In this article, you can read about the basic rules of the Acquire game and learn how to play. The object of the game is to be the player with the most money at the end of the game.
You gain money by buying and selling hotel chain stocks. The game ends at the end of a player’s turn who declares that either one hotel reaches a chain size of 41 or if all hotel chains on the game board are safe.
Layout the game board and give each player a tile holder. Place the hotel chain markers face-up on the edge of the board. Mix up the tiles facedown on the table where all players can reach them.
Choose a player to be the banker. If no player wants to be the banker put the stocks and money where all players can reach them. The banker keeps the bank money separate from their own.
Before the game begins the bank gives each player 4-1,000 s, 3-500s, and 5-100s for a total of $6,000. Each player randomly picks and reveals one tile.
The players whose tile is closest to the A row goes first. If there is a tie, then the player closest to a 1 goes first. Shuffle the tiles back in and each player randomly picks 6 tiles to add to their hand.
Players can look at their own tiles but should keep them hidden from the other players.
On your turn, you take 3 actions in this order.
1. Play a tile onto the game board.
2. Buy up to 3 stocks.
3. Draw a new random facedown tile.
Play a tile
The tiles represent hotels and hotel chains. To play a tile place one from your hand of tiles onto the matching space on the game board.
A new place tile can either found a new hotel chain, grow a hotel chain, merge two or more hotel chains, or have no effect.
When you place a tile horizontally or vertically next to another tile that isn’t already part of a hotel chain, you have just found a new hotel chain.
Start a Hotel
Diagonals do not start hotel chains. Pick a hotel chain not currently in play from the side of the board and place it covering the two newly connected tiles. You receive one free stock of that chain for founding it.
If all the hotel chains are already founded, you are not allowed to play a tile that would found a new one. Also, if there is no more stock for the chain you founded you do not receive the one free founder stock.
If you place a tile next to an adjacent hotel chain it becomes part of that hotel chain making it bigger in size.
The size of a hotel chain is important for keeping track of its stock price and merger payouts. When you place a tile so that it connects two or more hotel chains a merger takes place.
A merger means that the bigger hotel chain is acquiring smaller hotel chains. Count each hotel chain tiles. The one with more acquires the one with less.
If it is a tie then the player decides which Hotel acquires which. During the merger, the tile you place doesn’t count towards any hotel chain size.
Majority and minority
Each player who has stock in the merging hotel chains counts up how much of each hotel before the merging they have to determine the majority and minority stockholders.
The player with the most stock holds the majority and the player with the second most has a minority.
Each player receives a shareholder bonus and is paid by the bank as indicated by the reference chart. If two players are tied for the majority then add up the majority and minority bonuses and split it evenly, rounded to the nearest 100.
The minority, in this case, does not receive a bonus. If the minority is tied then the two players split the minority bonus evenly rounded to the nearest 100.
If only one player has stock in the hotel chain he receives both majority and minority bonuses.
Hold, trade, or sell
Players must then decide what to do with their stocks of an acquired Hotel chain. Each player, starting with the player who made the merger and proceeding clockwise, must decide to hold, trade, or sell in any combination his stocks in that hotel chain.
If you hold your stock when a merger happens you will own stock of a hotel that won’t exist on the game board. It has zero value unless the hotel chain becomes founded again.
Players may choose to trade two stocks of the acquired hotel chain for one stock of the hotel chain that acquired it. Players may choose to sell their stock of the acquired Hotel chain.
The bank pays a player the sale price listed on the reference chart based on the current size of the hotel chain for each stock that player sells.
Safe Hotel Chain
Once each player has taken their turn, the acquired hotel chain is put back on the side of the board. It now becomes available to found a new hotel chain. If a hotel chain grows to the size of 11 tiles or more then it’s considered safe.
A safe hotel chain may not be acquired by a larger hotel. Any play that would cause this is illegal. If all the tiles in your hand cannot be played legally, reveal them to all the players and set them aside. Draw six new tiles and continue your turn.
When multiple chains are acquired, first resolve the merger by the largest and second-largest hotel chains. Once everything is resolved, repeat until all the hotel chains have been merged.
If playing a tile doesn’t let you found, grow, or merge a hotel chain then nothing happens. After placing a tile you may buy up to three stocks.
You may only buy stocks of hotels on the game board. And, you may split up your purchase however you like. The stock price for any given Hotel is found on the reference chart determined by which hotel chain it is and how many tiles make up that chain.
After you purchase stocks, you draw a new random facedown tile and add it to your hand. Then, the player to your left goes.
The game ends at the end of a player’s turn win after they’ve placed the tile declare either when one hotel chain reaches the size of forty-one or if all the hotel chains on the game board are safe.
When this happens, begin final scoring. A player does not have to declare this if they don’t want to. They then take a normal turn.
To begin final scoring first payout all majority and minority shareholder bonuses to each hotel chain on the game board.
Next, starting with the stock for the smallest hotel chain and ending with the biggest, each player sells back all their stock to the bank at the current stock price.
Remove the hotel chain markers from the board to keep track of what chains have paid out.
Stocks of a hotel chain not on the game board are valueless. The player with the most money wins. If there is a tie then the tied players win.
Acquire Game on the Market
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The board game Acquire is on the market in many versions. The one that I refer to in this article I link to here:
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