What a brilliant name this game has! I mean, I do find playing games stressful sometimes, but not enough to give me an ulcer!
But no, “Ulcers board game” is not about trying to do so many things that you give yourself an ulcer! Though it is about the business world – but that’s where the similarity ends. In fact it's the quintessential Board game - because you are on the board of a company!
The aim of the game is to assemble a full staff of personnel (two secretaries, two salesmen, one sales manager, one vice-president and one president) to run your company. Easy? Well, the problem is (and there’s always a problem isn’t there!) is that there aren't enough employees available! To win the game you need to assemble a full staff and make it safely around to a New Fiscal year.
As you move you have opportunities to hire or raid competing companies. You have a certain amount of revenue and must decide how much to pay your people --not enough and they'll switch companies, too much and your company will go bankrupt.
The version of the game we played was quite outdated and sexist (well, of it’s time) in that all the secretaries were female and all the managers were male.
As part of the rules there are things like: your President cannot earn less that the Vice-President. The wages have to be fair and realistic. It’s a shame though, I would have liked to have paid the president the same as the secretary (in my experience they do less work anyway)
The game is a bit like in monopoly in that each player starts with a large sum of money ($50,000). You roll dice to move and can land on “action squares “ that tell you what to do. Squares like “Hire a Sales Manager”, or “Pay your Vice-President”. Or The Payroll square is like that dreaded Hotel in monopoly, in that you have to pay the entire payroll on your company card. There is even a “Scandal square” where you have to pay $25,000 hush money or your highest ranked male staff member and one of your secretaries will walk out on you!!!
Like monopoly, you get extra money when you make a circuit of the board and also have “chance” cards – though they are called “ulcer cards” in this game.
To win you have to have all of your 7 staff positions filled when you pass the start square!
A great fun game – go and find a vintage copy because it really is great to play. And educational too!