A minor weakness in Sid Sackson’s game Acquire is the payoff structure. If a player is not involved in at least one of the first two or three mergers, they will be forced into last place due to lack of money, while the other players purchase all the stocks. Then when that person finally gets money all the stocks are bought and it is nearly impossible to ever become a majority holder.
By slightly altering the payoff structure, no one ever gets shutout and you will typically have all players within $10,000 at the end of the game. The way it works is that the top 4 shareholders will get paid if they own stock, instead of just the majority and minority holders. The majority holder bonus stays the same according to the information card. The second place holder gets 75%, third place gets 50%(which is the old second place), and fourth place gets 25%. If two stockholders have the same number of shares, the normal game rules apply, being that the bonuses are added together and divided. Round any resulting bonuses up to the nearest $100 if necessary.
This variant makes for a tighter; more nail biting, more realistic Acquire than you have ever seen. It is also more realistic to lie out all your stock so everyone can see them. In real life you have to report all your large stock holdings anyway. Plus it makes the strategy of the game more pure, rather than trying to guess who has what.
Other than the fact that I would call it a MAJOR weakness of the game, I pretty much concur with everything this guy said. I found someone who created a pdf that looks like the acquire reference sheets but with the new payoff schedule and I've printed out a nice color copy. I think I'm going to insert it into the game and see how it goes with the new changes. It should make for a far better game IMO though we'll have to test it next time to be sure.