Gameday First Play – Kanban: Automotive Revolution

Posted on by Jesta

A simulation of a car factory assembly line.

It’s about time.

The setting for the game Kanban: Automotive Revolution is an assembly line. The players are ambitious managers who are trying to impress the board of directors in order to achieve as high a position as possible in the company and secure their careers. With promotions come advantages at the factory, such as more space to store precious materials and greater prestige to accelerate your ascent. Through solid management, you must strive to shine next to your peers. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve auto-mobile parts, innovate — anything to stay on the cutting edge, or getting your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production. You must exercise wisdom in choosing which projects you should start, selecting only those that will give you the upper hand and shunning those that will bog you down or cause the unthinkable — failure — which would diminish you in the eyes of the board.

Game Play

So we’re at a factory trying to streamline our design and production process to be as efficient as possible. What can we do in our factory?

You can go to the Design department and pick up a design. You can use these designs later to either upgrade or claim a car. There isn’t always the design you want put at some point in the working week you’ll find one.

Kanban Blueprints

Design Department

You can head to the Logistics department to collect parts, after putting an order in. Just like in the Design department, you might not always find the parts you need but at least you can order them in if they’re not already there.

Logistics Department

Logistics Department

At the Assembly Line department you can use your parts to help get a car on to the test track. You have to use different parts obviously and you also need to use those that have already been tested by the Testing & Innovation department first.

Assembly Line Department

Assembly Line Department

At the Testing 7 Innovation department, you can get those tested cars off the track and into your Garage. You can also upgrade a part for a specific car if you have the relevant part and blueprint.

Testing & Innovation Department

Testing & Innovation Department

The Administration department lets you run any section of the factory, it just takes longer to do it from the Admin office than it does in person.

Administration Office

Administration Office

While working, there is always time to learn so as you go you can get Train and get Certified in each department making you more of an expert than you already are. This can also give you a seat at meetings and an Award Plaque.

Meetings happen at the end of each week and the more seats you have the more rewards you can get for your hard work in the previous 7 days.

But you can’t relax. Sandra is roaming around the departments making sure everyone is hitting their targets and she’s very quick to penalise those that haven’t!

My Review

I literally had no idea what I was doing for 3-4 turns. I understood what to do but I couldn’t see how it all came together.

Once I worked it out there was plenty of the game left to do things and I really enjoyed it.

Player Board

Player Board

It’s essentially a worker placement game, with one worker. So maybe it’s more of an action selection game?

There are only 10 spaces to pick from and you can’t stay in the same department and some of the other places are taken by the other players and Sandra. This only leaves 4-5 spaces so this part of the game is quick with it being so restrictive. The Admin department lets you take actions in any department but you get less time there.

As the game is about efficient use of time, each space gives you ‘time’ or actions to use in that department. As well as doing all the testing and production etc, you need to keep your eye out on gaining bonuses to gain seats, where Sandra is and what other players are doing.

You also need to train in that department for bonuses and you can always bank time to use later.

Seats at the table let you choose from a number of multipliers that give you points for matching completed tasks. Getting them is hard but you really need to get the maximum 4 if possible if you want to maximise your scoring.

Sandra can give you quite few penalty points if you’re not up to her standards in that particular department. She has a ‘Good Mood’ and ‘Bad Mood’ with the Bad Mood version being harsher, but making for a better game.

There’s so much to this game that I can’t cover all of it but it is really fun and I’m looking forward to playing it now I know what I’m doing 🙂

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