Hellrail 3rd Perdition: Rules

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here... unless you fancy a respite from your wretched torment! Think ye clever enough to outwit your fellow engineers and delay your fiery fate, if only for one precious day? Then sound the whistle for the HellRail is leaving the station!


The player who delivers the most souls of the damned to their proper Circle of Hell wins, and is spared bathing in lakes of fire for one more day.


• 45 Rail Cards   
• 10 Circle Cards
• 4 Engine Cards
• 4 Engine Playing Pieces
• 15 Circle Effect Tokens
• 2 Heresy Tokens
• 2 Boatman Tokens
• 2 Tender Tokens
• 2 Soul Catcher Tokens
• 1 Cerberus Token
• 8 "Check" Tokens
• 1 Rules Book

Circle Cards
Here is an example of a Circle Card. Each Circle is identified with a number that indicates the location of that Circle in Hell.

Rail Cards
Here is an example of a Rail Card. Each Rail Card has a number of features:

Car Value (How many souls are on the car) (looks like a wagon)
Pickup Circle (Where the car is waiting to be added to an Engine)  (Upward arrow) Its color is blue.
Setout Circle (The ultimate destination of the souls in the car) (Downward arrow) Its color is green.
Brimstone Value (How much Brimstone can be created if the card is discarded) Its color is red.
Rail (Used to build the Hellrail, where Engines will be able to travel)


Here are some of the tokens used during the game. The blank tokens are spares and should not normally be used. Detailed rules for each of these tokens can be found on pages 9-14. 


First, each player ("Engineer") should select a color, and take both the Engine Card and the Engine Playing Piece of that color. If there are fewer than four players, place any extra cards and tokens aside. The Engine Card should be placed in front of the player. He will later add other cards to the Engine to build his train.

Next, lay out the Circle Cards on the table in this configuration (see figure).

It is important that the Circle Cards touch only on the very corners of the cards. The empty spaces between and around the Circle Cards are places where track may be placed during the game. After the Circle Cards have been placed, each player must place their Engine Playing Piece on the Gates of Hell Circle.

Mix the Circle Effect Tokens completely. Select one Circle Effect Token randomly for each Circle Card except the Gates of Hell. (The Gates of Hell never receives a Circle Effect Token).

All of the Rail Cards should now be shuffled. Deal three cards to each player. The remaining cards are used to form a Draw Pile, which should be placed near the playing area. All tokens should be placed near the Draw Pile, in easy reach of all players.

Select which player goes first, and you are ready to begin HellRail!


On each player's turn, he can use the cards in his hand to build new rails, pick-up cars with passengers, Move his train along the rails, and/or to draw more cards (by "Fanning the Flames," see page 9). Players may also, by pulling their trains into Circles, use Circle Effects (diabolical powers that create chaos and give the player a momentary advantage) and setout cars for points. Play then passes clockwise to the next player. Players continue alter­nating turns until both the draw and discard piles are empty. (See "End of the Line," page 12 ). At this time, all players count their points, and whoever has the highest score is the winner!


On your turn, you may take as many actions, called Card Actions, as you wish to. You may perform these actions in any order you wish. After you have completed all of the Card actions you wish to, you may Fan the Flames. The turn sequence is sum­marized on each Engine Card.

The turn sequence is as follows:
1. Draw one card from the top of the draw pile and add it to your hand. (If there are no cards, Recharge the Brimstone, see page 9)
2. Perform as many Card Actions as you wish, in any order you choose
    • Pick-up a Car
    • Set-out a Car
    • Move Your Engine
    • Lay New Rail
    • Upgrade Rail
3. Fan the Flames, if desired.
4. Pass play to the player on your left. 


During your turn, you may perform as many Card actions as you wish and you have cards for. Each Card action requires that you play a card from your hand (Exception: Setout a Car, see below). If you run out of cards, you may perform no more Card actions that turn. Also, If you wish to Fan the Flames, you will need to discard a card to do so. You may choose not to take any Card actions on your turn.

Here are the details of all five types of Card Actions: 

Pick-up a Car: To pick-up a car, you must be at the  right station (Circle Card). Every Rail Card has a Pickup Circle (this circle shows an arrow pointing up). In that circle is a number that matches one of the Circle Cards. You may only pick-up that car at the matching Circle Card. When you are at the correct station, play the Rail Card that you wish to pick-up onto your train. If you orient the card diagonally, the Car Value icon will line up with the engine icon on your Engine Card, creating a representation of your train, and the Setout Circle will be visible. Whenever a new card is picked-up by your train, it must be added to the back of your line of cars (at the opposite end as your engine card). Once you have picked-up a car, it is called a "Loaded Car."

Setout a Car: In order to score points, you must deliver lost souls to their proper Circle. Each Rail Card has a Setout Circle on it (this circle shows an arrow pointed down). In that circle is a number that matches one of the Circle Cards. After you add the card to your train (see Pick-up a Car, above), you may only deliver it to the correct Circle. When your engine token is in the destination circle, you may Setout that car. It does not matter where in your train the car is located. You may Setout any car on your train. Take the card and place it facedown under your Engine Card. After you have Setout a card it is called a "Delivered Car." No player is allowed to examine any Delivered Cars belonging to any engineer, even their own! The Delivered Cars must be kept secret until the end of the game, so it is best to try and remember how many souls each engineer has Setout! At the end of the game, every Delivered Car will score points equal to it's the Car Value (See "End of the Line," p. 12).

Move Your Engine: Engines in HellRail require Brimstone in order to pull their cargo of lost souls. If you wish to move your Engine, you must play a card from your hand into the discard pile. The Brimstone Value of the card that you play must be at least equal to the number of Loaded Cars on your train. If the card has enough Brimstone, then you may move your Engine Playing Piece a number of ties equal to or less than the Car Value of the card. When moving your Engine, you must obey these rules of movement

1. Stay on Rail Ties: Each point of movement allows you to move to the next black rail tie. All references to "ties" in the rules and Circle Cards apply only to the black ties. The white bone ties have no effect on play. Whenever your Engine Playing Piece is not in a Circle, it must be on one of the black ties. To prevent confusion, it is best to place your Engine Playing Piece so that it straddles the black tie (i.e. so that the front wheels are on one side of the tie, and the rear wheels are on the other side). Whenever two or more tracks converge on the same side of a Rail Card, all of these tracks share the first (and only the first) black tie on that edge of the card. Every straight rail segment (running from one edge directly to the opposite edge) has a length of four ties. All curved rail segments (running from one edge to either side, left or right) has a length of three ties.

2. No Turning Back: When moving your Engine Playing Piece, you may follow curves, but you may never reverse your direc­tion. The front of your Engine Playing Piece must point in the direction that you are moving, so all players know which way you are travelling between turns. You may change direction when you are in a Circle.

3. No Passing: No Engine Playing Piece may pass any other Engine Playing Piece on the rails. If your Engine moves onto the same tie as another player's Engine, then you ram it (see Ramming, below). Any number of Engines may share the same Circle, so you may never ram another player in a Circle.

4. Pulling into the Station: Every Circle is also a "station" where cars can be picked-up or setout. When counting rail ties during movement, a Circle always counts as one tie. You must pay one movement point to enter a Circle. When you enter a Circle, you must stop your current Move action, regardless of how many movement points you may have remaining (from the Car Value of the card you used to move). You may, however, begin another Move action by playing another card. When you first enter a Circle, you must immediately decide whether or not to use the Circle Effect of that Circle Card. You must make this decision before taking any other Card actions (including Setout a card). If you choose to use the Circle Effect, follow the directions on that Circle's Circle Effect Token (see "Circle Effects," p. 9-11).

5. Pulling out of the Station: When you leave a Circle, you may move in any direction where rail has already been placed.

Lay New Rail: To build more track, you must play a card from your hand onto an empty part of the table. The empty space must be adjacent to at least one other card already in play. This may be a Circle Card, or another Rail Card that was laid previously (even during the same turn). You may face the Rail Card in any direction you desire.

Upgrade Rail: You may upgrade a Rail Card that was played previously. You may only upgrade a Rail Card if it is unoccupied. If any tokens, markers, or engines are on the card, you may not upgrade it. To upgrade, place a card from your hand directly on top of the old Rail Card. This new Rail Card must have all the rail segments that the old Rail Card had, and it must be oriented such that all the old rail segments are matched by rail segments on tile new card. There may, of course, be additional rail segments on the new card, which do not match any segments on the old card.


If an opponent's Engine Playing Piece is in your path of move­ment, you can ram it. To ram another engine, you must move onto the same tie as the opposing Engine. When you do so, you push it along the track in front of you; without changing its direction of travel (leave the front of the Engine pointing in the same direction as it did when you first rammed it). When you end your move, the opposing Engine will be one rail tie ahead of your own Engine Playing Piece. When you are ramming another Engine, you may push it into a Circle. However, you may never ram an Engine that is in a Circle, and if you do push an Engine into the Circle, you may not continue to ram that Engine. 

If your engine is rammed into a Circle, you may not use the Circle Effect at that time. Only moving into a Circle under your own control allows you the option of using the Circle Effect.

End of Rail
Rail ends wherever there is an empty space on the table. If you move off the end of the rail (voluntarily) or if another player rams your Engine off the end of the rail, then your train is Derailed (see Derailing below). 

Whenever an Engine moves off the end of the rails that have been played, it is Derailed. If your train is Derailed, you must do all of the following, in order
1. Discard your entire hand.
2. Discard all of your Loaded Cars (but not your Delivered Cars, they stay beneath your Engine Card).
3. Move your Engine Playing Piece to the Gates of Hell Circle.
4. End your turn and pass play to the player on your left, if you derailed during your turn.


After you have completed all the Card actions you wish to take on your turn, you may choose to Fan the Flames by adding Brimstone. If you decided to Fan the Flames, you must discard a card from your hand. Then you may draw a number of cards from the draw pile equal to the Brimstone Value of the card you discarded. Your turn ends after you draw these cards (i.e. you may take no other actions after you Fan the Flames.)

Hint: Although Fanning the Flames is not a required action, it is the most common way for players to end their turns.


If a player needs to draw a card from the Draw Pile, and there are no cards available to draw, that player must Recharge the Brimstone. To do so, you must shuffle all the cards in the discard pile, then turn it face down to form a new draw pile. It is impor­tant that no one Recharge the Brimstone until a player needs to draw a card, as any discards will be included when the pile is recharged. Any player may count the number of cards in the draw pile at any time, without examining those cards. There is no limit to the number of times the brimstone may be recharged during the game. If any player needs to draw a card and both the draw pile and the discard pile are empty, then the game immediately ends (see "End of the Line," page 12).


Every Circle except the Gates of Hell has a special Circle Effect that may be used by any engineer who enters that Circle. Circle Effects may only be used at the moment that an Engine Playing Piece moves onto the Circle Card. The Circle's Effect may not be saved for later use, nor may an engineer use the effect merely by remaining in the Circle. There is no limit to the number of times a given engineer can use the effects of a particular Circle. But, the Engine must leave and later return to that Circle to use its effects again. The use of Circle Effects is completely optional. No play­er may ever be forced to use a Circle Effect.

At the beginning of the game, every Circle will have one of the Circle Effect Tokens assigned to it. All of the Circle Effect Tokens must be mixed together completely. Then, a random Token is placed, face up, on each Circle except the Gates of Hell. No Token will ever be placed on the Gates of Hell Circle. 

Here is a detailed explanation of each unique Circle Effect:
Abyss: Discard a card from your hand. You may discard any unoccupied rail card on the table whose Brimstone value match­es the card you discarded.
Boatmen: If you do not already have one, and there is one avail­able, you may take a Boatman Token (see page 13 for details).
Brimstone Tenders: If you do not already have one, and if one is available, you may add a Brimstone Tender to your train. The Tender should be placed immediately behind your Engine Card, in front of any loaded cars. Complete rules for Tenders can be found on page 13.
Chaos Reigns: Shuffle all the Circle Tokens (including any in play, out of play, or in a player's possession) and deal them ran­domly again, one per Circle Card.
Delinquency: Place a "Check" marker on any unoccupied rail tie. When any Engine crosses this marker, its engineer must turn over the top card of the draw pile. If his train has more loaded cars than the Brimstone value of that card, then he must discard any excess cars of his choice.
False Path: Discard a card from your hand. You may rotate any unoccupied rail card on the table whose Brimstone value match­es the card you discarded. You may repeat this as many times as you wish, discarding a card each time.
Geryon: Select any loaded car on your own train. Turn over the top card of the draw pile. If the Brimstone numbers match, you may immediately setout the selected car (as if you were at the cor­rect Circle). If the Brimstone does not match, discard the car.
Gluttony: Draw one card at a time from the hand of any player you choose. Continue to do so until you have more cards than every other player does. You must play all the cards in your hand this turn (or discard them). Also, you may not Fan the Flames this turn.
Guard Duty: Place the Cerberus token in the Circle of your choice (see page 12 for details).
Heresy: If you do not already have one, and any are available, take a Heresy Token of your choice (see page 12 for details).
Infernal Power: Draw one random Circle Token from the pile of unused Circle Tokens and place it on your Engine Card. Whenever you enter a Circle, you have the option of ignoring the Effect of that Circle and using the Circle Token on your Engine Card instead. After using that Effect, return the Token to the pile. If a player has an Infernal Power on his Engine Card, he may not pick up a second Token by visiting the Infernal Power Circle Effect Token until he has used the Token he already has.
Lust: Select one other player, then turn over the top card in the draw pile. The target must show you his hand of cards, and give you all of the cards in his hand that have a Brimstone value that matches the Brimstone value of the turned over card. If he has no cards that match, then you must show him your hand, and give him all cards in your hand that have a matching Brimstone value. Then, place the turned over card into the discard pile.
Shift Change: Swap this Circle Token with any other Circle Token in the game. You may select any token in play, out of play, or in another player's possession. You may not use this new Effect until you return to this Circle at a later time (i.e. you may only use one Circle Effect per visit to a Circle).
Soul Catcher: If you do not already have one, and if any are available, you may add a Soul Catcher to your train. The Soul Catcher must be placed in front of your Engine card. Complete rules for Soul Catchers can be found on page 14.
Thievery: Select any loaded car on the train of any opponent. Turn over the top card of the draw pile. If the Brimstone value of the turned over card matches the Brimstone value of the selected car, you may take that car and add it to the back of your own train. If the Brimstone value does not match the selected car, then you must give that engineer a loaded car of your own that has a matching Brimstone Value. If you have no cars with a matching Brimstone Value, then there is no effect. , if you have any cars that match the Brimstone value of the turned over card. He then adds that car to his train. Then, place the turned over card on the discard pile.

Any time a player attempts to draw a card and can not do so because the draw pile is empty, he must immediately Recharge the Brimstone (see page 9). If he can not do so because the discard pile is also empty, then the game ends. No additional plays of any kind can be made at this point. Each player counts the Car Value of every delivered car under his Engine Card. The player with the highest total is the winner. If there is a tie, the tying players count the value of the Car Values of their loaded cars, and the higher total is again the winner. 

Heresy Tokens

You may only acquire a Heresy Token when you enter a Circle with the Heresy Circle Effect Token. You may only have one Heresy Token in your possession at a time. There are two different Heresy Tokens, each with it's own unique ability. One token allows its owner to completely cancel any one Circle Effect used by another player. The other token allows its owner to change the target of a Circle Effect to any other engineer of his choice (except for the engineer who is using the Circle Effect). 

Important: The use of a Heresy Token or a Boatman Token is not a Circle Effect. Therefore you may not use a Heresy Token to cancel another player's use of a Heresy Token or a Boatman Token.

Everyone fears this three-headed guardian of Hell. Cerberus may be placed on any Circle Card when a player moves to the Guard Duty Circle Token. Cerberus remains there until moved again. In order to leave a Circle where Cerberus is located, an engineer must first discard any number of cards from his hand. The total Car Value of the discarded card(s) must be greater than the Circle number of that Circle.

Boatman Tokens
When you visit a Circle with the Boatmen Circle Effect Token, you may take a Boatman Token if one is available and you do not have one. Boatman Tokens may be used to cross over empty spaces between Rail and/or Circle Cards on the table. On your turn, as a Card Action, you may discard a Boatman Token. When you do so, discard any card from your hand whose Brimstone Value is equal to or higher than the num­ber of empty spaces you wish to cross over-those empty spaces must be in a straight line. Count only the number of empty card spaces, not the number of ties that would be on those cards. 

Occupied, Unoccupied, and Empty
A Rail Card is "Occupied" if there are any Engine Playing Pieces on it. If there are no Engine Playing Pieces, then the card is considered "Unoccupied". Similarly, rail ties can also be occu­pied or unoccupied. The presence of other tokens, such as mark­ers from the Delinquency Circle Effect, has no bearing on whether a card or tie is occupied or not. An "Empty" space is a portion of the playing area that does not have a Rail Card or Circle Card on it.

Brimstone Tenders
Some engineers feel that a steady and constant supply of Brimstone is better for running their trains than the often unreliable method of Fanning the Flames. These engineers prefer to have a Brimstone Tender on their trains. Brimstone Tenders are always placed immediate­ly behind the Engine Card. The Tender counts as one loaded car for determining the Brimstone Value required when you play a movement card. A Brimstone Tender has a Brimstone value of zero. As long as you have a Brimstone Tender, you may draw three cards at the beginning of your turn instead of one. But, you may never Fan the Flames while you have a Brimstone Tender. You may choose to discard your Brimstone Tender at the begin­ning of any turn, before you draw any cards (i.e. on the turn you discard your Tender you will only be able to draw one card instead of three).

Soul Catchers
Soul Catchers are used by many engineers to push debris (or other trains) off the tracks and out of the way of their engines. If you have a Soul Catcher, it must be placed in front of your Engine Card. Having a Soul Catcher does not require any extra Brimstone to move your train, and is not con­sidered a loaded car. Each time you ram another Engine while you have a Soul Catcher, you may take the last loaded car of that train and place it in the discard pile. If you do so, your Soul Catcher is also discarded. You do not have to remove a car from your opponent's train, it is optional. A Soul Catcher may only be used once before it is discarded. If you choose not to remove an opponent's car, you may save the Soul Catcher for use at a future time. If you use (and discard) a Soul Catcher, it returns to the pool and any engineer may travel to the Soul Catcher Circle and claim it. If you are derailed, you must discard any Soul Catcher you have on your train. 


Here are some suggestions for optional rules for experienced players to consider. Most of these options create more chaos and uncertainty in the game. Optional rules should only be used if all players agree to their use before the game begins.


When placing the Circle effects at the beginning of the game, place them face down instead of face up. When a player moves into a Circle, he may examine the token before deciding if he wishes to use the Effect. If he uses it, he must show the token to the other players, before returning it face down again. If he elects not to use the Effect, the token is simply returned face down. Players should attempt to remember the effects of each Circle.

When using this rule, Circle Effect Tokens gained by the Infernal Power Effect are also placed face-down on the player's Engine Card. This Token will only be revealed when it's Effect is used. The player with the Infernal Power may examine the Circle Effect Token in the Circle he just moved to before deciding which Circle Effect Token (if any) he wishes to use.


Try one of these alternative layouts for the Circle Cards:


Instead of the standard configuration provided on page 3, arrange the Circle Cards like this: (see figure)

Devil's Advocate

Shuffle all the Circle Cards and deal them out to the players. It is possible that some players will have more Circle Cards than others will, it's too bad for them! Each player, starting with the player who has the Gates of Hell, may place one of the Circle Cards dealt to him on the table (the Gates of Hell must be played first). Each Circle must be placed diagonally adjacent to at least one other Circle Card already played, but may not be placed adja­cent to more than two Circle Cards already placed on the table. The player to the left of the engineer who placed the last Circle Card will be the first player of the game.


Mayfair Games would like to thank all of the following Lost Souls for their assistance with this project:
Based on HellRail by James Kyle, Sandie Richardson, Chris Young
Backer: Galloglass Game
Chief Engineer: James Kyle
Conductor: Tammy Marie
Painter: James Kyle, Paul Shope
Spikedrivers: James Kyle, Tammy Marie, and Rhonda Shope
Catchers: Kevin Blom, David Boyle, Edward Heil, Joe Porrett, Sandie Richardson, Paul Shope, David Van Dyke, Chris Young Third Rail Conductor: William Niebling
Third Rail Engineers: Coleman Charlton, Pete Fenlon
Third Rail Catchers: Bob Carty, Coleman Charlton, Pete Fenlon, Will Niebling, William Niebling, Larry Roznai

© 2001 Mayfair Games Inc. © 1999 Galloglass Games. All rights reserved. Mayfair Games Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA, email: mayfair@mayfairgames.com, web addr: www.mayfairgames.com


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