Menu

INDUSTRIA

Reviewed by Herb Levy

INDUSTRIA (Queen Games/Uberplay, 3-4 players, ages 10 and up, about 1 hour; about $30)

 

Michael Schacht, best known for Web of Power (Summer 2000 GA REPORT) where he delved into political growth and expansion, turns to exploring industrial growth and expansion in his new offering: Industria.

Industria comes with a mounted gameboard, 60 industry tiles, 4 sets of color coded markers, wooden disks that serve as coins for the game and 2 larger wooden markers. The rules in the Queen edition are in German (although English rules are available at boardgamegeek.com) but an English language edition of the game will shortly be released by Uberplayindustria

Each player begins with 4 dollars and his own set of color-coded markers. The industry tiles are separated into epochs (marked by Roman numerals on the back), shuffled and placed next to the board.

Turns consist of five phases: collecting income, displaying new epoch tiles, auctions, construction and the changing of the start player.

At the beginning of each round of play, all players receive ONE dollar. (After epoch II, all players receive an additional dollar when entering epochs III, IV and V.)

Each epoch has 12 tiles. Those twelve tiles are shuffled, placed face down, and then four of them are drawn. This triggers the most unusual aspect of Industria: the auction.

The starting player begins the auction by choosing one of the face up tiles. The first bid comes from the player to his left. Each successive bid must be higher (or simply a “pass”). When all other players have bid once, the starting player, acting as auctioneer, has an interesting choice. He may accept the high bid, take the money offered, give the tile to the high bidder and continue to be the auctioneer OR the auctioneer may take the tile being auctioned for FREE! In that case, his time as auctioneer is over and that role is taken by the player on his left.

Choosing the “right tile” to auction is one of the tantalizing decisions of the game. With money exceptionally tight, the auction is the best way to generate income for future use. Ideally, you have to divine which tiles are valuable to the other players (and expendable to you). In this way, you encourage substantial bids you can accept to get that ready cash. If the auctioneer chooses unwisely, with the unfortunate result that no bids are offered, he MUST take that tile and relinquish his auctioneer role to the next player. (However, even when losing control of the auction, that player REMAINS the start player for the round.) Once all four tiles are auctioned and claimed, the construction phase of the game begins.

To understand construction, you have to understand the layout of the board. The board depicts a countryside setting with five rows of factories (one row per epoch). Towards the right of this display, there is a “path” traveling downward used to mark the epoch, bonus tiles, and resources, if any, available for purchase. Finally, on the far right, there is a double row of technologies. The start player begins building tiles won at auction. Three types of tiles may be built: factory tiles, technology tiles and bonus tiles. A player may build a maximum of ONE of each of these types per turn. The fourth type, a resource tile, may be used in place of buying a resource.

Building requires spending resources (such as brick, glass, iron, cement etc.), money or both. Resources are acquired in four ways:

1. Players can win at auction a resource tile that provides a specific resource.

2. You might have a built factory that produces a specific resource.

3. Another player has a factory producing the resource you need. (This player receives 1 dollar for the resource.)

4. You can buy an available resource from the bank for 1 dollar (provided no player is producing the resource).

Factory tiles contain a host of information that has a bearing on what you build and why or when you build it. Building factories costs money. Some factories also require certain resources in order to be built. In turn, some factories, once built, will produce resources needed to build other factories in later epochs. Factories may also carry a Victory Point value. Once a player builds it, that player scores those Victory Points. (A caveat: Victory Points are only scored if the factory is built during that particular epoch. If built later, a player can benefit from the resources that factory may generate but will NOT receive any VPs for the build. ) Technology building is similar with certain specific resources required for the technology to be built. Once built, a technology’s VPs are immediately scored. Timing is everything here too. If you fail to build your technology tile during its epoch, that tile may NOT be built later and is discarded! With all construction done, a new round begins with the next four tiles of the epoch auctioned. Once all 12 tiles have been auctioned and any resulting construction done, the next player becomes the start player and a new epoch begins.

The game continues until all actions for epoch V has been completed. Now Victory Points are totaled.

As mentioned, each constructed factory and technology is worth a certain number of Victory Points. At game’s end, additional VPs are scored for various accomplishments.

Some factories and technologies are “linked” on the board. If the same player controls the links, he receives 3 VPs per link. Bonus tiles with symbols (such as an anchor, ladder, oil barrel etc.) match up with factories displaying the same symbols and 2 VPs are received for each factory you control that matches. Finally, money converts to Victory Points at the rate of 3 dollars = 1 VP. The player with the most Victory Points wins!

Industria offers an interesting balancing act on several levels. You need to construct factories to produce resources to construct factories. This interconnection is key so handling your money (and resources) wisely is imperative. The unique auction aspect forces you to gauge accurately the relative merit of tiles thereby creating another dimension to play. There is also a significant “screw you” factor: if you play it right, every player may NOT be the auctioneer in a round. This can be devastating to the player who finds himself without the means to generate the necessary extra cash. Plus, should a factory crucial to later building due to its resource production fail to be built, the best laid plans of you or your opponent can be crippled!

Linking factory to factory and technology to technology is an essential element to big scores. For that reason, the artwork has to be criticized as it is extremely busy and gets in the way of easily seeing what is linked to what. This is also true for resources. The resources needed for production and the resources produced are written in smaller print than good judgment would demand. This information should be recognizable at a glance and, unfortunately, it is not. Because of these cosmetic flaws, be prepared to fumble through the first half of your first playing until you begin to appreciate the relationships between factories and resource production.

Industria takes the familiar idea of auctions and gives it a sharp twist. This, coupled with the interconnection of factory building and resource production, is the challenge of the game. While not quite up to the level of Schacht’s Web of Power (see our Flashback in this issue), tough decisions are here at every turn along with a variety of viable strategies to make Industria a level above the average with solid replay value. – – – – – – – – – – Herb Levy


 

Have feedback? We’d love to hear from you.


Winter 2004 GA Report Articles

 

Reviewed by K-ban ATTIKA (Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up; about 60 minutes; $32.95) Marcel-Andre’ Casasola Merkle is best known for authoring unique card games for German publisher Adlung. His 2 best Adlung designs, Verrater (see our Flashback this issue) and Meuterer, made novel use of a single deck of cards, as both played more like a board game costing ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy CHINA MOON (Eurogames/Descartes Editeur, 3-5 players, about 30 minutes, ages 12 and up; $19.95) It is a paradox often found in games from Europe that games offering critical thinking challenging for adults often come embodied with incredulous themes. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Take, for instance, China Moon, the latest creation from Bruno Faidutti. As you might suspect from ...
Read More
Raising the RED Flag Since our beginnings back in 1986, we have always been on the lookout for the best games on the market. The idea has always been to spotlight those quality games so that our members could get the most out of their leisure time and money. Throughout the years, we've played, literally, THOUSANDS of games for thousands of days for tens of ...
Read More
Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser FEURIO! (Edition Erlkönig, 3-4 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; about $20) One of the joys of attending the Spiele Faire in Essen is discovering a game that flies under the radar. In other words, a game that is not being released by one of the major game manufacturers and isn’t receiving much fanfare, yet turns out to be ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy FISH EAT FISH (Out of the Box Games, 2-5 players, ages 8 to adult, 20-30 minutes; $19.99) Inspiration is found in many places. In Fish Eat Fish, Reiner Knizia takes a little bit of Sid Sackson's Focus (featured as our Game Classic this issue) and adds a twist or two to create something light and fluffy. Fish Eat Fish comes square ...
Read More
[This issue features Attika, the new game by Marcel Casola Merkle. But this is not the first time Merkle's work has appeared in GA REPORT. Back in the Winter 1999 issue, we uncovered a wonderfully intricate CARD game that had all the heft of a boardgame. Here, from that issue, is a FLASHBACK to that game: Verrater.] VERRÄTER (Adlung Spiele, 3-4 players, ages 12 and ...
Read More
[In this issue, we feature Industria, the latest creation by Michael Schacht who first appeared in our pages with his Web of Power game four years ago! Here, from our Summer 2000 issue, is our look at that classic game of political power in Europe, as seen by Kban] WEB OF POWER (Rio Grande Games, 3-5 players, ages 12 and up, 30-45 minutes; out of ...
Read More
[Once again, it's time to revisit great games that are, alas, no longer with us. In the past installments of our Game Classics series, we have featured an incredible assortment of brilliant designs: Astron, Bantu, Broker, Can't Stop, Daytona 500, Holiday, Kimbo, Mr. President, Ploy, Rich Uncle, Square Mile, Stock Market Game (by Gabriel), Summit, Troque/Troke and Wildcatter. This time around, we focus our attention ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy INDUSTRIA (Queen Games/Uberplay, 3-4 players, ages 10 and up, about 1 hour; about $30) Michael Schacht, best known for Web of Power (Summer 2000 GA REPORT) where he delved into political growth and expansion, turns to exploring industrial growth and expansion in his new offering: Industria. Industria comes with a mounted gameboard, 60 industry tiles, 4 sets of color coded markers, ...
Read More
Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser PRINCES OF THE RENAISSANCE (Warfrog, 3-6 players, about 2 hours; $44.95) Martin Wallace is gradually becoming one of my favorite designers … but this took a bit of time. I wasn’t overly enthused by his earlier creations, but his previous two designs released under the Warfrog label – Liberté and Age of Steam (Winter 2003 GA REPORT) – are outstanding ...
Read More
[In the first installment of our new feature, we're offering capsule commentary on THREE games that had so much going for it but failed to make the grade for us. You make your own decisions but remember: you've been warned!] ANNO 1503 (Kosmos, 2-4 players, ages 11 and up, about an hour; about $45) This seemed like a dream title. Klaus Teuber who gave us ...
Read More
In this issue, we welcome Larry Levy. Larry's gaming experience is extensive. Larry was wondering if the world was ready for TWO Levys. The only response is to quote from Mae West: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!". Larry writes: "I've been entranced with games of all sorts for most of my life. However, when I discovered the world of German gaming ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy (Parker Brothers, 2 or more players or team, ages 13 and up, about 45 minutes; Disc 1, 2, 3 and 4; $19.99 each) Success breeds success. Think about TV series like Law and Order and CSI and the flood of spin-offs that flowed from those sources. In gaming, a recent big success was the marriage of movies, DVDs and game play ...
Read More

If you enjoy games, then Gamers Alliance is right for you!