Review: Forged in Steel – hit the iron while it’s hot


Foundations of every city lie on the ground, in clay and dust. But nobody wants to look at it. They all want to look up. And right there, in the cold iron, hides the hearts of every city. Dried in the hottest furnaces by men who are not afraid of heat. All cities need their dose of iron to hold it together forever.

Similar ideas came from mind of , who used solid steel as the basis of this entertainment. New game is called and is produced by . This is a game that has gone through the heat of . And it has gained support from more than 250 fans, and the author has gathered over twenty thousand dollars. And game saw first rays of light in .

The massive box is glowing with fire, that is held across the perimeter by iron. All these are but mimicry because the box is all made of solid cardboard. There is a huge game board inside, which represents a map of the city and offers a number of scales. On the individual scales (prosperity, neighborhood), rivals place marking cubes, put first houses in the city (the players themselves will affect their position), and immediately prepares decks for individual eras (three). It is from the first deck for 1890 decade, that the individual participants receive seven random cards. Two of them is placed with picture down as their bank.


But then all players will choose color of their components. They place tokens on the order scale and player feeling most important gets token of the mayor. Other rivals will then divide remaining roles for first turn (they will be distributed differently in upcoming turns. To do so, one more card is drawn from the lowest position towards the mayor. Everything starts with the fact, that each participant builds his first house.

Whole match consists of three rounds that correspond to individual eras. In turn, players use cards handed out to carry out various actions. First of all, however, all participants always have to choose one of their cards, that they want to use and put it in front of them. Gradually, players reveal their choice from the lowest level player (number in the upper left corner).

Their abilities can be used to occupy a building ground (with cube) and then to build on such occupied place (house of player’s color). If land already has an owner, then the player must give him single victory point. Two neighboring squares are occupy by factories, their center is decorated by player’s cube in color, to see who this industrial building belongs to. Players can also build commercial and public buildings, houses, hospitals or buy a mine (it can not be built). But nothing is certain. This is because players can steal ownership. But price for it is far higher, than standard one for construction.


Cards can also be used for their events. They have an event printed at the bottom, that can be used for some benefits. With their help, players will not only be able to manipulate structures, but also have the ability to adjust the value of prosperity scales. Some cards, on the other hand, can be used to react to some moments, that arise during the game.

City will then attract new immigrants under certain conditions, for which players build new houses on the board. But as newcomers arrive, they carry the danger of rebellion with them. These will always happen immediately as soon as a trigger condition is met and cause misfortune on the victory points scale (players will lose some). But at the same time, some buildings may disappear from the board. It will be decided by dice.

When players have no card in hand, it’s time to do scoring. Here everyone gets victory points according to ownership of different houses. On the basis of a social impression, city residents elect a new mayor for the second round, and game continues with a new era and new cards in hand. After the third round, all the efforts are over and winner is the player, who has won the most victory points.


Forged in Steel which is mainly about the correct use of cards. Players need to plan well with what they get in hand. At the same time, however, it means that the coincidence at the beginning of the round will affect your entire efforts. And you will not have a chance to do something about it. The only difference is that two cards are placed in the bank that the player keeps for the second round. But that’s all done at the beginning of round, when he does not even know, what will happen during the game.

The theme and its processing must be commended. Atmosphere at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is well captured along with the rise of industrial thinking. The cards, their illustrations and actions greatly help this.

With wide scoring options, however, the long scoring stages are also related. Players are all getting around their controlled buildings, which they were able to gain, build or defend in the course of the round. Cards allow you to respond to your opponent’s intentions to prevent them from successfully attacking.


Match contains great competition for building control. It is this conflict and overflowing of control, that is an interesting feature, that makes for more entertaining party with more participants. In two, a number of fun features are less pronounced, so if you’re thinking about the game then it’s definitely better in three and four rivals. Just count on the heavy teachings of the first games, because the rules are badly conceived and unclear. And, overall, you may have to wait too long for what the game offers.

Forged in Steel, however, did surprise us. It offers interesting ideas, whether in rebellion or immigration. These are moments when the game shines almost as much as when using card events. The theme is well done, but playability itself lags a little. And that’s the main problem with Forged in Steel.

DesignerWade Broadhead
ArtistJamie Noble-Frier
PublisherKnight Works, LLC
Year Published2016
# of Players2 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 2, 3 players
(11 voters)
Playing Time120
Mfg Suggested Ages13 and up
User Suggested Ages10 and up
(4 voters)
Language DependenceExtensive use of text - massive conversion needed to be playable
(2 voters)
CategoryAmerican West, City Building, Economic, Industry / Manufacturing, Territory Building
MechanicAction Points, Action/Event, Area Majority / Influence, Campaign / Battle Card Driven, Hand Management, Simultaneous Action Selection, Take That, Variable Player Powers, Voting
FamilyCrowdfunding: Kickstarter, States: Colorado
Primary NameForged in Steel
Alternate NamesAdobe, Stone and Steel

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Forged in Steel – hit the iron while it’s hot
Final word
Forged in Steel promises interesting experiences from time of Industrial Revolution. The game lets all participants build, fight for domination over the city and all that with the help of cards. But they are randomly distributed at the start of the turn, and players can only influence, what cards they use when. Their set is already fixed. Still, there are a lot of options to score and influence opponents. Forged in Steel offers a number of interesting ideas, but as a whole, it deserves some fine tuning.
Reader Rating0 Votes
excellent phase of immigration
cards have many uses
a wide range of points collection
poorly organized rules
better gameplay is missing
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