#375 – Moneybags

Box

Base price: $24.
3 – 6 players.
Play time: ~10 minutes per round.
BGG | Board Game Atlas

Yeah I bought this at a con, so, no idea how to buy it normally. I assume it’s available in Japan?
Logged plays: 3 

I think this is the last of the Oink Games that I can feasibly review for a while, to be honest. VOID is … a challenge, since it’s more of an abstract concept than a game, in particular. A playable, abstract concept. It’s a thing. Anyways, let’s talk about the game we have now. Eventually I’ll make sure to pick up Trick of the Phantom, as well. Probably Gen Con?

In Moneybags, the heist has already been a huge success! So that’s a relief. The Boss has taken the money and must distribute it to their underlings “fairly”. That said, there’s no honor among thieves, so the crew is going to steal from each other, of course. If you feel like your bag is a bit lighter than it used to be, you can always take that up with one of your crewmates… Will you be able to make it out of the hideout with the most money? Or will you just end up broke?

Contents

Setup

Not much to say. Give one player the Boss token:

Boss Token

Give each player a bag:

Bag

Put all the money in the box:

Money

You can add the diamond to it as well. Set aside the round scoring tokens:

Points Tokens

You’re all good to start, now!

Setup

Gameplay

Gameplay 1

So, over a round, you’ll play two turns. Your goal is to get away with the most money. Be careful, though! If someone thinks you’ve conned them, they can challenge you, and these thieves have their own way of dealing with betrayal… It’s unpleasant. Your goal is to get the most coins, though, so you’ll have to manage to trick somebody if you want to come out ahead.

The Boss must first distribute the haul (including the diamond) “evenly” to all players. Once that happens, players take turns (starting with the player to the Boss’s left) until the Boss has taken their turn twice.

The most important rule is this: do not hold your own bag from the bottom.

Gameplay 2

On your turn, you can do one of several actions:

  • Steal from another player: You can reach into another player’s money bag and take whatever you want. Once you’re done, give it back to them; they have five seconds to challenge. If they challenge, both players empty their bags and stack their money (including the diamond). If the challenger has the higher stack, they lose! If the thief has the higher stack, the challenger wins! The loser gives the winner all their coins and they’re eliminated. Tough crowd.
  • Do nothing: Ah, the most interesting option. You just … do nothing on your turn. Great!
  • Close your money bag: If you think you have the most money, you can close your money bag and sit out the rest of the round. You cannot be robbed, but nobody can rob you either. It’s … a fix.

Gameplay 3

The game continues until:

  • All players but one are eliminated.
  • The boss has taken two turns.
  • All players have closed their money bags.

Gameplay 4

All remaining players take out their money and stack it; the player with the highest stack (again, including the diamond) wins!

Player Count Differences

Not really that many; there are more people to steal from at higher player counts and more chances the boss messed up the initial distribution, but beyond that it’s still “if you have more than half of the money and you’re somehow sure, close your bag on your turn; otherwise, steal”, generally speaking. I don’t see much of a practical difference between multiple player counts.

Strategy

  • Uh, take money? I think you generally want to at least attempt to steal if you want to be successful. You need money in order to win, after all.
  • Maybe don’t actually take money, though. A lot of fun mind games can emerge if you only fake taking money from your opponent. Remember; they can’t hold their bag from the bottom and see how the weight’s changed; top only. If you take nothing and you started with less than they did, then you have the chance that they might challenge you, to their detriment.
  • Don’t steal from someone with less than you. They win that challenge no matter what. Also, it’s kind of crummy, just lore-wise.
  • If you’re not sure what to take, take the diamond. If it’s in there, that will boost you up without modifying the weight too much so they might not notice that it’s now gone. That can potentially give you a one-up on them. It might also spell doom for you if they challenge you on that, though, so be careful.
  • I usually steal from the boss first. If the boss gave themselves the least money, everyone could just close their bags and the boss could do nothing about it. Therefore, usually the boss has the most money.
  • Knowing this, I usually give myself the least money as the boss and challenge whenever someone steals from me first. That, again, usually doesn’t end that well for them.

Pros, Mehs, and Cons

Pros

  • Metal coins! So many metal coins. Just tons of them. It’s wonderful and they’re pretty solid quality. Making them a bit easier to stack would have gone a long way, though.
  • The bags are nice, too. They’re very … burlap-esque. Good texture, they hold the bags well, etc.
  • Love the box color. Such a vibrant yellow; it looks great on the shelf along with all the others. I have a nice little Oink shelf, now.
  • Plays pretty quickly. As the Oinks do.
  • Not too much trouble to learn or set up. As the Oinks do.

Mehs

  • Surprisingly less portable. It’s a box-and-a-half wide, which makes it a bit wider, which is kind of funny. Usually they’re extremely small (or somehow even smaller), but this one is less small. It has to be, to hold all the money, though, so it’s not too bad; just humorous, really.

Cons

  • It’s a bit easy / kind of obnoxious for players to count coins / watch you move money between bags at the beginning. I think of it as slightly rude, but, I mean, you can’t just send them away, but players with perfect information can really disrupt the game, so I’d recommend just doing everything very loud and very quickly.
  • It’s totally possible for a round to get out of your control without your influence. If players only steal from the player to their left, they can instigate a chain reaction of thefts and challenges that results in one player with way more money than you who hasn’t taken a turn, yet. Naturally, my advice is not to do that, but if that does happen it’s very dissatisfying for players.
  • I don’t find the play super compelling. There’s not much to do when it’s not your turn beyond scheme and attempt to count coins based on sound; neither of those are particularly appealing to me, unfortunately.

Overall: 5 / 10

In Progress

Hey, look, it’s happened; there was an Oink Game that I didn’t particularly like. Maybe that’s why it’s so much harder to find than the others, but who knows. Either way, I just don’t think I particularly “get” this one. Half of the time, for me, it’s just watching other people steal from each other and then challenge, meaning that one person ends up with even more money. They subsequently get robbed, challenge, and then one person has even more money. This kind of cycles upwards until it’s either too late to stop the person with all the money or they make a bad call and they lose the game. Either way, it’s not the most exciting experience for me, but that’s okay. It might be more for you if you enjoy the idea of being able to rob other players but never quite know if you took enough or too much. I think it’s a cute concept, but I don’t think execution quite lives up to what it could. I’d love to see a version of this with more structure. It’s not a bad game to play; I just find it kind of forgettable (part of why this review took so long to write). That makes Oink roughly … 15 for 16, in my book, and show me a publisher with numbers like that. Either way, worst case scenario, you get a bunch of sacks and metal coins, which you can use for just about anything, so, that’s still fine.


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