Brass Empire: New Canton Preview

Brass Empire New Canton PreviewDesigners: Mike Gnade
Publisher: Rock Manor Games
Year: 2018
Minimum Pledge$42
Players: 1-6
Play Time: 30-75 min
Ages: 10+
Rules Available Online: Yes
BGG: Brass Empire: New Canton

Brass Empire, one of my favorite deck builders and one my favorite games this year so far, is getting an expansion that launches on Kickstarter Wednesday, Nov 1. Brass Empire: New Canton adds a 12+ story campaign to the game, told through the perspective of 5 different characters from 5 of the game’s 6 factions. Oh yeah, the expansion adds a 6th faction, too. The Al Rajah Medical Faction.

The campaign is similar to other legacy style games where the game changes as you play. New rules, new cards become unlocked, and the players’ starting decks change. As the main story progresses through the Campaign Deck each player will also be working through individual Legacy Decks, unlocking more of their character’s story and slowly building themselves up.

New cards in New Canton include Hero Cards, Gadgets, and Events. Each player gets a unique Hero with its own Legacy Deck, story, single-game power, and end of game ability. The end of game ability can be used with Action Points earned by winning a story game. 1st place gets 3AP to spend, 2nd 2AP, 3rd 1AP, and 4th and 5th get zero. Powers can range from culling unwanted cards from your starting deck to actions requiring cards left on the table from the previous game. Heroes will grow as the campaign goes on, gaining more powers and flexibility as their Legacy Deck is emptied.

Brass Empire New Canton Preview - Components

Events are cards found in the Campaign Deck that have an instant, global effect on the game. They’re resolved as soon as they come up and are discarded. Gadgets are powerful once-per-game cards a player can obtain. When a Gadget is drawn from the center row it’s placed face down and another card is drawn and placed on top of it. Whichever player purchases the top card also gets the Gadget.

Rock Manor Games sent me over the Campaign Deck for the first 4 games in the story campaign as well as the Frontier Rail and McGlynn Clockwerks characters. The effects of the cards start almost immediately, happening as soon as the first Mining Platform is destroyed. I won’t spoil anything, but from what I’ve played the campaign is exciting and really takes the game up a notch. The characters have well-written stories and progressing through their Legacy decks is both exciting and fulfilling. I was already was a huge fan of Brass Empire, but New Canton breathes new life into the game and is a most welcome addition.

If you’re interested in New Canton you can snag it for a $42 minimum pledge. $79 will get the revised edition of Brass Empire and New Canton, an excellent deal if you don’t already own the base game.

Prototypes of the new faction, Legacy Decks for two characters, and the first 4 game’s worth of the Campaign Deck were provided free for preview by Rock Manor Games

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