Strategically Thematic: For-Ex

April 4, 2018

Strategically Thematic is a segment featured on The Dice Tower's bi-weekly Throat Punch Lunch videos about games where the theme and mechanics go together really well.

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Hi! This is Ambie from Board Game Blitz, and this is Strategically Thematic, a segment where I talk about theme in different strategic games. This time, I’m talking about For-Ex.

For-Ex is an economic game about currency trading. In real life, forex, or FX, or foreign exchange all refer to trading currencies in the foreign exchange market. The foreign exchange market exists because all countries have different currencies that are worth different values. For example the US Dollar is worth like 1.2 or 1.3 Canadian Dollars. So in order to get Canadian Dollars, if you only have US Dollars, you have to convert it on the foreign exchange market.

In the game For-Ex you’re trying to get the most money by doing these trades. I think the most interesting part of the game, both in strategy and theme, is in making contracts with the bank. You make these contracts that you’re going to exchange currencies in a future date at the current exchange rate. And you’re speculating, trying to make the contracts so that you will be making more money in the future. For example, if the US Dollar is really weak, you wanna make contracts to get it now, and then strengthen it later, and get a lot of money.

Throughout the game, based on what people are doing, the relative values of the currencies will change. So they’re always changing, and you’re always speculating on which currency will be the strongest at the end of the game, so you can try to get the most money.

For-Ex is a simplified version of the actual foreign exchange market. There’s only seven currencies in the game, and the actions are limited, and because of the limited number of players, the market actually isn’t changing much. But when you’re making these contracts, you still get the feel of looking for discrepancies in how much currency values are worth, so that you can make the most money. And I think that’s really fun.

Thanks for watching Strategically Thematic! Let me know what you think in the comments!
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