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Empire Builder (EPB) Links   Last updated May 20, 2019.
Class B: Beginning Players Welcome You may play if you have read the rules, played previously, or participated in a scheduled demo. Be on time for the scheduled demonstration. The GM will remain for only 15 minutes if no one is present.
Schedule  GM: Bob Stribula (10th Year)
Round Day Start Time Duration Location
Demo 1/1Mo131Exhibit Hall Annex 2
Heat 1/3Mo154Wintergreen
Heat 2/3We154Wintergreen
Heat 3/3Th154Seasons
2019 Tournament Format HMW

The Empire Builder Series tournament offers competition in Mayfair's "Crayon Rails" games. While Empire Builder and Eurorails will be offered in each of the three Round 1 heats, players may choose to play variants if their choice is shared by at least three other players. Variants include: original Empire Builder [without Mexico], North American Rails [with Mexico], Australian Rails, British Rails, China Rails, India Rails, Irish Rails, Iron Dragon, Lunar Rails, Martian Rails, Mobius Rails, Nippon Rails, and Russian Rails. If you would like to play one of the variants, it is strongly recommended that you bring your own copy and appear early to set it up and recruit players.

This year all games must use the half-rate movement rule as written by Mayfair. Once a train enters a half rate movement area, it moves at half rate for the entire turn, beginning with the first movement step TO or FROM the affected area.

All players must choose the best "three of four cards" to start. Deal four demand cards to each player. Event Cards are reshuffled into the deck. The player with the single highest payment on one of his four cards may begin building track as soon as he is ready (Tiebreaker: second highest payment). Players must discard one of their four cards before they place their train on the map board. Use a switch-back start.

Once a player declares meeting the victory conditions, play continues until all players have had an equal number of turns. Events will continue to affect all players. When the last player has taken his turn, all turn-limited events are canceled. Then starting with the first player, each player may REBUILD any track connection destroyed by events. Only previously drawn track connections may be rebuilt. This may require that the track be rerouted if a permanent event prevents the previous alignment. The usual limit of 20 M track per building turn applies to this rebuilding turn. After this rebuilding turn is complete, determine the finishing order per the Scoring Sheet instructions. Please fill out the score sheet completely; the winner must sign and return it to the GM.

The Semifinal games will feature Empire Builder with Mexico. The Final will be contested on the newest edition of Eurorails (Mayfair #4507; © 2009). For the Final, the cost of the Chunnel is reduced to 12M. Feel free to practice with this modification during the Round 1 heats.


  • If there are 50 or more total entrants, we will advance 25 players to five 5-player Semifinal games
  • If there are between 40 and 49 entrants (inclusive), we will advance 20 players to five 4-player Semifinals
  • If there are between 32 and 39 entrants (inclusive), we will advance 16 players to four 4-player Semifinals
  • With fewer than 32 entrants, we will advance no more than half the entrants to four or five Semifinals of approximately equal numbers of participants
  • Semifinal finishing order (tiebreaker: final cash) will be used to seed Semifinalists to the Final

REMEMBER: If we have more individual Heat winners than Semifinal slots, a single Round 1 win will NOT in itself guarantee advancement. For the previous few years, if we did not have no-shows for the Semifinal, a winner would not have advanced!

We will be using the following tie breakers for advancement and seeding:

    1. Most Wins (i.e., total in all heats entered)
    2. Win in first Heat entered
    3. Win in second Heat entered
    4. Win in third Heat entered
    5. Repeat Rules 1-4 substituting Second Place finishes for Win(s)
    6. Player’s highest score
    7. High dice roll

Additional Prizes:

  • All participants will receive a double-sided, speed-16 Ultra Train card suitable for use with all Terrestrial maps/titles and a Movement Remaining card as a memory aid when making a mid-turn delivery\
  • The Train Gamers Memorial Medal in memory of our lost friends will be awarded to the player with the highest cumulative cash total in three different Round 1 games, not to include Empire Builder or Eurorails
  • The Mobius Rails Medal will be awarded to the player with the single highest final cash and the required number of cities in any Round 1 Mobius Rails game. The game’s designer is disqualified from winning this medal
  • The Irish Rails Medal will be awarded to the player with the single highest final cash and the required number of cities in any Round 1 Irish Rails game. The game’s designer is disqualified from winning this medal