revised version of Big Boss
Your Price: $76.50
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Big Boss is a much-treasured Wolfgang Kramer design from 1994 that plays like a one-dimensional version of Acquire and commands ridiculous prices on the used game market. (I'm speaking from experience here.) Pro Ludo had announced a new version of the game in 2007 under the name Altura: Die Hauptstadt von Alturien, which was part of the company's plan to repackage four existing Kramer games into a newly designed world called Alturien. Two things killed that plan, however: Der Markt von Alturien, a new version of City, failed to impress gamers, and Pro Ludo left the publishing business. Gamers' dreams of finally getting their hands on Big Boss died yet again.
Alcazar, coming from Kosmos, will finally be that new version of Big Boss as one can tell be looking at the upper-left corner of the box and reading the words "die neue Big Boss." One thing different about this new game is the setting, which has players building castles and villas rather than auto companies, and placing builders and grandees within those buildings rather than buying stock. The takeover mechanism of the game remains the same: As castles build and expand, they'll grow closer to one another, and should they touch, the smaller will be "incorporated" (wink, wink) into the larger one. The nobility from the smaller castle then heads home, after first converting all of their candelabras and Persian rugs into silver.
This game doesn't go to six players as Big Boss did, so that's one change to the game. That upper-left corner also promises a variant, and the variant is one that was seen on the prototype that Pro Ludo unveiled back in 2007, namely bridges that can be built between buildings instead of the usual way of expanding one's holdings. This move can allow surprise takeovers if players aren't careful. All in all, it's interesting to see what Kramer has to offer when he revisits a fifteen-year-old design....
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com
Inspired by Acquire, this game is refreshingly different in that it is simpler to play and the main resource, money, is less restricted (players receive money every time they play a turn). The pieces are of higher quality than Acquire, and the theme is more big-business rather than owning hotels. The single track design of the gameboard creates fewer potential merge situations than Acquire, which allows players to better guess the future performance of companies. I prefer this game, but thanks to Sid Sackson for inspiring it!