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For-Ex: the game of currency trading - Signups Open Now

MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
edited May 2019 in Critical Failures

In For-Ex, players are powerful and influential traders playing the currency exchange markets. Through the course of trades, investments, and divestments among seven currencies, the winner at the end of the game will be the one who has turned their starting capital of 2 units in each currency into the most valuable total holdings.

Exchange Rates and Strengthening and Weakening Currencies
At the core of the game is the currency board, showing the exchange rates between the seven currencies in the game. Every currency pair has a specific exchange rate, their starting values noted in the table above. In each pair, there is one currency that is noted as stronger by the colored arrow; this holds true even for currencies with a 1:1 rate. Over the course of the game, these exchange rates will change according to the line running down the left side of the chart. The numbers in the boxes indicate how many units of the weaker currency can be obtained for each unit of the stronger currency.

When a currency is Strengthened, the exchange rates for that currency against all six other currencies will be pushed in its favor by one step. If the strengthened currency is the weaker one in a 1:1 rate, the 1:1 rate will stay the same but the strengthened currency will become the stronger currency. When a currency is Weakened, the exchange rates for that currency against all six other currencies will be pushed one step against it. If the weakened currency is already in a 1:8 against rate, there will be no further movement.

Turn Flow
At the start of a player's turn, they may optionally perform a spot transaction. Whether or not this is done, the player takes one of the following actions, then the turn passes to the next player:
  • Make a Contract with the Bank
  • Invest in Certificates for one or two currencies
  • Divest Certificates for a single currency
  • Resolve the topmost item in the Contract Queue

Spot Transaction
In a spot transaction, the active player will make a small trade of currency with one of the other players in the game. This trade will only involve one unit of the stronger currency, and a number of units of the weaker currency as dictated by the Exchange Rate board.

For example, if the current exchange rate is 1 GBP : 1.5 USD, then the active player could make one of the following two spot transactions:
Spot Transaction: Exchange 1 GBP with <other_player> for 1.5 USD OR
Spot Transaction: Exchange 1.5 USD with <other_player> for 1 GBP

The spot transaction must be approved by both parties in order to occur. Feel free to discuss spot trades when it is not your turn; trades that are approved will be executed at their earliest opportunity unless a conflict occurs (e.g. one player agreeing to multiple trades simultaneously).

Making a Contract
A contract is an agreement to give a certain amount of currency to the bank in exchange for the amount of a second currency according to the Exchange Rate board. This agreement will not be executed immediately: instead, the contract will be placed at the end of the Contract Queue where it can be completed with the Resolve action. For a contract to be valid, the number of units of the stronger currency must be a whole number between 1 and 10 (inclusive).

For example, if the current exchange rate is 1 EUR : 1.5 JPY, then the following contracts could be made:
Contract: Pay 2 EUR to gain 3 JPY. OR
Contract: Pay 7.5 JPY to gain 5 EUR.

A maximum of six contracts can be active at any time. If the Contract Queue is full, then no new Contracts may be made until one is resolved.

Investing in Certificates
When the investment action is taken, the acting player pays 2 units of currency to the bank in order to receive one Certificate corresponding with that currency. A player can purchase Certificates of one or two different currencies in a single action, but not two Certificates of the same currency.

Example: Invest: Pay 2 USD and 2 CNY to gain 1 USD and 1 CNY Certificate.

When a Certificate is purchased, the corresponding currency is immediately Strengthened. Holding Certificates are also important when it comes to resolving Dividends from the Contract Queue, as this will result in gaining currency and potentially strengthening a currency further.

There are up to eight Certificates of each currency available; six Certificates of the total fifty-six (8*7) are randomly selected and removed at the start of the game, leaving fifty for players to purchase. Each player may hold a maximum of four Certificates of a particular currency, but there is no limit to the overall number of Certificates that can be held.

Divesting in Certificates
When the divestment action is taken, the acting player selects a currency type for which they own at least one Certificate, and then sells off any number of those Certificates for 2 units of that currency for each one. Each other player, in order, then has the opportunity to also sell off Certificates of that currency type.

Example: Divest: Sell 2 CHF Certificates to gain 4 CHF.

For each Certificate sold, the corresponding currency is Weakened by one step. This means that a currency can weaken drastically with a single action. The Certificates that are sold are removed from the game: this means that there are limits to the number of investment and divestment actions that may be taken throughout the game.

When the resolve action is taken, the topmost item in the Contract Queue is removed from the queue and resolved, regardless of whom the item applies to. The resolution depends on the type of item: Dividends, Contracts, and Loans.

There are five Dividends cards, numbered 0 to 4; the game starts with the Dividends 0 card in the Contract Queue. When a Dividends card is resolved, holders of certificates gain currency units based on which Dividends card is resolved: no units for Dividends 0, 2 units for Dividends 1, 2, and 3, and 3 units for Dividends 4. However, if a currency is at its weakest point (1:8 against) against any other currency, there will be no payouts for that currency.

In addition to gaining dividends, the currency for which players own the most Certificates will be Strengthened one step. In the case of a tie, the acting player decides which of the tied currencies will be Strengthened. Unlike Invest/Divest, there is no corresponding Weakening event paired to this one.

Finally, the next Dividends card in sequence will be added to the end of the Contract Queue. If Dividends 4 was resolved, this marks the end of the game, and all remaining items in the Contract Queue will be resolved with no further player turns.

Contracts that were made with an earlier action are now carried out: the player who made the contract must pay the promised currency to the bank for the promised returns. A completed Contract opens up a slot for a new Contract to be made.

If the player is unable to make the promised payment, they still receive the promised returns, but the Contract becomes a Loan. In this case, a Loan is added to the end of the Contract Queue, where there are no returns, but the player must now pay the original amount plus 1 unit. (e.g. A 2 EUR payment will become a 3 EUR payment for no further returns.) If that player already has a Loan in the queue, a second Loan is not created; instead, both outstanding amounts must be paid at the same time as the original Loan. A Loan takes up a slot in the Contract Queue that might ordinarily be filled by a Contract, which means that one fewer Contract may be active until the Loan is resolved.

Loan payments must be made immediately upon resolution, and open up their space in the Contract Queue to be filled by a new Contract. However, if the player is unable to fulfill their obligation, they will go bankrupt and the game ends immediately; that player is ineligible for victory, even if they would otherwise have the largest holdings.

Ending the Game
As suggested above, the game can end in one of two ways following a Resolve action:
  • Dividends 4 was resolved, after which the remainder of the Contract Queue is resolved
  • A Loan obligation was failed; no further Queue resolutions are performed
In either case, players convert their money into the strongest currency as much as possible (no fractions outside of the Exchange Rate table) and the player with the highest total wins the game. The strongest currency is defined as the one with the largest number of currency pairs in which it is stronger. In the case of a tie, the tie is broken towards the currency with the highest number of Certificates in players' hands; any further tie is broken by the player with the last turn.

MrBlarney on


  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Player Signups
    This will be a four-player game of For-Ex. If you're interested in playing, post your sign up in bold, colorful text to make sure I see it. Signups will be open for approximately the next 24 hours, assuming that at least four people sign up. From those who sign up, I'll randomly select four to be the players for this edition of the game. If four players haven't signed up in the first 24 hours, signups will be extended in 24-hour intervals until at least four signups have been achieved.

  • DaemonisDaemonis Registered User regular
    Know nothing about stock trade, but Signup

  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Only one person signed up so far? The game is definitely in a niche genre and very abstract, though I expected there to be a few more people to take the plunge. I'll keep signups open for a couple more days in case there were folks on the fence about it. Since the game is completely open information, I could also fill a player spot if necessary. Though I'd prefer not, since I'd rather focus on the hosting logistics.

  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    I would love to play, but we're in the midst of buying a house and have way too much going on over the next couple months because of it. Hopefully more folks will stumble across this soon and sign up, it looks like an interesting game.

  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Yeah, it seemed pretty quirky and also fairly easy to set for play-by-post, so that's why I put the game together. I noticed that I accidentally missed a closing spoiler tag on one of the sections, so that the final rule points weren't immediately visible from the opening post. I'll keep the signups open through the weekend just in case anyone else is interested, but otherwise it is what it is.

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    .. have to say I considered signing up, but:
    - It seemed high interaction, so I didn't think I could keep up with Spot transactions.
    - It seemed like a lot of math ..
    - without any clear path to victory. So I felt I'd be random walking around the exchange :(

    discrider on
  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles But we decide which is right and which is an illusion.Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    I was considering signing up as well, but got sidetracked with family stuff (and got more coming the next few days) and lost track of time. Sorry about that.

    H3Knuckles on
    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Coda and cross-promotion!
    discrider wrote: »
    .. have to say I considered signing up, but:
    - It seemed high interaction, so I didn't think I could keep up with Spot transactions.
    - It seemed like a lot of math ..
    - without any clear path to victory. So I felt I'd be random walking around the exchange :(

    I can definitely feel the last point. Structurally, the game doesn't have too many types of actions, but there's a lot of butterfly effects from each one. I really have no idea how one wins a game like this, but it's also what appealed to me to try and draft up. But not all games are successful, I've definitely had to cancel a couple of Phalla games before.

    But I've decided to get back at it and try something more straightforward while still being interesting. I've just put up a thread for running a PbP of Splotter Spellen Bus. It's one of their older games, celebrating its 20th Anniversary, but since it's getting an anniversary reprint, it's gotta have something to it, right? Since it didn't seem too complicated, it also seemed like a good try for the forum format. If you're interested in a strange worker placement where you're a bus line manager, city planner, and mad scientist all in one, perhaps you can give it a look.

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