Apparatus: A Steampunk Game by Rob Bartel
Apparatus: A Steampunk Game by Rob Bartel
Renowned inventor, Klaus Von Essen, has disappeared with his mysterious Apparatus; now it is a race to rediscover his invention!
Renowned inventor, Klaus Von Essen, has disappeared with his mysterious Apparatus; now it is a race to rediscover his invention! Read more
World-renowned genius (and eccentric) inventor Klaus von Essen, a personal acquaintance to Queen Victoria herself, has completed his latest creation: the "Apparatus." The world wants to know what it does. His peers want to know how it works. His wife wants to know what it did with him.
In Rob Bartel's 'Apparatus', it’s up to you to travel the world and assemble teams of the finest and most notorious minds available, while racing against rival factions. With the powers of science, your Professors of Unconventional Natural Knowledge will retrieve von Essen’s Research Notes, and compete to construct multiple smaller Contraptions in order to raise the necessary capital to unravel the mystery behind the professor’s greatest experiment. Can you succeed before rival factions beat you to the prize? Can you solve the mystery of the "Apparatus"?
What comes in the box:
A tri-fold board depicting the various Contraptions as well as the Apparatus.
6 player tokens.
24 Research Notes in three values
102 Electro Coins, the currency of the game.
84 poker sized cards.
A 12 page full color rulebook.
All the components feature the gorgeous artwork of Rachel Saunders and Zac Pensol.
You can check out the rulebook on our site: Apparatus Rulebook
Insidious Plans expansion:
This is a mini expansion that will be between ten and twelve cards. These will be secret goals. At the beginning of each game, each player will draw one which will modify his objectives.
A detailed description of play:
Each player receives three of his Electros and places the rest on the financing space on the board. Each player also receives one Genius Inventor card, as well as one random card from the deck. All the Contraptions spaces, including the Apparatus, receive one diamond Electro. Each Contraption space also receives one or two face down Research Note Tokens. Two are placed in each Contraption on the first two rows, and one on the next two rows. None are placed on the Apparatus. The Research Note Tokens range in value from one to three, and six of them are not played with. They are weighted towards the ones. Any unused Genius Inventors are removed from the game, and the deck is shuffled. Three cards are laid out face up next to each row of Contraptions. You are now ready to play the game!
The first phase:
In the first phase of the game, players will be bidding with their three Electros for the various Researchers that have been laid out. Player's are bidding on a row of Researchers not just one. Once a player has bid, the next player bids, and it continues around the board till someone is overbid or everyone passes. If someone is overbid, that player gets to immediately bid again, either overbidding the original overbid, or bidding on a different Contraption. Play then proceeds from that player clockwise. No one is allowed to pass until all rows have a bid, or that player is out of Electros. Once all the players have passed, the player with the winning bid on the first row places his bid on the various Contraptions of the first row. So the more bid on a row of Researchers the more the Contraptions in that row become worth. A player may split his winning bid amongst the Contraptions of that row, or place it all on one Contraption. Once the player has assigned his Electros to a Contraption, he takes the cards he won into his hand. After the first winning bid is resolved, the other bids are resolved in exactly the same method.
Once all the bids have been taken care of, a new round begins, more Researchers are played out to each row, and the players receive an additional three Electros from the bank. Electros do carry over from round to round, and even to the end of the game. There is a variable amount of rounds depending on the amount of players. Once all the rounds are completed, the game goes to Phase two.
The Second Phase.
By this time, the players have a handful of cards, and the various Contraptions have a stack of Electros from all of the bids. Starting with the first Contraption, players now use their cards to build the Contraption first and claim the prizes. Each Contraption requires a different team of Researchers to complete. As the Contraptions resolve, the amount of Researchers needed to fill the teams increases.
Ad-Hoc Teams just require brute intelligence, The highest total ranks win this contest. Ties are broken by the highest Notoriety.
Multi-Disciplinary Teams require the finesse of different Professions working together. All Researchers must be of equal rank, but there must be at least two different Professions represented. The winner is the team with the highest rank played, with ties again broken by Notoriety.
Specialized Team: This requires the indepth knowledge of one Profession. All the Researchers must be from one Profession, and the highest rank wins, with ties broken by Notoriety.
When the teams are revealed, the first and second place teams will acquire the prizes. For the first two rows, there are three prizes; One Research Token, the other Research token, and the stack of Electros. The first place player chooses two of these prizes, leaving either a Research Token or a stack of Electros behind for the second place player. On the third and fourth rows, the first place player chooses the Electros or the single Research Token.
Once the first player chooses his prize, he must also give up his best Researcher that he played, potentially weakening his hands for future Contraptions.
The Apparatus is determined by the Research Note Tokens, whoever has the most value in Research Note Tokens takes all the Electros on the Apparatus.
Once all the Contraptions and the Apparatus have been resolved, the players compare Electros, and the one with the most wins! If it is tied, the player with the highest ranked card left in their hand wins.
That is the game of Apparatus, it involves drafting the right cards, and planning your teams to win the most Contraptions. The game is mostly skill with a hint of luck; a perfect blend in our opinion.
- (28 days)