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Empire Builder» Forums » Variants

Subject: Rule Variant: Electrification rss

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Duncan McGregor
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This is an extension to the rules that would work well with some of the earlier "Crayon Rails" games (Empire Builder, Eurorails, British Rails, etc), but may not work as well for other versions (particularly Iron Dragon, Martian Rails, and Lunar Rails). It works best if there are only two types of loco/train available and the cost to upgrade is high, which is true for the earlier games, but isn't true as much for the last three games named.

A new feature known as "electrification" may be added to a train for a cost of half the usual upgrade rate (i.e. $10 million for Empire Builder, Eurorails, etc).

If you then "electrify" a stretch of track (for a cost of $1 million per segment [between mileposts]), then any train with the "electrification" feature gains an extra two moves on ^that^ stretch of track. This is particularly useful if the stretch of track is a "trunk" route for your network. So, for example, if your train can do 9 moves, then the "electrification" advantage will bring you to 11 moves on stretches of track that are "electrified". To distinguish "electrified" track from ordinary track, one could do stipples on one side of that track, preferably in the spaces between mileposts (so it doesn't look like there's actually another track branch at the milepost).

To counterbalance, the following Event (disaster) cards could be added to the deck:

A. Signal failure. All landline signal communications are lost. All trains on the drawing player's track (including trains from other players renting the drawing player's track) move at half rate. [This Event card is generally useful, even if the "electrification" option isn't otherwise used.]

B. Power Grid failure. All "electrified" trains in the named area [for Empire Builder only: one of "US East of Mississippi plus Canada east of Ontario/Manitoba border", "US between Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains plus Canada west from Manitoba to Alberta", "Mexico", "US West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington) plus Canadian West Coast (BC)"] lose a turn (but no loads). [This should actually be split into several cards, separated by which named area the Grid happens to be in.]

When a FLOOD event occurs that affects "electrified" track, repairing the bridge should cost an extra $1 million to restore the overhead power (catenary) wire.

When a DERAILMENT occurs on "electrified" track, someone should flip a coin. Depending on the result (i.e. half of the time), the power wires would also be knocked out, requiring an extra $1 million cost to re-electrify that segment of track. Similar rules should apply for the EARTHQUAKE event card [Empire Builder only], though it would be reasonable to say that *all* electrification is lost within a certain radius (5 mileposts?) of the quake's epicenter (Mexico City, in this case).
------------------------------------------------

What do others think?
 
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Gregory Wong
United States
San Jose
California
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How about if your train is running on regular track, it has to stop when it reaches electrified track and end its turn there. Next turn, it moves according to your electrified rules. This simulates the delay required in switching locomotives.

Another "disaster" card might be a gov't subsidy where all players or the drawing player gets a bonus of N million dollars that must be spent on electrification.
 
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Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Moved to Variants
 
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Ward Stolk
Netherlands
Amersfoort
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Price of 1 million per milepost is quite steep, even if it is on a trunk route, if it is only for 2 steps per turn. In cutting corners we usually use a rule of thumb saying that generaly a short cut is worth it if it saves 1 step per million spend on it, and then it is assumed that the shortcut will hopefully be used more than once.

Adding an inbetween stop for switching engines would definitely not make electrification worth while, in my opinion.

Otherwise, I do like the idea of adding new options!
 
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