My daughter was laid up with a bad ankle a couple weekends ago. She wasn’t able to put any weight on it, so she spent most of her time immobile, board, and willing to try a new long board game with me. Railroad Tycoon was new to her, but not to me. I got this gigantic came a few years ago from my pop. It’s one I like a lot. Each player takes on the role of an old-timey railroad magnate expanding his or her empire across the continent. Well half-way across anyway. If this board, which stretches from the the east coast to Kansas City, was any bigger, most folks wouldn’t have the table space for it.
That’s one of the fun thing about this game. The pieces are big and cool and giant and awesome. Game play is pretty simple, although you have a lot of choices. But basically players take turns doing something until everyone has done three things. The things you can do include building routes between cities, delivering goods on these routes, and upgrading you trains so you can make longer deliveries. After everyone has done their three things, income is collected, debts are paid, some cards are flipped over, and you start again. As goods are delivered, cities lose the little wooden goods cubes. When enough cities dry up this way, the game is over.
It took my daughter and I a couple hours to finish our game. I beat her, but not by much. She spent a lot of her time chasing big bonuses for connecting various cities while I built up my empire around Chicago. And just like those old-timey magnates, in Railroad Tycoon everyone is going get obscenely wealthy, but it’s important to get more obscenely wealthy (in the form of victory points) than everyone else. So it’s fun just building your empire, but it’s more fun to make your empire bigger than everyone else’s. I’m up for this one about any time. I’m glad I got my girl to play with me.