From the clay pit to the robot factory, you must steer your burgeoning industrial empire through five different eras in this exciting auction game. Experience the discovery of steam power, electricity, and the first machines - then put them to work for you.
Build factories, then secure rail lines and shipping rights for your business; in the end, these will be worth valuable bonus points. Good control and clever planning will make you the most successful industrial magnate!
- 1 Game Board
- 96 Property tokens
- 1 Era token
- 12 column tokens
- 7 Joker tokens
- 4 Subsidy tokens
- 1Starting player marker
- 1 bag
Object of the Game
Be as clever as you can as the Auctioneer when selling Factories and Technologies, whether to pocket money for later use or to secure the most lucrative items for yourself.
Money is tight, so plan the development of your industrial empire with care. At the end of the game, certain combinations of Factories, Technologies and Bonus fields will bring their owner valuable bonus points.
Place the game board in the center of the table. Place the Era token on its space in the 1st Era. Place the Joker tokens face-up on the indicated fields of the board.
Place the Column tokens in the bag and mix them. Place the Subsidy tokens besides the board. Give each player 4 Talers; a player's money should always be clearly visible. Put the rest of the money aside as a bank.
Give each player the Property tokens of the color of his choice; place one of them on the zero space of the Scoring Track. Randomly decide which player takes the Starting Player marker.
Several rounds are played in a clockwise direction. A round consists of five phases. All players must complete one phase before going on to the next. After every third or fourth round there is also a change of Era.
Phase 1: Income
Each player takes 1 Taler from the bank.
Phase 2: New Column Tokens
The Starting Player draws one Column token per player from the bag and places them face-up above the board next to the matching letter. If the Column token with a coin symbol is drawn, each player immediately takes one Taler from the bank.
Recommendation: In Eras 4 and 5, make the following changes so that gameplay is ideally balanced: • With 3 players, draw 4 tokens per round (instead of 3) in both Era 4 and Era 5.
With 4 players, draw only 3 tokens per round (instead of 4) in Era 5.
Phase 3: Auction
The Starting Player is the first Auctioneer, and he now chooses one of the available fields to auction. A field is available if it lies in the current Era and has a face-up Column token above it.
For auction, available fields are defined by the Era token and face-up Column tokens
In turn, starting with the player to the left of the Auctioneer, each player - apart from the Auctioneer himself - can either make one bid for this field or pass.
A bid must be higher than any preceding bid, and a player cannot bid more Talers than he can pay. Once each player has made a bid or passed, the Auctioneer has two options:
He can let the highest bidder claim the field and take the appropriate amount of money from the bidder. He remains the Auctioneer and chooses another available field to put up for auction.
He claims the field himself, paying an amount equal to the highest bid. In turn, starting with the player to his left, the Auctioneer gives each player - including himself - 1 Taler until he has paid the full price.
(With high bids, players might receive more than one coin). His job as Auctioneer is now over, but he keeps the Starting Player marker! His left-hand neighbor becomes the new Auctioneer and chooses which available field will be auctioned next.
If nobody bids in an auction, the Auctioneer must claim the field himself, although he pays nothing. He keeps the Starting Player marker, and his left-hand neighbor becomes the new Auctioneer, choosing which available field will be auctioned next.
One player can auction and/or win several fields in any one round. The previous Auctioneer can bid in subsequent auctions.
Claim a Field
The player who wins an auction places one of his Property tokens on the just auctioned field with the "clock" symbol face-up. This field is now owned by the player and considered undeveloped.
Exception: To claim a field with a Joker token, just take the token and place it face-up in front of you without placing a Property token.
Afterwards, turn the corresponding Column token face-down to show that this field is no longer available.
When all available fields have been auctioned, this phase ends.
Note: Depending on the number of players, 3 or 4 fields will be auctioned each round; in one complete Era, twelve fields will be auctioned.
Phase 4: Development
Beginning with the Starting Player, each player may in turn develop up to two of his undeveloped fields. He must pay the construction costs printed on the field, if any, to the bank (Technologies cost no Talers to develop).
In addition, many of the Factories and Technologies require payment of one or two specific resources in order to be developed.
Procuring the Required Resources:
Resources can be obtained in the following four ways:
You have a Joker token of the required resource from a previous auction. A Joker token is worth exactly one resource. The Joker token labeled "?" is worth one resource of your choice. Discard this token to pay the required resource.
You have an already developed Factory that produces the required resource. In this case, the resource is automatically regarded as being paid.
Another player has an already developed Factory that produces the required resource. You can pay this player 1 Taler, and the resource is then deemed paid. This purchase may not be refused.
You may buy any available resource from the bank for 1 Taler. This is possible only for resources that are not produced by other players and only for resources that appeared in previous Eras. (See table below).
Table of available resources at the bank
- Era 1: No resources are available at the bank
- Era 2: Stone, Brick, and Wood
- Era 3: Ceramic, Glass, Iron, and all previous resources
- Era 4: Cable, Steel, Cement, and all previous resources
- Era 5: Plastic, Computers and all previous resources
If you do not have enough money, or a required resource is not available, you may not develop the Factory, Technology or Bonus field.
Developing and Receiving Points:
If you develop a Factory, Technology or Bonus field, flip your Property token on that field so that the "clock" symbol is now face-down. This field is now considered developed.
You may receive victory points for developing a field. The number of points, if any, is shown on the bottom of the field in a small cogwheel; if no points are shown, then you do not receive any!
Factory: You receive points for developing a Factory only if that Factory is located in the current Era.
Technology: Technologies may be developed only if they are located in the current Era.
Bonus: Bonus fields earn victory points only at the end of the game. They can be developed during any Era. Whenever you score points, immediately advance your token on the Scoring Track.
Special Factories: Bank And Stock Exchange
For the player who has built the bank or stock exchange, all subsequent construction costs are each reduced by 1 Taler.
If he owns both of these locations, then all construction costs are reduced by 2 Talers.
Note: Construction costs are never reduced below zero.
Phase 5: New Starting Player
If all available fields in one round have been auctioned, the Starting Player marker moves clockwise to the next player, who becomes the new Starting Player. The next round then follows, starting with Phase 1: Income.
Change of Era
Once all 12 fields in an Era have been auctioned, a change of Era occurs at the end of the round after Phase 5.
Move the Era token down one space. (Note that the resources available at the bank during an Era are shown in the earlier Era spaces.
The table on page 3 details which resources are available when). Undeveloped Technologies in all previous Eras can no longer be developed.
The Era token is moved down one space. Stone, Brick and Wood are now available at the bank.
At any time during the game, a player may take one Subsidy token and place it face-up in front of him. He immediately takes 3 Talers from the bank. At the end of the game, this Subsidy token is worth -5 points.
End of the Game
Once all fields in all eras have been auctioned, the game ends at the end of the round. Remove from the board all Property tokens that still show the "clock" symbol.
Players then tally their remaining points based on money in hand, linked Factories/ Technologies, Bonus fields and unused Joker tokens, as detailed below.
Money: For every 3 Talers a player holds, he earns 1 victory point.
Linked Factories and/or Technologies: For each pair of Factories that are directly linked by a road, he earns 3 points; similarly, for each pair of Technologies that are directly linked, he earns 3 points.
Bonus fields: For each Bonus field (Port, Railway Station, Pump Station and Power Station) that a player owns which is connected to a Factory that he also owns, he earns 2 or 3 bonus points.
Bonus fields are connected to Factories as follows: Ports by rivers, Railway Stations by tracks, Pump Stations by pipelines, and Power Stations by power lines. Bonus fields and connected Factories don't have to be adjacent.
Example: A player has developed 3 «Port» Bonus fields (= 3 x 2 points) and 4 Factories which are connected to the river (and therefore automatically connected to his Ports). For each of his 4 factories, he thus earns 6 points, for a total of 24 points from Bonus fields..
Unused Joker tokens: For each such token a player holds, he earns 2 points.
Subsidy token: If a player has a subsidy token in front of him, he loses 5 points.
Adjust each player's Scoring token on the Scoring Track according to the points earned (or lost). The player with the most points has won the game.
In case of a tie, the player with the most Property tokens on the board wins. If there is still a tie, the player with the most money wins.