original German edition
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Keeping track of things and intelligent planning make you the most successful industrial magnate! From the brick factory to the robot shop, you steer your dynasty through 5 epochs in this exciting auction game.
Each round another player is the auctioneer and auctions factories. These bring victory points and supply raw materials. The auctioneer has the choice: accept the highest bid and take the money, or take the factory free of charge. But if they choose the latter, then it's the next player's turn.
Place your markers on the gameboard and build your empire. That costs money and raw materials, which are scarce, so it's worth it to manage them well. Connected factories bring valuable bonus points. The possibility of getting additional bonus points makes the game exciting right to the very end.
Players: 3 - 4
Time: 45 - 60 minutes
Ages: 10 and up
Weight: 897 grams
Language Requirements: Game components contain some foreign text, possibly requiring occasional reference to rules translation. An English translation of the rules is provided.
- 60 industry tiles
- 80 ownership markers
- 4 victory point markers
- 1 gameboard
- 30 wooden money chips
- 1 start player marker
- 1 epoch marker
Average Rating: 4.5 in 2 reviews
Played this for the first time last night and initial impressions are 'instant classic', we'll have to see how it stands the test of time. Sort of (but not quite) a cross between modern art, taj mahal and ra with superb art work on the board and components.
Played 2 sessions in one sitting ... which says something. Made the usual mistakes in the first game, some rules ommissions too that made some bits a little puzzling, but still had no problems convincing folks to play again.
Top notch. This year's best of Essen?
The maximum of four players tried the game and found it unusual. It requires some bookkeeping, but the game grows on you.
You are faced with three sections of a multi-pictured board. I was given the courage award in our group for trying to master the rules and explain the game. It took our group a little while to figure out the bricklaying plant from the stone works. The board is divided into factories, epochs, and technologies. The scoring track is also shown on the board.
The game started easily with each person receiving four dollars and entitled to one dollar more each phase or turn. All five epochs were to be played with four players, and the players knew they had to ration their cash.
That rationing should have worked, but it didn't. Players bought heavily the factories and epochs, expecting to connect the many white roads and make money. The auctioning part of the phase (part 2)proved the most entertaining during the game.
As the one experienced player in the game taught, we must turn over four tiles (four players) each turn. The English rules are not too clear on this point. You may as the starting player (rotates every turn)take one of the tiles or offer that tile for bid. Only one bid or pass is allowed each turn. Naturally, players grabbed technologies because of their cash value in the game. The auctioning continues until the auctioneer finally chooses a tile for himself or herself. If no one bids on the tile, the auctioneer is forced to take the tile.
All of us thought we were so smart to accumulate all these good factories and technologies. However, the piper comes due. To place the tile on one of the three sections, you must pay the construction cost (part 4 of phase) printed on the tile. That is not all. You must have the resource tiles listed on the construction tile, such as cement and steel, to finish the construction.
Hopelessly, I looked at six tiles in front of me that could not be built because of the construction costs. The money does not flow that easily in the game. Money can be gained from the auctions. The experienced player made money from all of us three and waited for just the right factories, resources, technologies, and epochs.
Resources for different epochs were not easily accumulated. Suddenly, I needed computers and telecommunications, and none were available. Resource tiles can be exchanged for one dollar each, but you may want to hang on to wood, bricks, and cement, for examples.
I built a measly two and three on the technology section; then, another player blocked me from further road connection on the technologies track by building an automobile and rocket for five victory points each. I wanted to build an oil derrick on the factories track, but I woefully lacked the iron and ceramics resource tiles.
Surprisingly, the players' victory points weren't too bad at the end: 21 (two players), 16, and 13.
Definitely, the game requires a replay. The nuances of bidding for what can actually be built remain the highlight of the game. Those connecting roads on the board from one epoch to another have to be watched carefully for the maximum number of the points.
Michael Schacht has become one of the hottest designers in the last 2 years by designing games over 30 games for many companies (including his own label) on a variety of subjects. This time his design is for Queen on the subject of the Industrial Revolution. The board depicts 5 eras of the industrial Revolution and each era includes buildings, technologies and bonus tiles that will be auctioned. These are auctioned in sets, the number corresponding to the number of players in the game. This results in four auctions per era with three players and three auctions per era with four players. Tiles depicting the items to be auctioned are randomly drawn for each auction. The tiles are of thick cardboard and show a picture of the item on the board. It's probably a good idea to place these over the board pictures so that players can see what is being auctioned.
The auctions drive the game. These are ``once round'' (like Medici) with the auctioneer finishing the bidding. The first item to be auctioned is chosen by the start player, who is the initial auctioneer. Money is very tight in the game, or can be, so the selection of which tile to auction first is important. The auctioneer always has the right to take a tile for nothing, but then the auctioneer moves one player clockwise. So the trick is to auction everything of value to others, receive the cash, then auction the last item which you want and get this for nothing. Several things prevent this ideal solution from happening. First, everybody knows the ploy. As a result, they may not bid on an item and the auctioneer is forced to pick up that tile as their free item. Cunning! And what a good rule! Second, the tiles may be a mixed bunch of factories, technologies and bonus tiles. Some of the bonus tiles are resources, which are tradable for 1 money only, so generally are not worth more. The factories may not be the best ones, and so no-one is too bothered which one to get. Thirdly, players will sacrifice a tile, by deliberately not bidding on it even though it is worth more to them then the auctioneer. This is to prevent the auctioneer from getting an even better option later. Finally, the board situation may dictate a difficult choice.
So the decisions as to which item to auction are not straightforward, but often delicately balanced. So what are the tiles to bid for? Buildings are the most interesting as they present many options and are cleverly priced. For example, in the first era the well costs 2 money to build once the auction tile has been won. It immediately earns 3 victory points. The brickworks costs 2 money to build, does not provide any victory points, but produces bricks. Beside the money, a player has to get a wood and one stone resource before it can be built. These resources are paid to the owner of the sawmill and the quarry, respectively. Both of these buildings must be built or the player could get the necessary resources by gaining them from bonus tiles. So the sequence of building means that you have to be careful to ensure the resources are in place before you build. Assuming that resources are available, the brickworks will realise money (1 per resource) just like the quarry or sawmill. Each resource producing building will potentially earn 5 money from resource purchasers. So the economics of a brickworks work out something like this:
* 2 money to build
* 1 stone and 1 wood (1 money each)
* Whatever you needed to bid for the tile. This could be nothing (if you won this as auctioneer).
* You may receive 5 resources or so in later rounds from players who build factories requiring bricks.
Of course buildings may fail to be built, through lack of money or resources, or because resources are not yet available. Or even for tactical reasons, if a player chooses not to build a factory to prevent resources becoming available.
OK, enough about buildings. There are two other things to auction. Technologies bring high victory points, and require resources to be invented, but no money. All technologies and some buildings are linked by paths which provide 3 victory points at the end of the game if they are linked to items that are owned by the same player.This adds value to the bidding for these items.
Bonus items include bonus symbol tiles, such as water, which score 2 points for buildings that a player owns with the matching symbol. Some buildings have these symbols and this is another factor to bear in mind when buying building tiles. The other bonus tiles are mainly resources which can be useful when a factory has not been activated.
Industria provides an excellent blend of decisions. What to auction, what to purchase, when to build, how to gain links, acquire victory points and manage resource and cash flow, are worthy of Knizia in his prime. Or perhaps it's time to recognise Michael Schacht's design ability, for with this game he has exceeded past efforts. If you like a 60-90 minutes game of high quality fast auctions, get this game now. You will not be disappointed.