Components

  • 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.


Setup

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.

Sort the money into piles of the same denomination. Place at the side of the board to form a bank.



Mark the company order of play by placing company tokens on the Order of Play display. The order at the start of the game is the same as the order in which the company boxes are arranged, going from left to right. Place one of the black game markers on the first space of the middle row.



The Active Player marker should be given to the youngest player.


The Board

A Starting location, marked by a hexagon

It is possible to start a railway company from here. The profit gained for building a route to this location is shown inside the hexagon.

B Regular location, marked by a circle

The profit gained for building a route to this location is shown inside the circle. Locations also have a color. This indicates which color of goods cube will be placed in it during the final profit determination phase.

C Company boxes

When you take control of a company you place the investment cubes you paid in the company box. These boxes are also used to hold share tokens and control markers.



D Order of Play display

The top row is used to show the present order of play. One of the two black game markers should be moved along the middle row to indicate which company is presently active.

When a company can no longer build any more routes it must pass. When it does so it moves its colored token to the bottom row.

E Profit track

Each company has two tokens. One should be used on the Order of Play display, the other should be used on the Profit track to show how much profit a company has made in the present turn.

When a company connects to a new location it moves its token up this track. After profits have been paid out the token is moved back to the zero space.

F Potential route

Track can be laid along a potential route. The number on the route indicates how many investment cubes must be expended by the company to build track here.



Game Play

The game is divided into five turns. In each turn you must complete the following phases:

  1. Take Investment Cubes
  2. Auction Control Markers
  3. Build Track
  4. Take Profits
  5. End of Turn

At the end of the fifth turn there is an additional special phase: Final Profit Determination.


Phase 1: Take Investment Cubes

Each player takes a number of investment cubes from the pool. The number of cubes taken by each player depends on the total number of players in the game, as shown below:

  • 3 players - ten cubes each
  • 4 players - eight cubes each
  • 5 players - seven cubes each
  • 6 players - six cubes each

If there are not enough investment cubes available in the pool to give each player his allocation then use the other colored goods cubes as investment cubes, (the colors do not matter).

Players retain investment cubes from previous turns. There is no upper limit to the number of such cubes that a player can retain.


Phase 2: Auction Control Markers

A series of auctions will now be held to determine who will control each company. You will be bidding using the investment cubes you hold - you do not use cash to make bids. You may not conceal the number of investment cubes you have from other players.

The amount of cash you have should also be public knowledge. Make sure that every company box contains the control marker for that company.

The active player, (the player holding the Active Player marker), must choose between putting an available Company Control marker up for auction or passing the Active Player marker to the player to his left. If you choose to put a control marker up for auction then you must make the first bid on it.

The minimum initial bid is one, although you may start with a higher amount. This is a standard type auction where bidding continues in a clockwise manner until a final highest bid is reached. Any player who passes may not re-enter this auction in a later round.

The player who wins the auction takes the control marker for the company that was selected by the active player. He pays the amount he bid in investment cubes and places these in the matching company box.

Along with the control marker the player also takes one share token in the same company. After the auction has been completed the Active Player marker should be passed to the next player clockwise from the player currently holding the marker.

Once a control marker has been purchased by a player it may not then be auctioned off in the same turn. Consequently there will be a maximum of six auctions, one for each company.

This also means that at most each company will issue only one share token during each turn. Note that the Active Player marker may travel around the table several times.

If all players pass, or all six control markers have been auctioned, then the Active Player marker must end up with the player to the left of the last player who put a control marker up for auction. Any remaining control markers remain in their company boxes.

You can have control of more than one company.




Example: Don is the active player and decides to put the green company control marker up for auction. The final winning bid is made by Simon, with a bid of six investment cubes.

He places six of his investment cubes in the green company box and takes the green company control marker, along with a green company share token. Don now passes the active player marker to the player to his left.


Phase 3: Build Track

Each company will now spend its investment cubes on track building. The player who controls the company decides where the track will be built. This phase will continue until all companies have built as much track as they can.

Make sure all company tokens are on the zero space of the Profit Level track at the start of this phase. They should be reset to zero at the end of every turn.

In company order, as shown on the Order of Play display, each company must build one piece of track or pass. Use one of the two game markers to show which company is presently the active one.

Once a company has built a piece of track or passed, the marker should be moved one space along the track; this will activate the next company along.

After all companies have had the opportunity to build/pass, the marker is moved back to the first company and the procedure is repeated. Play continues in this manner until all companies have passed.

When a company is active it must build one track link if possible. If it does not have sufficient investment cubes to build a track link it must pass. Although the controlling player normally decides which route to build, if there is a situation where only one route can be built then the company must build along that route.

The cost in investment cubes to build a track link is shown on the potential route. This cost must be paid with investment cubes held by the company. Players can never pay to build track with their own personal fund of investment cubes.

The very first time that a company builds a track it must connect to a hexagonal location.

In all subsequent track builds track must be placed such that it connects to a location that is already connected to track of the same company. That is, track must be contiguous - a company can never have two separate networks of track. This may lead to a situation in which a company cannot build any more track.

Only one track link can be built along a potential route. Once a track link has been placed it cannot be moved or removed. When a track link is placed the value in the location to which it just connected is added to the active company's profit level.

Once a location is connected to a company's network its value cannot be added to the company's profit level if it is connected to a second time, i.e. you can never profit from a location more than once. If a company connects to a location that is already connected to by a different company then it still adjusts its profit level by the value of the location.

The first time a company builds a track link it will become connected to two locations. The controlling player can only add one of these two values to the company's profit level, i.e. the controlling player declares which location he is building from and then adds the value of the location he builds to.

The income from starting cities is assumed to be necessary for basic company operating costs and never becomes 'profit'. Again, note that you will never be able to profit from a company's starting location, even if in a later turn you connect to that location with a new track build.




Example: In the first turn the red company will be the first active company. The red control marker is held by Andy, so he must decide where the company will build.

He decides to build between Baltimore and Pittsburgh, which will cost three investment cubes. He takes the cubes from the red company box and places them back in the pool of investment cubes.

He moves the red token up to the $40 space on the profit track. Note that he could not choose to add the value in Baltimore instead as he could not start the build from Pittsburgh.

If a company does not have sufficient investment cubes to build a track link then it must pass and its token on the Order of Play display should be moved to the 'Pass' row, going to the first empty space from the left. The order in which companies pass will determine the order of play in the next turn.




Example: The green company has already been activated twice and has built two track links. The active company marker has now reached it for the third time. As the company only has one investment cube left it is forced to pass.

Its green token is moved to the first empty space on the left on the Pass row. As it is the first company to pass it will be the first company to be activated next turn.

Any investment cubes left in a company box remain there and can be used the following turn. The Track Build phase ends when every company has passed.



Transcontinental Link

This is a special rule covering a one-off event. At some point in the game there will be a continuous series of track links connecting San Francisco with New York. At the point that this series of links is created the companies involved will receive a bonus to their profit levels.

More than one company can be involved in the establishment of a transcontinental link, (in fact it's highly unlikely that one company will manage to build it on its own).

The company that builds the track link that creates the transcontinental link will receive a bonus of $50 to its profit level. This should be added immediately, along with the value of the location to which it just linked. Each other company involved in the transcontinental link will receive a bonus of $30 to its profit level.

The transcontinental link must be traced along a route that uses the minimum number of different companies. If there are two or more viable paths that can be traced by the link then the one that uses the minimum number of track links belonging to the potentially involved companies must be used. If there is a tie then each tied company receives the bonus profit.

Once the transcontinental link has been established and bonus profits given out this event cannot occur again. The profit bonuses are only earned the first time the link is created.




Example: Green is the active company. It has five investment cubes available. The controlling player has the opportunity to create a transcontinental link, by either building between Denver and Omaha, or Denver and Kansas City.

If the Denver-Omaha route is built along then green will receive a bonus of $50 to its profit level, while red will receive a bonus of $30. Both the yellow and black companies can provide the intermediate series of track links to this transcontinental link.

As the number of track links that each contributes is the same then both companies gain the $30 profit bonus. If the Denver-Kansas City route is built along instead then green will gain $50, red and black $30.

Purple could potentially contribute to the transcontinental link but it would require four purple tracks as opposed to three black tracks to complete the link, which means the bonus goes to the black company. In both cases blue cannot claim the bonus, even though the link could be traced through her network.

This is because it would require more track links than using the red company's network. If the blue company had built the Buffalo-New York route and the green company had built between Denver and Omaha then both blue and red, along with yellow and black, would receive the $30 bonus.


Phase 4: Take Profits

Players now receive cash payments equal to the profit levels of the companies they control. These cash payments should be taken in the form of paper money from the bank.

You do not take cash for shares that you gained in previous turns. You only take cash for the companies that you control at this moment in time.

It is best to think of cash as being victory points; it has no other use. If you control more than one company then you will receive cash from each company you control.


Phase 5: End Of Turn

Move the company tokens from the Pass row to the Order of Play row, keeping the same relative positions. Move all of the company tokens on the Profit track back to the zero space.

You retain any unspent investment cubes. Companies retain any unspent investment cubes. Return all Company Control markers to their respective company boxes, (except after the fifth turn - see phase six, below).

You are now ready to start a new turn. The game will be close to ending after the fifth turn. There is no Turn Track. You can keep track of the turns by the number of shares left in each company. Once one or more companies have no more shares left then you know the fifth turn has just been completed.


End of the Game

Final Profit Determination

This is a special phase that only occurs after the fifth turn. The purpose of this phase is to determine the final values of each company's shares. Once values have been determined players receive cash for all the shares they hold.

Remove any unspent investment cubes from all company boxes. Investment cubes will now be used as goods cubes.

Place one goods cube in each location that is connected to track. The color of the cube must match the color of the location.

Determine who controls each company. The player with the most shares in a company will take the corresponding Company Control marker. In the case of a tie for share tokens the player closest clockwise to the player to control that company, (starting with that player), takes the control marker.


Example: Andy has three red share tokens, which means he will take the red control marker. Don and Simon both have two green share tokens, while Richard has one green token. Richard was the last player to control the green company.

Don is sitting to the left of Richard, so he will take control of the green company. If Simon had been the last player to control the green company then he would have retained the control marker.

In company order of play, determined during the fifth turn, each company will claim one goods cube. A company can claim a goods cube from a location to which it is connected by a track link. The goods cube should be placed in its company box. The controlling player decides which goods cube a company will take.

When a company cannot claim any more goods cubes its token should be moved to the Pass row. Companies continue collecting cubes in this way until no more goods cubes can be claimed.

The final profit level for each company is determined by the goods cubes it claimed. The value of the goods cubes depends on the number and size of sets that can be made with them.

A set of cubes consists of between one to five cubes of different colors. A set cannot contain cubes of the same color. Each company's final profit level is equal to the sum of the values of all its sets. The value of each set is:

  • One cube set: $10
  • Two cube set: $30
  • Three cube set: $60
  • Four cube set: $100
  • Five cube set:$150

Mark the final profit level of each company on the Profit Level track. It is possible for a company's final profit to exceed $200, the limit on the track. In this situation use the company's second game token to mark its total final profit.

Players now receive a cash payment for each share token they hold. The cash they receive for each share is equal to the final profit level of the company that issued the share.

The game is now at an end. The player with the most cash is the winner. Investment cubes have no residual value. In the case of a tie the tied player who controls the company or companies with the most goods cubes is the winner

Note: this final profit is not paid out for Company Control markers, only for share tokens.




Example: The yellow company ends up with the goods cubes shown above. These can be arranged into four sets, as shown. The final profit level of the company will be $100+$30+$10+$10, for a total of $150.

Each player who holds a yellow share token will receive $150 in cash for each token they hold.


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