Automania: The Game of the Motor Giants
Automania, The Game Of The Motor Giants, was Ian Livingstone's second self-produced game, after Boomtown, in a limited edition of 1000. The board is a simple scoring track and large flags for each country. Players have nice wooden car shaped pieces in six colors and a larger car to score with. There is a numbered deck of 56 Market Cards in English and German which affect the game each round. Players use a Record Sheet and the rules are in English and German.
Players represent national car manufacturers trying to export cars to six other countries. Combining the placing some export cars in the markets on the board and secretly noting the remaining export cars on your Record Sheet, players also assign advertising budgets to the markets. Each market has a export limit that it can accept and the cars go for a fixed price in each market, so whoever spends more money on advertising gets to sell their cars first. But before revealing the spending, players play one of their Market Cards, which affect the Market in various ways (e.g. 36 - Car of the Year, Sweden will sell all its cars in the USA). After the market is reorganized, players then determine what cars are actually sold and how much Sales Revenue they have earned. Then subtract costs from sales to give profit. For each $10,000 profit you earn, you move your scoring marker one space on the scoring track. First round the track wins.
Reportedly a fun game, it drew some criticism in Sumo for the imbalance caused by the Market Cards. The designer replied and suggested which cards might stand removing (7 to 17, 26, 27 and 35). Ian's reply is on the Game Cabinet and makes interesting reading today.