Mull & Money - aka - Industrial Waste

This quiz picture is one that I expect to get several hits on there is also the perfect cryptic answer to this one. The artwork is from the box lid.

The last quiz picture was Supersell  by Condor quite a light buying and selling game where you are trying to invest in the correct cars to sell at a profit wherever the “seller” ends up. From the 1970’s it was a little different to the mainstream games of the day.

The guys had packed up Super Rhino before I took a photo so here is one of game from some months ago.

The guys had packed up Super Rhino before I took a photo so here is one of game from some months ago.

Camel Up about a 1/3 into the game.

Camel Up about a 1/3 into the game.

Small World - three of us played on the 2 player side - it was a very aggressive game but still worked quite well

Small World - three of us played on the 2 player side - it was a very aggressive game but still worked quite well

The Yspahan board, a bit fuzzy due to a sand-storm.

The Yspahan board, a bit fuzzy due to a sand-storm.

 Table 2 - Small World, Q.E., Camel Up, Mull & Money (aka Industrial Waste), Yspahan

The spotlight this time is on Mull & Money a very popular game from 2001 and in my mind under-rated on the geek however it still stands at a creditable 6.8. In the game each player is the owner of a factory which they try to improve and use to produce products to sell at a profit, the aim of the game is to have the most victory points at the end of the game which are garnered from 3 separate areas, the first is from the improvements on your individual player board, the second from the sale price of your goods, the last is half your cash total.

The central board showing the red factory with 2 workers, should reds mechanization level be 3 or more they would not be allowed to make a contract, they would not have enough workers. The top row shows the selling price for each of the factories (red gets 16 for a contract). The game end trigger is ANY factory reaching a price of 20.

The central board showing the red factory with 2 workers, should reds mechanization level be 3 or more they would not be allowed to make a contract, they would not have enough workers. The top row shows the selling price for each of the factories (red gets 16 for a contract). The game end trigger is ANY factory reaching a price of 20.

A players’ board shows their Factory, it has 3 areas of improvement each of which has a level 5, 4, 3, 2 & 1 and Victory points for attaining each level of 1, 3, 6, 10 & 15 respectively. The first is mechanization, the better the improvement the fewer workers needed in the factory, the next is how much raw is required to fulfil an order, the last is how much pollution is created when completing an order. The bottom bit of the board is where pollution is stored, it has 3 zones, the green area is safe whilst the yellow and red zones attract penalties if you have too much pollution when the inspector calls.

The game is played in a series of rounds, in each round sets of 3 cards are laid out (1 more than the number of players) each in turn then take a set of cards, each round the start player moves on a space, after taking cards players take turns playing one card at a time and on your turn you must play or discard a card until you run out or pass with only one card in hand which may be kept for the next round.

My player board showing that I am now fully mechanized and need only 1 employee in my Factory. It also shows a pollution level of 7, should I make another contract now it will add another 5 pollution to my store putting me in severe danger of penalties.

My player board showing that I am now fully mechanized and need only 1 employee in my Factory. It also shows a pollution level of 7, should I make another contract now it will add another 5 pollution to my store putting me in severe danger of penalties.

There are 10 different cards 1) Make a single improvement in your factory (costs 5 cash). 2) Sell raw materials based on the second row in your factory and this is once round the table you get the cash from the purchaser unless you buy your own and the money goes to the bank. 3) Remove three pollution from your cellar. 4) Lose one pollution every other player gains one pollution. 5) Complete a contract – costs raw equal to your factory level and produces pollution equal to your factory level and gives the player cash as shown on the central board. 6) Increase the price of your goods on the central board. 7) Fire an employee (or on a rare occasion hire one). 8) Insurance against Inspection, 9)  x2 multiplier which doubles the ability of the card it is played with and is also needed to pay off loans 10) the Inspector card.

Some of the cards in Industrial Waste

Some of the cards in Industrial Waste

Should an Inspector card be drawn during the deal there is a short break in play, those whose pollution is in the yellow zone pay a fine of 5 cash and lose one off the value of their goods whilst those in the red zone have double the effects of the yellow zone, an insurance card costs 1 cash to play and negates only the fine, in my experience players who reach the red zone rarely do well.

The dreaded Inspector card on the far left, there is only 1 of these in the deck whereas there are multiples of all the other cards.

The dreaded Inspector card on the far left, there is only 1 of these in the deck whereas there are multiples of all the other cards.

Overall this is a great game it has quite a bit of depth without being over-complicated sadly the explanation of the rules above does not really help with getting a feel for the game and overall hints at a rather dry experience, this is NOT the case I promise you. There is more maths involved than you would otherwise get in a game of this level but no more than say Power Grid and it is all part of the planning and play of the game so most of the time you do not notice you are doing it, there is plenty of player interaction and decision making, a lot more than you realise from a simple selection of three cards and decisions are often dependent on plays your opponents make and although each round is separate events in one round will affect your card selection and how you play in the next round which will be altered again when you see what cards your opponent selects. Give it a try, I promise you will not be disappointed.