SU&SD Play… The Estates!

Get out the ice packs! It’s time for board gaming’s most bruising real-estate showdown.

But then, to simply call The Estates “bruising” is probably unfair. This game isn’t just cruel, it’s beautiful, and beautifully simple, and very funny indeed.

Take a look at our Let’s Play and see what we’re talking about. Could this be the greatest auction game ever made? Is it better than Ra and Cyclades? Maybe, maybe...


The Estates

The City Council recently approved the zoning map for a new urban development — The Estates — featuring high-end infrastructure and a modern atmosphere for its citizens. Soon after, the banks awarded millions of dollars in loans to six real estate investment firms to help develop this new area. The zoning map for The Estates calls for two rows of four buildings each, located between the River and Main Street. The meadows on the other side of the River are to remain a recreational area for the City.

But, with hopes of larger profits, investors and building tycoons entirely ignore the City Council's demands and begin developing three rows of buildings instead. The Mayor catches wind of the potential for profit and begins planning a new mansion in The Estates, which would double the value of one of the building rows! With some sketchy building permits, investors begin developing buildings on the other side of the River, beyond the designated building zone. However, the City Council takes rigorous steps to put an end to the racketeering with an ultimatum: As soon as the first two rows are completed, the buildings in the uncompleted row will be torn down, resulting in a huge loss for all who invested there. At the end of the day, the investor with the highest-valued buildings will come out on top.

The players take on the role of investors seeking to make the most money by developing buildings in The Estates. Players will bid for the various building pieces and place them in The Estates to their benefit. All buildings in completed rows score positive points, while all buildings in incomplete rows score negative points. It is possible to have zero completed rows of buildings.

A game of The Estates lasts around 40 minutes and can be played in several rounds to experience a shifting economy.


On March 14th We’re Streaming The Estates!

not since primary school have coloured blocks been so fraught
Quinns: Hey everybody! Just a heads-up that on Thursday the 14th we'll be streaming one or two games of The Estates, a simple yet legendarily cruel auction game of (a) trying to work with your friends to construct just two short streets, (b) failing, and (c) fleeing the country with whatever money you managed to embezzle.

We talked a bit about this game back on podcast #84 and while we decided that it had a couple of problems that made it unsuitable for review, we realised it would be a perfect thing to stream. And as an added bonus, Matt and I will be joined on the stream by our very first intern, Ms. Kylie Wroe! Talk about one heck of a first day at work...

So, if you'd like to join us as we make each other swear, sweat and pray the mayor doesn't visit, be sure to click Follow on our Twitch page to get an email when we kick things off. But as always, don't worry if you can't make it on the day. The stream will be available as a Twitch video on demand for 60 days after the stream, and we'll be uploading it to YouTube after that.

Cheers!


Podcast #84: The Post-Gen Con Blowout!

The Princess' Holiday in Hell, The joy of a felt-tip, A bad day for Mr. Mayor
Can you hear a distant rumble of people applauding, firing party poppers and doing synchronised donuts in their cars? Don't panic! Nothing could be more natural when our post-Gen Con podcast rolls around. It's possible that there's never been such a diverse and exciting array of games tucked into a single SU&SD podcast.

Today, Paul and Quinns exchange first impressions of Keyforge: Call of the Archons, Fantasy Flight's new collaboration with Richard Garfield where every deck ever printed will be unique to you. Up next is Gen 7, the dramatic and curious sequel to Dead of Winter that takes place aboard a generation ship. Then there's Nyctophobia, a game where all but one player is blindfolded and being hunted by a murderer. Critical Mass, which might be the best game of mecha-on-mecha violence ever made? Railroad Ink, which is the first roll-and-write game we've found that could steal the throne from Welcome To. And the pair close by talking about The Estates, which is both the meanest and most devious game of auctions that Quinns has ever experienced.

Among those six games are no less than four contenders for the prestigious SU&SD Recommends badge. You heard it here first- the rest of 2018 is going to be absolutely fabulous.

UPDATE: We now have a complete transcription of this podcast, courtesy of SU&SD fan InkyBloc!