"Blow up the damned ship, Jean-Luc!"
FrachtExpress is a card game about laying track and moving freight cars from Station to Station.
The Basic Game (which is the only way I've played it so far) is played with 50 Distance Cards and 10 Station Cards. There is also a Locomotive card and a wooden locomotive token for each player in his color.
The Distance Cards
The Distance Cards have several symbols on them as well as track which is shown in a varity of combinations. The symbols are 1)a freight car with a number between 2 and 9, 2)a die face with between 1-5 pips showing, 3)a circle with a disconnected line in it and a letter signifying a Station, and 4)a circle with a connected line in it and a letter signifying a Station.
1)The number in the freight car is used to show the number of spaces you can move your locomotive along the track ties. It's also the points you score when this car is delivered to it's proper Station.
2)The die shows the number of cards you can draw when you discard this card. It is also used when you move or go through a crossing; if the number of pips is more than the number of cars you have attached to your Locomotive Card, you cannot use that card to move or go through the crossing.
3)The disconnected line shows which Station this car needs to be delivered to.
4)The connected line shows the Station where you must be to connect this car.
The Stations can be laid out in the pattern shown in the rules or you can lay them in a random order as long as they connect to each other diagonally. Then each player receives 3 cards for their hand. On your turn you draw 1 card and then may take as many Actions as you wish, in any order or combination, except for Action 6.
1)Add to the Rail System. Lay a card edge to edge next to any Station or previously played card.
2)Change the Rail System. Place a card on top of a previously played card, keeping the same connections.
3)Pick up a freight car. When you are on the Station with the same letter as the one in the circle with the connected line, you place this card on your Locomotive card. Now you have to deliver it.
4)Deliver a Railroad car. When you reach the Station with the same letter as the circle with a disconnected line, take the card from you Locomotive card, turn it over and place it under the Locomotive card.
5)Move your Locomotive token. Discard the card and move your locomotive the number of ties that it shows in the freight car symbol.
6)Draw new cards. Discard a card and draw the number of cards shown on the pips on the die. This ends your turn.
Play then passes to the next player clockwise.
The game ends immediately when a player must draw a card and both the supply deck and the discard pile are empty. Total the points on your disconnected cars, the player with the highest total wins. A tie is broken by comparing the total value of the cars attached to the locomotive cards.
There is a lot to think about as you try to make the best use of your cards, especially if you have more than 4 cards in your hand, so play can be slow. We played 2-player games and it took about 40 minutes when we knew what we were doing. I don't think it would take longer with 3 because you'd be planning your moves during other players' turns.
We really liked this game because we enjoy trying to optimize the resources we have. It has a puzzle quality to it that suits some people and drives others crazy but I think it's a nice way to spend an hour on a quiet afternoon. Though there was not much player interaction (messing with other person's plans), I think with 3 or 4 players there would be plenty of ways to confound your opponents.
If you like hand management, and a quiet, thoughtful game, I'd recommend giving this one a try.
you play with 2 players although the game entry states 3-4. For 2 players, do you have different rules/setup?
PS: Thanks to you, this game just made my wishlist.
"Blow up the damned ship, Jean-Luc!"
When I got this game, I didn't notice how many players it accomodated and the rules didn't mention it so we just set it up and played. I haven't played with more than 2, but I can't see where there would be any problems. With more, the board would fill up faster and there would be more competition.
I hope you enjoy it!