The board gaming legend known as Brass, was re-printed and re-vamped by Roxley Game Labs in 2018 as Brass: Lancashire. Martin Wallace’s hugely revered game was already firmly established a bench mark in Euro-style games. The team at Roxley Games have successfully taken this classic game, fixed a couple of rules issues and given the artwork a well needed makeover.
Brass: Lancashire is an economic strategy game where two to four players take on the roll of competing business owners during the industrial revolution. Over time the history of the age plays out on your table top as players complete to build a network between cotton mills, mines, iron works, ports and shipyards.
At the start of the game your network relies on canals, but at time goes on the age of rail begins and so you must invest in trains. Interestingly, there are two scoring phases in Brass: Lancashire – One at the end of the canal era and the other at the end of the rail era. You essentially have to play through the game twice, the person who is most prepared for the onset of the rail era or who can best adapt to the changing requirements of the times will triumph. The winner is the player with the most victory points at the end of the game. Victory points are gained from your canals, rails and developed industries.
Brass: Lancashire gives you a lot to think about. You will find it pays to plan your turns well in advance and be aware of how the network of canals or rails will allow you to access the all important coal that drives your business empire. If you don’t have your own resources you will need to buy it. The more demand there is for coal and iron the more the price will rise.
Although Brass: Lancashire is a relatively heavy game with a lot to consider on your turn, the mechanisms are smooth and well explained in the rulebook. On your turn you will have only a few actions to choose from so the game runs very smoothly for a game of this style. The game has a hand management aspect as you must spend cards to carry out actions and the cards you choose can affect your options later in the game, so choose wisely.
You will soon find than in Brass: Lancashire every action counts. As a result this is one of the most engaging games I have played in a long time. You will be bouncing up and down in your seat waiting for your turn to come around again so you can execute your master plan.
Will you end up as the greatest entrepreneur of the industrial age? See if you’ve got what it takes, with Brass: Lancashire.