Brass: Birmingham board game

Brass: Birmingham is an economic strategy game sequel to Martin Wallace' 2007 masterpiece, Brass. Birmingham tells the story of competing entrepreneurs in Birmingham during the industrial revolution, between the years of 1770-1870. As in its predecessor, you must develop, build, and establish your industries and network, in an effort to exploit low or high market demands.



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User Reviews

  • What a wonderful experience. It’s such a well crafted game and everything feels like it just falls into place when playing!
  • One of my favourite Wallace games, and he's one of my favourite designers.
  • A modern version of Brass with more randomized setup. With its multiple new commodities I don't think Birmingham is as tight as Lancashire, but it's still plenty taut and I'll gladly play either game.
  • Simply the most involved, addictive, flavourful, and continuously interesting puzzles that I've played. Would say it's my favourite ever game!I don't want to log plays for the sake of it like I've done with some other games here because it seems silly, but we've played well over a hundred times since I bought the game, at all player counts. The love I have in my heart for this game resounds throughout all of my friends too. It's just perfect!
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How many players do you typically play with for the two games? I was curious how #Brass: Birmingham would play at different player counts. It seems to scale quite well with how it shortens up the eras and also opens up the board.

That's a great review and I am encouraged by the comparison to #Clans of Caledonia (one of my favorite games). #The Gallerist is still at the top of my list but #Brass: Birmingham is right there with it.  It gets so much praise and I did enjoy the heavy playthough I watched.

What makes the gameplay that much longer (bigger board, longer goals?) than #Clans of Caledonia?  Are there different starting resources for each player like Clans?  This is a rule book I look forward to reading one day...mostly because I'm such a nerd :P

The playthrough video session is when I first learn the game too, so I'm going into it fresh haha. It was like that for #Pendulum too and I froze right after the game started. #Brass: Birmingham triggered AP like no other in a number of turns.

As for Brass' playthrough video, we decided not to upload it because it just didn't seem like a fun video. We had fun, but to get it to an entertaining state, it was going to require too much editing time! I'll be sharing my first impressions soon though and Trent will also be doing a review video.

Great choices :)

Just got a copy of #Brass: Birmingham and I've heard nothing but great things.

For some reason it isn't letting me vote.... But I say, "get something big and expensive." I o don't know what your tasts are, but I would think of games such as:

#Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy

#Twilight Imperium 4th Edition

#Gloomhaven

Or, perhaps, you could get one more expensive game, and a slightly cheaper game. For expensive games I am thinking of stuff like:

#Rising Sun

#Barrage

#The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth

#Brass: Birmingham deluxe edition

#Pax Pamir (Second Edition) (I think you can still preorder it, but I am not sure.)

Again, I don't know your tastes. But these are some of the ones that I would look at, and I would probably try to get one big game.

Haven't been able to play #Alma Mater yet, should get it in this week. I feel pretty confident the 2 player isn't going to be as good as more players since there is a variable market but I'm hoping that's a minor issue, seems like the "dummy" player is low maintenance. Like #Clans of Caledonia has a moving market and I don't think it hurts the two player game. 

My wife wasn't drawn to #Brass: Birmingham but loves it now that we've played it- her favorites are #Underwater Cities #Everdell #Agricola (Revised Edition) #The Castles of Burgundy #Wingspan #Tapestry. The card play and planning for the era change are things she really loves. I think it has a lot of things she likes in games that play more multiplayer solitare but with player interaction that isn't cruel. 

I would call #Brass: Birmingham a classic (as one under five years of age)

Played a three player game of #Tapestry with a friend who wanted to try it for the first time. I don't think the game has a ton of variability after playing a few times but I still really enjoy it. 

Played a quick two player game of #Res Arcana which I hadn't played in quite awhile, for how quick it is I really like the decision space. 

 

Played two player #Wingspan with #Wingspan: European Expansion which is always a solid game, another one that is easy to pull off in short time period. 

 

On Saturday played three player games of #Pendulum #Scythe with #Scythe: Invaders from Afar and #Brass: Birmingham all at the choice of a friend who had come over. It was my first time with Pendulum and I really really love what it's trying to do with simultaneous play. I haven't had the chance to play on the advanced side of the board but I do think the added asymmetry will make it a really good game. From the perspective of game design there's so much to think about in terms of choices that were made. I wonder if the simplicity of it will hurt the replayability eventually, but at the same time while you are making decisions and thinking about timing I found myself very thankful that the decision space was simple enough that I didn't have to think too much about what things did. Scythe is always a favorite and I played with Albion live for the first time which was a fun experience. Brass: Birmingham is a game I really love but I really worried that it would be hard to get people to enjoy it, that hasn't proven to be the case. 

Finally on Sunday my wife wanted to play another game of #Brass: Birmingham it definitely seems like it's quickly becoming a favorite of hers which I didn't expect. That and Maracaibo are definitely the recent games we've played she has liked the most. 

We just picked up #Paladins of the West Kingdom #Mariposas and #Alma Mater so those should be on the docket in the coming week or two. 

Played a three player game of #Tapestry with a friend who wanted to try it for the first time. I don't think the game has a ton of variability after playing a few times but I still really enjoy it. 

Played a quick two player game of #Res Arcana which I hadn't played in quite awhile, for how quick it is I really like the decision space. 

 

Played two player #Wingspan with #Wingspan: European Expansion which is always a solid game, another one that is easy to pull off in short time period. 

 

On Saturday played three player games of #Pendulum #Scythe with #Scythe: Invaders from Afar and #Brass: Birmingham all at the choice of a friend who had come over. It was my first time with Pendulum and I really really love what it's trying to do with simultaneous play. I haven't had the chance to play on the advanced side of the board but I do think the added asymmetry will make it a really good game. From the perspective of game design there's so much to think about in terms of choices that were made. I wonder if the simplicity of it will hurt the replayability eventually, but at the same time while you are making decisions and thinking about timing I found myself very thankful that the decision space was simple enough that I didn't have to think too much about what things did. Scythe is always a favorite and I played with Albion live for the first time which was a fun experience. Brass: Birmingham is a game I really love but I really worried that it would be hard to get people to enjoy it, that hasn't proven to be the case. 

Finally on Sunday my wife wanted to play another game of #Brass: Birmingham it definitely seems like it's quickly becoming a favorite of hers which I didn't expect. That and Maracaibo are definitely the recent games we've played she has liked the most. 

We just picked up #Paladins of the West Kingdom #Mariposas and #Alma Mater so those should be on the docket in the coming week or two. 

I agree with most of the commentary below about Wingspan. It's a game I enjoy and really admire it but when I personally think of highly thematic games I don't think it's as good as others. I think the most spot on point is that while some of the mechanics are thematic (predator birds, birds that migrate habitats) plenty are not and it always feels like an engine builder for points rather than running a bird sanctuary. With that said, I think it does a great job setting a fantastic mood for the type of game it is, and the eggs, the wooden dice, the dicetower, the unique bird cards, the art on the player boards etc do a fantastic job of that. I do think it's important to remember what a great place Wingspan exists in in terms of being an inviting gateway game and I believe that how thematic it is is going to depend greatly on what your experience in gaming is up to that point.

 

I think Wingspan exists in an area of strategy games where the components themselves do a great job keeping it from being a dry game and giving it a mood and then the more the mechanics match the more thematic it feels. I think of #Viticulture: Essential Edition and #Agricola (Revised Edition) as games that do a great job of this with both mechanisims and components. I think #Root #Everdell #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and #Teotihuacan: City of Gods all do a great job setting the scene with their art and then matching it in varying degrees with mechanics. 

 

I can think of countless "Ameritrash" games that are highly thematic but skill checks often ruin that dynamic for me personally. Even a game like #Forgotten Waters which drips with story and theme after awhile didn't feel like much of a game to me and lost its immersiveness. While still not in my wheelhouse I found #Gloomhaven and #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion to be much more immersive because the card play makes you feel like you are really dictating what happens and controlling your character. Conversely #Scythe was a game where the theme was almost non-existent to me until I played #Scythe: The Rise of Fenris and from then on the game was far more thematic in my mind than it had been previously. The most thematic game I've ever played would have to be #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and much like with Rise of Fenris, that experience has made other #Pandemic games feel more thematic just because I have seen how immersive it can be. 

 

A game that hasn't gotten any mentions yet that I've seen that's both a strategy game and highly thematic, in my opinion, is #Brass: Birmingham the historic accuracy that went into that game is remarkable and it really comes through in the most unique aspect to the game- the sudden switch from canals to rails. The included history of the characters in the rulebook is also a nice touch. I would contrast that with a game that I also love but don't find thematic which is #A Feast For Odin which, in true Uwe fashion, comes with what is essentially an entire book explaining the history that exists in the game but if you never read the book you would never really know and it's dry enough that you really don't need to and it becomes vikings playing tetris. 

Hey, I have exactly three games that fit this criteria!

  • #Brass: Birmingham - Not gonna lie, the overal aesthetic and components for this game are what initially drew me into the game. But I like the sound of the gameplay and it apparently handles 2p quite well, so it still stays. I suppose it's not much of a wish anymore though, because Trent and I recently bought 3 copies of the deluxe edition - 1 for the giveaway that's currently running, 1 for a future giveaway, and 1 for making content
  • #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - Still very very interested in getting this game. But I don't think it will happen until I know that gaming with my wife will become more frequent
  • #Keyflower - Same thoughts on this as Tzolk'in but this one has higher priority. I really think both of these games will be a hit with my wife. They both share the commonality of a solid mechanic with a strong hook/twist

#Brass: Birmingham is definitely one that is on my 'to play' list before it would go on my 'wishlist'. I have heard so many good things but because it does seem to be a bit of an economic beast I want to try it first.

I think you might have meant to tag R0land!

I like your list and the majority of them has been on my list at some point or still are haha. #Brass: Birmingham is one that has remained time and again going in and out of the list but it just seems too good not to be.

I think our copy of #Pendulum will arrive within the next two weeks and we'll be doing a bunch of content around it.

I think I am more willing to give them a try than I was before I played the #Brass: Birmingham solo variant. I had a good enough experience to try others!

I have an unopened copy or #Architects of the West Kingdom: Age of Artisans (expansion to #Architects of the West Kingdom 

I also have opened but unplayed copies of #Charterstone and #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (Blue Box).  

Games I'd love to trade for are #The Gallerist, #Cooper Island, #DinoGenics, #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, #Marvel Champions: The Card Game - Thor Hero Pack, or #Brass: Birmingham.  I'm open to other offers as well as this is a fairly specific list.  :)

I live in Texas for the purpose of calculating shipping costs

I am currently torn on the thinking for this. I feel like in the past you all have bee doing the "hotness" givaways. What just came out, what are people wanting, but right now there seems to be a lull in releases? At least from what I can tell. I feel like the giveaways have cattered to a mid-level gamer, so to maybe expand your reach you could look into a lighter game ( #Wavelength , #Catacombs 3rd Edition ) or some heavier games ( #Barrage , #Great Western Trail , #Brass: Birmingham). These are obviously just some ideas but I am looking at the overarching goal of the giveaways!

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Brass Birmingham in about 3 minutes image

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