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Historic Railroads System

The Historic Railroads System is a series of games developed and originally published by Winsome Games. The first two games, Chicago Express/Chicago Express and German Railways were licensed by Queen Games, while Baltimore & Ohio was picked up by Eagle-Gryphon Games. Thus, those three titles all are available internationally with improved production quality over the Winsome standard. The first two games in the series were designed by Harry Wu while later titles were also authored by Eddie Robbins and David V. H. Peters; the HRS thus became the first Winsome series to feature games designed by multiple authors that are part of the same series.

It is difficult to generalize about the core mechanics of this series. At its most base level, the HRS involves player ownership of multiple railroads via stock purchase, and a cube-based track building scheme. Beyond this, the extant games vary considerably in mechanics and focus. Wabash Cannonball, for instance, is defined by its emergent alliances and share dilution scheme, where each share issued decreases the income payout for the individual shares. GM&O, meanwhile, is more carefully focused on constructing networks that will earn players the most victory points via opportunistic track placement. John Bohrer has since stated that this system could have been better labeled "cube rails," as that most accurately reflects the unifying mechanic of these games.

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