Fantastic Factories: Manufactions Expansion

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With the ever-growing manufacturing industry comes the consolidation of power and expertise in the form of corporate factions! Each faction brings a unique competitive advantage that completely shifts the way business is done. Which faction will you align with in order to establish market dominance? Manufactions is an expansion to Fantastic Factories that introduces all new blueprin…
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Category SKU ZBG-FFXMF01012495 Availability Out of stock
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  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Asymmetrical player powers
  • More variety of blueprint and contractor cards
  • New, wild resources

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Description

With the ever-growing manufacturing industry comes the consolidation of power and expertise in the form of corporate factions! Each faction brings a unique competitive advantage that completely shifts the way business is done. Which faction will you align with in order to establish market dominance?

Manufactions is an expansion to Fantastic Factories that introduces all new blueprints, contractors, vitamin resources, and corporate factions that grant players unique powers.

Fantastic Factories Manufactions Review

I was a bit late to the party with Fantastic Factories but once I got my hands on it, it became a firm favourite of mine. It’s a dice based engine builder where players will be rolling dice to produce materials and victory points in order to get more factories that will allow you to get more dice to roll to make more resources and so on and so on. It’s got a great cartoony art style and there are enough different cards to keep it all nice and fresh.

Building A Better Tomorrow

But, you can always do with more cards, right? Well, this is where the Fantastic Factories Manufactions expansion comes in. You get a stack of new blueprint cards as well as a bunch more contractor cards as well. These can all get shuffled in and you’re good to go. The main thing these new cards add is a new resource, vitamins.

This resource is a lot harder to come by than the energy and metal from the base game but it has some big advantages if you do manage to come by some. For a start off, vitamins are wild resources. Yep, you can spend them in place of an energy or a metal. So that is nice and useful. That is not all they can do though; oh no no. Vitamins are little wonders. You can also use them to modify the values of your worker dice up or down one. This is incredibly powerful but also quite rare in Fantastic Factories. There are not a lot of ways to modify dice values so this is a very welcome addition.

Factions Divide Us

The last thing you’ll find in the box are the faction boards. This adds a little asymmetry to the game. Now, if you’ve read or watched any of my review content before you will know that asymmetry is very much my jam. The idea that each player has an ability or action that is unique to them is something that I find very interesting and enjoyable. Here in Fantastic Factories it definitely adds a little spice to the proceedings.

One criticism I’ve seen levelled at the base game is that it becomes easy to spot an optimal path of which cards you should buy. Personally, I’ve never noticed this myself as you never have the option of buying whichever card you want, you’re limited by what is available in the market. But these faction boards will blow that complaint out of the water.

They play in a similar way to the advanced companies in Terraforming Mars. Not only will you now start with different resources, but you will also have a unique power that will give you a theme to lean into. Now, you don’t have to follow the path on your card. You are your own person, and you can do you. But you’ll often find that by modifying your play style to take advantage of your abilities you’ll be in a good place at the end game.

These factions are the star of the show for me. As I have said, I really enjoy aspects of asymmetry in a board game and this really elevates Fantastic Factories to be one of my favourite small engine building games. That’s not to say that the new blueprints and contractors are bad, far from it. There are some fantastic options in the contractor deck that give you some incredibly powerful one shot abilities.

Fantastic Factories Manufactions Gameplay

Send In The Contractors

One allows you to take every card in the blueprint row and put it straight into your hand. Another allows you to demolish your own buildings to claim back double the goods spent building it as well as a victory point as a bonus. These are some great powers and I find them a lot more interesting than the ones found in the base game.

The same goes for the blueprints too. They tend to be a lot more bombastic than the ones found in the base game. You’ve got some mad things in there that’ll have you rolling loads of extra dice or being showered with resources. There are fewer copies of these cards though so it doesn’t render the cards from the base game useless. These just feel like very cool, cherry on the top, cards that you can grab in the late game to push you over the top and grab that win.

Coming Back For More

To give you an impression of how much my game group enjoyed this expansion, as soon as we got through playing it, we shuffled up the decks, delt out some new faction cards and went again. Twice. It may not sound like much, but for my group playing the same game twice in a session is very rare. Three times is basically unheard of outside of small 10 minute card games.

It is not the deepest game out there. It certainly doesn’t get anywhere near as deep, or some may say bloated, as the aforementioned Terraforming Mars. But Fantastic Factories is a good game. Fantastic Factories Manufactions Expansion may well have pushed it to the king of low to mid-weight engine builders for me. It knocks my previous favourite Alexander Pfister games Oh My Goods! and Expedition to Newdale off of their perch and if you like the base game this expansion is something I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Asymmetrical player powers
  • More variety of blueprint and contractor cards
  • New, wild resources

Might not like