Kanban EV – Kickstarter Deluxe (Vital Lacerda)

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Kanban EV (Electric Vehicles) features new art from Ian O’Toole, deluxe components, an official solo version, new tiles, new cards, and a new totally improved rulebook.

“Kanban” — or 看板, the Japanese word for billboard — is a term for the visual cues that might be used in a lean, efficient assembly line in order to expedite and smooth workflow. These signals get the workers what they need, where they need it, when they need it to create a just-in-time (JIT) production system.

The setting for the game Kanban EV is an electric car assembly line. The players are ambitious managers who are trying to impress the board of directors in order to achieve as high a position as possible in the company and secure their careers.

Over the course of the game, you persuade the board and the factory tender to help you develop and improve automobile parts. You make shrewd use of the outside suppliers and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate needed part when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn’t wait for you or for mistakes.

Like the process itself, Kanban Electric Vehicles proves to be both innovative and rewarding. Game mechanisms tightly tied to the automobile manufacturing theme include:

The factory manager is a game-driven non-player character with two modes of play (“nice” or “mean”) to offer a friendly or more competitive gameplay environment.

Two independent player-influenced game timers — the factory production cycle and work week clock — provide timing tension to the game, trigger intermediate scoring phases, and factor into the game end conditions.

A simulation of the factory assembly line with spatial point-to-point movement adds an element to the game that requires optimal timing.

A design and innovation department, leveraged to manipulate the value of the various car models and component upgrades produced within the factory, drives the economy of the game.
Departmental training and certification tracks provide players a means to operate more efficiently.

If you want a seat on the board someday, you need to show that you can keep a complex machine running smoothly, efficiently, with everything happening just at the right time. Kanban EV is a pure Eurogame focused on economics and resource management that puts you in the driver’s seat of an entire production facility, racing for the highest level of promotion.