Grab some welding gloves and big ol’ wrench, and take a shift in Corrosion, a newly announced board game that has players literally building engines on their sweaty path to victory.
Publisher Capstone Games announced the upcoming board game on August 13th as the result of a partnership with Berlin-based Deep Print Games. One to four players take on the role of lead engineers in a sprawling factory, all attempting to construct the most elaborate and efficient machines in order to amass more victory points than their competitors.
As lead engineers, each individual will use their turn to direct their cadre of toolbelt-toting employees to carry out the necessary tasks to build quick and dirty machines or begin the arduous task of assembling more durable chrome engines. Everything is powered by steam in this workshop, and managing the water-filled boiler is a critical task for making the most any one turn.
Key to getting any work accomplished is staffing the factory floor with bodies, which are represented by a hand of cards with a number value and one of four suits, plus a wildcard version. On their turn, players assign these cards to specific slots on the board and carry out the task displayed in their text, but this also gives opponents a chance to deploy matching engineers from their own hand with a higher value and copy their benefit.
Once the engineers collect enough gears and the boiler has been prepped, the work of building machines can begin. Corrosion provides a few different types that activate in various ways, allowing each player to formulate a strategy as the turns progress. Their machines will activate one the central wheel spins around to a certain zone, but all but the most hardy, chrome-fitted instruments will rust away to nothing once they finish their task.
Thus, deciding when to spend resources on quick turnarounds and when to invest in the expensive but durable chrome engines will likely be a deciding factor for who comes out on top. There’s a lot to keep track of among one turn’s two main phases and two maintenance phases: how much steam is in the boiler, where and when your machines will go off, how long until they all corrode and disappear, when to spend the green points you need both for final scoring but also to power certain pivotal actions, etc. It seems as though Corrosion is explicitly evoking a grand system of pulleys, knobs, pipes and pistons on the tabletop.
Corrosion was designed by Stefan Bauer a mathematician-turned-designer and is his first published credit. The artwork for the game are provided by illustrator Dennis Lohausen. Capstone is responsible for the well-known fantasy game of factional territory control (and one of Dicebreaker's best fantasy baord games), Terra Mystica, along with its sci-fi followup Gaia Project. Deep Print Games most recently handled 2020’s Renature, which say players using dominoes to exert influence over swaths of a forest.
Corrosion is currently available for pre-order through Capstone’s website and costs $59.95 (£43). The company said to expect it to ship and hit retail locations sometime in November of this year.