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Only in America! You are living in the heyday of the locomotive. You are Jay Gould. And you have just added another railroad to your vast railroad empire. Flushed with success, you now retire to the sartorial splendor of your very own Pullman Palace Car. The dream ends. You awaken to reality with the thought... "just another fantasy." Ah, but for the grace of Avalon Hill your dream continues.
Here--in Rail Baron--you become a latter day Gould, or a Cornelius Vanderbilt, or any of those menacingly infamous moguls whose wizardry and acumen established the criteria for which business success was to be judged in decades to come.
Rail Baron is played on a large board of the United States RR network. In fact, it comes in three separate boards. Laid end to end, it spells out America and portrays the 28 major rail lines and major cities they connected during the halcyon of railroading.
You start with $20,000--and a train. You make money on trips from city to city. Pretty soon you've got enough money to build up your empire (you can buy the B&O and C&O for just $44,000). More holdings bring more money your way (track rental) from your opponents.
With many new nuances of strategy, it becomes a game where fortunes see-saw until the last rail baron is bankrupt--or has accumulated the $200,000 needed to win.
Rail Baron was invented by a pair of brothers who originally sold it under the name Boxcars. After several years, they sold the rights and the game company modified it slightly and renamed it Rail Baron. This company was acquired by Hasbro about 30 years ago and despite pleas of many serious gamers, they've yet to rerelease it. The game sells for over $100 on e-bay where it is much sought after. In its original form it takes 3-5 hours. By issuing Super Chiefs to everyone at the start of the game it speeds up. There is also freeware available to do the chart lookups on a lap top that cut another 30 to 40 minutes off the game time. (see Rail Baron Fanatics on the internet). Much valuable info is at this website. I especially recommend Rail Baron Honeymoon for 2 players when those frequent occasions arise and you can't find a third. The game was intended for 3-6 players. Don't pass this game up. Enjoy!!!!
That pretty much says it all other than its a little based on the monopoly concept. You have destinations to go to and you have to use certain tracks to get there. If you use any of your opponents tracks you have to pay them. When you reach your destination thought you get a chunk of change and can then buy tracks for yourself.
THIS GAME IS THE GLUE THAT HOLDS OUR FAMILY TOGETHER. THIS IS A NON-STOP TRADITIONAL GAME THAT OUR FAMILY HAS PLAYED FOR TWO DECADES. IT IS A THOUGHT PROVOKING GAME REQUIRING MULTI LEVEL STRATEGIC THINKING. ALTHOUGH TIME REQUIRED TO PLAY IS LONG, IT ELIMINATES THE ELEMENT OF LUCK AND CROWNS A TRUE CHAMPION. NO PRISONERS ALLOWED, THE FAINT AT HEART NEED NOT ATTEMPT TO PLAY, AS TO THIS CREATES HAVAC IN THE GAME OF LIFE AND POSSIBLE TRAUMA IN THE ENTIRE FAMILY TREE. THOUGHOUT OUR TWO DECADES OF PLAYING, WE HAVE ONLY HAD TO REMOVE ONE FAMILY MEMBER. THIS GAME DESERVES A SIXTH STAR.