Saturday, April 28, 2012

Game Profile: Age of Industry

A pure economic game where one must seek the most efficient way to make a profit.

Mechanics Card Drafting, Hand Management, Network Building
Theme Industrial Revolution
Publication Mayfair Games, 2010
Ages 13+
Time 120
Players 2 - 5

Age of Industry is a business game designed by Martin Wallace and is set during the 19th century, when many countries around the world were experiencing their own particular industrial revolution.  Your aim is to make money, which you do by creating new industries.  There are six industry types in Age of Industry; cotton mills, factories, coal mines, iron works, parts and ships.  You also have a number of railway counters.  When you build an industry you must take the counter with the lowest technology level from your display.  As you build industries higher level technology counters become available.

To earn money you must first build industry counters and then contrive to have them flipped, which will earn you profit.  Building an industry counter requires the play of a card, the expenditure of money, and possibly coal and/or iron.  The card you play will either determine the type of industry you can build or which location you can build in.  When counters flip depends on the type of industry.  Cotton Mills and Manufacturing counters are flipped when they sell their goods via ports and/or market counters.  Parts are flipped when something is sold via them.  Coal mines and iron works are flipped when all the cubes on them are removed. And, ships are flipped when the two connected spaces are used up.

As well as building industries, you can build railways.  Railways are required for the movement of coal and iron, and allow goods to be sold to ports and markets.  Building your own railways increases the number of potential locations you can build in.  Railways will also earn you money but only at the end of the game.

The game ends when the deck of cards is exhausted.  You then earn money for railways, pay off any loans, and score points for the money you have left and the buildings you have on the board.  The player with the most points wins.  The board is double sided giving you two options of play.  One side is a map of Germany and the other side is New England.

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