The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Food Chain Magnate Expansion — Regulatory Compliance

I like Food Chain Magnate. Quite a bit, actually. But, like 18xx games and other long no- (or low-) luck games some strategies can be (or at least, appear) dominant. So, in order to mix things up, here is the Regulatory Compliance expansion. Note — I’m not planning on playing this anytime soon, but I had the idea and figure I’ll play it (eventually) when I burn out.

Rules — Deal out some number of Regulatory Compliance cards at random prior to setup. (Two or three seems reasonable). If two cards contradict, discard the (latter) card and re-deal. These cards indicate subtle changes in local economic conditions and business regulations specific to your particular area. I suggest that all players have several full games of FCM under your belt before you add Regulatory Compliance. The goal of this expansion is to subtly change the limits of FCM, without introducing any randomness during the game (all changes are known prior to the start).

This expansion also does not change the text of any milestone cards. While that could be a fruitful area of exploration, the goal is to make all of the rule changes easily visible on the new cards, and not spread the rules changes ‘around the table’ by modifying other cards.


  • Start: $X. Each player takes the listed amount of money from the bank at the start of the game. If you have two rules with Start $X, add them together.
  • Pay immediately: Just as it says. Payments are not salaries, and may not be reduced via milestones/cards.
  • Random Good: Use the following table for “random good”
    • 1 — Pizza
    • 2 — Burger
    • 3 — Beer
    • 4 — Soda
    • 5 — Lemonade
    • 6 — None

The Cards:

Recession — The standard unit price is lowered to $8.

Boom Times — The standard unit price is raised to $12.

High Regulatory Overhead — Due to local paper work requirements, each player must have at least one open slot after RESTRUCTURING. If a player has inadvertently filled all open slots, they must send two employees to the beach after determining player order. (If multiple players do this, they decide simultaneously).

Heavy Drinkers — After serving food/drinks to a house, a restaurant may sell one additional beer for each item served, for $3/beer (This amount may not be modified by gardens or bonuses). Example — A restaurant fulfills an order or two burgers and a beer. The restaurant may then sell 1, 2 or 3 additional beers for 3, 6 or 9 dollars.

High Food Costs — Whenever you collect food during the “Get Food and Drink” step, immediately pay $1 per token collected. You may collect less food than the full amount a card gives. Start: $5.

Metropolis — (2-4 players only). Setup the map as if there were one more player.

Small town — (3-5 players only). Setup the map as if there were one fewer player.

Organizational Cohesion — At the end of RESTRUCTURING, all employee cards of the same color at work must be underneath the same manager (the CEO counts as a manger). A manager may handle multiple colors, but a color may not be split between managers. (Busy Marketers are outside of the organizational structure and so ignore this rule). A player who violates this rule must remove cards (after determining player order) until the rule is satisfied. (Example — A player has Two Junior VPs and a Management Trainee. This player may not play four grey cards, because only three would fit under a single Junior VP).

Chain of Command — At the end of RESTRUCTURING, the player may not have multiple black cards with the same job title (Management Trainee or any level of VP) in the organizational structure. If a player has violated this rule, he must send one of the managers and all subordinates to the beach.

Slow Training — The TRAIN phase happens prior to the RECRUIT phase.

Severance Pay — When firing an employee, their salary must still be paid (if possible). Additionally, salary must be paid on the final game turn!

Discriminating Palates — Consumers will pay $2 less (than unit price) for soda, unit price for lemonade, and $2 more than unit price for beer.

Supersized! — During dinnertime, you must supply one extra token of a demanded type to fulfill an order. You do not get paid for the additional token. (Example — A garden home has two burger tokens, one beer, and one pizza. To fulfill the order, a restaurant must provide an extra burger, beer or pizza, and only receives the value for the four displayed tokens).

High Gas Costs — The distance (used to break ties during dinnertime) is equal to twice the range. (Example — A restaurant is range two from a house. For purposes of tie break, it is unit price + $4 instead of unit price + $2).

Smarter Shoppers — When considering value at DINNERTIME, the unit price is multiplied by the number of demand tokens. (In the base game, the unit price is not multiplied by number of shoppers). This will not change the amount paid, but may change which restaurant fulfills the order.

High Minimum Wage — You must pay an additional $1 salary for each employee (apart from the CEO). (So, employees cost either $1 or $6) Start: $10.

Unmet Demand — During setup, place a random good on each house.

Advertising Blitz — Place the #6 Airplane along a random map edge with a random good on it. (Re-roll a six). At the end of each cleanup phase, move this plane clockwise one tile.

Beltway — A highway runs along the outside edge of the city. Entering and exiting the beltway crosses a tile boundary as does turning a corner, but moving along the outside of a tile does not cost  (Example — A restaurant one the west edge of the map wants to deliver to a house on the east edge of the map. They exit the map (1), go from the west side to the north side (2), go from the north to the east side (3) and enter the destination tile (4). The number of tiles moved along the sides do not matter).

Mass Transit — As Superhighway, but corners are not counted.

Portion Control — Each house has a limit of two tokens (four with a garden).

Low disposable income — Gardens no longer double the unit price of a good, but merely add an additional $5 per token.

Small Business Exemptions — Due to onerous requirements on large businesses, you are all trying to remain small to stay off the government’s radar. When the bank is broken use the the LOWER number of slots for the remainder of the game if there is a tie among reserve cards.

Favorable Outlook –At the start of SETTING GOALS, randomly select a $100, $200 or $300 card, show it to all players, and add it to the reserve. Players then select their own goals.

Unfavorable Outlook — When the Bank is broken the first time after adding the reserves reduce the bank by $50 per player. (So, as if the cards were $50, $150 or $250).

Friendly Competition — During CLEANUP, do not discard any milestone claimed for the first time this turn. It is still available to be claimed (by the remaining players) until the next CLEANUP phase. (I suggest you discard sideways milestones, then turn the claimed ones sideways).

Stable Tastes — All marketing campaigns must be placed with a duration of at least two.

Unionized WaitstaffWaitresses get to keep their tips and generate no income. They serve only as a tiebreaker. (Discard the “First to play a waitress” milestone). However, any number of waitresses may occupy a single slot in the organizational chart.

Effective Billboards —  During MARKETING the campaigns run from HIGH to LOW (instead of LOW to HIGH). This means that billboards will take priority over flyers, with radio happening last. Additionally, Billboards affect houses they are diagonally adjacent to (as well as houses they are orthogonally adjacent too).

Tight Labor Market — The best know they are in demand! When training an employee into a “1x” position, pay them $5 immediately. This is in addition to paying salary during the salary phase.

Workers Demand Job Satisfaction — When workers are placed on the beach (at the end of RESTRUCTURING), turn them sideways. Any sideways workers not trained this turn quit during the salary phase. (Workers hired during the current turn will not quit, trained or not).

Local Favorite — Roll a random good and place it on this card (re-roll six). At the end of the MARKETING phase, any house that currently has no demand adds one token of the type shown on this card.

Subsidies — At the end of DINNERTIME, each player gets an additional $3. This is not modified by CFO or the “First to $100” milestone.

Flexible Training — A player may be trained “down” as well as up. (For example, a regional manager may be trained  to a vice president). This counts as a regular training for training limits.

Onerous Zoning Regulations — When using a New Business Developer to place a new house, it is not built with the garden. (Mark the garden with a cube or coin to indicate it is not active). It requires another use of a Business Developer (possibly a second one on the same turn) to activate the garden (remove the cube).

Deflationary Regime — Place a die on the ‘6’ side on this cube. All unit prices are increased by this card. Lower this number by ‘1’ during each cleanup phase. When this die should be lowered to ‘0’, leave it at one but now the value of the die subtracts instead of adds (and on the following turns increase this die until it gets to ‘6’).

Newly incorporated township — Place a cube (or other marker) on each home. Homes with cubes are inactive. During the cleanup phase, remove activate the lowest inactive home (remove the cube).

Angel Investors — Start: $5.

High Tax Rate — After DINNERTIME, each player removes 10% of the money earned that turn from the game, round all numbers down.  (A player who earns 9 pays no taxes, a player who earns $10 pays $1 tax, etc). Taxation occurs after the CFO bonus. Taxed  money is not returned to the bank.

Outside Investment Opportunities — After RESTRUCTURING, a player may place $10 in any empty slot in his/her org chart. (The slot is still considered empty for purposes of TURN ORDER).  During Dinnertime, each player takes $2 income for each $10 invested.

Quirky Local Laws — Randomly pick one milestone. All players start with that milestone.

Fighting against the big guy — Randomly pick one milestone and remove it from the game.


Written by taogaming

March 4, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Posted in Variants

Tagged with

%d bloggers like this: