kickstarter Game Preview: Stockpile

Posted by Andrew L {Avid Gamer} | 22-Oct-14 | 4 comments

Stockpile on kickstarter.com

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Who would like this game? >
Stockpile kickstarter page >
Stockpile BoardGaming.com page >

Money money money! It makes the world go ‘round, and it’s exactly what you’re after in Stockpile.

The following is a paid preview for a current Kickstarter project. The art work the component and the rules may not be in their final form.

Overview

In Stockpile players are private investors that wheel and deal to amass the greatest wealth by buying selling and trading in the stock market. After a predetermined number of rounds, the player with the most wealth is stinkin’ rich – and the winner of the game!

Set up

Each player is given one stock from the six available stocks and places it face down in the Stock Portfolio spot of the player board. The Market deck, Company cards and Forecast cards are all shuffled and placed near the board. Place a Stock Ticker token on the starting values of each stock. Each player gets a Bidding Meeple, Player Board, and $20,000 (3 $5K bills and 5 $1K bills). The Turn Marker starts on a calendar space that corresponds to the number of players in the game.

Stockpile GAME-VISUAL

Gameplay

The game is played in a series of rounds that is comprised of 6 phases. All players play during each phase. At the end of the round, the first player token is passed to the next player clockwise. The Phases of a round are:

Information Phase
During this phase, one random Company card and one random Forecast card are turned face up for all players to see. This indicates a stock value’s movement that will occur in the Movement phase.

Supply Phase
In the Supply phase, cards are placed on the Stockpiles, which represent the supply available for purchase during the next phase (Demand Phase). These cards come from the Market Deck and may contain shares of company stock, hidden trading fees, or action cards.

One Market card is turned face up on each Stockpile, then two Market cards are dealt to each player and in player order players place these cards on the Stockpiles of their choice.

Demand Phase
Now players bid on the stockpile they wish to acquire. The Bidding Meeple is placed on the track of their choice on a number that represents their bid. Players may outbid other players on the same track and move bids to other stockpiles at any time. When each bidding track has only one Bidding Meeple on it the Demand phase ends and players pay back their bid amount and place the stockpile cards on their player boards face down.

Stockpile-demand-phase

Action Phase
During this phase, all Action cards that were acquired in the Demand phase are placed face up in the discard pile and resolve to manipulate the market. They can affect the market by moving a stock’s value up or down on the stock ticker tracks.

Selling Phase
Each player, in player order, can sell their stock by placing any of their stocks on the discard pile and collecting money from the bank equal to that stock’s current value.

Movement Phase
In this phase (in turn order) players reveal their Company Cards and Forecast Cards and move the stock value accordingly. Then move the remaining stock values according to the Company Cards and Forecast Cards next to or on top of the board.

The Final Bell

After the final movement round, all players reveal how many shares of stock they own for each company to determine the Majority Shareholders. The majority shareholders of each company receive a bonus of $10,000. If there is a tie, all tied players receive $5,000. Each player then sells back their shares at a price equal to the final value of the stock. The player with the most money is the winner.

Learning Curve

Medium. The turn sequence and the mechanics in the game are very easy to pick up. Once a round or two is under your belt the game moves quickly. Having a mathematical brain can give you an advantage, making it easier to learn how to outbid and out maneuver your opponents in the market.

Who would enjoy this game?

Family Gamer {probably not}
Because matters of high finance and the stock market world are primarily for grownups, the families that might enjoy playing Stockpile are those who’s children enjoy finance. If they request the Wall Street Journal for bed time stories then this is a must have!

Social Gamer {no}
Not a lot of outspoken interactivity is involved in this game, which is necessary for a good Social or Party game experience. Sell Sell Sell!

Casual Player {yes}
Stockpile is easy to learn with some great decision making challenges. It also presents a high level of competitiveness during the Demand phase. It’s a good casual player game due to the random movements of the market, the interaction and quick gameplay (a 5-player game is only 5 rounds.) Pefect if the theme is appealing!

Strategy Gamer {maybe}
Stockpile does offer a bit of strategy in planning which stock to buy and sell (as with the real world). The Demand phase can also get very strategic, especially for players who enjoy the bidding mechanic that this game offers. However, most of the decisions are based on your own holdings and not your opponents’, and there are the random elements of the card flips, so Strategy gamers might not invest too heavily in this one.

Avid Gamer {maybe}
Avid gamers that enjoy a financially themed game will definitely buy into Stockpile. As a stock market simulator, it does a great job at recreating the volatility and uncertainty. If the theme doesn’t appeal to you, you may want to invest your time elsewhere.

Power Gamer {no}
There isn’t a lot in this game for a typical Power Gamer – unless that Power gamer craves financial power – otherwise, it’s a no-go.

First Impressions

Ah, if only life’s financial decisions could be summed up in five rounds of gameplay. This above all else is the appeal of Stockpile. Not many of us get to work the floor of a market or trade and sell stocks in order to make millions. Yes, I want millions…please?

Stockpile’s setup is easy with simple rules and promoted almost immediate immersion into the world of high finance. And this is supported by the stockpile mechanic for which the game derives its name.

The Supply phase is powered by the Market deck which not only contains Share cards to purchase but Hidden Trading Fee cards and Action cards as well. One card is dealt face up to each Stockpile space – enticing players’ interests immediately based on that Stock offering. Then, players are each dealt two Market cards and in player order place both, one face up and one face down on one Stockpile of their choice. Do you add to a stockpile to interest others and hide a hidden fee? Or place that penalty face up on the stocks you desire to frighten away squeamish bidders. Some good gameplay decisions are required here. This starts the action that is then taken up in the Demand Phase where players decide what and how much to risk by choosing the stockpile that they believe will lead them to victory. When the stocks “move” in the Movement phase, there is risk of bankruptcy, stock splits and even company dividends. So watching every stocks’ value is key to success.

The whole thing is over quite quickly really, which may have been what the designers intended – adding to the idea that in the financial world, it doesn’t take long to be filthy rich or down and out.

All this and expansions too! An advanced game board provides alternate stock tracks and additional Investor cards are also included to vary the amount of money players start the game with, as well as granting each player a special ability they can use during the game.

Stockpile-expansion-characters

Almost Final Thoughts

Don’t be frightened away by the theme. This is a very accessible game even for gamers who would rather trade sword blows, phaser fire or wood and sheep than company stocks. Solid mechanics and a great use of bidding mechanics will make you want to play (and in some cases PAY) again.

support this game on kickstarter.com

Support this game on kickstarter.com!

{Backing ends November 20th, 8:00pm MDT}
Go now >

Comments (4)

Gamer Avatar

Hello,

Its quite interesting game, never heard about this game knowing the interesting facts definitely would love to play. Good thing is that u can enjoy it in various ways that’s amazing part of this game.

Gamer Avatar
7
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Military Service

Looks interesting

Gamer Avatar
7
Veteran Grader
Paladin
Strategist
Junior

Thanks for the preview on this game. I do love the artwork and overall look of the game. It does LOOK appealing, but due to the theme, I think it would be a hard sell for my gaming group. I’ll have to keep an eye open for a copy when it comes to the FLGS so I can play it and determine if it’ll be something I want to pick up for the group.

Gamer Avatar
4
Rated 100 Games
The Silver Heart

I’ve played the prototype of this game a few times now and it has quite the replay value with the added investors and advanced side of the board. I love how quick the game can play while still having a good amount of strategy to it. Check it out on kickstarter and become a backer!

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