Thursday, 13 March 2014

Kingpins of Industry

With us back on track this week with our random game generator, Industry was carried round from James's house and unboxed whilst I busied around shoving kids into beds and drinks into glasses. It has only seen one airing since purchase and the group had mixed feelings about it. A solid enough game, if a little long, but always with an alternative preferred to it. Tonight was its chance to try and convince the gang that it was a slow burner.

For those that can't remember back to the last post James wrote about it Industry is a game of forging links and aiming to tie those links to the precious multipliers. It is played over 5 rounds against an ever increasingly industrial (natch) theme where you start out bidding for various facilities which, if developed can give you either resources, links, points or a combination of all three. The sequence that the twelve facilities appear is randomised as the first person to bid is rotated. Money is tight in the game but there is a neat mechanism that means paying for your bids means that your opponents get the money you bid for them. Bid high for something you really want, it depletes your money and boosts the bank accounts of your opponents. Canny bidding can make a real difference. There is also the added frustration that you need to keep enough money back to develop (activate) the buildings. If you don't do it in the same round you can't get the points. Although we agreed you could develop it and keep the links and resources.

It's another one of those games that rewards a strong start. I managed to secure a few good links and a couple of resource generators which meant that people would need to pay me to use them throughout the game. However this did mean that I fell way behind on the score track due to those buildings not generating any points. Paul tied up the sciences part of the board so much so that often he could pick them up unchallenged due to lack of interest. James struggled to get a foothold but scored heavily for his buildings and I, some what under the radar, picked up the multiplier buildings to help my links.

Confusing board

The multipliers made all the difference in the end and I think that if we played this again next week I wouldn't be allowed to pick them up like I did.

Chris - 93
Paul - 62
James - 47

Time was running out so we chose to squeeze in a quick game of Kingdom Builder. Unfortunately two of the boards selected produced Paddocks and Barns, special moves which allow jumping about. Coupled with the winning conditions of farmers and hermits it meant for a game that became a headache to compute the adjacency rule. Additionally, I didn't explain the special moves very well to Paul. As time drew on we began to prompt each move with a hasty look at the kitchen clock. If Jimmy White, Alex Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan had ever been persuaded to play a board game in the lunch break during the Masters I think the result would have mirrored how we finished this game.

My poor start and subsequent run of the repeated forest cards meant that it was me stacking shelves this week whilst Paul and James slugged it out. Paul over came his special move confusion to squeak a win in front of James.

Paul - 39
James - 37
Chris - 29


  1. What was the verdict on Industry?

  2. Oh yeah, I didn't close that off. Much the same. We love the bidding mechanism and the building progression, but the board confusing and if you get behind it can be almost impossible to get back on terms. Again, other games would probably get chosen above it.

  3. I think it definitely has that 'one more go' feel. (To see how the game and bidding would unfold as properties are drawn in a different order.) But for me, that further 'go' could be had six months or a year from now for all I care. Ho hum.

    And yet, somehow, the bidding and pointing at the board seemed to promote more conversation and joking than many a game. So quite a social game even if it wasn't obvious why that was so.

    I like the board, and seem to find it less confusing. But then, being my game, I've had the chance to read the rules through several times and familiarise myself with the board more than the others.

  4. Yeah, there was some good old fashioned Settlers style single entendres. Especially as everybody needed to use my wood all game.