I played my first game of Acquire around 1980. During that game I watched other players have an intense match while I played without any good tiles or money during the whole game. I came away from that experience thinking that the game wasn’t any fun. I later decided that I would reexamine the game.
There are a lot of grey areas in the many versions of Acquire rules. Many items are not addressed and assumptions have to be made. Because of this, I felt that first and foremost the grey areas needed to be defined. I also felt that there needed to be two major changes to the rules to help even out the distribution of money during game play. These two changes also helped to align the game more to corporate reality.
The first rule change pertains to the purchase of stock. I call it the “lame duck” rule. I allow trading of stock when finances are gone. This change was designed to allow players with no money to be able to try to keep control in the companies that matter more. It also helps to relieve the “lame duck” status that is achieved when a player is out of money.
The second rule change pertains to the disposition of stock at the time of a merger. I call it the “dumb luck” rule. I eliminated the 2-for-1 trades of stock. This rule is flawed since it doesn’t address the issue of worth or the reality of a hostile takeover. An Imperial (Phoenix) with 41 tiles (worth $1,200 per share) could take out a Luxor (Sackson) with two tiles (worth $200 per share) and the player with Luxor (Sackson) stock could trade two for one. This means that a player can make $800 per trade along with possibly gaining majority in the surviving company. If the player who is holding majority in the surviving company does not have interest in the folding company, they can lose their majority out of the regular turn of play. My change in rule allows only the merge maker to acquire stock, as is the normal course of their turn. The vanquished stockholders are paid for their company and they can invest their earnings anywhere they want when it is their turn.
Defining the grey areas and making these changes to the rules creates a more interesting and enjoyable game for all involved. It allows all players to stay involved in the game and keeps the outcome undecided until the very end. Many different versions of ACQUIRE have been produced through the years. The core of the rules has remained the same but different versions of rules define different grey area. Lloyd’s Rules of ACQUIRE defines the grey areas in one set of rules and provides variants of rules that can be used to offer a more enjoyable experience. I believe these changes will help the player “ACQUIRE” a new love for the game.