Madness I tell you. Madness. I am one of two adults and I should be one of two adults winning over the children in every game until they reach a certain age and start winning. I should not be the only person who did not win a game of Machi Koro in an all night marathon with the family. I feel I should write that I am ashamed of my performance. I am not…well the last game I did go a route that seemed doomed from the start, but at least I stayed on task.
Normally, our family games of Machi Koro are relaxed affairs with an average run time of a half-hour. Last night our boy seemed determined to make all of us up our games. Prior to last night, stockpiling money for big purchases was common. After last night, anyone with 10 or more coins in front of them was a sucker or really lucky and hoping their turn came around without a visit from the Tax Office. The Tax Office is a purple card that allows the owner to collect half of everyone’s coins as long as they have 10 or more coins. The first game, the boy purchased a Tax Office on turn three, which at the time seemed really odd, as no one had flipped over their Train Station (Train Station is required to roll two dice). And he kept purchasing mid-to-late game properties early in the game. For a while he was struggling or at least that is how it appeared to Barb and I who were sitting on stacks of coins to make the 30 coin purchase of the Airport.
Then it happened, he flipped over his Train Station, then he started rolling 8s and 9s. All of our hoarded coins went over to him, cackling the entire time. In the space of two turns, he went from eccentric bum to Scrooge McDuck. The power of the Tax Office convinced everyone to purchase one, but too late, our boy won.
Determined to beat him I crafted a strategy involving the red restaurant cards whereby anytime anyone rolled a 1, 3, 7, 8, or 9-10 they would have to pay me money. Combine that with the Shopping Mall and I would be rolling in the coins. Then the Publisher hits the table and now I am paying him for having all of the restaurants. That lead me to get the Tax Office to take back what he had stolen from me. The boy and I traded money back and forth…and were left in the dust for our girl to win, with Barb pulling a close second.
Suffice to say, the Tax Office, Publisher, and Restaurant routes saw more play over the rest of the night and not one time was I ever close to winning. The last game, determined to go a different route I purchased Ranches, Flower Orchards, and Forests to form what I thought was a solid base. Except rarely did anyone roll 2, 4, or 5 and by the time they did it was a bad roll on two dice.
City Manager is probably not in my future, but exploring more play strategies for Machi Koro is.