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Speculate is a game of playing the markets, of company management and business decisions.
There are two types of player positions. There are "traders" who buy and sell shares
and commodities, and "tycoons" who do the same things AND play for control of the
Everyone starts the game with control of one "player company"
plus cash in the bank and a friendly bank manager who'll lend you more when you ask.
Tycoons also start with a majority shareholding in one of the "trading companies".
For the Tycoons the game is about where you invest your money, what deals you make
with the other players, and how you run the companies you control.
The idea is to make money, lots of it, and then some more. If you make more than
everyone else then you'll win. Your target is a million, and you've got to get there
first (it normally takes around thirty turns). Honest dealing and fair trading are
For the Traders the game is simply about making as much money as possible
from buying and selling shares and commodities on the markets and in deals with the
other players. A Trader can't control trading companies, but that's the only restriction.
They can still vote their shares in the normal way when a company is up for grabs -
but they can't vote for themselves. The Top Trader is the one with the most money when
the game ends (which is when the first Tycoon has banked his first million).
There are fifteen player companies and up to fifteen players to run them.
Your player company is who you are in the game. There are no shares in the player
companies, which are always 100% controlled by their owners.
The player companies mainly deal in shares, but they can also deal in commodities.
They can't manufacture anything, but they can do everything else.
The player companies that belong to any dropouts or "dummy" players continue to operate
in a sensible way. The non-player companies are an important part of the game,
as they take the place of the "market" and "bank" simulations in the old version.
There are fifteen trading companies.
These vote to select a managing director from among the players, and the MD writes the
business plan for the company, so the control of the trading companies can change from
turn to turn.
The trading companies mainly deal in commodities. Each has one to three
production lines. Each production line can produce a single commodity, and consumes
various other commodities in the process. The stuff you need for one company will be
the same stuff that's manufactured by another. If you can put the two together then
you can dodge the costs and uncertainties of
trading on the open market, which is a big advantage.
Companies pay wages to the staff that operate the production lines, and pay extra for
hiring and firing to change their staff levels or for temporary staff when
On top of production costs are finance (bank loans and overdrafts),
advertising and storage costs, plus the cost of setting up import and export deals.
Company profits can be retained for investment or paid out to the shareholders as
There are ten service companies whose shares can be bought and sold by the rest.
No-one controls the service companies, and they can't deal in either shares or
commodities themselves. They make their money from the services they provide to
everyone else, as the costs paid by the player companies and trading companies provide
the income of the service companies.
One company deals with hiring and firing staff,
and another with supplying temporary staff. Others handle imports and exports,
advertising, construction and the storage of surplus stocks.
The stock broker and commodities broker take their profits from the difference between
the buy and sell prices in their respective markets, while the bank makes money from
All of which are about as difficult as falling off a log, so
the service companies all make money and pay good dividends, and their shares are
good value. Different companies are more or less profitable at different stages of
Shares are traded direct between the companies on the open market.
Priority between buyers and sellers is decided by the prices offered (the lowest price
among the sellers is matched with the highest price among the buyers).
Share prices rise and fall with supply and demand as well as with the bid prices
offered by the players.
Orders to buy and sell remain in place from turn to turn, except when you change your
instructions. This means that potential trading partners can see what you're offering
and decide whether to offer something in response.
Each turn the shareholders in
each company can combine their votes to force a change in the managing director for
Share issues can be used to create extra shares, which the company sells
to raise money. Unsold shares (held by the company itself) always support the
current MD in votes for control, so share issues can be critical during takeovers,
but once these shares are issued they're always offered for sale - so to maintain
control of a popular company you'll need to keep buying the shares .
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