Squatter, 1960s Australian boardgame

“You failed to dodge the income tax this year”…

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There don’t seem to be any counters for mortgages….

My sister and I played our first game of Squatter. We both adopted the strategy of pumping sheep in and out to the wool sales to profit from the negative transaction costs*. The game went pretty quickly, and I won abruptly by landing on Stock Sale with a big tin of cash and buying 15 pens of sheep to fully stock my irrigated pastures. There is definitely a big upside to not stocking any sheep most of the time!

The game gave us something to do pretty often, but not enough significant decisions to make on most turns. And the only time either of us did anything that affected to other at all was when my sister landed on a stud ram square that I owned and had to pay me a trivial stud fee. I have been told that next time we have to play Scrabble.

I think the game would be more interesting if the seasonality of the track around the board were a bit more evident, if sheep reproduced, and if stock sales did not rain cash.

* On I think every “Stock Sale” price card the selling price is higher than the buying price. Elisabeth and I were selling all our sheep if we had sheep and buying all the sheep we could when we had no sheep each time we landed on a Stock Sale square. The game was decided when Elisabeth didn’t have enough cash to fully stock her fully-improved station on a sales square. Before she could get around the board for another wool cheque I landed on a stock sale square with plenty of cash and bought a victory.

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