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In Mergers, players earn money by buying and selling stock in hotel chains.
Each tile placed on the board represents a hotel, and each hotel has one specific square where it can be built. As players build hotels, if they are adjacent they form a hotel chain, and players can buy stock in the company. When two chains are connected, the companies merge.
Chains that merge into larger ones, or ones that remain on the board at the end of the game, pay out bonuses to the players with the most stock. These bonuses, along with the appreciation of stock as the hotel chains grow, are how you make money. The bigger the hotel chain, the higher the stock price and bonuses.
The player who accumulates the most wealth by the end of the game is the winner!
Note: This happens automatically when the game starts
Players start with \$6000 each. Each player draws and places a hotel, and the player who draws the hotel closest to the top left of the board goes first. The players then each draw 6 hotels. Any adjacent hotels built during the initial draw do not form a chain, until another adjacent hotel is built later during a player's turn.
Each turn, you take the following actions:
On the board, the squares marked with a "+" are the hotels you've drawn. Click one of them to build the hotel on the square.
Gray squares indicate tiles that have been built, but that are not part of a chain. If you build a hotel adjacent to one of these tiles (meaning they share an edge), these hotels form a new chain. You get to choose which chain to form (there are 7 different chains, across 3 pricing tiers, click "SHOW GUIDE" to see the stock prices and bonuses). You then get 1 free share of stock in the new company. If all 7 chains are already on the board you cannot play a tile that would form a new chain.
If you build a hotel next to a hotel that is already part of a chain, the hotel you built becomes part of the chain.
If you build a hotel that connects two existing chains, this causes a merger (see "Special case: Mergers!" below).
Note: chains with 11 or more hotels cannot be merged into a larger one. If you have a tile that would create such a merger, that tile will be permanently removed from the game, and you can replace it the next time you draw tiles.
You then have the option to buy up to three stock from any of the chains currently on the board that have stock available. There are 25 total of each stock. The prices, and the number of each that remain, are listed at the top of the page. Click "SHOW GUIDE" to see how the prices grow with the chain size.
You then draw hotels until you have 6. Typically you will draw one to replace the one you just built. However if you have any permanently unplayable hotels they will be replaced at this point as well. If you draw a permenently unplayable hotel, you must hold onto it until your next turn.
During your turn, if you build a hotel that connects two existing chains, this causes a merger. The smaller chain will be merged into the larger one, and removed from the board. If there is a tie, the merging player chooses which one will absorb the other. If the hotel merges more than two chains, the merging player chooses which will be merged first.
After that a few things happen:
Two bonuses are paid out according to who owns stock in the smaller chain: one to the players with the most stock, and one to the player with the second most stock (click "SHOW GUIDE" to see how the bonuses grow with chain size). If only one player has stock in the chain, they get both bonuses. If there are ties for first or second, the bonuses can be split across the tied players.
Each player with stock in the smaller company chooses whether to: 1) sell stock; 2) swap 2-for-1 with the larger chain's stock, if available; or 3) keep stock. They can keep, swap, or sell some or all of their stock, in any combination.
The smaller chain is absorbed into the bigger chain and removed from the board. The player who built the merging hotel then continues their turn.
When there is either a chain of 41 or more hotels, or all chains on the board are unmergeable (11 or more hotels), each player has the option during their turn to end the game.
When the game is declared over:
At that point, the player with the most money is declared the winner!