Age of Steam: California Gold Rush / Underground Railroad
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Designer Ted Alspach has announced details of the first of three Steam/Age of Steam expansions he'll release in October 2010. California Gold Rush / Underground Railroad is a full-sized, double-sided mounted game board, with rules for playing in both the Steam and Age of Steam game system. Says Alspach, "At first glance, both have similar rules changes: an option to forsake delivery of goods cubes or an increase of locomotive and replace it with a special function that will be key to winning the game. But the differences between the maps and how they are played are substantial."
As might be expected, California Gold Rush (for 3-6 players) is set in mid-1800s California, with players trying to build tracks to gold mines in order to pick up gold before opponents can. During the delivery phase of each round, instead of delivering goods or increasing your locomotive, you can choose to claim gold on your tracks, with each gold cube increasing your income/VP total by five.
Underground Railroad (for 3-5 players) is set during roughly the same time period, but on the other side of the U.S. In the years prior to the U.S. Civil War, players set up railroad lines to help move slaves north to a free city. Whoever frees the most slaves wins the game – but each delivery you make requires you to forgo delivering a goods cube for income or increasing your locomotive. Can you avoid bankruptcy while doing good?
California Gold Rush / Underground Railroad is part of Bézier Games' Essen 2010 Map Pack, detailed in this earlier game announcement and available for preorder directly from Bézier.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com