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Brass: Lancashire» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A short star-based review rss

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Magnus Percan
Sweden
Malmö
Malmö
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I'm usually a lurker here on BGG and english is not my native language. Please be gentle to me laugh

What it is
A heavy economic game set in northern England during the beginning of the industrial revolution. Players are building industries like coal mines and cotton mills in order to become the most successful industrialist.

Learning

The rulebook is not very well written and several aspects of the game is hard to grasp by reading it. Good thing there are a lot of nice people on BGG that can help.

Teaching

Several of the mechanisms are interlocked and there are some clunky rules. Although, after learning the rules I think Brass is relatively easy to teach.

Laughs

Like a lot of the games I like, Brass is no game where players laugh frequently. It is fun to play, but not "laughing fun".

Brain-burn

There is not a plethora of different actions. The choices lies more in where and when the actions are executed. This is still enough to create a AP-situation for some players.

Luck-factor

The only luck-factor I can think of the the one regarding your hand. It is possible to draw more or less useless cards. It is possible to spend any two cards to do any one action. Still, this is less than optimal and can slow a player down.

Strategy

It is possible to plan ahead a great deal and fallow a strategy from turn one. This is not enough though, it is also very important to stay on you toes and wait for the right moment to do stuff.

Tactics

Loads of points and monies are given to the player that can get the timing right. Like build a coal mine when the demand for coal is high, or selling cotton to the foreign market when demand the price is high. This creates an interaction between players and a tension throughout the game.

Artwork

Not at strength of the game. The board is just a bit prettier that aweful. The cards are almost beautiful though.

Components

The components are good but nothing spectacular. Classic wooden cubes, sturdy linen cards, thick cardboard and a solid box.

Theme Integration

I am having a hard time feeling the theme. Several mechanisms are unintuitive and clunky.

Replayabillity

This is no problem for me but it can be a problem for some people. Similar games are releasing expansion maps to keep fresh. This is not the case for Brass. The replayability is obtained though an unique set of cards every game. This is enough to keep it interesting.

Comments:
It is hard to put a finger on what makes Brass as good as it is. I think it is a classic case of a game that is greater than the sum of it parts. The rules are sometimes clunky and the theme is dry but something happens while playing it. Whatever it is, it leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy after every game.

If you like this type of reviews, please check my geeklist: Short star-based review - The Geeklist
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The map offers huge replay value. It is integrated into the game, not a map on top of a system, like for example in AoI.
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LautreSault
Portugal
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I suggest you add some more information, about your personal experience, for example:

- How many plays.
- The amount of players.

(I just remembered this because in this game this things are extremely important.)
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David B
United States
Chesapeake
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One part of this review I particularly disagree with is the OP's claim regarding lack of theme. I find the mechanics of this game evoke the theme of emergent industry very well.
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Are you aware of the dangers foxes pose to you and
Sweden
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pfctsqr wrote:
One part of this review I particularly disagree with is the OP's claim regarding lack of theme. I find the mechanics of this game evoke the theme of emergent industry very well.


And filing away "clunky" parts is exactly what make AoI much less thematically evocative.
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Andi Hub
Germany
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I like your style of how the review is written! But I would perhaps still make the comments/conclusion a bit longer and also offer an overall score (this is much more subjective than all the other categories and therefore you probably preferred not to do so). By the way, you really overrated the art work! You must have a redesigned deluxe edition.

pfctsqr wrote:
One part of this review I particularly disagree with is the OP's claim regarding lack of theme. I find the mechanics of this game evoke the theme of emergent industry very well.

I agree on what David said. Some clunky mechanism come from Martin Wallace tieing these mechanism so tightly to the theme. I do not think that any other designer would have come up with the Birkenhead rules, for example.
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Evil Roy
United Kingdom
Sutton
Surrey
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Percatron wrote:
Luck-factor

The only luck-factor I can think of the the one regarding your hand. It is possible to draw more or less useless cards. It is possible to spend any two cards to do any one action. Still, this is less than optimal and can slow a player down.


The other luck factor is the values on the distant market tiles.
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Spencer C
Netherlands
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I appreciate the review format. This is *much* more useful to me than meandering walls of text.

A couple of notes, if I may:

* There's a fantastic How to Play podcast (available through the Podcast section at the bottom of the BGG Brass page) that I would highly recommend to any new player. I learned from the rulebook and it took 4 or 5 games before we played a "correct" game.

* I disagree on theme. I find it is one of the tightest thematic integrations in gamedom.
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