You think you know how to design and sell cars? Not when we’re at the dawn of the automobile era! In this environment, the newfangled horseless carriage has arrived on the market and there are no rules on how it ought to look! It’s a wild west, where any features can potentially win the hearts of customers and keep you in business.
Horseless Carriage is a board game for 3-5 players that places you in the role of an industrialist building up factories to produce and sell cars to the general populace. Each player has a factory floor that can help them produce family cars, trucks, and sports cars.
But because this is such a nascent industry, no one is really sure what a car ought to look like and what features in ought to have. Dare you build one without brakes? Not if the overriding concern customers have this year is safety. Is a horn necessary? Perhaps not, but then people will be reluctant to go fast on your car… except they really really want to go fast. How you build cars is up to you, but neglect customer preferences at your peril.
In addition to deciding what to produce and how much to produce, you’ll also need to manage other operations like R&D, marketing and sales through a sales window, where you’ll try to edge your way into a certain product segment with a car that matches customer preferences. Each turn, your factory will also get the opportunity to expand its floor size so you can add more operational activities to the mix. Optimizing current production while keeping room to grow later on is the key to playing the game well.
Core Mechanics: Economics
Victory Condition: The player who wins at Horseless Carriage is the player who accumulates the most money. And players will get money from selling cars.
Ease of learning: Knowing how Splotter games work, Horseless Carriage stands as an exception in that its factory building process is on the more frustrating, difficult end. The game also has a lot of player interaction which means players will need to spend a lot of time figuring out what levers they can pull to achieve success. But once players know it, Horseless Carriage is like Splotter’s other offering, Food Chain Magnate, where much of people’s brainpower will be devoted to figuring out how to optimize their system and less about internalizing the ruleset.