Dawn of the Modern World!
Brass: Lancashire — first published as Brass — is an economic strategy game that tells the story of competing cotton entrepreneurs in Lancashire during the industrial revolution. You must develop, build, and establish your industries and network so that you can capitalize demand for iron, coal and cotton. The game is played over two halves: the canal phase and the rail phase. To win the game, score the most victory points (VPs), which are counted at the end of each half. VPs are gained from your canals, rails, and established (flipped) industry tiles. Each round, players take turns according to the turn order track, receiving two actions to perform any of the following:
- Build an industry tile
- Build a rail or canal
- Develop an industry
- Sell cotton
- Take a loan
At the end of a player's turn, they replace the two cards they played with two more from the deck. Turn order is determined by how much money a player spent on the previous turn, from lowest spent first to highest spent. This turn order mechanism opens some strategic options for players going later in the turn order, allowing for the possibility of back-to-back turns.
After all the cards have been played the first time (with the deck size being adjusted for the number of players), the canal phase ends and a scoring round commences. After scoring, all canals and all of the lowest level industries are removed for the game, after which new cards are dealt and the rail phase begins. During this phase, players may now occupy more than one location in a city and a double-connection build (though expensive) is possible. At the end of the rail phase, another scoring round takes place, then a winner is crowned.
The cards limit where you can build your industries, but any card can be used for the develop, sell cotton, or build connections actions. This leads to a strategic timing/storing of cards. Resources are common so that if one player builds a rail line (which requires coal) they have to use the coal from the nearest source, which may be an opponent's coal mine, which in turn gets that coal mine closer to scoring (i.e., being utilized).
Brass: Lancashire, the 2018 edition from Roxley Games, reboots the original Warfrog Games edition of Brass with new artwork and components, as well as a few rules changes:
- The virtual link rules between Birkenhead have been made optional.
- The three-player experience has been brought closer to the ideal experience of four players by shortening each half of the game by one round and tuning the deck and distant market tiles slightly to ensure a consistent experience.
- Two-player rules have been created and are playable without the need for an alternate board.
- The level 1 cotton mill is now worth 5 VP to make it slightly less terrible.
Brass: Birmingham is an economic strategy game sequel to Martin Wallace' 2007 masterpiece, Brass. Brass: Birmingham tells the story of competing entrepreneurs in Birmingham during the industrial revolution, between the years of 1770-1870.
As in its predecessor, you must develop, build, and establish your industries and network, in an effort to exploit low or high market demands.
Each round, players take turns according to the turn order track, receiving two actions to perform any of the following actions (found in the original game):
- Build - Pay required resources and place an industry tile.
- Network - Add a rail / canal link, expanding your network.
- Develop - Increase the VP value of an industry.
- Sell - Sell your cotton, manufactured goods and pottery.
- Loan - Take a £30 loan and reduce your income.
- : Scout - A new sixth action feature in Brass: Birmingham. Discard three cards and take a wild location and wild industry card. (This action replaces Double Action Build in original Brass.)
The game is played over two halves: the canal era (years 1770-1830) and the rail era (years 1830-1870). To win the game, score the most VPs. VPs are counted at the end of each half for the canals, rails and established (flipped) industry tiles.
Birmingham features dynamic scoring canals/rails. Instead of each flipped industry tile giving a static 1 VP to all connected canals and rails, many industries give 0 or even 2 VPs. This provides players with the opportunity to score much higher value canals in the first era, and creates interesting strategy with industry placement.
Iron, coal, and cotton are three industries which appear in both the original Brass as well as in Brass: Birmingham.
New "Sell" system
Brewing has become a fundamental part of the culture in Birmingham. You must now sell your product through traders located around the edges of the board. Each of these traders is looking for a specific type of good each game. To sell cotton, pottery, or manufactured goods to these traders, you must also "grease the wheels of industry" by consuming beer. For example, a level 1 cotton mill requires one beer to flip. As an incentive to sell early, the first player to sell to a trader receives free beer.
Birmingham features three all-new industry types:
- Brewery - Produces precious beer barrels required to sell goods.
- Manufactured goods - Function like cotton, but features eight levels. Each level of manufactured goods provides unique rewards, rather than just escalating in VPs, making it a more versatile (yet potentially more difficult) path vs cotton.
- Pottery - These behemoths of Birmingham offer huge VPs, but at a huge cost and need to plan.
Increased Coal and Iron Market size - The price of coal and iron can now go up to £8 per cube, and it's not uncommon.
Brass: Birmingham is a sequel to Brass. It offers a very different story arc and experience from its predecessor.
All games will be four-player games, if possible. Three-player games will be used to balance the number of entrants for each heat, if needed.
Sixteen (16) players will advance to a Semifinal round to be comprised of four (4) four-player games. Advancement to the Semifinal will be determined using the “Heats: Most Wins – Points Tiebreaker” WBC standardized scoring method.
The semifinal tables will be seeded based upon performance during the three (3) heats. The top four (4) qualifiers will be placed into Group A, positions 5 through 8 into Group B, positions 9 through 12 into Group C and positions 13 through 16 into Group D. One qualifier from each Group will be drawn randomly and placed at each semifinal table.
During the heats, players will be grouped according to preference for the Lancashire or Birmingham formats. Note that Level 1 Cotton Mills are worth 5 points in all formats of Lancashire for purposes of this tournament. In the elimination rounds, a majority vote determines for preference of format (Lancashire vs. Birmingham), with ties resulting in playing Lancashire.
HEATS: MOST WINS - POINTS (HMW-P):Tie-breakers are:
- Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
- 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
- Fewest Heats
- High dice roll.