General Information:
Manufacturer: Eagle Games
Author: D. Beyer, R. Eifler and S. Gross
Number of Players: 3-6
Age: 12 years plus
Time: about 90 mins.
Year: 2004


Deutsche Spielerezension

Game Components:
120 Influence Markers - 20 Trucks - 6 Family Stills - 6 Remote Stills - 1 Gameboard - 1 Copper Figur - 80 Men of Action Cards - 14 Truck Cards - 72 Muscle Cards - 70 wooden cubes - 25 Dices - Money - 1 Rulebook

The game is set in the time of the American Prohibition. The players impersonate gang-bosses of gangs producing and selling whiskey illegally. The whiskey is being sold in so-called "speakeasies". The winner is the player who either owns 100.000 Dollars at an undefined point of time during the game or who owns the most money after 12 rounds.

The game:
Each player chooses a colour. Then each player gets a family still, 12 muscle cards (3 from each of the 4 different colours), an influence marker, a small truck and 10.000 dollars. Each of the 12 consecutive rounds consists of 6 different phases (one being played after the other, each phase is played by all players). Before the start of a round as many men of action cards are being laid on the game board as players are participating. A truck card is laid open as well.

Phase 1: "Muscle"
In the "Muscle"-phase the order of play is being determined: Each player has to choose one of the 12 muscle cards from his hand and has to lay it - face down - in front of him. After every player has chosen a card all players turn around the chosen cards. The player who played the highest card goes first, then the player with the second highest card and so on. Each player now has to pay the costs for the muscle card and the graft for all trucks she/he owns. The first player now either chooses one of the men-of-action cards (and has to use it immediately or may save it for later use - dependent on what type of card he chooses; cards for example may improve the still, enable the player to buy influence markers, destroy other players' influence markers and so on). Or she/he buys the truck and accordingly gets a truck from the player who owns the bank. Cards not chosen by any player are being discarded. The truck card is not being discarded.
Phase 2: "Send in the Boys"
In muscle order (order of play) the players now may decide to place influence markers from their back rooms on the board (into a speakeasy). A player may choose to place no, one or all his influence markers. A player may gain controlling influence (she/he has got more influence markers in a certain speakeasy than all the other players together), majority influence (more influence markers in a certain speakeasy than any other player) or at least minority influence (at least 1 influence marker in a certain speakeasy). If a player has no influence marker in a speakeasy she/he does not have any influence but may still sell whiskey. No influence markers can be placed in O'Malleys' speakeasy.

Phase 3: "Fire up the Still"
Each player now rolls as many dices as she/he has got in each still and gets as many whiskey crates (wooden cubes) from the supply. After round 4 the copper walks in for the first time: he is being placed on the family still that produced the most whiskey crates. If the owner throws a 5 in the next production phase that still does not produce any whiskey (the remote still continues to produce whiskey). The copper is then moved to the family still that produced the most whiskey in that turn.

Phase 4: "Run the Whiskey"
This phase is sub-divided into two phases: At first players have the opportunity to trade whiskey, to make money by promising other players not to play certain men-of-action cards if they pay a certain amount of money and so on. Nearly everything is allowed - only two things can not be done: Players are not allowed to transport other players' whiskey in their truck nor are they allowed to trade influence markers. After this phase has been finished the player may now place their trucks (in muscle order) in front of the speakeasies and are so preparing for the sell of the whiskey in phase 5.

Phase 5: "What's the Password"
At first the whiskey demand of each speakeasy has to be found out: For each open speakeasy the amount of dices (printed on each speakeasy) decides how much demand a certain speakeasy has. A speakeasys is regarded as "open" if an influence marker has been placed in all its dark fields. O'Malleys' is always open. This demand can be increased by certain men-of-action cards. After this has been done the players may now sell their whiskey: In each speakeasy the player in the 3-star-lane (if there is one) starts selling his whiskey, after her/him the players in the 2-star-lane and so on (trucks in the front sell at first). It is not possible to sell further whiskey once the demand of a speakeasy has been met. Unsold whiskey crates can not be saved for the next round but have to be put back into the general supply. O'Malleys' has no special demand and buys any whiskey being shipped there. At the same time players get the money from the player who owns the bank for the whiskey they sold.
Phase 6: "The Heat"
After the 4th and the 8th round each player gets a free additional influence marker and places that in his/her back room. The player with the fewest money gets another free additonal influence marker.

The game ends after 12 rounds maximum. If a player owns 100.000 dollars before the end of the game she/he can decide whether she/he wants to continue playing or not.
(Troudi 14.12.04)

Further Information:
- Homepage of Eagle Games

Troudi says 9 of 10 points:
At first actually I felt a bit sceptic about the game: As in most American games the components are plentiful and look just beautiful. But I was a bit afraid of the typical American dice game relying just on luck and only being a strategic game by name. "Eagle Games" now distance themselves from that "tradition": Mr. Gross, one of the authors, told us that he and his colleagues desired to create an American-European mix of traditional game elements. They wanted to combine the mechanisms of a typical European strategy game and the interactional elements of American games. And they succeeded: The concept works very well and a great game is the outcome: The game is fluent, exciting and especially the trading phase provides a kind of interaction not to be found very often in European games. Strategical elements have been incorporated as well: Players have to plan carefully which muscle card they want to use and how much they want to invest in order to be the first player (or not the last one). Eagle Games is going to publish a whole series of such games and I hope that such games as this one will be fortcoming. The game is only available in English and cost around 40 dollars. But in my opinion the 40 dollars have never before been such a good investion in an American game. If you do not want to spend the money try Bootleggers out and decide afterwards.

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