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Kanban: Automotive Revolution - Board Game Box Shot

Kanban: Automotive Revolution

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Kanban — the Japanese word for "billboard" — is a term for the visual cues that might be used in a lean, efficient assembly line in order to expedite and smooth workflow. These signals get the workers what they need, where they need it, when they need it to create a just-in-time (JIT) production system.

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 automobile 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.

Over the course of the game, you persuade the board and the factory tender to help you develop and improve automobile parts. You make shrewd use of the outside suppliers and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate needed part when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn''t wait for you or for mistakes.

Like the process itself, Kanban: Automotive Revolution proves to be both innovative and rewarding. Game mechanisms tightly tied to the automobile manufacturing theme include:

  • The factory manager is a game-driven non-player character with two modes of play ("nice" or "mean") to offer a friendly or more competitive gameplay environment.
  • Two independent player-influenced game timers — the factory production cycle and work week clock — provide timing tension to the game, trigger intermediate scoring phases, and factor into the game end conditions.
  • A simulation of the factory assembly line with spatial point-to-point movement adds an element to the game that requires optimal timing.
  • A design and innovation department, leveraged to manipulate the value of the various car models and component upgrades produced within the factory, drives the economy of the game.
  • Departmental training and certification tracks provide players a means to operate more efficiently.

If you want a seat on the board someday, you need to show that you can keep a complex machine running smoothly, efficiently, with everything happening just at the right time. Kanban: Automotive Revolution is a pure Eurogame focused on economics and resource management that puts you in the driver''s seat of an entire production facility, racing for the highest level of promotion.

User Reviews (1)

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4 Beta 1.0 Tester
Gamer - Level 4
43 of 49 gamers found this helpful
“Wait til you meet Mean Sandra!”

This game is so awesome. I immediately bought it once available (though came with a hefty price) but no regrets. I found this game to be a true gem.
This was in fact my first Vital Lacerda’s game, tried CO2 before but not complete so I don’t think that count.

Unique Theme
There are not many games with this theme, players working in a manufacturing car company. Some of the terms are unfamiliar in the game field so far, unlike terms from classic Euros. In this game you will work as employee to design cars, order parts, assemble these parts, test the cars and claim them to your garage. And also train, yes do not forget this, very important thing in your line of work. Of course since this is a company, there will be meetings to attend to, to discuss your performance and other important stuff, trust me they’re important.

There are two important things in the game, which is points and time. Yes, you will use your given time wisely to gain better performance and prestige points, and lets hope you will be chosen as the next employee of the year.
In each turn (I would say working day) you will choose in which department you want to work (now this is freedom), either in design department, warehouse, assembly, test and upgrade and HR department. The cycle in manufacturing cars are like this, first you need a design to make a car, once the design is there you need parts (there are 6 different parts) to assemble the car, after the car is assembled, you need to test it or upgrade it to have better performance.
In some turns you can bank shifts (time) or even spend banked shift to work more in a day. Overwork is important but sometimes you need the payout later. While you working tirelessly there’s also someone who’s gonna monitoring you lazy labors, that’s the factory manager named Sandra (you know what, she’s the designer’s wife, so no cursing at her back, He will know).
I would say Sandra has her time of the month where she can be mean or nice. This is the game variant and I would say it is a brilliant one. Because only changing her mood, the game is completely changed, different in a big way, not the rules, but how players play the game. In nice Sandra, players will get a relaxed play, with lots of options to explore and Sandra will give reward to the player with the best performance, while in mean Sandra, the players will be pushed to perform better, the worst one will get punishment, this changes lots of play behaviors. They will be more focus to priority, each action will be crucial and critical since one mistake could ruin your plan entirely (bye bye promotion!)
The scoring mechanics are amazing, you can get points from many things but the real deals are from meeting and getting max points from upgrade designs at the end of the week. Scoring performance goals from meetings are very interesting, just like meeting players will show performance based on the topics available or presented by one of the players. Also they can only score if they have seats available in the meeting.

I think this one is better than The Gallerist in terms of streamlined, straightforward, tight and challenging with two modes of play. Need more planning in the long run, more contained, more controlled. The Gallerist is great, but I must say it’s more fiddly, more complex in the terms of components but more accessible to new players than Kanban (this is the highlight of my observation). While Kanban has higher learning curve, clever plays and interesting decision making that greatly affecting a player’s performance. And also tension, it has tension than The Gallerist.

I love how Naomi Robinson did with the arts, instantly it may looks very busy and hard to see but once you play it, everything will come to sense quickly.


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