In yesterday’s post, I quantified game expansions by describing some attributes that define whether an expansion will be good or bad. The best expansions extend the original game without replacing it, providing new tactics and new capabilities but without changing the spirit or end conditions of the original game.
I forgot one very important factor when evaluating game expansions: the cost. When the expansion costs as much as the original game, which they often do, you better love it. That’s a lot of pressure!
Instead, I am going to give you an unofficial game expansion for free. And not for just any game but for the most beloved board game of all time: Monopoly. Yes, Monopoly.
The same game you hated as a kid because your brother never traded fair and your sister cheated money out of the bank when no one was looking. Or maybe you were the cheating sister/bullying brother?
The same game that you once played for six hours in college but had to give up when there was still no way to tell who was going to win. And no, it wasn’t just because everyone was so drunk.
Yes, that Monopoly.
Love it or hate it, it has been the best-selling board game since the invention of board games. The game is old, so old that when it was invented you really could buy a hotel on the beach in Atlantic City for $2400. Not 2400 million, 2400 DOLLARS.
Now Monopoly comes in more flavors than Baskin & Robbins ice cream. Most of the different versions are the exact same game with different art (I am looking at you, Denver Broncos Monopoly), but there have been attempts to improve the technology of the game (Monopoly Star Wars Episode One featured stacking houses that plugged into the board and each other to prevent house scattering on an errant dice throw) and one notable attempt to address some of the flaws in the game design itself (Monopoly City which my oldest son describes as “the King of all Monopoly games”).
And now I am going to introduce you to one more version. Remember that this game expansion is free – and probably worth exactly that.
What you need:
- Any version of the game Monopoly – except Monopoly City
- One nuclear token for each player – a poker chip or coin will do just fine
How to play:
At the start of the game, in addition to the token and starting cash, each player is issued one nuclear weapon, represented by a nuclear token.
The game proceeds as described in the Monopoly rules, except that in addition, a player can sell, trade, or detonate a nuclear token at any time.
A nuclear token is detonated by placing the token on any one space on the board track: the space is destroyed. Nuclear tokens are one-use only; the token remains on the space for the remainder of the game.
Effects of a Destroyed Space
The space is no longer “owned” by anyone; return the title to the game box along with any houses or hotels. Outstanding rent or fees are cancelled.
During future turns, skip over nuked spaces while counting out your move; destroyed spaces do not exist and no one may land on them.
Cards with instructions to go to a space that has been destroyed are disregarded. Discard the card.
Any player tokens on a space when it was nuked must retreat one space (if that space is also nuked, retreat again). At the end of your retreat the landing space has full effect even if it is not your turn – you must pay rent, taxes, draw cards or whatever other effect is called for by the space. Collect $200 if you are forced to retreat to Go. If more than one person is forced to retreat at the same time, resolve each retreat in order of play.
Rent-doubling for monopolies is not effected; if you had three same-color spaces but one is nuked, you now have a monopoly of two and rent for those two surviving spaces is still doubled. It is possible to have a monopoly of one if that one space is the only surviving space of a color.
Destroyed Railroads and Utilities do not count as Owned for purposes of determining rent, even if you owned them prior to their destruction.
If Go is nuked, no one collects $200 for rounding the board. Ever.
If Jail is nuked, the rule of law comes to an end. Disregard cards and board spaces that instruct you to “Go to Jail”. Roll as many doubles as you like, in a row, while laughing maniacally, all without penalty.
Why is this fun?
Monopoly is all about trading and negotiating and this provides one more (valuable!) item that can be bartered.
Nukes shorten the game as they reduce the pool of money in the form of destroyed property and improvements.
- Just landed on one of the dark blue spaces but you are not the type to ever land on the other? That’s okay, just nuke the other one. Instant high-value monopoly!
- Your older brother refuses to trade you that last red and keeps trying to bully you into taking his horrible trade offer? No problem, nuke the red! Hah, that’ll show him!
- Just landed on someone’s hotel property when you are a bit short? Still not a problem, nuke away! Suddenly you owe nothing!
- Someone just jumped right over your best hotel and landed one space on the other side? Show them there is no escape; nuke the space they are on and force them to retreat onto your hotel, like it or not!
Do not underestimate the power of a bluff. Many times the mere threat of destruction is sufficient.
🙂 😀 🙂