Rating: 6.6 Good
Players: 3-6 players
Playing time: 60 minutes

Created by: Martin Wallace, Peter Dennis, Paul Niemeyer

Published by: Pegasus Spiele, Treefrog Games, Warfrog Games


During the nineteenth century a web of steel was created around the world. Men, money, and vision built the railroads that made the modern world possible. Nowhere is this more evident than in the United States of America.

The advent of the locomotive gave America the means to exploit her wealth of natural resources, transforming her into a world power. It is the construction of America's railroads that is reflected in 'Steel Driver', albeit in a very simple way.

The name refers to the Legend of John Henry. He was a steel driver, someone who hammered blasting holes in solid rock with sharp steel spikes. In the tale John Henry pits his strength in a race against a steam-powered hammer. He won the contest but died of exhaustion at the day's end.

'Steel Driver' is for three to six players and takes around sixty to ninety minutes to play.

Each player uses their investment cubes to bid for control of companies, (six in all). When you take control of a company you receive one share, which means that only one share per turn can be purchased. The cubes you bid with go into the company and allow it to build track.

Each location has a value which determines how much profit you receive for connecting it. After companies have built as much track as they can players are paid the profit that each company they control has made this turn.

Profit levels are reset for the following turn. Players get another set of cubes to bid with and then bid again for control of companies.

Cash earned from shares is really victory points, it cannot be used to bid on future shares. As each player receives the same number of investment cubes each turn there is no positive feedback for owning the best shares.

The game lasts five turns. At the end of the game each company will pay out an additional amount of profit to each share held. This level is determined by how many different regions a company is connected to, (it's a little more involved than that, and colored cubes are moved around!).

Retail Price:$59
Golden Geek Best Gamers' Board Game Nominee 2009

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  • 6 company control markers
  • 30 company share tokens
  • 12 company tokens
  • 102 track link pieces
  • 2 game markers.
  • 60 investment cubes
  • 5 orange goods cubes
  • 6 silver goods cubes
  • 12 black goods cubes
  • 3 red goods cubes
  • 1 stack of paper money

Object of the Game

The winner is the player with the most cash at the end of the game.


Place the company control markers and share tokens in the company boxes, making sure the colors match.

Place the track link pieces in a pool by the side of the board. Place the investment cubes in a pool by the side of the board. Place the goods cubes in a pool by the side of the board. …

In 'Steel Driver' each player represents an investment broker, handling massive capital sums that were available to be invested in the nascent American railway.

There are two forms of 'money' within the game. Large capital sums are represented by white investment cubes. Profits are paid in cash, represented by paper money. It helps to equate cash to victory points; you cannot re-invest cash as it is too small a proportion of the investment cubes to make much difference.

The game lasts for five turns. At the end of five turns a special phase is carried out, where the final company values are determined. The winner is the player with the most cash, which will be earned from investing in the best rail networks. …

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