Monthly Archives: March 2013

Board game review: In The Money

At Board Game Club we don’t just play the well known classics like Scrabble and Monopoly. Oh no, we also play the slightly random, niche (and occasionally crap) games that I find at local charity shops. A recent meeting saw us finally attempting In The Money, a game that I bought about a year ago but kept ignoring because it looked complicated. It was complicated.

In The Money mid-game and clearly not set up just for this photo.

It’s never a great start when you can’t work out what the aim of a game is. We got there eventually and I shall attempt to summarise. To begin with, everyone draws a team leader card out of accountant, banker, lawyer, PR executive, stockbroker and surveyor. You then build up a team and earn income through your team’s skills and status symbols. This allows you to move up the game board to the board room. In order to end the game, someone then needs to become the chairman and hold two successive board meetings.* The winner is the person with the most money at that point.**

The box describes In The Money as “the City of London send-up game”. As someone who’s never worked in the city, I wasn’t too sure about having to pay £1,000 funeral expenses for a team member threatened by a management buy-out rumour (as one chance card required) but the two accountants playing felt that, yes, they might be lured to a rival’s team by the promise of a solar powered calculator.

I can’t remember who we declared as the winner of In The Money – it felt more like an experience that we all got through together.

* None of us achieved this. 

** If you’re thinking that the game doesn’t sound that complicated, please note that I have neglected to mention the treasurer, the governor, market conditions (bull and bear), interest rates, loans, blackmail, fatal stress cards, predictions and the wind of change.

In the Money
Players: 2–6
Ages: Unspecified
Vaguely interesting fact: The companies named on the board are listed in the back of the rules with their contact details. It seems that they are all defunct now though; hard to believe that In The Money didn’t shift enough units to have an impact on business.
Verdict: It took us quite a while to get our head round this game and we realised near the end that we’d been doing a few bits entirely wrong. However, it was actually fun and we vowed to give it another shot some time soon.

In which the human lizard plans for death

Yes, this post is about death. But in a practical, I-have-no-intention-of-dying-anytime-soon kind of a way. So it’s ok. And not at all weird.

Last year I decided it was about time I made a will. A tiny amount of research led me to believe that if you meet certain criteria it’s pretty safe to make your will online. It was surprisingly easy – you hand over the very reasonable sum of £28, fill out all the details, wait for confirmation that it has been checked by a qualified human, then print it out and surprise two of your colleagues with the odd request of witnessing you sign your last will and testament.

The benefit of having a will is pretty obvious: it’s the way you can have a say in who gets your money and ‘stuff’ when you shuffle off this mortal coil. It means you can divvy things up between people, leave some money to a charity or leave your worldly wealth to a beloved pet.*

Making the will got me thinking about death generally and, more specifically, about my funeral. I have some STRONG FEELINGS relating to how my funeral/memorial fiasco should go down and it makes far more sense to put these things down on paper than to just hope that someone I’ve told remembers and is around at the right time, hopefully many years down the line. Last week I finally got round to doing this and I rattled down the important, won’t go into it here, part but then started to think about the other elements. I completely failed with music requests, so apologies funeral organisers, you’re on your own. It’s hard to think of songs that are happy but not entirely inappropriate when someone has just died. For example, my current favourite song is a Bright Eyes tune called First Day of My Life but I’m just not sure that a funeral is the time for irony.

lego man dressed as a chickenWhat was much easier to pin down was the dress code: no black (with an exception made for my brother as I don’t think he owns anything else). I’ve also included a reminder that a certain friend should come dressed in a chicken suit. I can’t remember how this came to be proposed (it was several years ago) but feel that it would lighten the mood rather well.

Something I now realise I didn’t mention is the food, but you can’t go to far wrong with a buffet. I do so love a buffet and am more than a little disappointed that I’ll be missing out on this one.

* Don’t do that.

Writing a will/planning your funeral
Players: 1
Ages: 18+
Vaguely interesting fact: A holographic will is one that is handwritten, signed and dated by the person but not witnessed. It could include a will written in the dust of a car bonnet by a person dying while lost in the desert. Validity of such wills varies depending on where you are.
Verdict: Writing a will is an incredibly easy thing to do, especially considering how grown up and important it is. If you own property or anything else of significant value, you should give it some thought.