The game covers the history of the US car industry during its birth and growth, from the 1890s to 1929. The aim is to make the most money, which means making and selling cars. Players are competing in the U.S. auto industry in the early 20th century, purchasing factories that turn out low-, medium- and high-valued vehicles, starting with the 1893 Duryea and moving up the timeline from there.
Each player knows a portion of the market demand each round and must make his purchasing and manufacturing decisions based on that. You can fund distributors across the country, but if you don't supply them with vehicles to sell, they go bankrupt, taking your investment with them. Alternatively, you can drop the prices on your cars to try to outsell other players. Or even temporarily improve sales rates at the cost of research. Special action phases are available with the actions provided by the players acting as Henry Ford, Billy Durant, Alfred P. Sloan, and others.
As newer models make their way onto the market, they sell first compared with older models. What is more, older factories result in inefficiency costs as time passes, encouraging you to keep pace with technology.
To get money, you need to build cars with your factories, but if you build more than the demand, you lose not only the money spent to make them, but you gain inefficiency costs that hurt you for the rest of the game. Whoever manages their car factories the best over this 4-round game will win.
There will be TWO heats to advance between 16 and 25 players to the semifinals. This year, the Heats will give preference to 4-player tables (which tend to play faster) with 5-player games used only as necessary. The potential impact will be if the event winds up with more than 25 unique table winners.
As stated in the GM guide, tiebreakers will be used to trim the field or identify alternates to fill the semifinal. (e.g. if there are 15 unique table winners present, one alternate, best runner-up, will advance to balance out the semis at four 4-player tables) The second tie-breaker for advancement to the semifinal (after "Most Wins") will be the highest score in a single game, followed by the standard tiebreakers for heats. The suggestion that % of the winning score be used as a tiebreaker for alternates will not be used.
Although the game is now widely available, players are encouraged not to leave their copy in their own automobile when attending the event.