Rules for SimCapitalism IRC game

SimCapitalism is an IRC-based board game for 2-6 players. You run a corporation, and your goal is to compete against other corporations for prestige.

This page describes the gameplay and rules of the game. Other relevant pages are:

IRC Setup and overview

Everyone who wants to play should login to the IRC server and go to the correct channel, currently #simcap. The gameplay commands are described in the online help, and can be accessed by sending the help command. However, it is important to note that all commands in this game are executed by sending them as private messages to the gamemaster, gm. That is, use
  /msg gm command args
(or use the gm query tab, as described in the IRC documentation) to execute any command. Be careful about this --- it's an auction-based game, and, if you send your bid to the main channel and everyone sees it, you have no one to blame but yourself.

The most useful command is the help command, which gives a listing of all the other commands. Run help command for a given command to get detailed help for that command.

To start the game, one player needs to run the start command with a list of player names:

    start player1 player2 player3 ...
Note that player names are case-sensitive. (If you mistype a player's name, look at the help for the changenick command to fix it without restarting the game.)


The game has five major items of importance: All information about players is public except money. However, you can find out how much money the other players have to the nearest 20. For instance, if a player has 33 money, then his public listing will show money of "20+".

Start of game

Each player begins the game with 20 money and one factory. The game begins with a bid/buy phase. Factories do not produce before the first round, so each player will have exactly 20 money in the first bid/buy phase.


The game ends after 10 rounds, at which time points are scored by the players as follows:

Progress of game

Each round consists of a target phase, a production phase, and a bid/buy phase.

Target phase

The target phase is simple: each player who has obtained government contracts may target his taxation units at any other player (or at himself, if he feels the need for a handicap). The target is notified by private message that he has been taxed.

Production phase

The player does not take any action at all during this phase, but his factories produce income. Each factory's profit is calculated independently, and the profits are added together to form the player's income.

Specifically, for each factory, the following calculation is performed:

  1. Base factory profit is 3-7, determined randomly
  2. For each science contract the player owns, there is a 25% chance that contract will increase the factory total by the base factory profit.
  3. For each taxation to which the player is subject, there is a 25% chance that tax will decreasing the factory total by the base factory profit.
The player's income for the round is the total of all factories' profits. There is no limit on the amount of money a player can hold between rounds. The player is informed of his income at the end of this phase, so that he knows how much money he has going into the bid/buy phase.

Bid/buy phase

The bulk of the game action takes place during this phase. Bid actions and buy actions take place simultaneously.

Buy action

The player simply indicates the number of factories he would like to buy this round. Each factory costs 10. Players may choose not to buy factories in a given round.

When a player buys factories, his purchase money is placed in escrow. It remains in his money listing (and he does not receive his factories) until the bid/buy round ends, but he cannot use that money to bid.

Bid action

A certain number (which may be zero) of contracts of each type are available during each round. In particular the number of contracts available is one fewer than the number of players, and contracts are chosen at random from the three possible types. Each contract has a minimum bid, which is the smallest amount anyone can bid for that item. Over the course of the game, the minimum bid increases by 3 per round. The smart player will take note of this.

The set of available contracts is announced at the beginning of the bid phase. A player may only bid on one type of contract during a given round. Players make simultaneous closed bids, and each player bids only once. Bids may be no lower than the listed minimum bid for the chosen contract type. Players may choose not to bid in a given round.

When a player makes a bid, his bid money is placed in escrow. It remains in his money listing until the bid succeeds, but he cannot use that money to buy factories this round.

Once all bids have been submitted, contracts are assigned from highest bidder to lowest, until the available contracts of that type are exhausted. Each player pays the amount he bid.