Review of the board game “Brass Birmingham”

The game was originally titled “Coal” and was first published 15 years ago, in 2007. In 2017, the game was re-released by Canadian publisher Roxley Games. The game began to gain popularity and later made the “The hotness 50” list on Board Game Geek. Events happen during the Industrial Revolution in England. The board game “Brass Birmingham” is an economic strategy game that will make your brain work, because to win, you have to develop your entrepreneurial streak. By building and improving various enterprises, as well as by establishing water and rail connections, you will earn victory points. “Brass Birmingham is divided into two rounds, each of them is a different era. The first historical interval you have to go through is the era of canals, the second is the era of railroads. Victory points are awarded after each round. The maximum number of players is 4. The rules of the game are rather complicated and recommended for children from 13 years old, but the interesting process of the game overrides this disadvantage. The game components are amazingly designed. Tokens, game coins, gameboard, individual player mats are made in the historical style, which makes it possible to feel the atmosphere of the time. Elements of the game are made of quality materials and will not let players doubt the quality of the product.

Setting up the game and the game play

In the game box the participants will find a booklet with biographies of historical figures and their contributions during the revolution. Players have a unique opportunity to take on the role of these great people, because before the start of the game it is required to choose a character. You will also have to make a choice in favor of one side of the map: day or night. This has no effect on the game itself, and it is only needed for aesthetic reasons. Each player places buildings of different levels on his mat, which bring a different number of victory points. Once all the necessary elements are placed on the gameboard, you can start the game. The most important element in the game is cards. They are used to build plants or other buildings. For example, to build a plant, you must use the appropriate card from your deck. You then place it on the game board. You must also spend a certain amount of money and resources to build a building. A distinctive feature of the game is that the use of resources is close to reality.

Brass Birmingham
Brass Birmingham

For example, you can spend coal if there is a mining site nearby, or you can buy it at the market. You can also make transactions with iron or beer kegs in the game. You can also take credits, but you must fully assess all the risks so that you won’t end up broke. The whole game is based on money transactions, you will feel like real merchants in the times of the industrial revolution. In the game you can develop not only industrial sphere, but also the transport industry, which as a result will bring you game profit. After the canal era ends, the railroad era begins. Then, finally, the winning points are counted and the winner is determined. There is also an introductory game for beginners, which has some peculiarities in the game rules.


The board game “Brass Birmingham” is a sequel to “Brass Lancashire” . Many may notice that the game is very similar to “Monopoly” , and they are quite right. It also requires strategic thinking and developing your economic skills, and you don’t need to be a real-life merchant for that, the board game “Brass Birmingham” will help you with that.

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