|Number of Players
||Gavan Brown, Matt Tolman, Martin Wallace
Brass: Birmingham is an economic strategy game sequel to Martin Wallace' 2007 popular game, Brass. Birmingham tells the story of competing entrepreneurs in Birmingham in the industrial revolution, during the years of 1770-1870.
As in its predecessor, you must develop, build, and establish your network and industries, in and effort to exploit low or high market demands.
The game is played in two halves: the canal era (years 1770-1830) and the rail era (years 1830-1870). To win the game, earn the most VPs. VPs are counted at the end of each half for the rails, canals, and established (flipped) industry tiles.
Birmingham brings dynamic scoring canals/rails. Instead of each flipped industry tile giving a static 1 VP to all connected canals and rails, multiple industries give 0 or even 2 VPs. This gives players with the opportunity to score much higher value canals in the first era, and creates interesting strategy with industry placement.
New "Sell" structure.
Brewing is now a fundamental part of the culture in Birmingham. You must now sell your product through traders found around the edges of the board. Each of these traders is looking for a certain type of good each game. To sell cotton, pottery, or manufactured goods to these traders, you must also "grease the wheels of industry" by drinking beer. For example, a level 1 cotton mill needs one beer to flip. As an incentive to sell early, the first player to sell to a trader gets free beer.
Birmingham features 3 new industry types:
Brewery - Produces valuable beer barrels required to sell goods.
Manufactured goods - Function like cotton, but offers 8 levels. Each level of manufactured goods provides different rewards, rather than just escalating in VPs, making it a more versatile (yet potentially more difficult) path vs cotton.
Pottery - These behemoths of Birmingham provide huge VPs, but at a huge cost and need to plan.
Increased Coal and Iron Market size - The price of coal and iron can now increase to $8 per cube, and it's not uncommon.
Brass: Birmingham is a delicately brewed sequel to one of history's most industrial economic games. It brings a very different story arc and experience from its predecessor. Many of the tried and true strategies of the original are no longer as powerful as before, and other interesting new strategies are waiting for you to discover.