I'm finalizing and streamlining the game rules to present the first (real?) iteration in class tomorrow.
Before, I had three player roles (the Earth, the Mining Co., the Town) but I started looking at the verbs for each player and realized it was redundant. The Town's only action in the game was to place houses on the surface to try to hamper the Mining Company, but that wasn't terribly active and wasn't too interesting. The Town player would spend most of the time watching their pieces get destroyed -- which might be an interesting emotional / aesthetic effect, but it would result in too much learned helplessness / hopelessness and probably and angry resignation from the game.
So, I've combined the Earth and the Town players. Now it is simply Anaconda (Mining Co.) vs. Butte (the town). However, I've been doing research on other board games and learned about one work called "Train." The rules and labels are kept vague on purpose, to force players to have a dialogue or actively interpret what they are enacting.
Thus, Anaconda is now simply "Player 1" and Butte is now simply "Player 2"
Similarly, I refer to the minerals as just "pennies" and the cardboard is just cardboard. I don't label them as their real-life cognates because I'd prefer the player to arrive to that conclusion on their own.
In the game "Train" however, they have cards at the end that explain what's going on -- I think I'll have that. Epilogue cards? Epilogue cards.