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Did you know I’m into this board game trend right now? I think it’s picking up in Malaysia and I’m glad too, that means it’ll be more accessible and hopefully cheaper too. Anyway I digress. Today I’m going to talk about this board game that I’ve recently played called Airlines Europe. I also have to mention that it is the first board game (alternative to your mainstream board games) that I’ve won! yes, I was absolutely happy when I finally won as I’ve been losing ever since I started, seriously it’s that bad, don’t get me started on it.

This is a 2-5 player game and takes about 75 minutes if you’re really slow, my first time we used about 2 hours just to play the game, of course it was because some of the players took a lot of time to think.

As the title suggests, it’s an airplane game where you don’t buy airplanes, but instead you invest in the airplane shares. You have many different colours of airlines you can choose to invest into and you the board itself consists of a map with the different airports and at the side there is this sort of road thing, I’ll explain the use later. Everyone starts with 8 million each and 5 cards (I think, not so sure about this). So when it is your turn you can choose to do 1 out of 4 things.

First option is to buy a route, meaning extending the airlines route path to make the airlines more valuable. You have to start according to the colour you want to buy and the starting point, you can only buy the smallest amount; later on you can buy larger amounts. Ok, say I want to extend yellow airlines, so I pay say 3 million, because that’s the cheapest in that route and then I place a marker on 3. I also get to bump up the yellow marker on the ‘road’ to make this share more valuable and finally I get a new card to add to my hand (this is the only way you can get new cards) you can choose to take from the deck (random) or the 5 specially laid out cards. You can extend up to 2 airlines in 1 round.

The second option is to lay down my cards as a sign to show that I want to invest in this airline. Say I put down 2 blue cards and 1 black card, so that means now I have 2 shares in blue and 1 share in black. I also get 2 million for each share I put down, so now I get 6 million. The point of doing this is because when it comes to the point where they pay out the points, the person with a higher share majority will get more points.

The third option is to trade in cards for the abacus shares, there are no airplanes for this and its separate point system, but basically the person with a higher share gets more points. So you trade in 1 card for 1 abacus share or 3 cards for 2 abacus shares. You may be wondering why would I trade in 3 for 2, well you can only do 1 move and I tell you in this game, you want to try to do as many things as you can in 1 round.

The last option is to do nothing and just get 8 million. Very simple.

So we start with the first person, I played with 4 other people, so the first person gets 1 point, the second 2 points and so on. You get the points according to when you start; the 5th person gets 5 points straight away. The player chooses one of the four options and then it’s the next persons turn. In the deck there is a special brown card, when that card appears, everyone stops the game for awhile and we count out the points to be given. This is when it is important to have the highest shares in a particular airline as you will get a higher share. So I talked about bumping up the colours up the road right? The higher you bump up the more points you get of course! So say I have 3 abacus cards and it’s the highest of all the players, I get the highest points say 5 points and then the next person with 2 abacus share get 3 points. If you don’t have an abacus share you don’t get points. Then as for the colours you just look at the marker and see the appropriate points, see who owns the shares of that colour and allocate points according to who holds the highest amount of shares. There are a total of 3 of these special brown cards. For my group we purposely put the last brown card as the last card so that we could play till the very end.
This is what the inside of the box looks like, the colours are the airplanes and the money is there too. Some items have been taken out already.

This is really a fun strategy game to play with your friends, not to mention that I was recently reading about the airasia and Malaysia airlines merger and well I was just linking together the two things. It does take some time for 5 players so maybe you could play about 3 or 4 people. There is the element of luck in it as you’ve got to get the right cards sometimes. And it’ll help if you know about business so this shares thing is not alien to you. It was fun to decide which shares to invest in, challenging my friend to get higher shares in the abacus shares and talking my way into getting people to help me bump up the airlines. I have missed out a few things in this review but if you get a hold of it you can read the minor parts in the instructions manual. I just decided to explain the basics which is hard to do honestly when you don’t have the actual board in front of you. So give it a go yeah? i certainly enjoyed it, yes i am a bit biased for this game as you would have guessed.