Power Grid: Factory Manager
English language edition of Funkenschlag: Fabrikmanager
List Price: $44.95
Your Price: $35.99
(Worth 3,599 Funagain Points!)
from 2 customer reviews
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Use workers to buy machinery and robots and to run the machinery in the factory. Keep an eye on rising energy prices. Make the most money to win the game.
Note: This is a stand-alone game in the world of Power Grid.
Players: 2 - 5
Time: 60 minutes
Ages: 12 and up
Weight: 1,398 grams
Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.
Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews
First let me say that Factory Manager is NOT an expansion for Power Grid; it is a stand-alone game. In fact, the only things it has in common with Power Grid are 1) the same game designer, and 2) the same style of artwork. Having said that, Factory Manager is a compelling game with lots of choices that can have a significant affect on not just your strategy, but everyone else's strategy as well.
Each player starts the game with the same basic factory equipment (each on his own factory board). There is also a warehouse/store board where you will go to buy upgrades for your factory, as well as a board used to mark the growing cost of energy. On your own board, you will have 1) the equipment and robots used to produce goods; 2) the pallets/shelving for storing the goods you produce; 3) employees, both regular and seasonal; and 4) tracks on which you note a) the power your factory uses, b) the number of goods your factory makes, and c) the number of goods your factory can store.
There are five rounds in the game. Each round starts with players bidding for player order in the round. Once everyone has a starting position, then players go through the warehouse and pull out the items to the showroom floor that they want to have available for purchase. After all players have pulled out equipment to the showroom floor, then players go shopping. Finally, you score for the round: you receive money based on the number of goods you can produce and store in your factory minus the cost of energy to run your factory.
Workers are used in many ways in this game. Players bid for turn order with workers (not money); the number of available workers determines how many items they bring to the showroom floor; workers are used to install equipment as well as remove any equipment being replaced; and finally, workers are used to run the equipment in your factory.
Money is used to pay for the equipment you buy, as well as for scoring. The final round of the game is worth double the money.
Components: All the tiles (the majority of the game), bits, and boards are high quality with good artwork. The tiles are well labeled on their backs to cue you into when/if they should be used (some tiles are only used for three or more players, four or more players, etc.). The set of icons are fairly quick and easy to learn; they're fairly intuitive. Overall, it is a well constructed game.
There are a lot of different bits and steps to keep track of during each round of the game. As a result, there is a bit of a learning curve for new players. But, it is well worth learning. The game offers compelling choices and enough depth of strategy to keep you coming back for more: well worth the price of admission.
Do you feel lucky? Well Do ya! If not here's your game. If chess could be played with four or five players, it would be this game. No dice, no picking the lucky card or lucky tile, everyone has the same access to every resource. That's what makes popular games like Le Havre and Agricola so great. You always have so many possible valid tactics to choose from, but you can only do so many and of course you can do only what your opponents let you do! What I like about Factory Manager is that you have exactly five "years" playing turns to turn your factory from an inefficient, energy hogging, low output rust-bucket into an efficient, high output, robotic dynamo before the game ends and it's time to count the profits. Even if you have your favorite strategy (and who doesn't) you'll never win the same way twice. And because of the defined length, this game can be played in less than a couple hours so you have time to try again, or return to your dice rolling, card picking, tile laying Dungeon.