Automobile 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.
Because there is some importance to the turn order on turn 1, we will bid for choice of person/turn order on turn one ONLY. This will be optional in the heats if the majority of the players at the table want to do it (with the default being to use it if there is a tie in choice), and mandatory in the semifinals and final.
In a 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.
There will be 2 heats to advance 16 players to the semifinals. The Heat Most Wins - Points Tiebreaker will be used for Advancement, with fewest dollars behind the winner in your best non-win being the next tiebreaker.
HEATS: MOST WINS - POINTS (HMW-P):
- Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
- Total Points – Players earn the following pints in each heat they entered:
- 1st Place - 1,000 points
- 2nd Place - 100 points
- 3rd Place - 10 points
- 4th Place - 1 points
- All other places - 0 points
- e.g. player has a 1st, 2nd, and 4th in three heats: total points would be 1,101
- GM Specific Tie-breaker - - Fewest dollars behind the winner in your best non-win
- High dice roll.