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Acquire
Acquire, Revised
Acquire Plan
Project 1
Project 2
Project 3
Project 4
Project 5
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Acquire, Revised

The Game:

Acquire is a turn-based board game.

Game Pieces: The game board is a rectangular grid that consists of 12 columns, labeled 1 through 12, and 9 rows, labeled A through I:

acquire: plain game board
The game also comes with 12 × 9 tiles labeled with the coordinates of the game board: 1A through 12I. Here are some visual examples:
acquire: plain game board acquire: plain game board acquire: plain game board
The final physical ingredient is a collection of seven hotel chains, each of which is represented by a color:

American

red

Continental

blue

Festival

green

Imperial

yellow

Sackson

purple

Tower

brown

Worldwide

orange

In addition, the game comes with hotel stock certificates and game-money bills. For our purposes, it suffices to represent these entities with text and numbers. There is an infinite amount of money available, but only a finite number of stock certificates, namely, 25 per hotel chain.

Objective: The objective is to maximize your wealth. You create wealth by buying and selling shares in hotel chains, which are built, expanded, and merged over the course of the game.

Playing Acquire: Like all board games, a game of Acquire consists of three steps:

  1. Setup: Each player receives $8,000 in cash and six randomly chosen tiles. The order in which players draw tiles is chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    A "banker" administrates the money, the remaining stock certificates, the remaining tiles, and the available hotel chains. In the beginning, all hotel chains are available.

  2. Play: Once the game is set up, each player gets a turn until the game is over; see below for recognizing when the game is over.

    Each turn consists of three steeps:

    1. A player places one of his tiles on the board. This may have the additional effect of growing an existing hotel chain, founding a new one, or merging hotel chains:
      1. In order to found a hotel chain, a player places a tile vertically or horizontally next to at least one unassociated tile. Furthermore, the tile may not connect to any hotel region. Assuming the pool of available chains contains at least one hotel, the player must then remove a hotel chain from the available ones and "paint" all connected tiles with the hotel chain's color.

        The founder receives one free stock certificate for the just-founded chain, if available.

        If there are no available hotel chains, the player can place the tile but cannot found a new hotel and does not receive a free stock certificate.

      2. In order to grow a hotel chain, a player places a tile next to (vertically or horizontally) a tile that belongs to an in-play hotel chain. The player may not place a tile if the spot is also (vertically or horizontally) connected to a region of unassociated tiles.

        Growing a hotel chain may be (un)desirable as it affects its share price.

      3. In order to merge hotel chains, a player places a tile next to (vertically or horizontally) tiles that belong to at least two distinct hotels. The player may not place a tile if the spot is also (vertically or horizontally) connected to a region of unassociated tiles.

        If any of the hotels in a merger is safe---consists of at least 12 tiles---the player may not place the tile in this spot.

        A merger proceeds in four steps:

        1. The first step is to determine which of the hotels acquires the other one. In principle, the larger hotel acquires the smaller one. If the two are of the same size, it is the active player's decision to determine which chain is the acquirer and which one is the acquired.
        2. The second step is to rank the stock holders for the acquired hotel before the merger takes place. The player with the largest number of shares is the majority stock holder; the player with the second number of shares is the minority stock holder.
        3. The banker pays the majority owner a bonus of 10x of the current price for a single stock certificate. The minority owner receives a bonus of 5x of the current price. If there is a tie for majority owner, they all equally share the sum of the two bonuses and all minority owners receive nothing. If there is a single majority owner and a tie for minority owner, the majority owner is paid out normally and the minority owners share the minority bonus equally, rounded to the nearest full unit of dollars.
        4. The label of the acquired hotel chain is moved to the banker's pool of available hotels.

    2. A player may then buy up to two stock certificates of the same kind. The price of a stock certificate depends on how many tiles are associated with an in-play hotel chain. Concretely, the following table defines the prices of stock certificates:
      PriceWorldwide, SacksonFestival, Imperial, AmericanContinental, Tower

      200

      2

      0

      0

      300

      3

      2

      0

      400

      4

      3

      2

      500

      5

      4

      3

      600

      6

      5

      4

      700

      11

      6

      5

      800

      21

      11

      6

      900

      31

      21

      11

      1000

      41

      31

      21

      1100

      --

      41

      31

      1200

      --

      --

      41

      For example, it says that if the Continental hotel is in-play and consists of eight tiles, a certificate costs $800. In general, if a hotel H consists of N tiles, find the column for H and, starting from the bottom, find the row with the first number smaller or equal to N. This row determines the current price of the certificate for H.
    3. A player receives another tile from the banker.

  3. Ending the Game: The game can end in two regular ways. First, the game is over when a hotel chain consists of 40 tiles or more. Second, the game is also over when all hotel chains are safe.

    The game also ends in two additional, "irregular" ways. Third, the game ends when a player cannot place any of his tiles. This player may still request the purchase of some shares but the administrator does not need to execute this request (which does not affect the final score). Finally, the game ends if the administrator has no tile to hand back to the current player.

    It is the game administrator's task to recognize these four conditions between turns.

A computer scientist recognizes a state machine in this description. "Setup" creates the initial state; "play" is about intermediate states and state transitions; and "ending the game" specifies what the final states of the machine are. Depending on how you organize this machine the state space and the transition space (alphabet) are finite.

Scoring: At the end of the game, the majority and minority stock holders of each hotel chain receive a bonus according to the bonus rules for mergers. Once the bonus is distributed, the hotel chains buy back their stock. The player with the most money wins.

Clarifications Here are some clarifications to the above rules in response to the questions from the project 4 memos:

  1. Can a player buy shares in hotels without presence on the board? A player can buy shares if there is a price. As the table above shows, some hotel shares have a price even if the hotel does not exist on the board and others do not.
  2. How are the prices of shares computed for a merger? The prices must naturally be computed before the merger starts not as tiles are removed.
  3. How are the prices of shares computed for the scoring phase at the end of a game? The prices must naturally be computed before any tiles are removed.
  4. How should 3-way and 4-way mergers be performed? The chosen acquirer merges with the next largest hotel, then the second largest hotel, and so on, until all mergers are executed.


last updated on Wed Apr 10 20:51:12 EDT 2013generated with Racket