Components

  • 1 gameboard
  • 4 player mats
  • 41 car body tiles
  • 39 engine tiles
  • 8 buyer tiles
  • 50 research cards
  • 9 engineer markers
  • 56 price markers
  • 10 action tiles
  • 56 "workers"
  • 4 cars
  • 1 marker token
  • 4 start tiles
  • 10 award tiles
  • 12 specialty tiles

Object of the Game

In Kraftwagen, players advance the state of automobile development and production by playing as start-up companies. They must research new technologies and build improved chassis and engines.

Early Grand Prix races provide the young companies with prestige and money, but the players must maintain a key balance of fulfilling the demand preferences of buyers at the lowest possible price.

The player who has the most money after three game turns is the winner and will be mentioned in the same breath as Daimler, Benz, and Opel.


Setup

One player puts the gameboard on the table. The action tiles are placed face-up on consecutive spaces of the action track (one tile per space). First, all tiles with one action are placed, then all tiles with two actions, and finally the tile with three actions is placed. The order of tiles within a category is randomized.

All research cards are shuffled and placed face-down on the upper space in the research area of the board. The top two cards are drawn and placed face-up in the two spaces below the research card deck.

The eight buyer tiles are sorted by preference and placed face-up on their respective spaces on the gameboard. The marker token is put on space "S" of the buyer track.

The award tiles are put on their spaces (see the illustrations) on the gameboard.

One player sorts and stockpiles the following components next to the game board, forming the supply:

  • price markers according to color;
  • car body and engine tiles according to value; nine engineer markers;
  • 14 workers of each player.

The four start tiles are placed next to the board.

Each player takes a player mat and four workers of one color from the supply. The workers are placed in the canteen on his mat. The Grand Prix car has an engine value of "1 " at the start of the game.

The cars are placed in the pit lane of the race track; each player takes a worker from their supply and places it as a marker on the "0 turns" space.

Now the starting positions of the players on the action track are determined. One worker of each player is taken from the supply and placed, in random order, in the spaces directly behind the last action marker. The start player is the player whose worker is farthest away from the last action marker.

In reverse order, beginning with the player whose worker is directly in front of the last action marker, each player takes one of the four start tiles and immediately performs the listed actions.

These are identical to actions during the game and are explained in the action phase in detail below.

Afterwards, each player flips his chosen start tile so the development side is up - each player starts with a development level of 1 for both their car engine and car body.



In a 3-player-game the components of the fourth player (player mat, car, 14 workers, and the surplus start tile) are put back into the game box.



Game Play

Kraftwagen is played in three game turns. One turn consists of three phases:

  1. Preparation
  2. Action Phase
  3. Scoring

In each game turn one set of (colored) price markers is used. In this way it is easy to determine which turn it is.

1. Preparation

At the start of the game turn the respective colored price markers are placed on their spaces on the market.

  • Turn 1: orange price markers (values 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10)
  • Turn 2: purple price markers (values 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12)
  • Turn 3: blue price markers (values 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15)

The four spaces next to the four buyer stacks receive a white price marker of value "1" (preferences engine, prestige, price) and a white price marker of value "2" (preference car body). Even if there are still one or two price markers from earlier turns, another corresponding marker is added.



2 Action Phase

In this phase the players conduct their player turns. The action phase ends when a total of six automobiles have been placed on the market or the marker token on the buyer track has reached space 0.

Note: In contrast to most other games, Kraftwagen is not played with a fixed turn order. The player, whose worker is last (furthest away from the row of action tiles) conducts his player turn (in the beginning this is the start player).

Depending on which tile is chosen the players may have a different number of turns during a game. Moreover, it is possible that a player performs several turns in a row if still last in the row.

There is a continuous chain on the action track - consisting of the workers of the players and the 10 action tiles. The front and end of the chain are determined by a gap.

The chain always stays together and is never split.

If there should be an action tile at the end of the chain after a player's turn, this tile is immediately placed at the front of the chain (if necessary, this is done several times till a worker again is at the end of the chain).

A player turn consists of two phases which must be conducted in this order:

  1. Take an action tile and conduct the action(s) (mandatory)
  2. Place an automobile on the market (optional)

I. Take An Action Tile And Conduct The Action(s)

The player may choose any action tile in the chain. He moves his worker clockwise to the position of the chosen action tile and then moves the tile to the start of the chain. In this way, the gap between the front and end of the chain advances by one space in a clockwise direction.

Each action tile contains one, two, or three actions. If possible, the player must conduct all actions on the chosen tile. He may choose the order in which to perform the actions, however, he may only start a new action once he has completed the former one.

Actions in Detail:

Hire Workers

The player takes one of his workers from the supply and puts it into his canteen. If he already has employed all of his workers, the action is forfeited.


Research

The player takes one of the two face-up research cards. The other card is placed on the discard pile; then two new research cards are drawn and placed face-up on their spots.

Note: If the draw deck is "empty" a player shuffles the discard pile to form a new draw deck.

There are three kinds of research cards: instant actions, engineers and developments.

Car Body

The player takes a car body tile according to the number of research points he has in this category and places it into an empty workshop. If there are already car bodies or engines in all three of his workshops then he must return an old car body or engine to the supply to make room.

Engine

The player takes an engine tile according to the number of research points he has in this category. Now he may:

  • Put the engine in an empty workshop. If there are already car bodies or engines in all three of his workshops, he must return an old car body or engine to the supply to make room.

  • Put the engine into his Grand-Prix car, placing the old engine back into the supply. The higher value engine is simply placed on top of the value "1" engine printed on the mat. In this way, the car moves faster on the race track.

Note: The player may never use this engine to move a car to the market.

Buyer

The player takes one of the available buyers and moves it to the lowest numbered empty space of the active buyers (numbered 1 to 4). The player takes all price markers (if there are any left) next to the buyer that the player selected.

If all four active buyers have already been placed, the player instead moves the marker token on the buyer track down one space. If space 0 is reached in this way, there is a scoring after this player turn, see 5.3. The player conducting the buyer action may not forego moving the marker token down.

Grand-prix

With their race cars, the players drive one race per game turn. One "worker" of each player counts the laps. A lap begins at space 1 behind the finish line and ends when it is crossed.

The value of the engine of the players' Grand-Prix car is the most important factor in a race. Grand-Prix cars do not need a car body or "worker" to operate.


Each Grand Prix action allows the player to advance his car as many spaces as the value shown on the engine.

Important: Spaces occupied by cars of the other players are skipped and are not counted.

In a game turn, a player starts his first Grand-Prix action from the pit lane and moves to space 1 with his first movement step. Each time a player's car crosses the finish line, the player advances his "worker" one space on the round tracker.



Example: Marion's car begins the race and moves two steps thanks to its engine "2". The blue car started earlier and occupies space 2. Therefore Marion's red car is allowed to skip that space and move to space 3.

II. Moving a Kraftwagen (car) To The Market

A player may move a car to the market at the end of his turn. He needs the following to do so:

  • A car body from one of his three workshops;
  • An engine from one of his three workshops;
  • At least one worker from his canteen (acting as service team);
  • One of the colored price markers that are next to the market. The selected price marker sets the price of the car.

A player may freely choose which car body, engine, available price marker, and the number of workers he takes from his canteen.

The player places all these elements as his "Kraftwagen" together on an empty space on the market. The values and the number of workers should be easily visible to all players.

Finally, the player may place one engineer marker on the Kraftwagen if he has a suitable engineer.

Once placed, a car on the market may never be changed.

Exception: Rudolf Diesel may be used to change one component.

If a player places the sixth car on the market, the action phase ends after that player's turn and the scoring phase begins.

Example: Marion moves the third car to the market. It is a BMW Dixi with a car body of value 3, an engine of value 4, a service team of two workers and a price marker of 8.





3. Scoring

Scoring may be initiated in one of two ways: via the sixth car being placed on the market or the marker token reaching space 0 on the buyer track. In both cases, the current player ends his player turn, then all players conduct scoring, consisting of two parts:

  1. Scoring of Grand-Prix Race

    The first three places in the Grand-Prix race are determined, and players receive white price markers from the supply as follows:

    • 1st place: 7 points
    • 2nd place: 4 points
    • 3rd place: 2 points

    Players then receive white price markers according to the number of laps their car has completed on the track:

    • 1 lap: 1 point
    • 2 laps: 3 points
    • 3 laps: 5 points
    • 4 laps: 6 points
    • 5 laps: 7 points (for each additional lap +1 point)

    The players take the respective white price markers from supply next to the game board.

    The cars are now placed back into the pit lane as the players will be starting a new race in the following turn.

  2. Scoring Of Buyers

    All active buyers, in the order from 1 to 4 (and potential fifth buyer from engineer Benz) purchase one car each. Each buyer has a specific preference.

    • Car Body: The car whose car body has the highest number is preferred by this buyer.

    • Engine: The car whose engine has the highest number is preferred by this buyer.

    • Prestige: The car which has the largest number of workers (=servicemen) is preferred by this buyer.

    • Price: The car which is least expensive is preferred by this buyer.

    If only one car has the highest value of the buyer's respective preference, the buyer will buy that car. If multiple cars share the highest value of the buyer's preference, the buyer purchases the car with the lowest price among them.

    The decision of a buyer therefore is done in two steps:

    1. 1st preference
    2. 2nd price

    A buyer with the price preference only decides via the price.

    If a car has been sold, the owner takes its colored price marker and places it face-down in front of him. If a car has been sold to a buyer with price preference, the owner takes an additional white price marker of the same value as the colored price marker on the car from supply and places it face-down in front of him.


    Example: The active buyers now purchase cars. The first buyer purchases the blue Tatra 11 because it has the largest prestige thanks to three workers. The blue player takes the price marker "11" and places it face-down in front of him.

    The second buyer chooses the green Mercedes 630. Marion's BMW Dixi also has a car body of the same value "3", however the Mercedes price can't be beat, so the green player takes the price marker "6" and places it face-down in front of him.

    Marion sells her BMW Dixi to the third buyer with engine preference and takes the price marker "8" and places it face-down in front of her.



    After all active buyers have purchased a car, all cars are removed from the market no matter if they have been sold or not. Car bodies, engines, and workers are returned to the supply next to the gameboard. Any used engineer markers are out of the game and are returned to the game box.

    Colored price markers that have not been taken are removed and put into the supply of white markers. They may be used Th in future turns in lieu of white markers. All active buyers are returned to their stacks.

Now the second or third game turn is prepared.


Award Points

During the game, the players may receive various award tiles.

To get an award tile, a player must be the first to fulfill its requirement. The player then takes the respective award tile and places it face-down in front of him.

The Following award tiles are included in the game:

Grand-Prix Race: If the player is the first to complete one or two laps on the racetrack, he gets the corresponding markers worth 3 or 7 points.


Buyer: If the player is the first to choose the second buyer of one category/preference and places him in the row of active buyers, he gets the tile worth 3 points.


Note: This may be triggered by engineer Benz.

Example: There is already one buyer with the engine preference in the row of active buyers. Marion now chooses the second buyer with this preference and receives the award tile.

Market: The first player placing his second car on the market receives this tile worth 3 points.


Car Body: When the first player places a "3" or "6" car body into his workshop, he receives the tile worth 3 or 7 points, respectively.

The player also receives the tile if he immediately builds a car body of higher value than required. In the very rare case that a player immediately places a "6" car body into his workshop, he receives both tiles.

Note: An upgrade from an engineer marker does not count here.

Engine: When the first player places a "4" or "7" engine into his workshop, he receives the tile worth 3 or 7 points, respectively. The player also receives the tile if he immediately builds an engine of higher value than required.

In the very rare case that a player immediately places a "7" engine into his workshop, he receives both tiles.

Note: An upgrade from an engineer marker does not count here.

Worker: If a player has all his workers in play (i.e., there are none of his worker in supply), he receives the tile worth 7 points.


Engineers: If a player "owns" three engineers he receives this tile worth 7 points.


End of the Game

The game ends after the third game turn.

The players add up their points received by price markers and award tiles. The player with the most points is the winner and thereby becomes an important car pioneer!



Two-player-rules

When playing with two players, all rules above are in effect with the following exceptions:

  • The marker token on the buyer track starts at space 2 each turn;

  • Two start tiles are chosen randomly. The players select their start tile from them.

  • The market is limited to four cars (i.e., scoring starts after the fourth car has been placed) each turn;

  • Only three buyers may be chosen (the fourth active buyer space is ignored) each turn;

  • The two cars of the colors not in play are placed on space 3 and 6 of the Grand-Prix track. They will never move, however, they do "count" during the Grand-Prix scoring. If the two player cars are first and third, the players receive 7 and 2 points each turn.




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