Tesla vs. Edison

Become the greatest electricity inventor!

  • Control a famous inventor and other 19th century luminaries
  • Claim electric projects across the United States
  • Invent, commercialize, and patent key technologies
  • Wage a PR battle against your opponents
  • Buy and sell shares to manipulate a dynamic stock market

Players compete to claim electric projects for their company in the 19th century United States.

Intended for...

…gamers who love any of science, business, or history. Who want to make crunchy decisions but in a system that is easy-to-learn and accessible to casual and serious gamers alike.

Tesla vs. Edison lovingly presents the War of Currents theme. In running your electric company you are both a starry-eyed inventor and a ruthless businessman. You feel pride in bringing electricity to the masses and developing miraculous new technologies, even as you file patents, engage in a propaganda war, and roll up your sleeves in the stock market. Balancing both sides of an inventor’s enterprise is required to achieve your victory.

The roles of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison in the development of electricity in the United States and world

“Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents couples an immersive theme with a game that is easy to learn and yet surprisingly deep in terms of its strategy.”
Alex Rosenwald, Board Game Quest


You control a start-up company in the early days of the U.S. electric industry. In the beginning you only have your lead inventor, some shares of preferred stock, and some money. Over the course of the game you will be hiring other famous technicians and business people to work for you. Each luminary in the game has their own unique ratings, and the inventors also have their own special abilities.

The actions that you allocate this team of exceptional historical figures to take will determine the fate of your company. There are four focuses in the game: claiming electric projects on the map, advancing up a tech tree, investing in public relations to improve public opinion of your company or the technologies it uses, and buying and selling stock on a dynamic market. You will need to pay attention to all of them but can win the game by specializing in just a specific one or two of your choice, or trying to build a more balanced company. The path you take is up to you.

“Very, very impressive…it’s got a lot of stuff going on and they all really work together in concert. I’m really impressed by it.”
Richard Ham, Rahdo Runs Through

Turn Overview

A game of Tesla vs. Edison takes six turns, broken into three phases of two turns each. At the start of each phase you reveal luminaries that will be available to be hired via an auction, along with the propaganda opportunities that you will have for the phase ahead. After the luminary auction is over the turn begins.

Proceeding in order from the most famous company to the least, players choose one of their luminaries to take one of the four available actions. This process continues until each player has exhausted all of their luminaries and taken the corresponding actions. Each action takes less than a minute. Then, at the end of the turn, profits are distributed to players based on their current stock price. This will fluctuate during each turn and is impacted at different times and in different ways by each of the four core actions: claiming projects, discovering and, if available, patenting new technologies, engaging in public relations, and buying and selling stock.

After the sixth turn is over the player with the most valuable stock portfolio, including holdings in your and your opponent’s companies, wins the game.


  • 1 board, depicting the United States, ca. 1890
  • 5 inventors: Tesla, Edison, Brush, Maxim, Thomson
  • 35 Stock certificates
  • 102 Wooden markers in 6 colors
  • 36 Luminary & Propaganda cards
  • 1.64 Million dollars in luxurious bills
  • 12-page rule book