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Zoom In EuroRails
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Store:  Strategy Games
Edition:  Eurorails
Series:  Empire Builder
Theme:  Train
Genre:  Rail & Network
Format:  Board Games

EuroRails

2nd edition


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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 180-240 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Darwin Bromley

Manufacturer(s): Mayfair Games

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Product Description

Based on the award-winning Empire Builder game system, Eurorails allows players to amass fortune and power by picking up commodities from cities that produce them and delivering them to cities that need them. Efficient rail lines and effective laying of track means larger fortunes for the players.

Players use erasable crayons to lay track between major European cities and use the European Currency unit (ECu) as money to purchase routes. The coated gameboard allows players to draw routes between the cities and still be able to wipe the board clean after every game.

Parents -- Eurorails is geographically accurate. The mountains, rivers, and plains as well as the natural resources are accurately portrayed. Playing the game with your children is an easy way for you to help them learn about Europe and give them the opportunity to make their own decisions.

Product Information

Contents:

  • 1 Playing board
  • 94 Load chips
  • 1 Sheet load labels
  • 120 Demand cards
  • 20 Event cards
  • 24 Loco cards
  • 1 pack money
  • 6 Wipe-off crayons
  • 6 Pawns
  • 1 Eurorails rules

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.6 in 9 reviews

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by Nate
If only I didn't need to sleep.
April 19, 2003

I bought a copy of Eurorails from Funagain and it arrived in the mail yesterday. My wife and I set it up after work and played. And played. And played. Nine hours later we decided to call it a night, only it was the next morning. The game is simple to learn, compelling, well-made, fun, educational (I now know where Napoli is) and even though we only got 1 hour of sleep last night we are still calling each other and talking about how we are going to do better next time we play. This is our first foray into the empire builder series, so I can't compare it to the others, but just on its own merits this is a great game. I strongly recommend this game.

 
 
 
 
 
by Katy O'
we play this almost every night
April 18, 2003

My husband and I have played Eurorails so much that we can complete a game in under an hour (average time 45-50 minutes). We also have Empire Builder but feel that it is less flexible and interesting. I would never have thought that I would like this game based on the description, but friends of ours introduced it to us, and we loved it from the very beginning. The best part is that it is fun to play, whether you win or lose. My husband is a hard-core gamer and I am most definitely not, but this is a great compromise game that we can both enjoy.

 
 
 
 
 
funtastic
November 12, 2002

We were introduced to the game in the early 90's by a neighbor. All 5 of our now adult children love the game and when we get together for holidays we play just about the whole time we aren't eating. My oldest daughter and her husband want the game for Christmas so that they can introduce it to Fort Hood, where my son-in-law is stationed. More fun for teens and adults than younger kids.

 
 
 
 
 
by Chip C
Strategy, Luck and Trains... Oh my!
September 03, 2001

Eurorails continues the tradition originally established with Empire Builder. However, instead of the Rockies on the western end of the board causing problems building to the last major city, Eurorails forces you to deal with the Alps in the middle of the board. The cheap routes go very quickly in a 4-or-more-person game (and I recommend setting aside 6 hours to play a 6-person game). This makes the game more complicated without changing the basic set up of the game. However, the fast game should always be played as a rule.

In my opinion the best way to play the game is a fast start with field warehousing and negotiated drop offs (where you can offer inducements for people to bring things to you). Some mercy rules are neccessary but don't go overboard with them. I've heard of people starting out with the three-load cars and I don't like that. Two loads are usually all you need. If you want more, you should have to buy it.

 
 
 
 
 
A great way to spend an evening
August 10, 2001

We own a dozen board games, but the one we always return to is Eurorails.

I've never played Empire Builder, so I can't say I like it better or worse, but the challenge of creating a network of rail lines seems to have more relevance in Europe than it does on the US and Canada map.

As a two player game, there are ways to speed up play so that you can be done in 2 or 2 1/2 hours if you'd like. We start with $20M more money than recommended and build for two turns to start, before placing the train token and using the 'move first then build' system to the end of the game.

We also like to start with a train that has three loads and a 9 movement, so that if you become desperate for an extra bit of money, you can 'downgrade' your train (to a two load, 9 movement version) and gain $10M from the bank. It doesn't get used often, but sometimes it prevents a disaster, and it is a penalty since you have to spend $20M later on to upgrade back to your original train.

As a multiplayer game, we find it slower and more crowded, but still very playable. We like to barter--not with cards, but with favors. 'I'll give you two free turns on my line if you'll let me use yours this turn.' Or 'I'll give you $15M if you bring me some bauxite from Marseilles and drop it in Ruhr for me.'

The last word of praise I'll give is that you can play for a while, pack up a game midway, and start again later with little fuss. We keep a plastic baggie for each player to drop in their train, loads, money, and three demand cards. You make a little circle on the spot where your train was, and as long as each person writes down a general description of where they were headed and whose turn it is, you can leave the crayon marks on the board and store it away for a later date.

 
 
 
 
 
The most addictive and enjoyable strategy game I've played!
September 11, 2000

When my friend Andy first suggested an unknown game of railroading to my friends for a Friday dorm activity, we figured it was just another mediocre option for some bored students. After playing it though, we were hooked! For the rest of the semester, every Friday became Eurorails night. We became so hooked on the game, our girlfriends threatened to leave us if we didn't spend more time with them. So we got them to play with us! With a perfect blend of skill and luck of the draw, and numerous possibilities for variations, Eurorails is a must for anyone who loves good games that blend well with good conversation. Hop aboard!

 
 
 
 
 
My favourite game ever
February 19, 2007

A friend showed up at my door about 10 years ago and said he wanted me to try a new board game. It did not take long for my friends to get hooked on this game. We would play at least 2 times a week. The best thing about the game is that it is never the same game twice. Some strategy is required but it is not strenuous or tedious. The game is long enough that if your luck is not going very well you have time to recover. Using crayons lets you entertain your inner child but seriously, the game playing surface is ingenious. A laminated board of Europe, geographically correct, and you own a freight moving company in the form of a train. You are provided with 3 cards with a total of 9 contracts to fulfill. Stated on each card is a city, commodity wanted and how much will be paid for delivery. As you build your initial train track you re use it and obtain profit to build more track, upgrade you train or just gain more money to reach your goal of 250,000 ECU (European Currency Unit(s)). It is worth the money and you will have yours of fun. My friends and I actually had to buy a new game because we wore it out! Hope you enjoy.

 
 
 
 
 
The best-balanced rail game -- fun, but long
July 17, 2004

This is the best-balanced of the three Mayfair 'Empire Builder' train games I've played (the others are the original North America-set 'Empire Builder' and 'India Rails' -- the latter is not recommended.) Over many games I've seen people win after starting or doing their first major growth just about anywhere on the board. A simple and fun game. Not everyone sees the thrills of aspiring to deliver Italian marble to London by rail, but more often than not this is a game in which non-gamers, both male and female, can get excited and be competitive.

The only problems with the game are that it can get a bit long, and there is a whole lot of counting and recounting of little dots involved, especially with new players. Overall, however, a wonderful game.

 
 
 
 
 
Empire Builder gets European
August 02, 2000

Unfortunately for Mayfair Games, the map of Europe was changing so fast when [the first edition of] Eurorails was released that the game was out of date almost from day one. But fortunately it doesn't really matter, because the national borders on the board don't have any part in the way the game is played.

Following on the success of Empire Builder, a rail-building game set in the USA and southern Canada (and later, Mexico), Mayfair transported the same game system to other parts of the world, including Australia, India, the UK and central-and-western Europe. Eurorails is the latter, covering all of Europe except Iceland, members of the CIS, Greece and the countries surrounding the Black Sea.

The mechanics of the game are almost identical to those of Empire Builder, with two additions to cater to the more extreme geography of Europe: there are ferries, which allow trips to be made across the English Channel and the North Sea; and there are alpine mileposts, which cost more than twice as much to build on as regular mountain areas. Some of the commodities are also different to reflect the different products and markets in Europe.

In an honourable nod to internationalization, Mayfair has named all places on the map in the local tongue--so if you think in English you'll need to remember that Wien is Vienna and Kbenhavn is Copenhagen. This, along with the complete absence of text on any of the cards (except for place names) means that the game is equally playable in any language, something that we have come to expect from games out of Europe but not common at all from an American company. Given that the target audience of this game is likely European, this was a wise move.

In Eurorails there are eight major cities, which don't always relate to their population (for instance, Madrid is probably considered a major city for the purposes of making players use the Iberian peninsula, which would otherwise be largely ignored as too remote). As usual, players must connect all but one of them, and make 200 million Euros of profit, to win. Connecting five or six of them is easy, as several cities are close together, but the remaining cities are quite some distance from the western European hub and mean for a longer game as the victory conditions are approached.

Compared with Empire Builder, Eurorails has quite a lot more land area, making the game a little too sparse for a two-player game to be particularly interesting. With more players, however, comes more downtime between turns, which again is less than ideal. This is what makes me prefer Empire Builder over Eurorails (apart from a greater familiarity with the geography of the earlier game).

Mayfair suggests that its Empire Builder series can be used to interest children (and others) about the geography of a region and why railroads historically ended up being built where they are. That's probably true, but I don't really notice it when I'm playing a game. All the same, I do have a better idea of the locations and geographical features of Europe than I did, so it is probably achieving its goal anyway.

While Eurorails isn't my favourite of the crayon-series of railway games, it's fun enough and still comes out occasionally when I want to lay tracks across Europe and rush that cork shipment from Lisbon to Warsaw.

Other Resources for EuroRails:

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