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Plutocracy: Passengers

We featured Doppeldenkspiele's Plutocracy last year on Board's Eye View. It's a space themed pick-up-and-deliver game where players are enriching themselves and using their wealth to buy political power. How unlike our own world in a year in which general elections are underway in the United Kingdom and United States. Plutocracy: Passengers is a small expansion of cards that adds an additional dimension to the game.

The pick-up-and-deliver element of the core game is a based around an economic trade model where players are buying up water, carbon, oxygen, uranium and plants, transporting them to other planets and selling them, with supply and demand affecting prices. As its title suggests, this expansion adds passengers into the mix. In addition to trading goods, your ships can pick up a passenger and drop them off at their destination planet. You can combine passenger pick up and delivery with your resource trading.

Transporting a passenger to their destination planet earns you a Favor from the five (out of eight) cards on display. Or rather, it gives you the opportunity to buy a Favor, as to take one from the display you have to place out a 'space euro' on each of the others you don't take. These add to the value of those other Favors for the next player to take one, so ultimately there could be >4 space euros on a Favor card so that taking it would net you a cash bonus as well as the Favor.

The Favors are all single-use powers, and a Favor card is returned to the display once you've used it:

  • Alchemy lets you exchange any 3 resources for any other 3

  • Astro Jump lets you position your ship on the asteroid or any position on its trajectory, and then immediately take another turn

  • Election Fraud gives you a councillor on the Plutocratic Council

  • Hyper Drive gives you the opportunity to roll the 12-sided die and deduct the number rolled from your travel time

  • Lobbyism gives you a free seat on a planetary parliament

  • Quantum Physics lets you carry out planetary actions if you are anywhere in its possible orbit

  • Speculation lets you roll the d12 to determine a resource's selling price in place of receiving the 'demand' price for that resource

  • Subsidy just gives you 8 space euros (plus of course any previously placed on the Favor).

By incorporating the Passengers expansion, you're upping your options in Plutocracy and making this even more of a sandbox game. But there's more: this mini expansion also incorporates a solitaire game. With Passengers Solo, the focus of play is on your interplanetary taxi service rather than trading. In the expansion to the multiplayer game you can only ever have on board one passenger at a time but in the solo game you can pick up as many passengers as you have seats. The solo expansion introduces 'First Class' passengers and of course they can only be accommodated in First Class seats...

This is an expansion that certainly delivers, so if you've enjoyed Plutocracy you'll certainly want to pick up the Passengers expansion. Click here for details of Doppeldenkspiele's Gamefound campaign when it launches next week.

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