Assembly Line

This is a co-operative game where each player represents a forman of a particular part of a factory floor.

Materials are produced by workers in an area, subject to forces, from inputs, and produce outputs.

Those outputs are in turn inputs to the next player.

Each turn is a day, and the players decide how many workers they want at each station. Then, through some sort of randomness, some of them just don't show up.

Those that do are allocated to each place, and there they work on the inputs of the line and pass outputs to the next guy.

You can maybe pass people from one station to the next up or down, but only sometimes or something.

The score at the end is just how many pieces go out the last step.


So, this could be called an uncooperative game. The motif could either be a factory floor, or perhaps divisions of a big company.

The gist is that each division is out for themselves, but unfortunately have to work together just enough to keep the show running.

Each player represents one part of an assembly line, or one division in a company. I think I'm going to stick with the Factory flavour for now.

So, at the beginning of each turn each player looks at the inputs they have piled up, and perhaps any cards or modifiers they have in their hand, and commits to a production goal for this turn. This is your quota. These are kept in secret, and then everyone reveals them at the same time.

Now, the floor starts for the day. Chips with random numbers of workers on it are shuffled and turned over. Now, players in an order to be discussed later pick which pools they want. This is a topic of much discussion and bickering, because the number of workers you get controls your throughput.

Throughput, though, is also limited by inputs and outputs. If you don't have anything coming in to work on, then your workers will be idle.

So, at the end of your turn, you get a number of points equal to the number of items you produce. Then you get penalized if you are under-quota by varying amounts. Now, the order for the next day's draft is assigned by the people who were most under-quota to the people who were most over quota. Those who guessed low, but scored really high, get last pick of workers next time.

The last thing is that, depsite all this bickering and sabotaging, the factory needs to produce items. If at any point the output of the whole chain is under a certain amount, everyone gets penalized in some fair way. That way the people who crushed other people underfoot to get more points are hit harder when the whole thing comes down.


I think different stations have different traits, and each turn people rotate through each station.

- Shipping: This has random and fixed input of different types, and multiple outputs. You decide how many of each input goes to each output subject to your workers. - Assembly: These are straighforward. You draw from the input pile, apply your workers, to move things to the output pile. - Consolidation: These take inputs from multiple sources, and produce outputs that combine them. Each output is worth more points, but requires more inputs to produce.

Different numbers of players have different layouts of floor. In a three person game it might just be:

shipping -> assembly -> assembly.

In a five person game is might be:

shipping -> assembly -------------==> consolidation
        \-> assembly -> assembly /


So, the gist is that each department wants to get the most people to produce the most items to look the best, but they have to work together enough to make sure that the factory still produces enough items to look reasonable on the outside.

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