Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Not many things speak to the commercialism in North America, at least in Canada and the United States more than the automobile.
The impact Henry Ford has had on the way we get around, the importance we put in our automobiles, and the impact the sector has on our economy are enough to write books on.
So it's no surprise boardgames have been designed around the idea of cars.
One such game is The Last of the Independents from Numbskull Games.
The game is immediately interesting because it centres around the battle, and it was a cutthroat business battle, which occurred in the United States after World War II among a number of car companies to woe the public and to survive.
We all know Ford did quite well, and Chrysler and Dodge too for that matter.
But what of the once storied Hudson? The now forgotten Studebaker and Packard?
Those behind the now long dead car lines once dreamed of becoming what Ford managed to do.
In Last of the Independents players attempt to carve out better fates for the extinct car brands on the board than they managed in real life.
Created in 2010 by designer Patrick Stevens, the game is one of resource management, where two-to-six players simulate the building, engineering, and promotion of cars by the smaller independent American automobile companies after the Great War.
Players face challenges executives would have faced as they competed against other small indie companies and of course the emerging giants such as Ford.
Players must work to design their cars, get them into production, and ultimately attract buyers in order establish a successful company and win the game.
The game has mechanics which allow some different approaches to being successful, and a player will face some crucial decisions through the course of the game.
Given the genre it is a bonus Last of the Independents is a dice-less affair.
The components are solid, although the board is a bit distracting with cars oriented so that some upside down, or sideways to every player.
Overall, a solid offering made more interesting by its theme.
You can check it out in more detail at www.numbskullgames.com

-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper June 1, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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