Recommend
40 
 Thumb up
 Hide
33 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Railways of the World» Forums » Rules

Subject: Legal Track Placement in the Railways Series -- A Comprehensive Guide rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: helpful [+] [View All]
Liz Burton
United States
Bethesda
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Legal Track Placement in the Railways Series

File of Rules (one page pdf) found here.

I’ve always had a lot of track question placement questions while playing the Railways games, probably because the rulebook provides very little guidance on properly laying track: It’s less than one page, including illustrations. I've gone through the past four years of different rules discussions on BGG, and I think I’ve finally pieced together all the official (and semi-official) rules. So here they are, with a few pictures, for your edification.

Here is the outline for your convenience

1) Cost of track
1a) Open terrain - $2,000
1b) Water - $3,000
1c) Mountain - $4,000
1d) Crossing a Ridge - $4,000 additional
1e) Crossover Track

2) How do I build a link?
2a) Laying up to 4 tiles per round
2b) Continuing a link in a subsequent round
2c) Can I block an incomplete link?
2d) Can I bypass a city with track tiles?
2e) Can I build more than one link per round?

3) Crossover Track and Tricky Situations
3a) Can I build crossover track when building a link for the first time, or only over a previously built link?
3b) Does crossover track connect previously unconnected links?
3c) Multiple links out a single hub

4) Railroad Operations cards that affect track laying
4a) Perfect Engineering
4b) Government Land Grant
4c) Tunnel Engineer
4d) Civil Engineers



1) Cost of Track

1a) Open terrain is a green hex with no water in it. If it’s not a mountain and doesn’t have water in it, it’s open! Open terrain costs $2,000 per tile.


1b) Water terrain has blue water in it (ocean or river). Water terrain costs $3,000 per tile.

Officially, any tiny bit of water makes a tile water terrain, though it seems many have house rules that only a speck of ‘coastal waters’ doesn’t turn open terrain into water terrain (See this discussion).

Here’s a discussion about the change from Railroad Tycoon, where water only cost $2,000 if you followed a river.


1c) Mountain terrain is light brown and contains a white dot. Mountain terrains costs $4,000 per tile.


1d) A ridge is a dark brown line on the side of a mountain hex.

Building track that crosses a ridge costs $4,000 per ridge crossed in addition to the usual terrain costs for the tiles. If you are laying an incomplete link, the ridge cost is paid when the ridge is actually crossed, not when track is simply touching a ridge. (See: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/769980#769980)


1e) Cost of crossover track

Crossover track costs the same to build as the track tile it is replacing. Therefore, replacing open terrain costs $2,000, replacing water terrain costs $3,000, and replacing mountain terrain costs $4,000.

I don't know that you could cross a ridge while building crossover track, but if you did, that would cost an additional $4,000.


2) How Do I Build a Link?

2a) Laying up to 4 tiles per round

You build from one city to another, up to 4 tiles in one round.

The "Perfect Engineering" card allows a player to lay up to 5 tiles in one round.

Note that the “Railways of the World” rules state that a player “stops building when he has built up to 4 tiles in that link OR he has linked to another city" (emphasis mine), whereas the original “Railroad Tycoon” rules simply stated that a player must build 4 tiles in the link or connect to another city (meaning one could not build fewer than 4 tiles unless it completed a link). There’s been some discussion that this was a mistake/oversight in the original rulebook, and it’s been changed in the newer edition. Still, if you have the original RRT and only want to play by the official rules, you’re stuck laying 4 tiles for an incomplete link.


2b) Continuing a link in a subsequent round

If you didn’t finish your link in one round, you may finish it in the next. From the rulebook, “the first tile laid must connect…to the end of an incomplete link that the building player owns.” Remember, you must complete your link by the end of the turn or it’s simply removed from the board! [Game terminology: There are three “rounds” in one “turn” of the game.]


2c) Can I block an incomplete link?

Yes, you can. If someone doesn’t finish completing a link in one round, you may build in front of them.

The semi-official ruling (by publisher Keith Blume) is that a blocking player may build into someone’s incomplete link and then the original player who is trying to complete his link may redirect (i.e., build over) his final piece of track in his attempt to complete the link. (Your group will have to decide whether this is your house rule; the actual rules do not mention this scenario.) Here are the links by Keith Blume: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/819695#819695, and http://boardgamegeek.com/article/769980#769980.

Here’s a discussion about building track just to block.

"Redirecting" a piece of track costs the same amount as building the original tile (see the section on building crossover track, in 1e, above).


2d) Can I bypass a city with track tiles?

Yes, you can. Of course, others may later simply build crossover track to get into that city, so it’s not a good ‘blocking’ mechanism. This one was actually answered by the designed, Glenn Drover: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/743225#743225

Here’s an illustration, where a player has just bypassed Manchester in building his link.

 


(Image by user JoffW)


2e) Can I build more than one link per round?

Nope. This answer is actually in the rulebook!


2f) Do my links all need to be continuously connected?

No. You do not have to have every city in your railway connected to every other. For example, on the Eastern U.S. map, you may build your first link from New York to Boston, and your second link from Chicago to Indianapolis (see this thread).


3) Crossover Track and Tricky Situations

3a) Can I build crossover track when building a link for the first time, or only over a previously built link?

You may not lay crossover track when building a link for the first time. Crossover track maybe only be used when you are actually crossing a previously built track (see this thread and that thread).


3b) Does crossover track connect previously unconnected links?

Nope! They are still two completely separate links (see here).


3c) Multiple links out a single hub

These questions seem to come up over and over again, but the basic rule might be stated as “A link is a hub-to-hub connection between two cites. Each hub in a single city may only be used for one link.”

A typical question that this phrasing of the rule solves: Can a player connect three cities with one set of tracks? No. A player cannot have multiple links coming out a single hub spoke from a city (see this thread and that thread).

Or, similarly: Can a player built a new link that connects into a track tile from a previously laid link (but not a hub)? No. A link must be hub-to-hub. There is no branching of links in the Railways Series (see this thread and that thread).

In the left pic, below, a player has built a link from Indianapolis to Toledo. Now, in the right pic, he attempts to build crossover track and connect to Chicago as well – WRONG!




4) Railroad Operations cards that affect track laying

4a) Perfect Engineering (Maps: Eastern U.S., Western U.S.)

"Lay up to 5 track segments in a single link. One use per turn."

Instead of the normal limit of laying only 4 track tiles, now you may lay 5 tiles. This card can be used once per turn: Flip the card face-down after you use it, then face-up during the auction phase each turn.

This card may be used in conjunction with Government Land Grant to allow you to lay 5 tiles on open terrain for free. This card may also be combined with the Tunnel Engineer to lay 5 tiles for half-price on mountain terrain and ridge crossings.


4b) Government Land Grant (Maps: Eastern U.S., Western U.S., England & Wales, Mexico)

"All track built on open terrain during a single future build track action is free."

When you build track on open terrain during a build track action, the track is entirely free. This card is discarded after use.

If you combine this with the Perfect Engineering card, you may build up to 5 tiles on open terrain for free.


4c) Tunnel Engineer (Maps: Western U.S., Europe, England & Wales, Mexico)

"On a future build action all mountains and ridges are half price for that build."

Instead of paying $4,000 per mountain terrain plus $4,000 per ridge crossing, the price drops to $2,000 per mountain terrain plus $2,000 per ridge crossing. This card is discarded after use.

This card may be used in conjunction with Perfect Engineering to lay 5 tiles for half-price on mountain terrain and ridge crossings.



4d) Civil Engineers (Map: Mexico)

"On a future build action all rivers and water are $1k for that build."

Instead of paying $3,000 for water terrain, the price drops to $1,000 per water terrain. This card is discarded after use.

I have the unofficial deck for the Mexico map, so it's possible that the wording was changed in the official version--or that the card was tossed entirely. I'd love to hear from anyone who can confirm or deny this card.



ninjaninjaninja THE END ninjaninjaninja

Please let me know if I made any mistakes or if there is a clarification or new question I should add! I’m hoping this can clear up all the track laying confusion and keep the same dozen track questions from popping up over and over!
41 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Melkus
Serbia
Novi Sad
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Good work. I think it will be useful for new players.

You may want to change:

1d) Crossing a Ridge - $4,000

to

1d) Crossing a Ridge - $8000 ($4,000 for the mountain terrain and extra $4000 for the ridge)

or if that is too much text for the outline then:

1d) Crossing a Ridge - additional $4000

or something to that end.

I know you explained it later, but not everyone will read the whole text, and it would be nice to include that info in the outline as well.

And in '2a) Laying up to 4 tiles per round.' you may add that 'Perfect Engineering' card allows its owner to build up to 5 tiles once per turn.
5 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Melkus
Serbia
Novi Sad
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
And you could add description of all cards that have some effect on track building: Perfect Engineering, Government Land Grant and Tunnel Engineer (in expansions).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Toy
United States
San Diego
CA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is great! Thank you for putting this together. The one rule that I learned here was this one below, which happened in a recent game and we did't know we could resolve it as described here.

manutd03 wrote:

. . . the original player who is trying to complete his link may redirect (i.e., build over) his final piece of track in his attempt to complete the link.


Good stuff!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick Rodrick
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd like to see this as a file. That way it can be more easily printed out and stored in the game box.

Thank you for your clarification work!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liz Burton
United States
Bethesda
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rrodrick wrote:
I'd like to see this as a file. That way it can be more easily printed out and stored in the game box.

Thank you for your clarification work!


I was just thinking this could be an easy one page PDF. I'll try to work on that in the next few days.


Edit: It took a lot less time than I thought it would. I just uploaded it and I'll link to it here and in the original article once it's approved.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liz Burton
United States
Bethesda
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bobmelkus wrote:
Good work. I think it will be useful for new players.

You may want to change:

1d) Crossing a Ridge - $4,000

to

1d) Crossing a Ridge - $8000 ($4,000 for the mountain terrain and extra $4000 for the ridge)

or if that is too much text for the outline then:

1d) Crossing a Ridge - additional $4000

or something to that end.


Good thought. I changed it to "$4,000 additional" in the outline section. That should clarify things.


As to your other point, I don't know if I want to add anything about the specific cards...probably because they seem so obvious, but then, people ask questions about everything, so maybe it's worth adding another section about the cards that affect track laying.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cost of crossovers?
Redirecting track?

B>
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Damon Baume
Australia
Lismore
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for compiling this! thumbsup

A very minor 'mistake' I believe in:

Quote:
2c) Can I block an incomplete link?

Yes, you can. If someone doesn’t finish completing a link in one turn, you may build in front of them.


This should read:

Quote:
Yes, you can. If someone doesn’t finish completing a link in one round, you may build in front of them.


Since a link that isn't completed by the end of a turn is removed from the board.

4 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Melkus
Serbia
Novi Sad
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
thepackrat wrote:
Cost of crossovers?
Redirecting track?

B>


Bruce is right.

There is no extra cost for crossovers, but you may want to point that out.

Also, you should explain how the redirecting track works: You are allowed to remove the last tile of your incomplete link and replace it with a new one, but you have to pay for the new one and it counts as one of four tiles you are allowed to build in that round.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liz Burton
United States
Bethesda
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the feedback--I added in a section on the cost of crossover track, and mentioned track cost for 'redirecting' track as well.

Now, a question. Should I add a new section about the cards that affect track laying (e.g., Perfect Engineering)?

Poll
Should I add a section about cards that affect track laying?
Yes
No
      14 answers
Poll created by manutd03


Edit: Added section about cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hillery
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
manutd03 wrote:
Now, a question. Should I add a new section about the cards that affect track laying (e.g., Perfect Engineering)?

I voted yes, but do note that there are different such cards with each of the expansions. So it might be a long-ish list, and you'll need to mention which maps each card exists within. Might be more trouble than it's worth, especially if that makes it go over a nice single page.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liz Burton
United States
Bethesda
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ceej wrote:
manutd03 wrote:
Now, a question. Should I add a new section about the cards that affect track laying (e.g., Perfect Engineering)?

I voted yes, but do note that there are different such cards with each of the expansions. So it might be a long-ish list, and you'll need to mention which maps each card exists within. Might be more trouble than it's worth, especially if that makes it go over a nice single page.


I already added it.

There are only 4 cards between all the games, so it wasn't that long. I will have to update the file later, though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jimmycrackcorn anidontcare
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mb
About crossovers and blocking. Why can't I build a crossover
to go through the block?
James
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lawcomic
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
The stuff that dreams are made of...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
airbrush wrote:
About crossovers and blocking. Why can't I build a crossover
to go through the block?
James


There are no crossovers that let two tracks enter the same city tile.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liz Burton
United States
Bethesda
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lawcomic wrote:
airbrush wrote:
About crossovers and blocking. Why can't I build a crossover
to go through the block?
James


There are no crossovers that let two tracks enter the same city tile.


But the way I read that 'semi-official' rule is that you could use a piece of crossover track to go through a blocking tile, as long as the blocking tile isn't entering a hub.

When you're completing an incomplete link, you can build over your last piece of track, plus you can always build crossover track when you need to. As mentioned, though, you can't use crossover track to enter a hub someone else is already using.


Here's a quote from the aforementioned ruling by Keith Blume:

Quote:
While I like some of the suggested rules, we (Eagle Games) have said that you can block a player by building directly into their oncoming link. For all intents and purposes, the tiles are not connected so a player can still redirect around this blocking action (we use control markers on the meeting tiles just to be very clear, but it is rare that someone would forget what tiles they have laid). Since the tracks are not treated as physically connected in a blocking action like this, whether the tile meets directly with the oncoming tile or curves to the side is superficial because the effect is the same (a redirection move is required).


I think it's a pretty cool rule. We're certainly using it at my house.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Schneider
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mb
Quote:
3c) Multiple links out a single hub

These questions seem to come up over and over again, but the basic rule might be stated as “A link is a hub-to-hub connection between two cites. Each hub in a single city may only be used for one link.”


This. If true then can I reasonably infer that building a link out of one hub of a city only to loop back into the same city into a different hub (as a block for example) as part of the same round's action is actually illegal? Or perhaps it can be built but must be removed at the end of the turn?

Quote:
But the way I read that 'semi-official' rule is that you could use a piece of crossover track to go through a blocking tile, as long as the blocking tile isn't entering a hub.


I agree with this--anyone else have an official response?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hillery
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jackman51 wrote:
Quote:
3c) Multiple links out a single hub

These questions seem to come up over and over again, but the basic rule might be stated as “A link is a hub-to-hub connection between two cites. Each hub in a single city may only be used for one link.”


This. If true then can I reasonably infer that building a link out of one hub of a city only to loop back into the same city into a different hub (as a block for example) as part of the same round's action is actually illegal? Or perhaps it can be built but must be removed at the end of the turn?

From a strict reading of the rules, it's not illegal. It would be an incomplete link, however, since the rules are pretty clear that a link is from one city to a different city.

I'm having trouble coming up with a case where such a build would be reasonable, though. You could certainly never deliver any cubes over it since a cube can't go to the same city twice, including the source city.

As for blocking, remember there are no "tight corner" tiles in Railways. So the shortest possible link from a city to itself would be 5 tiles long, which means you need to spend two actions on it. You might as well build two one-hex incomplete links from the two hubs and save some money if all you want to do is block those two hubs.

I guess if you happen to have Perfect Engineering and you really need to block two hubs in one action and you have at least $10k to burn, then sure, go for it...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Schneider
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mb
True dat. It would indeed be cheaper to build from two hubs separately and only one tile but as you point out it would take two rounds. The only reason you would do this I guess is if it stops someone from completing a high VP major line or forces a link removal by turn end from another player something careful players are watching for. Guess I just wanted to be absolutely sure that the rules made sure that a link is always defined as between two cities and not merely two hubs.

Any comment on the crossover track question?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tommy Rydling
Sweden
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Liz and all,

I recently played my first game of Railways of the World (Mexico map) and this document and thread has already been of huge help to me, as we immediately ran into track placement issues.

One follow-up question:
Why are you stating that it is illegal to place crossover tracks at your leisure (in anticipation that it will come in handy later)?

I see nothing in the rules stating you are not allowed to to this. The rules say you can place them "as necessary" -- well I find it necessary to build them sometimes to maximize my potential for success.

Example: In the Mexico map, I use a build action to start a link from Guadalajara to Mexico City. By making the first tile a crossover tile, I am at the same time laying the foundation for a potential future link starting/ending at Manzanillo and maybe going to San Luis Potosi (see pic below).



It would be great if someone could clarify why this would be an illegal build action, and where the official ruling for this is, or how you've come to this interpretation. I've seen threads argue both ways on this issue.

Once again, thanks for a great guide!
/T
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
trydling wrote:
Hi Liz and all,

I recently played my first game of Railways of the World (Mexico map) and this document and thread has already been of huge help to me, as we immediately ran into track placement issues.

One follow-up question:
Why are you stating that it is illegal to place crossover tracks at your leisure (in anticipation that it will come in handy later)?

I see nothing in the rules stating you are not allowed to to this. The rules say you can place them "as necessary" -- well I find it necessary to build them sometimes to maximize my potential for success. :)

There's also nothing in the rules that states you can't shove them up your opponent's nose to distract them at a key moment, but however "necessary" you might find that, nobody would consider it reasonable.
Quote:

Example: In the Mexico map, I use a build action to start a link from Guadalajara to Mexico City. By making the first tile a crossover tile, I am at the same time laying the foundation for a potential future link starting/ending at Manzanillo and maybe going to San Luis Potosi (see pic below).



It would be great if someone could clarify why this would be an illegal build action, and where the official ruling for this is, or how you've come to this interpretation. I've seen threads argue both ways on this issue.


You are building two segments of track with one build action. This is unreasonable. Let's examine the (RotW) rules; I've bolded some important parts.

the rules wrote:

The first tile laid must either connect to a city or to the end of an incomplete link that the building player owns. All subsequent tiles laid that action must then extend that link. The player stops building when he has build up to 4 tiles in that link OR he has linked to another city. Note that this means a player cannot build more than one link in a single action


The rules clearly state that you're creating (or extending) a singular link with one set of building actions, and that your actions finish if you complete that singular link. In your example, you have created two links, which is outside the actions permitted by the rules.

Looking deeper, at the history of where this game came from, (specifically Age of Steam) we can see that complex track exists specifically to permit you to cross over existing track while building your singular links, not to engage in this sort of shenanigans.

B>
8 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tommy Rydling
Sweden
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks a lot for the quick response. Appreciate it, and I see now that in the example I had I would in fact be creating 2 links at once, which would be illegal.

However, since the rules say "you may place as necessary", I think it's open to interpretation whether you could build crossovers in the middle of a link, for example. I wish the rules could be clearer. Something like:

"Crossover sections can be used to swap out an exisiting tile if you need to cross a link that you or another player has already built."

Will play the way you described. Am I correct in that Eagle Games have not done any offícial FAQ work for the series at all?

Thanks again!

Edited for grammar
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
trydling wrote:
Thanks a lot for the quick response. Appreciate it, and I see now that in the example I had I would in fact be creating 2 links at once, which would be illegal.

However, since the rules say "you may place as necessary", I think it's open to interpretation whether you could build crossovers in the middle of a link, for example. I wish the rules could be clearer. Something like:

I don't think that's open to interpretation at all. It is not necessary to use crossover track to build it, so you should not. Similarly, that new crossing link you create does not connect to either a city or an existing unfinished link you ownn (as required by the rules)
Quote:

"Crossover sections can be used to swap out an exisiting tile if you need to cross a link that you or another player has already built."

Will play the way you described. Am I correct in that Eagle Games have not done any offícial FAQ work for the series at all?


There have mostly been various discussion threads over the years in which ruling have been made. I don't believe they've specifically put a FAQ together, since people seem either happy with what's already there or hellbent on using house-rules for the auction.

B>
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Young
Canada
Victoria
BC
flag msg tools
Old Ways Are Best!
badge
Check Six!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Age of Steam originally only allowed complex track to be placed as an upgrade to existing track, but a subsequent rules revision allowed for complex track to be built on open hexes. There may have been a good reason to do this (there are more complex track types in AoS) but I expect it opened the door to such discussion as this.

In the Mexico example the same player could place the crossover track where it is shown on a subsequent turn. In RotW, I cannot think of an example of the legal placing of a crossover track on an open hex.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
AoS has no only one link building restrIction which is where this limit arises.

B>
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.