Players are tycoons in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, a time when traditional craftsman were rapidly replaced with steam-powered machines. Players invest in the production of raw materials, the manufacturing of goods and the transportation networks needed to connect them.
Age of Indusrty is a simplified version of Brass. Like Brass, the strategic space is vast and player decisions are limited by cards. In Age of Industry, however, cards are color-coded to regions rather than specific cities, allowing the players to be more flexible with their plans, while at the same time, continuing to limit the decisions available. The color-coded region cards will also support expansion maps.
In addition, the original Brass rules were simplified by eliminating the canal period; there is only one period, the railway era. There is also a new, non-specific industry, which will change with each map.
According to Wallace, "You can now play something with the depth of Brass but in half the time. The game will have a double-sided map, with Germany on one side and southern New England on the other."
You can now play what is still a challenging economic game in around ninety minutes (once familiar with the rules).
If you found Brass to intimidating then Age of Industry is a much better game to start with.