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Cattle Baron – Players’ questions answered

by Beef Central, 05 May 2018

 

CONGRATULATIONS on your purchase of “Cattle Baron – a game of high steaks.”

We welcome feedback, questions and comments from Beef Central readers who have purchased a copy of Australia’s first beef industry board game. Here’s some initial player/reader questions, since the game was launched at Beef 2018 in Rockhampton ….

 

Dianne from Binnaway asks: Are there any special instructions to follow when setting up the game?

When first removing the various sets of playing cards from their cellophane wrapping, it’s a good idea to ‘shuffle’ each separate set (High Steaks, Sale-O and Season cards) to ensure that when the game starts, each card a player picks up is truly ‘random.’

Also, there is an additional set of bank notes provided with each game that need to go into the box (see details below).

It’s also a good idea to view our group of short youtube clips about game play first to get a feel for the game. Click here to access

Andrew from Cloncurry asks: If the maximum number of cattle required to fully-stock a property is 12, why are there 15 plastic cows in each of the four colours in the box?

Good question, Andrew. Our thinking was that a few spares would not go astray. That way, if the dog or one of the youngsters chews on one or two, there are still plenty left to play the game. And we have plenty of ‘spare parts’, if any game purchaser needs any. Just contact us by email, or use the comment facility below. Please also remember that the game includes small components, and may present a choking hazard.

Tim, from Manilla asks: The instructions suggest it’s possible to have a cattle auction. How/when does that happen?

Thanks Tim. An auction can come into play when a player draws a ‘drought’ season card having passed the annual calving square, or alternatively, a player lands on a local drought square and has to destock part of their herd. If the ‘agistment’ square in the middle of the board is already full (maximum ten head), or the number of new cattle to be agisted takes the number past ten, then the cattle that cannot be accommodated on agistment must be sold.

The first option is to sell them to the bank, at half the price shown on the next ‘Sale-o’card. However other players have the right to bid above that price, if they wish, to buy the cattle. The offers can be made by the remaining three players, in clockwise order, until the winning bid is reached.

As a result, it is possible for a player to finish the game with more than one herd colour on their property. See our short youtube videos explaining this, and various other aspects of game play.

Janet, from Dalby asks: Why are there two sets of $10,000 notes included, in different colours?

Unfortunately our printers made a mistake when the first edition of the game was being printed in China, Janet. We’ve solved it by providing a separate set of notes to each customer, to complete the set. To avoid confusion, we suggest permanently removing one of the two sets of $10,000 notes. The printing error will be corrected in future editions of the game.

Dusty from Tabulam asks: How can a player get involved in cattle trading during the game?

Cheers Dusty. You will notice there are ten Sale-O squares scattered around the board.

If you land on a sale-O square soon after passing ‘annual calving’, it’s worth checking the current cattle market price on the next Sale-O card. If it is towards the upper end of the price range (say $350,000 or $400,000 per mob) it may be worth selling a few cattle, to cash in on the high prices. The challenge then, is to land on another Sale-O square before next passing ‘annual calving’. If so, hopefully, the price on the next Sale-O card may be less (say, $200,000 or $250,000) and the player buys back in, pocketing the difference in cash. The risk, of course, is in failing to land on a second Sale-O square before again reaching annual calving – because each player is only paid on the cattle standing in their paddocks when they pass the annual calving square.

Tristan from Hamilton asks: Can somebody buy a copy of the game in a shop?

At this point, all sales are online, via the Beef Central website, Tristan. The exception is some big industry events, like Beef 2018 in Rockhampton, or the BeefEx feedlot conference being held this year in Brisbane, where we will have some copies on hand, to sell to people direct – saving a bit of freight.

Bill from Tansey asks: Is it possible to end up with cows of more than one colour on your property?

It, is, Bill. Should a cattle auction arise due to the agistment square being filled, it’s possible for a player to buy stock from another property, of a different colour – just as in the real cattle industry. It’s another reason why there are surplus stock provided in each colour (15 instead of the 12 required to complete the game).

Jess from Coolabunia asks: I love the little silver player tokens. How did you make them?

We worked with our two talented 3D print designers in China to sculpt the playing pieces, and the cows themselves. The cows were particularly challenging, as neither of them had ever seen a cow before in real life. In future editions of the game, we may develop a couple of extra silver playing pieces, for variety. How about a road train, a Robinson R22 helicopter or a bull-catcher with a mechanical arm? We’d love to hear from game players and Beef Central readers about what they would like to see as our additional player tokens.

 

  • Customers who have purchased a Cattle Baron board game are invited to contribute to this discussion, using the reader comment facility below. We’re eager to hear from players who have ideas about how the game can be further refined or improved. Just keep in mind that we need to keep the game ‘youngster-friendly’, so adding more complexity may be difficult. Happy gaming!
  • Buy ‘Cattle Baron’ online – click this link to access order form.
  • For more information and how to play Cattle Baron, click here.


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