John Company is an interactive historical game about the rise and fall of the British East India Company from the designer of Root, Pax Pamir, and Oath. John Company is a business game with an important twist: players must collectively steer the fate of a single, sprawling organization. They must navigate its vast bureaucracy while reckoning with the consequences of their actions on the Indian subcontinent.
Released to acclaim in 2017, this new edition reimagines the original game with lavish components and updated gameplay that offers new strategic challenges. John Company is the culmination of over a decade of research into the operation of the East India Company and offers an uncompromising portrait of the people who laid the foundations of the British Empire.
In John Company, players assume the roles of ambitious families attempting to use the British East India Company for personal gain. The game begins in the early eighteenth-century, when the Company has a weak foothold on the subcontinent. Over the course of the game, the Company might grow into the most powerful and insidious corporation in the world or collapse under the weight of its own ambition.
John Company is a game about state-sponsored trade monopoly. Unlike most economic games players often do not control their own firms. Instead, they will collectively guide the Company by securing positions of power, attempting to steer the Company’s fate in ways that benefit their own interests. However, the Company is an unwieldy thing. It is difficult to do anything alone, and players will often need to negotiate with one another. In John Company, most everything is up for negotiation.
Ultimately, this game isn’t about wealth; it’s about reputation. Each turn some of your family members may retire from their Company positions, giving them the opportunity establish estates. Critically, players do not have full control over when these retirements happen. You will often need to borrow money from other players to make the best use for a chance of retirement. Players also gain victory points by competing in the London Season for prestige and securing fashionable properties.
John Company engages very seriously with its theme. It is meant as a frank portrait of an institution that was as dysfunctional as it was influential. Accordingly, the game wrestles many of the key themes of imperialism and globalization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and how those developments were felt domestically. As such, this game might not be suitable for all players. Please make sure everyone in your group consents to this exploration before playing.
The second edition is extensively revised and is not a reprint.
Each copy of John Company: Second Edition (English) includes:A high quality six-panel board, punchboard coins, and player boards108 wooden family pieces with 18 unique designs in 6 colorsBeautiful resin elephant, stackable tower pieces, and metal flagsOver 200 Cards (94 Bridge and 166 mini euro) featuring period art work4 different scenarios and a robust automated opponent for 1p and 2p games
No. of Players: 1 to 6
Min. Age: 13