Santa Fe Rails: Rules

SANTA FE RAILS

A game about the western expansion of railroads in the United States.

 

GAME COMPONENTS

    1 Map of the western USA

  94 Cards:

             66 CITY cards

             3 BOOMTOWN cards

             4 SHORT LINE cards

             4 DOUBLE TURN cards

             1 TRIPLE TURN card

             1 FOUR IN ONE card

             15 BRANCH LINE cards

             + 6 blank cards

 

  10 Boomtown Markers

160 Pieces of Track

  60 Plastic Chips (21xCopper is $l, 20xSilver $5, 20xGold $10)

    1 First Player Train

    1 Rulebook

 

PREPARATION

Sort the pieces of track into piles by color. All of Major Railroads are in play at the start of the game. The number of tracks for each of the Major Railroads are:

32 Blue (Santa Fe)

30 White (Southern Pacific)

25 Green (Great Northern)

24 Red (Union Pacific)

17 Yellow (Kansas Pacific)

 

The Short Lines will enter play during the game when the corresponding SHORT LINE card is drawn. The number of tracks for each of the Short Lines are:

11 Orange (Rock Island)

  8 Black (Texas Pacific)

  7 Brown (Western Pacific)

  6 Purple (Denver & Rio Grande Western)

 

Appoint one player as Scorekeeper. The Scorekeeper is also in charge of the money (the plastic chips). He should give each player $2 in chips. Place the remaining chips near the board.

 

The Scorekeeper should shuffle the 66 CITY cards and deal four cards to each player. Split the remaining CITY cards into three roughly‑equal piles called Piles 1, 2 and 3. Shuffle the SHORT LINE cards into Pile 2. Form the deck by placing Pile 1 on top of Pile 2. Then place this combined group on top of Pile 3. Place the completed CITY deck near the board.

 

The number of DOUBLE TURN cards in play in a particular game is equal to one less than the number of players. The other DOUBLE TURN cards are not used; place them out of play in the box. Place all of the "in play" DOUBLE TURN cards in a face up stack near the board.

 

EXAMPLE: For four players, use three DOUBLE TURN cards.

 

Place the TRIPLE TURN and FOUR IN ONE cards face up near the board. Sort the BRANCH LINE cards by Major Railroad and place them face up near the board. Place the Boomtown Markers and BOOMTOWN cards face up near the board.

 

Give the First Player Train to the youngest player, who will be the first player for the First Round of the game.

 

OBJECTIVE

Each player attempts to win the game by having the most points at the end. Each $1 held at the end is worth a point. Each played CITY card is worth its value multiplied by the number of different Major Railroads and Short Lines connected to it.

 

SEQUENCE OF PLAY

The game is played in Rounds as follows:

 

1) Draw Cards. Beginning with the First Player and proceeding clockwise around the table, each player refills his hand to four cards. This step is ignored on the first round of the game (everybody already has four cards in their hand).

 

2) Play Cards. All players select one card from their hand and place it face down on the table. On the first Round of the game, all players must play a CITY card. In later Rounds, if a player has the TRIPLE TURN card or the FOUR IN ONE card in his hand, he must play this card. See "Playing Cards" below for additional play options.

 

3) Reveal Cards. Reveal all cards simultaneously.

 

4) First Track‑Laying Turn. Beginning with the First Player and proceeding clockwise around the table, each player lays one piece of track.

 

5) Second Track‑Laying Turn. Beginning with the First Player and proceed­ing clockwise around the table, each player lays a second piece of track.

 

6) Pass the Train. The First Player passes the Train to the player on his left who becomes the First Player for the next Round.

 

DRAWING CARDS

When a player can draw a card, he has the following options:

1)             Draw a CITY card from the deck.

2)             Take a DOUBLE TURN card if one is available.

3)             Take the TRIPLE TURN card if it is available.

4)             Take the FOUR IN ONE card if it is available.

5)             Buy a BRANCH LINE card for $1 if one is available.

6)              Take a BOOMTOWN card if one is available.

 

A player can draw any type of card, regardless of the type of card he played during the previous Round.

 

EXAMPLE: A player played a CITY card but decides to draw a DOUBLE TURN card.

 

When a player has played a BRANCH LINE card, and has therefore played two cards during the previous Round, he draws two cards at the start of the Round to refill his hand to four cards. A player may draw any combination of two cards except:

 

• the TRIPLE TURN card and the FOUR IN ONE card, or

• two BRANCH LINE cards, or

• one BRANCH Lima card and either the TRIPLE TURN or the FOUR IN ONE.

 

Once the deck is exhausted, no more CITY cards can be drawn for the rest of the game. If no cards remain in the CITY deck, a player is not forced to draw any other card. However, if cards exist in the CITY deck, a player must draw from it, if he does not exercise one of his other options.

 

SHORT LINE CARDS

When a player draws a SHORT LINE card from the CITY deck, he must immediately reveal it and place it on the table (before normal card play for the Round). The player who drew the SHORT LINE card draws a replacement from the deck. When the card for a Short Line is drawn, that Short Line's track is now available for play. During Track‑Laying Turns, players may place available Short Line track instead of, or in combination with, placement of Major Railroad track.

 

PLAYING CARDS

All players simultaneously decide which card(s) they are going to play and place them in a facedown pile in front of themselves. A player MUST play the TRIPLE TURN card, the FOUR IN ONE card or the BRANCH LINE he drew during this Round.

 

A player plays either:

1)      A TRIPLE TURN card, or

2)      A FOUR IN ONE card, or

3)      A CITY card, with or without a BRANCH LINE card, or

4)      A DOUBLE TURN card, with or without a BRANCH LINE card, or

5)      A BOOMTOWN card.

 

These are the only possible plays. A player may not play any other combina­tion, such as a BOOMTOWN card and a BRANCH LINE card.

 

LAYING TRACK

During each Track‑Laying Turn a player can lay a piece of track. He may lay track for any of the five Major Railroads or any of the four Short Lines (once available due to the play of their SHORT LINE card). Each Track‑Laying Turn, a player must always lay a piece of track unless it is impossible to do so. Each line segment printed on the map may contain only one piece of track.

 

The first piece of track laid for any Major Railroad or Short Line must connect to the home base of that Major Railroad or Short Line.

 

Home bases (as indicated on the map) are:

         Major Railroads       Home Base

Great Northern           Milwaukee

Kansas Pacific            Kansas City

Santa Fe                     Chicago

Southern Pacific          New Orleans

Union Pacific               Chicago

 

         Short Lines                                        Home Base

Denver & Rio Grande Western            Denver

Rock Island                                         Chicago

Texas Pacific                                       New Orleans

Western Pacific                                   Sacramento

 

Subsequent pieces of track usually must extend the route from the end of the previously‑laid track. There are two exceptions‑the first pertaining to branch lines of Major Railroads, the second to Short Lines.

 

When a player plays a BRANCH LINE card for a Major Railroad, he may start another route from any city to which the Major Railroad is connected, includ­ing the home base. Thereafter, players can lay track for the Major Railroad by extending either the original route or the branch route. Thus, it is possible for a Major Railroad to have as many as four routes during the game (the original route plus three branches).

 

Short Lines are considered to have a "permanent BRANCH LINE card" in play. Thus, once a given Short Line is available, a player may lay a Short Line track to:

 

1) Extend a Short Line route, or

 

2) Start another route from the Short Line's home base, or

 

3) Begin a new Short Line route from any city to which the Short Line is currently connected.

 

Certain routes have an East‑to‑West arrow next to them. These routes can only be built in the direction shown.

 

EXAMPLE: A player may build a route from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, but may not build a route from Minneapolis to Milwaukee.

 

If a Major Railroad or Short Line has started building a line between two cities, another Major Railroad or Short Line may not lay a piece of track from the city at the other end of the same line to block the route. Of course, if two lines exist between these cities, a second line can be started on the unused route.

 

When two routes exist between two cities, a single Major Railroad or Short Line cannot build both routes.

 

A single Major Railroad or Short Line can run into a city any number of times, but it will only count once towards the value of the CITY card at the end of the game.

 

It is possible for a Major Railroad line to be dead‑ended. When this happens, the only way additional track can be laid for this Major Railroad is to start a branch line. If the original line and all its branches are all dead‑ended, any remaining track for this Major Railroad is unusable.

 

Partial (incomplete) lines between two cities may be built. A player might wish to do this just to block another Major Railroad or Short Line from using the route.

 

BONUSES

City Connection Bonus: When a player connects the first Major Railroad or Short Line to each particular city on the map, he earns $2. Players who connect subsequent Major Railroads or Short Lines to the same city do not get this bonus. Major Railroad home base cities are not eligible for this bonus. Short Line base cities are not eligible for this bonus if it occurs due to laying of track for their Short Line. However, these cities provide this bonus if the connection occurs before their Short Line lays its first piece of track.

 

Special Railroad Bonuses: Certain cities have one or more colored squares representing the five Major Railroads next to them. If a player connects one of these Major Railroads to that city, he earns $4. This bonus is awarded the first time each of the Major Railroads indicated is connected to the city. This bonus is in addition to the regular City Connection Bonus and can be awarded simultaneously. The bonus provides incentive to connect the Major Railroads to cities which were part of their actual historical routes.

 

EXAMPLE: A player connects the Santa Fe to El Paso and no other Major Railroad or Short Line has been connected to El Paso yet: he receives $6. Another player subsequently connects the Southern Pacific to EL Paso: he receives $4.

 

These bonuses are DOUBLED for a player who has played a DOUBLE TURN card during the Round. A person using the TRIPLE TURN card receives NO bonuses during this Round. A person using the FOUR IN ONE card receives normal bonuses (no doubling) during this Round.

 

CARD TYPE SUMMARY

 

CITY CARDS

There are 66 CITY cards. There are one or two cards for each city on the map.

Value of City

Cards per City

Total Cards

2

1

3

3

1

7

4

2

10

5

2

14

6

2

18

7

2

14

 

Once played, CITY cards remain face up in front of the player for the rest of the game. Each card is worth a variable number of points at the end of the game equal to the value of the city multiplied by the different number of Major Railroads and Short Lines connected to it.

 

EXAMPLE: If there are two Major Railroads and/or Short Lines connected to Los Angeles, a Los Angeles City card is worth 14 points.

 

BOOMTOWN CARDS

When a player plays a BOOMTOWN card, he may place one or two Boomtown Markers (valued 4 and/or 5). A player may place any two available markers. A 4 marker may be placed on any city valued 2. A 5 marker may be placed on any city valued 3. The Boomtown Marker becomes the value of that city for scoring purposes. A player may not play a value if there are no markers of that value remain­ing.

 

DOUBLE TURN CARDS

When a player plays a DOUBLE TURN card, he gains the following advantages:

 

1) He may lay two pieces of track in both the First Track Laying Turn and the Second Track‑Laying Turn of that Round. The player may lay two pieces of track for one Major Railroad or Short Line or one piece of track for each of two different Major Railroads and/or Short Lines. The player may choose to lay only one piece of track in a Round.

 

2) He doubles the value of all bonuses that player receives during the Round.

3) At the start of his turn in the Second Track‑Laying Turn, the player may exchange cards‑discarding face down any number of CITY cards in his hand and drawing an equal number of replacements. Discarded CITY cards are permanently removed from the game. He may not exchange cards during the First Track‑Laying Turn.

 

TRIPLE TURN CARD

This card must be played on the Round in which it was drawn. A player who plays the TRIPLE TURN card has the following advantage and penalty:

 

1) He may lay three pieces of track in both the First Track‑Laying Turn and the Second Track‑Laying Turn. A player may lay three pieces of track for one Major Railroad or Short Line, one piece of track for each of three different Major Railroad and/or Short Lines, or two pieces of track for one Major Railroad and/or Short Line and one piece for another Major Railroad and/or Short Line. A player may choose to lay only one or two pieces of track in a turn.

 

2) He receives no bonuses during the Round.

 

FOUR IN ONE CARD

This card must be played on the Round in which it was drawn. A player who plays the FOUR IN ONE card has the following advantage and penalty:

 

1) He may lay four pieces of track in EITHER the First or the Second Track‑Laying Turn. A player may lay four pieces of track for one Major Railroad or Short Line, one piece of track for each of four Major Railroad and/or Short Lines, two pieces of track for one Major Railroad or Short Line and two for another Major Railroad or Short Line, or any other possible combination. A player may choose to lay less than four pieces of track in a turn.

 

2) The player may not lay any track during the other Track‑Laying Turn of the Round.

 

3) He receives the regular bonuses (not doubled) during the Round.

 

BRANCH LINE CARDS

There are 15 BRANCH LINE cards, three for each of the five Major Railroads.

 

A player must pay $1 to draw a BRANCH LINE card. A player may not go into debt or borrow money from any other player to buy a BRANCH LINE card. A player may never have more than one BRANCH LINE card in his hand at any one time.

 

This card must be played on the Round in which it was drawn. BRANCH LINE cards must always be played with another card. The player must play either:

 

• A CITY card and a BRANCH LINE card, or

• DOUBLE TURN card and a BRANCH LINE card.

 

When a player plays a BRANCH LINE card, he may begin a new route of track for that Major Railroad from any city to which the Major Railroad is currently connected. Thereafter, that Major Railroad can be extended from the end of either the original route or the branch route.

 

DISCARD / REUSE OF CARDS

A BRANCH LINE card is discarded after it is used in either the First or Second Track‑Laying Round and is permanently removed from the game. If the player does not use it, it is still discarded after the Second Track‑Laying Round. A player is never forced to start a branch line just because he plays a BRANCH LINE card.

 

On the other hand, the DOUBLE TURN, TRIPLE TURN, FOUR IN ONE and BOOMTOWN cards are discarded after the Second Track‑Laying Turn and placed face up near the table. They can be drawn again by any player.

 

END OF GAME

The game ends when one of two situations occur:

1) All track pieces for all five Major Railroads have been played.

2) A player cannot play a piece of track because all Major Railroads with unplayed track have been dead‑ended. It does not matter if another player could use a BRANCH LINE card to open up a route for a Major Railroad in his turn.

 

It does not matter if Short Line track is still available.

 

SCORING AND WINNING

Points are awarded as follows:

1) Each $1 is worth 1 Point.

2) Each CITY card is worth its value multiplied by the number of DIFFER­ENT Major Railroads and Short Lines connected to it.

 

The player with the most points is the winner. If two or more players are tied, the player who played the most CITY cards with a value of 7 among them is the winner.

 

TWO-PLAYER GAMES

The First Player does not change between Rounds. The First Player is always the person who began the game.

 

When the players draw cards to fill their hands, after he has filled his own hand, the second player should draw one card from the deck and place it unseen in the game box. This card is being "given" to a fictitious third player. Neither player may look at the third player's cards. At the end of the game, the ficti­tious third player's removed cards are revealed and points are awarded nor­mally to provide a score for the third player. A player wins only if he has more points than both his opponent and the fictitious third player.

 

All other rules remain the same.

 

OPTIONAL TERRAIN RULE

Terrain is now a cost factor for building track.

 

Each player begins the game with $5 instead of $2. BRANCH LINE cards now cost $2 instead of $1.

 

Dark brown routes are mountain lines. It now costs a player money to lay track in certain terrain:

$1 for a mountain line.

$1 for a line which crosses a river (but not a lake).

$2 for a mountain line which also crosses a river.

 

A player may not go into debt or borrow money from any other player to lay a piece of track.

 

A player is never required to lay a piece of track during his turn; he may "pass" instead. However, if all players pass during the same Track‑Laying Turn, the game immediately ends.

 

All other rules remain the same.

 

CREDITS

Designer: Alan R Moon

Coordinator: Andy Lewis

Art Director: Rodger B MacGowan

Cover Art: Rodger B MacGowan and Mark Simonitch

Card Art and Design: Mark Simonitch

Map Graphics: Mark Simonitch

Package Design: Rodger B MacGowan

Rulebook Editing and Design: Stuart K Tucker

Production Coordination: Tony Curtis                                                   

 

© 2002 GMT Games

P.O. Box 1308, Hanford, CA 93232‑1308

www.GMTGames.com

 

 

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