These download files are in Portuguese. This game is being tested in Portuguese
Holding is actually one of the first games we started working on. It is also one of the best. We haven't managed yet to make its pace faster so that the game ends in reasonable time. We are working on it yet and we hope to have a final version, in english, ready soon.
Holding ― Financial Strategy Game
Your purpose is to be a millionaire. You will manage a holding - a company responsible for managing assets, including other companies. Players may invest in stocks, options, commodities, factoring, and so on. They may also buy or sell companies. He who reaches $1 million in his personal wealth is the winner.
Preparing the game
Each player gets a board and $100 thousand (it was 20 thousand in older versions).
The game turn
The game is played in turns, each divided in seven steps: withdraw, investments, cards, realizations, inspection, auctions and payment.
In the withdrawal stage, each player draws a card or, if it is the first turn, two cards.
The cards are placed on the table, facing up, so that everyone can see them.
In the investment stage, players may allocate their capital on the different investments available or on their companies.
In the card stage, each player must choose one of his cards and present it. If it is an event, it will be valid for all players. If it is a crime or a company, the card will wait there until the auction stage (in later versions of the game we have dropped the crime card, and all crime and punishment mechanics altogether).
In the realization stage, two dice must be thrown for investments, one representing illiquidity and the other representing risk. If the illiquidity is less than the investment illiquidity number, the investment is stuck, there is no return and no loss for now, regardless of the risk number. If the risk result is less than the investment risk, the whole investment is lost.
If both tests are successful, the investment paid off, you get your money back plus the investment profits.
If your investment was in your company, the dice results are valid for all companies of that sector.
Besides that, companies pay their owners dividends.
In the inspection section, each player throws a dice for each crime he has on his companies. If the result if equal or less the crime number, he is forced to discard the crime and pay the punishments described in the letter.
In the auction section we discard the crime and company cards presented by the players. A player that have presented a crime may choose to use it in one of his companies. If he doesn't want it, the other players may bid to buy the card, placing it in their own companies (the payment is made to the bank). The same thing happens with the company cards. The player that has presented it may buy it for the listed price and if he doesn't do it, the other players may bid on it.(Note: in newer testing versions the presenting player has no preference to bid on his card. Everyone can bid, regardless of his choosing).
During this stage the players may negotiate their companies, cards and loans.
In the payment stage, each player must transfer some of his capital to his personal wealth.
This payment must be at least the same he paid in the previous turn. The initial value is $1 thousand.
The player may choose to increase it up to the double of the previous turn.
If a player cannot pay himself, he is fired from the holding, looses his capital (in newer versions he does not looses his capital), gets no payment that turn and may start over with a new holding with the initial payment.
Preparing the game
Each player receives a board and $100 thousand.
Holding is played in turns, and each turn is divided in six stages that each player must follow. The stages are draw cards, invest, play cards, realization, auctions and payments, as described bellow:
Each player draws a card (or two, in his first turn). The cards are placed facing up in front of his holding.
The players may allocate capital in different investments.
Each player chooses one from his cards and places it in the appropriate place in the board, facing downwards. When every player has chosen their cards, they are revealed. There are three kinds of cards: events, companies and crimes (there are no crimes in newer versions). The first means changes in the market that impact all players, the second are cards that may be bought and invested upon and the third are modifiers to be casted on companies in order to make them more profitable.
For each one of the 16 speculations and 10 segments it is necessary to throw two dice, one for illiquidity and another for risk. The results will be valid for all players in an investment. In newer versions of the game the dice is thrown only once for each round, being valid for all investments at once. This is a very important improvement, making the game much faster and leading players to realize it is not a game of pure luck.
If the value of the investiment die is inferior to the listed value, the value is retained until the next round and the risk die is ignored. If the result is equal or greater than the listed value, it is time to test the risk die.
If the illiquidity test is positive, but the risk die value is less than the listed, all capital invested is lost.
If the result of both illiquidity and risk are positive, however, the investment paid off and you will get all money invested plus the profitability of your investment.
When realizing companies, however, there are more things to consider. First, companies pay dividends every turn, even if you don't invest on them. This means that you receive the value listed as dividend in you companies.
Besides, companies may commit crimes (exclude in newer versions). For each crime you have in a company you will need to throw a die before realizing it. If the result is less than that listed in "justice in x", you were caught . You must discard the crime and follow these instructions: your company will be sold (players can bid), you don't get the money, the money invested is lost (even if you got positive results in illiquidity and risk) and you get no dividends.
If a player presented a company during the cards stage, he now may buy it for its nominal value. If he doesn't want it other players may bid (in newer versions the presenting player does not have this privilege). The minimum value is still the nominal.
The same happens with crimes, but their price starts in zero.
During this stage players may negotiate their companies, cards or loans.
At last, each player must transfer his payment from his capital to his personal wealth. Such payment must be at least his last payment or up to its double.
Personal Wealth and Company Capital
Playing Holding you will have two different accounts: yours and your companies'. Your's will grow as you get payments from your company. The company capital is used to invest, buy companies or negotiate.
There are three index for each investment in Holding: its illiquidity, its risk and profitability.
Illiquidity measures how long you will probably take to realize the investment. It is a number (usually between 1 and 6) against which you throw a die. If you fail to beat that number your money is stuck and you will need to try again next turn.
Risk measures the odds of loosing your money. It is a number (usually between 1 and 6) against which you throw a die. If you fail to beat that number you loose all money invested.
If the die ties with the index, you did not fail.
Profitability measures how much a successful investment will profit. The result is always rounded downwards to thousands. On a successful realization you get your capital back plus it's profitability.
There a two basic investment types: speculation and companies.
Speculations are open to anyone, for instance, stocks and commodities.
Companies are exclusive to their owners.
Speculations are investments open to anyone, with a quick return. Investments, however, have a risk: on a successful realization you will loose 10pp in your profitability for each other player investing the same amount or more than you in that investment.
Companies must be bought and only than you can invest on them. They are usually more illiquid than speculations, but behave the same way with one exception: companies pay dividends. Dividends are your share of the profits generated by the company. In holding dividends are a fixed value that the company pays each turn.
Throughout the game, each participant receives cards with which he may influence the market and draw his strategies. There are 4 kinds of cards: events, crimes, justice and companies.
Actually in newer versions some modifications happened:
First: justice cards were removed. Justice probability was written in the crime card.
Second: crime cards were also removed. This mechanics were an appendix to the game, adding very little and making it a whole lot more complex.
When downloading the testing files you may find different testing versions. Pay attention to that.
Holding has a board for each player, at least two dice, money counters, cards.
Some testing versions also have a central board and have no event card.
Credits and reference
This game is being developed using free software, like Inkscape, LibreOffice, Scribus, TheGimp and Ubuntu.
All material is published under the Public Domain. You may use it freely for any purpose.
Most of our references were taken from BOVESPA website and from Max Gunther's great book "Zurich Axioms"