Originally published at: http://statelyplay.com/2018/07/17/chaotic-stock-trading-game-stockpile-coming-to-digital-via-digidiced/
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux •Digidiced
is turning into quite the workhorse. Not only is their port of Isle of Skye currently in beta
, but we learned last week that they're also working on a digital port of the Stefan Feld classic, Castles of Burgundy
. Today I was sent a missive of another game Digidiced has in their pocket, the chaotic stock trader, Stockpile
. Even more surprising is that it's already entering beta. Apparently Digidiced has been working on this one for a bit now in secret.
Stockpile is a fantastic game of stock market trading that relies on deceit and hidden information to get the job done. Each round players are dealt random stocks and have to place them in piles at the bottom of the board. Some are played face-up and some face-down so you're never quite sure of what each pile contains. Players then hold an auction to bid on each pile of stocks. (It's my favorite type of auction as well, the same kind you'll find in Vegas Showdown or Cyclades)
So far so blah, but then things get interesting when players are given some inside info. Each player knows how a certain stock is going to behave that round and can base their bidding on getting stocks that are going to raise in value. Of course, each pile might have stocks that your neighbor knows is going to plummet and become worthless.
The game has a simple stock market where stocks values slide up and down on tracks. If they hit the top of the track, they 'split' and all your stock in that company is suddenly worth 2x its current value. If it hits the bottom, the company has gone bankrupt and your stock is worthless.
I'm really not explaining this well, so I'll copy/paste the blurb which lays it out in Engligh:
First, players are given insider information each round. This information dictates how a stock’s value will change at the end of the round. By privately learning if a stock is going to move up or down, each player has a chance to act ahead of the market by buying or selling at the right time.
Second, players purchase their stocks by bidding on piles of cards called stockpiles. These stockpiles will contain a mixture of face-up and face-down cards placed by other players in the game. In this way, nobody will know all of the cards in the stockpiles. Not all cards are good either. Trading fees can poison the piles by making players pay more than they bid. By putting stocks and other cards up for auction, Stockpile catalyzes player interaction, especially when potential profits from insider information are on the line.
Both of these mechanisms are combined with some stock market elements to make players consider multiple factors when selling a stock. Do you hold onto a stock in hopes of catching a lucrative stock split or do you sell now to avoid the potential company bankruptcy? Can you hold onto your stock until the end of the game to become the majority shareholder, or do you need the liquidity of cash now for future bidding? Do you risk it all by investing heavily into one company, or do you mitigate your risk by diversifying your portfolio?
The board game has a double-sided board with a basic stock market and a more advanced variant in which not all stocks are equal. The advanced side is definitely more fun to play once you have the basics down. There are also optional tycoons you can play with, giving each player a special ability to mess with during the game.
I'm not sure if the digital version will have both versions of the stock market, but the screenshot we were given hints that the tycoons will make it into the digital version. We do know that the game will have both online and pass-and-play multiplayer, 3-levels of AI for solo play, replays of finished games, and will be available for iOS, Android, and PC/Mac/Linux. We also know that you can sign up now to help beta test the game on either iOS or Android. Follow this link and see if you can get onboard. I'll be at Gen Con and will try and get some actual gameplay video for us from the con.