Pipeline is an economic game about buying, refining, and selling oil. Over three game-years (with a shrinking number of turns each year) players take turns placing their sole worker to take an action either on the board or on their personal system of pipes. There are three types of oil available in its crude form, three possible grades of refinement for each type, and three markets you where you can sell that refined oil.
For your action you can: visit one of the markets to buy and sell oil; buy storage tanks, pipes, and machines to store and refine your oil; take out loans and acquire contracts to supply certain combos of oil cubes every year; and finally, you can purchase upgrades which dramatically buff your capability in different ways.
The action choices you have every turn depend on the random setup, because along with your main action you can spend $10 to move your worker to an adjacent space to take the other action it’s paired with.
Adding to the puzzle-like physical dimension to Pipeline are the pipeline tiles you buy to set up your personal network; if you like connection puzzles or games, you will love Pipeline. The tiles can (and should) be matched up to produce long stretches of pipe which you will use to refine your crude.
Like the games of Martin Wallace, you are practically obligated to take on a certain amount of debt in the form of loans. The more loans you take out the more you have to pay back at the end of the game, and since $ = VP you have to squeeze every bit of utility out of that extra money.
If you and your opponents are prone to Analysis Paralysis, Pipeline can take all afternoon or evening. It’s also a bit of a beast to set up and put away. But, if your group plays briskly, Pipeline packs a serious punch in less than two hours of tight decision-making, scaling really well for two, three, or four. Click here to get your copy of Pipeline now!