Welcome to the all-new Monopoly X-treme page. I've played Monopoly ever since my elder brother got bored beating me soundly at Risk and needed a change. Monopoly is the most enjoyably vapid game of rampant capitalism that was ever devised. That's not to say it isn't great fun - far from it - some of my best arguments have been over Monopoly, and beating my brother at it many years later just ranks up there with one of those teenage-defining moments, like being taller than one/both your parents, or meeting a girl who was impressed by: (A) wheelies on a pushbike or (B) that I could do an entire Monty Python sketch by heart.
Well, time has not diminished her, nor age wearied the arguments, and I find myself playing Monopoly with my own children and thinking, as I always do, as to ways to improve it. Yes, I know there are always 'house rules' but even then, the basic problem about Monopoly is skill - or the lack of it. Ruthlessness aside, winning pretty much relies on landing on the right properties, which is governed by chance. Then, once someone starts to steam ahead, their lead becomes exponentially large, everyone else gets left behind, potential winner cackles with glee, attempts to be magnanimous and 'let people off' only so they can have a more complete and utter victory four hours later. You get the picture. Brings out the worst in everyone. Great stuff.
So, what to do? Clearly, the game must be levelled a bit. Remembering my brother's howls of anguish when poised for yet another crushing victory, he happens to pick up the 'Chance' card with the 'street repairs' bill. Oh, how my little heart soared when that happened! There sat I, with only £16 in cash and a mortgaged 'electric company' to my name, staring across a sea of his hotels with (well hidden) glee as my brother screamed the unfairness of it all and pulled his hair out, cursing everything and everyone to hellfire. If anyone has an elder brother/sister, you will know how rare and joyous this feeling is.
Sorry. Where was I? Oh yes. Levelling the playing board. There has to be way that penalises the more wealthy players, and more rules that allow anyone to start playing (you can't do diddly until you can build houses) So 'Monopoly X-treme' was developed, which could have been called 'Sociaopoly' or 'Marxist/Free Market hybrid' or something. Anyway, the rules are below. You may like to play them, you may not.
Are pretty much the same as standard Monopoly except for the following:
1: All fines go into the centre and whoever lands on 'Free Parking' gets them all. UNLESS the person who lands on FP has double the pot in cash - in which case he is fined the value of the pot. (Simple, hey?)
2: Landing on 'Go' (not past it) wins the lucky contestant £400.
3: The annoying £1 notes are thrown away - all fines are rounded up to the nearest five.
4: Each player gets £2000 to start.
5: Property can be sold outright to the bank at face value but can only be rebought when someone lands on it. Oooooh what to do? Mortgage for half face value and retain title or realise the full value and lose it?
6: If you have less than £100 in your hand at the beginning of your go, you receive £100 from the bank.
7: No-one can buy their way out of jail, nor collect rent, buy, sell or deal in property when they are incarcerated. Only way out is a double, 'get out of jail free' card or three goes. You are playing again at the end of the third.
8: Winner clears up. (Aren't you glad we've got this one straightened out?)
9: I am always the dog token. Anyone who puts the hat on the dog as a joke is fined £100. The iron is to be used by an aunt if one is playing.
10: You may build on any property you own. You do not have to own the set. BUT if you only own one property of a set, you receive only a proportion of the rent. See table below:
One property in a three property set: One third stated rent
Two properties in a three property set: One half stated rent
Three properties in a three property set: Full stated rent
One property in a two property set: One half stated rent
Two properties in a two property set: Full stated rent
(As usual, all deals must be conducted before you shake the dice. Houses can be sold at half market value to bank, property must be equally distributed on your properties.)
Chance and Community Chest
Lots of scope for tomfoolery here. These are the alternatives we use, although you may like to make up your own. Take the cards and substitute the following orders:
Delete: "Bank gives you dividend of fifty" and replace with: "Bank gives you one property - other player decides which one"
Delete: "Drunk in charge Fine £20" and replace with: "Tabloid intrusion - lose libel case - 1/3 of all property sold to bank" (Makes those crummy utilities suddenly a lot more important)
Delete: "Pay school fees of £150" and replace with: "Pay school fees of 25% cash in hand"
General Repairs: For each house pay £50, Each Hotel pay £100. BUT if you own more than ten houses, pay house bill £100 each, more than three hotels, £200 each.
Street Repairs: For each house pay £100, Each Hotel pay £200.
Delete: "Speeding Fine £15" and replace with: "Revenge legal technicality card - this card can be retained and used to exchange for one landing payment."
Delete: "Crossword competition" and replace with: "Internal embezzlement by disgruntled employee - 50% of all your cash distributed to other players"
Delete: "Your building loan matures, receive £150" and replace with: "Your building loan matures, receive £500"
Delete: "It is your birthday, collect £10 from each player" and replace with: "It is your birthday, collect £100 from each player"
Delete: "Pay your insurance premium £50" and replace with: "Pay your insurance premium 25% of saleable value of property (inc houses and hotels)"
Delete: "Doctor's Fee Pay £50" and replace with: "Doctor's Fee Pay 25% of cash in hand"
Delete "2nd prize in a beauty contest..." and replace with: "Jump to any square you want!"
Delete: "You inherit £100" and replace with: "You inherit £1000 but as a strange codicil, you are required to sing a song that the other players nominate."
Delete: "Annuity Matures..." and replace with: "Grass up an enemy to the securities commission - send any player you want to jail."
Delete: "Receive interest on 7% preference shares £25" and replace with: "Receive interest on 7% preference shares £250"
Delete: "From sale of stock you get £50" and replace with: "From sale of stock you get £500"
Delete: "Pay a £10 fine or take a 'Chance'." and replace with: "Pay a £100 fine or take a 'Chance'."
Delete: "Income tax refund Collect £20" and replace with: "Corporate merger. Ex-CEO of smaller company made scapegoat for everyone's widespread and unsubtle plundering of pension fund. All players vote on who gets sent to jail."
Delete: "Pay Hospital £100" and replace with: "Pay Hospital 25% of all cash in hand."
Delete: "It is your birthday...." and replace with: "It is your birthday. Collect £100 from each player and £200 from the bank."
Well, that's about the tune of it. It won't stop the arguments but will probably generate different ones. Enjoy.