31st Aug 2023 - Carnegie

by RobinFri, 1 Sept (Updated at Fri, 1 Sept)

Full house of 7 full tables to report on this week, from the Industrial, Medieval and Futuristic zones. But not the Aztec zone - Tikal was last week 🙂.

I always like the industrial games. But is Carnegie really an industrial game? It's definitely a network-building game, which I also like; but there isn't much thematic detail about manufacturing or resource management or anything like that. Like Carnegie the man, you leave the coalface stuff to the minions.

What do we know about Mr Carnegie? Scottish. And he famously once said, "the man who dies thus rich, dies disgraced." Shortly afterwards, he hired a private army and supplied them with munitions to break up a strike at one of his steel works, so I guess that's what he meant by "thus". But then he donated his ill-gotten gains to a lot of cosy middle-class civic projects, so history remembers him well.

I'd be interested to see a board game about the Homestead strike, but for now we've got Carnegie, which focuses more on the benefaction than on the private army. You build up a business empire to get as much money as you can, so you can spend it on libraries and concert halls and such like.

There are different ways to win, theoretically: Andrew built up an enormous company with departments all over his company board, and Robin-C filled up all the cities on the Eastern Seaboard with his industries; and both took turns in the lead as we totted up final scoring. But I went full-Carnegie on the benefaction - and relentlessly accumulating the cash to do it - and that won me the game.

So I'm not sure it's really an industrial game. Thematically speaking, it's maybe more like Princes Of Florence(??). But the gameplay is really nice, and I can see why it's already fully booked for its next appearance (4th in 5 weeks) at the club.

Also thematically speaking, don't mention the Castles Of Burgundy! About as medieval as a Rubik's cube. But they were playing that at the next table and it sounded like they weren't too bothered about the thematic tenuousness. And then there was Bonfire downstairs - you don't need to know why it's called Bonfire. But again due to being a Stefan Feld game, they were enjoying the mechanics very much.

Another game that's been at the club quite a lot recently was Quartermaster General. I've not followed whether it's been the 1914 version every time, but that's what they were playing this time. The Allies seemed to be in complete control when I looked in - though I could hardly see, being dazzled by Bitoku at the next table. I've no idea what it's about but I did like the vivid colour scheme - and Elsa and Pedro seemed to like the mechanics so I'd probably sign up for that another time.

Finally back upstairs, in the Futuristic zone, Voidfall was back for another week. And behind us they were playing the last tournament game of Beyond The Sun. Our game of Carnegie finished just after theirs, which I'll interpret as a sign of how quickly we played - though to be fair it was 10:30 by that point. Maybe they actually played twice? If Ian's score was anything to go by, perhaps they did.