EARLIER this year we launched a new cattle industry board game called Cattle Baron, which we hoped would provide a fun way for country families to spend time together, and along the way to help youngsters learn more about the business of cattle production.
It’s also helping those not directly involved in this great industry to better understand the considerable investment, energy and effort Australian cattle producers put into improving their land and their cattle to produce premium quality Australian beef for consumers all over the world.
We’re very pleased to report that thousands of copies of Cattle Baron have now been sold around Australia and overseas, and many will be played for the first time when they’re opened on Christmas Day.
If you are lucky enough to find one under the Christmas tree, we would like to draw your attention to some videos we have created to help players understand how to play the game.
While printed instructions with each copy of Cattle Baron explain these themes in greater detail, these videos offer a quick and easy way to understand the game for those eager get started quickly.
We’d also like to remind people that the game does provide small pieces which could present a potential choking hazard, so please keep that in mind and ensure the game is not left unattended within reach of little hands.
We also welcome feedback, questions and comments from Beef Central readers who have purchased a copy of Australia’s first beef industry board game.
Below these video links are some questions we have received from Cattle Baron players and answers to their questions.
We’d also love to share some pictures of readers playing Cattle Baron – please email your pictures through to us at [email protected]
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.’
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 – just as cattle traders often do in real life. See our short youtube videos explaining this, and various other aspects of game play.
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.