Our last game on the list was a lighthearted take on making a television station. Stockpile is a lighthearted game about insider trading. Obviously not as humorous as The Networks, but Stockpile is a great game of playing the markets where you have a lot of information but don’t know everything. Depending on the player count the game goes for a set number of rounds while you try to build your wealth and control over companies.
At the start of the round each player is handed some insider information - they get to know one company and how its stock will act at the end of the round. You will definitely want to keep that information secret from your opponents. If you know the stock is going up you might try to buy more of it later. If the opposite is true you might try to mislead your opponents into overspending for that stock.
Next the players seed some piles of cards from the deck and are also dealt two cards secretly. Going around the table each player plays one of their two cards. One card is placed face down and the other is placed face up. These piles will be bidded on during the next phase. So you might hide a negative card to try to sneak it to another player or hide a stock for a valuable company so the other players don’t value the stack as highly! How you decide to play your cards face up or down adds lots of strategy to this phase.
Once the bidding phase is over every player will have won a stack of cards. Sometimes cards will increase the price of the stack with penalty cards, some will simply be stocks in the certain companies, and then some of them are action cards. This is the time that each player has a chance to play the action cards they have. The last part of the round is when the insider information take effect moving stocks up or down - possibly making them so valuable the stocks split or becomes so worthless that all stocks in that company are discarded due to bankruptcy.
Stockpile is tons of fun with the theme coming through as people have insider information and the bidding mechanic works really well with the mix of public and private information. The theme is definitely not that light hearted but when it works so well with the games mechanics it makes an already great game even better. The sleakness and fun of Stockpile makes it really deserve its spot on the top 100.