100 pts!) while the rest have done one loop. This is largely due to VPs coming from CEP of region controls as the CEP was trading at a high of $6.
While the game on the surface looked deceptively like a cooperative game; you propose, he install and I build – it’s not at all the simple. The ultimate aim remains to gain more VPs than your opponents and whether that’s achieved thru building or proposing or Expertise track or CEP market is secondary.
We now know better what’s the average score and possible winning score, so that’ll give us some pointers in where we should be setting up stalls to gain those crucial VP. Propose, Install or Construct are merely means to an end, and while a Construct action appears to be the obvious VP move but in terms of 1) net VP and 2) recurring VP; this may not be the optimal one (you are actually paying $$ to gain VP whereas in Install, you actually gain assets).
We’ll definitely get this on to the table again. One of our faves from Essen. 🙂
Stay tune for a first look at 18RUHR
…. meantime do check out the pictures of this week’s play in our Facebook Album
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