I am losing in Machi Koro, but I am still playing
I am super duper competitive. And I HATE losing. Just today, my siblings and I finished 5 games of Machi Koro. It's a twisted kind of Monopoly, where each player is a mayor of their own city and you need to build your city by building landmarks, restaurants, factories etc. When you complete the major landmarks 1st before anyone else, you win.
How to play Machi Koro
Depending on the dice you rolled on your turn and the buildings you have or your opponents have, you either give money (to your opponents or to the bank) or you gain income (from your opponents or the bank). If you have enough cash at the end of your turn, you can buy more buildings so that your chances of gaining income grows.
Anyways, whenever I was rolling the dice, I keep getting unlucky numbers. For example I would roll a 1, I gained $1 income from the bank for my Wheatfield. BUT then, I would need to give out $3 to my brother because he had a Sushi Bar. That's a -$2 loss for me. The wheaf field and sushi bar activates whenever someone rolls a one.
It gets worse when I roll higher numbers. When I roll a 5 or 6, I need to pay others $5 for every French restaurant they own, $2 to pay back my loan from the Loan Company, but get $1 for ever Forest I have. Assuming my opponents only have 1 French Restaurant, and I onlg have 1 set of loan, and 1 Forest, that is still -$6 loss. Ouch.
Of course I get paid whenever someone activates any of my buildings as well, but in my experience, it seldom pays out big.
My poor city
No need to tell you but at the end of every turn, I am left with $0 or $1. I am so poor I cannot even construct any building for my city because the buildings cost $4 and above. This made me realize how hard it is to actually save when you are always left with hardly anything. How can I invest in my city when I have not much cash to invest?
A stratrategy for winning next time
Also, I found the best way to gain income fast is by sticking to 1 set of combo. For example, building a city with 3 Forests, 2 Mines and 3 Furniture Factories is a combo.
When I activate the Furniture Factory by rolling an 8, I get 3 coins per furniture factory per forest and mine that I have. So thats
$3 x 3 factories = 9
$9 x 5 (3 forests and 2 mines) = 45
I get $45 from the bank in just 1 turn. This allows me to construct my Airport, the most expensive ($30) construction I need for my city to win.
The end game
So I guess this is why cities and provinces in real life, tend to focus on 1 or 2 industries only. Instead of getting various buildings for my city and have it pay out in trickles, by $1 or $2 at a time, it’s better to buy a set of related industries and buildings so that it can pay me big in just one turn.
There's a lot more to this game than what I can say in this post. We are playing the Millionaire's Row expansion, together with the Base set and Harbor expansion, so there are about ~20 buildings to choose from. There are more than 5 combos I've seen, and I am sure there is more I haven't found out yet.
I hope you can play this game too. It is addicting. I played 5 times even if I kept losing because I like buying property, getting income from the property I built in my city, and watching my city grow.