Stockpile

Personal Ranking: #19 (2016 ranking)

Time to Play (in my experience): 45-60 minutes

Age Level: I think that this would work with children as young as 10, however, I don’t know if they would understand the stock market thing. However, I loved stock market games when I was 13 or 14. 

Difficulty Level: 2 (5-10 minutes to teach, less than 90 minutes to play)

Type of Game: Auction/Stock MarketAuction games, not surprisingly means that you try to get the reward you want by making the right bid. In this game, the available bids are printed on the board. So to outbid another player, you place your marker on at least one spot higher on the board. Stock market games are games where you try to manipulate some sort of simulated stock market and then try to acquire and sell your stock at the most advantageous times.

 

A look at the board in Stockpile

Game Setting: Modern Stock Market (stylized and silly)

Brief overview of how to play: Each round begins with each player being dealt some “insider information” how a certain company’s stock will do at the end of the round (it will either go up, down, or pay dividends). Then, players try to acquire stock by bidding on stock piles. Next, each player has the chance to sell their stock to the bank at the current stock value on the board, and finally the market will change according to the cards that were dealt at the beginning of the round. After 5-7 rounds (depending on the number of players), the game will end. The one with the most money wins.

How many players does it play?: 3-5

Ideal number?: 5

Why do I love/recommend this game?:

1) Love the “tongue-in-cheek” humor: It’s pretty fun to talk around the table about your inside trading information.

2) Fun and quick auctions: I really like the way auctions are handled in this game. Sometimes auction games can kind of slow things down, but this is fun, quick, and often pretty fierce.

The various piles on which to auction

3) The balance of known information versus hidden information: Every player knows something that you don’t. You know something that everybody else doesn’t. The stock piles have cards that  are turned face down, so you don’t always know what you are getting.

 

An example of the insider information a player might know. This means Stanford Steel is going down three points at the end of the round. Might be a good time to sell that stock!

4) Lots of exciting moments: It’s really exciting when the “insider information” cards are revealed. Lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth as well as shouts of joy. Also, the auctions can be really fun as players keep getting outbid on the spots that they really want. 

5) Built-in “mini-expansions”: I love it when games come with extra content that you can choose to play with or not. Stockpile comes with a double-sided board that has a more volatile market on the second side, and investor cards which give each player some sort of special ability. It’s also cute that they are modeled on real life people.

 

 

These are a few of the characters in the mini-expansion. They give fun bonus abilities. It's pretty obvious who they are supposed to be, too.

Is there anything offensive in this game? Anything at all?: Well, there is that whole “insider trading” thing which is illegal and everything. But this game is obviously not encouraging criminal activity.

 

Stockpile in progress

Final word: This is a delightful, light, and light-hearted auction and stock market game, that often has lots of laugh out loud moments. It has a great amount of game packed into a short time commitment. Highly recommended.

 

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