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
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
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,
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
command for a given command to get detailed help for
To start the game, one player needs to run the
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
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+".
- factories: These are the unit of production. Every
round of the game, each factory produces 3-7 units of money.
- money: Money is currency, here as always. You use
money to bid on contracts at auction, and to buy factories.
- art: This is a contract to build a great (or mediocre,
let's not go overboard here) work of art. If you are the
highest bidder for the contract, you get a lot of prestige,
but no other benefit.
- science: This is a contract to discover exciting new
science. Science is worth a little bit of prestige, but the
big benefit is that it makes your factories more effective.
Each science contract you own gives you a 25% chance to
double your earnings from each of your factory. (In effect,
each science contract raises your expected earnings by 25%.)
- government: This is a contract to bribe the government
to lend its ear to your concerns. Naturally, your biggest
concern is how to keep your opponents from getting ahead.
If you own this contract, then, on each turn, you choose an
opponent to target for taxation, which gives him a 25% chance
of earning nothing from each of his factories. (In effect,
each government contract lowers the victim's expected earnings
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:
- +5: Each art contract you have obtained
- +2: Each science contract you have obtained
- +2: Each government contract you have obtained
- +5: Bonus to the player with the most factories
- -2: Penalty to the player with the least factories
- +2: Bonus to the player with the most cash on hand
- -1: Penalty to the player with the least cash on hand
Progress of game
Each round consists of a target phase, a production phase, and a
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.
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
Specifically, for each factory, the following calculation is
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.
- Base factory profit is 3-7, determined randomly
- For each science contract the player owns, there is a 25%
chance that contract will increase the factory total by the
base factory profit.
- 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 bulk of the game action takes place during this phase. Bid
actions and buy actions take place simultaneously.
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.
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.