Last Will board game
Last Will board game

About

In Victorian England, the profits of the Industrial Revolution have given rise to a wealthy upper class of English ladies and gentlemen. Sadly, you are not among them. But you do have a rich uncle, recently departed, who decided on his death bed to leave all his money to the relative who will enjoy it the most. To find out who that is, you and your cousins will each be given a substantial sum of money. Whoever can spend it the fastest will inherit all your uncle's wealth.

Last Will is a race to bankruptcy. In each round, you choose a plan for the day, which determines how many options you will have available and how much time you will have for them. If you don't give yourself enough options, you might find yourself with nothing left to do after attending the theatre. If you don't set aside enough time, you might have to forgo dinner prepared by London's most famous chef or a carriage ride with a charming guest. And don't neglect your property investments. Or rather, do neglect them: Once your properties depreciate, you can sell them for a pittance, bringing you that much closer to bankruptcy. The upper class lifestyle provides you many opportunities to spend your uncle's money. Just be sure to spend it fast.

A luxurious life of fabulous wealth is within your grasp. With your uncle's Last Will, bankruptcy leads to riches!

In Last Will, each player starts with a certain amount of money, an individual player board, two errand boys and two cards in some combination of properties and helpers. At the start of each round, lay out cards from the appropriate decks on the offering boards; the four regular decks are properties, companions, events, helpers and expenses, with special cards forming a deck of their own. The particular mix of cards varies by round and by the number of players.

Each player then chooses a plan for the round, with each plan indicating the number of cards the player draws (drawn immediately from the four regular decks in any combination), how many errand boys he can use later (one or two), the number of actions available to him that round, and his spot in the playing order that round. In the playing order for that round, players then take turns choosing an action with their errand boy(s), with those actions being:

  • Take a card on display and add it to your hand.
  • Draw a card from any regular deck – This can be chosen only once by each player.
  • Visit the opera and spend $2.
  • Adjust the value modifiers in the property market.
  • Take a player board extension, thereby giving you room to play more cards.

Players then take actions in the playing order for that round, with each player having as many actions as indicated on his plan. Actions let you play one-time events (which have a cost, possibly variable); helpers and recurring expenses (which are placed on your individual player board); and properties (which cost money and may depreciate over time). You can often play companions with events or recurring expenses – of course you should bring a date to the opera or a horse on your yacht! – to increase their cost. You can also use actions to activate cards on your player board, possibly with one or more companions and always with the goal of spending money. Helpers and special cards can provide you with unique powers to further boost your profligacy.

At the end of each round, you must discard down to two cards in hand, and properties that can depreciate do so; this is good as a player cannot go bankrupt if he owns properties, and the only way to get rid of properties is to sell them, which regretably puts money back in your hands unless the depreciation was intense or you manipulate the market.

If a player has no money and no properties, he declares bankruptcy and the game ends at the conclusion of that round; otherwise the game ends after seven rounds. The player who has the least money (or even who is most in debt) wins.

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