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. 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.
Automobile is an excellent game for players interested in economic games generally, or even just low-variance, high-knowledge games. If you haven't played before, the demo should be more than enough preparation to play the game.
There will be 2 heats to advance 16 players to the semifinals. The Heat Most Wins - Timing Standard Tiebreakers will be used for Advancement.
The GM team has some concerns about the availability of enough games, so please bring one. Poker chips or similar are also encouraged to speed play.
NEW THIS YEAR:
Some concerns have been raised about the importance of turn order on turn 1. This year, optionally in the heats and mandatory in the finals rounds, we will bid for choice of person/turn order on turn one ONLY.
In the randomly determined player order, players will conduct an Amun-Re-/Vegas Showdown-style auction for their role selection in the first turn, bidding cash-on-hand for their choice of role in $10 increments. When each player has bid on a different role the auction will end.
The winning bids will be collected into a pool of cash and distributed evenly amongst the players, with any remainder placed in the bank. This last step is to try to avoid disruption of the total liquidity in the game, as it is not clear at this time what value players will place on role selection.
HEATS: MOST WINS - TIMING (HMW-T): Tiebreakers are:
- Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
- First Win
- First Heat played
- Second Heat played
- Third Heat played
- Fourth Heat played
- Fewest Heats
- Most Second Places
- Fewest total points behind first place in second place finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
- Fewest total points behind first place in all finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
- Highest total points ahead of second place
- High dice roll.