CARNEGIE

Reviewed by Chris Kovac

CARNEGIE (Tesla Games/Quined Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 3 to 4 hours; $160)

 

Carnegie is a two to four player worker placement and resource management game where you are a 19th century captain of industry who is trying to be as great a philanthropist as Andrew Carnegie.  This is a heavy gamers game designed by Xavier Georges.

Carnegie requires a fair bit of setup.  First, you create a “timeline board” by randomly selecting four out of eight timelines, putting them together, then locking each end with the start and end tile of the timeline track.  This board will chart the twenty turns of the game. Department tiles are sorted by type with four sets of departments discarded back to the box.  These tiles will not be used in the game.  The other department tiles can be purchased by the players during the game to enhance their company.  Goods cubes and money tokens are placed next to the board. 

Each player gets a player board showing five beginning departments as well as four goods cubes, twelve dollars, four industry tabs (which you slide under the right side of the board as marked except for the starting spot of each tab), employee meeples and player disks of their color (and one action choice tile if playing a four-player game).

The main board itself is divided into a number of spaces.  The top part of the board has the donation spaces where, for a set amount of money during the game, you can buy additional ways to score points.  Below it is a map of the USA divided into four regions (West, Midwest, East and South), each with a number of city spaces to build projects on (project type is denoted by a symbol) and a transportation track for each region with a space at the end of each transportation to place employees who go on missions.  This will all be discussed later on in the review. You place four of the player disks on each of the starting spaces of the regional transportation tracks (West, Midwest, East and South), one disk on the start space of the scoring track and one on the starting spaces of the project tabs (housing, commerce, industry and public infrastructure) on the right side on your board except public infrastructure.  The rest are part of a player’s general supply. 

You take ten of your twenty meeples and place five laying down on the lobby space of your player board and then one standing on a workstation space for each of your five starting departments. It should be noted that standing employees indicate that they are active and can be used for a department’s action while those lying down are inactive and cannot be used for a department’s actions (more on this later).  Then each player can move any combination of his laying down meeples to any space on his player board including empty spaces.  They remain lying down in the new spaces.  Finally, a start player is chosen, getting the first player and timeline marker. Beginning with the start player, each player takes their housing project disk from the appropriate space and places it on one of the four major cities housing project spaces.

The start player chooses one of the department rows to advance by marking it with the timeline marker.  When you advance to a space first, an event takes place depending on the symbol of the space.  One type of event is “contribute” where you can pay an increasing amount of money per donation (each contribution costs more than the last based on a table) in order to place one of your player disks on one of the contribution spaces on the main board which will give you extra points at the end of the game.  Extra points are gained by having things like certain kinds of projects, having markers in certain areas, having a number of a certain kind of resources etc. at the end of the game.  The other kind of event is “take income”.

In a “take income” event, a player can take one or more of his employees from the mission space of the listed area on the event space and return it to their lobby space on their player board. For each player he returns home from the region listed on the event, he gets the reward based on how far he has advanced his player marker on that region’s transportation track.  Also, for each completed project on his project tabs, he receives any income listed on the bottom of that space.  After the event has been resolved, in player turn order, departments of the row on which the timeline marker advance.  During this phase, a player can use his one-shot action tile to use a different set of departments. The types of actions departments allow varies but falls into one of the four listed categories which are from top to bottom:

Human Resources – These types of departments allow you to move employees to various departments on your player board or to empty spaces on your player board in anticipation of future departments being built there. Any moved employees are placed inactive (lying down).

Management – Acquire good cubes, money or construct new departments on your player board.

Construction – Build projects developed through research and development departments by placing completed research project disks from your project tabs on the appropriately marked spaces on the playing board of your choice.

Research and Development – Research new projects on the various project tabs on the side of your player board by spending research points and various numbers of goods cubes from the various research and development departments to place a player disk on the next space of a project’s tab or spend resource cubes to advance your marker along the transportation tracks in the various areas.

It should be noted that each department has one to three workstations and can be used only if an employee is active (standing up in the space).  Also, after an action is done, some departments require the employee there to be sent on a mission to the main board which means that employee meeple is placed on a location mission space of the players choice.

Once a player has completed all of his department’s actions for the turn, he may pay the workstation cost to stand up any meeples in the department space which allows them to be used to run that department’s actions in a future turn.  When all players have completed running their departments, the first player marker and timeline marker are given to the next player in clockwise order. The current action is marked off in the timeline track and a new turn starts.  

When all twenty of the spaces on the timeline track have been chosen, the game ends and a final scoring takes place.  You will get a combination of points from having an unused action disk, active employees, the highest floor of your department on your corporation board, points from project tabs, points for having a series of projects connecting two or more of the four major cities on the board and having the appropriate advancement on the transportation tracks on the board (based on a victory point table), points from transportation tracks and finally victory points from donation space which you contributed to during the game.  The player with the most points wins and there are no tiebreakers.

Carnegie is a complex game which in order to win, you must try to balance developing projects and new departments on your player board with sending employees to the main board project spaces and building projects/advancing on the transportation tracks. All the while, you must try to use your departments efficiently to generate resource cubes and money so you can make donations. Choosing the right combination of departments and being able to operate them efficiently will also help with you win the game. You have to second guess where the next player will move on the timeline track and make sure you have manned departments from all four types ready to be operated to take advantage of an opponent’s choice.  This means there are a lot of things to keep track of but this offers great flexibility in gameplay strategy.  The rules are well written for a game of this complexity though you might have to read them a second time to understand all the nuances. The game will take four to five hours of playing time but the downtime between turns is relatively short.  If you are looking for a medium to heavy weight Euro with minimum theme but innovative game play, this game might be for you.  Casual gamers might wish to look elsewhere.  A 7.5 out of ten for me. – – – – – – Chris Kovac


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

 

Other Fall 2021 GA Report articles

 

ADVENTURES WITH D&D by Selwyn Ward My history with Dungeons & Dragons is long but discontinuous. I was first introduced to the game in the 1970s when TSR’s A5 white ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy ATHENEUM: MYSTIC LIBRARY (Renegade Game Studios, 2-5 players, ages 10 and up, 30-45 minutes; $45) I have a love for games and books. Both are able ...
Read More
Reviewed by Chris Kovac CARNEGIE (Tesla Games/Quined Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 3 to 4 hours; $160) Carnegie is a two to four player worker placement ...
Read More
Reviewed by Eric Brosius CAT IN THE BOX (Ayatsurare Ningyoukan, 3 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30-45 minutes;  2500¥/about $22.50) Cat in the Box is a card game ...
Read More
BY, BUY, BYE Despite the title of this Editorial, we are not going to revisit an NSYNC hit from 2000. No, the "by, buy, bye" of this Editorial is not ...
Read More
Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue FURNACE (Arcane Wonders, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 30-60 minutes; $39.99) Players take on the roles of 19th-century capitalists building their industrial ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy LOST CITIES: ROLL AND WRITE (Kosmos, 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $14.95) It seems an inescapable fact that if a game ...
Read More
Reviewed by Joe Huber LUZ (Korokorodou/Big Cat Games, 3 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30-45 minutes; $35) One of the most popular game design challenges is coming up ...
Read More
Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser SANTA MONICA (AEG, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up; 45-60 minutes; $39.99) While I have traveled to California several times, I have not ...
Read More
Reviewed by James Davis STORM ABOVE THE REICH (GMT Games, 1 to 2 players, ages 12 and up, 30-60 minutes; $95) The United States Eighth Air Force deployed to England ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy SUPER MEGA LUCKY BOX (Gamewright, 1 to 6 players, ages 8 and up, 20 minutes; $15.99) This is a time of year when the Holiday Gift-Giving ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy TEN (AEG, 1 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 15-30 minutes; $19.99) Push-your-luck games have always found an audience and luck, nerve and a bit ...
Read More
Reviewed by Chris Wray TERRAFORMING MARS: ARES EXPEDITION (Stronghold Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 45-60 minutes; $40) After its 2016 release, Terraforming Mars (Summer 2017 Gamers ...
Read More
Reviewed by Robert Marti THE MAGNIFICENT (Aporta Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-90 minutes; $60) Last time we explored Trickerion, a heavy Euro-style game where you ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy WHIRLING WITCHCRAFT (AEG, 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 30 minutes; $39.95) As this issue goes to press, Halloween is just around the corner: ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy WOLFWALKERS - MY STORY (Value Add Gamers, 2 players, ages 8 and up, 25 minutes; $23.99) Sometimes a TV series or film will inspire the creation ...
Read More

Facebook Feed

1 day ago

Gamers Alliance
The thought that runs through the mind of every serious gamer... ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

4 days ago

Gamers Alliance
Once again, there are over 200 (!) Gamers Alliance auctions going on on eBay right now, featuring lots of games - new games, vintage games, roleplaying items, rare games - and lots of other odd and interesting items available for your viewing pleasure! Well worth a look!Enjoy your visit!www.ebay.com/sch/gamersalliance/m.html... ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

1 week ago

Gamers Alliance
Today marks the 100th birthday of legendary cartoonist Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown, the Peanuts gang and, of course, .. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Gamers Alliance
Wishing a happy (85th!) birthday to actress Marlo Thomas who is that woman who is the face of St. Jude's Hospital for Children but started her career as... ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Gamers Alliance
Sad to hear of the passing of actor Robert Clary (at age 96). Clary was a prisoner in a concentration camp for nearly 3 years during his teens and lost 10 of his 13 siblings, as well as his parents, in the Holocaust. But he was not the only member of the cast of the sitcom that brought him success who suffered from the Nazis. These included Werner Klemperer, who played the pusillanimous camp commandant, Col. Klink, and who was the son of the renowned orchestra conductor Otto Klemperer; his family fled Berlin for Los Angeles when Mr. Klemperer was 13 to escape persecution and John Banner, who played the doltish Sgt. Schultz, who fled his home country, Austria, after Germany annexed it in 1938. The sitcom was, of course... ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook