Brass Empire is a 1-5 player deck-building game from Rock Manor Games. In Brass Empire players start by taking the roles of different corporations in the fictional world of Cobalt. Through the course of the game players will use resources to add to their corporations, that is their starting decks in order to be the player with the most brass at the end of the game.
Brass is the heart of the world of cobalt. The kickstarter describes Brass as not only fueling the economy, but literally fuels the technology and transportation of the world.” The world of Cobalt is very interesting. Bits and pieces of the world can be seen through the cards played.
Brass Empire is fairly simple to pick up and play. It plays like most deck builders where every player starts with a deck of cards that are identical. The major resources of the game is construction, labor and of course Brass. You have a starting faction reserve deck that only you can buy from, or you can purchase from the labor market (top row) and the design department (bottom row). The labor market is where employees can be found. All factions make an appearance here, with the addition of a grey neutral faction. The design department is where you will gain units or buildings.
The game is competitive with all players competing for brass. The game can be quick, or if you have players who like messing with the others, it can take quite a bit. The corporations synergize well with each other, while it can be fun to mix things up a little bit with hiring or building other corporation cards into your deck.
The game seems to balance itself quite well with various players. The rules allow for adjustment of how much Brass is available for various number of players.
The artwork on this game is really good. It brings about the love of the ingenuity and unique designs that the steampunk genre is noted for. I really dig the different corporation cards and how the artwork seems to fit their style.
Brass Empire is sold out as of 16th Dec 2016 on their site. But you could find this in your friendly local game store (FLGS) or at online retailers.
Time 30-60 minutes
Learning to play difficulty, easy to moderate.
Out of the box you have the base game mode. It does come with several variant modes to be able to play. The Reserve Deck Customization Rules allows you to customize your starting deck with faction cards with rules describing how to keep that balanced. There is Team Play, Battle Mode, and solitaire mode.
I have played this game a few times, and it’s definitely a fun game It could use a bit of tweaking though. We have ran into an issue several times when the Labor Market becomes flooded with Managers. The only way to resolve this is to buy more managers. Which does help your deck, but it slows the game a little bit. We did add dice to the game, as the damage is persistent. D6s (or six sided dice) work just fine as it was rare for us that we had counters go beyond 6. It would be nice if the token pieces were actually something brass colored. The point cubes are Red and White. Which are fine, but it seemed to deter from the games feel slightly. Brass tokens 1 or 5 would have been nice. The factions could have been more Identifiable. They do have different colors and the names of the factions clearly stated. Having a little symbol of what the faction is would have been a nice addition. These are small design issues that we discovered through our plays. But don’t let that detour you. This is a very fun game. If you like steampunk and deck-builders this is definitely one you should try.
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